The Event Horizon | Olde Hickory Brewery

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BA SCORE
96
world-class
285 Reviews
The Event HorizonThe Event Horizon
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery
North Carolina, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Habmike on 12-08-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
285
Ratings:
1,692
Avg:
4.36
pDev:
21.33%
 
 
Wants:
851
Gots:
542
For Trade:
86
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Reviews: 285 | Ratings: 1,692
Photo of dbrauneis
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 Edition

A: Pours an opaque yet clear jet black in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation and some very light hints of dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall dense foamy dark mocha head that quickly reduces to a very thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of bourbon, vanilla, and oak with some lighter amounts of dark fruits, anise, and honey sweetness. Moderate aromas of dark chocolate that sticks with you.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of roasted malts with some significant amounts of bourbon flavors. There are lighter notes of the vanilla and oak from the bourbon barrel aging. After that, there are moderate to strong flavors of dark chocolate, dark fruits (plum), and anise. Very light notes of honey contributing some initial sweetness. Minimal amounts of lingering bitterness,

M: Full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Very light amounts of alcohol warming.

O: Overall this is a great beer - the bourbon barrel aging really enhances the overall flavors and aromas of this beer. There is a nice balance and the bourbon barrel aging adds to it but does not contribute much alcohol heat or alcohol presence in the nose/taste. Definitely glad I was able to grab one of these on my NC visit at Thanksgiving.

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Photo of TheElectricOne
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a coupla tulip glasses, 11/18/2015 batch date:

Appearance: pours super dark brown, basically black in color with a thick and fluffy espresso-colored head. Head sticks around with plenty of retention, leaving spotty lacing. Brew looks semi-syrupy on the pour.

Aroma: potent notes of dark chocolate, wood, and lots of barrel character. No heat at all, and the barrel is nice and soft, lending wood, char, and some mild vanilla.

Taste: WOW. First beer I've ever had from Olde Hickory, but this was a treat. For an 8.5% stout, I don't know how this much flavor was possible. Layer upon layer of decadence, in the form of roasty dark coffee and chocolate, as well as solid barrel notes the whole way through. No booziness at all. Light vanilla, some smoky wood characteristics. This is the real deal.

Feel: again, how this full a body and viscosity is possible at just 8.5% is crazy.

Overall: this was a big surprise, as this bottle was an extra, but it is a fantastic beer. I'd drink this stout any day of the week.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Pipeworks snifter.

A- pours pitch black with a 1 finger cola head. Sporadic bubbles and blotches of lacing remain on the glass.

S- very nice blend of chocolate, bourbon and vanilla.

T- chocolate, caramel, honey, vanilla, and bourbon.

M- medium body and carbonation. Actually drinks bigger than a 8.5% beer, in a good way.

O- very nice BA RIS! Surprised that it was only a 8.5% beer. Nice meld of chocolate, bourbon and vanilla.

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Photo of Dactrius
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with minimal head. Smell and taste are pure and intense bourbon, vanilla and chocolate. Definitely reminds me of BCBS but it's crazy that this is just 8.5ABV, it tastes and feels like a much, much bigger stout. This has got to be the best BB stout I've had at this low of an ABV.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque dark, dark brown almost black like oil color with khaki colored head. Chocolate, oak earthiness, roasted malt, slight bourbon, and some vanilla on the nose; follows onto the palate. Full bodied, thick, yet smooth mouthfeel. Finishes with bourbon, chocolate, and oak.

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Photo of Pencible
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured an opaque black with a little tan head.
S: It smelled like oak and coconut, with rich dark chocolate and molasses, and a little smoke and leather.
T: It tasted like rich dark chocolate and smoky coffee, with some oak and toasted coconut and molasses and leather. It had a clean sweet and earthy aftertaste.
M: It was oily with some carbonation. Nice slick body.
D: This was a great BB stout, with delicious scent and taste and solid body. Clean finish, and not very hot, so relatively easy to drink. No need to age. Recommended.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 2011 waxed and capped bottle. Chilled and served into my Kate the Great tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color. Nice dark brown lacing around the rim. A bit lighter in color than most imperial stouts.

Aroma: Milk chocolate, fudge cake some through really strongly upfront. Lots of molasses, caramel, vanilla and bourbon all nicely balanced throughout. Really great balance of the barrel aging and the base beer.

Taste: Big chocolate cake, fudge, and a little smoke character from the base beer really is dominant upfront. Bourbon, vanilla, and caramel sweetness really start to stand out and take over. Really nice balance of the barrel character and the base beer. Not boozy at all. The lower than average ABV doesn't affect how strong the flavors are at all. This is really flavorful and balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Not too heavy at all.

