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Hillsborough River Dry Irish Stout (Patio Tools) | Cigar City Brewing

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BA SCORE
89
very good
42 Reviews
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
cigarcitybrewing.com

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Pours black in color with coffee and very light cocoa notes. Hillsborough River is brewed with roasted barley which contributes forward coffee notes with small notes of cocoa and toffee in the flavor.

35 IBU

Added by Chaney on 07-15-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
42
Ratings:
143
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
16.38%
 
 
Wants:
19
Gots:
1
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 143
Photo of glid02
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap. Originally posted under Patio Tools on 5/18/2010 but moved after an incorrect merging.

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of heavily roasted malt with good amounts of unsweetened chocolate. Also present are hints of char and tobacco.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Robust roasted malt flavors kick things off and are quickly tempered by lightly sweetened dark chocolate. Midway through the sip the flavors dry out a bit with hints of char. Good amounts of tobacco flavors enter into things before a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is great. I finished my glass very quickly and could have a ton of these, especially at such a relatively low ABV.

Overall this is likely in my top three CCB beers I've had, and that's among some stout company. A very flavorful low ABV stout that's well worth a shot.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on tap in Cigar City's newly constructed bar area. Tried on recommendation from some locals that were sitting next to me.
Poured into a pint glass. Pours a nice dark brown with a slight tan, tight head.Smells of coffee and dark roasted malts. The taste is great! It's tough to describe but "tight" come to mind, probably the dryness of it. Also get notes of coffee with a slight smooth hop flavor. Mouthfeel is light to medium. Chalkboard said this was 5.2% abv which was perfect. Love this beer.

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Photo of d1ckvanswype
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Quick review scribbled at the bar, didn't know this was going to be around, they tapped out on Cigar City's Minaret right when I ordered it so this was the replacement, and what a replacement!

A: Jet black, thick, rich tan head that lasts and lasts and lasts.

S: Roasty malts, coffee.

T: YUM. Imagine having a bowl of Chocolate Rice Krispies, and instead of milk you used cold brew coffee with a touch of cream. Pretty much exactly there.

M: Super creamy, rich, a little chewy, with a deliciously welcome coffeelike astringency. Amazing, I just wish it was a TINY bit fuller, it should feel like I would get a tired jaw from chewing on this beer.

O: Easily one of the finest nitro beers I've had, one of the best Irish dry stouts, beats the everloving shit out of Guinness, I want this beer to be available year round, across the planet so people can use this as a marker for the style.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at The Local Miami. Served in a Guinness tapered pint glass.

A- Pours a perfectly opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that stays and stays before eventually diminishing to a 1/4 inch head. Thick, fluffy resilient lacing.

S- Very nice milk chocolatey caramel aroma with a hint of mocha.

T- Incredibly smooth flavor reminiscent of a chocolate milkshake due to the nitrogen. Minimal bitterness although there is some on the tail end. The taste ends up being quite neutral, but let's just call it balanced and super drinkable.

M- The creme de la creme...literally. So creamy and soft it's sublime. Semi-robust body.

O- I'm such a sucker for stouts on nitro pour so my rating is a bit overly generous. Still, this is a fantastic beer and I highly recommend it, nitro pour or normal.

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Photo of Chaney
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Cigar City. Everyone around me truly enjoyed this beer.... even my wife, who normally hates the stuff.

A: Abysmally dark, with a very frothy, nitro tap-esque head that stuck around to see the freezing of hell. Mild cobweb lacing.

S: Straight up licorice, with a bit of chocolate birthday cake icing, and followed up by Cigar City's signature tree bark profile.

T: Yep, the Cigar City ashes were particularly present in this one, but I welcomed that. This is one of the driest stouts I've ever tasted. Seriously!

M: Thick, creamy, with a tinge of prune-like sweetness that just kept it in the "man candy" realm.

O: One of the strangest, and tastiest Irish stouts I've had in a long time. Also, it has the added benefit of being a style that is truly a guilty pleasure of mine.

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Photo of brentk56
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Has the Guinness appearance you would expect from a nitro tap and leaves plenty of lacing behind

Smell: Roasted black bread, vanilla and a hint of coffee

Taste: Roasted black bread, up front, with the vanilla and a bit of burnt brown sugar in the middle; dries out, after the swallow, with a bit of bitterness in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Very nice dry stout and I love the pun

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Photo of jucifer1818
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: dark brown, and what can I say. Its to style
4.5/5

s: Light chocolate smells, but to be honest, their isn't much here. nothing bad, but it really needs more aroma.
3.5/5

t: Where this beer shines. Light milk chocolate in flavor, slight earthyness (from the nitro), and a immense creamyness that makes it taste more like a oatmeal.sweet/milk stout vs a Irish stout. The hops only shine through in the after taste, giving it a nice dry roasty/bitter flavor in the after taste. Its fair to say I thought that this brew was fantastic.

m: Slick, creamy, mellow, and highly drinkable
5/5

Overall: I thought that this was a fantastic brew. Very slick and easy to drink, with exactly the flavors I wanted. Not exactly a traditional Irish stout, but for what it is, I highly recommend it (at least on nitro).

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Photo of mondegreen
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

32oz Growler into a CCB snifter.

Pours a deep brown with a short lived head. Leaves pretty good lacing.

Really nice roasty nose. This beer is to roast what a single IPA is to hops. Simple, but elegant.

Taste is bitter roasted grains. Elements of coffe and bitter chocolate peek through a light body. Very drinkable, a really nice traditional style from CCB.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler generously gifted by Chaney. Thanks Brandon!

The beer is dark brown, nearing black. The head is thick and beige and leaves some random lacing on the snifter. The aroma offers dark fruit, smoke, and roast. The flavor is quite nice. Eight ounces down, this is likely the best Irish stout I have yet had. Light bodied and easy drinking, with spot on carbonation. I would definitely drink this again.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've come across this three times in three different places in Florida. This time, I found it on nitro-tap.

A-completely black with a nice creamy dark tan head with some lacing. perfect.

S-smells like fresh ground coffee.very good strength

T-slowly hits with a good strong taste of fresh ground coffee. the tastes last and forms a great semi-bitter after-taste. This isn't a complex beer, but the flavors are very strong and thorough. It lacks any negative tastes.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a dry finish

O-this is an impressive and fair example of the style. i've had this a few times and every time I am satisfied. its a much more versatile stout that most. a lot of flavor from the ABV.

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Photo of da_beers
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Cigar City Brewing Brew Pub - on-tap

A - stars out beautiful with the nitro. Settles to perfectly balck with finger of tan, silky head.

S - roasty malts and chocolate. Some disntant espresso. Sweet and bitter both hit the nose. Awesome here.

T - silky chocolate and espresso both hit the palate so smoothly. Bitterness is balanced so nicely with sweetness.

M - where do I start. Silky. Smooth. Velvety. Drinkable is an understatement. Awesome.

O - man this is killer. Dry Irish Stouts aren't usually knocking my socks off, but this absolutely does.

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Photo of nickd717
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler via trade thanks to Sebletitje, called "Patio Tools" at the time. CCB growlers don't seem to hold up too well when shipped, but this one was very good and well-carbonated.

Pours pretty much black, but not too thick, with a small tan head that lasts.

Aroma is very nice - roast and coffee dominate, and there is also an earthy aspect as well as a hint of chocolate.

Flavor is also mainly charcoal-like roast and coffee. The dark chocolate asserts itself more here, and there is definite earthiness and even a little wet dog (that's a new one, huh?). Wet dog is one of my favorite beer flavors. A little anise as well.

Very dry on the palate with lasting drying from the roast. Finishes cleanly, and has medium body.

