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

28 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 28
Hads: 71
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 8.57%
Wants: 4
Gots: 9 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 28 | Hads: 71
Photo of maclean25
3.34/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I loved my first Howe Sound beer (a Pumpkin Ale) so I had big expectations for this. Because it only comes in a 1 litre bottle it is rare for me to find an opportunity to get one.

It pours with a small, but decent, light-brown head. The body is dark brown (on the red side of brown) and appears to be clear (it appears there may be a slight cloudiness in there). The aroma is not very strong but has a fruity-hoppiness and rootbeer-malt quality to it. The hops is more pronounce in the taste. It has a deep taste in which I get the molassas and licorice malt flavour. It feels like it has a full body, medium carbonation but a deep, creamy taste. I don't get the nut taste. Overall, a very good beer. The deep flavour and smooth body appeal to me. This is the kind of beer I expect to find at brewpubs. (803 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
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. (1,271 characters)

Photo of LampertLand
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
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 (346 characters)

Photo of froghop
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
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. (264 characters)

Photo of Dawkfan
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
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. (602 characters)

Photo of Brewthing
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep brown with good head retention.

S - Molasses overrides the malt and hop aromas

T - Good balance, not too sweet. Chocolate and molasses undertones.

M - Nice level of carbonation. Clean finish.

Overall - A nice brown for those who like molasses to lead the aroma and flavor of their beer.

I had the 1L swingtop bottle. (330 characters)

Photo of leaddog
3.62/5  rDev -6%
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. (549 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (256 characters)

Photo of Shadman
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (784 characters)

Photo of Scrylol
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
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. (632 characters)

Photo of BDTyre
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (678 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
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 (436 characters)

Photo of Smurf2055
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
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. (270 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (1,348 characters)

Photo of liamt07
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
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! (679 characters)

Photo of BigBry
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (864 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (504 characters)

Photo of Bunman3
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A very enjoyable take on a easy drinking, palate-pleasing beer. The sweet, layered flavors position this nicely with many of the better Canadian brown ales I have sampled. Rail Ale is all about the malt, with an overriding Cadbury Nut Bar sweetness. (249 characters)

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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 (650 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (460 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (266 characters)

Photo of CrazyMike
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (572 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (478 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (475 characters)

Photo of Hornet2003
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (803 characters)

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Rail Ale Nut Brown from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.