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Lord Rear Admiral - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Lord Rear AdmiralLord Rear Admiral

Educational use only; do not reuse.

165 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 165
Hads: 596
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 16.35%
Wants: 171
Gots: 112 | FT: 5
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 165 | Hads: 596
Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber (no date stamp on bottle) into dimpled mug glass. Pours a nice cloudy orange color with a small and frothy white head. Aroma is of hops, grapefruit, citrus, sweet, bready and caramel malts and some toffee. Flavor is nice picking up juicy hops with flavors of citrus, white grapes, grapefruit, herbs with a tea-like taste, sweet candy type maltiness, caramel and toffee, bready and biscuity malts. The body is medium with a nice silky smooth mouthfeel. Overall a really good ESB, with an American twist to it. Glad to have tried this brew.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.97/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Got this as an extra from thomashardy in the great FFF hookup a while back. I know this trade didn't go down as quickly as you'd hoped mate. Thanks for your patience and thanks for the killer box.

My first try at an American attempt at a traditional English style. Interesting.

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Foam starts creeping up the neck upon opening. Pour yields a one finger, thinner looking, white head that's quite noisy. Poorer retention, the head quickly fizzes down to a thin wisp. Color is a hazy, rust brown with zero carbonation evident. Splotches of wisp remain but leave no real lacing down the glass. Average at best for the style. The second pour was a little more vigorous and left some chunky lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Pleasant nose for sure, and just bold enough. Caramel malt with some toffee in there. Floral hop notes and a touch of honeydew melon. Lots of melon and berries in there.

TASTE: Some caramel and nutty flavors, but lots of floral hops, pine and plenty of hop bitterness at the finish. Less fruity and sweet than expected, and far more bitter. Mild yet lingering aftertaste is pure bitterness with pine and some floral notes. Not as balanced as most in the style, but still an enjoyable, hoppy brew.

PALATE: This is where the beer goes south. Thinner body and higher end carbonation. Airy on the palate, goes down somewhat abrasive and finishes very dry and astringent on the palate. Not the most pleasant feel, though I could imagine it being worse. Needs to be fuller and creamier, and carbonation needs to be controlled better. The second pour came out a little nicer, but still well below par for the course.

OVERALL: Decent beer with an enjoyable flavor profile, but the look was just too average and the palate was worth forgetting. The taste didn't really match the nose either. It was actually a half-decent dark IPA, but not really good representation of an English ESB. Glad to have tried it, but don't need it again. Thanks again thomashardy!

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Photo of bmwats
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into an imperial nonic.

A: Dark, cloudy, golden hue. Pours a giant, frothy, white head which crates slowly first, then just seems to collapse on itself. Pretty heavy carbonation. Eventually, looks like a root beer float. Some nice heavy, but sparse lacing. Head renews with each re-pour.

S: Plenty of pine, a little malt, and kind of a salty seawater thing goin'.

T: Piny and a little sweet. Tastes like it smells. You kind of feel like you're drinking out of a river or something. I don't mean that in a bad way by any stretch of the imagination. It's just got this river water or seawater thing going on.

M: Bitter and hoppy throughout. Has a little sweet tinge that hits you right in the middle. Something of a thick syrupy texture. Very dry finish.

D: Mmmm... If you like bitters, this will work for you.

Atmosphere very nice. Great color, and a giant head with some great lacing. Nose is not complex, but has an interesting river water or seawater character that's tough to place, but makes it quite unique. Bitter character but a nice slightly sweet balancing act. Overall, this is a great quaff.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber shared with friends on 2/8/11.

A - Poured a very hazy orange liquid with a thin off-white head that reduced to some patchy residue and lots of spotty lacing.

S - Aroma is very citrus-forward with plenty of pineapple and grapefruit notes. Malt character is sweet with hints of caramel and toffee. The aroma is unabashedly FFF!

