1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pig's Ear Brown Ale - Woodstock Inn Brewery

Not Rated.
Pig's Ear Brown AlePig's Ear Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

317 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 317
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 12.85%
Wants: 2
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Woodstock Inn Brewery visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Medium bodied with a balance of roasted and crystal malts creating a hearty nutty flavor. Medium bitterness with a slightly sweet finish.

25 IBU

(Beer added by: UnionMade on 09-02-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 317 | Reviews: 124 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of papat444
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Disclaimer: I enjoyed this brew at the Woodstock Inn but my notes are brief because i was with family & friends and my daughter beside me was very active :)

Appearance: Brown (duh!) and looks a little like cola. Very thin ring of foam.

Smell: At first nothing but as it warmed a whiff of bitterness, probably hops.

Taste: Subdued, malt-like taste with a very nice moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A strong point. Smooth with a rather low carbonation that i didn't expect but wasn't unpleasant.

Drinkability: Very nice beer with a low profile taste but was still very enjoyable to drink.

Overall: I forced myself to write a review because i was pleasantly surprised by this beer. Definitely worth checking out.

papat444, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of gestyr
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a nice deep reddish brown, clear. Nice offwhite head about 1" high that fades slowly and leaves lacing.

Smell: Smells sweet, toasty, slightly roasty, nutty

Taste: Slightly sweet. Roasty, malty, nutty.... definitely nutty, detectable note of biscuit

Mouthfeel: medium. Sits well on the tongue

Drinkability: Good session beer. Would go great with some cheese... sharp cheddar comes to mind

Overall I would and will drink again. It doesn't jump in your face but it also doesn't disappoint.

gestyr, Jul 13, 2009
Photo of tigg924
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: clear, chestnut brown, no head, minmal carbonation

Smell: toasted malt, sugar, nut

Taste: toasted malt, nut, and some hops towards the end

Mouthfeel: smooth, light, sweet, medium body

Drinkability: This is just an OK English Brown. I had this on draft with a 22ounce pour and cannot say I desired another one afterwards. This one almost drinks like a bock.

tigg924, Jul 04, 2009
Photo of indiapaleale
3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with reddish hues when held to the light. Boasts a good inch and half of thick, fluffy white head.

Smells like brown sugar, cake batter, brown bread, a bit of caramel and some yeast.

Taste is off. Something like vinegar and sour mash whiskey. Ugh. What the heck is wrong this beer? Maybe its not off but it sure tastes sort of funky.

I've been disappointed by beer from this brewery before and this stuff is all contract brewed by Shipyard so I guess I should blame them?

indiapaleale, May 14, 2009
Photo of msubulldog25
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz. bottle with a twist-off cap, notched 'best enjoyed before: August 09'. Poured to a pint glass and enjoyed pre-dinner (Italian) after an epic morning spent at Hair of the Dog's Earth Day Sale. Thanks, Pamola, for sending!

A: Deep garnet-brown, nearly clear but for the finest silty haze. Individual bubbles ascend in no distinct pattern, rising to a thin, nearly-white cap.

S: Distinctly sweet, nutty. Caramel, brown sugar, faint cereal grain. A fine grassy note.

T: Pretty heavy on the roasted nuts, charred grains; not nearly as sweet as the aroma hinted at.

M: Crisp mouthfeel, a bit harsh. Tinny bitterness lingers, but just enough sugar/malt gets through. Balanced finish, a bit dry.

D: Likable, flavorful brown ale. Unknown ABV, but seems suitably sessionable. Yeah, I'd have this again...

msubulldog25, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of briman
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark reddish brown, clear, with a moderate tan head that retains for about a minute.

Aroma is malty, with a moderate nutty characteristic.

Flavor is malty, with has a bit of roasted malt, and a nutty tone that lasts well into the aftertaste. Finishes fairly dry, with not much bitterness to speak of.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Seems well balanced. Nutty characteristic seems to be the star of the show, not terribly sweet, and no obvious fruit esters. Overall, not bad and certainly worth having again.

briman, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of williamherbert
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A clear cherry red. Off-white brownish, dimply head; dissolves fast. Brown in feint light, red in brighter light.

A nice pale ale aroma, but with a darker nutty character. Interesting yeast presence. Surprising estery hop. Not drab; a nice smell.

Some nutty malts in the taste that have a nice bouncy hop. With warmth, it more resembles a dry brown than it previously did. The yeast sort of kicks in about halfway through. It's somewhat musty, even for a brown.

The feel is dry but smooth. Overall it's just a little to musty for my liking. Not bad, just not one I'd go out of my way to get another one of.

williamherbert, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of BeerTrader
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this bottle last week from a brew-buddy who picked it up on a recent trip near the brewery. The Best Before indicator on the label shows as: July 2009.

A - Appearance is a dark, yet clear, carmel brownish-red. Pours with an off-white 1 finger head that quickly fades away.

S - pleasant initial aroma that also quickly dissipates. I get a slight sweetness that lingers in the aroma along with a discernible note of the grains used.

