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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.

600 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 600
Reviews: 345
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 29
Gots: 18 | 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: 600 | Reviews: 345 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bens0n
4.67/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a rather clear dark mahogany color with a fair amount of creamy light tan head that leaves some spotty lacing.

Right off the bat I can pick up on the deliciously sweet maple syrup aroma. It reminds me of french toast drenched in maple syrup, not boozy at all. Surprisingly smells more bready than nutty to me.

Flavor wise, it does not disappoint either. The maple syrup is there, but not overwhelming, just enough to give it some sweetness. The nuttiness comes in near the end. The aftertaste is quite pleasant given the high ABV, the nuttiness really lingers on your tongue. For a brown ale, its really lacking in the hop department though, not really a bad thing in my book though.

I really like the viscosity and carbonation level in this beer. Its got a substantial thickness to it but its not completely flat; just the right amount of carbonation.

Photo of DavidST
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours very thick, and is a dark brown with a nice mocha head (this also is listed at 9% instead of the 9.8 listed above, there should be a freshness mark, but this isn't notched).

This smell is nice, maple syrup, caramel malts, nutty, this smells very rich and sweet with little hops to back to balance it out, I expect a malt bomb. Feel is thick and somewhat syrupy, very nice. The taste is a little lacking (while everything else is so great). First the ABV isn't well hidden at all, I get plenty of alcohol taste on the finish (more than anything else), this isn't quite the malt bomb I expected (although it has plenty of malts), I get some maple and caramel, perhaps a little toffee, its good except for the very dominating alcohol after flavor lessens its appeal, its still good but I thought it was going to be so much better from the pour and feel. (It is something I'll buy again when I'm in the wee heavy type of mood).

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

dark brown, with a touch of a ruby tone filled up the glass rather quickly. A smallish head was lifted up onto the top, but this was quickly replaced by a thin layer of film across the top. Carbonation was visible in the very clear brew.

The smell was rich and sweet. Predominant aroma was a caramel with a touch of an earthy malt. A light feeling was released by this, so you really did not think you were going into anything too terribly heavy. As it warmed you could pick up a roasted or burnt smell coming though as well as a touch of a hop note rounding out the back. caramel that you caught right up front along with a burnt or roasted wood flavor. Almost had a touch of oaked flavor in it. Some hoppiness in the finish, but nothing distracting from the primary notes. A good solid brown ale flavor as best as I can describe it. Finish was a little nutty and dry

Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.27/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe glass.

Appearance - Dark brown/black body. Light brown head with lots of lacing.

Smell - Sweet. Maple. Nutty. Toffee.

Taste - Sweet up front. Malty body with a slight metallic witch hazel astringency in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Slight astringency. Medium-bodied, but seems almost light at times.

Overall Drinkability - Decent beer. Rating it in style, it's pretty good, but I haven't had many.

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

Drank out of a smapler glass...

The beer is straight brown with a thin filmy light brown head that left lacing. Smell is a bomb of caramel, nuts and maple with some earthiness. It tastes the exact same as it smells but it also has an alcohol bite and an earthy bitterness. The beer is incredibly smooth with low carbonation and a dry finish. This is my first Imperial nut brown and I thought it was very good, I would like to try more from this brewery.

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

Appearance: Deep mahogany brown with a tint of ruby. Thin brown head dissipated quickly

Smell: huge malt nose with strong showings of burnt caramel, molasses, brown sugar, all mixed in with an overhanging earthiness

Flavor: sweet and earthy with loads of brown sugar, molasses, and maple syrup. Some smokiness exists and their is a residual flavor of powdered malt towards the finish. Very little hop character.

Mf: full bodied and syrupy. A little difficult for a summers day, but has great potential for a winter warmer!

Photo of justintcoons
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky dark brown with a thin head that dissipates quickly. Some debris float around. Beer clings to glass and leaves a nice residue on the side of the glass.

N: Sweet toffee, molasses, maple syrup and perhaps some grapefruit.

