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Grand Arbor - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grand ArborGrand Arbor

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BA SCORE
85
very good

242 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 242
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 10.61%
Wants: 6
Gots: 24 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JimmyFlatRock on 01-10-2014

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 242 | Reviews: 44
Reviews by TheBrewo:
Photo of TheBrewo
4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We crack a bottle, pouring a murky, muddy-orange brew into our Founders snifters. A solid two and a half finger tall tower is created to match, consisting of massive milk bubbles suspended in an indiscernibly finite latticework of cork colored foam. This shows excellent retention, leaving thick, organic patterns of lacing around our glasses. A chill haze cuts clarity, but no sediment is noted through the first half of the bottle. Carbonation appears to be active. The aroma offers bright esters, dank vinyl resins, clean Belgian yeastiness, soft pale, wheaty, and Munich maltiness, lemon and orange peel effervescence, brown sugar sweetness, vanilla and candied maple sugars, cloven and peppery phenols, sticky nougat chew, raw honey, lavender florals, and light but spicy and grassy hops. Booze becomes more pervasive with warmth, but is at no point overwhelming. Our first impression is that the flavoring is wildly robust, vegetal, and earthy, with nice crispness and dryness to offer an abrupt but satisfying finish. As we sip, the taste begins with bittering and biting citric orange rind, musk, sawdust, black pepper and nutmeg spiciness, cedar earthiness, subtle maple sugars, sourdough breadiness, white sugar sweetness, generic chemical phenols, and bright banana esters. The middle hits with the highest peak of booze in the sip, accompanied by bubblegum and banana bread esters, brown sugar sweetness, faint maple syrup sugariness, earthen clay, airs of vegetal metallics, salted grain, and chlorine fumes. The end arrives with mild floral and earthen hoppiness, mineral-laden well water, mildly solventy booziness, plastic phenols, tin, spice of curry, marjoram, sage, and thyme, basement mustiness, earthy barnyard essence, continued sweet estery airs, lemon zest, orange pulp, and bittered, drying yeatiness. The aftertaste breathes of browned bananas, peppery booze, chemical phenol bite, dirty pale and pilsner grain, gravel, pencil lead, crisp mineral water cleanse, bitter wheaty graininess, floral and lightly soapy hops, and distant echoes of those aromatic clovey phenols. The body is on the full side of medium, and the carbonation is solidly medium. Each sip gives nice slurp and smack, but a more watery cream, froth, foam, and glug. Finishing pop is curt and crisp. The mouth is initially slicked and coated, but this softly puckers away into bone dry astringency, with a fleeting acidic tartness to the tongue. The abv is stronger for the style, but the beer drinks nicely.

Overall, what we found to be the most enjoyable aspect of this beer was its big, big flavoring. Actually, we were quite surprised that this beer came from the Southern Tier camp. In our minds they have traditionally churned out deliciously suitable stouts and IPAs, but this seems to mark a veritable transition for them into more versatile and masterful brewery. The flavoring was spot on stylistically, hitting all of the right stops, while keeping the bitterness and overt acidity at bay. The maple sugars, while present, were a bit subtle, and more of a novelty as a selling point. They did add a bit more earthiness and spice, so they weren’t a complete waste of the effort. With a higher abv it does deviate from the saison template a bit as well, but in no way does it take away from the tasting in the end. By keeping it dry and biting to the far reaches of the tongue it helps keep you coming back for more, and maintains a level of freshness and crispness throughout. This is truly a fantastic beer, but what makes it so fun is that it is from an American brewery, and they really make it their own by making it so robust and bold in each aspect of its being. We will be searching for a few more bottles of this tomorrow.

More User Reviews:
Photo of jlindros
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Well this is a Southern Tier beer, AND it has maple, I really hope it's not too sweet. Needed something a bit bigger tonight, so this should stack up nicely, and ehopfuly is actually Farmhouse like. Also noticed a lot of space in the neck, like dangerously low fill, which is a bit unnerving and it loses points for that. But bottled date helps, 12/4/13.

The long narrowing neck forces a chugging pour that yields a frothy semi thick 1.5 finger head that fades at a med pace with lots of big bubbles, decent soapy lacing, hazy orange honey colored beer.

