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Libertine Black Ale - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Libertine Black AleLibertine Black Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

61 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 61
Hads: 361
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 24.87%
Wants: 14
Gots: 83 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
BrewDog visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: flyingpig on 08-18-2012

Lose yourself in this voluptuous beast of a beer. A twenty-first century hop overdose. This mother will seduce you, ravish you and you’ll be back gagging for more. Adore it. Lust for it. Fall for it. Libertine Black Ale is a dark hop bomb combining the hop awesomeness of an IPA, the decadent and indulgent malt flavours of a stout with an insatiable drinkability that belies the punch that this beer packs. A Dark Knight amongst pale knaves. Taste the hops, live the dream. Learn to speak beer, love fruit and never forget you come from a long line of truth seekers, dreamers and warriors… the outlaw elite. Ride toward anarchy and caramel craziness. Let the sharp bitter finish rip you straight to the tits. Swallow hard – this beer bites.

65 IBU
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Reviews: 61 | Hads: 361
Photo of Knapp85
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured out as a nice deep brown colored beer with a dejection light brown colored head. The lacing and retention are both pretty good here. The smell is really nice, it's hoppy and sweet smelling. Very impressive nose. The taste is also really nice, hoppy but it's also rich and sweet... It's great in my opinion. The mouthfeel is smooth it's almost creamy. Lightly carbonated and very drinkable. Overall this is one of the best Black IPA's I've had. Very good brew all around. I would love having this again.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a black color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus and piney notes with light fruity touch is great with some dry roasted malt notes also noticeable. Taste is also dominated by medium dry roasted malt notes with a decent dose of Simcoe citrus and piney hops. Body is about average with good carbonation. Solid rendition of the style thought a fuller body would have been even better.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle, nice to see more new products from this brewery returning to Alberta's fair (beer) shores.

This beer pours a clear, very dark black-adjacent brown colour, with prominent basal cola edges, and two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and generally bubbly beige head, which leaves some chunky random island form lace around the glass as it slowly and evenly subsides.

It smells of bready, lightly roasted caramel malt, muddled dark orchard fruit, acrid pine resin, wet ash, a bit of citrus pithiness, and further earthy, leafy, and herbal hop bitters. The taste is semi-sweet, grainy caramel malt, damp char, pine forest floor after the morning dew, a hard to pinpoint citrus tanginess, ethereal notes of oily nuts, and more leafy, weedy, and faintly perfumed floral hops.

The carbonation is actually pretty tame and ineffectual in its quotidian frothiness, the body a solid-ass medium weight, and mostly smooth, just a wee bit of roast outmaneuvering any frisky hops for the right to say they caused a nuisance here. It finishes off-dry, the base malt holding steady amongst the lingering char, hoppiness, and sniffing alcohol.

A decently rendered version of this still unworthy (to me, at any rate) style, the roasted character not overdone, and the hops agile enough to maintain their freshness in the face of said affront. Agreeable enough, and good, I suppose, if you're into such things.

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Photo of oberon
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a standard pint nearly pitch black except for some redish brown highlights when held to the light,a thinner quick to fade beige head atop.A good burst of resinous hops in the nose along with a little grassiness to go along with deep chocolate notes.Piney hops stand out at first sip along with nutty malts,more "greeness"comes into play from the hops providing grassy tones,malt driven sweetness becomes bigger as I drink more providing some molasses and caramel flavors to go along with bitter choccolate.This is how a ABA should taste in my mind,big hops but good dark malty sweetness,good job here from the Scottish guys.

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Photo of corby112
3.42/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 203, best before 27-08-14

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black and completely opaque in the glass with a one finger off-white head that quickly settles into thick, lasting ring. Good retention with streaks of soapy lace left behind.

Robust, deeply roasted dark malt aroma that's countered by sweeter dessert-like notes. Surprisingly, the nose is severely lacking in hop character which is really odd and disappointing for the style. I'm struggling to pick up any hops at all and wouldn't have been able to guess it was an American Black Ale if sampled blind. Slightly smokey with gourmet coffee bean, oatmeal and dark chocolate countered by caramel, toffee, fudge and bakers chocolate. Smells okay and not offensive in any way but doesn't live up to expectations.

