IMPROV Oatmeal Rye
India-Style Brown Ale brewed by
Cigar City Brewing - Tampa, Florida
have here is an Oatmeal Rye India-style Brown Ale. Now you might be
thinking oatmeal, rye, brown ale, India-style; isnít 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 isnít for everyone. ABV:9%.
In many ways it is more than just a little weird. It certainly
doesnít fit easily into any category. It isnít a brown ale, not just
a brown ale anyway. It certainly isnít an IPA. Calling it a rye beer
would be selling it way short. 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.
Review from Beer Advocate
Appearance - Mahogany
brown with light fluffy, khaki head of about 1 finger. Avg lacing
and retention for the style. Beautiful color
Aroma - A little bit of everything- chocolate, citrus hops, resinous
hops, brown sugar, charred but not quite burn caramel, smoke, mocha,
and black pepper. My taste buds have received the olfactory message
and are curious for what's in store....
Taste - Follows nose. It's as if I'm on a rollercoaster in a dark
tunnel- a lot of twists and turns, I don't know what's coming next,
but I find myself really enjoying it! A great mix of all the smells
led off by a sweet malt, then a dose of hops along with the huge
spice of the rye. It's complex and well done. Dark fruits even seem
to find there way in the mix. Toasted oats and caramel. Almost seems
like it has a barrel aged flavor to it, or some kind of phenols.
Maybe the rye again? Whatever...it works.
Mouthfeel - Spicy dry finish. Full body with fair drinkability. Nice
carbonation for the style.
Overall - A ton going on here...and somehow it seems to work. One of
my favorite rye beers. Gave it a little bump in overall rating
because of the uniqueness and how it finds a nice continuity among
the many bold elements.
About Cigar City Brewing:
Cigar City Brewing(CCB) was founded with two goals in mind. The
first to make the world's best beer and the second to share with
people near and far the fascinating culture and heritage of the
Cigar City of Tampa.
From its past as the world's largest cigar producer to its Latin
roots and the many other diverse peoples that call it home, Tampa
draws on many sources to develop its unique culture.
Cigar City Brewing is comprised of a 15 barrel (one barrel is 31
gallons) brewhouse occupying 6,600 sq. ft. of warehouse space in the
Carver City-Lincoln Gardens neighborhood of Tampa. The brewery has
nineteen fermentors. Six 15 barrel, ten 30 barrel and three 60
barrels. There is rarely a day when each tank isn't filled with
We use the highest quality ingredients we can lay our hands on and
that is not just marketing jargon. If it makes better beer, we use
it. We also strive to use local ingredients when and where we can.
Not only do fresh local ingredients help us to make better beer, it
helps us to make beer that reflects the culture and heritage of