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Imperial Nut Brown Ale - Tommyknocker Brewery

Not Rated.
Imperial Nut Brown AleImperial Nut Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

608 Ratings

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Ratings: 608
Reviews: 347
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 30
Gots: 22 | 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: 608 | Reviews: 347
Photo of macster
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brown, almost black color with burgundy highlights. Creates a 1/2" dense tan head which fades to a paisley patterened wispy coating. Minimal spotty lacing. Emits rich, pleasant aromas of toffee, maple syrup, molasses, hazel nuts, raisins, cocoa powder and brown sugar. Full, chewy round palate with a fine, subtle carbonation. Flavor much like the aroma, but not as rich and hefty as one would expect from the nose. Pleasing notes of dark fruit, cocoa, toffee, roasted malts and molasses with a faint hop and alcohol presence to tame the sweetness. Unfortunately, seems to have a slight weird mid-palate watery thiness that detracts from the enjoyment. Overall very reminiscent of an English-style Barleywine to me. The 9.8% abv is almost unperceptible and this is an easy big brew to enjoy. At $3.99 a bomber it’s a good deal and certainly worth another visit or two.

4.04/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer formed little head that had a slight yellowish hue. It dissipated quickly and left a slight ring around the glass. It smelled great with hints of maple and malt. Mouth-feel was surprisingly light for how dark and heavy it looked in the glass. It was dark in the center of the glass with almost rose edges. Tommyknocker did a good job of keeping it light on the tongue with a strong after taste that lingered well. Smooth and buttery with a hint of maple that was not overpowering at all. At 9.8% it packs a smooth punch.

I was very impressed with the first Imperial Nut Brown Ale that I have tasted. A good beer for the money and the mouth.

Photo of WanderingFool
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As far as I recall, this is the first Imperial Brown ale I've tasted. The beer pours a flat dark brown color that appears ruby when held to the light. A small, light tan head forms on top. The foam dissolves quickly to a thin ring around the surface leaving no spots of lace on the glass. A faint malty aroma with a hint of brown sugar and maple floats above the beer.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is smooth and somewhat creamy with a nice moderate fizz on the tip of the tongue. The flavor is full of sweet caramel malt, brown sugar, nuts, and raisins. At the end there's a mild hoppy pine bitterness and alcohol that gives the beer a dry finish. I can't really detect the maple except for a hint in the aftertaste.

This is a sweet, tasty, malty brew that hides it's nearly 10% alcohol very well. It's quite drinkable and tasty, but I thought the maple flavor was a bit subdued.

Photo of Estarrio
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've always wanted to try a beer with maple syrup and at $5 a bomber, I figured this was worth a shot!

Poured a dark, opaque brown with some ruby notes. The medium, tan head retained quite well with some sticky lacings on the side of my glass.

Nuts, malt, caramel, and maple syrup goodness in the nose. There is also a nice hoppy presence to balance to balance out the sweetness. Some fruity notes appeared as this warmed to room temperatures.

The flavor is sweet malt with a nutty backdrop. A strong maple syrup character with very subtle oak properties quickly overtakes caramel and chocolate malt flavors. The sweet flavors are again balanced well by the pleasing mix of hops. There is a slight pine presence in the finish that really compliments the maple syrup. I feel like I should be drinking this outside of a log cabin after a long day of chopping wood in my flannel attire. Amazingly I do not sense the high alcohol percentage in the flavor at all.

This brew is medium/full bodied with ample carbonation and a light syrup viscosity. This is dangerously drinkable with the balanced flavors and well-masked alcohol.

I'm typically not a big fan of the style but this is a fine brew that cannot be beat for the price. I highly recommend giving this one a try!

Photo of cabsandking
3.27/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown and crimson when held to the light. Tan/yellow colored head quickly fades to a thin layer of small bubbles. Sweet malty nose with notes of bold fruits and raspberry. Aromas are echoed in the flavor with maple syrup as a prominent point of sweetness. Starting off is a more sweet, tart wave with flashes of carbonation on the perimeters. Earthy roasted nuts are heavier at the end of the gulp and follows strong into the finish. You are aware of the alcohol but doesn’t get in the way of its finer flavors. As it warms notes of vanilla, banana, and smoke appear. Full body and a syrupy thick mouthfeel with a touch of cream hear and there.

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

A: The ale is a deep muddy brown, almost but not quite to the point of black. There was a thick head on pour that has since whittled away to a small ring.

S: The aroma is a strong nutty malt aided by some sugary sweetness.

T: The taste definitely is a ramped up brown ale. The malt body lives up to its name, delivering a solid nutty malt flavor. On top of the nuttiness is a very distinct sweetness. The sweetness is definitely maple syrup. It provides a dry sweetness that layers nicely on top of the nuttiness.

