Sea Bass | Cigar City Brewing

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Sea BassSea Bass
Sea BassSea Bass

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: Belgian Saison

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
According to the head brewer, this a "dark farmhouse ale".

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 107 | Ratings: 194
Photo of nickfl
4.62/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The cap pops off with a loud hiss and the beer ends up topped with a huge, three and a half finger head of enthusiastic, light tan foam. The body is dark brown with clear, amber highlights and the head settles slowly, leaving thick, lacy patterns on the glass. A very nice looking beer.

S - Funky wild yeast with lots of rich, brown malt. Caramel and toasted notes blend with moderate acidic notes in a way that is quite reminiscent of a Flemish red.

T - Sweet caramel malt and pungent acidity up front with a light, dry black cherry note. Some molasses and more caramel in the middle that fades to a sweet, malty finish. The sweet/sour interplay of the malt and acidity lingers in the aftertaste with subtle fruity notes of sweet orange and black cherry.

M - Medium-thick body, high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Wow, I am not sure that this is really a saison, but whatever it is, it's phenomenal! The aroma is truly spectacular and the flavor is not far behind. The acidity is at the perfect level to balance and highlight the richness of the malt. There is a bit of fruit in the background that adds complexity without compromising the harmony of the beer's other ingredients. This yeast seems to yield spectacular results every time they use it (I am believe it is the same St. Somewhere strain that they use for Guava Grove) and I hope to see Cigar City brewing more saisons in the future.

 1,419 characters

Photo of aepb1
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark, opaque brown with a foamy brownish head and wonderful lacing

S- Spicey fruits, sour but something earthy/sweet in the nose too

T- Tart fruit up front and a nice crisp finish. In the middle you get a whole bunch of sweetness and in the aftertaste as well. It's got some funk like a wild ale

M- Medium bodied, creamy feel from the carbonation... interesting for the style but the feel works real well with the sourness

D- I love the warming from this as well. Overall, the take on the Farmhouse Ale is an interesting one being tart and that touch of sweetness too. I enjoy it quite a bit.

 607 characters

Photo of ottovon
4.42/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

shared with whiterascal.

A: pours out a very dark, hazy amber color with a tan head. lots of head on this one.

S: i get a lot of tartness and vinegar in the nose. some fruit as well like strawberries and raspberries. i also get some roasted malt and toffee aromas. a little bit of earthiness as well.

T: it is sort of tart/vingary in the front and finished out dry and a little bitter. i get some strawberry and raspberry. there is also roasted malt and some chocolate. also some earthiness in the finish.

M: it has a thin mouthfeel with a lot of carbonation.

D: this is a great beer. wish we had more than just this bottle. no problem drinking this regularly.

 668 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
4.37/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours an extremely dark reddish brown, hazy. Small head drops to thin film that leaves no lace.
Smell is cherry, malt, sour and tart, hops.
Taste is tart, malt, cherry, sour.
Very reminiscent of a personal favorite, Duchess du Borgogne. A little rougher around the edges perhaps but very good. Tart, with a light effervescence and a smooth, somewhat dry finish. Pour me another one, please.

 391 characters

Photo of mondegreen
4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Allagash Tulip.

Pours dark brown with a giant tan head. Great retention and lacing. Very dark for a Saison (I'm used to pale Saisons).

Smell is tart with hints of ripe fruit and vinegar. Taste is very clean. By that I mean there is a distinct funk/tartness, but it does not linger where it's not wanted. Reminds me of an Oud Bruin in some ways, but much more crisp on the tounge than most Oud Bruins I've had.

This is a unique take on the Saison style, and CCB pulled it off well. This one is worth seeking out for fans of funky beer. It won't blow your socks off with sourness, but the balance of flavors is praise worthy.

 644 characters

Photo of babaracas
4.32/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black sea bass on the label, a dark saison inside... pours a cloudy dark brown-orange, towering cream colored head fades slowly to a quarter inch leaving a ring of thick lace. Smell: caramel sweetness, soft banana, big tropical fruit, musty, acidic. Taste: guava, papaya, really tart but softened by caramel and banana, spicy.

Late Aug/Sept 2010 bottling.

On second thought, the tart components of this are pretty similar to a Flanders red ala Rodenbach grand cru...

