Life Is Like... | Cigar City Brewing

621 Ratings
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 621
Photo of jhawkvol
4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with almost no head. Smells really nicely of chocolate and bourbon. Typical thick CCB mouthfeel, if ever so slightly thinner and sweeter than their other stouts I've had. I would never guess this is 15% alcohol. The chocolate is there. The barrel character is nicely integrated. I thought the cherry flavor was a little medicinal and overpowering at fridge temp but seemed to come into balance as the beer warmed. At the proper temp, this was an outstanding beer!

 481 characters

Photo of M_chav
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hidden alcohol at 15% is pretty damn amazing, all thick chocolate covered fruit - I was in the minority of the tasting group when I said it was a bit too sweet for me. Probably just a preference thing but this was damn good. Awesome bourbon notes throughout the aromas and taste - definitely one to savor.

 306 characters

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!

 359 characters

Photo of Mangbus
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened at a share a few weeks back. One of the highlights of the night. Still smooth and rich. Hints of sweetness and cherries. Bottle was stored in a beer fridge since being purchased.

 185 characters

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.

 357 characters

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.

 268 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a really really good beer, generously shared, but im not sure it deserves a perfect score. that said, our bottle had maybe a little extra age on it, and therefore had a hint of oldness to it, but it was amazing nevertheless. the cherry part is really really dominant, authentic and sweet, which the chocolate provides some balancing bitterness and the bourbon brings it all together in a sweet vanilla laden finish. had i known it was this strong while i was drinking it, i may have paced myself a little better, which shows how well hidden this 15% abv is. you dont notice it at all. i love the dynamic between the cocoa and the fruit, and although it falls short of the stated goal of replicating biting into a chocolate from the box, i still think the overall project is a highly successful one. i get hints of licorice in the dark grain base, and even a spot of black tea for a moment. if it tasted more like a cherry cordial candy, it might have drank a little slower, but it seemed so much more organic and earthy than an artificial red waxy cherry thing with crappy booze inside. dark chocolate and wood, caramelized sugar and fresh cherry, even cola notes, its just really unique and well done. as a mikkeller fanboy, its cool to try this on another level as well, his collaborations are all so awesome. thanks as always to drlovemd87 for unearthing this rarity for our pleasure!!!

 1,389 characters

Photo of AndyEdgar
3.87/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Kind of disappointed. Got olive juice and briney notes out of this. Not sure on how it was stored, so would like to try another to see if it lives up to the hype on the second go-round

 186 characters

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.

 352 characters

Photo of d5001986
4.37/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into Darkness Goblet.
Enjoyed for my 29th birthday.

Pours a rich inky black with small mocha head. I don't get a lot on the nose, booze and a little cherry. Flavor is very rich but balanced. Smokey and chocolatey, with the cherry and bourbon on the more subtle side. This is a 'sweet' stout, but it's not disgustingly sweet as many tend to be. I'm actually amazed at how this drinks, it goes down far too easy for a 15% abv. Body is heavy and a little sticky, about as smooth as a beer can get. Overall meets the hype and a privelage to enjoy.

 566 characters

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.

 296 characters

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.

 260 characters

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.

 558 characters

Photo of Jeffo
4.34/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this one from 7clutch in a recent box, as well as one from hotpipes a while back. Dboon also tried to hook me up but it busted in transit. Of all the beers to bust in transit… Cheers everyone!

From a 750 into a snifter
Collaboration with Mikkeller
Imperial sweet stout brewed with cherries and cacao nibs and aged in bourbon barrels

APPEARANCE: Pours out sludgy black but not quite as black as some others they’ve done. Still, this is completely menacing. Yields a one finger, medium looking, slightly fizzy, tan head that quickly fades to a swirly wisp and ring. Head is not as dark as some of their other brews, but still darker than 90% of others in the style. Head could use a little more staying power as well. Jet black body with no carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass. Blacker, thicker and more menacing than the vast majority of its competition, but not one-hundred percent up to CCB standards.

SMELL: Dark cherries, pure dark chocolate, bourbon, oak, sweet wood, vanilla and sweet cream on the nose. This is very bold and enticing. The cacao works really nicely with the fruit and barrels, with a bit of roasted malt and roasted coffee underneath. Wonderfully wicked. Lives up to the billing here.

TASTE: Big flavors and rather boozy as well, but that’s to be expected given the 15% abv. Cherries initially for sure, with bourbon, oak, some sweet dark fruits and alcohol at the swallow. Big and lingering finish of more cherries, bourbon, sweet wood, vanilla and sweet cream, hints of coconut show up eventually and some pure dark chocolate adds a touch of bitterness. A good dose of alcohol contributes a bit of warming spices as well. This is very flavorful and complex, with the cherries certainly taking a leading role here. The chocolate is a bit outdone by the sweet cherries and barrels though, which is a little off-balance perhaps. Not quite as wonderful as the nose had shown; still, this is a decadent brew all around.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Not overly creamy per se, a bit prickly on the palate and a touch lighter than hoped, goes down fine with a bit of a burn at the swallow and finishes rather sticky and silky. Some heat lingers on the palate. Good, but not as big, thick, creamy and menacing as some of the others in their repertoire.

