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Arbor Brewing Olde Number 22 Alt Bier | Arbor Brewing Company

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55 Reviews
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Arbor Brewing Olde Number 22 Alt BierArbor Brewing Olde Number 22 Alt Bier

Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-26-2002

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Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 88
Photo of marburg
4.62/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. Even some German altbiers are a little too straight-up malty. But not this one. Definite some roasty malts in there but also some toffee-ish, coffee, chocolate flavors. It's like a damn Starbucks drink -- the toffee cafe choco mocha nut brown beer. Fortunately, you don't need one of those little cardboard things since this is served much colder than coffee -- but just right at just-less-than-cellar temperature. Nice brown color too. Like a very dark chocolate bar. Served in a nice 500mL German mug -- except that they generally overfill it a bit so you get a bit more than your 500mL.

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Photo of beernut7
4.38/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This deep dark altbier is the best I have had outside of the actual German beers. The light malt aroma introduces a complex group roasted coffee, sweet chocolate and hints of vanilla. The extra medium body is creamy on the palate and extremely enjoyable.

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Photo of ken3c
4.33/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark brown with a medium head. Smells like rich toasted grain.

Tastes like great coffee except that its starts cold in the mouth and warms all the way down. Nice aftertaste stays a while.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a rather clean finish.

Very drinkable. I've tried other beers while at Arbor Brewing but this one brings me in the door.

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Photo of nomad
4.24/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don’t think that I am too picky saying that this beer is a bit too damn dark, like deep brown to black, which is a bit dark in my altbier experience. Has an oddly off-white head that is solid and clings well.

Smells of lager quiet-and-smooth scents of roast, dark chocolate, and spices of Noble hops. A bit muted and altogether decent, but not alluring.

Taste is extra-toasty dry with a spare note of sweet malt, then followed by a rip of minty hops, and ended by a cleansing, razor sharp and short finish. The flavors bely its dark color, drinking with an lager-smooth profile inflected with just enough ale-agressive features. Not a beer to contemplate as the levels of flavors are distinct and separated, but a fine quaffer despite being served interminably cold.

Damn easy to drink, not too filling, and tasty with a thirst quenching flavor. Succeeds despite lacking many of the roasty/caramel flavors and truly strong hop notes that I typically associate with the style. Smooth, slightly sweet, and crisp, regardless. Drinks almost like a super-dark Scottish ale.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.18/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass at Arbor Brewing. The color was dark brown/black, with a nice, thick white head. The smell was a good, dry roastiness. The taste was a fairly dry portery roasty malt character. Mouthfeel was very creamy. Drinkability-wise, this would be an excellent session beer.

Thank you to trbeer for splitting a pint of this one with us. A very good altbier with a very intersting porter characteristic to it, and absolutely something I'd hope to have when I make it up this way again!

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Photo of emerge077
4.07/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany into black, a swirl of foam that caps it off, then it fades to a ring and a broken skim. Faint fried plantain fades into roasty malt and bitter dry bakers chocolate aroma. Ashy roast malt, thin and dry, with bold cacao, earthy tobacco, and bitter chocolate. A touch more body would make a huge improvement. As it stands, it's very drinkable and above all tasty.

Thanks to TheBlackMallard for the tip on this one!

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Photo of RichieS2
4.02/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from taps at ABC into authentic looking 16 oz stein.

Appearance - Was excellent, as dark and opaque as any stout, very little head with no visible carbonation.

Smell - Some mild sweetness from the malt with a hint of that coffee taste associated with dark beers.

Taste - Very intriguing, the darkness is deceptive as the beer itself is very light and sweet when it hits the tongue much like a brown ale. From there the coffee like taste found in porters and stouts asserts itself ever so slightly, it is never overpowering but it is there amidst the sweetness. Then it finishes clean.

Mouthfeel - Perfect consistency, it had lager-level lightness of body without being watery; a definite pleasure to roll around in my mouth.

Drinkability - With a lighter body and moderate alcohol content a 2nd order is in my immediate future.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +14.9%

Nose: some fruit, a little dark sugary molasses, has a dopplebock aroma with more sugar and roast
Pours dark chestnut with a 1" finely bubbled foam collar, lacy.
Palate: A little sweet, some dark fruit but more dark malt and dark malt flavors, a little tanginess in the finish balances some of the sweetness, a little strong on the roast flavors suggesting a porter or an English mild ale, but drinkable.
Medium to medium low carbonation, medium full body, balance to the malt.

