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Bring Out Your Dead - Bellwoods Brewery

Not Rated.
Bring Out Your DeadBring Out Your Dead

Educational use only; do not reuse.

24 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 24
Hads: 94
Avg: 4.3
pDev: 18.37%
Wants: 46
Gots: 16 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Bellwoods Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  12.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jrenihan on 04-06-2013

This decadent imperial stout was transferred to cognac barrels after a long primary fermentation. Aged for just over a year in the barrel, this velvety brew is one serious piece of work. Upgraded by our brewers this year to have a slightly lighter body and more pronounced barrel and original contents character.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 24 | Hads: 94
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.96/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium size dirty brown color head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of dry bitter roasted malt with some black chocolate notes with very subtle Cognac notes. Taste is also dominated by dry bitter roasted malt notes with sweet undertones and black chocolates notes with light warming Cognac notes. Body is full with oily-like texture with good carbonation. Enjoyable though Cognac doesn’t really come out as much as I had anticipated.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle generously shared by Adrial. Served in a taster pint glass.

A - Creamy tan foam settles to a thin cap, thick collar, and splotchy lacework. Very dark brown body with some reddish transparency at the edges of the glass.

S - Loads of sweet cognac and spirit character. Mild soy, baker's chocolate, mild roasted malt, a touch of coffee, and negligible alcohol. Quite sweet, with only a touch of roast to it. Reminds me a little of Mikkeller Cognac George actually in the sweet and savory mixture.

T - The taste is a bit more roasty and balanced, with a mixture of chocolate, cognac, umami, brown sugar, dark fruits and raisins, and a bit of char and oak in the finish that keeps things from getting excessively sweet.

M - Creamy, smooth, medium-full body, with a lingering sticky finish. Pleasant lower carbonation, and well-hidden alcohol.

D - As stated above, it reminds me a lighter version of Cognac George. Really enjoyable and very easy to drink; a few of us polished off the bottle very quickly. Curious what the base beer tasted like, as supposedly it's different from Hellwoods. Hope they make this again as it's one of the best Ontario-made beers I've had.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle #844/1699. Bottled April 7, 2013.
Poured in to Bellwoods tulip.

A - Dark inky black. One finger of medium brown head with good retention.

S - A bold roast presence up front with some anise, charred oak and cognac. Lighter smoke and tobacco aromas in the background.

T - A massive roast flavour hits the tongue first that is followed by dark cherry, charred oak and cognac flavours and a huge overall sweetness. The sweetness becomes more and more prominent as I continue to drink the beer and eventually becomes a little overwhelming.

M - Full body. Thick and viscous. Low carbonation.

O - Another great beer form Bellwoods. Overall, this one was a bit too sweet for my liking but was otherwise complex and enjoyable.

Had this one a second time and found it much more enjoyable; not as overly sweet as the first time I had it. Ratings have been slightly adjusted to reflect an average of both times.

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Photo of biegaman
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bring Out Your Dead looks as though it were spawned by Satan himself. It's not just dark, it is utter darkness. Even its head is coloured like rust and looks like broken fragments of clay pottery as it capsizes in the middle and drifts towards the side of the glass. Fascinating.

Poorly executed barrel-aged beers are nauseating. Properly executed barrel-aged beers are enchanting. This one is a dream - it marries the cocoa and coffee flavours of stout with the vanilla- and caramel-accented notes of flowers and dried fruits of cognac. My Spidey-senses tell me this is the beginning of a masterpiece.

The flavour has enough roasted malt to extinguish even the strongest chocolate cravings. Dark chocolate, anyhow. There's very little sweetness to this beer, only the traces of golden raisin and dried cherries inferred by alcohol esters. Otherwise it's black espresso and fudge all the way.

Any beer of double-digit strength - let alone one as dark as this and aged in cognac barrels - is sure to dehydrate you pretty quickly. All it took was a few sips to dry my mouth out; the oak isn't tasted so much as felt. Ditto for the alcohol. Still, the beer has the composure of a seeing-eye dog and is smooth as the baby Jesus' bottom.

It's a shame I haven't another bottle because this is a prime candidate for aging; it is exactly the kind of structured, substantial and special stout to build your cellar around. It is a super big beer made in an ultra small batch. Bellwoods would be crazy not to try to replicate this again; even a beer half as good would be worth the $12/bottle I paid for this.

