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!

Imperial Nut Brown Ale - Tommyknocker Brewery

Not Rated.
Imperial Nut Brown AleImperial Nut Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

563 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 563
Reviews: 342
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 13.98%
Wants: 25
Gots: 12 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Imperial Nut Brown Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 563 | Reviews: 342 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 00:45:00 | More by Jwale73
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2010 13:35:17 | More by alkemy
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2010 22:48:41 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of mklinger

North Carolina

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).

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2009 00:33:45 | More by mklinger
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2009 22:07:34 | More by Mavajo
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2009 21:49:05 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of goblue3509


2.9/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown color almost black with no light getting through and a small off white khaki colored head. The aroma is of maple nuts and dark fruits. The taste is of a sweet malt backbone with a maple flavor over the top. There is a little raisin taste also. The mouthfeel is very thick, not taste wise but actually thick. Drinkability wise, ehhh, you could have one or two, but i can't see you going more than that. One would probably do it, its okay good for a change of pace for a brown ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 01:34:40 | More by goblue3509
Photo of HerrBob


4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This brew has become a regular for me. For it's style ABV it is exceptionally mild & drinkable. High gravity beer is new to the AL market & still many yet to try. Most are too pricey and have to be enjoyed only on special occasions. This one is to be honest - cheap and I keep it around for all occasions.

Most similar brews are far too sweet for my taste but this one is well balanced. High ABV does not jump at you as with many.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 17:05:48 | More by HerrBob
Photo of farfromstout


2.78/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer didn't really deliver much for my pallet. Appearance was brown with a small head. My glass was clean, and when I poured it in there was some specks of stuff drifting around. I was sure to rinse my glass after the first one to check the second and it was there. Couldn't depict a texture of the specks, just noticed them.

Taste was odd. If you've ever had black walnuts or black walnut cake, it had that very pungent smell/taste of black walnuts soaked in rum. And I would say it definitely had some bite to it.

Mouthfeel was a bit thin. And I wouldn't particularly want a whole lot of these in a sitting since A) 9.8%, it'll catch up after 2; B)I couldn't pair it very well with a particular type of food.

Just didn't do it for me, and this is only an opinion.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2009 13:46:35 | More by farfromstout
Photo of parkeak0

District of Columbia

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

Found this at the local liquor store last week. Had never heard of the brewery, much less this beer, and was intrigued. An imperial brown ale brewed with maple syrup? Sounds interesting!

Poured deep brown/black... looked more like a porter than a brown ale. Small head, nice lace. A flavorful, strong brown ale... but where's that maple syrup? This is a solid brew, don't get me wrong, but the maple flavor really is only a hint. I suppose too much might be off-putting, but I must say, I was looking forward to a more pronounced maple note!

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 06:22:40 | More by parkeak0
Photo of wnh


3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a nearly opaque dark chestnut brown with a light ruby tint, holding up a smallish and fleeting fizzy off-white head.

Hoppier than expected on the nose, with aromas of fresh, leafy and herbal hops dominating for the first few sniffs, alongside just a touch of citrus zest, all on top of rich, sweet caramel. Maple syrup aromas--the real stuff, not Aunt Jemima's--poke through as the beer warms. Hoppy again on the palate, leafy and drying, on top of a rich caramel and nutty malt backbone. Again the maple syrup shows up gradually, though not as big and flavorful as I'd expect. Unfortunately, there's a dry, cellar-like musty funk that picks up as the beer warms, bringing things down. Finishes dry, hinting at cocoa powder.

Medium bodied, not as full as I imagined, but not as drinkable as the body might suggest; this beer gets unpleasantly heavy about halfway through.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2009 23:54:45 | More by wnh
Photo of superdedooperboy


3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a snifter glass.

Pours a deep chestnut hue with a small pillow of light tan foam that falls away to nothingness and leaves about the same on the walls of the glass. Very little stickage. Clarity is good.

Aroma is a bit sweet, with a hint of caramel and vanilla and a bit of a tannic nuttiness. A slight bit of alcohol peeks through as well.

Body is lighter than expected; the beer is medium-bodied with a rather low carbonation. A mildly sweet caramel maltiness presents itself in the front, with the faintest hint of maple, moving to a middle of pecan-walnut nut flavors and mild, herbaceous bitter hop notes, with warming alcohol rising up to meet things, carrying into a somewhat sweet finish with a bit of lingering chocolate-like maltiness.

