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Midnight Project #3 Oxymoron | Left Hand Brewing Company

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Midnight Project #3 OxymoronMidnight Project #3 Oxymoron

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
India Pale Lager

Added by Mavajo on 08-25-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 91
Photo of rawfish
2.43/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bought because the label looked cool and I've enjoyed everything else I've had from left hand. An imperial lager using german hops and lager yeast, interesting idea.

22oz. bomber pours hazy pale straw and orange with a small light head that travels well down the glass.

Nose is well average for a lager, not hop forward, yeast and bread frontal, slightly floral with a mix of pine and citrus.

German pilsner style predominates, very malty with slight sweetness but also some stale bread in there too. The hops are dull medicinal herbs and hay. Rather earthy and dry on the finish, even steely a touch. Not refreshing at all like both lagers and IPAs are.

Medium bodied, smooth but carbonation suffers and the bitterness doesn't fit the lager base well. Not a crisp or fresh dryness.

I initially thought the lager base could easily be overwhelmed by a more noble or American hop presence but I found this to be a plain lager with rather unpleasant bitterness and hard to finish.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.54/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle. Pours a clear light copper amber with a medium forthy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet slightly corny malts, and metallic perfumey hops.

The flavor is sweet slightly vegetal malts with a good amount of bitterness in the finish - perfumey and slightly tarry hops. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and a bit watery.

Overall, not too impressive. Kind of a sub-par imperial pils. I was hoping for a lot more American hops with a lager base.

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Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
2.58/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy yellow/copper pour with little head to speak of. Decent white lace. The nose is a bit acidic and metally. It even has a little stale water aroma to it. There is a bit of malt sweetness to the aroma when I take a huge deep breath inside of the glass. Nice hop bitterness upfront but anticlimactic on the finish, dry and bland. As I drink it gets sweeter and more metalic on my tongue. A little thin in body and a lingering bitterness at the back of my pallet is a very unwelcome attribute. I may have a little trouble finishing the bottle. Um, not a fan. I am left wanting more yeast and grass from my pils, maybe a little lemon and understanding that a lot of IPs tend to up their hop content this one fell a little short. I really wanted to like this as I have really come to adore the style, but I just don't feel they represented the style well at all.

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Photo of ncfranklin
2.75/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22oz bottle bought in Nashville, TN.

A: Orange to red, murky with a soapy tan head.

S: Just like one would expect from lager/ale mashup beer, trademark lager yeastiness with floral and pine hop.

T: Odd. Quite odd. A bit malty, but still very bitter on the end. No floral or pine quality like a traditional IPA. Grassy takes over on the finish. Nothing really standout flavor, or very likable.

M: Medium body, and quite tingly from the bitterness.

D: I really don't care for this beer at all. I may have let it set in the fridge too long to get any real hop quality out of it, so all I was left with is a subpar lager that's extremely bitter. Would not drink again.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
2.89/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a perfect pint

A- pours a cloudy shade of orangeish/yellow with a one finger offwhite head...the head is very thick. That looks nice at least

S- stale citrus hops....ugh

T- mild bit of citrus hops....they not very strong or juicy. Mild bite in the end. Bleh

M- thin body. Not too bad, actually

O- I'm sure this would be a lot better fresher, but it is what it is.

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Photo of generalnotsew
2.96/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours very dark amber typical of most IPA's weak head at first but it did finally grow to a decent size. Smell is faint bitter sweet corn malts. Not strong but it is a nice clean smell. Taste is fairly odd. Quite a pungent sweetness upfront with a strange out of place kind of bitterness following up. Carbonation and mouthfeel is quite weak. Very oily and thin. Can't say I could drink a lot of it but it isn't that bad. I usually love my bitterness but it really does seem oddly out of place here.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very unique, once-in-a-lifetime brew. Terrapin and Left Hand have come together to create this "Teutonic India Pale Ale."

The aroma is like an IPA, fresh with a hint of citrus, but the taste is very different. As it first hits the tongue there is the light hop flavor which quickly changes to a sweet malt taste. Unfortunately, all that's left after a few moments is a strong, bitter aftertaste. Not a great beer, but not bad.

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Photo of Ambiorix
3.01/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear copper pour, foamy, rather fast fading light tan head.

S: Bready, slightly sweet caramel malt, slightly floral with little hop character.

T: Caramel malt, very grassy hops, a little too astringent in the finish without any real hop character. Bitter, medicinal aftertatse.

M: A little thick but balanced with a fair amount of carbonation.

D: Oxymoron may be an apt moniker, as this brew can't seem to make up its mind as to what it wants to be. It seems neither pilsner-like nor pale ale-like. Not a bad beer, but not one I'll try again.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

A collaboration between Left Hand and Terrapin.

