Don Gavino's Big Guava | Cigar City Brewing

very good
21 Reviews
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Don Gavino's Big GuavaDon Gavino's Big Guava

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ale brewed with guava and aged in Chardonnay barrels.

Added by velcrogrip on 11-01-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 295
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

So this was one of my bottles from that first Catador club. Drank this one before or after the Beer Camp festival in Chico. Comes in ipa orange color, small 1/4" off white head. Aroma was big on the wine barrel and guava, as advertised.

Taste, a mild sour and tart like quality from the chardonnay barrel I presume, mild sweetness from the guava. Carbonation where I like it, middle of the road. Not overly acidic despite the chard barrel. Manages a dry mouthfeel despite there being plenty perceptible sweetness throughout. Mild amount of caramel and funk. I thought it was complex without needlessly being so. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Barry the other night, thanks man.

This one pours a nice reddish-orange, with a small head, and a bit of lacing.

Smells like juicy, sweet guava, with some nice white wine acidity, and a bit of oak.

This is definitely a little less sour than I would've wanted, but it's still nice. There's tons of guava here, and it's pretty sweet, with a nice creaminess to it, some white wine, a hint of oak, and an acidity of about 2/10.

This has a creamy and pretty juicy mouthfeel, with a good level of carbonation.

I believe this is about two years old, and it's certainly aged pretty well here.

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Photo of sweemzander
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a cloudy apricot orange color. Produced a minimal white froth and lacing.

(S)- Big nose of the guava. Bits of honey meets a dry oaky white wine barrel.

(T)- Big time guava fruit meets a tart, yet dry oaky honey-like wine barrel.

(M)- A bigger carbonation level meets a tart, but juicy fruit centered beer with subtle oak and wine notes.

(O)- Definitely solid. It has some complexity while keeping true to the style. Not very experienced with alot of guava fruit, but I enjoy it in this

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Photo of dar482
4/5  rDev +3.4%

The beer offers tart fruits in the front of citrus, green apple, then onto a hit of sweetness and Belgian strong pale qualities in the back end. The sweetness does not linger, but hints at the beer being possibly higher in ABV.

A wonderful medium to medium plus mouthfeel. A good balance between the guava, tart, oak, sweetness, and yeast expression.

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Photo of maximum12
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yet another El Cat beer: only the Double Huna remains to be sample after this. 750ML bottle with an impressive mustache on the label. Split with my wife.

Impressive 'pop' upon opening, & plenty of fizz. The brew arrives orange, clear, filtered, & could pass as an IPA any day. Scent is guava & a nice winey tang, but I didn't buy this to stick it in my nose.

Don Gavino's Big Guava is a one-two punch. The first blow that lands is enough wine to conduct a religious ritual with as the barrels have their way with the beer, providing tang, tartness, & vine in the back of the throat. The jab is the guava/fruit that adds to the tartness but adds (or something else does) a slow layer of sweetness that keeps the tartness below the level of sourness. Plenty of drying oak. An acidic component I can't make a positive ID on leans on the finish. High carbonation that borders on distracting: which is weird, 'cause I can't see it, but it's spazzy in the mouth. Easy to drink: I'd guess this to be in the mid-single digits of ABV, & I'm probably way off.

Going to rate this after Illuminating & the marvelous Forgotten Island but way ahead of the abysmal Good Gourd. Nice tartness, nice fruit, easy sippin' as the weather warms. Very good brew.

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Photo of stakem
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml into a matching CCB snifter. The brew appears a clear copper color with a creamy marshmallow fluff that is yellowish stained.

The aroma opens up with vinegar and then blends to citrus fruits and tang like guava. There is plenty of mineral character present making the nose all muddled up and not that wonderful.

The taste is tart and funky with some minerals and fruit. A soft toasty caramel grain character with quite a citrus component. Guava comes out when warm along with alcohol and some barrel and vinous notes.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest to lively amount of carbonation. It is interesting and worth trying but not something id go after again. The chard barrel really comes forward once warm, but so does the alcohol. A nice change of pace but not great either.

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Photo of chinchill
3.49/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

CC Don Gavinos Big Guava.

Near medium body with high carbonation which produces a large and durable head.
Slightly funky, very fruity aroma and flavor. Guava is noticeable.
Mildly bitter and funky aftertaste. Lightly tart.

O: Quality deteriorated with warming: Serve cold.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a Cigar City snifter glass.

A: Hazy deep copper with a finger's worth of off-white head and medium visible carbonation.

S: Guava fruitiness, vinous, wood, with some tartness and a touch of funk.

T: Quite reminiscent of white wine up front – plus a good bit of tartness, fleshy fruit and guava. There's an apple juice character, with a flavor rather similar to that I get from Belgian yeast esters, though I don't believe Belgian yeasts were used in this beer. There are some dry woody tannins, and a subtle grassy funk under the tartness. Dry and tart on the finish.

