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Secret Stache Stout - Finch's Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Secret Stache StoutSecret Stache Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

124 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 124
Hads: 646
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 22.68%
Wants: 14
Gots: 91 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Finch's Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: aasher on 02-26-2012

Vanilla Bean Stout
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 124 | Hads: 646
Photo of puboflyons
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the can. Sampled on December 18, 2013.

The color is dark brown to oily black. The lack of head makes it look more like oil.

The aromas are both subtle and distinctive with characters of dark roasted and burnt malts, vanilla beans, and a touch of smoke.

The body is about medium but it is also smooth and creamy like the way I enjoy stouts.

The taste evolves as it warms with the same distinctive smoked, roasted malts and vanilla flavors merging ever so slightly with a low dry hop bitterness. It evolves in favor of the vanilla.

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Photo of Cresant
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 16 oz. can into a nonic glass. No date on can. The body was an opaque black/brown. The head was dense and tan. Solid lacing remained after a heavy pour.

The smell was ashy and grainy. Molasses and a bit metallic.

The taste was sweet with a deep fruitiness. Dark chocolate and cherry. Very drinkable and the alcohol is well hidden. Vanilla and some metallic notes too. Not off-putting but distinctly metal.

The mouthfeel was creamy with a medium body. Modest carbonation. Overall solid.

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Photo of wedge
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After only a slight hiss when I cracked the can, I gave this one a pretty aggressive pour and ended up with paper-thin khaki layer on the surface. Impressively black though, with absolutely no light getting through. Rich chocolate and coffee bean aromas front and center, lactose creaminess, caramelized sugar, and some mellow vanilla blended into everything. Kind of pipe tobacco-y as it warms up. Roasted malty flavor...coffee with cream and sugar, vanilla bean, tobacco, plenty of bittersweet chocolate, and nuts. Light on the carbonation, creamy texture, a little dry char developing as I sip it. Would make a nice dessert beer, though many wouldn't even consider a 5.3% ABV stout to do the job. Rich, creamy...very nice.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque thick and viscous jet black in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass at the surface of the beer and a hint of very dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a finger tall creamy dark mocha head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of sweet milk chocolate with some lighter notes of lactose.

T: Upfront there is a light flavor of dark and lightly roasted malts with moderate to strong flavors of milk chocolate. There are light to moderate flavors of vanilla towards the finish. There is definitely a presence of lactose in this brew. Very light hints of bitterness which fades quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable, if a touch sweet for my tastes. Definitely one that I would grab again as it was a hit with my wife and mother-in-law who both thought it was quite tasty. Would be a really nice beer with dessert.

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Photo of MCain04
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz can courtesy of the guys at Finch's, thanks! Poured into my DFH oversized snifter.

Pours an almost black body with a tan creamy head of good retention and lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee. Maybe a little tobacco. Great aroma overall.

Taste is subdued compared to the aroma. A little watery. Still getting the roast character and a little bit of chocolate, maybe vanilla, not much coffee, drinkable but too bland.

Mouthfeel is crisp with a light to medium body. Moderate carbonation. A little thin. Slightly sticky and dry finish.

Overall, very drinkable, but suffers in that it is thin and diluted in the taste. Fantastic aroma though, and a great stout for those wary of a heavy mouthfeel.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours the darkest shade of brown with minimal molasses highlights around the periphery. The head is negligible in size but features a rich, mocha coloration that usually bodes well for stouts. No lacing to speak of. Aroma is mild, smelling of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and a touch of black coffee.

The taste features bittersweet baker's chocolate and char up front with some milk chocolate coming through in the middle. The acrid character of the roast is quite assertive, but shy of overbearing. Coffee notes also peek in and out among the other burnt flavors. Dark chocolate lingers nicely into the finish, lending a touch of class. Traces of peppery hops start to sneak up on you as the beer warms, but that is balanced by the more pronounced dark chocolate character that comes with it. Do yourself a favor and give this brew ample time to warm up and reveal its full depth of flavor.

The most obvious pitfall here, and it really is quite unfortunate, is the thin body. A tasty, roasty, chocolatey stout like this should have at least a medium body, but this is just too loose to do the rest of the beer justice. Carbonation is barely there, but that's fine for the style. If there's a silver lining, it's that this stout is exceedingly easy to drink.

Secret Stache features outstanding coloration to complement its delicious chocolate backbone. The thin body is a disappointment, but that doesn't change the fact that this is a smooth, tasty stout with great drinkability. Not quite as amazing as I recall on tap, but still very good.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Updated from a 4 'Had' score. Bought a single tall-boy can a few weeks ago.

