Monday, November 18, 2013

Cigar City Brewing + New Belgium Ale Brewed With Anaheim And Marash Chilies

Cigar City Brewing + New Belgium Ale Brewed With Anaheim And Marash Chilies. WTF? Is that the best these two brewers could come up with for a name? Anyway, this is a collaboration between the two breweries and a member of New Belgium's Lips of Faith Series. This bomber will be available locally shortly if not already; the brewery was nice enough to let me give it a whirl to introduce its arrival.

There is a story on the side: "We're about to light up Florida with this Cigar City Collaborative brew. Our Belgian yeast tangos with Anaheim and Marash peppers along with loads of citrusy hops to create an ale full of spice. Aged on Spanish Cedar to salute our mutual love for wood!" The label is pretty boring with just the facts I relayed to you, the story, and a decorative border at the bottom. 8.5% alcohol. Best Enjoyed By November 2014.

Fruity, juicy orange and tangerine aroma with just a hint of spice. Sweet with woody dryness to start--the cedar is very noticeable and dominant. Juicy apples and oranges are nice and match up well with the chili spices that come next. Crackers, earthiness, a bit yeasty too.

After a while, the beer starts to feel a bit acidic and alcoholic, especially at the finish. Between the cedar aging, a bad idea that crushed the other flavors, and the alcoholic prowess, I'm not a fan. I will say the alcohol mellowed with a little warmth but not completely. Spicy heat lingers on the palate and in the chest long after each sip. I'd pass but if you can't control yourself and buy a bottle anyway, let it warm up for at least 15 minutes before opening it.

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