Posts Tagged ‘cigar city brewing’

Cigar City Brewing Or (365 Day 238)

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Cigar City Or

The sibling beer to Either is Or by Cigar City Brewing. Not to go into the depth I did yesterday on collaboration and Black IPAs, I will just mention that Or is both. 🙂

Or is a much smoother and well rounded version of Either. Similar profiles but Or doesn’t have the sweet stickiness of Either. Upon opening the bottle my nose was greeted with a splash of grapefruit hops that was a delight. More inspection found malt: roasted, chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, and caramel. All of these were in different proportions but all add a nice complexity to the nose. The mouth followed the nose, creating a delicious drink that had a bit of heat late. Creamy in the mouth with ample carbonation this beer was a pleasure to review. Enjoy!

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 10 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 9.2

Useless Fact: Alfred Hitchcock directed the first talking film ever made in England. It was called Blackmail and was made in 1931.

Cigar City Brewing Either (365 Day 237)

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Cigar City Either

American craft beer continues to evolve with two of the newer concepts being cascadian dark ales and collaboration beers.

Cascadian dark ales are sometimes referred to as black ipas. This style is credited with being developed in the north-western United States. Basically it is a style that takes a base ipa and adds some type of dark malts (roasted, chocolate, carafa, etc.) for complexity and color. The beer will have a delicate dark richness from the malts that comes through which is then uber hopped with Cascade or similar hops from the north west. Delicious in my opinion.

Collaboration beers are ones in which multiple breweries get together to develop a recipe and possibly brew together, usually at one location or another. The collaboration can stretch more than two breweries but that is the usual.

Either by Cigar City Brewing is both of the above: a Black IPA and a collaboration beer between Cigar City of Florida, Hill Farmstead of Vermont, and Grassroots Brewing of Denmark.

Either is big and bold. In spite of the huge dose of hops this beer is all about the malt. If you had a sip without looking you would think it is an over-hopped stout, an imperial stout at that. Dark fruit, molasses, chocolates, roast, caramel, and host of other flavors and aromas come to together from the malt to give this a sweet backbone. Citrus hops are there to balance. The alcohol comes through a bit in the taste and along with the large amount of sugars makes it difficult to drink at times (my only complaint).

Overall an interesting beer that maybe went to far and became a stout and a big one at that. Guess what is the next beer. Enjoy!

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 10 (15%), Drinkability: 6 (35%), Overall: 8.1

Useless Fact: The oboe is considered the most difficult of all woodwind instruments to play correctly.

Cigar City Brewing 110k + OT Batch #4 (2011) (365 Day 235)

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Cigar City 110k+ OT Batch #4

American craft beer in the garage? Yep, another batch of home brew on a Saturday. This batch is my wheat beer that has coriander and fresh orange zest added in the last five minutes of the boil. Had to start early as we had a family party to go to (of course I brought over some home brew). Had the batch finished around 1:00pm with a bit of difficulty getting down below 80 degrees because of the lovely heat. No worries, set it down on the basement floor and was ready to pitched when I got home.

Of course it was before noon, but you can’t brew beer without having a beer. Especially when the heat coming off the burner mixes with the heat from the sun, making one feel like a marshmallow. At least that’s what I tell myself so I have a reason to have a beer: to cool down.

American craft beer number 235 is 110k+ OT Batch #4 from Cigar City Brewing. Batch #4 of 110K+ OT doesn’t seem to be getting the reviews that past batches have but I liked the beer. There is a lot of sweetness to the beer as it is an American Imperial Amber Ale. To get the alcohol level you have to use more grain which gives more sugars. Pine and citrus hops both fight back the sweetness.

Have this beer when you are hot (just standing outside for five minutes does this for me), you will appreciate this beer completely. Enjoy!

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 8 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 8.4

Useless Fact: Children born in the month of May are on the average 200 grams heavier at birth than children born in any other month.

Cigar City Brewing Tocobaga Red Ale (365 Day 223)

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Cigar City Tocobaga Red Ale

Another day another American craft beer brewed up by Cigar City Brewing. The flavor of the day: Tocobaga Red Ale.

