Sugar Plum Brown Ale
Cigar City Brewing

Sugar Plum Brown AleSugar Plum Brown Ale
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Herb and Spice Beer
3.52 | pDev: 15.63%
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Sugar Plum Brown AleSugar Plum Brown Ale
Notes: Cigar City Brewing's official celebration of Christmas. A rich-bodied brown ale forms the stage for holiday flavors which dance a festive ballet highlighted by pirouetting leaps of Christmas inspired spices. Cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, rose hips and chamomile compliment the subtle chocolate and light coffee notes of the malt and the addition of roasted carob and chicory complete the performance. Brewed once a year to celebrate the Christmas season. Pair with fresh cracked nuts, fruit cake and share with friends and family. Merry Christmas from the CCB family!

22 IBU
Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 280 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Rich deep brown with a persistent 3” light tan tinted foam cap that would be right at home perched atop a root beer float. Smell: Plum and spice, especially cinnamon and ginger, with hints of fruit cake. Trace of chocolate. Taste: Suprisingly dry considering all the fruit and spice on the nose. Chocolate, plum, fruit cake, and spice on the palate with a fairly mild hop bitterness on the finish with bitter coffee and chocolate notes. Mouthfeel: Chewy and effervescent with medium high carbonation.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3.39/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice brown color with off-white head. Sweet dark fruits on the nose, with some subtle spices; follows onto the palate. Finishes with a nice little sweetness.

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Photo of floridadrift
4.5/5  rDev +27.8%

UPDATE: THIS IS NOW A 8.2% PORTER in 12oz CAN 6pk, as it was a 5% Brown Ale

A: Can is very decorative, beer is darker but light gets through

T: Spicy, carbonated, sweeter and rich once it warms down. drank on 10/28. Bottled on 10/27

M: Medium

O: Get it! Its worth it now in a 6pk and with a new body profile.

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A – Poured out a coca cola brown with a quick finger of off white/brown head that quickly dissipates and leaved nothing around to speak of.

S – Holiday aromas all around in the nose. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.

T – Follows the nose closely with the flavors. Immediately get the nutmeg and allspice flavors. Very light cinnamon. Has a nice base of caramel malt with brown sugar though it is not sweet. Touches of black licorice in there as well.

M – Medium bodied with low carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

O – I am a huge fan of brown ales so this fit into my wheelhouse nicely. I also dig the Christmas flavors that this is packed with. Nice solid brown spiced ale here. Not for everyone but good by me any day.

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Photo of rudzud
2.99/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Received as an extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice darker cloudier brown hue with a thin half finger head that fades almost immediately to leave a thin light cloud. Pretty standard.

S - Aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, sweeter malts. Has an almost dirty aroma. Weird.

T - Taste is faint faint plum, lots of spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, faint ginger. Awfully sweet here, candy and cloy. Like a very sweet winter warmer. Getting none of the usual brown ale notes.

M - Mouthfeel Is lightly carbonated, very syrupy/heavy.

O - Overall, not a huge fan of this beer. Overly sweet and spiced.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.29/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours dark amber/brown with a ruby hue in the light and small head. Smells like plums, raisins, sour cherry, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg. Spices are subdued in the aroma and it is more fruit than anything else. Spices dominate flavor though, with a cinnamon plum nutmeg combo. Medium mouthfeel and pretty smooth. Finishes slightly dirty. About what I expected, a bit bland, and not something I will have again. Just can't get into the studf with cinnamon/nutmeg overpowering the flavor. They did what they wanted here, but I would have preferred a seeeter brew with lots of fruit.

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Photo of chinchill
3.72/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 12 oz. bottle served in a goblet.
Pours a dark and hazy brown with a small tan head that soon reduces to a durable ring.

The interesting, unusual and distinctive aroma is spicy and sweet. Hard to pick individual spices out of this complex mix, but cardamon and cinnamon seem clear. Solid roasted malt base with notes of figs and other dark fruits.

T: Holiday spices start to finish, but not to the degree suggested by the aroma, thankfully. Roasted malts are still evident, and lend some chocolate and faint coffee to the finish and aftertaste. Hints of ginger, caramel, toffee, chamomile, plum, dried plum, figs.

M: Medium in body, with good carbonation.
O: A rich and tasty holiday brown ale with a distinctive pallet of spices. Has great complexity and flavor dynamics. A bit sweet and approaches over-spiced, but then this is a winter holiday ale. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of Shaw
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12-ounce Christmas 2012.

Deep brown/amber with a short tan head.

Aroma is of Christmas spice, though not overpowering.

Spice aroma carries over to the taste, with cinnamon and rose hips in abundance along with other flavors. Reminds me of spiced tea or even mulled cider in that respect. Toasted malt flavors come out at the end.