When I first tried this fresh I thought it might be one of the best barrel-aged stouts I'd ever had. Trying it again half a year later I can now confirm that; more of the cognac features have come to the fore, adding increased complexity to an already rich and masterfully accomplished beer. Bring Out Your Dead, ironically enough, brings about the true pleasure in living.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.51/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into tulip 12/10/13 #486 of 1699, thanks Liam for this massive want

A shes a dark one, even the foams dark, two fingers quickly falls to a thick film leaving a few partial rings followed by random patches deep down the glass

S chocolate fudge covered in chocolate syrup, the cognac barrels hard to miss, charred wood, vanilla, coffee and a little booze, some chocolate milk and bruised plum with some nutty hard toffee, smells great

T more barrel in the mouth, more char and cognac, very rich chocolate and some unburnt woods in there too, sweet chocolate and sugar coated raisins with a hint of molasses, so rich, so good

M very thick and creamy, this one has some body I could chew this stuff, oily, not much for booze and my lips are stuck together, heavy dark roast on the finish and at this rate I'll be tasting it tomorrow, perhaps a highlight and that says something

O this one hit the spot, world class beer in every department, start to finish this one delivers

I'm almost always disappointed when I finally track down my current top want but this one surpassed my expectations. One of the best beers I've had in recent memory and I've been a busy beer drinking boy to say the least. I can't wait to see what these guys brew next.

2014 version again from liamt07 8/11/15- lots of barrel, heaps of char, boozy, big in general, not sure if its an improvement but its solid if you like massive ass kickers!!

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Photo of Rutager
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thank you to Liamt07 and Sammy for both getting a bottle of this to me!

Appearance. Pours a thick, deep dark brown that's pretty much black in the glass. Topped with a finger of creamy dark tan head.

Smell. Fragrant woody liquor (cognac, but I wouldn't have guessed that without reading the label). Also molasses and dark roasted malts with a little licorice and dark chocolate.

Taste. Dark chocolate and hints of licorice, fresh barrel wood and some light cognac with some dark coffee and dry roasty malts in the finish.

Mouthfeel. Full body with low+ carbonation.

Overall. A really nice, big RIS with tons of flavour and a nice level of barrel and booze, not too strong and very complimentary.

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Photo of papat444
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

***Bottle 767 of 1699***
Big thanks to jrenihan for this one.

Poured from 650ml. bottle, bottled April 7, 2013.

Appearance: Thick as motor oil, 2 fingers worth of creamy head, very dark brown. As it pours, hue cascading effect in the head, fingers of lacing are left on the sides.

Smell: Strong alcohol, dark plums, cognac adds a spirited aroma. Base beer does shine through with some chocolaty malt.

Taste: Cognac immediately hits the taste buds, mixes well with chocolate and coffee flavors. Finish is reminiscent of red peppers, a bit spicy though not much, just to taste. You`d think it wouldn`t fit but i actually like it.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy, bit milky but quite aggressive with the barrel aging without overdoing it.

Overall: An interesting twist on a classic style. Very much enjoyed.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Props to Pino for the stellar trade... A perfect celebratory brew in honour of the birth of our son.
A - pours pitch black, thin layer of dark mocha head, some retention and no real lacing.
S - burnt oak, dark roast coffee, leather, burnt chocolate and sweet candied alcohol notes.
T - loads of flavor, molasses, black licorice, dark cocoa, sweet cognac booziness comes through nicely, leafy green hop notes linger alongside roasted coffee and burnt chocolate.
M - Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of stickiness. ABV is very well hidden.
O - It's everything it's cracked up to be and more. A worthy celebratory ale and super stoked to have gotten my hands on a bottle.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The first of two anniversary beers from Bellwoods. This is an imperial stout (not Hellwoods) aged for three months in Cognac barrels.

Beer is black with a small tan head. Decent retention, good lacing.

Nose strongly contains cognac, but also a rich bouquet of dark fruit (raisin, red grape). A rather vinous scent. Rich indeed. Quite nice.

Taste contains a strong cognac flavour, along with some oak. Roast malt, smoke and peat come through from the beer itself. Dark fruit (raisin) is there as well, but not as prominently as in he nose. Some chocolate. The cognac is strong but does not obliterate the base beer. Good mix.

Beer is full bodied, moderately carbonated. A bit boozy, to be sure.

Overall, very good. I prefer the Hellwoods to this, but this is very good.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lucky enough to get one of these from Peensteen, then another from the nice guys at the brewery. Cheers!

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter.
Imperial Stout in cognac barrels
Bottled 7 April 2013
Bottle 276 of 1699

APPEARANCE: A black, syrupy pour yields a small, medium looking, light tan head with decent retention. Head quickly recedes to a light wisp and ring. Jet black body with no carbonation evident. Only a ring remains and leaves not real lacing down the glass. Great color, but could use some lacing.

SMELL: Big nose with lots of base beer making its way through the potent barrel aging. Cognac and oak are there, with lots of molasses, caramel and dark baker's chocolate. Touches of roasted grain as well, and the chocolate and molasses hold up well to the oak and cognac from the barrels. Really good and extremely enticing.