M: The sugary sweet mouthfeel is very pleasant and easy to drink. That sugar also leads to a higher abv but you really can't tell when drinking it.

D: An interesting take on a traditional style. The amped up sweetness is nice without overpowering the nutty base.

Photo of sullysbeer
4.27/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Chocolate, malty sweet. Huge alcohol nose, marshmallow. Very light almost none on the hop aroma. Toasty and Toffee hints.

Appearance: Clear, deep brownish with a nice ruby hue when put up against the light. Very nice creamy head retention that has a very light brown color.

Flavor: Malty sweetness followed by a huge alcohol flavor which finishes quite dry along with a spicy hop bitterness that is not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium full body. Creamy and slick on the tongue. Perfect carbonation.

Overall Impression: A nut brown with a huge alcohol warming, hence "Imperial." For sure a winter beer. The alcohol dominates the rest of the flavoring, malt, and hop flavors. A great example of an Imperial Brown and doesn't stray from the Brown Ale category.

Photo of Procrastinator
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into large weizen glass

Appearance: a very dark brown, almost stout-like color with reddish hues when held up to sunlight. Nice size head rests into pillowy off-white floaters.

Smell: sweet flowers, alcohol, maple syrup, sugar and overripe fruits.

Taste: sweet fruit, alcohol is well disguised, not much hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: excellent, chewy and full bodied, malty.

Drinkability: while the alcohol may keep me from drinking too many of these, I really enjoyed this beer.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.52/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Acquired via trade from northertimber, so a big “thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a medium-sized foamy tan head that fades slowly and leaves a heavy lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is rich, malty and nutty with notes of maple syrup and caramel.

T: The taste is robust with caramelized malt, roasted coffee, maple syrup and chocolate. It’s sweet but not too sweet. There’s a little bit of hops character, but the maltiness over-powers it quite a bit. The sweetness lingers in the after-taste, which makes you crave another swig.

M: Very smooth, crisp, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, clean and dry finish especially for the style.

D: This style wasn’t one of my favorites a first, but it has started to grow on me and this is the best that I’ve had in this style. This beer is tasty, has a damn good kick to it and it’s very easy to drink for a beer with 9.80% ABV. It’s slightly filling, but I can still drink a heck of a lot of this beer and enjoy every sip of it. I know "Imperial" gets thrown around rather loosely and I've never seen it used for a Nut Brown before, but this beer certainly seems worthy of the term.

Photo of Vancer
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Now this is what I’m talking about in a brew! Yeah! Dark mahogany pour, rings of tan. Molasses, caramel and maple in the aroma. Also noted some coffee and nuts (almonds, per se? or was I getting too ripped?).

Very rich, but still slightly thin bodied. But I really dug the 10% buried behind the smooth, malty body of this frosty. Slid down as easy as a 4/5% brew – which makes it kinda dangerous.

Photo of wedge
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a shadowy, deep auburn color with a slim creamy beige head. Timid aroma of toasted caramel, burnt sugar, dark maple, and nuts. Sticky, toasted dark malt flavors begin as mapley brown sugar but ends up cloyingly sweet and seems to lack some depth. Alcohol is a little more prominent than it probably should be. Pretty heavy in the mouth. Half a bomber and I'm done.

I lost interest in this halfway through my glass. Seems too "artificial" for it to really come together as a satisfying beer. Its not awful, but I can't recommend it.

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 scruffwhor
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A beery maple syrup color leaves a 22oz bomber into my imperial Carlsberg pint glass. Great syrupy tan/brown highlight with a very deep brown molasses middle. A nice, subtle sweet maple aroma mixed with some cocoa butter and vanilla bring out interesting notes in this beer. The start is a mdeium roast with some mapley sweetness. Sfter awhile, I noticed some brown sugar and molasses and toffee notes. Good night cap beer on a cold fall evening.

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 walleye
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle. poured a nice mahogany with a nice sized tan head. aroma, toast, dark cherries, plums, red grapes, roasted malts, some smoke as it warmes alcohol and nice sweetness comes out. flavor. the malts and hops come out nicely followed by cherries, maple syrup with a good hit of alcohol. easy drinking beer will get more of this

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber to a pint glass. The liquid is a dark opaque brown, nice carbonation. The Head is big 2 fingers, dark brown, smooth and creamy looks like a porter.

The smell is not so pronounced, Sweet thick molasses coated malt, not very hopy.

The taste is big!, Sweet thick big dark malt shouting at you. Almost too sweet, with the maple syrup.

The mouthfeel is full and thick, syrupy might be too thick. Carbonation does not break it up.

The drinkability falls of some, but not bad. A big bottle but I could have more. The price ir right. MK

Photo of CharlieMopps
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown, mostly black with a faint red hue. No head, and very little lace clinging to the glass.

S: Mapley smell w/chocolate and burnt malt notes. Ever so slightly tempting.

T: Deep chocolate malts, heavy but delicious. Maple is a nice backing accent to this beer. Hoppy tones do sharpen the taste toward the end though, with a faint nutty taste.

M: Crisp and light, but sharp due to the ABV. Still, quite balanced w/decent carbonation and easy on the palate. Syrupy and sticky texture, but somewhat pleasing in this regard.

D: Limit to a couple. The hops sharpen it in the finale to the point that goes beyond its malty side. Nevertheless, a strong nut brown ale that surprises.

Photo of weeare138
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a dark brown with a deep auburn hue. A 2 finger tan head slowly fades out into a mild cap. Nice amounts of chunky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of maple, molasses, roasted nuts, nougat, and rich brown sugar.
Taste is of the same aromas with a caramelized wort flavor that is actually pretty rich, bountiful, sugary, and delicious.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, intense of alcohol, sweet, and bitter with a roasted nut feel that lingers along the palate.

Photo of cbl2
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

8/24/2006 $4.99 22 oz. 9.80% No best by date.


Pours a deep rich brown, almost black with over a half inch of tight tan foam that slowly settles leaving a nice lace behind.


Brewed with pure maple syrup, and a touch of the maple peeks through, along with a roasted nuttiness.


Nice smooth creamy mouthfeel accompanied by a pungently sweet syrup aspect that is followed by a surprisingly bitter hoppiness. A very mild nutty character is barely detectable behind the other, bolder components. The high alcohol is completely masked, which would make this dangerous, if I wanted to continue drinking more than one bottle of this, but it is too sweet for me to want to pursue that option.

Photo of Blakaeris
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours opaque very dark brown to black. Head is slight with moderate lacing.

Smell is unusual. Surprisingly sour with an alcohol astringency. Hints of dark malt and chocolate.

Taste is sweet dark fruit, with enough alcohol to give a brandylike character. Dark malt and a pleasant earthy nuttiness. Finish has subdued hop bitterness and a lingering smokey quality that compliments the sweet dark fruit.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied.

Overall flavors are a little subdued. More robust flavor would be appreciated. An unusual take on a stout.

Photo of bashiba
2.36/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a dark black color with a thin tan head.

Smell has a pungeant off smell.

Taste is very lacking for a beer this big. Very light nut with a bit of slighty sour brown flavors and some trace alcohol notes.

mouthfeel is slick and slightly warm.

Overall pretty bland would steer clear of in the future.

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

I just had one bottled in November 04. It had a brown dark orange color and a nice small head. It smelled of maple sweetness with some malty roasted notes. This had quite complex flavors of maple, chocolate and a nuts. The sweetness and roastiness of the flavor and aftertaste blended wonderfully together as it warmed. As I neared the end of the bottle I also started to get a nice warm feeling and then remembered it's almost 10% ABV.

Photo of cproioi
3.39/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark brown body with red coming through around the edges. Had light tan lead that left little to no lacing. The smell and taste greatly consisted of caramel and chocolates from the roasted malts. It had a big hit of maple sugar present in both also. Not a bad taste or aroma. The drink was relatively thin for a beer that calls itself an imperial. There was alcohol present but I didn't find it to be over whelming. It wasn't bad I would get this again but not often.

Photo of SilentSabre
2.6/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I must say, I was truly let down with this one. It poured a quite cloudy dark brownish-red colour with a HUGE foamy khaki coloured head. The smell was amazingly sweet with a powferul alcohol punch. The taste? More of the smell, quite honestly, with a rediculous amount of sugar and alcohol. There's no doubt in my mind that maple syrup is involved in the brewing process of this one. Enormously sweet, and enormously alcoholic. I didn't really care for this one, especially in such a large serving. This needs to be an 11,2oz bottle, certainly not a 22oz'er. Very rough and quite strong. I have had brews 11, 12, even 15%abv, that were easier to drink than this. I'm sure this has its fans, but I didn't care for it, thanks.

Photo of brewcrew76
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle - Marked Dec 05 so it is a little past the recommended 4 month freshness date on the bottle.

A - Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights and a slight fizz of a head that is almost nonexistent.

S - Sugary, maple syrup is the dominating aroma. Hint of caramel and a slight alcohol presence. Some dark fruit character appears as the beer warms.

T - Sweet, sugary caramel, I get more molasses than maple syrup in the taste. Hint of chocolate and dark fruits. The alcohol is slightly present.

M - Medium bodied and almost syrupy. Well carbonated. Alcohol is present by warming the body as it goes down.

D - Very drinkable for a big Imperial brown. I wouldn't recommend more than one in a sitting but I will definitely look for this one again.

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Imperial Nut Brown Ale from Tommyknocker Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 608 ratings.