Tocobaga Red Ale - Cigar City Brewing
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Ratings: 970 | Reviews: 185 | Display Reviews Only:
4.15/5 rDev +0.5%
Reviewing the 2012 release of Tocobaga Red Ale from Cigar City Brewing out of Florida. Cigar City is likely best known for their infamous Hunahpuh's Imperial Stout, but they have plenty of standout beers (especially the Apple Brandy Zhukov). I had a glass of this at Dark Lord Day and enjoyed it thoroughly, so I am glad to finally get a bottle to review. I think Cigar City is planning to can this beer soon.
No bottle date, which is never a good sign for a hoppy beer. I received this beer from a friend (thank you Robbie!) last week, and he received it via trade from Florida earlier in the week. Served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 05/28/12.
Appearance: Pours a deep and opaque amber, almost mahogany-like, color. Fades from a reddish yellow color at the top of the glass to a ruby red at the bottom when held up to light. A thin layer of fizzy off-white head at pour quickly dissipates into a pencil thin ring around the glass. Slight below average lacing, but good retention. 4/5
Smell: Hoppy and citrus-y caramel, grapefruit and candied orange malt. Some fruity berry, bready grain and a little bit of earthy IPA-like onion aroma too. A touch of warm alcohol. 4/5
Taste: Drinks just like it smells, but smoother, more incorporated and a bit less intense. There's citrus and caramel upfront with the earthy/oniony hops and a mild "toasted grain" flavor in the finish/linger. Very oily, with some lemon, bready grain and modest toffee flavor in the middle. As the beer layers, more of the lemon flavor lasts towards the finish. No alcohol flavor or booziness whatsoever; this beer is quite drinkable. There's a nondescript "butteriness" to the midpalate flavor; I cannot put my finger on what that butteriness is, but it seems quite familiar. Very pleasant. Only slightly fruity/floral upfront, but that yields to the earthy hoppiness towards the finish. Residual lemon and bready grain aftertaste. This beer is not what I would at all call sweet, but it's a nice mix of the bitter and the malty. 4.25/5
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-plus carbonation that perks the earthy hops and citrus flavors on the tongue. Oily mouthfeel. Bitter and malty finish, but not overly so on either account. 4.5/5
Overall: Despite my lack of enthusiasm for the style generally, Tocobaga Red Ale is a standout beer on par with Maine Beer Company's Zoe.
Recommendation: Given it's smooth flavor and not overly hoppy approach, I think this beer would make an excellent gateway to hoppy brews for the casual beer drinkers. Beer geeks are encouraged to seek this one out as well.
Pairings: Oyster Gratinee (per a Cigar City food pairing dinner).
Cost: $12 for a six pack.
05-29-2012 05:59:58 | More by jegross2
4.05/5 rDev -1.9%
Poured from a bottle into a fluted beer glass.
Pours a lighter brown color, some copper as well. No foam. Clear top.
Burnt toffee nose, very strong orange peel smell. Quite flavorful. Bready too.
Taste has a wallop of grapefruit and rind bitterness in a tasty malt blend. Very flavorful. And a touch boozy to boot. The hop is very firm.
Not your everyday red - quite good.
12-02-2012 21:28:42 | More by KTCamm
4.28/5 rDev +3.6%
Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.
A: Deep reddish brown in color. Thin white head, about 1/2 finger's worth. Significant visible carbonation bubbles. Even with the deep color, it's nearly clear.
S: Citrus hop, sweet malts. A bit muted overall.
T: Pine and citrus hops up front. Fades to a caramel sweetness in the middle. Hop bitterness at the end, and there is just a bit of hang with it. The alcohol is noticeable near the swallow.
M: Really nice here. A body that's somewhat heavier than an IPA, and very smooth for the style to almost creamy in the middle. Good amount of carbonation sensation.
O: Don't know that it's my favorite style, but this is a quality beer. Personal preference would be a little heavier with the hops. The only complaint I have is the alcohol presence seems a little heavy given it's (relatively) tame ABV.
