City Of The Dead
Modern Times Beer

City Of The DeadCity Of The Dead
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Foreign / Export Stout
Ranked #5
Ranked #3,155
4.12 | pDev: 8.25%
Modern Times Beer
California, United States
City Of The DeadCity Of The Dead
Notes: Brewed with house-roasted, bourbon barrel aged coffee.
Reviews: 127 | Ratings: 577 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jjboesen
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It begins with a quick bottle pour; there is a frothy head that shimmers for a moment before it slowly subsides into a filmy crown. The body is darker than a black bear in a cave at night. Very dark. Some minimal lacing abounds. The nose is permeated with plum and candy whiffs. Somewhat heavy on the palate, at first. Take a sip of water. Taste the semi-sweet chocolate notes splashed with rum raisin and a little Concord grape. Nice and lingering sip tells me that this will be a wonderful quaff. Lean body without any flab or residue; a minor crispiness at the conclusion. Review is finished, so now let's get back to it, yet another great brew from those magnificent bastards in San Diego.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Playground in Downtown Santa Ana, CA.

This one was served Frosty The Snowman cold, so Ima have to deal with that. That being said, it’s still speaking to me like the first time I read Hemingway in high school. Yeah, I like dat. It’s a pretty smooth one with nice coffee notes as if Brahms brewed it. I totally expect it to pop more as it warms. But hey, patience is a virtue that sometimes Raul doesn’t have.


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Photo of stevoj
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Safeway in Bend. Near black pour, small bubbly head. Roast grains and coffee on the aroma. Taste adds a bit of chocolate and sweetness, drying bitterness. Nice mouth feel, lingering flavors.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a Modern Times Beer glass

A: Pours dark brown, nearly black, with a frothy cocoa brown head that settles to a firm layer and laces nicely.

S: Roasted malt, lots of bittersweet dark chocolate, bold coffee, a touch of char, earthy, a little spice, dark sugars, and hints of molasses, bourbon, vanilla, and oak.

T: Roasty, dark bittersweet chocolate, coffee, you definitely get a touch of bourbon from the barrel aged beans, a touch of burnt toast, earthy, slight spicy herbal notes, brown sugar, toffee, slightly nutty, a hint of vanilla, and a touch of oak.

M: Full body, moderate carbonation, creamy smooth.

O: Not exactly sure how old this bottle is, found it hiding in my cellar and I can't seem to find a date on it, but it's held up very nicely. Really cool unique beer. You get a little nice barrel character and a wonderful mouthfeel, all wrapped up with a very approachable ABV.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a cellar temp 16 oz can poured into a snifter. The beer pours cola to dark chocolate brown color. A creamy beige head of 2 cm foams up and fades slowly to a sturdy edge layer.
The aroma is all malt on this brew. I get lots of coffee bean and espresso, hints of dark chocolate and a little bit of brown sugar with hints of the toothpick woody note from the barrel. No hops, no booze, also not really any bourbon. Coffee stout it is.
First sip. creamy textured beer with very gentle carbonation almost cask like in feel. Very nice, actually awesome physical traits here.
Flavor is roasted malt and coffee with some dark chocolate notes and again a bit of that oak/toothpick flavor on the finish. I also find some brown sugar sweetness and again no hops nor booze here.
This is a hella drinkable beer!
Im glad to have tried this and enjoyed it, a lot! Very drinkable and malt forward brew. Nice.

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Photo of jakecattleco
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1+ year old bottle into a tulip glass.

L: Pours black with a brown hue, 1+ finger of medium density khaki head with moderate retention and left limited lacing.

S: Nose is boozy and chocolatey. Coffee undertones increase as the beer warms.

T: Follows the nose but with more prominence of the coffee. Chocolate comes across as semi-sweet. Finishes with moderate bitterness that hangs on the palate a bit.

F: Low-medium bodied, medium carbonation, slight tongue tingling from the ABV and carbonation, slick finish.

O: A solid coffee stout, that for my preferences was probably best cellared to let the booze mellow a bit. Won't go out of my way to find another bottle, but would grab again if our paths crossed.

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Photo of hreb
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from 12/2017 served in a chalice. Beer is black, tinged with brown, not terribly thick as it pours, but smells strongly of brewed coffee. The front of the labels says "read the back" but "coffee stout" would have been dead-on so far. First sip provides an initial oakiness not at all present in the aroma. It's rich, but it's not vanilla... Roasted coffee flavors pick up the tail end of my palate and linger there. I can't remember if I've ever had bourbon barrel aged coffee (not beer) before, but it seems to me what this beer picks up is entirely oak barrel flavor, the way wine picks up oak barrel flavor, and not the distinct bourbon flavor of other BB aged brews. The coffee and malt flavors themselves are good, but where this beer really excels is that it's so full flavored and *smooth*. The mouthfeel is just so rich, and without feeling heavy, it feels substantial.

