El CuCuy | Marshall Brewing Company

50 Reviews
El CuCuyEl CuCuy

Brewed by:
Marshall Brewing Company
Oklahoma, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Riggo on 12-02-2010

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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 156
Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at a cellar cleaning meet-up. Thanks...Tony? Dan?

Appearance -- Pours a dark brown with slimy hazy beige head.

Smell -- Roast malt, dark fruit sweetness, and a slight pine resin hop bitterness underlying. It's pretty nice.

Taste -- Again, lots of roast malt flavor, pithy citrus hops, pine resin, and moderate dark fruit sweetness.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Works well, but not really noteworthy.

Overall -- Pretty good for the style. I'll have to keep my eyes open for future Marshall releases.

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Photo of BierGartenok
4.63/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes: Love that this is a locally brewed beer, its excellent! The aroma is piny with a hint of roasted malt. On the front the taste bold, with some caramel and sweetness. The beer finishes great with no bitterness. Hop note is very floral and piny. They have balanced the booziness extremely well with malt and hop, you definitely do not know your drinking a beer with 8.6% alcohol until later. Marshall has out-done themselves with this brew. If you get the chance to have this gem, I strongly suggest you give it a try!

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pushing the envelope of how black can an American black ale can be brings about the acrid flavors and textures of deeply charred grain to accompany hop bitterness and flavor. But when does it extend beyond its intent?

Pouring a very dark brown color and nearly opaque, the beer builds a formitable lightly tanned head with fantastic retention of creamy foam and superb lacing.

Aromas of deeply charred woods and pine sap shape the early nose, with background notes of burnt molassas, brown sugar, and barley malt framing the scent. Appreciated are the deep char aromas of de-bittered malts, but the ashy-acrid notes seem very phenolic with plastic and medicinal notes.

Medium-rich malt flavors with restrained malt sweetness leads to a the taste of heavy toast, deep char, and lightly ashy woods and grains. With the deep sweetness of scorched toffee, the beer carries a robust attitude that extends into the woody, piney hop flavor of resins, spruce, and grasses. Still, the phenolic compounds of charred grains, and over used grains create an unappealing ashy and electrical taste that's tough to overlook.

Creamy and medium-full, the beers early robust textures are short lived, allowing for the dryness of roasted grains, hop bitterness, and alcohol evaporation to create a toasty-dry finish that's quite remarkable for such a fullness to start. Still, the phenolic character chases the mouthfeel with a mild astringency that stings the sides of the tongue and creates an unsettled bitterness in the back of the throat.

A good Cascadian-type ale that seems to over use the de-bittered dark malts to the point of creating astringency and leaching unwanted tanins and phenols into the beer. Possibly a touch old, the beer isn't able to stand up to the aggressive recipe and brewing execution.

Thanks BlueOkie!

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #50 (March 2011):

Oh yeah, doesn’t matter how old you are, the boogeyman will always come back to haunt you ... thankfully, this time, in the form of a beer. Not fully black, but certainly dark enough; tan froth holds strong. Hop aroma is a bit catty with suggestions of ripened grapefruit and fresh split evergreen wood, and then a hint of burnt sugar. The whole palate is surrounded by different depths of hops, from a thin, oily character to a full-on bitterness and resiny citric peel flavor. Malt is a roasty fixture with some fruity undertones, and yeast drops in with some nutty flavors, which match up well with the roasted tone. Slightly blurs the fine line between Black Ale and ales that are much darker—enjoyable from cracking the wax to the last sip.

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Photo of CliffBrake
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ncmussell for the bottle - great offering that I might not have chosen on my own.

Color lives up to the name of the style - it is black for sure. Good tan head that leaves loads of lacing. Good head for the abv. Pretty beer.

Intriquing aroma is a mixture of roasty flavors - coffee, chicory, and stone fruite - cherry, prune. Flavor is of molasses and coffee mixed with some piney bitterness. The sweetness and bitterness are well balanced - both are prominent but neither is dominant. A well crafted brew.

