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Either | Cigar City Brewing

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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:
No notes at this time.

Added by CampusCrew on 11-12-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 112 | Ratings: 165
Photo of PDXHops
2.73/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle in a Duvel tulip. Pours out near black with a smallish shiny tan head that soon reduces to a skim, but this sticks around impressively and leaves scattered creamy bits of lacing.

Smells pleasantly sweet, full of milk chocolate, honey, pineapples, oranges and floral notes. Could stand a touch more roasted/burnt character. The cedar is a background player in the nose, but the flavor is much more assertive. This cedar business seems to work better with some of their beers more than others; to me it seems distracting more than anything here. A nice sharp bitterness is drowned out first by the cedar, then a wave of sweetness and booze. All the fruit and chocolate mentioned above is present, plus a lingering raisinish tang. Kinda minty at times. Between the thickish body, the sweetness and the cedar becoming increasingly strong as it warms, it's a bit of a chore to finish.

Interesting sipper, but the shortage of dry and roasted flavors and lack of focus on the hops limit its appeal as a CDA.

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Photo of zoolzoo
2.85/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours just a shade lighter than "stout black". Looks viscous and oily, a milk chocolate head rises and quickly disappears into only a slight ring, no cap.

S: Smells like a sweet boozy stout. Chocolate is pretty big, and the sweetness is rooted in thick honey or molasses. Alcohol is sharp.

T: Um, again sort of like a sweet boozy stout. Vodka spiked milkshake or something, terribly sweet. The finish is actually pretty interesting as the glass warms though. At lower temps the finish was plainly bitter, now honey really speaks and the cedar adds some marked woodiness. Some juicy hoppage in the finish, which seems out of place to me.

M/D: Mouthfeel is also...imperial stout like. Viscous, low carbonation. Drinkability suffers from sweetness, actual and perceived ABV, and imbalance (I never like alot of hoppage in beers like this).

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Photo of Patrick999
2.88/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter. It looks like an imperial stout except that it doesn't appear to have the viscosity of one. And the thin foam is a little lighter in color. Otherwise, it's really dark.

Hops are right up there at the forefront of the nose, as expected. Pungent piney green hops, and a little of the acetone I sometimes get from CCB's stronger beers.

While cold, initially quite tasty. Tastes like candied hops with an underlying roast. As it opens up more, though, I'm not sure I'm that crazy about where it's going. This has a building menthol bitterness that to me starts to taste medicine-y. Wintergreen. Like being a little kid, getting used to the kiddie medicine, then all of a sudden you get a spoonful of Nyquil shoved down your throat. I liked it cold, so I guess I should have downed it faster.

Good moderate-heavy greasy, sticky mouthfeel through.

I'm probably not going to finish the glass. Ultimately, if it's Friday, I got out of work, and I can't finish a beer...that means I just wasn't that crazy about the beer. I think this would be a better "Black IPA," at least to my liking, if it was dialed down to around 9%. As it stands, I'd much rather have a Sublimely or a ST Iniquity.

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Photo of seeswo
2.9/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours an almost viscous consistency, black color with a dark tan head. Smells of roasted malts and booze, maybe a twinge of hops. Really sweet and roasty. This was very different from Or because of the sweetness and thick mouthfeel. Way out of balance. Not really all that drinkable of a beer. The first sip of Either I liked better than Or then subsequently, I liked Or better because it was more balanced. Neither of these beers are beers I imagine anyone would want to drink more than 6 oz of.

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Photo of nick76
3.28/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The aroma is very strong with toasted burnt malt, molasses, plastic, and hops. The appearance is dark brown almost black with a tan head. The taste is like the aroma with an astringent alcohol finish. The palate is smooth. Overall I am not that impressed by this one.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.32/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Pours a pitch black body with a good size, foamy tan head that doesn't last too long and recedes to the edges over the course of the drink.

S: A thick and robust nose that reminds me a bit like a stout. Cedar wood notes are pronouce along with earthy hops, hints of citrus hops, burnt caramel, vanilla, licorice, and a strong malty backbone.

T: A very hoppy bitter upfront followed with strong cedar notes and a hint of honey & molasses. Very earthy & citrus hops dominate the palate but are cut short by roasted malts and again cedar (which tends to be a bit overwhelming).

M: A very heavy and full mouthfeel (like a stout almost), with light carbonation, and an oily slick texture.

D: I was really excited to get this, but for $7.50 a bottle I don't see myself buying this again. I felt like the cedar was way too much and the flavors were all over the place. Didn't come across as very well balanced and if the flavors were a bit more focused (honey, cedar, hops were all battling against each other), I think it could have been a lot better.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip.

