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Certified Evil | Lucky Bucket Brewing Co.

93 Reviews
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Certified EvilCertified Evil

Brewed by:
Lucky Bucket Brewing Co.
Nebraska, United States | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Certified Evil is the result of a 2008 collaboration project with Todd Ashman of Fifty Fifty Brewing in Truckee, California and Matt Van Wyk of Oakshire Brewing in Eugene, Oregon. Each brewer set out to create a dark Belgian strong ale with their own unique spin on the style. Since the first collaboration, six new breweries have been added to the project to invent a truly unique beer. This beer is properly named Certified Evil.
The new Certified Evil recipe is more complex and interesting than the brew from 2008. This new beer blends Certified Evil aged in Cabernet barrels for one year with a younger batch of oaked aged Certified Evil. The combination makes for a vibrant yet smooth and elegant taste. The recipe also includes a wide variety of complex sugars including turbinado sugar, molasses and honey. The result is an amazingly complex beer. Truly a must try to any craft beer lover.

Added by RedHaze on 12-07-2009

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Reviews: 93 | Ratings: 238
Photo of BeerNutz324
3.16/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ap- Dark brown amber in color and opaque. Nice cinnamon colored head w/ pretty good retention.

Ar- Smells a little fruity, and a little sour or tart. I get whiffs of booze and oak too.

T- Roasted malts and flavor from the oak aging really shinges through for me. I get sort of a sour/tart aftertaste and the liqour comes thru just a little bit at the end. Really can't believe this stuff is 12.5%. Although the label says malt and hops do battle in the brew, I really didn't taste much as far as hops go.

M- Medium feel, moderate carbonation. Feels pretty good on the tongue.

O- A different beer but not in a bad way. This was my first oak aged beer and at first I wasn't so fond of it. As the beer warmed and I got a little more used to it, I liked the flavor better. I would buy this again.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.46/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brownish red, with garnet edges. Head was a yellowish off white.

There's a slight roast note on the aroma, with some vanilla and astringency. There's an almost mild tart note.

Taste shows more a roasted malt and light bakers chocolate. Slight tart/alcohol note on the finish. For 12.5%, the alcohol is well hidden.

Feels upper medium in body, with medium carbonation.

This is a very interesting brew. I don't love it...but I don't dislike it at all.

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Photo of plfahey
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Black with faint garnet highlights when held to the light. Appears relatively clear, though difficult to ascertain due to opacity. Creamy, light brownish head is creamy and has good retention with some nice lacing.

Aroma-Sweet grape and over-ripe cherry notes, with dark candi sugar, spicy/rose-like alcohols, and a touch of phenolic spice. Slight toasted malt and black, tarry molasses.

Flavor-Sweet brandy and dark fruit flavors up front, cherries and some prune leading the way. Molasses in the mid-palate is taken over by dark, roasted/burnt malt and a hefty serving of warming alcohol. Still is semi-sweet in the finish.

Mouthfeel-Medium full-body with moderate carbonation. Substantial alcohol warmth, but never hot.

It has some good characteristics to it, and I wonder if the sweetness would die down a bit with some age, but right now it's a bit one-dimensional and too sweet in the nose and flavor for me. Man though is that alcohol well hidden. I can tell that it's got some booze to it, but for 12.5% this one goes down easy.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.91/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Over 1300 reviews and this is my first from a brewer in Nebraska. Pours out inky black nothingness topped by a massive creamy head of tan foam. Looks impressive. Sweet brown sugar in the nose, raisins, and a little maple syrup. The taste is not as sweet as you would expect, a little more subdued than the abv and ingredients list would lead you to believe. Creamy raisin and vinous flavors, roasted malts and an alcohol burn round out this beer. Not quite what you would expect from the style, definitely a beer that does it's own thing.

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Photo of rwathree
4.08/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black and almost completely opaque. When I hold it up to light, the tiniest bit of brown shows at the top. The light-brown head is small and disappears fast, but it leaves a long-lasting lace. Love just how dark this beer is.

