Fullsuit Belgian-Style Brown Ale - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
82
good

90 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 90
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 13.3%
Wants: 5
Gots: 4 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: hopdog on 12-10-2008)
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Ratings: 90 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bohemiandonut
4.15/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

You might say this purchase was on an "educated whim." After Parrot in a Palm Tree, I'm beginning to trust Karl Strauss a little more, and a Belgian Dark Ale in a 6-pack for 8 bucks is (could be) quite the deal. Luckily, I may have struck gold.

A gentle pour reveals a gentle beer. Active but wimpy head sits atop a rather beautiful shade of burgundy red. I don't know if I've seen this color much before; definitely not in brown ales.

I didn't know Karl Strauss was a surfer brand, but apparently that's the insp behind the Full Suit moniker, kind of appealing in a nostalgic sort of way.
Smell is quite magical, an initial roastiness gives way to fruity Belgian esters... I can't quite unravel this one. It's great though.
Taste is similarly attractive. Quite dry but with an awesome fullness that gets the most out of its 6.3% abv - perhaps the perfect content for this beer.

I would love to see this in a blind tasting. I have a feeling its "big brand" label would throw many to a bias, but peel that off and expect a lot of "Dude what the heck am I drinking?" Well dude, maybe it's a:
1. Brown Ale. Then shit, this is crazy kick ass good.
2. Belgian Dark Ale. Really? Kind of light... Which Brasserie?
3. Karl Strauss. Pfft yeah right.

Well done Mr. Strauss. I think you're on the right path here.

Photo of illidurit
3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Photo of beagle75
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of armock
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
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

Photo of crvcac
4.43/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer yesterday at the la beer week festival.
Appearance: nice dark brown color with highlights. Solid head, nice lacing

Smell: wonderful spice and clove flavors from the beligian yeast. Nice malty character

Taste: a rich bouquet of sweet malty spice and clove.

Mouthfeel: a very nice and mellow tasting winter warmer. Alcohol is nicely subdued by the spiciness of the Belgian yeast.

Overall: great beer. Quite possibly one of my top 10s..

Photo of gfreed
2.88/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

Photo of mithrascruor
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of Jason
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of magictrokini
2.4/5  rDev -33.5%
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.

Photo of SDbeerbum
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of HalfFull
2.6/5  rDev -28%
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.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of hopdog
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Fullsuit Belgian-Style Brown Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.