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Improv (Improvisación) Oatmeal Rye India-Style Brown Ale - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Improv (Improvisación) Oatmeal Rye India-Style Brown AleImprov (Improvisación) Oatmeal Rye India-Style Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

359 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 359
Reviews: 178
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 15.96%
Wants: 40
Gots: 60 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
What you have here is an Oatmeal Rye India-style Brown Ale. Now you might be thinking oatmeal, rye, brown ale, India-style; isn’t that a lot to be going on in just one beer? Well yes, it is. But that is the point. Layers. Flavor elements building on and playing off of preceding elements, like a building wave; a growing crescendum of taste bud temptation; a wall of sound expressed through flavor and channeled toward your mouth. This beer isn’t for everyone. In many ways it is more than just a little weird. It certainly doesn’t fit easily into any category. It isn’t a brown ale, not just a brown ale anyway. It certainly isn’t an IPA. Calling it a rye beer would be selling it way short. In the spirit of all great things that are conceived in the moment, but perfected through passionate repetition it started life as an improvisation and grew from there. And it might not be for you. But if the thought of big spicy rye notes, a wallop of a hop punch, multitudinous layers of caramel, sweet malt and a respectable balancing gravity sound intriguing then you might want to wing it and give Improv a try.

60 IBU

(Beer added by: tpd975 on 03-29-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 359 | Reviews: 178 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beersensei305
2.8/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a deep mahogany color with a tan head that disappears quickly with no stickiness around the glass. The smell is of rye, booze, and hop. This is a hopy brew and it really comes out at the end. The hoppiness bite lingers a long time after a a sip along with the flavor of the rye. IF you drink this beer cold you will miss all the complexitiy of this brew. The front of the beer is smooth and has the flavor of mild choclate and oatmeal, the middle is the hops, and rye. This is a smooth beer medium bodied but is dominated by the hops and rye. This brew is ehh, a sipper when it warms up and is full of its potential- but not the greatest.

beersensei305, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of Avagadro
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep mahogany in color, and impervious to light, Improvisacion boasts a cream colored head. This frothy foam leaves rings around the glass, marking your progress.

S: Bouquet is well presented, but rather simple in composition. I was anticipating deep malty notes, but all I get is Pacific northwest hops.

T: Again, I was hoping for something resembling a malty brew here, but all I get is a heaping pile of hops. I would have loved to see a bit of both malt and hop, but I am left disappointed.

M: Medium-to-full in body, with a healthy dose of tingling carbonation.

D: I feel that this beer had many more layers of flavor that were unintentionally smothered by a heavy hand with the hops. Why go through the effort of adding rye and roasted malts only to cover them up? Good try CCB, but this will not join the immaculate ranks of some of your other brews.

Avagadro, Nov 23, 2010
Photo of Lerxst
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-Moderate pour produces a rocky three finger head that has excellent retention and leaves copious amounts of sticky lace. Pours a dark brown. Great looking beer.

S-Earthy hops and roasted malt, a hint of nuttiness and smoke. Not terribly complex, but interesting. I wouldn't say the nose is particularly enticing, but it is interesting.

T-Bitter earthy hops bite first and linger throughout. They overpower the roasty malt that is there, but gets a bit pummeled by the hops. The slight nuttiness/smokiness from the nose is there, but again, gets pummeled by the hops (what? I'm complaining about hops? Whats wrong with me???). Slight funk/sour aspect comes through in the back.

M-Medium body, crisp carb bite, yet still a bit creamy, slick and oily.

D-This one is a sipper for me and one is certainly enough.

This is a style bending roller coaster ride that left my (underdeveloped?) palate and senses muddled and confused. It certainly is not a bad beer, just not one I would seek out again. I absolutely love CCB and the excellent beer they put out, but I think I'd rather have a Maduro or Bolita rather than this one if I'm in the mood for a brown.

Lerxst, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of TKEbeerman
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass, this brew pour a muddy opaque brown. The super large head is the most impressive part of the appearance...refusing to die.

S: The aroma consists of notes of brown sugar, roasted malt, and a little pine and citrus.

