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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.

875 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 875
Reviews: 262
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 238
Gots: 98 | 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: 875 | Reviews: 262 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

09-07-2011 18:40:05 | More by TheFightfan1
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.

09-03-2011 18:36:16 | More by LiquidBread219
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.

09-03-2011 17:50:46 | More by olimpia84
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

08-28-2011 22:42:21 | More by kylehay2004
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.

08-18-2011 01:38:02 | More by Zraly
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?!?

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

08-07-2011 00:52:04 | More by Arithmeticus
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.

08-03-2011 00:35:31 | More by aasher
Photo of jayhawk73


3.73/5  rDev -9.2%

Thanks Matt!
A- Pours a mahogany brown w/ a thin chocolate head that goes away fairly quickly. Not much carbonation and average lacing. This beer has a fairly cloudy appearance as well.

S- Espresso, smoke, tobacco, very subtle dark fruit. Espresso and tobacco are definitely in the forefront. Really nice and balanced nose.

T- Espresso is forefront on the taste, which is different than the nose profile. Not as complex as the nose, and therefore not as good. If the taste mirrored the nose, this would be at least a 4.0...

M- Somewhat thin feel, and very dry finish. Smoky aftertaste feels just like I've smoked a cigar. Would like a little more richness and complexity to the feel for a higher score.

O- Nice Beer- Thanks Matt! I enjoyed this one, and am glad I got to try it.

08-02-2011 01:42:33 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.73/5  rDev -9.2%

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.

08-02-2011 00:12:59 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Tilley4


3.88/5  rDev -5.6%

I love the original Maduro Brown Ale so when I saw a single of this brew, I had to snatch it up...

A little lacking on carbonation, this brew seems sort of still in the goblet... Lots of smoky chocolate present in the aroma along with the dark roasted malts present in the original version of this brew... A little earthiness, perhaps from the chicory?

While the palate is way too thin on this, the taste is pretty good... Lots of dark roasted coffee beans and the chicory along with some vanilla... sort of a weird aftertaste of ashtray or charcoal...

Glad I got to try this one but I liked the original version better for sure...

07-29-2011 02:30:07 | More by Tilley4
Photo of woosterbill


4.35/5  rDev +5.8%

12oz bottle into a Hill Farmstead wine glass. Thanks to Hopstoopid120 for sharing.

A: Nice clear mahogany body with a thin head of fine tan foam. Mediocre retention, spotty lace. Ok.

S: Mmm. Big, fruity coffee. Very fresh, enjoyable, and nicely restrained. A bit of chocolatey malt shows up as well. Lovely.

T: Coffee starts things off, and carries all the way through to the long finish. Underneath the steady espresso presence lies some citrus, some chocolate, and a touch of caramel malt. Maybe a hint of mint. Crazy good.

M: Soft, fairly light body with huge, lively carbonation. A bit over the top.

O: I'd love to have this one side by side with Coffee Bender - I scored them quite similarly, yet I have a sneaking suspicion that the Cigar City shows both greater complexity and more enjoyable coffee character. Terrific beer.


07-28-2011 01:59:01 | More by woosterbill
Photo of BarrytheBear


2.93/5  rDev -28.7%

Generous extra courtesy of Ben. Thanks for the opportunity for a trip to Brown Town, a side of the tracks I usually drive by with the windows up while whistling and avoiding the gun shots and dagger eyes of the nogoodnicks.

12 oz bottle into a snifter pours a muddy medium brown with heavy clumps of big bubbled suds along the edges. Orange-yellow highlights permeate the surface.

Smells of nutty espresso and burnt roast. Marshmallow and toffee sweetness round her out.

Watered down burnt toast, blackened tip marshmallow, sweetness of the brown base cut by thin bitter espresso.

Body is really watery and light with the espresso beans just sitting atop. Some creaminess or additional body would do this a world of good.

Eh, Cigar City is a personal favorite of mine and a brewery I always welcome and look forward to trying more of. This is not one of their better offerings.

