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Cigar City / Swamp Head Church On A Hill - Cognac Barrel Aged - Cigar City Brewing

Cigar City / Swamp Head Church On A Hill - Cognac Barrel AgedCigar City / Swamp Head Church On A Hill - Cognac Barrel Aged

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

147 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 147
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 7.61%


Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: djmichaelk on 07-09-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 147 | Reviews: 25 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of homebrew311
homebrew311

Illinois

3.05/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears dark brown, small brown head, decent retention. Nose is loaded with raw oak, wine, cognac, and boozieness. Caramel and raisin come through. Taste is hot and in your face with barrel. The base beer provides a sturdy malt base but is very sweet and rich. As the beer finishes, more barleywine character comes through. This one could use a little time to mellow. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Overall, a little too much going on, the flavors get muddled, maybe this would be better with a little time.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2012 06:03:22 | More by homebrew311
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

3.7/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to jbeatty for sending this one my way. Huge CCB fan here, so I'm always happy to see their 750's land on my doorstep. Cheers man!

From a 750 into a snifter
Bottled: July 2012

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, looser looking, fizzy, off-white head with decent retention. Head quickly fades to a light half wisp and ring. A clear bistre brown color with medium levels of carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass. Average at best.

SMELL: Cognac for sure, with some oak, caramel and toffee notes, red fruits and berries as well. Dark fruits show up later as well, such as raisins and dates. Bold nose and plenty of cognac to keep you interested.

TASTE: Nice cognac, with oak and caramel sweetness up front. Toffee sweetness, dark fruits again, with a punch of boozy cognac at the swallow. Bold and lingering finish of cognac, caramel and toffee, and a light touch of bitter, dark chocolate as balance. Somewhat boozy, but the cognac barrel works really well here.

PALATE: Medium body with medium levels of carbonation. Lighter on the palate and a little airy perhaps, goes down with a bit of a burn and finishes slightly sticky. Some heat lingers. Some barleywine heat on this one, but the barrel aging has probably lightened up the body a little more here. Needs to be heavier and a little smoother. Not quite up to par, unfortunately.

OVERALL: This was an aromatic and tasty brew, though the palate was a little bit of a disappointment. Thicken up the feel to this one and you'd support the flavors a bit more, which would bring this beer to the next level. Still, the cognac barrels worked really well with the base beer, making this a complex and delicious brew. Cheers again for this one jbeatty. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2013 13:46:12 | More by Jeffo
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 750 ML bottle split with Alan and a group of people into a 4oz glass. Never heard of this beer before.

Cigar City / Swamp Head Church On A Hill - Cognac Barrel Aged beer pours out a very dark brown bordering on black color. A fair amount of dark brown foam rises up and dies off just as quick. The shear viscosity of the beer coat the side of the glass with no foam. Smell is very boozy, it's up there. Some warming brings out oak, raisins, deep toasted malt, Cognac and other scents. Smelling this reminds me of JW lees. Taste is deep with big caramel, raisin, chocolate, cognac, oak, vanilla and a bunch of booze. Very english in nature, but the booze is just large and kinda killing this for me. Feel is big in the body with a burn going down the gullet, overall this is a sweet and boozy beer with a lot of character that needs some time to calm down. A sipper and a sharer as even a half a bottle would be a difficult chore for even the fattest beer geek with diabetes.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2012 16:41:31 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of Gobzilla
Gobzilla

California

4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured dark murky brown in color with pale brown highlights and nice frothy thin head that left some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: whoa.. plenty of cognac barrel booze aroma upfront in the aroma accompanied by sweetness such as caramel, toffee, and brown sugar, good vanilla presence and hints of dark fruit.

T: dark fruit character was more apparent on the palate alongside very nice caramel, brown sugar, molasses sweetness, great vanilla flavor, burnt sugar notes with a good amount of cognac barrel booze.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a dark fruity, sweet, boozy and sticky finish.

O: definitely a solid interpretation of a barleywine with lots of qualities that I look for in this style of beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2013 08:40:08 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

4.11/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice slightly cloudy brown with a thin halo, very nice.

S - Aromas of cognac, light cardboard, faint malts, caramel. Really sweet smelling.

T - Taste is super sweet, sticky, cognac, malts, caramel, sweet brown sugar. Incredibly sweet, cloyingly so.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy lowly carbonated.

O - Overall this beer was tasty, albeit really sweet. The cognac is really restrained.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2014 19:44:07 | More by rudzud
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter. We had this one as part of a blind BA Barleywine tasting.