T: I've had a few brown ales that have been blowing me away (Including Maduro brown from CCB). Reviewing this as a brown is deceiving, but I review against the style. This beer breaks the bounds of style. Fresh, there is a hop presence that is at lead 4X the norm for the style. Brown sugar and roasted malt are present, but I would prefer were on the forefront.

MF: Mouthfeel is excellent. Creamy, smooth, a little over carbonated, but awesome.

D: Drinkability is not bad, but can improve.

TKEbeerman, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of WeisGuy
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle into a Dupont Saison glass.

Be prepared (luckily I was), this one is a gusher. Pours a turbid, ruddy brown color with a huge tan head. Head retention is great, as is the lacing. I'd give this a little more credit on appearance if the head wasn't caused in part by the obvious infection. The smell is reminiscent of an oud bruin, as this brown has a bit of a sour component. Sweet malt and spice are also evident. The taste is fairly sour with a considerable hop presence. There is a nice rye flavor that really comes through and the alcohol is well-hidden. If you have any of these bottles, I'd say drink them now, because the infection is there but it isn't all that unpleasant currently. The beer is too light-bodied for my liking and the carbonation is too high, but there is a nice dryness. Not very drinkable, but the flavors are moderately interesting and the alcohol is well-hidden. Overall, I'd like to give this beer another shot when the release it next time to see what it truly can be without the QC issues. That said, even with the infection, it's fairly enjoyable and has some very nice aspects to it.

WeisGuy, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of crusian
2.03/5  rDev -46%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

bottle thanks to my lovely girlfriend coming back from CC brewery, but she picked this bottle up at a local shop for $10. Put the bottle down on the counter, touched the opener to the cap and paused for some reason... got two glasses ( I share with the G'friend). She inquired, "why did you stop?" Just have a funny feeling, as I look at the dent in my ceiling from a different bottle. as the CC brews are bottle fermented, i don't want to take chances. Sure enough, pop the cap and HERE IT COMES! no spills though.
Needless to say, much much head on these... it has been about 5 minutes and I still can not pour more into my glass. this is taking forever!!
Smells like a sour brown. some caramely notes, but not much.
taste... LOTS of carbonation still in this thing. but taste really isn't a word I can use on this beer. there really isn't much there. To be honest, tastes like tonic water... with a hint of caramel malts... wow, I hope this gets better as it gets warmer! Leaves a very acrid taste in my throat... and if feels a bit coated too. I was hoping the oatmeal would give a nice smoothness, adding to the drinkability, and the rye seems like it would have been a nice touch, but this really really didn't work. I need to read some of the other reviews to see if I got a bad bottle maybe? Man, this is not good.

crusian, Aug 06, 2010
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.35/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours an opaque, dark brown body with a suspiciously tall, compacted, yellowish head.

Smell: Toffee-scented malts with additional hints of toast, citrus, nuts and rye grain are quashed by phenol-soaked work rags forced over my mouth and nose by an unseen assalant. What I hope was an unintentional funkiness is uncomplimentary to the rest of the brew.

Taste: Toasted nuts and toffee with a zip of spicy rye and hint of cocoa. Fruity citrus hop character with ample bitterness. Sadly, all this is lacerated by a voracious funkiness and once the stale, tart fruit, cobwebs, and bandages swiped from a first aid kit start rolling in, they don't roll out. Hard dryness and a continued phenolic fanfare on the finish you need to be sitting down for.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Soft mouthfeel from all of the rampant carbonation present.

Drinkability: Unfortunately, a real dud for me, but with all of the home runs they've hit, I can allow a shameful strike out. With enough improvising you're bound to let out some real sour notes.

ChainGangGuy, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
3/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer opens with a huge pop and immediately starts gushing out the top. Something smells sour. This is not looking good.

The beer pours dark brown with a huge tan head that takes up most of the glass. This is definitely a bad bottle. The aroma is tart dark fruit. The flavor is rye with some dark malts, oak, smoke and quite a bit of tartness. Thick mouthfeel and low carbonation, despite having the huge head. I guess that is the infection that caused the huge head. Disappointing overall since I was really looking forward to this one.

Mora2000, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of Wasatch
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to cyrusthepup for the brew.

750ml Bottle

Poured into a chalice a deep brown color, nice carbonation, very nice creamy three-finger tan head, with lots of thick/creamy sticky lacing and small islands left behind. The nose is malty, with some yeast notes, licorice, chocolate, toffee, slight citrus. The taste is sweet, malty, yeasty, with some licorice, chocolate/toffee, and some slight citrus notes, there is some funkyness going on with this brew. Medium body, the finish is slightly dry/bitter. The ABV is hidden very well. Drinkable, a tasty, but different brew, worth checking out.

Wasatch, May 31, 2010
Photo of zeff80
2.4/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Poured out a fairly dark brown color with a thick, tan head of foam that had some good retention. Some lacing.

S - It smelled very malty and of some pine. There were some funky notes, too.

T - Something wasn't right here. The flavor was pretty messy with an odd funkiness and metallic taste. Hoppy bitterness plus tons of malty sweetness couldn't correct the other odd flavors.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium-bodied beer.

D - It just didn't taste right. I don't know if the funky flavor is intention. To me it seems they tried to do too much with a unique style.

zeff80, May 05, 2010
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another one sent to me by Greg! Thanks! Had this on 3.26, from notes.

Pours a deep chestnut brown with a small light tannish foam, but leaves great lace. Nice appearance.

Aroma opens up with a general sweetness in the form of burnt sugar. Rye is there contributing a spice note, I feel in a greater capacity than in the taste. Some darker aromas of roast and a little chocolate. The taste follows with some bitter roast, nothing too distinctive or assertive about it. Roasted nuts and a kiss of rye spice. Alcohol well integrated. Hmm, with some of my favorite adjuncts (brown sugar, rye, oatmeal), I thought I would've liked this a lot more. The oats contribute to the mouthfeel, good substance with a low-medium carbonation. It's ok but I can't say I would throw down $12+ on a bottle again.

Ineedabeerhere, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
1.93/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured a dark cola like brown with good carbonation and a small dirty white head. Nose is sour, funky, cola, smoke, cola. Taste is all over the map and not in a good way either. Cola, funk, smoke, booze, root beer and random other stuff I do not with to drink again. Overcarbonated. How this is a brown ale I do not know. This was very hard to get down and while different is usually good, not on this. Avoid and do not drop the money on this beer.

barleywinefiend, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of jeffthecheff
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a yellowish brown colored head in my tulip. It's close to being black in color. Lacing is good.

Upon smelling, I immediately thought of a factory. This is a very distinct smell that makes me think of copper and plastic. After it warms, this smell dies down and lets an almond, nutty aroma come through as well as dark bread.

The taste has a smooth sweetness up front. Nutty flavor with a bit of roast on the finish. The pumpernickel bread character is coming through again as well. It tastes nice, but I noticed a slight plastic aftertaste. I'm guessing this is coming from the same flaw that caused the factory smell.

The mouthfeel is full and creamy and is probably the best part of the beer. It has a substantial feel to it, actually feeling bigger than 9% abv without tasting it.

jeffthecheff, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of indiapaleale
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

something about this brew really reminded me of a homebrew I did a few years back. It was a rye-PA that had so many similar characteristics...anyways...

Pour was extremely vigorous. I popped the cap and it foamed for a few minutes which made me think it was a goner. Once I poured it, it setlled as a nice darkish amber brown color with a foamy head.

Aroma was very citrusy and hoppy with a syrupy sweet smell as well. Very hoppy and inviting.

Tastes spicy, dry, bitter, floral, grapefruity and piney. There are a lot of sweet malty flavors meshing with a good deal of tropical fruit flavors from the hops along with the kick of dry spiciness from the hops.

Very good beer. Personally I think I'd like it more without the rye but that is just me.

indiapaleale, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been setting this beer aside for 5 months. I just didn't get around to drinking it for some reason.

Brown liquid with a huge rising iced coffee colored head. I can tell this beer had a healthy dose of hops when it was young because the head grew so much.

Smell was predominately rye. Subtly reminded me of children's vitamins. Underneath was a nutty, chocolate malt aroma.

