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Victory At Sea Imperial Porter - Barrel Aged | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Victory At Sea Imperial Porter - Barrel AgedVictory At Sea Imperial Porter - Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
ballastpoint.com

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by scottoale on 01-29-2007

BEER STATS
Reviews:
55
Ratings:
272
Avg:
4.36
pDev:
8.72%
 
 
Wants:
189
Gots:
83
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 272
Photo of philbe311
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A very slow to develop head... It rises post pour to a thin creamy medium brown head with some decent retention... This is arguably the thickest beer I have ever seen... The carbonation bubbles are the slowest I have ever encountered as they struggle to rise to the top... Motor oil black...

S - Surprisingly subdued... Not as potent as I would have expected... A bit of booze... A bit of vanilla... A bit of coffee... Some faint caramel notes...

T - Wholly booze... The bourbon is front and center in this one as it dominates from the get go... Down beneath the surface are the vanilla and coffee notes traditionally associated with Victory at Sea...

M - Beyond full bodied... Viscous... Thick... Chewy... Sludgie... Sleek... Velvety... Very subtle carbonation...

D - In my opinion, a great barrel aged beer is complemented by the additional flavors, not dominated by them... In this case the barrel again is omni-present and dominates... Even with that said, there is no denying this is an exceptionally well crafted brew...

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Photo of juhl31
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks toronado SD for the '08 vintage!

-black with a tan/brown head with some good retention, especially for an '08

-choco syrup taste. the chocolate is very strong which makes it very hard to pull other notes out of it

-that artificial chocolate is in there which makes sense. some coffee, and the vanilla rolls in through the back end. a lot like a candy drink

-would like it to be thicker, but it does work for the taste

-very drinkable. definitely a dessert style stout. also not too heavy like a lot of imperials are

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Photo of sholland119
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Teresa's Next Door, 6/6/11.

A-Pours a deep dark black with a thin creamy tan head. Great retention, no lacing (not expected with nitro pour).

S-A bit light but some nice sweet caramel and chocolate.

T-Sweet caramel and mocha, lots of boozy warmth in the finish, good vanilla, toffee and bourbon notes.

M-Creamy, heavy, rich and warm, velvety.

O-Delicious beer. Creamy, rich flavors with an appropriate amount of warmth and heat. Excellent.

HV

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle. Heaven Hills [sic], per the neck tag. Bottled 2/2016. Black body with an ample khaki head. Smell has a lot of bourbon. Lots of vanilla. Rich coffee. Some chocolate. Vanilla is the primary flavor. Huge vanilla flavor. Coffee behind it. Bourbon is in the back end, but still strong. Oaky in the finish. Medium heavy. Pretty boozy. This is really delicious.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Lobrau

A: Pours dark brown, basically black, with a frothy tawny brown head that settles to a light layer and leaves some light lacing.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, molasses, roasted malt, and a hint of dark fruit.

T: Smooth bourbon, milk chocolate, roasted malt, molasses, vanilla, light coffee, a little spice, and just a hint of dark fruit.

M: Full body, mild carbonation. % is very well hidden.

O: Dare I say, this blows the standard version out of the water. Coffee has faded, but everything there is wonderful.

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Photo of John_M
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Tap and Growler last night. This is a beer I've been wanting to try for some time.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and attractive lacing all around. On the nose, I get considerable dark chocolate, vanilla, light coffee and light bourbon. The beer smells very nice. The flavor profile replicates the nose, with the vanilla flavor dominating. The beer is on the sweet side, no doubt, but is still pretty easy to drink. Mouthfeel is fairly soft in a medium bodied package, and the finish is long and very smooth. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, though you can definitely tell it's up there (but even so, I ordered a second 8 ounce glass).

Very nice BA porter from Ballast Point.

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Photo of Raziel313
4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle about a week after release

Perfect example of why hype is so dumb in the beer world. This should be trading at an extremely high level at 1 per person, secret release, and brewery only. All the things that make up a whale essentially. So you can really taste the hype brah...

Look - Dark Brown with small but decent retention

Smell - Heaven Hill barrels and marshmallows

Taste - So much vanilla. Like why isn't this a whale vanilla. It's got vanilla in it brah... followed by a nice blend of heaven hill. IMO better than Rare '15 heaven hill taste

Feel - Main thing i felt that lacked but then I realized this isn't a stout. It's a porter and its right where it should be. Still can't help but want just a little bit of a thicker mouth feel though.

Overall - Seriously why are things like this overlooked.... It isn't always about the hype. Just try different beers and you will see that much of the "highly" rated beers are just normal like most beers. Unfortunately beer hype makes us miss these little gems.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nitro-tap served at room temperature.

