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Leon - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
LeonLeon

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

61 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 61
Hads: 473
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 2.76%
Wants: 631
Gots: 85 | FT: 7
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 61 | Hads: 473
Photo of mdfb79
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From 02/09/12 notes. Traded for this last month, shared with a few friends. Poured into a wine glass.

a - Pours a hazy mahogany brown color with one finger of medium tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of brandy, caramel malts, oak, toffee, green apples, dark fruits, raisins, toasted malts, and some whiskey almost. Brandy is sweet and strong up front, but really nice. As it warms more comes out, like some vanilla. Awesome nose.

t - Tastes of brandy, caramel malts, vanilla, oak, toffee, cream, raisins, figs, dark fruity malts, apples, some burnt and toasted malts, some molasses and sugar. Again, quite sweet, and more vanilla. I liked the nose a little better, but this is still a great taste.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation.. Body is smooth, thick, and creamy; really nice. Brandy is certainly there but didn't feel like a 13% ABV.

o - Overall I had had a fresh 2012 bottle of MoaS the night before, and while I preferred MoaS to this (to be fair, MoaS is one of my favorite BA barleywines), this was really great and just a step below it. I think the nose is amazing on this beer and it definitely got better as it warmed up. A little hotter and a little sweeter than MoaS, I would love to have this one again and think aging it a few months would probably lead to it being even better. One of the better Cigar City beers I've had...definitely seek it out. (1,400 characters)

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark raisiny brown color with a 1cm bubbly tan head with pretty good retention and a touch of spotty lace.  

Smells of rich dark fruit, caramel, raisin, prune, 

Flavor is fantastic. Huge range of 
character and flavor. Brandy barrel adds great character to wonderful same characteristics in the nose. A little molasses, touch of tart apple for a second, caramel and rich dark fruit. A touch of back end bitterness. 

Mouth is full bodied with low carbonation. Great for this one. 

Overall it's a fantastic beer. Great range and character with nice barrel treatment character. Only spot it's missing is the appearance.  (640 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a cloudy cola color with good carbonation for a BA English Bwinw which traditionally is on the lower end of carbonation. There is a nice tannish cap, good dose of bubbles and moderate lacing and head retention

S: Big sweet brandy nose, did I mention sweet and Brandy? A nice dark fruit presence is introduced with a whiff of figs but I can really smeel the sugary sweetness on the beer. Loads of toffee, caramel and lighter whiffs of vanilla, light barrel funk and booze come across the nose

T: Immedite big brandy presence, sweet, caramel and toffee really provide a pronounced sugary sweetness, a good amount of caramelized sugar, some heat and then some darkerf ruits peak in midway backed by more toffee, caramel, toffee and a Earthy, woody, funy barrel influence. The finshing taste has a lingering undertone of bitterness and more sugar but that brandy is in your face.

M: Big bodied, well carbonated, sordove silky and the texture/feel is sweet and smooth. This beer is really sweet and the brandy really camps out on the palate providing a sticky mouthfeel

O: Very good. I was waiting to open this beer for the celebration of my first son. Worth the wait. Church on a Hill, Roosevelt and now this one. Cigar City is cranking out solid barleywnes. My only complaint about this beer was the bigger brandy note which seemed to distract me from the base beer. (1,378 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep caramel brownish color with minimal head and heavy visual weight. The nose is strong with caramel and raisin coming first.The apple brandy influence brings on heavy green apple notes which support the caramelized malt bill. Taste starts with some brown sugar and caramel notes followed by more green apple. A bit of caramel apple notes come out and everything is surprisingly smooth and well balanced. A bit of booze at the back. Mouthfeel is thick and mildly carbonated. Overall, a delicious barleywine that is reminiscent of king Henry and bcbbw. Very good! (572 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Another cracked at the CCB bottle share night, thanks to rudzud.

Light fizzy head, dark murky brown color.

Nose fruity candy, lots of candy brandy, caramel, toffee, little nutty, candy syrup,

Taste semi sweet candy, toffee, caramel, candy syrup, little brandy, barrel notes, fruity, little booze, etc. Nice beer.

Mouth med to fuller bod syrupy. (349 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks Matt for sharing!

(A)- Pours a deep chestnut brown color. Some minimal tan froth.

(S)- A nice richness overall. Ever so slight spice meets an excellent showing of the sweet brandy barrel.

(T)- I like the underlying sweetness from the brandy barrel in this. Some excellent leathery tobacco meets toffee and caramel. Quite nice.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level meets a nice showing of the barrel and a great barleywine base overall. Not too sweet either.

(O)- Generally, I tend to shy away from brandy barrel aged beers due to the overwhelming sweetness most of them tend to have, but this fits the style really well and uses the brandy barrel to great results. (707 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade..

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice thin halo and left lacing.

S - Aromas of lats of candy, brandy, chocolate, very nice.

