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Gritty McDuff's Best Brown Ale - Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

Gritty McDuff's Best Brown AleGritty McDuff's Best Brown Ale

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138 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 138
Reviews: 96
rAvg: 3.22
pDev: 17.39%

Brewed by:
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  4.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-29-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 96 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Omnium


3.23/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Clear red amber with a finger of off white medium lacing.
S - Aroma isnt too bad, sweet caramel and toffee, nice roasty quality to it, a little nutty.
T - Taste is incredibly weak, very little flavor, a mild roasted malt flavor, some sweet sugar water.
M - Thin, extremely watery.
O - Unmemorable brown ale that is hugely lacking in the flavor and feel department. The aroma isnt bad which makes you think there's something good here, when there is not.

OK, notes on the brewpub on 10-17-13
A - Red amber with a half a finger of white head, no lacing.
S - some dark chocolate roastes, a tad nutty and earthy.
T - Nutty flavor up front some of that dark bitterness mid way through, smoothes out, but a little watery.
M - Way too thin, and watery, but decent aftertaste.
O - Leans a little too far into amber territory, not bad though.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2013 02:32:25 | More by Omnium
Photo of ryan1788a5


2.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Freshness date of February 2014.

A: Brown on color with a lighter orange hue. Off white head settles quickly. Lacing is minimal and spotty.

S: Cola, touch of brown molasses. Nutty, hints of cocoa and toasted crust. Toffee. buttery. Quite a bit of fruitiness. Grape and cherry juice. Earthy yeast.

T: Cocoa and crust. Slight roastiness. Touch of nutty coffee. Lots of berry and cherry fruitiness. Earthy yeast throughout. Grainy. Abrupt finish of crust and grain.

M: Medium bodied with some residual sugars, but it still manages to feel watery. Forced seltzery carbonation.

O: This brown ale is seriously lacking substance. An amalgamation of flavors that just don't mesh well and a body that's too thin. Not really any redeeming qualities, pass on it.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 17:50:35 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of beergoot


2.69/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

The glass arrived with dark amber body but a very thin, almost non-existent head. Aroma was of nuts and toffee. Taste also produced caramel and toffee flavors plus a hard-to-describe tanginess; keen, biting bitterness; tea-like astringency. The body was medium-light, biting on the tongue, and semi-dry with the finish.

An underwhelming and weak offering overall. Sure, there is a detectable grain warmth and some sweet malt notes, but things don't come together in any standout, pleasing manner. A disjointed hodgepodge of minor good points and too many negatives.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2013 22:09:36 | More by beergoot
Photo of alaimoa


2.2/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Poured on cask at Gritty's translucent brown with limited head.
Smell very faint nutty and earthy
Tasted warm and limited complexity or flavor. Very disappointed. Thin feel to it that was very underwhelming with almost no flavor profile and wouldn't want to drink again.

Compared to other browns this is very weak. Gritty has a weak lineup vs other breweries which is sad given the history

Serving type: cask

09-22-2013 13:11:33 | More by alaimoa
Photo of BeerKangaroo


3.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by October 2012:

Into a pint glass::

A: deep brown colored body with a small off-white one finger head that has no lacing, body is too hazy for any bubbles to be seen rising.

S: some caramel and nuts up front with a bit of roastiness.

T: nuttiness in front of the caramel and roastiness and gives a slight sweet finish.

M: medium with a good balance between wet and dry. It is mostly creamy.

O: I've been seeking this out for a while and am glad I finally got it. However, perhaps slightly disappointed since it wasn't as good as I was hoping

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2012 18:32:24 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of B967ierhunter177


2.33/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a bold, clear copper color with no head or lace. The aroma is nutty with a hint of bread crust. The flavor leads with roasted nuts with caramel and mild smoke notes. It's mouthfeel is light-medium and the finish is dry. Gritty McDuffs Best Brown is a decent beer, recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2012 01:48:36 | More by B967ierhunter177
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.45/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle dated April 2012. Sampled on April 27, 2012. It is a nice looking albeit headless beer with dark amber tones and good clarity. The aroma is of malts and nuts mainly with a clean enough hop note thrown in. The body is thin to medium. The taste has a more than moderate bitterness to it along with malts with an off-dry finish. There are better browns out there but this is alright.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2012 00:02:06 | More by puboflyons
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle dates 'til June.