07-21-2011 00:08:28 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of Trilogy31


3.78/5  rDev -8%

Pours a deep dark brown with slight amber red hinys at the rim with a light fleeting finger of foam leaving the slightest hint of lacing. The nose hits you with straightforward creamy espresso, chicory along with the slightest note of sour funk and toasty chocolate notes. The taste and mouthfeel is espresso con leche, bittersweet chocolate, finishing with milk chocolate - a nice bitter brown ale edge keeps the sweetness in balance. Again there is a touch of sourness in this beer. A very straightforward pleasant tasting and easy drinking beer.

07-19-2011 01:30:21 | More by Trilogy31
Photo of AgentZero


2.55/5  rDev -38%

A - An almost ruby red beer with three fingers of white head that didn't stay for long but left sheets and chunks on the sides.

S - Lots of espresso with some sweet caramel malts and a little bit of fruit, not sure exactly what that its. Coffee really is the dominating thing here.

M - Coffee followed by a sickly sweet caramel taste that is slightly off. Really not doing it for me. The espresso is dominant, but not dominant enough to get rid of the bad taste.

M - Lower carbonation, surprisingly. Medium bodied.

O - Nothing I'd have again, unless this bottle has just turned somehow.

07-18-2011 05:34:30 | More by AgentZero
Photo of BEERchitect


3.43/5  rDev -16.5%

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!

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


4.2/5  rDev +2.2%

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.

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

District of Columbia

4.33/5  rDev +5.4%

I had this one on tap at the brewery a few days ago but didn't review it. Here is the bottled version:

A: About as brown as you can get before turning to the dark side, with about a finger or so head that left a little sawdust on top of the liquid and stayed there for a good bit.

S: I remember the coffee really dominating the nose big time on the draft version, but this one is much more understated. I prefer this, but my wife begs to differ.

T: Creme brulee - sort of a divine coffee-caramel concoction, with a slight hint of the fruit Cigar City hop profile underneath. The candy quality mutes what could have been an extremely bitter coffee ground finish. This is REALLY nice!

M: Creamy, but not sludge-like in any way, shape, or form. The more I got into it, the more caramel/butterscotch flavor I got and the less coffee. That goes for the crisp finish as well. Prickly carbonation .

O: This is my second favorite Maduro variation so far right behind "Oak and Beans." This is a candy-coffee-toffee lovers delight!

07-13-2011 16:18:41 | More by Chaney
Photo of HotHands


4.2/5  rDev +2.2%

A - pours a dark brown with a frothy tan head.

S - Great aroma of coffee and a bit of chocolate. Like walking in to a coffee shop.

T - taste follows the nose with a strong coffee flavor - however, it isn't that bitter. A bit of brown sugar, perhaps. Chocolate dances around in the background. It isn't very complex, but I am impressed with the coffee flavor, which is right on the money. It reminds me of eating chocolate covered coffee beans, one of my favorite sweets.

M - medium to light body and average carbonation. It leaves a dry feeling in the finish, which is interesting.

Overall - Cigar City met their goals here. It's a very nice coffee flavored brown ale, and I am impressed with the flavor they packed in to a 5.5 ABV beer.

07-12-2011 03:08:07 | More by HotHands
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -11.2%

This brew pours a clear, dark brown with a really small, quickly dissipating, off-white head. Aromas begin with the espresso, obviously. As it warms you get more malty notes of chocolate powder, caramel and even some toasted nuttiness. I enjoy that you can smell a beer behind the coffee addition.

The tastes begin with soft brown maltiness; then comes some nuttiness, cocoa and semi-sweet caramels. There is a nice but not overwhelming roasty espresso flavors as well. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium-to-low carbonation. Really wish there was more to complement the nice earthy, roasty bitterness.

Overall this is a good sessionable version of their Maduro Brown, but I was expecting more to be honest. I really love the original and the Oatmeal Cookie version but the espresso addition really doesn't add much here. Also, the body seems thin to me, an enjoyable brown ale nonetheless.

07-09-2011 18:26:49 | More by claspada
Photo of trxxpaxxs

New York

4.03/5  rDev -1.9%

A: A nice murky brown, like a thin cup of coffee. Thin tan head with some substantial lacing around the edges of my tulip glass.

S: Malts and coffee beans. There is a nice roasted quality about this beer. I'm also picking up some spice, like some sort of hot pepper. I'm into it.

