Sacred Cow IPA
Arbor Brewing Company

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American IPA
Ranked #5,758
Ranked #32,328
3.73 | pDev: 13.14%
Arbor Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Reviews: 152 | Ratings: 382
Photo of Bierguy5
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. Pours a hazy, light copper color. White foamy head disappears pretty quick, leaving just a few patches of lace on the sides of the glass.

Some earthy and light citrusy flavors. A few caramel and fruity notes. Comes across more of an English IPA here for me.

A very light caramel malt is at the front, lacking depth. Some fruity flavors come in next, but nothing too dominating. Bitterness seems to be on the low side. Most of the bitterness comes across as earthy and floral.

Light body, with a low amount of carbonation. Seems more like an English Pale Ale tom me. Not very impressive.

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Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Hunt Club. Yellow with a significant head, and then lacey. Average mouthfeel. Very bitter and then drying, so if there was complexity of flavours it was a jumbe in the hops. Drinkable, but only average for the style. Maybe better on cask the way the brewery began serving it.

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Photo of GordonQuid
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

Tangerine hue with a one inch solid white head and slight lacing.

Smells of huge alpha hops. Piney as hell in the nose with a bit of marmalade sweetness.

Taste is high alpha acid bite; citrus and pine with a nice balance of cara-malt sweetness. The blend gives a nice toasty orange marmalade finish.

Good fresh IPA. The high alpha gives this beer a much bigger profile.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy light orange color with one and a half fingers of white head.

Scent of citrus, some hops and light grain. Nice and light with a good hop focus.

Taste is a bit more one-dementional. Grain and malts combine to create a somewhat bland flavor, but the faint hops save it from being bad. A bit of spice in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with good carbonation.

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

(From notes)

A - We have a major gusher here....way too much carbonation made for an impossibly large white head. Otherwise, a clear yellowy gold color with hints of orange

S - Pine and citrus hop notes; little else going on

T - Aggressive hoppiness; very thin malt backing. Pretty clean, and just OK

M - Too much carbonation; prickly and scrapes your palate

D - Not terrible, but not great for the style. A bit astringent and the carbonation is too much.

Overall, can't help but think this needs to be tightened up in a few ways. Not a terrible IPA, but not one of the better ones out there.

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Photo of UA8
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy amber/ orange with a medium tall off white head.

S- Big oragney citrus notes dominate the nose, there's also a slight background note of caramel malt.

T- Lead with a slightly funky malt note, midpalate is dominated by citrus hops, while the finish rolls in with a slightly medicinal flavor and herbal hop bitterness.

M- Very good roundness for an IPA, with nice light carbonation.

D- This a solid IPA I do however wish that they had mentioned it was live beer with yeast in it that I wound up pouring out into the glass because I didn't know. If it weren't for slight off notes in the flavor it would have rated higher.

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

bA dark hazy golden orange color pour with a very thin white head. Aroma of caramel malt,pine,apple and floral hops. Flavor is suprisingly malty,very balanced, nice caramel malt backbone,with a nice hoppy note,not super bitter but some good hop flavor (pine & grapefruit) ,light to medium mouthfeel.light carbonation, crisp clean finish with a lingering sweetness, a very nice IPA.

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Photo of cdViking
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in BIF via Alan. Consumed on 4/26/09.

Poured into pint glass. Wonderful medium-bodied amber color, with a nice amount of good-looking head. Smell is good, with the scent of citrus fruit and hops. Taste is alright, with the citrus fruit coming out most clearly; bitter aftertaste, almost excessively so. Good carbonation and relatively smooth feel. Nice and drinkable, wouldn't mind having a few more of these.

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Orange copper hue w/only slightly hazy body and rich frothy head. Awesome retention...still a full cap after 45 minutes and nice lacing.

S-Toasted malt, apricot, apple, a liberal amount of a variety of hops, but mostly pine, herbal, and floral characters. Also a little bit of spice.

T-Bitter apricot and apple and slightly sweet toasted malt blend midway w/spice and feed into a hoppy finish. The aftertaste is extremely bitter w/a hint of apricot.

M-Carbonation is moderate and carries body and flavors well. Only drawback is the extremely bitter aftertaste.

D-Enjoyable brew unlike the rest of its class. Interesting, complex, and highly drinkable.

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Photo of Yetiman420
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up yesterday at Siciliano's Market in Grand Rapids and consuming as fresh as possible.

Unibroue tulip glass.

Light copper color with some haziness due to a bit of yeast dregs. Lots of sticky lacing off the forced two finger head.

Crystal aroma which could benefit from more American-style hop aroma.

Full flavor with a noticeable alcohol flavor.

Nothing much from the aroma 1/4 of the way through.

Not a very clean IPA. Perhaps I should have left out the small amount of dregs for a cleaner finish.

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Photo of schellsbeer
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First, a huge thanks to my good buddy redboot (aka...Karl) for sending this one to me. Christmas in February....Love it.

Anyway, on to the review.

A - Poured out of a bottle into my trusty beer class. Little to no head to speak of so very little lacing. Is a cloudy dark orange honey color with small bubbles. Appears different than most American IPA but good none the less.

S - Very sweet smelling with little hops noticed. Smells big of honey and oranges. Did I mention that it smells SWEET!

T - Ahhh there is the bitter bite but it is smaller than usual for an IPA. Again, honey and oranges take center stage. Some brown sugar is also noticed. Hops are there but tamed down a bit. Overall, a very tasty beer. I have never had the likes of it before. The hops are noticed first and then just before you are ready for another taste.

M - Even though tastes of sweet honey and sugar, lighter on the tongue than I would have guessed. Average body and has a very creamy side to it. Nice.

D - I would definitely drink this again if it ever made it to Minnesota. At only 6% ABV, a very nice American IPA. Can you say session?

Thanks again Redboot.

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Photo of guntherhophead
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden amber in appearance with thin, lacey head. Scents of light hops with faint citrus. Hop taste with a hint of molasses, apple and peppery spice. The mouthfeel isn't bad but the lingering bitter after-taste, more so than a lot of I.P.A.s, detracts a bit from the overall experience. Not bad though.

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Photo of BMoney575
2.62/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Sampled on 2-6-09

Pours a huge foamy mess. Eventually settles to a cool cloudy orange color with a massive white head.

Smell is very citrusy, a little spicy, maybe a little on the old side. Lots of hops, you can smell the bitterness.

Taste is bitter, very spicy and lemony. Aftertaste is a little weird, kind of astringent.

Mouthfeel is terrible, huge carbonation detracts from the flavors and the experience as a whole.

Drinkability suffers from the awful mouthfeel.

Overall, somehow I expected a stinker.

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Photo of kbeals
3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Cloudy, golden-orange color. Plenty of off-white creamy head. Excellent lacing and retention.

S- Mostly spice and citrus. A bit of hoppy background.

T- Taste is dominated by a citrus finish. Hops play a small role at the beginning of the drink. Not very bitter, surprising for an IPA.

M- Light-Medium body, pretty well carbonated.

D- I could probably drink another one, this beer was pretty good overall.

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Photo of gmfessen
2.94/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a clear golden-orange color with a massively huge, dense, off white head. The smell has a hint of spice which I wouldn't normally associate with an IPA. That being said, I have a hard time distinguishing the hops as anything but spicey. The flavor also reflects the spicey phenol flavor which seems out of style. For an IPA, I'm not really impressed. There isn't any in your face hops about this one, although it is decently balanced and drinkable there isn't anything spectacular about this brew. The mouthfeel is fairly light in body and the carbonation is also on the lighter side.

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Photo of beerphan
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle -> pint
no date

Pours a mostly clear deep oranged amber. Small thin head disappeared quickly and left zero lace. Carbonation is robust.

Nose: Sweet malts, some piney hops

Lots of sweet malts upfront, resiny light hops, and a stingy bitterness. Bitterness sticks around. Mouthfeel is quite thin and watery.

My brother bought this back from MI for me, and it maybe a little worse for the ware.

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Photo of tadowdaddy
3.15/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Amber, cloudy, great big off white eggshell head with good retention and good lacing.

S- Smells fruity, almost like a wheat beer. Lots of citrus, orange, and a tad bit of biscuity malt.

T- More like a hefe or wheat beer, not at all like an IPA. Could also be considered a fruit beer. It's not my cup of tea. No bitterness, just fruit, most especially orange and a bit of a malty taste as well.

M- Leaves the aftertaste of orange peel. Texture is good, but otherwise, not impressed.

