Pistols At Dawn
Lonerider Brewing Company

Pistols At DawnPistols At Dawn
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American Stout
Ranked #23
Ranked #3,276
4.19 | pDev: 9.31%
Lonerider Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States
Pistols At DawnPistols At Dawn
Notes: High noon will have to take a backseat as the fresh morning air is perfect for a duel. We present our stout brewed with roasted malts, oats, lactose, and locally produced chocolate and coffee. A rich, dark velvety beer with a fine oatmeal flavor.
Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 105 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Tony210
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours very dark with minimal head. Not much to the nose, mostly faint chocolate. Big chocolate flavor, loads of coffee as well. Sweet and creamy, medium bodied. 9% is well hidden. Overall a nice brew, would love to see this ina barrel.

16 oz can from brewery
4.25 rating

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Photo of SawDog505
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1000 review and a very nice stout to hit that number, thanks @jzeilinger for another excellent beer. Poured into my favorite Lost Abbey long stim tulip glass at near room temperature, vintage 2016. Pours, very dark near jet black, with a 2 plus finger mocha is head, that has excellent retention as it settles into a thin khaki layer of bubbles.

Smell is baker's chocolate, roasty expresso, vanilla, toffee, heath bar,and a hint of warming alcohol.

Taste follows cocoa nibs, roasty coffee, vanilla bean, toffee, heath bar, and a little hint of Kahlua in the lip smacking finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty darn big and vicious, kind of creamy, moderate carbonation, maybe a touch dry as you would expect, and drinks very easy for its ABV.

Overall this is a very one dimensional, but delicious dessert beer. No tricks, exactly what you would expect from its description on the can and that is not a complaint at all.

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Photo of tone77
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A big thanks to the founding father of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a black color with a1/2 inch head. Smell is of chocolate, some coffee. Taste is big on chocolate, coffee is present but in the background, light bitterness at the finish, no alcohol flavor. Feels creamy in the mouth and overall is a beer worth seeking out.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark brown/borderline black in color with a thick, creamy, toffee colored layer, sticky lacing.

S - The nose is filled with cocoa, cream, and some dark roast bitterness.

T - Consistent from start to finish, starts strong and ends strong. Cocoa, cream, roasted dark chocolate and ends with a lingering dark roasted bitterness. At 9%, the ABV is completely hidden and no warming on the way down. Impressive.

M - Full and creamy body.

O - Never heard of this brewery, never heard of this beer, and glad I found it. Recommended.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pint on tap at Rib Eye Jack's. Not listed on the menu, but after requesting a cranberry stout, the waitress piped up and said there's also Pistols at Dawn. Hadn't heard of it before in my neck of the woods, but with a name like that it's hard to go wrong. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance - Bold and black like engine oil or fresh roasted espresso. A fine cap of deep tan head lingers on top. Impressive retention, some lacing. A great looking beer.

Smell - Really solid. Leaning chocolate, but hints of vanilla and definitely some mellow coffee in the nose. Very well integrated.

Taste - Like the nose. Middling sweetness with the chocolate flavor being a dark chocolate, however not the darkest chocolate. Some bitterness too and a mocha like flavor comes into play once the coffee is involved.

Mouthfeel - Super smooth, and hard to believe this is 9%. Sat back and drank this thinking it was 6-7%. Great texture, just a little bit chewy and carbonation is spot on.

Overall - Pistols at dawn is an impressive American Stout that, I'm glad to have tried, but unlikely to get the opportunity to again. Certainly worth the cost and stacks up nicely with some of the best stouts out there.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Part of the celebration of the 2017 New Year here in PA includes the continued loosening of the restrictions on alcohol sales that have made our great & mighty Commonwealth MORE restrictive than Utah! Supermarkets are now allowed to sell beer and in quantities as low as singles. This may not seem like much, but for so long, Case Law was law. My local chains include Giant (eh) and Weis (decent) while others in the Commonwealth have Wegmans (coming) & Giant Eagle (I wish) and I scored this gem at the Red Rose Commons Weis for inclusion in The CANQuest (tm).

From the CAN: "Beer for Outlaws"; "Most Wanted Outlaw Series"; "High noon will have to take a backseat, as the fresh morning air is perfect for a duel."; "Pistols At Dawn is our brunch stout, a rich, dark velvety beer brewed with roasted malts, oats, lactose, exceptional cocoa nibs, and locally produced coffee from Counter Culture Coffee."; "Handcrafted".

