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Tocobaga Red Ale - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Tocobaga Red AleTocobaga Red Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

213 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 213
Hads: 1,272
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 25.67%
Wants: 180
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 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 brother_kenneth
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a golden red with a fair amount of white/cream colored foam; lacing is pretty nice. Sticky brew!

S- Aromas are very citrus-fruity and hop-forward with a nice caramel smell. There are floral and pine notes as well.

T- Delicious malt is the undertone for the prominent citrusy hops, pine, and caramel. The malty caramel thing goes incredibly well with the hop. Probably the best I have tasted in a hoppy red. It is nicely carbonated and juicy (I have seen that as a descriptor before and I have not really understood it until now). Great mouthfeel!

O- This is a remarkable beer, and is the first I have tried from CCB. Looking forward to many more if they are half as good as this one!

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Photo of thecheapies
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled November 20th, 2012. Poured into a pint glass.

Burnt amber to red ochre in color. Yellow-white head forms over an inch and sits steadily. Medium lacing.

Unexpected burst of piney and grapefruit hops with a kiss of tropical fruit and lime. Sun-ripened citrus and clean toasted grains that balance nicely. Earthy aromas range from hop oils to baked earth itself. Nice aroma.

Spicy red ale with more pine than grapefruit in the flavor. Flourishes of orange and assorted citrus. Very toasty grains that still can't overcome the spicy bitterness from the hops. Many evergreen flavors at work here. Hoppy, but not overly. A delicious beer.

Drinks very easily. Has some prickle from the alcohol level which peels layers away from a simply-smooth body and carbonation combination.

A red ale I'd seek out again. Recommended.

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Photo of chinchill
3.57/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz undated bottle (presumably 2012) served in an Anchor Steam pint glass.
Looks like an amber or red ale but smells [3.75] like a pale ale or IPA, with the hops far more evident than the malts. Still hoppy for style in tasting, with at least as much hop presence as the surprising nose suggests. The malt is a bit more obvious in tasting, but little enough to leave this a moderately bitter and quite hoppy "red" ale. Relatively high ABV is almost completely hidden in the flavor and aroma, but lends some harshness to the feel.

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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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Photo of KTCamm
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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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 Lawl3ss
3.31/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Lightly chilled 12 oz. bottle into a shaker pint. Bottling date appears to be 10.7.12.

Look- Three solid fingers of loose toasted coconut head that settles to an inch and a half of silky foam.. Amber-brown, serious haze. Sparse lacing. By the end of the pint, I've got about an eighth inch of sediment in the bottom of my glass.

Aroma- Immediate blast of citrus-pineapple-fir tree. Grapefruity as it warms. Background of graham cracker, moderately sweet. Pretty nice.

Taste- Similar to the aroma, a nearly indecent amount of hop flavor. Not overly bitter, but it's got some bite. Mango-pear-melon with some pine that fades into a grassier flavor. Malt never makes much of a showing, but what's there reminds me of toasted rye bread and maple.

Mouthfeel- Light-medium body, Carbonation has a sharp edge. Granular, silty feel. Clean, but cottony finish. One's enough.

Overall- Alright, aroma and flavor certainly average to above average. The rest, however, is a bit of a mess and really reminds me of a couple mediocre batches of homebrew I've had (and sometimes brewed) in the past. I'd bet it's better on tap, but a bottle's what I've got.

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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 GilGarp
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of fmccormi
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straight pour from 12oz pry-off bottle to a 25cl Duvel Single tulip; bottling date of October 18, 2012 printed in fuzzy, hard-to-read, red ink near the top of the label, toward the back side (“18 OCT – 12,” I think). So, that makes this bottle two days under three weeks old on the date of consumption. I’d say that’s acceptable.

