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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.

581 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 581
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: 581 | Reviews: 343 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FenwaySquid
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bron bottle, no dating of any kind, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark brown color, almost black, opaque through the middle but a little light comes through on the edges. The head formed small, barely a finger thick, and faded into some lacing.

Aroma: Sweet, some caramel, brown sugar, and nuttiness, with the maple syrup in the background.

Taste: Fairly sweet up front, brown sugar, maple syrup, and walnuts start off. Somewhere in the middle the roasted malts come through, along with some mollasses. The finish is mainly roasted malts with some maple in the background. You'd hardly know that the ABV listed is 9.8%.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, almost syrupy. The carbonation was subdued, and balanced nicely.

Overall: This is the Brown Ale drinker's answer to all the overhopped imperial IPA's. (Which I also enjoy.) I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Beware, though, the high ABV will come back to bite you in the end.

FenwaySquid, Nov 30, 2007
Photo of tpd975
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown color with the pour. A nice thick one inch light tan head builds and then disappears to a nice pad on top. Sheets of lacing is left behind as the contents disappear.

S: Nice dark malts with hints of brown sugar. The maple can be detected if you really concentrate along with hints of chocolate and nuts.

T: Very tasty brew. I have had several Tommyknocker brews before which left me less than impressed. It starts of nice and malty with hints of chocolate and hazelnuts. Big bold molasses/maple sweetness builds and takes over. A bit of the sweetness lingers along with chocolate covered nuts. A hint of alcohol warmth hides behind it all.

M: Smooth and creamy with ample carbonation.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink considering its ABV. Rather smooth and very tasty.

Overall: The best Tommyknocker beer made in my opinion. Lots of flavor and ultra smooth. I really enjoyed this beer. Tommyknocker needs to make more like this one.

tpd975, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of atsprings
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a tulip glass an almost opaque black with a thin khaki head that diminishes to a ring and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is a nice amount of dark malts with a hint of maple. The taste is a nice blend of dark malts, cocoa and maple syrup that leaves a nice lingering maple finish. The beer is on the heavy side of medium with a nice smooth dryness. This is a very enjoyable beer, one I would love to have on-tap again.

atsprings, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

SkeeterHawk, May 30, 2011
Photo of rwdkosak
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle at cellar temp with a large carbonated head that broke quickly into a rocky lattice, finally dissipating to a thin ring over very dark amber color.

Nose was sweet, syrup and malt with nearly the same taste though no hint of the 9% ABV, very smooth and easy to drink. This may not be the most complex of drinks but tasty just the same and quite drinkable.

rwdkosak, Mar 27, 2009
Photo of logmacschlog15
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a US tumbler from a bottle.

Appearance: Pours one finger of creamy, tan head that holds strong for a couple of minutes. Dark, dark brown with reddish hues when held up to the light. Good looking carbonation and some sediment lingering.

Smell: Sweet notes of maple syrup and caramel. Stong alcohol smell.

Taste: Sweet maple and dark caramel malts, with undertones of chocolate as well. Earthy hop flavors and mild bitterness on the back of the tounge do well to balance the sweetness. Definite alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: A little watery, expecting this beer to be a little heavier bodied than it was. Carbonation is just right for the style though. The high ABV gives a great, wholesome warming sensation.

Drinkability: For the high ABV, this is very drinkable. Definitely one to sip, which works well because the flavors become even bolder as the beer warms. Great for warming up with after coming out of the cold.

Note: This beer goes great with marble rye bread and mild cheddar cheese.

logmacschlog15, Dec 18, 2010
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.

OStrungT, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

NJpadreFan, Jul 10, 2008
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.

dbtoe, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of mnstorm99
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a fan of any Tommyknocker beer I have had to date, I am a little leary on this one. Pour is a cloudy, not appetizing brown color, with a small off white head that is gone before I can even smell it. Not a good start, but the aroma bring nice nutty, caramel malt charater and a hint of spicy floral hops. Taste comes through nicely also, mostly chocolate and caramel, with a touch of Maple and a little less of the nuts as in the aroma. Feel is nice a smooth with a touch of creamy. This is a very drinkable beer, and restores my interest in Tommyknocker. I may revisit this brewery after trying a beer I really ended up enjoying.

mnstorm99, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of kkipple
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not usually a huge fan of English Brown ale, but this was a pleasant surprise. In the glass it's a clear hazelnut brown with a minor head. Smells of maple (yum!) sweet malts and alcohol.

Tastes just like you'd infer from the smell. It's a sweet, malty brew with more than a hint of maple. I also detected mild coffee and cocoa notes. Didn't really taste any nuts, however.

Mouthfeel was very smooth but a bit watery. The 9.8% warms the throat and back of the tongue. Quite pleasing. A fine after-dinner beer for a cold day. I'd pick this one up again.

kkipple, Feb 28, 2006
Photo of oelergud
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black opague body, mahogany at the edges. Big tan head of tiny to small bubbles, falls fairly quickly to a thick float and leaves pretty good lace.
Alcoholic nutty scent and dark rye. Brown sugar, molasses and maple syrup.
Sweet molasses flavor with some nut and syrup. Faint hops join the whole after the initial swallow and rides through to the aftertaste becoming stronger as they go. The alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming
Medium body with lots of sticky sugars and a dry finish.
Good drinkability though not a session beer or a sipper but somewhere in the middle.


oelergud, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of Fugazme
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. This bottle looks better than the normal cartoonish bottles Tommyknocker usually puts out. That's good.

This beer pours very nicely. A moderately thick and creamy head with some good staying power. The off-white head gently calmed down to about 1/8 of an inch with excellent stickage. Looks like a great beer!

The nose is sweet and malty. I can't detect much maple on the first whiff. It is there, but very slight. Some faint alchol and brown sugar.

Taste is wonderfully malty and sweet. Mouthfeel is very nice, as well. The maple is much more detectable on the palate than on the nose. Some slight coffee and caramel hints... pecan, maple, brown sugar. As I drink more, the alcohol appears more in the forefront.

Overall a very good beer. I would order again.

Fugazme, Oct 11, 2005
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just $3.69 for a bomber? Ya gotta be kiddin' me? Label indicates that this brew celebrates a 10th Anniversary.

Reveal is a hazy mahogany with a few scant bubbles rising to the surface covered by a fuzzy beige settled cap, which leaves drippy lace down the glass.

Sweet slightly boozy scents of soft almond extract and a carmel light nutty note. Not a huge aroma blaster, but a pleasant subtle nose of brown ale character.

First swigs: Bold nutty and tasted malt. Lots unfolding here. There is a suggestion of carmel and porter which, really is the idea. The claim of using real maple syrup really translates well here, as does the the slight cocoa from the chocolate added.

Feel is medium to full bodied. There is a big sugary aspect that can not be understated.

Last swigs: Liquid sugar daddy candy, basically. Quite bright and sweet for an English Brown. Worthy trying! My BA friends and I have a joke that you never say "Great Brown!" This defies that statement.

Beer is good. Happy um Brown beering.

blitheringidiot, Mar 30, 2006
Photo of Bighuge
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ahhhh yes. My first Imperial Nut Brown Ale. I can hardly wait...

Deep crimson tone. Slight, bubbly light brown head. Lacing is moderate. Aroma is sweet, nutty and toasty. Chocolate and caramel are also present. Really, quite a pleasant nose with no overriding characteristic. When I read that this was a jacked up version of their normal Maple Nut Brown ale, I feared this was going to be too sweet. But that's not the case. It's sweet, but not cloying. The maple is noticeable as is chocolate. Alcohol lets itself be heard as well. There's a little heat to this one. Nuttiness and lightly kilned malts meld nicely together. It's good. Not great. In this particular beer, I could do without the jacke up EtOH level. But that's just my preference. All in all, it's pretty decent.

