Imperial Nut Brown Ale - Tommyknocker Brewery

Not Rated.
Imperial Nut Brown AleImperial Nut Brown Ale

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614 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 614
Reviews: 349
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 30
Gots: 29 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Tommyknocker Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 12-17-2004

Commemorating the 10th anniversary of Tommyknocker Brewery, this special brew is meticulously crafted with pure maple syrup, the highest quality chocolate and crystal malts and is accented with the finest blend of European and American hops. Imperial Nut Brown Ale, at 9.8% alcohol by volume, is a bigger, bolder version of their Maple Nut Brown.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 614 | Reviews: 349
Reviews by brewskifan55:
Photo of brewskifan55
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass

A: chocolate brown. A half finger head that quickly dissipates, leaving big bubbles around the glass. Not much lacing.

S: Nutty, malts, yeast

T: Drinks a lot like a dubbel. Sweet, malty, smokey. Maple syrup. A dry finish. Alcohol slowly creeps in for a "naptime" feeling.

M: medium with thick carbonation.

O: a really good American Brown Ale. Like their Maple Nut Brown on steroids.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Tyler's Taproom in Durham.Poured into a standard pint glass a deep ruddy brown with a thinner off white head,aromas are a mix of brown sugar/molasses and and as others have noted some maple syrup.Flavors are quite sweet upfront that molasses and brown sugar is big along with maple syrup not really any hop drying here.Its ok but a little to sweet for my taste,would likey be a good beer paired with a chocolate dessert.

Photo of boston2bburg
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, with a half inch head that all but disappears in seconds. Very dark, mostly opaque body, a shade browner than black, with a touch of red at the edges when held to light.

Aroma is of dark crystal malts, maple syrup and brown sugar, slightly buttery, and very sweet and full. Some earthy hops in there as well.

This beer is full flavored as well, reminiscent of a Russian Imperial Stout in body, but with a lighter estery flavor. Very oily mouthfeel, yet acidic, with a sharp alcoholic bite on the throat and up the nose. Maple syrup adds a nice subtle sweetness.

This is a huge beer and very little like a typical Nut Brown Ale, at least the ones I've tasted; much fuller and stronger. I'd recommend it especially as a winter warmer.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VII:

To commemorate 10 years of brewing, Tommyknocker took their Maple Nut Brown Ale and amped it up. It's brewed with pure maple syrup, chocolate and crystal malts, and spiced with a blend of American and Euro hops. The final result weighs in at 9.8-percent alcohol by volume (abv).

Quick to foam, the tiny bubbled head stays together for a good while. Color is a few shades from black, sporting ruby edges in the light. Big aroma of buttery toffee, hint of cake batter, maple, toasted bread and raisins as well. Full creamy mouthfeel, with some smoothness from the mild carbonation. Supersized malt character here with flavors of buttery toffee, milk chocolate, maple syrup, brown sugar, mild espresso and brownies. Hops are on the back burner but come to life quickly with some balancing bitterness; the alcohol is warming and helps to balance with a spicy warmth, yet compliments the malt with dried plum and raisin flavors. Sweet finish of sugary dark malts, but it's never cloying.

Though the "nut" gets lost in the massive complexities of this beer ... wow, what a killer malt bomb this is! Very drinkable, but it's a sipper, and a great pick for pairing with chocolates or a bowl of warm, spiced / spicy mixed nuts. This would no doubt be a fine match to a robust cigar, too.

Photo of orbitalr0x
2.95/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark, brooding opaque brown with a thick khaki head that fades instantly. Aromas of roasted malt sweetness, nutty accents and a maple syrup twang. Dark fruits underneath.

First sip is sweet dark malts with a bit of an odd dark fruit twang. Somewhat nutty and roasty with a slickness. Maple syrup accents are there along with a bit of heat. Too sweet for me overall. I'd pass on this one again.

Medium body and a bit slick....not much else to say. Overall, not a huge fan of this. Too sweet and a bit boozy. Just seems off kilter to me.

Photo of Beaver13
3.01/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours a clear brown with a small off white head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is subdued - chocolate malts, grains and a touch of maple and alcohol.

The flavor is sweet chocolate and maple/molasses with a slightly bitter charred alcoholic finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full with smooth carbonation.

Overall, an OK beer. It's not very well balanced between the the cloying sweetness and the charred alcohol.

Photo of mverity
4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ruby brown in color with good light tan head, good lacing, and a thick collar. Aroma is dark molasses, nutty and earthy. Taste follows pretty much identically. Mild hop bitterness in this one. Medium-light body and medium carbonation. Definitely my favorite of the three beers I had at the brewery.

Photo of Doomcifer
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a slight reddish hue. Decent head and retention. Smells of sweet malts, maple syrup, candy, and slight alcohol vapors. Taste is very sweet maple syrupy, extremely nutty, caramel, slight chocolate, molasses, and a definite alcohol warming. Very pleasant and delicious. Mouthfeel is pretty heavy and smooth, decent carbonation, slick. As far as drinkability, it;s got a high ABV%, but I can easily take down a bomber of this with no problem, despite it being so sweet. A definite pleasure from Tommyknocker.

Photo of merlin48
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber pours a clear, dark, mahogany body with a one finger tall, light brown head. Good retention and some chains of lacing are left on the imperial pint glass.

Aroma has some dark roasty chocolate, maple syrup, almond nuttiness, and a hint of spicy hops.

Mouthfeel is solid medium, a bit chewy, with understated carbonation.

The dark roasty chocolate maltiness imparts a mild bitterness. Some Coca Cola notes are interesting. Just a hint of maple syrup sweetness. Toasty almonds provide a pleasant nuttiness. Hops are muted, but add a pleasant balancing bitterness. Alcohol stays in the background. Very tasty.

A pleasant surprise here, for certain. Very pleasant to taste and dangerously drinkable.

Photo of Billolick
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like strong beer and this is strong stuff, Bomber bottle, w/o freshness indication, gold foil covers the cap, pours dark brown with a tan frothy head. Nose is of sweetness, this is a fairly sweet brew, maple notes obvious, also some vanilla, honey and minimal hopping noted. Not my favorite type of brew, but this would be nice for after dinner sipping or with a nutty desert.

Photo of fdrich29
4.72/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I found myself craving a malty brew while at Sunset Grill a few days before the American Craft Beer Fest. I asked Jason what he recommended and he pointed me in the direction of this sweet nectar. Thanks Jason!

At some point my tastes changed and I fell from the ranks of the hop heads and found myself loving all beers of a malty persuasion. If you find yourself in that category find this tasty treat and enjoy.

My glass was full of deep, dark brown goodness. Smells of malt, syrup, toffee maybe? Very sweet and smooth, and if I wasn't driving I would have ordered several more. Very easy to drink despite the 9.8% abv.

I'd be hard pressed to find a malty brew I enjoyed more than this offering from Tommyknocker. I've since been back to Sunset and had another glass, and also tried it at the American Craft Beer Fest.

Photo of Byeast
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle is a 650ml bomber.

Appearance: Poured very dark , almost opaque brown , with some slight reddish hues. Head was small and tan.

Smell: caramel malt sweetness , maple , hint of chocolate , and just a tinge of alcohol.

Taste: Mmm! Rich maple and brown sugar sweetness , full bodied malt , some slight bittersweet chocolate , very well hidden alcohol , and some nuttyness.

Mouthfeel: slick , slightly viscous , and a bit dry in the finish. ( like eating nuts)

Drinkability: I am impressed by this brew. A very interesting , new style they created. If one is worried by the name that is may be too sweet , dont. It's not at all. Sweet yes , but balanced very well. And the alcohol is virtually completly masked. If you like Impy stouts , give this neat brown brew a try.

Photo of whoneeds8
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark brown with a large off white head. Very little lacing. Smell is very much of roasted malts and maple syrup. The taste is a Malt Wallop. Roasted malts up front with a strange/good flavor in the middle. Hop twinge at the end. I really can't find the maple syrup in the flavor like I can in the smell. But the mouthfeel is kinda thick for a brown. Alchol is very evident throughout. This might be better after mellowing a little.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clocks in at 9.8% abv, appears a deep mahogany brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light big tan head after a vigorous pour, leaves behind even streaks of lacing down my pint glass. Aroma has some vinous layers in addition to sweet maple syrup I'm also getting some sweet ginger bread presence and some tart dark fruits soaked in some alcohol. Also some milk chocolate creamy malt layers are present with minimal pine notes with some oak aging like tones. Flavor has some overtly sweet cloying moments, like the whole maple syrup addition to a brown ale in the first place. After sweetness dissipates a tobacco leaf pine layer of hops moves in with dark chocolate bitterness and some alcohol presence. I'm also getting some of that soy sauce salty quality in there as well Mouthfeel is a bit thin compared to what I was expecting the syrup additions doesn't add any cloying properties and the beer is actually medium bodied with some soft carbonation. Easy to drink but as whole I'm no sold, this brew just doesn't do it for me too many competing flavors without cohesion. A bit of a mess and you'll realize that fact in a couple sips something I will never really crave again, although they managed to get some hop presence into an imperial Brown Ale with maple syrup seems impressive enough to me.

