Either | Cigar City Brewing

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Very Good
165 Ratings

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 165 |  Reviews: 112
Reviews by Skrip:
Photo of Skrip
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass.

A~ pitch black, tiny tan head, and a little bit of lacing.

S~ tons of dark roasted malts followed by citrusy, earthy hops. theres also a little caramel and molasses lingering.

T~ i'm so surprised that theres still a decent hop presence for how old this is! other than the roasted malts and hops, theres a lot of honey sweetness and a little bit of burnt coffee as well.

M~ drinks like a stout, tastes like an IPA! i'll blame that on the honey, it definitely adds a nice thickness making this brew extremely unique! other than that, nice carbonation despite its appearance.

O~ if you're wondering why i'm reviewing this, it is in fact an HF/Grassroots colab. haha! and a really good one at that! i must get my hands on Or now to see how they compare. i'm a little late for the ones that were actually brewed in VT at this point but thats quite alright cause this actually blew me away a little bit. still worth a shot if you have one around!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of TCHopCraver
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted on 2/18/11 in a back-to-back with Or. I believe zoso1967 supplied Either and TCGoalie supplied Or. Cheers, as always, boys!

Either appears awfully dark and awfully wet out of the bottle. Seriously, the color is a dark brown, almost fully black and is opaque. Some red tints show through at the edges. The head is a light brown and does not reach much of a height as the bottle was split three ways. Lacing left behind is dainty and dotty.

The aroma of Either is quite woody and sweet. I detect scents of caramel and brown sugar, along with a small influence of cinnamon. The more I smell, the spicier it seems. I also pick up some notes of milk chocolate in the bouquet, but those are pretty far in the background. The smell is also a little roasty, but the overriding factor is sweet, spicy wood.

The flavor is very intriguing. The cedar wood is prominent throughout and really shows its mettle at the finish. However, the overall character is that of sweet, thick malt. There is also a little roastiness in the flavor, which is complemented by spicy notes of cinnamon and clove.

The feel in mouth is medium-bodied, but with a lot of bite from the cedar and hop combination. The body is a bit too syrupy and sticky for me. The carbonation fits the body and flavor nicely.

Well, I only had four ounces of Either and it was probably just enough for me. It was a good one-time novelty drink, but I don't think I would return to this over time. I thought the cedar influence was a little too aggressive and that the beer was a tad too sweet. I'm not sure just how fresh this bottle was... I might have been more impressed if it was just a tad fresher.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In a snifter this beer was a nearly black color with a cocoa-colored head. A little bit of lace.
Roasted malt aroma. Fairly sweet. Vanilla and alcohol also.
The sweetness came through as a more definitive taste of honey. Some coffee, a little bit of chocolate. Alcohol was definitely noticeable.
A little on the hot side.
With the high ABV, one of these was enough. I'd like it a little less boozy.

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Photo of warnerry
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from June 2012; tasted side by side with CCB Or

A Pours black with almost no head, just a thin cap.

S - Smells of sweet chocolate, lots of roasted malt, a bit of char, some cedar, but less than I got from CCB Or. Some booze in the aroma. Pretty good overall.

T - Similar to smell, but maybe a bit sweeter. there is a hop presence, but it is quite subtle. Definitely a bit sweeter than Or. Also a bit hot still, but pretty tasty.

M - Full mouthfeel that finishes quite dry with a lingering cedar taste.

O - Tasty, even if the hops have really faded at this point. I enjoyed this more than Or.

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Photo of 77apm
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of iemailjack
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of kingcrowing
3.89/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a syrupy, engine oil pitch black, with a nice thin dark brown head that slowly appears and then fades. The nose is juicy, sweet, fresh and hoppy, lots of tropical fruit flavors - quite odd coming from something so thick and dark.

Damn it. The taste is grainy. I don't know why 95% of these Black IPAs have that taste, it's very homebrewy and it covers up so much of the hop flavors. Other than that, this has got a good sharp bitterness with a bit of roastiness and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is good, rich and creamy, although a bit sharp. Drinkability is hit by that graininess.

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Photo of CaptinRedBeard
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of doremite
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of mondegreen
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz into a Founder's Tulip. Served alongside Or.

A pours black with a one finger light tan head.

Nose is slightly sweet with a nice blend of bitter hop aroma and spicy wood.

Taste is a nice balance of dark roasted sweetness, moderately bitter hops, and peppery cedar wood. Finish is a long lingering cedar note. I like.

Medium full mouth. Very nice.

I like this beer alot. A very cool take on the American Black Ale.

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Photo of glid02
4.57/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Pours a dark brown color with a half-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of dark and bready malts with solid amounts of pine, spicy, and herbal hop notes - in that order. Also present are hints of dark molasses and brighter citrus hops, the latter intensifying as the beer warms.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Dark malt flavors with hints of roastiness kick things off and are joined quickly by spicy and light pine hops. The malt flavors are beefed up midway through the sip with slight bready flavors and are sweetened by hints of heavy molasses. Near the end of the sip the hops lighten and hints of citrus and cedar make an appearance. The cedar, molasses, dark malt, and pine flavors carry through to a solidly bitter ending. Hints of tobacco linger on the palate after the sip.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a heavy thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is great. I finished my glass very quickly and could drink a lot of these trying to figure out everything that was in there.

Overall I was very impressed with this beer. The cedar had a lighter influence than in many of CCB's offerings and the malt complexity was great. Additionally, the hint of tobacco on the back end made an appearance, something of which I'm a fan. If you still have the opportunity to buy this beer I highly recommend doing so, well worth the shot. For those not a fan of CDAs I could make the argument that it's closer to an Old Ale than anything.

