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Imperial Milk Porter - Stranahan Whiskey Barrel Aged - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Imperial Milk Porter - Stranahan Whiskey Barrel AgedImperial Milk Porter - Stranahan Whiskey Barrel Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.

74 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 74
Hads: 159
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 11.3%
Wants: 99
Gots: 47 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  ABV ?

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ajcobb24 on 07-24-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 74 | Hads: 159
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mthomas84 for sharing this one at NoSignsOfPain's birthday bottleshare hosted by mrbubbler.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, wood, and whiskey. Taste is very much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a medium level of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but I think this one smells better than it tastes.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: little head. some lace. very very black. I cant get any light through this one.

S: sweet and smokey aroma. Syrup and vanilla notes.

T: Very creamy up front. Tons of chocolate in the finish. Very mild smokey finish. Caramel and coconut.

M: Full body and medium body.

Overall: This is a complex beer and better than I thought an imperial milk stout could be. Not a routine beer but certainly should be tried by beer lovers.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of bmanning at last Sunday's tasting. Boy oh boy do I love it being football season. There's nothing like 11 hours of football and casual tasting.

Served in a snifter.

Pours black with a quickly-diminishing off-white head. Sparse lacing and a bit of a collar. The nose brings forward chocolate and coffee and just a bit of oak and vanilla behind a fairly-heavy whiskey presence. The flavor isn't quite as whiskey heavy, but it's certainly the dominant component. Medium body with light sweetness and a chewy texture. Not their best stout, but quite good.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

split with Alex and my father in law on friday night into three tasters

dark brown in color with no light cracking through this one at all. A smallish head, maybe a half an inch in height coming up over the top, never really did fade away as it kept that nice layer there throughout the session. Rich side glass lacing left a wonderful chocolate tan color that draped the sides of the glass completely.

The aroma was just rife with whiskey. Huge notes of it just all over the place here with a ton of roasted malts and chocolate like notes hiding right under its surface. Letting it warm really let the oak and vanilla start to become dominant, and a hint of alcohol started to present itself in the back end. This was insanely good smelling for a whiskey barrel beer. The flavor was more of the same, rich, full bodied, I would have sore this was a stout in a blind tasting, but no, this indeed was apparently a robust porter. Luscious, velvet like feel in the carbonation never gave way. The flavor started with that warm influx of vanilla and whiskey, lots of caramelized malts and a light roasted or smoky note to it. This then rolled over with nice touches of chocolate rippling throughout. This was amazingly complex. Huge notes of whisky just oozing through the flavor, coating the tongue with a viciousness that was never-ending

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Photo of oline73
3.87/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

We opened this up during the tasting this weekend. Poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color, this one doesn't seem to be very thick. There is a finger and a half of tan head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Slightly sweet with some dark fruit. Seems to be a bit ashy. The bourbon smell is warm and sweet.

Taste: Sweet malt with some mild roast. I'm not picking up much lactose. Lots of hot bourbon with some oak in the finish. The oak and bourbon seems to be a bit peppery.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: I would have liked this to have a body that is a bit thicker. Some more age might have smoothed it out, but it is still very good.

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Photo of nickfl
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours with a small head of light brown foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles quickly and leaves only light lace.

S - nutty chocolate and notes of vanilla, nutella and perhaps a hint of licorice.

T - lots of caramel and toffee up front. Chocolate comes out in the middle with some raisin and molasses. Vanilla whiskey notes emerge in the finish and a nutty chocolate flavor coates the tongue.

M - a thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - I didn't know what to expect from an imperial milk porter, or if such a thing would really be different from an imperial stout. I was surprised to find that this beer was very appropriately categorized. The malt is dark, but there is no real roast character, just chocolate and dark sugar. The whiskey character is noticeable, but not overwhelming and it definitely adds to the experience.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this, Chris.

A: The beer pours a very dark brown color with a bit more than a finger of khaki colored head.

S: Opens up with a fairly heavy roasted malt note. A nice oak aroma as well as a mild sweetness of vanilla. Definitely some whiskey and a bit of dark chocolate. Not as sweet as I'd expect for a milk porter/stout.

T: Like the nose, a pretty heavy dose of roasted malt. Some whiskey flavor as well as oak and vanilla. Again, only a moderate sweetness, maybe some toffee. It's actually somewhat dry.

M: The body is medium and so is the carbonation.

