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Bar Fly (Bourbon Barrel Aged) | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

31 Reviews
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Bar Fly (Bourbon Barrel Aged)Bar Fly (Bourbon Barrel Aged)

Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Alieniloquium on 07-19-2014

User Reviews
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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 143
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Oliver's Beverage in Albany, NY.

This pours a dark, sludgy looking black, with a small head, and no lacing.

Roasty and moderately smoky malt comes to the nose first here, with just the slightest hint of subtle bourbon, and some chocolate malt.

I wish this new batch was aged in red wine barrels like the '11 batch- I could tell that sort of flavor would work well here. Nonetheless, this is pretty tasty. The smoke level is moderate, tasty, but not overbearing. It's warm, dark, and like a campfire, with some chocolate, heavily roasted malt, and only a little bit of barrel. There's a good level of dark sweetness too, the molasses speaking.

This is medium bodied, not super chewy, but thick enough, with just a hint of syrupiness. As the beer warms, it gets just a little bit boozy.

This is another great BA beer from Midnight Sun. I haven't had a bad one yet.

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Photo of VashonGuy
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, wow, wow. I've had a lot of barrel aged stouts, and love the style. But this beer stands apart, because of the smokiness. Yes, it's got the dark roasted character of a great stout, and it's a bit sweet (molasses), and it's got a nice amount of bourbon aroma and flavor (nice amount means the bourbon is prominent but not overwhelming the rest of the flavors). But it's the first BA stout I've had that has that extra element of smokiness. I think it would be a great stout even if they didn't add the smoke, but they did, and that makes it a bit different from the rest of the great beers in this crowded category. Different doesn't mean it's automatically better than the non-smoky great BA impy stouts. But it is a standout!!! Serving was on tap. I wish I could find some bottles.

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Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nearly midnight black pour, frothy three fingers of head. Nose is a lovely balance of vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, molasses, marshmallow, and a light smokiness. The flavor mirrors the nose, and there's also a bit of toasted coconut. The body is smooth and creamy, and is a bit lighter than I expected, which serves to increase the drinkability of this heavyweight. The alcohol is barely detectable which also helps in that department. Overall, the taste reminds me of s'mores dipped in good bourbon. Absolutely delicious!

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Photo of Meow49
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Silky smooth, creamy with a hefty dose of really nice bourbon, this stout has a lovely roasty/smoky quality that is superimposed on a chocolate graham cracker base. There are dried brown fruits in abundance here, and a slight sourness that plays well off of the smokiness. The finish is very long and smooth, and while this is a sweet stout, there is just enough dryness to keep compelling the next yummy sip.

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Photo of amano_h
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bonfire smoke, molasses, licorice, caramel, and bourbon shine through as the first impression on the nose. There's also a hint of sweet chocolate and coffee, and some port-like sweet oak characters toward the back end as well.

Holy crap, this is thick. Syrupy sweet, tons of dark fruits, roasted malts, and an almost ash-like chalky smoke envelop your palate with each sip. Coffee and chocolate are the secondary characteristics to the bold rich front the brew puts up; the brown sugar and the bourbon make an appearance toward the back end of the tongue.

This is as full-bodied as they come, with predictably low carbonation. Creamy chewy mouthfeel, it almost feels like I'm navigating through syrup at times. This is definitely a beer meant to be enjoyed slowly après-dinner. Just watch out for the heat that creeps up your throat -- this massive beer is 11.6% ABV.

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Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really great smoked beer. Lots of good bourbon notes on the finish with a good amount of smoke and malt upfront. This is one of the most balanced smoked beers I have had to date.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark, opaque, viscous-looking in the glass, with basically no head but that's not a problem. Cohesive and attractive aroma, smells really good - nice soft smoke, plenty of molasses, medium dose of bourbon barrel. On the palate it's more intense, while not quite as balanced/harmonious; but quite tasty. Molasses is fairly dominant, but it works well with the supporting smoke, malt, and bourbon flavors. Noticeable sweetness, but well balanced by bitterness and some acidity. Some alcohol, but not excessive. Thick, creamy, almost oily texture, with fairly low carbonation which works well. Nice beer, good for cold weather.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At least 2 years old. Opened Aug 2015.

A - A beautiful looking stout. Solid, deep midnight black body with just the faintest of brown highlights around the rim. Deep milk chocolate brown head pours a finger high with nice retention and low lace. Get legs.

S - Sweet milk chocolate, caramel, molasses, licorice, and prune.

T - Silky milk chocolate, molasses, caramel, vanilla, coffee milkshake, and chocolate covered plums. Not very smokey though.

M - Thick, full, smooth body.

O - A solid AIS, just wish there was more smoke.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter glass from a 22oz. Bomber.