T - Tropical fruit is at the forefront of Lord Admiral Nelson, giving the initial flavor quite a bit of hoppiness right from the get-go. I definitely get a lot of pineapple. Malt is expectedly sweet with caramel and toffee tones. Finishes like a juicy, hoppy West Coast IPA with a backing of toasted grains to balance.

M - Medium bodied with an oily texture and moderate carbonation. Finish is moderately bitter with residual sweetness.

D - This is a typical FFF hopfest, whereby they take a style and hop the shit out of it to create an awesome beer. Yeah! That's not to say that the beer itself is "typical". Quite the contrary. It's also not just a hop bomb, as there is plenty of malt sweetness that is typical of the ESB style. You could call it an EESB, I guess.

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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 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 CooperEllis
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into 7oz tasting glass. Thanks to spicca66 for sending this my way.

Muddy carmel color, lighter at the bottom (narrow end of the glass) darker at the top end. A sticky, ivory white head.

There is a full malt aroma. A strong note of fig; perhaps a combination of spices that my nose reads as fig. Some bitterness, but mild.

The taste is malt, light sweetness, crisper than the spice notes would suggest. I greatly enjoyed the overall mildness of this brew. There was a lot of room for each of the flavors to be noted, and they blended together well without overpowering each other or my palate.

The mouthfeel is more in keeping with a hoppier style (indeed, this could have been chock-full-O hops, but it certainly wasn't evident in the tast of the bottle I had). I will say that there was a min of carbonation with this, and in keeping with the 'englishness' of it it certainly reminded me more of the english styles I enjoy.

It is solid. And if I had easy access to it I imagine I would keep bombers of it around because it is an easy drink. But it is not so over the top good that I will continually be trading for it to keep it on hand.


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Photo of 2BDChicago
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Hazy, orange amber, with full off-white foam.

S: Appealing aroma of multiple notes. Fruit, light spice, and some caramely-biscuity malt.

T: Don't you love it when the taste and aroma are equally fine. Equal parts of fruit and malt sweetness, but not overly so. The hop bitterness is unique in that I get a hop bite at back of the tongue, but it's like a side show definately not the main attraction. Don't mis-understand, FFFs is almost always big hops, just mostly well blanaced. The mouthfeel is dry and very clean, with good carbonation.

D: A very under the radar offering from FFFs, and I don't know why. To me it's a very enjoyable, and highly drinkable brew. It's probably the most IPA-ish ESB on the planet, and it totally works because of balance. There's a very pleasant flavor that runs through the brew that gives it a great personality. The malts and hop flavors work perfectly together. Hard to find but woth the hunt.

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Photo of gory4d
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mandark for the birthday beer.

Pours deep orange w/ a fluffy white head. Smell is sweet clover honey, sharp minerals, autumn leaves. The taste is clean mineral water, herbal honey, tangelo tang, orange skin bitter finish. It's highly carbonated, mid-weight body. Really too easy to drink for a beer this big. Well done.

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Photo of ahurd11085
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bad boy from klshanks. Thanks again bud.

A: Poured into tulip from 22oz bottle adorned with some of the most bad ass artwork I've ever seen on a bottle. Rock! Pours a fierce golden orange topped with a 3 finger orangish fluffball of a head. Good start.

S: Subtle yet complex. Notes of spicy noble hops, pine and earth mixed with toasty, slightly nutty malts. Not as upfront as I would like, but lots of depth.

T: Pretty damn good, with lots of complexity from the blend of the spicy hops and malts. Nothing that's going to scorch your palate or blow your socks off, but a really well done, balanced beer. It's not everyday you try something that is rich and complex, but still well balanced.

M: A bit on the thin side, with some hop oil slickness and medium carbonation. A touch more weight would be nice

D: High. I could drink this all day and be perfectly happy.

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Photo of z3niMAGiNE
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is delicious.

Pours a hazy translucent orange sediment visible on the bottom of the glass with generous head which exhibits fair retention and mild-moderate lacing.

The smell draws me in. I smell malts and hops with kind of a caramelly odor and a little bit of berries way in the back.

