Preservation Series: Imperial Loakal Red | The Bruery

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Preservation Series: Imperial Loakal RedPreservation Series: Imperial Loakal Red

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Loakal Red is just what you expect, a bigger, maltier, more intense version of our hoppy, oaky red ale. Coming in at nearly double the abv of regular Loakal Red, this beer retains the essence of the base beer with notes of citrus, vanilla and oak, but brings it all to that next level. Definitely a great one to share with friends.

Added by jvillefan on 02-23-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 184
Photo of cozumel4me
4.79/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Cloudy red-brown with a finger of lacing.

S - Lots of sweet caramel malts, grapefruit, orange, citrus, pine, oak.

T - Rich sweet caramel malts, grapefruit, orange, citrus, pine, resiny bitterness, oak, vanilla, a bit of booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with lots of carbonation. Very smooth for an imperial red with a bitter and warming finish.

D - Excellent and very balanced imperial red ale. Excellent hops profile and bitterness.

This beer is in my wheelhouse big time. It may be too malty for some. I love the balance of this beer, even with a touch of booziness on the finish. This is one of my favorite new beers from The Bruery.

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Photo of Trapist007
4.63/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Vintage 2015
750ml Bottle
12% APV
Poured into a tulip glass at 50deg.
This beer is an archive release from The Bruery.

Look - Pours with a red brown color with a moderately thick two finger head. Low head retention with light lacing.

Smell - Dark fruits, malt, toffee, oak and vanilla dominate on first sniff. This was followed by a very light citrus notes.

Taste - Dark fruits, dates, plums, malty, toffee, and vanilla oak. Sweet but not too sweet. Great balance leaning toward malty, with the light citrus hop flavor and a hint of alcohol. I decided to have a small bite of dark chocolate just to see what would happen... Wow! All of the favors just paraded though one by one. Some spicy notes were added, and the citrus flavors are more pronounced. It was an incredible transformation...

Feel - Medium body with moderate carbonation. The carbonation went away in a short time. It finished moderately dry.

Overall - This is a great beer! I know that it is advertised to have more of a hoppy profile then I found, but who cares. This beer leans to the malty side, but have that small bite of dark chocolate and everything comes in loud and clear. Myself and my friend that I shared it with was equally impressed.

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Photo of jvillefan
4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A: There is a two finger brown/ivory thick head with a muddy brown/amber body.

S: Hops are the first thing to come off this beer. Very strong citrus aromas. There is also a very potent caramel malt as well. There is no EtOH which is surprising for a 12% beer.

T: It is both simultaneously a hop bomb and a malt bomb. The hops are bitter, citrus, and pine. The malts are toffee (very strong), caramel, with a tiny bit of roast. There flavors are very independent and don't really work together.

M: Very heavy and silky body with a surprisingly pleasant carbonation for a 12% beer. There is a touch of alcohol there but it is well hidden.

O: Great beer worth a try. Get this beer when it is released in bottles in about a month.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle into Gulden Draak tulip.

A: Pours a very dark mahogany brown with an extremely dense, extremely huge dark tan head that frothed up in the glass and took forever to collapse into a thick rocky head. Sheets of sticky lace coat the entire glass as the head faded. Looks better than the original.
S: Huge notes of juicy citrus dominate including fresh tangerine, grapefruit, slight booze, slight oak barrel, and a kiss of toast and bready malt.
T: Very bitter, very rich and very powerful flavors of bitter yet juicy sweet citrus hops, herbal hop resin, caramel, slight honey, spicy oak barrel finish, and viscous alcohol. The aftertaste is resinous and bitter.
M: full body, thick, viscous, oily, greasy and slick mouthfeel, warming booze but not hot or distracting. Drinkable but definitely a powerful sipper.
O: the original is a bit more approachable but this beer keeps its promise and takes loakal red to the next level. Drinkable and delicious.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Giving this second bottle from the Preservation Society membership a go, even though I had been bitterly disappointed by Sans Pagaie. Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle. Shared with my brewing buddy for obvious reasons. Review is from my notes.

Pours a reddish, thickened hazy amber color that greatly resembles a Belgian dubbel. Carbonation is very present, and indeed, a a frothy, creamy off-reddish head rises to the top of the glass 4 fingers high. Bubbles masquerade around the edges of the glass, and yeasty cloudiness coats the liquid progressively upon the first pour. Head retention is pretty good, and never fully lets go. Lacing is excellent, and you can tell from every swirl that this is a resinous product. Definitely up there with some of the better Belgian-style beers I've seen in recent years (even though, from what I can gather from this, it's NOT meant to be one of those).

