Arbor Brewing Espresso Love | Arbor Brewing Company

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Arbor Brewing Espresso LoveArbor Brewing Espresso Love

Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by goodbyeohio on 09-02-2007

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Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 176
Photo of SaCkErZ9
1.6/5  rDev -50%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Thanks go out to hoppymeal for this one.

When I popped the cap, there was barely any noise at all. This has me worried. Dispensed into a pint glass with no carbonation, no head, no nuthin'. I even did an extremely heavy pour to arouse some carbonation but alas, nothing happened. Ink black and somewhat viscous.

Aroma was sweet and malty. Kind of sour too. Somewhat fruity, no hops. Slightly medicinal and aromas of cough syrup and just worn socks (well, my socks anyway). Tangy and quite frankly, not very appealing.

Very sour, tartlike, almost like a stout lambic. Very tart as the beer hits the palate. Sweet and sour at the same time. As interesting and complex as that sounds, it doesnt taste very good. Is there raspberry lambic in this thing??

I dont know what in the hell happened here; perhaps a bad beer. But, looking at other reviews of this beer, it seems this may be the norm. Mine may taste a little worse possibly due to shipping or storage. Whatever happened, this was gross. About four sips and I couldnt take anymore. I rarely pour beer out, but this one is going right in the drain (or maybe I will reduce it down and serve with some chicken tonight??). Yuck!!

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Photo of Dalem
1.62/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A medium pour produced a khaki colored head that looked thick but faded pretty fastly and left a minimal amout of lacing. Since it as a coffee beer it's an expected very dark brown but not quite black color. Coffee (though not a very roasted one-more like instant stuff really) in the smell along with a odd bittersweet scent that I can't quite pin and somewhat oily too. The better half said it smelled like someone tried to come up with a new coffee combination, found that vodka and espresso didn't quite gel the way they thought it would then left it in the cup it was mixed in to sit around for a couple of days. She's not a big fan of darker brews in the first place but will usually try a sip none the less. She passed on sampling this off scent alone.
The taste wasn't much better. I really was almost like someone tried to mix vodka with some espresso, didn't like the way it came out and left it on the table sitting for a couple of days. The vodka they used was one of those "fruit infused" ones too I'm guessing (because of an artifical fruit flavoring tartness thing that is all over this brew). There's a very weird sourness going on here that just doesn't work especially with the coffee thing going on. The aftertaste was all about the (unappealing) sourness with very little coffee or stoutness lingering around.

I've had stouts in the past I didn't care for but so far in my beer tasting adventures I've never had an oatmeal stout that I didn't at least think was okay. Either this isn't an oatmeal stout or it's a completely wrong version of one.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
1.67/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Bottle picked up on my recent trip to Michigan. I love espresso, so this should be nice!
Pours a translucent brown in color with no head showing on the pour. Smell is slight coffee and chocolate. Only slight.
Taste is way too sweet. Lactic or maybe infected. Barely enough carbonation to notice. Mouthfeel is thin and unimpressive.

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Photo of GbVDave
1.67/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Loterbol tulip.

A: Pours a dark, night-sky black. Small khaki-colored head that goes away rather fast, leaving no lace.

S: Coffee and chocolate that's steamrolled by an extremely off-putting buttery aroma that couldn't be more out of place.

T: Once again, there are slight espresso and chocolate flavors that are obliterated by that buttery nastiness. It wants to be bittersweet and creamy but a pervasive tart/tangy fruit flavor comes in and wrecks everything. Ick.

M: Very thin and, sadly, not inspiring at all. Cringe inducing combination of tart and buttery.

D: This was damn near awful. I have a feeling, judging by the early reviews, that this bottle was from an extremely substandard batch that slipped by QC. This was drainpour.

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Photo of montageman
1.79/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured into a pint glass.

I bought a 6 pack of this stuff a couple months ago. Had one back then and forgot about the others - now I see why I forgot. This is an odd attempt at an oatmeal stout. First of all, the head is OUT OF CONTROL. I poured an ounce only to have the glass fill with 15 ounces of foam. Weird. The smell is good - coffee, vanilla, some caramel, but that's it. The taste is totally off. There is semblance of coffee, oatmeal, vanilla, beer, or anything. It is just bitter and sour. The mouthfeel is totally thin and lacks any carbonation. Hard, hard to drink. Will finish the 6 pack, but only out of principle. Avoid this one.

