Either | Cigar City Brewing

very good
112 Reviews
no score
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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 kylehay2004
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single finger tan head on a jet black body. Aroma is very strong with vanilla, cinnamon, oak, bourbon, roasted malt and chocolate all prevalent. The malt is less apparent with bourbon, coffee, vanilla, chocolate and some mint notes dominating. full bodied, smooth and moderate carbonation. Complex and strongly flavored with the hops fairly mild and almost noncontributory to the flavor.

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly shit a house when I saw how much these were for each bottle. I took a deep breathe and hoped to God these would be very good, if not excellent. Either poured out as a black looking liquid with a nice tannish brown head on it. The lacing was pretty good on the glass. The smell was hoppy and roasted, smelled like a Black IPA should. The taste was hoppy and had a bitter roasted flavor in the back end of the mouth. The mouthfeel wasn't too heavy but it was probably around medium. Good carbonation. Overall this brew was pretty good but not worth the price per bottle.

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Photo of brentk56
4.77/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a tan blanket that leaves a smattering of lace

Smell: The honey really comes through though the dark chocolate and citrusy hops clearly dominate

Taste: The combination of the cedar and the hops produce a minty character that dominates up front, though the strength of the malt (roasty chocolate and blackstrap molasses) provides a forceful backbone; by mid-palate, the Ty Ty honey starts to add an interesting sweetness which lingers into the finish like a Bit O Honey

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: As this beer warmed, the subtleties became more apparent and, while I generally prefer my IPAs more attenuated, I started to really enjoy the complexity of the malt and, over time, grew to enjoy this more than "Or"

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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 nickfl
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a small head of medium-brown foam on top of a black body with no light showing through. The head settles rapidly and leaves little lace.

S - Dark, sugary malt notes with lots of fruity yeast character. Molasses, plums, licorice, clove, and a hint of cinnamon.

T - Dark fruity and sugar notes up front, lots of plum, fig, and molasses. Some burnt caramel and dark bread flavors appear in the middle with a bit of chicory or spiced coffee. The beer finishes spicy and sweet with a blackstrap molasses character that is supplimented with spicy hops and some more fruity alcohol notes. Lingering dark sugars with a hint of pipe tobacco and licorice.

M - Thick and syrupy, with moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - This is a big, thick, rich beer with a complex array of dark sugar notes. It is one of the few black IPAs that really manages to be something distinct from a stout or barleywine by the use of complex sugary character that is dark but almost completely lacking in roasted character. The dominant flavor is dark molasses with notes of spice and fruit that play off of the intense, syrupy sugar. The hops end up in a supporting role, where they lend strength to the spicy character and provide enough bitterness to keep the beer drinkable despite its enormous sweetness. Very good, this was an expensive bottle of beer, but like most of the beer I have had from Cigar City it was worth the price.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another bottle shared by Austin - Coolio.

Pours black with a wispy tan head. Smell is really cedar wood and hops. Taste is tobacco and smoked cedar. Mouthfeel is thick, rich and chewy. There is a sticky sweetness in here from the honey that is really enjoyable. Overall, a bigger variant from the "Or" with much more cedar and smoke qualities. Glad to have tried it.

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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 mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour was wonderful, black as night with a light colored head that rose up about an inch and a half before settling down into a nice broken crown that stayed throughout the session. The aroma was very bright, lots of citrus here, orange and tangerine mostly and a wonderfully bright lemon like aroma that rose up, not at all what you would have expected from something that looked so fark. Nice medium body with a smooth and mellow carbonation and a lightness to it that again was outside what I was expecting. Smooth flavor, clean, crisp, loaded with bitter citrus hops. Lots of grapefruit and pineapple here. Such a tight and very hoppy big IPA. I was very pleased with this one for sure. The alcohol was very well hidden I have to say and I was quite impressed with how smooth it came across.

Overall a really, really good beer.

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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 RblWthACoz
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is just slightly hot at first. Real nice berry and spicy tones, with the berry and sweetness with it showing most. Real smooth feel. If the alcohol were a bit less noticeable it would be easier to take on. Still nice though. The Or wins, in my book.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10oz pour from the bottle given at Church Key DC into a tumbler.

Small head was created with and off tan color sitting on a dark walnut body. It looked good and had staying power, that's about unfortunately all I can say.

Smell though is very impressive. Cola sweets, and sweet clove spices with roasts. Woah this is really unusual for a black ale this feels like a stout or something, but bursting with sweetness. Almost very confusing, but boy do I dig it.

Taste at first is a big fascinating silky sensation that punches you in the face. I can describe this as cola roast, and then faint hints of citrus grapefruit oil that is tolerable on the finish. No carbonation, and this borderline silky feel between and IPA and a stout.

This is like some crazy stout IPA hybrid or something it is really fascinating drinking here. Really impressed by this and very abv masked.

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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 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 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 Wasatch
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to G311 for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, with some little islands left behind. The nose is malty, with some chocolate/toffee notes, licorice. The taste is malty, sweet, nice dark stuff, nice touch of licorice. Medium Body, slightly hot on this brew, needs some age. Drinkable, a nice tasty brew, would recommend.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cigar City Either

Pours a midnight black with a dark brown head. Aroma of roasted malt, some coffee, peat and alcohol. Very nice robust flavor, resembling an imperial schwarzbier. Black malts, peat, coffee and just a hint of smoke in the flavor. Alittle alcohol makes itself known but it's not as big as the beer really is. Full bodied feel, smooth and good level of carbonation. Overall, this is an impressive black ale that I will be having again.

Revisited, aged 1 year.

