Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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: 443
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 21.82%
Wants: 18
Gots: 67 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 76-100 | 101-125 | 126-150  | next → last
Reviews: 147 | Hads: 443
Photo of Proteus93
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
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 davidt
3.22/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish-brown color with off-white short lived head. The aroma is caramel with a bit of brown sugar. Caramel malt flavor, not too sweet. Some citrus hops come through at the end giving the beer a bit of a zing. A decent but not outstanding english brown ale.

 266 characters

Photo of hchinaski
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i have drank this beer for over 10years on and off. it's available all over town, as legend is the most significant, if no the best local brewery in the area. i shall review my favorite legend brew today.

12-oz. tap poured at the local sports bar.

A- always liked the look and feel of this brown ale. dark and lovely, with a little bit of see-thru ability, this is how i like my browns to look

S-malty aroma. gives off the impression that speaks to exactly how it will taste.

T-Today's brew was surprisingly good. i had previously had a Sam Octoberfest an hour beforehand, and this beer made me forget all about that.

M-No bad lingerings, could be a bit maltier in fact.

D-as above, this beer is pretty much the status quo around town for the bars and restaurants. it's not a bad brown ale at all, in fact quite good. have used this a couple of times session style.

 873 characters

Photo of atsprings
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served a crisp brown with a decent sized head that was somewhat quick to diminish. The aroma was of roasted malt, slight burnt caramel and a hint of hops. The taste had a great roastiness to it along with some subtle caramel and a hint of chocolate. The hops were quietly doing their job in the background. The beer was medium to light bodied with the alcohol well hidden. This is a very enjoyable brown ale and certainly worth trying if you're in the area.

 457 characters

Photo of dedrinker
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

oh brown man. Your crystal maltiness, your faint sweet roastiness. Your hazelnut appearance and sometimes light diacetyl aroma and finish. Your low hop profile and lush mouthfeel. How I miss you at times, but when you are fresh in my mouth on a good November evening, I am happy. I recomend you to others. Those that like classic brown ales, but yearn for a colonial twist in the plot.

 385 characters

Photo of zymurgy4all
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice micro brew brown ale. Highly recommend if passing through Richmond. It has a flavorful malt bill along with some decent hop and yeast flavors. My pour had little head, but some lacing on the glass. Nothing sticks out with this beer--it is just a good beer with good flavor overall. Complex malt nutiness is present that makes it somewhat unique. Very drinkable beer.

 371 characters

Photo of nriech
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear light brown. Medium head, some lacing. Moderate carbonation.

Smell: Sweet and malty. A little nutty.

Taste: A decent mixture of lightly sweet caramel with malt. A little citrus hop is balanced in well. Very easy to drink and not offensive to any foods I have eaten with it.

Its overall a pleasant beer thats always fresh as it has a short expiration date and cant be left unrefered. Its always a good solid standby in the Richmond area.

 463 characters

Photo of Enola
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received as a bonus in a trade with nriech.

This beer is a nice clear brown with a fair head that leaves little lacing. The smell is of brown sugar and cappachino. The taste is caramel and molasses. The mouthfeel is smooth and this is a very drinkable beer. If I visited this brewpub, this would be a beer I would order each visit for sure.

 344 characters

Photo of Phatz
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pour an amber brown color with some deep reddish hues. It has mostly translucent to the point of almost clear copper (that is for a brown ale). The big ivory head had great retention in the one glass I have here on vacation in VA. I didn't bring a pint glass, but the glasses the resort supplies are like a Stange glass. The head pushed right up in the glass proud 3-4 fingers and lasted for quite some time and the body showcased large carbonation bubbles that rise slowly through the brew. The lacing is nice as well.

Smell: A very malty nose with toffee a hint of coco and some toasty caramel, splash of vanilla and nuts fill the nose with a very pleasant aroma.

Taste: On the front end toasty malts and burnt caramel lead into a toffee flavor. Swirls of cocoa and Karyo syrup in there before the nuts take over and dominate for a bit. the finish has a bit of gentle earthy bitter that leads into the aftertaste which is a solid hazelnut flavor left cling to your palate long after the beer is gone.

Mouthfeel: Crisp land lively around the edges with a hint of hop and spice tingle aiding the carbonation. It is lighter in body than many Browns but it is not filling and remarkably easy to drink.