Initially this is a really sweet and smooth beer. There is some hop bitterness, but it's only there to compliment the other flavors. I'm getting some caramel and dark fruit notes. The cognac barrel notes build towards the finish, which is a bit hot. Overall this beer is sweet like candy, but not as much as the Bligh's or King Henry. The body is really thick with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2013 14:06:40 | More by oline73
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This has been a big want of mine for a while, cracked at the CCB share night, thanks again to rudzud.

Light fizzy head, no retention, super dark murky molasses color.

Nose dark malts brown sugar, toffee, caramel, etc, little brandy soaked raisin and fig, candy, etc, with light cognac fruity booze, little dark brown malt,

Taste is very sweet, candy malt, caramel, toffee and lots of toffee, into big cognac barrel, sweet fruity candy cognac, into mild brandy raisin and fruit, fig, arc, great cognac fruity booz. Fair hot booze, sift aged malt too, nice raisin and fig paste really come through, with a candied fruit too. Finish is sweet and sticky, more booze, cognac, candied fruits, etc.

Mouth is sticky sweet, lighter but decent carb, mild warming booze, little underwhelming mouth feel.

Overall great but too sweet, nice cognac and booze fruits, tasty, quite nice.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 00:52:35 | More by jlindros
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown with no head. Smell is almost all barrel. Tons of brandy, oak, toffee, chocolate, and vanilla. Mild booziness and lots of dark fruits. Flavor is super sweet, brown sugar, caramel, barrel, brandy, and vanilla. A bit of dark fruit sweetness, alcohol heat, and toast.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 18:41:56 | More by womencantsail
Photo of djmichaelk
djmichaelk

Florida

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a CCB snifter.

A - Pours a coffee-brown, translucent around the edges, with a slim cap of mocha-colored head. Not much in the way of retention and scattered lacing.

S - Toffee and burnt sugar lead off, followed by marshmallow and raisins. A bit of alcohol in there, but otherwise very nice.

T - Some dark fruit, caramel, and peanut brittle. Molasses, dark brown sugar, and vanilla. Very little alcohol considering the abv. Sticky sweet finish.

M - Carbonation is about right, maybe just a hair more aggressive than I'd expect. More sweet than dry. Full bodied.

O - I don't think I've had a beer aged in cognac before. I liked the base beer enough, but the barrel has definitely been an improvement in this case. As it warmed it reminded me of BB4D. Not quite THAT good, but a fine beer nonetheless. It's a little on the expensive side but I'm still happy that I picked up a few. I'll be interested to see how this develops over time.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2012 04:53:17 | More by djmichaelk
Photo of ediaz
ediaz

Florida

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into oversized wine glass. Couldn't wait any longer.

Pours dark cloudy brown with small bone colored head that leaves a thin ring and little lacing.
Has a bright sweet smell of roasted malts with notes of wood coming out strongly.
Really sweet with the same malty taste. The wood turns more into an accent and the cognac barrel treatment really comes through. Finishes with a little booze but it doesn't take anything away from the taste.
Medium thick body, really smooth with a decent amount of carbonation.
Overall a great beer. Glad I got to enjoy it, and cant wait for swamp head to release their version. I would recommend this and would seek it out again.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2012 01:46:00 | More by ediaz
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled 7/2/12? There's an odd typo on the bottle date that says "SEQOND." Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Dark brown. Off white head wispy and very leggy. Another sweet one!

Smell - Huge vanilla aroma. Buckets of vanilla. Cognac? Not really familiar enough with cognac to pick it out as opposed to brandy, but we'll go with it. Boozy. Lots of barrel in this one. Caramel all over, too.

Taste - Lots of vanilla and what we're calling cognac. Caramel sweetness. Really sweet, actually. Just a touch of earthy hops in the back nicely balances it out.

Mouthfeel - Thick and a boozy, but not really overwhelming for a 13% barrel-aged beer. Sweet, but I've already mentioned that.

Oveall - This is so much better than the base beer. Church on a Hill was disappointing for me. The barrel has worked magic. A delicious vanilla bomb.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2012 23:33:40 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of beerpirates
beerpirates

Belgium

4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

75 cl bottle poured into a tasting glass

Dark raisiny cloudy amber in color, very small white head, little lacing.  
Strong congnac nose, aged dark pitted fruit, caramel/toffee,
Taste follows the nose with plenty of big sweet malty goodness.   Lots of raisin, fig, cognac , dates , vanila ... and brown sugar,  
While not overly alcoholic, its very warming, very chewy/malty.   This is great !
Body and mouthfeel are fairly full.  
Great stuff, not too hot, but certainly one to sip slowly.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2013 14:28:27 | More by beerpirates
Photo of KevSal
KevSal

California

4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

crushing...

opened the last ba barelywine for footbal with defeat. great year and great team, this one is for them.

