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Grand Arbor - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grand ArborGrand Arbor

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

50 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 50
Hads: 273
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 24.41%
Wants: 7
Gots: 33 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 50 | Hads: 273
Photo of kojevergas
2.63/5  rDev -31%
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.


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Photo of corby112
2.84/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy bright golden orange color with tangerine edges and a two finger, pillowy off-white head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Very good retention, taking a while to settle and leaving large streaks of soapy lacing on the way down.

Slightly earthy aroma with some floral hops, grass, hay and subtle farmhouse funk countered by sweet malt backbone, alcohol and light fruit esters. The funk/saison yeast character is muted until it warms up considerably and is still pretty weak once I pick it up. Subtle perfume like presence with hints of raisin, apple and pear sweetness countering the earthier notes and faint farmhouse funk. I'm sure some of the sweetness comes from the maple syrup but I wouldn't have been able to pick it out if I didn't read that it was used on the label.

Medium body with some earthy bitterness and subtle earthy funk followed by light fruit and strong alcohol sweetness. Not nearly as dank, earthy and/or funky as I prefer with overwhelming alcohol flavor dominating the palate. Floral and slightly bitter earthy hops along with faint hay/straw followed by apple and pear sweetness. Very subtle saison yeast flavor but it's nearly completely overpowered by the sweetness and strong alcohol. Some warmth in the finish but has more astringent alcohol flavor than heat. Disappointing.

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Photo of teromous
3.22/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light hazy golden body with a tall thick fluffy white head. Good lacing.

Aroma: Spicy aroma and the smell of wet brown paper towels. It's an average smelling farmhouse ale.

Taste: Spicy flavor, clove, and a touch of wood character at the back. It's important to note that the label says "ale brewed with maple syrup." I don't pick up anything unique to maple syrup.

Mouthfeel: It has a good mouthfeel. It's just dry enough to let some of the bitterness to come through without muddying it up.

Overall: It's a well crafted farmhouse ale. It definitely won't disappoint if you're looking for a good farmhouse ale. Unfortunately there wasn't anything unique in this beer, which was disappointing given the claim of maple syrup on the bottle. It didn't appear to effect the color of the beer, the aroma, or the flavor. I would recommend skipping it unless you're just looking for a regular farmhouse ale.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.22/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a growler earlier having never heard of the beer, but enjoyed the sample at the store. Beer pours a cloudy pale orange. The rocky ecru head is slow to dissipate leaving nice rings of lacing. Wonderful scent of belgian yeast with highlights of clove, coriander, grains of paradise. Slightly sweet doughy scent as well.

Beer has the same trio of spices in the flavor as the scent. The flavor begins with the yeast complexity and moves toward the flavor of freshly baked bread. The finish is not as sharp and lacks the acidic complexity of the finest belgian saisons. As I continue to enjoy the glass some of the spices become a little heavy handed, but not cloyingly or overwhelmingly so. Mouthfeel is not as dry as I would want in a saison and medium bodied. Enjoyable beer. I'm curious if it will be bottled and if so bottle conditioned and how that may change the beer.

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Photo of barczar
3.57/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice barely cloudy rich good color with a tall white head after an aggressive pour. Smells like hay, yeast, and grass with some booze and a very minor whiff of maple. The taste follows suit but adds some citrus and clove. Not a bad Belgian but the one I had could have used a bit more maple.

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Photo of jlindros
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle - $8.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, darkened yellow body with a medium-sized, powdered-white head.

Smell: A stirred up melange of fruitiness and florals, there's lemon, bitter orange, white peach, banana, which, itself, is mixed up with a heavier spiciness, a teensy sprinkle of alcohol, honeyed coated wheat malt.

Taste: Honeyed, pale, wheat-laden, lightly grainy maltiness tempered by an earthy spiciness, a little tart citrus, floral, some dusty banana and peach, a dot of camphor as the yeasty phenols are introduced. Maple flavor present, a little implied sweetness embodied, which carries you to the drying finish as the spiciness ramps up with a hint of the alcohol warmth detected.

