Sea Bass | Cigar City Brewing

Sea BassSea Bass
Liked This Beer
3.62 w/ 194 ratings
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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 194 |  Reviews: 107
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.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black body, massive off white head.

Aromas of tart cherry, green apple, and brett.

Flavors are more like Oud Brun than Farmhouse Ale. Coca cola turns into sour cherry. Moth watering acid, mouth puckering sourness, musty brett, and a dry finish.

Medium body, carbonation isn't as brisk as most Saisons.

Cool beer. Never expected this flavor. Not much Farmhouse/Saison character to it, but who cares. Think barrel aged sour.

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Photo of TCgoalie
3.86/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from 12/18/10

Pours a cloudy brown hue that does not let light through. I have to pour very gentley to keep the raging head at a minimum. An easy 2-3 fingers high, the head lingers throughout the drink. The lacing is extremely thick and coating.

Dark cherries, sour apple, cedar, and leather are present in the smell. I would like the smells to be a bit more bold, but not bad.

The first thing I notice in this drink is the wild fermentation tartness. It yields cherry, tobacco, woody, and a bit of funk flavors. The yeast takes a back seat to this one as the tartness really takes over. It is hard to decipher some of the subtleties due to the sour nature.

This bottle was over-carbonated leaving all kinds of distracting airy bubbles upon entering the mouth. The feel is light with a good drying in the end.

The overall impression of this beer is solid. It is unlike other farmhouse ales that I have had in the past.

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Photo of AdamBear
1.4/5  rDev -61.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I've been going to school here in Florida and I've been trying to get as much Cigar City as I can before I leave. I was so excited to find this beer on tap in anticipation was let down so harshly.

A-very dark brown with a lot of cream colored head

S-umm its smells like ketchup to me...I got a friend to confirm this. It honestly smells a bit gross.

T-Oh my lord this might be the most pungent brew I've ever tasted. It hits with a tangy blast of sour tomato. Thinking about this taste any more..makes me sick. This might be the beer for Blood Mary lovers.

M-medium carbonation with an awful sharp finish

D-Absolutely disgusting. Possibly the worst beer I've ever had. I can't finish it.

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Photo of maximum12
4.09/5  rDev +13%
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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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.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a St. Feuillien goblet. Thanks to hippityhops85 for this from our trade!

A: Pours a striking looking deep black cherry color. Almost black. Sitting on top is 1 1/2 fingers of light tan whipped meringue foam that retained forever. Carbonation was quite active and lace was plentiful and gorgeous!

S: Initial whiff brought a nose crinkling smack of tart cherry, dry oakiness, sweet red grapes, green apple, and a touch of pear and/or melon.

T: I picked out some vinous, oaky, red wine (pinot?) attributes as well as the aforementioned tart and sweet orchard fruits. For a fleeting moment, I detected a bit of Smarties candy (the dusty, pastel colored discs sold in the clear wrapper...not the shiny, bright colored discs sold in the cardboard box.)

M: Bright berry tartness that mingles, nicely, with some sweet fruitiness, and astringent oakiness (yes, I know this isn't a barrel aged beer). Finishes dry.

D: More of a Flanders than anything else. Interesting to say the least.

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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.

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Photo of SamuelJackson45
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a brown cloudy body with thick ass head and heavy lace.

S- smell of wild yest hint of bret.

T- sour with fruityness and wild yeast ending.

M- dry but very flxvorful to the pallet.

D- different to other CC beers I had. Very good saison.


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Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +10.5%
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 largadeer
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
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 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

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Photo of JamnesCameron
2.99/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Received as a blind from Cuzco in Blind BIF #3, thanks Nate!

Pours a deep, deep ruby with a thick head of yeasty, tan foam.

Aromas of sour cherries and cherry pits. Musty, and ropy. And wood. There is absolutely nothing saison about this smell. It's killer, but not saison-like.

First sip is tannic, and very sour. Cigar City's interpretation of a belgian red, but they labeled it as a saison. Hints of cherry pits, and the occassional whiff of acetone. Lots of wild bugs in this one.

Mouthfeel is puckering, medium bodied, and tannic.

Very drinkable sour beer. This would be great in the summer time as a thirst quencher. I'd give it better marks if presented as a belgian red, but this is nowhere near a saison.

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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.

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Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +10.5%
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 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.

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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.

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Photo of socon67
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Ommegang snifter glass.

A - Brown with slight lacing along the glass.

S - Smells like sour cherries. Not like too many saisons I've come across. Also a bit of an earthy smell.

T - This tastes similar to a whiskey sour. A little brun at the end but the initial taste is quite sour. I could see this going with asian food for contrast.

M - Bubbly carbonation. Fairly light.

D - I think the sourness makes this one a little tough to have more than one. I do like this better than Guava Grove.

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Photo of gunnerman
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Icehouse In Punta Gorda. Poured into a snifter, pour a hazy brown with a foamy head that left a bit of lace on the glass. Smell has a tart like character to it, sour apples with figs. Taste is spot on with the smell very sour up front but grows on you, this beer towards the end was going down very nicely. This beer was possibly to sour upfront but overall enjoyable.

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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.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Turbid brown body with a khaki head. Smell is almost gueuze-y which is really interesting and I liked that the most about this beer. Some vinegar and roasted malt. I can see influences from both breweries. Taste has an acetic acid-like sourness with bitter roasted malt. Some tobacco and cocoa is found. I think this beer could be more bold and robust. The sourness should be lighter and secondary in flavor. You could mistake this for a contaminated stout rather than being soured on purpose.

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Photo of cpanossian
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tall clear glass - 2-3 finger beige foam head. Color is a dark hazy amber.

Aroma is sour/tart similar to but not quite a tripel or Flanders sour.

Taste is very tart/sour. Not for everyday drinking - more of a special occasion beer with some nice mild cow milk cheeses.

Mouthfeel is ok - medium bodied ale. Severe tartness disqualifies it from being a refreshing, quaffable drink, and no way I can drink this whole 25oz bottle by myself - it's too complicated and demanding for a quantity or session beer. Sadly I don't know too many people who would enjoy something this curious.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
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 Thorpe429
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
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 nkersten
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes, thanks to Mike for sharing this one at Halloween tasting. Poured into tulip, dark brown with a thick brown head that fades to a small cap, good retention and lacing. Smell is a bit of funk, lots of hops, slightly sour, candi sugar. Taste is a bit sour, some funk, lots of bitter floral hops, a hint of alcohol and sweet apples in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium/light bodied with a high carbonation. A decent beer and interesting for the style, but not the most drinkable saison (is it really a saison?) i can think of.

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Sea Bass from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 58.8% out of 100 with 194 ratings
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