Sacred Cow IPA | Arbor Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 152 | Ratings: 382
Photo of JamnesCameron
4.02/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint.

Pours a hazy amber/orange with a big light tan head. The head drops fairly quickly to a thin wisp of foam. Lots of lacing left behind.

Aroma of big citrus hops, lemon and orange mainly, with a hint of grapefruit. Some malt sweetness evident, but not much. Heavy inbalance toward hops.

First sip is of bitter citrus hops, orange mostly (amarillo hops?). As with the aroma, the malt presence is faint. Bitterness lasts into a very long finish.

Mouthfeel is big and chewy, the bitterness is mouth-coating. No astringency.

Very drinkable beer, but you may not be able to get through too many due to palate fatigue from the agressive hopping.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a retty dark copper brown considering he style. A bit of hear. Nose brings some citrus and tropical notes along with some sweetness. Taste is slightly bitter but more so sweet with a bit of citrus. Moderate body. Drinks fairly well all things considered. A worthy brew.

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

Fresh fruit greets the nose when poured. A smallish, one-finger head emerges, of a creamy-white substance and color with good lacing and a nice variety of bubbles -- the exceptionally small ones that create the thin carpet of foam layered on the surface, interspersed and surrounded by medium and larger bubbles that migrate to the edge.

The fruity notes of the aroma carry through in the flavor of this hazy, amber-orange brew, bright with effervescence and hop acidity. Well presented malts deliver a solid, lightly toasted grain base for the tangy grapefruit highlights of the hops to flourish.

Not big on the name, but the ale is tasty.

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Photo of Lauthaha
3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug.

Appearance: A cloudy, amber color, bordering on mahogany (but not quite dark enough for that). Golden hues in light. Thin, wispy head remains leaving some light lacing after the pour. No visible carbonation.

Smell: Very sweet for an AIPA. Orange/apricot/peace aroma (can't tell) over some very floral hops. Subtle toffee background. Pretty complex, very intriguing.

Taste: Very bitter when it hits the palate. The taste mutates into more floral and fruity characteristics, and finishes up with a very pleasing toffee malt character. A bit heavy on the hops in the aftertaste, but good!

Mouthfeel: Tangy, a bite at first which remains for two or three seconds before giving way to a mellower, foamier character. This mellowness sticks around for quite some time, and even as the drink is finished, it is still smooth.

Drinkability: Slightly above average. A beer I would get once or twice a month. Not bad, but not necessarily on the "must-have" list.

A pretty good IPA. Not the best, but better than average!

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

Pours a clear dark-amber-gold, with a multi-inch head. The head is off-white and has a creamy cappuccino-textured top and large interior bubbles. The head settles in at about 1.5 inches with a rocky texture. The hops in the initial nose is floral and highly aromatic. Spotty Belgian lace. Clear malt notes are balanced against the bitter hops. Medium body, creamy texture and gentle lingering with some malt and hop notes in the finish. Sweeter than expected. The alcohol is not noticeable. Not particularly moreish. Refreshing and quenching.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this at the brew pub in a sampler. This is a middle of the road beer, nothing great nothing really bad about it either, probably not worth trying. A decent ipa, light aroma of lemon and hops, light hops in the taste, more of a pale ale quality to me.

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Photo of akorsak
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 12 oz bottle from Plum Market in AA (she's a whore).

A: The IPA is golden amber with a thick pea-soup haze. The narrower base of my glass glows with radiant orange while the mouth is a brown morass. 2.5+ fingers of white foam, requiring a break in pouring, leave a bit of lace behind.

S: A strong dose of citrus emerged on popping the cap. As the ale sat in the glass, more citrus wafted out, a nice aroma. Up close, the ale is oily, with grpaefruit sharpness that manages to crowd out all but the strongest of caramel.

T: That nice aroma is a deception! It sets the mind of with expectations that cannot be met. The hops, sure they are plentiful, are active but a little on the degraded side with a leafy vegetal flavor. Caramel malts, potentially a saving grace, instead steer the ale towards barleywine territory. And, I swear, the aftertaste has a bretty huskiness about it.

M: The mouthfeel, with its aforementioned huskiness, seems to miss the mark, especially in light of the nice aromas.

D: I didn't try this on tap during our AA, maybe I should have. A little long in the tooth I think.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is strong and hoppy, as the aroma for a good IPA should be. There is a firm citrusy undertone, mainly grapefruit. It pours a hazy dark honey-golden with a fairly thick and somewhat persistent off-white head. Flavor is mildly hoppy with a grapefruit undertone, not quite as good as what the aroma promised. Texture is fairly fizzy and leaves behind a nice tingle.

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Photo of RichieS2
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Pours a pleasing copper color with high carbonation and enough cloudiness to be opaque.

S - Very pleasing, like a bouquet with hints of citrus.

T Satisfying, there is enough malt at the beginning for the beer to be considered balanced before the inevitable rush of hops. From there it is your textbook IPA with spicy hops dancing on your tongue.

