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Lil One - Maine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Lil OneLil One

Educational use only; do not reuse.

80 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 80
Hads: 514
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 21.95%
Wants: 66
Gots: 71 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bishopdc0 on 02-01-2013

Some may call this a malty double IPA, some a hoppy barley wine. We prefer that it not be classified. We think of it, simply, as our strong winter ale. Intense hop aromatics and flavor (think pine, candied orange) blended with just enough malt sweetness to balance out the palate.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 80 | Hads: 514
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Great creamy hoppy beer. Their signature style turned up a notch. Very lacy. DIPA strength, drunk exactly 90 days after bottling, bottle from Capone's. Big IBU without major palate erasing. Good drinkability. Fuller mouthfeel. CItrus orange aroma and flavour.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

BOTTLE: 1 pint .9 fl oz brown glass. Branded silver pry-off cap. Classy white label design. Bottled 02/06/15.

9.1% ABV.

Served cold into a goblet. Expectations are high given the brewery. Reviewed live as a strong winter ale per Maine Beer Co's website.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1.5 fingers wide. Frothy and foamy, with a nice creamy even consistency and a good complexion. Leaves a coating ring of lacing on the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Retention is good - ~5 minutes.

BODY: Dark copper-amber of nice vibrance. Translucent. Nontransparent. I see no yeast or sediment.

It's a nice looking winter ale, but doesn't stand out as unique or special.

AROMA: Has an unexpected hop presence bursting with sticky resins, pine needles, evergreen, and herb. Candied orange makes an appearance, true to MBC's marketing. There's a robust malt backbone, with just enough malty sweetness to balance out the hop bitterness. Copper malts, amber malts, maybe some biscuit and/or caramalt. Yeast attenuation is high, though it has sort of a flat American yeast profile.

Aromatic intensity is average. No booze or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: The hop profile is a bit too aggressive, bringing too much bitterness (especially on the climax) which isn't tamed by the malty sweetness - of which there is less than I expected. Sweet breadiness helps a bit, I guess. Hop notes include resins, sticky pine needles/pine cone, spruce, evergreen, and herb. Candied orange peel definitely comes through. Also caramelized malts, copper malts, and high-attenuation yeast. Faint sliced mango peel. Rind-y bitterness.

It's not a balanced brew by any means, with a fundamental lack of malt and hop harmony. This is a flawed build with some likable characteristics. I can see why they bill it as a winter ale, but it's far too hoppy. There's complexity, but it's too much of a mess for its complexity to be enjoyable. It lacks deliberation and focus, and isn't gestalt by any means.

TEXTURE: Overcarbonated. Sticky, hefty, heavy, full-bodied, smooth, and wet on the palate. Overbearing and filling without justification. Such a weighty mouthfeel just isn't needed, and amplifies the perceived booziness of the beer.

There's no harmony of texture to taste.

OVERALL: Fan as I am of the other MBC offerings I've had the pleasure to try, this one fell short for me. Overhopped, imbalanced, and boozy are the key attributes, reducing drinkability substantially. This isn't a beer I'd buy again if I saw it on shelves, nor is it one I'd recommend to friends. Disappointing given the brewery, but by no means awful. Average at best by my estimation.


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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is an excellent blend of floral hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of citrus and caramel that are quickly followed by a strong piney hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and provides an excellent balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, excellent representation of style, this is a very good beer to drink for a whole evening.

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Photo of smcolw
4.39/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Starts with a decent head. Even after it settles, there's a solid level of beige bubbles. Some webby lace. Amber to brown color with a definitive haze.

The grapefruit hop is the strongest smell. Surprising for the style. Good pale malt as balance.

Comes across like a borderline Double IPA. Bitter from the ample, peppery hop. Solid pale malt base, but the tale is of the hop. The alcohol is present but well blended. The aftertaste does not linger as long as the bitterness would suggest. Smooth body.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle dated 1/31/2013.

Appearance - Big head on a deep copper body. Mostly clear body. Nice retention.

Smell - Hoppy and caramely. Slightly buttery. Odd.

