Sacred Cow IPA
Arbor Brewing Company

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American IPA
Ranked #5,804
Ranked #32,754
3.73 | pDev: 13.14%
Arbor Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
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Reviews: 152 | Ratings: 382
Photo of Treyliff
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep amber color with a ruby hue, two-finger foamy white head that has great retention and leaves some lacing behind

S- citrus hop aroma up front with some orange zest, followed by an odd peppery clove aroma. Bready malt with a bit of pine and honey close it out

T- sweet malty base gives way to some citrus and piney hop notes. Mid-palate gives some orange marmalade, the finish is bready with a honeyed sweetness, lingers of citrus and peppery clove

M- medium body with high carbonation leads to a a foamy mouthfeel that fills the mouth into the finish

O- a little raw at times, but nice citrus fruity hop notes

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Photo of Ozzylizard
2.87/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Undated bottle at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter
Aroma – spicy, fades completely away
Head small (Maximum < two cm, aggressive pour), tan, creamy, diminishing to
Lacing fair. Wide partial ring of tiny bubbles
Body – medium amber, hazy, particulates floating about – looks like cider
Flavor – definite hops bitterness and flavor, ends with an alum-like bitterness with a long hang time; no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate – light to medium, watery, soft carbonation

Since this is undated, I don’t know how old it is but it has been sitting in the back of my reefer for three months. Hopefully it’s better fresher.

Appearance 3.25, Aroma 3, Flavor 3, Palate 3, Overall 2.75

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Photo of Big_Neezy
4.56/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There should be two categories for Sacred Cow IPA: from the bottle and from the Ann Arbor taproom. I had it from the Ann Arbor taproom. The reason for this is that when you get a pull of it from the Ann Arbor taproom, it is served at cask temperature which is a fluctuating 10-15 degrees warmer then you would get from a refrigerated bottle and in my opinion, the one true way to enjoy this beer. Otherwise, pour it into a glass and let it sit for 10 minutes.

A: Rusty, golden color with a modest head.

S: You get classic IPA smells of orange and grapefruit peels. Citrus blossoms and bread notes.

T: At 80ish IPUs, it's got some bitter to it but the malt finishes nicely making for a great IPA. Long in flavor, but not an after taste, that properly develops on the palette.

M: Nice medium body which makes for defining characteristics to develop and for ease of drinking. More than a session IPA but still permits you to enjoy a couple.

O: Sacred Cow IPA should be considered one of the benchmarks for what a traditional American IPA should taste like. Great jumping off point for those just getting into IPAs. If you have the means to enjoy a glass from the A2 location, then please do.

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Photo of Drank
3.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not nearly as hoppy as the vast majority of IPAs, but the malt flavor was very nice and the hop flavor was good. Not what I expected, but good. I would drink this beer again.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice looking orange color with a head that trails the glass as you drink it. The smell was nice with grassy notes coming through the nose but also some sweeter notes coming through. The flavor was interesting with the classic IPA flavors coming in first with citrus and bitterness and then finishing with almost a creamy sweetness. Very interesting take on the style.

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Photo of michiganmatt
4.36/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 3.5/5
Deep orange, 1 finger of light-tan head. Almost no carbonation can be seen rising in the beer.

Smell - 4.25/5
Sweet honey, pine and very resinous hops. Nice aroma

Taste - 4.5/5
Drinks very smooth. The hops don't overpower, very well balanced. Flavors include honey, pine, resin, and other tastiness. This is a great-tasting IPA.

Mouthfeel - 4.25/5
Super smooth, glides down your throat with incredible ease. Slightly fuller than medium body. A light-medium level of light-medium intensity carbonation

Overall - 4.5/5
This is truly a fantastic IPA. I know this beer probably isn't distributed much outside of Michigan, but if you can get your hands on some, I would suggest you try.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew was served from the bottle into a generic chalice at a friend’s wedding in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It showed a simple golden amber coloring, offering up a half finger tall head of tight bubbly cream for a head. This retained decently, leaving drippy spots of lacing around the glass. No real haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be medium. The aroma is dominated by dirty grassy and herbal hops, thick amber and pale maltiness, flaked oats, nutty walnut bitterness and oiliness, light molasses, bubblegum and banana esters, and gentle booziness. The taste follows in much the same direction, giving an overrepresentation of standard amber, brown, and pale maltiness against a sadly mild showing of herbal hops. Otherwise notes included lactic creamer, ethanol, metallic coininess, phenolic plastics, chewy sweetness of nougat, and cardboard. The body was full, and the carbonation was medium. Slurp, smack, froth, cream, and finishing pop were all okay, but glug and pull were intact albeit simple. The mouth was left somewhat coated, with mild grainy astringency on the far back of the palate. The abv was appropriate, and drinkability was fine.

Overall, this was a great wedding for craft beer. They had the likes of Oberon and Two Hearted flowing all night, with things like this and a variety of other local options to break any monotony one might feel they’re experiencing over the course of the evening. Thus, this is why we reached for Sacred Cow amongst said options. This beer seemed both too simple, which is the word that repeatedly came to mind while we were drinking this, and way too full for your standard house IPA. This heaviness makes you think of something closer to a hoppy brown ale. Otherwise everything through the nose and mouth are rather one dimensional and plain. If you’re seeking a heavier, darker IPA then this might work for you, but just don’t expect a lighter, easy going beverage.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, apricot, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, light pine, caramel, honey, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, tangerine, apricot, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, light pine, caramel, honey, biscuit, and floral/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, apricot, lemon/orange zest, light pine, caramel, honey, biscuit, and floral/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity and robustness of citrus hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with smooth, moderately creamy, and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice IPA. Good complexity and robustness of citrus hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Cinnamon tea, honey amber, lots of cinnamon like particles floating throughout it, cloudy, some carbonation, 3 fingers of off white head which leave a fair lacing.

S: Cinnamon, cantelope, light pine, honey.

T: Honey, cantelope, light pine, dough finish. A little bitterness.

M: Medium slightly sticky body, medium low carbonation.

O: A very mild, tame IPA in my opinion. Its got all the flavours but borderlines on a fruitiness, and overall lightness of body and smell and taste that makes it unique.

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Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
3.51/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No date on bottle, not sure how old this one is!

A - Pours out a clear orange with a sudsy two finger off white head. Bubbles are streaming up relentlessly. Noticed yeast cake in the bottom of bottle before I poured out so be careful if you did not notice this.

S -Not a lot going on hear there is some biscuit followed by resinous hops that almost remind me of a skunked beer aroma.

T - Bitterness and bready sweetness in the front with the same resinous/earthy hops throughout that tend to linger on the back. Has a slight tang to it.

M - Medium to full bodied with a pillowy feel. Nice an quaffable with a dry finish.

O - Reminds me of an old school IPA with a high bitterness that lingers and builds. A traditional IPA seems to suit this beer. Definitely has a bitter bite to it. Also, has some pleasant attributes but nothing that blows my hair back by any means. One to try but not go back to and it is definitely not a hop bomb. I think this could use some dry hopping, Cheers!

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Photo of nukem5
3.71/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a cloudy orange color with light tan head great lacing.

S: Aroma is of citrus hops with slight honey smell.

T: Taste is of bitter hops and citrus, sweet malts in the back.

M: Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with nice light carbonation.

O: Overall a great beer and will drink and seek out.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazed copper color with a white head and lace. Aroma of pine, caramel and grapefruit. In the taste, grapefruit pith, pine and caramel. Strongly hoppy with a solid bitterness. Grapefruit is strong. Medium bodied, well carbonated, with a drying hop bite. Overall this is a good IPA. Big grapefruit.

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Photo of Beric
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving: On tap at Arbor Brewing Company brewpub
Served: 4 July 2013

Appearance: A great looking IPA- good hazy, golden color with a half finger head that just sits around there forever. Looks pretty tasty.

Smell: Fresh floral hop notes.

