Leon - Cigar City Brewing

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LeonLeon

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

465 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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 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 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.

Photo of Sean9689
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of ehammond1
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle (2012)

Thanks for opening this with me, JealousChalice!

Dark brown, murky body with a quickly dissipating off-white head of small, creamy bubbles. Leaves dots of stick down the glass. Rich, shiny, and pretty.

The aroma is spectacularly rich and complex: brandy soaked dates lead the way, along with layers of caramels and toffees, mild wood presence, and chocolate-covered sun-dried cherry. Lovely.

The flavor is just as nice as the aroma, and this one ranks up there with my favorite barrel-aged barleywines. It combines an incredible drinkability (in small sips) with the best characteristics of the most divine, rich, luxurious desserts. Layers of dates and dark fruits, brandy, chocolate, brown sugar, and wood. The alcohol is in the background, but a complementary addition. Long, lingering chocolate finish. Very, very nice.

Medium to near full in body with low, oily, decadent carbonation. Luscious and luxurious.

Flawless.

Photo of homebrew311
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
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!

Photo of Jeffo
4.46/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of KVNBGRY
4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

At Huna '15 The '14 variant. So very tasty!

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

Photo of macrosmatic
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of jaasen64
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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 WillCarrera
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of jmarsh123
4.52/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of Devman171
4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huna day tap, pour is murky brown, aroma is sweet malt and booze. I cant detect apple brandy, but its a super smooth BA Barley

Photo of starrdogg
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of PHBoiler
4.46/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of Etan
4.31/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml into a snifter.

A: Pours a hearty auburn color with a small beige head.

S: The nose is very sweet, with big notes of candied apple, brown sugar and grapey sweetness, melted marshmallow and vanilla.

T: The taste is drier, with notes of caramel and lightly bitter hops, vinous glucose and some pleasant booziness from the brandy, vanilla. The tannic sweetness is cut by the hoppiness of the base beer.

M: Thick-bodied, moderate carbonation, sticky feel.

O: A very good barleywine. You can tell that the base beer was pretty hoppy, which I think works with the beer.

Photo of ThickNStout
4.97/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750mL bottle acquired via lottery through the El Catador club. Bottled 11/17/14. Served in a Cigar City teku.

Pours almost fully opaque- only a tiny bit of light escapes arond the thinnest edges. It rests in the glass a murky, swamp brown with one finger of dirty sand hued head. The foam gradually dissipates to a meager halo. I'm not sure that the few specks left on the glass can rightfully be called lacing. All in all that may not sound like an aesthetically pleasing brew but it absolutely is.

Beautifully sweet nose full of rich caramel, toffee, dark fruit, earthy oak and brandy. The aromas are mouth watering.

Holy hell this is such rich, decadent, malty, barreled goodness! Toffee, raisins, brandied dates, molasses, oak, vanilla, apple and singed caramel. It's fairly boozey but in a wonderfully warming and appropriate way. The brandy barrel melds beautifully with the toffee and dark fruits creating a multi-layered treat.

Syrupy, thick, almost sludgy feel with soft, silky carbonation. Coats the tongue with toffee, dark fruit and flavorful brandy for a delicious, lingering finish.

Leon is an outstanding, near magical elixir. It has been well over two years since a beer has blown me away like this and completely shown me the pinnacle of a style. I can't think of a way to make this any better. Super happy to have had the opportunity to try this and wish there had been much more.

Photo of cfrances33
4.51/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of linnymtu
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Possibly my favorite barleywine to date

Photo of Thishops4u
3/5  rDev -32.4%

infected. tasted like grape bubblegum.

Photo of standardcherry
4.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Shared with a friend. Poured into two snifters.

A: Pours a dark brown/red color. Nice foamy head and nice lacing.
S: Amazing caramel/fruity smell that I assume is from the apple brandy barrel.
T: WOW! Great caramel maltiness and fruity flavors. Apple-like accent in the flavor. Caramel, toffee, burnt sugar.
M: Rich body, thick and creamy. Extremely smooth.
O: Extremely good beer, would love to have a few more of these.

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 WTKeene
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of davey101
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

07 Sept 2012 on the label. 750ml bottle into a brandy snifter at cellar temperature. Enjoying this alongside a glass of Lairds Applejack. Huge thanks to a generous BA for this, you know who you are!

A - Bordering on clear and murky, the body is a deep vibrant red-brown color. Small one finger light khaki head forms and settles into some edging with massive bubbles. Low amount of lacing but a swirl produces some alcohol legs as well as a nice cap.

S - Huge notes of toffee, caramelized dark fruits, and brown sugar initially. Then comes the subtle notes of apple brandy. Oak and spicy apples with a long boozy finish. Complex and rich.

T - Wow. Even better than the aroma. You find all the stereotypical english barley wine notes here. Toffee, caramel, dark fruits, brown sugar, and molasses. Then comes this amazing apple brandy finish. Its rich and buttery with notes of oak, vanilla, and sweet apple liquer. Complex and intricate, this seems to be the perfect barrel to compliment a barley wine.

M- Thick and coating without coming off as syrupy. The 13% abv is apparent in only a smooth and light burn on the end that only serves to compliment.

O - I've had King Henry, and I've had Abacus. This beer is my favorite compared to those two giants. Maybe its because I'm a sucker for anything stuffed in an apple brandy or Calvados barrel, but this is just amazing!

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