On the fuller end of medium body with subtle earthy hop bitterness countered by very strong malt flavors. There's a bit of earthy pine and resinous oils but like the aroma, the hop character is overpowered by the prominent malt bill. Slightly smokey with robust, roasted coffee bean flavor along with hints of burnt toast, oatmeal, charcoal and bittersweet dark chocolate. Dry and bitter but not harsh, acrid or overwhelming. The bitter roast is cut mid-palate by lighter malt sweetness with hints of silky chocolate, caramel and toffee. The ABV is well masked and it's light enough to drink easily, I just wish that it had more of a hop presence to balance out the malt flavors. It drinks more like a slightly bitter porter than an American Black Ale. Not bad, but not what I'm looking for in this style.

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Photo of wl0307
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Coming in a slim 330ml brown bottle, not bottle-conditioned; BB 01/02/2014, served cool in a Tripel Karmeliet’s branded tulip-shaped sniffer.

A: pours a pitch black colour topped with a creamy, dark beige frothy head retreating to a thin sheet to last.
S: keeping my eyes closed, the nose initially is in fact very much like an over-charged hop bomb such as American IPA or Double IPA, but a very subtle edge of caramel, roastiness and sweet nuts would lead my imagination away for a bit; given a very good swirl, the pronounced grapefruity-citric, white grapey and gooseberry-ish notes arise on top of other hop and malt elements. All are integrated very well in one. Very enjoyable, and quite… clean.
T: soothing and mildly-carbonated on the palate, the initial swallow is… surprisingly light and fruity, backed by a light-bodied maltiness as of mixture of roast malts, caramel malts, and other paler counterparts, without the really oily, burned, and coffee-ish thickness from the black malts. It quietly settles on a chewy, dry and bitter finish where the palate could still feel the lingering joy from the tannic citrus peels, roast nuts and random notes of forest berries.
M&O: softly refreshing on the palate, medium-bodied, at the same time very smooth, this Black IPA or “Twenty First Century Black Ale” has delivered a fairly satisfying result overall. The alc. content is also well hidden, increasing the drinkability by a very good margin. Highly recommended.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque in the glass with a fine two finger light brown head with great retention and lots of thick lacing. Aroma of citrus and piney hops, orange and grapefruit citrus, and hint of tropical fruit. Flavor is mixed citrus with citrus and grassy hops, mild fruit esters and light toasted malt. Medium bodied with light creaminess; despite the beautiful head, a surprising lack of carbonation in the mouth feel. An interesting take on the black ale style, well hopped, but with a European flavor profile. More dominated by citrus hops and flavor than toasted malt, which takes a third row back seat. I'm baffled by the weak showing of the carbonation in the feel, but it was a distraction. Perhaps the carbonation was all used up in the nice foam? Interesting but not going to be my go-to black ale.

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Photo of dgilks
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with a creamy and long lasted tan head. Nice lacing.

Fruity citrus aroma with malt and bits of roast. Good.

Slightly chalky with just a touch of roast. Nice earthy and somewhat citrussy hop flavour. Good.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Fine.

A decent Black Ale. Nice balance of hop and roasted malts.

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Photo of bark
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The colour is very dark brown (90 EBC), the liquid is clear. The three finger head is brown, airy and uneven. It sinks slowly leaving lots of lacing on the glass.

The smell is bitter and hoppy with lots of American citric flavours. Hints of smoked delicatessen and alcohol.

The taste is smooth, it is less bitter than expected. Some smoked and burned notes. Bitter herbs, citric fruits and salty Marmite-flavours. Clean bitterness. Medium body. The aftertaste got the same burned salt flavours, with some added sweetness and anonymous ripe fruits. The finish is malty and roasted.

The carbonation is medium to strong; the small short-lived bubbles soft. The liquid is smooth.

There is nothing wrong with this beer, I just don’t get it.

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Photo of spinrsx
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle received in trade with Phyl21ca - thanks!

Appearance - Black/brown colour with a large size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, grapefruit, hops, coffee

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel and hops. There is also some light coffee, ginger, and some grapefruit/lemon. It ends with a malty yet hoppy and fruity aftertaste.

Overall - Another winner from this brewer. This would be one of my go to beers if it was available locally. Worth buying for sure.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let me preface this review by saying this is one of those beers not for everyone. If you don't like hops, or at least these "Black IPAs" real hoppy and prefer a more balanced, malty beer, then skip this. Pour a black body with one finger almost tan head that died down leaving some lace. The hops are the star in the aroma as I get earthy, piney hops and just touches of any type of malt (mostly sweet). The beer is smooth, light to medium bodied, taste is mostly fresh, earthy hops but the beer is a little bigger/thicker than average IPA and the malts do come out as there is a residual sweetness that hits me on the backend. To poorly summarize this beer, it's an IPA with a larger chunk of bready and sweet caramel and chocolate malts. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer and would welcome more sweet Black IPAs like it.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown with a large head.
Nose shows piny, resinous and slightly fruity hops. That’s pretty much it, just a bit of roast as well.
Much more roast as a flavours but also a fair bit of the pine and some of the confectionery-like fruit.
Could use a bit more carbonation.

