Humidor Double American Black Ale | Cigar City Brewing

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Humidor Double American Black AleHumidor Double American Black Ale

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-11-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 149
Photo of MusicaleMike
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on Jan 04, 2013. Maybe a bit past the best by date...

Packaged in a 750ml bottle. Served in a snifter. "A Double American Black Ale aged on Spanish cedar in the Cigar City of Tampa, Florida. 11% Alcohol by Vol."

The rich tan head slowly rises from the black liquid in a reverse cascade, and then compacts on top of the dark brown beer that appears pitch black in the glass. The bubbles begin to coat the edge of the beer with lacing.

Cigar City's unique barrel treatment of this beer immediately becomes apparent in the smell, with a spicy cedar aroma on top of a roasted grain smell which carries notes of chocolate. Faded hops are present, but very light. It doesn't quite have the hoppy aroma I would expect from a Black Ale. However, this bottle is over a year old at this point, and the aroma may have faded lightly.

This beer hits the palate intensely, slamming the tongue with a robust, full-bodied roasty malt backbone and a spicy, herbal, earthy Spanish cedar taste. The bitterness is intense as well, but acts predominantly in a balancing role. The flavors are, like I mentioned, very bold. This beer is not for the faint of heart. The carbonation is smooth and soft, and the alcohol leaves a slight bit of warmth on the exhale. Notes of cigar box, alcohol, bitter cocoa, sweet tea, and pine.

I have had some of Cigar City's Humidor Series beers before, and I remember definitely not liking the Cedar IPA. I found it too intense; the cedar unforgiving and overwhelming. I may be more tolerant now, or maybe the base beer is more forgiving, but this is a much improved experience for me. Really like the interplay of the cedar against a hoppy black ale. Not quite as drinkable as I would like, but this is "imperial" and as such you don't need much. Very unique, and well-done.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with mocha bubbles of head.

S: Cedar, coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, some peach, orange hop presence, maybe a little something herbal and/or meaty in the nose. Apparently there's some notes of THC in the nose as well.

T: Roasted malt and dark chocolate come out up front followed by big citrus hop character (particularly orange, but grapefruit makes a significant appearance as well).

M: Full bodied and quite smooth.

O: One of the more complex black ales/black ipas out there. Definitely worth a try.

I wish cigar city distributed to CA :/

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Photo of scratch69
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I poured a bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance- Black in color with a fingers worth of tan head. Nice amount of lacing with good head retention.

Smell- Roasted malt and cedar with a faint hint of piney hops.

Taste- Roasted malt and piney hop flavors with some dark fruit notes. Just a touch of booziness also.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied and smooth with an average amount of carbonation.

Overall- This is my first Cigar City beer and I enjoyed it.

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Photo of maximum12
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to moose3285 for this one; I'm feeling woody, & this CC is never shy about bringing some serious splinters to their Humidor bottles. 750ML bottle split with my wife.

The pour matches the name, dark enough that even the edges are opaque. Sure 'nuff, the cedar bites the nostrils with several planks. Underneath is a vaguely herbal note, pine, toffee. An odd mix of smells that isn't exactly rolling out the WELCOME mat, but isn't off-putting, either.

Humidor Double American Black Ale - say that ten times fast. First thing that hits the tongue is that this 'black ale' is close to the viscosity weight class of Zhukov's, or, motor oil in the engine block at roughly -40 degrees; a feel I wasn't expecting, but the thickness is gorgeous. The actual taste, aided by the sludge, veers more towards super-hoppy big-stout territory. Small pine stand hits the palate, or a grove of cedars with pine needles. Roast is hard after both, bitter enough that it might involve hops, too. Mild chocolates. I'm hitting this way to hard for a big beer on a Tuesday evening.

OK, OK, I'll admit I've let this one languish in the fridge because, hey, who really likes "black ales"? Idiots, that's who. Oh, me now, too. At least this one. An excellent, kick-ass beer that manages to bring together flavors that normally repulse one another. Another impressive exercise from the CC wizards.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark black body, though transparent at the edges, with a huge tan, coffee and creme colored head that formed even with an easy pour and lots of lacing. Pretty good retention.