Overall, this is just excellent for a style that often isn't that exciting. Supremely drinkable. This probably won't surprise most of you, but I had this next to a Guinness and it was not even close! The Guinness was way sweeter and less dry, more watery, and just less flavorful in general. Goes to show how good this beer is for the style.

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Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a one finger head of tan foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles rapidly but leaves very nice rings of lace on the glass as I drink.

S - An aroma of chocolate and dark caramel with a hint of roasty coffee and some licorice in the background.

T - Dry, roasted malt notes with a bit of dark, bitter chocolate. Some spicy, Turkish coffee comes through in the middle with a bit of clove and licorice. The beer finishes with lots of powdery, unsweetened cocoa and burnt caramel as well as a hint of smoke. There is lots of malt bitterness lingering in the aftertaste with perhaps a hint of pine hop flavor peeking out from behind.

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

D - Very nice, this is a really interesting alternative to the traditional black brew of St. Patrick's day. It has all of the roasted dryness expected of a traditional Irish stout, but it has so much more depth and complexity. The spicy notes of coffee and clove that I taste are something much more interesting that you would ever expect to find in an actual Irish stout, while the notes of chocolate are such a break from tradition that they almost seem out of place but end up being a very welcome addition. Despite being served on CO2, the beer finishes with a dryness that is every bit as profound as the classic examples of the style, and it effortlessly presents a thick, silky body that those beers need nitrogen to develop. A really nice dry stout and proof that Cigar City can turn out complex, excellent beer without having to do anything "extreme".

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

I had this on tap at the brewery and brought a growler home.

Appearance is very dark, with an almost nut-brown head. Poured with a one-finger head which dissipated somewhat quickly. It has a light caramel smell. Mouthfeel is light, but not insubstantial with bright carbonation. The taste is dry and moderately bitter, with notes of coffee, chocolate, tobacco and hazelnut. Very drinkable.

(Original review posted 3/15/2011 when it was still called Patio Tools.)

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

Enjoyed on tap at the CCB taproom.

This brew pours a black color, with a mocha head and some nice sticky lacing. The aroma is quite complex for the style, nodding a little closer to an American Stout. Roastiness and coffee flavors are front and center, but there's some chocolate and a subtle spicing that set this apart. The taste is quite good, the coffee and roastiness work their way to the front, supported all the way by the spices and subtle chocolate.

The mouthfeel is fairly full bodied for an Irish Dry, and has the excellent drying on the end that's the hallmark of the style. The drinkability suffers just a little bit for an Irish Dry, for something that's usually a bit lighter bodied and easier to drink. Don't get me wrong, it's still a very drinkable beer, but it doesn't go down as fast as some in the style. A very good beer that I'm excited to see bottled.

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Photo of tpd975
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at CCB tap room.

A: Pours dark black with a tall tan head. Excellent retention and lace.

S: Lots of roasted malt, chocolate, dark coffee, and smoke.

T: Deep roasted flavor. Lots of roasted malt with a hint of char. Dark dark coffee, mild chocolate malt, and caramel. Mildly earthy with a hint of molasses.

M: Medium in body, smooth, lightly dry finish.

D: Excellent. Damn fine stout, homerun when compared to other stouts of the same style.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to crack this one open to end the night last night. I wanted something a little heavy, but nothing terribly strong and this seemed to fit the bill. Served from the thirty two ounce growler into two pint glasses, this one was consumed on 04/08/2010.

The pour was dark, dark brown, nearly black in color with a small and fleeting head of light brown that just barely covered the top on the pour. First hints of the aroma are roasted malts, caramel, and a touch of light coffee. Warming really brings out the light cocoa touches I was looking for and gives it some nice depth. Going in for the first sips I am immediately impressed with the dry and smooth feel to it. Really quite nicely done I have to admit. Each sip seems filled with cocoa and roasted malts. Lots of smoky notes coming through now for me as well. Again very nicely done. Carbonation is just about right as it is full and unique but not overly aggressive and the light abv certainly makes for a very enjoyable and very session able experience.

