Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

6,681 Ratings
Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-04-2000

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,681 |  Reviews: 2,811
Photo of devilben02
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I always look forward to this release. Pours a deep, dark brown (almost black) with a thin, medium-brown head. There is not much to the aroma, but what is there is full of bitter chocolate and coffee with a caramel sweetness and a bit of straight-up booze. The flavor is delightful, with the bitter chocolate being featured, and there is a bit of a spicy character (some combination of hops and alcohol). Full bodied, but silky-smooth. There is quite a bit of alcohol heat when fresh, but even then it give a nice warming feeling rather than burning. I'm definitely looking forward to trying this one again after some time in the cellar.

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Photo of albern
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I want to try this beer again before entirely committing to it, but at least initially this is a very inky black, thick, very creamy imperial stout. It doesn't have much of a head while the nose on the beer is quite robust, with lots of chocolate and alcohol notes. There are plenty of the coffee like aromas too.

The taste is as advertised, with a thick, chocolaty, roasted to the point of being almost charred, dark malts. There is a full palate of flavors going on here. I will re-review shortly

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Photo of jbonapar
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. Just Wow. Pour this beer. And Look at it. Black, a foot of foam. Unbelievable. I've never poured a beer and been so impressed without even a smell. Poured a bottle into a Chimay Glass (Which I recommend for this!).

SMell: Sweet, not very bitter smell. I still havnt sipped this yet...Curious to see what It'll be. Bitter? Sweet? I suspect Bitter....But Lets see.

Taste: Talk about smooth. I'd go more sweet than bitter for a stout, but this is my kind of stout! I find some stouts just have far too much hops in it, This has a smooth almost mix of milk/dark chocolate with subtle spiciness. Like a chilli dark chocolate.

Honestly, the best stout I've had, the Best Imperial Stout of course. I've yet to top this one, the Deul de Ciel is a close second, but this beats it in my books.

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Photo of angelmonster
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a 2 finger chocolate head, body is pitch black. Head retention and lacing are good

Smell is of sweet chocolate and roasted malt. No hops are really detected and alcohol is faint

Taste is of roasted, burnt malt. Some bitter chocolate and hops are also there. After beer starts to warm the alcohol becomes alittle apparent and I also get some dried prune or other dark fruit

Mouth feel is good. Beer is medium bodied with a nice syrupy consistency. Carbonation is sufficient.

Drink ability was good. For 10 percent, its not too strong, but its best consumed in a small quantity. The one I have is still pretty young, need to age acouple to see if they improve over time

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Photo of jamiesessions
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Darkness surrounds my glass as the thick black liquid fills it. A tan head that leaves a good looking lacing starts this beer looking off good. The smell of chocolate is present, as is the coffee and roasted malts that one comes to associate with a good RIS. The taste is a very strong alcohol. Normally beers with a high ABV will try to hide the alcohol, but this one is liable to knock you on your butt pretty quickly. The chocolate taste is still there, but the taste is also quite burnt. Oftentimes I will hear people describe stouts as "like drinking an ashtray". This is what they were talking about, and while the burnt taste and the hit of alcohol are a bit of a detriment, the chocolate and espresso still makes for a great tasting brew lurking just beneath the surface. The body is nice and full and the aftertaste is quite good. While I've certainly had better of this style, it is by no means bad, in fact I like it quite a bit, and the good certainly outweighs the bad

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Photo of wac9
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a truly breath taking beer , a beer made for the gods i am not worthly to drink this . the blackness of this beer makes a chill run up my spine true greatness is now in the glass . the strong smell power armour coming from the beer should be a warning to those who havent taste it yet , but once its hits the inside of your mouth . a new dance come to life in you this is one beer that should be tired once and bought out on the days worth remembering . this beer which you could only drink one or two of. is indeed a beer a true classic worthly of all its praise . i for one am honored to taste it

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Photo of jlindros
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've tried this before, but never reviewed it, and I'm a fan. It's readily available around here, but I also got it as an extra from Lunch as both a good beer to drink and a joke since he was sending a bunch of Bourbon County Stout, and I kept referring to it as BCS, since they have the same initials, and I opened the box with those on top, hilarity ensued.

A: Pours a nice 1.5 finger dark brown head that fades semi slowly. It's pitch black with no light coming through.

N: Lots of dark malts first hit, accompanied by lots of roasted malts and chocolate. It adds that familiar dark malt fermented booze aroma that is nice in a good strong stout. Some light sweet aromas dance out with some rich dark fruits. The roasted malt quality is very nice.

