Lord Rear Admiral | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Lord Rear AdmiralLord Rear Admiral

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Three Floyds version of an ESB, this deep amber ale has a complex malt sweetness and pronounced apricot hoppiness. Named after Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson.

55 IBU

Added by scruffwhor on 04-02-2007

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Reviews: 176 | Ratings: 639
Photo of TwelveOunces
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought myself a bomber at the Brewery, For whatever reason, its their only year around bomber I cant get in my area.
Poured into a Three Floyds pint glass.

A- Pours Golden crystal clear with a three finger large foamy head, an off white coloration.

S- No surprise that this guy is hoppy, coming from 3F I wouldnt expect otherwise. Lots of fresh citrus like mango and pineapple as well as a lot of grapefruit and pine needles. A light but present creamy caramel maltiness. Really really nice stuff here.

T- One hoppy bitter, but theres a lot more then hops here. This baby comes at you with a moderate/ high amount of bitterness and leaves you with some sharp citrus tones in your mouth. This beer has a creamy smooth feel and a refreshingly light and tasteful malt backbone. Goes down way to easy but leaves you with a lot of flavor. Malts resemble English malts a little but im also getting a light bready flavor as well. A strange and unique bitter but incredibly delicious.

M- Too easy to drink, it goes down crazy smooth and quick and leaves you refreshed and with a pleasant aftertaste. It has a light body and is full of flavor. Easy to drink and refreshing. It doesn't get any better then this.

O- I was expecting something good but I got something great, a unique ESB and an amazing beer all around. Thank the gods I took that trip to the brew pub.

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Photo of Rutager
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Yeahnatenelson for this!

Appearance. Pours a nice rich amber with a little haze and a finger+ of lightly coloured head.

Smell. Nice juicy, citrusy hops, toasty malts and caramel.

Taste. Again, juicy citrus hops, nice light malts. Really bright and fresh tasting with no shortage of ripe citrus juice and just a little bitterness. Loving this beer.

Mouthfeel. Below medium body with medium+ smooth carbonation. Really, really nice to drink.

Overall. Not being the biggest esb fan ("No no, Not ESB, I said IPA! I only drink hoppy beer."), I wasn't expecting to like this as much as I did. Awesome beer.

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Photo of DanK4
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice rich earthy brown color, not too much variation in the hue. Nice off-white head that hangs around for a minute or so but disappears quickly after leaving some decent lacing.

S: Grains all around. Malts, a nice bitter note, doesn't smell like the other FFF brews I've had but then again all I've had is their IPA's. Some caramel notes as well, but nothing overpowering.

T: Great wet bitter start that leaves a dry finish. The bitterness definitely makes a stand here without being over the top. Not the typical FFF hop profile I expected but I am happy about that- it is an ESB after all. Very subtle sweet caramel notes underlying the malty goodness this brew leaves with you, but overall very balanced.

M: Crisp and clean, very very drinkable beer that I would love to have fresh and on tap if i ever got the chance. Medium bodied.

O: Winner here, definitely a great bitter beer that is not over the top by any means.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass from a 22oz bottle.

Pours a nice dark copper color with some nice reddish amber hints. There is a nice thick frothy ecru head that pops up. It is about 2 inches tall and is quite chunky. Nice sticky lacing.

Aroma of toasty earthy malt notes with some nice grassy and herbal notes as well. There are nice grassy and floral hop notes with some nice pine and a very dank floral character.

Flavor starts off with some nice grainy malt notes. Nice caramel sweetness with some earthy and hearty and toasty malt. This is perfectly balanced by some nice grassy, herbal and flowery hop notes. Some slight citrus notes are present but the hops are more on the herbal and slightly piney side as well. The caramel malt notes really balance out well. Mouthfeel is crisp with some slight stickiness form the maltier body and then finishes clean with some nice bitterness and toasty malt notes.

As FFF does they didi a greta job with this brew. Giving a slight American twist to a English import style. Very nice job.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a 22oz bottle of this while I was at Three Floyds Brewery in Early 2012 for $8.

Pours a cloudy medium brown color with a fluffy cream colored head. The scent lives up to its name as it has a strong bitter scent of hops. Starts off with a refreshing wet taste that is bready and malty. It moves into a crisp bitter finish that is dry and complex. Like other 3 Floyds beers that I have had, this one is blended nicely together that is makes it hard to pick out individual attributes as they compliment each other very well. Only complaint is this was a little more watery then I was expecting, but the dry finish makes up for it.

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Photo of thydarkprevails
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh bottle in a duvel tulip. Pours a nice clear amber with an inch thick off white head. Nice lacing. Aroma is light citrus, toffee, and malt. Flavor is excellent. A nice cutting piney hop blends with a smooth malt and caramel and toffee notes. Mouthfeel is medium to light and it lingers. It sort of makes you salivate for another. Very very good beer.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this one sitting around for awhile. 22oz bottle popped on 1-21-12.

