Cigar City Brewing is no stranger to making amazing stouts. When I got heavily into beer trading in 2014, Double Barrel Huna from them was a white whale on literally everyone’s list. That beer put the Tampa brewer on the map—and for good reason, it was a fine example of what a barrel-aged stout could and should be.
Joey Redner and co. have followed up with plenty of other incredible stouts and have still held their reputation as one of the premier stout brewers in the good ol’ US of A.
Decoherence is another prime example of why Cigar City has the reputation they have. The beer is comprised of a 50/50 blend of a bourbon barrel-aged imperial porter they call Outskirts and a brandy barrel-aged imperial stout that was brewed for this beer only. The combined beer was then racked onto toasted coconut and coffee and aged on those two until the flavors came together. The coffee was roasted by a local shop called Buddy Brew and Wayne Wambles, Cigar City’s brewmaster, was there to help make sure the blend was going to accent the beer correctly.
Onto the beer, Decoherence was about as jet black as a beer gets. It pours into the glass like two-year-old motor oil, black as can be and extremely thick. There is a khaki head that lingers and it coats the glass like syrup, without tasting it you can tell this beer packs a bit of booze in it.
I smell a lot of barrel and sweetness, a good amount of coconut and some chocolate undertones. The barrel is what dominates the nose, but what was surprising is I am not getting a whole lot of coffee. Cigar City said they were trying to get a lot of chocolate with the coffee in order to accent the coconut, so maybe some of it gets masked by that.
The flavor follows nose for the most part—sweet, coconut, a little coffee bitterness, but no in your face coffee flavor still. Some of that flavor fades, maybe it wasn’t necessarily supposed to be an in your face coffee flavor profile. There is a good amount of oak in the flavor, some bourbon and brandy heat, but nothing that made me think the beer was clocking in at 12.9 percent. It is incredibly smooth from the first sip onward.