Overall, a really great bourbon barrel stout. I can't believe the ABV is as low as it is. The amount of flavor and the balance is incredible. Definitely worthy of its reputation and near the top of my favorite imperial stouts.

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Photo of kkipple
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared with KP, ATLBeerdog and UncleJedi - the hits keep on coming.

Impossibly thick black wax needs to be cut before you can get to the delicious beer inside. Once you pour it, you realize why this is called Event Horizon - it is black as black, real pitch, and sports a creamy, Zhukov-tan head. Yum.

Super tasty nose here: Malty-dark sweet, black bread, molasses, smooth and roasty, vibrant, rich, brownie-batter, chocolate, full, wholesome, no "holes" in the nose here - light vanilla, chips of oak. Very rich - outstanding, frankly.

Taste is solid... okay, more than solid, this is tasty as mess. Full-flavored, sweet and chocolaty, with synergistic roast, mocha, sweet honey, even some evident (distracting, but should fade) hop bitters. Very solid chocolate malt / black patent roast bitterness keeps the thick choco-honey sweetness at bay, and works together VERY well... maybe too well... the bourbon and oak is slight, but there, and is quite mellow. In fact the whole beer is so well put together, it's a minor miracle. What's Olde Hickory doing over there?

Mouthfeel is creamy, rich, full and wonderfully carbonated, the finish is roasty and ends rather unhappily with a slouch of sour-roast and bourbon, kind of stumbles over the finish line, if you will. The only real big misstep here - but given the brilliance of the rest of the beer, I can forgive this.

Olde Hickory Event Horizon is:

A. The best beer from Olde Hickory to date.
B. The finest North Carolina stout not called Sexual Chocolate.
C. Something you need to try immediately.
D. All of the above.

The correct answer is "D". Class dismissed!

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Photo of -Rick
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Jet black, looks like oil
S: whiskey, coffee,
T: The initial taste is bourbon forward, but not in a bad way. Not much heat from the bourbon. Has a nice sweet aftertaste. The honey compliments the whiskey quite well
F: oily and slick, with a decent amount of carbonation.
O: super solid stout. Would certainly try again.

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Photo of FBGordon
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. 2014 vintage.

A: Pours get black with a mocha head that pops up after the fact and quickly dissipates into a slim ring. A tiny bit of uniform lacing.

S: Lots going on. Chocolate, coffee, a little bourbon, as well as notes of honey, hazelnut and vanilla bean.

T: Smooth dark chocolate and bourbon up front with a touch of honey and graham cracker on the back end. A pleasant roasty bitterness on the back end with the chocolate.

M: Smooth as glass with tiny carbs up front, it glides across the palate like silk. Finishes clean with almost no alcohol warming.

O: Absolutely fantastic. I don't know what it tastes like the day after bottling, but the age on this one couldn't have hurt. It's one of the more delicious stouts I've had in a while. Cheers!

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks bubbabeerman for this 2012 bottle
The beer pours jet black with a dense, milk chocolatey colored head. The nose is potently bourbon barrelesque with a bit of underlying roastiness. However, the beer drinks quite smoothly with great harmony between the its sweet malt profile, bourbony vanilla, and roasted malts. I don't detect any alcohol in either the nose or taste. The mouthfeel is exceedingly decadent & rich with lingering barrel flavors and a touch of drying honey. This beer pushes the honey forward more than most stouts I've had with a honey addition. Overall this beer was quite tasty with huge barrel characteristics, a surprising amount of honey flavor, and a velvety mouthfeel.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an oily viscous black with a mocha foamy head. Decent retention and spotty lacing. 

Nice nose full of chocolate brownie and dark fruit. A little bourbon. 

Flavor is quite nice. Great balance and a wide range of flavor. Nice roasted nutty notes along with mild dark fruit, bitter chocolate, molasses, mocha coffee and a touch of rich dark honey on the back end. 

Full bodied mouth. Creamy smooth medium carbonation and a little bit dry  

This is a fantastic beer. Very well executed. Great all around.   

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to Peter (mullenpc) for this beer. Cheers! 2011 vintage.

Appearance – Pours into a tulip with an utter dark black color and deep viscosity. About a half finger of mocha colored head is achieved with a moderate pour that dissipates somewhat fast leaving slight lacing.

Smell – Holy bittersweet chocolate and bourbon. Slight licorice, oak, and vanilla. A hint of dark fruit such as plum comes through as the beer warms.

