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07-21-2006 , 07:15 AM
I try to shy away from calling a beer the "XXX Budweiser," for the simple reason that Bud - and other US macrobrews - actively sought the least tasteful beer possible, while I'd like to give the benefit of the doubt to other breweries wrt being super-accessible. I've read rumors of AB using a grain bill and accentuating yeast so that the gravity is low enough they actually add water back, but those are just interrumors.

Recently AB decided to actually add more hops to their beers, which were previously a ghost on the IBU scale, just to add more flavor and combat the craft brews somewhat. Its not like smaller brews will ever be able to compete, but that particular baby-step makes me happy.
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07-21-2006 , 02:25 PM
Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

I tried this solely because it was so highly recommended in other beer threads. I do not normally like IPAs but I decided that in order to be well rounded in my beer culture I would have to take one for the team.

Based on looks alone, the bottle design is kind of bleh. Simple green label with the logo and the beer name in standard typeface across. But what we really want is inside the bottle, right?

Upon first smell, one word comes to mind: Hoppy. This is pretty much par for the course for most IPAs, but in particular the 60 minute IPA has a strong smell. I tasted it, gently swirling it around my mouth. I notice a nice "bite" to it, that seems to linger on the back of your tongue for a while. The downfall to this, to me, is after a while the after taste started to seem almost metallic. Like I was sucking on a nickel. It is a bit bitter, but not overwhelmingly so. It is decidedly more mild than other IPAs I have had. Overall, I found more pleasant than I prepared myself for. I would drink it again if someone offered it to me, but I don't think I would load up my own cooler with it. Again, IPAs aren't my first choice in general.

It seems like this is a good beer to have with a mild tasting dish. Maybe a swordfish steak. Definitely not a beer I would chug while eating wings, though.

My Rating:
out of 5
I liked it a lot upon first taste, but as the bottle wore on, the metallic taste kind of brought it down for me. I would like to try the 90 minute, and see if it suffers the same problem. The IPA lover will no doubt dig this.
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07-21-2006 , 06:26 PM
Just had La Chouffe, which is a golden belgian ale similar to Duvel, so here are the notes I have for the two.


Pale yellow with a huge white head. Aroma is clove, sugar, pear, yeast. Flavor is sweet, with fruit and clove notes. Finish is a bit bitter but not as bitter as delirium tremens but stonger than leffe. Has enough of a bitter kick to keep it from being too cloying. Nice warmth from the alcohol as you finish the bottle.

my notes for Le Chouffe are,

Pours hazy golden with a huge foamy head. Aroma is sweet, with yeasty and candy sugar notes. Nice coriander hints. Flavor is sweet, spicy, slight hints of citrus, and medium bitterness for a belgian. Finish is nice, but could last a bit longer. not as hyped as Duvel, but just as good if not better in my opinion.

My rating for Le Chouffe
4/5 and just a hair better than Duvel. I reccomend it to those looking for a duvel-type beer, I think le chouffe is a bit cheaper and at least for me is easier to find.
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07-21-2006 , 11:10 PM
Had hocus pocus tonight, which is an american wheat/ hefeweizen. ( For those who are unaware, most american beers sold as hefeweizens are not so, as hefeweizens are only brewed with barley, wheat, yeast, hops, and water. Specifically, they should be brewed with german yeasts which produce banana bubblegum and occasionally clove flavored esthers. Also, unlike krystalweizens the yeast is unfiltered which gives them the cloudy appearance. Most american hefeweizens are brewed with american yeasts and hops which gives them their citrus flavor.) I think a pretty close parallel of this is pyramid and Widmer brothers hefeweizens. My notes for the three are as follows.

Straw, hazy color. Medium white head. Slight citrus aroma to it Flavor had a distinct wheat taste, but not much citrus. not particulaarly good. Medium to low bitterness. ok mouthfeel. Nothing spectacular overall. Decently refreshing

Widmer brothers

Hazy yellow, medium to large white foam. Aroma has hints of banana, and you can smell the wheat malt. Light to medium body. Flavor tasted like citrus, hints of banana, low bitterness. Finish was dissappointing due to lack of hops. An ok american wheat.

