Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series)Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series)

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The brewer suggests a serving temperature of 42 °F for this beer.

Added by ph2001 on 07-12-2008

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Reviews: 1,459 | Ratings: 4,565
Photo of hopheadjuice
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, no freshness date.

Pours a dark ink with garnet edges. Slow rising tan head clinngs to the glass.

Smells wonderful. Buttercream, custard, vanilla frosting, and burnt caramel whiff up the nostrils. smells like the perfect desert.

Taste is very much like the smell, very sweet and filled with cream, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, caramel, butterscotch. All wound up into a little package mmmm tasty.

Being a milk stout it is creamy as fuck, nice full bodied ale with moderate carbonation and a dry finish.

10% abv this stout is a monster. extremely creamy and extremely sweet. Who needs desert when you got beer.

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Photo of Roke87
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL (22oz) bomber poured at cellar temperature into a snifter.

Appearance- Pours a very dark black, you cannot see through this stout even when held up to a light. Had a miniscule tan head that very quickly dissipates to a thin lacing with little spotting left on the glass.

Smell- You are definitely hit with a very pungent smell of the vanilla and sweet caramel/butterscotch right off the bat, roasted malts are buried in there somewhere paired with a very faint smell of chocolate.

Taste- I get the roasted malts and coffee taste first, followed up by the sweet, creamy taste of the vanilla and caramel/butterscotch, you can definitely taste that this is a higher ABV stout with a slight alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied and very creamy, carbonation was not all there but not many stouts are overly carbonated to begin with, very drinkable for the higher ABV.

Overall- A desert turned into a beer and it lives up to its name, very sweet on both the nose and the palette, with lots of vanilla and butterscotch smells and tastes as well. I was impressed as I didn’t know what to expect I just thought I would give it a try because the name caught my eye. A very good stout from Southern Tier that delivers on all fronts.

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Photo of naproxen
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

yowza! I enjoyed this first from a bottle at bonbon's summersplash, then split a draft the other night at eli cannon's for 'dessert'.

Appearance wise, all Imperial Stout, it is black as night and really that is all there is to say, very true to the style, coffee w/ milk colored head.

The smell is amazing, butterscotch and caramel knock you right in the face like a diabetic at the Werther's factory. The taste itself is not as strong with its aroma, but this is by all means a palate killer so enjoy this, go figure, as dessert. In all my endeavors as a cook I have yet to make or enjoy real creme brulee, so I can not comment on how close this is to tasting like one, but I can only hope and pray it really is. It leaves a sweet, almost puckering, film in the mouth. I want to not like it because of the overbearing sweetness, but hot damn it is just tasty. Good to enjoy, with friends, once or twice. I could never have a whole bottle alone or often.

((edit only for spelling errors, my english teachers would frown so bad))

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Photo of joshstevens87
2.76/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A-3.0 pour jet black with just a slight brown shade with a slim minimal white head struggling to cover the top of the beer
S-4.5 reaks of creme brulee with notes of vanilla with a caramel asserting itself with just a twinge of chocolate and coffee in the background
T-2.0 huge vanilla up front with a sweetness like eating a crème brulee but the chocolate/toffee malts asserts itself more aggressively with a little alcohol or hop bitterness to balance the taste (rightly so for the style) but overall I'm not sure if this works imperial style the massive malt and alcohol/hop present bitterness in a sweet stout interpretation albeit imperial style doesn't quite work for me
M-3.0 very heavy and rich body with a low carbonation the huge rich taste is almost a turnoff especially in a 22 oz bomber
D-2.0 not remotely drinkable, definitely a sipper tough I'm lost for words at why you bottle it in 22 oz. servings being an imperial sweet stout it seems a contradiction since due to it's imperial character it seems there is an off balance between it's imperialness and its sweet goodness which i wish would dominate a bit more

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Photo of braker649er
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My highest praise is that this beer represented truth in advertising--the flavor was an undeniable dessert beer that was very sweet, and had creamy-caramel-toffee flavor just like you'd expect from the name. I was in favor of the high ABV (especially high as a milk stout)--the booze gave the sweetness dimension.

It almost felt like you could achieve this beer by brewing a solid base and then adding butterscotch syrup. That may sound a bit cynical. Actually by this I mostly mean that the taste was on target.

The flip side: A few sips in, I couldn't decide if I actually *wanted* a beer that tasted like burnt cream/caramel. My bad? I rated relatively highly even though this wasn't ultimately a beer I'd buy again.

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Photo of Admbmb92
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Bruery snifter.
A-pours inky black with a little bit of brown hues on top. One finger head that disappears quickly. Lots of alcohol legs
S-vanilla, caramel, sweet chocolate, milk, custard. Smells like a caramel macchiato.
T- intensely sweet! Very similar to the smells. Slight bit of bitterness but overwhelming amount of creamy sweet caramel and vanilla.
M- medium light carbonation. Creamy milk stout goodness.
O- very good dessert beer but too sweet for my taste. More on the lines of a mix drink than a beer. Very unique though

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Photo of whendeathsleeps
1.91/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A- Pours black with ruby highlights, a one finger tan head.