750 split into 6 snifters

a
pours out super dark drown, looks as dark as king henry. in the glas its pitch black.

s-
yum this guy actually reminds me the most of an amplified mission streat anny 2011! a 2.99 bomber. huge raise, plumb and prune. cognac comes through in the back ground

t-
i really wasnt expecting this one to go in this direction. again huge brandy covered raisins on this one. heavy prune mixed in very well with the sweetness. if u like prune this one is for u! very unexpected but by all means delightful.

m-
like most ccb beers this one has a huge mouth feel. big and chewy with good carbonation

o-
in the midst of a niners defeat at the very least this was a joy to drink. not as much barrel character as i wanted, and in a completely different direction than expected, this beer is good. expect ill enjoy leon more tho, maybe ill get some in time for next years superbowl Victory ;)

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 00:58:13 | More by KevSal
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle generously shared by ChrisPro. Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - Tan foam settles to a thick collar, a few wisps, and a few spots of lace. Very dark brown body with some lighter shades at the edges of the glass.

S - Great barrel presence here, with nice sweet cognac, vanilla and oak flavors complementing a backdrop of brown sugar, caramel, and milled grains. Reminds me of early vintages of Angel's Share.

T - Great molasses and raisin flavors, with notes of brown sugar, treacle, and caramel as well. Oak presence is initially light, but fills in as the beer warms up. The cognac imparts a mild spirit alcohol flavor, but not in a boozy or off-putting way.

M - Medium-full body, with some dry oak, a hint of grain to the texture, and a sticky finish. A touch of warming alcohol, but nothing untoward for 13%.

D - Really excellent stuff, and surprisingly easy to drink. I found this to be much superior to the base beer, and I think Chris and I could have gotten through the entire 750ml bottle if the rest of the bros hadn't shown up. A very pleasant way to get drunk.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2012 20:49:38 | More by MasterSki
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64

Massachusetts

4.44/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into snifter. Thanks Don for bringing this to our barleywine tasting. Reviewed from notes.

A- Pours a reddish brown, mostly opaque, fairly minimal head that recedes to a still top, decent carbonation.

S- Cognac, vanilla, oak, toffee, sweet malts. Nice balance without the cognac overpowering too much. Not as aromatic or as complex as King Henry.

T- Toffee, sweet malts, cognac adding a nice sweetness but not making the beer overly sweet or boozey tasting. Extremely well balanced and very flavorful, I don't think you are going to find another barleywine that is much more balanced.

M- Smooth, low carbonation but a decent amount for the style, very easy drinking.

O- We had this bottle in our barleywine tasting right after King Henry and Leon respectively. While King Henry was more complex and flavorful overall and I enjoyed Leon slightly more because I'm more of a fan of the apple brandy barrels, this beer still held it's own. I'd say it's just a step below King Henry and right on the same level as Leon depending upon what type of barrel you prefer. Overall this is definitely a world class barleywine and without a doubt worth checking out.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 14:55:54 | More by jaasen64
Photo of Dreadnaught33
Dreadnaught33

District of Columbia

4.44/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Michael (yourefragile) for sharing this beer!

The beer pours a pretty dark brown with an almost purple like color, inky color in the middle. Ring of tan head, no lacing.

The smell is nice, the cognac comes throw well with the toffee like malts of the base Barleywine, a touch of alcohol gives some nice sweet dimension to it as well. Plenty of fresh barley malt comes through well giving the smell a nice body. Maybe a touch of smashed fruit when you really get into the aroma. It's a nice smell but not quite as complex as I would have expected.

The taste has a bit more depth and again highlights the cognac barrel nicely with a hefty malt bill and butterscotch. Caramel, fig and beautifully smoothed out booze. Chewy sweet and savory flavors abound in this beer, it has a nice balance for the abv but still has some burn to it for sure and a bit of acrid acidity too. The feel though is thicker than most beers in the style and drinks easily with nice carbonation.

Overall a great beer, nice stuff.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 01:35:19 | More by Dreadnaught33
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into snifter. Huge thanks go to Stakem for hand bottling this off of a recent bottle that he drank.

Pours a ruddy brown in the glass with a thin sudsy head of light mocha foam. This leaves back just a smattering of light spotty lace and some gooey brown oils. The aroma smells WOW! This is just rich in the nose with notes of molasses, brown sugar, chocolate, a touch of vanilla, green tannic oak, and just a smidge of wet leather. This is REALLY full feeling in the nostrils. I love it!

