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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 Sammy
3.97/5  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

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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

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Photo of Knapp85
4.16/5  rDev +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!

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Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
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

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.41/5  rDev -16.4%
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!

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a medium brown color ale with a large light brown foamy head with average retention and not much lacing. Aroma of strong dry coffee notes with some roasted notes and floral coffee notes. Taste is also dominated by strong dry coffee notes with some floral undertones and lots of roasted notes. Body is light with good carbonation. Interesting but closer to drinking a cup of coffee than a beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  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.

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Photo of oline73
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a reddish hue. There is a finger of tan head that leaves a layer on top.

Smell: Nutty roasty coffee with a nice sweetness. Hints of vanilla and brown sugar as well. Very nice.

Taste: The first thing I notice is how little bitterness there is from the coffee. The roasty coffee is there, but not as bitter as other coffee beers I've had. This beer has a nutty quality to it as well. Not as sweet as the smell, not picking up the vanilla notes here. Nice balance. The finish has a very mild bitterness to it.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a mild to medium amount of carbonation. The finish is extremely dry.

Overall: This beer has a very nice balance to it. I taste the coffee, but I can also taste the elements that make it a brown ale. I'd have another.

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Photo of nickfl
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured with a small head of white foam on top of a brown body with good clarity. The foam settles slowly and leaves good lace.

S - Aromas of brown malt with some toffee and light caramel. A little bit of chocolate in the background and some mild coffee.

T - Brown caramel and toffee malt flavors up front with some light coffee character. The malty caramel sweetness blends with the espresso and creates an impression similar to that of a blended iced coffee drink. It finishes with lightly sweet caramel and coffee balanced by light bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderately light carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Smooth with lots of complex coffee and caramel character. The coffee is assertive but well balanced by the malt and doesn't overwhelm the palate. This is a very nicely made beer, the coffee highlights the best qualities of the base beer without overwhelming it.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.42/5  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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of stakem
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of tdm168
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a moderate caramel color with a ton of head. When I started to pour there was immediately 2" of head without a vigorous pour. The head didn't go away any time soon. It took several minutes to get the full beer into the pint glass. The nose has notes of caramel, brown sugar, chocolate, tobacco, and smoke. The flavor coffee-like up front with some smoky, earthy, woody notes. There are also some faint citrusy notes in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a moderately carbonated.

This is a decent beer. It's a nice play on a brown ale. The flavor is complex but I'm not sure if I would want more than one of these at any given time.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of billab914
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Cigar City pint glass. It poured a deep mahogany color with a thin khaki colored head covering the top of the beer. The head had some nice retention to it, and left some modest lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma is very strong with the espresso. I get just a bit of a sweeter, malty flavor trying to poke through, but the espresso overpowers most of the maduro flavors. It's a excellent espresso aroma though.

The taste is also strong with the espresso flavors. Unlike a lot of coffee flavored beers, it doesn't have a big roasted, bitter or burnt profile to it. It's more of a clean, espresso flavor. A bit more if the malty, sweet flavors shine through compared to the aroma. It helps give it a little balance, which isn't always the case in a coffee flavored beer. It's very flavorful and tasty, a little one dimensional but it's very good at what it is.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style and carbonation is moderate. Overall, I thought it was a very good beer. They really got some great espresso flavors in there and managed to get them very clean and drinkable. The malt helped balance a little, but didn't add a ton of flavor overall. Loved the flavor to it overall, and one of the best coffee infused beers I've had. It could have used a bit more of the beer flavor coming through though.

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Photo of Lare453
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz into a dfh glass.

A cola brown, light foamy tan head, no lacing. Tiny crown left over. Some islands in the middle.

S wonderful fresh coffee, vanilla cream, nut,

T huge coffee forward beer, hints of lemon peel, vanilla, cocoa, nut, malt

M medium body, smooth, good carbonation, great

O amazing! A great beer, and I'm not a brown ale fan. Great infusion of coffee, vanilla and cocoa. Another hit from ccb.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
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?!?

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Photo of smakawhat
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.51/5  rDev -14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Dark mahogany body with flecks of red through the light. Mostly clear, given enough light. Not really any head and hardly any lacing. Just a slight white ring around the beer.

Smell - Sweet malt and coffee. Not as coffee smelling as I would have thought. It's there, but there's a better caramel smell that I really like. A hint of earthiness in the back.

Taste - Definitely coffee here. Up front it's all coffee. Like drinking iced coffee. Behind that the malt kicks in and gives it a sweetness that is definitely needed. The finish is back to coffee and a little astringent, with that earthiness that I smelled.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is disappointing. It's over-coffeed, but I suppose that's the point. It's astringent and bitter from the coffee, not the beer. Makes me feel like I need to brush my teeth.

Overall - Not as good as the other Maduro treatments. It's just a lot of coffee and it doesn't blend so well with the other flavors. Could be better, but it's drinkable.

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