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Photo of stcules
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Almost black, some reddish hue. One finger of beige head.
Malty smell, light toasty. Lightly citrussy (grapefruit), and something fresh and almost balsamic.
In the taste a light toastiness, then a lot of hop, grapefruit, maybe a bit prickly, but for sure it has character.
Light body, quite drinkable, long and bitter aftertaste, even bitter root.

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Photo of Brenden
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It's pretty close to black, a little bit of brown-red shining in the thinnest parts. A tan head rises to a full finger and rests there soundly, retaining itself well and throwing down sturdy lacing.
I get some nice character, plenty of depth, and a lot of balance in both the aroma and the flavor. What would really put it in contention for the style would be a stronger hops backbone; there should be a focus on maintaining balance while remaining hop-forward. As it is, the malts provide very nice notes of a sort of light nutty smoke, plenty of roast, a hint of dark fruits, and a creamier sweetness along with bittersweet chocolate. Hops are a bit more muted than they ought to be but put up some earthy, resinous and citric undertones.
The feel is good. it has an even balance of sweet and dry and is very bright, lots of crispness without taking from the smoothness and flowing nicely on the tongue while remaining at a solid medium body, maybe a hair on the lighter side of it.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap at Thirsty Monk Asheville. Served in a tapered 8 oz glass.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam.

S- Bright hop aroma that's a bit on the earthy side and is complemented well by the dark roast.

T- Aggressively bitter but not too off-the-scales. Has a pleasant hop flavor that's, once again, quite earthy and goes well with the roastiness.

M- Oily but also dry at the same time so it makes for an interesting duality. Medium-low carbonation and a full body.

O- One of the better "Black IPAs" I've had. Definitely done in an American style and isn't incredibly complex but I could definitely knock back a few of these happily. Now if only the price could be lower...

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with 1/4 inch head. Nice and piney/resinous ale with a touch of citrus. Very smooth and tasty. Really great example of the style that I will pick up again.

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle gifted to me by @lacqueredmouse. Enjoyed from a pilsener glass on my mother's patio.

Pours a dark mahogany colour, with murky clarity. Head is very generous: fluffy and dense with gorgeous lace, beige in colour. Looks scrumptious, maybe could be a shade darker though.

Smells hoppy, but not a lot. Fair grassy and slight piney, citric edge. Most of it is roasty though with a slight coffee edge, bit of cocoa. Quite a nice mix, would like more aromatic hops though.

Lots of dark malt upfront, plenty of roast, chocolate, and a touch of charry bitterness. Hops play a nice complementary role towards the back; resinous, almost salty, but quite fresh. Really pleasant drinking, not too aggressively hopped but a nice balance.

Little bit dry, with quite a pull from the hops in spite of their mellow flavour. Pleasant texture otherwise.

Really lovely IBA. Superb example of the style, just artistically put together. You've surprised me with this one, BrewDog. There's almost a subtlety here with the amount of finesse used. Love it.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Chocolate brown with piles of creamy taupe head that sheets.
Fresh orange peel and hops sack nose, with depths of resin.
Fig Newtons, oily coffee, kola nut with resin, pompelo and orange rind.
Slight catty and cocoa finish and ringing piney linger.
Medium, good chew, soft.

Black notes are quite black in this one
While there is plenty of hop oil and IBUs, single Simcoe doesn't shine through in the aroma the way it might in other CDAs.
The rare Black IPA that's black more than IPA without being a porter. And probably the best of those.

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Photo of FLima
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it on tap at Brewdog. It poured a black color with one finger head with short retention.
Resin hoppy aroma.
Rich taste of toasted malts along with a perfume and resiny hop. Aftertaste is dry and bitter.
7.2% ABV is well hidden; well, there is plenty of room to hide among 65 IBUs and its flavors.
Extreme beer, lots of flavors and lots of hops, making ends meet.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color; it's very close to being completely opaque, but not quite there. There isn't much head, sadly - just one finger high with a mocha shade. Even with a small head, retention isn't very good. It does leave a bit of lacing on the glass, at least.

S: This one combines a mildly roasted background with lemony, spicy Centennial hops, and actually does it well. The more I sniff on this, the more that I notice that it's the hoppiness that's in the background rather than the roast. Aromatically - while it's not explosively bold - it isn't far off from Wookey Jack, and I consider that very high praise.

