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Cottonwood Low Down Brown Ale - Carolina Beer Company

Not Rated.
Cottonwood Low Down Brown AleCottonwood Low Down Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

131 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 131
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carolina Beer Company visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 07-26-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Cottonwood Low Down Brown Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 131 | Reviews: 119 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bboven
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Nice medium brown clear body, but no head or lacing.

Very aroma sweet for the style, perhaps too much crystal malt.

Still a little sweet and caramely, though there's a bit more biscuit going on in the flavor than I got in the aroma.

Too highly carbonated for the style.

A tad on the sweet side, but a good clean beer nonetheless.

bboven, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of davidt
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown in color, slight red hints at edges. The aroma is faint with just a bit of malt and nuttiness coming through. The flavor is sweet malt with a bit of roasted chocolate. A decent English Brown Ale but nothing that makes it stand out from the crowd. Very low carbonation level.

davidt, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of SIRIUS2
3.13/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from bottle into pint glass. Color was dark brown but translucent in the light. Virtually no head and zero lacing.

S: Very little in the way of aroma.

T: Pleasant nutty malt flavor with slight bit of smoke in the finish. Hops were there but not prevalent until the finish and then were still quite light coming in second to that sort of earthy/smoky aftertaste.

M&D: On the light side of a medium bodied brew with relatively light carbonation.

I wasn't very taken by LDB. At the pour I began to wonder if perhaps I had a bad bottle as there was literally no head at the end of an aggressive pour. Upon closer examination I noted there was plenty of carbonation but hardly (if any) aroma. Odd. The taste is good with an immediate earthiness and some lingering light sweetness but I don't know if I like that smokiness that sort of hangs in they back of your throat.

Overall, it was okay but not a favorite.

SIRIUS2, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of clemsonbrewer
2.75/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Brown body with growing light colored head. Very little retention and very little lacing. Not too much for the nose. Light coffee with some deep roasted maltiness. Sweet light malt taste with no hops balance that I can find. A little watery and thin feel but enjoyable light malt palate. Not a beer I'd ask for by name at the store but I might try it again.

clemsonbrewer, Nov 29, 2007
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.88/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - pours a caramel brown color, like cola. Light tan head makes it up to a finger then fades, not even making a complete cover. Throws a spot of lace occasionally.

Aroma - I thought I caught a whiff of milk chocolate on the pour but it quickly disappeared behind a conservative curtain of roasted grain. Even that fades a bit as the beer settles.

Taste - roasted grain, mildly sweet. A rather plain profile. A little chocolate appears with some warmth. Has a redeeming warm and roasty quality on the swallow and aftertaste, but overall this is a fairly plain example of the style. Tasty, but average.

Mouthfeel - a good element of smoothness, nicely weighted with tempered carbonation.

Drinkability - an easy beer to quaff. There is a sourish kind of sweetness that i'm noticing more in the browns. I first noticed it in Tommyknockers Nut Brown, a kind of mapley sour sweetness I don't care for. This one has it to a small degree but right now I'm not in a 'brown ale' mode because of it.

brewdlyhooked13, Oct 13, 2007
Photo of
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Clear, rich, dark brown with lots of amber in it. Large, creamy, light tan head. Minimal lacing, no legs.

Scent was mainly caramel, with a bit of chocolate. Raisins also were present. Very strong aroma.

Taste was very malty, but not nearly as sweet as the aroma would lead you to expect. Roast notes and caramel. Decent bittering balance with citrus and grass. Bittersweet chocolate near finish.

Medium in body. Medium + carbonation, too much in my opinion. Refreshing.

Overall, a very nice brown ale. Turn down the carbonation a bit, and it would be a great session beer.

, Oct 08, 2007
Photo of scottbrew4u
3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer was purchased warm then chilled in the refrigerator. Was curious to try this one with no expectations or information.

