Archive for the ‘Cigar City Brewing’ Category

I remember when it was difficult to find Cigar City in the area. Now that I’m spoiled because we get distribution, I found this beer hanging out on the shelf. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 5.5%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Traditional throughout Latin America, the guayabera shirt combines style, functionality, form and tradition in it’s four-pocketed design. We at Cigar City feel the same reverence and appreciation for the guayabera that we do for the Citra hop varietal, an ingredient that imparts notes of tangerine, lime and berries to this traditional American Pale Ale. The exclusive use of Citra hops in this beer creates a flavor that’s at once unique and recognizable, while it’s dry, crisp character and moderate alcohol make it as refreshing and functional as a crisp linen guayabera.”

Random: This is a regular release from Cigar City.

The beer poured with a two finger, cream-colored head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left a small crown on top of the cloudy, orange body. There was only some carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of citrus, specifically pomelo, grapefruit and Mandarin orange. The taste was more of the same. It had a huge amount of citrus with orange, pomelo and lemon. It also had a touch of tropical flavor with pineapple. The body was on the lighter side with lots of carbonation. The finish was quick with citrus. This was $6 per can, which came to $.17 per ounce. I thought this was an easy drinker that I would have again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0


Tonight’s selection is a beer that I’ve been waiting years to try. Since Philadelphia gets Cigar City distribution, it made sense that they finally got this beer. When I saw it as a selection at the bar, I knew I had to review it.


ABV: 7.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A truly unique India Pale Ale, this iteration of our Jai Alai IPA boasts the addition of white oak spirals to impart sleek notes of vanilla, coconut and a touch of dill to Jai Alai’s bold citrus and caramel character. The oak also serves to temper the bitterness in the 70 IBU base beer while oak tannins elegantly dry the beer’s body to create a unique drinking experience that still remains true to Jai Alai’s unique qualities.”

Random: I got an entire collection of hot sauce for Christmas. I should be stocked up for at least another six months.

The brew poured with half a finger of pure white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was slight hazy and bright orange in color. It had a lot of carbonation visible. The nose started with warm vanilla, oak and piney hops. There was toasted wood as well. The taste started with a lot of cedar and oak up front with vanilla. It quickly transitioned into pine sap and hops. There was some malt at the end of the sip that provided some sweetness. The body was on the heavier side and oily with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with oak and vanilla. This beer was outstanding and perfectly integrated the wood with the IPA. I highly recommend this one.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

One of the things about the craft beer scene that I think is very cool is the expansion of beer bus tours. I haven’t taken one (yet), but in Maine, it was a huge thing and also keeps people safe since they don’t have to drive.


ABV: 5%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A blueberry wheat ale brewed with real blueberries to give it a natural deep purple color. We use Pacific Gem hops for optimal balance.”

Random: I love the “Old School” reference.

This beer poured with a huge, four finger, orange-tinged head. It wasn’t all that thick and after I took the picture, dissipated rather quickly and didn’t leave much lacing behind. The body was a cloudy orange with some carbonation visible. The nose had notes of blueberries, but wasn’t overly sweet. Wheat was there as well, along with lemon zest and light malt. The taste was quite good. It started with tart blueberries and went into the lemon zest note that was evident in the nose. The wheat came through at the end and wasn’t the dominant flavor. I fully expected this beer to be a sweet berry bomb, but I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t. The body was thin with high carbonation, which was completely appropriate for the style. The finish was tart and fruity. I enjoyed this beer a lot. This would make for a great summer sipper and at $2.50 a can ($.21 per ounce), totally affordable. This could be my favorite of the Brew Bus series so far and one of my favorite blueberry beers. You can tell that they use actual blueberries as opposed to extract.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Val ordered this cider when we had lunch. I knew that Cigar City started making ciders and meads, but this was the first time that I saw them on a taplist.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the cidery website, “Whether you’re a mead of cider enthusiast already or looking to expand you palette beyond beer, we want to offer our customers a diverse selection of ciders and meads brewed with Florida grown ingredients and always 100% natural in the heart of historic Ybor City. Cigar City Cider & Mead opened its doors in late 2014. Since then we have produced countless cider and meads, with most of our offerings exclusive to our tasting room. We recently started canning our Hard Cider and look to expand our canned and bottled lineup soon.”

