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Brown Ale - Legend Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Brown AleBrown Ale

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BA SCORE
87
very good

144 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 144
Hads: 433
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 19
Gots: 59 | 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: 144 | Hads: 433
Photo of eljefe21
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
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. (836 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (953 characters)

Photo of biteme398
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours the color of root beer. Good head that settles slowly. Plenty of malt in the nose. Good sweetness too, perhaps caramel. Taste up front is strong, perhaps a little coffee and chocolate. The ending is sweeter but finishes just right. There is a small taste of hops for balance. Mouthfeel is a little light, but fits with the style. This is quite a surprise from an in-state brewery. Never tried any of their stuff before but this is one of the better brown ales I’ve tried. (479 characters)

Photo of robwestcott
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (462 characters)

Photo of Phatz
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
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.
Cheers! (1,536 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
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 auxiliary
4.11/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance - Nice mahogany color and a beige head and lots of lace on this. Real nice looking beer.

smell - Malt, caramel, and some nuts here.

mouthfeel - medium body.

taste - Lots going on here, nut flavor with a bitterness from the hops and some nut taste here too, finished out with a bit of a burnt aftertaste.

drinkability - Always a good brew. Enjoyed this one. Easy drinking. (389 characters)

Photo of argock
4.11/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date.

A: Great-looking deep brown with tall Legend 3 finger off-white head with ample lace.

S: Caramel and overtoasted malts with more than a little spicy hops.

T: Mellow caramel and toasted malts flavors with a flash of chocolate meld beautifully with an assertive but not oppressive spicy, earthy hops finish. Tastes like a more reasonable DFH Indian Brown -- more seasoned, less harsh, more balanced.

M: Pretty thick and full-bodied without feeling syrupy. Not overly sweet caramel and toasted malt aftertaste. Low carbonation fits the style.

D: A very accomplished English brown ale with a superb balance of toasted and caramel malts combined with a edgy but smooth hops spiciness. This is one of Legend's best. (788 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours light brown with reddish highlights. Or is that a light red with brown highlights? Off-white head is not thick but it is lively, rocking above the rim of the glass.

Nose has caramel, and a hint of cocoa. Tiny whiff of alcohol.

Taste kicks off with a quick dose of semi-sweet cocoa. More cocoa, which morphs into light roasted coffee. Earthy notes at the swallow. Smooth finish.

Nice smooth medium (at least) mouthfeel. Very easy drinkability.

Good take on an English Brown. Nicely done. Recommend a try. (516 characters)

Photo of searsclone
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (410 characters)

Photo of Justin23060
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown leaning toward amber. 1/2 finger head. Smells caramely chocolate with some sweet tobacco and dried fruit. Tastes sweet with a semi-sweet finish. Nice and malty with just enough hop to bitter. Adequate carbination and a creamy mouth feel. Pretty solid offering and quite drinkable. I'd recommend it without any reservations. (334 characters)

Photo of wahhmaster
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (576 characters)

Photo of mralphabet
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber poured into a clear Pilsner glass.

A: Great-looking brown with huge 3 fingers off-white head, very little lacing, but a little bit of head always lingers.

S: Caramel and malts with a little more hops than expected.

T: Caramel, toasted malts with a flash of chocolate melded with a earthy hops finish... There is a little bitterness in the aftertast... not at all harsh.

M: Pretty thick and full-bodied with a little syrupy feel. Low carbonation fits the style.

D: Very nice English brown ale with a superb balance of toasted and caramel malts combined with a edgy but smooth hoppiness. Very good brew from Legend's.... Right up there with Chocolate Porter. (680 characters)

Photo of TechTriumph
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can't read the bottling date as it has been rubbed off; Poured in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - Two inch off-white creamy head with excellent retention; Deep mahogany brown in color, though the appearance is still clear; Nice webs of lacing left behind

S - The aroma is not too strong, but plesant and inviting; Notes of sweet caramel, toasted bread, earthy hops, light cinnamon, and light chocolate

T - Flavors of sweet, sugary caramel and toasted nuts come first; Toasty malts continue in the taste with mellow leafy/earthy hops and chocolate flavor; There's just a bit of bitterness present here with some very subdued dark fruits lurking behind the malty flavors

M - Below moderate carbonation; Medium bodied; Very smooth texture with a slightly dry finish

O - This is definitely Legend's most popular beer, and with good reason. It's very well rounded with a pleasant flavor, aroma, and smooth mouthfeel. Having just consumed one bottle, I am left wanting to have another for sure. Overall, this is a very nice offering from Legend Brewing and certainly one of the top examples of the style. (1,107 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (1,047 characters)

Photo of tlazaroff
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet brown sugar dominates the nose on this one. There is a lingering background scent of caramel as well. The two play off each other and make a nice combination.

Pours out clear and dark brown with ruby highlights where the light penetrates. The head is thin, and a light mocha color leaving no decernable lacing.

This is a beautiful brown ale. The maltiness reigns supreme here with flavors of toasted pumpernickel, biscuit, molasses, and caramel. The toasted flavors really carry on through the aftertaste. What a joy to drink!

The body is a perfect medium for me. It's light enough to give it great drinkability, yet heavy enough to let you know you're not drinking a lite beer. Carbonation is on the lighter side but headed towards moderate. I really think this beer stands out as a favorite Brown Ale. (813 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a chesnut brown with a thinner white head that is gone pretty quickly.Nice roasted nut and brown sugar notes in the nose,one of the more appetizing aromas for a brown ale that I have come across.Praline flavors are very nice but the mouthfeel is a little prickly,in saying that the flavors are still pretty rich and satisying.The abv% is high for the style but it's very well hidden,a solid offering from Legend. (418 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lightly hazed brown with moderate cap of off white foam. Scent is wonderfully nutty with light touches of caramel and roast, mild earthy hoppyness with a kick of herbal scent. Taste follows scent, slightly less aggressive then the nose would lead to believe. Medium bodied, lightly creamy but a faint bit of wateriness and the carbonation escapes. A nice brown ale with a good chunk of different scents and tastes. (422 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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 ocelot2500
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a really nice opaque dark brown with a good amount of a thick head.

Smells of malt and toffee.

Tastes of sweet malt up front, followed by toffee, and ends with a roasted malt finish.

Mouthfeel is nice and crisp, not too much carbonation, but the body isn't too heavy as would be expected from this style. Has a fairly dry finish compared to other brown ales I have had.

Drinkability is very high.

Overall, I really like this beer. Some brown ales get too sweet, but this has a nice balance between the sweet and roasted malts. (538 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (393 characters)

Photo of constantine_272
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (1,335 characters)

Photo of hops4me
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer alot. I have enjoyed all their beers thus far. Smells of cherries and faint chocolate. Some floral hops in there as well. Taste is slightly sweet with a subtle bitterness balancing it nicely. There is a very faint bitterness on the tongue. Light to medium body. This is a very good brown ale. I will definitely buy again. (341 characters)

Photo of whtguitarguy
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (289 characters)

Photo of LadyOfMuchBeer
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- pours a clear, dark brown with red hues. Little carbonation. Zero head. Lacing sticks to glass.

Smell- Bock, malt, spice, yeast. Smells like a whole grain beer bread we get at a local restaurant. Heavy tobacco smell.

Very grain forward, to say this is bready is an understatement, yet, it is decent. Dark fruit, and still a little tobacco lingers.

Feel- thin, little creamy, little invisible chew left behind due to the grain heaviness here.

Overall, decent, but not impressive enough to ask for another. Got as an extra and am glad I got to try it. (565 characters)

Brown Ale from Legend Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.