Arbor Brewing Red Snapper Special Bitter | Arbor Brewing Company

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Arbor Brewing Red Snapper Special BitterArbor Brewing Red Snapper Special Bitter
66 Ratings
Arbor Brewing Red Snapper Special BitterArbor Brewing Red Snapper Special Bitter

Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beernut7 on 07-30-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 |  Reviews: 51
Reviews by ralree:
Photo of ralree
4.38/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Opaque, reddish-brown, nice 1/2 finger head, laces great.

S: Sweet/tangy hops. Nice herbal smell with sweet brown sugar in the background.

T: Super tangy hops, lots of hop flavor: a cross between grapefruit and apricot. Slightly smoky back-end. Non-sweet aftertaste.

M: Overcarbonated, a bit creamy but dry. Non-astringent to the max.

D: Good drinker. A little too much carbonation to be perfect. I finished the bottle.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Shovelbum
4.2/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arrived with a creamy off-white head over a dark red, almost brown, body. Decent head retention and lace. Smells of floral rose-like hops and a touch of caramel malt. Well-balanced flavors of floral and citric hops with sweet caramel and biscuit-like malts. The hops are assertive and lend a nice bitterness, but do not dominate the tasty malt profile. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel inspite of the hop bitterness throughout.

This is a well-balanced ale with great depth and complexity for the style. An ideal session beer.

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Photo of Sammy
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber colour with turned up turned on roasted malt, lots of malt, and lots of lace. Overall an average beer. There is saaz hop and C hop taste in here. I have had similar tastes, though not quite this combination. Points for it, and it may appeal better to others. Decent mouthfeel.

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Photo of tempest
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single at Bello Vino in Ann Arbor after a friend recommended it.

Not a bad beer, but I can't say I'm impressed. Maybe the bottles aren't as good as the beer on tap (I also found the bottled alt to be lackluster). Still this beer provides a decent balance of smooth, caramel with mellow citrus hops. It makes for an ok session beer, but there are better options in Michigan and Ann Arbor.

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Photo of Shumista
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a large beer mug.

A- Pours a dark, clear red-brown with about 1/2 inch head and some sediment settling to the bottom.
S- Lots of toasted malts, maybe some hop aroma as well.
T- The first few sips tasted great, but I think that was only because of the exceptionally long day I've had. Really after today I think even a Natty Ice would taste great. Anyways, I taste alot of malt, some coffee, and a sour bitterness at the end.
M- Not too thick or thin, fairly carbonated.
D- I think I'll have a few more. I could pretty easily polish off the whole six pack if I wanted to I think.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.12/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally reviewed August 17 2007. On tap at the brewpub. Aroma middles with some faint chalky malt, melded with grain sugar and nip of hop residue. Pours an expected burnished ruddy amber, with a foam of white. Flavor presents a calm, sensible plain malt, backed with touches of fig, peanuts and caramel. Hops bring in good balance and a mineral yeast quality finds home in the remaining balance. A pretty standard, yet somewhat boring Amber Ale. Smacks out on some lemony hop candy.

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Photo of morimech
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very foamy pour that took quite awhile to fill the glass with a reddish brown fluid. A bit annoying. Mantains a large head with pleny of lacing. The aroma is full of toasted caramel malt. A little bit of earthiness as well. The flavor is dominated by the toasted and caramel malt. Not a favorite flavor profile for me. Bitterness seems low and not much flavor from the hops. The body is far too overcarbonated. Makes the body feels thinner than it actually is. It drinks well enough and has a "sessionable" ABV, but the flavor profile is not too my liking.

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Photo of BierFan
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. This beer doesn't really fit into any style so it makes it a little tricky to review it.

Appearance: A hard pour gave a big tan head. In the tulip the body of the beer is pretty much black. Decent lacing.

Smell: Roasty and bitter like a porter but not as heavy. It's like somebody made a 50/50 combination of a porter and an amber ale.

Taste: Bitter and toasty. Sweet with some cocoa aftertaste.

Unusual beer, but it's one of my favorites from Arbor Brewing.

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Photo of Frosty80
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: sits a clear, burnt orange with a nice thick, fluffy head that deflates quickly but leaves good lacing behind

Smell: great balance of malt with strong caramel presence and citrusy hops. balance is tipped toward the malt though.

Taste: opposite of aroma - hops are the dominant feature with caramelly malt supporting. zesty, citrusy hop flavor with moderate bitterness that lingers through finish.

Mouthfeel: medium body with moderate carbonation

Notes: good example of a hoppy American amber

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Photo of Buck_Jones
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of StoutHunter
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of Cresant
2.05/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a tulip pint. No date. Coded: 133 A3 11:46. The body was a dull dark amber/red with enough sediment to create substantial haze. The huge brittle head prevented me from pouring the entire beer in the glass with one pour. The head had a long sustain, leaving clumpy lacing.

The smell was lightly spicy. Bread crust aroma surfaced as it warmed.

The taste was a bit watery. Despite the dark body this one seemed under-malted. Some earthy hops aftertaste. Rather bland. It could be an old bottle? This is not one I would revisit. Dirty and dull. I didn't even finish this one!

The body was too light despite adequate carbonation.