Well, that was quick! My submitted pic has been approved & so a review CAN CANmence. As usual/always, it begins with a Crack! & inverted Glug to get the juices flowing & the beer pouring. I got an initial pseudo-cascade before I had to stop pouring or risk an overflow. I ended up with two fingers of dense, foamy, light-tan head with great retention that began to leave sticky lacing in its wake as it slowly fell. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing garnet highlights at its edges. Nose had a heavy roastiness that I may or may not have associated with coffee. It was lightly smoky and definitely a dark beer of some stripe. Mouthfeel was thick, full and creamy! This coupled with the coffee, dark chocolate and light smokiness of the taste, put me in mind of an Arby's Jamocha shake. They may have the meats, but do they still have that shake? I have developed a mild lactose intolerance in my age and generally eschew ice cream and other dairy (unless it is cheese). This was really tasty, not at all sweet and in fact, sort of bitter. Finish was dry, bitter, but not overwhelming, which might be a CANcern. The 2016 batch shows as 9.0% ABV and did not drink at all like that. I was putting it down (perhaps) a little too rapidly. Perhaps the pistols were being aimed at me ... At any rate, this was a real find at my local (Lancaster, PA) Weis Market in Red Rose Commons and I have no regrets about its purchase.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Wicked Weed snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a full inch of dark tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a small center bump of surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves large clots behind.

S- Big baker's chocolate aroma reminds me of freshly baked brownies. Coffee is there but not nearly as strong as the cocoa nibs. Hint of booze.

T- Flavor goes in the same direction as the aroma with loads of milk chocolate and a great accompanying roastiness from the coffee and malt. So smooth for the ABV and there's plenty of sweetness but it's kept in check by the bitterness of the hops and roast.

M- Soft, thick and somewhat creamy with medium carbonation and a full body.

O- Definitely leans more toward chocolate than coffee but it's super tasty and well-balanced. Lonerider does not get enough love in my opinion. Check this out to see what they are capable of.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours bright dark brown with ruby highlights under a ½” tan foam cap that recedes moderately fast.

S: An alluring scent of cocoa, coffee and grains with a mild oatmeal presence. The cocoa, coffee and malt aromas are medium.

T: Very luscious cocoa and coffee float on a bed of light caramel malt lightly sweetened with lactose with an oatmeal background that all works very well together. Very rich but well balanced with nothing cloying or overblown.

F: Very creamy medium full to full body with medium low carbonation.

O: An excellent stout well worth repeating.

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Photo of SFNC
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in a 20 oz glass at The Pit in downtown Raleigh, NC,
Look; Standard Stout, Very dark, almost black. I thin mocha head that vanished quickly, Moderate to light lacing.
Smell; Rich scorched malts, chocolate, roasted coffee.
Taste; Caramel, burnt grains, burnt toast, dark chocolate, figs, Very rich tasting/
Feel; Smooth, very little or no carbonation. Felt right for a stout.
Overall; Quite enjoyable, paired well with my plate of Que.

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very dark beer that lets a bit of light through at the edges. Nice brown head that lingered for a minute or two. and seemed quite thick but left little to no lacing. The smell is coffee, roasted malts, and chocolate. The taste is mainly chocolate but with the coffee and sweetness hang around in the background. There really isn't a star or standout flavor and they all seem to meld together into a uniform taste. It is a good beer but I just wish it had more of the flavors identifiable in the end product.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"High noon will have to take a backseat as the fresh morning air is perfect for a duel. We present our stout, brewed with roasted malts, oats, and lactose, plus locally produced cocoa nibs from Escazu Artisan Chocolates and coffee from Joe Van Gogh. Pistols At Dawn is a rich, dark velvety beer with a fine oatmeal flavor." Brewed in the style of an American Stout with Cocoa Nibs & Coffee added. Available in 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a medium brown head of a frothy foam consistency over a very dark brown, near black body. Retention is average and lacing is light and patchy. 3.5

(Smell) Aromatic notes of earthy, acidic coffee bean, bittersweet cocoa nibs, lightly roasted malt, soft caramel grain. Mildly sweet, very coffee forward. Potency is moderate. 3.5

(Taste) Chocolate syrup flavor forward with a lesser background coffee presence, light roast malt, caramel syrup. Very strong chocolate presence, not too bold on the coffee flavor. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is silky, lightly chewy, smooth, medium dry. Carbonation is light, generating a light frothiness and a lightly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is slightly sweet over earthy, roasty bitter and acidic. Alcohol presence is mild and there are no off characters. 3.5

(Overall) I goofed again on this 2013 vintage, and the coffee is very likely a shell of its former self. Fortunately the beer is carried quite well with the chocolate profile it has and is nicely balanced with the flavor of soft roast, coffee bean acidity (largely preserved) and delicate grain bitterness. At it's current state it reminds me of a liquefied chocolate cake. Arguably superior over the syrupy sugar bombs that focus on chocolate, but not quite outstanding enough to warrant the hefty price tag that I spent on this bottle. 3.5

Lonerider Brewing Company's
Pistols At Dawn

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Photo of AuburnDude
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have done numerous blind taste testing with other Breakfast stouts and Pistols at Dawn ALWAYS is selected as the best. This could become Lonerider's must have beer and most sought after beer, like Heady Topper, etc.

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Photo of Jaykres
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Super nice mouthfeel. Sweet and malty, very little hops. Slight tan head and light carbonation deliver great flavor a over the tongue. Not too much coffee bitterness. Overall a beer I would drink again anytime.

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Photo of BirdsandHops
3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a finger of tan head that fades into a frothy ring with little lacing.

S: Roasted malts with robust, creamy coffee and semi-sweet chocolate. Simple, but nice.

T: Roasted malts here as well with dark chocolate and robust coffee. The finish is roasty with a bit of charred bitterness.

M: Medium-thick body with carbonation on the lower side of moderate, this beer is surprisingly drinkable.

O: A good beer, overall. Not terribly complex, but tasty and drinkable.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Note: 2014 Vintage from a 16 oz tall boy can

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and faint deep cola brown + garnet red highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy dark tan/mocha head that slowly reduces to a very thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of roasted malts, rich fudge-like chocolate, and coffee beans. Very light notes of vanilla.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of roasted malts with a light amount of caramel + molasses sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of rich fudge-like chocolate and fresh coffee. Finally there is a light amount of vanilla and a light lingering bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Thick and creamy + oily.

O: A very nice, very enjoyable, and easy to drink "big" stout. Wonderful complexity/layers of flavors and aromas which only improve as the beer warms up. Definitely one to grab again and glad I found it this year since the bottle that was an Xmas gift for me last year was dropped in the driveway and broke.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer pours a very dark, almost black coloring with chestnut highlights and a wispy film of surface coating head. There's also some surface activity, belying the carbonation below it. The aromas are bittersweet baker's chocolate, sweet custard, dark roasted coffee, and some earthy tones. Very well balanced nose. Flavors are smooth and balanced from the get go, with a solid chocolate undertone supporting more bitter and sharp flavors as highlights. Coffee throughout, with a heavy dose of cream sweetness that is less sugary than the nose was hinting at. All the flavors come together in a smooth, robust character. The body is velvety and rich, but kept light by the carbonation. The aftertaste is all cocoa nib, bitter and rich. Smooth finish with a subtle linger left by the coating of beer on your taste buds. This one is so drinkable and damn flavorful. Bravo!

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Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 22 oz bottle at the 2014 Secret Stash Bash (Atlanta).
Dark brown; clear but near opaque in my snifter.

Coffee! Coffee at or higher than a Founders Breakfast Stout level. But it lacks the richness, complexity and balance of the best coffee stouts. Very mild bitterness; in fact lightly sweet until the more or less balanced finish.

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Photo of jlindros
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Neat looking beer, and the cap is cool too, perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon home with my little girl, watching star wars on my birthday. Thanks to Beerness for this one, 2013 vintage, the bottle code could be telling me 3/15 but not sure.

Pours a dark mocha colored 1/2 finger fizzy bubbly head that starts to disappear fairly quickly and leaving bubble swirls around, no real lacing but decent legs for a 7.5%, pitch black beer with no light even getting through the thin parts.

Nose layers itself with chocolate, dark choc, baker's, some cocoa powder, rich cocoa nib, just waves of different chocolate, even a little fudgey. Some caramel malts in there as well but mostly drowned by the chocolate, a faint hint of roast and coffee but not much, a big dark roasty black malt that could be overbearing but probably not, hint of fluffy nougat and creamy oats, hint of lactose and milk chocolate.

Taste again loads up with layers of chocolate, and quite creamy, thick, little lush and velvety like. Brings nice chewy malts and chocolate, fudgey cocoa, not dry cocoa powder though, big baker's chocolate and milk chocolate. Nice creamy oat flavor and chewy like, even a little dry lactose later, adding to the big creamy feel and taste. Later there is a mild coffee note, mild to med roast coffee with a little roasty malt as well, little caramel and candy bar notes. The big dark malt flavor comes through but doesn't get acrid or overbearing, maybe some age helped that. A hint of bitterness in the background. Finishes a bit drier, mild lactose dry finish, little more bitter roast and hint more coffee, coats the mouth a bit with thick chocolate and creamy oats.

