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Amsterdam Tempest Imperial Stout | Amsterdam Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
88
very good
57 Reviews
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Amsterdam Tempest Imperial StoutAmsterdam Tempest Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Amsterdam Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with a complex grain bill and three types of hops that make for a bracing bitterness which quickly blends with deep malt notes and slight spiciness.

100+ IBU

Added by Sammy on 05-29-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
57
Ratings:
136
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
12.56%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
27
For Trade:
1
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Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 136
Photo of spinrsx
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $6

Appearance - Dark brown colour with a large size frothy light brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, coffee

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and vanilla. There is also some coffee, a bit of booze, and a roasted/burnt bitterness.

Overall - Better than I though it would be based on the ratings. Curious to see how this ages since it seems a little rough around the edges.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle from LCBO received as Christmas gift. Have been curious about this one for awhile, but never bothered to pick it up. Served chilled into a pint glass.

Appearance - Dense dark brown nearly black beer spills into the glass. Ended up with about 2.5 fingers of dark brown head that appeared to lighten as it receded. Nice spidery lacing on the glass and the head retention is great, lasted for along time, leaving a foamy cap on top.

Aroma - Earthy, slightly floral, hoppy aroma. Some smoke and faint licorice scents as well. While there is also the coffee and chocolate aromas that accompanies many stouts it is not terribly pronounced.

Taste - A little bit of a hop and coffee mixture transitioning into a smoky bitter chocolate finish that further evolves into a dry hop bitter aftertaste. The initial flavors up front are rather subdued making the flavorful last half of any sip that much more dramatic.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth and frothy, not slick but nice medium body as well. The finish is neither dry nor wet, striking a nice balance of moderation. While knowing this is an American Imperial Stout, it is actually rather light and doesn't overwhelm with its density.

Overall- Pretty tasty brew, especially on a cold December night, and would recommend to have again. I'm interested in trying again to see what it tastes like at colder temperatures and whether there is a significant difference, compared to the moderately chilled bottle I had.

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Photo of byronic
3.15/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Breaking into this bottle acquired from the LCBO was quite the chore. Far too much wax is used in sealing the bottle and no means to rip it off is provided.

A - Complete darkness with a dark thick head which dissipates very slowly.

S - Very dark chocolate with espresso, roasted barley

T - Bitter chocolate and coffee, alcohol, smoke

M - Medium carbonation and very warming, some alcohol burn

O - Not impressed with this brew. The alcohol is not very well disguised and is very present in the after taste. Pretty poor offering for an imperial stout.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours black as night, thick and opaque with a lingering deep brown head of foam.

S - Deep and dark with espresso and roasted barley aromas

T - Coffee, burnt malt, tobacco and bitter chocolate, alcohol and some hoppiness but it's overshadowed here by the intense roasty malts.

M - Thick and warming, flows over the tongue with some viscosity to it

O - A super roasty take on an Imp Stout.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours completely black, no amber glints even to speak of. The espresso colored compact head leaves several meandering trails of lace on the glass. In the nose, chocolate and black coffee mix with some citrus and alcohol. The taste is enormously malty and roasty with molasses, tobacco, coffee and cocoa flavors. A creeping alcohol heat is always evident. Citrus and pine hops are in the background, providing a good balance to the maltiness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a subtle, moderate carbonation. A moderate hop bitterness blends with chocolate, roasty and booze flavors in the long finish.

This is a good Imperial Stout. It could be a little fuller bodied and modest in alcohol flavor, but still definitely worth a try.

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Photo of SebD
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice thick mocha head that dies down moderately and leaves very little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of chocolate, coffee, rich roasted malts, dark fruit (raisins maybe) and some smokiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some definite chocolate, bitter coffee, roasted malts, raisins, some smoke and sweet caramel.

Mouthfeel: It has a low-medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas. Definitely the best beer I've had from Amsterdam.

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Photo of mscudder
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Cheers to Marcus for sending this brew out me as an extra. Bottled 2012.

A - A deep mocha hue with a well formed inch head. Good retention with some lacing.

S - Smoked wood, sweet chocolate, dark fruits, light coffee, warmth from the booze and caramel. Nice!

T - Dark chocolate is at the forefront with this one. Nice sweetness with added bitterness. Bit of coffee surfacing on the back end. Light vanilla flavor throughout.

M - Chewy medium plus body with moderate carbonation.

O - Really impressed with this one and it saddens me it will be some time until I am graced with one again. If you have the chance, pick this one up.

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Photo of tbeckett
4.14/5  rDev +4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My brother bought me this bottle from the LCBO a few months ago. Way too much wax on the bottle that I had to scrape off just to be able to fit the bottle opener on it. 2012 vintage.

A - One finger creamy brown head gone fast. Black colour. Mild carbonation coming up. No lace, no retention.

S - Nice sweet chocolate and roast. Dark fruit and coffee. Big dark fruit notes with that roast. Similar to much stronger and more complex impy stouts I've had with much higher ABVs.

T - Roast, chocolate, light booze, vanilla. Milky coffee, roasted notes coming out more when it opens up.

M - Nice carbonation, full body, sweet dark fruit finish that gets a little bitter in the end. Pretty smooth stuff.

O/D - A fairly nice Imperial Stout and one I've wanted to try for a while. The few months of smoothing out have probably done this well. A complex and enjoyable one from Amsterdam, and one that Ontario should be proud of.

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Photo of papat444
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

***2012 Vintage***

Thanks to jrenihan for this one.

Poured from a 500ml. bottle.

Appearance: A very dense, black body but the head barely manages more than a finger before disappearing. Not much lacing left.

Smell: Miles better than the looks. Alcohol soaked raisins, brownies, fudge, coffee. Quite powerful.

Taste: Mix of milky & robust coffee, chunks of chocolate, good constant roastedness.

Moputhfeel: Slightly gassy at first but smooths out after a while yet still retains some bitterness.

Overall: All over the map on this one but overall, it's good but not great. Worth a shot.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a rather large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of dry roasted malt with some black chocolate and roasted coffee notes. Taste is mix between some roasted coffee notes with light bitter notes of black chocolate with some subtle notes of liquorice and light lactose finish. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very drinkable and well balanced though doesn’t necessarily stand out from the pack with limited complexity.

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Photo of Top_Jimmy
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall a nice looking packaging, complete with black wax coated neck and cap. This beer was cellared for 3 months as per the manufacturers label.

Pours a dark almost black, with a nice tanned head. Nice looking product with nice tan lacing.

Creamy full mouthfeel that unfortunatley does not last very long with a bitter finish.

Taste of molasses, slight alcohol, bitter

Smells like slight smoke and malt with chocolate coming through as the beer warms.

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Photo of mmapes
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle traded from Andrew (thanks!) Opened Jan 2013 (bottle is 2012). Pours very black, but not as opaque as some. Nice. Thin head dissipates quickly.

Smell: smoke, sweet dried fruit, grainy

First sip: Molasses, smoke. It's bitter. Sweet up front, but long bitter finish. Heavy-ish mouthfeel (full body).

Second sips: less bitter, more sweet.

Paired well with grape leaves stuffed with rice.

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Photo of decimator
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass. ABV 9%.

A - Poured nearly black with a milk chocolate foamy head. Head reduced to a thin cap. Good lacing.

S - Chocolate, coffee, toasted grains, hint of brandy.

T - Toasted bread, some coffee, hint of dark chocolate, bitter hops and a hint of alcohol in the finish.

M - Medium carbonation, medium-heavy body, creamy, slick, smooth, minimal alcohol burn.

O - Pretty good stout.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pretty darned close to black and almost completely opaque, just swallows light. Mocha head is about a finger off the pour, settles to a thin film within a couple minutes.

Disappointingly shy aroma. Very, very, very light coffee aroma, but mostly just booze where there's anything.

Carbonation picks things up right off the bat. Bit hard to pick apart at first taste, possibly a bit too carbonated. Finds its own mid-palate with a good roasty malt hit settling down to boozey chocolates. Some pretty standout cherry flavours throughout as well.

A nice imperial. Satisfying, if not as complex as the bad boys out there. That said, as someone with no love for imperial stouts, it's a fine beer.

 702 characters

Photo of mick303
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark black, creamy coffee coloured head with really good lacing.

Aroma is of rich bitter coffee, roast malt, quite earthy, maybe a touch of stonefruit notes. Light on the chocolate but otherwise typical imperial stout notes.

Taste has a big upfront bitterness, and tons of roast dark malt. Big body, but quite a decent sipper. A bit unbalanced maybe. Plenty of dark roast coffee, dark chocolate notes though. Carbonation is light and body quite a bit malty presence. Alcohol is very well hidden and comes across a lot lighter than the ABV would suggest. Finish is very clean and structured, a nice dryness.

Not a mind-blowing imperial stout, but it has a really nice flavour and it works quite well. For xmas time, this is a nice local treat and quite enjoyable, nice and rich, with a surprising lightness. Certainly a good offering from Amsterdam. Won't rock your world but makes a really good no-frills holiday stout.

2013 vintage - tasted july 2014. Aroma is bitter and mildly roast. Lots of rich earthy dark chocolate. Taste is clean, with a balanced chocolate coffee character, developing more bitterness, lots of hop bitterness coming through, more apparent carbonation, with a rich earthy character, picked up more of the coconut and buttery vanilla notes, a bit of a balanced stout character, a bit more lively on the nose than on the flavour, some semisweet milk chocolate and strong coffee, still not an mind-blowing IS, but a full bodied and flavourful one with a pretty good complexity, updated ratings.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL wax-dipped bottle from the LCBO; this is the 2012 edition. Poured into a tumbler, and served only slightly chilled.

Pours an opaque brownish-black colour, generating one finger of frothy, light tan-coloured head that quickly recedes into a soapy, bubbly film at the surface, with a modest collar. Minimal lacing. The aroma is muted and not particularly unique for the style - roasted malts, coffee, cocoa nibs, and a pronounced earthy, herbal dryness make up the bulk. Some dark cherry (or other dark fruit notes) become easier to make out as it warms, but on the whole the aroma is closer to average than outstanding.

Not all that impressed so far, but perhaps I've been too hasty - flavour is why most of us drink beer, and this stuff actually tastes pretty good. Roasted malts, semisweet chocolate and burnt coffee grinds all come to mind early during the sip, with molasses and raisin notes coming through as well. It finishes with a pleasant, charry, roasted malt character, with a hint of espresso and some accompanying herbal hop dryness. Dry, somewhat roasty aftertaste that lingers on the palate. For a 9% brew, the ethanol is actually surprisingly well-hidden, never really interacting much with the flavour profile. Medium-bodied, with relatively high levels of carbonation that give it a spritzier mouthfeel than most imperial stouts. This is not an especially complex beer for the style, but it is ridiculously drinkable for its heft.

Final Grade: 3.68, a B grade. Amsterdam's Tempest Imperial Stout is a solid brew, though I'd be lying if I said it was a favourite as far as big dark beers go. This is one of those beers that genuinely tastes and feels lighter than it actually is - which can be either a blessing, if you're not big on high-abv brews in general, or a curse, if heat and complexity from the ethanol is one of the reasons you seek out the style. Lightness aside, the flavours are deftly balanced, with the profile leaning toward the dry side overall, making this a highly quaffable double stout that won't exhaust your palate with sticky sweetness or booze. In a market that seems to lack wide access to locally-made beers of this style, this is an affordable offering that is definitely worth at least one try, though you shouldn't expect to be blown away.

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Photo of biegaman
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For a beer named "Tempest" this doesn't generate much of a storm insofar as head is concerned. What does last, however, is, like the beer itself, so wickedly dark as to be frightful - I may have to sleep with lights on tonight. This inky dark concentration shows any brown colour only along the trim and if held at off angles directly into the light.

The aroma smells Kahlua-like, albeit with a little more muscle behind it. Swirling helps to bring out the roastier, meatier malty notes; otherwise it succumbs to a faded, oily coffee monotony. The bouquets falls under a more traditional style, offering up a lightly roasted, only loosely chocolatey flavour and esters evoking plum.

Roasted grain factors heavily into the taste, perhaps too much as the anticipated, more decadent dark chocolate flavours fail to arise. Still, it supplies a welcome tarry, black coffee note and a creamy hazelnut middle. It's far from "rich" but also features a tea leaf earthiness and traces of black currants and blackberries that provide a little extra enjoyment on the finish.

So far as 9% stouts go, this is considerably lean-muscled. Not terribly dense, it's got no baby fat to drop and doesn't have the meatiness to withstand extended time in the cellar. Drink it sooner rather than later - and why not? It's in great shape. Despite warming to a more liqueur-like texture it keeps a fairly taut, solid composure and rarely exposes any alcohol.

Amsterdam Tempest is no match for the majestic Yeti or Abyss; were it literally an American double stout it'd rank second tier. However, it may well be one of the better Canadian offerings and does well to evince the style's pedigree (without stylishly showing it off). This was one of the more hyped and sought-after beers around these parts lately, and not without reason.

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Photo of mintjellie
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Almost black, it's actually a very dark shade of brown. Small head quickly recedes without lacing. The slightly underpowered aroma features burnt sugar, black coffee, and delicate anise notes, as well as a blast of alcohol. Presents the palate with dark roast coffee, dark brown sugar, and raisin, followed by a strong char note and a long bitter finish. Medium bodied with low carbonation. Feels smooth but a little bit light for the style. I'm surprised how subdued the booze is, given how prominent it is in the aroma. Decent and drinkable.

 543 characters

Photo of Electros
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, very cool, waxed over crown. Mouth feel light, grain bill great, low hoped, high abv masked by malts... other then the little hint of a sour note at the end, pretty damn good. Would by again, alternatively, they have a small beer made from this 35%ish of the abv, I will be checking it out!

