Amsterdam Downtown Brown - Amsterdam Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Amsterdam Downtown BrownAmsterdam Downtown Brown

Educational use only; do not reuse.

105 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 10.29%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Amsterdam Brewing Company visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2002

The object of desire, Amsterdam Nut Brown Ale is crisp yet subtle in character. A classic British-style brown ale brewed with a blend of Canadian and European malts (including chocolate malt from Belgium), this traditional deep chestnut coloured ale exudes a bold and attractive taste. Brewed with English Ale yeast and balanced by four varieties of continental hops, our Nut Brown Ale delivers an uncommon smoothness and distinct drink-ability.

17 IBU
View: Beers (59) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 57
Reviews by Cramshawbar:
More User Reviews:
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.22/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Used to have this on tap ages ago, thought I'd give it another go in can form.

Poured dark brown colour into a nonic. Initially about a centimeter of off-tan head, but disappears entirely, and did so very quickly. Not even a ring left. Looks more like a poured out can of Coke to be honest.

Nose is typical, but mild, nut brown flavours. Chestnut, coffee, caramel, but unfortunately there's a bit of tinniness to the nose.

Taste isn't bad, similar to the nose but with a bit more caramel and cola taste to it. Kind of bland, but drinkable.

Mouthfeel is watery, a bit too carbonated.

Kind of a disappointment. Certainly, the can does not do this brew well, and I think I might have to amend my review later on if I have it on draught. Still, can't give this one a high grade in can. Try it on tap.

Photo of BGDrock
3.11/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: dark brown with ruby tint; tan head sizzles away in a minute or two

Aroma: not much to it, a little tinny, whisper of chocolate

Taste & Mouthfeel: has the grain flavour of lager but with the light chocolate, nutty touch of darker malts; clean, well carbonated, and easy drinking make for a good sessionable beer that's a little different than the average; over time really wish it had more of the nutty/chocolate flavour, as it can't quite fend off a growing taste of aluminium that is drawing it into the territory of bland

Overall: had potential at the start, but actually grows less interesting over time and more metallic; may be a different story on draft; don't recommend

Photo of biboergosum
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice-looking 16oz can from the LCBO - ok, that's at least a part of why I bought it...

This beer pours a very dark brown hue, with burgundy highlights, and two fingers of dense, soapy light beige head, which leaves but a thin band of lace around the glass in its hasty retreat. It smells bready - kind of sour, nutty, and somewhat smoky, in the vein of cold ashes. The taste follows quite faithfully - a bit of caramel malt poking through the ashy breadiness, and there is a mild earthy, floral hoppiness towards the end, as it warms. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium weight and smooth, and it finishes off-dry, with more of a tendency to the dry burnt nutty side of things (yep, it's a 'side' now...)

A decent enough brown ale, weirdly smoky, nutty, a tad sweet. Works for me.

Photo of Sammy
3.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Was surprisingly decent. Deep brown colour with head. Bold Sweet malty nutty brown taste however appeared "essence" as in added not from the natural process. Alcohol in the scent could burn my nose. Some bitterness in finish balances sweetness. Would have again. Thanks Pootz

Photo of eat
3.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks filtered; seems like it would be totally clear if the colour was lighter. Dark brown body with ruby highlights and zero head. Average appearance at best.

The nose is roasty, nutty malt with some slight vomit. Sweet malt with a little cherry and light molasses.

Decent nutty character with some good roasty malt. A bit of earthy hops and some sweet fruitiness. Not too bad, though I'd say the sweetness could be either toned down or balanced out with some more bitterness.

Alright medium body and medium-high carbonation.

Not too bad, really. I've had this on tap a few times and always felt it tastes like something in between a micro and a macro brewed beer. I don't think I'll be getting this one again and wouldn't really recommend it but it's not offensive.

Photo of elricorico
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty dark for a brown ale. I didn't expect a huge head and poured a little too fast off the bat. Now I'm waiting for four fingers of beige froth to settle so I can finish pouring the bottle.

Rich chocolatey malt aroma. Strong and sweet, more than I expected. Notes of caramel as well. Almost as though there is a melted Caramilk bar in my glass.

Taste is a little on the sour side, I was fooled by the aroma. Still some bitter chocolate in the second half of the mouthfull. Somewhat dry overall.

There is some body to this beer, but not overly much. Carbonation is about average. Works just fine for the style.

This one was all surprises to me. I like it a bit more than I expected. Not a show stopper, but a solid brown ale.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.1/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep clear brown color ale with a medium size foamy head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of nutty caramel malt is quite intense and enjoyable. Taste is also dominated by this medium sweet nutty caramel taste. Body is average with some spritzy carbonation which doesn't fir very well. While I don't need a full hops assault on my brown ale I would appreciate at least some hops inclusion which I can't say is the case here.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.96/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

473 ml can to pint glass.

A - Poured very dark brown, almost opaque with very small traces of ruby glow around some of the edges. Two fingers of cream coloured head formed and receded to about half a finger.

S - Sweet nutty malts with an off-putting metallic aroma that was very distracting.

T - Sweet roasted malts with big nutty flavours and a touch of chocolate. A slight dry bitterness is evident as well that lingers in the finish.

M - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation.

Photo of Antilochus
4.03/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500mL bottle, 5.00% abv. Fridge temp, into a wine glass.

Super dark brown, hint of a head: tan cloud and collar. A bit of lace too. Nice.

Nose is a bit astringent, but very malty sweet; carmelized sugar, toasted malt. A bit of yeast.

On the sour side; a bit of funk on the palate. Watery feel. Finishes on toasted malt, chocolate, less sugary sweet. Mmmm, finish gets interesting - sort of cooked blueberrish sourness with baked pie crust, a little smoky. Not bad, I found it very refreshing.

Very decent. I'll get it again.

Photo of Derek69
3.79/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown ale, poured in glass. Sweet flavour throughout, which for me isnt a great thing. Not a lot of head, about a finger and a half. Lots of roasted malts, very in your face brown, just too many sweet aftertaste notes for my liking. Easy drinking, not offensive at all, very good winter brew.

Photo of ritzkiss
3.17/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

500ml plastic wrapped bottle, give them props for their unique labeling.

Pours a dark russet brown with cola highlights around the edges in the light. An extremely vigorous pour barely piles up a finger of loose bubbles which instantly dies down to a thin tan collar around the edge of the glass. No lacing.

Nose has a light attractive cocoa, nutty, brown malt nose. Light but just a hint of a hop bite there too.

Not one of the best English browns out of Ontario, not even close. Weak coffee, a sugary brown bready malt base that is weaker than my little sister, light hop drying in finish, hints of cola. Pretty heavy carb, weak body. Not really anything here that would make me want to come back.

Photo of patre_tim
3.39/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark wood stain brown with light ruby tinge when held to the light, 4 fingers of light beige head, frilly lacing left on the glass.

S: Chocolate, earthy, like heather or fertile soil, light vanilla note, toasted malts.

T: Chocolate, light earthiness and heather, molasses, then a metallic note, like sucking pennies.

M: Medium body, medium low carbonation.

O: Nice ale, not digging the metallic notes. Other aspects are great, smooth and chocolaty.

Photo of spinrsx
3.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Appearance - The beer pours a reddish brown colour with a small fizzy light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some decent lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Chocolate, malts, roasted nuts, dark fruits

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste chocolate mixed with malts and and a bit of a smokiness. There are also some notes of dark fruits and some roasted nuts. The beer finishes with a malty chocolate aftertaste.

Overall – A fairly decent beer that has enough flavour to keep it interesting. It just didn't really have anything exciting about it that would make me want to buy it again.

Photo of FRANKIE65
3.42/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A Canadian alternative to Newcastle Brown.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from biegaman, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color with a thin off-white head that fades very quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted malts, maple syrup, nuts and a little bit of a metallic background.

T: The taste is loaded with dark roasted malts, along with flavors of maple, caramel, nuts and honey. There’s very little hops presence, but since that’s not what you look for in the style, it’s not necessarily missed. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth with a little crispness, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not very filling, good representation of the style, while it’s got a light enough kick to be a beer that you can pound down, this one seems more like an easy-going sipper.

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

Pours a very deep chestnut brown with stunning ruby red highlights. One and a half fingers of light tan head rise after a fairly aggressive pour. Decent retention and a good amount of spotty lace.

The nose is somewhat muted with notes of roasted nuts, toasted bready malts and caramel with the whole thing having a bit of a sour edge.

A soft and palatable creamy nuttiness is prominent throughout but isn't dry and assertive like other EBA's I've had, instead, it is clean, a bit wet and blends well with the light doses of bready malts and caramel that seem more subdued in the taste than the nose would lead you to believe. I really like this alternative approach to the nutty character, making it creamier and less dry, but unfortunately it has nothing to fall back on for everything else seems simple, tamed, and watered down.

Mouthfeel is average. Light to medium bodied, good balance, but quite filmy and watery. The carbonation is more towards the back, allowing for the creamy nut character to better assert itself in the taste.

A decent, sessionable offering from Amsterdam but could sure use some improvement. I'm a big fan of how they treated the nutty aspect of the beer, but they seemed to give no focus to everything that goes on around it. Amp of the flavour, and make a fuller body, and this EBA would be a winner for sure.

Photo of SebD
3.17/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice amber/mahogany color to it. It has a nice tan head that dies down quite fast and leaves minimal lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of roasted malts with a nuttiness, caramel and some light dark fruit.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a sweet caramely and nutty character with a roasted malt taste and a bit of floral hops.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a light and somewhat watery overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas. Probably would't buy this again.

Photo of mrmanning
3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the Alex P Keaton in London, Ontario. Pours a dark brown, and slightly transparent body, topped by a thin beige head that sits mostly around the edges of the pint glass. Aroma is sweet, malty, nutty. Taste is sweet nuts, bread, roasted malts. Nice! Nice aftertaste of hazelnuts here, smooth mouthfeel. Little watery on the finish however. A decent nut brown in any event.

