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Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red (Barrel Room Collection) | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red (Barrel Room Collection)Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red (Barrel Room Collection)

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged in oak barrels; hand-bottled corked & caged; bottled-conditioned. A greater percentage of "Cosmic Mother Funk" was blended into this beer.

Added by Todd on 10-30-2009

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Reviews: 245 | Ratings: 746
Photo of philbe311
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - A tad bit more than a finger's worth of audibly fizzy slightly off-white head that displays near zero retention... Don't blink or else you'll miss it.. No lacing to speak of, just a couple of stray bubbles along the rim of the glass... The color is a deep warm burgundy with some light brown notes... There is a richness and depth of color... There is a very subtle murkiness... Still with no discernible carbonation...

S - A huge aromatic nose that is uber appealing... Loads of rich toasted oak... Notes of vanilla... Loaded with bing cherry notes... Hints of raspberries and pomegranate... Candied apples... A light warming holiday spiciness as well... A very subtle earthiness lies beneath the surface... Layers of depth and complexity... I really wish that they made air fresheners that smelled half this good... Fantastic...

T - A slight departure from the nose... Much of the anticipated fruity sweetness is missing in action... Instead, there is an earthy woody character that permeates throughout... A slightly tart acidic presence... Some light red wine tannin notes... Some very faint vanilla notes... Some underlying notes of warm holiday spices...

M - Lots of bubbling carbonation... On the lighter side of medium bodied... Exceedingly dry from the get go... Turns even drier with each and every sip...

D - An interesting brew... A bit of a mixed bag... The aroma is world class... The rest of the beer is intriguing, but no better than slightly above average... Another interesting offering from the Samuel Adams Barrel Room collection... Curious BAs will find this interesting enough, but I'm not sure it's something I would invest in again in the future...

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Photo of goblue3509
3.44/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep clear reddish color with a thin head which quickly recedes to nothing. No lacing or no lines are left. The aroma is of dark tart cherries, that is a hint of oak and a little pepper. The taste follows suit, there is a dark tart cherry flavor up front to start, the middle gets a little watery and the end finishes with an oak taste. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and slightly stingy. Overall it is a decent beer, the tart flavors are not as rounded out as i hoped.

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Photo of VinnyA
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drank out of a Sam Adams glass

A - Dark Brownish Red. About a half inch of head, quickly dissipating but small ring of retention. No lacing.

S - Faint hints of oak, Cherries, slightly acidic smell

M - Smooth, low to moderate carbonation.

T - Sweeter than I'd expect given that it's billed as having tart fruit in its description. I didn't get much of a "woody" taste on the front end. Fruity flavor hides the alcohol well. Refreshing with a slightly dry finish.

O - It is a good beer. Not exactly what I think of when described as "Belgian", "tart" or "toasted oak", but it IS good, and that's all that really matters, right? Strangely enough, going by the name, I find myself thinking "Yeah, this is a decent red ale". A good offering from Sam, I'd just advise changing the description on the bottle a little haha.

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Photo of SebD
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: It has a nice clear orangy/amber color to it. It has a nice beige head that dies down somewhat fast and leaves little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of tart cherries, red wine, oak, funky yeast and sweet caramel.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some sweet cherries among other dark dark fruit (grapes, plums), somewhat wine like, some woody oak, funky yeast and some sweet caramel on the finish.

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

Drinkability: It's a very smoot drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Building upon the ales of the Belgium Flanders region, The Sam Adams brand captures the essence of those valleys with a distinctive fruity ale with a ton of those complex earthy tones that beers from that region demand.

As the beer pours a russet ruby-brown color, it fills with unadulterated haze that promises full flavor and aroma. As the ale settles into the tulip, it builds a fluffy white pillow of foam above. Sturdy in its retention, it laces spottily as the beer fades with each drink. It does what those Flemish Reds do, but maybe with a little more malted character.

Aromas do even more- they capture the scent of sour and black cherries in a modest candied form. Exemplary complements of cider, balsamic, and candied sweetness both balance and support the cherry aromas. Earthy, toasty and spicy- like fine red wine- all make the mouth water with anticipation.

The taste of the ale actually prefers a more simple flavor profile than the nose suggests as the malty sweetness of "sour patch kids" candies are met by toasted oak, wine soaked vinous notes and robust black cherries. Its sweeter and more savory taste shies away from the crisper and drier versions of Flanders but rewards the palate with slightly more heft and a sweeter balance.

Its firm yet medium body is assured and confident with a fully malted backbone that's slow to dissolve and so is slow to dry. But its wine-like acidity is pleasantly cidery, semi-dry, and savory into its extended finish and aftertaste.

