Pappy's Dark | Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant

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Pappy's DarkPappy's Dark

Brewed by:
Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant
Oregon, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Brewed with six malts of Belgian & British origin. Bourbon in color with a very complex and interesting malt profile. Matured in 9 & 10 year old bourbon barrels for 2-4 months. Bright aromas of bourbon, fresh baked bread, caramel, and oak. Velvety texture, rich malt and bourbon flavours with an enticingly warm bourbon finish. 10% alc/vol 40 IBU's"

Added by seanthornton152 on 05-28-2010

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Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 123
Photo of Dansrc51
4.65/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this both in the bottle and on tap. Feb 2012 release. pour released vanilla, carmel and oak notes from the aging process. Mouth feel was smooth and creamy, and perhaps a little too sweet. Bourbon balance was exceptional and bitterness was just an undercurrent. Overall, I really like this beer. One of the better bourbon aged beers I've had.

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Photo of TreeBear
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2011 vintage cellared properly and showing no signs of infection. Pours a dark amber color. Smells like bourbon, caramel, raisins. Taste is nuanced and deep. Unlike some of the more popular barrel aged beers this is refreshing. I drank half a bottle of this and didn't feel like I was hit by a truck unlike other beers I've experienced. Will this beer blow you away in terms of overpowering flavors, no. However there are so many levels of flavors making it a pleasure to drink over the course of a couple of hours.

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Photo of oregone
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the release:
Pours dark brown with lighter head settling quickly to a solid ring of bubbles. Looks heavy and solid.
Smells of rich bourbon, oak/vanilla spiciness from the barrel, sweet chocolate and caramel with a malty graininess.
Tastes again of bourbon, though well integrated and certainly more so than last year. Strong chocolate, molasses, caramel and spicy vanillin barrel character. Decadent, though reasonably easy drinking for the weight.
Rich in the mouth, with ample carbonation to keep it fresh. A lingering weight, but not over the top dense.
Very good. Certainly better than last years (sampled side by side) with great room for improvement. Was excited for the newest release of this, and even more excited for it now!

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Photo of pasadoit
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Bier Stein.

A - Dark brown. Looks like the style should.

S - Bourbon with vanilla notes.

T - Awesome. Lots of caramel, bourbon, and chocolate.

M - Smooth. A little more carbonation wouldn't hurt.

D - Goes down exceptionally easy considering the ABV. I'd sip this all night.

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Photo of cbrunpc
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage opened on 1/13/13 morning. Happy new years!

A: a little cloudy, carmel to amber in color.

S: Very malty, can smell the bourbon.

T: Malty, bourbon, carmel.

M: Medium body, I think the aging has reduced some I the carbonation.

O: Super drinkable, but packs a punch!

Here's to 2013!

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Photo of jegross2
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing Pappy's Dark from Block 15 out of Corvallis, Oregon.

Score: 95

2013 vintage bottle served in a Portsmouth snifter and enjoyed on 02/24/13 to celebrate the Oscars. Review is from iPhone notes. Thank you Danny for the bottle!

Appearance: Pours a thin film of tan head. The body is dark reddish-brown in color, like a murky barleywine. Poor lacing, minimal retention. 4/5

Smell: Coconut, luscious vanilla, and a nice dessert-like sweetness that is reminisce of Scotty Karate. Freshly baked beer bread, cocoa powder and oak. Toffee and molasses complexities too. A little bit of alcohol is apparent. 4.5/5

Taste: Even more coconut on palate than nose! Good alcohol warmth upfront on palate, but not fusel or "boozy." Molasses, toffee and vanilla. Coconut finish. Nice sweetness upfront that mellows before the finish. If you let this beer it on the tongue, you get a nice little bourbon burn and smooth molasses flavor lingering. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, minimal but perfect carbonation. Silky and smooth. Nice level of sweetness. 4.25/5

Overall: Past batches of this beer did not have the best reputation, but the 2013 vintage hit the ball out of the park. This beer is a coconut-vanilla bomb, and had I known just how excellent this beer would be in advance, I would have surely sought more. Abandon all preconceived notions and acquire yourself a bottle from the latest release.

Cost: $15 for a 750 ml bottle.

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Photo of ales4baldo
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quick notes taken at a tasting

Pours thin and has a light brown coffee look. Small head.

smell is smooth Scotch like. nice malts and sweet bourbon with good smell of nuts.

Booze is present but smooth. has a subtle heat to it. A bit of coconut. Present sweetness.

Mouthful is thin but flavorful. Lingers and stays delicious. Has a nice warmth.

Very nice beer. Has potential to be better but good. Thin but sweet.

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Photo of ccrida
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draught at The Beer Stein, Pappy's Dark is chestnut brown with a small off-white collar that leaves no lace.

