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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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 Steamer
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
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. (468 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark amber body with lots of carbonation bubbles. Big off-white head that disappates quickly. No lacing.

Smells very tasty. Roasted malts, a hint of sourness, and some floral hops.

Sweet malts up front give way to sourness and a slight bittness. Finishes with roasted malt character. Medium bodied.

A fairly drinkable brown ale. (333 characters)

Photo of Pencible
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Can't remember the smell exactly, but was about average. This was very smooth to drink and pretty sweet, with a good brown ale flavor. The texture was a little thin, perhaps from lack of enough carbonation. Overall it was one of the better brown ales I've had, but still nothing too spectacular. (Drunk straight from the bottle, so I don't have notes on the appearance.) (370 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
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. (847 characters)

Photo of bertram
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice, rich brown with a one-finger white head. Looks really good in the glass - just what I want from a brown ale.

The smell is just okay - there's some nuttiness there, but it's not overpowering (which I prefer).

The mouthfeel is really nice - good and thick with just the right amount of carbonation.

The taste here makes this beer a winner - malty, nutty and a bit sweet...again, just as I like a brown ale to be.

Overall a really good brown ale that I'm glad to have gotten as an extra in a trade and that I'd definitely like to enjoy again! (567 characters)

Photo of hchinaski
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
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 Retsinis
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
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. (1,102 characters)

Photo of StoneTSR
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (1,112 characters)

Photo of obywan59
3.82/5  rDev -1%
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. (485 characters)

Photo of blackie
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: dark brown in color with a well-retained head and nice lacing

s: a muted version of the taste, hard to pick up on too much but it carries a nice toasted maltiness and earthy hop aroma

m: carbonation a little on the low side for my taste, medium body

t: smooth toasted caramel malts dominate and give a moderate sweetness, great earthy hop character with a bitterness that builds in the finish with subtle notes of dry chocolate

d: easy

standard pint at Taphouse on Queensway, Hampton, VA (495 characters)

Photo of byrd
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
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 Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, slightly sour, bitter, with some caramel notes. The taste is malty, slightly sour, nice touch of bitterness, and caramel. Medium body, the finish is bitter/slightly dry. Drinkable, this is my first from Legend and not too bad, thanks Joe/John. (451 characters)

Photo of TinusTime
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
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 bkilpatr
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. 09/09/08.

Pours a clear mahogany color with about a finger of bubbly beige head. The head dissipated quickly to a thin layer. Aroma is sweet chocolate and caramel malt, with a bit of dark fruit and a butter-bread type of smell.

Taste starts with lightly toasted malt, caramel, and chocolate. Then a nice floral hop finish. A bit nutty all around. The finish is bitter and dry.

Feel is well-carbonated and crisp. Medium body and not too heavy at all. Drinkability is really good. It's not too sweet like some brown ales and it goes down easy.

Pretty good for a brown ale. Worth a try. (633 characters)

Photo of garuda
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours mostly clear ruby with a beige thin head that has some retention and little lacing. Medium to light in body, smooth, finishes with lasting pine bitterness. Taste and smell rounded out by sweet bready, cookie dough with a little roast to it. Nice brown ale, but nothing too memorable. Paired well with the Q at Buz & Ned's. (328 characters)

Photo of henrysunset
3.86/5  rDev 0%
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. (306 characters)

Photo of arguemaniac
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
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 Kendo
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (615 characters)

Photo of mmmbeer
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
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 Guden
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Medium dark brown with a little haze. A big off white head fades to a finger that hangs around.

S- A little pecan with a big toffee smell and a bit of toast. There's also a hint of sour tang.

T- Like the smell there's a nutty and toffee mix. There's a very woody finish with a light sweetness and again that hard to place tang.

M- Medium in body and low in carbonation, lets the flavors play but also go down easy.

O- I like this one. The sour tangy flavor is hard to place but it plays well with the nuttiness and it's definitely an easy drinker. (554 characters)

Photo of MadTown1000
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (701 characters)

Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: beautiful brown with very minimal transperency and 1/4" of fluffy off-white head

s: very mild toffee and grain

t: toffee malts are the dominant flavor; although there is also some chocolate and the lightest hint of coffee; light toasted malts finish

m: very smooth and english

d: this seems to me to be a virginia gentleman's beer; smooth and classic-i bet tj would have loved this one (392 characters)

Photo of Naugros
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (1,137 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a tea brown color capped by an inch of foam; decent retention and a few shards of lace

Smell: Caramel, nuts and chocolate powder with a hint of fruit

Taste: Nutty caramel, up front, with a chocolate malt character developing by mid-palate; the fruit flavors build, after the swallow, rounding out the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not a very exciting style, but this beer makes the most of it (449 characters)

Photo of Dave1999
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer came a nice light brown colour with a small white head.

The smell was nice and malty with a bit of nuttiness. Not very strong though.

The taste was nice and malty, roasted malts, nut and a bit of caramel.

The mouthfeel was nice and smooth, a little bit thick with medium carbonation.

Overall a very nice brown ale would buy again. (344 characters)

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