Friday, December 6, 2013

Cigar City Good Gourd (2013 original review)

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Chad9976 (1017) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 2, 2013
I poured a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. It was given to me by a friend from Florida (thanks, Matt!). He said it retails for $11.99 ($0.47 per ounce). It was bottled on 8/26/13.

Appearance: Absolutely beautiful shade of flame orange/ruby red/burgundy. Pours to a large, off white, frothy head which laces and retains extremely well.

Smell: Pungent aroma of cinnamon, clove, vanilla, plus general potpourri and pumpkin pie scents.

Taste: It takes a lot for a pumpkin beer to wow me these days. Lately, I’ve been finding most tend to be pretty standard at best, so for one to knock my socks off is practically a miracle. I guess that’s quite a buildup for Cigar City Good Gourd, since it’s not only a great pumpkin beer, but a great beer in its own right. And for good reason - it’s complex, delicious, looks great, smells great and is easy to drink. It’s pretty much perfect.

I’ve always said pumpkin beer tend to be either liquid pumpkin pie or liquid potpourri, but this beer is actually both simultaneously. Right off the bat there’s a strong sensation of cinnamon, allspice and clove. They bristle across the palate, imparting an interesting sweet and spicy dynamic. On the second half it’s all pumpkin pie. The clove remains, followed by a sweet confectionery-like taste of pumpkin pie filling and Crème Brûlée. This is a flavor palette I’ve never experienced before, which makes this beer all the more impressive when put into complex. There seems to be a slight alcohol sensation as well, it’s akin to spiced rum and accentuates the palette perfectly.

Drinkability: Not only is Cigar City Good Gourd is darn tasty beer, but the drinking experience itself is very pleasant. The mouthfeel is thick, but not sticky, with a smooth, velvety texture. It actually feels good in the mouth, and its smoothness going down is nothing short of amazing. At 8.5% ABV it’s extremely efficient, making full use of its potential as it has a vast amount of flavor and a full body, but isn’t boozy or obese in any way. 
Grade: 10/10

NOTE: See my 2017 re-review- to BJCP specs here: