1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

914 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 914
Reviews: 264
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 250
Gots: 104 | FT: 8
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 914 | Reviews: 264 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djmichaelk
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a CCB snifter.

A - Pours a hazy caramel-amber, with a decent finger of head that fades quickly to a patchy cap. Plenty of lacing on the glass.

S - Unsurprisingly, coffee dominates the nose. Some cocoa, bittersweet chocolate, roast, and an almond nuttiness. Very good for a brown ale.

T - More of an earthy nuttiness than I got in the aroma, with some chocolate in the initial taste. Coffee plays a big part but doesn't dominate quite as much as I thought it would, it's more subtle and well-integrated. It's very smooth, and not bitter as some coffee beers can be. The finish is long and a bit dry, and this is where the espresso shines through the most.

M - Thinner than Bolita Brown, and it lacks the creaminess of it. Carbonation is nice, and it keeps it from being too watery.

D - I've had three of these so far without even thinking. Considering the fourth as I write this line.

O - For the price ($6 4-pack), it's a pretty good value, and it's something I can drink in the morning or at night. I'll be looking for this again.

djmichaelk, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of babaracas
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clearish brown-ruby with thin khaki head, fine lace. Smell: rich coffee, cocoa, mild sweetness, touch of greenish earthy hops. Taste: big coffee flavors upfront mingle with dark cocoa and fade to sweet toffee. Background nutty and mild fruity components. Medium bodied with a relaxed carbonation level. Much tastier than the expensive organic coffee I had this morning. Nov. bottling.

babaracas, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of kbutler1
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft. Pours a clear reddish tinged brown color with a collared tan head. Nice strong aroma of coffee notes, vanilla, and chocolate with touches of a nutiness that is really nice. The espresso really does take center stage though as it should. Nice roasted espresso coffee notes mixed with bitter chocolate and some bitterness. I also get some vanilla and nut in the flavors at the end. Medium mouthfeel. Pretty easy drinking. Not the best coffee beer I have had but very good.

kbutler1, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of TKEbeerman
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into my pint glass, this brew pours an almond brown (a shade lighter than Maduro Brown), with some orange/ruby highlights. The head is way to bubbly, and disappears almost instantly.

S: The aroma consists of fresh roasted coffee, with pleasant chocolate notes. Light on the malt, and no hops in sight.

T: This is a good brew. Refreshing, and lots of coffee. The chocolate notes that I loved in Maduro. A light roasty background and some caramel notes round out the taste.

MF: Mouthfeel is a little light, and this brew is a little too bubbly.

D: Drinkability is great, I am completely enjoying this brew!

TKEbeerman, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maduro Oatmeal Brown -Cubano Espresso has a dark brown body with ruby highlights. The head is small and light brown, leaving only a spot or two of lacing.

The aroma has sweet malt and a ton of coffee in it.

The most powerful flavor in MOBCU is, as expected, coffee. There is also some chocolate, some sweet malts, and a hint of hops in the finish.

The mouthfeel is a pretty good, it's got a creamy fullness, probably from the oats.

This is a pretty good brown ale that borders on being a light, small oatmeal stout.

Hojaminbag, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of thagr81us
4.6/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

thagr81us, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of atsprings
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to rtratzlaff for bringing this one my way. 32oz growler into a Hopus tulip pours a deep dark brown with a nice frothy off white head that diminishes to a thin layer and leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is loads of fresh ground espresso in front of brown malts and burnt caramel. The taste is a more subtle balance of fresh coffee and dark malts with a nice lingering bitter coffee finish. The beer is light and crisp with smooth carbonation and an interesting kick from the coffee. This is a very unique and enjoyable beer, I want more!

atsprings, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of jsanford
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled on 9/1, poured into my Stone IRS tulip

A - Pours a very dark brown (almost black) with a creamy 1 1/2-finger head. Very nice lacing and retention.

S - Another winner, this has the base Maduro deliciousness of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder and vanilla but with a boat-load of high quality expresso. Easily one of the most coffee-y beers I've ever smelled!

T - More sweet roasted malt, cocoa powder, roasted nuts and a bit of smoke mixed with a TON of bitter expresso. The coffee is great, but definitely overwhelms the great Maduro flavors that I love so much.

M - Smooth and creamy with a medium body and medium-low carbonation (this may be from being in the growler for a few weeks).

D - Very drinkable, this growler will disappear quickly!

Certainly an amazing beer, but my least favorite of the 3 Maduros I've tried so far. While the expresso flavor is great, it really drowns out all the other flavors of this beer.

jsanford, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of Lukafer
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Had at the Indy Dark Lord Vertical/Big Stout taste-off, thanks again!

Pours a medium brown, thin with no carb., probably due to the fact that it was from a growler. Smells like freshly ground coffee beans, like I had a cold cup of the strongest espresso I've ever had. Tastes like coffee, really fresh cold-pressed coffee, right on. Mouthfeel is kind of thin, but it's suppose to be like coffee, right? Drinkability is very good for a coffee beer, very true to the style..

Lukafer, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of ToasterChef
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes. Sampled from a fresh growler I split with BlessedBeBeer. This beer is mostly opaque brown, but it appears translucent at the bottom of the glass (I'm drinking this out a Maine Beer Co. flute). It has a tan soapy head. As I consume the beer, it leaves behind some good lacework and film. It has a huge coffee aroma, almost as if someone dumped some coffee into the growler before sealing it. All kinds of roasted malts will greet your nose when you take the aroma in. I can taste a bit of sweetness up front; it reminds me of granular sugar (maybe because that is what I would put in coffee to sweeten it up). The coffee flavors come in at the finish and last a long time. There is a lot of coffee bitterness. In effect, it's like drinking an alcoholic cup of coffee. It has a lighter body and low carbonation. There is almost no coating left behind in terms of texture, but there is a lot of flavor that remains in my mouth after I swallow. This is a pretty drinkable beer, but there is a lot of coffee flavor, probably more than in any other beer I've tried. The 32oz growler that Cigar City offers is perfect for this beer. Any more of it and you'll want some friends to share with.

ToasterChef, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of aepb1
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark brown with a light tannish head

S- Coffee, very strong coffee nose, so much so, not much else can work its way through really.

T- Coffee again! this time some creaminess comes through, milky-like

M- Medium bodied and certainly creamy. Low carbonation, nice and easy

D- If I wanted beer and coffee, this is it. There's nothing offensive and it's an interesting take on a brown ale

aepb1, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of AgingWarrior
4.7/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on tap at Cigar City Tap Room.

Pours a dark brown with about a finger of dark tan head. The head dissipates into a layer rather quickly, but hangs around until the very end.

Smell is incredible! Is this Starbucks?!? Strong espresso in the nose, with some hints of brown sugar.

Taste is as good as the smell. Strong coffee taste on the front, but with a slight vanilla taste and some bitterness on the end.

Tastes ever so smooth and creamy.

This is a very drinkable brew and at 5.5% abv you can enjoy several.

Highly recommend!

AgingWarrior, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

MasterSki, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of cbak999
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured of tap at Kickbacks in Jacksonville. A small tan head quickly disipates to a rim around the glass. Dark almost black in color. Smell is all coffee. Taste is expresso and hop. Nicely balanced. This is a very drinkable brown ale at 5.5 percent. Very pleased and will be back for more! Another great Cigar City brew.

cbak999, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of phishgator
2.5/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had this is pint glass. Big espresso nose before you even see the glass. This one is completely opaque, but not black. It is more of a dark brown with little head. The alochol is hidden in the coffee aroma and taste. A night capper of a brew because of the overpowering astingence of the coffee. Not their best offering.

phishgator, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of stakem
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

stakem, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of CaptinRedBeard
4.7/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to urwithdave for hooking me up with a growler of this. Poured from the growler into a Cigar City snifter.

A: Pours a nice amber hued dark brown color with about a finger of a light tan foam head. The head stays around for a while accompanied by some moderate lacing.