O: Strangely, I would have actually liked a little more sweetness to this. But, it was enjoyable.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris (spycow) for sharing this in line before the FFF 15th Anniversary party. Served in an Alvinne taster glass.

A - Thin wispy brown foam settles to pretty much nothing. Black body with a faint brownish glint at the edge.

S - Well, you can smell the lactose for sure - typical milk stout aromas consisting mildly sweet vanilla and milk chocolate character. The Stranahan whiskey is present, but unfortunately smells bottom-shelf, with a booze, apple-y note to it. There's some sharp oak and earthy barrel as well. Integration of oaky vanilla and base stout is very nice, but I dislike the whiskey character.

T - Taste is pretty similar, with abundant sweet chocolate and vanilla flavors and a oaky and slightly tangy whiskey finish. Largely enjoyable, but I could have done without the oddly bitter and mildly sour Stranahan's aftertaste. Base beer seems to be losing the battle a little bit.

M - Medium body that seems a bit thin for the flavor profile - I'm guessing this is why they called it a porter? Tannic finish, and no obvious alcohol. Smooth and creamy texture.

D - I enjoyed this beer, other than unpleasant whiskey finish. I think that if they had used a different type of whiskey the final product would have been superior. Quite easy to drink, and markedly different from the intense roast and char flavors found in Cigar City's stouts.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Thorpe or Ben, I don't know who this belonged to, thanks. Served from a bottle into a snifter. At the time of this review, this is listed as the #48 Top American Porter on the beeradvocate.com best of styles lists. Thanks guys!

Beer is dark brown / black, hazy with a thin tan head, wispy, breaks, some lacing, low carbonation.

Hello Whiskey! Aroma is dominated by this sweet whiskey aroma.

Beer is medium in body and quite boozy throughout. Not in a bad way necessarily, the whiskey character wins out overall, it is nice and clean with a great palate and lots of body and sweetness throughout. The finish is also boozy and sweet. Interesting beer, but for me a sipper.

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Photo of mothman
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by kbutler1!

Pours a light beige head. Color is a dark caramel brown.

Aroma: Straight up oak and whiskey with some vanilla and creaminess flavors. Chocolate and caramel malt show as well. Awesome nose.

Taste: Much like the nose. A lot of whiskey flavors here, even more than in the nose. Vanilla, oak, chocolate, and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Warming with a slight sour cherry bite to it. Kind of odd. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall this was pretty easy to drink. Awesome beer with some awesome barrel flavors.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by bmanning. Thanks Ben.

The beer is dark brown, with a small brown cap. The aroma has a heavy whiskey presence, with a sweet malt scent. The flavor has a lot of whiskey barrel, with some chocolate and vanilla notes in there as well. Low carbonation, slightly tannic feel. Alcohol is unobtrusive. A tasty beer, I enjoyed this.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A bottle poured into a snifter shared with some friends.

Imperial Milk Porter - Stranahan Whiskey pours in the glass a very dark night black color that is black. A sturdy body, a healthy pour yielded a quarter inch of brownish foam up top that left fairly quickly, no stick on the glass. Smell is sweet sided, vanilla, cream, chocolate, roasted malt, with a nice sniff of whiskey and wood, alcohol as well. Taste is on the sweet side, lactose, vanilla, peat, whiskey, roasted malt and some faint dark fruit, reminding me of some aftertastes of some Jamaican stouts. The whiskey pops out and was more inviting as this warmed up, as the sweetness was large to say the least. Body is approaching full/thich and the carb is not that high. A good bottle to share as the sweetness is a tough one to chew. Interesting beer from a reputable brewer, not sure on the ABV, but I could sense it throughout.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a tumbler. Bottled 7/3/2011. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Black, duh. Off-white head. No real head retention, but the single layer of foam lasts forever.

Smell - Whiskey. Really nice whiskey aroma, actually. Oaky with milk chocolate behind it.

Taste - Whiskey and chocolate roasted malts. Oaky as the chocolate fades. Lactose is hidden by the barrel, which I appreciate, but it's still there. Finishes with the slighest tang.

Mouthfeel - Dry and oaky in the finish. Sweet from the lactose, but not overpowering.

Overall - I wish it didn't have lactose, but oh well. It is what it is. Maybe a little one-dimensional in the malt profile, but what it has is good.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to MeadMe for spoiling me with Cigar City goodies in our last trade, I owe you one!
Pours a solid dark brown/black color with a bubbly tan head that slowly dissipates to a ring on top. The aroma is sweet with sugar and whiskey with lots of char, roast and caramel in there for good measure. The flavor is a bit on the sweet side, lots of sugar and caramel mixed with some roast, oak and a sweet whiskey flavor. Medium to thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet almost sugary mouthfeel. I enjoyed the hell out of this beer. If I had to fault it I would say it leans a bit on the sweet side, but I like em like that.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Thanks to Sean and Jason for sharing this.

