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Grand Arbor - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grand ArborGrand Arbor

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BA SCORE
85
very good

248 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 248
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 10.61%
Wants: 7
Gots: 25 | 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: 248 | Reviews: 47
Reviews by bluejacket74:
Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +6.1%

750 ml bottle, bottled on 12/04/13. Served in a tulip, the beer pours a hazy dark gold color with about an inch and a half off-white head. Head retention is decent, and there's a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like citrus peel, straw, peppery spice, apple, and a bit of maple. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of some wheat/grainy malt, pears, earthiness and a bit of bubblegum. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and has soft carbonation which helps make this easy to drink. I think it's a good overall brew, definitely worth a try. $8.99 a bottle.

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 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 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 lionhrt9
4.14/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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

A- pours a pale cloudy straw color with a big creamy white head that retains long after the pour, all the way to the finish

S- earthy and musty with a hint of grass, yeasty, slightly sweet

T- yeasty with notes of must, hay, mild hop bitterness, slight sweetness from the maple, dry finish with a noticeable linger of alcohol

M- medium body and carbonation, fizzy-to-creamy mouthfeel, crisp and dry finish

O- good classic saison, the maple added a nice touch of sweetness, alcohol was quite noticeable though

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

Pours a hazy honey color, with 3 inches of long lasting head, and good lacing down the glass. Great saison look to this one.

Smells like wheat, Belgian yeast esters, honey and citrus.

Similar flavor. Very sweet here, but I'm not picking up much genuine maple syrup flavor. There is an earthy sweetness that is probably the work of the maple syrup, since the sugars from the syrup were probably fermented out. Very sweet, almost to the point of cloying.

Full body, creamy mouthfeel. Very nicely carbonated.

A bit out of Southern's Tier comfort zone and wheelhouse, but they succeed. A little sweet for a saison, but Southern Tier makes very sweet beers.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a medium burnished gold amber with a fine two finger white head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of light malt, wheat beer banana, Belgian yeast and spicing with light saison yeast component. Flavor begins with mildly sweet bready malt with the banana and lemon citrus expected from a wheat beer, Belgian spicing, mild sweetness but no overt maple syrup flavors. Finishes much closer to a traditional saison, drier with spicy, peppery Belgian spicing and bitterness and light earthy saison yeast funk. Medium bodied with pleasant creaminess, nice mouth feel. An interesting take on the saison style, with a mixture of elements from Belgian pale ale, witbier and Western European saison. Seems like a confusing combination, but it works, with the flavor transition from sweet Belgian to drier saison quite satisfactory. Nicely done.

Photo of metter98
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that died down a bit and consistently left a short head covering the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of Belgian yeast and peppery spices are present in the nose.
T: The taste starts out like a saison but seems a little maltier and hints if maple syrup are present towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The addition of maple syrup to this saison adds some complexities. I liked how the maple wasn't overdone.

Photo of LazyLeprechaun
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Hazy bright gold, with a one finger head that dissipates quickly leaving a thin film that stays throughout.

S: Typical belgian yeast characteristic, a little bit of sweetness.

T: Follows the nose almost exactly, just a hint of alcohol warmth.

M: Good carbonation, very dry finish leaving you wanting more.

O: Not bad, glad I picked this up

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Hazed peach color. Two fingers of pillowy white head. Retention is about average and a bunch of irregular lacing is left.

3.75 S: Peppery spiciness with earthy undertones. WIldflowers, apricot, and apple. Clove, wet grass, dirty woodiness. The maple syrup gives a few notes of complexity. Tart orange to finish.

3.75 T: Tastes just like the nose. Pepper and clove spiciness. Yeasty breadiness. Apricot, apple, orange on the fruit front. Wildflowers, grass and hay. Dusky woodiness.

3.75 M: Medium body. Good spritzy carbonation. Lightly creamy and smooth enough. A tinge of booziness on finish.

3.5 D: Good beer. Worth a try.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Paid 10 bucks for the bottle I am always a sucker for the latest ST brew.

A - Damn near perfect a golden yellow bouquet of a beer with over an inch of solid foamy head that sticks around forever. Whatever does pull back reviels some great foam and lacing,
S - Can't really knock the smell with corpious amounts of maple syrup it comes off like a very sweet smelling farmhouse ale. Mildly fruity and mildly spicy.
T - Well it's both sweet and ungodly dry which is to be expected since fermented sugars leave a dry palate. Those who oppose Southern Tiers sweet beers with rude words should review this as the most anti-sweet beer ever. I am not really getting much spice or even fruity yeast its mostly maple syrup dry beer. So dry.
M - Medium in body with a.... god is it so dry.

Overall I recommend this to anyone who loves the style. For me expecting a sweet Sasion I was greatly disappointed.

