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Cigar City / Swamp Head Roosevelt - Swamp Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Cigar City / Swamp Head RooseveltCigar City / Swamp Head Roosevelt

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

27 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 27
Hads: 71
Avg: 3.76
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 15
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Swamp Head Brewery visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Holland on 02-09-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed with Pecans.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 27 | Hads: 71
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.32/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at jmgrub’s tasting.

Bottled 11/2011.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy tan head that settles to an oily film. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with a biting earthy woodiness on the finish. This creates a pretty harsh bitterness that lingers long after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer solely because the drinkability is not too good due to the woody bitterness.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to drabmuh for sharing this bottle. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a slightly-hazed light caramel color with a nice off-white good and some spotty lacing as it goes down. The nose brings some pecans and brown sugar plus a light bit of caramel. The flavor is pretty similar but with a bit of alcohol heat, coming out more as it warms up. Medium body with good carbonation and a dryness to the finish. Pretty good.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled November 2011.

A: Pours a hazy orangish amber with a solid 1-inch off-white head which fades slowly to a cap and the rim leaving clumps of lace behind.

N: Sweet malts, woody, caramel, orange citrus, honey, floral, toffee.

T: Pronounced alcohol heat and orange citrus rush up front followed by nutty pecans, earthy wood, sticky caramel syrup, sweet malty finish.

M: Full bodied and moderate carbonation. In-your-face ABV. Cloying sweetness.

O: Interesting, especially the pecan nutty quality. Nice subtle hops.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is a murky amber color with a small khaki head. Sweet caramel and toffee, a nice nutty note, and some pine hops. Maybe just a little bitter on the palate. Fairly nutty, sweet toffee, bread, and caramel. A light creaminess, toasted malt, and citric hops an pine. Hint of booze on the palate.

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Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured into a snifter, beer is brown, hazy, thin head, small bubbles, low retention, some carbonation, looks nice.

Aroma is sweet, malty, nutty, fine.

Beer is medium in body and sweet on the front end, the pecans are lost a little but you can pick up a faint woodiness that could be the nuts in the end, a fine barleywine, not quite as good as church on a hill but all the same quite good overall.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt.

The beer is amber / brown hued with a broken khaki colord head. The aroma offers caramels, toffee, booze, and a touch of hops. The flavor is decent, with some toasted brown sugar. Mild smoky notes blend pretty well with some light hop bitterness. Fairly light bodied with adequate carbonation. Interesting, but not great.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
2.93/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750 mL bottle poured into a tumbler. Bottled 11/21/2011. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Murky brown. Creamy head. Sticky looking with excellent retention.

Smell - Diacetyl, nuts, and booze. Ton of caramel malt. Citrusy hops in the back.

Taste - Buttery as hell. Extremely nutty on top of the caramel. Astringent and bitter in the finish. Citrus hop blends throughout.

Mouthfeel - Not really that boozy, but slow drinking nonetheless. The diacetyl is unpleasant, but it's otherwise ok to drink.

Overall - Disappointing. More disappointing than Church on a Hill. Pecans are intense and even an interesting addition, but the diacetyl ruins the beer.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.06/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dated Nov2011
I smuggled this back from Florida in April and I've had it sitting on a shelf in the fridge screaming at me since then. Pours a curiously murky light brown or dark orange color with a decent tan head that slowly dissipates to a cap on top. Well it smells like a barleywine. Lots of dark sugars and dark fruits, some floral and earthy hops, a bit of sweet overripe melon, and a touch of alcohol. I can't smell any pecans, but I can taste em. The flavor is dark sugars up front with lots of fruits, cherries, raisins, and melons. There's a solid punch of ethanol and higher alcohols as well as an earthy and resinous hop flavor that lingers long after each sip. Medium to thick body with a moderate level of carbonation, and a sweet resinous mouthfeel. Wow this is a big beer, I wish I had seen that before I opened this by myself. Nice big barleywine, the alcohol needs a little time to mellow imho, but very flavorful brew, I wish I had another to age.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated NOV 11. Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Murky medium brown. Completely opaque. One finger of light brown head that quickly reduced to a thin layer.

S -Big sweetness up front full of dark caramel and toffee aromas. Not getting pecans at all. Some earthy/floral hop aromas are present int he background.

T - Very sweet. Full of toffee, caramel and brown sugar. Big alcohol present at first that settles down after a few sips but remains warming. Pecans are not present at all.

M - Medium body wtih a really good chew. light carbonation.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells like a classic English barleywine--brown sugar, raisins, caramel. All sweetness and very lite hops in the nose. Nice, but very typical for the style.

