New York City’s craft beer community was out in full force yesterday as Tampa Bay’s Cigar City Brewery took over a commanding 20+ lines at Rattle N Hum Bar. The young brewery unleashed just about all their known beers from standards such as Jai Alai IPA and Maduro Brown to rare offering from their Humidor and Wood Aged Series.
From the Creamsicle IPA to the Bourbon Barrel Aged Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout, our crew made a valiant effort to try the entire list tap list and even went as far as to “borrow” sips from nearby patrons when available. My personal favorite by far from the evening was Brandy Barrel Winter Warmer, a variation of their Winter Warmer Old Ale aged in apple brandy barrels. The result was a warm and distinguished sipping beer with hints of oak and Calvados on top of a sweet toffee and chocolate malt back and a nice rye body. Combined with a dry finish, there was a level of complexity here found is some of the finest ales I have tried.
Also notable was the Humidor Series Maduro Oatmeal Brown which carried a heavy dose of ashy, cigar box notes from its cedar aging. These flavors notes married nicely with with the toasted chocolate body of Cigar City’s standard Maduro and provided a unique alternative to the abundance of oak aged beers available today. Other table favorites included their roasted, slightly bitter coffee brown, the Cubano Espresso Maduro. As well as the hopped up Flora IPA
Overall, this was an incredibly impressive showing from a brewery that is yet to celebrate its one-year anniversary. It was also a testament to the range of flavors that the Cigar City brewmasters can accomplish by aging and modifying their four base recipies. Unfinished kegs should be on tap for the rest of the week and if you couldn’t make it out to the should-to-shoulder release event then I recommend you swing by soon and give them a try as these beers soon as they will not be returning to New York any time soon.
For more great shots by Sarah, check out her website at www.sarahpostma.com