Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Nut Brown Ale - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Nut Brown AleNut Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

450 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 450
Hads: 1,058
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 43
Gots: 63 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-08-2001

Chocolate color, honey and tobacco aromas, nutty flavor, medium body.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Nut Brown Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 450 | Hads: 1,058
Photo of farrago
3.64/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finger plus head of airy, evenly surfaced foam which dissipates very quickly, like nothing left at all, the lacing is wispy at best and likewise there and gone. Clear brown colored liquid, soft orange tint and then yellow further towards the rims, good amount of active tiny bubbles which are widely dispersed. Extremely sweet nose of caramel, chocolate, toffee and creamed coffee, notes of candied nuts, there are some cereal grains and scone in there but nothing offered which could stiffen the feel and counterbalance the sugary aspects. Medium-bodied, the carbonation is finely grained so to speak but does stir things about the mouth. Here you get more bread, yeast, nuts and anise to temper the excesses of the chocolate, caramel, coffee. Hint of orange peel, does not produce any metallic nor roasted notes nor anything remotely herbaceous. While the mouthfeel is soft there is a general cleanliness to it, minimal residue at the end. In many regards simple, but better put as pure of purpose. Nothing more needs be said.

 1,028 characters

Photo of soju6
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown color with a small head that fades to some lacing.

S: Aroma of dark chocolate, caramel and nut. there is a bit of coffee in the background.

T: Taste of the malt sweetness mixed with the dark chocolate. There is just a bit of nut and coffee in the background. Mild bitterness and a dry finish.

M: Medium body, rich and creamy texture with a nice balance. Has a very subtle but robust character.

O: Good beer, nice example of the style. Worth a try.

 473 characters

4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic pint glass for $5.50. First pour from a freshly tapped keg.

Sampled 05APR12.

[A] Arrives with a 2 finger cap of light-medium tan head, foamy and creamy in texture and above average retention. The body is dark brown with glimpses of transparency in the amber-chestnut brown edges along the glass. Half sheets of lace.

[S] Semi dark chocolate impresses upon the nose first with lightly bitter coffee in tow. Caramel and toffee notes add depth of character. Actual nut aromas are minimal while the leafy hop presence shines.

[T] Follows the nose closely. Malty sweet with some grassy hop flavor. Chocolate outlasts the coffee on the palate. Caramel, heavily toasted bread and brown sugar notes are featured mid-palate. Finish is medium-dry. Bitterness is appropriate.

[M] Wonderful, nearly creamy texture with a semi slick maltiness that lasts long on the tongue. Body is medium. Carbonation is expansive and probably a bit higher than it should be - but that is my only complaint - and it's minor.

[O] Goose Island Nut Brown Ale is a great representation of the style - and it is highly drinkable. I bought a case immediately after my first draft experience (shortly after GI came to PA). As a plus, those who are quick to dismiss dark beers will even find this one to be very approachable.

 1,312 characters

Photo of Teleweizen2
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - a billowing tan head of bubbly foam nearly spills over the glass as it settles on the deep brown liquid. It shows more light brown, ruby and amber colors when backlit. The foam has decent retention but fades to a ring around the rim leaving some spotty lacing behind.

S - the aroma is soft but complex. Some light roasty aromas reminiscent of toasted bread, mixed nuts and a hint of coffee grinds. There also are hints of mocha, milk/cream and maybe a touch of vanilla.

T - a lighty nutty flavor with a touch of milk chocolate sort of sweetness up front. A touch of coffee grinds and just a hint of earthy hops lend balance mid palate. There is also just a bit of juicy cherry fruit character in the center. The coffee and chocolate linger slightly after the finish.

M - a creamy textured and medium bodied with a light yet spritzy carbonation.

O - nice beer. Subtle yet complex and most improtantly flavorful. Good showing.

 934 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown body with amber highlights. Frothy white head that sticks to the glass.

S- Caramel and chocolate malts come through along with some sweet notes.

T- Sweet an malty up front with a strong malty finish. Somewhat of a dry coffee cake flavor on the finish. Interesting flavors.

M- Medium bodied with almost a stout like mouthfeel. Not watery by any means.

O- This is a good brown ale. Not getting as much nuttiness as other nut browns, but a good brown ale nonetheless.

 484 characters

Photo of bubseymour
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful 2 finger well formed head with dark brown/black body

S - malty and hints of nuts, and roasted scents. Some sweet caremel and well. All are very subtle however

T - Very nice brown ale. Hints of malt and caramel up front with a dry crisp roasted nut finish and sense of the hop presence.

M - As butter and creamy a mouthfeel as I've experienced in a 5.3% beer

O - Definitely a very nice well crafted brown ale and a good go to option for the style.
Another fine beer by Goose Island.

 499 characters

Photo of sommersb
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 06-09-2012
Freshness: Bottled 03-05-2012
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Nonic pint
Purchased: Received in a trade

Pours dark brown in color, clear, with a good amount of bubbles seen streaming. Head is light tan and a finger high, with fair retention and good lacing on the glass.

Aromas are malty and strong, of chocolate, nuts, and toasted bread. Also some floral and earthy hop smells.

The taste includes flavors of chocolate, caramel, roasted malts, and rich, dark breads. Bitterness from the hops is in the low to moderate range.

The beer is medium bodied and carbonation is high. Aftertaste is nutty, fairly dry and lightly bitter.

Overall I'd say this was a pretty good brown ale. I tend to like them a little sweeter, but if you like them on the dry side, then give this one a try.

Thanks to TheBishopco for this one!

 862 characters

Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Binny's South Loop Goose Takeover.

A - Pours a brownish/copper color, off-white head, thin collar.

S - Sweet toasted malts, caramel, brown sugar, light chocolate.

T - More breddy malty sweetness, caramel, brown sugar. Finish is light chocolate with some roast and caramel.

M - Light to medium, good carbonation, malty finish.

O - A really nice brown ale, which I'm a huge fan of. This is my go-to brown here in Chicago, and I'm so happy it's around to grab whenever I'm in the mood.

 497 characters

Photo of JRed
3.66/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with off-white head that's fades. Faint scent of nuttiness, caramel, and honey. Tastes of caramel, hazlenut, honey and slight cinnamon with a clean bitterness. Some malt sweet ess stays on the tongue. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Good brown ale.

 271 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.27/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very light tan head, manages just slightly over two fingers, sort of uneven, but sits on a VERY dark brown walnut and red edged body. This looks almost like a porter just playing with some black here and there. Not bad looking.

Great solid smelling brew. Chocolate malts, and faint roasty nuts, chewy, slight sweetness just wanting to creep out with a nice creamy clotted edge. Very nice.

Palate doesn't deliver. Very light bodied wet sense doesn't bring malt forward. No sense of richness of malt or even hint of sugar sweetness. Finish lacks roast and depth. Mouthfeel besides wet has some odd carbonation that seems to take away form the palate.

I was hoping to say more, but there really isn't much else to say. Passable, but nothing memorable or desirable for this style. Too bad things seemed to start off quite well.

 878 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle into a pint glass.

This nut brown ale from goose sports a nutty brownish color that has light shades of black from afar. A nice inch of loosely coiled tan foam goes up and than down leaving small spots. Smell has a weird hay scent to it on first sniffs, but more investigation I pick out light melted chocolate, nutty appeal, some caramel scent with some earthy hops. Light yet to the point. Taste is well balanced with the malt mixing in with light nuts minus the salt. Some cocco powder taste along with light tootsie roll and faint roast. Nicely rounded again. Feel is very smooth with low carb and no bitterness, body is less than medium and easy sipper. All in all, it's a simple style without nuts and bolts, and this is a good representation of it. Good spring time weather beer.

 796 characters

Photo of JChristopher
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I find the Goose Island's Nut Brown to be a well-rounded brown ale. It's a fine example of a brown ale in all facets. It looks robust in a glass and boasts the bread-y scent of a good English beer. Imagine the taste of a light molasses mixed with a bit milk chocolate and roasted grain, and you've got a good idea of what this Nut Brown Ale is all about. I wouldn't describe the mouthfeel as being particularly watery, but it's far from being creamy either. There exists a good balance here. It's a good beer. It's a brown ale that will not disappoint. Now I just have to find myself a plate of bangers and mash.

 612 characters

Photo of Megahertz
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle in a lager glass.

A - Very deep red to brown. Moderate head with large bubbles. Leaves some lacing.

S - Slightly nutty with a bit of cherry and chocolate in the background.

