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Sugar Plum Brown Ale - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Sugar Plum Brown AleSugar Plum Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

264 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 264
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 16.14%
Wants: 15
Gots: 29 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tpd975 on 01-03-2009

Cigar City Brewing's official celebration of Christmas. A rich-bodied brown ale forms the stage for holiday flavors which dance a festive ballet highlighted by pirouetting leaps of Christmas inspired spices. Cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, rose hips and chamomile compliment the subtle chocolate and light coffee notes of the malt and the addition of roasted carob and chicory complete the performance. Brewed once a year to celebrate the Christmas season. Pair with fresh cracked nuts, fruit cake and share with friends and family. Merry Christmas from the CCB family!

22 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 264 | Reviews: 63
Reviews by speter:
Photo of speter
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep hazy brown with a one-finger+ fluffy tan head. Light lacing.

S: The cardamom dominates the nose, although the carob and brown sugar notes provide a solid backdrop.

T: Like the nose, the cardamom dominates the taste and together with the other spices, creates a sense almost of nutmeg. The finish is quite bitter and spicy.

M: Light and refreshing, like an oatmeal cookie.

O: Not a bad little winter ale.

More User Reviews:
Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Rich deep brown with a persistent 3” light tan tinted foam cap that would be right at home perched atop a root beer float. Smell: Plum and spice, especially cinnamon and ginger, with hints of fruit cake. Trace of chocolate. Taste: Suprisingly dry considering all the fruit and spice on the nose. Chocolate, plum, fruit cake, and spice on the palate with a fairly mild hop bitterness on the finish with bitter coffee and chocolate notes. Mouthfeel: Chewy and effervescent with medium high carbonation.

Photo of chinchill
3.72/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 12 oz. bottle served in a goblet.
Pours a dark and hazy brown with a small tan head that soon reduces to a durable ring.

The interesting, unusual and distinctive aroma is spicy and sweet. Hard to pick individual spices out of this complex mix, but cardamon and cinnamon seem clear. Solid roasted malt base with notes of figs and other dark fruits.

T: Holiday spices start to finish, but not to the degree suggested by the aroma, thankfully. Roasted malts are still evident, and lend some chocolate and faint coffee to the finish and aftertaste. Hints of ginger, caramel, toffee, chamomile, plum, dried plum, figs.

M: Medium in body, with good carbonation.
O: A rich and tasty holiday brown ale with a distinctive pallet of spices. Has great complexity and flavor dynamics. A bit sweet and approaches over-spiced, but then this is a winter holiday ale. Worth seeking out.

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Toasty and spicy, very smooth drinker with herbal tea, Ginger, Cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar. Brown head on brown body. Cookie. Filling, soothing after more bitter beers.
Ginger and spice in aroma. A cigar puff in the finish Xmasy brown ale, obtained through a mail order.

Photo of DrewShal9
3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks wscaffe!
A: a purplish brown that's reminiscent of a barleywine with a white head that leaves a beautiful lace along the sides of the glass
S: ginger, cinnamon rolls, spices, and bready malt
T: intense and complex yet very tasty! Spices and sweet that finishes with plums.
M: somewhat light bodied with moderate amount of carbonation
O: very tasty brew that I want to revisit and try one aged!

Photo of socon67
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared for Mother's Day.

A - Brown pour with visible sediment in the glass. Some carbonation. A thin foam goes away quickly.

S - Smells of spice and fresh fruit. Some cinnamon and ginger jumped out to me.

T - Good blend of flavor that has substance. Spciy up front, then a concentrated sweetness of sugary fruit. Finish has a bit of tartness that seems to come from the yeasty sediment.

M - Good rinkability for a spicy\sweet beer. I easily had a second glass.

O - Perfect cocktail beer, which is what I did. Meant to be shared. A good novelty from CCB.

Photo of cjgator3
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle

A- Poured into a Cigar City tulip glass. Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head with great lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is malty with chocolate and filled with holiday spices. Smells great!

T- The taste starts out dry and malty with some sweetness lingering in along with spices and some hops in the finish. 

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium bodies with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, Sugar Plum is a solid holiday ale that I really enjoyed. 

Photo of Heatwave33
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle to a Dogfish Head Signature glass.

Color: Deep murky amber with a khaki head.

Smell: Roasted malts, cinnamon and chocolate up front. Followed by coffee and spice.

Taste: Same as the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Mid-low carbonation, lightly coarse with a medium dryness on the palate.

Overall: A secent winter ale. My buddy and his girlfriend enjoyed it. Medium bodied with a decent balance. Don't know if I'll pick this up again. But definitely worth trying. Cheers.

Photo of Doppelbockulus
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a coppery color with almost no head.

Smells strongly of the typical Christmas spices and a little malty.

