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Sweet Josie Brown Ale | Lonerider Brewing Company

very good
97 Reviews
For Trade:
Sweet Josie Brown AleSweet Josie Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Lonerider Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States | website

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by atsprings on 05-07-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 483
Photo of CrackedHarlot
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a standard pint glass, this beer has the color you want to see from a good nut brown, dark brown with redish highlights. My glass didn't have much head, but it didn't affect much. Solid malt flavors, with bready and prune notes. When I come to Raleigh, I definitely look for the beer, a good local choice.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On one of my recent trips down to visit my aunt & uncle in DC, I came across a few of Lonerider's CANs in furtherance of The CANQuest (tm). I am now over 1,300 CANned beer reviews!

From the CAN: "Handcrafted"; "Ales For Outlaws"; "As strong-willed as she is seductive, Sweet Josie knows how to draw you in then bring you to your knees. This American brown ale is a complex beer balancing a nice hop bitterness with a generous amount of chocolate and aromatic malts."

I Crack!ed her open, only to discover that Sweet Josie is a squirter, by virtue of being a brimful CAN! I was gentle with her Glug, but once deCANted, I gave it a good in-glass swirl. This raised a finger of foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with decent retention before falling back to wisps. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity & deep-amber highlights. Nose was both bready & chocolaty with a light bitterness underlying the overt sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but bigger & softer in the mouth than I was expecting. The taste was sweet milk chocolate offset with a biscuity maltiness. I defaulted to chocolate biscotti! We were just talking today of the return/resurgence of Brown Ales & if this is any indication of what CAN be done, then I am all for it! As a self-avowed/self-described hophead, I am not big on sweet, malty beers, but this held everything in check and achieved a nice balance. The finish was semi-sweet, bespeaking a good balance between the malts and any hops that were involved in its production.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.59/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brown ale, with a lighter brown 1/4" head on it. Cool artwork. Mild roasted aromas and brown malt.

Taste was above average hoppiness for style, a little bit of chocolate/cocoa, woodiness, mild lactose sweetness. Definitely like this above your average brown ale. Crushable, mildly sweet and roasted, minor complexities, yeah boy, this has a place in the world.

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Photo of ljdrinksbeer
4.37/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into guinness pint glass
L - small light tan head clears quickly, dark brown with reddish tint
S - Chocolate, rum raisins, sweet malt
T - Liquid sex, christmas rum balls, roasted malts but not bitter
F - Medium to full body, silk
O - Highly enjoyable, not too complex but great for style

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours opaque dark brown with a medium pale-tan head that leaves a ring. Nose is lighter than expected, but is earthy and sweet malts. Taste is better, with fuller sweet malts, caramel, and toast. Overall, this is a solid beer, which seems like a cross between American brown and English strong ale. However, it lacks complexity/depth to make it a great beer.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It's a brown ale that tastes like an amber. Tons of carmel malt, some grain sweetness and some light bittering hops. Short finish. Eh, it's a brown ale, nothing sexy about it.

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Photo of oldn00b
4.11/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown, very clear but definitely a good amount of sediment. Fizzy head forms and recedes.

Nose is very light, definitely caramel malt forward and not real note of hop presence.

Flavor is spot on for a brown, but bit of a misnomer here. Not an overly sweet brown with a nice bit of hop bitter at the end to prevent a sweet finish. Big malt bill with a lot of caramel and even some hints of chocolate and a bit of spice.

Feel is nice. Medium bodied brown with a bit tighter carbonation than I might expect. Very nice overall.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can. Pours deep brown with some red highlights. Thick sudsy off white head, great retention. Big sweet caramel malt nose with figgy notes. Taste follows with malt sweetness, toffee and some dark fruit, mild burnt roastiness and syrup. A touch of hops at the end to tame the sweetness, but not much. A little butterscotch in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium, soft. Overall a very good sweet brown ale, exceeded expectations.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nice dark brown but clear with a nice tan head that left decent lacing in my glass. The aroma is chocolate malt, and some yeasty notes. Tastes malty, chocolaty, and sweet with a perfect hop bitterness at the end to wrap it all up. Really nice brown ale and it is easily drinkable.

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Photo of rawfish
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Sweet Josie pours nice and smooth out of the can. Deep mahogany with a tiny layer of head with nearly no retention and lacing that chases the liquid down the glass.

Heavy on cocoa powder with balancing amounts of dried apple and berries, some nuttiness and honey as well sticking in there. Is this liquid trail mix?

Nice chocolate depth when this beer is cool but as it warms the taste turns into a more toffee and red fruit character. Can't really taste any hops but the sticky malt is lifting quite nicely from the palate so I know they are there somewhere.

Medium bodied, smooth carbonation and hidden alcohol make this a real nice drinker.

I still don't get why brown ales are so underappreciated. This one especially is very good and balanced. It's too bad this one doesn't get to California it fits nicely into my top 3 for the style.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Toasted, Crust, Hay, Clean

Perfectly balanced, slightly chewy and toasty. Without a doubt one of the better American Brown Ales we have had in the long while. They have clearly nailed it for the malt profile it wields. Faint suggestions of coffee, chocolate, and toasted bread. Quite clean which only makes this brew more drinkable. Simple yet very impressive, this is what Brown Ales are about.

STYLE: American Brown Ale | ABV: 6.1% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #94 (NOV 2014)

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: medium brown with ruby accents: 1 finger creamy tan head that receded to a thin cap; very nice lacing;

S: roasted grain; sweet malt;

T: follows the nose; virtually no bitterness;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: not very complex; no hop character;

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Photo of ManBearPat
4.83/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is a real treat. Anymore, it seems that brewers like to add to many American hops to bitter their browns, but this one is well-balanced between malty goodness with just enough hops to really make it a winner in my book.

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Photo of mattsdenney
2.83/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pretty surprised this own gold at GABF. Not bad really but very average brown ale overall. Leans heavily on malt which gives off a strong sour bread taste. Some hints of gingerbread and nuts. I prefer my browns to be a bit fuller and bolder.

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Photo of myelo
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap

A: Dark ruby brown with think khaki head and persistent lacing.

S: Roasted sweet malt, with hints of chocolate

T: Initial mild caramel sweetness, then moderate earthy hop bitterness, with coffee and chocolate aftertaste.

M: medium body, moderate carbonation

O: There are a lot of poor brown ales out there these days but this is an overall nice one -- balanced and drinkable with plenty of flavor and no obvious flaws.

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Photo of tone77
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A big thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a dark mahagony color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of bready malts, some nuts. Taste is malts, nutty, some hops, bready, a bit of caramel, very smooth. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a solid and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Can shared by RussianDragon.

Dark mahogany body with an inch of beige head. Fruity, dark malt, candy, molasses. Similar flavor. Medium to light body. Decent.

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Photo of Beejay
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours medium amber, in the glass it is a dark brown with a nice full head on top.

S: Sweet caramel, and freshly baked bread. Perhaps a slight licorice aroma as well.

T: Nice caramel sweetness, good roasted grain flavor as well as a little bit of a coffee flair. Sweetness is nice, with a decent amount of roasted character.

M: Medium in feel, the carbonation is possibly a touch high, but that might help lighten it a little. There is a lovely creaminess to it.

O: Overall I think this is a fairly outstanding brown, I'm not a huge brown fan, but this one might be changing that. I feel like a lot of browns are humdrum, and this one is interesting, and delicious.

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Photo of barczar
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%

Aroma is nutty and toasted, with hints of chocolate, roasty malt, and floral hops. Flavor reveals a roasted malt backbone, which is accented by toasted nuts, burnt breadcrust, and lightly sweet chocolate. The finish is lightly bitter. Great malt complexity.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A: Pours a dark ruby color. The head is a finger high, with an off-white shade. It's both creamy and well-retaining, but there isn't a huge amount of lacing left behind.

S: This one seems a bit more caramel-laden than other brown ales. There's still a focus on milk chocolate, nuts, and brown sugar, but also a bit more dark fruit sweetness than other examples. Points for having a bit more richness that what the style would normally dictate.

T: It starts off slightly sweet, with a twinge of dark fruit esters helping to balance out some of the brown sugar and chocolate notes at the forefront. The finish is somewhat roasty - think roasted pecans rather than roasted malts. Hell, I'm even getting a kiss of piny hops, as well. Sure, it's a brown ale, but it brings a lot of the notes I like in the style without many of the ones I don't.

M: Rather dry for the style, almost parching, in fact. It's decently substantial (read: not overly so), with the right amount of carbonation. This hits a good middle ground between richness and drinkability.

O: Solid offering across the board. I've had two offerings from this brewery before this, and I was left completely nonplussed. This, though, is quite good. It's a fairly dry brew that thinks it's a porter at times (a compliment, FYI). I'd drink it again, and I'd even buy it again.

3.5/5: This Josie is a pussycat

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, crystal clear, brown coloring with hazelnut highlights and a tall, foamy, dense, creamy, coffee ice cream colored head. Aromas of mocha sweet and bitter forward, with a cream backbone, subtle nut sweetness, and roasted notes. Smooth and balanced nose. Flavors are nut sweet forward, with that bittersweet mocha coffee flavor right behind in the backbone. Creamy highlights help blend everything together, and with the subtle roast and char notes, this balances out nicely. Light and smooth in mouth, with a candy sweet aftertaste of nut, chocolate, and subtle coffee bitters. Smooth, slightly lingering finish. This is a solid, easy drinking beer.

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Photo of marshmarsh
2.91/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Libby Porter/Stout glass

a - pours black with slight amber tint, no head at all, small amount of lacing around edge.

s - chocolate and caramel with coffee hints

t - starts smooth and sweet, like a milk chocolate bar, but not much flavor. Hint of spice. Finish is a little smoky. Not very bitter at all.

m - kind of watery, I'm wondering if something was wrong with this bottle

o - Definitely a great idea, it just needs more character and body. If I find after opening another bottle that this one was faulty, I'll re-review.

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Photo of Mike_Beasley
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Almost perfect. Hops are correct for this ale. Beautiful color. Always consistent. An excellent one beer beer to drink. Does not loose it's attractiveness after tasting other beers. One you will always come back to again. Love it's aroma. Strong enough to have some bite when 1st tasting every time, yet keeps delivering for each one. Alcohol content is enough for you to know you're drinking this beer at half a bottle. Does not loose it's flavor as temperature changes. Great to grill with. It's that "I've got this beer you've got to try" when entertaining. Very impressive and simple, not too much going on like some beers. I'm sure all beer lovers will enjoy this one for its drinkable attitude.

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Photo of Tone
3.59/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark brown color. 1/5 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, slight hop, yeast, and a hint of chocolate. Fits the style of an American Brown. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, hint of yeast, hops, and hint of alcohol. Overall, weak appearance, but average aroma, feel, and body.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown body with one finger head on top of a hearty aroma of roasted malts, some bread to them, caramel and a good amount of chocolate. Unfortunately, the beer itself does not deliver like the aroma. Medium bodied, a little sticky, I get some minor sweetness from caramel and chocolate but there doesn't seem to be any balance as the roasted malts dominant and the beer is mostly dry with a drying finish. And there really isn't much more to say because this is not a real flavorful beer, either (not going to say it's watery, though).

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Sweet Josie Brown Ale from Lonerider Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.