Or - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

173 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 173
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.27%
Wants: 23
Gots: 30 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  11.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CampusCrew on 11-12-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 173 | Reviews: 103
Reviews by Molson2000:
More User Reviews:
Photo of TCHopCraver
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second (duh) of an Either-Or back-to-back on 2-18-11. Thanks again, zoso and Goalie.

Or pours dark brown, nearly black, with a light brown head. Around the edges, the color is reddish and see-through. The lacing is pretty nicely dotty and sticky. This aspect of the beer doesn't differ from Either all that much.

I smell way more citrus hops showing through than I did in Either. I'm not sure if this is because of relative freshness of the two beers or just the difference between the two recipes. The cedar is quite prominent and it is also a very malty sweet aroma, like Either. However, I think the balance between malt sweetness and hops is much better in Or than in Either. I really like this smell.

The taste also brings a heavy influence of the cedar barrels. Or is not as syrupy and crazy-sweet as Either is. I taste some roastiness, some sweet fruits, and lots of cedar in my mouth. To quote Larry David, "Do you respect wood?" I happen to, so I appreciate the woodiness of Or. The sweet fruity taste in the middle leads to a not overly bitter hop and wood finish.

The mouthfeel carries a very good balance between thick, sweet malt and a bitter bite from the hops. I think this is a better feel than Either. Overall, it is medium bodied, has good carbonation, and the finish does a fairly nice job of drying the sweetness off of my palate.

After drinking samples of Either and Or, I am left with a very woody, dry residue in my mouth. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing; I just couldn't drink very much of either of these two beers. I did like this one slightly better than Either based on more of a hop balance, and would pick Or if I had to make a choice.

Photo of warnerry
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from June 2012; tasted side by side with CCB either.

A - Similar to Either, this pours pitch black with very little head.

S - Quite a bit of cedar, roasted malts, and a slight sweetness, though less than Either.

T - Roasted malt, cedar and milk chocolate. A little drier and more pronounced and drier than Either, though I found it to be less enjoyable.

M - Mouthfeel is rather full with some citrus bitterness and a very dry cedar finish. More boozy than Either.

O - I liked Either better, but this was still a pretty tasty beer.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a nice dark brown, it looks near black in the glass but while pouring you can see light hints of red, it's a nit lighter than 'Either'. There's a nice creamy one finger head with some light lacing. The nose is super fresh and fruity, floral hops and mango.

Taste is better than 'Either' right off the bat. That graininess is present but it takes a back seat to the sharp bitterness and dark malts. There's a nice roasty finish that just seals the deal for me. Prime time. Mouthfeel is also pretty highly carbonated, but it's still creamy and smooth. Very good!

Photo of hiphopipa
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown, not near black-distinctively pitch brown.
Has a thin tan head around the perimeter that dissipates quickly and leaves little lace around the glass.
Smells boozy and of burnt sugar, roasted molasses & chocolate.
Sweet up front with strong honey overtones. Thick & creamy with hefty carbonation.
Sharp hop bite at the end, but definitely taken over by the dark roasted malts and smoked cedar finish.

Delicious, awesome afternoon treat.

Photo of mondegreen
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. into a Founders Tulip. Served alongside Either.

Pours black with a one finger off white head.

Aroma is roasted malts and citrus hops.

The dark malts really shine through in the taste. This could almost pass for a very hoppy Imperial Stout. Finishes with a long-lingering bitterness.

Mouth is medium full.

Drinks very well. In the end, this beer comes off as a bit more straightforward than Either. They are both excellent brews - chalk this up to a successful collaboration!

Photo of glid02
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Proof in Tallahassee, FL.

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sticky pine hops with good amounts of herbal hop aromas backing it up. Also present are moderate amounts of slightly roasted malts and lighter amounts of sweet caramel malts.

