Improv (Improvisación) Oatmeal Rye India-Style Brown Ale | Cigar City Brewing

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Improv (Improvisación) Oatmeal Rye India-Style Brown AleImprov (Improvisación) Oatmeal Rye India-Style Brown Ale
Very Good
366 Ratings
Improv (Improvisación) Oatmeal Rye India-Style Brown AleImprov (Improvisación) Oatmeal Rye India-Style Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
What you have here is an Oatmeal Rye India-style Brown Ale. Now you might be thinking oatmeal, rye, brown ale, India-style; isn’t that a lot to be going on in just one beer? Well yes, it is. But that is the point. Layers. Flavor elements building on and playing off of preceding elements, like a building wave; a growing crescendum of taste bud temptation; a wall of sound expressed through flavor and channeled toward your mouth. This beer isn’t for everyone. In many ways it is more than just a little weird. It certainly doesn’t fit easily into any category. It isn’t a brown ale, not just a brown ale anyway. It certainly isn’t an IPA. Calling it a rye beer would be selling it way short. In the spirit of all great things that are conceived in the moment, but perfected through passionate repetition it started life as an improvisation and grew from there. And it might not be for you. But if the thought of big spicy rye notes, a wallop of a hop punch, multitudinous layers of caramel, sweet malt and a respectable balancing gravity sound intriguing then you might want to wing it and give Improv a try.

60 IBU

Added by tpd975 on 03-29-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 366 |  Reviews: 179
Reviews by Fluke828:
Photo of Fluke828
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip
No date/freshness info on the bottle
Got this in a BIF from tchaos, thanks Troy!

A-> This baby is dark. A very dark brown color. A gentle, easy pour yields a massive 3 finger head with tons of lace.

S-> Very bready off the bat, Hoppy with some sweet malt as well. Lots going on here....

T-> Taste is very malt forward at first. Has a solid brown ale taste to it with biscuity malts and sweet breads...hops take a backseat and a distant one at that but they are there in some capacity.

M-> Medium-Full bodied but full on taste/flavor, pretty decent carbonation as well.

O-> This beer was quite delicious. Big bodied, especially as it warmed up and very unique. A nice and different take on a brown ale that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of DanGeo
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Improv Oatmeal Rye India-Style Brown Ale 9% alcohol by Cigar City Brewing. Poured from 25.4 oz. bottle to pint glass.

A- Pours a murky brown fluid that only allows little to no light to pass through it. Bountiful fluffy tan head hold half an inch the whole beer.

S- Rich caramel malts and toasted rye come to mind on the nose with decent citrusy notes of hops as well.

T-M- Taste is bold malted rye with sharp bites of grassy hops upfront. Aftermath is a sweet chocolatey yeastlike flavor tingling the tongue.
Mouthfeel is creamy with vigorous carbonation dancing over the taste buds falling nicely with the all around flavor.

Overall this beer is drinkable, strong, full of flavor , and well worthy of a thumbs up... cheers!

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 750ml bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter (on vacation; this was the best available beer glass).
The beer was a very dark brown with red highlights. Thick, thick cocoa head. Abundant lace.
Lots going on in the aroma, without any one thing standing out. Roasted malt, cereal, fruit, earthy hops.
Mostly a dark coffee/espresso taste. Some sweet chocolate. Oatmeal/cereal. Late herbal hops. Didn't notice the rye.
Rich and full-bodied.
A busy beer. My least favorite of all the different Cigar City beers I tried, but still quite good.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Blitzstyle for the trade.

Split the bottle with my wife. Poured into our respective glasses a dark brown. In the glass the beer is black with a big head. The head is creamy white and tan and laces very nicely.

The aroma is nice starts as a brown, creamy malt sweet. depths is brought by the hops adding a spicy end to the beer. Alcohol comes in the end to mix it all together.

The taste on this beer is as the bottle describes, complex. The taste starts malty, before it is cloying roasted flavors come in. The silky malts stay and the rye remains. Whether it is the rye or the hops the end is bitter but the finish is clean.

The taste alone isn't that special but mixed with the aroma hops it fix very nicely.

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Photo of iemailjack
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of merlin48
4.42/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle thanks to mntlover. Initial pour is 50% foam. Dark brown body supports a large head that becomes pitted and rocky. Lavish lacing.

Aroma is bold and inviting. Pine, tart grapefruit, molasses, roasted coffee, spicy rye, and hints of earthiness and tropicals, all combine for quite a sensory challenge.

Mouthfeel is medium full bodied with moderate carbonation and a pleasant oatmeal silkiness.

Taste s deep, rich, and complex. Solid hops array contributes a meld of pine, citrus, and earthiness which is nicely edged by the herbal and spicy rye component. A hint of brown sugar adds even more complexity. Dark toasted and roasty malt notes work to give a balance. An underlying oatmeal smoothness supports a lot of playful mingling of all that is going on here. No hint of the 9% abv alcohol.

Really amazing that so many flavors and facets come together so well. This one is not for everybody by looking at the ratings but if you like it you really like it a lot. I certainly did.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$13.99 for the bomber @ DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. No freshness info offered.

Pours dark brown, mocha head, nice fine sheeting and respectable delicate and scattered lacing.

Dark grains, some rye and whisky noted on the nose.

Tasty brew, infused with noticable rye, dark sweet malts and more lite whisky. Gritty and drying hops come in late.

Moderate carbonation, decent mouthfeel. Nice robust winter sipper. Worth a try

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Photo of Mora2000
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer opens with a huge pop and immediately starts gushing out the top. Something smells sour. This is not looking good.

