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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

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288 Reviews
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Reviews: 288
Hads: 1,214
Avg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 316
Gots: 185 | FT: 16
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: 288 | Hads: 1,214
Photo of Stevedore
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, dated 10/2/2013, courtesy of RJ. Poured into a Cigar City snifter today, 10/30/2013.

Pours like a fairly standard-looking brown ale, but a bit darker. Dark, opaque brown body with a solid 1cm off-white head that has decent retention. Leaves a collar and spots of soapy film. Not much lacing.

Smells like a straight up espresso shot with vanilla syrup added. Not much sweetness behind the nose, though there is a little. It's really coffee and vanilla flavours dominating this beer.

I love how this beer tastes. Sweet, brown sugar and molasses are present throughout, whereas there is a nice coffee bitterness at the beginning and end, with that ever-present raw vanilla flavour dominating in the middle. It's got a lot going on, but its not too intense that any one thing dominates over the other. Smooth, complex, tasty.

Good mouthfeel- medium bodied brown ale, with very good carbonation. Smooth body yet a bit fizzly on the palate, not leaving it too dry but just refreshingly enough so. Aftertaste is a mixture of sweet butterscotch and espresso, with a dab of vanilla. Very drinkable.

Enjoyed this one a lot. It's got a more authentic vanilla flavour mixed in with a nice coffee flavour, and its all supported at the base by the base brown ale. Yet another well crafted beer from Cigar City.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.39/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Cigar City Cubano Style Espresso

From 10/12/13 tasting notes.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Served chilled. Split this one. Thanks Jeff...

A) Foggy brown brew with a small light tan head. The head slowly settled to a collar. A little lacing...

S) A wonderfully sweet coffee aroma. I mean I really enjoyed the nose on this one. It reminded me of exactly how I take my espresso on holiday. Toss in 3-4 sugar cubes, splash of cream. I was transported to a European cafe.

T) A very nice coffee flavor, a bit of light bitterness from the beans, but this is balanced nicely with hints of chocolate, caramel, and vanilla.

M) If I had any complaint on this brew at all, it would be that I found the body to be a bit thin. The carbonation was fine. Really, it was smooth and easy drinking.

O) I really enjoyed this beer. Cigar City knows how to brew up some tasty brown ales. It's kind of an under appreciated style, but if you have the chance to give this one a try, do not hesitate. It is unique, and quite tasty.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you SammyJaxxxx for sending this!

A - Pours very dark brown and is almost black in color with very little head and leaves behind a thin cream colored lacing ring.

S - Espresso and coffee beans dominate the nose along with dark roasted chocolate and some vanilla cream. The aroma is strong and pungent.

T - Espresso and coffee beans a aggressively flavored from start to finish before fading out towards then end ever so slightly to allow some caramel malt and light hints of vanilla cream to poke through.

M - Medium body and leaves a combination coating of dark roasted chocolate and coffee beans with a little cream.

O - Not a fan of brown ales but this one sits at the top compared to the rest.

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Photo of pjkelley82
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got this one thru a trade that the trader put together... damn good choice...

Appearance was very nice... brownish hue almost looks inpenitrable but when a light comes thru from the bottom a beautifull ruby brownish color comes out. Nice khacki color 1/2 in head dispitated quickly.. ring stayed thruout.

Smell was ridiculous. .. delicious, strong, bold espresso... with the cacao. .... not chocolate(in a sense) but cacao.... backing it up ... slight hints if vanilla but very slight. . Perfect smell quality and balance and hands over fist the best part of this beer.

Taste was imiedietly stong sweet espresso that was absoultely bold and delisious... followed by a nice bittering from the cacao. .. vanilla hits ever so gently but is mostly lost into the perfect blend of ingredients. .. aftertaste was bold bitter espresso and slight hops

Mothfeel was light to medium but to my surprise was perfectly carbonated...

Overall this was an excellent brew and one I would recommend and seek out... perfect with a cigar just drinking away... only knock on it to me was I wish it was higher in abv and made more of a sipper.. the higher abv would of lent a great hand into the mix of some perfectly tasting and balanced ingredients that are already present... none the less an enjoyable brew.

