Imperial Sweet Stout - Cognac Barrel Aged - Cigar City Brewing

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Imperial Sweet Stout - Cognac Barrel AgedImperial Sweet Stout - Cognac Barrel Aged

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

274 Ratings
THE BROS
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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
Photo of Lare453
4.99/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml into a dfh signature glass

a extremely dark. black. cocoa brown head that dissipates at a medium pace. beautiful lacing. looks fantastic

s heavy cognac, bitter sweet chocolate, coffee, caramel, sweet dark fruits, vanilla,

t WOW!!! this is one of the greatest stouts ive ever had. it is super rich. heavy chocolate and sweet vanilla at the start, themiddle is sweet cognac and coffee middle. the ending is unbelievable, dark fruit, sweet chocolate, caramel, toffee. the aftertaste is cognac, oak and sweet chocolate.

m thick, rich, smooth, great carbonation.

o wow. this is delicious, complex, and one of the best things ive ever had. im very impressed with this beer.

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 Rochefort10nh
4.95/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

WOW!!

This is my favorite Cigar City beer yet!

Deep obsidian on a vigorous pour. Off tan head.

Malted milk balls, cognac, chocolate, stewed prunes, creme brulee, molasses and plum. Fantastic!

Taste carries over from the smell and a nice roasted quality comes to the fore on the aftertaste.

Gorgeous mouthfeel. Thick and rich.

Great beer!

Photo of cavedave
4.94/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Crusian for putting this amazing beer into my BIF box. Tasted 12/5. From notes.

Pours a thick and opaque black, topped briefly by light brown cap which leaves the scene for some persistent islands of skim. A swirl provokes syrupy legs to slither down the glass sides.

What an aroma. This beer's best feature, almost unbelievably delicious. Neither Paul nor I could move on to sipping without spending nearly five minutes inhaling. Caramel sweet, cognac, dark chocolate, light roastiness, vanilla, cakey breadiness, hints of herbal and alcohol spice, even floral touches in there. Can't imagine a smell more enchanting than this.

What a flavor, neither of us were ready for how good this is. Lotsa sweet alcohol spice and clean caramel then it swirls into a bitter and milder combo of chocolate flavors, hints of coffee and vanilla, some roastiness that never gets acrid, and underflavors beyond my power to describe. It is delightful, a truly spectacular taste that merely identifying flavor components does not do justice. Cognac flavors tie it together into perfection. It leaves us both wondering if we ever have tasted a stout as fine.

Mouthfeel is the frame in which this masterpiece is brought to its best. Super viscous, low carb. and a clean finish that leaves streaks of resiny goodness on mouth and tongue, but never seems to build up nor become cloying. Just a marvel of artistry here. So, so good

Don't know what more to say for my impression than this is without doubt the finest beer I have tasted this year, and undoubtedly the finest of this style I ever will taste. Highest recommendation.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big ole 750ml bottle courtesy of robinsmv. Thanks, Matt!

Black black black pour, darkest of tan head of foam that I may have ever seen. Tilting my tulip glass, I see a ton of lacing.

Roasted malt, dark and milk chocolate, malty sweetness in the smell. Slight hints of cognac, one of my favourite liquors. I think I'm down for this.

Good grief Charlie Brown, the first sip is simply amazing? I'd gladly let Lucy pull the football away at the last second and fall on me arse if I can get up and have another sip of this splendid brew!

Sweet malt, big milk chocolate sweetness, light dark chocolate bitterness meshed in with roasted malt, delicious cognac flavours throughout but not dominating/detracting from the "elegance" of what makes this Milk Stout a true Milk Stout. Oh, did I not mention the lactose I'm getting in the taste? My bad.

So delicious sip after sip. The 11% abv is hidden too damn well; gotta watch it, Bill, lest the "evil" alcohol droppeth upon your door step and kicketh you into the next century.

Full bodied, light but right amount of carbonation, the mouthfeel is smooth as silk.

Bottom line: There's a song out there in music land by MC Hammer that says it best....You Can't Touch This. I think this is the beer of 2012 for me!

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 Resuin
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter. This was bottled September 19, 2012 so has about 15 months of age on it since bottling.

Appearance: Pours black and leaves a half finger of deep hazelnut/brown head which fades to a rim around the glass.

Smell: Rich fudge, lightly roasted malts, dates, figs, light coffee, mild vanilla, oak, some nice cognac in the back end. Very complex, mouth-watering aroma.

Taste: Fits with the aroma really well. Rich milk chocolate, dark fruits, plenty of oak, cognac, mild licorice, toasted malts, light coffee. Really nice balance of sweet and bitter - plenty of both to be found in the flavor.

Mouth-feel: Light carbonation but plenty enough, with a full, creamy body. Really velvety and nice.

Overall: Everything about this beer is fantastic. It is very complex and flavors really compliment each other nicely. The cognac barrel influenced this a lot and only in a positive way. The oak and cognac make this beer just wonderful. This beer has just over a year on it, and I don't know how it could be better. Still good carbonation and just wonderfully balanced.

Photo of BobZ
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750ml Bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Deep, dark, brown with a frothy 1" tan head that is very thick and very rich, tons of sticky lacing.

Smell: Chocolate & cognac with some dark fruit, good god this smells great, intense and deep.

Taste: This is like some kind of excellent cordial candy, creamy chocolate, dark fruit and cognac. Hints of both vanilla and licorice, highly complex and extremely tasty. Not overly sweet in any way, the alcohol is completely masked.

Mouthfeel: This is as creamy and lush as Moat Water, so full bodied and never cloying.

Overall: One of the best I've had and yet another exceptional beer from CCB. So much incredible flavor and so very complex.

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 MacQ32
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - pours an incredibly rich brown. with a half finger of chocolate mahogany with OK placing and great retention

S - lots of sweet rich dark chocolate sweet cognac aromas

T - lots of deal fruit sweet vanilla cognac flavor. Finish is fantastically xhocolsty

M - thick and minimal carbonation. Very smooth

O - very close to a 5

Photo of ndepriest
4.64/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

The beer looks a bit flat. Very little head. It almost comes out like syrup. The smell is incredible. Chocolate, vanilla, roasted marshmallows, and sweet cognac. The taste is similar, but the cognac is a bit more in the background. Just huge roasted flavors. The mouthfeel is very smooth, but thick and syrupy.

Wonderful beer that it would be great to see them brew again. If you have a bottle, this is definitely one to share.

Photo of dbc5
4.59/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml poured into a Southern Tier Pumpking chalice.

A: This beer pours viscous as hell. Moderately aggressive pour yields about a 1 finger, coffee colored head. Held to the light, absolutely nothing shines through.

S: This is a spectacular smelling brew. Can tell this is going to be sweet off the nose. Chocolate syrup, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon sugar, raisins, vanilla, and coffee.

T: While I think the nose is the standout on this beer, the flavor does not disappoint. Starts with dark chocolate/chocolate syrup, then brown sugar and vanilla. Get a hit of fruit sweetness at the end (raisins, plums, grapes). The chocolate syrup flavor lingers along with alight booziness (the booze is not particularly pronounced but present enough to be noticed).

M: Mouthfeel is excellent on this one. Thick and coating. Carbonation is moderate to low.

O: Probably the best sweet stout I've had the pleasure of enjoying. Highly recommend this to anyone who is a stout fan with a sweet tooth. This is my first experience with Cigar City and it lived up to the hype. Thanks go out to BREWSnTATTOOS for giving me the opportunity to enjoy this treat.

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 djmichaelk
4.58/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled 750ml bottle into a snifter. We let it warm slightly before opening.

A - Pours an absolute black, with a rocky three fingers of mocha-colored head. Great retention and decent lacing, clinging to the edges of the glass like a Halloween spiderweb.

S - Huge dark chocolate cake notes, vanilla, some earthiness and a slight hoppiness, and maybe a bit of fennel in the background. The barrel is definitely there in a big way, but it doesn't seem boozy. It smells awesome.

T - The flavor is more of the nose. It's a bit like one of those liquor-filled dark chocolate candies, melted in your glass. The chocolate is rich without being overpowering, there's some bitterness from the hops lurking in there somewhere, and the barrel rounds everything out. The cognac works wonderfully with the fudgy sweetness of the beer, without really much in the way of heat.

M - CCB always nails the mouthfeel on their beers, and this one is another great example. Exceptionally full with medium carbonation that fits the bill perfectly. Slightly drying in the finish.

O - After BA Church and Leon, I was almost thinking that this couldn't quite live up to the standard that those two set, but it really does. I'm trying really hard not to overrate this beer, but it's difficult to find faults with it. The barrel treatment is different, but the overall impression is similar to some of the Eclipse variations out there, rich and fudgy. Great dessert beer to finish off the night. Me? I'm off to find a few more bottles.

Photo of BMMillsy
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hunahpu Day pour #1. Black with mocha head. Smell is all licorice, vanilla and chocolate, rich sweet barrel. Flavor is a chocolate covered Good n Plenty, wow. Finished with an explosion of chocolate and is just amazingly rich. Good alcohol warmth but hides it well enough that I could probably finish off a 750 myself. Viscous with medium carbonation. Dessert beer but not cloying. Yum! CCB just does stouts right.

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 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 Retail1LO
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 750mL shared at Tired Hands All Hallows Dinner on 11/6

Pours a dark, ominous black shade with about a finger's width head up top. Smell is rich...flush with dark fruit, a tint of vanilla, and plenty of the cognac barrel. The taste follows the nose closely. True to the name, it is surely sweet, but not even remotely in a cloying manner. The mouthfeel is world class. This is every bit the heavy, velvety, thick, lush mouthfeel that I yearn for in a beer like this. Overall, this was amazing. While they're not the same style, I liked this even more than Leon.

