Beer Reviews: Most Recent

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Eight Degrees Brewing
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.00% ABV

3.93/5  rDev -1.8% | Avg: 4
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Golden sunshine with a leggy finger of white. 4
Canned orange slices, melon, and wildflower honey. Lime zest as it warms. 4
Thread of caramel + cracker, then orange rind, apricot, pine bark and grass. Some raspberry seed tartness, lemon verbena and echoes of papaya as it opens. 4
Humming bitter linger.
Medium, oily, some heat. 3.75

Simcoe, Amarillo, Enigma (and Equinox, says the website but not the label.)

8 weeks out from expiry on a beer that launched in September - we might be in trouble. And so it seems: slight honeyed oxidation hints, the Simcorilla pine + orange dance is muted enough to be in the next room, and any tropical just isn’t turning up. 2 years on from their single hop IPA, and Enigma is still not widely know (Refrain from obvious joke here) so it plays the X factor with some berry notes, but what I do notice is probably projection. Still the DIPA strength, unfortunately, which detracts.

Potentially good, but past its best - beware O’Brien’s special offers. 3.75

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Single Hop Series: Citra
Single Hop Series: Citra

Eight Degrees Brewing
American IPA / 5.70% ABV

4.11/5  rDev -0.2% | Avg: 4.12
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dirty blonde with a snowy cap. 4
Musty grapefruit rind with flecks of mango, honeydew, flowers, and dank. 4.25
Hit of blonde toffee, then grapefruit juice, lychee, D’Anjou pear, lime zest and kiwi. 4
Scratchy linger.
Halfway to medium, some chew, slight oil. 4

Mid-January ‘18 BBD, so call this 8 weeks in the bottle. That shows in the hops: gets all the fruity nuance out of Citra instead of just being citrus and cat piss. Grain bill is up to the job of supporting, body is balanced right - all the usual 8D markers of quality behind it. This would be the best beer in most brewery’s stable, but business as usual for (still) the best hoppy brewery in Ireland. 4.25

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Shannon River IPA
Shannon River IPA

Treaty City Brewing Co.
American IPA / 5.80% ABV

3.61/5  rDev 0% | Avg: 3.61
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pale amber with a stack of ivory foam. 4
Fresh pellet, white pine and lemon with some grain sack - all vague. 3.5
Dusty grain, a touch of tartness, then blonde-calibre grapefruit, grass, and floral ending. 3.5
Chalky linger.
Light, slight cling, salty. 3.75


*sigh* Another newly bottling Irish brewery, another undistinguished pale ale. “Laying siege to bland tasteless beer” is their motto, which would be funny if it wasn’t slightly sad. Nose, while throwing some hopsack notes, is so muted I can barely pick anything up. Light malt load just comes across as grainy rather than sweet. And the few hops give IBUs, but no real citrus or juice. This all around softness would be fine for a 4.2% summer quencher, but this bad boy is hitting 5.8%. That means even though I don’t mind it, per se, I can’t really drink more than one. Bottling date is 10 weeks out, give or take, so that’s not even an excuse. Not sure who this is meant to impress.

Thoroughly average. 3.75

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Grand Cru Aux Houblons Des Flandres
Grand Cru Aux Houblons Des Flandres

Brasserie Castelain
Bière de Garde / 8.50% ABV

3.85/5  rDev 0% | Avg: 3.73
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bright brass with film. 4
Grass, grain, and flowers. 4
Cut hay and honey, pear esters, slight phenol spice, then just dies. 3.75
Bubblegum linger.
Smooth, light+, no heat. 4

Tettnanger + Lubliner.

Looks right, smells Noble. And some interesting yeast notes. Shame they forgot the late hops. Hides the 8.5%, off style at best, too sweet, and just kinda aimless. 3.75

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Founders Sumatra Mountain Brown
Founders Sumatra Mountain Brown

Founders Brewing Company
American Brown Ale / 9.00% ABV

4.5/5  rDev +4.7% | Avg: 4.3
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: chocolate brown. Studying this beer closely with a light reveals this beer has quite a bit of sediment in it. It appears to be an unfiltered brown ale. Very pretty, and for a style which doesn't get very much nod to it's appearance (how pretty can brown be?) the unfilteredness of this beer really ups it a notch in the look department. It's reminds one of a beautiful puddle of mud.

Smell: Caramel Coffee, roast, nuttyness, a hint of chocolate.

Taste: Very much like the smell but with slight heat which the coffee tames. At 9% you can definitely tell, but the decadence of the taste is one to savor, not guzzle.

Feel: Creamy, full, medium +.

Overall: This beer deserves it's rating. It's decently priced, and If you enjoy brown ales, this definitely should be on your try once list.

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Naughty & Spiced Porter
Naughty & Spiced Porter

Russell Brewing Company
American Porter / 6.50% ABV

3.46/5  rDev -7.5% | Avg: 3.74
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bomber into Spiegelau stout glass
L- Dark cherry liquid with a tan head.
S- Ginger snaps, nutmeg, vanilla, espresso, dark chocolate, spice
T- Essentially same as smell on initial taste then a strong bitter wave followed by a malty sweetness on finish. Also getting notes of liquid smoke. Flavor is a tad mild though.
F- Too thin bodied to be a porter. More of a black/dark ale. A thicker body may have helped the flavor come through more.
O- This is a quality winter warmer but it certainly isn't porter. The ginger snap and nutmeg was very intriguing but unfortunately they didn't come through much due to lack of body.

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Dark Horse Brewing Company
Milk / Sweet Stout / 7.50% ABV

3.97/5  rDev -1% | Avg: 4.01
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$1.89 for a 12oz bottle at BevCo. 7.5% ABV per the bottle. No specs per the website.
"Cream stout brewed with coffee from dark street roasting company and vanilla beans"

Pours out to an oily black, forming a very small dark tan head despite a vigorous pour. Poor retention and minimal lacing. Carbonation is mild, ~2.0 carbs or so. The nose hits with a wave of coffee, like the smell you get when walking into a coffee shop peppered with those bins of artificially flavored coffees like hazelnut and cherry, etc. Plenty of roast in the nose, smells sweet, not picking up vanilla, but there is black walnut, prunes and soy sauce. Very nice nose. Mouthfeel is dense and somewhat syrupy, rich and slick., with medium coffee and hop acidity. The taste is a recap of the nose. Black walnut, prunes, soy sauce, coffee, a little burnt marshmallow. Add a spoon of sugar to your espresso crema and slurp it and that comes pretty close to this. Contrary to other reviews, I get plenty of coffee in the nose and flavor. The hops don't sit too well in this one...they are green and grassy and herbal which is not a good fit. Bitterness is mild to moderate.

An interesting brew, worth trying, especially for coffee stout fans.

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Purple Haze
Purple Haze

Abita Brewing Co.
Fruit / Vegetable Beer / 4.20% ABV

2.85/5  rDev -10.9% | Avg: 3.2
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

It tastes like the "XXX" flavor of VitaminWater.
It looks like it too.
Super-light, as if diluted by water, &
Super-sweet, the raspberry dominating.
Despite that, there's a subdued wheat flavor;
Subdued like a muted Miles Davis trumpet, mixed low.
You want to spray it on you; you want to go to the New York Botanical Garden & sniff this while drinking this.
It's the painting "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" by Georges Seurat.
You stare into the river, sipping this, with your feet in the water, & your life becalmed in its transitory nature.

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Blueski Lager
Blueski Lager

Epic Brewing Company
German Pilsener / 5.30% ABV

4.26/5  rDev +13.3% | Avg: 3.76
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Color is gold, yellow. Foamy head. Aroma is malt, lemon. Palate is lime, lemon, bread, sourdough, hay. Pros palate is creamy, funky, and light. Cons is flat, musty, 87/100.

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The German Hobo Malt Liquor
The German Hobo Malt Liquor

Dark Horse Brewing Company
American Malt Liquor / 9.50% ABV

2.49/5  rDev -24.3% | Avg: 3.29
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

$2.09 for a 12oz single at BevCo. Brewed with Hallertau, Mittelfrueh and Bavaria Mandarina hops. No other ingredients listed on the website or bottle. 9.5% ABV.

Pours out to a hazy amber to light brown, barely eeking out a small off yellow head with poor retention and sparse lacing. Carbonation is mild, ~2.0 carbs or so. The nose is very malty up front with light raisins, candi sugar, brown sugar, grain husk and vanilla. Mouthfeel is syrupy, cloying, dense bodied. Bitterness is quite mild, overall being quite sweet. Stylistically, this has the OG, FG, SRM, IBU and ABV to fall within the dopplebock/Eisbock category. Quite boozy up front and throughout, which limits it's drinkability, One 12oz bottle is just too much. Harsh alcohol notes, warming.

Not my cup of tea...or beer. I had to dump it after 1/3 of a glass. This is just way to much. Diabetes in a bottle. Harsh, solventy, some fusels. Pass on this one from an otherwise very good brewery.

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Summit India-Style Black Ale
Summit India-Style Black Ale

Summit Brewing Company
American Black Ale / 6.80% ABV

4.02/5  rDev +1.8% | Avg: 3.95
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice brown-to-black color with a creamy grey-ish head of 1/2 finger.

Aroma of fresh pine and tree, some dank hops, and roast notes.

Flavor is actually very very good. It starts with a resiny bitterness which leads into pine, citrus, ground coffee and finally roast coffee. The contrast between pine and rich coffee is pretty awesome.

Feel is both resiny and carbonated at the same time. A nice mixture that pairs well with the whole beer overall.

Between the piney/herbal nose and the roast coffee flavors, this beer hits every point and accomplishes a smooth, creamy black IPA. I like it a lot.

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Mokka Munt
Mokka Munt

Odd Side Ales
American Double / Imperial Stout / 10.00% ABV

4.4/5  rDev +5% | Avg: 4.19
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I wish I could drink this over and over again. Dark and rich. Sublimely minty with hints of bourbon and dark chocolate. So heavy, strong, and chocolaty. Who needs dessert when you have a beer like this?

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Blue Magic
Blue Magic

Right Brain Brewery
Herbed / Spiced Beer / 4.50% ABV

3.8/5  rDev +1.3% | Avg: 3.75
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very bubbly pour and pale golden color. Has hardly any smell aside from a very faint, light almost lilac aroma, which I like. Taste is like a weak wheat beer, with a gradually increasing aftertaste that's slightly spicy like cinnamon. You can actually taste the lavender. This is perfect warm-weather beer.

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Cloudbusting #4
Cloudbusting #4

Grimm Artisanal Ales
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.00% ABV

4.15/5  rDev -3% | Avg: 4.28
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A hazy beer, the color of a haystack in a weak sun.
The clouds of the Land-of-the-Long-White-Cloud float in it.
It starts with honeysuckle, ends with soap.
In between, a couple of fruits appear, take the stage, and exit, one by one: cantalope, clementine, pear.
Its texture is satin & waxy.
It has a marshmellow-like mouthfeel, like letting a caramel dissolve in your mouth.
It's not the best Grimm, as many have already noticed, but the focus on the NZ hops makes it special among American beers; we must give thanks to the Grimm duo for letting us taste them.

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Flash Golden
Flash Golden

Odd Side Ales
Belgian Strong Pale Ale / 9.80% ABV

2.87/5  rDev -24.1% | Avg: 3.78
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Surprisingly easy going down for a whopping 9.8% abv. Very hazy with lots of dead yeast sediment. Has a malty flavor with a bit of a saison quality. Has a bit of lemon tang...but I may be enjoying this a bit too cold since i left it in the freezer.

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Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
American IPA / 6.90% ABV

4.49/5  rDev +14.5% | Avg: 3.92
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There's not much not to love about this beer for the IPA lover. Beautiful amber color though a bit cloudy, full light colored head with excellent lacing. It's got that nice hoppy dankness that we love. Tastes wonderful and finishes strong. Milwaukee still means great beer!

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So Happens It's Tuesday
So Happens It's Tuesday

The Bruery
American Double / Imperial Stout / 14.70% ABV

4.02/5  rDev -4.1% | Avg: 4.19
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Its been toooo long. It is my birthday and it is Tuesday. This beer seemed like the perfect fit. Big thank you to Hyein for getting me this for my birthday. Bought at Argonauts for about 22 before tax.

A&S: Pours pretty vigorously, leading to assume it is not quite full bodied. Aroma is a ton of bourbon and vanilla.

T&M: Upfront lots of intense bourbon flavors. Towards to the back tobacco.

Overall: I think I should have let this get down to temp a little more. It probably only spent an hour in the refrigerator, and now that I am thinking about it Argonauts has a wine chiller, so that was a bad mistake to make. O well live and let live. I like this beer and would recommend it if you feel like sparging a little, but there is better out there for the money.

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Dark Lord Imperial Stout
Dark Lord Imperial Stout

3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Russian Imperial Stout / 15.00% ABV

3.34/5  rDev -22% | Avg: 4.28
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

2017 vintage, reviewed a week after its release. Review #666, a happy, black coincidence. \m/

Opaque, ebony, inky body that produces a creamy dark tan head, some lace remains. The nose is predominantly black cherry, followed by milk chocolate, intense sweetness, and a breath of soy sauce. Is this infected, or?... The taste is like cherry liqueur- bitter, spiced, and boozy. Reminds me of Fernet Branca. Flavor also produces more milk chocolate, cinnamon, dryer sheets, chalky dryness, some warming vanilla notes, more sweetness, and, 100% to its credit, only a tiny hint of that 15% booze. I give a lot of preference to the smell and taste for their potency and unabashed nature, and yet after I cut through that bravado I realize the great is only good and the good is mediocre, even distasteful and counterproductive. The body is full, a bit syrupy, thick, and a bit oily, with a surprising amount and delicacy of carbonation.
The flavor here was fine. I didn't wince at it like I do some, especially the high ABV beers. But as reasonable as my expectations were, and trust me, I more than adjust my expectations for hyped beers, this did not meet them. I could easily have justly, truly, and honestly lowered my smell and taste scores (possibly overall...) by .25 each, but in the interest of safeguarding against bias I was generous. Call it the celebrity treatment. I'm at a loss for words. Given the hype (which FFF does not temper, but why would they), the ABV, the lead-on label, and the price point, I think we deserve more.

A) Everything in this review is genuine and as devoid of bias as a human can be. B) This is NOT A RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT, so F FFF for employing a specific, craft designation. C) It just is not that good. It does not match the description on the bottle (see point B), and while it is decidedly enjoyable to imbibe, it falls far, FAR FAR short of the hype, and also of my basic expectations of what a beer, any beer, should be.

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Craic Stout
Craic Stout

Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Irish Dry Stout / 4.60% ABV

3.82/5  rDev +1.6% | Avg: 3.76
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Second bottle from the variety pack; bottling date of March 9th, 2017.

The look of the beer is definitely right in line with what's expected of an Irish stout (or a stout in general) -- pitch-black color, so dark that my little LED flashlight struggles to penetrate even the narrowest part of the glass, with a significant layer of tan foam on top. The foam shrinks to a thin coating (with thicker ring around the outer edges) within a minute or so, but still looks nice.

Smell is also just what you think of when you think of this style -- lots of dark roastiness. There's also a bit of a sweeter (or maybe just chocolatey-er?), smoother thing hanging out behind the rougher, dryer roasty smells; as the beer sits and warms a bit this stands out a bit more, though the roastiness is still very much present. On a long sniff after this beer has sat out to warm a bit, just a hint of this really nice dark-chocolate type thing starts to show up.

Taste seems a tad milder than the smell, oddly enough, but the roasty and chocolatey elements are still definitely there. The carbonation seems a bit high and that "carbonation flavor" seems to be drowning out the other features just a bit -- I think that's a major factor in the flavors seeming milder than the smell -- but once that calms down a bit they pop out a lot better. Having the beer sit for a while to calm the bubbles is definitely recommended. There's a lingering dark roastiness, approaching burnt/charred and almost smoky/ashy, on the aftertaste. No hop flavors that I can detect, despite the 39 IBU -- I'm guessing they mainly went toward bittering vs. flavor/aroma with this one, which makes sense for this style of beer.

Feel is a little fizzier than I'd like at first, but overall still pleasant. Once the initial burst of fizz wears off, it's got a fairly thick feel to it for something so low in ABV -- almost feels like it's coating my tongue a bit, and that's just from the first sip! Despite this, it never really comes across as sweet/sticky -- it is definitely very dry, as the name of the style would suggest. My only issue is the carbonation, it calms down a bit after sitting for a while but at first it really is a bit much.

Overall a pretty nice Irish Stout -- seems it's rare to see one outside of Guinness so it's interesting that they picked this style for one of their collaboration beers. Would be great if not for the weird overly-fizzy mouthfeel bringing it down a notch, but it's still good.

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Angel City India Pale Ale
Angel City India Pale Ale

Angel City Brewery
American IPA / 6.10% ABV

3.16/5  rDev -15.3% | Avg: 3.73
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap.

Along with many of the other reviews, not much on the nose. After that, things get better. Color and head retention are good, with lacing down the side of the glass. Good carbonation with flavors of pine and a lemony citrus component. Well balanced overall

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Reclamation Lager
Reclamation Lager

Motor Row Brewing
Munich Helles Lager / 4.50% ABV

3.84/5  rDev +1.6% | Avg: 3.78
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours light cloudy, pale gold. Foamy, short, white head fades fast to a cap with light lacing.

Smells grassy, malty, citrus and herbal hints.

Tastes sweet bready malt, light grain, grassy, light citrus and light herbal. Finish is dry with some earthy bitterness and light grassy hints. Lighter body and creamy medium carbonation.

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine

Central Waters Brewing Co.
American Barleywine / 11.50% ABV

4.41/5  rDev +3% | Avg: 4.28
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Since CW's BBA Scotch ale drew the best rating I have ever bestowed on a brew, and their BBA Imperial Stout is also highly awesome, when I saw this in a local store tonight I had to try it.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a; Clear copper/ruby with a four inch thick offwhite/light tan head which receded to thick surface foam and patterned dense lacing. Superb.

s; Mild dark fruit,

t; Follows the nose with more strength along with some whiskey notes over a mild caramel malt base and a hefty hop and/or alcohol bite in the back of the throat. Sweetish finish.

m; Medium, very smooth with some carbonation tingle, although at first the heavy alcohol bite tends to distract from that.

o; A powerful, flavorful brew. The alcohol presence is more obvious than the whiskey flavor, although it mellows out some. Slightly fruitier than the Scotch ale, as a barleywine should be, but with the higher ABV the alcohol notes tend to obscure them somewhat after a few sips. Later they return with strength, as does the aroma. Really not that far afield from the much more famous (and more expensive, if and when you can find it on Black Friday) Goose Island BCB Barleywine other than perhaps some density and a few ABV points.

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale
Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale

Lagunitas Brewing Company
American Strong Ale / 9.60% ABV

3.96/5  rDev -1.5% | Avg: 4.02
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Bronze-copper, clear body, with white head, wispy, and lots of lacing.

S - Pine and booze, with rich malts, some mild floral notes.

T - Punchy fruit front, a bit of lemon, strong malts and pine, a bit of eucalyptus, and moderate bitterness in the close.

M - Sticky, some prickly aspects, and a dry close.

O - A powerful beer, well-integrated, with large hops and full of malts.

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How Soon Is Meow?
How Soon Is Meow?

Finback Brewery
American Pale Lager / 4.70% ABV

4.58/5  rDev +12% | Avg: 4.09
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. can dated 4/21/17

Pours cloudy foggy hazy yellow gold with a creamy frothy white foam head. Smells like pineapple, grapes, lemony orange citrus, grapefruit, rice, honey crackery bready malt, minty tobacco spice, with floral dank earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like sweet rice, honey crackery bready grains, pineapple, tangy grapes, lemony orange citrus, grapefruit, minty tobacco spice, with floral dank earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a real nice hoppy rice pilsner.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon 5.9%
Pabst Blue Ribbon 5.9%

Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
American Adjunct Lager / 5.90% ABV

2.82/5  rDev +9.7% | Avg: 2.57
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

my go-to beer for get-togethers.
has a little bit of an off malt and alcohol smell to it, but i prefer the taste and feel of this to regular PBR after having it fairly often.

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