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 PDXHops
2.46/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle in a Duvel tulip. I'm borrowing from and adding to my notes from Either.

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.
Other than a head that's a shade lighter in color, pretty much the same.

Smells pleasantly sweet, full of milk chocolate, honey, pineapples, oranges and floral notes. Could stand a touch more roasted/burnt character.
This version seems to have the addition of a sourness along the lines of green apples and has even less roastiness in the nose.

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.
Mostly the same story, but as in the nose, there's a tart apple quality that adds another dimension of oddness.

Interesting sipper, but the shortage of dry and roasted flavors and lack of focus on the hops limit its appeal as a CDA.
Somewhat less appealing due to the green apple stuff. Glad to have tried it, wouldn't revisit.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.31/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours near black with a finger-and-a-half of light mocha head and some pretty good lacing as it goes down. Nice retention with some sticking power that's greater than what I found in the Either without a hard swirl. The nose is a bit hoppier than Either, with some citrus notes coming through as well as earth. The earthiness of this is quite prominent alongside a bit of roast.

The flavor starts out with some citrus hops and a bit of tangerine peel. After that comes a touch of light sweetness as well as some roast. A pretty good amount of booze is here as well, though not nearly as much as in Either. Medium body and not quite as creamy as Either, though the lack of alcohol dominance is nice. There are some hops in the finish, which is fairly dry. This is pretty decent and more drinkable right now than the Either, but neither one really stands up to what I would expect from these breweries.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.32/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Very deep brown with a thin dark tan head, quick to fade to the edges.

S - Muted chocolate.

T - Bitter acidic coffee.

D - Oily in the mouth.

O - The bitterness and un-balance is just not right here. I was really looking forward to the Either-Or series, but I am a bit dissapointed in both. Or would rate slightly higher for me.

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Photo of nick76
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is so dark it's almost black but it's still brown. The head is tan. The aroma is very toasted to the point of being burnt and a tin bit sweet with molasses and hops. The taste is like the aroma. The palate is sooth but not thick. Overall this is not any better than the either but the two blended are better.

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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 7ways
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks exactly the same as its counterpart, black with a mocha head, fat globs of lace... except the head retention isn't as strong and the carbonation isn't as fine and creamy.

Smells much more of hops than Either, and more specific fruits. More focused. The chocolate aroma is more like brownies than dark chocolate, and it has none of the licorice or fresh bread I picked up in the other one. Much more wood. And a slight sourish quality that makes me think I have a dirty glass (it's clean).

The taste is not as focused as the nose, but it is a little more cohesive than Either. Unlike Either, this one actually tastes something more like a black IPA. A tipsy balance of hops and black malt, with the hops barely winning. Caramel and vanilla are still in the lead, but the finish is a little acerbic compared to Either, which I'll blame on the cedar.

Mouthfeel is probably about right for the "style", but I'd prefer it to be more full and accommodating. Still well done.

Clearly a well made beer, but not for me.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ditmier busted Or and Either 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 and never gelled as well for me.

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 resinous piney hops.. cedar is again pretty prevalent and I am starting to not like it in the brews.

Flavor seems a bit more harsh out of the gate than the Either.. the bitterness from the hops and the lightly astringent roasty malts seem amplified from the piney hop presence. Again, a little malty sweetness shows as minor caramel and is the tie that binds this one together mid-sip... the piney hops seem out of whack a bit... not my favorite in a dark malt beer by a long shot... and again.. the cedar is distracting and adds a layer of complexity that seems odd and doesn't jive with the overall brew. lingering char on the finish combining with the piney hops and the spicy cedar just doesn't do it for me.

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

Didn't care for this one as much as Either, but it is still good... just not for me as much.


Another big props goes out to my buddy Ditmier.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Black with a brownish-tan head that left some stick on the sides and a partial cap.

S - Resiny, decent bit of hops, some dark fruit.

T - Mostly dark fruits and malts with some pine hops and a touch of citrus. Little bit of coffee and wood.

M - Medium bodied and a little bit sticky. Moderate carbonation.

O - Not bad, slightly hot which is explained by the ABV. It's not bad, but nothing I'll ever seek out.

