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Lord Rear Admiral - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Lord Rear AdmiralLord Rear Admiral

Educational use only; do not reuse.

164 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 164
Hads: 581
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 16.11%
Wants: 169
Gots: 108 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scruffwhor on 04-02-2007

Three Floyds version of an ESB, this deep amber ale has a complex malt sweetness and pronounced apricot hoppiness. Named after Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson.

55 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 164 | Hads: 581
Photo of Sammy
3.46/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Jon's bottle. The aroma is he first to hit, amarillo orange like and then some odd acidity. Beautiful head on cloudy orange. A creamy taste. It is a nice orange tangerine IPA bitterness, unique although nothing I would seek out again. Lacey. Nice orange aftertaste.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to BigTuro for sharing this one at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours a hazy copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with nice citrus forward hop qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of metter98
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is slightly hazy amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that hardly died down and consistently left a short head covering the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of biscuity malts are present in the nose along with notes of citrus hops and hints of caramel malts.
T: Like the smell, the taste is rather malty and has lots of flavors of biscuity malts along with some hints of oranges and grapefruit from the hops. The hops contribute a light amount of bitterness and their citrusy flavors are most noticeable towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is nice and malty but isn't heavy on the palate. I liked how the citrusy hops proved some contrasting flavors and lend complexity.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.69/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the FFF Brewpub in November 2009.

Poured a dark copper with a nice creamy head, although not as much as is normal for the style. The nose is definitely dominated by some great citrus hops atop semi-sweet caramel malt. The taste was very similar to an IPA, but with a decidedly English influence, though still different from an English IPA. Medium body with good carbonation, the drinkability on this was excellent, and I'm really looking forward to being able to try the bottled edition.

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Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a massive head; great retention and clumps of lace

Smell: Earthy and malty, with caramel, fruit and earthy hop elements

Taste: Malty and fruity, up front, with a depth of caramel and stone fruit flavors; bu mid-palate, the earthy hops take over and dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Although I like the ESB style, I found this way too hoppy and bitter compared to English versions like Fuller's; I wouldn't have expected any less from Three Floyds and while I like hops as much as the next guy, this beer didn't quite do it for me

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always looking for great English style ales that we can get fresh; even if they have to be made in America. But here, the hops and attenuation keep it a little American-sided.

The beer opens with a solid copper hue, bright clarity, and an outstanding white head that retains very well with good lacing. A very handsome beer.

Fresh and balanced aroma of caramelized barley malt and hops (albeit slightly on the citrusy side). Light earthy and spicy notes mixes into the hops. Hints of toast and bread crust, toffee and figs come into play.

Flavors are more tilted toward the hops; still very American with sharp tones of citrus and pine but with the classic earthiness and spice of English Fuggles or EKG's. Gentle dark pitted fruitiness comes into play and weaves into the toffeeish darker grains. Still, quite bitter and giving rise above the crisp and toasty malts.

The beer attenuates very well. Though great for American Ales (and for drinkability), English varieties give a bit more sweetness and body. Yet it finishes crisp, minerally, and with slight warmth.

Undoubtedly this is a very good beer, but it misses the mark on big-time English Bitters. This one is more American tasting with the hops and higher attenuated for a crisper drier body. Imagine if Sierra Nevada tried to brew a Fuller's ESB.

Thanks Cheezdawg!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Gentlemen, when the enemy is committed to a mistake we must not interrupt him too soon."

--Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson

Koi orange with butter rum hued accents. Several busy bubble streams are disappearing into the underside of a pillowy head of toasted almond colored froth. The lid is becoming impressively rocky as it starts to melt and is gracing the glass with an attractive array of amorphous lace.

The nose is a study in glorious hoppiness (no surprise given the brewery). Dry-hopped with Fuggles is the only ingredient that has been leaked. There's definitely something American in there too. The beer is bursting with mango, peach and pink grapefruit juiciness. Gotta be Simcoe.

With all due respect to the Floyds, Admiral Lord Nelson doesn't taste much like an ESB. It does use 'mostly British ingredients', which is important, so they deserve points for that. What it tastes like is an American pale ale. And a damn good one.

Despite the color, there isn't much flavor transfer from the malt. Probably Maris Otter and a few others on the pale end of the spectrum. The hoppiness is still super-fresh, which is the reason why the taste and drinkability scores are what they are. Age probably won't treat the Admiral kindly, so drink your bottle(s) now.

