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La Tache | The Ale Apothecary

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
32 Reviews
THE BROS
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
32
Ratings:
221
Avg:
4.27
pDev:
21.55%
 
 
Wants:
130
Gots:
34
For Trade:
6
La TacheLa Tache
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Ale Apothecary
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Beer Formerly Known as LA TACHE is the table sour produced year-round by The Ale Apothecary. (TBFKA) LA TACHE is made of malted barley & wheat and Goschie Farms Cascade Hops. The hops are used only for aroma as the balance of the beer comes from acid produced by our house lactobacillus culture. She spends up to one year in our barrels during a long, relaxed fermentation prior to a month-long dry-hopping (yes, in oak barrels!). Our sensory experience is lemon citrus & fermented orchard fruit nose over earthy undertones. The palate finishes with soft lactic acid balanced by the malt body.

Added by JohnGalt1 on 07-30-2012

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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 221
Photo of alpineclimber
4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to OakedCanuck for the awesome in person trade this past summer.

A 750ml corked bottle that is bound with string. The cork loudly pops and I anticipate a gusher but the beer stays put. A straw pale yellow brew pours into my glass with a huge frothy white head, crazy carbonation bubbles up from the depths of my glass.

Nose is of pear, sweet grass and tropical fruit

The taste opens up with pear, grassy notes and a slight funk. The taste of Belgian yeast is in the finish.

Overall really good stuff. The taste is fairly delicate with the funk being light. Nice balanced flavours. I want to try the other offerings from this brewery.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Dave for sharing this. Bottled December 21, 2012.

Just like the Sahalie, body is light yellow and a bit hazy. Good white head and nice retention. The nose has a bit of faint sulfur and cheese underneath very nice wheat. Behind that there's some lemon and faint spice. Flavor is similar with a bit less acidity than the Sahalie, but same wonderful complexity. Body is very light with mild acidity. Super easy drinking.

Again, just wow. I am really impressed.

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Photo of dar482
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a medium gold color.

The aroma smacks of stone fruit, unripen apricot/nectarine, lemon zest, a truly inviting aroma, despite lack of fruit addition.

The flavor is sharp with lacto tart, old lemon, dried lemon peel, a bright carbonation like champagne, pluot, unripen stone fruit, and dry for days. Hints of earthy notes.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

FYI, the dry-hoped batch aged in red wine barrels was exquisite.

Something to note here that's critical for all reviews of Ale Apothecary is that batch and batch date are INCREDIBLY important. Where most brewers are going to strive for consistency batch to batch within a beer "name", Ale Apothecary uses the "names" as more ideas ... identities that change and express themselves differently in each iteration.

For example, some batches of Sahalie are aged in different barrels, hopped differently. Some batches of La Tache are dry-hopped and aged in pinot barrels; some aren't. Some batches of El Cuatro are in Brandy barrels only, some in Brandy and Pinot. Furthermore, they transform quite a bit in bottle over time (and are probably not really ready to drink for at least 3 months after bottling date).

With that said, all reviews / ratings are either a rating of a particular batch at a moment in time or an aggregate rating based on multiple experiences with different batches over time.

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Photo of Beervana
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a soft golden orange colour with a thin white head that comes to life when agitated. Nose is about as funky as they come; blue cheese, moldy peach, a bit of woodiness, somewhat earthy. Taste is much more mellow; peach, nectarine, apricot, oak, definitely vinous, a bit of orange pith, some winter spices on the backend. Not too sour at all. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light, definitely drying, soft carbonation.

Overall, a seriously impressive beer. A very intricate sour that packs in a lot of taste without any bold, punch you in the face flavours. Some of the flavour that I'm getting I've only previously tasted in world-class Belgian lambics. Wish this beer wasn't so pricey or I'd buy another couple of bottles!

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Photo of SaltySizzle
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic mouthfeel. The way this has been bottle conditioned makes this apparent. One of the better carbonated beer out there. So tasty, I flew in from California to visit the brewery. Life changing experience!

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Photo of harrymel
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 21DEC12
ABV 8.14%

A nice clean lemon yellow with a solid sheet of bone white, super fine foam. Love to watch the solid column of bubbles rising from the center of the glass. Nose carries lemons, tartness, a touch of hay and manure, some hibiscus and some fresh cut grass, as it warms there is a leather and funk. Fucking A. Taste is initially nice and tart - not overly so at all - the tart character is well integrated with a nice earthen bitterness, plenty of lemon flavors, some soil, a bit of mushroom and water cracker. The beer feels light and easy on the palate, maybe a touch undercarbonated or something - although I like the way it feels, I can't help but think it could be better. Another outrageously complex beer from a brewery that reinvigorates my sense of boundaries for what beer is, and can be. Brilliant, artistic, intriguing and layered.

