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Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale - Cigar City Brewing

Cubano-Style Espresso Brown AleCubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

706 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 706
Reviews: 252
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.51%

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:
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 added by: tpd975 on 05-26-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 706 | Reviews: 252 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Cigar City takes NYC event at Rattle 'N' Hum. I am not a coffee drinker but this is very good coffee that comes right through the taste buds. Its Dark with virtually no head. Roasted coffee aromas.Way above average for a brown style.
Certainly not retired

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2010 18:07:24 | More by Sammy
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to my man TPD for sending this one my way. I had been dying to try all the new stuff coming out of CC and this one was very high up on my list. Growler served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 06/16/2009.
The pour was very nice, and about what I expected. Deep rich brown in color with a nice honey color along the sides and the bottom of the glass. Light off whiter head on top, maybe a half an inch but it had nice staying power and coated the glass on the way down quite nicely I have to admit. Not much visible carbonation. Rich aroma of coffee is apparent right off the bat. Not soo sweet as you find in most of the coffee stouts and porters floating around these days, this had more of a fresh grind like aroma with nice earthy tones blended in. Almost a tobacco like smell as well and a light bitterness that was evident even in the aroma. Smooth, mellow flavor, nothing really astringent about this at all. The mellow brown ale that I loved as the regular maduro is transformed, it is very much a wonderful flavor here. Rich, and again, unsweetened coffee notes. The flavor as best I can describe is like a dark French roast coffee served black, with a nice maltiness added to it and an herbal quality rounding it out. Very interesting, I am again picking up touches of tobacco in here as well. Feel was light, very nicely done again, not too heavy on the carbonation, but nowhere near flat, with that great blend of flavor that made the first glass great with dinner and the last an appropriate nightcap.
Overall great blend of flavors here, reminded me in some ways of the Percolator Dopplebock in the range of coffee notes. Very impressed with what is going on down in Tampa and cannot wait to get home and try the vanilla one tonight.

Serving type: growler

06-17-2009 14:52:49 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail


4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Greg for the growler of this. I've been wanting to try this one for quite some time. Shared yesterday at the Bruery tasting room.

A: The pour is a dark mahogany color with very little in the way of head; perhaps a thin ring of off-white foam around the glass.

S: The nose is full of rich coffee with a slight sweet creaminess that made it seem like a cream stout, almost. The roasted malt comes through as well and enhances the coffee notes.

T: I'm glad to say the flavor of this one follows the nose. Wonderful roasted malt and coffee flavors with the same sweet cream flavor that has a hint of vanilla to it.

M: The body is medium with a lower level of carbonation which provides a smooth mouthfeel.

D: This is easily the best beer from CCB that I've had. Great coffee flavors to go along with the sweetness. I'm very glad to have tried this one.

Serving type: growler

02-14-2010 01:54:00 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives with a translucent brown color and a nice one finger head that tracks spots of lace around the chalice

Smell: If there is a more awesome coffee aroma on a beer, I have yet to encounter it

Taste: Brown bread and coffee, up front, with a developing chocolate aspect by mid-palate; even fudgier after the swallow with the coffee returning to match the chocolate in the finish

Medium: Medium body with moderate carbonaton; not as creamy as I would have thought given the oatmeal

Drinkability: Most other brewers blend coffee with stout or porter but Cigar City has gone in a different direction, using a brown ale base - extraordinarily different

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2010 21:33:35 | More by brentk56
Photo of BEERchitect


3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The flavor of strong coffee beans abound in this medium bodied brown ale. The coffee-rich balance is backed by medium malt flavor, medium body, and low hop bitterness for a lush java taste. A dream beer for coffee lovers.

Cubano Espresso pours with a medium density, dark brown color, and a medium haze. A dense tannish foam blankets the surface with an appearance of true espresso creme. Small islands of lace appear on the glass in somewhat sticky fashion.

Strong aromas of whole and fresh coffee beans fill the nose and with a background aromas of deeply caramelized malts, walnuts, bold roast, heavy toast, cocoa, and walnuts help to round out the nose. A moderate coffee-like sourness occurs late, similar to scorched coffee or overused coffee grounds.

The immense coffee onslaught continues in taste. all the coffee char, roast, toast, nuts, cocoa, and burnt caramels come through in taste just as they did aromas. Albeit with the coffee bitterness and a light sour taste. Coffee character is high to the point where the more beery aspects are hardly noticed.

Medium bodied, the weight and viscocity of the beer seems light compared to the intensity of flavor, leaving me want more heaft and creaminess especially to start. The mid palate brings in slightly watery feel and almost timid transition to finish. Bitter and with moderate astringency, the finish is semi-dry with a linger of coffee and burnt caramel.

