84/09 Double Alt (25th Anniversary Beer) | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

84/09 Double Alt (25th Anniversary Beer)84/09 Double Alt (25th Anniversary Beer)
Liked This Beer
3.71 w/ 46 ratings
84/09 Double Alt (25th Anniversary Beer)84/09 Double Alt (25th Anniversary Beer)

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 02-11-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 46 |  Reviews: 44
Photo of poisoneddwarf
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

2009 backlog. Bomber. Aroma of sweet malt, raisins; I’ve had barleywines which smell pretty similar to this. Pours dark brown with a decent head, decent lacing. What do ya know, it tastes like barleywine, with raisins and molasses being the dominant flavors. Hop bitterness, alcohol in the aftertaste. Not too bad.

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Photo of Kelp
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of July2Nov
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Medium brown with some light brown/orange light around the edges. Thick 3-inch head that stays foamy and respectable throughout the life of the beer.

Smell: Has a bit of a sour dark fruit smell. Not at all unpleasant.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Nice syrupy flavor, with a bit of sweet bread taste. Big mouthfeel at first, but it smooths out considerably. Very sneaky if this is a 9.80 abv%, because it doesn't act like one. I can see how this one would warm you up during those winter months...can feel the heat running down the esophagus. The alcohol gives it a menthol kind of feel. Tastes of dark cherries seem to come up to the surface.

Drinakbility: Must admit that this has been chilling in my fridge for some considerable amount of time. Not sure how this has affected the outcome of the tasting, but by my calculations, it hasn't hurt it any. Nice version of an Altbier.

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Photo of Fnord
3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This bottle's been sitting on the shelf for quite a while now, so its quality could go either way.

Appearance - Very dark reddish-brown with very thin lacing.

Smell - Chocolate, alcohol, molasses, caramel, and oak.

Taste - Very sweet at the start, and throughout. There's a touch of bitterness at the end, but it's barely present. The sweetness is balanced by a fair amount of dry malts, and by the alcohol. The alcohol is somewhat integrated into the overall taste, not too harsh but not subtle, either. Interestingly, as it warms up I'm starting to notice a cherry flavor cropping up at the end. The aftertaste is sweet and syrupy.

Mouthfeel - Thin with medium-low carbonation.

Notes - I have two fairly minor complaints. I wish the alcohol were more "rounded" in flavor, better integrated. Second, the mouthfeel is too thin. Also, I would like to see more dry malts, but that's really more of a personal preference. Is this beer outstanding? No. But it is good, and even better, it's interesting. Personally, I would label this beer as an English Strong Ale, and that alone makes it stand out from all the more common 'big' styles. Good job, Widmer. I recommend it if you can still find one in the store.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep garnet color, with brilliant ruby red highlights and a nice tan head. Aromas of dark fruits, rich caramel and raisins. Flavors of brown sugar, earthy malts, some subtle hopping and a little alcohol warmth. Pretty complex, and a nice effort from an average brewery.

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Photo of taxguyjase
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Thick, rich looking copper brown. Head gone so quick you wouldn't have thought it was there. Low carbonation. - 3.5/5.0

Smell - Alcoholic malt with a sweet bread and light chestnut smell. 3.0/5.0

Taste - Molasses, raisens, some sweetness, bread, great blend of malt. Tart alcohol hits at the very end, but for a beer that is almost 10% ABV, the potency will creep up on you. As the beer settles and warms up a bit, you'll get some toffee and a bit more bitterness. - 4.0/5.0

Feel - Flavor builds up and you get a hit of sweetness near the middle of each taste. Aftertaste is mild, but alcoholic and malty. Body is on the higher side of medium. - 4.5/5.0

Drinkability - Flavorful brew, but on the strong side for something I'd get regularly. Great job by Widmer to celebrate 25 years of brewing. - 3.5/5.0

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Photo of Rayek
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stange. This is a Double Alt, so I suppose the beer qualifies as a Sticke.

