Bourbon Barrel Aged Toonilla Coffee Vanilla Cream Stout | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Toonilla Coffee Vanilla Cream StoutBourbon Barrel Aged Toonilla Coffee Vanilla Cream Stout
Bourbon Barrel Aged Toonilla Coffee Vanilla Cream StoutBourbon Barrel Aged Toonilla Coffee Vanilla Cream Stout

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: English Sweet / Milk Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 114
Photo of bobhits
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pitch black, wonderful lacing.

Overall coffee notes, surprisingly little abv for a bourbon barrel aged beer. Doesn't add a lot of really valuable character to it. I'd rather just do without the bourbon without it adding more power.

It's a nice beer but it isn't doing much for me.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours jet black in color with a one-finger creamy dark brown head that reduces to a ring around the edge

S- roasted coffee mixes with sweet milk sugars and vanilla, along with notes of chocolate, charred malt and light undertones of bourbon barrel

T- roasted earthy coffee along with charred malt up front, followed by a milky sweetness that is enhanced by the vanilla. The finish brings out the barrel, with notes of oak, bourbon & caramel. Coffee and bourbon on the linger

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues throughout into the finish

O- solid BA stout, vanilla is subtle but plenty of barrel

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Photo of bl00
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black with a collar of mocha colored head.
Smells of chocolate, coffee, some vanilla on the back end.
Taste is dark chocolate, coffee, cola. Back end of bourbon and coffee.
Mouthfeel is fairly thick but carb feels a bit too much for a stout.
Overall this beer is solid- not excellent but acceptable. I'll own that there is no date on this beer, so the coffee elements may be past their prime.

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Photo of maximum12
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It’s questionable beer night! Is it just me? Maybe it’s the awful beer name. I don’t know. It just sounds like it sucks. 12 oz. bottle that I hope doesn’t suck.

The pour is stout black. The nose is vanilla, chocolate, touch of smoke. Doesn’t smell questionable.

Toonilla – Bourbon Barrel Aged isn’t repulsive – victory! Wallop of vanilla, & it’s hard to tell if that’s the beanage or the barrel. But it’s lovely, & wrapped lovingly around strong bourbon notes that seem likely amplified by the relatively modest ABV. Nice roast, solid bitter chocolate, with a finish that runs into heavy cream. Very sweet. Which makes it drinkable. To me. But I had sixteen cavities by the time I left my teens. Maybe I have a problem.

Surprisingly good, & I ended up drinking the whole bottle when my wife recoiled in horror after the first sip. Her taste is questionable. Maybe that’s what this night is about. I’m going to go tell her that. BRB.

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Photo of stortore
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. A 2017 bottle. Had 8/24/17.

Pours a dark brown, oily looking and opaque, with a short, quickly dissipating head and spotty, oily lacing. Aromas of big coffee, roasted malt, vanilla, oak, molasses, caramel, cocoa, some chocolate. Smells really good, but something seems to be missing... The taste also leads with coffee- less than the nose, then roasted malt, vanilla, molasses, caramel, cocoa, light lactose. A good amount of bitterness up front that fades as it warms. Very light bourbon when it really warms. Smooth, a solid medium to full body, well carbonated.

This is really good, like the regular version, lots of good coffee. But, the barrels are almost a total no-show, and that means we have paid more, for no reason. Have two bottles gathering dust, so we’ll see if the bourbon shows up later.

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Photo of BenHoppy
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not a bad take and best beer from Dark Horse. A bourbon forward coffee vanilla stout that has a shelf life of 3 months after that it becomes a mess. However aged 3 months is more favorable than having it fresh as long as its aged in the fridge for that period of time.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark syrupy pour, thick and sappy. Nice beige-almond head of 1/2 finger in the nonic pint.

Aromas of vanilla, hot caramel, hot fudge, butterscotch, root beer, coffee beans, pepper, cocoa, and roasted barley. Very complex, very sweet.

Flavor brings a little less complexity and focuses on a coffee-meets-root beer profile. Lots of coffee bean, vanilla, sarsaparilla, peppery caramel, with hints of hot fudge, finishing on more coffee. Very faint boozy burn, but not much going on in the way of bourbon.

Medium bodied with a peppery-semi chalky feel; flirts with heavy bodied territory here and there. Light boozy burn, nothing significant, and has a mildly dry finish.