Smell is huge wet bourbon, not hot though, just the wonderful caramel/corn/vanilla notes, with a little bread pudding wafting out as it warms.

Taste is raisin and fig, bourbon, chocolate. A nice earthy BSDA with some phenols and a big, yet smooth punch of bourbon flavor, without the overt booze.

Mouthfeel is modestly dry, and surprisingly not to heavy, definitely bringing that Belgian style digestibility.

Drinkability is very yummy, well integrated, dangerously smooth and delicious. I love bourbon, and love how reminiscent this is, without being as bruising.

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Photo of John_M
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap during the Hop and Vine event.

The beer pours a tawny, cloudy brown color with good head retention and decent lacing. This beer has the look of a beer that has seen a bit of barrel aging in its time. The nose is intense and a bit unusual, as I pick up noticeable bourbon (of course), brown sugar, plum, light sour and vanilla. The bourbon does not overpower the rest of the aroma components in this beer, which I think is a good thing. On the palate, this beer is just a treat. The beer is fairly sweet and rich, but has enough bourbon and dark fruit to keep the sweetness from coming across as too much. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a long, rich, brown sugar and vanilla infused finish. This beer carries its 10% abv. very well, and is not at all heavy, hot or tiring on the finish. You can certainly tell it's up there, and I'm not sure I'd ever want more than a single glass at a sitting, but this is definitely a very nice beer that I wouldn't hesitate to order again.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a ton for sharing this, Justin.

A: Pours a dark raisin caramel color with a small light brown head that faded into a faint collar.
S: Very sweet smelling. I can definitely smell the Pappy barrel. Other scents include caramel, vanilla, marshmallow and an almost berry-like fruitiness.
T: Pappy smoothness and big bourbon notes all the way. The flavors follow the nose with big notes of caramel and vanilla, but the flavor is also very bready and grainy with notes of dark fruits. Bourbon consumes the finish, and there is that smooth Pappy butteriness in the aftertaste.
M: Bubbly carbonation made up of tiny bubbles, with moderate alcohol warmth, a creamy mouthfeel and smooth body.
O: A very solid beer. I love me some Pappy barrels, and this one did well with the treatment. Interesting fruit flavor for an old ale. Thanks again for the taste, Justin!

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Photo of cavemanlawyer
4.34/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottle poured into a snifter. Wanted to try this one fresh. I believe this version was aged for 12 months in Old Rip Van Winkle barrels that were used in the PVW Family Reserve 20 year.

After a somewhat vigorous pour there is very little initial head. The head does slowly form and then sticks around for the rest of the glass. Dark brown body with tan head and moderate lacing.

Smells of toasty vanilla and bourbon. Some chocolate notes as well and a lot of oak from the 20 year Pappy barrels. Very inviting.

Taste is smooth bourbon all the way. Even has a nice bite at the finish that is strongly reminiscent of the 20 year PVW we had at the bottle release party. Lots of toasted oak barrel, vanilla and some dark fruit.

I wish the beer was a bit thicker. As it was it was good for the style but felt a tiny bit thin. Carbonation was good and the flavor lingered and evolved.

I think this might be my favorite vintage of Pappy's Dark. The 2010 and 2011 are both drinking well now but Nick and crew really dialed it in with this version.

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Photo of claspada
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 edition.

Pours a semi hazy medium brown colors with a small eggshell head that recedes to leave some decent lacing.

Aromas begin with some brown sugar, caramelized sugars, light maple and candy with some emerging bourbon more and more as it warms. There is also some light oak and toasted bread which emerges as well.

The tastes follow those nose with some toasted biscuity bread, caramelized sugars and light cocoa maltiness. The bourbon and oak complements the flavors and does not assert itself too much or overpower the base beer but works in harmony. Some vanilla and maple also emerges as it warms more and more.

The mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied with medium to light carbonation. Finish is decently sweet but no where near cloying thanks to what I assume is some Belgian yeast which adds some necessary dryness.

Overall this is a fantastic beer and probably the darkhorse highlight of our last group bottle share. It is a beast flavor-wise yet extremely balanced and drinkable compared to other offerings in this ABV level and style. Definitely worth seeking out if you ask me.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks again to Jason for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a rather dark burnt sienna brown color. Some tan froth and lace.

(S)- A nice rich, almost spicy brown sugar and raisin profile. Subtle bits of vanilla, oak, and bourbon too.

(T)- A nice subtlety to it overall. Has an old ale-like malt profile with caramel and toffee with bits of vanilla, raisin, and nice barrel characters like a stout.

(M)- A nice smooth carbonation level and balance. Obviously barrel aged, but it is integrated very well and nothing becoming overbearing or boozy; very well balanced.