Tocobaga, easily noticed by it’s name, is an American Amber Ale. If you have followed Sips for any amount of time you should be able to recall that this is one of my least favorite styles: possibly an armpit style ;). Tocobaga completely blew me away and threw my perception of this style out the door for at least one beer.

Tocobaga smells more like an American IPA than some American IPAs. Citrus hops abound for the nose and mouth to appreciate. Apricot, mango, and orange are all big here, well balanced, and blended. Caramel malt along with some very slight roasted malt come through (roasted especially as it warms). Definitely a great interpretation of the style. Enjoy!

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 10 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 10 (35%), Overall: 9.6

Useless Fact: During the French revolution, a magistrate named Jean Baptiste Carrier, commissioner of the National Convention at Nantes, dispatched a number of boatloads of political prisoners into the Loire River. When the boat was in mid-stream he ordered a trap door in the bottom of the boat opened, sending an entire group of prisoners to their death. From his merciless methods of extermination the word noyade, meaning “mass drownings,” was coined.

Cigar City Brewing Vuja De (365 Day 222)

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Cigar City Vuja De

When I picked up a bottle of Vuja De by Cigar City Brewing last week on vacation I had no idea of what I was in for. It could of been any style on the horizon as I would have purchased because I just wanted to try a bottle.

When I looked it up on the internet and noticed that the beer was an American Wild Ale I was excited. It was hot and humid yesterday in Chciagoland and I just finished up almost three hours of work in the yard. Needless to say I was sweaty, smelly, and damn thirsty. So a sour seemed like it would allow me to relax and cool off.

Vuja De is definitely a complex beer. The bottle mentions many added ingredients that I couldn’t make out. I did find cherries, currants, lemon, apple, sweet, white grapes, tartness, barn yard/earthy, and a boat load that I can’t even put into the words. Some might say this beer is too busy but I think the layers make the beer interesting and give the senses a chance to pick up more with each quaff. I really liked this beer and threw back the 10% 750 in less than an hour. Needless to say grilling out was fun.

After having the bottle of Vuja De, I wish I would have purchased at least two bottles. I believe this beer will age nicely in your cellar. Enjoy!

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 10 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 8.8

Useless Fact: When the volcano Krakatoa erupted in the Dutch East indies in 1883, the sound was heard in Bangkok, 3,000 miles away. At Batavia, 100 miles away, the sky was so darkened that people had to light their lamps during the day. The fine particles ejected by the blast covered almost every part of the world, and for the next two years a thin haze of these particles could be seen in the sky each night as far away as London.

Cigar City Brewing Puppy’s Breath Porter (365 Day 218)

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Cigar City Puppy's Breath

The family vacation went by like a blur as they all do. I had the chance to visit multiple craft breweries and have a few fine American craft beers but not the time to keep up with the blog. Hopefully will have this finished between today and tomorrow.

Beer number 218 comes from my tour at Cigar City Brewing: Puppy’s Breath Porter. One of several beers I had on tap before, during, and after the tour but the only one I hadn’t had before. The spotlight of the beer in both the aroma and taste was roasted malt. It actually was the main ingredient that came through period.

I thought Puppy’s Breath needed a bit more complexity, as Cigar City beers usually do. I would have it again but other offerings would find my glass first. Enjoy!

Aroma: 7 (25%), Taste: 8 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 7 (35%), Overall: 7.6

Useless Fact: Japanese farmers, after removing the hulls from their rice crop and sorting out the white kernels, take the hulls from the leftover rice, mix them into a kind of paste, mold the substance into brick-shaped blocks, and build houses with them. Such buildings are known in Japan as “houses of rice skin”.

Cigar City Brewing Jai Ali IPA – Humidor Series (365 Day 217)

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Cigar City Jai Ali IPA - Humidor Series

I say this over and over again that it is good practice to go back and revisit old tastings of American craft beer. There are so many factors that affect your ability to appreciate the beer that at any one time you never know how you will perceive a beer. Giving a beer a second or more chance is important to seeing if your review is consistent with past thoughts.

This is my third go around for Jai Ali IPA – Humidor Series by Cigar City Brewing with the beer agreeing with me more and more at each turn. This IPA is aged on cedar, which comes out nicely on the nose. Hops are woody, spicey, and citrus, with each having their time playing a tune on your senses.