Smells of roasty, chocolate malt, with piney hops and lots of cedar wood. Some pruney dark fruit notes. A little boozy, but so full of flavorful notes.

Tastes great, lots of chocolate, chocolate milk, coffee, tons of citrus and pine hops assaulting and numbing the tongue, rye, and cedar wood. Sugary sweetness--molasses (I can feel my lips sticking together) is balanced by a strong citrus and piney hop bitterness. Also get some juniper berries, but maybe that's coming from the cedar.

The body is thick with a slick tongue-coating mouthfeel that is more like a stout. Sticky sweet.

This is a big beer. My first impression was the high degree of alcohol, but that receded as the strong flavors started to hide the ABV. I'd say this is like Wooky Jack on steroids. My complaint is that it is just a little too sweet and boozy. But otherwise a great tasting beer.

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Photo of aMILESupreme
3.69/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours like a stout.

S: like a cedar box with toasted malts.

T: lots of cedar and toasted malts. The hops aren't too strong, would like more. This one gets more interesting in a tasty way as it warms up.

M: Thick and heavy. Coats almost like a BA beer

O: This one was interesting. I love CCB's humidor series but this one is not what I've come to expect. Definitely glad I tried it, sen bought a second one to see how it holds up in the cellar.

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Photo of mattsdenney
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber purchase in DeLand, FL. Brought back to Nashville (along with many other CCB beers).

A: Pours thick, dark pitch black. Thick dark brown sticky head. Oily, looks heavy.

S: Scents of piney hops, coffee, caramel, smoky malt, and dark chocolate. Smells excellent.

T: Fantastic taste. A perfect balance of bitter hops, sweet caramel, and strong coffee all mixed with a heavy boozy backbone. This one is strong and it lets you know it quickly. Reminds me of an RIS infused with heavy hops. All around great flavor.

M: As expected the mouthfeel is thick and oily. Very heavy and almost syrupy which is exactly what I would have expected.

O: Overall yet another excellent brew from CCB. I am yet to be disappointed and am really enjoying this particular offering.

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Photo of nesarebad
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

750 oz. bottle date January 2013. Might be a little too old for the style but think it should hold up quite well.

A - Pours almost bitch black with a voluminous two finger tan head. This beer looks great, delicate lacing lingers throughout my glass as I drink.

S - Faint hints of cedar, citrus-y hops and a faint touch of dark chocolat-y and roasted malts. Nothing here is overpowering, shows some good balance.

T - Sweet and hoppy on the front-end. Roasted malts and alcoholic bite in the middle. Finishes with a touch of cedar on the tongue, which is quite pleasant on the palate and is actually the most pleasant experience of tasting this beer.

M - If having a 'balanced' mouth-feel exists, I think this beer hits it. I think the flavor profile could stand for a little more malt-backbone, but that is not detracting from this beer. The cedar notes on the back-end round out the uniqueness.

Overall, this is a wonderfully crafted beer. In the limited experience I have had with cedar aged beers, Cigar City really knows what flavor profiles work. Would have again and would be interested in seeing what some age could to (with the hoppyness muted).

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Photo of patre_tim
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown, almost black. Any hue is slight red but really opaque. 1.5 finger chocolate milk colour head fades to a foam in a couple minutes.

S: Pine, citrus, chocolate, licorice, tropical fruits like papaya and pineapple. Tar, slight woody smell in the after scent, definite cedar.

T: Nothing like it. At first I get all the thickness, sweetness, resinous, syrup with pine, then the cedar shines through along with the chocolate, tar, and licorice qualities. Smooth finnish without the long bitter hop burn that many doubles have. Black pepper in the back comes out after several sips.

M: Thick, in a really thick way, syrupy, resinous, oily, very low carbonation.

O: A masterpiece. The cedar scent and taste lingers and draws me back. Definite sipper, hides the alcohol in a very real way. Syrupy, sweet but not destructively so, quick finnish making it a desirable beer to keep drinking.

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Photo of Greenplastic615
4.74/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

So, I've had this one a few times and really, really love it. This review based on a bottle I had last night, split with a few friends over board games (nerds!) :)

A - Pours black with a two finger khaki head. Looks like a black IPA should.

S - HUGE cedar notes, with some piney hops, and some roasty malt. The cedar is almost unbalanced in the smell, in a good way. I love cedar though, so I'm biased.

T - If you took a brewed a big double black IPA and transferred it into a giant cigar humidor for secondary fermentation, then bottled it, it would taste like this. Big wood notes that are right in line with the aroma. No way I'd peg this at 11%, there's no booze at all in the taste.

M - Appropriate for an 11% black IPA. Not really sure what else to say.

O - I wish this was available all the time, or at least made into a seasonal release. Black IPAs are a tricky style to execute well in my opinion, and Cigar City really nailed it. Would gladly drink again (and again).

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

A: Black indeed, with sticky lace and sparse but stubborn tan head.

S: Holy shit. Incredibly powerful. Herbal, spicy hops that are rich and ensorcelling. Hash, tobacco, cedar (obviously), and hugely resiny citrus hops.

T: Super-woody, with boatloads of hops (yup, citrus and pine), and an intriguingly chocolatey finish.

O: I enjoyed this immensely, and would highly recommend this to everyone. WOW so good.

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Photo of jucifer1818
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Surprise, Surprise, its actually black

s: Fresh fruity american hops, and brilliant ones to boot. It smells like a pound of freshly shipped glacier hops <3

t: Very citricy and grapefruity. It tastes like freshly sliced grapefruit, but with a excellent sweet malty backbone.

M: Prickley and syrup like

O: A Excellent brew from cigar city. A perfect example of what a black IPA should be, and one of the most balanced hoppy brews I've ever had and one of Cigar cities best

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle from Lueken's Liquors online. 11.99. Bottled 1/4/13. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

Pours black with cola edges under the light and a dense half finger of vanilla head that leaves dark sheets of lace galore.

Smells of pine, roast, citrus and cedar.

Taste is big and bold with bitter hoppy pine, grapefruit rind, French roast coffee, cream, cedar,dark chocolate, oranges, vanilla, smoke, tobacco and a little pepper. A bit of alcohol burn on the back end but it blends in with the coplex, sweet roasty, hoppy bitterness. Really interesting and quite tasty.

Smooth, velvety, oily medium heavy body with moderate-to-mild carbonation. Cedar, pine and roast aftertaste with a tinge of boozey cooling.

The cedar adds a very distinctive element to a well done base American black ale. Far superior to the Humidor Jai Alai for my tastes. An intricate dichotomy of hops and roast that is made that much more facinating by aging on cedar spirals. One of the best ABAs I've tried and another strong entry from the beer wizards at Cigar City.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle from Gator Beverage. This one pours black with a creamy light brown head. HUGE nose on this. Pine, grassiness, and grapefruit galore with a dry roasted hint. Creamy thick mouthfeel whoah--screams imperial stout with the thickness. Sharp pine and grapefruit bite up front, while sweet chocolate and molasses lead to a roasted grain finish and a lingering cocoa on the palate. Dry finish that I am guessing is the cedar. There is a good bit of sweetness well balanced by the bitter. One of the more complex flavor profiles I have had. This is really really good. Curious is age would mellow the hops and turn this into a chocolatey imperial porter. As is, this really is in its own style. God I hope they make this again.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, courtesy of lionssoccer13. Poured into a CCB snifter. I think this was a January release.

A - Pours a light engulfing black with about a finger of dense mocha head. Lacing clings to the walls in a hierarchy of rings.

