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Nut Brown Ale - Garrison Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Nut Brown AleNut Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

40 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 40
Hads: 74
Avg: 3.58
pDev: 13.69%
Wants: 1
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Garrison Brewing Company visit their website
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-30-2002

Like the rich, dark brews of southern England this traditional ale draws on specialty malts such as chocolate, caramel and black patent. “Nut Brown Ale” is a deliciously flavourful dark beer like those popular in early Nova Scotia.

20 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 40 | Hads: 74
Photo of PEIBeerGuy
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I saw some of the Garrison beers in Baddeck a week or so ago. I decided on trying this style, because it seemed the most unique.

The beer looks good, with a dark colour similar to a glass of cola. The head is pretty tall, and lasts a good minute or so at least (I drank it, so I dunno how long it would actually last). After pouring, it cascades up a BIT like Guinness would.

The smell is just OK, & doesn't really match the flavour. It's a fruitier smell, like a Trappist beer (not my fave).

Its taste is a rich one, but not terribly filling (not nec. a bad thing). It has tastes of dark chocolate and coffee which come through strongest.

For a flavourful dark beer, it's not that thick. It's a bit smoother than a pale ale, and has a fair bit of carbonation. Not too much, but I wouldn't want any more.

As for drinkability, I instantly liked this beer quite a bit. I had three in a row the second time I tried it.

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Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Surprisingly well hopped, with decent licorish and hoppy aroma, good dark brown, and nice bitter but also malted finish.Another decent beer from Halifax, with this brewery and Garrison they are not famished for drink. Thanks for bringing back Terry Z.

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Photo of DrJay
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, dark brown beer with chestnut highlights. Thin, light brown lace of head. Roasted malt aroma dominates, while chocolate and caramel back it up. Good balance of dark malts and bitterness in the flavour, but seems to be missing some malty sweetness that would fill it out a little. Finishes on the bitter side with some grainy dryness and a bit of yeasty flavour. The texture is a bit slick, particularly towards the end. Moderate carbonation, but it seems to add a bit of acidity. This is a decent beer and is quite tasty, but the combination of flavours seems a bit strange to me.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice dark brown with a ruby red tint, finger of tan head with little retention and no real lacing.

S - Scent is sweet with dark chocolate, maple syrup and burnt sugar. Touch of fresh ground coffee on the finish.

T - Definitely more bold than I was expecting with the chocolate and coffee malts bearing a strong presence. The burnt sugar and maple syrup linger on the finish alongside some faintly detectable earthy hops.

M - Although it appeared thin, the carbonation filled up on the tongue and came across as smooth and creamy, though the finish was a tad too dry for my liking.

D - Overall a pleasant surprise which boasts bold flavours for a brown ale. I quite enjoyed this one and could easily toss back a 6-er. Easily drinkable, yet full of flavour.

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Photo of ludachris
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Since Im down here in Hali, I decided to pick up this homegrown brew. Pours a deep redish brown with a really nice thick rocky tan head that stays around. Smells of roasted nuts and chocolate. The taste is very similar with a little bit of caramel. Really nice lacing that goes all the way down the glass. Sticking to the style, this brew is very smooth with little carbonation and no bitterness. Im very glad I picked this one up and cant wait to try their other brews.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A well brewed and well balanced example of the British brown ale style. Very attractive pour, a clear dark chocolate brown with impressive white head. Aroma of roasted malted grains and a nutty chocolate tone, with emphasis on hazelnut. Sweet taste has enough bittering hops in the finish not to be cloying. The caramelized malt sweetness fades quickly, leaving a pleasantly lingering dryness.

A beer I'd definitely recommend to any brown ale fan.

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Photo of biegaman
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Garrison's Nut Brown is certainly dressed appropriately for the fall: it has a creamy khaki coloured head and its chestnut body is replete with blushing, autumn leave-like tones of auburn and amber. Its kindled highlights give way to shallow pockets of clarity. This earthy shaded beverage looks quite at home against a backdrop of withering foliage.

There is just the right amount of sweet, dark caramel to balance the smokey, sooty scent of roasted malts. The aroma is surprisingly redolent of mocha for a style that normally steers slightly clear of the more heady, full-bodied flavours. It pleasantly smells like roast pecan and chocolate covered hazelnut. It is robust like a porter.

Likewise, the flavour is unexpectedly layered. True to its name, the beer boasts flavours of nuts: namely the chocolate covered almonds and hazelnuts and roast pecans that were already given away by the aroma. It tastes as though both coffee and cocoa beans were grounded into the mash; they pair fantastically with the sweetish, toffee-tinged malts.

It is likely the yeast imparting these lightly fruity undertones. I sense a bit of dried fruits and also the faint impression of banana. These soft, suggestive notes are easily lost amongst the smokey, roasted nature of the malts (which, for the record, includes: pale, caramel, Munich, dextrin and chocolate). Bitter and sweet are perfectly entangled.

Nova Scotia doesn't produce a lot of beers but of the ones they do I'd say an unusually high percentage of them are well above average. I'd have an easy time keeping the fridge stocked if I lived in that part of Atlantic Canada. This is not only a good rendition of the style but a highly quaffable, flavourful, all around well-crafted beer in its own right.

