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: 85 | Ratings: 175
Photo of surlytheduff
3.12/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank from pint glass. Poured deep dark brown, with a somewhat thin rootbeer-foam colored head. Head dissipated very quickly, leaving no lacing.

Smelled rich and sweet, with roasted coffee most apparent at first, then maltiness and chocolate.

The malt was what jumped out to me on first taste, with really not much else there. It seemed like a real disconnect between the smell and taste - I had expectations of some rich flavors, but beyond the maltiness there wasn't a whole lot more going on.

It felt awfully thin for an outmeal stout, and didn't have the creaminess that I normally associate with the style.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.08/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewpub in December 2009. Reviewed from notes.

Pours near black with a thin mocha head and not much of any lacing on the way down. Nose brings a decent amount of overly roasted espresso with hints of chocolate. Taste is about the same, as the espresso carries a bit of good flavor but nothing else really backs it up. Feel is medium. Drinks okay but not one of the better coffee beers, and not one of my favorites here.

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Photo of papat444
2.52/5  rDev -21%
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 bamadog
4.06/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I received this as an extra a few months back, but sadly can't remember who threw it in the box. Whoever you may have been, thanks for the beer! Review is from notes taken on 7/27/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a deep dark dirty brown/near black and looks about the color of used motor oil (mind you, it doesn't look as thick as used motor oil, though); despite a vigorous pour, no head whatsoever; body is entirely opaque and based upon no head, I'd say it looks pretty flat; no lacing, just an oily film that quickly slides back into the beer.

Smell: Pretty nice, and quite strong -- nice strong and roasty burnt expresso; dark semi-sweet syrupy chocolate; a bit of dark cherry and lactic sourness as it continues to warm... I'm intrigued...

Taste: Starts of pretty plain and standard with the nice espresso roastiness (nothing special right of the first sip though); however, the syrupy chocolate and dark cherries and a certain sourness (could be a bit of sour cherries, but it strikes me as more of a lactic sourness) creeps in and really, in my opinion, brightens the beer's profile quite nicely.

Mouthfeel: Sigh... never as thick as I would like, but the body is of medium weight; no carbonation, so it feels very flat, oily and slick; a moderate and semi-moist stickiness is left all over the palate.

Drinkability: Not too shabby overall, especially if I really consider the smell and flavors; it does need some head and carbonation though, and damn it, I really want a thicker stout; while my numbers are kind of all over the place on this, I do believe it's worth checking out.

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Photo of mgbickel
3.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. My aggressive pour yielded a small, single finger tan head that dissipated before I could rinse the bottle out. No signs of foam or bubbles were retained on the dark brown/ruby body.

The nose has some roasted malts, wet coffee grinds, maybe a little chocolate and nuttiness.

The taste starts out alright but fades quickly as the beer gets warmer. Some malts up front that fade into a weak, watery, coffee flavored finish.

The mouth feel is pretty weak...semi carbonated and watery for a stout.

Meh...not something I will buy again, but nothing that made me want to drain pour either...

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Photo of MIMicrobrews
3.65/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Upon opening, you don't get a large sense of coffee. As I poured it, the glass filled with thick, opaque black liquid with little head and zero retention. The aroma, surprisingly enough, didn't exude a ton of coffee. I sensed more roasted malts and chocolate. While it may not be coffee, it still smelled delicious. My first sip exploded with amazing coffee flavor. It was delicious, creamy, wonderfully blended. It was just the right amount; clearly coffee flavored, but not too much where it was overkill. Some coffee stouts/breakfast stouts have too much coffee flavor and it kills the beer (in my opinion), here this brew has excellent consumption quality and includes a nice complexity of chocolate and roasted malt flavors as well. The aftertaste was a nice mix of chocolate and coffee. It lingers a little bitter for a small amount of time, but it's a pleasant bitter with a smoothness to it that leaves me wanting another sip right away.

Overall, it's a very tasty brew. I mean, I do love coffee and I do love a good stout. This is a very nice mix and is quite a pleasure to enjoy. It's not as bold as some other coffee stouts, but it seems to me to the type of beer I can rely on when I need a reliable coffee brew.

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Photo of jt31914
3.5/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Bottle:

This beer was a nice surprise; the reviews made me think it would suck but it was actually pretty decent. It was black with a decent amount of mocha colored head and decent lacing. Oatmeal coffee taste was pretty pleasant and balanced; mouthfeel was bubbly but a bit syrupy and the beer smelled like java and oatmeal. Pretty easy to drink, but it tastes stronger than 6.5% alcohol.