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Photo of uno99
1.89/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Never been impressed with arbor brewing but here goes...

A: looks like a stout. black witha slightly off white head. head is foamy and light, not dense like I like to see in a stout however.

S: Whoah... bad. as you'll read in the reviews below mine, there is a sourness to this beer that is just wrong..

T: Very bad. Sour, maybe some coffee and vanilla notes but im too put off by all the other off flavors

M: kind of thin for a stout. a little too much carbonation for the style as well

D: well - normally Id sip this to atleast get a buzz from it, but since I have to leave in 20 minutes I think im gonna pour it out.


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Photo of chicagobeerriot
1.98/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours black with some dark brown highlights when held to the light. About an inch of head develops on the pour which is a bit more fizzy than you'd expect from an espresso stout.

The smell is more chocolate and lactose than espresso, but there is an underlying roasty smell that indicates that coffee might be in there somewhere.

The mouthfeel is way too fizzy for the style. An espresso stout should be smooth and velvety which this beer certainly is not.

The taste is bizarrely tart...almost like a milk stout. There's a bit of milk chocolate underneath, but not nearly enough roated coffee flavor to balance out the acidic qualities. I see the big cup of coffee on the label, but I'm just not tasting any in the beer. I love espresso, but I'm going to have to look elsewhere if I want to experience true espresso love.

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Photo of HopDerek
2.13/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

At first I thought this beer went bad from when I purchased it back in April, but after looking at other reviews from even before that, I figure it isn't the case, so...

Pours what appears to be black, but under the light is really a deep dark muddy brown. 1/2 a pinky of burnt tan head quickly fades leaving no lacing. Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, grain, coffee, pineapple, and lactose. Taste starts out with grain and some roasted malt and chocolate, but then is overtaken by a sourness that won't go away, and only briefly allows some coffee flavors to peek through. Medium light in body and very thin with little carbonation. Some roasted coffee flavors you would expect from a beer with espresso in the name, but lots of sour and tart flavors overshadow this and make for a very odd beer for the style. I would only drink this again if my other option wasn't beer at all. I like my breakfast stouts to taste like coffee and my wild ales to taste like sour.

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Photo of twokansamm
2.15/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Once again I was fooled into buying an Arbor Brewing Beer... and once again, exploding head and off taste. The smell, after everthing died down was actually really good. Coffee and toffee smells, hints of vanilla. I was hoping that the explosion of head was not going to ruin the taste... but sure enough just a strange flavor... nothing resembling the smell. Since this is the 4th different beer I've tried from them, and the 4th beer to have the exploding head, I am giving up.

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Photo of n0315
2.2/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Pours pitch lack with no head, just a light lace, with nearly no carbonation, even for a stout. Smells of coffee and chocolate with a bit of a strong smell. I think I just got a bad one, becuase the taste was god awful and the mouthfeel was garbage. The worst stout I have ever had.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.21/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Courtesy of dschuster at the 5/1/08 BA Gathering at Catskellar

Appearance - pours a murky, blackish brown. Minimal head, just a lazy swirl in the middle and a thin crown. Just about a proper color but a lackluster show out of the bottle.

Aroma - a fine aroma of roasted malt and coffee. Fresh and rich and has me wondering how unwise it might be to drink a caffeine bomb later in the evening here. If it tastes as good as it smells I won't care...

Taste - brief malty grain, a tasty beginning of fresh coffee unfolds but is undone by a wash of sour/lactic tartness. If you hold the beer in the mouth for a few moments, you can get the coffee goodness that is intended but the sourness has the last word. If you take a quick sip/swallow, the coffee doesn't register, just the sour. A promising start but a KO finish I'm afraid.

Mouthfeel - average to thin body which could be better. Subdued carbonation which I kind of prefer for this coffee stout style.

