Maduro Brown Ale pours out of the 12oz can with a clear brown hue, appearing almost opaque and reminiscent of cola in the glass. The thick, brown foam, while visually appealing, seems darker than the typical English Brown Ale, more akin to a porter or stout. The 32 SRM exceeds the expected range for the style, which usually leans towards a lighter amber color.


Upon delving into the aroma, a harmonious blend of rye and pumpernickel bread, accompanied by notes of star anise, mild coffee, and a subtle touch of lemon and black pepper, unfolds. As the beer warms, a savory quality emerges, accented by hints of wet tobacco. Whether it’s a mere suggestion from the Cigar City branding or not, there’s an underlying savory depth that adds an intriguing layer.


Contrary to the conventional brown ale, Maduro leans more towards the profile of a porter or stout. Rich flavors of pumpernickel, fully roasted malt, semisweet chocolate, and mild coffee grounds dominate the palate. The addition of oats contributes to a familiar medium-bodied oatmeal stout character, while a mild acidity from the roasted malt builds, culminating in a lingering, lemony finish. With a bitterness level around 5 out of 10 and sweetness at a 3 or 4, the beer strikes a robust yet balanced and approachable chord.


The mouthfeel of Maduro is enhanced by the inclusion of oats, offering a comforting and medium-bodied texture reminiscent of oatmeal stouts. The beer manages to achieve a higher level of carbonation without displaying any discernible alcohol character, solidifying its status as a genuine everyday beer. Despite the robust flavor profile, the beer goes down surprisingly quickly.


In the realm of brown ales, where expectations may be modest, Maduro Brown Ale stands out as a noteworthy exception. Often dismissed as boring and caramel malt-driven, brown ales rarely elicit excitement from discerning beer enthusiasts. However, Maduro challenges these preconceptions, positioning itself as an excellent choice for those seeking a straightforward yet flavorful, lower ABV dark ale. Comparable to contenders like Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin, Bell’s Porter, and Death Before Disco, Maduro pushes the boundaries of the style while delivering a phenomenal drinking experience.