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Photo of aMILESupreme
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I left this beer wanting a little more. For what it is, it's fantastic. A nice flavorful brown ale. The nose carries this insane strong coffe smell so you expect something deep and rich but it's not either. The carbonation got in the way and the lack of depth. Definitely give this beer a try. I probably won't be seeking again though.

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Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy amber brown ale with a tan tinged head. Super rich espresso nose. Cocoa notes and rich malts.

Tasty espresso flavored brew. Sweet espresso and chocolate malts through out. Medium bodied with good carbonation. A dark ale that remains refreshing. Espresso flavor is slightly sweet with just enough bitterness to balance. a touch of lingering sweetness. ton of rich espresso flavor, really nice.

I would love to drink this beer for breakfast

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of mverity
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Best espresso aroma of any beer I've had! Pours a deep brown with very little cream colored head. The aroma is so good. Deep, rich coffee aroma, with sweet malt and a rich earthiness. The taste is heavy on the coffee/toffee front with a back sweetness from the malt. It almost has the superb mouth feel of Maduro, where I think there might be some rolled oats to increase the creaminess, but I get much less oat than I do in Maduro. Really enjoy this beer when it comes out. Finally got around to reviewing it instead of just crushing the 4 pack in a few days.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with a thin white head and some spotty lacing. aroma is coconut, coffee, brown sugar, a hint of smoke, and some distant hoppiness. taste is rich and dominated by a fruity coffee taste. wood, pine and maple take over after the coffee makes its statement. finish is sweet and sticky. a nice beer.

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Photo of Benish
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter. Barely any foam appeared. The beer was a dark brown in color. Towards the finish of the beer, it was more of a tinted light brown.

Aroma was basically pure coffee. I cannot describe anything else. The aroma is really up front. Maybe some notes of roasted malts.

Taste like espresso poured into beer! CCB does not keep this coffee presence to a moderate. Its there in your face. At the first sip of the beer there did seem to be something missing. The coffee was pretty much dominant. Could not really detect the malts from the brown ale. Eventually it came in as I became used to the coffee presence. Note to people who do not drink coffee: this might not be the beer to try. It's robust and almost complex in the coffee flavor. The beer has a light bodied mouthfeel.

Overall the beer is fantastic however the coffee seems to mask the flavor of brown ale. It's almost like iced black coffee. I love coffee but still want to taste the beer. A great beer for any coffee lover!

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

Poured from a bottle into a 3FFF glass
pours darkish reddish brown with about 1/2 inch of head
smell is amazing heavy expresso coffee and vanilla
taste follows that of the smell expresso smooth and not acidity and vanilla
mouthfeel to me is a little on the thin side but very drinkabale
nice easy drinking would get again it is a nice way to finish the night after some heavy hitters

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Photo of AltBock
3.89/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Cigar City Tasting Room on 15 June. They served it to me in a standard American Cigar City pint glass.

I could tell right off the bat that it didn't pour a pitch dark coffee black color. Instead it poured a hearty dark mahogany brown with a cool looking cranberry red center. On top was a thick beige head of foam. It was a good 3/4 of inch in height. This tall head of foam had excellent retention that left behind a skim of foam and a ton of sticky beige streaks of lace around the glass. Beautiful!!

The aroma was straight up espresso! You could tell that they used quality coffee beans in this beer. They smelled really good. My nose couldn't pick up much behind the espresso. I got a whiff of roasted malt and a tiny speck of dark chocolate. It's nice to have a variety, but the rich scent of espresso was good enough for my nose.

It was pretty much the same story for the taste. The taste was all about the roasted espresso beans. For some reason, the quality of the beans was better in the aroma then what they were in the taste. They tasted dumbed down and slightly bitter. There was more roasted malt and dark chocolate in the taste as well as a tiny speck of caramel. These flavors didn't counter the dumbed down espresso bean taste. It was good, but it could have been better.

This was a straight up medium bodied coffee/espresso beer with a decent level of carbonation and a weak espresso aftertaste. There was only the taste of weakened espresso beans in the aftertaste. They won't linger. That's a good thing.

I had this beer in the bottles before and thought it was better than this. The draft really brought out the weak espresso beans. Really nice appearance, rich espresso aroma, but weak taste. I'll stick to the bottles.