Smooth, round, almost wine-like mouthfeel. A pleasure to savor and sip slowly. This is a balanced and inviting beer. I have tried several cascadian black/black ipa's and didn't get it. I am not sure that style works. This seems like it has accomplished what the others were looking for.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a huge thanks to scott for sharing this one with me and greg at the ccb tap room on tuesday. poured into a snifter and consumed on 4/11/2011.

nice dark black pour with a full head of creamy tan that was spot on for the style. nice lacing up and down the sides of the glass as i would expect.

aroma is nicely balanced citrus hops, orange, pineapple, and nice smoked malts with hints of peat, and leather up front and touches of molasses and brown sugar as it warms. really bringing the whole thing full circle the rich smoked malts really start to shine and bring hints of vanilla and brown sugar right up front and finish off with a nice citrus dryness that really hits the spot.

overall very classic for the style and very well done. was glad to be able to try this one and would be happy to try it gaain.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.43/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another cool bottle from coldmeat23. Thanks, Chris!

No date on the bottle, so I have no idea how fresh this is.

22oz wax-capped bottle. Poured into a pint glass. Pour yields a deep dark black with a finger-width tan head on top. Good lace left behind. Nose carries pine aromas, faint metal, and finishes out with mild cocoa powder. The aromas weaken considerably as I sip.

The mouth is moderately-full and creamy. Carbonation is on the low side. The flavors here are odd for the style. There's a mellow hop presence right away, but there an herbal element to this. Juniper? Clove? I can't place it exactly, but it's there. Roasted qualities are absent. Mild chocolate notes on the back end. This one was interesting. Not my favorite of the new style, but I appreciate its uniqueness. With the gap in reviews, something tells me this bottle has a little age on it. I'd love to compare this to a fresh bottle/keg.

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Photo of kylejohnson03
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber, with a black wax seal, into a Marshall Pint Glass. Had this beer many times, just getting around to doing a live review.

A: Very dark brown, with red flecks when held up to the light. Pours with a good tan head, excellent lacing and retention. This is a beautiful beer to look at.

S: Floral hops, just a touch of citrus and pine. Some darker, roasted notes as well.

T: If your eyes were closed, this beer would start off much like any other IPA. However, big roasted coffee and chocolate notes come out of left field and overtake your palate (in a good way!).

M: Medium bodied, good carbonation, a rich and creamy texture.

D: This beer is a really easy drinker for it's ABV. I have had every beer that Marshall's has offered, and this ranks among their best. Can't wait to see what else Marshall's has in store for us!

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Photo of augustgarage
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to gawnphishin for this generous extra. Poured from a wax-capped 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Seal brown liquid, nearly opaque but actually clear with faint bronze highlights. A sticky dense whipped wheat head crowns the glass, leaving a trail of snakey lace on the sides. Excellent retention.

Mild roast malt, coffee and cream, Assam tea, and plenty of aromatic pine-y hops in the nose.

Unusual flavors - heavy contrasts between sweetness and bitterness - from maple sugar/toffee/molasses to forest floor, clove-studded oranges, and potent pine lead into the malty finish with hints of tobacco. Bears some slight resemblance to a Baltic Porter at times, except for the hop presence and dry/roasty finish. Maybe a tiny bit of diacetyl. The flavors are good, but they could be a little better integrated.

Medium bodied, good carbonation, mildly astringent, faintly sticky.

An original, but slightly unusual take on this emerging style.

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Photo of Kevinator
4.54/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first thing I noticed about this delight was the smell. Very piney and strong. At first pour, a tan, thick head forms that takes a while to settle. At first sip you are hit with a combination of maltiness and hops. The hops become more prevalent as you make it through the bottle. One thinks they are drinking an IPA if it weren't for the dark pleasant color and other traits of a black ale. Even though the alcohol is over 8%, it's very drinkable. This is a beer to sit back and enjoy as it seems to change as it warms in the glass. I though it continued to improve as it warmed up. If this were on tap it would be interesting to try. I would definitely buy this again. If anyone knows if it can be found in TX, please let me know.

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Photo of mountsnow1010
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, no freshness date , thanks gawnphishin!