Overall 3/5

Hocus Pocus

Pours golden with a small white head. Not really any hazyness to it. Aroma is weak citrus, honey, wheat notes,. Flavor is wheaty with weak hints of citrus. Nice amount of bitterness but a very thin mouthfeel. Overall a very boring brew.

overall 2/5

If you're a big fan of the style you might be a fan of it, but I think American Wheat is one of the worse beer styles out there, and this didn't do much of anything for me. Pass on this one for Widmer brothers or pyramid or sam summer if you're in the mood for a wheat beer.

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07-22-2006 , 12:14 PM
I am too uneducated to review any beers however Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold has jumped to the top of my list. Wondering if anyone has ever tasted it and if so could you do a proper review in this thread?

Dortmunder Gold is really delicious and has a very pretty orange color. I believe it's bottled in Cleveland.

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07-22-2006 , 08:48 PM
Beer: Ommegang Abbey Ale
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Price: $5.70 for a 750ml bottle

This is my follow up to the Moinette Brune review. Although not exactly similar, the 2 beers are close enough in style to provide an interesting comparison.

Ommegang is owned/operated by Duvel, who produce some of the most widely distributed Belgian Ales. Everything in the brewery is shipped from Belgium. The only thing American about this beer is the water used. In addition, there is slightly less live yeast used, ostensibly b/c the beer is not shipped across the Atlantic. So this is basically a Belgium beer produced in the US. Why? b/c this way it can be sold for $5.70 instead of $8 or $9.

Anywho, here is how it looks out of the glass

It's darker than the Moinette, with more amber colors. The alchohol (8.5%, same as the Moinette) comes through pretty strongly. Another key difference is the amount of fruit tastes. You can pick up some 'earthy fruit' flavors, like figs and plums, as well as some faint spicy flavors.

The taste and complexity of the beer is excellent. At 60% the price of the import, I think this is the superior value. But I think the slightly stronger alcohol taste puts this American Belgian Ale a small amount below it's old world cousin.

Grade: 4.7/5
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07-24-2006 , 01:28 AM
I love the beer from Ommegang, and I consider myself blessed to live in the same state so I can easily get it. I have a bottle of their Three Philosopher's ale sitting in my fridge right now. It's a pretty different style, but I may post it as a follow up to your Ommegang because I don't really have any quadrupel/lambic blends to contrast it with. Your review of that Moinette is also making me want to go pick up a bottle next time I'm out .
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07-24-2006 , 02:37 PM
Summary at the end for everyone who doesn't want to wade through my long... non-expert reviews.

This weekend (over two nights) I tried 4 new beers. Since 3 of the 4 new beers were IPAs, I'm going to start with my standard IPA. After that I reviewed the new ones in order from least favorite to favorite IPA, with an Imperial Stout thrown in at the end.

My "standard" IPA is Summit IPA. I've always liked Summit's beers. They are pretty inexpensive and most of their beers have a very distinct "Summit" flavor... specifically their beers are generally very malty. This one is no different. It has a nice amber color with a medium amount of lighter colored head. It doesn't taste like what you would expect an "American IPA" to taste like at all and I'm sure that turns a lot of people off. There is a definate light hoppy flavor, maybe a hint of caramel... and a heavy malty flavor. I like this beer as it is a good value and probably has some sentimental value as it is the first IPA I ever drank and is brewed a few miles from my house.

Overall, I give it a 3/5, but at ~$7-8/6 with a 5.8%abv, its a pretty good value. Not a "great" beer, but definately a "good" beer... If you are looking for something affordable and like malty beer, give it a try. (after looking it up, I was suprised to find this actually has a higher IBU then the Dogfish 60 (67).