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Photo of mobius387
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: rusty brown, very opaque, thin vanilla head, minimal carbonation

aroma: a nice nose, toffee hits the hardest with some great coffee aromas, some cream and sweet roasty notes to round it out. very well done.

palate: super smooth, medium bodied, flavor distributes evenly, not very boozy (duh, its 5.5%), not very bitter

taste: the malt and coffee blend very well together. nothing overpowering; this is not a coffee forward beer, but its nice and smooth making it a very drinkable brown. and im not a huge brown ale guy. its a little lighter bodied than what ive come to expect from most browns, but its also got a nice sweetness to it which is a good twist. overall, very well done and very enjoyable!

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Photo of davey101
3.41/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dated May 10, 11...sooo, not fresh at all being almost exactly two years old. Pours a dark brown body that lets some light through. Huge mocha foam head forms instantly over flowing the glass, cools down into one fingers worth. The smell is surprisingly still coffee heavy. Cold pressed espresso with some metallic notes. The taste is much better with faded espresso beans and some lightly roasted malts. A bitter coffee bean aftertaste. Somewhat creamy mouth feel. I hate reviewing a coffee beer with two years on it, but its not as terrible as I thought it would be. The coffee is still hanging on.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A- poured into a snifter. Pours a nice dark chestnut-brown with ruby hue, decent size light-tan head that reduces to just a ring

S- smells like a straight shot of espresso. Notes of vanilla, caramel, chocolate, nutty, hazelnut, coffee and roasted malt. Very enticing aroma

T- flavors of vanilla and toffee with a slight hazelnut kick, mid-palate provides a malty sweetness with a touch of chocolate, finishes dry with an astringent coffee bitterness and a long linger

M- medium-thin body with low carbonation, slightly foamy mouthfeel with a smooth finish. Mouthfeel seems just a bit too thin for the bold flavors

O- Definitely a coffee lovers beer with bold flavors and a nice hazelnut-vanilla kick. As bold as these flavors are, they balance out nicely. Really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Almost black in the glass, clear ruby, some carbonation one finger head.

S-Great deal of coffee, lots of it, some nuts, but man does the coffee dominate.

T-Not as much coffee as the nose, some vanilla along with nuts and spice.

M-Light and not much carbonation, a drawback for the beer.

O-Everything was downhill after the nose, still good but was expecting more.

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Photo of Maxwell
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a light roast coffee-brown, slightly like synthetic pancake syrup, and it sits in the glass as a very dark syrupy brown. It pours with about a quarter’s finger width of very slightly tanning head that fades from the middle of the beer but stays consistent on the sides. The beer leaves a slight lacing of dry splotchy bubble sheets. The beer’s body is dark and slightly hazy, but seems clean of particles. On the nose, the beer smells phenomenally of thick bitter chocolaty espresso. It has that sort-of stale coffee bean scent that is really quite inviting. It has a grainy yet slightly milked coffee bean smell to it that I am just loving the superb slight creamy chocolate nuances. On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet and then builds into a lovely coffee bitter. The flavor begins as sweet cacao chocolate flavors that slowly roast in the mouth and become sweet creamy espresso with a touch of bitter instant coffee. The finish is beautiful mocha espresso flavors. The aftertaste is of slight bitter coffee. In the mouth, the beer feels on the thinner side of medium with a creamy, latte-foam feel to the carbonation. The mouth is left feeling slightly dry from the encroaching roast of the coffee beans and some slight acid-neutralizing spittle, presumably also from the coffee beans. Overall, I really like this beer. This is a superb coffee beer, and a superb coffee brown ale. I love the creaminess of the beer, and I absolutely love the balance between the bitter coffee and the creamy, sweet vanilla and chocolate flavors. This beer thrives on superb balance, and is fully worth sampling. This is probably the best none-stout coffee beer I’ve ever tried. Try this beer!

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with ruby edges and a kahki half finger head. Aroma is more in you face coffee than I have ever experienced. Like snorting ground up eapresso beans with a touch of sweet. Flavor is all coffee, earthy bitter up front with a hint od vanilla on the finish. Easy drinking with prickly carbonation. Lighter mouthfeel than I had expectedZ An excellent brown ale.

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Photo of Rutager
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thank you to Coldsnack for this and all of the other great brews!

Appearance. Pours a deep red-brown with a thin off white head.

Smell. Espresso beans, some sweet caramel and vanilla and just a trace of caramel malts.