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Photo of Seanstoppable
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a finger of head. Head quickly evaporates to a thin covering. Minor lacing left on the glass.

Smell consists of a nice mild nutty chocolate.

Taste follows suit with the scent, but it more clear. The nutty chocolate is like chocolate covered almonds. Really enjoyable. Some minor bitterness is also present, mostly in the swallow. Some toffee tastes are also apparent. Further drinking introduces some minor coffee flavoring as well.

Very smooth, very nice, very enjoyable. You can easily go through a few bottles of this in one sitting.

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Photo of PiratePete
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Barrack St. pours out a thin light brown head that stays on the edge 'til the end. A malty nose - very friendly. A smooth feel with the first mouthful. Thin but not watery. Wonderfully balanced aftertase (hops and a creamy dark choclate taste). With each mouthful it tasted better - I think the new mouthful taste overlaped with the lingering aftertaste of the last one and it just kept getting better.

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Photo of Long813
3.81/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dated: NA

A: Dark brown body with two fingers of light mocha head. Retention is great and leaves loads of lacing.

S: Strong essence of nuts and roasted malts, and some sweet toffee.

T: Full up on the roasted malts with a slight hint of almond/walnut maybe. Sweet chocolate and caramel blends nicely with mild coffee beans.

M: Medium-light bodied with high carbonation. Water like texture and leaves a bitter aftertaste. I find the carbonation is a bit much.

D: Another good brew by Garrison. For it's style, it's basic and to the point, making it a pleasing beer for all.

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Photo of Gusler
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On the pour, a very deep garnet in color with a modest sized head and the texture frothy as it depletes the lace forms a nice fine sheet to obscure the glass. The nose a nice Brown Ale nutty sweet, loads of malt, some hints of sweet butter and quite fresh and pleasant to the senses. Front is sweet, the top is skinny in its feel to the palate, finish has a light carbonation and the hops apropos to the style, dry aftertaste and a nice quaffable brew ‘tis true.

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Photo of socon67
3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured coffee brown to dark brown with a creamy foam. The smell of roasted malt, nut, and caramel is whaffing from the glass. I found that this got even better as it settled in the glass. The taste was very traditional; a rather heavy malty taste. The taste is more potent over time. Decent drinkablility, though after one I was ready to move on to something else.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a very dark brown, its almost the color of porter. The aroma is of husky malts, chocolate, roasted barley and a farmyard funkyness (which is common to all Garrison beers, must be the house yeast). The taste is full of malts, with a very minimal hop character. Theres big chocolate and crystal malt flavors and also some musty notes. The mouthfeel is grainy and finely carbonated. This is probably my favorite Garrison beer. It has a great depth of malt flavors that is very effective in concealing the house yeast. I dont like that soapy barnyardy taste.

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Photo of Evocatus
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown, as what you would expect from a brown ale. Aroma was nutty and roasted malts. Taste was similar to the armoa. The nuttiness was strong, as was the roasted malts; although the latter came off a little too strongly. Good thickness. Overall one of Garisson's better brews.

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Photo of nighthawk
3.76/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler whisked from the brewery into my fridge. Poured into nonic.

Dark brown body with hints of ruby-hued browns where the light pierces the otherwise opaque beer at the edges. Head is large and fluffy at first pour, settling to a persistent finger (1cm or so) light tan head. Bits of sticky lace cling here and there along the glass.

Chocolate-covered nuts comes first to mind when smelling this beer. Surprising amount of fruity esters in there too, something along the lines of apples, pears, bananas and maybe a touch of citrus. The more the beer warms, the more the chocolate and nutty aromas come out, even giving some mildly roasted coffee.

Taste follows the aroma, though the fruit is a bit more subdued. Chocolate, nuttiness, some caramel, very light fruit, finishing with a bit of something that I can't quite put my finger on, but makes me think of (alternately) smokey, sour, and lactic flavours. A fair bit going on here, and blended decently.

Mouthfeel is a touch above light, maybe a bit lighter than what I would really prefer, with mild carbonation.

This is a very drinkable brew. Not the tastiest beer, or even nut brown I've come across, but it has some nice flavour and goes down nicely. Worth trying.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap fresh at the brewery in Halifax. Dark brown colour with one finger beige head and sheet lace. Smell is caramel. Nice bitter roasted malt flavour, hints of caramel and chocolate. There is also an array of nutty flavours here as well with low astringency and a dry frinish. Not too sweet. Nice balance, refreshing and flavourful - good stuff!

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Photo of BigBry
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a short, off white head. Head quickly shrinks to a thin cap, thin lacing left on the glass. Nice smell of nuts and chocolate, light but evident. Taste mirrors the aromas. More nuttiness, some chocolate/light cocoa, minor bitterness at the end to balance the caramel sweetness.
Very smooth, enjoyable. Well balanced. Would be a 'go-to regular' if it were readily available in Alberta. Very comparable to Wild Rose Brown.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle, part of the MIXED-6 pack currently available in Alberta.

