Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale (2011 original review)

Cigar City is the "chase card" of the American craft beer scene right now. Everyone wants to try them but they're difficult to find. I bought this bottle about two months ago when I was in Manhattan hanging with Hagan Blount (STILL waiting for him to post those 14 episodes we shot together!). There's some confusion with this beer, too. The label clearly describes it as "Maduro Brown Ale" TWICE, but RateBeerAdvocate and the brewer's website call it "Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale". So what's the real name? If anyone can clarify please let me know.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (627) - Albany, USA - MAY 17, 2011
Appearance: Dark brown, mostly opaque but hazy ruby red if held up to the light. Forms a small, dark tan, foamy head which leaves minor lacing on the glass.

Smell: Mild caramel, toffee and roasted barley notes. Smells sweet.

Taste: Up front it’s quite sweet - almost soda-like. Hints of caramel and toffee, but overall closer to a cola. The middle is mildly bitter and the finish delivers a strong taste of roasted barley. There is a noticeable iced coffee presence here. The finish is mostly clean with a slight coffee-like flavor, but it is very subtle. Overall, the palate is pleasing, but seems to be a little more mild than it should be.

Mouthfeel: Quite thin, totally tepid and borderline watery texture. Why is this so light bodied?

Drinkability: Very drinkable beer as the palate is flavorful but not intense and the thin mouthfeel leads to a very smooth finish and mostly clean aftertaste. The 5.5% ABV seems about right, if not even a little high, but definitely a session-like brew.

Overall, one of the best American brown ales I’ve ever had. I think with a tweak or two it could be even better but is definitely very good as is.

Grade: 8/10

NOTE: See my 2017 re-review to BJCP specs here: