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Winter Ale - Chocolate Mint Porter | Bootlegger's Brewery

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Winter Ale - Chocolate Mint PorterWinter Ale - Chocolate Mint Porter

Brewed by:
Bootlegger's Brewery
California, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by vacax on 11-27-2009

For Trade:
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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 110
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.05/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Small clumps of lace stick to the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, and mint/licorice notes. Taste is of dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee grounds, and the mint/licorice flavor. An herbal and metallic flavor lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a thin and watery mouthfeel. Not very good for a porter. Overall, this is not that good but not bad for an attempt at adding mint to a porter.

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Photo of brentk56
3.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A luscious pour with a big old head laying atop the dark chocolate colored liquid; leaves a few shards of lace behind

Smell: More chocolatey than minty, but the mint builds as the beer warms

Taste: Bread and chocolate, up front, with the minty element building by mid-palate; really flattens out, after the swallow, without much flavor lingering into the finish; plastic phenols in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; somewhat aqueous

Overall: Not being familiar with this brewery, I was really intrigued by the label; there is a concept here that could be very interesting but the execution is somewhat lacking

Thanks, jodan, for the opportunity

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Photo of kojevergas
2.41/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Acquired at Total Wine on-sale for $1.99. 6.1% ABV according to my bottle. "Ale Brewed with Mint." Expectations are low given the brewery and its current ratings. 650ml brown glass bottle with branded pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger creamy tan colour head of good thickness and retention (~4+ minutes). Love the creaminess. Light lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Body colour is a solid nontransparent black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Atrocious spearmint. Herbal, minty, and unappealing. Redolent of extract. Dark malts. Brown sugar. I struggle to find chocolate; the mint is so overbearing. An average strength aroma. Not terrible, but I've experienced far better mint chocolate porter aromas.

T: Ugh. Herbal mint leaf. A bit suggestive of spearmint toothpaste. Maybe a bit of chocolate. Dark malts. Minimal hopping, if any. No yeast or alcohol comes through, but it's just plain bad. A bit creamy. Imbalanced and poorly built. That's just bad construction. Definitely needs more chocolate to even satisfy the premise of the beer.

Mf: Lightly coarse. Awkwardly dry for a porter. Overcarbonated. Too thick for the lack of flavour diversity and depth. Unrefreshing. This isn't up to par for the style - or for the flavour profile.

Dr: Swing and a miss. This just isn't up to par. I like the idea, but it's been far better executed by other breweries. I can see why Total Wine had this on clearance for $2.00 and still couldn't get rid of it. This is in serious need of work. A giant disappointment from Bootlegger's. I wouldn't bother with it again. Overbearing and difficult to drink due to the low quality.


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Photo of mothman
2.13/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours 1/2 finger of tan head. Color is black.

Aroma: Spearmint gum and peppermint schnapps. Chocolate and ice cream flavors. Sharp.

Taste: Peppermint schnapps again, chocolate, boozy, mint chocolate ice cream. Not good.

Mouthfeel: Sharp and roasted. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. End dry with mint.

Overall, this just wasn't for me. Too much mint. I couldn't drink a lot of this.

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Photo of mactrail
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mint is not too intense, and it taste like actual mint leaves as opposed to a chewing gum mint flavor. Dark roasted malt is the other main flavor. A distinct touch of charred barley in the aftertaste. A fairly light bodied and modestly flavored dark beer in other respects.

Long scent of peppermint and a hint of chocolate. Hops are quite restrained. Keeps the watery and refreshing quality of some lighter Porters. Big foam-up on first pour but looks nice and retains it's carbonation in the mouth. A pleasant quaff, though it's a little sweet tasting after a big glass. A fun beer that's worth a taste if you're in the mood.

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

dark, murky brown. A large two inch plus head formed quickly on the top and held on for what seemed like forever. Unrelenting as I thought it would be it finally gave way and left behind tons of gooey sticky brown lace in its wake.

Huge roasted caramel like smell, sweet and sugary mixed in with a touch of a brandy like quality upon first aroma. As it started to warm, a lot of subtle things started to come about. Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg were present, a noticeable bitter hoppiness, smokey, rustic type of taste would be the best way to describe it. Lots of caramel, nuts, and cinnamon were intermixed with a nice deep cereal and grainey base. The hops were ever present, but no where near in total control. This was really more then balanced, it was more unique and intrsting. a nice dry hopped bitter finish too!