Overall, a pretty good stout, nothing I'd go berserk trying to find, but I'd say it's a fair beer at its price point, maybe knock it down a couple bucks around the $13 arena with Plead The 5th standard.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5


bottle to snifter.

LOOK: thick dark black, like motor oil, pour. no head
AROMA: sweet earthy, smokey, vanilla, licorice, root beer
TASTE: root beer, vanilla, wood, touch of bourbon whiskey but subtle. Touch of coffee sneaks in.
FEEL: full full body, little carbonation.

Really tasty stout. I always love a good root beer so this hits some familiar notes for me.


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Photo of Grizzarky
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Courtesy of @blackop555 for NBS BIF #6

13 oz bottle, No readable date, poured into 13 oz tulip

A: dark brown, nearly black with a thin mocha head that settled into a nice little island as oppose to the more common ring.

S: Fresh coffee grounds, bakers cocoa, bourbon, slight vanilla

T: taste is dominated by fresh coffee grounds, slight bourbon and vanilla, with a lingering bakers cocoa in the finish

M: medium body, rich and creamy, low carb

O: flavors are pretty straight forward, nothing overly complex. I do appreciate a nice Bourbon barrel stout thats not in the double digits abv.

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Photo of Czequershuus
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a rich black with a smallish dark brown head. The aroma is intense, with a strong soy sauce umami quality, as well as coffee, caramel, root beer, vanilla, cinnamon, marshmallow, hot fudge, and butterscotch. The flavor is less intense than the aroma , with strong notes of fudge and butterscotch, a mild coffee and cream flavor, and a slightly bitter, roasty finish. The mouthfeel is fairly light for the style, with strong small bubble carbonation. Overall this is a slightly disappointing beer - there is nothing really wrong with it, the flavors are pleasant and tasty, but it just lacks a bit of oomph, especially with the lighter body.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark brown with a thin tan head. No lacing whatsoever.

S - Aroma is vanilla, dark chocolate and light bourbon.

T - The taste is coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate, roasted malts and light bourbon notes.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Soft creamy mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - Really nice coffee stout. The vanilla and bourbon flavors are a little more subdued but a pretty tasty beer nonetheless.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Dark Horse's Bourbon Barrel Aged Toonilla Coffee Vanilla Cream Stout for $4.29 at The Lager Mill. I've never had the base beer before, but since that one was available I thought I would start off with this one, so lets see how it goes. 2017 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it's got a nice design and it's a little eye catching. It poured a dark black color that didn't change when held to the light and it had a fingers worth of darker tan head that was almost brown and it died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it didn't leave any lacing behind. This is a nice looking beer, but I wish it had some better lacing.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with the coffee being the first to show up and it imparts a nice dark roasted coffee aroma with some nice mocha aspects to it with some caramel showing up in the background and it goes into the vanilla which is noticeable, but not too overpowering. Up next comes the malts which impart some roasted malts, dark malt, sweet malt and slightly smokey aromas that go into the bourbon barrels which impart some light oak and some nice bourbon like aromas with a little bit of alcohol coming through. This beer has a pretty nice aroma, pretty much all the aspects that I was looking for showed up.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but a little lighter and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with the coffee still being the first to show up and imparts all the same coffee and mocha aspects that it did in the aroma and it's followed by the malts which impart all the same aspects, but it's slightly less smokey this time and it goes into the alcohol which is noticeable and a little boozy, but not too overpowering. Up next comes the vanilla which shows up as much as it did in the aroma and it works well with this beer and it's followed by the bourbon barrels which shows up a little more this time, but the oak aspects are still a little on the lighter side. On the finish there's hardly any bitterness with some sweetness and alcohol taking it's place and they linger into the aftertaste with some bourbon, light roasted malt and coffee flavors. This is a pretty nice looking beer, all the aspects that I was looking for showed up and no aspect ever got to be too overpowering.

M- Fairly smooth, a little fizzy, a little on thin and watery side, crisp, on the slightly thicker side of being medium bodied with a higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is nice, but I wish it was thicker with less carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and it's a nice example of the style, it had pretty much all the aspects that I was looking for and for the most part I thought the balanced was nice. This beer had nice drinkability, one is enough for me. What I like the most about this beer is the aroma and taste, they are both nice and the highlights of this beer. What I like the least about this beer is the appearance and mouthfeel, they both could use a little bit of work. I would buy this beer again, but it isn't something I would stock up on. All in all I liked this beer, but I didn't love it and I think with a little more work on certain aspects and this could be a very nice beer. It's not a favorite Dark house beer and it's a nice example of the style. Nice job guys, this is a solid beer, keep it up.