The taste is well balanced between malt and hops. The malt is dominant up front and the hops give it a somewhat piquant finish.

Quite a bit of carbonation but not too much. It makes the beer feel substantial and sizzles along my tongue.

I'd return to this beer gladly at any time.

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Photo of domtronzero
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh yeah, thanks Dankbeers619. A seriously generous BA.

A - Slightly hazy orange copper with a big long lasting whitish head. Tons of lacing throughout.

S - Big caramel bread crusty malts. Lots of piny/earthy hops. Otherwise quite clean.

F/M - Sweet bready/toasty caramel-like malts. Nice medium piny hops with medium bitterness. Medium body with moderate carbonation. Clean dry finish.

D - Very good, clean and refreshing. Quite poundable. This is a great beer for sure.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.16/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bendurgin for sharing!

Poured into a pint glass with a three finger almost perfectly white head. Large bubbles on this one. Nice amber color on the body with a slight bit of haze.

Smells of bready malt, with a slightly noticeable citrus aroma. Decent balance for the style.

Taste is all malt flavor; a kick of bitterness is in the finish to balance out but I feel it is a bit much for a good balance. Nothing too spectacular here.

Average mouthfeel and decent drinkability. This is an okay beer, I would probably only try it again if I could do so on tap though.

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Photo of Bendurgin
2.99/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this as an awesome extra in a trade recently with a very generous Midwest BA. Poured this into a pint glass. The beer is a cloudy amber color with a big frothy looking white head that shrinks down to soapy lacing. I'm not really loving the smell on this. Sweet malts are really front runners on this. I get a kind of apple sauce smell, but it seems really out of place. Behind all that is a slight smell of piney hops. I'd really love a bit more of a hoppy smell. Big malts on this with a decent bittering finish of floral piney hops. It's pretty nice drinking, but I overall am a little underwhelmed by this one right now. The mouthfeel is a bit heavier than I would imagine but the carbonation is nice. Overall this beer drinks fair enough, but I'm not in love with it.

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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 cetherid
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a tulip

Re-reviewing this beer.


Beer pours a dark, somewhat cloudy amber color with about a fingers worth of frothy white head. Lots of nice bubbly lacing going on the sides of the glass.


A nice balance of sweet caramel and toasted malts with some piney, floral and perhaps a hint of citrus hops. A very nice smelling beer. As this warms up, I get almost a slight fruity aroma to it, like a barleywine but not as strong.


A nice bitterness up front with some slightly sweet & toasted malts that cut through that bitterness leaving a smooth and crisp finish. Flavors of slight toffee, pine, citrus rind and maybe a little bit of tea. Well balanced


medium bodied with great carbonation. Very crisp/clean in the finish. A touch of sweetness lingers on the finish.


overall a great ESB (it doesn't hurt I'm having it extremely fresh as well). Not too sweet...a perfect balance of hops/sweet malts. The first time I reviewed this I wasn't much of a hophead. I preferred stouts and that was about it. My palate has definitely changed and for the better.

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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 jrallen34
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to Alex, served in a Bells tulip...Is this the beer that gets me to like esbs? Its easily the best esb I've had, maybe that's because its more of an ipa...A medium copper, good retention and lacing...Super smooth aroma of caramel malt, light grass, hops have a nice light bite. Taste is essentially the same, super easy to drink with a caramel base, and just enough hops to make it enjoyable and not boring to drink.

Another great 3f that should be sought out.

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

Big thanks to Wadsey for the growler!

A - Nice, dark brown/bronze color with a beautiful head reminiscent of a beer that fresh off the tap from a brewery.

S - Very nutty with a nice, light malt backbone

T - Like the smell, a nice nutty, brown ale taste. Feels very fall-ish.

M - Very pleasant, especially out of a growler

D - Let's just say, I didn't have much (any) help finishing this growler. It was a perfect beer to watch some college football (despite UCLA getting their asses handed to them by Stanford).

