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Minaret Extra Special Bitter - Cigar City Brewing

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Minaret Extra Special Bitter
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very good

35 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 35
Hads: 177
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 29.4%
Wants: 2
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gtreid on 05-29-2011

Pours amber in color with notes of caramel and slight hints of red delicious apple in the aroma. Flavor has a moderate earthy and herbal hop bitterness followed by moderate caramel notes that are subdued by floral hop bitterness in the finish.

47 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 177
Photo of Sammy
3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On nitro, at Pingleheads. Dark coloured, tasty stuff. The hops, and of course the caramel and chocolate malts survived fine on nitro. A little creamy. Fun stuff that still hit the spot after a long day and night and day of drinking beer. I could drink this for two days.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear, amber. quarter finger rapidly dissipating head.

S: Slight metallic aroma with mostly toasted malt.

T: Toasted malt with wood, grass notes. Medium to strong bitterness and dry finish.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: Decent example of a true English ESB. Dryness is too much however.

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Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Rattle ‘n Hum, New York, NY

A: The beer is slightly hazy copper in color. It poured with a thin yet dense off white head that died down very slowly but left a collar of bubbles around the edge of the glass and a patch of bubbles in the middle.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of caramel and toasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of grainy and toasted malts along with some hints of caramel. A very slight amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish is a little dry.
O: This is a very flavorful ESB that is also very easy to drink.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

huge thanks to gtreid for the growler, i am always thrilled to try new and interesting beers

dark amber color with a nice amount of clarity to it. A good two inches of white foam coming up over the top settled down nicely into a thin layer of white crown that capped it and brought down tons of side glass lacing.

Nice light hop profile was highlighted by hints of grapefruit and fresh grass. As it warmed it got tremendously more balanced, with a light bready malt character coming through and a light herbal like quality to it. Smooth flavor here, though the hops did seem a touch off to me. Light, with a grapefruit, peach, lemon like tartness coming through in the front and an almost green tea leave like flavor in the mid palate. Intresting mix of flavors here, some biscuit and a touch of light grain coming through now. Smooth, mellow, and consistent carbonation never failed and allowd this very sessionable lager to really be a smooth and easy drinker.

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Photo of nickfl
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a small head of white foam on a clear, amber-brown body. Good retention and lace.

S - Light, fruity notes and some toasted malt.

T - Toasted malt with some red apple up front. Strong bitterness in the middle and a dry, toasty finish.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Not bad, a bit too dry for my taste and the bitterness is slightly soapy. Still a much more authentic bitter than one usually finds at an American brewery.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I enjoyed this on tap at Vito's Pizza and Beer, served chilled nitro tap in a tulip pint.

The color is ruddy brown with cascade-creamy head with thick lace stickage. The smell is a bit of dried fruit and mild yeast ester with mineral element subtle woody hop note. The feel is medium bodied with nice balance nitro seems to subtract some body but good for the style with mild bitterness in finish.

The taste is very good with a slight toasted and gently sweet malt flavor up front with a bitter element in the middle but slight English yeast character with a mellow mineral quality with dry finish. Overall I liked this ESB a more American style with less fruity/caramel but style has balance and is very drinkable.

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Photo of chinchill
3.24/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the Pinglehead brewpub in Jacksonville, FL.

This ESB is fine looking but otherwise unexceptional,

Mouthfeel: The body is smooth but too thin.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap at the Cigar City Brewing tasting room in Tampa. The beer was served in a pint glass, and it poured a light copper-auburn color with no head. Slight smokey and malt smells, like caramel. The flavor is a roasted caramel, with some slightly bitter hopping. It almost has some coffee notes, as well. Sour and bitter aftertaste, with syrupy qualities. The finish is a bit dry and slick at the same time. Tasty.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at cigar city's tasting room.

A- Has a dark caramel color to it with a 3/4 inch white head that doesn't retain long before settling to an 1/8 inch ring and a considerably solid coat of surface foam. Wavy lacing follows.

S- Has the usual lightly malted nose of an ESB that's crisp and clean. A bit more earthy and pungent than others though.

T- Smooth and super drinkable like an ESB but way more flavorful and bitter than any one I've had before. The typical balance that's common to the style is there but amped up in a way that doesn't compromise its legitimacy. There's also an undeniably funky quality to it. Different.

M- Thin and somewhat spritzy. Medium-high carbonation.

O- Usually CC's session beers are unimpressive to me, but minaret hits the mark. Probably the best ESB I've ever had

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.09/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

On nitro at the brewery. Pours dark copper with a creamy white head. Light malt and spice aroma, smooth with low carbonation. Malty mostly with ever so slight hops, lingering malt flavor and a clean finish. Not much going on here, and I am not really a fan. Very boring and not much flavor. I feel like the nitro takes away from a beer like this, making it more bland than it otherwise would be.

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Photo of Holland
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a clear brown amber with small lacing and a thin layer of head on top when it got to me. Tiny bubbles stayed throughout.

S: malt, bitterness dominate the smell here.

T: simple yet delicious. Caramel malt, pale malt, bitter hops all round out the taste with a slight sweetness.

M: this beer has the carbonation and medium body to make it delicious.

O: solid beer, I'm impressed to find a gem like this in the heart of Florida. Buy it if you find it and you like ESBs.

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Photo of Chaney
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap at Cigar City. Some of the beer peeps around me were urging me not to order this one. Boy were they wrong.

A: Pretty much completely see-through (obviously filtered) amber color, with a slight, understated white head.

S: not much, but I did manage to get a slight sour dough bead-like yeastiness.

T: Crisp, golden, and with a mild honey-exams flair. Nothing to groundbreaking here, but tasty nonetheless.

M: Prickly carbonation, tempered sweetness, mild bitter notes, and with a highly gulp able disposition.

