Raspberry Halo
Cigar City Brewing

Raspberry HaloRaspberry Halo
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Stout - American Imperial
4.03 | pDev: 9.18%
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Raspberry HaloRaspberry Halo
Notes: Halos often signify enlightenment, harmony, and majesty, sentiments that all come to mind when contemplating this rich and complex beer. Crested atop this imperial stout is a radiant crown of juicy raspberries offering pronounced fruitiness and acidity to balance the beer’s formidable body. Heavy, indeed, is the head that wears the halo.

IBU: 40
Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 119 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Zythophile
Zythophile from District of Columbia

4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Date: none
Palate Contaminants: other beer

Nondescript dark brown color, totally opaque, with little fine head.

The main scent I get is cherry cola. Tack on some clover and molasses, and that's about it. Some anise as it warms. A little more volatilizing wouldn't hurt.

Taste is like a coffee raspberry cheesecake (without the cheesecake). Sweetness seems moderate, but I think it's heavier than it seems because it has to compete with some other heavy flavors. The fruit is definitely always the first thing that hits me when I take a sip. Black licorice, of course. Toasty, and as far from acrid as possible. It could be mellower and more complex, but what's there is pretty good.

Moderate weight for the type. Fair (read: pleasant) amount of carbonation, which doesn't always happen with a stout. Slight kick for a tenner. Coffee and raspberries pervade the aftertaste.

Sep 29, 2018
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TH28 from Florida

4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. 2017 vintage. Appearance: Typical imperial stout appearance of opaque black with a light khaki head that dissipates quickly. Decent lacing.
Aroma: Pleasant raspberry notes over a rich roasted maltiness.
Taste: Rich malt sweetness with a strong roastiness and acidic raspberry tartness to balance. Fairly strong bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Fairly heavy bodied, almost syrupy, with a light carbonation
Finish: Roasted maltiness is dominant on the finish, with only a hint of raspberry
Overall: Pretty standard imperial stout, but contrasted by a really nice tart raspberry acidity to break up the malt sweetness. Creates a nice balance without being cloying. Really nice beer

Sep 02, 2018
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EMH73 from New York

3.02/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Really cannot do a formal review of this beer as I cannot get past the overpowering artificial raspberry flavor. Tastes like a concentrate of a Jolly Rancher. Regrettably a drain pour after about a quarter of the bottle.

Mar 25, 2018
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outdoor7or24 from Georgia

3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into pint glass, purchased for $13.
A: pours a pitch black body with tints of dark ruby, two finger chocolate milk color foam head, carbonation
S: tart raspberry, chocolate, coffee
M: thick, juicy on the tongue
T: light tart raspberry notes up front, chocolate, heavy malty and roasted notes, slight char in the finish
O: good brew, nothing complicated, nice on this really cold night

Mar 15, 2018
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metter98 from New York

4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a thin layer of dark tan bubbles covering the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of chocolate malts are present in the nose along with hints of coffee.
T: The taste is dominated by flavors of raspberry purée and also has underlying notes of dark chocolate.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer does a good job at pairing together the chocolate and raspberry flavors together—it's almost like a raspberry fudge cake. No alcohol is detectable in the taste.

Serving type: bottle

Jan 02, 2018
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Franziskaner from Missouri

3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Black in color with no light penetration. There's a quarter inch of creamy and tightly packed brown head. The aroma is of sweet raspberry jelly. I'm tasting dark malt and sweet raspberry juice. The mouth is silky and creamy smooth.

Dec 03, 2017
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

its always special to have a limited cigar city brew, even though they have been bought and expanded to some new markets, it still feels rare and exciting to me, and i am enormously grateful to have had this one shared with me, but i still did all i could to love it and couldnt quite get there. the base stout tastes sludgy thick to me, overly sweet, and a little oxidized for whatever reason, bitter and roasty, stale coffee, and booze, its a lot on its own, but these over the top raspberries really bring it to an almost absurd range. the berries are jammy sweet too, desserty for sure, and not fully natural to me, despite being dosed strongly enough to push through this huge base beer to the foreground. its intense on intense, has some sharpie marker to it with all the sugar and booze, and is as slick and thick as oil on my palate, yet still bitter too after the swallow, its bold on bold, and as such seems to lack the refinement of some of their other huge stouts. there is an almost tang to the fruit too which isnt all the way jivey with it either, and this feeling lasts long in the finish too. maybe better to start a session than to end it, this whipped me up pretty good after having quite a few before it, but my palate felt ready to appreciate it still, and it never quite got me there. too much of too many things, good, but this is for those who like them heavily flavored and can handle the sweet. too much for me, even in a small dose...

Aug 23, 2017
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Cigar City stemmed tulip glass.

Creamy and very dark tan colored head, easily making a cake and meringue like three finger top. Sits like a soft cake loaf of bread on top of a nearly black totally opaque body. Perhaps a touch of deep red as well. Great looking stout.

Creamy tart raspberry and roast coffee on the nose. Gets almost a creamy vanilla strawberry quality in quality. Faint hints of milky chocolate as well fill up nicely. Tart and sweet seem to be taking turns on the nose, with a little bit of fight.