Taste. Big espresso and vanilla followed by cocoa powder. I keep expecting the cocoa powder bitterness but there's only a little along with the coffee in the finish, which is nice.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, below medium soft carbonation.

Overall. A flavourful easy drinker which isn't swamped with sweetness like so many beers with these types of flavours going on. I could drink a bunch of these. On a side note, yes it is flavOUrs. I am Canadian and that's how we roll, neighbour. Thanks again Tobey!

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

12oz pour into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear brownish dark ruby with a minimal slightly yellowed head. A spot or two of lacing.

S: Strong coffee aroma is the first thing I notice. Fresh coffee grounds. Also a pronounced chocolate character as it warms.

T: Smooth balanced taste with a blend of coffee and nuttiness. Not much bittering at the end. Lots of flavor for a lower ABV coffee brew.

M: Medium body appropriate for a brown ale. Good smoothness to this, and a clean finish. Nice and easy drinking.

Overall another great Cigar City beer. They make some damn good brown ales and this is right on par. A must try for any coffee beer fan, a good change from the stronger stouts.

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Photo of mnphish
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a light brown body capped by a small white one finger head. The nose is the highlight for me. Lots of espresso beans with hints of vanilla and malts. The taste is incredibly smooth and refreshing.

It's very light bodied and highly drinkable. The coffee comes through relatively light on the palate and is blended impressively by a powdery cocoa milk chocolate finish. A very delicious treat.

Not too rich or sweet by any means. It's kind of watery but still contains large doses of flavor. A finely crafted brew from CCB and one I'd crave at anytime.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.51/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks Chris for sharing!

(A)- Pours a very very dark burnt sienna color. Some minimal tan froth.

(S)- A great coffee aroma. The espresso is explosive and welcoming. Slightly sweet with a creamer-like vanilla finish. Really really nice.

(T)- Man, if only it tasted like it smelled. A hefty sweetness from the malt backbone and vanilla addition up front. The espresso is extremely subtle; almost seems faded; not sure on the age of the bottle.

(M)- A good carbonation level. The balance is ok, but would have liked to see the espresso come forward more; its bitterness would have balanced out the large sweetness really well.

(O)- The smell is incredible (as a coffee lover), but would have liked to see that carry over into the taste. The sweetness either just overpowers any espresso there might be in it somehow.

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Photo of beerloverofbham
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This may be one of the best non-imperial coffee beers I've had. Poured into a snifter. Coffee! Whew! Lots of it! Pours dark, with a large tan-white head. Clings to glass exceptionally well. Smells of nothing other than coffee in the nose. Espresso taste in the beginning, then moves to vanilla and a little bit of chocolate before returning back to a more bitter coffee finish. Props again to ksurkin.

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Photo of bonkers
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Irecieved this in a recent stout bif, served in a CCB snifter. It pours a deep coffee brown, good head, solid lacing. The best smelling coffee beer I have ever sampled, pure esspresso beans. Taste like it smells. he beer is light and easy drinking, well made all around. IMO more of a stout than a brown ale, but who cares, damn tasty!

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

Bottle to Rock Art Pint glass

A: Dark brown to brick red in color it has a small tannish head that goes away fast and leaves a decent lacing around the top of the glass. Not necessarily dark but pretty much completely opaque except around the edges under light.

S: Well it smells like a heaping amount of expresso quite literally smells like a fresh cup of coffee the smell is dominant and as aromatic as coffee added beer I have seen I'd go as far as it could be mistaken for fresh beans

T: It tastes exactly as advertised this is essentially a cup of coffee in a beer. There are rich espresso flavors that are not only powerful upfront but really last throughout the taste and through the finish. It fits the brown style well as the malt adds just the right backbone to balance out all that expresso. This is basically as perfect as you can get in terms of brown ale with coffee flavor.

M: The feel is light, thin and watery so it is very easy to drink, but you can feel the grittiness from expresso beans. It is smooth, good for a brown ale but not great not as impressive as other aspects of the beer.

O: I really like this beer it smells and tastes exactly like how I would imagine expresso beer would taste like I am very impressed. It is only okay in the other aspects but the smell and taste more then make up for that. Get this beer if you can a must try for any coffee drinker or fan of coffee in beer.

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Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 288 ratings.