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Photo of ludachris
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an incredibly deep chestnut brown, bordering black. Just over a finger's worth of mocha coloured head, leaving fine legs of lace and an alcohol film as it recedes. Although it doesn't look like the biggest imperial stout, it sure looks promising.

Smooth and rounded is the nose for 9%. Deep gooey dark chocolate dominates. A hint of brine and a slight roast rounds out the chocolate nicely. There's a bite of cherry in the background with suggestions of fudge and icing backing it. The alcohol gradually comes out as the beer warms but is rounded and well rendered.

Ahh, so smooth. Hazelnut, dark chocolate, slight coffee, and chocolate cake come all at once in a neatly wrapped package. Brownie and fudge come big in the finish. The alcohol is made noticeable from start to finish but blends nicely. Fudge comes in upon exhale.

Full bodied with a pleasant viscosity and dessert like smoothness. Deliciously drinkable.

One of the best Imperial Stouts I've had coming from Ontario. I was most impressed with how well the alcohol was disguised. Full of flavour and well worth the buy.

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Photo of Ryborg11
4.72/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A dark, rich chocolate brown. Almost looked deep purple in the right light when pouring. Beautiful looking mocha head, great retention and halo ring of frothy foam left.

Smell: Strong pleasant roasted hazelnut and coffee aroma. As the beer warmed a distinct scent of the alcohol came through but mixed well much like Bailey's and Kaluah.

Taste: Rich, creamy, tastes like perfectly roasted coffee beans which flows into sweet chocolately mocha. A hint of cherry finishes the experience. You would have no idea of the alcohol content based on the taste of this fantastic stout.

Mouthfeel: Smoothest stout I have tasted in a while, creamy and rich in the mouth. Combined with the taste gives me the sensation of a perfectly blended milkshake.

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Photo of BGDrock
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: black like motor oil, with a fine milk chocolate coloured head which fades fairly fast leaving a crema-like film

Aroma: dark chocolate; tangy bitterness of roasted malt; anise

Taste & Mouthfeel: big dark chocolate flavour, rich and full; finish presents the roasted bitterness expected, but it's not the thin, acidic tang sometimes found in this kind of beer, but that of a perfect espresso shot; good carbonation; alcohol is present but not overbearing

Overall: flavour is focused and strong, not trying to be complex and is probably the better for it; sure it would be great after a couple years ageing

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500mL bottle, sealed with black wax (which was a pain to remove, but there you go). Nice to see some limited release Amsterdam bottles in the LCBO, especially this one.

Poured into a stein. Dark as pitch, with a thick cap of mocha foam that has great retention and creates a great coat of lacing. Very nice looking stout.

Nose is quite nice: chocolate, sugar, coffee, caramel. Not overly potent, but still very enjoyable.

Rich chocolate, coffee, cream, molasses, a touch of wood/peat to the finish, with a lingering mild alcohol warmth.

Creamy, chewy, nice mild carbonation, very thick and rich. One of the better feeling stouts I've had in a while. Alcohol is minimal.

Rich and flavorful, thick and hearty - a fine stout all around. Great stuff from Amsterdam - so glad this got a release, because I know this brewery is capable of great stuff. It just needs a chance to show it off.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(4.0) A: Pitch black with an attractive tall, creamy, and bubbly mocha coloured head. Very good retention with some spotty lacing down the glass.

(4.0) S: Lots of dark chocolate, caramel, nutmeg, anise, bitter herbal qualities, and hints of espresso bean. Solid overall aroma that gives an impression of being very creamy and smooth.

(4.0) T: Very similar to aroma with a dominant and delicious dark chocolate milk taste, herbal elements including anise, and a creamy caramel backbone. Faint espresso bean is more noticeable on the back end towards the finish. Alcohol is well hidden. Tasty.

(4.0) M: Medium-lighter bodied for the style (which I like) with a moderate carbonation. Syrupy and smooth with an initial bitterness that transitions nicely to a mellower sweetness.

(4.0) D: Very happy to see some of Amsterdam’s limited release stuff in the local stores. Overall a very nice imperial stout that I’ll likely pick up a couple more times over the winter.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow I hate the wax on this thing, such a pain to open. But this was a decent stout. Pours dark black with good caramal head. Tastes quite roasty with strong chocolate and coffee notes in the finish. Not as thin as I was expecting, and its a decent suprise from Amsterdam. I would have no problem drinking another bottle of this. The alcohol is well hidden. Good stout overall.

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Amsterdam Tempest Imperial Stout from Amsterdam Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.
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