A - Almost black in color with a nice tan head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Chocolate, malts, and roasted barley.

T - Bitter Chocolate and malts.

D - Chewy and thick in the mouth. Medium carbonation.

O - Overall, not impressed.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Side-by-side tasting with both Either and Or, with Nick. Poured into a 5 ounce sample glass.

A: Deep dark brown but not quite black body. A rich and creamy mocha colored head comes to life on this one, as opposed to its counterpart beer. Some sticky little splotches of lacing are left, as well as a thin bubbly film across the surface.

S: Huge, bold and rich malts are the obvious focus of the aroma. Chocolate and roasted malts, sweet honey, caramel and a hint of citrus peel towards the end. Any addition of hops in this beer seem to be lost, something which it is in desperate need of. There's no "cut" in the aroma - very linear and boring.

T: Evidence of the sweet maltiness of the beer comes through on first sip. Sweet honey, molasses, caramel and some bittersweet bakers chocolate consume the entire profile. The essence of the malts stay put throughout the entire front to back palate, and like the aroma have nothing else to help break it up. I would have liked even the faintest hop bite to come through for some diversity in the flavor profile.

M: Medium-bodied, quite bubbly though perhaps a bit more mellow than the Or. A bit creamy but it works for being such a malt-forward beer although a bit more would have been good.

Clearly for me the Or is the better beer of the two. Either simply had too much of a malt presence with not enough layers to help save it from becoming too much of the same. Not to mention if the recipe is eerily similar, something went quite wrong with Either.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Either pours a dark brown black that is very stout like in appearance, though a bit more transparent. The head is light tan in color with decent retention and lacing.

The aroma is fairly complex with a mix of sweet dark fruit, roasty malts and citrus hops. The big X factor is the spicy cedar that makes its presence felt right up front. The rich dark fruits help add depth and sweetness to the bitter chocolaty malt.

The flavor is sweet overall with plenty of the spicy cedar. The hops seem weaker than in the aroma and may have faded some, which I bet makes the wood more powerful. There is a lot of toffee and dried dark fruity sweetness as well as a good measure of astringency. I am not picking up too much coffee or chocolate like I got whiffs of in the aroma. In its current state this beer is really dominated by sweet dark fruits, cedar and a bit more boozy character than I would care for.

The mouthfeel is medium and has a fairly nice smoothness to it. Unfortunately this beer finishes a bit on the sticky side, but leaves some nice spice and bitterness in my mouth.

Either would be more drinkable if it was a bit less boozy and had less cedar in the flavor. This was first up in a dual tasting with Or, and I ended up liking Or a bit more, though I have to say I think I am not a really big fan of the cedar aging in either of the beers. It was definitely a very interesting tasting experience though and I am glad I got to try them back to back.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in a snifter. Side-by-side with Either

Chocolate black with a quickly dissipating mocha head. Settles with a foamy crown and no lacing. Aroma is stout-like, rich roast and chocolate malt with some light citrus and solvency booze. Much less hoppy, citrus and woody than Or. Full, thick body, mild carbonation and a strong warming, boozy finish. Roast malt, anise, licorice and mild cedar are present throughout the body with most of the hops having faded away. Unfortunately, the heat and booze are still nearly as strong as this was fresh. Either is still a little rougher than Or is at this point and doesn't have as much of a hop or wood presence as Or.

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Photo of billshmeinke
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from old notes.

Black with a one finger khaki head. Decent retention, not too much lacing.

Some coffee and chocolate notes with a really strong cereal/grainy fragrance.

Some dark fruits (raisins mostly) baker's chocolate, a hint of coffee with green/herbal/earthy hops to add some bitterness.

Full boddied, fairly decently carbonated.

Well, at least the alcohol was well hidden.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours near black with a half-finger tan head after a hard pour. Retention isn't the best. There is a touch of lacing around the edges of the glass, as well as a bit of bubbling on the top of the liquid. A good swirl kicks back up a pretty good head, and there's quite a bit more lacing after that. The nose is fairly intense with some nice roast and chocolate notes, reminding me of a lighter imperial stout. Through the malt character comes a strong dose of earthy hops with a bit of pine.

The flavor is lush and thick, aided by the hefty mouthfeel. There are undertones of star anise throughout, coming in alongside quite a bit of booze. There are slight notes of chocolate, though the hops really aren't all that present here. Mouthfeel is quite thick, with alcohol taking over in the finish to the point where it's all that's left after a second or two.

At this point, this beer is just way too boozy. Picking this up, I hadn't bothered to look at the alcohol content and I slightly regret opening this bottle at this point in time. I really think it's more toward the American Strong Ale category, and there aren't all that many hops to fall out with a bit of aging.

