Cigar City Brewing The Dark Woods
Cigar City Brewing The Dark Woods is an Old Ale brewed with Molasses and aged on wood. The bottle date stamp appears to have printed askew with the date and year overlapping, but I think it reads 10/23(?)/15, no ABV listed.
The appearance is a dark ruby red and caramel brown color with a quickly disappearing fizzy head. I really like the aroma of this one, I’m getting a strong mix of dark fruit, caramel and distinct molasses. I think there is just a touch of smokey wood in the aroma as well. Well, if the wood is mild in the aroma it is making up for it in the taste. That dry, slightly smokey wood is almost the dominate flavor of the beer in general. The middle of the flavor brings in a strong hop like bitterness that is reminiscent of an American Barleywine. This beer has a wonderful sweet caramel and black strap molasses finish that mixes with more dry woodiness.
This beer appears to have been bottled within days of Slow As Molasses, an Old Ale brewed with molasses they did in collaboration with Swamp Head. Maybe this was a quirky scheduling coincidence, or it’s certainly possible they set some of this aside and added the wood to create The Dark Woods. (I kind of find it hard to believe they wouldn’t have credited Swamp Heads efforts on this bottle if that was the case) I did like this beer a good bit better than the Slow As Molasses though, something about the wood elements that I find rather appealing.