A: Murky chestnut brown, with very light carbonation. A rocky nougat tinged cap starts strong and slowly settles to a patchwork sheet. Leaves little in the way of lace.

S: The nose is heavy with toffee, raisins and prunes. A tingle of alcohol holds the sweetness in check. There's a very faint aroma of grassy hops in the background.

T: Thick and malty right out of the gate. The bittersweet toffee from the nose is bolstered by cherries and prunes. Bitterness is well balanced and brings a pepper bite. Alcohol adds quite a bit of heat to the equation. Finishes with a lingering pepper bitterness and a light alcohol warmth.

M: The medium body is quite sticky and has a nice level of soft yet prickly carbonation.

D: I found this beer to be pleasant overall. Double Alt is certainly a new twist for me. It seems like this beer could stand a little age to turn down the heat a notch, but I still liked it.

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Photo of Spineypanda
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, like a bock. Has a head that does not start forming immediately, but seconds after you pour, kind of interesting.
Smells of sugar and roasted malts.
The taste is reminiscent of coffee, but has more than that too it. It has a strong mocha taste to it and some sweet but not much.

Very interesting, first alt beer.

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Photo of maltlikker
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper with a fluffy tan head that leaves plenty of sticky lacing - looks beautiful in the slender stange.

Sweet malty aroma with a honey/floral quality.

Flavor is sweet caramel and biscuity fruitiness followed by a moderate grapefruit pith bitterness which lingers along with the alcohol warmth. Flirts with being cloying, but there is enough hop presence to balance out the substantial sweetness.

Medium heavy mouthfeel seems appropriate for this beer, and along with the light carbonation = a good sipper for a cold, wet day.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Burnt orange that becomes russet with tangerine trim when sunshine is allowed entry. Not quite three fingers of sandstone colored foam was produced on the pour and looks tight bubbled enough to last. A copious amount of attractive lace is being laid down as well.

The aroma is brown ale-like (although not as dark) and is generically hoppy. Alchemy and Willamette will do that. More power and more definition might have resulted in the next highest score.

Widmer Double Alt is impressivly hoppy beer after almost 9 months in the bottle... which is a good thing. It's also still on the warm (not quite hot) side... which isn't such a good thing. If you're cellaring it, and don't mind a more subdued bitterness, my suggestion would be to wait until late summer or fall at least.

This 25th Anniversary Ale tastes like an Imperial brown ale mixed with a big Oktoberfest. Flavors include an entire loaf of brown bread toast, bitter peanut skins, bitter tea leaves and a shot of brandy. I don't often say this, but 84/09 would be better beer if it was less aggressive beer.

Warming allows some of the malt sugars to peek through the alpha acid and alcohol attack. It's definitely more composed now than it was in the top third of the bomber. Lovers of Big Beer will find a fair amount to like. Bud Light lovers will spit it out in horror and never try craft beer again.

The mouthfeel has *just* enough girth and volume to get a good score. It's as firm as a baseball bat to the back of the head, but it's somewhat smooth and has well-calibrated carbonation.

Kudos to Widmer Brothers for 25 years of craft brewing success. 84/09 Double Alt isn't as accessible as it could be, but one has to admire its take-no-prisoners attitude. Better to aim high and fall just short than to settle for mediocrity from the word 'go'.

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Photo of briman
3.32/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours reddish brown, very hazy, with about a quarter inch tan head that retains well.

Aroma has a moderate malty presence, with a touch of hops, and a fairly substantial fruit note bordering but not quite getting into a dark fruit characteristic...like a not quite black cherry. Not terribly bready, which one might expect in an alt...but that may be hidden by the fruit. Alcohol seems to come out right at first, but fades over time.

Flavor is malty and fruity. Finshes with a moderate hop bitterness, with some alcohol in the back.

