Sea Bass
Cigar City Brewing

Sea BassSea Bass
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Belgian Saison
3.72 | pDev: 19.89%
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Sea BassSea Bass
Notes: According to the head brewer, this a "dark farmhouse ale".
Reviews: 107 | Ratings: 194
Photo of steve8robin
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle in a recent trade. Thanks McDiddyPop! 750ml bottle...

A: A super dark murky brown / black color. A thick 3 inch tan head that fades slowly. Good.

S: I get an earthy tartness upfront with a hint of energy drink and cherry. An interesting earthiness in the middle with sour patch scent on the backend. Decent.

T: Kind of a murky grassy taste upfront with a hint of tart cherry blended in. Sweet malts / tartness in the middle with a bready rye on the backend. Eh, wow, disappointed.

M: Full bodied with a heavy carbonation. A dry tart finish. Good.

D: Kind of hard to get past the grassy tartness about this one. Decent.

All in all, this was a disappointment. Probably one of the worst CCB brews I've had. I'm not a fan of sours, but I've had some I thought were good and some I totally hated. This was not a good one. If you like sours, maybe try this, but otherwise avoid.

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2.48/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750mL bottle to tulip.

A: Loud pop upon uncapping. A light brown head rises to 4 fingers with a texture transforming from compact foam to bubble bath. The head fills with pockets of air as the larger bubbles pop and temporarily increases the rate of deflation. The length of retention overall is above average however. The body is really dark brown, almost completely opaque and reveals some deep amber tints only when held to light. Small light colored flecks of sediment can be seen at the bottom of the glass.

S: Flesh of cherry, white grape, strawberry, red currants and sherry vinegar. Light earth and must followed by oaky impressions. Some dark malts come through as well. This beer is nothing like a Farmhouse.

T: Overly sweet and very tangy with strong acidic notes of vinegar. Increasingly fruit forward, displaying qualities of each fruit previosuly noted in the aroma. Resembles a Flanders more than a Farmhouse.

M: Light bodied with aggressive carbonation and a mouth puckering quality.

D: The aroma was the only really likeable characteristic of this beer. A far cry from a farmhouse and a pretty big miss from one of my favorite breweries. Life goes on.

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Photo of ottovon
4.42/5  rDev +18.8%
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.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Out of the bottle, the color is a blend of dark cherry and walnut color, with a very lively beige head. It nearly overflows at first, so I must patiently wait for it to subside. Some nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Lots of acidic and vinegary aromas. Tart cherries, some pale malt, and a bit of plum.

Taste: Tart cherries upfront, and this is a very vinegary beer overall. A flash of pale malt, but the malt backbone just does not hold up to the tartness of the flavors. More tart cherries, with a hint of sour apple and plum as well, with a tart, acidic nature throughout. More like Duchesse de Bourgogne than a typical saison. The finish is acidic, but sour flavor fades in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Seas bass has a light to medium body, with very full carbonation, and a very acidic puckering feel.

Drinkability: I was expecting something completely different, but once I was over the initial surprise, I enjoyed it. This is something I would try again.

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Photo of bheilman
3.19/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Okay, I just tried a couple Cigar City beers. I liked the IPA. This is supposed to be a saison, but tastes nothing like the style. It is way more similar to a sour or flanders style. It's not a bad beer, but it tastes nothing like what I expect out of a saison. It has very little malt smoothness, it is very bitter and fruity and the color is fairly dark. It is so sour that it is not that drinkable. I'm not sure why it's called Sea Bass, but I tend to believe it got this name because it tastes like you think a beer made out of fish would taste. Of course, it's not that bad, but it's not a saison and it's not something I will buy again. I will enojoy this because my basketball team just pulled off an upset.

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Photo of crusian
3.07/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bottle from awesome girlfriend from total wine in tampa.
Pours... well... I have never actually had a beer that I pour into a glass and there is zero liquid. there is usually some tiny amount... but this had none. so... 30 minutes later...
turns out to be a rich brown with a nice bouquet of cherry and sour, and some funk, along with a chemical pungent odor...
taste is a nice mild sour cherry... it does have that chemical taste to it on the finish, though... and it gets stronger as you drink it. Overall, not too bad, but the chemical taste to it really dampers it for me... and really leaves something to be desired in the aftertaste...
the more i drink this the harder it becomes to drink... the first few sips were good, but man this just begins to coat the tongue, and becomes VERY chemical tasting. I had a hard time finishing this.