Taste – You know, I honestly wanted to not “like” Olde Hickory due to the insane Event Horizon ordeal that happened last year…but after Lindley Park and this…I have to give it to the brewery in regards to this beer. The taste starts with a nice mellow bourbon characteristic that melds with the fudgy chocolates and slight bittersweet cocoa. A wonderful oak and vanilla flavor comes in later and ends with a wonderful roasted malt which gives some nice dryness to the beer.

Mouthfeel – Medium to almost full bodied. Quite creamy, moderate to lower carbonation. Finishes nice and dry.

Overall – For a “lower” ABV stout, this is fantastic. This is no BCBS (or variation) or DL with crazy high ABV…but this has intense flavors. They have gotten this beer down. Well worth the hype. A just fantastic stout.

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Photo of CManuel
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 release, consumed fresh within a few days of the Raleigh NC release.

Appearance - The beer pours a pitch black with a deep brown frothy head that quickly dissipates

Smell - The smell is dominated by charred bourbon oaky goodness. Dark fruits are the second most apparent aroma, followed by subtle hints of vanilla and a mild sugary sweetness (probably the honey).

Taste - Wow, there is a lot going on with the taste. This is one complex beer. The bourbon charred taste is most dominant, but there are wonderful hints of vanilla, oak woodiness, dark fruits, and chocolate flavors. Amazingly balanced and will only get better with age. The complexity of this beer really stands out as it warms up.

Mouthfeel - very oily and slick, thick but not nearly as thick as other imperial stouts out there.

Overall - This has to be one of my top three imperial stouts. I really enjoyed how balanced this beer is, despite its complexity. I'm glad I have several bottles of this, can't wait to see how it tastes over the years!

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick and looks like used motor oil. Quick fading head and leaves good lacing

Reeks of Bourbon in a good way, slightly sweet from the honey and a slight dryness from the malts

Tastes sweet right from the start but the Bourbon kicks in very quickly along with dry wood and highly roasted malts. Finishes with a slight alcohol burn and leaves the palate dry

Heavy body with very low volumes of carbonation, finishes semi dry and aftertaste fades quickly. Alcohol is noticeable but not in a bad way. Easy to drink slow

An excellent beer and the honey adds a nice sweet touch to a style with big and robust flavors. Definitely a seeker

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Photo of Yagman3000
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served into a snifter from a bomber generously shared at a birthday celebration with fellow BA Cosmicevan.

Appears a really nice super dark chocolate brown. A small rim of foam remains around the rim.

Smells of musky bourbon with some coffee and dark chocolate coming through. There's a butterscotch sweetness coming through that's nice - perhaps a contribution from the honey.

Taste is super balanced. A conversation with Cosmicevan revealed his opinion of it's honey sweetness - a point I can concur on.

This goes down rather easily. Noteworthy is a puckering of the tongue from the barreling.

This was a nice experience. I had it after a GI BCB Rare so it's hard to compare.

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Photo of Gtreid
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber poured into my cigar city tulip.

A: Pretty much opaque. A two finger, dark brown, head appeard and left some nice rings of lace.

A: Smells of rich chocolate, toffee, vanilla, roasted coffee, and caramel. The bourbon notes are not as in your face as other BA brews of the same caliber. But IMO are right on the mark.

T: Just an outstanding fusion of the barrel and the beer. Bourbon, as in the nose, is not overpowering, but accentuating. The notes of vanilla and caramel from the barrel balance perfectly with the roasty coffee and chocolate flavors in the brew.

M: Mouthfeel is a touch thin, but carbonation is just about right.

O: A really outstanding beer. I am very impressed by the balance between the barrel and the beer. I would absolutely have this one again. Skal.

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Photo of billab914
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle. Pitch black in color and very thick looking. A thin tan head clung to the edges of the glass.

The aroma shows a good amount of the sweet bourbon with some really nice vanilla and oak to it. Notes of honey and chocolate add to the sweetness. The bourbon and vanilla flavors are both really good in it, but it's definitely on the sweeter side of the style. I really liked the aroma overall though.

The flavors are very rich with chocolate, vanilla and bourbon all coming out. More of a dark, bittersweet chocolate flavor is there in the finish. I get a little honey sweetness, but it's not overly done. It comes together very well and has some awesome flavors to it.