Taste - Less hoppy. Very caramely. And really buttery. Not understanding if it's intentional. Not a lot of other flavors. No bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Slick and buttery. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Disappointing Maine beer. I'm just not getting it.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.59/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Damon's in Augusta
Dated Jan so this might not be quite the hop monster it once was. Pours a slightly murky golden amber color with a frothy off white head that persists forever sticking lots of lace on the sides. Aromas of earth pine brown sugar and caramel. The flavor is bit sweet with hints of caramel and raw brown sugar with a solid hit of earthy pine and resin. Toffee and light fruit with a bit of alcohol flavor round us out. Medium to thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sticky creamy resinous mouthfeel. I drank this at the wrong time I think. Either super fresh when the hops still popped or with more age to bring forward more fruit and subdued hops. I'm interested enough in seeing how this develops that I may pick up a bottle on my way out of town to cellar for a bit.

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Photo of corby112
3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

2013 vintage.

Pouts a cloudy dark amber color with golden copper edges and a two finger, frothy off-white head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a thick lasting ring. Large streaks and chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Earthy aroma that's similar to an American barleywine with a nice balance of resinous hops, vinous fruit and a complex, leathery and sweet malt bill. Slightly floral, earthy hop character with lots of grass, pine needle and spruce tip countered by a strong malt backbone. Hints of old leather and soil followed by spicy rye, caramel malt, toffee, fig and raisin. The earthy hop and malt characters play off of each other nicely but they dominate the sweeter notes a bit too much in the nose.

On the fuller end of medium bodied with a blast of sticky, earthy hops that provide a ton of dry bitterness that lingers over the leathery and sweet malt notes into a bone dry finish. The hop profile is one dimensional with very bitter, tongue coating dryness that is a bit overwhelming. Dirty and soil like with a ton of grass and pine flavor countered by spicy rye, leather, toffee and subtle vinous fruit. The caramel malt sweetness and vinous dark fruit notes found in the aroma are almost completely overpowered. The high ABV is well masked with only a touch of heat and alcohol sweetness but this beer is still tough to drink and is in desperate need of some balance. Not a bad beer but it lacks complexity and drinking all 16.9oz was a bit of a chore.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From the 500 ml bottle dated 031315. Sampled on June 7, 2015.

It is definitely a milky, unfiltered looking medium amber under a long lasting, delicate and soft tan head. Lacing.

The aroma is vibrant with sweet roasted barley malts, caramel malts, moss, orange, and earthy and pine hop delights. No alcohol.

Bold body.

Bold tastes go with the bold body. . Alcohol well masked under the aggressive roasted malts, orange fruitiness, and earthy hop bitterness.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an almost completely opaque dark amber with a medium off-white head. Aroma is tropical fruit, pine, with a caramel background. Taste is medium-heavy bitter, medium sweet, some alcohol as well. Finish is bitter and alcoholic. Full bodied, syrupy texture. Not bad at all.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a bit cloudy. Dark Amber color. Huge head. Thick, squishy and frothy. Lots of frothy lacing. Aroma is full of candied citrus hops some pine and sweet apricot hops. Also quite malty and balanced with caramel, fruit cake. The first sip really brings a potent hop delivery. Spicy, herbal hops. Pine, dried grass, grapefruit, candied oranges. Hefty maltiness but it finishes rather dry. Caramel, sweet dough and crusts. Quite bitter. Noticeable alcohol. Pretty aggressive. Interestingly enough, it becomes softer as it warms. Full bodied. A tongue dryer. Not my favorite Maine brew; still pretty tasty. Definitely a nice, hoppy offering that pairs excellently with the bitter cold weather outside.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.47/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle poured into tulip

Pours a clouded, almost murky copper/caramel color with a fluffy two-finger topping of bubbled head. Retains well with cloudy film and sticky patches of lacing.

Bitter piny hops in the nose with caramel sweetness. Bread crust, toasted malts, soft glowing warmth.

Pine hoppiness, stiff bitterness, sticky resin kicks off the profile. Caramel and malty sweetness, heavier backbone with bread crust and toasted warmth. Touch of boozy warmth, lingering bitterness with pine and a hint of citrusy pith.

Medium body, decent carbonation, sticky and chewy on the tongue. Drinks nicely considering the ABV, meshing nicely with the hop-forward profile. Another solid beer (albeit a bit ugly looking) from MBC, but not one of their top creations.

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Photo of dar482
3.33/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

It comes with a decent amount of head in a cloudy orange/amber color. It starts off with a lovely aroma of hops, but then the taste does not hold up to that. I can't quite put my finger on what it tastes like, but melon is a good analogy. It surely does not pop of hops. It does a great job of hiding its booziness, being at over 9%.

I agree with one reviewer that it sits a strange area. It's not hoppy enough, it's not malty enough, it's not strong enough. It's has a weird space that it's trying to fit in. And in the end, it still has that hard to place flavor that isn't quite "right."

