Old Knucklehead No.12 (Bourbon Barrel-Aged) | BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

very good
63 Reviews
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Old Knucklehead No.12 (Bourbon Barrel-Aged)Old Knucklehead No.12 (Bourbon Barrel-Aged)

Brewed by:
BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
Oregon, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
IBU's: 60
ABV: 10.0%
Color: Dark Amber, Toffee
Ingredients: English and American hops, blended with three types of pale and roasted malts.
Description: A barley wine style ale that is aged in American Oak Bourbon barrels, creating notes of vanilla, toffee and sherry.

Added by msubulldog25 on 02-21-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 63 | Ratings: 68
Photo of Crosling
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ruby maroon colored beer with a creamy, light tan, well lasting foam. Nose has some nice elements of wood barrel (coconut, vanilla, wood), along with some components from the malt, like sherry and dark fruit. Not a great nose, but at least is has some describable elements. Flavorwise, it's a simplistic beer, without complexity. Light notes of caramel, dark fruit and toffee. A decent ale, but lacking seriousness.

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Photo of mcallister
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer split with pixel which of course my glass was knocked over before I even took a sip so pixel is left with next to nothing.

Pours a great ruby color with an overflowing fluffy yellow tan head leaving thick chunky lacing behind. Sticky as whale semen.

Full of dry fruit aromas and berry. Fig, prune, raisin, date, chestnut, oak, hints of bourbon, caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon toast, vanilla, and hints of maple syrup with a slight hop aroma.

Nice barleywine lacking a bit of depth and a bit rough around the edges yet still very tasty and drinkable. Oak tannins and bitter resiny hop shows through on the finish yet the hop character doesn't impede the depth and sweetness of the malt. Loads of fig, quince, prune, date, brown sugar, dried berries, nuts, vanilla and hints of bourbon. Mouth shows too much tannin almost with a bit of alcohol as well as in the finish. A good BW I'd of loved to not spill half of.

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Photo of AltBock
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber bottle with a plain and simple label of a bridge surrounded by the name of the beer. In the middle of the label it says it's a Barley Wine style Ale. Then at the bottom it says it's aged in Bourbon Barrels. A Barley Wine aged in Bourbon Barrels. This should be fun! There is no date anywhere on the bottle unless No. 12 bottling means something. The only other stuff on the label is the mandatory US information.

Appearance: I had no other choice then to pour this Bourbon Barrel bad boy into a Maudite Snifter. Out of the bottle comes a beer that first appeared to be a dark chestnut brown, but when held into the light, it was actually a great looking dark cranberry/crimson red color. Sitting on top of this dark red brew was a short lived less than 1/2 an inch head of white foam. Even though it was short lived, it did manage to leave behind a handful of white foamy rings and only 2 spots of lace. I didn't care for the head of foam on this beer, but I loved the color this beer had. Great color!

Smell: This Barleywine was very sweet with a ton a candi sugar. It loved the sugar! Hiding behind the sugar wall was some lightly roasted malts, a hint of sweet caramel, a pinch of citrus hops, and then this sweet smelling beer finishes up with a subtle touch of bourbon and charred oak. The aroma controlled the bourbon and oak, but it let the candi sugar run wild and free. Not too shabby unless you hate the smell of sugar.

Taste: Since this was a sweet smelling beer, I thought this was going to be an overly sweet beer with a huge amount of alcohol. Nope, none of that. Since it wasn't sweet, did it let the bourbon and charred oak do whatever it wanted. Nope, not that either. Instead, this beer was very well balanced between the sweetness and the mighty bourbon and oak. The taste kicks off lightly sweet with roasted barley and a hint of sweet caramel. After the caramel is where the beer gets dark and dry with black cherries, a splash of roasted citrus hops, a gentle touch of bourbon and oak, and then the taste ends with a big bite of roasted alcohol. I liked how all the sweet and roasted flavors worked well together. This taste was only in the beginning. Toward the bottom of the bottle, the alcohol completely takes over the taste and makes this beer a little hard to drink. Great in the beginning, but too much alcohol at the finish line.

Mouthfeel: This was a full bodied beer with a low level of carbonation and with a full flavored alcohol based aftertaste of roasted barley, a hint of black cherry, a touch of bourbon and plenty of alcohol. This big beer didn't want to bother hiding the 10% ABV. It was proud that it had a 10% ABV and it shows it.

Drinkability: This beer didn't last long in my glass. Well, that was until the aggressive alcohol kicked in. That ruined the drinkability for me. In the end, It wasn't too sweet and it didn't let out too much bourbon and oak, but toward the bottom of the bottle it let out a excessive amount of alcohol. Just watch out for that. Either way, I would like to thank Donny2120 for giving me a chance to try this Barleywine.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber to a small glassb the liquid is dark copper with good carbonation. The head is good almost 2 fingers tan and leaves little lace.

