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Fullsuit Belgian-Style Brown Ale - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fullsuit Belgian-Style Brown AleFullsuit Belgian-Style Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

33 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 33
Hads: 94
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 7.52%
Wants: 4
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Dark Ale |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: hopdog on 12-10-2008

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fullsuit Belgian-Style Brown Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 33 | Hads: 94
Photo of magictrokini
2.44/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Uh, no. Poured a bright, clear brown with a short light tan head. Then it goes downhill. Dirty, old-smelling caramel malt with cocoa powder and a depserate attempt at Belgian spice. Flat mouthfeel. Bland malt monster with molasses and alcohol taking over the beer. Sickening sweet finish which I guess makes this a Belgian Brown. At least that's what its advertised as. No thank you. (383 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.45/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into me conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

Served refrigerator cold.

A: Pours a one finger head of decent cream, fair thickness, and okay retention. Colour is a caramel amber. Very bubbly, indicating potential overcarbonation. Not opaque. Nontransparent.

Sm: Caramelized malt. Nuts. Simple and a bit bland. A mild strength aroma.

T: Overdone artificial caramel, nuts, and clean malts. No yeast or alcohol comes through. A bit of toasted malt. Some cola. Quite simple. Bland and boring. Not subtle, complex, or layered. There's little to say about it on account of its simplicity.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Entirely too thick. Overcarbonated. Doesn't suit the flavours well. A biteen syrupy. Problematic.

Dr: Drinkable but of rather limited quality. I wouldn't get this again, nor would I recommend it to friends. Won't satisfy fans of Brown Ales. Decently priced.

A poor candidate for aging.

D+ (1,050 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
2.59/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber in color into a pint glass. A thin head offers little retention.

Smells of slightly rich malts, subtle chocolate in nature. A bit of belgian yeast on the nose but not much, and in fact, very little.

Taste offers some nice roasted malt flavors and a subtle hint of coffee/chocolate. Basically an average American Brown Ale. Given the moniker I expected a bit more of a Belgian nose. No, check that, I expected something of a Belgian nose. I got neither. (474 characters)

Photo of gfreed
2.86/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had this at Sally's in San Diego. Walnut color with a thin tan head that lasted a good 60 seconds. Was served way too cold, so there wasn't much aroma. In fact, there wasn't much aroma after it warmed up, either, although I managed to detect some caramel and apricots at some point. Mild carbonation was nice, and provided a prickly base for the dried fruit and light hops in the taste, but over all this was a rather blah beeah. I don't see much relation between this beer and any other Belgian dark I've had. I like the name, but I'd avoid another glass of this. (564 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Pours a thin head on a clear light brown body.
The aroma is nuts, wood and candy. Interesting.
The taste is a bit watery, caramel sweet, toasted malt and mild vanilla. A nice warm finish though.
The texture is thin.
Quite drinkable, just not interesting. (254 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle pours darkish brown with a frothy beige head. Aroma is roasty with fresh wheat bread maltiness and some mild banana pith. Flavor is slightly sour with a medicinal artificial grape tinge atop a standard brown-malts-fermented-by-belgian-yeast-strain base. A little nuttiness too. Tastes almost exactly like New Belgium 1554, except with more body. Marginally better than the inexplicably overrated 1554. (417 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.37/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the brewpub.

Appearance: fine brown color with excellent clarity and a semi-durable beige head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Aroma: fruity with plenty of dried plums and alcohol infused raisins.

Flavor: Lacks complexity. Bitter/sweet balance favoring the sweet side.

Feel: medium-light body wih light carbonation.

O: OK. (339 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured on-tap in downtown San Diego at the Columbia Street brewpub into a pint glass. The beer is a dark nut-brown color with hazelnut highlights, and a thin, dense head. The beer has a good aroma, with smells of nut, coriander, nutmeg, and malt. The beer flavors are coriander spices of a typical Belgian with the rounded malt and nut flavors of a Brown. The sweetness disappears on the transition to the aftertaste. The finish is a balance of clove and sweet malt. The aftertaste and finish are not great for an already struggling beer. (538 characters)

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When cold, the beer started off well. Nice belgian yeast finish with bananas and cloves, a bit spicy with nutmeg notes present. Not bad.

When the beer warmed, the nutmeg and egg nogg flavors dominated and became too much. Both myself and another BA agreed that 6oz was all we wanted and were very happy we split the 12oz. I get what KS might have been trying to accomplish with this one regarding the holiday theme and all but for me, well...this one just wasn't for me.

Not a bad price at $7.99 a sixer but I won't be revsiting this one again. (547 characters)

Photo of armock
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Bevmo

A - Poured a brown color with ruby highlights a tan head that leaves some lacing behind

S - Is of roasted malt with some spices

T - Follows the nose with roasted malt upfront then the spices round things out

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - Im enjoying this beer quite a bit it's pretty easy drinking I like how the Belgian yeast adds to the flavor of the brown ale base this is worth picking up if you see it around (472 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark copper brown with a 1 inch foamy beige head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Thin foamy rings line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, chocolate, and some Belgian yeast aromas. Taste is pretty malty and a bit nutty with a subdued yeast flavor. A subtle chocolate flavor comes out in the aftertaste. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good take on a Belgian ale but it could be developed more. (503 characters)

Photo of Furlinator
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%

Pours a hazy dark brown. The 1/2 inch khaki head fades to a thin ring on top and leaves spots of lace.