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Photo of womencantsail
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Blue Palms

A: An innocent enough looking porter. Very, very dark brown bordering on black. The head is a thin layer of tan foam.

S: You can definitely pick up the mint. The beer needs to warm up just a bit for the chocolate to come out. Once it's a little below room temperature, this thing smells like a peppermint patty.

T: The mint is very strong on the palate. Again, the chocolate is somewhat subdued, but present. While there are some other flavors (chocolate, roasted malt, etc.), the mint really overpowers them.

M: A medium to full bodied beer with a moderate level of carbonation. Not quite as creamy on the tongue as I was hoping.

D: You really have to like mint to enjoy this beer. I found it nice to try, but I wouldn't want to down a whole pint of the stuff.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to Trxxpaxxs for this bottle!

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF 6. It pours a straight obsidian topped by over a finger of dark brown foam. The nose comprises chocolate powder, roasted malts, and the distinct fog of what can only be described as mint. Hmmm...interesting here...the mint, with every successive sniff, comes off as dryer, more nutty almost... I can't tell if my nostrils are just getting tired (I've seen this happen before) or if they were just mistaken before... The taste is dominated by the cocoa, with some roast picking up the rear. The mint still appears here, but more demure, and it once again morphs into an odd nuttiness (not odd in a bad way, but odd in an indecipherable way). Hmm... The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation, and a mostly smooth feel, which comes across as kinda fizzy and dry near the end, but the light coating evens everything out to a flat-out panoply of pleasantness. Overall, a very nice beer, one that doesn't overdo it on the mint (I almost wanted more of it...), making everything nice and tasty.

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Photo of billab914
3.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Devil's Backbone tulip. It poured black in color with a thin tan head sticking to the edges of the glass.

The aroma has a nice mix of mint and chocolate to it. A little malty, caramel sweetness is there as well. I'm not usually a mint fan, but it compliments the chocolate pretty well and doesn't feel overdone.

The taste has a little more of the mint coming out giving it more of a herbal, toothpaste like flavor. The chocolate is a little overshadowed in it but I get some sweet, caramel to it along with a little roasty, slightly burnt bitterness in the finish. The mint is a little too dominant in the taste though unfortunately.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall, it was an interesting beer but the mint was too much for me. It reminded me a little of toothpaste. The mint could have definitely been a little more subtle in it.

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

A: poured a dark brown in color with ruby brown highlights that had a thin brown head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the mint definitely pops out on the aroma with s good chocolate presence slight roastiness and faint coffee spice notes.

T: the minty leaf character is also apparent on the palate which meshed quite well with the coffee flavors but had chocolate roasty accents.

M: the brew was medium in body with a fair amount of carbonation which a sweet, minty, mild roasty, and silky finish.

D: it drank good and was very surprised on how tasty it was considering I'm not a big fan of mint.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.86/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Freshly filled growler from the source itself, on to the beer:

It's black like charcoal. The head retention is poor, and a thin ring of lace hangs around on top of the beer. doesn't Lots of fresh green mint in the aroma. Some chocolate cake batter sits in the background, but the mint continues to dominate. You really need to love mint to love the aroma. A little more malt would make it better for me, but s'far, interesting.

To my satisfaction, it is minty, thought not overpowering minty. But seriously, the mint flavor is the most dominant as you taste it. There's a little bit of semi-sweet chocolate chunks in the background, and a faint roastiness to compliment the sum. The feel of the liquid is thinner than I would like. Some bubbles hit the sides of the tongue.

My first mint beer has some good to it. I would have liked more malt to it though. It's good enough as it is, but even better when I paired it with a slice of chocolate cake.

Update 1 day later: More chocolate malt is showing itself. Not quite as thin as I remember too. I'll have no problem finishing the growler, and I think I may get more.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.84/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours brown with a soft white head, fair retention, looks watery there at the end.

S: It smells like it should. York Peppermint patty, light dark chocolate, the mint stands out.

T: Just glad the mint is not over the top, that would have pissed me off a bit. I like mint, but it can certainly go overboard. Solid base porter, good roasted malt and chocolate flavours, with a moderate mint play; unique I don't know why other brewers haven't thought of this first.

M: Somewhat thin for me at 6.2%, but creamy and smooth.

D: Been wanting to try this since I heard about it, I was certainly not blown away, but a very enjoyable beer for sure.

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Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Bottle purchased at Bootlegger's. I've wanted to try this beer since the first release a couple years ago. In theory, it sounds excellent. Snifter.

A: Pitch black with two fingers of light brown foam. Good retention.

