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Sea Bass | Cigar City Brewing

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Sea BassSea Bass

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

Added by aepb1 on 09-29-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 107 | Ratings: 194
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle I bought at Rattle 'N' Hum. This is a wild ale, and is more reedish flemish than saison. I smell yeast and cuvee. Dark reddish colour, lacey. A smooth creamy head and mouthfeel.Vinegary sour and citrus hoppiness that makes it more of a sipper but addictive.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at Woodshop 7 held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and some sour and tart fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a slightly tart finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is quite tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of largadeer
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks, Allan.

Dark brown with amber highlights. Clear for the first pour with a lasting white head.

Straberries coated in balsamic vinegar and sugar. Both sweet and acetic, lot of juicy fruitiness from the acid and a touch of acetone. Smells like a Flemish red to me, not sure why this is labeled as a saison.

Palate is similar: brown sugar, strawberries, cherries. Fairly light bodied and fizzy, but somewhat syrupy with the balsamic sweetness. Finishes fruity, lot of strawberry and tannins. Pretty good for a Flemish red, which is what I'm rating it as. As a saison it's an epic failure.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a cloudy brown color with a massive, creamy head that sticks and laces

Smell: Acetic blend of cherry and apple with undertones of fig

Taste: Opens with a tart apple/cherry flavor with subtle sweet undertones that, by mid-palate, becomes overwhelmingly sour, in a vinegary, acetic sense; after the swallow, the sourness continues to dominate, leaving a dry, woody sense on the palate in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation; a real puckering sensation

Drinkability: I just don't know about this one as I wish it were labeled differently; definitely not a Saison and I don't think the wild elements are well harmonized into the profile; the label says it is pugilistic and it is that

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark color ale with a huge dirty beige foamy head with excellent retention and some great lacing. Aroma of tart notes is more powerful then I had expected with some funky yeast and some light spices. Taste is a weird mix between light balsamic notes with some wood and a subtle vinous feel with strong tart notes and some funky yeast. Body is slightly above average with great carbonation. Very interesting beer with a mix between lightly roasted malt and balsamic vinegar.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Bruery tulip.

Pours near black with a tan head. Three fingers of head to start out with some nice and sticky lacing. The nose brings a slight lactic character with a bit of cherry. Some nice roast notes there as well. The taste brings a slight sourness and just a tad bit of funk. There is some light roast there as well. Sourness in the feel and I really like the body. A bit of acetic cherry character in the taste and feel. Medium body and low carbonation. This is quite interesting and I'm glad I got to try it.

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Photo of nickfl
4.62/5  rDev +26.2%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
3.21/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Shared large bottle.
Huge foamy head from a bottle that was itself foaming over.
Medium-high tartness with mild bitterness. Plenty fruity.
Boozy, funky, sour aroma.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of haze and cloudiness here with a large two finger high head of white foam that just would not receded. Lots of carbonation coming up from the bottom to reinforce it.

The aroma was loaded with spices. Hints of lemon and cinnamon where abound here, with a rich earthy mix to it. Lots of almost a nutmeg I am picking up here. The flavor took off right where that left off. A rich mixture of lemon, fresh grass, light fruit flavors and a ton of spice. Nice hints of allspice, cinnamon and pepper here. Nice light to medium body feel capped it off very well and the overall drinkability was very nice,

Overall not half bad. Not the best in the style I had ever had, but definitely worth seeking out to try again

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Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kevin for sharing this one.

A: The pour is a slightly murky dark brown color with an enormous tan colored head.

S: The nose starts off with tart dark fruits and a mild spiciness. Sour black cherries start to take over and there's a bit of an acidity to go along with the roasted malts. Probably infected, but it works.

T: The "fears" of infection are almost certainly corroborated. Lots of tart fruit notes, particularly cherries and blackberries, and just sour overall. Still, it's quite complex with some earthy and mildly chalky qualities.

M: The body is medium with a high level of carbonation and quite dry.

D: I don't normally give very favorable reviews to beers that are infected (or give off the appearance of being so), but this was certainly an exception. Nice flavors and aromas, and I don't think a saison getting infected is really all that big of a deal...

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes 4/8/11.

A: Pours a hazy dark brown with a very large, off-white head. Very nice retention and leaves rings of lacing. Darkest saison/farmhouse I have ever seen.

S: A surprising amount of cherry, a little bit of apple, and some raisins.

T: Surprisingly tart for the style. Lots of cherry and apple again.
Definitely sour with some wood.

M: Medium bodied with high carbonation. Makes your mouth pucker a little due to the sourness.