Real nice palate. Light but silky, and a touch of milky mouthfeel for easy drinking. Rich raspberry that isn't sickly sweet with excellent fudge and cake batter like mid palate flavors. Finishes rich but easy. Tangy faint tartness makes for a real playful flavor as well, touches of light chocolate tones with the fruit, even touches of coffee and vanilla softness.

Great solid enjoyable fruited stout from these guys.

Aug 11, 2017
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jopezu from Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours an opaque, dark brown oil sludge with a gigantic creamy head that hangs around for a bit. nose; burnt malt, hops, mellow tart berry puree (pronounced after warming), & light tobacco. taste; heavy roasted chocolate malt, tart raspberry puree, cocoa, citrus hops, & vanilla. aftertaste is heavy vanilla, roasted malt, & raspberry. high, dense carbonation & heavy mouthfeel. not a challenging profile, but balances the roasted & tart characters well and the sweets never ruin the show. tails slighlty behind the eviltwin dessert monsters on the indulgence meter.

Jun 03, 2017
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KVNBGRY from Florida

3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Oof. Was not a fan of this at all.. tasted too much like chalky flintstones vitamins. The raspberry was weird. And the base beer, whatever it is, was off, in the way most of their stouts are.

May 29, 2017
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macrosmatic from Florida

3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into an El Catador teku glass.

A: Very dark brown to black, with low visible carbonation. Just under a finger's worth of tan head with decent retention.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate, and a fruity syrupy sweetness in the background. I’ll concede that it could be raspberries, but I think I would have just used a generic "berry" descriptor. Mild coffee and leathery notes. It's nothing exciting on the nose, but not offensive.

T: Chocolate and chocolate-roasted malts. Sweet berry flavor that tastes like a concentrate or syrup, plus a little medicinal aspect. Some more roasted malts, mild leather, and a modest bitterness from the roasted malts. A light caramelization to the whole deal as well. More fruity raspberry sweetness with a light bit of tartness just as the sweet chocolate malts fade at the end.

M: Medium-bodied and the alcohol presence is fairly restrained. A sticky mouthfeel, and the fairly low carbonation sensation definitely combine to make it seem mouth-coating.

O: Meh. Another fruited stout that just isn’t my favorite. The roasty character clashes with the fruit a little bit. Not terrible though.

May 19, 2017
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Jeffo from Netherlands

3.24/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Doops broke this one open recently. Cheers, dude!

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours out clear dark brown and yields a three finger, slightly looser, fizzier tan head with decent retention. Black body with some carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full, foamy cap and clings to the glass a bit. Splotchy wisp remains leaving traces of lacing on the glass as it empties.

SMELL: Definite red fruit with tart raspberry and some sugary candy aromas. A touch acidic with hints of bubble gum, sweet cream, and a touch of roasted malt in there as well. Not bad.

TASTE: Slightly acidic with tart red fruits, cherries and raspberry, and a slightly roasted or burnt character up front. Flavorful enough. Medium but lingering finish of red fruits, tart cherries or raspberry, burnt, roasted malts and some nice vanilla and bitter chocolate there as well. A slightly acidic note too. There’s enough going on here but the acidic character holds it back slightly.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation for the style. Creamy enough, goes down fine with a bit of a burn after the swallow and finishes somewhat mouth-coating. Some tartness lingers.

OVERALL: This is an enjoyable yet awkward one. The imperial stout is solid, with nice roasted and chocolate flavors. The slightly tart, acidic character from the fruit, which can’t really be described as raspberry per se, seems to clash with the roasted character of the beer. It’s not a big clash, but eliminating the acidic character would let the sweet fruit shine more. I do understand that’s not always easy to do, especially with this particular fruit. Either way, a fun beer to try but not something I’d be dying to drink again. Thanks again Doops. Always good times.

May 05, 2017
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TX-Badger from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque dark brown almost black like oil color with khaki colored head. Raspberries, chocolate, roasted malt, and some coffee on the nose; follows onto the palate. Full bodied and big, lush. Finishes with chocolate, roast, and berries. This is how to do a raspberry stout.

Apr 22, 2017
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hoptheology from South Dakota

4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a total inky black thick mess (a good thing) with a 1/2 finger of reddish-beige head.

Aromas of a chocolate raspberry creme candy. RIch milk and dark chocolate surround it, with the raspberry flavor and a rich nougat of creme in the middle. I'm also getting a hint of 7 up as well.

Flavor is totally reminiscent of those cheap raspberry pirouettes, (not the good ones mind you), or like what I can imagine a raspberry chocolate bar dropped in dish water for a moment, and then rescued. A slight coffee acidity and bitterness follows on the back end, but this is pretty decadent and alcoholic overall. A tart bite of raspberry on the finish.

Feel is unremarkable in that there's nothing I can dock it for and nothing I can praise about it. It's just a solid bodied stout.

Overall, Raspberry Halo is a delicious bath time treat. I'll gladly pick up another given the chance.

