The Last Spike | Cigar City Brewing

18 Reviews
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The Last SpikeThe Last Spike

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: California Common / Steam Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by shand on 08-27-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 102
Photo of kylehay2004
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

single finger thick off white head with good lacing on a hazy copper body. Aroma of biscuit, caramel malts, chardonnay, spruce and syrup. Flavors include more bready and biscuit malts, candied orange, earthy hops, wood and pine resin. medium body and moderate carbonation. This almost tastes like an underflavored and less boozy barleywine. IIts a little strange. Not a bad beer, worth trying just wouldnt be something I would look to have again.

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Photo of nickfl
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Small head of white foam on a amber body. Lots of caramel and toffee in the aroma with a bit of spicy hop character. Caramel and more floral hop character. Finishes with light hop character, some dense toffee and a fairly thick body. Kind of mediocre, the hop character is musty and bland and the malt is a bit cloying,

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Photo of mactrail
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a coppery amber in the tall Maredsous glass with an average head but loads of lacing. Aroma of french toast and fresh mango. Sprightly on the tongue with a medium body. Interesting fruity flavors along with the tasted I wish I could describe better-- cedar and blackberries?

The toasty flavor is distinct and really adds to the style. Winey mouthfeel with a sharp, tannic sensation and some woodiness. Some sweet malt and a hint of burnt sugar. The bitterness is moderate and leaves just the right burn. For the record, hops are Northern Brewer, Chinook, and Pacific Jade. I like the alcohol strength here. For once, it seems appropriate to be on the strong side with plenty of flavors to support it.

This is one of the most tasty and drinkable beers I've had this year, in any category. Anchor should taste this one. From the 750 ml capped (thank you!) bottle purchased at Olive Tree Market in Ocean Beach.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Dark amber. Big off white head. Leggy for an IPA. Wispy surface.

Smell - Grapefruit hops. Deep caramel. Almost a bit of chocolate.

Taste - Grapefruit hop again. Piney flavor follows. Bitter hop builds up. The caramel hop is not as sweet as I expected, but rich. Drops off in the very end.

Mouthfeel - Medium-high carbonation. Feels heavier than it really is.

Overall - Just doesn't elevate itself above the masses.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from MeadMe, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a brilliantly clear deep reddish brown with a good sized creamy off white head that shows moderate retention and lace. Smell of caramel and brown bread with a woody spicy minty hoppy aroma. The flavor is moderate brown sugary maltiness with a bit of woody earthy minty hop flavor. low to moderate hop bitterness. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet slick mouthfeel. Decent brew, flavorful, but a bit on the dull side. I'd like a bit more hop all around, but I had no problem imbibing of this one.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a medium copper amber with a fine two finger white head with good retention and lots of lacing. Constant carbonation and looks nice. Aroma of sweet caramel and biscuit malt, toffee and mild grassy hops. Flavor is malt forward; biscuit and bready malt, light grassy hops, grain. Finishes with a quite dry, lightlly toasty malt and almost tannic dry bitterness. Medium bodied with nice peppery carbonation. An off-beat take on a California common, perhaps maltier than normal; the finish is more astringent than herbal bitterness. I like the malt bill, but the finish is a bit off. Still enjoyable and interesting.

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Photo of jbaker67
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brilliantly clear deep reddish brown with a good sized creamy off white head that shows moderate retention and lace. Smell of caramel and brown bread with a woody spicy minty hoppy aroma. The flavor is moderate brown sugary maltiness with a bit of woody earthy minty hop flavor. low to moderate hop bitterness. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet slick mouthfeel.

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle into a teku glass.

dark red in color with a mild head. attractive pour. smell is much more malt forward. bready malts dominate the taste. slight bit of hops but really its a malt bomb. the body is also very mild. its decent.

overall not a favorite but not bad either. an okay beer.

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Photo of maximum12
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another bottle from my FL-based man-crush, moose3285, among a warehouse full that just arrived for no particular reason. That's not a bad way to start a Saturday. 22 oz. bomber split with my wife.

The pour is IPA orange, middling clear, middling carbonation. Nose doesn't come on strong, but is a touch hoppy, sweet, even a bit of mint (?) in there. Faint. Or weak. Choose your semantics.

The Last Spike plows up a new field of wierd. Stinging-sharp tannic notes up front & strong mouthfull of lager year (yager?) from the backdrop, & right behind is a strong dose of citrus hops that drag along a nice bittering in the middle. Swerves into graininess with a side of sweet malts, but the bitterness kicks in to dominate the end. odd that I'm sipping constantly to tease out what comes next.

