Invasion Pale Ale | Cigar City Brewing

very good
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Invasion Pale AleInvasion Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Rifugium on 12-27-2012

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Reviews: 181 | Ratings: 1,495
Photo of rlee1390
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-Cloudy orange, one finger head that tries to leave some lacing.

S-Rather citrusy, some grassy notes as well. Very slight bread/malt as well.

T-starts with citrus and tropical notes, there is some pine and grass. The finish has some malt, a tad more than I'd like but some bitterness as well.

M-Medium bodied, nice carbonation and slight hoppiness.

O-A good APA, if the malt was toned down slightly it would have been better.

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Photo of chinchill
3.59/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pink 12 oz can.

Ale is a hazy medium amber with a proportionate and durable bone-colored head.

The grassy/herbal smelling hop mix that dominates the aroma turns a bit fruity upon tasting. Lasting, mildly bitter, hoppy aftertaste that is mainly herbal.

Medium body and carbonation. Semi-dry finish.

O: on the hoppy end of the APA spectrum. Recommended.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 12 oz can into a glass, golden amber colored with a large white head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: robust floral citrus hops, lemon zest, pine, slightly sour

T: slightly sweet up front, switches to a pine bitter in the middle, finish is moderate grapefruit peel bitterness

M: medium to light body, higher carbonation

O: nice pale ale, good citrus fruit flavors

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Canned 4/7/14.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, earth, citrus zest, and slight tropical fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest, earth, and slight tropical fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I am getting more earthy aspects than tropical ones like the label describes.

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Photo of mattsdenney
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Picked some up while on vacation in FL. Always good to try another CCB offering.

Poured into a cheap hotel-room glass. Still has a nice thick head though. Pale yellow in color, transparent. Smells of grass, lemon zest, and grain. The taste is light and crisp. A good amount of hop bitterness for a pale ale. The hop flavor is earthy with a slight citrus aftertaste. Grassy finish. Light-bodied and refreshing and but not too thin; good consistency. I tried hard not to compare this to Jai Alai. It's definitely not Jai Alai light. It stands on its own as a solid, drinkable pale ale.

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Photo of Halfbrother83
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can dated 4/22 into a tulip glass.

A - Slightly hazy golden amber with roughly a finger of head that eventually settles into a low, dusty ring

S - I'm getting the bready notes first, followed by zesty, lemon-like citrus

T - Light and sweet maltiness over anything else, a little pine bitterness, only some of the citrus flavor coming through

M - Smooth, light carbonation, medium body

O - A pretty good, sessionable beer that I could see drinking outside in the warmer months. Not great enough to spend a lot of effort seeking out, but decent nonetheless.

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Photo of PvtSnowball
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Purchased from one of the local cigar lounges.

A: Slightly cloudy orange gold with decent head and retention.

S: Hoppy. Citrus and floral. Very good.

T: Same as the smell. Complex and refreshing.

M: More body than expected. Really nice carbonation.

O: This is a good beer. Will buy again.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From 05/03/14 notes. Picked up a 6er of this in Naples for $8.99 and drank 3 of them in the hotel room out of a glass tumbler.

a - Pours a hazy, dark golden color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, fruits, bready malts, grapefruit, light pine hops, light tropical fruits, earthy malts. Nice nose, citrus is up front though not super hoppy.

t - Tastes of fruity malts, pale malts, citrus hops, grapefruit, pine hops, earthy malts, dough, and bready malts. Less hops than the nose and more malts, but nice.

m - Light body and low carbonation. Easy to drink, could definitely have a few of these.

o - Overall a nice beer. Not a hop bomb by any means, but very easy to drink and light fruits and hops to it. Worth the price and checking out, though I'd most likely get a Jai Alai 6er again before this.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can poured into a snifter. Canned on 4/7/14 (just over 2 weeks old)

Pours out a slightly hazy deep golden color. retentive white head with some pretty good lacing.

Lemon and a bit of grapefruit citrus. Almost a slight hint of tartness. Bits of doughy, cracker like malt. Not a huge aroma, but smells nice.

Bright lemon and grapefruit citrus. Really nice balance. Really tasty fresh doughy bready malt. Simple and very tasty. Finishes with a light resinous lingering bitterness.

Bigger side of light bodied. A real easy drinking, refreshing beer.

