Love Child No. 4
Boulevard Brewing Co.

Love Child No. 4Love Child No. 4
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Wild Ale
4.36 | pDev: 9.17%
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Love Child No. 4Love Child No. 4
Notes: Love Child is made by blending batches of beer, aged for between 11 months and 5 years in whiskey barrels (50%), wine foeders (15%), and stainless steel tanks (35%). The beer gets it's funk from Lactobaccillus and Brettanomyces (the same Brett used in Boulevard's Saison-Brett).
Reviews: 115 | Ratings: 1,224 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TXhomebrewer:
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TXhomebrewer from Texas

4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Jul 08, 2014
More User Reviews:
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LambicPentameter from Nebraska

4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed out of a 750 mL brown bottle with a 'best by' date of March 2016 marked on the label. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack series tulip glass.

Appearance (4.0) - Pours a ruddy brownish red hue that calls to mind red clay pottery, but slightly darker. It's nice and cloudy, with just enough light passing through the body to show a brighter cherry red highlight right on the edge of the glass, but it's faint. Atop the body sits two fingers of head the color of lightly toasted bread and a foamy, soap-like consistency that shows good retention before eventually slinking away to nothing but a few wisps of silky bubbles across the surface and clinging to the side of the glass.

Smell (4.25) - As expected, there is a hugely acidic presence from the souring bacteria, with notes of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and wonderfully musty oak tannins and even a hint of sweetness and astringency from the bourbon barrels. I also get touches of tart red currant and ripe raspberry that give the overall sour-smelling brew a vinous impression.

Taste (4.75) - Oh my. I don't know if I've enjoyed prior incarnations of LC this "young" that were so distinct and mind-blowing from a flavor standpoint. The label says that only 15% of this ale spent time in giant oak foeders, but that 15% has made an exponential impact on the flavor. There are still bright, puckering acidic notes of vinegar and citric acid, but there is a distinctly vinous characteristic that brings in a jammy undercurrent--like Boulevard's Foeder Projekt #1, but more subtle, allowing the other components to play in the sandbox as well. The oak and bourbon impart subtle vanilla to take the edge of the enamel-peeling sourness, but without muddling the overall impact on my palate. There is also a pleasant funkiness providing counterpoint to the sharper acidic flavor profiles.

Mouthfeel (4.25) - Medium-bodied and high carbonation, with a puckering feel and a very dry finish.

Overall (4.5), this is probably my favorite of the series thus far. The wine foeder aging imparted a wonderful dry fruity characteristic that really separated it from the previous iterations, as delicious as they were. If this is how Boulevard is going to put their new foeders to use, I'm downright giddy to see what else they come out with in the future.

Aug 22, 2014
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Jugs_McGhee from Louisiana

3.59/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I couldn't be more excited to try this beer; I ordered Love Child No. 3 and always look forward to Boulevard's brews.

BOTTLE: 750ml Appealing '60s-meets-circus label art. Branded red hood-and-gold-wire cap over a branded cork purchased locally in Austin, TX and served cold into a snifter.

9.0% ABV per the label. Allowed to warm over the course of consumption. "Batch #L14076-1. "Best by 03-2016."

Cork came with some difficulty by hand.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Two finger wide head of white colour. Average frothiness. It's a nice blanket of fairly creamy aptly thick soft-looking foam. Nice consistency and complexion. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Retention is good for the ABV - about 7 minutes.

BODY: Dark copper with peach and gold hues, of average vibrance. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears well-carbonated. Not unique or special for a sour, but certainly appealing.

AROMA: Apple cidre vinegar, obvious lactobacillus bacteria, white wine (chardonnay), damp oak (but sadly there's none of the rich white oak sugar or refined toasty character I look for in oak notes), Belgian blonde malts, orchard red apple, a bit of white grape tartness, must, and some berries on the back end. It's got some backgrounded brettanomyces funkiness, which does lend it some barnyard character coupled with some hints of hay and straw - but overall the sourness does seem quite clinically executed; this isn't the sour chaos of a truly spontaneously fermented sour.

