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Bolita Brown - Bourbon Barrel Aged - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Bolita Brown - Bourbon Barrel AgedBolita Brown - Bourbon Barrel Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

38 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 38
Hads: 76
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 16.46%
Wants: 63
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cjgator3 on 06-04-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 38 | Hads: 76
Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by nickd717. Thanks again, Nick.

Pours a dark, slightly turbid brown color with a small tan head. The aroma has a lovely and well-balanced bourbon -bal character, along with some toasted malt, vanilla, roasted nuts and cereal. Toffee-nut goodness. On the tongue it opens with toffee-caramel sweetness, oatmeal raisin cookies and bourbon. There's a bit of roastiness mid-palate, along with a hint of toasted nuts. Finishes lightly bitter and roasty with mild tannins and a hint of boozy astringency. Medium-full in body with a moderate level of carbonation. Excellent stuff.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour was very nice. A rich looking brown, with nice clarity and some reddish tints to the sides and bottom of the glass. Light carbonation could be seen trickling up from the bottom. There was a decent sized, maybe three quarters of an inch of off white foam that came across the top and hung for the remainder of the session, creating some nice ripples of side glass lace.

The aroma was light, lots of nuttiness and light grain in there. Faint hint of vanilla and some light cocoa as well. Maybe a touch of figs way in the back mixed in with an earthy roasted malt. The flavor was very smooth with a nice medium bodied brown ale that still served up very well in the carbonation department. Initial flavor was of caramel and hazelnut, with a touch of oak and bourbon. Nothing really overblown here at all which led to it still being amazingly session able. Light aftertaste of roasted nuts and caramel with hints of vanilla and a very slight bitterness to it. Very nice and solid brown ale here.

Overall I have to admit this was not bad at all. I was really impressed that the bourbon tones were not overblown, but were in fact nicely put together as more of an accent to a already solid beer. Really a very well done brown ale that I would be happy to try any day!

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Photo of womencantsail
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a sort of muddled brown color with very little head on it.

S: Sweet caramel, brown sugar, and vanilla immediately come through on the nose with some definite bourbon notes as well (without being boozy). Not overly nutty, but perhaps a hint of walnuts.

T: The sweetness is quite noticeable on the palate as well. Plenty of brown sugar, caramel, toffee, with maybe even a bit of chocolate. The bourbon and vanilla flavors are nice and mellow, but present. Slightly dry finish despite being a fairly sweet beer, odd.

M: The body is medium with a somewhat low level of carbonation to it.

D: I have not been so lucky as to try the regular version of this beer, but the barrel aged version is quite nice. Good flavors and well melded.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into several glasses. Thanks go to FooFaa for generously sharing this with a group of us. I didn't catch the bottle # but did notice that this was from the most recently bottled batch on 12/28/2009.

Pours a deep ruddy amber brown, with a finger of rich mocha head. Solid frothy retention on this, which left a thick foamy cascade of lacing down the sides of the glass. The bourbon strikes the nostrils first here in the aroma, being mostly mellow, with notes of of charred wood and earthy tannins, but still possesses a bit of an assertive sharpness to it as well. Sweeter accents of cocoa, vanilla, fruit, nuts, and some crunchier roasty attributes all dwell underneath.

The char, vanilla, and burnt molasses character of the bourbon melds ridiculously well with the chocolate and roasted nut flavors of the Bolita. Great balance between barrel and beer here, with the bourbon being flavorful but still mellow enough to allow the Brown character to come out, as well as refraining from emitting any kind of a harsh alcohol burn. This finishes with dryness, oak, and warmth lingering on the tongue. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, and is coming off as fairly creamy overall with its carbonation. Some sharpness and warmth do emerage but it seems to come more from the bourbon flavor than anything to do with the size of the beer. This gets a touch stronger as the glass hits room temp but I'm still very impressed with how this is going down.

I have to admit that I still haven't had the regular Bolita Brown but I really liked what I saw underneath that barrel aging. The bourbon handled itself very nicely here and really kept this a pleasant and flavorful quaff. Good stuff.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #87/175 from the December 2009 batch. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip. Thanks to jw347 for the hookup.

A - Two fingers of ecru foam that leaves behind glass-coating lace and a thick cap. Dark brown body with some transparent red highlights.

S - Earthen barrel, spicy bourbon notes, vanilla, toasted malts, nutty brown ale. Lots of oak and tannic character as well.

T - Taste is pretty similar. Nutty brown ale, earthen barrel, a little bit of whiskey bite. Not quite as potent as the nose but still quite pleasant.

