Either | Cigar City Brewing

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:
No notes at this time.

Added by CampusCrew on 11-12-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 165 |  Reviews: 112
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 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 billyshears
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

side by side with Or.

a: black with tan head that dissipates.
s: some hops, but kinda second fiddle to the chocolate malts and dark fruits; cedar present a bit and a sweetness which I assume is from the honey.
t: more balanced, less hop driven than or. nice chocolate malt and additional sweetness, which cigar city always does well, followed by a bit of piney hop linger.
m: nice medium/full mouthfeel and high carbonation. works cause its more malt focused than or
d: I could drink a few of these.

it's a judgment call, but i think i might like this one more.. i like the malt hop interplay more on this. if you want a much more hop forward black ale, go with Or.

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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 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 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 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 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 youradhere
4.59/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got in a trade with cheezedog. Thanks!

Pours impenetrably black body with soft, ample tan head that lingers and slowly falls. Very soft and fine foam that holds in aromas nicely. Smells of dark chocolate, coffee, oak, vanilla, anise, licorice, tart berry. Damn this smells wonderful. Taste is mellow, no one flavor really dominates, but if I had to pick one I'd say the chocolate dominates. An interesting and pleasant astringency is at the back and sides of the tongue, I think I'm picking up the cedar this was aged on. Could use a bit more in the middle as it seems that the beer comes out with a wall of flavor, fades, and then the pleasant astringency and chocolate comes back. Very interesting brew, I dig it for sure. Carbonation is very fine, body is medium heavy which compliments the off-sweet character of this. Very nice indeed, bravo CCB!

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Jefe73 for sending this my way!

A- Body is a dark, aboding motor oil black hue. Pours with a 1-2 finger creamy dark tan head. Honestly-this brew has big imperal stout written all over it in the appearance- Lacing left all the way down the glass.

S- The nose is very interesting and quite contrasting. Imperial coffee stout meets DIPA-lots of grapefruit, citrus, roasted malt, the smallest hint of wood, dark chocolate, and a hint of alcohol.

T- Smooth creamy dark chocolate and woody flavors highlight (somewhat) upfront, minimal honey and cedar-accents of citrus above this. The finish is much more stout than IPA as well-with roasted malt and smooth dark chocolate and a hint of wood/honey coming through. What lingers is crazy moderate to strong hop bitterness and a hint of roasted malt bitterness-actually its hard to tell the difference between the battling bitterness

M- Medium to high carbonation. Moderate to heavy weight sticky, oily body. The hop oils mix in well here.

D-This is probably the most complex black ale I have had yet. The hop/malt contrast here is huge (and weird of course-but thats just the style). Overall this is good-but a little bitter for my tastes. Mouthfeel is phenomenal. THIS makes me look forward to some Hill Farmstead

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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 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 Jmoore50
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If I had to choose Either Or, I would have to choose this version. A delicious 'black ale'.

The 12 oz bottle pours out a very dark black color with a fairly thick viscosity. With a very aggressive pour I get a half finger cocoa brown head that quickly turns into a film over the beer. Light lacing and medium alcoholic legs make this one a thick beer to be reckoned with.

The smell is of fruity pebble hops, a bit of roasted chocolate, and sweet candied sugars.

The first tastes are of a nice balanced roasted grain with hints of chocolate, molasses, and sweet sugars. The bitterness from the hops comes through towards the end and really end it well. There are some fruity sweetness' that I pick up off of the hops which make it interesting to drink. A bit of astringent nature in the mouthfeel is interesting and somewhat unexpected.

Really sweet overall with light hop bitterness in the end. A really delicious beer that I enjoyed more than Or.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to Jefe73 for this as an extra in a recent trade. Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured pitch black with a one and a half finger tan head that subsided to a half finger very slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, chocolate, and bitter hops. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, chocolate, bitter hops, and slight alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. The flavor was very well balanced with the sweetness from the chocolate and the bitterness from the hops. The hop flavor was also quite nice and not palate invasive. This one is a must try for sure!

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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 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 birderbeerer
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black/dark brown. Some head and lace.

Aroma is malt forward, more brown ale/toast than stout/roast. With a hop accent.

Taste is similar to aroma. Like a hopped-up, rich, brown ale. The hops are somewhat muted. More piney than fruity. Absolutely no detection of 11%+ abv.

This is more of a super rich brown ale with hops whereas Or is more of an ipa with an excessive amount of toasted malts and grains.