I do wonder where the hell the whiskey character is; I find none even when I search for it. Maybe a dab of vanilla, but that's it.

Overall, it's a rather pleasant aroma of moderate strength, but isn't as sour or assertive as I'd like.

TASTE: Sourness is the first thing I notice - as it should be. This is a good 6-7/10 in terms of sourness - bordering on puckering with that heavy clean lactobacillus sour edge. The lacto goes well with the white wine (chardonnay) notes, which coupled with the dampened oak lend it some nice unifying barrel notes - though a lot more could be done with the oak; I'd love some rich toasty character or some more woody white oak notes. There's a kiss of vanilla, but otherwise I find no traces of the whiskey - which is frankly just as well, as I can't see spicy boozy whiskey working well in this flavour profile.

The Belgian blonde malt base is pretty neutral, and succumbs easily to the dominant sourness. The brettanomyces funkiness is toned down and subsidiary, lending some complementary barnyard character which is ultimately no contest to the lactobacillus. Attenuation is perfect, in any case.

The sourness grows in the third act, leaving the drinker with a nice resounding palate-stripping lacto aftertaste. Sadly, the subtle berry notes noted in the aroma are absent here.

The subtle well-integrated red apple notes work magnificently here, evoking ripe orchard character without ever venturing into sweet cidre territory.

It's well balanced, rightly emphasizing the lactobacillus sourness. This is a cohesive build for a sour, and feels like a whole - though not quite a gestalt one. I'd like to see berry notes brought in with some accompanying fruity tartness. There's plenty of complexity and intricacy here to amuse the discerning drinker, but some unique elements would lend this the nuance it needs to stand out.

Good depth and duration of flavour. Above average flavour intensity.

TEXTURE: Acidic, but I wouldn't call it vinegary. Smooth and wet. Too sour to refresh, but pleasant and approachable. Near perfectly carbonated. Could be softer. It's aptly medium-bodied, with an apt thickness.

Overall, presence on the palate is good. This texture plays well with the taste, but doesn't quite elevate the beer beyond the limits of its flavours.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

OVERALL: I remember liking Love Child #3 a lot more than this, but it's still a damn solid sour, and is worthy of the series. I will say I wish the price wasn't so off-putting; if this was more reasonable (~$10) I'd happily nab a few for aging. I'm not sure why no whiskey notes come through, but I consider it a happy accident as they wouldn't fit. Boulevard has done better in this series, but this renews my interest in their future offerings. Well-worth trying once, and very drinkable - I'll enjoy finishing this bottle alone. As usual, more tartness and sourness would be welcome. Hides its ABV well.

The vanilla does develop as it warms.


Oct 16, 2014
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champ103 from Texas

3.37/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A: Pours a slightly murky reddish/orange color. At first, a dense white head rises to over two fingers. That quickly recedes to a ring that sticks throughout. Light lace.
S: A huge billowing aroma. Ripe and acidic fruits, some caramel malts, light funk, and wood aromas.
T: Super acidic and sour. Over ripe fruits, some sweetness and a large oak flavor. Though the acidity is off the charts with a substantial tannin character.
M/D: A medium body that is very effervescent. Carbonation prickles the tongue. Very tannin like as well. Just a bit of alcohol is noticeable. Though the huge puckering sour and acidic bite makes this a slow sipper, and gets even more harsh the more you drink. Struggling with this one.

The intense sour and acidic bite crosses that line and makes it a bit harsh for me. The Smokestack Series is always one of my favorites around, and I always try to pick up the new Love Child when it comes out. Though they are never among my favorites of the style or series.

Jul 20, 2014
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev -0.2%

A: Pours a relatively clear medium reddish brown in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation rising slowly from the bottom of the glass and significant amber highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall sudsy light white head that quickly reduces to a mottled medium sized patch of extremely thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of vinegar acidity, sourness, and some musty oak barrel. Moderate aromas of tart dark fruits including raspberry and cherry.