T - Initial biting carbonation followed by a mild honeylike sweetness. Mid is slightly chocolatey with a distant nutty note. Finish is faintly cherry with a good nut note at the end.

M - Light body that is not helped by the carbonation level. Could be better.

O - A decent, drinkable english/american brown ale hybrid.

 509 characters

Photo of rlee1390
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Deep clear amber brown, one finger head

S-Roasted malt, caramel and nuttiness to it.

T-Decent bitterness, lots of nuts and caramel. Malt isn't as present as i thought it would be

M-Little thin, not much carbonation, a tad watery as well.

O-Except for the mouthfeel a decent brown ale, however the beer is too on the watery side.

 334 characters

Photo of Apellonious
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle at MA package store.

A - pours with a one finger head, almost jet black, with some red and brown highlights.

S - burnt chocolate, cocoa, coffee,smoke.

T - coffee, slight sweetness, finishes creamy with a slight dry hop finish.

M - mouthfeel is above par, carbonation is set at a good level, not overly sharp.

O - A solid brown, recommended. First try from this brewery, hope they make it down to nc someday.

 429 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown in color with a 1/4 inch of tan colored head.

S - Sweet (which I like) smelling with roasted nuts and some caramel backing.

T - Taste is nice with roasted nuts, caramel and some mild sweet chocolates in the finish.

M - Medium bodied and chewy.

This might be one of the best brown ales I had served on tap and for $2.50 worth the price of the pour. Will seek out other Goose Island offerings.

 410 characters

Photo of tvv375ia
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-chestnut brown with about a finger of head that fades quickly with no lacing

S-some carmel chocolate and a little nuts

T-hazel nuts with carmel

M-light bodied with good carbonation

O-pretty good brown that I wouldnt turn down anytime

 281 characters

Photo of Kendo
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Bottled on 3/5/12, consumed on 4/19/12. Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Body is chestnut-brown with a 1.5-finger light-tan head. Some splotchy lace.

S: Nice for a brown ale - grainy (toasted brown bread), nutty and a touch of toffee or caramel malt.

T: First impression is more the mouthfeel rather than the taste - it's too thin. Minerally/metallic-type flavor overwhelms what should be a sweeter body, and which is what was expected from that nose. After the palate adjusts to that, however, I get some hazelnuttiness (if that's a word) and a touch of generic fruitiness (cherries, maybe - black cherry soda comes to mind at times). Not what I was expecting.

M: As noted above, thin. Also a bit too fizzy, though the bubbles aren't too harsh and are short-lived.

O: This is only OK, IMHO. At least it is fairly light and goes down easy.

 862 characters

Photo of brystmar
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks like I'm the first to review the new batch on draft! This was my go-to session beer while I lived near the brewpub in Wrigleyville from '07-'09. Pint at Downtown Bar & Grill in Brooklyn.

Deep, dark brown pour yields just under a finger of foamy tan head. Sticky lace adorns my glass. Nutty and slightly roasty aroma, though the hazelnuts are at the forefront.

Taste is pretty straightforward as it follows the nose. Nutty flavors flow freely amidst a hearty malt backbone. Love the thick, creamy body too. Pretty much what I remembered; this is a brew I could easily session.

Final note: I recall the draft version being *significantly* better than its bottled counterpart, so please don't pass judgment on this beer until you've had it on tap. :)

 756 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice brownish burgundy with a two-finger head in my glass. Brown? You bet.

Nutty with molasses and cocoa notes. Malt-forward.

My assumptions are correct. Rich, nutty, roasty malt to greet the taste buds upfront.

Finishes clean with a nutty tint. Very subtle and delicious.

Very good way to make an impression. We just barely got Goose Island in VT.

 362 characters

Photo of areich6
3.26/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark, muddy brown with little head.

S: I cannot detect much of anything. A little bit of sweet, caramelly malts along with a very small amount of hop bitterness.

T: Same as the smells. Light caramelly malts, with a barely detectable amount of hoppiness.

M: Very light with a little bit of carbonation.

O: This beer is average but it is redeemable in the fact that it would make a perfect session ale due to the mouthfeel and alcohole percentage.

 464 characters

Photo of Star80
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown color with a tan head. Some light clinging (lacing) on the glass.

S: The smell is coffee, toffee, and roasty malts and nuts. Smells enticing.

