TEN | Ithaca Beer Company

238 Ratings
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Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial American Extra Special Double Red Ale

"Our Anniversary beer, TEN is brewed with too many malts to list and an excess of American hops, including several additions during fermentation.

Enjoy the russet color, aggressively hoppy aroma and flavor, rich body and fiery finish."

Added by BeerTruth on 03-06-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 238 |  Reviews: 196
Photo of vande
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: a dark, cloudy/rusty looking red to the point where it almost looks like a glowing brown....

S: malty, rusty/coppery...carmalized something..toffee? prunes?

T: reminds me of a cross between Chronic and a Barleywine... interesting coppery feel of hops and malts mixed with some dated dark fruits...

M: nothing crazy....

O: pretty interesting. bottles from 2008. I've got one more as well as a 12 and 13 in the cellar...

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Photo of koopa
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another bottle in my cellar that I probably waited too long to open :o

Appearance: Cloudy burnt sienna pour with a 2 finger buttery/khaki rocky crown that displays good retention and lace.

Smell: Some stale hops, some floral peppery hops, some accentuated malt sweetness, a dash of prune and lots of figs.

Taste: Same as nose.

Mouthfeel: On the thick side of medium bodied and could use a bit more carbonation in my opinion.

Overall: A good beer that was probably even better a year ago!

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Photo of happygnome
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a amber red color with about an eigth inch of head that disappears quickly leaving no lacing around the edge of the glass or top of the beer. some carbonation bubbles can be seen rising to the top of the beer.

S: sweet dark fruits there is very little hop bitterness to balance

T: sweet dark fruits

M: medium bodied beer with good carbonation

overall, i really enjoyed this brew and am glad I got to try it

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Photo of BlackWednesday
3.12/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

0mL bottle, Batch E!006. Poured slightly murky medium orange with a short-lived cap of beige head (subsequent pours left more head, so I’m bumping it up a notch). The aroma was strong with floral notes, peppery spices, and some citrus over a bed of pizza dough, caramel, and redder fruits.. definite alcohol amplification. The flavor was similar in terms of stuff going on, but it lost some of its luster.. caramel and fruity notes at the core with pine, citrus, and spicy bitterness around.. something was breaking down in there, leaving strong, boozy, cardboardey notes in places.. muddled with too much going on. Heavier-bodied on the palate with enough carbonation to keep it moving.. sticky and messy in terms of flow, but it did leave a satisfying feel on the finish.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Live and learn, my review from 2011 wasn't the best experience but tonight, nearly four years later, this has mellowed and improved. Taste, feel, and overall scores have been bumped accordingly, moving my rating for this from 3.13 to 3.55. Good stuff Ithaca, patience paid off. Cheers!


Appearance - pours a big, dark, muddy reddish-brown. Two big fingers of almond foam, slow to form and slow to leave.

Aroma - lots of caramel, fig, a heavy syrupy smell.

Taste - a dry, crackery base grain. Picking up some light taste of the dreaded chlorophenols (Band-Aid). Faded hops provide some bite on the swallow. The CPs fade somewhat as the palate gets adjusted. Alcohol hotness provides an ethanol-like kick that kind of cheapens the experience. The finish is fading heat and residual malts.

Mouthfeel - I do pick up some of the body 'bigness' I expect, but it could use some more dextrinous quality to provide a 'Killians on steroids' effect. Average carbonation.

Drinkability - okay, I have two more of these that I will drink (sooner than later), but at ten bucks a bomber, this is pretty much a thirty dollar fail with regards to aging a beer (especially after reading some of the early reviews...dayyyum). Oh well, win some lose some, I like taking the chance now and again as it does work out nicely sometimes. Didn't this time though. Just enough appreciable beer stuff going on to keep me around, but this did not develop, nor will it, into what I'd hoped. That said, I will sip this down and enjoy it for what it is, namely a slightly messy but workable barleywine.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.96/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. Yet again, I need to thank Kyle for the generosity this weekend!

(A)- Pours a deep reddish amber color that produced a nice tan colored head with decent retention and lace.

(S)- Lots of rich run raisin aromas and a dry oaky nuance.

(T)- Same as the smell. A raisin rich dry oaky profile.

(M)- A good carbonation level. A bit dry and woody, but has some left left in it. Starting to get a bit "muddy"

(D)- It is definitely starting to lose some of its life, so I wouldnt continue to hold onto this if you do in my opinion, but its still enjoyable for what it is.

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Photo of Jesse13713
1.61/5  rDev -60.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Thanks to Aw Yeh for spiltting this beer with me!

Appearance - Pretty impressive lacing on this one. Fairly dark brown with a hint of red. Much darker than I expected. Three fingers of head on this beer.