T: Upfront this beer has moderate to heavy amounts of tartness/sourness, that is followed by some light to moderate notes of oak barrels. There is a light to moderate amount of vinegar notes and a very light hint of vanilla. Moderate flavors of tart raspberry and cherry. Very tart through the finish.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate to significant amounts of puckering acidic prickliness.

O: Very enjoyable but not for the faint of heart when it comes to sourness - everyone in the extended family enjoyed this one, some more than others.

Sep 03, 2014
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Smakawhat from Maryland

3.68/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

A deep peach orange color, with an off white colored head, that disappears somewhat quickly into a good 3mm pencil collar. A bit of a white whispy top, and a good bright orange glow to the glass as well.

Light fruit aroma, hints of mild acrid sourness, and slightly wet, and a strange sense of mild chlorine going on, mixed with a menthol edge. Kind of odd but sort of strangely interesting and this intrigues me.

Palate comes with a very mellow tartness. Heavy hints of lemon and lime fruit juice quality, with a quick somewhat watery and wet body. Good tannic teeth coating and stickiness behind this. Some sense of quick wine qualities, mild oak, but very light wine bodied in character.

Overall it's not bad but the beer lack a lot of malt depth, but perhaps that's it's angle? Does come off like a good solid wild beer though.

Jun 28, 2014
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

number 4 is by far the best one of these that i have had. i didnt even love the other ones all that much, but this is elite level beer, with the whiskey being way more prominent than i recall in the others, and the red malt sweetness toned down along with the almost flemish red vinegar side of the sourness. love the lighter body and the big bubbles, its different being so whiskey forward but so light feeling, nothing else compared. it also has a real strong abv, but drinks like its 5%, so unique in that regard too. i pick up cherry and raspberry fruitiness in nose and taste, but also a real heavy lacto thing that only comes from wine barrels and time going by. mature as they get, although i would still like to cellar a bottle or two. we all admired its depth, its grain neutral perspective, and its apparent noncommittal nature as far as direction is concerned. to the beat of its own drum this one walks, and i dig that about it. leagues better than its predecessors, i want more.

Oct 21, 2014
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reebtaerG from Maryland

4.65/5  rDev +6.7%

Poured bottle batch number L14077 best by 3/2016 into New Belgium globe

A-Pours a copper-amber with a one finger off-white head. Minimal lacing.

S-Aroma of sour cherry, funk, wood, and vanilla.

T-The taste is very sour with some cherry vanilla and some wood flavor.

M-Mouthfeel has medium body, great carbonation being really dry to the taste but not to the tongue.

O-Overall an incredible beer. I'm really starting to enjoy this beer style especially since I got this one for $10.

Aug 24, 2014
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scottfrie from California

4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into tulip. Best by: 03-2016.

A: Pours a deep cranberry color with a very active and effervescent short-lived tan head that quickly fizzed away into a faint collar.
S: Complex nose with very musty scents of oak barrels and yeast dominating. I get notes of creamy and earthy brett, tart lacto, vinous and fruity red wine and black cherries, a just a hint of whisky flavors including tobacco, leather, and caramel.
T: Red berries including cranberry, tart and tannic cherry, and red wine hit up front followed by creamy and doughy brett, mild spice, with a finish full of caramel, tobacco, greasy oak, and a hint of cocoa. The aftertaste has a sharp kick of lactic acid but quickly mellows to buttery and greasy oak and slick whisky barrel. Over all the flavors are a complex mixture of oak, wine, and whisky mixed with tart and semisweet red fruit.
M: Clean and smooth mouthfeel despite being both dry and tart. The tartness is sharp and quick lived, but in a good way, as the greasy and buttery oak barrel quickly overpowers the dryness. Carbonation is on the softer side, and the mouthfeel has an overall creamy quality from the yeast.
O: A fabulous sour ale that was a pleasure to drink. Very clean and complex, I enjoyed this one.

Aug 22, 2015
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BeerSamurai34 from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely loved this batch. Very tart with really nice fruit on the backend.

