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Brooklyn Brown Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

943 Reviews
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Brooklyn Brown AleBrooklyn Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States | website

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by purplehops on 06-10-1998

User Reviews
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Reviews: 943 | Ratings: 2,311
Photo of HiroProtagonist
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brooklyn Brown was served from a 12oz. bottle. In a pint glass, the beer was a rich mahogany color and was adorned by an ample tan head that left nice lacing. The nose was mildy sharp with raisiny-cocoa coffeeish maltiness. On the palate, a sharp, lightly roasty tasty coffee malt profile released a zingy toffee-like edge in the transtition to a nicely astringent, roasty-bittered finish that left lingering sweet coffee flavors. The body was a bit light though smooth, and the vigorous carbonation lent a good energy to the middle flavors. Brooklyn Brown is a tasty brew that I would enjoy again.

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Photo of jed
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Brown, 12 oz bottle with brown and dark red accents on the normal Brooklyn Brewery label. Brief blurb on the neck of the bottle with information about the beer. Best by 10/04. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark, reddish brown, a few shades shy of a stout. A little bit of light gets through, so the color of the beer varies throughout the glass. About one finger of tan head with good head retention.

Smell: Very sweet, toasted malt aroma with notes of chocolate and coffee. The malt is a little bit like a dry Irish stout, but sweeter and less bitter-smelling.

Taste: Nose is dominated by malt sweetness, with hints of brown sugar in the flavor. Slight bite of hop bitterness follows the initial taste. Some hints of chocolate and even wood, which diminish as the beer warms up. More nutty flavors follow. Could use more hop bitterness to balance the sweetness, but overall, very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Starts to taste a little bit thin as it warms, but very smooth with perfect carbonation.

Drinkability: The flavor lacks a little bit of the complexity necessary to give it a five, but an excellent session beer.

I haven't tried very many brown ales beyond Newcastle and Dogfish Head, but this is a very good beer. A little on the sweet side for my taste, and could be a little more balanced, but an awesome one to bring out on friends who "don't like dark beers." Another strong offering from the Brooklyn Brewery.

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Photo of wailingwench
1.75/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Eye Candy: Pored a very thin, translucent brown color. Thin head initially, vanished after 2 minutes +/- 30 seconds adjusted to error. No lacing to speak of. Purchased fresh on tap, purchased on a "fire sale", character did not change.

The Nose Knows: Thin, thin, and more thin. This is supposed to be a brown, more like a brown in the Natty Ice tradition. Very minimal malts emerged, some caramel was detected. Simply put, Brooklyn Brown is bland.

Tongueland: Nothing there. Like I said above, thin, thin, and more thin. Bland.

Bender Factor: This poor example was on sale recently for $2.50/ pint at my local watering hole, I wonder why. Never again.

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Photo of shapudding
4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice amber/rootbery medium dark and clear. Not much head, tiny bit of white rint around the edge with a dusting in the center. Mainly malty scents, lightly dark.. Tastes of roasted malts, darkened toast, bit of merlot. Med/highly carbinated, almost soda-like... just a step below maybe? Or as if you let your soda sit for a bit... carb is just a tad high feeling on this for me... Easy drinker though, not too heavy at all, and the flavors are very nice and not too intense, just very good and highly drinkable.

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Photo of Ahhdball
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice clear brown with a beige head settling decently along the edge of the glass. Smooth pour, nice introduction.
Smelled roasted almonds, a bit of brown sugar, and a thin whiff of hops.
At first drink a good portion of caramel flavoring with a brown sugar and nuts. A great mix of malt and hops.
Creamy smooth feel.
I don't care for brown ales as a general rule but this was definitely worth the purchase. It may be good as a transition beer for beginners.

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Photo of euskera
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice brown color with a slightly foamy head. Smell was pleasant, a slight roasty overtone. Taste was smooth, maybe even a little nutty, well balanced and quite pleasant. This would be a great brew for a keg-based function or as a session choice. One of the better brown ales out there.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper to brown color with a beige head. Some caramelly malt aromas, nutty and inviting. Hops are reasonably fair in this beer, working to balance out the sweet and roasty malt aromas. Nutty and smooth, with some residual sugars and a slight hop bitterness in the finish. Dead wet leaves, and other earthy notes come to mind. Reasonably thin tasting and pleasantly drinkable. Probably on of the better brown ales from the U.S.

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Photo of pezoids
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured an attractive dark and burgundy brown color. Clear, with glowing cherry-mahogany highlights shining through when held up to the light. A creamy tan head topped the beer off. The aroma is rich and dark with caramel, chocolate and roasted grains. There’s a slight alcohol spiciness and a sweet roasted oats bran note. Warming and inviting. The taste is sharp and rich with bittersweet chocolates, and full of roasted notes. Light to medium in body. The finish is clean, complex and satisfying. This still remains the quintessential American Brown Ale.

