Grand Arbor - Southern Tier Brewing Company
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Ratings: 170 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheBrewo:
4.44/5 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.
Serving type: bottle
01-21-2014 03:15:38 | More by TheBrewo
More User Reviews:
4.16/5 rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
A - Light golden reddish cloudy appearance. finger and half slightly creamy head that diminished to a half finger cap and good lacing with moderate carbonation
S - maple sweet smell with some citrus back notes, not pungent smells. It's like a wheat beer
T- slightly hoppy with that maple syrup helping it along from start to finish. Nice citrus notes to finish, not too bitter just enough. Hops hang out between sips.
M - creamy very nice crisp clean finish
O - Really liked this beer, but I'm a sucker for a good Belgium beer, this one fits the bill and with 8% by volume its not a little over flavored weak beer, this one stands up. Southern Tier knocked this one out of the park for me.
Serving type: bottle
07-03-2014 18:58:04 | More by lionhrt9
Grand Arbor from Southern Tier Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 170 ratings.