Arbor Brewing Olde Number 22 Alt Bier | Arbor Brewing Company

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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 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 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 tectactoe
3.42/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Arbor's brewery in Ann Arbor. Olde Number 22 pours a deep brown color, exalted by some ruby and deeper mahogany clarity towards the outer edges. A thin, light-tan head settles around 3 millimeters and lasts for a surprisingly long time before finally reducing to a simple ring outlining the glass.

The aroma's pretty light overall, though it does gain some steam once it finally has a chance to warm up a bit. Chocolate-esque malts, both sweet and roasty, both playing the field for dominance, and ending up with reasonable balance in the end. Some crisp yeast sits on the back end, along with a faint and musky, dry-hopped aroma. Nothing too notable here, but nothing offensive, either.

"Coffee beans" never really popped into my head as I was smelling this, but it's the first thing I can taste when I take a sip. Dry, roasted coffee beans, topped off with a dash of cocoa powder cutting through the timid oils. A hint of sweet malts helps balance the roast; not quite creamy, although there's an impending sweetness that I'm having a hard time placing a flavor to. And just for a second, there's even a very mild, raisin-y tartness that's gone almost as fast as it crept in.

The malty sweetness fades slowly into a bitter-roasted aftertaste that is again fitted with a great deal of dry coffee beans. Mild astringency in the finish, and light acrid; the yeast gives a nice, dry and clean feel on the palate once the flavors have finally cleared. A touch of nuttiness sneaks in there somewhere, too. Thin-medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.

Didn't have many expectations for this one, as I'm not the biggest Arbor fan out there, and I am also not very well versed in altbiers; needless to say, I ended up thinking this was pretty decent, and it's definitely something I would recommend trying at least once. Kind of like a dry stout, though maybe just a touch lighter in malty character (though still very roast-heavy). Nothing spectacular, but certainly not bad.

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Photo of Jason
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Two shades away from black, light brown head

SMELL: Burnt raisins, toasted dark bread, yeast, dried grass, faint herbal hop

TASTE: Smooth, semi-creamy, medium body, mild charred note, grassy, burnt pizza crust, balancing hop bitterness, clean, faint caramel, nutty yeast, semi-sweet finish

Brewer aims for the Sticke Altbier and seems to hit that right with the more robust profile, expect a slightly higher abv but this works for me. It keeps on growing on me sip after sip.

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Photo of StoutHunter
2.68/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

I picked up a bottle of Arbor Brewing Olde Number 22 Alt Bier the other day for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. I didn't have the greatest first impression of Arbor Brewing, but after trying their version of Dark Corner I decided I should give them another chance and see what else they got. No visible bottle dating but the store just got them in and I know it's a 2011 vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- The label looks pretty plain but I like the old school font the name is written in. It opened with a loud pssh sound and it poured a deep, dark, and hazy brown color that even with a very gentle pour it still yielded five fingers worth of tan mocha colored head that died down to a thick layer that stayed till the end and it left lots of nice looking lacing. This is a pretty nice looking beer.

S- I pick up a large amount of medium roasted malts that have a medium amount of sweetness to them. The malts impart some nice subtle coffee and chocolate aromas along with a slight grainy aroma.

T- The flavors starts of with the medium roasted malts that retain that medium amount of sweetness to them, it could be toned down a little. The flavors aren't as deep and roasty as the aroma led me to believe. It had a nutty flavor that I normally find in Brown Ales, to me it tastes like a mix between a Brown Ale and a lighter Porter, the flavors just don't go together that well. The finish was semi bitter, earthy, and dry, no real presence of hops.

M- It had a semi dry finish with a light body, I felt it should have been thicker, it has a watery feel to it that I don't like that much. This beer was also over carbonated, normally I don't mind a little extra head but this one took a while to pour even when I made sure to be gentle, but it was so carbonated that the mouthfeel suffered because of it, it was just to fizzy and I feel like that messed up some of the flavors.

Overall this was a pretty dull beer that I wasn't impressed with. I liked the look and aroma of this beer but after that everything pretty much went down hill. There wasn't much going on in the flavor darpartment and what was there was pretty subdued. What I liked the least about this beer was the mouthfeel, it was a mess, it was too watery and way over carbonated. I wasn't digging this brew and I don't think I would ever buy it again. I have very little experience with this style with this being first Altbier I have knowingly drank, but this beer just didn't do it for me. I can't say I would recommend this beer to people, its just too out of whack and needs lots of work. I am starting to think Arbor brewing's beers are hit or miss for me, with the misses being the majority, but I am not ready to write them off just yet.

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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 tubacharlie
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly musty aroma of hops and yeast is discernible. Full pour produces a light brown head that quickly dissipates. The flavor is hoppy on the front of the palate with not much follow through. A Dark brown color, it is somewhat thin in the mouth but well carbonated, more hoppy than malty. An unexceptional but very drinkable session beer.

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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 dfillius
3.59/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

A: Dark liquid? I expected golden. It does say dark on the label though. 1/2 finger of tan head from an aggressive pour. Poor head retention. Clear dark brown almost black liquid. Porter colored.

S: Dark chocolate, coffee, barley graininess. Really delightful. Very nice aroma sits about halfway between a brown ale and a porter.

T: Dry, bitter from roasted malts. One dimensional. Needs more hops to balance the sweetness. Nice alcohol nuance at the end of the glass. Merely okay.

M: Dry and a tad watery, but still bitter and bold. Boldness stops a tad short for me.

D: Pretty easy drinker. I would move on to another beer at a bar, and I don't think I'll buy this one again.

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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 berserker256
2.08/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

An incredibly massive head. I poured the bottle into a pint glass and it's literally all dense tan head with about a half inch of beer at the bottom of the glass. It's annoying because I want to drink it. I can still smell it, though, and it smells like smokey burnt raisins and burnt carmel. Tastes as it smells but with a mediocre sour aftertaste that I don't really care for. Did I get a bad bottle? Upon second sniff I can detect the sourness in the aroma also. I just lowered the ratings from 3 to 2 in both those categories. The texture is a little watery and too carbonated. I'm disappointed in this beer... But what do you expect from something that comes from Ann Arbor. Go State.

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Photo of hackmann
3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: I had to make an aggrssive pour and only got a one finger head that disappeared before my eyes could blink. No licing on the glass from the little head nor while drinking.

Smell: Faint smoky malt note but nothing to exciting.

Taste: Nice little bitter-sweet taste. Mild coffee and roasty malt notes. The watery feel seemed to wash away any undertones.

Mouthfeel: Little sharp bite on the tongue. The little carbonation and the too watery feel left me wanting more from this nice looking black beer.

Drinkability: Easy to drink - I could drink a few of these and I have at the brewpub in Ypsi.

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Photo of association330
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, no freshness date

A - Pours a dense brown with a finger of fluffy tan head. Superb retention, with some patches of lace. Unfiltered.

S - Roasted malt - nutty and chocolately overtones, with slight smokiness. Some earthy hops.

T - Smoky and nutty malt flavor with good crispness. Finishes semi-dry with a kiss of hops and a slight sourness. Brief lingering bitterness. Hops are not quite assertive enough for the style.

M - Body is too wimpy; carbonation was medium-high, which is fine.

D - Impressive appearance and nose, decent taste, mouthfeel needs work. I'd try it again though.

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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 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 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 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 KBomb
2.61/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Very nice appearance, but looks can be deceiving. Smell is faint; a little sweetness and maybe a hint of Riesling. I'm dumbfounded at the lack of flavor considering the appearance and smell. Nothing really offensive to the taste, but quite bland. Very little maltiness, a tiny hint of fruit sweetness, but mostly with high carbonation I could almost mistake this for club soda--very watery. Moderately light, if you had no desire for flavor you could drink a few of these, but I'm afraid I'd die of boredom first.

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Photo of ElGrecoVerde
2.51/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Maybe it's just the style that I don't like, but there's a bunch of off flavors in the beer that just don't seem to work together. Nice looking beer with a deep brown color and lighter brown head. Aroma is just hard to place, as if it's masked.

Starts off well enough, with some dark fruit flavors and toasted chocolates. But there's a smoky flavor lingering there that doesn't do it to me. It's more "ash-tray" than it is "campfire". There's not much to balance it out in the end and comes up feeling flat.

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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 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 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 hopdog
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this one n tap at the Arbor Brew Pub.

Poured a dark brown color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of nuts, light smoke, roast and some dark fruits. Tastes of nuts, roast, and some caramel. On the malty sweet side.

Notes from 05/06/06.

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Photo of eberkman
2.16/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a very pretty, dark, hazy mahogany with a thick tan head with great staying power. Not what I expect an altbier to generally look like, but still a nice-looking brew. Then everything goes to crap.

A nose of overpowering sticky-sweet caramel malts balanced by nothing but the odd stench of Gerber's strained vegetables.

The maltiness in the taste is largely a pruniness accompanied by a bizarre green-olive taste, with an astringent bitterness in the finish. Yuck.

Mouthfeel is decent -- full-bodied with moderate carbonation. But not particularly drinkable due to the strange flavor/aroma combination.

The whole experience kind of matches my other current experience of watching Lieberman's speech.

Then again, maybe it's just a bad bottle because I don't remember reacting this way to another one I had a few days ago (albeit with a largely shot palate after a couple of DIPAs).

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Photo of tempest
3.11/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single at Bello Vino for $1.69

This is a dark brown alt, but I guess it doesn't always have to be amber-colored. The aroma and flavor were both a bit disappointing. I just pulled a deep caramel sweetness, without much other complexity. The body was balanced and drinkable, but the flavor wasn't compelling enough to try this again.

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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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