Poured a copper color with a small white head. Fairly balanced aroma with caramel malts and floral and citrus hops. Taste-wise, it started off ok, very earthy, bready, and amber ale-ish. But it didn't have much flavor and the aftertaste was kind of stale. Medium body, and not overly drinkable. Good, but overall, not very memorable.

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Photo of weeare138
3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears a transparent light gold with a small white head that quickly fades into a mild collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of light herbs, cut wood, and mild bits of corn and butter.
Taste is buttered popcorn, light herbs, fresh bread and citrus.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, bitter, doughy, and smooth
Reminded me of a lagered Whitbread.

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Photo of jsanford
3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass.

Pours a dark orange-amber with a thin, creamy off-white head that settles to a thin haze. Subdued aromas of crisp pilsner malt with some slightly pungent grassy hops. Taste is again sweet malt with some grassy, piney hops and a long bitter finish. Not bad. Fairly slick mouthfeel, with a medium body and moderate carbonation. Overall, not a bad brew, but tasted like a run-of-the-mill DIPA, not some special "Imperial Pilsner".

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Photo of legalpete19340
3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured amber with a huge head. Lacing and retention were modest.

S: Mild grain with a hint of lemon and grass.

T: Is this an IPA? It comes on very strong with grain and bread flavors. There are some notes of grassy hops and maybe light citrus flavors. The grain and bread are truly overwhelming and leave a lingering iced tea flavor.

M: Medium in every way with recognizable fizz.

O: This is a big grainy beer. The grain and bread flavors push everything else out of the picture and render it quite difficult to drink. One was enough for me.

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Photo of kevosbob
3.21/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In my own opinion, when breweries form friendships and collaborate it makes me proud to be involved in the craft beer culture. It’s what make this business better than any other. Lefthand Brewing Company and Terrapin Brewing Company have collaborated on a few different beers over the years. Oxymoron is their third beer in the limited “Midnight Project” series of beers. Oxymoron is an India Pale Lager that was brewed in the summer of 2010. Oxymoron has a 7.2% alcohol by volume and is brewed with German malts, six German hops, and with a cold fermenting lager yeast.

This beer pours a beautiful deep orange color with a mild haze. The head pours a creamy white color with a slight yellow tint. This beer smells complex and takes a second to decipher the malts, hops, and yeast profiles. I pick out notes of pine, wet-grass, berries, orange peel, and a mild iron-ish undertone. Definitely a hoppy beer, but smells less organized and more complex like an unfinished puzzle.

At first sips I recognize the similarities between the the lagered German malts in this and in traditional German lagers. Oxymoron has a light mouth feel with a slight alcohol burn but does not have the expected lager crispness. The complexity is nice but I feel like the lager yeast mutes the potential IPA intensity. I feel that less hops but with specific characteristics would have been better for a lagered IPA. The beer has a nice finish that has a dry citrus quality.

Overall this beer isn’t bad but also isn’t too special ether. It’s nice to taste this beer and start to understand the qualities of lager yeasts. It makes me want to know what other ales would taste like if you lagered the brew process. It also makes me understand why you see hoppy beers brewed with a warmer, ale, brew process. If you like tasting beer I suggest buying a bottle but if you can’t find it anymore, don’t sweat it.

My Beer Rating: 3.5

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Photo of CBlack85
3.27/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Smuttynose big beer balloon glass.

The beer pours a very clear orange/copper color with about two fingers worth of light foamy off white head that recedes quickly and leaves quite a bit of lacing behind.

The aroma is sweet and malty with a nice piney hop presence to maintain balance. Lots of caramel malts and floral & piney hops. Very nice

The taste is not nearly as balanced as the nose. While all of the sweet caramel malts in the aroma are there in the taste, the hops are overly bitter and biting. The beer is medium/light bodied and finishes dry.

Over all the beer is not bad, it is more hop forward than I would expect with a lager, but they do classify it as a "India Pale Lager", in which case it seems to fit the bill.

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Photo of jpro
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked this up at Sam's in Durham. 22oz bomber poured into a Piraat tulip...

A: pours a clear, pumpkin orange with a smallish off-white head; head recedes to a thin layer, leaving some splotches and specks of lace.

S: biscuit malt, some caramel, light alcohol notes; floral / earthy hops.

T: light grains and sweet bread; grassy hops; finishes with a sharp, lasting bitterness.

M: medium-bodied; crisp and smooth; mid level carbonation; dry.

D: this is a weird beer; I'd enjoy it more if the hop profile was a little more crisp and not just characterized by a lasting bitter; I think it would be more enjoyable if it was more "lager" than "ale"; don't think I'll seek this one out again.

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Photo of LiquidBread219
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A= A little hazy in color a little bit oranage/copper in collor nice head with some decent lacing.

