Beer Review – Arbor Brewing Company – 10 Blinks

Beer: 10 Blinks
Style: Cherry Saison
ABV: 9.2%
6.5 Stars

10 Blinks is a Cherry Saison brewed in celebration of ABC Microbrewery’s 10th Anniversary. Formally known as Corner Brewery, ABC Microbrewery is Arbor Brewing Company’s Brewpub & Brewery located in Ypsilanti, MI. It’s a great place to down half a dozen beers while playing a rousing game of Balderdash.

On this particular occasion, however, I got my 10 Blinks on tap from Ashley’s Beer and Grill in Westland. It came to my table in the thinnest little pint glass I’d ever seen… a glass I can only assume was used to serve grilled pineapple mojitos to handlebar-mustachioed patrons in a previous life. Get that sissy, fruity cocktail out of my glass! I have a manly, fruity, cherry ale to drink!

The beer was deep golden orange in color and I could see happy little bubbles rising to the surface, but not many of them. It’s lightly carbonated and if you’re looking for a beer with a huge, voluptuous head, this one will make you sad. But hey, beer is for drinking, not ogling. Let’s see how it tastes.

My first thought was, “ah, that’s a saison alright.” It’s got that customary yeasty, earthy flavor that at times makes me think I have a mouthful of musty old root cellar. Thankfully, 10 Blinks has a more balanced, pleasant taste… earthy, yes, but also fruity with a mild dash of tartness. The cherries are quite pronounced, though I was expecting them to be backed up with a bit more sweetness.

At 9.2% ABV, 10 Blinks is a heavyweight that could give you a nice kick in the head if you’re not careful. It goes down easily and doesn’t taste nearly as strong as it is, though I do catch a hint of alcohol on the backend. Overall, I found this beer to be pleasant enough, but not something I’d add to my regular rotation of go-to brews.

Arbor Brewing Company has held a place in my heart for many years. As one of the first breweries I frequented after moving to Ann Arbor many years ago, it was there that my love affair with craft beer really started to bloom. This cherry saison doesn’t blow me away but I still have an ingrained fondness for anything that comes out their doors. While 10 Blinks may not knock your socks off either, it’s certainly a tasty way to get super drunk.

So that’s nice.