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Sugar Plum Brown Ale - Cigar City Brewing

Sugar Plum Brown AleSugar Plum Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

229 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 229
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 16.43%


Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: tpd975 on 01-03-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 229 | Reviews: 59 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2012 03:45:53 | More by Sammy
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2013 01:32:28 | More by Rifugium
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

2.08/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that's nearly opaque with a one finger beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Intensely spicy aroma with tons of ginger, pepper, cinnamon and others that overpower the light roasted dark malt character. Way too much wintry spice that simply overpowers everything else in the nose.

Medium bodied with a blast of harsh, peppery spices that overwhelm the palate and overtake all of the other flavors. Tons of ginger, cinnamon, pepper and other spices kill the dark fruit and toasted malt notes that are hard to pick up. This beer is a mess with just too much going on at once. I'm glad that I split it with a bunch of friends because I had trouble finishing a few ounces.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 22:47:51 | More by corby112
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

3.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: thin head dissipates rapidly on a clear deep amber/marroon body.

S: brown sugar, toasted malts, almost has a wet sock hop not with makes this one smell like moldy clothing though.

T: brown sugar, caramel malts, toasted malts up front finishing with toasted coconut, dark fruit and spices

M: medium body and moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: Very easy to drink, full of flavor. fairly complex, definitly better than your average brown ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 01:50:49 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

3.71/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2013 23:48:46 | More by chinchill
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

4.08/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a chestnut brown hue with tones of purple showing thru. The head is thick, dense, and creamy with good retention.

S: Nice roasted malt aroma with a huge blast of spice. Tons of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Allspice. Light notes of dark fruit lay beneath.

T: Wow I expected the spice to be huge here but it is not. The base beer is a solid one and it has not been destroyed by the spice. Nice roasted malt can be picked up right away with hints of caramel and toffee. Dark fruit comes next with hints of plum. The spice is there, but in such a understated way. It is light and just kind of hangs out in the background. Very tasty, and sessionable.

M: Medium in body, with good carbonation.

D: I could drink several. I have the feeling Cigar City will be known for the big beers they make, but this is one of the examples of a wonderful sessionable brew that they will bring to market.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2009 16:00:45 | More by tpd975
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Brown colored beer with some touches of red on the edges. Tan head that left some spots behind.

S - Dark fruit, cinnamon, caramel malts. There is some plum in there that gives it a slightly acidic note. It's pretty spiced which is fine, just not really my thing.

T - A little bit mild with some caramel and plum notes. Spice consists of nutmeg and cinnamon. Some moderate sweetness, not as malty as you would have expected.

M - Lighter beer than expected, pretty dry finish. Needs more body.

O - Not a bad beer for the style, but it's just a style of beer that I haven't found to put out something great yet. Worth trying, particularly if you like beers of this style.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 04:21:49 | More by AgentZero
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

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

Thanks to one of the best beer guys east of the Pacific, moose3285, for yet another sixer of Cigar City bombers. These packages arrive two or three times a year & bring with them smiles & happy-happy. Do a little dance, make a little...

Pour is rose-bush brown, trademark peppy carbonation. Smell is of a rather spicy bent, very peppery, & cardamom must be a dominant gene, because it stinks up the brew. In a good way, of course. I'm going to have to start using it cooking.

Sugar Plum is like a beer someone tipped the spice rack into, which I suppose it is. Massive cardamom, slaughter of pepper, underlying sweetness that's almost molasses-like. Ginger root tacks up the end, along with an almost hoppy bite...maybe. Sweet malt throughout. Light & airy for a brown, & despite having the spice enclyclopedia thrown at it, easy to sip. I bet William Wallace would have enjoyed this.

Overall, an enjoyable winter ale that avoids the pitfall of all spice/no beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2012 02:48:36 | More by maximum12
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

2.98/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Received as an extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice darker cloudier brown hue with a thin half finger head that fades almost immediately to leave a thin light cloud. Pretty standard.

S - Aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, sweeter malts. Has an almost dirty aroma. Weird.