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Photo of mobyfann
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $6.99 for a 6 pack...

The appearence is a nice dark brown base, with a medium tannish head, nice retention and some good signs of lacing as well... The smell was pretty nice, hints of hops and malts touched with chocolate and caramel???

The taste was quite complex but works, it balanced better what the smell gave away. The mouthfeel is a bit harsh toward the end of the delivery, but still works. The drinkability is above average, they could be used as a session beer, but I would advice to be careful if you do so...

Final Thought: Not too shabby, a heavier tasting brown ale that works...

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Photo of TagoMago
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle, poured into a shaker glass.

Appearance: Dark copper-red. Pours with a beautiful and lasting tan colored head, leaving behind a nice lacing which coats the sides of the glass.

Smell: Rich carmel malts with a nutty background. Some fruity esthers are noticed as well. Some fusal alcohol notes are also fairly prominent upfront.

Taste: Sweet carmel malts upfront. A nutty character blends with elements of coffee and chocolate. Alcohol character is rather present and somewhat fusal in quality. The carbonation of the beer is moderate and the body is smooth and rather creamy. Some herbal hops balance the beer out and provide a fairly dry finish.

Overall: A very decent brown ale. This is one of the better beers I've had from Brooklyn Brewery. This is a very flavorful beer, yet very accessible as well. Recommended.

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Photo of Mitchster
1.93/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Brewed with 2-row, caramel, chocolate, biscuit, and wheat malts. Hopped with Cascade, Willamette, and Northern Brewer.
5.5% ABV.

Pours out to a sparkingly clear deep mahogany with chestnut accents, forming a modest dark-beige head with average retention and very nice lacing. Carbonation is medium. Aroma is actually enticing, something I've not come to expect from this brewery...sweet amber malts predominate, a modest amount of likeable diacetyl (which I normally abhor), some mild earthen hops, vanila extract, and faint milk chocolate. Mouthfeel is initially wet, but quickly becomes ruddy and oxidized with a dry finish and medium body. Taste begins nice enough with very herbal hops, but quickly becomes overpowered by fusel alcohols, nasty buttery diacetyl, and the taste of dank musty cardboard. Finish is woody and leathery like a sofa from the 70's. Aluminum vats and caustic cleaners linger in the aftertaste.

This is my least favorite style, but truly....this is acrid, horrible stuff. This qualifies as "down-the-sink" material. Stay away.

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Photo of Onceeven
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was a surprise. I had about twenty seconds to pick a beer out at the grocery store, and grabbed a sixer of this. I hadn't been too thrilled with a couple other Brooklyn offerings that I've tried, but
This brew looks rich. Poured a deep mahogany, a bit darker than the other browns I've tried. Finger thick cream colored head that lasted a few minutes. Rich nutty/raisin scent, dark fruit. Reminsent of a few doppelbocks I've had, which got me to thinking if the two weren't that different stylistically. Of course this an ale and the other is a lager.. Mouthfeel was sufficiently carbonated, slightly syrupy. Seemed to fit the style. Taste was quite complex, way more flavorful than I expected. Initial raisin note turns crisp as alcohol warms then ends with a bitter hop presence. Very drinkable. This one ended up being a real treat.

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Photo of heidelbeerg
3.86/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear deep brown/mahogany with a small tan head. The smell is not that strong but I can pick up a toasted nuts/ coffee scent if I try real hard. The taste is great. Hints of coffee and dark cocoa. The mouthfeel is smooth and rich. The drinkability is outstanding. Very tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of Billolick
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, best before dating of August 04. Pours almond skin brown, clear, off white head, leaving some lace. yeasty, bready nose. Soft caramel, nutty, coffee flavor notes. Nice subtle maltyness. Medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. Hops well in background, mellow , with a slight grainy texture. Very drinkable, pleasant quaffer.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light tan head falls upon clear brown liquid. Soft, fresh Cascade hop nose. Nice roastiness mixes with the flowery hop character creating a nice bittersweet flavor profile. Finishes a little thin, with pleasant roasted malt flavor but the thinness doesn't detract from the enjoyability of this great brown ale.

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Photo of maek228
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: this brown ale pours....brown. with a small little head that is nice frothy.

smell: a roasted nut smell, some hints of chocolate, as well as a faint faint faint scent of coffee. the beer has a good smell but you really got strain your nostrils to find it

taste: malty, roasted nuts....has a kinda funky bitterness that rounds out the taste. not bad

mouthfeel: rich, like a brown ale should be.

drinkabilitiby: this beer is plenty drinkability. you could sip on this one or pound it. seems like a real pub beer.

my overall impression of this beer is good, but not great.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful creamy off-white head. Dark, dark amber brown body.
Caramel and deep malt aroma.
Slight initial bitterness followed by a dry maltiness. This is all about nutttyness, and for the first time, I found this nuttyness to be attractive in a beer. While being a fantastic beer, this is a tad too dry for my tastes. I always thought Brown Ales were slightly sweet, no?