Taste: While the hops were pretty assertive in the smell, in the taste they are significantly toned down. This IPA is certainly one that balances the malt profile and the hops, rather than having the hops overpower the whole thing. Normally, I would like that (and maybe even prefer it), but there is a very off putting bitterness that myself and some others I was with tasted when they had this one. It finishes extremely dry, almost uncomfortably so.

Mouthfeel: Decent, mouthfeel and good carbonation, though it did dissipate and thin out as I got to the bottom of the glass, which made it a little thin.

Overall: A decent IPA, and certainly one worth drinking if you're at ABC, but I liked their Buzzsaw IPA at their Ypsilanti location (Corner Brewery) much better.

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Photo of patpbr
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Amber/Copper color with a lasting two finger head. Nice lacing on the glass.
S - On the malty side with carmel and hints of resin hops.
T - The taste is similar to the smell. Sweet with lots of earthy flavor and bitterness.
M - Medium body with a dry finish.
O - This is one of the first IPAs that I drank when getting into craft beer. Years later I still enjoy it and make a point to bring some back with me when visiting Michigan.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A solid looking amber color. I was working outside so I didn't pay much attention, but I did notice the massive head when I was pouring -- off-white, creamy. I had more head than beer when I first poured... don't be too aggressive with it. Not very much lacing despite the head.

Smell: Quite floral. Malty. Somewhat sweet. Nothing too memorable, but it definitely smells like an IPA.

Taste: Floral hops. Resinous. Somewhat dry. Mildly soapy. Drinks very easily. It's a pretty ordinary IPA, but it's a fair price, it's local, and there's nothing bad about it. It's pretty hoppy on the front, but balanced nicely, so it's not too assertive. I enjoy it.

A respectable beer. My first from Arbor, and it's good enough that I'd be more than willing to have another or try some of their other brews.

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Photo of Roman5150
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bottle into snifter

appearance: dark cloudy orange, huge white head, very bubbly

smell: hay, very earthy, not much tropical notes,

taste: earthy bitterness, apple, almost a pilsner like body, very minor

mouthfeel: high carbonation, thin body

overall: A bitter IPA that's alright, not a whole lot of flavor but not terrible either. I'd reccomend trying it, but don't seek it out.

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Photo of Connormick
3.07/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was poured from the bottle to a clean pint glass. The appearance was fairly beautiful, with a nice think head and an interesting tan/copper color.

The smell was a little lackluster. I didn't smell much hops, which is something I think a good IPA should showcase. I did smell some nice fruity blend however.

The taste had a little more hops than the smell, which is good. I also tasted various citrus and floral-like flavors. But the drink lacked a taste of focus in it's taste, everything just sort of blended together without anything sticking out.

The mouthfeel was really interesting. It was pretty sparkling and fairly carbonated. Some people may not like it, but I loved the tiny shock I got every time I went to take a drink.

Overall it's a pretty good IPA. I'm not really a fan of IPA, but this one appeals to me. If you're not a huge IPA drinker this may be a good introduction into it. It may not appeal to big IPA drinkers, however, because of the lack of a hoppy focus.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
2.76/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: a lightish yellow, almost strawy color. a tad too clear. white head that doesn't really stick around

Smell: citrusy hops all day. not bad but i really like a lot more dimensions in my beer

Taste: opens up more with both citrus and breadiness, but very unbalanced and just plan not very tasty to me

Mouthfeel: way too bitter. extremely sticky

Overall: I love Arbor Brewing. This beer just does not do it. It could use a unique dimension or just more balance rather than being a citrusy tangy bitter bomb.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It is a dark amber with gold highlights. Three inches of beige head lingers atop.

S - I get some floral hops that remind me of soap. I just do not get much on the nose.

T - I get some light caramel malt. Some bitterness grows the more I drink. It's not citrus or pine. Just a growing bitterness.

