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Blackheart | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

376 Reviews
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Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
A throwback historical ale brewed when English IPA's were hopped up to last the long voyage from England to Colonial troops in India, using English malts, English hops, English yeast and aged slightly on toasted oak for a 19th century taste.

78 IBU

Added by philberinghele on 03-21-2008

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Reviews: 376 | Ratings: 1,334
Photo of msubulldog25
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured to a pint glass from a 22 oz. bottle. Big thanks to joe1510 for adding this (much appreciated) extra.

A: Gorgeous glowing golden-orange. Excellent sudsy head, rising to about 1.5-fingers, slowly dropping to a thick creamy topping. Almost clear, just a faint haze. A bounty of rising carbonation keeps that head full in a number of thin streams. Very good-looking lace sticks randomly.

S: Love this aroma: honeysuckle and fresh fruit. This could be the most floral-smelling IPA I've had the pleasure of sniffing...very nice! Glazed cinnamon bun? Vague oaky/vinous notes, is this barrel-aged? Wood chips? A wonderful noseful - transcends the style.

T: Sweet and malty upfront. Juicy orange and pink grapefruit, layers of spicy and grassy hops that are just bold enough. Balance nears perfection: flavors dance between a spiced/flowery hop zest and a gentler fruity (apple) malty starchiness. Concludes with that woody/barrel-like finish. Pretty remarkable beer.

M: Silky smooth with a sneakily fiull mouthfeel. This builds and builds to a coating warmth, even though it starts rather innocently. Carbonation is soft, creamy.

D: Really had no idea what to expect from this one. It wasn't a 3F beer I'd heard of before...but now that I've tried it's absolutely imperative that I have this again. Wonderfully drinkable for a big beer and one I'd highly recommend. Dangerously close to a '5' in several categories.

Thanks again, Joe!

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. Pours a clear copper color. White rocky head holds well for a while, and leaves some nice patches of lace.

Good amount of oak in the nose, with caramel and hints of fruit. Floral and citrusy hops seem to round things out.

Lots of caramel and oak up front. Some sweetness. Floral and soft citrusy hops. Lots of fruit flavor. Oak and hops seem to linger forever.

Full body, with appropriate carbonation. Very well done. The oak adds a nice character to this.

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Photo of gford217
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of brandoman63 poured into a tulip.

Pours a bright translucent orange amber with a healthy 2-finger head and a steady stream of bubbles coming to the top. The retention is good and leaves solid lacing. The aroma is a balance of citrus hops up front and a strong caramel malt base. There is also a heavy dose of earthy hops throughout as well. The taste mirrors the aroma with a grapefruit and grassy hop kick giving way to the caramel malt base. There is a bit of spiciness in the finish as well as some hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lots of carbonation and leaves the mouth sticky with the earthy hop juice. The drinkability is fantastic on this one and I don't notice the alcohol at all. The best example of an English IPA (if you can call it that) I've tasted to date.

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Photo of kmeves
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber with a medium beige head. Aroma is medium sweet with melon, light biscuit, some floral and earthy. Flavor is floral, earthy, melon and biscuity. Light-medium body, silky texture. Medium bitter finish. Another winner from one of the Midwests best.

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Photo of Deuane
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ffejherb for sharing his bottle with me!

First...this may be an English style IPA but no English IPA would ever clock in at 9%! Leave it to FFF to buck trends once again!

A-Orange tinged light copper with a full, fluffy, bright white head. Head retained nicely and thick, sticky lace.

S-Sweet caramel with a bright floral quality. Hints of citrus and a rather unique vanilla oak quality in the background that is more pronounced upon warming.

T-Floral hops blend well with solid sweet caramel malt. Highly complex with hints of citrus, apricot, brown sugar, vanilla and oak. A very nice brew that makes you ponder!

M-Medium body with a highly smooth and creamy texture. Bitterness is present in the aftertaste but is tempered somewhat by the complexity of flavours.

D-An extremely interesting brew. This is an English IPA in name only....like the type of hops used and the name! In no way does this resemble ANY IPA I have ever had in or from England! Not that I care, this is another example of the genius that is FFF.

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

A - Murky apple juice, .5 inch head reduced to surface quickly. VERY clingly, both webby and sudsy lacing.

S - Nice malt center, definite citrus notes.

T - Malts show up well, hops are clean, crisp and tight. Finishes clean.

M - Light to medium bodied, good coating and carb.

D -Not overly taxing. Good stuff.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber into Troegs Hopback glass on 9/4/08. Thanks to brewslut for toting this back for me from Great Taste of the Midwest.

A - Amber/orange body with a hazy tint and billowy two-finger eggshell-colored head that retained quite well and left thick, decorative lacing around the glass. This one isn't lacking carbonation.

