Thursday, October 13, 2011
Day 80 (10/12/2011): Either by Cigar City Brewing Company
I was sure what to think of this one before drinking it or after. I wasn't familiar with the "black ale" style and I'm still not sure what qualifies something as one. It seems almost a catch-all style like "strong ale". I suppose you should expect these sorts of wacky things from collaborations; this one between Cigar City and Hill Farmstead.
It smells like a slightly hopped mix of a Belgian quad and an imperial stout. It had the dark fruit of the quad and the malty sweetness and roast of the stout, both on top of a layer of wood. It was bizarre, but not terrible. The taste was the same: dark fruits, sweet milk chocolate, coffee, and caramel with a small bit of hop notes. The alcohol is moderately present, but not overwhelming. The body isn't as big as you would expect or hope for from a 10+% beer, but it is medium, at least. The carbonation is just a tad under medium, though the creaminess of it makes it seems lower.
I actually quite enjoyed this beer, despite how I make it sound in the review. The flavors actually work together quite well. I could have used a little more body on it, but that's not a huge deal. The problem is: I like imperial stouts and I like quads for what they are. Both have remarkable qualities that, when added together, seem to lose the best of each. This one is worth a try, though, and I would love to get ahold of the rest of the bottles from this series. I give Either by Cigar City Brewing Company a B+.
Style: American black ale
Beer Advocate: B+