S: First aroma is sweet grapes; after that, brown sugar, subdued phenols. Inviting, but also threatens to be too sweet. I'd like to smell some more malt in there.

T: Nice, complex taste. Rich red wine, pleasant alcohol heat, strong roasted coffee, and a short rush of floral hops in the finish. Given the ABV, the alcohol isn't overpowering.

M: Full and creamy, with moderate carbonation.

This is a frighteningly drinkable beer. The ABV isn't listed, and I once made the mistake of drinking more than one of these in a night - not a good idea. That said, very good beer. Wish the smell was as complex as the taste, but well done.

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Photo of gregshead
3.96/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this one on 8/10/11. Thanks to sgsmfdoom for sending this one in a recent trade. Reviewed from notes:

A: Pours black w/ a finger of light colored head. Some lacing circles the edge long after it dissipates. It really looks good.

S: Peppery dark malt smells. Not super descript aroma.

T: Spicy/peppery finish. Sweet start. Ashy aftertaste. Good oak hangs out in the background

M: Perfect thickness. Carbonation is pretty full

O: Let this one warm up and it is full of decadent flavors. I don't know what is so evil about this one, but it sure is tasty.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.41/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This beer has a dark cocoa body that is opaque. It was able to build one finger of tawny head. Just like that though, it is gone and leaves only minimal lace.

Smell: What a wacky nose. Immediately you are hit with a sugary sweetness, almost like a sour hard candy. Once past that, there is some caramel malt. That tanginess might be from citrus hops, but it is hard to say. Very weird.

Taste: The front of the drink has that same tangy sweetness that was on the nose. It is followed directly by the citrus hops, which I think is going in the wrong direction. From mid to finish the caramel malts mix with a coffee roasted char. The end is much more enjoyable than the beginning.

Mouth feel: It is medium bodied, could be a little heavier than it is.

Overall: This beer is a very strange mix of sweet, tangy, and roasted malt. Belgian Strong Dark Ale? Not really. There might be those out there that like this kind of thing. But I will certainly not be looking this one up again.

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Photo of amphion1065
2.94/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big thanks to mashmaster for this Nebraska tick. 12 oz. bottle into my Portsmouth tulip.

Pours a very dark purple, nearly black. A half-finger light tan head forms after an aggressive pour, but doesn't last for long.

Very fruity aroma. Sweet oranges are prominent. There's a berry characteristic I can't quite put my finger on - blueberries? Brown sugar undergirds the fruit, along with some rich, dark malts.

Taste is not nearly as sweet as the smell. Actually, this is a little bit sour upfront. The berry flavors I anticipated aren't there, but there is some fruit, namely peach. Some raisins come through with other unidentifiable dark fruits. Unfortunately, there's also a metallic twang that's pretty off-putting, along with a rather bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is actually very nice - the carbonation is ideal. A pretty velvety beer, it really excels in this category.

I gave this beer's profile page a cursory glance when I received it a few weeks ago, but I completely forgot that it's 12.5% ABV. Given that there was no alcohol heat to speak of at all, I'm going to have to bump up the overall score just a touch - at the very least, it's technically impressive.

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Photo of match1112
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

looks like a soda in my glass, black in the middle brown around the edges and a fizzy little ring on top. smells like raisins, sugar and alot of booze. taste is a lot of raisins sugar and malts with a little wood in it. mouthfeel is flat with no carbonation. overall not real impressive.

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Photo of smithr53
4.17/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

A - black brown, can see alittle light through it when held up

S - Not much to it, no malt or grain, I almost smell the sugar

T - Not much up front, but has a nice chocolate, carmel after taste. Little acidity at the end

M - Missing some Carb, I think it would have brougt more out in the beer if had some more Carb.

Overall pleasently surprised. It is my first from lucky Bucket, but definately wont be my last.

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Photo of Westywood
4.33/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Dark. Tar and hints of ruby. Aggressive pour into a goblet results in a thin, brown, pale head that dissapates quickly but rings the glass through consumption.

Smell - Sweet. Strong presence of berries on the nose. Hints of bisquitty breads.