Appearance: Thick motor oil color with medium bubbles on the body, heavy thick head which is a dark tan color rising to just about a finger's length. Sticky lacing, settles to nada after a sip of two. Seriously looks beautiful.

Smell: Smells like cooked caramel and ridiculously potent. Strong scent which light overshadow almost anything else that goes with it.

Taste: Sweet molasses, you taste a bit smoked feel with a hits of brown sugar that seriously smash your palates. Lightly bitter with a touch of espresso. Incredible. Wish and seriously wish I bought a another bottle.

Mouth: Medium bodied carbonation. Very sticky body, honestly best compared to brown sugar syrup...yes no bs.

Overall: A brew that years in the end will be a classic. Balanced and more treated like a dessert versus a compliment to your day. For some it might come in a bit too sweet but in all seriousness you get past it and just want to inhale the whole thing. Drink with love my friends....Salud!

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Photo of StrongRepublican
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours inky black and heavy with motor oil viscosity and pitch. Virtually without any head, maybe 1/8" dark brown and gone before you can even really notice it. Thin khaki color and layered lacing remain.
S: Heavy sweet chocolate and molasses, charred wood/smoke, roasted barley, and hints of Bourbon.
T: Lots of coffee and milk chocolate up front, definitely wood char/smoked malt element but not overpowering, caramel/vanilla/Bourbon in the middle and a big burnt sugar/whiskey finish.
M: Low carbonation paired with a full body give this beer a very creamy, dense mouth feel. It's thick and syrupy but not in a cloying way, it coats the entire palate and lingers there long after each sip.
O: Very impressed, I went in expecting a smoke bomb but this is incredibly well balanced and well crafted!

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Photo of brianmandell
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thick dark brown/black pour with no head.

Smells of deep roasted malt, molasses, coffee and smoked wood.

The flavor balances sweet, tangy dark fruits, deep roasted malts, smoke & ash. The beer is quite sweet with brown sugar and molasses flavors. The smoke flavor is an interesting part of the mix rather than being overbearing.

Mouthfeel is viscous and low on carbonation but very drinkable. Nice.

Overall I'm pretty impressed with this fine stout. If you like stouts with dark fruit flavors and a touch of smoke, you will like this.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smoked meat on the nose. Roasted malt. The meatiness continues heavily on the taste, while expanding into greater complexity with licorice, dark chocolate, burnt brown sugar, hint of vanilla. Wow. Pretty damn good.

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Photo of Matonika
4.82/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Look:is oil can black with a beautiful dark reddish brown head. Smell: is bourbon ,port, plum. Taste is sweet syrupy, complex, bright dark fruit like that of a ruby port, bourbon notes, a hint of soy. Plenty of vanilla chocolate. Not a lot of smoke even though it is a smoked stout. Feel: this is rich, creamy, sticky, warming, very good carbonation. Overall: TOP 3 IMPERIAL STOUT in my opinion. This guy is complex and amazing dessert in a bottle DON'T LET SMOKE Label scare you. Paired it with some Stilton Blue Cheese amazing.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.19/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Great appearance, in line with typical stouts from this brewery. Thick and oily, like used engine oil, pitch black, with a small tan head that held as a ringlet. Aroma of dark fruits and smoke. Taste of black and red licorice, Play-Doh, caramel, minor notes of ash; the smoke in the nose was almost absent in the taste. Lacking in a good robust stout flavor, and definitely in the body, which was kind of thinned out. Sort of disappointing, but not bad.

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Photo of draheim
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz into a tulip. Pours a thick oily black w/ a 1/2-finger reddish brown head, leaves behind oily legs on the glass.

Aroma is rich, earthy and pungnt. Dark roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, black licorice, charred oak.

Taste follows nose. Thick, chocolatey, oily, bitter, roasty, smoky.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich, finishes semi-dry.

Overall a really nice big bold imperial stout.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.29/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out super black. Looks awesome. Smoke balances out the sweet brown sugar and bitter chocolate malts. Has a bit of a fruity quality on the back end. Finishes dry.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an extremely viscous pitch black with mocha lacing. no bubbles really anywhere but at the very edges of the glass.

S: Aroma of burnt charred malt and oak . sweet malt scents also pair up with molasses and burnt raisins . Smoke overwhelming

T: Taste is a filled with concoction of overly burnt malt and sweet maple burnt barrel mixing with brown sugar and dark fruits. Overwhelmingly burnt, this is probably the most 'burnt' beer I have had that tasted this sweet. It is complex and the burnt ember flavors come in waves of ash and molasses with chocolate and caramel when the ash is at its weakest taste points. The sweetness of this beer is clearly brought out from molasses and brings the char flavors to a standstill fight. Sweetness wins, but not without a good effort of the charred grain peeking its head through frequently throughout drinking this beer.

