Cinder Bock | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

167 Reviews
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Cinder BockCinder Bock

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.45%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 01-09-2012

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Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 465
Photo of MikeW51
1.8/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

This was the most unusual (and unpleasant) flavor I have ever tasted in a beer. Way too smoky for my taste. While I love many of the Sam Adams varieties, this beer is among my least favorites. I would definitely not recommend this one. The ABV at 9.4% is enticing but the flavor is a turn-off.

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Photo of HarrySTruman
2.06/5  rDev -44%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22oz into a mug

Red/dark red/reddish brown color with a half finger head. Head dissipated quickly. Lacing is strong and maintains for a while. Looks like dirty sewage water.

Smells like liquid smoke and dehydrated meat.

Tastes of molasses, alcohol and beef jerky. It's an odd flavor, quite strong, very warming, not the best option on a hot summer day.

Mouth feel is good. Not too crisp, as one would expect from the style, but not too much like syrup. There's a good balance on this aspect.

Kind of forgettable for the style. Pretty much what one would expect from reading any reviews of rauchbier, but not really a great example of the style. The high abv for such a low price helps out, but really not even a good introductory beer for the style. Certainly NOT a session beer.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.1/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; I don't know that Sam Adams can pull off a rauchbier properly. Batch number 1. 9.4% ABV.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, and okay retention considering the high ABV. Colour is a dark nontransparent amber. Not at all opaque. Appears overcarbonated.

Sm: Hops, light smoke, toffee, and caramel. A weak aroma that isn't particularly appealing. No real presence. My suspicions have changed from overcarbonation to undercarbonation.

T: Artifical cherry on the open (somewhat syrupy). Clean malts comprise the boring dull foundation. Where's the smoke? There's hardly any caramelization present, let alone the baconey roasted smokey goodness rauchbiers are supposed to contain. This is sheer garbage considering the style. No yeast or alcohol come through. Hints of toffee are the best aspect of the beer. Simple boring and bland. Not at all complex or subtle. What were they thinking?

Mf: Undercarbonated. Smooth, wet, and thin (the exact opposite of what a rauchbier should be). Doesn't suit the flavours well at all. Very poorly done.

Dr: Hard to drink on account of how garbage it is. Not only does it not satisfy the style, it just sucks outright. I'd never have this again, and I'd caution my friends from getting it. A severe disappointment from Sam Adams.


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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
2.3/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured in a wellington glass.

Appearance: Dark amber, 1" tan head drops after a sip or two.

Smell: Yes it smells, if you think it has an aroma you must be hungry this beer smells of shish-kebabs and steaks. Super-smoked and hardcore meats on top of a wooden-chipped BBQ.

Taste: I am being real with you I try all beers before I judge them but this beer does not taste like your normal "beer". It hints of smoked meat over a fire just like the name of it and an after taste which doesn't leave till after time or after a meal to water it down.

Mouth: Medium to heavy carbonation, sticks to your mouth unfortunately...Sam Adams must have been running the experiment of a lifetime to massively distribute this beer.

Overall: Better than it's bonfire predecessor but just like that beer this one does have a purpose besides making your face squirm, I would definitely use it in a marinade which it probably would excel in. I have had worse beers in my life but with the label of Sam Adams this is by far at the bottom of the list. If I had a slogan it would be "looks good taste morbid"

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.35/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Portion of a 22 oz bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter. From notes.

A: Pours a dark burgundy color. The head is a one finger offwhite color with acceptable retention.

S: Wow this smells sweet - lots of caramel and brown sugar coalesce in the aroma, with only a hint of smoke. Still a nice smelling beer.

T: At first, this is a decent bock, with pleasant caramel and only a touch of smoke...only for it to finish in an awful manner; this honest-to-God tastes like a damn fart on the back end. After a few sips (or, as many sips as I could handle), it becomes less farty and more chocolaty, but it's still rather unpleasant.

M: Really heavy on the tongue, with unpleasantly lingering flavors. This could have been acceptable if it finished just a touch cleaner, anything to kill the aftertaste.

O: These SA small batch beers have been pretty damn hit or miss, haven't they? This was pretty bad, to the point where I couldn't finish it - hell, I needed something to clean my damn palate with just to get the taste of fart out of my mouth. On the plus side, it's a few tweaks away from being at it Sam Adams, I guess.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
2.69/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle courtesy of fthomasl pours an attractive crimson color with a large cap of tan head. Lacing is fucking in its immense coverage. Retention is great as well. I am not sure I have ever giver a perfect score on appearance before, but damn, this one is money, cash, hoes.

Nose is sweet, a little too sweet for a rauchbier. Tons of caramel, taffy and toffee. Smoke is disappointingly light.