Taste - Red fruits up front. The way the hops and the malts interact with the strong presence of the cabernet/figgy undertones of the wine it's really a sensory overload. Sweet then tart then malty smoothness then just a bit of dryness on the finish. It all happens fast and it all happens with the volume on 10. There's nothing shy about this beer. Big ABV is completely hidden by this brew until the belly starts to warm.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is in keeping with the rest of this beer. It's big and complex. CE has a big mouthfeel despite very limited carbonation presence.

Overall - I liked Certified Evil. It's DARK and complex. It swings from sweet to bitter and all the way back. This is a great beer to enjoy with a nice big Ribeye or just a good conversation.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.08/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle into New Belgium Globe.

Deep mahogany body with a loose tan head of about one finger.
Smells like rum-soaked raisins with a vinous quality hidin in there.
The taste starts off with a little chocolate before drying out, hitting some spicy note?, and then a grapey vinous character. The finish is chalky and oaky.
The body is a bit too carbonated for me-- And the feel is too thin.

Overall-- Meh. This isn't offensive in any aspect, but it doesn't really impress me anywhere either.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is more in line with an oak aged RIS. Dark malt with some roast and a nicely oak woody aroma, minimal on the vanilla, but some wine like qualities (tart and fruit).
Hints of yeasty spiciness in the background. Very dark with minimal hints of color (dark brown) in highlights. Poured with very thin head that's persistent in it's minimalism.
Flavor is an interesting mix of flavors. Big malt character with ample roast, a bold richness with heavy sweetness pushing cloy. Dryness on the finish that seems in line more with malt than low gravity. Tannins evident and the wine flavor adds a fruitiness that includes a berry taste too. Tartness is big and adds a puckering quality at times.
Surprisingly lighter body, although it's still solidly moderate. Alcohol is well hidden as this is not hot in any manner, yet the experience of the alcohol is felt. Carbonated right for a big beer.
I'm conflicted. There are interesting flavors, but I'm not sure they are well blended or thought through. The wine flavors tend to dominate as it sits and then overshadows the dark malt flavors that shouldn't be overshadowed. So do I sit on these and see how these develop?
1/16/15 - so I've sat on a bottle since 7/31/11 and I'd have to say it has done it a lot of good. This is a much more enjoyable beer now and much less of a mess. The wine barrel aging is much more refined and blends much better, although it is still dominant. It has a smoothness I did not note before. Still lacks the strong malt character.

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Photo of zeledonia
4.19/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bottom of the bottle has 083 11, which could be code for "bottled 24 March 2011." Or it could be something else.

Pours very dark, black in the glass and coffee brown at the edges. Much darker than I expected. Minimal head; what is there is a medium brown. Hints of lacing, but not much.

Smell is dominated by dark roasted malts, very stout-like, with a nice fruitiness that comes to me as strawberries. Also hints of Belgian yeast (a bit of spice). Smells like a Belgian stout with fruit on top. Very nice, and rather unique.

Flavor is much like the smell, though less complex. The dark roasts are more dominant, and the fruit doesn't rise to the top as much. Bottle claims potent hops, but I don't pick them up. Finish is long and fairly sweet. Really nice variety of flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, fairly low carbonation. Could probably use a little more carb.

This is like a cross between a Belgian ale and a stout, with a bit of light fruit thrown in. Really interesting, unlike anything I've tasted before, and quite good. I definitely plan to drink this again. Oh, and 12.5%? I had no idea until I came on here to review it.

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Photo of mooselvlt
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a snifter

A - Pours very dark. Black really. No light gets through it. Produces a fingers worth of brown foam. Recedes to a ring around the rim that leaves some lacing.

S - Always have loved the smell of this brew. It gets better and better as it warms. Dark fruits dominate and there's something there that I can't even pin down but it smells good whatever it is.

T - Sweet raisins/dark fruits. A good malt smoothness presents itself as well.

M - Medium bodied, smooth, some light carbonation that adds a bit of crispness, finishes pretty dry.

O - This one isn't for the faint of heart. Its a complex beer for sure. Doesn't quite pull it all off for me although I do enjoy it for the most part. The nose is really wonderful.