A faint toasted bread quality is quickly washed away by a tidal wave of Anglo-American hops that stop well short of palate punishing. Let's add tangerine zest to the fruits noted above. Given so much pink grapefruit and mango, I still have to go with Simcoe. The finish is crisp and tight, while still managing a lovely lupulin linger.

The mouthfeel is neither lush nor plush, but that's what happens when malt sugars take a backseat to alpha acids. It's at least medium for the style and the bubbles have just the right amount of energy. Thanks to iowahawk for an incredible extra.

Admiral Lord Nelson Strong Bitter is yet another winner from one of my favorite American breweries. The hops hit hard, but there's also a more than solid brew supporting them. If you like your ESBs to be extra special and extra bitter, seek this one out. Awesome label art, as always.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thrilled to be able to try this one last night. Cracked it open and threw it back after dinner. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 02/12/2010.

The pour was rediculous. Rich, dark amber in color with a huge, towering head of white foam that had incredible reach and retention. Literally just tons of sticky white lacing down the sides of the glass and all over the inside of it throughout. I could not have asked it to look better. Dark, rich, citrus hops now dominate everything around it. Huge notes of orange and rich pine are just elegant. Warming brings a subtle balance of biscuit, light tea leaves, hints of grain. Smooth, creamy rich body just lets the flavor explore. Smooth, biscuit flavors and rich citrus hops are near perfect in unison and the sessionability is simply out of this world.

Overall one of the best ESB I have ever had. Seriously this is nuts and everyone needs to try this.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jeff for this one. A new Three Floyds beer is always welcomed.

A: The pour is an amber/copper color with a fluffy off-white head with some sheets of lacing.

S: A very fresh hoppy aroma with lots of grapefruit and pine. The caramel malt provides some nice sweetness as well.

T: Lots of bitter and juicy grapefruit fills the tongue at first. This is followed by a sweet and mildly bready malt flavor with a touch of bitter pine on the finish.

M: The body is medium with a slightly creamy carbonation and feel on the tongue.

D: This is not always my favorite style, but Three Floyds has done well here. A nice hop component which allows a bit of malt to come through, but not all that much in terms of sweetness.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to StormKing47 for sharing this - poured chilled from the bomber into an ale glass.

A - a moderately tarnished golden shade w/ slight chill haze and light white head, lots of lace clings and tiny beading comprises the head.

S - I found the smell to have lots of English hop character -very nice mix of herbal and spiced scents w/ a mild caramel malt odor in the background

M The feel is good and bitter, but balanced by the malt w/ a moderately high carbonation level for the style and slight chalky mineral note which I picture as similar to the english water profile for the type of beer

T - The flavor is of a tasty english yeast which has mild pear notes and ver herbal almost minty hop flavor with a spice from the hops and mild caramel tinge in the malt flavor with light biscuit notes rounding out the flavor

D - The beer is very drinkable and is a good representative of the style even if on the high end abv-wise but brings a lot of English character with the ingredients used

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Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 09/15/10 notes. Had at a small DC tasting; thanks Jonathan.

a - Pours a murky golden amber color with one inch of white head and low carbonation.

s - Smells of citrus hops, fruity malts, light pine hops, and light spices.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, pine, fruity malts, tropical fruit, and bready malts.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation; very easy to drink.

d - A very good beer. Lots of citrus in the nose and taste, and it was very easy to drink. I would definitely like to try this one again.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found a stray bottle at Armanetti's - thought this stuff was long gone. Served in a Pisgah pint glass. Unfortunately I think this stuff is from January, unless they made some more.

A - Pours with a finger and a half of off-white soapy foam that dissipates to a thick chunky cap with spotty lacing. Body is a largely hazed dark golden apricot color. Nothing special, but still pretty nice.

S - Still a lot of citrus hop character here, along with some floral and spicy notes. Heard this was brewed with Citra hops. Malt backbone has some caramel and toast qualities to it. Smells like a cross between an English IPA and an American Pale

T - Taste is mostly toasted malt with a kiss of caramel, and some floral, zesty, earthy bitterness. The hops have faded more in this aspect of the brew. Still comes across as a solid ESB that I'd prefer to most of the imports we get.

M - Initially sharp carbonation bite that mellows to a soft smooth medium body. Finishes dry with a touch of stickiness in the residual feel.

