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Peak Organic Hop Noir | Peak Organic Brewing Company

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Peak Organic Hop NoirPeak Organic Hop Noir

Brewed by:
Peak Organic Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Hop Noir is a delectable Black IPA, dripping with piney, aromatic Centennial hops. The malt base is dark and rich, anchored by organic black malt. This provides a strong foundation for the extravagant kettle hopping and dry-hopping that this beer experiences. Enjoy with a night-light.

98 IBU

Added by mcallister on 02-18-2011

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Reviews: 127 | Ratings: 335
Photo of DrDemento456
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep dark black with only a slight bit of clearance at the base of the glass. The head was just a 1/4 inch but lace ring seems to stick around for quite a bit.

S - Smells of mild dank hops, touch of roast and ash.

T - Bitter abrasive yet balanced with roasty and bittersweet chocolate undertones. Hops do cling to the palate for quite a bit an aggressive hopped ale right in the reigns of Stones 16th anniversary ale.

M - Medium, slightly oily , bitter aggressive.

Overall quite a step up from their regular IPA it seems more balanced with a black malt profile. Worth checking out.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.36/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into room-temp pint glass.

A- Noir it is, jet black with a fluffy tan head. Lots of rings of sticky lace.

S- Well, if it's "dripping with piney, aromatic Centennial hops", as the brewer claims, they are hard to sniff out. A bit of pine hop armoa as it warms, but not much. Dark and roasted malts are what I get; the regulars, coffee and chocolate.

T- Sweet roasted malts like above. Some dark fruits.

M- Thin and slippery, well carbonated. More like a black lager than a heartier ale.

O- This beer improves as it warms, but a good hoppy ale doesn't run from the cold.

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Photo of Dope
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle is aged a bit unfortunately. No bottle date so I have no idea how long. Probably a year.

A: Very dark brown pour but not quite black. Big fluffy chocolate milk colored head. Fades slowly, very slowly. Nice island of foam persists. Excellent fluffy lacework left behind too.

S: Mild roasted malt with a bit of char. Some mild pine with it and a little dark fruit. Kinda bland.

T: Mild char up front with hints of dark chocolate. Hint of pine in there just for a second. Kind of a chalky char in the middle and into the finish. Chalky and dry on the back end.

M: Medium bodied but chalky and drying (especially in the aftertaste).

O: Pretty plain and somewhat bland black ale. Very little hoppiness, I blame the possible age on the bottle. Having said that, they didn't bother to bottle date so there's no way to know anyway. I will give it the benefit of the doubt but regardless, it's pretty middle-of-the-road.

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Photo of jmerloni
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black, muddy black coloration with big tan head that lasts a long time and laces well on the glass.

S - Mocha, molasses malt, coffee, roasty, booze.

T - A nice mix of dark ale flavors. Roasted coffee, some dark chocolate, raisins, pine, hops.

M - Carbonated appropriately. Hops linger on the afterbite. Pretty dry overall, though. Medium bodied.

D - a solid offering. Will be exploring this brewery further.

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Photo of brureview
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured in a pint glass. 1 finger head with some lacing.

Color- jet black.

Aroma- piney, but not strong.

mouth feel: a pleasant prelude to the finish

Taste: an interesting, distinct pine- very smooth finish, but not prominent.

As the beer warms up, the subtle balance is noticeable.

A smooth, very drinkable and balanced beer.

Best at a warmer temp.

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Photo of GuyIncognito
3.06/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very disappointed in this one. I like Peak's other beers, and I love the black IPA style. This tasted like a stout, or maybe a coffee stout. No cascade finish, no crispness despite the dark color, nothing. If it had been labelled correctly as a stout, I still wouldn't have been that impressed.

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Photo of smcolw
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good bar pour head, leaves a solid ring of lace with each sip. Near black where no light shall pass.

Tootsie roll chocolate smell, semi-sweet but with lots of chocolate. Slight "clean glass smell".

Lots of dark toasted malt flavor up front. There's a decent hop kicker. This creates a very good balance. Rich body with a high carbonation that tantalizes. Long dark aftertaste of strongly caramelized sugars and puckering bitter hop.

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Photo of Kendo
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the 22 oz, gold foiled (but twist-off) bottle into a pint glass. Body is black. Small khaki/light-tan head on top. Some splotchy lace.

S: At first blush, I got some molasses and roasted coffee. Molasses dissipates after awhile, leaving charred coffee beans and roasted barley malt.

T: Whoa - big time bitterness. Over-roasted barley malt and char combine with a wallop of bitterness on the back of the tongue, which really lingers as a palate-destroying bitterness. Taste of campfire smoke at the back end too. Unlike the best of the style, this one lacks subtlety or nuance - rather than containing sweet chocolate malt or modestly roasted barley in combination with a citrusy or juicy hop flavor, all I'm getting is a combined clobbering of bitterness - from the burnt, charred malt and the hops - on the taste buds.