Smell - Smells very malty and caramel-like. Smells very sweet. I am actually overcomes by the sweet smell in this beer.

Taste - Wow. Very, very hard to swallow. A huge bitter burn on the way down. Quite malty. Tastes more stout-like or even like a lighter Wee-Heavy. This didn't really taste like a red ale and I was expecting more from a double. Slight pepper. Tastes like molasses in a way.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Entirely too sweet for my tastes. There's no way I can drink this entire 750. The bitterness and sweetness don't combine well together. I gave this beer more than enough chances, but I ended up dumping out my share of it.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into my Narke glass...Dark brown with amber edges give its a glassy sheen. The head sucks and is disappointing. Tope, whispy, watery and big bubbles form a weird cap that has good retention and lacing. Doesn't look right...Malty rye aroma that is very strong; rye, caramel and grass hops...The taste is malty but has an undertow of vomit that is mildly distracting. Caramel and hops mostly. Seems heavily influenced by an ipa.

Overall, not to bad. I'd drink it again but don't think I'd recommend seeking it out with much effort.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Pours a rusty brown with quite a hefty body, finger of light tan foam. Nose is heavy with malt, hint of fading green hops, a touch of citrus and a nice earthy quality.

Light peppery spice, earth and rust, thick brown malts, hint of cocoa, caramel, toffee, bit of fruit bread, bit of a metallic twang. Lots of love for the malt profile, hops at this point tasted faded, green but a little limp, a hint of citrus, light pith. In that sort of middle ground for hops where it should have been drunk earlier or let lie for longer. Still, surprisingly drinkable for its weight and viscosity.

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Photo of bobsy
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich red pour with a finger of off-white head that drops to a thin cap and leaves a few lace spots. Sweet caramel nose with some peppery spice and alcohol. Flavour is interesting. This is a malty beast of a beer, with layers of caramel providing a sweetness which is amplified by bready malts. The hops have faded a lot, but still lend a faint leafy bitterness that helps provide balance. Still... the malts rule the show. Big, sticky mouthfeel works really well for a brew of this weight and I like it.

Past its prime, for sure, but it grows on you and reminds me somewhat of a decent barleywine. Thanks to Eric for bringing this over.

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Photo of mothman
2.35/5  rDev -42%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours little head. Color is a hazed copper amber.

Aroma: Caramel and bready malts. Some weedy and grassy some. A bit of spice shows. Big malt profile.

Taste: Metallic flavors, caramel malts, bready, sweet. Hops are faded, but still provide some bitterness. Very malty.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but no good hop flavors. Creamy as well. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends sticky and weedy.

Overall, I'd like to have tried this fresh as this one just wasn't doing it for me. It was too malty for my liking and the hops just weren't what I was looking for.

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Photo of Lazerlobe
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Murky brown brew coats my snifter with sticky off white laced head. (how dirty)

S: Bready malt, play doh, carmelized toffee, aging hops and some light EtOH.

T: This is turning in to a solid barleywine. The hop presence is muted but still plays a big role, combining with the rich malt profile. There is a certain balance that these elements strike that weakens the knees. The malt and hops tip the hat at one another when cool, but as it the beer warms past 58 degrees or so, alcohol heat lends an unpleasant heat. I'll accept some blame for the warming as I am trying to finish this bottle off on my own.

M: Rich and sticky on the tongue, biting when warm.

D: Amazing beer, I wish I had tried it fresh. Pro-tip, do not allow to over-warm.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Big thanks to rlmartin and Thorpe429 for the hook-up

A - It pours a big orange-amber, with a voluminous off-white head and lots of lace.

S - The hops have faded, obviously, but they still pack a bitter wallop. There is also a ton of rich caramel maltiness. Notes of grapefruit, pine and caraway are also apparent.

T - The taste is quite spicy. Hops are still quite pungent in the mix, and there is a heavy rye-like spiciness that overwhelms the brew. The big caramel malt seems to exacerbate the situation, causing a brew that is too spicy, sweet and bitter. Alcohol is too prominent. The mouthfeel is also a culprit here.

M - Syrupy and sticky. Not helping the whole deal.

D - Past its prime, or perhaps it never had a prime, I can only speculate. I do know that the Ithaca Excelsior! Series tends to be very good across-the-board. This one, not so much.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.13/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a very deep red amber color with very minimal head. The aroma is loaded with malty sweetness and caramel with a slight touch of hops. The taste is super sweet but was expected. Drinks actually fairly easy. Minimal alcohol notes for a 10% abv beer. Medium mouthfeel. Starts with the aforementioned malt sweetness with a subtle hoppiness in the back end.

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Photo of afksports
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Blind Tiger as a continuing part of the Very Special Keg day. Third and final beer of the evening... that I remember.