Tastes similar to how it smells although the hops are toned down just a bit. Smooth roasted malts with good amounts of sweeter caramel malt flavors kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are huge amounts of pine hops backed by equal amounts of herbal and citrus flavors. Midway through the sip the malt reasserts itself, carrying through to a solidly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I was a pretty big fan of this beer but unlike many other CDAs I've had this beer straddled the line of stout and DIPA, in my opinion to it's detriment. Still, it's a big beer that's worth trying if you see it around.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Drank alongside Either.

A: Poured a deep brown, almost black color. Had a small slightly off-white head on top with little retention and very little bits of lacing.

S: Nice malty aromas up front with some chocolate and roast, but the back end is dominated by some grassy/floral hops.

T: Much roastier and heavier on the chocolate compared to Either. There is a slight coffee flavor in the middle, but there is a nice transition featuring a hop kick with some floral and bitter hops.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth, and no sign of the high ABV.

O: A better ABA than Either was, in my opinion at least. Had more of a hop presence.

Photo of Stigs
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, the second half of the Either/Or combination graciously sent to me by BA'er (and new homeowner!) Infestaxtion. Thanks!

Served in a Stone Levitation glass...

A - pours with over an inch of rich, creamy, thick khaki colored foam. the beer is just about pitch black in color. a thin, yet sticky and filmy wall of lace eats up most of the free space on the glass going down.

S - a nice, pungent and bold bright citrusy hop aroma fills the room during the pour. from the glass, the hops remain fairly strong, supplanted now by some rich roasted, yet not charred malt, toasted nuts, and bits of milk chocolate.

T - huge flavors, all around. massive hop bitterness immediately strikes and takes no prisoners...bringing a hefty amount of bitter grapefruit, and massively earth and pine alone. roasty, charred malts struggle to get noticed alongside bits of chocolate, rum-like booze, and woody cedar. only a slight bit of metal and grains which often show up in a beer this big.

M - medium, creamy and slightly syrupy body in spite of a healthy dose of tingly carbonation. bittering throughout, yet finishes quite crisp and "clean". long, lingering earthy bitterness and lingering roast which is closed up nicely by a quick alcohol burn.

D - extremely well done al around, perhaps my only qualm is that everything in here is just overdone a tad. wonderful on the eyes, nose, and mouth. this is head and shoulders above "Either". this goes down so well, almost too well for its high ABV. warming me up on this snowy night!

Photo of zaphodchak
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kinda opaque body, no head on my one ounce taste.

Strong smell, slightly spicier, more herbal than Either, more hop character.

Taste is far mellower-- caramel, malty sweetness, oregano. Quite pleasant and tasty. Sweet (honey?), but balanced by a (subdued) hop presence. Plenty of hops in the aftertaste though. Compartmentalizes nicely, plenty in here to pick apart.

Slightly brigher, more carbonated mouthfeel than Either.

This is quite nice-- reminds me of DFH 120 in only the good ways.

Photo of cjgator3
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Sampled alongside "Either". Poured into a Cigar City snifter. Pours a dark black color with a tan colored head. "Or" has better retention and lacing than "Either".

S- The aroma is similar to a black IPA. The aroma starts out with dark roasted malts and a very nice fresh smelling hop aroma. While "Either" is a little more malty in the nose, "Or" features a more pronounced hop profile.

T- The taste like the aroma is dark roasted malts up front, espresso and a lot of lingering bitterness in the finish from the hops. The alcohol also leaves a lingering warming effect in the finish as well.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I really enjoyed sampling Either/Or in the same sitting. They are very similar but the hop profile is the main difference. I have to give the nod to "Or" as my favorite of the two. 

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It looks like most people like Or better than either but I am a bit opposit. I love them both but I like either better. But they are very similar.

The appearance is the same. Not a great head but a ring that produced a bit of lacing.

Aroma is more hop forward on this one. I smell alot more hops and I feel it's covering up the other great aromas. However I feel like I did in either that they both could use an aroma boost.

Taste is a bit more hoppy. Again I think it's covering up some of the flavors. Either had more sweet caramel. A little more wood in this one too.

