Grand Arbor - Southern Tier Brewing Company
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 179 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheBrewo:
4.44/5 rDev +17.8%
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.
01-21-2014 03:15:38 | More by TheBrewo
More User Reviews:
3.73/5 rDev -1.1%
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.
02-10-2014 22:26:25 | More by oberon
3.7/5 rDev -1.9%
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.
02-22-2014 21:08:18 | More by dogfishandi
4.29/5 rDev +13.8%
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.
02-07-2014 08:18:50 | More by MattyG85
4.06/5 rDev +7.7%
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.
01-22-2014 03:21:07 | More by CloudStrife
3.75/5 rDev -0.5%
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.
03-10-2014 02:17:40 | More by rdilauro
4.16/5 rDev +10.3%
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.
07-03-2014 18:58:04 | More by lionhrt9
Grand Arbor from Southern Tier Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 179 ratings.