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
175 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 175 |  Reviews: 26
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This poured out as a brownish amber color with a thin white head on top. The smell of the beer is loaded with sweet caramel brandy soaked malts. The taste of the beer is rich, lots of caramel, dark fruits and oak in this thing. The feel is full bodied, it's rich and decedent. Overall it's quite the Barleywine.

 311 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of oline73
4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter. We had this one as part of a blind BA Barleywine tasting.

Initially this is a really sweet and smooth beer. There is some hop bitterness, but it's only there to compliment the other flavors. I'm getting some caramel and dark fruit notes. The cognac barrel notes build towards the finish, which is a bit hot. Overall this beer is sweet like candy, but not as much as the Bligh's or King Henry. The body is really thick with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

 507 characters

Photo of mothman
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of jlindros
4.26/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This has been a big want of mine for a while, cracked at the CCB share night, thanks again to rudzud.

Light fizzy head, no retention, super dark murky molasses color.

Nose dark malts brown sugar, toffee, caramel, etc, little brandy soaked raisin and fig, candy, etc, with light cognac fruity booze, little dark brown malt,

Taste is very sweet, candy malt, caramel, toffee and lots of toffee, into big cognac barrel, sweet fruity candy cognac, into mild brandy raisin and fruit, fig, arc, great cognac fruity booz. Fair hot booze, sift aged malt too, nice raisin and fig paste really come through, with a candied fruit too. Finish is sweet and sticky, more booze, cognac, candied fruits, etc.

Mouth is sticky sweet, lighter but decent carb, mild warming booze, little underwhelming mouth feel.

Overall great but too sweet, nice cognac and booze fruits, tasty, quite nice.

 878 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Kegatron
4.44/5  rDev -0.4%
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 dfhhead25
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of duceswild
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
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 mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by yourefragile. Thanks Michael. What a pleasant surprise.

The beer is dark brown with a thin, tan head. The aroma offers oak, toffee, booze, caramels, and lovely cognac. There's just something about a well executed cognac barrel-aged beer. This one hits the mark. Everything is well balanced and integrated. Cognac character sits atop the flavor profile, yet doesn't dominate. Simply outstanding feel on the palate. A delightful beer to sip and savor. Fantastic.

 478 characters

Photo of SadMachine
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of womencantsail
4.26/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown with no head. Smell is almost all barrel. Tons of brandy, oak, toffee, chocolate, and vanilla. Mild booziness and lots of dark fruits. Flavor is super sweet, brown sugar, caramel, barrel, brandy, and vanilla. A bit of dark fruit sweetness, alcohol heat, and toast.

 284 characters

Photo of stakem
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

 2,105 characters

Photo of PA-Michigander
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of BMart
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

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Cigar City / Swamp Head Church On A Hill - Cognac Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 175 ratings