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NOLA Brown Ale - New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing Company (NOLA)

Not Rated.
NOLA Brown AleNOLA Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

47 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 47
Hads: 163
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 8
Gots: 13 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing Company (NOLA) visit their website
Louisiana, United States

Style | ABV
English Dark Mild Ale |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cvfish on 03-07-2009

NOLA Brown Ale was one of our first two flagship ales. This brewery favorite is a light-bodied, full flavored English dark mild ale with notes of chocolate, coffee, caramel, and nuts. High malt flavor and low hops, this is a great session beer with a 4.0% ABV and smooth finish.
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Reviews: 47 | Hads: 163
Photo of tone77
3.59/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a very dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is malty, sweet, some chocolate. Taste is bready, malts, nutty, easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the can a muddy, murky brownish amber, with a fair head of fine off-white bubbles. Lace seems spotty and light.

Nose is a dirty, earthy mix of malts — a tad sweet with a tinge of citrus underneath. I get some roasty chocolate malts, and some sweetness.

Flavors are light and almost lacking. I get a slight nuttiness and roasty element on the palate, but the light body is deceiving. There’s enough taste here to remain drinkable and sessionable. This one is faithful to the classic English brown ale style, and pretty decent.

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Photo of Mikecap
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. can poured into a 16 oz. Founders snifter.

Appearance; Pours a deep brown with a nice fluffy khaki head that fades quickly. Splotchy lacing remains as I drink the beer.

Smell: Some coffee and roast, hints of chocolate, and also a surprising amount of hops and pine. A good deal of earthiness for a brown ale.

Taste: Chocolate malt, some roast, coffee and some pine come in. Notes of grass and a bit of nuttiness as well.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with solid carbonation and a nice creamy mouthfeel. Not too thin but very easy drinking.

Overall: A quite enjoyable session-brown ale from NOLA. A good beer to have around and something I will keep in my fridge for sure.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Ninkasi Brewing pint glass. Bottom of can says Best By: 11/09/13

A- Pours a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch dark tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing slides quickly down the glass.

S- Semi-sweet malty aroma brings notes of caramel and nuts.

T- Toasty malt, some milk chocolate sweetness and more nuttiness. Almost too easy to drink but that's expected from the ABV. Minimal hop bitterness.

M- A bit crisp and somewhat viscous. Medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- A pretty flavorful malty session beer. In some circles, it's referred to as the "slow down brown" due to the low amount of alcohol.

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Photo of rudzud
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Received this can as an extra in a trade a while back, Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A- Pours a nice light chestnut brown hue with a good two finger rocky white head that fades to leave a thin halo and light clouding. Starts great, ends mediocre.

S - Fairly standard aromas, light cardboardy malts, faint sweetness, gentle toast and roast. 100% English here.

T - Taste is thin watery malts, light sweetness, roasted/toasted malts, pretty straightforward. Too bad really, just an average english ale really.

M - Mouthfeel is on the thinner side, its poundable of course, doesnt mean its enjoyable.

O - Overall, pretty average english ale here. Not much going for it truthfully.

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Photo of goochpunch
2.61/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a ruby-tinged brown with a very thin head. Smells like caramel, toast and chocolate. Smell a bit of gummy bears in there too. Flavor is up front pale malts with a smack of the dark malts thrown in the mix (toast and chocolate). Hop presence is very subdued. Finishes with an interesting tartness, but way too much jelly in the finish. Jelly kills it. Is this made by Saint Arnold??? Mouthfeel could be fuller and with more subdued carb. Overall, this can be pounded at this abv, but it's lacking finesse all around. Too much jelly flavor. Weird.

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Photo of Beejay
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown in color with a soft dense tan head.

S: There is a nice grain and flour smell. Slightly bready with a touch of toffee.

T: Nice grain flavor, with some burnt bread and toffee. There is a touch of sharpness in the finish.

M: Fairly light in body with tingling carbonation. I think part of the bite that I am getting is carbonic.

O: Overall not bad, but nothing amazing. Love gravity, some nice dark malt character, although I wish there was a little more flavor.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap intp pint at The Pickle in shreveport, LA. Pours a deep brown with just a bit of foamy head. Nice sweet nutty malty aroma, with slight hop presence. Taste is very nutty, malty, sweet, but mild. Really well balanced and nice sweet malty flavors. I really enjoy the nutty malts in this. Its a super smooth brew with great body...very well balanced. Nice.

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Photo of ZethOfTheNorth
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. can from a sixer bought at Rouse's, New Orleans, for $8.29. Poured hard and down the middle into a wine glass.

A: Aggressive pour yields a fluffy two-finger head with enduring retention. Lacing is weak. Very dark brown color with some lighter caramel colors showing at the bottom of the glass. Classic brown look.

S: Sweet-smelling and surprisingly big for a 4% beer. Some chocolate and coffee and roasted nuts. There's also something earthy and musty in there... almost moldy.

T: A bright, pleasant burst of the coffee, followed by a dominant roasted malt -- maybe overly aggressive here. Then a third wave with a watery sensation and that weird dank taste. I've experienced this every time I've had NOLA Brown.

M: Quite light and slightly more carbonated than the average brown. The wateriness is killing this beer -- and probably ensuring it sits at 4%.

O: NOLA Brown is clearly NOLA's answer to Abita Amber, another local session dark. It has a nice initial punch of flavor for a session beer, but the feel and back-end taste are clearly off.

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Photo of Bishop_Collar
2.81/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Beer had a dark brown appearance with a quarter inch of light tan head with some retention. Beer turned an amber color when held up to light. Did have nice lacing and appeared to have good carbonation.

Smell: Picked up a pretty consistent roasted malt aroma with some chocolate notes.

Taste: Roasted malt flavor with some caramel notes. Not much depth or complexity. One note flavor.

Mouthfeel: Although it had good carbonation, it had a flat finish. Mouthfeel was thin and watery.

Overall: I have enjoyed two other beers from NOLA (Blonde Ale Hurricane Saison), but this one is a miss. Not very noteworthy.

For my complete review, see my blog http://thebishopscollar.blogspot.com/2012/08/nola-brown-ale.html

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P:  Dark brown with deep amber highlights topped with a tower of tan rootbeer head.  Decent bubble activity with foamy lacing and a dissipated milky layer of head on top. 

S:  Super sweet roasted malts, molasses, coffee, chocolate sour dough and caramel.  

T/M:  Roasted malts and chocolate deliver a strong first impression.  Moderate carbonation on a watered dairy sweet and creamy feel.  Taste seems somewhat watered down.  Finishes with coffee and subtle bittersweet cocoa. 

O:  Not a huge fan on brown ales but it was good.  The sweet dairy taste was almost upsetting.  The beer has great flavor for a session beer and has good drink ability. 

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Photo of JerryOdom
4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My little bro handed me one of these and I had it straight out the can without giving much thought up front. I double take looked at the can at that point and thought man this is pretty darn good beer. So I picked up a sixer and now we're doing an evaluation in a pint glass.

Pours nice with a lot of carbonation for the style. Actually not a terrible thing since if the beer is cold you just let it sit a while to warm up to proper drinking temperature. The off white head is thick for the first several minutes then settles to a nice 1/8 an inch. It's a coffee like brown with some red to it. It's definitely to style in appearance.

Flavor is really nice and tasty. Lots of chocolate, coffee, slightly sweet caramel and nutty flavor. Slightly dry finish with a bit of roast in the end. Just enough bitterness to balance. Very drinkable.

Mouthfeel is appropriately light and carbonation starts a little high which to me is clever since if you let it sit to raise the temperature it becomes right. Lightly astringent.

Overall a great beer. Probably my favorite beer in this category out of our great state. Will definitely pick it up often and really gives me a good opinion of NOLA. Cheers!

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, with a tan colored head. Aroma of light chocolate, roasted malts and a faint bit of coffee. The taste was lightly sweet, with some chocolate and a bit of nuttiness. The feel is light, slightly crisp, with a mild creamy note. Drinkability is great and yay portability!

...Where's the Hopitoulas, Nola?!

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 4/13/12

Appearance: Mostly clear, light brown color with a decent beige head that fades to a respectable ring

Smell: A solid brown ale - roasted malts, slightly nutty, toasted dark bread and some bread crust - some molasses - some mild sweetness - overall, on the mild side, but I think that is the point

Taste: Mild, but good - a decent malt profile, slightly roasted, slightly toasted, toffee, bread crust, nuts, and a touch of chocolate - bitterness is pretty nonexistent - some kind of vegetal off-flavor

Mouthfeel: Light body, lots of carbonation (maybe a little too much), extremely drinkable

Overall: Unique, worth a try

This is my first English Dark Mild Ale, but I think a label like "American Mild Brown" would be more fitting. It's like a brown ale, just lighter. There are some weird things in the flavor, but ultimately this is good. This is designed to be a session beer, and it definitely serves that purpose. For that, it gets a bump in its overall score.

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Photo of acevenom
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a glass mug. Pours dark brown with a fluffy tan head that retains well, but there isn't much lacing. There appears to be plenty of carbonation. There's an aroma of dark roasted malts and chocolate. The taste is fairly mild. There are flavors of dark roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and slightly nutty. It has a pleasant sweet flavor. The aftertaste is not strong. The mouthfeel is light, clean, and slightly creamy. It's very easy to gulp. Overall, this is a good beer. It's easily sessionable and I could see myself knocking back a few pints of this.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Wife brought this one back from New Orleans.
12oz. can poured into a DFH shaped pint glass.

