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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 147 | Hads: 442
Photo of Retsinis
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Wegmans while staying in Woodbridge VA on vacation with family. Love to check out local beers anytime I travel, and since this is made in VA, had to check it out.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle from a six pack into a wine glass.

The beer pours a very lightly hazy amber to dark copper color with a half inch of tan head, not too much lacing, but the head settles to a thin layer that sits on top.

The aromas are of caramel, toffee or roasted almonds, toasted bread with melted butter, some mild hops.

The taste follows the nose quite nicely, toasted malts, caramel, roasted mild toffee, nuts, some bitterness of dry hops in the middle and a bitter dry finish. A good malt to hops balance.

The mouth feel is fairly crisp, with medium carbonation. It is both drinkable and goes down smooth.

Overall, this one surprised me a bit. Researched Legend Brewing company before arriving (being from CA where it is not distributed to my knowledge) and am glad I had the opportunity to try this one. Also a plus that I get to take one of these back to share with friends at the next tasting.

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Photo of palthainon
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the most drinkable beer I would advocate to anyone. Be they beer snob or simple-drunk, everyone loves a Brown ale from legend.

It also has to added bonus of being readily available in many places and extremely affordable.

Give this beer a chance and it'll be something you regularly stock from here on out.

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Photo of pnkRed
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a mahogany brown and crystal clear with a short head that dissipates rather quickly. The smell was nutty and malty, and although the aroma was there, it was light and humble. The taste was spot on average for a brown ale. Nutty and malty. Nothing to be too impressed with, but definitely better than a Newky Brown. Light on the body, and easy to sip, this one you can definitely drink a bottle or two and not have to worry about not making the evening news at 10.

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: Poured from a 22oz. Bomber into a pint glass. Deep, dark brown with a thin head that dissipated quickly. Only a few wisps of foam were able to cling to the glass. The color was impressive, the head and lacing left something to be desired.

SMELL: The Legend Brown Ale had a brown sugary, malty smell, but it was not overpowering, a rather pleasant nose.

TASTE: A nice example standard and straight forward brown ale. Nutty, malty and sugary, but as with the nose, the taste was not overwhelmingly sweet. In fact, it was dryer than most browns I have had. The sweetness does slowly creep in as the beer goes down, but it gives way to a subtle smoky finish.

MOUTHFEEL: Slightly oily and the little carbonation that there is lightly tickles the tongue on the way down.

OVERALL: My only issue with Legend's Brown Ale is the carbonation (or lack there of). It made for a weak head and gave it an oily feel. In terms of flavor, however, this is one of the better brown ales I have had. So, if you are not as sensitive to texture as I am, pick one of these up next time you find yourself in Richmond, VA.

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Photo of vandemonian
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Legend Brown Ale looks great in the glass. It has a red-brown colour and an excellent 1cm head that is maintaned by high carbonation. This beer has a big malty smell. The flavour is similarly malty with a coffee aftertaste. The alcohol is noticeable too. This beer feels great in the mouth: very thick and carbonated.


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Photo of KeithStolte
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

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Photo of nickd717
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle via trade thanks to billab914.

Pours clear amber-brown in color with a one-finger white head that leaves some foam on the beer.

The aroma is very chocolatey with caramel and some plum and fig notes. Pretty nice.

Fairly sweet flavor with lots of caramel malt and a little chocolate. The fruits come out on the flavor as well, with a slight hint of molasses.

Medium body with average carbonation and a pretty standard mouthfeel.

A good brown ale overall. Not amazing, but good enough.

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Photo of jgasparine
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Poured from the tap with a thin off-white head, which quickly evaporated with just a hint of a collar in the wake. The body was an optically clear garnet-tinged medium brown... little traces of visible carbonation.

S- Overall a very mild nose. I am straining to pick up any aroma... I'm in a smoke-free bar, with no food on the table... and while this was served a little on the cool side, I still should get SOMETHING off the nose... but I nothing...

T- A fairly nice balance of some vienna malts and some earthy hop flavor. This balance persists through the midpalate, until some mild hop bitterness kicks-in and lingers a bit in the finish. Overall, I feel that the flavor is good, but still somewhat weak... like someone took a nice Brown Ale and diluted it with some water.

M- A very thin body with a- I don't want to say a coarse carbonation, but perhaps a 'spritzy' carbonation... Low level of astringency. No real texture.