Mouthfeel: A bit beyond medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: Didn't out-and-out love it, but, I will say, it's much better than anticipated. The maple is noted with being overdone and ultimately taking away from the final product and the underlying saison isn't overly sweet, alcoholic, or flabby on the tongue as so many American-made saison can be.

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Photo of oberon
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
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

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Photo of thecheapies
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Lots of naughty haze in a straw gold beer. The head is whipped up like egg whites; big and fluffy. Monstrous height in a pint glass, no less. Lacing is pretty.

Sponge-y breadiness with sweet pale malts and light funk. Light fruitiness with dry pear and tangerine and a hint of maple. Saison yeast has light nuttiness and a crude earthy aroma that works well. Enjoyable.

Retains sweetness and tanginess from the farmhouse yeast and malt combo. Belgian tartness is tight and gets pulverized by a big powdery yeast finish. Lots of dryness late, despite the sweet opening. Tinges of maple are late leftovers in the mouth. Alcohol is sweet, too, and cuts through mild bitterness. A little too romped with booze, but it's not arguing with me. It could use some oakiness, or something else to dry out the front half--not leave it up to the chalky yeast to do all the work. Still, it's unique and successful.

Mouthfeel is a little greasy and full. It's not your light and fluffy saison of typical measure. Booze is alarming in the headiness, and on the palate. It's okay.

I think this comes together just fine, even though it's not as delicate as I need it to be. Not bold, either, just heavy-duty. I'll let the Belgians brew the 8%-and-up saisons.

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Photo of Brenden
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of rdilauro
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: cloudy; golden colored; 2+ finger white head that receded slowly to a thin cap; nice thick lacing;

S: maple up front; then Belgian yeast takes over;

T: Belgian yeast, followed by lemon zest at mid-palate; some bitterness from mid-palate through finish; maple comes through a little at the end; alcohol isn't very evident until well after the swallow;

Light bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: different take on the style; for me, the maple didn't help, bit it wasn't overdone; yeast was VERY prevalent;

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Photo of metter98
3.77/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Capped 750ml bottle poured into a chalice.

A: Golden in color with good clarity. Fine-bubbled and foamy white head retains at a solid two fingers. Clumpy webs of lacing cling everywhere.

S: Sweet, toasty, and bready malts. Walnuts. Yeast is musty and a bit chalky. Mildly tart/vinous white grape aroma. Perhaps some floral hops. Touch of clove.

T: Sweet and toasty malts. Walnut. Grain. Herbal hops. Good dose of musty yeast. Sugary. Hint of vinous white grapes, Apple skin, and pithy lemon. Clove. Stiff alcohol. Drying musty yeast finish.

M: Sturdy medium-thick body. Rounded and creamy with a sense of heft and weight. Somewhat chewy. Lots of acute, scrubbing carbonation forgives its size and lifts the body right off of the palate.

O: Not a bad beer, though it seems bigger in all respects than it has to be. The 8% abv is felt and its big-boned nature sacrifices drinkability to some extent. I want to quaff a saison, not sip it. The use of the maple syrup imparts little flavor; it's mainly there for the added fermentables.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle, bottled 12/4/13 poured into a tulip
A: Light orange with a one-finger head and lots of carbonation
S: Sweet malt with Belgian yeast, coriander and hints of banana and orange
T: Again sweet malt, the spicy notes really come through particularly coriander and clove. This follows with maple notes, banana then more spice on the finish
M: Fairly light-bodied, good carbonation
O: I wish the maple notes came through more, they got hidden by the abundance of sweet malt on the palate and were absent in the nose. Certainly a good beer and definitely worth a try but likely not a repeat purchase

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Photo of LazyLeprechaun
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
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

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Photo of portia99
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of Tone
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Grand Arbor from Southern Tier Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.