Cubano-style Espresso Brown Ale (Cigar City Brewing Company)

Style: English Brown Ale with Coffee

5.5% ABV

25 IBU’s

OG: 14

SRM: 24

From: Tampa, FL


Brewer’s Note: “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.”


The beer’s label is cool and funky.  I love the coffee colored text wrapping around the espresso cup, and I love the espresso cup.  The background of coffee beans is also visually pleasing to the eye, and the sky blue highlights look beautiful beside the brown background.  I also love the Cigar City logo, and how the steam from the espresso overlays it.  That being said, the label is a little crowded on the bottom, and could use some more space to deal with all its clutter.  This label is certainly worthy of scrapbooking, but is a little too cluttered for my taste in shelving material.

The beer pours a light roast coffee-brown, slightly like synthetic pancake syrup, and it sits in the glass as a very dark syrupy brown.  It pours with about a quarter’s finger width of very slightly tanning head that fades from the middle of the beer but stays consistent on the sides.  The beer leaves a slight lacing of dry splotchy bubble sheets.  The beer’s body is dark and slightly hazy, but seems clean of particles.  On the nose, the beer smells phenomenally of thick bitter chocolaty espresso.  It has that sort-of stale coffee bean scent that is really quite inviting.  It has a grainy yet slightly milked coffee bean smell to it that I am just loving the superb slight creamy chocolate nuances.  On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet and then builds into a lovely coffee bitter.  The flavor begins as sweet cacao chocolate flavors that slowly roast in the mouth and become sweet creamy espresso with a touch of bitter instant coffee.  The finish is beautiful mocha espresso flavors.  The aftertaste is of slight bitter coffee.  In the mouth, the beer feels on the thinner side of medium with a creamy, latte-foam feel to the carbonation.  The mouth is left feeling slightly dry from the encroaching roast of the coffee beans and some slight acid-neutralizing spittle, presumably also from the coffee beans.  Overall, I really like this beer.  This is a superb coffee beer, and a superb coffee brown ale.  I love the creaminess of the beer, and I absolutely love the balance between the bitter coffee and the creamy, sweet vanilla and chocolate flavors.  This beer thrives on superb balance, and is fully worth sampling.  This is probably the best none-stout coffee beer I’ve ever tried.  Try this beer!



3 thoughts on “Cubano-style Espresso Brown Ale (Cigar City Brewing Company)

  1. Wow, great detailed review! I don’t often see beer reviews that are in a similar style to how we do beer tasting, so this is refreshing! Are you a Cigar City fan in general? How did you decide to taste this beer?

    1. Thanks. I’m actually from up in Massachusetts but was down visiting the Florida area and knew I had to try some Cigar City. I wasn’t able to get in to there brewery, but I did find a six pack of Jai Alai (which was delicious) as well as a couple bottles of their stuff, and decided to just go for it and pick them up. As of now I would say that I am indeed a Cigar City fan. Being an coffee and espresso fan certainly helped with the decision to pick up this particular brew.

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