Brooklyn Brown Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Brown AleBrooklyn Brown Ale

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936 Reviews

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Reviews: 936
Hads: 2,236
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 19.29%
Wants: 55
Gots: 293 | 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:
Beer added by: purplehops on 06-10-1998

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 936 | Hads: 2,236
Photo of interzen
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle poured into a Delerium Tremens tulip glass

Look: Pours a very dark brown, almost black - hold it up to the light and there's some ruby red apparent. Fairly tight off-white/tan head with decent retention - at first blush you'd think someone had poured you a glass of Guinness or similar. Some lacing.

Smell: Quite earthy and nutty - plenty of malt in evidence with hints of caramel. None of the hop 'zinginess' is apparent.

Taste: Doesn't quite follow the smell - the earthiness is definitely there, though. This is far less hoppy than a lot of American beers I've had of late, there's still a hint of hop-related bitterness coming through at the end. Not exactly an earth shattering flavour but I'd hardly call it unpleasant either.

Feel: Given how it looks when first poured you'd be forgiven for thinking that this would be heavy going. Not so - if anything it's a little bit thin for a brown ale. OK as it is, but a little bit more heft in the body wouldn't hurt.

Overall: For me, this is a welcome antidote to the almost relentless hoppiness of most current American beers. The hop-heads will no doubt hate it, but for those who prefer things a bit maltier (ie. people like me) this isn't bad at all. Not sure I'd want to have a session on it at nearly 6% ABV but it's not something I'd actively turn down either.

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Photo of BrewerB
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sweet malty nose with caramel, chocolate, and toasty flavors. Equally present citrusy hop notes.

Maple brown in color. Persistent off-white head. Clarity is good.

Prominent maltiness. Includes a fair dose of chocolate and toasty character. Hop bitterness is medium-low. Mild resiny hop flavor, not cloying sweet, good balance. Dry finish.

Medium bodied/medium to med-high carbonation. Very smooth.

Overall it's a very drinkable brown and one of my personal favorites. Could benefit from a bit more hops but it's still a great example of an American Brown. Nicely balanced, well-varied malt character. Easily could drink a few pints.

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Photo of eljefe21
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep, dark brown in color with hints of red. Light brownish, tan head rises to two fingers of foam. A little watery lacing barely clings to the side of the glass.

S: Toffee, coffee and roasted malt flavors waft into the nose. A classic brown ale smell.

T: Smooth, toast, roasted taste. Sweet caramel flavor melts in the middle of the tongue.

M: Low carbonation as expected. Body is medium, almost a little watery, but not horribly.

D: A great cool weather beer. Some warming qualities and thick enough to keep you toasty. Mild enough in strength to enjoy several in a sitting.

Served: in an shaker pint glass.

Review from notes taken on: 8/26/09

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is dark mahogany brown in color with respectable tan foam above it. Caramel and roasted malt dominate the nose. Some dark fruit notes are balanced by a semblance of hops.

Medium Bodied on the palate and a tad prickly. This beer definitely has a sweetness to it that contributes to its depth of flavor: caramel, fruit, and roasted malt. Nicely balanced with some pervading bitter hops. The palate is left with bittersweet memories of the elixir gone. A dryness in the aftertaste is reminiscent of cocoa, among other things.

Not a bad brew. In particular, I think, it pairs well with food, but stands alone just fine.

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Photo of bditty187
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Darkish, reddish-brown, good depth, smallish beige head, a little less than a finger’s worth, soapy retention, some unorganized lace. The aroma seems a tad muted, nicely hoppy, spicy, floral, malty, unsweetened chocolate. Awesome palate, it makes you rethink what a brown ale can be, bittering hops establishes the flavor profile with subsequent toasty malts, floral, pine, spiciness… very well constructed. Unbalanced, leans towards the hops but the caramelized influences create a nice linger aftertaste. Dry finish, leafy. Ideal carbonation, excellent mouthfeel, medium-bodied. This is a very impressive brown ale, recommended… thanks stegmakk for the sample!

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Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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Photo of hopmashian
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Sam Adams glass it produced a small head that disappeared quickly. Appearance was brown as promised. Smell was mildly porter like with more malt than hops, ala Oktoberfest. Taste follows smell, red fruit, coffee and chocolate. Somewhere in the realm of a Porter and Oktoberfest or a Stout. Malt and hops are perfectly balanced. I'll need lots more of this for St Paddys.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Surprisingly clear body for the dark Tootsie Roll brown colored body with garnet highlights and a nice off-white, tan colored head.

S- Fruity smells of raisin and apple along with a sweeter characteristic of brown sugar and molasses.

T- Taste is smooth and complex with flavors alike the aromas found in the smell. Sweet without being one-dimensional nor cloying.

M- Smooth carbonation with a body that is light but has a bit of a sticky quality.