 469 characters

Photo of danedelman
4.29/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 750ml bottle into my tulip glass

A-dark mahogany with a tan 4 finger head that stuck around for the whole glass.

S-lots of sour cherry smell. Smells tart like this style should hoping there is real lactobacillus in it. smells are positive.

T-dark cherry flavor with a tartness in the finish. very nice balance between the sweet and sour. Lacto was used in this one and it rates high on my list.

M-very light and crisp. very carbonated and bright.

Overall-I really enjoyed and will search out more.

 516 characters

Photo of aubuc1
4.29/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on draft at world of beer.

Pours very drak brown with a thin head.

Smell is a nice sour with ripe fruit and some light wood.

Taste is a good sour up front with a dry cedary finish.

The dryness makes me thirsty and wanting to keep drinking.

Another very good beer from tampa.

 291 characters

Photo of cjgator3
4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle

A- Poured into a Cigar City snifter. Pours a very dark brownish black color with a light tan head with awesome retention and lacing all over the glass. 

S- The aroma is sweet, tart, fruity and yeasty. Smells very similar to Guava Grove. Very nice!

T- The taste is fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. The taste starts out sweet and tart with some dark fruits and a smooth yeasty finish. 

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied and exceptionally smooth with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I really enjoyed Sea Bass. Yet another fantastic offering from Cigar City. Well done! 

 600 characters

Photo of djmichaelk
4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle into my CCB snifter. This is not very saison-like, so I'm reviewing this as what it seems like -- a flemish red.

A - Pours a ruby-brown, with reddish edges when held to the light. Huge three-finger head, and it has staying power. Great retention, solid lacing that sticks to the glass; overall an outstanding looking beer.

S - Sour cherries, apples, and balsamic vinegar. It's not overwhelming, but very pleasant. Lots of acidic fruit around the edges.

T - Wow. Lots of cherry, crossed with dark fruit -- raisins, plums, cranberries -- plus some peach, pear, and apple. A bit of blackberry on the back end. A vinegary sourness, then more sour, and did I mention sour? This is great.

M - Carbonation is just right, right on the edge of being too much but then backing off and feeling like silk. It's much improved as it warms.

D - Like most in this genre, I had no problem finishing this bottle by myself, and I could go for more, but I know that I'd probably have to share to get through another bottle.

O - This one was a nice surprise. I expected a standard saison and instead got a nice cross between Supplication and Consecration with some added vinegar -- and it's even made here locally in Tampa. I want to go pick up a case of this before it's gone.

 1,278 characters

Photo of bamadog
4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Extra special thanks to sorellenator for hooking me up with this one in a recent trade. Review is from notes taken on 11/29/2010 and poured from the bottle to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark mahogany color with slightly lighter highlights near the edges; starts with a massive 3 finger fluffy light tan head with crazy retention; body is dark and fairly murky, nearly opaque; as the head dwindles, it leaves behind tons of lacing; head fades to a full and thick skim that lasts for most of the glass; really quite a beautiful looking beer.

Smell: Tons of sour and dark tart cherries -- bit of a funky barnyard/Brett aspect, but it really mostly the cherries; as it continues to warm, a bit of spiciness and sweeter maltiness starts to fight its way through; while it's not especially complex for a beer of this style, it is pretty robust and just smells good.

Taste: Well played, Cigar City. Well played. Plenty of the dark and sour cherry flavors, but there is a solid and strong malt backing with strong Belgian candi-like sugary sweetness to it along with a well-balanced infusion of Brett; bit of a warm caramel/chocolate aspect to the malts as it continues to warm; bit of a medicinal flavor sneaks in with those sour and tart flavors; aftertaste is bitter and sour.

Mouthfeel: Thicker and heavier than any sour I've had to this point; body is of a firm, medium weight; carbonation is plentiful, but it's very soft and smooth in the body; a very thick and sticky coating is left all over the mouth; belly is left warm from the acidity and ABV and the gums are left a little tingly for the same reasons.

Drinkability: Actually, this is really something that I could sip on all night as the sour/tart aspects don't become overwhelming or overly acidic after a while as is sometimes the case with beers of this caliber (not that I'm knocking them, as most of them are still quite awesome); I feel it would also start to sit a little heavy and the ABV would likely start to catch up, but I figure it's made for sipping, so if one were to take his/her time with it, they could easily enjoy it for an evening.

