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: 1,455 | Ratings: 4,553
Photo of jsanto
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

s -- bottle capped bottle.

a -- very nice dark brown, and a creammy head.

s -- this is the best smelling beer i ever had. it was like being in a candle store.

t -- maybe i just like mike stouts, but i did not taste any milk, just vanilla and coffee cream.

m -- little carbonation, good for a change from the belgians.

d -- i enjoyed it all night.

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Photo of Nesued
2.95/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Poured into my Old Rasputin Imperial Stout glass. I thought it would be fitting. Color is a deep brown/black with little chance for light to escape. The head was slight upon initial pour, however it opened up a bit to a one-finger presence. Over time, this settled to a thin ring with slight lacing.

Smell - Well named. Smelled like the dessert with the only thing missing would be the flame-kissed caramel crust. Big vanilla nose (big is an understatement..let's say HUGE). Caramel and coconut as well. Little more could break through that huge opening.

Taste - Smooth opening, however followed by a confusing mix of coconut/caramel/vanilla/burnt sugar. This finishes with an intense hop bite (and yet more vanilla).

Mouthfeel - Considering the mix of flavors, there was a medium density in the mouthfeel. Finishes with a strong body.

Drinkability - A novelty. The nose was exceedingly inviting, but I personally feel it didn't live up to billing. Had it remained smooth throughout, with a mild finish, it may have been worth more than a "well, I tried it" opinion. Even as it warmed, the vanilla retained a medicinal twang. Perhaps a small amount, paired with chocolate or vanilla bean ice-cream, would work.

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Photo of mothman
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just shared this with some new friends. Poured into a pint glass.

Color is a dark dark brown. Has 1 finger of head, decent retention leaving some lace.

Aroma was good, but very sweet. Milk and chocolate. Very creamy. This is an interesting aroma.

Taste: Here is the problem, this beer is so damn sweet. Milk, chocolate, and very creamy. I could maybe have 4 ounces of this, but the taste is so sweet.

Mouthfeel: Silky and creamy. Full bodied. Decent amount of retention. Ends with a sweet chocolate aftertaste.

Overall, this beer is simply to sweet. I couldn't drink a lot of it. It is good, but I wouldn't want a lot. I can see this being good on ice cream or chocolate cake.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As Southern Tier does with all Black Water beers in the series, this one oozes with creamy goodness of chocolate cream pie, to the point that I forget that this is a 10% Milk Stout.

Very strong aromas of, well... Creme Brulle. Strong vanilla, coffee, chocolate. Very well balanced and mouth watering. A light hint of cola comes in the end.

Flavors of vanilla and powdered sugar start off in as well as any beer imaginable. Soon, strong coffee, chocolate, vanilla, heavy cream, and merange (sp?) engulf the beer and dive heavy into a Khaluha-like alcohol taste and strength. Very nice but that extra sweetness begins to take the form of aspirtame from time to time.

Quite heavy on the palate due to light carbonation, heavy sweetness, and firm maltiness. Bitterness seems to come from a lot of directions; hops, bitter cocoa, coffee, and again that aspirtame bite. Finishes a bit cleaner than expected with a deep chocolate and vanilla linger. I would probably prefer this beer without the disjointed bitterness.

Again, this is not a desert beer- It is the desert!

Thanks JNN4V

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 24oz brown pop top with nice label and cool spheel about the freshness date

Appearance: Pitch black opaque beer with a dark cream large-bubbled head with decent retention

Smell: MASSIVE butterscotch tones...touch of vanilla latte...ungodly sweet creamy goodness

Taste: BIG butterscotch notes up front, maybe a bit of lightly roasted coffee with milk and vanilla...medium alcohol notes on the finish...this is like a big, creamy super French-vanilla mocha

Mouthfeel: Viscous and thick

Drinkability: 1 bottle, three people, small snifters: perfect

Conclusion: This was a great after dinner drink; it's huge in mocha flavors and butterscotch and's a bit over-the-top and too sweet to enjoy much at a time, but definitely interesting (went perfectly by itself and with from scratch German Chocolate Cake) and is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of BeerPhan86
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Had a bomber of this amongst two friends. It was hard to get down a third of the bottle so I was glad to share it.

A - Very black. A nice chocolate brown head that kept disappearing but was easy to revive with a few swirls of the glass.

S - Very sweet, almost butterscotch aroma. Some toffee. Definitely vanilla as well.

T - I was expecting more of an imperial stout, and this was very different. Butterscotch and vanilla predominately, with a sugary alcohol taste at the end. This is a great dessert beer to share after dinner!

M - Creamy, almost "chunky" but in a good way. Very thick.

D - Not too good I'm afraid. After a glass of this I was ready for a normal lager or ale, so I would not recommend getting this to drink the whole bottle. But it is a very tasty dessert beer to split amongst a few people.

I would definitely recommend this. Soutern Tier big beers have become sort of a hobby of mine, my favorite being Pumking. On a winter night I could see myself really enjoying this one. I will try it again, but not for some time.

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Photo of Liverpool08
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a jet black with a big puffy tan head. Super great smell of caramel, vanilla, actually has the aroma of creme brulee. Taste of malts,vanilla, and a little alcohol. Very smooth chewy feel. Coats the mouth with vanilla and malts. A great desert beer. But not one you can drink more than one of. A very unique beer.

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Photo of bfields4
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap at grinder's bar

Pours a very dark black. A nice cinnamon brown head

Smells of coffee and caramel with a sweet chocolate.. maybe even a little bit like a creme brulee.

The taste is spot on what I remember a creme brulee tasting like (it has been several years). Velvety chocolate and caramel followed with vanilla and cocoa a nice roastiness to it too. Very sweet can hardly taste the alcohol.

It has about on average mouthfeel for its style smooth and only lightly carbonated a touch on the thick side for me though.

Would only drink this as an desert or maybe a night cap very nice sweet taste but just far to rich for what I would actually want in a beer.

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Photo of tzieser
3.42/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

had this on tap @ sunset grill in brighton

looked great. nice tan head that stuck for a while.

smelled great. tons of vanilla and caramel/butterscotch smells. Slight roasted malt scents. Brown sugar maybe? Smells awesome.

taste is very similar to the smell. sweet sweet sweet malts....vanilla first, then caramel with a subtle roasted malt backbone. Can't pickup any hops here really. I kind of think they killed it with all the sickly sweet malts here. I understand it's what they're aiming for, but I think it doesn't make this beer all that great.

Drinkability is terrible. I could barley stomach one of these, let alone more. It's just too damn sweet to quaff.

Overall- I'd use this with a dessert a reduction or something like that. It's a pretty rough beer, but it's certainly worth trying. I can't think of any other beer like this.

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Photo of jpro
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Picked up a bomber of this interesting looking brew at the CBX. It pours super inky black - held it up to light and zero translucence; virtually no head (what's there is merely a ring of light brown). The aroma is straight up vanilla ridiculousness - maybe some hints of caramel in there, and touches of alcohol (reminiscent of Kahlua). For some reason, when I first smelled this, I thought: pancakes with extra butter and syrup! It hints at creme brulee, but not quite an exact match. After smelling, the taste was a bit of a letdown - again, heavy on the vanilla with some light hints of coffee and alcohol. Its pretty sweet up front with a relatively lackluster finish. The mouthfeel is actually not as heavy as I thought it would be - actually a little thin in spots, and unfortunately doesn't lend to the idea of wanting to drink more (its just way too sweet for me). An interesting idea, and definitely worth a try, but not something I'll come back to -

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Photo of BirdFlu
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After trying the bottle about a week ago I took the no-tap variation to see if I could find much difference.. I found Mokah to be a bit less-enjoyable on tap and my creme brulee experience suffered the same fate.. Whereas the bottle begins with a flavor and aroma which are so robust and sweet that it may excite and entice at first then becomes a bit cloying and artificial, on-tap I immediately found these unpleasant qualities. There is a chalky quality to the taste which contrasts the sweetness but doesn't add any enjoyment to the drink. Drinkability suffers from these unpleasantries in the flavor and aroma. Overall, though, I'm willing to grant it 3.5's instead of below-average numbers because its certainly a better option thana lot of things and if you're in the mood for something very strong or generally enjoy sweetness it may be quite enjoyable. Like other ST stout offerings I'm finding the sort of artificial quality to the flavor shows through more on-tap. Its fun to try but I wouldn't want to drink a full pint's worth.

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Photo of jgasparine
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Black as night. Pours with a small coffee-colored head.

S- An incredibly "sweet" nose... smells of lactose, candy sugar and vanilla custard.

T- This stuff tastes like someone wrung-out a creme brulee desert into the glass. The dark appearance is deceiving... I would have expected more roasty or coffee notes, but I get none of this... just an intensely sweet (and wonderful) flavor of dessert in a glass!

M- Creamy and slightly chewy. Very full body.

D- Incredibly good (if you like Creme Brulee), but so rich and sweet that I couldn't have a pint on my own. I've had it in the bottle as well, and I feel like you need to have at least three people to split the bottle amongst. (Although my wife can drink this stuff all night!)

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Photo of rfgetz
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Bomber poured deep brown with ample frothy head

S: perfect creme brulee (burnt vanilla sugar)hints of butterscotch coffee and chocolate. Very rich.

