Lobotomy Bock | Indian Wells Brewing Company

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Lobotomy BockLobotomy Bock

Brewed by:
Indian Wells Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is a classic German Dopple Bock. Like all of our beers it is made in strict accordance to the German Reinheitsgebot Purity Law of Brewing, which is water, malt, hops and yeast only! Lobotomy Bock is made from five types of specialty malted barley including Munich, black patent and other premium malts. And finished with two types of hops, Sterling and Perle added at the boil and again at the finish for the perfect flavor balance. Lobotomy Bock is brewed with pure artesian spring water from the historic Indian Wells Spring. Lobotomy Bock is lagered for several weeks then finished to exacting standards.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-21-2004

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Reviews: 104 | Ratings: 202
Photo of 4000qtrap
2.1/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Source/Serving: Bottle, No expiration date

Smell: raisins, sweet plums, juicy currents, brown sugar. Very sweet but there is a definite note of caramelized grains. While the fruits are pretty dark there is a nice sense of refreshment to them as well.

Taste: Quite smooth and easy to drink. Almost too easy with the flavors very muted overall. Not as sweet as one would expect from the nose, its quite wine and grape juice like in a bad way up front. The middle is mellow with brown sugar notes and a hint of ripe fruit. Oddly, there isn't even a sign of the 10% ABV even in the absence of flavor. I guess it's a lager and the "clean" flavor is perhaps desirable...however I personally don't find it so. Finish is balanced. Some brown sugar / fruit syrup sweetness but is lackluster. Definitely needs to warm up to let the flavors out.

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Photo of nickd717
2.28/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle from Whole Foods - Los Altos. OK, I'll try not to let the fact that this is an Indian Wells beer influence me here.

Pours clear dark reddish-brown with a one-finger light beige head. Looks good enough.

Aroma is roasty and smoky with caramel and a strange dirty/acrid note. Good in a way and bad in another. Definitely some kind of flaw in there.

Flavor starts off decent with caramel malt and smoke. Then it goes south like a migrating bird in the fall. Cooked veggies and acrid flavors take over and dominate on the finish.

Medium-light body for the style and somewhat flat and boring on the palate. Somewhat astringent.

This is really not very drinkable at all. Drain pour in the end - didn't feel like wasting my sobriety on a shitty beer that's almost 11% ABV. I can't believe this is rated overall as an above-average doppelbock. I really don't want to know what a below-average one is.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.27/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, almost cola color. Tan head. Light smoke is noted on the nose, with some caramel as well. On the palate the caramel is present again with a brownbread flavor that comes through. Medium bodied and does not seem to be anywhere near 10.5% as indicated on the bottle. Relatively easy drinking, but disappointing for a doppelbock.

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Photo of JamesP123
3.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A. Dark brown. Aggressive pur resulted in small head that dissipates quickly. Heavy carbination is visable.

S. Sweet/caramel alcohol. Slight roasted malt coming through.

T. Don't taste the 10% alcohol as I was expecting. Very sweet and heavily carbinated. Some chocolate flavor from the malts.

M. Thin body with high carbination. About what I expected.

D. The beer masks it high ABV content easily. Not my favorite Doppelbock, but a decent option that is very drinkable and affordable.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.03/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 12 ounce bottle poured into my nonic pint glass. Appears a clear, but dark chestnut brown color with a finger of fizzy light tan foam. The head dissipates within a minute. Nose and flavors consist of sweet caramel malts, a touch of cheap milk chocolate, alcohol, dark cherry skins, raisins. Thin body with decent carbonation. Leaves something to be desired.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
3.73/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Very dark brown color with a big, active head. Retention is low

S- Roasted, black malt, a touch of caramel malt, boiled veggies, and a touch of alcohol

T- The taste is very sweet almost as much so as a cola. The carbonation is actually the bulk of the flavor along with some bitter chocolate

M- Highly carbonated and thick, but not sticky due to carbonation

D- If this beer really is 10.8%, then it's really hidden well.

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Photo of natelocc787
3.25/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Abv wasn't noticed at all making this average tasting Doppelbock more drinkable. Caramel, mild chocolate, and caramel malt character. Was expecting better than this. Can't help appreciating this beers one great feat which is managing to make an 11% beer taste like a 7% beer. Mouthfeel is a little wet and foamy-nothing creamy or dry like you see with the top examples of this style.

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Photo of Osagason
4.4/5  rDev +47.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ok. This beer has gotten a bad rap. Hopefully if you get to this review it will set some things straight.

This beer is a LAGER.

It says as much on the bottles. With that in mind the thin mouth texture and light watery feeling is to be expected and not taken as a pitfall. What isn't expected is the black amber opaque color or the speed at which this beer with make your head buzz. This is coming form a guy who's top three is Abyss, Stone 12th anniversary, and Victory at Sea. Because I can't afford to drink those all the time something lighter and cheaper with the same kinda kick fills the session beer position better than anything previously. Lobotomy covers the alcohol like a surgeon disguised as a hobo ready to cut out your prefrontal cortex before you can say six pack. Seriously, try this beer if you have the opportunity and think "This is a LAGER!!!".

Your mind shall be blown

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.69/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is my first time reveiwing a beer, but a good start I think.

My girlfriend bought me a 6 pack of this on a whim, though I have wanted to try it for some time now. I am glad that I never spent the money on it.

The beer pours a very dark color, somewhat red.
There is hardly any head...you kinda have to throw the beer into the glass to produce a decent head.

The beer is tasty...not too heavy despite the high ABV. You can taste hardly any alcohol.

Here is my first complaint: I consumed 6 bottles of these plus 3 Rogue Dead Guy Ale's and got only a slight buzz. There has to be something wrong here. I can drink 4 Optimators and be close to drunk off of those...

All in all, it is a very tasty treat, but don't expect the kick.

The feel and drinkability of this beer kind of skew the rating, but if that is what you are after, then you have found your soulmate.

Worth a drink, (or two or seven) to get the full affect.

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Photo of Lldeegan
2.64/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Deep brown-black with a very thin light brown/dark khaki head

S- In order of presence Alcohol, espresso, dark chocolate

T- Strong heat of the alcoholic presence. Perhaps too bold, overpowering the malty dark chocolate, coffee notes that I usually enjoy. Not sweet at all, bitter finish. It is bold like a RIS, even with similar notes and the roughly the same ABV % as an Old Rasputin, but this dopplebock does not deliver in the taste department. Too much heat.

M- Heat numbs the palate after a few sips, that in combination with the heavy carbonation, it was not very pleasant in my mouth

D- I only had one and that was all for me, the alcoholic numbing effects and the heat in the mouth was something that is just not desirable for a beer. The buzz felt after just one however, not too shabby.

I have read over the posts, and most think it's too watery (which it is a bit) but most say it's ABV is suspiciously high for the taste. I may be alone in my opinion but I found the alcohol to be a major downfall for this beer. Too much heat, and besides beer, Irish whiskey neat is what I love, so it is not the case that alcohol isn't a taste I enjoy.

I have heard a lot about this beer from friends, and looked forward to trying it after many failed attempts when it was out of stock at Whole Foods and a restaurant I know that had it, Ultimately, I was let down. The good tastes were there so I appreciate what the brewery was doing. I liken it too a high school cheerleader who's had too much to drink at a party. Too much alcohol, too little substance.

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.45/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the darkest doppelbock's I've ever seen. Lobotomy pours almost stout dark with ruby amber highlights and not much of a chance for light to pass through. The head is khaki and thin but doesn't last as long as I'd prefer.

The nose is very well done. There is a prominent sweet malt with nothing even close to smelling like a hop. There is also aged dried fruits in the raisin family peaking through the cloud of grain. Again I am reminded of stouts with the thick sweet smells.