M: Medium in heft. Carbonation is about what you want.

O: Too one-dimensional and leaning towards the heavily roasted/charred malt flavors. Not undrinkable for me (I like a nice roasty porter, for instance), but I could see how others may feel differently.

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Photo of flagmantho
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Best by November 2012.

Appearance: extremely dark body, nearly completely black, which lets a few ruby highlights through when held up to the light. Head pours a thick finger of frothy dark tan foam. An attractive beer.

Smell: sweet malty aroma with a nice fruity character and a hint of chocolate. It smells almost like a Belgian strong dark ale, but with the addition of tons of citrusy and slightly piney hops. What an interesting concoction!

Taste: strong hop flavor right off the bat, slowly moving into the sweeter, maltier body. This beer has a very interesting strong ale character to it; it definitely takes advantage of this ill-defined style category. I like it.

Mouthfeel: medium-thick body with a good level of carbonation and a nice, silky smooth creaminess. Dig it.

Overall: this is an interesting beer; I'm glad I picked this up. I don't know if it's an everyday drinker, but it's definitely worth trying.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

@ Rock Harbor happy hour, Rockland ME (they have free, bad-ass potato chips by the way).

Smells like burnt brownie batter, char and hot peppermint shcnapps. Tastes like acidic char and intense minty/grapefruit hops. A tad astringent and hot.


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Photo of wedge
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

@ Raleigh Times

Dark, nearly black color topped by a creamy tan ring of a head. Fruity hop stickiness in the nose with some sweet coffee and resin. Juicy citrus and pine hop flavor upfront followed by moderate sweet, roasted malt and a hint of chocolate. Fruity and bitter - not a tremendous amount of malt character, but enough to just hit the style. Medium bodied. I was surprised to see this listed at 8.2% as it felt "smaller" than that. Pretty good stuff...

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: pours a deep brown that is completely transparent when held up to the light, pours with a two finger head that is very creamy and frothy and is a nice mocha color and lingers nicely before dissipating and leaving a really nice amount of lacing
S: very nice floral hop note up front back up nicely by a great malt depth that has a slight black coffee note
T: wow, very roasty up front, great malt character and depth, nice bittering note from the hops, not as much of he floral note comes through in the taste but there is a slight hop presence, leaves a lingering malt note on the palate, once again like black coffee
M: slight carbonation tingle, nice and crisp, leaves just the slightest dryness on the palate, pretty thin but also creamy
O: incredibly well balanced between the bitterness and the hop notes, great depth, i feel as though peak has really been stepping up their game lately and theyve really mastered the use of hops across the board

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Photo of omokoro
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle is stamped best before December '12.

This is my second go round with a Black IPA, also known as an American Black Ale, and also known as a Cascadian Dark Ale. Pours a dark brown with a quickly dissipating tan head. It smells good. A shot in the dark I would say that there are either chinook or amarillo hops, I cannot distinguish between the two, perhaps both. There is some hop funk, resin, and maybe some grapefruit. I am getting some roasted barley. Wow that is exactly what I imagined a black ipa to tastee like. Thhere is a lot of chocolate and a lot of hop flavor. The last black ipa I tried tried tasted like a moderately hopped porter. A lot of grapefruit and resinous flavors. It does finish a bit hot but I do not mind that quality. Seeing as though I can taste both the dark elements of this beer; the dark fruit, the chocolate; and the IPA qualities of this beer, distinctly, I consider this beer a success. And I am quite sure I used those semi-colons incorrectly. I have been quite happy with the two beer I have tried from this brewery.

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Photo of berliner07
4.88/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one was a wild, wonderful ride. The appearance is PITCH black. Almost intimidating. A really intriguiging citrus character shines in the nose. I love Citra hops. Hops hit the palate first, followed by a mix of smoke, black and malt sweetness. This is a very unique malt profile in that the dark roasted flavors and the sweet malt flavors combine for a wonderful experience. The citra hops ride on top the entire time. Bitter, but the right amount to stand up to the malt. Yum.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle 

A- Pours a dark black color with a light fan head with nice retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is highlighted by fresh resinous hops with some roasted malt in the background. Very nice!

T- The taste is dark roasted malts with a good dose of hop bitterness in the finish. Delicious!

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodies with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, I really enjoyed Hop Noir! Great beer!

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Photo of eod81
3.07/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As a fan of dark beers, IPAs and Peak Organic, I found this to be a real let-down.

A- Noir might be a slight exaggeration, but this sure is a dark beer. Some reddish transparency in my skinny pilsner glass. Handsome head of about an inch dissipates quickly, but leaves dazzling lacing with each sip: fine, even bubbles in an appetizing golden brown foam.