M - Medium but softer carbonation, smooth texture, but a bit too thin for a 9%+ beer. Went down easy as a result.

D - This was pretty enjoyable, and a pleasant surprise. I had multiple pours, and if it weren't so rare I'd love to have it again.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle shared at wooshop 5.1

Poured a deep dark brown with a half finger of head that left good sticky lacing on the glass. The nose was quite nice consisting of bourbon and nutty aromas with vanilla, oak, chocolate, and toffee accents. Up front the taste was pretty big on the bourbon but was not too boozy. There was also quite a bit of nuttiness with hints of vanilla, chocolate, and toffee, and slight oak in the background. The beer was medium body with a good amount of carbonation that had a nutty sweet silky and boozy finish that lingered on the palate. Drank pretty well and was good all the way around. I'm glad I had the opportunity to try at least once.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Bottle 216/229. Another one generously opened by John (wetherel). Thanks! The beer pours deep brown with a creamy one finger off white head.

The nose is decidedly nutty with a nice upper moderate bourbon presence and some toffee. Notes of milk chocolate are evident, and there's a light roasted malt presence.

The taste is of lightly sweet toffee with a nutty quality and a light roast. Bourbon maintains a deliciously strong presence. Notes of oak are perceivable. The mouthfeel is full and creamy. Alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Buckeyeboy brought this to a recent tasting.... Huge thanks Jeremy for this rarity!! Bottle #137/221 Reviewed from notes.

Very Clear brown with a sandy off white head.. good lacing.

Big bourbon... vanilla... mild oak ... brown malts... nutty with lite chocolate.

Flavor mirrors the nose a very nice bourbon element ... good whiskey .... better than I normally drink .... more caramel and vanilla than the nose.

Very drinkable.... just a sexy brew.... thanks again Jeremy... Fantastic brew.


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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 #96 of 229. Generously given to me by Nick of the ThreeWiseMen. Nice hookup!

Poured a deep brown color ok carbonation and left a tannish head that fades fast. Nose is vanilla, bourbon, oak. Taste is bourbon upfront, vanilla, toffee, chocolate, nuts and bourbon from the middle, tinge of booze and bourbon on the end. Tad bit of coffee maybe? Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lighter than I would expect leaving the drinkability very good. The wife and I enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown cor with dark mahogany edges and half finger off white head that slowly fades into a thin ring.  Minimal lacing.  

Sweet bourbon aroma with subtle earthy oak, dark malt and hints of burnt toast, oatmeal and bitter dark chocolate.  The barrel character is present but not overpowering, letting the other notes come through.  

Medium bodied with a prominent barrel presence but the bourbon is well integrated wihout overshadowing everything.  Sweet booze/bourbon, toasted oak and faint vanilla countered by a deep roasted malt backbone.  Hints of dark chocolate, oatmeal, toast and coffee bean.   Subtle heat toward the finish.  Very roasty and kind of acrid but the bourbon sweetness balances things out.

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Photo of sweemzander
1.79/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

750mL waxed bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle # 56/175. Thank you to Beerwolf77 for sharing!

(A)- Pours a dark brown and produced a good tan colored head. Decent retention.

(S)- Definitely has a sour aspect to an otherwise good nutty roastedness as far as I can tell.

(T)- Same as the smell. Definitely a sour aspect in front of what seems to be a nutty roasted character.

(M)- A good carbonation level, however this is obviously sour and infected unfortunately.

(D)- Sadly, very infected. If you still have a bottle, I suggest drinking it asap.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #87/175 from the December 2009 batch shared by Alex...Nice lacing here...Aroms is good with lots going on, a lot of typilca nut brown aromas but enhanbed by oak and a little bourbon...The taste is right on the aroma, nuts, oak, and bourbon, nice a combination that really works well.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
1.79/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. 9% ABV, Dec. 28, 2009, 56/175.

Thanks to Beerwolf for sharing this infected mess?

A - HEY! Our first brew of the night with head! Too bad it's all from the infection. Light retention with patchy lace left on the glass, this brown is...brown and moderately clear.

S - Sour tartness with woody, nutty malts and roasted chocolate mocha. There is a little bit of barrel-aged aroma in there too, but it's overshadowed by the sour infected aroma.

T - Tart, sour infection taste with dusty cocoa and a wet cardboard finish. A little bit of nuttiness pulls through, but this one is far beyond good tasting.

M - Sharp carbonation with a tart finish and mild warm alcohol feel. The excessive carbonation and tartness is another nail in the coffin.

D - All of us ended up drain-pouring the infected mess that was pretty awful but had the potential for greatness had it not been jacked-up.

