Brown Ale - Legend Brewing Co.

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Brown AleBrown Ale

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BA SCORE
87
very good

141 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 141
Hads: 427
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.36%
Wants: 19
Gots: 56 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Legend Brewing Co. visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-04-2001

Our most popular beer, Legend's is a full bodied version of a British Brown Ale. Expect a rich, malt-forward brew with a beautiful mahogany tone. Generous amounts of specialty malts bring flavors of sweet caramel, toasted nuts, coffee, and molasses, all perfectly balanced by a steady but cautious hop dryness. Fruity undertones provided by our house yeast strain bring the final flavor element to round out this world class ale.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 141 | Hads: 427
Photo of soupermirl
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Preety freakin' good. Had it at the Taphouse in Hampton, VA and it was very nice. At first sight, it is a brown ale, nice color. The scent left a little to be desired. Not what I expected. Kind of like old beer, but when I tasted it, yummy, very nice. The taste of malt filled my mouth, followed by an ever so slight hops. Very nice finish. And each time a drank it, I think I enjoyed it more. Nice. (399 characters)

Photo of Proteus93
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the locals, so I feel obliged to give it a try... I went with this one based on a Richmond native saying "He's a big fan" of the brewery, and the fact that I like a brown ale.

A: A nice pour... a deep cinnamon brown, and a great 2 finger head. Moderately sticky, leaves a little latticing lace. (tongue twister not intented!)

S: A nice, mild aroma... a little nutty and a caramel scent in there.

T/M/D: A big malt front here... nice, round body, maybe even a touch heavy for its class - I personally like the attribute, so don't see it as being a negative thing. Not noticing a caramel flavour like I found in the aroma. Rather, an earthy, somewhat buttery flavour of malts. They seem to diminish a touch in the finish, but don't know if making it 'bigger' would change that or ruin it all. All around, it's a nice and straight forward brown, and something that could show further potential with tweaking over time. (926 characters)

Photo of avalon07
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a somewhat thick texture. There was quarter inch of foamy head and some good lacing.

S: There was a malty, nutty quality to the smell, along with some sugars.

T: Not as complex as I would've like, but not bad. Roasted malt, toffee and a nutty quality common to brown ales.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a dry, yet slightly thin finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Overall, this is a pretty good beer, though not my favorite among Legend's output. The taste was good enough, but bordered on mediocre. (571 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A one-finger frothy on top of a see-thru brown body. Subdued roasted malt smell mixed with some toasted and sweet malt smells as well. Nice smoothness with a subdued dry backbite. Has caramel sweetness and maybe some sugar cane with a little tartness from the hops. A low-key quality brown. (290 characters)

Photo of Jredner
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is very fruity with apple dominating and notes of a more sugary sweetness. Red/brown body holds a world champion fader of a head that leaves tiny white slick. Lots of caramel malt, fruity apple and pear along with peantu skins and meatier nut notes. The flavor is spot on for the most part, but the alcohol is a touch more noticeable than expected for the style. Still a decent Brown. (390 characters)

Photo of JayQue
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer is served all over Tidewater Virginia in restaurants. I have had it on tap, 12 oz bottles and 22 oz bottles and have never gotten around to reviewing it. I bought a 12 oz bottle at Total Wine, Chesapeake for the express purpose of a review.

Pours a mahogany brown color with plenty of red light shining through. Medium size antique white/very light tan head with average retention. Some lacing on the glass.

Smell is roasted malt and a little chocolate. Fairly mild.

Tastes pretty good. Malt forward with roasted malt and a little chocolate. There is some mild balancing hops. Overall a fairly mild but tasty beer.

Mouthfeel is crisp, maybe a little on the light side but goes well with food. A little potent for a session beer at 6.00% but the alcohol is not noticeable.

Nothing outstanding but I am always happy to see it on a menu. (849 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a dark ruby red color with a nice opacity in spite of its shade. I think the head is quite beautiful, a one finger light khaki shade that retains itself in a consistent manner. Lacing is good, as well.