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Photo of tugg407
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. Drank side by side with Or.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black color with a small tan head with decent retention. Better retention than Or for sure. Not much lacing.

S: Rather malt forward, not much in the way of hops in the aroma. It is very sweet with some detectable honey and a slight roast aroma.

T: Again, rather sweet, with a nice level of roasty malt and a bit of chocolate. Not much hop presence here, unlike in Or.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. ABV hidden very well.

O: A decent ABA, but it was a lacking the hop bitterness/pine/citrus that I like see in beers of this style.

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Photo of biniek13
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of mayastack
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A little hot, but goes down very easy for an 11 percent beer. If you like the the Dogfish Bitches Brew, this is kinda like a Bitches Brew on steroids. Complex, roasty flavor, with a distinct touch of honey. Unique and enjoyable, but not for the feint of heart!

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Photo of Stigs
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, graciously added to a box from a trade with BA'er infestaxion...also included an "Or", didnt know which to open first, thanks bud! served in a 12oz elevated tulip glass.

A - pours with almost half an inch of very tight, creamy dark khaki colored foam. the beer is pitch black all around the glass. eventually settles to a foamy ring and light film. some random, wet spots of lace linger around the glass.

S - very dark roasted malts, dark figs and berries, coffee, roasted nuts, and vanilla sweetness. hops struggle to make their way through all of this, but come out with a slight twinge of citrus and earthiness.

T - begins with a very potent sweetness: the dark fruits, toasted nuts, and vanilla really stand out at first before being cut into sharply by both earthy hops, and a big dose of booze. alcohol leans towards rum. bits of very strong, burnt coffee appear towards the end, alongside dark chocolate and honey. lingers with some vaguely citrus, massively earthy hops, and a mess of booze and sweetness.

M - very, very thick and luscious body. carbonation is nice and moderate-low, yet present, propelling the flavors while cutting through the alcohol a bit. still a big, hearty alcohol burn from the lips, through the mouth and down the throat. lingering dryness from the abundant sweetness.

D - a very good beer, just a bit...ok maybe a mile outside of the style specification. belongs more in the American Strong Ale section, as all the sweetness and malt flavors muddle the hop-forwardness that it "should" be. still - a bit dangerous at such a high ABV, as it is very yummy.

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Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of zaphodchak
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A one ounce taste into a snifter. No head. Opaque black body.

Smell is powerful, from a distance. The wood is evident, slightly boozy, anything else specific is hard to put a name to, but still good. Kinda steely.

Taste is pretty strong, a bit of soy and some nut on the finish. Bitter aftertaste. Roasty malt presence in the middle.

Thinnish mouthfeel. Not sure if something else would be more appropriate, but there it is.

Decent, interesting, but not off the wall or outstanding.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle 

A- Sampled alongside "Or". Poured into a Cigar City snifter. Pours a dark black color with a light tan head. Not as much head and lacing as "Or".

S- The aroma is pretty similar to a black IPA. Dark malts with some roastiness and hops. Compared to "Or", "Either" is a little more sweet and malty with less of a hop presence in the nose.

T- The taste starts out with delicious roasted malts  up front. Quickly, the hops make their presence and linger well into the finish. The finish is rounded out with a lingering warmth from the alcohol.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Spot on.

D- Overall, I really enjoyed sampling Either/Or in the same sitting. They are very similar but the hop profile is the main difference. I have to give the nod to "Or" as my favorite of the two.

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Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of Doppelbockulus
1/5  rDev -74.7%

Photo of WholeFoodsDerek
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a glass.

A - Black in color, this bad boy looks like an imperial stout, but don't be mistaken.

S - The spanish cedar is prevalent, which I am glad because it reminds me of their humidor IPA. Also getting some toasted malts and hops.

T - Lots of complexity. You get a sweetness as in barley-wines provide with the high alcohol, although it isn't an unbearable amount of heat on the palate. There is also the bitterness from the hops, and subtle spanish cedar. This is packed with flavors that uniquely bring together several flavors of different beer genres into one.

M - Lightly silky, medium bodied, bittersweet.

D - One or two at most.

Overall - a unique, powerful, and bold beer.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I honestly don't know why people are rating this beer so low. I think it's awesome and I might trade for more.

Pours a deep heavy stout black. Very thin head. Dissipated to a ring. Little bit of lacing.

Aroma smells oaky and hoppy and sticky sweet roast stout. I think is smells great. Could use a little more aroma though.

Taste is great. I think it's similar to night stalker. Little less hoppy though. It's nice and roasty. Little bit of sweetness with caramel and toasted sugars. Slight hint of dark fruits. The oak is nice. The hops work well in this beer.

Mouthfeel is slightly too thick but it's actually pretty drinkable.

Again I don't know what all the hate here is but this beer is great. Either and Or seem to be the same beer to me. I'll have to open Or right now too and compare them. I'll be trading for more of this.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a Hunahpu snifter.

Appearance - Pours an inky black with almost no head. A collar of khaki foam. Leggy as I swirl it.

Smell - Molasses all over. A fair bit of cedar. Just a little bit of the hop profile left in this.

Taste - Molasses again is the dominant flavor. The hop flavor is mostly gone in the front, but there's a sustained bitterness throughout. The cedar becomes more prominent and a little bit oppressive. Bitter finish. Boozy, too.

Mouthfeel - Boozy and bitter. The cedar lingers. Not like a Humidor beer, but still pretty influential.

Overall - Aged has dulled the hops in this, but the other flavors are still nice. Very boozy still, but a nice blend. Even when this was fresh, it was much more towards the stout end of the Black IPA spectrum.

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Either from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 165 ratings