The body isn't watery. No complaints here.

Overall this is one of the better spiced beers. Cigar City didn't go overboard with the spices, a mistake that has befallen other brewers.

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Coffee District, Delray Beach, FL

Hazy chestnut brown pour with reddish-purple hues, topped with a small but dense cap of foamy white head that receded to a thick ringlet and left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is malty and nutty, full of ripe fruit and light spice. Taste of fresh fruitcake, candied plums and apricots, sweet bready malts, cinnamon and nutmeg. Lots of sweet elements, yet overall the beer was not cloying or sickeningly sweet; there was a good balance. Smooth mouthfeel, medium body, but fuller--and much tastier--than your average brown ale. Liked this one a lot, and picked up a bottle to take home.

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Photo of Bung
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. Cloudy brown pour, thin layer, really just a ring of white on top.

Aroma, smells like a snicker doodle cookie. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, light brown sugar. A Christmas ale for sure.

Taste, luckily not as sweet as the aroma. Still pretty much like a liquid ginger snap or snicker doodle. Faintest caramel malt background. It's just a tad watery without a stronger base for all the spices.

Just gets somewhere between light and medium body. Gentle carbonation, more would not really do anything though. Drinks easy, you just have to get by the spice.

Not bad, I just feel the same meh for most Christmas ales.

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Photo of BobZ
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with little to no head leaves only a thing ring. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Spice (cinnamon) and a fruity sourness stands out.

Taste: The fruit flavor comes through with much less sour in the taste that was present in the nose. The spice again reminds me of cinnamon and does leave a warming effect. The malts are not really noticeable but for the style the beer is pleasant enough.

Mouthfeel: Medium body (to style) and clean on the palate.

Overall: Interesting beer (thanks for the extra Mike) and I’m always happy to try a CCB offering. I’m generally a fan of fruit or sourness but I did enjoy tasting this unique take on a Christmas themed brown ale.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: thin head dissipates rapidly on a clear deep amber/marroon body.

S: brown sugar, toasted malts, almost has a wet sock hop not with makes this one smell like moldy clothing though.

T: brown sugar, caramel malts, toasted malts up front finishing with toasted coconut, dark fruit and spices

M: medium body and moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: Very easy to drink, full of flavor. fairly complex, definitly better than your average brown ale.

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Toasty and spicy, very smooth drinker with herbal tea, Ginger, Cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar. Brown head on brown body. Cookie. Filling, soothing after more bitter beers.
Ginger and spice in aroma. A cigar puff in the finish Xmasy brown ale, obtained through a mail order.

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Photo of oline73
3.07/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a murky reddish brown color with a layer of of white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the pour.

Smell: Sweet malt with some dark fruit and Christmas spice notes.

Taste: This beer isn't overly sweet at all. There is a Christmas spice note, but it is overshadowed a bit by an herbal bitterness in the finish of the sip.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with aggressive carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This isn't a particularly good beer by any means. The bitter herbal notes in the finish didn't go very well with the other flavors. I wouldn't have another.

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Photo of CampusCrew
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: dark brown, fading head.

smell: brown sugar, molasses

taste: low hop profile, sweetened brown ale, not much else, some fruit esters

mouthfeel: medium bodied,

drinkability: this is one of my least favs from my favorite brewery. similar to their maduro but a little sweeter,

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Photo of socon67
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared for Mother's Day.

A - Brown pour with visible sediment in the glass. Some carbonation. A thin foam goes away quickly.

S - Smells of spice and fresh fruit. Some cinnamon and ginger jumped out to me.

T - Good blend of flavor that has substance. Spciy up front, then a concentrated sweetness of sugary fruit. Finish has a bit of tartness that seems to come from the yeasty sediment.

M - Good rinkability for a spicy\sweet beer. I easily had a second glass.

O - Perfect cocktail beer, which is what I did. Meant to be shared. A good novelty from CCB.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, $8.95 from New Beer Distributors.

Pours dark mahogany with crimson edging and a quarter inch head of beige. A few stretched dots of lacing and a fine bead around the surface for the duration.

Aromatics are filled with holiday spice and toffee-laced malt. Cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, star anise, menthol, and candied fruit.

Medium bodied with a chewy, sticky, almost syrupy mouthfeel.

Zesty spices aplenty lead off the palate. Peppery, minty, and licorice-laden. Heavy nutmeg and cinnamon. French toast drizzeled with dark rum and Sambuca.

Finishes with sweet nutmeg-infused malt and sugar-dusted dark fruits.

The spicing is a bit overboard in this one, perhaps a few or ten years in the cellar would mellow it out. Otherwise the beer is sweetish and rich.
A good beer to share.