T: Taste is complex, some toffee and notes and coffee. Some sweetness from the malts, and light ash. Finishes with a nice dark chocolate bitterness.

M: Mouthfeel is a bit thin like ALL of Goose Island usual beers.

O: Overall this is a beer that really shines in Goose's style. Great english inspired bitters and brown ales. This is a beer that is tasty and highly drinkable, and fresh. But what disappoints is the lack of a rich mouthfeel. More Leinenkugal thanThree Floyd's, for sure!

 654 characters

Photo of JizackFH
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Going through some of my old beer notebooks I came across this beer review. I wrote the review for this in early 2010.

This beer pours a nice deep brown color that has some ruby hues when held to the light. A pretty vigorous pours yields just over a finger of light tan head resting on top. The head has fairly short retention, and leaves some scattered lace behind on the glass. The nose has a nice bit of toasted malt sweetness and some nuttiness, most notably hazelnut. There are also some aromas of caramel, toffee, and there is just a little bit of hop presence poking through. The taste starts off with a nice toasted malt and hazelnut flavor. There are some caramel and toffee flavors present as well. Also, there is a little bit of hop flavor coming through, not much, but it's there. The finish leaves some lingering nutty flavors on the palate. This has medium body, that is a little on the light side, and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a really creamy feel to it. There is some sweetness here, not much else. This has good drinkability. It is really easy to drink, and has a low ABV and creamy feel. Overall, I think this is a pretty good beer, and a nice representation of the style. Personally, I like a little more hop presence in my brown ales. I think this beer is worth checking out if you come across it.

 1,338 characters

Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Pours a deep wood stain brown with an off-white head.

S: Mixed nuts and roasted coffee pop out. There is a bit of caramel sweetness in the finish, with a bit of smoke.

T: Taste follows smell. It's crisp, sweet, and nutty with a long creamy finish.

D: Alcohol is hidden and the beer is very well balanced. It is a great easy-drinking beer.

Overall: This is an awesome beer and I'm bummed that it is no longer bottled. This, along with the oatmeal stout is incentive enough for me to get to the brewery. Really one of the better nut brown ales; buy it up if you see it, despite its age.

 637 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got this one in a trade a long while back, and have had a couple since, but I am just getting around to reviewing it now. Decided to open another one up last night, just for the reason of the review, and for the fact that this is simply one outstanding session ale to say the least. A sure classic, I opened up the twelve ounce bottle straight out of the fridge and proceeded to pour it into a pint glass.

The pour was very nice, with a deep, reddish tinted brown being poured out and into the glass. Quite impressed with the nice hazelnut tone of it, this was definitely going to be a keeper. Nice carbonation could be seen through the clear appearance of the liquid. A nice two inch high head of white lace then crept up over the top of it and settled down nicely into a thin crown that was draped across the top. Some decent side glass lacing as well, left me with the impression of a solid brown ale.

The aroma was very sweet, with lots of caramel malts leading the charge on this one. Hints of nuts, and a touch of molasses as well had me going right away. As it warmed we then were able to pick up some notes of bready malts, a slight biscuit like aroma and a hint of some fresh grass type of smell. Definitely much more complex then your normal brown ale. The flavor was spectacular and this really started to exceed my expectations at this point. Started out with a nice rush of sweet caramel, and this was quickly coating the inside of the mouth, leaving everything with a nice sweet film to it. As it passed the aftertaste gave in to much of the nuttiness that I had been looking for. A very nice pecan or almond like flavor, with a nice vinous like bitter bite to it. Very interesting indeed. Some notes of bready malts, and grain in the back and a nice slightly hopped, and a touch dry finish to it.

Very nicely carbonated, this was an easy bet for a medium bodied brown ale. This was absolutely brilliantly done, with no slickness or thinness apparent to it, this was just a high quality ale if I had ever seen one. Nice smooth feel and a great finish. One of the easiest drinking ales I have ever run across. With a nice smooth feel, and a delightfully surprising rich palate, this one was definitely a keeper. Very low ABV of around 4% only served to egg you on to have more of it. I could have continued on with this one for the rest of the day without much of an effort at all!

Overall I thought this one was outstanding, and one of the best session ales I have had in a long time. I would love to see brewers turn more to doing things like this as it really shows off what can be done without going to the extreme.

 2,639 characters

Nut Brown Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
85 out of 100 based on 450 ratings.