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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983 Ratings
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Ratings: 983
Reviews: 268
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10%
Wants: 247
Gots: 118 | 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
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Ratings: 983 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chaney
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of HotHands
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of claspada
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of xnicknj
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of trappistlover
3.1/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(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.

Photo of Spider889
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Nugganooch
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice solid brown bordering on old pennies. The head is a light-tan and leaves faint traces of lacing on the sides of the glass. The head, after a slightly gentle pour is about 1cm, and looks creamy as could be.

Smell: Deep roasted coffee notes pull through a solid caramel and biscuit base. Loads of coffee. Deep, rich, roasty, and oh so chocolaty. Faint hints of hops touch the edges, but this thing is all about the espresso aroma. Thankfully, as strong as it is, it doesn't completely cover up the rest of the beer. Some vanilla and toffee linger in the back as well.

Taste: Doesn't quite live up to the nose. The coffee flavor is rich. Loads of burnt coffee flavor sit on top of a nice sweet base. Almost too aggressive on the coffee. The malts have a hard time competing with the coffee, bring some sweetness to the middle of each sip, but that's about it. The bitter punch of the coffee lingers on the tongue (much like drinking straight espresso). While a complex taste, some nuance is lost in the long run.

Mouthfeel: Much like the base Maduro, this brown is lacking a little in terms of mouthfeel. With oatmeal thrown in I was expecting something a little creamier out of this. The mouth is dry, I'm going to blame that on the espresso, and the body of the beer is a little thin overall. Somehow, despite the dry, thinness, my tongue is coated with each sip (again, this has to be from the espresso)

Overall: Definitely worth a try for a beer with coffee beans added. It's a little too aggressive on the coffee flavor. Maybe with a little age on it (maybe 6-8 months) it would really shine. As it is, it's worth finding and drinking.

Photo of nataku00
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass, from a trade received several months ago, but couldn't get around to trying until now. Beer is a hazy brown, some lighter browns at the edge when held up to light, with a finger of light brown creamy head filled with many small bubbles. Head dissipates to creamy skim along the surface and a collar filled with small bubbles, leaving a few streaks of light lacing that slowly slides down. Collar retention is pretty good, so there should be some decent carbonation in this.

Nose is like fresh brewed coffee with a small amount of cream, a touch of brown sugar. The roast quality to the coffee and malt aromas aren't as deeply burnt as I was expecting. Slight lactic acid tang.

Much deeper roasted coffee flavor in the taste, burnt sugar, toasted coconut, heavy cream, and toasted bread. Nice lingering roasted coffee flavor on the tongue with a light lactic acid tang on the finish.

Light bodied with a bit too much aggressive and prickly carbonation for my liking. For a 5.5% abv beer, there is a good amount of flavor. Would love to be able to get this more often.

Photo of jcartamdg
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a thin 1 finger head that dissipates into a paper thin lining over the beer. Aroma of strong roasted coffee, sweet malts and a hint of dark chocolate. Taste follows the nose and then some. Freakin delicious! Coffee balances with malts well. Mouthfeel is right where I want it carbonation may be a little high but nothing crazy. Overall it's an amazing coffee brown ale!

Photo of deathcharms
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened 6/13/11 - Thanks to BastionShaw

Pours smoothly with a nice head. Very, very dark brown with light not being able to escape it. Instantly inundated with coffee! You would think that they tried to dupe you by giving you straight coffee if you blind smelled this. Very deeply roast coffee at that. The taste is again over the top coffee in your face, which is not necessarily a bad thing to me. But then again, if you are looking for a brown ale you will find no semblance in this beer. Mouthfeel is light and playful, the bubbles are there but not over carbonated.

I've said it before I am not the biggest fan of brown ales but when you mask it with tons of espresso it makes them a whole ton better. :)

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

Poured on-tap at the Cigar City Brewing tasting room in Tampa. Served in a pint glass, the beer has the same body and color of Maduro Brown. A deep, dark brown color with ruby highlights and a light, thin, foamy head. Smells like I dove into a double espresso. Smelling this made the hair on my chest stand up. Bravo! Flavor is very heavy in the coffee, and tastes like I am eating coffee beans. Slight sweetness helps balance the bitterness from the liquid Juan Valdez. The aftertaste is like wearing a used Folgers filter around your neck, with some light, sweet malty and spiced flavors. Dry, crisp finish. Very tasty!