Mouthfeel is same as in the hops are covering some things up I liked in either.

Overall I love them both and think they both deserve a little bit better review. I'll be trading for some more of both to see how they do over time together. But I think I like either a bit better.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter. No bottle date.

Appearance - Jet black. Inky. Small flutter of a khaki head then it fades to a collar.

Smell - Tons of cedar coming through on this one. Molasses, dark chocolate, and cedar. Whoah. This is a lot stronger than I remember the cedar in Either.

Taste - Molasses taste is prominent here at first, but the cedar takes over and gives it a sweetness and bitterness at the same time. The cedar seems much stronger here than it did in Either. Maybe the hops masked the cedar in Either. The dark malt base seems to be holding up nicely. Just a touch of hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Not as boozy as Either. Stronger cedar, which I can handle. Less bitter. Much more like Humidor Zhukov without being cloyingly sweet. Interesting and rather nice.

Overall - I feel that age has treated this one better, if only because it was less hoppy to begin with. The booze is much mellower. The cedar is still pretty strong. The cedar adds a dimension that I'm not sure I love, but it keeps me interested.

Photo of thagr81us
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with mikesgroove at Hobo Tasting #3! Big thanks goes out to Jefe73 for this bottle as an extra from a recent trade. Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured pitch black with a one finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark fruit, and chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, slight alcohol, and chocolate. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. Had a very well balanced flavor going on here as everything seemed to work in unison. I enjoyed this one better than Either (which I had a few hours earlier). Very nice aroma going on here too. This is the absolute must try of the two in the series in my opinion.

Photo of aepb1
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Black body with a small tan head and plenty of lacing

S- Piney hops, some cedar too

T- Hoppy bite up front and moves into a sweet maltiness, finishes with some bitterness from coffee notes

M- Medium body, creamy, smooth

D- A nice beer to sip on! The mouthfeel makes it go down easy even with the high ABV

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Domus Birrae in Rome, Italy of all places. No freshness information was apparent.

A - Thick motor oil black with a small layer of light brown head.

S - Roast, sweet honey, cedar, a touch of coffee. A slight bitterness is present but it is muted. I assume this bottle to not be fresh so I will take that in to account.

T - Big roast up front that immediately gives way to the cedar that is present without overwhelming as it sometimes can be in cedar aged beers. Some coffee and oatmeal notes are also present along with a decent bitterness and some grassy notes from the hops. The finish is sweet honey, espresso and a lingering bitterness. The hops are not as prominent as they would be in a fresh Black IPA, but are still very much a part of the palate.

M - Medium, almost full body. Creamy and viscous. Light carbonation.

Photo of smakawhat
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Pours out of the bottle dark brown almost motor oil thick. Gives a great three finger cocoa brown head, even makes some good noise. Body is a dark dark red/black brown color. Real good looking here.

A good sense of cirtus grapefruit and sugared orange. Very sweet smelling almost with powdered sugar sense. Wonderful nose.

Taste is a bold bountiful stout with milk chocolate and grapefruit sugar sweetness. Mix of balance of caramel like roast and crystal sugars. Hop citrus on the finish, and silky milk throat coating. Hints of milk chocolate coated orange and grapefruit. I feel like I am eating dark chocolate covered oranges.

Killer black ale, what can I say, all that flavor and feel and a masked ABV. Super great beer in the bottle.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ditmier busted Or and Either out at a recent tasting... Thanks Eric.. very cool to try these side by side... but honestly, I couldn't tell too much of a difference... "Or" seemed to be a tad hoppier and never gelled as well for me.

Thin dark tan head.. very clear ... dark walnut.. verging on black but clarity is so nice it never reaches that point, and that is okay.

nose has abundant resinous piney hops.. cedar is again pretty prevalent and I am starting to not like it in the brews.