Taste was also predominately rye. Smooth flavor that sets into a crisp brown ale and a hearty mouthfeel. Hops are a bit absent from flavor since this has a slight age on it. From what I can pick up from the hopping, it reminds me of Jai Alai.

Alcohol is never present. This is an improvised brew that has been executed very well. In working on recipes for homebrewing people make you think that throwing everything into the beer along with the kitchen sink doesn't really work. This beer proves that you can make it work and the outcome is beautiful.

BearsOnAcid, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into a pint glass. Thanks go to Ffej for sharing this one.

Pours a deep unfiltered brown in the glass, with 1 1/2 fingers of foamy light mocha head. Very robust retention here, leaving back a good bit of heavy sticky lacing. The aroma is floral and even a bit piney, with some earthy green citric tones and the bready spiciness of the rye really coming out strong. Some sweeter caramel malt notes ride along the back.

The taste is sharp with hop resins and fairly spicy overall in the mouth, while a deep tang of bread, caramel, and earthy citrus that does it's best to try and keep this on the sweeter side of the profile. Very spicy and dry finish on this, which isn't too surprising. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a good bit of sharpness to the carbonation up front but then definitely gets more bubbly and creamy towards the back of the swallow. And wow, I'm not really getting too much alcohol here at all for a 9% beer. I was actually quite shocked when I saw the ABV on here, as this definitely felt more like it was in the 6-7% range. Very impressive feel on this.

Another nicely done brew here from Cigar City, with the rye and hops complimenting each other well, while the alcohol content of this was hidden most impressively. I wouldn't hesitate to check this out again down the line.

Kegatron, Mar 12, 2010
Photo of PDXHops
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bobby8405 for this 750 ml bottle, poured into a Duvel tulip.

A murky dark reddish brown body is capped by a massive 3+ finger frothy cream colored head. Excellent retention and great lacing from top to bottom.

Quite an interesting bouquet. Lemon zest, fresh squeezed grapefruit and rye are dominant, but there's wet cedar and a bit of chocolate sweetness if you go looking for them.

A complex sipper, revealing many layers of flavor as it warms up. A bit of brown sugar/bitter chocolate sweetness up front yields to spicy rye, sour lemon and a somewhat funky woodsiness. A bit of butter in there. It becomes quite dry at the finish, allowing an earthy bitterness and a soured wood combo to shine. The alcohol is well disguised. Tasty, although at times the flavors don't all seem to gel. A bit of palate fatigue kicks in after a glass or so.

Overall impression: Not a beer that easily fits into a style designation, but it's enjoyable for sure. The appearance rating inflates the score for this one.

PDXHops, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of saccro
4.28/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A real mouthful to say, but tasty. Couldn't take the time to take good notes of this one:

A - fairly dark. Brown ale? eh...dark brown. Tan/creamy head that's lasting. Crazy lacing.

S - not locked-in on rye flavors, but found it to be fairly chocolaty/roasty. Hops are noticeable.

T - tastes great. fairly bitter. roasted flavors like a stout.

M - moderate carbonation. fairly thick and smooth.

D - very clean and drinkable.

saccro, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of ffejherb
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle on 2/13/10.

A - Emerged from the bottle as a muddy reddish brown liquid with some chunky, bottom-dwelling yeast particulates and a billowy tan crown of foam that eventually built a fortress of thick lace all around the glass.

S - Initial aroma combines earthy, herbal and woody hop notes with a hint of chocolate and flaked oat malt. Also, a slight waft of citrus fruit appears in the background.

T - Quite a bitter herbal and earthy hop character at the forefront, along with a prominent spicy rye character that bolsters the dry bitterness to another level. Dark roasted malt complements the rye and herbal hop quality nicely.

M - Medium bodied and moderately carbonated, resulting in a prickly sensation on the tongue. Texture is quite lively and frothy. Finishes with moderate alcohol warmth and a dry, fairly harsh bitterness on the palate.

