Arbor Brewing Violin Monster Autumn Ale
By Bill Lau | Potable Pastime
Dark ale brewed with Midnight Wheat malt, spices, and a hint of brown sugar. 9.5% ABV, 35 IBU; Arbor Brewing Company, Ypsilanti, MI.
Rumors of the Violin Monster had reached this corner of Ohio; cursed long ago to live as a werewolf, driven by an uncontrollable lust for blood, wandering the world, playing his violin to sate his hunger. I can tell you that the legend is true, for I have seen the Violin Monster with my own eyes – and been enchanted by his captivating playing. (I especially liked the snippet of Hedwig’s Theme from the Harry Potter movies he played!).
You see, he recently made an appearance at Pint Night at Jungle Jim’s Eastgate, on the east side of the Cincinnati metro area. What’s more, he brought six packs of his namesake ale along with him. Now that’s a considerate monster if you ask me!
Appearance (4/5): Impenetrably dark, black in hue, capped with a head of light tan foam. This starts out around a 1/4″ thick, but settles to a very thin layer and collar in short order, and ultimately fades altogether.
Aroma (7.5/10): Spices up front – cinnamon primarily, maybe faint allspice, with earthy undertones and deep, dark malt notes.
Palate (5/5): Full-bodied, with smooth, velvety texture and a slight palate-warming afterburn from the alcohol.
Taste (9/10): Opens with deep, dark maltiness including roast and dark baked pit fruit notes, mixed with subtle spices. Cinnamon is definitely in there and a suggestion of allspice, but beautifully restrained. A drying bitterness keeps things in check, with a fleeting tanginess that passes through…(nod to Hellboy)…like a shadow in the night. Deeply caramelized malt, some roast, and faint spices linger on the palate with a pleasing but gentle bitterness in a lengthy finish. Beautiful beer all around!
Overall (17/20): Big, bold autumn seasonal. Substantial and satisfying; goes down smooth and easy, yet also makes for great sipping. Should go well with roasted or smoked meats, or smoked cheeses.
Disclosure: The author has received no reimbursement or compensation for this article. All opinions and remarks are those of the author alone.