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Tocobaga Red Ale - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Tocobaga Red AleTocobaga Red Ale

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213 Reviews
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Reviews: 213
Hads: 1,272
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 25.67%
Wants: 179
Gots: 167 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  7.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tpd975 on 09-15-2010

Pours amber in color with notes of citrus and caramel. Citrus hop bitterness upfront with notes of caramel and an Amish bread sweetness. Citrus hop bitterness returns at the end for a long dry finish.

75 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 213 | Hads: 1,272
Photo of RaulMondesi
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well hit Raul on the head with a shovel and call him stupid! Raul was never a fan of Red Ales - he may have despised them even. Well, he probably despised them because the only ones that he had were hoopties! But Tocobaga Red? More like Tocobaga Yellow Brick Road Paved With Gold!

This lil sucker is just money. Straight money! There's not all kinds of depth and it isn't technically complicated like an ex; it's just straight smooth, smooth, smooth.


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Photo of EFitzsimmons
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Not usually a huge red fan, but this has to be one of my tops if not the top Red. I am impressed so far by Cigar City Brewing and look forward to having their other beers.

Darkish amber color, with a great dirty head to it that foams up extra after the end of the pour and stays with the beer throughout drinking it.

The smell is good, but it's not something that really jumps out and says drink me. It's faint, but intriguing. You smell the hops, the citrus, and you can tell you are in for a full beer. (7.2 abv)

Taste is great, starts off with a smooth woody/wheat flavor to me, then transitions into a clean bitterness, then it gets a citrus slightly sweet flavor, finishing with a long dry finish that stays with you and makes you want to drink more.

Enjoy. I know I'll be having more.

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4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass for $6.75. Sampled 11/23/10.

A: Amber with red tints and crystal clear. Average sized head of 2 fingers, off-white in color and great retention.

S: Enormous hop character given the style, mostly tropical with light citrusy notes. Bready with strong caramel notes and possibly even a dash of chocolate malt (I may be wrong here though since no one else garnered the hint of chocolate in the aroma).

T: A basic amber recipe with a monstrous hop bite (relatively speaking, of course). 75 IBUs provides more than enough bitterness to balance out the caramel component.

M: The bitter flavor lasts through the finish, promoting the dry quality on the end of the palate. Medium body, ample carbonation.

D: [DRINKABILITY] Definitely an above average amber ale and somewhat unique in this arena. The hop bill certainly solidifies this...

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Photo of jegross2
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.
Score: 92

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.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a stemmed tulip glass provided by to cparles as an extra in a trade (Thanks!!).

A: A nice deep red, mahogany color, clear but lots of floaties. Pours to 1-2 fingers of thick tan head settling to a thick collar and leaving some lacing.

S: An interesting nose. Lots of sweet, caramel malt, almost bready with some biscuit aroma. Mild hops but a nice suite of American bittering hops are present with their telltale spiciness, maybe some sweet juicy fruit in the background.

T: As the aroma predicted, the beer starts off malt forward, sweet and rich hinting at caramel, bread, yeast and biscuits. The hops come second and dry the beer out nicely leaving a very pleasant, lingering bitterness. The finish is long and dry and yet remains clean.

M: Medium body, very smooth and round; medium carbonation.

O: A delicious beer and marks very well, except for the floaties. Tocobaga achieves a nice balance of deep maltiness and hop bitterness and remains highly drinkable. It opened up nicely as the beer warmed.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 mL bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a clear amber-red with moderate carbonation producing a 1/2 inch light tan head. Nice for style. Hint of lacing.
S: Citrus and pine hops. Soft melon, mint, sweet caramel malt, and a hint of wood (cedar?).
T: Amalgam of citrus (grapefruit especially), pine, aromatic herbal, and sharp-bitter hops...nice balance amid the chaos. In the background lies sweet caramel malt, cedar, and mild tobacco. Quite nice.
M: Smooth and oily with a sharp, bitter, and moderately dry hop finish.
D: Another solid offering from CCB. A nice take on the style. Love the hop chaos.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 750mL bottle to Great Lakes stemmed pint glass on 8/9/11.
*From notes

A: This beer glows. Literally, it's a ball of sunsetting amber light that filled the room. A hard pour yields a superb 1.5 finger head and gobs of stickiness around the glass.

