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

Improv (Improvisación) Oatmeal Rye India-Style Brown AleImprov (Improvisación) Oatmeal Rye India-Style Brown Ale
BA SCORE
3.77/5
366 Ratings
Improv (Improvisación) Oatmeal Rye India-Style Brown AleImprov (Improvisación) Oatmeal Rye India-Style Brown Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
cigarcitybrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#18,842
Reviews:
179
Ratings:
366
pDev:
15.65%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
39
Gots:
54
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 366 |  Reviews: 179
Photo of Sammy
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Rattle 'n' Hum Cigar City event. Hoppy aroma. Dark colour, some lacing. Imperial brown ale, lots of hop, above average mouthfeel boosted by oats. Citrus taste, some roast, chocolate malts. Decent drinkability.
Had again in bottle 5 months later and it was funky, thick, smokey, spicy.
Had again 2.5 years later and had a good balance, thanks Peter.

 358 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Thick large tan head with lots of retention and tons of lacing on a dark amber/brown body.

S: lots of coffee, hops, with a grassy/floral and almost bourbon like note.

T: sweet rye and caramel malt to start, finishes with dark chocolate, oak and coffee notes.

M: moderate to high carbonation and medium to full body.

Overall: This one is very complex and very good, plain and simple.

 389 characters

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of jaydoc
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to ehammond1 for sharing this at DarthKostrizer's tasting.

Bottled 3/2012.

Pours a murky brown with a khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, rye, brown sugar, and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a pretty harsh level of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer some some harsh flavors going on.

 520 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ordered a bottle of this to split with a friend at the Tap and Table before it closed up. This beer poured out as a deep brown color with a creamy tan colored head on top. The smell of the beer was mild yet had some little pops of spice that filled the nose. Lots of roasted aromas too. The taste of the beer was roasted with an interesting amount of spicy rye and citrusy hops. There was a lot going on in this brew, it's hard to pin point specifics really but I found it to be a very neat beer. The mouthfeel was on the heavy side, thick and rich leaving a coating in the mouth for a bit. Overall I thought this beer was very good and would enjoy having it again one day.

 673 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a muddy coffee color (as if just a touch of cream had been added to the cup) with a buoyant head that sheets the glass

Smell: Pithy bitterness dominates the aroma, but underneath are hints of brown bread, oats and almonds

Taste: Starts out either with a brown sugar, chocolate, oat and nut character or with a very bitter, spicy and pithy element that tingles on the tongue - with each sip I get alternating sensations, though by mid-palate, all of these flavors clearly come through; after the swallow, the spicy rye flavors are clearly dominant, along with the oatmeal and brown sugar to keep things in balance

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and prickly, with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: I cannot recall a more enigmatic beer - this one is like a chameleon, with each sip it changes its flavor profile

 832 characters

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of zeff80
2.46/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Poured out a fairly dark brown color with a thick, tan head of foam that had some good retention. Some lacing.

S - It smelled very malty and of some pine. There were some funky notes, too.

T - Something wasn't right here. The flavor was pretty messy with an odd funkiness and metallic taste. Hoppy bitterness plus tons of malty sweetness couldn't correct the other odd flavors.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium-bodied beer.

D - It just didn't taste right. I don't know if the funky flavor is intention. To me it seems they tried to do too much with a unique style.

 594 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a cloudy deep brown color ale with a huge light brown color head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of strong grassy and earthy hops are mix with some rye malt. Taste is a somewhat unique mix between loads of rye malt with loads of grassy and earthy hops and a medium bitter finish. Body is quite full with limited filtration and great carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Not sure I would drink this on a regular basis but a very interesting experiment nonetheless.

 495 characters

Photo of largadeer
2.5/5  rDev -33.7%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of mothman
1.44/5  rDev -61.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours ¼ finger of fizzy light brown head. Color is a murky caramel brown.

Aroma: Rye, sourness, toasted nuts, tart flavors, and hops. Bad.

Taste: Rye, weedy hops, citrus, oaky. Booze shows. Something is off here. It has BO flavors.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy, spiced. Lighter bodied with a higher amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, this one isn't very good or it is infected. Not very good and not drinkable any bit. Drainpour.

 429 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One finger of light tan foam on top of an opaque, dark brown body. The head settles quickly and leaves moderate lace.

S - Velvety pine hops with spicy rye and some cloves.