I can honestly say I've never had a beer like this, & that's appealing in & of itself (& bonus for being good). This is Cigar City at its best, ignoring the rules to make something wacky. A very good beer.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Gainesville HOB on 9/7/13. Pours a dark amber with small white head. Aroma is mostly malt with dead smelling hops. Flavor falls flat with basic malt, some pine flavor maybe? There is barely anything going on here and it reminds me more of a mild ale or poorly done ESB. Update: I see now that this is a spin on California Common when reading the small print. Now this makes more sense. If so, then don’t put "IPA" on the freaking bottle. If you are looking for an IPA, go elsewhere. as far as a Cali Common goes, this is not bad. Seems drinkable but I have no interest in a full 750 of this. Not much choice at the bar. Guess I should have read the full description in small print.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a Russian River pint glass.

A: A clear bronze pour, with a couple fingers of white head and a good amount of visible carbonation.

S: Biscuit malts, lager yeastiness and mild grassy hops. Overall impression is quite malt-forward. It smells more like a California Common than an IPA for sure.

T: Follows the nose. Quite malt forward with grassy and citrus hops in the background. Lager yeast flavors, but essentially no sulfurous qualities. A light hop bitterness lingers after the swallow.

M: A bit heavy-bodied for the style. Alcohol flavors are noticeable but don't dominate. Carbonation sensation a bit low.

O: Nothing offensive here, but it just isn't an exciting beer at all. Glad I tried it once, but there won't likely be a second go round.

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Photo of babaracas
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with one finger thick cream colored head, settles slowly into a thin ring with a few fingers of lace on the glass. Smell: pine, citrus peel, woodsy, milk caramel, slight apricot. Taste: pineapple, peach, caramel, citrus peel in the finish. Creamy feel with residual sugars cut by prickly carbonation, bitterness and little booze note. This is essentially an IPA right? Doesn't matter either way, tasty beer.

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Photo of shand
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Last Spike is an interesting amped up version of a California Common. The distinct toasty and slightly grainy malts that are the hallmark of a California Common are out in full-force, but backed up with a pretty big hop kick that doesn't overpower the malts, but is given plenty of room to shine. The Last Spike is a tasty east-meets-west collaboration.

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Photo of mverity
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The color to this beer was perfect for a CA Common/Steam; a nice deep amber/red with a nice tan head. Head didn't retain very long and the lacing was fairly good; however, the edges of the glass had a constant supply of bubbles that when the sun hit them sparkled an array colors (pretty cool). Aroma was muted hops and muted caramel sweetness and not much else. Taste was pretty good; think Anchor Steam mixed with Stone Levitation. Mouthfeel was crisp and light considering the style which made it refreshing for the pool side atmosphere. Enjoyable brew, but even at $6.99 I probably wouldn't give it another try.

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Photo of taylor714914
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eh, Nothing to write home about here.

Pours a dark orange color with a finger of off-white head.

Smells of spicy and sweet notes from hops and malts, along with some interesting mint/wood like character in the middle.

Taste follows the smell. Sadly, it was a drain pour. There is something drastically off about this. The flavors don't mesh.

Mouthfeel was a bit oily.

I love me some CCB, but this was not one of those.

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Photo of 4thelvofbeer
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Opened a 750ml bottle on 01 Oct, 2013, thanks to beernads (Hunter) for the trade! Not sure why this beer has a lower rating, but this was a nice all around IPA. Amber in color and not as hoppy as thr bigger IPAs, but very smooth and very nice. Had a lot of nice flavors going on here. I think a score in the low 80s does not serve this beer justice!

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Photo of Vec2267
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - copper, clear, lots of bubbles, frothy head, great lacing

S - very aromatic, mostly spruce

T - bitter, piney hops dominate, the toasty malts provide a mellow background

M - well carbonated, richness from the malts

O - hardly my favorite style, but this is well executed, the hop bitterness dominates but there is plenty of malt balance, a very flavorful brew

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Photo of joshbhs04
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Amber/Bronzish appearance, A nice foamy white head.

S- Roasty biscuit malts, a very lil of hop aroma, pinish.

T- Kinda get some booze in this, not much. Def malty with a nice bitterness.

M- A lil hot and heavier than I expected. Good carbonation.

O-Glad I got a few more, I was having issues really placing this one. Its an interesting concept and cant wait to try it again.

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The Last Spike from Cigar City Brewing
3.68 out of 5 based on 102 ratings.
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