This beer pours a clear, very dark reddish cola hue, with two fingers of weakly puffy, yet densely foamy beige head, which leaves a few promontories of jagged lace around the glass as it quickly settles.

It smells of gritty bready caramel malt, bittersweet cocoa powder, hazelnut and pistachio nut, a touch of sour milk, subtle earthy yeast, and some earthy, weedy, and leafy hops. The taste is sweet 'n nutty caramel malt (the particular nut character obfuscated as it is in most confections), stale milk chocolate, a wisp of meaty smoke, a certain metallic flintiness, and some wan leafy, herbal hops.

The carbonation is on the low side of things, with its plain Jane frothiness, the body medium-light in weight, mostly smooth, and perhaps a tad creamy. It finishes well off-dry, the sweet nutty malt giving way to the feebly surging weedy, herbal hops.

A nice, generally balanced brown ale - lots of flavour - the only drawback is that middling, weird, and kind of medicinally herbal hop essence - surely a different varietal would do this offering a whole lot more justice, eh?

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Photo of wordemupg
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured into pint glass nov30 2009

A clear deep red/maroon with a fast falling thumbs worth of head that left no lace

S mild chocolate brown sugar and faint cola

T perhaps a little toffee and a little nutty but other then that it tastes similar to what I smell

M fairly smooth but a little flat

D not a bad beer overall the taste put it a fair amount above average

thanks to Long813 for this east coast gem from a brewer I'm only starting to get acquainted with

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - bubbly deep amber brown, generous tan head was consistently replenished from the rising bubbles
S - caramel and nutty malt, cedar, cherry, and light grassy hops
T - very nutty and sweet thick molasses malt flavours dominate, some fresh cedar and a hint of leafy hops
M - well carbonated with a creamy feel up front, finishes sweet and full
D - a solid nut brown ale, doesn't stand out in any particular way but does everything well, maybe a bit too sweet to be a sessioner

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.67/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Friends of mine did a road trip out to Halifax and picked up a sampler for me - cheers lads!

Poured into a nonic glass. Dark chestnut brown with a touch of red when held to the light. Thin, foamy off-white head, dissolved fairly quickly. Ring survived throughout the pint.

Nose is coffee, chocolate, hazelnut, caramel, marshmallow. Smells great!

Taste is that of a solid brown ale, but doesn't deliver on the same level as the nose. Malts were big here. All the flavors were there, but were a bit muted, especially towards the finish. A bit of a bolder effort would have made for a quality brew. As it is, the taste is merely satisfactory.

Slightly watery, decent carbonation. About right for the style to avoid being classed as a porter.

An okay brown ale, nothing fantastic, nothing to rave about, but certainly tasty.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a clear brown color with a tan head. The aroma is toasted malt, toffee, caramel and some chocolate. The flavor is toffee, chocolate, earthy hops and some toasted malt. A pretty basic brown ale in both flavor and aroma. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of demcorhip
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks decent, somewhat dark, almost cola coloured. Garnet highlights when back lit. Half finger tan head on the pour. Not much for retention, head fades quickly to leave a very fine collar.

Interesting aroma. Theres some treacle, nuts, toffee, a hint of grain husk, some fruity esters of apple or perhaps cherry, and some earthy and floral hop scents in the back as well.

Good stuff. Hints at roastiness and some cocoa powder comes through in the taste, this is almost getting into porter territory. Treacle, toffee and walnut are the main malt flavours, and are nicely accented by the touch of roastiness and cocoa powder. Fruity esters mix nicely and compliment the overall character of this ale. Very mildly hopped, certainly brewed to the English versus American style.

Fairly light bodied, and quite mildly carbonated. Nicely balanced brew. Almost creamy in feel, makes up somewhat for the thin body and very mild level of carbonation.

A very drinkable and sessionable brew. This would always be close to my fridge if available locally for those reasons, as well as the fact that it is tasty. This is fairly approachable for a darker brew as well, and would be a great stepping stone to get newbies into darker and roastier brews. Nice work NASH and thanks for the bottle.

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Photo of Rutager
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Nice deep (nut-)brown-red with over a finger of creamy tan head that leaves some nice lacing.

Smell. Sweet caramel malt, some maple and molasses, and a little herby hops.

Taste. Sweet caramel, some molasses and roasty grains. A little bit of grassy hops.

Mouthfeel. On the heavier side of light in body with medium, smooth carbonation

Overall. A little sweet for me. A bit of a medicine taste that I can't put my finger on.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a variety 6-pack from Garrison, in a 341ml brown bottle. Pours out a dark brown, bright translucent garnet when held to light. Creamy beige head that settles to a healthy cap.

Nutty, toasty malt on the nose, some sweet notes.

Nutty and toasty malt also in the flavour, accompanied by some wafery chocolate character, with notes of coffee and toasted malt on the finish, very mild leafy hops in the aftertaste.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, the texture makes it seems fuller than it is, while the carbonation adds to a more quenching finish.

A pretty decent brown ale, so far my favourite of what I've sampled from Garrison so far, they did a pretty good job with this style.

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Nut Brown Ale from Garrison Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.