Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cigar City José Martí American Porter Review

Name: Cigar City José Martí American Porter
Style: Porter
ABV: 8%

Continuing on with some beer I got in the mail for an exchange, I'm now going to look at a beer from Cigar City Brewing based out of Tampa, Florida. Believe it or not, I've actually gotten some Cigar City in a beer trade about 3 years ago when I was still in college and found them to be quite good.

For this review, it's something which I've never had before and it's their José Martí American Porter. José Martí was a Cuban poet & political activist back when Cuba was fighting for independence from Spain in the late 1800's. Through his writings and activism for democracy, he became a national symbol for an independent Cuba after he was killed in battle in 1895. He is still, to this day, considered a national hero in Cuba. It's an interesting inspiration for a beer name, but it makes sense when you consider that Tampa, FL and Florida in general has a very high Cuban-American population.

Jose Marti pours a pitch black color with a very brown-khaki colored head. It's also worth pointing out the lacing is quite abundant and very sticky.

The nose is very hop forward and I mean very. Even by Porter standards, I am taken aback by how aggressively hoppy this smells; After all, the label does say "robustly hopped" on it. Once you get passed that, there's a very nice roasted barley bill and hints of chocolate malts, caoco and coffee.

The flavor is also extremely hoppy upfront but the strong roasted barley and chocolate maltiness help balance out the flavor from being too hop-centric The aftertaste is mainly roasted barley and coffee beans. One thing I notice about the flavor is that it's quite smooth and every part of the flavor seems to go together seamlessly. Speaking of smooth....

The body itself is quite heavy with some mild-to-moderate thickness. The carbonation is also very mild and the overall texture is very smooth.

I know this may be a bit of a stretch to say, but this is, without a doubt, one of the best porters I have ever had. The flavor is very robust yet well-balanced and on top of that, the palate and texture as a whole as so incredibly smooth. If you happen to come across this beer, you absolutely need to check this out.

Cigar City José Martí American Porter - 9.5/10

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