Cigar City / Swamp Head Church On A Hill | Cigar City Brewing

very good
93 Ratings
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Cigar City / Swamp Head Church On A HillCigar City / Swamp Head Church On A Hill

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MasterSki on 02-09-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of rev3rb
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

Photo of Thedrizzle
4.64/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of maximum12
4.59/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to moose3285, who sent me this matched pair of barleywines. I know Cigar City makes great stuff & Swamp Head made a great saison, not my favorite style, so expectations are mesospheric. Big 750 ML bottle, & extra points from this History minor. Split with my wife.

Poured into a pair of oversized snifters, this is an indistinct, muddy brown. Minimal carbonation. The smell, the smell, I inhale for so long I fog up the inside of the snifter. Giant caramel & sweet malts, ripe apples, blackstrap molasses. Fantastic way to fire up a beer drinker.

Church on a Hill is like a .22 slug of alcohol to the liver. This is a stingingly hot beer, with enough alcohol to drown an entire colony of ticks (my grandpa used to do that). After that blow, there's the promised land of rich, decadent caramel, riddled with an Edenic horn of dark, figgy fruits. Massive serving of scorched sugars. Surprising, welcome slap of hop bitterness right on the sharp end of the brew, offsetting the sweetness a bit. Despite all the mayhem, this doesn't feel heavy, & I find it going away in larger mouthfuls than it should. This could shut down my consciousness if I had a few glasses.

I normally find collaboration beers to be a watering down of what each brewer brings to the table: this is the rare, clear winner. An excellent barleywine with an excellent pedigree & some excellent historical references. What the hell else would one want in a beer? This is sniffing elite-class barleywine territory. Can't wait to try the other.

 1,526 characters

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of LiquidDegenerate
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of twizzbeatz
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of funkyaudio
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of HevvyMetalHippie
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of neobob187
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of FunkyFibes
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of sendbeer
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of madnismo
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of ceberly
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a reddish brown color with good carbonation leaving a nice tan cap, some lacing

S: Big toffee and caramel sweetness with dark fruits, nuts

T: A very nice sweeetness from a nice blend of toffee, caramel with a nice older dark fruits presence. Booze is noticable but masked. Loads of nuts here. Residual sugar and fruity esters. A very decadent and tasty barleywine

M: Full bodied, creamy, tasty with a sweet, sticky but dry finish

O: Amazing representation of the style

 483 characters

Photo of Tumble
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle on a Cigar City tour. Very tasty barleywine with big, bold flavors. 22 oz bomber. Also had on tap on the tour.
Very sticky, but not sweet like some other barleywines. Bit of an alcohol punch, but not overpowering.
Peeled Church-on-a-Hill label off and found original Churchill label.

 303 characters

Photo of Holland
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: looks thick, deep brown color with lighter highlights, a good sized tan head, and good lacing that stays.

S: almond comes out strong in the smell, with some sweetness and maltiness it makes it smell a lot like baklava. Good smell, and very interesting.

T: more roasted malt forward than the smell. Very well balanced barleywine with some sweetness and very little hops. Still some nuttiness detected.

M: full bodied and great carbonation for the thickness. It coats the mouth, but there's still plenty of carbonation. I probably drank it from 45 and 70 degrees, and it was wonderful the whole time.

O: excellent beer overall. I'm excited to age a bottle and try it again next year or so.

 697 characters

Photo of Deadheadbill
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the sister beer to Roosevelt, the American style barley wine collab by CCB and Swamphead.

Pours a dark reddish brown with little head. Smells of toffee, sweet fruits and slight hops. It is malty and sweet in the mid-palate, with caramel, toffee and sweet fruits again. Very rich and warming mouthfeel. It is both sweeter and less hoppy than the Roosevelt which is how it should be.

An outstanding offering from CCB/Swamphead.

 436 characters

Photo of babaracas
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy reddish dark brown, one finger of medium brown foam, settles to a ring with blobs of lace here and there. Smell: heavily caramelized sugar, bready (pumpernickel-ish), plum, date, booze, mild earthy hopping, slightly buttery. Taste: dark brown sugar, booze, pumpernickel, date, ends with more booze and a balancing earthy bitterness. Extremely delicious, but also pretty boozy. Probably phenomenal with age. Very creamy feel. Liked this better than Roosevelt, though it’s more "straightforward", I suppose.

 520 characters

Photo of DaTimBennett
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of Sanderson
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of DSlim71
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of gford217
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle.

Pours a deep chestnut brown with light amber hints around the edges underneath a small, thick tan head.

Aroma is very sweet with some red apples, caramel malts and molasses. There are hints of dark fruits, fig and plums, with some tobacco and leather that I've come to expect from certain CCB beers.

Taste is sweet but it has a more abrasive kick than I got from the aroma. There are some caramel malts and candied apples but the finish is really boozy and the alcohol certainly shows with a burn that lingers with an abrasive bitterness as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a combo of caramelized sugar and alcohol lingering on the palate.

I like this beer much better than the Roosevelt. I absolutely think this will be better in a year or so as the alcohol really burns. Really nice.

 820 characters

Photo of ColSanders123
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of rowingbrewer
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of yourefragile
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

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Cigar City / Swamp Head Church On A Hill from Cigar City Brewing
3.95 out of 5 based on 93 ratings.
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