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Wild Brunette | Barley John's Brew Pub

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
87
very good
28 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
28
Ratings:
63
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
15.42%
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
8
For Trade:
0
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Barley John's Brew Pub
Minnesota, United States | website

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 08-12-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 63
Photo of ZAP
3.08/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16 ounce can from the new Wisconsin brewery....I've been to BJ's many times but it has been awhile since I had the Wild Brunette....really can't remember enough to compare brew house version to canned version.

This is interesting and very sweet. A real unique flavor that borders on being "off"...kind of a BO type aroma and flavor if that makes sense..I expected a little more nuttiness but this is pretty syrupy sweet with notes of vanilla...

Overall, I'm happy with the four pack I bought but it falls short of being recommendable. It's interesting and worth trying in the cans I would think.

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Photo of Enola
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was a darker amber. It had a fair head and some lacing. The smell was good but kindly hard to describe. The taste was smokey. Very smokey. There was some hints of the rice here as well. The mouthfeel was fair and the drinkability was alright. Overall, the beer looked like a barleywine, tasted like a smoked beer and had a taste that was like a science expierement.

Thanks to wcudwight for sharing his growler.

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Photo of maedhros09
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: Dark brown/ruby, little head retention
Smell: malty, fruity
Taste: Fruity caramelly malt-dominated with some tartness, a little spiciness, and a very mildly bitter finish.
Feel: Full bodied with typical carbonation

Overall: I really enjoyed the first few sips of this, but it was ultimately too malty and somewhat one-dimensional for my taste.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a four-pack of 16 oz cans at the Trig's Cellar 70 in Rhinelander. No canning stamp that I can see, though these did show up at the store for the first time about two months ago. Poured right from the fridge into my Samuel Smith pint glass.

L: Pours a root beer brown--semi-opaque and red-tinged at the edges--with about two inches of very dense khaki head that sticks around for a good long while and leaves significant lacing on the glass.

S: Pretty nondescript nose on this one: there are some roasted malt notes, though they aren't particularly assertive. In the mix--and, I assume, owing to the presence of the wild rice--is an adjunct aroma that's best described as earthy. Perhaps a touch of stewed corn with its accompanying sweetness. Subtle metallic notes present, as well.

T: Well, I should probably begin by saying that this could be an older can than I think: there is a definite, off-putting metallic taste to this brew. That being said, this one begins with subtle roasted malt notes, along with a slightly sweet flavor from caramel, chocolate, and bready malts. The roasted quality builds into the middle, as some astringent hop presence is felt, as well. There and toward the back, some of that wild rice flavor comes through a bit, registering as an earthy, slightly sweet adjunct in the mix. The back end is more bitter than I expected, with that hop flavor accompanying the roasty and sweeter malts into the aftertaste.

F: On the lighter side of medium-bodied, this one drinks more watery than I would like. While it had substantial head, the carbonation is lacking in the body. Just slightly astringent and bitter, with a clean finish. I just wanted this one to have more creaminess than it did.

O: This is my first Barley John's beer, and I'll certainly have to try and get my hands on a fresher can; this review will obviously have to be considered in light of the fact that it might have just been out of date. What's there--when the off metallic notes are set aside--is a brown ale with some nice complexity, though it lacks in terms of assertive flavor and body. For those interested in beers brewed with adjuncts like wild rice, this one is worth a try (just be sure to get it fresh).

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on December 4, 2005. On tap at the brewpub. Somewhat dirty brown pour, with no head. Aroma of distant malt and some grain notes. Flavor starts off typical of a brown, with some chocolatey sweetness, then moves into some real finishes dryness. The great thing with this beer is the actual Wild Rice flavor at the end, with all the glorious grain flavor and some subtle spicyness. Unique. One of the first Wild Rice beers where I could actually taste Wild Rice.