O: I quite like the flavors, but if I had to guess the style, I would never have guessed saison/farmhouse, none of the aspects present make me think of a classic in this style.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.16/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 01/02/11 notes. Had at a local tasting thanks to nimbleprop; thanks Mac.

a - Pours a murky amber-mahogany color with two fingers of fluffy off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sour fruits, dark fruit, citrus, and spices.

t - Tastes of sour apples, sour fruit, dark fruit, and lightly metallic.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - An average saison. Someone at the tasting said they had this a month ago and their bottle was much mroe tart and had a lot more cherries; I didn't get any cherries in this one. Glad I got to try it but wouldn't seek out again.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike for sharing this one. Served in a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours with a finger of light tan foam that features good retention and some splotchy lace. Dark brown murky body.

S - Some very unexpected funky and spiciness to this one. Sour grapes, spicy esters, a whiff of alcohol, light acetic acid, and some implied oak. I'm pretty sure this isn't barrel-aged but the vinous and acetic quality reminds me of some Flanders beers that are. Quite unique, and my favorite smelling brew of the evening.

T - The taste is quite a bit different, and while it's still pretty good it's fair more traditional farmhouse ale. Grassy hops, dandelion, some other spices and zestiness. Finish is not so much sour as it is bitter.

M - A little over-carbonated, but not as much as some of the other beers of the evening. Medium in body, with a dry finish. No obvious alcohol warmth.

D - The beer smells great, but the aftertaste gets a bit fatiguing after a while. I'd like to try this to see how it ages over time, and perhaps with a bit more time (and a larger sample) to give it the contemplation it deserves. It feels far more like a Saint Somewhere beer than a Cigar City one.

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Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
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...

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Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a bottle with Thorpe, thanks Mike. Poured into a Bruery tulip. Beer is black with a tan head. Head is big but falls away quickly.

The aroma is sweet and sour with cherries and mild lactic notes. Smells a little yeasty but really good.

There is a brett character to this beer that is accented by the presence of the lactic acid. The beer is creamy and medium bodied, the finish is bitter with the roasted grains. There is a mild tartness in the corners of the mouth. Its a decent beer.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hophead84 for sharing this brew at barrel blast

A: poured an amber brown in color with brown highlights that had a thin head but left some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: pretty intresting aroma consisting of cherries, bretty funky character, oaky, vineagr, and. Plum notes but had faint vinous notes.

T: the taste actually had more dark fruity vinous flavors but still had the bretty funky oaky character with cherry, accents, and a touch of vinegar.

M: the brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a funky, vinous, dark fruity, mild tart finish.

D: I like the take on a farmhouse style but was kinda all over the place, it was still tasty and was glad to have some.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Victor for opening this up at the Hulmeille, i'll get you back.

A few pours into a goblet shows that this saison is quite dark, not black, but a muddy ruby red with some big not so tight bubbles up above. It was quite foamy after a bit and it looked infected, I know that look.

smells fruity and like it's going to be slightly acidic. Don't know if this is supposed to be infected but something is there, not in a bad way though, yet. Some berries with a strange yeast. Smells like strange fruit juice.

Taste is quite strange. a mix of red and blue berry slightly tart. Sea bass is mostly fruity. I cant really pick up on anything else. My head is wrapped around, trying to dicypher this.

feel is less than medium goes in tart and finishes slightly acidic. It's carbed up nice and is a little bitey roughing up the tounge a bit. A little big in body for your typical saison, yet Sea Bass is not your typical beer.

Overall, a decent beer worthy of a go if you get the chance, Not one I would recommend aging, who knows where this will go, it;s all over the place now.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A solid pour yields a four finger thick head initially that fills my Lost Abbey Teku glass that then grows two fingers more in height above the rim of my glass. The beer looks incredibly viscous as the head is produced, surprisingly so. The head is an amber tinged, tan color. The beer is a dark amber / brown color that shows a lightly hazed ruby-amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of sweet caramelized and sour plums with lots of spicy, woody oak. The oak leans towards buttery oak notes, and dusty wood after some time and there are other aromas that produce some musty notes and even a touch of strawberry like aromatics. This last is brought out by an acetic acid character, in fact I really don’t smell any real lactic acidity in the nose; the acetic character is at a low enough level to be supporting / accentuating of the other notes though. When you really dig long and deep the acetic seems to disappear and the most dominant note becomes that of cut, oxidized apples that are backed by a toasted, slightly spicy, whole grain character. There is a distinct note of clove towards the finish that took me a while to notice. There also a touch of acetone character in the nose as well.