S - Floral hops with a bit of citrus and fruitiness. I also pick up on some hints of vanilla, apricot, mild spices and a tinge of alcohol.

T - Floral (and to a lesser extent, perfumy) hops abound and mingle with a solid caramel malt base. There's a lot going on with this brew, giving it an incredibly complex flavor profile. There's a mild spiciness with hints of cinnamon, sugar and vanilla, with the latter especially shining through in the finish. Digging even deeper, I am also able to pull out dried apricots and oranges.

M - Medium body with an exquisitely smooth, creamy txture and soft carbonation. Although deploying a moderate bitterness on the tongue, the hops are countered by some residual sweetness, resulting in a fairly short bitter finish.

D - This is definitely hoppier than I was anticipating for an English-style IPA, yet it still maintained an extremely nice balance between hops and malts. It also has a very unique flavor, and I can honestly say that I never tasted a beer quite like this one, and I've had a lot of IPAs. FFF is turning into one of my favorite breweries!

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Photo of Beertracker
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Three Floyds Blackheart pours up with a modest, creamy beige head that crests above the hazy, burnt orange-tawny amber body. Good lacing with solid head retention. The grassy, herbal aroma shows some late kettle hops and a huge, fruity maltiness (mango, melon, star fruit) with lots of toasted caramel and some warm toffee notes. The alcoholic complexity shows through as it warms in hand. The flavor starts off rather cloying with a big, sugary maltiness reminiscent of caramel-orange fudge with a defined toasted (biscuity/soda bread) character that carries into a dominating, but never harsh bitterness that delivers a bold, malty, slightly spicy, warming finish. This medium-full bodied DIPA is creamy, complex, and surprisingly well-balanced for a FFF production. Three Floyds Blackheart is a "demonic beast" that should be feared by wussy light beer drinkers!

CHEERS! Beertracker

*Trader's Note: Thanks to BinnysKyle for the bottle.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange-ish/ yellow/ copper-ish color, with a light tan head. In the aroma, small grapefruity/ lemon citrus, and a hint of black pepper. In the taste, pepper, lemon citrusy hops. A small bite and medium body mouthfeel, and a dry hoppy, peppery aftertaste. Nice English maltiness, and nice lemon citrusy hops. Very good.

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Photo of gory4d
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not at all what I expected -- a much bigger beer, heading in barley wine direction. The color was a pleasant russet, not much of a head to speak of. The smell is grassy with some pine notes; the taste kicks that up a notch, with the oak tones coming through, as well as some apple. It's a big, viscous, yet oddly quenching mouthfull, with the alcohol well hidden but warming after a few sips. A little of this goes a long way. All in all a very nice beer, but not one I'd come back to very often.

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Photo of iuhophead87
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 650 Ml to an oversized tulip. Although I've had this beer on draft twice, I'm just now reviewing this must have beer.

A-Pours a pale orange color with dark traces throughout the beer. The dirty orange colored foam rises to the top of the glass and maintains its frothiness for quite a while before dissipating and leaving a nice trace on the side of the glass.
S- For a Three Floyds beer this is not an over hoppy aroma. A gooey pine and woody aroma are obviously present. Behind the hops a caramel malty twang is detected.
T-Oh Yes an English IPA. A style that I love from my favorite brewery. Very malty for an IPA, but yet intriguing. Do I have an oak taste in my mouth? Here come the hops. Wow! A big beer with flavor, hops, ABV, and drinkablility.
MF- A little more syrupy than expected, but still has a burst of citrus hops and caramel to overcome the sweetness a backend-bit keeps you wanting more.
D-Very good considering the ABV. This is a well-balanced beer for 3Fs and is very consumable. IN fact, I never leave my beer-fridge without a bottle of this at all times. This beer may be enjoyed by new comers as well as the experienced beer geek. This could possible be my favorite accessible beers at this time.

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Photo of mjryan
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

What a bizzare beer. Pours a dark orange with a big, big head. Lots and lots of lace. Smell is citrusy and funky. A touch of breadiness in there as well. Flavour is indescribable, but I will try. Its like pumpkin pie spices, mixed with cedar wood and lemon zest, I think. Bitterness is very aggressive. There is also a kind of funky twang to it. I would attribute that to the oak, but who knows. I think I like this beer. I just found it really off the wall. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle received in trade with joe1510. Thanks a bunch, man! Into my Duvel tulip.

A: Hazy orange with a dense, two-finger thick off white head that occasionally bubbles not unlike a tar pit. Head has decent retention and leaves some lace as it recedes

S: English IPA? Not entirely. There's a solid dose of citrus hops with an equally prominent earthy, herbal (thyme?) note. Moderate sweetness is present and is almost like sugar syrup (in a good way). Good stuff!

