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Dark Apparition Brandy Barrel - Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark Apparition Brandy BarrelDark Apparition Brandy Barrel

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

42 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 42
Hads: 81
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 13.51%
Wants: 45
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Urbancaver on 05-21-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 81
Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

rich dark in color, essentially black as an abyss with no light coming through on this one at allTwo fingers worth of brown, frothy head then gradually formed and pushed just out over the lip of my snifter.

warm vanilla notes waft through the air and perk up my senses. I find that rich aroma comforting and soothing and a sign that it stayed in the barrel just the right amount of time. a complex mixture of chocolate, hints of tobacco and leather, even the finest touches of coffee all coming together and creating a symphony of aroma. Vanilla and brandy notes hit first. Smooth and silky feel here, really very nicely done. It melts seamlessly and effortlessly into a spinning cauldron of coffee and chocolate that just reeks of woody tones and vanilla underpinnings. Warming really starts to bring this out now. Hints of chocolate are now awash on the palate and are starting to flex their muscle through the haze, but the finish belongs to the barrel as the sweet, balanced flavor leaves its mark and fades off into the night.

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Photo of Tripphop
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My favorite treatment of the Dark Apparition thus far, next to the Vanilla. Pours a deep pitch black with a soft brown head that fades to almost nothing. A reddish brown light is revealed around the edges. Small bubbles can be excited with a nice swirl of the tulip releasing soft aromas of chocolate and raisin, although minimal carbonation is present. The taste is decadent, lush dark fruits and chocolate melt and coat the palate. The brandy creates a soothing warmth that melds perfectly with the base beer creating rich layers of malt and fruit and oak. The mouthfeel is vinous and slick. The body is medium, by no means a dessert, it coats the tongue and leaves a great lingering finish of chocolate and booze. An exceptional brew.

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Photo of GrowlerGirl
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

We were all happy when Brad started to play with other barrels besides the Bourbon barrels. And it seems that DA goes well with everything! Still waiting for a Port Barreled DA!

Appearance - Dark brown-black, thick.

Smell - Boozy brandy more present, backed with the regular DA nose (chocolate, coffee, vanilla, raisin, toffee, malty, nutty). The DA scents are less prevalent than in the Bourbon Barrel DA.

Taste - Apricot/apple brandy, fig and DA's chocolate, coffee, vanilla, raisin, toffee, malty, nutty notes. Aftertaste bitter chocolate and sweet brandy.

Mouthfeel - Coating light syrup feel with warming alcohol.

Overall - All versions of DA should be consumed, this is a nice addition to the DA line. - yummm.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.37/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks goes out to kenneyho for sharing this one with me in-line at BASC! Served from bottle into a Duck-Rabbit snifter. Poured a massively dark brown with a minimal off-white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, very sweet alcohol (yum brandy), wood, and a hint of dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, subtle roasted malt, very sweet alcohol, dark chocolate, and wood. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I am a big fan of brandy, and that comes with no exception when you talk about beer. The brandy barrels really added a nice touch that was very noticeable and defined to this one. Having had the Bourbon version shortly after this one, I can honestly say this was my favorite of the two without question. Really nicely put together and enjoyable.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with small foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma consists of black chocolate with some Macintosh toffee notes and some light brandy. Taste is also a mix between some light dry black chocolate notes with some Macintosh toffee notes and some brandy, which is more pronounced when tasted then in the aroma. Body is full with low carbonation and some light alcohol is apparent though not too strong to distract.

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Photo of seeswo
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a medium dark tannish head. Looks good. The smell is very malty - the brandy and sweet roasted malts glue themselves together with a small presence of booze as well. Taste is that melded brandy and sweet roasted malt richness (small hint of oak). There is a real butteriness to the flavor as well, like toffee or butterscotch. The beer is not boozy, but darn potent. Comes together nicely for me, but if you don't like brandy beers, back away because this isn't shy. Mouthfeel is medium with reasonable carbonation. Overall, I think this is a successful brandy BA Imperial Stout. There is a great potential for harshness with brandy instead of bourbon barrels and this beer avoids that.

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Photo of ne0m00re
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on-tap at the Jackie O's release.
A: Very dark brown with a thin creamy collar.
S: Vinous coffee and chocolate, raspberry, good brandy character, sweet.
T: Nice slightly tart raspberry and brandy over the coffee and espresso. Really well balanced with a bit of astringency and roasty finish lingering.
M: Thinner with a slight froth
O: Awesome. Imagine a shot of espresso and a shot of brandy. This surprisingly works well. Easily the best of show at this release.

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Photo of Spider889
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black, a little thin looking with dark brown coffee highlights in the light. Spotty inconsistent lace.

Smells very rich and malty. Brandy isn't exactly notable, but a sweet alcohol presence is definitely there.

Tastes really malty. Loads of coffee and vanilla flavors. Toasted bread crusts and browned barley. The barreling is nice and potent. Sweeter than the bourbon barreled version. There was a little tartness on the finish, but nothing too out of place.

Nice even mouthfeel, I would like this to be thicker, but it is otherwise pleasant. The one thing we noticed was the whatever the barrel tended to be, it always seemed to thin out the Dark Apparition base beer, which was quite thick and heavy itself.

Overall very nice, and especially better than this year's bourbon version.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle opened on 2-14-12.
Bottle #212/240

A - Pours a motor oil brown with a one finger dark brown head. Good retention, but fades to the edges and leaves good lacing.

S - Brandy, cherry, chocolate.

T - Smooth chocolate with a cherry-brandy finish.

D - Good carbonation and a nice lighter body.

O - I was affraid this one would be strong, but it was very nice and balanced.

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Photo of GabrielM
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle # 123 out of 240, poured into a Bruery snifter. Huge thanks to Chad for this one!

A - pitch black with an appropriate amount of brownish head. It coats the glass nicely after a swirl.

S - sweet brandy, chocolate, some dark fruit, alcohol, some oak.

T - tingly sweet brandy, vanilla, wood, chocolate, some smokiness.

M - perhaps a tad bit overcarbed, but otherwise very nice. It is a little warm, but still very pleasant.

O - a really nice brandy barrel brew that I've been wanting to try. A little thinner than I like and maybe a bit too carbonated, but a solid brew otherwise.

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Photo of spdyfire83
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

44th Review
Bottle to snifter.
Bottle 23/240

From notes. Shared at the DL Variant + Others Tasting in Chicago by deadmule back in October. Thanks again Brian - this was a fun one that I was very excited to try...a nice surprise for sure!

A: For simplicity, I’ll call it black. I was debating many other options here, but at the end of the day, it’s just black. One-quarter fingernail (dark tan) head on vigorous pour.

S: Roasted malt in your face with a whisper of dark chocolate and caramel. Overtones of sweet brandy sneak from the glass as I rapidly swirled the beer around.

T: Toffee, dark chocolate, and brandy. Very sweet. Hint of figs/plums hidden in the layers.

M: Somewhere between medium and full-bodied with low carbonation. Nicely put together start to finish.

O: This beer was an excellent introduction for me to Jackie O’s. They have always been on my radar, but never crossed my path. Simply put, it was a solid beer. I’d return to it in the future and look forward to trying their other offerings going forward.

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Photo of camil1mj
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Romulux I got to try DA, Bourbon DA and Brandy DA all in the same night.

A: Dark as night. Small amount of carbonation. Little to no lacing.

S: Sweet, sweet and more sweet with a hint of alcoholic heat.

T: Initially you get a very sweet brandy taste followed by malty and chocolate undertones.

M: Light bodied for the style. A little disappointed as this series has been hyped up. Slightly carbonated.

O: A great series of stouts. Very glad I got to try all three variations from the recent releases. This was in the middle for me, landing between bourbon and the standard DA. This makes me want to try other brandy BA stouts.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From tap to snifter at the Jackie O's bottle release on 6/25/11
*From notes

A: Smoldering and dark. Black as night, with a head the color of brownie batter. A nice .25 finger head with little lacing.

S: Unlike the other Dark Apparition variants, this one is a good deal sweeter on the nose. Red fruits and a hint of hard candy mix with the alcohol and rich chocolate malt.

T: More acidic then any of the other one-off's. The fruit here really comes out to play on the mid, and the finish is molten chocolate with a tart and tannic twist.

M: Really oily and almost thin. I don't know quite what the brandy barrel has done to the mouthfeel and texture, but it's unlike any of the other versions. It's still packing a reasonable amount of carbonation and weight, but this is without question the most dissapointing part of the brew.

O: Jackie O's Brandy Barrel Dark Apparition is a really high quality beer. It has everything going for it but the mouthfeel, which affects the overall presentation and delivery of the finished product.

Not the best of the Dark App's, but an incredible brew none the less.

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Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dfclav for this one. Had at the Stouts and Spiders tasting thanks to Mike. Bottle 3 from batch 240.

Pours a very light fizzy head covering, with a very dark black syrupy beer with some legs.

