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BIG HAPI India Black Ale | Lawson's Finest Liquids

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BIG HAPI India Black AleBIG HAPI India Black Ale

Brewed by:
Lawson's Finest Liquids
Vermont, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This dark and devious brew reflects a resinous and sticky fusion of intense bitterness, big roasted barley flavors, and powerful dank aromas. Made with HUGE additions of five hop varieties and seven malts to create a bold flavor profile.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 02-06-2009

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Reviews: 51 | Ratings: 204
Photo of Rheaume17
4.46/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Just picked this up fresh from the Waitsfield Farmers Market. Poured into a Lawson's tulip glass.

Appearance - Poured a very rich, black color. A nice think inch of light brown foamy head. Good lacing continued throughout the session.

Smell - Very aromatic from the bottle to the glass. I smell hints of pine as well as other earthy scents. I also smell notes of grapefruit. You can also get a good whiff of the malt which smells rather sweet, but not overpowering.

Taste - Just as it smelled. The earthy notes are the first to hit with a nice backbone of that sweet malt. Lots of hoppy goodness. The aftertaste has a slight citrus flavor, predominantly grapefruit.

Overall - Another amazing offering from Lawson's. This is definitely a great beer for a little something different to try. Luckily, I have 3 more of these!

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Photo of chuckd123
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First bottle of Lawson's I've had, and it lived up to the hype. Spectacular beer, and I would drink it over Sublimely any day (and I like that one quite a bit also). Poured from a waxed bomber into a pint glass. Very dark brown, not quite black, and a nice dark tan frothy head with lacing that lasted until I was done. Aroma is all hops and tough to compare directly to any other beer I've had, though the nose is a bit similar to the Alchemist's holy cow. Taste was excellent, not a west coast hop bomb, but one of the best "East Coast" ipa's (IBA?) I've had. Very drinkable at 7.5%, almost too much so. If you can get to the warren general store, get yerself some of this one.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark black with a hint of brown and a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of rich roasted and burnt caramel malts with some coffee, citrus hops, and some light pine hops.

T - Starts off with some deep roasted caramel malts with some roasted coffee and some citrus hops and bitterness with some grapefruit. Through the middle, some burnt malts come through with some more bitter-coffee flavor and some pine hop and more bitterness. The finish is a mix of pine and citrus hop with some earthy flavors, roasted and burnt malts and coffee, and some chocolate and bitterness.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry, roasty, and chocolately finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nice Black IPA with a good combination of hops, coffee flavor, and deep roasted malts and chocolate. Very nicely balanced.

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Photo of abuliarose
4.41/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 163 bottle 4, poured into a bulbous pint glass revealing extra tall thick crema head over a deep murky brown body. Lots of head, lots of intense floral and citrus hop smell. Lots of pretty lacing.Maybe the slighest hint of caramel under all those hops.

Tastes dark, rich and roasty with a nice hop presence. Very bitter finish, very grassy and clean. Thick grapefruit rind character. Mouthfeel is smooth and a little drying with a full-bodied volume-adding tingly carbonation. Very flavorful, very drinkable.

Overall it's extremely well-executed if you're into super bitter IPAs but want a little something different.

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Photo of Hendry
4.36/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Opaque black,small tan head dissipates quickly,average lacing.

Aroma is coffee-like with a roasted vibe,hops and malt,nice.

The first couple of sips tasted charred and super roasty, which was a letdown initially, however the next few sips (particularly upon warming) drew me in and won me over.
I can't say there has ever been an ale that started off tasting so obtuse that quickly became palatable and savory.This is a hopped up black ale Sean Lawson style.

Mouthfeel is medium, flavors coat the palate solidly.

I prefer LFL Toast a touch more than Big Hapi, but this is a solid effort and worth trying.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at The Warren Store the morning of Night of the Funk 2010. Poured into a tulip and shared with bmanning, Amyliz4, and Heather. Batch 163, Bottle 17.

Pour is a very dark brown with an off white head. Plenty of light carbonation bubbles on top. Very nice lacing. The nose is very, very strong aromas of piney, resinous hops with a pretty good amount of roasted malt to back it up.

The taste is all about the pine and resin with a bit of darkly-roasted malt. The feel is extremely dry and bitter. Just an incredibly bitter beer. Even with that, it's still quite drinkable.

