Humboldt Brown (Hemp Ale) - Humboldt Brewing Co.

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Humboldt Brown (Hemp Ale)Humboldt Brown (Hemp Ale)

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513 Ratings
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Ratings: 513
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 14.45%
Wants: 9
Gots: 42 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Humboldt Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Formerly called "Hemp Ale".

(Beer added by: boatshoes on 04-04-2010)
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Ratings: 513 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Billolick
3.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness info. Purchased as part of a sixer at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. Pours a familiarl brown ale brown, light khaki head, loose and frothy, leaves ample spotty lacing. Earthy, nutty nose. Pleasant brown, malty, nutty, more earthiness picked up. Musty light chocolate note also detected. I'm not exactly sure what Hemp smells like or tastes like so I cant comment on how much of a hemp character this beer exhibits. Balanced, drinkable, sessionable and quite pleasant brown.I'd like to try this one as the base for a marinade for chicken/pork tenderloin, cuz of the moderate sweetness and earthy notes. Nice new offering from Nectar Ales.

Photo of Phelps
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on 4/20!

A beer, made with toasted hemp, a fiber collected from plants in the cannabis family -- the same family both hops and weed belong to. Yum.

Hops lead the nose. In a word: dank. Sweet and piney, I want to bury my face in it.

Hemp is definitely noticeable in the taste. I'm interested to know what kind of hops are used in this. The hemp offers an interesting twist on the hop flavors. Slightly more skunky and raw. Finishes sweet, with but a hint of malt that makes this one a brown. Lightly bitter on the back of the tongue. As it warms, a nice cocoa flavor emerges.

Carbonation is a little intense, and the mouthfeel is just a tad on the light side.

Overall, an interesting take on the brown style. Some research reveals that hemp has only about 0.3% THC, compared to marijuana's 6-20%, so no high. But its resiny darkness was just what I needed as a nice 4/20 celebration.

Photo of zoolzoo
4.03/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks chickencoop

A: Dark mahogany, two finger off white head

S: Toasty malts and some slight floral hoppage - not alot going on

T: The same toasty malts but bigger - some really great spice. This thing has some herbal characteristics going on mid palate which im really liking. Its like floral hops backed with cinnamon, maybe a little dark fruit. Finishes lemon zest hoppy bitter.

M/D: Light in body, pretty fizzy. Low ABV but interesting flavors. I would like to have this again.

Photo of bennetj17
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Twelve-ounce bottle, labeled "Humboldt Brown- Ale Brewed With Hemp". I am assuming this is the same beer. Ultra clear, deep brownish-amber color. There are a few lazy streams of carbonation. Not much head although the foam that does develop seems to last nicely. The aroma is a bit weak, with some nutty/toffee malt notes.

Very clean maltiness on the first sip. Sort of a nutty chocolate character- only lightly sweet with a balancing toasted bitterness. The beer has a decent thickness, with a fine and almost draft-like carbonation to it.

I like that this beer was not too sweet, and that the bitterness lingered, not in excess, but enough to keep me drinking it. It has this lager-like clean flavor, making it less interesting perhaps, but at the same time almost sessionable. Worth a try...

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled this at the Firestone Walker Brewing Company last weekend. The following review is based on notes taken at that time.

Served in a 5oz. snifter.

Appearance: Body is crystal clear and brown, with amber shading around the edges. A thin, creamy, khaki-colored crown sits on top. Head retention is pretty weak, and lacing is light. No visible carbonation. Great clarity though.

Smell: Smooth, toasted hemp seed all over. Caramel, sweet hops, toasted almonds and and floral esters add some complexity. Unique, well balanced, and very pleasant.

Taste: Hemp seed, nuts, earth, and grains. Low bitterness. Finishes on a clean, mildly alcoholic, note. Once again, nicely balanced and very pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Light in body, moderately carbonated, and malty. Finishes crisp and clean. Very smooth; easy-going.

Drinkability: This isn't the most exciting ale out there, but it showcases the hemp seed well and is nicely balanced. I'm sure I'll be buying this again.

Photo of boatshoes
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this in a really generous random box from papollo, thanks again!

Appearance- Pours a deep ruby brow with a finger and half of slightly off white head sitting on top. Dies back in short order to a minimal sheet across the top of the beer. Very small amount of lacing as well.

Smell- Very mild smelling and I have a hard time detecting a lot in this one. I picked up a little roasted coffee and malt with a small whiff of hops as well. Not a whole lot going on but doesn't smell unpleasant.

Taste- Again, very mild beer. Some roasted malt, again a little bit of coffee, some mildly bitter hops coming through again. Pleasant enough all around but nothing to really wow me.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is nice actually and fairly substantial for the style. Carbonation is good as well. This one went down easy but gets docked a little on drinkability for being a bit boring.

