Imperial Milk Porter - Stranahan Whiskey Barrel Aged | Cigar City Brewing

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Imperial Milk Porter - Stranahan Whiskey Barrel AgedImperial Milk Porter - Stranahan Whiskey Barrel Aged

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ajcobb24 on 07-24-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 160
Photo of kapkenobi
3.21/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glad i got to try this after reading all the reviews. however this bottle has really started to fall off big time. Opened at a tasting group and while there was a hint of hte whiskey on the nose, it was devoid from the taste. After how much i loved cognac sweet stout i had high hopes. Im sure in its heyday this was a great beer, now its an average porter.

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Photo of jale
3.37/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle thanks to Brad Clark.

A: Pours a very dark brown with 2 quarters of tan head.

S: Whiskey and roasted malt. Caramel and sugar.

T: Caramel, lactose and big booze. Wow is there ever a ton of whiskey in a beer, this is it.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

O: Way too much whiskey for me.

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Photo of TheDudeRules
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Darkness snifter.

Pours a deep dark brown nearly black. Head is frothy. Several fingers of mocha head triumphantly stand atop the liquid. Light lacing delicately clings.

The smell is unique. The barrel aging is prevalent. But there is some complexity there. I smell some tart green apple that rubs elbows with some roasted coconut. Some rubbing alcohol too. I've been noticing a slight trend to this with some bal type beers.

Taste is slightly sweet with some chocolate malt. Roasted coconut tries to nestle in. Whiskey, whiskey, whiskey on the backend. So much more as it warms. There is a slight burn.

A rather thin and very carbonated beer. The aftertaste lingers for several minutes. So it definitely coats the tongue well.

Was it the best ever? No Was it a good beer? Sure. Not a barn burner though. In fact this was a poorer option from them to be honest, but in the same breath, miles ahead of many notable brewers.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A bottle poured into a snifter shared with some friends.

Imperial Milk Porter - Stranahan Whiskey pours in the glass a very dark night black color that is black. A sturdy body, a healthy pour yielded a quarter inch of brownish foam up top that left fairly quickly, no stick on the glass. Smell is sweet sided, vanilla, cream, chocolate, roasted malt, with a nice sniff of whiskey and wood, alcohol as well. Taste is on the sweet side, lactose, vanilla, peat, whiskey, roasted malt and some faint dark fruit, reminding me of some aftertastes of some Jamaican stouts. The whiskey pops out and was more inviting as this warmed up, as the sweetness was large to say the least. Body is approaching full/thich and the carb is not that high. A good bottle to share as the sweetness is a tough one to chew. Interesting beer from a reputable brewer, not sure on the ABV, but I could sense it throughout.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to spycow for sharing this.

A - Black beer with a tiny brown head that didn't stick around long and didn't leave any traces of its existence.

S - Smells like a milk stout. Has some chocolate, bit of fruity whiskey, some wood. Not bad, but would of liked this to have more of a vanilla or roasted note to it than the fruity character the barrel semeed to give it.

T - Sweet chocolate, some oak, vanilla, slightly sweetened whiskey. This is decent and very drinkable, but much like the nose I would have preferred the whiskey to be richer and the beer hold up a little bit.

M - Medium bodied, creamy, soft carbonation.

O - Not a bad beer, drinks really easy. Not a world beater, but it was enjoyable. With some room for improvement, I'd look forward to trying the next batch or variation of this if they do one.

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Photo of phichifiji00
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours black with about one inch of thick tan head that fades over a couple of minutes. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Whiskey, malty, sweet, chocolate, vanilla, oak.

Taste: Whiskey, milk, oak, vanilla, hint of chocolate, sweet.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, creamy, silky, milky.

Overall: Very interesting. MY first milk porter. The milk element is very pleasant, and creates a unique mouthfeel. The flavors and aromas are well balanced. Well worth the experience.

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Photo of Beerisheaven
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a # of these in recent trades from some great new trading partners in FL. Always a pleasure dealing with Floridian BA's who are always more than willing to share some beers. Thanks.

I was highly anticipating this one in that I generally like CCB beers and I have grown fond of milk stouts and porters.

A - To me it is the standard CCB profile. Poured dark brown into a CCB small snifter. Puffs up nicely with a brownish head that sits nicely on top of the brew.

S - Very noticeable profile of whiskey which dominates. Some slight hint of vanilla and strong oak from the barrel as well. To me, a tad like KBS.