EDIT: I've updated the ratings to reflect a fresh bottle I had from a recent batch. The comparison is nearly non-existant. Much hoppier, more citrus character and the malt is less sticky sweet. Also (or perhaps as a result), the alcohol presence is significantly decreased. Much improved.
05-22-2012 03:13:18 | More by macrosmatic
3.88/5 rDev -6.1%
12oz bottle with no date and no real information on the ABV ( I don't think). I have had this one for about a month I think. Poured into DFH signature glass
A: Very cloudy unfiltered brownish red. Bits of yeast etc. Thin layer of off white head. Fades to ring quickly. Lack of carbonation. Not really any lacing.
S: Piney hops and sweet malts. Pretty simple smells. Some hop astringency.
T: Nice sip actually. Nice piney hop bitterness on the tip of the tongue. Then you get those sweet maltiness in the mid mouth. And a clean piney filled close.
M: medium bodied red ale. Nice mouth coating.
O: B+ on the old grading scale. Might have been higher without some of the flaws in appearance and smell. Those yeast particles really were offputting to me I guess.
01-09-2012 14:54:16 | More by inlimbo77
3.96/5 rDev -4.1%
A - Pours a nice lighter amber/copperish color with 2 fingers of dense caramel head, great retention and fantastic lacing.
S - Lots of sweet rich caramel malty flavors and some lighter apple/pear/lemon aromas.
T - A nice balance of very light/brief hop bitterness, sweet malts, light fruits and then a mildly acidic/bitter finish. Easy drinking, well balanced, mellow yet complex flavors.
M - Lightish bodied, smooth, decently carbonated.
O - Not my favorite style but a lot going on and working well together.
09-03-2013 03:14:01 | More by MacQ32
4.1/5 rDev -0.7%
A big thanks to my buddy Chris for this beer. Cheers!
Appearance – Pours a hazy mahogany color into a tulip with a half finger of tan head.
Smell – Nice hops, berries, citrus, caramel.
Taste – Wow. I’m not a red ale fan and this is starting out nice. Great citrus hops up front, slight berry flavor, floral notes, and a nice sweetness that is not cloying.
Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, decent carbonation.
Overall – A red ale I’d have again. Thanks Chris!
04-27-2012 02:22:14 | More by SpdKilz
3.53/5 rDev -14.5%
A: Pours a deep amber with with hints of brown around the edges. There is about one full finger of off white head that sit top the beer. There some, but not much, lacing as it drinks.
S: I'm picking up berry, citrus, pine, and aluminum. It has a definite berry twang to it.
T: The taste follows the nose. Berries, citrus, pine, canned beer, tin, and weird metals. I'm not diggin' it.
M: Medium bodied beer. There is nothing special about this beer. Nothing cloying, not too thin, not too crisp, not too sweet, not too anything.
O: Not a huge fan of this beer. Something about the taste is off. I've had this many times, a bunch of different batches, and it's always the same. Pretty disappointing. I'll never seek this out again.
03-28-2012 01:03:34 | More by trxxpaxxs
4.78/5 rDev +15.7%
Served cold in a shaker pint at Hops & Pie in Denver.
Tocobaga is a beautiful hazy red color with a thin layer of tight creamy head.
Aroma immediately lets you know that this is going to be a hoppy red. Citrusy, piney, and a little bit malty sweet.
Flavor is really something special. It's such a great balance of malty red ale and big hop flavor. It doesn't knock you out with bitterness but gives you lots of hop goodness.
Mouthfeel is amazingly smooth and easy drinking for a strong hoppy beer.
Overall this is such an amazing beer. Flavor and mouthfeel are spot on. I've always wondered if Cigar City beers were overrated but, if this is anything to go by, they've earned their hype.
11-08-2012 19:56:43 | More by GilGarp
Tocobaga Red Ale from Cigar City Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 970 ratings.