Overall, a decent brown ale. Nothing particularly distinguishing but not bad.

Photo of RedBrewer83
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aggressively poured into goblet...

A: Pours a dark amber with ruby hues and very transparent. One finger off white head forms and then falls very quickly to a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

S: Spiced caramel malt, toast, citrus hops, maybe nutmeg and some brown sugar as well.

T: Follows the nose with a little added spice and some bittering hops on the finish. Pretty straightforward brown ale, malt first with some spice and then some bitter hops on the finish. Not bad, but nothing standout...

M: Light medium body, crisp and just the right amount of bitter on the finish to make it dry.

D: Smooth and drinkable and crisp. Nothing to complain about...

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark but perfectly clear brownish-amber in the glass with a finger of off-white head that dies down to a ring somewhat quickly. The aroma is caramel malt and toast, breakfast cereal, mineral water, and a touch of citrusy hops. Taste is heavy on the crystal malt, toasted grain, caramel. Sweetness is fairly well balanced by a mild bitterness and leafy hop note. There's an interesting herbal, nutty character that I'm guessing comes from the hemp, but I could be mistaken about that as I'm not a dirty hemp-eating hippie. Finishes sweet and nutty, biscuit and caramel flavors lingering on the tongue for a while. Pretty decent beer, to my surprise.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours brown with a nice white head, some sticky lace. Colour reminds me of Hop Rod Rye.

S: Dark caramel malt, some burnt sugar notes, moderate hop character.

T: Crystal malt dominates, dark sweet flavour with some nice grapefruit hop. Gets really herbal/woodsy at times, probably the hemp. Nice twist on a pale ale.

M: Smooth, creamy, medium-bodied, off-dry.

D: All around nice ale. Well-priced and tasty, would be a good purchase anytime for me.

Photo of tang3nt
2.93/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nose is sweet and hoppy. Dark amber brown pour with a small off white head. Mild hoppy citrus flavor with caramel overtones. It has a medium light body. Very easy drinkability. All around a decent session beer for anytime - very simple and easy to drink.

Photo of capra12
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed solo on 8/21/09,

Appearance: Light mohagundy with little head.

Smell: Dark and light grains.

Taste: Opens with a graininess which is present from open to finish. Subtle malts come in the middle to end with a subtle bittering hop at the finish leaving an earthy and grainy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, smooth and dry.

Drinkability: This is highly drinkable and almost a session beer but because of its simplicity I would pick another brew over this one.

Photo of far333
3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnished copper color with a thick and tightly bubbled head of beige lumpy foam.

Aroma of biscuity malt, a little toasty, mild corn notes, some cinnamon and floral notes.

Rich flavor of toasted malt, some toffee and cinnamon, hints of brown sugar, rye-like spiciness, good bitterness offsetting the malt, faint citrus flavors, finishes a bit piney, some grapefruit rind lingers. Would not know there was hemp in the recipe if not for the label.

Full and rich mouthfeel, nice and creamy. Tasty and drinkable, thanks to barleywinefiend for sharing.

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a pretty good beer. I had it on tap at Pizza Port in Morro Bay.

Appearance- dark reddish, good lacing

Smell- herbal hops

Taste- malt, herbal hops

Mouthfeel- light to medium bodied

Drinkability- pretty good, I would drink it again, the lady kept giving us free pitchers

Photo of glid02
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the Yardhouse in Long Beach, CA.

Pours an amber-brown color with a half-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel and pale malts with a hint of nondescript fruits and herbal hops.

Tastes alright. Sweet caramel/pale malt flavors up front are joined by herbal hop flavors midway through the sip. There's a light bitter ending with some medium fruit flavors lingering in the aftertaste. Nothing bad here but nothing really good either.

Mouthfeel is alright. It has a slightly thin thickness with above average carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and wouldn't be averse to having another.

Overall this is a middle of the road beer that certainly has nothing disagreeable about it, but I'm not sure I would order this again.

Photo of NewGeneric
3.08/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this about a week ago after work. Poured a reddish brown color with little pearl head that left a small amount of lacing. Smelled of malt and fruity yeast. Tasted of deep malts and fruit. Smooth but a bit fizzy. Could drink if it was the only option, but probably won't reach for this one at the store again.

Photo of Bricelyn
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured nicely into a pint glass with a finger and a half of head.
Keeps a deep brown with highlights of Ferrari red loads of lase all the way down.
It smells of roasted nuts with a light finish of alcohol in the nose.
Tastes of nuts again up front with a finish of coffee and slight twang from the alcohol.
mouth feel is excellent smooth yet not flat.
I would't session this beer almost to rich of a flavor after two or three.