Photo of EgadBananas
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to Alieniloquium for this!

Pours a beautiful dark brown. Head was a light tan, and lace was good. Dissipates to a slight film.

Wow, that's a lot of wondrous roasted coffee aromas! Nice bits of chocolate and roasted malts, slight sweetness and some breadiness.

Taste carries those huge coffee notes. Chocolate plays a bigger role here's big! Nice roastiness, and sweetness.

Feel is maybe light to medium, a bit crisp. Finish is clean.

Coffee and chocolate notes are big, bold and's really hard not to be impressed by this!

Photo of GregSVT
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a dark brown with a nice khaki head that fades to a ring and leaves soem lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is sweet malt with a big roasted coffee aroma. The coffee smells dark and bitter.

T: Like pouring an espresso into a brown ale. It's not bad but it definitely assaults the tounge at first. The finish shows signs of vanilla and sweet malt.

M: The feel is on the lighter side of medium with decent carbonation. I'd like a bit more creaminess to it but it's ok.

O: Decent brown ale if you like coffee infused beers. The coffee was a bit much at first but I slowly got used to it and could pick out more flavors.

My first cigar city beer and it wasn't too bad.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a nice rich mahogany color with some slight reddish hues on the edges. There is a nice light tan head that comes up and recedes quickly.

S - Chicory and roasted coffee. Its not too intense but still present. There is some nice earthy malt grain as well as some nice bready notes. Slight chocolate notes.

T & M - Taste starts off with some coffee bean notes as well as some intense chicory. There is some mild nutmeg notes present with he roasted notes. There is some bread as well as some earthy grain tones. A bit one dimensional and watery in my opinion. The coffee acidity comes up quick and fast initially and leaves just as fast leaving a slightly acidic finish.

O - So so beer for me. Not my favorite Brown Ale and note the best sue of coffee. OK beer.

Photo of oline73
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a reddish hue. There is a finger of tan head that leaves a layer on top.

Smell: Nutty roasty coffee with a nice sweetness. Hints of vanilla and brown sugar as well. Very nice.

Taste: The first thing I notice is how little bitterness there is from the coffee. The roasty coffee is there, but not as bitter as other coffee beers I've had. This beer has a nutty quality to it as well. Not as sweet as the smell, not picking up the vanilla notes here. Nice balance. The finish has a very mild bitterness to it.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a mild to medium amount of carbonation. The finish is extremely dry.

Overall: This beer has a very nice balance to it. I taste the coffee, but I can also taste the elements that make it a brown ale. I'd have another.

Photo of steve8robin
3.1/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a trade for a bunch of CCB beers. 12oz bottle...

A: A deep dark red with some brownish highlights. A nice mocha colored head that fades quickly to a lace atop the brew. Decent.

S: A nice bready cocoa / vanilla upfront followed by a roasty mild coffee. Some very faint chocolate and a mild fruity scent on the back.

T: A watery roast upfront with some very mild sweet hop bite in the middle and a very faint chocolate on the back. I expected more from this one honestly.

M: Medium body with a heavy carbonation. A mild creamy finish.

O: All in all, this is not one of the better brown ales or coffee beers I have tried. There are many better. Try if you like Cigar City stuff, or light thin brown ales.

Photo of mikereaser
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

#6 from johnbjaeger

Poured into a pint glass

A - Pours a nice dark chestnut brown with 2 inches of off white foam that slowly faded leaving a nice ring of lacing around the glass

S - I'm picking up caramel malts, some cinnamon, slight hint at some citrus along with some sort of coffee aroma, though faint. It has a nice sweet smell to it that I just keep going back to again and again.

T - Caramel, toffee and maybe cream with a burnt finish that has a bit of a smokiness to it. After my last review, maybe the burnt flavor i'm picking up is actually coffee again. If it is, its not the way I like my coffee beers, the same as I like my cream and sugar with a bit of coffee.

M - light-medium bodied with decent carbonation, it sort of becomes creamy in your mouth after you take your initial taste.

D - not bad, nothing that is making me come back for more though.

Overall I like the flavor and feel, but its not one that I would seek out regularly.