T - Taste is faint faint plum, lots of spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, faint ginger. Awfully sweet here, candy and cloy. Like a very sweet winter warmer. Getting none of the usual brown ale notes.

M - Mouthfeel Is lightly carbonated, very syrupy/heavy.

O - Overall, not a huge fan of this beer. Overly sweet and spiced.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2013 04:36:24 | More by rudzud
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

3.05/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2012 01:44:26 | More by oline73
Photo of cjgator3
cjgator3

Florida

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. 

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 04:37:54 | More by cjgator3
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 15:44:54 | More by cbutova
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whoa.... I'm really taken aback by all the negative reviews on this one. That wasn't my experience at all.

I had this on tap over at a Whole Foods in Orlando right off International Drive.

NOTE: BA says that this is 6%, but the menu said 5.8%. Okay, I really feel like a dork now.

A: Poured a murky brown with some purplish highlights as well. It had maybe a finger or so beige head that stained the glass on the way down.

S: Cinnamon stick, molasses, brown sugar, ginger, and dark fruit. Not too potent, but just right.

T: The cinnamon complemented and added to the enjoyment of the brown sugar elements. It was almost as if the cinnamon was just riding on top of the other ingredients. Overall, I would definitely put this in the "spice bomb" category, but it was surprisingly very disciplined in its lack of sugary sweetness. Nice!

M: This was pretty creamy, medium-bodied, and with a nice carbonation bill and ridiculous lacing. Surprisingly drinkable.

O: I looked at the menu and read the words "Sugar Plum" and though to myself, "Oh boy... here comes a sticky, cloying dessert." I'm happy I was wrong.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2012 19:28:42 | More by Chaney
Photo of Bung
Bung

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 04:27:23 | More by Bung
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

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

750ml bottle, $8.95 from New Beer Distributors.

Pours dark mahogany with crimson edging and a quarter inch head of beige. A few stretched dots of lacing and a fine bead around the surface for the duration.

Aromatics are filled with holiday spice and toffee-laced malt. Cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, star anise, menthol, and candied fruit.

Medium bodied with a chewy, sticky, almost syrupy mouthfeel.

Zesty spices aplenty lead off the palate. Peppery, minty, and licorice-laden. Heavy nutmeg and cinnamon. French toast drizzeled with dark rum and Sambuca.

Finishes with sweet nutmeg-infused malt and sugar-dusted dark fruits.

The spicing is a bit overboard in this one, perhaps a few or ten years in the cellar would mellow it out. Otherwise the beer is sweetish and rich.
A good beer to share.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2012 00:34:06 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours dark amber/brown with a ruby hue in the light and small head. Smells like plums, raisins, sour cherry, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg. Spices are subdued in the aroma and it is more fruit than anything else. Spices dominate flavor though, with a cinnamon plum nutmeg combo. Medium mouthfeel and pretty smooth. Finishes slightly dirty. About what I expected, a bit bland, and not something I will have again. Just can't get into the studf with cinnamon/nutmeg overpowering the flavor. They did what they wanted here, but I would have preferred a seeeter brew with lots of fruit.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2013 12:01:02 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

4.33/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arrives a rich dark brown with only a hint of light penetration. Dark tan head dropped fairly quickly to a solid film. A ton of lace, though.
Smell is spicy and swert with notes of nuts, roasted malt, nutmeg, turbinado sugar and cinnamon. Good balance.
Taste is malt and spices first with a well-balanced hop presence following. I expected a straight Maduro with spices but got something different. Well done. As it warms a more juniper -like hop note comes through. Very nice with the roasted malts.
Creamy to start with a cleaner than expected finish. Somewhat drying as well. Medium-bodied with a solid effervescence. I could drink this seasonal brew all year round. The spices are well-restrained in the mouth. Slight coating on the palate.