It's not necessarily bad, but confusing. I would definitely recommend the other Maine Co. beers. They make some of the best beers I have had, each and every one. This is an outlier for me.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pours an amber ruby red color with a solid soapy white head.

S - Resiny and chalky spicy, pine. The nose is very light.

T - Spicy onion, garlic, and vegetable, tea leaf, and a vinous spicy, cotton-like finish, pine needles.

M - Light medium body with a lingering vegetable garlic finish.

O - Unique.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle as a trade extra dated 010215. Pours hazy deep dark orange amber with a huge off white and yellowish creamy fluffy head. Nice aroma with the characteristic Maine yeast, floral hops, light citrus sweetness, some bready malt. For the ABV, the aroma comes off very delicate. Nice. Flavor is nicely bitter citrus rind, floral flavors, lemon peel, some pine, sweet malty bready backbone. Medium bodied, medium carbonation with just a touch of prickle, dry bitter, dank. Basically a DIPA here bordering on very light barleywine, but comes off relatively light on the palate. This is really nice.

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Photo of Holland
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: deep orange to almost brown color with a thin off-white head that stays and leaves a thick looking layer of foam on the walls of the glass with each sip.

S: hoppy right up front with some sweet malt, orange, and apricot.

T: taste follows the nose with more fruity flavors and a bit less hops. Would have liked more hop bitterness and/or less sweetness from the malt, but it's delicious overall.

M: carbonated, thick, easy to take down.

O: I really thought this was going to be a dainty pale ale when I picked it up. Still not really one that I'd age, and they say not to on the label, but it would be interesting to experiment if I came across it again.

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Photo of Dope
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 11/14/13. About 5 weeks old.

A: Pours a clear red. Tall, frothy and fizzy light brown head. Head fades slowly with great retention - big island of foam. Heavy and thick chunks of lacing interspersed with thin little lines.

S: Big spicy, resinous pine notes. Floral too. Quite floral in fact, especially in the "aftertaste" or "afteraroma" maybe? Nice bready notes to follow it up.

T: Again with the spicy, piney notes. Still resinous, especially in the middle and back end. Hints of floral notes but not as notable as in the aroma. Sweet grainy/bready malt, especially towards the finish. Pretty heavy malt flavors lends to an overall balanced brew. Lots of spicy pine lingers in the aftertaste.

M: Medium-heavy. Sticky hop oils in the aftertaste.

O: A hoppy yet balanced brew for sure. Very similar to a hoppy amber like Zoe, but still different enough. Definitely a heavier malt presence for sure. The style reminds me of Arrogant Bastard, though it is quite a different hop and malt profile. Really tasty and easy drinking brew. Very nice.

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Photo of argock
3.51/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16.9 oz amber bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Bottled on 013113 on side of label. Purchased at WIne Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $6.99.

A: Hazy auburn-amber with 1-2 finger frothy light beige head with good retention and copious lines and dots of lace.

S: Definitely a dank, earthy hops profile, heavy on the Columbus with that signature meaty aroma when combined with a lot of crystal malts. The maltiness is overcome by the hoppiness, but some raisiny sweetness pokes through.

T: The flavor is not very cohesive with a very 2-part character with a caramel sweetness with date and raisin then crushed by an earthy, herbal hoppiness with some meatiness and a round complete bitterness. The flavor is certainly more together with warming. There is a bit of astringent alcohol character when warm.

M: Smooth and creamy with medium body and low carbonation.

O: A decent beer but the flavors don't really meld that well. Definitely clean, but too earthy for me.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into ommegang tulip. Bottled 1/31/13.
Pours a deep ruby/orange/brown with a finger of foamy white head. Smell is sweet malts with a big dose of hops...wasnt expecting the hops to be so big, but it works well.
Taste is sweet malts, a bit of citurs maybe?? with nice hop flavor without much bitterness. Its a bit hot, but creamy and pleasant. Nice winter brew and great new addition to the MBC line up.

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Photo of Florida9
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Lighter caramel brown in color. Moderately hazy. Forms a very large off-white head. Excellent retention. Copious lacing.

S: Vanilla, oak, caramel malts, mildly earthy. Grassy-earthy hops.

T: Taste starts off with a blend of woodiness and alcohol. Then turns slightly sweet. Notes of vanilla, oak and a heavy dose of spice along with toffee and caramel malt. Finish is mildly fusel.

