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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.

60 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 60
Hads: 274
Avg: 4.4
pDev: 7.5%
Wants: 275
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 60 | Hads: 274
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.39/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a deep, deep brown nearly black with a rocky dirty white cap providing some good head retention, collar and spotty lacing

S: Big milky sweetness, chocolate cake, vanilla and cocoa beans with cognac but it was still rather tame.

T: A big, sweet dairy goodness woth some old wood, Earthiness and a dose of cognac. Nothing Earth-shateering here.

M: Full bodied, sweet, lingering, some heat

O: While it was a nice drink I still cannot get past the bloated rating of this beer.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.9/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.97/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.99/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for Cam for sharing this scary beer.

Pour is black as black blacks. A dark brown head forms into a thick ring fast and stays that way. Ominous and glass-staining as expected from a Cigar City stout.

Big scent of fudge, bread, oreos, dark fruits (cognac), roast, cigar box and alcohol.

Huuge taste, puts the scent to shame almost. Chocolate fudge, truffles, and cognac galore. Roasted malt, leather. Great dark fruit flavors coming from that cognac barrel, though I'm not getting any oak. Big sweetness but complex. Very rich.

Super hefty mouthfeel with lowish carbonation, but a good amount of foamy action, not quite as dense as expected. Some heat but alcohol taste overall is low.

Ridiculously huge, sweet, heavy - but out of the many Cigar City imperial stouts that fit this description, this is definitely one of the better ones. Nice complexity and rich flavors, the cognac barrels really add alot here. I'm definitely good with ~5oz or so though.

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Photo of Brew33
4.01/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Urbancaver for scooping this one up for me.

The beer ours jet black with a very dark brown, bubbly head that dissapates quickly. A really unique head.

The aroma is sweet to say the least. Burnt sugars, roasted malt, chocolate syrup, a little bit of wood and char. Man, this is pretty tasty. Sweet on the front end, but a smoky, charred character and some dry wood run right through the middle. The finish is long with a some fusel alcohol and cognac. A nice beer. Complex, sweet, smoky, charred, rich, and somewhat taxing on the palate after about 12 oz.

The body is heavy, damn near perfect actually. Low carbonation makes the beer coating in the mouth but never too much. Overall a tasty beer. I'd like to try more Cognac barrel aged beers and I enjoyed this one a lot. Thanks Cam.

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Photo of cbutova
4.06/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.09/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer but leave an oily trail on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, wood, dark fruit, and cognac. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a woody finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but I think it smells better than it tastes.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours absolutely pitch black, opaque even on the pour. A dark brown head forms, but quickly recedes to a small ring.

S: Caramel, dark chocolate, cognac, this beer is extremely sweet. I get a nice amount of coffee in the background to helps balance, but it certainly stays very sweet. As an aroma, though, this is amazing.

T: Again, very sweet caramel melds with strong dark chocolate making a very, very sweet beer. I get some coffee in the background that helps to balance but like the aroma, this beer stays really sweet.

M: Very, very thick with low carbonation.

O: This is a very, very sweet beer. A bit too sweet for me. However, the cognac and coffee help balance the beer. It's very complex and delicious.

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Photo of maximum12
4.17/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to the best traders in the country, beerisheaven & moose3285, for each sending me a bottle of this brew. The other one went down a while back; this is the lone survivor. And the clock is ticking. Big 750 ML glass split with my wife. 55/45. Shhhh.

Pour is dead black, with a modicum of life to it. Close to zero penetration, even along the edges. Even colder, the cognac announces its presence with authority. Dark chocolate, dark malts, dark thoughts round it out. My mouth is watering. That merits a good score.

Imperial Sweet Stout - Cognac Barrel Aged flaunts the barrel. Tidal wave of cognac floods the palate, then warms the belly, almost like the real thing, going all...the...way...down. Wow. Alcohol is smooth but noticeable. Trademark CC thickness to the stout, you could stand a ladder up in this thing. Plenty of roast, edge of sour raisins which detracts a touch, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, very light lactose, wow, it's like somebody through the kitchen cabinet in this thing. But it hangs together very well, & I'm sipping it rapidly.

