Hell's Black Intelligencer - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Hell's Black IntelligencerHell's Black Intelligencer

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66 Reviews
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Reviews: 66
Hads: 204
Avg: 4.36
pDev: 11.24%
Wants: 217
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: AleWatcher on 10-25-2010

An oatmeal stout brewed with Intelligentsia coffee. "Richard yet lives, Hell's Black Intelligencer" - Queen Margaret, Richard III

28 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 66 | Hads: 204
Photo of TapeDeck
4.92/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer can not be stopped!

Even in a disposable solo cup, it's perfect. This is the standard by which all breakfast stouts should be judged. Oatie, bitter, massive coffee kick in the face... It's not sweet at all.

The beer has a tan foamy head with continued lacing as long as you allow it to exist in your delivery vessel.

Totally black and opaque. If this were bottled, it would be the every day beer during Bears season.

Pairs really well with loud music and a desire to be left alone for some pensive beer snob moments!

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Photo of chanokokoro
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Three Floyds Brewpub, served in a 8 oz. plastic cup during the "Destruction" (expansion/remodel).

Pours darkest brown possible with about a one finger head (not easy to judge with plastic cups!). Strong espresso with chocolate and roasted malt accents on the nose. Just like the aroma, bold espresso floods the tastebuds, is quickly met by slightly sweet milk chocolate and finishes balanced with just a touch of roasted malt. Wonderful mouthfeel on this brew medium body, appropriate for an oatmeal stout, adequate carbonation lends to a creamy and satisfying beer.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was surprisingly tasty for 6%. Another win for FFF. Had on tap at the brewery.

The beer has a nice dark dark brown color, a small ring of off white head and a good looking body.

The smell has plenty of great fresh coffee brand with a nice chocolate malt base. Some nice hip esters float out as well, I know it's cliche but it reminds me strongly of Founders Breakfast Stout.

The taste is extremely balanced, a great blend of sweetness and lots of roast, with plenty of body. Lots of fresh coffee, a great grainy oatmeal malt base, and nice fudge notes. A little bit of bittersweet tastes in the finish.

Feel is good, nice body overall and well carbonated. Wish it was thicker.

Overall an excellent brew.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.75/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at FFF

A - Dark brown with a nice one finger frothy milk chocolate head. Looks rather thick

S - smells of toffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, oatmeal and a hint of roasted espresso. A nice, complex nose.

T - Espresso is the main flavor I note at first. There is a roasted oatmeal smoothness to it with hints of dark chocolate. He finish is bitter espresso with a nice roasted malt finish. Overall, I found the flavor to be a bit lacking compared to the note.

MF - light body with light carbonation. I wish this was a bit thicker as I think it feels light for the rest of the beer and prevents the flavor from really shining

O - Another good offering from FFF. This has a great nose and looks great but the mouthfeel and lighter flavors really let's this one down and prevents it from being a great beer.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in an 8oz plastic cup during "destruction".

Pours a very dark, black coffee color with luxurious legs. An inch of tan head.

Nose is coffee on the fresh side, milk chocolate, more coffee grounds and roasty malts.

The taste has an awesome amount of fresh, roasted coffee beans, smooth milky chocolate, and roasted malt. Awesome, fresh coffee characteristics here.

Mouthfeel is medium on the lighter side with medium carbonation.

Overall, outstanding coffee beer that was totally worth it.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad

A: Black with a half finger tan head.

S: Really amazing fresh coffee aroma with some cola nut in the background. As the beer warms, it develops more of a raisin aroma.

T: Some great freshly ground coffee and tootsie roll flavor with dark chocolate and raisin undertones. Has a great mouthfeel. I usually don't like thinner stouts, but this one was amazing.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad when I was there. Poured a dark black color with about half an inch of mocha-colored head. Scent was out of this world with fresh-brewed coffee and molasses. A bit of charcoal as well. Taste was like Starbucks bitch slapped you in the face. Tons of fresh coffee with some roasted malt and vanilla flavors. Mouthfeel was nice and creamy with slightly bitter finish. Drinkability was very high. Overall, if you love coffee...you will love this beer. I had Funky Buddha's Maple Bacon Coffee Porter a few nights ago, and to me these two beers have the best coffee profile. May need to revisit Speedway Stout since it's been a while. My main point is that it's up there with the best of them.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Pizza Port
Carlsbad, CA

Very dark brown, bordering on black, with ruby edges and a thin light brown head. Spots of lacing down the glass.

An incredibly rich and authentic aroma of freshly brewed coffee and a touch of bittersweet chocolate. This is one of the finest smelling coffee stouts I've had--terrific!