Nose brings barrel, wood, bread and biscuit malt, hint of chocolate and roast, bit of coffee, loaded with caramel like caramel candies, hint of sweet fruity brandy or brandy soaked raisins or something, dry and bready.

Taste brings some light chocolate, oatmeal even, creamy chocolate milk, again with lots of caramel, tons! A hint of booze sneaks through with a bit of the burnt roast flavor but not a lot of either. A hint of fruit, like fig or brandy soaked raisins again, as it's semi sweet with more creamy chocolate and a light boozy brandy flavor. Light barrel and oak, with a hint of woody esters. Finishes a bit drier with lots more caramel, hint of cinnamon spice, chocolate, oats, chewy, dark chocolate, bitter roast, all lingering on the finish. Its quite bitter but not really an acrid burnt flavor.

Mouth is heavier bodied, lower but decent carb.

Overall really nice, great dark malt flavors, chocolate, bit of roast, tons and tons of caramel, a bit of barrel and wood flavors, some nice brandy with fruit and slight esters, some nice bitterness, and a touch of booze that doesn't kick ass. A nice well rounded tasty beer.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Brad for this sneak preview. Was AMAZING out of the barrel 3 months ago... Bottled version does not disappoint.

Pours a pretty dark brown with a touch of brown head. A bit of carbonated off the pour. Smells sweet and a bit fruity. Oak and vanilla on the nose tha get stronger as it warms. Tastes sweet and a bit fruity. Lots of vanilla on the tongue. Oak and some sweet ligt fruits. The carbonation adds a bit of bitterness and hurts the mouthfeel a lot. Overall, solid, but a bit much. Wish it were more flat ;)

Edit: let this shit warm up! So much better warm on the nose especially

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Jackie O's Public House side on the day of it's release in bottles. This was the second one I sprung for, right after the amazing Bolero Brown.

The barrels don't do much for the appearance of Dark Apparition. All of the various barrel treatments have looked identical. They don't have much head, just a small floating pillow. They are a deep woody red around the edges with a black core.

This one smells way different, however. The brandy barrels Brad has chillin' out in the basement below are doing some crazy and interesting things to his beers. There is a lot of sweet and vinous brandy and red grape notes that jump out. Cocoa and vanilla hide beneath. After a short while I was able to pick up a lot of sweet tobacco, like a hobbit pipe or some brandy soaked shisha.

This incarnation starts sweet with lots of fruit and big vinous characters. Its very wine-like on the front, but it has a flash of spiciness. Plenty of oak helps to keep things running along smoothly. At about the mid-palate mark the beer nearly does a full 180 shift. All of the pent up roasty, coffee and chocolate flavors of the barreled base beer let loose. The result is a darker tasting, smoothly chocolatey and oak driven finish. Alcohol is no slouch here, but it never comes anywhere near astringent or assertive. It just provides a nice boost at the end. After all, this is a big RIS aged in a barrel that was filled with distilled wine, and it tastes just like that.

While alcohol isn't much of a big deal in the flavor, it really does give this beer's feel some oomph. Its quite warm. As usual, I think this Dark Apparition is a tad thin, but I think the time in the barrels have upped it's body a little bit. The overall feel of the beer is low carbonation and gritty. The finish is powdery and coarse.

I really looked forward to this beer and was not let down. I really liked this beer. It shared many similarities with Bolero Brown, which was also aged in brandy barrels. Both beers exhibit a lot of unique complexities and a great marriage between intense vinous, wine notes and rich, creamy maltiness.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black. Check. Not much head. Just thin ring. Very sparse lace. Not much going on visually.

S - Cocoa and light wood. Maybe too cold, but not much giong on on the smell scene either.

T - Nice big sweet malt flavor, mixed with a an almost cherry brandy and wood.

M - Hot, decent carb, good balance.

D - Pretty tasty; I am going to enjoy this whole bottle.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

The beer is dark brown with a finger of tan head. The aroma is quite nice and complex, with brandy, oak, and roast. The flavor brings vanilla and oak with some booze and barrel notes. I seem to like this brew considerably more than my esteemed cohorts. The feel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The finish has a subtle harsh kick with some booze notes. Overall, I thought this complex, tasty, and interesting. I would have it again.

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Photo of iadler
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle provided by deadmule for our tasting. Another brewery I've been wanting to try for some time. Poured into a snifter. Bottle 23/240

A- Pours a very dark brown with a one finger mocha head that leaves a bit of lacing.

S- Dark fruits including black cherry and plumb, oak, sweet brandy, roasted malt, dark chocolate, vanilla and butterscotch candy. Pretty sweet.

