Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cigar City Invasion Pale Ale (2015 original review)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20Chad9976 (1518) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 17, 2015
I think I’m more impressed with solid, to-spec and exemplary pale ale than I am with session IPAs. Cigar City Invasion Pale Ale would be a good example of what I mean. Though is obviously hop-forward in all aspects, it still stays true to the pale ale style in that it’s not intensely bitter and it’s got much more body than the average SIPA. Considering the brewery, that doesn’t surprise me. 

I poured a 12oz can into a tulip glass. It was canned on 10/27/15 and cost $2.19 ($0.18 per ounce).

Appearance: Slightly hazy shade of copper/golden orange. Some carbonation visible. Pours to a large, white, soapy head which laces and retains fairly well.

Smell: Strong citrus and tropical fruit aromas; especially orange, peach and pineapple. Some pine notes too.

Taste: As soon as I started drinking this beer I found it to be quite familiar, though I can’t quite put my finger on any specific brew. I’d criticize it for being unoriginal, but I don’t expect every beer on the market to be completely and wholly unique. Much like the nose, the palette is quite citrusy with strong orange and pineapple flavors. We’ve all encountered these flavors in many West Coast IPAs over the years. I do get noticeable pine on the backend with just a touch of garlic or spice rack seasoning. There’s a slight sweetness in the aftertaste as well as on the initial delivery; amber maltiness that gives it balance. At 36 IBUs, this is quite a bitter brew, but maybe not to the point of being a SIPA.

Drinkability: This is exactly the kind of beer I want here in Florida: the citrusy notes literally complement the environment and the relatively light body and crisp mouthfeel make it easy to handle in the heat. The fact it comes in cans makes it an ideal product to buy as well. At 5% ABV, Cigar City Invasion Pale Ale is on that theoretical border of what is and is not sessionable. Easy to drink for sure, though not especially refreshing. Still, it’s versatile enough to stand up to any situation.

RATING: 8/10

NOTE: See my 2018 re-review to BJCP specs here:

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