S: smells like some fresh brewed coffee in the morning. Subtle hints of vanilla and chocolate bring up the tail end of the aroma.

T: More coffee, lots of coffee. Sweet but with just a touch of bitterness in the finish. Again here some vanilla and just a touch of chocolate interplay with the coffee. There is a bit of roasted malt in there as well but the coffee is clearly the star here.

M: a perfect level of carbonation paired with a nice medium body make this one real smooth on the palate.

D: At 5.50% this might not qualify as a "session" beer but it sure is drinkable. This growler will be empty in no time flat. I could drink this with a nice breakfast, or anytime really. It's great that this is gonna be on full time at Cigar City. Now if they would only bottle it as well. This is absoutely one of my favorite beers.

CaptinRedBeard, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not sure how different this is from the other version, but this was the description at the brewery today. I'd chalk up the discrepancy between this and my score for the other one as a newbie overrate.

Pours deep black with some mahogany highlights. Nice tan head.

Smells of straight up espresso. I happen to love cuban espresso, so this is quite a treat.

Taste follows the nosw with a little more cream. The finish is sweet with hints of figs. All bitterness seems to come from the coffee.

The feel is light by CCB standards, yet still a bit creamy.

Drinkability is quite high. If you like espresso.

RomaniIteDomum, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of garuda
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep ruby brown, but fairly translucent when it gets down to it. Arrived with almost no head on it, but I conjure up a little bit of a tan head with some swirling, but it doesn't stick around long. Minimal spotty lacing down the glass.

S - Big roasted coffe, espresso aromas, with bits of dark chocolate, vanilla and only a touch of wood as it warms.

T - Follows the nose with a bit more vanilla flavoring and sweet roasted malts.

M - Medium body, good low carbonation level that I enjoy for a brown ale. Nice and creamy across the palate.

D - Easy going down, makes a good after dinner drink. A delicious brown ale, I was just hoping for a bit more complexity.

garuda, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of rfgetz
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a muddy brown color with some tan head and lacing. Scent is of a fresh cup of espresso - dark roasted coffee, not quite burnt, with touches of sweet cream. Taste follows scent - no real grainy or hop notes to speak of, not quite as powerful as it could be. Medium bodied, which makes this one a little more drinkable than your typical thick espresso stout.

rfgetz, Jun 06, 2010
Photo of koopa
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on tap at Capone's in Norristown, PA on 4/18/10.

Appearance: Pours black with a 1 finger khaki crown that yields moderate retention and little lace.

Smell: Espresso - burnt malt and a hint of cream.

Taste: Same as nose.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

Drinkability: Good despite the burnt roast flavor that I don't enjoy.

koopa, May 10, 2010
Photo of gunnerman
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass, pours a reddish brown with a fluffy head that leaves a bit of lace on the glass. Smell is of tobacco, chocolate, coffee and sin. Taste is just like the smell, I can taste large amounts of tobacco and coffee mixed to a bit of sweet hop bitterness. Slight carbonation really adds to the great texture and flavor. Overall this is a very impressive offering and one of my all time favorites, Cigar City is simply putting out amazing brews.

gunnerman, May 08, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Thorpe429, May 05, 2010
Photo of Drazzamatazz
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a taste of this when I was at the brewery, figured I might as well grab a growler.

A: Dark brown changes to an amber red in the light, very thin and quickly fading head.

S: Ground breakfast roast coffee, cocoa powder, brown sugar, creme brulee. Lots of complexity, really smells great.

T: Cocoa powder, slight cider taste, caramel, weak coffee. Mild bitterness, like burnt cookies. Leaves more of a coffee aftertaste than flavor.

M: Medium carbonation with a thin body. Very typical brown ale; oats didn't add much body.

D: Quite good if you are in it for the nose. Flavor is subdued enough to make it an easy drinker, fairly low unnoticeable ABV, but an aroma that makes you want to have enough drink. Interesting to say the least, but a little thin in the flavor department.

Drazzamatazz, May 01, 2010
Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
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

brentk56, Apr 28, 2010
Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 914 ratings.