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Tocobaga Red Ale - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Tocobaga Red AleTocobaga Red Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

218 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 218
Hads: 1,312
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 25.42%
Wants: 183
Gots: 182 | FT: 14
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 218 | Hads: 1,312
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.84/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy, opaque, suspended sediment filled, amber-brown coloring with a thin, filmy, sparse surface coating of head. Aromas of tangy sweetness, tropical fruit sweetness, and some floral hops characteristics. Flavors are tangy sweet forward, with a caramel backbone and tart grapefruit and pineapple blend, as well as some earthy notes, bitter and spiced hops profiles, and bready characteristics. Very layered and deep, especially for the style. Tasty beer. The body is full, which I was expecting after watching it pour and settle. It also leaves a decent lacing behind on the glass. The aftertaste leans more towards an IPA, with tropical fruit, heavy on the grapefruit and pineapple, bitterness, and pepper spices. The finish is slick and slightly dry, with bitter and subtle richly sweet notes. This is a bit rough around the edges, but I like it a lot.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A very ruddy red ale, with hints of orange in the pour that overweigh the browns, this is a sugary—near syrupy— red that nonetheless is well-composed enough to escape any miring, in its thickness; instead it even offers limited, though by no means leaden, refreshment via its boozy, well-bittered flavor-profile. It is, foremost, definitely a sticky-ass beer; nonetheless, it boasts decent complexity, and does a very nice job finishing, hitting the hoppy acids hard and late on the tongue. Aromatic oils have been mostly boiled-out, however, so the nose possesses a distinct malt-winey nose that's a bit heavier, even, than most of the other good deep-reds I've tried; any retention of citric or floral oils is expressed through the aforementioned “stickiness,” which is much sappier, woodier, or otherwise more vegetal than a drinker might expect, even from a big red like this. Overall, it works, but it's nonetheless less flexible or for-all-seasons than most entrants in my red-ale wheelhouse; I believe it is, in large part, a function of this being a very straight-up red: not especially or aggressively hoppy, seemingly without any late-stage or dry hopping to add any fresh-hopped notes, and not hedging at all with an adjunct element like rye to add spiciness or crunch to the big-body of the swirly-thick malts. Still, it's good, and certainly fairly fecund—which I guess is the intellectual link between the beer, its name, and the premising patter printed on the side of the can.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice semi-clear ruby color. Nice thicker white heading with some great lacing. Some particulates left over while pouring the second half of the bottle.

Nice sweet caramel aroma pulling through here to start things off. Nice bit of hops settle in behind the sweeter caramel wall along with a decent cedar wood finish. Very nice.

This was a tad of a let down. After a big build up in the nose this didn't seem to capitalize on the bigger hoppy notes that I initially smelled. Crisp and malty but no big hop bite that I have grown accustomed to in this style.

Mouth was kind of the same thing. A little thin a little watery but was smooth. Slight buttery slickness in the mouth the left a film. Good carbonation.

Not a bad offering at all.

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Photo of olfolxholme
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4


thanks to hdelavega for this 12 oz bottle, poured into a Samuel Smith tulip pint

A - 2 finger head of medium size off white bubbles over a surprisingly cloudy dark copper beer. Head died down to a respectable level that lasted for quite some time. Pretty good lacing. Bottle has a nice story about the Tocobaga people - mentions that they were the only Florida natives to use maize. Seems like a lost opportunity to make a maize beer, but this American Red will have to do. (kidding) Bottling date is NOV2011. Also says "TWO TWO," maybe that means 11/22/11.

S - Beautiful hop aroma on this one. Smells exactly like I want this style to smell. Very inviting, totally classic. Only drawback is it doesn't last the whole time. Also, there is a hint of earthy stone in the back somewhere. First impression was great, though.

T - Really hoppy, good easily be considered an Imperial Red. Malt is there, but has a muted quality about it that reminds me of the earthy stone aroma.

M - I am surprised by how much bitterness is lingering on my tongue. To the point of puckering, even. It's totally smooth and highly refreshing going down, though.

O - I was surprised by how hoppy this beer was. I like hoppy beers but I actually found this a little astringent. I can see how this could become a favorite if I could drink a ton of these all the time. For those who can't get this, I'd compare it to a really hoppy version of Red Chair NWPA from Deschutes. Definitely worth trying and one I would gladly drink again.

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Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoppy red, the caramel malt is very much in the secondary. Light red colour, very lacey, with minimum head. Big hops, some caramel.
On tap at the brewery. Meets the style, popular locally, fresh. Hoppy aroma, good drinkabilty,
Had agin on bottle and was very interesting, citrus hoppy, piney, with malt balance.So drinkable.Big head.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mike for this beer.

A: The pour is a really nice bright ruby color with a thin layer of off-white head.

S: Plenty of hops on the nose. They're primarily of the oily pine variety, which is always welcomed. There's some toffee and bread, along with a bit of citrus.

T: The hops are again the dominant characteristic. Quite bitter, which is always nice, with some earth, pine, and citrus notes. The caramel, toffee, and bread are still there as well. There's also a hint of roast at times.