Overall, its dryness and balsamic notes aren't as pronounced as the classic versions of Rodenbach- it does side with some of the more "careful" versions like Cuvee des Jacobins Rouge, Steenberg's Monks Cafe, and Bacchus. But without the authentic Belgian rusticity, we'll call Sam Adams' version a "Flanders Red on training wheels".

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Photo of Cavanaghty
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams Glass.

Appearance: Deep red almost brown color. It had a beige head that was about 3 fingers thick, and then went down to about 1 finger thick and it lasted a long time. No lacing.

Smell: Fruity and Spicy. Hints of cherry, citrus, hops, maybe pepper too.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium to full bodied. Taste fruity up front with cherry and citrus, some peppery and sweet after taste. Definatly can taste some alcohol.

Overall: Another great brew from Sam Adams! I would buy this one again.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up a couple months ago. Brought it to a bottle share today. Poured into a snifter.

Pours a rusty mahogany, with slight reddish edges. Small beige head. Nose is oaky, some vanilla, cherry, strawberry, alcohol. Smells more sweet than tart.

Nice bubbly mouth, though subtle. It's crispness brings the flavors to the forefront. Slightly tart at the onset, but with a sweet kick on the finish. Lightly drying from the oak. Vinous grapes, cherry, brown sugar. A little acidic on the back end, but this is a really mild sour. I liked it though. A decent one to covert the curious.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2013-04-21 in Columbia, PA

A - Ruby with gold highlights. Different colors depending on the light. Very short tan head. Some alcohol legs.

S - Red wine, oak, orange blossom, smells tart. Plenty going on. Nice.

M - Tart cherry, nice light roast malt body, moderate oak, white pepper, touch of alcohol. Finishes tart, not too sweet, light bitterness. Dries nice.

T - Light-medium body and almost no carbonation. Wine-like but seems to work for this style.

O - Flavorful and dangerously drinkable beer. My wife and I both enjoyed this.

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Photo of DMXLOX22
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 22 ounce of this brew at my local establishment, Civera's in Drexel Hill. Let's see how this matches up. Researched this style of beer before even opening it. Looks interesting.

Appearance: pours a dark, brown amber hue. Leaves a decent, somewhat frothy top, but it seemed to dissipate quite quickly, but it seems to fit for the ABV.

Smell: projects a nice aroma of wild fruits, like cherries, grapes and figs. A strong scent of oak, and a little hint of vanilla. Can already notice the sour-like aroma with a hint of acid-like. Pretty tart, but it fits well for this style.

Taste: pretty damn tart at first! Actually, not very bad. The fruit does make it very well-balanced. Cherries, raisins, and grapes are noticeable. Quite good. Dark, oak flavors are then noticed. Sour, vinegar can be noticed. Not recommended for those looking for something mildy sweet with no sour flavor. Finishes somewhat sweet.

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation. Quite crisp, finishes sweet and somewhat dry.

Overall: coming into this, to be quite honest, I had no clue what to really expect. Upon first taste, it was actually an enjoyable experience. The wild fruits definitely balanced out the sour tart. Interesting, great sipping beer. Alcohol is barely noticeable. I may try again, but would be pretty stern with a friend when it came to recommending it. My girlfriend did not enjoy it so beware for those looking for a hoppy, bitter beer. Cheers!

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Photo of sweemzander
2.68/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a pint glass.

(A)- Pours a fairly deep crimson red color. Some minimal pink froth and lacing.

(S)- Quite an earthy oak profile to it. Subtle tart fruits, but mostly a dry earthy oak profile.

(T)- Kind of similar to the smell, but far more fruitier, still plenty of dry earthy oak but with fruit. Not much tartness; does get a touch medicinal as it warms.

(M)- Fruity, with heavy oaky earth. The tartness from the smell is not really present; kind of muted actually. Decent carbonation level.

(O)- This is ok, but a bit disappointing due to kind of a bland body overall. The fruit and oak is there, but just kind of muddled together.

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Photo of mattkoon
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is the last of the three barrel aged sam adams beers i bought the other day. this "stony brook red" has a really nice red color. the smell is sweet and dry. the flavor is also sweet and sourish. all three of these beer have had dry sweet wine characteristics but this one, to me, was the most close to a sherry. its really dry and sweet. this beer is a very interesting drink. i love the experimentation that has been going on in the beer world. and this barrel aged stony brook is right up there with some of the other good results the experiments have yielded.

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Photo of Suds
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sweet and wine-like...this is a fun and enjoyable beer. Clear and red in color, with no notable foam. The cork literally exploded out of the bottle. The aroma is of fruit, wood, and funk. Tart candies and Cabernet. Must and some subtle malt. Firm mouthfeel, lasting finish. This is a very enjoyable beer. Nice.