This awesomeness carries over to the taste with cocoa, burnt molasses, brown sugars, vanilla, and a green tannic feel on the edges. This just coats the palate with a rich stickiness upon each sip, before finishing with a dry, oaky, and burnt feel that lingers. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a thick and chewy feel in the mouth. That 13% is just fantastically hid, mainly adding spice and sweetness to the profile but never getting overly hot feeling. This just has an overall excellent smoothness to it.

I’m not sure how the base Barleywine of this is but that Cognac barrel definitely seemed to take this to the next level. Just decadent flavors here, that are all well balanced and smooth on the palate and I can’t stress enough how much of a steady sipper this is for the size. Thanks again for sharing this Adam! I enjoyed it immensely!

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2012 14:25:43 | More by Kegatron
Photo of TheSamKuehn
TheSamKuehn

Florida

4.46/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Cracked as my #1000 checkin on untappd (same username). Bottled July 2012. Lets see what 16 months has done. Big thanks to cheapbeerbuzz for this one. Pretty high on my to drink list.

Appearance: Great creamy mocha head that lasts. Really nice color for a barley wine.

Smell: Yummy, yummy cognac. Sweetness from the base beer.

Taste: Cognac was solid. Thought it was balanced with the sweetness of the barleywine. Even though I opened this at the 16 month mark there was a fair amount of sweetness, more than I expected.

Mouthfeel: Very, very good.

Overall: Extremely please to have opened this one. Not sure how further aging would've done. A fabulous cognac barreled aged barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2013 04:56:21 | More by TheSamKuehn
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a matching Cigar City snifter. A massive amount of thanks go to Sendsilk for hooking me up with this. I missed the release of this brew by visiting the brewery a day too early and Matt hooked me up. Thanks man! The brew pours a muddy looking dark brown. When held to the light, it has some lighter mahogany look to it around the edges. A finger of tan froth surges to the surface and quickly fades to a ring around the perimeter of the glass.

The aroma of this brew is sweet smelling. Quite dark and malty with chocolate suggestions coupled with vanilla. At times, it comes across somewhat similar to belgian candy sugar but maybe with a bit more focus towards toffee, caramel and toasty burnt sugar. The alcohol is noticed with a bit of vinous appeal as the brew warms up that mixes with some oak quality. This is a pretty fine smelling brew that is well rounded and blended.

The taste is just as you would expect based of the aroma. Flavors of chocolate and vanilla fill the mouth mixing with a bit of vinous character. Initially the alcohol is masterfully hidden but as the experience continues it warms up the back of the throat and makes itself known. The aftertaste is caught between fruity hops, vinous notes and a bit of leathery earth. The oak flavor really comes out as the brew warms up along with a flavor of dark molasses and toasty barrel presence.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It is overall well rounded and a solid take on the style. For being just released last week, this brew is graceful. It carries with it a lot of quality I find similar to a well aged bottle of jw lees or thomas hardy. If you enjoy english barleywine examples that are sweet but not too sweet with a solid alcohol inclusion, you are going to fall in love this brew. After the fact side-note: after reviewing this brew, I thought about it and this is only the 4th or 5th brew that I can recall trying that was aged in a cognac barrel. Without a doubt this one captures the vinous notes of the barrel better than any other one I have tried to date.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2012 02:59:58 | More by stakem
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by yourefragile. Thanks Michael. What a pleasant surprise.

The beer is dark brown with a thin, tan head. The aroma offers oak, toffee, booze, caramels, and lovely cognac. There's just something about a well executed cognac barrel-aged beer. This one hits the mark. Everything is well balanced and integrated. Cognac character sits atop the flavor profile, yet doesn't dominate. Simply outstanding feel on the palate. A delightful beer to sip and savor. Fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 04:55:39 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of cfrances33
cfrances33

Illinois

4.54/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared thanks to scud. Poured into a snifter.

Pour: Muddy brown, with some hints of copper around the edges of the glass. A small, half finger of bubbly tan head forms and recedes rather quickly. Big legs on this one.

Smell: Burst of sticky toffee and caramel up front, with some oak and a touch of cognac. Lightly boozy, but only just. Hints of cinnamon and backing spice gently come out as the glass warms.

Taste: Follows the nose with a HUGE toffee, butterscotch, and caramel profile. Some sweet cognac, and a dry oak. More hints of cinnamon and nutmeg as it warms up. A light booze, but it is welcome. Finishes with a lingering sticky butterscotch.