A: Pours a near-black dark brown with a typical dense, creamy, thick, and long lasting nitro head that left sheets of lacing down the glass.
S: Extremely huge notes of vanilla and well integrated bourbon along with some woody, oaky notes.
T: Sweet notes of caramel and vanilla with warm notes of bourbon coming through near the finish. Vanilla is potent all around. Coffee is subtle and creamy in the aftertaste like a latte. Bourbon adds some spicy warmth. I get a touch of caramel and raisin as well, along with a subtle sort of fruit or sherry flavor that I can't quite place.
M: Creamy nitro body that tapers a bit at the end. Low carbonation, smooth. Alcohol and bourbon add flavor but not really a lot of warmth. Nice.
O: Incredibly drinkable and smooth. This was the highlight of my day to drink.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is just about black as night with a finger's worth of mocha colored foam on top.

S: The vanilla aroma is even more pronounced and intense than the regular version (I didn't realize that was possible). Though the coffee is a bit subdued, the bourbon, oak, roast, and chocolate notes really give this a great nose.

T: Once again, the vanilla is incredibly intense and really defines this beer. The bourbon, oak, and subdued coffee are nice compliments to it and there is a sweet chocolately flavor as well. The bourbon really comes through as this one warms up.

M: A very full bodied beer with a soft, smooth, and creamy carbonation.

D: I suppose my only complaint about this beer is that the coffee has died out a bit too much for me. I only say this because it's one of the things that defines Victory at Sea. That said, I wouldn't turn down a taste of this.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2/18/2010

Consumed in celebration of my vanquishment of BEC. Another barrel aged version of a Ballast Point beer aged in a different barrel for a variable amount of time called the same thing. Oh well. This particular beer was on tap at the Old Grove location and was aged for 99 days in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels.

It appears impenetrable black in my snifter, crowned with a one finger light brown head. It looks like beer.

The aroma is of dark chocolate cake and brown sugar cookies with notes of molasses. Oak is evident, and vanilla, while less apparent here than in the regular version, is more noticeable than the last two barrel aged versions I tried at Beer Meets Wood at the Homebrew Mart during San Diego Beer Week 2009 and Ballast Point's Anniversary Fest in 2009. Bourbon is apparent and well integrated. Dark chocolate is very powerful and a little caramel is evident. Coffee has backed off a bit after the beer's sojourn in the barrels, and I prefer it at this lower level. Anyway, this smells great.

The flavor is a combination of dark chocolate cake, coffee, roasted malt, and vanilla, with an excellent and well integrated bourbon presence. Coffee influence increases midpalate and a light astringency can be perceived. I'm really digging the bourbon influence here. Notes of brown sugar are present, and a little alcohol is noticeable in the flavor. Bourbon presence is strongest in the warming dark chocolate roasted brown sugar vanilla finish. Yes, those attributes are all there. The mouthfeel is full and creamy and carbonation is at a low moderate level. This is excellent.

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Photo of wethead
4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Huge Coffee Taste with super silky trace feel.

This beer is a must with fish, pork or salad.

Not a good beer for read meat dinning.

You will feel the head rush within the first few sips

I have tried over 800 beers and this one is on my top 20.

I also uploaded a picture for you :))

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Teresa's during their Ballast Point event this morning!

A: The description says pitch black, and I was skeptical. But wow. This is easily the darkest beer I have ever seen. 1/2 cm of head dark creamy head sits on top of this beer for an eternity. Some carbonation clings to the inside of the glass, looking like it can't push through the thick texture of the beer to make it to the top.

S: Strong coffee dominates, with muted boubon notes in the wings, adding character.

T: Alcohol is completely non-evident, as it is hidden well by roasted coffee and dark, chocolate malts. Bourbon taste does little more than linger in the background. Vanilla comes through in the middle. Intense coffee flavors, augmented by some bourbon notes fill the palate for the aftertaste.

M/D: Smooth as water, with a medium to heavy texture. Slightly different flavor than I had expected, as the bourbon was not nearly a focal point in the beer, but just added to enhance the character. Complexity is top notch. ABV is too high to have too many, but if I hadn't had to leave, I would have kicked back another one in a heartbeat.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.64/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Teresa's Next Door in a Tulip. I would of kicked myself if I passed this up.

A- BA Victory at Sea is black, even behind some light this one is still black. Some off white/tan foam was on top forming a cap and than fading. Some swirls brang it back while lacing was very light.

S- The smell is great with signs of a balanced barrel aged beer. It opened my eyes up. Big smells of sweet vanilla and coffee with top notch bourbon. Also behind that some roast and malt.

T- A wonderful porter with robust malts taking the spotlight with the Kentucky bourbon. Good bourbon too not that cheap crap at the company parties. Vanilla (which I love in my beer) is also up front giving a different swetness. Chocolate and coffee. This one has it all, even a nice hop addition in the back.

