1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Rail Ale Nut Brown - Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Rail Ale Nut BrownRail Ale Nut Brown

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

69 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 69
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 9.64%
Wants: 4
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: canucklehead on 08-07-2005

A smooth, flavourful nut brown ale with hints of chocolate and licorice. Made with 100% barley, hops, water & yeast, it is named in recognition of the region's strong railway history and Squamish BC's West Coast Railway Heritage Park - Home of the Royal Hudson and Western Canada's largest collection of heritage railway equipment.

19 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 69 | Reviews: 27
Reviews by GrimmReaper:
Photo of GrimmReaper
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 litre bottle with swing top,pours a dark brown almost black color with a huge creamy tan bubbly head that holds up rather nicely and very decent sticky lacing.Nose is of fresh brewed coffee,some caramel,roasted nuts and a hint of chocolate.Taste is coffee,nuts,chocolate,caramel,molasses and fresh bread,all blended in very well,great tasting brew,really enjoyed this one after a long day of home reno's,split it with my buddy and wished i had more,will have to hit my local LCB and grab a few more of these,well worth trying,great beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another nice re-closable, 1L swing-top bottle, at least useful for all my homemade hooch, should there be nothing else worth enjoying here - ha!

This beer pours a clear, I think, rather dark red-tinted brown hue, with two skinny fingers of weakly foamy, and yet still creamy pale beige head, which dissipates at an even pace, leaving a pleasant array of melting sea-cliff lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of lightly-roasted, semi-sweet caramel malt, bittersweet milk chocolate, a bit of candy-bar nougat, a mild back fruitiness, and gently bitter earthy, leafy hops. The taste is much more of the same - somewhat nutty toasted malt, powdery cocoa, an ethereal licorice root astringency, brown sugar-enhanced black coffee, and dry, slightly tangy leafy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is a bit clumsy in its probing frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and generally quite smooth. It finishes well off-dry, the nutty malt, lingering cocoa esters, and stumbling earthy and leafy hops holding down the proverbial fort.

An agreeable enough brown ale, whose balance among nut, malt and hop, for the style, (though an argument could be made for the Anglo nature of the latter) is duly drinkable. Good stuff, for now - as there's a whole other glass, waiting in the wings to accompany some spicy-ass pizza. La vita e bella.

Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This has been around a while. Enjoyed on tap at the brewpub. Brown coloured body, lacey. The aroma is nutty and rootbeerish. Licorice taste, some chocolate malt, brown sugar. Average mouthfeel, suitably carbonated. Decent drinkability.Run-o-the-mill brown.

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured a clear dark brown, towering pillowy tan head that retained and laced nicely
S - not quite what I was expecting, there are fruity and spicy hop notes quite prominent, the sweet and nutty malts are there but much more subtle
T - on the taste the nutty malts are much more prominent, the spicy hops are there but a little more subtle than the smell suggested, and just a little chocolately sweetness
M - decently carbonated, slightly chewy and bitter, with a rich malty breadiness lingering
D - a well balanced brown ale, not too heavy, and the flavour balance tastes nice, so I think I'll be enjoying all of my 1L pot-stopper in one sitting

Photo of IronDjinn
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 1L brown capped yet reusable flip-top bottle, or a "pot-stopper" as it calls it on the blurb on the side of the label, which was more common before the 1950's. There, I learned something new today...

Pours out a deep brown opaque in appearance, initial massive frothy beige head with good retention. Thin rivulets of tight sticky lacing

Sweet toasted malt, some nuttiness and a bit of neutral detergent on the nose.

Flavour seems robust at first, yet seems to peter out until the aftertaste once again. Toasted malt up front along with some woody nut shells, hints of chocolate wafer in the middle, finishing with mild herbal hops. Dandelion greens and some earthy wood spiciness in the aftertaste that really lingers in a benevolent way. More coffee character comes out from the middle to the aftertaste as it warms more.

Mouthfeel is smooth yet a bit on the thin side.

The jury's a bit out for me on this one, I like it but at the same time it isn't all that memorable either, well, except for the spicy herbal aftertaste that still continues to linger. Makes a more impressive English Brown as well. And except for that robust aftertaste this is otherwise mild enough to act as a decent stepping stone brown for those interested in checking out the style.

Photo of liamt07
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1L flip top bottle, courtesy of IllNate into two pint glasses, shared at my girlfriend's birthday about a month back. Review taken from a few notes.

Poured a deep brown, with a tinge of orange around the edges. Big fluffy and billowing head, with some thin lacing and decent retention throughout the duration of the pint. Aroma is of chocolate, roasted malts, some licorice. Taste follows, with some more chocolate and maybe a bit of marshmallow-like flavour to it, interesting. A tinge of metallic flavour was there, but I don't know what to attribute that to. Smooth drinker, and some creaminess in the mouthfeel. A decent brew overall, thanks for this one Nate!

Photo of Smurf2055
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark tea-like brown with three fingers off-white head.

Smell is more fruity than nutty, very little roast, malty sweetness.

There is slightly more roast and a nutty flavor in the taste, the right amount of sweetness on the finish.

Very great drinking beer.

