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Imperial Nut Brown Ale - Tommyknocker Brewery

Not Rated.
Imperial Nut Brown AleImperial Nut Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

582 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 582
Reviews: 343
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 25
Gots: 16 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Tommyknocker Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: Bierman9 on 12-17-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 582 | Reviews: 343 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

BeerAdvocate, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of jpmclaug
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - Dark brown body with a small white head on top.

S - Sweet malts, dried fruit and a touch of maple syrup. Not picking up any hop presence here but that's OK. Smells like it may be a bit sweeter than I'd like however.

T - Picking up on the dried fruits again, big malt presence in this one. A hint of maple syrup but not as much as I was expecting. Pretty sweet, only a tad too sweet. No hop flavor at all.

M - medium bodied, slightly syrupy, light carbonation

D - Pretty decent beer. Nothing too offensive about this but nothing too great about it either. Worth trying but I don't think I'd buy it again.

jpmclaug, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of theboozecruise
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a straight glass. Not ideal but it's the best option here! Has a cola appearance, small head but I'll give it some leeway.

I really like the smell. Delicious malt flavor and the alcohol is mild.

The taste is good but a little thin on the mouth. Same malt flavors but nothing else happening. Again, can't pick up the high abv.

All in all I'm happy with this one. Definitely worth a try and better than the average nut brown ale.

theboozecruise, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of Reaper16
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served on-tap at Egan's, Tuscaloosa, AL, into a pint glass

Pours a mahogany sort of brown. Roasted chestnut perhaps. It is darker than the average brown ale but not porter-dark. I guess you could say it looks like a strong ale. It also looks as if it will taste like vanilla. That doesn't make sense to you, I'd bet. But to me it looks like a beer that will have some vanilla component; I believe that I saw some white in the body that wasn't actually there. Very little white head (but then, it was a bar pour) that laces pretty well; nice notching.

Not so much on that vanilla. Damn hallucinations. The nose is full of deep malts, toasted peanuts, maple syrup and brown sugar. Very, very sweet and not even complex to boot. I feel the same way about Tommyknocker's Imperial Nut Brown that I do about most brown ales. They aren't complex enough to suit my fancy. But this offering from Tommyknocker is better than that.

Taste follows the nose. No surprises. Lots of brown malt, nutty flavors, brown sugar & bread. Everything is sweet though; in this way it resembles a beer from Southern Tier brewery, who seem to to get satisfaction out of imperialising papers.

Mouthfeel seems pretty standard. Some swigs are plenty carbonated and sometimes the rises will reopen w/ a new theme. Such is the way of like in Disney or beyond it. The drinkabilit of this beer is insane. You will not taste nor feel the affects of the nearly 10% ABV. If pressed I would have guessed 7% ABV but I'm glad for it.

This is a decent beer from Tommyknocker. Among the better beers I've had from them. If you like malty, sweet flavors than this bottle is something you shouldn't avoid.

Reaper16, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of chefkevlar
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Poured a deep dark brown with only a 1/4 inch or so of tan head (and this was only after a very hard pour)

S: A definate maple syrup/brown sugar smell at first...and that's about it

T: Very sweet, with little else in terms of complexity. A slight toasted nut flavor comes though after a few sips... and there's a little bit of a metallic flavor as well

M: Almost no carbonation over a medium light body.

D: Eh...it wasn't horrible, but the sweetness was over-powering

chefkevlar, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of jmdrpi
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

label on bottle has a notched "2" and "1" but there is no indication what this means. date? batch #? no very helpful to the drinker.

A - pours a chesnutt brown color with amber highlights. minimal whispy head. slight lacing as I drank.
S - as the label indicates, the maple comes through in the nose. very sweet smelling
T - not as sweet as the smell. no hops, sweet malt. slight alcohol after taste
M - moderate carbonation. thicker body, but slick feeling
D- farily easy to drink for the ABV. smooth

jmdrpi, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of rrski198
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown to crimson red in color. Small off white head with minimal lacing

S: Raisain, dark chocolate, carmel

T: Overly sweet, burnt dirt. Very sweet. Mildly bitter. Heavy alcohol burn.

M: Average carbonation.

D: Very sweet and heavy. Maybe two at a time and that is it. Alcohol absolutely comes through.

rrski198, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of ncfranklin
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

A : With a vigorous, gulping pour it can produce a nice finger side tan head, but settles quickly to a soft top fuzz. It's a very, very dark brown (in dim light, black) that doesn't really stand out.

S : A small hint of booze with brown sugar notes and caramel. Weak in potency.

T : Alcohol is there, but not disgustingly so. The brown sugar and caramel from the smell are playful throughout. The hops actually do make a small peek into play for a slight bite on the end. And I mean slight, almost non-existence. That, or i'm mistaking it for alcohol burn. Where's the nut? No where to be found. For a 9% brown, this isn't dreadful. It's a risk-taker.

M : Heavy, and quite soft in the mouth that leaves a coat of film all around.