Taste is somewhere in between a SA Chocolate Bock and a Shiner Smokehaus. Just waaay to sweet for this kind of style...hell, any style really. One could only dream it would be like a Schlenkerla Urbock, but that is not even in the same galaxy, not to mention ballpark. I have been moderately impressed with whatever this series of 22 oz beers BBC has been putting out lately (Tasman, Griffins Bow, Dark Depths, etc..), but this one is the bottom of the dung heap for me. Too sweet, overly sweet, not enough smoke and did I mention ridiculously sweet? Dont think I can finish one on my own...Im afraid I might wake up with type I diabetes.

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Photo of SawDog505
2.69/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a 16 oz Stella glass. Pours a mahogany with a fluffy white 3 inch head, leaves some lacing. I will be honest not a beer I am familiar with. Smell smoked peat. Taste is just as aggressive, unfortunately I can't get anything else out of it. This is one of those styles, that amazes me it has a following.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.73/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a dimple mug)
Batch #1
A- This beer pours a dense light caramel hued body with a raging carbonation of big bubbles supporting a rocky head of light tan.

S- The mellow cloth band aid aroma has some brown sweet malt notes to follow.

T- The big band aid and salty bacon flavored smoke taste stains the tongue with some slight sweetness in the finish taking on some salty sweet brown malt notes as it opens.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a gentle carbonation and no real alcohol

O- If I have to taste band aids this is the least offensive of the kinds but it grows stronger and stronger with each sip. I think there is a tasty beer in this bottle with nice hints of malt sweetness but it is well hidden in the loud salty bacon, band aid flavors. It was a bit to rough to finish.

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Photo of alaimoa
2.81/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Purchased in 2012 - pours a brown light coffee color with not much of a head. Tastes nutty and toffee flavors with thick coating aftertaste. Not the most pleasant on smell, taste or aftertaste.
Overall: I probably wouldn't buy it again but sometimes the Sam single bottles are surprisingly good. Just not this one

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Photo of mrfrancis
2.86/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear ruby with a creamy, lingering beige head.

S: I'm not getting a ton of smoked malt on the nose. Instead, aromas of caramel, roasted nuts, and grassy, herbal hops are pronounced. There is also a slight booziness here.

T: The entry is sweet and mildly smoky, quickly revealing notes of woodsmoke, smoked meat, caramel, treacle, woody spice, honey roasted nuts, and grassy, herbal, medicinal hops. The finish is intense and boozy with caramel, treacle, and medicinal hop notes consumed by fiery, peppery alcohol.

M: Full-bodied, sticky, and a little syrupy. Carbonation is a bit prickly. Alcohol presence is very pronounced.

O: This is far from my favorite Samuel Adams offering. Perhaps if the presence of smoked malt were a little more noticeable, this beer would be a winner, but as is, it's a bit rough. Maybe I just don't like the way Samuel Adams handles bocks, but this is not what I typically look for in the style.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Tried a little bit of a sample at the EBF. The beer poured out looking really nice. It has a red color with some shaded of brown in it. The smell of the beer is super smokey. The taste of the beer is too smokey I think. I wasn't digging this ones flavor too much. The mouthfeel was surprisingly heavy I thought. Overall this beer was didn't go over too well with me mainly because of the flavor. I prefer the Bonfire Rauch that came in the Autumn variety pack more.

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Photo of sirdrinkwell
2.91/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Ruby to copper orange pour with bone colored head and generous lacing that persists, sticky on the side of the glass.

S: Smokey, jerky-like nose. i refuse to go on.

T: very burnt and smokey, melding with a bittersweet mix of malt and grain.

M: decent mouthfeel, medium to full body with a slightly acidic feel.

O: While I am not one to leave a glass unemptied, I am not terribly impressed. this is nothing I would seek out again in the future.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.95/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

This was possibly my most anticipated of the single batch releases thus far, save for Verloren. Let's get our smoke on, shall we? This stuff pours a clear russet-amber topped by a finger of ashy cream foam. The nose comprises mild beech smoke, light caramel, and a twinge of cocoa. The taste is a surprising barrage of sweetness, with caramel, light cocoa, and buttercream melding with some mild-though-substantial booze to form a harsh assault on the tongue. Throughout, a vein of mild smoke pervades, a mixture of hickory and beech, but it never comes close to even matching the sweetness nor does it ever get to stand on its own. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation, a lightly syrupy feel, and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a decent rauchbier, but one that comes across too sweet and not-smoky-enough for its own good.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
2.97/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a ruby-tinted mahogany color with good clarity but a disappointing single finger of fizzle-foam for a head that leaves behind no real lacing and only sticks around for about 60 seconds. Medium-light body and medium carbonation levels, chewy texture.

