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Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale - Cigar City Brewing

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

892 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 892
Reviews: 263
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 241
Gots: 101 | FT: 9
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: 892 | Reviews: 263 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mar02x
3.55/5  rDev -13.6%

I got this beer with thanks to the Brander.

A - At first its a decent looking brown ale, with a nice off white head and a hazy brown fluid.

S - Strange smell, pretty unique. Its a strong smell of wood and a slight scent of burned coffee beans.

T - The coffee is really present in this one. Its more like a coffee beer. One has to be a coffee bean lover to appreciate this. I am not unfortunately. The beer itself is also rather dry.

M - The carbonation is good and fits the taste. A little bitter finish.

O - Not a bad brown ale but like I said one has to be a coffee lover.

Mar02x, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of nlmartin
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%

The beer was served in a shaker pint.

A- The body of teh beer is mahogany. Thin white head resolves to a thin sheen.

S- The aroma is vanilla, malted chocolate balls, very pleasant espresso.

T- The flavor of the beer flashes bitter espresso going into a sweetened caramel, vanilla and cocoa.

M- The body of the beer is light and well carbonated. A bit of slickness noted.

O- A very well done brown ale with a nice espresso kick. If this is a sign of what Cigar City does I am looking forward to some more.

nlmartin, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%

Poured a super dark brown with awesome head and lacing.

The smell sweet malts, chocolate, and coffee.

There isn't much taste on the front but the back hits hard. With some iced coffee type flavors along with bitterness from the hops and roasted malts.

Overall a good beer and with a light body and mouthfeel it is very easy to drink.

Eriktheipaman, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of russwbeck
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%

A: Brown pour with a ridiculously large off white head. Basically like ice cream raising out of the beer. Extremely long lasting with great retention. A ton of bubbles race to the top.

S: The aroma of this can be pretty much summed up as: coffee and roasted malts. A lot of coffee, with the roastiness there simply to remind you that this is a beer, not a coffee.

T: I really have to remind myself that this is, in fact, a beer. I really want to get a bagel and use this as my morning coffee. Light and roasty with just a huge amount of espresso beans. Delicious.

MF: Dry, medium body, with a ton of carbonation.

O: Extremely drinkable and very good. If you like coffee, go for this, you won't be disappointed.

russwbeck, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%

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.

Mora2000, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of mdvatab
1.73/5  rDev -57.9%

Received as an extra in a recent trade.
Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter. Bottle date is 6/14

Aroma: Surprising musky citrus fruit note right up front. A light, roasted coffee bean aroma, plus milk chocolate, is immediately overcome by a tart cherry fruitiness. I'm a bit worried. The aroma profile doesn't match up w/ what I'd expect for an espresso brown ale.

Appearance: Deep brown w/ a tinge of red. One finger light tan head falls slowly. Thin, creamy lacing washes onto inside of glass. Nothing really unusual here.

Flavor: Whoah-- definitely an infected bottle. (And the first one I've dealt with from CCB.) An astringent tartness hits me up front. It tastes like an Oud Bruin rather than a round, roasted malt/coffee flavored brew. I try to give it a few sips, but knowing the brew falls short of what was promised on the label is discouraging.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and medium body. The tartness is astringent and drying. Again-- I don't believe this is what the brewer intended.

Overall: Definitely my first let-down from CCB. I checked other reviews for this beer, and only found one other case where the BA also had an infected bottle. Either I had extremely bad luck, or other recipients of this batch decided not to review. I'm putting this out here for informational purposes (both for the brewer, and my fellow BAs). I hope this is a rare occurrence for what is one of my favorite breweries.

mdvatab, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.3/5  rDev -19.7%

12oz bottle poured into a Pint glass.

A - Pours a dark brown with a one finger tan head that fades to a thin layer. Some slight lacing is left on the glass.

S - Lots of coffee, some chocolate and vanilla.

T - Exactly like the smell, but the coffee is more bitter.

D - Good carbonation, slightly oily.

O - Coffee is too strong and thus no balance.

HuskyinPDX, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of warnerry
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%

Bottled 6/16/11

A - Pours a clear reddish dark brown, though light does pass through the pint glass. Huge tan head has excellent retention and leaves a lot of lacing.

S - Coffee and a bit of chocolate, along with some roasted malt.

T - Roasted malt up front, quickly followed by a nice coffee presence. Quite creamy as well. The coffee here plays a supporting role instead of dominating. Finishes semi-dry with a light bitterness.

