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Hillsborough River Dry Irish Stout (Patio Tools) - Cigar City Brewing

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Hillsborough River Dry Irish Stout (Patio Tools)
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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

136 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 136
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 8.93%
Wants: 16
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Chaney on 07-15-2011

Pours black in color with coffee and very light cocoa notes. Hillsborough River is brewed with roasted barley which contributes forward coffee notes with small notes of cocoa and toffee in the flavor.

35 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 41
Reviews by d1ckvanswype:
Photo of d1ckvanswype
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Quick review scribbled at the bar, didn't know this was going to be around, they tapped out on Cigar City's Minaret right when I ordered it so this was the replacement, and what a replacement!

A: Jet black, thick, rich tan head that lasts and lasts and lasts.

S: Roasty malts, coffee.

T: YUM. Imagine having a bowl of Chocolate Rice Krispies, and instead of milk you used cold brew coffee with a touch of cream. Pretty much exactly there.

M: Super creamy, rich, a little chewy, with a deliciously welcome coffeelike astringency. Amazing, I just wish it was a TINY bit fuller, it should feel like I would get a tired jaw from chewing on this beer.

O: Easily one of the finest nitro beers I've had, one of the best Irish dry stouts, beats the everloving shit out of Guinness, I want this beer to be available year round, across the planet so people can use this as a marker for the style.

More User Reviews:
Photo of codysjb
3.19/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark Brown, little head, good lacing.
S: Dry, some chocolate notes but not much.
T: Like an irish dry stout lol. It was a little watered down but there were some nice coffee and chocolate notes.
O: Ok, a decent if not somewhat watered down example of the style just not amazing.

Photo of standardcherry
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nitro-tap at CCB takeover at OTC.

A: Good looking stout. Dark brown with a small tan head. Standard for the style I guess.
S: Not much going on. Some dry, dark chocolate smells and roasty malts. Very faint though.
T: Dry roasted malt. Some vanilla and chocolate, with a burnt flavor at the end. Slight bitterness.
M: Thin bodied. A bit watery. Super creamy mouthfeel though because of the nitro. Silky smooth.
O: This is a great sessionable stout. The thin body bothered me a bit but this was overall very smooth and drinkable.

Photo of mondegreen
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

32oz Growler into a CCB snifter.

Pours a deep brown with a short lived head. Leaves pretty good lacing.

Really nice roasty nose. This beer is to roast what a single IPA is to hops. Simple, but elegant.

Taste is bitter roasted grains. Elements of coffe and bitter chocolate peek through a light body. Very drinkable, a really nice traditional style from CCB.

Photo of glid02
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap. Originally posted under Patio Tools on 5/18/2010 but moved after an incorrect merging.

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

Smells of heavily roasted malt with good amounts of unsweetened chocolate. Also present are hints of char and tobacco.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Robust roasted malt flavors kick things off and are quickly tempered by lightly sweetened dark chocolate. Midway through the sip the flavors dry out a bit with hints of char. Good amounts of tobacco flavors enter into things before a solidly bitter ending.

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

Drinkability is great. I finished my glass very quickly and could have a ton of these, especially at such a relatively low ABV.

Overall this is likely in my top three CCB beers I've had, and that's among some stout company. A very flavorful low ABV stout that's well worth a shot.

Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cigar City Smokes NYC Rattle N Hum event. Big stout aroma. Dry but not that dry, which is a good thing, I liked the malting. Roasting went a little on the burnt side which gave it a nice edge. Decent for what it is, but this product gets lost in what else Cigar City does. Dark brown colour, suitable carbonation.
Had again two months later at the brewery, more coffee grounds, and yes dry.

Photo of nickd717
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler via trade thanks to Sebletitje, called "Patio Tools" at the time. CCB growlers don't seem to hold up too well when shipped, but this one was very good and well-carbonated.

Pours pretty much black, but not too thick, with a small tan head that lasts.

Aroma is very nice - roast and coffee dominate, and there is also an earthy aspect as well as a hint of chocolate.

Flavor is also mainly charcoal-like roast and coffee. The dark chocolate asserts itself more here, and there is definite earthiness and even a little wet dog (that's a new one, huh?). Wet dog is one of my favorite beer flavors. A little anise as well.

Very dry on the palate with lasting drying from the roast. Finishes cleanly, and has medium body.

Overall, this is just excellent for a style that often isn't that exciting. Supremely drinkable. This probably won't surprise most of you, but I had this next to a Guinness and it was not even close! The Guinness was way sweeter and less dry, more watery, and just less flavorful in general. Goes to show how good this beer is for the style.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to crack this one open to end the night last night. I wanted something a little heavy, but nothing terribly strong and this seemed to fit the bill. Served from the thirty two ounce growler into two pint glasses, this one was consumed on 04/08/2010.

The pour was dark, dark brown, nearly black in color with a small and fleeting head of light brown that just barely covered the top on the pour. First hints of the aroma are roasted malts, caramel, and a touch of light coffee. Warming really brings out the light cocoa touches I was looking for and gives it some nice depth. Going in for the first sips I am immediately impressed with the dry and smooth feel to it. Really quite nicely done I have to admit. Each sip seems filled with cocoa and roasted malts. Lots of smoky notes coming through now for me as well. Again very nicely done. Carbonation is just about right as it is full and unique but not overly aggressive and the light abv certainly makes for a very enjoyable and very session able experience.

Overall a very nice and light little stout. I would have no issue with polishing off multiple glasses, in fact the growler was gone in about 45 mins. Really very nicely done and something I am glad I was able to try.

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

I had this on tap at the brewery and brought a growler home.

Appearance is very dark, with an almost nut-brown head. Poured with a one-finger head which dissipated somewhat quickly. It has a light caramel smell. Mouthfeel is light, but not insubstantial with bright carbonation. The taste is dry and moderately bitter, with notes of coffee, chocolate, tobacco and hazelnut. Very drinkable.

(Original review posted 3/15/2011 when it was still called Patio Tools.)

Photo of Immortale25
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at The Local Miami. Served in a Guinness tapered pint glass.

A- Pours a perfectly opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that stays and stays before eventually diminishing to a 1/4 inch head. Thick, fluffy resilient lacing.

S- Very nice milk chocolatey caramel aroma with a hint of mocha.

T- Incredibly smooth flavor reminiscent of a chocolate milkshake due to the nitrogen. Minimal bitterness although there is some on the tail end. The taste ends up being quite neutral, but let's just call it balanced and super drinkable.

M- The creme de la creme...literally. So creamy and soft it's sublime. Semi-robust body.

O- I'm such a sucker for stouts on nitro pour so my rating is a bit overly generous. Still, this is a fantastic beer and I highly recommend it, nitro pour or normal.

Photo of mullenite
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black in color with a short light-cream colored head. Lacing left all the way down the glass was spotty and broken up.

Smell was comprised mostly of dark chocolate with some clean roasted barley notes.

Taste was very similar to the nose but a little more grainy with the roasted barley. It was also a little smokey which didn't come through at all in the nose.

Body was on the thinner side of medium with that slightly grainy flavor from the roasted barley contributing to feel a bit.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer, probably the best dry stout I've ever had.

---
Moved this over from a bad merge, the original review as made on 3/15/10

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

Enjoyed on tap at the CCB taproom.

This brew pours a black color, with a mocha head and some nice sticky lacing. The aroma is quite complex for the style, nodding a little closer to an American Stout. Roastiness and coffee flavors are front and center, but there's some chocolate and a subtle spicing that set this apart. The taste is quite good, the coffee and roastiness work their way to the front, supported all the way by the spices and subtle chocolate.

The mouthfeel is fairly full bodied for an Irish Dry, and has the excellent drying on the end that's the hallmark of the style. The drinkability suffers just a little bit for an Irish Dry, for something that's usually a bit lighter bodied and easier to drink. Don't get me wrong, it's still a very drinkable beer, but it doesn't go down as fast as some in the style. A very good beer that I'm excited to see bottled.

Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Original Review date of 05-14-2010 when it was Patio Tools.

Pours near black with a small tan head that leaves some lacing.

Smell is roasted malt with a hint of chocolate

Taste is roasted malts, a hint of chocolate with a nice hop finish.

This one makes for a very nice session beer. Worth trying if you can find it.

Serving type: on-tap

Photo of adam42381
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | 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 dark cola brown with a creamy light tan head. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt, vanilla and coffee beans.

Taste: Dark roasted malt up front followed by vanilla and sweet malt in the middle before ending with burnt toast at the finish. Aftertaste is dry and bitter.

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

Drinkability: Good drinkability. Goes down very easy.

Overall: Good beer overall. This would be great on a cool afternoon. Give it a try.

Photo of womencantsail
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Joe at Oakquinox 2010. I had to move this review because for some asinine reason, the name of the original beer was changed to the oak aged version and a new listing for the original beer had to be created. Way to go Beer Advocate...

A: An almost black pour with a small tan head.

S: Not an overly complex nose on this. Certainly quite roasty and heavy on the coffee with maybe a hint of earth to it.

T: A very intense roast, almost charred, flavor with plenty of coffee and a mild acidity. A pleasant bitterness and just a hint of chocolate.

M: Medium in body with a full and tingly carbonation. A nice dry finish to it, which is one of my favorite aspects of the style.

D: A nice easy drinking stout and one of the better offerings from Cigar City I've had to this point.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap at the Cigar City Brewing tasting room in Tampa. Served in a pint glass, the beer poured a jet black coloring, looking like motor oil in a glass. No head. The beer has coffee aromas, with a light and slight smokiness. The flavor is light coffee initially, with a huge blast of campfire smoke at the end. Aftertaste is all smoke, with a slight coffee bittering. The beer's finish is a moutful of campfire coals. Great, dry, and light bodied. Bravo!

Photo of Aiptasia
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled this at Engine 15 Brewing company in Jacksonville Beach, on tap, with a bratwurst and chips, under the old "patio tools" non de plume.