D- Damn drinkable with a good balance of flavors and a light body

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Photo of Stimack
4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brew pours to a dark brownish amber color with a nice sized tan head that has some retention and leaves some lacing down the side of the glass. The aroma is of sweet malts that highlight both chocolate and caramel. Very rich and malty smelling brew, very enticing. The taste is of malt, which has a sweet taste with some roasted characteristics. Notice some hop like characteristics at the end but mostly the malt flavors are what I catch. Over all this is a great aromatic brew with good tastes and high drink ability. Fantastic brew, and one of my favorites from Brooklyn Brewery.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in a Brooklyn pint glass from Mackenzie in Minneapolis, MN.

Appearance: Dark brown with a ruby red coming through when light is shining through. Small tan head that has decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Strong scent of roasted malts and nuts. Hint of hop bitterness, chocolate, coffee, and caramel.

Taste: Nutty malt sweetness with a nice bite of earthy hop bitterness. Has some chocolate and coffee mixed with the malts. More hoppy than the smell led on.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Very smooth.

Overall: A tasty version of a brown ale with a nice mix of malts, nuts and hops.

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Photo of albern
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this in the bottle several times prior and now on-tap. It seems to be quite a bit better on-tap. The stricking difference is that the complexity of the beer really shines through more so on-tap than in the bottle. It has the dextrin sweetness, a touch of diacetyl butteriness, the beer is a touch creamy, and it has a nice hop balance. The maltiness, caramel flavors, and a touch of chocolate malt are also present. The beer is just so much more interesting and multilayered in this format. I wish I ordered another, not realizing what a pleasant surprise was in order. This is worth seeking out in this format. L'Chaim.

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Photo of vitesse
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i think this has to be the epitome of what a brown ale should be.

At first pour: a huge head. i don't know if it was the particular bottle i got, but the head was just enormous this time around. there was a ton of lace on the sides of the glass as well and the head stuck around for quite a while.
The smell of the beer was nice, too. i detected chocolatey and nutty notes there.
the taste was what really does it for me. This beer just put me back in a british pub. i'd say this has to be the quintessential american rendition of a brown ale. They don't go overboard with the hops like most american brewers, so there's a nice balanced malty flavor that comes through.
I would highly recommend this beer to just about anyone: from BA to swill-drinker. It's also a good bargain at $5-6 per six-pack. Just one of the best beers you can ever get at that price.

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Photo of proc
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very good version of a Brown Ale.

Pours out to a dark brown in the glass with a decent, sized, light, brown head. Aroma is that of malt. It smells fresh. The taste is excellent with malt exploding in the mouth. Not as hoppy as some other Brown Ales (Bell's Best Brown comes to mind), but the malt sweetness really shines through. This is a very easy-to-drink beer and a definite credit to the style.

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Photo of bceaglejoe
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at The Publick House in Brookline, MA.

Presentation: Poured a cloudy dark brown color into a traditional pint glass. There was about a finger-thick head, and retention was decent. The scent of the beer revealed rich malt sweetness combined with slight coffee and nut aromas. There wasn't much of a hop profile to this beer.

Tasting: The predominant flavor was slightly roasted malt, followed by a light coffee taste. This was the most assertive part of the beer. There was very little bitterness on the back of the tongue. It had a medium body and viscosity, and the alcohol flavors were very well-hidden by the strong malt presence. It was the kind of beer from which I could take large sips and really enjoy it. It went down very easily and paired well with the slightly salty food I was eating (more of a contrast).

I strongly recommend this beer to anyone who is interested in the Brown Ale style. It tasted like the cousin of the Porter, which is one of my favorite styles. The high drinkability of this beer makes it an excellent choice.

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Photo of ryanonline
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is deep brown with Ruby highlights and a nice fluffy lasting off white head. Modrate lacing.

Smell is of a sweet malt with nice aromatic hops somewhere between floral and pineyn.

Taste is molasses like malt and a good hop taste.

Creamy and lightly frothy mouthfeel. Sweet finish.

Medium bodied light flavor and smooth finish. Moderate carbonation.

I enjoy this beer a pounder with a little more flavor than usual. Good stuff.

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Photo of ikats
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours mahogany in color, clear with a brown head. Aroma has low hops and mostly consists of roasted, nutty, slightly burned notes. Taste has dryness of roasted malts (a bit bitter too). Not too much, but enough to counter malty sweetness. Actually, somewhat refreshing (I think those are the hops coming through). Very pleasant aftertaste (drying bitterness lingers a bit). Medium body. Low carbonation. A bit sweet on the lips. Suddenly I want to reach out for vanilla ice cream. A solid brew.