Overall a decent beer and a nice departure from the norm -- nut brown ales don't often come with an "Imperial" tag in front of them. Still, I was rather disappointed with the lack of real maple character here, as the label flaunts its being brewed with pure maple syrup; it would have likely added a greater depth of character. Instead, this one falls through the cracks a bit and stands out as a bit mediocre. Worth a try, though.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2009 14:00:18 | More by superdedooperboy
Photo of apbarwood


4.13/5  rDev +11%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2009 19:06:39 | More by apbarwood
Photo of natelocc787


3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer contained sediment. Maple and brown sugar were very prominent as is the dark sugary malt. This beer had a distinct cherry flavor in the middle albeit a very dark cherry liqueur character. Nutty, toffee too. Tasted like a very high abv brown ale with cherry juice. Just not that drinkable or appealing to me. I would say I was surprised that it tasted so different than I would expect an Imperial Brown to taste. Was not impressed at all as some other reviewers were.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2009 02:02:23 | More by natelocc787
Photo of nicholasdes


2.93/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This could be good except for the extreme saltiness in the finish, maybe I had an old bottle. I can't tell what the hell bottle date is. 1 and 8 are punched.

Looks nice, dark clear brown, lite head.

Smells of carmelized molasses, no alcohol.

Interesting style, not a stout but imperial brown. Has great strong brown flavors up front, Sweet brown sugar, lite roasted barley, but then this salty finish that is killing me.

Lite with Lots of good carbonation.

The salt finish is killing me, the strength would keep you from having more than one.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2009 20:32:16 | More by nicholasdes
Photo of ectomorph


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Let me go on record saying that you shouldn't have to be able to read an abacus to know a best by date for a beer. Moving on...

A - Clear dark mahogany show what appears to be carbonation, but there is little to no head noticeable.

S - Sweet bread and honey. Very mild and unoffensive, and no alcohol picked up.

T - Maple syrup and bread, very nice. Again, no alcohol noted. Mild smokey nut tones with wood like it was oaked. Clean and much more even than expected.

M - Medium body and despite the lack of head initially, well carbonated.

D - the 9% alcohol is hidden, but there nonetheless so you wont pound these all night long...

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2009 21:53:56 | More by ectomorph
Photo of ProfessorCJ


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

Bought at Old Shell Package store.

A-Poured from bottle into pint glass. Little or no head above clear dark brown ale.

S-Roasted malt hints of chocolate and pipe tobacco.

T-Malt, Chocolate and Roasted Coffee. Not overly sweet nor a hint of the alcohol taste despite the 9% ABV.

M-Not as syrupy as I anticipated. Nice aftertaste with long finish

D-Good but I definately can only go one per evening. I'm not used to these high gavity beer, so I'll take it easy.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2009 20:24:05 | More by ProfessorCJ
Photo of dbtoe


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

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip
Look is dark brown with not much head at all.
Smell is sweet and caramel. Not much else
Taste is a lot of the same as the smell with a hint of hops at the end.
Feel a medium to thicker body that is very nice. Lower carbonation.
Drink a hint of booze but smooth for the amount of abv. This one will sneak up on you.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2009 20:56:26 | More by dbtoe
Photo of alnanderson


3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours in an almost thin medium brown color, with virtually no head

S: Nothing outstanding or of particular note.

T: Alcohol harms what might have been an otherwise flavorable drink.

M: Medium body, with low to medium carbonation and a bit of a bitter aftertaste

D: Drinkable, but not much aroma or other flavor justifying recommendation

Serving type: on-tap

08-04-2009 14:00:09 | More by alnanderson
Photo of pavandal


3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark, chocolaty color. No head, just a little oily lacing around the edges.

The smell of this beer is wonderful. Caramel, citrus, bread, and slight chocolate notes. It smelled so good I dipped my nose into it on accident!

The taste didn't quite live up to the smell, but it was rewarding nonetheless. It was thinner, which is a shame, because the smell was so robust that I was hoping for something that would "stick to my ribs". This beer is sweet with a slight maple syrup flavor, followed by a quality roasted malt burn. Not bitter in the slightest. I would have preferred a little bitterness to help break up the sweetness of this one.

This beer is drinkable, but I will warn that it can be a little on the sweet side. That being said, I'd recommend it to try, it might be perfect for your taste buds!