M: Medium bodied. Fusel spice. Moderate bitterness. Alcoholic. Appropriate carbonation.

O: Was this beer aged on wood? Because it seems like it was. A rather hoppy Strong Ale, one with the alcohol front and center.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-red amber color with a decent off-white head and some lacing

S-malty, pine, some fruit and spice, slightly herbal

T-pine, some citrus, malt with some caramel sweetness, herbal, moderately bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, chewy with slight astringency

O-an interesting beer, not sure what to make of this, but pleasant enough to sip and enjoy

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle date: 1/31/13. Consumed 8 days later.

Lil One pours a hazy amber with a moderate sized head on top. As the foam fades it leaves behind lines and spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is hoppy with notes of pine, orange citrus and lemon zest. A little bit of bready malt is in there too.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft on the palate with mild carbonation. The flavor is much like the aroma. It's loaded with pine, orange citrus and lemon zest. Near the end some sweet caramel malt and a little bread come through. It finishes moderately bitter with lingering pine hop flavors when gone.

Lots of hops in this beer. Definitely drink it fresh. Very tasty.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I cracked open this beer and I poured it into a glass the first thing I noticed was the aroma. Perhaps one of the finest smelling beers I ever seen.
It smelled rich with oily hops that were no doubt still fresh, a big citrus and tangerine and grapfruit bouquet too. Who cares about the malts right now. I think this beer was dry hopped because the aroma being fantastic also faded quickly away. And that was a big disappointment.
The appearance was hazy amber with a tall beige head. The head fades quick leaving some spotty lacing.
I was hoping the taste was as flavorful as the nose but this was not the case, an utter disappointment again. The beer has a big caramel malt backbone and only lingering hop flavor. Hops have a more floral and earthy taste but really are almost absent.
Touches of warming alcohol tickle the tongue and lips.
Drinks smooth and dry and bitter very much like a DIPA.
Altough this was a good beer and only about a moth old i was disapponted. It smelled great but didn't carry over to the taste, which is there trademark.
That being said somebody get me another one!

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Photo of Chaney
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 1/31/13

Presently, this is the #28 ranked "American Strong Ale" here on BA. Competitive category, for sure!

Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A: Poured a very sandy, dark brown color, with a slight off-white pillowy head. No light passing through, but not completely devoid of color. Sorta like very, muddy pond water.

S: Very bright, fruity, and hoppy. Hell, this smelled like a world-class DIPA. Grapefruit, mango, peach, and some bitter leaves.

T: Okay, now I get the "American Strong Ale" connection. The refreshing mango lingering during the aftertaste was to die for! On the front end, I actually got a good bit of malt to cut the hop down to size, a good bit of candy-coated booze, and a nice bitter bite.

M: Remarkably unsweetened. Seriously, this is the least sugary example of this style I've ever tasted. That allowed the ingredients to really shine and pleasantly stain the palate.

O: Another winner from Maine Brewing. We just got them in the DC area, and they've yet to disappoint.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the Better Beer store in Fryeburg ME. Nice ladies and gents at that place.

Dark amber to caramel brown color. Very hazy, maybe too hazy but I think unfiltered beers are kinda ugly anyway. Big sticky head.

Strong grassy citrus and vanilla aroma. When Maine Beer and a "hoppy" description come together I expect pungent hop stank. I am not dissapointed.

Grassy citrus and sweet, caramel nougat malt body. Malt does an ample job of standing up to the hops. Maybe even some chocolate milk? No heat for 9% which is impressive. Thick, resiny body.

A resiny hop bomb from ME Beer, go figure. While this is indubitably a good beer I don't know that it stands out from any of the other ME Beer hop bombs. Probably my least favorite of that trio (Zoe, Peeper and Lunch. I guess you could count Mo too) due to the thick dessert like malt character but that's just my preference.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Cloudy brownish amber with 1 finger of tan head that dissipates quickly.

Grapefruit pith, pine needle, caramel, toffee, candy sugar, and stone fruit.

Beautiful balance between the malt and hops. Rich toffee and caramel with light notes of molasses. Grapefruit juice, pine sap, and suggestions of peach, nectarine, and passion fruit. Some pleasant alcohol notes in there.

Full bodied, juicy, warming, silky, smooth, and chewy with a light bitterness.

Wow! Just a fantastic American Barleywine / DIPA thing. Tremendous balance where neither the malt or hops compete with one another. Very drinkable with an incredible body.

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Lil One from Maine Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.