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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 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 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 Jmoore50
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Side by side Either and Or. Liked Either more.

The appearance on this one is dark black. Almost the same look as Either, with a head retention that lasted a touch longer.

This one is very hops forward with backgrounds of chocolate, dry roast, and fresh cut wood. From doing a bit of researching this wood smell, and later taste, comes from cedar chips added. Interesting.

The taste is good, but doesn't meld as well as I would like. The hops are very forward, overshadowing any real sweetness' in the malt and honey base. An astringency comes forth a bit that is no doubtingly from the cedar chips, an unwelcome character with this one. A bit of booze in the finish, making this one a bit 'harsh' overall.

I don't mind this beer, and actually thought it was pretty good. It will benefit from aging and think it will turn into something like Either after a few months.

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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 ThreeWiseMen
3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired this in a recent trade with fogdog. Thanks Kevin!

Poured into a New Belgium globe.

Appearance: Pitch black body prevents any light from passing through; totally opaque. A creamy, light brown ring sits on top and drags a respectable amount of web-like lace. Excellent retention. A swirl quickly livens things up, creating a quarter inch of creamy fluff that hangs around for awhile.

Smell: Very much like barbecue: roasty, meaty, spicy, and sappy. Char, caramel, and black pepper are the three specific aromas I continuously come across. Interesting, but also strange. Not sure if I like it.

Taste: Chocolate, pine resin, black pepper, and barbecue comprise the bulk of the flavor profile. Early on, I was getting something very strange: cotton candy and/or bubblegum. That flavor faded with time, but I felt it still deserved mention. As the beer warms, the roasty backbone softens a bit and gives way to caramel.

Mouthfeel: Full, rich, bold, a touch syrupy, warm, dry, and sticky. This is a big beer, but it feels about right (maybe a little easier) for an 11.2% beast.

Drinkability: Aside from the smell, this was a great sipper. It was surprisingly smooth for being 11.2%, while still maintaining boldness and complexity. Well done.

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Photo of mondegreen
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. into a Founders Tulip. Served alongside Either.

Pours black with a one finger off white head.

Aroma is roasted malts and citrus hops.

The dark malts really shine through in the taste. This could almost pass for a very hoppy Imperial Stout. Finishes with a long-lingering bitterness.

Mouth is medium full.

Drinks very well. In the end, this beer comes off as a bit more straightforward than Either. They are both excellent brews - chalk this up to a successful collaboration!

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Photo of djmichaelk
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a CCB snifter.

A - Pours a near-black, with a pretty solid-looking khaki-colored head with good retention. Great lacing all over the glass.

S - Not as sweet-smelling as Either, having more muted elements of the brown sugar and toffee. Maybe a touch more hoppy that its brother, and less roasty.

T - Roast, caramelized sugar, and some char. The hops are more prominent in this one, giving the bitter finish a sharpness that is pleasant. The finish is long and dry, and has an acrid feel that takes away from it just a little.

M - Again, great mouthfeel. Perfect carbonation and full without being too much.

D - This is part 2, and I'm definitely feeling the abv between them. I could've probably gone for two Eithers, but not Or.

O - Again, price is a bit high but I'll probably grab another pair since they're one offs. Pretty good stuff.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Joey for this one. Served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A - Looks almost identical to Either, but with slightly more foam. More of a true 4.5 in appearance here.

S - This has less burnt character, and more dark chocolate. The hop character is more herbaceous, with some light catty notes.

T - Again, this is less bitter, with less of that burnt malt bitterness and char character I find in a lot of Cigar City offerings. Nice caramel flavors, honey, and solid hop bitterness in the finish.

M - Pleasant zesty carbonation, medium body, nice viscosity. Quite similar to Either.

D - This is quite similar, but I like it more as the burnt and char notes are more attenuated and there's a bit more balancing sweetness. I had this again on-tap at Cigar City and the draught seemed a bit fresher than the bottles.

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Photo of Florida9
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Much like Either, this one is unsurprisingly black in color. 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: Molasses, roasted malts, chocolate and a faint bit of aromatic wood.

T: Sweet dark malts. molasses, brown sugar and dark fruit. Some citrus on the back end that subsides as the beer warms. Very faint bitterness.

