Friday, December 25, 2015

Cigar City Caffè Americano Double Stout

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20Chad9976 (1525) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 25, 2015
I don’t know what it is about imperial stouts and coffee (and chocolate), but they seem to be a winning combination. There are only a select few beers I can think of that I like better than Cigar City Caffè Americano Double Stout, and that’s probably because they’re barrel-aged. In fact, you might consider this beer the equivalent of Founders KBS without the barrel component, and yet it’s just as good of a beer. Huge flavors; gorgeous appearance, amazingly drinkable – it’s an outstanding beer for sure. 

I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 10/20/15 and cost $15 ($0.68 per ounce).

Appearance: One of the blackest beers I’ve ever seen. Spent motor oil black hue; completely opaque. Pours to a very dark/borderline black frothy head which laces and retains beautifully.

Smell: Traditional imperial stout aroma of massive dark malt. The coffee character is noticeable as well, though the chocolate and vanilla are a bit more subtle than I’d hoped.

Taste: You know a beer is awesome when, after every swig, you find yourself saying “mmmmm!” Some beers that only lasts for the first few sips, but in the case of this I found myself saying it constantly. The palette is that of a familiar, but exemplary, imperial stout. Up front there’s a rich sweetness of dark fruit. Raisin, sour grape, plum, and a general vinous character show up immediately. Once it hits the apex it becomes strongly bitter with hops, Espresso, and dark chocolate. It’s the liquid equivalent of a chocolate-covered espresso bean (a treat I’ve had recently). There’s even a subtle citrusy flavor from the hops; it’s muted at first, but really emerges once it warms. Alcohol is a player as well, but it’s such a vital part of the taste makeup that I can’t imagine this brew would taste as good without it. So yeah, it’s complex, robust and delicious.

Drinkability: I had some hesitation about attempting to drink an entire 22oz bomber of Cigar City Caffè Americano Double Stout solo since it’s pretty hefty at 11% ABV to say the least. However, the beer drank like something much lighter and svelter. The mouthfeel is indeed thick, chewy and even a bit sticky; however, it’s soft and smooth and thus comfortable in all aspects. The alcohol does create for a warming sensation, but it’s not nearly the liquid fireball certain other imperial stouts are. This is a fantastic liquid dessert and definitely one you’ll want to share with friends and family who’ll appreciate it.

RATING: 10/10

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