Terrapin Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout | Terrapin Beer Company

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Terrapin Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial StoutTerrapin Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.25%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Side Project #13

Added by jsanford on 11-05-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 248
Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks good but doesn't deliver RIS. Chooclate, smoke in aromas. A chocolate and coffee story, great lace. Medium mouthfeel. Nothing to write home about for the style. Radek's bottle.Not greatly drinkable, brewery did not execute on this one, I did not care for the taste.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.48/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: No light getting through, black color. two finger milk chocolate colored frothy head with a lot of lacing.

S: So many imperials seem to have a dominating either coffee or roasted aroma. This one seems to be chocolate first and roast/coffee in the background with vanilla notes.

T: Roast malt with a strong espresso flavor and lingering bitter espresso after taste. The brown sugar and vanilla notes are just the right amount of sweetness.

M: Very smooth. Thick bodied and moderate carbonation.

D: As most imperial stouts go, drinkability is low. If you like espresso like I do, this is a good beer to try.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hotmanflab666 for sending me this one as part of the Heavy Metal BIF 3 (Halloween Edition)!

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch puffy khaki head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Small dots and patches of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and some bittersweet chocolate. Taste is of dark roasted malt, some dark fruits, chocolate liqueur, and cocoa powder. A mild roasty bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a somewhat thin body with a lower level of carbonation. It goes down pretty smooth however. Overall, this is a good RIS but the mouthfeel is a bit lacking. I am still glad I got to try one of these.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I really wanted this beer to be thicker. The smell, the look, and the aromas are really nice in this. All beer would neednis the thick oily mouthfeel and it'd probably be much much better. This beer has a really nice aroma of roasted malts and some hops. The burnt dark flavors are all over the taste but in the way back of my mouth I'm can pick up some tingling hops. The color is black, the head is minimal after the pour has settled. But the lacing that's left is pretty good. This is a good beer, I just don't know if I'd call it a Russian Imperial or not.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has got that great RIS look, with a huge head that develops atop the obsidian liquid; the retention was great as was the lacing

Smell: Roasty chocolate, with plenty of "C" hops and a hint of licorice

Taste: The roast and chocolate make a brief appearance, up front, but the fusel alcohol and citrusy hops kick in rather quickly; after the swallow, the sweeter chocolate malts add a further dimension. though the finish has a lot of alcohol in the back

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: This beer has some elements of a RIS but also is arguably an imperial black IPA; I like it better than many other reviewers but I may be viewing it through a different lens

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Photo of nickfl
3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Black body with an light brown head of foam that stands less then one finger tall. The head fades away quickly and leaves little lace.

S - An alcoholic aroma of dark fruit and spiced coffee. Plums, espresso, clove, and licorice all compete for dominance.

T - Lots of dark sugar and fruit up front, plums and molars with a hint of burnt caramel. The character begins to come out in the middle with a rich, turkish coffee character. The beer finishes with lots of peppery alcohol and silvery clove as well as lingering warmth almost on the level of a distilled spirit.

M - Medium thick body, moderate carbonation, a slightly sweet finish, and hot alcohol that lingers on the palate.

D - This beer had a lot of potential, but it hasn't matured yet. It isn't quite as much of a mess as some others that I have tried before they were ready. The around us quite nice and the flavor shows promise until it falls apart in the finish. I plan on getting a boyle of this as it will be great in six months it a year, but it just isn't there yet.

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Photo of jlindros
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Optimator13 for this.

Light creamy head pitch black no light.

Nose bitter dark roasty malts, cocoa powder, creamy choc, nice coffee fresh roasted, light booze, light oats, some earthy and light spicy hops, caramel, touch of vanilla.

Taste smoked malts to start, cocoa powder, light creamy choc, light smoked meat, bit of roast, fresh coffee, chewy oats, earthy and light spicy hops, light booze, sweet little syrupy, syrupy but dry finish with lingering choc, caramel, roast, semi bitter, little smoke.

Mouth is heavier bodied, little syrupy, light warming booze, lower but decent carb.

Overall good, nice malts, good coffee and choc, drier finish, interesting smoked malts, decent hops, nothing too powering, but nothing special.

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Photo of Kegatron
2.64/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz foil topped bomber into an oversized tulip glass.

