Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cigar City Humidor Series IPA (2013 re-review)

2.9
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (992) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 22, 2013


I received a 12oz bottle from a friend in Florida (thanks, Matt!). I poured it into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date.

Appearance: A hazy shade of dark copper/orange, though it almost glows in the sunlight. There is plenty of visible sediment floating in the liquid. Pours to a small, white, frothy head which doesn’t completely dissipate and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: Strong aroma of cedar, garlic, and something akin to tomato sauce. Not your usual IPA scent.

Taste: Given the name of the brewery, it’s no wonder Cigar City wanted to create a line of "Humidor Series" beers - which is some of their regular offerings aged on Spanish cedar. I’m not really sure what the point of that is, since cedar doesn’t really complement beer all that well and this beer is a good example of that. The cedar completely overwhelms the base palette and makes the beer rather one-dimensional.

To describe the beer as spicy is a bit of an understatement. Not spicy in a hot way, just spicy in a peppery way. It tastes of fresh ground black pepper and garlic. The malts and the hops are pretty well obscured. There is some piney bitterness on the back end, but it’s not enough to counteract the cedar flavor. What’s weird is I actually used to like this beer, but I haven’t had it in about 2 1/2 years. Interesting how my palate has changed over time.

Drinkability: If you can appreciate the flavor, you’ll have no trouble drinking Cigar City Humidor Series IPA. The mouthfeel is rather calm, comfortable and smooth on the finish. There is a spiciness that lingers, in fact, I can even feel it on my lips. The body is pretty hefty at 7.5% ABV, though there’s no alcohol component per se. This probably would be a great beer if the situational pairings were perfect, but otherwise it’s too odd for my taste. 
Grade: 4/10