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Old 21 Imperial IPA - The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works

Not Rated.
Old 21 Imperial IPAOld 21 Imperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

329 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 329
Reviews: 131
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 12
Gots: 22 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: aracauna on 06-06-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 329 | Reviews: 131 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Cleveland. Orangey colour with lasting significant whte head, 3/8" inch. Very mild hoppy aroma. An orange taste, about middling mouthfeel. One imensional, slightly off-note. Its the style, a high IBU, its drinkable, but its marginal compared to what else is available.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 00:43:57 | More by Sammy
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle thanks to jampics2. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate golden coper color with a white head. Some carbonation is visible. A bit of lacing. The nose brings citrus, tropical, and grassy hop notes as well as a bit of light grain. The taste isn't nearly as hoppy as the nose would suggest, and is quite boozy underneath the hops and accompanying bitterness. Mouthfeel is boozy, for sure. Drinkability is okay. Nice nose with a good flavor profile, but overall just way too boozy.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2010 01:33:43 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"When I was as you are now, towering in the confidence of 21, little did I suspect that I should be at 49, what I now am."

--Samuel Johnson

Dried apricot orange with butterscotch colored edges when backlit with morning sunshine. There goes my theory that 100% pale malted beer can't be darker than gold. The pastel orangish beige colored crown is both bubbly and sticky. Thick sheets of BB-shot lace look good enough to earn the big score.

One rarely runs across an American DIPA that uses only four ingredients. This one includes pale malt, Simcoe hops, water and yeast. The nose isn't a gobsmacker, but it has plenty of tropical fruity goodness... and no toasted maltiness to get in the way.

The Brew Keeper's Old 21 Imperial Pale Ale is better beer than 4 C's Pale Ale. That said, it isn't significantly better and may not deserve a higher taste score. Before jumping to any hasty conclusions, let's see what the rest of the bomber has to say for itself.

Considering color and flavor, I'm positive that something darker than pale malt was used. Caramel-crystal is almost a certainty, assuming that my eyes and taste buds are in good working order. Maybe TBK changed the recipe along with the label. The new label looks much better than the picture seen above.

The flavor profile delivers sugar cookies drizzled with melted caramel, a bit of butterscotch, pink grapefruit peel and bitter orange peel. In the end, the borderline abrasive hoppiness (90 IBUs) is winning me over. At least this isn't one of those overly malty, sappy, sticky, insufficiently hopped versions of the style that seem to be all the rage these days.

The body-mouthfeel finds that often elusive sweet spot between too light and too heavy. It's easily medium-full and has a creamy smoothness that is complemented by an ideal amount of hard-working bubbles.

Given the new label, Old 21 refers to the former Ohio route 21, which (I think) was in the vicinity of the brewery. Keeping with the theme, Old 21 Imperial IPA is a road well worth traveling, especially if like your beer to be both big and hoppy.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2010 14:11:39 | More by BuckeyeNation
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brentk56

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a couple of inches of foam; the retention was stellar, with a few patches of lace sticking to the side of the glass

Smell: Smells more malty than hoppy, with a butterscotch character dominant; pith and pine, underneath

Taste: Very sweet, up front, with the butterscotch dominating the flavor through the middle, as well, though there is an assertive piney bitterness that builds; the hops finally win the tug of war, after the swallow, though there is a lingering sweetness on the tip of the tongue in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: Perhaps this bottle is old (though I just bought it in a highly rated Cleveland shop), but I was surprised at the understated hop presence; given how much I liked White Rajah, I was doubly disappointed that this beer failed to live up to that beer's example

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2012 22:46:58 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear copper color ale with a big foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma consists of quite bitter and slightly citrus hops. Taste is also dominated by some citrus and bitter hops with some medium caramel malt. Full body with good carbonation and no discernable alcohol. A bit one-dimensional for sure but well done nonetheless and better then expected.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2008 18:58:49 | More by Phyl21ca
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ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