T: Deep, roasty sweet malts really shine through. Toffee, semi-sweet bakers chocolate, wood, maple syrup, molasses and rounds out with a really rich nuttiness. Finishes slightly bitter with earth and I even detect a little barnyard in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, silky and soft.

O: The alcohol is hidden quite well. Sweet, roasty and earthy tastes dominate the palette with a decent bitterness in the finish. This is a nice sipper but not really sure if I would revisit this again in the future.

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

Bottle from Beertopia for 1.79 served in a Celebrator glass.

It's an intriguing cloudy dark brown that has low carbonation and leaves almost no lacing. The brew gives an impression of having sediment but it miraculously disappears when you get to the bottom the glass.

The aroma has a notable amount of maple along with some toffee. The taste is even better. Lots of maple and some extra sweet malt. The flavor is prominent but not overbearing, very enjoyable. It's quite smooth and I teared up a bit when it was finished.

Photo of Duff27
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours murky brown with a thin light tan head.

Not unlike an un-imperial brown. Malty.

Real malty. Has a kick to it. 9%abv seems about right.

Medium to medium-thin mouthfeel...unexpected for something with so much ballz. Decent carbonation.

Meh. Not bad, nothing special. After being spoiled by Cigar City's and Surly's browns...this just doesn't compare. Thanks to TATURBO for the Tommyknocker tick.

Photo of nickthetick
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear, dark brown with brick red highlights into an
American shaker with half a finger of khaki head that doesn't leave any lacing.

S: biscuits, roasted-salted nuts, and a good amount of pine.

T: surprisingly hoppy for a nut brown, but it compliments the nut and salt quality well. Caramel and biscuits with a grassy/pine finish.

MF: medium body with a well balanced carbonation, warm and a bit astringent.

O: Great nut, heat cuts back a minuet bit on the overall "drinkability", for lack of a better word, but it would be great on a cool fall day on the deck.

Photo of tone77
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, alcohol, a touch of maple. Taste is the same, alcohol is definatly present, some malts and a touch of maple. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

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

Ruby brown color, clear. Good amount of carbonation. Head looks alright.

Very malty. Caramel, toasty, some little chocolate.

Very malty up front with slight dry bitterness at the end. Nice amount of malts, I’m getting tons of caramel malts, toasty, slight hint of nutty and bitter chocolate. There’s some hint of brown sugar and maple in the taste, it’s not overly sweet like their Maple Nut Brown Ale. Body is medium to heavy with a medium carbonation.

Dry finish that lingers. Very smooth. Drinks like a 6% beer.

Not bad. I was expected a little more sweetness from the malts.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pretty clear looking dark brown color that is a bit hard to see through and how clear it is for real. There was a very small head (~1/8") after a pretty aggressive pour, and the head faded back into the beer about as quick as I poured. Afterward, the beer is quite still looking.

Aroma: I initially got a healthy amount of toasty/nutty malts along with some maple syrup accents. The dark malts are coming out more as the beer warms and is giving it some dark fruit character. As the beer warms up the alcohol is coming out even more so much that this beer is reminding me of an Old Ale. Interesting.

Taste: The flavor is very malty and nutty as you would expect, but the beer is medium bodied with low carbonation so with the alcohol, it comes across the palate a bit thin. There is evident warming on the back of the throat after drinking. The malt is taking on a mild syrupy edge, and with the maple flavors, it is making me think a bit of breakfast. The toasty notes from the malt are contributing to this sensation. There are evident hops in this beer that are especially noticeable in the onset of the flavor, but the alcohol brings it to its knees quickly. The finish is sweet with little hops, and the balance is provided as much by the alcohol and darker malts as any hops. There is spice from the alcohol in the finish that lingers forever and seems to get stronger as the beer warms.

Opinion: This is an OK beer, but the alcohol is high for what all else it has backing it up. Having about 4x the carbonation would definitely help bring this beer to life. As it is, it is strong and sweet and hits the palate rather hard, yet there are no off flavors or palate sensations. It is just alcoholic with low carbonation. It would probably be a lot better to try this beer on tap where the carbonation would be more. Either way, this is a pretty decent beer, and I am glad that I tried it. I wish it was a little fizzier, but as it is...it is still worth a shot.