D- Overall drinkable... while it fails to break the mediocre barrier in all other categories, it's refreshing enough to drink in quantity on a hot day.

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Photo of Naugros
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yep, looks like a classic brown ale. They nailed that. Brown, but allows light to pass through, but not really clear. A nice egg white colored head, not very thick but has excellent retention.

Hmm, not used to getting hops right off the bat from a brown ale. Obviously, this is an American brown ale. A little pine, a little grapefruit and the malts are pretty much missing in the nose. Well, not entirely. Cleared my palate and took another whiff and there's a nice balance here. The aforementioned hops, but also a bit of toast.

A nicely balanced beer. Just enough bite from the hops to balance out the bready sweetness of the malt. Neither really take center stage, but the hops do get the final scene. Not exceptionally complex, but nice nonetheless. It's like a really good two-man show of malts and hops.

This has very little aftertaste and is real easy to drink. The hops have a presence but don't add bitterness to the point that you can only handle one or two. Well, if you're a hophead this is a bad thing, but it makes for nicely balanced beer.

Nothing exceptionally or noteworthy about this beer, it's just a good beer.

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Photo of kola
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown with hints of red. Pours a big head that quickly settles with some lace.

S - Nuts, roasted malts, a hint of sweetness like brown sugar or caramel

T - The caramel comes through the roasted malts nicely. This is a sweet brown, but the sweetness is not overpowering. Hints of nuts during the drink, and a little twist of hops in the finish.

M - Has enough carbonation, and is not too thin.

D - If you have a hankering for a brown ale that brings some sugar to the party, this is a highly drinkable beer. The aroma and taste make it a pleasant experience.

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Photo of vtsaltydogg03
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer in a 22oz draft at the Quaker Steak in Newport News VA. It was a good beer, nothing super special to remark about, but in a town where bud, bud light and yeungling are the readily available beers on draft. Would drink it again if I were looking for a good brew that wouldn't over power my wings, yet maintained a good body and mouth feel.

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Photo of billab914
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Otter Creek World Tour shaped pint glass. Poured a dark, caramely brown color, with a bit of cherry red coming through where the light hits it. It started with a huge foamy and bubbly head but it settled a bit after a minute or so. It did leave a good covering over the beer though as I drank it and left some decent lacing.

The aroma has a big toasted malt, toffee and caramel flavor to it. It has a bit of brown sugar sweetness coming through as well. Very nice and appealing brown ale aroma.

The taste also shows a good amount of the caramel and toffee flavors. It has some good toasty malt and nuttiness coming through as well. Some hop bitterness helps it from becoming too sweet. It finishes though with a little malty sweetness that lingers for a bit. Excellent taste and one of the better flavored brown's I've had.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's a very nice and enjoyable brown ale. it really had some nice caramel, toffee and nutty flavors to it.

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Photo of robwestcott
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to hopeinhop for this one.

poured from a bomber a dark amber to light mahogany into a dogfish head signature glass. 1/2 finger off white head that held up for just a couple minutes leaving little noticeable lacing.

strong buttery brown sugar nose up front leaning into a sweet hazelnut after a few minutes, and a few swirls bring the head right back.

one of the sweetest browns I've yet to taste. easy to drink - I'd love to have another...

thumbs up.

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Photo of plaid75
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at the Williamsburgh International Airport, Va.

Poured a deep amber hue with a two finger frothy white head. There was very good retention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured an earthy caramel malt and a grassy hop.

The taste consisted of sweet and earthy malts, cocoa and a balancing grassy hop.

The mouthfeel was full and creamy.

Overall a tasty and well done brown ale.

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Photo of rootbeerman
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into perfect pint

A: pours brown with a light brown finger and a half head that is lacing a little.
S: nutty malty and sweet. almost reminds me of a scottish ale one not as malty and more nutty in aroma.
T: again nutty sweet, and malty. a nice hop earthy/floral flavor.
M: full but not thick medium to low carbonation
D: quite easy, makes me wonder why i had not tried it sooner.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Head is an off-white half-inch layer of soft creamy lather; color is a rusty brown. Ribbons of lace slash the glass. Very much looks the English part.

Aroma is nutty with hints of soft caramel-vanilla candies. Hazelnut is prominent. Nice, big, welcoming nose.

