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Grand Arbor - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grand ArborGrand Arbor

Educational use only; do not reuse.
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
Photo of Tobyrando
4.51/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of NoProblem
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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 mattboyer182
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tillmac62
3.22/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear amber, slightly darker than golden. World Class head volume, normal retention and poor lacing.

Light nose of banana, clove and a hint of funk.

Light medium body with a smooth texture. Below normal carbonation, with little effervescence in the finish.

The flavor profile is intense, complex and reasonably balanced other than for the phenolics. It begins with a blend of flavors that never really separate. It comes across as a muddled blend of citrus, spice, sweetness and a slight funk. This carries to the middle where the phenolics take over and produce a medicinal quality. As this flaw fades, a sweet background is evident (but has no characteristic identifiable as maple). The finish is a lingering medicinal phenolic aftertaste that is less than pleasant.

Photo of Mikus
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of FenixDelta753
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of barczar
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is lightly barnyard/bubblegum funky, with a ton of cardboard. Subtle bruised apple, light spice.

Flavor is extremely woody and earthy, very savory, yet mapley sweet and toasted, with bandaid phenols. The finish is fairly bitter and a touch peppery. Becomes a bit burnt. Would love to try by a campfire, with some marshmallows.

One of those that I can't decide if I enjoy it or not. Aroma, no. Flavor...kinda.

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

Photo of Quafftastic
3.37/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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

Photo of SocalKicks
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Ohiovania
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Yancey82
4.34/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had at Pittsburgh Winter BeerFest.

Photo of EuphonicHops
3.42/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of fosters9
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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

Photo of kojevergas
2.63/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

BOTTLE: 1 pint 9.4 fl oz. Brown glass. Black and silver pry-off pressure cap. Generally appealing label art.

8.0% ABV. Served cold into a goblet and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Expectations are above average given the brewery.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 2 fingers wide. White colour. Soft. Fluffy. Creamy and inviting. Retention is good - about 8 minutes. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Vibrant yellow-copper. Its strange clarity suggests this was filtered. Lacks a farmhouse ale's characteristic haze. Translucent.

Appears well-carbonated. It's not a great look for a farmhouse ale, but it's appealing outside of style conventions.

AROMA: Doughy yeast, wheat, maple syrup, maple sugars, candi notes, faint orange marmalade, banana, clove, and bready malts. The emphasis on yeasty banana and clove (over a more traditional lemon peel or white pepper) lends this a distinctly German feel. The absence of any brettanomyces funkiness similarly leads this away from a discernable Belgian character. If anything, this an American farmhouse ale, as nothing aromatically suggests it adheres to traditional Belgian takes on the style.

The maple syrup is quite reticent, and if I tried this blind I doubt I'd even be able to identify it - though it does lend this more sweetness than a farmhouse ale usually features.

It's pleasant overall, but far from ideal or traditional. Aromatic intensity is moderate.

TASTE: Overly sugary and sweet, with definite syrupy characteristics - though to its detriment, I don't know that maple is readily identifiable as the culprit. If you're going to brew with maple syrup, brew with maple syrup; I'd like to see that intensified.

After only a few sips, it becomes evident this is anything but a Belgian style farmhouse ale. It's not Belgian; the banana and clove heavy yeast profile is more in line with a Bavarian hefeweizen or an American wheat, and the doughiness observed in the aroma is absent in the taste. It's also not farmhouse; there's no barnyard-redolent straw or hay, and no funkiness (from brettanomyces yeast or otherwise) is present. The malt-heavy sweet build, on the other hand, suggests a Belgian tripel - though without Trappist yeast this ends up rather imbalanced and unsure of itself.

I'm not really sure what they were after with this one, but the sweetness throws off the balance and it lacks the spice profile (especially white pepper) needed to satisfy stylistic convention. The hopping is aptly minimal, and grassy in character with subsidiary floral characteristics.

Ultimately, this is a simple shallow brew with a plain taste. I can't say I'm a big fan.

TEXTURE: Overcarbonated. Overly full-bodied and thick. Has a syrupy heavy feel on the palate. The old trope of beer being liquid bread comes to mind. It's not the peppery refreshing feel of a proper Belgian style farmhouse ale. Smooth and wet enough to keep it drinkable.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh or rough. The alcohol is noticeable, but not overt.

OVERALL: A swing and a miss from the cats at Southern Tier. Those hoping for a traditional Belgian farmhouse ale with interesting maple syrup notes will be quite disappointed. There's nothing here for the discerning drinker, but it's not an undrinkable brew. I'll finish the glass, but this just isn't working as a cohesive gestalt whole of a beer, and frankly it's a bit of a mess.

As a side note, none of the "tasting notes" on the label are even remotely close to being accurate. "Earthy Aroma"? No. "Mild bitterness?" Definitely not. (And why would that be a good thing in a Belgian style farmhouse ale anyway!?) "Dry tart finish?" Nah.

C-

Photo of billab914
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of thgreatrandini
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of liquorpig
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of LAND_MINE
3.24/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of david18
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 smithj4
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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