Pours a pitch black in the glass, with 2 fingers of stiff dark mocha colored foamy head. This shrinks down quickly but holds fast with about ¾ of a finger, hanging tough with a nice monstrous richness to the retention that leaves back heavy spotty lacing which readily sticks to the sides of the glass. I think that the look was definitely the best part of this beer. The aroma is very forward with fresh and bright citric hops that then give way to a HEAVY does of sweetness in the nose, consisting of notes of chocolate, molasses, brown sugars, and a touch of darker fruit. There is some dark malt character present (I'm really getting a good bit of coffee) but the beefy sweetness just seems to crowd out the other flavors at times. Some stiff alcohol piles warmth and even more sweetness on top.

The taste is once again chewy and sweet up front, with a combo of chocolate cake, gooey caramel, and some ripe dark fruit, which then immediately run into a WALL of green citric hop character. This is just a complete clash of flavors here. Coffee and burnt roast flesh out the back of the profile but even then, the hops run over things a bit. Espresso lingers in the back, along with some dry bitterness and some leftover sweet twang. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a mostly thick creaminess that expands out into the mouth and some oily slickness that seems to mostly come from all of the hops that are present. There is a beefy warmth here that really accentuates the strong bitterness but I wouldn't call the overall alcohol presence boozy.

You know a big hoppy Imperial Stout can be great when done right but unfortunately this attempt at the style from Terrapin just never got things on track, leaving this in the end to be a mildly drinkable and way too intense blend of hops, roast, and alcohol flavors. The hop profile here just seemed very raw and unrefined and both covered and clashed with the more sweet malt and fruit flavors that could have been this beers saving grace. This just wasn't a very well made Imperial Stout. A disappointment from Terrapin.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.71/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22 ounce bottle - Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a thick-looking, black body with an equally dense-looking, toasted khaki-colored head.

Smell: Tar-scented roastiness, softened dark chocolate, licorice, and burnt herbs mixed with a heavy dose of a low-grade, solventy raisin liqueur (as if there were a 99 Raisins on the market).

Taste: Maltiness landing back and forth between a sweet heavy roastiness and a taste of bittersweet chocolate squares, eventually joining in with some molasses and snippets of black licorice. Raisin-based dark fruitiness. Flecks of char from an oven cleaning. Green, leafy hop character with a moderate degree of bitterness. Well, that initial gulp is pretty tasty, but then a lacquery alcoholic hotness pushes its way into the mix, leaving with you a longly heated, roasty finish. Maybe the vodka-hinting alcohol quality on the back-half is all part of the Russian theme present.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. There's a heavy slickness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Sub-par, for me, and a bit tough to finish off. The coarse booziness is disappointing, sinking what could have been a far better, far more enjoyable brew.

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Photo of billab914
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Bruery tulip glass. It poured black in color with a thick, dark tan colored head to it. The head faded and clung to the edges of the glass, where it left a bit of lacing.

The aroma leans more on the sweet side with molasses, caramel and some dark fruits being the most prominent. I get a little bit of a milky chocolate to it as well. It's a little light on the roasty flavors for the style. Not bad at all, but a little too sweet compared to the top beers of the style.

The taste shows more of a caramel and dark fruit profile to it. I get some sweeter, chocolate flavors to it up front and just a hint of bitter roasty flavors in the finish. Like the aroma suggested, it was a little light on the roasty, stout characters for the style and leaned a little too far to the sweet side. Pretty decent flavors overall, but not exceptional in the style.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, but probably a little light for the style. Carbonation is average. Overall it had some decent flavors to it but wasn't outstanding in the style. Could have used a little more roasty, bitter flavors to balance it out some. I still really enjoyed sipping on it tonight though as it was very flavorful and easy drinking. Decent beer overall.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

jet black, motor oil like with a small tan head that had a quick fade, and had a nice lace down sides for the duration of the glass.

The smell was light but very sweet. Caramel and sugar being the predominant flavors. A very light hint at chocolate and a modest amount of alcohol were present as well, though this did diminish as it warmed.The first obviuos shock for me was a bitter hoppy finish that seemed to come out of no where on this black liquid. Lots of caramel flavors mixed in with black licorice made this one yummy drink indeed. The feel feel was thick, creamy almost chewey in consistency.

Overall this was very very excellent, and definatly a winner in my book. The alcohol is soo well hidden that this is actually dangerous and could rightfully catch up to you at any moment.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.81/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Mike for providing another tick from the Side Project series.

A: Vlady pours a dark brown color with a finger or so of tan head.

S: Starts off with the familiar intense roasted malt of an imperial stout. Burnt/charred malts and ash follow with lots of coffee, licorice, and burnt sugar. Some definite rubber notes are there as well.