A - Black as night with a tan head that reduces to a thin layer - heavy lacing.
S - Very floral, hints of caramel, very green smell. Otherwise, not getting all that much. Pleasant but not super strong smelling.
T - Bitter and piny with a hint of caramel and toasty sugars afterwards. Very nice IPA with the roasty dark elements. Burp is a super crisp pine flavor; followed by a very slight smokiness.
MF - Super smooth with a tingly carbonation; I would up the carbonation slightly.
DB - At this ABV; quite high.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. black-waxed bomber into a Corsendonk tulip. Part of "El Gringo Loco" series. Many thanks to gawnphishin for the in-person trade!

I like to consider myself fairly knowledgeable when it comes to the IBA/CDA style. I've brewed it several times, and had all the major players (Stone Sublimely, Hop in the Dark, Iniquity, Back in Black, W'10 Pitch Black, etc). So a relatively new brewery making one of my favorite styles? Bring it.

Gorgeous pour--coffee-black to the untrained eye, but hints of plum bleed in at the margins when El CuCuy is held to the light. The thick cap of dark custard foam is dense and creamy. Fantastic retention, thanks to several tiny trails of carbonation visible at the edges of the tulip. Really unique aroma, too. Prune, dark cherry and clover honey balanced by a minty, leafy hop presence. Dark roasted malts linger in the background suggesting chocolate and molasses.

The taste amplifies the bitterness with a one-two punch of earthy hops and dark malt tannins, each nobly competing for a spot on the palate, but ultimately crowding out the more delicate hop and dark fruit flavors found in the aroma. Furthermore, the finish has too many mineral notes sticking around. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, but the creaminess and full body again get docked by the near-acrid bitterness of the flavor profile. All in all, a solid beer, and still quite tasty when all is said and done. It could use some tweaking, sure, but I still admire Marshall Brewing Company's ambition. Keep the creative Oklahoma beers coming!

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Photo of StaveHooks
4.67/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours black with chestnut edges. 2 fingers of tan head slowly dissipates into a frothy top. Spotted lacing throughout.

S - Bright mandarin/grapefruit citrus, green pine needles, caramel malt, salty wood, baked dark bread.

T - Candied pine needles, a generous amount of sharp grapefruit citrus, tropical fruits, salty pine wood, toasty caramel malt, pumpernickel and rye bread, brown sugar, hints of dark cocoa, roasted maple.

M - Medium to moderate carbonation, full bodied, super creamy.

The hops are bursting with flavors of citrus, pine, and seem to be infused with tropical fruit sweetness. The malts are mysteriously amazing. If you closed your eyes you would probably think you were drinking a perfectly balanced roasted double IPA. This is the best in class for this style so far for me, even after a blind taste test. This beer is simply amazing!

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Photo of jpmclaug
4.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into my New Belgium globe. Thanks goes to thehand for sending this in my NFL Pick 'Em box.

A - Black body with a small light brown head

S - Citrusy hops mingle with some roast. Mostly hops though not really pungent

T - Hops hit you at first, a nice citrusy hop burst but it quickly gives way to roasted malts and some chocolate notes. Slightly sweet but the hops are certainly present giving some bitterness. Hints of coffee as well.

M - medium body, a nice light carbonation

D - Really drinkable. This beer is real nice. If this was local to me I could see myself picking this up quite often. I'm really glad I got to try this. I'm going to have to seek out more beer from this brewery.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a dark black liquid with ruby red edges and a dark caramel brown creamy head with a thick lace on the glass.

S-lots of deeply roasted malts with hints of bitter coffee and a touch of anise. hops take over with loads of citrus, grapefruit slightly resigny with a tinge of pine.

T-the roasted malts are there, much smoother malt body. roasty flavors, notes of sweet coffee, sweet hop presence, citrusy resigny grapefruit. light bitterness in the finish.

M-silky smooth on the palate with a moderate carbonation and clean finish. medium bodied sits easily in the mouth and falls softly down the throat.

D-this is relatively easy to drink, I'm not a huge proponent of the style, the roasted flavors and citrusy hop flavors aren't something i'd prefer to put together, but this has done it well.

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Photo of wolfinthemirror
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours porter dark, almost black, but a slight bit of amber can be seen near the top when held to the light. Other than that, you can't see through this one. a nice half an inch worth of cream colored head that sticks around leaving lacing.

