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Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale | Cigar City Brewing

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding
305 Reviews
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Cubano-Style Espresso Brown AleCubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
cigarcitybrewing.com

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

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

Added by tpd975 on 05-26-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
305
Ratings:
1,315
Avg:
4.08
pDev:
20.1%
 
 
Wants:
324
Gots:
204
For Trade:
14
User Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 305 | Ratings: 1,315
Photo of spacecake9
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a can from a friend in Florida. I'm a big coffee fan so I was looking forward to this one.
A - Pours black with a thick, light tan head. Lacing is massive on the glass sides.
S - Aroma is all.....coffee.
T - Great coffee flavor, and just when you'd expect some bitterness the vanilla and cacao kick in.
M - Carbonation is less than average. Flavor really sticks to your mouth.
O - I really like this beer. I don't normally have beer for breakfast, but this would be the one to have.

 487 characters

Photo of Roguer
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark brew, nearly black; minimal head.

Lots of coffee on the nose.

Surprisingly nutty on the palate. Of course, there's plenty of coffee and caramel, as well. Quite a bit of toasted malt, as well as some char.

Very drinkable, lively and smooth.

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Photo of chinchill
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh 12 oz can.
Poured with a large beige head.
Smooth medium body and medium carbonation.
Plenty of good coffee flavor but not too much, allowing roasted grain flavor to join in. Coffee does dominant the aroma.

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Photo of jonwiseman
4.61/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the finest examples of the style that I've ever tried. I expect nothing less from cigar city. Look is almost black. Smell is chocolate coffee. Taste is sweet mocha. Mouthfeel is light cream. Excellent porter

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Photo of jaketaz
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of my go-to coffee beers, prominent coffee flavor but still mellow and easy drinking. Though rare nationwide it's somewhat common on tap in Florida, where live and where Cigar City is headquartered. The closest point of comparison is maybe Stone's Coffee Milk Stout, but with a darker roast coffee. I like that it's heavily flavored but still lends itself to drinking a lot of it. I would probably take this over the regular or even the vanilla Maduro any day, being a coffeeholic. It's usually pretty affordably priced as well so no reason not to give it a try if you like dark flavored beers.

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Photo of FBarber
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours shiny black with a two finger tan head. Head dissipates leaving a thin tan film on the top of the beer. Beer appears to be slightly reddish and light comes through when held to the light. Appropriate for a brown ale.

Smell is a lovely aroma of coffee, fresh coffee grinds, with hints of vanilla and light caramel malts.

Taste has notes of coffee up front - tastes like cold brewed coffee. Notes of caramel and cocoa give way to a lovely sweet vanilla bean flavor.

Feel is spot on for a brown ale. Medium carbonation provides a slight tingle on the tongue initially. Smooth, drinkable, and light.

Overall, this may not be a classic brown ale with the addition of the coffee and vanilla, but underneath is a spot on brown ale, and the additional flavors play so well with the beer. Its an outstanding effort from CCB and one of the best brown ales out there.

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with a large creamy, tan head. Good retention and lacing.

Big espresso aroma. Dark roasted malt, caramel, and smoke. Vanilla and cream.

Taste is big espresso and the vanilla comes through stronger. Bitter chocolate, dark roasted malt, molasses, and anise. Cocoa powder.

Medium mouth feel with a creamy smoothness. Medium carbonation. Strong, lingering dark coffee.

Love this. Great coffee flavors that don't overwhelm the other aspects.

 467 characters

Photo of WesMantooth
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

6/28 dated 12 oz can

Pretty much black until the light hits it, then you can see it is a thinner mahogany brown beer. Sort of a frothy tan head, but it is fairly minimal and short lived.

Smells very malty, with a little bit of nuttyness, and some expresso/coffee aromas.

Tons of roasted beans in the flavor. The coffee really carries through strongly along with some french vanilla and cocoa powder. Roasted brown malts are there, but overshadowed by a lot of the rest. Light bitterness lingers

Very creamy. Great beer. Very reminiscent of a Founders Sumatra with a vanilla addition. Maybe more similar to Sixpoint 4 Beans with a lighter body.

 649 characters

Photo of RyanK252
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Crowler poured into a Cigar City snifter

A: Pours dark brown with a frothy tan head that settles to a thin layer and leaves a little spotty lacing.

S: Monster espresso nose, a little chocolate, vanilla, and toffee.

T: Espresso dominates, there's a little roasted malt, dark chocolate, vanilla, earthy, a touch of spice, a bit nutty, and faint dark fruit.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Super drinkable tasty coffee dominant beer.

 449 characters

Photo of Sabtos
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark solid brown marble with a thin tan head.

Smoooooth coffee that is deep, warming and pleasant on the nose.

Tobacco, fruit leather, chocolate, caramel, and that coffee. Oh this is delicious.

Dry, which is unique, with some not too sweet malt.

Hands down, one of the biggest treats of my Hunahpu weekend. My god I want more!

 330 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Damned impressive coffee/espresso character. I'll have to revisit this in finer grain.

High B (3.75)

***
2016.10.08: 2nd impression on-draught in Brooklyn:

B- / WORTHY

 170 characters

Photo of TimG_0913
3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pretty good beer. Idk why it took so long to try this. Canned 5/4/15, so some coffee notes fell off i assume. Can definitely smell the coffee and vanilla. Good vanilla notes and decent amount of coffee. 3.75/5. Again would love to try fresh.

 241 characters

Photo of ordybill
4.67/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the tap into a pint glass. The appearance is a clear dark brown with red highlights and has a large tan head. The aroma is all coffee with some chocolate and malt. The taste is simply a great coffee flavor. Outstanding.

 236 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

another excellent coffee beer from cigar city, they know what they are doing with this ingredient, thats for sure, and i love how it ends up in so many of their beers, yet they are all so different and distinct from one another. super cool. this is really light in color for a brown, some amber notes in the right light, and a little see though. huge just off white head rising several inches high. smells to me like dried plantains, an interesting first impression on a beer thats meant to feature other elements. the coffee is there for sure, but it seems to be a little lighter roast than they use in others. the vanilla is also rather subtle, which i think helps keep the sweetness down and the drinkability up. a big caramely middle in the flavor from the malt before the coffee kicks in. dry chocolate for sure, cocoa powder, bakers chocolate, and then the plantain thing again. light and tropical, makes it seem more like an iced coffee in summer weather than a wintery warming coffee ale. kind of a neat transportation there. overall an impressive brew, far lighter in terms of body and heft than expected, and far lighter on the coffee too, more delicate. excellent stuff, thanks to my buddy for sharing this treat!

 1,224 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

32oz growler from the Bowery Whole Foods. Pours a dark brown with ruby hues and very little head. Some lacing. The aroma has lots of coffee and espresso with some nuttiness and more espresso. The taste is more of the espresso flavor with some light bready malts, hints of caramel, and nuts. Earthy. More espresso at the end with a hint of chocolate, and maybe even dark cherry. But, basically this beer is all about the espresso/coffee flavor, and it works. Lighter mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Overall, really good beer if you like coffee.

 538 characters

Photo of TheItalianStallion
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a fresh growler into a tulip.

A: Transparent black in color with a thin head of tan foam. The head quickly fades to a thin film on top of the beer. No lacing left behind at all.

S: Perfect aromas of strong, fresh brewed coffee with a good amount of caramel malts. A hint of nuttiness is there, but the coffee aromas dominate. Coffee beers are some of my favorites, and this one has the best aroma of any coffee beer I've drank to date.

T: Strong flavors of fresh brewed coffee with a good amount of roastiness in the background. Some mild chocolate flavors coming out as the beer warms.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation leading to a pretty smooth mouthfeel. Semi dry on the finish with some bitterness.

O: If you love coffee, this is without a doubt the beer for you. The coffee is the main focal point, as opposed to being part of a variety of different flavors; the way it is with many other coffee beers. In my opinion the fact this is a brown ale instead of being a stout or porter is what sets this beer apart. I would highly recommend this beer, ESPECIALLY if you love a fresh cup of coffee or espresso.