This brown ale doesn't skimp on flavor or go the route of some of its milder, more boring counterparts. There's a balanced nuttiness taking the spotlight, lightly sweet with hints of brown sugar and toffee. Caramel corn comes to mind. Something candy-like and almost syrupy comes in just enough to please, but it remains balanced and utterly drinkable.

Mouth is tingly from carbonation, slick and a bit creamy. Fairly light in body but lacking nothing, texturally.

Drinkability is just ridiculous when you consider the accessible 6.5%, the bigness of the flavor, and the fact that none of its characteristics are cloying or out of whack. A sensible and, most importantly, delicious beer.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper color-not quite brown still retains a coppery hue. Big foamy head that fades fast. Low aroma-somewhat of a mild chocolate/metallic mix. Some soft malt notes. Nice malty flavor upfront. Just enough hop bite to cover the malt. Mild residual sweetness. Nice lite mouthfeel-suprising for the somewhat higher abv. Enjoyable brown ale. Another decent brew from Legend.

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Photo of tempest
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Capital Ale House in Richmond. I didn't realize this brew's strength until seeing it hear. If it were lower in booze, it'd make a heck of a session beer. It's got a roasty edge, like a brown porter, and then underlying cocoa and toffee flavors. It's dry, drinkable, and tasty. Just watch yourself, a few too many will put you in a ditch.

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Photo of eljefe21
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: See through, ruby red brown liquid. Single finger head quickly rises and then fades to nothing. Lacing washes off quickly without much of a signature.

S: Sweet caramel and toffee notes. Fairly tame nose like most browns but maybe a touch sweeter than usual.

T: Roasted malts with sweet hints of caramel, toffee and biscuits. Sweetness lingers in the center of the tongue.

M: Medium bodied beer that coats the tongue in sweetness. Decent carbonation lifts some of the flavors.

D: Glad to have found such a good brown that's brewed so close to home. Will definitely stock up the fridge with this since my wife is a fan too. I assume this is a good session beer; it certainly doesn't feel too big. Had this with some sweet biscuits and this was a great match.

Served: in a standard pint glass.

Review from notes taken on: 12/5/09.

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Photo of whtguitarguy
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It has a nice dark reddish brown color, with a decent head that sticks around. Not a lot of aroma, a little bit of malt. Very thick, creamy. Roasted coffee fills the mouth with notes of chocolate in the finish. Mouthfeel is fairly heavy. Very drinkable, I am quite impressed with this one.

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Photo of wahhmaster
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Guinness-branded tulip pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a light brown color. The head is tight, white, and foamy and dissipates slowly leaving spotty lacing on the glass.

Smell: Gives off a strong aroma of nuts and roasted malts.

Taste: Starts with a strong nutty flavor that develops into hoppy bitterness and finishes with strong flavors of roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: A little on the thin side, but not overwhelmingly so.

Drinkability: A great brown ale. This beer is complex and satisfying. It's certainly worth a try if you can find it.

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Photo of ironchefchris
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. Legend makes easily the best beer around, and this is the "go to" beer of their collection. Heavy, but very drinkable, great smell and taste. It's very Sam Adams "esque" in the quality, but just has better drinkability than most brown ales out there. The color is a darkish brown and has nice tan lacing. Just a fantastic beer.

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Photo of MadTown1000
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the 2nd Street Bistro in Williamsburg - an hour from the brewery, so maybe that helps. At any rate, the bartender described it as "kind of like Newcastle, but with a little more bite less syrupy", and that's a pretty good description. Foam leaves lots of lace as it recedes, and the ale is a very dark golden amber with enough translucency to differentiate it from a heavier style. Has a good deal of carbonation, and some hop bitterness, leading to the aforementioned bite. It also has some of the caramelized sweetness you'd expect, though, and lots of malt, although not as heavy as some browns I've tasted. I just had a pint, but easily could have had more. All in all a very solid beer.

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Photo of henrysunset
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

clean filtered reddish brown with a nice big head of tan bubbles. light visible carbonation.

smell is mild, malty and maybe a bit of nutty. sweet tot he nose.

so smooth and easy to drink. light malt finish with a pecan flavor. slight alcoholic tang in the mouthfeel.

exceedingly drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of skeeordye11
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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