(D)- Quite the nice take on the style. Expertly balanced and well integrated. Well done.

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Photo of maximum12
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kscaldef for sending me my first two bottles of Block 15, maybe the brewery I most wanted to try. This brew was on my let's get to it. C&C 750 ML bottle split with my wife from the 2011 bottling.

Nice label & good to see the eco-consciousness of another brewery. Pour looks like liquid caramel with redhead highlights. Smell unfolds as it warms. Great barrel notes, & enough hard malting to rival an old ale with that distinctive sweet caramel & booze. Very nice.

Pappy's Dark punches like a beer twice its ABV & makes my breath a fire hazard. Not only smells like an old ale, tastes like one too: big caramel & a brick wall of booziness warm enough to make me kick off my slippers & abandon my sweatshirt. Lovely goose of vanilla & gentle bourbon hit the bare midriff (bare because my temp is still going up). End-up is woozy boozy with a touch of toffee, slight breadiness coming in & oak causing a drought in my mouth. Could use a touch of carbonation, but hey, hairs, split, etc.

This is a low-fi bruiser that mimcs antifreeze (now I'm free of my pants, yippee!). If straight-up alcohol & complexity is your thing, you'll like this. Me? Love the complexities, very good beer.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Notes taken from early 2012 (March?) from a bottle share i hosted with the local crew.

Thanks kindly to hannont for the trade.

surprising amber color with a thin head. smells like a strong ale...almost brandy like. smooth and easy drinker. sweet bourbon and malts. good vanilla with a hint of coconut. smooth, very smooth. kind of old ale, like curmudgeon's better half, but better better half. really nice beer.

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Photo of seanthornton152
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Baileys Taproom.

A - Clear bronze amber color, light head.

S - Vanilla, sweet dark fruits, oak, hint of licorice root

T- Smooth vanilla, sweet malts, brown sugar, bittersweet chocolate, nice bourbon finish, a bit hot.

M - Medium body, active carbonation

D - very tasty beer. I wish it was bottled.

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Photo of hopsbreath
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

-Bals, -bals, -bals, everywhere I look I see -bals these days, but the best regarded ones typically involve Old Rip Van Winkle -bals. This 2011 batch actually sourced Pappy barrels this year and here's the result. Corked & caged bottle (750ml) thanks to black13. Split into a pair of CBS snifters and shared with TulipSnifter.

A: Rust body with a finger of butterscotch head that quickly recedes to a wisp ring. No lacing but some legs that give it redeeming value. 4/5

S: Heavy on the booze just like I remember last years being, but this time I'm able to pickup great barrel character behind the alcohol. Vanilla and oak are decadent and forward. Sweet promises of what's to come. 4/5

T: There's the barrels up front full of spice and big wood. Coconut and toffee is right there representing with a long dark sugar finish. Really good depth and complexity. 4/5

M: Thicker then last year and that's a plus. Sticky finish, but this is an after dinner sipper beer... It's expected and welcome. 4.5/5

O: Much better then the previous batch. Thick, complex, and interesting is not something I said last time. Block 15 at their best here. 4/5

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottle opened and split two ways on 4.7.13.

A - Pours a dark cola brown with a few dark tan bubbles that quickly move to the glass and leave lots of streaking lacing.

S - A bit tart, but lots of barrel notes, toffee, and wood.

T - Lots of barrel, almost a tartness, but more woody. Lots of toffee/carmel, and of course bourbon. One of the best.

D - Lower carbonation with a medium body.

O - A bit tart and woody, but a very nice bourbon influence. Pappy is always nice.

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

A: poured a dark brown in color with burnt orangish brown highlights and a nice little thin head that barely left any lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots out sweetness prsence coming out of the aroma consisting of caramel, brown sugar, hints of maple syrup, toffee and some woody notes. The bourbon barrel character was not as intense as I thought it was going to be and the booze heat was well hidden.

T: caramel brown sugar sweetness with a blend of woody flavor hit the palate frist with just enough booze that was well balanced to me, alongside toffee molasses accents, a touch of vanilla and good bourbon character,

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a bourbon boozy, sweet, slightly woody, sugary and silky finish.

O: it was a pretty decent beer all around but was a little let down on the taste cause I thought it be more rich in flavor; oh well.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage, consumed July, 2014. Served slightly refrigerated.