The smell is Hoppy, wow lots of yummy hops, mixed with alcohol and oak and more alcohol. Really seem unique and should be excellent tasting.

The taste follows but does not work quite all well, still very good taste a must try and keeper for the cellar. Carmel notes, lots of hops and great barrel taste, really good.

The mouthfeel is bubbley, good carbonation, could be smoother and creamier, nice body.

The drinkability is good, a bust try and very good brew

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Photo of Donnie2112
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured into an oversized wine glass

brownish amber in color with a bunch of filmy head that hangs all over the glass

mild aromas of burnt sugars

again burnt sugars and then it rolls into a bit of whisky that burns it's way down the throat along with a bit of that herbal american hop bitterness.

this beer actually came off rather thin to me. a bit of carbonation some alcohol warmth and light astringence

I don't find this beer to bee offensive in anyway but there is nothing that really stands out either. perhaps the subtlties are starting to be lost on me now that I have become obsessed with all of these strong flavors

either way, not some thing I would seek out again. (with age being a caveat for that point)

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The No.12 Old Knucklehead poured a dark clear rad amber with a solid lacing pattern. It had some decent retention and the head was 1 finger.

The aroma was nice and gave you a vanilla, oak and lovely hop smell. Taste was oak in the background along with berry, vanilla and citrus. The mouthfeel was thin and lightly carbonated. The abv was well hidden and as the beer continued to warm, the berries really came through. Great sipping beer.

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Photo of orcasteve
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a BIG thanks to mikesgroove for the lif to try this one, poured into my duvel 2006 tulip glass.

this is an amber brown in the light and ritch earthey brown away from the light. the first taste and i see the glory of the bourbon barrel ageing!!! this is a big sightly sweet then monstresley hoppy barley wine, the wood flavor trumping over all outher flavors, after trying this big bold brew i feal that all barley wines should be aged in this way. i feal that the beer gods have truley blessed me in giving me the oppertunity of trying this peace of pure heaven. if you see this one or can trade for one of these consider yourself one of the luckey ones. this is one of my top 25 beers of all time and one that i will try to get anouther one of

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Photo of bloberglawp
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours murky dark brown, a good head and a bit of lacing. Aroma of vanilla, oak and chinook hops. Flavor is a smack of chinook, some caramel malt and a fair amount of oak caracter, vanilla and tannins from the wood.

Quite a delicious ale! Look for it!

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Photo of DrJay
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one recently from mikesgroove. Thanks!
Hazy reddish amber with a thin layer of fine, off-white foam and a substantial collar with some soapy bubbles. Some lacing, decent head retention. There was an initial whiff of bourbon when I cracked the bottle, but by the time the beer was in my glass this had faded away. In its place was a fair bit of ripe fruit, floral hops with a hint of citrus, bread, brown sugar, and cinnamon, backed by some alcohol. The flavour was quite similar to the aroma, but with more caramel and more prominent alcohol. There was a little bit of wood character, but this was mostly tannin and reminded me of popsicle sticks. Hops were floral and citrus, and it finished with spicy alcohol warmth. Medium to full bodied with lowish carbonation. The texture was quite smooth and creamy, very mellow to contrast with the heat from the alcohol and the dryness in the finish. Not bad at all and quite drinkable, but sorely lacking in bourbon barrel character that would have made it something to remember.

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Photo of rye726
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber color with a silky tan head. Good lacing. The nose has light hops over a bed of malts. The taste is nicely balanced. Lots of sweet sugars complimented by bitter hops. Full body goes down nicely. Not much bourbon noticed in this one, but still quite good.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bridgeport Old Knucklehead, bourbon barrel aged....

poured into a Duvel glass...loads of bourbon notes spill out...I want to bring it closer...

Dark, opaque, deep, ruddy crimson brown, lush creamy head,

Aroma seeps out leather, molasses, dark fruit, raisins, carob, spice...bright berries and cherries....burnished, rich, ridiculously full...malt and hops at play.

Taste: huge whiskey flavor, big, beefy, lush and tasty. ..bodacious...thick and slick on the palate...sweet and luscious....

"a special brew...to be savored"... I am savoring!

hot, sparkling, full of flavor, indulgent...a great swath of fat bourbon goodness all over the place. damn, it's something else. An excellent indulgence, beautiful nightcap....I almost wished I'd saved it to share with friends, but...hell, I was thirsty!

