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Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout)Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,373 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,373
Hads: 4,251
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 30.53%
Wants: 371
Gots: 894 | FT: 30
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ph2001 on 07-12-2008

The brewer suggests a serving temperature of 42 °F for this beer.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,373 | Hads: 4,251
Photo of craytonic
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep mocha brown with a brown sugar head. Smells like sweet coffee, caramel, vanilla, and toffee. Certainly gives away the name when you take a sniff. First sip is incredibly sweet. Too sweet, and drinkability takes a hit here. A liquid desert certainly, but not much of a beer. No need for a bomber of this stuff, the sweetness kills it for me after a few sips.

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Photo of dejrrma
3.39/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle, around $8, poured into an oversize wine glass.

a-black with a reddish tint, a 1/2 inch of head that dissipates very quickly only a ring of thin foam remains. little lacing

s- vanilla, butterscotch, chocolate, sugar, slight coffee. a bit overpowering.

t- just as it smells. strong and sweet vanilla and toffee soak the palate at first. black licorice and caramel next. This is way too sweet. A little coffee and a little help the cloying taste, but not very much. It's not very well balanced at all.

m- creamy, medium body, sticky. okay carbonation. syrupy after taste.

o- this is definitely a dessert beer and a hell of a specialty. It's unlike anything I've ever had. In my opinion, it's fantastic for the style, but it's not for me. I can only take it in small, small, very small doses. Way too sweet for me.

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Photo of Etan
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up out of curiosity. I tend to like some sweet beers, so let's see how this does. 22oz into a snifter.

A: Pours black with a small light tan head.

S: Smells like straight butterscotch. Not sure how I feel about that.

T: Taste is a little more held back, with big notes of vanilla, butterscotch, caramel, lactose. Slightly astringent hop bitterness gives a little balance. Astringent roasty note on the end.

M: Between medium and thick-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Sort of an odd beer. It would taste better if the roasted malt/hop bitterness weren't as astringent. Not very drinkable.

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Photo of TheViolator666
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

22 oz. bomber poured into Stone nonic glass

Oh. My. God.
This is probably the most bizarre beer I've yet to have.
Immediately after cracking open the bottle my (stuffy) nose was pummeled by the intense vanilla/butterscotch scent that then went on to displace all of the oxygen in the room.

Appearance: Pretty average. Nice head that hung around for awhile, decent color as well. Exceptional lacing draped down the glass.

Smell: I don't even know where to begin. Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. Smelled fantastic at first, but now (hours afterwards) I wish I could get it out of my nose.

Taste: Tastes exactly what I would expect a creme brulee beer to taste like. I regret drinking so much, though. This is definitely a sipper and I wish I would have taken less of a portion. Vanilla, butterscotch, roasted maltyness and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Average as well, not as thick as I like a stout, but not thin by any means. Creamy.

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Photo of Walken
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Southern Tier: Creme Brulee Stout
22 oz. bottle, poured into a tulip.
Appearance: Pours pitch black with a medium fluffy off-white head that fades down into a small cap, surprising retention for such a big beer.
Odor: Well surprise, surprise, this sucker smells like a creme brulee! Candy corn, caramel, vanilla, cream and sugar, some faint hints of solvent alcohol in the background. Smell is thick and sticky.
Consistency: Fat and not very sassy, full body with very low carbonation, this is an extremely smooth and chewy beer. It feels like this should be a bit more bubbly to break up the huge flavors and body. Not nearly as syrupy as other ST offerings, but there's definitely some element of that here.
Flavor: Dark chocolate, burnt sugar and cream flavors are out in front of the pack, leading the charge, faint herbal/dank Columbus flavor and bitterness holding the line. Vanilla flavors swish in, chocolate flavors turn roastier, finishes, leaving the mouth coated with syrupy burnt sugar/caramel & coffee ground flavors.

I'm really not quite sure what to make of this beer. On one hand, it is awfully sweet, definitely beyond my threshhold. On the other, it is called Creme Brulee, which I hear is pretty sweet, so you can't really ding it for that. Does it have any glaring flaws, other than sacrificing drinkability for novelty? Not really. Check it out, if it's your bag, hoorah, if it isn't, no big loss. I can say that it's not nearly as good at the rest of the beers in the Blackwater Series.

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Photo of begforme4484
3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark, almost black with a reddish brown hue about the edges. Not very much for head even with a fairly aggressive pour. The small ring of head that did remain still leaves decent spotty lacing for what it's worth.

Smells yummy. An overabundance of caramel and butterscotch fill the nose. Subtle hints of spices and vanilla too. Very good smelling beer.

Somewhat of a let down from what I was expecting from the nose. Bitter butterscotch with some smooth vanilla base. Somewhat astringent on the backside which kind of ruins the smoothness this beer should have.

Mouthfeel is semi viscous with little carbonation. Bit acidic.

Overall a good beer. But a bit of a let down, as Southern Tier's other stouts are outstanding.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Alright, here we go. This is from notes but I had this on vacation over the summer.

I had heard about it, and had tried other ST brews, and thought I had to give it a shot because I have been impressed with their Imperial Series thusfar. Being a stout-lover, I was a little disappointed.

The appearance and aroma were spot on for their goal. It smelled like the burnt sugar and carmelization that you would get from a real creme brulee. But the taste was far too sweet for my liking. Splitting a bomber between two people was tough. I could see this being a much more effective brew served in small (maybe 5oz?) servings after dinner as a dessert.

Overall, Its very interesting and worth a shot if you want to indulge. Split it with a few friends after a nice meal, and you can savor it.

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Photo of mcann2pu
3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Appearance - almost no head on this one, very fine lacing left, basically black in appearance,

Smell - very clear smell of vanilla and caramel (almost like a werthers original), even smelled like a glass of amaretto to an extent,

Taste - sweet!, but it did remind me of a Creme Brulee, with the strong taste of a sweet caramel mixed with a heavy dose of vanilla,

Mouth feel - some thickness, could have been thicker,

Drinkability - way too sweet so it loses pts in for drinkability, between two people we couldn't finish the glass due to the sweetness of this one.

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Photo of airohead2001
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

A - Black. No head and very little lacing. Not quite what I was expecting for an imperial stout.

S - Very unique and delicious. This beer's aroma is definitely it's strongest attribute. Caramel, vanilla, sugar, and booze. Wonderful.

T - Very sweet - perhaps just a tad too much here. Vanilla, caramel, booze, and more caramel. That's about it. The taste is delicious, but really is pretty simple. Not many layers. No hops. No classic malts.

M - Good. Nice and thick, which is what you would expect for a decent imperial stout.

D - Not a whole lot here. It's taken me about 45 minutes to get past half the bomber, and I think that's about as far as I'll get tonight. A very tasty and very interesting and unique beer, but certainly not very drinkable.

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Photo of jcartamdg
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours jet black with a paperthin head that disapates almost instantly. Aroma of vanilla, heavy vanilla but in a nice way. Taste is too much, overly sweet thin for a stout to thin for my liking. I'm sure some people like this but no one at my table could enjoy it, my wife is going to bake brownies with it, I hope it goes to good use.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewery.
8oz serving.

A - Pours pitch black with a small tan head that sinks pretty quick.

S - Awesome! Sugar vanilla, densely sweet, caramelized butterscotch, hints off coffee, fake maple syrup, vanilla cake batter. Smells like a sweet dessert.

T - Rich and sweet all happen at once. Milk chocolate and super sweet vanilla just run over the palate like syrup. Super sweet cupcake batter, chocolate syrup, lots of vanilla flavored alcohol, although the alcohol barely comes through. Finishes sweet and sticky.

M - Dense, heavy syrupy body, low carbonation, cloyingly sweet.

This smells great but the flavor is way to cloying to have more than 4 to 6 oz at a time. One of the sweetest beers I've had. I'd like to mix this with a solid stout to cut the sweetness down a bit. Good for a 4oz dessert cap.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep, deep brown, nearly black color, with a tan-ish head that dissipated much quicker than I would expect. Body looked to be very syrupy, thick, and sticky. Sweet aroma, full of vanilla and cream with hints of caramel and burnt brown sugar on the back burner. Taste is heaviest on the vanilla, with a slight milkiness to it, followed by caramel, brown sugar, and toffee notes coming in at the end. The vanilla taste is very, very dense and syrupy and sweet, almost sickeningly sweet. It feels like my teeth are being coated with layers of sugar. The 9.6% ABV starts coming through as the beer warms up and it makes the heavy vanilla sweetness even heavier and a little too overbearing. As expected, thick, syrup-like body with carbonation that was a little too low.

Wonderful smell, wonderful idea - I love creme brulee. However, I feel the execution was off on this one. It was a little too overpowering with the vanilla and the sweetness wasn't balanced, thus making it difficult to drink during the lower half of the glass. I'd like to see this one toned down and refined a bit, I think it has a chance to be very good.

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Photo of sgoodship
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured from a 1pt. 6fl.oz bottle, it frothed up a good 1.5 finger head. A craggy cream head with fizzling as the carbonation made it's way through it. Some carbonation visible in the lower half of the dark reddish brown - almost black brew. Nice lacing.

S: Crème brulee does come to mind immediately of course. Unbelievably sweet smell - especially after pouring. On closer inspection, it's a very sweet caramelized sugar and vanilla smell with a touch of alcohol and sourness. Difficult to pick out more subtleties because it is amazingly bold.

T: Taste pretty much in line with the smell. Sweet vanilla, butter scotch and sweet sherry beginning. Moves into coffee and bitter chocolate and then too quickly into a stronger alcohol bitterness - a little rum-like finish. The aftertaste is a continuation of the finish but with a lactose sourness.

M: Lively with carbonation at the start. Medium/full bodied. Creamy, kinda buttery and smooth to the finish.

D: The heavy alcohol and amazing level of sweetness was a bit much for me. A small bottle would have been just enough - a bomber was difficult to get down. I would recommend trying this beer. It's quite an experience and the smell is amazing. I get the feeling it's a very polarizing drink - some hate and some love.

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Photo of thequeen711
3.34/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is an absolute clone of creme brule, whenyou smell it!!! The nose is creme creme creme. The taste to too strong for the brule, which takes away from the nose of the beer. The sweetness of the caramel and vanilla is not a good match for the brew. The mouthfeel is a creme brule taste,the then the high alcohol content hits you like a lead balloon! I am stillmixed on this one, I am a fan of Southern Tier brews, I want to like it...

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Photo of BrownNut
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

This beer smells like the beer I had invented in my head that I did not know existed. I've been dreaming of a sort of rich, viscous, toasty brown ale with hints of butterscotch. This beer smells even more like that than it did in my head.

Taste is another thing though and this one had too much of that sweetness going on. It was distracting. If I could put it in Photoshop, I would crank down its saturation slider - I want that taste, just not so concentrated and pungent as that. It was like they dumped the flavor extract bottle in there and so it came across very overdone. I only had a 4 oz flight glass of it and would not have wanted to work my way through a whole pint.

It's an absolutely beautiful smell and an interesting thing to take one mouthful of, but I'm out after that.

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Photo of Ds0589
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bough a bottle of Southern Tier Creme Brulee, honestly I've had a few of Southern Tier's beers and they just don't really do it for me. They're nothing special. I've never had one that has blown me away. There's never been anything awful either. It's just I find they're pretty average. If you're looking for a good upstate NY beer, you are better off with Ommegang or Middle Ages, a pretty underrated brewery in Syracuse that has a lot of good offerings.

Appearance is very dark and looks like coffee. The head dissipates pretty quickly.

The smell is probably the most appealing thing about this beer. Smells sweet but pleasant. It smells like cake along with butterscotch. But honestly, the smell is better than the taste.

The taste at first was extremely off-putting. Easily one of the sweetest beers I've ever had. To be fair, you get used to it the more you consume, but it was just a weird taste at first. The most dominant taste is butterscotch, along with vanilla and a little caramel too.

The 9.5% alcohol is hidden fairly well in this beer. I would have this beer again, but it wouldn't be the first I would reach for. It gets better as you go through the bottle, but be ready for the first sip cause it's really sweet.

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Photo of ckollias
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Enjoyed this beer out of Belgian tulip glass

A: Pours a dark brownish black hue with a tan head that slowly dissipates leaving a good trail.

S: Sweet vanilla and chocolate aroma.

T: Overpowering vanilla aroma with a solid chocolate background.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Interesting brew – way too sweet! Had to mix it with pumking to mellow it out.

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Photo of JJBlanche
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I was pumped to try this, as Creme Brulee is my favorite desert item.

A - One finger head, sticks around for a bit. Lacing is present. Opaque.

S - Smells exactly like Creme Brulee, with the added influence of roasted grain. Indeed, the aroma blew me out of the water. For what it is, perfect.

T - Hmmm....after smelling it, I thought this was going to be a desert in a glass. But after having gone through a 22, I'm getting the distinct impression that taste is being placed on the back burner, in favor of aroma. It's really muddied, with caramel malts present, lactose, roasted grain. Cloying, and to be frank it was almost difficult to finish the 22. Not terrible, don't get me wrong, but I won't be having any more. Again, this coming from someone who enjoys both sweet stouts and creme brulee.

To its benefit, I wasn't detecting any significant amount of alcohol, which is a fairly decently feat for a 10% brew.

M - Mouthfeel was good. Silky. Carbonation was about right.

D - For a 10% ABV brew, the drinkability is quite good, in the sense that the strong alcohol content is not detectable. That said, the taste and muddiness kills the drinkability factor. I was having a hard time finishing a 22.

At the end of the day, creme brulee (the desert item) is as much a tactile experience as it is a taste experience. When you sit down and think about it, creme brulee in drinkable form is an unappealing thought...which is kind of what I'm left with when I look at this brew overall.

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Photo of BeerPhan86
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Had a bomber of this amongst two friends. It was hard to get down a third of the bottle so I was glad to share it.

A - Very black. A nice chocolate brown head that kept disappearing but was easy to revive with a few swirls of the glass.

S - Very sweet, almost butterscotch aroma. Some toffee. Definitely vanilla as well.

