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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: 93   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 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
fonefan (43888) - VestJylland, DENMARK - JUL 31, 2016

Bottle 750ml.

[ As Cigar City / Swamp Head Cognac Barrel-aged Church on a Hill ].
Clear medium to dark brown red color with a small to average, frothy - fizzy, fair lacing, mostly diminishing, off-white head. Aroma is moderate to heavy malty, caramel, raisin, vanilla, alcohol - cognac, dried fruit. Flavor is moderate to heavy sweet with a long duration, sweet malt, caramel, cognac, vanilla, wood, raisin, dried fruit. Body is medium, texture is oily, carbonation is soft, finish feel is light alcoholic. [20160624]

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
rouhlas (2760) - GREECE - JUL 14, 2016
750 ml bottle at Gueuze tasting 2016, Ulfborg. Clearcopper red brown color with light beige head. Malty aroma, caramel, bread, dark dried fruits, wood, alcohol. Sweet and light bitter taste like aroma. Medium oily body with soft carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Vestergaard (1696) - Aarhus C, DENMARK - JUN 24, 2016
From Bottle @fonefan gueuze tasting Ulfborg, thanks to fonefan - june 24th 2016. Pours a clear, dark reddish brown with a small, off white head. Aroma has lots of caramel, toasted malts, cognac, overripe fruits; prunes, figs, raisins. Lots of raisins actually, port wine. Taste is sweet, lots of caramel, light vinous acidity. Average carbonation and a full body. Tasty!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bursprak (2500) - Aarhus, DENMARK - JUN 24, 2016
Bottle @ Ulfborg gueze tasting. Burgundy light hazy pour with a tiny head that quickly vanishes. Raisins, caramel, some booze, sweet malts and some barrel character.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Rasmus40 (17532) - Beder, Aarhus, DENMARK - JUN 24, 2016
Bottle @ fonefan tasting. Hazy red brown with an off-white head. Aroma is sweet, malty, caramel, dried fruit and cognac. Flavor is very sweet and rather bitter. Dry and rather bitter finish with lots of warming alcohol. 240616

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MrOrla (2242) - Odense C, DENMARK - JUN 24, 2016
Bottle @ Gueuze tasting 2016 ulfborg. Pours deep brownish hazy with a small tan head. Aroma of malts, caramel, molasses, barrel, red berries/vinous, dried fruits. Taste is rather sweet, dried fruits with loads of mals and caramel. Pretty good !

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 19/20
back (1842) - Holstebro, DENMARK - JUN 24, 2016
Rubinrød. Klar skum hvid Malt vinøs tømmer slik rosin Bitter lidt sød meget Oile blød @f1

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Klimaet (1861) - Aarhus N, DENMARK - JUN 24, 2016
Bottle @ Ulfborg Gueuze Tasting thanks to fonefan. Thank you so much Jan! Pours hazy dark brown with a small offwhite head. Aromas of dark fruits, malt, fudge, butterscotch, vanilla, spice. Taste has a huge raisin and toffee flavour up front following chocolate, spices, vanilla, butterscotch. Damn!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
DSG (11600) - 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 (4208) - 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

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