M: Thick , slightly 'oily' with consistency and with small amounts of carbonation.

O: This is a very solid Imperial stout that has many dimensions to it. At first the smoke is somewhat overwhelming but once your tastebuds warm up to it, it is actually quite delicious.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black and viscous, really just about the the closest thing I've ever seen to the used oil from my old VW van just before I had to have the engine rebuilt. I had to smell it to make sure it wasn't oil. Fine one finger brown head with great retention and lacing. Aroma is rich dark toasted malt with char and smoke, molasses, hints of chocolate. No engine oil here. Flavor is also rich; dark toasted malt and chocolate, close to malted milk balls, raisins, light tart cherry and plum, molasses. Hints of bourbon and smoke. Really amazing heavy, creamy body, again reminding me of 40 weight, but creamier. This is one excellent heavy weight stout. The bourbon barrel influence is subtle and the smoke is not that strong, but it really doesn't matter, there is a lot going on here. The thick mouth feel combines with the rich flavors to make every sip a pleasure. The light tartness adds a bit of interest, but makes it just a bit unbalanced. Still, really delicious. This is the way I remember my first bottle of the Abyss blowing me away, although this is a bit more complex and not as smooth and malty (because of the light tart fruit flavors). This was in short supply and I only got one bottle, but glad I made the effort. Excellent.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from ScottO in a recent box. One of my favorite stout brewers in the world, and one of my favorite beers in the world. Excited to drink some of the new incarnation of this gem. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter
IBU: 45
Bourbon barrel aged variant

APPEARANCE: A syrupy, thick black pour is evil looking. Black and menacing looking, just like the older batch. Pour yields a one finger, medium-thick looking, mocha colored head with excellent retention, eventually fading to a slight wisp and ring with lacing clinging on to the glass. Thick, opaque, sludgy black body with no real carbonation evident. A ring and dots of wisp remain leaving some falling dots of lacing down the glass. Doesn’t get any better than this really. Wonderful looking monster of an imperial stout.

SMELL: Roasted malts, dark, pure chocolate, molasses and bourbon on the nose. Complex and enticing. Vanilla, oak, and milk chocolate from the barrels, and a touch of smoked malts linger in the back ground. Bold and interesting aroma with a touch of booze for good measure. Really lovely, though just a touch more smoke would be nice for a perfect score.

TASTE: Much like the first batch, but more bourbon instead of just oak, and there’s a bit more smoke in the flavor than the nose had lead on. Roasted malts and sweet molasses with a touch of smoked malt up front, then some oak, bourbon and sweet toffee and molasses flavors at the swallow. Very sweet for sure, with lots of sweet malt and sweet barrel flavors on this one. More so than the first batch. Big and lingering finish with lots of sweet complexity, including bourbon, oak, vanilla and sweet cream, milk chocolate, toffee, some molasses and a touch of bitter pure chocolate as balance. A bit of smoked malt and some booze provide a solid foundation for this mammoth construction of a brew. Decadent with layers of complexity, though where the first batch needed just a touch more smoke for top scores, this one is just a hint too overly sweet. A bit more bitterness, or perhaps a bit more attenuation from the yeast, would push this into God level. Lovely.

PALATE: Fuller body and medium levels of carbonation. Lots of weight, very creamy, slick and smooth, goes down smooth with a bit of a bite at the swallow and finishes very slick and sticky on the palate. Definitely sticker than the first batch. Higher FG probably on this one, which would explain the drop in ABV as well.

OVERALL: This is outstanding. Compared to the first batch, there are more sweet flavors in this one, assumingly from the bourbon barrels, and the feel is thicker and syrupy, most likely due to a higher finishing gravity on this batch. Both batches of this beer are excellent, though there are enough differences to warrant tracking them down individually if you’re into comparing beers. For myself, I enjoyed the bourbon qualities and the slightly thicker and more syrupy feel on this batch a touch more than the older one, but it’s really pulling hairs, as both batches are fantastic. Another wonderful stout beer from Midnight Sun and I’m very glad to have had the opportunity. If you have the chance to check this one out, don’t hesitate. Thanks again ScottO! Much appreciated.

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Photo of cbutova
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle generously shared by Chico1985 on Christmas at night. Full review taken during consumption.

A- Truly an oily pour from the 22oz bottle with nothing but black hues all around the glass. A light brown head ends up right around a finger. Creamy cap dies out to a smaller ring after several moments. Spotty lacing around the glass as a slick oily beer recedes back down after each sip.