Bighuge, Apr 27, 2005
Photo of alexgash
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, maple syrup brown with ruby highlights and a rather small (half a finger) of sandy brown head. Nose is made up of sweet, licorice malts, singed brown sugar, a vaguely spicy hop smell, and a little alcohol. Taste starts with sweetish malts. Notes of marshmallow, tobacco leaf, stewed fruit, and cola are detectable. Bitterness comes late, basically right at the finish. Unfortunately, the light roasted bitterness falls a little short, and the result leans toward a cloying finish. Not bad, but could use a little more balance. Medium-full body, with ample carbonation. I like this more than any other Tommyknocker beer I've had.

alexgash, Feb 06, 2005
Photo of JRed
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

JRed, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of russpowell
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured dark brown/mahogony with alight an head that dropped of quickly. Bubbles continously rose from the bottom as if coming from natural spring. Head retention and lacing were poor

Smell: Malt seetness and maple syrup, no pancakes or bacon though

Taste: Maple sweetness, dryness, maltiness, alcohol the bourbon-like notes with more dryness in the finish

MF: Actually felt a little thin and prickly

Drinkable enough, I had previous bottles that tasted better, but maybe buds were altered from drinking other beers prior on those occasions. Somewhere between this imperial nut brown and their regular brown is a very good beer (Say something between 6.5-7.5 ABV?)

russpowell, Jan 12, 2006
Photo of nickthetick
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

nickthetick, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of GreenWBush
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I heard a friend raving about this beer when he lived in Boulder. Odd that both he and the beer have made it back to Indiana.

This evacuates the bottle deeply, like oversteeped iced-tea. Suspended globules of yeast hang like snowflakes. A decent head is forced into life with a vigorous pour. Wispy, receding lines of lace.

Interesting intertwining of maple syrup, molasses, corn syrup, Fuggles, butterscotch, fudgey malts on the nose. The alcohol burn and s'mores like malt profile remind me slightly of a White Russian. Gumminess. Well-cured tobacco.

Palate follows the nose with a little more hop-bite than I was expecting. Earthy. Fallen leaves, tree nuts, fudge, faint whisp of smoke/peat, heat, with great silky slick mouthfeel.

Quite drinkable, and unexpectedly good...especially that I picked this beer up for less than $2.

GreenWBush, Nov 27, 2005
Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22-ounce bottle.

Pours a hazy dark red-mahogany over a big tan head that fades very quickly to a solid cap. Minimal lacing.

Smell is mildly malty and nutty.

Taste is buttery malty, with a bit of caramel malt, and decent hop bitterness. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel is nice and round. Soft carbonation.

Very drinkable -- the alcohol is completely masked.

This is just a nut-brown on steroids. Really quite nice, but not all that.

ColoradoBobs, Jun 02, 2006
Photo of zeff80
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark amber like maple syrup with a very foamy, tan, one-finger head. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of maple syrup and caramel. A very sweet nose with some subtle earthy aromas.

T - It tasted sweet and caramely with a grassy bitterness. Also, an oak-like taste. It had oatmeal stout qualities but much sweeter with maple flavor.

M - It was smooth and crisp. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is a great brown ale. The maple syrup flavor is a nice touch.

zeff80, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of zeledonia
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

zeledonia, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of droomyster
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first time having an "imperial" brown ale so I have no idea what to expect. Pours a very dark brown with a small tan head that quickly dissipates into a ring. Smells are faint but I detect resinous hops, lots of alcohol, and extremely sweet-smelling toasted malts. Fascinating on many levels - where to begin? First, the full body is quite active with crackingly carbonation. The flavors bop and weave and are hard to pinpoint. There are definitely sweet, dark fruity toasty malts are well supported on the palate by sprucey hops, but the finish is quite sweet and drawn out. A lingering element of stale coffee grounds detracts a bit from the taste. It's very interesting how the sweetness and bitterness interact; I don't think that "balance" was a quality sought by its brewers and so I won't knock this beer for not having it. Makes me think of burnt cherry cobbler. Very interesting; very punchy, hard-hitting. I definitely like this beer but have to limit myself to one.

droomyster, Jan 27, 2009
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...

ectomorph, Aug 29, 2009
Imperial Nut Brown Ale from Tommyknocker Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 581 ratings.