Photo of cswhitehorse
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Hemp Ale poured a dark amber color with not much in the way of foam head or lacing. The smell was of spice and malt. The taste was pretty well balanced as far as it being a malt all the way beer with a slight tinge of bitterness on the finish. It was lightly carbonated and you felt a little on the back of the throat. Overall a pretty middle of the road brew.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

"Made with real cannabis seeds mixed in the mash"? I figured it might be a smarter idea to drink this here in the states than try to import it back into Australia...

Pours a dark ruddy amber colour, with only a tiny little film of off-white bubbles. No lacing, and the body looks particularly thin. Can't say it's a terribly good looking beer.

Light copper bitterness on the nose, a little bit of roasted sweetness, but it's all very light on, and there's not a great deal of character to it. Not a bad nose, but it's pretty tame.

Some initial sweetness, and a slight carbonic tartness, which is washed away by a late roasted bitterness, and a coppery finish. Mouthfeel is indeed excessively thin, leaving a slight tingle of carbonation, but otherwise going down like iced water. It's not a bad palate, overall, mildly uninteresting, but a stylistically decent Amber ale.

Something tells me this beer does better than it would do otherwise because of its name and its gimmick. There's certainly no noticeable impact from its supposed adjuncts, and while it's not an unpleasant brew to drink, it's certainly quite dull.

Photo of HalfFull
3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep reddish amber from a 12 oz. bottle. A thin off white head is short lived and lacing is minimal.

Ale?? Has a clean lager nose to it, with some light caramel malts and a hint of chocolate spice. Lighter than the color might suggest and reminds me, I think, of Michelob Amber Bock.

Tastes like it smells, in that there just isn't a whole lot going on. Finishes with a bit of chili powder/red pepper. Nonetheless, to call this an herbed/spiced beer seems a bit of a stretch. There is no hemp in here and hop presence is minimal. Spice consists of a subtle pepper heat. Thin in body and offering moderate drinkability. A bit sweet and viscous with little carbonation.

Photo of clay003
3.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was surprised by the dark, red-amber color. nice off-white/tan head. initial taste reminds me of a brown ale, and malty, then the carbonation comes in which helps. but finishes poor for me, sour carmel lingering a bit too long. tastes fine at first, then leaves me disappointed (only because i really enjoy humboldt brewing company's other brews so much).

Photo of Finn
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A deep ruby/brown with a small off white head

Aroma: EArthy, mild chocolate notes, a bit of malt, caramel

Taste: Mild chocolate/roasted flavors give way to a quick burst of something funky (the hemp?) but the flavor quickly returns to an acrid brown ale sort of flavor.

Mouthfeel: Ample carbonation with a creamy feeling on the tongue.

Drinkability: Pretty good, interesting to try it at least once, but I could think of many other beers in the same class with higher drinkability.

Photo of cerveza5150
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Decent beer. I'm probably drawn to it more by the name than anything else. Sweet taste, followed by some hops, but pretty thin. This tastes like a macro brewed version of a beer that desperately wants to be micro brewed. Overall, just decent, nothing special.

Photo of BarleyMine
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this into a pint glass. It poured a clear darkish amber with an initial thick, rocky head receeding quickly, leaving a very thin white line and fast lacing.

Smells herby with some malt characteristics.

Tastes of malts, mild herby flavors and notes of weak, flat vanilla soda.

Light body with medium crabonation.

It's what an Amber light might taste like.

Photo of seanbhudson
3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brown color with a large tan head that dissipates at an average rate. Moderate lacing. A lot darker then I expected.
Light aroma of toasted malt and a little caramel.
Toasted malt and a little caramel sweetness. Finishes with a bit of earthy hops. I don't taste any weird spices here.
Light to medium body beer. Soft carbonation.
A very easy drinking smooth beer. A bit one dimensional for me. I expected a funky tasting beer and what I got was a mix between a pale ale and brown ale.

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle.

Appearance: Poured a ruby brown and a finger of head developed and dissipated gradually, leaving a dense lacing on top.

Smell: Has a weak, indistinct smell. A scent of metallic hop bitterness was prominent at first but sweetened to reveal an evergreen-like aroma, reminding me of a winter warmer. No hemp, unfortunately.

Taste: It wasn't as bitter as the smell first suggests. Smooth caramel maltiness with a hint of spice that mellowed as my taste buds adjusted.

Drinkability: Hemp Ale was better than I expected, though I'd never know it was brewed with something distinct unless it was spelled out. The hemp failed to deliver something unique (for the first time in my life), but it does make for good drinking. It's a well-balanced beer. I think I'll burn a little Nag for the hell of it.

Humboldt Brown (Hemp Ale) from Humboldt Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 513 ratings.