T - A nice medium bodied taste brings forward the nice complement of grains and a mild hop profile, very much characteristic of the style. Sweet, yet somewhat dry in the aftertaste. Very well done.

M - Nothing noteworthy in the mouthfeel. The carbonation level is a bit flat.

D - Overall, this beer is very drinkable but could be improved.

BeerTrader, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of Hokies
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a deep brown shade with some pronounced red hues. Their is a light brown head with a thin lace on the glass.

The aroma is quite enticing with some sweet malt and light roasted malt notes with a nice coffee hint.

The hops and roasted malts make more of a presence in the taste as they battle off the sweetness from the malt. The coffee is somewhat subdued as the sweet malt taste takes over with undertones of burnt coffee.

Probably one of my new favorite brown ales right up their with Ellie's Brown and SA Brown ale.

Hokies, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of speakorspasm
3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark brown with a bit of a frothy head.

S: I really dig the smell! Ripe coffee, dark chocolate and a faint sweetness to back it up. Well done!

T: The smell could lead you me to believe that I was about to suck down a fat porter.... let us remember that this is still a brown ale. The big sweetness hinted by the nose isn't nearly as pronounced, but coffee and roasted malts hang up front and are balanced well with a little hop bitterness that cleanses the palate nicely.

M: I feel that the nose of this beer made we lust for a bigger body... but even within the style I think it could be a bit sturdier. The carbonation is appropriate for the style.

D: While ho-hum except for the kick-ass nose, this beer sits well with me and I could dig on a few between bigger beers. If I run into it again I will not be displeased.

speakorspasm, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of kevd193213
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz Bottle. Dark brownish amber pout with a fizzy tan head. Aroma of malt, and spices. Taste of burnt malt, walnuts, faint sugar and a slight hoppy finish. Very easy on the palate, slightly thin but not a bad brew for a session around the campfire.

kevd193213, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of soccerman7
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Last of the batch I bought up there.
A - a nice dark brown with a finger of lacy head.

S - nice roasty notes and a bit of chocolate. very faint hops.

T - A nice brown ale. Roasted bread and mild chocolate notes. Has a pleasant mild sourness on the tale end. A bit sharp with the spice in it. seems a bit out of balance.

M - a general brown ale. very simple on the palate and smooth down with a touch sharp hop note.

D - Overall a pleasant brown ale. nothing outstanding, but a nice session brew as ever. Has more flavor than normal browns but a bit out of balance.

soccerman7, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of Reagan1984
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a foamy white 2 finger head that faded rather quickly. The beer was crystal clear & a very dark brown. My son said it looked like a light root beer. A mere touch of visible carbonation.

The aroma was of light fruit, and of grains. I think I get a sense of the yeast as well. Not much in the way of a roasted aroma. I was expecting this from the visual.

The flavor was much more bold than the aroma led me to believe. Really nice. As crazy as it sounds it really reminded me of toasted walnuts. A nice roasted malt flavor up front, then the nutty flavor. Some fruits flavors in the background and then a nice hop character to balance with the malt backbone. Just the right amount of sweetness. I really like this.

The beer is medium bodied and big in your mouth due to the bold roasted malt flavor. Light carbonation helps bring the flavor to life.

Very drinkable. Enjoying during a snowstorm, in front of a fire with a football game on the tv. Perfect for the moment.

Reagan1984, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of sjohansen
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First thing that jumps out at me... the Pig's Ear is not much in the looks department. I got a lot of tiny tan bubbles, about a finger width, that fizzled like a poured can of soda. Nothing left but a bare brown leather color and a couple leopard spots of lace. Reddish hues on the edges. Very good clarity lets me still see some fizzing bubbles racing to the top of the glass.

Different case in the nose department. Some roasted coffee, some caramel. As it warms, it starts to smell like syrup covered waffles at Sunday brunch.

Taste is pretty smooth. Some sweet caramel, slightly bitter chocolate aftertaste. Hints of almonds.

A bit on the light side in the body for a brown ale. Smooth with some nice carbonation.

I would say it's a decent representation of the style, although there are some other brown ales I would go after before going back to this well.

sjohansen, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of eporter66
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle to Pint Glass

A - Pours a dark brown with red highlights. Barely any head from the pour and quickly disappears to nothing. Not a hint of lacing on the glass.

S - Sweet aroma of roasted coffee, chocolate and malt

T - Certainly a winner on taste, good flavored beer, coffee and malt, a little hop bite in back of throat.

M - Light carbonation, would like to have this with a little more body, but maybe Brown Ales are not supposed to be heavy.

