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Tocobaga Red Ale - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Tocobaga Red AleTocobaga Red Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

224 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 224
Hads: 1,352
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 10.41%
Wants: 185
Gots: 188 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States | website

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: 224 | Hads: 1,352
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 macrosmatic
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Deep reddish brown in color. Thin white head, about 1/2 finger's worth. Significant visible carbonation bubbles. Even with the deep color, it's nearly clear.

S: Citrus hop, sweet malts. A bit muted overall.

T: Pine and citrus hops up front. Fades to a caramel sweetness in the middle. Hop bitterness at the end, and there is just a bit of hang with it. The alcohol is noticeable near the swallow.

M: Really nice here. A body that's somewhat heavier than an IPA, and very smooth for the style to almost creamy in the middle. Good amount of carbonation sensation.

O: Don't know that it's my favorite style, but this is a quality beer. Personal preference would be a little heavier with the hops. The only complaint I have is the alcohol presence seems a little heavy given it's (relatively) tame ABV.

EDIT: I've updated the ratings to reflect a fresh bottle I had from a recent batch. The comparison is nearly non-existant. Much hoppier, more citrus character and the malt is less sticky sweet. Also (or perhaps as a result), the alcohol presence is significantly decreased. Much improved.

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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 CampusCrew
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: deep dark reddish brown with a loaded head and good retention. Had it poured in a unibroue tulip.

smell: nice hop presence

taste: awesome imeprial red. balanced caramel and citrus hops.

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: I'm still waiting for CC to miss on a beer. Seems like they are perfect!

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Photo of jaasen64
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to dolfan54fl. Poured into CCB snifter.

A- Pours an opaque dark nutty/chocolaty slightly reddish brown. Not too much of a head. Average, to slightly below average carbonation.

S- Sweet and malty with aromas of caramel, honey, and some floral notes.

T- Sweet, malty, caramel, honey, definitely sweeter then your average red ale. Finishes with a nice sweet, malty finish.

M- Medium bodied, slightly below average carbonation, finishes smoothly, abv very well hidden.

O- This was another great CCB offering. Not my favorite beer that I've ever had, but fantastic for a red ale. Lots of flavor and easily drinkable. If anything it might be a tiny bit too sweet. Definitely recommended trying.

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

Pours a hazy red-tinted dark orange with two fingers of dense cream colored foam, settles very slowly to a thin cap. Sheet of delicate lace left down the glass. Smell: caramel and toasted grain base with a dose of pineapple. Citrus rind and a soft note of tropical fruit along as well. Taste: caramel, mildly toasty, sugared tropical fruit, blam of white grapefruit, earthiness, and a note of alcohol. Medium bodied with exceptionally creamy feel. Liked this on tap last year, love it in the bottle now. 6 packs, please. And, whoa, is this a bottling stamp from CCB? May 15 11 stamped in white on the side of the label.

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Photo of zeledonia
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to cubanbeerguy for the extra. Bottle says 7.2% ABV. Tasted 25 August 2013.

Pours a lightly hazy rusty amber color. One finger of very light tan head. Good retention and fantastic lacing, with a ring of bubbles around the surface.

Smell is really nice, though I'm having a hard time describing it. It's light on the malts, just a touch toasty, dark grains like rye, but mostly clean. Spicy! A bit herbal. Delicate but complex. Very nice.

Taste is interesting; it's about 2/3 of the smell. Has the grainy malts, spice that's sometimes only a light touch and other times pretty assertive, and a mild bitter swing in the back-end. It's funny; it drifts between boring and good. On balance, it's closer to good.

Feel is good. Medium-bodied, medium-high carbonation. Lasts just the right amount of time, going-staying-almost-staying and then poof it's gone.

I like this beer. It's more spicy than anything else. A spicy red ale is something I don't remember having before, but I'm really enjoying it.

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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 SpdKilz
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to my buddy Chris for this beer. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours a hazy mahogany color into a tulip with a half finger of tan head.

Smell – Nice hops, berries, citrus, caramel.

