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Posts Tagged ‘Cigar City Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale’

Tapapalooza

January 31st, 2011 Bill Zavorskas No comments

Brewer extraordinaire Wayne Wambles held a Q&A session...

while the rest of us enjoyed CCB's finest such as Vanilla Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale

It was a festive day on Saturday when Mr. Beery’s hosted the Cigar City Total Tap Takeover. Indeed, word of this stupendous event traveled fast, and the crowd on hand included many a beer aficionado from around the country, in addition to local residents already familiar with the world renowned brewery.

In general, the brewery, which celebrates its second anniversary in March, took over all 25 taps at Mr. Beery’s, serving their line of beers from old favorites such as Hunahpu and Jai Lai to new offerings not yet available either commercially or at the Tasting Room in Tampa. There was even a private tasting held for those of us willing to pay the $60 admission, which included a lecture and Q&A session from CCB brewer Wayne Wambles. Wayne gave an overview of the history of the brewery, its craft beers, and what’s in store now and in the future. It was a fascinating session, and we were given a great insight into the workings of one of the world’s top five breweries.

After the private tasting, the doors were open to the general public, who mobbed the bar eager to try the 25 beers on tap. As noted, many of us got to try something new.

Cigar City Vanilla Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale; Cigar City Brewing; Tampa, FL; American Brown Ale; ABV: 5.5. A smooth and rich tasting brown ale with hearty notes of oatmeal, vanilla spices, sweet caramel, and milk chocolate. My lead-off beer.

Cigar City Vuja De; Cigar City Brewing; Tampa, FL; American Wild Ale; ABV: 9.9. This delicious sour ale is a collaboration between CCB & rising Tarpon Springs brewer St. Somewhere. Chestnut in color, with big notes of tart fruit such as elderberries and black currants complimented by hints of caramel, roasted malt, and spices. Essentially, Vuja De is a higher alcohol version of Sea Bass with a nice dry finish.

Cigar City White Oak Jai Lai with Papaya and Peppercorn; Cigar City Brewing; Tampa, FL; India Pale Ale; ABV: 7.5. Say that 10 times! A funky variation of CCB’s exceptional Jai Lai IPA. Dark amber in color, with notes of piny hops and malt balanced by papaya and a hint of peppercorn on the back end.

Cigar City Asian Saison; Cigar City Brewing; Tampa, FL; Saison / Farmhouse Ale; ABV: 7.0. An wonderfully eclectic farmhouse ale. Golden in color with notes of citrusy fruit, toasted seawood, and an array of 5 Chinese spices.

Cigar City Spicy Plum Sour Ale; Cigar City Brewing; Tampa, FL; American Wild Ale; ABV: 8.0. A truly sublime sour ale. Substantial notes of plums and spices, backed by citrusy fruit such as apples, with a hint of tart cherries at the finish. Quite potent.

Cigar City Palm Ridge Reserve Barrel Aged Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown; Cigar City Brewing; Tampa, FL; American Brown Ale; ABV: 5.5. My favorite of the night on tap. Dark brown in color, with rich notes of sweet caramel and oatmeal raisin balanced by roasted malt and spices with a bourbon kick at the finish.

Cigar City Warmer Winter Winter Warmer Firkin; Cigar City Brewing; Tampa, FL; Barley Wine; ABV: 10.0. A smooth, full-bodied barley wine. Copper in color, with notes of sweet caramel and vanilla spices balanced by piny hops at the end. The double digit alcohol content is well hidden.

Cigar City Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Warmer Winter Winter Warmer; Cigar City Brewing; Tampa, FL; Old Ale; ABV: 7.5. An old ale crafted in the classic English tradition. Considerable notes of sweet caramel and toffee complimented by apples and vanilla spices with a nice brandy backbone from the barrel aging.

It should also be noted that the event marked the one year anniversary of Mr. Beery’s opening in Sarasota. I congratulate Mark and the gang, and thank Cigar City Brewing for working with Mr. Beery’s to make this tasting possible. Both of you have made the Tampa Bay area a more rewarding place for craft beer.

Dog(fish) Days of Summer

June 14th, 2009 Bill Zavorskas 1 comment

You like me, you really like me

You like me, you really like me

Summer officially starts next Sunday, but for us here in Florida it’s been summer for weeks now. With the heat & humidity reminding Sunshine State residents of the dog days of August and September.

