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Token Bourbon Barrel Aged - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Token Bourbon Barrel AgedToken Bourbon Barrel Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.

63 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 63
Hads: 151
Avg: 3.35
pDev: 26.87%
Wants: 13
Gots: 52 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BdubleEdubleRUN on 09-02-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (46) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 63 | Hads: 151
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.96/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Growler shared while waiting in line for Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sour fruit up front with some subtle roasty malt aromas if you search for them. Taste is of roasty malt, sour fruit, wood, and a slight funky flavor. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a decent beer but there is an obvious infection issue going on.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.78/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of mdfb79. Served in a snifter.

Pours near black with a short light tan head and some spotty lacing. The nose carries a bit of light bourbon plus a good dosing of vanilla and oak. Flavor has slight bourbon plus chocolate. Oak and vanilla dominate. The barrel character is heavy, but not too dominant on the bourbon. Body is medium-heavy with light oak. Good character throughout. Pretty tasty. Thanks again, Dan.

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Photo of largadeer
2.09/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks for the tick, Nick. Dark chocolate brown topped by a thin tan head with minimal lacing. Smells like cocoa powder, butter and cake batter. Bourbon is very faint. The palate is odd; mildly sour and lactic, buttery, slick. Raisin covered chocolate, not much bouton flavor but faint oak. Medium-thin body. Finishes on a buttery note with a slick mouthfeel. I love Alpine, but this isn't particularly good.

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Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Unibroue tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours nearly black with a little light coming through at the edges. There is a finger of tan head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Very sweet and a bit wine like. There is some roast, but dark fruit and alcohol dominates.

Taste: At least I can pick up some bourbon here. There is a sweet tart flavor that reminds me of red wine. A bit buttery. Some vanilla, but not much roast. Tart finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: Not really what I was looking for here. Not necessarily bad, but a bit too sour.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.69/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Strong Ale 2011

Pours dark brown in color with a finger of khaki head. Smells...off. Very buttery and almost a bit cheesy. Some oak and vanilla notes, maybe some roast and smoke, old chocolate, too. There is more butter on the flavor. A bit of cocoa powder, some roast, and a hint of smoke. A mild tartness as well as some astringency and metal. A bit thin in body with medium carbonation.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.93/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 10/02/11 notes. Big thanks to Nugganooch for another Alpine beer. Poured into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a deep brown, almost black color, with two inches of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of a ton of vanilla, roasted malts, butter, oak, chocolate, and light bourbon. Smell is very vanilla-y and very sweet. The wood is there too, but not a ton of bourbon which is disappointing. Still like it, but a step down from the taste.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, vanilla, oak, light bourbon, toffee, chocolate, coffee. Again, very sweet and a little buttery, but a little more bourbon the nose. A ton of vanilla again.

m - Full body and low carbonation, very smooth and easy to drink.

o - Overall I thought this was a good BA porter, but considering most of the beers I have had from Alpine I was a little disappointed. It is very sweet and has tons of vanilla in the nose and taste. I also would have liked a little more bourbon, especially in the nose. Great mouthfeel...would like to get a nother bottle to hold onto for a bit and see if the sweetness subsides.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Chris (spycow) for seeking this one out. Served in a Bruery tulip.

A - A finger of foam settles to a thin collar, splotchy lace and a few wisps on top. The body is a dark brown color.

S - This is not what I expected - reminds me a little of Lawson's Maple Barrel Fayston's. Buttery, with light maple, chocolate bark, graham cracker, Werther's candy, and a strange musky aroma. Some fruity notes - not much bourbon flavor here.

T - Taste is again very buttery, with milk chocolate, whoppers, lightly chalky soda water, and some oak character in the finish. Again - not much in the way of bourbon. There's a lightly tart note in the finish - I'm concerned this may be infected.

M - Medium body that seems a touch thin for 9.5%. A bit overcarbonated, and otherwise quite dry and tannic. Alcohol is well-masked.

D - Strange beer - took me a while to work through my pour. Either this is extremely fruity and buttery or there's a nascent infection developing. Not bad, but not something I'm anxious to revisit either - finished my pour and moved on.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.12/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by Dan at a recent tasting, thank you Dan, this was a great surprise to see on the table when I arrived. For some odd reason this beer is not currently on the top American Porter list but it is on the "Top Beers - New" list at #61. Thanks again. I love a good Alpine beer, now who's going to send me some Bad Boy? Eh? Eh? Just tapped yesterday, anyone?

