Espresso Love
Arbor Brewing - Plymouth Taproom

Espresso LoveEspresso Love
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Stout - American
Ranked #963
Ranked #48,668
3.34 | pDev: 19.76%
Arbor Brewing - Plymouth Taproom
Michigan, United States
Espresso LoveEspresso Love
Reviews: 87 | Ratings: 179 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Quackershnoc from Michigan

3.64/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: nice and black; creamy tan head that turns to a film across the top

Aroma: smells fantastic; big coffee; big roasted malt; chocolate; burnt sugar

Taste: starts with a little prune and raisin; moves into some nice chocolate maltiness; ends with the coffee kick, malt, and sweetness; aftertaste is mostly coffee

Mouthfeel: creamy; thinner than expected; medium bodied; smooth; lightly carbonated

Overall Impression: the flavor is pretty mild here-aroma is bigger than the flavor; it’s not as robust as I was hoping for, and it’s on the thinner side of things; what we have is nice, but I would like more oomph in just about every category (except aroma, because the smell is great!)

From notes taken 11/16/2013

Mar 12, 2018
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

3.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Snagged a bottle for 2.50 from Vintage Estate.
Not a bad looking stout very pitch black with good carbonation a 1/4 inch of mocha foam that sticks around for a bit. Woah is that a hearty stout not getting much chocolate or coffee aroma's of hardcore anise some molasses and a touch of leather. Can't say it's very Espresso but hopefully it tastes better than it smells. Coffee roasts and some chocolate malts. Touch of vanilla and a hoppy finish. It's not bad. Body is decent it drinks pretty good for 7.5% smooth and slick a bit more heavy than expected.

Overall for a stout its definitely interesting but with a name like "Espresso Love" a good breakfast stout it is not. More like a RIS with some coffee.

Apr 03, 2017
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schoolboy from Ohio

4.13/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a really great drinking experience, far greater that I would have expected from previous reviews.

The first pour was too hard, and without hitting an inch of the bottle I had an entire glass full of foam. It was delicious. The next pour was lighter and everything stayed normal but with a nice constant head. The smell is pretty sticky - coffee and stuff mixed with malts and maybe hops way down in the aroma.

The taste is not too sweet, not too bitter, not too coffee, and definitely not too hoppy (hops is way low in taste, though not missing).

The aftertaste is bitter coffee, chocolate, hops, all balanced together.

This is a very good stout. Perfect for Goldilocks.

Sep 18, 2016
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.85/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This nice breakfast stout from the 12 oz bottle pours a nice coal black with a thick tan head of foam that settles to a thick ring and subtle layer with light lacing. Nose of coffee, cola, cream, deeply roasted malts, and cocoa. Flavors exceed the nose with cocoa and cola blending nicely with rich coffee on the front and middle, deeply roasted malts hit nicely on the sides and rear with a touch of cream and a hint of vanilla on the back. Nice mouth feel, slick and full with light carbonation that keeps it nice and creamy smooth with a bitter sweet malt finish and warming background. Overall a very nice brew that could use a touch of refinement, but still solid!


Jun 23, 2016
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stortore from Illinois

3.77/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. Had on 3/7/16.

Pours a deep brown, dark and opaque, not much head at all, a foamy ring remains. Smell is coffee, malt, some chocolate, light vanilla, touch of sulphur. Has a good aroma. Taste is coffee- not as strong as the nose, malt, some chocolate, a little vanilla. Smooth, the taste lingers, maybe a little thin for the ABV.

Not nearly as bad as the current rating, a very good coffee flavor with this one. Maybe you don't want six, but worth a try otherwise.

Jun 18, 2016
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superspak from Ohio

3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into snifter; no bottle dating, but is a recent release. Pours clear nearly opaque dark brown/black color with a small dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, molasses, toasted dark bread, light dark fruit/smoke, light herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, coffee, and light earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, molasses, toasted dark bread, light dark fruit/smoke, light herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, molasses, toasted dark bread, light dark fruit/smoke, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, coffee, and light earthy hop flavors; with a great roasted bitter/sweet balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/silky, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice coffee stout. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, coffee, and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Feb 28, 2016
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GarthDanielson from Virginia

3.74/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured on-tap at the brewery in Ann Arbor, the beer is a dark, brownish-black coloring with a filmy, clingy, off-white head. Nose of darkly roasted coffee, hints of cocoa nib, and smoky highlights. Flavors are cream and chestnut sweet forward, with a solid backbone of bitter roasted coffee. Smooth, full bodied, with a richly sweet and heavily roasted coffee aftertaste. Smooth, creamy finish. Good beer.

Oct 26, 2015
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moonboogie_n8 from Michigan

3.46/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

not the full bodied breakfast stout i was expecting, but very drinkable and enjoyable.
may try another from the same company, but I'll go after other B-stouts when the time comes. decent coffee mocha flavor that's balanced well with roasted hops out the nose.