D - Pretty good (and certainly interesting) beer overall, but definitely not one of my favorite Cigar City beers. I think the flavor gets a bit lost due to all of the ingredients. Too many cooks in the kitchen, perhaps?

ffejherb, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of pecokid
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark Amber appearance. Nicely Carbonated. Tan head that lingered well. I'm a little congested so my rating on smell my be off. Complex flavor profile. Tobacco, roast malt, dry hoppy finish. Mouthfeel nicely thin and well carbonated. Drinkability, one 750 ml bottle is enough for one person. The complexx flavors in this one do not overwhelm the palate but may knock back drinkability by a half point.

pecokid, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.63/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am not just rooting for the home team when i say that this beer is a phenomenally interesting and satisfying brew; it is off the hook, no doubt.

A - very dark translucent brown with a nice off-white head and some lacing

S - It smells way crazy; I detect a tart Belgian sour-lemon aroma coupled with a rye-influenced malt and a grapefruity hop. Not all of these aromas are represented in the flavor. The tart Belgian aroma is not accompanied by a corresponding taste in any significant measure, for example.

T - Such a complex flavor profile; sweet rye and pumpernickel flavors initially, followed by intense grapefruit impression, finishing with a strange duality: on one hand, it is bitterly sour and pickly-astringent, and on the other hand, it is sweetly roasty, nutty and chocolate-y. Overall, this is a great tasting "Brown Ale"; I would say this beer is more unclassifiable, or like a Belgian dark something or other...

M - Well-carbonated, full-bodied. The flavors last for a tremendously long time in your mouth; to the point that it is an experience usually only found in fine wines.

D - It is a taste sensation; highly recommended.

ktrillionaire, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of GbVDave
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist! Extra special thanks to corby112 for this from our recent trade!

A: Pours a dirty river water brown. Capping that is 1 1/2 fingers of dark khaki colored head that managed to stick around 'till almost the very end. Lace was plentiful and extremely sticky.

S: Malted milk balls, vanilla, rye, fudge, and bitter dark chocolate. Quirky and delicious.

T: See above. Loads of different flavors of chocolate and spicy/tangy rye.

M: Slightly sweet with waves of spicy rye and earthy hops.

D: This was excellent! We both love Rye Beers and we practically raced through our glasses of this. Fantastic!

GbVDave, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of DIM
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, what a mouth full of a name. Sounds like this could be messy...

a: This was a clear, dark yet bright ruby tinted amber color. It poured with a large, thick, chunky, and sticky tan colored head.

s: Hop aromas of zesty citrus and pineapple with a hint of pine share center stage with rye tainted sweet toffee and caramel. In the backrouind I found some brown sugar, bubblegum, and just a trace of warmth.

t: This is difficult to describe, but there is quite a disconnect from the smell. The bright, zesty fruits aren't here in any substational way, while the spicy rye is much more noticeable. I found sweet, juicy caramel, some sugary pineapple, and unfortunately some plastic flavors at the very end. The latter was faint but distracting.

m: Long lived, gently fizzy carbonation. Decent body, but I expected a little more heft from the rye and oatmeal.

d: I've been a big fan of the few offerings I've tried from CC so far, but this wasn't quite what I hoped it would be. What it is a very good dark, rye DIPA. Tasty for sure, but based on the name, I expected something unique.

DIM, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of cassanoj
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a strange and complex beer. No idea what to classify it as. The name certainly doesn't make it any easier.

Poured dark ruby red into a nonic glass. Lacey light brown head with lacing up the wazoo.

Smells like a lot of stuff. Roasted almonds, fig, oats, bread. Really earthy aroma. A touch of hops. Blueberries?

Taste is so freaking complex. Bitter with hints of cherries, fig, citrus, oaky maltiness, roasted nuts, oats, spicey rye. The taste just goes so deep.

Mouth is full, bitter and complex. A bit prickly.

I was just amazed by the complexity of this beer. It was drinkable simply because it was so damn interesting. I just can't wrap my head around this one. All I can say is...solid.

cassanoj, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a cloudy deep brown color ale with a huge light brown color head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of strong grassy and earthy hops are mix with some rye malt. Taste is a somewhat unique mix between loads of rye malt with loads of grassy and earthy hops and a medium bitter finish. Body is quite full with limited filtration and great carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Not sure I would drink this on a regular basis but a very interesting experiment nonetheless.

Phyl21ca, Dec 31, 2009
Improv (Improvisación) Oatmeal Rye India-Style Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 359 ratings.