T: Starts with lots of dark rich chocolate and creamy tastes. It has a taste of dark chocolate melted with a little cream and brown sugar. Lots more roasted malt flavors come through and add a nice flavor. Some sweet malts, caramel, and heavy fermented sugars that turned into some boozy flavors, warming alcohol and that overall strong Belgian ale like experience. The stouty flavor adds a slight charred earthy roast flavor for more goodness. Some lighter dark fruits come through, almost a fig or plum. It has a nice warming fruit and sweetness on the front of the tongue that sits there and makes you feel warm and tingly.

M: Semi thick, little warming alcohol and good carbonation.

F: Finishes pretty bitter, part being a nice hop addition I think, and also a strong bitter quality from the charred earthy scorched roasted malt flavor, stout like. It's pretty dry on the finish as well. THe slight warming alcohol sticks around for a bit that is surrounded with a thick syrupy chocolate malt flavor that sticks to the mouth. It also has this succulent finishing flavor I can't put my finger on, but it's very enjoyable.

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Photo of Long813
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

G: Duvel Tulip

A: Pitch black body with two fingers of hard mocha head. Decent retention and great lacing. Pours much better head than most stouts.

S: Dominant dark chocolate notes, some vanilla, roasted coffee is well placed. Alcohol is faint, but apparent.

T: Bitter chocolate, espresso beans, mixture of roasted malts. Very slight hints of hops in the background

M: Heavy bodied with very low carbonation. It's very thick, rich and smooth in the mouth making a creamy texture. Roasted/dark malts leave a pleasant bitterness and the alcohol makes an appearance on the way down.

D: This is a great stout which has a nice blend of coffee and chocolate. There is more alcohol apparent in this than others I've had, but it's not off putting. Over all it's a great beer and I'm glad I found this.

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Photo of jdense
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Pour Farm, New Bedford, MA., 12/15/09.

Black opaque body, brown head, slow dissipation, really nice lacing. Chocolate dominates the nose, with hints of vanilla, bready malt, but the hops are pretty well hidden. Chocolate, coffee, vanilla dominate the syrupy taste profile, this is certainly one of the most chocolately beers I've tried. Chewy mouthfeel but alcohol heat impedes drinkability. Certainly a sipper, probably great with a good cigar by the fireplace. I grabbed a 4-pack of bottles, and will probably cellar to see if the alcohol mellows over time. Well worth a try.

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Photo of MattyV
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz winter 09-10 bottle into a nonic pint

Appearance: Pours a thick, jet black with about 1.5 inches of thick foamy beige head.. which slowly recedes and leave lots of nice lacing

Smell: dark chocolate, some dark fruits, coffee/espresso notes, just a hint of alcohol

Taste: less chocolate than expected at first, also hit with some coffee and dark malt, then a chocolate bitterness shows up at the back to balance it out. a bit of alcohol warmth lingers throughout as well

Moutfeel: thick and silky, good carbonation

Drinkability: goes down easy, maybe slightly on the sweet side, I can imagine that the drinkability would improve substantially with a bit of cellaring to balance out a bit of the heat from the alcohol

Overall, an excellent RIS, and the amount of chocolate flavour present is impressive considering no actual chocolate/cocoa went into the brewing process

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Photo of billzee
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into pint glass. Poured silky black with a rich, creamy tan color half-inch foam head. Sweet aroma with rich abundance of malt, hints of caramel and fruit. Rich chocolate and coffee taste with a thick, almost velvety mouthfeel and pleasant alcohol warmth. Overall, a very satisfying stout with an incredible balance of sweet chocolate tempered with a coffee bitterness.

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Photo of Dawkfan
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the winter 08-09 that's been down in my cellar for a little over a year. I tried one last year when I bought the 6 pack and I found it to be way to hot. Let's see what we have this go round....

A- An aggressive pour gives me 3 fingers of creamy mocha head on top a jet black body. Some nice lacing on this one as the head slowly subsides.

S- Loads of dark chocolate and espresso, very faint traces of alcohol as well.

T- Chocolate, espresso, and roasted malts throughout. A little bitterness from the hops and bittersweet chocolate. The alcohol is a little more noticeable in the taste, but not nearly as hot as it was when I first purchased this.

M- Full bodied, chewy, and extremly smooth.

D- This one is a sipper for sure, but I could have another. A little age has really helped round the flavors out and mellowed the booze a bit, I probably would of gave it around a B last year if I would of reviewed it then.

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Photo of Clydesdale
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque, midnight black with no light shining through the glass. The dark tan/brown head is tall, dense, frothy, and holds up admirably. Lacing is very nice as the head slowly fades.

S: Firm notes of roasted, sweet malt, with hints of molasses and dark fruit. Vibrant notes of dark chocolate fit this beer's name. A spicy alcoholic aroma is definitely also present.