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Photo of jeremyd365
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first altbier. Poured a very dark, chocolatey brown with a thick tan head. Smells strongly of a pleasant maltiness with perhaps some sort of slight smokiness or chocolatey. The flavor is a great combination of chocolate and malt. It's moderately carbonated and medium-bodied. A quite enjoyable beer that I would definitely recommend--and I would now also like to try it on tap!

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Photo of putnam
3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Duesseldorf dark. Fragrant lemon shimmers freshen deep vanilla and mocha aromas. Caramel, cream, butter build. Stocky and stemmy, slightly, in a good way. Bright, muscular acidity on the attack, and its a clean, well-organized acidity, not any of that loose, dirty rotten lemon debris I associate with dubious bottling regimes. This gives way to bitter mocha tannic grip while mild red berry fruitiness lines up nicely to the balanced finish. A little hard and dry when its done.

Something about that acidity I like. Exceedingly refreshing for an otherwise fudgey flavored light ale.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to emerge077 for sharing this one.

A - Dark brown with ruby highlights when held to the light and a thin tan head. Much darker than any altbier I have seen.

S - Light aroma of chocolate, caramel and roasted malt. Maybe some dark fruits mixed in.

T - Bakers chocolate and roasted malts upfront followed by bready, bicuity caramel malts.

M - Thin and watery with a lingering dryness.

D - A little more chocolate and roast than other alts I have had but I like it.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.92/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pilsener glass. The fill was pretty low in the neck.

A- The bottle gave a hefty hiss as I opened it and a careful pour left such a huge head my 3 year old said, that's too full. I took his advice and poured in stages before emptying the bottle. As noted, it had a huge, pillowy, tan head. The body was a clean, deep, mahogany with moderate carbonation. The head never fully dropped and left loads of sticky spots on the side of the glass.

S- It had a nice caramel aroma initially. Further inspection hinted at some dark fruits and a little bit of a smoked and sour malt profile. The hops were lighter than the malts, but added a bit of a floral character to the nose. A little warmth added a little chocolate to the aroma.

T- Rich and malty up front. There was a nice combination of caramel and a smoked flavor that was met with a touch of sour malt in the finish. Hopping was fairly light, but evened out the flavor profile with a touch of citrus. Some warmth brought out a hint of chocolate powder.

M- For much of the beer I was drinking through a very substantial head. It had moderate to heavy carbonation that gave the tongue a good prickly bite. Otherwise, it had a pretty clean feel.

D- It's a pretty easy drinker. The flavors were complex enough that I might give it another shot.

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Photo of edenm
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is deep brown in color with a light tan head. The flavor is wonderfully malty with chocolate and nutty undertones with not much aftertaste. It's easy to drink with a light carbonation.

It's not one of the most flavorful beers I've ever had, but it's smooth and pleasant. If it was sold near me, I'd buy it again.

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Photo of marcellaproust
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of my favorites at ABC. At 5% ABV, it's a comfortable, pleasing drinking companion. But it's tasty without being distracting, that's why I love the Alt. Pours a dark chestnut brown with a modest edge-wise head (which nonetheless lasts and lasts). Subtle aroma like roasted barley and malt; you begin with great tongue- and throat- tickling hops and perfect--yes perfect--carbonation which ensures that the malt and barley don't come close to suggesting other genres such as porter, stout, or dopplebock. No, the hops/carbonation balances this beer that rounds out a finish with malt, roasted barley, and a hint of caramel that while smooth, refuses to suggest any sweetness or heavy-handed microbrewing flavor over-kills. A really fine, I'd even venture elegant, beer.

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Photo of Brenden
3.77/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This ale is a very, very dark brown with just a hint of red sneaking in at the edges. It shows a surprising body, looking fairly thick. The medium brown head is about half a finger tall at its peak, though it displays some pretty strong retention and is able to throw down some firm splashy lace.
The aroma showcases light notes of dark fruits and thick dark breads that are heavy but on the toastier side along with a bit of caramel and treacle. It's fairly dry despite those sweeter elements, particularly as some powdered unsweetened cocoa notes come out.
The flavor brings out a porter or stout-like roast and even some charcoal. Malts are more along the lines of lightly burnt toast, though some caramel does make an appearance. A bit of balance adds dryness in a grassy sort of note from hops.
The body itself, almost full but sticking to a solid medium range, is pretty rich. It's dry all the way from middle to finish after starting off semi-dry, and all the more as a feel like burnt woods and an ashy feel mingle on the palate.