A - Pint glass pour is just about black with very faint reddish highlights at the bottom. Tan head retains fine as a thick ring and slight cap. Tiny bits of lace left.

S - Chocolate milk with extra chocolate syrup, very slight roast, vanilla bean, some earthy hop, dark fruit. Nice and dessert-y, impressive strength for the low ABV.

T - Plenty of chocolate and vanilla to be had here as well, but with more oomph in the roast department and an ashy finish. Dark fruit and a decent earthy+piny hop kick. More balanced than the nose but also less decadent/standout.

M - Smooth with a moderate thickness to it, carbonation somewhat on the light side but fine. Despite being 5.3%, a tall-boy of this is kind of an undertaking.

O - The smell is great but doesn't quite transfer over to the taste, which is kind of a weird mix of cloying sweetness, ashy roast and hops. Still, a good low ABV stout with strong flavors. Kind of similar to a milk stout (as far as I know this isn't one).

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Photo of joebeerdude
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Saw this about a year ago and picked up the last four pack at my local beverage store. I really liked it. I was hoping to get some more later on but the store said it didn't sell that well and they didn't plan on ordering anymore. Bummer. Well today was a good day as it just happened to show up again on the shelf! Apparently the distributor made a deal the store could not refuse. For such a low alcohol content this beer is a really really big beer. I disagree that with another reviewer who thought it was 'thin'. It truly is motor oil. I'm thinking this stuff is darker than any of the imperial stouts I've tried (and I've tried more than a few). It's characteristics are pretty simple -- chocolate and vanilla -- and I'm OK with that. Tastes yummy. Not allot of crazy things going on like a high alcohol imperial stout but no mini-hangover the next day either from having two of these. Nothing else like this out there (as far as I know). A truly unique beer but more of a niche taste not for everyone.

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Photo of IPAdams
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a dark motor oil color with a mall tan head that receded quickly.

Smell- Roasted coffee, char, vanilla and some oakiness. Also pick up some caramel and toffee.

Taste- Strong burnt roast flavor with some sweet vanilla to help balance it. Moderate bitterness. The vanilla has some extract flavor to it. Picks up a bit of tart flavor as it warms.

Mouthfeel- Fairly thin body for a stout, pretty dry. Carbonation is good though.

Overall- Not a bad beer but not very complex. Mainly burnt roast and vanilla in both the nose and the head. I'd like the body to be thicker too.

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Photo of metter98
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can at Boston's Bistro & Pub, Dayton, OH

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a half finger high dense tan head that died down and left lacing on the surface and a thick collar around the edge of the glass and a thick collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of lactose are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of milk chocolate along with a bit of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied, creamy and smooth on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O:This beer is almost like a liquid Tootsie Roll. It is also very easy to drink.

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Photo of mlichens
3.29/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a tall boy can into a glass beer mug. Almost no head but some slight tan laces. Smell is notably almost absent, but some sweet vanilla and molasses notes.

Taste is rather sweet, though compared to other vanilla beers it is not at all overwhelming. Also, not nearly as sweet as a typical American stout. No hops. Odd, given the many other Chicago/midwestern beers.

The mouthfeel is creamy, to be sure, but more compared to an American ale than a traditional Irish or English stout. Tasty, goes down smooth.

Overall: I'd drink it again with joy if someone bought me a pint but it's not a stout I'd seek out again.

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Photo of jlindros
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Yay tall boy can... but hard to read the label to know what beer it is.

An aggressive pour yields a small but very dark creamy head that fades at a med pace with nice lacing, over pitch black beer, no light getting through.

Nose brings roast and coffee, fresh roasted coffee beans, roasted malt, a little char and touch acrid, and maybe a hint of black malt, then into the caramel like an almost burnt caramel, and some vanilla a mild but nice vanilla, a very dark creamy malt.

Taste brings plenty of dark chocolate, cocoa, and a nice vanilla melting around all that, a creamy melting chocolate and vanilla base, as well as a roasty character, roasted malt, some roasted coffee beans with a little coffee, mild acrid burnt roast as well. A mild earthy hint spicy like hop in the background brings some bitterness that blends with the bitter roast from the malts. It gets a little yeasty too unfortunately. A hint of a creamy oat in there too. Finish is drier, bit more bitterness too light spicy hops, light cocoa and dark chocolate, little melting choc, and vanilla lingering.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, semi creamy and a little heavy, decent carb.

Overall not bad, a light but decent vanilla, nice dark malt characters that get just a touch acrid, a little yeasty character takes away from it a bit, but otherwise nice tasty and drinkable.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.19/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Close to straight black with some dark brown at the edges when held to light. No head, no carbonation. Smooth and slightly viscous pour. Took me a bit by surprise.

Smell: Roasted. Very soft vanilla. Touches of old coffee with a solid, but not assertive, cocoa and dark chocolate element. Nutty and slightly sweet. Slight push of something almost like oats and lactose. Some darker sugars headed toward molasses, but never quite there. Vanilla comes out a bit more as the beer warms, as does the roasted character.

Taste: More of that roasted malt coupled with some nice hints of creamy vanilla. A nice compliment of roasted coffee beans and a slight touch of burnt malt. Malt sweetness is there, but not too aggressive, allowing some of the bitter roasted elements to shine through. Very minor hop influence, mostly herbal. Not particularly exciting, but solid. Coffee flavor lingers on the back. Slightly ashy with some small hints of licorice.

Mouthfeel: Nice and slick medium body with very minimal carbonation. Clean on the tongue.

Overall: Properly endorsed by Mustachio Furioso.

A decent canned stout. The vanilla adds enough to save it from being average, but doesn't bump it too far either.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11 ounce pour - $6.75 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Black, rich-looking body, with a deep, tan-hued head, about one-third of an inch high.

Smell: Sizable roasty, coffee notes, brownie mix, molasses. Then, some softer cream, vanilla scents. Dark fruitiness. A hint of smoke and spice.

Taste: Roasted malts sprinkled with pipe tobacco ash and full of flavors tasting of espresso, vanilla cream, prunes, brownies. Very small snippet of licorice. Ample sweetness, but it's not overly sweet. Minimal hop character and bitterness showing beyond the robust malts. The light ashen tone is sustained until the smooth, roasty, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Good stuff. For me, the best of the Finch bunch to date.

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Photo of cbutova
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another new Finch's can I have seen around MA. Love seeing these new cans and some nice styles in them

A- Poured from the can for the review into a giant snifter. Leaves the bottle with a thick, oily consistency and a pitch black body. Small light mocha head raises up to about a finger high and has decent retention. Creamy ring leaves just a few spots of lace.

S- Dark roast malts dominate the aroma but you can tell it is a lower ABV stout right away. Cocoa powder, black grains, coffee beans and toffee notes come to mind. Hints of vanilla and dark fruits in the background.

T- Rich roast malt notes carry over from the aroma with flavors of big cocoa powder, coffee, burnt grains and dark sugars. Vanilla and dark fruit is stronger here as compared to the aroma and the former is quite nice with the other flavors present.

MF- Lactose lends some nice texture but overall it feels a bit thin or watery. Carbonation near the lower end of what I would want for a stout at this ABV. Finishes with some roasty bitterness.

Solid stout with a large cocoa powder flavor and some vanilla. Leaves a bit to be desired in the flavor and body but nothing comes off as bad.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into a pint glass.

A: Jet black pour. Seems to have good clarity.Brown head settles rather quickly. Thin, broken ring of lacing.

S: Roast and dark fudge sauce. Strong waft of vanilla brings a milk chocolate impression. Roasted coffee beans. Malted milk balls. Tight berry darkfruit deep in the background.

T: Dark chocolate fudge, woody and roasty, slightly acrid and acidic. Black coffee. Tight berry. All of this is tempered by the vanilla and lactose, which add enough sweetness to take the rougher edges away. Malted milk balls. Roasty, sooty, and smokey finish lasts a long time.

M: Moderately thick. Luxuriously creamy and silky. Modest sense of weight. Low carbonation.

O: A very easy beer to drink. The bolder and harsher flavors are brought into balance nicely by the lactose and vanilla sweetness, and the body and texture go a long way to increasing drinkability as well.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into a oversize wine glass. Color was a very dark brown, but not quite black. Had a mocha brown 2 finger head, only lasted a few minutes before leaving just a thin layer. Primary aroma was chocolate, very much like a Hershey's bar. Vanilla with a small hint of pepper in the back. Flavor was very slightly sweet, like watery chocolate milk, but also had sour notes. Coated very well, needed perhaps a touch of carbonation, seemed pretty flat. Overall not bad, but not very flavorful or with any must have qualities.