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.51/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Not as sweet as I thought it would be

A- Thick black motor oil like all CCB stouts. The smallest lacing ever with no legs. Gums up glass.

S- Big chocolate upfront, toffee and then some cognac barrel. Chocolate is dominant.

T- Big dark milk chocolate, massive chocolate dominates anything else that would try to come to play. Cognac has a bite at the end.

M- CCB brews are always money in my book for the M. Thick and viscous, chewy. No carb that detracts from what this beer is meant to be.

O- Another great CCB brew; would probably have this just under LiL if we are ranking CCB stouts.

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 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 ColForbinBC
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap, served in a tulip

An ink black pour with some thick legs. The small dark tan cap faded to a thin collar pretty quickly. Little to no lacing left inside the glass.

The cognac notes are pretty well incorporated. You would think a cognac barrel would completely overwhelm the base beer, but that is not the case. Lactic sugar, mild roast, and some cocoa powder lay a nice base for the sweet cognac notes to take over.

Mild roast, chocolate and lactic sugar poke through up front before a sweep of cognac and oak takes you through the finish. A little bit of vanilla pokes through with some burnt sugar. The base beer holds its own and is nicely complemented by the flavor of the cognac. A real winner.

Smooth, lush, and just plan delicious. Coats the mouth and slides off with no troubles. A touch of lingering sweet cognac booziness and some mild chocolate notes.

They pretty much nailed this one. The cognac is strong, as you would expect, but it complements the sweetness of the base beer extremely well.

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

Beer pours an inky jet black with a thin tan head. Smell is awesomely chocolatey, a bit like boozy chocolate cake. I was worried it might be too sweet after the smell, but the flavor here is well balanced, awesome and not too intense. It's all chocolate and oak and amazing. Mouthfeel is full bodied and thick, but still has nice carbonation. This is a great beer and one of my favorites from CCB, these guys are crushing it lately.

Photo of macrosmatic
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Bomber opened at CCB tasting room to share amongst five people. Poured into a CCB snifter.

A: Dark black, opaque, with a minimal brown ring of foam and no visible carbonation. Oily lacing on the glass.

S: Warm rich liqueur, chocolate, and boozy. Some vanilla and dry tannins in the background.

T: Sweet cacao, cognac, dark cherry fruitiness, vanilla and oak. Boozy but not particularly hot. Sweet with some alcohol warmth in the hang.

M: Thick sticky mouthfeel, very full-bodied. Significant warming alcohol, but again it doesn't seem hot. Low carbonation sensation.

O: Wow - this was very good. I missed the opportunity to have it on tap, so this bottle that's been in the cellar was the first chance I had to taste it. I can't imagine this tasting much better. Excellent beer.

Photo of Jeffo
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bottles from urwithdave and SliverX. I just can't get enough. Cheers!

From a 750ml into a snifter
Bottled 19 September 2012
Stout on cognac barrels

APPEARANCE: Thick black pour yields a one finger, medium looking, creamy, dark mocha head with very good retention. Very dark and mocha colored head. Looks nice. Thick black body with higher levels of carbonation. Head slowly fades to a splotchy wisp and ring. Touches of wisp and a ring remain leaving no real lacing down the glass. Nice head with a thick, black, Cigar City black body. Nice.

SMELL: Big cognac nose with lots of roasted and chocolaty base stout. Roasted malts, dark, pure chocolate, baker's chocolate, with cognac, vanilla, milk chocolate and toffee. Chocolate covered cherries as well. Really decadent with piles of roasty, chocolaty base stout under a well-integrated cognac barrel. Increadibly complex and lovely. Bold and outstanding.

TASTE: Cognac, lots of roasted and burnt malts with dark, pure baker's chocolate at the swallow. Huge, flavorful aftertaste of charred malts, dark bitter chocolate, coffee, cognac and some sweet vanilla, toffee and milk chocolate. A touch of booze, but well measured. Sweet and bitter, roasted finish lingers with some chocolate covered cherries and vanilla cognac. This is lovely and follows the nose perfectly. The touch high carbonation keeps this from possible perfection.

PALATE: Medium body with higher levels of carbonation. A little light and airy, goes down smooth enough and finishes slightly sticky on the palate. A little burn lingers. Definitely needs to be thicker, fuller and heavier with less carbonation. Too bad, but this is otherwise fantastic. Average at best.

OVERALL: Phenomenal stuff! Everything works so well except the the slightly thin and airy feel on this one. If the feel was fuller and creamier, this would be the best cognac barrel aged beer in the world, and perhaps the best barrel aged stout in the world. Cigar City never ceases to impress the crap out of me. Love this beer. Thanks a lot urwithdave. I could drink these guys and not miss a thing.

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