D - This was pretty easy to drink. The 6.5% is well-hidden and the texture and flavors are conducive to multiple pours. Wish I'd found this when it was fresher - I tried it on-tap and the hops really popped back then. Look for a re-review next time this is bottled.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of my #1 beer project, the top ESB on BA Lord Admiral Nelson. Beer served in a Three Floyds beer glass because I can.

Beer is amber and hazy (but it looks like chill haze) with an off white head of medium bubbles, minimal lacing and low carbonation.

Aroma is pretty hop forward with some interesting pine hop profile with a nice malt backbone.

Beer is medium bodied and heavy in the front and thin at the back. There is a lot of piny hop flavor in this beer with only a minimal sweetness up front. The hop flavors fill out the midpalate so thoroughly the beer falls flat on the finish. Pretty good drinking beer. Very enjoyable. Bitterness is minimal but that's OK for the style. I'd have it again. The more I drink the more resiny the beer gets but that's from the high hop presence. It is good!

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Big thanks to Jim for this bottle. Very cool bottle art.

A: Pours a hazy copper/amber color with a large white head on top. Rather foamy with great retention and rings of lace.

S: Rather hoppy with lots of orange and grass, and to lesser extent some grapefruit and pine. There is some caramel malt sweetness to round it out. Certainly the hoppiest ESB aroma I have come across.

T: Nice grapefruit and orange flavors combined with some bready malt and a bit of caramel. Slight bitter pine on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Very smooth and clean.

O: Not a style I drink a lot of, but this one is fantastic. A hopped up ESB, another job well done by Three Floyds. Would be a nice beer to drink all the time.

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Photo of stakem
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from random notes I found laying around. These are circa September of this year. Bottle shared with a group of local BA's care of StormKing47.

Poured into a taster, this brew appears a hazed golden color with a creamy white head. Spotty lacing effect is left on the glassware.

The smell of this brew includes a pleasant display of hops that you would expect in an ESB. Herbs, light grainy sweetness and an essence of lemon across the back of the nose.

The taste of this brew is fresh grainy sweetness with herbal hops that impart quite a bit of flavor without getting bitter. A toasty grain flavor is left inside the mouth. The hops come across with an herbal aspect as it warms that almost turns minty, fresh and cool tasting.

A medium bodied brew with a smooth feel and light level of carbonation. It is very drinkable and a fine example of the style.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

I have wanted to try this one for a while and was excited to see it at the tasting. The beer pours an orange, iced tea color with a large white head. The aroma is resiny hops, very impressive for a beer of this style. The flavor is caramel malt along with the same resiny hops from the aroma. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of billab914
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. Poured a dark amber, almost brown in color with a big thick white fluffy head. It was very clear with a steady slow stream of carbonation rising from the bottom. It also left excellent lacing on the glass. An excellent looking beer.

Aroma is sweet and hoppy with some citrus, pine and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet and hoppy up front but it has a bitter finish with more pine along with the citrus.

Mouthfeel is slightly heavy with moderate carbonation. Drinkability was very good, I really enjoyed this beer and would definitely buy it again if I could. The sweet citrus flavor of hops was very nice and worked well with the bitter finish.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Caramel to copper orange body, cascades to a lovely three finger frothy pale tan head, with a slight creamy to fine styrofoam like makeup. Light top but very good staying power there hanging around.

Excellent aroma. Tea and citrus hop like bitterness, with tinges of biscuit and caramel sweetness. Hints of marmalade and pekoe orange like qualities, slight zest, even some lemon squeaks in a bit too. Excellent hop forward, not overkill and still passing off as an ESB.

Palate brings some real excellent qualities. Light hop bitterness, but full of hop flavor on the mid palate. Light black and orange tea notes, hints of marmalade with a small caramel sweetness and slight grained biscuit to cracker note. Slight hop juiced palate, but also slightly a little light for an esb on the malt depth, but still very noticeable and in control.

Different take, but real easy drinking. A little bit out of style but not severely but an extremely tasty brew.

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Photo of liamt07
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the brewery, 650ml into a tulip.

Copper brown, offwhite head with dense, creamy retention and webbed lace. Nose has an abundance of caramel, sweet and bready. A good dose of citrus hops, but some earthier and spicier notes too. Light on the palate, citrusy and rind-y. Still an abundace of caramel and toasty biscuit. Medium feel, quite low carb. This is very drinkable - cask treatment would be awesome.