I get a good blast of hickory and beechwood smoke over solid and beefy caramel / toffee malts. The flavor is much more boozey than the nose, I think the smoke may be covering up the ABV vapors. I'm liking the doppelbock and chocolate malt profile in the mid-sip. Sadly, the ashen aspects of the smoke and the herbal hopping are combining in a strange way in the finish to make a sweet-and-sour stomach bile off-flavor that makes the aftertaste a chore instead of a pleasure.

In summary, a promising nose that leads to disappointment in the mouth. My best suggestion would be to dry it out some more by about 20% with additional noble hopping, so that the malts present less like a milk chocolate bar with a pile of cigarette ash on top. The breadiness that exists needs to be brought into the foreground and accentuated with the smoke. I'd give this one a pass unless you are morbidly curious what controlled cellaring smoke degradation would do for it.

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Photo of Chico1985
2.99/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Despite the awful name, always interested in trying a new lager from Sam Adams.

Pours an amber color with some orangeish highlights. Off-white head is huge for a while, eventually coming down to a half finger. Good retention and lace.

Smell is pretty weak. Really just slight smoky ham, just enough to let you know it's a rauchbier. A bit metallic.

Smoky malts, salty ham and campfire are up front but overbearing, medium strength I'd say, comes off as a little artificial. The doppelbock side doesn't really come through, though caramel+toasty malts and some dark fruit are noticeable.

High on the carbonation but a decent mouthfeel. Feels like a big beer but it does hide its alcohol quite well.

Not bad but uninteresting overall. Not much complexity and a bland smokiness, rauchbiers are not known to be easy drinking but a bomber of this solo is a haul.

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Photo of Vierenner
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer started out well but lost its lustre as consumption contunued. I'm not exactly sure what it is ... perhaps the yeast? I'm not a fan of belgian beers and this seemed to have some of those belgian taste qualities. I certianly don't get any "rauch" flavors as the style catagory would suggest.

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Photo of DirtyPenny
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one is really hard to review because it's great in smll doses, but also becuse the "a" key on my keyboard is broken and I keep having to hit ctrl+v to insert a copied letter "a" into various words. I refuse to correct any I've missed.

Poured in several small doses into a Sam adams tasting glass and then a Medieval Manor glass.

a: Woody brown with 1 finger of light beige head. Slightly hazy. Leaves weblike lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Smoky, nturlly. Just a touch nutty as well but the smoke dominates the nose.

T: Very savory with sort of a smoked sausage flavor to it and a harsh tang. Smokiness gets overpowering as this one warms, and it takes on a little sweetness nd a bit of a medicinal taste. Too much at a time nd it just ends up tasting like that bottled liquid smoke stuff that never quite seems to work in any recipe you try.

M: On the heavy side of medium. Just viscous enough to let you know it's a hevyweight, but not so much that it becomes cloying.

O:I had it with marshmallow. Makes sense, right? Smoky cmpfire beer and a marshmallow? Don't you judge me.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark reddish copper color with a hlaf finger head which recedes to edging and leaves little to no lace. The aroma is of caramel malts and a hint of smokiness. The aroma of the smokiness gets stronger as the beer warms. The taste starts off with a caramel malt taste. The middle has the taste of toffe, brown sugar, and dark fruits. The very end of the beer is smoke, again the smokiness gets stronger as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is sticky and lowly carbonated. Overall it was an okay beer, it seemed to be more of a bock than a rauchbier. The smokiness is more subdued than what I expected.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 1pt, 6oz standard pressure-cap bottle into a conic pint glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Quite a big bottle. Reviewed live.

A- Three finger cream-colored head with rapidly eroding retention. Lasts about a minute and a half. Sinks down to a half-finger floater with some creamy lacing. Dark orange color with low clarity. Semi-hazy.

S- Bacon, smoke. Smells like breakfast. Typical Rauch smell.

T- Smoky, caramel malts. Some booze. Not bad. Not good.

M- Wet and thicker bodied.

O- Kind of a miss on this one. Not special.

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Photo of bmwats
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured form a 650 ml bottle into a mug.

A: Medium brown. Pours a 1 finger, foamy, brown-white head. Dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a smattering of bubbles on the surface. No real lacing.

S: Roasted malt, liquid smoke, and bacon.

T: Smoked malt grains, licorice, peat, and some indistinct sweet component I just can't place.

M: Hearty, but shallow feeling. Has kind of synthetic, made in a lab, sweet/bitter thing going on. Peaty aftertaste. Kind of off-putting.

D: Sipping experience. Mine was, it was decent enough, but a 12 ounce serving would have been plenty.