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Photo of SeanRedd
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh mommy; I am coming of age. The minute details of your vuluptious, confident charater inspire me. Your dark grapes, molasses smothered black berries, and vague match-stick smoke burn, melt my defenses. Did I have to blow dust off your bottle? Have I mistaken you for a port, sherry? Your dark fruits are so submissive, your 10% ABV masked...almost non-existent. I bow to you almighty yogini; your balance suspends me in awe. I must close my eyes, I am blown away.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy deep amber/ copper color with a small tan head. In the aroma, dark fruit, and a small hint of bourbon. In the taste, dark fruits, small hints of bourbon and a small alcohol note in the end. Mostly smooth and a small bite in the meduim bodied mouthfeel and a dark fruit and alcohol aftertaste. Small bourbon notes, yet good and balanced. Easy to drink and good.

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Photo of Viggo
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to biegaman for busting this out at his summer saison tasting!

Pours a hazy reddish brown, thick white head forms, drops to a thin layer leaving a nice amount of lace on the glass, looks good. Smell is very fruity, some floral hopping, caramel, sweet brown sugar, some bready malt, more fruit, no bourbon. Taste is similar in the lack of any bourbon character whatsoever, just sweet malt and caramel, citrus and flora, lots of light fruitiness, alcohol, kind of weak. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. Not sure why they call this bourbon barrel-aged, consensus was none present at all. Thanks Jan!

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Photo of Wasatch
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to JohnGalt1 for this brew.

Poured into a tulip a very nice reddish amber color, very nice carbonation, a nice one-finger plus creamy off-white head, lots of nice thick lacing follows. The nose is malty, some bourbon, some plums, figs, and raisins, with some caramel. The taste is malty, nice notes of bourbon, dark fruits, caramel. Medium body, the alcohol is a little too much up front for me. Drinkable, not bad, but would not drink again. After having this brew warm up, it is much better, so I scored accordially.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.67/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to tayner for sending this one in a recent trade..

This one is dark and murky and beautiful... Big fluffy head sitting on top of a mahogany colored brew...awesome..

This is a crazy smelling barleywine! I can smell the hops and malt, but I smell chocolate and pineapple mixed as well. This smells unbelievable!!! As it warms, the bourbon really comes out and puts this one on another level..

AWESOME! I could elaborate but the 5 that I rated it should speak for itself. Chocolate, bourbon, hops, malts...delicious..

This just might be the best barleywine I've evr had.. I love Bigfoot and Old Ruffian and Hog Heaven but the Bourbon puts this one in a class by itself..

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Photo of bbothen
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle & brought back in suitcase to Nor Cal.

A - Dark red/brown color with a nice 1 finger head. head doesn't last long & forms a small bubbly ring around the rim.

S - Smells of malty sweetness, caramel, vanilla, toffee along with a nice citrus hop aroma.

T - Sweet fruitiness balanced with a nice citrus hop presence. Wood, vanilla, ever so slight bourbon, & hot booze in the finish.

M - Smooth & warming. Slight carbonation.

D - It's a %10 barleywine aged in a bourbon barrel, so it's a sipper. SHare the 22 oz botle with a friend.

I'd think this would be considerably smoother with a year or so in the cellar...But I say drink this now. I kinda like the "rough" edges & big flavors.

Enjoyable barleywine from Bridgeport. I'm drinking this on a 90* June California evening. Would be just just right on a cold evening.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting and excellent.
Pours a very typical barleywine brown with some red notes and a smallish head that quickly dissapates.

Aroma is surprisingly without the oak they say it is aged in. Barleywine sweet toasted amber malts and brown sugar with just a hint of hop bitterness.

Taste is again missing the oak wood barrel aging, for me. Sweet amber malts with a touch of vanilla (ok, there must be the oak wood), brown sugar and then a very pleasant bitterness from the hops. Overall very balanced.

Aftertaste is strangely dry...very dry...almost like powdery dry. Bit of alcohol warmth, some lingering sweetness from the malts and lots of hop bitterness adding to the dryness.

Overall...wonderful barleywine. Just wonder where the barrel aging went.

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Photo of grub
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

sampled may 24/08 as part of biegaman's annual summer saison tasting, with a mix of BA/RB represented. biegaman shared this one. thanks jan!

22oz bottle.

pours hazy deep red, garnet when held to the light, with a small dense off-white head. the head drops slowly and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is nice. a bit soapy. vanilla. light alcohol. bit of caramel. toasted multi-grain bread. tangerine. hints of grapefruit. no trace of bourbon here.

taste is ok. big blast of alcohol up front, but not really bourbony. low bitterness level. fruity, with some citrus and some dark fruit. grapefruit. tangerine. bread and biscuit malt. bit of toasty/roasty character in the finish. again, no bourbon.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. medium body.

drinkability is good, but other than a hint of vanilla i see no trace of a bourbon barrel here. there's lots of alcohol and a bit of vanilla, but not much else. unbalanced towards alcohol, but fairly nice otherwise.

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Photo of josiahschlender
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Shared a bomber of this with some friends last night. Wow, what a great barleywine. Brown-amber color very nice, with a medium good-lasting off-white head. Darker than most barleywines I've tried, and looked hazy.