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2009 02:28:06 | More by pavandal
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from the BSF bar, GBBF 2008; coming in a 355ml slim brown bottle, at 9%abv. The unexplained marks on the back label seem to suggest the BB date is the "2nd quarter of 2007"?? - served faintly-chilled to cool in Hapkin's bulb-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: a force pour results in a lovely and thick layer of semi-creamy dark beige froth lasting on top of very dark mahogany-brown body, which, against the light, shows lots of tiny bits of cottony yeast sediments and a really restrained and fine carbonation.
S: very different from all other brown ale that I've tried from the USA, the nose is sharply sour like fermented nectar plus sour dark stone-fruits, like raisins, prunes and sour black cherries (also a touch of musky grapes), while yeastiness leaves their mark quite in line with a lactic (sour-milky) dark ale from Belgium. Behind the semi-astringent sour fruity façade hides lighter-bodied dark malts, sweet nuts, and chocolates. As maple syrup is used in the brew, the presence does come somewhat overwhelmingly over other ingredients. The overall impression actually rings a bell of Belgian yeasty dark ale!
T: the foretaste comes raisiny, fat black prune-ish, lightly smoked-nutty and sweet chocolaty on the malty side, pretty soothing and not imposing or heavy, albeit without much support of flowery hop aroma as one might expect from any American ale termed "Double" or "Imperial"; quietly, the sweet maltiness, nuts and fruits settle down to leave space for a fine bitter edge of dried hops to mingle with fruit-yeasty sourness. The finish still doesn't show much influence of hop bitterness, whilst the slightly sour-sweet edge as of residual sugar in honey or syrup does outlast everything else, which I suppose is what this beer means to achieve?
M&D: the body is pretty decent, not quite heavy, and goes well with a softly carbonated palate, while the flavour also doesn't come too sweet, heavy, or alcoholic for a 9%abv. All in all, this "Imperial Nut Brown" ale is semi-delicious in its own right, and at times rings a bell of Belgian dark ales even, but not quite my cup of tea due to the prolonged, thin-ish palate of sour sugar.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2009 19:27:33 | More by wl0307
Photo of TheBierBand


3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12 oz longneck bottle into a pint glass. The pour produced only a scant 1/2" of light biege foam that disappeared rather readily. The beer was a dark almost black... with a little brown around the edges.

The smell was good, with hints of nuts (hazelnuts) a sweet malty smell, and coffee.

Taste mirrored the smell right down the line....

MF: Quite nice for a Nut Brown Ale... nice and thick and robust.

Drink: My bottle said 9% abv... not 9.8 that is documented here... Still, quite a honker! But quite tasty... sure, go out and get ya some of this....

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2009 19:49:50 | More by TheBierBand
Photo of paco1029384756


3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown color with one finger of off white head.

Scent of molasses, caramel, and brown sugar. Alcohol is masked well, but there's not much balance to it.

Taste of maple, dry malts, and brown sugar. Alcohol is masked nicely here as well, but the structure of this beer could be better.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied with a bit of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2009 23:33:02 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of argock


2.93/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $3.60.

A: Hazy chestnut brown with meager 1-finger beige head with decent staying power and scant lacing.

S; A bit of caramel notes and mostly spicy alcohol. No real hops contribution noted.

T: Also very hot on the palate with some toasted caramel and dark malts and minimal herbal hops in the finish, which is mostly covered by the not-so-graceful strong fuselly alcohol through the middle and finish.

M: Body not more than medium with low-medium carbonation and light caramel aftertaste, again, with plenty of alcohol there too.

D: SKip it -- heavy on booziness without much other aroma or flavor to recommend it. Tommyknocker's dopplebock is a much better bet if they're the only brewery available to you or if you're feeling adventurous.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2009 01:33:41 | More by argock
Photo of Shaw


3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found the following notes on this beer while cleaning out a duffel bag. I must have had this at least three years ago.

Pours a very deep brown. It's almost black, with just a hint of ruby in the corners. It's got a fluffy off-white head.

It smells of caramel malts, and I can smell the maple syrup that's added. There may be just a faintest hint of hops.

I'm a little disappointed by the taste. With "Imperial" in the name I was expecting a bigger beer. Now that I've written that, let me say that the flavor is good. It's rich and malty, with the alcohol content mostly hidden.

The body is creamy and slick. It's got plenty of heft to it.

This is a drinkable imperial ale, the first imperial I've had of a nut brown ale.

Overall this is an above-average ale. It you're into the nut brown style, you might want to seek this beer out. Otherwise, it's nothing too special, especially for the price.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2009 18:37:26 | More by Shaw
Imperial Nut Brown Ale from Tommyknocker Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 563 ratings.