José Martí American Porter | Cigar City Brewing

272 Reviews
no score
Send samples
José Martí American PorterJosé Martí American Porter

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is a heavily hopped high gravity porter featuring the hopping levels of an India Pale Ale with the rich and roasty malt profile of a robust porter. Heavy hop rates, while uncommon in today's porters were not unknown historically and recipes from the British porter producers of the 1800's evidence hopping rates far in excess of what is common for the style today.

65 IBU

Added by mcallister on 08-11-2010

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 272 | Ratings: 971
Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from botle purchased at total wine in Ft. Myers, FL, and travelled back to NY...
Pours a deep brown with slight off white head. Big hop aroma, mixed with bitter dark coffe malts. Taste is bitter coffee malts mixed with crisp hop flavor. Its a bit over bitter, over carbonated, and thin, but still has a nice flavor. Nice brew, not the best porter out there, but good and nice to drink.

 392 characters

Photo of scottyshades
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Certainly a well-hopped porter, but balanced nicely. Hops are more complimentary than primary.

Rich malty profile, chocolate, a hint of lactose. Very smooth and creamy, drinks like a 4% beer but lacks real depth or complexity.

Pairs well with food

 250 characters

Photo of fmccormi
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straight pour from 12oz bottle to a 25cl Duvel Single tulip; no freshness dating visible. I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be some smudgy red ink near the top of the label, à la most 12oz bottles of Jai Alai these days, but it’s shitty ink and seems to rub off easily. Cigar City, please use a better printing technique. That said, when I picked it up I was told by the beer guy at that particular Whole Foods that it had come in just this past Thursday, so this little bastard is brand-spanking-new.

Appearance (3.0): One finger of dark tan head, bubbling away actively, rises from a straight pour capping a dark, dark brown, not really opaque, dark reddish-amber at the edges, body. There’s some very modest lacing and even less remarkable retention, but not it’s not awful. A few small suds here and there.

Smell (4.5): Lots of good coffee, toffee, and roasted, toasted grains come forth from the bottle; from the glass, there’s more chocolate (like 70-80% cacao kind of dark chocolate) and some fruity, acidic red grapefruit juice kind of citrus tones mixed in. Excellent aromas, and very fragrant.

Taste (4.0): A very nice mixture of bitter chocolate, medium-roast coffee, and some hickory-type charred character dominates the flavor, but there are some bitter, citrus pith-type acidic hop notes that add a counterpoint that comes out more in the finish than in the body. More coffee and toffee, as per the nose, but this does not come off as particularly sweet at all—it’s just a moderately toasted caramel character, but very subtle and tucked underneath the bitter roast and hops. The hoppy citrus character sweetens as it warms up, which makes for a nice counterpoint to the roast, even if it doesn’t mesh perfectly. More bitter cacao and coffee toward the finish. No sign of alcohol, although it likely gets washed away in the bitter roast character of the malt and contributes to the drying character that the hoppy finish provides.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Excellent feel, spot-on for what I think a porter should be: there’s a creamy, smooth, actively foaming carbonation that tingles assertively here and there but expands substantially on the way down, while the body is medium-weight, hop-oily in that almost astringent, drying way, and finishes dry, as well. It drinks like an IPA.

Overall (4.0): This is a damn good American porter. I like that it maintains all the trappings of a dark beer that drinks and feels like an IPA, but without coming off as an ABA/CDA/IBA, etc. As for the relatively low appearance score, it may be that I poured this on the cold side and, for what it’s worth, I seem to weigh appearance much more heavily than most people, but it’s still not a bad looking beer. I just can’t get enough head, in most cases (har har, I know . . . ). Definitely worth trying, if you like porters and / or hoppy dark beers.

 2,879 characters

Photo of IcarusComplex
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh wow. I have to run, so I'll return to this soon and edit it with all the particulars, but to just summarize my notes, this tastes like some masterbrewer's private homebrew. From three centuries back in time.
Detectable yeast with complex and balanced esters, earthy and assertive hops, spot-on chocolate, coffee and roasted barley notes that are far and away from the blunt and deragotory shouting of flavours (sadly) in most American-brewed porters. Hazed opaque, deep, deeeep brown colour with reddish tints towards the glass's edges, rather than a flat black all the way through. Instant classic in my book, tastes REAL in a way that's hard to pin, just nothing is off, or excessive or blunt. The beer is a whole being, ingredients playing together really well. I loved this last year, but never reviewed it, and I think I may have fallen for it even harder this release. A must-try for Porter fans, and one of CCB's best brews, in my opinion (FL native here, too)!

