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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 Bosoxfan20
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Aggressive pour leads to a barely 1 finger, light tan head. Hazy amber with lots of sediment. Clearly looks to be bottle conditioned. Don't mind the yeasties, just a little surprised. Avg lacing and retention

S- Citrus and pine hops, dark fruits- dates or raisins, slightest touch of caramel malts. Bready biscuits. Quite hoppy for an amber. Nice aroma, but a pretty timid nose.

T- Hop forward with the citrus and pine. Grapefruit pith, herbal woodsy notes followed by a toasted bread malt. Nice esters fruity notes. Bitter finish that borders on astringency. Certainly a hop take on the style.

M- Mid body near full. Dry as can be in the finish. Some alcohol present. A littel heavy, so not the most drinkable.

O- A beer that seems to taste a litte different with each sip I take. While the hop level tends to overshadow the malt some, it is still a nice beer. Of the 5 or 6 I have had from CCB, this is one of my least favorite....which says a lot about a brewery when one of my least favorite is still pretty good.

$11.49 for a 6 pk

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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 LambicPentameter
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed out of a 12 oz brown bottle with an engraved date to mark the bottling date of this brew: 10/15/13. I received this as part of a Cigar City sampler pack with small Belgian tulip glass. Poured into said tulip glass.

Appearance - I love the hue of this beer, a murky burgundy red with undertones of garnet/ruby--very similar to the hue of clay red on the bottle label. The head, unfortunately, leaves a bit to be desired, with an aggressive pour barely coaxing out a finger of taupe foam that dissipates fairly quickly. Admittedly, my use of the Cigar City tulip, which seems to hold only about eight ounces, may have hindered the head formation. Eventually settles with a film of thin bubbles across the surface of the glass.

Smell - A wonderful balance of tropical and citrus fruit hops, some nice earthy peat and grass, and the caramel malts that likely impart a great deal of the stunning color of this brew. Upon my first whiff out of the bottle before pouring, I thought this was going to be one of those big hop "red IPA" style amber ales, but given room to breathe, those hop notes become just a piece--a very important one--in a aromatic puzzle.

Taste - The hops are a little less aggressive here, with hints of the tropical and citrus elements lurking in the background, but a nice sweet (but not overly so) and malty profile of caramel, toasted bread and sugar caramelizing in a sautee pan are the stars of the show, as they should be for a proper amber. Still, the hops do not go quietly, providing just enough pungent counterpoint to the sweeter grains.

Mouthfeel - Medium-to-light bodied, with just a tiny touch of wateriness. Moderate carbonation and a semisweet finish. Honestly, the feel is the first place that this beer has seemingly come up a bit short.

Overall, a fantastic beer from Cigar City, and one that immediately takes its place amongst my preferred offerings in the style. I could see this particular brew appealing both to amber purists, who love that chewy malt profile, and hopheads like myself, who prefer their caramel malts with a lupulin glaze. A 'tweener, if you will.

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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 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 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 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 adam42381
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a New Belgium globe.

Appearance: Pours a deep red-amber color with ruby highlights and a 2-3 finger frothy pale tan head. Excellent head retention and lacing.

Smell: Pineapple, coconut and pine with a touch of sweet malt. Smells a lot like their White Oak Aged Jai Alai.

Taste: Pine and bitter citrus up front followed by a hint of toasted malt in the middle before ending with another round of bitter hops at the finish. There are undertones of sweet citrus and coconut throughout. Aftertaste is bitter with just a light amount of sweetness that really balances it out. The aftertaste really lingers.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full-bodied with a high amount of carbonation. The hop oils are very sticky and really coat the palate.

Drinkability: Very high drinkability. I wish they offered this in 4 or 6 packs.

Overall: Excellent beer overall. Not your typical American Amber/Red Ale since it is so hoppy, but the category isn't too precisely defined in the first place. I would rank this among the best Cigar City beers that I've had. Highly recommended.

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Photo of lochef81
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Let me start by saying that cigar city should please come to Michigan. This ale pours a handsome amber red color With a generous frothy white head that lasts throughout the pour. It leaves a decent amount of lacing. The nose is balanced with a tremendous amount of hops and a very nice amount of malt. It is sweet but bitter all at once. The body is medium in nature with a lot of coating of hoppy resin and sweet malts. The flavor begins with an ipas generosity of hops followed by the sweet balance of roasty malts. This is a delicious ale with an almost unheard of amount of balance. Thus is a greatly crafted ale from a brewer that is quickly impressing me more and more.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Semi hazed mahogany color with orange glow around the edges. Off white head. Caramel and hops with a faint dark fruitiness.

Dried dark fruit sweetness up front. Medium bodied that holds up well to the carbonation. Sticky caramelized glazed dark fruit bowl throughout. Faint citrus hop adds a touch of underlying bitterness but for the most part the sweetness overrides this and linger slightly. Very clean finish and smooth beer. Wish it showed a little less dark fruit. Along with the hop finish slightly dried toast flavor to help dry it out. A very clean and very drinkable beer though. Good but nothing to write home about. The alcohol is very deceptive as you cant taste it at all and it could easily pass as a 5% ABV brew.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to N. Ketchum for the opportunity to try this one out.

Poured out of a 750 ml bottle into a snifter.

A) Red, maybe better described as rust in color. A nice two finger head, which settled into a nice white cap. Lacing is up and down the glass.

S) A slight sweetness, but mostly a very nice hop presence. Pine and citrus fruits.

T) This is a hop lovers red. Some pine, citrus and tropical fruit. There is a little caramel sweetness in the finish. Nice malt/hops balance. Well done...

