Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout | Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

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47 Reviews
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Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice StoutMegadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BDTyre on 01-08-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
47
Ratings:
133
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
22.83%
 
 
Wants:
22
Gots:
20
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 133
Photo of canucklehead
4.82/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a year for RIS in BC what with Singularity from Driftwood and now this. Essentially the Pothole Filler RIS combined with licorice this is a totally unique beer that has tons of depth and an incredible smoothness from the licorice. You have to love licorice to like this beer but it tastes like the best black licorice combined with the already complex chocolate and roasted malts from the stout. One glass is just right as the big flavours and high ABV make the big bottle either a multi night drink or one to share

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Photo of BDTyre
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An awesome combination. Roasted malts, chocolate and coffee and nice anise and sweet licorice explode in the bouquet and taste of this brew.

Predominantly licorice root in the nose with a bit of milk chocolate and some green anise. Chocolate and licorice root mingle in the taste with hints of molasses, anise and even grape juice in the taste. Almost a root-beery taste. Very enjoyable. Low, but ever-preseny boozy warmth

Smooth as it warms, but too carbonated when cold. As tasty as this is, I think at 10% in a 1L bottle this is something to share. Indescribable taste - if you like anise and licorice root and beer this is a must. Get it before it is gone.

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Photo of Derek
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a tan head, good retention & lace.

S: LICORICE! Black strap molasses, more licorice, hints of underlying dark caramel, roasted nut & coffee. When I smelt it, I thought it'd be a little one dimensional (licorice).

T: Yes the licorice comes through, but there's a plethora of other flavours: black strap molasses, burnt caramel, roasted nut, espresso, biscuity malt, rye bread, very nice spicing (the hops aren't identifiable, but I'd guess there's some Willamette). There's a slight vinous quality (figs, dark caramelized raisins, dates), but the alcohol is really hidden under all the flavour. The bitterness is not at all harsh, and the crisp finish is surprising for a brew of this strength (and body). Exceptionally well-crafted.

M: Full body is smooth with a light roasted acidty, slight drying finish.

D: A surprisingly good drinker.

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Photo of BaalDagon
4.59/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Well... couldn't help but to pop the top on this behemoth of a bottle of pure pleasure! WARNING: If you don't like black licorice, STAY AWAY! As the label clearly states... its a Licorice stout! To start with, I am at complete room temp as I was advised. One might also start this brew off in the sink when popping the top... I got a little overflow as the carbonation proceeded to equalize the pressure. What came out can only be described as "black gold!" First up; the ultra sweet flavors of an uber roasted malt rocked my taste buds as hints of molasses and brown sugar rounded out my sheer pleasure up to this point. Next, following closely to the malted flavors an aromas is the wonderful smoothness of a well blended coffee! Mind you... a dark roast, but so incredibly butted to the malt that I almost missed it. However, once my taste buds grabbed a hold of the subtle current... every sip after seemed to pull it out even more! Thirdly, and living up to its name... ANISE! LOTS AND LOTS OF ANISE! Lastly, is a slight hoppy bitterness that tones the sweetness of the malt and sugars to PERFECTION! What rocks the most is that the longer it sits in your glass... the smoother it becomes! My next WARNING is that it IS a high grav brew @ 10% ABV, so be careful... IT HAS A KICK! Don't let that scare ya off though as Howe Sound Brewery has done a wonderful job in masking the alcohol in the wonderfully rich and vibrant flavors and aromas that the "Megadestroyer Double American Imperial Licorice Stout" provides

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Photo of jmasher85
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Let's see: a beer called "Megadestroyer" that is an imperial liquorice Stout...it delivers exactly as expected. I'd call it damn near the most accurate and fulfilling beers I've tasted in terms of delivering on its promise. And of course, I drank the whole swingtop behemoth in one sitting.

Strong as hell at 10%, and it's a 10% you really feel, it smells overwhelmingly like licorice. Yeah, there's some of the usual roast and coffee and cocoa smell too, but seriously, licorice. And the taste of this foamy, jet black cowboy matches. Boozy, though not too much burn. Chocolate comes out a bit stronger, but don't you worry, still plenty of anise in there. Like I said, this bad mother delivers.

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Photo of Rutager
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours a deep dark brown, very close to black with almost 2 fingers of thick tan head. Pretty nice lookin'.

Smell. Dark roasty malts, some Pernod, a little bit of molasses and dark chocolate. Pretty nice smellin'.

Taste. Nice big chocolaty roasty malts, a little anise, a bit of dark fruitiness. Fairly complex, much more so than I was expecting. Pretty nice tastin'.

Mouthfeel. Pretty full body with medium-low carbonation. Just a little warmth. Pretty nice feelin'.

Overall. Loved this one. Big and rich with a complimenting amount of licorice. Pretty nice beer.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Maudite snifter. Pours an opaque pitch black with a nice two finger brown head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma is dominated by fresh black licorice with light roasted malt and a hint of cola. Flavor is fantastic, roasted malt, lots of licorice, anise seed, caraway seed, charred coffee. Finishes with light hop bitterness and lingering licorice. Medium bodied with light creaminess. High ABV well covered, making this dangerous in such a large bottle. Must resist finishing the bottle tonight... A great stout and the best use and integration of licorice in a beer that I have ever had. Outstanding.

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Photo of leaddog
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a dark chocolate black with two fingers of dark and dense mocha head.

Smell - Molasses, roasted malts, anise seed, licorice, cocoa.

Taste - Licorice and anise seed star in the flavours, followed by the roasted malts, molasses and cocoa in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slight creaminess.

Overall - A unique flavoured stout by adding licorice and anise seed. Since those two ingredients are notoriously strong, I was concerned about their flavours being overpowering - not the case in this brew, which balanced all the flavours well. If you want to try a stout that's a little off the beaten path, give this one a taste.

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours jet black with 1 finger of light tan head which dissipates into a thin cap. No light passes through even well held directly to the light.

S: Big blooms of black dutch liquorice with deeply toasted malt. Notes of cocoa powder, roasted coffee and the scent of sassafras, what you would find in root beer.

T: Taste follows the smell, black liquorice followed by cocoa and roasted coffee. Finish is very smooth with a slight bitterness left on the tongue, reminiscent of grapefruit rind.

M: Full bodied and oily smooth.

O: This is a well balanced stout, liquorice is very evident but not overpowering allowing the other flavours of bittersweet chocolate, roasted malts and coffee to come through. Alcohol is barely noticeable. A very enjoyable sipping beer. Will be buying a second to store and try again next winter.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1L swinging pop top poured into tulip 16/3/12

A near black with just some red highlights at the edges, large light brown head has great retention slowly falling to a thick film leaving lots of unorganized lace all over

S licorice pops out pretty strong but not the final product but the root itself, reminds me of the licorice root I'd buy in the candy store in Banff as a kid, there's a little molasses and coco and a fair bit of fennel, cola and root beer

T mimics the smell pretty well, a little more earthy root notes, do they use licorice root in root beer? I'm getting more root beer notes then I would expect, reminds me a little of absinthe with the anise but without the booze, that reminds me there's no booze detected with this one

M not overly heavy for a beer this dark but decent carbonation helps its cause, still no booze and a lingering aftertaste is of nutty char

O very smooth stuff all around, looks great smells and tastes great, not much to complain about... unless of course you don't like licorice if that's the case avoid like the plague

Imperial licorice stout is quite accurate in this case, a great heavy hitter that could convince you its a lightweight if you ignored the warning signs, mellow stuff well worth looking for, cheers chickenm for sending me this bad boy

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If you don't enjoy black licorice, AVOID AT ALL COSTS. If you like black licorice, GET THIS. All other stouts that encorporate anise, I have a hard time picking it up besides the subtle anise notes that are apparent in many other stouts by nature. This beer is full-on chocolate covered black licorice and I love it. The bottle, however, is a bit intimidating. A one liter behemoth of a swing-top bottle. Danger.

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Photo of oberon
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Although not a black licorice fan by any means this be was calling my name out today so i grabbed it on a whim.Pours mor of a deep dark brown than stout black with a thick creamy lighter beige head that settles ever so slowly into a frothy mass.It smells almost like black licorice extract...that much licorice in the nose,some molasses and a hint of vanilla is present as well.A nice full creamy feel is almost airy in the mouth.Alot of beers say they are flavored or enhanced by a certain thing and Iam left wondering where it is,this one not at all.Licorice really hits home in this beer in the aromas and flavors,a bit of coffee roast and vanilla round out the palate along with some warming alcohol.This beer is no joke,I hate licorice but like this beer,go figure.The Jagermeister of beer?Maybe.

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Photo of brureview
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a jet brown-black color with less than a 1/2 finger head in a snifter.

The aroma wafts outward before I place my nose near the glass: very strong black licorice and anise.

The alcohol is strong on the back of my tongue. I possibly get a bit of hop bitterness from the mouth feel.

Taste: Deep, rich, licorice and anise. I drank this beer slowly, and put it back in the refrigerator for 5 minutes a few times. After a while I could taste the roasted malt character of this beer.

I switched to a Imperial pint glass for comparison: the snifter brings out the aroma, licorice -anise taste, and roasted malt more intensely. In a imperial pint glass, which is shown on the brewer's page, the beer is lighter bodied , with more of a malty mouth feel,
and pours a bigger head.

Drink this beer slowly in a snifter. It has a Grolsch bottle cap, so putting it back in the fridge will preserve the aromatics.

The beer well goes with a meal: I ate a spicy chicken dish which greatly enhanced its flavor.


This is my first Howe Sound Inn& Brewing company beer. They finally are being distributed in my area. I am looking forward to tasting more of their beers.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Alibi Room in Vancouver.

A: 1/2" mocha head that left a nice lacing over black liquid.

S: Heavy scent of black licorice and some yeast.

T: Huge amount of black licorice and some yeast up front which transitions to toasted malt, coffee and some alcohol.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: An easy drinking Imperial Stout whose drinkability is dependent upon how much the taster likes black licorice.

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Photo of Hornet2003
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Extreme black, tan head. Small, creamy bubbles linger on the glass.

Smell: Huge roastiness. Some chocolate and coffee but definitely a lot of licorice. Very little hop aroma, given its 75 IBUs.

Taste: Has a distinct flavour of salted black licorice, but without the saltiness. It's dark malt flavours are sweet and identifiable while the adjunct licorice is at the forefront.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy and light on the palate, given the hefty nature of this beer. Lots of malty sweetness and some decent bitterness that comes through after the sweetness subsides.

Overall: Great imperial stout by Howe Sound. Added bonus of coming in a 1L swing-top bottle...Great for sharing, or for saving to drink over a couple (few?) nights.

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Photo of Niceroad77
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got this at my local BC Liquor Store as part of a trio pack (this, Pothole Filler and Wee Beastie) that came with a free tuque.

Look: As dark and obscured as can get with two fingers of dark tan head. Medium retention. Leaves a dense and complex lacing on the glass.

Smell: Anis, faint coffee and cocoa. Sweet.

Taste: Anis, more coffee and cocoa. Good hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Very complex and well balanced.

Feel: Medium to thick bodied. Light carbonation. A little boosy.

Overall: This beer is all about balance. It is loaded with a lot of stuff and seems like the Alibi Room and Ken Diamond have found just the right proportions. Seriously recommended for "real stoutheads" and those who like black licorice. This beer is not for everyone but if you like it, it just gets better with every sip.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, almost black color with copious tan head that resolves quickly. Smells strongly of anise/black licorice, roasted malts, coffee. Leather. Tastes sweet malty forward, pleasant but not overpowering black licorice flavor, cocoa (semi-sweet), caramel and brown sugar provide a nice sweetness to the profile, coffee and just a hint of piney hops on the back end with a pleasant if a bit cloying finish. A rather sweet stout – mouth feel is medium bodied with just enough carbonation to prevent it from being syrupy.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. I was hesitant (I don’t particularly care for black licorice) – and honestly had not seen that when I picked it up at the store. But I was pleasantly surprised, though the anise smell is strong, the taste is well balanced, pleasant, and the licorice component/anise is well complemented by the other flavor profiles.

Great beer. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again. I wish it came in a small bottle (perhaps a 4 pack) because that 10% abv will sneak up on you!

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a 1 L brown bottle. Pours out a dense opaque black hue, impermeable to light. Tall dense spongy beige head that retains well and eventually settles to a thick cap.

Intense molasses and sweet black licorice on the nose, along with sweet dark malt and notes of chocolate and coffee.

More intense sweetness in the flavour, almost cloying. Yeah, sweet black licorice dominates (seems more like anise to me though, perhaps some sarsaparilla root as well), with dark malt, mild chocolate, and molasses, with some dry cocoa and coffee rounding out the finish. Astringent dark malt and alcohol appear in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, velvety and slick texture, also dry and astringent on finish, with moderate carbonation.

A real heavy hitter, and it delivers with everything mentioned on the label (hell, in the name alone!). 1 L is a bit much for anyone to tackle on their own, a friend or two to help out is well advised, or the remainder would make one hell of an expensive but kick ass marinade for ribs. Worth seeking out, however only if you enjoy licorice, as that most certainly is the powerhouse in this stout, hands down. That aside, certainly worth seeking out.