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Photo of Tballz420
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jet black body, slightest of amber hues via light, small tan head doesnt last long. Pretty good amount of lacing. Scent is chocolate malts backed by a strong candy sugar yeast. Chocolate malt front, a bit of roast, cherry, maybe some brown sugar, almost has a bit of a wine flavor in there. Its certainly pretty complex. Some well blended spiciness from the alcohol. Medium bodied, fairly acidic. Im not really blown away by it, but its a very nice beer.

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Photo of ZAP
2.91/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Bit of a ruby tint to this brown colored beer.

S-Some sour notes....actually a lot of sour notes....almost like sour cherries....some roasty maltiness

T-Has a vinous flavor to it. Red grapes...also a touch of dark cocoa...tart red wine like flavor is big and it is tough to pull a lot of other flavors out of this.

M-Tart...12.5%? Body wise this is barely full....

O-Really not my thing. Just too much tart cherry/berry flavor to it.

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Photo of morimech
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Comparing the beer described on the Lucky Bucket website and the one I have in my hand, I do not see the similarity. This is more of a robust porter or stout than anything Belgian or barrel-aged.

Very dark black in color with one finger of dense beige head that had very good retention. The head settles to a thin cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass.

Dark malt aroma with hints of chocolate and molassas. I also pick up some cinammon and brown sugar. No sign of the alcohol.

Flavor shows that a bunch of sugar was poured into the fermentor. Lingering sweetness in the background. Dark malt dominates. Hints of chocolate, molassas, and cinnamon. Alcohol comes in the finiah but is not overly hot. Bitterness is relatively low.

Body is medium and has good carbonation. The body is not robust enough to hold together against the alcohol so it thins out a lot in the finish.

A good beer but I was mislead by the Lucky Bucket website. No barrel-aging evident and just the slightest hint of anything Belgian.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.12/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark mahogany color. The head is one inch of tan foam that recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of roasted malt, chocolate, graham cracker, and hints of wood. The taste is similar to the aroma, but much lighter. The mouthfeel is full bodied with almost no carbonation, and a cloying texture. Overall, this is a beer I will pass on next time. This beer is big alcohol wise, but it takes more than high ABV to make a good beer. This beer lacks anything in the way of complexity in the flavor and aroma.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.36/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into 25oz snifter. Thanks to roosevelt25 for this one!

A: Pours damn near black with a finger of dark tan head that faded into a thin scum that left a bit of soapy lace.
S: Smells of rich dark fruits, especially prunes and raisins, with a few vapors of wine-esque alcohol.
T: Definitely fruity but not very sweet. There are a ton of vinous flavors as well, to the point where the finish is lightly sour. I also get flavors of tobacco and cocoa in addition to the cardamom, raisin juice and orange zest this beer is brewed with. The aftertaste is similar to that of red wine and has a hint of molasses. This one is definitely strange, and I’m not sure I like it.
M: Frothy carbonation is ample, tingly and a bit distracting. Body has a good heft to it but is not the thickest. Mouthfeel has a few gritty tannins in it. For 12.5% though, the alcohol is hidden pretty well.
O: The wine casks sure did impart a lot of their flavor. The problem is this beer now tastes like bad wine. It was drinkable but not especially enjoyable. I don’t ever really need to have this again.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Certified Evil is an undomesticated beast, a dark, ominous and oak aged creation. It's aggressive hops battle it's massive malt profile, Flavor assaulting all those who bear witness." Do I want to get assaulted with flavor? Hmmm, maybe, maybe…
"Malt beverage brewed with brown sugar, raisin juice, molasses, cardamom and orange peel and aged in wine casks." It's called an Imperial Porter, rings in at 9.6%, and has been aged in Cabernet barrels. Let's get cracking' at it…

Solid blackness, dark as sin, with a thin, brown ring for a head.

Deep and rich aromatics, dark fruit foremost, with molasses, chocolate, espresso, and more making up the mix. Raisins, figs, brown sugar…cocoa powder. Well balanced, nothing is dominant, nothing too loud or too callous. Even tempered all the way, aromatically.