T: Starts off a mix of citrus hops and sweetness that results in a taste not unlike freshly squeezed OJ. The sweetness fades leaving a hop bitterness that's definitely English in nature - earthy and herbal. Dries up on the finish leaving a light bitterness

M: Great carbonation, pleasing bitterness and dryness on the finish

D: This goes down *very* easily and is an enjoyable beer. Definitely recommended

Notes: Take Dreadnaught, cut back on bittering and aroma hops, partially substitute flavor hops and voila! Blackheart!

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Photo of iconoklaztor
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The smell of this beer explodes as soon as you open it. HOPS galore. It smells great. There isnt much head on this one sadly, but the color and smell make up for it. It has a great golden orange. Smells a lot like another IPA ive had ( Pliny)

The taste is very hoppy. The hops are way over the top IMO. Its pretty much all hops with a dash of booze. Its good but not very balanced.

It's not the most drinkable but its still enjoyable. maybe a little time would balance this puppy out.

Overall, a good brew.

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Photo of errantnight
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Joe1510! Finally getting around to reviewing some of the amazing beers you've sent me... well, drinking first, reviewing second.

A mixed bag... reminds me a lot of Hop Soulution (also from Joe).

Pours a beautiful hazy copper with creamy head, couple fingers of head into my Levitation tulip.

Aroma is delightful... sweet floral aromas mixed with peaches and some citric touch.

Taste is a somewhat lesser experience... there's a sweet cherry undercurrent to the hop presence, the bitterness is solid and balancing, and the beer isn't sweet, but there's an odd resiny candy, sweet cherry character that is more distinctive than it is off-putting... but I don't love it. This is definitely more a double English IPA and just an English IPA, and a great hop experiment.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full, but dry and spritely carbonic.

Pretty, easy to drink, but I don't love the flavor. Super happy to have given this a try... and I bet a blend of this (or a blend of these hops) with an Alpha King would be out of this world delicious. Just a thought for those of you who live close enough to the source to easily procure bottles.

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Photo of julian
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a hazy copper color with sufficient carbonation. head is minimal even with a vigorous pour but leaves big clear bubbles around the edges.

S: smells sweet, lots of citrus, grapefruit, orange with a nice hoppy compliment. minor hint of alcohol, barely noticeable.

T: There's a resinous floral hop flavor but the malt backbone is equally as prominent in the finish providing for a nice balance. Slightly resiny in the aftertaste though. citrus flavor not as strong in flavor as it was in the aroma. Alcohol unnoticeable.

M: moderate and expected carbonation, nice smooth finish with the maltier backbone.

D: All around not bad. I guess this was my first English IPA, and I like. I will continue to explore this style.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another brew courtesy of scubarex. Thanks man!

22 oz. bomber poured into a nonic. Some of the sweetest artwork ever to graze a beer bottle as well, I love it.

Pours a murky orange haze with a fluffy off-white two finger head that stays for sometime before falling to a thin layer of foam. A good amount of webbing is left behind on the sides of the glass. Smell is light pink grapefruit with a pasty malt aroma as well. Some carboard and sweet floral scents in the nose too. Overall the hops are in check, especially for 9% abv. Spicy flavors up front followed by sweet caramel malts and woody herbs. Midway a touch of bitterness emerges with a touch of booze. Aftertaste has a hint of toasted grains with a bit more citrus and grit. Medium slick body with a soft and smooth feel. The carbonation is a bit on the strong side and prickly. A bit on the strong side in terms of abv for the style, but after further reading I guess that's how the original English IPA's were brewed. A truly unique spiced up IPA. I just can't get over how graphic the label is, sweeet.

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Photo of Cresant
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 650 mL bottle into a DFH shaped pint glass. No date. The body was a golden amber with a light haziness. Moderate head left minimal lacing.

Smell was citrus and husky, pine sawdust. Plums.

Taste was a bit boozy. Syrup. Grapefruit rind. Vanilla. Long lingering bitterness. Dry.

Mouthfeel was medium to full. Medium to low carbonation.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle - binny's on grand

appearance: bizarre 3F artwork on the bottle - pours a pretty clear golden orange colour with very little head/retention (unusual for 3F)

smell: biscuity malts, high sweetness, levels, grapefruit citrus, lots of spice - i know the hops are there but they arent overkill on the nose

taste: ah yes, there are the hops. They come out to play in a major way with sweet ruby red grapefruit, light pine, and a high corresponding bitterness. there are sweet syrupy biscuity malts that play a major role in this beer as well. this beer has been described to me as "Muddy" but honestly i think it turned out alright. as with any 3F beer, it runs the risk of just being a 1 dimensional hopbomb. while this certainly delivers on the hops, its stays at least within site of the style boundaries

mouthfeel: sweet and highly bitter, booze felt, very spicy

drinkability: pretty good

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Photo of bbothen
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle with some really cool artwork poured into a snifter.

