Life Is Like... | Cigar City Brewing

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Life Is Like...Life Is Like...

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial sweet stout brewed with cherries & cacao nibs & aged in bourbon barrels.

Added by MatthewPlus on 08-15-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 621
Photo of mportnoy
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Stunning. As good as it gets.

Amazing complexity and structure. Perfect balance between cherry, chocolate, and bourbon as it moves across your mouth. No artificial sweetness and not syrupy at all. Finish is dry baker's chocolate.

Easily the best milk / sweet stout that I have ever had.

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Photo of floridadrift
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The first sip I had of this last year was at TBBW, it was little tart but because it was warm. We had it chilled a couple days ago and it was phenomenal! Holy sweet cherries and bourbon and chocolate and deliciousness! Mouth feel was perfect, the nose was crazy candy cherries and I just couldn't get enough of this beer. I understand the decadence of it now!

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Photo of mverity
4.99/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle from Proof. Poured into a snifter. Pitch black and opaque. Deep brown head with same collar. Decent legs, and head was thick and yummy. Aroma is of sweet/dark cherries, dark chocolate, vanilla, a smooth/woody bourbon. Taste is wonderful. Exact same as smell. Mouthfeel is viscous, fully coats my mouth, and is exactly what I want. Super fantastic beer. Dessert in a glass!

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Photo of dar482
4.93/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer comes in a thick black color with barely any head.

The aroma has huge luscious milk chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt, molasses, and then the cherries come through. The bourbon barrel notes come through too.

The flavor follows with that fudgey sweet chocolate, vanilla, molasses, and then a dark chocolate covered cherries. They are almost this overly sweet dark cherry. Alcohol is extremely well hidden.

Throughout this beer reminds me of BCBS. The sweetness, barrel character, and huge body. Not that it is like Cherry Rye, that has a different cherry character with its pop of big juicy and tart cherries. This has large chocolate and vanilla notes to keep that cherry in the back and mellowed.

This was a fantastic surprise. Absolutely loved this beer.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.9/5  rDev +9.4%

Appearance - The beer was a blackish brown color with some reddish hues in suspensions.

Smell - The aroma was largely sweet bourbon, but there was a certain measure of fruitiness.

Taste - My first impression is chocolate covered cherries. This portion of heaven is well balanced with bourbon and raisin notes. The sweet notes of the stout blend into a thickly sweet aftertaste with moderate warming power.

Mouthfeel - The thickness on this one almost makes it feel sticky to the tongue. That allows it to linger for a long time.

Overall - Seek this one.

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Photo of frenchblood21
4.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into small tasting glass. I am sharing with two other buddies. Date of review is 7/12/14.

Appearance- Almost jet black, but not quite. Dark brow head that disappears right away.

Smell- Cherry and vanilla blast off straight away. Just a hint of sweet chocolate is present too. Bourbon is detectable, but taking a backseat to the cherries.

Taste- Literally perfect in every way. Just like in the nose, cherries and vanilla take you away. Chocolate and bourbon are there, but not dominant.

Mouthfeel- Thick and luxurious to say the least. It's really quite hard to put into words how amazing this beer is. It's like I bit into a chocolate covered cherry.

Overall- Top three best beers I have ever had. I had it at DLD for the first time and have looked forward to this moment ever since.

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Photo of drmcleod10
4.81/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle acquired from Mike not too long ago and split 3 ways. Poured into a Cigar City Snifter
Very excited to try this one as everything I have has from CCB barrel aged has been absolutely fantastic.

A - Dark as night with very little head that slowly faded and didn't come back after stirring the glass up. This one stains the glass and pours with a medium thickness

S - Bourbon on the nose with hints of chocolate covered cherries. This is a really natural smell unlike some of the other berry BA stouts out there and really smells quite wonderful. Bourbon dipped chocolate cherries.

T - Taste follows the nose here with loads of milk chocolate here followed by the cherries that taste extremely natural. The bourbon comes through at the end but is extremely well hidden for 15%. Really does taste like chocolate dipped cherries that were soaked in light bourbon

M - Mouthfeel here is fine with such little carbonation which makes it very easy to drink. Goes down smooth as hell and coats the mouth.

O - Definitely my latest WOW beer that made me rethink fruit BA stouts. This is on another level compared to the BC Variants

Will definitely be seeking this one out again.