Taste – Wow. I’m not a red ale fan and this is starting out nice. Great citrus hops up front, slight berry flavor, floral notes, and a nice sweetness that is not cloying.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, decent carbonation.

Overall – A red ale I’d have again. Thanks Chris!

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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 ThickNStout
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. Bottled 11/19/12. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

Pours deep chestnut with a half finger cream head that leaves lace trail where it rests against the glass.

Smells of citrus and floral hops with sugary bread backing it up and sweet berries as it warms.

Taste is a nice balance of sweet bready malts and hops. Toffee, floral, citrus, sweet bread, berries and sugar. Very little alcohol presence.

Slick but almost creamy medium feel with a decent bit of carbonation that rests on the base of the tongue. Berries and hops in the finish.

One of my favorite red ales. My wife rocks for finding me a couple bottles in Florida over her Christmas break. It borders an IPA but the malty notes of toffee and berry help it stand apart. Good stuff here and well worth a try.

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Photo of richj1970
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice extra in a recent trade. Poured from 12 oz can into tulip glass.

A: Ruby tinted brown with a generous 3 finger fluffy white head that left some nice chunky lacing.

S: Resiny hops, oranges, caramel.

T: A nice balance of citrus notes with bitterness from the hops. A bit of sweetness creeps in at the last minute.

M: Medium body with a good level of carbonation. Easy drinking brew.

O: This a nicely balanced red ale. Would be a nice one to have 6 or 12 on the boat for a nice day of fishing...

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Photo of mntlover
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep hazy copper color with thumb sized tan head that falls slow and laces well.

Aroma is wonderful deep caramel notes with lots of hops citrus notes, floral mingled with tobacco hints. Rich malty plus a good dose of the hop.

Taste is is same as the nose nice rich caramel malts all be it little lighter then the nose by a hair. Hops kick in subdued citrus notes bigger herbal/tobacco notes finish is citrus bitterness though. Light alcohol esters as it warms that blend perfectly just adding to the flavors.

Mouthfeel is good for amber big medium smooth with light pep in the finish.

Overall I am loving this one wish I had picked up more then a sixer. If available in my area this would move up to my go to amber.

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Photo of shand
4.87/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on tap at the CCB taproom.

Pours a copper color with a nice head that retains well and leaves nice chunky lacing down the glass. The smell is absolutely amazing. Like sticking your nose into a bag of hops. There's just a bit of malt in the back of the nose. The taste here is a hop-head's dream. Nice citrus and tropical hops are really front and center here. The malts are just a supporting role, this is a superlative hop-forward brew that drinks closer to an IPA.

The mouthfeel is pretty good, if fairly unremarkable. The drinkability is absolutely stellar. This is an absolutely phenomenal brew, and I'm looking forward to the bottles they made yesterday so I can bring this bad boy home and drink it every night.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.99/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a clean deep amber with a finger of head which left a nice creamy ring of lacing behind. nice hoppy grapefruit citrus and caramel in the nose.. reminds me a lot of nugget nectar. the flavor profile is different than NN for sure - a nice grapefruit hoppy bitterness followed by a caramel AND bready/nutty notes.. very much more malt oriented, but tasty as all hell! medium body with a creamy mouthfeel, moderate carbonation.

this is a really delicious amber ale.. very bready, yet very hoppy, with a nice sweet tone to it. if you don't live within their distribution, check out leuken's online, they deliver (that's how i got mine!)

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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 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 kbutler1
3.81/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft. Pours a clear copper red color with a slight tan head. Hoppy citric aroma on the nose along with sweet malt and some woodiness. Nice lace left on the glass as it settles. Medium mouthfeel with good carb. The flavor starts off with some sweetness followed by flavors of citrus hops and the earthy/woody notes in the nose. For a red ale this is nicely balanced without being too maltyl. Very easy drinking as well. Ends with a lingering bitterness from the hops.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had a pint on tap at the brewpub.