This beer poured a little flat but the existing head was a light tan, thin and quick to fade. The color was as brown as the bottle and had good clarity. Toffee and nutty aromas come through quickly with a slight note of roasted malts. The nuttiness is dominant, however a fruity hop undertone is noticeable. The flavor is both sweet and bitter at the start with toffee sweet maltiness taking over in the finish. The slight bitterness is from the roasted malts more than the hops. Some coffee-like notes can be perceived the more you drink this one. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with crisp carbonation. Not bad overall and easy to drink.

scottbrew4u, Sep 19, 2007
Photo of ncvbc
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour was deep brown with ruby orange highlights. A thin tan head with little to no lacing.

Sweet caramel malts and nutty for sure. A hint of sweet fruit also.

Taste was nutty up front and commented with toffee and caramel flavors. Some brown sugar and chocolate malts were also more present.

Mouthfeel was a little thin and not quite creamy but close to it. A bit too much carbonation might have been the downfall.

Very easy drinking though it has certain flaws that take away from this. This stuff is pretty cheap and not bad at all, probably something I should invest in from time to time.

ncvbc, Sep 14, 2007
Photo of jcdiflorio
2.63/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

served in a nonic glass from a long neck brown bottle with a twist-off cap

Mahogany.very slight haze with a 1/2" thin head dissapating quickly to a thin coating.Some staggered streaming bubbles.not much lacing.

dark fruity aromas hints of fig,nuts and toffee,had and English nose to it, but not vinious like some are.

Clean taste,bit watery some dark fruit,nutty,bits of chocolate towards the finish was a slight sour/acidity feel,clean tangy finish very light on hops.

Grainy texture,light,watery feel,a little rough on the edges. Not interesting enough to make me want another. Not a bad beer,just not worth buying again

jcdiflorio, Aug 21, 2007
Photo of MTNboy
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I tried this in a beer sampler in the Charlotte Airport while I was on a layover. There is a little bar that is a branch of the microbrewery. If you are on a layover it is definitely worth looking for.

Appearance- The color is a dark brown with some red highlights. It pours to form a nice tinted head that leaves a wonderful lace.

Smell- Nutty with some hop.

Taste- The flavor is about the same as the smell. It has a roasted nut and toffee flavor evened out with some hops.

Mouthfeel- Slightly chewy and not quit full bodied but close .

Drinkability- Very smooth. A good dinner beer.

MTNboy, Aug 20, 2007
Photo of SwillBilly
3.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought during my recent trip to the OBX.
Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Pours a deep, rich, mahogony with hints of ruby. Very clear from a brown ale. Minimal off-white head dissipates very quickly with only a slight ring of bubbles surrounding the glass.

Smell: Nicely fragrant with dark fruits, molasses, dark brown sugar and caramel. Very slight hint of citrusy hops try and breakthrough the maltiness.

Taste: Low Down Brown starts with fruity sweetness reminicent of plums. Nice and malty. Caramel and brown sugar notes follow in the middle then finishes with a touch of roastiness and leaf tobacco. Maybe just a touch of oxidation in the finish as a slight hint of wet cardboard peeks through. Alchohol not a factor and hops are minimally present with just slight bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin but amply carbonated. I like my brown ales with a little more viscocity in the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Low Down Brown is not a bad beer. A decent brown ale with plenty of fruity and dark brown sugar sweetness with just a hint of hop bitterness and roastiness. The light mouthfeel makes Low Down Brown go down pretty quickly, definitely an easy drinker. Alcohol is relatively low. A decent brown and worth trying. Not sure if I would go out of the way to get this beer if other options are available.