Medium-full body, moderate carbonation. Alcohol is pretty evident in the aftertaste, and could be hidden better. This is not a bad beer at all, but it's not an alt. It's almost more like a strong ale honestly. That said, it's is a tough beer to review. Altbiers are generally clear, with a clean feel, and a more assertive hop component. This beer is not clear, has only a moderate hop bitterness, and is fairly thick going down...in other words not session material. Based on the style, have to mark it down for those reasons.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle tried 15 Jun 2009.

Poured in a 0.4 L Sonnen becker. Medium light brown head. Well carbonated. Clear dark reddish brown color. Aromas of brown sugar, caramel, some chocolate. Starts quite malty, sugar sweet. Some raisins and rum as it warms a bit, figs and dates as well. Finish is dry and bitter with a slight bit of smokiness. Alcohol shows up in aftertaste. Medium body.

Was decent but not quite what I was expecting (not sure what a double alt should be anyway...).

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.26/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours medium brown with a suggestion of amber to red in there as well. Head is tan, thick, and retains well.

Nose has some bready notes, caramel/toffee, and fruit that mixes in and almost reminds me of black forest cake.

Palate is disappointing with the alcohol shining through so much. Some warm caramel to brown sugar sweetness is noted, and overall the body is fairly nice, but the alcohol heat kicks in midway through the finish and spoils the show for me.

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Photo of Zorro
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep chestnut brown colored beer with a small tan colored head. Basically clear with a slight chill haze.

Smells like an alt on steroids. Big Munich malt scent heavy on caramel and toasted grain. Fruity scent from higher alcohol content, strong cherry scent here. A few more subtle scents here, almond and melon.

Begins malty and heavy with lots of grain and caramel taste. Very soon the hop bitterness kicks in and puts a cap on the malt. Subtle flavors of almond, cherry and that uncommon for the style melon.

Mouthfeel is heavy for the style.

Quite a nice beer with one minor complaint. Sort of thick for the style. All in all this is good. Possibly this is the foundation for a new style "Imperial Alt."

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.79/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this beer up at Spec's a few weeks ago and I certainly hope that it tastes something like an Altbier. This style is pretty special to me since I lived in Dusseldorf for a while and practically lived on Altbier. OK, lets pour it into my glass stein and see what we have here.

Appearance: It already appears a bit cloudy where Altbier is typically really clear and a copper-like color. There is very little head after a reserved pour. After swirling the beer, there is some lacing left on the glass.

Aroma: I do some of the essential Munich aroma that you need for this style, and there is a subtle cherry note going on here that I am guessing is an interplay of the alcohol, Munich and roasty notes...it has some nice complexity to the aroma...not exactly what I would call an Alt, but this is a "Double" Alt, so maybe that is the difference.

Taste: The flavor is pretty nice. It is clean with a defined toasty presence from the malt that is essential. It even has a pretty substantial bitter backbone to the finish, but still the malt and alcohol are in charge of the finish. I have only drank about 1/3 of this beer so far and i am already feeling a little warm. As the beer warms up some, it gets more spicy and has a subtle toffee-like flavor coming later in the finish.

Opinion: Actually I was pretty happy with this beer overall. It doesn't "take me to Dusseldorf", which is one thing that I look for with a traditional Altbier, but this beer is close enough to the style that I would actually think of that style to put this beer into...though big as heck for the style. It is still close enough to be notable

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 22 oz. bottle, poured to a 'Wid...', no, an 'Oregon Bounty Fresh Hop' pint...so often I use the Widmer pint it seems almost automatic. Widmer's 25th Anniversary brew, released in mid-spring 2009. Cheers, Kurt & Rob!

Beneath the cap: "A PROST: To The Oregon Brewers Festival!" Here, here. Bottling date: 15APR09

A: Lovely mahogany, with a slight burgundy-red lean. Remarkably clear, a handful of streaming bubbles rising slowly. Nearly a finger of light tan head, winnowing to a thin film, interrupted by larger clumping froth. Good lace, in steady sheets.