This is sweet tasting and fruity as the beer first hits my tongue, the acidity is not really aggressive but adds a nice counterpoint to the chewy malt character. The sweetness of the first sip disappears pretty quickly and the acetic acid provides an almost sweet sensation. The beer finishes with an oaky astringency that lingers a bit in the back of the mouth along with a crystal malt like toasted grain character. The acetic acid definitely adds a spiciness to this brew and it also accentuates a fruitiness that leans towards strawberries, but there are also notes of sweet-tart plums, oxidized apples, and perhaps even some fermented dried fig notes. Some of the spiciness is contributed by the oak flavors and perhaps a hint from the darker grain notes. This beer is actually quite thick and viscous (especially when you consider the typical sour), but it actually isn’t nearly as thick and viscous as I expected from the visual of pouring the beer. A hint of green, almost vegetal character is noticeable as a hint on the palate every once in a while, but nominally I can’t taste it. As the beer warms up some of the sweetness starts to come back and accentuates some flavors of caramelized grain and a bit more of the fruitiness. More, underlying, whole-grain flavors start to come out as well with brown bread notes, generally sweet bread notes, and perhaps even a hint of toasted bread character is noticeable.

Visually this beer was quite interesting with how thick and viscous it looked with its slowly cascading carbonation, but I must admit I was a little worried about how thick and chew this would end up being; it is thick and chewy, but nearly as much as I had feared and the extra dimension of the body works here as this beer really isn’t that sweet. I was hoping that the sourness in this would be lactic, but it is completely dominated by acetic acidity; luckily this is fairly restrained and actually is at the right level to help counteract the thick, chewy maltiness without being overly harsh or distracting.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.14/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5


Thanks, Ryan! Bottle opened by me at the 2011 Pizza Port Barrel Blast.

A: Deep crimson with a bubbly off white head.

S: Slightly medicinal vitamin and acetic character. Grape and plum, dark cherry comes out with warming.

T: Tastes like cherry and Flintstone vitamin. Some grape and plum with vinegar. Quite vinous. Very dry finish.

M: Medium body with far too much carbonation. Sticky and effervescent.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

From 750mL bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 4/4/12
*From notes

A: Deep, interior artery blood in color. The moment I begin pouring this, it foams up like none other. I mean a 4+ finger head and then some. Even though the head is massive, it doesn't leave any lacing or a collar.

S: Funky. I get the feeling this isn't intentional.

T: Yeah. This is infected. Not in a bad way though, as it's actually pretty tasty. It's a bit tart from the start, but it evens out on the mid, where some dark fruit hits. Toward the back, the funk fades ever so slightly to reveal a medium toasted malt.

M: Just explodes in the mouth like a bottle of good champagne. Massive Costco quantities of carbonation.

O: One of the best infected beers I've stumbled across. Seriously. If I were Joey Redner, I'd tell folks that this was intentional, as it drinks well and has plenty of redeeming qualities. Other then the feel, I'd give this a thumb up. But if you're still holding it, drink now. It's only gonna get worse.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
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! 

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Photo of jrallen34
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to Mike at our tasting...I'm surprised instantly by this beer as its a dark brown pour with a light brown head that has good retention and lacing...The aroma is not a typical saison either, more like a oud bruin with notes of tart apples, vinegar, and dark fruits...The taste is an extension of the aroma tartness mixed with dark fruits, a little alcohol undermines the flavor.

This is an interesting and decently tastey beer, but I wouldn't call this is a saison as that is immediate distraction.

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Photo of maximum12
4.09/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to the newly generous (to me, at least) stormking47 & the always generous moose3285 for bottles of this Cigar City brew. Hit twice off my wants before I could remove it - would that I had that trouble with all CC brews! Split with my wife on another cold Minnesota night while readying my ice-fishing gear for the my Sunday hard-water debut. Seemed fitting.

Pours midnight-dark red, with only the edges allowing faint glimmers through. Mountainous head rises & refuses to let go of the top of the brew. Smells...really good. Farmy, but with more tart that sour, dark cherries peering out of the mist. All saisons should smell this fair.

Sea Bass is something I have zero chance of catching this weekend, but I'll take this one. Tart cherries follow the nose down to the last detail, with helpings of syrupy goodness, an acidic edge, unfocused spices. Plus a sharp tang of bittering hops at the end, a nice touch that keeps the tartness nicely in check. Akin to the New Glarus twins in easy-to-grab territory, this is an easy sipper with too much alcohol for that silliness.

Saison isn't my favorite style, & this doesn't really match the image, which is perhaps why I like it. Very good beer. No idea if this borderline-wild is what Cigar City was aiming for or not, but the outcome is very good. I'm going to sit on the other bottle for a while, betting it's going to turn into a very nice sour.

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Sea Bass from Cigar City Brewing
3.66 out of 5 based on 194 ratings.
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