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Photo of jmich24
3.52/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle

A: Beautiful Dark Black. Barely quarter in head dissipates very fast. Zero lacing
S: Roasted Barley, Chocolate, Coffee
T: Coffee is the main course. Nice bitterness, bittersweet chocolate.
M: Thin for the style. I come to expect more creaminess in a oatmeal stout.
D: Drinkability is a fair. Great after a large meal but I couldn't drink more than one or two.

Solid after dinner beer. It is possible I would pick this up again but will not be a mainstay in my fridge.

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Photo of tubacharlie
2.81/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not much aroma, slight whiff of hops.

Decent light brown head recedes quickly but leaves a thin ring around the edge.

Dark red-brown color, nearly black and opaque with almost no light penetration, partly due to unfiltered bottle conditioning.

Flavor is like weak coffee, not much there in the way of malt, with a light hop bitterness at the end. Very still liquid by the time it gets down to the last third of a glass. Carbonation is very light, but sufficient to give a creamy smooth sipping quality.

Overall, not something I would recommend, especially for breakfast, although it is labeled a Breakfast Stout.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.41/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

on tap at grand trunk pub, served from a pint glass.

a - dark brown, almost black in color. formed a decent size tan head that calmed quickly to a ring around the glass. no lacing to speak of, only a spot here and there.

s - coffee and chocolate. aromas are mild at best.

t - picking up mostly dark chocolate here, with a little coffee and a hint of molasses. hops are subtle to nonexistent, the bitterness seems to come more from the dark chocolate than the hops. a rich and decadent brew for sure, but lacking in complexity.

m - medium bodied and creamy with a subtle co2 profile.

d - a little too robust to be sessionable. could have another, but any more than that would be too much. kinda like having two desserts when you really only need one.

this is a pretty good beer, but i have a hard time believing that it's an oatmeal stout.

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Photo of semibaked
3.34/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured aggressively into a pint glass

A - Pitch Black with very little head and no lacing. Thin looking at best.

S - Great smell of espresso and slight sweetness

T - First thing I notice is the "sharp" carbonation kinda like someone is stabbing my tongue with a toothpick. Lots of really dark espresso flavor and really nothing else.

M - Watery, I thought oatmeal was supposed to give a nice creaminess to the beer, but definitely didn't work here.

D - I don't think I will go back to this, there are alot of better coffee stouts out there than this, was glad to try it though.

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Photo of jampics2
3.02/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

No head after a voracious pour into my pint glass. Looks thin as hell - I can see a ring of either alcohol or water around the edges.

Smell is actually nice, some lactose sweetness, caramel malt, and some roast that could be coffee. Subdued compared to other coffee stouts.

I'm torn on the taste, it's a decent enough idea, but their neighbor upstate (Founders) has written the book on coffee stouts and this just falls short of following the example. Starts off with a spike of bitterness and coffee, then a weird chocolate caramel lactose taste. The coffee adds a different flavor "peak" to the mix than I've ever had, but, unfortunately, the rest of this beer's taste doesn't make it shine. I read some reviews before trying this that mention a tart flavor, there is none in this bottle - this is more of a light caramel, chocolate, milk stout.

Mouthfeel is a certain flaw here. Carb is just weird, not prickly, but too sharp for ta stout. This is one of the lightest m/f's I've ever had on a stout. Bummer.

Drinkability is average, this isn't a horrible beer or a drainpour. I bet there's some major batch differential here. This is just too mediocre - took a risk on you Arbor and not impressed. I'll try to give away the rest of the six pack.

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Photo of wqcherri
4.84/5  rDev +51.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my absolute favorite. Got me turned on to beer. Love the coffee flavor... If you don't pour it directly it will fizz eternally... Great taste and aroma, from a coffee lovers standpoint. Lots of sediment. Very difficult to get out side of Michigan though.

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Photo of shivtim
3.68/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the brewpub in December, 2009. Listed at 7%.

Murky dark brown black, thick like a suspension or emulsion. No real head. Good and bad points, but deserves a 4. Could easily be a 5 if it had a nice head and some carbonation.

Nose is toasty malts, and very mild coffee beans. Not really getting the espresso. Same on the taste. Very mild coffee-ish flavor, but more dominated by gently roasted malts. Some brown sugar sweet flavors. Nice mouthfeel. Slightly milky and thick. Good drinkability.

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Photo of chicagobeerriot
1.98/5  rDev -37.9%
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 blakesell
2.57/5  rDev -19.4%
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 Bierguy5
2.77/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle. Pours a very dark brown color, with a lot of sediment. Thick tan head has many specks of said sediment. Great heat retention. Nice patches of lace in the ned.

A nice espresso note up front in the nose, followed by some milk chocolate, cream, and caramel. A slight fruity note. Pretty nice aroma.