Drinkability: This is my kind of beer. The beer seems to have a laid back attitude. I have to put my feet up and simply enjoy the heck out it. I downed this bomber too fast and with I had another. I am a fan of the Brown Ale style and this is certainly an easy drinking Brown.

Hope this is helpful.

 1,536 characters

Photo of arguemaniac
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a copperish brown with a very brief head that leaves no lace whatsoever. The slightly sweet aroma has notes of toffee. The roasty palate features rich toffee and caramel flavors, a touch of coffee, a slight fruitiness, and a sharp but not overwhelming burnt bitterness that pairs nicely with a mellow hop bite. The mouthfeel is slightly thinner than medium-bodied with very mellow carbonation.

One of the best tasting brown ales Virginia has to offer. My only complaints are that there is little to no head or lace, and the body could be a bit fuller. But, as it is, this beer is fantastic. Highly recommended.

 619 characters

Photo of Jredner
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
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 mmmbeer
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber with no freshness date. It pours a reddish chestnut color with a dense 2 finger off-white head that looks very nice, reducing to a half inch and leaving some lacing on the glass. There is a lot of diacetyl on the nose, mainly butter and caramel, along with some perfumy hops and maybe some nuts. It has a medium body that is tingly and it tastes like leafy hops, diacetyl, some malt in the background, and a distict bitterness that is not quite controlled by the malts, though it tastes low in IBUs. Overall a pretty drinkable brown, but the body wasn't thick enough and it wasn't too complex. However it did pair well with some Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies.

 674 characters

Photo of merlin48
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle purchased from the cooler of the Vintage Cellar in Blacksburg, Virginia, on the recommendation of one of their staffers.
Appearance: Served chilled into an imperial pint glass, the body is a clear and glowing copper mahogany color. Two fingers of creamy, tightknit beige head tower above. Decent head retention eventually gives way to draping sheets of lace. The body captures interest with lots of streaming carbonation.
Aroma: Maltiness dominates the nose with chocolate and caramel accents, but is restrained. Some apple and pear skin provide a tasty fruity note. Some roasted hazelnut is also apparent.
Mouthfeel: Light medium body with moderate carbonation. A bit of chewy malt is noted.
Taste: Nicely hopped for an English Brown, with some spicy and fruity hop bitterness. Well balanced, with toffee and caramel flavors as the malt backbone. Hazelnut provides the nuttiness that really nails the style. Some fruity pear skin on the backend adds to the complexity. Slightly bitter spicy hop and burnt malt finish.
Drinkability: Very well done, and very fresh tasting. ABV seems less than listed here. I had never heard of this brewery before, but they've gained my attention with this fine offering.

 1,223 characters

Photo of pentathlete
2.7/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer was a dissapointment for me. Ordered it with a sandwich. In the low lighting it appeared a true brown color with no head or lacing on the pint glass. Smell was barely perceptible with some maltiness showing up. Taste starts out like a typical brown ale then the aftertaste ruins it for me. In an effort to be bitter it merely comes across annoying like a kid trying to get a attention by acting up rather than just saying "excuse me." I found the aftertaste distracting and it discounted any hope I had for this beer. Mouthfeel was about right, not quite full, but coating the palate up front. I left about a third of this in the glass.

 646 characters

Photo of FenwaySquid
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 1 pt 6 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Amber in color, beer poured with a generous head that retained at first, then gradually faded into a lace.

Aroma: Rather malty.

Taste: Sweet; also a little nutty. A hint of caramel malt perhaps. I never did detect any hops in the taste, but here I think that's a good thing.

Overall: This is an excellent beer.

 391 characters

Photo of TinusTime
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nutty brown colour with just a tinge of amber. Decent fluffy white head. The aroma is nutty with a bit of sweetness with a decent back end of bitterness. Taste is initially subtle caramel sweetness. A middle note of toasted hazelnuts comes in followed by a kind of bitterness found in burnt sugar ALA creme brulee. The flavour is nice and deep and not water or too sweet like some brown ales I have had recently. Mouthfeel is good. One thing about legend is that they seem to always taste fresh. Drinkability is good as well. While not a session brew in my eye, I wouldnt mind a couple of pints of this in an evening. The best Legend I have had so far.