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Photo of bubbadorse
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Tried this beer at a backyard cookout. NOT a session beer, though the alcohol level is manageable. This a very malty, sweet stout with a heavy mouthfeel. The beer I had was fairly flat, which I like in this style. It was far too sweet and heavy for a Labor Day cookout, but as a desert beer this would be wonderful.

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Photo of JayQue
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A really solid stout. Very drinkable, good flavor. Pours a completely dense dark brown color with a dark tan head. Good lacing on the glass. Nice sized head but retention is a bit lacking.

Aroma of roasted malts, vanilla and bittersweet chocolate. Mild, but still pleasant.

Solid stout taste. Rich and malty with a strong chocolate presence and a hint of vanilla.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth like a milk stout or oatmeal stout.

Overall a very good stout.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a nonic pint glass.

A real nice dark pour, walnut black body and a giant three finger foamy dark mocha brown head. Fluffy and foamy retention with lots of staying power. Thick one finger cap when settled. Looks rich and luscious.

Great nose. Wonderful roasted grains, light hints of coffee and chocolate milk. Good hint of vanilla and cream, we are hitting the notes nicely so far.

Palate hits nicely. Hinting at a light body, but wonderful roast coffee flavors on first sip. Slowly hints at some bitterness then washes with a milky light lactose sweetness. Creamy yet light palate which makes the malts full and rich coating everywhere. The sweetness is almost milk stout territory but for myself it doesn't quite get there which is a plus.

Overall real nice drinking, and light and full of body and rich qualities.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 fl oz. can, with no apparent canned on or freshness date present. My second beer from the local Finch's Beer Co., excited to try it since I love vanilla and I was impressed by their first offering that I tried, Finch's Beer Co. Threadless IPA.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Aggressive pour straight down the center yields about one and a half fingers of creamy dark brown / mocha colored froth on top of a rich dark opaque black colored body. No light shows through. No lacing. Looks very nice.

S - Smell is more subdued than I would expect: dark roasted toasted malt presence, iced black coffee, cream, smooth chocolate & sweet natural vanilla.

T - Taste follows the nose, only better: creamy milk chocolate, lactose, dark roasted coffee beans, toasted malt, faint smoke, & of course beautiful natural vanilla extract.

M - Silky smooth & creamy, hardly any carbonation or coarseness to be found at all. A bit of roasted coffee bean bitterness leftover on the palate.

Overall, an incredibly smooth and easy drinking stout. Wonderfully flavorful, considering the lower 5.30% abv this beer carries. Definitely a nice beer, the vanilla flavors deliver the goods. Definitely a stout I would drink again and again. If you get this beer in your area, drink it.

Finch's Beer Co. Secret Stache Stout ---4/5.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

LOOK: Ontap, pours a very dark brown with a tan head. Leaves plenty of lace down the pint glass.

SMELL: A sweet smelling stout with copious amounts of raw vanilla and hints of both dark and milk chocolate. Mostly vanilla and a bit of charred malt.

TASTE/FEEL: Full bodied and very, very smooth. Delicious vanilla cream coffee like brew. There is a small woody, earthy hop presence. Big time vanilla, always a good compliment to a firm, roasted malt base. Well carbonated, easy to drink.

OVERALL: This vanilla laced stout is the bomb. BOOM!

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a light brown head. In the aroma, caramel and roasty coffee. In the taste, sweet coffee, notes of caramel and a sweeter vanilla note. A small bite, but mainly smooth with a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dryer vanilla coffee like aftertaste. A really nice vanilla presence, a bit sweet, but quite sessionable.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.47/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Farmhouse.

A - Black with a thin layer of medium brown head

S - Very smoky with some sweet chocolate notes.

T - Very smoky, which was unexpected as this was not advertised in the name or the descrption of the beer. Some roast and chocolate notes present in the background. As the beer starts to warm up, the smoke beomes a little subdued (but still dominant) and the vanilla, which was undetectable previously, starts to show up.

M - Medium body. Silky and creamy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pitch black color with almost no head to speak of

S: Roasted malts with a hint of vanilla and lactose. Not much to the aroma

T: Roasted malts followed by a little vanilla and some sweetness to balance the roastiness. Again, not much to it but it's pretty much spot-on for what it's supposed to be

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: At 5.3%, this is a nice vanilla milk stout with a good roasty character and a little sweetness. Should definitely be characterized under milk/sweet stout because it's brewed with lactose and it definitely comes through, providing some sweetness along with the vanilla. Not a bad value at $10.59 for a 4-pack of 16 oz cans

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Secret Stache Stout from Finch's Beer Co.
87 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.