Review Date 12/1/2014
Beers from Tampa, Florida’s Cigar City Brewing are all the rage these days. People seem to go nuts trying to get them, but for my part I’m happy to buy them when I see them here in Georgia. Which is not often. So far, I’ve only been able to score a few six-packs and one 22-ounce bottle, that latter being Cigar City Max Lagers Black Ash American Black Lager Aged on Black Ash. Now there’s a mouthful for you.
Was this one more available because it’s a collaboration brew with Max Lagers, a brewpub right here in Atlanta? I can’t say, but I can say that there were only two bottles of the beer left and I threw one right into my cart last spring. I enjoy beers from both Max Lagers and Cigar City, so this one just seemed a natural for me.
The label gives more information about the beer and how the collaboration came about. Cigar City brewmaster Wayne Wambles explains that he was brewing in Georgia in 2000 (linkedIn says it was at the now-defunct Buckhead brewery) and met up with Max Lagers brewer John Roberts. Hence this collaboration, esigned by both but brewed at Cigar City.
Some of the ingredients per the label are “Bohemian floor-malted dark malt, dark Munich and chocolate wheat….Mt. Rainier, Pacific Gem, and Brewers Gold” (hops). The end beer is aged on black ash wood, not actual ashes silly geese.
No alcohol content listing is provided for Cigar City Max Lagers Black Ash American Black Lager Aged on Black Ash. My bottle says “Brewed and canned by Cigar City” despite being a bottle, so I assume this was/is sold in cans as well. I paid $9.99 for my bottle at Total Wine.
Cigar City Max Lagers Black Ash American Black Lager Aged on Black Ash pours to a jet black color with a thick creamy tan head and an amazingly dark roasty, nay ashy roasted aroma. Taking a sip this one is very full in body with a huge dark roastiness. Am I getting a little dark chocolate? I am but most of all I’m getting harsh, astringent dark burnt roasty notes. Like ashes really, even though again that’s just the name of the wood. There’s some licorice, too, as the beer warms, and the more you drink the more it seems to grow on you.
Pretty cool in a way, a lot like a beer and cigar pairing, if somebody smoked the cigar for you and stuffed the ashes in the bottle. Not something I could drink all the time, but different and interesting and one I would drink again. The body is thicker, too than is usual for lagers, except perhaps for doppelbocks, but that’s OK. This is worth trying if you are ever lucky enough to come across it folks.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.