T: Just a really bad coffee flavor to this beer. Bitter roasted/charred malts and sugar along with a strong astringency. Earthy hops and licorice are also present.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: Overall, this is just a really harsh beer.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 12/25/10 notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a jet black color with one finger of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Very little lacing and no retention.

s - Smells of coffee, roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, caramel malts, and vanilla. Pretty nice nose.

t - Tastes of bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, dark fruits, toasted malts, and alcohol. A step down from the nose.

m - Fuller body and moderate carbonation, thick and chewy, smooth.

d - Good, just a little too much alcohol and bitter chocolate in the taste. Would try again but probably wouldn't seek out buying another bottle.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul!

This beer appears nearly black, with a thick beige head that leaves some decent lacing in its wake. The aroma is primarily of roasted malt and alcohol. The flavor brings a lot of heat, with the typical stout characteristics a bit out of balance. It's quite roasty with a formidable alcohol presence throughout. The feel is medium to full bodied. A small sample was plenty. There are many better examples of this style available.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
1.66/5  rDev -54.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I love the label with the hammer and sickle in the Big Daddy Vlady's hand in comparison to the actual label. I also like the word's of wisdom, "feel free to serve in shot glasses". Pours completely pitch black this beer consumes all visible light spectrums emitted, large tan head viable forming a robust carbonation and honorable smell. Aroma has hints of dark fruit/herbal/grassy/citric hops which would be a bit different than your average beer from this style. Flavor wise is hotter than the devil's asshole, alcohol shouldn't flood my senses I feel I could breathe a bit of fire after each sip, it may be funny to the folks down in Athens, GA to deliver a beer in 22 ounce format that you feel should be drank by the shot. This is the worst version/beer/idea for a Russian Imperial stout I've ever had. Sorry guys get too extreme and lose your base audience go to extreme and seek the folks willing to drink a thimbleful of beer per each pour. I'm not willing to say, well I drank the whole bottle I should have only had a thimbleful. This beer feels like your shooting concentrated alcohol, why the fuck is it out there. No quality control? Terrapin makes it's flaws their perfections? or they know they can "Get away with this style of brewing"? You be the judge. Fuckin' horrible shit please beer gods let the creator have their sentence for this disgrace of a beer.

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Photo of stakem
3.99/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber into a snifter. Man...have I really cellared this beer for 5 years? I remember when it was released and I bought a bottle, then subsequently had it on draft and figured id tuck the bottle away for aging. Here we are now drinking the bottle: black in color with a pleasant looking mocha head.

The smell includes licorice and pleasant coffee-like roastiness and earth with alcohol imparting something like raisons across the back. The tastes is equally bitter with roast and raisony alcohol, earth and a suggestion of some molasses-like dark smoky sweetness.

This is medium to fuller bodied with a light yet enjoyable amount of carbonation. For having been aged for 5 years, this is drinking pretty good and not really showing any signs of degrading. Worth checking out.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into Founders snifter.

APPEARANCE: Nothing special, very dark color with very low carbonation. Looks pretty thin too.

SMELL: A little weak but still pretty nice. Roasty and sweet.

TASTE: Very much on the sweet side for a stout. Tastes like sugary candy--maple candy maybe? A little roastiness comes through too but the sweetness is dominant. Pretty tasty, a little boozy and not quite balanced though so I think a year or two of age would benefit this beer greatly.

MOUTHFEEL: A little thin and carbonation is way too low. This is the real weak point for this beer, a little more carbonation would go a long way. I wonder if other bottles were as bad as this one.

OVERALL: A tasty beer, but the mouthfeel is off and it needs some more age to mellow out. I need to grab another bottle to sit on for a year or two.


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Photo of MasterSki
3.26/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks Chad for sharing this one. Served in a New Belgium tulip.

A - Pours with a nice finger of tan foam that settles to a thin cap, leaving behind spotty lace. Body is pretty much pitch black. It's a very attractive RIS.

S - Rye bread, cocoa, molasses, booze-soaked cake, some figs and dates. Smells stronger than the listed 10.25%.

T - Taste is less pleasant. Lots of char, tar, and stale burnt espresso mingle with the dark bread and fruit flavors. The finish is astringent and features plenty of fusel alcohol.

M - Chewy, viscous, medium-full body. Finishes very sticky and with some obvious alcohol warmth.