The reveal shows me its a Cigar City Cubano-Style Espresso Brown
I haven't had alot of their stuff, so its nice to try something new.
johnbjaeger is hitting a homerun with this box. And after being at the Phillies game for 10 innings, then driving home because my 4 year old was tired, then watching the last 5 of the 19 innings until 1:20am, I feel I get to use a baseball reference.
I hope I get to see round 19 of this BIF. Its just too damn fun.


Photo of shand
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

This one pours a nice deep brown color with a decent head. The aroma is superb, some nice roasted coffee beans over the great Maduro base. The taste provides a nice smooth roastiness over the superb Maduro base. Need I talk more about how great Maduro is? This is just a great base beer that responds very well to treatments. Fans of coffee brews really shouldn't miss out on this one, this is very special. Coffee over some nice roasted malts and a bit of chocolate sweetness.

The mouthfeel here is great, it's got just the perfect amount of carbonation and a medium body. The drinkability is amazing, this one never lasts very long in front of me. Overall, I really have to say that this is a great beer. I love my coffee, and I love my beer, and this is a perfect intersection between the two.

Photo of AdamBear
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-milk chocolatey brown with a thick frothy light tan head with some lacing.

S-smells like an espresso brewed with dark cocoa beans. exactly like one. its a good solid aroma.

T-comes in tasting like a really dark brewed coffee. it smoothly transitions in to a faint cocoa taste accompanied by a genuine bitterness that reminds me of coffee beans. the after-taste is of espresso with a certain amount of dark spice to it. definitely a good brown ale. the tastes aren't extremely pronounced, but they are good, and there don't seem to be any unwanted qualities. the after-taste is long lasting and the best part about this beer.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a dry finish

O-i like this. a lot of intense brown ales seem to borderline a porter or a stout, but this is definitely a brown ale. the body of it is so light. it makes this possible to quaff easily. for a lower ABV brown ale, this is about as good as it gets. i think anyone would enjoy this.

Photo of ne0m00re
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

05/16/11- Review of a 12 oz bottle of this thanks to a generous trader.
A: Clear mahogany amber, cream head and good lacing.
S: Caramel, walnut, faint mustiness, cinnamon, and a good subtle coffe character.
T: Spicy (like cinnamon), bitter coffee, tofee, macadamian nuts and vanilla... OK.
M: Frothy, thinner, again only OK.
O: The flavor doesn't line up with the aroma. On the other hand, I'd probably get it again to try on tap.

Photo of Portertime
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am just loving all of the CCB beers I have tried. I am a big fan of coffee brewed beers and enjoy a rich taste. Cubano Espresso poured a shade lighter than a midnight black, fresh brewed cup of espresso. I kept expecting to see steam wafting up instead of the small head. The smell was nice and inviting with a roasty baker's chocolate and espresso aroma. The taste was big, bold, and refreshing with huge fresh brewed espresso and minty hops dancing in the background to give it a good balance. It's a real eye opener!

Photo of uustal
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown with a one-finger light coffee colored head. Big time espresso aroma. Bold coffee beans and a bit of maduro cigar wrapper. Cuban style coffee definitely shines in the flavor. Big, bitter and bold. Unsweetened powdery chocolate taste, some nuttiness and what is a solid kick of maduro cigar wrapper in the finish.

Photo of GallowsThief
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cant believe I hadn’t reviewed this yet but picked some up for a trade and grabbed a few for me. Poured into a tulip.

A – Pours a nice dark shade of brown with some red tint to it. Head looks like a Coke was poured out with an off white brown one inch. Recedes fairly quickly. Not much lacing if any.

S – Does not disappoint with a huge espresso nose. Also has hints of mocha and dark chocolate.

T – Big and bold roasty espresso flavor is the first and foremost taste. Chocolate and mocha follow along but do not really lend any sweetness to the taste. They are there but this is not sweet. There is just a trace amount of bitterness from the coffee. Finishes by leaving that nice flavor of coffee again lingering.

M – Light to medium bodied. Lower end of the carbonation scale. Smooth drinker.

O – Another in the long line of CC brews that I really enjoy. This is a winner and a great drinker. Makes me feel like I’m in Little Havana eating some guava pastries and sipping espresso.

Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 983 ratings.