Gillespie Brown - Twisted Manzanita Ales

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Gillespie BrownGillespie Brown

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56 Ratings

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Ratings: 56
Reviews: 21
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 15.92%
Wants: 3
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Twisted Manzanita Ales visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: womencantsail on 09-13-2010

Gold Medal - 2012 San Diego International Beer Festival: American-Style Brown Ale
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 21
Reviews by JDJTEXAS:
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.96/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #51 (April 2011):

A big Brown, weighing in at 8 percent. Hazed chestnut brown color, head and lacing is nothing less than spectacular. Malty, estery nose with caramel, brown bread, overripe fruit and malt husk. Full-ish body. Boozy—the alcohol really does want to be noticed here. Malt sweetness clashes with a thick underlying husky tone. Hops are there to balance with some bitterness but not much else. Alcoholic and malt forward, but the double whammy of hop bitterness and husky tones drag it down.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thin tan head on a brown body.
The aroma is chocolate milk, toast and nuts.
The taste is creamy and nutty. There's an underlying current of citrus though. Interesting.
It's fine all around.

Photo of ordybill
4.26/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12OZ can into a pint glass.
Aroma- has a thick malty aroma
Appearance- Danny near black with a small light brown head.
Taste- more like a porter, really malty and flavorful
Palate- heavy bodied brew with a slick feel has light carbonation.
Overall- I really like this. It's more of a porter than a brown ale. So what it's awesome.

Photo of badboyrsl84
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Look - cocola/ Carmel colored. Frothy head that's short standing.

Smell- smells little of sweet malt and some grain.

Taste- alcohol brown sugar tons of malt. A solid amount of carbonation.

Over-my favorite of the Manzanita brews and the most potent at 8% abv

Photo of SDHoffers
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Of the 5 samples I tried from the brand spanking new brewery I liked the brown the most. This would be the perfect example of an imperial brown ale. I had quite a few people asking me to put this back on tap and I will during Oktoberfest at Hoffer's in La Mesa. The appearance of the beer is dark brown with very little transparency. The smell is not up front and I would have to say that the nose really doesn't hit you until after your first sip. Sometimes exhaling deeply through the nose after tasting really yields the actual smell of the beer for me. Taste was great! Just a little boozy taste set this beer apart from the other browns out there. Surprisingly, the 8.1% is pretty drinkable. I am stoked these guys have stepped with some of the big boys in San Diego.

Photo of womencantsail
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Manzanita Brewing Company

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a thin off-white head.

S: The nose is sort of light, but there are toasted malt and toffee. There is an interesting fruitiness as well.

T: A semi-sweet flavor with toasted malts, bread, nuts, and toffee. A hint of bitter chocolate that goes along with a fairly bitter flavor overall and a bit of a burnt quality.

M: The body is medium with a smooth carbonation.

D: This is a sort of strange brown ale and differs from the style of their beers a fair amount--most of which are fairly unoffensive and aim to please a large number of palates. Just a bit too much unnecessary bitterness to this beer.

Photo of ALBuff
2.42/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a conundrum. While certainly unique and not what I come to expect from a brown, sometimes different isn't always good. There's a lot going on in this beer... coffee, malt, roasted nuts, sweet breadfruit, and an extra bitter hoppy bite... perhaps too much to be either properly balanced or interesting.

Photo of djaeon
3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a standard pint glass. $6.49 from South Bay Liquor.

A: Pours a hazy dark brown / dark garnet red color with a small head. Little retention & little lacing.

S: Smells of dark roasted malts and caramel.

T: Heavy on the roasted malt with a good hops backer. Has a little booziness, but not much.

M: Initially it has a nice thick mouthfeel. Unfortunately, it leaves an aftertaste that reminds me of a bile-like bitterness.

D: It goes down a little rough, and the aftertaste wouldn't encourage me to have another.