S: Surprisingly peppery - the black pepper component is pretty strong here. Beneath that lies some pleasant nuttiness (I'd say something along the lines of pecan and almond) and even a touch of lemongrass. A bit strange in its construction, but not offputting.

T: The nut flavor is what dominates, first and foremost. Afterwards, the nuttiness will roll into a slight tartness. The finish has a balanced bitterness, keeping the sweetness in check without becoming harsh. A vague cream flavor is on the aftertaste - creating the suggestion that this seems well layered, if not complex. Very, very good, and much better than what the aroma suggested.

M: Creamy smooth at first, before finishing clean and dry. Carbonation could be toned down ever so faintly. Otherwise, the general feel of the palate is quite pleasant, avoiding the excess chalkiness prevalent in some browns.

O: I admit, this one caught me off guard a bit. Aromatically, it's not much cop, but the flavor and texture helps compensate. Very good in general. (1,278 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Once again, my local, in-person trader, tone77, has come through with an interesting beer for me to try. I tend to eschew beers not in CANs or other than AIPAs so he keeps me honest and in the game. Well done!

An aggro pour resulted in a brief finger of light-tan head with limited retention. Color was a mahogany brown with NE-quality clarity. Nose gave off notes of milk chocolate, nuts, caramel and toffee. Whee! Mouthfeel was unexpectedly effervescent with a very nutty flavor on the tongue. This was turning out much better than I had expected. Finish was semi-dry with the nuttiness being offset by a butterscotch-caramel-toffee flavor. For not being my cuppa tea, this was quite a nice beer. It just reinforces my need to diversify whenever possible. (758 characters)

Photo of skeeordye11
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: beautiful light brown in color with no head or lace.
S: biscuit maltiness with a touch of nuttiness as well. Very inviting
T: the malt hits you up front with a good touch of roasted grain as well. There is a bitterness at the end that may be from the roasted grain but could also be from hops. Complex.
M: fuller than expected based on the color.
D: good accompaniment to a meal. I'd have another. (400 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A-medium brown with hint of red, a nice tan head and decent lacing

S-toasted malt, light nutty, hint of caramel

T-toasted malt, light caramel, nutty, hint of chocolate, mild bitterness in the finish

F- light time dim body with moderate carbonation, a little light for my taste

O-decent if not great brown ale, easy drinking (327 characters)

Photo of queenboadicea
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a nice, well balanced and highly quaffable brew. Living in the Richmond vicinity, you find it on tap in a lot of local restaurants and pubs. Hints of nuts and a little malt on the palate, with a clean finish. Goes great with a variety of foods. Legend doesn't pasturize it's beers, so it always has a pleasantly fresh taste. (332 characters)

Photo of kemoarps
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This is the last of the beers my little brother brought me when he came to visit a little while back (he's the best).

The pour is considerably lighter and more opaque than I expected. Looks almost more like and amber, with it's light toffee/mahogany shading. Decent sized suds on top, an off-white almond colour. Effervescent.

The smell is quite enticing. Nutty and sweet with a bready background, it's not something I look for in all of my beers, but for a brown, it seems to be about what I want.

I have to admit it's a little bit of a let down as it goes down the hatch. Primary notes of are crisp and refreshing, a light caramel, which is backed up by a caramel creaminess. A bit of deeez nuts, before tapering into a bitter finish. There's a doughy character somewhere in there that is kind of disappointing, tastes like raw gingerbread dough: brown sugar and yeast that feel unfinished, like they were supposed to get together and make something, but just decided to sit by themselves on the sideline instead.
There's a lot of really enjoyable components here, and the makings of a very good brown, but it just didn't all come together as I had hoped. Glad I tried it, much love to my brother for bringing it through, but ultimately not one I'll probably ever have again.