 660 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased from Wine & Beer - Westpark, Richmond, VA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" beige head over the burnished copper brew. Head is resilient, and laces well. Aroma is is malty, with a sweetish component, vanilla, perhaps. Taste is sweet caramel malts, with that vanilla flavor so strong as to seem artificial adding a bit of depth. Mouthfeel good and drinkability high. And interesting take on the style, I like it, and would love to find it on cask...

 493 characters

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off the beer engine at the Innsbrook Capital Ale House.

Having had the St. George IPA on the cask, it was time to try the Legend offering. Per the (massive) beer menu, it's "dark golden in color and dry hopped to perfection."

It arrived in a 20oz. English Imperial Pint glass with an amazingly thick and creamy white head that really reminded me of a nitr-tap brew. Distinct and impressive rings of lace on the glass as this one was drained. Color was indeed dark golden. Aromas were very different from what I'd expected. I was thinking I'd be able to pick up something resembling a hoppy note but all I got was a very pronounced "applesauce" aroma. I'd be curious to see what hops they used in dry-hopping this. Flavor, too, was not very influenced by the hops, IMHO. Pretty mild, and toned down by the conditioning in the cask. Quite malty-caramel sweet up front, tempered nicely by the hops. Finishes with a sweet, tangy aftertaste. Mouthfeel is nice...creamy smoothness coates the palate. I really like cask-conditioned beers and this one was easy to drink. One that I would certainly order again.

 1,109 characters

Photo of byrd
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I’ve had this brew once previously, but it came to my rescue in the days immediately following Hurricane Isabel when power was out all over the place and my fridge was nothing more then a closet. Oddly enough, one of the only gas stations in the region with power (for days after the storm) was a Texaco only 10 minutes from home. Not having a generator, I had no need to wait in the insane lines for gas, so just stopped in to get something cold to drink. On a whim, I passed by the beer cooler, and to my surprise right in the middle of all the 40s was a row or 22oz Legend Brown Ale bombers. This is the only Legend brew (or micro brew for that matter) that they carry, and I was surprised to see it at all. And after being out of power for a number of days meant no cool beer at home, I didn't ask any questions, and picked up a few bottles. Now on to the review...

Legend pours a nice clear copper color with carbonation cascading from the sides of the glass. A decent head forms on top that is slightly sticky and recedes to a fairly rocky top before falling to a bubbly lace that coats the surface for a rather lengthy period of time. The aroma is a well balance mix of both malt and hops. The malts have a noticeable caramel character while the hops are citric. The start is smooth with the caramel malt notes being evident first. The sweetness is very restrained, and compliments the hops well. Citric hop notes are also well stated and a bit lemony, but don’t overtake the malt flavor. The body is medium with moderate carbonation. Well balance brew that is very easy to drink. Although I enjoy this brew, I’ve had better brown ales.

Addition 09/04
I've since had this brew on tap a number of times at the River's Inn Restaraunt in Gloucester, VA, and have grown to enjoy this brown ale quite a bit. I'll also have to add that I enjoy it more on tap than from a bottle. The mouthfeel is a bit fuller and smoother on tap. The malt charateristics are more dominate. The malt is a little on the sweet side, but doesn't take away from the brew. The hops while still present, tend to have a less citric quality then I had noticed in the bottle. With no other craft brews to choose from at the River's Inn, I'll continue to be a happy customer as long as they keep this one available. Good session brew.

 2,317 characters

Photo of queenboadicea
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
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 Bierman9
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed my first-ever Legend bier.... This Brown (currently at 6.0%) has an attractive amber color, a little lace, and a fine, creamy tan head. Nose consisted of some caramel and malty notes....nice! Pleasant mouthfeel and good flavors abound. Some of the caramel and roasted malts show up nicely, and the hops (Tettnang & Mt Hood) make a brief cameo at the finish. Easy drinking!

overall: 4
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


 466 characters

Photo of DrDocRudge
4.9/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

When in the Central Virginia area, make sure you treat your tastebuds to this smooth, slightly sweet concotion. The deep brown color says it will be heavy. It is not. The aroma says nutty, and it is, but its in the back fringe of the flavor profile. Stops just short of making your mouth giddy. Can be dangerously seductive which leads to mass consumption. Then when you stand up the alcohol kicks in and the world spins. Tap version far superior to bottle.

 464 characters

firstprev| 76-100 | 101-125 | 126-150  | next → last
Brown Ale from Legend Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.