A - Pours a light, almost clear brown with a fizzy cream-colored head. Good retention and lots of lacing.

S - Malts, barley, almost cola-like, fruity smelling.

T - Malts, bready, slight roasted tones.

D - Lots of carbonation and a good body.

O - Delicious and a bit hard to place. Fruity and malty goodness.

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Photo of chanokokoro
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a seidel

A: Pours a deep amber with a one and a half finger head with some lacing.

S: Dark fruit with a very subtle hint of citrus.

T: Plum and black cherry initially transition to a bit of sweet malt finishes with a crips and fruity hop bite with ahint of citrus.

M: Medium bodied and smooth and very appropriate level of carbonation.

O: A very tasty well-balanced ESB with a FFF twist. One of several brews that proves that FFF is a very solid brewery adept at creating exceptional brews in a variety of styles.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a case of this with wesside89 @ the brewpub today. It was released today as well!

2012 release. Poured into a FFF pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazed reddish/amber with a fingers worth of fluffy, off-white head. Thick lacing.

The nose is subtly sweet with hints of citrus fruits. There are some grassy hops along with some grapefruit notes. A bit of caramel malt lingers.

The taste is pretty bitter right off the bat. There is a good amount of sweet and citrusy hops creating a tropical cornucopia. The juicy fruits linger right alongside with the hoppy bitterness. Very drinkable and refreshing.

The mouthfeel is light-medium with a lot of carbonation but not overdone. Pretty comfortable feel.

Overall, I just can't find anything wrong with this brew. I think it has great characteristics all around with nice balance included.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a 3F pint glass
A: Hazy burnt orange color with a generous 2-finger lingering head
S: Smells very bitter; aromas of orange zest, orange juice, cherry juice, generic malt, and a hint of pine.
T: Much less bitterness/citrus with more malt than the nose suggests; both the citrus & malt notes come through in a pleasant/balanced way.
M: Crisp, medium-bodied, enjoyable.
O: Another good, well made beer from 3 Floyds that paired quite nicely with homemade carnitas tacos.

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Photo of stxSS07
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes

A- Pours a clear honey orange/iced tea color with a 1 finger white head that lasts a bit. Excellent lacing.

S- Typical FFF citrus/juicy hop profile. Caramel-like malt sweetness.

T- Biting citrus hops followed by a wave a caramel malt sweetness. Bready finish blends with an alcohol tinge as the brew warms.

M- Medium light and highly carbonated.

O- My first ESB and I am a fan. Nice balance of sweetness and hops.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another amazing label design from Three Floyds, this one courtesy of artist Chris Berg. The beer itself looks pretty awesome too, with the liquid a hazy copper/bronze sort of color, and a dirty white head that, while not enormous, is fluffy and rigid.

The aroma is terrific. I get deep berry and cherry notes that are slapped upside the head with something very much resembling Sweet Tarts candy. Also mega-herbal. Clean, breezy, bright, hoppy. This doesn't resemble any ESB I've ever had, and I suspect the only thing this will really have in common with a traditional English ESB is the "Bitter" part of the equation.

While I couldn't detect much obvious malt character in the nose, it does come through in the taste, having that musty, bready, grainy, roasty taste you find in plenty of English ales, ESB or otherwise. The twist is the especially bitter hops, which are leafy, green and close to astringent. Citrus and tart young berry. Very much heading west of Indiana toward southern California, in terms of the hop vibe, than the other direction toward England. The fruity nature of the nose is dialed down on the tongue, not as much resembling fruit as resembling what it actually is (hops), although the tart character remains and makes you think of grapefruit, both flesh and peel.

Feel is bright and tingly, slick and airy of body but definitely with a pleasant sort of carbonation sizzle that aligns well with the intense and vibrant flavor.

Would be a tough one to have more than a bottle of in one sitting (especially considering this bottle is bomber size), because of the up-front bitter/tart/tangy element...but damn, it's a good one and surely one of Three Floyds' more interesting and nonconformist brews, for sure.

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Photo of jsulko
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a tulip glass

Pours a deep copper color with a significant amount of off white head.

Smell is fruity with a hint of the pine hops as well as a malty background

Citrus smell does not come through in the taste. Taste is heavy with sweetness and malt with a lingering thick finish from the hops.

Never had an ESB before so I can't say how much it clings to the style.

A good beer, something different than I am used to from FFF.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to a buddy for sharing this with me. Pours a hazy reddish orange into a snifter glass. Has a mellow citrus/floral taste up front, with a bready malt background at the finish. Could be insanely sessionable as its so easy to drink. Interesting american take on a ESB. Love how hazy 3F's beers are.