 972 characters

Photo of Duff27
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Half-inch medium mocha head on a dark brown body. Visible chunky sediment floating about. Leaves a strong collar and somewhat of a cap, no lacing.

S- Surprisingly, I am not blown away by a large hop presence but instead greeted with chocolate notes on the nose.

T- Okay, there are the hops....really come out at the end of each sip and in the aftertaste. Mouthwatering chocolate on the forefront. Really delicious. Well hidden 8%ABV.

M- A nice and thick porter in the mouth. Low but fitting carbonation level.

D/O- It's hoppiness sets it apart from 98% of porters out there, just short of over the top. I found the cocoa and bitterness to play well off each other. Yum!

 676 characters

Photo of JPortillo
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark blackish brown color with 1 fingers worth of a tan head...nicely carbonated.
S- Great roasted malty caramel smell
T- Nice hoppy roasted malt taste with a dry finish to it.
M- nice dry mouthfeel on this porter.
O-overall another great beer from cigar city...highly recommended porter.

 290 characters

Photo of macrosmatic
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

A: Dark dark brown, essentially opaque. Approximately one finger's worth of tan head, but it doesn't last. There are quite a lot of large, floating pieces of sediment here. Don't remember that from before, not sure it bodes well.

S: Coffee-roasted sweet malt aroma hides just a bit of pine hop smell.

T: After giving the beer several minutes for the mystery floaters to settle out, I find that the taste follows the nose well - heavy on the burnt coffee flavor, hop bitterness. Hints of cacao. A not-unpleasant bitterness hangs for a little while after the swallow.
UPDATE: I do find this better when fresh. The hop flavors are brighter, but blend better with the roastiness. Pine with some grassiness, and the roasty bitter blends with the hop bitter well.

M: Smooth, and more weight to the mouthfeel than many American Porters, which is a welcome variation to me. Alcohol extremely well-hidden.

O: This wasn't as good as I remember it. Not sure if something was wrong with the bottle that caused the precipitates, but the hop presence wasn't what I remembered. When I have a chance to pick up another bottle, I'll update the review.

 1,181 characters

Photo of JohnQVD
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours dark ruby-brown with a wisp of light foam. Aroma is of rich chcocolate. Taste is tart and chocolaty;, medium modied with a bite of carbonation, and leaves behind a slight taste of grapefruit. Further into the glass, a roasted quality becomes more noticeable along with a mild spiciness.

Overall, this is a highly drinkable, tasty brew.

 342 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Total Wine (St Pete, FL). 8.88/ 4pk. Bottled 12/11. Served in a pint glass. 

Pours dark mohogany brown with 2 fingers lively pale tan head. Nice clumps of lacing left on the glass. 

A mild but pleasant nose with sweet cocoa, roast malt and a sweet almost burnt sugar aroma. 

Nice blend of flavors. Coffee, cocoa, roasty but with a noticeable piney hop flair behind it. The alcohol is only vaguely perceptable. Nice bittersweet mocha aftertaste. 

Medium light body with a nice carbonated zest. Swirling the glass renews a nice tan layer of head.

This is one of my favorite porters. It has a great blend of typical dark roasty flavors with a great bitter hop bite. Certainly worth a try if you get a chance. 

 733 characters

Photo of woosterbill
3.59/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from November 2011 into a Duvel tulip. Thanks to vonschplieffen for this one.

A: Intense for a Porter, with a fully black body sitting placidly underneath two inches of dense, steady, meringue-like light-brown head that leaves tons of lace. Perfectly beautiful.

S: Spicy hops, chocolate malt, graham cracker, and a bit of vanilla. Pleasant, but not spectacular.

T: Hoppy up front, with both spice and pine notes; solid chocolate malt fills out the middle along with some caramel sweetness, and the finish delivers powerful bitterness, light coffee roastiness, and a touch of booze. Again, good but less than great.

