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

BA SCORE
87
very good
93 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Cigar City / Swamp Head Church On A HillCigar City / Swamp Head Church On A Hill
BEER INFO

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

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
93
Reviews:
21
Avg:
3.95
pDev:
10.63%
 
 
Wants:
80
Gots:
14
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of 8rand_n
2/5  rDev -49.4%

Photo of mctizzz
2.5/5  rDev -36.7%

Photo of corby112
2.98/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draft at the brewer on 3/13/12.

Pours a dark copper, almost brown color with golden amber edges and a two finger yellowish-beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lace left behind.

Sweet, boozy aroma with roasted malt, zesty spice and vinous dark fruit notes. Lots of strong ethanol that overtakes everything until it warms up a bit. Underneath there is some roasted leathery malt along with some candy sugar, pepper, plum and raisin.

Medium bodied and ery similar to the aroma with a dominant sweet, boozy flavor. Lots of alcohol overpowering the other notes until it warms up considerably. The high abv is not well masked at all. After a while, some roasted malt and dark fruit flavor appears. Hits of peppery spice and candy sugar followed by chocolate malt, plum, raisin and fig. Not terrible but pretty harsh and difficult to finish. Too one dimensional with overpowering alcohol flavor.

 929 characters

Photo of wisrarebeer
3.22/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: deep, rosy copper color, clear, poured with head that dissipated, very dark in color
S: very mild nose, sweet roasted malt, sweet plums, slight medicinal
T: ok but pretty cloying, somewhat one dimensional with syrupy sweet taste up front and some bitter finish but just your average barley wine, some EtOH noticeable
M: balanced, somewhat cloying, more malt forward than hops

 378 characters

Photo of jeonseh
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled shared at NWI Tasting Group Meetup - December

A - Looks a lot like Leon except a lighter brown. Very hazy with a small layer of foam on the top. Reminds me of apple cider

S - Not too much of a nose that I picked up. Slight vanilla, caramel and bready malt

T - Caramel and vanilla up front along with bready malt. Finish has a slight astringency to it that is a bit abrasive

MF - Medium body with a light stickiness. Light astringent and alcoholic presence that leaves a tingle on the tongue

O - A solid barleywine but it is nowhere as near as good as the variants (Leon and Cognac Church).

 602 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to JustXBeer for sharing this one at Retsinis' tasting.

Pours a murky dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, honey, and cardboard aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with slight oxidized aromas that don't show up in the taste.

 610 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of jegross2
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of SFC21
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of Hugonaut13
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of Sean9689
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at CCB.

A - Pours a reddish/brown color, cream-colored head, super-thin collar.

S - Dark fruits, heavy booze, caramel, burnt sugars, toffee. The booze is pretty big on this one, but the dark sugars help take what would be an overpowering amount and lessen it a bit.

T - Bigger booze here then the nose. Dark fruits, harsh bitter alcohol bite, caramel, burnt sugars. Finish is light sweetness overtaken by a bitter boozy bite.

M - Medium to full, light carbonation, creamy booze finish.

O - Really too hot for me to enjoy all that much. With some age, I could see this smoothing out to really pick up everything, but the alcohol is just too much right now.

 667 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a CBS snifter. No bottle date, which is weird for a current CCB beer.

Appearance - Mahogany with a nice khaki head. Two fingers in the CBS snifter is not bad. Decent retention, too. No lacing, but that's not surprising at 13%.

Smell - Nutty, malty, and extremely fruity. Dark fruits and some estery fruits as well. Almost like they used a Belgian yeast. General booziness about it, but not 13% boozy.

Taste - Sweet, toffee, caramel malt. Quickly goes to a grainy bitterness and a dry astringent finish. Again, it's got esters that are not to style. Almost acidic tasting, too. Strange and not what I expect.

Mouthfeel - Extremely dry for 13%, although it doesn't taste like 13%. To its credit, it tastes closer to 10%. The astringent finish verges on unpleasant.

Overall - It's decent. Maybe a little better than decent. I don't think I can say it's well-made, due to the off-flavors, but for a 13% ABV barleywine, it's still pretty good. I guess I'm basically forgiving some flaws due to its size.

 1,029 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of johnyb
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of slynke
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Treebs
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle served in a Portsmouth tulip. Big thanks to Eric (Holland) for the bottle!

A: Pours a dark plum color with some light brown hues mixed in with a light khaki head forming on the pour. It leaves some splotchy and random lace around the glass.

S: Dark fruits, mostly raisins and figs with a sweet fruit juice flavor and some alc. Malty caramal and burnt sugar also.

T: Slight oxidation with some plum flesh, dates and figs. Sweet raisins and some boozy and fruity alcohol. some burnt sugar and mild molasses as well.

M: Medium bodied with some medium to low carbonation and some dark fruits flavors left on the palate.

O: This was a nice solid beer, but it left me wanting some more. I needed a little more malt and a little less dark fruit flavor to balance it out.

 782 characters

Photo of teddyarrowhead
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Wowcoolman
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of mrandypandy
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of chinchill
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Shared bottle pours clear red-amber with a modest head.

Unusual aroma with a suggestion of rum and brandy. Soft fruits, light malts, and alcohol esters dominate the flavor. ABV partially hidden but not so in the aroma.

Medium body with rather low carbonation.

 262 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to my boy Jefe73 for sending me this one awhile back! Thanks brother! Shared during BRoss242’s send-off party before he moves! Will miss you man! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a dark red-brown with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, fruit, dark fruit, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, caramel hop, sweet alcohol, and dark fruit. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. I had only really heard about this one and then it showed up at my doorstep. A really solid example of the style as far as flavor and aroma goes. Nice dark fruit notes with a nice touch of sweet alcohol to blend in nicely. A really well done brew that I would love to try a barrel aged version of. I suggest you get on this when you can.

 972 characters

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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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