Criminal Commission
Cigar City Brewing

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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Stout - American Imperial
ABV:
13.7%
Score:
94
Avg:
4.34 | pDev: 5.53%
Reviews:
6
Ratings:
36
From:
Cigar City Brewing
 
Florida, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  2
Gots
  2
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Notes: Collaboration with Bottle Logic Brewing

It's here! The long-awaited first El Catador Club 9th Edition release, lovingly dubbed El Collabador Club, is available now in the Tampa Tasting Room. Boulder members, please stay tuned for your pick up date.

Our second collaboration with Anaheim, California's Bottle Logic Brewing, this beer was brewed while the Bottle Logic folks were in town for Hunahpu's Day 2018. Two batches were brewed: one with banana in the fermentor and one with no bananas. After sitting in rum barrels for seven months, the two batches were blended and spun over banana purée, vanilla beans and cinnamon.

Founded in 2014, Bottle Logic Brewing has been making big barrel-aged stouts and hoppy beers in Southern California that have garnered much attention and accolades. Our first collab was brewed in 2016, an English-style stout with eggfruit called Digital Dissolution.

Beer Name: Criminal Commission
Style: Rum Barrel-aged Imperial Stout with Banana, Vanilla and Cinnamon
Specialty Ingredients: Vanilla Beans, Cinnamon, and Banana Purée
ABV: 13.7%
IBU: 45

Collaboration with Bottle Logic Brewing
Reviews: 6 | Ratings: 36 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of cjgator3
cjgator3 from Florida

4.79/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle poured into an El Catador snifter. Bottling date of etched on the neck of the bottle. I’ve had this beer a couple times before but never have had a chance to review yet so I knew I was in for a treat. Rum barrel, banana, vanilla, cinnamon, in short: HEAVEN! Over time, the banana has faded but definitely still prevalent. Still a lot of heat in the finish making it a sipper. I consider this to be a perfect dessert beer. Period. I wish it wasn’t a one off collab, hopefully they will decide to dust off the recipe for a future release.

Apr 04, 2020
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo from Netherlands

4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from desp a while back. Cheers!

From a 750 into a snifter
IBU: 45
SRM: 38
El Cat 9th Edition
Bottled 26 October 2018
Collaboration with Bottle Logic Brewing
Rum barrel aged imperial stout with bananas, vanilla and cinnamon

APPEARANCE: Clear black pour yields a three finger, medium looking, slightly creamy, slightly fizzy tan head with good retention. Black body with no real carbonation evident. Head slowly recedes to a thin wisp and ring. Splotchy wisp and ring remains leaving falling dots of lacing down the glass as it empties. Good looking, but not quite as black as their imperial stouts can sometimes be.

SMELL: Some cinnamon, vanilla cream and milk chocolate up front, with plenty of rum barrel, oak, brown sugar, molasses, butterscotch and some alcohol on the nose as well.

TASTE: Rum sweetness, brown sugar, molasses, spicy cinnamon and some sweet vanilla cream up front, then a decent bust of rum, sugar, oak and alcohol at the swallow. Big finish of rum barrel, oak, brown sugar and molasses, vanilla cream and milk chocolate, butterscotch sweetness and some spicy cinnamon linger on the palate, with a solid layer of booze as a foundation. Big, boozy, sweet and flavorful.

PALATE: Medium-full body with medium levels of carbonation. Creamy and smooth on the palate, goes down smooth with no burn at all and finishes quite sticky. Medium heat lingers. Not nearly as boozy at the 13.5% ABV might suggest. Really good here.

OVERALL: Excellent. I was worried about the bananas to be honest, but they aren’t really a player here at all. If you hadn’t told me, I never would have guessed it at this point in the game. The rest is great, though. The cinnamon is there but only lends a touch of spiciness, while the rum barrel and vanilla additions work out in sugary-sweet harmony. Love this stuff and love this brewery. Thanks again, desp!

Mar 31, 2020
Photo of maximum12
maximum12 from Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

El Cat! I’m working quickly through Edition 9 & to date it’s one of the best. Bestest. 750ML bottle split with my wife (who questioned the banana addition).

So dark, so lightless, so alluring. Rum, vanilla, & a dollop of sweetness come through initially. No bananas.

Criminal Commission is…unsubtle. Like a fastball to the forearm, which I don’t recommend. A gusher of rum reaches all the way from Havana to swish between gums & lip, strong, but not overpowering. Unlike most adjunct-laden stouts, I can actually taste everything on the label: banana, cinnamon, & vanilla, in that order. Boozier than any of the 9s I’ve supper to date, with a solid finish of chocolate. I like chocolate. Hi. I’m maximum12. I have a chocolate problem. Full, rich, & if it weren’t so sweet, it wouldn’t be a problem to have a pint of this. Though I might slide off my bar stool after two.

Another winner, despite the odd ingredients that don’t exactly say “mix me together in a beer!” But have you ever seen the PBS version of Pride & Prejudice? This is exactly like that. Excellent.

Mar 27, 2019
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

4.11/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm revisiting this 7 months after my below review and have to amend it some. I'm really glad I held onto it. Some of the Huna elements I got before have faded, the rum has settled and it's less hot, while the banana is more forward. There's even some chocolate drizzle and more apparent roast. It's a delight, and so I have to up my original score.

---

Burnt black with a thin mocha blanket that slowly settles to a thin film that can be rejuvenated readily, leaving clear legs on the glass with a swirl.

Smell is nutty oak and spiced rum with tons of spicy, floral cinnamon. As it warms, the oak delivers some vanilla pairing with dark malt to develop a Tootsie Roll character, but it's really a lot like Huna. Banana comes out in a gooey, caramelized form as it warms, but only in faint hints far behind the boozy heat. I wish the ABV was lower to allow these notes to come out more.

This tastes like a rum barrel aged Hunahpu's, with banana! A substantial warming spiced rum presence is the major contributor here. A punch of spicy cinnamon is very much identical to that classic Huna character--deeply intense and prickly. The woody oak is a bit splintery and, at times pairing with the cinnamon, sort of metallic. As it warms brown sugar and chocolate marshmallow develop, but the booze dominates too potently, taking over what might otherwise be a more nuanced flavor profile. The banana is too subtle to make a lasting statement here.

A soft froth opens up the slick body before a sticky, semi-dry yet boozily stinging finish.

Feb 25, 2019
Photo of OompaMentor
OompaMentor from Georgia

4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/12/2019 -- Hunahpu reinvented! I let this one warm; cinnamon/vanilla forward with very slight (sweet) banana flavor on backside. Rum is subtle. Medium MF

Jan 20, 2019
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout from Georgia

4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle acquired through the El Catador Club. Bottled 10/26/18. Served in a Cigar City teku. Enjoyed 1/8/19.

Pours midnight black with a tall cap of tan head. That copious froth recedes to some small islands and a thin perimeter, imparting only a few sparce dashes of lace.

Smells like cooked banana, sweet cream, spiced rum and French toast. Quite nice.

The flavor is considerably more roasty than the nose foretold. Bittersweet dark chocolate fudge, caramelized bananas, cinnamon rum, woodsy vanilla, creamed coffee, some barrel char and a warm handshake of booze.

Lovely, velvety full feel with gentle carbonation. The aftertaste is like rum chocolate bananas Foster.

Two stoutmasters come together in this Criminal Commission. Cigar City and Bottle Logic have created the best bananas Foster beer that I’ve tried. Decadent and delightful.

Jan 09, 2019
Criminal Commission from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 36 ratings