Descendant Dark Ale | Mystic Brewery

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BA SCORE
85
very good
44 Reviews
THE BROS
82
good
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Descendant Dark AleDescendant Dark Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mystic Brewery
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: English Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Mystic Descendant is a strong dry stout made with molasses and Saison yeast for rustic, tavern ale character.

It is meant to be served at warmer/ cellar temperatures as were similar tavern ales in the era before refrigeration.

Added by BostonBrewins on 10-22-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
44
Ratings:
152
Avg:
3.78
pDev:
20.63%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
29
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 152
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.21/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

i really wouldnt have called this one a stout at all, much more brown than black, hardly any of the dark roasted grains coming through in this one, but the label on my bottle is much different than the one pictured, so perhaps they have changed the recipe around a little bit. it was more of an english strong dark ale, a grain driven beer built to showcase some of this intense molasses in here, really almost more of a dark amber or copper color than a black beer, but thats just me. the head is huge and leaves a serious beer mustache as i drink it in. aroma of burnt sugar and nutty english bready malts, residual sweetness, and a strong and flavorful english ale yeast, quite rustic in nature. the molasses totally leads in the flavor, that raw black sugary depth, playing well with the yeast, but being pretty dominant over it. the beer ends up not being overly sweet despite being flavored predominantly by the molasses. its an odd synergy, but it really works. full body for sure, but a richness and creamy feel that mystic beers often achieve, must be the yeast. carbonation is lively for a thicker darker beer, and the overall here is something unlike any other and very special. well worth the cost, i think all of the mystic beer is.

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Photo of jlindros
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Small fizzy head, leaves a bit of lacing as it fades, over super dark molasses brown color hint of maroon light sneaking through.

Nose is sure interesting, lots of molasses, a bit syrupy, caramel, hint of black patent malt and slight hint of roast, then light dry saison rustic malts and fruity spicy saison yeast, and hint of cocoa to finish it off. Touch of esters.

Taste is more of the same, starting with dark malts, lots of dark crystal, hint of chocolate and black patent I think, and caramel flavors. Then molasses brings a nice almost syrupy flavor but not much, with a slight nutty hazelnut flavor, and touch of prune. Wants to get syrupy but doesn't, but does get a bit creamy. A bit of booze brings some esters as well. Also easy underneath is a bit dry rustic saison yeast with hint of spices. Finishes still bit sweet but drier, a bit bitter, more molasses and dark malts, hint if saison spices.

Mouth is med to a bit heavier bodied, dec carb, slightly syrupy and creamy, hint of warming booze.

overall really interesting, nice dark malts and molasses, light saison flavors, drinkable despite the booze, very interesting and tasty.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into snifter, batch #016. Pours clear very dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces t oa small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big chocolate, cocoa, raisin, plum, fig, date, cherry, molasses, toast, dark bread, pepper, light char/coffee, herbal, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of roast/bready malt, fruity/spicy yeast, molasses, and earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big chocolate, cocoa, raisin, plum, fig, date, cherry, molasses, toast, dark bread, light char/coffee, herbal, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/roasted bitterness and yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, raisin, plum, fig, date, molasses, toast, dark bread, pepper, light coffee/char, and herbal/roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of roast/bready malt, fruity/spicy yeast, molasses, and earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate bitter/roasted dryness after the finish as well. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice English/Belgian stout style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of roast/bready malt, fruity/spicy yeast, molasses, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to sip on. This has the balanced character of a dry stout and English porter as advertised; with some additional spicy Belgian yeast character. A unique and very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Jason
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml brown corked and caged bottle. Batch #1

LOOK: Not short of head, towering over the top of the glass. Shade or two from opaque ... full on black.

SMELL: Carob, chicory, nougat, faint yeast, toasted dark bread, ripe plums, green peppercorn, herbal, charcoal.

TASTE: Medium body, smooth, over-toasted bread, unsweetened chocolate, muted blueberries, burnt raisins, kiss of fig sugar, mild char, yeast, mellow herbal hop, estery, dry finish.

This beer is starting to grow on my, love the tri-hybrid style going on here. Stout & porter with a Belgian flare. A lot of flavor to take in here, a clear sipper as it ends up being super complex. I definitely will be revisiting this beer / future batches.

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Photo of smcolw
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Large, beige head that recedes steadily to minimal level of bubbles. Ultimately, there is no lace. The color is dark ruby, brown. Light does pass lightly.

Smells a bit milky with light burnt toast in the background.

Mostly malty (of the darker variety), some near-burnt toast flavors. Thin bodied with higher level of carbonation. The swallow has an element of alcohol warmth along with mild hop.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 12/29/12 notes. Bottle shared by jslot38; thanks Justin.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with a reddish tint, one inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, spice, yeast, roasted malts, toasted malts, earthy notes, raisins, and plums. Nice nose full of malts and dark fruits.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, raisins, plums, figs, Belgian style yeast, spices, roasted malts, earthy notes, burnt malts, and sugar. Something seems a little off or weird; reminds me slight of the smell of wet dog. Not the biggest fan of the taste.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and pretty easy to drink; no heat.

o - Overall an interesting beer and hybrid of styles, though I wasn't a huge fan of it. The nose was nice, but I didn't like the taste. Considering I like some of their other saisons, I'd rather grab those off the shelf than revisit this one.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours the darkest of browns with very faint brown highlights when held to light, a spirited level of carbonation produces a head that fills half the glass no matter how it is poured. Smells of caramel, brown sugar, roasted grains, burnt sugar, dark fruits, yeasty phenols, there's a lot going on here and so far its all good. Taste is dark malts, chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, raisins, prunes, plums. This is very complex lots of stuff going on here. Medium to thick body, quite a bit of carbonation, maybe too much, sweet saison-esque mouthfeel. I really enjoyed this beer. The carbonation might be a touch on the high side, but the flavors and aromas are fantastic. I would say this is more of a Belgian strong dark than a stout, but when a beer is done this well who needs labels really?

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.1/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Murky brown color, beige head. Aroma has light molasses sweetness and some cardboard. Taste has also cardboard, stale notes, not enjoyable at all. It's a really flawed beer.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with a half finger light brown head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of sweet dark toasted malt, molasses, nuts and a hint of dark fruit and chocolate. Flavor is dark toasted malt with light char, cocoa, dark stone fruit, light suggestions of Belgian yeast, molasses. Medium bodied with light creaminess. Nice, and unusual flavor progression starting with the nice lighly smoky toasted malt, molasses and chocolate with developing Belgian flavors of dark fruit and yeast, then finishing with solid chocolatey dark malt. The Belgian flavors lightens the middle flavor, but does not add tartness nor becomes a dominant flavor. The balance is well done and quite interesting. Much maltier than a Belgian stout, with a very flavorful English or dry stout profile. I liked this quite a bit and will look for other ales from this brewery.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Will pour a five+ finger cream head that fades very slowly to a thin layer leaving a thick lace. Black color, no highlights. Strong carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Roasted malt nose and flavor is malty, bready, fairly smooth. The 7% ABV is totally hidden. $9.99 for a 750ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

From the caged, corked 750 ml. bottle marked Batch #006. Sampled on May 23, 2013.

It pours a very dark chocolate brown but looks darker once it is in the glass. Very heady with a puffy, fluffy tan colored head that lingers.

The aroma is full of coffee and dark fruit like cherry. Playing second fiddle are the chocolate and yeast esters.

The body was the weakest part of this one coming in at about medium with an astringency the made my tongue slick.

The taste also brought out the dark coffee notes and dark malts withe dark fruit more in the background. There is a mild hop bitterness that leads to a dry finish. I found it to be quite good.

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

Picked up a bottle at the Julio's release. Poured into a duvel tulip.

A - Pours a deep, dark, what has to be clear black with a two finger off mocha head that faded to leave a halo and minimal cloud.

S - Different nose. Light smokeyness combined with roast malts and chocolate/coffee. Some light subtle belgian yeast notes.

T - After the strong booze taste and slight metallic there are some nice roast coffee and light chocolate flavors. Not getting much in the way of hops, but, there is some pleasant belgian yeast.

M - Really surprising mouthfeel. Excellent carbonation, light, prickly, almost refreshing. Only knock is the ABV is somewhat hot.

O - I remember liking this alot more at the tasting I was at. Its still a nice beer, just, not up to par with their saison.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle purchased as a single from somewhere localish. Corked and caged.

Poured into a Harpoon LE tulip, formed a 2" light brown head over the almost opaque dark brown/burgundy brew. Head lasts and lasts, with thick lasting lace. Aroma is tart cherries and coffee.

Taste is chocolate sweetness to start, light fruitiness in the center, and closes with a soft bitterness that leaves with a tart aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is pretty good. Interesting brew.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.11/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Is the cork kidding me? One moderate push via my thumb easily sends the cork flying to the ceiling with a frightening pop explosion. Blew the cork-guard clean off. Anyways… Pours like cola. Color is brown but with transparent edges. Big tan head. Head is bubbly but dies away quickly and leaves a slight bubbly layer atop the liquid.

S-The nose is strange. This beer smells like an intense combination of chocolate and ashy bonfire. Very burnt nose. The alcohol is far too intense. It actually stings the nostrils. I am beginning to wonder if something is wrong here. I have heard that some of Mystic’s first batch of Saison had a super-boozy nose and flavor. I had two of the first batch of Saison and had no problem; but I have heard others who have.

T-The flavor does not display the super-boozy quality like the nose. This beer tastes like a Rauchbier almost. Smoky and a bit salty. Chocolate and a tiny hint of coffee too. Slight hop bitterness on the back end. Molasses is there too. Definitely different. Doesn't really appeal to me.

M-Much lighter than the look would lead me to believe. Moderate to high carbonation. Feels almost watery at some points.

O/D-I love their Saison. I think it may be my favorite Saison. But this one does not impress me at all. The nose is off putting. The flavor is strange. The feel doesn’t match the style well. Just not very good. At $8.50 a bottle, I will finish it. However, I wish I had waited for someone to tell me about this before I tossed out nearly $10 for this one.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: black in color, 1 inch head, low carbonation, opaque

Smell: dark fruit, pumpernickel bread, chocolate and light char

Taste: dark fruit, pumpernickel bread, chocolate and light char

Mouthfeel: medium-high carbonation, medium body, sweet with slight char bitterness

Overall: Tastes like a dubbel mixed with an Irish stout. Very interesting and complex combination of flavors. A nice and complex brew that I will pick up again.

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Photo of Rutager
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thank you, Franklinn!!

Appearance. Pours a very deep dark brown with only a little reddish light coming through at the edges, topped with a massive, 3+ fingers of tan head.

Smell. Molasses, dark grainy malts and some dark fruits with just a little bit of herby spices.

Taste. Dark grainy malts again, some fruity yeast, some dark chocolate, maybe a little dark fruit. Fairly dry and a little bit of booze.

Mouthfeel. Medium+ body with strong, but smooth and soft carbonation.

Overall. Interesting beer that seems to border on a belgian strong ale. Glad to have tried it, thanks again Franklinn!

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Photo of Dope
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: A dark brown pour with a ridiculously huge fluffy light brown head. Retention and lacing both seem to be nice.

S: Roasted malt and chocolate mainly. Spicy too and with a little bit of alcohol burn. Smells pretty similar to a lighter stout or a porter really. Not your typical belgian dark.

T: Pretty watery right off the bat, surprisingly. Roasted malt and chocolate here but fairly subdued due to the thinness. Tastes not too far off from a guinness, though perhaps even more thin, despite the much higher ABV. Little bit of spice.

M: Super thin and watery, really detracts from the beer unfortunately.

O: A very interesting idea but the execution fell flat unfortunately. It tastes like a really thin porter basically. Some mild belgian influence but nothing really stands out. The watery aspect really lowered the scores too. Unfortunately the taste and mouthfeel just do not match up with the looks and aroma.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Descendant pours a very dark brown/near black into the glass, with a massive creamy off white head on top. The foam dissolves very slowly and leaves the glass coated in lace as it descends to the surface of the beer.

The aroma is not too strong and is malty with a sour twang mixed in. Notes of molasses, roast malt, yeast, clove, pepper and flowers. Almost reminds me of a Belgian beer.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is smooth with an oily feel on the palate and soft effervescent carbonation. The flavor is malty and sweet with some spice and flowers at the end. It begins with roast malt and chocolate. In the middle some dark fruit notes (raisin or fig?) and molasses appear. It finishes dry with a touch of clove and hint of flowers. Once gone the chocolate, dark fruit and clove lingers on the palate.

This is an interesting, complex beer. There's a lot of different flavors in each sip that work in harmony together. No one flavor dominates.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #200!

I picked up a bottle of this and their saison on a recent Boston outing. The saison was excellent but this beer is the one that I really shows Mystic’s unique voice coming through. The Descendant is a hybrid stout/porter fermented with a proprietary house saison yeast, brewed “in homage to our immigrant ancestors.” Now that’s a philosophy I can get behind!

This is from Batch 001. It pours a malty cola color with a nice creamy head. Smell is reminiscent of a solid stout—roasty malts dominate, with some dark coffee and toffee in the mix. A sprinkling of dark chocolate rounds it out.

The roasty notes carry over to the taste, with a clear dry finish. Light in body for a stout. Starts off sweet, in the manner of a darker English mild-style beer (aged in cabernet Sauvignon barrels, perhaps? Seems like it strikes a similar flavor profile and mouthfeel to some of the things I’ve tried from Austin’s Jester King) but in a stout-porter hybrid form. Simply wonderful, a great find!

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from batch 3.

Pours nearly opaque and very dark brown. Two-plus inches of tan foam settled slowly into a solid skim coat and dots of lacing.

Aromatics lead off with roasted malts, brown sugar, bubblegum, chocolate, and apples. Hints of coffee, char, and dark rum follow through.

Medium to fuller bodied with a velvety mouthfeel. A bit lush.

Dark chocolate, Kahlua, espresso, and bananas start the palate. Shades of dark rum, raisins, and oreo shells follow through.

Finishes with lingering roast, chocolate, and a hint of grape jam.

Tasty brew, somewhere between a stout, dubble, and quad.

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Photo of ksimons
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-very dark brown with no visible highlights seen and a nice creamy looking head that sticks around for the glass

S-dark malt, dark fruits, molasses, a nice hint of chocolate and coffee, and then some Saison yeastyness. Very interesting

T-taste is similar to the smell, dark fruit comes up dominant, followed by dark bread, very light dry coffee, and chocolate. Not picking up as much yeast in the taste.

M-Descendant just reaches a medium body, medium carbonation. Wish there was just a little more body in this one

Overall a very interesting, complex beer. I really enjoyed it and will definitely try it again.

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Photo of taez555
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark black body with an off-white head.

Taste is surprisingly thick and full bodied with a very slick, almost oily mouthfeel. Taste is interesting. Ripe dark fruits, raisins, dates but with an old coffee and oddly fruity funk espresso flavor. On top of that there's a rather large coffee bean type bitterness and a very earthy fungal sort of taste. Not in a bad way at all, more like a very natural earth flavor. Very dirt and grass sort of flavor. Actually you know what it is, it's more of a licorice flavor. Definitely a beer that gets much better as it warms

Interesting beer, it's sort of middle ground between english stout and belgian dubbel. A nice and different beer from a MA brewery.

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Photo of u2carew
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle
A) Pours with a big tan colored head, settles slightly but not much - good retention. Tight and creamy. Opaque body.
S) Roasted malts. Hints of coffee and chocolate.
T) A spicy opening to this brew - pepper, alcohol. Earthy, chalky. Hints of molasses. A bitter bite in the finish.
M) Medium to full body. Dry finish.
O) A very good brew. I'd definitely have another. A diverse flavor profile with a lot of good things going on.

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Photo of silentjay
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

loud pop of the cork and a huge head hints at some aggressive bottle conditioning. a muddy brown body with a light tan head that fills more than half of my duvel tulip. the head sticks around for a while letting the beer warm a bit and laces a ton when it finally decides to recede.

lots of dark fruits, some roasted malts, no hops detected. molasses, yeah, but its not dark molasses. caramel toffee cocoa dried figs raisins and a slight funk can all be detected.

dried fruits come first, then roast comes in bringing behind it some bitter cocoa and caramel sweetness. a slight woody hoppiness and maybe some roasted nuts come in as well and a slight funk comes in for a quick visit. some spice from the belgian yeast comes on the finish and lingers with some fruity sweetness for a while. somewhat metallic at times, which detracts a bit. a lot going on, but nothing grabs for your attention.

a bit light and with a thin finish but a sweet coating left behind.

It's good. not as good as their saison, but one I enjoyed. I wouldn't be opposed to trying subsequent batches of this beer as it has underlying potential that it seems to fail to cash in on.

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Photo of SABERG
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle (batch 004) into an HFB belgian glass.

A - Dark color, not much activity, very little head and no lacing.

S - Quite a bit going on here, figs, sugar, young bread dough and a splash of coffee.

T - Sweet up front with some boozy heat. The finish is long and fruity. No bitterness here.

M - Smooth and oily, sweetness but not sickley sweet. A linger on the tongue persists.

O - A tough read, this is strong, sweet, and intriuging. I read on prior reviews that the carbonation was strong, I could see that as a plus for the this brew, however not my experience.
All in all a solid effort.

SABERG

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Descendant Dark Ale from Mystic Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.
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