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Photo of LampertLand
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Howe Sound 'Megadestroyer Imperial Stout' @ 10% , served from a 1litre pot-stopper purchased for $10
A-pour is almost black from the bottle to glass with light tan head leaving a fine spotty lace along the snifter
S-black licorice aroma star anise , molasses , hint's of coffee
T-bold taste of anise and molasses over roasted coffee , smooth nothing bitter here
MF-full bodied at 10% , but the alcohol blended with dark malts leaves the palate slighty dry , have another sip
Ov-a true winter beer , enjoy
prost LampertLand

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - pitch black with a thumb of brown head, held at a thin cover with decent random lacing
S - big licorice root aroma backed by strong espresso and some molasses
T - the licorice is in your face along with a rich black strap molasses flavour, cold pressed coffee along with more subtle roasty flavours bring up the rear, make no mistake this is a big boy beer with big boy flavours
M - chewiness in tempered by the high ABV, has a strong bitterness of both the licorice and coffee, finishes with a warm feeling in your chest
O - this beer is huge all around, and the licorice is more pronounced than any i've sampled, definitely made for beer geeks and not for the faint of heart, and finally big props for collaborating with a cool company like Megadestroyer!

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

1L swing top bottle...Shazam! Split with my bro in law.

Pours black, all black, with a dark tan head and lots of lace.

The aroma is sure as sh*t licorice.its not too daunting, and there's plenty of roast and chocolate coming through to even the score.

Taste also starts off with a licorice kick, then some chocolate, even a soft coffee note and some brown sugar.

Full bodied, for the most part, but a smidgen lacking in overall stoutness.

Not a big fan of licorice, but it works nicely here and isn't too godawfully overwhelming.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. I picked this up on a whim while out on Cape Cod. Bought on the marketing name and bottle. I honestly missed the licorice stout text on the bottle and am a little worried as I dont really like black licorice too much, but Im willing to push forward on this beer.
The beer pours jet black into my glass and gives me a creamy tightly packed head of 3cm that never really fades beyond the last 1 cm of foam. There is dense lattice on the glass even before I sip the beer.
Aroma is molasses and some brown sugar, a bit of roasted almost burnt malt. Of course there is a solid hit of anice on the nose as expected, but it is blended with the other scents too, so not one dimensional.
First sip reveals a fairly thick body with tingly carbonation that prickles across my palate on each sip. Adds a lot of feel on each sip and gives the beer some good character.
Flavor is very rich and malty with molasses, roasted malt and some dark chocolate. I also get brown sugar and of course a bit of anice. I am surprised that the 10% doesnt show up more in terms of black pepper or heat on the swallow. The beer is drinkable and enjoyable with little hop profile showing up. It is a little sweet but certainly not cloying.
Im glad I bought this and wasnt put off by the anice which was much stronger on the nose than on the flavor. Nice Impy Stout.

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Photo of peensteen
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Jason

Jet black with some dark brown spots, thick tan head, and nice lacing along the glass. Smell is full of liquorice and anise but not so much that it dominates, still a good amount of roast and chocolate here as well as coffee, black liquorice towards the end again that leaves a bit of a fruity scent. Taste is roasty with tons of liquorice but again never seems to dominate due to the fact that there are giant roast and dark chocolate flavours here and to a lesser extent coffee, finishes bitter sweet with a liquorice aftertaste. Light carbonation, sticky medium body, almost felt like cough syrup consistency at times as well. I liked this much more than I had expected since I am not the biggest fan of black liquorice or anise flavours, rather enjoyable and something I would probably pick up my own bottle of, the second best liquorice beer I have had behind Labyrinth.

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Photo of JasonLovesBeer
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Jet black, somewhat inky, pretty thick. Even at the edges there's not a lot of light getting through - what does shows a dark reddish brown. Head was modest, medium brown.

S: Huge licorice / star anise - it's really nice but a little one dimensional too. Some hops and alcohol prickling as well.

T: The licorice is more balanced on the palate, combined with brown sugar - this is still pretty sweet despite the 75 IBU. Some sweet cherry and plum perhaps too.

M: Syrupy thick, not as thick as say a Dark Lord or anything but beyond the average RIS.

O: I would love to try a barrel aged version of this, I hope Howe Sound does it sometime. It seems to contain the sweetness (and the hops) to go the distance. As it is, it's delicious anyway - especially if you like licorice!

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Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large shared bottle with a flip top ceramic top.
Pours thick and dark with a good head.

Aroma -back licorice and fainter black bread

Flavor - dominated by black licorice but with the stout showing as well. The licorice prominent but is not as strong as in, say, black jelly beans. Lightly sweet at an appropriate level.

Overall: easily recomended for fans of licorice and stouts.

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Megadestroyer Imperial Licorice Stout from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.
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