A: Dark brown with a small light brown cap.

S: Rich dark chocolate with accompanying brown sugar. Malt is lightly roasted. Smells fantastic. The chocolate profile is excellent, and the beer is devoid of Cigar City's signature char. Light whisky notes are well integrated. Oak is evident.

T: Dark chocolate and brown sugar with moderately roasted malt. Light earthy bitterness. Whisky blends nicely with chocolate and oak. 

M: Full body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is full and sticky.

Overall: A good Whisky Barrel Aged Imperial Milk Stout. Better than expected, with an awesome aroma.

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Photo of aasher
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle was acquired in a trade with preismj awhile back. Thanks Matt!

This beer pours a medium bodied Milk chocolate brown in color that pools to be more of a dark, dark brown on the verge of black. It has a creamy and soapy beige head that turns into a sticky lacing. The nose features plenty of vanilla bean, creamed coffee, milk chocolate with just a touch of whiskey. The nose is soft and just really well integrated. It's silky smooth. The flavors feature smooth milk chocolates, cola, vanilla bean, light coffee roast, a touch of bitterness and a mellow whiskey finish. The flavors too are really nice and smooth. They do finish somewhat quickly in the after taste. It drinks medium in body and doesn't show the abv at all. This is a really nice beer. I'm glad I could try it. I have loved everything that Cigar City has barrel aged, this included.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 750mL bottle to snifter on 11/29/11
*From notes

-- We consumed this after Bligh's Barleywine, as they both spent some time in Stranahan's Whiskey barrels. --

A: A pretty damn dark American Porter. It looks more like a stout. A good pour yields a one finger head that sticks around for a short while, and leaves a decent collar.

S: I get a bit more bacon fat then whiskey. Granted the bottle is a bit cold. Letting this open it up for a few does the job, and allows whipping cream, cocoa and toasted vanilla to enter and explore the nostrils.

T: A hefty dose of whiskey up front. There's also a good bit of char on the fore to mid. The back is decidedly lactic, with the acid creeping up and slowly overwhelming the palate as coconut water and vanilla cream soda finish this one out.

M: CCB knows mouthfeel, and this is no exception. Wonderfully thick and viscous.

O: Another barrel aged winner from CCB. I'd have liked this a bit better without the lactic acid, but it does add a complexity to the beer, and for that I understand. I do recommend that those in possession of this drink it soon, as I could easily determine that holding it would only do this tasty brew nothing but harm.

*Thanks to UMCaner74 for treking down to Cigar City on his day off and hooking me up with this bottle. Dave, you're easily one of the most epic trading partners in the history of BA.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle - thanks to cfrancis for sharing

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 4 or 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, a touch of coffee

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, coffee, chocolate, and some faint dark fruits. There is also some vanilla and a bit of a burnt wood flavour. It ends with a chocolatey sweet aftertaste with some light bitterness.

Overall - I've yet to have anything less than spectacular from Cigar City. This one is another winner that has an amazing mouth feel and lots of high quality chocolate taste.

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

750mL bottle courtesy of jale (thanks Jim!). Split with my wife on Thanksgiving, opened before the first NFL game started.

This pours a dark brown color, nearly black except at the edges, with a couple fingers of light tan froth that clings to the glass in thick sheets. Excellent aroma, the whiskey doesn't dominate so much as it integrates with the base beer. Seems milk stouty, it smells nearly like a chocolate malt with whiskey added in small doses. Dark chocolate and lots of sweet malts, lightly roasted with a lactic edge.

It tastes like it comes from Cigar City, in the same way that you can tell barrel aged Alesmith beers from the barrel notes. Some breweries just have a classic theme to them, at least from my experience so far. The beer is rich and chocolaty, with minor whiskey accompaniment, and it might be the lactose but in some way this is turning a little sour in the finish. Full bodied, nice mouthfeel and aftertaste.

I'm really enjoying this beer, and I'm hopeful the sour note isn't evidence of anything ominous from the barrel, just more the milk component of the beer. Recommended.

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Photo of Bung
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml. Pretty close to black, thin layer of tan head.

