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Velvet Hammer | Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery

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Velvet HammerVelvet Hammer
8 Ratings
Velvet HammerVelvet Hammer

Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery
Michigan, United States

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheBlackMallard on 11-23-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8 |  Reviews: 7
Reviews by TheBlackMallard:
Photo of TheBlackMallard
3.62/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was in Ypsi and decided to swing by and pick up a bottle of this yesterday, $12 at the brewery. They took the Phat Abbot Dubbel(which I'm not a fan of), inoculated it with Jackhammer, and aged it in a sour barrel(bugs from Hansons Geuze) from what I've heard.

Poured dark brown with a huge slowly fading tan head into a snifter. Plenty of lacing left behind.

Smell: Sweet and Fruity.

Taste: Raisins and Grapes mostly a slight malty character showing up as it warms. Otherwise, not too much going on. Dry and tart. Highly carbonated.

Not bad, but not amazing. It would probably be better if there was a bit of sweetness to balance it out.

Arbor/Corner has done better, but it's worth a try.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of hotglassmama
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of emerge077
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to J&R for bringing this back from Lansing!
As Dio belts out Holy Diver on the stereo..."Shin-n-n-y diamonds, Like the eyes of a cat in the black and blue...Something is coming for you. Look out!"

Cork is a real bitch...a champagne cork that expands as wide as the end of the bottle. Had to break the top and corkscrew it. Once poured into a Unibroue tulip, the dark mahogany liquid flowed and produced a large head of tan foam. It wasn't as explosive as it was made out to be on the bottle label. Sticky lace with good head retention, carbonation is visible at the edges of the glass.

Light aroma of cherry pits, but not much funk to report unfortunately.

Tart and tangy black cherry taste, very light and subdued, almost vinous with a little berry note in the end. Flavors are eclipsed by the excessive seltzery carbonation, it just disappears on the palate. Not especially sour, rich or complex. Still it's a decent experiment, I hope they refine their idea in the future.

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Photo of rmasen
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark solid body and a huge pinkish head, very little visible carbonation

S: very sweet almost like something turning overpowers in the scent.

T: hints of the fat abbot's candi sugar with a sweet but sour finish. Very warm and dry light bodied finish.

M trhe Champagne carbonation burns a little on the top of my mouth and the alcohol is noticeable before and after the swallow

D: It is a little abrasive for the average beer drinker buy could be a great introduction to the genre of sour beers.

Bonus: Induces a very happy champagne buzz.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fourth bottling shared by Jale.

A - A deep brown beer, no real head, looks kind of flat, but appears to be a hearty beer.

S - Smells quite barrel aged, with the tartness in there. It is pretty one note, with not a ton going on, but it is not unpleasant.

D - It tastes solid, not a ton going on but the smell is better than the taste. Sweet, tart, woody, I suppose it could taste like a brown that was soured and stuck in barrels. This beer tastes pretty good, but doesn't have tons of complexity.

M - Slightly undercarbonated, fuller side of medium.

D - This is a solid beer, nothing special, but not offensive, worth a try, think there is some potential here.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well thanks to the warning on the bottle, I did not loose any beer, but my first attempts at getting beer from this bottle have me looking at three cups of foam. The head is voluminous, and is an amber tinted, tan color. The beer is a hazy, dark, purple-plum color that shows a bit more red as you hold it up to the light. The aroma is a mix of rich malt, fruit and warming alcohol. There is a touch of piquant tartness here, a very soft, earthy, musty funkiness and a solid spiciness. This beer's nose is fairly complex, despite not being overly funkified. Aromatic notes of woody black pepper, a toasted malt bass note, a soft nuttiness, a meaty caramel note, some dough like yeastiness, lots of vibrant though rich fruit notes (prune, fig, ample raisin and lightly tart plum), there is also a certain woodiness here that subtly infuses the aroma with notes of toasted oak, a spicy woodiness as well as a slight vegetal note. The aroma is very complex, and actually seems to have lots of notes that I would associate with an incredibly complex Dubbel.