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Photo of Bung
3.74/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Rather opaque black pour into the tulip. Huge off white head, had to pour and wait a couple times. Burnt malt and toast aromas, but rather light. Lively mouthfeel, light medium body. Burnt malt taste with hints of dark chocolate. Subdued hop presence. Very, very clean, but maybe just a bit overcarbonated. If not for the carbonation I would say this is extreamly drinkable, but as such is just good drinkability. A very interesting and unique alt.

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Photo of enfield249
3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown, opaque, with a medium ring of foam around the edge.

S - Can't get much off of this. Some prunes, maybe?

T - Really nice sweetness, followed by some sourness, fades to some roast, and then a cinder flavor.

M - Full, with some sharpness from the carbonation. Leaves my tongue wet feeling.

D - I could drink this a lot. A very nice beer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark brown hat is nearly opaque win a nice off white head. Some lacing. Nose brings a bit of sweet malt that consists of darker chocolate, bringing some dryness as well. Taste and feel come together with a nice dry malt characteristic. The taste is a bit plain wihout much more than some grain and faint flavors behind it, but I like the feel. Drinks well and shows me yet again why I wish this were a more common style.

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Photo of Derek
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the brewpub.

I haven't had many Alts.

A: Dark brown chestnut, hardly any off-white head, some lace.

S: Bread, caramel & a little roasted malt.

T: Bittersweet, only a little roasty (black patent malt for colour?).

M: Light to moderate body and carbonation.

D: Quite good.

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Photo of skiboy
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this to be a great little beer for a summertime cooler. Was a little surprised how cold it was served on tap (at several different locations). Looks great in the glass with a light colored head resting atop a very dark brown beer. Medium carbonation and a crisp maltiness, and not very hoppy. Very drinkable with a modest alcohol content.

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Photo of Roeters
3.66/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Deep dark brown with a slim light brown head

S: Average old style ale nothing very exciting

T: Great slightly yeasty taste, with good body

M: A normal beer nothing very exciting

D: This is a beer that you could sit and drink a few, very easy going down.

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Photo of bamadog
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review is from notes taken on 3/29/2010 and poured from the bottle to a tulip.

Appearance: A nice dark coffee brown with deep ruby highlights; starts with a modest one finger tan head that fades slowly to a thin, but full and even skim; body is nearly opaque; firm washes and spots of lacing hold pretty tight.

Smell: Smell of bitter and earthy/dirty hops; a bit of a burnt roastiness; it's impressive just how bitter and earthy this beer smells.

Taste: Very and earthy bitter overall -- hops are very grassy and combine with a dark burnt roastiness; a mild smoked/charred wood presence that really lingers in the aftertaste; I feel this would be better in the fall; not bad overall, but not really my thing - may have to give more altbiers a chance I guess.

Mouthfeel: A little thin and watery, but it feels like it wants to be creamy; a dry stickiness allows that bitter/smokey aftertaste to linger for quite a while.

Drinkability: Not really sure I dig these flavors as of yet. The bitterness is nice, but a little too present and doesn't bring enough flavor along with it.

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Photo of tatoodkelt
3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up when I was in MI for a wedding last month.

Consumed 8/10/2009- from notes.

Brown 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Very dark brown with a HUGE almond colored head. Didnt expect that. Had to wait and pour a couple of times. Great retention and lacing.

S- A little roasty, caramel and bakers chocolate.

T- Caramel, chocolate and something that may be dark dried berries. I was surprised to find the smoky porter like notes in there too.

M- Medium bodied, smooth and decent carbination.

D- Very easy to drink, makes me wish I had picked up more than one since I wont be back up there any time soon.

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Photo of sliverX
3.62/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very dark brown with a thin tan head a small amount of lacing
smell is nutty with a small roasted malt character with an earthy hop note
Taste very much a malty roasted taste with a big walnut backbone slight dark chocolate but very faint, very earthy flavor from malts and hops, woody
Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side of medium light on the carbonation at least in the feel on the tongue
Drinkability is decent nothing spectacular but a nice session beer...
*If this had been called a porter I wouldn't disagree with you and would most likely score it higher...

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on January 18, 2006. On tap at the brewpub. Dark clear brown burnt, with orange fringes and light rim of off-white. Light euro hop aroma. Effervescent, with toothy chewy grains, deliciopus horse blanket and some earth. Grains, oats and more pungent hops. Well balanced and lucious. Palate is smooth, airy and glowing. Finish is sweet. A light sour lemon at the end. Exemplary for the style.

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Arbor Brewing Olde Number 22 Alt Bier from Arbor Brewing Company
3.48 out of 5 based on 88 ratings.
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