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Photo of Taybeh
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a tallboy into a nonic. Never managed to make it up to New Brighton, so I'm glad they've started to can. I don't think there's any way I'd pick up on the fact that this was brewed with wild rice if I was tasting this blind. Pours a clear dark reddish amber copper, with a minimal head and not much lacing. Modest nose, but I get some dark fruit, vanilla, both of which have some sweetness, and then some toasted grains. Taste is fairly sweet, adding some caramel to what one gets in the nose, and subtracting the fruit. Not much of a hoppy edge that I was looking for, and not much by way of chocolate or nutty notes that I find in my favorite Browns, nonetheless, this is good. Especially on the back end, it doesn't entirely come together for me, and the feel is a little lackluster....I'd love a little more of a hoppy bite and/or more layers of malty goodness. This is still an enjoyable (if sweet) quaff.

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Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very good brown based on much wild rice brown. That colour and very very lacey. A richness, a sourness, satisfying and unique. Above average mouthfeel. A sweetness which is not like rice, just the malt included. Drying aftertaste.A sipper, one to enjoy.Rated at 7.2% a.b.v. A must try.

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Photo of erwin08
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark brown color with very little head.

S: smells of roasted grains and molasses.

T: rosted malt with a faint nutty taste finishing with wild rice flavor at the end.

M: smooth and medium body with a little alcohol burn

D: drinkable but the 7.5 ABV catches up with you.

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Photo of blackie
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

didn't realize this was a wild rice beer until checking reviews on my mobile - it was obvious that there was something unique there, but it's a rarely used ingredient in beerdom

a: standard pint glass, the beer is mahogany in color with a light khaki head

s: smooth brown malts with a potent wild rice aroma - very earthy and rustic, nutty, somewhat sugary caramelized malts, lightly hopped, a bit cleaner here than on the tongue

m: body and carbonation both moderate

t: full brown malt body with loads of musty, earthy wild rice, lots of nuttiness from both the rice and sweet-toasty malts, thought it was messy at first but it begins to make sense with knowledge of the ingredient, lightly sweet in the middle before a light, earthy hop flavor moves in, nice lingering finish

d: like the creativity - a usually unimpressive style made a bit more interesting, overall this was an enjoyable beer, but a bit heavy to be more than a sipper

pint at the brewpub

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Photo of tewaris
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Wild Brunette {Wild Rice Brown Ale}
Barley John's Brew Pub
American Brown Ale
7.2% ABV
OG?
IBUs?
Sampled at the brewpub from a nonic pint glass

Appearance 3/5
Clear dark brown with no head whatsoever. Later, couple of swirls forced a tiny brown collar that left equally tiny lacing on the glass. Neither did the collar stick around, nor did the lace.

Aroma 3.5/5
Some sweet malts and a very unique aroma because of wild rice. No fruitiness or hop aroma. Not much of chocolate/caramel/nutty/toasty aromas either.

Taste 4/5
Slight fruitiness from malts and esters in the beginning. Firm bitterness in the middle from early hop additions, but the hop flavor is low, if any; hard to say. There's some stout-ish roasty bitterness and feel too. And a lot of taste that's from wild rice, which is very unique to this ale. Finish is medium-dry with a firm, lingering bitterness. Some alcohol warmth is noted. This beer needs more malts, or less hops and less alcohol, in my opinion.

Mouthfeel 3/5
A tad thin. For a brown ale with this ABV, I have to guess that the wild rice contributes quite a bit to fermentables given the body. However, I would either prefer more malts and a bigger body in this one, or less bitterness and a lower ABV, as noted with taste too. Also, this beer was pretty flat for its body.

Drinkability 4/5
Quaffable. But alcohol is on the higher side compared to body, for this style.

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Photo of Evilyak
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

somewhere in the annals of beeradvocate magazine, there's a recipe for wild rice brat rolls. this beer might be even more minnesota than that recipe.

it's otherwise a reasonable looking brown ale that's otherwise unremarkable, but this sweet, nutty taste is all wild rice. kind of not what i'd want to drink much of, but very familiar.

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Photo of bsp77
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from into dimpled mug.

Appearance: Reddish brown, but head doesn't last.

Smell: Toast, caramel, chocolate, nuts and dark fruit. More dry than sweet.