Apr 26, 2015
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FosterJM from California

4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

1812th Review on BA
Bottle to Boulevard Cevoise
750 M/L C/C

Best by 2016

App- A bit of a stubborn cork on this and when unleashed left a bit of whispy air coming out of the bottle. A good pour with a bit of a ruddy brown and red mix. A frothy and bubbly 1 finger head was there and slow to receded. A small bit of cling down the glass.

Smell- More sour than Love Child 2 IMO. This one had more of the brett and wine barrel on the nose. A bit lactic with a good bit of booze and a bit of tannin behind it. The oak and whiskey are there on a good pull of the nostrils. Some good fruity aromas woft up as well. Cherry and plum come to mind.

Taste- This was a good beer after a long day. A lot going on in the glass for sure. A blended beer is always a crap shoot. The whiskey and wine on this one work well together. Much like Love Child 2. I get a lot of fruits, tannins and a little bit of acidic burn. The booze was well masked on this one with more layered. The bugs from the brett create a lovely depth of flavor to it.

Mouth- A small medium body with a semi prickly medium carbonation. A good bit of the brett and fruit remain with a bit of oaky and wine flavors.

Drink- I enjoyed this one a lot. Can see why this cracked the Top 250. I will admit I am a bit of a Blvd. Fan boy though.

Aug 29, 2014
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patre_tim from Thailand

3.75/5  rDev -14%

A: Amber with a light orange pink tinge. Cloudy, no visible carbonation, 3 fingers of beige yellow head.

S: Sour, balsamic and red wine vinegars, oaky barrel quality. Old wood, dusty brewery. Light peach, apricot and stone fruits.

T: Sour to the hilt. Sour, sour, sour! Whiskey, oaken wooden character. Not detecting any sweetness whatsoever. Little if any fruitiness. Little funkiness. If there is any fruit, its unripe nectarines. Light floral quality. Lemon juice, not lemonade, but a squeezed lemon.

M: Thick, acidic body, medium low fine bubbled carbonation, puckering finish.

O: Huge price tag on this one, and I've heard lots of accolades about it. I do love sours, and it is one of my favourite styles. Given that, I was expecting more from Love Child No. 4. Not as complex as many other sours, and I’m really predominately getting sour with some barrel quality. It could have so much more depth and character. However, it’s a great sour sipper. Will give it 8.5 out of 10. Got it in Asheville and drank it in Ontario, August 20th, 2014.

Aug 21, 2014
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours out with a cloudy burnt orange color and a somewhat modest head; strands of lacing are left behind

Smell: Lactic tones of berries and apples; the wine barrel treatment comes through more than the Bourbon but there is just a hint of the whiskey underneath

Taste: Lactic sourness from the get-go, with berries and vanilla making an initial impression; in the middle, the wine barrel shows its influence in a big way with the Bourbon adding a subtle touch; very sour and funky in the finish though in the aftertaste, the Bourbon influence becomes much more pronounced

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation; much puckering

Overall: A lot going on in this fourth edition of Love Child; really enjoying the interplay between the wine and Bourbon barrels

Jun 11, 2014
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aleigator from Germany

3.52/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, red-brown glowing color, with a small, dense head.

Smells of balsamic glue, topped by yogurt and peas. The aromas come well together, thanks to the wooden barrel, apple peel and a whiff of sour lemonade, together with a high acidity and sweeter honey. This promises to be a very sour beer.

Has a well fitting medium carbonation with a slightly metallic touch to it, among a medium body.

Tastes of an uncompromising bitterness, built out of funky bretts, old creamy cheese, glue, fermented milk and young apple rind. Its wooden, leathery malts build the balancing foundation of this beer, while they exhibit just enough balance to handle the tart onslaught. Its apple sourness matures during the finish, adding a ripe, sweeter fruitiness to them, while the brew remains its acidic tartness.

While the beer is indeed utmost acidic and sour, it features a decent range of flavors, finishing with a well fitting malt sweetness. A straight forward sour, struggling with not becoming too one-dimensional, due to its dominant sourness, threatening to swallow all other flavors.

