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José Martí American Porter - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
José Martí American PorterJosé Martí American Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

258 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 258
Hads: 924
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 19.75%
Wants: 105
Gots: 128 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mcallister on 08-11-2010

This is a heavily hopped high gravity porter featuring the hopping levels of an India Pale Ale with the rich and roasty malt profile of a robust porter. Heavy hop rates, while uncommon in today's porters were not unknown historically and recipes from the British porter producers of the 1800's evidence hopping rates far in excess of what is common for the style today.

65 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 258 | Hads: 924
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Filled Last night; Sampled January 2011
A vigorous pour into my CCB tulip produces a three-finger thick, lightly browned, stained tan colored head that leaves some light lacing on the sides of my glass as I work my way through it. The beer is a concentrated brown that looks a lot like dark chocolate; when held up to the light the beer shows a deep, concentrated ruby color. The beer smells of lightly herbal hops and dark, toasted malt up front. The toasted grain character gets bigger towards the finish and makes me think of a dense, darkly browned, whole grain bread crust. There is a subtle berry like fruitiness to this beer that is at times drowned out by the toasted malt character. The malt aromatics on this beer are huge, at times they drown out all the other aromatic notes found in this beer, but at other times I am actually able to get notes of orange zest, tangelo peel and even a hint of something like kumquat. I wasn't expecting the hop character in this beer for some reason, it is dominated by a hugely aromatic malt character that isn't really roasted, but definitely dark leaning; the hop character does add a nice layer to the nose though.

Bitter hops up front are tempered a bit by a dry, crystal malt sweetness (if that makes any sense) and the beer has a viscousness to it and caramel quality as it sits on the tongue. As the beer slides down my throat the ample hop character comes through in spades by contributing flavors of Curacao orange zest, bright tangelo and kumquat peel as well as an herbal and pine like hop character that is a bit secondary to the fruity hop notes (almost the reverse of the nose). The dark malt and the hop citrus notes really make me think of an orange-oil infused dark chocolate. The finish has a touch of roasted grain burnt notes that has a touch of burnt bitterness to it, but really gets subsumed by the herbaceous hop character of the finish. There are times that this beer can get a bit harsh in the finish; the roast grain mixes with a green, astringent hop character that almost tastes like burnt toothpaste, luckily this isn't quite so evocative after most sips of this brew.

I am definitely digging the dark beer focus of this brewery, somehow there does seem to be dearth of these around, especially one that executes this well. I really like a well made Brown Ale and this is the second I have had from this brewery and I am looking forward to others. Despite the harsh at times hop flavors this is a beer I am definitely going to enjoy finishing my cute half growler of it.

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Photo of liamt07
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Sammy, 12oz bottle into a tulip. Thanks again.

Pours a completely opaque deep brown, with a fluffy cocoa brown head. Webbed lace, some big chunks retain. Nose is a luscious milk chocolate, some roasted notes, lighter vanilla bean, a touch of alcohol and molasses/caramel. A substantial dose of hops as well. Taste has some chocolate, lighter roasty notes, cocoa, some light alcohol again. A similar vanilla sweetness to the nose and a some goof hop bitterness which works well with everything else going on here. Mouthfeel is full, super creamy and velvety, just spot on. Great drinkability and an awesome American porter.

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Photo of biegaman
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Named after an historic Cuban national, and brewed not far outside of Miami, it's fitting that this beer be coffee-brown, if not black, in colour and that its frothy head be whipped as though it were indeed a café con leche. Although the beer (and even its head) is much darker than the man himself, the lacing it leaves almost resembles the shape of his mustache.

José Martí lived in the 19th century and, indeed, this porter has a light sourness reminiscent of an Old English style porter of the same period. Cocoa nibs and stale coffee grinds factor in, but it's the 'festering berry in chimney sweep' note that sticks the longest. It works for the style and my nose is intrigued, albeit not entirely in a confidently positive manner.

"A grain of poetry suffices to season a century"... and a bunch of grains of barley certainly suffice a 330ml glass. Strong notes of chocolate and coffee occupy the palate, all the while a sooty roast settles in for the long haul. Sweetness is hard to come by, especially given the presence of a (likely unwanted) sourness that bludgeons the beer's leafy, hoppy aftertaste.

The chocolaty, coffee-y notes of this porter play out like a guitar with a broken string. Something is a miss, or at least it should be. While a strong roast registers immediately upon sip, and a prominent Spanish coffee taste lingers, the beer isn't a fraction as decadent or bittersweet as so many American porters. The finish has an almost puckering, chalky dryness.

Normally I wouldn't review a beer I suspected to be compromised. However, I owe a debt of gratitude to the ultra-generous Ultraman9000 for the bottle and, besides, this is still a plenty salvageable beer, the slight sourness notwithstanding. For a brewery quickly becoming renown for over-the-top releases, this moderate offering made a good first impression.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to cyrusthepup for this brew.

Pours a nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, not much of a head on this one, and some minimal sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is malty, lots of chocolate/toffee notes. The taste is malty, chocolate/toffee, and caramel. Medium Body, very nice dry/bitter finish. A pretty tasty brew.

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Photo of Duff27
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Half-inch medium mocha head on a dark brown body. Visible chunky sediment floating about. Leaves a strong collar and somewhat of a cap, no lacing.

S- Surprisingly, I am not blown away by a large hop presence but instead greeted with chocolate notes on the nose.

T- Okay, there are the hops....really come out at the end of each sip and in the aftertaste. Mouthwatering chocolate on the forefront. Really delicious. Well hidden 8%ABV.

M- A nice and thick porter in the mouth. Low but fitting carbonation level.

D/O- It's hoppiness sets it apart from 98% of porters out there, just short of over the top. I found the cocoa and bitterness to play well off each other. Yum!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a dark brown with a great look. A dirty tannish cap with some substantial stamina leaving behind a nice amount of bubbles and moderate lacing

S: A green like funk, grains and sordove husky. A moderate roastiness with bakers powder cocoa and light coffee

T: Immediate astringency with roast and baking cocoa, grains, a lingering funky, taint rides the taste buds until the finish. There is a borderline harsh bitterness, astringency on the end which is a little to much for the style.

M: Medium leaning full bodied, well carbonated, harsh roast and lingering greeny like seaweed funk and skunk on it

O: Average porter at best

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Photo of flagmantho
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: entirely black with just little fimbriations of brown around the edges. Head is a thick finger of frothy tan foam with a nice lace left on the glass as it slowly dissipates. Quite attractive!

Smell: piercing hoppy aroma right up front with a lot of piney, resiny character; this fits easily on top of a caramelly, chocolatey maltiness. It's almost more reminiscent of a strong ale or barleywine, albeit with a little more chocolate character. One very nice thing is that, despite being both hoppy and dark in color, there's none of the characteristic vegetal hop aroma that happens with that combination. Nice!

Taste: a very well-balanced combination of malty strong-porter complexity (caramel, dark fruit, a little chocolate) and relatively strong hoppiness (again with a piney character). This pulls off a challenge that many American Black Ales attempt but fail. Quite good.

Mouthfeel: medium-rich body with a big carbonation and a giant, smooth, satisfying creaminess that has remarkable staying power. I love it.

Overall: while this beer's strength and somewhat raspy hoppiness could theoretically detract from its drinkability, I think its skilful balance and successful execution of the elusive dark-yet-hoppy paradigm make it a simply delightful beer.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/17/11

A big thanks goes out to a great trader for this one, UMCaner74. Cheers Dave!

A: Look at the head on this one! 3+ fingers on a somewhat agressive pour. It's frothy and thick - creamier then any porter of recent memory. Dark as night. If I didn't know any better, I'd think it was a stout.

S: Kona coffee on the nose, with bitter hints of hops and alcohol. Surprisingly - when I inhale deeper, it comes off somewhat sweet. This isn't a bad thing, as it actuallly pairs quite well with the traditional chocolate smoke that brings it all together.