TASTE: Cognac sweetness and sweet molasses up front. Caramel flavors too, moving into a boozy cognac, oak and roasted finish. Bold and lingering aftertaste of roasted grains, sweet cognac, caramel and molasses, as well as some bitter baker's chocolate as a counterweight. Excellently balanced between the base beer and barrel aging. Decadent flavors and wonderfully complex. Top class for sure.

PALATE: Full body and medium levels of carbonation. Velvety creamy smooth, silky on the palate, goes down smooth with lots of weight and finishes sticky. Full, heavy, creamy, velvety and silky smooth. Love it.

OVERALL: This is awesome. Basically as good as it gets. Maybe a touch bit too much residual sweetness, though that is a minor complaint in the grand scheme of things. A menacing pour with a wonderful and enticing nose, bold, complex and heavenly flavor profile, and a thick, silky feel that brings it all together. This is the top of its style and I hope to get to enjoy more of this in the future. Thanks for the bottles of this stuff guys. Highly recommended.

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Photo of peensteen
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with a ring of deep tan head, some lace here as well. Smell is full of chocolate with a fair bit of roast, oak and vanilla followed by vinous cognac notes, big chocolatey fudge cake with a little bit of coffee as well. Taste follows the nose with chocoalte and roast at the front followed by flavours of vanilla and cognac, slight alcohol burn, faint bit of coffee with a moderate bitterness toward the finish, cognac and oak aftertaste with some residual chocolate flavours. Thick full body and gently carbonated. Absolutley fantastic, this came together so well and something I will enjoy much more of, can't wait to open a bottle of this.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This review is for the 2014 vintage; 12.2% ABV.

L: Really dark; viscous; just the right amount of creamy head.

S: Cognac! Sweet cherry licorice.

T: Not so sweet! Almonds, vanilla, swiss mocha. Roasty, but not acrid (like a properly roasted coffee).

F: Body holds up to the ABV.

O: A tasty beer that does not show its ABV.

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Photo of SebD
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice thick creamy tan head that dies down moderately slow and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of cognac, sweet dark fruit, molasses, chocolate, roasted malts and some oak.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some cognac, sweet dark fruit, molasses, dark chocolate, light coffee, roasted malts and oak.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by great flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of mick303
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reserve bottle from April 2013, enjoyed July 2014. Poured into a wine glass, thick pitch black with a good dark tan lacing. Smell has got a lot of barrel cognac character, boozy plums, pick up a lot of sweet sherries character, cherries, roasty dark chocolate, some raw brown sugar to it, quite a bit if sweetness to it.
Taste is a full on experience of dark intense roasty stout with a sweetness from the cognac barrels. Dark chocolate, sugary raisins, cranberry, plums, roasty malt, red currents, with a strong oaky undertone. Quite a sweet and vanilla character to it, raw sugariness to it, with a definite dark roast chocolate malt combined with some strong sugared fruit cognac, great complexity and valance with a nuanced and tasty barrel character. Mouthfeel has some drying alcohol to it, but overall a good hearty balanced stout character with a coating oakiness. Delicious with a great balance, a bit sweet but that's the only fault, so complex and tasty.

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Photo of Corson
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Coronaeus for the bottle! Bottle # 924/2100, 2014 edition poured into a tulip. Poors thick black with a sliver of bronze head that quickly diminishes to nothing. Instant woody cognac smell with chocolatly, liquorice smell. Taste is very similar to the smell, cognac comes out strong with some liquorish, chocolate tones with a bit of fruity undertone. Had a bit of a bitter after taste and is quite thin. Don't know where the 12.2% abv is hiding, but as I'm drinking more of the 500ml bottle I'm realizing their not lying and it's in there. Overall this is a great beer, really excited I got to try this and I've got some other Bellwoods stuff to try. Wish had another one of these to sit on and try in a year or two.

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Photo of Boozecamel
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in CANBIF 2013. Thanks Peensteen!

Apperance: Small few mm thick light brown oil slick head. Deep black, slightly reddish colour. Alcohol lacing.

Smell: Sweet, coffee, alcohol tinged, probably the cognac coming through. A little smokiness.

Taste: Sweet cognac, very close to aroma, with coffee, dark maltyness shining through. Quite boozy, but tasty!

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a residual slickness.

Overall: Really great beer. Like Abyss, but with Congac goodness!. Impressed with Bellwoods so far.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Purchased at Bellwoods for $22.00 500ml bottle. Number 131 born in April of 2013. Served at 6deg C in a tulip but it warmed up well

A- 4.5- Super black no head at all. Very dark.

S- 4.75- Almost perfect. The cognac barrels shine through here. Lots of chocolate and malt

T- 4.25- Excellent. Just a touch better than Founder's Oatmeal Breakfast Stout with cognac hints. Just was not left in the barrel long enough

M-4.5- Creamy good. Very heavy and meaty.