T: Roasty, roasty, roasty, did I mention roasty yet? Its hop profile is definitely in the background, though it definitely comes through in the finish with notes of pine, grapefruit, and maybe some lemon. This works better than a few black ales/hoppy porters I've had, but the malt/hop transition is jarring at times.

M: It's well carbonated, while the finish balances between sweet and dry. This one goes down pretty easy because of its slender feel and slight sharpness.

O: It's a really nice black ale, but I'm not sure I'd buy it again given its inflated price. Actually, it isn't that hideously expensive by import/BrewDog standards, so actually, it's more a freshness thing that makes me hesitate a future purchase. I'd definitely give it a second chance on tap, though.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A 330ml bottle with a BB of June 2013. Picked up a while back from Trembling Madness in York. Could this be Zeitgeist's bigger brother?

Poured into a Delirium tulip. A very dark reddish-brown hue that appears black in the glass. Yields a decent head of creamy beige foam that hangs around for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Some lacing. Aroma of pine resin, grapefruit and citrus, underpinned by roasted malt, faint coffee and stewed hops. Delicious.

Tastes of dark, roasted malt with a hoppy character and an intense bitter finish. Notes of roasted grain, burnt husks, mild coffee, pine resin, grapefruit, subtle citrus, earthy yeast and stewed hops. Dry, with a strident bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with pleasant carbonation and decent body. Pretty astringent, with an aftertaste of bitter stewed hops, pine and dark malt.

A solid black IPA with great aroma and flavour. Plenty of pine and hints of citrus, along with a large dose of dark malt. I've had this for a while so the hops may have faded a little - I suspect the fresh aroma was even more intense. My only minor complaint is that the body could be slightly thicker, but this is trivial. A tasty brew; if you like dark, hoppy beers then seek this one out. Worth sampling.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.01/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint. (You owe me 0.8 oz BrewDog)
Gracefully aged for 7 months at the Iron Abbey in Horsham, PA.

Black with some light penetration along the rim. 1/2 finger of loose tan head dissipates quickly.

Smoke, charcoal, raisin, and roasted barley.

Heavily roasted barley, peat smoke, and charcoal. Toffee sweetness along with notes of prune and raisin.

Medium-plus bodied, semi-syrupy, smooth, and sweet.

I'm indifferent.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from GapWines, Belfast...

Poured a deep black colour with no real light getting through. Light tan head poured big, thick and foamy and faded slowly to good thickish covering... lots of sticky lacing most of the way down the glass...

Aroma - Lots of roasted malts followed by juicy fruits (orange zest, some grapefruit, pears), light chocolate and coffee notes, sweet brown sugar traces, strong piney resin and citrus hopiness, raw nuts - pistachio, some rubberiness, honey, cut wet grass / hay...

Taste - Nice light piney, grassy hop bitterness followed by roasted dark malts, nice sweet caramel malts and notes of floral honey balance out the hops, grapefruit notes, some chocolate hints, quite herbal, some liquorice, light toasted bread...

M&D - Fairly smooth with a little oiliness in the background then some sharpness comes through... full bodied... a very drinkable brew - the 7.2% is well hidden

Overall - An excellent example of a black IPA... recommended

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Photo of Mantooth
3.03/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Cork and Cask, Cornelius NC.

I get what this is supposed to be, but the hops have faded (assuming they were ever there/being fair to the brewery), some of the extreme bitterness remains but the nose and taste are quite medicinal, old licorice comes to mind - though I doubt I've ever had any. I'll give it another shot - and as low as this review is, realize I could go much lower. I lean towards the overall good reviews and assume something is wrong here.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.51/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark brown, copper tinge when held to the light. No visible carbonation and 2 fingers of grey beige fluffy head.

S: Dark tar like quality and bright floral hops all in one. Dark chocolate and apricot jam. Jaffa orange cookies. You get my pic. Dark and fruity all at once, unique to this style alone. Hops are subdued compared to say Yakima Glory.

T: Again, that dark stout like quality, fruity orange peel. Dark chocolate and candied orange peel. A light caramel quality, hops are mostly floral, and a toasted light charred note on the finish.

M: Medium thick smooth consistency, with moderate carbonation. Slightly sticky in the aftertaste.

O: Great brew. I expect this one came a long way to Thailand, so likely the hops have fallen off some. Still a treat, having it with Aussie steak in Kunming, China, Jan 11, 2015.

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Libertine Black Ale from BrewDog
87 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.