The smell is of raisins, plums, dark grain and vague spices.

The taste is a raisins and an unspecified spice presence.

The texture is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Definitely influenced by Belgian dark ales, this is a solid offering that features a strong dark fruit flavor profile. (402 characters)

Photo of neilgavigan
3.59/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured dark copper red with tan head that dissappeared quickly

S - Chocolate, cherries, waffles, sweet malt, fruity esters and a little belgian funk

T - Upfront its sweet with some hop bitterness giving way quickly to a flash of belgian malt and yeasty funk tastes with a dry alcohol finish with some notes of roast mal and chocolate and cherries again.

M - Light body with medium carbonation. The alcohol lends a heat to this brew which also seems to make it very dry and light on the tongue.

O - Good as an American-Belgian dark. Doesnt really hold up against anything from the namesake country but its a great all-around and I could drink a few. As it heated up more great flavor came out so give it some time out of the fridge. (739 characters)

Photo of dcmchew
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours hazy brown, one finger tan head that recedes slowly to a thin cap and leaves nice tracing on the glass.
Smells like a brown ale with Belgian yeasts. So nuttiness, bread crust, caramel, clove, cinnamon and dark fruit esters.
Taste starts with chocolatey cake dough, with brown sugar, caramel and nuts. Nice fruity character with a bit of banana, some raisin, oranges and faint cherries. Dark spices and clove. Woody feel towards the finish, a bit of tobacco and mildly bitter earthy hops.
Smooth body, soft carbonation. Nutty, bready aftertaste, with a bit of dry cocoa powder, a bit dusty.
Nice blend, tasty American brown with a twist. (642 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Proper lacing for the style dresses the glass, dark mahogany hue still shows a good amount of light through it. Peppercorns, unripened mangoes, cinnamon, faint chicory and strawberry make for a pretty complex aroma. Snappy crispness meets a smooth medium body, a little creamy as well. Esters kick in right away, lots of over ripened dark fruit and medicinal phenols push hard against the toasty and slightly roasty dry maltiness. Slightly warming, dare I say there is a little beefy Belgian action here from some overactive yeast? There is a kiss of sweetness, brown sugary and wants to linger but battles with the phenols and a modest hop bitterness.

Rich and complex, I think it was a bigger beer it would be harder to put down as the phenols and alcohol would have taken over but being it is a mid-sized beer it holds on to some drinkability. Good stuff all around. (913 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12/23/2011

On tap at Karl Strauss 

A: Reddish brown with a big frothy off-white head and okay retention. Nice color.

S: Big white pepper and clove notes. Oak is restrained. Malt imparts notes of bread and biscuit. Dark fruit is redolent of raisin and plum.

T: Bready malt with pronounced Belgian yeast character that's reminiscent of clove and banana. I get a little raisin as well. The beer is slightly nutty and lightly sweet. There's a little oak in the finish.

M: Medium in body with upper medium carbonation.

Overall: A strange combination of flavors that works pretty well together.  (597 characters)

Photo of rawfish
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light mahogany, good clarity with a frothy two finger head. Retention is very good with some really stellar lacing left on the glass, quite unexpected.

Bready with a bit of roasted nuts, hop aroma is musty but paired with some Belgian yeast it adds a complex note of leather, tobacco, oak and some bandaid, probably not the aroma you want in a beer brewed without Brett but still interesting.

Balanced doughy and caramel malts, a bit of nuttiness and finishes with tobacco leaves and herbaceous hops. Mild bitterness, very balanced the Belgian yeast strain is very reserved.

Light medium body despite the color, carbonation is appropriate. Malts are a touch sticky. Alcohol and bitterness are non factors, very drinkable.

The weird musty aroma of this beer kept me engaged, tobacco, roasted nuts, burning wood, reminds me of a nice fireside story. Equals a pretty good winter warmer, this beer would be quirky any other time of the year though. (948 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Karl Strauss Brewery and Restaurant in La Jolla; served on tap in a tulip.

Appearance: A light chocolate and amber color. It arrived with a small head, which stays around and leaves a light lacing on the glass. Suspiciously somewhat transparent.

Smell: A pleasant blend of oak, smokey malt, and chocolate.

Taste: The smokey, roasted malt taste is the first thing I notice, with with vanilla and coffee flavors coming in afterward. There is a slight hoppy kick at the end.

Mouthfeel: This has a medium level of carbonation, with a nice creaminess to it. At the same time, it is almost too light.

Drinkability: This is a very smooth beer, which I enjoyed, but I don't know how many more I would want to drink. There are definitely better Belgian Browns out there. (780 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Beachwood BBQ, Karl Strauss Winter Ale brewed with malt balls,

A: Pours a murky brown with a solid off-white/tan head, good lacing off the cask.

S: Smell is mild, but I do get some malt and fermented sugar notes.

T: Taste is certainly malt oriented, with a Whopper (the candy) note which is expected by the name of the beer. Not overly sweet the beer shows restraint and balances its sweetness with a firm hop base, not bitter, just enough to allow the beer not to get out of whack. A concentrated, earthy note, but allows the tastiness of the sugar to shine.

M: Very mild carbonation, smooth and easy to drink, alcohol is well hidden. I don't know the ABV of this brew, but I guess it's in the 7%+ range as it really caught up with me over the Imperial pint.

D: Another nice cask beer from Karl Strauss after having the IPA back in August '08. While I haven't been that impressed with their bottled offerings, these cask brews are quite good, glad I got to try it. (981 characters)

Photo of SDbeerbum
3.74/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown/deep red. Very nice to look at, I'm hoping it tastes as good as it looks.

Smell: Interesting, mostly I'm mostly getting a toasted malt smell, but there is something else, maybe from the belgian yeast. This isn't the best smelling beer.

Taste: Very nice. Toasted maltiness upfront followed by a spicy/peppery finish. Lived up to the nice appearance and suprised after the let down on smell.

Mouthfeel: Medium body

Drinkability: Very drinkable. At 6.3% ABV it is still very smooth and sessionable. I'll continue throwing a few of these back. (574 characters)

Photo of beagle75
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a 0.5-liter mug.

A: Clear, dark brown color with one finger of diminishing off-white foam head. Heavy lacing, fine but continuous, remains on the glass.

S: Strongly earthy and nutty, with faint but appealing fresh coffee and nuanced acidic dark fruit.

T: Begins off-dry, with nutty malt contrasted and diminished somewhat by citrusy acidity that builds into the middle, while also briefly becoming more sweet. The finish comes quickly, reasserting the nutty qualities and allowing them to linger on the palate, unfettered by very little bitterness.

M: Medium viscosity, acidic on the palate early but turning creamy by the end, with moderate carbonation.

D: A good brown ale with a remarkably enjoyable finish. There doesn't seem to be much that is Belgian about the sensory profile of this beer. The yeast does not stand out on its own, instead complementing the malt to bring out satisfying nutty character. Nor is it sour, with the acidity detected being carbonic in nature. Whether the yeast strain used was from Belgium or somewhere else, it is safe to say that it was the right yeast for the job, helping to yield a finished product that is better than expected. (1,200 characters)

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber-copper color. Minimal head, unfortunately. Slight lacing. No visible carbonation.

Smell: Nice malty aroma with some spices like cinnamon.

Taste: Nice flavor with some aromatic spices like cinnamon and such. A bit of spicyness, brown sugar, and some more spice in the finish. There's a slight bit of the Karl Strauss butteryness in the aftertaste, but it is really minimized here.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very smooth. Minimal carbonation.

Drinkability: Tasty and session-worthy.

Karl Strauss has recently put out a couple of their best beers in bottles; this and 'To The 9s'. They've done an excellent job and it is really promising for the future. I've always had mixed feelings about their beers... besides the generally solid amber ale, most of their beers have had something off in the flavor that irritated me. I'm glad to enjoy their new beers both on tap and from the bottle, and I look forward to more of them. (998 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.79/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a hazy auburn brown with a khaki finger width head. Fair retention gives way to a broken layer of suds across the surface.

Smell - Aroma hits on notes of bread and your typical brown ale nuttiness, along with some sugary sweetness. Also a fair amount of fruity character, vaguely reminiscent of strawberry-rhubarb pie. A light spice tingles the nose.

Taste - A light roasty character with nutty undertones met by the characteristics produced by belgian yeast; touches of clove spice and banana. Finish comes full circle and offers up the faintest touch of coffee, but is overshadowed by a moderate sugary sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium-boded with fair carbonation. Very smooth delivery on the finish.

Overall - A good offering from Karl Strauss. The flavor doesn't punch you in the mouth, but there's enough complexity there to keep your interest. The smooth, drinkable quality is this beer's strong point. It's no 'wow' beer, but something I think a vast majority will find at least somewhat enjoyable. (1,036 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

322nd review on BA
bottle to pint
12 oz.

App- Very light in the glass with some shimmery highlights. A soft 1/2 finger head with no real cling.

Smell- You can tell its light and not a heavy brown. Was looking for bigger smells in this one. Very crispy belgian notes with a little malt.

Taste- Very light and crisp. I expected to be somewhat let down was pleasantly suprised. The yeast really added that dryness to it.

Mouth- The dryness was a welcome addition. A nice light to medium body with an almost high carb level IMO.

Drink- Good $ point, will have to grab again next year after finding out about it too late. (621 characters)

Photo of hopdog
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Karl Strauss Brew Pub located in La Jolla, CA. I stopped by here while the wife took the kids to Starbucks...

Poured a darker brown color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of chocolate, woody, vanilla, and somewhat earthy. Tastes of vanilla, chocolate, lighter woodiness, and caramel. (311 characters)

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Fullsuit Belgian-Style Brown Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.