Cigar City Brewing Raspberry Halo
Cigar City Brewing Raspberry Halo is an American Double/Imperial Stout brewed with raspberries. No ABV listed on the label, bottled on 12/15/16, opened on 02/05/17.
The beer pours with a rich black color and has a nice inch tall dark tan head to start. The head does fade pretty quickly down to just a slight ghost shaped layer in the middle, and a small ring around the edge of the glass. I like the aroma of this, it is definitely fruity but not in an overly sweet way. In addition to the expected fruit there are notes of tart strawberry and dark fruits that join a light roast and some dark chocolate on the nose. The raspberry flavor is much more distinct in the taste, it is strong but never overbearing. As is often the case with a big Imperial Stout like this the fruit is mellowed by the bold flavors of the beer itself. Sweet and slightly tart raspberry, and maybe a little blueberry and strawberry as well, leads off the taste and is present throughout. This is joined by some semi-sweet dark chocolate and a nice bit of roasted malt mid-taste. The fruit brings a pleasant tartness to a finish that already has a little hop bitterness to balance. Not sure of the ABV, but it certainly has a little alcohol burn in the taste. The mouth-feel is neither thick and chewy, nor thin and watery, Goldilocks would be happy for this one.
Cigar City has a penchant for huge sugar bomb stouts, but this one was quite a bit more restrained than usual. Not what I’d consider a “freak out and find it” kind of CCB beer, but it would also be foolish to pass on a bottle if you can get it.