It's #FloridaBeerFriday, where we take a look at a beer brewed in the Sunshine State, giving analysis to the burgeoning craft-beer movement of Florida.
Continuing our streak of 'nut'-inspired beers, this week we're taking a look at a doubly dangerous high gravity beer from Cigar City Brewing in Tampa called Bolita Double Nut Brown Ale.
This beer delves into the murky waters of the double brown or imperial brown ale category. Since there really isn't a category defined per se (this would fall into that all encompassing Category 23, or 'Specialty Beer'), think of this as a super malty Southern English brown.
Now, the name Bolita comes from the gambling game of the same moniker, in which one hundred tiny little balls, or bolitas, were placed in a bag and bets were made on which ball would be picked out. The game was immensely popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the Ybor City area as well as becoming popular in Miami, with all manner of tricks being produced for unscrupulous bolita dealers to cheat, lie, and swindle their way into big profits.
Luckily, as the brewery declares, there are no tricks in the brew, only lots and lots of malt.
The beer pours with an instantly recognizable thickness to it, and with a deep brown color. Aromas of chocolate coated caramel candies tumble out with some molasses-like character as well. The flavor hits firstly with a thick mouthfeel; this is an almost chewy beer. Toffee and brown sugar come out in full force with a slight lingering English hop, earthy bitterness. Overall, the bigger mouthfeel lends a creaminess that isn't usually present in regular brown ales.
At 9% alcohol by volume, it's a beer that doesn't trip over itself in any one aspect. It shows the maturity that Cigar City has now with its seasoned releases.
This beer in particular became available this past November in 22 ounce bombers.
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Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Instagram.