Nose smells like a typical Americanized wit, a little farmhouse saison but not a ton. Plenty of wheat no matter how you slice it, creamy wheat, with mild spices, little coriander like spice and touch of other mild spring saison spices, some banana too, very faint clove, some orange zest and citrus, little lemony too, lots of esters through all that, plenty to go around for a few days, and when I take a big whiff I get a little fusel alcohol with mild phenols, but both very light.

Taste starts like an imperial witbier again, Americanized version as well, lots of creamy wheat, tons of it, with some orange peel, zest, citrus, little banana, and tons of esters again. Then a little saison note but not a lot, little coriander, hint of clove, and other mild saison spices, almost mulling tea spices in there with a little herbal tea note even. Then a little booze cuts in, warming and slightly tingly, mild phenols too. Hint of bitterness in there, more like an orange peel bitterness and some from the spices but a touch from hops I think. Creamed wheat comes through again on the back end, turns a little crackery and doughy, as more orange peel, clove, spices, and herbal tea come out towards the finish and a little bit of a yeast flavor, and finally a bit of a maple flavor coming out, which I guess really dried out. The finish brings a nice maple cream flavor, dried maple cream, with dried but slightly creamy wheat flavor, more mild spices and orange peel lingering too, little sticky feeling, hint of warming booze too.

Mouth is med to a bit lighter bod, fairly creamy, plenty of carbonation like typical hef.

Overall OK, but not crazy, more like an imperial hefe with hints of saison in there, I don't think I get any farmhouse style notes at all, more like American hefe and saison blended with a hint of maple on the back end. Booze is noticeable too, but that tends to come from lots of esters, phenols, and dried out maple back end.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

In attempt to dry the beer, rather than sweetening it, the mild use of adjunct sugars to would give added fuel for yeast consumption. Thus added alcohol, dryness and carbonation all work to enliven the flavors already present in the beer.

Southern Tier's vernacular take on this tradition sees a Belgian-style farmhouse ale with a heavy yeast and golden-straw color. Bready, frothy and persistent, the creamy scent is laced with banana, white pepper, clove and apple for a scent that straddles saison and the hefeweizens of Germany.

Its creamy sweetness massages the tastebuds with the bready sweetness of cookie dough and fresh yeast. With green apple, faint lemon, orange and pear each taking turns layering on the palate; the rebuttal from spice sets in with white pepper, clove, grassy hops and a glimpse of smoky cumin as the maple reveals more of a peanut skin and shaven pine character.

Its high carbonation keeps the long and lingering residual sweetness held in a creamy and bready state as its sweetness and malt textures are slow to relax. This blanketed character keeps the spice, earth and dryness muted as the ale favors sweetness and added body more than authentic versions do.

Photo of oberon
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 12/04/13.Not a style I gravitate to very much but any chance I get to try a new ST offering down here I take it.Pours into an Ommegang chalice a hazed honey tinged lighter golden with a nicely formed egg shell colored head that leaves a full ring of lace behind as it settles into a frothy mass.Aromas are lighter with spiced phenols and medicinal notes mainly with a hint of bread.Yeasty phenols are big on the palate with rock candy-like flavors,the maple syrup doesn't really show thru much,there is some sharpness in the feel but is not overly annoying.Well if you like yeasty farmhouse ales you might enjoy this,I don't but still enjoyed it in a small amount.

Photo of tbryan5
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of JakerLou
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of lostandwandering
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of ImFlyerThanYou
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Janeinma
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of dogfishandi
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml capped bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Bottled on 12/4/13 (2 1/2 months old)

Pours a hazy golden color, a nice big creamy white head off of the pour quickly receeds to a retentive 1/4 inch layer. Pretty good lacing left on the glass.

Smells very similar to most beers brewed with the French saison strain. Floral, an old candy comes to mind, moritz something?.... Spicey bubblegum. Really all about the slightly spicey French yeast.

Similar to the aroma, French saison yeast is the main player. Floral, phenolic, a bit of a peppery spice, bubblegum. Very Belgian.

Medium in body and quite easy drinking.