Smells heavily of cascade hops, which of course impart a fruity aroma. I'm also picking up on some toasted malts, almost a chocolate type scent.

Lots of roasted maltiness, balanced by the sharpness of the hops. Not real hoppy-bitter, but it definitely has that juicy kind of taste of an IPA at the same time. I'd like a little more hop flavor, I feel like the malts dominate. A little alcohol in the back, but it's pretty well hidden for the most part.

Mouthfeel is fairly full, moderate carbonation. There is a silky sort of texture to it.

Despite being so dark and high in alcohol, it's quite drinkable. Nothing off putting about makes it easy to quaff. Get this one while you can, it's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz black waxed bottle courtesy of russpowell. Thanks Russ!

Gorgeous label, and a fairly new style to me which, so far, I'm digging. Except the style name.

It pours black as black can get, about a 1 finger head of tannish foam, with some respectable lacing.

A big floral hopped nose with dark fruits? Also a decent sweet malt profile, maple syrup-molasses, in the background. A very interesting nose.

There's big hop bitterness in the taste, more than a hint of dark fruit(plums), molasses like sweetness though very light to my palate, a bit of roasted malt. Tasty. Also a hint of the alcohol but I think it's kept in check very well. Nice.

Almost full bodied with lightish carbonation, overall a smooth concoction.

Pretty darn drinkable and very enjoyable. I'd be proud if this was brewed by a WY brewery but it wasn't. Another fine effort by OK's Marshall Brewing.

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Photo of Okierat
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Black with ruby highlights when held to light. Light also shows a slight haze. Light head that laces on the glass.

S - Citrus hop aromas are noticable, light roasted notes some esters, pear or apple notes.

T - Hop bitterness is noticeable upfront and lingers on the back of the tounge. Citrus hops are noticable in the middle of this beer. Dark malt flavors are noticable with also caramel notes as well. I get dried fruit flavors as well

M - The lingering bitterness leaves a light astringent feel on the mouth. Carbonation is medium.

D - Very drinkable. Very nice beer, had it at the brewery and it seemed better on tap than in bottle. But a beer I would drink agian.

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Photo of tronester
4.48/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark reddish brown, appears black unless you hold it up to the light. Smells of a freshly cut tangerine, with a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon. Taste is fresh orange up front, with a smooth toffee middle, and an herbal, flowery finish. Mouthfel is smooth with a nice low carbonation. Drinkability is great, very smooth, flavorful and refreshing. A superb cascadian dark ale, I am going to buy this again very soon.

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Photo of DelMontiac
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A: Moderately aggressive pour reveals a blackness that even very bright light cannot penetrate execpt some ruby highlights at the very fringes of the glass. 3 finger head is super rich and caramel colored and leaves a lush wall of lace all the way down the glass. Very appealing. The label would make a killer T-shirt.

S: Fresh hops, dark roast coffee beans, cut lumber, and mild citrus.

T: Wow, intense but balanced. Really is like half stout half IPA. Dark choclate, burnt sugars, dark roast coffee, grapefruit, hops hitting half way through and continuing through the finish. Vanilla shows up as an aftertaste. A pretty wild ride for the tongue.

M: Perfect carbonation and feel. Silky smooth.

D: A bomber is about all I would want at one sitting. Great for dessert.

Overall: I was excited to find El CuCuy. It lives up to what others had told me. A very exciting and lively brew that pulls your tastebuds in every direction. This beer is what I imagine a black IPA to be. So far, this is the one for me in the style of black IPA.

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Photo of stephens101
4.11/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm still on the fence when it comes to the Black IPA. Hopefully this one will help me decide whether or not this style is for me.

A medium pour results in a prolific and serried tan head. The froth melts slowly, leaving a thick and rolling covering and an almost unbroken sheet of lace. Black in color and impervious to any light.

Sharp oily and resinous hops immediately to the nose. Very distant caramel malts and subtle pine notes exist. Not a lot going on aroma wise. After my first sip I can tell this is a Black IPA of a different color. Smooth and creamy with a sweet malty and dark chocolate core which is wrapped nicely with the hops. A little dark fruitiness appears for a second. Medium to full bodied and has a bit of lingering alcohol heat which is in no way a distraction.