Taste: More sweet than dry, with toasted malt, caramel, dark fruit and vanilla. A hint of spicy hops at the finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium to full body. Semi-dry finish.

Overall: Big Brown Ale. A little sweet, but lots of flavor.

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Photo of Oakenshield53
4/5  rDev +2.8%

I really, really like this beer.

I had tried everything else Barley John's makes before I tried this one, due to the wild rice component. I just wasn't eager for that, since I don't particularly like wild rice itself.

Nothing like what I expected - subtly, but very, complex. Complex in an organized way, I suppose. I had expected a roasty-toasty grain flavor profile, but that's not at all what you get.

Very dark brew, but a clean profile, fruity components balanced by a bit of savor on the finish.

When I go to Barley John's, a growler of Wild Brunette goes home with me.

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Photo of SwillinBrew
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this from a growler thanks to beckje01.

I poured into my alesmith pint glass and wonderful hue of beef jerkey brown filled my glass. Deep with tinges of mohogany on the edge. The head was a light tan and rather thin but i attribute that to getting the growler shipped cross country. Pleasant aromas of toast bread, gruff roastiness and cut 2 x 4's fill my nose.

This taste rather unique. I get roasted malts, burnt toast, and a subtle nutty flavor; all nicely blended for a very pleasing taste.

Creamy and refreshing on the palate and quite thirst quenching leaving you yearning for more. I wish i easily get more of this.

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Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep and dark brown color with a thin tan head.

Nutty and malty goodness fills the nose. Touch of milk chocolate as well.

Rich and malty. Big malty and nutty flavor with hints of caramel, toffee and chocolate. Well hidden alcohol content. Very tasty.

Awesome smoothness due to the wild rice I'm guessing. Almost an oatmeal like quality. Smooth and medium bodied.

Overall well crafted beer that is of a high quality. For a brown ale, pretty unique and recommended.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very brown beer with light, tan head. Good retention and some chunk lacing was left on the sides.

S - Caramel, with some dark fruits, and a little bit of berries. Brown sugar on the nose as well.

T - Wow, was not expecting this at all, actually put my beer down and rechecked my sampler to make sure I was drinking what I thought I was. Chocolate covered dark fruits, with a little bit of cherry in there. Not very roasty at all, but had a nice brown taste that at times reminded me of a porter. This was super complex, with some burnt sugar, nice malts, and a little bit of rice taste too it. Was shocked, and pleasantly surprised.

M - Medium bodied with lower carbonation, felt a little bit chewey.

D - I really liked this beer as something unique and different. It was easy to get down, although not sure how drinking large quantities of it would go over. Definately worth trying if you're there.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub. With wild rice. ABV was 7.2% compared to 7.5% as noted on BA.

A: deep copper color, very nice
S: earthy rice!, nice balance, a bit sweet
T: sweeter, rice noticeable, sweet but belies the 7.2% ABV, decent style brown ale
M & D: very drinkable

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Photo of edbeered
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the brewpub, this pours a crystal clear brown color, with a white head and substantial lacing on the glass. The smell is of brown sugar sweetness. The taste is much the same, with brown sugar sweetness, and a caramel maltiness. The wild rice adds a refreshing crispness. There is no discernable hop flavor. The mouthfeel is full yet refreshing. It amazes me that the alcohol content is 7.5% alcohol, for there is no indication going by taste alone. This is a beer one can have many pints of(if you can handle the high abv), and is one of the many reasons to return to Barley John's.

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Photo of Mdog
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 16oz can:

Appearance: Clear brown, good head.

Smell: Toast, light fruitiness.

Taste: Very interesting and very good! Fruity/floral taste to start, then some vanilla, light toasted bread.