07-20-2014 04:33:19 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a clear looking copper color, with a thin white head on top and just a touch of lacing on the glass. The smell was loaded with hop aromas ranging from pine to tropical fruits and citrus. The taste of the beer was quite nice I though, big malt backbone with a punishing amount of hops in the finish. The mouthfeel of the beer was slick and oily. Overall this beer was pretty intense. Not as balanced as the White Rajah but still not bad at all.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2012 01:21:20 | More by Knapp85
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer looks nice. Smells nice (citrus toned). Nice flavor tone. Very hoppy with salty and pine resin flavor characteristics. The delivery of flavor is consistent and long lasting on this one, and I like it. I feel like this an "easier drinking" dipa. Maybe it's easier drinking because it just stays consistent and there is no pretense about trying to be all showy. Anyways. I like this one. My second from Brew Kettle, and another good one. If you see it, definitely try it out.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2012 00:51:56 | More by RblWthACoz
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WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old 21 Imperial IPA makes it clear on the label that it pretty much hits you with on hop variety aka Simcoe. It's hard not to compare this to Weyerbacher's Double Simcoe IPA. Dank mary jane, pith of Grapefruit with the peels, super pungent hop nose here. A bit of sugar coated malt backing this label states there's 90 IBUs and 9% abv. This beer isn't messing around. Besides the lighter copper golden color this beer appears to have it pretty much mirrors the Simcoe DIPA from Weyerbacher. Full thicket of off white head forming thick bands of lacing. Flavor is super bitter with an earthy grapefruit/dank marijuana/earthiness that doesn't exist with any other type of hop out there. Super big malt layer stands up to the onslaught of Simcoe hops but just barely, again these guys are awesome homebrewers gone pro. They understand the brewing process and I'm excited to try the next variation of the same beer that they produce. Mouhfeel is medium bodied with a evident alcohol infused base that hasn't been there in any other variation of this style, pretty hot if you know what I'm saying. At least their small brewing operation can ferment out to this level, resinous oily texture from the hop additions brings on a full mouthfeel compared to most single to double IPAs old 21 isn't messing around it's a display of what this brewer is capable of. Overall drink more Brew Kettle beer if you're lucky enough to find it then you should be drinking it. I know that Premium Beverage out of Columbus has distribution rights but I demand to see more of this near my beer store in Steubenville OH, considering the great bomber prices people will try these beers and be thoroughly impressed.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 16:00:16 | More by WVbeergeek
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Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with a finger of foamy bright-white head. This retains with roughly a ¼ finger of creamy froth, leaving back some good looking swathes of sticky lace. Floral hops and tropical fruit blow up in the nose, with notes of pine, grapefruit, spice, and a light dankness working themselves in as well. Grains had a soft doughy feel across the back. As this warms, the tropical fruit and herbal character picks up some strength.

The taste is aggressive with grapefruit bitterness and pine, which mostly controls the profile the whole way through into a strong finish of dry spiciness and a deep resinous feel that penetrates the tongue. A sticky blend of sweet fruit, malt, and herbal tones helps to soften things a bit from underneath but the hops definitely have some power here. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied and sharp on the tongue, with a slick firm creaminess that spreads out into the mouth. Unfortunately you start to feel every inch of that 9% ABV as this warms, which kept s back immensely on the drinkability of this after it sits for a while.

This was pretty darn decent initially, with some powerful yet fairly well balanced hop power to it but that big ABV eventually started to rear its ugly head and ruin the party. My advice is to pop the cap and drink this within the half hour or so.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 19:14:41 | More by Kegatron
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Mora2000

Texas

4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11eye for sharing this bottle.

Pours golden yellow with a white head. The aroma is resiny pine. The flavor is more of the same with the resin bordering on extreme. You also get some grapefruit and pine as well as some citrusy orange. Thin-medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2010 20:21:08 | More by Mora2000
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a layer of off white head that goes away almost completely.

Smell: Sweet bready malt up front along with a citrus peel bitterness.

Taste: The bitterness dominates, unlike the smell. There is plenty of sweet malt in the background, but the citrus peel hop bitterness wins. The finish is quite bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is a syrupy medium with very mild carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: Not overly impressed with this one. It's not a bad beer, but not particularly interesting either.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2012 00:11:15 | More by oline73
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kojevergas

Texas

2.81/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 fl oz bottle with typical label art and yellow branded pressure/pry-off cap received today from michaellcoates as part of a trade; thanks again, man! Served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I've never had anything from this brewery before, but my trade partner implied it was good stuff by including it in his box. Self-identifies as an Imperial IPA, so that's what I'm reviewing it as. 9.0% ABV according to the label. 90 IBUs. Brewed with Simcoe hops. No obvious bottled on/best before date or julian code.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 3 finger wide head of beige colour. Slight cream. Nice thickness. Good (5-6 minute) retention for the high ABV. No bubble show.

Body colour is a somewhat vibrant clear copper. No yeast particles are visible.

Standard fare for the style, but overall appealing. No overt or obvious flaws. Looking forward to trying it. The head retention is a highlight.