Next comes my least favorite of the 4 new beers I tried, the Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. Now don't get me wrong, when I say it was my least favorite, I'm not saying I didn't like it. In fact, the opposite was true, this is a very good beer. Good combination of bitter and fruity/hoppy flavors. I thought this was a very drinkable beer. By "drinkable" I mean that I could spend a night just drinking this beer and not grow tired of it at all. I didn't really notice the "metallic" taste acoustix was talking about... I payed $10 for 6 of them (in WI) so its a pretty good value too. Overall I'd give this beer... 3.5/5

The next new IPA was the Dogfish Head 90 min. This was a great beer, one of the best tasting beers I've ever had. Sweet fruity/hoppy flavor. Basically it lived up to all the good things everyone else has had to say about it. At $10/4 its still not a bad deal, especially with a 9% abv. I will definately drink this again in the near future. My only problem with it is that it could be a little too sweet to keep drinking throughout a night. I only had one and every sip of it tasted excellent, but I don't think I'd want more then 2 of these in a night. I'd give this a 4.5/5.

The third and my favorite IPA I tried was the Great Divide Hercules Double IPA. I remembered someone saying one of their other beers was pretty good, so I decided to give this one a try.

First, I think the Dogfish Head "minutes" is the same as their IBU, is that right? The 60 is listed as having an IBU of 60 which is what makes me think so. This one had an IBU of 85, so if I'm right about that, it had almost as much hops added as the Dogfish 90.

When poured, I found it to have quite a bit more head, which lasted longer, then the Dogfish 90. This beer is also a little maltier, which I liked. The extra malty flavor also balances out the high quantity of hops. This beer wasn't as sweet as the 90 but had a great bitter aftertaste that kept me wanting more. I could see drinking this beer from the beginning of the night until it knocks me out. It gets a 4.8/5 and wins the "standard" I will use to compare the next round of IPAs I try. I think I payed $4 or $5 for a 22 oz bottle. It had the most abv of the 4 beers at 9.1%. Right now this is listed as the 5th best IPA in the world and the 36th best overall on I would really like to taste the 4 IPAs listed ahead of it.

The last beer I tried this weekend was the Rogue Imperial Stout. On the bottle it says that it is best when aged for one year, the one I had was bottled in 2003. I generally like stouts, but its not my favorite type of beer and as such, I don't have a ton of experience with them...

Anyway, a few people on the site said this pours like old motor oil and they were right on. This is probably the thickest and blackest stout I've had. Had some dark, caramel colored? head that disipated pretty quickly. Tons of flavor(s) with a chocolatey/coffee aftertaste. Great beer, definately worth trying... but probably not something I'm going to have often in the future. More malt/hops/alcohol then the avg. stout. I think I payed close to $4 for a 12oz bottle (11.6%abv) Still... drinking it was an enjoyable experience and I give it a 4.5/5 overall.

Since this post is probably too long (altho this is the tldr forum) I'll give a quick summary:

Reviewed 3 IPAs I tried for the first time and a local one I've had many times.

Summit IPA = 3/5 light hoppy flavor... VERY malty, especially for an IPA. 5.8%abv, good value at $7-8 per 6pack.

Dogfish Head 60min IPA = 3.5/5. Good balanced but still hoppy flavor. Very drinkable, 6%abv, decent value at $10/6.

Dogfish Head 90min IPA = Loved it. 4.5/5. Sweet fruity/hoppy flavor. Not much bitter flavor or aftertaste. Loved every sip but wouldn't have more then 1-2 in an evening. 9%abv Payed $10 for 4... so not too bad but not an "everyday" beer either.

Great Divide Hercules Double IPA = Loved it. 4.8/5. Not as sweet as the Dogfish Head 90, but with a great bitter aftertaste. 9.1%abv... I think I payed ~$4 for a 22oz bottle. A must try for any IPA lover imo.

