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RATINGS: 375   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.7   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
What you have here is an Imperial Dark Rye Ale. Isnít that a lot to be going on in just one beer? Well yes, it is. But that is the point. Layers. Flavor elements building on and playing off of preceding elements, like a building wave; a growing crescendum of taste bud temptation; a wall of sound expressed through flavor and channeled toward your mouth. This beer isnít for everyone. In many ways it is more than just a little weird. It certainly doesnít fit easily into any category. In the spirit of all great things that are conceived in the moment, but perfected through passionate repetition it started life as an improvisation and grew from there. And it might not be for you. But if the thought of big spicy rye notes, a wallop of a hop punch, multitudinous layers of caramel, sweet malt and a respectable balancing gravity sound intriguing then you might want to wing it and give Improv a try.


3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - AUG 29, 2009
750mL bottle courtesy of jdubfl poured into a tulip. Pours dark, dark mahogany out of the bottle and sits almost black in the glass with a big creamy tan head that shows great retention, sticking the sides of the glass all the way down. Not exactly sure how to compare this to a typical IPA... The aroma has an initial citrus hop aroma with mostly juicy oranges and pineapples. Lots of dark roasted malts and some chocolate as well. Faint rye spiciness in the nose though Iím not sure I wouldíve picked it out without knowing it was there. There are tons of things going on the taste and it all seems to come together well. Plenty of citrus hops up front which almost immediately give way to the big dark chocolate malts. The finish is an interesting mix of hop bitterness, rye spiciness and maybe a hint of wood and/or tobacco. The mouthfeel is velvety smooth due to the oatmeal and rye but also prickly with the hops. Full bodied with plenty of carbonation. Another interesting and complex beer from Cigar City. The hops are present but the velvety mouthfeel and balanced taste with bitterness and dark malts are what set this one apart. Good stuff.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
GT2 (8284) - San Diego County, California, USA - AUG 26, 2009
UPDATED: AUG 27, 2009 750 mL. Wow this is awesome! Pours a deep, clear ruby with a beautiful, two-finger Bolita-style bright tan head that has excellent retention and leaves incredible lacing. Aroma is- what- that of a DIPA: tons of grapefruit hops, honey, caramel, slight roastiness and mocha. Taste is effervescent and bubbly upfront with a big wallop of grapefruit hops and pine resin followed by rye malt, roasted nuts, bitter chocolate, fresh Dunkiní Donuts coffee. Creamy palate. This could be the fresh dark DIPA. Awesome!

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
daknole (8950) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - AUG 24, 2009
Bottle from Knightly Spirits. Pours a brown color with a tan head. Aroma is full of hops, caramel malt, rye notes, nuts and again more hops. Flavor is good but I kind of felt like the rye and hops didnít quite go together like I would have liked. They seem to battle each other a bit. Still a very nice beer, but I think this might be my least favorite CCB to date.

4.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
redlight (2316) - Orlando, Florida, USA - AUG 21, 2009
750 ml bottle @ redlight redlight. Hops on the nose, spicy pine with traces of citrus and big caramel notes on the nose. Pours dark amber brown with a thick tan head. Oh man, the mouthfeel is great, thick silky, chewy beer, with a pronounced hop flavor upfront, piney, big caramel flavor with hints of chocolate and vanilla, thereís a lot going on in this beer, then thereís a nice spiciness in the finish.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
puzzl (3249) - New York, New York, USA - AUG 21, 2009
Bottle from RattleíníHum. This one didnít really work for me. It felt a bit like a Stone beer where, even though they came up with a great idea and have good execution, they just went a bit overboard with the ingredients, where it seems they feel if a beer is not at least 8% and is not aggressively hopped it will not be any good. This is also a Three Floyds/Lagunitas/Sixpoint problem as well, and IMO it really bogs down a lot of brewers that would otherwise have really top notch offerings. Everything starts tasting the same, I guess. Iíve only had four of CCBs brews now but it seems to be the general case; I still look forward to trying more though, especially the cedar and fruit stuff.

Anyway, on to the beer, this one is quite fusels, with some white vinegar notes and a bit of spice. Thickish, evergreen body, kind of rye spicy but rather generic in the way that everything has been mushed together. This pretty much defines American Strong Ale.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
gtreid (3) - Parrish, Florida, USA - AUG 20, 2009 does not count
Another one that holds a special place for me, helped botle this one 2 weeks ago. 750 ml bottle poured into a tulip. A: Deep, rich, caramel, brown color. The pour produces one full finger of tan head that leaves some spotty lace. A: Very hoppy, I think Iím getting simcoe. Also very prominent are the roasty and chocolate malts. This is a very complex nose. T: This is definately a hop forward beer. The hops really shiine at first, then give way to the plethera of malts. Everything from chocolate to nutty, and coffee to caramel. Extrodinarily complex for this style. M: Good amount of carbonation, and thick feel for this medium to full body beer. D and overall impression: Drinkability is above average, but not as good as some of the other CCB offerings. The complexity of it really does a number on the palate. Overall, this is one tasty beer. I donít know if it is quite an IPA, donít know if itís quite a brown. Just a happy mix of the two. Get it, drink it, enjoy it. Skal.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
railcat1 (685) - Hammond, Indiana, USA - AUG 19, 2009
Bottle from Knightly in Orlando,This poured a dark brown with a nice thick tan head,taste was roasted malts and woody caramel with a smooth finish,as it warmed the alcohol became more present and so did the rye and smoke flavors with some chocolate,overall a very enjoyable product from the guys in Tampa.CHEERS!!!!!!&#

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
gkost (1710) - Tampa, Florida, USA - JUN 7, 2009
UPDATED: AUG 28, 2009 Re-rate. 750 Bottle. Pours deep red/brown with a huge frothy tan head. Nose is citrus hops, tangerine, bitter lemon peels, rich roast malt, spicy rye, oatmeal, loads of floral hops. Flavor is a spicy, hoppy, oaty, concoction with a HUGE mouthfeel. Nice hop bitterness in the backend. Very unique beer.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
cmillward (497) - San Francisco, California, USA - APR 27, 2009
Draft @ OTH, CCB launch party. This is my jam. Canít wait for bottles of this. Pours a dark brown, tan head, fuzzy with some lacing. Resiny pine hops, a touch smokey, lots of spicy rye backed up with caramel, chocolate malt complexity. Smooth, creamy lush in the mouth, a nice hop bitterness in the finish. All the elements work together so well, a beguiling complexity.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
JMFG (1587) - Florida, USA - APR 5, 2009
On draft @ Oldsmar Tap House. Pours a ruddy brown color with a thick, tight off-white head. Nice sharp piney hop aroma with dark roasted malt notes that are well balanced with the hops. The palate has the creaminess that makes me loves rye beers. The taste starts with a resinous kick but backs away for a grainy tobacco-like flavor. This one stood out at the launch party.


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