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Brown Ale - Legend Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Brown AleBrown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

147 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 147
Hads: 442
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 21.82%
Wants: 18
Gots: 66 | 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: 147 | Hads: 442
Photo of vabeerguy
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of, if not the first, craft breweries in the Richmond, Virginia area. Twenty years ago (yep, I am that old)my work buddies and I would go to the brewery for lunch and a pitcher of really good beer. It was the general consensus that their brown ale is their best brew (and maybe one of the best craft English brown ales around).

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a nonic pint glass. The beer does not have an over the top sweet/malty taste and has a subtle bitter finish. Not sure if I can add much to what other reviewers have noted other than give this one a try if you are a brown ale fan.

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Photo of drewsdad08
4.54/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Old hometown favorite. One of the rare beers that I've had that is much better to me in bottle than on draft. The look is atypical in my opinion of most brown ales. But that doesn't take away from what attracts me most to this one. The taste and feel are beautiful. Ideal with or without food. I recommend this beer to anyone.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown, rather clear, tan head is a bit foamy but the lacing is not bad. Caramel, brown sugar, bread in the aroma. Sweet hits you first, you get the nutty, slight roast, earthy flavor. Very smooth, perfect balanced allows you to enjoy the beer without to much sweet or bitter. Pretty dry finish and not cloying at all despite the sweet to begin. A little over carbonated, almost feels soda like. Overall a very enjoyable beer and an excellent brown.

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Photo of jburris64
4.51/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional brew with plenty of flavor. I've enjoyed other browns but this is the best so far.
The molasses is pronounced but the combination of barley, nuts and caramel balance the flavors into a smooth note.
Enjoyed from the bottle in Virginia Beach, I will be back for more.

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Photo of oldn00b
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer holds a special place in my heart as one of my first true "local" craft loves. 10+ years ago before the boom started in earnest in VA, Legend was one of the true leaders and this was/is their best brew.

Everything you want from a brown ale here - color is on point, head forms fast and recedes but very nice. Lots of caramel flavor and earth tones come through in the flavor. Finish is bitter but not overly so. It's a clean beer and one I still enjoy very much, especially in the fall.

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
4.69/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

One of the best brown ales we've ever had. The smell and taste feature an intense caramel note. Perfectly balanced. Light hops. Beautiful dark brown color.

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Photo of vainosuomi
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark reddish brown, cream color head. Toasty, heavy malt smell and taste, minimal hops. Slightly sweet. Medium carbonation. Thick feel. Very satisfying; one of my favorite local VA brews.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice a deep brown with white head which resolves rather quickly. Smells pleasantly of toasted malts, bready. Malt forward tastes, well balanced with taste of molasses, grains, and good clean finish. Medium mouthfeel, light carbonation.

Solid brown ale, very enjoyable and easily quaffable. Reliable and tasty.

update: another beer that the more I try - the more nuanced and enjoyable this beer becomes. A truly stellar American Brown Ale and one that I keep returning to - a great session beer - tasty and clean finish - think I'll have another. . .

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Photo of arizcards
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap at the brewpub today.

Beer was served brown with a two finger head that dissipated quickly.

Nose was nondescript. Lightly toasted malts is the primary.

Taste was lightly toasted malts with some hopping for a nice balance.

Feel was medium bodied and fairly smooth.

Overall a nice easy drinking beer, glad i tried. Solid representation of the style.

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Photo of leantom
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite go-to beers while living in Richmond. Here goes:

A: Dark brown with a small white head that quickly dissipates. Not much lacing. The appearance is just OK.

S: Rich caramel, toffee, light coffee, brown sugar, etc. Some English hops, but this one is really a malt bomb.

T: Follows the nose, except somewhat milder than indicated by the smell. Maybe a little to light, but the flavors still follow the nose nicely.

F: Decent, but somewhat light.

O: Great beer. A classic that I remember from my younger days.

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Photo of ordybill
4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Large mug off the tap,
Aroma- Has a strong malts aroma and maybe a slight coffee aroma at the edges.
Appearance- This beer is a dark brown color with red highlights when viewed through the bars neon!! Legend Brown Ale has a white head
Taste- Has a really good malt flavor that I didn't expect. It went down really smooth.
Palate- This is a medium bodied beer with a low carbonation with an oily feel.
Overall- A really good beer from Legend. I will definitely drink this again.

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Photo of UnicornProfessor
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

It's better on-tap than out of the bottle, but it still isn't the best ale I've had by a long shot. Still, I'd order it again if I absolutely had to drink something I knew was decent, and if I wasn't in the mood for untested beers.

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Photo of neenerzig
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was recently on a vacation with my wife and her family visiting some of her extended family in Virginia and there was a Wegman's located close to the hotel we were staying at so I went in there and grabbed some singles of beers from Virginia breweries that I have never seen in Cleveland before (or anywhere else that comes to mind for that matter). This is one of the ones I grabbed. Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into one of my pint glasses, this beer pours a clear, amber brown color with some deep ruby highlights when held up to the light with a nice fluffy looking white head that was initially about an inch thick when first poured before settling to a nice medium sized ring lining the inside of the glass with a decent film layer of foam on the beer's surface. Pretty good lacing indeed too. Aromas of caramel malts and some roasty nuttiness along with hints of coffee and molasses. Has a good, sweet caramel malt flavor upfront followed by the roasted nuttiness and coffee hints followed by a bit of molasses and rounded out with a slight touch of hops. Has a slightly crisp, but mainly smooth, slightly creamy and sticky, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with mild to moderate carbonation. Has a dry, nutty after taste. A pretty solid brown ale here indeed!


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Photo of metter98
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear but dark brown in color and has a light to moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige colored head that died down, leaving a small patch of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of nutty malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the flavors of nutty malts are somewhat stronger and there are also notes of dark malts. No bitterness is perceptible, but there are enough underlying hops to mask any sweetness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is rather malty, but its lighter mouthfeel doesn't make it seem heavy or filling and is therefore relatively easy to drink. It is a good representation of the style.

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Photo of JayQue
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of Tom_Taylor
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Surprising balanced and very drinkable. Very pleasant color and very nice thick head (from tap). Caramel, nutty, and sweet notes, hops is present, but not overwhelming like so many microbrews; low on the IBU scale. The beer was good enough for me to take the time to review it, which is saying something, as I have never reviewed a beer before (at least not publicly!)... Now back to drinking... I will definitely be having another one. :)

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Photo of tkelley
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
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.


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Photo of searsclone
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams glass. Clear, deep molasses color with a cloudy tan head. Really pretty.

Smell is roasted malt and faint coffee. Not picking much up.

Taste is roasted malt, dark chocolate, bitter coffee, smoke, brown sugar. Extremely well balanced and drinkable.

Mouth is very well carbonated, yet smooth. Light body with a wet finish.

Overall, one of the best brown ale's I have had.

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Photo of constantine_272
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Lovely dark chestnut color. Medium carbonation. Sticky very viscous foam. Not sure if this is normal, but my bottle had a good amount of chunky sediment at the bottom. Maybe it was mistreated before I got it or just plain pushing the 'best by' date. I don't get many Virginian brews out here in Brewvana Oregon. Loses points for the sediment whether its Legend's fault it not.

S: Rich deep nuttiness of hazelnut. Sweetness of caramel and molasses. Slight applewood smokiness. Supple leather. A little mineral smell: carbon, steel, iron and copper.

T: Starts off nutty and rich and leathery like the smell. A little bit of cedar and oak builds in also. Sweetness builds a bit in the back of the tongue shortly after. Also there's a little cinnamon spice that starts to come through. Slight bit of tangy dry hops comes through at the end which mostly finishes clean. The hops finishes dry and slightly floral. Crisp and fairly clean. A little bit of grass and a fair amount of straw towards the end. Mild sweetness persist in a weak aftertaste.

M: Medium body, not too thin. Finishes crisp and bright; I really like that and could go for a touch more. Finishes clean; only mild sweetness lingers but not for long.

O: Quite nice brown ale. Very balanced; great rich flavors and the crisp finish really plays off the richness well.

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Photo of Steamer
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown with reddish hues; a thick 2-inch, tan head with lots of staying power. The smell is surprisingly hoppy and brisk. The taste is an interesting blend of the hops and malts; citrus-grapefruit, nutty, a little bitter after taste more in line with a mild IPA but still a very good on the palate. Dry and high carbonation mouthfeel. Overall: Although the taste, aroma, and mouthfeel don't track with most brown ales, this brew is very good and enjoyable.

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Photo of BryanCarey
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Medium brown in color, Legend Brown Ale emits an aroma of sweet, lightly roasted, nutty malts. The body of the beer is a little hazy and there is a small amount of lacing.

This beer serves up flavors like caramel malt, toffee, nuts, a touch of dough, and bread. The overall flavor is more on the sweet side, but there is some balancing from the hops. The beer is medium in body and is generally drinkable and likeable.

Legend Brewing Brown Ale is a decent beer, but I don’t rank it among my favorite examples of the style. The reason is because the flavors don’t necessarily mesh together the way they should. The individual tastes are okay, but they don’t have much synergy, leaving the consumer with a less then pleasant experience.

A decent beer overall, but far from the best brown ale I have ever tried.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of DrJay
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, deep brown with a reddish hue topped by a thin beige cap. Good head retention, some lacing. Not much other than grapefruit citrus in the aroma, perhaps a bit of malt and brown sugar. Moderate bitterness, citrus dominates the flavour, fainter notes of dark malts, nuts, and brown sugar. Medium/light bodied with moderate carbonation, a bit dry. Decent overall, particularly if you like a lot of citrus in your brown ales.

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Photo of obywan59
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a translucent brown to orangish brown with a ond finger light tan head that rapidly recedes leaving a bit of nice lacing.

The aroma is fruity with caramel and nutty malts. Light coffee.

Faintly sweet malts with a bit of caramel. Nutty. Light bitterness in the end.

Medium full in body with a prickle of light carbonation, but otherwise smooth and lightly creamy. Slightly warming.

Pretty decent brew. Nothing amazing, but it's satisfying and refreshing. I would try it again.

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Photo of Kendo
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is mahogany-amber with a small ivory head on top. Lots of fine particulate in suspension is odd - makes it look gritty. Leaves behind a bit of lace.

S: Pleasant brown ale nose: caramel malt, fruit and nuttiness.

T: Pretty much follows the nose, with a touch of caramel malt up front, some generic fruitiness and then nuttiness toward the back end. It's all wrapped up with a slightly minerally hop bitterness that provides a bit of balance.

M: Lighter side of medium in heft; carbonation is prickly but fine.

O: An easy drinker and a good version of the style.

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Brown Ale from Legend Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.