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Muskoka Mad Tom IPA - Muskoka Brewery

Not Rated.
Muskoka Mad Tom IPAMuskoka Mad Tom IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

117 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 117
Hads: 399
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 23.53%
Wants: 19
Gots: 86 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Muskoka Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: heebes on 05-26-2011

Inspired by late night stories around the fire, Muskoka Mad Tom will instantly grab your attention. Dry-hopped with Chinook and Centennial hops, this IPA has a vibrant aroma, depth of flavour, and crisp citrusy undertow like no other. So brace yourself, and crack one open for old Mad Tom. This is an awakening in craft beer that gets more enticing with every sip.

62 IBU
View: Beers (22) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 117 | Hads: 399
Photo of Sammy
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Decent serviceable IPA. Golden orange colour with initial foamy white head. Mild amarillo hop citrus orange smell. Smooth mouth feel, though carbonation is right there. Above average orange citrus flavours. Nice one, though unexceptional. The Beer Store. Good drinkability.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a medium amber color ale with a nice foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of bitter and citrus hops is quite powerful on this one. Taste is a nice mix between some floral notes of hops with some citrus, piney and bitter notes clearly coming out; malt base is dry caramel and strong enough to sustain the malty base. Body is full with good carbonation. Very well brewed and quite pleasant. Probably one of the best IPA to be bottle out of Ontario.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355ml bottle, courtesy of tbeckett - thanks, man!

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium copper amber colour, with two fingers of densely foamy, and somewhat bubbly dirty white head, which settles on a firm, agreeable schedule, leaving some front-row splash-victim lace around the glass.

It smells of semi-sweet caramel malt, hard toffee, equally sugary orange cream, obligatorily bitter grapefruit/pine hops, further muddled tropical fruit notes, a touch of aerosol pepper spice, and subtle hints of the underlying booze. Wow - is this really made in Ontario? The taste is strong grapefruit rind and bitter pine resin right up front, followed by a tamer bready malt, more biscuit than caramel, a dry tropical fruitiness (think pineapple cores), and a slightly differentiated lemon citrus zing, one rolled into a Limoncella-esque essence through forced association with the circling alcohol measure.

The carbonation is moderate, showing some palate-zinging frothiness here and there, the body a stolid medium weight, and as smooth as allowable under the hop alert circumstances. It finishes still pretty damned hoppy and bitter - I know there's some under-appreciated, rounded malt sweetness in there, waiting for word from the outside world, but at this point, I just don't notice (or really care, frankly).

4 years of work trips to T-dot, and I never encountered anything really quite resembling a west coast IPA, at least not from the craft brewers of Ontario (Beer Bistro or Volo's stellar imports notwithstanding). My hotel bar, on one occasion, had all the Muskoka offerings at the time on tap, and I tried them all, once. If they had offered this, then, they would have had to call the porter to drag my over-imbibed ass up to my room, every night I was a guest there. Anyways, a very good, big-boy IPA, I'm so finally glad to say.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Extra from peensteen. Best before October 11th? Or October 2011? Hard to tell, as the ink is smudged. Served in a CCBW pint glass.

A - Pours with two fingers of creamy white foam that has excellent retention and settles to a thick cap, leaving behind chunky lace. Transparent golden body with lots of visible bubbles.

S - Lemon, pine, grass, toasted grain. Somewhat understated, and very English in character. I don't get nearly any of the citrus mentioned by the other reviewers - maybe very faint grapefruit peel.

T - Taste is a little better, with some orange zest and light sugary notes. Bitterness in the aftertaste is medium. Otherwise grainy and bready malt dominate. Not bad, but a bit dull.

M - Very resinous, with a dry finish and lots of residual hop oils. Carbonation is moderate and pleasant, and the body is medium and slightly grainy. No obvious alcohol.

D - Drinks lighter than the listed alcohol. Could use more dry-hop aroma. If this were advertised as an English IPA it'd get a very good score from me (probably an A-). As an American IPA it's pretty bland, particularly in the aroma department. Easy enough to drink though - could definitely have a few bottles.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a sam adams pint glass.

A classic amber colored body, with some small rising carbonation. Three finger off white head with lots of retention and clumping. Pretty solid and aggressive.

Some very soft hop and malt sweetness. Light orange and herbal tea like action on the nose.

Good mix of malt and hop sweetness, mild sugars and pine hop dryness balanced in the front. Citrus juicy orange comes out with a real good sweet front. Hop angle lingers nicely with a full malt body. Little carbonation fizzy character in feel, quite juicy and fruit punch like also.

Overall pretty solid and a quite fruit juicy palate. Tasty!

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a tall boy into a true pint, the beer is a crystal clear, copper coloring with a steady flow of carbonation and a tall, frothy, big bubbled, bright white head that sits a solid inch and a half after the pour. Aromas of tangy sweet caramel, passion fruit, citrus sweet and tart, and some pepper spice. Flavors are citrus tart and piney on the forward tongue, with a blast of bitterness quickly following. Resiny and rich through to the end of the palate, with a dry, bitter build at the back of the tongue. Tropical fruit sweet blend slowly builds, too, helping to keep a good balance on the palate. Resin and piney characteristics win out, all the way through to the aftertaste, where they are joined by a pepper spice and alpha acid to wrap everything up in a clean, dry bow. Finish does leave a slight bitter linger, but otherwise dry and clean. Solid IPA, and very drinkable.

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Photo of liamt07
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from a 6 pack, purchased at the LCBO. After going through the 6 pack over the course of a couple weeks, I think this accurately paints of picture of my impressions of this beer. 341ml bottle into a tulip. No best before/born on date (c'mon!)

Pours a golden yellow, with a finger or two of white head. Medium sized bubbles, mild retention and a filtered body. Nose has some nice citrus, some pine, mild peach pits, slight spiciness and a touch of earthiness. Predominantly hop forward and an overall pleasant profile. Taste has bitter pine initially, grapefruit, citrus, some grassy notes and a light breadiness. Moderate bitterness and a medium mouthfeel, some stickiness here. Enjoyable, but not outstanding. Very nice to (finally) see a decent American style IPA hit the market here in Ontario, although Smashbomb is on its way!

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Photo of biegaman
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The lighter, almost pear yellow colour suggests that Mad Tom leans heavier on the hops than it does the malts - and that bodes fine with me! I'll also take the dense fog as a positive sign; unfiltered beer tends to pack a little more punch. Against the sun it swells with brightness. Its head looks like a heap of sand and really mushrooms up along the outside.

In golf, a low score is better than a high one. With X-rays, negative results are better than positive ones. And in IPAs, a stinky beer is better than a clean-smelling one - and this one definitely has an odor! An olfactory orgy of citrus mush and flower petals is laced with traces of pine and spruce resin to make for an overtly earthy, fruity, fragrant bouquet.

Like the bus I take to work, this flavour profile seems to operate on a charted schedule, continuously looping regular stops: first a go-over of the flower garden, then the fruit bar, over a toasty, biscuity maltiness, through a patch of pithy, earthy vines and then it's back to square one again with soft floral and citric fruity components on the finish.

For my tastes, this is a perfect cottage long-weekend beer: although it climbs over 6 percent, the alcohol has been completely deferred and it drinks with the same quaffability as a pale ale. Its aftertaste is soft, with no astringency and hardly any bitterness lingering. Rather, a delicate floral/fruity element rings out like a well strummed chord.

Muskoka Brewery ran a few different test batches of this beer by the public before finalizing the present recipe. While I didn't have the opportunity to preview any, I mention this only because I think it was good on them, not as much for their initiation but for actually listening and acting on feedback! They obviously got things right; this is exactly the kind of beer this market has been sorrowfully lacking up until late.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.17/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasting notes from 6/1/11
Poured in to Hop Cat tulip glass

A - Light, almost straw yellow colour with a hint of amber in the middle and one finger of foamy off-white head that slowly disappeared. Almost transparent; somewhat light for an IPA.

S - Pine and citrus are noticeable up front with a crisp but not overly strong bitterness. Some sweet caramel in the background. A nice nose.

T - Some pine come and light citrus notes come through from the hops initially with a nice overall bitterness. Some sweetness comes through in the middle followed by a dry, bitter finish. The hops don't provide much in the way of flavour but do pack a good bitterness. A decent attempt at a west coast American IPA but this needs some tweaking, specifically with respect to flavour contribution from the hops.

M - Medium body with a slight chew. Light carbonation.

O - A good IPA and definitely a welcome addition to the Ontario craft beer scene. I feel like this one was close to being great but didn't quite get there. Some definite tweaking is needed here.

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Photo of Derek
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber-bronze with an off-white head, good retention & lace.

S: Big American hop aroma, plenty of grapefruit, some pine and grass.

T: This is an assertive IPA, I believe it's over 60 IBU, though the rough bitterness from the chinook is often perceived to be more. It has some solid malt to back it up, but certainly not as sweet as some Ontario renditions.

M: Fairly full-bodied for an IPA, with a nice hop acidity.

D/O: Definitely one of the more assertive IPA's in Ontario. Good stuff!

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Photo of wordemupg
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

473ml can poured into tulip 26/4/12 I gotta thank liamt07 for the top 100 Canadian tic

A clear golden liquid with just a few slow bubbles feeding a pinky finger of off white foam that just sits there. I turn my head and type all retarded like, slowly that is, I look back and wonder if time actually passed, a bathroom break finally reveals the surface of the liquid through the thin foam and leaves a thick triangular streak of foam on the no sip side of the glass

S the nose is impressive, guava, tangerine, pineapple with some spruce not pine a little lemon rind and a floral aspect add to the tropical citrus, I hate to do it but the five bomb's getting dropped

T not nearly as strong as the nose but still tasty, everything's still there but mellowed out just a little, a little bready malt but still pretty lopsided towards the hops, lemon rind I didn't smell

M medium bodied but its a little foamy, that being said that aspect seems to spread the rind throughout the mouth, leaves a slightly slick feel on the gums

O the perfect nose and something needs to be said for downing a pint of IPA before getting this deep in a review

smelling the empty can like a smoker scrapes resin for that last hit before bedtime only seems appropriate. this ones a bad ass IPA up there with my fav's from BC, thanks again liamt07 for this fresh gem

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

473ml Can from the LCBO for 2.95$

Appearance - Clear copper colour with a large size frothy off white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some really good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, oranges, apricot

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel and hops. As well there is some fruity notes - oranges, apricots, and some grapefruit. It ends with a malty sweet aftertaste with a medium amount of hop bitterness.

Overall - I had to try this one from a can to see if it tasted any different. It really didn't taste that much different than the bottles I've had in the past. Regardless, it's still a very good IPA - especially considering what is available to me locally. My one gripe would be that it is a little too sweet to drink more than a few of, and the price is a tad high. For my money I'll stick with the Crazy Canuck Pale Ale which is 2.50$ a can and a little less malty/sweet and a little more citrus driven.

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Photo of tbeckett
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Re-reviewing this one after drinking it a fair bit lately.

A - Poured a nice copper colour with a two finger fluffy white head. Bits in suspension. Good carbonaiton, good lace rings, and a finger of retention.

S - Piney, pineapple core, citrus. Pleasant.

T - Quite piney. Citrus and pineapple. A bit less strong than the aroma, but enjoyable and the pine comes out nicely.

M - Good bitterness, good carbonation, medium body. Good feel to it.

O/D - A pretty drinkable and enjoyable IPA. Upon first trying this I enjoyed it, but after a few years of drinking it, I realize its quality and recognize its importance in the Ontario brewing scene.

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Photo of Rutager
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recieved in the CANBIF. Thanks liamt07!

Appearance. Pours a hazy gold colour with a finger of almost white head that leaves some decent lacing.

Smell. Toasty light grains and big citrus fruits, piney wood and some tropical fruits. Smells good.

Taste. Bitter yellow grapefruit rinds, some lightly toasted grains, a little bit of orange and lemon. Oily bitterness lasts a while.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall. Nice flavourful IPA. Enjoyed this one.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a medium orange gold color with a thick, creamy head, light carbonation.

S - Toasted bready caramel malt and light juicy citrus, and some spice. Nose is mild.

T - Bready malt base along with grapefruit peel, pine, and floral notes, there's a small touch of spice and some tangerine/orange in the middle which ends up lingering on the palette long after the sip. Overall flavor is crisp and bright.

M - Light medium body with lots of prickles from the carbonation.

O - This was a nice find, just happened to be in Canada and picked a few up at a local bottle shop.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Beerbistro in Toronto.

A: Crystal clear pale amber body under a finger of fine off-white head that recedes slowly and leaves solid lace behind. Stunning.

S: Predominantly hoppy, and fairly complex: spice, citrus (both lemon and grapefruit), floral, and very slightly malty - in an almost gingerbread kind of way. Fascinating and enticing.

T: Perhaps a bit less fascinating here, but quite tasty in a straightforward way. The citrus hops absolutely dominate, with grapefruit standing out in a big way. The malt is almost entirely absent, and the finish is dry and very bitter. Slightly spicy aftertaste, with a touch of alcohol (surprisingly enough). Quite tasty, but not as memorable as the aroma.

M: Frothy medium body. A bit too diffuse, but not bad.

O: Really enjoyable IPA, and worth the price of admission for the aroma alone.


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Photo of papat444
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to grub for this one.

Poured from a 473ml. can, best before 30 Aug 12.

Appearance: A creamy, milky head with a slightly hazy honey colored body and some nice lacing.

Smell: Real fresh fruit, citrus, pineapple, mild papaya. Very nice.

Taste: Mix of pineapple & grapefruit upfront with a peppery/spicy finish of pine and some juicy tangerine thrown in the middle.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, full bodied and well balanced.

