Imperial Sweet Stout - Cognac Barrel Aged - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Imperial Sweet Stout - Cognac Barrel AgedImperial Sweet Stout - Cognac Barrel Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

274 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 274
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 7.24%
Wants: 278
Gots: 42 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Lare453 on 10-09-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 274 | Reviews: 60
Reviews by ASUBeer:
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Mike for sharing this one with me, never thought I'd get the chance to try it. Pours out super dark and thick, like old, sludgy motor oil. A dark-ass, burnt tan head forms on top and quickly dissipates before you even have time to appreciated it - it can be brought back to life nicely with a little swirl, however. The beer sloshes quite a bit, too - this is some viscous stuff.

The aroma on this beer is THICK. Big bouts of oak soaked in vanilla and booze. Very creamy and milky smelling, quite sweet but not explosively so. Cocoa, brandy, and slight licorice-like sweetness join the mix. This baby gets more and more complex as the time goes on, but it always retains its solid structure of booze, oak, and sweetness. Malts are obvious present, too, but not quite a roasty as you might think. Coffee aromas start to grow upon warming up - this stuff is all over the place. So many smells just floating in and out, it's almost too hard to get a handle on everything.

A nice, bitter and roasted cocoa bean flavor engulfs the palate upon taking the first sip. It's soon joined by an intense sweetness that crescendos a bit before peaking halfway through and sticking around until the end - little notes of black licorice, currants, dates, figs, burnt brown sugar, and milky caramel & chocolate. Beyond all of these flavors lies that cognac, which added a flavor similar to that of a brandy; definitely a bit different than the typical bourbon flavor. The cognac added a bit of heat but wasn't too powerful as the sweetness from the beer kept it in check.

Oak flavors are surprisingly absent or at least muted substantially. Espresso beans show their face heavily in the aftertaste, along with some fading, milky sweetness and mellow brandy. There's also a few charred notes that I really didn't pick up on until the beer warmed up. Not sure if these are from the malts or possibly from the hops? But aside from that, hops didn't contribute much flavor-wise. Very creamy and thick body, chewy, low carbonation.

Wow, this beer was some serious shit. Very complex, layered, and overall very different. My gripe is that it may be overly sweet, and any sample of this over 8 oz could be walking the line between delectably sweet and cloying. Other than that, the beer was excellent, with a very nice mouth feel and an intense flavor and aroma profile. Thanks again to Mike for hooking it up!

Photo of mverity
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle share at Proof courtesy of scotchzi. Deep opaque black with dark chocolatey head, which held decently. The thickness of this beer makes it have great legs on the glass. Not much lacing though. Heavy dark chocolate arom with some good coffee notes and a great earthy wood with a touch of boozey notes as well. Taste is of very rich malt with a warm booze (cognac?) presence being noticable. I get more coffee on the tongue than in the nose. Slightly silty mouthfeel, very thick body. Yummy!

Photo of codysjb
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cigar City Imperial Sweet Stout ale aged in Cognac barrels
Drove 9 hours to buy 6 bottles. Poured into my Duvel Tulip.
A: Poured a decent head but dissipated quick. Black as night, motor oil black.
S: Caramel, Cognac, whisky. Wow.
T: Chocolate coats the mouth and some minor cognac notes round out. Overall very sweet but wow pretty amazing.
M: Sweet chocolate and caramel becomes a nice cognac taste with whisky notes and more caramel notes.
O: Wow!!! Ya this was worth the drive. It can stand up to most stouts and while it isn’t BCBCS, its pretty damn close.

Photo of standardcherry
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750 ml bottle.

A: Pours completely black with about 1 inch of mocha-colored head. It receded immediately though. Looks very thick as I poured it.
S: Lots of fruity sweetness, chocolate and dark malts. It has almost a slight "wine" scent.
T: Dark chocolate bitterness balances with fruity sweetness. Oak, chocolate, vanilla. A warm boozy in the finish. Very well balanced though, booze is well hidden.
M: Extremely thick and viscous. Full bodied with low carbonation. Very smooth.
O: Excellent beer, can't wait for CCB to make more.

Photo of ehammond1
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2012)

Thanks for opening this with me, VaTechHopHead!

Black throughout, thick in body, with the darkest of brown edges, and a very small dark brown head, though with good retention. Leaves the glass oily and spotted with stick.

A complex, enveloping, interesting, evolving aroma: chocolate cake, fudge, caramel, and dark fruits abound in the aroma. There's a sticky fudge element to the chocolate character that is really lovely, along with rich caramels and burnt, dessert dark fruits. Lovely.

The flavor is similarly good as the aroma, with layers of charred chocolates, dark fruits, cognac, distinct wood presence, and fudge combining incredibly nicely. There's some distinct alcohol warmth to it, but it's very complementary. Treating this like a lovely dessert at the end of the night is the way to go.

