668 Neighbor Of The Beast | New England Brewing Co.

very good
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668 Neighbor Of The Beast668 Neighbor Of The Beast

Brewed by:
New England Brewing Co.
Connecticut, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by CHADMC3 on 05-29-2010

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Reviews: 224 | Ratings: 909
Photo of fmccormi
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Straight pour from a 12oz can to a tall Ommegang flute; no freshness dating, but this JUST showed up in my neck of the woods and theoretically this style isn’t quite so time-sensitive as, say, a DIPA like Gandhi-Bot.

Appearance (4.25): A pretty generous three-finger head rises off the pour, capping a perfectly cloudy, slightly orange-gold body. The head shows excellent retention, taking its sweet-ass time to die down and leaving thin patterns of lace in widely-spaced arcs and spots around the glass up top, and wide, thick splotches of foam further down. The head lasts forever, though.

Smell (4.25): Oooh, lots of nice, interesting spice and some phenolic tones that blend in very well—lots of dusty hay, something like nutmeg, clove, white pepper, fresh apples, and rich pear, apricot, and sweet tangerine fruit tones.

Taste (4.25): Excellently dry and spicy, with mild phenolic undertones that blend into the spice very well. Lots of that clove and effervescent, peppery character in the nose—has a slightly numbing feel on the tongue, with understated tangerine and sweet citrus underneath. Tart, fruity wheat malts (I think) do well with whatever yeast is being used here—a really nice lemony edge cuts through some very moderate, balanced pilsner sweetness. Lots of sweet (but light) fruit character, but the spicy and phenolic aspects of this beer really dominate. In a good way. Honestly kind of shocked at how well the phenols work for this beer.

Mouthfeel (3.5): The carbonation is rather subdued, quite frankly, especially for the style, but it makes up for it with that numbing, slightly tingling sensation that crosses over into the flavor with the beer’s spicy, phenolic palate. It does foam nicely on the way down though, with a soft, almost silky feel that matches the slightly-above-medium-weight body. Finishes moderately dry.

Overall (4.25): Color me impressed. Not necessarily a standout according to the style guidelines, but I’ll be damned if this isn’t an extremely satisfying beer to drink. And, as mentioned in the tasting notes, I’m very pleasantly surprised by how well the phenols really work into this beer. Great fruit and spice tones, nice and yeasty and rich but still dry. Great beer, and I will be seeking it out in the future.

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can poured into sam Adams glass

Clear golden liquid , constant carbonation, thin white layer on top

Aroma of bread, biscuit and funk

Taste offers up the bread, funk and reminds of a white wine note.

Slight carbonation, immensely quaffable. Slight funk aftertaste . Smooth

Wasn't what I expected but I like it. Nice beer.

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Photo of KelsoSaaz
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into NEBCo tulip

A: Hazy golden color, off-white, very fine 1/2 finger head. Nice ring lacing

S: Yeasty - fresh baked French bread. Honey, bananas, and spices.

T: Belgian yeast right away. Bright citrus, most likely from American hops, which leaves a lasting oily bitterness in the finish. This was a lot more dry than I remember.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation. Very slight oily quality.

O: 668 is a solid BSPA. NEBCo continues to show their prowess and I’m glad that this is becoming more readily available throughout CT. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of JMD
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Light auburn with orange tones, and big foamy head that fades slowly. Leaves big clumpy lacing down the glass.

S: Sweet aroma of candied fruit and belgian yeast. Hints of spice and faint hops.

T: Nice balance of sweet and tart. Sweet candied apples and pears. Some belgian funky yeast and light spice. Hints of banana and clove. Finishes with some light tart hops. Very balanced and smooth.

M: Full bodied. Creamy and velvety texture.

D: Not the best begian pale ale I've had, but still a great interpretation of the style. Aside from the 9% abv, this beer goes down very easy. Smooth and creamy, and packed with flavor. Another solid offering from NEBC.