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Photo of maximum12
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to one of the best beer guys east of the Pacific, moose3285, for yet another sixer of Cigar City bombers. These packages arrive two or three times a year & bring with them smiles & happy-happy. Do a little dance, make a little...

Pour is rose-bush brown, trademark peppy carbonation. Smell is of a rather spicy bent, very peppery, & cardamom must be a dominant gene, because it stinks up the brew. In a good way, of course. I'm going to have to start using it cooking.

Sugar Plum is like a beer someone tipped the spice rack into, which I suppose it is. Massive cardamom, slaughter of pepper, underlying sweetness that's almost molasses-like. Ginger root tacks up the end, along with an almost hoppy bite...maybe. Sweet malt throughout. Light & airy for a brown, & despite having the spice enclyclopedia thrown at it, easy to sip. I bet William Wallace would have enjoyed this.

Overall, an enjoyable winter ale that avoids the pitfall of all spice/no beer.

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Photo of HamFon
3.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy copper with a large fluffy beige head that produces lacing.

S: Lots of holiday spicing notes - cinnamon, cardamom, ginger. Also coffee and chocolate. Late floral notes.

T: Holiday spicing comes through - cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and lots of caramel with coffee and chocolate. Woody chicory.

M: Medium full body with light astringency - possibly from the chicory.

O: A nice holiday beer with lots of spiced flavors going on. Not quite balanced, could use more of a malt backbone.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a CCB snifter

A- pours black with a one finger tan head. Looks ok. A little dark for a brown ale

S- smell is of cinnamon, and other very sweet flavors. Again....a little out of place for what I'm necessarily expecting

T- slight roast coming along with some sweet brown sugar. Not bad

M- medium bodied

O- different. Interesting. Not a huge fan overall, but it's not bad.

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Photo of dstc
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Was planning on aging this bottle for next year to see if it would mellow out a bit. Noticed the other day it was starting to leak at the cap. Chilled it and opened it tonight, plenty of carbonation, a bit of a gusher.

Murky brown color with an enormous tan head. Head is very slow to fall. Thick, clinging lace.

Nose has plenty of spice especially from the cardamom and ginger. Interesting aroma.

Taste is all spice , booze and bitterness. Bit of a mess to be honest.

Medium bodied in the mouth with moderate carbonation and a slight bite on the tongue.

I love Cigar City and the beer they brew but this one just misses. Too wrongly spiced and oddly bitter. Was looking forward to it but not a fan.

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Photo of Heatwave33
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle to a Dogfish Head Signature glass.

Color: Deep murky amber with a khaki head.

Smell: Roasted malts, cinnamon and chocolate up front. Followed by coffee and spice.

Taste: Same as the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Mid-low carbonation, lightly coarse with a medium dryness on the palate.

Overall: A secent winter ale. My buddy and his girlfriend enjoyed it. Medium bodied with a decent balance. Don't know if I'll pick this up again. But definitely worth trying. Cheers.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Brown colored beer with some touches of red on the edges. Tan head that left some spots behind.

S - Dark fruit, cinnamon, caramel malts. There is some plum in there that gives it a slightly acidic note. It's pretty spiced which is fine, just not really my thing.

T - A little bit mild with some caramel and plum notes. Spice consists of nutmeg and cinnamon. Some moderate sweetness, not as malty as you would have expected.

M - Lighter beer than expected, pretty dry finish. Needs more body.

O - Not a bad beer for the style, but it's just a style of beer that I haven't found to put out something great yet. Worth trying, particularly if you like beers of this style.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a murky copper toned brown with a finger and a half light tan head. Ok retention.

S- subtle toasty bready malts malt aromas blend with light chicory and spicy ginger. The Christmas spices give a perfume like woody characteristic. Very floral and tea like on the finish with some mineral tones and subtle leafy hops.

T- toasty bready malt with a touch of fruitiness hits the palate at first. I assume plum seeing as that is the beers namesake. Floral tea like bitterness blends in the middle with a touch of light roasted coffee. Noble hop flavor with mineral characteristics also come out. Very dry finish with a dry fruitiness and soft Christmas spice.

MF- slick oily mouthfeel with a light medium body and average carbonation.

D- pretty drinkable

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Photo of Doppelbockulus
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a coppery color with almost no head.

Smells strongly of the typical Christmas spices and a little malty.

Taste includes some vegetables, pickle skins, some hops, and at the finish there is a thing that reminds me of peanuts.

Mouthfeel is watery and leaves a slightly clingy film like tannin.

Pretty similar to the 2011 Anchor Our Special Ale.

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Sugar Plum Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 280 ratings