Leon - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
LeonLeon

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

465 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 465
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 628
Gots: 85 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: macrosmatic on 09-16-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 465 | Reviews: 65
Photo of Thishops4u
3/5  rDev -32.4%

infected. tasted like grape bubblegum.

Photo of evanfox81
3.03/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

for CCB, I'm disappointed in this one.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.22/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pour is murky brown with a tan head. Nose is wood, Brady, sweet malt, caramel brown sugar and some light berry notes. Flavor is heavy sugar, caramel, a good bit of brandy and a hint of green apple. A bit of heat in the finish with strong cArb and a full body.

Photo of dtmets84
3.53/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my three floyds teku glass.

A: Dark brown with a light fluffy brownish red hue.

S: Smell of a light apple not much compared to apple brandy huna

T: Taste is mediocre.at.best. You get a minor hint of the apple brandy but really is not coming through. Also comes in with booze booze and more booze.

O: A tick is a tick but the rarity and taste dont match.

Photo of Anonymous1
3.62/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mark for sending this one along! 750ml bottle split with a friend.

A: Dark caramel. Undercarbonated, minimal head, not much retention. Think a slightly thinner version of maple syrup.

S: Amazing! Smells like a hard cider, sticky sweetness on the nose, gotta love that apple brandy smell. I could just smell this beer for days.

T: After smelling such an incredible beer, the taste was actually a bit of a letdown. Rich caramel malts, toffee, followed by the apple and oak. Overly Boozy, the alcohol is not hidden in this one. A hint of vanilla, but then on the back end there are notes of acetone that aren't entirely pleasant.

M: Full bodied, chewy and syrupy sweet. Very solid. I was surprised by the thickness of the mouthfeel considering it looked a bit thinner during the pour.

O: This was a very unique experience and I'm glad I got to try it. I've never had any of Cigar City's other Apple Brandy offerings, but I'd imagine they'd be better integrated with a Zhukov or Hunahpu.

I guess it was worth the tick, but I don't plan on seeking one out again.

Photo of spicelab
3.63/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle with huge thanks to mulder1010. Shared at Feb 26 tasting.

Deep treacle with a modest saffron coloured head that retains well, falling eventually to a decent film and collar.

Out of the gates it's pungent ethanol and sharp apple brandy barrel notes, before stewed fruits, dried strawberries, bark, acetone and hints of diacetyl poke through. Good but significantly marred by booze.

Flavours show a bigger base beer presence. Decent notes of caramel eclairs, figs and muscatels, but not a lot else.

Suitably full and syrupy, with light prickly carbonation and some booze heat.

Good but not outstanding. Might benefit significantly from a year or two in solitary.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.86/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Murky ruby brown body. A few bubbles in the collar make up the head with a few surface wisps.

Smell - Apple sweetness. Brandy and vanilla. Caramel.

Taste - A little more dynamic. Lots of vanilla and caramel. Apple brandy is more subtle. Dry and astringent finish with apple sweetness lingering.

Mouthfeel - Very sweet, but still manages to dry out and leave oak in the back. Medium heavy body.

Overall - A dramatic improvement over Church on a Hill, but Cognac Church is still the revelation of the bunch.

Photo of largadeer
3.9/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks, David.

Pours a cloudy dark amber capped by a thin head that quickly recedes to a collar. Apple brandy isn't terribly overt on the nose compared to AB Hunahpu's. Other reviews mention it being front and center, so perhaps there's bottle variation. More dominant is dark fruit, burnt sugar and oak. There's plenty of boozy barrel, but it's not distinctly apple brandy. The palate is similar, with big caramel and burnt sugar flavors, boozy barrel, oak and dark fruit. It feels a tad thin to me, especially compared to the Hunahpu's variations we drank next to this. A solid beer, but nothing terribly special.

Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to starrdogg for opening this one. Served in a Cigar City snifter. The nose carries a pretty strong aroma of apple brandy with some nice sweetness coming from that. Malty sweetness with faint fruit and caramel comes behind that. Flavor is a bit too barrel heavy, but still quite nice. A bit of booze, but not too much for a 13.5% beer.

Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks go to BA sendsilk for hooking me up with this. Poured from a 750ml into a matching CCB snifter. The brew appears a dark mahogany to brown with a yellowish stained khaki head about a finger strong that fades back to a creamy layering across the top supported by rising bubbles of carbonation. The fading cap leaves strings and spots of lace sticking to the glass. It is interesting how creepy and slow the bubbles move through solution and collect at the surface. When held to the light, this brew shows some lighter brown and almost orange to yellowish hints around the edges that are quite clouded.