Clear, auburn brown. Thin gristle head is gone by mid-glass. Nutty aroma with a swampy tea hop vein throughout. Some bread at the end. Taste is nutty and toffee sweet malt with some hop tea spice to hold it all together. A bit thin but I'm treating this as a session beer so I'll let it slide.

Gritty's Best Brown hits all necessary points for a session brown but doesn't reach beyond them. It does come across as "together" and the sum of GBB's parts are better than any individual aspect.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 10:55:43 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of mdaschaf


3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to my brother for this one.

A: Pours a deep brown color with a small off-white head that has little retention and minimal lacing.

S: Some caramel, a little bit of roast and a surprising amount of dark fruit and raisins.

T: Very nutty, there really isn't much dark fruit in the flavor profile as was expected based off the aroma. Has a rather sweet finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, but on the thin side.

O: It's ok, nothing really wrong with it, but just not that great.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 02:31:51 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of beyah


3.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - The color is a medium brown the head is off white and the lacing hangs in there.

S - The aroma from the malts is predominant, not much hop aroma.

T - Taste is with a clear caramel malt flavor, similar to a nut brown but not as intense. The hops are barely noticeable.

M - Crisp with a light body and medium carbonation.

O - Easy drinking, more of a light beer version of a nut brown. Good with pretzels or nuts.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2012 01:15:10 | More by beyah
Photo of BigCheese


2.98/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a Gritty MixPack on sale, drink before June date, so I'm guessing this was brewed a month or 2 ago (Also their christmas mixpack)

A: Colored more like a dark red/amber than a true brown ale. Quite transparent, minimal head, no lacing.

S: Sweet maltiness, taffy candy maybe, a touch of citrus hops in smell. Best part of the brew.

T: Has a cheap lactose/sweet stout sweetness to it. Biscuity, some bitterness, or I think its bitterness, not hops though, more of an astrigent dry flavor. Not a fan.

M: Clean, Dry, light, has a macro BMC like consistency to it. Probably a good session beer if you like the flavor.

O: One of the more dissapointing brews I've had lately. Perhaps a BMC drinker would enjoy as it seems to me like a more flavorful/malty bud. Grittys is a pretty weak brewery.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 01:27:01 | More by BigCheese
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

2.85/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a thinly colored brown, some light notes, almost red. Little island of foam. Ale smell, little nutty. Very light, watery-thin ale. Like a brown lite. Minimal flavor - some sweetness. Low carbonation. So so at best. Much better browns out there, I tend to like Gritty beers, but this one is a miss.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 11:43:02 | More by KTCamm


3.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle to pint glass. Best before January 2012 notched on the label. Sampled 8/4/11.

A: Pours with a healthy 2 finger head, foamy and airy and light brown in color. Retention is between good and excellent and, once faded, leaves some bubbly islands plus an uneven collar in its wake. The body is a medium-dark shade of copper: think worn penny.

S: Clearly English style. Toffee leads the way with caramel in tow. Very little dark malt character. The hops bring about meager hints of sappy wood. Straightforward nose and flavor.

T: Prominent toffee, maybe some maple syrup, and a light fruitiness that comes across with a flavor similar to dates. Lightly metallic on the finish. No ABV is listed but this beers drinks like a 5.5%.

M: Light to medium body with a slick texture. The effervescence is semi lively.

