FlacoAlto (3759) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUN 26, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Served Lightly Chilled (mid 50s degrees F / ~ 13°C; Sampled June 2010
A solid pour into my New Belgium globe glass produces a fat-two-finger thick, amber tinged, full tan colored head. The beer is a dark brown color with red notes to it around the edges. When held up to the light it shows a brilliantly clear, dark cranberry color. The aroma smells of a nice mix of toasted malt, bright fruit notes and touches of caramelized malts. The fruit character produces berry like aromatics that reminds me of a mix of cranberries, currants and perhaps a hint of orange zest; these aromas seem to come from a mix of hop character and ale fermentation character, but are fairly light overall, i.e. I would not describe this as a hoppy Brown Ale. The malt plays the more dominant role here with a chewy, though dry seeming, light roast / ample toasted grain character
A firm bitterness couples with a light malt sweetness that has a full caramelized malt character as well as some browned / lightly roasted malt flavors and bitterness. The beer is quite light bodied and quaffable, though it does have some residual malt body that makes this just chewy enough. There is a touch of herbal hop character that contributes a touch of menthol and some pine, but there is actually more fruity hop character here than I was expecting, despite my noticing it in the aroma; flavors of orange zest, citrus oil, a touch of tangelo as well as some smooth lychee like hop flavors and even some peach like flavors are all noticeable. The caramelized malt character that is typical of the style, when combined with the hop notes, brings out flavors of currants and berries. There is really just enough malt sweetness here to accentuate the fruit flavors, but not so much that this beer isn’t able to finish dry and drinkable. As the beer warms and my palate adjusts the malt character becomes more dominant and nicely nutty.
The malt and the hops end up being quite balanced in there contributions here. This will obviously get more malt oriented as it ages, but I like the hop character (especially the fruity notes) that this has right now; it nicely compliments the toasted malt and helps to balance the caramelized malt character. This beer is quite clean tasting with no real noticeable off flavors; I like that the malt character isn’t muddled or overly harsh (which can happen in some roast influenced beers). I also like that the nose is a touch more malt focused, while the flavor is a touch more hop focused, it keeps things interesting somehow. This is definitely very enjoyable and the 22oz serving size is perfect for a nice session.
sfontain (790) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JUN 26, 2010
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
22 oz bottle. Dark translucent brown with a moderate, frothy, light tan head. Aroma somewhat nondescriptly sweet; very light touches of toffee and dark fruits. Flavor mirrors aroma with the very slight addition of roast Medium-thick body, moderately sticky. Perfectly adequate and forgettable brown ale.
alexanderj (3297) - Gilbert, Arizona, USA - JUN 26, 2010
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle; 1.99 for a bomber; can’t really beat that. Poured a slightly reddish, cola brown with a compact, frothy, tan head. Aroma of minerals, cola, caramel with a slight touch of cocoa and caramel. Flavor was nice and solid. I always seem to like a brown ale, regardless of which way it tends to skew. This one was probably more cola and caramel; touch of nuts. Solid, and really a nice value.
Nephilium (1309) - Ohio, USA - JUN 25, 2010
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Mild nutty aroma, with a touch of chocolate. Pours a clear ruby-brown, with a large tan head. Mild nutty flavor, a bit too overcarbonated for my tastes. Thin palate, but very easy to drink. Well worth trying for $2.50 a bomber.
bb (6715) - Alamo, California, USA - JUN 25, 2010
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Dark brown beer with a tan head. Malt and light cocoa aroma. Malt and nutty flavor with backing hops. Medium bodied. malt and light hops linger with earth and some nuttiness.
picknbrew (196) - Mechanicsville, Virginia, USA - JUN 24, 2010
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
From a 22oz. bottle. Clear mohagony with some reddish hues. One finger tan head. A little caramel and some roastiness in the aroma.Dry slightly roasty taste.Dry moderately bitter finish. Medium mouth feel with light carbonation. Leaves a little unpleasant after taste.
Wegro (331) - Fresno, California, USA - JUN 23, 2010
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: JUN 24, 2010 loved the hef, so i thought i’d have to try this one too. brewed to style, but a little thin in the mouth to me. nice brownish reddish body, decent head. smells nutty and malty, kind of earthy. flavor is similar, would’ve liked a lot more caramel. I think mission street should can this one and make a nice straightforward porter and they’d really get people buying these up at TJs. Brown ales just aren’t as generally appreciated as porters. I’m rambling now, but this one is solid but not much more than that
sethdude (694) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - JUN 21, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours reddish cola brown with a medium head. Aroma is chocolate, molasses, and cherry cavendish. Flavor is smooth, rich chocolate malt, a slight lactose funk, some lemongrass and mild hop pepper. Very good.
hombrepalo (1800) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 21, 2010
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
22oz bottle from Trader Joe’s ($2.49, sucks that I paid 50 cents more than Cali people). Poured dark clear brown with big brown head. Smells light of nuts and carmel malts. Taste is watery, flat and way too soft. Taste does not hold up. Cheap price but also a cheap taste.
beersearcher (2315) - Glendale, California, USA - JUN 19, 2010
3.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a cola colored brown. Aroma has a hint of roasted coffee but otherwise fairly muted. Pretty carbonated. Nice coffee notes in the flavor. Good malt linger on the roof of the mouth. A great buy at Trader Joes. Great beer to have around for guests.