T: Toffee and toasty hops. I pick up the alcohol on the mid-palate. The finish is just outstanding - as the charry, asphalt malts really stick around for what seems to be an eternity.

M: One of the creamiest and most luxurious porters I've had the pleasure of quaffing. Great weight for the style, with mild and well balanced carbonation.

O: This is the second Cigar City brew I've had, and yet again I've been wowed. Jose Marti India Porter is of the highest quality, every aspect of it shines. There's a reason we're all talking about CCB: because they make outstanding suds like this. A wonderful beer.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

A- Poured into a Cigar City snifter. Pours a dark blackish color with a light tan head.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts with some fresh citrusy hops as well. I love the aroma, there is plenty of roastiness from the malts and a good dose of hops as well. I think I am going to like this beer.

T- The taste like the aroma starts out with sweet roasted malts that make way for a good amount of bitterness in the finish from the hops. Wow, delicious!

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a perfect amOunt of carbonation. Spot on.

D- Overall, Cigar City knocked this one out of the ballpark. This beer is immediately right up there among my favorite Porters. Must try beer, highly recommended!

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Photo of rudzud
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

A - Pours a nice deep brownish black hue with a one finger mocha head that fades to leave a thin thin cloud and light halo.

S - Aromas of nice roast malts and chocolate. Good bitterness too thanks to some hops. Light citrus too.

T - More of the heavy roast, nice chocolate and coffee grounds. Very lingering burnt/biter finish. Like a much more roasty, less hoppy black IPA.Dont get me wrong, theres a good amount of hop bitterness and faint citrus, but it just comes across like a weak black IPA.

M - Mouthfeel was a bit on the astringent side with a dry finish. Fairly solid.

O - Overall, not a bad porter, just wish the flavors were a bit more well rounded with each other.

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Photo of Viggo
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, thanks to grub for sharing!

Pours a dark brownish orange, slightly opaque, medium sized tan head forms and slowly settles to a thick ring around the glass and a thin layer, a lot of lace spots stick to the glass, looks good.

Smell is neat, really hoppy but still retains some porter character, some caramel, light chocolate and coffee roast, quite fruity, some nice coconut and tropical fruit notes, a bit of grapefruit, pineapple, almost a bit of banana or plantain, pretty nice.

Taste is really nice, big and rich, sweet, caramelized, big toffee note, a bit of fruit and coconut, raisin, some brown sugar, a bit of alcohol, light grapefruit hoppiness, a touch of vanilla and some espresso roast, light chocolate milk, toasty and biscuity in the finish, quite nice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, a bit of warmth going down but pretty pleasant. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.51/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Taken from notes on 4.18.11

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Dark brown in color with a tan head made up of tiny bubbles, nice retention.

S - Sugar and old fruit.

T - Coffee, raisins, and old fruit.

D - Little carbonation, coats the mouth fully.

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Photo of spinrsx
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle picked up at the brewery in Tampa FL

Appearance - Brown colour with a massive size frothy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 10 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, hops, grains

Taste & Mouth - There is a high amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also some grains and alight smokiness and some hops.

Overall - A really enjoyable beer. The carbonation level kind of threw me off, but it works. The beer has a fantastic balance of flavours and the alcohol is very well hidden. A great beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of claspada
2.63/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very dark brown color with a big sticky tan head and some nice rings of lacing.

Aromas begin with huge roasted maltiness; some bitter coffee and chocolate notes are close behind. There are some really strong hop aromas here too, quite earthy and faintly citrusy.

The tastes, like the aromas, are an assault of bitterness on the palate. A ton of roasted/charred malts; the black coffee flavors are almost as intense as the roasted/burnt graininess, with some bitter dark chocolate on the backend. The hop notes are more citrus than the nose lets on, but still quite earthy. Astoundingly bitter, and really just not a flavor combination I am a fan of.

The mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied with a medium level of carbonation. Bitterness is overwhelming here and wrecks your palate in the finish.

Overall I could not drink this beer. Too much bitterness, too much hops, just too much. I do not enjoy hoppy dark ales so this just totally didn't work for me. This is not a porter in my opinion, but a black IPA/Cascadian dark ale. Not my cup of tea for sure.

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Photo of glid02
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5


Pours one shade from black with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of robust roasted malts with hints of semi-sweet chocolate undertones. Also present are hints of tobacco and lighter hints of earthy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by moderately bitter semi-sweet chocolate flavors. Midway through the sip slight amounts of tobacco and heavier roasted flavors make an appearance along with hints of spiciness, either from rye or the hops. The spiciness fades out quickly, allowing equal amounts of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and tobacco flavors to carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's a bit on the thin side with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this beer has the tobacco character that I love in so many of CCB's beers. My only qualm is that the thickness isn't quite there, but it really is a very good beer that's well worth a shot.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Bells tulip...Medium brown pour, light tan, not much to note...SUPER sweet aroma, what is going on here? Tons of chocolate and cocoa powder...Taste is a complete 180 from the aroma, all the sweet chocolate is gone replaced by coffee, roasty, bitter coffee, light chalk finish, distracting end.

Interesting because its not at all what you expect, give it a shot.

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Photo of tbeckett
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Total Wine in Tampa. From notes.

A - Poured black with a two finger brown head that was thick and creamy. Good carbonaiton coming up. Great lace rings and a film of retention.

S - Yup this was robustly hopped. Vanilla, cocoa beans, coffee bean fruits?

T - Nice hop profile. Nice and roasty, citrus and lot's of sweet malt. Some dark fruit, roast, and light coffee.

M - Good carbonation, medium body, dry and slighty bitter finish. Lacking a little body.

O/D - Complex and very drinkable. A tasty, hoppy porter. Pleaseure to sip and the 8% is well masked.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.
8% ABV, no date.

Thanks to Thorpe429 for this Florida brew!

A - Near silent, José pours with perfect clarity into the pint dark brown with caramel highlights that accent the beer near the bottom. A tan head rests gently on top and wispy lace clutches the sides.

S - Chocolate rich, there's a ton of roasted malts in this guy. Cocoa nibs, dark, bittersweet chocolate, wisps of molasses, and a fairly prominent earthy hop balance lines the malt. A good start!

T - Black, strong espresso overwhelms the once strong chocolate profile. Smoky notes involve themselves with bitter chocolate chunk and a cocoa finish. Heavily roasted black malts are quite huge here. Well-balanced with hops though.

M - Full-bodied and rich, there is little carbonation but it doesn't feel thin or flat. Very smooth across the palette but harshly acrid bitter on the finish. Balanced very well here.

O - This would make a fantastic dessert beer with chocolate cake or freshly baked, damp, chocolate chip cookies. I can't imagine drinking this in Florida though unless it got pretty cold at night. A delicious porter with a decent level of drinkability.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.01/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into CC snifter - thanks to sendsilk

Pours a deep black color with a nice, buoyant tanned head. Retains really nicely, leaving plenty of patchy lacing all over the glass.

A swirl of pine hops and roasted malts in the nose, mixed with cocoa/chocolate notes. There's a spike of metallic (almost brett-like) weirdness going on though, which was slightly alarming.

Decent hoppiness up front with pine and some sticky resin. Thick malt bill, boasting cocoa and dark chocolate, along with some hints of caramel. Touches of nuttiness and roasted coffee. The off scents in the nose are more subdued in the flavor profile, although I could still detect something strange happening towards the middle. Slightly sweet and bitter towards the finish, very small touch of alcohol.

Fuller medium body, overcarbonated, chewy and full on the tongue, but prickly as well. A pretty interesting take on the porter, although the off scents/flavor were interfering with what might otherwise be a delicious beer. I love CC, but this is the 2nd time I've gotten an off bottle.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to Thirtsybird for sharing this find brought back from his trip down South. Pours an opaque dark brown with a creamy, tan-colored head that dissipates into a skim and a cluster of bubbles. Nose reveals dark roasted malts and a slightly muted herbal/medicinal quality. Aromas of brown sugar and/or molasses also present in the nose. Taste follows nose - perhaps a little ashy. A roasted character also comes out as it warms, as well as coffee grounds. A light hops bittering lingers at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a slightly creamy texture and a pleasant carbonation. A decent porter, but doesn't really rate high on my list.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour is black with tons of tight tan head and a thick lacing. Nose has a robust malt up front of milk chocolate and roasted malt. Aggressively hopped citrus behind and hop resin behind. Taste is heavier roast, still fairly rich and malty, some citrus hop and a hint of an herbal note. Silky smooth body with an assertive carbonation and a fairly dry chalky finish.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark brown to light black colored body. Light tan head. Lacing sticks everywhere on the glass.

Smell: Piney hops and some coffee. Hops inate the nose. Coffee is subtle.

Taste: This pretty tasty offering. Almost a coffee forward porter, but the hops come in and add some balance. The coffee tastes strong and even a bit burnt. You also get some bitter and somewhat sour notes from the hops. Piney and grassy tasting hops behind a decently amount of malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with a moderate amount of carbonation. The beer excels in the mouthfeel department because its nice a creamy which seems to bring some balance the malts and hops.

Overall: Solid porter from Cigar City Brewery. This is my first beer from the brewery and I can't wait to try the other beers i have from them! I normally enjoy my porters on the malter side with just a dash of hops, but this was a well done beer.

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Photo of Bung
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. The standard black/brown with a nice frothy fine bubbled light tan head. Head retention is very good.

Aroma, Toasted malt, cocoa, peat. Some herbal notes, hops?

Taste, Loads of dark chocolate and cocoa. Fairly heavy roast malt, some mocha latte. Finishes dry just faint a hop presence and a ton of cocoa.

Solid medium body, nice and creamy. A little too much abv to be a session porter, but it drinks like you would want to put down a bunch.

Thought this was really very good, the 2nd I've had from Cigar City and I'd say the best. Better than the Imperial Milk Porter, which was good.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured basically black with a slight hint of brown in the light with a one and a half finger tan head that subsided to one finger very slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, bitter hops, and chocolate. The flavor was of roasted malt, bitter hops, dark chocolate, and coffee. It had a heavy feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was quite excellent for an American Porter. Had a very nice mouthfeel and nice aroma to match. The flavor was very well balanced with a nice hop bite and coffee taste at the end of the sip. Not a whole lot missing on this one. Nice job CCB!

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Photo of maximum12
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to moose3285 for this, nestled amongst a gigantic bed of Cigar City goodness delivered directly to my door from the hand of a great BA. Cracked open on a Sunday night, when I usually am alcohol free. But what the hay.

Pours is black-tie dark, capped by seashore foam. Nose is a bit odd, hoppy, nutty, caramel, with just an undercurrent of...wierdity. Almost a sour undercurrent, but not quite. Can't put my finger on it.

Jose Marti harkens from a line I'm really beginning to enjoy, hoppy browns. This one has a nice melding of hops & malts, a wild combo that leaves my tongue tingling & bruised a bit, but smiling sweetly at the same time. Cigar City's trademark roast/char comes through like a linebacker; that's what I was smelling. It offsets oddly with the hops - not unpleasant, just odd. Hints of coffee. Hops fade quickly, & the char settles in on the end.

Creamy & full, impressive in the mouth, seeping into every nook & cranny, like whole milk, without the milk or the white color. Whip-smart on the drinkability, that rare porter that is both tasty, thick, & easy to down. That's good magic in there.

Good beer. Not sure the 'india' part quite works with the roast, it takes a while to tease it out & rationalize it, but ultimately, this is a smooth-drinking porter that smells not-quite-right.

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José Martí American Porter from Cigar City Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 258 ratings.