Taste is completely different. Some of the same brown sugar and raisin flavors, but also a big hop presence that I didn't smell at all: hops are tropical fruit, pineapple and mangos and peaches, slightly bitter in a fruity way. Pretty unique, and I like it. Not noticing the pecans really: I get a faint nuttiness when I look for it but that might be my imagination.

Overall a solid beer, fairly original flavor for a barleywine and an odd disconnect between the nose and the taste.


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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.42/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a orangish brown color with ok carbonation leavng a small dirty white cap, bubbles and minimal lacing

S: Pine needles, orange peel, toffee and caramel with a slight booze sting

T: Caramel upfront with toffee, hops provide some pine and citrus notes but the flavor was not as robust as I would have liked. It was lacking something in flavor. Residual sugars and hints of dark fruits.

M: Crisp, rather dry, big body but not much weight on the beer for it to be 13%

O: Not bad, not great and was glad I sought this out.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From tasting notes. This bottle was cellared 2 years. L: Hazy amber under a 1” cream colored foam cap that provides rich lace. S: Nuts, caramel, traces of honey, hints of leather and alcohol. T: Rich, malty, chocolatey, alcoholic, hints of sherry, fruit, alcohol with a bitter hop accent.. F: Smooth with fine soft, medium carbonation, full body. O: A solid American barleywine improves after 2 years in the cellar.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to my boy Jefe73 for sending me this one! Thanks brother! Shared during BRoss242’s send-off party before he moves! Will miss you man! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured red-orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, caramel hop, sweet alcohol, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, caramel, caramel hop, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. A nice example of the style without a doubt. All the right flavors were there, but the woodiness aspect added a little something that I don’t think was needed in my honest opinion. It was fairly easy to drink though which is hard to pull off sometimes with this style as it is known for punishing your face. Definitely worth the try if you get the chance.

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Photo of maximum12
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks again to moose3285...wanted to try this as soon as possible after the Church on a Hill to get a good comparison. Big 750 ML bottle split with my wife.

Cigar City brew poured into my Cigar City snifters & placed on my hand-made Cigar City coasters...nah, I don't have my Cigar City thong on tonight, though. Shows a churned-up orange with an active head. Nose is strong caramel, chock-full of sweet malt, touch of oddness that must be pecans.

Roosevelt was a fine president & this beer doesn't live up to that legacy. There's a funk to this that disagrees with my palate...not violently, but with murder in thought. The pecans are sharp, bitter, pungent, & borderline unpleasant. They drown out the sweet malts & caramel, both of which show only as background props. The pecans stick around, too. Bitter root.

Church on a Hill was an amazing beer, this is almost the opposite; hugely disappointing & difficult to get down a half-bomber. The bitterness is tough to get past. Not even middling.

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Photo of gford217
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle.

Pours a hazy amber with a big thick beige head that leaves really nice lacing.

Aroma is really hoppy, even for an American BW, with lots juicy citrus and pine resin up front. The sweet sugary malts are there with some caramelized pecans and hint of toffee.

Taste starts with some abrasive hoppiness and has a bit of nutty malts and light sugar in the background. The finish is really bitter with hops dominating alongside a ton of booze,

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with light carbonation and comes across very bitter and sharp on the palate.

This is a seriously hopped BW that is all about the hops and the alcohol, which is not hidden all that well. A decent beer, but not one of CCB's best.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.57/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nov 2011 750 ml bottle date poured Mar 2013. Pours a very deep dark red with a nutty and creamy looking light kahki head. Aroma is huge caramel malt, nuts, honey, pine. Smells very rich. Dry nut flavor up front that fades into sweet malt. Slight bitterness with lingering candy apple flavors. Fades into a nutty aftertaste. Hops were probably present when this was fresh, but are pretty subdued now. Sweet balanced with bitter rather well. Not a bad barleywine. A nice tick, too. But tough finishing more than 12 oz.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.24/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle into snifter. Bottled November 2011.

A: Pours a caramely leather color with a finger of greasy tan head that slowly faded into bubbly film and collar.
S: Leather, caramel, booze, tobacco, and rich resiny hop oily comes through on the nose.
T: Powdery chocolate, leather, tobacco, caramel, nutty quality, and chocolate syrup flavors come through. The finish is full of greasy, oily, and bitter hop resin and tree sap. A great nutty malt and oily hopiness, along with a touch of roast, lingers in the aftertaste. Tobacco lingers as well. Booze is present but not hot at all. Very flavorful and not overly bitter or boozy.
M: Thick and heavy body, slick and oily viscous mouthfeel, tingly but low carbonation. Smooth and rich and very easy to sip.
O: A very enjoyable barleywine. Not especially nutty, but everything works well. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of Holland
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: interesting orange and brown color. It's very cloudy, and poured cold so there's minimal head, but that comes later.