The aroma consists of a surprisingly hoppy, citrus laden character overall alongside slight toasted maltiness and aspects imparted from the oak. The Bruery is not known for having any hoppy beers to speak of overall, but this one definitely is doing the trick for me - especially as I love hoppy amber ales. Pine, citrus peel, grapefruit, as well as an undeniable herbal, tobacco focused aroma that is slightly rustic and toasted. The oak is extremely subtle, but it's definitely imparting those latter characteristics. Not getting too much sweetness, but rather getting the faded hoppy aromas that occur with aging these kinds of beers. Indeed, with the inordinately high ABV, this could be on its road to becoming an unusual barleywine hybrid. To me, it's very balanced, and barely boozy, and is a real treat already before tasting.

The flavor continues the aspects imparted by the aroma, but it's far more present here. Even though the bottle states this is a blend aged 25% in oak, it's substantial enough that is provides a creamy, woody tannic texture to the pine-y, citrus filled, tobacco flavor. Some subtle caramel/toffee sweetness lingers underneath, but it does well to serve the citrus and earthy spices. The oak does a good job complementing the flavor, and makes everything more robust. Carbonation is supremely excellent as well here, and integrates the flavors upwards in a satisfying manner. Nevertheless, the inordinately high ABV made this an undeniable sipper, and I took my time with this (even pairing it with food halfway through), but we did want to smoke a cigar with this throughout the drinking process. The second pour was definitely yeastier and more intense, but the amount of balance that this delivered was a real treat to drink.

Great stuff from The Bruery - and about time, too! So far I had been disappointed. This is one I could rally in support, and those green hops and tobacco-y oak-filled flavors are the main focus here. We really enjoyed this - can't wait to try more of their barrel experiments to come.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.26/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy red-brown with a finger of frothy tan-khaki head. Fades fairly slowly.

S - Sweet caramel malts, grapefruit, orange, citrus, pine, and grassy hops, oak, vanilla, some booze.

T - Sweet caramel malts, grapefruit, orange, citrus, pine, grassy hops, good resiny bitterness, oak, vanilla, some a bit of booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a bitter and warming finish.

D - Fantastic balanced imperial red ale. Good hops profile and bitterness.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a murky light brown color with hints of orange. An enormous tan head forms immediately and leaves tons of lace down the glass.

S: A thick, citrus hop aroma is the first thing I notice. Grapefruit and tangerine with a rich malty backbone. Lots of caramel malt, wheat bread and a hint of oak when agitated. A bit of a floral hint as well.

T: A rich, malty red. Tons of malt laced with citrusy hops. Caramel, toffee, and a faint taste of wood, which I'm assuming is the oak. Definitely a bit on the heavy side, and the alcohol does show, but it really doesn't take away from this one. A really good beer.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: poured into a snifter to a deep red with a dense three finger off white head that retains well and has excellent lacing
S: smells of citrus, pine, oak, vanilla and a hint of caramel
T: tastes of caramel, oaky vanilla, some pine and citrus. swallow brings lots of oily hop flavors of pine with some residual oak and vanilla
M: full in the mouth with good carb that is slightly prickly. the oily hops on the finish keep it from being drying
O: full flavored and complex beer with good flavors. A very solid beer and well crafted. it goes down pretty smooth so it drinks well and the alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of rudzud
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoarders Society baby! Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice dark murky brownish orange amber hue. Big almost 3 finger dark khaki head slumps down to a nice quarter inch blanket with sold lacing. Ohh, the murky appearance of The Bruery.

S - Aromas of thick, wet citrus, grapefruit, tangerine, rich malts. Not nearly as much barrel as I'd expect it to have. Some slight vanilla notes. The lack of alcohol is shocking.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. More bitter grapefruit rind than orange. Lots of sweeter malts, caramel, light toffee. Quite rich, with a bitter finish. That is, until the booze slams into the pallet. Too boozy.

M - Mouthfeel was solid, thick mouthfeel, smooth, creamy....but again, super hot.

O - Overall, its a solid beer. Wish the alcohol was not nearly as prominent. Quite unfortunate.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle acquired through the Reserve Society. Released 03/13. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours a dark and murky russet brown with three fingers of thick beige head. The huge pillow of head lingers and leaves copious lace.

Smells of pine, citrus, toffee and an almost cherry sweetness.

Taste starts with a heavy dose of dank hops. Grapefruit peel, wood, lemon zest, pine sap, caramel, toffee, oak, slight vanilla, dark fruit pit/skin and boat loads of alcohol. As others have stated, this one is perhaps a bit too hot. I'm fine with a healthy booze bite but this gets a little distracting. Still, an over all interesting blend of rich, bitter hops and complex barreled malts.

