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Arcadia Thunder Trail - Arcadia Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arcadia Thunder TrailArcadia Thunder Trail

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

61 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 61
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 12.02%
Wants: 0
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Formerly called Arcadia Lake Superior ESB.

(Beer added by: StoutHunter on 04-19-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 17 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by mrfrancis:
Photo of mrfrancis
3.96/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A gentle pour reveals a murky brownish amber liquid with a thick, imposing, pillowy off-white head that takes forever to settle.

S: Aromas of chalk, talc, herbs, black pepper, leather, tobacco, caramel, biscuit, and crackers are present on the nose.

T: Notes of bitter orange, lemon, lime, herbs, minerals, crackers, biscuits, tobacco, black pepper, leather, grass, brown butter, chalk, caramel, almond nougat, and toffee swirl across the palate. The finish is gentle and longer than expected with a nice blend of malt and hop flavors. Notes of pepper, mild citrus, tobacco, leather, caramel, toffee, and nougat linger in the mouth as the beer goes down the throat.

M: Medium in body and mildly resinous. Carbonation is airy, active, and a bit more delicate than I would typically expect of this kind of ale. Super easy to drink, but not even remotely close to being a session beer.

O: I am pleasantly surprised by this ale. Arcadia seems to do British and Irish ales quite well and this ESB ticks all of the boxes for me. I am a bit surprised that I ended up liking this beer as much as I do because I am quite familiar with this style (it being one of my favorites), and in my opinion, many American craft brewers do not do it justice. Arcadia, however, is a welcome exception. Definitely check this one out if you are a fan of British ales and are tired of the seemingly never changing imports.

mrfrancis, Jan 30, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of Brenden
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This ESB does look the part. It's an opaque sort of bronzed medium brown. Its attempts to develop a slightly tinted head don't go particularly far, as it never grows to more than a foam and can't really hold very much of that. It does leave some spotting.
Toasted malts display lots of nut and earth in the aroma. There are some fruity esters as well. Appropriate to the style, hops are very light, perhaps a touch floral and herbal. A somewhat citric element makes me wonder if it's something of an Americanized version (which is fine).
The flavor is sweet up front with the fruits and continues that way, along with a strongly toasty overtone. Slight floral notes are present, and while it's appropriate for an ESB to display diacetyl to a point, I can see the buttery flavor throwing some off. I think it's a touch high, but not going overboard.
Carbonation is at moderate levels in a light body that isn't weak. It shows off a solid crispness that doesn't fade. The finish goes mildly dry but not too much, and it's actually quite smooth.

Brenden, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of dmorley21
3/5  rDev -12%

dmorley21, Aug 04, 2013
Photo of russpowell
3.06/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours orange/copper with 2 fingers of cream colored head. A bit chill hazed, great head retention & lacing

S: Breadyness & grassiness

T: Leafy hops & pears, grassy hops up front. Woody hops, apple peel, & grassiness, slight sourness as this warms. Finishes crisp with pears & leafy hops. Everything is disjointed & boring

MF: Light/medium bodied & okay balance

A fairly dissapointing ESB, I'm not sure why I let Arcadia bilking me outta money, the joke is on me again. Maybe freshness is an issue, no date on the bottle; caveat emptor

russpowell, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of beergorrilla
3/5  rDev -12%

beergorrilla, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of Gidyup
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Gidyup, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of jsh420
2.5/5  rDev -26.7%

jsh420, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of StoutHunter
2.86/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

I picked up a bottle of Arcadia's Thunder Trail ESB a couple days ago for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. This is a new one from Arcadia and the first time they have bottled it, it's been a long time since I have had an ESB and I'm interested to see how it is, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, I know it's fresh since it was just released. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- I'm not a big fan of the label, I think it looks a little cheesy. It poured a slight orange amber color that took on more of a darker amber and almost copper color when held to the light with a fingers worth of white head that quickly died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and only left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This beer looked decent the color was good, but the head and lacing were a little disappointing.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness followed by some grainy bready, biscuity, and slight caramel malt like aromas. Up next comes a nice fruity aroma that seems to be mixture of dark fruits and stone fruits, it's nice and unique. Towards the end there's some earthy and slightly spicy hops. The aroma was nice, I liked the unique fruity aspect.

T- The taste seems to be somewhat similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by some malts that impart a grainy, bready, biscuty, and slight caramel malt like flavor. Up next comes an unwanted buttery flavor followed by some watery malt flavors, and pretty much no hop flavors. I didn't like the taste of this beer, It would have been average if it didn't have those buttery flavors.