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Photo of bierguru
2.73/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A -
brown murky color with a thick soapy head stays really well

S -
big grape smell followed by sourness

T -
big grape flavor followed by some spice fig finished with a huge sourness

M -
very foamy and bubbly mouth feel very airy highly carbonated a litle on the dry side

D -
takes getting used to grape in beer it is fairly odd but not bad however when you add the sour taste its not that good at all

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Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +7.5%
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 Cheesemoose
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle split with friends.

A murky raisin brown. A bit of light shines through, giving a nice depth to the color. Off-white head with a great bit of head. 3 fingers linger for a bit, but resede's into a nice film with a smattering of lacing throughout.

Wonderful funk. Seems to be well balance with the malt base. This is most definitely not your typical saison, with a very strong and rich malt backbone. Granny smith apples, candied lemon zest and unripe grape. The tart essence is rather forward, but is brought back to Earth and mellowed with the nutty malt base. Earthy notes begin to resonate in the later stages.

Similar to nose, the taste is rather similar. Nutty base of the malt adds a complex nature to funk. Tart cherries strike at first, though leading into sour grape and granny smith. The funk and the malt are rather non-complimenting, creating a void of flavor where the contrasting notes present a two sided beer where the middle ground is never reached. A grassy hop finish is hidden and never quite reaches it's potential.

Fine carbonation, mellow mouthfeel and crisp finish. Oh so nice. A bit on the creamy side, something not typical to the style.

The ABV is higher than I was expecting but was very well hidden. Definitely one to share.

This is an amazing and promising beer, but the balance was never reached, and though I enjoyed it greatly, the heavy malt base never quite mellows to a point of complimenting instead of fighting the funk. I love the funk, but with the heavy malt base, it is like a Coliseum of flavors with none becoming the dominating force.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.13/5  rDev -15.9%
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 Mississipping
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Bruery snifter.

A: Very dark brown with a very slight ruby haziness allowing just a touch of light through. Massive 3-finger tan head billows out of the pour and recedes very slowly, leaving a small, but present half-finger head throughout, with patchy lacing.

S: Red grapes and tart cherries are definitely dominant, with hints of green apple, caramel, and vinegary spiciness. Not at all what expected, being that it is described as a farmhouse ale, however this smells great ... much more like a sour as it's missing the earthy, funky aromas I'm used to in a farmhouse.

T: Sour fruits show up first. Lots of sour grape and tart cherry with even more green apple in the taste than the smell. Vinegar quickly becomes present, along with brett, a very slight grassy taste, and tame hops. Finishes with a sour/acidic taste and a spiciness that is most noticeable on the back of the tongue and the throat. Again, very unexpected, but not at all unpleasant.

M: The body is fuller than most farmhouse ales that I've had, which I don't mind at all. Very highly carbonated, making this feel much like a cola in your mouth, and in fact tastes just a bit like what I'd imagine a very sour cherry Coke to taste like. The carbonation level is the worst of its qualities, and would be much better toned down a bit.

D: Since this drinks much like a sour, it's a sipper.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.16/5  rDev -15.1%
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 carolinabeerguy
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a New Belgium globe.

Appearance: Pours an opaque dark brown with caramel highlights and a 2-3 finger creamy light tan head. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Fermented fruit notes similar to a riesling wine along with Concord grapes and vinegar.

Taste: Grape skins up front followed by sour fruit in the middle and ending with mild hops and vinegar at the finish. Aftertaste is dry and mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Quite smooth.

Drinkability: Good drinkability. The alcohol is well-hidden so this one could sneak up on you.

Overall: Good beer overall. Not as fruity as I tend to expect from a Saison. but this is still one to check out. Another solid offering from Cigar City.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.37/5  rDev +17.5%
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 +7.5%
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 +3.8%
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 -62.4%
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 +9.9%
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 +12.9%
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 +8.3%
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 +15.1%
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 +3%
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 +7.5%
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 -4.6%
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 +10.8%
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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Sea Bass from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 194 ratings