S: Tropical notes of pineapple, tangelo rind and juicy mango. I'll be damned if this isn't one of the most aromatic ambers I've ever encountered.

T: Halved yellow grapefruit, ripe juicy orange and pineapple upside down cake. Balance that with a solid dose of toasty malt and a somewhat bitter finish and you've got the makings of an impressive amber ale. It's slightly acidic and earthy on the middle, and the finish dries up on a unique and delicious island fruit note.

M: Another creamy and top notch mouthfeel from the boys (and girls) at CCB. It's not sharp or brash in any way. Instead it's rich, frothy and an absolute pleasure to drink.

O: Cigar City's Tocobaga Red Ale is one of the top two or three ambers I've consumed. It's got everything I look for within the style's limitations, plus an agressive hop profile that demands respect. Have I had better? Possibly, but this is certainly no slouch, and one which you should actively be ISO.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass, body is a hazy reddish brown. Poured easily to make a 1 inch head, quickly dissipates into a film and ring leaving curtains of light sticky lacing.

Smells malty sweet, caramel sugar, and fruity, citrus and maybe some passionfruit.

Tastes of sweet, toasted bready malt, caramel, a little milk chocolate, citrus hops. Just a touch of bitterness and citrus peel, especially in the dry finish. Quite tasty, well balanced between malts and hops.

Body is medium and carbonation is light. Tends to go flat.

Overall, a delicious beer that is a surprisingly good red ale, pleasant to drink and has a nice long bitter aftertaste. One of the better of the CCB beers I have tried thus far.

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Photo of dwren89
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: murky, unfiltered look. Reddish brown with a thin off white head

Aroma: toasted bread and caramel notes with noticeable pine and citrus notes

Taste: smooth and malty with a pleasing citrus and pine character to balance. The malt had a very toasty and bready character that is nicely balanced with hop bitterness and complemented by hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: smooth and mellow, a nice easy drinking pint. Medium-low carbonation

Overall: Definitely a nice swig. Very balanced but both malty and hop character are allowed to shine. Worth a try for sure

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Photo of hdelavega
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just picked up from the brewery. Dated November 22nd so four days old. Poured to a Duvel tulip glass.
Pours a murky brownish red with a one finger tan head that's gone in a minute leaving just a film.
Smells like an IPA. Lots of hop, tropical fruit, a bit of a woody pine aroma, slight maltieness in the back.
Wow big hoppy flavor, if my eyes were closed I'd defiantly have guessed this to be an IPA. Lots of citrusy hop, a little sweetness I get that light malt in the back again.
Hop resin flavors coat the mouth leaving a long lasting bitterness. Pretty bright carbonation. On the swallow it goes down real easy and then those hops sneak up and bight you one last time on the finish.
This guy reminded me of the big hoppy monster on steroids. This is the amber ale that haunts the dreams of a hop head and is seriously worthy of some recognition. Awesome beer, especially this fresh.

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Photo of zac16125
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
Born on date of Jan 2012

A: Pours a hazy dark amber brown with 1 fingers width of khaki colored head,  which hangs around for a while.  Leaves only a faint hint of spotty lacing.

S: Citrusy hops with some orange and lemon zest, a hint of peach.  Caramel malts, candied sugar.  

T: Nice balance of hops and malt from the beginning. Lots of citrus hops with flavors of peach, lemon, and orange rind.  A significant piney hop bitterness on the backend. A firm malt backbone is present, which brings a sweetness to balance out the hops.  A pretty tasty and well balanced offering.  I love the citrus characters.

M/D: Medium body, appropriate carbonation, high drinkability with a well restrained ABV.

O: Overall, a very god example of the style.  Really tasty, with good drinkability.  Suprisingly sessionable considering the ABV.  I recommend. 4

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Photo of Pintofbrown
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured this can into a snifter. Bottled Dec. 2013.

A glowing and opaque maple-amber body suspends a decent amount of sediment within it. The tawny cap swells to two-fingers in width, bubbles sitting on the surface. Great retention, the beer leaves behind a soild wall of sheet lace with burst bubbles.