T: Coffee and spice. Plain and simple. It's a brown ale, so it doesn't have as much flavor as a coffee porter or stout, but the espresso beans are definitely there.

M: Thin, with some minor palate coating, followed by high carbonation and some lingering flavors.

D: It's a very drinkable beer, one that I could enjoy for an entire evening if I was so inclined.

O: I really liked this beer. I love coffee and spice in my beers. This was the perfect mix of both without being too heavy or boozy. This beer is delicious and it's one that I would love to have again and again.

07-09-2011 16:44:27 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of xnicknj


3.9/5  rDev -5.1%

12oz bottle poured into snifter - thanks to sendsilk

Pours a hazelnut brown color with some brighter ruby tones in the light. A beige head slowly fades into some cloudy film, which retains well. Plenty of patchy lacing on the glass.

Roasted coffee beans, decent bitterness and slight acidity in the nose. Nutty with roasted malts and faint cocoa sweetness as well.

Nutty right up front with plenty of roasted coffee beans. Slight coffee-like acidity, and a decent espresso flavor, but not overly aggressive. Roasted malts with hints of cocoa, chocolate, and caramel. Finishes dry with lingering coffee.

Fuller medium body, medium carbonation, somewhat creamy and soft on the tongue. I enjoyed the addition of espresso to the already tasty base beer, keep these variations coming, Cigar City!

07-08-2011 02:38:00 | More by xnicknj
Photo of trappistlover


3.1/5  rDev -24.6%

(12oz bottle) Pours a ruby/clear red/brown color with a tan head. Nice carbonation. Aroma is bitter coffe and a bit of malt sweetness. Taste follows suit with bitterness domination. Thin bodied with an oily texture. Huge bitter finish. This beer could have used more sweetness to give it some more balance. I didn’t enjoy this one much.

07-04-2011 19:49:25 | More by trappistlover
Photo of Spider889


4.05/5  rDev -1.5%

Thanks again to sendsilk for another CBC tick. Coffee beers are some of my favorites, so I was looking forward to this.

Bottle date: May, 10 2011

Definitely not a pretty looking beer. A brackish brown dishwater color. The head is virtually non-existent, though a few sickly bubbles attempted to stick around.

Smells pretty coffee forward. Espresso beans and earthy hops. Very faint sweetness is also there along with a bit of chocolate Nesquick. Overall I think I prefer coffee in a stout, but it can mix nicely with brown ales or otherwise sometimes - ala Perkulator - and this is one time where the coffee works well with the base (non-stout) beer.

Wow, this has a very interesting flavor. The coffee is the focus of the beer, but is in no way exerting much dominance. Roasted beans are layered with rich chocolate and sweet vanilla. The finish reveals a dry woody flavor as well.

Dry and a little bitter. Very smooth and soft mouthfeel here, possibly more so than in the normal Maduro Brown. In between the longer sips I am also picking up on some earthy tea/dried leaves flavors.

Overall this is a good beer. One I'd be happy to drink again in the future.

07-02-2011 06:18:07 | More by Spider889
Photo of Nugganooch


3.93/5  rDev -4.4%

The Cubano - Next in line from my trade of CCB goodies sent by Alieniloquium.

A: My pour didnt yield much head at all and what little mocha tan foam was present fizzled out rather quickly leaving a very dark muddy brown ale with some ruby tints to it. Little to no real lacing.

S: Smells of a nutty and slightly smoky-tobacco like maltiness. Has this distinct earthy coffee plantation musk to it. Oddly interesting for a beer really.

T: Holy shot of espresso! Strong earthy and fresh coffee plant flavors up front. Light nutty brown ale character on the back end. Uber fresh coffee with roasty smoky grains. Finishes light and crisp.

M: Very smooth and light bodied brew with a great creamy texture.

D: Very drinkable if one likes espresso. Not offensively bitter or acrid like other coffee brews tend to come off. Rather smooth and full of flavor.

Probably the strongest coffee flavored brew I have encountered thus far. Quite an enjoyable experience and would definitely try again.

06-22-2011 22:09:48 | More by Nugganooch
Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 875 ratings.