edit: As I have a bomber and a tiny glass, it has taken several refills, and each refill has caused it to try to overflow with head, while the beer part stays in the bottom inch or so of the glass. This coupled with some other things that came out as I drink make me wonder if there's something up with this bottle (I admittedly don't know much about what can affect a beer/what effect it can have). Is this a possibility? (1,708 characters)

Photo of JMB
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - dark brown and thick appearance, frothy head that gathers on the glass, good looking amber

T - somewhat malty with a mix of sweet and slightly bitter, ends nicely with a hidden hint of bitterness, subtle caramel

M - hearty and smooth, satisfying

O - enjoyable ale that does not overwhelm, taste is sweet yet subtle at the end (333 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real solid looking brown, with a deep copper red hue, and large brown mahogany dark body. Large evenly tan and four finger tall head is produced with a large staying foaming cap. Solid and impressive looking with very slow rising carbonation barely seen in the middle.

Light toasty notes, but a bit grainy with a weak sense of caramel. Kind of dry. A little gaseous perhaps also. Otherwise ok.

Palate is interesting. Most of the flavor hits in the aftertaste. Predominant on milk chocolate with a very good coating mouthfeel if a bit fizzy just a tad in the finish. Flavors don't seem to last and provide a little bit of sticky syrup quality after some time.

Overall sort of missing the nutty character and malt depth, but it's not a bad brew though and certainly not a horrible brown that's for sure. (855 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for half of this beer

Review adapted from notes taken 4/2/11

Note: Written in my notes as "Legend of the Brown Ale." Uhhh...

Appearance: Brown with some hints of red, a nice, wispy white head with some lacing

Smell: Mostly uninteresting - baked/toasted biscuits, caramel malts, toasted grains, some earthy hops

Taste: Not bad, not exciting - dry biscuits, caramel malts, some hints of burnt malts, grains - hops seem very English in nature - hints of nuts

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little light but it works, nicely carbonated

Overall: Pretty boring but definitely not bad

As far as brown ales go, this is a little above average. I would drink this again, but I wouldn't seek it out. I don't find it legendary. (738 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 2L swing-top growler into a St Bernardus goblet. Filled at Fry's Spring Station in Charlottesville about ten minutes ago.

A: Large amounts of white head top a dark brown beer. Translucent in direct light, with reddish hues, Legend Brown is otherwise opaque and nearly black. Nice lacing.

S: Vaguely metallic. Some malty sweetness. Actually, very malty and deceptively deep.

T: A bit watery, but a nice beer. Balanced, malty, and pleasant. Maintaste is full of sweet malts, vaguely nutty? The aftertaste is

M: Full-bodied, malty-round. Very nice.

O: Good beer; very drinkable. Still, not especially compelling. Would drink again, in the right circumstance. Recommended. (688 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this bottle in a trade with jwc215. Thanks Joe!

My first sampling from this brewery:

It pours a...whoah...lots of foam here and I just took it out of the fridge. Anywho, it has a nice hazy brown with some gold colour and a very thick head of offwhite foam.

The smell is nice and malty with notes of caramel, some earthiness, a touch of nuttiness, and something with a slight tart tinge to it.

The taste has a nice caramel malt base that is followed with some nutty tones, toffee, earth, and a noticeable tinge of tartness. I don't know if that was intended but it sure makes this Brown ale different.

The foam is really sticking around and there's sheets of lacing on the side of my glass. Perty looking, I'll say.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side but it works.

Overall an interesting interpretation of an English Brown Ale that for me, lets down only because of this tartness that I find out of place. Other than that, it sure is easy enough to drink. I'd say, try it if you see it. (995 characters)

Photo of tkelley
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from my Beer of the Every Other Month Club poured into a pint glass.

A -- Pretty nice looking body. Its got some stuff flotsam and jetsam floating around in it--sediment, if you will. Nice color, not too dark. Eggshell colored foam with solid lacing and very good retention of a layer of foam.

N -- Kind of nutty. Mostly malt smells here... breads or crackers or biscuits or something.

T -- Straightforward brown ale. Nothing crazy going on. Malty with a nice hop dryness and a little nut or fruit backdrop.

