Life Is Like... | Cigar City Brewing

58 Reviews
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
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 621
Photo of homebrew311
4.19/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with some dark brown head which retains very little. Nose starts with considerable amount of tart cherry character which is then joined by notes of leather, cocoa, oak, tobacco, and vanilla. The taste starts with heavy chocolate nots and quickly is taken over by a strong tart whiskey soaked cherries. Th finish is a bit sweet and has a touch of booze. Mouthfeel is thick and luxurious. Overall, a nice dessert beer with huge flavors.

 452 characters

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Jet black like the other CCB stouts. No carbonation whatsoever. Ring around the glass is transparent.

S- Chocolate, booze, cherries, milk chocolate.

T- Milk chocolate followed by booze and cherries. The taste is more muted than what I thought given what it took to get this bottle.

M- Thinner than Zhukov, probably about what BCBS is. Creamy texture.

O- I thought it would be better, but I am glad I got to try it! I know that I still rated it high, but I love many CCB brews and rate them even higher.

**Edit, deeper into the bottle now. This is a delicious brew**

 577 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Last beer of an insane weekend of tasting and reviewing. My cousin Sonny shared yet another great brew. Fully reviewed to notes.

A- Alright, another insanely thick, pitch black motor oil CCB stout. The pour of their big stouts is just a signature at this point. Viscous, oily black with a dark mocha head. The head reaches a finger or so with decent retention. A small ring drops some nice legs and a few spots of lace.

S- Pretty much a fifty fifty blend of stout and the cherries. The cherry feels natural and more flesh pith than in your face, it blends into the dark roast malts quite a bit. Rich roast malts, chocolate, raisins and caramel malt sweetness beyond that.

T- As with the Hunaphus variations and Zhukov's, Cigar City somehow seems to find how to make a thicker and richer stout that has ever existed before. Decadent cocoa powder, heavily roast chocolate malts, raisins, caramel and a large sweetness. And then the cherry, it brings pith and flesh of cherries somehow feeling natural and just earthy. The barrels are a bit subdued but with time the come out more and more. Nice medium toast oak, vanilla and whiskey join the party and create a dessert of a beer.

MF- Chewy and ultra thick bodied. This brew takes on an oily texture that becomes a tiny bit creamy with agitation. Slight cherry tartness and dark bitter cocoa powder lingers on the palate with a moderate alcohol warmth.

Multi-dimensional beast. Cherry and whiskey barrels compliment another insanely large CCB base stout.

 1,506 characters

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.

 769 characters

Photo of PHBoiler
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very well rounded sweet stout. I don't get much from the nose. There are almost red/amber hues around the body of the beer. The bourbon has been well integrated as it really just smooths out the mouthfeel and overall taste. All of the flavors blend well as this is sweet but not cloying. You get hints of chocolate and a dark fruit/sweetness that isn't particularly cherry to me. Overall, it comes together to highlight the base beer, which is impressive.

 455 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours oily black with a creamy brown head that leaves decent lacing throughout. The aroma is loaded with luscious, lightly tangy cherries and thick chocolate that follow up with figs, molasses, malt and vanilla. Those aromatic qualities are then followed up by a sweet flavor with some more chocolate, cherries, malt sugar, and mild alcohol. Full bodied with good carbonation. This is a very good lightly chewy beer that exhibits modest warmth, rich chocolate, ripe cherries - indulgent and decadent, yet still well balanced!

 525 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.41/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 11.20.13

A - Pours a very dark brown with a thin dark brown head that moves to the edges quickly.

S - Bourbon, chocolate, cherry.

T - Nice bourbon, then sweet chocolate covered cherries, very nice.

D - Heavy body with low carbonation.

O - Sweet chocolate covered cherries surrounded with bourbon. Very good beer.

 334 characters

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.

 1,552 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.03/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from the 2013 vintage (though I assume this won't be made again), poured into a Darkness goblet last night, 12/7/2013.

Pours an opaque, abyssal black body, reminds me of Marshal Zhukov really in how oily and viscous this beer pours. Comes with a decent but small brown head that dissipates quickly. No lacing to be seen, a very placid beer.

Smells... well, I don't know what to think of it, really. Its a hodgepodge of bourbon, oak, cocoa, tart cherry aromas and some bitter black coffee. It's honestly not that mind blowing at all; I don't get much sweetness in the nose though that seems to come out a bit more as it warms up.

Flavour-wise, this is a strange puppy. Starts off a bit like a thick, bitter coffee espresso mixed in with some oak and some bitter black chocolate along with a lactose sweetness and perhaps bourbon sweetness. Its a bit medicinal as well. The cherries are in the background, and only add in a bit of flavour as the beer warms up. I mean, the cherries are definitely noticeable but altogether I'm not entirely sure this meshes all that well.

Typical Cigar City stout mouthfeel, nothing more needs to be said. There's just something they do to their stouts to make it so full bodied and creamy and so drinkable.

I'm not sure what the hype really was behind this beer. Its probably because of the bottle's cost and rarity. Its a good beer, don't get me wrong, but I would easily take Cherry Rye over this one.

 1,454 characters

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

 280 characters

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.

 988 characters

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!

 379 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.21/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour at Woodshop 8 held at The Hermosillo in Los Angeles, CA.

Thanks to mrbubbler for sharing this one.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, slight dark fruit, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a nice balance between the base beer and the barrel aged aspect.

 682 characters

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.

 678 characters

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!

 542 characters

Photo of EgadBananas
4.34/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to injuredreserve for sharing!

Pours black as night, with a dark brown head. Aroma wafts of cherries, dark chocolate, roast, coffee, fruits, bourbon and vanilla. Tastes cherry forward, with accompanying bourbon to calm down the sweetness of the cherry and stark dark chocolate. Feel is thick and chewy, rich and full bodied. Drinks great, can't really get the alcohol at all. Great stuff!

 396 characters

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.

 1,171 characters

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.

 1,018 characters

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

thanks to egrace for the share!

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: black bodied beer with medium brown head. drops to a thin ring.

Smell: bakers cocoa. bing cherry. hint of sweet bourbon. wet oak.

Taste: Lots of cocoa. Hint of bourbon sweetness. roasty malt. chicory. cherries and dark chocolates in the finish.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low end of moderate corbonation. Smooth beer. Well hiddden abv.

Overall: This is an awesome take on the Imperial Sweet Stout! CBB really knows how to brew unique barrel aged dark beers!

 540 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle to snifter.

A - Deep ink black with a thin layer of dark mocha brown head that quickly disappeared.

S - Sweet chocolate fudge, bourbon and vanilla notes dominate. Lighter char and roast notes. No cherry coming through at all.

T - Bourbon and vanilla notes up front that immediately give way to a huge chocolate fudge presence. Char and a very light cherry tartness in the finish.

M - Full body. Sludgy/viscous. Light carbonation.

 441 characters

Photo of JReites
3.91/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750mL bottle to a snifter

A: Dark, black coloring with a light tan head that fades quickly into the beer. A nice lacing is noted along the glass after each sip.

S: Strong bourbon smell up front. Not much cherry smell picked up until the beer warms up, and even then it is very light.

T: When the beer is cold/cool there is bourbon up front with a nice chocolate flavor on the back end. Not much cherry initially. As the beer began to warm the cherry started to come out. As the cherry came out the chocolate seemed to die down some. Overall the beer was not too sweet, and the flavors differed as the temperature changed.

M: Not much carbonation noted. This seemed to have a much thinner mouthfeel than was expected. Overall, it was very easy to drink, just seemed a bit thin for the style.

O:Overall, this is a very drinkable barrel aged stout. The end product is very smooth and easy to drink. I felt somewhat underwhelmed with the flavor compared to GI cherry rye, but still an excellent beer and I am happy I was able to snag a bottle to try.

 1,068 characters

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.

 383 characters

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

 578 characters

Photo of jaasen64
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into Treehouse tulip.

A- Pours a pitch black, not a ton of head, still top, not much lacing- just some spots here and there.

S- Perfect balance of bourbon, cherries, slight bourbon that is integrated very well, fairly aromatic.

T- Rich cocoa nibs, cherries dipped in chocolate, slightly boozey bourbon adding a nice sweetness. Very nice balance with a very nice balanced flavor profile, fairly rich.

M- On the heavier side, very drinkable- scary so for 15%, possibly the smoothest 15% stout I've had, nice carbonation for the style.

O- For a 15% stout this beer is pretty much unbeatable. The flavor profiles blend very nicely and while it seems boozey it drinks incredibly easy for 15%. Similar to 110K #6 but without the bourbon, cherries instead of raspberries, and slightly richer with a bit more body to it. Definitely worth checking out.

 869 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.05/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to DocJ007 for sharing this one with who cares.

A - Pours pitch black with a nice one finger tall khaki colored head, dissipating down to a light film, leaving light lace down parts of the glass.

S - Smells of strong bourbon and intense caramel malt sweetness. Cherry, chocolate and vanilla creep in as it warms up. A nice mix, maybe a touch too sweet.

T - Starts off just like the nose with the intense malt sweetness and the strong bourbon burn. Once they die down a bit of the vanilla and chocolate come in with some light hints of cherry coming in toward the end of each sip. Finish is pretty sweet with some mild heat, lingering on the palate long after the finish. I was expecting more cherry in this one, just tastes like a normal bourbon barrel stout.

M - Medium-Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Smooth feel for the most part, goes a touch watery toward the end. Not overly thick like most in the style, that said I think it needs a little more body to help it hold up all those bold flavors.

O - A nice enough stout. It has all of the flavors I look for in a bourbon barrel stout but I was expecting more cherry than I actually got. It just ended up being a regular bourbon barrel stout for the most part which is fine but not really want they were going for with this.

 1,295 characters

firstprev| 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.