M: On the heavier side with appropriate carbonation and sweetness that becomes cloying as the beer warms.

D: Another good, but not great, beer from CCB. Much like Either, this one is packed full of flavor from start to finish, though the weight of this beer seemed wear on me a bit more than Either.

- - -

Tasted this alongside Either. 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 maximum12
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 Either to see if I can ferret out the differences. Split each bottle into little sippy cups for my wife & I.

Poured into a Christoffel Bier mini-goblet that my garage-sale scrounging mother brought over for my birthday, cool little glass. Pour is black, stout-dark. Nose is lots of cedar closet & hops, quite a contrast to Either.

Or is molded after other cedar-aged Cigar City brews, where the cedar is, I believe, actually shaved thin & left in the beer. Strong. Elements of pine needles and/or sap and/or bark in the hops. Trademark CC char is present but diluted. Ends roasty with bitterness cutting through the wood & other strains. Much lighter, hoppier, & less thick than Either. This is more akin to a super-strong black IPA that Either, by virtue of its lighter feel & better drinkability.

Think I like this better than Either. Lighter, more approachable on the dance floor, & the cedar supports a very good beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Bruery tulip. Beer is black with a nice off white to tan head of small and medium bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation low.

Aroma is complex, a little smoky, very woodsy, grapefruit hoppy, mildly malty sweet. Lots going on here, it seems that every time I smell it I get something different than the last time. With so many big aromas in here, they tend to clash and fight for dominance.

The taste is the same, well first its medium in body and mildly carbonated on the palate. Second, the palate is so crammed with flavors from hops, to wood / cedar, to a little smoke, I can't make a lot of sense from this beer. THERE IS A LOT GOING ON HERE! Every time I take a sip I think something different. For example, strong grapefruit in the first sip, second sip I get a lot of dryness and some smoke, third sip...I get sweetness medium body moderate finish. This beer is all over the map. I don't know what to think of it....I'm confused!

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A thicker head than the Either, looks a bit lighter as well. The beer is around the same black color though.

S: I pick up the cedar in this one, and a more aggressive hop profile. I am also getting a dank, marijuana like aroma from this one. The hops here are more earthy and piney, less citrusy and juicy. Not picking up the big roasted malts that balanced the Either out so nicely.

T: The roasted malt is there on the palate in the same dry, bitter quality as the Either. Interesting how the cedar aging comes into play on this one, but not the other one. Big wood notes with some tobacco. The hops are very present here as well and offer some pine and sharp citrus flavors of grapefruit.

M: A little harsher on the palate than its counterpart, tends to pull at the teeth and gums a bit more. Has a bit more of a carbonation bite.

D: Overall just the harsher version of the two. More hop forward with less roast to balance it. More wood notes that only further unbalance it. Lacks the creamy quality of the Either.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | 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- Roasted malt, dark chocolate, and a hint of pine in the back. Roasted malt is the main character.

T- Upfront is actually a good amount of herbal hops, a hint of spicy hops, and a hint of citrus, behind this is a huge coffee roasted malt backbone. The finish offers a big dose of refreshing pine in the back and a mild amount of roasted malt lingers.

M- Medium carbonation and a medium weight body.

D- This is another interesting "black ale". Although this one isn't as bright and doesnt seem to be as complex as EITHER- the flavors blend together a lot better and this doesnt seem to be as much of a contrast. Overall both are pretty good beers.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The beer pours a very dark brown color with a thin layer of off-white/tan foam.

S: Fairly heavy on the roast and chocolate notes with a moderate licorice quality. Some mild booze is also in there. A solid hop presence with a nice citrus (grapefruit) and pine note.

T: Grapefruit and other citrus hops are prominent up front. A mild pineapple flavor as well as some grass and a hint of pine round out the hop profile. Fairly roasty with a nice hint of licorice.

M: Medium to full in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: I was expecting this to be pretty harsh at 11%, but really nice and easy to drink.

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Photo of seeswo
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black color with a dark tan head. Smell is somewhat more subtle than Either, with a dominant roast. Taste was also more subtle than Either, this time in a preferable way. Balanced roast and sweetness combine with a nice hop presence. Much more drinkable than Either because of the balance. ABV very well hidden.

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