S= I think the malts kind of overpowered this beer. You could smell the citrus hops but they where faint IMO.

T= Again I think the malts overpowered this beer the hops kind of took a backseat in this beer came out very little in the taste.

M= Medium bodied beer, right amount of carbonation.

D= I was kind of disappointed in this beer but I think I'm just use to "hoppy" beers but it was pretty easy to drink and went down nice.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

"Sometime around midnight in a city nobody can agree on, the idea for Left Hand and Terrapin to brew a collaboration beer was born. Oxymoron is the third in a series of one-time releases between our two breweries. A combination of contradictions embodied in liquid form, Oxymoron is an American-style IPA brewed with three German malts, six German hop varieties, and a lager yeast strain. Obnoxious yet reserved, elevated yet modest, it's the embodiment of blending two brewing philosophies together in order to achieve singularity. Consider it an expression of cruel kindness." Brewed in the style of an Imperial Pilsner.

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber to a pilsner glass. Served north of 48º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a creamy white head that recedes at an average rate. Body color is a hazy copper amber with sediment in suspension. Carbonation is busy and excited. Overall it's a decent appearance although not reminiscent of a pilsner in terms of coloration or substance. The chunks of matter in the beer may not be appealing either. 3.5

(Smell) Creamy caramel malts, a touch of rye malt, some honey malt. Yeast presence is bready and robust. Hop character is faint, but earthy and pine trace remains. Still not like a pilsner, and not like an India Pale Lager either. Smells much like a rye lager, very forward on malt and less on hops. A very full flavor, pretty heavy in aroma but pleasing. 3.5

(Taste) Toasted caramel grain and some peppery rye malt. The murky hop flavors are far past their prime and have rapidly faded. A remaining buttery rye character is most dominant, plus a touch of caramel and a wet cardboard funk (oxidation). I wish I'd have found this a long time ago, because a full bouquet of hop character would certainly balance this beer out. It's still surprisingly decent but has faded significantly in the fragile hop character. 3

(Mouthfeel) Creamy textures, some mild slickness and resin. Heavy bodied amongst Pilseners and India Pale Lagers, and medium+ bodied overall. The texture is quite decent for a bready, malt heavy beer. Alcohol presence is mild. 3.75

(Overall) The malt character remained mostly intact and dominant in this beer but the six types of hops were all but faded with time, leaving this malt-heavy beer out-of-balance in flavor and bitterness. Still enjoyable even at this time, I would still recommend approaching with caution and the potential of being disappointed in the lack of remaining flavor this beer has to offer. 3.5

Left Hand Brewing Company's
Midnight Project #3: Oxymoron: A Teutonic India Pale Lager

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very clear, light golden. head shows promise, but dies down to a white collar. Could use more fluff or lacing or both.

Dry tree, grass and green lemon aroma. Is it piny? Not sure. Can't quite place it. Light malt, biscuit comes and goes.

Flavors play off the aromas. Kind of grassy, a bit of citrus. Crisp at first, but it doesn't keep it up. Almost like a Czech pilsener, but just shy of everything.

Fairly easy drinking, but not always enjoyable. I don't normally pair beer with food, but wouldn't mind having this one with some chicken quesadillas or something close.

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Photo of prototypic
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oxymoron pours a very clear copper color. Backlighting gives it a slight garnet tint. A creamy, off-white head caps it. It's nearly two fingers tall and recedes slowly. Lacing is definitely sticky, but moderate in terms of volume. Not bad.

The nose is interesting. It kicks off with a sweet, caramel malt scent. They're followed by a rather strong hop aroma. They're floral, and perhaps a bit piney. Very noble-esque. I don't know what the hop bill consists of, but that'd be my guess. There's an interesting mix of spices that emerges late. Alcohol is blended well and isn't too strong. Eh. It's okay. Interesting, but just okay.

The flavor is a little better than the nose. Enough to warrant a score bump. It is very sweet initially. Caramel/toffee flavors are rather strong throughout, but do provide a sturdy, flavorful base. They are complemented by a blend of floral and spicy hops. They do seem noble in character to me, but I don't know that for sure. It's a little bitter, but is balanced to a large degree by the malts. Alcohol is blended pretty well, and isn't much of a factor. It finishes sweet, a little bitter, and very dry.

Oxymoron has a body that's on the light side of medium. Given the substantial amount of malty sweetness, I'm surprised it feels so thin. More body would be good. Drinkability is above average. The flavor's pretty good, but gets a little old. A bomber's probably a little much.

Oxymoron is an interesting concept that is pretty good beer. I've never had an India Pale Lager before. It's alright, but isn't a great success. It's a little too sweet and balanced for my taste. Less malts might be a step in the right direction. It's worth a try, but that's probably about it. Stick with a single bomber.