M: The body is medium as is the carbonation.

D: I really had no idea what this beer was until I came on here to review it (though I sort of figured it was some sort of red ale). Pretty nice, actually.

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Photo of adapt313
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice amber brown color but a bit murkier than I expected. Smell is grass, grapefruit, and caramel sith something a bit tinny on the finish. Taste follows the nose, very well balanced, grassy & citrusy, sweet in the middle, yet finishes dry but I still get something slightly metallic at the end. Feel is right where it should be for the style. I like hoppy reds and overall this is super easy drinking and I enjoy it quite a bit.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.89/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. My bottle says 7.2% ABV rather than the above-noted 7.4%.

Appearance: medium reddish-copper hue with a moderate haze and moderate effervescence. The body is also suffused with tons of super-tiny floaties; a fascinating look. Head is a thick finger of pillowy tan foam which leaves a chunky lace as it subsides. Pretty attractive, actually!

Smell: very rich aroma of sweet caramel and just a light hint of bready, biscuity character. There's even a light character of dates. Hop character is low, but this has got to be one of the best-executed non-hoppy amber-ale aromas I've ever encountered. It's pretty excellent on its own, but for a style whose aroma is usually quite uninspiring, Tocobaga earns extra points for me. Wonderful!

Taste: caramel flavor, along with a fair bit of biscuitiness. Hop character is a bit citrusy and earthy, with a bit of an acidic touch at the back end. This is still a good beer, but is nowhere near the promise of its aroma.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a nice, smooth creaminess. It has a richness that seems to punch a little higher than its relatively modest texture. Not bad.

Overall: this is a darn good beer, but I just wish that its flavor lived up to the expectations engendered by the aroma.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. thanks billyshears!!! you da man, great to see you again.

a - opened the bottle and filled my E snifter...brew poured a transparent brown which settled a dark brown with a full finger of bright white frothy bubbly head. lacing was chunky and clingy. to the light, the beer is a murky red...amber. looks really classy for an amber.

s - nicely balanced hoppy red. citric blast...tropical fruit basket. very ipa. possibly even nicer than jai alai.

t - wow, a fight between bittering hops and caramel malts of an amber. a bit of a battle for supremacy.

m - bitter and biting.

o - overall, a very interesting take on the amber style. the hoppy ipa in there seems to clash with the red a bit, but makes for an interesting blend of flavoring. certainly worth a taste or a few...probably pretty polarizing. amazing for the hop heads, but a bit of an identity crisis for the style police.

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Photo of Shaw
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the new 12-ounce bottles. Bottled on Jan. 12; reviewing live.

A nice red in color with a frothy head that turns into about a quarter-inch in my glass.

Smells of biscuit and hops.

Nice flavor, with plenty of malt -- again biscuit -- flavors married with a biting bitterness. There's a lot of sweetness in this beer, but it's not cloying. Am I also tasting vanilla?

Very nice body is almost creamy.

A winner. No wonder this went from pilot batch to production in 12-ounce bottles so quickly. I see why it's so popular.

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Photo of olimpia84
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at CCB. Served on a pint glass.

A: dark amber color with some glowing red tones. Small head that managed to stay for a bit, good retention. Lacing was excellent and decorated the pint glass very vigorously.

S: the smell was a bit mute and hard to get on this one, but I was able to tell woody aromas, clear pine and fresh hops.

T: hops, then some hops and then more hops. They create a bitter taste that goes well along the other woody flavors.

M: medium body, very low carbonation. Goes down smoothly and easily.

O: this was the second beer of the night while at CCB and they kept delivering. Highly recommended.

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Photo of mwrecording
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle given to me in a trade from raczkowski, thanks again!

Got a bunch of CC goods in this trade, I like the labels a lot on these.

Poured a nice deep red color, amber is the proper word I'm sure. Poured from a real cold temp, still had a good amount of head on it that was good as soon as I got to the page to review this beer.
I love the way red/amber beers look, so this was nice.

Smell: A touch of caramel and a little bit of a "rusty" hop/pine type smell, fun to sniff, makes me think a lot. It smells bitter, for lack of better word.

Taste: I mostly taste the piney hops in this, I don't get too much of the malt until right before the swallow. Nicely bitter, just a touch sweet, really compliments the smell in a good way.

M: Carbonation, sort of filmy rolling around in my mouth. Thin and refreshing.

Overall: Unsure of what my individual ratings will add up to, I want to say this is a treat. The only real thing I have to compare it to in its catagory is Zoe and Nugget Nectar. I'd say its a bit better than Zoe and just a hair behind Nugget Nectar. I feel like the hops really make this beer what it is and when they fade, I'm not sure whats going to be left while a 4-5 month old Nugget Nectar is STILL something special.

In closing, I'm glad I got to try this beer...its my first CC beer and I can't wait to try the other 4-5 I've got here or on my way.


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Photo of BlastBeats
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to bryanole27 for this extra!

Appearance: the Tocobaga pours a rustic, red brick color with an off white head that produces some decent lacing.

Smell: very earthy, musty hops.

