When I first got into beer around 2010, pretty much every brewery had a Pale Ale, an IPA, possibly a lager, and a dark beer of some kind. Even early on, I felt a bit restricted by the available styles. Then one day, I got to try a Brown/Black IPA for the first time. Ever since, the still obscure style holds a place near and dear to me. That is why I can barely contain my excitement for Cigar City’s beer, Improvisación.
Improvisación is a Rye India-Style Brown Ale. It combines the spiciness of the Rye with the deeper flavors of the darker malts. These then provide an interesting counter to the bitterness of the hops. The key thing to remember is that this is not just some mash of a porter and an IPA. The key is balance, and Cigar City hits that right on the nose.
At 6.5% ABV and 61 IBU, Improvisación does not teeter too far in any one direction. Instead, it is a sublime display of what made the brewery so well known in the first place.