S - Smells of whoppers candy, molasses, and a distinct pine bitterness. There is a sweet herbal, almost menthol, character to this beer as well. A smooth vanilla-toffee nuttiness rounds this one out. Highly complex and impressive.

T - Chocolate, citrus, and bitter pine hops on the forefront. Very sweet midplalate, full of brown sugar, vanilla, and milk chocolate. Sweetness continues through the finish with a subtle cedar aftertaste.

M - Chewy, thick, viscous. Mellow carbonation. The mouthfeel suits this beer well.

O - I haven't had a subpar beer from Cigar City yet, and this did not buck the trend. It is certainly on the sweet side for the style, but I was impressed with the cohesive variety of flavors. Pine and citrus hops are not dominant, although they do act to discriminate this from a stout. The alochol is well hidden. The immense body makes this beer more enjoyable; it also makes me feel satisfied after just one glass. Gets sweeter and thicker as it warms. I recommend trying it if you are into the style.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a full inch of light brown head that retains very well before eventually making its way down to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of bubbly surface foam. Honeycomb-patterned lacing.

S- Oh dear lord. Magnificent nose of fresh cedar, hops and roasted malt. They all converge into a bouquet that's just about perfect IMO. It's peppery, sharp and inviting. There's also some caramel/brown sugar sweetness from the malt that just adds to the enjoyment and complexity.

T- Taste is much of the same. Powerful cedar twang on the palate with the hops and malt complementing. Alcohol is superbly well-hidden, though part of the flavor profile all the same, making this drink comparable to a fine cognac or bourbon that you would pair with a cigar. Also damn near perfect.

M- Sharp and slightly stingy from the alcohol, cedar and hops. I'm sure some age would fix that. Mostly full body and medium carbonation.

O- Thank you Cigar City for coming up with the brilliant concept for the Humidor Series beers. Who would've thought aging beer on cedar would lead to such deliciousness?

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.59/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark syrupy color with some cocoa foam at the edges. Leaves lacing on the glass.

S: Aroma of sweet malt, dark roast and Citrus all over. Cedar chip aging also present and slightly dry smelling, aroma is very pleasant for a black ale.

T: Flavors of sweet dark malt, chocolate and tons of hops. Clocking in at 11.5% on the bottle, this is quite sweet and flavorful. The cedar chips give the dark roast malts a run for their money and really take over the taste. Hops are mostly citrus, but also some pine mixed in underneath the cedar and black malt bitterness. Mango and grapefruit hop flavors also present as it warms more and rounds out the cedar chip flavors.

M: Light carbonation with a thick body. Flavors are still slick

O: Very good overall. I can really enjoy the flavors and this was great for all of the shoveling that I have been up to today with this blizzard of 2013. Over 33 inches here where I live, these calories will be worked off in no time.

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Photo of harrymel
3.71/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 04JAN13
ABV listed as 11.0%

Pours black with little foam, maybe a rim of light tan foam. Smells like leather, maduro tobacco and dank hops, some roasted malts, and a touch of vinyl. Taste is tobacco like a mutha. It really does remind me of a humidor - I'm uncertain of my feelings, yet, I keep drinking it quickly. I must like it....Full bodied with moderate carb and a wet finish. I'm really blown away by this beer, and I am torn as to if it's in the good way. WTF. Fuck it, I like it.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Cigar City Tampa FL for 6$

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size fizzy/frothy beige coloured head. It's hard to make out the amount of carbonation and there is some fantastic lacing. The head lasted for 5-6 minutes.

Smell - Malts, hops, coffee/chocolate, light woody notes

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste hops and malts mixed with coffee and chocolate. There is also a slight woodiness but not as much as I expected. It ends with a roasted malt aftertaste with some lingering hops.

Overall - One of the better Cigar City beers I've had.. although this is also one of my favourite styles of beer. I think the 750ml bottles cost somewhere around 15$ so I was glad I got to try it on tap for 6$.