Photo of BigBry
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1L brown flip-top bottle, brought this one back from BC thinking I had something special - alas, I now see it in Alberta liquor stores. 5%

Deep brown color with a large beige head. Good looking pour with nice foam and retention, lots of thin sticky lacing. Smell has some sweetness from toasted malt, also some nuttiness coming through.
Toasted malt flavor, earthy, nutty. Some chocolate hints also coming through (more as it starts to warm). Mild leafy or herbal hops to finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, maybe a touch thin.
A solid brown, very drinkable - I polished off the bad boy (minus one small taster glass) on my own.
Not as much smokiness as Wild Rose Brown, but very comparable as my favorite browns.

The Bottle: This re-closable bottle known as a "pot-stopper", was widely used prior to the 1950's. Today, its use denotes a beer to be savoured and shared.

Photo of LampertLand
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Howe Sound "Rail Ale"(american)Nut Brown Ale @ 5.0% in a pot-stopper 1L served cold into a stein
A-poured a a dark brown that had an ok head and lacing
S-roasted nuts and malts , woodsy
T-licorice and molasses some chocolate and brown sugar
MF-taste is a bit thin , medium carbonation
Ov-just ok , not bad just a basic brew

cheers LampertLand

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

Cloudy dark brown appearance with thin white head that slowly settles down leaving some lacing. Smell consists of brown sugar, roasted nuts and malt.

Taste is similar to the smell, roasted nuts, malt, grain, various fruit and coffee. Picked up a hint of chocolate and caramel as well. Everything blends together good. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Aftertaste is a lingering grainy bitterness.

Overall, this is a decent bad Brown Ale. Good robust combination of tastes and very drinkable. Worth a try, one of the few dark beers I'd recommend when it's hot out.

Photo of Dawkfan
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- An enticing clear brown body, tinges of red when held to light, especially on the bottom of my pint glass. Some sparse lacing, head retention on this thick beige beauty is average.

S- Chocolate malt is abundantly clear on the nose. A little nutty, not picking up any hops.

T- Chocolate & nuts most predominant, a bit of coffee in the finish.

M- On the lighter side of medium, ample carbonation.

D- Fairly one dimensional, reminds me of a Brown Ale homebrew I made that was over the top with chocolate malt. I've got another 1L swing top for the next batch I got fermenting away right now though.

Photo of froghop
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark brown with a red tint, a large tan head, and good lacing.

smell is of spice, brown sugar, a little roasted nuts, and malt.

taste is of malt, spice, roasted nuts, and some maple syrup, ends a little dry and a little bitter.

overall a nice brown ale.

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

One liter capped bottle. Shared this one with my brother.

Pours a clear brown/orange, thick tan head forms, pretty damn solid, nice lacing on the glass, some solid retention. Smell is nuts, caramel, light chocolate, some bread, bit of grain, pretty standard but enjoyable. Taste is nuts, chocolate, roast, coffee, bread, grain, some spicy bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with medium carbonation, pretty smooth and decent tasting, pretty good beer.

Photo of andrenaline
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Again, surprised to find this one on tap at the Hop'n'Brew, and was excited to give it a whirl.

A - Pours a nice dark brown colour, finger of creamy beige head with very solid retention (lasted well beyond 5 minutes) and leaving a solid film of sticky beige lacing down the side of the glass. Fantastic presentation!

S - This one is nutty for sure with roasted almonds followed by some chocolate and espresso malts and a bit of buttered bread.

T - The nuts flavours come through very nicely with buttered bread and almonds that linger on the tongue. The chocolate and espresso malts burst through on the finish as well, and I really enjoyed it.

M - No complaints in this department. Medium body that finishes creamy and smooth.

D - I really enjoyed this pint and if I didn't have to drive home I would've tossed back another. Stoked to find it on tap, and the flavours are nice and strong, but not overwhelming making it very sessionable. I'll be picking up a flip-top bottle to see if it's as delicious as it was on tap.

Photo of leaddog
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a dark walnut brown with half a finger width of head that quickly disspates.

Smell- Caramel, hazelnut, almond, milk chocolate, hint of licorice.

Taste- Caramel, hazelnut, almond, milk chocolate and hint of licorice all come through. The chocolate malts make a presence to. The beer finishes toasty.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with light carbonation. A tad watery.

Overall- A enjoyable brown ale. Could of used a little more to the body and flavours but nonetheless, a good brown ale to have to see where you stand with the style.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On draft at Nicli Pizzeria, Vancouver.

Leathery cranberry with a s sandy puffy head that fades but speckles.
Brownie, earth, and country white loaf crust on the nose.
Red berry, cocoa, a bit of walnut skin, then slight orange rind hops with woody spice.
Sarsaparilla end and earthy linger.
Lt-med, oily, some chew, lively.

Starts out well then dies a bit. Kinda thin and fizzy, too, though that's within style. Still a good dose of chocolate. Solid overall.