Beer is black with a thin lazy head with low retention, tan / off white, some lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, chocolate, fudge, vanilla. OK.

The bourbon doens't come through in this one as much as you'd expect drinking some many bourbon bombs these days but that is not necessarily a bad thing. What you have here is a solid little porter with heavy vanilla and chocolate notes that fill out this sweet little palate. I enjoyed it, even if I expected something boozier, this was a fine treat. Thanks again.

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Photo of mothman
2.7/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours very little head. Color is a caramel hued brown.

Aroma: Caramel and roast with a coffee flavor. I smell cherries. No barrel aged flavors.

Taste: Very odd. Vanilla and caramel sweetness. Chocolate and roast. Light oak. Cherries. Maybe a slight infection. Not very porter like.

Mouthfeel: Roasty and dry. Light to medium bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, not the best barrel aged porter n the world. I think this may have an infection issue or one coming on soon. I don't want a lot of this one.

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Photo of stakem
3.43/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to BdubleEdubleRUN for hooking me up with this brew. Poured from a bomber into a snifter, this offering appears a dark color of brown that is about as close to black as you can get. A finger of frothy head swells up about a finger in strength that quickly dissolves to a lacing across the top that collects with a thicker strength around the edge of the glass. A light swirl revives the cap back to a half finger and places some spotting of lace on the glass. When held to the light, this brew displays an interesting deep ruby mahogany color that is transparent showcasing a polished clarity.

The first sniff of this brew brings forth immediate thoughts of creme brulee. It has a rich sweetness to the nose like caramel mixed with vanilla and a strong inclusion of butterscotch. Very rich smelling with a secondary focus a bit on coffee. As the brew warms up and breaths, a fruity sweetness like cherry is noted all across the back. This brew displays a very interesting nose, not exactly what I was expecting but it is enjoyable.

The taste of this brew is unexpectedly tart. The tartness flirts with almost being a type of lactic sourness that is somewhat lemon-like with a sour cherry quality as well. All the tartness hits hard upfront before the onset of a faint amount of the candied aspects that the aroma introduces. Light butterscotch, caramel and vanilla are all noted on the palate as well as a bit of raw oaked quality and some musty roasted grain meets coffee in the back that lingers into the aftertaste.

This is a medium to lighter bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation that visually is lacking but is quick prickly inside the mouth. For 9.5% abv, the alcohol is fairly well hidden. This brew was a wild ride, it smelled almost sickeningly sweet with some nice touches of barrel aged quality yet tasted sharp and out of whack. The overall body was lacking a bit with too light of a feel for an imperialized porter. I don't like to be the one who screams infection but there is some tart character going on in this brew that I really don't think was intended. Based on the earlier reviews of this brew, I really wish I could have experienced that brew verse the one in my glass tonight.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by mdfb79. Thanks Dan!

The beer is dark brown, with a thin, beige cap that leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is of bourbon, oak, roast, vanilla, toffee, caramel. The flavor is decent, dominated by bourbon and oak. Vanilla, toffee, and caramel flavors play a supporting role. This beer is pretty sweet, so a small snifter sized sample is just right. The feel is smooth and buttery, with appropriate carbonation. Overall, a tasty beer. I would have it again.

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Photo of yourefragile
2.53/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle, shared by Adam, served in a snifter.

First aroma upon cracking the bottle is tart. Errr, this won't end well as expected. Pours a near black with thin, weak off white head with little retention or lacing. Aroma is fruity, tart, maple, butter and light oak and vanilla. Flavor is ravaged by the fruit and tart, unpleasantly bitter and whatever trace of what the beer is supposed to taste like is too far gone for me to try to identify. Medium thin body, over carbonated. Unfortunately not worth seeking out if all bottles are like this.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Bottle shared by Riko, thanks!

A: Pours very dark brown with a small beige head that quickly fades.

S: Strong vanilla and caramel with a well integrated bourbon presence. Wood is pronounced. There's a dash of cocoa.

T: Lightly roasted with light bourbon in the flavor. Vanilla is faint and blends with caramel and a light roasted malt presence. Finishes with chocolate and a little oak. Mellow but good.

M: Upper medium body with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and sticky.

Overall: If you're expecting a barrel presence like Great you'll be disappointed. This is much more mellow and subtle but still quite good.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

From 22oz bomber to CBS snifter on 1/5/12
*From notes

-- Thanks to Sebowski for the hook-up --

A: It looks ok I guess. Nothing crazy. A standfard pour yields a dissapointing one finger head, which has an almond-brown hue to it. Lacking retention and zero lacing.

S: A reasonable amount of wood, and what can only be described as a red fruit tanginess.

T: The fore is tannic and charry. Diacetyl attacks the mid, and adds a buttery quality to the beer which isn't warmly welcomed. The mid also reveals a mild funkiness. The finish comes off quite lactic. I will say that the infection takes a backseat as the beer warms, and recommend getting this one to room temp before consumption.

M: Just too damn brash. There's no finesse here, and the thin body only exacerbates the infection.

O: I absolutely love Alpine. It will forever hold a place in my beer filled heart. And for as much as I heart these guys, I cannot recommend this infected barrel aged porter.

I think I can see through the infection, that I'm able to get a decent feel for where they wanted to take this. And if this didn't have any outlying issues, it may've been a pretty damn good BA beer.

In the end though, this is just not up to snuff, and I sincerely hope that Alpine cleans this kind of thing up, as future bottlings cannot have this kind of issue. Here's to immediate and improved quality control.

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Photo of corby112
3.65/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at the brewpub.

Pours a dark chocolate brown color with mahogany edges and one finger beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring.  Streak of lacing left behind.

Sweet malty aroma with a well integrated barrel character.  Hints of spicy bourbon, dry oak and vanilla counted by dark chocolate, caramel and toast.  Some alcohol but not overly boozy.

Medium bodied with lots of malt and bourbon sweetness. Again, barrel well integrated with bourbon sweetness without being hot. Also some subtle dry, toasted oak and vanilla flavor countered by a slightly smokey malt character.  Hints of chocolate, toffee and rye creating some nice balance but it's a bit tame for my liking. 

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.46/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle on 1-21-12

A - A dark brown pour with a foamy tan head. Solid retention and spots of lacing left on the glass.

S - Strong bourbon, chocolate, and some wood.

T - Creamy chocolate with a strong bourbon finish.

D - Good carbonation, medium body.

O - Solid bourbon, a touch bitter, which made it seem unbalanced.

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Photo of claspada
3.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black color with a small, thin brown head. As the head slowly fades it leaves a decent amount of thin lacing.

Aromas begin quite fruity, with a large amount of Brett infection. As I further examine I get smells of vanilla and a mild roasted caramel. Hints of bourbon are also detectable as well as slight coffee. Definitely infected though.

The tastes begin with dark malts, toffee and butterscotch, with some sour dark cherries there as well. Finish has some light coffee and espresso notes alongside the butterscotch and tart berry and cherry fruitiness.

The mouthfeel is roasty and dry and tart. Light to medium bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation. Quite sour on the palate with hints of bourbon in the finish.

Overall, although this was infected and the version I sampled is nothing what the brewer intended it to be, I still enjoyed it. Judging it blind I would say it reminds me of a porter with Brett or maybe what I assume Tart of Darkness tastes like. Not amazing and probably not worth seeking out as this batch is clearly infected.

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Photo of drpimento
4.03/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I let this warm some out of the fridge first. Poured a huge, thick, tan, creamy, foamy, somwhat frothy head that slowly settled and some lace. Color is an almost opaque (in thin part of glass, it's clear mahogany), brown black with red notes. Aroma is malt, roast, butterscotch, burnt sugar, cookie dough. Flavor's very similar to nose; sweet and carbonic tang on top, followed by the other stuff. Body and carbonation are good. Finish is very close to taste with alcohol warmth. Not bad; especially for cool temperatures. Be fun to cook with too.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.84/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to beermeX2 for sharing this one at the Down South Beer Tasting while aasher was in town to visit! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a dark red brown with a minimal light tan head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, toffee, dark chocolate, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, caramel, toffee, wood, and butterscotch. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The barrel really manifested itself nicely in this brew. However the taste of butterscotch gives me some slight concern on this one... The aroma was quite nice for the style and one of the better ones I've come across. Just wish that the flavor would have followed suit... Still a definite must try for any beer fan out there.

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Photo of maximum12
1.66/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Thanks to rmaste6282 for this bottle. As an official, albeit misplaced geographically, Alpine fanboy, I really needed to try this one. They have a way with the hops: lesse about the malts & the barrel.

Pour moves along the path from dark to light black, little carbonation. Smell is...interesting. Raisins? Or is that a raisin hangover from last night's raisin bomb? Malts, barrel make an appearance.