D : At 9%, this isn't something you'd have too many of. Honestly, it's not something I crave a second for at all. Maybe the combination of alcohol and sweetness just turns me off after one.

ncfranklin, Jun 05, 2010
Photo of katan
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a pint. ABV is lower than stated above, this one weighing in at 9%

A - Pours a very deep dark brown color. Very opaque, but not hazy. Light headformation, 1-2mm, but very well retained, off white in color.

S - Light malty nose. Chocolate malts are most detectable, while some caramel is present as well. Just a little alcohol burn makes its way in.

T - Starts off very smooth, sweet - light amounts of caramel and a nice hit of maple. mid-stream gets more bitter, hopping not detected. Finishes with a chocolate, malty sweet character that gets more yeast spicy, fruity as it sits on the tongue. Complex set of flavors. Must have used some belgian yeasts to be able to push up the ABV. Might be also underattenuated, which would explain the abv difference.

M - Thick and creamy, clinging and sugary on the tongue. Does leave behind an interesting burnt texture on the tip. Mostly clean, but some sugar films do remain.

D - Very drinkable for an imperial - if that is possible. Flavors are smooth, well integrated. Not overwhelming, like a dessert beer. ABV will roll you if you aren't careful. Not filling.

Certainly worth a shot - picked up fresh from the brewery's fridge on Thursday.

katan, May 31, 2010
Photo of PorterLambic
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with reddish-orange edges. clear with a good head, light tan in color, that dissipates fairly slowly and leaves good lacing behind.
Smell is malty, sweet, caramel, nut, wheat, hops when warmer. kind of light all over but well balanced.
Taste is all that with dark fruits and alcohol added to the mix. Good balance here as well.
Full-bodied, creamy, warming throughout. Smooth with a tangy effervescence up front. A very good beer and highly recommended.

PorterLambic, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of ryanonline
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown with a lot of sediment and a tan head. Good lacing.

Smells boozey. Can definitely smell the syrup and a little cherry scent.

Nutty and sweet. That's about it, a little smokey and boozey. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel is thin and prickly and dry.

Not the most drinkable. Kind of bland.

Meh.

ryanonline, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of Minkybut
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this average tasting beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was a mahogany brown with a brown head. The beer had a nuttiness like sweet smell and taste and had a really bitter dry aftertaste. I really did not like the brew for the bitterness. If you like bitter beer, go for it I will not buy again.

Minkybut, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of HURTemHIZZY
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice brown color with some sediment floating around. Nice hints of a very deep red. Pours with a one finger tan head that dissipates quickly but leaves some spotty lacing down the glass.

Smell is fairly subdued. Sweet malts are present, but are faint, and there is no hop presence at all. Not a great smell, but not off-putting at all.

Taste is much bigger and better than the smell. Tastes very sweet, with (obviously) maple syrup, brown sugar, caramel, and dark fruits very easily detected. The tastes meld together well and form a pleasant flavor.

Mouthfeel is not as heavy as I expected. A bit syrupy, not too bad, but not great either.

HURTemHIZZY, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of mothman
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Well here is a sticker shock. A 9% abv beer for under $2.

Poured into Bruery snifter.

Pours 1/2 finger of khaki tan head. Fades to a thick ring. Color is a dark brown with a very appealing ruby hue to it.

Aroma: Licorice, molasses, and maple syrup. Lots of roasted malts and nuts. Can't really smell the abv here. Very sweet. Not to complex for the high abv.

Taste: Very much like the aroma. Lots of licorice, molasses, and maple syrup. Big roasted taste with a sweet feel to it. Some nuts.

Mouthfeel: Roasted, creamy, and crisp. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very roasted and dry.

Overall, this beer did not impress me. For how high the abv is, I expected more of a complex beer. I guess the price tag should have made me think otherwise. Nothing to special. I'd maybe drink it again.

mothman, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of KarlHungus
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear brown color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes rather quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of caramel, burnt caramel, and not much else. It is nice smelling caramel, but very simple. I think it would be for a great aroma if only a little floral smelling hops were somewhere to be found. The taste is of caramel and sugar. I love malty beers that have depth, but this one just doesn't have that. In fact it is so sweet it reminds me of drinking soda. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a sugary texture as if there were undissolved sugar still in the beer. Overall, this beer is quite a let down. The concept of an imperial brown ale has a lot of potential, but this beer just doesn't live up to it.

KarlHungus, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of Parrotbeak
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep amber with almost no head save for a few tan patches and a ring around the perimeter.
Smell is sweet, with syrup, molasses, brown sugar, and a little bit of alcohol. Some malts too.
Taste is maple syrup, with some light toffee and wet malts. Fairly sweet on the finish. Alcohol well concealed. Sour, stale aspect that is slightly unappealing.
Low carbonation, fairly smooth and flat.
Average drinkability. Not much here that makes you want to come back for more.