O: Fairly standard offering. Not worth revisiting.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2011 02:40:25 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

2.28/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer pours a light amber-brown coloring that is very transparent...borderline watery. A very thin layer of filmy white head tops this brew. The nose is sugary sweet, with notes of nut, coffee, and a roasted character...syrupy characteristics overall. The beer's flavor is empty on the front tongue...completely. The back tongue gets a nut sweetness, but only for an instant...a little roast, too, but so quick it's hard to tell. This is a weak flavored brew. The aftertaste is roasted and slightly tangy caramel sweet, but only for a nanosecond. The finish is...you guessed it...watered down and nondescript. I'd drainpour this one, but I haven't had enough water today, so here goes...

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 03:27:29 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of ggilman


2.68/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a DFH snifter.

One finger of loose foamy head settles quickly to a wisp after a vigorous pour. No lacing. Body is mostly clear amber, not brown at all. Nose is alcohol, oakish vanilla and butterscotch. Pretty clean taste. A little roasted malt, a little nutty roux. Fruity buttery phenols with a complete absence of hops. Not sure who they're going after with this one, but it's not me. In fairness, I'm not typically a drinker of brown ales, but I also like anything that's well made. This tastes clean and pure, but nothing stands out beyond that. Watery and lack luster.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2011 00:06:03 | More by ggilman
Photo of SolipsismalCat


1.78/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Light brown with nice amount of bubbles. One-finger white head that did not last more than a minute. No Lacing. Overall, too light for a brown ale.

S: Roasted and fruity, but not much there. I can smell alcohol.

T: What is this? Slightly sweet, no hop bitterness at all. Off flavors. Yuck.

M: Light body and very watery. Not what a brown ale should be. Carbonation was okay though.

O: This was the worst brown ale I've tried. I knew it might not be that great before trying it, but I tried to keep an open mind, which didn't help. Awful.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 00:49:47 | More by SolipsismalCat
Photo of Stranger5582

New York

2.7/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This brown ale doesn't have a strong flavor at all. My first impression was that it's a bit watery and lacking in taste. The coloration is more akin to an amber, than a brown. In fact, I've seen some amber ales with darker hues than this beer. The beer's taste doesn't seem to come alive until its finish, which is still a bit lackluster.

Overall, it does taste like a brown ale, but its on the light side. The heady burned taste that most brown ales slam into your tongue is missing and is instead replaced by an almost summer ale-ish brown ale experience.

If you're usually a light ale or summer ale drinker, this brown ale may be just what you need as a transition into heavier beers.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2011 02:29:15 | More by Stranger5582
Photo of mvanaskie13


2.58/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass: nice light tan head, lightly fluffy, no clinging an dissipated to a ring. Color is translucent brown, to a dark copper/amber.

Smell is very feint chocolate/caramel malt, but so thin.

Taste is a bit more than the nose in terms of hint more chocolate flavor with hints of grains and oats but very thin, only hop flavor is enough to slightly balance hops.

Mouthfeel is balanced, with a slight lingering sweetness.

Overall a bit thin on flavor and smell for a brown, just a touch more in the nose and taste would boost it as it is a very clean beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2011 23:18:15 | More by mvanaskie13
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.88/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, honey, nuts, maple and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of maple, honey and caramel. A hearty malt character comes in next along with some roasted nuts in the background. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, it might not be the one of the best in the style but it’s a solid beer worth drinking for a long time.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2011 03:04:47 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of RyanOkonski

New York

2.58/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I was excited to try this, I had never heard of this brewery before.

Appearance- Medium brown color with lots of small carbonation bubbles. The head is almost non-existent with lots of gaps in the middle, perhaps it was a bad pour, but I think it has more to do with the beer.

Smell- Smell is mostly of malt, can't detect any hops character to it by the olfactory sense. Perhaps a tiny hint of nuttiness and perhaps some chocolate, but I'm really digging for smell now. Nothing is over-powering and other than the blatant malt smell everything else is pretty hidden.

Taste- Ahh I've been waiting for this. But tis' a disappointment. Little taste of anything, some malt flavor, but it dies pretty quickly, nothing lingers much after swallowing. I taste no hoppiness, which is fine because it's a brown, but it must have some hop character because it's not overly sweet. Perhaps it just has little of either, but I don't know.

