Nut Brown Ale - Ithaca Beer Company

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Nut Brown AleNut Brown Ale

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210 Reviews

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Reviews: 210
Hads: 426
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 9
Gots: 24 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-18-2001

The rich mahogany hue of the Nut Brown is the first thing you will notice. You’ll find subtle hints of both chocolate & coffee. We delicately blend chocolate & caramel malts with four others to make this flavorful, easy drinking beer. The malt character will appeal to those looking for a moderate dark ale, but the smoothness is what will surprise all.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 210 | Hads: 426
Photo of Todd
3.37/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Dark, murky, chestnut brown with a thin tan whisp of a head -- a bit of a let down. Clears up after sitting and warming up.

Smell: Interesting touch of an oregano-like aroma, touch of nuttiness, earth and background coffee and chocolate.

Taste: A fairly medium-bodied ale with tingly carbonation and a malty smoothness underneath. A tad sharp in the beginning with a flash of hop rind-like sour bitterness, which is amplified by the crisp carbonation. Malt flavours smooth together to include dry chocolate, slick caramel in the back and more coffee flavours towards the finish. Mineral/metallic notes. Light roasted, raisin and a somewhat dry-ish nutty finish with lingering herbal flavours.

Notes: Not a bad brown ale, but not entirely inspiring. It's basic to its core, but that's just fine with me. Still tasty and worth a try.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle courtesy of good friend stopper! I am drinking a chilled sample in a pint glass.
The beer pours a clear mahogany that reveals deep ruby highlights when held to a light. A small beige colored fluffy head foams up easily and fades slowly.
Aroma is rich malty caramel and chocolate with some almond hints mixed in.
First sip reveals a velvety smooth body with average and rolling carbonation that fits with the general smooth texture of the beer.
Flavor is nice and malty. Roasted malt mixes with chocolate and caramel completely. The flavor is the same from start to finish. While not overly complex I really enjoy the taste and it is very easy to drink this beer. It is definitely on the sweet side, but not cloyingly IMO.
A well made and simple beer that I could drink quite a few of!
Give it a shot some day

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Photo of WanderingFool
2.85/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of the Ithaca Nut Brown on a trip to Albany a while ago. It is a very dark brown color with ruby highlights and a foamy tan head that fades really fast. A few spots of lace are found on the glass as it empties. The aroma is faint, but mainly roasted malt, dried nuts and slightly earthy. Each sip of the medium bodied beer begins malty. Flavors of coffee and chocolate move in and it finishes slightly sour. Some malty flavors are left behind.

This is a good nut brown that is rather drinkable and would definitly buy again, however I think I was looking for stronger malt flavors and more lacing.

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Photo of Chaney
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Valhalla in NYC.

Served in a pint glass.

A: Poured out a brown color that was substantially more cloudy in the middle and fairly transparent around the edges. The slight head, while small, still stuck around for a good bit.

S: Both nutty and caramely, farily potent, and with a fresh brown sugar bill along with a lit-kerosene lamp type of fiery smokiness.

T: Yep, lots of roast on this one... more so than many people had given it credit for even. It reminded me somewhat of Alaskan Smoked Porter in this regard.

M: Much more nutty and smokey that mapley or syrupy, with no booze detected, and some moderate lacing left on the glass.

O: Either I was just in the mood for this type of brew or maybe I'm just more of a fan of this style than most. Nevertheless, I thought this was tasty.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A cloudy and hazy, mahogany color brew. On a vigorous pour I got a scant head, tan and plain. Carbo's were desent though.
Aroma is as one might expect: I malty front with a bit of nuttiness say hazelnuts and a bit of chocolate.
Flavorful at first with some nuttiness, probably hazelnuts since thats what it tastes like, and choco. After that the taste falls along the malty graininess side.
on the palette the beer is weak and watery and has a slightly harsh finish.
overall I'd say it's a weak offering. It's good but lacks complexity and flavor. That being said I'd still drink another. Probably at some chain restaurant.

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Photo of jsanford
3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a Pint Glass. Part of a mixed 12-pack.

A - Pours a dark brown with mahogany highlights and a 2-inch khaki-colored head that dissipates quickly, leaving some chunky haze and a slight ring.
S - Nice roasty aromas of chocolate, coffee and nuts with a bit of caramel and spice.
T - Quite similar to the nose, very roasty. More nuts, chocolate, caramel, and coffee with a good amount of sweetness.
M - Medium-bodied with a slightly creamy mouthfeel and crisp carbonation.
D - Nicely drinkable, one of the better English Brown Ales I've encountered!