T: As with the smell, burnt vanilla sugar with hints of butterscotch, toffee coffee and chocolate. Only gripe is the extreme sugary sweetness. tastes great, but any more than 10oz is overkill.

M: Sticky and creamy, milky residual

D: Good after dinner beer, although would prefer in an 8-12po serving. The bomber was hard to finish in one sitting b/c of the sweetness.

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Photo of bbeane
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a 16oz pint glass...Black in color, no transparency when held up to light. About a finger thick brownish colored head

S- Honestly no typical beer scent, but an strong smell of irish cream

T- Strong irish cream taste with malty overtones, and a slight hop finish. Unbelievably tasty with no hint of the 10% abv

M- Thick and creamy, with a smooth finish

D- Very... might start to get a little sweet after to many, but at 10% abv, you don't need to many


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Photo of JRed
3.47/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Black hue in body with light coffee head topping. Aroma of creme brulee, vanilla, cream, coffee with cream, caramel. Not as pleasant as I envisioned on the palate: cola with pours of vanilla, light coffee, caramel, syrup. A medium bodied mouthfeel with light carbonation. The downfall of the beer lies in the cola character with dabs of vanilla and coffee. The upside is the light, smooth, creamy mouthfeel that the beer possesses. A sweet treat but has room for improvement.

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Photo of thain709
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep black in color with a few brown highlights...a small light brown head forms and fades away into nothing...not much lacing

S - What do you think? Wonderful aroma of creme brulee...vanilla, creme, chocolate, butterscotch

T - A lot of the same flavors as the nose...I loved my first few sips...but after awhile the sweetness really got to me...vanilla and butterscotch are really well as the sugar (I'm picturing the caramelized sugar on top)...the caramel mixes with the butterscotch and almost forms a toffee flavor...roasted malts provide a nice backbone as well as a deep cocoa bean/hop bitterness at the end

M - A nice, creamy, thick mouthfeel

D - I would be good with a 2 oz sample glass of 10 oz. glass just became too sweet...but it all boils down to this tastes and smells like the real thing...Southern Tier does not seem to let you down

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Photo of Onibubba
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Been waiting to try this one. Decent dark brown pour with short lived mocha head. Smell unbelieveably powerful. Kind of like the smell of flavored coffee beans. Taste is amplified even more. It is good - no denying. It's just that it is so incredibly intense. This is the sweetest beer ever. Scaldis, Framboise, you are excused. Mouthfeel is OK. A bit thin, would add to the taste if it was a smoother beer, but it is not. Drinkability is a tough call. The sweetness makes this a sipper. A bottle is a bit much for one person.

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

The Crème Brûlée Stout from the Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood, New York comes in at 10% ABV.

The aroma hit me like a burning truck full of vanilla ice cream, but no sign of hops. Typical I would be critical of this, but this is supposed to be a sweat treat. Its sniffage is a pleasant mixture of vanilla and coffee, capped with a shot of Kahlúa, and lightly toasted.

This imperial stout is very dark in color, and the head is dense and velvety, which indicates that Guinness-like texture.

The beer list at Dirty Frank's, the joint I found this alcoholic cavity, appropriately states, "Drink your dessert," as this is virtually crème brûlée in a glass.

Served a little chilly at first (Southern Tier suggests 42 degrees in a snifter), let it warm as you sip to leave more taste and aroma at the bottom of the glass and experience its full flavor and the fire of alcohol that hits at the tail of every sip.

It's criticized for containing more sugar than hops, but this is not supposed to be a chugger. Instead, this stout is the brewers' version of ice wine or port. I would not drink another right after because it is just too rich and powerful. Instead I would cap off a dinner containing a rich cream sauce with just one pint or even split a 22oz. bottle. I can definitely feel my craving increase.

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Photo of jera1350
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark jet black with tight tan one finger head. Some lacing.

WOW!!! Big robust vanilla beans, chocolate, hints of coffee and cola. Smells outstanding.

Huge vanilla beans, more coffee than in the nose, deep roasted malt, semi-sweet chocolate chips. Very big flavors, but not overpowering.

Very creamy mouthfeel goes perfectly with the flavors and name of the beer. Heavy bodied and a nice chewiness.

This resembles drinking a chocolate milkshake. A bit of a sipper, but man would this be an outstanding dessert drink.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber from Beer Run. Not the first time I've tried this one, but the first time I've actually managed to get a review out of it. Long story! Poured in to a 22 oz. snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dirty, dark brown, but not quite opaque brew - it's almost like a heavily-toasted barleywine in hue - capped by a fizzy, relatively fast-fading tan head. The retention leaves a lot to be desired, as does the lacing - only the thinnest fizzy collar of lace persists, and that's largely on the back of a steady stream of fine carbonation. Not too much goin' on here.

