Cigar City Cafe Con Leche Stout

I love Cigar City beers and this one sounded right up my alley. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 6%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Sweet, roasty and always invigorating, traditional Latin American cafe con leche coffee can be found nearly everywhere in our hometown of Tampa, Florida and serves as the inspiration for our Cafe Con Leche Sweet Stout. The beer is made with bold, strong coffee beans to emulate the most characterful Cuban espresso and lactose, a milk sugar that adds sweetness, body and flavors reminscent of scalded milk. Despite it’s assertive flavors and full body, our sweet stout is deceptively low in alcohol, making it the perfect accompaniment to a late-morning plate of eggs, bacon and tostatas.”

Random: I never thought about pairing a beer with bacon and eggs, but I think that needs to be rectified.

The beer poured with a three finger, light brown head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown that was almost black. I couldn’t see any carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with roasted malts and chocolate. I picked up espresso and lactose next. The taste started with a significant lactose sweetness. It quickly transitioned into milk chocolate and espresso. Smoke came through at the end of the sip. The body was on the medium side with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with lactose. I picked this up for $12.99, which came to $.59 per ounce. I thought this beer was good, but definitely on the more expensive side.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

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Cigar City Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale

I love pumpkin beers and this beer is one that I’ve tried to find for years. I saw it on a shelf awhile back and grabbed the last bottle. Let’s crack it open.

ABV: 8.5%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A liquid monument to the glory of the pumpkin, the most noble of all the gourds, this Imperial Pumpkin Ale is brewed with cinnamon, Jamaican allspice, Zanzibar cloves, nutmeg and vanilla to emulate the flavors of a decadent, piquant pumpkin pie. The gourd is good, indeed.”

Random: This beer is a special release from Cigar City.

The beer poured with a two finger, tan-colored head. It was thick and took awhile to dissipate. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a mahogany brown and clear with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was very fragrant. It started with pumpkin pie, cinnamon, nutmeg and lots of vanilla extract. Ginger and allspice came through next. There was a scent of booze along with ginger. The taste was just a bigger version of the nose. It started with lots of pumpkin pie. The spices were bold with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove. It also had a lot of ginger and vanilla. The booze was apparent on this beer, for sure. There was also caramel and toffee. The body was thick and sticky with light carbonation. The finish was lengthy and sticky. I thought this beer was good, but definitely a slow sipper because of the sweetness.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Cigar City Guayabera Citra Pale Ale

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

Cigar City Jai Alai IPA – White Oak

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.

whiteoakjaialai

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

Cigar City Brew Bus You’re My Boy, Blue

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.

youremyboyblue

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

Cigar City Hard Cider

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.

cccider

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

Cigar City Brew Bus Rollin Dirty

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.

brewbus

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