T - Taste is light brandy, good malts, caramel, toffee.

M - Mouthfeel is really smooth and creamy.

O - Overall this beer was mighty tasty, super smooth. (311 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

massive thanks to totorpanda for the in person swap after a great tasting. enjoyed from a humidor series tulip.

a - brew poured a stunning maroon that settled into the glass an almost black. there was a generous finger and a half of off white foamy creamy head that hung out for a while (much more than i expected for a BA beer). nice streaky lacing.

s - great english barleywine caramel with some nice brandy barrel giving it a nice fruity kick.

t - WOW! now that's what i'm talking about! great english barleywine flavors of nutmeg and caramel with a really smoothed over barrel that carries a sangria like fruitiness.

m - rich and full flavored. thick, but creamy. has the body of a belgian from belgium.

o - overall, REALLY good. is it as good as people say? well that's for you to decide, but this is certainly not just hype without backup. super duper tasty and SUPER smooth. (886 characters)

Photo of Bung
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml. Thanks to CJS for this one. Dark rusty amber pour, just a ring and some wisps of off white head. Just sticks a little to the snifter.

Aroma, Apple, vanilla, caramel. Big. Some oak/barrel.

Taste, Toffee, toasted brown sugar, caramel, yellow raisin. Apple is just a nice accent. Earthy woody notes.

Thick and coating. Slightly lower carb prevents this from being quite creamy. A little warming, but not overly so for the abv.

Quality stuff. Reminded me a ton of the North Coast barrel aged Old Stock. Similar price point to that would prevent me from buying/trading for another. But a must try once. (609 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into HF stemmed glass, consumed right after King Henry. Notes from our barleywine tasting a few weeks ago.

A- Pours a reddish brown with a slight brownish mahogany head that recedes fairly quick leaving some soft spotty lacing and oily alcohol legs. Very similar in appearance to Cognac Church on a Hill.

S- Apples, a bit of brandy (not overpowering), some oak, raisins, figs, and underlying dark fruits, sweet malts. I actually liked this aroma better then King Henry, I felt like it was slightly less boozey.

T- Apple Brandy notes with underlying well-balanced flavors of toffee, dark fruits, oak, figs, raisins, finishes with more apple brandy. Fairly sweet, a little bit sugary, and very well balanced. The barrel adds a nice integration to the beer giving it a nice apple brandy flavor without dominating the beer too much or making it seem overly boozey.

M- Smooth (although not as smooth as KH), low carbonation but decent for style, very easy drinking, booze hidden amazingly well.

O- I wouldn't say this quite stacks up to KH, but overall in my opinion it's probably the second best barleywine I've had. It's not quite as smooth or complex as KH and KH beats it in almost every category except aroma. I felt like Leon hid the booze a little bit better in the nose. Overall I believe this is a world-class barleywine from CCB that is definitely worth checking out. Luckily I still have a bottle left, I hope to revisit this in the future. (1,473 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of this one from urwithdave. Thanks man! Appreciate the set of beers.

From a 750 into a snifter
Bottled 7 September 2012

APPEARANCE: A darker brown pour yields a 1 finger, medium looking, off-white, khaki colored head with decent retention. Head quickly fades to a slight wisp and bubbly ring. Bistre brown body with lower levels of carbonation. A ring and touches of wisp remain until the end but leave no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Brandy on the nose with some great caramel and toffee notes, as well as hints of oak and vanilla from the barrels. Some red fruits, cherries, with some nice dark chocolate as well. Dark fruits like dates and grapes come into play as well. This is very bold and wonderfully complex. Phenomenal.

TASTE: Brandy up front with lots of caramel and toffee sweetness. Some sweet dark fruits like dates and raisins through the middle before a big burst of boozy and barrel flavors at the swallow. Bold and lingering finish of brandy, oak, hints of vanilla, dark fruits and cherries covered in bitter, dark baker's chocolate. Spicy alcohol lingers as well. Very complex and interesting, starting out with sweet and fruity flavors, then finishing with a boozy and barrel forward profile. A hint of bitter, dark chocolate works some well-measured balance into the story as well.

PALATE: Medium body with medium levels of carbonation. Not quite creamy enough, slightly pricky perhaps, and goes down a bit rough with a burn at the swallow. Finishes sticky and some heat lingers long after the swallow. Smoothened as it sat, ending up alright for the style.