OVERALL: This is a standup brew for sure. It’s big, bold, complex, interesting, and very enjoyable. That said, while it is certainly a delight for the senses, it is unfortunately a small step down from their usual stout brilliance. It’s a touch lighter in color, which, since it’s still more brutal than 90% of its competitors, is a minor issue, and the feel is not as thick and heavy as other stout beer they’ve done in the past. Moreover, the cherries outplay the chocolate and barrel flavors just a touch, and it is a couple % higher than it really needs to be. Nevertheless, this is another fantastic stout by CCB and I understand why so many people would love to give this a try. The label says this is an attempt at re-creating the sensation of biting into a chocolate covered cherry candy, and I think they’ve done a very good job. I’m certainly glad I finally got the chance to drink some of this beauty as well. Thanks again for the bottles guys. Much appreciated.

EDIT: Tried another one of these on 22 December 2015 and it was great. The heat has really died off and the flavors have melded really well. Definitely a beauty.

 3,502 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.44/5  rDev -0.9%

Reviewed from notes. 750ml bottle shared by Richard - thanks.

A: Pours black and nearly still with a few bubbles struggling to the surface and racing to the rim without a trace of lace.

N: Dark cherries, vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate/cocoa.

T: Yeah, you dip the cherries in the bourbon and wrap it up in a layer of dark chocolate.

M: Moderate body and very light carbonation. Finishes decadently smooth, thick, luscious.

O: Deeply satisfying, hidden ABV but it is there nonetheless. Prepare to dream dreams.

 515 characters

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.

 813 characters

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.

 1,181 characters

Photo of pmarlowe
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Tulip glass.

A: Pours black, thinnish, with a smattering of dark brown head which fizzles out to a ring almost immediately.

S: Dark melted chocolate and a bit of dark cherry, with pretty big but well integrated oak providing structure. Just a touch of roast in the background. Overall, very nice, like chocolate-covered cherries.

T: The roast is surprisingly prominent relative to the nose, but the dark velvety chocolate/cocoa and bright/slightly twangy cherries cut through and dominate. A bit of char, but barrel is basically absent. Wow, this is sweet. Like Southern Tier level, but a much thinner body.

M: Medium-light body—kind of thin but round and silky—and lightish carbonation. Alcohol is completely hidden, a nice feat at 15% (!?).

O: Flavors are nice, and the lightish body aids in drinkability. This is decidedly on the sweet side, probably best in digestif-sized portions for dessert, but which limits the overall drinkability. The barrel treatment is on the light side as well.

 1,003 characters

Photo of doremite
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Tasted like the piece of chocolate from the holiday box with a cherry center. Not necessarily my cup of tea but uncanny how similar the flavor is and in general how much flavor this beer brings.

 194 characters

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.

 1,853 characters

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.

 699 characters

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.

 574 characters

Photo of standDEFIANT
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sweet cherry smell, black appearance with light brown head. Smooth and sweet taste with a delayed bourbon flavored kick. I love this beer just wish the cherry flavor came through a little more to balance the bourbon, definitely worth trying, any cigar city is worth a try.

 272 characters

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.11/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice brew, a good depth to it for a sweet stout.

Pours a jet black with a tan head and no lacing. Pretty solid look. The smell starts off with a heavy whisp bourbon and barrel, but then another sniff opens up to the cocoa, a nice unexpected smokiness, roast, vanilla, and malt.

The taste follows suit with notes of sweet espresso, lactose sugar, acrid cherry, cocoa, a bit of oak, and again a slight smokiness. Nice refined balance to it all....feel is decent but sort of thin mouthfeel, less burn than I expected.

A good but not great beer, it's not super notable but very solid.

 588 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to fourbetter for this bottle, rec'd in a meth-style furtive hand-off in a cold Wells Fargo parking lot. 750ML bottle that makes me a bit perky just looking at it.

Poured expertly by my little one, this is La Brea Tar Pits black. Little if any evident carbonation. Nose is big Belgian chocolate, vanilla & bourbon, sweet malts. Don't pick up any of the cherries, but I'm sure they're only a taste away.

If Like is Like a Cigar City stout, sign me up for a couple more go-rounds, & I'll skip my snail & cow phases. Nothing comes to the fore: I can taste everything & it's all in beautiful balance, a word I normally despite. The bourbon barrels are luscious, drying, lending vanilla & an alcohol sucker punch. Sweet malts lend the beer that trademark CC stout thickness, like 7% of the liquid stays behind from each sip to coat everything it touches (are my teeth black?). Chocolate in the nose is less distinct in the taste, but twined with a stronger cherry zing. A beer where the lack of bubbles doesn't hurt it at all: I could drink this out of a fishbowl. Please?

I expected this to be excellent & I am not disappoint. This kicks very shapely ass, & it's within a gentle lick of being a top-shelf brew.

 1,219 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Life Is Like... from Cigar City Brewing
4.48 out of 5 based on 621 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.