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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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Photo of SFLpunk
3.51/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

"Acquired" from grassrootsVT in a set with "Or". Tasted side by side.

Pours a thick viscous black with some off-white/pale tan head that fades down to nothing. The head on "Or" is a little darker and more creamy.

Nose: Lots of dark roasted malts, black coffee (think Folgers not starbucks), something like white mushroom, marshmallow, smoke, rough-cut barn boards, and forest floor (dried leaves, pine needles, etc). Smells slick and sweet compared to OR.

Palate: Holy cedar boards, Batman! Once the shock of the cedar wears off, there's lots of sticky sweet raisin-y fruit, figs and dates, fruit leather, over-roasted coffee beans. Bitterness seems to come from the wood and is somewhat astringent. Big and sweet.

Notes: Greatly preferred "Or" over this one. Either is big and sweet, with too little carbonation. The sweet fruit notes plus the cedar is cloying and confusing. I'm sort of disappointed with the cedar treatment here because I was really impressed with the Humidor Jai Alai and they're judicious use of wood. If you can only pick one, take the "Or" for sure.

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Photo of Gtreid
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. Bottle poured into my cigar city tulip.

A: black, with some very light reddish hues. Almost stout like. A light brown head appears and recedes to a thin rim.

A: Sweet booze. Big time notes of honey and toasted malt. An earthy hop presence shows up, but the sweet molasses scent overpowers the brew.

T: very sweet from the Ty Ty honey. I actually think this tastes very simmer to black Albert. Dark roasted malts and earthy hops. Finishes sweet, big surprise.

M: this is where the beer shines for me. Big body and smooth. Just the right amount of carbonation.

D and overall impression: drinkability is on the lower side here. Just too sweet, well balanced but to sweet. Overall, a little disappointed with this one. Hope or is better. Skal.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Joey for sending me a bottle of this one. Served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A - Pours with a finger of mocha foam that features good retention, and settles to a thin cap with splotchy glass-coating lace. Dark brown body with a ruby glint at the fringes.

S - Pine, roasted black patent malt, burnt grains, light booze. As it warms, more of the honey character comes out. Not as hoppy as I was expecting.

T - Very bitter and astringent. Burnt malt bitterness mingles with hop bitterness. Taste has some initial cocoa and light almond notes. Unsurprisingly finishes bitter.

M - Medium body, chewy, light alcohol warmth. Pleasant medium carbonation keeps things from getting to heavy.

D - This is pretty solid, but I wish there was more hop aroma and less hop bitterness. Perhaps this was better right when it came out, but I had it pretty fresh (less than a month old). I'd have a tough time doing a 12oz on my own.

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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 number1bum
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours nearly pitch black with a slowly rising, dense three inches of dark tan head. Retention is quite good, with a full and pretty ample lace plus, initially, a good deal of webbing coating the side of the glass. The webbing on the sides doesn't last long, though, unfortunately.

Smell is very roasty up front but right behind it is a good deal of citrus, as well. It's somewhat burned smelling, and is somewhat boozy as well. There is some sweetness to it but I wouldn't call it honey if I didn't know it were there. Sort of nondescript. The nose has some nice elements but is also a bit rough around the edges.

Taste has a good deal of sweetness but this time the honey is apparent, unlike on the nose. It is also more balanced and smoother than the nose implied it might be. The roasted flavor is here but is neither overpowering nor burned like the nose. Hop flavor is rather modest, however, as it gets lost a bit behind the malt and honey. There is some citrus, but the hops are more bitter than they are flavorful. This has some alcohol heat to it like the nose did, as well.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and is pretty smooth. The bitterness is substantial in the finish and lingers, giving it a bit of a roughness. Well carbonated.

This is a pretty tasty Black IPA but overall I think it's overdone. It would be smoother with less alcohol had they not amped the ABV up so high. I also think the hop flavor gets lost behind all the malt and honey, so it ends up being a bit of a bitter bomb. Seems somewhat unrefined to me. A little more restraint would go a long way here. We'll see what the Or has in store in a few days.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours a dark brown, almost black with a fizzy white head, fast fade, and spotty lace.

Aroma is of coffee, licorice, and faint dark chocolate with earthy elements of hop.

The taste follows with earthy elements peeking through a coffee, roasted malt, and hint of smoke. Faint chocolate notes linger in the aftertaste.

A little thin and overcarbonated.

Overall, very drinkable and interesting.

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Photo of maximum12
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to moose3285 for sending me a box stuffed to the gills with Cigar City goodness, practically ever CC beer I hadn't had to date. Trying this side by side with Or to see if I can ferret out the differences. Split each bottle into little sippy cups for my wife & I.