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Photo of thebeers
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Even with a vigorous pour, City of the Dead has a very slow-rising head, but it eventually develops into a half-finger of lush, creamy-looking tan foam on top of a straight-black body. The head lasts the entire pint, leaving relatively little lacing in the form of clingy sheets that slide back down as you drink.

Chocolate malts and a touch of sweetness stand out most in the nose. Maybe a hint of ocean, too, although I may be imagining it.

It has a very interesting, roasty, semi-sweet taste. There are layers of chocolate here. The lightly toasted, almond nuttiness is refined but plays nicely against them. There's a touch of coffee in there, too. Once again, a distant hint of the sea salt comes in as well.

It's medium bodied with a silky feel.

This is a really tasty stout and one of the better beers I've had from Modern Times. I'm enjoying it quite a bit.

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Photo of Smakawhat
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Cascading forming reverse head, classic and very fine nearly nitrous looking in appearance. Creamy soft top, and a khaki to faint light chocolate 3 finger tall top. Body is a dark walnut brown, almost red tinged darkness as well. Excellent looking stout.

Soft milk and creamy coffee on the nose, touches a little bit of vanilla but with a lighter sweetness. A bit of toasty grain even, and excellent but small husky sensing flavors of roast as well.

Pleasant refreshing brew. Milky front palate with a very good sensing thick mouthfeel to go with it. Sharp roast but with soft coffee flavors in the mid palate, and touches of milk and cream. Excellent bitter finish of roast, and flirts with char but goes for more of a crackling sense it seems. There's even a faint hint of almost citrus hop quality as well that gives a little bit of taste in the palate also, and brings out a bit of the fruity nature of the coffee as well.

Great tasting export stout.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On draft at the brewery, 8oz

Black to dark brown, tan colored head. Big coffee aroma, but nicer than normal- fruity, caramel. Taste is more roasty, some dark cocoa. Medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel

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Photo of ovaltine
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rich, dark brown pour, edging toward black, tan head. Char on the nose, dark chocolate, coffee, and some light barrel notes.

The coffee is prominent on the taste, and dark chocolate, stone fruit, and the slightest oak flavor from the barrel. Really nice example of the style, IMHO.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours the expected pitch black with a billowy tan head, good retention. Aroma is just some light roasted malt & coffee, more of a darker vibe. Taste is good - coffee isn't overwhelming but tastes like boutique coffee not like Folgers, etc. The base beer is rather anonymous - inoffensive but lacks depth. Can't say using bourbon barrel aged coffee made a difference but I am not a coffee expert (there certainly isnt any barrel notes to be found). For the price it is a strong go-to if you are jonesing for coffee infused beer.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep, dark black obsidian pour with a caramel colored head of 1 finger.

Aromas of caramel, dark chocolate, coffee, cocoa nibs, spicy tobacco, and permanent markers.

Flavor is green pepper and coffee, to start, but follows through with some dry Nesquik, licorice, black cherry, molasses, tobacco, tin, and a strong presence of those dark chocolate covered raspberry slices! Finish is the dark chocolate raspberry, with some lingering green pepper notes.

Feel is appropriate for the flavor profile, as the astringent coffee could get to be too much if it weren't for the over carbonation. A slightly roasty, dry finish. Zero alcohol astringency.

Overall, a solid imperial stout with a lot going for it. I loved the throwback to the chocolate raspberry stuff. Very cool.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- pours jet black in color with a one-finger creamy khaki head that reduces to a ring around the edge.

S- roasted herbal coffee with mocha cream, roasted malt, cocoa, light char & vanilla

T- taste follows aroma for the most part; earthy coffee with some mocha notes, roasted/charred malt, not really picking up any bourbon notes

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and finish

O- nice roasty stout but having a hard time picking out any bourbon notes

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Photo of DavidR_9
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber bottled 8/17/17 into pub glass.

Tall finger of beige head on top of an opaque black body. This brew looks excellent.
The aroma was sort of a let down - just standard roasty munich, two-row, and dark chocolate malts with hints of roasty coffee - not much more. I think I got to this beer a bit too late having aged just over the 3 month mark.
Flavor is pretty enjoyable and despite the lack of any bourbon character from the coffee beans. I still got lots of coffee character with generous syrupy chocolate and little hints of sweetness. Pretty chewy and medium carbonation, well-balanced mouthfeel.

Too bad I didn't get the bourbon character at all but the coffee and chocolate notes were still there. Next time I/ll try a fresher bottle.

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Photo of Markkus
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a superb brew.
Persistent beige head remains until the last sip. Oak and bourbon notes pair with the smooth roast coffee highlights for a well balanced pair. Smooth finish, light bourbon notes into the aftertaste.