Maybe its because I'm used to tasting the infussion of coffee into more hearty malted beers, but the balance on this beer is too one-dimentional towards the coffee. Though I like the coffee taste, I also like the rebuttal of the base beer to make more of an impression. Astringency and bitter of coffee seems to rise because of the light malt flavor and feel.

Thanks again BlueOkie!

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2011 03:20:13 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark chestnut brown with a nice tan head and decent retention.

S: Plenty of dark-roasted espresso beans along with hints of chocolate, slightly-roasted malt, and a bit of toffee.

T: Loads of crisp espresso and coffee flavors with some chocolate and sweet malt.

M: Very nice and creamy with an excellent amount of carbonation.

D: Very tasty and goes down very smoothly. Another masterfully-crafted brew from CCB.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2010 22:05:04 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark (but not too dark, mind you) brown body with a scant, off-white head.

Smell: Beyond the espresso infusion, the aroma is predominately malty with notes of chocolate powder, caramel, and even some oven-toasted almonds.

Taste: Soft brown maltiness with flourishes of nuttiness, cocoa, and semi-sweet caramel. Ample roasty espresso flavor, too. Earthy, roasty bitterness. Finishes earthy and semi-dry with a lingering hint of caramel and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: The body seems just a hair thin to me, but the flavor is definitely there, which, for me, is the important part. Overall, an enjoyable brown ale.

Serving type: growler

07-31-2009 21:13:44 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of MasterSki


4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

32oz growler courtesy of ktrillionaire - thanks dude! Served in a FoBAB pint taster glass.

A - Pours with a finger-plus of ecru foam that dissipates to a thin collar and some light film. Dark brown that's lighter at the fringes. Not much in the way of lacing.

S - Espresso! Some cocoa, brown sugar, and cookies too. You can tell the beans in use is pretty high in quality. The roasty bite from the espresso helps offset the sweet base beer (unlike Zhukov, where bitterness is multiplied by bitterness).

T - Taste again has lots of espresso flavor, with some nuts and milk chocolate as well. I'm pretty sure there isn't lactose sugar in this, yet I'm somehow convinced that this "coffee" has cream & sugar added to it.

M - Soft, low carbonation. Medium body that is slightly milky in character. Simultaneously sticky and roasty finish.

D - This was pretty enjoyable. A couple of us finished off the growler pretty quickly. The low ABV helps here, even though the beer is pretty flavorful. Biggest point of comparison is Coffee Bender, but I think I might like the Surly offering a touch more.

Serving type: growler

07-31-2010 02:59:56 | More by MasterSki
Photo of drabmuh


4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle gifted by Thorpe, thanks. Beer served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Beer is brown and mostly clear with a thin tan head of tiny bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low to moderate.

Aroma is like tobacco and coffee, the coffee is more subtle than anticipated but it smells good.

This beer is pretty good on its merits. It is medium bodied, no real carbonation in the mouth, finish is mildly bitter, not dry, nice midpalate flavors of tobacco and some late coffee roast, overall a very easy drinking fine beer. I would have more of this in the future.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 20:42:01 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000


4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to someone for sharing this bottle at the Flying Saucer Beer Tasting.

The beer pours a brownish color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the bitter coffee and bitter chocolate with a little bit of roasted malt mixed in.

The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of milk chocolate notes, with a good amount of coffee also mixed in. I also get some vanilla and hazelnut notes, as well as a little bit of cream.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 22:05:17 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Knapp85


4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This poured out as a nice amber brown color with a cream colored head on top. The retention is very good along with the lacing. The ever is big with coffee aromas and some cream. The taste is coffee, roasted malts and some chocolate. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and smooth. Light bodied and drinkable. Overall this beer is very good. Really enjoyable!

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2013 00:59:17 | More by Knapp85
Photo of barleywinefiend


4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown with wrimson highlights with light lacing but good head retention Not bad for a brown ale.

S: Lots of sweet, creamy chocolate and coffee. It smells like a cup of delicious espresso. Whiffs of vanilla and caramel also come to play

T: Similar to the aroma, light sweetness upfront and creamy chocolate with robust coffee flavors permeate. Not detecting to much of a brown ale base due to mad dash of flavors. I do get some caramel and toffee though. The finish is slightly bitter with a nice lingering coffee presence and somewhat dry

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer would benefit from a creamier body to go with the chocolate and coffee flavors.