Now, let's taste…in the mouth, it's a thick morass of flavors, sweet malty flavors kept in check, well maintained, tremendously balanced. Some berries in here, too, all that dark fruit, the raisin, the brown sugar, the molasses, the deep, dark richness all comes out on the palate, the cocoa and coffee. And before you know it, you start to pick up on the wine barrel aging, too.

Some tannins pop on the palate, we're getting some of the grit and the grab of the wine flavoring for sure. It wraps around the other flavors lovingly, coats them, covers them and makes them all get along. A little pithy twinge of sweetness rings it out. Sip again, the complex mix comes together on the palate, they all show themselves and make themselves known among this behemoth blend, stick their necks out and take a little bow. Then the wine barrel bit sweeps them up again, and we're picking out favorite cameos from that previous performance. "Ah, wasn't the coffee delightful? Did n't the cocoa shine? Remember the raisin, and wasn't molasses in top form?"

And now, at the end of the glass, the bottle drained, the alcohol comes booming in, …glad this is the last beer of the night. I'm off to bed, and dream of happy things, hopefully, with no evil creeping into my slumber.

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Photo of SDDanC
2.58/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle into standard pint glass. Decent creamy head about a finger and a 1/2. Poured a dark dark brown, not translucent. Nose wasnt very prominent, small hint of raisin and malt. Taste was disappointing. I got a lot of metallic, like id been sucking on a spoon or something. i wasnt able to pick out much past the metallic taste. a little raisin, a little caramel, subtle sour bit at the end. the sour is what made it drinkable, otherwise i would have been sad. mouthfeel was fun, not too much carb, but it complimented to subtle sourness. overall, i wouldnt want it again, i prefer beer not liquid aluminum.

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Photo of titosupertramp
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Reddish brown color. Thick two fingers of tan head leave a nice looking film and nice, but sparse lacing.

S: Pretty sweet on the nose. Brown sugar and molasses stand out in front. Roasted malts, dark fruits..there's a tart smell that you can probably attribute to the cabernet barrels or raisin juice.

T: Taste isn't quite as sweet as the nose. Sugar and molasses are still there, but everything else is in better balance. Belgian yeast, dark fruits, spiciness, orange, licorice. As this warms, the roasted malts become more pronounced. The alcohol is present, but not distracting.

M: Not quite as thick or chewy as you would expect from such a large beer, but not too bad. Just a slight burn from the alcohol.

O: For a 12.5%, this is a pretty drinkable beer. With all the trouble they took to make Certified Evil, I'd expect a little more complexity..maybe there's too much going on. Either way, this a pretty good beer that I'll likely purchase again.

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Photo of jera1350
3.46/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color with a thin coating of dark khaki foam. Nice lacing.

A bit sour smelling with the majority of the nose made up or a rye scent. Bit of hops also.

Completely not what I was expecting after looking at the ingredients list. Very little sweetness with quite a bit of hop bitterness. Very rye like with some sourness and cardamom spice and bitter orange peel. Some woody notes also.

Soft and smooth feel with a lightly dry finish. Medium full body which is surprising for a beer this high in alcohol.

A decent beer, but not what I expected. I would like to see some more sweetness from all of the sugar used. I can't say I recommend this, but it isn't bad either.

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Photo of jacobseyb
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up as a single from Red Dog Wine & Spirits in Franklin, TN. Should have picked up more. Poured into my snifter a deep, dark, opaque brown almost black. Head was thick at almost three fingers on a vigorous pour. Brown in color, it left an average amount of lacing, and dissipated quickly. Aromas up front were complex, and wonderful. It started with dark fruits and sweetness, some alcohol, and a floral finish. Taste is very sweet, dark fruits, raisins, crisp grapes, and some alcohol. The floral is not quite as present in the taste. Feel is very crisp, great carbonation, some oiliness on the finish. Overall I really enjoyed the beer, loved the complexity and I will be very interested in how it ages.

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Certified Evil from Lucky Bucket Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.
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