Love this beer.

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Photo of SuperNova777
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A:Pours a non transparent copper/amber color with a nice fluffy head that slowly falls, leaving a nice web lacing down the glass.

S:Classic FFF aroma, including grapefruit, citrus, and tropical hops with a slight sweet malt scent as well.

T:First up hits a nice floral hop kick on the initial sip, followed up by a nice malt backbone balance that smoothes everything out on the back burner. A really flavorful taste that leaves an oily hop resin on the palate that begs for more of the sweet nectar.

M:A thinner body which is what you would expect from the style. Good carbonation throughout and almost no alcohol bite.

D:A very delicious, easy to drink, and flavorful beer that I could take down all the time no problem (especially with the decent price tag and abv.) Another great brew from FFF as usual, just a lot of pleasant hop action that is very balanced at the same time. Highly recommended.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed at FFF Pub earlier today.

Appearance -- Pours a bright and rosy orange with two fingers of sudsy white head.

Smell -- Bright citrus, bready malt, and a touch of honey.

Taste -- Big citrus/tropical hop flavors up front with mostly dry, bready malts. The little bit of honey/caramel malt sweetness present really makes the tropical fruit hop note sing. While less malty, not terribly unlike Alpha King.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with mild carbonation. A little bit of chalkiness, but my guess is that the bottled version will not suffer the same pitfall.

Drinkability -- There is a *lot* of overlap in flavor profile between Lord Admiral Nelson and Alpha King. Nelson shares the big hop profile of Alpha King but with more subdued caramel malt sweetness. Not a perfectly dry ESB, but still quite quenching. Love it.

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Photo of Tiklmelmo
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to wedgie9 for this awesome extra.

A - Nice crystal clear caramel with a generous fizzy head. Bit of a gush when I opened it is the only negative.

S - Big sweet biscuity malts with hints of toffee and fresh grassy hop resin. Very nice smelling beer.

T - Taste follows the nose. Very nice malt flavors....shortbread and toffee, but perfectly balanced bitterness with minimal residual sweetness. Again, some nice big fresh hops are present. Much moreso than a traditional british ESB, but I still thought the malts made the beer. Very well balanced.

M - A hair thin, but by no means watery. While there was a bit of a gush upon opening, the carbonation seemed moderate and was certainly pleasant. Mouthfeel was probably the lowest marks for me, but certainly not bad by any means.

D - Very drinkable. I downed the bottle and wanted more.

Overall, this is another extremely fine offering from three floyds. If this became the mold for an american ESB, I would not complain. I am very glad to have had the chance to try this.

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

22oz bottle, scooped at armanetti's in chicago last weekend

served with a farmers market dinner - honey/soy/dijon grilled porkchop and baked golden beets

appearance: typical "busy" and colorful three floyds label art - poured into a great divide shaker pint...bright copper-orange body, light beige ring

smell: nice bright hops, floral grapefruit zest, orange, lemon peel, light spice, toasted malt

taste: another confusing beer from three floyds - unlike any ESB on the market...trademark hop bomb - tons of pink grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, a little toasted malt, rye spice, pineapple and mango. You definitely forget you have an "ESB" in your hands - damn tasty beer though

mouthfeel: medium-light body, oily hop resin

drinkability: great

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Spycow for the brew.

A - It pours a glowing orange hue with an inch of ecru head. Not much in the way of lace.

S - Big hop presence from the get-go. I am getting mostly grapefruit and herbal spiciness as well as some spiciness from the malt.

T - The initial impression is of grapefruit-y hops and rich spicy malt that tastes like some sort of caramelized rye. It is a richly flavored and flavorful brew, no doubt. As it opens up, the malt shows some toasty notes and the hop presence shows some 'nobility'. Certainly not to-style, but a nice American take on the style.

M - Big, smooth and rich. Slightly too viscous, though perfectly carbonated.

D - A very good brew from FFF. Why am I not shocked?

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Lord Rear Admiral from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.