Things now go downhill in a hurry. The malt character is not supporting the wondeful aroma. A bit of roasty and chocolate malt, but not depth at all. A harsh astringency, and odd sweetness follows, which is rather unpleasant.

Very thin body, with too much carbonation. The astringency lingers on the palate for a long time. A bit of warming as well. The nose was great, but the flavor really leaves something to be desired.

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Photo of kzoobrew
3.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep nearly opaque brown. Light barely manages to sneak through leaving ruby highlights around the edges. Very fizzy effervescent coffee stained head resembles more soda pop than beer. Moderate retention leaving a thin cap atop, lacing does not like to stick as it is happy to slide down the side of the glass and rejoin the cap.

Smooth roasted espresso aroma greets the nose intermediately. Vanilla and a rather creamy smell sit just behind. The general aroma is very similar(but less intense) to a cup of coffee with sweet flavored cream.

The flavor on this one is strange. The coffee is rather obvious but is almost overpowered by an odd almost lactic sweetness. There is a nice layer of bitterness provided by a combination of the coffee, hops and roasted malt but that too is soon overcome by the overwhelming sweetness that just does not mesh.

The mouthfeel is incredibly light for the style. The body is lacking any sort of thickness and viscosity. The carbonation is a bit too lively and rather prickly on the tongue.

The beer starts out great with the aroma and appearance but falls off fast. The flavor is somewhat off putting and the mouthfeel just does not match the style. While far from a bad beer this just does not live up to the level other beers in this style have set. In a state which also produces Founders Breakfast Stout the bar is set high, while the effort was good the end product leaves me unsatisfied.

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.85/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A super dark brown color pour with a huge lasting tan head , some light spotty lacing left , medium carbonation. Aroma of coffee,dark roasted malt, and sweet dark chocolate. Flavor is a nice balance of malt ,strong coffee,and bittersweet chocolate , no apparent hop flavors. Medium to full body , creamy mouthfeel with a light bitter coffee/chocolate finish , very drinkable and something I would buy again , better than expected .

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Photo of nowise
2.41/5  rDev -24.5%
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 GRPunk
3.87/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- A conservative pour led to a dense, 2-1/2 finger, brown head. The body was nearly black with dark brown accents at the edges. The head eventually fell to about a half-finger and left good sticky rings on the glass.

S- The main scent I picked up was a pleasant coffee with some brown sugar in the background.

T- It's a pretty decent combination of a traditional oatmeal stout with coffee accents. The coffee wasn't overdone as is sometimes the case.

M- It was a little thinner and more highly carbonated than expected. The stronger carbonation provided a bit of a tingle.

D- It was a good drinker whether looking at it as an oatmeal stout or comparing it to other coffee style beers. I'm not going to rush out to get a case of it, but I'd drink this beer again as a nice brunch sipper or a tailgate beer where daytime drinking is taking place.

It was an overall pleasant surprise. ABC can be pretty hit or miss with my tastes. This was a hit.

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Photo of infestaxion
2.58/5  rDev -19.1%
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 Harfatum
4.22/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a mix-n-match pack from the ABC's restaurant (which was very good; try the spinach pie!)

A: Looks great - one finger of foam up top in my Duvel tulip, very dark. A few bubbles clinging to to the side.
S: Super chocolatey, with strong coffee notes. Very appealing.
T: Great! The moderate carbonation livens up a heavy drink. Not too bitter, and loads of chocolate and coffee. This really reminds me of biting into a nice 70% cocoa chocolate bar. This is great with anything that would go with coffee - I tried it with graham crackers my first time and it went surprisingly well together.
M: Robust, a bit thick but that's good here.
D: For a deep, dark stout, this is very very drinkable. Less bitterness than many stouts. The moderately high alcohol content is very well hidden.

Overall I really enjoy this beer. I don't know what the reviews citing an "off taste" are going on about; this is chocolate and coffee for days, and nothing objectionable as far as I can tell. Recommended.

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Photo of Shumista
2.4/5  rDev -24.8%
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 cdViking
2.81/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

First review on the site! Received in a BIF, thanks Alan.

A: Pours dark w/light head, looks thin, nothing great.

S: You can definitely scent the coffee in this one, but there's certainly a sour element to it. Nonetheless, the coffee smells appetizing.

T: Rather sweet, and the coffee tastes as good as it smells, but unfortunately there is a sour metallic aftertaste to it that almost ruins the pleasant coffee.

M: Not impressed at all. Very thin, nothing to it.

D: All in all, still a drinkable beer, especially if you enjoy coffee tones. After taste is a pitfall, but not a showkiller.

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Arbor Brewing Espresso Love from Arbor Brewing Company
3.19 out of 5 based on 175 ratings.
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