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Photo of cratez
4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber purchased from the brewery in Munster, IN.

Pours a deep copper/ruby hue with three fingers of eggshell white foam. Head subsides to a thick cap and leaves several strands of lacing on the tulip glass. Gorgeous appearance.

Smell is big citric and zesty orange peel, marmalade, jujube candy, peach, pine sap, pungently floral and herbaceous hops, caramel, light doughy notes, and red grapefruit. Incredibly aromatic nose.

Taste is navel orange, peach, marmalade, and nectarine upfront, malts counteract with brown bread, roasted malt, and caramel flavours, mildly sweet palate transitions to a juicy grapefruit bitterness with some pine on the cough. Booze hits about half way in, but thankfully I can't taste it. Easily the boldest, most hop-forward ESB that I've sampled. Really yummy stuff.

Mouthfeel is lush and medium-bodied, average carbonation, spicy hop bite precedes a bone dry, citrusy finish. In keeping with the style, the bitterness is relatively balanced (compared to an IPA, for instance) and fades away quickly. I'm left with a clean palate after each sip.

Overall, Admiral Lord Nelson is an excellent North American interpretation of an Extra Special Bitter. It combines many standard ESB qualities with an over-the-top hoppiness and insanely robust aromas. A complete joy to drink, I would recommend this to hop heads and English ale lovers alike.

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Photo of wschmit
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber from the Brewpub, so pretty fresh. Into a tulip.

A: A rich, just-hazy, caramel-hued body sports a fine, centimeter-thick layer of beige head with a nice creamy quality. Not bad retention, either.

S: It has the distinctive hop nose common to most FFF brews--a nice citrus punch, and some pine--Amarillo, Simcoe, probably some Cascade. There's some malt in the back, but the nose is really hop-forward, and well executed at that.

T: Good hop oil flavor up front, with moderate bitterness throughout. The malt is there, but pretty subservient to the hops--just enough sweetness, with some light roast notes. Overall, it's a hoppier, Americanized version of the regular thing, and a successful one--a balanced, Anglo-American hybrid.

M: Not too carbonated, and a relatively nice, mouth-coating feel. It's apparently a bit high in alcohol for the style, but I can't really feel that.

O: A pretty good offering from the Three Floyds line-up, this one has the characteristic Three Floyds hop touch, but is still utterly drinkable and reasonably faithful to the style. Perhaps a bit expensive for what it is, I still happily gulp this stuff down.

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Photo of Satchboogie
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours caramel reddish-brown, mostly clear, with a 2-finger cola-looking head. Great retention and leaves plenty of lacing.

S: Rich malts, caramel/toffee, lots of hops (light citrus, mainly peach, with lots of floral notes and Earthy qualities).

T: Good bite of hops right up front (mostly Earthy with floral accents and a bite of bitterness). Citrus profile doesn't show up as much as the nose suggested. Some of the peach is there, but it's definitely in the back ground. There's also some light apple flavors. Fairly sizable body of toasted malts, some biscuit, with a moderate level of caramel/toffee sweetness. Has a good bite of bitterness in the finish (with more floral notes coming through and a little pine).

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation. Fairly smooth, semi-dry finish, easy drinking.

O: A solid, hoppy bitter. Clean and easy drinking with a solid malty base. I'd definitely buy more of this for Spring/Fall if it was locally available.

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Photo of bertram
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a bomber picked up from the brewery and shared with my buddy, poured into a pint glass.

A nice, slightly hoppy smell as we opened the bottle. Poured a nice, rich amber color in the glass with a significant white head.

The taste of this beer was excellent. I didn't really get the 'bitter' as mentioned on the label.

Good carbonation here with a nice, crisp mouthfeel.

Overall I am a big fan of this beer, and will definitely be picking myself up some next time I can make it to 3F.

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Photo of jsanford
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours a dark amber-brown with a fluffy white head that fades to a slight haze and soapy ring.
S - Crisp aromas of piney, resinous hops with a significant sweet caramel malt backbone.
T - More pine resin and grapefruit hops with a sweet, bready caramel malt profile. Pretty nicely balanced, but this is much more of an IPA then a ESB. Still, it's good, and I like it, so who cares?
M - Crisp and drinkable, with a smooth, medium body and good carbonation. I wish the ABV was a touch lower to increase the "sessionability", but oh well.
O - A really good IPA, a really "off" ESB, but damn good nonetheless!

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Photo of Bung
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Just a slight haze to the amber/brown pour. Good layer of white head. Just barely sticks.

Aroma, the usual 3F piney hops. Some faint malt and a spiciness of some sort.

