Or | Cigar City Brewing

103 Reviews
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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.

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Reviews: 103 | Ratings: 175
Photo of Skrip
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Night Shift wine glass.

A~ extremely black, with a small brown head and no lacing.

S~ dark malts flood the nose up front, followed by a little burnt coffee and some nice wood. ending with some sweet citrus.

T~ follows the nose so far but wow this has a lot more to offer! roasty dark malts up front which are quickly taken away by an amazing honey sweetness, followed by a bit of burnt coffee, all leading into a crazy bitter citrus hop explosion! meanwhile everything is coated in cedar, which Cigar City seems to be soo good at! (White Oak, Humidor IPA, etc...) and not a hint of booze!

M~ super smooth and refreshing! i'm gonna blame that on the pilsner malt in this version. really nice carbonation and more stout like than most stouts haha!

O~ this little series is fantastic! i definitely got lucky with the bottles that i received, they must have been aged probably because the hop presence is still in your face which is really surprising considering how old these are. i really love the HF influence here, this is very similar to Jim without the crazy honey (which definitely adds a lot) but just remember i'm a little biased cause i love black IPA's/hoppy black ales. oh! and yup its a HF colab. haha!

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Photo of warnerry
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from June 2012; tasted side by side with CCB either.

A - Similar to Either, this pours pitch black with very little head.

S - Quite a bit of cedar, roasted malts, and a slight sweetness, though less than Either.

T - Roasted malt, cedar and milk chocolate. A little drier and more pronounced and drier than Either, though I found it to be less enjoyable.

M - Mouthfeel is rather full with some citrus bitterness and a very dry cedar finish. More boozy than Either.

O - I liked Either better, but this was still a pretty tasty beer.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Domus Birrae in Rome, Italy of all places. No freshness information was apparent.

A - Thick motor oil black with a small layer of light brown head.

S - Roast, sweet honey, cedar, a touch of coffee. A slight bitterness is present but it is muted. I assume this bottle to not be fresh so I will take that in to account.

T - Big roast up front that immediately gives way to the cedar that is present without overwhelming as it sometimes can be in cedar aged beers. Some coffee and oatmeal notes are also present along with a decent bitterness and some grassy notes from the hops. The finish is sweet honey, espresso and a lingering bitterness. The hops are not as prominent as they would be in a fresh Black IPA, but are still very much a part of the palate.

M - Medium, almost full body. Creamy and viscous. Light carbonation.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter. No bottle date.

Appearance - Jet black. Inky. Small flutter of a khaki head then it fades to a collar.

Smell - Tons of cedar coming through on this one. Molasses, dark chocolate, and cedar. Whoah. This is a lot stronger than I remember the cedar in Either.

Taste - Molasses taste is prominent here at first, but the cedar takes over and gives it a sweetness and bitterness at the same time. The cedar seems much stronger here than it did in Either. Maybe the hops masked the cedar in Either. The dark malt base seems to be holding up nicely. Just a touch of hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Not as boozy as Either. Stronger cedar, which I can handle. Less bitter. Much more like Humidor Zhukov without being cloyingly sweet. Interesting and rather nice.

Overall - I feel that age has treated this one better, if only because it was less hoppy to begin with. The booze is much mellower. The cedar is still pretty strong. The cedar adds a dimension that I'm not sure I love, but it keeps me interested.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is a bit spicy. I don't get the boozy edge on this one like I got on Either, but I think the hop spices help on that. A firm example of the style. Glad I was able to pick this one up when I was in Florida. Too bad it won't be a regular release.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this one right after the "Either". This one is also a single finger tan head on a jet black body, not much different. Aroma is much less sweet and full but not as strong with vanilla, oak, bourbon, roasted malt and chocolate all again present. The malt is more obvious as is the coffee acounting for the more semi dry mouthfeel. Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate again are well represented. The body is less full bodied, smooth and moderate carbonation. As with the Either, the hops are also fairly mild and almost noncontributory to the flavor.

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Photo of nickfl
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with half a finger of medium brown foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles rapidly and leaves light lace on the glass.

S - A spicy, smoky aroma of dark sugar with elements of chocolate, licorice, cinnamon, and a bit of pine.

T - Dark caramel and cola up front with a bit of vanilla. Brown, spicy notes in the middle with licorice, molasses, and cinnamon. Finishes with nutmeg, chicory, and coco as well as pine and moderate bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.

D - An interesting contrast to its twin brew, this one has a less sweet malt character. This helps to accentuate the spicy character and perhaps makes for a more drinkable brew. These beers have a stronger malt profile than most black IPAs and as a result seem to have held up well after over a year and a half in the bottle.

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Photo of silentjay
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

trying to try these two (either and or) separately, objectively and without prejudice on different days.

the pour on this one is beautiful. deep black with a huge dark khaki head that lasts forever and laces very well.

aroma of tobacco and mint leaf with plenty of piney hops (though I know this has been in the bottle a while) with tons of wood and earthy character, some cocoa and molasses behind that.

leafy hops again come out first, sweetened a bit by some caramel/molasses flavored malts and bittered up again by some dark roasted coffee/chocolate malts characters. alcohol present throughout, but blended well with the leafy hops and roasted malts flavors.

not quite full bodied, but with a pleasantly light carbonation level and a leafy/yet bitter aftertaste with a touch of roast lingering.

very well balanced beer. I'm not sure how long ago this one was bottled, but at this time, the beer is drinking very well and the balance is remarkable. for such a strong beer, there is no harshness, but some decent complexity. impressive.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

how can i open "either" without "or"...just seems like it would be a crime. thanks to G311 and biglobo8971 for this one.

a - opened the bottle and filled the darkness snifter. poured similar to the either, but a bit darker and with a bigger creamier head (could be the glasses somewhat tulipy lip though). even more stout looking.

s - nutmeg, vanilla, and caramel with roasted malts. the honey is there as well. much more subtle than the either. crisp.

t - again, a nice hoppy black ale...perhaps a bit more hoppy than either. more american barleywine than strong ale. some grape notes and roastiness...but more subtle than either.

m - big and bold...finishes a bit bitter and leaves a tingle. if any different than either...perhaps a bit thinner?

o - overall just as enjoyable as either, perhaps a touch less enjoyable for my tastes. seemed to me that either was more black strong ale and this was more black american barleywine. for an american black ale these 2 are definitely up there in my book.

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kinda opaque body, no head on my one ounce taste.

Strong smell, slightly spicier, more herbal than Either, more hop character.

Taste is far mellower-- caramel, malty sweetness, oregano. Quite pleasant and tasty. Sweet (honey?), but balanced by a (subdued) hop presence. Plenty of hops in the aftertaste though. Compartmentalizes nicely, plenty in here to pick apart.

Slightly brigher, more carbonated mouthfeel than Either.

This is quite nice-- reminds me of DFH 120 in only the good ways.

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Photo of hiphopipa
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown, not near black-distinctively pitch brown.
Has a thin tan head around the perimeter that dissipates quickly and leaves little lace around the glass.
Smells boozy and of burnt sugar, roasted molasses & chocolate.
Sweet up front with strong honey overtones. Thick & creamy with hefty carbonation.
Sharp hop bite at the end, but definitely taken over by the dark roasted malts and smoked cedar finish.

Delicious, awesome afternoon treat.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Drank alongside Either.

A: Poured a deep brown, almost black color. Had a small slightly off-white head on top with little retention and very little bits of lacing.

S: Nice malty aromas up front with some chocolate and roast, but the back end is dominated by some grassy/floral hops.

T: Much roastier and heavier on the chocolate compared to Either. There is a slight coffee flavor in the middle, but there is a nice transition featuring a hop kick with some floral and bitter hops.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth, and no sign of the high ABV.

O: A better ABA than Either was, in my opinion at least. Had more of a hop presence.

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Photo of Mess
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hard pour into an Allagash stemmed vessel.

A - dark, dark deep black. extra thick tan head that spilled over.

S - bright, floral hops. Honey and aromatic cedar.

T - woody cedar plank. bitter lemony citrus. sweet honey. Smokiness in end.

M - smooth, tight carbination; oily hops

O - Delicious. More intense flavors of the two ( compared to Either). Really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ok, I get it. The joke is that either and or are the same beer.

Pours a dark brown, almost black, medium head with fast fade and ok lacing.

The aroma is of coffee, licorice, and faint chocolate notes, with earthy elements and some spicy hops in the back.

The flavor follows with the chocolate lingering after roasted malt, a touch of toffee, coffee, and spicy hops.

Overall, a bit thin, overcarbonated, and unbalanced, but very good.

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Photo of Gushue3
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- pours black as night and has a smaller 1 finger head. Tiny bit of lacing left after a sip.

S- big malt scent with a little bit of sweet citrus. Subtle chocolate and smokey scent.

T- really nice combo of flavors. Sweet and bitter orange and pink grapefruit citrus along with some roasty and chocolatey malts. Big complex flavors from what i expected to be a black ipa.

M- thicker medium to heavy feel thst has a medium to smaller carbo. Almost perfect feel

O- really nice beer. I wish there was a date on here and a fresh one to compare but this is pretty freaking good.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

A: Dark brown, not quite black in the body with a pretty pathetic looking "head" if you'd like to even call it that. No retention other than some tiny bubbles around the walls of the glass. No lacing, either (no pun intended).

S: Bitter floral, grassy and earthy hop notes are profound on this one. Chocolate malts, roasted grains and a faint coffee hint is found mixed in but for being in the cellar for a few months I'm seriously impressed how well the hops are holding up.

T: Darker chocolatey and roasted malt notes are up front but quickly washed out with a rush of floral and still bitter hops. The hops are definitely focused here and are really well balanced in regards to such a could-be dominating malt profile. The roasted and bitterness of both malt and hops respectively strike a unique and enjoyable balance.

M: Bubbly, still well carbonated and easily medium-bodied. Nothing is sticky, dry or lingering in any bad way. Standard fair for the style, nothing exotic.

In comparison of both beers which supposedly were made with the same ingredients, though something HAD to be different, Or is my beer of choice. I think the hops held up way better than the Either did, considering they were almost non-existent, and just overall a much more enjoyable beer.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

Pours a chocolate black with a light mocha head, slightly thinner and less fluffy than Either. Fades to a thin ringer of bubbles and broken film with transient streaks of thin lacing. Much more cedar and wood on the nose of Or than Either. Resembles more of a wood aged IPA than a stout like Either. Sweeter flavor than Either and slightly drier and less robust in the body. Much more drinkable, smooth and less boozy than Either. The hops have faded from a fresh sample, but there is still a citrus rind and woody cedar presence throughout. This was my favorite fresh and now aged for nearly a year so I'll declare this my winner in the set.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottles, no date. drank side by side with the Either

appears opaque black, with khaki colored head. nice retention and lacing. not as much sweetness in the aroma as the Either. just roasted malt and hops.

in the taste, the honey is more prevalent than the Either. a bit more balanced. again, the body is thicker than expected. smoother.

overall, not that much different than the Either, but I think a bit better. And again, the body is more like a stout.

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Photo of Jayli
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Acquired from SamuelJackson45 via LOKO for Locals BIF so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Poured in to a pint glass.

A: This beer pours a thick, opaque black with a one finger of light to medium brown, thick, foamy head. Head retains nicely leaving sheets of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is mocha, charred notes, light chocolate and grapefruit hops.

T: Taste starts far more mellow than Either. Nice starts with light chocolate notes followed quickly by molasses, brown sugar and mocha, with an undertone of piney notes that mingled together to give a pronounced but balanced sweetness. A nice continued light mocha flavoring holds in to the middle before a shot of grapefruit, and piney hops mixed with a bit of charred notes give a nice solid bitterness.

M: Fuller side of medium body, medium carbonation, crisp at first before having a silky, sticky rich finish that then turns bone dry.