S- Nothing special in the nose here, pungent hops and some burnt caramel notes.

T- This is where I'm lost; some charred flavor with the slightest hint of chocolate and coffee, but not enough to suggest a stout or porter character. Very sour up front, but then the hops get lost in the overwhelming roast flavor. Certainly some citrus here, but it's really not jiving with the darkness. No real taste of alcohol, though, even as it warms up: impressive for an 8.2% ABV.

M- Neither here nor there. Not too syrupy, might benefit from more carbonation. Really in keeping with the IPA nature, maybe a touch sticky.

O- I would try a bottle but skip a 6-pack. I wouldn't be surprised if this one didn't return to the shelves next year. Maybe they'll keep the name but ditch the mediocre recipe, I've seen Peak shine before.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Here's a return to an old review I made over a year ago on what was then an emerging style in the popular craft beer scene (I do believe this was my first ever Black ale. Since that time, I'd like to think that my experience of sampling black IPAs have led to me being able to better discern some variations and originalities within the style. I picked up a 6'er of this at Niko's Wine Corner in Snellville for $9.99.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served at 43º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pouring this bottle led to a frothy light brown head with an average quality retention, settling to a very thin surface in a few short minutes. Lacing is thin and spotty but still mostly there. Body color is nearly black to the naked eye, although I can pick up some deep brown near the surface and some mahogany tones where the light gets through. Head quality is stunted a bit which bumps the appearance down but the lack of any other glaring flaws makes the appearance acceptable. Overall, this is a decent looking Black IPA, but nothing spectacular. 3.5

(Smell) Most people will certainly notice the bold buttery flavors in the aroma which really smack you in the face, but underneath are some milder fruit tones, like blueberry, peach and plum. Hops are mild in the nose, masked by the boldness of the malt bill, but the hop quality is slightly piney, slightly floral. There is a slight alcohol aroma but it is largely masked by the diacetyl-like aromas of this beer. Unfortunately the balance suffers some due to the limited hop presence and most noses are going to be turned away by this aroma. I find it enjoyable enough, as I am offended by little aromas a beer could present, and while it is not ideally balanced and lacking in hop aroma, the sweet buttery malts and subtle fruit qualities are two uncommon qualities of this aroma that I find enjoyable, and contribute to a unique aroma for the style. 3.5

(Taste) A lot of what the nose reveals carries over to the mouth. Fortunately the diacetyl is toned down a notch but is still very much there. Unfortunately, the fruit is hard to find in the beer at all, masked by a smoky finish with a subtle bit of grassy hop flavor. The balance continues to be a bit out of whack, with a malt heavy presence and little hop action, even less than in the nose. No particular point of the brew stands out from the rest, and although it's not terrible, it's not particularly impressive either, with limited flavors and limited hops. My choice favorite moment is the charcoal-like finish, which is more enjoyable than it sounds, although not perfect, and the poorly hidden alcohol peeks through a few times too many, reminding me as to why it's not always ideal to brew an 8% beer if you can't hide it well. Second time around I find this beer a bit disappointing, but it's not terrible. I have better options and are willing to go to them first. 3

(Mouthfeel) Mouthfeel is a bit creamy with a little bit of air on the tongue. Alcohol presence is medium-high. Body is low-medium. I found the texture to be a decent pairing for the taste, although the lack of being able to conceal the alcohol and a limited body depth impact the score negatively as well. 3

(Overall) I'm glad I've found better options in this last year. Second time around I'm finding a very intense diacetyl character in this beer which is hard to avoid or overlook. Hops are hardly there, and really could bring the flavor around if they had more of a starring role. The fruit esters that I thought I were picking up turned out to play hardly any role in the beer either. While it's nothing majorly offensive, I think it's a gamble that many may not enjoy this beer because of it's wacky balance (or really the lack of it), and the lack of hops. I found that aside from the butter, this was one of the mildest black ales on the market, and aside from some nice charcoal smoke in the finish, it doesn't have much going for it. With some tweaks, it can likely go in the right direction, but right now its not particularly impressive, and I'd recommend looking elsewhere to fulfill your Black IPA fix. 3

Peak Organic Brewing Company's
Hop Noir

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single finger head and nice lacing on a jet black body. Aroma is nice resin, pine, licorice, mint and earthy hop notes. Flavor is very grassy and floral hop notes. Chocolate and roasted malts cone in at the finish. Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Overall a very nice beer for the style. Nice hop character and strength.

