Barrel Aged Sour Brown Ale | Arbor Brewing Company

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Barrel Aged Sour Brown AleBarrel Aged Sour Brown Ale
Very Good
22 Ratings
Barrel Aged Sour Brown AleBarrel Aged Sour Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by nomad on 08-30-2004

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by cpinto6:
Photo of cpinto6
4/5  rDev +0.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of jewski
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Split a 75cl bottle with rajon. My first Oud Bruin. Served in tulip glasses.

Pours a hazy brown with a sourdough head. Smell is musty, earthy, and lightly of cherry, raspberry tart fruit.

Taste is very earthy, woody, grassy, quinine, even metallic. Light tart fruit flavor further back. Quite a bit off balance and rough. Oak board finish. Mouthfeel was quite thin and medicinal, negatively affecting drinkability as well.

An interesting brew that if refined could make a nice beer.

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Photo of Sammy
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought in Ann Arbour, aged one year from bottling down the road. This is an unusual brown, yes sourness but not a sour beer overall. Good drinking. Soapy big head on opaque brown. Malt and yeasty enjoyable aroma. Moderate sourness, and medium mouthfeel, complex and good drinkability.

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Photo of ianpstephens
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of yamar68
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yet another one from alelover (dude's a saint, I tell ya) - 11/2012 vintage:

Looks nice. Sort of a swampy honey brown color with a swelling beige head that leaves behind all kinds of lace from start to finish, loads of beading just below the collar.

Apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, mushy red grapes, pretty goddamn clean in the nostrils.

Musty oak layered with vanilla, tart cherry, dirty tobacco flavors, it's actually a little sharp on the tail end. I would be shocked if this vintage actually clocked in at only 6.5%. Luckily it's got the support of a thick, creamy mouthfeel.

Thanks for another tasty tick Joel!

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Photo of stortore
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle, 2014, into a snifter.

Pours a deep burgundy, a little opaque, with a small head and no lacing. Smell at first leads with the Brett and lacto, lots of cherries, malt, a little yeast. A hint of a sweet, spicy aroma when it warms. Taste continues the strong cherries, a bit more malt than the nose. A fair amount of Brett and lacto, but about the same amount of vinegar. Some bitterness on the back end, seems more than usual for the style. A little thin, the carbonation disappeared after the initial pour.

A decent beer overall, but the vinegar and lack of carbonation detract.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy dirty brown. Mountainous sticky head. Bold for an oud bruin, quite earthy, but it does feel belgian and lets the cherries come through very diplomatically rather than juice like. Chocolate and dandelions accompany earth on the palate. It becomes extremely dry, mineral, grassy yet malty. Foamy texture. Very tart, pretty good, but I found the flavor development to be a bit too linear and not so clean. A courageous attempt that tastes strong than it is.

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Photo of RollBounce
4.66/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased @ Arbor brewing in May '12 and opened end of July '12 Bottled April 2009.

Dark dark brown, great head retention, some lacing, creamy brown colored foamy head, smell starts off with candy grapes, moves towards a oak sourness, minor malt on the end of the nose, mouth-fell is balanced and complex, with liquid yeast start and a malty mid palate, then turns to a great sour backbone, finish is slightly quick, with chocolate sauce and a hint of sour cherry.

Overall; A great domestic sour brown. Reminds me of Duchesse. Wish i would have picked up more bottles when was there.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of dbONE
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to say this one was a surprise find on my trip to Michigan.
A deep brown color with a slight purple tint. The head retention was like having a scoop of ice cream in the glass, it lasted a long time. A little sweet on the nose with tons of fruit that had a slight sour twist. The first sip was great , crisp tart sweet and sour. The flavor of cherries and dried chocolate covered fruit. A touch of grainyness on the end but the sour character took over before it was a problem. Finished smooth and sweet.
I wish I had another bottle.

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Photo of grub
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

quarterly tasting party may 16/07 with northyorksammy, Derek, and me (grub). everyone threw in a few bottles and we had an interesting mix of beer. northyorksammy contributed this one, so thanks sammy!

750ml bottle, corked and caged.

pours slightly cloudy reddish brown with a big fluffy tan head. the head drops very slowly and leaves lots of clumpy lace.

aroma is nice. light alcohol. big of funk. caramel and toffee. bit of orange.

taste is good. big cracker and bready malt. nice fruity sweetness. orange peel. bit of toffee and caramel. alcohol. light bitterness. bit of cherry.

mouthfeel is great. medium carbonation level. medium body with a nice dry finish.

drinkability is great. balanced. nice complexity to it. very enjoyable. thanks again sammy!

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Photo of Derek
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dated 5/25/06; seems to have aged nicely.

A: Brown with a slight haze, off-white head, some retention & lace.

S: Winey dark fruit, cherries, brown sugar.

T: Dark fruit, bready malt, hints of phenolic spice; slight tartness, modest bitterness. It certainly has the wineyness of the flanders style, but it's not nearly as tart as some (although it probably has mellowed with age).

M: Light to moderate body is smooth with a slight acidity; moderate carbonation.

D: Quite good. Good introduction to the style.

Thanks Sammy!

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Photo of SCW
3.42/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I believe this was the first time I was able to enjoy a beer from Arbor Brewing Company. Special thanks to Mike Burmil for this one at the FUNKY beer tasting.

Nice ruddy burgundy color, slightly murky, and appears enticing.

Definite oak and tannin aroma - slight vanilla and spice.

Taste? A little disappointed. Very cloying, very sweet. Thick, full-bodied milkshake consistency, overwhelming syrupy malt.

The only "balance" is a piercing sharp tannin flavor imparted from the oak.

If this beer were a little drier and had more Brett character (one begets the other) it could be a real gem.