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Photo of jmw4437
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden tan and slightly hazy with an initially large white/off-white head that dissipates to a thin layer and lacing around the glass.

S: Scents of grains, sweet yeast and banana like flavors dominate the aroma.

T: The beer fulfills all of the promises that its aroma makes; light grainy flavors with hits of yeast and banana flavors. This all with the slightest hint of hops to balance the brew.

M: Smooth on the palette with a hit of carbonation and a clean aftertaste help to make this brew drinkable and refreshing.

O: Definitely something I will come back to again in the future.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz can into a tulip- pours a hazy golden orange color with minimal head, retention and lacing.

Smell is very nice, intriguing and well balanced. Definitely some yeast in there along with some pale malt sweetness, a little hops.

Taste is also very intriguing- there's something about it that reminds me of an imperial stout. Maybe a little cacao nib? Pale malt up front, followed closely by the earthy, roasted flavor, then some citrus hops and yeast to finish out.

Mouthfeel is good- medium body, light to moderate carbonation, some hop resin. This is a very interesting beer and I recommend it to anyone looking for something out of the ordinary.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can courtesy of bmwfan1987, thanks Curt! Pours a hazed, golden-orange color with a fluffy white head. Does not stick around too long and lacing is low. Bonus points for a cool label for the can.

Nose has a heavily fruity yeast influence with a nice bready aspect. Quite authentically Belgian, not sure I would be able to tell this wasn't from the mother country in a blind tasting. Tropical alcohol comes out upon warming with even a touch of floral hops.

Soft feeling in the mouth, yet maintains a 'rougher' alcohol flavor and drying hoppiness. Yeast esters are great and provide plenty of fruit and bread. Spicy, phenolic - zesty even...Impressed! Lacks a bit of complexity here and there, but overall I am very happy with this fine canned offering. Well done NEBC!

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Photo of woodychandler
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sadly, this is only review # 397 on The CANQuest (TM) and not # 668 or any other meaningful (?) three-digit number. One of my regular CANTraders, indiapaleale, sent this to me and I have to cop to having been sitting on it for a little while. No time like the present, however.

From the CAN: "'Good fences make good neighbors' ... unless you live next door to Satan. Then you may need something more than a fence to accept that your neighbor is the Prince of Darkness; like our '668'. This HELLaciously delicious Belgian Style Ale is brewed with pilsner malts, candi sugar and blended with Ameri[CAN] and German hops. It will help you accept that cloven-hoofed guy next door. '668': mortal tested, ... Goat Lord approved. Undersigned, Brewer/Owner". Wow! The initial quote is from Robert Frost, a New Englander, BTW.

The Crack & Glug - works every time, although here it was close to an overflow. Gotta work on ramping back just a tad on the pour of some of these beers. Two rocky fingers' worth of thick, bone-white head that slowly fell, leaving behind a lot of sticky lacing. Nose was peppery, black peppery with a slight funk, not unlike a farmhouse saison. Hmm. Color was a slightly cloudy golden-yellow. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a slight viscosity to it on the tongue. I could feel an initial heat that gave 'way to a pleasant spicy sweetness. I was reminded of the interplay in MexiCAN hot chocolate between the sweet and the heat. This was more black pepper and sugary sweetness, but it may give you an idea of the mix of tastes. Finish was very dry, thanks to the yeast-driven spiciness. Wow! I felt like I had been kicked by a goat. Say, is somebody experimenting with sulfur in my basement? What is happening? My cooler just melted into a puddle of plastic slag! I need to move on.

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Photo of medic25
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Delaney's. Nice orange-gold color with a thick white head. Fruity nose, with a strong yeast presence. Taste was sweet, a little spicy and just a hint of hops; I caught a hint of coriander and pepper as well. Hides it's 9% very well; I only caught a big of an alcohol flavor. Very tasty local Belgian.

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Photo of number1bum
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I do love pint cans...

Pours a hazy orange/golden color with two inches of white head. Head is bubbly and fluffy, but settles to just a thin, bubbly lace, although it does coat the glass with a decent amount of webbing.