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Photo of Redrover
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a couple of pints of this at the Crowne Plaza’s State Street Pub in downtown Rochester.

The beer was served in a standard pint glass. It was a darkish brown with a beige head. There was some nice lace on the glass.

The nose is sweet with a bit of molasses with roasted grains.

The taste is a little sweet, a bit nutty and a hint of alcohol. I get some dark fruits later.

The mouth is just thick enough and the carbonation is a bit high. Mildly sessionable brown ale.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A brown body that lets light through at all times, and a small off-white head that has some fairly good retention, but fails to leave behind any lacing.

The aroma has a hint of chocolate, with some toasted (not roasted, just lightly toasted) grains. There are some pale sweet malts in there too, but they do not quite constitute a caramel scent.

Ithaca Nut Brown has a hint of chocolate, a light nuttiness, and some toasted grain. Really the flavor is mostly pale malt that adds some sweetness. I like it, but it lacks the strong flavors to be a great brown ale.

The body is really light; I would like to see a little bit more heft to it.

Overall, a decent beer, but not one of my favorites from Ithaca.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Off tap at the brewery this beer was a gorgeous garnet color with two fingers of khaki-colored head. The retention was ok and the lacing in thin sheets. The aroma was of nuts, roasted malt and toasted malt. The flavors were similar with a delicious kick of nuts at the end. However, it was very one-sided and pretty watery. A session beer, sure, but not a good one. The mouthfeel was creamy but a bit slick, the body medium/watery and the carbonation medium/low.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.46/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Captain Lawrence pint glass.

A: Moderate pour yields a quickly forming 1 finger, semi-fine, brown head that fades quickly but maintains a nice film atop the brew. Beer is a clear, reddish-brown. Patchy lacing forms volcano-like patterns above the foam.

S: Smoky coffee beans, caramel, slight bit of licquorice, and a hint of sour nuttiness that is difficult to place.

T: Deep and thick charred nut character with a hint of roasted coffee beans. Burnt caramel and bitter toffee is also present. Slight sour notes right at the end. Aftertaste is a viscous, slightly boozy coffee/toffee combination that's hard to place. This lasts a bit longer than is necessary though.

M: Medium bodied, carbonated and coarse, but smoothes out quickly as it warms. Rather silky in the mouth with a sticky and lingering finish that is a bit over the top given the style and the flavor profile. It's good, but I its not a flavor I want to stain my palate.

D: Pretty drinkable and nothing out of the ordinary. I thought it was actually more complex than the standard brown ale... perhaps that's a downgrade if reviewed to style? Not in my opinion though. Feel makes it go down easy though the aftertaste is just slightly offensive. I'd have this again.


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Photo of Kendo
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass, a somewhat aggressive pour yielded a brown ale with mahogany hues when held up to the light and a small off-white head that disappeared immediately, leaving no lacing. Some sediment "floaties" but almost no apparent carbonation.

Smelled of sweet malt: caramel, brown sugar and hazelnut came to mind.

Tasted similar to the nose -- the caramel malts dominate, with a hint of burnt sugar, caramel and hazelnut. No hops present up front, but a slight bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue after each sip. It finishes surprisingly clean and dry, however, given the prevailing sweetness otherwise.

The mouthfeel is an enigma. On the one hand the body seems watery and thin, like the kind of tea you'd get if you soaked the tea bag in 24 oz of hot water instead of just 8 oz. On the other hand, it really does finish very dry and clean for a sweet brown ale, and I attribute that to an appropriate level of carbonation -- even if no bubbles are apparent. Not sure whether to give it a 3 or a 3.5 . . . I'll err on the side of being generous and make it a 3.5.

As for drinkability: it's not a bad brown ale at all. The nice finish and sweet malt flavors save it from its watery thinness, but as a fairly light-bodied beer, I think it's pretty drinkable overall.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- pours dark brown, slightly hazy. Small fizzy white head completely dissappears almost immediately leaving no lace or head.

S- roasted hazelnut with fresh coffee, literally smells like coffee with hazelnut creamer. Sharp nutty notes with a bit of toffee, pretty strong aromas overall.

