Arbor Brewing Espresso Love | Arbor Brewing Company

BA SCORE
76
okay
176 Ratings
THE BROS
79
okay
Read the review
Arbor Brewing Espresso LoveArbor Brewing Espresso Love
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
arborbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
176
Reviews:
86
Avg:
3.2
pDev:
20.94%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
11
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 176 |  Reviews: 86
Photo of tallmidget
4.3/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gripped a 12 oz of this out of a bathtub during Penguicon 6.0. I had been drinking a lot of Rochester Mills Rochester Red and Founders Dirty Bastard (Both on tap) along with other bottled microbrews during Penguicon and as a result this brew was extremely refreshing, intense chocolate and coffee flavors. Great taste, great mouthfeel, a great beer if you're looking for a departure from your typical brews.

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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 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 Beaver13
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a dark brown with a creamy light tan head (after a vigorous pour) that quickly diminishes to a thin collar that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet fudgy chocolate and coffee that are strong enough to hide some off-notes that seem to be hiding.

The flavor is sweet fudgy chocolate and some oatmeal and nuts followed by an acidic stale coffee. The mouthfeel is thin and watery with little carbonation.

Overall, it's not very complex and does have some flaws but is still enjoyable.

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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 DrainBamage
3.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours black and has very minimal head. Has aromas of roasted malts with a little sweetness to it. The taste of roasted malts and coffee is very good, but it is way too sweet. Mouthfeel is smooth, but doesn't have much carbonation at all. I had this on tap and it was very good. Unfortunately this does not match to it. I'll have it again on tap, but probably never again in a bottle.

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Photo of tpd975
3.75/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on one of many trips to the hop devil in NYC.

A: Pours a deep dark black with a big foamy khaki head. As the contents disappear there was no lace, but tinges of an oily film was left behind.

S: Big bold fresh roased coffee aromas rise from the tulip. There is a nice chocolate quality to this one along with a bit of nuts.

T: Nice coffee flavors. There is a touch of milk in this one and some chocolate. It is mostly about the coffee though.

M: Rather sooth and somewhat creamy with ample carbonation.

D: Not bad, I could enjoy several glasses on a cold NYC winter evening.

Overall: Pretty good brew, does not rank up there with Bell's Java or Peche Mortel, but what does. It is a rather good oatmeal stout with big coffee flavors and aromas. I say job well done. It peaked my interest enough to want to try more beers from this brewer.

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Photo of jeremyd365
4.72/5  rDev +47.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It poured very dark with a thick head that took several minutes to settle down.

It smelled delightfully strongly of espresso/coffee and chocolate.

It felt thick and syrupy in the mouth, and tasted as strong as it smelled.

For being such a thick, heavy beer, I was surprised how drinkable it actually was.

A definite buy.

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Photo of strohme2
3.75/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this one with a khaki colored decent head that lasted for a moment. Nice color, what you would expect from a stout.

Now I really like the smell of coffee but am not so big on the taste. This stout reminds me of the coffee aisle at you local grocery store. Strong coffee smell with a hint of a semi sweet or bitter chocolate.

Tastes like it smells! Strong coffee and mild chocolate tastes. A little poor on the mouthfeel tho. Feels thin.

I could have a few of these on any night.

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Photo of tempest
4.12/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a half-pint pour on a Monday afternoon and I'm pretty happy with this the choice. It's got a big espresso aroma and flavor, and while it dominates the beer, it tastes like about the best coffee or espresso I've had. There's a subtle and mellow chocolate note running through the background. And the body is a medium, not too chewy that drink velvety smooth. This ranks right up there with Surly's Coffee Bender for me.

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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 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 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 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 Viggo
3.25/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Lexx for picking this up in Michigan.

Pours an opaque dark brown/black, thin tan head forms, settles to a thin ring leaving some nice lacing behind. Smell is oily coffee beans, vanilla, chocolate roast, sour woodiness, interesting. Taste is buttery, fresh roasted coffee and vanilla, sourness is present and gets a bit stronger the more you drink but isn't totally unpleasant, caramel and chocolate near the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, pretty smooth, although the buttery sourness becomes a bit much. Thanks Lexx!

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Photo of AaronHomoya
3.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle picked up on a recent trip to Grand Rapids, MI.

Pours a very dark brown color with minimal carbonation and tan-colored head. Some lacing along the sides of the tulip glass I used.

Incredible roasty, espresso aroma. Boldest, freshest coffee bean aroma in a beer that I have experienced. Some hints of chocolate are present as well.

Flavor was less impressive, consisting of sweet malt, lighter coffee and roasted barley notes, a slight hint of hops and a dry, slightly bitter finish. I also noticed a bit of sourness in the the beer, and this seemed more present as I went on. Maybe I just became more attuned to it.

Surprisingly thin and watery feeling mouthfeel. Drinkability also suffered for me due to this and the sour taste.

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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 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 CortexBomb
3.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is proper stouty black, but the head left town extremely quickly, and there isn't even lacing left to show for it. The aroma is faintly coffee-ish and roasted, but not at the level I would expect for a stout.

The flavour starts off with a coffee twang and a milky sweet edge. Roasted tones show up in the back half, present albeit slightly subdued. The coffee tones stay present throughout. A light roasted nod on the finale. Good stuff, the coffee flavour is apparent throughout, but it doesn't make the beer abrasive. The milk flavour is borderline, I thought it was fine most of the sips, but it also had a bit of an off edge to it, not enough to really hurt the beer, but occasionally noticeable.