O- 4.5- Excellent. Imagine the next try will get the barrels down right.

Food Pairing

I didn't have anything to eat there this time. Maybe next time. Sure would go well with a nice beef stew


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Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Edition

Velvety smooth with no alcohol presence. Notes of chocolate, coffee and some dark fruits all balanced with some cognac and wood barrel notes. Slight bitterness on the finish. Another incredible Bellwoods offering.

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

Released in bottles on 4/13/13. I was eagerly anticipating this release because I like wood aged stouts and was hoping for a nice bold stout. I was also interested to see what the cognac barrel aging would do to the beer. Poured into a Bellwoods snifter at around 12°C, figured this beer should be consumed at a little warmer temperature.

Appearance: Very dark, black and oily. Produced a pretty thick tan/coffee colored head.

Smell: Smells great, definitely get oak and cognac aromas with notes of dark fruits, red grapes, raisins, vinous notes mixed with some vanilla and chocolate. Also some roasted malts. Smells a little like bourbon as well.

Taste: Upfront you get cognac and oak followed by those dark fruit/winey flavors with some spice and vanilla as well. In the middle I got good dark roasted malts with a some slightly salty/mineral flavors and what seemed like a bit of mint too. The finish was bitter, woody and chocolatey, again with some salt/minerals.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick and silky/oily. Has good carbonation.

Overall I think this is a pretty good wood aged imperial stout, I was impressed. It has some big bold strong flavors along with a bit of complexity from the cognac barrels. I think this is my favorite beer from Bellwoods so far and would recommend it to others to try. This has to be one of the best stouts in Ontario.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4oz sample at bar hop's "greatest hits" event. pitch black with dark brown head. standard imperial stout nose (roast, chocolate, coffee) with a touch of cognac. more cognac in the nose as it warms up. the taste has loads more cognac -- it is roasty, licorice-y, and chocolatey in the front, and then the cognac takes over mid-palate to the finish. notes of jam-like prunes, figs, raisins too. medium-plus mouthfeel. truly a "wow" beer

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Photo of AugustusRex
2.36/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had on tap at the brewpub. Really enjoyed the 5 oz pour.

Bottled Version (500mL)
Looks syrupy and black. Reminds me of pu-erh tea mixed with engine oil. Looks like poison.

Smells like cognac and strong roast, notes of peat.

Tastes like ashes soaked in alcohol. Surprisingly very dry.

Almost undrinkable.

Looks like I have one for trade.

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Photo of mmapes
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage bottle, opened in November 2015. Poured into a goblet. Inky black, small tan head. Not sure what straight cognac would smell like, but we get distilled spirits. Hints of chocolate and fig. Maybe a little earth. Luscious rich mouthfeel, dark fruit like raisins or prunes, with a smoky or woody finish. Drying astringent finish - not my favorite finish, but great for the style. (Thanks to Andrew for the trade!)

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Photo of CantankerousCaveBear
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage

Aromas of the typical RIS spectrum, dark fruit, roasted malts, molasses, baker's chocolate, caramel, with an oaky/tannic presence. I can detect the Cognac. Tastes precisely what it smells like, with some espresso notes, rich malts. Has a persistent sweetness, without going into milk stout territory. I would characterize it as being on the drier side of things though. The dried fruits from the cognac barrel are apparent, as is an almost 'woodsy' spirit like taste. There is a spicy component as well. Very viscous, the smoke, earthy and peaty notes make it an even more robust experience. I don't know what cognac barrel was procured for this beer, but older brandy tends to be woody and spicier, whereas younger variants are floral, and more subtle in their fruitiness. This is a marvelous stout. The guys from Ossington are doing great stuff. Even more sublime on tap. This is on equal footing with KBS and BCBS, make no mistake.

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Photo of Luisc94
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Served from bottle 1370 of 2100 in to a snifter.

A: as Black as the inside of a coffin at midnight. Dark Tan 1 finger hear.

S: Instant Cognac with some Chocolate and Licorice. Roasted malts with Dark fruit undertones. really Balanced.

T: Similar to the Smell, allot of Cognac and dark Chocolate, Some dark Coffee and the dark under tone fruits. Dark chocolate is more noticeable but still very balanced.

M: I can only describe it as creamy deliciousness.Not as thick as Hellwoods or Skeleton key but very well incorporated in t he beer. there is some slight bitterness at the end but balanced with the slight sweetness it has.

O: One of my favorite beers I,ve ever tastes. Magnificent. If you ever come to Toronto visit Bellwoods brewery Toronto. Definitely a world class brewery. Characterized with their brett beer and barrel aged greatness.

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Bring Out Your Dead from Bellwoods Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.