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Photo of babaracas
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy dark brown with dense, creamy light brown colored head. Settles slowly leaving a sheet of thin lace down the glass. Smell: hoppy - pine, leafy; cedar spiciness, sweet backing w/ just a bit of molasses. Taste: pine, sweet orange citrus, milk chocolate, same spicy cedar quality. All of which are cranked to 11. Wow. Feel is juicy into syrupy, then the carbonation kicks into a velvety finish. Accumulating alcoholic attribute... I remember Either/Or sort of blurring the line between doubled black ale and imperial stout... this one seems slightly more in line with the developing style, except that it's a huge beer and the cedar brings the awesome. Bottled Jan 04, 2013.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. Had on-tap at CCB tasting room. Poured into a CCB snifter.
EDIT: Updated review from a recent (2/27/13) bottle drinking

A: Dark brown to black, not quote opaque, with a moderate size tan head and minimal visible carbonation.

S: Cedar, dark malt with a bit of roastiness, and some pine. BOTTLE EDIT: I get some more chocolate notes here.

T: Dark, maybe burnt, coffee with pine and citrus hops. Touch of tropical fruit. Cedar dryness throughout. Pine bitterness in the hang. BOTTLE EDIT: Again, more chocolate than on tap, but it blends well with the coffee malt flavors.

M: Medium body, sticky mouthfeel, alcohol well-hidden for the ABV.

O: Good, although not the best of the Humidor series. But I would certainly have another.

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Photo of scottyshades
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at BX Beer Depot's CCB Tap Takeover

Big time cedar in the nose and flavor - very aggressive. Chocolate, cocoa and tons of hops make this a very robust beer. Balanced with a restrained bitterness. Chocolatey cedar finish. One of the more interesting beers CCB has put out

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Photo of shand
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Honestly have no idea to expect from this one, other than something big. A dark, wood-treated CCB that probably has a boatload of hops? Sign me up! Humidor Double ABA pours a very deep brown color. The aroma is great, there's a big cedar up front hanging out with an equally big roasted malt presence and some citrus hops. The citrus hops pop right away on the tongue, along with some more piney flavors that mingle with the cedar that shortly rushes in. Malty flavors linger on the tongue. A big, brash, and complex brute of a beer. The mouthfeel, like all high-ABV CCBs, is absolutely spot-on. It's got a low level of carbonation over a thick body that goes down very smoothly. The drinkability is good considering the high ABV. This isn't the most jaw-dropping CCB beer by any means, but it's still a big, bold, and tasty beer. Pick it up if you're in the Tampa area, but I wouldn't go trading for it.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours near-black brown with an impressive foamy coffee brown head, leaves lots of thick lacing. Looks great.

Smells of citrusy hops, orange and peach and also lots of chocolate and coffee. More hop forward than malt. Smells great too.

Taste is not quite what I expected. Tons of chocolate, some grassy bitter hops, much less citrus than the nose. Some floral notes too. Aftertaste is bitter, both hop bitterness and dark malt bitterness like unsweetened chocolate. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel is excellent, very thick and creamy, almost like a milkshake. One of the thickest examples of the style I've had.

Overall a very good beer. Would like more citrus and less grass in the flavor but it's great regardless. I love hoppy black ales and this is a great example.


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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bx Beer Depot. Poured into a plastic cup.

Appearance - Jet black, inky, and glass-staining. Well, plastic-staining. Looks as thick and viscous as anything black that CCB makes.

Smell - Cedar and tons of it. Gives it a grapefruit aroma that is difficult to discern from hops.

Taste - Bright and cedary up front. Chocolate malts push it out of the way, but the cedar comes back in the finish. Sweet in the back too with a boozy bite

Mouthfeel - Very thick. Low carbonation. Still doesn't drink as heavy as my description would indicate.

Overall - It's pretty much a stout. Similar to Humidor Zhukov. Less viscous, hoppier, and less chocolatey. I guess that's what they're going for.

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Humidor Double American Black Ale from Cigar City Brewing
4.21 out of 5 based on 149 ratings.
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