T- Dark fruits again with cherry, fig, raisins, roasted malt, vanilla, butterscotch, oak, brandy and dark chocolate.

M- Low to medium carbonation and medium body. Very smooth with a fruity sweetness similar to port that finishes a bit dry.

O- I liked this, but thought it was a bit too sweet with the butterscotch candy qualities. Curious to see what the other variations are like.

Thanks again Brian!

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on the day of the June 25th release. Received in a snifter.

4.0 A: Black color. Just a touch of creamy beige head.

4.0 S: Vinous brandy with a touch of diacetyl present. Good bit of oak and some vanilla. The brandy is definitely the main attraction. Usually I don't like dark beers in brandy barrels, but this is still as pleasant as the regular. Underneath chocolate and coffee are detectable with the slightest touches of molasses and caramel.

4.0 T: Again, brandy and barrel are strongest. Vinous, boozy brandy, oak, and a good amount of vanilla. Coffee, chococlate, and molasses in respective decreasing intensity.

4.0 M: The barrel treatment somehow made the body a good bit thicker than the regular. Medium to heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Good creaminess and smooth.

4.0 D: Good beer and probably my favorite dark, brandy treated beer (which really isn't saying much).

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Photo of Treebs
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle served in a Deschutes tulip. Shared this guy in line at DLD. Bottle # 52/240.

A: Pours a dark black with a thin tan head forming on the pour. It recedes to thin ring and leaves some splotches of lace along the edges of the glass.

S: The brandy barrel shines giving this beer an extra layer of sweetness. Sweet brandy, roasted malts, bitter chocolate and some light oak.

T: Sweet brandy, some oak, a little butterscotch and caramel sweetness. Both bitter bakers chocolate and milk chocolate with a just a bit of roasted malts and vanilla on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation. The finish is roasty and sweet, but not drying at all.

O: The brandy barrel takes a slightly above average beer and turn it into a great one. I really enjoyed the sweetness from the barrel. Would like to have again.

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Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. 22oz bottle shared at a recent tasting. It poured a very dark brown color with a thin, bubbly, tan head clinging to the edges of the glass.

The aroma has a lot of dark fruits coming out in it with notes of fig and plum being the most noticeable. Some brown sugar flavors mix with a little roasty, chocolaty, stout flavors. The sweeter, dark fruits flavors are pretty bold in it, but it's a pretty good aroma overall.

The taste shows the dark fruits more up front with some fig, plum and cherry notes coming out. In the finish I get more chocolate and cocoa to it with just a little bit of a roasty presence. Some alcohol is noticeable in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is heavy with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a pretty solid beer. It has a lot of sweeter, dark fruits and chocolate flavors to it but it managed to pull everything together pretty nicely.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Bottle shared by Andrew at Woodshop Classix, thanks!

A: Near black with a finger of dark foam that lingers for half a minute.

S: Brown sugar, dark chocolate, and molasses with a nice brandy profile. Smells pretty good except for a persistent butter note that cuts through the more pleasant attributes. Oak accompanies vanilla.

T: Fudge and brown sugar with delicious brandy notes and less butter than was in the nose. It's pretty easy to ignore, actually. Vanilla is light. There's a little plum and a whisper of coffee. Alcohol is evident but not harsh or detracting.

M: Full in body with lower moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is chewy, sticky, and creamy.

Overall: Good stuff that would have been much better without the butter notes.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a black color with just a few brownish colored bubbles. Pretty much zero head and no lacing at all.

S- Quite a bit of brandy here for sure. A lot of booze. Dark fruits, burnt sugar, vanilla and wood.

T- Quite a bit of brandy and dark fruits up front. Some wood, chocolate, light coffee, and vanilla. Quite a bit of booze here too.

M- Lighter side of medium in body and fairly low in carbonation.

O- I was pretty excited to get to try this one. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but its not my favorite of the Dark Apps.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sending this my way, Curt.

A: The beer pours black in color with a tan head to go with it.

S: Brandy aromas practically jump out of the glass on this one. Very vinous with a nice spirit character as well. Oak and vanilla are also there, as is a graham cracker sweetness to balance the roast and dark chocolate. Perhaps a hint of butter.

T: The flavor is fairly sweet from all the fruit notes of the brandy. Lots of molasses, graham cracker, and vanilla also contribute to that. All the roast is sort of counteracted here. A little bit of tannic oak is also present.

M: Medium bodied with a low, smooth carbonation.

O: Significantly better than the Bourbon version. The butter on the nose was the thing that held this one back from being a real stand out.

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Dark Apparition Brandy Barrel from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.