Rich, bittersweet coffee flavor is dominant, along with other roasted malts, a bit of a nutty character, and chocolate throughout.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

A near-perfect coffee stout. So far, this is my favorite beer from Three Floyds. This stuff is fantastic.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad.

A: Near black with a modest beige head. Lacing is scattered. 

S: A blast of coffee with earth, nuts, and a whisper of molasses. Chocolate blends with roasted malt. Smells great.

T: Roasted malt meets a potent earthy coffee presence that really dominates. This tastes like iced coffee with a light nuttiness. There's a low bitterness and a good amount of dark chocolate.

M: Full in body with upper moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is chewy and sticky.

Overall: A very good coffee stout.

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Photo of Sideswipe
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad.

A- Deep mahogany in color with a whisp of tan foam floating atop the beer. Nice lacing.

S- Coffee and roasted malt in the nose.

T- Opens with coffee and chocolate flavors. Roasted malt follows with more chocolate evident in the finish. Aftertaste is a nice lingering roastiness.

M- Feel is thick and chewy. Very well done. Low level of carbonation lends a creamy texture.

O- A really nice oatmeal stout from FFF. Excellent coffee, chocolate and roasted malt flavors combined with a low ABV make this a very tasty, easy drinking beer. Recommended.

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Photo of funkyaudio
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice black color with a small ring of tiny bubbles. Its pretty thin, but does leave some slightly syrupy traces around the glass as you swirl. Aroma is a massive wave of dark roast coffee, with the flavor following almost identically, except there are a few slight notes of chocolate with the coffee flavors. As I mentioned it is on the lighter bodied side of things, but also very very smooth and easy to drink. Really is remarkable how much it tastes like pure iced coffee. TRULY a fantastic beer if you’re into these sorts of flavors... cannot wait until I get to try it again! And here I thought coffee bender was going to be the closest beer to an iced coffee I’d ever try

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Photo of EricCioe
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at a FFF tap takeover at the University of Chicago Pub, 12 May 2011.

This pours totally black with little or no penetration, a two finger espresso crema head that dies down leaving nice chunky lace. On the nose there is an abundance of toasty oatmeal, roasted malt, and perhaps just a bit of lactose sugar, providing a nice counterpoint to the roasted aromas. There is also some coffee and just a hint of chocolate further back. In the mouth the oatmeal and coffee take over, there never being any doubt this is an oatmeal stout rather than coffee, but with the chocolate and coffee and maybe a little hint of lactose providing some nice backdrop to it all. The body is medium or just a touch fuller, making this a supremely easy drinking and yet full flavored oatmeal stout.

Overall, this is something I could easily drink on a regular basis and something I can recommend without hesitation to anyone who likes medium stouts, though this tastes and feels like a bigger one and drinks like a smaller one.

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Photo of Agold
4.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this beer at the three floyds event at the uchicago pub. Really great event. It pours the blackest of blacks, but there is absolutely no head on this. I was expecting a bit more especially from an oatmeal stout in terms of head. Aroma is outstanding. Great coffee mocha aromas dominate, and every once in a while a bit of citrus hoppiness pops up and says hello. The flavor is a great reflection, with overwhelming coffee and coco and roasted malts, and again, when you least expect it, that american citrus hop character makes its self known. Moutfeel was creamy, light and well carbonated. I never expected I would have a chance to try this beer, but I was really happy I did. It was definitely the highlight of the night.

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Photo of EORS
4.87/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

3 Floyds event at my local pub, had no clue what this beer was (or even what it was really called as the name was scrawled on a chalkboard) when I tried it. Poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Opaque with a half inch head the color of mocha. Head dissipates fairly quickly but leaves lacing down the glass. Not a ton of carbonation visible.

Smell: Hints of the great stuff to come. Coffee and chocolate hit the nose first, followed up by a generous amount of roasty malt. Finally, there's a vanillalike sweetness to this beer that comes through in the aroma.

Taste: All of the above, plus more. Lovely rich malt body with more of that lactose-like sweetness from the oats. Leaves hints of coffee and roast malt in the mouth. Barely a hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: a real treat - smooth, full-bodied and creamy when the carbonation is up, retained the smoothness as the beer sat, but the moderate carbonation really adds an extra feeling of thickness that makes the beer really enjoyable.

Overall: A very very pleasant surprise, and one to be savored if you can find it. I'd wanted to try a dark beer (not Robert the Bruce) from 3 Floyds for some time, since most of what we get here is gumballhead and pride and joy. Lived up to anything I could have expected from it.

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Photo of Brenden
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many, many thanks to Steve (a74gent) for bringing around a growler of this one that I don't know when I could ever have gotten.