SwillBilly, Aug 09, 2007
Photo of dmamiano
2.28/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This one seemed to rub me the wrong way.
The beered poured a nice almost black color which is good for the style. Dark creamy head, that seemed to linger longer than most with excellent lacing.
Thats where the good ended for me.
The nose was very malty, with hops trying to tickle my nostrils.
Taste to me was almost medicinal. Had a very strange, medicine like taste that I couldnt put my finger on. It was very malty as well, but also very strange.
I bought a six pack of this and almost had to force it down. I didnt like it too well.

dmamiano, Jul 29, 2007
Photo of theWrkncacnter
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. Pours a very deep, rich brown/amber; a little red if you hold it up to the light. Good two fingered head that fades to a nice ring with minimal lacing. Smell is deep, with rich, earthy, dark malts and a slight amount of sweetness. Taste is slightly sweet, with lots of toasted, coffee tasting malts. The flavor is very rich and deep and finished with a nice mild sweetness. Mouthfeel is good, but lingering sweetness makes me want to brush my teeth. Drinkability is good, very smooth and easy to knock back a few.

If someone handed this to me without any context I'd think it was a porter. The coffee malts seem more like the style of a good porter than a brown, but either way it tastes really good. A definite buy-again.

theWrkncacnter, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of beermanbrian
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I drank this one a little on the warm side and I think it really made the flavors stand out. Pours a ruby red dark brown color with a nice tan head that has good staying power. Smell of caramel malt, cocoa, a hint of nuttiness and faint bakers chocolate to give it a little bitterness. At first taste is malt driven but the bakers chocolate flavor seams to take over. If you really search for it there is a little bit of a nutty flavor. Also flavor seems very earthy. Mouthfeel is a little light up front. Finishes with a slight bitter aftertaste. Overall a slightly above average beer.

beermanbrian, Jun 14, 2007
Photo of Metalmonk
3.23/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

This pours out a chocolate/ruby brown, with a small tan head. Bubbles rush madly to the top, which comes into play (in a negative way) a little later.

Aroma is really nice, especially for a style I've always found hard to get much out of, smell-wise. A sweet nuttiness comes on strong, bringing with it hints of toffee, caramel, Ovaltine, and dark raisin.

Flavors aren't quite as exciting or varied as the aroma, with the expected nuttiness being there; also some caramel and cola.

Mouthfeel is ruined by the overcarbonation, which seems to be an issue with this brewer.

Other than the ultra-fizzed body, this is an okay brown ale that does even better if the chill is taken off a bit. Maybe let it sit a little before drinking. But if brown is indeed the new black, I'm still siding with black.

Metalmonk, May 29, 2007
Photo of kimcgolf
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A slow start to a good beer. This poured to a dark ruby-brown, with thin tan head that disspated quickly to little lacing. Aroma was very faint, and I could detect only a hint of malty chocolate...nothing impressive so far.

Surprisingly, this medium bodied beer had a very pleasant and full flavor of chocolate and toffee, almost like a fresh baked candy turtle. The flavor lingered over into a nice long smooth finish, amking this local beer much better than I first anticipated.

kimcgolf, Apr 25, 2007
Photo of akorsak
2.88/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: The ale is a deep brown color with garnet highlights but no head.

S: The nose is slightly nutty with a bit of a metallic aroma.

T: The taste seems to lack the nuttiness that it should have. The flavor is bland, slightly metallic and finishes rather quickly. Hops bitter only and don't make a statement.

M: The mouthfeel is blah, not really doind anything.

D: The beer is not so hot, seeming to lack any really defining character.

akorsak, Sep 24, 2006
Photo of biegaman
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks CrWills.
Minimal head, brown in colour with ruby shine. Transparent. Nice looking. Good bold aroma, brown malt dominates. Peety, scotchy, maybe some chocolate malt or vanilla. Faded slowly but pleasant and tasteful. Mouthfeel thin, watery upfront - then carbonation kicks in and rounds it out. Biscuity finish. Fairly complete. Not even close to the English style of nut browns, more of an 'artificial' brown. These flavours were meant to stick out and acts a little too obvious. It's fair enough and I liked it, but its not a 'craft' quality beer.

biegaman, Sep 16, 2006
Photo of Sammy
2.93/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice brown colour with white head. Thanks crwills. Mollasses and licorice in scent and in taste.Malty, but not well malted, more sugary with fizzy carbonation. Got sick of it after first swallow. Another brown and not all that satisfying at that, more body needed.

