Cigar City / Max Lagers Black Ash | Cigar City Brewing

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111 Ratings

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Collaboration with Max Lagers of Atlanta GA.

Added by FATC1TY on 12-21-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 111 |  Reviews: 20
Photo of BeccaH
3.46/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of KAF
4.08/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.28/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass, nearly black with a large tan head that dissipates leaving good lacing, clear

S: toasty bread, chocolate, coffee, smoke, very stout like

T: quite smokey, lots of sweetness, odd for a lager in that the flavor profile is quite complex, dark sweet fruits, figs, raisins, tart cherries, bitter citrus hops, there's tons going on here

M: medium bodied, slightly sticky

O: very interesting and unique, elements of stout and rauchbier

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.56/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"This beer is unique in that it features smoky characteristics despite the fact that we didn't use anything smoked in the brewing process. Prepare to venture to the dark side with this hoppy, mocha lager." Brewed in the style of a Schwarzbier, available in limited run 22 oz. bottles and limited draft. Collaboration between Cigar City Brewing and Max's Lagers in Atlanta, Georgia.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a snifter glass. Served above 54 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a medium chocolate brown head of a frothy crisp consistency over a very dark brown, near black body. Retention is above average, and lacing is light and spotty. 3.5

(Smell) Very complex aroma, unmalted wheat, chocolate malts, German biscuit malts, some light caramel syrup, a curious note of funk with light sourness, notes of tart cherry, delicate earthy and grassy hop notes with a low bitterness. Some light impact of smokiness hints at the black ash aging. Aromatically speaking, this is one of the busiest black lagers I have laid my nose upon, neither a good nor bad thing, but not all of the components of this aroma are destined to please. It's a bit wild, a bit tart and funky, artificially smoky, very unusually out-of-style for the typically clean-drinking and straightforward Schwarzbier. 3.75

(Taste) The wood aging comes through aggressively in the flavor. Malt notes of biscuit, caramel and light chocolate are met with the drying impact of strong and bold black ash wood, very drying and very green, leaching raw vegetative and living wood notes all throughout the beer and into the finish. Light hop notes are drowned out in the flavor, and the tart funk flavors are a wild, but surprisingly fitting combination with the wood flavors of the black ash. Very unusual- I could easily see how this would be an offensive culmination of flavors to some but frankly I don't have enough beers that go this far out on a limb. I'm compelled enough to see this beer through to the last drop. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly oily, faintly chewy, chalky dry. Carbonation is moderate generating a light frothiness and a moderately crisp finish. Body is high for the style and medium/high overall. Balance is earthy wood bitter, tart and funky over sweet. Alcohol presence is mild and there are no off characters to mention. If this beer was infected, there would be virtually no way to tell. 3.5

(Overall) Expect the very unexpected here. I have never had a beer aged on Black Ash, but the flavor that comes from black ash is profound and comes through 110% in this beer, arguably overdone, but I appreciate the occasional aggressively-aged wood beer. I found the lighter-bodied choice of a black lager unusual for such a bold wood choice but it allows the unique characteristics of the black ash to shine uninterrupted. I personally enjoyed this beer even though it has appeared to have turned many stomachs since its release. 3.5

Cigar City Brewing's
Black Ash American Black Lager Aged On Black Ash (With Max Lager's)

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Photo of rudabegga9
2.22/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

worst beer that Ive ever had from CCB.

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Photo of SP1_FLA
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of joe1510
3.77/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz Bomber

Bottled: 12/12/13

Thanks to Mark for passing this one along! Black Ash produces a dandy of a pour. The body is chalkboard black, no highlights make it through. A bubbly, lively, eggshell finished mocha head sits atop the body two fingers in height. The staying power of the foam is strong, settling but painfully slow. Big chunky, clumpy lacing clings to the glass. A good looking beer to be sure.