A simple yet well made pale ale.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a golden / orange color with good clarity and really nice fluffy white head. Nice head retention and stick.

S - Resinous, piney, brown sugar, citrus, fruity.

T - Nice balance of hops and malts. Hops are piney, citrus, resin, and a bit fruity. Some lemon grass comes to the forefront after it warms a bit and the finish is bitter and grainy.

O - Solid pale ale - easily could session this brew.

Thanks to Nick for bringing this back from Florida.

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Photo of GJ40
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz can purchased at the New Leaf Market in Tallahassee.

Light golden with a slight haze and a small white head. A citrusy aroma with a taste that follows. Not outrageously hoppy or bitter but not quite balanced either. Very refreshing. A moderate mouthfeel and a well behaved carbonation.

A very nice pale ale that works well with the Florida weather.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cigar City Invasion Pale Ale

Poured from a 12 oz can into a Cigar City shaker pint. Served chilled...

A) Golden amber brew, with a little haze. A finger of froth settled to a dusting. Patchy lacing clings to the top of the glass.

S) Pale malt with a big lemon twist. Light pineapple scent... Pleasantly zesty...

T) Near the nose... Good amount of citrus zest. Some grass... Light tropical fruit as it warms up a bit. Good balance...

M) Lighter medium body with moderate carbonation. It is crisp and refreshing. Slightly dry finish with some citrus zest.

O) Good drinkability.... At 5% ABV you could pound down a few of these easily. Glad to try it, but wouldn't really go out of my way to acquire more.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a really tasty pale ale, exactly what i expect a florida pale to taste like, with all kinds of tropical fruit aromas and flavors wafting through a lighter bodied and well carbonated can of beach beer for the craft drinker. it takes me on vacation, and includes aromas of pineapple and guava in its fruit punch profile. the hops have such little bitterness, a nice welcome summery thing here in colorado, where winter keeps hanging on. hazy light orange beer, heady and fizzy, looks nice in a globe glass. lighter pale malt base stays out of the way, while keeping an otherwise very light beer from coming across watery or too fine. great carbonation fills my mouth with all this tropical hop goodness, yet the finish is extremely clean, almost like a lager, an impressive feat in this style. nothing earth shattering here, but a nice summery breeze blowing through your typical pale ale. im always up for that.

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Photo of scotorum
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought a sixpack to try while in Florida. The can notes the name refers to the pirate "invasions" which would occur every year in Tampa in the bad old days. So this is "a tropical session beer brewed for those long days of marauding, pillaging and pirating." The pirate graphic is formidably fun.

Poured from the 12 oz. can into a glass tumbler.

a: Hazy to nearly clear dark gold with a huge frothy white head which receded to persistent rocky surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Mild fruit.

t: Mild fruit up front with lots of medium malt sweetness and some light hop bitterness.

m: Medium, fine body.

o: A very tasty and beautifully balanced pale ale, one of the best I have had, and one I would definitely enjoy in warm weather or anytime if only it were available near me. This has definitely invaded my list of top pale ales.

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.74/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz can ~$1.49. Yellow-orange color, slightly hazed, good head. Aroma is like mild citrus and grains, not great. Flavor is sort of grainy too, not much hoppiness, not a good pale ale. The label is also offensively tacky, spend some money on designers because all their cans look like shit. Then again they have a pretty shitty logo too.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a hazy golden yellow with a half finger of white head. Sub-par retention, resulting in a thin layer of surface suds.

Smell - Big tropical notes; pineapple and orange. Light bready malt aroma beneath.

Taste - Lighter in flavor than on the nose. Sweet bready notes primarily, backed by a moderate amount of pineapple and orange hop fruitiness. Light grassy bitterness. Not much else.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body with fair carbonation. Goes down smooth and easy, but nothing too remarkable.

Overall - Good, but nothing I'd go out of my way to get again. If the taste matched the smell, it'd be pretty remarkable. Unfortunately, it doesn't.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can: Poured alight golden color ale with a super large white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus and grapefruit hops with some tropical fruit is quiet enjoyable. Taste is also dominated by huge citrus, grapefruit and tropical fruit notes. Body is light with great carbonation. Very refreshing pale ale with great balance and avoids too much bitterness.

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Photo of Florida9
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First of all, what is up with this can design? It's like Cigar City has never designed label art before and they decided to let a six year old with an internet connection and some clip art have at it. Seriously, is that supposed to be Gasparilla or Fidel Castro in a Pirate hat?

A: Not the prettiest of beers. Pale, hazy sort of golden-yellow in color. Forms a moderate sized head. Little retention, though there is a moderate amount of lacing.

S: Fairly aromatic and a quite pleasant aroma at that. Aroma is mostly citrus, with orange dominating. Also notes of tropical fruit, mango, and papaya. Very inviting.

T: Taste isn't quite as great. Starts with a light sweetness. Pale malts. Biscuit. Then the hops show up. Some orange pith and grapefruit with a touch of pine, but very little of that tropical goodness. Turns a little bit earthy and bready on the back end.

M: On the lighter side of medium. Mild-to-moderate bitterness. A touch watery. Appropriate carbonation.

O: A very respectable beer. Drinkable and approachable, but still flavorful.

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Photo of 3sheets2wind
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Solid pale session ale. Beautiful gold pour from can into snifter. Lightly hazy with a thick white head. Smells of pineapple, lemon and mown grass. Crisp hop flavor and light malt. Dry, refreshing. No off flavors. Great example of style. High recommendation. Thanks to miamichael2 for the trade.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a snifter glass.

Slightly dull and murky brown, but a somewhat glowing lemon yellow body. Thick and creamy two finger white head that slowlt settles to a small collar.

Great hop aromatics that vary. First is a blast of dank and weedy smoke then turning to tropical warmth and aromatics. Nice pineapple and grapefruit action, large juicy and big. Clean.

Palate matches nicely as well. Mouthfeel is a little chalkybut emphasizes the dry earth qualities a little. Great pineapple and tropical warmth on the palate. Large smokey aftertaste and drying hop burn qualities

Great solid hop forward pale ale from these guys.

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Photo of bsp77
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from can into pseudo-pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy honey-gold with moderate head and light lacing.

Smell: Strong citrusy aroma that lingers well. Mostly tart grapefruit.

Taste: Very hoppy with mostly grapefruit driving the taste. Some tropical and spicy notes as well. The malts are mostly kept in the background. Slightly bitter finish, with more of a lingering hop taste rather than lingering bitterness.

Feel: Light to medium body that is crisp, very dry and borderline tart. Carbonation is moderate.

Overall: Excellent Pale Ale that is very hoppy and flavorful. I may even like this better than Jai Alai. Very impressed.

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Photo of stephens101
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A fluffy tan head rests atop this pale orange brew.

Subtle citrus hops to the nose. A bit of caramel and grass in the background.

Bright and citrusy on the tongue with bold grapefruit notes, lemon, grain, faint caramel and distant spice.

Fairly light in body with nice carbonation.

Invasion proves APA's can still be flavorful.

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Photo of fmccormi
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straight pour from a 12oz can to a can-glass. Canning date of March 6, 2014 printed in black ink on the underside of the can (“CANNED 3/6/14”), making this can 11 days old at the time of consumption. Picked it up in the cooler and have kept it refrigerated since.

Appearance (4.5): The pour yields two full fingers of fluffy, cream-white head that caps a honey-amber body that’s lightly hazy. Retention is average at first, with the head dying down at a moderate pace, but turns out to be excellent later on, leaving a few splotches and clumps of webby lace here and there above a nearly unbroken wall of collared foam on the far side of the glass and leggy collars elsewhere.

Smell (4.0): This starts off with a beauuutiful sweet tangerine juice aroma, underpinned by some light caramel, honeyed biscuits, and some floral hops. Secondary hop characteristics include some papaya and a little mango. Smells really great for the style.

Taste (4.0): Following the aroma in some ways but not all, it’s hop-forward, with an easy, moderately bitter front and a smooth, lightly sweet, bready malt body behind it. Unlike the nose, the hops on the palate are floral first and citric second, with a soft, blossomy kind of floral tone followed by a quick shot of grapefruit peel bitterness. The malt holds up the hops, not allowing them to completely blast the palate, but it remains light and bready, in a dry and slightly biscuity way. It finishes with a really nice, light, floral bitterness. Neutral yeast and completely absent alcohol allow the beer to stay clean, crisp, and flavorful.

Mouthfeel (4.0): The body is just a bit on the light side of medium-weight, very pleasingly dry (quenching, not parching), and evenly carbonated with a smooth, evenly-distributed tingle all over before foaming moderately and washing out. It finishes easily and invites more and more from the glass.