Taste: I'm definitely picking up an overly steeped tea-like flavor. Some noticeable pomegranate as well.. these flavors seem to coexist well with the leafy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with a dry finish.

Overall: I'm not usually a huge fan of red ales but I did enjoy this one quite a bit. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can. No date. Served in a Cigar City snifter 2/25/2015.

A- Dark brownish-red body, one finger offwhite head with very nice retention, nice lacing and residual film.

S- Grassy aromas, lots of mild toffee and grainy bread. Floral and citrus aromas.

F- Tastes great; nice toffee, bread, crackers mixed in with a nice citrus bite and floral finish that makes me think of the tapioca bubbles that you get in asian bubble tea drinks.

M- Medium bodied, certainly substantial for a red ale, nice crisp kick on the finish that is refreshing.

O- Tasty, reasonably unique tapioca bubble aroma and flavour. Not a bad one to have in front of you.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Dense thick foam capped a hazy copper hue. The lacing was thick and sticky.

Obviously this Red Ale is immensely hopped as I catch tons of fruit on the nose. Oranges, lemon, and tangerines with a bit of caramel malt.

I taste oranges, lemon and tangerines but also get raspberries. Some bitter hop pine, comes near the finish. The body is laced with caramel malts and subtle residual sweetness.

The feel is a bit bitter slightly astringent and sort of full. A bit of carbonated bite eats at the palate.

This is a fully hopped ale with tons of complexity and lots of flavor.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance is a slightly cloudy fire orange with thin white head. The nose is deep and earthy with heavy hop character in the form of tea, earth, and pine. Notes of caramel malts come through the hop profile as well. The taste starts with some candied malt notes and is followed by some fruity notes of tangerine and citrus as well as some piney notes. The bitterness builds but is not over the top. The mouthfeel is well carbonated with moderate body. Overall, solid beer with nice balance between assertive hops and sweet malts.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a brownish/red color. Head is creamy and lightly tan. Head hangs around for a while. Head laces well too.

S-A nice balanced mixture of caramel sweetness and juicy hops. Hops also show up as light pine and florals. The sweetness is stronger than I expected it to be. Smells very balanced.

T-Like the nose. Balance. I wanted this to display more hoppy assertiveness. It still tastes very nice but the malt to hop ratio is too close to 1 for me. Caramel glazed muffins and floral hops.

M-A bit creamy with a round feel. Has some nice body to it. Carbonation is rather light. Feels good.

O/D-Really ecstatic to be able to try this brew. Unfortunately I was a bit let down. Perhaps this was a bit old. Not as hoppy as I was expecting. The beer in its current state was tasty and balanced but I wanted more from this brew. Could be more dynamic. I will search this one out again and make sure its fresh and compare. Score will be edited accordingly.

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Photo of ChrisPro
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mobile rating on draft at TJ's

Pours crystal clear copper with little white head; nice lacing.

Aroma dominated by caramel and some pine hops; not getting as much citrus notes as other reviews.

Taste of vanilla and caramel with a huge bitter hop finish. This is exactly what I want in a hopped up amber.

Finish is dry, but still manages to be a decently bodied beer. Light carbonation but I like it.

Overall, goes down easy for the abv. Wish there was a little more on the nose but definitely an awesome beer for the style.

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Photo of Buck89
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy burnt orange color. Head is off white with moderate retention. Aroma is orange with caramel and slightly sweet, seems appropriate for style. Taste is nice, with orange and citrus bitter, balanced with malt and a hint of cedar. Nice fairly dry finish. Very nice.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%

Canned 8/15/14. Made in Tampa.

Pours a murky reddish-brown with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with strong citrus zest and herbal hop qualities all around.

Serving type: can.

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Photo of MacQ32
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of tempest
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a great red ale, big juicy hops and sharp malts that complement each other, not cancel each other out. The barley is boughy, with toffee and toast, which lead right into the spicy pine and orange peel. I'd like to try a fresh one next to Nugget Nectar or Furious.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky almost like brown with 1.5 finger of sticky head.

Smells of sweet caramel malt. Some earthy and piney hops.

Starts off with some sweet caramel malt flavor. Some strong bitter earthy hops make a presence at the end and balance out the malt a bit.

Mouthfeel and carbonation levels are both good.

Very solid beer. Got better as it warmed just a little.

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Photo of davey101
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. I can just make out that its Aug 08 12.

A - Pours a very hazy dark brown/red body with a two finger tan head. Great lacing and retention. There is a TON of floating bits of proteins and yeast. I'll chock that up to chill haze due to shipping in the winter though.

S - Piney and tropical hops followed by bready sweet caramel malts. A bit spicy, like pumpernickel. Touch of the danky dank.

T - Follows the nose closely. Tropical and resinous hops, caramel malt, molasses, and dark bread. Lingering sweetness with a light bitterness.

M - Medium with a lot of carbonation. Dry finish. Highly drinkable given its abv.

O - A very tasty red ale. The bold and tropical heavy hops and kept in check by plenty of rich bread and caramel notes. Great beer.

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Tocobaga Red Ale from Cigar City Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 218 ratings.