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Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

A: Pours an actively carbonated reddish-brown amber color with a towering, six finger, tan-colored head that left a ton of lace as it receded.

S: Aromas of toasted malt, nuts, noble hops, and a strangely appealing slightly metallic smell that shouldn't work, but does in this beer. Interesting yeasty aroma emerges as it warms.

T: Big toasted malt and citrus flavors in this one. Also noted were flavors of nut, biscuit, yeast, and spicy & piney hops.

M: Prickly and peppery. Nice toasted malt dryness and hoppy astringency. Finishes dry and spicy.

D: Pretty darn refreshing. A very respectable & sessionable ale.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt amber color with two fingers of billowy head that leaves excellent lacing as it slowly dissolves. Mild nose of spicy malt with some hints of nut. Fairly strong salty flavor gives way to some bitter, roasted malt. Hops start light and then grow into a pretty strong force as the beer warms. Short aftertaste of saltiness and light hops. Medium body with good carbonation. It's a pretty good bitter, although the flavors are fairly mild all around. Might be sessionable, depending on if we ever determine the ABV.

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3.14/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle had no brewing date. Very foamy head with lacing and an inconsistent dissipation. The color is a deer amber with a reddish hue. If the head wasn't so "lumpy" the appearance would rate higher. It has a underwhelming smell with slight hoppy and caramel overtones. The initial flavor is mild and doesn't present itself as bitter as other ESB's. There is a burn't toast flavor to it. There is a slight caramel taste. The after taste dies down but lingers as somewhat metallic. Not bad but nothing special.

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Photo of skipxtracer
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Lelampp
3.84/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SiphonKing
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A pretty straightforward ale. nothing out of the ordinary here. I'm not sure if it supposed to be a red ale or an amber (English bitter?). The hop presence is fairly light but just the right amount for the malty characteristics the beer displays. Could use more body, mouthfeel. Not a bad offering by this brewery.

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Photo of potownbill
3.77/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The body is brown, with an off white head. The suds exploded as I poured it into a pint glass. There was an inch of beer in the glass and the rest was froth. I had to wait a few minutes while the head collapsed before I finished the pour.
Smell: Sweet malt with some hop bitterness
Taste: Sweet malt, some graininess, and some hop bitterness. The beer improved as it warmed, but reached a point where the hop bitterness took over and was no longer enjoyable
Mouthfeel: Despite the volcanic head, the beer flattened out after a few minutes.
Drinkability: First 10 minutes were great. After that, the beer lost its complexity.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle a red tea color with an aggressive off-white head that's thick as meringue. Sticking lacing all around.

Aroma of floral hops and roasted nut.

The taste has plenty of a roasted nut and smoked malt up front with a bit of hop spiciness behind it.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and medium carbonation. Enough to leave a zing on your tongue.

A very drinkable English Bitter. A bit more roasted flavor than I'd like, though.

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Photo of hopdog
3.77/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

Poured a deeper and cloudy dull copper color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of light roast, citrus, some caramel, and very light spice. Tastes follow the same - roast, citrus and caramel. Light lacing left on the glass.

Notes from 5/6/06

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Photo of SupaCelt
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle says Red Snapper "roasted pale ale" which doesn't appear to be the same as what is listed here. Also this is a product of the Arbor Brewing offshoot Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti. At any rate: The pour is red, or deep amber, with a pinky of head that reduces to a quarter inch cap that persists as lacing wipes itself all over the place.

The nose is a bit roasty as expected with a bit of earth and spice hoppiness. Bit of bread.

The taste is malt dominant with some bitterness and a modest roast character. Tastes a bit like rye and has some metallic properties.

The mouthfeel is around medium. Fluffy and round.

Overall, this is decent. A bit of a catch a crossover type brew. A repeat sampling is doubtful, as there are better offerings from this brewery or breweries.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 9-28-08

Pours a semi-cloudy orange/brown color, with a very nice faomy white head that lasts forever.

Smell is surprisingly malty, with almost a burnt quality. Some fruitiness, followed by a smoky finish.

Taste is very malty at first, with an odd, super earthy hop flavor. Aftertaste is slightly sour and leafy. Very unique, but almost seems off.

Mouthfeel is good, what you'd expect from an amber.

Drinkability suffers from the odd, and slightly offensive flavor.

Overall, it might be an old bottle, but it's just not very good.

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Photo of dfillius
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass
A: Aggressive pour yields 1+finger of off-white head with good retention atop a light brownish orange liquid. Nice head, SRM is a bit dark.
S: Restrained but pleasant citrus hops with slight dank edge. Caramel, slightly earthy/peaty side to malt adds complexity and intrigue. Slight alcohol is perceptible.
T: Strongly bitter with grapefruit rind aspect. Malt opens but quickly yields to hops. Wow. Punishingly bitter. I'd prefer if it was a bit more balanced. A tad too one-dimensional.
M: Brutally bitter - surprising. Almost a bit astringent.
O: Quite nice. I'd order another and buy a 6-er. Enjoyable and hoppy!

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Photo of Spaceman_Jer
3.06/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

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Arbor Brewing Red Snapper Special Bitter from Arbor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 66 ratings