Imperial Sweet Stout - Cognac Barrel Aged - Cigar City Brewing
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Ratings: 258 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by stakem:
4.45/5 rDev +0.7%
A huge amount of gratitude is owed to BA sendsilk for hooking me up with a seemingly endless supply of amazing CCB brews. Poured from a 750ml into a matching Cigar City snifter. The brew appears a solid black color with a dark brown finger of froth across the top. The cap fades leaving some spots of lace sticking to the glass and the head holds around the perimeter of the glass. A light swirl revives a seriously dark brown cap back to the surface that fades leaving a thin film across the top. When held to the light and swirled, hardly any light shines through but what does reveals some dark brown hints around the edges.
The aroma is heavily roasted and almost char and tobacco-like. There is an immediately noticeable amount of fruity cognac quality that comes into play accenting the boozy quality of this. The dark roasted aspects of the aromatics brings out thoughts of coffee and bitter baker's chocolate with almost a hint of earthy leather. As I smell this brew more, a bit of vanilla quality and raw oak emerges. This is a deeply complex and enjoyable smelling brew.
The flavor of this brew is very roasted with a bitterness that is reminiscent of 100% cacao. There are some softer almost milk chocolate notes present that then blend into a fruity booze flavor of cognac. Some roasty earth, leather, tobacco and oak are also there mid palate. This is a very atypical sweet stout in that it is very deceiving in the way the flavors meld together and go between bitter roast, semi-sweet and boozy. The sweet side of this brew really isnt upfront at all, it is actually more bitter upfront and blends into a mild sweetness across the back and into the finsh.
This is a medium to fuller bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. This is a beast of a sweet stout. If you go into this experience expecting a sticky sweet stout, you might be let down as it is quite boozy and bitter. This brew is very reminiscent of the trademark stouts that Cigar City is known for. At times I seemingly forget myself and get reminded of Zhukov with its dark roasty leathery and almost ashy qualities. But the booze reminds me of something more like Hunahpu but without the spices. Dare I say CCB has hit one hell of a homerun with this brew.
12-07-2012 00:08:49 | More by stakem
More User Reviews:
4.31/5 rDev -2.5%
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!
02-20-2013 18:04:07 | More by tectactoe
4.36/5 rDev -1.4%
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!
12-22-2013 01:19:46 | More by mverity
4.5/5 rDev +1.8%
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.
10-10-2012 03:19:56 | More by codysjb
4.66/5 rDev +5.4%
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.
02-01-2013 04:44:11 | More by standardcherry
4.43/5 rDev +0.2%
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.
12-16-2012 00:23:54 | More by ehammond1
4.1/5 rDev -7.2%
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.
03-26-2013 00:20:22 | More by jeonseh
3.94/5 rDev -10.9%
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.
06-15-2014 16:53:56 | More by Alieniloquium
Imperial Sweet Stout - Cognac Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 258 ratings.