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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.

64 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 64
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 11.73%
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: 64 | Reviews: 17 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BierStein711
4.65/5  rDev +36.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle poured into shaker pint.

Dark brownish amber body, with standard off-white head, moderate carbonation.

The mouthfeel is perfect, you are drinking a beer here.

Smells of minerals and dark fruit.

Taste: raisins, chalk, and a mineral finish. This is a blanced ESB!!

Overall, this is an American version of a classic English beer style. I'd buy a sixer. Perfect drink for a colder winter day.

BierStein711, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of BBlov
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%

BBlov, Aug 04, 2014
Photo of Mark88
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Mark88, Sep 24, 2014
Photo of Billet
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured into a globe glass with a nice thick and foamy light tan head. It settled to a very nice reddish amber color with a thin tan head. The smell is grassy with lightly toasted malts. The taste is nice, it tasted like a cross between a pale ale and an amber ale. The malts come through first with a lightly toasted flavor. The finish is malty with a very slight hop bitterness. It is medium bodied as it should be. A very well done ESB.

Billet, Jul 19, 2014
Photo of Gemini6
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Gemini6, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of salinasa
4/5  rDev +17.3%

salinasa, Jun 08, 2013
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
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 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 MacStinson
3.75/5  rDev +10%

MacStinson, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of gulogulo
3.75/5  rDev +10%

gulogulo, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of ryanpj
3.75/5  rDev +10%

ryanpj, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of BrewLip6
3.75/5  rDev +10%

BrewLip6, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of breakingbland
3.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Poured from the bottle with only a slight head that settled into a ring of foam. The beer itself is a clear golden red.

Aroma: Roasty and sweet with a hint of hay/grass.

Taste: The taste follows the aroma with the addition of slight sourness. There is a suggestion of burnt toast. The hops presence is slight and accentuates as the beer lingers. The flavor profile has some interesting components that I can't fully identify.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-light body. The carbonation seemed a little light.

Overall: This is a very enjoyable beer having a nice malt/hops balance. It is a good example of this style.

breakingbland, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of barczar
3.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky medium brown with a frothy one inch cream head that slowly dissipates, leaving spotty lacing.

Aroma is citrusy and floral initially, with lemon and grapefruit overpowering the toasted malt backbone. A bit of caramel sweetness emerges, along with diacetyl.

Flavor is a bit strange. There's a soapy quality initially, with citrus tones in accompaniment. They give way to bitter hops mid palate, which are riding on a savory deeply toasted malt body. Muted grapefruit and floral notes add complexity. But that malt is extremely toasty.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation. The finish is a little harsh.

Obviously not your standard English esb with the citrus tones present, and the malt is a little overly toasted. That soapy quality is a touch offputting, but is likely attributed to hop variety interactions. Bitterness, coupled with overly toasted malt, is a little too much for my liking.

barczar, May 26, 2013
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 enelson
3.52/5  rDev +3.2%

enelson, Friday at 04:17 PM
Photo of Gryphon69
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Gryphon69, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of mvanwoerm
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

mvanwoerm, Apr 17, 2014
Photo of Dougwillhike
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Dougwillhike, May 24, 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 EvanWilliams
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

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

bigbluebeerguy, Sep 25, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Today's beer scene is slathered with 70 IBUs, 10% abv., puckering sourness and gripping roast. So if you find yourself asking, "Where's the balance? Where's the drinkability? Where's the understated charm? Arcadia responds to those questions with an even-keep, pleasant, and gentlemanly English inspired ale.

Thunder Trail kicks of with a creamy medium-weight amber-copper hue. Significantly hazed- its unfiltered hop-conditioning is apparent. Its off-white froth patiently separates from the body of the beer and soon caps it with a dense blanket of foam. Retaining strongly until the last sip, the froth clings to the glass with well-defined rings that denote each visit to the glass.

Firmly aromatic, the scent of caramel, biscuit, pecan and freshly kilned barley give a sweeter, maltier tone. But the balance of floral English hops open its bouquet in a slightly perfumy tone. Wood and tea eventually emit and merge with estery notes of orange marmalade heading into that first sip.

Despite its dense appearance, its taste is lighter and creamy on the palate. The malts wrap around the tongue to appease the sweet tooth. But the middle palate begins to dissolve the sweetness but leaves behind a lightly starchy malt taste to balance against intensifying hops. Woody and nutty in their tone- the taste morphs into a broad and spicy bitterness to finish somewhat minty.

Medium bodied throughout, the beer retains its creamy malt structures deep into the taste, fading only in finish as the carbonation subsides, the hop bitterness rises and the alcohol provide its drying effects.

I stop shy of including Arcadia's Thunder Trail into the group of Fullers ESB, but its English character is present and in bold representation. If tasted blindly, I would have likely chalked the beer up to American Amber Ale with English influence.

BEERchitect, Jun 24, 2013
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Arcadia Thunder Trail from Arcadia Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.