S- Raw molasses and dark sugars are quite large here with a barrage of charred, roasted grains rounding it out. Smokiness seems to weave in and out the previously mentioned characteristics of the aroma but it truly feels necessary. Dark cocoa and raisin or cherry-like fruits add some richness and complexity. Quiet barrels here.

T- Deep and decadent flavors of mostly malts in all forms. One thing I am not too sure of besides a slight vanilla sweetness and toasted feel is the oak whiskey barrels, they are certainly secondary to the rich grains. Balanced, flavorful notes of black-strap minerally molasses, roasted barley, brownies, cocoa powder, caramel, brown sugar, earthy honey sweetness, raisins and burnt wood salty smokiness. Sweet but certainly not cloying.

MF- Big old rich and thick body as an oily slickness coats the taste buds during each sip. Carbonation is low-medium but perfect for the rich flavors extracted from the grains. Some sips finish rather warm while others end with a semi-sour (not tart, like whiskey) maltiness.

Malt richness done right in a big, high ABV stout without having to rely on a cocoa, coffee and one dimensional roastiness. Pretty much busts out all the brown to black malt flavors in a winning combination.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bomber shared at a Christmas Day tasting. Thanks to JackNip for sending me this in a trade recently.

A - Super inky black pour. A thin brown head forms and retains as an even thinner patchy cap for the duration.

S - Great mix of super ashy smoky roast, baker's chocolate, molasses, some tobacco and dark fruit.

T - Sweetness more present here with a pretty awesome dark chocolate, molasses, and brown sugar. Still a good dose of roasty char to balance it out and some dark fruit hiding in there. Not getting any bourbon barrel.

M - Smooth and viscous, lowish but good carbonation, feels big but not hefty, really not much here for booze, very nice.

O - Really excellent chocolate/roast/molasses punch with some raisiny cigar-like complexities, and very drinkable for the ABV. However I would never guess this was in bourbon barrels, that is definitely missing here.

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Photo of dar482
4.69/5  rDev +7.6%

The beer pours out black like motor oil.

The aroma is sweet chocolate, cocoa, thick and chunky chocolate, hints of umami.

The flavor follows with that sweet milk chocolate throughout. Hints of smoked flavor, but it is very hidden. Molasses on the back end. No alcohol detected. A rounding flavor and a few spikes of bourbon, but it is not an bourbon forward beer.

A full chewy mouthfeel.

An incredible brew that reminds me of a more bourbon forward Abyss.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.55/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Inky viscous black. Nice mocha head. Mediumcollar. Stains the glass.

Smell - Lightly smokey. Black patent malt and some licorice. Kinda boozy.

Taste - Lots of black patent malt. Fudge. Molasses. Licorice. Oak. I get almost no bourbon. Smokiness is present in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Heavy and boozy. Medium carbonation.

Overall - This is a long way from the original Bar Fly. It has a weird finish. Otherwise, it would be a nice RIS, but I still don't get the barrel.

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Photo of jlindros
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to familynight (Reddit) for this one, 2014 vintage, shared with rudzud and threelions.

Pours like crude oil, thick sludge, light fizzy dark color head fades quickly, legs just coat the glass.

Nose is as expected, tons of dark malts, thick sludgey chewy black malts, little roasty blackness, fudgey cocoa and nougat, some dark fruits in the middle, like candied fruit jellies, faint bourbon in the background, little molasses sweetness too, very light smoke.

Taste is very nice, dark malts plenty, fudgey, chewy cocoa with a nice smoke in there, fluffy nougat with the dark choc and mild creamy thick chewy fudgey thing. Mild toasty and bourbon barrel, little vanilla, bourbon, etc, little ssh fruit jelly thing, light molasses too. Finish, is nice, good bitterness, nice bourbon note, light molasses again and smoke, little thick syrupy fudgey choc, etc.

Mouth is thick mild syrupy, chewy, booze is hidden fairly well, nice carb.

Overall very nice, great beer, smoke is a bit too light on the nose but nice on the flavor, good barrel notes, toasty and enjoyable.

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Photo of rudzud
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to JLindros for sharing this with me and Threelions at my little birthday celebration. Poured into a Kate the Great tulip.

A - Poured a super dark motoroil black hue with no real head but left really really great legs.

S - Aromas of smokey char, dark fruits and chocolate, fudge, nougat, super faint bourbon.

T - Taste is smokey, dark fruits and darker chocolate, fudge, light bourbon notes. Faint barrel, sweeter malts. The alcohol is hidden quite well.

M - Mouthfeel is creamy, lightly carbed. Definitely drinks like its over 8, but not nearly this high.

O - Overall this beer was a tasty treat. Nice to have a decent nonvintage midnight sun beer.

Serving Type: Bottle

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Bar Fly (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.