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Photo of maximum12
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well, two thanks to send out for this one. First to moose3285 for sending me a bottle of this during the summer...a bottle I still haven't touched. This bottle that I just split with my wife I will thank the lucky stars for. We stopped by the tasting room yesterday & they had five bottles of BA Bolita left, so I grabbed a pair. And now it is in two glasses, my wife says "give it a five, it smells great!"

Bottle 8/175, bottled on 12/28/09. By far the freshest out-the-barrel BA brew I've ever had. Sweet.

Slinks out of the groovy bottle brown, like the ale says, with sharp reddish edges. I don't like to talk about bubbly heads, but this one is noted for its thin layer of bubbles that simply don't move. Don't fall. Don't bubble. Don't retreat. Just sits. Huh. The nose on this is orgtastic. The vanilla-hither-bourbon with the distinct brown notes underneath.

Barrel Aged Bolita. The bourbon comes in first, but the malty brown ale base holds it up & keeps it from being overwhelming. The subtlety is charming. Toss in a bit of chocolate, vanilla. Not quite as complex as most barrel-aged beers I've had, but very nice nonetheless.

Most of the notes in this beer come from the feel, rather than the taste for me. It has some very port wine, or aged barleywine feel under the bourbon, which seems odd in a brown. Exceedingly dry. The body of the base beer might be just a titch light to hold up the bourbon, but the light touch on the barrel-aging helps.

Overall, this is another excellent Cigar City beer. I keep waiting for a disappointment...I'm still waiting. Strangely, I find their standard brews even better than their excellent BA brews to date. My wife gives it an A+.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown beer that rubies on the edges. Off-white head that left some lace out on the sides.

S - The brown ale manages not to get overwhelmed by the bourbon and the barrel. Decent nut and brown sugar tones.

T - Taste is about like the nose. Brown sugar, little molasses, some cocoa, nuts. Nice meld of bourbon and oak to this, giving it a pretty smooth taste. Quite nice.

M - Slightly lower carbonation, medium bodied.

O - Really nice beer, browns tend to be boring, and I would have thought it would have been overwhelmed by the barrel aging. Came through fine, was glad to have tried it.

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Photo of gford217
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, labeled #164, courtesy of a very generous Tampa BA, poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark chocolate brown with some clear mahogany showing through the edges. There is a small tan head that recedes almost immediately to a healthy collar and a swirl along the top.

The aroma is boozy and sweet with the bourbon definitely coming through strong in the nose. On top of that is some vanilla, caramel and dark chocolate with a big dose of brown sugar as well.

The taste is fantastic and complex with the big malty base beer blending perfectly with the bourbon barrels. Lots of caramelized sugar and booze-soaked dark fruits with the barrels coming out especially strong in the finish with bourbon and vanilla closing out a smooth finish.

The mouthfeel is decadent for a brown ale - super smooth with a good soft carbonation and a faint dryness from the barrel, though the sweetness still dominates the mouthfeel, leaving the palate sticky with sugary malts and bourbon.

Another excellent beer from Cigar City and one of the best brown ales I've ever tasted. Extremely complex with a dominant sweetness that just completely coats the mouth with all kinds of flavors.

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Photo of illidurit
3.61/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy SamGamgee. Pours dark copper brown with a light-tan head that leaves some wispy lacing. Aroma is a one-dimensional bourbon explosion. Maybe a little chocolate too. Flavor is much more complex although the bourbon is still the main note. There's a nice coffee character in there and a big nuttiness. A little hot but not too bad. Mouthfeel is slick and warming. Good but not worth the hype.

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Photo of tpd975
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big shout out to jdub for cracking open one of his bottles at the release party.

A: Pours a nice deep dark brown hue with a nice off white head. Very nice retention and some lace.

S: Wonderful malty masterpiece. Tons of gooey caramel and blackened brown sugar. Hints of molasses and nutty toffee. The barrel then takes over and you get loads of oak with traces of vanilla and booze.

T: Much much like the aroma. An array of sweet candy malts up front. Subtle chocolate notes before the barrel plows through. Wonderful fresh cut oak, subtle vanilla, and wonderful kentucky bourbon. Really is a great beer.

M: On the fuller side of medium, smooth, wonderful carbonation, with just the smallest hint of boozy burn.

D: One to sit back and relax with. I dream of lighting up a fine cigar and sipping this one as I puff the night away.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Via 750ml - Bottle 97 or 175. Shared and enjoyed on 1/25/10.

A - Poured a cloudy nut brown liquid with caramel-colored highlights and a frothy tan cap that retained well and deposited a thick coat of lace down the sides of the glass.