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2011 21:48:28 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of CampusCrew
CampusCrew

Florida

3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: dark brown, fading head.

smell: brown sugar, molasses

taste: low hop profile, sweetened brown ale, not much else, some fruit esters

mouthfeel: medium bodied,

drinkability: this is one of my least favs from my favorite brewery. similar to their maduro but a little sweeter,

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2012 21:08:32 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of AdamBear
AdamBear

Pennsylvania

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

A-dark brown, almost black with a reddish tint. thin light tan head

S-creamy plums with a hint of holiday spices. medium to faint scent.

T-comes in with dark peppercorn spices. very grainy as well. reminds me of a good rye beer. matching after-taste. tastes are solid and great. maybe some plum in the after-taste, but not much

M-creamy medium carbonation with a dry finish

O-very unique beer. not what i expected. more of a spiced beer than a fruit beer. the 750mL will go down, but I won't be tempted to buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2011 03:14:24 | More by AdamBear
Photo of shand
shand

Florida

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 06:41:56 | More by shand
Photo of JayS2629
JayS2629

Alabama

3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 19:52:41 | More by JayS2629
Photo of KickInTheChalice
KickInTheChalice

Illinois

3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a pint glass. Thanks to hoppy99 for sending this up to me.

Appearance: My pour has a medium hazelnut brown color with a plum tint and dark ruby edges. A modest tan cap rests on top, fading slowly, and leaving a few spots of lace.

Smell: Brown toasted bread and caramel malt, plum and assorted dark fruits, cinnamon, and nutmeg. There are some other lighter spices that I cannot really place. That must be the cardamom, chamomile, rosehips, and the like.

Taste: The flavor starts off with a fairly mild sweetness. A little bit of caramel accompanies plums and dark fruits, but the malt has more of a toasted brown bread flavor. Lots of spices come in, with a burst of nutmeg and cinnamon for sure. Even though the spices are varied, it feels like they went too intense with the. Toward the end a strange bitterness does not really fit with what I would like out of the beer. A strange, pseudo-alcohol medicinal bite is in there as well.

Mouthfeel: The body starts medium and somewhat bold but ends up a bit dry and on the light side. The carbonation is medium and sits somewhere between creamy and crisp. Toward the end it starts feeling acrid, which I could definitely do without.

Overall: The spice blend is quite nice. If I had my way, I would up the malt a little bit, increase the body, and kill that weird bitter acrid finish. Even with some interesting flavor, those are too many improvements to warrant a really good score.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 23:55:34 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of ThePorterSorter
ThePorterSorter

Missouri

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

Thanks for sending this one doctorb2b... It pours a deep, dark red with a thin foam head. The beer smells like winter spices. Tasting the beer is no different from the smell, there is incredible winter spices that mix with a sweet brown ale body. This is definitely a cookie in a bottle and it doesis nice job with balance. This beer is quite seasonal and tasty, but just too damn hard to get ahold of!

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 04:41:48 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of babaracas
babaracas

Florida

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

Pours a hazy dark garnet color with two fingers of dense cream colored foam. Settles to a thin ring leaving a few lines of lace on the glass. Smell: spice bouquet for reals - ground ginger and cinnamon and some floral notes. Base is toast, almond, with caramel and dark fruit notes. Taste: black plum and brown sugar are buried under orange, ginger, and powdery cinnamon. Toasted nutty finish. Creamy feel but with maybe a little too aggressive carbonation for a laid back holiday beer. Nuts and spices work together, yep. Bottled Nov 14 2011.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 06:59:40 | More by babaracas
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Cam and Sonny for providing this really interesting beer.

Pours dark brownish-amber, slight haze to it. Beige bubbly head retains fine.

It smells like Christmas, straight up. Big spice, pine needles, mistletoe?

Huge spice in this one but it works very well. Nutmeg, cinnamon, slight potpourri, fruitcake, nutty malts, caramel. Pulls off a holiday feel really excellently without the spices being a bother.

Mouthfeel is overall fine, but felt a little thin.

The 'brown ale' part is pretty much lost, but this is probably one of the most standout winter beers I've had. It epitomizes a holiday spice feel.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 16:05:04 | More by Chico1985
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Sugar Plum Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 229 ratings.