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

750mL (bottled 4/10/2014, 7.75% ABV) into a tulip. Pours a slightly hazy pale straw color w/ a big monstrous white head of tiny champagne bubbles typical of a wild ale, with lively, vigorous carbonation.

Aroma is light and tart, with just a touch of grassy, citrusy funk. Very nice and clean.

Taste is citrusy, vinous, bready, tart and bright. Lemons, spices, pear, all finishing with a clean acidity. The perfect level of sweetness to balance the subtle sour character.

Mouthfeel is light and enjoyable, finishes nice and dry.

Overall, this is a truly outstanding beer, one of the best American wild ales I think I've ever had. I could drink this every day if I could afford it. Glad my friends were willing to pick this up for me when they were down in Bend last weekend.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle corked with string holding back the cork, no cage, I can't recall seeing that before in nearly 2000 reviews, poured into tulip 13/11/13, Dec, 14, 2012 bottle, cheers Liam for sending the bottle

A clear golden yellow with a hint of green, you might have a hard time jamming more bubbles in a glass, a tornado of bubbles barfs off the bottom with streams popping up from everywhere, three fingers of bone white foam has good retention but nothing sticks to the glass

S lots of fruit, green apple, mango, pear, peach and pineapple, a little funk works well with some oak, vinous notes I can't place, Sauv Blanc barrels maybe? intense nose, everything comes in strong, floral notes and more fruit, I could smell this all day, near perfection going on here

T a little grassy with less tropical notes then the nose, mild funk and vinous notes are still doing great things but the nose was a hard act to follow, wood and some foreign spice I can't place for the life of me

M fairly light and airy, almost explodes when it his your tongue, fruity finish with just a little grit

O quite impressive, I can't believe how quickly I devoured this bottle, loads of tropical fruit and white vinous notes mix up with the mellow funk, I need more brews form these guys

I've uncovered a hidden gem and I'm considering a move to Bend with the hope that there's other obscure breweries I've never heard of pumping out this sort of quality. This one hits all the spots, look for these guys and if you find them please set one aside for me.

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

The first thing I noticed when pouring this beer was the blast of funk that kicked my face like Jet Li. Well ... Jet Li if he were homeless and had just stepped in a colossal cow pie. That may sound bad but if you fiend for the funk like I do then you know it aint a bad thing.

This pours the color of a winter beam of sun. Pale yellow anemic sunshine. Carbonation is very active and I have to pour very gently to avoid a head volcano. It settles into a rocky surface, full of peaks and valleys. Lovely.

The nose is full of barnyard funk and once it opens up a bit more and I get a bit of lemon rind, touch of oak, candy and the faintest hint of soap. In a sense, it's sort of simple with the funk being so upfront but there's definite beauty in the simplicity.

Initially the carbonation was furiously paced but after about thirty minutes settled down greatly. It does stay nice and dry throughout though, which I love. I taste citrusy fruits, like lemons, a dash of oak mingled with funkiness that gives the impression of a tart onslaught that never quite arrives. This beer is interesting enough to pair with just about anything I would imagine. It seems bold enough to stand by the side of nearly any dish but not so bold that it would steal the show. Would love to try this with some La Serena cheese (raw sheeps milk cheese).

Great beer. A big thank you to Paul for welcoming my girlfriend and myself into his brewery and taking the time to talk shop with us. We love what you're doing!

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Photo of Rutager
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thank you to Steasy66 for this!!

Appearance. Pours a hazy straw-gold with a finger of white head.

Smell. Floral and funky, sweet hay, light fresh wood, light apples and pears. Very nice.

Taste. Light fruits, apples and peaches, medium-light in the sour dept., some fresh wood, lightly floral, light funk. Again, very nice and no alcohol to be found.

Mouthfeel. Below medium body (a little light), medium-strong carbonation (a little strong).

Overall. Fantastic stuff. Like a sour saison. This brewer really knows his shit. Thanks again Ryan!!!

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Photo of rudzud
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Split with JLindros. Bottled May 15, 2014

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice crystal clear golden hue with a thin white head that fades to leave spotty lacing.

S - Aromas of very nice funky house yeast strain, great wine barrel notes. Chardonnay wine, very light light tropical fruit notes. The nose is super fragrant.

T - Taste is similar to the nose and has nice funky notes. Really nice yeast strain with good barrel and wine notes. Very light, tropical notes. Faint sweetness is really.

M - Mouthfeel is brightly carbonated.

O - Overall this was a delicious beer, excellent wine notes.