This is a black-as-night brew, starting off the strong iced coffee experience right off the bat. A small, creamy tan head forms and sits around for a while, sticking some nice lacing around as it drains.
This smells like I brewed some coffee in a french press then refriderated it. It has a strong fresh coffee aroma that isn't watered down. This is one of those belends that very nicely mingles having beer character (stout elements of, along with coffee, bittersweet chocolate, roasted barley, a touch of smoke, and just a touch of sweetness) with the element they're going for being front and center and by no means distracted from; in this case, fresh coffee.
The tflavor follows suit. It tastes like just a dash of creamer was added, interestingly. The light underlying sweetness pulls through first, then the malts, bittersweet cocoa,and oats deep within, allowing this one to be all about coffee and yet now allow me to forget I'm drinking a beer.
This is full of big stout thickness in a big, full, robust body, with the velvety, mouth-filling smoothness I'd expect from an oatmeal stout (which, just having the growler, I didn't know until I started drinking). This one's dry without any hrash bitterness or astringency many coffee beer efforts suffer from. This is a delight to drink.
There's not much wrong with this one. Not having any opportunity to get out to FFF, I'm very glad to have gotten a shot at this beer.

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Photo of Motladiwa
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review is via my notes when I had it for the sixth week in a row in late December at FFF. I loved it so much that I drove from South Bend to get growlers of it 6 weeks in a row. It was served in a 10oz glass coffee cup and it took me an hour to drink, each serving that I had of it that is.

A- This beer is black! It reminds me of stories people have of going to Hell and not being able to see their hands in front of their faces. Great color and what you would expect of a beer that is an oatmeal stout brewed with rich coffee.

S- My God! It's like an intelligent Juan Valdez farted the best coffee in the universe! As it warms it gets better.

T- So lovely. I begin my day with coffee and end it with beer. This is exceptional as it makes the two worlds collide without chaos. Roasty caramel with a perfect blend of smokey, malty sweetness.

M- Very smoothe. Low carbonation. Rolls through the palate leaving me confused as to what time of day it is. The bitterness of the coffee and the sweetness of the oatmeal and malt are very well balanced.

D- Sip it like coffee. That's all I have to say

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Photo of fear025
4.11/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Aroma:Tons of coffee in the nose. It smells like a cup of coffee, no beer.

Appearance:Black with very little head.

Taste:It's definitely coffee, but there's also dark chocolate, and roasty malts. It still has amazing coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel:It's a little watery, but very easy to drink.

Drinkability:This was quite a pleasure to drink, but I'm a big fan of coffee. This is a great mild coffee stout, but with none of the sourness you sometimes get with this style.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap yo!

A- Pours a deep black color. One and a half finger mocha colored head showed medium retention. This just leaves whisps of light foam on the top of the beer. Nice this streaks of lace on the sides of the glass.

S- Iced coffee is all I can think of! This has a deep roasted malt base to begin with. Some hints of darker chocolate really goes well with the malt. There is a fresh roasted coffee flavor that just jumps out from this point on. It really overtakes everything but to be honest I don't mind.

T- Upon first sip I get the roasted malts right out front. This quickly goes from a roasted malt to a darker chocolate and then just keeps the dark chocolate in the front. Coffee roast does come in next with more of a espresso style of taste. The chocolate and coffee mingle and blend fantasticly together. Nothing really else gets ahold of my taste buds. I really don't mind though.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Coffee and dark chocolate dominate everything from the palate to the aftertaste. Even in the aftertaste there is really not much in hints of alcohol at all. This was a one sided beer with the focus being on the coffee and malts. No off flavors could be detected at all in this coffee bomb. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D- Wow oh wow. If you like coffee..you will like this beer. The ABV is very low and adds to the drinkability to this beer. I could have sat down and had many many pints of this beer. FFF just proves once again that they are not just another brewery. Their flavorful beers are worthy of most of the hype they get.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With ultimate smoothness and a velvety texture, this Stout carries intense roast and coffee taste but with a very moderate mouthfeel and dry finish.

Pouring a solid black color, the infussion of coffee is almost evident to the eye. A creamy off-white head blankets the beer before reducing to a delicate creame around the rim.

Aromas are of freshly ground coffee beans- likely of espresso or French roast varieties. The roast of barley, malted milk, bitter chocolate and light caramels support the coffee notes; but this nose is all about gormet coffee.

Flavors reveal themselves in reverse, layer by layer. Sweeter, maltier character shines first with the soft caramels and malted milk richness. But the transition into chocolate, cocoa, roasted barley, and finally French roast coffee carry the beer into the coffee bittered finish where the final impressions are all about the smooth coffee taste.