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Photo of swtchuck
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of putnam
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Menu claimed this to be 8.5 ABV rather than 6.5.
Also: I entered this review incorrectly as "on-tap". It was served from a 750ml bottle.

The Champagne bottle was slowly erupting by the time it appeared at our outdoor table. In the goblet it showed a charcoal/brown color and doughy foam on top. The aromas were difficult to capture from the smallish glass while the wind was blowing, but a definite concrete, basement mustiness appeared there as well as on the palate. Flavors of brandied fruit salad were dominated by aluminum and chalk flavors. The very slight sourness was secondary to woody, astringent bone-flavored tannins. Raw wood notes characterised a high degree of bitterness. There was a lot to praise in this beer, not least its originality. Sour, natural plumminess on the mid-palate was delightful. Still, the dirty and astringent side decisively limited the charm of the fruit.

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Photo of ncaudle
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

April 2009 Bottle Date; Sampled October 2010
The cork was a harder than hell to get out of this bottle, after futilely twisting for a while I had to pull out a cork screw. A solid pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a fluffy, three-finger thick, pale brown tinged, full tan colored head that leaves thick lacing on the sides of my glass. The beer is a nice, dark brown color. The aroma is quite nice with ample lactic notes backed by a base level earthy funkiness, a rich maltiness and a oak character that becomes more noticeable as the beer warms up. The malt character reminds me of a well browned, complexly whole grain, rustic bread crust. A touch of cherry-like fruitiness mixes with a buttery, ripe cheese note (that leans towards funky), perhaps a touch of sweaty, musky foot-like stench, notes of a rotting, earthy mushroom and maybe even a touch of acetone just barely noticeable at times in the finish. At times the fruitiness in this beer's nose is quite nice and I really like the rich, darker malt character found in this beer. As the beer warms up it gets a bit fruitier and has a more balanced funkiness and a touch of spicy, nostril warming alcohol becomes noticeable as well.

Perhaps a little on the cold side for me (45*F or so), my first sip tastes lightly sweet up front, but much of this is accentuated by the acidity of this beer. The finish has a toasted brown bread crust character to this and a lingering lactic acidity. There is a berry like fruitiness up front that leans towards strawberry at times & makes me think that there is a touch of acetic acid that accentuates this character. The finish has a nice touch of malt to it as well with an almost roasted, definitely toasted, brown malt character to it. This is really nicely tart and, while not super aggressive, it has a solid acidity to it that I can even feel a bit in my pre-dinner belly. A musty earthiness and a touch of plastic like phenolics add some funkiness as does some earthy, woody mushroom notes; the malt and the phenolics combine to produce a hint of an ever so ephemeral smokiness. The body of this beer is quite nice, especially as it warms it has a nice, lush texture to it that is fairly creamy, but it has enough effervescent carbonation to it to keep ti fairly quaffable. A fair amount of oak character plays an important role in this beer; a definite spiciness to the finish, and accentuating woody note as well as a certain buttery-oak quality and perhaps a hint of vanillin are all perceptible here.

Really this is just a very nice beer; the combination of malt character with the acidity, softer fruitiness and funkiness makes for a delicious beer and the texture is just about perfect. This is the second time I have had a bottle of this batch (I still haven't managed to get an intact label from the bottle though), and I wouldn't mind having a whole lot more of this in my cellar as this is one fantastic experience of a beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer shared at a recent tasting, 2004 vintage. Beer is poured from a bottle into a becher. Beer is brown and hazy, not a lot of head, carbonation is mild and there is no lacing on the glass.

WHOA! Can I cough after I smell a beer? STRONG lactic smell. Its not a one dimensional smell at all but there is a starring role for the lactic based sour. Holy God. There is a slight funk after a couple of brave attempts at smelling more.

This beer is one of the tartest things I've ever tasted. It hits me in the corners of my mouth pretty hard. I'm enjoying it, its surprisingly smooth and its cleansing my palate of all memory, I really like it, its just so odd. Drinkabilty and mouthfeel are good.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 vintage. Thanks to Devin for sharing this.

A: brown, mild lacing

S: musty, basement, yeast, spices

T: oak, wild yeast. The six years of age on this brew added a lot of mustiness and funk. Very complex.

M: bold kick in the finish, a bit musty in the feel

D: a small sample is all you need. I'd drink this again. It was much different than other Flanders Oud Bruin I've had.

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Photo of mrandypandy
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Michigan
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of nomad
3.18/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

750 ml. bottle dated "April '04"

Out of a champagne bottle, wax-sealed but not corked, this beer pours a mysterious brown-red color with a haze. Props a fair head that sticks around, white and clean on top of the fairly muddled yet glowing ale underneath.

Scents are a typical array of tart cherries, woody tones, and a complex melange of malts. Actually, these were fairly interesting as I couldn't put on a finger on what type or way to describe this mysterious maltiness. A bit shy to come forward to the nose, though.

Taste begins with a balanced barrage of classic Flemish flavors: cherries, amber malt, vinuous flecks, thirst-inducing tartness, and mineral tinges. But, it then expands into a finish that is a bit too roasty - okay, well, way too roasty and bark-like. Its given that a Flemish Brown will have a fair amount of woodsy, earthy, possibly even roasty flavors, but the finish on this utterly wiped out its beautiful beginning. After each sip I had to chase it with water in order to clean the nasty film of flavor left by the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and moderate-to-thin in body.

An amazing first half, with a terrible second half. Me and the lady finished the bottle no problem, but we would be raving if it wasn't for the ending. I don't know how to rate it number-wise - its so close to being great, but so far from there, too.

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Barrel Aged Sour Brown Ale from Arbor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 22 ratings