S- Would smell great, if it were a candle, not what I want to smell from a beer, Vanilla, burnt sugar, not much else in the nose.

T- Like eating a Yankee brand vanilla candle with butterscotch icing. Such an artificial sickly sweet taste, makes me almost gag. I detect nearly no hops, just sugar on top of you guessed it...more sugar.

M- Thick, full bodied, oily slick, moderate carbonation.

O- I would avoid at all cost, maybe this is for some people though. Glad I at least tried it so I could experience it for myself. It was so hard to get through even splitting the bottle with a friend. Skip this milk stout and go for Left Hand's Nitro Milk Stout, which is perfectly balanced.

In closing, try it if you must. It was one of those pure curiosity things for me. Will never buy again.

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Photo of cbak999
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I have to preface this with the fact that this beer is following a KBS.

A- Pours a deep black with a 1/2 head that fades to a slight covering and lasts through the session.

S- Huge vanilla. I really don't smell anything but that.

T- The first and overwhelming taste to me is maple syrup and vanilla. I can see myself enjoying this with a stack of pancakes. lol

D- It's a little too sweet for my liking. The sweet notes that come through are a bit over powering. Definitely not a sipper and the 10% ABV is hidden very well. Not a session beer by any means!!

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Photo of blaje
3.2/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours black in a sniffer, forming a thin mocha head that disappears quickly to finally look like a flat soft drink!

S: STRONG vanilla sent, too pronounced almost artificial. Brown sugar. No roasted grain in here.

M: Damn it, Feels like a vanilla coke! Too bad.

T: Sweetness. Vanilla dominates largely and everything. Caramel is present too. Easily comparable to Bailey's Irish cream. Nothing more to say. No signs of roastiness...

Overall: Big disappointment for me! I would have like a more refined milk stout since it is an "imperial series" The overall fealing of this beer is like a soft drink artificially flavoured. Will look for something else for my next milk stout.

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Photo of wasatchback
2.63/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Two sips and dumped it out. Was very interested to try it out as the label made it sound rather interesting. Smelled and tasted like fake vanilla extract, very overpowering. I can't imagine drinking this. Wonder if this was a bad batch???

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Photo of TheViolator666
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

22 oz. bomber poured into Stone nonic glass

Oh. My. God.
This is probably the most bizarre beer I've yet to have.
Immediately after cracking open the bottle my (stuffy) nose was pummeled by the intense vanilla/butterscotch scent that then went on to displace all of the oxygen in the room.

Appearance: Pretty average. Nice head that hung around for awhile, decent color as well. Exceptional lacing draped down the glass.

Smell: I don't even know where to begin. Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. Smelled fantastic at first, but now (hours afterwards) I wish I could get it out of my nose.

Taste: Tastes exactly what I would expect a creme brulee beer to taste like. I regret drinking so much, though. This is definitely a sipper and I wish I would have taken less of a portion. Vanilla, butterscotch, roasted maltyness and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Average as well, not as thick as I like a stout, but not thin by any means. Creamy.

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Photo of cjoc83
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a chalice stout black, but with some clear redish hues visible on the edges of the glass when held up to the light. A fingers worth of khaki head recedes to a ring around the glass pretty quickly.

Wow...this smells amazingly similar to actual creme brulee. Burnt sugar is the dominant note, with some toffee and malty sweetness in the mix. Really smells great.

It doesn't taste as much like creme brulee as it smells, but it's still pretty damn delicious. Burnt sugar, toffee and caramel all hit the palate, segueing nicely into some sweet and toasted malt, mixing in with a little bit of lactose. There's just the faintest hint of a hop bitterness on the back end, finishing this beer off as nice as it starts. No alcohol warmth is noticeable, despite the 9.6% ABV.

Mouthfeel is solid. Creamy, but not too heavy. Low carbonation.

I was very pleasantly surprised by this one. How Southern Tier actual got this beer to smell and taste like creme brulee is pretty amazing. And while it may not be super-complex, all the flavors are solid and in good proportion to one another. I really enjoyed pretty much everything about this beer. I'm just wondering how it took me this long to actually try it...

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Photo of challenja
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served On Tap at Westover Market Arlington, VA

A: Dark black havoc. Zero foam residue. Pure heaven!

S: ohhh my my my. Sweet sweet malt balls, Vanilla sugar cookies, dark roast Costa Rican coffee beans. Caramelized sugar cane.