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Photo of VernonBaxter
4.79/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance is dark black with brown/reddish ring around the top. Small ring of a head. Smell is bourbon and oak forward, then chocolate then some sweet cherry. Taste is similar with milk chocolate and sweet cherry on the finish. Fantastic mouthfeel, cigar city knows their stouts

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Photo of mythaeus
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Out of a CCB snifter. This is truly an awesome brew. Sooooo chocolately, not overly sweet or syrupy. Boubon nose is just about perfect. Cherry blended in well, unlike BC Cherry Rye cherry cough syrup. Drink it with some chocolate because they pair rather well.

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Photo of WI-Beer-Man
4.74/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Beer #400
This is an amazing beer, blew away DB Hunahpu at the CCB tasting.

Much like the other CCB stouts, pours a very dark, thick pour. Lots of chocolate and the cherry flavor melds very well with the chocolate and barrel notes. One of the best beers I have had.

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Photo of GatorLCA
4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Snagged this yesterday from the tap room. Debated on trying this so soon but I now need another to cellar

A- Pours a medium thickness , pitch black with the traditional creamy-brown head. DIssipates quickly, no crown.

S- Bourbon straight up, definitely hints of cherries and chocolate, slight vanilla. Almst concerning the little amounts of cherry scent since most flavored stouts I've encountered typically dont stack up to what Im hoping for.

T- Dear Lord, this might be a perfect dessert beer. Tons of sweet cherries and chocolate right up front. Bourbon comes in on the back end like a freight train but after the bourbon burn wears off all you can taste is chocolate cherries. Simply magnificent. You honestly could take one sip and be completely satisfied but youd be yearning for more

M- not as thick as i would like in an imperial but its nice because it coats the mouth well. It does have a slight syrupy feel afterwards or is that justnme drooling...cant tell, nor do I care.

O- Im not quite sure how to sum this one up, it really is a Cherry Cordial in liquid form. Theres plenty of Cherries for one not to be dissappointed or wonder if theres enough. I really would love to try this when it mellows out a little but I couldnt resist. Hats off to Wayne and Mikel for making this unbelievable beer. Seek this one out if you can, I'll definitely try to get some more.

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Photo of Mikecap
4.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Poured a dark black with a finger of khaki brown head that dissipates slowly, nice chunky lacing on the glass.

Smell: Chocolate, cherry, lots of sweetness coming through, absolutely delicious nose, touch of bourbon and oak as well.

Taste: Silky smooth with chocolate first followed by some tart sweetness from the cherry, great balance, a bit of bourbon and heat from the alcohol

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth with great creaminess and drinkability for its size

Overall: Stellar beer here from CCB, one of the best stouts I've had in some time, if not ever

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Photo of NHbeerguy
4.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L- Pours typical CCB stout. Pitch black with very little head. Very still.

S- smell is slight bourbon and cherries. I can only imagine this fresh!!

T- oh ya!! So smooth and decadent. Very light bourbon, chocolate and cherries. So amazing!!

F- for a big stout it is so smooth.

O- I can see why people love this beer. It is so smooth with great flavors.

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Photo of Drift
4.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A very awesome stout. Tastes like Chocolate Covered Caramel Cherries. Its the best way to describe it for me. I had very little hope at first with this beer, but it is def an awesome stout.

Mild Carb. It pours our like motor oil, thick and lucious. I can only say I wish I had more of this tasty brew.

The color is pretty dark and a light brown head.

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Photo of cardsfan
4.67/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow, what a great beer. I had Cherry Rye back in July and was looking forward to trying this one to compare. Was a little nervous about the cheery flavor but they did a great job. Tasted like real bing cherries and not the fake stuff! The bourbon was a little underwhelming compared to the cherry rye but was still there and added a good vanilla to the mix as well. Smell wasn't as overpowering as Cherry rye and mouthful was about the same. I couldn't believe this beer was 15%! Extremely well hidden. Overall, another fantastic beer by CCB!

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Photo of Beechner719
4.66/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This is an amazing beer. Poured from the bottle into a 12oz snifter. Pours dark black with a nice tan head. Smells of cherries and bourbon. The taste is a perfect combination of both of them. The beer just sticks in your mouth and is awesome. It gets even better when it warms up to room temp. The cherries start to take over. I preferred it this way. I would wait until it warms up.

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Photo of kpanter
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - dark in color with a light brown head which fades quickly

S - wonderful bourbon and chocolate aromas. as it warmed some, faint cherry smell came through some, but not as much as I'd hoped for

T - Starts out with big chocolate notes with bourbon mixing in as well. Not as much cherry as I would have liked initially. I let this warm for a bit, and yes! There it is! The cherry starts it off, and layers in so well with the chocolate and bourbon. A tad bit of heat here, and the bourbon does kick in towards the end. But this is simply delicious, and a wonderful dessert stout.

M - perfect. but what did you expect from these 2 brewers? It's not overly thick, which I rather like in this style of stout. It has a smooth velvet-like mouthfeel.

O - Phenomenal. Another homerun from CCB & Mikkeller, and truly a great dessert beer. Definitely let this warm up, as you get much more cherry flavor. Once it warmed, this beer really impresses with the layers of flavor on both the nose and mouth. I think the brewers hit the nail on the head for what they were going for on this one.

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Photo of earljones199
4.64/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance- A little head that retains around the glass in a ring with patches of foam floating on the top. Head is light brown. Very dark beer that pours out very dark. Pitch black. No way to see through this one.

Smell- Very nice. Smooth bourbon smell. Smells sweet with the usual bourbon stouts but just better

Taste- Starts off with a nice bourbon chocolate that fades into the a good cherry tartness. Very, very nice transition of flavors with the bourbon aging adding a lot of sweetness to this beer.

Mouthfeel- Slight amount of carbonation. Not too thin, not too thick syrupy. Just right on the mouthfeel. Goes down smooth.

Overall- A great beer that after every sip I wish I had more of.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.61/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle acquired through the El Catador club. 20.00. Bottled 8/13/13. Served in a Terrapin snifter.

Pours oil black with a quarter finger thick brown head that slowly fades to a thin halo without leaving any lace.

Enticing aromas of sweet bourbon, cherries and chocolate. Yum!

Taste follows the nose. Like a syrupy sweet chocolate covered bourbon soaked cherry bomb. Bing cherry, bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla tinged oak, plums, creamed coffee with a little booze presence throughout. Fantastic.

Syrupy medium thick body with moderately light carbonation. Lingering boozy sweet chocolate cherries in the aftertaste.

An outstanding stout and one of the best collaborations I've come across. No doubt in the upper 90th percentile of sweetest beers but I happen to love super sweet brews. The bourbon really plays to it's sweetness well. I'm really happy to have had an opportunity to try this. Highly recommended for fans of big sweet delicious barrel aged imperial stouts.

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Photo of Mikeypnh
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Small mocha ring around the glass, not much of a head. Very black. Smell is nice, although the cherries aren't coming through as much. Chocolate, coffe, bourbon. Taste is super Chocolatey up front. Finishes with slight coffe, bourbon, ad cherry skin. The cherry Isn't very tart, which is good, slightly sweet. It's not bitter and everything comes together very well. Cherry comes through very nice on the after tastes. Medium bodied, not a great deal of carbonation but it's perfect for this. Very smooth, and a great beer. I absolutely love the chocolate cherry aftertaste.

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Photo of Danny1217
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle into a snifter. Shared with a couple of my favorite people.

Pours jet black with basically no head, but what can you expect from such a thick, high ABV beer? Not much lacing either. Giving the appearance a 4 is a stretch, but this thick, black look gets me excited for what I'm about to drink.

The smell has a big punch of bourbon and oak at the front. Lots of vanilla from the oak and some chocolate. Not too much cherries in the smell, but some vaguely fruity smells. Some of the typical roasted flavors from the dark malts. Very complex.

The taste is surprisingly mellow on the bourbon and oak, but it's definitely there. The flavor at the forefront here is the chocolate. It really does taste like biting into a piece of decadent dark chocolate. The cherry is in the background here as well, but is noticeable. Quite sweet (but balanced by the myriad of flavors and intense dark malt character). This is a dessert beer if there ever was one. The body of this beer is intensely thick and carbonation is medium low.

My first experience with barrel aged CCB brews, and an amazing one. One of the best stouts I have ever had and a highly enjoyable experience.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a Peg's snifter.

A: Black and opaque, with a thin tan head that fades rapidly to a foamy ring around the glass. Has some oily lacing on the sides of the glass, and essentially no visible carbonation.

S: Cacao, a moderate boozy bourbon, dark fruits, and vanilla oaky wood.