I find the characteristics in the scent falters in the flavor department. The result is a thinned musty malt flavor and a over all watered down feeling. Even the slight presence of those dark fruits are thinned and muted.

The mouthfeel has a metallic twang to it and also has a crisp dryness. The beer coats your mouth in the finish and the feeling reminds me of eating that thick greek yogurt. As a whole I don't think this a bad beer but it isn't great. I find myself bored halfway through the glass and not really interested in any more.

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Photo of pants678
2.61/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark brew that's close to black, brown comes through with light, though. I pour it into a pint glass and get not much of a head that's beige in color. It recedes into a thin lace.

Spicy smelling beer. Hard to pinpoint exactly what it is, definitely malty.

The first taste has solid malts, a sharpness toward the middle but watery on the back. It's nutty with a tinge of coffee, complex for sure. The back has a slight fruit to it, but then it all washes away. It's not crisp though, that might be nice, it's just blank, empty. It needs to be robust, there's simply no tenacity there. They've backed off which is disappointing, though this might be because it's too spicy.

The carbonation is fine, really a good base for a beer that does not deliver. I absolutely like the texture.

It's drinkable, complexity that's intriguing but not burdening.

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Photo of Muchosnachos
2.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

If somebody handed me a pint of this at the bar I'd drink it. It doesn't taste terrible. I am however offended by its claim that it is a doppelbock. It's watery. It's so watery in fact that I don't believe the claim that it is 10.8%. Maybe the first batch that they brought down to the lab tested 10.8% but it doesn't taste that alcoholic and it doesn't have the effect on me thinking nor me balance that I expect from 10.8%.

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Photo of illidurit
3.11/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Celebrator glass. Dark ruby brown color with a thin tan head. It dissipates quickly and the resultant halo is constantly replenished with streaming bubble columns. Looks very fizzy and thin. Aroma is deep dark breads with artificial banana notes. Nutty and a bit roasty. Flavor is toasted bread with a touch of char as if the bread was left in the toaster a little too long. Weakly brewed coffee, with a blatantly watery finish. On one hand this beer is very watery for the strength, but on the other hand I don't taste any booze at all. Not sure how they managed that. Overall way too thin and simple.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.4/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled June 2009
A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a four-finger thick, very lightly browned, tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated, well burnt amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, bright ruby hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells thick and sweet with a ton of bright fruitiness that reminds me of raisins, and prunes. The malt is pretty big in the nose, concentrated malt notes even start to get into the savory side of the spectrum, though they predominantly are sweet. There is a brightness to the sweetness here that seems to be lacking in the rich, complex sweetness that I really like to find in a strong Bock; it is almost a bit too simple-sugar focused, more caramelization and Maillard browning richness would be a welcome addition that is lacking in this beers aroma. This doesn't seem to be the cleanest fermentation profile either as there seems to be some bubble-gum like aromatics here and a touch of fusel alcohols that provide a touch of warming. The aroma is actually pretty enjoyable, but it is more of a Belgian interpretation of a Bock. I am able to pick out notes of cotton candy, caramelize fruit notes, perhaps a hint of toasty malt and just a wisp of underlying malt richness.

Wow, fairly light bodied and not nearly as sweet as the aroma suggested; this last makes it all the more apparent how un-Lager like the fermentation character in this beer is, definitely not a good example of a clean Lager fermentation. The beer is actually quite thin for a Bock, much less a amplified DoppelBock. I do like that this isn't nearly as sweet as I was dreading, the sweetness that is here is a bit simplistic and is missing that rich, concentrated malt depth that should be in a decent version of anything with Bock on the label. The relative dryness does allow the toasted, dark malt character to come out a bit more. The beer finishes with a toasted, biscuit like and browned bread crust character. There seems to be a touch of phenolics here almost, though it is more like some fusel alcohol notes in the finish. The lack of overt sweetness also seems to make the fruitiness here lean towards the almost tart plum / prune side of the spectrum.

I am a bit conflicted on this beer, from a stylistic standpoint this beer is a complete mess, but it is actually not half bad, especially if you think of it as a Belgian interpretation of a DoppelBock. In the end though the body and flavor is lacking the richness and complexity that is need to really carry this beer.

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Photo of bmwats
2.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pilsner.

A: Dark brown. Medium carbonation. Pours into a half finger, bubbly, brownish head. This quickly disintegrates completely leaving nothing behind. No lacing to speak of. You see carbonation continue to rise throughout the experience.

S: Syrupy sweet malt, with some floral hints. A little pine, and this musty undertone that seems to characterize the beers from this brewer.

T: Has a roasted malt flavor with a subtle almost raisin and molasses sweetness. A bit of hops join in. Pine nuts.

M: Feels a bit overly carbonated and washed out. Not as "thick" and "heavy" as what you'd expect from a d-bock. No real aftertaste to mention here.

D: Drinkability is fine, just nothing to write home about.. Flavor and fell are okay.

Atmosphere leaves a little to be desired. Appearance is a bit underwhelming, but nose is okay except for a musty tone. Flavor is not bad, just lackluster and washed out. Overall, this is an okay quaff. Again nothing offensive about it, just kinda' "yep, that was a beer."

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Photo of TeeCee
2.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Quick review: it's rather porterish for a bock or any beer for that matter. Doppelbock is my favorite style, and this ain't it. In any case, I rated this beer on its own merits, not the label on the bottle.

This is available in six packs locally right about now. I don't remember seeing it until recently. I poured it into an American style pint glass, producing ~1" of creamy brown head, quickly disipating to about 1/8", leaving no traces. The body is a dark reddish brown, transparent at the edges (no signs of any cloudiness), with light coming through only about the lower half of the glass. No nucleation whatsoever (a recently used and rinsed glass - surprise! this isn't my first beer today).

It smells old, roasted, raisiny, and chocolaty. Following the style, no signs of hops in the nose.

The taste is rather porterish. There's a smoky flavor there that seems like a cross between a porter and a rauchbier with the spice I often notice in a porter (I'm beginning to think that's due to the roasted malts - someone help me here), and a bitterness on the tale end likely due to the roasted malts and some hops. This isn't making me think Doppelbock in any way. Finally, while it's smoky, it doesn't have that rauchbier bacon flavor to it.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin for the supposed style (Doppelbock), but seems appropriate for what I'm tasting. Maybe it's the ABV (10%). I get no fizz initially, but I get a mouthful if I swish it.

I could drink a few of these if I liked it more. I'd say it's sessionable if you like it and can stand up after a few 12 oz 10% ABV beers.

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Photo of jim1904
3.22/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - deep dark red, very little head, yet good lacing. confusing.

s - well it certainly SMELLS nice. very much like sweet pastry, chocolate, a little whiff of licorice.

t - the dominant flavor here is dissolved CO2 sharpness, which is definitely disappointing. none of the bready richness of a true doppelbock, but not bad nonetheless. a little bit of earthy noble hop twang. some coffee notes. poor, poor, astringent finish.

m - thin, good carbonation. feels like a bock.

d - there's some kinda law that says that brewers have to be true to their abv reporting, right? if there isn't, i'm half tempted to call this one a mislabel. there's the barest hint of an alcohol burn on the throat, but then again, i have a bit of a sore throat. other than that, i would have pegged this one at 7%, tops, just based on drinking it.

not a bad beer, but definitely not the best representation of a good doppelbock. not quite a drain pour, but eh, it's unimpressive.

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Photo of hopdog
3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottles acquired in trades with BMan1113VR & lb4lb (thanks!).

Poured a dark brown color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of nuttiness, roasty, and caramel. Tastes of nuts, lighter roast, chocolate, and caramel. No way I would have pegged this one at over 10%.

