Brooklyn Brown Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Brown AleBrooklyn Brown Ale

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BA SCORE
82
good

2,105 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,105
Reviews: 925
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 12.67%
Wants: 42
Gots: 179 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: purplehops on 06-10-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,105 | Reviews: 925 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woodychandler
4.53/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It must speak volumes about my dedication to both CANs and AIPAs that it has taken me over 2,600 reviews before I have gotten around to this one. I am trying to reduce my backlog of bottles so that I may resume The CANQuest (TM) in earnest. Please bear with me in the interim.

From the bottle: "Brewed in New York"; "Ruby mahogany in color, Brooklyn Brown Ale is richer and hoppier than its mild and malty English forebears. Chocolate and coffee flavors punctuate the roasty malt background. Brooklyn Brown is brewed with malted barley, hops, water, and yeast, and will taste best before the freshness date indicated."

Chez Woody's kitchen is much like the alley at the beginning of each episode of "King of the Hill" - nothing happens until the CAN is cracked, the bottle cap is popped, the keg is tapped and pouring, etc. The bottle is like my Old Lady at this point - sweating in anticipation of my touch and ready to pop. Boom! The rush of liquid into my glass was fascinating, creating a big, rolling pseudo-cascade as I watched. Like most males, I am a very visual learner and I was transfixed by the creation of two-plus fingers of dense, light-tan head with great retention. I held it up to the naural light of the day to behold and I was not disappointed. I fully agree with "mahogany", but I might substitute "garnet" for "ruby" (SRM = > 27, < 34) as I need to put my own stamp on this review. Otherwise, I might just do a cut 'n' paste and call it a day. Did they mention clarity? No. I will classify it as "button-bright" and leave it at that. The nose was malty, sure, but cut with a minty, grassy hoppiness. Remind me, why have I not reviewed this until now? Mouthfeel was full and creamy and the taste was like Baby Bear's Brown Ale - just right! The malt was present, but not cloying and the hops were in the mix, but not overwhelming. I have had English Brown Ales that were sickeningly sweet and American Brown Ales that caused me to wonder if the brewer knows when to take his foot off of the gas when it comes to hops. Finish was smooth, semi-dry and eminently drinkable. I do not often drink Brown Ales, but when I do, Brooklyn Brown is my choice. Stay crazy, my friends.

Photo of corby112
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark chestnut brown color with slight mahogany edges when held to a light source and a thin half finger tan head that quickly fades into a thin ring. Not much in the way of lacing.

Toasted nutty malt aroma with subtle dark fruit notes and slight earthy hops.

Slightly watered down body with hints of toasted malt, hazelnut, chocolate maltiness, a slightly roasted toasty presence with subtle hops and a slightly dry finish. Very well balanced and easy drinking session beer.

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before March 2013. Pours crystal clear reddish brown color with a nice 1-2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty foamy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of chocolate, caramel, biscuit, toasted malt, roast, light coffee, toffee, herbal, and light dark fruits. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of chocolate, caramel, biscuit, toasted malt, nuttiness, toffee, roast, light coffee, and light herbal spiciness. Slight herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, caramel, biscuit, toffee, toast, nuttiness, and light herbal on the finish for a bit. Very nice flavor balance, complexity, and robustness; zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with pretty much zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice brown ale! Nicely robust and full of balanced flavors; and very smooth to drink. Really enjoyed this one.

Photo of weeare138
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a murky dark brown with ruby highlights when held to the light. A small off white head slowly fades out into a gentle collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of roasted nuts, citrusy hops, caramel, and a touch of cocoa.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a flavorful punch of fresh grains.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, spritzy, sweet, and mildly acidic along the palate.
Easy drinking, and refreshing.

Photo of Billolick
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery December 09.

Deep clear red brown, with a filmy but solid head of beige foam. Lacing v good. Looks pretty good, head is a bit bubbly with loose-bubbled carbonation and a bit thin but otherwise.

Odd floral notes on the nose, might be honey, like Dave says. Some acidity, some crushed cacao chars. Oddly fragrant for a dark beer. I like it, it's unusual, but pleasant.

Taste is clear and pleasant, without being terribly interesting, which is a shame after some of the notes on the nose. Some spicy fragrance, a little chocolate powder. Quite a citric finish. The acidity contributes to the mouthfeel too, which is sparkling and clear.

Not bad, but not very exciting. It's a little bland apart from the nose, but undeniably drinkable.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice ruby brown, but with little head or lacing. Smell is dry and lightly malty with a grainy note. Taste is slightly deeper with the aromas echoed in the flavor, but there is also a slightly roasted note and some hops at the end. There are also some slight dark fruit notes. Mouthfeel is well balanced and somewhat creamy. Really a nice beer, very drinkable and a pleasure on a spring or fall day.

Photo of tempest
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Faegan's in Syracuse. I've never really liked brown ales, including Rogue's Nut Brown Nectar, until this beer.

Rich brown body, poured with a short head in the pint glass and left a little lacing.

Not a lot of smell, but malty and sweet.

A rich malty taste that is strong but not overpowering. Some sweetness, but the main focus in on the malt.

Easy in your mouth and easy going down.

This is a great brown ale and I'd gladly have it again. Recommend for any malt lover. I could drink a lot of this one, it's damn tasty and satisfying.

Photo of ejimhof
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of wl0307
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

BB 11/2009, serving cool in a straight pint glass.

A: dark russet brown in colour with good clarity if seen against light, coming with a thick beige fluffy head settling gradually to a cap to last.
S: the initial impression is lots of flowery hops with a clean edge of peaches even, but as soon as the foam settles down the aroma of light-bodied malts - caramel, dark berry-fruits with a touch of coke(!) even - takes over. Only a very deep sniff would bring out the longan-fruity and deeper flowery aroma of the hop-malt mixture. I'd say the nose overall is a bit unbalanced and even slightly thin for this type of ale, but good stuff still hides underneath the sweet façade that awaits patient exploration.
T: some hints of dark-fruits and decent sweet dried-grapey aroma skirt the light bodied brown malts, before a soothing aftertaste of sweet filter coffee-ish toasted malts and residual nuttiness manifest itself alongside a lightly-chewy hop bitterness. The hoppiness has melted in the overall flavour, but somehow I can't find a harmonious flavour to really enjoy, either, as in the end the sour edge of beer creeps up and makes the profile slightly thin in the end.
M&D: I find the overall body thinner than desirable and the texture somewhat artificial and thin (by the standard of craft US beers) as the carbonation is slightly OTT upfront, although, fortunately, it softens as soon as the malty and chewy-hoppy elements tune up a bit in the aftertaste. The label says it's "richer and hoppier than its mild and malty English forbearers" - well, I beg to disagree, as a hoppy English brown ale served on cask could be more all the more lively in all departments and still smoother and balanced than this filtered (and pasteurised?) bottle can offer.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle and fairly fresh from the date. Poured into a snifter.

A- Brooklyn Brown Ale is brown like some of the water from the neighborhood, J/K. This dark brown color is impossible to see through. A nice tan head rises up but falls short before the drinking begins. Minimal lace around the glass.

S- Dark roasted malt with some mellowing hops on the end. Some sweet caramel slight toffee plus some nuts. Not the strongest aroma and you really need to get yer nose in there.

T- Decent enough for a brown and towards the end I warmed up to it. Lightly toasted malt flavor with some light chocolate taste maybe on the lighter end such as cocco. Some hop bite in the end that may be precieved as sour depending on the person.

M- I enjoyed the feel on this although it is a bit on the lighter side. I would say a step below medium bodied. A bit of carbonation probably let the flavor and the creamy feel shine a bit more. Some bitterness detected on certain sips.

D- 5.6% aint to shabby and on the smaller end of some other browns i've tried. In fact i've been seeking out lighter ABV brews recently and this one fits perfectly. A good representative of the style and great for beginners.

Photo of akorsak
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a 12 oz bottle with a best by date of June 2006, close enough so I'll take it. It is served in a tumbler.

A: The ale has a copper brown color with a small head and no haze.

S: There is a slight malt aroma and no hop presence.

T: The ale could be a little old, as a subtle metallic flavor lingers in the mouth. There was nothing extraordinary here in terms of flavors, the hops were very restrained and the malts were a little nutty.

M: The flavors were there and struggling to get out but never did.

D: The beer is worth another look just to confirm or deny my thoughts.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)
A- This beer pours a dense brown body with a glowing garnet base and a sticky deep beige head that last and last with a some microbubbles gliding up the side of the glass.

S- The faint chocolate malt has some dark Munich malt notes and a dry toffee hint in the finish that grows a bit as it opens.

T- The nice soft well-blended chocolate malt with deep toasted malt and a hint of roasted malt lead to a nice tartness in the finish that stays pretty light.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a slight slippery texture and a gentle fizz note in the finish.

O- This is a tasty session beer with nice fresh flavors that are distinct but work really well together. Rich flavor but easier to drink that a stout. I would love to try this on cask as I thing it would really bring out the wonderful depth.

Photo of Stinkypuss
2.83/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light brown color with an off white head and lacing. Aroma of caramel, floral/citrus hops and nuts.

Taste: Caramel and slight toffee upfront, hop bitterness chimes in orange citrus flavors. There is a tart twang (overactive ale yeast strain/infection?) and is a touch metallic. Finishes more malty and slightly dry.

M/O: Light medium bodied feel, well carbonated. Overall, without the weird twang this would be a great brown ale. If I get a better sample I will re-review, but the bottle was fresh.

