1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.

335 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 335
Reviews: 125
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 12.85%
Wants: 3
Gots: 19 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 335 | Reviews: 125 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Billolick
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle purchased as part of a sixer on the recent Vermont trip. Has "Best enjoyed before" dating notched on the side of the label. Pours a typical brown ale hue, darker mocha head, that stays for a spell then drops to near nothing, just a thin collar over a near still. dull looking brawl. Bready nose, brash chocolaty flavor notes mixed in with a faint jammy note. Eh, not the greatest brown ale out there. On the unrefined side and a wee bit thin mouth feel wise. Will work fine as part of a marinade for chicken or pork, as I've found just about any brown ale will.

Photo of B967ierhunter177
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pig's Ear pours a clear brown with a brilliant ruby red showing through in the light. It's topped with a tan, fleeting head. The aroma is mainly molasses with some vanilla and biscuit notes. The flavor again starts as molasses but is well balanced with hints of anise and grain coming through. This beer has a medium mouthfeel over the palate but it's only knock is the high carbonation. It's not a session beer but try one or two with Cooper Sharp cheese. Recommended!

Photo of BeerNinja007
2.35/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got this in a variety 12-pack on sale for $10 at Beverage King in West Lebanon, NH. Best by date of Sep 2010 stamped on the label. Poured into a chilled pint glass.

Dark brown brew reveals red highlights against a bright light. 3/4" of dense tan head settles slowly to 1/4", sticks around quite well, generates some lace. Thick syrupy sweet smell, toffee, a bit of fake fruitiness. Taste is a bit like burnt toast and nuts, a muddy smoky bite in the finish. Lackluster, meh. Has the mouthfeel and tacky sweetness of mediocre extract-based homebrew. Reminds me of every disappointing house brew I've ever tried.

Photo of kenito799
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Tasted this already on tap, which is usually too cold. At home from the bottle this malty dark brown brew recalled Belgian dubbels in the slightly sweet malt and a touch of smokiness that was really quite excellent. Very nice session beer, gets better as you drink more.

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured into pint glass a chestnut brown color and clear with a one-finger light-tan head.

S: Caramel, raisins, roasted malt, hazelnuts, weak coffee, and a light citrus hop aroma.

T: Nutty roastedness, caramel, molasses, toffee, with some roasted grains and tart citrus hops for balance. Metallic in the finish.

M: Medium to light body with moderate carbonation.

D: This is a good brown ale and I would drink one or two but not buy a case of this beer. The metallic taste in the finish is not desirable and leaves room for improvement.

Photo of mavbrew
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark brown with hints of amber when viewed in light and a finger thick head.

S: Not much smell present, definitely some caramel and some nutty malts.

T: A sour taste up front, followed by a caramel malty taste.

M: Lighter medium bodied brew, slight carbonation.

D: Very easy to drink, similar to Newcastle....a good example of an English brown ale. A good session beer.

Photo of sisuspeed
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best enjoyed before June 2010.

Poured into a pint glass. Brown, ruby color with an off-white head. Some decent lacing.

The aroma is a bit nutty, some fruit, herbal notes and brown malt.

Mild to somewhat sweet malts mixed with light fruits displaying a slightly sour tinge that is almost citrus like. Nuttiness is apparent as well.

Mouthfeel and body are good. Especially for a low ABV beer. Carbonation is prickly, but not in a bad way.

Drinkability is also good. This brown ale goes down easy and at 4.3% ABV you can definitely have a few of these.

Overall, this is a solid offering from Woodstock Inn. Follows the style well and has a decent amount of flavor. Nothing really stands out, but I'm having no problem finishing my glass.

Photo of abuliarose
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, revealing modest white head over a clear chestnut brown body. Decent lacing. Smells a little sour and a little malty, caramel, so basically like a standard brown ale.

Tastes a bit sour at first, then rounded out by a nice nutty malt flavor and slight bitterness. Nothing overly-complex here. Carbonation is swift and tingly, numbingly-sized, but gives way to an otherwise light body and easy drinkability. It's sweet, but just enough to keep it from getting too dry.

All in all a standard English brown. If I saw it at a party, I'd go for it over its macro twins.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear, dark brown with a large, frothy beige head. Looks like a mug of root beer. Great retention and lace.

Smells of light crystal and Nestle Quick powder with a nutty influence. Couldn't smell too much actually because the ski lodge I'm staying at reeks of puke so we lit nag champa incense all over the house so everything smells like Umass Amherst.

Nutty, sweet, with a little chocolate. Subtle woody hop in back. Standard brown.