Medium to nearly full in body with low-moderate carbonation.

An incredible ,sweet, cognac-barrel aged chocolate-forward stout.

Photo of jeonseh
4.09/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at NWI tasting group.

A - Dark chocolate stout with dark chocolate foam on top and the slides 3.75

S - Good chocolate presence with lots of caramely cognac barrel to it. There is also slight dates at well

T - Caramely chocolate beer with good cognac presence that gives it a nice sweetness. Lots of fudge presence with a slight booziness to it and oak to it.

M - Medium body with light oak presence to it. Low carbonation with velvety smoothness

O - Another great cognac BA beer from Cigar City. I love how well they are using these barrels. They created a beer that benefits well from the sweetness from the cognac.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.97/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Inky, glass-staining black body. Standard fare from Cigar City stouts. Mocha head. A thin collar remains.

Smell - I love cognac barrels. Rich oak and vanilla notes. Cognac. Dark chocolate and coffee come through from the malts.

Taste - Very sweet, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. The cognac is less prominent here, but the vanilla persists. Lots of coffee and dark, fudgy chocolate. And then the lactose hits. Argh.

Mouthfeel - The lactose is intense. Thickens the beer. The cognac balances out the sweetness pretty well.

Overall - I love everything about this except the lactose, which I notoriously dislike.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to David for this bottle! Dated 19 SEP 12.
Poured in to cigar city snifter.

A - Poured ink black with a thin layer of dark brown head that immediately reduced to a ring around the edges of the glass.

S - Sweet cognac, charred oak, chocolate covered cherries, roast and a hint of smoke. Very complex.

T - A big cognac presence at first that immediately gives way to charred oak, roast and an amazing chocolate covered cherry flavour. Sweet molasses ans sugary notes throughout. Very sweet overall, as expected. But not too sweet...

M - Medium body; light to moderate carbonation.

Photo of jegross2
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing the Imperial Sweet Stout from Cigar City Brewing out of Tampa, Florida. This beer is a cognac aged milk stout.

Score: 92

2012 vintage bottle served in a taster glass and enjoyed on 03/03/13. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Shimmering black color, no head from pour. Minimal lacing and retention. Heavy looking appearance. 3/5

Smell: Cognac, fruitiness, milk chocolate, and white grape. Some vanilla too. 4.25/5

Taste: Milk chocolate, vanilla, sweet grape, cognac and cherry. Dry oak in finish. A little booziness. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, low carbonation. Viscous and slick. Sweeter than I would have guessed, though this one is labeled as a sweet stout. 4.25/5

Overall: Delicious and sweet, like a much better dark lord with barrel character.

Cost: $20 for a 750 ml bottle.

Photo of oline73
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this at the November Baltimore BA tasting. Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

Appearance: The beer is almost black with a thick layer of dark, tan head. The head sticks around quite well.

Smell: This beer is very sweet and full of roast. I'm getting some heat from the alcohol and lots of dark fruit. I'm really liking the roast along with the cognac. Quite smooth.

Taste: This beer is extremely smooth, all of the flavors blend together very well. Dark chocolate and dark fruit sweetness. Warm alcohol and cognac. The finish is sweet, warm and roasty yet smooth. Easy to drink.

Mouthfeel: The body is a bit syrupy with very smooth carbonation. The beer coats our mouth. The finish is just a bit dry.

Overall: This beer is very well done. Extremely smooth and all the flavor blend together perfectly. I'd have more in the future.

Photo of Etan
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle.

A: Pours out a viscous black body with a thick chocolate-colored head. Petrol consistency.

S: Sweet vinous cognac notes from the barrel jump out first, followed by aromas of roast and fudge and a bit of lactose.

T: Grapey glucose, oak, vanilla, baker's chocolate, raisins, boozy warmth, lightly charred grain in the finish. The barrel lends a lot of sweetness, but there's also some balancing bitterness and roast from the base beer.

M: Very thick-bodied with light carbonation. Chewy, to say the least.

O: Very good beer. It's nice to see brewers experimenting with barrel treatments besides the usual bourbon, and it's especially nice when the beer is so successful.

Photo of claspada
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours the same super dark, viscous black oily color (as you get from Hunahpu or Zhukov) with the darkest brown head you will ever see on a beer. The lacing is also super dark brown and oily looking.

Aromas begin with a ton of roasted dark espresso and dark gritty bakers chocolate. Then soon after comes the vinous, slightly boozy fruity cognac and some slightly charred oak.

The tastes bring more of the same with dark malts, more sweet than roasted. Then there is a good dose of cocoa beans, tannic oak and a strong flavor of vinious cognac, luckily, lacking an intense alcohol heat.