M: Fairly light-bodied – lighter than it appears - but far from watery. The alcohol is noticeable but doesn't detract from the beer. Good carbonation sensation.

O: This was really enjoyable, but unmistakeable wine barrel character. Might be something to let your wine-loving friends try. I would gladly drink another bottle, but not enough that I would run to the brewery to buy them out of bottles.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the members of El Catador Club for sharing this one at Retsinis' tasting.

Bottled 10/22/13.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy tan head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, guava, white wine, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour guava and white wine flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a guava presence that is more pronounced in the aroma.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When you've gotten a good thing going, then double it! That's the theory for the brewers of Cigar City as the higher version of Guava Grove retains its farmhouse roots but really kicks in with extra fruit and artistically aged in chardonnay barrels.

Pouring with a bright goldenrod appearance despite its haze, the ale is slightly amber and peach. Its frothy bone-white head races to the top, fueled by champagne-like streams of bubbles. Its long and arid froth looks like honeycomb as it easily retains the session and laces intricately on the sidewalls.

Its striking and surprising scent is tangy, bright and bordering on sour aromas. Sour patch kids come to mind as the beer's fruits become evident- lemons, green apples, limes and lemons compound elements of oak, sparkling white wine and somewhat sweaty, earhty notes. Inspirations from tequila seem almost obvious.

Its intensely dry malt flavors are wheaty, pleasantly grainy and wafer-like as it ignores much of its sweetness and prefers the intricacies of fruit and barrel. The middle rises with all those tangy, tart and sourish taste- agave, lemon, lime, crab apple, under-ripened berries, sour white grapes and the star of the show- guava. Then trailing into finish, the oaken and earthen taste is crisply acidic with white wine, fresh and spicy white oak and peppercorn.

Its malty-dryness continues on the palate as its sprite carbonation errupts off the palate, taking with it any malt sweetness and creaminess. As it ushers in a quick finish, its tangy warmth, plaster-like mineral, playful acidity and tannic wood spice keeps the palate intrigued and refreshed.

Even with all the fruit flavor, its spiciness is still the forerunner for balance. That, coupled with its premiere dryness keeps the beer's Saison intent front and center.

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Photo of Resuin
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a stemmed glass. The date stamp looks like it says Bottled 10/2013 but is a little hard to read.

Appearance: Pours an interesting orange amber and leaves a big two fingered head that is orange-tinted off-white.

Smell: Mmm. Guava, citrus, chardonnay, slight funk, oak. Plenty of nice, refreshing fruity notes in there that works really well. Really pleasant aroma.

Taste: The taste is a bit different than I was expecting, more specifically, it is more fruit-forwarded than I was expecting. Big guava and citrus juice upfront, followed by some white wine. Finishes a little dry, but the flavor is really dominated by the fruit juices. It is a nice flavor, but from the smell, I was expecting a bit more sour/funk presence. There's a hint of sour in the finish as well. That said, it's still quite delicious.

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation with a medium juice-like body. Finishes smooth, just a tad dry, and the alcohol (estimated at 8.5-9%) is masked.

Overall: I absolutely love the aroma, and the taste is very nice but more fruit-forward then I would've hoped. That said, this is a wonderful fruit beer, especially if you enjoy guava, as I do.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from El Catador
Pours a slightly hazy dirty golden color with a huge fluffy white head that persists forever. Aromas of tart and sour tropical fruit with an earthy mineral edge. Light vinous and woody notes round out the aroma. Tart sour pineapple and I would guess guava fruit. Earthy funky flavors with a hint of Chardonnay and light ethanol. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a tart almost chalky mouthfeel. I enjoyed this a bit more than the other guava beer I had from them. Tart and funky with a bit of earth.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle from El Cat club. No bottle dating or ABV on label.

Orange-guava colored elixir, poured into Funky Buddha snifter. Thin, white rim of foam, no lacing.

Wonderful combo of the guava and citrus with oak and chardonnay.

The chardonnay barrel marries well with the guava and fruit, providing a nice, crisp taste but not overwhelmingly sour or tart.

Nice, smooth bitterness, light to medium body.

Very nice brew from CCB. Recommended for those who enjoy sours or those branching out for the first time.