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Photo of oberon
4.31/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

7.5%ABV.per bottle label.My second of Lawson's wares I have had today.Poured a deep dark chocolate brown with a fluffy deep near mocha colored beige head that settles into a frothy mass after two half rings of lace left behind.Resinious hops,char,earth,and bitter chocolate notes in the nose, a nice mix.Great complex flavors going on with huge resiny and citric hops that are sharp and pretty in your face,a bit of bitter chocolate and alot of raw roast to compliment the hops.Wow a great IBA it has everything going on,top notch right here.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at the Farmhouse, Burlington, VT

How could I turn down a Lawson's on tap? Poured into a 6oz. stem glass, a dark, dark chocolate brown with a creamy, rocky tan head; decent retention and lacing. Typical dark ale aroma heavy with piney hops, and hints of greasy cocoa. Taste was oily, resinous up front, with a surprising infusion of delectable coffee mid-palate, finishing with more pine, grass, citrus peel, and charred wood. Quite complex in the taste, and probably the best of the style that I've had so far. Medium-bodied, quite drinkable, though perhaps one serving is enough for anyone. Very nicely done overall.

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Photo of Brad007
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color with a two-finger brown head into my pint glass. Lacing is left on the glass and overall presentation is nice.

Aroma is full of roasted coffee, chocolate and floral hops! Hops are mellow but the other flavors stand through quite a bit.

Taste is full of grassy hops upfront with roasted malt dominating the mouthfeel throughout. This baby is all hops. The other flavors ensure that the hops don't get to be too much.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering grassy hops that once again dominate. It's like drinking a special blend of coffee that is full of biting bitterness from the beans themselves.

Worth a try but my only gripe is that there's so many hops, it overwhelms any potential that this beer had to be more. I would probably dial down the hops a tad bit but otherwise, if you love hops, this is right up your alley.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #163
Bottle #4
7.5% ABV

Poured into a pint glass. Nice black body with a huge light-tan head. The head is a little over three fingers thick and maintains very well. Lots of sticky lacing left behind. Looks great.

Citrusy, piney hops all over the nose. Grapefruit and orange wedge. Grassy and floral. Some roasted malt.

Dark chocolate, slightly bitter malt laced with pine-infused hops and dried orange wash across the tongue. There are a good amount of hops in this beer, but the malt backbone is fairly strong as well. I really like the chocolaty roastiness that comes through.

Mouthfeel is thick, resiny and bitter. Slightly sticky. Good carbonation and the ABV is unnoticeable.

Drinkability is quite good. This brew definitely lingers on the bitter side, but if you like this style you'll find it pretty easy to drink. Another winner in the Lawson line up.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 6/20/12

Appearance: Dark brown, with some clear brown around the edges - pours with nicely sized light brown head, fades to some spots and streaks

Smell: Dark malts and hops - slightly burnt and roasty - burnt coffee beans, dark chocolate, chocolate malts, and cocoa - some earth, dirt - citrus (grapefruit and orange), and some pine - pretty balanced, heavy on the hops with a strong malt profile

Taste: Simply great for the style - burnt, roasted malts - dark chocolate, burnt coffee, very roasted, dry chocolate malts, cocoa, earth - some sweetness, but mostly dry - grapefruit pith and some orange, pine, resin, and some grass - burnt bitterness and hoppy bitterness, very bitter overall - flavorful and very interesting

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, slightly sticky, smooth

Overall: A great Black IPA

This beer manages to have a ton of hops and a complex malt bill yet not be extreme. It's pretty balanced. If it were a bit less bitter, it would be extremely drinkable. Regardless, I feel very lucky to have acquired a bottle. Cheers to the ladies at Craft Beer Cellar for getting Mr. Lawson himself to do a tasting on 6/2/12.

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Photo of scotorum
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Yet another prize from my beer trading buddy BigStein88. My first bottle of Lawson's, although I had Double Sunshine and one of Lawson's maple brews on draft at The Pig in Waterbury last summer.

Hope I'm posting in the right page, mine is called "Big Hoppy" and has a green hoppy smiley face in the middle of the label.

a: Pitch black with the barest hints of clear ruby when held to light. Enormous four inch milk chocolate brown head receded slowly to heavy rocky surface foam and dense patterned lacing.

s: Citrus with some strength.

t: Silky smoothness is the first impression, followed by a smoky roasty flavor accompanied by hop bitterness. Bitterness builds on the tongue and becomes a bit harsh at first, later mellowing to include a slight and appealing cedar woodiness and then some dark chocolate and cold black coffee roast.

m: Light to moderate, rather lighter than anticipated at first given its dense blackness. Silky silky smooth mouthfeel remains a prominent feature of the drinking experience.

o: High marks for mouthfeel, strength of roasty flavor and hop bitterness. Because it bears the same name as an established favorite of mine, Cambridge House's Big Hoppy (which is a DIPA, not a Black Ale), comparisons for me are suggested. But tastewise they are different brewnimals. Otherwise, Lawson's wins for mouthfeel, they are about tied for hop bite.

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Photo of rudzud
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Kyle for sharing.

A - Poured into a tulip a nice dark almost black hue with a nice half finger mocha head that fades to a nice thin blanket.

S - Aromas of super dank resinous hops, grapefruit, pine, chocolate. Nice.

T - Taste is incredibly hoppy, loads of wet, dank, resinous pine with some very bitter grapefruit finish. The malts assess suppressed nicely, good chocolate.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, great bitter finish.

O - Overall this beer was mighty tasty, Loads of hops.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Prototypical Black IPA, Cascadian ale, whatever you want to call it. Jet black body with a nice cap of tan foam that settles slowly and leaves strong lacing. Vividly hoppy aroma, lots of grapefruit and other citrus, some piney notes, strong roasted component.

Flavor follows the nose. Breaks no new ground, just nails the style beautifully. Again there’s incredibly fresh and vivid citrusy hops reeking of grapefruit, some pine and resins; lots of roasted malt character. Almost charred. Strong but not overbearing bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste. Dry finish.

Medium body and carbonation, exceptionally smooth and creamy in the mouth. Well done, my favorite of this style to date. On tap at the Farmhouse in Burlington; much better than the bottled version, IMHO.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL capped brown bottle with black wax seal. Rare Batch 88, Bottle 36. No date.

Appearance: Inky black with think tan head.

Nose: Stinky f-ing hops! Wow, dank is the only way to describe this aroma. Tight, too.

Palate: Crisp and bitter as sin. Black maltiness rules the roost, but the sticky bud hops clean house into oblivion...

Notes: This is a great hybridization of a dark (medium-bodied) style and bad-ass IPA's.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased in Vermont this weekend. So very fresh. Poured into Hunahpu snifter.

A- Pours an opaque dark black that doesn't allow any light to pass through. About a half finger of creamy light mocha/caramel head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving a flat top and some nice lacing. About average carbonation to maybe slightly below average carbonation.

S- Citrus hops mixed with lightly roasted malts. Can smell grapefruit and some other citrus fruits, but mostly grapefruit.

T- Big roasty, malty taste balanced with light citrus hops. Unlike the smell, the roasted malts definitely dominate the taste a lot more. A little bit of dank hops (not exactly the fresh crisp hops you'd get in Heady or some other DIPAs) in the finish with some citrus fruits and bitter chocolate. A little bit more citrusy in the aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied, smooth, definitely easily drinkable, average carbonation.

O- This was an enjoyable black ale. It definitely was big on aroma and taste. I thought the roasted malts came out a little bit too powerful in the taste, but it wasn't bad. It was nicely balanced with the citrus hops. The only other thing was that it was slightly to bitter. Overall though I definitely enjoyed this beer. I wanted to compare it with Double Sunshine, but unfortunately they were out of stock. I thought the Black Hop Juice from Two Brothers I had last week was definitely better then this, but the Big Hapi was definitely a quality black ale. I recommend trying it if you ever have access to Lawson's (hope they start distributing a little bit wider). Can't beat it for $9.99/bomber.

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

Tap at prohibition pig

Fluffy darker colored 1 finger creamy head fades slowly with nice lacing pitch black beer.

Nose nice piny spicy earthy hops, done darker malts, creamy malts, dark chocolate, caramel, hint if roast.

Taste starts creamy with milk chocolate and bakers choc, luscious, malty, malted milk ball, caramel, light bready malts, then hops, earthy light spicy piny hops, hint of coffee and roasted malt, chewy. Finish is creamy malty, little sticky and syrupy, fairly biter, earthy piny lingering hops and light cocoa and caramel lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, good carb, fluffy and bit creamy.

Overall nice, great hops and malts combined, blend well, not too sweet too hoppy or boozy.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber into tulip. mailed fresh from VT.

A: pours a deep, dark brown. head is very brown and bubbly. voluminous. great retention. even better lacing.

S: cigar, ash. tobacco, roast. a mild pine and citrus tries to battle with the stronger roasty, stout-like aromas. aroma doesn't dissipate. very intense.

T: flavor starts big. roasty and pretty hoppy. a burnt pine flavor. theres actually a nice fruitiness in the middle. hard to nail exactly what it is though. similar to the nose a really delicious burnt stout flavor a very dry roast finishes off the drink. an earthy chalky bitterness.

M: smooth carb. very full body.

D: a pretty good stab at a style that is hard to nab. I wish there was a little bit more hop character, but that is tough with this big of a back body. a really nice brew. it could go up a notch by taking a little off the dark malt and bumping up the late hop additions.

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Photo of mikey711
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to stowehop for this one.

