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Grand Arbor - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grand ArborGrand Arbor

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

51 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 51
Hads: 274
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 24.15%
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: 51 | Hads: 274
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.

 613 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a wonderful beer, but i am a die hard maple lover, so maybe thats part of it. it looks fluffy headed and pale bronze color. the aroma is sweet and yeasty like a belgian tripel, and in fact, i think it misses the saison/farmhouse mark the label sets for it by a considerable margin, way more of a tripel with all the sugar and higher gravity. the taste is better, richer, and not sweet at all despite the addition of maple. i find it to be not maple syrup but running sap. its less intense, not condensed, and frankly a little more drinkable than the syrup might be. earthy and different, with a medium but not unique grain body to it. the alcohol is well hidden but appropriate for the body here. i love the dryer finish with all the maple, and i appreciate how well carbonated this thing is, its easy drinking flavorful beer thats not like others i have had. it definitely doesnt fit neatly into any styles, but sometimes those are the beers that we love the most. maple is always a plus for me, so maybe i am biased, but i think this is up there with the best of southern tier.

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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 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 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 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 mactrail
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Color is a rich yellow in the Gulpener tulip. Lots of carbonation provides abundant foam and lacing, and a big spritziness in the mouth. Some woody and flowery notes in the aroma. It's fresh straw with applejack. The alcohol fumes add to the effect.

The yeast flavors are hardly subtle. The drying sensation is very pronounced, as is the bitter and woody yeasty bite. Warm and malty with plenty of sweetness. Everything about this beer is more bold and dramatic than the typical Saison. Fortunately, however, the maple syrup is the exception and it provides a subtle tangy taste and a fruity sweetness.

This is a very pleasant and highly drinkable beer that channels the Belgian style vividly. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Wine World and Spirits in north Seattle for $11.

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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 superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 12/4/2013. Pours lightly hazy bright gold color with a 2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon zest, orange zest, pear, apple, banana, coriander, clove, pepper, wheat, bread, herbal, grass, light wood, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and earthy maple notes; with great strength. Taste of lemon zest, orange zest, pear, apple, banana, coriander, clove, pepper, wheat, bread, herbal, grass, bubblegum, light wood, and yeast earthiness. Moderate yeast spice on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon/orange zest, pear, apple, coriander, clove, pepper, bubblegum, herbal, grass, light wood, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and robustness of fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and earthy maple flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent saison style. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and earthy maple flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Gavage
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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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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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 bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +5%

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.

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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 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.

 416 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a nice lightly hazed orange amber color with a big billowy head of a just off white foam. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a fantastic level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is quite heavy of a grainy smell along with a very nice lot of a yeastiness. The yeastiness brings with it aromas of a grassy nature as well as a nice lot of a banana sweetness. Along with these smells are some sweet aromas of bubblegum, maple syrup, and candied sugar with a bit of a tangerine sweetness present as well, which with the rest, create a very sweet and pleasantly “funked” aroma.

Taste – It begins with a sweet candied sugar taste along with a nice bready flavor. The bready flavor is of a smooth doughty flavor along with a moderately strong yeasty taste. Along with these tastes there is a decent sweetness to the brew as fruity flavors of both banana and tangerine are present right from the start. While starting out very smooth, the taste ends up becoming more grainy and a bit more chewy as the taste advances. This is largely due to a more grainy wheat flavor replacing the doughy flavor with other tastes of a grassy nature also meeting the tongue. While this occurs however, so too comes even more sweet flavors with tons of maple syrup and with a bit of light bubblegum and candied sugar taste, going with the tangerine and banana nicely but actually heavily outpacing them. With a bit more grassy and hay-like funk coming to the tongue at the end of the taste, along with a lighter spice flavor of coriander and clove, one is left with a very pleasantly sweet and enjoyable flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thinner side overall, but gets a bit more chew in nature as the taste advances from the start to the finish. With a rather higher carbonation, the overall lighter body, which transitions at the end, is very nice for the mix of yeast, dough, grain, sugary sweet, and grassy flavors of the brew and with a very modest alcohol flavor (well at least for a brew of 8% abv.) it creates a very easy drinking Belgian style farmhouse ale.

Overall – A very enjoyable and quite drinkable brew. On the sweeter side, but very enjoyable and balanced. Not sure if it is quite worth the $10 per bottle price tag in comparison to their backwater and imperial series (usually ~ $7-8) but regardless it is quite nice and is well worth the try.

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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 Gmann
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy straw color with a huge rocky white head. Pretty spot on for the style. Decent head retention, which left some chunky lacing as it settled.

The aroma is perfumey with notes of hay and clove. Floral and bright with a hint of grassy hops. Standard saison aroma, similar to Saison Dupont.

The taste is similar to the aroma but is deeper and more complex. Again a floral and perfume presence mainly hay and clove. There is a solid sweetness to this beer which you wouldn't expect from the look and aroma. The flavor has a hint of the maple syrup but I get more of the overall sweetness. I thought the maple syrup would have been too strong for the style but Southern Tier did a nice job mixing it in. Pretty aggressive grassy hop bitterness in the finish. The maple syrup seems to come out more as the beer warms.

Moderate feel with prickly carbonation. Sweet on the palate but finishes dry and with a grassy bitterness. A bit chalky actually and the bitterness lingers a tad too long.

I think Southern Tier did a nice job with the maple syrup for a saison. It doesn't over power and it doesn't add too much sweetness. The beer is surprisingly dry.

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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 Zach136
4.14/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into Stone IPA cervoise.

A - Hazy school bus yellow. Two finger rocky head with excellent lacing. Smallish carbonation bubbles throughout.

S - Smells alot like a saison I brewed with French saison yeast. Clove and other spicy esters take the forefront, touch of Hawaiian roll breadyness from the malts and just the slightest touch of grassy hop character. Little to no maple syrup, though it may just be blending with the malt notes I picked up.

T - Maple syrup comes out a bit more in the taste, mixes nice with the Belgian esters. Solid malt backbone and very little hop.

M - The residual maple syrup sugars and lower amount of carbonation make this a bit too sticky for my taste, but still fairly refreshing.

O - A great saison I'm happy to drink an entire bottle of. Glad to see a tasty large format from Southern Tier with a little more finesse than the dessert series.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.29/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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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 JayQue
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
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

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Grand Arbor from Southern Tier Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.