Just the thickness of Cigar City stouts is enough to bring a stupid grin to my face. Mix in a heavy barrel, tons of complexity, easy drinking, & this is an excellent beer.

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Photo of jegross2
4.18/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
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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Photo of thegoon55
4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A- pitch black, small tan head

S- sweet cognac, chocolate, roast, figs.

T- follows the nose, cognac at first followed by chocolate roast. Yummy

M- near perfect. Fluffy yet full bodied

0- not my favorite offering from ccb, with that said, still very good

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Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Someone shared this bottle at Zwanze Day. Mike? Served in a Zwanze glass.

A - Tan foam settles to a collar, wisps, and minimal lace but a bit of a glass-coating film. The body is pitch black, which is unsurprising how dark Cigar City beers tend to be.

S - Vinous and sweet cognac and grape flavors, fudge, dark fruits, some booze, a bit of fruity oxidation. Not a ton of wood flavor, just sweet cognac mixed with sweet stout.

T - The taste is heavy on raisin and dark fruit flavors, with cognac and grape flavors mixed in. In the periphery there are notes of chocolate cake, caramel, and fudge. Not much oak presence, and significantly less booze. I like the flavor significantly more than the aroma.

M - Smooth, medium-full body, lower carbonation, sticky finish. There's a bit of warming alcohol, but nothing excessive for 11%. Again, not much oak presence in the texture, but otherwise spot on for a big stout.

D - A nice beer, but very sweet; I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by that considering the name. I had a small glass of this and that was plenty sufficient. I'd drink this again, but I'd much prefer Cognac Church On a Hill or Leon.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
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!

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Photo of oline73
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of Holland
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark black with almost no highlights except those which are 90% black and 10% dark brown. No light escapes this, much like Hunahpu's, but it does have a brown head that waivers and leaves after a while, leaving a ring and some small lacing.

S: big cognac smell along with huge roasted malt flavors from smoke to coffee to chocolate.

T: much the same as the smell, but with more smoke. Usually I don't like smoke or very heavily roasted malts at all, but this one was just fine to pair with the cognac barrel flavor.

M: medium-thick body with medium carbonation - everything I wanted from this beer.

O: very good, but the taste didn't come together exactly as I would have liked with the smokey flavor. Very good, but not incredibly drinkable, so I'm glad I had a small pour. Still happy to have another of these nestled away, though I have my doubts that it will age gracefully.

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Photo of mverity
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
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!

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Photo of claspada
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.37/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

on tap at hawthornes, served in large Duvel tulip - part of the EBF kegs that came to Philly after the blizzard fiasco

Inky, dark pour with heavy legs and a collar of darkly tanned film. Little head, spotty lacing and wispy film.

Rich and full scents of chocolate, roasted malts, lactose and smoke. Heavy alcohol warmth from the cognac with vanilla and oak. Burnt sugar sweetness and caramel.

Creamy, slick notes of milk chocolate, cognac and toasted oak up front. Robust and sweet from residual caramel, toffee and vanilla flavors. Boozy throughout, yet incredibly delicious, driven by a thick malt backbone with roasted warmth and a dash of smoke from the cognac. Finishes boozy and sweet.

Full body, milder carbonation, creamy, chewy and silky on the tongue. If I had a criticism for this beer it'd be the sweetness level, although that seems a ridiculous considering "sweet" is in the beer's name. A wonderfully produced barrel aged stout with emphasis on milk chocolate and cognac.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.38/5  rDev -0.5%
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!

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Photo of beerpirates
4.39/5  rDev -0.2%
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 :)

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Photo of Duff27
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deep deep mocha colored head on a near black body.

Borderline overload with the cocoa/alcohol one-two punch.

Barrel aging is there bu isnt over done at all, near perect level. I'm getting a chalky/"ashy" smokiness on the tail end, love it.

Very smooth, could be its greatest attribute. Low carbonation, thick mouthfeel.

Great beer. Cognac near flawlessly integrated. I keep forgetting this is a milk stout because I'm not noticing the lactose, only minor complaint. Seek and share with me. Thanks egrace84.

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Imperial Sweet Stout - Cognac Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
96 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.