Very aromatic and pleasing. Lots of sweet malts with caramel. Floral hops, maybe just a bit of pine and citrus. Not as hoppy as many west coast barleywines these days. Just a bit of Bourbon and alcohol, which increased as it warmed up.

Excellent, balanced flavors. Dominated by the abundance of sweet, caramel and roasty malts, but adequately balanced by the hops. I definitely noted the Bourbon, but it's not dominating the beer, like many Bourbon-aged beers I've tried recently. My friend put it well... the flavors are "artfully" combined, not trying too hard to blow you away with the hops or Bourbon. Alcohol is expertly masked, one could hardly even notice it. I also think I detected a bit of light fruit/banana esters from the yeast. Made me wonder if they're using a German style yeast for this? Not sure.

Nice carbonation and feel. Flavors mingle and last well, but don't have an extremely long finish.

I wish I had more bottles of this laying around, it's one of the best barleywines I've had.

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Photo of genog
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade from Tayner, big thank you my friend.

poured a perfect burnt orange/reddish color with a slight white cloudy head that dies away to just leave tracings of what used to be.

Smell is very similar to a strong west coast IPA with lots of malt and earthy hops. Promising syrupy molases sits around as well.

Taste is candy like sweetness with strong cascade hops followed by some nice citrus flavors. Woody oak and vanilla notes hit the back of the taste buds as it washes away the IPA taste.

Texture is very smooth balancing out a strong barleywine/ipa. This one played very well with the Dark Lord weekend beer lineup.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coppery, burnt orange in color. Malty and caramel sweet aroma. Plenty of floral hops but the caramel sweetness really dominates. Soft, malty flavor. Heavy hop bitterness. Very mellow bourbon flavor to it. Quite subdued compared to some other beers I have had. Decent mouthfeel-traces of alcohol but not too much. Rather dry when it finishes. Overall a good US barleywine. Not a lot of the bourbon aged notes going on, perhaps it has aged out of it. Special thanks to tayner for this great sample during her offer of "free beer"!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz picked up at the Coop late last week for about $4.. poured into my New Belgium snifter.

3 finger head drops fairly quickly atop a deep amber brew.. only spotty lacing.

Aroma is complex but seemingly out of whack ... big caramel and toffee with bunchs of C-Hops going on... Woodiness for sure, but it isn't typical .. a little fruitiness and floral moving through the nose.

Flavor strikes me as a young BW with a ton of potential .. big everything .. but not huge. Caramel and toasted malts combine for a fairly thick maltiness.. The barrel aging strikes me in the palate as more of a dry tannic quality .. Citrus and Floral hop flavors.. big bitter backbone.. Some mild cherry fruitiness mixes well .. sorta like a toned-down kirsch essence.. I am getting very little "bourbon" .. a little vanilla as it warms significantly .. For the style ... mouthfeel is definitely on the shy side of medium.. carbonation is still a little prickly... although light... alcohol is still fairly heavy.. but that will go away with 6 months in the cellar.

I have no idea what to make of this brew.. I really like it right now.. but I know it is going to age like a champ.. Needs some time to meld for sure... It seems to have the hoppiness of an American BW.. but none of the bigger viscosity that is expected. Sorta reminds me of a wood aged DIPA.

Best thing about the Knucklehead #12 (in my Boise mind) .... it took 2-4 months of bitching and moaning ... and we somehow got it in Boise. Big thanks to Wildaho and reinheitsgematt for helping make a ruckus to get brews into Boise that we deserve.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a Maudite snifter. Body is a deep brown/dark reddish hue depending on the light, topped by a small, creamy off-white head that fades rather quickly. Aroma of rich, sweet malt, a touch of mocha, hints of vanilla bean and bourbon, and a substantial whiff of alcohol. Palate is sweet malt up front, with a hint of fruity hops. The bourbon character emerges mid-palate, leading to a warm finish with a lingering alcohol presence. Body is full but not too thick or sticky. A thoroughly enjoyable offering from Bridgeport - I'm happy to have the opportunity to try a bourbon barrel-aged version of this beer, which has been a personal favorite for years now.

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Photo of deepsouth
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer poured a brown color with a nice tan head and a few rocky bubbles. lacing all the way down the glass as i drank it. the smell is sweet like caramel and the bourbon aging is apparent as well. the taste is assertively bitter at the start, but finishing sweet. i also taste some citrusy hops. there seems to be no attempt to hide the alcohol. the mouthfeel is full and syrupy, nice for a barleywine. overall, i think this beer is going to age well and i'm glad i have a couple more for that specific purpose. a nice barleywine.

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Old Knucklehead No.12 (Bourbon Barrel-Aged) from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
3.91 out of 5 based on 68 ratings.
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