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Flagships of the Cigar City Brewery

June 27, 2011

So if you stopped by here a few days ago, you might have noticed my review of the Cigar City Jai Alai IPA and its complaints of discoloration and strange taste differences. Well, as it turns out, the reason why I was experiencing these extreme inconsistencies is because the beer I had purchased was mislabeled and was actually the Cigar City Maduro Brown. Luckily though this gives me the chance to review both of Cigar City’s year round offerings!

Cigar City is a Tampa, Florida-based brewing outfit that’s been on the scene for a few years. The first thing to grasp about Florida is that despite the long brewing history of Tampa (which Cigar City’s website is happy to tell you about), the state itself is somewhat of a wasteland in terms of craft brewing. That’s why despite the fact that the offering was an IPA, I was happy to latch on to the chance for some Floridian beer. Then just earlier this week I had their Maduro, and was able to try it again while putting my full attention on it.

The Jai Alai pours a rich orange-red color with a bright white head, and is somewhat hazy, which is not uncommon with IPAs. The scent is one of floral hops with a little bit of citrus fruits to balance out the taste. The mouthfeel was consistently full but still slightly watery, making it not quite as refreshing or good as it could have been. The Jai Alai was a smooth beer going down, with a light floral hop finish. The overall taste was that of rich citrus fruit, that was accentuated by my nose-trick, with a comfortable hop ending. Overall, it remains a great beer for people looking to get their feet wet in the world of IPAs.

The Maduro Oatmeal Brown comes out of the tap a very deep brown, almost black, with light red hues and a dark cream colored head. The scent is a very slight hint of roasted malts, and little else, I had to sniff it several times before I picked up anything. The Maduro’s mouthfeel was somewhat watery, definitely not as thick as its dark color might suggest but still refreshing. The taste was one of sweet and roasted malt, which is very good along with a barely perceptible toffee hint and a bitter chocolate aftertaste. The roasted malt and chocolate flavors linger as you drink, giving the beer a more robust flavor during a session. Finally, my nose-trick did help to bring out more of the chocolate beyond a dark bitterness, along with of course more malt. The Maduro is definitely a beer for people who love the darker flavors, but perhaps its bitter chocolate aftertaste might not pair particularly well with desserts like other dark beers might.

Based on these beers, I would definitely say that Cigar City is a brewery worth putting on your list of brewers to try.


From → Beer

  1. I totally agree! They are both very good beers. Will be in Orlando this November, so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on more of their beers. Their barrel aged beers are supposed to be excellent.


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  1. Cigar City Minaret ESB « From the Desk of Mark T. Hrisho

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