Originally an '08 brew, this one was cellared and aged - I think for the right amount of time. It had a nice two finger head on the pour into the snifter. Deep red and brown, head had good retention. The smell is floral and sweet, as you'd expect from a complex red, although the hops aren't as present -- which makes sense given the age.

Taste is about the same - less hoppy than you'd expect from the style, but consistent with the age. There's a ton going on in the palate - malts, caramel, citrus, hints of hops, resin. It's big and creamy (that's what she said?) and although a slow sipper, still highly enjoyable.

Thanks, Blind Tiger, for a wonderful evening.

Now it's time for Advil.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a Batch E!011 750ml bottle into a Whole Foods 30th Anniversary Imperial pint glass.

A: Opaque reddish-brown with a lingering single layer head.

S: Aged malts, booziness, and slight oxidation unfortunately.

T: Slight hoppiness, sweet malts, and a nice bitter finish.

M: This beer kind of changes "state" as it goes along. At first sip out of the fridge I thought there was no carbonation at all and was ready to drainpour it. I gave it a little time and the carbonation found its way. As it warmed up I noticed some sips were syrupy, weird.

D: I had no problem finishing this bottle by myself within 2 hours.

Overall, this one is a tough call whether to age any longer. If you go by booziness, yes. If you go by oxidation/wateriness/mouthfeel, no.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a Weyerbacher tulip; shared at a tasting.

A: Deep, hazy, ruby body with a finger of dark tan foam. Pretty solid.

S: Aged, slightly oxidized barleywine goodness: toffee, caramel, port, and booze. Nice.

T: Sweet caramel, toffee, alcoholic deliciousness. Much like the nose, but even more complex and intense. For a beer that was so hoppy originally, there isn't much bitterness left. I'm not complaining, though.

M: Smooth medium to full body with light carbonation. Nice.

D: Great for the strength and booziness. I'm really not bothered by the alcohol, but find the warmth to lend a nice facet to the overall experience.

Notes: Big thanks to Larry for sharing this vintage goodness with us. I'd been thinking about picking up a bottle of this for a long time (there are still a few drifting around shelves in CT), and having tried it I think I'll definitely pull the trigger. This one has aged nicely, and has the potential to do so for some time to come.


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Photo of ncaudle
1.88/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Preface - I fear, no, hope my bottle was bad.

Bottle poured into large wine glass.

NO head at all and unfortunately VERY, VERY flat.

The good - I liked the thick reddish-brown color and the smell was different than what I expected. Not a bad smell, just different, like a very floral Saison aged in wine barrels... almost sourish.

The bad - I think I've had water with more carbonation before... Pouring it I knew something was up but I truly had no idea until I tried drinking it.

I fear mine may have even been infected. No other review for this beer mention any sourness, yet this one was. I could almost get beyond the flatness, but the combination of no carbonation and the sourness made this a drain pour...

I'm kind of surprised I was able to down half a glass.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 8/21/10

Batch E!014

Pours a caramel brown. Once settled it suggests murkiness but when held to the light it has a nice clarity & the appearance of grape juice. Initially over one finger of foam, head retention thins though it does so slowly. Ok lace so far. Essentially no retention or lace by the end. The second pour gets some sediment & is murky, with a dirty, rusty hue.

Smells like a red ale should, though I get the impression the hops have faded some. Floral tones seem to have retained best & are notable throughout. Wispy citric elements seems to have dropped by the wayside; though overtones remain, they seem way past ripe. Lots of toasted malts with notes of caramel, toffee, sweet bread, biscuit & a hint of brown sugar. Faint dark fruit tones.

The taste is heavy & very full flavored. Hop fade doesn't present a huge problem here, as there are still floral notes & notions of pine remaining. I'm pleasantly surprised there is still a modest amount of resiny bitterness. The malts are in full force, too. Robust notes of caramel. To a slightly lesser extent brown sugar & toasted sweet bread. Hints of candied malts & faint suggestions of butterscotch. It has some barleywine qualities but never forgoes its red ale style.

TEN is dense, chewy, sticky, resinous & underscored with a touch of grittiness. Very full bodied, to say the least. A perfect amount of carbonation is geared toward a flawless ration between moving the beer & supporting the flavors. In conjunction with lingering floral hop notes are residual sugars that really call to mind a barleywine. Alcohol is very well hidden.

I don't know how old this particular bottle is & it's the only one I've had. While I cannot provide insight on a fresh bottle, I can say it's drinking mighty fine right now. So dang tasty & easy to drink. For that matter it hardly drinks like 10.6% abv. It also reminds me of a hepped-up Nugget Nectar. Righteous.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had cellared this for a while, and had intended to keep it longer, but after a bad experience recently with cellaring a DIPA from another brewer, I've decided to clear our my old stash and research how to better cellar going forward.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into an oversized snifter. The bottle is quite heavy and impressive; this looks more like a wine or Champagne bottle than a beer bomber. The bottle bears batch no. E!014.