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Photo of MikeOlheiser
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my first try of a tarte-fruit style ale. Served in a pub glass. served near 45-50 degrees F.

appearance: poured slowly, some head came up but soon dissipated. deep ruby, brown

Smell: wine, fruit smells. bit of alcohol, not much.

Taste: I love this taste, but I have nothing to compare it to in this style. Reading the label, it seems there is more claim than flavor, although this is a very enjoyable taste. The tarte fruit is right up front, probably cherry, but the finish isn't much. very drinkable, easy to sip on, and only a hint of the alcohol warmth.

Overall: tasty, easy to sip on, but I can see how someone would argue its a bit lacking. However, its still damn good and I enjoy it very much.

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Photo of zeff80
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured out a hazy, burgundy color with a one-finger, khaki colored head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of fruitiness with a tart, sour bite.

T - It is tart and sour, but at time tannic. It was odd how each sip could be spot on or slightly off.

M - It was crisp and puckeringly sharp. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This was good. I wonder how more age would affect it.

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Photo of RickS95
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Not a bad looking beer, particularly from Sam Adams. It's dark reddish brown, and dark enough that you can't tell how clear it is. The head is a light brown, a finger and a half thick, but doesn't retain well.

Crazy, funky saison-like smell. Lots of fruit, think tart cherries, and some Belgian notes like their sugar or yeast. You almost get a pucker from the smell alone.

Taste was a bit of a letdown beacuse it's mostly just a gentle kriek. The cherry flavor was there, as was a bit of alcohol, but there wasn't much else to taste. It's certainly not a bad taste, very cherryie, just little else.

You can feel the carbonation on your lips. There's a sweetness that's quickly overtaken by the tartness which stays throughout. A slight bit of heat, as well as acid in the back of the throat. Less pucker than I expected, and even though it was somewhat tame, it sticks with you well into the swallow.

I don't care much for Sam Adams, but this was actually pretty good. It's a hybrid of several types, but regardless, it's a good sipper. Nice ABV and it's pretty easy to drink. Sweet and sour/tart, but never over the top.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a faintly hazy orange brown with a smallish off white head that quickly dissipates to a ring on top. Smells of dark fruits, cherries, brown sugar, a bit of funk, some lactic, and a hint of balsamic. The flavor is sweeter than I anticipated but serviceable. Lots of dark pitted fruits with brown sugar and a fair amount of funk. Light citric tartness with a bit vinegar rounds out the flavor. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet lightly acidic mouthfeel. This is a nice east drinking beer, but a bit on the sweet side for a wild ale. Tasty, but maybe we should label this as a gateway wild brew.

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Photo of DenverLogan
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From corked bottle...poured in Eku tulip pils glass.
Modest cork pop...dark red brown...small head.
Aroma of funky sour fruit.
Modest carbonation and mouthfeel.
Flavors of sour mango, minerals, slight booze, oak, raspberry...lets give it 5 minutes to open up...
OK...small head on the edges, funky fruit aroma, rich wild funky fruit flavors. This reminds me of some funky Russian River brews, which attests to the barrel aging complexity. Is it brewed to style...what style...barrel aged red?!!
More challenging than their New World Tripel and other big SA specialty brews, but for the funky, sour beer seeker, really lovely. For others, challenging at a minimum. Buyer beware!!

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Photo of Tuey13
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This pours a copper-crimson color with a nice foamy beige head the dissipates rather quickly but leaves very nice lacing on the glass.

The smell is funky, fruity, and very earthy... plums, cherries, sour apple, maple.... definitely oak and peppery vinegar. This smells very complex!!

The taste follows the nose... tart cherries and a wonderful earthy woody oak flavor with bit of vinegar on the dry finish. Belgian... wild ale... and a definite wine-like characteristic.... The alcohol is hardly noticeable at 9%.... Very nice job from Sam Adams!

I am impressed with this series... Sam Adams is such a pioneer in this industry. To bring variety and affordability in a time when so many micro breweries are making super expensive and rare, hard to get beers... they are a refreshing go to brewery. I only paid $4.49 for this!!! Easy to get and affordable... we need more like this!

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Photo of thecheapies
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark crimson color with brown hues through soft light. Head collected about an inch of foam and sat for a moment before receding without much lacing. This is the look I was expecting, I suppose.

Sweet caramel malts, sweet cherry, oak, acetic notes, toffee, dark fruits, and a steely vibe. I can see why they don't call this a Flanders Red, and I can see why some people would. As a Wild Ale, it's a decent aroma.

