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Mean Old Tom - Maine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Mean Old TomMean Old Tom

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

401 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 401
Hads: 2,084
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 21.52%
Wants: 117
Gots: 365 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dciBA on 03-03-2010

Our American-style stout aged on organic vanilla beans. Intense notes of coffee and dark chocolate lead way to subtle notes of natural vanilla. Flaked oats generate a silky mouthfeel.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 401 | Hads: 2,084
Photo of n2185
3.57/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours black with two fingers of khaki head that fades into a thin layer with a little lacing.

S: lots of roasted and smokey malt aromas up front followed by sweet vanilla and cocoa notes.

T: again, lots of roasted, smokey, and bitter malt characteristics. The finish has some slight vanilla notes, but they're subtle compared to the smokey flavors.

M: medium-thick body with medium carbonation, this beer is slightly watery.

O: a pretty decent beer, though I'd like more vanilla presence. It's very smokey and roasted and not sweet at all.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

16.9 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a very deep purple, almost black. Beige head settles very quickly, lacing is sparse and patchy.

S: Lots of creamy vanilla and vanilla bean. Reminds me of the vanilla bean ice cream I used to make. Roasty and chocolatey scents underneath. Mostly cocoa and chocolate syrup. A bit of french roast and earthy yeast too.

T: Sweet cola-like character up front is quickly punctuated by woody and smokey malt tastes. Vanilla was so prevalent in the nose, but it's hard to place here; just the slightest hint of it within all the roasted malt. The chocolatey presence is also all but silent in the taste, with only a slight flavor of dark cocoa. Semi-dry finish with tastes of woody smoke, black cocoa powder, and a touch of vanilla.

M: Thin and somewhat watery in the mouth. Just enough carbonation to keep it from being totally flat. Very slightly silky. Not much body to it; lacks substance.

O: This beer tastes like a pretty decent home brew, not the product of a production brewery. It smelled great, but the taste just did not follow. The lack of body also contributed to its mediocrity.

Notes: I kept hoping that it would open up a little if I let it warm, but it didn't. This one needs to be revised, I think.

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Photo of pschul4
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Axic10 for this extra!

A- Pours a cola brown with a 1 finger tan head that recedes to a ring around the top of the brew

S- Definite vanilla notes with roasty malt flavors in the background

T- Sweet notes to go with the roasty malts you get from the nose. Not straight vanilla but some sucrose sweetness keeping everything tasty

M- Thin :( If this beer were thicker it would be phenominal.

O- I really enjoy this and would love to be able to try it again

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle poured into a snifter

Pours a dark brown, near black with a one+ finger khaki head. Good retention with some faint sip marks.

The aroma is of mild roast coffee, a touch of milk chocolate and fresh vanilla beans. There is an overarching sweetness that works to balance out the bitterness of the roast.

The flavor profile mimics the nose. Some bitter roast coffee mixed with some sweet milk chocolate and vanilla. The vanilla blends with the roast for a nice lingering finish.

Medium body with moderately high carbonation. The vanilla beans seem to help lift the beer off the palate, making it feel thinner than it really is.

This is good beer. The vanilla beans do not overpower in any way. Well-crafted american stout. I could drink this any day.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like I expect a "Stout" should pour-- dark brown almost black color-- topped by a short lived head that laced the glass.

A slight nose of toasted malt.

The flavor isn't particularly up front and center. This beer is a stout, but maybe it's because I've been quaffing too many RIS's that when I see stout I expect WEIGHT! This beer doesn't provide that. It's a mild stout in every respect- ABV, flavor stance, even I might add complexity. there's the hops bitterness, hints of toasted malt, a little chocolate thrown in, maybe some sweetneess even.

Mouthfeel is quite cordial-- remember this is a mild flavored stout. But this beer's finishes quickly leaving me wanting more flavor, and more at the finish.

Overall I would choose this beer as a "lite" stout.

Now what exactly "aged ON natural vanilla beens" is-- stout filled barrels placed on a pile of vanilla beans-- or stout filled barrels fed a few vannilla beans from time to time... good question.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- pours an ebony color with a creamy looking light tan head. Good retention with some lacing as well.

S- bakers chocolate, soft roasted malt and cocoa aromas hit the nose at first. Light roast coffee beans and vanilla notes come out as well.

T- semi-sweet chocolate and iced coffee hit the palate at first. Soft roasted malt quality and a oily walnut note are there mid palate. Finishes with assertive vanilla bean flavor and more dark chocolate.

MF- slick oily mouthfeel with a light weak body and natural bottle conditioned carbonation! A thicker body and silky mouthfeel would do wonders for this brew.

D- really drinkable.

Overall a good stout with awesome vanilla tones. Just a little to thin and delicate.

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Photo of bitterbeerguy
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a long week, I decided to open this bottle with a fellow beer enthusiast.

Pours a lite midnight color. I realize this is kind of an oxymoron, but it is the perfect description. Very dark, but not terrible dense. Nice small off-white bubbles grace the top at first and subside quickly.

Aroma is balanced between chocolate, coffee and vanilla. Really the vanilla did it for me. With that said, I was surprised how the notes were all very subtle- so often I find American Stouts have more pronounced flavors, but that's OK by me.

Taste- I was initially a little disappointed by this- a little weak body for the complexity of the aroma. With that said, I let it sit 15 minutes and that helped to make those flavors arrive. The vanilla won the race for me, and really why I would recommend this brew to others. Some beers talk about vanilla, but MOT had it spot on. Some light notes of marshmallow fluff, caramel, and butterscotch linger in the background.

Overall, a very nice way to begin a wonderful evening with friends.


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Photo of sprucetip
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle dated 11.10.11, so about 3 months in the bottle.

Black but not thickly so, as it is translucent and reveals good clarity when backlit. It is highly active, has a finger of mocha head that stays for a bit and leaves scraps of lacing.

The aroma includes a modest level of roast, a wee nip of vanilla, and some malty sweetness. It is not especially rich, strong, deep or complex. But it is well balanced and pleasant, and seems to become more robust throughout the sample.

The taste is composed of much the same elements as the nose. The roast is far from bold, the vanilla is so minimal that it is more like the vanilla tones imparted from an oak barrel that does not actually have any vanilla in it, and is joined by some mildly sweet malty character. There is some ever so faint roasty bitterness. It is very smooth and balanced, if not particularly complex or robust.

The strong carbonation occasionally burns a little but not uusally, it has a medium/full body, and is just a really smooth and easy drinking mid sized stout.

This is clearly a very well made beer. It is smooth and balanced, but not very complex or aggressive in the smell or flavor. It is an easy drinker, and does have some limited depth. Perhaps the vanilla comes through stronger when it is more fresh? This bottle came off a warm shelf, and was 3 months in the bottle. But, at $7 for a 500ml bottle, Cadillac Mountain at $5 for a 650 or $11 for a sixer is looking pretty good. Maine Beer Co makes nice beer, but I don’t think it is quite as good as it should be for the elite level pricing it sells for.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.74/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pint at Valhalla in NYC for $8, comes filled to the brim with barely a line of mocha-colored head and lotsa bubbles. Pretty good retention for that tiny head, and beautiful lacing.

Smell: As in the bottle, the nose is underwhelming. Slight roastiness, maybe a whiff of vanilla. Opaque.

Taste: Full roasty flavor, followed by dairy and pleasantly sour milk. Sort of like week-old half-and-half. Nice vanilla at the end. A bit of coffee and bitter chocolate. Just beautiful.

Mouthfeel: Well-rounded, with full roasty flavor, medium body and fine carbonation. Not dry, bonus! Creamy and oily to boot.

Overall: A wonderfully balanced, drinkable stout. Way better than the bottle!

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Photo of shangwang
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Stumbled on Mean Old Tom on tap at Ron's Original tonight. Served in a Chimay goblet.

There was a dark black appearance to the body, with a half-finger of frothy tan head that dissipated to a thin layer rather quickly, leaving some soft, foamy lacing behind. It smelled very strongly of coffee, but it wasn't as much a dark roast smell as it was a sweet mocha with hints of vanilla. The taste was more bitter than I expected from the smell, and I got baker's chocolate, medium roast coffee, and a hint of vanilla. The mouthfeel was much waterier than I expected; it was rather light in the mouth with almost no carbonation. In fact, I'd say it was flat, which was disappointing.

Overall, I was let down by the taste after the expectations I had from the smell and appearance. It wasn't a bad beer, but I was hoping the vanilla would be a major contributor to the taste, and it just wasn't. The mouthfeel was extremely disappointing - it had no body, which would have added a lot. I doubt I'll be seeking this one out again with the number of other beers in this style that have great character.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

split a bottle with my buddy, poured into a duvel glass

A- pours black, slgitly translucent by the head, dark amber brown, nice 1 finger mocha colored head, looks creamy and delicious

S- roasty, creamy, chocolate, almost reminds me of marshmellow, vanilla, kinda like toasty vanilla.

T- not as nice as the nose, good chocolate notes, vanilla, a bit roasty, but then i swear i taste water on the finish.

M- nice at the beggining until it gets to the finish, then its like water, and not in a good drinkable way, but like water.... the first time i tried this, i thought mabye it was the bottle, this is the second bottle from the second batch ive tried, i keep wanting it to be better, but its not, kinda kills and otherwise good beer for me.

O- do something... fix the watery finish,

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Photo of Wasatch
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to portia99 for this brew.