Photo of PostRockandCats
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Draught. Sample.

Not what I expected! The bartender kept giving me random samples at random once we made the beer dweeb connection. In the din of the pub, I didn't catch anything other than "Farmhouse Ale" when he passed this to me, so I was expecting something drier. But, I love blind tastings...

Got pear and slight pepper at the nose. Loved the light carbonation and creamy mouthfeel.

Honey more than maple up front going right to "tree" notes that are more indicative of the maple used in the brewing process. Goes to fruity graininess for a second and the the maple rick rolls you, throws horns and coats the back of your throat with a pleasant sweetness that's just perfect.

Photo of Johnny_Muir
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 ml WHOA, a unique farmhouse for sure! The maple syrup sounded weird, but it doesnt take like syrup, it just takes amazing! Sweet yet tart, a nice smooth feel going down. However, like all farmhouses, I am incapable of drinking more than one in a session, and this one is no different, maybe even worse due to the maple syrup. Nature of the beast for me.

Photo of Gavage
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a brilliants orange color with some yellow highlights. A huge 3" fluffy head lasts a long time and some spotty lace develops on the glass.

Smell: spices, citrus, and yeast provide a great aroma.

Taste: bready malt profile with coriander, banana, lemon zest, orange, spicy belgian yeast, and a nice balancing bitterness to the overall sweetness. Alcohol is noticeable here.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Very crisp to start, and the prickly crispness remains through the finish. Long lasting aftertaste here.

Overall: a slower sipping beer that is full flavored and nicely refreshing. Very enjoyable.

Photo of dorianmarley
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is a bright golden brown with a white head and sticky lacing.

Nose is sweet, whole grain bread, maple candy, lemon zest, and conifer.

Taste is astringent with caramel, almond, wheat bread, and sour gummy.

Mouthfeel is very full. It is the highlight of this beer. Pleasant bit of oil slickness and mild carbonation.

Overall, this is a pleasant ale that is well-made but lacks a lot of character.

Photo of portia99
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a faintly hazy golden color touching on orange with a huge three fingers of fluffy white head that shows excellent staying power and absolutely coats the entire surface of the glass with foamy lacing.

S -Bright aroma, filled with citrus - lemons and oranges. Super spicy with cloves, cinnamon, pepper, a bit of sweet pickles, wintergreen, phenolic, faintly tart. Some funk that is earthy, but a bit odd/different from the typical funk character of farmhouse ales. Bottle says it is brewed with maple syrup...not picking this up in the nose, however. A lot of good in here and some unusuals that I don't know exactly what to think. First sip will tell a lot...I think.

T - Very herbal up front - wintergreen is dominant, peppermint, black pepper and cloves mix in with one or two other things I can't quite identify. A bit like a Ricola cough drop (which I like) - but not exactly - just a lot of stuff going on here. Lightly tart, fairly earthy hop character that also shows some grassiness and a mild bitterness. As in the aroma...maple - not really getting it. Quite unusual and very herbal - one of the most herbal character beers I have had.

M - Strong carbonation - quite tingly and also showing some foamy qualities as well. Super herbal - cool, almost menthol-like at times. Tart, dry, earthy in hop and malt character...although well subdued by the yeasty herbal-ness.

O - Very odd beer...I waiver on whether I like it or not. This is variable by sip. Tons of Belgian yeast character, well out of proportion with anything else to be found in this beer. Definitely a mixed bag. If you like spicy and herbal beers, this will be right up your alley. I do tend to like this type of beer, but this may be just a bit over the top for me. A full 750ml bottle is a bit tough to get thru on my own...sharing would be recommended. Definitely an intense herbal experience that I still am not sure which side of the pass/fail line it falls on. I am still drinking it half way thru the bottle (which is a positive) but not sure I am going to finish it (a negative). Herbal beer lovers rejoice...pretenders, take notice.

Photo of JayQue
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much better than I expected!!!! A lot of American Saisons are all lemon zest and little yeast or funk. This beer has a definite lemony presence but the Belgian yeast and (to a lesser extent) musty barnyard funk are present. Pours a slightly hazy bright straw gold color with a huge bubbly white head. Good head retention and wide bands of thin lacing on the glass.

Taste has lemon, yeast and some funk. The maple is noticeable but wisely under-done. mouthfeet is rich and a little tart. Overall a pretty decent Saison

Photo of Tone
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, gold color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of hops, sweet malt, alcohol, slight citrus, hint of floral, hint of wood, and a hint of spice. Fits the style of a Saison / Farmhouse Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, citrus, hint of spice, slight floral, slight hops, and a hint of wood. Overall, good body, blend, aroma, and complexity.

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.

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Grand Arbor from Southern Tier Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 248 ratings.