Apr 11, 2015
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

3.74/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle gifted by Adam. Far out.

The beer is near black with a thin beige cap that quickly fades to a thin layer. Aromas of espresso, coffee beans, chocolate, molasses, dark fruits. Nice flavor. Not in the upper tier of its class, but still enjoyable. The body is a tad thin. Strong coffee presence. Light bitterness in the finish. Overall, pretty good.

Mar 20, 2014
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Brenden from Ohio

3.39/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Not thick or heavy-looking but very dark brown, this stout has a solid brown head with sparse bubbling that tightens as it compacts to foam and leaves spotty lacing.
Coffee grounds and cocoa powder takes precedence in a mildly roasty malts backbone, and a sweet and thick whiff of baked brownie comes in at the end.
The coffee is in the flavor but the sweetness that made the aroma so nice is buried underneath char and tang. These aren't overbearing, but they do take charge over the better flavors. Roast goes into a not-unpleasant ashy finish.
The body is lighter and spritzier than desired. Some smoothness comes out as the spritz eases down. The end of every sip is slightly thin. Overall, it works, but if this stout had more depth and richness, it would be better.

Mar 05, 2014
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SerialTicker from Michigan

3.35/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

$2.29 single bought pretty randomly off the shelf. Poured into a shaker pint. Let's hope this is good.

Appearance: Pours incredibly chunky with a bunch of floaters that mostly become sediment. Huge amount of yeast at the bottom. The color of the brew is a brown/black color. Small tan head bubbles down fairly quickly. Very little lacing on the glass. Meh. Average at best, I'd say.

Smell: I know it seems odd to say, but it smells watery. Watered down, actually. Wet coffee grounds. Almost a dirt sort of aroma. Just a general roastiness. A slight bit of sweetness coming from somewhere. It sounds like it smells brutally awful, but it's not that bad, to be honest. It's just not as appetizing as some other stouts.

Taste: Playing off the smell. Coffee ground sort of flavor more than actual drinkable coffee. By that, I guess I mean there's a sort of dirt character in there. It tastes gritty, without having any actual grit. A subtle dark fruit kind of sweetness that's in many darker brews as well, though I can't pinpoint it. The mouthfeel is the biggest disappointment here, I think, as it's rather thin with a fairly high carbonation -- it drinks more like a porter than a stout, the latter of which I expect to have a thick, creamy, drinks-like-a-meal kind of quality.

Not bad, but not great. This brew needs a bit of fine tuning. The thing that really surprises me is that this costs more than the Publican Porter by Short's that I just had, but it's considerably less enjoyable. I would not be opposed to having this beer again, but it's fairly average overall.

Feb 02, 2014
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schnjac from Michigan

3.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single bottle along with a Point St. Benedict's Winter Ale. Pours dark with a dissipating head and smells of nuts, chocolate, fruit, and toast. The taste is smooth, and the flavor is bready, nutty. Tastes mildly of fruit and oatmeal... An initial licorice taste succumbs to a smooth and rich coffee bean flavor. A nice breakfast stout to enjoy around the holidays

Dec 27, 2013
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Raime from Greenland

3.53/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours jet black with a two finger bubbly mocha head. Leaves no lacing.

S - Slight java, roasted malt, slight coffee grains, some slight smoke, and that's about it. Not a very big nose for a breakfast stout.

T - Bitter medium coffee up front, roasted malt in the middle, slight smoke in the finish and the coffee taste seems to darken as the beer sits.

M - Light bodied with extremely low carbonation. Perfection in my opinion.

O - Overall, this is a very solid beer, although a bit lacking in the flavor and smell department.

Oct 23, 2012
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RblWthACoz from Pennsylvania

3.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wish the coffee would be a bit more pronounced and intense. I guess that is just what I have come to expect. There is a nice oily tone to it, but I am more interested in the coffee flavor as a whole, and not so much what may come out of the bean. As it warms, it starts to get more bitter and not so pleasant. It was decent at first, but got not so nice as it warmed. Eh. A miss.

Aug 26, 2012
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

3.49/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #59 (December 2011):

LOOK: Black, dissipating head

SMELL: Coffee syrup, dark chocolate, ripe dark fruit, toasted dark bread

TASTE: Smooth, slick, fresh coffee, dry, husky, toasted bread crust, mild twang, hint of charcoal, dried dark fruit, warming alcohol

Coffee, our other vice, ends up being more than decent addition here … as in, 20 pounds of freshly roasted coffee, plus some oatmeal; there’s the breakfast for ya. A bit raw, but not overly so. Could we wake up in the AM with a mug of this? Sure.