A: Poured a dark coffee into a 16 oz. pint glass with no discernible head, just a halo. Lacing was apparent, like a sea foam fishing net.

S: Didn't get a lot of smell on this beer. Smelled like toasted water if there is such a smell. Was hoping for more smell character.

T: The taste was fine and very underwhelming. This beer would probably benefit from warmer temperature (60's f) drinking than the ice cold way I tried it. Subtle hints of vanilla sugar, not much from the hops, wet middle, dry finish with no aftertaste.

M: It drank fine, no complaints. Microcarbonated, wet middle and drinkable on a warm day.

O: Expected more flavor depth on this one, but I guess it was intended for easy drinking after working in the yard or while grilling outside. To that end, it's just fine, just not my thing. One positive is that it would be an easy dark beer for non-craft beer enthusiasts to enjoy.

Photo of brentk56
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Has the Guinness appearance you would expect from a nitro tap and leaves plenty of lacing behind

Smell: Roasted black bread, vanilla and a hint of coffee

Taste: Roasted black bread, up front, with the vanilla and a bit of burnt brown sugar in the middle; dries out, after the swallow, with a bit of bitterness in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Very nice dry stout and I love the pun

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

Original review from April 2010 when this was "Patio Tools."

On tap at Kickbacks

A-Pours a near black with a somewhat thin beige head. Fair lacing.

S-Roasted malt, light roast coffee, a whiff of vanilla. Understated, but nice.

T-A semi-sweet chocolate flavor I didn't get in the nose is there, but the roasted malt is most predominant. The coffee makes an appearance as well. Not terribly complex, but enjoyable to be sure.

M-On the light side of medium body. Dry.

D-A few of these wouldn't be a problem at all.

Overall, a very nice beer from CC.

Photo of itsscience
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black with a half-finger of creamy tan head frozen in time. It has a milk chocolate smell with toasted oats, pecans, and cream, but I only pick up on those flavors if I stretch myself -- it's all rather subtle. The taste brings cocoa powder, coffee, burnt toast, and bitter hops. It goes down silky smooth with a super dry finish and is on the lighter side of medium in body.

Photo of mothman
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Originally patio tools when I had it.

Thanks to gtreid for this one!

Poured into bruery snifter.

Pours a finger of light tan head. Head leaves some solid lace walls down the glass. Color is a fairly dark black.

Aroma: Roasted malts and then some. Sweet vanilla and a touch of toffee. Chocolate notes. Not a lot in the nose, but not bad.

Taste: Lots of roasted malts with vanilla and chocolate. There is a dry taste that I can't put my finger, I think it is peanuts or peanut oil. I doubt they used that in this beer, but something resembles it.

Mouthfeel: Roasted, smooth, and somewhat crisp. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends really dry and roasted.

Overall, I like it for what it is. A good beer, but not something I would want a lot of. Glad I got to try this. Now that I am done with my review, I am headed to the patio (but not to be a tool). Decent drinkability.

Photo of mdfb79
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 3/27/10 notes. Poured from a 32 oz. growler into a pint glass. Reclassifying this review from the White Oak version as apparently it got put in the wrong place when they were separated/changed.

a - Pours a pure dark black with no head and very little carbonation evident.

s - Smells of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malts.

t - Tastes lightly of coffee, as well as the roasted malts and a hint of chocolate. Subdued taste.

m - Light to medium body and low carbonation.

d - Overall I liked this one a lot. It was very easy to drink and had a nice subdued coffee taste to it. Feel like I could drink a lot of this with the low ABV.

Photo of tpd975
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at CCB tap room.

A: Pours dark black with a tall tan head. Excellent retention and lace.

S: Lots of roasted malt, chocolate, dark coffee, and smoke.

T: Deep roasted flavor. Lots of roasted malt with a hint of char. Dark dark coffee, mild chocolate malt, and caramel. Mildly earthy with a hint of molasses.

M: Medium in body, smooth, lightly dry finish.

D: Excellent. Damn fine stout, homerun when compared to other stouts of the same style.

Photo of kbutler1
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on tap in Cigar City's newly constructed bar area. Tried on recommendation from some locals that were sitting next to me.
Poured into a pint glass. Pours a nice dark brown with a slight tan, tight head.Smells of coffee and dark roasted malts. The taste is great! It's tough to describe but "tight" come to mind, probably the dryness of it. Also get notes of coffee with a slight smooth hop flavor. Mouthfeel is light to medium. Chalkboard said this was 5.2% abv which was perfect. Love this beer.

Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Transferred my review of Patio tools.

On draft at Stubbies, I love you Stubbies. Served in a shaker pint glass. Beer is dark brown to black with a thin off white head of small bubbles, low carbonation minimal lacing.

Aroma is a little smoky, a little sweet, mild roast, overall weak.

Beer is a little thin but has a nice late bitterness to it. Mildly sweet on the front and a decent finish. A simple beer but done well. I enjoyed it and would have it again.

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Hillsborough River Dry Irish Stout (Patio Tools) from Cigar City Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.