M - Pleasingly thick

D - Medium to low

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Photo of salvo
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The cask conditioning really adds a welcome creaminess to this respectable IPA. Poured copper-brown with a full inch of frothy head into a pint glass; smell of citrus and grapefruit hops with some earthiness and a hint of malt. Certainly pleasing to the nose.

The taste is strongly bitter at first, and while the bitterness doesn't really mellow, the hops come on stronger with time and a few sips. Tangy is a close word, but it's not exactly right. Grapefruit gives way to the buttery mouthfeel; very light carbonation, and served close to room temperature, the flavors are all really bright and clean.

This is a soft, smooth cask conditioned IPA: certainly worth trying on cask at the Arbor or Ypsilanti locations; tastes are subtle and well-balanced.

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Photo of civilizedpsycho
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a pale amber color that is moderately cloudy. Had a nice, big head.

Smell: Has a very pleasant hop aroma that has some mild hints of grapefruit hidden in the background.

Taste: This isn't exactly the smoothest IPA I've ever had. It starts bitter, it stays bitter, and it ends bitter. While I like bitter, I would prefer if it were a little more well-rounded.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin, but not watery or anything.

Drinkability: Pretty good. Not the best example of the style, in my humble opinion, but pretty good.

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Photo of ComputerBeer
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pale Amber to copper color. Creamy texture, great cask condition, some malt aroma under generic american hop aromas. Not over the top in hops which is great just enough hops to support the style and malt body. I had two of these with out great palette fatigue, it seems to change as you drink it. The malt profile really comes to the front after some time. What I wish more IPAs were like.

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Photo of bamadog
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review is from notes taken on 5/12/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a light coppery color and starts with a big three finger head with very good retention that is slightly off-white; body is mostly clear with just a touch of cloudiness to it and it shows strong carbonation bubbling throughout; soapy looking washes of lacing form on the sides of the glass as it fades down.

Smell: Lots of nice and bitter citric hops that are in the vein of grapefruit with a bit of lemon peel. I'm pretty excited about this based upon the smell, but ultimately, I would come to feel just a little let down after drinking it.

Taste: This IPA is all bitter hops -- very much of the grapefruit and lemon peel vein as mentioned in the nose and the aftertaste is all lingering bitterness; no malt balance at all; good, but not great by a long shot.

Mouthfeel: A little thin and watery; carbonation is strong and lively; a light stickiness is left on the roof of the mouth -- again, just a little let down by the thin nature of the body.

Drinkability: Meh. Not bad overall, but there are definitely better IPAs out there that are much more available to me. I'll take a 2 Hearted any day, not to mention a Burning River or Commodore Perry, or a Centennial IPA... Not that I'm bashing it or anything, it just doesn't compete with the likes of these other offerings within the style.

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Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice vibrant orange with a nice tall white cap. Okay retention and some spotty lace.

S: Aromas chalk full of hops. Lots of citrus and pine. A bit of syrupy sweetness hides beneath.

T: Lots of bitter grapefruit, resinous pine, and enough malt to provided balance.

M: Rich, sort of thick for the style, syrupy.

D: Good, solid IPA no doubt.

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

from notes. Served very cold at the Detroit airport, where I was grateful to find such a worthy brew.

Active, hazy (chill?), deep amber, modest white head with decent retention and thick lacing.

Fairly sharp piny/citrus and floral hops blending nicely with caramel malty sweetness. Even enjoyable cold.

Assertive piny and citrusy hops lead but are backed well by the malty body. Sweetness is barely perceptible. Has elements of balance, but is more of a brash west coast style IPA.

Rich medium body, pleasantly viscous, and a bitter finish that isn't too dry.

I'd like to try this again with enough time to let it warm properly. That said, it's a solid west coast style IPA, and I look forward to trying more Arbor brews.

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Photo of jt31914
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle:

A: Red/Amber color with about a half finger of head and nice lacing/retention. Very good looking IPA

S: Hops... Cloves... Hops... It's an IPA, they stuck to the basics.

T: Hoppy! This is pretty awesome. Just straight forward hops (like a more balanced Torpedo from SN). I might like some sweetness to balance it out a little more, but for a single IPA this baby has some real kick.

D/M: Not the most drinkable thing due to the superhoppiness, but if you are a hop head this is definitely worth adding to your repetoire. Very smooth and pleasant mouthfeel.

A pleasant surprise from Arbor Brewing... like getting play on a first date.

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Photo of Mcculler
2.21/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy, muddy, amber - beautiful in sunlight but rather unappetising in artificial - with a large, lasting, off-white head. Unfortunately, the head might be the only good thing about this beer.

Smells faintly of bitter herbs, apple cider, slightly sweet malts, and old plastic.

Tastes like a decent IPA - mild grapefruit and lemon with a sweet malt backbone, except running through it is that bitter plastic off taste noticeable in the smell.

Strangely, perhaps interestingly, thick body with good carbonation.

Would be very drinkable without that plastic flavor. Might not make it all the way through this one. Haven't heard the best of things about Arbor brewing from relatively reputable sources. My first try of their beer does nothing to contradict the grapevine.

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Photo of kegger22
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sacred Cow pours a clear, deep amber with a 3/4" head that reduces to a skin covering. I'm smelling mostly malty sweet. The taste is grapefruit citrus hops with a sweet malt background. Slightly bitter after taste. Feel is medium bodied, slightly oily and modest carbonation. Drinkability is good.

A good, not great, APA with a respectable balance of flavor. I will probably drink again.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, pale amber color with a nice, off white head. Aroma is ok-pretty much just says "hops"-nothing overwhelming. Soft and malty flavor with enough hops to make them stand out but not in your face. Has a nice earthy and somewhat woody like flavor. Lingering hop bite with a sweet malty finish. Very full body for the style. Grows on me as it goes down. I like the somewhat earthy taste to it. Nice US IPA.

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Photo of lukeoberm963
1.87/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Had this beer from a friend that bought it to make up from a six pack that he drank that was mine while I was away. When I first saw it I thought "Oh No". The last time I drank it was from another buddy of mine. He had the amber and whenever you poured it the beer foamed up like CRAZY. The glass would fill with 10% beer and 90% head. You could not drink this beer, especially from the bottle (ugh). I figured, heck this isn't the amber, I'll give it a try. When I poured it it smelled ok. When I poured it I got almost the same result 40% beer and 60% head in the glass. I had to wait almost fifteen minutes until it was drinkable. When I did the flavor was a little malty up front with a lot of hop oil, citrus flavor. There wasn't much of I hop smack like I would expect with other IPA's so I was disappointed in that also. I would not recommend this brewery to anyone unless they prefer drinking their beer fifteen minutes and warmer that when they poured the sucker.

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Photo of semihobo
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Was drinking this on cask at the brewery on Washington St. and liked it enough to take home a sixer. Presumably that's about as fresh as it gets in a bottle.

Dark orange and hazy, just how I like em. Nice full finger of ivory head, bubbles as small as monitor pixels.

Smell has some whole wheat toast, apricots, cream. A little bit of gingery spice hints at bitterness.

Citrusy, floral hops, about average bitterness for the style. Quite mellow. Balance between sweet/dry. There is a minor and unpleasant yeast twang on the finish that was not present in the cask version. Finish is messy, everything comes together in a generically funky/bitter way.

Medium-light, creamy mouthfeel. Finish is fairly pleasant.

This bottle wasn't quite as enjoyable for some reason, but the numbers are bumped up a bit due to the tastiness of this beer on cask and previously. Very approachable IPA, sessionable without being weak.

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Photo of chicagobeerriot
2.56/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy and Copper-hued. A sloppy pour gives you two fingers of rocky, persistent head that's forming some decent lacing as the session progresses.

Getting a bit of citrus and peach with my first whiff, but this is not a very strong smelling IPA.

Mouthfeel is a bit thicker and full-bodied than I usually like to see from the single-IPA community.

There's a lot more flavor here than I expected based on the smell. It starts out promising, with some nice grapefruit and biscuity notes and the bitterness really makes a hard charge after a second or two. My problem with this beer is that the finish is a bit of a mess. The bitterness goes off the rails and combines with a surprisingly strong alcohol presence to leave a less than pleasant aftertaste. The completist may want to try this, but it's not going to get a repeat visit from me.

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

on cask at the brewpub

cellphone notes

appearance: hazy grapefruit amber body, frothy beige cap. a sight for sore eyes after a long drive from Madison

smell: earthy hops - grapefruit, pulpy hop presence, nicely spiced

taste: a nice cask IPA - moderately hopped primarily showcasing pulpy grapefruit and lemon zest - floral citrus and delicate white pepper. saw the bottles around too but figured fresh at the pub was the way to go

mouthfeel: pulpy, juicy hops - medium body, light bitterness

drinkability: good - a solid brewpub IPA

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Huge head, off white, three to four fingers with foamy consistency. Well carbonated, lively with some lace, good retention. Smells of grapefruit, lemonade, sharp hoppy aroma. Taste is quite an attack on the senses - sharp grapefruit, extremely bitter with a long but not all that pleasant finish. With air, a malt bill was more pronounced but it didn't particularly soften the harshness of the IBU front, it seemed to me that this beer was a bit off-balance. Although this beer presents as a typical IPA at first, it's not one of the better ones; I wouldn't be surprized if it drank better out of a cask or on tap, both featured at the brewpub if you find yourself in Ann Arbor. Personally, I'd like to give this another try sometime.

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Photo of berserker256
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Normally I think things that come from Ann Arbor suck but I'll give this beer a fair shot. Nice hazy deep copper color. Thick off-white head that sticks to the glass. Floral hop and light citrus pine odor that makes me wanna sneeze. Oily texture, light cabonation, semi-syrupy medium body. Slight sour pine flavor with a bitter aftertaste. Burps taste like pine cones. Feels heavy in my gut, but that may be because the stomach was empty to begin with. It feels like a meal. As the beer disappears heavy lacing is left behind. Decent IPA. Ive had better but I've also definitely had worse. Go Spartans.

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Sacred Cow IPA from Arbor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 382 ratings