M) Medium body with moderate carbonation. This is a smooth, well rounded brew. Nice feel...

O) This is what I was hoping for with Cigar City. Glad I got to try this one. A fantastic beer for sure. Hey Uncle Mark, when you drive the Caddy back from Florida in the Spring, load some of this in the trunk for me.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.56/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had I known what this sixtel cost before I hit the register, I wouldn't have bothered... but boy, am I glad I did.

Poured into nonic pint glass with a booming, 1/2 glass full of foamy cream colored head over a rich amber body with plenty of carbonation flowing slowly up. Tons of sticky lacing.

Equal parts citrus and pine in the aromas, with some woody notes in the background.

Whoa, one of (if not THE) smoothest beers I've ever had. Flavors are a combination of tropical citrus flavored hops (pineapple, papaya, mango) with lots of banana cream pie sweetness, and some vanilla bean and cedar in the back. Touch of pine in the finish. Incredibly creamy mouthfeel, but still with sufficient carbonation to cleanse -

Drinkability is quite remarkable for a 7% hop-forward beer. Drinks like an English Pale Ale, and that's scary.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Thanks to my FL trader GallowsThief for the badass extra!

Pours a nice brownish red color that lets in only a bit of light. The lacing clings in off white patches along the glass. The nose has a very nice hoppiness to it. Inviting bouquet of pine and sweet malt entices. The taste is clean and hoppy up front and offers some sweetness in the back. Clean, crisp and dry mouthfeel is suiting for the style. Overall, another bomb ass brew from CCB, and a great representation of the style.

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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 litheum94
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep, brushed bronze color, with a ton of sediment floating around. A two finger head, brown tinged, falls to a short, tight cover. Not much lacing.

Aromas of caramel malts with a citrus zest. Light spicing and woody pine.

Big malt profile, with flavors of caramel and toffee. Very juicy, grapefruit hop flavors, with some sweetness and citric sourness. Floral and woody, reminds me of redwood tips. Touch of alcohol on the finish, but not overpowering at all. Hop bitterness lingers in the mouth, with some residual sweetness.

A really nice red. I like the malt profile, and the citrus hops are very juicy.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.79/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour is light amber with a serious soda pop fizzy head. This thing smells like it was just randallized with fresh hops. Super juicy mangoes, apricots, and a hit of pineapple just dominate. I love it! Lots of sticky sweet malt to back what is already sweet. Kind of like a darker Waldo's 420 from Lagunitas. The taste is more bitter and malty than the nose led on, but not in a bad way. It gives the beer some body to back that uber sweetness. Chalky bready malt comes through quite nicely. Theres still a ton of apricots just wanting to take over, but they really just add a very nice balance. Finishes sweet and citric with a hint of alcohol coming very late only to be destroyed by more citric hops.

Nugget Nectar aims to be more of a traditional bitter IPA, this thing goes for a West Coast super tropical fruit Amber. For my taste, this is preferred to the famed NN.

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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 CloudStrife
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a CCB shaker.

A: Pours a clear copper amber with a 1 finger white head. After a minute or two the head dissipates to a thin covering. Nice lacing on the glass.

S: Hops, hops and more hops. This brew is fresh. A grapefruit citrus aroma. Minimal malt, focus is on the hops.

T: As anticipated from the aroma this is a pleasantly hoppy beer. Very balanced though it isn't too bitter. Lots of floral and fruity tones going on here. ABV is lost in the flavor.

M: Smooth medium to full body. A tad sticky from the hops but expected. Fairly low carbonation.

Overall I can see why this is one of the higher rated CCB brews. It kills the competiton in the amber ale category. Certainly not an IPA but a great hoppiness nonetheless.

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Photo of Hop_God
3.79/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: dark brown to ruby. khaki to caramel head

S: hops, pine, malt, biscuits

T: good hoppiness. some bread and yeast. bitter pine with roasty notes.

F: clean and crisp

O: pretty good. hoppy for a red ale.

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

12 oz. bottle, freshness dated as Jan 2012 bottling. Pours a clear, deep amber color, a little hazy, with a slight red tint. About a one-finger tan head that leaves a little scattered lacing.

A very pleasant aroma that is an almost equal balance of earthy/citrus hops and caramel malt. Solid aroma but not overpowering.

The taste is equally satisfying in the blend of hops and malt. Dense flavor and more of a dark malt flavor presents in the taste than in the aroma.

Medium mouthfeel and very easy to drink. This is a complex brew that seems to be a dizzying mix of a red, amber, brown, and IPA. Bottomline is that it is very tasty and I would love to have this as a regular offering. Rock solid.

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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 Arithmeticus
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured chilled in lager glass

A: dark red, not much head; small carb beads, ok lacing
S: hoppy resiny, sweet, strong
T: very hoppy, dark, and resiny. Complex and perfectly balanced between hops and malt; complex and flavorful

I can think of no red ales that achieve this depth and body

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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 Gtreid
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the CCB tasting room. Served in a pint glass. Thanks to Tim for brewing this up.

A: Deep amber color. Nice finger of off white head recedes to a thin rim and leaves some sheets of lace.

A: Sweet caramel and hops. Big time grass and pine followed by the sweetness from the malts.

T: Sweet, hoppy, goodness. Notes of pine sap and grass with caramel and vanilla. The beer finishes dry with a very aperant alcohol heat.

M: Medium body with a good amount of carbonation.

O: Very drinkable. The hops and malt bill is balanced nicely. A little too much alcohol comes through, which is this brew's only downfall. I wish they would've filled me a growler of this. Skal.

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