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110K+OT Batch #2 - I.R.I.S. - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
110K+OT Batch #2 - I.R.I.S.110K+OT Batch #2 - I.R.I.S.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

144 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 144
Reviews: 109
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 14.46%
Wants: 126
Gots: 13 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: cjgator3 on 05-12-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 144 | Reviews: 109 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Florida9:
Photo of Florida9
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Viscous black in color. Pours with a large, exceedingly dark mocha brown colored head. Decent retention. No lacing.

S: The aroma on this one is unique in the proper sense of the word. I've never smelled anything quite like this. Best I can describe it as is a very strong, concentrated fig scent, but without any of the sweetness of a fig. Some almost burnt caramel and deeply roasted malts. Very strong, very intense, very complex, not at all sweet.

T: Flavor is heavy on the baking chocolate and cocoa. Roasted malts, black strap molasses, and a faint almost burnt or charred or smokiness character in the background. Neither sweet nor dry with a mild bitterness.

M: On the lighter side of heavy while still being a full bodied beer that coats the entire inside of the mouth. Carbonation is appropriate.

D: A slow drinker, quite complex, almost intimidating. I enjoyed it for it's different approach to the style, but I also found it hard to get a handle on as well.

Florida9, Mar 01, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big 750ml bottle. Pours into my glass like well used motor oil with a thickness. An inch of creamy darkest tan head forms above the beer. Looks a bit menacing in the glass. Aromas start out with dark roasted malts but the overall aroma is quite mellow. Herbal hops come through along with a bit of an spicy note. Chocolate, soy sauce and molasses. Woody cedar on the end.

First sip brings a wall of deep roasted dark malts upfront along with hints of chocolate and a mild coffee. There's an irony taste midway through that gives it a bit of a strange twang. Cedar wood notes as it flows down along with some hoppy bitterness. Finishes with a good mix of sweetness and bitterness along with lingering dark roast.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy. Not as heavy as I was expecting which makes it a bit deceiving with the abv. Reminds me a bit of Black Albert body wise. Overall, an interesting brew but I wish there was some indication on the label that this was dry hopped and should be drank fresh. I hope to be able to sample more Cigar City brews in the future. Thanks to dukedevil0 for the bottle and the opportunity to try this one.

orbitalr0x, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of Tabni
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #3 2010. Bought it at Total Wines in North Miami Beach for about 10 bucks. Served in my Delirium Tremens Tulip. Sweet and malty brew with chocolate, toffee and raisins hints. This would be perfect for a dessert. Ahh thanks Cigar City for another great brew.

Tabni, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of rudylaw
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks for Kiefdog for this bottle!

750cl bottle pours a quarter to midnight black with a gorgeous, one half to one finger mocha head that recedes to a thin rim. About the most beautiful pour you're going to see.

Smells very malty and extremely roasty. I'm catching a ton of coffee in the nose at outset. Definitely a ton of dark and bitter chocolate is also present. Quite a lot is going on in my sniffer.

First sip and I'm reminded of a favorite of mine: Founders Breakfast Stout. Coffee! There's also a hint of licorice, toffee and dark fruits. It's much hoppier than FBS to which I am glad I'm trying this fresh because of the hop profile. Still, it's all very well balanced here.

It has good carbonation for a thick stout. I like my big stouts more chewy than this, but this isn't your typical RIS. It finishes dry with a sweet aftertaste. For a sucker of this size... it's very drinkable.

I'm am SO glad I have another of these on the way. I plan to sit on it until winter to see how it comes together with a few months on it. The beer, the Cigar City brewery and most importantly, my trading partner Kiefdog, are all highly recommended!

rudylaw, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of glid02
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by daryk77 - thanks!

Pours black with a cascading brown head that ends up one-finger agove the beer and eventually dissipates into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of roasted malts with good amounts of dark chocolate, tobacco, hops, and hints of soy sauce.

Tastes very good. Robust roasted and chocolate malt flavors up front segue into solid citrus hop flavors quickly. Midway through the sip tobacco flavors join the fray and carry through to a solid bitterness. Very slight hints of dark fruit flavors are present as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is great. This has a very nice thickness with soft and grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing the glass and could have another.

Overall this was a very solid big stout with loads of complexity but I think it could use a bit of time to smooth itself out. Still, it's worth a shot.

glid02, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of pwoods
3.2/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to RoyMunson for sharing the bottle. Poured into a snifter. Notes.

A: Pitch black with a big head. Nice retention and a bit of lacing.

S: Dfinitely cedar in the nose, woody, fiberous. Subtle roast and char. Too much cedar.

T/M: Light hop bite with the usual roasty and burnt malts. the cedar is big and gets in the way. Spicy, almost cinnamon. woody and fiberous. Body is medium full and some what thick.

D: ABV is pretty big and the cedar just doesn't do it for me.

pwoods, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -2%

acurtis, Jun 29, 2013
Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev -2%

jh1982, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$12.99 at Leuken's Big Town Liquors.

First off, I think the label sucks. It doesn't stand out on the shelf, and I don't really get the joke. I guess I could look it up, but I don't really care to spend the time. But more importantly, I hate the fact that the style isn't on the bottle. I understand the need to use the same run of labels from year to year (higher volume = lower price), but how about a tiny little Avery label printed out and slapped on the side or the neck. It's the same with the Humidor series. Anyway...

I've seen some really dark beers before, and I'm not sure, but this might be the darkest yet. Even when held to the light, the body remains an opaque black. The head is really dark as well, and since I picked this bottle up in Tampa I'll say that the head is as dark brown as any of the wrinkled old women I found 'leathering up' on the beach. The retention is excellent, and it leaves sheets of lace behind with each sip. They eventually erode, for the most part, but leave behind some really interesting shapes.

In the nose it's roasty with a burnt, acidic edge. It's very coffee-like. As it warms and you've had a taste or two some floral hops appear.

The flavor is massive, and coming from cigar city, that's perfect because it would be a great cigar beer. But I digress... it's remarkably rich and full. It actually tastes like dark, rich wort! It opens with roastiness and a sliver of fruit, and then widens to exhibit flavors of coffee, fudge, chocolate, and a hint of coconut as it warms. Some more fruit appears along with a bit of floral, leafy, earthy, and mildly citrusy hops, and then it's all squeegee'd clean at the swallow... or is it?... It's solidly bitter, but not overdone, and it finishes dry (the dark malts obviously help with that) and roasty (that too), with chocolate and caramel and a bit of nuttiness slowly fading to reveal an incredibly long-lasting note of dark brewed coffee. Somewhere in there, there's also a hint of anise, and perhaps cardamom (licorice and cola) - not that it's spiced, just that they're there.

In conclusion, at the pour I was expecting a bit of a mess given the incredibly dark color, but it is in fact, one of the finest heavy, dark brews I've ever tasted. The alcohol barely shows, and that's after the first serving, and it's just so incredibly rich and coffee-like while remaining balanced. Normally dark malt acidity would cut through it a bit too much, but that's not the case here. Remarkable! The only thing that could make this beer better would be a bit more complexity, but at the same time, if it was more complex it would probably not be as balanced as it is. KUDOS!!!

NeroFiddled, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of cjgator3
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle

A- Poured into a snifter. Pours a pitch black color with a large tan colored head that possesses excellent lacing and retention. There is not any light passing through this one at all.

S- The aroma is absolutely fantastic! The nose is dark and roasty with a ton of roasted malt, bitter chocolate, a hint of caramel and a good amount of hops as well.

T- The taste starts out incredibly smooth with roasted malts and dark chocolate. The cedar shines through a bit in the taste as well. The hops quickly work their way into the flavor becoming increasingly bitter into the finish. Wow, this stuff is amazing! Each sip gets increasingly better.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- This beer is without question a sipper due to it's strength, but it can be dangerously drinkable at times! Props to Cigar City for hitting it out of the park with this one. Keep up the excellent work guys!

cjgator3, May 24, 2009
Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photekut, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of miketd
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dan, Joe and Matt for bottles. Pours dark with a brownish head. Aroma is roasty malts, chocolate and hops. Flavor is bitter chocolate and coffee. Full body and finish is bitter. It does have a tobacco/ licorice thing going on. Decent beer from a good brewery.

miketd, Jul 26, 2009
Photo of nickd717
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I actually get the RateBeer joke that this beer's name is based on, so if you're out of the loop, just ask me. That's a lot of cash! Deal with it! mfielden was kind enough to share a bottle with my ticker ass at a BA tasting. Thanks, Mark!

A - Awesome thick black appearance with a dark brown head, one of the darker heads out there.

S - Roast, coffee, chocolate, wood, and hops.

T - Roasty and slightly smoky with a complex flavor of coffee, chocolate, cedar, and hoppy licorice notes. A really tasty RIS.

M - Smooth, full, and creamy on the palate.

D - Good for what this beer is.

nickd717, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of Kegatron
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Capped 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. Thanks go to Jw347 for the trade.

Pours like motor oil, with a dense pitch black appearance, that is topped with 2 fingers of unholy reddish, chocolate, and burnt to hell looking foam. You know, the type of head on a beer that looks like trouble. Retains with a rigid ½ finger, that leaves back a magnificent foamy cascade of lacing. This hangs in stiff patchy swathes and mixes with oily brown goo down the sides of the glass. The aroma is quite deep smelling, with roast, chocolate, and coffee, all wrapped up in a floral feel that is floral, spicy, and a bit citric. As this sits and warms, even more complexity comes out with notes of soy sauce and some tangy smoked meats. I'm also getting some woody vanilla accents too, but it's a little hard to make out because of all the hop activity here in the nose. Some light warmth does glide underneath the flavors, but is overall pretty well hid considering the ABV of this.

The taste is very heavy feeling with gooey chocolate sweetness and bitter dark roast. There is a definite strong hop presence as well, that combines with the roast to REALLY impart a steady and intense toasty bitterness to this. Citrus (maybe even some other dark fruits) and sweeter malt notes of chocolate and toffee help create a somewhat balancing thick tang. But I'll be darned if this isn't all about the burnt and blackened flavors with this beer, leaving an aggressive lingering bitterness behind that mingles with some light woody accents that show itself in the back. The mouthfeel is creamy and mouth filling, with a big prickly carbonation that sits on top, that then gives way to a much more viscous and chewy feel underneath. Hop oils slip and slide across the tongue, adding to the slickness of this. This has definitely got some alcohol beef to it, but man, this drinks pretty nicely for the size. I'm just getting a little bit of warmth that hangs on the breath after each sip.

I like what was attempted here, with the hops adding a fresh pop to the flavor, but I also thinks that it combines with the deeply roasted flavors of this to impart a burnt bitterness that may be a little too much. Especially in the flavor, where it kind of help makes things a bit one-note. Still though, this is nice fix for those that like their Imperial Stouts rich, roasty, and big. I enjoyed this bottle. Thanks for the opportunity at this John!

Kegatron, Aug 28, 2009
Photo of davod23
2.93/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into my trusty Bruery snifter.

Appearance is promising. It pours inky black, with a very small dark mocha head that fizzes away a bit too quickly. Appears pretty thick on the pour, but short of chunky. A swirl of the glass briefly revitalizes the head, and leaves just the tiniest bit of spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. All in all, a nice looking beer.

Smell is fine, I suppose. It smells strongly of dark roasted coffee, burnt malt, wood (I guess that's the cedar), and also of a floral/citric hop characteristic that seems misplaced in this brew. Complex enough, but does not seem well integrated or all that inviting. Ah well, maybe the taste vindicates it...