May 31, 2015
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.4/5  rDev +0.9%

The "Love Child" series hits its stride with number four. Its well-aged sourness ribbons through the wine and whisky barrels with agility, power, and character- layering upon the senses with curiosity, challenge and grace.

Reminding the nose of Flanders red ale, its strong vinegar and wine acidities capture the remnants of oak and cherry with a tangy jaw-locking aroma. Its bracing scent hovers over a russet-brown, hazy and tawny body. As its dainty creme folds back into the beer, the sultry fruit sweetness and sourness attacks the tastebuds with absolutely no apology.

Fast dissolving creaminess takes away much of the hard candy sweetness, leaving behind the piquant fruit flavors of green cherry, red grape, crabapple, sour berry and musty dried lime. Complex earthen notes of weathered oak, cork and sea air waft about, giving the fruit an old, dried and leathery character. But its the pin-point sourness of cider, chardonnay and balsamic that steals the show heading into finish.

The natural procession of the ale lands it at a severely dry finish, decorated with fruit skins, salt brine, peppery warmth and oak-aged vinegar to close. Its overall sourness is irresistible as it provokes the sweat glands and tightens the cheeks with each and every sip.

Nov 17, 2014
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metter98 from New York

4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is very hazy light amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that died down, leaving wispy lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of white wine from the barrel aging are present in the nose along with some hints of vinegar. The smell becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is quite sour and a little funky from the brett and has flavors of white wine along with some notes of oak and vanilla and hints of whiskey towards the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has nice flavors of sour brett and wine, but is a little lacking in those from the whiskey barrels. I was hoping that the whiskey would become a little more prominent as the beer warmed up by that was not the case.

Serving type: bottle

Note: Batch #L14077-2

Nov 16, 2014
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infinitebruner from Arkansas

3.8/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

August 8, 2014

750 ml bottle; Tulip

A – Dark amber to brown, some tinges of red. About an inch of bubbly foam, quickly dissipating, then a layer of bubbles on the top around the edge.

S – Oak, vanilla, a ton of bright sweetness and some molasses. I get a tiny bit of pungent grape, and golden raisins.

T – Very sweet up front, like a nice sweet champagne. Much more of a white wine character than a boozy, whiskey barrel-aged flavor. A bit of tart cherry or oak, which is the barrel showing through. Hints of vanilla. This beer is very tart.

M – Lots of bubbles like champagne or a sparkling grape juice, sweet with high acidity on the sides of my tongue after the swallow. The sweetness lingers on the palate and in the back of the throat on the finish. The carbonation balances well with the acidity.

O – This is definitely a Boulevard Belgian-style beer, the great color, perfect level of carbonation, and unique “Boulevard-ness.” I’m not amazed with the flavors but respect the beer on its merits. It’s very well-constructed, and I believe they accomplished what they are trying to achieve.

Aug 11, 2014
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alamode from Massachusetts

4.6/5  rDev +5.5%

Nov 03, 2014
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olradetbalder from Sweden

3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Nov 13, 2014
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visualmartyr from Indiana

4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apr 10, 2015
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TickleMeTony from Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Jun 15, 2014
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Desp59 from Pennsylvania

4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jan 23, 2015
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priwen from Arkansas

4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Hazy, burnt orange appearance with a moderate, eggshell colored head that dissipates rather quickly. Aroma of fermented fruit (cherry?) with hints of whiskey in the background. Whiff of alcohol. Very complex. Tart flavor that is almost overwhelming at first. After a few sips, I find the tartness to be very manageable. I can't pick out specific flavor notes, but the overall flavor is terrific! Finishes dry, but leaves a hint of sweetness on the lips. Medium mouthfeel. Overall: I'm a big fan of things that have a tart flavor, so I'm a big fan of this beer. For me it's definitely a sipper. I'm looking forward to trying more of this style.

750 ml bottle
Best by: 1-03-2016
Served in an Oversized Wine glass

Apr 06, 2015
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Broom from Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Sep 16, 2014
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ChrisYager39 from Indiana

5/5  rDev +14.7%

Aug 27, 2014
Love Child No. 4 from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 1224 ratings