S: smell is full of hops at first - a lot of citrus and resin. Then I get caramel and more roasted malts and barleywine smells, but it's not that dark.

T: caramel and toffee notes along with the heavy citrus from the hops. Bitterness shines through along with the sweetness. No idea how much alcohol is in here, but it only became detectable during the last couple of sips.

M: crisp feeling with decent carbonation for such a heavily bodied beer.

O: glad I picked up a couple of bottles at the release. Drinks a lot like their 10-10-100 but with more roasted malt flavors. Probably worth it at $15 per bottle.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Paul.

A - Pours a muddy brown color, off-white head, thin collar.

S - Brown sugar, caramel, malts, hops, pine. As expected, a big dose of hops and malty/burnt sugary sweetness. Booze is there, but not as big as 13%.

T - Here's where the booze hits...big and up front. Burnt sugars, caramel, bitter hops, pine, light dark fruit. Way more booze then the nose, which makes this one a bit hard to get down in big quantities. Finish is boozy sweetness with some bitter hops.

M - Full, rich and boozy, good carbonation, syrupy finish.

O - A decent American Barleywine, but nothing I would go after to drink in the future. It could use some cellar time to smooth out, and perhaps things will come together for this one in due time. Right now, too much booze for me.

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Photo of babaracas
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy aged copper with one finger of light brown foam, settles to a thin ring leaving a few delicate rings on the glass. Smell: big toffee sweetness, date, hints of toasted nuts and orange juice. Taste: brown sugar, red plum, earthy and mildly citric (orange) hopping, nutty in the finish. Alcohol is well hidden. It's a little sweet, but otherwise solid.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled November 2011

A: ruddy brown color, poured with decent head
S: mild nose, sweeter with some spiciness noted, EtOH, deep burnt roasted malt, leathery
T: reminded me a bit of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, deep roasted malt up front with pronounced hop bitterness finish, could age for 5-10 years, well made
M: laquerish but expected for barley wine, hop bitterness cuts through malt

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Photo of Treebs
3.37/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

750 ml bottle served in a Deschutes snifter. Bottled November 2011.

A: Pours a semi-clear amber color with a light khaki head forming on the pour. Recedes quickly to a thin ring that leaves some splotchy lace.

S: Boozy with some dark fruit notes. Sweet biscuit malt body. There's not a lot to the nose as the alcohol notes take over.

T: Very sweet caramel with figgy dark fruit notes. A little peanut brittle with some sweet bready malts.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation level. Sweet finish.

O: This was ok. Very sweet and boozy even after a year in the bottle. Pretty one dimensional.

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Photo of Gushue3
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A smaller white head forms above a reddish brown, hazy body. No lacing is left after the head falls.

S Big alcohol scent along with raisin, prune and nutti-ness. Some sweeter malt too but the hops are hiding on me.

T sweet malts, earthy hops and some darker fruits round out the taste. Not as hoppy as i had hoped but a good beer to sip on

M syruppy feel and somewhat heavy. Feels like a big barleywine

O a little let down with this barleywine. I was expecting big time hoppy barleywine. Although it wasnt a bad beer by any stretch it wasnt how i hoped.

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Photo of garbercury
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sipping on this one while riding the couch...I party. Thanks to Reed415 for the legwork to grab this one from the Brewery.

A---Reddish copper, not much head or retention to speak of.

S---Can really smell the hops and alcohol for sure. Nutty pecan also can be detected, pretty good.

T---Boozy. This guy has a lot of burn to it, the combo of booze and hops makes this one pretty strong, lots of bite.

M---Good silky mouthfeel...

O---This beer needs time. I got bored and cracked it open, but if you have a bottle, I recommend giving it some aging.

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Photo of julian89
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at work, met a nice couple at Terrapin in Athens on a beer tour, told them I worked at Hop City, exchange beers from Cigar City since they were from Tampa. Win for the day. Thanks Chad and Mel.

Appearance: It poured a dark orange red color with a fair 1 inch cream head and medium retention and next to no lacing.

Smell: Piney with a slight citrus zest. A stronger toffee/caramel smell. Fairly boozy, a typical double bock/barley wine smell.

Taste: Caramel upfront, and hops provided some pine and citrus notes. Quite sweet with a syrupy backbone, typical of a barley wine. Could use a little aging.

Mouthfeel: A medium body syrupy beer, with fair carbonation. The booze gives a slight burn.

Overall: A pretty good barley-wine from Cigar City.

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Cigar City / Swamp Head Roosevelt from Swamp Head Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.