Mouthfeel: Super sticky, and not overly sweet. Not too much alcohol burn, just a nice warmth. Oak gives it a rather dry feel, but the stickiness of the body really lingers.

Overall: I was insanely impressed with this beer. I enjoyed it better than Leon personally.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2013 14:43:02 | More by cfrances33
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Gord for this bottle. Bottled JULY 2102.
Poured in to CBS snifter.

A - Poured a very swampy dark brown; settled opaque with only a slight brown glow around the edges. A thin layer of dirty brown head.

S - Big barrel aromas up front - oak, cognac and a hint of vanilla. Plenty of sweet caramel, toffee, and brown sugar aromas are present from the base beer as well.

T - The barrel notes are predominant with cognac, oak and vanilla flavours shining through to dominate the palate. The base beer adds some good secondary flavours of brown sugar, toffee and dark caramel. The finish has some warming alcohol and cognac. Ridiculously drinkable for the ABV.

M - Full bodies. Thick and still smooth. Light carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2013 01:46:38 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of jeonseh
jeonseh

Indiana

4.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled shared at NWI Tasting Group Meetup - December

A - Dark brown with a lot of haze. No head with a little foam on the side

S - Cognac, vanilla, oak, and caramel. A great sweet barrel-aged barleywine nose. Each smell brings something different and great complexity

T - Sweet vanilla, caramel, cognac with a light oak in the finish that cuts the sweetness. Great complexity and strong flavors in this. I loved the flavor on this and thought it was absolutely amazing. Each sip made me want to have more.

MF - Light syrup that coats and lingers on the tongue all the way through to the finish. Light oak presence that lingers on as well

O - This was by far the best variant of the 3 out of the Church on the Hill and felt that it blew Leon out of the water. Great barrel presence and you really get the cognac presence on this. One of the best barleywines I've had in a long time - very impressive

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 03:16:18 | More by jeonseh
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

4.93/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks doesn't cover it. Moose3285 is a kick-ass guy who shot me a message from the bar at Cigar City to ask how many of these I wanted. Really? As I sit here with my CC T-shirt & CC thong, well, buy all of them. All of them! Dammit! Thanks man. Lovely 750ML bottle split with my wife.

Pour is muddy red run-off from a clay tennis court, thick, low carbonation, serious as an International Harvestor. The nose is a dark barley, sweetness, & a double-shot of cognac, mixed with a sliver of heaven. Wow.

Barrel Aged Church on a Hill is something the PM would have been jazzed to drink before scrawling his name on a bomb meant for Berlin. Goll dang nabitt. The cognac barrel is strong - good, I hate barrel-aged beers that whisper. The underlying barleywine, which I loved, retains its character. Caramel by the gallon, dark fruit rinds, brown sugar that leans into maple syrup fresh from the tap. Booze remains prominent, fogging the brain. Figs stick the aftertaste, along with the cognac. Drinkable? WTF? I could drink this until I fell off the floor.

The original version of this was a masterpiece; this goes one better. Put this one in a frame & toss it in the Louvre. Instant classic & an elite beer. Amazing.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2012 03:16:58 | More by maximum12
Photo of dbc5
dbc5

Ohio

4.96/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle poured into Dogfish Head snifter.

A: A muddy brown with a surprising 1 finger, tan head (surprising due to the abv). Head sticks around for a few moments before receding into a nice ring around the edge of the glass. Getting some lacing, which is nice surprise for a beer of this size. I find this brew very aesthetically pleasing, although I'm sure others would note that it is darker than is typical for the style.

S: Pungent; I could smell this one immediately upon cracking the cap. Brown sugar, toffee, caramel, dark fruits, vanilla, and cognac. I can tell this is going to be fairly sweet but also incredibly complex. Extremely appetizing aroma.

T: This is everything I was hoping the beer would be based on the nose. Being completely honest, I put this on par with King Henry and don't know that I can choose one over the other. So much going on in every sip. It's as if someone rolled dark fruits in brown sugar, then dunked them in cognac. Caramel, toffee, vanilla, and marshmallow cream are also present. There is a lingering cognac and brown sugar flavor on the finish.

M: It is a big Cigar City beer, so you know the mouthfeel will be dense and viscous. This one is big, chewy, and sticky. Low carbonation. The mouthfeel showcases the beer perfectly.

O: This beer is King Henry's equal in my opinion. I actually have this one rated slightly higher due to the better head and presence of lacing, something I didn't get with the King. This beer is absolutely phenomenal and easily ranks among the best beers I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2013 01:55:32 | More by dbc5
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98 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.