Leon | Cigar City Brewing

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
95
world-class
66 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
LeonLeon
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States | website

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by macrosmatic on 09-16-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
66
Ratings:
505
Avg:
4.36
pDev:
8.49%
 
 
Wants:
623
Gots:
84
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 505
Photo of MasterSki
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
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 +2.5%
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 +2.5%
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 Jeffo
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
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 +2.3%
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 jaasen64
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
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 Bung
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
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 cosmicevan
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
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 jlindros
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
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 +0.7%
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 +0.7%
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 homebrew311
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
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 MrVonzipper
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
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 -0.2%
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.

 1,378 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
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 Gobzilla
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
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

 795 characters

Photo of Etan
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

 574 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.29/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

 451 characters

Photo of KevSal
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
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

 274 characters

Photo of Duff27
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
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!

 497 characters

Photo of tewaris
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 366 characters

Photo of Ahappyhiker2
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 1,024 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
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!

 675 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 1,460 characters

Photo of inlimbo77
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 466 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Leon from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe