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
89
very good

41 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 41
Hads: 138
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 4.2%
Wants: 18
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 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. (541 characters)

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. (514 characters)

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. (616 characters)

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. (373 characters)

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. (405 characters)

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.) (465 characters)

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. (974 characters)

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. (1,043 characters)

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. (553 characters)

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 (342 characters)

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. (362 characters)

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. (897 characters)

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... (261 characters)

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. (1,069 characters)

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. (796 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (1,236 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (648 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
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. (391 characters)

Photo of deapokid
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at Capone's on 3/19. Reviewed from notes.

The deep black body, light brown head and sticky lacing are pretty much the calling card of the Irish Dry Stout. I could tell just by looking at it... even though the silly pun in the name (Edit: This was called Patio Tools when I tried it) gave me the impression that I could expect an Irish Session Ale. I only wish it was on nitro.

Intense aroma packs in roasted coffee beans, spicy black licorice, vanilla, chocolate and creamy root beer. The smell is much spicier than expected for the style and I feel like a touch of nutmeg might be what added this additional layer of complexity.

Dry roasted bitterness is the first thing to peak out flavor wise, followed by a burnt conclusion that brings on a heavy dryness and coffee bean residuals. A certain Holiday-esque spicing in the yeast makes me think that this is a Belgian-inspired take on an Irish style. I'm probably looking too deep into it, but it still manages to be unique and reverent at the same time.

Liquid is very smooth on the tongue, followed by a zesty, tingling dryness. It's very thin (even for the style), but not without its merits.

Although I felt that certain aspects needed to be fine tuned, this brew was very easy to drink and definitely an original take on a much-mimicked style. (1,319 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
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! (461 characters)

Photo of mullenite
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
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 (658 characters)

Photo of Shaw
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was called Patio Tools when I reviewed it. They changed the name to Hilsborough River when they made it a year-round beer.

Pours totally black with a big brown head that doesn't vanish.

Slight sour aroma, with bigger notes of roasted malt, coffee and chocolate.

The taste is quite good. Rich roasted flavors mix with just a bit of dryness. This doesn't have the sour/tart notes that Guinness does: Patio Tools is much better.

Creamy and super-smooth body. This is a very easy beer to drink

This is a very fine beer that shows that Cigar City can make great "regular" beers. (583 characters)

Photo of AdamBear
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've come across this three times in three different places in Florida. This time, I found it on nitro-tap.

A-completely black with a nice creamy dark tan head with some lacing. perfect.

S-smells like fresh ground coffee.very good strength

T-slowly hits with a good strong taste of fresh ground coffee. the tastes last and forms a great semi-bitter after-taste. This isn't a complex beer, but the flavors are very strong and thorough. It lacks any negative tastes.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a dry finish

O-this is an impressive and fair example of the style. i've had this a few times and every time I am satisfied. its a much more versatile stout that most. a lot of flavor from the ABV. (700 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (460 characters)

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

Appearance: Pours a seemingly black body with a medium-sized, frothed, airy beige head.

Smell: Roasty, earthen aroma of heavily-kilned malt smelling of bakers chocolate, burnt wood chips, and stale gas station coffee.

Taste: An expected follow-through of the aroma - roasted malts paired with tones of unsweetened chocolate, dark roast coffee, and lightly smoky charred wood bark. Faint roasted grain astringency midway couples with the ample hop bitterness present. Dry dark maltiness through to the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation giving a bit of tingle to the proceedings.

Drinkability: It's a nice, easy drinking stout, it has good flavor and the purportedly low alcohol is definitely appreciated. (731 characters)

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