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Sneaky Pete Imperial IPA | Kysela Pere Et Fils, Ltd.

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very good
64 Reviews
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Sneaky Pete Imperial IPASneaky Pete Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
Kysela Pere Et Fils, Ltd.
Virginia, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Contract brewed by Laughing Dog Brewing.

Added by Jason on 02-27-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 149
Photo of estlinska
2.6/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Poured from the bottle (bottled on 3/5/13) on 3/18/13 into a standard shaker. Poured a very muddy reddish-brown with frothy 2 fingers of head. This beer is just super murky, like the color of a lowland bog and it just does not look quite appealing. Leaves good lacing though throughout the glass. The smell is very much off to me. It's super boozy, way more than I would ever expect even given it's ABV. It smells of peaches, tons of malt like fresh bread dough, but it's also abrasively sweet: it smells like fruit that's going towards over-ripe. The taste is just the same too. It's too sweet and it's too boozy. Your whole esophagus is burning while you drink this, and the taste is just so cloying it's hard to get good tastes out of it. It still tastes very peachy, but very muddled. The trend of over-ripe continues. The mouthfeel is just all booze and fruit juice; just not a good combination. Maybe I got a bad batch, but I really don't think I'll try another. It wasn't a drain pour, but it was tough to finish.

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Photo of Zodijackyl
2.87/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark red, cloudy, slight white head. Aroma of fresh hops and an odd smell of vinyl/plastic. Taste has a bitter mouthful of strong hops, astringent/dry/bitter nuts (walnuts or pecans), and a touch of maple syrup. The malt has a slightly tart taste, maybe a bit creamy, and the bitter nut/hop taste bites through. The bitterness of the hops and nutty flavors almost taste like plastic of vinyl with their extreme astringency. Mouthfeel is extremely bitter, it lingers and becomes a bit less extreme, but it is too bitter. Both the taste and mouthfeel have a lingering taste of vinyl/plastic that never quite goes away and it quite unpleasant. It would be a decent beer if it weren't for the vinyl taste that bites the tongue.

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Photo of argock
2.9/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased as 4-pack at World Market (Charlottesville, VA) for $10.49.

A: Crystal clear amber with nice almost 2 finger head with good retention and nice lacing.

S: Aroma is heavy with sweet caramel malt and hot, solventy alcohol. The hops are piney and herbal and not a lot else. There is a BO type of sweaty sock aroma in the background.

T: The flavor is heavy caramel and hot, solventy alcohol. The hops are piney and don't play well with the solventy, jet fuel alcohol character at all.

M: Very slick and and somewhat astringent due to the big booze factor.

O: Not very good, but I have a feeling this is going to be a lot better with 3-4 years on it with all the caramel sweetness and the heat. Definitely not going to have another fresh (?) one.

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Photo of HoppySailor
3.24/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a rather dark burnt orange that has a cloudy look. Cream colored head with giant bubbles and tiny one too. Aggressive pour made a three-finger head that receded pretty fast down to a quarter inch and left decent lacing.

Smell: Faint smell of tangerine and honey. The smell is VERY underwhelming.

Taste: A little citrus, but not enough for the style. When I purchase an imperial IPA, I expect to be slapped in the face with hops. This is more like a glancing blow on the chin. It is very balanced because of the three types of hops. For a 10% brew, there is almost no hint of booze. For an ale, its excellent to outstanding. For an IPA, its medium to low.As the brew warms, I am starting to taste some hops, but more honey and clover with a hint of grapefruit. Probably will get better with warming.

For mouthfeel, I would give this brew its highest marks. I love an IPA with the cask conditioned feel out of a bottle. Retaining nice head in the glass, but in the mouth it is very smooth and rich with little harsh carbonation. Very well done. Probably the only reason I would give this another try because its almost a strong ale style and not an IPA.

Overall: Glad I bought it as an assortment of six different brews. It really isnt an IPA in terms of bitterness or hoppiness. The closest relative I can find for it in taste is Dogfish 90 with a spoonfull of maple syrup. Average IPA, good ale.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.26/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle - from Total wine summerlin las vegas NV for 1.99$

Appearance - Slightly hazy dark copper colour with a large size frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, grapefruit, dark fruits

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the taste is made up of caramel and malts mixed with dark fruits. Something along the lines of raspberries or currants.. There is also a bit of buttery flavour and some mildly bitter hops. It ends with a malty dark fruit aftertaste with a touch of lingering hop bitterness.

Overall - I wasn't sure what to make of this one.. can't say I've had a beer that tasted quite like it. It's like a dubbel mixed with a barley wine and a DIPA. Points for tasting different, but I was hoping for the usual DIPA flavours. The alcohol was well hidden but something about the flavour tastes too artificial. Still worth a try if you happen to see it on the shelves.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.29/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Kysela Pere Et Fils Sneaky Pete Imperial IPA is a DIPA with a dissapointing lack of hoppiness. Mine was bottled on Feb 26th so maybe that explains it.

A: Red colour and a big 1 cm head that lasts really well. 4.5

S: Malty smell with a disappointing lack of hops. 3

T: Malty with some sweetness and subtle citrus hops. It's remarkably smooth given the ABV. I wish this had more hops though. 3.5

M: Pretty flat. 3

O: 3

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Photo of Momar42
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Duvel tulip

A - one finger of medium tan bubbly foam. Dissipates quickly with nice froth left over. Medium lacing down the glass as I drink it. Fairly opaque hazy brown.

S - earthy, malty, with faint pine notes. Little to no citrus present at all. Nose is less than I expected or hoped for.

T - like it smells, earthiness comes thru in the taste. Hops don't announce themselves till the back side. For an IIPA, this is different and not in an altogether desired way. Piney, dirty earth hop flavor lingers.

M - moderately coating mouthfeel. Lower carbonation than I was hoping for. Overall a decent mouthfeel but lacking in anything remarkable.

O - first impression was "meh". Good but nothing remarkable. Booziness is present and becomes more pronounced as it warms. No born on date so no way to know the freshness of this beer. Aftertaste lingers for a fairly long time and not in a 100% good way. There is an averageness that just fails to impress. An "OK" beer, slightly less so for an IIPA tho. Not unsinkable but not one I'll search out for again.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from a four pack purchased at Neds.

Appearance: Damn its dark for an IPA. It could easily pass as a brown ale. Thats a turnoff, but the head is attractive and the lacing is dense and sticky.

Smell: Hops are PineSol and Brachs orange slices. There's a dark caramel, almost toasty aroma and a grainy smell that I don't much like.

Taste: Again, too much too dark malts. Rich caramel and light toast. Nice balancing hops bitterness and dry citric and pine flavors. A bit of the grainy flavor comes though, but it doesn't bother me. Weird but still pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and heavy, saved by ample carbonation and a dry boozy finish.

Overall: Its very hoppy and bitter with good balancing sweetness, but its too dark, with too much dark malt flavor/aroma, and I hate grainy smells/flavors in IPAs. So, I call it fair to middling. To be fair, there's no bottling date, so maybe its old. But that's their fault, not mine.

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Photo of MrOH
3.42/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Copper with a thick khaki, 1.5 finger head. Darker than most DIPAs. Great lacing.

Smells great. Pineapple, tangerine, mango, strawberry. A bit of caramel underneath it all.

The nose doesn't carryover to the palate. Caramel is much heavier, you still get the pineapple and citrus, but it finishes very pithey with some alcohol.

Syrupy heavy on the mouth, I tend to like a bit lighter on this style.

Not bad, glad I got a 12oz and not the bomber, it would be way too much.

Edit: looking at the other reviews, this one must drop off quickly. The first few are all As, the most recent Bs.

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Photo of MikeB20
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

P: 12oz bottle into a perfect pint glass.

A: A cloudy amber color with a two finger creamy tan head. The lacing is awesome, forming rings after each sip all the way down the glass.

S: Lots of caramel malt along with grapefruit and pine hops. It's not super complex but inviting.

T: Wow, the alcohol in this beer isn't shy. You taste it on your tongue as well as in your throat, it's not super intense but I like the alcohol flavors to be more subdued in my beer. Alcohol up front, followed by the caramel malt and citrus rind like hop flavors. A decent balance of all three but the best Imperial beers can hide the alcohol with even higher ABV's than Sneaky Pete.

M: Somewhat heavy, coats your mouth, creamy in texture. Nice.

O: A solid Imperial IPA but not in the top tier of the style. They didn't do a good enough job of hiding the alcohol to make it one of the best. Otherwise it's fairly well balanced and has the malt and hop flavors you'd expect.

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Photo of Amalak
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

OK. This is more of a grape style red ale. This is not an IPA, and it is especially not an imperial IPA. It is an OK malty beer. It is actually something closer to a Red IPA. Fails on the marketing, but it's not horrible.

A. Dark red brown. Good head and lace.

S. Very nice nutty scent.

Please read above for the taste, mouthfeel and overall.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a clear amber color with three fingers of creamy off-white head. Not much lacing around the glass.

The faint aroma is mostly caramel malts and brown sugar with a bit of pineapple and booze.

The taste is also primarily caramel malts with pineapple, candy sugar. The 10% is definitely present and warms the palate.

Medium bodied and dry with a moderate carbonation.

I didn't find the hoppiness that others have found and quite honestly, this is more like a barleywine than an IIPA in my opinion.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a little coudy and dark burnt orange, with lots of lacing. That's the best thing about this brew.

From the first sniff and taste, this disappointed. It has a dirty, off taste that I can't identify. It's too bad I have three more. I would not serve them to friends.

I will put a couple in the aging bin and see if it is better later. There is no clue on the bottle whne this was made.

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Photo of beergoot
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice, amber-red color with little head.

Rich, sugary malt aroma blended well with an alcohol background. Didn't notice any appreciable hop aroma.

Big malt taste, caramel and faint hints of apricot or peach. Strong bitterness sneaks up through the sweetness at the finish. Alcohol presence hits strongly in the end.

Heavy body, somewhat clean finish.

A big, almost brutish beer. Perhaps a bit too wild for my tastes, but probably okay for the intended style despite its rough edges.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured chilled in ale glass.

A: cloudy dark orange; thin but creamy head; cloudy; good lacing
S: malty; whiffs of bubble gum with grass just below
T: malty, hoppy, intense; dose of citrus/orange; lots of malt, alcohol; overwhelming even for the genre

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy malt-forward double IPA! At least, from the looks of it, as it's a much more reddish color than your usual DIPA, and even the head is a dirtier, tanner thing than the norm.

Kind of on the fence with the aroma. A certain spiciness is here, robust and kind of dessert-y, but nothing I can pinpoint finer than that. Maybe brown sugar, maybe cinnamon. And even before it's had time to properly warm a bit, the alcohol juts out a bit too much. Hops are citrusy, lingering more in the background than expected.

As the aroma suggests, this one's just as much about malt as it is hops. The malt is sweet and dessert-y, with cinnamon, brown sugar, toffee and tobacco having major presence. Hops are both salty and citric. A bit of an alcohol flare gives the flavors a pretty big boost, making this seem pretty aggressive in terms of its flavors. They come at you quick and don't let go.

Feel-wise this is great, round, creamy, not too heavy, a little sticky...just right for the style.

Well, this sure is an interesting double IPA, but "interesting" isn't always a compliment. In this case, it kind of is, I enjoy how malt forward this is, giving it a kind of sweetness that helps offset the salty/citric elements of the hops here. Definitely worth at least one try. Pretty cute label too.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruddy amber body (clear) with a frothy ecru-white head in my tulip glass. Laces appreciably.

Knockout hoppy nose. For non hop-hounds, don't let this put you off entirely, but it's accurate foreshadowing.

Taste is also hoppy (piney and a bit oily), but it's rounded out by some faint fruit around the middle of the sip. I want to say grapefruit, but that's too easy. Finish is bitter and hoppy. This one wants to warm up a bit, which keeps the hops from stealing center stage.

Mouthfeel is very pleasant, not too fizzy nor prickly, stops shy of being creamy.

Not super drinkable, due to the hops, but appreciable nonetheless.

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Photo of mlazzaro
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

4oz. 12 oz from Yankee Spirits in Sturbridge MA.

Rich amber color body with off white head. Head retention is decent but no lacing. Highly carbonated. Bottle conditioned (plenty of yeast at the bottom.)

Smell is not that appealing. Booze and something very strange.
It's a shame is in the double IPA category, because it is up against remarkable delicious smelling beers.

The flavor... I think I taste brettanomyces or some souring culture. Its weird because I read many reviews and they sound nothing like this beer. The tartness is subtle, but completely undeniable. Perhaps the culture was suppressed by the ABV and hops content. I've had and made countless IPAs and am also extremely familiar with sours. So I am speaking from experience and not from my ass. Intentional or not, I'm convinced, & I kind of like it. The sour comes off as strange and surprising. The bottle was highly carbonated and the body is very thin, so perhaps it was unintentional.?

Flavor profile is a citrus punch from American-tasting hops, mixed with a cherry tart yeast flavor towards the end. Overall alcohol is quite apparent, and warms the esophagus. Bitterness is strong and hits the same time as the brett. Almost no sweetness to the body. Carbonation is acidic to the tongue. Very unique, like Barleywine treated like an Old Ale.

Note: The flavor was consistent through all two bottles in 4 pack. I'm cellaring the last two to see what the brett and alcohol do over time.

Just an update:
I aged out the Pete roughly 6 months. When I pulled the bottle from the cellar - I came back to a massive pellicle floating on top. Opening the bottle, it was an intense gusher rather than being properly carbonated like my previous bottles.

The aroma is now more of a stench. It smells like rubber and hay. No hops left, and what I thought was brett I have to assume is some nasty bacteria. Drink this one fresh. If Sneaky Pete consistently has this souring agent, it does not age gracefully. The first two were delicious, & I have no desire to drink the age example. the flavor smell and aftertaste are retched.

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Photo of jmaharaj
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a viscous cloudy brown like apple cider and a thin white head quickly dies to a few scattered bubbles, although any movement returns a dusting of head to the suface of the beer. The alcohol dominates the nose, sitting atop a thick molasses/maple syrup malt base.Some faint piney hops, but far less than i expected. Tastes a lot like it smells, there is the initial hit of alcohol, follwed by a thick, although not as sweet as expected malt body. The hops play more of a role on the tongue lending good length and bracketing the malt to give this beer some complexity. I will say this is better than i expected, good mouth feel, nice restrained carbonation. The malt and hops, although not overly nuanced, play well with each other, strating with a good sharp hop bitterness flowing into malt sweetness and then ending with a dry piney aftertaste. Not really an Imperial IPA in the American sense (hop heads will be dissapointed) but certainly worth a drink.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Al's of Hamdpen -a 12 oz sampled from a cervoise chilled but allowed to warm gradually.

A deep amber bordering on copper with a moderate amount of haze and cream colored cap w/ ultra fine bead. The lace clings in a thin film with a head that has a whipped appearance and retention is very good. Clarity seems to get clearer after a while, perhaps just chill haze with some visible carbonation. The smell is good with fragrance of grapefruit and light pine from the hops with a mild sweet malt aroma and gentle alcohol ester. The feel has a nice amount of bitterness w/ mild sweet smooth malt backing but it is a little high in alcohol in the feel with warming quality that combines with the bitterness into a strong and drying finish.

A good amount of hop flavor w/ spicy and piney elements and light citrus which is more orange in flavor but the aroma make s the taste come off as more bitter than it is w/ spiced flavor almost grassy accents in moderate astringency. The overall effect of this Imperial IPA is that it wasn't terrible, but the beer starts out ok and doesn't improve at all as it warms. The smell is good and the initial flavor has some good points, but the high alcohol is the downfall and lack of malt, just the sweetness doesnt help either. I would say it is decent if you want to try it, but don't expect too much either.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into standard pint. Bottled 3/10/12, so about a month old.

A - Pours a cloudy burnt orange color with a small off-white head. Leaves a good lacing.

S - Caramel malts, tangerine, grapefruit, and some pine sap.

T - Starts with very sweet toffee malts and some tropical fruit. The piney hops come in late, but they are accompanied on the aftertaste by the malt. Very, very balanced beer and the alcohol isn't too noticeable for a double digit-er.

M - Medium bodied, maybe a bit on the sticky side. Good carbonation.

O - This is a very balanced DIPA which is certainly "Sneaky" as the name suggests. I never would have guessed 10% ABV. Very good, but not spectacular considering how many great DIPA's are out there.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Three finger thick head on a cloudy amber copper body. Aroma is fairly malty with musty caramel malts, red wine, candied citrus and earthy hops. Flavors are bitter, floral and earthy hops, caramel malts. Definitely malt forward and verging on barleywine realm with candied citrus and pine as well. Medium body, oily palate and light to moderate carbonation. Too malty for me and not well balanced enough.

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Photo of ShaneThePain
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had in a bottle @ Molly's in Bethlehem. Never saw it before, but IMP IPA's call to me. Bottle says Laughing Dog brews it, so not exactly sure where it comes from.

Super malty with a pine hop flavor. West coaster all the way, quite thick. Had to take my time with this one, and while I prefer a less sweet DIPA, not a bad offering.

Try it if you see it around.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #50 (March 2011):

Killer suds—you’d think this beer has legs with the amount of action on the glass. Cloudy tawny hue suggests hop haze. Fresh evergreen sap, spearmint, grapefruit rind and tobacco fill the nostrils with a sting of warm peppery alcohol—very aromatic. Smooth, creamy first sip quickly unfolds into a battle of hops against alcohol and malt, but all seems to be a stalemate, which shows balance. Hint of catty or soapy flavor from the hops quickly leans toward citric before getting out of hand. Alcohol is very warming, but not hot, and the malt comes in with some biscuity undertones. Running a step or two ahead of the middle of the pack; enjoyable and certainly gave us our hop fix.

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Photo of gopens44
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Thick, thick, thick frothy off white head over a clear amber beer.

S - Sharp nose demolishing grapefruit! i love beers that smell like this - the "just shoved my nose in a grapefruit" smell.

T - Grapefruit, earthy/grassy and evidence of some alcohol going on.

M - Medium bodied and well carbonated with fairly little aftertaste. Dry as hell on the finish

O - Pretty nice, but I would love to see this a little more well balanced. At least hide the alcohol a bit better.

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Sneaky Pete Imperial IPA from Kysela Pere Et Fils, Ltd.
3.87 out of 5 based on 149 ratings.
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