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 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 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 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 brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: While the color of the beer is as dark as "Either," the head is a darker shade of tan, more densly packed and leaves a lot more lacing

Smell: Unlike the rich malt elements of "Either," the hops are much more apparent, bringing a piney character

Taste: The piney character from the hops is much more dominant in the flavor profile, as well, with the chocolate elements of the malt providing more of a backdrop; by mid-palate, the cedar adds its dimension and, while the honey appears in the back, in never makes quite the impression that it did in "Either"

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: I first tasted this at the brewery and leaned toward "Or" and now having it in the bottle, my initial impression was tilted in the same direction; by the end, however, I began to appreciate "Either" even more and have shifted my preference; you really cannot go wrong with either, or or

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

Bottle shared by Austin - Thanks!

Pours black with barely any head except for a few bubbles. Nose is dominated by a hop character and wood. Taste is oaky and slightly tannic. Some faint cedar is noted. Mouthfeel is mellow and smooth. At bit heavy, but not so much as the "Either" version. Overall, easier to drink than the "Either" with a lightness and oak rather than big cedar. Liked it very much.

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

and away we go with hobo tasting number four. me and calton in the parking lot of chucky cheese, drinking top 100 beers in crystall glass ware from the back of his trunk. we both have too many issues to get into right now.

pours, well you guess it a dark black with a nice tight and compact head of tan that seems to come up around an inch or so before settling back down to earth and coming through with a nice medium layer of lacing around the sides, fairly impressed. aroma is hops, dark roasted malts, a touch of burnt brown sugar, hints of licorice and a touch of dark fruits as it warms, very complex. flavor follows suit nicely, albeit not as strong, but still very nicely done. rich dark malts and piney hops blend together with a deep roasted flavor that carries over into a moderatly dry finish that sums it up quite well..

overall a really great beer an one i would have no issue with going for again. still floored how well that abv was hidden, damn!

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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 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 smakawhat
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Pours out of the bottle dark brown almost motor oil thick. Gives a great three finger cocoa brown head, even makes some good noise. Body is a dark dark red/black brown color. Real good looking here.

A good sense of cirtus grapefruit and sugared orange. Very sweet smelling almost with powdered sugar sense. Wonderful nose.

Taste is a bold bountiful stout with milk chocolate and grapefruit sugar sweetness. Mix of balance of caramel like roast and crystal sugars. Hop citrus on the finish, and silky milk throat coating. Hints of milk chocolate coated orange and grapefruit. I feel like I am eating dark chocolate covered oranges.

Killer black ale, what can I say, all that flavor and feel and a masked ABV. Super great beer in the bottle.

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

Thanks goes out to G311 for this brew.

Pours a nice black color, nice carbonation, very nice thick/creamy two-finger tan head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice hop notes, licorice, chocolate. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, hoppy, bitter, with some nice licorice and chocolate notes. Medium Body, the ABV is slightly up front on this brew. Drinkable, a tasty brew, I like this one better than the Either.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A vigorous pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a four finger thick, nicely browned, dark tan colored head. The beer is an approaching black, concentrated brown color that shows brown notes around the edges when held up directly to the light. This is extremely hoppy and fresh smelling with notes of tangelo zest, lychee and lots of herbal notes that contribute notes of pine and even some nutty hemp seed aromatics. There is a soft, supporting malt character here that provides notes of toasted / roasted malt and even hits of spicy grain (more crystal malt than rye). This really is quite hop dominated though; the fruit-leaning hop character also contributes notes of ruby red grapefruit juice, concentrated floral tropical fruit notes. At times the roast malt character is quite a bit noticeable (though still plays a secondary role), but at others it is quite consumed by the hop character. As the beer warms up a spiciness and a touch of hot alcohol starts to come out a bit more, though the fruity hop character is certainly still the dominant note.

Lightly sweet tasting up front, but it is hoppy enough that it has a certain dryness to it. As it rolls across the tongue an amped up fruit-hop character combines with the malt and accentuates a smooth sweetness; the combination provides flavors of lychee, orange blossom nectar, concentrated tangelo zest as well as kumquat zest flavors. The finish has an herbaceous hop bitterness to it that is a bit green at times and gets accentuated by a roast / burnt roast malt character. Despite how dark this beer is, the roast malt character is actually fairly subtle, really it is just that the hop character is quite aggressive and is most noticeable in the finish, though there is a touch of dark cocoa in the middle that subtly contributes to the flavor profile. The body of this beer has some viscosity to it and some heft, though the hops help to balance this out quite well and make this quite quaffable. There is a touch of heat that provides a warming to the finish of this beer. Toasted, woody and earthy notes are found here in the finish and contribute a complexity here that is quite nice.

This is quite nice and tasty, once again though I am of the opinion that the dark / roast malt is just getting in the way in this beer. It adds a harshness to the finish that accentuates a green, sharply herbal note towards the finish; traditional, pale malt IPAs provide a cleaner focus on the hop character that just works better. Having said that, this is still a thoroughly dominated, hop focused beer that will satisfy the inner cravings of your inner hop-head. I am almost done with this beer before I knew there was cedar used in this beer; it integrates quite well with the hop character and perhaps contributes an herbal, spicy and woody character that melds into similar hop notes. Interestingly enough it also integrates quite well with the toasted / roasted malt character as well. Actually in the end I would guess that the cedar character really helps to tie together the disparate roast character and aggressive hop notes quite a bit more than would otherwise be the case.

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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 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 weeare138
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a dark black with a small head of tan fluff that doesn't want to fade away. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of heavy citrus, roasted malt, cocoa, floral notes, caramel, and pine.
Taste is of the aromas with spritzy hop notes zinging along the back of the palate.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, zingy, with a semi-dry citrusy finish.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Sampled alongside "Either". Poured into a Cigar City snifter. Pours a dark black color with a tan colored head. "Or" has better retention and lacing than "Either".

S- The aroma is similar to a black IPA. The aroma starts out with dark roasted malts and a very nice fresh smelling hop aroma. While "Either" is a little more malty in the nose, "Or" features a more pronounced hop profile.

T- The taste like the aroma is dark roasted malts up front, espresso and a lot of lingering bitterness in the finish from the hops. The alcohol also leaves a lingering warming effect in the finish as well.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

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