Either and Or are a sort of yin and yang in that each is more of the opposite side of the same coin than the other.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had "Or" and it was a good beer. Solid, but not perfection. Let's see how "Either" holds up. 12oz bottle...

A: With an aggressive pour, I get a dark liquid with copper highlights shining through. A very tiny off white head that quickly fades to a bubbly lace surrounding the top of the brew. Decent.

S: I get some chocolate and faint bitter hop upfront with some faint raisin and oatmeal hidden in the back. Ok.

T: I immediately get a bitter hop roastiness upfront quickly followed by a creamy chocolate. Some vanilla and cocoa in the middle with some very faint sugary malts on the backend. Good.

M: Medium body with a phenomenal carbonation feel. A very dry finish. Good.

D: Goes down very easy for an such high ABV. Very good.

All in all, this is another solid brew from CC. Not great, but still solid. Great to try if you like black & tan brews. This seems to have elements of stouts and IPA's blended very well together. Worth trying at least once.

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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 HeyItsChili
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up from the tasting room at Cigar City Brewing down in Tampa.

A - Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours black, with faint tobacco brown highlights when held to light. Thin dark khaki head.

S - Faint woody aroma, very sweet dark brown sugar, dark malt, licorice, with some grapefruit-like citrus in there to boot.

T - Kind of a gritty chocolaty-coffee flavor at first that quickly fades into hop territory. Piny hops that gets sharper and mixes with a dry burn of alcohol as it fades into aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied, good carbonation.

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Photo of GatheringBrews
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, rich black/brown with a tan head that lingers quite a while, lacing the sides of the glass.

Aroma doesn't seem overly strong, but notes of sweet malt, slight pine and dark fruit.

The cedar spirals give this one a really unique earthy flavor with a undertone of sweetness, but clear hop character of a Black IPA with a little chocolate and smoke. Carmel sweetness on the finish with a touch of tartness.

Full body mouthfeel, very round and full with little or no alcohol at all.

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Photo of aepb1
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black body with a creamy dark head and good lacing with the head dissipating to a little cap

S- Sweet floral smell, some woodiness, some hops

T- Wood and sweet fruits hit up front. Some coffee bitterness finish. No real balance, goes from big sweet to big bitter finish with no in between

M- Full-bodied and sweet stickiness

D- Looking forward to "Or" but this one is good

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Photo of fear025
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma:The hops smell nicely of grapefruit and sweet cotton candy. Dark malts also add to the aroma.

Appearance:Black in color. Light coffee colored head. Head looks a little low, but thick with tiny bubbles.

Taste:The sweet dark malts are prominent in this one. The hops definitely play second fiddle to the malts. The hops taste lightly of citrus, but are mainly just bitter.

Mouthfeel:This beer has a thick body, like a barley wine. The carbonation is a little low.

Drinkability:I enjoyed drinking this unique beer, although I think if you try to pigeonhole it into a specific style, you'll be dissapointed. It's more like a dark malted hoppy barley wine than a cascadian ipa.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared this at a tasting last week. Compared side by side with Or.

Poured dark brown, quite clear, with a creamy beige head. Nice roastiness coming through immediately. Coffee and chocolate, but also a healthy dose of pine and resin. Much going on here, but in the end, it really reminds me of a hoppy porter. Perhaps a touch of cinnamon in the finish, nicely spicy and drinks quite well. You'd never be able to tell that it's over 8%.

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Photo of 7ways
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours almost jet black with a small mocha head of Guinness Draught - like bubbles. This is going to be creamy. Fat globs of lace cling weakly.

You don't get an aroma like this often... licorice, dark chocolate, dark fresh bread, caramel dipped pears. It reminds me of Dark Lord and Bell's Batch 9000, with additional cascade or some other citrusy hop presence. But the hop component isn't too strong, and meshes nicely.

I'm happy to note that the cedar isn't nearly as prominent as with other CCB offerings (I think it can be very distracting).
I pick up nuts, roast, and vanilla initially. Honey? Maybe, it is rather sweet. The booziness reminds me of black strap rum. And the huge malt defines this as an Old Ale for me. This does not taste remotely close to any black IPA I've ever had.

The mouthfeel is almost like a good barley wine. Rich, full, a little dry, a little hot. It works perfectly.

Pretty quaffable for a big, confused ale. I am not a fan of black IPAs... thankfully this isn't one of them!

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