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Photo of monketeeth
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Burnt orange, light cidery, very nice lacing
S- Citrus fruit, woody
T- Sweet and tart but not overwhelming on either front. Very nice mix of grapefruit, citrus, guava and a bit of chardonnay for balance. Very pleasant and much better than expected.
M- Explosion of fruitiness and texture. Tart but not puckering. A bit like biting into a perfectly ripe guava.
O- I really enjoyed this beer. I had low expectations but this beer really delivered. I don't like sour beers but this one was nicely balanced. A definite winner that I would drink again.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

to the best my memory serves me, this is my first guava beer, a new one, and a soon to be rarity from cigar city. hazy look, somewhere between orange and gold in color, apple juicy, with a fizzy white head, lots of carbonation here. the nose just makes it. sour, makes me want to try their sour guava grove, not knowing anything about it. the chardonnay barrel and the fruit give it a tannic tartness and acidity, but the fruit is also sweet, and the yeast is awesome, somewhere between saison and wild, lovely. the flavor is all of the above, with the fruit and chardonnay notes being the most dominant flavors. the beer isn't so sour as it is tart, like passion fruit. ultra unique flavor and feel to this, it really is magic. not sweet at all, not sour, but right in the middle. brilliant carbonation and a medium body make it way too easy to drink quickly. one of the best cigar city beers ive had, one of the best fruited beers ive had, and one of the best beers aged in white wine barrels ive had. its superior in every way, expertly done. get your hands on it if you can, and if you have extras, contact me and send me a bottle. im addicted.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle

Acquired as a member of the first annual Cigar City El Catador Club.

A- Poured into a Cigar City snifter. Pours a hazy brownish orange color with a nice off-white head with great retention and lacing around the glass that sticks around the entire duration.

S- The aroma is fruity (most notably the guava) with some sour notes along with oak and chardonnay notes as well. The smell is awesome and gets better and better as the beer warms in the glass.

T- The taste is very fruity up front with a nice dose of sweetness. The sweetness in the front magically puts on the breaks and creates a very dry and slightly tart finish with the chardonnay making a subtle appearance. I wish that some of the sweetness would have lingered more into the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, this is a very unique beer. The mixture of guavas and the notes from the chardonnay barrels create an interesting mixture.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

750mL bottle acquired through the El Catador club. 25.00. Bottled 10/22/13. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

Pours hazy, opaque amber with a pillowy finger and a half off white head. A thin sheet of head remains, leaving islands of lace.

Huge guava aromas followed by a dry, earthy, floral notes, red wine and a strange, near off putting cleanser.

Amazingly strong guava flavor, acidic citrus, oak tannis, dark wine notes, vegetal funk. Very strange blend with the guava always at the forefront but chardonnay often butting in. No real alcohol presence.

Medium light feel with fairly sharp carbonation. Bitter wood an guava finish.

A quite different beer experience. It's not bad but I'm fine with it being a one time occurrence. I would have much prefered all that guava goodness in a bold, citrusy imperial IPA. I'll give credit to Cigar City for trying something far more obscure.

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Photo of wiltznucs
3.22/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I preface this review by stating that I'm not a big fan of fruit beers. With that said I was pretty excited and optimistic about Don Gavino when I had it on draft today at the brewery.

Pours a hazy orange with a small head. Smell is somewhat funky and a bit off putting honestly. I cant quite put my finger on what exactly seems off here. The taste is a morass of guava with acidity presumably from the wine barrels. Is it complex? Absolutely. Is it like any other beer I've had? Certainly not and its probably worth a shot for that very reason. In the end, Don Gavino is simply not my cup of tea. I can appreciate what CCB was trying but this one didn't work for me. As a CCB fanboy it pains me greatly to give scores this low, but I'm simply being honest.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had a pour on tap at the brewery when I picked up my bottles. Poured a murky light brownish copper color with a big fluffy white head that receded quickly and left plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma was sour apples and guava fruit and some definite oaky chardonnay in the background. The flavor is first big oaky chardonnay, some lightly sour guavas, a little vanilla. Lingering funky fruit and oak on the palate. The chardonnay barrel really mellows this out into something rather unique. It is a big influence on this beer. Medium carbonation and soft mouthfeel.

Overall, I don't know how to classify this. It isn't a sour. It isn't a fruit beer. It's not really a saison either. It has some elements of each, and they are well crafted here in a way that CCB intended. However, while it was nice to try this, I am not a huge fan. The wine influence is just too much for me. Not bad, but I'll be trading my bottle.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. Served in a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy deep orange. Big white head. Settles to a thin collar.

Smell - Guava is as distinctive as I've ever smelled it in a beer. White wine. Some oak. A variety of malts behind it.

Taste - Oak is very prominent. Guava is more blended into the malt and wine flavor. Wine barrel adds a nice acidic component. Very malty. Dry in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Dry and oaky. Makes it easier to drink.

Overall - When this was anounced, I was skeptical. This is really good though. Not a sour. Not even a fruit beer. A nice blend of styles.

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Photo of craftbeerasian
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The nose on this one is great. Nice sour touché to it and the barrel comes off quite well. It is a very mild sour though that definitely gets better as it warms. The guava really comes out as it warms and the nose only gets better. CCB did a great job with this one!

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Don Gavino's Big Guava from Cigar City Brewing
3.87 out of 5 based on 295 ratings.
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