S: In the nose I get roasted grains and cocoa with a well integrated and tasteful mint presence. Mint beers I've had in the past smell overwhelmingly of spearmint, dominating the other aspects of the beer. That is not the case with this beer. I detect a shadow of dark fruit.

T: Dark chocolate blends with cocoa and moderately roasted malt. As was the case in the aroma, the mint is tasteful in the flavor and goes very well with the chocolate and roast. There's a light bitterness. No alcohol is evident. Tastes like mint chocolate chip ice cream.

M: Full body with upper medium carbonation.

Overall: This is well done. Unlike other mint beers I've had, the mint in this beer does not hinder drinkability.

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Photo of corby112
3.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft at the brewery.

Pours pitch black with a one finger beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring.  Sporadic streaks of lacing left behind.

Roasted malt aroma with a nice mint presence that balances out the smokey dark malt notes.  Complex aroma with hints of chocolate, coffee bean, toast and mint.

Medium bodied with a blast of earthy mint that lingers throughout, dominating the flavor. Really organic and vegetal tasting with an herbal/medicinal presence from the mint.  Underneath, there is some roasted malt with hints of dark chocolate, coffee bean, toast and oatmeal.  The mint however really dominates and becomes overbearing after a few ounces. Really weird but decent.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice black with about one finger of mocha head. The tiny bubbles dissipate fairly quickly leaving a nice ring along the top of the beer. There is very little lacing as it drinks.

S: Smells mainly of dark roasted malt and mint. There are some underlying notes of caramel and vanilla, but I'm not picking much chocolate in the nose.

T: The mint is pretty serious in this beer. It's not overwhelming, but it's noticeable from the first sip through the finish. It starts off with roasted malt, toast and mint. Then it turns into mint and some mellow vanilla sweetness. It finishes with mint, caramel, and (maybe?) some chocolate.

M: Full bodied beer. The carbonation is a little much for this offering. It has a sting to it. The finish is decently smooth.

O: This beer is alight. The amount of mint is a bit much, but it's interesting. I'm glad to have tried it.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pretty much black with a nice one finger light brown colored head.

S: Good powdery chocolate aroma and a strong whiff of mint as well. Some roasted malt in the background.

T: Nowhere near as sweet as the smell. Roasted malt with a bit of mint upfront and then some lighter notes of dark chocolate and maybe a bit of coffee. Mouthfeel is a bit watery and the flavors aren't quite strong enough to make up for it. A pretty good beer overall, but probably not something I'd get again.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

934th Review on BA
Bottle to Mug
22 oz

2011 Bottle

App- I've used this analogy a lot lately and this one couldn't be more true. Liquid chocolate in the glass with a good two finger head. Dots of cling but not stick.

Smell- There isn't much you aren't expecting. Chocolate, malt and like Overlord says. Mint. Like a liquid peppermint patty but just tamed way down.

Taste- Damn!! I wanted a thick lush flavor profile like the pour. This was a bit thin and watery. Had a decent amount of malt and mint. Needed to be kicked up a bit. A good bit of smooth chocolate and roast.

Mouth- A good bit of a creamy/watery body and then has a nice bit of low/medium carbonation to it. Pretty smooth really.

Drink- I like the seasonals from Bootlegger's. Wildfire wasnt as bad as I thought it would be. Pumpking was good and this okay. This needed a bit more thickness to it with some more balance.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.69/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (2009)

(Aged for 2 years)

Thanks for sharing this one, Frank!

Dark brown in color with mahogany edges and a thin, light brown head that leaves spots and lines of lacing down the glass.

The aroma is of mint toothpaste and little else--perhaps there's a touch of roast underneath it all, but I swear this smells like Crest.

The taste follows the aroma. I don't know how this beer was when fresh, but what's left is a chalky, spearmint flavor reminiscent of mint-flavored chewing gum or toothpaste.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

This is by far the mintiest beer I've ever had, and while unique and somewhat interesting, it doesn't make for too enjoyable of a drinking experience. That being said, I'm glad I got to try it!

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.79/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Frank(not sure his handle) @ jerz halloween tasting

Look: Pours a darker brown color with a 1/4 inch off white head with ok retention

Smell: If you pick up anything but mint you're a liar.

Taste: Just think of anything overly minty and that is what this beer is. Mint toothpaste, mint gum, and oh yeah more mint to the point the thing is almost undrinkable

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation with a slight dry feel

Overall: This beer is more of a novelty I believe because there is nothing good about it

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.85/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 22-oz. bomber
Glass: Stone pint glass
From: Bine and Vine in Kensington (San Diego, Calif.)
Price: $5.99
BOD: None

Almost complete black with 1-2 fingers of tan head that dissipated had a fast rate. No lacing on the sides. Below average retention on the top.

Smelled dark chocolate and bitter coffee beans up front, also toffee and caramel. That gave way to some mint and candy cane in hot chocolate. Reminded me a tad of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.

Tasted close to the smell, only a bit mintier. Got that heavy dark chocolate malts (also coffee and hot chocolate), then right to the mint (a lot faster transition than the smell). Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream was the common theme here with the chocolate chips being more dark chocolate than anything else.

Full body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long minty chocolate finish.

Not a bad beer, definitely something different. I guess I was expecting a little better, considering my love of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. I’d have it again though.

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Photo of Overlord
3.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a black core. Smells like chocolate and ... wait for it .... wait for it .... MINT MOTHERF****R!

Yeah. This is pretty much like drinking a liquified mint-chip girl scout cookie. Mmm. Mint, sweet milk chocolate, and a bit, just a bit, of MOAR MINT!

Oddly enough, it's a tad dry and thin, though it certainly seems sweet at first glance.

I sorta dug it as a novelty.

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Photo of portia99
3.26/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle picked up on a recent trip to San Diego. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a very dark brown with so-so clarity, appears a bit opaque and muddy. A thick finger of cappuccino colored dense foam sits on top for a minute or two before falling to the surface...light lacing only left on the glass.

S - Peppermint up front, like a candy cane backed up lightly by some milky chocolate. Has a bit of the cool, sinus-clearing quality of a cough drop that unfortunately masks most of everything else that may be in there.

T - Yep...peppermint here too - bordering on taking a swig of peppermint schnapps with what feels like a quick hit of alcohol muted by a background chocolatey presence. Unfortunately, the mint comes off as a bit heavy handed and really covers up the base beer.

M - Medium bodied with a foamy mid level carbonation. Each sip brings with it a cool nasal hit of peppermint. Beer itself is smooth and creamy feeling all the way thru to the swallow.

O - An interesting idea...I think the combination of flavors could work well. Definitely needs to have a bigger base beer with more intense flavors to stand up to the mint. The mint here really overpowers everything else. Perhaps minting up an imperial stout would be a better execution of a chocolatey mint beer.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a pint glass, the Mint Chocolate Porter pours dark brown and almost black in color. Half an inch of mocha foam offers moderate retention.

Nose of roasted malts, a touch of chocolate and a notable spearmint character. Pleasant mint and not overdone in potency. Bit of spice balances things out with nutmeg and cinnamon, which become more pronounced vs. the mint with warming.

The mint is quite forward on the palate, with chocolate malt present but subdued in the middle and finishing with more muddled mint and roast notes with a touch of black cherry and spice. Decent feel, bit sweet on the finish. Might become a bit much after a glass or two as the base beer aside of the mint seems to lack much complexity.

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

Glad I was able to find this beer when I got back home to CA after Christmas Break in the Midwest.

Appearance - Pours a dark hazelnut brown with about a finger of quickly dissipating tan head that leaves little lacing. Just a hint of light shines through the class.

Smell - Dark roasted malts, chocolate, and MINT!

Taste - I will preface this by saying I freaking love mint flavor and after hearing about this beer being on tap last winter (not bottled), wanting it ever since hearing it, and then seeing a bottle of it today, I was psyched. I get three flavors, same as the nose. Malts, bitter chocolate, and amazing mint. I am quaffing this sucker. I am bummed this was the last one. I would go pick up at least another two tomorrow if they had them.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, lower carbonation yet it seems prickly?

Drinkability - I am thoroughly enjoying this beer. Extremely easy for me to drink. I may be biased because of my mint craze, but damnit, I am really enjoying this beer while putting Christmas decorations away.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.13/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Hollingshead's Deli in Orange, CA. Reviewed from notes.

A- Two finger tan head. Minimal retention. Dark brown and nearly black color. Nice carbonation.

S- Strong mint and chocolate. Smells like a peppermint patty. Heavy smell.

T- Chocolate, roast malts and mint mint mint. Too heavy on mint for me.

M- Medium bodied, well carbonated.

O- Quite a nice novelty beer. Could be nice in its own right as well.

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Winter Ale - Chocolate Mint Porter from Bootlegger's Brewery
3.43 out of 5 based on 110 ratings.
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