Bottle Dated: 111011

Poured into a Squatters True Pint glass a very nice black color, very nice carbonation, with a nice one-finger creamy light tan head, which leaves some very nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some vanilla notes, lots of chocolate/toffee. The taste is sweet, malty, with some very nice chocolate/toffee going on. Medium body, very nice smooth texture. Another very tasty brew from MBC. Thanks Bill!

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Photo of justintcoons
3.59/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep brown appearing black with some ruby red highlights around the edges. About 1 finger of tan head dissipates quickly. Thin layer of creamy lacing.

N: Sweet milk chocolate, cocoa nibs and Cola along with notes of dark roast coffee and vanilla. Very aromatic.

T: The taste is not as intense as the nose unfortunately. Roasted barley, cola and notes of cocoa upfront. Some milk chocolate and caramel comes into play mid-palate. Finishes with bitter bakers chocolate and lactose with maybe just a hint of vanilla.

M: Medium bodied, almost chewy, sticky and semi-dry with low carbonation.

O: This is a Sweet Stout at heart. Nicely roasted and sweet with a lot of milk chocolate. The vanilla is not as prevalent as I've hoped but perhaps this only helps to boast the chocolate flavors in this beer. The flavors are too subtle for my tastes but may be an excellent introductory Stout to people afraid to try dark beer.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours jet black with a small head that dissipates almost immediately.

S: Aromas of chocolate and malts that hide the alcohol very well.

T: Nice and chocolate malty flavors with subtle hints of vanilla in the finish. There is a pleasant amount of bitterness.

M: Medium to full bodied with very little carbonation and a nice creaminess. This beer feels bigger than it is.

O: Very sessionable and very enjoyable - easy to drink and it tastes much bigger than the ABV.

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Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin light mocha head that quickly disappeared, leaving a thick ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of chocolate and roasted malts in the nose along with subtle hints of vanilla beans.
T: The beer is quite malty and has flavors of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malts plus some hints of vanilla beans towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It feels a little fuller-bodied than you would expect for its alcohol content.
O: This beer really packs in a lot of body and flavors for a beer that has a relatively low alcohol content compared to other beers in the style. It is also very sessionable.

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Photo of jaxon53
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Love Maine Beer Co.'s simple labels. Served this chilled, in a snifter, from a 500ml bottle. Let this warm a bit before sampling.

Appearance: Mean Old Tom poured out a dark as night black. Not a bit of light can show through it. A somewhat hard pour brings on almost a two full finger tan cap. Head was creamy and a bit thick. Pretty good retention here. Some pretty thick bands were left behind. A better than average looking beer.

Smell: Just the kind of nose I was expecting from a stout. Loads of roasted malt throughout. Definitely some light coffee overtones. Smells a little sweet, probably from the natural vanilla beans on which this is aged. Bits of caramel around the edges. As the vanilla fades, a faint chocolate note kicks in. Hope this tastes as good as it smells.

Taste: Better than it smells! Wonderful full flavor. Thick roasted malt flavors rule this brew. A bit of freshly brewed coffee mixes in. Vanilla is there, but a bit more subdued than in the nose. Oats? Seems like oats would be in there to smooth this out. I like this!

Mouthfeel: A little on the thin side for me. Medium bodied, low carbonation.

Overall: Mouthfeel aside, a pretty solid beer in my opinion. Can't wait to try more from this brewery.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500mL bottle. 111011 is marked on the label. I assume it means bottled on Nov 10, 2011.

appears opaque black, with 1" tan head that fades to a thin covering that stays. some lacing. mild roasted malt aroma, a little sweet.

taste is slightly roasty, a bit acidic. not really picking up the vanilla. it's on the thinner side, I'd like it to be a bit thicker. mild carbonation.

overall - a decent stout, but I don't see the vanilla bean aging.

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Photo of YouSkeete
4.82/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very dark brown, black appearance. Thick, foamy khaki colored head with fantastic lacing. Aroma consists of vanilla beans, rich milk chocolate, oak, cherries, roasted coffee, chocolate malts and heavy cream. Taste is milky, mildly bitter with lots of rich and smooth chocolate and roasted coffee flavors. Great notes of cherries, vanilla bean, molasses, malt and some hints of yeast and light hops. Sort of a sugar-cookie flavor towards the end. Medium to light body with mild carbonation. Aftertaste is mostly rich coffee flavors and smooth chocolates. Wonderful, fantastic American Stout.

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Photo of brentk56
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color verging on black that is capped by a decent, but not overly impressive head that becomes rather rocky; leaves a modest amount of lace

Smell: Very roasty, with chocolate and vanilla bean elements

Taste: Opens with gobs of chocolate flavor and moves in a very roasty direction by mid-palate; the vanilla element is very subtle and comes through in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I enjoyed the roasty elements and the subtle vanilla treatment and think the chocolate comes through very effectively, call this a Porter and there would be fewer complaints about the mouthfeel, I think

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Photo of jbertsch
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a big wine glass. Appears black as expected. Head was off white, almost tan.

