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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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1,022 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,022
Reviews: 275
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10%
Wants: 263
Gots: 140 | FT: 13
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,022 | Reviews: 275 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of timtim
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

looked like the date code said june 11, so I was worried this wasn't going to be in good shape. glad i was wrong! pour was a mahoganyish brown with a lightly tanned head that really held well and left very attractive splotches of lace. nose reminded me of whoppers (chocolate malt balls) and South Beach Cuban bakeries. chocolate, malt and dark, roasty Cuban style espresso (con leche) with tobacco (vanilla and oak? - well done cigar city), pastries and a kiss of hop in there. it's all there in the taste, but hits me reverse of what i expected. chocolate, malt and tobacco come quickly at first, but are knocked out by a huge wallop of espresso that leaves with a faint hoppiness (that blends the two styles of bitter) and some ashiness. very light medium body for all the flavor going on. not sticky, but slick indeed and very minimal aftertaste. cigar city brewing continues to impress me with their maduro treatments. impressive to begin with, the espresso definitely does it justice, and evokes a sense of place. can't wait for my next trip to FL!!!

Photo of shuajw
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of tchaos
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Jspriest
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of freduardo
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of Mar02x
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of nlmartin
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of russwbeck
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of mdvatab
1.74/5  rDev -57.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.33/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of warnerry
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of vgiusto
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of inlimbo77
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of readbaron
2.07/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.51/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of theboozecruise
3.31/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Paincane
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Mako82
3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of scottfrie
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of LiquidBread219
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of olimpia84
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 1,022 ratings.