O: Sure, the style of this one doesn't exactly appeal to the masses, but it was still tasty.

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Photo of jsanford
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler split with some friends thanks to David. Poured into a Cigar City Snifter.

Pours a lovely dark copper with a foamy white head. Nice aromas of roasted caramel malt and bitter orange peel hops. Taste follows the nose nicely, lots of toasted malt, caramel, and bitter citrus hops that linger on the palate for some time. Mouthfeel is quite smooth and creamy, with a medium body and pleasant carbonation. Overall a very nice Bitter, and exceptionally drinkable.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice woody copper color with a big (my fault) light tan head. Good retention and lacing. Clear and bright.
Smell is invading my nose from a foot away, enticing me. Notes of hops, grass, malt, maybe some wood.
Taste is hoppy, with grass, malt, some alcohol.
Warming with a dry finish. Medium-full bodied with a medium-light effervescence. Some oak notes in the aftertaste are nicely cleansing without removing all remnants of flavor. A decently balanced, flavorful brew that holds fairly true to my recollection of the style. Not overly hoppy but it is the lead guitar in the band.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at the Kickbacks Cigar City/St Somewhere dinner. I'm reviewing this by memory on this I had this at the Kickbacks Cigar City/St Somewhere dinner. I have had most of CC's regular beers but I have not tried this yet. toasty flavors as style suggests with some nice american citrus hop flavors. worth trying but not there best. want to try again.

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Photo of babaracas
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the CCB tasting room. Copper colored, one finger thick white head with decent retention. Smell: toffee, earthy, mild pine. Taste: toasted grain, caramel, lightly bready, earth + pine, mild citrus. Nice bitterness, slightly mineral feel. Pretty good ESB.

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Photo of brystmar
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nitro at Barcade.

Beautiful pour: copious white head and lace above the cloudy amber body. Malty, slightly earthy aroma. Dry, yeasty, smells like most lagers. Bleh.

I don't usually like ESBs, so it took Al's recommendation for me to order this. Surprisingly balanced as the malted barley meets earthy yeast and tangy fruit. Creamy as hell, thanks to the nitro. I enjoyed this, but gimme my pour of Huna back!

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Photo of Budinetz
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured in nitro tap at rattle and hum in NYC.

Has an awesome look to and super smooth flavor with great drinkability. The nitro really does this beer good, as I don't think it would be as good without it. Would get this again if I saw it

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Photo of JayS2629
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber hue with a good light tan head of two fingers that fades slow and leaves nice lacing.

Aroma is of orange, pine, and grapefruit. Malty underbelly of caramel and light notes of toffee.

Caramel covered oranges and grapefruit zest. Most bitter ESB I've had.

Smooth, easy drinking.

Overall an interesting and easy drinking beer.

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Photo of Gehrig
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at The Independent in Tampa, FL.

Nice looking beer, with a clear, dark golden body with yellow trim and a robust cap of white foam; nice lacing on the CC pint glass. Lightly hopped aromas, with some grapefruit and orange, with a nod toward caramel malt. Nice balance between hop bitterness and some citrusy sweetness. This could almost stand to be a bit more bitter. The mouthfeel is nice and hopped up, but the taste ought to be more hop forward.

Nice ESB, but not my favorite CC offering. Admittedly, ESB isn't my favorite style. Not bad.

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Photo of Shaw
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a growler I got filled at the brewery yesterday.

A deep ruby in color with a short light brown head.

It smells of malt, a bit of butter and/or caramel, with a hint of hops.

Malty flavors of toast and roasted grain combine with a noticeable hop flavor and bitterness. It's rich, but not cloying.

Smooth body.

Overall this is a fine ESB and another of the recent, approachable "normal" beers from Cigar City. Check it out.

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Photo of adam42381
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes at Cigar City's taproom on 9/9/11 for Firkin Friday.

Draft poured into a 4 oz. sampler glass.

Appearance: Poured a medium caramel brown with golden highlights. Nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt with a touch of bitter hops.

Taste: Grassy hops up front followed by lightly roasted malt in the middle before ending with a nice bitter finish. Aftertaste is bitter as well. Very nice flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very good drinkability. You could drink several. Goes down smooth.

Overall: Good beer overall. One of the better ESBs I've had (while I haven't had a ton, I know this one is good). Worth trying.

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Photo of Gtreid
3.39/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Growler poured into a tulip.

A: Clear copper color. Nice two finger cream head that retained well, and left some sickey lace.

A: Caramel and grassy notes, followed by a sweet malt backbone. I get a slight metallic note that was a little unexpected.

T: Great balance between the sweet malt and the bitter hops. But there is a distinct metallic taste in the middle of the brew that really brings down my impression of the beer. It finishes very dry and bitter.

M: Pretty spot on here. Medium body good levels of carbonation delivers the flavors nicely.

O: I think could've better. The metal characteristics in the middle are the beer's downfall. It had the potential to be good, just fell short. Skal.

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Photo of huysmans
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Had on draft (nitro) at the brewery. Nice looking nitro head. Nice rich color. Very little smell, maybe a bit musty. Great creamy nitro mouthfeel, but very little taste. Admittedly, this is not my favorite style, so my rating is really just for my personal remembrance of what I thought of the beer. I am sure this is a good example of the style, or at least better than my rating suggests.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Nice, amber color with a moderate head and retention, mild lacing. Aroma amazingly reminds me of Topps brand bubble gum like the kind that was in baseball card packs from 25 years ago. Maybe even the specific smell of the gum combining with the cardboard from the cards. Talk about memory lane. Taste is mildly bitter, no alcohol noted, mild sweetness. Nice balance and very pleasant to drink.

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Minaret Extra Special Bitter from Cigar City Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.