Smell reveals a surprising amount of Belgian yeast character, and I say that because NEBC isn't that big and doesn't do many Belgians, so it's impressive that they've gotten such character out of the strain they're using. It's quite pleasant, with big herbal aromas, some pepper and earthy spice, cloves, some must. There is a decidedly phenolic quality to the nose, with some fruit as well. Add a layer of sweetness and you have a pretty damn complex and very yeasty nose. I like.

Taste has all of the elements that the nose had, although in slightly different quantities and combinations. The musty, phenolic yeast really the way on the nose, and although those flavors are still substantial the lead flavor is a pale and biscuity malt sweetness with a sugary quality to it as well. Pepper and clove do their thing, although the fruit flavor is almost too subtle to notice. It's earthy and musty, and quite clean in the finish.

Mouthfeel is an exceptionally creamy medium-full body with a very slick, smooth feel to it. It's quite clean in the finish even with the nearly full body, and is extremely smooth. Quite nice, and appropriately carbonated too.

This is a pretty damn impressive beer from New England. So many Belgian style beers from American brewers are either overhopped or underwhelming in terms of the yeast character, and this is neither. It's quite drinkable and doesn't feel like 9% at all. Very complex nose, nearly as complex on the palate, and very smooth and tasty. Well done.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Missed this release last year but was excited for its return.

Pours a hazy straw and marigold yellow with a white head that leaves strong lacing.

S: Aroma really surprised me. I had been expecting a mellow golden belgian ale, but this reaked of belgian yeast and spices, banana, clove, white pepper and dough.

T: Hit me with a strong dosing of clove / coriander, banana , some sweet belgian candy sugar / cotton candy flavors and a nice caramelized sugar presence.

M: Mild carbonation and very smooth medium body. Very good overall.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a cloudy orange color. Not an intense head. Mellow layer of white foam. Head leaves speckle lacing. Translucent.

S-Nice semi-funky yeast. Ripe fruitiness. Pale fruits. Sweet nose but the yeast really makes it delectable. Lightly woody. Smells dry. Alcohol is muted well.

T-Sweet and fruity. A very long, pronounced grassy hop flavor kicks in on the back end and lasts for an extended period of time. Not funky, but the yeast does add to the flavor. Alcohol is also muted well again. Bunch of flavors going on here. Enjoyable.

M-Medium bodied. Carbonation is softer than anticipated. I would maybe have liked a bit more bubble. Semi-slick. Dry.

O/D-I only bought one can. Seeing as a 4-pack is $13, one is enough as this is overpriced. But, I love NEBCO. This one is pretty good. Definitely a step or two below Gandhi Bot and Imperial Stout Trooper, but this is damn tasty in its own regard.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler purchased at NEBCO on 4/16/2011. Served in my Captain Lawrence tulip. Pours a semi-hazy tangerine with a loose, half inch, bright white head. Head dissipates into a band around the shoulders and a bull's eye dollop in the center. Delicate slashes of lacing revealed during the tasting exhibit excellent retention. Clusters of tiny bubbles adhere to the base of the glass. Nose expresses coriander, clove, Belgian yeast and a faint medicinal character. Taste consistent with nose; however, there's also some candi sugar present in the flavor profile that nicely softens the medicincal phenols. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a crisp carbonation, some citrus astringency and a semi-dry finish. This is one tasty BSPA. Great balance and a remarkable tribute to the style. I really enjoyed this when I tried it from the can but it's even better out of the growler. I continue to be impressed by these guys.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at New England Brewing Co in Woodbridge, Conn.

A: Hazy, golden copper-yellow with a one-finger head of creamy white foam which hung around for some, time, leaving a nice sheet of lace on the glass.

S: Loads of tropical fruits and earthy, herbal hop aromas mixed with a tinge of phenol alcohol. The scent of pears, apples, mangoes, pineapple and grapefruit are picked up along with with herbal, white pepper and musky hop aromas.

T: Semisweet, fruity, candied malt up front with a bit of chilled haze, protein and yeast to chomp through. Afterward, a complex bouquet of tropical fruits, citrus, floral bitterness, toasted grains and candied, sugary spices leap onto the palate and wash away a bitter, fruity, mineral finish.

M: Medium to full bodied American-style Belgian pale ale with plenty of full, citrus and spicy flavors up front with the right amount of demure quaffability.

D: Sort of a sipper at 9% ABV, 668 drinks light and satisfying enough where it would be a problem from the uninitiated who don't recognize ABV. A tasty, fruity, floral and complex "near-summer" beer to quench the masses.

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Photo of swierczt
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured about half of a 16 oz. can into an oversized goblet.

A: Dark golden almost, but not quite amber color. Cloudy. White head develops and recedes quickly leaving behind a web of lacing.

S: Sweet fruits (probably from the candying sugar) some notes of banana with an even slighter amount of clove. Belgian yeasts can also be noted in the nose.

T: Yeasty bread and a bunch of sweet fruits up front (pear/apple). Slight lemon tartness leads to a bitterness on the palate along with light pepper characteristics in the finish. Belgian yeasts intensify as this offering warms up a bit.

M: Light to medium carbonation. Slight dryness in the finish.

D: Overall, this one is a bit of a sipper. Not completely overwhelming, but would not drink more than one or two in a session. Another solid offering from New England Brewing Company. If given the opportunity give it a try.

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Photo of Shaymus
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark orange color with a avg hoppy aroma
Im not sure what I was expecting with this brew
But it continued to get better with each sip.
The flavor was hoppy and citrusy with a nice
Belgian yeast flavor. There is a nice balance of malt as well.
Overall this was a fantastic well balanced beer and one I highly

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Photo of stella77artois
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into pilsener glass.

A - Pours a light brownish amber with a fair amount of haze. A 2-finger head appeared after an average pour. A more aggressive pour would've added more I'm sure, as there was lot's of carbonation visible.

S - Typical for a Belgian ale, dark fruits up front. Also small hints of banana. Another aroma was very prevalent, but hard to describe. I'd say a combination if dark cake and dirt. Weird, but very pleasant. Great smelling beer.

T - The various Belgian ale's are not among my favorite styles. Prior to this, the only brews of those styles I can remember really liking were Trois Pistoles and Maudite. This stuff though, ranks up there. Not as much going on in the taste as the aroma, but it tasted pretty good. Not as much dark fruit as many (which is a GOOD thing for my tastes), and lot's of malt. I was shocked to find out this beer was 9% ABV, I didn't detect alcohol in the slightest.

F - Extremely refreshing. Tasted great while being easy on the throat, and dare I say sessionable! Dangerous beer, as it's 9% ABV, and as I said, I couldn't detect the booze at all.

O - Good beer. Not my favorite style, but this is a great representation. Great flavor and aroma, and very drinkable. I wouldn't want to kill one of the few Belgian Ale's I like by drinking it too often (as they aren't among my favorite styles), but I will certainly grab a few cans of this stuff every so often from now on.

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Photo of dragonWhale
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A brief visit to the Cask Republic in New Haven resulted in my first adventure with New England Brewing Co. I ordered a Ghandi Bot off the menu, excited. The keg was dead. I was sad.
Was sad, for then, I re-examined my options and found this creature. I said, "Let's do it! If you know what I mean." The bartender did. The rest, as they say, is history.
The cloudy orange pour arrived into my maw with a bit of pep in its step. Citrusy, a little peppery, fruity phenols, sweet candy but not overly sweet. I could've easily been fooled into thinking this beer was shipped from overseas. An excellent American take on this style and a wonderful runner-up choice for my thirsting mouth.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in shifts in 4-oz tasting glass

A: cloudy dark yellow (orangish); thin head; no carbonation; not much lacing
S: very inviting lemony citrus aroma, with lacing of yeast; lingers nicely
T: very flavorful belgian-style ale; hops are right at what you would expect in an English pale ale, but the bottle conditioning is very strong, dominant; very flavorful, complex yet refreshing; coriander and cloves, grapefruit

Pretty good! Not as satanic as the label would suggest

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Photo of ThirstyBird
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy yellow orange color. A half inch of full white head falls slowly to a blanket. Smell is spicy and fruity with a bit of sweetness. Clove, pepper, pineapple. The taste is more complex than the nose. I get the clove but some banana along with the pepper, pineapple nice malt sweetness. This is a tasty brew.