D - I eventually finished my ~7-8oz but it took a while. Not something I'd really want to revisit, with so many better (cheaper, and easier to acquire) options out there.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce gold foil covered bottle. I've had this one sitting in the cellar since the beginning of this year, and after hearing of the alcohol heat, I'm hoping some has settled out. Split with Matt and poured into two tulip glasses.

A: Deep dark brown body on the pour, essentially black sitting in the glass with a creamy, bubbly tan head. The dissipation was somewhat slow, eventually settling into a thin film across the surface with a rather bubbly ring. The lacing is minor and patchy, not too bad for something with a higher ABV.

S: Bakers dark cocoa nibs, milk chocolate, coffee beans, caramel coffee creamer and some touches of vanilla. It has an overall roasted quality that doesn't seem to impart itself into any particular flavor, but nonetheless this is all a bit disorientated in terms of solidity.

T: Slightly roasted mild coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate bar, caramel malts, toasted vanilla beans and a dash of toasted coconut, as well. The finish is dry, more so than I would like but doesn't leave any off lingers or flavors. Bitter coffee grounds still coat the palate long after swallow. It's not the most flavorful or diverse Russian Imperial Stout I've ever had but certainly not the worst.

M: Lower carbonation but it doesn't feel full-bodied and chewy like I'd like a beer of this caliber and style to be. Somewhat smooth and slightly prickly, creamy? Not so much which is too bad. However, it's still a nice feeling beer.

I can't say I really had any expectations for this beer but I think it delivered quite well. While overall this is certainly not as polished as other beers in the style, it's a novel attempt at a critical style. In the plethora of other RIS we see on the market, this one unfortunately falls a bit short.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured pretty much a dark as night black with a finger worth of brown bubbly head leaving some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: a good amount of chocolate was present in the aroma with oat grains, sweet malts, a little roasty character alomgside caramel, brown sugar, and boozy notes.

T: the booze was coming through more on the taste with chocolate, caramel, roasty accents and a touch of oat grains but the booze was well hidden.

M: the brew was full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, creamy, and mild boozy finish.

D: it wasn't too drinkable but was a solid RIS all around, not too robust but had some good qualitites. definitely glad to try another terrapin offering.

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Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1" milk chocolate color head. Moderate lace develops.

Smell: roasted malt, light alcohol, nice bitterness, and some fruit sweetness comes through to the nose.

Taste: roasted malt, bitter chocolate, prunes, raisins, mild alcohol tones, and a moderate bitterness creates a flavorful beer.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smoother to finish. Aftertaste is long as the flavors last in the mouth.

Drinkability: slow sipping beer, but nicely flavorful. Worth a try.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Terrapin Big Daddy Vladdy

Poured into a snifter, a midnight black with light brown head that fades to some wispy lacing. Aroma is of dark, roasted malts. In the flavor, much of the same. Black/charred malts giving it a real heavy feel and deep roasted flavor. Coffee, dark chocolate and alcohol all dial in, along with some earthy hops in the mix. Not as boozy as it could have been, but nice overall stout flavors. At 10.25%abv, it is a big one, and worth spending some time in the cellar.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm going to have to disagree with some of the reviews here. This is certainly boozy, but that doesn't bother me too much- should age fairly well. I don't think this is all that sweet, though. I get bitter chocolate, a small amount of brown sugar, and some vinous notes long with some pine notes. It is a bit thinner than it should be, and would definitely benefit from some body. I thought it was decent, but far from a homerun.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured thick black with a moderate cap of brown bubbles followed by light lacing

S: Big roastiness here with coffee, bakers powder cocoa and perhaps some dark fruits and black liquorice

T: Starts off as blended milk chocolate and cheap bakers cocoa powder with a pungent booze sting. There is a moderate amount of coffee and roasted malt to keep it interesting, a light hint of black liquorice on the end

M: Medium to big bodied, perhaps a tad overly carbonated, bitter chocolate, roasted malts persist

O: No major complaints but not one I would go for again

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Photo of avalon07
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch and a half of foamy/creamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: Aroma was dominated by chocolate and malt, with some hints of coffee.

T: Tasted of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt up front, with some coffee in the finish. Not as sharp as some RISs in terms of focus. A decent flavor.

M: A solid amount of carbonation with a predictably slick finish. full-bodied.

D: On the whole, a solidly drinkable beer, in spite of some deficiencies.

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Terrapin Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout from Terrapin Beer Company
3.66 out of 5 based on 248 ratings.
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