Overall (4.0): Invasion is, in the end, a really nice, approachable, but still rich in character American Pale. Considering it comes around at about $9/sixer and is relatively easy to find (in Florida), this is a very solid buy if you can find it fresh. Definitely worth seeking out, especially if you want a legit session brew with a good hop character and an actual malt base that still doesn’t distract from the big picture. Excellent stuff.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A 12 fl oz aluminum can with fun label art was generously given to me as an extra by Hopzilla in a trade. Canned 02/12/14. Reviewed as a pale ale for obvious reasons. Reviewed live. Expectations are very high given the brewery not only for their high reputation but because the only (non-collaboration) beer I've tried from them - Marshal Zhukov - was fantastic.

Served cold, at fridge temp. Side-poured gently per the label's instructions.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a 2 finger wide head of white colour. Decent thickness and creaminess. Nice frothiness. Head retention is good - about 6-7 minutes. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a transparent translucent pale copper of average vibrance and excellent clarity. It's clean looking; no floating yeast particles, hop sediment or anything else problematic is visible. Appears well-carbonated.

It's a good looking pale ale, sure, but it doesn't stand out amidst other beers in the style. I'm looking forward to trying it, but it's not a unique or special appearance for a pale. That said, there are no obvious flaws.

Sm: I expected just a pale malt body, but I'm finding faint hints of bready malts and caramalts as well. Hopwise, it's got a pronounced tropical fruit character alongside the more standard floral hop profile. Mango, papaya, guava, watermelon. Thankfully, there isn't any boozy pineapple (a la The Bruery). I would like more of a citrusy, nectary, oily, or dank hop profile, but I can respect where this is going, and it's got a definite focus. The sweetness/bitterness balance seems apt and the malts seem to suit the hops well. I'm looking forward to the first sip.

A pleasant, clean, and enjoyable aroma of above average strength.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

T: Wow, that's refreshing. It's loaded with hop flavours - mango, watermelon, papaya, melon, fruity esters, floral character, and hints of oily character. The fruity hop notes in particular are great, and reveal a depth of flavour usually unseen in pale ales. The malty core complements the hop notes well - mostly by staying out of the way. Contrary to what I found on the aroma, the flavour profile features just plain ole pale malts, and they don't call attention to themselves, instead letting the hops take the limelight.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off flavours are detectable.

Average duration and intensity of flavour.

I'm really liking this even though the hop profile isn't what usually appeals to my personal tastes. Very refreshing and enjoyable stuff. It's reasonably complex and subtle for a pale ale, with the hop character lending it some nuance. I wouldn't say it's intricate, nor is it quite gestalt per se, but it's a really lovable pale ale. What really works here - and what I think other reviewers may be missing - is how carefully this is balanced and how seemingly effortlessly it goes down. There's no overt hop bitterness and there's not too much malty sweetness; they found the middle ground - something so few breweries seem able to do.

And this isn't following the West coast way of doing things; the emphasis is on tropical fruits, not on overwhelming biting grapefruit.

Mf: Smooth, wet, refreshing, smacky, crisp, and clean. A touch oily - I could go for more. A biteen overcarbonated. Medium-bodied, with light weight on the palate. Overall, this texture complements the taste very well. Great presence on the palate. Good execution across the board.

Not boozy, hot, gushed, astringent, harsh, or chewy.

Dr: Extraordinarily drinkable - even for a pale ale. I'm inhaling this can and already want another. Definitely up there with some of the best pale ales I've had. A great extra from Hopzilla. Cigar City continues to impress me. Can all their offerings be this good?

High B

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Photo of Shaw
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Canned less than a month ago.

I've been hearing raves about this beer from other beer geeks so I'm excited to try it.

Pours a light amber/orange in color with a frothy white head that quickly reduces to a thin layer in my glass.

Big citrus and tropical fruit hop aromas.

Citrus aromas carry over to similar hop flavors that mix with a metallic sharpness. Quite bitter. Bready flavors too.

Nice body.

Overall a nice pale ale. I feel I don't like it as much as others. But this is a nice hop bomb with a bit less alcohol than an IPA.

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Invasion Pale Ale from Cigar City Brewing
3.93 out of 5 based on 1,495 ratings.
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