O: Goes down easily, tasty, somewhat filling, well hidden kick, still a bit more on a stout side, but enough hop presence to teeter the line of black ale and stout. I definitely enjoyed Or better than Either.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dry, malty, toasty, and hoppy are the words that quickly sum up this beer. With an imperial IPA base, the toasted malts add bitterness, robust character, and a porter-ish density that creates as much inquisition as it does complexity.

With the pour of a very dark burnt brown color and a light tan head of creamy foam, the beer creates a bold and masculine appearance with no appologies. Ordinate pockets of lace reinforce the blunt foam character that's both sturdy and withstanding.

Heavy toast, black strap molassas, buckwheat, and the aroma of roasted berries and currants all decorate the nose. The accent of white grapefruit, pine resin, and wood chips further reinforce the raw earthy, sharp pungency of kindle and malt.

Flavors of molassas, burnt sugars, toast char, dry cocoa, and pine resin all play into the earthy and burnt flavors with hoppy balance. Straying away from ashy favors, the char of woods, berries, and stone fruits are a deep and underlying compliment to the brighter hop flavor of grass, pine, and grapefruit that morph into a resiny bitterness of clean grapefruit and toast in finish. Delicous early, the beer takes a quick turn to a toasty-dry taste late.

Robust and malty early, the dense carbonation reinforce a milkshake-like consistency until the hop flavor and bitterness take the beer into a toasty/malty-dry bit of hop bitterness, alcohol dryness, and slightly acrid de-bittered malts that complement hop bitterness and dryness with slight grassy astringency.

I love the transition the beer makes from its creamy and malty-dry upstart, but then uses the bitterness of toast and coffee character of grain to accent hop bitterness and dryness, and without picking up the astringency or tannins that often accompany these flavors. Very. Well. Done!

Thanks again BlueOkie!

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared with steepH20 and tasted side by side with Either. Poured into trusty tasting glasses multiple times over. Big thanks to Mike for the opportunity.

Black with a crimson flare and significantly more lacing than the Either. Ups for this.

Touch of cedar, toasted sunflower seeds, mild hops, black malt. Not as vibrant as it's rompy little doppleganger. Big Butt Skinner...NOOO!

Sweeter, milder, and less boisterous. Touch of wood and pine that doesn't show the fruit or tropicality expressed by others. Age or shitty palate? You be the judge.

Slightly more sluggish and generally less enjoyable than Either. Also the truer to the style effort of the two in my opinion.

To steal from steep, "if this is the future of black IPA's, then something, something." He meant it positively.

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Photo of billshmeinke
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Side by side with Either. Review from old notes.

Black with half a finger head. Lacing and retention are a touch nicer than Either.

Smell's about the same as Either. Not quite as pungent or cereal-y though.

Tastes about the same too. Less dark fruit, more chocolate and sweetness, no cereal notes.

Mouthfeel is a bit less carbonated than Either.

I liked it a little better, but that isn't saying much.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OR poured out as a beautiful dark black color. It had a big brown thick head on top and looked very appealing. The lacing was very good on this one too. The smell of the beer was roasted and very hoppy much like the EITHER. The taste wasn't a whole lot different for each other also. Roasted and big citrusy hops on the tongue. The mouthfeel is heavy and tingles the taste buds. Overall I think I liked the OR just a little more than the EITHER. But both were fun to try and the only real downfall of them both was the price tag.

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Photo of LiquidBread219
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- I had this beer and Either as the same time. It looks excatly the same. It looks like a stout with good head and lacing.

S- The smell has some cascade hops, it smells earthy/bready.

T- You get the flavor of hops, no bitterness, and smooth.

M- This beer is really smooth and light.

D- This beer is really good, especially when drinking it with EITHER.

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Photo of vapodge
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass (side-by-side tasting with Either)
[served 3-15-11]

A - black with moderate head; great lacing

S - alcohol and roasted malt; much more of a porter nose than the Either

T - strangely, this seems much brighter than Either despite the nose; I don't get much of a roasted anything sensation here; a lot of hops lightly toasted, perhaps

M - higher level of carbonation than Either and certainly crisper

D - this brew belies its color -- you can see the light in spite of the darkness

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Or from Cigar City Brewing
4.06 out of 5 based on 175 ratings.
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