Photo of wordemupg
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1L swing top bottle poured into 400ml dab glass oct7 2009

A hazy deep maroon with a fast falling thumbs width of head that left no lace

S nice malts, chocolate and perhaps some maple go quite well together

T chocolate comes through a little stronger and some mild coffee I didn't smell

M a little thin and flat

D I would drink another, worth a try

this is another decent beer from Howe Sound I'm stoked I got 2 more to try today

Photo of Shadman
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big ass bottle for sure...a bomber with the store-it-if u can't drink it all stopper. Rich mahogany red with a very larde, frothy head that took a long while to receed.

Nice roasted malt, some faint floral nuttiness.

Watery and bland up front..malts and nuttiness don't show through until after a good 3-4 steamboat count. Bit of a bite on the tongue, maybe from Hops?? Then there is a nice mix of mild toasted malt and slight nuttiness. Slight metallic twang that sticks to the back of the tongue 10 seconds after the first swig.

Certainly not as chewy as it looked. Would call it almost medium in body.

Would concur with my buddy Jeff ( Iron Djinn ) in it makes a nice entry level brown ale. Certainly easy enough for me to have several if I was @ a bar & they had it on tap.

Photo of Hornet2003
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a great beer from a little known BC brewery. Or at least one that rarely gets much exposure. Pours a really rich looking mahogany. Not much head/retention. The aroma is dominated by coffee and stout like flavours. A definiate nuttiness like you find in a good strongly brewed coffee. Tastes of coffee and hazelnut. Very nice flavour, complemented with a slight bitterness at the end. The carbonation is a little on the low side, but for a beer with such a dynamic flavour profile, it works. Considering it comes in a 1L swing top bottle, this stuff is drinkable. Standard 5% alc/vol makes it very sessionable.

Overall, this is a great beer to drink on a cold, snowy night. I imagine that in the summer, this would be a little heavy. Under the current setting, though, it hist the spot right on.

Photo of canucklehead
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Malty and full bodied this the solid dark offering from Howe Sound. I really liked the big malty finish on this beer. A bigger beer than Baldwins so it can tackle BBQ and burgers with lots of toppings. One of the better brown ales around BC. A must try if you visit.

Photo of BDTyre
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Comes in a swing-top litre jug via Brewery Creek. I'm glad they got this in, as I think it is one of BC's better brown ales.

Rich mahogany-ruby colour with an ever-so slightly cream colour head. Dense, toffee malt smell with backings of chocolate and dark roast coffee. I can detect an odd, raisiny sort of smell that is uncharacteristic of a brown ale, but not unpleasant.

The taste lacks this unique scent, and is very rich. Good malt finish with definite toffee and chocolate flavours. Big flavour.

Mouthfeel is good, but can come off as a bit watery for the flavour. It should just be a bit chewier. Drinkable, but then, it only comes on tap or in a 1 litre bottle.

Photo of brewcrew76
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1L capped with attached swing top for later use.

A - Deep brown with reddish, mahogany highlights and a few finger tan head.

S - Toasted bread, nutty, hint of chocolate and roasted malts. Light but nice.

T - Bready and grainy with toasted nuts, chocolate, slightest hint of coffee and toasted malts.

M - On the light side of medium with a good amount of carbonation. Lingering bready and nutty flavors.

D - Enjoyable and easily drinkable. The 1 liter will not last long.

Photo of Scrylol
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a one finger mocha colored head, bubbly, lots of lacing with a dark ruby body.

Slight chocolate and caramel notes on the nose, slightly grainy, and some leafy hops.

Nutty, caramel, and sweet malty notes on the tongue. Slight milk chocolate flavor to it. Definitely more malty than hoppy. Slight hop bitterness. Leaves a dry, rather neutral aftertaste.

Nice carbonation, very smooth, silky mouthfeel to it. Pretty quaffable.

Decent brown ale from Howe Sound. Nothing special or amazing, but it is rather consistent and above average across the board. Can be easily drank, and is overall a nice, standard American Brown Ale.

Photo of lumikuuro
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1 litre bottle with new artwork for 2009.

Appearance: Rich, transparent mahogany colour with beige three finger head when poured into tall tankard, rapidly receding to a ring and a thin film of head that lasts for the whole glass. Heavy lace.

Aroma: Nuts, hint of dark fruits, roasty malts.

Taste: Lots of flavour in here. Nuts, dark and milk chocolate, coffee, vanilla, liquorice, very subtle dark fruits. It seems like every time you take a mouthful of this beer, there is something else you notice each time. Soft, smooth malty finish. You can't get a better nut brown ale than this. I've tasted nuttier, more coffeeish, or more chocolatey; but this beer from Howe Sound has a ton of complexity.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, easy to drink, slightly silky.

Drinkability: Goes down very easily, it's difficult to savour this because it just begs to be drunk. And at 5% abv, it's very much a drink you can session. There is nothing wrong with this beer.

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap with a sampler of several other beers. Was a nice deep brown with two fingers worth of root beer colored foam. Aroma was fruity, some toasty notes, molasses, an acidic sweetness. Taste was strong coffee, bitter walnut, sweet licorice, some subtle citrus hops, not floral or particularly grassy, all dark flavors. Perhaps a subtle acetic acidity lingering along with bitter nuts and smoke. Solid brown ale with ample coffee character. Does not expand the style but certainly doesn't disappoint.

to view more.
Rail Ale Nut Brown from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.