1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Imperial Sweet Stout - Cognac Barrel Aged - Cigar City Brewing

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

261 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 261
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 7.24%
Wants: 274
Gots: 43 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Lare453 on 10-09-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 261 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -9.5%

mothman, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Gonzoillini, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

mdaschaf, Oct 17, 2013
Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -9.5%

billab914, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of Zaphog
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Zaphog, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of ShanePB
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

ShanePB, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

HuskyinPDX, Jul 12, 2013
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

iL0VEbeer, Mar 30, 2013
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.

tobelerone, Oct 29, 2012
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.94/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Alieniloquium, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of drummermattie02
4/5  rDev -9.5%

drummermattie02, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Rhettroactive, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of xnicknj
4.39/5  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.

xnicknj, Mar 01, 2013
Photo of Bitterbill
4.88/5  rDev +10.4%
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!

Bitterbill, Nov 18, 2012
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.51/5  rDev +2%
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.

TheSevenDuffs, May 15, 2013
Photo of chippo33
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

chippo33, Nov 16, 2012
Photo of AgentZero
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

AgentZero, Dec 06, 2012
Photo of claspada
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

claspada, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of Duff27
4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Duff27, Nov 04, 2012
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.

Lare453, Oct 09, 2012
Photo of tectactoe
4.31/5  rDev -2.5%
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!

tectactoe, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of BGsWo22
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

BGsWo22, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
5/5  rDev +13.1%

TheBeerAlmanac, Feb 13, 2014
Photo of maximum12
4.15/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

maximum12, Mar 21, 2013
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.

ColForbinBC, Feb 28, 2013
Imperial Sweet Stout - Cognac Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 261 ratings.