M -- Very drinkable and smooth.

O -- I liked this, i would drink it again.

Cheers. (610 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of malts, a bit nutty. Taste is well balanced hops and malts, a bit of nuts, just a touch of caramel. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer. (255 characters)

Photo of Matt1516
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well carbonated ale results in a frothy ephemeral tan head on a dark chocolate body (little lacing). Smells of caramel and sweet malts.

Thin taste but refreshing. Not much by way of hops but lots of chocolate malt and some vanilla tannins. Sweet with a little sourness in the aftertaste but I wish more bitterness prevailed or for a drier finish. A bit cloying in the end.

Still, it's a better than average example of the style. (430 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful dark brown color, with a slight head of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the beer in wispy clouds.

Aroma: Very malty and bready, with some good nuttiness there too. I get some slight chocolate notes too as well as some molasses. Very pleasant.

Taste: Like the aroma, the beer is very malty and nutty with some pleasing sweetness of toffee and/or molasses. The beer finishes with some nicely balanced hops bitterness to round everything out.

Mouthfeel: Medium with a slight chewiness. There is some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds, and with an ABV of 6.4%, there’s just the slightest hint of alcohol on the palate, but not much

Overall: I was very impressed with this brown ale. Nicely balanced, very tasty and very drinkable. I’ll certainly pick up a few more of these. (916 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into my large Duvel tulip, Legend's Brown Ale is a murky brown with an off-white head leaving scattered lace.

Smell is fairly rich, toffee, and a little charred roast.

Taste is malty, nougat, a touch nutty. A little herbal hop snap, earthy, but little bitterness and really none of the char I picked up on the nose.

Mouthfeel is slippery, light bodied.

Drinkability is ok, a little to much like a milky way candy bar for my taste, I tired of the sweetness quickly. The fairly high ABV is well hidden though. (532 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to the BA who sent this one my way as an extra in a past trade (can’t remember who, but will look it up soon)! Served from bottle into a Samuel Smith imperial pint. Poured a deep red-orange with a five to six finger cream colored head that subsided to three finger very slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, subtly roasted malt, nutty, earth, and caramel. The flavor was of sweet malt, earth, tart, caramel, nutty, and wood. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a fairly decent brew. I was concerned that this one was going to be infected based on the amount of head that formed upon being poured gently into my glass. Upon smelling the brew it didn’t seem like there was any infection evident. But on the flavor there was the slight tart note that one would not expect. It was not sharp or strong, but it was definitely present. Still a fairly easy drinking brown ale that I wouldn’t mind having again sometime. (1,042 characters)

Photo of KeithStolte
3.49/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had it for lunch with Garlic Roasted Red Potatoes and a Tuscan Tomato soup from AW Shucks in Norfolk, VA where it is consistently on-tap.

A - Poured from tap to pint glass. Classic brown color with a thin off white head. Some leftover bits of carbonation through out the drink. Good Retention and some lacing.

S - Nutty Aroma, Slightly sweet

T - Earthy Tones, Slightly sweet but not overbearing.

M - full but not thick, medium carbonation.

D - Very Drinkable. Matchs with a lot of dishes. (493 characters)

Photo of mattcrill
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Light caramel and maple syrup nose up front. Wheat bread crust character asserts as it warms. Light earthy and cedar like hop notes. Clean fermentation character.

Appearance: Deep shoe leather brown with ruby edging. Low one finger off-white head that retains well. Beer appears still in the glass.

Flavor: Light caramel flavors up front with low honey notes. More wheat crust character with earthy hop bitterness to provide a counterpoint. Finish is clean and dry. Balance is nearly even but slightly leaning toward the malt profile.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with high, prickly carbonation. No heat, astringency, or creaminess.

Overall impression: A solid American Brown Ale. It seemed to bitter to be an English Brown even though that's where it's slotted here. I'd try it again but in general, browns don't get me too excited. (842 characters)

Brown Ale from Legend Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 141 ratings.