Photo of BigBry
3.33/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the Amsterdam Brew House in Toronto.
Deep brown color, clear liquid topped with an inch of head. Decent retention but no real lace left behind.
Strong aroma of caramel malt and a bit nutty.
Taste has lots of the same malty, nutty sweetness. No real hop or bitterness.
Body and mouth feel are average, smooth but not really 'creamy'.
A pretty good malt based brown ale.

Photo of safaricook
3.74/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I am drinking this Downtown Brown from Amsterdam Brewing company not in Downtown Toronto where I bought it but in Downtown Amsterdam.
This is one of my first brown ales and I am no expert in the style. Still I am surprised but the high amount of roasted flavors that I get. It is smooth and very drinkable with more focus on the malt then on the hops. I quite like it, much better than leader of this category regarding the number of reviews. I paired it with savory Indian food (Butter Chicken) and it was more a hit then a miss but not outstanding.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.33/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

473 mL can from the LCBO; production code E0212. I reviewed this over four years ago, although that was a bottle (shrink-wrapped like in the picture). I haven't had this particular brown ale since, and decided it was at least worth a retry.

Pours an attractive reddish-chestnut brown colour, nearly opaque but not quite so dark. Over a finger of dense, creamy tan-coloured head looks promising at first, but evaporates disappointing quickly for a brown ale. The aroma is malty but I can't confidently describe it much more accurately than that. Maybe it's nutty or maybe it's mostly roasted malts and caramel, it's just too faint to be sure.

The taste is quite approachable, but straightforward - lots of roasted malts, with hints of nuts, raisins and caramel. Dry, roasty aftertaste with a hint of red cherries. Respectable flavour; unfortunately the body is pretty thin and watery, and although the low carbonation does make for a smooth brew with superior drinkability, it does not exactly aid the thin body.

Final Grade: 3.33, a respectable B- grade (only slightly lower than the grade I gave it in 2008, when I was new to the craft beer scene and perhaps more easily swayed). Amsterdam Nut Brown tastes alright, and is definitely an easy one to slug back. As far as Ontario brown ales go, this one is middling - better and worse examples are relatively easy to find, with this one's main advantages being its high drinkability and decent flavour.

[Updated Nov. 9 2013]

I picked up a can of this the other day assuming it was a brand new offering, but a little research has confirmed my suspicion that Downtown Brown is just a re-branded version of the old Nut Brown Ale. I don't really have much to add - this is a decent, bare-bones example of a brown ale; something I can drink easily and without complaint, even if I'm not all that inclined to return to it regularly. Something I might recommend to a fan of Newcastle looking for something a bit more local/fresh.

Photo of neenerzig
3.69/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single 473 ml can of this from a beverage store in Niagra On The Lake, Canada when my wife and I went there recently. Poured into one of my pint glasses. This beer pours a clear, medium to dark brown color with deep ruby highlights when held up to the light. Looks a lot like cola. Tan head is about 3/4 of an inch thick when poured, eventually settling to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Wish it had more lacing though. Aromas of bready, caramel malt and roasted nut are certainly nicely present along with hints of dark fruit such a raisin and plum. H as a nice bready and caramel malt sweetness upfront that gives way to roasted but flavor of almond and walnut that is rounded out with a hint of the aforementioned dark fruit. Not really any discernible hop presence at all, which is really this beer's downfall flavorwise. It needs a bit of hop bitterness to help balance out the sweetness from the malts, nuts, and fruit notes. Has a crisp, slightly prickly, smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in a refreshing manner. AN okay beer overall, not bad per say but not all that great either. This beer has potential. The recipe just needs a little bit of tweaking and I feel it would be a lot better.


Photo of hopdog
3.36/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle acquired in trade with blankboy (thanks!).

Opened to a loud pop. Poured a medium to deeper reddish / brown color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, chocolate and toasted nuts. Tastes of toasted malts, nuts, chocolate and had a light coffee bitter finish. Thinner body.

Notes from 12/29/06

Photo of rmalinowski4
2.98/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up while in Canada. Poured into my Founders snifter.

Pours a deep mahogany red with one finger tan head. Head recedes quickly leaving some lacing on the glass.

Smell is of dark malt and dark fruit, like prune and raisin. It smells sweet and I can slightly notice the alcohol in the smell.

Taste is dark malt and fruits, very little bitterness at all. Sweet with a slightly heavy mouthfeel and low carbonation.

This is pretty simple. All malt with very little hop bitterness. There is some dark fruit, but nothing else. It is not bad, but it is not great either.

Photo of karait95
3.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Maybe one nice appearance for the real tasting and smell, good looking reddish color with a medium head and medium carbonation, dark beige color and small bubbles.

S: Toasted malt aroma but really not very complex,

T: Toasted bitter flavor a balanced combination of toasted malt and hops. Not nut to be sensed easily.

M: An uncertain beginning that takes the way to bitterness little by little, good body that feels all over the tongue.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Amsterdam Downtown Brown from Amsterdam Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.