Overall: A very tasty and well done IPA. My favorite of the recent IPAs i've had.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not my first Mad Tom, but hadn't prepared a formal review.

A - Pours a clear golden colour, finger of head with solid retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Sweet citrus and caramel, buttery sugar notes, and peppered grapefruit on the finish.

T - More bitter than implied by the nose, sour citrus, grapefruit, lemon rind, lemon drops, buttery caramel, and bitter citrus lingers on the palette.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dryness.

O - A quality IPA and one of the better ones to come out of the Ontario craft scene. Easily sessioned and well worth a try. Another go-to brew for the arsenal.

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

Pours a medium orange colour with an off-white head, some lace, good retention. The aroma is piny, with some sweet citrus and touches of mango. Light peach on the taste, citrus and tropical fruits, some pine and floral hops with a nice assertive bitterness. The feel is medium, slick and pleasant on the palate.

Overall, quite a nice IPA!

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Photo of canucklehead
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I found this to be a little one sided on the hops dept vs the malt. I love hops but this was a too bitter at times and really hoped for more balance. Still not bad for an Ontario IPA but not on the same level as Smashbomb for complexity or balance...

So It finally arrives in BC and I have to say that is a much improved beer than the last tasting. Lots of hops but totally integrated with the malt . I could drink a lot of this which in the IPA world is a sometimes iffy thing.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer is a murky orange colour, darker at the top. A large amount of frothy white head is on top, and has pretty good retention. Minimal lacing.

Nice citrus smell, fairly pungent. Grapefruit is there, I also get a hint of peach. Somewhat floral. A very slight hoppy bitterness is noticeable. Good smell.

Taste is not quite as nice as the smell. but is certainly a pleasant IPA. A bit of a juicy taste, and a moderately bitter aftertaste. A little bit of pine in the taste as well. The malt is fairly subdued- a bit of caramel in the background, but certainly overshadowed by the hops.

Nice mouthfeel. Light to medium bodied, with a nice subdued carbonation.

Overall, a good addition to the exploding world of Ontario IPAs. Definitely happy to see it in the LCBO. Not one of my favourite IPAs, but I am sure I will be buying more in the future.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Black Tomato Ottawa, Ontario.
Poured into pint glass. Pours a healthy golden orange hazey color with a bit of white head. The head turns sticky and clumpy with nice lacing. Great fruity pine and bitter hop aromas. Taste is of crisp fresh hops, slightly piney. A bit of a malty aftertaste, but still really nice. Slightly thin and bitter mouthfeel, but overall a nice IPA. Worth a try if you see it.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one at the LCBO this past summer.

From a 16oz can into a snifter.

Note: Tested this one as part of the Great Ontarian IPA Showdown against Nickel Brook's Headstock IPA, Railway City's Dead Elephant, and Double Trouble's Hops & Robbers.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium looking, fluffy, off-white head with good retention. Slightly hazy gamboge in color with no carbonation evident. Head fades to a foamy wisp leaving some chunks of lacing down the glass. A little too chunky for my tastes, but nothing wrong otherwise.

SMELL: Pale malt, caramel, honeydew melon, and some piney and grapefruit, citrus hops. The citrus aromas come forward a little more than the rest. Pretty nice.

TASTE: Caramel, butterscotch sweetness up front with some honeydew melon and floral hops at the swallow. Moves into a big, persistent aftertaste of caramel and toffee sweetness, as well as floral and piney bitterness. Not as much citrus as the nose had advertised, but plenty flavorful.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. A little lighter than hoped, but creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry on the palate.

OVERALL: This was certainly a solid IPA from Muskoka. While the Nickel Brook stole the show, this finished a solid second in the lineup. Worth checking out if you see it at the LCBO. Thanks guys.

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Photo of peensteen
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale golden colour, lightly hazy, one finger of white head, no retention and no lace. Smell is hoppy, citrus and grapefruit followed by notes of pine, slight hint of a malt backbone is there also. Taste is dry and hoppy, lots of pine, citrus comes through, quite floral, grapefruit and pine in the finish. Good feel, slick and oily, medium to light carbonation. Solid Ontario IPA, I feel I will keep coming back to this quite often.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - fully hazy golden orange, thumb of white head retained well leaving a consistent crown of lace
S - perfume, pine, and orange citrus hop notes, mild toasty malt
T - resiny hops dominate from start to finish, lighter pine and citrus, toasted bread malt with a tart finish
M - heavyish body with a medium carbonation kick, strong bitter, finishes full with an oily aftermath
O - the punch of the dry hopping is prominent and pleasant, a hop bomb for sure not for the faint of heart

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Muskoka Mad Tom IPA from Muskoka Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.