Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cigar City Brewing Improv Imperial Dark Rye Ale

Hello beer lovers and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog's brew review.

Tonight’s featured beer is Cigar City Brewing Improv Imperial Dark Rye Ale. Thanks to LetsPour (and my choice to spend WAY too much on beer) I am able to have Cigar City Brewing beers come to my home.  I don’t hold out hope that Cigar City Brewing will distribute to Northern California any time soon so LetsPour it is.

Commercial description: “What you have here is an Imperial Dark Rye Ale. Isn’t that a lot to be going on in just one beer? Well yes, it is. But that is the point. Layers. Flavor elements building on and playing off of preceding elements, like a building wave; a growing crescendum of taste bud temptation; a wall of sound expressed through flavor and channeled toward your mouth. This beer isn’t for everyone. In many ways it is more than just a little weird. It certainly doesn’t fit easily into any category. In the spirit of all great things that are conceived in the moment, but perfected through passionate repetition it started life as an improvisation and grew from there. And it might not be for you. But if the thought of big spicy rye notes, a wallop of a hop punch, multitudinous layers of caramel, sweet malt and a respectable balancing gravity sound intriguing then you might want to wing it and give Improv a try.”
Let’s get started!
Appearance: Pours a burnt amber color with a slight beige head and nice lacing.
Aroma: Spicy rye, roasted, caramel and bready malts, pine and citrus hops.
Taste: Sweet caramel, roasted and bready malts, spicy rye, pine and citrus hops and an underlying fruit and chocolate presence.
Overall: I found Cigar City Brewing Improv Imperial Dark Rye Ale to be quite enjoyable and unique.  This 9% ABV offering isn’t something I’d seek out again, but wouldn’t refuse either.  If their beers weren’t so expensive and hard to get to CA I might give this one another shot.  Another solid and interesting beer from Cigar City Brewing.


Mark Harvey
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