Aroma, Malty caramel, vanilla, whisky oak, some chocolate. Pretty balanced, doesn't knock you on your butt with booze.

Taste, more caramel and vanilla. There is definetely some lactose sugar presence. The barrel is very well integrated with this one. Oak whisky accents. Not a lot of chocolate roast in this one. Cocoa and vanilla finish. Still a very pleasant pallet with this one, opens up nice as it warms especially the chocolates.

It's just a tad thinner and a tad higher on carbonation than some, preventing it from being that creamy mouthfeel. Still coats well and drinks very easily. Not sure what the abv is, but is pretty well hidden.

First Cigar City offering, no complaints for sure.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle split among beeruser, funkydelic, and dbhall. Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured a massively dark brown (basically black) with a minimal light tan head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, wood, sweet alcohol, and subtle cream. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a great brew. This one really surprised me if I am completely honest. The base beer on this one must be quite excellent if I am honest as the whiskey barrels really took this one to a new level. The barrels let you know their presence right out of the gate when you went in for the aroma. They carried that through into the flavor as well. Wouldn't have guessed Milk Porter, but Porter for sure. Really worth trying if I am honest.

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Photo of maximum12
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to moose3285 for this bottle, again. I should just have that phrase tattooed on the outside of my wrist so I can see it every time I pour one of the fine brews he sends north so often.

Pours a dark brown that bleeds right on into black, just how I likes it. Smell is heavy on the barrel, vanilla, & the trademark Cigar City roast. I think they burn everything slightly on purpose. I'm glad.

This Stranahan Barrel Aged Milk Porter is like a shotgun marriage. The whiskey is beautifully full & harsh up front, cleaning up the gums & scrubbing the enamel. Roast is full & chewy. The milky lactose is...like a guy strumming banjos in the middle of my beer. WTF? Who thought "Hey, let's mix up some whiskey & milk! Yeah!" The result is a clash of civilizations reminiscent of a '70s drink designed to put toddlers to sleep. Added is a slice of coconut, boozy, & the oak & vanilla wrap this up in the finish.

Strangely appealing beer that is close to being a real winner. A very good brew with a serious case of schizophrenia.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to spycow for sharing this.

A - Black beer with a tiny brown head that didn't stick around long and didn't leave any traces of its existence.

S - Smells like a milk stout. Has some chocolate, bit of fruity whiskey, some wood. Not bad, but would of liked this to have more of a vanilla or roasted note to it than the fruity character the barrel semeed to give it.

T - Sweet chocolate, some oak, vanilla, slightly sweetened whiskey. This is decent and very drinkable, but much like the nose I would have preferred the whiskey to be richer and the beer hold up a little bit.

M - Medium bodied, creamy, soft carbonation.

O - Not a bad beer, drinks really easy. Not a world beater, but it was enjoyable. With some room for improvement, I'd look forward to trying the next batch or variation of this if they do one.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed this at a barrel aged tasting on 2011-08-06.

dark (duh) thin milky head, didn't hang around long. smell however, is fantastic. the whiskey blends perfect with the chocolate profile and the milkiness. the flavor is just as good as the smell. strong and roasted chocolate notes with whiskey. Milk chocolate thing. super smooth and silky. one of the better beers i've tried and one of the highlights of the evening.

*** ** * ** ***
update 3/12/2012
big thanks to G311 for hooking up a bottle, decided to crack it tonight to see if it was as nice as i remembered. has a milkstout look and feel for certain. the smell is as good as i remember it. the stranahan barrel really just blends wonderfully with stouts and porters and this is no exception. my scores and thoughts remain unchainged. this beer is a homerun.

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Photo of gford217
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black in the glass with only a hint of mahogany showing through the edges. The head is big and thick and sticks around for ages with good lacing.

Aroma, not surprisingly, is dominated by the whiskey. However, there is a lots of sweet milk chocolate and roasted malts. There is plenty of oak and vanilla.

Taste starts with a massive initial blast of whiskey but has an interesting bitterness as well. The whiskey really stings the palate and leaves a burn in the finish. There is also a bitterness that I wasn't expecting...maybe it's the spiciness of the oak, but something's in the there.

The mouthfeel is fantastic, full bodied with strong carbonation and dessert-like.

The aroma and feel of this are excellent and if it weren't for the slightly distracting tinge of bitterness in the taste, this would be absolutely world class. Another solid brew from CCB.

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Imperial Milk Porter - Stranahan Whiskey Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.