Taste, Herbal, citrus and light pine up front. Almost like a rye spiciness. A little yeastiness as well, there was a bit of sediment in my bottle. Leather, earthy wood, some roast even, light tea, an impressive level of flavor variation.

Heavy side of light bodied. Lively carbonation. One of the better American versions I've had of this style. Falls right into 3F's wheelhouse.

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Photo of SalukiAlum
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

Appearance: Nice head, with some retention. Dark brown in color. Hardly any apparent carbonation and/or bubbling.

Smell: Very sweet nose, molasses scent.

Taste: A nice bitterness, but not to much. Perfect hoppiness to the beer. Also a nice spiceness in the mix.

Mouthfeel: Very tasty beer once again by Three Floyds. Defintely kept tasting better and better the more I had. The bitterness definitely hangs around.

Drinkability: Easy to drink a few of these bitter, malt bombs!

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Photo of beenitty
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one as a package full of surprises from whitemomba, thanks Jason.

A: Pours golden brown with tan/white head. Looks awsome. Something about the combination of colors is super inviting

S: Hops, Fruit, light spice, bit of caramel and breadiness. Dont drink many ESBs but this is a top smell for me

T: Mmm. Hops, malt, and a bit brown sugar (i think), delicious.

M: Awsome. Creamy Smooth. Slight bite, but not bitter at all. Super balanced.

D: Super High, Seriously. All night long.

Definitely the most impressive offering from FFF for me because I wasnt expecting it to be as good as it was. Definitely the best ESB I've had. And a great introduction to the style if you're looking.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you to my wonderful friends for bringing me home a bottle! Good beer karma is yours! Listening to the Naked and Famous. Poured this beer into my Weyerbacher pint glass.

The beer is a darker amber color topped by a cream colored head that stays around the whole time. Ends up shrinking to a sticky, sudsy foam that covers the beer. Great appearance, though there is some haze to this beer...

Smells of American hops galore. Not as intense as a Double IPA or anything, though it smells pretty hoppy and would easily be confused as an Imperial Red Ale to this point. Big notes of pine and honey. Little bit of lavender in the nose as well. I am really digging the aroma, but I am afraid this is more than is called for in this style. I know that 3 Floyds could give a shit what the style is all about (look at Gumballhead), but the enormous hop aroma is not well suited for a traditional English style. If this was an American IPA, I would offer up a 4 at the least for the aroma.

This is one bitter beer! High bitterness up front and in the aftertaste. Clearly all American hops, with earthy, spicy hops in the forefront. There is a moderately low amount of fruity esters with the little bit of malty sweetness that peeks through here. The bitter hops really take precedence in the flavor here, which is actually to style...hey "bitter" is in the name of the style! Only a light amount of fruitiness in the background here, especially as the beer warms a bit.

Soft mouthfeel, with a medium body. Carbonation is modest, and right on for what this style is all about. I would love to try this offering on cask. I have a feeling that would really elevate this beer to another level.

I think this is a good beer and a good ESB, even if it is a bit "Americanized." We are seeing exactly what the Brits had intended with this beer: something on the left side of malty and smooth, with excellent ale characteristics, like fruitiness from the esters and a bitterness that pushes back! Great American craft beer...would completely recommend this beer.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

769th Review on BA
Growler to Goblet

@Woodshop Classix
Thanks to Shail for sharing!

App- A muddled murky brown with some highlights of gold throughout. A decent one finger head that faded rapidly and just a minute amount of lace/cling.

Smell- When I 1st took a whiff it was more malty forward and a little bitter on the nose. As it warmed slightly it was a bit more citrusy, earthy, and damp.

Taste- This was a very nice ESB. It had some decent bitter notes but didn't overload. More malty/bread driven taste. It struck me as very balanced throughout.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Nice residual bready notes with a touch of bitter citrus.

Drink- It was a tasty ESB. It has been a while since I had an ESB and this was pretty money on flavor and balance. I've liked a lot of the three floyds stuff I have had. This was a nice simple clean beer for me.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Big thanks to Jim for this bottle. Very cool bottle art.

A: Pours a hazy copper/amber color with a large white head on top. Rather foamy with great retention and rings of lace.

S: Rather hoppy with lots of orange and grass, and to lesser extent some grapefruit and pine. There is some caramel malt sweetness to round it out. Certainly the hoppiest ESB aroma I have come across.

T: Nice grapefruit and orange flavors combined with some bready malt and a bit of caramel. Slight bitter pine on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Very smooth and clean.

O: Not a style I drink a lot of, but this one is fantastic. A hopped up ESB, another job well done by Three Floyds. Would be a nice beer to drink all the time.

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Lord Rear Admiral from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 639 ratings.
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