M -- Medium creamy mouthfeel with an earthy dryness on the finish.

O - A solid brown ale with a very nice coffee presence. Nice balance of flavors and a creamy mouthfeel make this easy drinking.

warnerry, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of vgiusto
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%

Got this on tap at the tasting room Tampa, FL. Glass was a normal 16 oz pint glass.

A – light/medium brown body, very good head retention. 2-3 inches when served

S – very nice aroma, the coffee breaks through well

T – had a semi-earthy and medium coffee flavor . Not very heavy for a brown.

M – Not very much mouthfeel.

O – I think its one of the better coffee browns I have had. Very good in bottle as well.

Cheers Cigar City.

vgiusto, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of inlimbo77
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%

Cigar City
Cubano-Style Espresso
Pinocchino's snifter

A: Pours a very dark brown color. Not completly black. No real head, some dark brown hues. No alcohol feet but some lacing.

S: I got lots of dark chocolate and espresso notes. Roasted malts for sure. No hops.

T: lots of brown ale notes. The big roasted malt character. No hops. You get a good amount of coffee bitterness, but nothing like what you'd get from a coffee stout.

M: Light to a medium I guess.

O: It's a nice light brown ale. Definitely easy drinking.

inlimbo77, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of readbaron
2.08/5  rDev -49.4%

Pours out a fairly thin dark brown with 4 fingers (uh oh) of billowy tan foam.

Smell confirms what the foam hints at - vinegar and sour cherries followed by expresso and bready malt.

Taste is better than the nose, but still, infected sour expresso porter.

Mouthfeel is decent. A bit thin and over-carbinated.

Overall - another infected cigar city porter. Booo.

readbaron, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

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.

Alieniloquium, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of ColdPoncho
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

I don't recall who brought this, but thanks
From notes

A - light brown body, small tan head.

S - earthy as all get-up, and some bitter coffee

T - very similar to the nose - earthy, bitter coffee - but lighter.

M - small mouthfeel, a bit drying. ok

O - a fine beer, nothing special.

ColdPoncho, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of theboozecruise
3.28/5  rDev -20.2%

Poured this one into a Delirium Tremens snifter... hey, it's what I had available!

It's a brown color, not super dark and a little translucent held to the light, but the head is formidable with insane retention. Seriously... 10 minutes and there is still over 50% of the head it started with.

The aroma starts off with a bitter roasted coffee flavor then gives way to a slight sweet malt smell. It's pretty good but not amazing.

The flavor has more of a blend of the sweet and roasted tastes... I'm not sure they come together extremely well though. In all honesty to me the flavors in this beer clash rather than compliment. Not a huge amount, but it could definitely work better together.

It's a little thin, which is surprising with such good head retention.

It's nothing special in the end... a decent beer but it just doesn't work for me well enough to be a great beer.

theboozecruise, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of Paincane
4.72/5  rDev +14.8%

A: Medium brown color with one finger tan head poured into pint glass. Head leaves behind a bit of lace, not much though.
S: Roasted coffee beans, espresso and malt are very evident from the start and do persist throughout.
T: Delicious Cuban coffee taste with a touch of sweet and malt.
M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.
O: Smooth and very drinkable. I am of Cuban origin and it is a familiar taste worked into a delicous beer. Will have to hunt more down ASAP.

Paincane, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of Mako82
3.4/5  rDev -17.3%

Poured into a snifter glass from a bottle

A - Very dark brown in color that is clear. Poured a fizzy tan head that quickly dissolved
S - Pungent smell hits me right off the bat, but quickly turns into a nice smell of coffee beans. Picking up smells of barley.
T - Upon first taste, picking up a roasted barley and bean taste. After that initial taste, picking up the coffee/espresso taste that stays with you throughout the aftertaste. Slightly bitter aftertaste, but not overpowering.
M - Medium carbonation and body.
O - I think it would be a good beer if you enjoy brown ales. Personally not a big fan of brown ales, which maybe hindering my review a bit.

Mako82, Sep 11, 2011
Photo of scottfrie
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%

12oz bottle split with armock. Thanks Anthony!