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Photo of shand
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was looking at Peak's page, and thought "well, haven't I reviewed Hop Noir?" Yes, yes I did, but while BA was down, and I never got around to uploading this review.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Pours a dark brown with a head that quickly drops. The aroma is fairly big, it’s got some syrupy, roasted malts and strong citrus and tropical hops. The big aromas from the nose kinda cancel each other out when it comes to the tasting, making this just a bitter, hoppy black ale as opposed to the separation of flavors I got on the nose. It tastes good, but it’s really a one-note kind of thing. The mouthfeel is a bit rocky, but it works, and the drinkability is good. It’s a bit of a strange black ale, but I think it works.

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Photo of ToasterChef
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A cellar temp bottle is poured into a pint glass.

The beer is dark, obviously. It's a deep brown color, opaque, with a big brown foam head. Decent lacing.

The aroma is a good mixture of roasted malts and bitter hops. The hops have some pine notes. There is also a little bit of brown sugar sweetness that I can smell.

The beer has a typical flavor for the style; it's hoppy like an IPA, but there is a roasted malt element not found it's lighter colored cousin. I get flavors of pine resin, burnt toast, roots, and something similar to black licorice.

This is a heavier beer with average carbonation. It's a little sticky and leaves behind a noticeable coat that doesn't hold too much flavor. There isn't much of a tingling sensation from the hop oils.

This is a fine example of this newer style of beer. I'm glad it's brewed localy, which is the main reason I purchased it, but I didn't enjoy it as much as Peak's regular IPA.

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Photo of DM1293
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Take an atypical piney sort of IPA.

Mix it with the mouthfeel and bitter finish of a stout.

That is pretty much my impression of this brew. Its not bad, but its as strong as its darkness would imply; theres a thick mouthfeel afterward that lets that bitterness work a while after you take a sip. The hop flavor is fine, but its pretty potent. Not a refreshing beer either, the roasty taste counters the hop bite.

Don't try downing it in large quantities, your tastebuds will get rocked. This feels like a sipping beer, and that 8.2% ABV is no joke.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark, indeed. Only a brownish red tint at the edges, otherwise this beer appears black. The head is small, and slightly tan, with a moderate retention and a relatively small amount of lacing.

S: Piney hops are the main aroma, though under that there is a coffee malt smell. I wish there was a little more to smell than there is.

T: Same as the aroma, there is a heavy hit of the piney hops, and running underneath that the flavor of coffee, toffee malts. They provide a nice backbone for the hops. The flavor is very well balanced, and the depth of flavor is good, I just wish that there was more of it. The 8.2% ABV is nowhere to be found.

M: Moderate body, moderate carbonation, rather oily mouthfeel.

O: A pretty good black IPA. It balances the flavor well, and the hops are nice. I'm not blown away, but it's tasty.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle that indicates best by Dec 2012.

A: Pours an opaque black in color with some reddish brown hints when held up to the light. The beer has a finger tall tan head that reduces by about 50% and still covers the entire surface of the beer. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Some aromas of dark roasted malts, some aromas of charred wood, but the dominant aroma is of pine + resin hops (and lots of them).

T: The flavor starts with the dark roasted malts with some subtle bittersweet chocolate and charred wood. The flavor finishes with a full on assault of pine hop and bitterness leaving a resin like coating of bitterness on the tongue which last well after you swallow the mouthful.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Lightly creamy.

O: The alcohol which is no lightweight by any stretch is very well hidden making this beer quite easy to drink. A little too high in alcohol for me to claim as a sessionable beer, it is certainly a delicious and refreshing beer that I enjoyed. I would also like to enjoy this one again.

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Photo of albertjr21
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best Before Date: 12/2012
Enjoyed in a pint glass on 3-19-12

"Noir" would best describe the blackness that lurks beneath a tan head. Pine hops assault my nasal passage in an aroma that most reminds me of a freshly roasted and slightly burnt smore. A big dose of pungent herbal pine flavored hop bitterness works its way around the palate with a solid roasted malt body to complement.

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Photo of Sharkophile
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a growler into a pint glass. Appears near pitch black, with dark ruby highlights and a large tan head with good retention and lacing.

S: Smells excellent, with aromas of roasted malt, charcoal, alcohol and a resiny hop.

T: Mirrors the nose, with chocolate and coffee underpinning flashes of dark fruit and alcohol, and then a resinous grapefruit, pine and earthy hop flavor takes hold and leads to a gentle bitterness and a dry finish. Ashy taste unfolds in the finish, reminiscent of a good porter.

M: Light to medium body and light carbonation makes the mouthfeel a bit too light and watery. Could use brighter carbonation too. That's really the only thing to complain about...

O: A very solid black IPA, it would be right up there with Blue Point Toxic Sludge and Stone Self-Righteous if the mouthfeel was imporved. Good beer nonetheless, and had a bit of chocolate towards the end of the glass which was very complimentary.

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Peak Organic Hop Noir from Peak Organic Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 335 ratings.
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