Flavor seems a bit more harsh out of the gate than the Either.. the bitterness from the hops and the lightly astringent roasty malts seem amplified from the piney hop presence. Again, a little malty sweetness shows as minor caramel and is the tie that binds this one together mid-sip... the piney hops seem out of whack a bit... not my favorite in a dark malt beer by a long shot... and again.. the cedar is distracting and adds a layer of complexity that seems odd and doesn't jive with the overall brew. lingering char on the finish combining with the piney hops and the spicy cedar just doesn't do it for me.

Nice medium+ on the body with a good lush small bubble carbonation.

Didn't care for this one as much as Either, but it is still good... just not for me as much.


Another big props goes out to my buddy Ditmier.

4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From bottle to wine glass, poured side by side with "Either." "Or" is part 2 of 2 in the collaboration between Cigar City, Grassroots Brewing (Denmark) & Hill Farmstead. Both beers are brewed at CCB.

$10.75 for the 12oz bottle.

A: Half of a finger of medium-dark brown head is produced on the pour and fizzes out rather quickly. The body is the darkest brown imaginable with tawny tints along the top edges of the glass. Moderate lacing.

S: Or is the older brother to Either, it's more heavily roasted, has a noticeably bigger hop bill and a stronger presence of Spanish Cedar. Heavily malted with notes of molasses and pumpernickel bread. The hop bill is enormous with a fresh pine wood scent mixed in with other citrusy notes. It seems that, what would normally be considered huge hop aromas, are actually just big hop aromas that are being elevated by the toasted Spanish cedar, something that Cigar City does very well. The more assertive hop, cedar and alcohol in Or combine to form an even stronger acetone character than was in Either. Newer leather and danker earth in part 2.

T: From nose to mouth, Or is relatively consistent. The cedar and hops remain at the front while not exactly pushing the malts out of the way. Flavors of tar and sasparilla add to the appeal. The monstrous ABV is integrated rather than concealed. General sweetness is evident, but I think it is more of a result of the fermentable sugars than the Ty Ty honey* which, in my mind, has a greater impact on the mouthfeel than anything else.

M: Or is more abrasive than it's counterpart, partly due to it's livlier, fizzier effervescence. The body is medium full, slick and sticky. A big hop bitterness comes through at the finish which is more than likely accentuated by the dryness that the honey provides.

D: Above average drinkability, all things considered. An inventive, very bold and assertive brew with an addictive nose and great flavor. I didn't have any trouble finishing the 24 ounce side by side for comparison's sake. Both beers are fantastic, but I think Or is the better beer.

*Ty Ty honey comes from a native American chestnut tree that is said to produce large, honey sweet kernels of unparalleled taste and quality.

Photo of jsanford
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter. Brewed with Ty Ty Honey and aged on toasted Spanish Cedar. Drank right after Either.

A - Dark black with a creamy, 2-inch khaki-colored head that recedes to a slight haze and thin ring. Leaves sticky sheets of lacing.
S - Lots of pungent grapefruit and pine resin hops, chocolate malt, and honey. Honestly, this smells like a dark version of Hopslam, which is an extremely high compliment to give a beer!
T - Again, nice and hoppy, more pungent flavors of grapefruit and pine resin dominate. There's some nice chocolate, coffee, and dark malt in there, along with a good dose of honey, and a nice amount of cedar character. Very pleasant bitter finish.
M - Very smooth, with a medium-full body and moderate carbonation.
D - Nice and drinkable, much like Either I'm surprised my the high ABV. No problem drinking the 12oz. bottle by myself.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

and away we go with hobo tasting number four. me and calton in the parking lot of chucky cheese, drinking top 100 beers in crystall glass ware from the back of his trunk. we both have too many issues to get into right now.

pours, well you guess it a dark black with a nice tight and compact head of tan that seems to come up around an inch or so before settling back down to earth and coming through with a nice medium layer of lacing around the sides, fairly impressed. aroma is hops, dark roasted malts, a touch of burnt brown sugar, hints of licorice and a touch of dark fruits as it warms, very complex. flavor follows suit nicely, albeit not as strong, but still very nicely done. rich dark malts and piney hops blend together with a deep roasted flavor that carries over into a moderatly dry finish that sums it up quite well..

overall a really great beer an one i would have no issue with going for again. still floored how well that abv was hidden, damn!