A: Pour a clear very dark brown with a thin dark tan head that faded into a thin collar.
S: Huge dominating notes of roasted coffee grounds. The smell is very rich, bitter and full of coffee.
T: Creamy coffee-marshmallow taste with a touch of dark fruits, raisins, dates, caramel and toffee. Finish is full of coffee and the aftertaste is thankfully sweet and not overly acid from the coffee.
M: Medium-slick body, low carbonation, easy to drink with a soft mouthfeel. Not too acidic.
O: Good coffee flavor that isn’t too overpowering. Great mouthfeel.

scottfrie, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of TheFightfan1
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%

Bought this one at total wine in St.Petersburg. Poured into a mug. Cloudy brown in color good looking light brown heading that didn't stick around too long.

Smell just seems lighter now. Not the maduro brown that I remember but I forgot this Cubano espresso. A heavy roasted been aroma'd beer.

Like I have said many times before. I am not a big coffee or espresso drinker but this is a good-e. Heavy roasted espresso,coffee beans that just mix exceptionally well with the flagship brown ale.

Mouth was a little watery for me but a nice medium body with a bit of carbonation probably make this more of a coffee lovers dream.

Well I liked this one so much I might have to take shots of espresso daily. Very well done.

TheFightfan1, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of LiquidBread219
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

A= Murky brown, tan head disappears quick and little to no lacing.

S= I really picked up the espresso smell in in the nose that is the main thing I smelled very excited because I love coffee.

T= Taste is like getting a shot of espresso very enjoyable, I also picked up some nuts in the taste.

M= Light bodied, little thin.

O= Good beer if you are into coffee beers you need to seek this one out has a strong espresso taste and smell. Very enjoyable beer.

LiquidBread219, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of olimpia84
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%

On-tap at CCB. Served on a pint glass.

A: this beer has the darkest shade of brown you'll ever see. As the glass moved it gave the impression of dark swamp water, probably because the beer was a bit watery. Very small head with little to no lacing, although as the beer warmed up the lacing improved.

S: coffee 100%. Seriously, if you blind fold somebody and put this in front of them they'll never guess it's a beer. Very small hints of vanilla are found as well along with malts.

T: very, very strong espresso flavors with hints of vanilla, some sweet tones at the beginning. Roasted and burnt malts.

M: light to medium body, average carbonation. A bit watery unfortunately.

O: all I can say is that if you enjoy drinking coffee and espresso,s and you're a beer fan, this brew is made for you.

olimpia84, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of kylehay2004
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%

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

kylehay2004, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of Zraly
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%

Pours a dark chestnut brown in my newly acquired CCB snifter. Yeah – not necessarily the right glassware but it functions. And the two finger crema-like head does look lovely. 32 oz. growler from CCB's tasting room.

Wonderful note of dark roasted coffee and earth. Silky and smooth with minimal sweetness. Char-smoke, chocolate, and a hint of vanilla comprise the flavor profile. Devilishly dry finish and the bitterness blends seamlessly with the smokey-chocolate note. Extremely drinkable because it actually light to medium bodied but has the flavor profile of a much fuller ale.

Would go great with cheesecake or a wicked compliment to tiramisu. For a main entrée, smokey BBQ baby back ribs would be an interesting pairing.

The best brown ale I've had in a while. And it may well be the best American Brown I’ve ever had.

Zraly, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of woodychandler
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%

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?!?

woodychandler, Aug 12, 2011
Photo of Arithmeticus
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%

Poured chilled in large ale glass; bottle courtesy BuzzLiteBeer

A: dark chocolate colored; good frothy head; decent carb action
S: chicory and (what?) tobacco predominates; musty coffee
T: wow, unusual; the brown ale is a base for experimentation into coffee and tobacco; bitter cacao

Serve this to friends and you'll definitely have a talking point; it's very distinctive

Arithmeticus, Aug 07, 2011
Photo of aasher
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%

This beer was courtesy of phisigben from a recent in person trade. Thanks Ben! This beer pours a medium bodied rich mahogany in color with ruby highlights and a one finger beige colored head. It looks a little lighter than I remember Maduro. It smells like Big Sound, of all things, mixed with a shot of espresso. It gives aromas of chocolate, sweet malt, cream, with a light coffee bitterness. The flavors presented are dark roasted malt with a touch of bitter coffee. The chocolate doesn't come in as well as it did in the nose and the overly appealing scotch esque malt isn't present either. The flavor is also short lived and not as strong as it could or should be. It drinks a little thin, and thinner than Maduro and just doesn't feature the same complexity as the base beer. Overall it's a solid beer, but Maduro is far superior in my opinion.

aasher, Aug 03, 2011
Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 892 ratings.