Serving Type: bottle

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Photo of jlindros
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rudzud for sharing, May 15, 2014

Nice foamy fluffy fizzy head hits 1.5 finger but fades quickly, little lacing, clear golden tan color.

Nose nice tart golden sour, fruity bright stone fruit little citrus, light vinous and wine barrel notes, little juicy and fair funk, quite grassy funk, lemongrass and general grassy malt.

Taste brings more of the same, nice tart generic fruity, sour funk with grassy farmhouse sour funk, grassy malt, tart citrus, lemongrass, touch of lemon candy and acidic sour bite flemmy note. Then mild toasted oak barrel, some vinous wine flavours, tart funk late, little flemmy dry finish, little lemon tart funk.

Mouth is med to lighter bod, little tart flemmy, nice carb.

Overall pretty nice, good funk level, nice acidity, pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle split

12/21/12

Golden-yellow body, heavy carbonation. Another really lovely beer from the Ale Apothecary - self described as a 'table sour', dry hopped during its stay in oak barrels. Light, funk, lots of bright lemon citrus, hop juice, a bit acidic, sharp carbonation. It's a shame this stuff is so expensive (approaching Cascade levels), because these guys make wonderful beer with fantastic branding.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Todd. Thanks! Served in a plastic cup.

A - White foam settles to a solid cap and splotchy lacework. Hazy orange body.

S - Big brett aroma, with loads of tropical funk to it. Notes of lemon, perfume, stone fruits, vinous oak; very saison-esque.

T - The taste is quite similar, but with even more brett character. Dusty, with a slightly medicinal note, but otherwise there are hefty doses of tropical and stone fruits, and a vinous oak character in the finish.

M - Medium-full body, pleasant carbonation, soft texture, and a dry finish. Alcohol is immaculately concealed.

D - Great stuff! Would love to drink this again. Really impressed with Ale Apothecary so far. Could imagine working through a 750ml bottle over the course of an evening.

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Photo of Pinknuggets
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I was quite surprised when this showed up in VT and a $28 price tag was daunting but I figured if it really is that hard to get why not give it a shot. It does have quite an elegant bottle especially with no caging on the cork just a string but that made it hard to get out.

Bottle to Ommgang oversized wine glass

A:Golden to bright yellow in color with a thick heavy white head. It is semi translucent and somewhat cloudy with lots of bubbles

S: light somewhat funky smell but not too much as there is more of a lemony to grassy smell. There might be a little bit of hops in there too but the first smell is pretty much all that is pungent though not that funky still is pleasant.

T: The sourness is there but it is not puckering in fact totally the opposite, it is lightly tart but not a strong flavor. What it does have is a lot of lemon flavor, but it is much mild then any lemon I have as the flavor is there without the harshness of the sour/tart flavor of a normal lemon (though I usually like that). The finish is a bit yeasty but still quite enjoyable.

M: Light and very easy to drink there is a nice carbonation that really compliments the flavor and reminds me of champagne like feel. It is rather crisp in the beginning and has a feel that like white wine with a lot more bubbles.

O: I liked this beer but not as much as I wanted it too. It has a lot of good flavors and I like the lemon flavors with the wine/champagne flavors but I feel like this should either be a lot more sour and tart or it should be a lot more funky as there isn't much funk here. Its rare so I appreciate that I got to try it especially all the way out here in VT but idk for the price maybe worth making the decision yourself.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle, corked and bound with a tied string. Picked this up on a visit to Bend last August, purchased from Paul at AA's tiny brewery after a nearly hour-long "tour" and casual discussion about beer. Opened with a corkscrew and a soft pop on a Saturday night (split with my wife) to a pair of snifters and matched with a lemony cod, broccoli and wild rice dish at home.

Hand stamped date and ABV: "JUL 05 2013" and "8.68"% Alc/Vol

A: Golden pour, a little hazy, a little fizzy, with a sturdy whitish head - about 1/2 finger. Good lacing and an ever-present creamy swirl of film. Steady carbonation, too.

S: Grassy, wet hay and lightly floral notes with a nose-twitching sourness. Doesn't blow you away, neither does it turn you away. Good strength, intriguing.

T: Excellent lemon/lemongrass flavors, a little cake/shortbread. Mild apple/pear tartness, nothing to overpower the malts and prevalent yeastiness.

M: A little spritzy at first, plenty or carbonation and a lingering effervescence. Mellows in the mouth, becoming thicker and grainier by the second. Medium body, a little pasty in the finish.

O: Lovely beer that's all too easy to quaff, given its stealthy ABV. Waiting about 6 months to open this seems about the perfect amount of time, though I'm glad to try plenty more at shorter and longer intervals. Strong recommendation.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sooo.... I am a little bit hesitant adding a new brew/brewery with this pedigree.

reinheitsgematt and I somehow managed to make our way to Ale Apothecary within about a day or two of our same vacation footprint... And Matt opened a La Tache tonight.