S: Sweet aroma, a sticky spice-laden pastry. Maraschino cherry, light cocoa, toffee.

T: Malt/grain sweetness - the toffee/cherry sugariness found in the aroma. Loads of cocoa, fruit and spice. Lasting dark chocolate, a notable piney hop, lasting bitter char.

M: A bit on the heavy/syrupy side, but smooth as silk. Alcohol is present, though not too powerful.

D: The only (minor) downfall is 'drinkability'...pretty heavy. OK, quite heavy, yet still tasty enough that consuming a whole bottle, given time, is within reason. A one-time brew, still holding up quite well after 6 months, will hold a little more for Year 26.

As a sidenote, it's interesting and appropriate for Widmer's Anniversary brew to be an altbier

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Photo of srandycarter
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Brown ale, off white sticky head reduces quick to almost nothing. Some sticky lace remains.

S - Slightly fruity, mild juicy fruit, undertow of malt.

T - Cola, fruit, middle ground malt, snappy bitter carb finish.

M - Medium body, good carb and coat. Maybe a little cloy at end.

D - Leaves massive aftertaste. I couldn't do much. One is enough and I would need a palate cleanser.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahhh, I just got the name... call me slow. I never looked at the label real closely, and I didn't pick up on the "25th Anniversary" tag.

So let's see... it's a slightly hazy, very dark chestnut brown in color. A short head of creamy off-white rises up but then drops readily. Only spotty lacing is left about the glass.

The aroma is fruity and darkly caramelish. I get berries and a bit of almost scorched sugar. It's not sweetish like brown sugar, but just on the cusp of burning and becoming roasty.

In the mouth it's medium-full in body, and crisp. It's moderately carbonated, but it still gives a tingle. It's very fine bubbled... is this bottle conditioned? Those Widmer brothers do like their yeast ;)

The flavor follows the aroma to the T with the addition of some piney/spicy hops and a splash of alcohol. The hops and alcohol are almost minty in a way against the darkish malts, and it's kind of refreshing. I at least feel like I have clean breath! It's berry and dark fruit, and then caramel and then hops, followed by a smack of bitterness and then a sweet dollop of honey and brown sugar before it dries to become piney and minty dry in the finish. It's pretty much exactly what I'd expect of an alt, except for the piney hops. I'd be expecting more leafy, grassy, and spicy hops, but it's a nice twist.

But what about the "double" designation? It's certainly fuller than a standard alt, but not too much beyond a sticke, and it's certainly on-par with the Uerige Doppelsticke. Keep in mind, however, that a standard alt is a little less than, or just equal to Budweiser at 5% abv - this is definitely doubled that a whopping 9.8! I think it adds a bit of spiciness, but it never really shows itself as just alcohol.

So how to judge the drinkability? I guess, firstly, it's very well made. It's nicely rounded, displaying yeasty fruitiness, malt, and hops; and it's nicely balanced from start to finish. Except for the alcohol being a bit brash, there's really nothing to fault it for except the limited head retention (which is probably due, at least in part, to the alcohol).

And I love the fruitiness. I adore that note of sweet berry that glows amidst the dark-sugar maltiness and bitter edges.

But is there enough complexity to warrant drinkability? I'd say yes. I enjoyed it, and I'd gladly buy another bottle. It's a small glass tipple though. Certainly worth trying for fans of the alt style!

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Photo of arizcards
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber in early August from Total Wine for $4.99. Bottled on Tax Day '09.

Beer poured mahogany with a nice long lasting tan head. Nose is very sweet, of darker fruits primarily. Taste is heavy on the sugary malts and decently balanced finishing with a dry hop. Mouthfeel is full, yet lively on the palate. Drinkability is pretty good, there was a warming hit of alcohol with the initial sips. This is an interesting beer, hats off to the brewers for branching out and trying something that I have not seen before. Give this a shot if you like big boozy beers.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

09/13/09- Purcahsed at Moolie Stones in Burlingame, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2009 release poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Dark brown colored pour with a 1/2 inch rising head. Some light lace trails and spotting.