M- Smooth, watery, medium bodied, with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was ok, but it felt watery.

Overall I wasn't a fan of this beer and I thought It was a below average example of the style, it didn't have enough ESB aspects, it was just way too off for the style and the buttery flavors didn't help either. This beer didn't have good drinkability, it was smooth and not filling, but the flavors didn't hold my attention at all and one is enough for me, no need to drink another. What I liked the most about this beer was the aroma, it wasn't true to style, but the unique fruity aromas weren't that bad. What I liked the least about this beer was the taste, it was bland, under hopped with some buttery off flavors. I wouldn't buy this beer again, it's not a good example of the style and I wouldn't recommend it. All in all I was let down with this beer, Arcadia is a pretty solid Brewing company, but this was a below average beer with too many problems, I didn't like it. I know Arcadia can better then this, no need to release it again unless the recipe gets reworked. My least favorite Arcadia beer so far.

StoutHunter, Apr 19, 2013
Photo of Gryphon69
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Gryphon69, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of Zaphog
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Zaphog, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a perfect pint.

3.75 A: Lightly hazed dark orange color. Two fingers of frothy off-white head. Retention is about average or a touch better and a short ring of lacing is left.

3.75 S: Toasty, grainy malts to start things off. Plentiful caramel with hints of toffee. Just a faint touch of yeastiness. Simple, yet so very pleasant.

3.75 T: Taste mirrors the nose. Toastiness is the foremost flavor. Graininess, a few layers of caramel, and toffee follow. Again just a touch of bready yeastiness.

3.75 M: Medium body. Mild chewiness from the yeast. Good creaminess. Solid here.

3.75 D: A well rounded beer for sure. Not a ton of complexity, but the flavors are in perfect proportion.

DavoleBomb, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of mrmuskie
3.46/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Nice bitter. hop aroma is low but bitterness id just right. the mouthfeel is money, just like i like it nice and dry. This is a drinker. Not gonna blow your socks off but it will keep you going all night long... If you are looking for the next "big thing" or just getting into craft beer you might not appreciate this fine brew.

mrmuskie, Oct 13, 2013
Photo of mvanwoerm
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

mvanwoerm, Apr 17, 2014
Photo of ThatsStout
3/5  rDev -12%

ThatsStout, Jun 28, 2014
Photo of Dougwillhike
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Dougwillhike, May 24, 2014
Photo of JamieDuncan
3.21/5  rDev -5.9%

JamieDuncan, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of a_beckman25
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

a_beckman25, Aug 12, 2014
Photo of Phoodcritic
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Phoodcritic, Jul 18, 2014
Photo of SaltofOH
3/5  rDev -12%

Appearance: Pours a dark red/reddish brown with 1/2" khaki, bubbly head. Clear with bits of sediment. Retains a ring of head around the edge; some lacing.

Aroma: Malt is front & center. Has that funky English yeast smell. Love it.

Taste: Clean, tart arrival - very slight sweetness across mid-palate; big, flinty earthy hop finish. Less "medicinal" than Short's Autumn Ale, but earthy strong bitterness lingers; slightly over-hopped.

Mouthfeel: Mid-to-lightweight. Mild carbonation.

Overall: This tastes like a true English Ale, but with amped-up bitterness on the finish. I love it, but will be the first to admit that this is a beer I really need to be in the mood for. I think it is a touch over-hopped.

SaltofOH, Sep 02, 2014
Photo of dradair
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

dradair, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of TMoney2591
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

The British Springsteen...? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear brass topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises barley, earthy greens, light grass, rather light tobacco, and mild honey-laden biscuit. The taste brings in more of the same, the hops and malts (real specific, amiright?) almost cancelling each other out at many junctures. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, an okay bitter, nothing special, but something I couldn't really turn down with any zeal.

TMoney2591, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of Docrock
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Docrock, May 04, 2014
Photo of kyungminlee
3/5  rDev -12%

kyungminlee, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of plunderspunk
3.95/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased this after having read the packaging...not sure about ESB's, but wanted to try it. I was immediately surprised at the nice color and staying power of the froth. A little bit scotchy in front with some fruitiness, and a nice , slightly hoppy aftertaste, with no bitterness, in spite of the style. A nice brew for lunch time, and if you're wanting to be productive after, it's 6% ABV rating allows you to. Or have a second, and take a nice nap (: My wife even liked it, and she usually dislikes heavier, sweeter beers. With brews like this, Arcadia is fast becoming my go-to place for great ale!

plunderspunk, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of EvanWilliams
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

EvanWilliams, Jan 11, 2014
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Arcadia Thunder Trail from Arcadia Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.