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Kick-Ass Brown - C.H. Evans Brewing Company

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Kick-Ass Brown
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BA SCORE
89
very good

93 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 93
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 13.78%
Wants: 5
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
C.H. Evans Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-19-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rudy611
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of sachie23
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of M_Burkey
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of bultrey
4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Amended on 11-17-06: I'm not changing the scores for this, because it's still a great beer. But I can no longer claim it is the best brown ale I've ever had. See: Brownstone, Sixpoint.

Original review 8-22-05: The best brown ale I've ever had, though almost not really a brown ale -- more like an IPA brewed with dark malts.

OK, so the color is a gorgeous deep mahogany, as a brown ale should be, with an attractive light tan head. But when you smell this, you start to understand that this will be no ordinary brown ale. Leafy, herbaceous hops leap out at you, along with the slightest caramel-tinged malt aroma.

This is a hop-lover's wet dream, as I'm sure any hophead that bothers to drink a brown ale would want it to be like this. I have to believe it is dry-hopped. Leafy, marijuana-like herbaceousness smacks you upside the head, along with sharp cheddar cheese. Then the slightly burned toffee and caramel notes leap in, trying to subdue the hops, but the hops won't be outdone. But instead of attacking again and crushing the malt, the two peacefully co-exist and make a perfectly balanced beer. Long snappy hop finish with enough roastiness to pair up with the caramalized sugars that might be on a nice grilled steak. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. I could sit here and drink this all night in spite of their several other tremendous offerings. That's how good it is.
Kick-ass indeed. Please God let me try this on cask someday...

Photo of johnniemarg
4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked up a growler of this on my way through town on the wasy to Saratoga Springs. I had it earlier in the year when I was in Albany and it was awesome. Made the stopover this time just for this beer.

Pours a murky reddish brown with an inch of head. Leaves sheets of blotchy lacing all over the glass.

The smell is piny hops and sweet, malty molasses. The hops smell great and caught me off guard the first time I had this because you don't expect that from a brown ale.

The taste is malty brown sugar, piny hops, there is some kind of a woody quality and it leaves me with a maple aftertaste. The sweeter typical bown ale flavors are great and all, but it's the huge helping (relatively) of hops that make this beer. This is friggin' tasty.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy. The hops give it a prickly quality in the mouth.

This is far and away the best brown ale I've ever had. Awesome session beer. Perfect balance.

Photo of Whatalesthetiger
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of thekevlarkid
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Off tap this award-winning beer was nearly opaque, almost as dark as a porter with a mahogany meniscus. The head was one finger of tan foam; the retention was good and the lacing solid. The aroma was of sweet malt, roasted malt, nuts and a background of hops. The flavors were truly enjoyable with a great balance of sweet and bitter elements. I tasted caramel malt and toffee sweetness first followed by a dry middle composed of coffee with hints of wood. The finish was long and hoppy but not overly bitter, clearly reflective of an excellent use of Amarillo hops. The mouthfeel was smooth, the body medium and the carbonation perfect. Sessionable yet complex, balanced and it even nailed the landing with a clean finish. Truly a great American Brown Ale and appropriately named.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Have had this many times over the last 10 years or so. Finally a review.

A: Fairly dark brown color. Looks almost like cola when held up to the light. A finger of slightly brownish head with very impressive lacing and good head retention.

S: The nose on this beer is a nice balance of dry hopping and malt. The hops smell very fresh and work quite well with the malt. Even before all the hops this was an above average brown ale.

T: Malt up front. Nice malt complexity. Very fresh tasting. Very rich tasting. A little touch of chocolate. The hops are always there and the citrus works really well with the malt. It is everything you want in a beer at once.

M: Medium body that can feel a little heavy at times.

D: This has won quite a few GABF medals and I can see why. Personally this is much better than Bender and that is a good beer. This is the best american brown ale out there hands down.

Photo of naproxen
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of jwc215
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautifully rich deep brown with a two-finger fluffy light tan head that slowly descends to a lasting, thick cover. Thin rings of lacing stick to glass.

The smell is citric hops blended with brown sugar and toffee. Unusual for style, but works amazingly well here.