Parrotbeak, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of coldmeat23
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

GLASS: Kostritzer Mug
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees

This pours up a dark amber color with vibrant ruby highlights. A thin head of mocha brown foam sits on top. Retention is okay and lacing is light and somewhat slick.

The nose has a decent amount of caramel maltiness. Mild hops presence. Light touch of maple sweetness.
Not nearly as sweet as anticipated. Somewhat muted, actually.

Taste is better than the (lack of) smell. A very nice nuttiness abounds. Caramel malts are here, but more in an earthy way than sweet. Very light touches of maple syrup. Hints of hazelnuts. Mild leather notes. The finish has an odd 'twang' to it along with some dark fruit notes.
Not exactly what I was expecting from this one.

Body is to the lighter side of medium. Carbonation level is somewhat high, which seems to be a touch out-of-balance. Creaminess is minimal.

The 9.0%abv is masked quite well. Unfortunately, the flavor is not as bold as I'd wanted it to be. It's actually rather on the dull side and therefore this is not one that I want to drink alot of.

coldmeat23, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of Metalmonk
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Metalmonk, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of smallbatchbrewer
2.88/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Low lying head with milky thick brown body. Was in a low lit bar so appearance has a little give or take to it, I'm doing my best.

S- Malty, fruity maple with a hint of earthy hops

T- Hmmmm. This stuff is seemingly over-sweet for the style but the higher abv% is still pretty well masked. I'm sitting here wondering what the final gravity was on this brew...I'm thinking at least 1.020. It has a coppery iron (almost blood like) after taste that finds itself mixed on the pallet with a sharp sour bitterness. I did not expect the tartness.

M- With a thick appearance this one actually sits rather lightly

D- Honestly, I ordered a second pint. Perfect with my hearty soup. I just wish it had less of a pungent lingering aftertaste.

smallbatchbrewer, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of Jwale73
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint glass. Poured the color of cola with ruby highlights around the base. One inch, khaki-colored frothy cap, sizzled and popped but exhibited good retention. Some thing strands of lacing exposed during the tasting. Strange aromas off the nose - vinous/sour dark fruit and maybe a hint of lactose and cocoa. Taste follows nose - not at all what I expected from an imperial brown made with maple syrup; maybe the addition of some chocolate malt, but also a slightly metallic quality at the back. Mouthfeel is light-medium and very lively, almost prickly with some acidity that comes out at the back and stimulates the salivary glands. Not what I expected from an American Brown. Abv is well-hidden, but fairly disappointing - just wasn't anticipating the tartness and acidity.

Jwale73, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of alkemy
2.88/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This stuff is very dark brown, not quite opaque, with some particles floating about. The head was light tan as far as I could tell...it really wasn't around long enough to get a good look at it. You could smell a hint of hops in a slight citrus a bit of maple syrup, but the sweet caramel/nutty malts were most dominant. A bit of a caramelized brown sugar taste, but then...soy sauce. This just didn't sit well with me. Kind of smooth going down, but the taste was disappointing.

alkemy, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of orbitalr0x
2.93/5  rDev -21.2%
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.

orbitalr0x, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of mklinger
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass. 1/2 inch of rich tan foam formed them quickly dissipated. Color is a deep, rich brown with ruby highlights. Fine looking beer.

Aroma was all full of maple and caramel sweetness. No hops discernable in the aroma. Maybe a smidge of alcohol in there too. Fairly one dimensional aroma -- pleasant but not the complexity you would expect from an imperial nut brown ale.

Flavor is very much like the aroma with a bit of hop bitterness to balance out the sweetness some. Maple and dark brown sugar sweetness are the predominant flavor. There's also a bit of hot alcohol in there. Overall, the flavor is more balanced than the aroma, but what's good about it isn't as great as what's great in the aroma.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin for such a high abv beer. It's quite easy to drink in this regard (though the slight hotness to the alcohol gets a bit in the way).

mklinger, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of Mavajo
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours a near-black color with a somewhat thin off-white head. Thin lacing, but it's there. Aroma is sweet maple with a mild zing. Taste brings the same with a fairly strong aftertaste - reminds me of unsweet tea. Body is medium, but there's almost zero carbonation - leaves the mouthfeel lacking. The alcohol is quite well concealed and makes for a drinkable brew.

Quite a good fix if you're looking for a brown ale loaded with alcohol. Other than the weak mouthfeel, it's quite solid.

Mavajo, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of DrDemento456
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Black but not solid black. Nice white head
S - Mostly maple with a hint of walnut. Pretty much as expected.
T - Maple straight up with subtle nut taste and almost no alcohol burn.
M - Really weird. It's pours thick but sort of thin in the mouth. Not really a bad thing

I got this in a mix and match sixer so for 2.50 it was really great. It's almost like drinking two of their Maple Nut Brown Ale's with less sweetness. Nice cheap imperial.

DrDemento456, Dec 14, 2009
Imperial Nut Brown Ale from Tommyknocker Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 582 ratings.