Overall a very nice and light little stout. I would have no issue with polishing off multiple glasses, in fact the growler was gone in about 45 mins. Really very nicely done and something I am glad I was able to try.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Transferred my review of Patio tools.

On draft at Stubbies, I love you Stubbies. Served in a shaker pint glass. Beer is dark brown to black with a thin off white head of small bubbles, low carbonation minimal lacing.

Aroma is a little smoky, a little sweet, mild roast, overall weak.

Beer is a little thin but has a nice late bitterness to it. Mildly sweet on the front and a decent finish. A simple beer but done well. I enjoyed it and would have it again.

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Photo of Florida9
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On nitro tap at Mellow Mushroom Brandon.

Beer is a fully opaque black in color. Served with about s half inch of very stable, very long lasting, creamy rich tan colored head. Lots of lacing. Aroma is mostly roasted malts, with notes of toast, coffee, and slight hint of smoke. Taste is more roasted malts, creamy milk chocolate, mild coffee, and cocoa. Body is a bit thin, but the nitro gives this one an incredibly smooth mouthfeel. Moderate bitterness. Another quality beer from CCB.

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Photo of mullenite
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black in color with a short light-cream colored head. Lacing left all the way down the glass was spotty and broken up.

Smell was comprised mostly of dark chocolate with some clean roasted barley notes.

Taste was very similar to the nose but a little more grainy with the roasted barley. It was also a little smokey which didn't come through at all in the nose.

Body was on the thinner side of medium with that slightly grainy flavor from the roasted barley contributing to feel a bit.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer, probably the best dry stout I've ever had.

---
Moved this over from a bad merge, the original review as made on 3/15/10

 658 characters

Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Original Review date of 05-14-2010 when it was Patio Tools.

Pours near black with a small tan head that leaves some lacing.

Smell is roasted malt with a hint of chocolate

Taste is roasted malts, a hint of chocolate with a nice hop finish.

This one makes for a very nice session beer. Worth trying if you can find it.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of mdfb79
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 3/27/10 notes. Poured from a 32 oz. growler into a pint glass. Reclassifying this review from the White Oak version as apparently it got put in the wrong place when they were separated/changed.

a - Pours a pure dark black with no head and very little carbonation evident.

s - Smells of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malts.

t - Tastes lightly of coffee, as well as the roasted malts and a hint of chocolate. Subdued taste.

m - Light to medium body and low carbonation.

d - Overall I liked this one a lot. It was very easy to drink and had a nice subdued coffee taste to it. Feel like I could drink a lot of this with the low ABV.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: black with a single finger head

S: Mild roast and coffee with vanilla notes.

T: a pretty mild stout, little roast and smoke flavor. Very tame beer but an interesting spicey note to it. Base flavor is true to the irish stout genre.

M: smooth and a little dry, medium body for a stout.

Overall: This is a very nice irish stout. Smooth, easy to drink with nice flavor.

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Photo of pacond
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 oz pint(maybe?) on-tap at a new bar Gainesville, so it was definitely fresh dude. Well balanced toasted malt flavor and hoppy finish. No off aromas or flavors, I enjoyed it and had a second pint.

I would like to taste this beer on Nitro sometime too guys...

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Photo of adam42381
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes at Cigar City's taproom on 9/9/11 for Firkin Friday.

Draft poured into a 4 oz. sampler glass.

Appearance: Poured dark cola brown with a creamy light tan head. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt, vanilla and coffee beans.

Taste: Dark roasted malt up front followed by vanilla and sweet malt in the middle before ending with burnt toast at the finish. Aftertaste is dry and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full-bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Good drinkability. Goes down very easy.

Overall: Good beer overall. This would be great on a cool afternoon. Give it a try.

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Hillsborough River Dry Irish Stout (Patio Tools) from Cigar City Brewing
4.03 out of 5 based on 143 ratings.
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