I have to admit, I didn't expect much but the nose is both interesting and welcoming. This lager is roasty and sooty, bordering on acrid but never quite making it. Black coffee notes as well.The black ash really adds some interesting characteristics I can't say I've ever comes across in beer most notably a blue cheese funkiness that somehow seems to work. It's like a charred up Stilton burger. Sounds strange, I know, but I like it.

The roast is big and dense engulfing every other aspect. Highly roasted, nearly burnt black coffee comes through as well. The roast on this guy is up there, way up there, bordering on smokey even. The bleu cheese quality on the nose has softened on the palate adding just a whisper of Stilton on the backend. I'm still not fully sure where that comes from but it must be the wood. Good beer, a little challenging, but certainly unique.

The body is on the plus side of moderate with a plush creaminess. Carbonation is there but soft, allowing the weight of the body to do the work. The roast is enough that it leaves behind a decent bitterness that tends to grow with each drink. Though not dry at first it gets there eventually, even a little tannic at times.

Black Ash is an interesting beer, one I can't say is comparable to any other I've had in the past. The uniqueness is its strong suit. The roast is turned up to eleven, bringing notes of coffee and a solid bitterness. The wood is somewhat tannic and brings with it that oddly enjoyable bleu cheese note. I can't say I would buy this beer often, and it's better split amongst friends, but it is a fun beer to drink, a bit of a challenge. A thinker of sorts. Interesting.

 2,080 characters

Photo of SomethingClever
3.54/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle purchase 12/13 22 oz poured into a Snifter

A: A shade of darkness that absorbs all light bottle was very cold tried getting aggressive with the pour only ended up with a small head that was a mocha color it disappeared quickly just some tiny film around the edges with bubbles

S: Smells like liquid smoke and a little big of wood chips that have been soaked in water with maybe a little maple sweetness

T: Wow smoke, burnt wood like a campfire that someone has poured water on and surprisingly very little sweetness with a sour finish

M: You almost think it's thin but it becomes so dry that it kinda makes you feel like it's coating your tongue

O: Not a big fan very smoky though and a year old!?! Yikes what was this fresh, no real underlying beer taste just campfire I think it's interesting the lack of sweetness, the more of it you drink it's really not bad it was very cold when I started it's better warm

 924 characters

Photo of trippnwo
3/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of BigPandaHunter
1.5/5  rDev -54.1%

Photo of RavenForBeer
4.5/5  rDev +37.6%

Photo of LeeEvolved
3.5/5  rDev +7%

Photo of kushlash23
1/5  rDev -69.4%

Photo of Dicers
2.5/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.2/5  rDev -32.7%

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. Big khaki head. Retains well. Thick collar.

Smell - Whoa. Weird. Gorgonzola cheese. Chocolate and licorice. Woody.

Taste - It tastes like gorgonzola cheese up front, too. Chocolate. Very woody. Bitter chocolate finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Kinda bitter. Well carbonated.

Overall - Well, the cheese is remarkably odd. Odd and gross.

 404 characters

Photo of TypsiYpsi
3/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of amalburg
3/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Big_Dave
2.25/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of KG710
4/5  rDev +22.3%

Photo of suckaj
2/5  rDev -38.8%

Photo of GTJayG
3.5/5  rDev +7%

Photo of baggedlunch
3/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of just_in
2.5/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of hansenm72
3/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of macrosmatic
2.82/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into a Tampa Bay Brewing Company snifter.

A: Pours jet black and opaque, with a thin tan head and minimal visible carbonation.

S: Chocolate, burnt ash, smoke, charred wood, a bit acrid. But overall smells pretty good and complex.

T: Smoke, medicinal Band-aid, smoked dark chocolate, some spicy onion. It's really not good, and the flavors last for quite awhile in your mouth.

M: Medium body, low carbonation sensation, and alcohol presence moderate.

O: This is really not good. Smoked beers aren't my favorite, but this is over the top. The Band-Aid flavor was the main cause for me giving up on this one. Sadly, drain-pour.

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Cigar City / Max Lagers Black Ash from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 3.27 out of 5 with 111 ratings