Apr 21, 2017
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WoodBrew from Ohio

3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My neighbor shared this nice beer. It poured an opaque dark with ecru head that is leaving some lace. The scent had hints of raspberry. The taste was heavy of raspberry with hints of chocolate. The mouthfeel was medium in body with subtle carbonation. Overall it's a solid beer.

Apr 09, 2017
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Sabtos from Ohio

3.59/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cola black with a dense, soft, tan head with excellent retention.

Smell is red fruitiness right up front, a little acidic, tart and metallic, with hints of smokey roasted malt, nearing bacon but not quite.

Taste is roasty, smokey chocolate and meaty malt, again nearing bacon, but it's strongly confronted with tart and acidic red fruit that's not specifically identifiable as raspberry, maybe closer to raspberry-cherry sherbet. A little metallic bitterness makes this an oddball.

As mentioned, this is unusually tart for a non-sour beer, like it's straddling the line and doesn't know what it wants to be, with a medium-full body and slight, semi-dry chew. It gets a little roastier and more stout-like as you sit with it and let it warm, but this is definitely going to be a divisive beer.

Mar 31, 2017
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jrenihan from Canada

4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nose has some raspberry, along with chocolate, a bit of vanilla. Smells sweet. Flavour is very similar- chocolate, raspberry, a bit of roasted malt. Some alcohol heat, which detracts a bit. Thick and a bit syrupy, dry full bodied. Not complex, but good. Hard to drink a lot of.

Mar 19, 2017
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zac16125 from South Carolina

4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Cigar City Raspberry Halo
22oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Jet black, 2 fingers of dense tan head, great retention, decent amount of lacing. 4.5

S: Huge Raspberry, big chocolate, subtle roastiness. Great nose. 4.25

T: Taste follows the nose, except heavier on the roasty notes. Big raspberry, roasted malt, semi sweet cocoa, bitterness, subtle herbaceous notes. 4

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation appropriate, drinkability is average. 3.75

O: Good beer, maybe a bit cloying with an artificial Raspberry sweetness but enjoyable nonetheless. 4

Mar 12, 2017
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StraightNoChaser from Georgia

4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

look: very dark brown. Nearly opaque. Some ruby highlights.
smell: Sweet quite intense raspberry and slightly roasty chocolate.
taste: slight letdown from the nose.much like the nose but not as cohesive, tastes not quite as complimentary.
overall: Tasty and refreshing stout.

Mar 08, 2017
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mdfb79 from New York

4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown almost black with a tiny bit of dark tan head. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, light raspberry jam, roasted lays, by rnt malts, Hershey's syrup. Thick body and low carbonation.

Overall a nice stout with light raspberry; would definitely have it again.

Feb 25, 2017
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JamesBondGA from Georgia

4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a bomber of this from the Cigar City Brewery in Tampa. Pours a very dark brown, almost black in color with a nice 2 inch mocha/tan head. The aroma is raspberry and chocolate. Upon tasting, you get the chocolate at first with the awesome raspberry coming thru and staying. I love brews that actually have the real fruit tastes like they are supposed to, such as RJ Rockers Son of a Peach. This is my favorite of the Cigar City brews I have tried. Can;t wait to try the other 2 I purchased while at the brewery.

Feb 06, 2017
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Lerxst from Florida

4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours opaque with a fluffy mocha colored head that has good retention & leaves spots of lace. Smells of raspberries and chocolate. Very pleasant aroma. Tastes of tart raspberries on the front with some slightly bitter chocolate on the back end with a surprising sweet raspberry flavor coming in as well. Mouthfeel is almost full bodied that coats the palate nicely. Overall it's a nice beer just not worth $20/bottle. Glad I tried it but at this price point I wouldn't buy again.

Feb 05, 2017
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer was a dark brown to black color with a minimal tan head.
Sweet fruit and chocolate aroma.
Strong raspberry taste. Dark chocolate. Noticeable booze.
A heavy beer, Raspberry aftertaste, which I'm not sure I like that much,

Feb 05, 2017
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Newbeergeek1 from Maine

3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I will get just about anything that CigCity puts out there, so I tried this. Amazing pour, I could smell it, but, for me, there was a strong after taste of the raspberries (just about my favorite berry) that wouldn't go away from my mouth and I didn't like that. I am glad I had it but wouldn't get it again and, again for me, I'm glad to know that everything that CigCity brews is not something I'm going to love. Still liked it though.

Jan 27, 2017
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Thomas_Wikman from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I bought a few bottles from Cigar City. What I wanted to buy was the Cognac Barrel Aged one, but I got the wrong one, but this was very good too.

Look: very dark brown almost black with a two-inch bubbly creamy mocca colored head.

Aroma: The aroma was raspberry and milk chocolate.

Taste: The taste is chocolate, vanilla, some coffee, and lots of sweet raspberry. Overall very good.
Feel: Full body, smooth/creamy, and the alcohol flavor is mild and blends in well.

Jan 16, 2017
Raspberry Halo from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 119 ratings