Drinkability - lose the sour bit and this brew could be one of my favorites. With it though, it's one harsh bit of drinking, I can't even imagine what Todd Benzinger might have to say about it. Thanks anyway, Dave. ;-)

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Photo of mbrasi
2.26/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Took forever to pour this one as the head just kept exploding out of my glass. Aroma has a decent amout of coffee but there is an odd metallic aroma in there and some lactic notes maybe? Flavor has some coffee in there but there is some sour notes wtf? Theres some wild in my breakfast? Why is there metallic flavor in my breakfast mommy? For real though this is out of a bottle. There is a nice coffee flavor in there but not worth savoring becuase you get punished with sour metal in the finish. So close to drain pour but the good coffee flavor makes this one barely drinkable.

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Photo of Tilley4
2.36/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Well, this one started out great. Pitch black pour with a humongous head on it. Looks good so far.

Sort of a funky smell to this one. Smells like old coffee. Best way to describe it.

Man, this isn't as good as I thought. Big time sourness to the finish on this. Extremely thin mouthfeel, much thinner than most porters. Strange mouth coating finish to this one.

Drain pour. Didn't care for this at all.

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Photo of Shumista
2.4/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I like to buy singles of Arbor Brewing's beers when I can because I usually don't like to take the risk of buying a whole six pack from them of something I have not tried before. Espresso Love is an excellent example of why I got into this habit.

A- Espresso Loves pours deep dark brown with a medium brown head that is fizzing a lot for a stout. When you hold it up to the light you can see that little light brown floaties have settled to the bottom.
S- The aroma isn't so bad. Roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate.
T- This is where things really start to take a turn for the worst. It starts off as an alright roasted coffee taste, but then turns straight sour making for a very unpleasant finish and aftertaste.
M- Very highly carbonated for a stout. I don't get the slick mouthfeel that I expect from an oatmeal stout.
D- Not existent, I don't think I'm going to finish this one.

my bottom line: I've had small letdowns from Arbor Brewing a few times but this is the first of their beers that has been a huge disappointment for me. Not recommended and certainly not something I will buy again. Steer clear of this one.

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Photo of nowise
2.41/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 4

A: Black color with a nice off-white head. Inviting appearance but the head poured a bit too thick and fizzy for my liking.

S: Not impressed. Has a faint roasty aroma akin to a dry stout, not an oatmeal. Not much going on here. No coffee or chocolate in the profile.

T: Also not impressed. Roasted malt taste is there but lacks any chocolate or espresso flavor. Definitely not bitter enough either. This beer does not fit the style, IMHO and should be reclassified.

M: Bad, just bad. Way too much carbonation and fizz for the style. Not smooth at all, bubbles up way too much in my mouth as I sip.

D: I guess due to the light flavor and high carbonation, if you were in the mood to drink a generic stout all day, you probably could. This beer's only saving grace.

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Photo of becktone
2.44/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Can't quite remember which Cincy BA (feel a bit embarrassed) gave this to me for correctly answering some trivia at the meeting at the Catskellar, but thanks!

Eye: Color is black perhaps with some verey dark brown highlights. Opaque, looks thick. No head no head retention, small amount of lacing-looks creamy; however, even from a vigorous pour(I realized that no head was forming half way through the pour, so started a more vigorous pour). Much disappointed.

Nose: Lots of chocolate in the nose, roasted qualities as well very dark grain maybe some black patent. Also picking up some vanilla/milk/lactose type aromas in here-definitely a residual sweetness that I didn't expect.. Not much in the way of coffee, small connection if you ask me. Compared to Bell's Java and Founder's Breakfast this one has nothing on King Kong. Still, it does have a pleasing aroma.

Tongue: Sourness that overwhelms!!! Really didn't expect this in any kind of American Stout, maybe in an Irish dry to replicate authenticity, but this just should not be here. Some roasted and milk chocolate flavor can be tasted after the sourness vacates the palate.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Less you are looking for a sour American Stout, I wouldn't recommend this beer. Finish is semi-dry. Dry from the dark malts and mouth watering from the sourness. Just not for me. I will not ever be on the lookout for this beer.