T- sweet and nutty with some hazelnut flavor, similar to the nose. Roasted coffee bean and Caramel malt sweetness with just a touch if hops on the backend. The finish is dry, leaving a roasted nutty bitterness

M- medium body, moderate carbonation, just a bit of cream on the mouthfeel with a slightly smooth finish

O- I really liked the nutty coffee flavors in this one, probably not for non-coffee drinkers but I enjoyed it

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a plain ole 12 oz'er without much more than a basic brown clear hue, but I give credit that this is fairly dark mahogany topped with a decent khaki cap.

Scents are good for a brown with plenty of grainy oatmeal and cereal.

First swigs: Toasted malt to perfection. Really bold toasted grain like Farinq breakfast cereal. Pure grainy brown here. Some caramel meets the nutty flavor. Some buttery toffee notes round out this brown. Slight nutty linger to the finish.

Medium bodied, with plenty of standard carbonation.

Last swigs: Brown ales tend to be boring, IMHO but this one actually has some grainy oatmeal goodness. Tasty but still a brown. Thanks to IthacaBaron for the chance to try this one.

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Photo of far333
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear ruby-chestnut colo with a beige retiring head. Inviting aroma of sweet toasted malt and some hops. flavor is surprisingly smokey upfront, some toasted malt and resinous powdered cocoa, charred bark, and faint hints of honey and maple syrup. mouthfeel is smooth but somewhat tannic, moderately carbed. Surprised by the smoke in a nut brown, but it's a decent drinkable beer.

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Photo of Phelps
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A generous extra from inlimbo77, poured into my newcastle schooner.

Deep chestnut, almost completely opaque. The cream-colored head is about half an inch tall and fizzy, becoming a silky thin top layer within just a few seconds.

Nutty! The nose is a variety pack of peanuts, chestnuts, walnuts. Sweet wort and milk chocolate make up the other half of the aroma. Pretty fantastic.

The flavor is a more subdued, earthy version of the aroma. Nuts are softer, hops are bigger, and there’s a finish of tangy, dusty grain. Notes of milk chocolate linger in the background.

Carbonation is medium-high and pinching, bringing out just a bit of fizz. Body is velvety and medium. Mild bitterness.

Ithica’s Nut Brown isn’t a bad example of the style at all. Smells great but tastes just bit too tangy for me.

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Photo of soju6
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A:Pours a dark brown with a small tan head that fades quickly and not real lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted nuts, abit of caramel and a soft sweetness.

T: Taste of mild nut and a bit caramel. There is a subtle bitterness and a dry finish.

F: Moderate body, smooth and a bit creamy.

O: Nice casual beer for the style. Good for a couple.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.64/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pulled from the fridge poured into a standard pint glass. best before FEB notched on the side of the label.

pours out a fairly clear brown color, reddish hues in the light. looks like cola. one finger of fizzy light tan colored head that faded in less than a minute to a ring, and then absolutly nothing.

lots of nice lightly roasted malt in the aroma. behind that theres some chocolate, coffee, caramel, and light fruits. just a hint metallic.

not as enjoyable as the aroma, but still decent. metallic with some slight mineral notes. lightly roasted malt, bits of chocolate and coffee. dry finish with a decent amount of herbal bitterness. a little acidic.

light bodied, a bit overcarbonated and sparkly on the tongue. bitterness lingers.

very easy to drink and quite sessionable. overall, a pretty average nut brown, the best part of this for me was the aroma.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.17/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle; no freshness date.

Hazlenut brown with a garnet hue. Fizzy, coffee-colored head that evaporates to a small island of a sheet rather quickly. Artificial lacing that doesn't hold.

Semi-sweet, bittered caramel. A dry oak and coffee bean aroma that makes for an odd, almost leather-like mustiness. Notes of raisin, powdered chocolate, and almond.

Roasted, near chewy malt character up front with flavors of walnut, bitter caramel, and powdered/unsweetened milk chocolate. Airy, chocolate flavored, toasted biscuit with a light musty quality. A mild, unsweetened bitterness followed by an aftertaste of dried nuts and cocoa.

Medium in body; dry and airy on the palate. A touch too much carbonation.

Artificial tasting; offensive at times, but mostly just an uninteresting version of the style. An average offering not worth another try.

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Photo of generallee
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The month of March is notched out as a "BEST BEFORE" date and it was sampled in February.