T: OMG. OMG.. seriously... OMG... Southern Tier are the masters of Dessert beer!!!
Vanilla with caramel swirl ice cream. Toasted Honey bun. Oak Cask. Dark roasted Costa Ricas coffee. Whopping malt balls. Like WHOPPERS candy in a glass!!
The Full creamy dairy milk masks the booze in this utterly delicious brew.

M: Richy creamy medium carbo mouth full. This would be glorious on a nitro tap! Smooth and gum tingling. It really coats the tongue O so well.

O: So amazing. It's so out of this world amazing that it should be held high above all other stouts as WOW... This will knock the socks off anyone who tries it. This is what should be served with my last meal..
Get yours NOW. Today.. Check all beer places. and Buy as many bottles as you can.. Well save some. just get 3.

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Photo of airohead2001
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

A - Black. No head and very little lacing. Not quite what I was expecting for an imperial stout.

S - Very unique and delicious. This beer's aroma is definitely it's strongest attribute. Caramel, vanilla, sugar, and booze. Wonderful.

T - Very sweet - perhaps just a tad too much here. Vanilla, caramel, booze, and more caramel. That's about it. The taste is delicious, but really is pretty simple. Not many layers. No hops. No classic malts.

M - Good. Nice and thick, which is what you would expect for a decent imperial stout.

D - Not a whole lot here. It's taken me about 45 minutes to get past half the bomber, and I think that's about as far as I'll get tonight. A very tasty and very interesting and unique beer, but certainly not very drinkable.

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Photo of jgreenearrow
3.19/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep brown, nearly black color with a 1/2' thick creamy brown head appearing at the top of the pour. No lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: First impression is that the beer smells very sweet. Brown sugar, vanilla, and toffee are all present in the nose. I would prefer it to smell at least a little like beer, roasted malts or something.

T: The first sip was overwhelming. Strong sweetness of vanilla mixed with some roasty bitterness. Alcohol burn in the finish. The sweetness is a little less powerful of subsequent sips mixing with some astringent and bitterness. The balance of this beer is off.

M: This beer is medium to full bodied. It is thinner than I would have thought, but syrupy. Carbonation is lacking.

Overall, this is an okay beer. That is the best I can say for it. It is blended too sweet, even for a desert type beer. The balance is off in all aspects other than appearance.

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Photo of MerryTapster
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer poors pretty dark, almost black, with a nice white heads that lingers. Lacing is ok.

S: Vanilla and Coffee are the most presnt in this. I also found notes that would be very similiar to a butterscotch candy.

T: Vanilla and sweet cream up front, followed by espresso and dark chocolate. Tasty, but different.

M: This beer is very smooth and creamy, with a medium carbonation. Basic stout mouth feel.

O: Not a bad beer, it is on the sweet side but nobody said that was bad. This would pair nicely with a variety of deserts. Again, this one is worth a try.

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Photo of mikedashg
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark black with a great sizes tan head

S - Wow! Sweet caramel creme brulee. marshmallows, vanilla, toffee, burnt sugar.

T - Just like it smells,and complex. very sweet, creme brulee, caramel, vanilla toffee, burnt sugar, etc. Roasted malts, chocolate, butter cream/butterscotch and coffee.

M - Moderate carbonation and a little syrup.

D - If you like sweet dark chocolate caramel sugar beers, this is IT! It's totally as advertised "Creme Brulee" I don't know how Southern Tier does it. But this is SPOT on. I really liked this one. Remember butterscotch lifeavers? Yeah, YUM!

I can't believe some people gave this a low review because it tastes like it should. A sweet creme brulee stout beer.

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Photo of kylehayworth
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a treat for me, cheers to Jason.

A: The pour was a deep brown, with a white maybe ever so tan head. The lacing was on point as well.

S: WOW...the smell was amazing, I could taste it without even drinking it. So much caramel, vanilla, and loads of butterscotch.

T: It taste just the same way it smells, and the general consensus was Werther's Original candy.

M/D: Thick and luscious, mild carbonation. This is a great beer to share with a couple of people, consuming a whole bottle will surely leave you with a tummy ache.

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Photo of CaptainTripps
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: The beer pours a very, very dark brown approaching black. No light on the edges. This is one thick looking beer (almost syrup like). Came with a fingers worth of dark brown head leaving sticky lacing down the glass.

S: oh, WOW. This thing is amazing. Instantly you get hit with strong notes of burnt sugar, vanilla, butterscotch, sweet cream, caramel and chocolate. Its heaven in a glass. Very rich flavors as well.

T: Following the nose, this is a thing of beauty if you have a sweet tooth. Upon the first sip you get this burnt sugar taste, similar to maybe a burnt marshmellow? This is followed up by strong notes of butterscotch and vanilla. Also getting notes of chocolate, sweet cream, caramel and alcohol. Really rich and in your face beer. Its a tastebuds work out.

