The beer: Maduro Brown Ale by Cigar City, made in Tampa, Fla.
What it is: A fairly faithful take on an English-style brown ale from a well-regarded brewery that began distributing in Chicago in February. Cigar City is largely known for its Jai Alai IPA, but Maduro is not to be missed. It’s the first beer the brewery made when launching in 2007, and it remains a core piece of the brewery’s identity.
In the can: An earthy, sweet aroma of molasses, toffee, chocolate and tobacco is largely mimicked on the palate, where an upfront charred bitterness is chased by a rush of malty, lightly nutty sweetness. Maduro Brown isn’t flashy; it’s easy and approachable drinking for rarefied and mainstream tastes alike. Brown ales are not particularly cool these days, but done well, they remain a beer-drinking bedrock, and Maduro is a fine example, whether beside food — it’s a very versatile food beer — or on its own.
Alcohol: 5.5 percent
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