Aromas of resiny hops, oranges, slight bready malt, and a bit of esters climb out of the glass. The bouquet could pack a bigger punch, still great!

The palate remains about the same as the nose. A bigger note of earthiness joins the citrus-y and resin-y hops and rides throughout the taste of this red ale. The front of the drink to mid-palate focuses on the subtle citrus fruit and estery notes, while the back of the throat and finish hits with resin, earthiness, and a peppery herbalness. All these coalescing flavors are quite enjoyable!

Tocobaga is very creamy, almost syrupy, with a watery expression over the tongue, more dry than crisp.

Tocobaga drinks ridiculously easy, smells good, and tastes great. I could do with more citrus notes on the palate, and a more explosive nose. Man, this beer is fun and easy to drink!

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Photo of SkeeterBoganski
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is deep amber, almost a reddish copper in color; there's a small head with consistent lacing present; it smells crisp with clear hints of hops up front; subtly grapefruit-y and citrus-y; very well-balanced 'red'; pleasant hop flavor w/o being too overwhelming; some additional notes of sweet fruit, like a pineapple or kiwi...muted, but present; very smooth and almost a silky mouthfeel; a little dry bite on the backend coming from the red ale side of this beer; overall, very quality and completely sessionable.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep amber with a thin off-white head that quickly dissipates. Not much lacing. Citrus hop and caramel dominate the nose, with nice bread notes coming through. Drinks like it smells, citrus and caramel upfront with moderate breadiness on the backend. Well balanced. Finishes malty with slight hop bitterness. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Overall, even though I'm not a fan of the style, this is an extremely well crafted beer that is insanely drinkable! CCB continues to impress!

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Photo of arizcards
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a couple of singles from Lets Pour back in early October for $5.50 each. Bottled on 8-27-13.

Beer poured amber red with a thin off white head that is leaving some lacing behind.

Nose is warming up nicely as the citrus hops and caramel malts are quite nice.

Taste is bready caramel malts that are nicely balanced by citrus hops.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and decently carbonated.

Overall this is a smackable brew. Bread malts and citrus pair up very well in this brew. Definitely try it if you get the opportunity.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky copper color with hints of red and brown all over; hazy and cloudy with little tiny bits of sediment floating from bottom to top and back. Beige head forms, very foamy with large bubbles; settles quick and leaves some lacing behind. Aroma is wonderful, full of wet hops, floral, piney, and ashy; caramel malt distinguishable in the backbone with a touch of fruity sweetness. The palate picks up a slight ashy and white pepper character from the hops, alongside the slightly floral and piney tones, just a slight bit of resin. Nice bitter bite, but not overpowering or harsh. Oranges, vague grapefruit rind, and citrus take over midway through and cut through the bitterness of the hops bit by bit. Caramel and toffee accents come alive a little more upon warming up thanks to the malts used. Finish is slightly bitter with some citrus notes and a touch of caramel and yeast. Medium body, medium-high carbonation.

Very impressed, a high quality red ale and also my first ever brew from Cigar City. After tasting this, it's needless to say that I'll be trying to get my hands on more.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amber copper pour with beige head from 12oz can; grassy citrus nose; balanced malt and hop start; slightly resinous finish with grass and orange peel flavors. Medium lite mouthfeel with good carbonation;overall a tasty ale with a slightly bitter ending; nice.

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Photo of JayBrewsBeer
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep crimson with hop aromas that explode from the can. Mouth-feel is full with an intense, yet pleasant malt backbone. Notes of sweet citrus linger long after the finish. Mild to moderate alcohol warming with a lingering sweet finish. Review is from a can purchased at Cigar City Brewing approximately two weeks after canning (3/14/14) consumed on 8/8/14.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to my boy Jefe73 for this one! Signed by the brewer and label artists (1 of 80???)! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured red-orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, caramel hop, and citrus. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, caramel hop, bitter hop, and subtle citrus. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this brew was quite good. Really glad CCB started to bottle this one as I have been wanting to try it for quite awhile. It did not disappoint... The Amber flavor profile on this one was definitely present and quite enjoyable. The malt backbone on this one was pretty solid and enjoyable. The citrus aspect on this one just took it to another level. Really glad I finally got to try this one!