D - Really good flavor, not heavy, so a few of these would go down with no problem. A style I am finding I enjoy a lot, distinct flavor and smooth.

eporter66, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of jmz62565
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark mahogony with a giant foamy tan head. The head really is big and leaves great lacing. The smell is just average with some malty scents along with roasted coffee and cocoa. The taste is very flavorful with roasted malt,coffee,cola,and cocoa. The m/f is medium with all the flavors mixing well. Not my favorite type of beer,but this is really a good brown ale.

jmz62565, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of micahgoldfus
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured much lighter in color than I am used to in a brown ale: a brown-amber color that was fairly transparent. It has a big, bubbly head to foreshadow the high carbonation level. The smell was a great mixture: there was nutty flavors up front, plus some dark-but-not-too-dark malts, a pinch of floral hops, a mild presence of alcohol, and ended with a touch of caramel sweetness. The taste was quite nice as well. The dominant flavors were the roasted nuts and the dark, coffee-flavor malts. However, it was rounded out by a mild hop presence in the background, and ends with some sweet caramel flavors (and maybe even some vanilla in there too). The last taste the beer leaves it actually a fantastic mix: it's malty, bitter, and sweet all at once. The thin, carbonated mouthfeel makes this beer go down nice and easy, and I could certainly drink a few more. It has enough flavor to be savored, but is smooth and light enough to have a handful.

micahgoldfus, Nov 03, 2008
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz screw-top bottle from the local Hannaford. Pours a translucent dark brown body with a quarter-inch of light tan head. Butterscotch, caramel, brown sugar dominate the aroma. Tastes sweet, with caramel, butter, and chocolate notes. Flavors are definitely understated, which is not uncommon for the style. Light in body, bordering on aqueous, with moderate carbonation. Fairly middle-of-the-road as far as drinkability is concerned, quaffable but doesn't go down as easy as it could. Overall a solid English Brown.

MrHurmateeowish, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of FatSean
4.18/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

An interesting brown ale from a brewery I'd never heard of before.

Poured a very dark brown into a 12oz shaker pint. Some light-brown head with large bubbles that quickly dissipates.

Smells of musty malts and a little twinge of hop

Taste is a sweet, thin caramel/black-bread. Finishes with an odd twang that clears the palate and gets you thirsty for another sip. An interesting and appealing aspect, given that most brown ales I've tried leave a lingering sweet taste.

A bit thin, quite carbonated. This is a crisp beer!

Very drinkable! Plenty of nice brown ale flavors that don't over-stay their welcome. I might buy this again, and I will definitely look out for other offerings from this brewery.

FatSean, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of grs8313
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from my tasting notes, and the beer was from a birthday beer of the month 4 beer sampler.

Appearance: 12oz twist top bottle with a best by date of August 2009. Pours brown with a light tan head. The head is thin with some fish eyes, but it dissipates quickly.

Smell: Caramel; sweet malts, roasted coffee and a faint alcohol notes.

Taste: Malts, chocolate and caramel. A little watery; with a caramel aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Carbonated and thin, the mouth is left feeling slightly dry.

Drinkability: A wonderfully drinkable beer. I am really glad the beer of the month pack included this one, and sent 3. I would highly recommend this beer to anyone.

grs8313, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The only offering from this brewery at my local beer store is this one so I gave it a try. A pretty good brown ale overall. Pours a very dark brown, deeper color than most other brown ales. Has a nice body and mouthfeel to it but does have an odd aftertaste to it that is different compared to other brown ales. It isn't bad, it's just different is all. Nothing special but a solid beer all around.

oriolesfan4, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of mooseisloose
2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Smell is tangy and earthy, some brown sugar. Pours to a deep metallic brown with a tan macrobubble head. Head holds up for a bit. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated and makes me pucker a little on the finish. Taste is more bitter than sweet, bitterness is even and balances a malty background. Strange finish, starts to finish bitter but then has a tangy almost zesty sweet and sourness. Light for its style, the strange finish makes it a refreshing thirst quencher. Different and unique.

mooseisloose, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of Domingo
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this as part of the monthly beer club. Woodstock's Red Rack was pretty solid, but this one is nothing special.
It looks, tastes, smells, and drinks like almost every other small scale brewed brown ale. There's really nothing about it that sets it apart or makes it above average. I like the style, but I like to see something special from it, too.
It's nutty and has a little bit of a roasted coffee and cocoa flavor in the back. I'd say the hops probably push it more in the American brown ale territory, but that's just what I came away with.
It's nothing amazing, but it's not really flawed in any way either.
If you like the style and this is a convenient option - go for it.

Domingo, Sep 22, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.93/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, red-brown body with a thin, bubbly, beige head.

Smell: I know we're focusing on the ear, but where's the nose? Only the vaguest hint of nuts. I'll assume this brown is saving its strength for the flavor. Bring it on!

Taste: A taste of chocolate and nuts with a low malty sweetness. Earthy, spicy hops, though only a touch of bitterness. Dry, nutty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not recommend. A bit under par for a brown.

ChainGangGuy, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of ATLbeerDog
2.68/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

rom a 12 ounce brown bottle - Pours a reddish/brown with a small 1/8 inch head. Smells of malts, mild hops and spices. First sip has some spicy notes, nuts, malts and a nice bitter finish. Fairly light bodied, carbonated well, not too bad, not too great.

ATLbeerDog, Sep 13, 2008
Pig's Ear Brown Ale from Woodstock Inn Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 317 ratings.