It's a shame, this is the first brew I've tried from this new S.D. brewery. My first impressions, appearance, smell, taste were good, but then after a few sips, and paying attention to what was going on in my mouth, it fell short for me.

That still doesn't discourage. I look forward to trying the rest of their offerings.

Photo of Jshrum78
2.08/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.75

Good flavor but not a heavy beer

Photo of ArsenicDrone
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a pint glass, after cleaning off an uncommonly large amount of dirt around the mouth. The can's very colorful, but looks a bit like it's from a new small brewery. Not quite sure what to expect.

A: Normal brown ale color. Small head, but decent lacing.

S: Not much there. A little boozy. Faint dark malt.

T: Warm and boozy. A bit raisiny, chocolatey and slightly hoppy. Mostly boozy, but it all melds together quite well. The can talks up the hops, but for me they are pleasantly unintrusive. The after-effect on the tongue is much more tingly than bitter. Maybe a hint of oak.

M: Smooth, medium body, small bubbles. Encourages drinking more.

Basically, this is Palo Santo Marron Lite, which works for me. Not as thick, woody, or fruity as Palo Santo, but the nice warm booze plays the same role. About a drink and a half worth of alcohol, as opposed to Palo Santo's two and a half, so easier to have if you don't want to start a real buzz. As an expression of what's possible for smell and taste, Palo Santo sets the bar too high for this to reach. As something to drink, this can be enjoyed in more situations. Not particularly expensive, either. I'll be happy to have this again.

Photo of mactrail
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the hoppier browns. No wonder it is so flavorful, now that I see the ABV. Very dark in the pint glass with plenty of carbonation. While it's a murky bunch of tastes vying for attention, it's certainly full of flavors. Winey and sharp with lots of malt. Roasted flavors with some caramel and dark toffee.

Another dimension from the usual smooth and innocuous Brown Ales. Maybe it should be called an Imperial Brown. In any case, it's a big rustic mouthful.

On tap at Cueva in San Diego.

Photo of emmasdad
4.14/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a bomber of this one while on vacation in San Diego. Poured from the bomber a clean reddish-brown color with a very minimal amount of tan head. Aromas of milk chocolate, toasted malts and nuts. On the palate, this one is medium bodied and nicely done, with flavors of milk chocolate, roasted nuts and toasted malt.

Photo of micromaniac129
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Smells more like a porter then a brown. Lots of roasted notes on the nose.
Pours a ruby auburn brown with a long lasting thick and sticky head.
Taste is like that of a porter.. Guite roasted some coffee and chocolate notes, light hops.
Drinks very sweet too.
Flows thick and velvetty over the palate.
Leans too far to the porter side. I mixed it with some fresh Kona Castaway IPA to make a brown IPA. I love brown IPA's.

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

A - Very dark cola brown, off white small head, leaves to ring fast. Not much cling lace.

S - Light cocoa maybe brown sugar.

T - Malty front with bittering back. Alcohol not well hidden. Chalky finish.

M - Good carb, balance, coating.

D - For the ABV, pretty drinkable.

Photo of broken22
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love that I get to review another up an coming San Diego brewery. I say another because there is another new brewer getting ready to come online. Manzanita Brewing Company just popped up on the scene not to long ago. I had my first taste in July of last year. I remember the first time I had it on draft... So finding this in a 22oz bottle I was so happy. This is a good sign that they are doing good.

So Lets review this thing. Pop and pour you get a nice burnt caramel color pouring out. The head that initially formed was gone pretty quick. Taking a big whiff and this thing smells pretty good. The flavor of this beer is good, not as good as on draft, but good. The initial taste kind of catches you off guard. Don't expect a normal brown. This beers sweet and subtle bitterness is very original.

I really like this brown. I'm not a big brown drinker, because I find them to be bland, so it has to be special for me to like it. This is one of those beers. I love the bold character this beer has. If you see a bottle pick one up and help get a new brewery on their feet. Found a 22oz of this selling for $7.99, good to see such a micro brew giving us this beer for a fare price.