Almost thin palate with sweetness on the finish.

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Photo of putnam
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I can tell from the nose this is in the rustic, yankee doodle craft style of Bell's and countless other high-quality eastern micros: plump, milky coffee fruit, dried mint, sage, thyme, cardamon, pie crust, baked cherries and pepper. No sign of gratuitous west coast-style fresh hop infusions. Thankfully.
On the palate it is very dry. I gather this is the result of some virulent, hyperactive yeast strain that wants to leave not a trace of sugar in the broth. This is vanguard, indoor beer, for intellectuals. Lingual pressure and warmth elicit a sliver of citrus peel sweetness, but it never comes close to rewarding the punishment of the powdered bone-like, dry hop tannins.

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Photo of Beaver13
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The Brooklyn Brown poured ruby-brown with a big, fluffy, light brown head that showed excellent retention.

The aroma was nutty chocolate with a slight fruity hop note.

It was medium bodied (a little on the thin side) with nice carbonation. The taste was a surprisingly big fig flavor initially with lots of chocolate and nuttiness. It had a crisp, very subtle bitter, and slight metallic finish.

Overall, a nice, drinakable brown ale. It reminded me of a cross between a New Belgium Abbey and a porter.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap with dinner tonite.
The brew came to me in a pint glass. Small beige head hovers on teh surface of the dark brown beer. The light reveals a rich ruby tint hidden in my glass. The aroma is generally soft, but consists of light earthy hops and a mix of malty scents, sweet toffee and chocolate dominate.
The first sip reveals a very smooth textured brew with average body and carbonation. The flavor starts off all malt with a chocolate note that is mixed with rich caramel. The finish allows for some hops to come through but overall the beer is malt driven and very tasty.
This is a very smooth beer that went well with my dinner and was very easy to drink. I will buy this one again.

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Photo of Crosling
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep burgundy in color with a wispy white head. The head lasts throughout.

Doughy aroma, somewhat grassy with herbal and piney hops accompanied by a lovely chocolate and caramal malt backbone.

This is a very solid brown ale. Sort of robust for the style and quite hoppy. The hops are herbal. The malts are fruity, chocolatey and carmelly.

Good Brown Ale. I could pound a few.

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Photo of psyco1
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was my first brown ale and a good one it was.

It poured a nice deep brown with a slightly tannish head that stayed for a minute or so. The smell was a hint of hops with some carmel and maybe, just maybe a slight bit of choclate. The taste was like the smell with the hops starting out stronger and ending up quite malty with some sweetness throughout.

This is one I can drink all night, and have.

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Photo of marburg
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Something of an oddity, I'd imagine, in this style/category -- a dry, bitter brown ale. Taking Newcastle, or even Sam Smith's, as the prototype, this is more than a stone's throw away.

But who gives a shit?

Amberish. A bit light. Bready, malty, mildly caramel-ish aroma. Any hop presence in the aroma is strictly herbal in nature. That changes in a bit though.

Starts a bit thin despite the obvious malt flavors and the mild roasted presence. Builds character as its story develops across the palate. Almost American Pale Ale like in its acidic, piney hop finish. Roasted bitterness and toffee notes compliment. This is originality to be sure. Obviously, this beer's been around for a while, but I can't see how this wasn't a trendsetter when it was first released. It's not going to knock any big Belgians off the top of my all-time faves list, but this is immensely quaffable and surprisingly interesting.

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Photo of stewart124
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazel color with reddish hues and a decent foamy head. Smells of earthy tones and a overall nutty character. Very smooth tastes of roasted malts backed up with a bite. There is a slight hop bitterness to round out this beer and it finishes with a mellow nut fell and again earthy malts. This goes down fairly easy and is a pretty well done brown ale but maybe at bit dry in the aftertaste.

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Photo of BeefyMee
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Great looking reddish-brown body with a nice soft head.

Smell: A good malty nose. There is a nutty sweetness that I don't find in many American Browns. Very promising.

Taste: A bit of a dropoff here but still pretty good. The nuttiness comes through in full effect. However, it is a little too sugary at times. The beer is not totally one-sided though, as it stays fairly well-balanced for a brown. There is also a detectable amount of alcohol all the way through.

Mouthfeel: Nothing special to speak of, but it's not bad either. It's just there.

Drinkability: The slight alcoholic quality might become disagreeable after a while, not to mention the fact that particularly sweet beers always tread a fine line with drinkability. Even so, I'd like to drink a few of these.

Beef Notes: This is one of the beers that I was into when I started drinking better brews. I still like it and have a bit of a soft spot for it, but it's not like I remember it.

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Brooklyn Brown Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 943 ratings.