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Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Cubano-Style Espresso Brown AleCubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

290 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 290
Hads: 1,241
Avg: 4.08
pDev: 20.1%
Wants: 314
Gots: 188 | 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: 290 | Hads: 1,241
Photo of TheItalianStallion
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a fresh growler into a tulip.

A: Transparent black in color with a thin head of tan foam. The head quickly fades to a thin film on top of the beer. No lacing left behind at all.

S: Perfect aromas of strong, fresh brewed coffee with a good amount of caramel malts. A hint of nuttiness is there, but the coffee aromas dominate. Coffee beers are some of my favorites, and this one has the best aroma of any coffee beer I've drank to date.

T: Strong flavors of fresh brewed coffee with a good amount of roastiness in the background. Some mild chocolate flavors coming out as the beer warms.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation leading to a pretty smooth mouthfeel. Semi dry on the finish with some bitterness.

O: If you love coffee, this is without a doubt the beer for you. The coffee is the main focal point, as opposed to being part of a variety of different flavors; the way it is with many other coffee beers. In my opinion the fact this is a brown ale instead of being a stout or porter is what sets this beer apart. I would highly recommend this beer, ESPECIALLY if you love a fresh cup of coffee or espresso.

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Photo of cbraden
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tried this one from the tap. I really liked the nose on this. Very well balanced on the palate and I did not experience any of the bitter after taste that some of the other reviewers have commented on. Overall, this is a very good beer, although with a flavor this unique, I do agree that it would be hard to enjoy more than a couple in a sitting.

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Photo of darktronica
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A lovely coffee ale for those who really enjoy an earthy, nutty, dirt-grind pull of espresso; the grind is real on this one. Take the beer's name at its word, as it definitely resembles an espresso shot with enough sugar to offset bitterness but not to turn it into a dessert. There is no cappuccino, no latte, no macchiato here.

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Photo of dfillius
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2014 vintage, reviewed on 7/12/14. Poured in a wine glass, split with Mom
A: 2/3 finger tan head from a moderate pour. Chill hazy brown liquid.
S: Vanilla and toffee first. Coffee arrives to the party strongly halfway through.
T: Slight coffee aftertaste, though it has notes of what I dislike in red ales (still unknown to me what it is). Where's the cacao?
M: Dry, woody, peaty open with sweet finish
O: Nice coffee beer. Shame that the aftertaste was unpleasant. It brought the whole enjoyment level down for me.

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

Basically a coffee-flavored version of Maduro. It smells so good and it's from my favorite brewery, so I wanted to like this more than I did. It's better than Maduro, but still just too sweet to drink for an extended period (like Maduro). I couldn't handle more than one of these in a session.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.12/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is ruby with a brown hue and a thin tan head. Nose is assertive clean coffee, moderate vanilla, decent roast, little malt profile, mostly adjunct. Flavor is similar but really thin and watery, slightly heavier roast, flavors are fairly enjoyable if it wasn't watered down, still mostly adjunct and very little base beer. Light bodied, soft carb, smooth feel.

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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.

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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 a "light" stout. The flavors are stout like but the body is light like an ale. Interesting beer but not exactly sure when I would drink it again.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 290 ratings.