The mouth on this is light, albeit about average for an oatmeal. The drinkability also average. Java based beers tend to be a touch abrasive and difficult to drink very many of, and I imagine this would also fall into that category.

The bottom line: The initial impressions of this beer were not impressive, but the taste is pretty interesting and solid, particularly given the low ABV of this beer. I would like to try this on tap if I run into it (or stop by Arbor itself, though I doubt I'll ever go there in lieu of Ashley's...but I digress) but I probably wouldn't rebuy it in bottle form.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.17/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

$1.90 for a 12oz bottle at Jack's. Opening the cap reveals barely more than a psst...hardly any carbonation. Pours to a limp deep brown, nearly black. No head, no lacing, no carbonation. The aroma is great...lots of black walnut and sweet vanilla, a hint of coffee when swirled. Mouthfeel is limp with a medium body. The taste is quite nice and recaptures the nose. There is quite a bit of chalkiness, but I like it. Wierd green leafy MJ note in there from the hops. Very mild bitterness, barely any to speak of. The espresso isn't really dominant, and I would barely notice it if it weren't called "Espresso Love". There is a distant kiwi fruit flavor in there, so it will probably turn into battery acid with any shelving... like the other Arbor Brewing beers I've had.

Nice balance with a little bit of all the flavors able to emerge, but certainly not a powerhouse stout compared to others in the category. Rated as is...flat.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Even with a hard pour, very little head forms. Almost black, but when held to a light, looks kind of murky brown.

S- Sweet coffee and malt with maybe a little hazelnut. Raisin is definitely present in the aroma.

T- Not as much coffee flavor as the name would lead you to believe. Lots of raisin and is pretty sweet.

M- Creamy and does not really build on the palate. Carbonation is good, pretty smooth.

D- Overall, there is a lot going for it. It just needs a little something extra. Worthwhile, but somewhat disappointing for a coffee beer.

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Photo of enfield249
3.35/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown. Pours with no head. Almost seems to settle out and have a transparent layer along the top 1/32" of the glass. Slightly cloudy, at least it seems so.

S - Lots of good coffee smell, like a cup o' joe.

T - Coffee, duh. A decent amount of sweetness as well.

M - Full, but not as thick as I would have thought.

D - Pretty good, but not great. Worth trying a bottle if your into coffee beers.

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Photo of hoppymeal
3.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black to cola brown, some sediment at the bottom of the bottle, a quick covering of caramel colored head quickly fades away. Aroma is nice roasty and slightly nutty coffee mixing with a caramel and chocolate sweetness, hints of maple syrup. Taste is overwhelmed by a twangy acidity with brief moments that show some cola sweetness and a smoky roastiness. Mouthfeel is medium, very low carbonation leaves a somewhat slick feeling, hint of dryness in the finish. A good breakfast stout, the aroma was fantastic, but the taste was not as complex. The twanginess was masking most flavor, it wasn't offensive in itself, just overpowering. I tried a few bites of haagen-dazs bailey's irish creme ice cream with it and found the combo to be perfect, may do this with my other bottles.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.04/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black coffee black with a miniscule caramel colored head in spite of an increasingly elevated pour. I hope there's nothing wrong with the carbonation because this sucker smells fantastic. The bubbly foam doesn't last and isn't interested in gracing the glass with more than a token amount of lace. In a minute or so, the beer should resemble a pint glass of coffee.

I've always been puzzled by the fact that I love the smell of coffee beer even though I don't like and don't drink coffee. Odd that. The nose is tremendous, especially if you're a dedicated java hound. Underneath the freshly-brewed goodness are appealing aromas of vanilla and creme caramel. Could Espresso Love possibly taste as good as it smells?

Not quite, but it's close. For starters, the mouthfeel isn't as full as it needs to be, considering the style and the ABV. Perhaps I'm just spoiled by the fact that many versions (like Founders Breakfast Stout) are huger than huge. I have a feeling that things will come together as the beer approaches room temperature.

The flavor profile is essentially a carbon copy of the aroma. In fact, if anything, it's even more crushed coffee-bean dominant. The sweetness of the malt (and the milk sugars?) are easily countered by the bitterness of the hops and the roasted malt. The finish favors dry and clean over sticky. I don't yet have a caffeine buzz, but I wouldn't be surprised if one hits in the final few ounces.

The mouthfeel makes something of a comeback, but it still isn't what it could be. I'm a little picky when it comes to stouts, so take my impressions with a grain of salt. The mild creaminess, the oatmeal softness and the subdued carbonation keeps things well above average.

Is there no end to the number of good-great breweries in the state of Michigan? If this beer is any indication of what Arbor Brewing is capable of, it's a crime that one has to travel to Ann Arbor to acquire it (I didn't see it in Grand Rapids). While it can't touch Founders Breakfast Stout, Espresso Love is damn good beer in its own right and is an easy recommendation for those traveling into enemy territory.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.42/5  rDev +38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No real head, pours a pure black color with the tiniest of all brown highlights. Light film of tan over top of the beer. NOse is crazy roasted malt and coffee with some sweet molasses thrown in too. Taste is similar - crazy coffee malt, some roasted malt, a touch of light sourness. Some light malt bitterness. Light bacon. Crazy strong mocha coffee sweetness. Medium body, maybe a touch lighter than expected, but solid. I really liked this one. An excellent dessert beer.

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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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