...not really. Again, this isn't terrible, but it's just not very good. Lots of coffee - but it seems a bit acrid and perhaps stale. A little note of chocolate in there. Wood. And then, just like in the nose, there's a citric hop bite that I absolutely do not like. Luckily, this diminishes as the beer warms, so my "Taste" score isn't too savage. But this is not memorable.

Mouthfeel is good enough. Not quite thick and chewy, but certainly a big enough mouthfeel for the style. It goes down a little more syrupy at the tail end of the bottle. Not bad.

Drinkability... meh. Just okay. I drank the whole bottle, but it took me all evening to do so. Frankly, I didn't even really want the last pour. As a high-ABV imperial stout, it's only moderately drinkable.

I was hoping for better from this bottle. It's not terrible, but certainly nothing I would ever buy again. Cigar City has shown some promise with their brews (I enjoyed Bolita Brown and the Guava Grove), but this just isn't that impressive of an imperial stout.

davod23, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +22.5%

GRG1313, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of akorsak
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing this bottle at Deuane's 40th party.

A: The RIS is a bold black color, impenetrable and murky. A caramel-hued head rests pleasantly atop the beer.

S: The nose is full, heavily roasted with coffee, chocolate and cocoa. The roasted aspect, bitter and sharp, is the dominant aspect.

T: Maybe I'm in the minority here, but the stout is a muddled mess that overemphasizes the burnt aspects as the expense of other flavors. The burnt toast is nearly charred, astringently bitter. Mild cocoa and chocolate flavors manage to appear sporadically, cutting through the roasted malts. Hops are strong, not an equal to the malts, but present with leafy freshness. A unique wooden flavor, cedar apparently, tries but fails to sway my opinion.

M: You better like the roasted flavors, otherwise this isn't the stout for you. Further, the stout is very hot and boozy.

D: Not my cup of tea, though I am in the minority with that opinion. It seems too much like many other overdone imperial stouts.

akorsak, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of jlb502
4/5  rDev -2%

jlb502, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sam and I shared this a while back over some great food and conversation... Reviewed from pretty good notes.

One of the darkest heads I've ever seen.. looks like a thick head on an espresso... incredible retention and lacing.

Nose is rich chocolate and mild cinnamon spice.. bunches of hops with coffee but not as much as I was expecting... still very nice... opens up immensely as we come back to the bottle..

Flavor begins with waves of melted bittersweet chocolate.. again a bit spicy.. reminds me of a Mexican Hot Chocolate.. very rich.. fudgy and roasty.. citrus hops seem out of place in my mind but do well in this setting.. bitter hoppiness seems to linger in the finish with long cocoa essence.. alcohol only shows as a bit warming character, but no where in the nose or palate... just yummy... warmth brings this beer out of the glass.

Great body and carbonation... This is a sipper, but the drinkability is pretty high.

Wow.. I thought I took better notes.. but I guess not... the score speaks for itself.

4.5/4.5/5/4/4

JohnGalt1, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of JAA
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a mountain of a beer. Finishing this bottle will be a slow and arduous journey to the summit, or in this case, the bottom of the bottle. A milkshake thick body and 11.5 % ABV content, make this a formidable undertaking.

Pours blacker than the hole where my girlfriends soul used to be. Produces a very dense, chocolate milk colored, two-fingered head. Laces are big and sticky.

Smells smokey and chocolatey. Coffee, of course, is also detectable.

Tastes of chocolate and spicy, dark meat. Ashes and wood are quite noticeable. All of these flavors cover up almost all of the alcohol character.

Mouthfeel is thick and sticky on the lips. Very low carbonation, even with the big head.

Drinkability is dangerously easy for an eleven and a half percent brew. Worth every penny, a good example of the style. Another great Cigar City brew.

JAA, Jun 11, 2009
Photo of PEBKAC
3.05/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Graciously shared this past weekend amongst a few new & old acquaintances. :)

Pours a muddled black into my glass mug. Thick tan head. Viscous.