M- Above medium bodied, hell it might as well be full bodied with some heat from the 12.2%, wow that's high. The alcohol is well hidden though. Robust malts vanilla giving this one a somewhat creamy feel. Light in carbonation.

D- This one is a sipper but I wanted to gulp it. delicious and well balanced plus not to hot. Really cant complain with this one. Now I just need to track down the regular version.

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Photo of AmeriCanadian
4.64/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely spectacular. I love regular Victory at Sea, and for my tastes this barrel-aging (the rep said it was Woodford barrels) adds positively to it. The look is its usual velvety, jet black with a thin chocolate milk head that leaves a little sticky lacing. The aroma is big and boozy with the familiar vanilla, chocolate, and roasted coffee, but additional, wonderful notes of whiskey, toffee, raisins and dark fruit. The flavor profile is near perfect. The strong vanilla and bitter espresso from the regular [email protected] are mellowed somewhat (though still very present), while the dark fruit, molasses, and chocolate are enhanced. And, again, added notes of caramel and toffee, a little oak, chocolate-covered raisins, and dark jam round things out. You're very aware that the bourbon is there, but it seems to weave its way around the other flavors, really acting as the glue that ties it all together.

It's honestly unfair to compare this offering against regular American Porters. This beer is absolutely decadent and I would drink it for very different reasons and in different situations than regular [email protected] But I certainly hope to drink it again soon.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at ballast point during sdbw! What a treat!

A- dark body with a nice tan lacing head!

S-sweet bourbon notes but enough malt to hold it up

T-follows the nose. Very sweet and smooth bourbon with a little bit of vanilla.

M-excellent. Smooth and silky mouth feel.

O-phenominal brew. Absolutely.

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Photo of paytoplay
4.67/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing beer. Ballast Pt's 13th anny, regular keg of this was also great, fresher coffee vanilla flavor compared to this barrel aged version, plus the mellowing nitro action. Super complex, winter warmer feel. Bourbon was very balanced, great texture and a super long finish. I believe this was also cask conditioned so they threw everything at this beer. Damn it was good.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nitroed at Boonville.

A - Poured dark brown with a 2 fingered brown head. Doesn't really dissipate and leaves beautiful lacing.

S/T - Vanilla, notes of chocolate and hints of grass. The bourbon barrel is mellow and not overpowering.

M - Full-bodied and well-balanced. Shocked at how little alcohol flavor there is. The bourbon barrel really masks the alcohol sensation.

D - Wow! How can they improve on this? It's a complex, and yet outstanding beer.

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Photo of jakecattleco
4.69/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Draft at Beer Shoppe in a tulip. Great beer! The barrel makes it tougher to pick up the vanilla, but the coffee finish is great. Nose was good, but could've been a bit stronger. Nevertheless, a beer I will buy every time given the opportunity! A great variant of one of favorite beers.

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Photo of shangwang
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

tried this at Khyber Pass during their Philly Beer Week BP event.

Beautiful looking pour- dark viscous appearance with a creamy finger of head that lingered for a while. The smell was very potent- notes of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, toasted almond and wood. It was such a pleasant aroma that I continued to go back to the smell throughout drinking this. The taste mirrored the smell- very sweet at the beginning with some roasty bitterness at the end, but extremely balanced and smooth. It was like drinking a dessert, but it wasn't overwhelmingly sweet. This might be one of the best beers I've ever tasted. Great mouthfeel- not overly heavy but a solid consistency. Finished smoothly and was very easy to drink. I could have easily had a few more if not for the other BP selections I wanted to try. Awesome beer.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.71/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the Pittsford Pub in Pittsford, NY. This is aged in heaven hills barrels.

This pours a very dark black, with a small, wispy head, and not much lacing.

Smells like pure, rich, and super strong vanilla, with roasty/ashy coffee, dark grainy malt, light oak, and sweet bourbon.

This is absolutely wonderful. I thought it would be good- how could it not be?- but I was even surprised at how good this ended up being. The barrels they used meld so well with the base. The barrel aging has amplified the vanilla aspects of the base, while playing down the coffee a bit. There's just so much creamy vanilla here, with a still present roasty grain bitterness, some light roasty and rich coffee, a little bit of oak, and well integrated bourbon. Though the vanilla is quite strong, one flavor doesn't pop out at you and dominate- all the flavors are well-layered throughout the beer.

This is medium bodied, creamy, and pretty rich, but not super thick. There's a normal level of carbonation.

This is an absolute top tier barrel-aged beer here. Really decadent, not much booziness, and just all around delicious.

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Photo of TimGarcia
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

2016 release. Aged 11 months in Heaven Hills bourbon barrels. Nose has sweet vanilla bourbon. Taste has sweet bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, oak, and paradise.

