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 ottovon
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to phelps for sharing.

A: dark brown with ruby highlights.

S: some whiskey. oak, vanilla, chocolate, lactose, coffee, and toffee.

T: starts out sweet and finishes a little bitter. coffee, chocolate, whisky, vanilla, and hints of oak.

M: medium-thick with low carb.

O: this is a good beer.

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Photo of nickfl
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours with a small head of light brown foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles quickly and leaves only light lace.

S - nutty chocolate and notes of vanilla, nutella and perhaps a hint of licorice.

T - lots of caramel and toffee up front. Chocolate comes out in the middle with some raisin and molasses. Vanilla whiskey notes emerge in the finish and a nutty chocolate flavor coates the tongue.

M - a thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - I didn't know what to expect from an imperial milk porter, or if such a thing would really be different from an imperial stout. I was surprised to find that this beer was very appropriately categorized. The malt is dark, but there is no real roast character, just chocolate and dark sugar. The whiskey character is noticeable, but not overwhelming and it definitely adds to the experience.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: little head. some lace. very very black. I cant get any light through this one.

S: sweet and smokey aroma. Syrup and vanilla notes.

T: Very creamy up front. Tons of chocolate in the finish. Very mild smokey finish. Caramel and coconut.

M: Full body and medium body.

Overall: This is a complex beer and better than I thought an imperial milk stout could be. Not a routine beer but certainly should be tried by beer lovers.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

split with Alex and my father in law on friday night into three tasters

dark brown in color with no light cracking through this one at all. A smallish head, maybe a half an inch in height coming up over the top, never really did fade away as it kept that nice layer there throughout the session. Rich side glass lacing left a wonderful chocolate tan color that draped the sides of the glass completely.

The aroma was just rife with whiskey. Huge notes of it just all over the place here with a ton of roasted malts and chocolate like notes hiding right under its surface. Letting it warm really let the oak and vanilla start to become dominant, and a hint of alcohol started to present itself in the back end. This was insanely good smelling for a whiskey barrel beer. The flavor was more of the same, rich, full bodied, I would have sore this was a stout in a blind tasting, but no, this indeed was apparently a robust porter. Luscious, velvet like feel in the carbonation never gave way. The flavor started with that warm influx of vanilla and whiskey, lots of caramelized malts and a light roasted or smoky note to it. This then rolled over with nice touches of chocolate rippling throughout. This was amazingly complex. Huge notes of whisky just oozing through the flavor, coating the tongue with a viciousness that was never-ending

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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 crusian
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the brewery... review from ky phone, so shortened.
Pours a dark dark brown with a nice ring of head...
Nose is amazing... whiskey, chocolate and oak... yum. Doesn't really smell like reporter, but who cares!
Taste is a bit of graham cracker, with the whiskey powering in followed by the chocolate. Very nice.
Mouthfeel is thin for cigar city, but still nice and medium bodied.
Pretty tasty, sad i only picked up 2 of these...

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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 Phelps
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sent by McDiddyPop and poured into my Lost Abbey stemware.

Black and completely opaque. The half-finger head of fuzzy foam the color of wet sand descends quickly to a silky top layer. Spotted, random lacing.

In the nose, in this order: dark chocolate tang, earthy hops, coffee, molasses, vinous oak and vanilla.

The first sip reveals deep, sweet, flavorful, beautiful things. Cocoa nibs, chocolate syrup, molasses, earth. Super smooth and nicely sugary, with the souch touch of the barrels lending hints of vanilla and oak.

Lightly pokey carbonation, a filling medium body and very soft fizz. Alcohol heat numbs the mouth and tongue.

Overall: sweet and boozy, with lots of lactose.

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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 KickbacksSteve
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml poured into mini snifter. Dated 7/3/11. Malty sweet and whisky boozyness. Roasted character in aroma but the bourbon really does dominate. Taste is a bit hot, mild sweetness, roasted malts and vanilla like bourbony goodness. The lactose adds complexity. Great beer, especially if you dont want subtlety in your bourbon flavors from a barrel.

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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 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 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 HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Thanks to Sean and Jason for sharing this.

A: Dark brown with a small light brown cap.

S: Rich dark chocolate with accompanying brown sugar. Malt is lightly roasted. Smells fantastic. The chocolate profile is excellent, and the beer is devoid of Cigar City's signature char. Light whisky notes are well integrated. Oak is evident.

T: Dark chocolate and brown sugar with moderately roasted malt. Light earthy bitterness. Whisky blends nicely with chocolate and oak. 

M: Full body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is full and sticky.

Overall: A good Whisky Barrel Aged Imperial Milk Stout. Better than expected, with an awesome aroma.

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Photo of LethalChickens
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a large Snifter. Light tan head with a strong lactose and whiskey aroma.
First sip... pretty impressed. The sweetness from the lactose compliments the whiskey flavor quite well. It is a light to medium bodied beer. I am curious to know the ABV for this beer so I can see if the heat I get it is from the barrel or its alcohol content. Cigar City seems as if they have their barrel aging down pretty solid.

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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 thagr81us
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle split among beeruser, funkydelic, and dbhall. Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured a massively dark brown (basically black) with a minimal light tan head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, wood, sweet alcohol, and subtle cream. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a great brew. This one really surprised me if I am completely honest. The base beer on this one must be quite excellent if I am honest as the whiskey barrels really took this one to a new level. The barrels let you know their presence right out of the gate when you went in for the aroma. They carried that through into the flavor as well. Wouldn't have guessed Milk Porter, but Porter for sure. Really worth trying if I am honest.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed this at a barrel aged tasting on 2011-08-06.

dark (duh) thin milky head, didn't hang around long. smell however, is fantastic. the whiskey blends perfect with the chocolate profile and the milkiness. the flavor is just as good as the smell. strong and roasted chocolate notes with whiskey. Milk chocolate thing. super smooth and silky. one of the better beers i've tried and one of the highlights of the evening.

*** ** * ** ***
update 3/12/2012
big thanks to G311 for hooking up a bottle, decided to crack it tonight to see if it was as nice as i remembered. has a milkstout look and feel for certain. the smell is as good as i remember it. the stranahan barrel really just blends wonderfully with stouts and porters and this is no exception. my scores and thoughts remain unchainged. this beer is a homerun.

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Photo of Kshock
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big Thanks to Chris (cyrusthepup) for this. Awesome beer.

A- Bright black color, great clarity. Light tan ring resides around the top.

S- Great whisky characteristics. Great balance of vanilla, oak, toffee and chocolate.

T- Great flavors of vanilla, oak, chocolate, toffee and nice lacto sweetness. Really amazing how well these flavors marry together, everything is so well balanced and nothing is super pronounced, all is well in place.

M- Great med body with a awesome creamy texture from the lactose sugar.

O- Great f-ing beer, went beyond my expectations.

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Photo of Mavajo
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black body with a creamy light-brown head. Aroma is a nice blend of caramel, vanilla and whiskey. Taste is very nice -- caramel, vanilla, malt, chocolate, whiskey and a kiss of roast. I think the caramel and whiskey are the main players here. There's actually quite a significant aftertaste here. It started off as a mild roastiness, but then began to snowball into this heavy lactic and roast aftertaste that just lingered and lingered. Not a fan of that.

The barrel aging is well done here. It's not overly dominant, but provides a nice backbone to the profile that causes everything to meld together nicely. Creamy (the whole "Milk" part of the name, I suppose), with just the right touch of carbonation.

Really a well done beer, except for the distracting aftertaste. It's called a porter, but I don't know how you'd possibly distinguish this from an imperial stout. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of b3shine
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml tp snifter. Appearance is great; deep in color with the same appearance of a Coke. Smells great. Malty with notes of chocolate, and the whiskey is noticeable. Tastes FANTASTIC! Chocolate, caramel, and malt, with just the right amount of whiskey-barreled flavor. Mouthfeel is good, but it's definitely a sipper. Overall, a PHENOMENAL brew that I can't wait to have again.

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Photo of sendsilk
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

**Top quote to remember from the review: 'This is almost like a Whoppers malted milk balls milkshake with vanilla and caramel added, that I could imaging buying at an alcohol dispensing Dairy Queen.'

This beer poured into my snifter from a 750 ML purchased at the brewery $20.

Dark Brown to a dark blood red color that is barely opaque when held up to the light. Decent head that disperses farily quickly.

S - I smell caramel, vanilla and bourbon. Also malts are definitely detectable. It's extremely sweet smelling, I hope it's balanced out in there....

T - Wow, wonderful caramel, vanilla, malts char and boooze . Usually not a huge fan of tasting the whiskey, but this is a nice exception. This is almost like a Whoppers malted milk balls milkshake, with vanilla and caramel added, that you I could imaging buying at an alcohol dispensing Dairy Queen. Really delicious!!

M -Like most of the Cigar City stouts and porters, they achieve an excessively viscous brew, much to my chagrin! excellent!!

O - This is a perfectly balanced malty, bourbon/whiskey milk stout/porter that I would drink again and again except for the hefty price tag. I did not know what to expect from the lactose being added but it gives it a creaminess and balanced that I have not found in another milk stout. Although i like Moloko, it's not usually my favorite style, this one is an exception for me. I live close to the brewery so you may consider me a CC homer...I have had MOST of the CC beers and if I don't like something from CC, I just won't review it, and this was not the case with this one.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a snifter. Deep deep ruby red that is barely translucent if held up to the light. Thick creamy 1-finger head that lasts and deposits very nice lacing.

S - Not as boozy as it's rum-barrel aged brother but the whiskey aroma is definitely there. A very nice caramel note from the wood as well as toasted grains and charred wood. There is a sweet milk chocolate aroma as well in the finish.

T - Let this one warm up a little bit from fridge temp and it opens up a lot. Whiskey comes first followed very quickly by a boozy chocolate milk shake flavor. A nice chewy caramel flavor is in there as well. Finishes with an awesome sweetness from the lactose paired with a minor whiskey burn.

M - Big heavy body that is extra viscous due to the addition of milk sugar, which in turns makes it creamy on the palate after swallowing. Volumes of carbonation are kept low which allow all the flavors to come through. Hardly any alcohol burn on this one at all and leaves the palate with a dry woody taste.

O - I had to admit that I had my doubts when it came to this one as I think some of CCB's porters seem to be too light on body and sometimes flavor but this one is definitely not. The flavors blend awesomely and the balance of wood/roasted grains/sweetness is rock solid. Another knockout from CCB. Get this one while you can....

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Photo of ajcobb24
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle after the beer's release on July 23rd

Appearance - Pours a very dark brown into a Cigar City snifter glass. Some light tan head remains after being poured from the bottle. Heavy lacing as you swirl this beer around in the snifter.

Smell - Can definitely detect the sugars included in this beer. You get a slight malt note along with a stronger sweet note that I have really not experienced before. Some deduction would tell me that this is the added lactose. You can definitely pick up the whiskey notes imparted into this one from the Stranahan barrels.

Taste - I really must say that I was impressed with this one's taste. Other stouts and porters that I have had impart their tastes on the mouth in a cloying manner, which I am not fond of. You get some malt and lactose with this one. Also present is the slightest note of coffee. Finally, you taste the whiskey characteristics from the barrel aging process. All of the flavors balance extremely well in this beer. It was a mellow, yet exceptionally pleasant tasting experience.

Mouthfeel - Definitely can detect the carbonation notes. The mouthfeel for me was a little too light bodied. If I am going to have a stout or porter, I want to feel like I am drinking hot cocoa instead of watered down coffee.

Overall - The best porter that I have had to date. As I like to group porters and stouts together quite often, I would say this is right up there with the taste experience you would get in a KBS. Great job Cigar City. No wonder why I saw some guy buy 48 bottles at the release.

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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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