A - Pours a dark clear hazel color with 2 fingers of firm tan head. Decent retention with little to no lacing.

S - Roasted grain and sunflower seeds, nutty wheat bread, sweet dairy, toasted caramel.

T - Follows the nose with less sweetness. Toasted grain, nutty, brown bread crust, subtle sweetness around the edges, has an acidic bite towards the finish.

M - Light body, moderate carbonation, creamy feel.

A very well rounded beer. Gives a nice aftertaste of toasted bread and hints of cocoa. Goes down easy with plenty of flavor. You could put a few of these away.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the NOLA brewery in a pint glass

Appearance: Cola brown; 2 finger head with good lacing

Smell: malty with a hint of chocolate

Taste: Toffee, caramel, roast pecans with a dry, licorice finish.

Mouthfeel: A bit on the light side (almost watery).

Overall: A rich brown ale in the English tradition. The porter-like finish kind of threw me off. Still glad I tried it.

UPDATE 4/20/12 Poured from a can into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass
A: same as above
S: Heavy on the coffee with a malt backup. Woody
T: Coffee forward with malts, caramel and pecans. A dry, mocha finish. Rich, robust.
M: Medium, creamy; medium carbonation
O: Pretty damn good out of the can. Really different from the tap.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with creamy tan head that fades fast into a ring. Leaves nice lacing.

The aroma has dark chocolate, coffee notes, licorice, and dark fruit. Low hops.

Nice balance of dark fruit, chocolate and coffee with a good toasted backbone.

Medium body, porter-like

Very interesting and dark version of a brown.

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Photo of kevo237
3.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at a local restaurant. Beer kept a good head and was dark brown, naturally. Looked like a coke. Smell was typical of the style. So typical that I can't even really remember what the aroma was like. Nothing stood out here.

This beer tasted like the crust from a pie my grandmother used to make. I enjoyed this quite a bit. I didn't think the sweetness was a negative aspect at all. The mouthfeel was good to go along with the sweetness. It was sweet, but not cloyingly sweet. It finished dry and quickly enough to not cause aversion.

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Photo of champ103
2.2/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On tap at Walk On's in Lafayette.

A: Pours a light brown, more of a reddish color. A tiny bubbly beige head forms, but recedes to nothing in a second. No lace either.
S: Right up front is buttery diacetyl. Some sweet malt and caramel, but that is it.
T: Again, big on the diacetyl. Buttery malt that tastes kind of dirty. Lightly sweet.
M/D: A light body that is under carbonated and thin. I did not really care to finish the pint, and nothing I want to come back to.

I have had two excellent beers from NOLA, but this is a major let down. Not something I would recommend.

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Photo of tigg924
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at the Avenue Pub poured into a pint glass

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, hazy, dark reddish-brown in color

Smell: leather and caramel

Taste: brown sugar, toasted malt, and leather

Mouthfeel: medium body, sweet with a bitter backbone, moderate carbonation

Overall: This is not a bad beer, but it really did not stick out much either. I could session, but after being blown away by Flambeau Red, this was a let down. I will pass on this in the future and get the red.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - lovely translucent brown that shows very pretty red light through it. Small white head thins to a narrow uniform ring and leaves some charming lacing.

S - Great roasted coffee notes and some black licorice. It's really a fantastic smelling beer.

T - a very good coffee flavor, some very crisp and clean malt background. A light hop profile backs this all in a very good balance.

M - It's very pleasant and light, and while not the big bodied beer that I might prefer, it's still quite nice.

D - come on...3.9% alcohol. Its amazingly drinkable. Tasty and light.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.32/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A. Clear brown with orange and amber. It pours with a thin cream colored head.

S. Vanilla with cream and roasted malt. Some light caramel, too.

T. Similiar to taste, but a bit muted.

M. A bit thin with bright creamy carbonation.

D. Supremely drinkable. I'd finish a growler of this.

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Photo of brew3crew
5/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Newgeneric with the growler. What a guy!

A-dark amber hue. Little bit of red
S-some coffee tones. Roasted malt
T-tastes a lot like it smells. Wonderful. Please come to cincinnati!
M-medium bodied and oh so smooth. Love this stuff
D-very drinkable. Went back for more soon after. Very nice session beer!

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a reddish brown with very little head. not much head but a bit. Kinda looks like coke almost. Smells very good. A very nice smelling beer. Lots of roasted malts on the nose. Tastes great. Lots of roasted malts. A bit smokey. Great mouthfeel and highly drinkable. A solid Brown Ale for sure. First time this dark of a beer has been such a sessionable beer!

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NOLA Brown Ale from New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing Company (NOLA)
84 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.