Photo of chinchill
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a Unibroue snifter.

A: Dark brown and hazy. Some sediment at the bottom of the bottle was included (intentionally) in the pour. Only enough head to cover the top despite a rather vigorous pour. The tiny head does have decent retention and leaves some lacing.

S: Sweet and rich with a hint of maple. Roasted malt with a bit of spiciness, dates and other dark fruits.

T: Fruitier than the aroma suggests, and with a stronger flavor. Hints of raisins, dates and toffee. Excellent sweet/bitter balance for this flavor profile.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Somewhat lively. Higher ABV evident on the tongue.

O: Very nice, and rather fruity, maple brown. High ABV is well hidden, although it did produce warming on the way down. I was too impatient and didn't let this warm up properly before starting to imbibe -- don't make the same mistake: this beer really opens up above ~ 45F.
{revised July 2013}

Photo of OStrungT
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark mohogany color, with a tiny tan head. The tiny head fades almost instantly leaving no lace.

This beer has a sweet, caramel like aroma. It also smells of alcohol. It has a slight maple aroma as well. Some nutty aroma is also present.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Lots of sweet caramel malt. Some maple also. It tastes nutty also. I can taste the alcohol.

This beer is very full bodied. Carbonation is almost nonegsistant. The alcohol warms the throat on the way down.

This beer might not make the best session beer. It is quite aggressive, and the alcohol content is pretty high.

Overall: Thank you Mentor for generously giving me another beer. This beer was pretty good. Not the best, but good.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a tulip glass)
the numbers 2 and 9 are punched on the side of the bottle
A- This beer has a black body that is dense and a thick creamy head that last and last. There are strands of tiny bubbles that support the head.

S- This beer has a soft toasted brown malt flavor with a dark toffee note to it.

T- The soft caramel sweetness is followed by a light brown sugar note a and a coffee malt hint at the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a no alcohol heat at all.

D-This beer is pretty light in flavor and aroma and is hard to believe that this is imperial. The whole beer is a bit bland and uneventful.

Photo of Nibbley
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark tea/cola brown with a ivory head that disappears almost immediately.
Aroma of maple syrup, molasses and fresh bread.
Tastes of dark fruit(maybe raisin and plum)with a slight licorice/anise taste.
Has a soft almost slicky mouth feel with light, tight carbonation. Although this is a strong ale with 9.80%, the alcohol is not prominate.
A very tasty brew, But, be careful, it will sneak up on you.

Photo of apbarwood
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shows the color of maple syrup, a rich brown with amber highlights. A nice, dense head of sandy colored foam that lingers for a good while. Some notes of sweet malt on the nose with caramel and a brown sugar quality, but generally speaking it's not as strong as I'd hoped. The flavor shows a good amount of malty sweetness with caramel, brown sugar, hints of chocolate, honey, and a nice dry nuttiness. There's a bit of hop bitterness on the finish, just enough to provide some balance without stepping on the toes of the sweetness. The alcohol is present but not overpowering and shows through as a nice warming sensation. There's a lively carbonation that lifts the sugars off the palate and doesn't allow the beer to be too cloying. I was surprised by this one and I would highly recommend it for malt lovers or people just looking for a unique take on the brown ale.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tommyknocker- Imp. Brown

A- Deep mahogany brown with a moderate size head. About 1" of lacing.
S- Sweet malt; caramel, molasses, and toffee come through. A touch of medicinal alc. is present.
T- Sweet hazelnut caramel malt with earthy hops. A touch of walnut and oak. Alc. is always present but never overpowering.
M- Sweet and slick with fruity sugary sweetness in the middle. Slight nutty dry hops with an alc. bite in the end.

Overall- Good thick flavors pop throughout this pint. Smooth, with touches of sweetness make this a nice brown ale. The best of the Tommyknockers that I've had so far.

Photo of tastybeer
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color is a deep redish brown color. Pretty thick but light does come through in the form of crimson highlights. Head is a light tan, creamy color. Not that large but holds good retention with bits of sticky lace. Nose isn't powerful but does have a good amount of maple maltiness, brown sugar/mollasses, some fruit and maybe some toffee. Not an "imperial" nose really, but certainly more than your typical brown ale. Tastes similar with sweet brown sugar, fruity, spicy alcohol, nuts, and caramel. The alcohol gives a little kick to your palate through the finish and in the aftertaste. The flavors don't seem really well blended; the beer flips between kind of cloying, and less sweet but more alcoholic. Within one sip the flavor varies in this way. Mouthfeel isn't bad but the body feels separated and loose, yet ironically sticky. There needs to be more substance/body to hold this together. Drinkability was very decent for the first half of this but once I got more into it I was just getting it down to finish it. This reminds of Pete's Wicked Ale intensified to a higher abv.