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Photo of alexgash
2.45/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dark, inky coffee brown with a small, tiny-bubbled, coca-brown head that doesn't last long. Oily, sugary, mocha-coffee aroma. Some roasted notes, but mainly sweet coffee/cream/chocolate frapucinno-esque. Roasted coffee and malt bitterness up front. Slightly tart, lacto-sweet astringency follow. Milk chocolate and muted coffee before more lacto-sour/sweet in the finish. Medium-bodied with an oily, flat feel. Undercarbonated. Might be off, if not it's not very good.

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Photo of papat444
2.52/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to grub for this one.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

Appearance: Pours an almost pitch black body that looks actually more reddish when held to the light. Barely a finger of brownish head which vanishes in under 30 seconds.

Smell: Cold coffee but not in a bad way. Like a fresh pot that's cold. A bit of cocoa maybe.

Taste: Not much going on here unfortunately. Coffee beans upfront and a bit of sweetness on the tail end.

Mouthfeel: Next to no carbonation and kind of thin for the style and ABV.

Drinkability: Had less than half a glass before i got bored with it.

Overall: Uninspiring and bland. The near absence of carbonation and the lack of any real flavor kill this beer.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.53/5  rDev -20.9%
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.

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Photo of genuinedisciple
2.54/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours as I thought it would, not black, but more of a deep brown. There is almost no foam, absolutely no lacing, and you can't tell that you even drank any beer cause the glass stays clean the whole way through.

S: You can smell the malts, but the coffee scent is not as strong as I thought it would be.

T: Maybe I got a bad one (doubtful), but I don't taste much sweetness. I suppose there is a bit of a sweet finish, but it's more of a bitter taste in the begin and middle (much like drinking coffee). It has a "homebrew taste" to it.

M: It changes throughout, but it is very light and leaves a boring/mundane aftertaste at best.

*I've had plenty of other beers that would fall into this category, and this may be one of my least favorite.

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Photo of blakesell
2.57/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a clear German stein.

Appearance- Beer pours insanely carbonated and I swiftly move to the sink expecting the foam to exceed the liquid level of 4 beers (the capacity of the stein), but it calms close to the top and gradually dies down to 2 fingers of tan cream foam. Lacing is fairly thick and gluey and clings to the sides of the glass decently. The beer itself is a black brown (stout).

Smell- Not catching a lot of the espresso that is claimed for this one. Roasted dark malts, not anything that I would just say my socks are rocked on. A strange sweet fruitiness that doesn't seem quite like it belongs there. A bit of an oatmeal aroma persists as well.

Taste- There is that uncharacteristic sweetness once again, this is very sweet for any kind of a stout, even a bit sweet for a milk stout, but has a tartness that bends it more toward the sour end of the spectrum. No real complexity and a sharp lactic tang on the finish. I have a feeling this may also be overhopped for a stout as well.

Mouthfeel- The sharp tartness detracts strongly from the beer and gives a very light bodied perception for such a dark thick claiming beer. Not smooth, not silky, not creamy, overly carbonated and once again, lactic.

Drinkability- This is terribly non drinkable overall and I'm disappointed to say that I think that this is going to be a drain pour to save my senses and sobriety.

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Photo of infestaxion
2.58/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours dark brown with a big, fizzy mocha head that fades quickly. Has some floaties. Certainly not what I expected. Kind of looks like a Coke.

S - Not a very big smell at all. Some coffee and chocolate. A little buttery.

T - Wow. Underwhelming. A little bittersweet coffee and chocolate. Then the butteryness kicks in. None of this is very strong however.

M - Thin and carbonated. Not what I want out of a stout.

D - I'm going to have a hard time getting through this one. I'm glad it's my only one.

I'm not sure why it's listed as an oatmeal stout.

Edit: This ended up going down the drain.

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Photo of sweatervest27
2.62/5  rDev -18.1%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
2.71/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
2.76/5  rDev -13.8%
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?!!

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Arbor Brewing Espresso Love from Arbor Brewing Company
3.2 out of 5 based on 176 ratings.
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