Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cigar City Hopped on the High Seas (Kohatu)

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1068) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 23, 2014
I poured a 12oz can into a tulip glass. It was canned on 2/20/14.

Appearance: Hazy shade of light orange/honey amber. Carbonation visible. Pours to a one-finger, white, frothy head which retains and laces fairly well.

Smell: Sweet orange juice concentrate but a spicy, peppery, cedar-like aroma as well.

Taste: Cigar City is known for making experimental, and interesting beers to say the least. They also have a strong Caribbean influence, so it’s no surprise they’d make a “Caribbean-style IPA.” This particular beer is one of several variations of a brew done in Puerto Rico and dry-hopped with a different hop, in this case – Kohatu. I’ve never heard of this hop before, but it definitely seems to fit CC’s modus operandi. The result is a peppery, cedar-like flavor with restrained bitterness. It’s interesting to be sure, though not all that appealing to me.

There’s a definite orange flavor up front. This isn’t surprising considering the style. Akin to orange juice, but not as rich. Some gradual bitterness throughout the first half, but it immediately transitions to something much more peppery and dry. Fresh ground black pepper combined with cedar wood give it a spicy sensation. It finishes with an astringent quality, almost harsh or tannic. Nothing so bad to make it a bad beer, though I am not too crazy about this flavor combination. I’m also wondering where the rest of the flavors are as I can only taste the hops – the base malt foundation is a little too subtle for its own good.

Drinkability: I was a little surprised to see that Cigar City Hopped on the High Seas (Kohatu) weighed in at 7% ABV, as it drinks and feels like something much lighter in terms of taste and weight. The mouthfeel is a little thin, though its lightly carbonated which makes it quite smooth. Though the peppery flavor takes some getting used to, I found myself drinking this in smaller sips as I went on. 
 Grade: 6/10

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