Sammy, Sep 13, 2006
Photo of grub
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

tasting party sept 11/06 with northyorksammy, crwills, biegaman and me (grub). everyone threw in a few bottles and we had an interesting mix of beer and mead. not sure of exactly who contributed what, so i'll just thank everyone.

pours a deep ruby red that's nearly brown with a big off-white head.

aroma is nice. malty. bread and biscuit. also a bit nutty.

taste is good. nice and roasty, and those bready/biscuit malts come through. still getting a bit of nut flavour too.

mouthfeel is ok. feels a bit thin, but not bad.

drinkability is pretty good. not too heavy, and fairly tasty.

grub, Sep 12, 2006
Photo of veech
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a tall pilsner glass @ Mellow Mushroom, Knoxville, TN.
A: Dark to medium brown with reddish hues when exposed to light. Low carbonation and minimal head and lacing
S: Nutiness pervades malty undertones T: A little less than the appearance would suggest, slightly hoppy finish to a mild malted nutty start. M: Thin and watery, not much there D: A little better than average. I enjoyed this beer more when I was in Grad. School and Cottonwood hadn't been bought out by the larger Carolina Beer. It seems to have been maco-fied (i.e. more bereft of taste)

veech, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of russpowell
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at a bar in the main concourse at the airport in Charlotte (3 hour wait for flight= ample oppurtunity to sample). Did have to let this one warm a bit

Poured light chestnut with a 1/2" offwhite head. Some lacing & head retention

S: Slight grainyness & not much else

T: Slight hints of nuts& choclate up front followed by grainyness. Finshed dry & slighlty oaky & astringent

MF: Thin & slightly overcarbonated. sure doesn't feel like 5.4 abv

Had this on draft before & didn't impress. Drank okay, just a very simple brown IMO. Works in a pinch

russpowell, Aug 01, 2006
Photo of andrewm190
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty suprising beer for me. the taste is really different from what i was expecting. There seems to be a very strong apple taste, which is odd and different from what i would normally taste in a beer. Honestly, i think that the taste is pretty good, but not terrific. However, I think this is more a reflection on my personal preference than the quality of the beer. I have rated the taste pretty hight because i think it was a ballsy effort and they pulled it off pretty effectivly. I like any beer that goes for an off the wall kind of taste. Not one of the all time greats but I would have not problem picking up another 6 pack of it at the store. i recommend it.

andrewm190, Jul 22, 2006
Photo of John1985
4.08/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours with chestnut brown color and a nice half inch head which dies down quickly, very little lacing. Wonderful bready chocolate malt aroma, flavor has a mild bitterness up front that slides into a distinctly chocolate malt flavor. Smooth finish that begs for more. A very good effort, this is not my favorite style but I would seek this out again. Recommended

John1985, Jun 24, 2006
Photo of crwills
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My family brought me back a six pack of these from Hilton Head, as well as a six pack of Thomas Creek Pilsner.

Poured this brown ale into a Hobgoblin pint glass. It's... brown! With some red highlights. Very clear, with no clouds or residue. 1/2" bubbly head fades relatively fast and leaves no lacing.

Aroma is burnt brown sugar, almonds, cashews, some mild smokiness, and some maple syrup sweetness. A tiny bit cloying, but that's OK.

Taste is a surprise -- many of the elements from the aroma disappear and are replaced. Mainly chocolate and roasted nuts, with some woody notes. Fall fruit undertones as it warms up a bit.

Aftertaste is tangy, supported by moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is slickly coating. Good body, overall.

The better of the two Carolina brews I've tried -- makes a great barbecue beer!

crwills, Jun 22, 2006
Cottonwood Low Down Brown Ale from Carolina Beer Company
81 out of 100 based on 131 ratings.