Random: Their taproom only selections sound really good. I’m not the biggest fan of Florida, but this would make a visit worth it.

The cider poured with less than half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was crystal clear and straw-yellow in color with a lot of carbonation. The nose was nice. It had fresh apples, if I had to guess, I would say Honeycrisp apples and a mild sweet note from honey. The taste had some sweetness from the honey that was apparent in the nose, but finished the sip on the drier side. There was a light yeast characteristic to it, but the star in this cider was the apples and how fresh they tasted. It had a thin body with soda-like carbonation. The finish was quick with apple juice. I liked this cider. Yes, it was simple, but it was easy to drink and very approachable. I would have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

I absolutely hate getting sick. I’m a crappy patient and I refuse to call out of work for being sick. I also can’t review any beer. This really shouldn’t have any visible effect as I post in advance, but it just generally sucks. I’ve been battling this nasty cold/flu thing for 4 days now and I have a fever and congestion and I’ve been coughing like crazy. I can’t wait to feel better because this is just bad. I’ve been taking NyQuil at night and that stuff makes me have the weirdest, most vivid dreams and I wake up feeling hung over. Anyways, let’s talk about this beer.


ABV: 5%

Style: Irish Red Ale

Trivia: “According to the brewery website, “An Irish style red ale, deep amber in color with a forward caramel flavor and hints of chocolate. English hops lend an herbal bitterness for balance.”

Random: This won bronze two years in a row (2014 and 2015) in Best Florida Beer Competition.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated almost instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a slightly cloudy, mahogany color with moderate carbonation. The nose had sweet, caramel malt with a touch of peat. Toffee was present as well. The taste had a lot of sweet malt, then herbal tea. It had caramel and toffee with brown sugar. The body was thick for the style with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with lots of sweetness, specifically toffee and caramel. This was $2.08 for the can, which came to $.17 per ounce. This was a drinkable beer, but nothing outstanding. I wouldn’t rush to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Happy Halloween everyone! I’m not a big fan of the holiday. Normally, I’m stuck at work until late and we used to live in an apartment complex that didn’t have many kids. This is our first Halloween in the house and there seems to be a lot of kids in the neighborhood, so I assume we will get a decent turnout. The cats are also going to be dressed up. I’m sure they will not be thrilled at that.


ABV: 7%

Style: American Strong Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Horchata is based on the classic aguas frescas drink that is usually served in Mexican bodegas. The traditional storage vessel is heavy, ribbed glass jar filled with ice. The drink is ladled into glasses and served to thirsty patrons.”

Random: As I was drinking this and describing the flavors, Val kept giving me this weird look. Finally, she asked me if I ever had a horchata, and when I said ‘no,’ it made sense why I was so surprised at all of the flavors in it.

This beer poured with a one finger, thick, white head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had notes of vanilla and cream soda with cinnamon as well. The taste was really creamy with vanilla and cinnamon. Having this beer on nitro was really nice. It had a medium, creamy body with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with vanilla and cinnamon. This beer was really unique and really tasty. This is another standout from Cigar City.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

When I picked this beer up at Half Time, it still shocked me that I haven’t tried it before. It’s been on my list to try for years, especially since it’s a Cigar City brew. I’m hoping that the beer will live up to my expectations.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: English Brown Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Maduro is a Northern English-style brown ale with some American affectations. Maduro is higher in alcohol than the common English brown ale and features flaked oats in the malt bill which imparts a silky body and works to mesh the roasted, toasted and chocolate components together in Maduro’s complex malt profile. The end result is a remarkably full-flavored yet approachable and sessionable brown ale that pairs well with mild to medium cigars.”

Random: I’m not quite sure why Kids Bop radio is advertising on the sports radio stations.

This beer poured with less than a quarter finger of tan head that dissipated almost instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, chestnut color with high carbonation visible. The nose was intensely nutty with brown bread and cracker. The taste had some bitterness and then quickly went into brown bread and hazelnuts. The beer was perfectly balanced and incredibly flavorful. It had a medium thick body with light carbonation. The finish was long and nutty with brown toast. This beer was $1.99 per can. which broke down to $.17 per ounce. This beer was exceptional and one that is my new benchmark for the style.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0