A good beer, but nothing too memeroable. Still nice to see southern tier trying new things and coming out with lots of new beers. However, I would like to see more of these American saisons try some different yeasts as they all taste way too similar with the same French strain.

Photo of MattyG85
4.29/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Bottled on 12/04/13.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy yellowish golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big three finger white head which slowly recedes into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of lacing.

Smell: A yeasty and spicy Belgian style aroma with good hints of fruits and syrup. Belgian yeast with some upfront hints of farmhouse funk, clove, and pepper. Fruity hints of bananas, pear, white grapes, and apple. Some bubblegum hints along with some Belgian candied sugar and maple syrup. Also some citrus hints of orange, lemon, and apricot. Pale malt with hints of wheat, grains, straw, biscuit, and cracker. Wood like hints which supposedly come from the syrup. Hops are very light. A very good aroma.

Taste: Like the smell, a yeasty and spicy Belgian farmhouse taste with big notes of fruit and some syrup. Big taste of Belgian yeast with good notes of farmhouse funk, clove, and peppers. Fruity taste of bananas, pear, apple, and white grape. Citrus fruit notes of orange, lemon zest, and apricot. Sweet notes of Belgian candied sugar and subtle Maple Syrup which gives some woody notes. Also some bubblegum taste. Pale malt with notes of wheat, grains, biscuit, straw, and cracker. Subtle earthy hops in the background. A very nice Farmhouse taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Spicy and fairly drying feel. A little alcohol heat is felt but things are still fairly smooth.

Overall: A really nice twist on a Belgian Saison/Farmhouse Ale. Good yeasty and fruity notes with an interesting woody kick from the syrup.

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of briandaube
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of rbouton
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of BraveMountie
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Brenden
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Grand Arbor is a gold-orange color, mostly clear with a glowing brightness. The white head rises to one finger's height and shows good retention and some impressive stick. It keeps up while throwing down some very nice lacing to the bottom of the glass.
The smell isn't sweet. Instead, it starts off with a bit of must, then offers up some herb and leaf while a light peppery sort of spiciness hits the nostrils.
The taste starts off as a fairly traditional take on Saison, dry and light. It develops notes of pale and darker fruits, a bit sweet but not very, before some drier woods come in. Some clove and a mix of sweet spices and kitchen spices lie lightly underneath, and maple isn't introduced as a major player so much as suggested. It does come in at the finish, even while it remains on the dry side.
The body is medium, the character semi-dry leaning dry from start to finish. It's plenty crisp and smooth with a moderate carbonation while spiciness hits the palate evenly.

Photo of CloudStrife
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml poured into a snifter. DOB 12/04/13

A: Pours a hazy golden orange with a fluffy white head on top. Leaves some solid lacing along the sides of the glass. Too opaque to see any visible carbonation.

S: Loads of Belgian qualities right off the bat on this one. Banana and clove are dominant along with a bit of orange peel. Slight peppery spice in the backend. Maple syrup is detectable but would be difficult without knowing it was there.

T: Reminds me a bit of a banana split, with the combination of yeast and sweetness of the maple syrup. Isnt overly sweet but instead compliment the Belgian qualities. Hops do assert themselves adding a bit of uniqueness to the beer.

M: Medium to full body with a solid creaminess to it. Low to moderate carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden on the palate. Finish is mostly crisp with a touch of stickiness.

Overall nice to see Southern Tier bottling some of the Belgian one offs they have brewed recently. This is a good start in the Belgian arena and I look forward to trying more.

Photo of rdilauro
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I need to admit that I am not a big fan of Belgium style beers. Its something about the yeast, the wild yeast that picks it apart for me.

This beer had a very nice nose, it didnt seem to have that wild far away yeast bouquet, but instead something much more agreeable (for me)

The taste was nice, big , round and soft. Again sort of typical for the Belgium's I have tasted. But this was also very clean. This beer was almost chewable! That may have been because of the addition of maple The finish was long, lingering and asking you to have another sip.

Photo of zachthelaxer93
4.52/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of marmstrong1212
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of Griffith
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of whatname
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

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Grand Arbor from Southern Tier Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 242 ratings.