M: Thick, like a chocolate milk shake and super smooth. Carbonation is low, which I think is key with this beer. Alcohol present but not over thet top.

O: If I am ever in a mood for something sweet with a little kick, this is the beer I will come back to. Probably one of the most powerful smelling beers I have yet to have.

It was goood.

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Photo of Kartoffeln
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours mahogany so dark it's practically black against the light, with a substantial tan head of creamy, bubbly foam that sinks to a ring and leaves strings of lacing.

S: Butterscotch and creme brulee dominates the nose, strongly sweet caramel with a faint charred note drowned in French vanilla with a buttery custard undertone. Faint chocolate and roasted malt notes come through and mingle to produce aromas of caffe mocha and hazelnuts. Mild booziness throughout. It's appetising, but kind of artificial and overdone like something off a Starbucks menu.

T: Sweet caramel, custard, and vanilla dominates the sip before letting some roasty chocolate malts through, producing a sweet caffe mocha and hazelnut flavour following the nose. Roasted malts pull through with hints of black coffee and smoke in the finish alongside woody hops. The ABV is pretty well-concealed.

M: Full-bodied with very mild carbonation and a substantial, chewy, but smooth texture like heavy cream. The roasty bitterness in the finish does a bit to backstop the overwhelming sweetness of the palate, but altogether it comes off too sugary and makes the 650 mL bottle a chore to get down in one sitting.

D: In no way, shape, or form is this an "American Double/Imperial Stout" as listed and it hasn't been reviewed as such; it's a milk stout, strong and sweet. A pretty good milk stout, too, but excessively sweet; the creme brulee premise overwhelms the stout base instead of complementing it, and the vanilla is overdone. It feels like a novelty, but it's still worthy of serious consideration if you've got a friend that'd fancy splitting a bottle for dessert.

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Photo of gatorbreath
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man, this was more of a teaser than anything...couldn't drink a whole pint if I wanted...

Appearance is dark with webby head that sticks to everything it touches..the drink is so sweet and finishes semi-bitter, I feel like I just ate a sweet treat with each bite. I feel like this is more a novelty beer, i cant imagine this being soeones go-to joint. Enjoyed my little bit, probably gonna pass from here on out..


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Photo of Pabs311
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I recently tasted an '08 and '09 side by side. I have to say that the year in a bottle does this bear wonders. If you have the patience, lay one or two down. i ahve a couple more '08s that im gonna wait another year before crackin open. I'm gonna review the '08 after a year.

A- pours dark and opaque with a good good sized dark tan/coffee colored head.

S- you can smell the vanilla coming off this before before u even lift it to ur nose. There's a ton a vanilla and butterscoth with a malty backbone to the aroma of this beer. id to just sit there and smell it all day, but where's the fun in that?

T- The taste reflects the aroma 100%. The beer has also smoothed out quite alot over the yearof aging and any bitterness that can be seen in the '09 has almost completely disappered.The beer is a little on the sweetside though because of all the vanilla.

M/D- Mouthfeel is on the fullbodied side, coats the palate very well and lingers well. This is a beer that i wouldn't be able to drink all by myslef. the flavor is very robust and is more of a sipper. plus it's so good i like to share with a friend so they can experience this beer as well.

got a couple '09s to lay down so we'll see how a 2 year old '08, 1 year old '09 and new '10 comapre next year!

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Photo of iabeerbaron
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wow, awesome aroma for this beer. Smells like butterscotch, caramel, and vanailla. Really nice pour, medium tan head. Flavor was very good, but got to be a little too sweet for me. The vanilla, in particular, was a little too overpowering for me. Bomber bottle is way too much for me. Really unique brew.

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Photo of DawnL
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep, dark color with lots of sticky lacing.

Vanilla bean first on the nose - then a real milky, creamy aroma that really does make me think of creme brulee. Okay, more pots de creme - but still delicious.

Vanilla definitely comes across on the palate very strongly.

For the dessert beers - it's all about the mouthfeel. Silky, smooth, like drinking a milk shake. Rich and unctuous. Drinks like a dessert - like melted ice cream.

Absolutely lives up to its name - this is like drinking creme brulee. Also, not all that easy to imbibe due to high abv and the sweetness that can be cloying at times.

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Photo of antlerwrestler19
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a small caramel colored head that fades quickly leaving nothing behind - just a menacing looking brew. The smell is ridiculous in the best of ways - vanilla, coffee, cookie dough, roasted marshmellows, chocolate, brown sugar - man this is impressive. The taste follows suit imparting the same delicious and decadent sweetness that plays out in the nose - just a one of a kind beer here. A little on the lighter bodied side from what I was expecting and a decent amount of carbonation - also noted the slight burn from the booze. This is truly a unique beer, I've never had anything quite like it. I'm glad I have a few more bottles of this to set aside and see what happens with a little bit of time.


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Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 4,565 ratings.
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