D- Won't drink it again. I have 5 more and may be giving them away as gifts or extras in a trade. BLAH.. Not an IPA at all!

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Photo of hopdog
4.09/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask version enjoyed on tap at the Arbor Brew Pub.

Poured a medium orange color with a very small sized off white head. Aromas of floral, citrus, light pine and lightly spices. Tastes of citrus, light spices, and caramel. The hops were there, but more on the softer side.

Notes from 5/6/06

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Photo of jwc215
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one!

Pours hazed dark amber with a frothy off-white head that slowly descends then stays, leaving spotted lacing.

The smell is of some grapefruit, earthy spicing and caramel.

The taste is of grapefruity citrus, a hint of pine, caramel, earthy spicing. There's a touch of acidic astringency. Caramelish maltiness rounds out the bitterish finish.

Refreshingly dry with a pleasant aftertaste, but not quite as chewy as I would like with the style. The carbonation is on the aggressive side, but it holds up in a medium body.

Just a bit too astringent and carbonation a bit much to be a "session" IPA or to put highly on my IPA list. But it has a nice taste overall and does pretty well in a highly competitive style.

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Photo of Dalem
3.06/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Someone really loves to kick up the carbonation! The softest pour (I learned with my first go round with an Arbor Brewing beer that ya gotta watch it) caused a huge explosion of foam in the glass. Like 4 ounces of beer and the rest a head flowing out an all over the place. Waiting about 5 minutes for it to subside somewhat it does leave quite a bit of lacing.
Hazy and dark orange in color with some unfiltered particles dancing around. Mild and earthy on the nose with a light scent of hops and malt. Surprised that with all the out of control fizz upon pouring that the brew itself has nice, creamy body. Spicy and dry in the taste with a tinge of sour apple and dried orange peels.

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Photo of GJ40
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on cask in a tulip pint glass at Arbor Brewing Co while on a business trip to Detroit. I had just reviewed this in the bottle the night before and the experiences were completely different.

A - Golden and hazy. A moderate white head with good retention.

S - Fruity and floral hops. Very nice.

T - Bitter and citrusy with a nice grapefruit flavor. Not over the top (as I like them best) but good. Just enough malt to do its job. Very smooth and balanced.

M - Nice body and perfect cask carbonation.

D - It could do with a little more hops but still a very good IPA. This was much better than my bottle experience. I can't believe they came from the same recipe (I guess maybe they didn't).

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

Pours a hazy golden color with a foamy two finger head that lingers a few minutes clinging to the glass ever so slightly as it dissipates. The nose is of grass and citrus, good standard IPA smells. The taste is grassy hops at hops giving way to bit of citrus with a good malt backbone to balance it out and a slight bit pepper on the ass end. Body is light to medium. I like this beer a lot....when it is fresh. If the bottles have been sitting even a couple months some tend to become geysers. Three from my last six pack were though I did not detect any "off" flavors.

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Photo of tempest
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hand-pulled from the cask at the brewpub and served in an imperial pint glass.

The cask was very fresh and this beer was a real treat. The hops, like all the flavors thanks to the cask, were light on the tongue with a grassy citrus taste. That's balanced against mild biscuit and caramel malts. The drinkability is excellent and the aftertaste and finish is a fine peppercorn bitterness.

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

A clear amber color with a big off-white head and good lace. The aroma is sharp mash and maple apple. The flavor is a dry apple tart with biscuit and alcohol. cranberry and whiskey, banana and clove. Fine carbonation and middle body feel with decent drinkability but there is some kick here.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.11/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- It poured with a 2 finger, foamy/fluffy, off-white/cream head and a very hazy, golden/orange/brown body. It had medium carbonation and the head never dropped, leaving great sticy rings.

S- Initially it had a fruity aroma nearing sour apple with a some caramel coming later.

T- The flavor was hard to place. There was burnt caramel malts and definite hopping that gave a distinct grapefruit flavor. At the same time it had a tinge of sour.

M- It had a lot of carbonation and hop bite.

D- Odd flavors make the drinkability less than it could be.

Overall- An odd flavor profile makes this less than expected. Overpowering grapefruit bitterness is too much. I actually drank a second bottle to make sure the first wasn't a fluke, but I think it was presented as it was meant to be.

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