No label. Not a cork and cage, instead a champagne knot in red string. Classy for sure, but a huge PITA for folks tying them... I am impressed with the presentation.

The brew pours clear golden.. short lasting white head... decent
lacing with low profile head... nice.

Nose is not "funky" the way most geeks will expect.. instead, a
wonderful lemony/lactic aroma abounds... I get a lite "citrus"
hoppiness, but I could be imagining things... Cascade?

The flavor pretty much mirrors the nose with a nice oaky presence .... Barrel notes maybe? Viognier? Lactic acidity without ever verging on "acidic" ... lemony and very approachable for folks touching base with "wild" ales. Tart and soooo very drinkable. Digging this one very much.

A great summer session sour... just tart enough to guarantee sips, but makes me want another right away.

I loved my little tour around the "Mountain Brewery" .... Besides the winter snow ;-) I cannot imagine a more perfect place to make a dream come true. Badass... Thanks, Paul!!

3.5/4/4.5/4/4.5

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Photo of beerloverofbham
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours the color of--dare I say it--a tasteless American macro-lager, but with a frothy, continuous pure white head. The carbonation is very visible.
S: Pretty subtle aromas. Some grapefruit, and melon, but with a little bit of musty . Smells similar to a Berliner Weisse, but with less lacto and wheat scents up front.
T: Immediately, I pick up lemon verbena and sticky honeydew melon, with some white wine, and finishes with oak. Rolling it around my mouth on another sip, I notice some almost indistinguishable notes of Cascade hops, some wheat and more of the lactic acidity.
M: Excellent mouthfeel. Lingering effervescence.
O: An exceptional wild ale from a brewery that seriously knows what they're doing with both spontaneous fermentation and oak barrels. This bottle was opened exactly six months after the bottling date. I'd be curious to know what younger and older versions of this would taste like. Very subtle, but highly recommended. I look forward to tasting later vintages of all their beers.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch Nov 09 2012
10.78 alc vol

The beer is light golden with a small, fizzy white head. The aroma offers lemons, wild yeast, grass, funk. Herbal and earthy tones with a delicate sweetness balanced by a light funk. Highly drinkable and really smooth on the palate. This one is a sleeper. Light spice quality. Beautiful balance and so easy to drink. Where is the alcohol presence? Masterfully hidden. A truly fabulous beer.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a well carbonated, hazy straw yellow that's consistently topped by a foamy white head throughout drinking. There is no sediment and minimal lace. The nose is predominantly funky with a slightly tart grainy sweetness. Similarly, the taste brings forward tart lemony cracked grain upfront, which transitions into lingering yeast, a slight booze, hinting bitterness, and citrus in the finish. It's definitely a light bodied, effervescent farmhouse that captures some serious funk while maintaining excellent drinkability. This definitely hits the spot, would recommend and drink again given the chance.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml 7/5/2013 bottling date . into a snifter.

pours a light golden color, big foamy head. tart smell .. yeasty..wow! taste is super sour and just terrific. white grapes and ends super dry. medium bodied with high carbonation.

overall superb!! recommended.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ale apothecary attaché saison
Bottle at baileys taproom Portland, Oregon, mid feb- 2013

Pours a nice golden color, almost clear...Nice ring of white head.

Champagne yeast shines through with a nice Brett and oak overtone, giving it a light skinned fruit and cream aroma. Lemon zest. Very clean and crisp aroma, inviting. 4.5

The taste follows suit though it adds a huge cereal malt note compared to the nose, and has a nice semi bitter flavor on the back end balanced by some lemon flavor. Not exceptionally balanced, but nice and has a certain warm alcohol blanket on the tongue. Plenty of nice carbonation and medium feel.

Overall a nice beer, apparently brewed in all oak barrels only! Purist stuff in a great beer city. 4.25

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 4.17.13
Batch: Dec 21 2012

A - Pours a hazy light orange with a very active fizzy white head that fades fast.

S - Citrus - lemon, funk, slightly nutty.

T - Tart oakiness, very subtle citrus, buttery wood.

D - Tons of carbonation and very light body.

O - Smells great, but flavors are not quite there. I would let this one age a bit more.

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Photo of anteater
4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This may be the beer that most closely resembles champagne that I've had. Very pleasant aroma and taste. Kind of like a very like, perfectly balanced saison with less dominant yeast character. Impossibly light mouthfeel. Very unique and tasty.

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La Tache from The Ale Apothecary
92 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.