Meh. I usually like nut browns so style's not the problem. This "imperial" brown ale is random and under developed. It has the abv of a big beer but every aspect of it is scattered around. Most of the components and flavors are there but they don't come together in a good pleasing way.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650 ML bottle>snifter

AP: Deep brown color with ruby and mahogony red hues, a bubbly but thin off-white head is created and dissiptes to scattered cover.

Nose: maple syrup and brown sugar over roasted nuts and a medium to heavy heat.

flavor: Basically a nut brown on steroids...the roasty, oak-smoked nutty malt flavor has a very nice and subtle undercurrent of maple syrup and brown sugar-like sweetness with notes of dark berries. The hop profile is VERY big for your average nut brown with big herbal, earth and leafy effect. The hops really pop in the aftertaste as it finishes with a leafy, earthy flavor. The 9.8% alcohol is felt and adds an interesting kind of balance...since it is an "Imperial'.

feel: full bodied, thick and syruppy going down as it's initial crispnes seems to flatten out and become much more heavy.

DA: This is usually a very easy-to-drink style, but the addition of big hops and more sweetness has turned this into a brew that must be sipped.

Photo of asabreed
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass. Maybe I should've done the snifter, but alas.

Appearance: Not much light coming through this sucker at all, leaving an extremely dark brown body. The mocha colored head stays pretty uniform at about 1/2" above the glass, and there are pearls and dots of lacing all around the top.

Smell: Dark sweet malts, chocolate, toffee, raisins, dates, mocha, honey, maple, vanilla, lots of bread, nuttiness, and some dark berries. Some alcohol comes through as it warms, but nothing that wasn't expected.

Taste: A full and thick meld of all to want in a style I was so curious about. The sweetness is there but is curbed by the hops at the finish and throughout. There's a nice meld of roasted chocolate malt, maple, raisins, brown sugar, and dark berries. Lots of stuff going on here. And yes, I probably should've gone for the snifter instead of the pint glass. Finishes slightly sweet before some nice hops quell it down for the fairly long finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick to the edge of where it needs to be without going over, which I suppose is the mouthfeel threshold. The carbonation's evident in the mode of silkiness, as the bubbles are fleshed out instead of bursting like big ass grapes, which they shouldn't be.

Drinkability: All in all this is a pretty impressive brew, and a style that I'm glad they took a chance on. Without the thickness and insane complexity of an Imperial Stout, this is much more drinkable (in the sense that though I want to savor it I end up drinking it a bit too fast) and can be a bit deadlier since the alcohol is still present as much as an Imperial Stout also. I'm really glad I tried this and will hopefully be having some more by Tommyknocker when I can get my hands on some.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

"Brewed with pure maple syrup" on the label.

Pours an inch-thick light tan head that becomes wispy in about a minute. Color is deep brown with just a hint of garnet, especially when held directly to light. All manner of lacing shapes and sizes splashed on the glass after each tilt.

Aroma is watery milk, hazelnut dust, mineral, and just a trace of maple syrup. Fairly dull nose, though nothing totally out of whack. Was just hoping for more maple in the aroma. Maybe in the flavor...

Definitely in the flavor. It's not overbearing, but definitely there in full. A strong nuttiness balances against the maple, mostly hazelnut in character. Only mild alcohol warmth; Lots of toffee and caramel, both wrapped up in the sugary sweet finish. A hugely malty malt-bomb of maltacious maltiness.

Mouthfeel is on the thick side; round, chewy, carbonation propping it up and making this almost-too-sweet beer shine a little brighter. Pretty wowed by the texture of this beer.

Maybe a little too sweet and demanding to drink with any regularity, not to mention that it lacks some complexity...but it's an interesting one, and I don't regret buying the six-pack.

Photo of cokes
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, shadowy scarlet with a yellow-creme head.
Nose of confectioner caramels and high-proof vanilla extract.
Begin highly sweet with brown sugar and caramel. And it strays little. A notion of molasses here and there, and an interjecion swell of maple. A mellow alcohol creeps in, full of spiced rum, kahlua, and vanilla schnapps.
Heavy sweet with no noteworthy hopping. The carbonation stays persistant and keeps this drinkable.
This is a big, oafish, simple being. But a fairly tasty one.

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Imperial Nut Brown Ale from Tommyknocker Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 614 ratings.