T: A big, roasted malt sweetness up front. A strong dark chocolate character is present throughout, and it really shows its teeth into the finish, where it lingers nicely. Hoppiness is low, but there is a roasted/burnt bitterness. There are hints of coffee and perhaps dark fruit lurking in the background. Alcohol is plainly evident, but also not unwelcome.

M: Full-bodied and chewy for the most part. Carbonation is light, lending a pleasant smoothness. An acidic, burnt drying finish.

D: This is a tasty, chocolaty RIS from Brooklyn. I hesitate to call it an excellent version of the style though, as it lacks a three-dimensional complexity that many other imperial stouts can boast. Make no mistake, this has a very appealing dark chocolate character, but aside from the chocolate (and a kick of alcohol), this is merely very good.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 release, on-tap 12/13/09 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark black color, with a short light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark chocolate, dark fruit, roasted malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a bitter-sweet flavor of dark chocolate. Then a faint but complementary flavor of dark fruit flavor comes in. The roasted malt character is very hearty and there's no trace of the 10.10% ABV. The hops presence is very mild as you would expect from this kind of beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easily, slightly filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, although there are other big stouts that I would pick first, this is a very good beer to drink for a long time.

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Photo of pez000
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not much for long reviews. But this years is a lot more drinkable than last years with out having to let it sit for months. really sad that this year it comes in a 4 pack rather than a 6. But this years is with out letting sit is the best. I will be visiting my local bottle shop to pick some more up!

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Photo of tlinner
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my all-time favorites! Dark brown peripherals, black in the center, with a nice frothy brown head. The smell and taste are exactly what you'd expect: chocolate. But there's not too much of a sharpness to this one that I've found with other strong stouts. It's sweet and flavorful, not harsh and bitter. In my opinion, Brooklyn's is THE quintessential chocolate stout.

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Photo of webmanspidey
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a chalice. This is pitch black, fizzy, with light beige/brownish head. The smell is semisweet, with some dark chocolate, raisin, sparkling grape, and definite alcohol.

The taste definitely has the chocolate presence, but also something sweet and syrupy. Alcohol is present, but not over the top bothersome. Taste finishes slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel isn't too thick for the style, and pretty fizzy. Very drinkable.

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Photo of deaconoflove
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ap. Very dark, impenetrable brown with a very brown head that didn't last long. Some lacing as I go.
Sm. Sweet chocolate, like fudge or chocolate cake batter. Not a candy smell. A very rich smelling brew. Love it.
Ta. At first like cold hot chocolate, but with a malty cast and nicely bitter finish. Really nice balance of sweet and bitter...good flavor!
Mf. Smooth and full. Rich, but not thick.
Dr. Easy going. The ABV is not apparent. I'm liking this one very much.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

09-10 Winter Vintage. 12 oz bottle.

Pours jet black with a gorgeous tan head that looks almost as comfortable to sleep in as my queen sized bed. Black. Aromas are rising out of my glass and hitting my nose from feet away. Smell is exceptional. As this beer ages the boozy smell dissipates rather quickly I have noticed. A very deep dark and fruity aroma develops next to the chocolate aroma that is most prevalent. Everyone knows chocolate and fruit pair extraordinarily well, so this one is smelling out of this world. Sweet chocolate pairs up with some plum and sweet cherries. Considering this is my favorite Brooklyn brew, its hard to review it subjectively, especially considering the quality I am reviewing here. Everything about this beer is world class, especially the taste. Huge chocolate and burnt sugar flavor. Good dark fruit character. Super creamy mouthfeel makes this beer even more luxurious. Really a homerun for Brooklyn. Watch yourself with this beer, as it will catch up to you even after one. Quite a big stout, with a flavor and aroma that would make you want more...but beware.

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Photo of sidetracked
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a thin brown head.

Smells of bourbon... a bit sweet as well.

Tastes sweet and of roasted malts. Finishes with a bitter dark chocolate taste that lingers on the palette. Not the overwhelmingly chocolate flavor as I'd presumed based on the name, but it's definitely there.

Has the thick, chewy mouthfeel that you'd expect from an Imperial Stout. A good drink, but I think I'd be hard-pressed to have a second.

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Photo of BillyBoysPie
4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle into a snifter.

Pours a spectacular opaque black with not a sign of any hues. It's black. A quarter inch of toasty-tan head that dissipates (with 10%, you can't expect it to just hang around) and leave a significant amount of lacing - nearly coating the glass.

Rich chocolate and malts come through on the nose. Not sweet smelling, but very, very rich. A touch of buttery diacetyl and a tiny bit of spices.

Yum! Chocolate and toasted barley with a touch of caramel sweet and prunes/figs. You can tell there are varieties of malt in this beer, but they're all married together - a touch of butter and toasty malt works with the sweet fruit, and they're both counterbalanced against the bitter chocolate taste. Tasty stuff.

Low carbonation typical of the style, heavy mouthfeel that approaches the sticky, syrupy mouthfeel of super-heavy beers, but stays in a nice heavy dense mouthfeel. I don't feel the alcohol at all - but it's a nice warm beer.

Really, really exceptional beer. Well worth the annual 10.00 or so. One of Brooklyn's finest.

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Photo of PangaeaBeerFood
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Went to the Brooklyn Brewery last night specifically to try this highly regarded beer. Unfortunately, the bartender told me they no longer serve Black Chocolate at Happy Hour because, at 10% ABV, it was making the place too roudy too fast. Lucky for me, the second bar I went to down the road, Barcade, had this on tap.

Poured into a 10 ounce wine glass, it looks as expected. Blacker than the blackest black, with a thin mocha colored head. Very syrupy that clings to the glass when swirled and slowly slips down the sides.

The smell is great. Reminds me of a really good Irish Coffee. The dark roasted aromas come through at first with the alcohol really making itself known at the end. Very very rich and decadent scent, which is exactly what I want (because it's goddamn freezing outside tonight). Very inticing.

The taste is not at all what I expected. Fairly low on the bitterness scale and much drier and less sugary than most 10+% ABV beers. It is very smooth and creamy on the palate initially. That being said, because there is less residual sugar and bitterness, the alcohol is VERY present at the finish. You can taste it and feel it warming the inside of your body as you swallow. It is so rich, with flavors of dark espresso and bitter chocolate that are so complex. I'm finding new things with every sip. Great on a cold winter night, but alcohol is way more present than other beers in it's class. As the beer warmed, by the end, the alcohol was a bit overwhelming. Very hot for the last 2 ounces or so. Too hot, they were difficult to finish.

The mouthfeel was great. Very thick with a winely mouthcoating effect and light carbonation, which, like the rest of the beer, gives you the impression that it's even stronger than it is. I love it though, and it is so appropriate for the cold weather.

Drinkability is average, at best. With the dominance of the alcohol in this beer, I could enjoy one 10 ounce glass, but wanted something less intense for my next beer.

Overall, this is a beer that shows INCREDIBLE potential. The flavors are so complex and rich with simultaneously less sweetness and less bitterness than other Imperial Stouts I've had, which gives you time to appreciate every nuance. That being said, the alcohol was just too dominating. Since this is being served at a bar down the block from the brewery in December, chances are this beer is as fresh as fresh could be. A beer this bold needs more time to let the booze integrate and mellow. I'm going to try to find myself a four-pack of this and cellar it. I'll have one every few months and see how the flavors develop. If I had to guess, 6 months down the road this will be fantastic, and by next christmas it will be heavenly, but now it's just too hot.

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Photo of lenin2040
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

had this with some milk chocolate with hazelnuts, what a treat!

A: black as darkest africa. thin head
S: intense spicy peat, cocoa, tin foil
T: really not that much chocolate, but deep rich caramel malt sweetness, finishes dry for the style
M: mild carbonation
D: it's a sipper, indeed, per the style

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Photo of Cabadrin
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good lord, this is a powerful stout. All of the chocolate appears in the aftertaste. After the intial tasting, it's like eating a dark chocolate bar and having the bitter, thick aftertaste sitting on your tongue.

Pouring from a chilled (45 degree) bottle into a pint glass, there's practically no head and only a thin layer of foam which quickly dissipates. The color is a deep, dark black, with no brown coming through the edges. There's a very slight lacing up the glass, but not much to look at. The taste is great - bitter but full for the first taste, then it fades to a thick chocolate aftertaste for many minutes afterwards. This is definitely something you want to savor during and after a meal, and especially with something that's rich in flavor, like a steak or a thick fall vegetable spread. Highly recommended.

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Photo of oceanman
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vertical tasting of 07/08, 08/09, 09/10 (ratings based on year-old bottle)

A: fresh bottle pours near black, older bottles fade to dark chocolate brown. thin off-white head.

S: older vintages have wonderful aromas of smores, hot chocolate, marshmallows. touch of cherry, booze evident in 07/08. fresh bottle is much weaker on nose.

T: obviously, big chocolate taste in all vintages. 07-08 bottle is surprisingly boozy (and perhaps slightly oxidized?). 08-09 seems to be in perfect balance.

M: older vintages are now very soft thick and creamy. fresh bottle has a much more lively carbonation.

The year-old bottle wins out here. Balanced carbonation, richer aromas, and subdued alcohol. No benefit in aging beyond one year.

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 6,681 ratings.
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