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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: 164
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 25.07%
Wants: 9
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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 47 | Hads: 164
Photo of emerge077
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to MasterSki for sharing the growler!
Review from notes...

Clear copper, creamy tan foam. It's froth leaves a scalloped ring of lacing all around. Decent retention, it holds an unbroken skim of foam for the duration of the glass.

Fairly nutty, mild tobacco leaf dryness, husky malts. Somewhat crisp with a slight bite. Ample carbonation, almost a touch too much for a Mild Ale. Still, it's a simple yet refreshing beverage that I enjoyed drinking.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.51/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another 1L growler supplied by NewGeneric - thanks man. Served in my NotLA pint taster glass.

A - Transparent chestnut brown body, with two fingers of light tan foam that dissipates to a ring and some light haze. Not much in the way of lacing. Some visible bubbles rise through the body.

S - Light roasted malt, molasses, and a touch of nuttiness. Fairly muted, but not unpleasant.

T - The taste is quite nutty, with a light yeasty finish. There's also some light toasted grain, and a bit of sweet maltiness. I like the taste better than the smell.

M - More crisp and zesty carbonation than the blonde - actually borders on harsh for me. Light-medium body that is definitely style-appropriate.

D - Very drinkable at 3.9%, but not super-interesting. If I were in Louisiana I'd stick to the Blonde I think. This was actually the growler that kicked last at a party I held recently.

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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 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 drpimento
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Not a bad brown, but nothing special. Served with a nice creamy, fine, light tan head and some lace. Color was a clear dark, garnet brown. Traditonal nut brown flavor witha bit of dark, ripe fruit and a bit of acid. Body was a tad thin and carbonation was a little fizzy. Roasty, slightly sweet finish of medium length.

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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 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 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 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 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 RonaldTheriot
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

NOLA Brown Ale has a thin, but creamy head and is very dark red in color. Carbonation is minimal. This ale is surprisingly mild and bitterness is slight. Mouthfeel is light and rather watery. This was served very fresh on tap at the NOLA brewery and was delicious.


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Photo of msubulldog25
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On this all-too-brief visit to Slidell for a family celebration (dad's birthday #80), we gathered for one final dinner at Mandina's (on E. Gause). Good food, entertaining service, fun family time...and a chance to try one of the new breweries in the area. Had a (frosted) pint of what they referred to colloquially as 'NOLA Dark' pre-dinner, then another with that tasty redfish meuniere filet.

A: Quite dark with an underlying ruby-redness. Heady 1-finger tuft of off-white foam, good retention. Bands of lace that seemed to drift away while I wasn't looking. Tried to find carbonation rising in the darkness, but couldn't see through and didn't want to 'overdo it' in front of my family... ;-)

S: Big 'grain' aroma, toasted and husky...a latent smokiness that hints at nutshells. Enticing and forthright.

T: As nice as this smells, flavor is better: wonderful dark roast, wheat crust with a gentle sweetness. Nutty roast is a firm blend of earthiness, medium chocolate and coffee grounds, not acrid whatsoever.

M: Decent carbonation, crisp yet smooth and, well, 'mild'. Probably 'medium' bodied for the style but lighter feeling overall. Some lasting bitterness as a pleasing leave-behind.

D: If I lived in the area, I could drink this ALL THE TIME. Excellent flavor and über-sessionable strength. Honestly thought this was a 'bigger' dark lager (schwarzbier or similar); what a surprise! The type of beer I thoroughly enjoyed, my sometimes-finicky beer-loving wife approved of, and my beer-novice brother proclaimed as 'REALLY good' (a night after he'd completely rejected my similar choice from Abita). I'd say NOLA has a winner with this one.

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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 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 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 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 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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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 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 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 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 beveritt
2.38/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Had on tap recently at Hopjacks. Arrives in a Shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Absolutely no head whatsoever. None. Beer itself is dark brown, looks like a glass of flat Coke.

Smell: No smell, even as it warms up.

Taste: Slight smell of caramel malt upfront with hints of molasses. Undertones of licorice, tobacco and coffee. Biscuity malt with some toffee flavors lingers. Some band-aid phenols.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation level is lower than it should be for this beer. Body is good.

Drinkability: Saw this one on the menu and thought I would give it a try. Drinkable, but it tastes like someone's second or third attempt at homebrewing. Pass.

Note on 11/9/10: I received an e-mail from the brewery concerning this review. They stated that it sounded like a an issue with the carbonation level of the beer and invited me to try some directly from the brewery next time I am in the area. Props to them for pro-active customer service. I will definitely try some more of their beer next time I am down south.

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