I recently got the Maduro Brown Ale in a pick six from Spirits, a package store in Northport, and really enjoyed it, but I didn’t get a grasp of the greatness that Cigar City had just given me. So this past weekend, I ventured to Hop City, a local craft beer and wine store in Birmingham (with a location in Atlanta, too), in search of the Maduro. I found it, brought home, and chilled it for two days before cracking the first one open. I am so glad that I bought a full six-pack of this, because this beer was world class.

First off, I just want to talk about how good this beer smells. If you don’t swirl and sniff after you pour a beer, you’re missing one of the best parts. Second, if you’re drinking at home and you’re not pouring into a glass, I don’t want to know what other atrocities you commit in your ridiculous life. Nonetheless, as soon as it’s poured, you can begin to smell hints of espresso and caramel, waft a little more and you begin to pick up toffee and roasted nuts. It smelled so good, I didn’t want to drink it because it would be gone and I couldn’t smell it anymore. Luckily, Cigar City’s website sells Maduro soap, so you can smell like your favorite CG beer all the time. You take in the scents, you process the goodness, and then you drink.

This brown ale has easily moved into first place in my rankings of the style because of the layers of flavor and the ability to easily pick them up. Even someone with a simple palette and no knowledge of beer could easily describe what they taste after picking their tongue up off the floor. When you take your first sip, you immediately pick up notes of toffee and espresso that ravage your mouth, but wait, the show’s not over. Midway through, you begin to pick up the notes of caramel and chocolate that really balances out the flavor and settle well on the tongue. The Maduro finishes with another kick of coffee on the backend that has a dry finish to cleanse the palate and allows you to prepare yourself for another go around of Hallelujah sang by a chorus of angels. Coming in at 5.5% ABV and 25 IBU, this delectably smooth English brown ale is one of the easiest drinking browns I’ve ever had.

The mouthfeel is superb compared to other beers in the style. With perfectly dialed carbonation and a medium body, the Maduro really sets the bar for what all brown ales should strive for. This is definitely one of very few that could be considered a session beer (you could drink a few and not feel like garbage.)

Now, you’re probably thinking “wow, he really convinced me to pick up one of these to go with dinner, but what should I pair it with?” Hey friend, don’t worry; your old buddy Brett is here to help you out. Most browns pair nicely with beef, or if you’re one of us who thinks beer can go great with dessert, a chocolate dessert. Also, if you’re a smoker, Cigar City suggest pairing this guy with a dark [robusto]cigar (go figure.)

Overall, this beer is fantastic and I can’t wait to drink more of it. The qualities of this beer are what make it rank so high and rightfully so, because it’s done perfectly. I don’t want to say it’s the end all be all of brown ales, but it’s pretty close. Cigar City is becoming more readily available in our area, so send your prayers up and hope that more stores will offer this beer, because if you like brown ales, you’ll love this.

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.