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Leon - Cigar City Brewing

LeonLeon

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

289 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 289
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 8.09%


Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: macrosmatic on 09-16-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 289 | Reviews: 52 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Anonymous1
Anonymous1

Illinois

3.54/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 17:55:53 | More by Anonymous1
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 02:40:32 | More by stakem
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.03/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 22:32:31 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of jeonseh
jeonseh

Indiana

4.48/5  rDev +0.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 03:04:07 | More by jeonseh
Photo of starrdogg
starrdogg

District of Columbia

4.48/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 03:26:27 | More by starrdogg
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

4.65/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 07:15:01 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of Gobzilla
Gobzilla

California

4.33/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a pale brownish orange in color with a little yellow hue on top and had a little thin khaki cap that left very little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: very pleasent barleywine aroma which consisted of plenty of sweet caramel, a little brown sugar, hints of toffee, very appealing brandy character and a little dark fruit coming through.

T: the brandy barrel character was more apparent on the palate alongside caramelized apple notes, a little toffee, burnt sugar, good brown sugar accents and signs of dark fruit .

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, slightly boozy, mildly dark fruity and sticky finish.

O: very complex aroma and flavor that had me fiending for another sip after I had finished my glass; very delicious

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 00:27:13 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of reto21
reto21

Alabama

4.9/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

thanks too (marko) for sharing this.

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 20:23:01 | More by reto21
Photo of reyes29201
reyes29201

South Carolina

5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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. LOVE THIS BEER

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 19:10:46 | More by reyes29201
Photo of iadler
iadler

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2012 23:58:55 | More by iadler
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -7.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 01:17:06 | More by brentk56
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT

Illinois

4.23/5  rDev -4.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2012 07:11:02 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of Duff27
Duff27

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -4.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2012 02:11:45 | More by Duff27
Photo of thegoon55
thegoon55

South Carolina

4.7/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Feel like I have to review this beer, it is absolutely amazing. So glad I picked up a couple bottles.

A- cloudy amber with a thin white head.

S- simply amazing. Sweet Apple brandy up front followed by toffee, brown sugar, fings, and spices. Literally picture perfect.

T- same as the nose, a tab bit boozy but a fabulous beer non the less.

M- well carbonated love the mouthfeel, sweet and smooth at the same time.

O- best barleywine I've had thus far, though I've never had any of the big "whales"

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2012 13:09:56 | More by thegoon55
Photo of MrVonzipper
MrVonzipper

California

4.38/5  rDev -1.6%
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. 

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2012 02:27:25 | More by MrVonzipper
Photo of tewaris
tewaris

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2012 09:04:07 | More by tewaris
Photo of BAstoutsNsours
BAstoutsNsours

Florida

4.98/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into a CCB snifter.

A-Murky brown appearance, looks a little like carbonated sweet tea. About a half finger head which subsides pretty quick only leaving a small amount around the outside. Got those legs too.

S-pleasant caramelized apple smell, smells hot, but not in a bad way as with other barleywines. I could smell this for hours. To me the smell was very apple brandy forward, which I liked very much.

T- WOW, this is the best damn BA barleywine I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. Candied apples, plums, toffee, and molasses all dominate. Had this slightly below room temp and would never guess this to be %13 abv, a really smooth beer.

M- Nice thick and chewy, perfect amount of carbonation on the medium side.

O-Forget the bourbon BA barleywines, the Apple Brandy barrel hits the spot on this style. I hope CCB does another AB BA barleywine, I would drink this on a daily basis if I had more of it. CCB crushed it on this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2012 18:22:44 | More by BAstoutsNsours
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

3.9/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2012 21:11:30 | More by largadeer
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me start by saying a big thank you to Sean for sending this my way!

This is the best brandy-barrel treated beer I've tasted yet!

Pours with a moderate amount of carbonation which produces a thin white head. A ruddy maroon color somewhat reminiscent of cloudy apple cider.

Strong booze on the nose, but oh what booze! Brandy!! Apple, pear, toffee, golden raisin, spice (cinnamon, clove and allspice). Slight touch of cocoa. Wow what a nose!

Taste strongly follows scent as a hot (alcohol) spiciness (pie spices again) floods the olfactory nerves. Sugary goodness hits mid-palate before being swept away by the lingering alcohol in the end. Did I mention that this was a little hot;)?

Mouthfeel is awesome! Oily with a nice burn of brandy. Perfect carbonation for a beer of this style.

This beer will only improve in the bottle over the next 10 years. I need another to squirrel away in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2012 00:42:23 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.35/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2012 14:35:32 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.48/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2012 14:20:04 | More by MasterSki
Photo of beergod1
beergod1

Ohio

4.6/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2012 13:07:56 | More by beergod1
Photo of davey101
davey101

Connecticut

4.7/5  rDev +5.6%
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2012 02:11:08 | More by davey101
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

4.48/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2012 00:09:09 | More by Sean9689
Photo of Lare453
Lare453

Florida

4.99/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz into a riedel snifter.

A dark copper/brown with an off white head which dissipates quickly. It is remarkable. It has legs, a tiny amount of lacing.

S dark fruit, brandy, oak, roasted malt

T sweet, boozy, spicy, bitter chocolate, dark fruits, vanilla, sweet apple brandy, this beer is complex.

M thick and mouth filling. Light carbonation, a little boozy but not overwhelming. Delicious.

O this beer rocks, another hit from ccb. I recommend getting a bottle if you can. One of my new favorites and in my top 10 of all time.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2012 05:58:25 | More by Lare453
Leon from Cigar City Brewing
98 out of 100 based on 289 ratings.