Medium brown color, murky, with a small tan head that sank to a ringlet, leaving some random streaks of lacing and legs on the glass. Aroma was a little off at first (medicinal mostly), but after it breathed for a few minutes, it was fine. Notes of dark sugars, dark fruits, bourbon. In the taste, sweet malts, caramel, bourbon, wet oak, vanilla, brown sugar, figs, dates, some solventy booze. As the beer warmed, the bourbon/vanilla came out more, keeping the sweetness in check. Body was medium, mouthfeel was slick and unctuous. You definitely have to expect something different than a BA stout with this beer, otherwise you'll be disappointed. The bourbon was fairly smooth, lacking any major boozy heat, making the 10%ABV seem just about right, and making drinkability easy. Overall, this was an enjoyable beer. Not mind-blowing, but really everything was right where where it should have been.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage shared by Mike (AgentZero). Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - Tan foam settles to wisps, a collar, and specks of lace. Opaque brown-orange body. Pretty solid considering the higher ABV.

S - Malt-heavy, with cherry brandy, dark fruits, marmalade, bourbon, and oak as well. Even with all those sweet flavors it manages to avoid being cloying - the oak and whiskey bite help in that regard.

T - A nice mix of fruity, toffee, and caramel malts yield to oak, vanilla, and bourbon in the finish. Notes of plums, black cherry, and raisins with some estery yeast as well - base felt a bit more like a Belgian Strong than an American one. Alcohol is very well hidden, and this went down fairly smooth for 10%.

M - Smooth, medium-full body. Creamy texture that evokes liquid caramel. Lower but present carbonation and well-hidden alcohol. Not sure if this would have been as tame out of the gate, but it's quite ready at this stage of the game.

D - A solid malt-forward barrel-aged beer. Nothing mind-blowing, but enjoyable all the same. You'll definitely need a few friends on deck to tackle the 750ml bottle, but it's perfectly drinkable in small doses.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer night with Doopie many Tuesdays ago. Cheers for good times man!

From a 750 into a snifter
Vintage: 2011

APPEARANCE: Pours a 1½ finger, looser looking, fizzy, off-white head with decent retention. Head fades to a looser foam cap. Maroon red with medium carbonation evident. A stream flying up the middle of the glass. A nice foam cap remains with touches of lacing down the glass. Decent looking, but the intial head was lack luster.

SMELL: Lots of bourbon, vanilla, caramel and toffee on the nose. LIght red fruits in there as well, but this is mostly bold barrel and candy aromas. Pretty nice really.

TASTE: Sweet with caramel and toffee, then bourbon and oak notes into the swallow. Lots of fruit at the swallow, dark fruits mostly, with raisins, dates and grapes, and then more barrel, oak and spicy yeast linger nicely. Not boozy at all, but plenty of barrel flavors with caramel and fruity sweetness. Good stuff.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Very creamy-smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry. A touch of heat lingers.

OVERALL: Good stuff for sure. Really enjoyable and complex. Lots of barrel flavors with plenty of sweet malt notes to compete. Good beers Doopie. Cheers man!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler provide the first night of Inflatablechair's annual hair-cutting extravaganza. Seanthornton152 brought this gem over just for the occasion.... Very cool Sean... Glad you entered this one in before I did... I definitely didn't think "RIS" .... I think American Strong does justice.

Pours clear brown... nice off white head with okay lacing.

Nose is a plush sugary caramel conglomeration soaked in good bourbon. :-) Lite cocoa shows too, but that could be my smeller playing tricks.

Thick vanilla caramels... very malty and sweet.. not cloying.. just very thick.. decadent almost.. the bourbon plays pretty heavy too.. vanilla and lesser oak.. something that I pick up as spicy phenols... a bit solventy EtOH as it warms. Too sweet for my teeth.

Body is pretty heavy .... carbonation is lite yet ever present even on later pours.

Thanks again Sean.... I had a really hard time wrapping my mind around this one.... in a good way of course.


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Photo of vkv822
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into tulip snifter.
2010 bottling.

Pours a clear amber brown with a thin tan head.

Aroma is a blend of caramel, bread malts and toffee along with quite a bit of bourbon from the barrel aging. Fairly boozy. I'm also getting some fig and other dark fruit in the finish.

The taste follows the nose fairly closely with caramel malts upfront followed quickly by bourbon and finishes with a strong oak note at first that turns to raisins and more dark fruits as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with light carbonation.

A very enjoyable beer, lots of bourbon, thankfully balanced out by some caramel and dark fruits.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this, Richard.

Copper in color with minimal head formation, perhaps some khaki foam. The barrel comes through a bit, but not as prominent as many barrel aged beers (a bit of booze and vanilla). There is a nice sweetness of toffee, brown sugar, dark stone fruits, and molasses. The flavor is similar in the malt profile. Excellent brown sugar and toffee flavors. There is a solid bourbon flavor and a smooth vanilla character. A bit more subdued on the fruit. Medium body with low carbonation.

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Pappy's Dark from Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant
3.86 out of 5 based on 123 ratings.
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