The mouthfeel is nice too. Moderate carbonation which is put together nicely. Small carbonation bubbles make it smooth and elegant. Overall a very nice brew - nice work NEBCO!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bright golden amber with a small white head of lace on top maybe one finger in depth but no more then that. Very cloudy and hazy

very light, and very bright with the first initial smell being of light yeast and wheat that seemed to have a nice little edge of fresh grass to it that melded very well. Very crisp and clean with a bright east flavor sitting right up front that offered more then adequate hints of peach and grain and wheat in the flavor. That nice light grass flavor was also very present and offered a nice little bitter finish to it. The finish itself was long and drawn out with a really nice long lasting crispness that really went well with dinner and wrapped the whole thing together nicely.

M - The feel was also wonderful, nice and light bodied and very well carbonated, it never got flat or boring and offered a very nice sessionable feel to it. Crisp and clean this went down easily and really was just a pleasant expierence all around.

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Photo of Lembeh
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful white fluffy head sitting on top of a golden orange unfiltered body. The aroma is of a belgian farm house. Not the beer an actual barn in the wallonian countryside. Hay, wheat and slight sour notes on the nose. The taste follows the same yeast and a dry finish. Very good beer this. Would love to drink some of these all year.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.11/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from can into tulip.
Pours a cloudy golden orangey/yellow straw color.
Thick small bubbled white foam with nice heavy lacing.
Smells very malty...slight belgian yeast and orange aroma. I hate to say it, but smells almost like a budweiser mixed with a belgian beer...my hopes immediately went south.
The taste redeemed itself quick.
While its deff malty, you do taste the belgian yeasts and hops. Slight citrus and straw notes. The alcohol is present, a bit noticeable, but nicely compliments the flavor. Overall, I really like this brew. Well worth the money paid for the 4-pack and would buy again. However, the main reason I even went out to New Haven was for Gandhi Bot, and I wouldnt make a special trip for this brew...but I would deff pick up again while buying GBot.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.11/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can, poured into my Duvel tulip.

668 NotB pours a crystal clear tangerine, with some goldenrod highlights. The pour is abysmal, there's barely a finger of white foam and it disappears quickly and cleanly. The appearance score would be lower if not for the fact that I didn't have this problem with some of my other 668 cans. The nose is a nice blend of pear heavy fruits and pepper and clove phenols. The two are pretty evenly balanced, though overall the aroma could stand to be a little bit more attention grabbing. The flavor profile is top notch. Some green apples creep in to join the the pears at the open, and the spicy phenols still have plenty of zip. There's also a pleasant warming sensation from a slight alcohol presence. The mouthfeel is good, but stops just a step short of being great. It's unquestionably got a dry body and bubbly level of carbonation, each could stand to be taken even a little bit farther. I really like Neighbor of the Beast, it's one of the American brewed Belgians I've liked the most in recent memory.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my brother for grabbing this for me.

A: pours a hazy orange/golden color with a one finger white head. Decent retention with sheets of lacing.

S: Some cloves, banana, pear, and lost of yeast on the aroma. Slightly doughy.

T: More bready malt and yeast, a bit of spice, mostly cloves and coriander. Some candied sugar and a little bit of grassy hops.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

O: A pretty good beer. Drinks rather easy for 9%. Would drink again for sure.

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668 Neighbor Of The Beast from New England Brewing Co.
3.96 out of 5 based on 909 ratings.
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