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Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale - Cigar City Brewing

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Cubano-Style Espresso Brown AleCubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

284 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 284
Hads: 1,200
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 5.15%
Wants: 310
Gots: 182 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tpd975 on 05-26-2009

This rich brown ale is redolent with Cuban-style roasted espresso beans, sweet caramel and toffee and hints of dry nuttiness. Cuban Espresso is a popular drink in the Cigar City of Tampa owing to its many Sicilian and Cuban immigrants. The beans for Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale are roasted locally by Mazzaro's Italian Market and Deli in St. Petersburg to our exact specifications.

25 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 284 | Hads: 1,200
Photo of Moose90
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz can, dated "CANNED 05/04/15 CHEERS 6986" poured into 16oz tulip

A — Pours with a deep rich brown hue, though there is some clarity when held up to the light, there is a light caramel colored head to it, fades fairly quickly and leaves some spotty lacing behind, though not super consistent.

S — Smells of roasted coffee, bitter espresso, light cocoa powder component to it, little bit of a caramel sweetness to it as well.

T — Tastes a lot like Maduro initially, though it does develop into a semi-sweet light chocolate component. There is a fair amount of coffee and cream as well, like a really nice bitter espresso with just a bit of sweetness to balance everything out.

M — Light in body, lighter than anticipated, there is a nicely lingering finish to it as well.

O — Very nice overall, a bit more malt could really bump this one up, but for coffee beers this is certainly up there. (909 characters)

Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
3.79/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into s tulip glass.
Appearance: dark brown with a little red. Foamy head with lots of small bubbles.
Aroma: espresso, roasted malt, and chocolate. Small amount of light bitterness on the noise.
Taste: roasted malt, vanilla, espresso, dark chocolate, a little licorice and tobacco.
Feel: light body with little after taste.
This beer is like "light" stout. The flavored are stout like but the body is light like an ale. Interesting beer but not exactly sure when I would drink it. (498 characters)

Photo of Franziskaner
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color with little penetration to light. A fingernail of beige is around the rim and a trace otherwise appears on top. A massive amount of expresso, chocolate , and vanilla. I taste deep dark expresso, chocolate, vanilla, and leather. The mouth is thick, chewy, and lightly sticky. (298 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can into a clear mug.

Appearance: deep, dark brown with red highlights when held up to the light. There's a touch of haze, a moderate effervescence and a finger of frothy tan foam. Quite attractive indeed.

Smell: the coffee is the first thing on the nose, with the vanilla and chocolate a subdued afterthought. There is a nice overall toffee sweetness, though, that really works for me.

Taste: the coffee and vanilla really come together with the somewhat caramelly malt character; the cacao plays just a supporting role but it does so very well. There's a lot going on here, but overall it is more of a symphony than a cacophony.

Mouthfeel: the body is rather light but with a big carbonation and a decent creaminess for the style. Just a little more body here would be wonderful.

Overall: I like this beer a lot. It has almost too much going on, but there's just enough restraint here to make a good beer. (939 characters)

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.51/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

32 ounce growler fill from Tampa tasting room, drank same night as poured. Good looking dark beer with fluffy tan head. The coffee dominates the smell. But not the taste. Wonderful sweet nut taste with the coffee in the background instead of dominating. Excellent, balanced, clean, smooth, and extremely tasty. Not real creamy. Outstanding! (347 characters)

Photo of billyblazes
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beach Test: first time drinking was from can....sunset on the beach. Passed it around to a couple friends, they did not want to give it back. I will bring more than 2 next time. Next day, drinking from cold glass........very impressive. This is now my fav Cigar City product. (275 characters)

Photo of babaracas
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clearish red-orange tinged dark brown with two fingers of light brown foam. Settles to a thin ring, a few rings of lace trail down the glass. Smell: huge espresso aroma...caramel, earth, tobacco note; brown bread, vanilla and milk chocolate notes. Taste: caramel, earthy, medium roast, stone fruit notes, toasted buttered brown bread; notes of chocolate, vanilla and toasted nuts (hazelnut-ish). This is a fantastic treat and seemingly every canning is better. Maybe it's because this one is only 10 days old. (517 characters)

Photo of MHorridge
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm not usually a brown-ale guy but this is great. It's a full-bodied, full-flavored beer. And frankly, this beer is markedly better since they moved to Buddy Brew Coffee for the beans they use. So good. (205 characters)

Photo of cambabeer
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Not usually into brown ales, but this one was good. Very portar like in hop character and look, and feel. Really nice coffee flavor, probably the best use of coffee flavors in a beer I've seen in a while, and still very drinkable (229 characters)

Photo of ELS
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I pick up this beer whenever it comes out in Florida. I just had a three month old can hiding in the back of my refrigerator and I was surprised that it still tasted great. The taste has a good balance of coffee and cocoa but doesn't overdo either flavor. It's coffee forward with a hint of cocoa. The thin mouthfeel is actually a nice change from the heavy stouts I've been drinking lately. This ale goes down easy and I'm always looking to buy more. (455 characters)

Photo of Spinaltapped
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look: Very dark for a brown ale. Deep, deep copper or bistre. Highly carbonated with lots of tiny, quickly dissipating bubbles. Very little head, even with a textbook heavy center pour.

Smell: Strong malt as it typical of an English style brown ale. Vanilla, grain, nuttiness, and just a bit of espresso.

Taste: Strong flavors of English malt with a vigorous splash of sweetened coffee with some vanilla. A bit of roast, almost burnt espresso towards the back. Tons of nuttiness. A hint of toffee.

MF: A full bodied brown ale. Definitely a bit over carbonated for my liking, but that's being nitpicky. Goes down smooth. (622 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can received as an extra in a recent trade.

Pours a rustic looking slightly hazy brown, with a half inch mocha head, and a little bit of lacing near the type of the glass.

Smells wonderful, like rich earthy and spicy coffee, with some chocolate, caramel, and vanilla beans.

This is one of the best brown ales I've ever had. The coffee flavor is awesome and really unique, very earthy, with some spicy black pepper flavors, toasted pumpernickel bread, rich dark chocolate, earthy vanilla bean, and some herbal root flavors. Really complex and really tasty. There's some great nutty flavors as well.

This is medium bodied, with a creamy and herbal mouthfeel, and a medium level of carbonation. It's insanely drinkable, drained this glass really quickly.

Definitely one of the best brown ales I've ever had. (809 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Canned on 1/6/15. Thanks to Cam for sharing and bringing me up a couple cans from Tampa.

A - Dark reddish-brown pour with slight clarity and some dusty haze floating about. A small beige head ends up as a ring and slight cap, dots of lace left.

S - Excellent. Fresh coffee beans out of the bag, toasted nuts, cocoa, slight vanilla, buttery bready pastries, brown sugar.

T - A bit stronger with the coffee with some roasted malt coming through, nice vanilla, kind of light on the chocolate. Some caramel and brown malt nuttiness. Kind of a coffee w/ cream and sugar feel, or maybe a flavored latte.

M - Slightly bitter, medium carbonation, solid malty body, good for the ABV.

O - Great coffee bean/cacao/vanilla, coffee and vanilla particularly stick out with combined awesomeness. Nice to have this in a low-ABV brown ale as well, nutty and caramel flavors meld extremely well. (882 characters)

Photo of SteveB24
3.33/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Look-color is a deep,clear ruby,basically no head to speak of save for a very thin ring of lacing, was excepting more considering the low ABV.
Smell-definietely the beer's best attribute IMO. Strong notes of coffee, some chocolate, a hint of vanilla.
Taste-all the tastes are very subdued, a little bit of coffee, vague, bread malt character, slightest bit of chocolate in the end. Didn't detect any vanilla.
Feel-very thin and light body, almost watery. very fizzy dispute the lack of visible carbonation.
Overall-i must say i was seriously disappointed with this, it wasn't a bad beer per se but for a beer that advertised itself as containing vanilla,cocoa and coffee i was excepting much more depth pf flavor, and i felt the feel and look to be quite underwhelming as well. sigh. CCB can't be perfect every time. (817 characters)

Photo of PostRockandCats
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can to a nonic.

L: Medium brown. Somewhat clear. No head; just a thin, khaki ring.

S: Medium roast Coffee beans (not dark; I have some old school Bustello here and that's WAY darker. But that's fine- it works well with the beer.) with some medium, nutty malt. A wee bit of hops at the end, but very little. Some pleasant light burnt notes at the tail end, as well. A nice amount of creamy vanilla throughout.