The aroma is burnt sugar like caramel and molasses with a solid amount of raw woody inclusion. The brandy is present with an accenting fruity alcohol component that integrates well with the maltiness of this brew. There is some vanilla character here smelling almost like toasted marshmallows with a candy sweetness that mingles with the raw woodiness in an enjoyable yet different way. It is a good smelling brew, it just doesn't "wow" me like some of the other barrel aged goodies coming from CCB do.

The taste is sweet with a fruity inclusion of brandy that melds into burnt sugary flavors of caramel and toffee. Some of the barrel flavors come forward here with a hint of vanilla and some herbal hops are present with the solvent alcohol to bring things back into perspective. There is a flavor mid-palate almost like apple skins but it finishes with an ester and fresh fruited taste. As it warms up, the alcohol brings out more of the herbal hops and a bit of tannic dryness of raw oak that imparts almost a flavoring reminiscent of strong tea but coupled with something along the lines of molasses.

This is a full bodied brew. It is thick and sticky with a moderate level of carbonation. The alcohol is not hiding here despite plenty of residual sweetness and malt character. CCB has been knocking barrel aged beers out of the park (this is nothing new) but most recently I gotta give the nod to the cognac versions over this brandy. Still a mighty fine brew, if you have the chance you should get your hands on some.

Photo of iadler
4.04/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to arminjewell for bringing this bottle!

A- Pours a cloudy dark brown with a thin off white head that leaves some spots of lacing.

S- Caramel apples immediately come to mind followed by brown sugar, toasted bread, dark fruits, oak and hint of spice. Smells like the holidays.

T- Plenty of sweetness with notes of caramel apples, brown sugar, raisins, black cherry, oak, toffee, roasted malt, holiday spices with notes of clove and cinnamon. as well some brandy heat at the end.

M- Low to medium carbonation and a slightly thin body for such as big beer with some heat at the finish. The abv is kept in check pretty well.

O- A very interesting take on a barleywine, with the aroma being the highlight, but the thin body and amount of sweetness prevents it from being a top tier barleywine in my opinion.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.04/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, dark fruits, and brandy. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a woody finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but I think it smells better than it tastes.

Photo of maximum12
4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Honor to Prince Moose3285 one more time for sending one more fine-looking CC beer up the long pipeline to Minnesota; so jazzed to open this one up. 750 ML bottle split with my lovely wife.

Pour is fairly quiet with minimal carbonic activity, turbid brown with a touch of red. The nose brings pleasantness - huge notes of brandy & vanilla, accompanied by caramel & general sweetness. Hearty-emoticon.

Leon. Tons of lovely caramel inundate the dike: there's enough caramel to feed starving masses. The brandy really accentuates the caramel, & adds another dimension of sweetness on top. As it warms, it opens up. In the primal wood there's also molasses, toffee, light fruits, & hopefully no halberds. The mix is exquisite. And easy to sip.

OK. Have to confess I'd rather have Church on a Hill, either version, than Leon - but this is still an excellent beer. Mike - you are a saint. Let St. Peter know you have an excellent reference if he asks.

Photo of oline73
4.11/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter. We had this as a part of the blind BA Barleywine tasting.

This one pours with more of a red hue than most barleywines. The smell is sweet and a bit fruity. There is a good balance between bitter and sweet in the flavor. This one had more balance than most of the other barleywines we had. I'm getting some caramel and dark fruit along with heat from the barrel. The alcohol builds towards the finish. I'm going to sit on my bottle and see how time treats this beer.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark manogany color, with a yellowish finger of foamy head. The aroma is somewhat fruity, with hints of alcohol, figs, oak, caramel, and dates.Theres somewhat of a sugary taste, plums, raisins, other dark fruits, mingling with a smooth woodsy note, touches of booze, and a fruity brandy note. It's full bodied, rich and creamy. Drinks quite well despite the ABV, which adds character, rather than making It daunting. Quite a nice drinking Barleywine.

Photo of brentk56
4.14/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a murky dark caramel color with a inch of foam; leggy, with a smattering of dots

Smell: Toffee apple; dried fruit (fig and date); mulled spices, earthy hop

Taste: Caramel and butterscotch, up front, with the dried fruit and spices arriving in the middle; some earthy hops, after the swallow, but the finish is dominated by the toffee apple character; rather boozy, too

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation; loads of warmth

Overall: A powerful barleywine with an interesting twist; the high abv and the sweetness makes it difficult to consume in much quantity - took me two hours to finish off a snifter

Thanks, voxomkid, for the opportunity

Photo of chinchill
4.16/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

CCB Leon bottled on Sept 2012. In a large bottle shared in Feb. at the RBWG-2015.
Hazy mahogany body with a good head.
Rich, attractive and complex aroma.

Flavor: Rich, mildly sweet and moderately complex with a hint of sherry.

Photo of Ahappyhiker2
4.24/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Brown/dark brown, decent amount of carbonation present

S- Vanilla, sweetness from the brandy, caramel, malt, a little bit of booze. The aroma is a bit fruity, maybe from the apple brandy barrels, not sure but it's really interesting. It isn't sweet like a traditional barleywine would be.