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Photo of Act25
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

At uncorked SFO.
a) Black, with tan head and lots of lace and less retention. Still and opaque, blacker than coffee.
s) roasted coffee with oaky bourbon and vanilla tones. wood and char.
t) Follows smell, but more pleasant - bourbon barrel aged coffee with sambucca and chocolate notes, oak and vanilla that finalize with an acrid, ash, char finale. Complex. Deep.
f) Full body with low carbonation.
o) too much like flavored coffee.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.67/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one was actually a bit of a miss for me. It reviews well, and sounds good, but to me it did not meet any of what I read. It looked good on pour, but there was little on the nose to it. I did not get much coffee or anything for that matter. The taste was pretty blah, lacking the coffee and roasts mentioned. All in all, this one missed the mark in my opinion.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a black color stout with a nice large brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of roasted malt notes with black cholate note and some bourbon notes with floral coffee notes. Taste is a mix of bourbon notes with some black chocolate notes, roasted malt with nice floral coffee notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. Nice level of complexity, balance and good overall drinkability.

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Photo of ksimons
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-a dark brown with a thick layer of tan colored head

S-roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and some light vanilla

T-taste is of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and some light bitterness in the finish. There might be a slight amount of bourbon in the taste but it is very light.

M-very smooth and creamy with moderate carbonation

Overall a very good and interesting beer, not really what I was expecting

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had to read the label like 9 times to make sure I understood this beer. Its not the beer that is aged in bourbon barrels, its the coffee. Check. I guess.

Pours black, 1/2" brown head, small bubbles, decent retention. Aroma wasn't all the coffee or bourbon I had hoped for, but it also wasn't garbage or anything. Just mild and slightly muted. Coffee came out more in the taste, but I was expecting something amazing after having to re-read the label a few times. Seemed more exotic. Usual stuff like roasted malt here. Bourbon? Not feeling or tasting it. Dark fruit bitterness is there. Weird. A little bit boozy and pricey. I dunno, its a good beer, but also sort of a let down after your read about bourbon barrels and coffee.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very nice and fluffy brown and vigorous head that dissipates at a moderate pace. The beer itself is a a very nice looking coffee black with a light and thinnish appearance.

The smell and taste are both pretty good with an extremely good coffee and light chocolate note. The roast is fairly moderate but also has an interesting fruity notes that comes along with it. The bourbon notes are mild and work very well to smooth out the roast coffee notes. It also adds a nice extra something that works really well with the dark notes.

The feel is fantastic. It has a heavy body but an incredibly smooth and creamy body and a bit of acidity that you normally find in coffee.

Overall, this is a pretty solid and good beer worth getting due to the good flavor and smell as well as a fantastic feel.

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Photo of maximum12
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle & the last we absconded with from D.C. over our Memorial Day respite. We had this on tap & loved it, hoping it’s as good out of the glass. Split with my wife.

Black. Fizzy enough to give one pause, both mentally & in the hand that feeds the glass. Smells like fruity coffee, with a backdrop of slight bourbon & timid sweetness.

City of the Dead: fruity. I don’t pretend to understand coffee beans – though I saw lots of cool hillsides covered with them in Puerto Rico years ago – but I presume this is one of the varieties where the fruit is somehow jammed (ha!) into the beans. Bourbon is very light. Coffee comes through as moderate roast & lingering char, soft lactose. Creamy & easy to sip.

Better on tap, but this is no slouch. Good, solid beer.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Growler pour drank night of:
Dark body that is darn near black. Creamy tan head grows to a couple fingers. Once tasting begins, a thick creamy ring provides vides wet splotchy lacing.

Nose has coffee initially, but a barely smoky roasted malt starts to become obvious with warmth. There's a little dark walnut or similar as well.

Taste has a level of sweetness, but really is a nice roasted malt flavor. A thin initial feel brings a light cola aspect. Surprisingly the beer gains some depth and body as it rolls to the back. Little mocha coffee gets in the mix to help at this point. Bitterness is no more than balancing and seems more from the roasted husks than a distinguishing hop.

Truly enjoyable stronger, slightly sweeter, and lighter bodied stout. That's how the style tends to come across to me - similar to a Baltic Porter in flavor. This hit on the criteria quite successfully.

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Photo of marlowe57
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Paydirt in PDX. Dark brown. Small creamy beige head, doesn't last long. Leaves a little nice lacing. Aroma is coffee, chocolate, a little vanilla. The bourbon is very faint. Taste is chocolate milk, coffee, some oak, a little more bourbon. Raisin, plum. Caramel, not strong. Medium mouthfeel, not too syrupy. Very nice, I finished the beer before I finished the review.

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City Of The Dead from Modern Times Beer
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 577 ratings