I also tried Rogue Imperial Stout. Gave it a 4.5/5. Very dark and thick even for a stout. "pours like motor oil." Delicious but overpriced imo.
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07-24-2006 , 03:15 PM
First, I think the Dogfish Head "minutes" is the same as their IBU, is that right? The 60 is listed as having an IBU of 60 which is what makes me think so. This one had an IBU of 85, so if I'm right about that, it had almost as much hops added as the Dogfish 90.

All of DogfishHead's "minute" beers reflect the amount of time that hops were added continuously to the brew kettle. The other distinguishing factor between the beers is the alcohol content -- 60-Minute runs about 6% ABV, 90-Minute is 9%, and 120-Minute is somewhere between 15% and 20%.
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07-24-2006 , 03:19 PM
I just checked their site and apparently the IBU rating on the beers is the same as the number of minutes so they must just add enough hops for 1IBU every minute.
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07-24-2006 , 03:24 PM
BTW, if you liked 90-Minute and Hercules and want to continue exploring double/imperial IPAs, I would recommend Stone Ruination and Three Floyds Dreadnaught.

For the past couple of years, me and some friends have done a "Beer Madness" tournament, coinciding with the March Madness college hoops tourney, where we put together a bracket of great beers (divided into regions by style) and do blind head-to-head tastings. Winner moves on to the next round, and eventually we crown a champion.

This past year, our list of potential candidates mostly consisted of hoppy beers, so we gave in and made it a hop-fest, with two regions of IPAs, one of pale ales, and a double IPA region. Ruination won the double IPA region, with Dreadnaught coming in second (both Hercules and 90-Minute were part of the field).

So check 'em out...
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07-24-2006 , 03:27 PM
Good series of reviews. Last time I went beer shopping, I picked up the Great Divide Barley Wine (at the bottom) and was very pleased with it. I was torn at the time between picking up the double IPA and the barley wine. It looks like it was a decision I couldn't get wrong, and I'll have to pick up the double IPA next time.
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07-24-2006 , 06:09 PM
Their barley wine looks like it gets better reviews then the double IPA. They have a few beers that are supposed to be excellent...

I've always thought they looked like dumb novelty beers, but I guess I was way off...
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07-24-2006 , 06:18 PM
BTW, if you liked 90-Minute and Hercules and want to continue exploring double/imperial IPAs, I would recommend Stone Ruination and Three Floyds Dreadnaught.
I don't know if I'd call Ruination a double IPA. To me it doesn't have enough malt to go with the hops. I think of it more as an IPA with double the hops & 40% more malt. Arrogant Bastard is more of a double IPA.

Dreadnaught is an awesome beer. I'm glad to hear that they've started bottling it again, but being in Phoenix that doesn't do me much good.

Another good double IPA is Stoudt's out of PA. Probably one of the best I've tasted.
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07-24-2006 , 08:12 PM
After a couple of rounds of Bingo at the local club last night I decided to try some Canadian Beer. I didnt have much on me at the time, and could only afford 10 pints, so I can't really tell you how good it was.
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07-24-2006 , 10:17 PM
Alright. I figured it's about time to contribute to my own thread . As a follow up to KBZ's Ommegang post, I figured I'd review another of their beers, the Three Philosophers. This beer is a quadrupel blended with a cherry lambic, which is a pretty intriguing combination. When I saw this at Beers of the World, I knew I had to try it, considering how much I enjoyed Ommegang's namesake beer and Rare Vos. Not to be outdone by KBZ, here's a picture of the bottle:

This ran me $6.69 for a 750 mL bottle and was the most expensive beer put out by this brewery. Additionally, it was their strongest, at 9.8% ABV. Here's a picture of it right after I poured it into my glass:

Taking a sniff, it has a great but not overly strong smell. You catch a hint of cherries mixed in with the malt. I also smell apple with hints of some other fruit. Upon first sip, though, this beer is surprisingly subtle. The cherry flavor is there, but it's not dominant. It's also a lot less sweet than other quadrupels I've tried. For a 9.8% beer, I don't taste the alcohol at all. You could tell me this was 4-5%, and I'd believe you. The apple flavor comes through pretty well, although I'm not sure where it came from. Now that I think about it, this would be a fantastic beer for cider lovers. It's a little sweet, but not overly so. It's not at all bitter, and the maltiness is mild. Unfortunately, I was expecting something with very strong flavor -- sweet, cherry, malty, rich, and thick -- so I must say I'm a little disappointed by the fact that this is somewhat lighter in flavor. However, if you go into it as a cider lover looking to change things up a bit, you might be pleasantly surprised. This is definitely a fantastic beer to get yourself or your girlfrend (this doesn't have many of the characteristics that make non-beer drinkers cringe) drunk off of. As I said earlier, I don't taste any alcohol, and the lack of hops or overpowering sweetness make it easy to drink. I think, though, that I'm going to be picking up other varieties from this brewery the next time I go shopping, because I really dig stronger flavors. This prevents me from giving it a higher rating.

I give it a out of 5. It's good, but I'd prefer a heavy, rich beer if I'm going to spend this kind of cash. However, it's a fantastic beer for people looking for something a little lighter. This is definitely the kind of beer I'd give to people who say they don't like beer.
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07-24-2006 , 10:52 PM
Nice review Mr.Wookie! Now I got to give it a go!
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07-24-2006 , 10:58 PM
nice report. I have a fantastic beer store near me, so I'll snoop around for a blend like this to see if I can post a re-follow up

(MA has no beer delivery services)
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07-25-2006 , 12:23 AM
Alright, I figured I'd do another beer review tonight. Originally, I had intended to review the Chimay blue tonight instead of the Three Philosophers, but I saw that I hadn't put it in my fridge yet. My solution? Put the Chimay in the fridge, drink the 3P, and THEN drink the Chimay! Anyway, here's a picture of the bottle:

This ran me $10.89 for a 750 mL, so it was pretty costly. It is not quite as strong as the 3P, weighing in at 9% ABV. This bottle was under considerably more pressure than the 3P. The cork nearly flew off after merely twisting it gently. Not surprisingly, it had a larger head than the 3P:

The Chimay is similar in color to the 3P, but not in smell. I smell a little wood, plum, apple, a little more sweetness, and a few other things my olfactory isn't sufficiently trained to identify. Taking a sip, this is markedly sweeter than the Ommegang 3P, but not so much as to dominate. I definitely taste the plum and apple with the malt. The plum flavor is not like the reddish purple plums with the orange flesh. It's the Italian plums like I had growing in my backyard as a kid: purple with yellow-green flesh, and that my fat dog loved to eat as they fell off the tree. Now for the important part: how do I rate this relative to other trappists I've had? Well, this is strictly better than the Orval. It has much more flavor in all areas. Relative to the Rochefort 10, though, this tastes like a different sort of beer. The Rochefort was somewhat dry and very earthy, whereas the Chimay blue is somewhat sweet and a little fruity. I might say that the Rochefort is the trappist for people who love good Scotch, and Chimay blue is the trappist for people who love fine brandy/Cognac/Armagnac. Again, this beer wasn't quite in line with what I expected, having tried the Orval and the Rochefort, but it was in line with what I like -- Fairly strong flavor, good sweetness without being too much, and I like the fruit and malt. I'm going to go ahead and give this and a half . The flavor is great, but not quite so rich as to be ideal. This is not quite as good of a beer for people looking to find an in-road for non-beer drinkers as the 3P, but as a veteran beer drinker looking for new pleasures, I like this better. As far as value goes, I'd consdier this beer slightly overpriced. It's not outrageous for an import of this caliber to cost almost $11 from the store I was shopping at, but $11 is still a lot of money for a 750 of beer.