M - Medium

O - This is a weak ipa. I would be better labeled as a pale ale. I guess I could see it passing as an English ipa. It's not terrible, just not a great ipa by any means.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.29/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into one of my pint glasses. This beer pours a fairly hazy/cloudy medium copper color with a nice off-white/tan head that is well over an inch thick when first poured. head eventually settles to a nice surface coating with a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Excellent lacing here too! Nice pine and citrus ho aroma followed by a bit of toasted malt. Has an excellent pine and grapefruit citrus, earthy hop bitterness upfront followed once again by slightly toasted caramel malt sweetness. The hop bitterness certainly dominates, and there is a good balance with the malty sweetness. Has a good crisp, frothy, somewhat prickly, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. A very good beer that is spot on in pretty much all aspects for this style of beer! Too bad I can't buy this beer here where I live because I would certainly like to drink it again!


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Photo of hopsolutely
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A present from a friend and a truly pleasant surprise, significantly better than the IPA I remember sampling at the pub two years ago. I wouldn't have purchased a bottle based on that memory, but will now definitely give them a second chance.

Pours a hazy copper colour with a decent head and much lacing, despite a lack of obvious carbonation. Aroma is subtle and malt-forward with a slight metallic tinge. There is no indication of brew date on the bottle that I can see, and although I received it recently, doesn't mean it was purchased fresh. The flavour ends with a delightfully bitter finish, one that lingers for an impressive length of time. Some citrus and tea hop tones in the forefront play well off the caramelized malts, but the bittering hops with their grapefruit note are the true highlight.

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Photo of Raime
4.53/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours copper with a monster three finger head. No lacing.

S - A good mix between grapefruit and malt. No hop presence.

T - Hop resin, grapefruit, strong malt, lemon, wheat, mango, hops hops and more hops. Delicious.

M - Creamy, medium to heavy carbonation with a medium body.

O - Overall, I thought that this was a wonderful IPA. Certainly better than what the rating average would have you believe. I would definitely buy this stuff again.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eh. This is decent, I guess. It doesn't really pop in my mouth like I would hope an IPA would. Carries a thick body and a lasting flavor. Considering the style, I suppose that I have greater expectations. So, overall, this falls short and doesn't really do much for me.

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Photo of Beer_Runner
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No enjoy by date on the label.
Slow pour into a standard pint glass.

A: Poured to a hughe four-plus fingers of creamy and fizzy, khaki colored head that disapated to one finger and left some lacing. The brew is a medium copper color and a little cloudy.

S: The aroma is mild and consists of a light, piney hops and some sweet caramel malt.

T: The taste has a strong herbal and earthy hops bitterness. There is very little malt in the flavor, but just enough smooth the harsh edge of the hops bitterness.

M: The body is medium to light with a lot of carbonation - almost a stinging and tingling amount of carbonation.

O: This is truly a hops forward IPA. The malt is not there to balance the hops but only to every so slightly dull the harshest edge of the hops bitterness. The brew does not have much complexity to the hops, and it could use just a little less carbonation.

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Photo of jeremy13586
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle that I received from one of the regulars at my bar a couple of months ago. I wish that I had gotten to it sooner.

The color was a very cloudy copper. Poured a two-finger fluffy head that was a very light khaki. The head stuck around for a while, but then deflated rather quickly. Also, a shit ton of floaties. It would have gotten a higher rating if it weren't for that.

Pretty malt-forward in the nose. Toasted bread and caramel. Some light citric and grassy hops ride just beneath the malt, though they did come out more as the beer warmed.

Aaahhh, there's the hoppiness. Matches the nose in that the same flavors/scents are there. The hops are now predominant and they take on a very orangey taste. The bready sweetness is now underlying and it finishes a bit muddy, but there is a nice bit of caramel to make you overlook it.

This was an incredibly smooth IPA. It had an average body, but the drinkability was very nice.

I'd say this is a fairly average IPA. The lacking nose was actually a nice lead-up to how the beer tastes, but I absolutely hate floaties. I think they ruined it for me. If I ever have the chance to try another one of these, I'll have to make sure that I try it immediately.

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Sacred Cow IPA from Arbor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 382 ratings