Funky and fruity with a lot of malty sweetness. More caramelly malts that carryover from my description of the nose that produce toffee notes and toastiness. Cosmic Mother Funk put some sock drawer character in here. Mild cherry notes that fail to shine, nor are they particularly tart. More rife with dark dried fruits. Some raisin and pomegranate. Slightly metallic, but still enjoyable enough. Was really hoping this was closer to Flemish ale standards, but it's not.

Medium in swish. A little sticky. The booze is quelled nicely. I'm sure kicking this nine-percenter back will eventually catch up to me, but no signs yet.

I really thought I'd like this more than I actually did. Glad I don't feel like I need to buy more bottles. An okay intro-to-Belgian red ale for those who have never had any Flemish ales yet. Better put, maybe a good intro-to-Belgians for those who have never had a Belgian beer yet.

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Photo of Pencible
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a hazy dark mahogany with quickly dissipating tan head.
S: It smelled like lots of funk and musty oak barrel, with some sweet brown sugar and apple cider, and a little copper.
T: It tasted like sweet brown sugar and tart apple cider, with some musty oak and copper. It had a clean and sweet and tart aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Light body that wasn't as bubbly as expected.
D: This was a nice Flanders red, but not in the top tier. The scent and taste were good but not terribly bold, complex, or delicate. The body was only ok also, but the finish was very smooth, so it was surprisingly easy to drink. Maybe age will help improve. Only average for the style fresh.

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Photo of busternuggz
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 into a tulip glass.

Nice dark ruby color with a 1" khaki head, settles to a creamy 1/4" with some spotty lacing.

The nose is vinous with red fruit (cherry, apple) and acetic spiciness. Very nice but a little faint.

Big vinous and balsamic vinegar notes lead on the taste, followed by an earthy sourness, peach pit, tart cherry, red apple skin, a little rhubarb. There's some moderate fruity sweetness balanced by earthy and acetic notes. Kind of a blend of West Flanders and East Flanders styles. Complex and layered. Long, soft sweet/tart aftertaste with a little oak.

Full bodied but soft and lush. Ends fairly clean.

Well done, engaging, and fairly complex. Not the best Flemish red I've had but unique and tasty. A surprisingly good sour from Sam, and a good value.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml split with my wife.
Served in a Southern Tier tulip

A - Pours a dark reddish brown color with a fleeting tan head.

S - Acidic, lemons, dark fermented fruit, cherries, plums, salt, wood, slightly funky, dark caramel malts.

T - Not as tart as the nose describes. vinous fruit, cherries, plums, sweet caramel malts, salty wood on the edges, has a pecan-like bitterness on the finish.

M - Smooth buttery feel, medium body.

Excellent nose and while the flavor was good is didn't live up to the aroma This isn't a sour beer. It's tart and has it's own complexities. A good price for the style of beer will make me buy alot more.

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Photo of bigdaddyd069
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper red with a little malt head from a bomber to a snifter glass.

Smelled like sweet maple and dark fruits

Tasted sweet maple syrup/caramel, tart plum, dark fruits, cranberry

Mouth feel - Well carbonated medium bodied but tart. Funny after taste.

Overall - Served at 50 F and was a little bozy and tart for me. However, a very good beer. A great American Belgian. Congratulations Sam!!

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Photo of gr0g
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy, reddish brown in appearance. Big bottle-conditioned head with good retention. Spotty lacing with a few curtains left on the Ommegang tulip style glass. The first whiff yields a tartness with a slight barnyard funk. Sour apple and other tart, fruity notes. Some faint oak barrel notes on the back end. BBC has done a good job of crafting a complex aroma.

Tartness from the nose is not as prevalent on the palate, but the flavor profile leads with it then turns to an oaky finish. Body is quite malty, especially toward the finish. Fruity esters of apple and golden raisins. A faint trace of musty cellar. Taste and smell are fairly impressive, but the mouthfeel suffers a bit due to an overly soft carbonation that fades too quickly. Despite the big 9% ABV for the style, the alcohol is in total stealth mode.

Along with their Tripel, Stony Brook Red is another Sam Adams Barrel Room Collection offering that holds its own against well-entrenched Belgian offerings. While not among their equals, it's quite tasty and worthy of praise.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 mL corked and caged bottle, no date that I can find. Poured into goblet

appears a medium brown color, with ruby highlights, thin head that fades. smell is vinegary sourness, a bit funky. sour cherry. as it warms, the puckering sourness of the taste increases. but finishes drier. vinous. the oak is in there too. thin to medium body. tingly carbonation on the tongue.

overall - fairly close to the Belgian standards.

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Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red (Barrel Room Collection) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
87 out of 100 based on 245 ratings.