Medium thick, resinous feel with strong carbonation. Long, dry, bitter finish with more citrus peel, oak and booze.

An all around enjoyable and complex imperial red. Plenty of resinous hops with a very unique oaky malt backing. I'm torn between enjoying these hops now while they're bursting with fresh flavor and waiting a year or two to let that alcohol settle down and see how the malts and barrel character develop. I'm glad I got multiple bottles to try both.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap for the Bruery Initiation Celebration held at The Phoenix Club in Anaheim, CA.

Pours a murky orange-red with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and herbal hops. Taste is much the same with a citrus zest flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and super easy to drink.

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Photo of rand
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a nonic pint glass

A: The beer shows a dark leather color with a red hue, completely opaque and cloudy. On a gentle pour it forms a huge, pillow-y head that never fully recedes and leaves sticky lacing all over the glass.

S: Huge, malt-forward bouquet with lots of booze. Caramelly sweetness is offset a bit by earthy, floral hop notes, all surrounded by a backdrop of toast and oak. Yeah, lots of booze.

T: Big, sweet malts at the front of the palate, broken up by a hop snap that refuses to be left out. Distinctly caramelly, which almost covers notes of dark toast and barrel oak. Hops do a nice job of drying the palate toward the finish, and it's actually less boozy than the nose impressed. Finishes long and sweet with notes of barrel oak and toast lingering.

M: Super-slick and viscous; a big, chewy, full body delivers the big flavors and aromas.

I liked this more as a drank it. At first it tasted like a barley wine, and it is blurring the boundaries of a amber or red ale. And it demands to be sipped...but halfway through it starts to resonate on the palate, making such a big beer dangerously tasty.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Blood red pour, tanned finger of head. Spidery lacing. It was quite nice to look at. Big caramel aroma, sweet malts, floral and pine, tinge of vanilla, hits of oak. Sweet taste, caramel, and sweet nuts. Bitter too, medium, with some piny hops. There's a little alcohol present. Full bodied, creamy, clean finish, nice bitterness.

Plenty flavor and nice drinkability despite the ABV...much better than the regular Loakal.

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Photo of jeff1973
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Hair of the Dog tulip. Came out in early March 2013, so about 5 months old at this point.

A - Pours a murky, orangish brown. Light tan head leaves ample lacing.

S - Pine, citrus, brown sugar.

T - Pine and citrus hops up front. Then brown sugar, rye bread, some vanilla and coconut. Booze really comes thru, especially cold. It starts to ease up as it warms. Finishes with a bitter bite, but there is lingering sweetness.

M - Medium full. Carbonation is high for this style.

O - A tasty beer that that would be perfect w/ the alcohol toned down. I had it fresh and it was much hoppier (and better). I wouldn't age it, it just seems like it is getting sweeter.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured in to tulip.

A - Dark amber; almost opaque. Two fingers of dirty white head and great lacing.

S - Citrus, caramel, toffee and brown sugar. Very sweet overall nose.

T - A huge bitterness with grapefruit and pine flavours and a massive warming alcohol presence. Sweet caramel and toffee provide balance. The finish is bitter and dry with a warming alcohol presence.

M - Medium, almost full body. Creamy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

wood forward amber beer type here, way more brown than red in color, but thats inconsequential because its red malt, sweet and toffee like that drive this beer. its got a nose and flavor that are decidedly grain driven, but balanced off with just enough hops, a little piney, but the sweetness still comes all the way through. aromas of vanilla from the oak are quite strong, but i get less of that in the taste. this has got a lot of caramel, almost to the point where its hard to drink a lot of it. i had trouble with the residual sugar, and the alcohol comes through probably a little more than it should, even though this is a beast. nice depth of malt flavor though, and the wood profile is strong throughout which makes it seem a little more well refined than it may in fact beer. good stuff from the bruery but a far cry from their best work in my humble opinion. a kitchen sink malt type, overly strong, but still darn tasty.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 05/26/13 notes.

a - Pours a deep, hazy mahogany brown color with a reddish tint, three fingers of off white head, and moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of caramel malts, oak, toasted malts, pine hops, citrus hops, fruity malts, bready malts, and light fruits. Super malty, but some hops still coming through. Nice mix, I like the nose.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, oak, toasted malts, bready malts, biscuit, fruits, light citrus hops, and earthy notes. Taste has more oak and caramel malts, and less hops than the nose overall. A step down for me.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Body is pretty smooth and while strong, doesn't feel like 12% ABV.

o - Overall a nice beer, though to be honest, I prefer the normal, non-imperial version. I like the original for what it is, a really good, lower ABV, hoppy red ale. This beer is good, but the hops fade, especially in the taste, compared to the original, and the alcohol is a little too much for me. Worth checking out but if I could only have 1 I'd go with the regular verions of LR.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 9.19.13

A - Pours a murky brown with a large dark tan head with great retention.

S - Malty, dark fruit, raisins.

T - Very malty, bready, hot alcohol, raisins.

D - Lots of carbonation with a medium body.

O - Hot and tons of maltiness with some dark fruits.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer appears copper to ruby in color with a fair amount of haze. The aroma brings oak, alcohol, light fruit, pine, resin. A lot of sweetness up front with present alcohol throughout. Sugary with alcoholic warmth in the finish. Plenty of hop character, with a piney bitterness lingering in the back. Pretty good, but definitely best in small quantities.

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Photo of kevanb
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.

The beer pours a murky burgundy color, closer to a dark brown, but with definite hues of red. A bone colored head, very lively and easily 3 fingers high, rises from the beer with good retention and leaves behind some spotted lace. The aroma is heavy on the alcohol, very intense and quite sweet with some rich malt and just a touch of bitter hop. The flavors are a bit more distinct but still dominated by harsh alcohol. There is a high amount of sweet, rich malt character with some chewy oak and light citrusy floral hop character that brings out some nice bitterness. The body is nice, coats the mouth very well, good level of carbonation, but it does read a bit thin for such a high octane beer.

Verdict: A solid Imperial Red from The Bruery, the oak character is a bit lost and the alcohol is really dominant and seems to mute some of the other flavors.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml, Spring '13
The Bruery glass

A: Very murky brownish red. Two fingers of light tan off white head. Sticky lacing sheeting.

S: Big bready malts. Pine and earthy hops. Some of that vanilla and barrel coming through. Booze.

T: Up front you get that pine and earthy hop. Those big malts are there. Some of that toffee character. Booze.

M: Full bodied. Booze.

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Photo of jlindros
3.69/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light fizzy head decent lacing, murky apple juice brown colroed.

Nose has huge malt aroma, sweet candy syrupy malts, very faint bourbon alcohol notes, and a bit of candied fruits, big spicy earthy hops, candied orange peel.

Taste brings big sweeet candy, candied caramel, nougat, big spicy chewy salty briny hops, boozy quite a bit but not too much, thick syrupy sweet and very bitter. Booze warmth tingles, with a bit of candied apple and candied orange peel hops. Finish is sweet syrupy thick, big spicy earthy piney hops.

Mouth is fuller bod, tingly booze, syrupy, decent carb.

Overall meh, the original was better, this is just too much of everything and no real balance or anything you can settle with.

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Photo of stakem
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml poured into a Bruery snifter. The brew appears mahogany in color with a yellowish stained cap. A spotty curtain of lace sticks to the glass.

The smell contains plenty of raw oak abruptly contrasted by solvent alcohol and fruity to floral hop aspects.

The taste is harsh with raw oak and solvent alcohol giving way to some fruity esters. It is bitter with pine and grass fading to something more slightly herbal.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is boozy and solvent that goes down kinda rough. While drinking this with friends, someone drew the comparison to bigfoot. While not the same, I can certainly relate. This really isnt a red ale, a classification of baleywine would certainly be more fitting.

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Photo of sirtomtom
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this as part of my Preservation Society 1st Quarter Package.

A: Pours a murky brown with a touch of orange and red when held to the light. Strong tan held that sticks to the side of the glass.

S: Grapefruit, light florals, vanilla and pine. For being partly barrel aged, I expected the vanilla to be a bit stronger.

T: Light maltiness, with the citrus and pine coming and finishing with a pleasing medium bitterness. I was expecting a bit more malt.

M: A nice thick mouth feel and a very smooth opening.

O: This honestly reminds me a lot of Sierra Nevada's Northern Hemisphere. A very good hoppy beer from the Bruery and at $10.99 for a 750mL bottle, I'd buy it again(assuming the Bruery tasting room still has bottles), not necessarily for myself, but to bring to an impromptu bottle share.

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Photo of dvmin98
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bought from Bruery archive sale. Smell is malty and some fruit. Taste is the same. Kind of get that sweaty sock flavor on the back end. This is turning into a barleywine. Not bad for what it is. Would have liked to have tried this fresh.

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Preservation Series: Imperial Loakal Red from The Bruery
3.88 out of 5 based on 184 ratings.
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