Lil' Warmer - Cigar City Brewing
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Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3 | Reviews: 2 | Show All Ratings:
4.25/5 rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Filled Last night; Sampled January 2011
A vigorous pour into my CCB tulip produces a two-finger thick, pale amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a caramelized, amber color that when held up to the light shows a lightly hazed, red stained, copper color with gold around the edges. The aroma smells of fresh cut hay, huge biscuit like malt that has a caramelized base to it, plus there is a solid hop character that contributes a certain dank herbal quality to the middle of this brew that is a nice refresher from the dominant malt character that is found up front and in the long finish of the nose. The finish sees an almost astringent, dried grassy grain character as well as an ample pale cracker malt dryness dominating. As my nose gets used to this brew a citrusy hop character starts to become softly noticeable in the middle of the nose; and now that I have noticed it, the citrus character (tangelo zest and Curacao orange zest more than anything) subtly perfumes the nose from beginning to end. At times the malt character can remind me of butterscotch and maybe even a hint of vanilla some how. I am really digging the aroma on this brew, knowing that this is a second runnings beer it can seem a bit hay like at times, but at 9% abv I doubt this is because it was oversparged and considering that this character is actually enjoyable I am certainly not complaining either way.
Soft and creamy textured up front, the beer quickly picks up an ample hop character that is much more dominant than the aroma would have suggested. Flavors of orange zest, a touch of lychee and caramelized ruby red grapefruit zest mix with a caramelized grain character a butterscotch malt (and perhaps yeast influenced as well) character and a supporting chew malt sweetness. The beer does not seem overly sweet though as the hop character supplies lots of herbal, pine, a touch of menthol and supporting, though not overly aggressive, bitterness to temper the residual sweetness that this beer does have. At times the citrus hop character is quite dominant in this brew, which is a bit of a surprise given that the nose almost suggested that the malt would be the dominant note. The malt does play a significant supporting role though in the flavor with a solid biscuit malt character that is somewhat drying, some cracker like crispness towards the finish, as well as the previously mentioned caramelized notes that seem to more accentuate the hop character than anything. The flavor reminds me quite a bit of a Double IPA; the body is right there as well, though perhaps a touch viscous compared to my ideal, but it definitely doesn't make me think of a rich Barley Wine.
For some reason I wasn't really expecting much from this beer, but man I am really digging it. The flavor is surprisingly hoppy and superbly balanced between the chewy, complex malt and the competing hop complexity and it is weird that the malt character (specifically the dried hay and caramelized cracker notes) dominate the nose, but it is the hops that dominates the flavor profile. Actually the aroma is has more of a malt / hop balance (thought he malt is the winner), while the flavor is clearly dominated by the hop character. An experience that I wouldn't mind having quite a bit of, I'll definitely have to give these El Dorado hops a whirl as they seem like they would be a nice compliment to a lot of other American hops. As the beer really warms up some spicy alcohol heat becomes noticeable in the nose and actually the hop character can at times become the dominant note in the nose.
Serving type: growler
01-31-2011 14:40:14 | More by Gueuzedude
4.53/5 rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
Review from backlog
On-tap at CCB
A - It pours a brassy umber hue, and is capped with a lush honey-hued froth.
S - The nose is biscuity, grain and toasty and also a bit sharp; not biscuity in a British way, either. Herbal and resiny hop notes are complementary, and eventually segue into a citrus-tropical suggestion.
T - The taste is just great, nearly a 5. The malt is ample and provides a pleasant and satiating grain character beyond the normal realm. I would love to see this base (WWWW second runnings) as the jump-off for a recurring DIPA, though it seems technically infeasible. Anyhow, lots of hop dynamics are here to be appreciated, ranging from piney and herbal, to citric and tropical. Just very tasty stuff.
M - Feels nice. Real nice.
D - Drinks very nicely; I wish it was going into the rotation at CCB. This is the first successful DIPA I've had from CCB, come to think of it.
Serving type: on-tap
04-01-2011 20:48:37 | More by ktrillionaire
Lil' Warmer from Cigar City Brewing
N/A out of 100 based on 3 user ratings.