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

Poured into a pint glass, rusty orange to light brown in appearance. Little head, but what little there was left a trace of lacing in the glass. I could definitely detect the maple syrup in the aroma, but also some notes of sweet malt, chocolate and caramel. Taste was quite similar to smell, although the maple wasn't too overpowering as i feared it might be. Just enough to make a tasty presence. It finished with a nice alcohol warmth, which i think also helped preventing this brew from seeming too overly sweet. Seemed to have nice carbonation, which combined with the flavor and alcohol made for a nice mouthfeel. Went down way too easy for a 9+ abv, definitely an enjoyable brown ale.

Photo of zdk9
3.21/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a crimson-tinted brown with a half finger of off white head. It's not a lot of foam but it does leave some webs of lacing that remind me of some fat wrapping.

S- The aroma is not this beer's strength. There's a bit of smoke and roasted grains and not much else- nothing bad just kind of weak.

T- The taste is a bit odd- the combination of sweetness, smoke, roast. I don't know- I'm just not feeling it. I do taste the maple syrup so that's a plus. Also some soy sauce saltiness

M- This one lingers in the mouth, really coating everything, but I almost want some water to rinse it off. Alcohol is well hidden- at almost 10% I'm hard pressed to notice it.

O- This struck me as an average acrid tasting porter with all the smoke and saltiness. I would have this again, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

Photo of ranger60
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Barcade in Jersey City, NJ.

Appearance: Darkbrown in color; darker than most brown ales. Fairly transparent
Aroma: Sweet malty aroma.
Flavor: Good sweet flavor, with some chocolate undertones, and reminiscent of some Belgian malts. Not picking up any of the maple flavor - brewer says it is brewed with maple syrup.
Mouthfeel: Good mouthfeel with substantial carbonation.
Drinkability: very drinkable

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

Deep blood red in body with almost nothing to show for a head except for white bubbly around the edges. Maple syrup, cocoa, cinnamon, and slight licorice in the nose. Tastes of cocoa nibs, light dark fruit, cinnamon, slight licorice, maple syrup, booze makes an appearance with some black pepper and then the drink finishes dry but with a tangy dark fruit note. Heavy body with medium carbonation and a slick mouthfeel. A belly warmer for sure. Good thing I'm in Syracuse for this one.

Photo of Knapp85
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a pretty looking brown color with a nice tan head on it. The smell of roasted nuts and an ample amount of maple syrup. The taste is a nice combo of sweet and nutty that fades into a dry toasted aftertaste. Not too bad tasting but pretty sweet up front. The mouthfeel is a little thicker than some brown ales but I like how it adds some depth to the brew. This was pretty enjoyable.

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

Had an Imperial Tommyknocker ale last night. I've had the Maple Nut Brown from Tommy and it was a little too sweet for me. The Imperial is very similar. It's a sweet beer but not as overbearing as Maple Nut. It has a high alcohol content which you would not tell by drinking it. It is dark in color and the smell is attractive. I like this beer to an extent. It is not my favorite by Tommy but it is definitely worth a try.

Photo of zeledonia
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes, Dec 2010.

Pours a deep caramel brown with minimal head that quickly yields. Smell is sweet, mostly medium roasted caramel malts with strong alcohol. Taste is rounded, decent complexity, nice light hop finish, and a powerful alcohol kick at the end. Tastes like a good solid brown ale with stronger alcohol, but slightly sugary. Mouthfeel is syrupy, heavy, with very little carbonation. Generally quite tasty, a nice balance of sweetness, hops, and potency.

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

While I was on vacation visiting family in Woodbridge Virginia, I got a chance to go to a Total Wine in Springfield to pick up some local beers, or any that are distributed there that are not sent to California. Picked up one bottle of this as part of a make your own six pack.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Bruery Tulip glass.

The beer pours a murky dark chestnut brown color with about a inch of short lived tan colored head, with just a bit of lacing.

The Aroma's are of maple as you would expect, earthy hops, a bit of toffee and caramel, and a nice malty backbone. Smells sweet.

The flavors in the taste are not as sweet as the nose indicated, which was good. Notes of roasted malts, hints of caramel, light chocolate, but the maple sweetness is the most prominent flavor. It does not taste hot, as far as heat from the 9+% alcohol, which is masked by the sweetness.

The mouth feel was medium to high, fairly well carbonated, thick, with a slick viscosity to it.

This was a nice beer to try, easy to drink, smooth. I like brown ales, so this sweeter imperial version with the maple notes was nice. Last beer that I had with this much maple flavor was Life and Limb fresh ( though the maple in that one seemed to evaporated after a few months)

Recomended if your a fan of the style, and like maple syrup on your waffles and pancakes!

Photo of bucklemyshoe
2.74/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle at 48 degrees into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: It pours a very dark mahogany color with a finger and a half of light tan head that has great retention and laces very well.

S: Maple, sour dark fruits, nuttiness, and booze.

T: Nothing sticks out too much despite its strength; maple syrup, toasted bread, hazelnut, and some booze.

M: It has a thick mouthfeel that coats the palate with a bubbly/foamy stickage. This makes it very chewy.

D: It began promising but there is a lot wrong with this.

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

I've reviewed the Maple Nut Brown, & although I've had the Imperial Nut Brown before, don't think I've reviewed it yet. So why not today? Bottle into an oversized snifter.

A - very dark brown, opaque. Almost no head. Spotty lacing.

S - maple syrup, brown sugar, nutty, some caramel, sweet malts, raisins. Faint alcohol smell. Gets a little fruitier as it warms.

T - follows the smell, but a bit more complex. A bit more bitterness, though it's not unwelcome - keeps it from being overly sweet. Very malty. The alcohol is present, but well-hidden considering the ABV. There's a little difference in taste...some coffee, some spice that I didn't catch in the smell. Alcohol comes out a bit more as it warms. Complex (more complex than the average brown, I'd say), but not overwhelming.

M - full MF, low carbonation, but it kinda fits w/ the imperial-ness of it (if that makes sense). Again, alcohol well-hidden, though I am feeling the warming just a little.

D - definitely a sipper, but not the first sixer I've bought, so obviously it was good enough that I went back to it. It's really drinkable for an imperial beer of its ABV.

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: a rather thin looking raisin brown, almost non existent head. there are a few tannish bubbles floating on top after about 30 seconds.
S: sweet maple dominates, but i dontget much of anything else in there to break it up a little. im left wanting something else because its quite sugary smelling. its relatively pleasant smelling, but theres no complexity.
T: not feeling it. i know its a maple syrup brown ale, and i basically knew what to expect, but this is just too much. its so mapley ( if thats a word) and my palate hates me right now. it tastes like chewing on carmelized brown sugar.
M: my teeth are tingling. syrupy and just too much to handle.
D: none really to speak of. going down the drain.

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.36/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

tommyknockers imp nut brown

update: cracked another cellared bottle 2/2012, and the beer seems to have improved with another year under its belt (guess it's about 1.5 years old at this point). still faint aroma, but the taste is about at 3.5-3.75 territory. body still a bit too thin of course, but did not encounter as much of "latex coating" issue.

a 4-4.5 somewhat aggressive pour yields a one-finger tan head above a cocoa body with orange highlights. the ring holds well and leaves spotty lace.

s 3 smells more like a faint brown ale than an imperial one. then again there may be an enhanced presence of alcohol.

t 3 faint roast, generic malty sweetness, faint nuts, some astringency in the finish.

m 2 medium bodied with low carbonation--kinda watery especially for the size of this beer abv-wise, yet it does apply a latexlike coat to everything it touches. the main issue is it needs more creamy carbonation. the coating issue is actually starting to give that issue a run for its money. ewww.

d 2.5 just too boring, especially for the abv. doesn't justify itself in my book.

Imperial Nut Brown Ale from Tommyknocker Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 600 ratings.