Atmosphere is okay. Nice foamy head, but no real lacing. Nose is roasty and bacony. Malt grains, smoked in peat, balanced with bitter and some odd sweetness. Overall, this is an okay quaff.

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Photo of beertunes
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured a semi-hazy coppery brown color with about 1/2 inch of light khaki head that had low retention and light lacing.

The aroma was mostly malty-sweet, as you'd expect in a Bock, but only had a trace of the smokiness you'd expect in a Rauch. I didn't pickup a notable hop scent. On the tongue however, the smoke really came through. Not to the levels of Schlenkerla, perhaps, but very smoky indeed. The malty Bock flavors were mostly buried, but did come through on the back of the tongue, as the smoke subsided.

The body was average, perhaps a bit thin for my tastes, for a Bock. Drinkability will depend on your tolerance for the smoke. If you like it, you'll find this beer very drinkable, if not not as much. Overall, a good, solid brew that's worth a shot if you see it. I'm happy to see a large brewery like BBC stepping out and making some of these lesser known styles available to a wider audience. Congrats to 'em!

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean reddish to amber color with a light tan head. In the aroma, small fruitiness and a note of smoke. In the taste, mostly fruity, and a small smoke that gets larger as it warms up. A smooth and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry fruitiness in the aftertaste. More fruit presence than smoke, it is just ok though.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The last release of these beers was pretty disappointing with the exception of the vixen. Let's see if the boston beer company can redeem themselves with these two new brews.

Pours a deep garnet color with good clarity and a bit of off white head. Nose is reminiscent of a pig roast and very smokey making me fear that the beer itself may be overly smokey. A bit of dark malts come forward as the beer airs out. Nice malt sweetness up front with a pretty big body. Beer changes gears quickly though and finish incredibly porky and smokey. Not to the point of being terrible but it is slightly abrasive. It is a unique brew in starting subtle and then lashing out in flavor and is pretty fun.

The beer however whips the tongue around a bit with a few odd combos of flavors that aren't layered in the best manner possible with the smokey savory character overriding most of the others. This beer could enhance the flavor of a lot of BBQ foods or balance out some of the sweetness brought on by some asian meals.

Give the beer a few sips and some time to air out and some of the caramel and chocolate flavors that normally make up a bock make themselves present to help balance some of the richer flavors in the beer. While still in need of some more balance this brew is definitely unique and pretty good.

I would recommend splitting the bottle with a buddy though as the flavors are pretty massive and intense and can wear ya out.

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Photo of jar2574
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Dark red/brown beer under little pale white bubble lacing. Not enough lacing or head retention.

Smells excellent, smoked meats and mesquite wood.

Taste is meaty, smoky BBQ beer, very unique flavor upfront and then malts make it sweet rather than hoppy on the back end. If you like BBQ you'll like this; if you don't, you probably won't.

Mouthfeel is disappointingly thin, with average carbonation and texture. On the positive side though, the high ABV is completely hidden.

Overall, I'm torn because this is a unique beer - or at least I've never had the style. I'm glad I tried it, and it was interesting. But the look and mouthfeel were disappointing. I love BBQ, but maybe not in a beer, I guess.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I decided to go the tulip glass route with this one. I'm a little shy after reading some of the reviews. I hope Cinder Bock isn't going to be a chore. Hard to say, as I love a good rauchbier.

I count three fingers of well-maintained peachy-beige head. The beer itself is a hazy scarlet-brown. After the foam subsided a bit, we get a nice patchwork ring of lace.

Smells rather lager-y. Hint of smoked malt and robust caramel grains. Actually, there's quite a bit of malt; seeping with sweetness and burnt toffee notes. For a rauchbier, this nose is tuned way down, however.

Holy jeebies. Very boozy in the mouth with decadent bready malt flavors of burnt caramel, maple, smoke, and dried fig. Has an Imperial Doppelbock profile to it, with a ripe smokiness and fruity esters. Can't get over how oppressive the alcohol comes off here. That, and the sweetness. Thank God I put enough arugula on my sandwich to balance out this little meal. Some chocolate comes through. Lots of dark bread, steak butter, brown sugar, and roasted fruits.

An autumn warmer for a cool night. Very warming, in fact. The alcohol is a stranglehold for a beer style such as this is brewed for. Cloyingly sweet with sappy stickiness. Hard to equate this with a brew that is rather medium in body. Lazy carbonation is an afterthought.

Sorry, Jim. This is not my idea of a rauchbier proper. A bruiser of a bock, sure. A lot of flame, but no meatiness that I'd enjoy. It didn't blend.

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Cinder Bock from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.68 out of 5 based on 465 ratings.
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