Appearance (4.5): Two full fingers of very light tan head comes off the pour, rocky at first and then more even across the top as it dies down. The body is a surprisingly dark, moderately hazy, garnet-amber color, and very attractive. Makes the beer look quite a bit more sturdy than you might have expected. Some very nice lacing around the top of the glass, a thick ring of tight webbing all around, and fat splotches here and there as it goes down.

Smell (4.0): Citrus, quite clearly, is a prominent character here but it’s hard to pin down: passionfruit, maybe some pineapple, but there’s an oddly hard to place fruity, almost vegetal character going on, like some sweet grapefruit with a dank twang on the back end . . . if that makes any sense at all. There’s a very nice, notably rich and moderately sweet malt character here too, more molasses than caramel.

Taste (4.0): Good dose of sweet citrus, à la pineapple and some orange, again paired with an oddly vegetal (but not oniony unpleasant) twang as it moves into a grapefruit rind bitterness on the back end. The malt is rich and sturdy here, acting as a strong counterpart and balancing the hops well—molasses, pumpernickel bread, some dark brown sugar, more of that rich but not particularly sweet bread character. No alcohol detected at all, in fact it seems like it could be absorbing some that’s been squirreled away in my liver.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Modest carbonation that tingles softly on the way down; the body is medium weight and moderately viscous with just a barely dry finish. Fits the character of the palate well.

Overall (4.0): This winds up being a surprisingly mellow beer, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, it’s plenty hoppy and has a good dose of bitterness but it’s nicely balanced, and doesn’t harass or assault the palate in quite the way Jai Alai can. Also, it seems that the hop profile used in this beer fits the malt body surprisingly well, and in a way that suits the style: the hop profile of Jai Alai would not be as good of a fit for this beer, nor would Tocobaga’s hop profile be as good of a fit for Jai Alai. They’re well-matched. Overall, this is a very solid beer and absolutely worth seeking out if you’re a fan of this style.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark reddish with a small amberish cap, light bubbles and a small ring with decent head retention

S: Pine and citrus but pre-dominately pine. A little toasted biscuits and grains and whiff of caramel

T: Immediate good caramel malt backbone, touch of breadiness leading into a pine note and undertones of citrus, a little sweetness appears leaving a full tasting, enjoyable, dry beer

M: Well carbobated, medium bodied but seems fuller than most for the style. A nice sweetness, good hop bitterness, pine

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

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Photo of yamar68
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks like Nugget Nectar.

Smells like a more citrus focused version of Furious... plenty of support from the malt bill but the juicy hop notes lead the way.

Fucking so delicious... goddamn. Delicious citrus hops - their relationship with the sweeter malts trick the palate into perceiving some tropical fruit. Bittersweet in the best possible way.

This beer rocks, nothing more to say. Jesus.
THANK YOU robinsmv!

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Photo of KajII
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Shaker Glass]

The pour was a hazy medium caramel brown with a small (1 finger or less) off white rocky head that reduced to a large puddle and medium collar, with very good streaky lacing.

The aroma was of a light bread malt, pine and citrus hops and a soapy yeast with notes of caramel, citrus (grapefruit) and a mild fruity ester.

It tasted lightly bitter with a nice malty sweetness, a hint of caramel and a slight fruitiness early on, and then it became very hoppy with a big grapefruit presence towards the end. The flavor was about average in duration with a slightly sweet hoppy citrus taste that was left to hang out a tad longer.

Mouthfeel was almost medium in body and dry in texture with a moderate carbonation.

Overall this was a brew that possessed a bold hoppiness with mild fruity sweetness and a smooth drinkability. This one a really enjoyed and plan on drinking again...


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Photo of Zach136
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned 12/1/14, reviewed 1/2/15

Appearance: Hazy amber one finger beige head with great lacing.

Aroma: Intense caramel malt and grapefruit.

Flavor: Sticky sweetness and medium+ intensity citrus-pine hop. Bitterness is very in check.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, soft carbonation, sticky finish.

Overall: Stoked to be able to finally get a can relatively fresh. So much better, and still amazing 32 days in.