T: Chocolate, boozy bourbon, dark fruits, a bit of cherry, roasted malts, and wood with the accompanying vanilla tannins. The cherry flavor does increase as the warms, but it's not a big cherry flavor here. Sweet with some bourbon burn in the hang.

M: Thick body, alcohol presence is obvious but it not over-the-top hot, and low carbonation sensation. Sticky, chewy mouthfeel.

O: This was really tasty. A few complaints - it's maybe still a little hot, and while there are nice fruit flavors here, I didn't get a bunch of obvious cherry flavor. And while I'll put a bottle away to see if the booze calms down a bit, I'm concerned the cherry may fall out as well. Still, really really good.

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Photo of SkeeterBoganski
4.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured this one in to a Three Floyds teku.

A - Pours a viscous-looking black with a deep mocha froth at the head that retains on the edge throughout the duration of my consumption. There are tinges of deep cherry, or maybe I'm high.

S - Life is Like...smells like a milk chocolate bomb with obvious notes of bourbon, oak, cherry cordial, and more chocolate/cocoa. Really, this is probably the only element of this beer that lacks...but I can't say I give a fuck.

T - Ooo it's so good. The milk-chocolate cherry sweetness is delectable. Interestingly, with a full-mouth swizzle, the oak kind of shines through...something I didn't really expect. The bourbon is there, but it's kind of muted by the lactose and sugar sweetness going on with the other flavors.

M - I really don't get anyone's comparison to Cherry Rye. Like, they're both bourbon barrel cherry stouts, but they don't really taste similar at all. This one is really oak-y and not nearly as syrupy. The booze is much more muted though. Somehow, the oak lingers throughout the swallow, and manages to make this a more longer-lasting flavor than Cherry Rye. It's got a solid amount of carbonation and a generally cocoa-like consistency.

O - Overall, I'm really happy with this one. When I think of the 15%, I almost laugh. It's extremely hard to discern the booze from the milk/sugar/cherry/chocolate activities going on here. I may sound like a broken record, but I was a little surprised by all the oak notes going on. I wish I had a second...this would be great to cellar for a bit.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I was in Tampa with a co-worker when this beer came out back about eight or nine months ago. I was on my way out if town and wanted to stop by CCB to grab some beers to go and maybe have one in the tap room. They had about three cases of this sitting in the fridge so I decided to get one. Turns out, I was there the day they released it and had no idea this beer was coming out or what it was about. Guess I was in the right place at the right time. I have been holding on to this one to try at a special occasion, but I am tired of waiting.

Pours from the 750ml bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Emerges pitch black and viscous, topped with a one finger sized, dark mocha colored head. Sporadic lacing and the retention is rather nice.

Aroma is bourbon, raw chocolate, and cherries. The cherry aroma lingers in the back, but the cocoa and bourbon are full fledged. Dark fruits also.

Wow. The cherry really returns in the flavor. Kind of reminds me of a cherry cordial, you know, one of those chocolate candies with cherries and rum, or whatever, inside. The kind of candy you love as a kid because it is the only way you can legally get alcohol? That taste always reminds me of Christmas and family reunions at my grandparents house, where we had these candies and my grandpa drank bourbon and ginger ales. The cherry outshines the chocolate but is on par with the bourbon. There is a raw alcohol bite to this that I like: its like they added raw bourbon, rather than the essence of bourbon from a barrel.

Its a sipper for sure, and tastes better as it warms. Full bodied and chewy and wonderful. I guess I can see why this is sought after. Glad I was able to enjoy it. Now, the conclusion of "Innocent" by Scott Turow.

Edit: if this beer is 15% abv, it is supremely hidden. I thought it was around 8 or so. The alcohol is hardly noticeable.

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Photo of Powderhornphil
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split several ways while waiting in line at Darkness Day 2013.

Cigar City Stouts always look great. Black as can be with a silky oily look.

Aroma is baker's chocolate and sweet cherry notes highlighted by a boozy effervescence. Not as bourbon forward as some, but it is very complimentary.

Tastes of bitter dark chocolate and slightly tart cherry interact well together. The beer is very sweet but manages to stay away from cloying, however was glad to share the bottle. Bourbon booze is present but like the nose not particularly dominant. The cherry comes across as very natural, not artificial or medicinal at all.

Full mouthfeel. Medium carb.

Really a treat of a beer.

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Life Is Like... from Cigar City Brewing
4.48 out of 5 based on 621 ratings.
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