Hops abound here...Never had a brown ale like this before! Aggressive citric and floral hops rounded out by brown sugar and toffee. Bitter with a candy sweetness in the finish.

Medium to full, creamy almost chewy body. Complex but very smooth. Nice aftertaste and carbonation level.

One of the best brown ales I've ever had - very unique. This is very hoppy - somehow it works well here - hops in a brown ale. If you are looking for a hoppy, well-done brown ale, definately get this! If you are looking for a traditional brown ale...well..this isn't it...
A great beer - "Kick Ass" is right!

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing me a growler of this work of art!

Photo of StJamesGate
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of prisdefer
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of ericj551
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Deep ruby brown, I can barely see my hand through it without holding the glass up the the light.

Smell: Earthy hop aroma with hints of darker malts.

Taste: Amazing, this is my kind of brown ale. Nice and hoppy, with a strong malt backbone. I can taste the Amarillo hops for sure, and they accent the malts surprisingly well.

Mouthfeel: This sat in the growler for five days after my most recent trip to Albany, but the carbonation has held up perfectly.

Drinkability: I could drink this all the time, I wish I could get it local. My girlfriend bought me the first growler for my birthday and I will definatly be filling it up whenever I'm in Albany.

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of vonnegut21
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of renegadeburger
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

first beer i get to try while visiting the albany pump station heard great things about this place decided to take a slight detour while spending time upstate

poured out deep red almost like a chestnut brown into my sample glass i asked for a small sampler glass so i could inspect the beer better

aroma was really awesome i smelt lots of burnt or roasted malts in there also some coffee smell and even almonds and cherries too

same in the taste the beer has wonderful balance but you could not get any hops in the nose but now you get the hops in force in the taste this is a really great brown ale

great creamy mouthfeel this beer is really good i think i need to get a growler of it to go for the weekend

Photo of bjohnson
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 06/30/06. Review from notes.

Rated best American Brown Ale at the Great American Beer Fest 2002, 2002.

A: Pours a reddish dark brown color with a half finger off white head. Decent lace.
S: Huge floral hop presence, which I was not expecting, but definitely liked. Slight maltyness behind the hops. This is one odd Brown Ale.
T/M: Huge grapefruit and pine hop notes up front. Only huge because this is a brown ale and I wasn’t expecting it. Good caramel malt backbone to compliment the hops—As I wrote that I though, shouldn’t this be the other way around? Smooth mouthfeel that bites a tad as its going down. Good bitterness. Well balanced and medium bodied. A tad more hops than malts--who am I kidding, a lot more hops than malts..
D: Highly drinkable beer, but beware if you’re looking for your ordinary brown ale. This is not your ordinary brown ale. I was very pleased that I ordered this as I don’t usually like browns, but it surpassed it’s billing as one “Kick Ass Brown.”

Photo of sponberg
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance gets average marks only because the cask was still settling. The brewer was warning us all about hop chunks, but none found their way into my glass - what did find its way was an astoundingly quaffable American brown ale just loaded with hop character. The distinct smell of fresh hops dominated the aroma. The flavor started out with a full frontal spicy, citric, bitter hop assault, with a creamy (gotta love cask!) slightly roasty malt backbone that balanced things out beautifully. The finish was bitter but not astringently so. I've had it on tap and enjoyed it, but the cask version floored me.

Cask conditioning absolutely shows off this two-time GABF winner in its best light. They usually put a cask on on Friday evenings - definitely worth a trip. Many thanks to brewer George DePiro for hauling this one out on Saturday afternoon to slake the thirst of a couple of BAs.

Edit, 5/5 - No cask for a while. Yet on tap this beer just keeps getting better.

Photo of waughbrew
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A chocolate color, darker than mahogany. Small off-white head, tight lacing. Smells of floral hops, sweet candy malt, and chocolate. The flavor is a grand balance of malt and hops. Strong toasty munich malt flavor, chico-ish neutral yeast, and high alpha American hops. Lingering earthy toasty grain. Clean yet present bitterness. Very medium body = good drinkability and good feel.

Definitely one of the best brown ales that I have had. The only thing lacking in this one is some yeast character. Great beer!