OVERALL: Outstanding! Much like many in this style, the feel could be a little fuller, smoother and creamier for top marks, but that is a minor complaint. The nose on this one was as good as it gets, and that translated into an absolutely fantastic taste profile as well. This is one of the best BA barelywines out there. Again Cigar City shows me that we were just meant to be. Well worth checking out if you get the chance. This is one I'd love to drink again at some point. Cheers again for the brews urwithdave. World class. (2,131 characters)

Photo of PHBoiler
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really warm and sweet nose on this deep amber/brown body with minimal carb. The brandy really gives a warm booziness on the nose and on the tongue. This is a really nice malty barleywine that essentially acts as a vessel for the brandy. It looks a little thin and I'd say that the mouthfeel is true to that for such a big boozy barleywine. It almost made it a bit easier to drink though and added a slickness. Very tasty dessert beer. (434 characters)

Photo of jeonseh
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled shared at NWI Tasting Group Meetup - December

A - Dark brown with a lot of haze. No head with a little foam on the side

S - Strong nose with vanilla, caramel, brandied dates and other dark fruits, and a strong whiff of apple brandy

T - Apple brandy stands out well is this beer. There is also sweetness with caramel and vanilla in the middle. Get a nice oak presence in the finish as well as a slight alcoholic character

MF - Thick and syrupy that goes well with the sweet and dark fruit flavors. Slight astringent and oak in the finish

O - Big, sweet barleywine that really showcases the apple brandy presence which added a nice finish and complexity (664 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Hunahpu Day 2013, served in a plastic cup. Reviewed from notes.

A- Pours a murky dark brown/mahogany color, topped with a wispy khaki head.

S- Sweet, rich aroma, loads of caramel, vanilla, sweet, bready malts, apple brandy booziness and oak.

T- Sweet and rich. The sweetness is smooth and mellow, has a nice blend of caramel, vanilla, apple brandy, bready malts, a lot of raisin and dark fruit, and a bit of brown sugar and spice. The apple brandy flavor is mellow and sweet, has a nice oak flavor towards the finish.

M- Full-bodied, thick and sticky feel, has a mild boozy warmth.

O- An awesome barleywine, really delicious and easy drinking, this is very worth seeking out. (690 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with friends.

Pours a darker brownish color, light tan-colored head, thin ring, spotty lace. Nose is sweet burnt sugars, oak, candy, smooth booze, toffee. Flavor is a nice mix of booze & sweetness, very well-integrated. Caramel, oak, burnt sugars, and toffee are the predominant notes along with a wonderful boozy apple brandy note. Body is medium, light carbonation, creamy finish.

Just a really well-made beer. The apple brandy turns what was a below average Barleywine (Chuch on a Hill) into a super-tasty barrel-aged BW. I'm already looking forward to the next bottle, as I was able to luck into a couple of bottles. This is a must-try from CCB and as good as the Cognac version. (699 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Mike (AgentZero). Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - Off-white foam settles to a thin collar and specks of lace. Dark brown body that's fairly opaque.

S - Massive apple brandy aroma - almost Jolly Rancher-esque in its green apple intensity. Plenty of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits and breads. Really excellent, with enough oak and spice to prevent things from getting cloying.

T - The taste is similar, with a great combination of apple brandy, oak, milled grains, honey-soaked dark breads, caramel, and brown sugar. Surprisingly well-hidden alcohol for a 13% barrel-aged barleywine.

M - Full bodied, chewy and viscous texture, lower carbonation, and surprisingly little warmth for the listed 13%. Mild oak dryness and grain, but otherwise fairly sticky.

D - Awesome stuff and might be even better than the cognac version. I'd love to get my hands on another bottle of this so that I could enjoy it at a more leisurely pace. Cigar City is on quite the hot streak these days. I think abandoning their sour program has really allowed them to concentrate on what they do best. (1,109 characters)

Photo of starrdogg
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark reddish brown with a small white head. Smell is excellent, the vanilla from the oak is prominent, and it has a great hint of apple as well. Flavor is also very nice: oak, vanilla, and apple stand out and it is finishes with some earthy roastiness. It isn't nearly as sweet as most brandy aged beers and tastes more like apple bourbon. It's very well balanced and quite smooth given the ABV. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with nice carbonation. Overall this is a damn tasty BA barley wine. (508 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a 25cl Duvel tulip. Huge thanks to Tony for sharing.

A: Murky medium brown body; 1/2" superfine tan head. Ok retention. Solid.

S: Spicy, chocolatey, spiritous. Vanilla, brandy, caramel, and lightly leafy bitterness. Excellent.

T: Follows the nose, sweetly and wonderfully. Great balance of barrel and malt. Delicious.

M: Creamy medium-full body. Great.

O: Wonderful beer. Really complex, and impeccably balanced. I expected it to be much more of a sugar bomb than it was.

Cheers! (504 characters)

Photo of cfrances33
4.51/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to johnyb. Poured into a Founders snifter.

Pour: Completely hazy dark brown, with some beautiful mahogany edges along the glass. About a finger od kkahi head dissipates quickly, leaving only a rim and a few splotches of lacing. Some legs on the bad boy, but nothing to write home about. This was the weakest aspect of this beer, but who cares because I'm pumped to taste it!

Smell: This is beautiful. A bouquet of caramel and sweet, succulent apple brandy burst forth from the glass. I assume CCB used Laird's for this barrels, because Calvados would have lent a greater booziness here. Some white chocolate seriously sneaks in the back - a nice marriage of vanilla and milk chocolate.

Taste: I get a smooth vanilla brandy sweetness up front, that is swiftly followed by a light cider and caramel. This flavors mingle together as milk chocolate says hello if you search for it. A mild raisin appears as the glass warms to provide a nice chewiness. At its warmest, a cinnamon sweetness and oaky vanilla mingle to provide a very welcome level of complexity.

Mouthfeel: So incredibly smooth, with all of the flavors I would attribute to apple brandy with none of the burn (I will qualify for purposes of being the 2nd review that burn doesn't often bother me, however, I really mean NO burn). A fantastic sipper.

Overall: An amazing English Barleywine that has succeeded in supplanting Sucaba in my favorite BA barleywines. I am so lucky to have a second bottle to sit on. Definitely try if you get the opportunity. (1,532 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours vibrant deep red with a finger or two of creamy white head. Good retention for a high ABV beer and good lacing.

Lots of toffee aroma as you would expect along with a nice boozy fruit character from the barrel.

Flavor is sublime. Sweet english barleywine flavors are there including lots of toffee and fig although the sweetness is both cut and enhanced by the apple brandy. Adds a different layer of fruitiness while also adding a dose of alcohol heat to smooth out the overall profile.

Full bodied and creamy with medium low carbonation level.

Super smooth well made beer. It was well balanced enough that it never got too sweet or too boozy despite copious amounts of each in various individual sips. Maybe not the very best BA barleywine I've had, but in the tier just below it. (791 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a cloudy amber color with a small beige head. Aromas of brandy, figs, dates, oak, brown sugar, caramel, and white raisins. Flavor of brandy, pralines, dates, pecans, toasted and caramel malts, and brown sugar. Medium-bodied, with a malty, boozy mouthfeel and mellow carbonation. What a wonderful treat and would love to try this again many times too! (366 characters)

Photo of WTKeene
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared courtesy of Thereal_adam and Gunch52, alongside Abbbp. Poured from a 2012 bottle into a Jester King Funk and Sour Fest Tulip.

Appearance: Hazy and dark chestnut brown with an eggshell crown. No head, but the crown is quite persistent. A certain amount of lacing too, but not a crazy amount.

Smell: Loads of brandy, dark fruits and molasses. Beautiful.

Taste: Sweet, fruity barleywine flavors accented by a dark, almost chocolately note. Hints of amaretto on the finish, which gets stronger as it warms up. This is gorgeous.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, lower carb. Thick and sugary. Very nice.

Overall: A very, very nice barleywine that has a few stout notes to it. The almond, amaretto notes make this a memorable and unique barleywine. Great job, and I was thrilled to get this tick. (788 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 11.21.12

A - Pours a murky dark brown with a 1/4 inch foamy dark khaki head that quickly moves to a lunp on one side.

S - Dark fruit, figs, carmel, toffee, vanilla and subtle brandy.

T - Sweet fruit, toffee, butterscotch then some hoppy tart apples.

D - Lower carbonation with a medium body.

O - Very layered and complex. Sweet, then hoppy, then fruity. Love it. (385 characters)

Photo of beergod1
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lucky to have split this CCB brew with J. Morey. Thanks so much.
Poured a Dark brown, almost black with no light shining through at all. Slight foamy tan head, that dissipated to a frothy ring around the edge of the glass while sipping. Smells of brown sugar, toffee and the brandy comes through. Taste is much of the same, but with an amazing warmth in my chest after just my first sip. Burnt sugar, toffee, and dark fruit really broke through after it warmed. This was a Great English Style Barleywine. Non of that sticky resinous Hop feel, like some if its American BarleyWine Brethren. (590 characters)

Photo of macrosmatic
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BREWERY NOTES: An English Barleywine-style Ale aged in Apple Brandy Barrels. ABV 13%.

Reviewed from notes. Had on-tap at CCB tasting room. Served in a snifter.

A: Hazy, almost opaque burnished brown in color, with a half-finger tan head that quickly fades to foam. No visible carbonation. Decent lacing throughout the drink.

S: Sweet brandy, roasted malts, dark fruit, plum and dark spices.

T: Follows the nose well. Sweet, boozy, spicy and dark-fruity, with a bit of dark cacao flavors balanced with just enough hop bitterness. The finish is sticky sweet but not cloying.

M: Medium weight to mouthfeel for style. The alcohol is very present but doesn't overwhelm. Lower carbonation but more than expected given the appearance.

O: This is a flat-out really good beer. I didn't have the opportunity to try the base beer, but the apple brandy treatment works wonderfully with the flavors. Highly recommended. (912 characters)

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Leon from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.