Life Is Like... - Cigar City Brewing

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Life Is Like...Life Is Like...

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

595 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 595
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 7.91%
Wants: 786
Gots: 108 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MatthewPlus on 08-15-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Imperial sweet stout brewed with cherries & cacao nibs & aged in bourbon barrels.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 595 | Reviews: 56
Reviews by williamjbauer:
More User Reviews:
Photo of mportnoy
5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Stunning. As good as it gets.

Amazing complexity and structure. Perfect balance between cherry, chocolate, and bourbon as it moves across your mouth. No artificial sweetness and not syrupy at all. Finish is dry baker's chocolate.

Easily the best milk / sweet stout that I have ever had.

Photo of MatthewPlus
4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml poured into a Wakefield snifter.

Pours a deep, opaque black with hints of plum highlights. Even with an aggressive pour it's difficult to get much of a head; the one that is produced forms a rocky, garnet/khaki thin slice and dissipates quickly.

Nose is pretty impressive on this one... Black cherry, dark chocolate, a light alcoholic sweetness, bourbon, oak, and a hint of licorice.

Wow. The bottle says that the beer is an attempt to replicate biting into a cherry cordial, and i think they hit that pretty well! Follows the nose, with dark chocolate and candy cherries up front, supported by a slightly roasted malt base. Intermingled is a mild booziness with a light alcohol burn. The bottle doesn't state the ABV, but I'm guessing somewhere in the 9-11% range. Make no mistake, this is definitely a sweet stout, sweeter than what i typically prefer, but well done with well-integrated flavors. This is also being reviewed on the first day of release, which could be contributing to the heat on the palate.

Mouthfeel is pretty spot-on for the style, with very little carbonation leading to a rich, velvety texture. Not the chewiest stout I've ever had, but it certainly comes with a coating effect. Medium-long, sweet cherry aftertaste. But legit cherry, not a medicinal cherry flavor like i've found in some other cherry stouts.

Overall- I think it is a really well-produced beer, that accomplished exactly what the brewers set out to do. It is too sweet for my personal taste, and i likely wont seek this one out again, but for fans of the style, or if you're looking for a great dessert beer, you'll find it in this one.

Photo of mverity
4.99/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle from Proof. Poured into a snifter. Pitch black and opaque. Deep brown head with same collar. Decent legs, and head was thick and yummy. Aroma is of sweet/dark cherries, dark chocolate, vanilla, a smooth/woody bourbon. Taste is wonderful. Exact same as smell. Mouthfeel is viscous, fully coats my mouth, and is exactly what I want. Super fantastic beer. Dessert in a glass!

Photo of frenchblood21
4.82/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into small tasting glass. I am sharing with two other buddies. Date of review is 7/12/14.

Appearance- Almost jet black, but not quite. Dark brow head that disappears right away.

Smell- Cherry and vanilla blast off straight away. Just a hint of sweet chocolate is present too. Bourbon is detectable, but taking a backseat to the cherries.

Taste- Literally perfect in every way. Just like in the nose, cherries and vanilla take you away. Chocolate and bourbon are there, but not dominant.

Mouthfeel- Thick and luxurious to say the least. It's really quite hard to put into words how amazing this beer is. It's like I bit into a chocolate covered cherry.

Overall- Top three best beers I have ever had. I had it at DLD for the first time and have looked forward to this moment ever since.

Photo of doremite
4.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Tasted like the piece of chocolate from the holiday box with a cherry center. Not necessarily my cup of tea but uncanny how similar the flavor is and in general how much flavor this beer brings.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Jet black. Thick and viscous. Like other Cigar City stouts, it stains the glass. Not much of a head.

Smell - Bourbon, sweet caramel, dark chocolate and fudge. Cherry is bright and a little bit acidic.

Taste - Bourbon incorporates well. Some vanilla. Lots of dark chocolate and fudge. Very sweet. Cherry flavor is a bit tart and lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Very thick and fudgy. Medium carbonation and boozy, especially as it warms.

Overall - I'm impressed. All the components are nice, but it's a huge beer. It gets very sweet as it warms.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.29/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle to snifter.

A - Deep ink black with a thin layer of dark mocha brown head that quickly disappeared.

S - Sweet chocolate fudge, bourbon and vanilla notes dominate. Lighter char and roast notes. No cherry coming through at all.

T - Bourbon and vanilla notes up front that immediately give way to a huge chocolate fudge presence. Char and a very light cherry tartness in the finish.

M - Full body. Sludgy/viscous. Light carbonation.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.34/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to injuredreserve for sharing!

Pours black as night, with a dark brown head. Aroma wafts of cherries, dark chocolate, roast, coffee, fruits, bourbon and vanilla. Tastes cherry forward, with accompanying bourbon to calm down the sweetness of the cherry and stark dark chocolate. Feel is thick and chewy, rich and full bodied. Drinks great, can't really get the alcohol at all. Great stuff!

Photo of ThickNStout
4.61/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle acquired through the El Catador club. 20.00. Bottled 8/13/13. Served in a Terrapin snifter.

Pours oil black with a quarter finger thick brown head that slowly fades to a thin halo without leaving any lace.

Enticing aromas of sweet bourbon, cherries and chocolate. Yum!

Taste follows the nose. Like a syrupy sweet chocolate covered bourbon soaked cherry bomb. Bing cherry, bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla tinged oak, plums, creamed coffee with a little booze presence throughout. Fantastic.

Syrupy medium thick body with moderately light carbonation. Lingering boozy sweet chocolate cherries in the aftertaste.

An outstanding stout and one of the best collaborations I've come across. No doubt in the upper 90th percentile of sweetest beers but I happen to love super sweet brews. The bourbon really plays to it's sweetness well. I'm really happy to have had an opportunity to try this. Highly recommended for fans of big sweet delicious barrel aged imperial stouts.

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.44/5  rDev -2.4%

Reviewed from notes. 750ml bottle shared by Richard - thanks.

A: Pours black and nearly still with a few bubbles struggling to the surface and racing to the rim without a trace of lace.

N: Dark cherries, vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate/cocoa.

T: Yeah, you dip the cherries in the bourbon and wrap it up in a layer of dark chocolate.

M: Moderate body and very light carbonation. Finishes decadently smooth, thick, luscious.

O: Deeply satisfying, hidden ABV but it is there nonetheless. Prepare to dream dreams.

Photo of cbutova
4.45/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Last beer of an insane weekend of tasting and reviewing. My cousin Sonny shared yet another great brew. Fully reviewed to notes.

A- Alright, another insanely thick, pitch black motor oil CCB stout. The pour of their big stouts is just a signature at this point. Viscous, oily black with a dark mocha head. The head reaches a finger or so with decent retention. A small ring drops some nice legs and a few spots of lace.

S- Pretty much a fifty fifty blend of stout and the cherries. The cherry feels natural and more flesh pith than in your face, it blends into the dark roast malts quite a bit. Rich roast malts, chocolate, raisins and caramel malt sweetness beyond that.

T- As with the Hunaphus variations and Zhukov's, Cigar City somehow seems to find how to make a thicker and richer stout that has ever existed before. Decadent cocoa powder, heavily roast chocolate malts, raisins, caramel and a large sweetness. And then the cherry, it brings pith and flesh of cherries somehow feeling natural and just earthy. The barrels are a bit subdued but with time the come out more and more. Nice medium toast oak, vanilla and whiskey join the party and create a dessert of a beer.

MF- Chewy and ultra thick bodied. This brew takes on an oily texture that becomes a tiny bit creamy with agitation. Slight cherry tartness and dark bitter cocoa powder lingers on the palate with a moderate alcohol warmth.

Multi-dimensional beast. Cherry and whiskey barrels compliment another insanely large CCB base stout.

Photo of dboon
4.45/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at World of Beers. Huge cherry and bourbon aromas. Dark brown pour with a light brown head. Monstrous Marciano cherry notes that give way to the smooth bourbon heat. Velvety chocolate, rich caramel, dark toasted malts, oak, and lactose undercurrents. Great mouthfeel with an above average body. Impressive and actually worth the $48 we paid for this bottle. Über complex with good balance.

Photo of AndyEdgar
3.87/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Kind of disappointed. Got olive juice and briney notes out of this. Not sure on how it was stored, so would like to try another to see if it lives up to the hype on the second go-round

Photo of d5001986
4.37/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into Darkness Goblet.
Enjoyed for my 29th birthday.

Pours a rich inky black with small mocha head. I don't get a lot on the nose, booze and a little cherry. Flavor is very rich but balanced. Smokey and chocolatey, with the cherry and bourbon on the more subtle side. This is a 'sweet' stout, but it's not disgustingly sweet as many tend to be. I'm actually amazed at how this drinks, it goes down far too easy for a 15% abv. Body is heavy and a little sticky, about as smooth as a beer can get. Overall meets the hype and a privelage to enjoy.

Photo of VernonBaxter
4.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance is dark black with brown/reddish ring around the top. Small ring of a head. Smell is bourbon and oak forward, then chocolate then some sweet cherry. Taste is similar with milk chocolate and sweet cherry on the finish. Fantastic mouthfeel, cigar city knows their stouts

Photo of Danny1217
4.58/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle into a snifter. Shared with a couple of my favorite people.

Pours jet black with basically no head, but what can you expect from such a thick, high ABV beer? Not much lacing either. Giving the appearance a 4 is a stretch, but this thick, black look gets me excited for what I'm about to drink.

The smell has a big punch of bourbon and oak at the front. Lots of vanilla from the oak and some chocolate. Not too much cherries in the smell, but some vaguely fruity smells. Some of the typical roasted flavors from the dark malts. Very complex.

