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

138 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 138
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 8.93%
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 41
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 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 pacond
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
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...

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 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 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 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 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 deapokid
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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 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 Shaw
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of AdamBear
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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

A - Pours with a one finger head of tan foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles rapidly but leaves very nice rings of lace on the glass as I drink.

S - An aroma of chocolate and dark caramel with a hint of roasty coffee and some licorice in the background.

T - Dry, roasted malt notes with a bit of dark, bitter chocolate. Some spicy, Turkish coffee comes through in the middle with a bit of clove and licorice. The beer finishes with lots of powdery, unsweetened cocoa and burnt caramel as well as a hint of smoke. There is lots of malt bitterness lingering in the aftertaste with perhaps a hint of pine hop flavor peeking out from behind.

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

D - Very nice, this is a really interesting alternative to the traditional black brew of St. Patrick's day. It has all of the roasted dryness expected of a traditional Irish stout, but it has so much more depth and complexity. The spicy notes of coffee and clove that I taste are something much more interesting that you would ever expect to find in an actual Irish stout, while the notes of chocolate are such a break from tradition that they almost seem out of place but end up being a very welcome addition. Despite being served on CO2, the beer finishes with a dryness that is every bit as profound as the classic examples of the style, and it effortlessly presents a thick, silky body that those beers need nitrogen to develop. A really nice dry stout and proof that Cigar City can turn out complex, excellent beer without having to do anything "extreme".

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

Poured out of a growler into my tulip.

A – Pours a deep, dark brown with about two inches of tan colored head. Recedes fairly quickly but leaves nice lacing down the glass.

S – Big roasted malt, coffee and a slightly smoky smell.

T – Nice coffee taste to start. Also very roasty all over. Has some dark chocolate flavors with just a hint of bitterness. There is a bit of sweetness but its faint. Finishes dry with a very smoky flavor.

M – Creamy smooth with medium body and medium amount of carbonation.

O – Very nice flavor and drinker. Goes down very easy. Another nice CC brew. Looking forward to them bottling this which they say will happen soon!

Serving type: growler

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 Chaney
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Cigar City. Everyone around me truly enjoyed this beer.... even my wife, who normally hates the stuff.

A: Abysmally dark, with a very frothy, nitro tap-esque head that stuck around to see the freezing of hell. Mild cobweb lacing.

S: Straight up licorice, with a bit of chocolate birthday cake icing, and followed up by Cigar City's signature tree bark profile.

T: Yep, the Cigar City ashes were particularly present in this one, but I welcomed that. This is one of the driest stouts I've ever tasted. Seriously!

M: Thick, creamy, with a tinge of prune-like sweetness that just kept it in the "man candy" realm.

O: One of the strangest, and tastiest Irish stouts I've had in a long time. Also, it has the added benefit of being a style that is truly a guilty pleasure of mine.

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Hillsborough River Dry Irish Stout (Patio Tools) from Cigar City Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.