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Photo of Vidblain
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very low carb on this - just the smallest hint of a head on the beer. I poured this while a bit cold, so the first taste had a strange dryness to it. As it warmed up, a lot more bourbon warmth came through. The wood and barrel notes were quite evident. I liked this, though that strange dryness isn't pleasant - could be improved upon. Generally speaking, it's very good. Stumbled across this purely by chance - so glad that I managed to grab one.

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Photo of Masonz223
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell: Fruity coffee. Dark berries. A touch of dark roasted malt. Light vanilla. Chared oak,coco powder,along with a faint hint of bourbon. Not really Barrel forward,but it smells nice.

Taste: Right upfront light roasted fruity coffee, dark berries, coco powder. Middle of the mouth light vanilla, dark chocolate, dark roasted malt. In the finish you get some charred oak a hint of pipe tobacco and a little bit of coffee roast.

Feel: Medium Body. A moderate amount of creaminess. Smooth, a touch of warmth in the chest as the beer goes down.

Overall: A nice beer Wish the vanilla and barrel characteristics were more dominant. Didn't really expect a lot from this and was pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of Holderness
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L -- Pours a black body with a remarkably dark brown and fizzy head produced with well-aerated pour. Zero retention or lacing -- the head dissipates immediately, and in a rather unsettling fashion
S -- Big smoke, barrel, bourbon, coffee, vanilla, and dark chocolate
T -- Lots of roasty flavors of coffee (not too stale, big plus), bittersweet chocolate, lactose, and a decent alcohol burn for the ABV. Not too much bourbon action going on. Finishes semi-sweet
F -- Fizzy, pop-rock mouthfeel due to the high carbonation. Fairly smooth and well-rounded palate. A little watery around the edges
O -- Unique brew. Feels much higher ABV than it is. It has a strange carbonation to it, which causes both the appearance and the mouthfeel to suffer some


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Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The stouts of Dark Horse have always trended roastier, drier and more robust than usual and their milk stout of imperial status attempts to temper all that. Woven together with lactose and vanilla, the spice and unfermentable sweetness should do the trick. But then copious amounts of coffee brings them right back on track.

Toonilla pours with the common espresso black as do many of their stouts. A loose honeycomb froth pulls from the dark ale underneath with its own mocha stain lacing. Bold roast coffee abounds as the roasty focus of the stout swoons the nose. Burnt sugars, grilled fruit and nutty aromas lead to an initial taste of coffee, cream and scorched sweetness.

The malt sweetness of burnt sugars, toffee and brown sugar begins to lift from the middle palate because of the stout's expressive carbonation and creaminess. With a film of milk sugar and vanilla to soften the palate, additional tastes of bittersweet chocolate, black walnut and smoldering embers massage the late palate. Nuances of currant, grape and fennel offer a light vinous fruit and earthen spice as the ale trails away in a long and roasty finish.

Full bodied but trending dry, the beer fades nicely into a daringly drinkable finish with peps of peppercorn and ash to tease the tastebuds and after palate. Echoes of light smoke and char pull ahead of the creamy milkiness for a pleasant taste of burnt marshmallows in retrospect.

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Photo of rypkr
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer perplexes me. It looks, tastes, and feels like it's 12%+

Potent rich roasty flavor, absurd alcohol heat for 7.5% yet thin in body

Flavors are cream, vanilla, cocoa, burnt chocolate, astringent alcohol.

It's almost like you took a midrange abv roasty stout like guiness foreign extra and dumped a half of an ounce of tasteless grain alcohol in it... its fooling me into thinking it's stronger than it is yet with not necessarily much more flavor. It's like a white Russian, but brown, and beer.

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Photo of Blackop555
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black. Short, thick, brown head fades fast to a lasting ring.

Smells vanilla, chocolate, roasted malt, bourbon. Loses bourbon smell after a while.

Tastes roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, light bourbon touches, light alcohol heat and light vanilla. Finish is semi sweet with roasty linger. Lighter medium body and smooth medium carbonation.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A very nice barrel aged Stout on the lighter drinking end of the spectrum. An appealingly inky black body with a small tan head and minimal lacing; eventually quite still in the glass. Aroma is short on coffee but big on vanilla and oak; flavor follows suit, with generous sweetness, light roast and oakiness, prominent vanilla. Bourbon characteristics are not strong but they're present and the coffee is understated (faded perhaps?).