Barrel Aged Token ain't quite right in the head, Jeb. Dominated by a smooth butterscotch, which I didn't expect & am not terribly appreciative of. What the butterscotch doesn't overwhelm, straight-up butter does. Malts? Drowning. Barrel? MIA. Porter? What's that, you say? Ending is tart with the beginning of fruits. Sucks.

Well, this beer has gone to the Never-Never land where brews-gone-bad go to die. Alpine, why have you done this to me? I could drink your hoppy stuff all day long, every day, but this...this is an undrinkable mess. Can't believe I'm saying this but...drain-pour. This makes me sad.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.76/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to spycow for sharing this on a random Friday night.

A - Dark brown colored beer with a tan head that settled to a tight ring. A bit of lace left on the glass.

S - Cocoa, pankcake batter, butter, some sweet butter. Not what I was anticipating at all. There's a little bit of dark fruit but I think they might have actually forgotten to barrel age this.

T - Some chocolate, caramel malts, lot of butter. Also, not much barrel or bourbon on this. Slightly lactic/tart on the end. Infection?

M - Medium bodied, active carbonation.

O - Not particularly great. It's kind of an odd combination of flavors, particularly for a BA Porter. Not sure if this is what they were going for or it's infected already.

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Photo of gford217
3.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber.

Pours a deep chocolate brown with a small off-white head that recedes to a small collar quickly.

Aroma is nice and sweet with some cocoa powder, vanilla and caramel. There is some bourbon character well integrated in the nose. There is a faint sugar-coated cherry character in the nose but it's subtle and actually pleasant.

The taste doesn't quite live up to the aroma as the tart cherries are a bit more prevalent. In fact, the nicest attributes of the aroma - chocolate malts, vanilla - are tough to find in the taste. The finish is a combination of roasty malts, tart cherries and bourbon.

The mouthfeel is thinish with low carbonation.

I knew the risk of this bottle going in but was still looking forward to trying it and I'm glad I did. This was nowhere close to a drainpour and I actually enjoyed some of the tartness. That said, it certainly doesn't stand up to the better beers in the style.

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Photo of scottfrie
2.4/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle into Block 15 snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown color with a very fizzy and short lived light brown head. Tiny spotty lacing.
S: Chocolate, vanilla, cocoa, fudge, caramel, nuts, a hint of bourbon, and even more sugar sweet caramel. I’m getting something fruity as well….something infected. Smells great aside from the slight tart cherry notes.
T: Yep. Spritzy, sweet and fruity infected infectedness. Chocolate and caramel are still noticeable, but pretty much everything is overpowered by the sweet and lightly sour cherry/berry infection. Finish is sweet with fruity infection candy.
M: Spritzy and really bubbly carbonation. Body is fairly thick and the mouthfeel is fizzy yet slick and greasy.
O: I bought this bottle before I heard about the possible infection. I paid a lot for the bottle as well. Needless to say that’s what I get for not doing my research, but I’m still pissed this is even available for purchased. There goes an expensive drain pour.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Bdige for this beer. Brandon is an excellent trading partner.

I am keeping my fingers crossed here as I’ve heard stories of infected bottles. I am praying not to get a tart flavor with my first sip. We’ll see.

A creamy tan head is about two fingers thick and then settles to a finger of whipped cream that lies atop the dark brown beer. Ruby light shines at the edges. Sheets of lace stick to the glass.

Aroma is actually quite intriguing. Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Thick, chocolatey and sweet. Also a lot of butter here as well. Almost like butterscotch.

Well the good news is that I am not getting any tart/infected notes. However, this is a butter beer for sure. The diacetyl notes are front and center. Butterscotch is the word here. Same as the aroma. Dark roasted malt is rounded and covered like a box of popcorn in buttery flavor. I really don’t get much bourbon at all.

Smooth body that accentuated the buttery experience. Lays thick on your tongue.

First non IPA I’ve had from Alpine. Good thing they are awesome at making IPA’s ;-) This beer needs a little work. Thinking of reducing this and putting it on top of ice cream. Probably a better use.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.07/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronados

A: Very dark brown in color with a 1/2 inch tan head and some pretty solid lacing.

S: Toffee, a bit of bourbon, coffee and some chocolate.

T: The bourbon leads the flavor, but it feels pretty restrained, allowing the lighter coffee, toffee and roasted malt flavors to shine. Mouthfeel is a bit too thin for me.

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Token Bourbon Barrel Aged from Alpine Beer Company
78 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.