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Photo of whoneeds8
2.39/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass black with little to no head. Smell has some rasted malt and bread notes. Taste??? What taste??? Whoever catagoried this as a doppelbock was wrong. I would barely call this a bock. The mouthfeel is a joke, way too watered down. And 10.5%? I forced down the entire glass and I don't feel any kind of buzz what so ever like I should from 10.5%.

This beer really is like a bad joke, because it is nothing like it is advertised.

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Photo of drunkboxer1
3.28/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a six pack of these because they were cheap for a doppelbock and the artwork looked foxy as hell. Poured them into a pint glass each time and the head never stuck around, regardless of how hard i poured it. Smelled ok, like a bock. Tasted thin, really thin for such a big (alcoholwise, stylewise) beer. The mouthfeel was thin and it just didnt have the malt backbone the style demands. Probably won't get this guy again. Although, it did hide the alcohol shockingly well.

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Photo of PTB25
3.85/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer may be a gimmick, if in fact it's 10.8 ABV is the real deal. It doesn't taste that strong, not even close. It's even surprising.

12 oz bottle into pint glass

A - dark reddish to brown, very little head, although doppelbocks tend to have less head, I notice.

S - Not a strong aroma, befitting the taste. Maybe a little nutty.

T - So much lighter than you would expect. Almost watery. It doesn't taste bad at all - but it doesn't taste like a doppelbock. I think it's more similar to a schwarzbier, if anything. It lacks any complexity whatsoever. This is not necessarily bad, unless you are looking for something in the style of an Optimator. It turns into a very easy drinking beer that could knock you out fast, although it's tough for me to comment on the ABV since I have never had more than one of these in a day.

M - Smooth city. No aftertaste. Again, much lighter than expected.

D - For a doppelbock? I could drink a bunch of these. I may have to try it to comment on the ABV.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.84/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed 4/16/2009 (Bottle):

Pours a dark clear reddish body, wit ha small head off-white in color and quickly diminishing. Sweet molasses aroma, dusty, with some alcohol. Some dark chocolate. Has some sweet coffee, light roast. Some nuttiness. Pretty tasty. A little watery.

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Photo of elniko
2.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Dark brown coloring with soapy head and moderate lacing. Solid looking brew.

S: Mild chocolate tone with some bread qualities as well.

T & M: A little thin bodied as far as the mouthfeel goes. Some roasty chocolate tones apparent but overall the taste is simply lacking. Almost watery which is remarkable for a beer with this high of an ABV.

D: Drinkable, but that is part of the problem with this beer. I expect a doppelbock to have full blown qualities and this beer does not.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.57/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a Delirium goblet.

After a disastrous experience with Indian Well's IPA (DRAIN-POUR), I was skeptical about cracking open their "Lobotomy Bock". Even more so after seeing its 10.8% ABV! Nevertheless, this dopplebock pours an attractive coffee brown body, with hints of deep mahogany creeping in around the edges. The paperboard-beige head diminishes somewhat quickly, leaving an off-centered patch of large bubbles and a ring of foam. The aroma is quite enjoyable, with multiple layers of dark toffee and chocolate malt sweetness that gives way to intricate yeast esters of raisin, fig, and plum.

The flavor is a milder version of the aroma. There's really not much sustenance to it, save a mild note of caramel toffee and a crisp mineral finish. Where did the dark fruits go? Where is this 10+% alcohol? Disappointing to say the least. Still, the mouthfeel is that of a crisp, medium-bodied German lager and finishes dry and clean with a hint of residual sweetness. THANK GOD, because Indian Well's IPA finished with notes of bitter aspirin and stank veggies! Lobotomy isn't the best dopplebock out there, and I'm still scratching my head as to how this beer can register at such a high alcohol level, but it's certainly drinkable.

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Lobotomy Bock from Indian Wells Brewing Company
2.98 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
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