Mouth is quite thick and fudgey, creamy, lush, bit chewy and heavy, no real booze, nice carbonation too.

Overall pretty nice, the malts are great with that super dark malt flavor without acrid roast or harshness, so much great chocolate layers, creamy tasty, pretty nice. Just wish there was a bit more coffee, but that could be the age showing its... uh, age.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle from Sherlock's (Kennesaw, GA). 12.99. No dicernable bottling date. Served in a Clown Shoes snifter.

Pours black with a finger and a half of splotchy tan head that fades to a thin halo, leaving very little lace.

Aromas of cocoa, coffee and roasted malts.

A nice blend of flavors that I like to have in a stout. Coffee, dark chocolate, burnt caramel, roasted malt and a little earth. No alcohol bite.

Smooth, creamy medium feel with moderate carbonation. Bittersweet dark chocolate covered coffee bean aftertaste.

This is like Founders Breakfast Stout's baby brother. Many very similar notes but just a bit smaller in pretty much every way. Still an enjoyable brew in it's own right.

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Photo of jerefreakinmiah
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked this guy up from Lonerider the other day 2013 Edition
22 oz poured into a snifter

A - almost completely opaque in varying lightings. Pours pitch black and leaves a hearty, brown head that disappears fast.

S - strong coffee and black malt prevail

T - gets better with some warmth on it. Super strong coffee! Like creamed, cold brewed coffee. Sweetness arrives in the background as it warms.

M - mediumish carbonation, medium bodied. Hardly notice the abv.

O - not a bad brew. Quite a bit of hype behind it. I'm a big coffee guy (blackeyes every morning), yet this was overdone with the coffee. I feel like this would be better categorized as a Strong Milk Stout, given the sweetness that the lactose brings to the party. Worth a try, but I'd rather buy a 4 pack of Terrapin's Imperial Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout than buy one of these at $15.

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Photo of velcrogrip
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really pleasing coffee stout. Probably my favorite style of beer, even more than BA stouts. And this one really is one of the better ones i've had.

Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Dark opaque appearance. Strong coffee nose. No bitterness. absolutely no alcohol coming through. Drinks like morning coffee.

Careful, you could easily kill a bomber of this in no time flat.

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Photo of alk3kenny
4.71/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark, dark no light getting through this... creamy thick tan head very nice... nose is of coffee, light, pleasant non astringent... Taste of creamy, milk chocolate slightly sweet coffee on the back great compliment not overpowering. There just enough just great... Mouthfeel is creamy, no booze burn... dangerous could easily finish this without thinking twice... 15 dollar price tag is steep worth the bomber yes... buy another if I can find it... yea probably :)

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Photo of corby112
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to kubrick215 for sharing.

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears black and opaque in the glass with a half finger beige head that immediately settles into a thin ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.  

Sweet and roasted malt aroma with silky chocolate, roasted coffee bean, oatmeal, toffee and burnt toast.  Very inviting nose with a nice balance of roast and sweet chocolate malt notes.

Lighter bodies than expected and slightly watered down with a balance of sweet and roasted malt notes.  Subtle alcohol presence but not too hot.  Some sweet chocolate flavor but could be more smooth/silky.  Hints of toffee, oatmeal, coffee and burnt toast but not too roasty.  A bit dry but not harsh or acrid.  Well balanced but doesn't quite live up to the nose.

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Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an impy nonic jet black like crude oil,a half finger deep mocha colored head atop.Great aromas of roast,chocolate,and molasses,there is a hint of vanilla thrown in there as well,it smells very rich.A full smooth feel with the oats providing a nice creamy texture.Flavors are deeply roasted with a hefty amount of chocolate and lactos sweetness,a hint of raw earthiness in the finish.A real nice "big" stout, the use of oats makes for a smooth creamy brew.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ASUbeer for the bottle!

Pours black with a small tan head fading away to moderate lacing.

Lots of baker's chocolate in the nose along with the supporting cast of roasted malts, coffee and a little graininess.

Similar flavor along with oatmeal. Very smooth and dry a lot like eating a piece of dark chocolate.

Medium to full bodied with good carbonation levels. As mentioned finishes very dry and roasty.

All around solid for a non-imperial stout. Very smooth, but still ample mouthfeel. I love the way the malts play off each other. Glad I got to try this one.

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Pistols At Dawn from Lonerider Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 105 ratings