Aroma: Incredibly sticky sweet sugars, seeping and swimming and seething with vanilla bean and faint cocoa and milky, creamy lactose overtones. Alcohol is only the faintest afterthought in this one, though it is slightly detectable. Severe agitation brings to the forefront a lot of dark, heavily toasted, partially singed caramel sugars, though these are heavily masked and fortunately superseded by their lighter, sweeter counterparts in the normal course of agitation.

Taste: Jeeze. Highly burnt, heavily caramelized sugars are pleasant up front, but wear thin a little quickly - I don't even mean quickly as in, as the entire beer progresses, but more quickly "per sip." That is, the severely burnt nature of the sugar is particularly harsh in the finish of each sip, right when it hits the back of the tongue. It's a shame, really, because the forefront of each sip - the vanilla beans, the sweet, creamy, milky sugars, the slightly bitter hop presence - is pleasant. It just fades way too quickly.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated, but heavy, sticky, syrupy thickness makes your mouth and your lips and your whole face sticky. Still, enough carbonation to keep it lively and even, though not as creamy as I'd like.

Drinkability: Well, hm. The alcohol doesn't really come through here in any appreciable way ... outside of its effect. If it weren't so roasted, so heavily burnt, so ... astringent ... it would be much nicer, but probably still even a little sweet for my tastes (and likely for most). I'm glad to have actually reviewed it, following my "Beatification + Creme Brulee = debacle" debacle, but I won't be enjoying this one again anytime soon, likely!

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Photo of jjanega08
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A= pours a deep black color. Not quite as thick as I wanted but still very nice looking. A nice two finger head rises out of it and falls to a thin skin. No lacing.
S= lotta vanilla. Smells just like creme brulee. There's vanilla up front with coffee undertones I suppose but that's it.
T= much much more coffee and some roasted oats than the smell. There were of corse over tones of vanilla. Pretty good not bad at all.
M= not nearly as good as I wanted. Should be thicker and more velvet. Should have oatss added.
D= pretty good. Not a bad beer. Doesn't deserve the heat it gets.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours murky dark brown with ruby highlights. Head is crisp white and hangs around awhile.

Aroma is sweet coffee liquor with generous chocolate and vanilla.

Taste is very similar to the nose. Very sweet, smooth chocolate, vanilla, and a ton of toffee. Hints of smokey dark grain. Finish is sweet and boozy.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, very smooth and creamy.

A very sweet dessert beer. Tasty and smooth, but too sweet to drink more than one. I could swear there is Kaluha in this.

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Photo of bashiba
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep dark black stout with an off white head.

The smell was fantastic with big vanilla and caramel notes with a touch of coffee, very much like a real creme brulee.

The flavor is great, big creamy milk, vanilla, and caramel sweetness mixing in with a nice bit of burnt, smokey, black malts with a touch of coffee. Very desert like in flavor except for the big burnt black bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is silky smooth with a bit of warmth.

Very drinkable and tasty. I like it a lot.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep deep brown stopping just short of opaque. Ruby tones noticeable around the edges when held to the light. Head is off white, decent retention and some clingy lacing,

The aroma is ridiculous. Sweet cream and caramelized sugar are very prominent. Butterscotch and vanilla notes are noticeable but not on the forefront. Roasted malt aroma is very so subtle. Slight hints of booziness peak through on occasion.

The taste is very similar to that of the smell but with a much stronger roasted malt presence. Taste similar to that of a dessert coffee. Deep coffee like roast compliments the vanilla and caramel flavors. Butterscotch flavors also present with a burnt sugar taste which tends to linger between sips.

Mouthfeel is medium to full but not overly thick. Smooth and creamy.

Drinkability is difficult to rate on a beer like this. This is a highly enjoyable brew with in reason. A bomber is too much drink due to the overpowering sweetness. Would be perfectly suited as a dessert beer shared amongst friends.

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Photo of Viggo
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, surprised I've never reviewed this one as I've had it four or five times. Pretty sure Torontoblue hooked me up with this one.

Pours a deep and opaque black, although some reddish highlights are in the corners, very thick light tan head forms, slowly settles down to a thick ring and thin layer, lace streaks on the glass, looks good. Smell is great, very rich, butterscotch, big vanilla, caramel corn, raisin, more toffee, cream, lactose sweetness, very malty, a hint of roast but basically big vanilla and caramel notes. Taste is similar, milk chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla, caramel and butterscotch, more vanilla, more caramel, just insanely rich, like dessert. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, alcohol is hidden very well. I love this beer, never really experienced the caramelized and vanilla flavours as rich as this in any other beer. Not for everyone but I really dig it. Thanks Sid!

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Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 4,553 ratings.
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