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Arbor Imperial Stout | Redbud Brewing Company

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Arbor Imperial StoutArbor Imperial Stout
31 Ratings
Arbor Imperial StoutArbor Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Redbud Brewing Company
Oklahoma, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stephens101 on 10-22-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 31 |  Reviews: 19
Reviews by BierGartenok:
Photo of BierGartenok
3.98/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Arbor. The newest release from Oklahoma's Smallest Craft brewery. Labeled as an Imperial Stout this one was riding a HUGE wave of Hype surrounding Chase H and The RedBud Crew. I had a chance to sample this beer in various stages of bottle ages. One VERY fresh, another a week after, the other a few weeks after bottling, differences are notable in EACH instance. I will use the latter for the review:

Upon opening you can tell this is a Dark and wonderfully balanced brew. The pour is as you would expect, nice and dark, red hue and chocolate. The nose was very surprising and almost reminiscent of some tart or sour stouts have have had. A few good sniffs then the first drink, as soon as it hits your tongue you can tell this is a great beer. The 10% alcohol is VERY well hidden. You could drink the entire 750 ML and not realize it until it was too late! There is minimal lacing in the glass and slight head retention. For an Imp Stout I was expecting a much heavier mouthfeel. Arbor. is VERY light and extremely sessionable. Hints of bitter dark chocolate and tart cherries come out in loads. Vanilla and toffee notes are light and submissive. The finish is long and slightly dry, no doubt due to the bottle conditioning use of a champagne yeast.

All in all this is an Excellent beer, easy drinking and extremely balanced, although I believe that Mr. Healey was looking for something more in this beer. IMO I think he was looking to knock your socks off, and this was not that beer. It is a great brew, but compaired to some of the other offerings from Redbud, this one lacks a little luster. But, bare in mind, this is RedBud's first attempt at a BIG imperial stout. Everyone has to start somewhere, and I think Mr. Healey hit the nail on the head with this beer. Congrats Chase and to the Redbud Family! Cheers!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Brenden
2.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The looks isn't promising. It's dark brown but doesn't appear particularly thick; in fact, it looks a little light for anything more than a porter, and not a strong one at that. The off-white head is a bit wispy and maintains a foam that manages spotty lacing pretty much at average.
The smell isn't bad, but it isn't great either. It does have some notes of cocoa, and it dries out some for a bit of woodiness, but it has a touch too much of a charred to the wood/smoke combination. More dryness from leafy hops adds balance, which isn't really kept up after almost overdoing it. Something sharp, tangy and almost acidic threatens as well, though it's kept at bay to a degree.
Somehow this is too tart and sharp while being sugary-sweet to the point of cloying. Someone going for what they thought was balance seems to have overshot it. The notes that make the style what it is are there, but thrown entirely out of whack with too many flaws. Alcohol is reasonably well masked, to its benefit.
Alcohol does play a possible role in thinning out the feel; it achieves a firm medium, much too little body for an imperial stout. It's a tad dry, which is fine, with a bit of spritz but, thankfully, enough smoothness to give something appreciable to the palate.

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Photo of dbossman
2.4/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

A: Near black with an absolutely huge cocoa-brown head--pretty sudsy and decent carbonation

S: Pretty sweet--cloyingly sweet actually; lots of chocolate with some anise and dark fruits; a touch of roasty malts but man, this is sweet--I am curious as to if something is wrong with this beer

T: Yep, something is off with this beer; it has to be infected; it starts with cloyingly sweet chocolate but then something reminiscent of tomatoes, olives, and soy sauce; some anise and dark fruits linger; but mostly that weird tomato flavor mingling with sweet chocolate; there is something decent somewhere in this but the weirdness of everything else makes this pretty bad

F: pretty thin and over-carbonated

O: Well, this is not what it's supposed to be and I suspect that it is indeed infected; I couldn't do it--I tried but I had to drain pour; I guess that's what I get for my 666th written review. Boo.