Taste includes some vegetables, pickle skins, some hops, and at the finish there is a thing that reminds me of peanuts.

Mouthfeel is watery and leaves a slightly clingy film like tannin.

Pretty similar to the 2011 Anchor Our Special Ale.

Photo of HamFon
3.74/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy copper with a large fluffy beige head that produces lacing.

S: Lots of holiday spicing notes - cinnamon, cardamom, ginger. Also coffee and chocolate. Late floral notes.

T: Holiday spicing comes through - cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and lots of caramel with coffee and chocolate. Woody chicory.

M: Medium full body with light astringency - possibly from the chicory.

O: A nice holiday beer with lots of spiced flavors going on. Not quite balanced, could use more of a malt backbone.

Photo of hdelavega
3.72/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark brown with a thin white head. Good lacing.
Nose is sweet malt with a bit of sweet fruit in the back.
Sweet flavor, mimics the aroma. Realy nice. More plum coming thru as it warms up.
Mouthfeel presents a medium body with medium carbonation, realy nice.
Realy nice beer.

Photo of wspscott
3.64/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml bottle in Duvel tulip

A: Pours a hazy dark brown with a thin light-tan head that leaves a small amount of lace as it drops.
S: Very fruity with some definite spiciness.
T: The most prominent spice is ginger, but it is obvious that there are others in there, along with a hint of chocolate and a small bit of pepper in the background. Given the nose, I was expecting more malt driven fruitiness.
M: I don't know why, but I was expecting a "richer" beer, this comes across on the thin side. I think part of it is the mouth coating nature of all of the spices make it seem drier than it really is.
D: I like this a lot, but I think a little more residual sugars would really benefit the beer. I could see a little bit of Caramel 120 or Special B malt here. Overall, this is a very well made beer that I am happy to have tried, but it comes across a little too austere to be great or too make me want to purchase again.

Photo of bierguru
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark woody purple/brown with a 1 finger light tan head. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Sweet winter spices with ginger dominating. Cinnamon and nutmeg also come through nicely. Faint fruitiness that lingers on the backend

Taste: Spices dominate up front followed by typical malty brown ale flavors , a touch of hops and a bit of fruitiness at the finish. Aftertaste is mildly bitter like the skin of a plum.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: High drinkability. You could easily have a few of these over the course of an evening.

Overall: Very good beer overall. Was not expecting much from the negative reviews i was getting from friends, but i enjoyed it very much

Photo of Bung
3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. Cloudy brown pour, thin layer, really just a ring of white on top.

Aroma, smells like a snicker doodle cookie. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, light brown sugar. A Christmas ale for sure.

Taste, luckily not as sweet as the aroma. Still pretty much like a liquid ginger snap or snicker doodle. Faintest caramel malt background. It's just a tad watery without a stronger base for all the spices.

Just gets somewhere between light and medium body. Gentle carbonation, more would not really do anything though. Drinks easy, you just have to get by the spice.

Not bad, I just feel the same meh for most Christmas ales.

Photo of Peter1977
2.6/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

I'm not a huge fan of brown ales

Photo of Vec2267
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: medium brown with red highlights, good lacing

S: spice dominates, a little malt sweetness

T: cardamom dominates the taste, though I think I detect the rosehips, and chamomile

M: typical for a brown

O: a heavily spiced seasonal brew - not something I would seek out again, but another quality brew from CCB

Photo of SigEp
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked it up to try there seasonal offering. Think they also have a "winter warmer".
I would pass on this one though. Lists a plethora of spices including cinnamon, cardamom, chamomile, chicory... Whatever the combination or amounts they used, they ended up with something that is brown, slightly earthy and medicinal.

I am traditionally offended by Harpoon's winter warmer (way too heavy-handed on the spice); but drink a couple every year because it gets me in the spirits. Go with that instead of this, if you have the option. The herbal/spicial/chicorial additions are muddled and indistinguishable in this beer. I think the message of a little spice goes a long way is truly proven here.

Don't shy from Cigar City beers though... they have a lot to offer.

Photo of dstc
3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Was planning on aging this bottle for next year to see if it would mellow out a bit. Noticed the other day it was starting to leak at the cap. Chilled it and opened it tonight, plenty of carbonation, a bit of a gusher.

Murky brown color with an enormous tan head. Head is very slow to fall. Thick, clinging lace.

Nose has plenty of spice especially from the cardamom and ginger. Interesting aroma.

Taste is all spice , booze and bitterness. Bit of a mess to be honest.

Medium bodied in the mouth with moderate carbonation and a slight bite on the tongue.

I love Cigar City and the beer they brew but this one just misses. Too wrongly spiced and oddly bitter. Was looking forward to it but not a fan.

Photo of ShanePB
3.34/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle shared with Nick at Craft Ale House. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Deep medium-dark brown and burgundy colored body with a fluffy sort of fizzy off-white head. A few vigorous swirls brings it back but the retention is lacking, and there's really no lacing at all. Nothing out of the ordinary, mediocre appearance even to style.

S: Decent amounts of spices initially - cinnamon, ginger, spicy clove and touches of dark fruits. Plum and raisin coupled with a sugary sweetness towards the back end. Not really overdone and definitely a pretty good smelling beer. Well spiced without losing the Brown Ale base of the beer.

T: Front of the tongue brings the toasted barley, caramel and faint dark malts. The spiciness comes in towards the middle with a plethora of different flavors. There's more cinnamon, ginger, honey, and a distinct peppery note lasting into the back end of the palate. Finishes crisp with just a hint of clove into the linger.

M: Very carbonated, perhaps too much for what I expected. This would work better with less bubbles, allowing the spices and other flavors to coat well instead of wash away quickly.

As soon as I heard about this beer being brewed and bottled, I had to try it and I'm not disappointed. It really is one of the better spiced Brown Ales although I haven't come across an abundance of them. Nice offering, certainly one worth trying when priced right.

Photo of oline73
3.07/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a murky reddish brown color with a layer of of white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the pour.

Smell: Sweet malt with some dark fruit and Christmas spice notes.

Taste: This beer isn't overly sweet at all. There is a Christmas spice note, but it is overshadowed a bit by an herbal bitterness in the finish of the sip.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with aggressive carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This isn't a particularly good beer by any means. The bitter herbal notes in the finish didn't go very well with the other flavors. I wouldn't have another.

Photo of shand
4.47/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Pours a ruddy brown color with two fingers of head that drops down to a centimeter of head clinging to the side. Nice lacing. Aroma smells like Christmas! There's a decent amount of sweetness and tons of spices. It actually reminds me a decent amount of their Oatmeal Raisin Cookie. The taste is that of an expertly spiced ale. This one goes down absolutely perfectly with a huge bouquet of spices, with plenty of caramel malts to balance out the equation. The cinnamon stands out the most to me, especially on the finish, where the slight cinnamon heat rides with the drying mouthfeel. Very well done.

The mouthfeel is on the thinner side of medium bodied and just a little bit prickly. This one drinks easily, especially considering the slog some spiced brews can be. Harpoon Winter Warmer take note: THIS is how you do a heavily spiced winter seasonal. I was a bit apprehensive going into this one, but it turns out this is a very enjoyable brew. Highly recommended.

Photo of JayS2629
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a purple/brown color with thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves thin rings.

The aroma explains the name of the beer. Dark fruit notes of over ripe plum with spices and toffee. Hints of roasted coffee and floral notes peek through.

The flavor is malty sweet with tons of caramel and toffee, candied fruit, definite plum notes and a chocolate base with hints of roasty coffee. Toast-like edges with floral hints and black pepper in finish.

Nicely balanced, medium bodied, ok carbonation

Overall, a nice holiday sipper. One and done. A bit too cloying and spicy.

Photo of cbutova
4.1/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my cousin down in Tampa for getting me this. Shared 3 ways last night, reviewed from notes.

A- Dark red-brown with a big and creamy light tan head. Good frothy texture and nice retention. Spotty thick lace.

S- Tis the season to be jolly, reminds me of everything Christmas. Nutty toasted brown ale malt with a nice spicy dessert profile. Cinnamon, ginger, caramel and dark fruit.

T- Again, like a spiced fruit cake brown ale. Sweet brown sugar, toasted nutty caramel malt profile. Dark sweet fruits, caradamom, ginger and cinnamon. Raisin hint as well.

MF- Foamy body with a semi-thick feel. Some spice bitterness and warmth in the finish.

Really not a huge fan of spices in beer for the most part but this ends up tasting like a nice spiced cake when all is said and done.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a CCB snifter

A- pours black with a one finger tan head. Looks ok. A little dark for a brown ale

S- smell is of cinnamon, and other very sweet flavors. Again....a little out of place for what I'm necessarily expecting

T- slight roast coming along with some sweet brown sugar. Not bad

M- medium bodied

O- different. Interesting. Not a huge fan overall, but it's not bad.

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Coffee District, Delray Beach, FL

Hazy chestnut brown pour with reddish-purple hues, topped with a small but dense cap of foamy white head that receded to a thick ringlet and left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is malty and nutty, full of ripe fruit and light spice. Taste of fresh fruitcake, candied plums and apricots, sweet bready malts, cinnamon and nutmeg. Lots of sweet elements, yet overall the beer was not cloying or sickeningly sweet; there was a good balance. Smooth mouthfeel, medium body, but fuller--and much tastier--than your average brown ale. Liked this one a lot, and picked up a bottle to take home.

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Sugar Plum Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 264 ratings.