In summary, it's not quite as ideal as something sufficently rich to get the full 5 's, and it's not a particularly great value, but it's still a great beer. I'll keep searching for the ideal, though, and I'll love every sip .
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07-25-2006 , 11:19 AM
I don't know if I'd call Ruination a double IPA. To me it doesn't have enough malt to go with the hops. I think of it more as an IPA with double the hops & 40% more malt. Arrogant Bastard is more of a double IPA.

Agreed that Ruination is on the lower end of the ABV scale (7.7%) for a double IPA. But Arrogant Bastard only runs at 7.2%, so I don't think it qualifies, either. Double Bastard (10%), on the other hand, is definitely a double.

Dreadnaught is an awesome beer. I'm glad to hear that they've started bottling it again, but being in Phoenix that doesn't do me much good.

I hear ya. They stopped selling Three Floyds beers in NY a few years ago, so I only get to drink it when I visit the midwest. Their Alpha King is one of my all-time favorites.

Another good double IPA is Stoudt's out of PA. Probably one of the best I've tasted.
I've heard raves about many of Stoudt's brews, but I was unimpressed with their pale ale and double IPA. Maybe it was because I tasted them along with other beers, which adversely affected my taste buds. I'll give 'em another shot.
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07-25-2006 , 05:08 PM
Good series of reviews. Last time I went beer shopping, I picked up the Great Divide Barley Wine (at the bottom) and was very pleased with it. I was torn at the time between picking up the double IPA and the barley wine. It looks like it was a decision I couldn't get wrong, and I'll have to pick up the double IPA next time.
I tried two more Great Divide beers last night. The first one I tried was the Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. It was excellent. Not quite as thick/strong as the Rogue Imperial Stout I had the other night, but I still thought it was a little better overall. I'm curious to try just the normal Yeti now though... because I doubt the Oak Aged is worth paying $7.50 vs $5.50 for 22oz...

The Barley Wine I liked but not as much as the Double IPA.
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07-25-2006 , 08:49 PM
I have a bottle of the Oaked Yeti in my fridge right now, and I plan on reviewing it tomorrow or Thursday. I had the regular Yeti last winter, and it was a very solid imperial stout. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on both.
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07-25-2006 , 09:13 PM
Alright. Rather than play on Party's obnoxious Monster tables tonight, I've decided to review more beer. Tonight's was Avery's Maharaja Imperial IPA. My first experiences with the Avery brewery were underwhelming, so I didn't have my hopes up for this beer. After I really wasn't digging their beer when trying my favorite styles, I didn't have my hopes up for their super-IPA, which really has to be something special to impress me. Here's a picture of the bottle:

I paid a whopping $7.49 for this beer (22 oz). It weighs in at a hefty 9.9% ABV, though, so the buzz for your buck is still in the right ballpark. Here's a picture of it right after I poured it into my glass:

It has a nice amber color and a good head. It smells just like I'd expect from an IPA -- hops! I had the first half of this beer with dinner, a rib steak with a great horseradish sauce and a tomato and cucumber salad, and the second half on its own. I thought the hops might be good with the horseradish, but I wasn't sure. Anyway, on my first sip, I was pleasantly surprised. This was clearly the best beer from Avery I've tried. The hops come through with a good citrus and flowery flavor. The beer is a little sweeter than traditional IPAs, as I'd expect, but it's not as sweet as, say, the DFH 90. The flavors are well in line with what I'd expect with beers of this style, although I'd say it's dialed back from the DFH 90. Not quite as much hop flavor, and not quite as sweet. Consequently, I can't give it as good a rating. I give it and a half . It's definitely the beer from Avery that I'm most likely to buy again, but I don't think it stacks up well compared to the competition. One thing is for sure, though. This beer packs a whallop. I don't taste the alcohol much over the hops, but at this point, having just finished the bottle, I'm sure feeling it.
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07-25-2006 , 11:05 PM
Try the Hog Heaven barleywine. It's very good.
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07-25-2006 , 11:32 PM
Which brewery is that from?
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