Absolutely Okay
Cigar City Brewing

Absolutely OkayAbsolutely Okay
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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
4.24 | pDev: 6.6%
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Absolutely OkayAbsolutely Okay
Notes: Bourbon Barrel-aged Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed in collaboration with De Struise Brouwers
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 53 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sabtos
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Muddy black with reddish-brown hues and a fizzy tan head that quickly and audibly dies to a thin chain and a bubbly cauldron-like surface.

Smell is rich toffee and caramel with ribbons of vanilla as charred brownie crust and pecan pie emerge with a peppery accent. Sweet gooey nougat develops as it warms.

In flavor, a bold bourbon presence takes hold, but like many other El Cat bottles past and present, it still somehow manages to not be boozy or hot. Caramel, toffee and tangy prune and raisin support the middle, as spicy, peppery and herbal sassafras is added to the toasted coconut brought on via the delectable qualities from barrel aging. Red licorice and brown sugar come out upon the exhale, making this quite the sweet, brandy-esque beer overall.

The slick, medium body has a mildly building firm crisp fizz and a sticky, sticky finish.

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Sabtos from Ohio, Sep 06, 2018
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I pulled a "let's clean the cellar" move and grabbed this bottle. Wasn't expecting much, but oh boy- was this right for me. Reminded me of a well-made English old ale or barrel-aged barleywine. Very sweet but balanced, righteously boozy, vinous and full of barrel tones... sip and destroy.

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DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania, Aug 16, 2018
Photo of superspak
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 2/27/2017. Pours nearly opaque dark brown/black color with a small foamy tan head with poor retention, that reduces to nothing pretty quickly. No lacing on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Good appearance. Aromas of huge raisin, prune, plum, cherry, fig, date, apricot, red apple, red grape/wine, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, coconut, and brown bread; with lighter notes of sherry, leather, tobacco, chocolate, cocoa, pepper, clove, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Touch of increasing booze in the aroma as it warmed, but not overwhelming. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready/light roast malts, candi sugar, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge raisin, prune, plum, cherry, fig, date, apricot, red apple, red grape/wine, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, coconut, and brown bread; with lighter notes of sherry, leather, tobacco, chocolate, cocoa, pepper, clove, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Very mild herbal/roast bitter and yeast/bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of dark fruits, cherry, apricot, red apple, red grape/wine, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, coconut, brown bread, sherry, leather, tobacco, chocolate, cocoa, light pepper/clove, yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Amazing complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roast malts, candi sugar, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; with a solid malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and no cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy, silky, velvety, and rich mouthfeel that is insane. Light slickness, sticky hop, chalky roast, oak tannin, and increasing dryness. Mild increasing warmth of 12.9%, with zero barrel booziness lingering after the finish. Overall this is an amazing barrel aged Belgian strong dark ale! All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roast malts, candi sugar, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; extremely smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV, with the very mildly bitter/spicy/tannic/drying finish. This is the smoothest BSDA I have ever had for the ABV. Insanely balanced rich malt/sugar/yeast complexity, with perfect bourbon barrel integration. I knew this would be amazing because of the De Struise involvement. Similar to most Pannepot, with added bourbon barrel complexity. A highly enjoyable offering, and amazing style example.

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superspak from Michigan, Jul 07, 2018
Photo of Jeffo
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this one from 7Clutch a while back. Cheers!

From a 75cl bottle into a snifter
Collaboration with De Struise Brouwers

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, looser looking, foamy beige head with lousy retention. Head quickly fades down to a slight wisp and ring. Looks kinds flat by of the end. Bistre brown, clear, with no real carbonation evident. A ring remains til the end leaving some dots of falling lacing down the glass as it empties.

SMELL: Bourbon, oak, lots of toffee and caramel, vanilla, coconut and milk chocolate on the nose. Some brown sugar as well. Bold and lots of character.

TASTE: Bourbon, oak, dark fruits, toffee and brown sugary sweetness up front. Big flavor up front with booze at the swallow. Bold and boozy finish of bourbon, oak, vanilla, coconut, brown sugar, milk chocolate and alcohol linger on the palate. Lots of flavor and plenty of boozy sweetness.

PALATE: Slightly lighter body with medium levels of carbonation. Kinda fizzy, goes down fine with a decent burn at the swallow and finishes slightly sticky. Some decent heat lingers.

OVERALL: Wonderful stuff. Lots of sweet, boozy barrel character that makes the nose and flavor really, really enjoyable. I would have to say that this one is more Cigar City than it is De Struise, but since the Florida brewery is probably my favorite in the world, I'm fine with that. Still, the strong dark ale screams Struise, so that's there too. In any case, fans of both breweries will love this so check it out if you can. Thanks again, 7Clutch. Recommended.

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Jeffo from Netherlands, Jul 04, 2018
Photo of Ciocanelu
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap. Aroma: Bright bourbon, butterscotch, dried figs, brown sugar. Taste: Really sweet, sugary, dried fruits, bourbon, figs, dates, caramel. Medium body and carbonation. Really well balanced, fruity ale.

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Ciocanelu from Romania, Sep 11, 2017
Photo of CaptCleveland
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

El Cat bottle dated 02/2017, vigorous pour into snifter.

Dark brown, black opaque elixir, fizzy brown 2-finger head quickly dissipates. Scant lacing. Legs.

The aroma is an incredible mix of dark fruits and jams, barrel-oak, bourbon, vanilla and molasses. A wonderful, complex amalgam that reminds me of a nicely aged BCBS.

The taste follows with a nice mellow mix of dark fruits and bourbon. A sipper to savor the many flavors with some extra vanilla and spices that peek through as the brew warms.

