Saturday, November 28, 2015

Cigar City Tocobaga Red Ale

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20Chad9976 (1504) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 28, 2015
Beers that are red in color tend to be some of the most attractive and appealing beers out there. Yet, no one seems to agree on what exactly a “red ale” is; though most seem to be either an amber ale or an IPA that happens to red instead of golden, copper or orange. Cigar City Tocobaga Red Ale seems to be a little of both as it has the malty sweetness of an amber, but the strong hop profile of an IPA. Consider it a red IPA I suppose. 

I poured a 12oz can into a red wine glass. It was canned on 10/1/15 and cost $2.49 ($0.21 per ounce). Thanks to Mike for this can!

Appearance: Magenta/maroon hue; very dark though plenty of murky sediment bits can be seen floating around. Pours to a thumb-width, tan, foamy head which laces and retains well.

Smell: Citrusy and floral hops for sure. Clean, bright, classic. There’s definite malt sweetness in the nose as well.

Taste: There’s a lot going on in this beer, and yet it’s also a bit simplistic. For a hop-forward brew it’s quite malty (I swear that sentence makes sense). Citrusy bitterness and flavor right away; especially that of ruby red grapefruit. But there’s also a lovely sweetness that’s difficult to ignore. Definitely the flavors commonly found in amber ale – caramel or toffee or treacle – though not cloyingly sweet. The bitterness is quite strong, which isn’t surprising considering the 75 IBUs. It’s also intensely dry and seems to absorb all the moisture out of the mouth after each swig. Alcohol is prominent as well and creates for a slight medicinal character; thankfully, it’s not all that annoying or distracting. Overall, the taste here is pretty nice.

Drinkability: At 7.2% ABV, Cigar City Tocobaga Red Ale is a pretty strong brew by most measurements. This creates for a bold palette, though the actual delivery is no burden whatsoever. Mouthfeel is thick with a slight sticky sensation to the texture. The alcohol imparts warmth and the hops do linger to dry out the tongue. Probably a good beer to stand up to savory food.

RATING: 7/10

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