Medium body and medium low carbonation contribute to a smooth and satisfying feel. This is not bourbon county coffee and one shouldn't go into this expecting that. However it's a very nicely done middleweight stout that will definitely appeal to fans of vanilla. As it warms and opens up it hints at the meaty flavors encountered in some smoked beers without going over the top in that direction. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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Photo of BB1313
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 6/23/17. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours black with a small dark tan head that fades leaving solid retention and little to no lacing. The aromas have very nice coffee notes. Roasted malts are there. Vanilla and chocolate is there. Hints of anise/black licorice. Zero bourbon barrel aromas. It smells very nice minus the bourbon being nonexistent. The flavors basically follow the nose. Nice coffee notes along with more vanilla. It's slightly sweet, but roasty at the same time. More hints of chocolate. Mild hints of oak. Once again the bourbon goes completely unnoticed. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's fluffy and smooth.

This is a very nice coffee stout, but it's a very weak bourbon barrel-aged brew.

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Photo of BeersAndBeards
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

While the regular Toonilla beer is a favorite of mine, the Bourbon Barrel Aged counterpart left a little bit to desire, for my personal taste. It didn't separation from it's regular form to wow me in this setting.

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Photo of bbtkd
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Toonilla Coffee Vanilla Cream Stout, 7.5% ABV. Pours black and medium viscosity, with only a little head. Nose is bourbon, coffee, and vanilla. Taste follows, plus oak and chocolate with a moderate bitter close. Excellent mouthfeel, overall excellent.

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Photo of Benjolovesbeer
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I originally gave this beer a 2.78 when fresh but as I let it sit in the fridge for a month or so flavors improved. I can now taste the bourbon and vanilla combo and is quite enjoyable. I will save these for the winter as I do believe the bourbon and vanilla notes will shine even more. I still don't think it's the best of its style nor do I believe it should be $17 a 4 pack nor do I care too much for Darkhorse nonetheless with some age this night be Darkhorse's finest just needs some age. Bottle says keep refrigerated so age it in fridge.

When fresh I felt it had slight coffee flavor with zero bourbon and vanilla notes but had strong vanilla bourbon smell. Month or so later smell and taste is more intense.

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Photo of superspak
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 8/18/2016. Pours pitch black color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy dark brown head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, nutty medium roast coffee, vanilla, cream, toffee, bourbon, toasted oak, and dark bread; with lighter notes of coconut, smoke, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of roast/bready malt, coffee, vanilla, lactose, and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, nutty medium roast coffee, vanilla, cream, toffee, bourbon, toasted oak, and dark bread; with lighter notes of coconut, smoke, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal hop and roasted bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, nutty coffee, vanilla, cream, toffee, bourbon, toasted oak, dark bread, light coconut/smoke, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of roast/bready malt, coffee, vanilla, lactose, and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great roasted bitter/sweet balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Touch of dryness from roast/hop bitterness as well. Medium carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky, and slightly chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is awesome. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 7.5%, with zero barrel booziness. Overall this is an awesome BBA cream stout! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of roast/bready malt, coffee, vanilla, lactose, and bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. Completely identical to the base beer, with added bourbon barrel notes. Very well balanced and not overwhelming on the barrels. A really enjoyable offering.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from LambicPentameter. Bottled 8/18/16. Served in my trusty Phish snifter.

Pours flat black with a three quarter finger cap of mocha head. Once the foam is gone a couple spots decorate the surface and a thin rail around the edges fail to impart any lace.

Smells of soft bourbon, black coffee, burnt sugar, vague vanilla and some charred wood.

Tastes of lightly bourbon-laced black coffee, oaky char, burnt caramel and some toasted vanilla bean. The barrel adds a subdued but pleasant sweet counterpoint to the fairly roasty base.

Smooth medium body with restrained carbonation. Aftertaste of bourbon-seared caramel coffee beans.

Dark Horse has a marked improvement upon the base with Bourbon Barrel Toonilla. It still might not reach the top tier in my book but the barrel sweetness helps round out the roasty bitter base.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Toonilla Coffee Vanilla Cream Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 114 ratings