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to elCharderino (Reddit) badboy7113 for providing this one.

Pours an off-white fizzy 1/2 finger head that fades semi quickly no real lacing left on the sides, a ruby cranberry mahogany semi clear beer.

Nose brings some nice fresh hops at first, a little fruit hop kick with hints of stone fruit and a bit of tropical even, a touch of citrus, tangerine, guava, pear, hint of resin. Then some malts, slight sweet like caramel reddish malt, little candy like.

Taste starts with malts this time, sweet caramel and reddish candy malts, fairly sweet overall but not overly. Then fruity hops, more citrus oriented with tangerine, nectarine, little papaya like, some tropical fruit, etc. Hint of resin and floral hop flavors, with med to lighter bitterness overall, and hints of yeast additions with a touch of esters and fruity flavors, with a touch of warming booze to go with the mild estery flavors. Finish is not too dry, little sticky sweet, nice lingering bitterness with more floral type hops, little caramel candy sweet flavors lingering as well.

Mouth is med bodied, hint of warming booze, decent carb.

Overall pretty good, nice hop presence that doesn't get overly bitter, nice malt presence as well that gives some decent flavors and backbone, a touch of the yeast coming through as well. A well done beer.

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Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy copper with three fingers of foam that just won't fade; sticks clumps of lace around the pint glass

Smell: Smells like a pine forest; very resiny, with subtle caramel undertones

Taste: Although the bread and caramel leave a hint on the tastebuds, up front, the resiny pine flavors quickly jump forward to dominate the middle and the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Most Amber Ales dominate with caramel sweetness and bring along the hops as an afterthought; this one turns the equation inside out and delivers a great hop profile that is backed up by the caramel - highly recommended

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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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Photo of SGDJosh
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle on 9/15. From tasting notes:

A - Amber/Copper blend color, small head that melts to circular lacing on top. Sediment throughout.

S - Fresh hops, spices, little bit of robust honey..

T - Tasty-citrusy hops upfront with malty spices that follow. Very smooth with no booze present. I wouldn't guess it to be a 7%+ beer

M - Light/Medium bodied, carbonation bites the tip of the tongue and lets the hops dry out the finish.

O - Good red ale if you really enjoy hops. Very green in flavor with a spicy finish. Very drinkable for the ABV and perfect for the fall. Be careful with this one!


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Photo of brystmar
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

CCB event at Barcade.

Red body, white head and lace. Effervescence is apparent amidst the malty, hoppy aromas.

Nicely blended and balanced as I sip; high drinkability doesn't bode well for tomorrow morning. Between this, the Orange Wood IPA, and Huna on tap, tomorrow will be rough. Cheers!

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to duff27 for girting me this beer while taking an adverture to Florida and bring back the spoils of beer from another state! Thanks Duff!

poured into New Belgium globe glass.

Appearance: mutteled red bodied beer with 2 fingers of tanish frothy head that leaves lace everywhere on the glass.

Smell: It smells just like what a caramel covered pine cones would smell like!

Taste: A touch of caramel sweetness and bready notes start off the beer. It then inturrupted by a mild to moderate splash of juice pine hops bitterness. Beer finishes mildly bitter and linger for just the right amount of time making you want to take the next sip shortly there after.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. The body has a nice creaminess to it. Its ABV is well hidden and it drinks easily at 7.5%.

Overall: This is a really solid beer for the style! I am digging it. It might even be close to the legendary Nectar Nugget by Troegs. Its seem fairly similiar to me.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of JeepCop. Thanks!

A: Pours a hazy maroon body with a pinky finger of beige head. Poor retention, but it maintains a fairly thick collar on the beer. No lace.

S: A substantial dose of caramel malt, bread, and plenty of piney hops. A touch of toast.

T: I think this was going for the hop-forward approach, but it's a bit faded now, causing the malt to step forward. It is caramel-dominated, along with a rye bread and toast characteristic that emerges during the odd sip. I detect a lesser character of pine hops. Good balance.