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Photo of claspada
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aromas are quite lager-tastic. Heavier on the pilsner and biscuit malt with some caramel and some lighter floral and earthy hops.

The taste follows the nose with caramel and lighter specialty grains and some sweet biscuity bread. It is then followed by some grassy hops and finishes with a nice pleasant bitterness. I have to say though there is an odd something I can't pick out which is really preventing me from fully enjoying this beer. There's too much of one kind of malt, but I can't pick it out.

The mouthfeel is medium-to-thick bodied but also crisp and smooth; mid level carbonation.

Overall this a weird beer; I'd enjoy it more if the hop profile was a little more crisp and not just characterized by a lasting bitter. Not bad, but not worth the $10 price tag I paid for it.

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Photo of nickthegun12
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

the smell is nonexistent ...the taste is like a lager....except something is different...different than a steam beer...on the front end the taste is good....musky and funky...on the back end pretty bitter....but the bitter is rounded and not sharp...pretty good beer

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Photo of emerge077
3.44/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice jewel-tone orange, deep saturated color. Fluffy cap of foam that stays around for a bit. Sticky crest of lacing arcs around the glass, retaining some dimension. A thick ring of foam remains around the edge of the liquid, while a wispy skim floats on the surface.

Sweet malty nose, initially a little skunky from noble hops. Later a swirl brings out dry floral aromatics, a little bit perfumey.

Medium bodied with some bitter citrus peel, and dry weedy notes. Fleeting malt sweetness in the form of crispbread or crackers. Bitter citrus tea. Dry bitterness lingers in the back of the throat, like after eating a raw dandelion. Carbonation is ok, but the jarring dandelion bitterness building in the finish doesn't really jive with the beer as a whole. Something I can finish, but not hoping for a repeat brewing of this one.

Time may have faded this some, unfortunately the stamped date was smudged on all the bottles at the store. "~ 18 10" (can't make out the 1st digit, probably an 8 or 9, judging from the earliest reviews here...making this brew 2-3 months old).

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Photo of clayrock81
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light gold body w/ frothy well-carb'd head that dies quick and leaves a minor lace ring. Earthy, grassy almost-pils like aroma with sharp, lemony citric notes and hints of both spicy pepper and a bready malt substance. Thin-bodied and wet hops abound but I found this beer to be slightly offbalanced and some of the citric hop flavoring felt sour and rather pungently sharp. Not much of a malt presence at all and the backbite is too sharp for me to want to keep drinking this. Not a bad beer but this collaboration needs tweaking.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.46/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled 6-18-10. Consumed 12-03-10.

A: A flat weathered orange has a frothy 1 finger head that displayed very good retention. Inside a small steady stream of tightly knitted micro-bubbles make their way upward. The lacing is thick and bready with a 90% glass coverage. A lager with a rustic color and well retaining head should garnish some extra merit here.

S: The nose is a mixture of its 6 different kinds of hops. Unfortunately the combination is more of a hodge-podge rather then individual merit. A mixture of wet grass, moist orange-peels and chives are present. Fresh wet pine needles can be detected underneath. Definitely a decent amount of hoppage for a lager style, though muddled for the most part. Half the hops would of made more of an individual distinction.

T: Kinda strange first impression. Spicy citrus with a flowery edge comes through with a good amount of bitterness on the finish. Pine and floral notes with some alcohol warmth and stale grains are also about. The hops are bitter on the swallow but again the hodge-podge contraption and overuse of different varieties moot each other out with a light stale malt support.

M: Light bodied, some stale citrus and alcohol can be had on the tongue. Turns creamy and washy on longer holds with a soft carbonation (aka lacks the lager crispness).

D: When I think of lager, I think cool, refreshing with a distinct crispness, easy on the take. When I think India pale ale I think bitter but also crisp and refreshing on a hot summer day. This beer seems to have captured the assertive bitterness of the ipa but the crisp lager likeness gets lost in the combination making it hardly distinguishable. Aptly named though not aptly suited for repeatability.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.46/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into stout-style glass.

Pours with a decent off-white head over an amber-colored body and plenty of carbonation, as well as lacing.

Decent herbal aromas, but not your typical American IPA - mostly yeasty bread, with some mint and flowers. More of an English IPA.

Just a faint bite of hops in the flavor - but most of it follows the nose... lager yeast, flowers. Caramel malt sweetness? with some melted butter. Actually drinks more like a Marzen. Interesting (which is what they're going for).

Mouthfeel is creamy smooth - reminded me of an IPA on handpump.

I give this one big points on the D-meter, mostly due to the MF. But not a great American IPA... this one should be recategorized.

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Midnight Project #3 Oxymoron from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.52 out of 5 based on 91 ratings.
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