Full flavors early, give the impression of a weighted body, but the early creaminess gives way to a fleeting malt fullness and towards a smooth and velvety dry finish. Avoiding the acrid textures of coffee grounds, the coffee dryness and bitterness reveals themselves nicely without astringency or unnecessary bite.

A very solid Oatmeal Stout, signatured by the silky finish- but with bold coffee character. Though high in quality, you should expect a very coffee-forward beer.

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Photo of phisigben
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I have had this several times on-tap, but the last time was on tap at the Indiana Brewers guild Winterfest.

Look - It pours almost completely black, but the is very little head and what head there is, is a mocha color.

Smell - Am I getting ready to drink an ice coffee? Huge huge coffee flavor, then with a little chocolate.

Taste - Just like in the nose a huge coffee bomb. There is a bitterness that I think is from the coffee I don't really taste any hops. It is not very complex but for what it is it's one of the best oatmeal stouts that I have ever had.

Mouthfeel - This is the one part where it loses some points from me, compared to other in this style the mouthfeel is pretty thin.

Drinkablilty - This is crazy good, I really wish they decided to bottle this beer for 2011. It could be such a great gateway beer for people who think they don't like darker beers.

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Photo of youradhere
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler acquired in a trade from cheezedawg. Pours thick black with ample tan head. Smells of subtile coffee and heavy chocolate. Tastes the same, and very smooth. Mellow drink with ample carbonation, drinkability is very high. My BMC drinking friend even liked it and we killed the growler quickly. I will turn him to the darkside yet.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.8/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at FFF a while back. Review from notes.

A - Pours black, a fingers-worth of mocha-color head, some spotty lacing along the sides of the glass.

S - This one is a coffee bomb, obviously. Lots of roast, dark chocolate, coffee beans. A lot of coffee and not much else, which I don't mind, but it would be nice to have a little more complexity.

T - TONS of coffee, roast, expresso, dark chocolate. It's just a one-dimensional coffee-bomb. While I love coffee and stouts, it's just really boring to me.

M - A little too light for a stout, smooth, creamy finish.

D - It's good, but I'll take a Beer Geek Brunch Weasel over this any day of the week and three times on Sunday. Good, not great.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the FFF brewpub on New Year's Day and was so impressed, got a growler to go.

Pours nearly pitch black with a one-finger tan head. Head retention is really good, as is lacing. The smell is unsurprisingly dominated by cold brewed, dark roast coffee and lighter notes of toasty malt and dark chocolate. Flavor is much the same with the delicious Intellegensia coffee taking center stage. The bitterness from the coffee is noticeably absent with only a beautifully smooth roasted bean flavor remaining. The toasty malt and dark chocolate notes provide nice depth along with some light dark fruit flavors that creep in on the finish. This is a whole lot more complex than many coffee stouts. The full-body is presumably assisted by the oatmeal. The finish is fairly dry, but not overly so, and the alcohol is almost non-existant. The drinkability is quite high due to the complex flavors and absence of intrusive bitterness and alcohol. Pretty much unquestionably the best oatmeal stout I've ever tried, and right there with the best coffee stouts I've had. As this was my first beer of 2011, I think it bodes well for the year.

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Photo of onefmatt
4.01/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It is black, pitch black. Head is a creamy, milk chocolate, brown.

S: Smells like coffee...almost dominates the other smells but roasted malts are present, some chocolate. Intelligencia makes great coffee and this stuff smells like fresh pot of it.

T: Tastes like it smells...big coffee taste, but works well with the malt character to deliver a nice flavor. Not surprising considering it is a Floyds beer. Everything is big in their arsenal.

M: Nice body for a stout, not too heavy, and is pretty smooth.

D: Definitely tasty, no booziness to it, as I mentioned it goes down smooth.

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Photo of lloyd83
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Blacker than black...Literally not a bit of light coming through when held up to the light. Not very much head on my pour, but what's there is a nice, inviting brown. Can't wait to dig in!

S- Straight coffee. Has some hints of something else hiding in there, but the coffee is clearly dominant here. Sorry, I'm new :)

T- Yum. To clarify, I love the smell of coffee, just not the taste. That said, to me this tastes like what a good coffee bean smells like, not what a 'good coffee' tastes like. Make sense? I remember going to the mall and walking past Gloria Jean's back in the day, and always noting how absolutely fantastic it smelled, and how I always wished that's what coffee tasted like; that's what HBI reminds me of--what coffee should taste like. Finishes with a hint of bitterness.

M- Would have expected this to be a bit thicker given it's looks, but it nonetheless, it all works.

D- Alas, I've got a Sunday to myself full of playoff football and a kickass Stout. Please, contain your tears, I know it's a sob story. Totally going to kill this growler on my own!

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Hell's Black Intelligencer from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.