Photo of nuggetsofnectar
4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

App: Dark murky brown nigh black...massive 1 1/2" deep tan pillowy head with great lacing as the cap slowllly dwindles to 1/4"

Smell: Porter/Brown ale aroma with some dark figs....vanilla and mocha tannins

Taste: wow....thick dark malts with load of cocoa and vanilla in the back...more on the stout side I would say....chewy oats....slide soy sauce at the tail end...some rye notes and cedar is a bit present

MouthfeeL A beautiful thing...so smooth and creamy and the heat is barely noticable for such a high abv, marvelous

Overall: Very much enjoyed this one...I could see myself sessioning this but I know I would hit the floor hard after 3 or so...

cheers cigar city!

Photo of billyshears
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

side by side with Either.
a: black with thicker head retention. better lacing than Either.
s: much more hoppier than either; cedar also much more present
t: hops are certainly in charge here; much more abrasive piney hops mixed with the Spanish cedar which comes in strong; definitely the more aggressive of the 2; stronger lingering bitterness; malts come as an afterthought. fruity citrus hops come through as it warms
m: thinner more resiny mouthfeel and high carbonation. works as it's more hoppy than Either.
d: hops do a number.

if you want hops, this brings it more than Either. I don't know if it's as cohesive as Either though.

Photo of Axic10
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark black (almost stout like) with a finger of mocha colored head.

Smell: Get a nice whiff of cocoa, some coffee, honey and a hoppy aroma. I think I like the nose on this better than the Either.

Taste: Coffee notes, roasted malt, chocolate/cocoa, nice hop character on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth.

Drinkability: Overall I preferred this version to the Either. This was almost like a hoppy stout to me, but it worked.

Photo of dstc
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle into a pint glass, drinking along side "Either" for comparison. Color is the same, very dark with a deep, tan head that has hints of orange to it. This head is much more creamy yet it falls almost as fast, bit slower maybe and stays as a thin one. Thin, coating lace.

Milder in the nose. Still roasted and bitter smelling but plenty of woodiness in the smell. You can smell the alcohol too.

Nice roasted malt taste, almost burnt. Coffee and mild chocolate and plenty of bittering hops. There is a sweetness there that must be the honey. Cedar is present as is the alcohol.

Thick and smooth in the mouth with low carbonation and a slight alcohol bite.

Good stuff. Bit milder than the "Either" but just as interesting.

Photo of ShanePB
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Side-by-side tasting with both Either and Or, with Nick. Poured into a 5 ounce sample glass.

A: Dark brown, not quite black in the body with a pretty pathetic looking "head" if you'd like to even call it that. No retention other than some tiny bubbles around the walls of the glass. No lacing, either (no pun intended).

S: Bitter floral, grassy and earthy hop notes are profound on this one. Chocolate malts, roasted grains and a faint coffee hint is found mixed in but for being in the cellar for a few months I'm seriously impressed how well the hops are holding up.

T: Darker chocolatey and roasted malt notes are up front but quickly washed out with a rush of floral and still bitter hops. The hops are definitely focused here and are really well balanced in regards to such a could-be dominating malt profile. The roasted and bitterness of both malt and hops respectively strike a unique and enjoyable balance.

M: Bubbly, still well carbonated and easily medium-bodied. Nothing is sticky, dry or lingering in any bad way. Standard fair for the style, nothing exotic.

In comparison of both beers which supposedly were made with the same ingredients, though something HAD to be different, Or is my beer of choice. I think the hops held up way better than the Either did, considering they were almost non-existent, and just overall a much more enjoyable beer.

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Or from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 173 ratings.