Pours a deep dark black color, off white soapy foam, lots of lacing. Aroma of roasted malts, coffee, hops and alcohol. In the taste, nice roasted malt, fruity, citrusy hops and some alcohol. Really bright hop character, some dark fruits from the yeast and robust roasted malts. A touch nutty, with more black coffee, fruits and pine. Mouthfeel is full bodied and viscous. Overall, a really complex, tasty sipper from Cigar City. This one had alittle age on it and was still drinking fine.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled February 2011
A vigorous pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a four-finger thick, nicely brown stained, dark tan colored head. The head leaves lots of layered lacing on the sides of my glass as it slowly subsides. The beer is a concentrated, dark-chocolate brown color that is quite opaque when held up to the light. The aroma smells of slightly dirty, tangelo zest, lychee and sweet ruby-red grapefruit juice; I say dirty because a backdrop of roasted malt contributes a burnt edge as well as an earthy quality to what would otherwise be a bright hop fruitiness. The hops also seem to contribute a woodiness that reminds me a bit of pine, but a bit more spicy and I realize that this is likely accentuated by the cedar used in this brew. The cedar is actually fairly subtle and from the nose I wouldn't have guessed it was here if I didn't already know about it as it melds quite well with the hop notes. Touches of cocoa are found here and, in combination with the hops, remind me of orange flavored truffles; at times the chocolate aromatics can be quite prominent, but usually the hops are the clear dominant note in the nose.

This has a rich creamy texture to it as it first hits my tongue; this accentuates a rich chocolate flavor found in the middle of this beer, but this morphs into a bitter roast character in the finish. The hop character contributes the bulk of the bitterness in this beer, but the roast malt definitely contributes as well. Lingering herbal and pine notes also linger in the finish and are actually found through out the flavor profile of this beer (though it is more noticeable towards the finish of a sip than at the beginning). The bright hop fruitiness of the nose is not nearly so prominent in the flavor; the roast in combination with the hop character contributes notes of lightly burnt fruit (tangelo zest, orange zest, grapefruit towards the middle and finish, and some lychee / tropical fruit notes that seem to get muted quite a bit by the roasted character) . Some spicy, warming alcohol is noticeable towards the finish and seems to mix in with a spicy, woody note that must be contributed by the cedar. There is quite a bit of roast character to this beer; it contributes a rich toasted whole grain note, a toasted spicy rye note (which is likely quite influenced by the cedar), some full city roast coffee bean notes that lean towards earthy, and some bitter roast coffee notes towards the finish. The body of this beer is actually fairly rich, it seems to have a lot more texture than the Or and is most definitely a beer to be savored and sipped; it perhaps drinks a little lighter than its actual strength, but not by a whole lot.

Definitely a tasty beer, it seems a bit less hop focused (at least in the flavor), or you could say more malt balanced, than the Or. I am not quite too sure which one I have enjoyed more. As in the Or, the roast malt, alcohol, cedar and hops can combine to be a touch harsh, though not overly so.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ditmier busted Either and Or out at a recent tasting... Thanks Eric.. very cool to try these side by side... but honestly, I couldn't tell too much of a difference... "Or" seemed to be a tad hoppier.

Thin dark tan head.. very clear ... dark walnut.. verging on black but clarity is so nice it never reaches that point, and that is okay.

nose has abundant citrus hops.. cedar is pretty prevalent and starting to be unmistakable in their appropriate brews.

Flavor is big and bitter up front... both from the hops and a bit of roasty malt astringencies.... a bit of malt sweetness mid palate plays well and ties the hops well to the dark malt flavors.. a bit of chocolate... and a touch too much char for my palate... plenty of distracting cedar notes from front to back and really lingering on the finish... and don't, at least for me, add plus points to the overall brew.

Nice medium+ on the body with a good lush small bubble carbonation.

Pretty nice.. but honestly, the wood is a distraction to me in an otherwise well made beer... it adds complexities, but seems like a novelty in a brew that is supposed to be highliting so much stuff including bright hoppy flavors.


Thanks again Eric... I truly appreciate these ones.

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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 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 Immortale25
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was so stoked to find this behind the shelf at a local convenience store! Didn't think I'd ever get to try this. Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a black color that's entirely opaque with a dark tan 1/2 inch head that lingers a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and bubbly surface foam. Spotty lacing.

S- Full of roast and some oak. Has a mild aroma of oxidation but the coffee/licorice/molasses depth overrides most of the signs of age...not to mention the very apparent presence of alcohol.

T- A bit hot and sweet with a bourbon tinge. More roast from the malt plus some creaminess. Molasses sticks out again. The alcohol is felt in the back of the throat after multiple sips as the aftertaste makes chocolate come to mind. Bitter, but not in a hoppy kind of way. More like the sweetness of a barleywine with more emphasis on the malt character (due to the ty ty honey I guess?).

M- Creamy in the feel as well. Plenty of alcohol twang to make you sit up in your seat. Low carbonation was expected since I'm pretty sure this bottle is at least a year old, probably two.

O- Success. Not only was this a very sought after brew for yours truly, but it also ended up surpassing my expectations making this well worth the $9 +tax I paid for this bad boy. Deep, complex and strong. A sipper for sure and one hell of a night cap. Cheers.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz, no date. drank side by side with the Or.

black, with khaki colored head. nice head retention and lacing. aroma is a mixture of roasty, sweetness, and strong hops. similar taste as the smell, piney hops dominate and linger in the aftertaste. some vanilla flavor. body is thick, more like a stout. moderate carbonation.

overall, the body makes it closer to a hoppy stout than a black IPA. by comparison, not quite as smooth as the Or.

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