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 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 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 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 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 thagr81us
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with mikesgroove at Hobo Tasting #3! Big thanks goes out to Jefe73 for this bottle as an extra from a recent trade. Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured pitch black with a one finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark fruit, and chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, slight alcohol, and chocolate. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. Had a very well balanced flavor going on here as everything seemed to work in unison. I enjoyed this one better than Either (which I had a few hours earlier). Very nice aroma going on here too. This is the absolute must try of the two in the series in my opinion.

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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 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 birderbeerer
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Edit: Drink this beer fresh. Originally reviewed 12/2010. Just had another in 4/2011 and it's much more chocolate and much less of the lush, tropical hops.

Pours black (dark brown in the right light). One finger head. Some lace.

Aroma is sweet, sweet, citrusy, pineapple hops. So fruity. So unexpected given the appearance. No pungent aroma, just tropical fruity. Aroma and appearance really counter my expectations of both. I've had black ipa's, but this one presents a much cleaner hop aroma than others.

Taste follows the aroma. Big, sweet, juicy hops. Wonderful. The hops are followed by a mild, malt sweetness. No roast flavors but more of a lightly sweet molasses or brown sugar and caramel. Very light and toned down malt flavor, which provides a nice complement to the juicy hops.

There's 11% abv here? No way. Easily seems like 7%. Exceptionally drinkable for 11%. Excellent beer.

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Photo of bamadog
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Special thanks to scottyshades for hooking me up with this in a recent trade! Review is from notes taken on 1/10/2011 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is darkest brown/near black and starts with a scant 1/4 finger dark tan head that fades quickly to nothing other than a thin skim and thin ring around the surface; body is entirely opaque and appears a little viscous on the pour -- very nice and it looks quite appetizing; only a few swaths and patches of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Loads of chocolate malts that come across as sweet and bittersweet and it also has a bit of a dry, cocoa-ish powder scent to it; bit of a burnt and roasty coffee scent underneath the chocolate, and even further beneath that is a slight hint of earthy and grassy hops.

Taste: Holy schyte this is a great tasting beer! A great bland and blast of varying flavors that really work well together -- lots of the chocolate malts that have the sweet and bittersweet aspects to them, but then the next thing that I really notice is a bunch of the cedar from the aging process; a slight roastiness to it and the hops are present and provide an earthy and slightly grassy bitterness and balance to it all; this is really a class act beer.

Mouthfeel: As it looks on the pour, the body definitely has a bit of viscosity to it -- the body is of medium weight and the carbonation is present, but rather smooth as it provides just enough of a prickly sensation; a thick and chewy, sticky coating is left all of the mouth and it becomes a bit cottony as it sits; the belly is left a bit warm from the ABV, as well as the gums being left a little tingly from that and the carbonation.

Drinkability: While it's excellent in every capacity, the higher ABV would certainly limit too much of it, but it could easily be sipped on all night, especially on these cooler nights as the maltiness and the alcohol give it a strong warming presence. I really like what Cigar City does with cedar and I think they've got the market cornered on this one, and I really want to try it with some home brewing projects.

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

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

A - Pours black akin to its brother Either, but has a fluffier head, also dark khaki.

S - Sweet chocolate, malts, citrusy hops. There the sort of sweet, cofee aroma here but not quite as earthy as it is in Either. Cleaner, as are the hops aromas.

T - I know it has the same ABV as its twin, but it doesn't seem to sit as much in the aftertaste. Piny hops really dominate the aftertaste here.

M - Medium bodied, good carbonation.

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Photo of GatheringBrews
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Much like it's companion beer, Either, this one pours a dark black/brown with a strong tan head.

Stronger hop character in the aroma, but still hints of malt, dark fruit that unique touch from the cedar.

Slightly drier mouthfeel and finish with much more pronounced hop flavor and less emphasis of the earthiness of Either. However, there's still a unique tart from the cedar. Feels much more like a black IPA to me with the resinous backbone and drier finish, but still well balanced for such a big beer.

Drinking them side by side allows for a good comparison of the differences, for sure. Enjoyed the Either, but preferred the Or, only because it really hits home as a BIPA to me.