May 02, 2012
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AgentZero from Illinois

2.53/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Don't remember who shared this, sorry.

A - Black with some brown on the edges. Not much head and what was there didn't last very long.

S - Kind of an off smell. A bit like chemicals and old coffee. Nothing really that pleasant.

T - Taste is like the nose. Tastes like chemicals, possibly some pool water, old coffee. The flavor is kind of thinned out and a little bitter-oat going on in there.

M - Undersized, not a ton of carbonation.

O - Not a good beer, off tastes, poor mouthfeel. No interest in trying this again.

Jan 18, 2012
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Ohiovania from Ohio

3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smell is great. stout-goodness with coffee.

The mouth feel is pretty on par. I would like a little more viscosity on it I guess.

The taste leaves something to be desired. i want more coffee I think and a little more from the stout as well.

I would drink this one again if I could. This beer is actually pretty huge for only being a standard american stout.

Well done ABC.

Dec 28, 2011
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mactrail from Washington

2.71/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Heavy on the java and some kind of chocolate flavor. It does have the dregs of the coffee pot and touch of sourness, maybe from all the burnt malt. Big, coarse foam, though it provides long-lasting suds in the glass. Kind of a soured wine smell. Heavy in the mouth, strong and acidic flavors.

I am fortunate to share this 12 oz and not feel obliged to drink it all. Back to the chemistry set on this one.

Oct 29, 2011
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morimech from Minnesota

3.2/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color with one inch of head that slowly settled to a thin skim of suds. Not much lacing is left on the glass.

Starts off with a rich coffee aroma. But as time passes the aroma sort of dies off. Not much of an aroma after the initial blast. Faint hint of spice.

Has some nice coffee flavor but this beer does not back up its stout claim. Tastes more of a brown ale with a little nuttiness and no roasted malt.

Classified as an oatmeal stout but lacks the wonderful mouthfeel of one. Thin and watery. Not stout strength.

Beer started out strong right out of the gate, but the scores quickly lowered as I got deeper into this beer.

Oct 08, 2011
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jlindros from Massachusetts

2.76/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Despite the low rating, I was kinda looking forward to trying this. Thanks to THECPJ for it.

Pours a darker colored fizzy small head that disappears instantly leaving not even a trace that it existed in the first place. The beer is mostly black with a slight brownish thinning on the sides.

Nose is muted and a bit weird, adds some light oats, slight roasted malt and a bit of coffee, but it also has a weird chlorine pool water like aroma, and a hint of acrid coffee grinds.

Taste also comes a bit weird, with an acrid light coffee grind taste to start, very light oats and a bit creamy, but also a weird watery taste like diet corn sugar water, hard to describe, very light roast malt flavor and coffee. the malt profile just falls out of the bottom and its like they forgot the pale malts and just added LME/DME and a touch of coffee grinds with sprinkle of flaked oats. Finishes sticky and still very slightly sweet, pretty thin still with very little actual finish.

Mouth is thin feeling despite the slight oatmeal and creamy texture, very little carbonation as well.

Overall not very good at all, super thin with almost no malts, the oats are even very little, the coffee/espresso is just burnt acrid coffee grinds and little of it, the mouth is almost non-existent just a thin watery syrup like thing with no carbonation either, also no finish. And what's with that weird pool water aroma?!!

Jul 09, 2011
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Roke87 from Canada (ON)

3.29/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, poured into a Duvel tulip at cellar temperature.

Appearance- Pours a murky dark brownish black colour with almost no light penetrating this one, even on the edges. Average pour yields a miniscule pinkie finger of tan mocha head that very quickly dissipates to a thin ring around the glass, leaving almost no lacing throughout till finish. I can also see lots of little bubbles at the top, it does look well carbonated; at first anyways, once it warmed up a little more they almost disappeared.

Smell- Lots of bitter coffee notes really dominate the nose from the start, I do get some nice sweet caramel aromas as well as a tiny little bit of roasted malt in there as well, but the espresso smells really take over from the start and don’t let go.

Taste- Very similar to the smell, the palate is dominated by that coffee flavour that never really wants to let go and let in other flavours. Although I do get some hints of roasted malts, less on the sweet caramel flavours, and a bit if chocolaty cocoa in there as well. Finishes with a weird aftertaste, and almost watery especially for something called a “breakfast stout”.

Mouthfeel- Very light bodied for a stout, almost watery if you will, upon looking at it after I poured it I thought this would have good carbonation but that was not the case once I got around to the tasting portion.

Overall- Not too sure what to think of this one, the pour looked promising at first but quickly turned into a weird murky brownish black hole, and again the carbonation looked good and almost completely disappeared once it warmed up a little more. The smells came through kind of promising again, I didn’t think the smells were all too bad to be honest; but once it got around to the tasting it completely went downhill. A watery mess that never really comes through on anything but the coffee, not to mention it leaves such a weird aftertaste in my mouth, I just can’t put my finger on what it is, but it is almost off putting. Not to mention when finished there was this weird looking sediment in the bottle of the glass. I think I overpayed for this one and would not return to it again in the future.