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Photo of russpowell
3.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 3+ fingers mocha colored head. Great lacing & good head retention

S: Cocoa, carob & woody hop notes & finally tartness

T: Figgyness, some woody hops, plus dryness up front. Powdery dry notes as this warms, along with prunes, plus a hint of smokeyness & oak once warm, a hint of port as well; lust no classic Imp stout maltynesss, chocolate or anything else that would would serve the cause here, sigh, choke cherry & watered down prune as well. Finishes very dry, with some smokey notes, brett sourness surfaces finally to release some raspberry & cherry. Just dis-jointed at best. Seems like a Dark Truth light

MF: Semi-chewy with firm carbonation, pretty dry & some thickness once really warm

Disappointing, this brewery does a great job with their Cuvee series. This has missed the mark. I had very high hopes. I have another bottle I will sit on for a least a year, sure wouldn't give or trade it at this point unless I had someone sign a release or something....

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Photo of sdmvd6
3.95/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Deep, deep black with 2 fingers of nice tan head. No lacing is left as it is drank.

S - Dark fruits (dates, prunes, plums, raisins) hit the nose immediately with a sharp booziness intermingled. This gives way to bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt.

T - Dark fruits (those mentioned above) and chocolate hit at the beginning. There is a sharp acidic flavor in the middle followed by roasted malt and more chocolate that lingers in the finish. The alcohol content is well-hidden.

M - The carbonation is moderate but the feel is a bit thin for my liking (relative to the style). Would have liked a little more creaminess.

O - I am becoming a big fan of Redbud, and I am really looking forward to future releases later this year. This is a good beer that would be great with a few tweaks. I am planning on grabbing a bottle to age, as I think a little more time would smooth out the odd vinegar-like flavor in the middle.

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Photo of Basoos1
2/5  rDev -33.6%

Photo of EgadBananas
3.23/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to ThirstyHerf for this bottle!

Pours stout dark. There's a nice modest close to a finger of light brown creamy head that leaves a nice little lace trail. The aroma, while not in your face, is very nice and pleasant. There's some initial slight floral hoppiness, followed by some chocolate and cocoa notes. There's a slight bit of bitterness at the front of the tongue, with a fainter chocolate note than with the aroma. It moves then to something a bit more borderline tart and acidic. I'm not sure if this was wood-aged and/or intentionally bugged a bit, but I feel it's a possibility. The mouthfeel is middle of the road, thinish for the style. Overall, it's not bad, but I will personally prefer to stick to their Saison's.

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Photo of 4balance
3.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of dbell23
3.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. Very dark brown/black with a two finger beige head. Nice lacing. Looks like an imperial stout.

Doesn't smell like an imperial stout. Yeasty? Sweet, fruity, maybe carob. No coffee or chocolate. No alcohol.

The taste is surprising. No stout taste at all. Kind of a slightly bitter Tripel. I like it but it's very surprising. No alcohol taste or smell but it sneaks up on you.

Mouthfeel is not like a stout. More like a Belgian or something else.

Overall I like it but it's not a stout.

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Photo of jlindros
1.54/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25

I think rudzud is trolling me in response to my last troll beer with this one...

Huge... overly huge infected like darker head fades at a med pace, soapy lacing, pitch black.

Nose weird, sour, dishwasher soap, minerality, brine, just scary horribleness, sour blueberry, sour ass.

Taste is too horrible to taste more than a half second sip, like sour play dough. Just immensely terrible. You know that few seconds that you want vomit but you can't decide to hold it back or vomit... that's what my sip was like. I tried spitting it out but it coagulated on my lips and just protein mush stuck to my beard. I'm not brave enough to give it another sip.

Mouth, I can't even describe... the coagulated sludge that stuck to my mouth was the best part.

Overall I can't even fathom this. I've had some horrible slimy beers in my time, but this really hits back at those, putrid slimy terrible mess of a supposed beer, but seems more like regurgitated playdough some kid ate and spit back into the bottle. I'd pour this down the drain but I think my septic system would revolt!

 1,077 characters

Photo of csiewert
4/5  rDev +32.9%

Photo of crusian
4/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from grand vin? In Tulsa... I think that's what it is called.
Pours a rich dark brown, but seems a bit light in the pour. A bit thin. Decent finger of head with nice lacing.
Nose is actually quite nice... I tossed this in the freezer to get it cold faster, and when that happens, the nose is usually really subdued... but this one was still pretty powerful. A huge amount of roast and dark fruit character, very reminiscent of black metal... with a hint if a Belgian style yeast. A hint of cherry as well. Quite a nose for such a cold beer.
Taste is a lot of smoked cherry up front, almost a rawhide or tobacco taste, with a sweeter finish and a lingering smokey beef/soy sauce. A bit off putting for me. Somehow they blend... ok. Seems as if the abv is trying to be forcibly covered... and it is... Quite well, as my palate is desperately trying to figure this brew out. I would love to see the recipe for this. It seems to be all over the place, yet is very intriguing.
Mouthfeel is medium, well carbed... but man... I just can't put ky finger on this one way or the other... I like it, I don't like it. Definitely one of the most enigmatic beers I have had.
Must try... but can't make promises. I have no idea how I am going to rate this. The pieces are good, but as a whole it is odd... I am going middle ground good rating.

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Photo of drumrboy116
3.57/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into small snifter from a bottle I grabbed in Tulsa. First I've had from this small brewery and I'm pretty excited about Oklahoma's beer offerings as of late.

A- Poured nice and dark. Some hints of amber and red. Not too much lacing. Maybe a 1/4" head.

S- Oak and vanilla but with definite fruit, mostly cherry, notes along with it. As it warmed up, some real nice sourness came through.

T- This is such an interesting beer. While there are some conflicting flavors i.e. vanilla, chocolate, and tart cherry, overall it seems pretty balanced. It finishes very dry with lingering 'red' which makes me guess that it was aged in a wine barrel maybe, cab or pinot. However I do wonder if this batch might have gotten infected in barrel. There must be some bacteria funkin' up this beer....and I love it!

M- Mouthfeel is a tad thin. Another indicator that we might have some infection.

O- I really enjoyed this beer. It isn't often that a beer can flat out surprise you!

Great work Chase and Redbud!

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Photo of chocosushi
3.59/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

6oz->Zatec Glass
A~ Pours black with intense mocha lacing.
Fine carbonation.

S~ Vanilla & Raisins at first. . dark bread & blueberry
jam. Some Orange/Citrus deep in there. Very ester
driven. Whisper of tobacco.

T~ Chocolate covered raisins, Cherry-skins, wine
Grapes. . Slightly grassy. Campfire/Wood notes become
More prevalent the more I drink, while being only mildly ashy.
Citrus (orange zest & lemon peel) & oak leaves on the finish.

M~ No cloy. . Medium-Thin feel with a great finish that is mildly sour. Cask-like carb. Dry & Clean. Deceptively light in body.

D~ easy easy easy drinking. Almost too easy at 10% I expected a bit more body. Alas this was still a great Night's end drink that well with dark chocolate truffles. Keep I mind this is not your typical Imperial Stout, aside from the ABV. One of a kind.

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Photo of IpeeA
4/5  rDev +32.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
3/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Thickfreakness
1.15/5  rDev -61.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A- Pours dark and dank with a tight kahki head. Fades quickly and leaves little traces of lacing.

S- Kalamata and Green Olives... perhaps just whisps of dark fruit as I inhale... OMG! I smell salt!

T- Holy Cow! Soy Sauce, salt, and olive brine! This is friggin' awful! Is this beer?

M- The worst thing that's ever passed my lips... no doubt! I'd rather have a beer made from olives, than this olive tapenade mess of a salty brew!

O- I wish I had words to describe just how awful this RIS is!!! I've had RIS' with a touch of soy... but this is soy with a touch of salt and olives!

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Photo of spycow
3/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of ThirstyHerf
4/5  rDev +32.9%

Photo of stephens101
3.68/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gunmetal black in color with a proud, airy and resilient dark tan head. The froth clings in a layered pattern all around the glass.

Deep, rich malts give off the aroma of fresh baked chocolate cake; all bready and sweet. An underlying dark fruitiness leaves notes of mincemeat and an accompanying tartness. A bit of licorice and a fleeting hoppiness result in a complexly fragrant background.

Dark chocolaty malts, some vinegar, more licorice sweetness and subdued herbal notes greet the tongue; playing off plums, grapes and raisins, and ending in a noticeable, but not detracting tartness. There exists a certain metallic aftertaste that becomes slightly off-putting.

Arbor has a medium to heavy mouth-feel, and is drier than expected, but soft at the edges with no alcohol to speak of, a fact that makes me wonder if we need a little recalibration of our testing apparatus. I'm completely joking about that of course.

I must say the trend of exceptional beer from Redbud continues with this one, and I hope some of this batch made it into some oak or whiskey barrels, because that is about the only thing, except for the aftertaste issue, that could make this brew much better.

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Photo of bump8628
1.79/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Looks the part - nearly black with some ruby as light passes through. Mocha colored swamp bubbles form the short-lived head. After appearance, this one goes steeply downhill. Something is off big time. Pieces of the Imperial Stout puzzle are present but disjointed - some coffee, chocolate, and smokey char. Problem is there is some odd acetic character like red wine vinegar, blech. Aluminum too? Like I said, something is wrong here. The ultra thin and empty mouthfeel puts it even further away from even average examples of the style.

I don't mind drinking the occasional bad beer. It happens every now and then given the wealth of new breweries and beers that pop up these days. What I do mind is dropping $11.99 on a 750mL bottle and pouring 500mL of it down the sink.

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Photo of rudzud
1.55/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

Shared with JLindros and Threelions. Correction, trolled with. Payback's a bitch Jared.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a dark black hue with a big billowy mocha infected head, here we go. 3

S - Aromas of olive brine and soap, so much brine olive juice. 1.75

T - Taste is, well, JLindros almost vomited so it must be good! Drat, it's awful. Seriously, this is an infected mess. Salty, sour, awful. Can I use this to clean my grill? 1.5

M - Mouthfeel is, well, there are slugs in this beer...coagulated protein mess 1

O - Overall this beer was a crime to Jared's septic tank. I would have writen more about this beer but it dissolved my serving glass. 1.25

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of Soto
3.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of jhimstedt
4.12/5  rDev +36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into small footed whisky glass. Thanks to drumrboy116 for sharing this.

A - black with hints of black and maybe a little red, not completely opaque but close. Almost no head at all, left some light tan lacing on top and thin halo around the glass.

N - brown sugar, prunes, caramel, coffee, bitter chocolate, port an hints of cinnamon and clove. as it warmed the sour character an the tart cherry/red wine notes became much more prominent.

T - the usual suspects with an imperial stout...bitter chocoalte, coffee, oak and char, some vanilla, roasted malt, cinnamon and a hint of peat smoke...until the finish. Oh my god, red wine or cherries or something. My guess is infection or poert/red wine barrel, or both. Nothing if not interesting. As it warmed the fruit and tartness became more prominent. It's like an imperial stout kriek.

M - thin bodied, lends some validity to the infection theory, but not unpleasantly so. i think my palate associates that body with the acid levels so that I didn't really even think about it being odd. The carbonation is slight but just right for me. And one of the dryest finishes I may have ever had from a beer. Super drying. Moved on to another stout after and the sourness and dryness were stuck in my mouth even fifteen minutes later.

O - I really liked this. Super interesting. Infected or not, it works. I like some sour stouts and this is up there with the good ones i've had. It wasn't nearly as disjointed and all over the place as a lot of Imperial Stouts are fresh. The flavors were unexpected but were cohesive and together to me. I would get more and drink it happily.

 1,629 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
3/5  rDev -0.3%

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Arbor Imperial Stout from Redbud Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.01 out of 5 with 31 ratings
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