O: Not a fan of this style but this was good. To bad you have to jazz it up for me to dig it.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2013 14:06:06 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of Rifugium


3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Woody's, Philly, PA

Poured a very cloudy cedar brown color with a small cap of tannish head that retained as a ringlet and left a bit of lacing on the glass. Nutty aroma rife with coffee grounds. Taste of coffee grounds, as promised by the nose, nutty, caramel malts, toasted grains, grassy and slightly astringent in the finish. Body was about medium, a little thin-tasting, but generally pretty drinkable. Not something I'd go out of the way for again.

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2012 00:41:21 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler pour from Decicco's, Ardsley, NY. Pours darkest of browns, light black, dark tan head, plentiful and thicker sheeting and bands of elegent lace. Coffee grounds come to mind upon the sniff. Flavorful Brown, some light chocolate, gets overtaken by waves of more coffee. Not overpowering, just flavorful and coffealicious in its approach. Well crafted and enjoyable in all its facets...looking forward to more Cigar City brews in the NYC/CT/NJ/NY suburbs...and cant wait to check em out whenever I'm lucky enough to get back down to Tampa, F.L.A.

Serving type: growler

01-30-2010 04:28:59 | More by Billolick
Photo of woodychandler


4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ho ho ho! My wide CANQuest (TM) net has landed me not one, but two bottles of this gem. I am grateful to both people who sent me one, but given the massive number of Wants, I will allow them to out themselves as they see fit. Coming Clean Dept.: My second favorite beverage, behind beer, is coffee. When I first went into Uncle Sugar's Canoe Club, I had a solid disdain for Joe, but as time progressed, I weaned myself off of cream and sugar to the point at which I am today. I like my coffee like my women - hot & black. Nah, I'm less choosy about the ladies, but my java has to come smoking out of the pot.

From the bottle: "Brown Ale With Cuban-Style Espresso Beans".

The bottle has been cooling down for most of the day and I cannot resist any longer! My pour created a dense finger of deep-tan head with moderate retention. Color was a deep brown with limited light penetration and only amber highlights at the edges. Nose took me back to La Maddalena, Sicily, c. 1985 and Sunday late mornings/afternoons, learning how to play Bocce from the natives. You can call it Cuban-style all you want, but espresso is espresso the world over and I readily recognize the scent. Giuseppe Guillermo was the name of the old man who took me under his wing, put a cuppa in my left (non-throwing) hand, a pallino in my right hand and a Parodi in my mouth. Mouthfeel was big, full and tasted like cold coffee. You had best brace yourself for the flavor of tobacco, charcoal and simple roastiness if you plan to indulge in this gem. I no longer smoke (anything), due to adult-onset asthma, but this made me want to light up. For you cigar aficionados, I recommend a maduro, if you catch my drift. The finish left me feeling like I had just finished a Bocce match - my mouth was dry and laden with a taste of charcoal smoke and my heart was racing. Good times, brothers, good times. Say, did I just remember there is another bottle awaiting my attention?!?

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 23:02:49 | More by woodychandler
Photo of stakem


3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken 6/5/10.

Served in a snifter, it appears a dark brown color with some redness about that looks to be a very deep ruby color when held to the light. A finger of creamy head covers the top of the brew and coats the glassware. Aroma of this brew has a roasty nose of fresh espresso blended with some smokey notes. Dare I say it actually is reminescent of a cigar? Taste includes coffee blended with the cigar/tobacco flavors previously indicted by the nose. This tobacco flavor lingers in the mouth. This brew has a light feel with a mild level of carbonation. At times it feels a bit watery but it makes up for it with lots of flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2010 19:20:16 | More by stakem
Photo of weeare138


3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap at Kickbacks Gastropub in Jacksonville...
Appears a hazy dark brown with a light tan head. A creamy head of froth. A huge amount of lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of cream, cocoa, espresso, and lactose.
Taste is of the aromas with a sugary, wood like flavor.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy, and dry.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2010 23:47:49 | More by weeare138
Photo of johnmichaelsen


4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's the other day.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color wiht good head retention and lacing. The nose is very impressive in this beer, and shows considerable coffee grounds, chocolate and vanilla. There's also a hint of leather and tobacco in this interesting beer. Flavors replicate the nose, though given the richness and intensity of the nose, I was a bit let down by how light and thin the flavor profile was. Drinkabilty is pretty good, with the alcohol well disguised. There is a hint of earthy bitterness in the finish which is interesting.

The beer smells better then it tastes, but ultimately I'm kind of impressed with what Cigar City seems to be trying to accomplish. I'm not a huge fan of american brown ales, but these guys are starting to make me stop and take notice of the style. Impressive.

Serving type: on-tap

04-21-2010 00:45:56 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to grub for sharing this growler! Did the regular, espresso, and vanilla side by side.

Pours a clear dark orange/brown, some reddish hints, thin light tan head forms, settles down to a thick ring, good lacing, looks about the same as the original. Smell is nice, very malty, caramel, nuts, bread and biscuits, nice espresso roast character, touch more chocolate, pretty nice. Taste is good too, big roast up front, fresh espresso, caramel sweetness, nuts, raisins, earthy, dry biscuits, very malty, nice roasty finish. Mouthfeel is the same, medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. This one is nice, the espresso character is pretty enjoyable! Thanks again Russ!

Serving type: growler

07-07-2009 17:12:08 | More by Viggo
Photo of glid02


4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Quinlan - thanks!

Pours a deep chestnut brown color with a thin off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of robust and smooth coffee with mild roasted and chocolate malt undertones. Also present are very slight amounts of tobacco - one of the reasons I like this base beer so much.

Tastes similar to how it smells, although not quite as intense. Lightly roasted malt flavors kick things off and are sweetened a bit by good amounts of toasted malt and dark chocolate flavors. Midway through the sip huge hits of coffee come into play and carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this is another tasty iteration of the Maduro series - well worth a shot and I look forward to trying others.

Serving type: growler

03-08-2010 21:34:43 | More by glid02
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle gifted by Chaney. Prost!

The beer is brown and somewhat hazy, with a thin, beige collar that leaves a fair amount of lacing behind. The aroma consists of coffee beans, tobacco, smoke, roast, leather, and some mustiness. Jeff nailed it - "This beer smells like John Wayne." The flavor is more coffee forward than the nose would indicate, with less intricacies than were presented to the olfactory senses. The base beer is still distinguishable, and not overrun by the often dominating coffee scents. The feel is somewhat thin, with moderate carbonation. A decent brew, and quite interesting. Not my favorite coffee brew, but intriguing and worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2011 00:12:59 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of smakawhat


4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. No dating present.

A very hot brown light white head that is kind of creamy, but tiny in form. Body color is a classic dark walnut but surprisingly clear and not cloudy at all.

Coffee bent, thick and rich.. with hint of malt. Thick coffee cappuccino with shots of chocolate in the nose. Wonderful.. this is RICH smelling, creamy and milky too.

A good milk chocolate bent surprisngly more than anything. Coffe sense in the palate but a big feel of milk chocolate just melted and dripping, gives way to coffee bitters on the finish. Wet and a hint of carbonation, but one that doesn't take away from the drinks pleasantries.

Overall... VERY good drink here. However, provides more of a chocolate bent than coffee surprisingly, but hey... nobody is complaining.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2011 00:05:24 | More by smakawhat
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a Dogfish Head stout glass, enjoyed with JackTheBear on a recent trip to Athens, GA. Poured a deep dark brown with a one finger tan head. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of BIG espresso, coffee, and cream. The flavor was of roasted malt, espresso, coffee beans, cream, and chocolate. It had a medium-heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this brew was quite excellent. Since I personally don't drink coffee, I could see this as being a damn fine substitute. Had an excellent aroma and flavor on this one. Very well balanced even for a non-coffee drinker. The aroma was almost intoxicating it was so rich. Also it went down nice and smooth leaving you craving more. Very nice brew CCB!

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2010 12:53:37 | More by thagr81us
Photo of kylehay2004


4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: decent lacing. murky brown. Half finger off brown head.

S: mild espresso roast smell. burnt and toasted malt.

T: vanilla, mild coffee and roast. Sweet cocoa in the background. Not too overwhelming with the espresso. This is very well done.

M: Moderate carbonation and medium to full body.

Overall: An excellent beer. The espresso is just the right strength and the grouping of the flavors is excellent

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2011 22:42:21 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap at the Cigar City Brewing tasting room in Tampa. Served in a pint glass, the beer has the same body and color of Maduro Brown. A deep, dark brown color with ruby highlights and a light, thin, foamy head. Smells like I dove into a double espresso. Smelling this made the hair on my chest stand up. Bravo! Flavor is very heavy in the coffee, and tastes like I am eating coffee beans. Slight sweetness helps balance the bitterness from the liquid Juan Valdez. The aftertaste is like wearing a used Folgers filter around your neck, with some light, sweet malty and spiced flavors. Dry, crisp finish. Very tasty!

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2011 02:08:46 | More by GarthDanielson
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Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 706 ratings.