Photo of smakawhat
3.05/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at Matchbox Pizza Rockville into an official Brookyln pint glass. Looks like tulip pint Sam Smith in appearance. Off we go.

Poured with no visible head, and leaving a pretty good faint tan lasting collar around the drink. Body color is a very good mix of clear chestnut and red, more hints of red on this body. Served pretty dam cold, glass sweats.

Bouquet, nothing. Probably because it's a bit cold, but there's a muted wet clean sense but honestly, I get absolutely nothing on the nose. Nothing. Bubkis.

Taste is initially sweet at first, a small bit of nut sense even some buttery feeling in the mouth but not diacetyl. Some minor brown bread on the finish, but the beer's sweetness really seems to come off as a dark fruit raisin. It's also a bit carbonated and prickly.

Overall it's a little sweet, and the dark fruit flavor of it reminds of some sort of weird Dubbel/Brown Ale cross or something. It's not particularly malty or roasty either, but it's easy drinking and can do in a pinch.

Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of BillRoth
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to drseamus for this one.

Best Buy Apr 08

Pours a nice clean/clear dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy tan head, some nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, some toffee/caramel. The taste is malty, nice touch of toffee/caramel. The finish has a slight bitterness to it. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice brown ale.

Photo of chinchill
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, dated best by 6/11, served in a pint glass.

Pours a very dark mahogany but not opaque. Clear with 1+ finger of tan head. Head settles to a thin top coat rather quickly.

Surprisingly fruity aroma {investigating, I find there are some "Belgian aromatic malts" in here}, with a mix of toasted malts.

Taste - certainly some hops in with the malt; plenty of dark roast malt flavor. Aromatic fruitiness not evident in flavor, but it does have hints of coffee, burnt toast and roasted nuts (mainly walnut). Medium duration dark roasted malt finish with some hop bitterness.

M - good carbonation; smooth but [too] thin body; somewhat dry.

O - mostly recommended for its fine aroma and rich malty flavor.

Photo of tdm168
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark, brownish, caramel amber with a thin lacing of brownish, soft head that has little retention

S - caramel, toffee and a citrus aroma that seems present in many of the Brooklyn year-round offerings

T - big roasty characters up front and throughout with some accompanying caramel, toffee, and nutty notes. There is a faint bitter hoppyness to the finish

M - medium bodied and smooth with a crisp carbonation

This is a decent, easy drinking, well balanced brown ale. I like the heavy roasted malt notes throughout. All around refreshing and enjoyable.

Photo of biegaman
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brooklyn Brown Ale is just that - brown. With a little brightness behind it, however, the beer's dark russet tone alights to an almost maroon shade. This chocolaty-stained colour is gorgeous and, although clear, doesn't really allow any transparency. An off-white foam replete with air pockets envelops the beer like moss on a rock.

The aroma is brash and gritty. Its scents are rough and rushed variations on the style's classics; not coffee but coffee grinds, not roast malts but the singed smell of burnt ones. Hops produce a very earthy aura. The bouquet is coated in an astringent, peaty, lightly smoked coverlet that lends a considerable likeness to overly-steeped Earl Grey tea.

But what seemed like it would be an astringent, unpalatable and overly bitter beer turns out to be an agreeable, savory, classically bittersweet ale. With the flavour of roast malts much more refined in taste, notes of dark caramel, roasted nuts and spongy toffee cake now make their appearance. Chocolate is also introduced into the fold.

Hints of maple, brown sugar and pecans conjure to mind comforting fall-time foods. A stuffy, earthy bitterness ties the flavours together. There isn't the taste of coffee but there is its characteristic element of smoky roastedness. The beer seems more substantial than its 5.5% would indicate. This makes a great session beer to enjoy in cooling weather.

Brooklyn's Brown Ale is neither my favourite Brooklyn Brewing beer nor my favourite brown ale. That being said, it is further evidence that even this brewery's most undistinguished of offerings still rates well above the average. Consistency and craftsmanship are not to be overlooked; I'll take Brooklyn's mediocre over many other brewery's best.

Photo of rab53
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

German-style refillable growler filled at Oliver's Beverage, Albany, NY on 10/17/04, enjoyed on 10/19/04.

First imperial pint glass pours with a dense tan 1 1/2" head, which was slowly dissipates, leaving heavy lace/foam along the glass. Clear and deeply reddish brown in hue. Well-balanced aroma, with medium malts pairing with a pleasant hoppy tinge. Taste is nutty malts, with slight hops character in the mouth. Some light fruit and citrus notes finish the picture. Mouthfeel is smooth, oh so smooth, and the drinkability is excellent as well. Nice represenation of the style, and I would search it out again.

Brooklyn Brown Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 2,105 ratings.