T: Nutty coffee with some burnt notes at the end. A little malty. Not at all hoppy. Just sweet enough to make for a balanced beer without being actively sweet. Nice bit of chocolate bitterness from the cacao nibs at the back with some fruity vanilla throughout. There's kind of an instant coffee taste in here.

F: Medium feel with a med-high carbonation.

O: Lovely. Wish it were year round. (818 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can from MeadMe, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a deep ruby brown with minimal quickly disappearing head. Huge freshly ground coffee aromas dominate. Honestly thats all I can find in the aroma. Big coffee flavors with bits of caramel vanilla ans chocolate. Again huge coffee flavors dominate. Great beer flavored iced coffee. (329 characters)

Photo of humuloner22
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I received this one on a trade back in the beginning of December. Canned on 10.9.14 so fairly fresh but maybe not as fresh as they have intended me to drink it and that is my fault. But, its not that old really for the style. It does say on the can to drink fresh and not age.

Appearance: Darker brown almost like a coca cola color, not very dark but nice appearance. Poured into a pint glass and a huge head developed, I had to wait until it settled to pour the rest. Once it relaxed it had a decent lacing and globs of foam stuck to the glass.

Aroma: It hits you right on the nose immediately, lots of coffee, some vanilla and caramel notes. After it sat in the glass for a moment the beer lost some of the coffee aromatics and caramel dominated.

Taste: Lots of coffee, vanilla, sweet, but not overly cloying, its very clean on the tongue. It almost reminded me of a Manhattan special coffee soda at first but then the beer characteristics come through as it warms.

Overall: This is a good beer, the flavor profile is great. My only complaint is the lack of body. I feel like this beer would be a lot better if it had a bit more body or some viscosity to the mouth. Otherwise it is a solid and tasty brew! (1,212 characters)

Photo of RppIII
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Cigar City
Cuban-style Espresso Brown Ale

This beer was the given as a gift by a good friend. It beer was packaged in a 12oz can with a canning date on the bottom of 6-2-14. Described on the can as Ale with vanilla, Cacao, and Coffee Beans. Consumed on 1-2-15.

Appearance: the beer pours a translucent brown with subtle hints of copper. There is a good deal of carbonation and a frothy head quickly bubbles up. This is semi-short lived, however, as it quickly subsides to lacing the inside edges of the glass.

Smell: The most overwhelming of the aforementioned adjuncts is the vanilla. It is very present in the nose in this beer. Behind the vanilla, trying to break through are roast coffee and cocoa.

Taste: The taste is an interesting amalgamation of flavors. The vanilla, again, over powers the other adjuncts to be the forefront and first flavor to cross the palate. The soft, velvety flavor of cocoa is present on the finish and, for a second, tricks your mind into thinking that you are actually consuming a rich, molten chocolate. The coffee, almost unnoticeable in this beer acts as the equilibrium between the overpowering vanilla and rich, chewy chocolate, providing a platform on which they can be enjoyed

Mouthfeel: this beer is highly carbonated but the velvet of the cocoa helps create a very unique and enjoyable mouthfeel. It's chewy and carbonated but not at all viscous.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Another excellent product from Cigar City.

January 2, 2015
Fort Myers, Fl (1,519 characters)

Photo of lonesomecrowdedwest
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Easy drinking beer with an incredibly smooth finish. Very good balance with incredible finish. Good segway for casual beer drinkers into complex beers. I always get at least one at the brewery or tap house that serves it when it's available. (242 characters)

Photo of infinitebruner
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

October 26, 2014

12 oz can, hotel water glass

A – Medium brown, very high clarity, some opacity but generally can see through it pretty well. Red tints where the light shines more directly. An inch of deep tan foamy head, with low retention.

S – Straight dark roast coffee and almost nothing else. A hint of malty, roasted, toasted black bread, and very light hop bitterness.

T – Dark roasted coffee with a dollop of cream, silky French vanilla. The vanilla shows through more as the beer warms. Light gourmet chocolate syrup. Malt mostly supports the rest, some roasted notes are there. Any hop bitterness is overwhelmed by the coffee and roasted malt bitterness.

M – Fairly light body, not much heavier than iced coffee. Carbonation is moderate, and helps to balance the roasted coffee flavors.

