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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

954 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 954
Reviews: 267
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10%
Wants: 249
Gots: 117 | 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: 954 | Reviews: 267 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to jcartamdg for this as an extra in a recent trade.

A: Very nice look, it has a brown opaque look but with crimson mixed in, and when held up to the light I also see ruby highlights shining through. Awesome finger of off white-tan head with great lacing. Great so far.

S: The aroma is interesting, it mixes a ton of flavors at once and each time I smell i get new stuff. At first, I got a lot of maple covered espresso, then later I was even getting smells like tropical fruit flesh and then some roasty oak malts. Some other dry spices mix in to give it a very interesting ethnic food twist. Cool, but almost a little confusing.

T: Much more straight forward taste with obvious roasty espresso notes, some very nice chocolaty malts, a little twist of citrus, some brown sugar, and a semi bitter cocoa back. A nice brown thats almost a total full flavored brown even at only 5.5%.

M: The feel was medium to light, with a little bit of a watery feel for me at the front of the palate. Not too bad and good carbonation though.

O: A nice beer from a company I truly respect greatly up to this point. Cigar City has beers that are phenomenal, and then a few that miss for me, and then a lot of solid beers, this being in the solid category. Nice.

Dreadnaught33, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of jsvt
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jefe74 for this brew. Poured into the Cigar City snifter he also sent me.

A-Burnt toffee/caramel with a quickly dissipating off white one inch head.

S- Iced coffee, woody...and slight earth/ wet leaves. Toffee and caramel on the nose.

T- Super Java blast. Really refreshing, tastes of roasted malt and undertones of home made toffee. Slight maple candy smell too.

M-Super smooth and goes down like a thirst quencher.

Overall a really nice coffe beer. Some can be over the top due to lack of balance but really well done with coffee/malt/hop balance!

jsvt, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of dbossman
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with a thin film of a head; lacing is okay

S: Tons of espresso beans; there is also a funky wet and musty grainy quality; maybe some molasses in the nose as well

T: Lots of espresso and coffee with an intense chocolate and even lactose finish

F: A tad bit thin but the beer does stick to the roof of the mouth nicely

O: There is a strange funk in this beer but I end up liking it in the end; the coffee and chocolate are good but possibly a bit too much in the end; pretty decent brew when all is considered

dbossman, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of brian44556
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Stone Tulip.

Pours a dark coffee brown with a small brown head that vanishes pretty quick. Decent lacing coats the sides of the glass, but doesn't stick. Smell is of strong coffee beans and that is about it. Taste is rather good if you like coffee style beers. Strong notes of coffee, but not to overpowering. Mouthful is too thin and almost no carbonation is present. Overall this beer is decent. Glad I had a chance to try it, but this isn't something I would seek out in the future.

brian44556, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of brew3crew
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-nice brown body with a tan head that stays around for awhile...
S-a. Nice coffee smell. Almost a peanut butter smell to it. Delicious
T- nice coffee taste upfront with a chocolate finish. Great coffee aftertaste.
M- medium bodied and smooth. Very creamy.
O- great brew. Would love to have again

brew3crew, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of BZero007
2.85/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to J2Brew2 for sending this as an extra!!

Poured a nice brown color with an amber hue a bit murky, not much head formation with this bottle. The aroma that comes off this brew is straight expresso. The flavor was a extremly expresso flavor backed by the malt from the brown ale and a bit of a sweet milky off flavor.
I did not care for the body of the brew as I felt it was to thin for the type and amount of flavor that was powering through. Would have to pass on this one in the near future.

BZero007, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of Charlotte09
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours cloudy brown with a bubbly creamy head about a finger width thick.

S: Smells of bitter coffee and floral tangee finish.

T: Tasted of bitter chocolate and coffee, semi sweet with a fairly bitter finish, has a few pepper notes.

M: Starts off a little fizzy but gets smooth and finishes semi bitter.

O: Over all this beer is pretty drinkable, definitely a must try, but compared to some I have tried very unique.

Charlotte09, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of pmccallum86
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brown color with a thin head. Very light for a brown ale.

Smell is awesome, really huge acidic aromas. Very nice.

Taste is coffee and light coffee malts. Not very complex, just coffee.

Mouthfeel is dry and bubbly.

Overall not a bad beer, nothing amazing but pretty good.

pmccallum86, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of titosupertramp
3.1/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Pittsky for the opportunity to try this.

A: Pours a very dark brown with a finger or so of off-white, tan head. Leaves very little cap and lacing.

S: Boy, they're not messing around with the espresso. Hard really to pick out much else.

T: More espresso assault to start, but mutes a bit when the beer warms. After the espresso, the brown ale begins to show itself and is pretty good. A little chocolate and caramel in the background..maybe some tobaco. I have a feeling that I'd really like the taste without the espresso dominance...not terribly balanced.

M: Low carbonation, medium bodied. Nothing special really.

