Brew Review – Maduro by Cigar City

It’s like a visit from an old friend.

One of the original beers that got me started on this beer blogging journey was Maduro, the classic brown ale from Cigar City Brewing in Tampa.

It was one of my absolute favorites. On my first visit to the brewery in Tampa, I remember going straight for what they called Oduram, which is (of course) Maduro spelled backwards. It was named as such since that beer was their original recipe for this serviceable workhorse of a brown ale.

A lot of things have happened since then. Obviously, Cigar City been purchased twice, and through so many iterations of their highlight beers, older beers disappearing, and new beers coming on the market, Maduro remains.

It even has its own cigar now from Punch, with a wrapper being (once again, of course), a Maduro wrapper.

I would go into a full discussion about the anatomy of cigars themselves, but that is for another time. Suffice to say Maduro wrappers are a lot like porters and stouts in that people assume that they are heavier and stronger, but when properly done it’s actually a lighter and smoother product.

It’s also commendable to Cigar City for continuing producing a brown ale, lost in a city brimming forth with hop forward IPAs and adjunct-forward stouts.

And still it remains. A stalwart of Tampa Bay craft beer.

To which I say more power to you Maduro (Brown Ale, 5.5% ABV, 20 IBU).

Seen here with the Maduro cigar from Punch, because I deleted the standard photo I took.

Opening this can is a step back to a simpler time in Florida craft beer. There’s a big, rich, chocolatey caramel quality that bursts forth from the can and fills the senses as it is poured. The aroma is warm and enveloping, with toasted walnut and cashew notes. swimming with salted caramel raisin and oatmeal cookie flavors.

The flavor is slightly sweet, it’s got a slight hang of lemon and biscuit, with some peanut, raisin, prune (and dare I say tobacco?) flavors, with slight dark chocolate notes at the end.

It remains an important part of Florida’s craft beer history, and my hope is it will never go away. It does remind me of a simpler time when it was easy to keep a hold on every single brewery in the state, and you could find well-crafted cigars to pair with your beer at Cigar City. Things are a little different now, which is okay, but at least there are some aspects of the old that can still be enjoyed.

Besides, pairing this with the Maduro cigar from Punch is fantastic.

Drink Florida Craft,


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