Photo of soultrain
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled on-tap in a very, very dimly lit beer bar in the middle of nowhere (Krumville, NY.) Pint glass. Notes would have been better but I feel funny writing when people are lookin' at me as I do so...

A-I can barely see this beer, but it's a reddish dark amber? Excellent looking 1/2" beige head, lace is excellent...all down my pint glass.
S-This is a brown ale? Most IPA-ish scents leap into my nostrils. Maybe they brought me the wrong beer. Nope, it's correct; and it's CORRECT. Hop extravaganza for a brown ale, damn, I feel lucky to have stumbled into this beer...Hops are either tons of cascade or amarillo....maybe both.
T-MMM...lip smackingly delicious. Kick-ass brown is right. Tons of hops here, and I picked this beer by blind luck. Real nice bitterness cut through my burger with gorgonzola like a ginsu knife. I really like this beer.
Good malts flavor as well, though I keep lovin' the hops. I can't say it's balanced for most people, but for me it's perfect.
M-Perfect for the style. Light medium mouthfeel. In a beer bar with 500 choices, I had 3 of these....I couldn't help it!
D-Supreme drinkability. After one of these there is only one option: more, please! I'd love to have this beer in bottled form chilled in the DBF right now; it'd be a definate go-to beer for all occasions for me, the IPA lover!

CRUX: BEST BROWN ALE I EVER HAD. KICK-ASS INDEED! Highly recommended. Please bottle this soon! !

Photo of Shiredave
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Country Inn. A goodly brown color with a sparse off white head and steady carbonation. Aroma of caramel and some citrus is light and doesnt instantly indicate a brown ale.
Body is light to medium as it warms with a very different kind of toffee sweetness that blends excellently with sharp hop flavors.Smooth and creamy mouth feel.
Finish is also a mix of earthy hop and tasty toffee. Highly drinkable and a fine beer with Big flavor w/out being heavy or highly alcoholic. Next to other ales named for thier brown color, this one stands out.

Photo of Bierman9
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I used to enjoy Brown Ales quite a bit, but found they were getting much too bland lately. Well, this bier makes up for all the past bland browns. Poured a clear, deep copper/mahogany color. Great color! Head was thin, fine and had tightly-packed bubbles, with nice lacing in the glass. Upon taking a whiff I was smacked with loads of robust, floral hops (Horizon/Amarillo and Crystal, according to the bier-menu). Great nose! Mouthfeel, in general, was medium. A touch of malt sweetness is initially present but is soon overwhelmed by lots o' hops. It is a great melange of hops, providing a luscious, longlasting aftertaste. A superb bier, which DOES kick-ass! My travelling Bro, Artied2, a big-time HopHead, concurred wholely! Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.35
appearance: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4.5

468

Photo of francisweizen
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark orangey/light brown with a small head that leaves some nice lacing patterns. Carbonation is rapid, and consists of many tiny bubbles. The aroma is that of a very hoppy pale ale, although the malt base is bigger, and may have some roast to it as well. The hops used escape me as this seems a bit muddled, although reminiscent of a maltier pump station pale ale. The taste is maltier still, but the hops come back in the middle and dry out the finish like a bat out of hell. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Drinkability is killer. This is a very interesting beer specimin. I wish it were available closer to home.

Photo of JTBacon
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a really satisfying Brown ale. Hold on, let me start over. This is a fantastic and excellent Brown ale. Having never been to the Albany Pump Station, I happened to be there a week ago for a pre-wedding something. While the wedding stuff was happening, I was able to sit at the bar and enjoy a handful of these vessels of delicious. Goes well with an hearty meal, with its own abudance of hearty. I no little about the Brewing Company, but I have had my share of beers and this one ranks competitively with the best. Very enjoyable and I am very impressed with this American Brown.

Enjoy!

Photo of Stimack
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is probably my favorite brews at the Pump Station, The brew pours to a nice dark brown color with not much of a head. The aromas from it are very hoppy with some roasted malt tones. The taste is superb; I could drink a afternoon away with this brew! Have always been surprised at the hop it has but seems to be balanced perfectly with the roasted malt flavors. One wish is that it would be a bit heavier/thicker. Can’t wait for my next experience, would love to try it on cask sometime!

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Kick-Ass Brown from C.H. Evans Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.