Aroma gave me powdery oats, bakers chocolate, and some general campfire roastiness.

The taste was very similar to the aroma. Oatmeal-like notes up front. S'mores-like, but with dark chocolate. I don't get too much vanilla, but there's maybe a trace of it the more I drink this and dig deeper. Primarily, though, oats and dry bakers chocolate prevail. However there's still a little watered down feel to it all.

Mouthfeel is thinner than I'd like.

Overall this was enjoyable, but as the vanilla is advertised, it lets you down on that front. No big deal. Still tasty. Just wish it had a little more body.

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Photo of GeezLynn
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown, almost black body with a patchy white-tan head. Pretty good retention.
S: Heavy milk chocolate with a little vanilla noticeable. This is one of those stouts that smells like a chocolate tootsie pop to me.
T: Rich cocoa, some roasted malt, a bit of nutty flavor and what I’m guessing is lactose. Just enough bitterness for balance. Full flavored but doesn’t stray into extremes in any area.
M: Medium-bodied with light carbonation. Very soft feel with velvety carbonation.

My second beer from Maine Brewing and enjoyed it very much. The vanilla referred to on the label didn’t seem all that strong, but it brought out the chocolate flavors nicely. Also the mouthfeel was full and smooth and reminded me of some of my favorite oatmeal stouts like Doubly Down and Dirty.

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Photo of VtBeerRun
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another quality beer by the Maine Beer Company. This is a good beer. As others have stated, I wish I got a bit more vanilla, but it is very good and very drinkable. The taste is the best part of this beer. Nothing spectacular, maybe I'm a bit spoiled by what I expect from the Maine Beer Company since they always seem to have a great beer. I would definitely get this again, however it would be a go to beer if it had just a bit more of the vanilla hint and a unique taste it. Keep up the good work!


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Photo of Fluke828
2.41/5  rDev -39%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

500ml bottle -> CCB Snifter
Bottled Dated: 01/05(?)/12

A-> Poured cold with a deep brown/black hue with some faintly khaki colored head about .5 fingers worth that leaves some moderate lacing.

S-> Dark, roasted malt, cheap coffee, some light bitter chocolate, no real vanilla detectable...smells almost thin....

T-> some bitter chocolate with cheap or stale coffee notes. Roasty flavors take over but that's about it. Everything seems muted and watered down...

M-> Disappointed here. Way too thin and didn't improve once this beer warmed up. Wasn't creamy or thick by any means. Thin and watery. Zero carbonation.

O-> Significantly disappointed by this one given the pedigree I have become accustomed to with the other MBC offerings. Also for being "a stout aged on natural vanilla beans" I got very little vanilla, if any at all. May revisit this someday from a different batch but not exactly jonesing to do so after this experience...maybe this beer needs more time?

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Photo of Gmann
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown/black color that has brownish highlights. The head is tight and creamy that settles into a sparse head but left a small sheet of lacing.

The aroma is of a light roasted malt, light coffee and light milk chocolate. Some nice woody aroma as well. Smells like a light FBS. Not much vanilla detected.

The taste is much the same. Light roast, light coffee, hint of chocolate. Nice woody flavors. Some brown bread and brown sugar. Pumpernickle bread with honey. I really don't pick up any vanilla unless it is from the bean husk. Good flavor but disappointed that I don't pick up the vanilla.

The feel is moderate, almost light. Soft carbonation, almost silky feel. Sweet and bitter good balance. Feels a bit thin for a stout.

A very tasty stout, just didn't get the vanilla. I like the woody flavors and light coffee but felt a bit thin. Still a must try though.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in a standard pint. 0105012 printed on the label. Pours one shade shy of black with a voluminous, 1.5 inch, mocha-colored head. Head eventually settles into a solid, quarter inch cap. Some spots and strands of lacing are revealed during the tasting. Nose expresses roasted malt, cocoa nibs, a trace of vanilla and a suggestion of either lactose or artificial sweetener towards the back. Taste consistent with nose; however, the flavor profile comes off a bit watered down and there is a slightly ashy char that reveals itself towards the finish and lingers between quaffs. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a crisp, even carbonation that leaves a mild, residual prickle across the tongue. Overall, a solid beer, but not my favorite from this brewer. Also, the $6.99 price tag on this brew is a bit of a deterrent from adding this to my regular line-up. Worth trying if the opportunity presents, but not something I need to seek out again.

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Mean Old Tom from Maine Beer Company
88 out of 100 based on 401 ratings.