Cigar City / Swamp Head Church On A Hill - Cognac Barrel Aged | Cigar City Brewing

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Cigar City / Swamp Head Church On A Hill - Cognac Barrel AgedCigar City / Swamp Head Church On A Hill - Cognac Barrel Aged

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 djmichaelk on 07-09-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 174 |  Reviews: 26
Reviews by stakem:
Photo of stakem
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a matching Cigar City snifter. A massive amount of thanks go to Sendsilk for hooking me up with this. I missed the release of this brew by visiting the brewery a day too early and Matt hooked me up. Thanks man! The brew pours a muddy looking dark brown. When held to the light, it has some lighter mahogany look to it around the edges. A finger of tan froth surges to the surface and quickly fades to a ring around the perimeter of the glass.

The aroma of this brew is sweet smelling. Quite dark and malty with chocolate suggestions coupled with vanilla. At times, it comes across somewhat similar to belgian candy sugar but maybe with a bit more focus towards toffee, caramel and toasty burnt sugar. The alcohol is noticed with a bit of vinous appeal as the brew warms up that mixes with some oak quality. This is a pretty fine smelling brew that is well rounded and blended.

The taste is just as you would expect based of the aroma. Flavors of chocolate and vanilla fill the mouth mixing with a bit of vinous character. Initially the alcohol is masterfully hidden but as the experience continues it warms up the back of the throat and makes itself known. The aftertaste is caught between fruity hops, vinous notes and a bit of leathery earth. The oak flavor really comes out as the brew warms up along with a flavor of dark molasses and toasty barrel presence.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It is overall well rounded and a solid take on the style. For being just released last week, this brew is graceful. It carries with it a lot of quality I find similar to a well aged bottle of jw lees or thomas hardy. If you enjoy english barleywine examples that are sweet but not too sweet with a solid alcohol inclusion, you are going to fall in love this brew. After the fact side-note: after reviewing this brew, I thought about it and this is only the 4th or 5th brew that I can recall trying that was aged in a cognac barrel. Without a doubt this one captures the vinous notes of the barrel better than any other one I have tried to date.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of dogfishandi
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of jeonseh
4.89/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled shared at NWI Tasting Group Meetup - December

A - Dark brown with a lot of haze. No head with a little foam on the side

S - Cognac, vanilla, oak, and caramel. A great sweet barrel-aged barleywine nose. Each smell brings something different and great complexity

T - Sweet vanilla, caramel, cognac with a light oak in the finish that cuts the sweetness. Great complexity and strong flavors in this. I loved the flavor on this and thought it was absolutely amazing. Each sip made me want to have more.

MF - Light syrup that coats and lingers on the tongue all the way through to the finish. Light oak presence that lingers on as well

O - This was by far the best variant of the 3 out of the Church on the Hill and felt that it blew Leon out of the water. Great barrel presence and you really get the cognac presence on this. One of the best barleywines I've had in a long time - very impressive

 904 characters

Photo of CLCardinal84
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of johnyb
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -14%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of MADPolo
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of fullmetal1381
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of leschkie
3.25/5  rDev -25.5%

Photo of Photekut
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of huskermike12
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of Hessian257
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled 7/2/12? There's an odd typo on the bottle date that says "SEQOND." Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Dark brown. Off white head wispy and very leggy. Another sweet one!

Smell - Huge vanilla aroma. Buckets of vanilla. Cognac? Not really familiar enough with cognac to pick it out as opposed to brandy, but we'll go with it. Boozy. Lots of barrel in this one. Caramel all over, too.

Taste - Lots of vanilla and what we're calling cognac. Caramel sweetness. Really sweet, actually. Just a touch of earthy hops in the back nicely balances it out.

Mouthfeel - Thick and a boozy, but not really overwhelming for a 13% barrel-aged beer. Sweet, but I've already mentioned that.

Oveall - This is so much better than the base beer. Church on a Hill was disappointing for me. The barrel has worked magic. A delicious vanilla bomb.

 869 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into snifter. Huge thanks go to Stakem for hand bottling this off of a recent bottle that he drank.

Pours a ruddy brown in the glass with a thin sudsy head of light mocha foam. This leaves back just a smattering of light spotty lace and some gooey brown oils. The aroma smells WOW! This is just rich in the nose with notes of molasses, brown sugar, chocolate, a touch of vanilla, green tannic oak, and just a smidge of wet leather. This is REALLY full feeling in the nostrils. I love it!

This awesomeness carries over to the taste with cocoa, burnt molasses, brown sugars, vanilla, and a green tannic feel on the edges. This just coats the palate with a rich stickiness upon each sip, before finishing with a dry, oaky, and burnt feel that lingers. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a thick and chewy feel in the mouth. That 13% is just fantastically hid, mainly adding spice and sweetness to the profile but never getting overly hot feeling. This just has an overall excellent smoothness to it.

I’m not sure how the base Barleywine of this is but that Cognac barrel definitely seemed to take this to the next level. Just decadent flavors here, that are all well balanced and smooth on the palate and I can’t stress enough how much of a steady sipper this is for the size. Thanks again for sharing this Adam! I enjoyed it immensely!

 1,355 characters

Photo of mobius387
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of bum732
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of TheSleepyMonkey
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of dtx00
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of claaark13
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

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Cigar City / Swamp Head Church On A Hill - Cognac Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
4.36 out of 5 based on 174 ratings.
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