Photo of Jayli
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 12/11

A: This beer pours thin looking dark brown with some amber hues around the edges. A two finger of creamy off white head caps this brew and leaves thin spotty lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of caramel malts, coffee, chocolate and a hint of fruit.

T: Taste starts off with caramel malts, and a hint of toffee, middle moves in to a bit of grain and roasted malts, a touch of nuttiness and chocolate. Finish has a hint of fruitiness and a bit of a hop balance.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, very smooth and crisp.

D: This isn't a wow in your face kind of beer, not many browns are, however it is rather tasty and well balanced and easily a beer to sit with for a session or two.

Photo of BrewMasterG
4.33/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Brown, mostly clear with some slight murkiness.

Smell: Nutty and toasty - a bit like Newcastle without the sweet smell.

Taste: Nice, nice, nice. A classic brown ale, Americanized. Not bitter, not sweet.

Mouthfeel: Typicaly dry, moderate carbonation - a bit higher than the Brits would have.

Serving type: 64oz growler, and on tap at Woodstock Inn.

Photo of Boppar
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

On tap in a pint glass.

A: Dark brown, some ruby present. One inch of off-white, tan-ish foam. It is a nice looking beer, and is certainly on the darker end of the English Brown Ale spectrum.

S: Sweet malts, some earthy hops. Not much going on here, but it is in keeping with the style.

T: It opens up with a definite malty sweetness, and perhaps a taste of watered-down molasses mid-palate. The finish is slightly dry and bitter, a bit more so than this style typically employs, but nothing over the top.

M: Watery. Far too watery, even for this style.

D: EBAs have been, and always will be, session beers. This one is no exception.

Photo of soupyman10
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Friend brought a mixed sixer of Woodstock brews over the other night. This one was his favorite. It's pretty much a standard English brown. Fairly high carbonation might mask some of the flavor, which is mostly toffee malt with a touch of nuttiness. Mild hop presence. It's alright, but a little dull.

Photo of woosterbill
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the brewpub into a pint glass.

A: Clear dark amber body comes topped by a finger of dense off-white foam; decent retention and good lace throughout. "Very pretty" according to my wife. I concur.

S: Nothing special here: just smooth biscuity malts, some nutty sweetness, and a touch of crisp hops on the tail end. Pretty straightforward.

T: Much like the nose, but richer and fuller. Good amount of mildly sweet nuttiness without being cloying, thanks to a generous dose of hops on the finish. Very smooth and refreshing.

M: A little on the thin side of medium bodied, with spiky carbonation. Not bad, though.

D: Very sessionable indeed, as the ABV would suggest.

Notes: Extremely smooth and drinkable beer that doesn't sacrifice flavor. Nothing spectacular at all, but as servicable a brown ale as one could desire. Nice.


Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle marked "best by Sept. '09" into a BBC pint glass.

A: Pours a medium copper brown color with a slight reddish amber tint to it. The fizzy carbonation built to a two-finger head of frothy tan foam before settling to a thin veil of slightly oily lace.

S: Smells a bit like musty cooked cereal malts with a touch of tree nuts and soil.

T: Taste is faint, grainy English malt at first which ushers a more roasted caramel and bready malt flavor. A faint earthy malt and herbal hop bitterness creep in leaving a slightly nutty malt finish. There's a little metallic taste near the beginning and the end which detracts from this balance a tad.

M:Mouthfeel is a little watery upon the initial sip and the wash down, but there is a slight build of creaminess around mid palate.

D: A low ABV sessionable English brown. The clean crystal English malt flavors and just the right light hints of roasted malt and mild herbal hop bitterness may satiate some brown fans.

I found it to be a little watery and metallic around the edges in places, leading me to believe it's not the finest crafted American representation of the style there is. Worth a shot, particularly for the none-too-discriminating brown ale fan.

Photo of jiggahertz
4.18/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice thick brown ale with a thin head which dissipates quickly.

S: Don't pick up much on the nose, some doughy malts get through.

T: Chocolate up front, followed by great malty flavor. Malt dissipates and leaves a clean finish.

M: More carbonation than expected for this style.

D: Very good drinkability for a brown ale, goes great with bbq.

O: One of the better brown ales I've had, not a huge fan of this style but this one really seemed to hit the spot.

Photo of BigD1972
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

Nice reddish brown color. inch thick light brown head.

Roasted, Nutty aromas slight fruit note.

pleasingly bitter mouthfeel with nice finish.

nice malty roasted flavor.

More a beer for the fall or winter, but all in all an enjoyable brew!

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.

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.

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.

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?

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...

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.

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.

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.

Pig's Ear Brown Ale from Woodstock Inn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 335 ratings.