T - Sweet rye and toasted malt up front. Moderately strong pine hops and brown sugar notes. The hops come out more towards the end with a spicy flavor and stronger bitterness. Lots of grapefruit and brown sugar in the finish.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly dry finish.

D - Very aggressive, sugary malt and dark, spicy hops make for a robust, heavy beer that borders on barleywine territory. It is relatively well balanced, but the malt is kind of muddy. A more aromatic, fruity hop presence might help lift it off the palate in the finish.

 748 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into a pint glass. Thanks go to Ffej for sharing this one.

Pours a deep unfiltered brown in the glass, with 1 1/2 fingers of foamy light mocha head. Very robust retention here, leaving back a good bit of heavy sticky lacing. The aroma is floral and even a bit piney, with some earthy green citric tones and the bready spiciness of the rye really coming out strong. Some sweeter caramel malt notes ride along the back.

The taste is sharp with hop resins and fairly spicy overall in the mouth, while a deep tang of bread, caramel, and earthy citrus that does it's best to try and keep this on the sweeter side of the profile. Very spicy and dry finish on this, which isn't too surprising. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a good bit of sharpness to the carbonation up front but then definitely gets more bubbly and creamy towards the back of the swallow. And wow, I'm not really getting too much alcohol here at all for a 9% beer. I was actually quite shocked when I saw the ABV on here, as this definitely felt more like it was in the 6-7% range. Very impressive feel on this.

Another nicely done brew here from Cigar City, with the rye and hops complimenting each other well, while the alcohol content of this was hidden most impressively. I wouldn't hesitate to check this out again down the line.

 1,322 characters

Photo of billab914
2.31/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle into my Bruery tulip. As I opened the bottle it started to gush a little which didn't seem like a good sign. As I poured it into the glass I got mostly foam at first. As it settled it was a dark, murky, caramel brown color. Once the head settled down it was a pretty good looking beer though with some great lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma mixes a sweeter, malty flavor with some bitter, slightly citrusy hoppiness and a musty, tart, sourness. Interesting mix of flavors. I can't imagine the sharp, funkiness is intentional though .

The taste shows a lot of bitterness to it throughout the flavor. I get a citrus rind, hop bitterness mixing with some roasted, burnt flavors. Some of that musty sourness creeps into the flavor as well, especially in the finish. It's not awful, but the flavors just don't work well for me at all.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being high. Overall it was an interesting beer, but not a very good one. I'm hoping this isn't the way they intended it to taste, and I also hope I get to try it again sometime.

 1,085 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.39/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours an opaque, dark brown body with a suspiciously tall, compacted, yellowish head.

Smell: Toffee-scented malts with additional hints of toast, citrus, nuts and rye grain are quashed by phenol-soaked work rags forced over my mouth and nose by an unseen assalant. What I hope was an unintentional funkiness is uncomplimentary to the rest of the brew.

Taste: Toasted nuts and toffee with a zip of spicy rye and hint of cocoa. Fruity citrus hop character with ample bitterness. Sadly, all this is lacerated by a voracious funkiness and once the stale, tart fruit, cobwebs, and bandages swiped from a first aid kit start rolling in, they don't roll out. Hard dryness and a continued phenolic fanfare on the finish you need to be sitting down for.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Soft mouthfeel from all of the rampant carbonation present.

Drinkability: Unfortunately, a real dud for me, but with all of the home runs they've hit, I can allow a shameful strike out. With enough improvising you're bound to let out some real sour notes.

 1,062 characters

Photo of drewone
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.65/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was really quite the enigma for me. I was not really sure what to make of it and it took the whole session for me to really figure it out. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 10/27/2009.

Rich dark brown pour, just menacing looking with a huge tan head that just towered over the top of the glass. Fading slowly it left behind tons of side glass lacing and a huge amount of spider like webs. Aroma was sweet and spicy at the same time. Notes of rye, brown sugar, molasses like touches and hints of coffee are all coming through very clearly. Each sip now seem to get a bit more complex then the one before it, really very well done here. Rich chocolate notes blending well now with huge malts and a touch of rye that are just fantastic. Light suagry finish with a touch of hops in the back, just enough to push it over the edge for me. ABV is very well hidden and had no issues at all with polishing this one off.

Overall this was very, very solid. Not really sure what style it fits into but it was soo damn good. I was very impressed here.

 1,086 characters

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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
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