Overall: I've lived in MN for 11 years but never got over to Barley John's. Now that they can from their brewery in WI I finally had their beer. This was miles better than I expected, as most brown ales are pretty boring. But the Wild Brunette had a really interesting mix of fruity and floral flavors. One of the best straight-up brown ales (not a porter) in MN.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brew pub into a tasting glass...A dark brown with tons of blood red highlights. A light tan head that is creamy, great retention, medium lacing...An aroma of caramel, dark fruits, and grainy rye character that I believe is the rice. No typical brown flavors of roast or nuts...An awesome taste that makes you go, wtf, where did those flavors come from? Fruits with a distinct chocolate covered raspberry taste, a lighter version of a kre. Grainy rice on the back. Alcohol is hidden well. As it warms the brown ale flavors start to come through, light roast and nuts.

This is an awesome and unique beer that is a must try. Not only does it taste great but it keeps you guessing throughout.

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Photo of Deuane
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first beer made with wild rice.

A-Clear, deep brown with a thin tan head that left spotty lacing.

S-A bit of sweet caramel malt and a fiant wafting of nuttiness.

T-Sweet caramel malt melding with the lovely nuttiness of the wild rice. No hop bite in this one...but it hardly matters the taste profile is wonderful.

M-Medium body with a lovley sweetness that covers the tounge without being cloying.

D-Totally! For a malty beer this one hits a homerun for me. A wonderful local take, with the addition of the wild rice, on an old stand-by. One of the best brown ales I have ever had.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is more brown at the top of the glass as it lightens towards the bottom to a darker amber, has a yellowish thin head that faded to a skim always present and leaves tons of lacing in tight sheets. Smell Is quite faint but very nice of hazelnut and roasty malts, with a touch of tang and vanilla. Taste is mild but rich tangy and roasty malts, mostly coming through from the midway point with a solid hazelnut and almond toastyness, a touch of vanilla noted and has a light earthyness coming through with a dark fruit sense in the finish. Which is quite nice, excellent finish on this one. Solid medium body, a slow start with a strong finish. Nothing to overwhelming, quite mild and smooth with just enough pep to make you notice your actually drinking it. Its a cross between a brown ale and a Belgian dark. An interesting brew and well worth having.

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Photo of GeezLynn
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark shade of chocolate brown with thin reddish highlights.
S: Smells very sweet with heavy caramel and toasted/chocolate malts.
T: Somewhat unusual flavor for the style. The roasted, toasty flavors in particular really stand out. Plenty of sweet caramel, which is balanced with a slight bitterness that carries through a long and roasted finish.
M: Fairly light and smooth. Carbonation is low (which has been my experience with all Barley John’s beers, esp. growlers, which are tap-filled), but adequate for something this sweet.

A good beer that’s nice if you’re looking for a heavier, sweeter brown with a little character.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with some ruby mixed in. Ample sized head that holds it's shape well. Sides of the glass are completely covered with lace.
A very potent aroma. Reminds me of soy sauce, but smells better than that.
This is a complex beer that is hard for me to put my fingers on the flavors. It taste a lot like Bojangles Dirty Rice. There is also a sweet nutty flavor and a cocoa kind of chocolate flavor in the finish. Again a very complex beer.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with some warming from the alcohol.
The complexity of the flavors makes this a sipping beer, but a very good one at that.
Thanks to Beckje01 for the kindness to send the growler.

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Photo of beckje01
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a gravity tap cask into a pint glass.

A- Dark amber, very still almost not movement once set down. The head was low as expected from a cask condition.

S- Mild smells... but the room smelled alot from the brewing they were finishing and cleaning up from, a wonderful smell but I couldn't really distinguish the beers smell too much.

T- Rich, really taste the wild rice with some nut flavors mixed in.

M- Smoth with a hint of carbination, really a wonderful feeling I could not ask for more from a beer in this area.

D- Very drinkale goes down well.

Notes: I really enjoyed this beer as a cask conditioned one I would have loved to have a second pint but as I was finishing my pint I watched them pour the last drop from the cask. The cask conditioning is new and this was the 3rd attempt and it was great the other two didn't come out as I'm told and they are hoping to add cask conditioning more regularly. I really can't wait for more cask beers.

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Wild Brunette from Barley John's Brew Pub
87 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.