Pours a fiery orange shade with a patchy eggshell head. Big caramel malts and citrusy, white grapefruit hops make up the aroma. The taste is of huge piney, critrusy passionfruit hops mixing flawlessly with a toasty, toffee malt profile and some clean, bready cracker notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fantastic, creamy carbonation level. A chewy maltiness quickly gives way to a strong, resiny bitterness in the finish. Bitterness lasts a long while. Alcohol is impeccably well hidden throughout.

This is a stellar Red Ale. It could easily be considered an American IPA. Very hop forward with excellent malt balance. If in Florida, seek this out.

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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 rajendra82
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The reddish amber body was clear, and the head formation was two fingers thick. The aroma of the beer was well balanced between malts and hops, as I could smell grapefruit, mango, melon, toffee, and a touch of honey. The taste was quite IPA like, as there was an immediate rush of tropical fruit flavors on first sip, followed by a spicy hop flavor. There was more malt presence than an IPA, but not as much as a typical red ale. The beer was very easy to drink, and had a medium mouthfeel and a sweet aftertaste. This was a very well made, hoppy red ale.

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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 Ri0
4.46/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

32 oz growler poured into Duvel tulip. Grant brought this one up from FL for me.

A - pours dark amber orange in the glass. Nice 2 finger dirty white head, little remains on the glass. Good amount of lacing.

S - Good amount of red malts and some honey scent mixed with a generous amount of hops. Floral, citrus, orange, and pine make it very nice. Some dark fruit scents.

T - Great flavor on this. Nice citrus, orange, and bitterness on the front giving way to fruity tones (bitter ones, however). Nice red malts, breadiness, honey, and dark fruit. The sweetness is followed by a more subdued kick of citrus and bitter hops. I love Red Ales that taste like this.

M - Nice carbonation for a Red Ale. Body is medium with some stickiness to it.

O - Another hopped up Red Ale that I enjoyed. May be closer to a Imperial Red IPA, so damn good. Thank you Grant!

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Photo of Beer4B
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Disclaimer: I've mostly been on a hop kick with IPAs & DIPAs.

However, this was an excellent red ale. Fantastic smell and with great mouth feel and taste.

Found a 6-er of this 3 days old and figured I would finally try it...glad I did.

A refreshing ale and a good benchmark for this style, though I'm not that prevalent in this style currently.

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

"The Tocobaga lived off the bounty of Tampa Bay hundreds of years before the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500's. They were potters, tool makers and the only Florida natives to grow maize. The large platform mounds they built are still with us today, with one of the largest found near Old Tampa Bay in Safety Harbor, Florida. Climb to the top, and with a little imagination you can see Tampa Bay as they did." Brewed in the style of an American Red Ale. A year-round, Florida exclusive release. Available in 12 oz. can 6 packs and on draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. can to a pint glass. Served above 61º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy brown-tinged white head over a maple amber body. Sediment is plentiful and varies from specks to chunks in the brew. Little to no carbonation is visible. Retention is above average. Lacing is light and streaked. 4

(Smell) Bready, biscuity malts with a medium perceived sweetness pair with a barrage of spicy, tropical fruity and mildly piney hops. Moderate bitterness, well balanced and inviting aroma. Potency is medium-high. 4.25

(Taste) Bready caramel malts with a touch of spicy grain character and a pinch of tropical fruit, finishing with a lingering wave of peppery and resinous hops amidst a bed of lightly toasted malt. Bitterness is moderate, right in tune with the sweetness of the beer. Quite tasty despite a lacking of the significantly bright hops in the flavor. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is chewy, smooth, clean. Carbonation is very modest, generating a soft, meager mouthfeel. Body is medium+ for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is spot on, just enough sweetness with bitterness to match. Alcohol presence is low, off characters are minimal. 3.75

(Overall) An impressive Red Ale that does a nice job in balancing hops and malt while keeping things relatively clean. Although the hop flavor was mildly tempered in comparison to the aroma, it's a very drinkable ale, and one of the cleanest, most drinkable Red Ales I've had the opportunity to consume. Floridians are very fortunate to have this as a state exclusive. 4

Cigar City Brewing's
Tocobaga Red Ale
4.03/5.00

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Tocobaga Red Ale from Cigar City Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 224 ratings.