The alcohol is hidden and the finish is oh so smooth.

Thinking back, this may be my favorite of the style and the barrel is sublime.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When a great beer is tinkered with, messed with and changed, its identity comes in jeapordy. And that's exactly that the Belgian styled darker, stronger ale between Cigar City and de Struse has done. ...but in the best way possible.

Absolutely Okay layers in the glass like a frothy and hazy brandy. Tawny bronze and garnet with a dense and caky pour, the beer swoons the nose with the decadence of port, madeira and sherry... and pancakes. Its taste is savory with molasses, toffee, caramel and fortified vinous fruit succulence to start.

But as the flavors leave a trail of lavishness across the middle palate, its wake reveals a sherry soaked spice cake, maple and sorghum sweet medley. Dark fruits of prune, plum, date, raisin and fig are met with the tangy spice of peppercorn, allspice and oak before trailing with a tangy and boozy taste of whisky, sherry, chocolate and light umami.

Firm bodied and full on the palate, the beer's immensity in taste is met with a slightly lighter body than expected. In true Belgian form, the ale presents a modestly dry body, again pointing toward madeira before trending long and earthy sweet with tobacco, leather and maple sweetened brandy. The beer is certainly misnamed. Its not so much "absolutely okay" as much as it is "freakin' phenominal"!

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BEERchitect from Kentucky, Jul 20, 2017
Photo of ThickNStout
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle acquired through the El Catador Club. Bottled 2/23/17. Served in a Cigar City teku.

Pours a dirty, opaque mahogany with a three finger cap of khaki froth. The head gradually fades, leaving no retention, zero lace and only a few scattered bubbles around the edges to call a crown.

Welcoming aromas of rum raisin, bourbon, raw sugar, molasses, caramel and miscellaneous sweet grains. Outstanding.

This tastes sweet, boozey and delicious. Booze-candied dark fruit, bourbon, rasin bread pudding, vanilla, sweet Belgian yeast, toffee, a hint of coconut and alcohol. Rich, decadent, delightful.

Syrupy, full, coating feel with gentle carbonation. Finishes like caramelized bourbon-soaked dark fruit pudding with Belgian yeast-infused vanilla icing.

This is one of the rare, truly magical collaborations that are all too few and far between. De Struise Brouwers crafted an excellent strong ale and Cigar City kissed it with candied layer of barrel that worked beautifully. This is another one of those incredible El Catador releases that guarantees I'll continue my membership.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle
Bottled: 02/23/17

Absolutely Okay is a collaboration with De Struise and is a bourbon barrel aged strong dark ale. Beer was poured into an El Catador snifter and pours a dark brownish (almost black) color with a light tan head. The malty nose features dark fruit, molasses, a lot of character coming through from the barrels as well. The taste starts out with a high level of sweetness up front that makes way for some warmth in the finish from the alcohol and barrels. The mouthfeel is surprisingly thin, really the only weakness with this beer in my opinion. Personally, I love big sweet malty barrel aged beers so this one is right up my alley.

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cjgator3 from Florida, Jun 26, 2017
Photo of maximum12
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So jazzed to get my (quarterly?) 74 lb. box of El Cat beers. Randomly grabbed this thing, which comes in a 750ML bottle. De Struise plus Cigar Ctiy? In.

Nice name. Too many breweries (& related others) take themselves far too seriously…I mean, this is beer, right? Basically the same as the Blatz my dad used to pound every night. Anyways, this is borderline stout dark, with tinges of walker-blood red. Nose is alcohol-soaked raisins that drowned in a bourbon barrel.

Absolutely Okay is that rare collaboration beer that doesn’t drift towards the lowest common denominator. Massive bourbon barrel meshes with that heavy, lead-boot malt experience that defines big De Struise stouts - this is heavier than six courses of fettuccine alfredo. Sweet black licorice, enough sugar to deplete a mid-sized Cuban plantation, black raspberries, Belgian yeast (is that in here?), raisins, more raisins. Mid-palate, alcohol seizes my forebrain & starts shaking its head violently. Finishes languid, or maybe that’s just me interacting with the 63% ABV. Heavy, stand-rebar-up-in-it thick. Nonetheless. I might drink the whole damn second bottle when my wife isn’t looking.

This is exactly what you’d expect from a conjugal visit between these two - heavy, bourbony, viscous, & other adjectives & adverbs that are being lost in the increasing fog of yes I like this beer a lot it’s, top shelf, & wonderful beer. Uh huh.

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maximum12 from Minnesota, Jun 17, 2017
Photo of JAStheAce
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely OK -poured out a dark brown with some ruby red accents around the edges of my glass. It smelled sweet, malty, and of dark fruit and caramel. It tasted of raisin, caramel, toffee, and malt. A balanced, but rich, molasses sweetness with a traditional Belgian yeast backbone. Reminded me of a well matured, rich, and decadent barleywine. Tasted great fresh. The beer was absolutely excellent.

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JAStheAce from Florida, May 23, 2017
Photo of KVNBGRY
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks like a stout. Plenty of dark fruits, char, barrel characters. Oak and vanillians shine with the Belgian yeast. Really wish more breweries would barrel age quads/dark strong/dubbels etc. Well made Belgians do well in barrels. Classic CCB flavors in this bottle. Happy to have had this.

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KVNBGRY from Florida, May 22, 2017
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.43/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

750 mL bottle. Deep brown body. Not much of a head. Smells of bourbon, dark fruit, nutty malts, and brown sugar. Tastes very sweet. Brown sugar with a healthy dose of dark fruit and bourbon. Sugary throughout. Heavy and substantially sweet. Heavy with low carbonation. My small pour is causing a struggle.

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Absolutely Okay from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 53 ratings