The mouthfeel is heavy and thick with lower carbonation. Overall I thought it was a great beer. The aroma was a little on the sweet side, although still really good. The flavors really came together the taste though. I was looking forward to finally trying this and it didn't disappoint at all.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

enough of the barrel aged stouts out there. this is a sort of shut up and sit down to the millions of wannabes out there. i absolutely love this one. its rich and frothy in looks, dense and dark, and with a nose that is just insane. toasted coconut, cocoa, vanilla, dry chalky grain, and a whiskey smoothness thats incredible. love that its under ten percent abv too, which is great, allows me to drink a bunch of this. a real cool nuttiness too, almond and hazelnut, lasting, and going brilliantly with the whiskey complexion. rich lathery feel, lasting forever in the finish, but not ever really getting all that heavy. this is my first and only beer ive ever had from these guys, and the hype is real, i mean, this thing is just insane. as layered as anything, its as close to as intensely flavored as the bruery big ones like black tuesday and its relatives. half the abv or less, but such a dynamic beer. chocolate in the finish, oaky, memorable. i want a mainline of this one. one of the few beers where its as good or better as the masses say. a must

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Photo of scifan
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After working up a sweat trying to peel off a huge layer of wax I was finally able to pour this into my Portsmouth balloon glass.
A hard pour reveals a big dark brown head with a thick pitch black body. Looks every bit the part of a big ol imperial stout. Very nice. Leaves some lacing as the head quiets down a bit.
Smells great. Lots of sweet dark malts hit the nose along with hints of tobacco and juicy dark fruit. With some nice roastiness rounding it all out. Just a hint of bourbon shines through.
The barrel aging makes itself known in the taste. Smooth oak and vanilla come across first and followed by sweet dark malts. Then a nice roasty finish.
The mouthfeel is one of the best parts of this beer. Very rich and velvety smooth, everything a imperial stout should be and more. The carbonation is spot on. Not a hint of any alcohol and this goes down very smooth. Olde Hickory is one of my favorite breweries in NC and this beer did not dissapoint. Nice Job.

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Photo of angelmonster
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review is of 2013 vintage

Pours opaque black body, head is cappuccino colored and 1/5 of an inch. Head retention was average for barrel aged stout and lacing was above average.

Smell is big on oak, whisky, fudge, caramel, and slight soy sauce. Charred malt balances out intense sweetness. Hops arent there but alcohol is definitely present.

Taste is robust, extremely flavorful, with lots of alcohol but not harsh. This beer drinks more like 11 or 12% rather than 8.5. I would totally believe brewers if they said there was a heathy dose of chocolate in this beer, also getting coffee, but alas neither are used to produce The event horizon. Theres a slight bitterness as beer warms; vanilla, honey, oak, and bourbon reveal themselves as temperature rises.

Mouthfeel is huge with this stout. Viscous, well carbonated, on the brink of chewy. Beer leaves a slightly oily coating on the tongue. If only the head retention was there, this would have been a perfect 5.

Overall this beer is as great as it was when I first had it at Gabf in 2011. Intense malt, alcohol, char, and everything else you'd want in an imperial stout. The event horizon always has an open invitation in my fridge.

Note to self: Take notes on a fresh bottle

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Photo of Josh012012
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

really reminded me of BCBS. I mean I swear that's what I was drinking.. but after getting half way through the bottle it got to be a but much where BCBS just seems to get better and better the more you drink.. now if I had only had one glass this would have been even more awesome.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Joe. Thanks brah. Pitch black pour, small fizzy dark brown head. Huge anise aroma with some coconut, lots of bourbon and woody oak, roast, sweet chocolate, caramel, yum. Flavor follows with lots of bourbon and anise and settles into vanilla and caramel. Roast and chocolate are there, and there's an extra sweet tang that I assume is from the honey. Surprised how well this stands up to the barrels at only 8.5%. Rich body, medium low carbonation. Even better than expected.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pitch black with a half finger of light tan foam that quickly recedes to a light film.

S: Very complex, strong bourbon supported by milk and dark chocolate, malted milk balls, toffee, and caramel.

T: Very strong dark chocolate and bourbon start off with light, smooth roast and some subtle dark cherry in the background. I get malted milk balls like in the aroma as well. So complex, so tasty.

M: Thick yet very easy to drink. Hard to describe how this is easy to drink yet very viscous.

O: Amazing. So complex, so viscous, yet easy to drink. Everything is very well integrated. Tons of chocolate, moderate bourbon, toffee, and malted milk balls.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled poured into my Narke tulip... A black body with faint notes of brown on the edges. The head is medium tan and rises about two full fingers before falling to a full finger cap. It fades quickly but decent lacing makes up for it... The aroma is exceedingly malty and sweet. Whopper malt, molasses, honey. Smells great, but it shouldn't smell like this, smells like a bw... The taste just isn't as successful, its very muted, lots of the sweetness of the nose is gone, and it brings out more roasty, bourbon, oak finish which is not present at all on the nose.

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The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 285 ratings.
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