Draft Notes

One beer at a time…

Cigar City Brewery Maduro Brown

Cigar City Maduro Brown

I recently saw that RateBeer posted their Top 100 Brewery list and the number 4 position was held by Cigar City Brewing. I had heard a lot about this brewery out of Tampa, Florida, but did not realize it held such clout in the industry. Unfortunately, Cigar City beers are not distributed in the DC Metro area (and from what I can tell, many places outside Florida). After being bombarded with emails from Let’s Pour, an online beer sales site, I decided to hand over my savings and order a selection of Cigar City beers (10 for $40 after a $10 off and free shipping). The beer I am going to review today is the Maduro Brown, one of their year round selections.Maduro Can

Maduro Brown is an English style Brown Ale which contains 5.5% alcohol and 25 IBUs.  The brewery website notes that the ABV is a little higher than most English Brown’s and they have also added oat flakes to give it more of a silky body. The addition of oats is most often seen in stouts, so I am very curious to see how it impacts the brown ale. I just can’t imagine a beer like Newcastle Brown having the silky feel of a stout.

The serving I have is a 12 oz can, which I will pour into a mug.Maduro Glass

Appearance is a hazy brown (surprise!) with fairly minimal head which recedes almost immediately.

Aromas I pick up are chocolate, brown sugar, and caramel.

I taste a fair share of cocoa, toffee, caramel, and a touch of coffee (maybe just the slight bitterness).

Mouth feel is the interesting part of this beer. It is definitely silky as expected due to the oats, but nothing like a thick silky stout. It is a watery silk if that makes any sense with a bit of a chalky finish. This leaves me a little confused about my feelings for this beer.

Overall I am not highly impressed, but I think it is an interesting take on the English Brown style which must of us a most familiar with due to Newcastle Brown. It is easy drinking and plenty of flavor, but I am just not too impressed with the use of oats giving it a feel that just did not sit well with me. I will rate Cigar City’s Maduro Brown 3.5 Mugs out of 5 on the Draft Notes Scale.

I plan on reviewing at least one more of the Cigar City selection with hopes I can see more of why this brewery is held in such high regard. I did try their “Hotter Than Helles” which was an amazing Helles Lager, a style I usually avoid.

To learn more about Cigar City, check out their website here: http://www.cigarcitybrewing.com/. See the entire RateBeer Top 100 here: http://www.ratebeer.com/RateBeerBest/bestbrewers_012013x.asp.

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