Sugar Plum Brown Ale - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Sugar Plum Brown AleSugar Plum Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

61 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 61
Hads: 263
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 6.41%
Wants: 13
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 61 | Hads: 263
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
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. (272 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
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. (450 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.07/5  rDev -14.5%
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. (634 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (642 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (882 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
3.34/5  rDev -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. (1,409 characters)

Photo of corby112
2.14/5  rDev -40.4%
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. (746 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
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.  (490 characters)

Photo of rudzud
2.99/5  rDev -16.7%
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. (620 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (678 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (968 characters)

Photo of cbutova
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
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. (788 characters)

Photo of TX-Badger
3.39/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice brown color with off-white head. Sweet dark fruits on the nose, with some subtle spices; follows onto the palate. Finishes with a nice little sweetness. (165 characters)

Photo of Bung
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
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. (617 characters)

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (514 characters)

Photo of Holland
1.98/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: looks like a nice brown ale - dark brown, lighter highlights, tan head of a good size.

S: smell is full of spice like cardamom - very difficult to smell anything else.

T: taste is also overpowered by the spices; same kind of thing. Very dry tasting.

M: medium carbonation, medium body, about right for a "brown" ale.

O: not a beer I'd drink again. $8 per 750ml bottle is such a waste when you can get far better beers for that. This was really disappointing since it was the first disagreeable beer I had from Cigar City. (532 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4.09/5  rDev +13.9%
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. (889 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
3.29/5  rDev -8.4%
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. (577 characters)

Photo of Chaney
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
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. (1,114 characters)

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
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! (402 characters)

Photo of justintcoons
3.04/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a burnt ruby with 2 fingers of sudsy head that dissipates slowly. Excellent layer of lacing clings to the side. Moderate carbonation.

N: Smells like a bar of hand soap with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

T: A clove-like spice really dominates overall. Some hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and rose petal appear on the front end followed by subtle roasted malts, cocoa and raisin mid-palette. Finishes with a bouquet of spices and floral notes along with some earth and leather.

M: Medium-full bodied, creamy, chewy and dry.

O: Way too many spices used for a 6% English Brown base. A higher octane Brown or more subtle spicing would vastly improve this beer. This one is on the verge of cloying and quite a disappointment. (761 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
4.32/5  rDev +20.3%
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. (744 characters)

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (400 characters)

Photo of CampusCrew
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
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, (289 characters)

Photo of socon67
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
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. (567 characters)

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Sugar Plum Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.