The beer pours dark brown with a huge tan head that takes up most of the glass. This is definitely a bad bottle. The aroma is tart dark fruit. The flavor is rye with some dark malts, oak, smoke and quite a bit of tartness. Thick mouthfeel and low carbonation, despite having the huge head. I guess that is the infection that caused the huge head. Disappointing overall since I was really looking forward to this one.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of fo1ksguitar
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of kingcrowing
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a tulip.

Pours a very dark black with a nice small white head. That quickly fades nose is sweet, oatmeal and chocolate so very rich. And crisp.

Taste is sweet and creamy, rich and chocolate with a bit of a toffee note on the finish. Mothfeel is big and creamy with a nice smooth finish. Overall its very good.

 332 characters

Photo of Tabni
5/5  rDev +32.6%

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Brilliant deep chestnut under a 3” lightly tan tinted foam cap that mounds up over the rim of the glass and produces thick clumps opf lace. Smell: Rich malt spice from the rye and oats, some roast. Taste: Spicy grain, an underlying malt sweetness, cardamom, and faint caramel notes. Finishes with alcoholic warming and bitter chocolate, some astringency and a dash of hops. Mouthfeel: Above average carbonation that has a little bite to it. The body is medium full with a little slickness.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.75/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, DSho!

Murky brown with a small light brown head that leaves spots down the glass. Unspectacular though appropriate.

A somewhat spicy aroma for a brown brown ale, with a hint of sweetness, and floral hop character.

An unbalanced, strange brown ale, with floral hops and rye flavors not balancing all too well with the bready malt. This is also quite bitter for a brown ale.

Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation.

I didn't particularly care for this beer. There's simply too much going on here without adding complexity or being all that tasty. Fail.

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Photo of boatshoes
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this as an extra in my second great trade with Bucwild. Thanks and hope you're enjoying your brews too!

Appearance- This beer pours a really nice shade of dark amber, bordering on brown. A mild pour yielded a huge lightly tan head of about three fingers that stuck around after dying down to about half a finger. Lots of lacing down the side of the glass and just looked very tasty overall. This is one of those beers that reminds me why appearance is 20 percent of the overall score.

Smell- Lots of piney hops backed up by a sweet caramel and spicy scent in the nose. Dominated primarily by the resin smell of the hops. Quite nice and rounded out, and the spiciness makes it a touch complex.

Taste- I'm going to be outfront and say I'm not overly sure how to describe all the tastes in this beer because it is an unusual take on the style and I'm not overly experienced with rye either. However, the beer started right out front with a hop punch that was heavy on the resiny/piney side, less so on the citrus. Mixed in with this was an unusual spiciness, which I'm going to have to take for the rye. It almost reminded me of cinnamon in some ways. This spiciness is complemented by a strong, sweet malt background that rounds out the beer and makes it sweeter IPA. Quite interesting.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- This beer was rather sweet but carbonation was really spot on. The combination of spice and hop bitterness was a winner for me and I finished the entire 750ml by myself, which is pretty unusual for me. A good sign in a beer...

Overall, unusual, as was the humidor series Jai Alai that I had recently as well. However, both have been great, if a bit on the sweet side, and I'm enjoying Cigar City so far.

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Photo of TKEbeerman
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass, this brew pour a muddy opaque brown. The super large head is the most impressive part of the appearance...refusing to die.

S: The aroma consists of notes of brown sugar, roasted malt, and a little pine and citrus.

T: I've had a few brown ales that have been blowing me away (Including Maduro brown from CCB). Reviewing this as a brown is deceiving, but I review against the style. This beer breaks the bounds of style. Fresh, there is a hop presence that is at lead 4X the norm for the style. Brown sugar and roasted malt are present, but I would prefer were on the forefront.

MF: Mouthfeel is excellent. Creamy, smooth, a little over carbonated, but awesome.

D: Drinkability is not bad, but can improve.

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Photo of SPRichard
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Liquor Loft in Tallahassee, FL.

Pours a slightly hazy brown color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of grainy caramel malts with hints of toastiness and spicy rye. Also present are solid amounts of herbal and earthy hop aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Moderately dry caramel and toasted malt flavors with slight hints of roastiness kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are solid amounts of herbal hop flavors. Midway through the sip the herbal hops fade out a bit and more bitter earthy hops work their way into things. Hints of rye spiciness come into play near the end of the sip before giving way to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I had some stories of infection in last year's batch but that was 100% not a problem with this year's. Another well done brown ale from CCB which along with their porters I don't believe I've had anything even approaching sub par from them. Worth a shot.

 1,173 characters

Photo of dsauter
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of tugg407
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of johnyb
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of frankiep77
2/5  rDev -46.9%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Brenden
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this one in a great trade with RomaniIteDomum. Many thanks to him...

This is a rich deep brown brew that pours a beautiful head. It sits like a sturdy, thick, rocky pillow at a few fingers for some time before it breaks down to a thick foam, and a patchy curtain of lacing is left in its wake.
Malts are strongest in the aroma, and a strong hops presence evidences itself as well. There's a sweetness and a sort of woody / earthy aroma as well.
The taste is as one would expect with perhaps a stronger bitterness. Each mouthful starts off malty with a little sweetness underneath and gives way to the raw hops bitterness on the back of the tongue. A gentle spice nips and an earthy / nutty/ grainy singular presence is indicative of the rye, which perhaps also contributes to the gentle nip of an underlying spiciness. A woody presence is in the flavor as well, and a lingering dry finish lends itself to an herbal taste from the hops.
This is a fairly thick, rich brew with a creamy feel with just a little crispness in a light carbonation. The body is medium to full.
This is just another tasty one from a good brewery.

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Improv (Improvisación) Oatmeal Rye India-Style Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 366 ratings