Pours with an aggressive 3" head that slowy reduces as it sits. Dark mahogany coloring with an ecru colored head formed of tight bubbles that unevenly pillows down. Nice soapy retention as I sip this beer toward conclusion.

Has a wonderfully hoppy smell; seems I shouldn't have worried over this beer's longevity. Floral notes with an undertone of sweet malt; raisin, bread, and maple scents also tickle the nose. This beer smells promising.

Up front dark fruits, laced heavy with alcohol, start this one off. Raisin, currant, dates and figs - sweet, and rich in presentation. Sweet malt, yeast, and slght vanilla hit you mid-taste, with a bitternes that starts strong, fades, and then lingers as it dries out the tongue. As it warms, a maple/molasses taset becomes more prominent.

Creamy in texture, this is a rich beer, to be slowly sipped and allowed to open further as it warms.

No doubt its a sipper, one which I will happily enjoy to its finish. As 10% alcohol, and $10 a bottle, however, I wouldn't have another tonight.

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Photo of generallee
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. On the label there is nice description of the beer and a batch number. (Batch # e ! 014)

Appearance: The body has a deep russet brown color with a deep hazy orange glow when held up to the light. The pour produces a one finger thick white foam head which fades to just a thin film covering. Lacing is minimal, slick and spotty.

Smell: There are loads of nice citrusy hop notes in the nose as well as a solid base of sweet malt and sweet alcohol.

Taste/Palate: It starts with a deep rich base of sweet malt. It reveals hints of caramel, dark dried fruit and dark alcohol laced cake. This make for nice mellow warmth though out. Hop flavor is also present and adds some mild citrus as well as earthy and spicy bitter notes. The palate has a big full body soft carbonation and firm smooth, almost sticky texture.

Notes: Its big 10% abv, complex maltiness and mouth feel make for a solid and enjoyable slow sipping ale.

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Date: 06/11/2010
Type: 750ml. Bottle
Vintage: 2008
Glassware: The Usual Suspect - Portsmouth Tulip

Poured a reddish mahoghany in color w/ just a skim coat white bubbly head that left little to no lacing on the glass. Nose was of caramel, toffee, dark fruits, and subtle earthy hops. Taste was pretty much on point w/ the nose. With two years of age the hops have died down substantially and this brew is starting to taste very similar to JW Lees Vintage Harvest Ale(English Barleywine). If you can be patient, in another 2-3 years this brew will hopefully be JW Lees Vintage Harvest Ale in a 750ml. bottle. The mouthfeel was relatively thin leaving a basement mustiness hanging on the palate like a good English Barleywine. As far as drinkability goes...I polished off a 750ml. bottle w/o a problem and could have drank more.

Overall, I loved this brew fresh, and I like it even more w/ 2yrs. of age on it. Great job once again by Ithaca Brewing!

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Photo of illidurit
3.62/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruddy brown with a filmy tan head. Aroma has lots of toffee and some subdued stone fruity notes, sorta barleywine-esque in a way. Flavor is bready with faded hops, toffee, grapefruit, and a surprising smokiness. Earthy, bitter hop finish. Medium-to-full body, resinous and a bit sticky.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Russet amber in color with bright amber hues around the fringe. Bubbly head is very thin and quickly fades to almost nothing.

S - Dark fruits and floral hops. Very impressed with how strong the hop aroma still is. Lots of dark malts as well. Touch of alcohol in the nose.

T - Malty sweetness up front is quickly matched by a clean floral hoppiness. Light bitterness mid-drink. Alcohol provides a light burn late in the drink.

M/D - Thin with a light crisp carbonation. Alchol burn knocks drinkability down just a touch. Aged very well and I can only imagine what it must have been like fresh.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yikes a pint on draft at the hulmville inn. A fucking pint for jebus sake and for 4.75!

A- no head but its fill to the top of the pint. Deep copper orange brown with a nice glow when lit from behind.

S- a surprising amount of citrusy hops with a milder pine hit. Lots of malty sweetness. Caramel and honey wheat bread come to mind.

T- big toffee and caramel sweetness and a shocking tropical fruitiness from a combination of over two years in the barrel and hops that I can't believe are still holding their own.

M- medium to full body with just enough carb to carry this beast. Slightly chewy and coating.

D- well it 10 abv and very complex but as I fight my way in to this pint I can imagine getting another, how many times will you see a. Two year old barrel of this stuff.

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TEN from Ithaca Beer Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 238 ratings.
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