Sm: Floral hops. Tropical fruit hops - I hate that in an IPA (mango, dirty pineapple, melon). Substantial caramalt. Maybe biscuit malt. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Limited hop bitterness. A moderately strong aroma. Not great for the style, but within conventions. I'm not real excited to try it now; the aroma isn't suited to my particular preferences.

T: Floral hops. Substantial malt in the body; caramalt, pale malts. The hop profile is quite simple overall; I don't get oily hops, citrusy notes, juicy notes, nectary character, etc. Just floral hops. Simple and timid. Balance is decent; the malts suit the hops, but both are underwhelming. No complexity or subtlety here. Likable and pleasant to drink, but of clearly limited quality.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Adequate carbonation. Okay thickness; maybe a bit overbearing for the lack of flavour. Decent presence on the palate. Suits the flavour profile in a general sense. Okay execution, but not unique or special.

Dr: A passable Imperial IPA that I wouldn't recommend to friends. I'll finish the glass with ease, but I wouldn't want another one. Drinkable but underwhelming. Not worth trading for by any means. Decent, but nothing to write home about. Hides its ABV decently.

C

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2013 05:08:01 | More by kojevergas
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bomber from Vintage Estate. I've gotta get to the brewpub on my next trip...

A: The DIPA is an amber color, like dried brown leaves in the fall. At times radiant, the ale doesn't give up its translucence. A finger plus of off-white head laces in thick patches about a finger below the mouth of my glass.

S: The nose is medicinal and oily, excess pine is soft but definitely present. The more I linger, the more resiny and citrusy the aromas get. A very tempting sniff.

T: A good dose of Simcoe hops but an equally strong caramel presence, all good things are about balance after all. The simcoe grabs hold early, resiny with pine and citrus kick. For a DIPA, the hops aren't too concentrated. Instead they carry the ale without fuss. Check that, there is a hint of boozy heat near the end of each sip but it is easy to overlook. Despite that hiccup, I'm a fan of this ale.

M: The mouthfeel is hop driven but it isn't prickly and hot. The hops are at their most resiny, smoothing out the ale considerably. But they are strong and leave their mark.

D: More, please! The third pale ale incarnation from The Brew Kettle that I've really enjoyed. A strong DIPA any way you look at it.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2010 23:25:57 | More by akorsak
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pub glass. Cheers and a thank you to Kegatron for gifting me with a bottle of this. It takes a hearty pour down the middle of the glass to produce a head about a finger strong that looks off-white and rapidly dissolves to a thin film across the top. Rising bubbles of carbonation help sustain the cap a bit and a light swirl revives. The brew sitting underneath is clear with a copper color.

The brew smells of caramel malt mixed with a bit of buttery toffee. Then the onset of hops comes into play which smells floral and fruity. It is a little strange to take note of the malt character of a DIPA first, but im not gonna like, I actually really like the way the caramel sweetness intertwines with the floral and fruity qualities of this aroma. It really works well in an atypical sort of way.

The taste is no shocker when compared to the aroma. It contains a toffee to caramel-like sweetness before the onset of fruity and floral hops. The hops are juicy and full flavored before the bitterness settles on the tongue. Once I pick up on the bitterness and focus on that, it becomes a bit more herbal and borderline piney with a bit of a mineral inclusion. there is a mild note of alcohol showing through on the backend which is a bit solvent almost like a neutral spirit like vodka. It is interesting that this is the only point in the experience where that 9.5% abv starts to show itself.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. For the most part it is clean and easy drinking for a 9.5% brew. This was a nice departure from the DIPA norm but honestly it isn't something I would want to buy a bunch of if I was looking for a hop bomb assault. Overall this is an easy approaching and enjoyable middle of the road brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 01:09:10 | More by stakem
Photo of ejimhof
ejimhof

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

09-23-2012 02:24:10 | More by ejimhof
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

LOOK: Bright golden color with a fine clarity. Small but well retaining froth leaves snake eye bubbles all around the top of the snifter. Leaves rings of lace on the glass.

SMELL: Pine, spruce, herbs, and all types lush forest aromas of hop. Pineapple juice, alcohol, and a huge malt body shine through with the suggestions of ale yeast.

TASTE: Hoppy pine notes upfront, along with grapefruit and fresh orange peel sharpness. Has a bite with a solid bitterness right there but then gives way to citrus and fruitcake notes. There are suggestions of tropical fruit as well, pineapple,mango and papaya. Sweet big pale malt backing and ale yeast fruitiness and big hops. Brewed in a West Coast fashion I might say.

FEEL: Surprisingly light on the palate, medium bodied with a good solid medium level of carbonation. A touch drying.

OVERALL: A very nice double IPA from a regional but very well respected brewery. After brewing the stellar White Raja, a world class IPA, this has significantly greater strength but is not less tasty.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2012 23:37:46 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip. Pours clear golden amber color with a dense 2 finger off white head with great retention that reduces to a fairly thick lacing cap. Plenty of sticky lacing on the glass. Aromas of huge pineapple, mango, grapefruit, pine and a bit of caramel. Mostly huge simcoe aromas going on here. Taste of big pineapple, orange, grapefruit, and caramel; with a big, and fairly smooth bitterness on the finish that lingers for a while with pine and citrus flavors. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied. Very smooth drinking for the alcohol level, but it is quite a sipper. No alcohol in the taste and a fairly strong warming on the finish. Definitely a huge hoppy brew, a little harsh at first with a clean palate, but it smooths out a ton. Overall, an excellent DIPA from Brew Kettle, definitely would have this one again.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2011 02:09:42 | More by superspak
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sendbeer

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

07-03-2013 15:57:27 | More by sendbeer
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, secret santa 2011

appearance: served in great lakes tebow-mas chalice, very clear, light golden-orange body, light beige film lace

smell: light and clean floral hop presence, tropical, grassy

taste: a pleasant, relatively light-bodied DIPA - nice simcoe hop presence, lush and tropical, grassy, bright citrus with low bitterness, orange zest, earth. This was good - not overwhelming, but no complaints

mouthfeel: clean, a touch light, not much booze

overall: nice

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 04:28:23 | More by dirtylou
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An OH IIPA focused on Simcoe. The label says "A big, bold Imperial IPA. The clean malt plays a supporting role to the straight up Simcoe hops through and through that give this variety hop bomb its bang."

The beer is crystal clear, light copper color, with a few fingers of foam that lace in a nearly solid sheet on the galss. The aroma is strong Simcoe, sticky pine resin-like. Some sweetness from the malts, the non-carameliness of which I appreciate. This is a DIPA where the hops shine. The flavor is nearly abrasively hoppy, although the pale malt bill must be huge as the sweetness tomers the hops, bringing it near (but not over) the barleywine line.

Thick bodied for the style, lending more credibility to the barleywine comparisons. Adding the high ABV to the thick mouthfeel limits the drinkability a bit, still pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2010 17:10:28 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary tulip. 9.0% ABV, 90 IBUs, No date (new label).

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for finishing our tasting with this nice DIPA!

A - Like a douche, I pour this as high as possible and spill a sip on the table, but what lands in the glass creates one hell of a head! About three fingers tall, the bone-colored head lowers nice and slow while leaving dense, powerful lace all over the glass. A thick pile lays on top of a fairly clear golden amber beer.

S - Lots of caramel chunk and toasted, flakey biscuit with a drizzle of raw honey, this beer has an over-arching sweetness. Hints of hop resin and pine put the hop addition on the map towards the back end but it's a heavily malty nose overall.

T - Like the nose before it, the flavor is bursting with malts before hops. Lots of caramel and toffee come through with a mild but somehow potent light grapefruit citrus on the finish.

M - Old 21 has a nice light citrusy medium-bodied crisp feel to it with a mild warm alcohol subtleness to the finish. It has a good smooth feel to it that, like the Blue Dot before it, doesn't beat you over the head.

D - The sweet maltiness, more than anything, comes through in the end. A tiny bit cloying, it lowers the goodness this beer has going for it, but it's still a subtly hopped DIPA that doesn't smack you in the face like most do.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2010 11:59:39 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Barrel and the Bottle...Dark clearish orange, good light tan head, not much of note...The aroma is strong, lots of pine resin hops, oily a little citrus, but could be more balanced...The taste is slightly better, pine resin is the main player again but its got some citrus and caramel notes to help out. The finish to bitter though so its a little tough to drink.

Decent DIPA but not knocking my socks off. Hides the alcohol well but not very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

12-25-2010 01:22:26 | More by jrallen34
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Dogbrick

Ohio

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample at the brewpub: Clear dark amber color with a thin khaki head that has good retention. Spotty lacing. Citrusy hops aroma with some spice in the background. Medium-bodied with an interesting disparity of sweet fruit and bitter hops flavor. Some pine and citrus are evident as well. The finish is bitter and lingering, although not on the level one would expect for the style, and the ABV never really shows up either. Above average, but nowhere near the caliber of the top ranking 2IPAs out there.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2006 21:19:13 | More by Dogbrick
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iL0VEbeer

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

04-13-2012 04:59:48 | More by iL0VEbeer
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Old 21 Imperial IPA from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
87 out of 100 based on 329 ratings.