T - A real sipper to put it mildly due to the aging profile in the whiskey barrels. I get a lot of oak and whiskey, a tad of vanilla, and very little of the lactose. I think that they should have dialed this one down a bit and allowed the lactose to make it a bit more managebale. It is a nice beer to sip and will a nice late October tailgating beer before heading into Beaver Stadium, but I wish the formula was adjusted slightly to allow the lactose to shine a bit more and the oak/whiskey to shine a bit less.

M - Pretty substantial for a porter. Nicely done here.

O - Thanks to some new FL hookups for sending me this beer. I think it is a nice addition to the ever-growing stable of CCB beers. I think it is definitely worth a shot and I am glad I have a couple of more bottles to try for further consideration. A solid but not mind blowing effort by Cigar City.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.84/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, sendsilk!

Very dark brown, nearly black, with a very thin brown head that eventually leaves small spots of lacing down the glass.

Wonderful aroma consisting of bourbon, vanilla, wood, sweet and dark chocolate, and a bit of roast and char character. Full, complete--really quite nice.

Somewhat disappointing flavor after an incredible aroma, though this is still nice. The char and smoke flavors are a bit more dominant than I would have expected and preferred, but the bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla flavors are here in enough quantity to balance things out.

Medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

A very nice imperial milk porter, though the aroma is better than the flavor.

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Photo of 7ways
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-mazing lace on this beer, it's coating the damn rim. Austere dark brown with a minimal head.

Chocolate, nuts, and caramel on the nose at first, with just a hint of what is to come. Time and temperature reveal a more sinister bitch.

Holy whiskey dick batman, the spirit is strong in this one! Well integrated, and only distracting in the sense that it makes you pay close attention. It is like a small boilermaker using Left Hand Milk Stout, although lactose is definitely not the first thing that comes to mind. Not a bad thing, really. Finishes both dry and sweet.

Almost has the classic CCB mouthfeel (Rotund, slick, and satisfying) but not quite as full as Zhukov's or Hunahpu's.

Other than the fact that it is fairly one dimensional for a -bal aged dark specialty, I quite enjoyed this. Especially after choking down most of a HotD Matt.

Sidenote: Maybe they have their reasons and the devil is in the details, but porter? Slightly thinner stout =/= porter.

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Photo of oline73
3.87/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

We opened this up during the tasting this weekend. Poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color, this one doesn't seem to be very thick. There is a finger and a half of tan head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Slightly sweet with some dark fruit. Seems to be a bit ashy. The bourbon smell is warm and sweet.

Taste: Sweet malt with some mild roast. I'm not picking up much lactose. Lots of hot bourbon with some oak in the finish. The oak and bourbon seems to be a bit peppery.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: I would have liked this to have a body that is a bit thicker. Some more age might have smoothed it out, but it is still very good.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this, Chris.

A: The beer pours a very dark brown color with a bit more than a finger of khaki colored head.

S: Opens up with a fairly heavy roasted malt note. A nice oak aroma as well as a mild sweetness of vanilla. Definitely some whiskey and a bit of dark chocolate. Not as sweet as I'd expect for a milk porter/stout.

T: Like the nose, a pretty heavy dose of roasted malt. Some whiskey flavor as well as oak and vanilla. Again, only a moderate sweetness, maybe some toffee. It's actually somewhat dry.

M: The body is medium and so is the carbonation.

O: Strangely, I would have actually liked a little more sweetness to this. But, it was enjoyable.

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Photo of jcartamdg
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color with a paperthin head, decent lacing throughout. Aroma is all whiskey, not a bad thing at all oak and whiskey with some vanilla in the back. Taste is whiskey up front and sweet chocolate and vanilla that follows. Mouthfeel is smooth but I couldnt drink a ton of this. Thinner than other milk stouts or impy stouts but not a bad change of pace. I'm really glad I tried this!!!

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Photo of Gfunk720
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, out of my Long Trail Brewmasters glass.

A- Pitch black, very stout like. A very aggressive khaki colored head forms, with light lacing.

S- A sweet blend of whiskey, oak, and malt. Hints of chocolate and coffee as well. This is probably the best part about this beer, just smells amazing.

T- The initial flavor is very creamy, but a bit off putting. Notes of whiskey, oak, and caramel sweep through my mouth. More hints of chocolate, coffee, and dark malt. The flavor is a bit off, could be the lactose.

M- The beer has a great body, and is very complex. I do feel that it is a bit overly carbed, as evident by the head and biting fizz mid-sip.

O- I was very exited to try this, and was pleased with the result. It was a tasty beer, but not a whole lot of porter notes. This is more of a light stout aged in whiskey barels, but something is just slightly off.


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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a tumbler. Bottled 7/3/2011. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Black, duh. Off-white head. No real head retention, but the single layer of foam lasts forever.

Smell - Whiskey. Really nice whiskey aroma, actually. Oaky with milk chocolate behind it.

Taste - Whiskey and chocolate roasted malts. Oaky as the chocolate fades. Lactose is hidden by the barrel, which I appreciate, but it's still there. Finishes with the slighest tang.

Mouthfeel - Dry and oaky in the finish. Sweet from the lactose, but not overpowering.

Overall - I wish it didn't have lactose, but oh well. It is what it is. Maybe a little one-dimensional in the malt profile, but what it has is good.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Nicks6217 for the bottle
750 ML poured into a Mikkeller Tulip
Shared with Mr Kennedy and Spicelab

A-- Poured a dark, somewhat murky brown color, not real pretty looking at all. Just touches of orange red on the sides of the glass. Off white head that is mostly just film on this. Film stuck around through drinking.

S-- Stranahan barrel signature. Vanilla and Carmel is very evident. Oak, whiskey, sweet milk chocolate and touches of rum. Very desert like smell.

T-- Milk chocolate, vanilla, carmel, and touches of Oak and whiskey.

M-- Not all that heavy and thick. unlike other CCB offerings. Very sliky smooth in the mid and back palate, along with the lactose sugar, chocolate, and vanilla. Front is more about the barrel and whisky. Slightly high carbonation but good enough for a porter. Alcohol is well hidden.

O-- Good desert beer. Another review mentioned Left Hand Milk Stout and it is a good comparrison. Silky smooth and a lot of character. Easy to drink and well hidden ABV. My guess is about 7-8%. Barrel enhances the beer well and adds a lot of good flavors to this. nice, nice beer.

 1,116 characters

Photo of Gtreid
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottled poured into my bruery tulip.

A: Very dark brown with a finger of wet sand foam. The head retains well and leaves some nice lace.

A: I get the whiskey straight away followed by the vanilla caramel sweetness. Oak is also prominent, next to no hop profile. Really nice nose for a barrel aged porter.

T: I like it, just don't love it. I think the barrels seem to overpower the base beer. I love the way cigar city crafts dark porters and stouts, and I feel that the barrel takes away from their skill here. The whiskey is forward and forward in a big way.

M: as is such with most Ccb offerings, the carbonation is spot on. Heavy body and full.

O: nice, but I think it has spent a little too much time in the barrel. Would have liked to see the base brew shine through a bit more. All in all a good beer and glad I got to try. Skal.

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Photo of spicelab
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reiterating the Thanks to nicks6217 and rounding out the review trio.

Dark brown when held against the light. Listless tan head abates fairly quickly, reforming momentarily on swirling.

Lots of sweet milk chocolate, oak and vanilla. Definitely get the signature pungency that struck me in Marshall Zhukov and Huhnapu. Could be the yeast strain, the lactose tanginess or a combination of both.

Very similar flavours. The seductive vanilla and oak Stranahan character dominates but doesn't eclipse the base beer. The lactose character becomes quite pronounced by the end.

Pretty smooth and um, milky. Carbonation flies under the radar. Hint of booze heat.

Another solidly crafted offering from Cigar City which extracts full value from the Stranahan ageing. Very enjoyable, if hard not to make unfair comparisons with the heady heights reached by their finer offerings.

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Photo of maximum12
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to moose3285 for this bottle, again. I should just have that phrase tattooed on the outside of my wrist so I can see it every time I pour one of the fine brews he sends north so often.

Pours a dark brown that bleeds right on into black, just how I likes it. Smell is heavy on the barrel, vanilla, & the trademark Cigar City roast. I think they burn everything slightly on purpose. I'm glad.

This Stranahan Barrel Aged Milk Porter is like a shotgun marriage. The whiskey is beautifully full & harsh up front, cleaning up the gums & scrubbing the enamel. Roast is full & chewy. The milky lactose a guy strumming banjos in the middle of my beer. WTF? Who thought "Hey, let's mix up some whiskey & milk! Yeah!" The result is a clash of civilizations reminiscent of a '70s drink designed to put toddlers to sleep. Added is a slice of coconut, boozy, & the oak & vanilla wrap this up in the finish.

Strangely appealing beer that is close to being a real winner. A very good brew with a serious case of schizophrenia.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris (spycow) for sharing this in line before the FFF 15th Anniversary party. Served in an Alvinne taster glass.

A - Thin wispy brown foam settles to pretty much nothing. Black body with a faint brownish glint at the edge.

S - Well, you can smell the lactose for sure - typical milk stout aromas consisting mildly sweet vanilla and milk chocolate character. The Stranahan whiskey is present, but unfortunately smells bottom-shelf, with a booze, apple-y note to it. There's some sharp oak and earthy barrel as well. Integration of oaky vanilla and base stout is very nice, but I dislike the whiskey character.

T - Taste is pretty similar, with abundant sweet chocolate and vanilla flavors and a oaky and slightly tangy whiskey finish. Largely enjoyable, but I could have done without the oddly bitter and mildly sour Stranahan's aftertaste. Base beer seems to be losing the battle a little bit.

M - Medium body that seems a bit thin for the flavor profile - I'm guessing this is why they called it a porter? Tannic finish, and no obvious alcohol. Smooth and creamy texture.

D - I enjoyed this beer, other than unpleasant whiskey finish. I think that if they had used a different type of whiskey the final product would have been superior. Quite easy to drink, and markedly different from the intense roast and char flavors found in Cigar City's stouts.

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

750ml into a CCB Snifter.

Pours black with faint brown edges. A moderately fizzy head fades, leaving only a slight ring and nice lacing.

Nose is sweet and boozy. There is no question that this brew sat in a whiskey barrel. Slight notes of dark fruits, roasted flavors, and a kiss of licorice.

Taste is dominated by boozy whiskey. It teeters on the edge of being "too much," but the other intricacies of the brew pull it back from the ledge. A wonderful sipper that begs to be explored.

The mouth comes off as a tad thin, but I think that's just the barrel talking. It takes a pretty substantial beer to stand up to these massive whiskey flavors.

Overall, this is a good barrel aged porter. It isn't the best of the CCB lineup, as the myriad of Marshal Z treatments are the crown jewel (including Hunaphu's). However, this one is worthy of tracking down if you like beers with giant barrel characteristics.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of bmanning at last Sunday's tasting. Boy oh boy do I love it being football season. There's nothing like 11 hours of football and casual tasting.

Served in a snifter.

Pours black with a quickly-diminishing off-white head. Sparse lacing and a bit of a collar. The nose brings forward chocolate and coffee and just a bit of oak and vanilla behind a fairly-heavy whiskey presence. The flavor isn't quite as whiskey heavy, but it's certainly the dominant component. Medium body with light sweetness and a chewy texture. Not their best stout, but quite good.

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

Very dark in color with a tinge of dark brown around the edges actually. Very small brown head on top. Big, boozey whiskey aroma upfront. Deep, dark chocolate notes. Flavor is a big blast of whiskey and oak. As it settles the balance of chocolate and a mellow oakiness comes into play. Underlying sweetness that is set too far of by the overpowering whiskey flavors-too bad. Definate storng cocoa flavor in the fnish. Nice mouthfeel-could maybe touch it up somewhat but you dont want it major sweet either. A very nice beer all in. Not sure what I was expecting. A tad boozey and overwhelming in spots from the aging.

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Photo of kbutler1
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a nice deep brown color with a tan head. Bourbon/whiskey in the nose along with some roast, dark fruit, and black licorice. Some lace. Med mouthfeel. Sweet upfront profile with notes of the whiskey, and then malted milk, coco, and dark fruit. Wish the mouthfeel was a little heavier on this one but I think the whiskey probably thinned it out tad. Overall, I like this beer. Pretty complex with lots of things going on.

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Photo of ssuggs01
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was shared with me at ORF several times by some great people.
Pours a opauque brown into my 4 oz. tasting snifter. Big tan head remains after being poured from the bottle. Very heavy lacing after I swirl my mini snifter. The smell is very sweet and you can pick up alot of whiskey from the stranahan barrels. I must say that I really enjoyed this ones taste.You get some malt and creamy milk in this beer. Maybe some Coffee. Lastly you detect the whiskey characteristics from the barrel aging process. All of the flavors balance extremely well in this beer. It was a mellow, and pleasant barrel taste. There islight carbonation which is perfect for this style. The mouthfeel was a little lighter than expected from a whiskey barrel aged beer. I might of liked this slightly better had the base beer been a stout but still wonderful for a porter. One of the best porters I have ever had. Kudos to the brewers at CCB.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mthomas84 for sharing this one at NoSignsOfPain's birthday bottleshare hosted by mrbubbler.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, wood, and whiskey. Taste is very much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a medium level of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but I think this one smells better than it tastes.

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Imperial Milk Porter - Stranahan Whiskey Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
4.16 out of 5 based on 160 ratings.
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