M: Full-bodied, and surprisingly so for a 7.2% beer. I found this kind of a chore to drink due to the heaviness. No trace of the alcohol, and no lingering bitterness.

O: A pretty tasty amber ale on the whole; I suspect this isn't all that fresh, and I'd probably enjoy it more if it were. I'd also probably enjoy it more if it were drier. But it's very solid.

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4.64/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The first red ale that this reviewer is writing on pours a beautiful mahogany color that approached opaque in clarity; it is capped with a slightly rocky, cream-colored head that takes its sweet time dissipating down from an initial four fingers to a manageable one-and-a-half. The carbonation that is visible through the dense fog appears very active, but it is honestly difficult to tell with any certainty. There is some spotty lacing. The pour looked incredible, but once it is sitting in the glass the beer starts to take on the appearance of the end product of chewing tobacco. Still, the ruby red that occurs when light shines through is a pleasure yet to be held by this reviewer.

Aroma: There is a certain hoppiness that I was not expecting in this style after reading about it, but this is usurped almost immediately by a very “beery” smell that can only come from a strong malt character. This malt character also lends Tocobaga a pronounced and enticing sweetness. There is perhaps a bit of yeast that plays on the nostrils as well and mingles with the malty sweetness and gives it a mild spicy characteristic akin to cinnamon and cloves (or maybe allspice). It is quite complex (as many great beers are) and begs the holder to drink immediately.

Taste: The gauntlet has been thrown down for all future red ales that pass these taste buds. There is nothing to dislike in the taste of this beer, no faults to be found. It is initially bitter, but just for a second (following the nose step for step), and then the sweet malts step in, flooding the mouth with caramel notes, nutty notes, and even a hint of banana. Then the hops come back in and leave the tongue craving more and more of the delicious elixir, somewhat like Founders Double Trouble, though not nearly as bitter due to the difference in style. The aftertaste is a bit puckering and astringent, but not in a displeasing way. This beer is off the charts rich, somewhat like Apocalypse Cow. Just wow.

Mouthfeel: The beer swallows a little thick for my taste and leaves the lips sticky afterwards. As mentioned under “Taste”, Tocobaga has a puckering effect on the mouth, but this is very welcome. The carbonation is as active as seen earlier, but not as omnipresent as expected, which really is not an issue; the carbonation is perfect for the beer and gives it the refreshing quality that carbonation so often does. This beer is insanely drinkable, which, at 7.2% ABV could be a bit dangerous.

Overall: This is an excellent stepping-stone into the world of red ales. Before drinking this beer, I was not overly excited about venturing into red ales, but now I could not be more eager to have another. I am also disappointed that this was my only bottle. This is a beer I would love to have in my fridge at all times. It is just spectacular. 17.5/20

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Photo of ninaturner
4.97/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Red/amber color, unfiltered, poured with a one finger head.

Aroma: Caramel sweetness is the only way to describe the aroma.

Taste: Caramel, malty sweetness, bittering hops at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smoot, medium body which is perfect when you're tasting the malty character of this beer.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable.

Overall: One of the best beers I've had the pleasures of drinking.

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Photo of Duff27
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Great looking pour. Near two-inch, light-tan head. Deep mahogany body with chunks of yeast sediment...maybe I poured to hard. Excellent lacing and head retention.

S- Can smell the citrusy hops from a foot away. getting my nose in there i get big juicy oranges and mangoes perhaps.

T- Now that's a red! Big time juicy citrus hops in the taste as well. Still very balanced with a good malt backbone, somewhat bready aftertaste. Would not guess at the ABV being as high as the one stated.

M- Medium mouthfeel, somewhat creamy. low-mid carbonation.

D/O- Very balanced, highly drinkable even for the 7+% alcohol. Didn't know about this one until recently. Would want to have again. Great job with a "normal" beer Cigar City!

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