M: Very frothy, with tons of carbonation overwhelming what seems like it might have been a medium body. Not as much heft as I'd like from an 8% beer, but still pleasantly creamy.

O: I feel like this might have been a pretty solid Black IPA if it were really fresh, but after 5 months the hops are present more in their bitterness and spiciness than in terms of any distinctive flavors or aromas. It's an enjoyable beer, but I was expecting more.


 1,086 characters

Photo of HalfFull
2.94/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep to moderate brown with crimson highlights from a 12 oz. bottle and into a large wine glass. Clear and bright on the pour with half an inch of mocha cap which offers good retention.

Nose of roasted malts and an intriguing fruit quality. More in the English style. Odd raspberry/strawberry milk aromas present at times.

Offers a robust coffee flavor with a bit of espresso, and some dark cherry and chocolate notes as well. Deeper chocolate with warming along with a fair dose of earthy hops. Flavors are a bit short however and don't linger for long. Lacks complexity overall.

Feel is moderate and offers a bit of viscous fruit, again reminiscent of an English yeast, but is overall rather thin for the style, particularly at 8%. Interesting yet a bit of a miss for me.

 784 characters

Photo of claspada
2.63/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very dark brown color with a big sticky tan head and some nice rings of lacing.

Aromas begin with huge roasted maltiness; some bitter coffee and chocolate notes are close behind. There are some really strong hop aromas here too, quite earthy and faintly citrusy.

The tastes, like the aromas, are an assault of bitterness on the palate. A ton of roasted/charred malts; the black coffee flavors are almost as intense as the roasted/burnt graininess, with some bitter dark chocolate on the backend. The hop notes are more citrus than the nose lets on, but still quite earthy. Astoundingly bitter, and really just not a flavor combination I am a fan of.

The mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied with a medium level of carbonation. Bitterness is overwhelming here and wrecks your palate in the finish.

Overall I could not drink this beer. Too much bitterness, too much hops, just too much. I do not enjoy hoppy dark ales so this just totally didn't work for me. This is not a porter in my opinion, but a black IPA/Cascadian dark ale. Not my cup of tea for sure.

 1,068 characters

Photo of QuentinCall
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On gravity cask at The Porter in the ATL.
This beer arrives still and surprisingly cold, resembling ultimately, in its umber opaqueness, really turbid pond water. Interestingly, the character of its opacity seems agitated, almost roiling in the snifter, as if it will soon separate into approximately equal light and dark halves ... it doesn't.
The nose is primarily composed of an expressive, though muted, roast profile, a citrusy hop fragrance bores through this, providing some nice ballast. While there are lingering vestiges of wood and greenery to be found here it is really only the orange and citrus notes that effectively announce themselves.
The taste follows appropriately: bright coffee tones and brighter hop moments that are balanced by milk, esters, chocolate, and, perhaps, a trace of oak. All of this however is thoroughly encompassed by the preeminent roasted malts. Once brought up to temperature, the varied components of this beer merge into an admirable whole -- tenebrous but burnished, smooth but gently enkindled -- lovelylovelylovely.
Feel-wise this does everything it needs to: it is astoundingly creamy, substantial, and sufficiently carbonated; certainly near the top of my own personal list.
Overall, this is another wonderful offering from Cigar City, a clear example that they, most assuredly, have their shit together in Tampa. A dark/dense, straightforward Porter that also happens to be elegantly hopped and possessive of a unique enough constitution to keep one guessing and intrigued.

 1,526 characters

Photo of chocosushi
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cigar City Tulip
A ~ Pours black with Mahogany edges. Cocoa powder head with twinges of cream color throughout. Divine lace. Simply a beautiful looking beer.

S ~ BIG whiffs of molasses-like maltyness, dates, & smoked meat. There is an earthy mossy undercurrent. Mixed nuts & black coffee pop up here & there.

T ~ Dark Raisin bread with thick layers of Cinnamon-Sugar Butter, fading into chocolate ganache & carmelized peaches (deeep notes of caramelized peaches)..Roasted Coffee notes reminiscent of a good Cafe au Lait. . Slight orange & strong pine resin. Flavors are constantly evolving here.

M ~Very exciting feel. Lively carbonation that carries things through & a deep rooted & focused roastyness that pushes you along the settling into a bone-dry, chalky finish.

D ~ One of the best American porters I have had to date. Very focused flavors, a substantial ABV, no heat, no boozyness, & a great finish. Delectable! Big ups to my Papa in FL for this one!

 964 characters

Photo of harrymel
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 20DEC11

Pours a pretty brown/black with a slow falling finger of latte foam. Nice lace. Smells of grass, mint, resin, cold coffee and dry malts. Bitter up front with a kick of dry, porter malts and a woody toasted malt finish. The flavor is progressive and fun. Medium bodied with a little higher carb than preferred for the style and a hint of dryness on the finish (which is nice). A good beer from my standpoint. The nose is a little meh, but the hops are not overdone, and that was a fear. They have done a decent job walking the line between ABA and Porter.

 571 characters

Photo of greenmonstah
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours black with a finger of tan head with nice fat bubbles. Nice retention and lacing.

S - Hoppy for a porter, with clean roast notes, a touch of pine, cocoa, and chocolate.

T - Follows the nose closely, with a hoppy and grassy finish. Bittering from both cocoa and hops come first, with some roasted malt character. Just a touch of booze.

M - Medium body, sharp carbonation. Goes down easy but you certainly don't forget you're drinking it!

O - Overall a fine porter. Over-hopped, just as they describe. Great flavors working together to make a delicious beer.

 570 characters

Photo of inlimbo77
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Boulevard tulip. Bottled in November 2011.

A: Pours a very deep brown. There are some reddish hues towards the bottom of the glass. Two fingers of really nice looking tight bubbled light tan head. Really pretty beer. Alcohol feet and lacing sheets.

S: Lots of dark roast coffee, espresso. And also the chocolate: milk and dark. Some earthy hops are there hidden behind all the roast and chocolate.

T: I get a lot of bitterness on the tip of the tongue. Either hops or coffee or dark chocolate, it's a lot. Then in the middle you lots of those roast character. I do get dark coffee notes: espresso. Those earthy hops are adding to the bitterness I am pretty certain. Its pretty much a bitter finish too, dry.

M: Medium leading to full.

 755 characters

Photo of Homebrew35
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a half finger of a khaki head, fairly creamy. Nice lacing and good retention. Pitch black body with no light coming through.

Smells not too big overall but fairly pleasant. Roasted malts, fruity yeasty esters, as it warms quite a bit of earthy hops come out.

Tastes fairly roasty, lots of earthy dirt like hops, some bitter yeasty like notes. Lingering earthy and roasty finish. Not even a hint of the 8%.

Medium bodied with fairly high carbonation keeps this one quite drinkable. Somewhat creamy in the texture. Some what sharp and bitter on the palate similar to an IPA is no surprise.

Overall this is quite tasty. Firm bitterness and roasty notes live up to the clear description on the label. Nice job CCB.

$2 a single

 734 characters

Photo of jaasen64
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle brought back from Florida.

A- Pours a dark black, slight off-white brownish head. Nice layered lacing.

S- Roasted coffee, chocolate, licorice, hops, a little bit of dark fruits.

T- Coffee, chocolate, stout flavor mixed with a spicey hop flavor. A hybrid of a stout and an IPA. A little bit sweet but also a little bit bitter from the hops.

M- Smooth, well balanced, easily drinkable, alcohol well balanced at 8%.

O- This is my favorite beer I've had so far from CCB- I've had the Jai Lai, Maduro, and Humidor Series IPA (still have Bolita to try). I liked the balance between the coffee, chocolate sweetness of it paired with the hops which creates an interesting taste to the beer. The only downside is that the hops takes a little bit away from the sweetness from the beer, which is why I like regular porters a little bit better.

 851 characters

Photo of GameFreac
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12. oz bottle dated December 2011.

Appearance: Huge head, even with a minimal light pour. It looks like a milk shake or some whipped cream you put on top of ice cream. Takes about 5 minutes for the head to dissipate. Brown/black color. Nice looking beer.

Smell: Smells of hops, chocolate, and roasted malts. One of the hoppiest porters I've smelled.

Taste - Tastes starts off with the citrus hop flavor, then you get the roasted malts and chocolate at the back of the tongue and the aftertaste. Again, very hoppy for a porter and I'm usually not a fan of this, since I like to drink an IPA then a Stout when I'm in a session to get different ends of the spectrum, but it's really good and work well here. Alcohol is very well hidden but creeps up a tiny bit as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation and very creamy.

Overall: Glad I got to get this while I was in Florida. It's a great porter. Highly recommended.

 922 characters

Photo of Treebs
3.52/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle served in Darkness Tulip. Great extra from Eric(Holland), Thanks man!

A: Pours an opaque brown, almost black color with a thin light tan head forming on the pour. The bubbly head recedes to a thin collar, but doesn't offer much else.

S: Piney and citrus hops up front lead way to a light bitter chocolate and coffee bean. There is a touch of roasted malts on the backend.

T: Light piney hops up front with a dark fruit sweetness. That quickly fades to a chocolate malt and bittering roasted coffee finish.

M: Medium body with a solid drinkability. Medium carbonation with a slight drying finish.

O: I'm not the biggest fan of hop forward porters and stouts, but this one was very solid overall. The hops didn't linger around too long and the malt bill was solid from start to finish.

 802 characters

Photo of ms11781
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to miamichael3. Bottled in September 2011. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a very deep brown color, almost black but not quite. A massive 3+ finger head of thick tan foam develops and falls slowly. A good half finger or so of foam sits on top of the beer and leaves spotty but thick foam lacing.

Roasty and earthy notes stand out in the nose. There is a lesser chocolate aroma and perhaps some coffee that come through as well. The roast and earthiness are pretty strong but they do allow for the chocolate and coffee to be picked up.

The taste follows extremely closely with the nose with the exception of some nice hop character. Each sip is full of dark roast, some chocolate and a touch of coffee. There is also a nice pleasant earthy hop character that brings some bitterness to the finish.

The body is on the higher end of medium with medium carbonation. It gives the beer a mouthfeel that walks the line between medium and full.

This is a very good, surprisingly hoppy porter. Great roast aroma and flavor dominate but allow some other nice characteristics to come through. It gives the feeling of something bigger without being a really huge beer.

 1,180 characters

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.59/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Markwise

Look: Black and totally opaque with a 1/2 inch tan head and great retention that settles to a crazy 1/4 inch collar

Smell: Quite a bit of floral hops on the nose actually with some chocolate undertones

Taste: Again the beer starts off with the floral hops then there is some roasted malt mid palate and finishes with chocolate and coffee

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation

Overall: Honestly I wasn't the biggest fan of this beer I didn't really care to much for it being hops forward.

 527 characters

Photo of Naugros
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Duh-ude! If you want a full-flavored, roasty, toasty porter then look for this one. Let's get past the appears as a porter. Enough of that. The smell is of sweetened, strong, black coffee with half a shot of ouzo. Yeah, there's a bit of licorice in the smell to go along with the coffee and chocolate.

But the taste steals the show. OMG, how did they chock so much flavor into a porter? Tons of roasted malts and strong, bitter-ass coffee with a touch of chocolate. The hops come across as pine which you'd think would clash with the rest, but not here. It works in really well as a cohesive whole. Screw chicory in the black-ish beers, piny hops bring it.

The body is nearly that of a stout in the fullness of the body and the ashy feel in the mouth. Really nice and if you didn't know better you'd think that you had a hopped imp stout in your glass.

 872 characters

Photo of iadler
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Aiptasia.

A- Pours a dark brown with a thick 2 finger head. Subtle lacing is left behind.

S- Roasted malt, barley, dark chocolate, grassy and earthy hops, orange, grapefruit, char and smoke.

T- Roasted malt, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa powder, brown sugar, char and a hint of orange.

M- Medium carbonation with a full body that finishes dry. with the char and roasted malt lingering.

O- I was expecting more hop presnce in the taste following the aroma, but it seemed to be quite subdued. It still however was a nice porter with plenty of roast presence.

 581 characters

José Martí American Porter from Cigar City Brewing
4.05 out of 5 based on 971 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.