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Sugar Plum Brown Ale | Cigar City Brewing

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Sugar Plum Brown AleSugar Plum Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by tpd975 on 01-03-2009

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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 278
Photo of AdamBear
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown, almost black with a reddish tint. thin light tan head

S-creamy plums with a hint of holiday spices. medium to faint scent.

T-comes in with dark peppercorn spices. very grainy as well. reminds me of a good rye beer. matching after-taste. tastes are solid and great. maybe some plum in the after-taste, but not much

M-creamy medium carbonation with a dry finish

O-very unique beer. not what i expected. more of a spiced beer than a fruit beer. the 750mL will go down, but I won't be tempted to buy this again.

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Photo of corby112
2.14/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that's nearly opaque with a one finger beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Intensely spicy aroma with tons of ginger, pepper, cinnamon and others that overpower the light roasted dark malt character. Way too much wintry spice that simply overpowers everything else in the nose.

Medium bodied with a blast of harsh, peppery spices that overwhelm the palate and overtake all of the other flavors. Tons of ginger, cinnamon, pepper and other spices kill the dark fruit and toasted malt notes that are hard to pick up. This beer is a mess with just too much going on at once. I'm glad that I split it with a bunch of friends because I had trouble finishing a few ounces.

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Photo of SigEp
3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked it up to try there seasonal offering. Think they also have a "winter warmer".
I would pass on this one though. Lists a plethora of spices including cinnamon, cardamom, chamomile, chicory... Whatever the combination or amounts they used, they ended up with something that is brown, slightly earthy and medicinal.

I am traditionally offended by Harpoon's winter warmer (way too heavy-handed on the spice); but drink a couple every year because it gets me in the spirits. Go with that instead of this, if you have the option. The herbal/spicial/chicorial additions are muddled and indistinguishable in this beer. I think the message of a little spice goes a long way is truly proven here.

Don't shy from Cigar City beers though... they have a lot to offer.

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Photo of Vec2267
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: medium brown with red highlights, good lacing

S: spice dominates, a little malt sweetness

T: cardamom dominates the taste, though I think I detect the rosehips, and chamomile

M: typical for a brown

O: a heavily spiced seasonal brew - not something I would seek out again, but another quality brew from CCB

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Photo of johndoe8
3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer a fair amount of spice. Nutmeg maybe some cinnamon. Lot of bitterness from hops and I get this slight pit bitterness to it as well. The nose is pretty good but in the end this combination of spice and flavors was a little disappointing. I was hoping for a sweet tasty sugar plum but this didn't quite deliver

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Photo of fields336
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL served into SN Snifter
11/14/11 bottle date

A: purple, dark red, garnet color with 2 fingers coffee colored head. Lacing is nice, hangs around the sides of the glass.

S: breadyness, CCB yeast, some spices, earthy malts and hops, a little chocolate, some hops.

T: definitely some hop bitterness as well as some spice bitterness from the ginger and chamomile, tasting some cinnamon, cardamom, etc.

M: Medium bodied, decent carb, similar to red wine.

O: not as sweet as I was hoping, and it was decent, I feel like they overhopped this beer and killed it, bc it could have been so much better if it was sweeter and maybe more belgian style

 649 characters

Photo of hdelavega
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark brown with a thin white head. Good lacing.
Nose is sweet malt with a bit of sweet fruit in the back.
Sweet flavor, mimics the aroma. Realy nice. More plum coming thru as it warms up.
Mouthfeel presents a medium body with medium carbonation, realy nice.
Realy nice beer.

 280 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
4.32/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arrives a rich dark brown with only a hint of light penetration. Dark tan head dropped fairly quickly to a solid film. A ton of lace, though.
Smell is spicy and swert with notes of nuts, roasted malt, nutmeg, turbinado sugar and cinnamon. Good balance.
Taste is malt and spices first with a well-balanced hop presence following. I expected a straight Maduro with spices but got something different. Well done. As it warms a more juniper -like hop note comes through. Very nice with the roasted malts.
Creamy to start with a cleaner than expected finish. Somewhat drying as well. Medium-bodied with a solid effervescence. I could drink this seasonal brew all year round. The spices are well-restrained in the mouth. Slight coating on the palate.

 744 characters

Photo of nmbr0ne
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into pint glass at The House of Brews in Jensen Beach, FL.

Appearance: Dark brown color with the slightest hue of purple. Thick head with good retention and lacing.

Smell: Kind of funky. Made me think of a saison but it may just be a smell that resembles plums.

Taste: Good mount of spices, but no real plum flavor. I can detect some cinnamon maybe, but not pronounced enough to judge without a reasonable doubt.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with decent carbonation.

Overall: Not my favorite brown ale, but good for what it has become. I wish the smell was better than it is and wish the taste of spices were translated better into the beer. Leaves more to be desired.

 687 characters

Photo of Kiefdog
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of JRedner. Pours a milk chocolate color with a thin off white head. Aroma is malt, spice, some chocolate. Flavor is much of the same with some rip fruit and cinnamon notes. Medium to full body with a lingering malty finish. Nice ale.

 250 characters

Photo of tpd975
4.09/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a chestnut brown hue with tones of purple showing thru. The head is thick, dense, and creamy with good retention.

S: Nice roasted malt aroma with a huge blast of spice. Tons of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Allspice. Light notes of dark fruit lay beneath.

T: Wow I expected the spice to be huge here but it is not. The base beer is a solid one and it has not been destroyed by the spice. Nice roasted malt can be picked up right away with hints of caramel and toffee. Dark fruit comes next with hints of plum. The spice is there, but in such a understated way. It is light and just kind of hangs out in the background. Very tasty, and sessionable.

M: Medium in body, with good carbonation.

D: I could drink several. I have the feeling Cigar City will be known for the big beers they make, but this is one of the examples of a wonderful sessionable brew that they will bring to market.

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Sugar Plum Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
3.56 out of 5 based on 278 ratings.
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