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Photo of AltBock
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was excited to see (you would be too) that on 6/28/2009, Teresa's Next Door was going to tap the Bourbon Barrel Aged Victory at Sea. I just recently had the regular Victory at Sea and I thought that was a great beer. On that day, I couldn't wait to see if the barrel aged version was going to be worse or better than the regular version. Let's find out if this beer was better or worse than the regular bottled version.

When poured into a large stemmed Tulip, I found out that this version was the same color as the regular version. That means that this beer was a thick pitch black colored beer with absolutely no sign of any kind of highlight. To create a highlight, that means light would have shine through the beer and that's physically impossible for any kind of light source to do. On top of this thick oil colored beer was a ¾ of an inch dark mocha head of foam. This creamy mocha head of foam had great retention that left behind a large foamy string of rings and a few blots of lace. Great dark appearance! If you want to stare into pure darkness, you can either put your head in a box or pour this beer into the glass. I suggest the second option.

The bottled version of this beer was just bursting out of the glass with dark roasted coffee beans. The Barrel Aged version was mellower and there were more aromas than just roasted coffee beans. The aroma was mellow with a touch of bourbon, a hint of oak, a pinch of dark chocolate, a few dark fruits, and then these aromas will then give way to a strong whiff of roasted coffee beans. This scent of roasted coffee beans was strong, but it was nowhere as strong as the same scent that can be found in the regular bottle version. I'm happy to say that the aroma wasn't done just yet. After the strong scent of roasted coffee beans, the aroma then finishes up with a subtle whiff of French vanilla. This is the aroma I look for when it comes to a Barrel Aged Coffee Porter. You get plenty of coffee as well as bourbon, oak, and even French vanilla. A pleasure to smell!

I originally thought that maybe the bourbon and oak would calm down the powerful taste of roasted coffee beans, but that wasn't the case. The taste was thick and dark with a super strong taste of bitter roasted coffee beans. This was the same taste that can be found in the regular bottled version, but there was more to this beer than just roasted coffee beans. The taste was also strong with the taste of bourbon, a hint of charred oak, a hint of dark chocolate, and a gentle touch of French vanilla at the finish line. Like I stated before, I honestly thought that the bourbon and oak would settle down the strong taste of roasted coffee beans, but the bourbon and oak let this beer keep its strong taste of coffee beans and just added their own little touch. If you've never had coffee beans with some bourbon and oak mixed into it, then you missing a treat.

Take your time with this beer because this is clearly a full bodied beer that just after a few sips, you'll feel this beer go to work on your body. The strong initial taste gave way to an everlasting thick strong aftertaste of roasted coffee beans, a touch of bourbon and charred oak, a splash of dark chocolate, and a gentle touch of French vanilla. Make sure you have a glass of water nearby because that might counter the effects of this beer and it will help clean off the strong taste of roasted coffee beans off of your taste buds.

Man, what a great Barrel Aged Coffee Porter! I mean, not only did I get a strong taste of roasted coffee beans, but also a taste of bourbon, oak, and even a subtle taste of vanilla. If this beer is on tap at your local bar, count your lucky stars and go get a glass or two.

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Photo of seedyone
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

02/24/13 On cask at Beer Authority, NYC. Surprisingly at just the right temperature. The coffee & vanilla notes in this well made brew are just that notes. They remain at a polite distance. Could drink his all night but for the 10% ABV. If it's a choice for you, choose it.

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Photo of urwatuh8
4.76/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had three samples of this at the Boonville beer fest, all pretty earlier. Probably the best beer I had at the fest. The folks at the Ballast Point booth were calling them half pours, but my tasting glass was probably 3/4 full each time. The beer was served on nitro tap, which seemed a little odd, but worked well.

The beer was black with a thin tan/brown head. Huge blast of vanilla. Coffee, chocolate, roasty. Of course this beer was thick, but it was very smooth and creamy. I think the nitro helped to make this beer ridiculously smooth, but the aromas were probably dulled a bit.

Aside from some alcohol warming, I had no idea how big this beer was. The alcohol was really well hidden. Just from being a big imperial porter, I was thinking maybe 8-9% or so, but well masked even at this level. Surprised to see it as high as 12% ! If you get a chance to try this beer, don't pass up the opportunity.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had as part of a tasting at the Ballast Point Brewing Company. Served on tap in a tasting glass.

A-tar black body, mocha brown head.

S-chocolate smell with some grain

T-coffee front, chocolate middle and a nice bitter finish

M-heavy mouthfeel

D-Such a complex beer. Exceptional on all counts. High alcohol is well hidden. Get it if you can.

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Victory At Sea Imperial Porter - Barrel Aged from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.36 out of 5 based on 272 ratings.
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