Smell is of fibrous greens, medicinal herbs, dusty/charred malt, & dry hay.

Taste is full of tobacco, coffee grounds, & bitter/bark-y wood. Malt component tastes like nearly burnt chocolate. A little vegetable-y as well. Finish felt a bit itchy. Pasty feel. Left hoping for some more familiar cedar notes. Sadly hyped.

Didn't get much satisfaction out of this one, but I like the idea behind it, & would try my luck again.

PEBKAC, Jun 03, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to the Florida BA crew for sending this bottle up my way. I have been dying to try this one and decided last night was going to be the time and place for it. Served cellar temp and poured into a pint glass, this 750ml beast was consumed on 06/18/2009.
 
First off the 5 for appearance on this needs to be a 6. This was the biggest, most evil, and jaw dropping looking stout I have ever run across. Seriously intense looking dark black in color without as much as a twinkle of light getting through. Huge chocolate colored head rose up two inches before settling down with a reverse, cascading waterfall look to it. Tons of thick lacing up and down the sides of the glass made me nervous to even go near this one.
 
Tons of chocolate in the aroma, you could pick it up from across the room. Immensely complex with roasted, almost tobacco like notes, hints of molasses and coffee. An everything but the kitchen sink mentality on this one, but I have to say it works. It was so warm and inviting you just had to revel in it for a few moments. Eventually though you must go in and try a sip, and when you do, look out. Huge flavor, and I mean huge. Massively complex as a crashing wave of roasted malts and chocolate notes rolls across the tongue. An almost burnt molasses like flavor to it comes though with a nice bit of sweetness before you get a backlash of bitter dark chocolate and coffee. Light touches of almost vanilla maybe and a definite licorice and dark fruit coming through, especially in the finish. Coating, with a nice carbonation level, it leaves you full, and a bottle was some work for me to get through, but the 11% was really no where to be found.
 
Overall, blown away by this beast. I knew it was good, as I had heard the discussions as such, but this is just a whole another level. One of the biggest ones out there, Cigar City can now definitely play with the big boys.

mikesgroove, Jun 19, 2009
Photo of largadeer
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to mfielden for bringing this one to a recent tasting. Pitch black appearance, opaque even in the pour, with a dark brown head. Looks viscous as hell. The nose, in contrast, is pretty understated; heavy on the chocolate malt, very roasty and slightly milky but surprisingly muted on the whole. The taste is thankfully bolder, heavy still on the chocolate malts with a strong roasted backbone, bordering on acrid without actually tasting too burnt. A bit of smoke appears mid-palate. Sweetness is restrained, and the finish borders on dry with a surprisingly punchy hop bitterness. Medium in body, less syrupy than the appearance would lead you to believe. This is a solid imperial stout, though I wasn't as impressed as I was expecting to be. Glad I had a chance to try it though.

largadeer, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of ritzkiss
4.68/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks be to Grub for pulling out this spectacular gem which he says is a year old now; thanks Russ!

Pours a viscous, dark brew with 2+ fingers of thick mocha fudge head which has some good retention. Damn near perfect.

Nose reveals a pleasant dusty cocoa, a real earthy presence even from the hops which also range into a hint of citrus. Hops are somewhat muted but there.

Just a fantastic, rich beer that never falls into over-decadent but approaches dangerous levels of drinkability for 11.5%. Dusty cocoa, earth, a well balanced but bold roast, chocolate milk, dark fruits, a bitterness that is very well integrated. A moderate sweetness but it is the dryness of the finish which pulls this all together and is key. Simply decadent, well integrated and not a hint of the ABV while maintaining a hefty, creamy body.

This is perhaps one of the best brews I've had to date and the year in the cellar, I would have to think, has really made this a gem. Thanks again Grub!

ritzkiss, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of bespin15
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

bespin15, Dec 08, 2011
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110K+OT Batch #2 - I.R.I.S. from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.