O – Certainly a well-made coffee beer, but pretty straightforward with no real surprises. But there’s a lot to be said for doing this style well. (969 characters)

Photo of MNishCT77
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. can purchased in late 06/2014, canned on 06/02/2014, poured into my NEBCO Ghandi-Bot snifter glass, drank over 30 minutes

A: 2/3 - mahogany/brown coloration, low clarity (cannot read or see through), initially large khaki head pours large and settles into a 1/2 finger lacing with carbonation lakes; moderate alcohol legs

S: 9/12 - moderate espresso, coffee, caramel, toffee; no hop or alcohol aroma; no diacetyl, no DMS

T: 14/20 - on the front of the tongue, there is a mild coffee/dark chcolate-esque bitterness; in the middle of the palate, the coffee, espresso and cacao notes develop and fill the mouth; on the back end, there is a toffee/caramel sweetness that is inviting and not cloying; finishes semi-sweet with a coffee creamer-ish quality; little alcohol and hop flavors

M: 3/5 - moderate body with some fullness provided by the specialty malts and coffee/cacao; overly carbonated for style with fizziness

O: 8/10 - unfortunately, this may have been an overcarbonated vs. infected beer, as the can was deformed; nevertheless, it doesn't taste infected; it definitely hits as advertised with espresso, coffee, cacao and brown note character; slightly overrated score (92) but enjoyable nonetheless

TOTAL - 36/50 (1,235 characters)

Photo of zachary80
4/5  rDev -2%

Can thanks the Reginald. Canned 6/19/14. Hecho a mano 371

Light brown / dark amber body with a large tan brown head that fades and that has some retention. 3.75/5

Aroma is very good - chocolate, espresso, vanilla, malty sweetness. 4.75/5

Flavor is a little underwhelming after the aroma but would still be one of my favorite brown ales. Short finish. Wouldn't be able to pick out the added ingredients if it weren't obvious from the aroma but the flavor is still nice. 4/5

Body as expected for the style. 4/5

Overall a very good brown ale but I wouldn't hunt this one down unless you are seeking the great aroma. Also interesting that the coffee is very mild despite the can describing it as dominating. 4/5 (712 characters)

Photo of zac16125
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%

12oz bottle into a pint glass
no bottling dates

Thanks to allisonmichelle for sending this over as an extra

A: Pours a dark cola colored brown with 1 fingers width of light tan head. There are some whitish specks of sedimentation floating around. Head dissipates down fairly quickly and leaves effectively zero lacing. 3.5

S: Tons of coffee upfront, vanilla, caramel, a bit of cocoa. This smells like an iced coffee not a beer. Wonderful aroma. 4.5

T: Like the nose there is tons of coffee. In addition to the coffee I get lots of lactose-like cream notes, a big vanilla, some caramel, and subtle chocolate. Bitter roasted coffee lingers in the aftertaste after each sip. 4.25

M/D: Lighter side of medium body, carbonation appropriate, drinkability is good. 3.75

O: Easily the best brown ale Ive ever had (excluding Palo Santo Maroon which I don’t consider a brown ale). Definitely worth seeking out. 4.5 (925 characters)

Photo of c28nole
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Perhaps my favorite offering from Cigar City, one of the best breweries in the Southeast. Very coffee-forward. A strong coffee taste that you'd expect from a coffee stout, but with the drinkability of a brown ale. World class. (228 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter from a can.

Black would be more accurate than brown; this beer is pitch black. A creamy, foamy, light-khaki head sits a finger thick atop the body and sits there comfortably for a while. Lace forms a wall as the head recedes. A few bubbles are visible in the abyss that is this beer's body.

Huge coffee notes, but I get so much dark chocolate that I'm thinking mocha more than espresso. There's some burnt aroma and fresh grounds that add to the potency. I'd say there's a hint of caramel too.

Flavor-wise, this is practically coffee. I can almost taste dark roast beans. Light chocolate notes come in and out, but they are dominated by cafe.

A thin body with a strong feel of carbonation make this a little less enjoyable than I'd like. This brew's almost as watery as coffee at times, or so it feels.

I think the appearance and aroma of this beer set it up for failure. I had high expectations after each, but the body and flavor couldn't quite match. It's a decent beer. (1,004 characters)

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Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 284 ratings.