Jun 13, 2011
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THECPJ from Delaware

3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with a 1 finger mocha head

smell: coffee, malts, roast,

taste: coffee, roast,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium to full body,

overall: not a bad beer, just nothing really stands out. glad I got to try it and give this brewing company a try.


Jun 11, 2011
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sweatervest27 from Ohio

2.62/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Picked this one up on a recent trip to Ann arbor. Popped the top with almost no gas release, bad sign. Poured a very dark brown, not quite black and zero head. I didn't pour very aggressively so I swirled it a bit with no luck on producing any bubbles, hmm.

The smell is bringing my hopes back up, coffee is dominant with a little malt sweetness present. Although I'm a little confused, it doesn't have any of the bold and bitter punch that an espresso would have, its reminds me more of regular coffee served black. Not bad just not what expected given the name.

Unfortunately the taste is where that lack of carbonation really brings this beer down. It's extremely flat and therefore tastes like cold office coffee, yuck. I feel like some aeration would really open up some more intricate beer characteristics here but its just not possible being this flat.

Mouthfeel is just as bad-watery, cold coffee.

Overall its a real disappointment. The label is so beautifully done but it tastes like bad folgers. At least they didn't try putting an x in espresso. That's about the only positive I have for this one.

Jun 08, 2011
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StoutHunter from Michigan

3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Espresso Love a couple days ago for $2.19 at The Lager Mill. The only other beer I have had From Arbor Brewing Company was Brasserie Blonde, and I was pretty disappointed in that beer so I hope I have a much better experience with this one. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- I like the label on this beer, it looks like it could be a sign for a hippie coffee shop in Ann Arbor. It poured a pitch black color that didn't let any light come though. It had two fingers worth of fluffy tan head that quickly disappeared. Once the head dissipated it looked just like coffee.

S- The aroma of this beer is pretty one dimensional. It smells like straight up black coffee, nothing more and nothing less. I get more straight up black bitter coffee aroma then espresso aroma.

T- Just like the aroma the flavor is all about the coffee and it completely dominates this brew as I would expect from a beer called Espresso Love. At first the flavor is full of dark roasted bitter black coffee, but at the end I pick up some caramel and vanilla flavors that give it an espresso like after taste. Alcohol wasn't evident.

M- A little smooth and creamy. It was medium bodied but still felt a little watery. Carbonation was pretty low and unimpressive, it needed about twice as much carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a good beer, but I don't think it comes close to hanging with the big dogs like Founders Breakfast Stout. They pretty much both have the same purpose of being a coffee tasting breakfast stout, but Espresso Love seemed to be a little more one dimensional. The flavors were pretty good and what I would expect but I would of liked more espresso flavors then just a glimpse of them on the aftertaste. I also wasn't impressed with the mouthfeel, it shouldn't have felt watery and should have had much more carbonation. This beer is much more available to me then all the other coffee beers I like so I could see picking this up again when I am in the mood for a coffee beer and none of my favorites are around or in season. If your a coffee beer lover then you should give it a try but its nothing to go out of the way for. This was the best beer I have had from Arbor Brewing Company, after trying their blonde I was a little hesitant to give them another chance but this beer turned out to be Ok.

Jun 01, 2011
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zoso1967 from Michigan

2.91/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Espresso Love “Breakfast Stout” (no doubt trying to cash in on another MI brewery’s fine product) pours a very murky looking dark brown that resembles a cloudy brown ale more than a stout. There is no head to speak of and it looks to be a bit on the flat side. The slight traces of foam on the top of the liquid are a medium tan in color. Surprisingly, this beer does leave some mediocre lace as I drink it.

The aroma is a definite improvement over the appearance. It smells of dark roast coffee, chocolate and a dash of caramel. The more I sniff it, the more I am impressed at the mocha notes I am picking up.

The coffee plays a bit more of a dominant role in the flavor, with that rich chocolaty character pushed much farther back. I would say that the flavor is fairly one dimensional and the brew comes across mainly as a slightly carbonated cold coffee with some malty beer like character.

The mouthfeel is pretty unimpressive. Medium bodied with a weak carbonation that leads to a slightly fizzy and acidic finish. Astringent coffee is the main aftertaste.

This is a pretty weak offering and possibly the worst coffee beer I have had. While I did find some things to enjoy in this brew, it is not one that I will be rushing out to purchase anytime soon. I will stick to FBS thank you very much.

May 04, 2011
Espresso Love from Arbor Brewing - Plymouth Taproom
Beer rating: 77 out of 100 with 179 ratings