T - I was expecting more of an imperial stout, and this was very different. Butterscotch and vanilla predominately, with a sugary alcohol taste at the end. This is a great dessert beer to share after dinner!

M - Creamy, almost "chunky" but in a good way. Very thick.

D - Not too good I'm afraid. After a glass of this I was ready for a normal lager or ale, so I would not recommend getting this to drink the whole bottle. But it is a very tasty dessert beer to split amongst a few people.

I would definitely recommend this. Soutern Tier big beers have become sort of a hobby of mine, my favorite being Pumking. On a winter night I could see myself really enjoying this one. I will try it again, but not for some time.

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Photo of BetterDarker
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I finally decided to:

1: try an imperial stout and
2: try a Southern Tier

Appearance - Black with chocolate milk creamy head, big bubbles, head retention is not long but some lacing

Smell - Chocolate, malt, slight coffee, no hops though bottle states horizon aroma hops

Taste - Sweet, slight burnt flavor in the back of the mouth, some caramel (hence the name). Slight acidic bite at the end, no alcohol, though the bite seems to dwindle as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel - Well carbonated, not too heavy

Drinkability - One and done, glad I tried it, but I'm not sure I'd have another, though the beer is improving as it warms up, perhaps I started this with it being too cold though the recommendation is 42 degrees.

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Photo of MECove
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Good points: high content 9.5
Color--rich and dark

The aroma is enticing, but the blast of sickening sweetness on the pallet is overpowering. It could use less vanilla or sucrose so it's not as thick.

It reminds me of my husband's maple whiskey! I would probably enjoy it more if the hops were more subtle (Horizon / Columbus) because in general, my preference is against the bite and bitterness of hops.

Although my opinion isn't raving, it's definitely worth the powerful punch of intense flavors.

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Photo of jpro
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Picked up a bomber of this interesting looking brew at the CBX. It pours super inky black - held it up to light and zero translucence; virtually no head (what's there is merely a ring of light brown). The aroma is straight up vanilla ridiculousness - maybe some hints of caramel in there, and touches of alcohol (reminiscent of Kahlua). For some reason, when I first smelled this, I thought: pancakes with extra butter and syrup! It hints at creme brulee, but not quite an exact match. After smelling, the taste was a bit of a letdown - again, heavy on the vanilla with some light hints of coffee and alcohol. Its pretty sweet up front with a relatively lackluster finish. The mouthfeel is actually not as heavy as I thought it would be - actually a little thin in spots, and unfortunately doesn't lend to the idea of wanting to drink more (its just way too sweet for me). An interesting idea, and definitely worth a try, but not something I'll come back to -

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Photo of Cresant
3.29/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Served this beer in a Duvel glass. No date. 22 oz. brown bottle. The body was a very dark opaque brown with a light brown head. The foam dissipated quickly.

Smell was fantastic. No alcohol, but lots of dessert aromas. Custard, butter, vanilla.

Taste was also like a dessert, but with alcohol. This is a boozy sweet sipper. Chocolate and caramel. Buttery vanilla. Somewhat cloying. This one should really be released in 12 oz. bottles instead, 22 oz. is too much.

Mouthfeel was silky smooth and full bodied. Definitely a beer to share, a dessert for two (or more).

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Photo of JackieTH
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was looking for Southern Tier's Mokah, which I find is excellent, but as they were out of stock I ended up purchasing their Creme Brulee.

The pour was opaque brown/black with short lived head.

The blast of vanilla on the nose is like a warning shot over the bow. Tons of vanilla to follow.

The only way to describe the palate is decadant, rich, heaps of vanilla, sugary, creamy, toffee. Exactly like a creme brulee, I suppose should taste, but with a background of alcohol...as per imperial stout I suppose.

I was only able to get through about half the bomber. I recapped the bottle and the next evening I sat back down to take on the remainder. My notes show that the second tasting, after the bottle had been open overnight, actually went better, but man it's very sweet did I mention VANILLA dessert.

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Photo of milkbaby9
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

About a pint from the tap into a semi-translucent plastic cup (9-2-2010, notes written down later that night from memory). Dark brown black with 1 cm tan brown head reducing down to just a ring of bubbles after a while.

Aroma of creme brulee is very strong almost to the point of feeling artificial. Underneath is a bit of roasted coffee. Taste is also very sweet creme brulee, coffee, just the barest maltyness, very slight earthy herbalness, with a very light sour tang. Overwhelmingly sweet!

Mouthfeel is medium light bodied. Medium low carbonation, not as creamy as would probably befit the taste. If it were a lot creamier, the feel would be more simpatico with the taste.

Drinkability is low for me, one is more than enough. Personally not a fan as it feels kinda gimmicky, just not for me. Definitely something for only certain moods, maybe like a beer dessert in winter after a good hearty steak dinner.

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Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,373 ratings.