A: Deep brown, with some light comin through at the bottom of the glass. Nice carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. Very nice head that is about an inch thick with very good retention

S: Grassy hop aroma and chocolately sweetness

T: This one is a bit past its prime, but there is still a decent hoppiness present. the chocolately aspect is very nice as well

M: Very nice body on this one and very smooth

D: A pint or two is fine

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoying at the Mad Taco in Vermont.
Thick, tight dull dark beige head that settles to a cap of foam and covers the entire glass with lace. Really dark brown in color with no light getting through.

Aroma is of pine and roasted malt. Nice combination. Rounded, not harsh.

Nice pop of roast and hop bitterness right up front. The dark roasted malt flavors settle a little, but the hop bitterness does not. Lots of dark pine mixed with a dark almost unsweetened chocolate.

Oily finish which has the hop bitterness cling to your tongue.

Real nice. Not sure if you want a stout or IPA.... Here's your choice.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomb into an oversized snifter glass.
Pours very, very dark almost black with a very generous 2 finger head, dark khaki and so thick and creamy it looked like a dessert. The head lasted forever with nice lacing. Sick!
Smell was hoppy, roasty. Exactly what I was expecting from the black IPA.
Taste was much more hop forward and less bitter than I experienced with Toast, Lawson's other black IPA. Very roasty, but in very nice balance with the hop-forward characteristics.
Mouthfeel was nice, not much bitterness on the palate after each sip.
Overall, a very nice black IPA.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle #20 from batch #86.

Pours dark mahogany with a translucent tinge of ruby when held to the light. A massive, rocky head of tan crept down to a soapy pillow on the surface with loads of spongy lacing.

Aromatics lead off with chocolate-laced grapefruit and earthy resins. Roasty malts with citrus fruits and cocoa. Slightly acrid with fruit underneath.

On the fuller side of medium bodied with a crisp but creamy mouthfeel. Slightly prickly in the finish.

Puckering grapefruit pith and citrus zest start the palate with cocoa-dusted roast quickly following suit. A solid, lingering bitterness steps forward and keeps things dry and lingering.

Finishes with juicy, pithy grapefruit, hoppy resins, and plenty of acrid roast.

Probably the hoppiest black IPA I've had, with loads of bitterness in the backbone. Maybe a bit lighter on the roast with help things mesh a bit better.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this about 10 days ago at the Warren Store (~$9.00 or so). Popped it yesterday while enjoying the lovely summer-like weather.

Poured into an imperial nonic, it came out looking like a stout or a porter. It was a very dark chestnut, with some highlights at the edges when held up to the light. Up top was a frothy, 1" layer of mocha hued foam, which ebbed slowly and left lovely lacing. Nose was inviting, with a good amount of chocolate with some rind hidden beneath. Medium in body, it was also pretty easy-going on the tongue.

Oddly, the choco and roasty notes were light on the palate, mostly staying in the background. What was strong was the citrus action. Had plenty of grapefruit and even a little zest of lemon floating around in there. It was a bit pithey and near the finish some roasty bitterness reappeared. Overall I liked this; it was well-made and satisfying, though the price pretty much makes it a "one and done". Prosit!!

4.03/5 rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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Photo of jegross2
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Big Hapi Black IPA from Lawson's Finest Liquids.
Score: 90

Unknown vintage bottle, though I suspect it is from late March/early April. Served in a Goose Island taster glass and enjoyed on 05/11/12. Review is from notes.

Appearance: Pours a black coffee color with brown highlights atop the glass when held up to light. There was a little bit of tan head at pour, but lacing/retention is difficult to discern here. Looks like a stout. 4/5

Smell: Roasty coffee, cocoa, milk chocolate, toasted malt and piney hops. A little brown sugar. Smells a lot like a roasty porter with a hoppy twist. 4/5

Taste: Roasted chocolate, milk chocolate, bitter coffee and raw chocolate. Bitter pine, lactose and creamy chocolate malt. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, low carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel. Bitter, roasty and slightly acidic finish. 4/5

Overall: A nice roasty porter with an IPA twist. This is quite unlike most black IPA I have had, which are usually IPA-forward beers with porter/stout twists.

Recommendation: Fans of roasty porters and IPA's should give this one a whirl.

Pairings: Chocolate chip cookies.

Cost: $8.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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Photo of UA8
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Long and short on this one it falls right in with Iniquity and Sublimely self righteous.

Pours dark black with a slightest bit of light passing through. Head is minimal but light tan in color. The nose and palate on this one echo each other nicely with hints of citrus hop and rind bitterness pairing well with dark roasted malts that lend a hint of sweetness. Mouth feel is solid with medium body and carbonation.
All together maybe not my favorite beer ever but one that does everything well and would be something I would greatly enjoy sessioning.

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BIG HAPI India Black Ale from Lawson's Finest Liquids
3.96 out of 5 based on 204 ratings.
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