 1,149 characters

Photo of cbraden
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tried this one from the tap. I really liked the nose on this. Very well balanced on the palate and I did not experience any of the bitter after taste that some of the other reviewers have commented on. Overall, this is a very good beer, although with a flavor this unique, I do agree that it would be hard to enjoy more than a couple in a sitting.

 350 characters

Photo of darktronica
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A lovely coffee ale for those who really enjoy an earthy, nutty, dirt-grind pull of espresso; the grind is real on this one. Take the beer's name at its word, as it definitely resembles an espresso shot with enough sugar to offset bitterness but not to turn it into a dessert. There is no cappuccino, no latte, no macchiato here.

 329 characters

Photo of dfillius
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2014 vintage, reviewed on 7/12/14. Poured in a wine glass, split with Mom
A: 2/3 finger tan head from a moderate pour. Chill hazy brown liquid.
S: Vanilla and toffee first. Coffee arrives to the party strongly halfway through.
T: Slight coffee aftertaste, though it has notes of what I dislike in red ales (still unknown to me what it is). Where's the cacao?
M: Dry, woody, peaty open with sweet finish
O: Nice coffee beer. Shame that the aftertaste was unpleasant. It brought the whole enjoyment level down for me.

 522 characters

Photo of Preston
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Basically a coffee-flavored version of Maduro. It smells so good and it's from my favorite brewery, so I wanted to like this more than I did. It's better than Maduro, but still just too sweet to drink for an extended period (like Maduro). I couldn't handle more than one of these in a session.

 293 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.12/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is ruby with a brown hue and a thin tan head. Nose is assertive clean coffee, moderate vanilla, decent roast, little malt profile, mostly adjunct. Flavor is similar but really thin and watery, slightly heavier roast, flavors are fairly enjoyable if it wasn't watered down, still mostly adjunct and very little base beer. Light bodied, soft carb, smooth feel.

 365 characters

Photo of Moose90
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz can, dated "CANNED 05/04/15 CHEERS 6986" poured into 16oz tulip

A — Pours with a deep rich brown hue, though there is some clarity when held up to the light, there is a light caramel colored head to it, fades fairly quickly and leaves some spotty lacing behind, though not super consistent.

S — Smells of roasted coffee, bitter espresso, light cocoa powder component to it, little bit of a caramel sweetness to it as well.

T — Tastes a lot like Maduro initially, though it does develop into a semi-sweet light chocolate component. There is a fair amount of coffee and cream as well, like a really nice bitter espresso with just a bit of sweetness to balance everything out.

M — Light in body, lighter than anticipated, there is a nicely lingering finish to it as well.

O — Very nice overall, a bit more malt could really bump this one up, but for coffee beers this is certainly up there.

 909 characters

Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
3.79/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into s tulip glass.
Appearance: dark brown with a little red. Foamy head with lots of small bubbles.
Aroma: espresso, roasted malt, and chocolate. Small amount of light bitterness on the noise.
Taste: roasted malt, vanilla, espresso, dark chocolate, a little licorice and tobacco.
Feel: light body with little after taste.
This beer is like a "light" stout. The flavors are stout like but the body is light like an ale. Interesting beer but not exactly sure when I would drink it again.

 505 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color with little penetration to light. A fingernail of beige is around the rim and a trace otherwise appears on top. A massive amount of expresso, chocolate , and vanilla. I taste deep dark expresso, chocolate, vanilla, and leather. The mouth is thick, chewy, and lightly sticky.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can into a clear mug.

Appearance: deep, dark brown with red highlights when held up to the light. There's a touch of haze, a moderate effervescence and a finger of frothy tan foam. Quite attractive indeed.

Smell: the coffee is the first thing on the nose, with the vanilla and chocolate a subdued afterthought. There is a nice overall toffee sweetness, though, that really works for me.

Taste: the coffee and vanilla really come together with the somewhat caramelly malt character; the cacao plays just a supporting role but it does so very well. There's a lot going on here, but overall it is more of a symphony than a cacophony.

Mouthfeel: the body is rather light but with a big carbonation and a decent creaminess for the style. Just a little more body here would be wonderful.

Overall: I like this beer a lot. It has almost too much going on, but there's just enough restraint here to make a good beer.

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Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing
4.08 out of 5 based on 1,315 ratings.
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