Smell- Strong notes for heavy roasted caramel, alcohol and some piney hops.

Taste- Huge flavor of deep super caramelzied malts. Hops are heere as well, but play second fiddle to the mostly sweet malt base. It does taste more like a traditional Sticke, rather than a Doppel, but the alcohol comes out much stronger than it should.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level. Warms to room temp very quickly. Very viscous and quite chewy.

Drinkability- I liked this one. A bit too much of an alcohol hit, but otherwise a nice job at and double alt (which I have never had before).

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.31/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice 2 finger head with great retention and a clear amber color.

Smell has some caramel malts with a slight bit of roast and some german hops. However, there is a slight paint thinner aroma that really detracts from the other smells.

Taste is of big caramel malts with some alcohol. Hop bitterness is moderately hight and some hop flavor comes through is well. The flavor of the alcohol detracts from the big sweetness underneath.

This beer has great carbonation and mouthfeel that isn't too thick with all the sweetness going on. However, the alcohol really detracts from this brew.

I am a fan of big beers, but this one has some solventy issues. Bear in mind that these issues aren't overly intense. This beer could age for a while and those issues might be gone.

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Photo of elniko
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle into Stella glass. Bottle marked with 4/15/2009 but does not specify if that is brewed or best by date.

A: Deep, rich coloring. Darker than I would have expected. Tan head quickly dissipated with thin rather bubbly lacing. Solid looking brew.

S: Major caramel on the nose is the main note that I pick up. Again solid.

T & M: I have to say the Altbier style is one I have encountered infrequently. Caramel notes are apparent in the up front taste, finish is quite medicinal. There is also bitterness but it is far from pleasant and really takes away from the mouthfeel.

D: The best thing I can say about this beer is that it is different but I will not be seeking again.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Reviewed 7/10/2009 (bottled 15APR09):

Pours a nice nutty brown colored body, with a creamy cream colored head, small and diminishing. Dark fruity aroma, some musty funkiness and fig. A little musty, dusty. Creamy mouthfeel, a little dusty. Some dark fruitiness, but not as much as the nose. Malty taste. Too malty for me. A little better as it warms up, more musty.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

April 15 2009 Bottle date; Sampled August 2009
A vigorous pour produces a four-finger thick, richly amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated amber / plum color that shows a brilliantly clear, cranberry red hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells distinctly of concentrated berries and finishes with a light herbal accent. The malt almost takes on a caramelized, cotton-candy like sweetness in the nose and it contributes some brown sugar encrusted toasted grain character to the finish. The nose on this is not bad, it can seem a bit too sweet smelling at times, but this sort of works with the other notes here.

Viscous feeling as this first hits my tongue, it definitely sticks to the palate as it rolls across my mouth. The beer isn't quite as sweet as the aroma might have suggested, but it is definitely laden with residual sugars. There is a solid herbal hoppiness here as well as a biting hop bitterness that go a long way towards mitigating the thick, chewy malt character here; this actually almost finishes on a dry note because of the ample hop character. In the long finish there is a touch of toasted, almost roasted grain astringency that is noticeable quite a while after the beer has left my mouth. Candied malt and candied hop notes tend to mingle in the middle of this beer; richly caramelized, but still quite sweet malt notes as well as some caramelized, sweetened berry hop notes and sugar crystallized herb notes linger in the middle of each sip. The sweet herbal character at times remind me of a German-type, rustic, sweet herbal liquor (similar to Jägermeister, but with a more herbal note than anise).

Not a bad beer, I was certainly not expecting this to be as flavorful as it is. This beer is definitely a sipping brew though & I would have a hard time finishing a bottle on my own as it can get a bit cloying at times.

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84/09 Double Alt (25th Anniversary Beer) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 54.3% out of 100 with 46 ratings
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