Appearance: It has a hazy chestnut colored body with a light tan head on top. The head is thick and creamy, tall but slow fading to a thin covering that hangs on till the finish and makes for some slick lacing.

Smell: There is a big sweet nose on this one. Sweet caramel and rich bready notes fill the nose and hops add some light spice as well.

Taste/Palate: Up front there is a big sweet caramel and buttery presence with some light mineral and green leafy/herbal hop bitterness moving into the middle. The hop notes struggle to come though but sweet creamy caramel and bready maltiness now with a hint of roasted nuttiness dominates and leads into the finish. I am also getting some dark fruity notes like raison or overripe plum as well. On the palate it has a smooth silky texture with light carbonation and a sturdy medium body.

Notes: There is a lot of sweetness in this one but for me it just stayed on the good side of cloying.

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Photo of Brabander
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is overall a very nice English brown ale! I got this bottle a few weeks ago in a trade.

Poured in my Struise glass this beer looks good, nice darkbrown fluid with a decent head. Nice carbonation and hardly no lacing.

Smell of coffee and dito coffee taste. I also thought that there were some hazelnuts in this beer. Soft sweet.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a deep mahogany, more towards the red side, a fiery glow when backlit. Very clear, topped with a thin, fizzy almond foam. The head thins to a patchy mist, leaving just a couple small blobs of lace on the glass.
The aroma is very nutty and chocolatey, with a pleasant, underlying caramel maltiness. Mild coffee, slightly grainy, with just a hint of woodsy, earthy hops. Rather clean, with little fruitiness. Pretty much just roasty malt.
The flavor starts with a dextrin sweetness up front, floating upon a chocolatey caramel maltiness. Slight coffee into the middle, along with a bit of nuttiness continuing into a lightly hopped finish. A bit of herbal hop flavor, without much bitterness. A mildly dry finish, a bit of graininess adding a rough edge that's mostly cancelled by the dextrin sweetness, leaving you with a bit of sweetish, lightly roasted malt in the aftertaste. The body is thin and light, easily carried by moderate, unassuming carbonation.
Not a stellar brown ale, but I didn't hate it. I had this and their apricot wheat in the same sitting, and I actually liked the wheat ale better. A bit more body would help immensely, with a lower, more english style carbonation.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

AP: Dark brown with ruby-red hues...looks a bit like rootbeer. Also features a nice constant, mocha colored head dssipates slow and remains very foamy with minor lacing.

Nose: Roasty coffee, nutty malt, brown sugar, zesty and lively hops.

Flavor: A honey-roasted coffee malt delight with a subtle current of vanilla and peanut butter and a very nice peppery bite-like hop finish. Very effective.

Feel: Medium bodied, crisp but soft and smooth going down.

DA: This is a good brown ale.

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Photo of yesyouam
1.98/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

The beer is a deep raspberry brown with a creamy, lumpy tan head that leaves good lacing. The aroma yields a little sweet malt, a little roast, a little medicinal hops. It is a medium-bodied beer that feels a bit watery and a bit chalky. Now, the flavor... ew. It's strangely chemically. I can't even tell what this is supposed to taste like. Something has gone awry. I just held my nose and chugged it just to get it down.
(rated Mar 6, 2007)

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Photo of Proteus93
3.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A rusty brown, almost auburn, really. Head is a little cola-like... fizzy and doesn't last long, leaving a little trim of lace.

S: Lightly salted mixed nuts and toasted malts... a nice little blend of nutty aromas - peanut, hazelnut, almond, cashew... literally like a tin of mixed nuts.

T: Taste is similar to the flavour with a little hoppy touch added for good measure - kinda citrusy. Almond-like nuttiness with a little sweet touch.

M + D: A little sting on the front before smoothing out slightly with a somewhat oily body. The carbonation doesn't even totally mellow out, though, and continues to have some bite all the way down. I find this to be a pretty pleasant, and very approachable nut brown. Maybe not the best of the nut browns I've had, but a solid choice and one I'd happily go back to without hesitation.

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Photo of brdc
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks azurelimits for this one. Small capped bottle poured into a pint glass.

Dark brown, reddish highlights, minimal head with no retention or lacing.
Faint nutty aroma, thin on the palate with just faint caramel and nutty taste. Very weak, did not even finish mine. Disappointing.

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Nut Brown Ale from Ithaca Beer Company
82 out of 100 based on 210 ratings.