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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 crwills
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Pump Station in Albany. This is apparently their flagship brew, and has numerous awards from various beer festivals. Was definitely quite good, and went well with my ribs! Very hoppy for a brown -- Americans seem to like making brown ales this way (tangy, hoppy, light bodied) instead of the more traditional English style (malty, nutty, oily). Tasted more like a slightly toasted pale ale than a brown, but I still really enjoyed it. Definitely sessionable.

Photo of tempest
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After a sample I ordered a pint. Somewhere in between the too, I got a different beer than expected. Yes it was the Kick Ass Brown, but there wasn't much brown in my glass. Hops, lots of juicy hops with a sweet malt background, but there wasnt much caramel, chocolate or coffee like I expected. A good beer nonetheless, but just a lot of hops. Almost reminds me a of a harvest ale. Go figure.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is advertised as a two time winner for best brown in the Great American Beer Festival. It certainly is excellent. It was a pretty dark red-brown with a fairly thick head and some decent lacing. A sweet, raosted grain aroma. Taste was coffee, a little chocolate, bread, with a nice hops presence. Good, comfortable mouthfeel, very drinkable. One of the better browns I've had.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this brew on a visit to the pub. I was driving so really had to only drink the smaller beers. The brew is served in an english pint glass chilled. Brew exhibits a chestnut brown color with a thin beige layer of head resting on surface creating sparse islands of bubbles.
Aroma is some brown sugar and surprisingly so a bit of citrus rind and grassy hops as well.
First sip reveals an average body and mild fine carbonation.
Flavor is roasted malt and some dark chocolate and then rolls to the rindy and grassy hops again.

This is an easy drinker easy to see why it is a previous GABF winner!

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 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 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 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 Westsidethreat
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Sponberg for the growler!

A: Lightly hazing (maybe from the chill) mahagony brown body. Tight oatmeal colored head stayed at 1/4 for quite a while. Its reduced to a quality thick ring around the glass and foamy patches across the top.

S: Immediately the amarillo hops jumped out at me. Nutty and slightly roasted.

T: Acorny sweetness begins but doesnt get the limelight for long. A solid bitter burst wash crosses the tongue immediately with flavors of tangerine and grapefruit. Slight tastes of powdered hot chocolate and syruped pancake with strawberries flirt with the palate. Ends with a slight rosemary sour twang.

M: Quality mouthfeel. Medium body with good carbonation. Not prickly yet not flat. Leaves a bit of a coat on the tongue.

D: Remarkable how well it held up in the growler. I was definately stoked when I popped the top. Bit bitter to be a true session beer but as it warms the sweetness begins to prevail.

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 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 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 ybnorml
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown ale with amber highlights. Has a creamy tan head. There is a deliciously inviting floral hop aroma. The taste starts with a nice hop sharpness. The following interplay between the hops and malt back and forth ends in a well balanced finish. One of the best brown ales you can try.

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!

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 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 MTMugs
2.53/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Another Albany Pump Station that looks great, tastes...tastes like water. But this time there were some flavors - a little ester-y. Pass on this one.

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