Photo of d4114
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear dark brown with off white to tan head

S- Malty, sweet and roasty

T- I really liked the taste of this one; it's roasty, bitter and creamy; all there beers I have tried have had a sorta earthiness to them not really a bad thing I guess.

M- Medium bodied; very smooth and creamy; good carbonation.

D- Easy to drink and really good tasting; Really enjoyed it.

Photo of beerman33
4.27/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber purchased from Henry's - $5.99

A - Dark amber with tan head

S - Nutty malt

T - Toasted malt with a bit of bitterness from well complimented hop - nutty, some chocolate, booze

M - Smooth, good carbonation

D - Little on the boozy end, but for the ABV, I thought very drinkable

My first Manzanita brew and i thought it was very good, thougj I like bourbon/booze taste so be warned this is a big brown!

Photo of doktorhops
3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Today’s fancy (and heavy ABV’d brew at 8.3%) American Brown Ale carries the distinction of a Gold Medal at the 2012 San Diego International Beer Festival for an American-Style Brown Ale, it’s none other than *drumroll* Twisted Manzanita Gillespie Brown!!! *cue cheesy gameshow music* In any case I am looking forward to trying a big bad [the good ‘bad’] American Brown as it is a style I’ve not had a great deal of dabbling in (the disappointingly dry and bland Brooklyn Brown Ale being the only other US made American Brown Ale).

Poured from a 355ml can into a nonic pint.

A: Nice seal brown hazy body with a tan cappuccino foam 2cm head that fragments well with lacing around the edge of the glass... looks sticky, which usually means sugary too, as long as it isn’t boring as Brooklyn’s Brown I’ll be a happy man. 8/10.

S: HUUUUUGE CARAMEL BASE! So huge I had to write in ALL-CAPS! beneath all this sugar-laden caramel are some earthy/nutty notes and the teensiest-tiniest hint of milk chocolate. Others have suggested heady booze notes but I’m not finding that at all. Time to get my Insulin ready for the tasting part. 8/10.

T: Oh right... there’s the booze... more straight Vodka spirit than anything else, but it is noticeable with a slight burn and the feel of it hitting my blood stream. Apart from that the caramel malt less flavourful than expected but the nutty note is there along with some roasted malt. Finish is slightly astringent with that ethanol burn. You get the feeling that if they could pull back on the ABV there is a decent brew to be found in there. 6/10.

M: Medium bodied with a light but fizzy carbonation. The alcoholic astringency is distracting the mouthfeel somewhat though. 6/10.

D: This is one of those “gee I’m glad I tried it but I won’t be getting it again” type of beers, good-not-great, but it’s that shot of Vodka taste that really drags it down, and if you want to get an idea of what I mean take your favourite brew, pour a shot of Vodka in it and tell me what you think... yeah I thought so. I did however like the amped up caramel-ness of Gillespie Brown... damn this would have been nice at 5% ABV. 6/10.

Food match: What goes with caramel-flavoured Vodka? Kotlety with stolichny salad and a borscht soup starter, mmm... vkusnyy!

Photo of hayesjw
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Suggest Bros revisit this.

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The new Manzanita Brewing Company on July 15, 2012. Draft into pint glass. Black color with light shades of brown. About two fingers when I got it. Frothy thick white lacing with great retention all the way around.

Smelled dark chocolate malts. Also toffee, hints of coffee beans and roasty malts.

Tasted similar to the smell, but just a tad bit stronger. Got bourbon, dark chocolate, coffee, roasty nuts, fudge and toffee. Reminded me slightly of a Russian Imperial Stout.

Full body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Smooth, but bitter long finish.

A decent beer overall and one that I’d have again. Surprised it’s taken me this long to try it.

Photo of jooler
2.81/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pretty damn gross and malty

Gillespie Brown from Twisted Manzanita Ales
82 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.