S - Warm alcohol presence with plenty of bourbon and wood attributes as well as an underlying nutty malt character. Caramel malt and vanilla bean notes sweet the pot, keeping the alcohol from getting too out of control.

T - Initial flavor combines nutty malt notes, caramel and vanilla sweetness and an alcohol tang, then segues into a slight woody character in the middle through the backend. Finishes with a hint of sourness and a mild nutty astringency amidst moderate bourbon notes.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth, creamy texture and a hint of bristly carbonation. Finishes with alcohol warmth and plenty of residual sweetness on the palate.

D - Very nice BA Brown Ale that I found to be just a tad warm overall, but still extremely tasty and drinkable. Big props and many thanks to the noob who brought this bottle to Brass Rail to share!

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Photo of Deuane
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Brian bringing this surprise to a recent Brass Rail gathering. Bottle 97/175 bottled at 1353 on 12/28/2009.

A-Hazy copper brown with a thin, light tan head that held on well and left nice lace.

S-Sweet malt with a pronounced nutty character. Backing earthy notes with nice mellowing bourbon notes in the background.

T-Surprisingly strong bourbon bite up front that yields way to a nice, smooth, malty body. Drying nutty notes in finish.

M-Medium bodied good lingering bourbon notes and a dry finish.

D-Excellent and quite tasty. Though lightly bourboned it is just enough for this brew making this one very drinkable.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. #9/229.

A - Pours a dark brown, no head, some faint bubbles.

S - Bourbon, dark fruits, toffee, burnt sugars, caramel. Very rich, with a good amount going on here. I like the fruits and rich dessert notes...complex.

T - Light on the bourbon, oak, dark fruits, burnt sugars, dark chocolate. The bourbon note is light and allows all the other characteristics to show up. I guess it could be some of the age which helps mellow this one out.

M - Medium, rich, light carbonation, creamy finish.

D - Another winner from CCB. I'm really digging the light bourbon and dark fruit mix. Def recommend!

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Photo of koopa
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle # 84 of 229 received in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours an opaque center with mahogany folds. The oatmeal colored crown is 1 finger, shows moderate retention, and decent lace.

Smell: Lots of nuttiness over a deep malt with a hint of brown sugar, chocolate toffee, vanilla and bourbon.

Taste: Same as nose but the bourbon and the nut take center stage. Touch of alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: On the light side of heavy bodied with perfect carbonation.

Drinkability: Fairly drinkable for the strengh.

Very happy to have tried this and would love more. If you have some to trade send me a beermail!

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Photo of nickd717
4.77/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle #203 of 221, acquired via trade thanks to Sebletitje. Thanks a lot, Seb! I know people like to knock on Cigar City for all the hype they receive, but when they brew something like this, I mean, they're just that good, brah, ya feels me?

Pours a dark brown hazy color with a medium beige head, leaving a small layer of foam after it settles.

Aroma is sweet and heavenly, with honey, caramel, toffee, nuts, oak, and mild bourbon.

Flavor is somewhat barleywine-like and sweet with honey, floral qualities, toffee, caramel, cedar, oak, vanilla, sherry, and well-balanced bourbon. Just really complex and really, really good. Achieves the perfect balance.

Body is only medium, which contributes to drinkability, with a silky smooth palate and a long, sweet finish.

Amazingly drinkable, with almost no hint of booziness. Wish I could use this as an "imperial session beer" every day. It's incredible.

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Photo of rye726
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Up for review is a bottle of Barrel Aged Bolita Brwon from Cigar City Brewing Company. Pours a nice woody brown, decent head. Notes of bready malts, nuts, oak, whiskey and vanilla. Well balanced, the barrels are not out of control. Body a bit thin through the finish.

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Photo of beerwolf77
1.3/5  rDev -67.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Been sitting on this one for awhile. The whole gang was over so I figured I'd bust it out. Probably should have picked something else. Split with 3 like minded individuals.

A: Dark cola brown with blood red edges. Solid finger of beige head recedes to leave soapy lace.

S: Sour brown sour ale with a touch of sour chocolate and sour roast nuts. Did I mention it was sour? Damn!

T: Sour brown ale with hints of sour cherry, sour wet cardboard, sour metallic flavor, sour bourbon, sour chocolate, sour... you get the picture.

M: Thin and overly carbonated. Infected as all get out.

D: Drain pour city. Sadly this went south chilling in my cellar. I've really enjoyed everything I've had from CCB so far. So this is a huge surprise and disappointment.

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Bolita Brown - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
89 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.