Pours a pretty amber/dark orange color with a fluffy 1 finger head.

Smells sweet & fruity with nice crisp floral hop presence.

Taste is sweet & fruity predominately. Honey, orange, caramel, spice, & floral hop notes.

Medium bodied, slick, dry.

Drinkability is great. Drinks like a 6%.

Interesting. I can't ever remember tasting an IPA like this. Guess I've never had an "historical English IPA". I likey. Gimme more.

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Photo of waldoiverson
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown Bomber into pint glass

A - The head is offwhite and thick. It lasted for a significant amount of time and was somewhat clumpy. Good lacing that really stuck to the glass. The color is orangish brown and slightly turbid.

S - Spicy and bright with almost a cherry like odor. another reviewer found ginger on the nose and I think that is a very good description of a portion of the nose

T - slightly astringent from the alcohol...as it warmed the alcohol almost took on the after flavor of tequilla. It had a nice bitterness but not puckering

M - Smooth but not sticky. The bitterness was just enough to beg the next drink without demanding it.

D - Certainly not a session beer, but it is really a wonderfully complex construction with a bitterness that dances right up to the line of being overpowering without losing balance. Try it!

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Photo of Biggness
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark very cxloudy amber (always a good sign) The smell is limited but what I get is nuts/citrus. I was suprised by the taste I don't think I have ever had an english IPA before. To me it seemed like an american IPA mixed with an English Pale ale (with the nut flavors). The mouth feel is very pleasant, it is nicely carbonated. this is a very dinkable beer and I wish I had my wife pick up more than 2 of these for me! Another fine brew by FFF

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Photo of shbobdb
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It's like I am drinking pale ale concentrate, which I suppose I am! The beer kicks off with a blast of EKGs and other English hops, as well as a nice, slightly fruity but not overwhelmingly so, English yeast presence. This initial impression is followed by a very nice drying sensation, produced (it would seem) by the alcohol as well as a nice hint of oak. I was worried about the oak presence from the description, after all, the barrels were lined with brewer's pitch back in the day to prevent that from happening. But I suppose that the seal wasn't always perfect and this mimics that quite well, as the oak is by no means overwhelming. Just a nice drying sensation at the end.

I really liked this brew. Good stuff.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thank You Dave at Sal's in Elmhurst getting me two bottles of this great beer.

Pours a light hazey, yet bright copper wih some cool bubbling, and no lacing. ONly a small film of bubbles greets you after the pour. Good color, but bad head and lacing for an IPA. The aroma is a straight forward orange zest, some chammomile and lots of bitter smelling bread. The taste is very sessionable for a 9% abv. Mild hops for an American, English IPA But a great malt bill. Hints of caramel, a touch of cinnamon and unrecognizable herbs. Very easy feeling palate. Great sessionablilty for such a high abv beer. Was actually very refreshing for such a beer.

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Photo of prototypic
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to lightindarkness for the bottle. Been wanting to try this for a while.

Appearance: It pours a slightly hazy, caramel color. There's a slight orange tint to it. Head stands about a finger and a half tall and is slightly orange in color (almost creamsicle). Retention was good and a nice sheet of lace clung to the glass.

Smell: The nose is initially fruity and sweet. It's mostly mango or orange. Hops are notable, but not exactly citric or piney as is the standard in most American IPAs. There's a bit of a grainy smell to it. Malts are sweet and noticeable. They are secondary to hops, but there's plenty in there.

Taste: There's a distinct sweet, orange flavor up front. It's really the only citrus component of note. Almost a little too much orange for my taste. Hop flavor is strong and slightly bitter. But, these English IPAs do not have the arrogant, palate pounding hop flavor that I love in American IPAs. It's just a different animal. It has an interesting, slightly spciy aspect to it that's unique. Malts are sweet and perhaps balance out the bitter flavor too much. It's grainy and a little earthy. Alcohol is faintly noticeable, but that's a huge compliment for a beer this big.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and incredibly smooth. Three Floyds really has nailed feel perhaps better than any brewer out there. They consistently release beers with silky smooth, creamy feels. This one is no exception. Carbonation is very well done and gives it a crisp bite. Drinkability is probably higher than it should. I know it's 9%, one would never guess that from the smell or taste. I'll limit myself to a bomber, but if I didn't know better, I'd pound a few of these with little trouble.

Blackheart's a unique English IPA. Frankly, I'm not a huge fan of the style. I prefer the American variety much more. Though I still do, I can't help but feel like this is an English IPA on steroids. The sheer strength of it sets it apart from the masses. It also has a lot more character than its colleagues. I'm still not converted into a huge fan, but this is a good beer. Probably very good given the style. Recommended.

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Blackheart from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 376 ratings.