The mouthfeel is heavy bodied with moderate carbonation. The finish is relatively dry thanks to the copious oak and vinious cognac notes yet by no means do you not appreciate the sweetness and heft of this beast.

Overall this is a great beer but definitely one that warrants sharing amounts friends. 4-8 ounces of this beer is plenty to enjoy the complexity and more would just destroy your palate for the remainder of the evening. Don't hoard, share.

Photo of beerpirates
4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

75 cl bottle poured into my tastingglass

Very thick, dark black pour with caramel colored head,
aroma brought notes of milk chocolate, caramel, toffee, hints of nice booze with cognac, touch of spice but restrained,
Taste is a nice mix of caramel, toffe, milk chocolate, nice coffee beans, hints of cognac, finishing fairly sweet, bitter, dry, with a slight booze warming note but not bad.
This is a realy good stout , i could drink this every day :)

Photo of cbutova
4.06/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Gotta thank my cousin in Tampa for sending this my way around XMAS time last year. Reviewed from notes last Friday. Kept at 55-65F in cellar for those months.

A- Poured into a tulip with the blackest body like changing a card oil. a head that is literally almost black forms with a frothy texture. Decent retention and an ominous ring stays atop it. Lace is spotty.

S- Smells monstrously decadent. A large old ale like caramel sweetness and dark fruits are huge, like cherry truffle. Big fudge cocoa aspect to it. Some fruit anise oak cognac influence.

T- huge amount of dark fruit melding with and overpowering the cognac barrel influence . After this is the massive cocoa, chocolate, bitter black roasted malt stout, huge dessert like. Sweet aged caramel and slight oak. The cognac blends in nicely which is the best part about this.

MF- massively thick and sweet oily feel to this one. Haven't had a thick beer like this in a long time. Massive silky body with lower end carbonation. Some good alcohol heat.

Truffle dark fruit cherry bomb with the sweet decadent cocoa stout behind it. Nice meld with the cognac.

Photo of Rifugium
3.9/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to whoever brought this to the Dec. '12 Philly suburbs bottle share!

Thick black pour like spent engine oil that coated the glass with film, and a small dense cap of mocha head that receded to a wispy layer. Aroma of dark roasty malts, chocolate sweetness, cognac-soaked wood. The taste was similar, dark malts, more sweet than roasty, though a good dose of both, chewy cocoa beans, woody notes, and a strong flavor of cognac, yet lacking an intense alcohol heat. Pretty full in body, lower carbonation, silky, strong, but drinkable.

Photo of randyherring
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent Cognac flavors, velvety smooth. The bouquet is strong, you can definitely smell the alcohol content. Excellent taste for anybody who loves a good stout without the chocolate overtones.

I picked up a bottle at the CCB tasting room in Tampa. I am very happy with this beer.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to egrace84 for the bottle share! Thanks elliot!

reviewed from notes taken 11/30/2012.

poured into boltcutter tulip glass.

Appearance: dark black bodied beer with 1 finger of dark brown head. Spotty lacing coats the glass. The beer has really nice legs too.

Smell: Oak, vanilla, chocolates, and a hint of mellow cognac.

Taste: OOO.... This is nice! Its a huge smokey and sweet beer! The smoke is both earthy and bacony smoke. Almost tastes like liquid smoke. Black Licorice, molasses, and a tobacco aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: full bodied beer with low carbonation. Super silky beer thats soo darn smooth!

Overall: This is what CCB brewery does best! Awesome beer and I want to revisit it in the future! Great beer CCB!

Photo of WillCarrera
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Hunahpu Day 2013.

A- Pours black, thick and viscous, produces a thin mocha head that leaves no lacing.

S- Lots of sugar, dark fruit and raisins, as well as a sweet liquor aroma. The aroma has some nice elements and a lot of complexity, but the sweetness in the aroma is a bit cloying.

T- Fortunately, the excessive sweetness in the aroma doesn't come across nearly as much in the flavor. The beer has a really delicious barrel character, with notes of vanilla and cognac. There's also a big dark fruit flavor with lots of chocolate and a mild roastiness, although it's the barrel, chocolate and fruit that dominate.

M- Full-bodied, low carbonation with a rich and sticky feel.

O- This was a really tasty beer, but, not surprisingly, is very, very sweet. They served this in a 4 ounce pour, which was definitely enough for me, if I had a bottle of this I would split it with a few friends. But as a beer to sip at it's very flavorful, complex and worth seeking out.

Photo of Nicolay3535
4.97/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours very dark with medium to light head, its pretty

S- WOW we are talking quality cognac here, chocolate truffles, marscapone cheese, slight coffee notes and sweet malt, one of the best noses in the business.

T- Just like the nose it delivers all that cognac lacto, flavor with a sweet overtone, but not too sweet, perfect brew to enjoy with a good cigar. Probably one of the greatest stouts I've had yet.

M- Cigar City has this down, body for days, it oozes quality.

O- Such an amazing stout, and like stated above one of the best out there. I just hope it becomes a regular in their catalogue.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a large wine glass.

Thanks to johnyb for this bottle!

Celebrating the Blackhawks' victory with a long-overdo opening of a cognac barrel-aged stout. It pours a deep black-brown topped by a finger of brown foam. The nose comprises strong wood, light whiskey (I assume this is really cognac, but here it just comes across as straight whiskey), light roasted malts, and a hefty helping of brown sugar. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a thicker roast character, a strong vein of vague sweetness, and a bit of molasses tossed in for good measure. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a nearly chewy feel. Overall, a very nice BA stout, one that took to the barrel very well. Good times.

Photo of davey101
4.53/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 09/19/2012. 750 ml bottle into a DFH signature glass. Served around cellar temperature. Thanks Matt!

A - Pours a dark black body. Insanely dark mocha creamy head thats bordering on red. A swirl creates a thin layer of yellow/brown film that stains the glass ala Marshal Zhukov. Thick lacing forms but it seems so dense that it falls down the sides quickly. Beautiful looking beer.

S - Roasted malts, grapes, cherries, leather, and milk chocolate. Very well integrated. Has a warming alcohol impression on the end.

T - Starts off with bitter roasted malts followed by sweet and acrid grape liquer. Finally smooth milk chocolate, oak, and vanilla. Fudgy and chewy with dark fruits, cognac, and oak barrels all playing a role. Very warming and smooth on the end. The aftertaste is a bit awkward with some lingering acidity.

M - Creamy with great carbonation. Somewhat sticky and syrupy but the beer does finish cleanly albeit slowly.

O - A unique beer. Can't say that the lactose is present, but this is an extremely well made. Not as good as Leon IMO, but Cigar City is doing some pretty impressive barrel releases lately.

Photo of tobelerone
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black bodied beer with a big tan head that settles slowly; sticky lacing remains on the glass. Aroma has massive cognac and the boozy heat that comes with it; underlying sweet and bitter chocolate, molasses, anise notes. Complex and decadent.

This is one cognac-bomb to be sure. While there is ample sweetness, both milk and semisweet chocolate flavors, rich fudginess, and lesser notes of the aforementioned molasses, anise, and roasted malt, the chest-warming cognac flavor is very prominent. Oak, vanilla, and raisins just poke out here and there.

Medium-full bodied, moderate carbonation, smooth, sticky, creamy, and appropriately chewy feel. Nice beer! This is the one for the cognac lover, if they can find it. Cigar City does a lot of interesting stuff but for my money it's their stouts that really shine the brightest.

Photo of inkdemention
4.58/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Shared with my bro from another moe fatsnowman22 .. Thank you Brad !!

A: sexy . I'm into . I can kinda see into the pour but its pretty pitch black. Total barrel appearance . Minimal head with no lacing. Coco collar.

S: cognac , grapes , cocoa covered truffles . Caramel. Boom ! A touch of a boozey burn.

T: nice woody sweetness followed up with a nice bittery coco chocolatey feel. The chocolate lingers. Long n hard. With the cognac epervence holding the right amount heat to it. Marshal Zhukov with lactose if you will .

M: nice medium body. Not full but thick. Perfect carbonation . Dry coco powdery finish.

O: A very nice offering from cigar city. The sweetness is a tad eh but so much else going . Thank you again Brad !

Photo of cosmicevan
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from a tasting on 12/6. Big thanks to sendsilk for hooking this one up!

Enjoyed from a ccb humidor series tulip.

watery black with a thin dark brown head and great barrel shine. the brew really coats the glass when swirled. sparse lacing. smells chocolate cognac with good roasted chocolate. the cognac is strong on the flavor profile. great dark chocolate notes as well. rich and decadent. smooth. not boozy, but cognac is present. overall really nice, not as great as imperial milk porter on stranahan (but a different animal entirely)...sweet chocolate cognac!

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank side by side with Cognac Moloko in a no holds barred Cognac smackdown

Unsurprisingly, the Cigar City entry defeated our attempts to drink these blind based on looks alone. Pitch black and very still with just the faintest razor thin head along the edges. No light penetration through this hoss.

Smells of fudgey grapes and dark chocolate.

Just a big thick and rich stout. Grape sweetness from the barrels sweeps across from front to back. Powdered dark chocolate lingers on the finish along with some prune and ambiguous dark fruits.

Monstrous, viscous, coating, and heavy on the tongue....a true CC stout. Fatiguing in large doses but very good and quite enjoyable.

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Imperial Sweet Stout - Cognac Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 274 ratings.