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Photo of aepb1
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Black body with a small tan head and plenty of lacing

S- Piney hops, some cedar too

T- Hoppy bite up front and moves into a sweet maltiness, finishes with some bitterness from coffee notes

M- Medium body, creamy, smooth

D- A nice beer to sip on! The mouthfeel makes it go down easy even with the high ABV

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

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

Looks exactly the same as its twin, Either. Dark brown, cream/beige head, and clear with some deep maroon hues. That's about it with the similarities. Much more citrus and grapefruit forward and the chocolate, cocoa, and coffee are much less pronounced. An abundance of grapefruit rind, orange peel, and a hint of pine makes this a much more assertive beer. Rather than being a hopped up porter akin to its counterpart, this is a DIPA with some roasted malts added to the grain bill. That scores it a little higher in terms of aroma and flavor, as it worked very well. However, I couldn't drink as much of this so it falls just slightly in that department.

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

Purchased at Ward's in Gainesville, FL for $6.99/12 oz. bottle.

A: opaque, black beer - not much head except for tan colored ring around glass
S: intense and strong nose, earthy hops, burnt licorice malt, loads of EtOH, nice and chewy
T: at the ABV and huge malt body balanced by intense hops this is more of a barleywine, balance is good, good malt up front but could use just a bit more, nice hop bitter finish, this one would age extremely well
M: very nice, well-balanced
D: surprisingly drinkable for a beer with so much guts and no aging

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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 beersensei305
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Now it's time for the Or... this is a live review. I bought the bottle form my local liquor store...

A: Pours black with a nice fizzy tan head that lingers nicely...little lacing

S: the aroma gets me as soon as I pop'd the bottle I can smell the cedar and the sweet honey, piney and hopy

T: Very Different than either, and I may like this one more.. Nice roasted character, bitter. Chocolatey and good cedar notes. Hopy which leaves a slight nice dryiness. As it warms the sweet honey comes out. A hint of coffee

M: Smooth, medium bodied brew. leaves a dry tangy note on the cheeks. Decent carbonation.

D: Fairly strong, not as boozey as Either, but it is there.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at a cold cellar temp into a tulip glass.

Pours with a thick, yet short tan head over an opaque black body. Head seems to drop more quickly than the Either. Still has great lacing, however.

Aromas are full of cedar, pine bark, touch of caramel, and touch of burnt toast.

Mouthfeel is quite smooth, leading to flavors of citrus hops, chocolate malts (more milk chocolate than cocoa), and plenty of cedar in the finish... just a touch of tobacco quality as it warmed. Finish is terrific. Mouthfeel was smooth throughout, with touch of bitter twang.

Enjoyed the balance which adds a lot to the drinkability for something this strong.

Both Either and Or are killer beers, and I'm not sure I could really choose one over the other. Or has a touch more milk chocolate quality, while Either is slightly more dark and/or bittersweet chocolate. Cedar rocks both.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured nearly pitch black with a very nice creamy dark brown head.
Smell is almost all hops with faint maltiness way in back.
Taste is hoppy, with malt, a slight note of smoke.
A very creamy, richly textured full body with a noticeable though not overpowering alcohol note. Smooth with a light effervescence. A slightly woody note shows in the aftertaste. A really good brew fromt a really fine brewery.

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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 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 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 aubuc1
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark black with a thin tan head.

Smell is a big citrus with some light roasty malt.

Taste is a big roasty, bitter, coffeeish slightly boozy and honey sweet.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth.

Drinkability is a little off of good due to stiff bitterness and light booziness.

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Photo of adam42381
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 12 ounce bottle into a Spiegelau tulip. Purchased along with Either at Cigar City Brewing taproom on 11/20/10.

Appearance: Pours a coffee black color with a 1-2 finger foamy tan head. Looks like a stout. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Piney hops, bitter citrus, roasted malt and mildly astringent alcohol.

Taste: Pine with a hint of citrus up front followed by warming alcohol in the middle then ending with roasted malt and coffee at the finish. Distinct cedar notes throughout. Aftertaste is bitter hops. Flavor definitely expands as it warms up.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Very creamy and prickly at the same time.

Drinkability: Decent drinkability. This is a beer I would drink slowly. Because of the high ABV, I wouldn't drink more than one.

Overall: Good beer overall. This is another solid offering from Cigar City. I'd have a hard time recommend trying this because it's $7.50/bottle. If you don't mind the price, it's definitely worth giving a shot.

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