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Photo of shippos
4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured with a deep brown color with a good thick light tannish head. chocolate malty aroma with a little bit of hops. very well balanced with a thick chewy mouthfeel, has a little biscuity taste too it. the body isn't overly thick or heavy though just the right balance to keep this a very refreshing brown. the hops are very well balanced with the malt, gotta say that this might be the best brown ale I've tasted so far.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

reviewed on phone.

pours a nice head with good retention. dark brown color

smell of toffee and caramel malts. wonderfully balanced with an undertone of chocolate malt.

caramel and toffee with an undertone of chocolate malt.

thick bodied and very drinkable.

this a mild well done brown

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Photo of normZurawski
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is not a remarkable beer. But it is a good beer, which has some very good qualities. What's more, it has no downside. A lot of beers look and smell good, but taste mediocre. Other beers look thin and don't always hit the spot, but they really pack a flavorful punch. This is nothing remarkable, but it's nothing less than good either.

This is a smooth drinking beer that doesn't wow you with malt nor hops. It doesn't have a big head, doesn't have a great finish, nor does it blow you away with a thick mouthfeel. No undertones of chocolate, no hints of coffee. You do get a hint of nuttiness in the finish, toeing the line of the standard American Brown Ale.

In all, this is a smooth drinking beer that simply tastes good. It's a good beer for session drinking, not too high of an ABV but good tasting to boot. It's not a great beer to have if you're only having 1, since it doesn't bring a big flavor bat to the plate. Yet it's good, which is as much as you can ask for in a beer.

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Photo of auxiliary
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Brownish color, nice tan head, with lacing. ...

S - Nice malty smell, slightly burnt smell, but not overwelming...

T - Nice balance, malty taste, little bitter. ...

M - body is balanced nice...

D - Easy to drink, One of the best brown ales I have tasted...

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Photo of Stunner97
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- extremely dark brown, with small bubbles streaming up the bottom of the glass nice thick tan head off the pour very nice appearance for a brown ale

Smell- good amount of hops and roasted malts, chocolate tones aswell

Taste- very good malts balanced with very light touch of hops on the end, roasted malts are strong with faint notes of chocolate and coffee tones, very great flavor with good balance and good richness very nice taste to it, the balance is very good as it stays right in between malty and dry

Mouthfeel - very nice smooth and well balanced, creamy,

Drinkability- extremely easy drinking, had it both on tap this week and in bottle after being impressed and both were very good maybe tap was slightly better but could just been atmosphere cuz both times was quite tasty, beautiful balance and very rich easy drinking brown ale, one of the best i have had of the style, enjoyable and will seek out many more times, had it once about 3 years ago when just trying new beers and my appreciation for its is far great now then it had been at the time

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, best before Sept. 07, served in a pint glass.

A - deep mahogany with a long lasting tan head that left plenty of sticky lace.

S - hoppy aroma upfront with a wiff of roasted malt.

T - rich malty flavor from sip to swallow, then a nibble of hop bitterness, back to a sweet finish.

M - medium bodied, mild carbonation, good mouthfeel.

D - enjoyable beer drinking experience, a few of these can be had in a sitting.

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Photo of coalcracker
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours amber brown with very substantial carbonation and head retention.
Smell: Aroma is a bit malt and sweet with a touch of hop spiciness.
Taste: Starts out sweet with tones of caramel and darker malts which become more pronounced through the back end of the tasting. Hoppy aspect also a bit more noticeable at the midway point which helps quell the initial sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Medium feel with a very mild hop burn; otherwise very smooth and a bit dry at the end.

Overall- A pretty solid brown ale with a little more emphasis on the hops than other brown ales, which is just fine IMO. Good effort.

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Photo of Brenden
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For whatever reason, the appearance is unimpressive. This is a brown ale in every respect, and shows it in color and depth. Very little head forms, however, and little lacing is left on the glass. There is a foam that remains, though even that is very light.
The aroma is big on caramel notes from a heavy malt with a bit of hops balancing nicely. Coffee and chocolate are detectable underneath, as well as a slight nuttiness that comes out more in the flavor.
Everything on the nose is in the flavor, and this has a great roasted malts underscoring and enhancing the rest of the flavors. Roasty and earthy up front, hops linger underneath all the way without ever threatening to take over, so balance is superb. Coffee and chocolate notes really come out, and a nutty flavor rounds it out, particularly in the finish. I don't know if browns just aren't peoples' thing, but this is one of the best I've had.
The body is medium-full with a light carbonation, just enough to keep it lively, and a rich, smooth feel.
This beer is just further proof that Garrett Oliver and his boys know a thing or two about brewing, and I'm surprised this doesn't get more love.

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Photo of mdunman
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Opaque brown/black with a thick tan head but not much linger.

S: Coffee, caramel and roasted malt take over.

T: Rich creamy flavor with caramel and coffee notes surround the roasted malt w/ a lightly dry finish.

M: Full body, good carbonation and a fairly smooth finish.

Good flavor beer, very enjoyable mix of tastes in a good balance. I would come back for another one, but after a meal as a dessert beer.

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Brooklyn Brown Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 936 ratings.