The taste is surprisingly mellow on the bourbon and oak, but it's definitely there. The flavor at the forefront here is the chocolate. It really does taste like biting into a piece of decadent dark chocolate. The cherry is in the background here as well, but is noticeable. Quite sweet (but balanced by the myriad of flavors and intense dark malt character). This is a dessert beer if there ever was one. The body of this beer is intensely thick and carbonation is medium low.

My first experience with barrel aged CCB brews, and an amazing one. One of the best stouts I have ever had and a highly enjoyable experience.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.3/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to egrace for the share!

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: black bodied beer with medium brown head. drops to a thin ring.

Smell: bakers cocoa. bing cherry. hint of sweet bourbon. wet oak.

Taste: Lots of cocoa. Hint of bourbon sweetness. roasty malt. chicory. cherries and dark chocolates in the finish.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low end of moderate corbonation. Smooth beer. Well hiddden abv.

Overall: This is an awesome take on the Imperial Sweet Stout! CBB really knows how to brew unique barrel aged dark beers!

Photo of cardsfan
4.67/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow, what a great beer. I had Cherry Rye back in July and was looking forward to trying this one to compare. Was a little nervous about the cheery flavor but they did a great job. Tasted like real bing cherries and not the fake stuff! The bourbon was a little underwhelming compared to the cherry rye but was still there and added a good vanilla to the mix as well. Smell wasn't as overpowering as Cherry rye and mouthful was about the same. I couldn't believe this beer was 15%! Extremely well hidden. Overall, another fantastic beer by CCB!

Photo of JReites
3.91/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750mL bottle to a snifter

A: Dark, black coloring with a light tan head that fades quickly into the beer. A nice lacing is noted along the glass after each sip.

S: Strong bourbon smell up front. Not much cherry smell picked up until the beer warms up, and even then it is very light.

T: When the beer is cold/cool there is bourbon up front with a nice chocolate flavor on the back end. Not much cherry initially. As the beer began to warm the cherry started to come out. As the cherry came out the chocolate seemed to die down some. Overall the beer was not too sweet, and the flavors differed as the temperature changed.

M: Not much carbonation noted. This seemed to have a much thinner mouthfeel than was expected. Overall, it was very easy to drink, just seemed a bit thin for the style.

O:Overall, this is a very drinkable barrel aged stout. The end product is very smooth and easy to drink. I felt somewhat underwhelmed with the flavor compared to GI cherry rye, but still an excellent beer and I am happy I was able to snag a bottle to try.

Photo of kpanter
4.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - dark in color with a light brown head which fades quickly

S - wonderful bourbon and chocolate aromas. as it warmed some, faint cherry smell came through some, but not as much as I'd hoped for

T - Starts out with big chocolate notes with bourbon mixing in as well. Not as much cherry as I would have liked initially. I let this warm for a bit, and yes! There it is! The cherry starts it off, and layers in so well with the chocolate and bourbon. A tad bit of heat here, and the bourbon does kick in towards the end. But this is simply delicious, and a wonderful dessert stout.

M - perfect. but what did you expect from these 2 brewers? It's not overly thick, which I rather like in this style of stout. It has a smooth velvet-like mouthfeel.

O - Phenomenal. Another homerun from CCB & Mikkeller, and truly a great dessert beer. Definitely let this warm up, as you get much more cherry flavor. Once it warmed, this beer really impresses with the layers of flavor on both the nose and mouth. I think the brewers hit the nail on the head for what they were going for on this one.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours oily black with a creamy brown head that leaves decent lacing throughout. The aroma is loaded with luscious, lightly tangy cherries and thick chocolate that follow up with figs, molasses, malt and vanilla. Those aromatic qualities are then followed up by a sweet flavor with some more chocolate, cherries, malt sugar, and mild alcohol. Full bodied with good carbonation. This is a very good lightly chewy beer that exhibits modest warmth, rich chocolate, ripe cherries - indulgent and decadent, yet still well balanced!

Photo of Sarge3130
5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best adjunct stouts ever made. Period. Better than cherry rye.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 11.20.13

A - Pours a very dark brown with a thin dark brown head that moves to the edges quickly.

S - Bourbon, chocolate, cherry.

T - Nice bourbon, then sweet chocolate covered cherries, very nice.

D - Heavy body with low carbonation.

O - Sweet chocolate covered cherries surrounded with bourbon. Very good beer.

Photo of Mikecap
4.71/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Poured a dark black with a finger of khaki brown head that dissipates slowly, nice chunky lacing on the glass.

Smell: Chocolate, cherry, lots of sweetness coming through, absolutely delicious nose, touch of bourbon and oak as well.

Taste: Silky smooth with chocolate first followed by some tart sweetness from the cherry, great balance, a bit of bourbon and heat from the alcohol

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth with great creaminess and drinkability for its size

Overall: Stellar beer here from CCB, one of the best stouts I've had in some time, if not ever

Photo of thebigredone
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Enjoyable, and a bit more subdued than I was expecting. Not something I would actively seek out again, but a nice surprise.

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Life Is Like... from Cigar City Brewing
100 out of 100 based on 595 ratings.