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Cigar City / Swamp Head Church on a Hill - Cognac Barrel Aged

Formerly brewed at Cigar City Brewing
Style: Barley Wine
Tampa, Florida USA
Serve in Snifter


on tap


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RATINGS: 85   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.04/5   EST. CALORIES: 390   ABV: 13%
No commercial description

KickInChalice's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 7, 2012
Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip. Barrel aged Church on a Hill pours a nice, deep walnut brown color with a slight ruby tint to the edges. A tan cap recedes to a ring around the edge of the glass after a minute or two. The cognac treatment really ties the aroma together. Toffee, caramel, fig, raisins, and a strong, tight cognac note all come through nicely. Having had a few different bourbon barrel barleywines, the cognac makes a noticeable difference in the nose. Each sip is wonderfully complex. While toffee, caramel, figs, and raisins vie for control with a sweet, boozy, and intense cognac flavor. The progression is such that the sweetness from the base beer comes through first, the cognac comes in second, and the fruit and mild complexities differentiate themselves over the second half of the sip. Each quaff pulls back a little more of the complexity, revealing some vanilla notes, spicy cognac flavor, and a mild nuttiness. The beer finishes smooth. Cognac Church on a Hill has a rich, full, and decadent mouthfeel, with the cognac providing a slightly lighter boozy character than bourbon or whiskey. As I would expect for the style and ABV, the carbonation is creamy and almost crushed under the body of the beer. There is an unavoidable stickiness that comes from a beer of this size and style, but it is not over the top. It is clear that Cigar City knows what they are doing with their barrel aging program. They have created some great beers in the past, and this is an example of them using a more obscure barrel that compliments the base beer well to create wonderful results.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
DSG (10950) - Tel Aviv, ISRAEL - FEB 12, 2016
[1/30/16] Bottle sample at the Encomium bottle share, after RateBeer Best awards ceremony at Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel in Santa Rosa. Thanks everyone who shared bottles! Murky dark brown. Vanilla, coconut, cookies, chocolate, caramel. Sweet, a bit boozy.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Homer321 (3843) - Melboring, Florida, USA - JAN 31, 2016
Bottle at RBWG 2016. Thanks! Nose is a great leathery and grape concoction. Taste is slightly oxidized and papery. Wish it held up

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ferris (10771) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 31, 2016
Bottle- Big boozy sweet raisin notes and toffee. Cloudy brown with a small white head. Sweet, Woody and raisin notes with some barrel. A little old and past its prime but still good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
VsXsV (3814) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - JAN 31, 2016
Bottle. Hazy deep brown liquid with small light tan head. Aroma of raw sugar, Oak, cognac, dried fruit, toffee and caramel. Taste is medium sweet and light bitter with notes of raw sugar, caramel, toffee and port wine. Full bodied with low carbonation. Great stuff.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hallinghansen (2649) - Odense SV, DENMARK - DEC 4, 2015
Bottle @ Bullerup Pubben’s , Re-Opening/Solar eclipse pt. 2. Dark brown body with a small offwhite head. Dark fruit, cognac, oak, herbs, port wine, dark berries, wood, nutty notes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Plovmand (7663) - Helsinge, DENMARK - DEC 4, 2015
Bottle at The Bullerup Pubben reopening/Solar Eclipse pt. 2 tasting. Thanks a million Hopscotch. I guess this my last beer from our trades. Saved for a long time to share with great RB friends. The beer has a deep amber look when poured with a medium to small beige head. The aroma is sweet crackers, sweet malts, cookies, biscuits. All the great things you want in your barley wine. Then added a shit load of wood and dark sugars. The flavour is loads of biscuits, fried nuts and baked pumpkin seeds. Some hoppy notes. Loads of oak and caramel malts. Woody notes. I could go on. Awesome! Thanks Eric!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Dedollewaitor (15325) - Odense, DENMARK - DEC 4, 2015
Bottle @ Bullerup Pubben’s , Re-Opening/Solar eclipse pt. 2. Pours cloudy amber with a small white head. Syrup, wood, dark fruit and wood. Soft and vinous. Delicious and slick. Thanks Plovmand! Well aged!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jtclockwork (13271) - , New Jersey, USA - APR 23, 2015
Bottle. Pours dark brown tan head. Nose/taste of cognac, oak, toffee, dark fruit, nutty malt, light oxidation, caramel - full body.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
vtafro (6057) - Wayne, New Jersey, USA - APR 23, 2015
Bottle. Brown pour with no head. Sweet and barrel aromas. Sweet caramel, dark and sweet malt tones, a touch of cognac and wine.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
djd07 (8231) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAR 4, 2015
Bottle during RBWG Grand Tasting. Pours a cloudy copper brown with small beige head. The aroma is caramel, dark fruits, brown sugar. Medium mouth with similar flavors to nose, alcohol hidden well, very nice.

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