I stopped by my local Fresh Market earlier this week to pick up dinner, and was in need of something refreshing. They were running a special on several beers, so I decided on the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA (Dogfish Head Craft Brewery; Milton, DE; Imperial India Pale Ale; ABV: 9.0). This beer had fallen out of favor with me in the past year or so, as I felt that they were sacrificing the original taste for a more alcoholic bite. While it was still a pretty good beer, it seemed a bit overrated and not up to previous standards, or comparable to top flight IPAs such as Green Flash Imperial IPA, Stone Ruination IPA, & Bell’s HopSlam Ale.

Well, I got home, poured it into a chilled DFH glass, and hoped for the best. Maybe it was the humidity, or the long day that I had at work. Maybe DFH read my mind. Guess what? I liked it, I really liked it! The alcohol is still there, but it’s balanced by a wonderful array of big citrusy hops & malt. The finish is crisp & clean. Just like old times.

My faith has been restored, and I once again consider this beer one of the best IPAs out there.

In addition to Dogfish 90 Minute IPA, I had several other excellent brews recently at the Mellow Mushroom:

Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale; Cigar City Brewing; Tampa, FL; American Brown Ale; ABV: 5.5. A truly outstanding brown ale. The toasted malt up front is well balanced by oatmeal, milk chocolate, & caramel. More than holds its own with the classic English brown ales. The best offering from a brewery known for its outstanding beers.

Stone Imperial Russian Stout; Stone Brewing Co.; Escondido, CA; Russian Imperial Stout; ABV: 10.8. Bell’s Expedition Stout gets all of the fan fare among the imperials, but this beer blows it out of the water in my opinion. The rich chocolate taste is complimented by roasted malt, coffee, & a mild hoppy finish. Very smooth for a beer with an ABV of nearly 11%. Rivals Brooklyn Black OPS as my favorite Russian Imperial Stout.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine (2009 Double Dry Hopped); Stone Brewing Co.; Escondido, CA; Barley Wine; ABV: 11.3. Another superb offering from Stone. Big malty taste with hints of bourbon & vanilla, & a blast of citrusy hops. Reminds me of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot.

TAParillo

April 12th, 2009 Bill Zavorskas No comments

My friend Steve & I went to the Mellow Mushroom the other day to check out the lastest brews. I started with a Maharaja from Avery Brewing Co., while Steve started with a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. The Maharaja is an absolute hop monster, with a bold grapefruit taste amid the cascade hops. I had a sample of the Bigfoot, and it was really good on tap as well.

Our bartender, Bill, recommended that we try out a couple of the latest beers from Cigar City Brewing. We each had a sample of the Jai Lai IPA & Bolita Brown (they were just tapped out on the Maduro Oatmeal Brown). The Jai Alai is one of the smoothest tasting IPAs I have ever had, and the Bolita Brown was comparable in taste to a classic English Brown Ale. As I had the Maharaja earlier, I decided to go with a pint of the Bolita Brown, as did Steve. I’ve also heard great things about the Maduro, which along with the Jai Alai is considered their signature beer, and will be sure to check it out next time it’s on tap.

Before calling it a day, we both finished up with a Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout, which is a easy drinking sweet stout.

Cigar City Brewing is scheduled to open for tours next month, and I will definitely plan to make a pilgrimage there. This brewery has become my new favorite in the Tampa Bay area.

p.s. Kudos to Mellow Mushroom for having some really good tap lines. The beers always have a great pour and are very fresh. The food menu is excellent as well, especially the pizza, salads, and meatball appetizer.

Beer Review:

Jai Alai IPA; Cigar City Brewing; Tampa, FL; India Pale Ale; ABV: 7.5. One of the smoothest tasting IPAs around. A nice balance of piney hops & malt.

Bolita Brown; Cigar City Brewing; Tampa, FL; English Brown Ale; ABV: 9.0. Comparable to classic English Brown Ales. Big nutty taste with hints of light chocolate, sweet malt, & caramel.

Maharaja; Avery Brewing Company; Boulder, CO; Imperial India Pale Ale; ABV: 10.5. An absolute hop monster, with a bold grapefruit taste and a nice dry finish.

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.; Chico, CA; Barley Wine; ABV: 12.3. Classic barley wine. Complex & hoppy.

Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout; Bell’s Brewery, Inc.; Kalamazoo, MI; Sweet Stout; ABV: 6.5. Smooth, very drinkable sweet stout.

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