T- Again it's sweet, but it isn't overbearing. The brandy flavor is such a nice compliment to the slight booziness cause of the higher ABV. I definitely taste some apple, albeit I was looking for it. Definitely some vanilla presence in the taste as well. It's really smooth, drinks well.

M- Perfect amount of bubbles on the tongue, not too much. Like I said it's very smooth.

O- This is a great unique example of a barrel-aged barleywine. The apple/fruity flavor is such a nice compliment to the vanilla and other notes that I was expecting. Surprise, surprise, I still prefer King Henry, but this is right up there with Barrel-Aged Hi-Fi Rye in my book. My first barleywine from Cigar City, and definitely not a disappointment.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.24/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to egrace84 for the share! Thanks elliot!

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: murky brown bodied beer with a thin tan colored head.

Smell: brown sugar, caramel, and breen apples. its also smells sweet and boozey.

Taste: Big sweet notes of caramel and butterscotch. A touch of maple with green apples. hint of spicey booze.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low end of moderate carbonation. Warming sensation from the booze.

Overall: Nice English barleywine! I think its a bit over hyped, but it really did enjoy it none the less. This is my first Apple Brandy BA beer and it adds a whole new level of complexity to a beer style that is my favorite beer style!

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.24/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

always crazy to have a bunch of big rare beers in a night. it sort of spoils you, but there is also a beauty in this type of gluttony, provided it is with a lot of good friends and only on occasion. leon here was the perfect beer for that kind of thing. its literally liquid caramel with a shot of bourbon. sounds simple, but thats what it tastes like, of course with farm more nuance, but thats the gist all the way. hazy thick look, like a melted werthers candy, short lived lazy off white head. it smells like the bourbon more than anything else, and tastes like about the longest boil with the sweetest grains in the game, sludgy sweet almost, and radiantly alcoholic. sounds harsh and sloppy, but its actually very mature and calculated, and i was surprised it comes together as well as it does for how big it is. i think some of the love for it on here is some cigar city flamboyant fandom, and you get that a lot with those guys, but this is a fantastic example of a barrel aged barleywine, and it deserves at least a mention in the conversation with those from guys like firestone walker and goose island bourbon county versions of the style. some toasted marshmallow notes, an almond nuttiness, maybe candied almond with all the sugar, and a long drawn out finish where the body and sweetness slowly melt off the teeth and glide away into oblivion. there is a lot of beer in this bottle, so be prepared to either share it around or get silly and sick.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.24/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml, Bottle date 9/7/12
Mini snifter

A: Murky brownish red color. Layer of light tan head. Forms a collar after a little while. Alcohol feet for days.

S: Sweet vanilla. Oak. Dark fruits malt sweetness. Oak. Some sweet Brandy barrel. Can I say Oak again :).

T: Delicious dark fruit. Sweet vanilla. That barrel character works so well. The finish is long and lingering. There is booze there, but the year of aging has done this brew nicely.

M: Big medium bodied.

Photo of KevSal
4.27/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch1
Looong time want! Good way to start 2015. The apple is still there in the nose and taste, the body is slightly thin missing a bit of heft. Very tasty flavor. Wouldn't consider this world class however. Interested to try batch 2. Don't see this one improving any more

Photo of Duff27
4.27/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown colored body. Leaves an decent collar with a little cap. Minimal lacing.

Can smell the green apple aspect of the brandy barrel aging.

Alcoholic caramel, short and sweet. Brings the heat on the throat on the tail end.

Low but adequate carbonation. My favorite part besides the smell. Medium-thick mouthfeel.

A very good BA English barleywine but not deserving of the rating that it's getting right now. Now the new CCB Imperial Sweet Stout, that's a different story. Thanks egrace84!

Photo of tewaris
4.27/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Steasy66 for this deliciousness.

Dark amber, sweet and alcoholic aroma. Taste is big on fruit, pears to be exact; but the sweetness has not developed yet. The barrel heat is missing (which I am also missing) but overall this beer is quite a decadent experience. I must say that enjoy the element of darkness in today's "English" barleywines.

Very very good.

Photo of BMMillsy
4.29/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hunahpu pour #2. Murky brown with kahki cream head. Aroma is awesome. Vanilla, sweet brown sugar, apple, biscuts. Flavor is like nothing i have had. Cotton candy, toffee, biscuts, and vanilla in the flavor, super duper sweet as it sounds. Medium heavy mouthfeel with low to medium carbonation. A bit sweet and that sweet lingers for a good while. So glad I got a chance to try this one, and sharing 8 oz. with one other person was plenty. Pretty rich.

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Leon from Cigar City Brewing
98 out of 100 based on 465 ratings.