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Photo of biegaman
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lord Rear Admiral pours with an apricot colour, a very enthusiastic head and enough sediment at the bottom of the bottle to completely cloud over what was already a naturally hazy complexion. This gives it a relatively dark tone despite solid golden highlighting.

The beer smells partly English, partly American, and something like a sweet shop located in a garden or forest. It blends maltiness and hoppiness in a way that combines tea wafers and toffee with pine resin and bubblegum. The taste offers more depth but this is a good intro.

There's an abundance of flavour provided at both ends of this recipe. The malts are mildly sweet and smack of toffee or butterscotch on top of their naturally bready, grainy disposition. The hops are layered with fruit and florals and taste of roses, apricot, grapefruit, bark, grass clippings and pine needles, and have a delightful bubblegum characteristic.

Lord Rear Admiral is one of those beers with such a vividly fruity hoppiness that it practically feels pulpy. This ESB has the strong and sturdy caramelly maltiness requisite for the style but also the refreshing citrus qualities of a cold glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice. It makes an intentionally approachable style even more affable; a beer suited to most tastes and levels of experience.

Lord Horatio Nelson (after whom this beer takes its name) is celebrated as one of Britain's most heroic naval figures and has monuments all over the country, including Trafalgar Square in London. I'm not sure what the Munster, Indiana equivalent would be - the parking lot of the Hilton off the brewery's industrial strip? - but this Lord Admiral is deserving of a statue too.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Neighbor brougth home a growler of Sir Lord Admiral Nelson from Three Floyds...it was about a day and ahlf old. The appearance was nice, great head and a caramel clear color. The nose offered hop, alcohol, and some malt. The taste was very sweet to me...definitely bitter....and some hops. The bitterness really affected the mouthfeel score....for me at least. Wasn't a big fan of this beer. Not nearly as good as some of 3Fs other offerings.

Re-tried this beer from a bottle and all the points I didn't like from my original review had been smoothed out. I really enjoyed this beer and the new score reflects that.

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Photo of aasher
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this one into a Guinness pint glass. It poured a watery light amber, very translucent with a frothy white head. The smell is a wonderful mix of floral hops, bitterness, and light dry sweetness. The taste is good but it's not mind blowing by any means. I remember this being better last year. It drinks very thin and isn't as crisp as I'd like it to be. It's very drinkable because it's a very solid beer but this bottle at least disappointed me a little bit. It's good but nothing too crazy.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured and yellow orange with light brown highlights and a finger of head tha had good lacing.

S: sweet citrus fruits with caramel malts dominate with hints of grapefruit, piney hops, and bready notes. after a couple whiffs I also got pineapple mango armoas as well.

T: nice fruit forward flavors that consist of citrus, pineapple, mango, and grapfruit bitterness. Caramel, bready notes, and piney hops collaborate on the overall taste. I also got peanut butter notes.

M: medium body with a good amount of carbonation and had a sweet citrus and mild piny hop bitterness at the end.

D: very good and drinkable esb from FFF and will definitely seek out another bottle.

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Photo of Derek
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark caramel/toffee, off-white head, good retention & lace.

S: Very catty, pine, brown sugar, floral & caramel. Definitely American hops.

T: Piny citrus, toffee, brown sugar, good bitterness.

M: Light to moderate body.

D: An all-around good drinker.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle sent to me by that brilliant trader in IL...TATTORSO. Thanks Jeff!

It pours a deep amber gold colour with a solid 2 finger head of foam. I'm sitting here watching and the foam just sits there..no shrinkage so far. Impressive.

The smell is big on citrus grapefruit hops with some sweet notes lingering in between the bitterness. May be some notes of bread as well.

The taste brings the balance. Grapefruit citrus complimenting some sweetish malt and light bready notes, make for a damn fine tasting ESB. I was hoping for some balance after taking plenty of whiffs and finding the hops dominating but the hops/malt profile is near perfection with the hop bitterness just winning out.

It's a little stronger than what I'd prefer but putting the taste and the abv on a scale....it tips heavily in favour of the taste and that's what it is all about. An incredible brew!

Medium bodied with lowish carbonation, the finish is in the same state as the first sip..wonderfully tasty and so damn closely balanced that it scares me. 3 Floyds hit it out of the park with this one.

Drinkability? 22oz of this nectar and I'm yearning for more. I'd like to see 3F try doing a regular Bitter(if they haven't already done so). I'd bet London to a brick on that it would be another thing of beauty.

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Lord Rear Admiral from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.