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Photo of AgentZero
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark reddish beer with a bit of an ambering on the edges. Had a small, somewhat creamy, off white head.

S - Has some nice tropical notes to go with good pine and citrus. Malt backbone is nice, and there's slight touch of vanilla in there.

T - Good malt backbone that gives a little bit of a sweet vanilla and caramel flavor. Citrus and pine hops add a nice touch, and it finishes pretty cleanly.

M - Moderate carbonation, medium bodied.

O - Very enjoyable beer. Got this one down pretty easily, would gladly drink again.

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Photo of Marty30
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Gatorbeer for this bottle. Poured into a FFF XV pint glass. Fridge temp.

A. Dark ruby red body with good carbonation coming from the sides of the glass. Creamy off-white 1.5 inch head that recedes to a nice cap. Some spotty lacing.

S. Citrus hop notes include lemon, orange and pineapple. Underneath you get some caramel notes but mostly dominated by the hops.

T. At first it's pretty hop forward just as the smell indicates, it balances out on the back of the palate with caramel and toffee.

M. Medium feel makes the drinkabilty on this awesome. Just the right amount of carbonation. Bitter dry finish.

Overall this brew is a winner and so is Cigar City. This is up there with Nugget Nectar in my book. Wish I could get a hold of this on a regular basis.

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Photo of ryanonline
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazy brownish red with a light tan foamy head. lots of active carbonation.

smells extra piney and hoppy, with a bit of burnt orange zest in the nose. very earth as well, smells almost like an ipa, more than a red ale.

tastey and sweet with a piney aftertaste. less citrussy than in the nose, however, there is a light bit of almost melon flavor. earthy and dry in the finish. also has the trademark cigar city funk that all there beers seem to have. also I may be detecting a hint of cedar.

mouthfeel is creamy and dry with some prickly carbonation and a very light body.

this is a very drinkable beer, not to heavy, very flavorful but not overpowering. also just different enough to be interesting. num num.

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Photo of baconbourbon
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tocobaga: bottle
Appearance: Very dark amber with a nicely sustainable head and excellent lacing.

Smell: A light piny aroma. The smell is not too strong or overpowering. That is always a plus for me.

Taste: Spicy up front, followed by notes of malt and caramel. The caramel is extremely prominent in the finish.

Mouth feel: There is a slight bubbly feeling from the carbonation, but other than that it goes down very smoothly.

Overall: I love a good red ale, and this beer is exactly that. This beer is incredibly well balanced, and very drinkable. I just polished off this 750ml by myself and I would not mind having a bit more.

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Photo of TCgoalie
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from the CCB taproom on 12/13/10.

Pours a strawberry copper color in which I can see through. The best part of the pour is the amazing head. I am 20min into this beer and there is still a white foam head covering the top of the brew. The lacing is tremendous really sticking to the glass.

If you handed this to me, I would think it was an IPA from the scent. Pleasant malts holding up banana, pine, lemon, and apple hoppy notes.

This is malt forward in the beginning and provide a tobacco undertone. Next comes plenty of hops with are slightly tropical but mellowed by the tobacco bitterness. The end provides some candy malt sweetness.

Medium in the mouth, nothing exciting but nothing detrimental.

This is very drinkable and very enjoyable. Definitely one of the best reds/ambers I've had. It drinks like a hoppy pale ale.

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Photo of rfbenavi80
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to miamichael2 for sending this my way.
Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a murky brownish or deep copper color with only red hints, and 1 finger of off white head that didn't hang around too long and does not lace the glass.

S- Very hop forward. Lots of citrusy and piny hops on the nose, but then again there are lots of sweet caramel malts present also.

T- Sweet and hoppy. Sweet caramel hits first followed very quickly by a nice dose of bitter piney hops that give this beer good character. Nice tasty breadiness that is expected with a red ale.

M- Almost creamy mouthfeel. Refreshing amount of carbonation.

O- I really like Cigar City's beers. If I could buy them here this would be a staple in my fridge.

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Tocobaga Red Ale from Cigar City Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 213 ratings.