Poured into my "tasting" glass (that holds about eight ounces) from the last Great Taste, Either is black, stout-black. On the swirl-and-sniff, it smells not at all like I expected, licorice, molasses, black-cherries. Underneath is a bit of hop bitterness.

Either is thick as mud used to built a hut. Rather than getting the taste up front, I get the coating of gel-like material that seems to be beer. Slathered with molasses, black licorice, dark grade honey. Oak kicks up in the death throes, along with a strong wash of char & subdued hop bitterness. This is a whole different level than Or, viscous, oily, heavy. I can already feel the heaviness working its way into my system, filling me up. This is a meal in a bottle, & six ounces is probably enough.

Good beer, but the heaviness holds down it's potential. No idea these were so high in ABV, I might have held off a bit - I'll wager this one is going to improve markedly with age.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into taster glass, about a 4oz pour.

A- Pours a dark brown, almost black with fairly little head and spotty lacing.

S- Licorice, slight dark chocolate, some cedar, hops pretty faded. Average aroma strength, decently pleasant.

T- Licorice, honey, light dark chocolate, some honey, hints of cedar, roasted malt on the finish along with some booze. Flavorful but a bit too boozy, hops have definitely faded.

M- Medium bodied to a little bit fuller then usual, smooth for abv with a little bit of a kick, decent carbonation.

O- This was a decent black ale for having been released ~3 years ago. The hops have without a doubt pretty much faded completely but the other flavors are still there. In my opinion it was a little bit too boozy and definitely does not need to be over 11%. I would have loved to have tried this fresh as I think the hops would have hid the booze a little bit more.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of the two of these...Either / Or....this one is the one that I would describe as 'hot'.

Beer is black and has mild carbonation, thin brown / tan head of small bubbles and some lacing. Looks fine.

This beer smells sweeter than it's doppelganger but the hoppiness and the roastiness comes through in the nose.

Perhaps its the heat but the palate on this one is easy to wrap my head around. I don't think its better or worse than its counterpart but it's simpler. The lead off here is alcohol and sweetness, it's a little off putting but the hops and roast open up later and the finish is mildly dry. The palate connectivity makes sense rather than a kitchen sink of flavors.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Got this in a trade with fogdog. Thanks Kevin!

Poured into a Cigar City snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black throughout with brown coming appearing only at glass's horizons. A creamy tan crown resides on top for the entire session. Stringy legs and spots of lace follow the beer all the way down. Looks pretty fantastic!

Smell: Tobacco, semisweet chocolate, leather, pine resin, molasses, tar, and booze. Rough and bold. If there were a beer-inspired cologne, it'd smell like this.

Taste: Molasses, heavy roast, tobacco, leather, earth, and pine. This is a huge beer! Roast, molasses, and dark chocolate meld in a rich, fairly dry finish. I'd like to give this a 4, but I think it's just a bit too intense.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, balanced, and very smooth for such a big beer. The ABV is hidden exceptionally well, and though the flavors and aromas may be coarse, the mouthfeel is certainly easy. Well done!

Drinkability: Intense and jumbled. Another 6-12 months would probably do this one good, but right now it's a slow, careful sipper.

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Photo of Florida9
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Not surprisingly, this one is black. Forms a large dark khaki colored brown head on an aggressive pour. Great retention, though it eventually reduces down to a flat black surface with a ring around the edge. Very light lacing.

S: Primary molasses and raisins with some roasted malts and chocolate. Sweet with a hint of alcohol.

T: Big flavors here, similar to the aroma. At first there is molasses, raisin, and chocolate. Definitely sweet. Next come roasted malts and a hoppy bitterness. The finish is long with a drawn out ash or char flavor.

M: On the heavier side with appropriate carbonation. Sweet and sticky on the front end, but a bit chalky on the finish.

D: Packed full of flavor, this a good, but not great beer. A bit too sweet for my taste without the hops to balance it out.

- - -

Tasted this alongside Or. Both beers look identical. There is no difference there. Or's nose is mores roasty. Either is a bit sweeter, with more of a "Black IPA" character to it, while Or has a bit more a citrus and seems to push more towards the stout side of the spectrum. However, at the end of the day, both are very similar.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into shaker

A - Dark brown to black, light tan head. Decent sticky lacing

S - Roasted barley, wood, grassy hops

T - Muted grassy hops, nice roasty coffee and chocolate malts, some vanilla (not expecting this), caramel and toffee sweetness

M - A touch creamier than I was expecting, medium to light heavy. Tacky

O - A decent example of the style, I could easily drink a couple as the ABV was dangerously hidden.

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Either from Cigar City Brewing
3.95 out of 5 based on 165 ratings.
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