Mouthfeel- The only bite is that of the carbonation bubbles, which are overpowering for a brown ale, in my humble opinion. Feels pretty watery too, too light-bodied for my tastes. If you are looking to play drinking games with brown ale, this may be the one for you.

Overall- Re-reading my comments, I realize I have ripped this beer apart. It's not bad, but definitely under-shot my expectations. The taste and aroma or only mediocre and the mouthfeel is too watery. I wouldn't go out of my way to drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 00:54:04 | More by RyanOkonski
Photo of deltatauhobbit


3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light brown color with a thin head, fades fast, no lacing on the glass at all, smallish cap stays around for a little while longer but eventually dissipates.

Smell is pretty much just malt, slightly nutty but not enough to be interesting, no hop character.

Taste has quite a bit of carbonation, fills the mouth like a cola and lacks a creaminess that would have been helpful, the malt is the straight forward flavor, slight roasted nuttiness in the aftertaste that comes and goes quickly.

"Best" Brown Ale, more like "Just Okay" Brown Ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2011 22:36:34 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of alee42


2.7/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I tried this beer after buying the the Gritty Dozen Variety pack (which also had their seasonal Halloween beer).

Poured this Brown ale into the standard US pint glass.

A - pours a smooth, dark amber brown color. developed a nice frothy head, about finger or so, with some mild carbonation.

S - smells nutty and smokey, hint of caramel.

T - first tasted like chocolate-caramel, then mellows out to a deep nutty taste. the beer really tastes hoppy and could feel the carbonation on the back of my tongue after few more sips. it really leaves a sharp nutty taste after leaving it for a while.

M - couldn't feel the carbonation until a few more sips. my first impression came off as light and smooth, but then becomes too bubbly and coarse.

D - the beer really left me with a nutty, stale taste. not really worth another go.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2010 06:54:50 | More by alee42
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

2.5/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

dark amber color. not quite brown. head fades

fairly rich roast flavors. brown caramel; floral hops and some esters. touch of nuttiness

super watery and lacking in flavorful. bitterness is flaccid and the malt contribution is even worse. some fruity flavors...this tastes almost more like tea than a brown ale (hyperbole). a little nutty. and the mouthfeel is strange: gritty (how appropriate), or perhaps chalky

this is really a mild, and not a particularly good one

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 02:53:05 | More by bruachan
Photo of Risser09


4.08/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle into a pilsner - fridge - best before jan 2010

Appearance: Garnet/orange/brown hues with plenty of carbonation activity. The beer gives way to an inch of ivory head with a craterous surface. Retention lasts 3 minutes until departure. Carbonation flows freely and liberally to the meniscus.

Smell: Buttery biscuits, LIFE cereal, mashed grain, pecan and some cherries. Minimal hop aroma.

Taste: Again with the smooth, buttery biscuit/cereal component. The flavor isn't very strong or sticky sweet at all. The beer itself is slippery wet and also sharply carbonated. A super slight hint of hop bitterness in the finish. I like the biscuit flavor.

Mouthfeel: Sharp carbonation that quickly fades, well-attenuated, slick in the mouth, medium/light body, barely any sign of alcohol (it could be under 5%).

Drinkability: I am quite fond of this one. It tastes fresh and feels lively, which makes me feel the same exact way. Certainly a session beer that you could go many rounds with. I will seek out and enjoy again!

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2010 02:32:09 | More by Risser09
Photo of morebeergood


2.78/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a six pack the other day to give this brown ale a try. Poured into standard pint glasses. Dark brown color with orange highlights. Decent sized white head. Smell had that diacetyl odor to it, which I do not like. Flavor was not great either, as it was way too sweet and sugary. Not enough malt. No hops at all. Mouthfeel was buttery and too thin for a brown ale. I would not recommend this beer to a friend looking for this style.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2010 19:48:21 | More by morebeergood
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Gritty McDuff's Best Brown Ale from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
75 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.