 2,120 characters

Photo of dstc
4.23/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby brown color with a thick, foamy tan head. Excellent head retention and nice lace.

Nice aroma. Plenty of spice and plenty of that nice farmhouse funk. Tart fruits and spice.

Wow, great taste. Super funky and very tart and sour. Bit different in bottle than on tap but still good.

Medium bodied with a nice bite and plenty puckering.

Watched plenty of people trying this at the CCB taproom, scrunching up their faces pushing the glass away and order something different. THIS is something different, something wonderfully different. I just love it.

 572 characters

Photo of JayS2629
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This went over well at a beer tasting with everyone. Mainly the taste. People talked about reducing it down for a steak or salad.

Poured a cola color with a gigantic tan head that had good rentention and lacing.

The aroma was of malt vinegar, green apple roasted malt and earthy hops. Nothing complex, but dominantly funky and sour with vinegar ruling.

The taste was of balsamic vineagar, hints of citrus, and earthy hops with a backbone of roasted malt, a touch of chocolate, green apple and sour cherry. quite complex and delicious.

Overall a very interesting and good beear. A definite sipper that takes a little getting used to.

 636 characters

Photo of mntlover
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany color with a big fluffy khaki head that falls slowly with lots of lace.

Aroma is nice big funky, sour lots of wine like notes. Light fruity grapes, lemon zest lots of spice on earthy/sugary malts.

Taste is tart fruits, lots of spice zesty fun on a nice sugary malt base with earthy notes. Very different saison really tart and fruity tries to override the sugary malt bass but its always there trying to peak through. Fun to keep sipping and enjoying.

Mouthfeel is nice medium lively carbonation but seems to go good with the style.

Overall a different brew but finding it enjoyable just sipping and trying to figure it out.

 650 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large bottle, capped, w/o freshness/bottling date info, $12.99 at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY

Pours dark mahogany, under an initially huge medium tan head slowly fading, then a thicker film and thick strands of lace.

Pungent nose highlighted by lactic sourness, fruity funkiness and a hint vinegar as well as earthy goodness.

Solidly sour for a saison, more fresh fruit, earthy, jammy, complex and flavorful. More interesting, out of the box, but still approachable creation from CC. Keep em coming to NY, enjoying each one...

 526 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blut59 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a large light tan head. A lot darker than a lot of saisons I have tried. The aroma is a mix of toffee and tart cherries. It doesn't smell as sour as I expected it to.

The flavor is where the sourness comes in. I get a lot of tart cherries, some vinegar notes, caramel and toffee malt and some red wine notes. The sour/tart aspects of the beer are very well done and blend very well with the other flavors.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

A very nice sour beer from an amazing brewery.

 584 characters

Photo of SFLpunk
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL brown glass pry-top champagne bottle. Purchased at Knightly Spirits, OBT, Orlando FL.

Pours super dark for what i was expecting with some thin tan head. Nose is surprisingly tart smelling...didn't know this was funked...smells like rum-soaked raisins and cranberries.

Palate is super tart and very reminiscent of an oude bruin. Acetic acid is prevelant and Brett too. Super tart with lots of dark fruits.

Lovely and delicious. Under-rated and mis-categorized. Should be Wild Ale.

 488 characters

Photo of fear025
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma:Very similar to a sour beer like Supplication.

Appearance:Black and opaque. Very nice, off-white head. Great lacing, great retention.

Taste:Extremely tart right at the beginning, fading off in the aftertaste. Lemon, apple, persimmon flavors on the foretaste.

Mouthfeel:Light to medium body, good carbonation, some harsh astringency.

Drinkability:I was not expecting this beer to be nearly as sour as it is. This beer would do Jolly Pumpkin proud. It was quite a surprise, and very enjoyable.

 501 characters

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

A. Pours a clear brown with one finger fizzy tan head with some amber edges.

S. Apple cider vinegar with characteristic brown/ amber malt aromas.

T. Like a sour brown ale or a flanders red ale, vinegar tart and funky

M. Thin to medium body with medium carbonation

D. Much different than I expected, but paired well on Thanksgiving with the smoked turkey.

 380 characters

Photo of pdoran10
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a very dark brown almost black color into a New Belgium snifter. A full hand of head. Had to cut the pout short. Nice lacing.

Smell is musty basement tartness. Wet blanket and lemon tart.

Taste is bet of a let up on the sour from the smell. More malt comes through as well as a spicy pepper note. The malt is sweet and caramalized, but balanced by a still strong sour basement presence. Think pepe nero but sour and more malty.

Mouthfeel is pretty damn thick with moderate to high carbonation. Drinks like La Folie mouthfeel wise.

Really unique beer and nice flavors, but I'm not sure they all mesh 100% for me. I find myself really liking the beer, but feeling like there is something off about it. perhaps the big malt, spicy yeast, and sour bacteria are a bit overwhelming, while still tasty.

 809 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.14/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An interesting beer. I know that some people have had infection issues with this one, but mine is basically fine, except for the fact that it's over carbonated. No off flavors or medicinal tastes, just some pleasant funk and sour. Foams terribly when poured- far too much time to settle the head, at least 10 minutes for the multiple pours required. A slightly murky brown with a fluffy head. Nicely sour on the nose, with some zingy fruitiness and a hint of darkness. The taste is even better, with a nice balance between a dark, almost roasty taste and some sour and light funk with a coffee and bitter chocolate and orange juice finish, and a nice creaminess. An unusual interplay of flavors, but don't get me wrong- the flavors are more spaced out rather than intermingled, so the seemingly competing flavors work nicely layered as they are. I enjoyed this a good bit, especially after it sat for an hour or so and lost much of the excess carbonation.

 955 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.13/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle.

Pours dark brown with a massive, glass-filling eruption of beige, dense froth. After aproximately five minutes the head sank to an inch and the beer was accessible. Tons of lacing and a solid foam cap for the duration.

Aromatics lead off with tart, vineous fruit, acid-laced wine, and shades of raisins, toffee, and horsestall. Fairly funky with a tart, fruity promise.

Medium bodied with a crisp, sharp mouthfeel.

Tart cherries, bright acid, balsamic and cider vinegar, and soured apples start the palate.
Tannic, musty notes follow through and hint at red wine barrels.

Finishes with lingering tart fruit, vinous funk, and bright acid.

Nice beer, but certainly more tart that expected for the style. I dig it.

 732 characters

Photo of merlin48
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to mntlover. Pours a mahogany body with a large beige head. Good retention with lots of clumpy lacing.

Aroma has barnyard funk, dark fruits, earthy hops, and a pronounced spicy component of clove, nutmeg, coriander, and "burn your nose" black peppercorns.

Creamy carbonation with a medium body.

Taste is very complex. Dark fruits, clove, coriander, pepper,earthy hops, sour cherries,grapes, brown sugar, and even a hint of chocolate. Lots of different elements competing for your attention here but it all comes together somehow.

Don't really know what to make of these dark saisons but this one is very drinkable even with so much going on. Very interesting experience.

 688 characters

Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a dark purplish-brown color with a one-finger light tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of medium malts with solid amounts of tart cherry and lighter amounts of darker fruits - figs with hints of plums.

Tastes similar to how it smells although the fruit flavors aren't quite as robust. Neutral dark malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of moderately tart cherry flavors. Midway through the sip the flavors thicken up a bit with hints of earthy yeast flavors. Finally, dark fruit flavors make a brief appearance near the end of the sip before fading out into a mildly bitter ending.

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

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer, kind of a darker, less sweet Flanders Red in that wasn't too overdone on the tartness. Worth a shot.

 970 characters

Photo of craytonic
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer reminded me a good bit of Fantome Strange Ghost (although I prefer the Fantome)

Appearance: Pour is a Muddy Mississippi brown/mahogany, nice rocky head

Smell & taste: Nice tart fruits (sour black cherry, tart blackberries & apple) with some vinegar/sour/funk notes beneath with a bit of oak on the backend. A bit jammy. Very enjoyable

Mouthfeel: creamy, medium weight, just about perfect for the style.

Drinkability: We split this one four ways, I wish I had split it with only one person or had it to myself. It

 526 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Sea Bass from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 194 ratings