hopscotch (8783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 12, 2008
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 8, 2009 Re-rate... Bottle... This beer rocks!... Pitch black with a small, creamy, well-tanned head. Decent retention. The aroma is a strange and wonderful blend of blackstrap molasses, black and white pepper, brick tobacco, dark chocolate and a whisper of espresso. The flavor is well-balanced and woody/peppery, in addition to most of the same essences the nose provided. I love American white oak, French oak and just about every other type of wood aging, but humidor cedar is really doing it for me more right now than just about anything else. To me, it doesn’t add any acidity, acedity or unnescessary bugs. Just a wholesome, earthy, peppery aroma and flavor. I have the incredible urge to pop open the humidor and pull out a Hoyo De Tradicion corona at 11:31 PM at night in December. Gotta go outside to smoke it in mid December though. Oh, wait, I live in south Florida. No problemo. ***** Original Rating was 4.2*****Bottle… RBSG 08… This beer rocks!… Pours pitch black with little to no head. The aroma offers rich caramel, dark chocolate and tobacco with suggestions of butterscotch and praline. Full-bodied with a velvety mouthfeel and laid-back carbonation. Woodsy, well-balanced flavor. Heavy sweetness is countered by burnt, black malts, espresso notes and acrid hop bitterness. Alcohol is not obvious. Lengthy, charred, chocolaty finish. Another world class effort by Cigar City.
markwise (4424) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - DEC 7, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Wow. What a beer. Pours dark cola brown and leaves nice yellow lace when swirled. Aroma is coffee, bourbon, some wood and smoke, with a nice complexity. Flavor is same. I swirl it around and look for all of the flavors. She has lots of secrets to divulge, if you spend some time.
argo0 (11317) - Washington DC, USA - NOV 30, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAR 11, 2012 75cl bottle, thanks GT2. Minimal brown head atop black body, brown edge. Aroma is moderately sweet, cedar, bittersweet chocolate/cocoa, some roast, light alcohol. Taste is moderately sweet, bittersweet chocolate, some roast, caramel, light ash. Sticky medium-full body. 8/3/8/4/16.
(bottle, thanks Retorp) Minimal brown head atop black body with brown edging. Aroma is moderately sweet, caramel, chocolate, some roast/smoke, light wood. Taste is moderately sweet, chocolate, some wood, smoke. 8/3/8/4/16.
afterglow (1047) - Florida, USA - NOV 20, 2008
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours black with a two finger mocha head that leaves great lacing. Aroma of roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, and just a hint of cedar. The taste is the same as aroma but more prominent with dark roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, and dark fruit really coming through and just a touch of cedar in the finish. Full mouthfeel with a moderate amount of bitterness and very well hidden alcohol. This is the best Imperial Stout to have ever come out of Florida. I’m glad to a resident of Tampa cause whenever this beer comes out I’m going to buy as much as I can. A damn fine brew.
Ibrew2or3 (6767) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - NOV 1, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 11, 2009 Huge thanks to CCB for letting us lush our way through multiple glasses of this wonderful brew. It pours deep dark chocolate with dark brown edges and wispy mocha head. Looks impressive and hinting at the yummy goodness to come. The aroma isn’t pungent but more moderate in strength conveying adequate notes of rich roasty malts mixing with an inviting level of rich smelling dark chocolate and a mild background of toastiness. The taste starts with a rich creamy full mouth feel ushering in velvety dark chocolate, some roasted malts to burnt malts and yummy sweet, and yes creamy, caramel candy. I love that ribbon of caramel that persists throughout the flavor experience. Wow, awesome flavor. But wait, there’s more. As the finish approaches a very complimentary toasted multi grain bread stirs up and blends into a mild roasted cedar wood confluence of notes. This is just a fabulous brew and tells me a dark chocolate, caramel candy and roasted wood mix of notes can come together in near perfect flavor harmony. The only tiny knock I can give this brew would be that it could use a slightly fuller aroma. But that is getting picky.
The commercial batch lacks the added caramel candy goodness from the pilot batch. For me this takes away from the experience and it is no longer a 4.7 score but rather a tasty 4.2.