O: Like an espresso, this is a slow drinker that will take a while to get through. I think I would really like this beer if it were better balanced and not so dominated by the espresso.

titosupertramp, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of billab914
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Cigar City pint glass. It poured a deep mahogany color with a thin khaki colored head covering the top of the beer. The head had some nice retention to it, and left some modest lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma is very strong with the espresso. I get just a bit of a sweeter, malty flavor trying to poke through, but the espresso overpowers most of the maduro flavors. It's a excellent espresso aroma though.

The taste is also strong with the espresso flavors. Unlike a lot of coffee flavored beers, it doesn't have a big roasted, bitter or burnt profile to it. It's more of a clean, espresso flavor. A bit more if the malty, sweet flavors shine through compared to the aroma. It helps give it a little balance, which isn't always the case in a coffee flavored beer. It's very flavorful and tasty, a little one dimensional but it's very good at what it is.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style and carbonation is moderate. Overall, I thought it was a very good beer. They really got some great espresso flavors in there and managed to get them very clean and drinkable. The malt helped balance a little, but didn't add a ton of flavor overall. Loved the flavor to it overall, and one of the best coffee infused beers I've had. It could have used a bit more of the beer flavor coming through though.

billab914, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of muttyd
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to jcartamdg for this one!

Pours a deep amber/brown with a thick tan head. Great lacing as I swirl it around the glass. The aroma is straight espresso; roasted coffee beans, slight caramel sweetness. Flavor follows the nose. Roasty/caramel malt backbone with a strong coffee/tobacco presence throughout and in the finish. Very strong coffee profile. Slight astringency in the finish, almost slightly acidic. Medium body with fizzy carbonation. Very well put together brown ale.

muttyd, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of Buddha22
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A light brown, almost ruby color. Not a lot of head formation.

S: The smell is definitely coffee flavored and roasty. However there is definitely an off scent that smells like old milk, which is not very pleasant.

T: Taste is espresso flavored for sure, with that same kind of off flavor that I get from the nose. Maybe its just to coffee flavored for me or the espresso might put me off, but other than that it is a decent brown ale.

Overall: The beer is drinkable, but not sure if I would try and get my hands on it again.

Buddha22, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of Florida9
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a tulip glass. Forms a large, fizzy-foamy bright white head that is a strong contrast against the deep chestnut brown liquid underneath. Head reduces quickly, leaving clumps of lacing.

S: Beautiful aroma of roasted malts and strong coffee (though not quite a cubano) along with notes of chocolate, nuts, and wood.

T: More roasted malts and coffee. A light caramel sweetness along with nuts and wood. Earthy. Finishes with a lingering coffee bitterness.

M: Full bodied and round. Medium weight with softer carbonation.

D: A very nice brown ale and yet another successful twist on a classic from CCB.

Florida9, Mar 18, 2011
Photo of Sean9689
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at CCB Tasting Room.

A - Pours a dark brown, mocha-colored head, some nice lacing and a filmy thin cap.

S - Coffee, sweet burnt sugars, oak notes, nice malt backbone.

T - The coffee and sweet malts really go hand in hand and work well together. Some burnt sugars in there as well and a touch of hops but they really take a back seat to the coffee and sweetness, which they should.

M - Light to medium, soft carbonation, semi-dry finish.

D - Really liked this one as much as the regular version. Would def have more often if I was closer to CCB, but, I'm not. Oh sad. Oh well, very enjoyable!

Sean9689, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of jrallen34
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the pub as part of a taster... Pours a bright amber/copper color that is very clear. Much clearer and lighter in color than I would imagine of any beer called Cubano Espresso, making me think of a coffee color. A nice tan head, good retention and lacing... The aroma is really sweet, caramel with tons of fresh coffee. I really like this... The taste is really good, coffee forward for sure but the coffee the notes are sweet with lots of caramel and chocolate. Really smooth to drink with a hint of vanilla.

This was the shock of our taster and well worth trying. A big improvement on maduro.

jrallen34, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of thirsty4beer
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

my second annual Cigar City tasting at Rattle 'n Hum. ordered 2 flights of the various offerings but started with a full pint of the cubano espresso - it was my top pick from the previous year and I had long-awaited its return

A: clear chestnut brown with a rapidly dissipating off white head. a good-lookin ABA

S: spot on! semi-sweet cuban espresso aromas slap me around before I even pick up my pint. like no other coffee beer. like a bag of freshly ground coffee beans. if I had been blindfolded, I might not have believed it was a beer. caramel malts are present with a hint of cocoa and roasted nuts. the beer's strong suit.

T: roasted malt deliciousness takes the front seat while the roasted espresso and toasted nuts sit in the rear. a balanced caramel/light brown sugar sweetness hangs out from start to finish. mocha lingers on the palate. the hops are hiding, as they should. superb.

M: very smooth but the body and carbonation seem to be on the slightly lighter side. it works well for the carbo but I could use a tad more body.

D: bartender, I'll have another. and another. and another. bravo, Cigar City. by far my favorite of the maduro oatmeal brown ale series. I hope it's as good in the bottle bc I'm on a quest to find some more. such a unique take on coffee beer

thirsty4beer, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of jackie7787
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a Cigar City snifter. Shared the growler with the bf.

A- Pours a dark maple brown color with a light head that dissipates quickly

S - ESPRESSO. i know... unexpected. But really, it smells very strongly of espresso, with maybe a slight hint of chocolate.

T- Once again, espresso. Tastes just like it smells with a bitter espresso finish. Got some slight hints of chocolate once it was at just the right temperature.

M - This beer is very light and smooth. Just the right amount of carbonation.

D- This beer was very drinkable. In fact, I drank half the growler. I'd drink it again too if it wasn't so difficult to get in New York!

jackie7787, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of washburnkid
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off, this beer gives Coffee Bender a run for its money. Like CB, this brew overwhelms you with sweet roasted coffee, on both the nose and the palate. The mouthfeel is light and there's good carbonation, and the brew leaves nothing but bitter coffee throughout. Slightly acidic. The brew is dark brown with a head that sticks around through the session.

I'd recommend this for after dinner. I ordered it before, then ended up getting other beers while I sipped on this and drank a majority of it for dessert. It's a great replacement for the post-dinner espresso!

washburnkid, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of saintk9
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Was in Tampa today and went by CCB. Had this beer fresh on tap.

WOW is all i have to say. This beer was tops for me. I love the espresso finish to it. Could stand to have a little stronger nose.

Could only get it in pints. Wanted to buy a growler but they would not let us.

If your in Tampa area go to CCB and have some beers!!

saintk9, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of ggilman
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a brandy snifter.

A - Deep mahogany with a ruby tinge. No head retention.

S - Very fragrant. Freshly ground espresso beans, tobacco, chocolate.

T - More of the same. Delicious. Coffee & espresso followed by chocolate and earthy cigar.

M & D - Slight mouthfeel. Not as robust as the flavor. Carbonation is on the low side.

This was an enjoyable beverage! Makes me want to head to a cigar shop for a Montecristo & strong coffee. A taste of Cuba!

ggilman, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of Avagadro
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours with noticeable viscosity in to my pint glass, sweating in Florida's spring heat. Head formation/retention is slight, but this brew's deep copper color almost makes up for it.

S: Not enough of an aroma here. I only get a faint whiff of robust espresso beans. What is there is fantastic, but, sadly, it is only a tease.

T: The brew is malty, with semi-sweet caramel and toast blending beautifully with a delicate espresso finish. I am pleased with the espresso's willingness to share the lime-light with other flavors, as it leads to a more complex and enjoyable experience.

M: Medium body with a touch of slick oil.

D: A great brew, without a doubt, but a little attention is needed in regards to the head and nose. Nonetheless, this is one of the most enjoyable coffee brews I've had to date. Keep up the good work CCB!

Avagadro, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of Urbancaver
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with reddish tints. A bit of off-white head eith great lacing . Smells very chocolatey and espresso heavy. The chocolate malt is probably the single most prominent feature. Tastes very chocolatey and some hints of bitter roasted flavours. There is definitely some coffee background but mostly chocolate overwhelms. Thick solid mouthfeel and fairly drinkable

Urbancaver, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A growler of Maduro versus a bottle of this. For coffee lovers.
Dark brown color with a small tan head.
Strong coffee aroma. Caramel. Earthy, tobacco-like.
Espresso taste, some chocolate. Hint of tobacco. Late herbal hops.
A nice enough beer. Definitely for the coffeeholic. Have to say I prefer the regular Maduro.

lordofthewiens, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of argock
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a stemmed clear glass wine goblet. No freshness date. Single purchased at Knightly Spirits (Orlando, FL) for $2.29.

A: Deep brown with short 1/2-finger os vanilla colored head with sparse lacing.

S: Wonderful espresso bean arom with more bitter dark chocolate notes than the base brew and splash of vanilla with warming. Hoppiness is still herbal and earthy but understandably the presence is muted.

T: Espresso flavor screams out at the start but gives way to a burst of dark chocolate and dark malt with that same vanilla note. A mild tobacco hops bite is present. A really nice cohesive brew that I think surpasses the original.

M: Still smooth with moderate carbonation and a decided espresso aftertaste.

D: A must-try for coffee brew fiends, I really enjoyed this brew a lot -- the aroma really tugs you in and the flavor and feel hold serve with authority.

argock, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown body with red highlights. The head is small, light tan, fizzy like texture, and recedes quickly.

S: A strong aroma of espresso beans with a roasted chocolate malt backbone.

T: This one taste exactly how it smells. Upfront coffee flavor followed by roasted chocolate malts, a twinge of hops, and ends with espresso and a bit dry. Overall, a very well balanced beer.

M: Light to medium body, light carbonation, very smooth texture.

D: With a low ABV and a great flavor, I can easily drink a lot of these. Had it with brunch once and it was amazing.

BrewCrew2010, Jan 29, 2011
Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 954 ratings.