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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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very good

41 Reviews
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Reviews: 41
Hads: 138
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 19
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 41 | Hads: 138
Photo of da_beers
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Cigar City Brewing Brew Pub - on-tap

A - stars out beautiful with the nitro. Settles to perfectly balck with finger of tan, silky head.

S - roasty malts and chocolate. Some disntant espresso. Sweet and bitter both hit the nose. Awesome here.

T - silky chocolate and espresso both hit the palate so smoothly. Bitterness is balanced so nicely with sweetness.

M - where do I start. Silky. Smooth. Velvety. Drinkable is an understatement. Awesome.

O - man this is killer. Dry Irish Stouts aren't usually knocking my socks off, but this absolutely does.

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Photo of itsscience
3.93/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
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

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Photo of standardcherry
3.97/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of Florida9
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On nitro tap at Mellow Mushroom Brandon.

Beer is a fully opaque black in color. Served with about s half inch of very stable, very long lasting, creamy rich tan colored head. Lots of lacing. Aroma is mostly roasted malts, with notes of toast, coffee, and slight hint of smoke. Taste is more roasted malts, creamy milk chocolate, mild coffee, and cocoa. Body is a bit thin, but the nitro gives this one an incredibly smooth mouthfeel. Moderate bitterness. Another quality beer from CCB.

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Photo of jucifer1818
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: dark brown, and what can I say. Its to style

s: Light chocolate smells, but to be honest, their isn't much here. nothing bad, but it really needs more aroma.

t: Where this beer shines. Light milk chocolate in flavor, slight earthyness (from the nitro), and a immense creamyness that makes it taste more like a oatmeal.sweet/milk stout vs a Irish stout. The hops only shine through in the after taste, giving it a nice dry roasty/bitter flavor in the after taste. Its fair to say I thought that this brew was fantastic.

m: Slick, creamy, mellow, and highly drinkable

Overall: I thought that this was a fantastic brew. Very slick and easy to drink, with exactly the flavors I wanted. Not exactly a traditional Irish stout, but for what it is, I highly recommend it (at least on nitro).

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Photo of codysjb
3.19/5  rDev -21.2%
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.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.54/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On Nitro at the brand new Brass Tap in Gainesville. Awesome creamy kahki head on top of a pure black pour. Smells like chocolate syrup and not much else. Yum. Super smooth drinking, but a little watery for me. Dry finish and easy drinking. Not much flavor besides some vague roasted malt here, which is unfortunate after the incredible aroma. Wondering if they accidentally poured Guinness, though I know this is a dry stout. I just expected a bit more flavor on this one. Not bad but meh.

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Photo of d1ckvanswype
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.39/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an extremely dark brown, nearly black, and viscous looking with a good-sized dark tan head. Retention is decent from the initial pour but pretty good after it settles. Great lacing.
Smell is a heavy wet cardboard with smoky malt and a hint of hops.
Taste is heavily roasted malts, smoke, light hops and wet cardboard.
Medium-bodied at best, slightly watery throughout. Strong effervescence in the middle after a lighter start and a nice finish. Flavor is pretty good but I would like more heft to it and a bit more balance in the nose.

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Photo of pmccallum86
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark almost black color with a tan colored head. Lacing remains on the glass as it dissipates.

Smell is of big roasted malts. Kind of a dry aroma really.

Taste is of big dry roasted malts. This beer is surprisingly light in body, but finishes with a nice crisp flavor.

Mouthfeel is light, crisp and smooth. Very interesting beer, glad I got to try it.

High drinkability, I am not sure about the alcohol content as it is unknown, but it seems relatively low meaning this could be a great session beer.

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Photo of adam42381
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: black with a single finger head

S: Mild roast and coffee with vanilla notes.

T: a pretty mild stout, little roast and smoke flavor. Very tame beer but an interesting spicey note to it. Base flavor is true to the irish stout genre.

M: smooth and a little dry, medium body for a stout.

Overall: This is a very nice irish stout. Smooth, easy to drink with nice flavor.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler generously gifted by Chaney. Thanks Brandon!

The beer is dark brown, nearing black. The head is thick and beige and leaves some random lacing on the snifter. The aroma offers dark fruit, smoke, and roast. The flavor is quite nice. Eight ounces down, this is likely the best Irish stout I have yet had. Light bodied and easy drinking, with spot on carbonation. I would definitely drink this again.

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Photo of JohnQVD
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
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.)

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Photo of glid02
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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Photo of Aiptasia
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%
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.

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Photo of Lerxst
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
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

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Photo of mondegreen
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of mothman
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Photo of pacond
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 oz pint(maybe?) on-tap at a new bar Gainesville, so it was definitely fresh dude. Well balanced toasted malt flavor and hoppy finish. No off aromas or flavors, I enjoyed it and had a second pint.

I would like to taste this beer on Nitro sometime too guys...

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Photo of nickd717
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Hillsborough River Dry Irish Stout (Patio Tools) from Cigar City Brewing
89 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.