It's easy to tell a lot of care and attention to detail went into the creation of this beer. The near perfect mix between sweet and bitter makes this, Without a doubt, the best beer of this style I have had, and one of the best beers overall I've had in quite a while. Congratulations to Marshall for upping the ante on excellent Oklahoma brews with this one.

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Photo of russpowell
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Mid-Town in Tulsa. Wax seal gives way fairly easy. I hate it when it turns int an engineering project. Pretty cool label art

Pours a very effervescent mahogany with 1 finger of fairly fast falling mocha head. Great lacing & above average retention, bubbles cling to the side throughout, good looking brew!

S: Woody & herbal hop notes, faint plummyness. This the main area where this beer falls down a bit

T: Dry up up front with woody & herbal hops, plus a kiss of pine sap & brown bread. Some molasses & fig are hiding behind herbal, woody & grapefruitty hops along with carob once this warms. Finishes dry,. with grapefruit, herbal hop notes a touch of apricot jammyness. Almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Medium boded, fairly brisk carbonation & good balance

Easy drinker for the ABV, not the best black IPA out there, but worthy of consideration. A promising start to the Loco-Gringo series for Marshall!

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Photo of bump8628
3.46/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, bordering on black, with a dense head of light tan foam.

Grassy and earthy hops fight it out with some brown sugar and mild roast in the nose. All in all not that impressive for the style.

Hops take on more complexity on the palate with some pine, fruit, and mild citrus. Still, malt seems to balance, if not overtake, the hops with caramel, weak coffee, and some breadiness. Finish is fairly full with a noticeable sweetness.

This is a well made beer with plenty of complementary flavors coming together making for a decent pint. However, the hops are underwhelming in a style that I prefer the hops to be overwhelming. Since this one has DIPA alcohol I was expecting DIPA hoppiness similar to Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous. Not a bad effort, though.

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Photo of Bierlerner
4.72/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Out of a bomber bottle into a glass

A-pours a dark brown hazy color. Small head. Lots of lacing.

S-smells amazing. Nice cedary and piney hop smell with a possible tobacco hint in the background. Not sure. Also some great floral notes. Makes my nose happy.

T-outstanding! Nice hop. Seems a bit of chocolate as well with a few other things I can't quite make out. With 8.6abv, it's well hidden. This is one of the most interesting brews I have tasted In a long time. Hoppy and malty.

M-medium body. Very creamy and smooth with some playful carbonation. Seems right on par.

D-if it weren't for the 8.6abv, I could kick back and drink this all night long. Two bombers of this beer and I'm feeling superb! All of Marshall brews are great. In my opinion, Big Jamoke being there top beer. But El CuCuy takes top now. Well done!!

Also, this beer is the first of their Loco Gringo series. I can't wait to taste the delicious awesomeness of what's yet to come!

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Photo of Riggo
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark, dark brown to black. Some reddish brown highlights at the edges. Lovely thick beige head. Great retention and lacing.

I smell coffee and dark chocolate, but also grapefruit and cedary hops. Cocoa powder. Tobacco? Mint, citrus.

In the mouth, mint, bubblegum, fruit--peach, cedar, citrus--grapefruit.

Mouthfeel is great--silky, with a soft carbonation that just seems perfect.

The alcohol is pretty well-hidden on this one. A nice grapefruity dryness drives this one to a pretty easy drinkability. The hint of roastiness and the higher alcohol don't weigh it down at all.

I think Marshall has brewed their best beer here. And that's saying something, as they've got several good to great beers in the lineup already. The wonderful fruity aroma of peaches, grapefruit, mint, and chocolate on this one is exciting. The beer looks great, with a solid head that just won't go away. Wonderfully drinkable and manages to put to rest any arguments that this style is merely a gimmick. This isn't just a darkly-colored ipa. The roastiness, chocolate, and coffee come through here, but the hops are in control, making for an interesting experience. Thanks guys!

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El CuCuy from Marshall Brewing Company
4.11 out of 5 based on 156 ratings.
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