Lightly tart flavors up front are a bit more noticeable than the aroma might have suggested, but this is not an overly acidic brew. There are some touches of residual sugars and a rich caramel note that temper the tartness a bit, but don't really add much in the way of sweetness to this beer. The beer finishes with nutty toasted malt notes and a touch of vegetal character (broccoli or cabbage come to mind). There is almost a citrus flavor here that is wrapped up as part of the lactic tartness, but something else is adding to this perception as well. This has an almost orange liquor component to it that is interesting. This beer is quite light bodied, almost refreshing in a way; the light tart / sweetness really accentuates this refreshing character as well. Lots of fruity notes contribute to the flavor with tart raisin, prune, a touch of dried fig, some watermelon rind. The finish, especially as this slowly warms up, picks up a almost roasted, sort of dark cocoa like, light grain astringency to it. The oak barrel character is amazingly subtle, it adds a soft spiciness to this brew that accentuates the warming alcohol notes in the finish and perhaps a touch of vanillin, but is surprisingly mellow overall. After 5 careful pours of this brew, I finally get a pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet glass that is 1/3 beer to 2/3 foam. As I munch on the voluminous head I notice that the spicy oak character is quite a bit more noticeable when sampling the foam than when sampling the beer. The sweetness, caramel, and fruit comes out more as this beer warms up.

While not remotely the sourest, nor funkiest beer out there this beer does achieve an great balance of component flavors and aromas. This is thoroughly enjoyable, if not quite fantastic. I am really enjoying the malt complexity as it mixes with the subtle barrel character, soft tartness and fruity yeast character. While my head may say otherwise (though perhaps that is the lack of sleep), a 750ml bottle of this does not seem to be nearly enough to satisfy my thirst for this beer. An awesome creation that I am quite tickled to have been able to try.

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Photo of Floydster
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle thanks to Edward, thanks for the opportunity my friend, drank this last night, poured into my Dogfish Head snifter, some more about the beer: "We brewed the Dubbel last winter and inoculated it with a bit of Jackhammer Old Ale that has been aging for three years in an oak barrel inoculated with Hansens Gueuze. We then conditioned the dubbel for a couple of months in a serving tank before bottling it into 750s and conditioning it over the summer."

The color of this beauty is a cloudy brown with a hint of red, 1 1/2 inch creamy light beige head that does not last long, some lace though, aroma is super complex and consists of lemons, oranges, strawberries, brown sugar, bubble gum, prunes, earthiness, oak, hint of booze, apples, and Belgian yeast, taste was almost salty at first, then faded into a mellow tart, some caramel malt in the middle, followed by a dry and slightly sour finish, sparkling on the palate like champagne, get a bit of the old ale component later on with a heavy caramel and toffee taste, sweeter in the finish as it warms, lots of fruit by the end and the sourness is consistently there even though it is never really pronounced, like the balance of sweet and sour, unique idea with the blend and the Hansens barrel probably did not hurt anything, mouthfeel is a bit metallic to go along with sweet, sour, and dry, medium bodied, high level of carbonation, taste did not linger as long as I hoped, alcohol is hidden very well for a beer that weighs in at 8.5% ABV, goes down easy and is not too strong in any of its sensations, light on the stomach, good drinkability, first beer I have tasted from Arbor and I am impressed, not the sourest of beers out there but it is sure keeps you guessing and works well, also tasted this courtesy of Jon a few months back, would love to drink again some time, recommended

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Photo of SaucyA
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from FRIDGE TEMP!!! Be careful if you're even thinking about opening this at cellar temp, let alone cellaring it. It's a time-bomb.

I'm already saying fuck this beer. I paid $15 for it at Champane's, and a good 1/3 of it gushed out after popping the cork. When I say popping the cork, I mean this thing EXPLODED out. So, I'm already about $5 down the hole just because it's so "lively". I've had many a sour, and nothing has ever been remotely this violent.

On to the beer:

A - Looks good, I guess. Well, the 1/2 centimeter of hazy, brown beer I can see in my snifter does. The rest is soapy, tan bubbles. Even on a light pour, the glass fills up with foam. Seriously? After a while, it settles into a thick clump of bubbles. Clinging chunks of lace.

S - White pepper, sour bugs, acidity, perfume/incense, underlying sweetness, dry barrel.

T - I grab my sticky glass. I drink. Interesting. It's not as Belgian-esque as I'd hoped, but it's not bad. It's mostly got a mineral note, or well-water even, running through the drink. Mildly tart on the palate, with a slight roasty malt. Reminds me of SftO Wine, but less refined. Finishes dry, and not overly tart. Not very oaky at all, and not nearly as complex as it could/should be. Gets fruitier/dried fruitier as it warms.

M - Tongue-ripping carbonation and a decent body. It's SOOOO carbonated.

D - Easy drinking, if not a bit one-dimentional. A good beer that deserves to be tried by those that enjoy wild brews. Definitely split a bottle with someone tho.

Notes: Craig told me not to waste my money on this. It's worth a try, but holy shit it's not worth $15. Split this with someone for maximum enjoyment... That way you'll only lose $2.50 upon opening it.

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Velvet Hammer from Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 8 ratings
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