At one time, I would have said that Cigar City beers were lacking. I am going on a tour at the brewery tomorrow and have already purchased several bombers of beer. Looking forward to a beer or three on tap at the tour tomorrow. Darn tasty. Enjoy!

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 8.7

Useless Fact: In 1940, a total of ninety-four patents had been taken out on shaving mugs.

Cigar City Brewing Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale (365 Day 209)

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Cigar City Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale

An American brown ale is actually a refreshing beer that, if brewed correctly, should be a lighter beer in terms of body. Depending on the American craft brewer the beer might have ample hop additions too. So don’t let the darker color fool you into thinking this is a big, thick American craft beer that can’t refresh. Quite the contrary when brewed well. Based on the profile of the style I figured an American brown would be the perfect fit to the end of a long, warm day.

Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale by Cigar City Brewing should fit the bill perfectly. Cigar City brews up some solid offerings and each time that I have another I am impressed by some how they express themselves via this art form.

A soon as I took the first sniff of Maduro I knew that something was amiss. There was a definite acidity to the beer that gave off a sour aroma. It was infected. There were still some base notes that I could make out but the acidity just kept getting in the way. I think the base beer is probably pretty darn good. The good news is that I will be visiting Cigar City Brewing soon. Hopefully I will have the chance to taste this beer fresh and change my review. Enjoy!

Aroma: 7 (25%), Taste: 6 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 6 (35%), Overall: 6.7

Useless Fact: The Black Plague destroyed half the population of Europe in the fourteenth century.

Cigar City Brewing Capricho Oscuro Batch #4 (365 Day 113)

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Cigar City Capricho Oscuro Batch #4

Certain breweries pop to mind very quickly when talking about some of the best and/or up and coming American craft breweries. I think that Cigar City Brewing is past the point of up and coming: they are known by everyone. They have established themselves as a brewery that makes some solid beers with a few strange mixes and the desire to travel down the path less traveled (thank you Robert Frost).

In spite of all this hysteria surrounding the brewery, I have been very slow to achieve the same happiness with their beers as most of their fans. One of the first beers I had by them was Winter Warmer Warmer Winter, if stated that right, and I didn’t even grade it on the site I was so disappointed in the beer. I followed that up with a Jai Alai IPA which was quite decent but then came along the humidor series of the same beer: Jai Alai Humidor Series. That beer did absolutely nothing for me, it actually made me decide that Cigar City was on the avoid list.

I avoided them like the plague until I did Secret Santa and received some seven or more flavors of Cigar City beer. Yuck I believe was my first impression.

I have slowly been conquering these beers and each one seems to be better than the last with Capricho Oscuro Batch #4, beer #113, being the best of the pack. My group of friends may still think of them on the negative side, but I am a convert and welcome the chance for any solid offering from Cigar City. Enjoy!

Aroma: 10, Taste: 10, Look: 10, Drinkability: 8, Overall: 9.3

Useless Fact: The first female monster to appear on the big screen was Bride of Frankenstein.

Cigar City Brewing Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout (365 Day 67)

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Cigar City Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout

American craft beer and a cold do not go too well together. Day two of my cold leaves me tired, head full of who knows what, a headache, and the inability to stay awake for more than a few hours at a time. I am exhausted. I knew I needed something to keep up, so I choose a stout that would have some big presence, hopefully able to knock through the cold.

Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout by Cigar City was just the beer that would fit the profile. If you have read this run of blogs at all, you know that Cigar City has been a brewery that I am not really fond of, having found more beers I dislike than like.

Marshal Zhukov pours and looks superbly in my snifter. The aroma follows, having all the quality of a solid big stout. The taste has a bit of chocolate bitterness and burnt flavors that come on a little too strong, making it hard to drink. I can only imagine if I had more of my senses about me how much that combination might hinder my ability to like the beer even more. No matter, I would have it again, and I could really see myself trying it on tap. Enjoy!

Aroma: 10, Taste: 8, Look: 10, Drinkability: 8, Overall: 8.8

Useless Fact: The eight game pieces in Monopoly are: dog, top hat, wheel barrow, race car, boot, iron, battleship, thimble, and formerly used to also include the cannon, horse and rider and bag of money.