Burly Brown - Stevens Point Brewery

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Burly BrownBurly Brown

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BA SCORE
76
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97 Reviews
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Reviews: 97
Hads: 194
rAvg: 3.27
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 3
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stevens Point Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: wheatyweiss on 04-09-2009

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 97 | Hads: 194
Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Surpringly flavorful with a 'true' malt taste and refreshing dry finish, Burly Brown makes for a very enticing Brown Ale that has more in common with norther English Brown Ales than American.

While pouring the staple brown color, the beer carries deep amber highlights as well as a slightly off white froathy head that lingers the sessiona and leaves even pockets of foam behind with each sip. A firm and inviting Brown Ale.

Malty rich aromas of whipped cream, caramel, grain, and medium woods all yield a slight nutty and chocolate scent. Light butterscotch, but no real fruity ester profile or spiciness- the beer's aroma remains true to Browns by focusing on malt depth and little distraction elsewhere.

Firmly malted to taste as well as chocolate, nuts, medium toast, bread crust, and lightly caramelized sugars provide the bulk of the flavor matrix. Ligthly toasted woods, toffee and a slight grassy taste balances the sweeter malt base, but not with the zeal that's expected from American hops in American-style Brown Ales. Again, with a cleanly malted profile and just enough balance from hops, the beer remains void of the distraction of fruitiness or spiciness from yeast that would have muddled the waters.

Medium and almost full- the higher levels of carbonation seem to reinforce the notion of dryness and lightness, albeit releasing a carbonic bite that brings undue attention to the grainy mid palate. Lightly grassy and with a dry woody character the finish is lightly powdery, minty-cool, and overall refreshing.

Burly Brown seems more similar to Sam Smith's Nut Brown and Wychwood Hobgoblin than more appropriate American Brown Ales like Bell's Best Brown or Sierra Nevada's Tumbler. But it's an easy drinking and palatable Brown Ale regardless of the origins for style or influence of recipe. (1,815 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burnt orange with butter rum edges. The peanut shell colored cap is whipped creamy and is currently filling half the glass after a high-altitude pour. In its wake, an average amount of melty lace sticks hesitantly to the glass. Even though (like a lot of brown ales) this one isn't brown, it's still a pretty good looking beer.

The nose is more toasted malty and earthy than it is roasted or cocoa-like. I suppose it's a valid aroma for the style, but it certainly isn't my preferred one. I hope the flavor is more burly than the nose because so far I'm not jumping out of my seat.

Burly Brown Ale is a relatively mild version of the style that favors caramel sweet over bitter and features a hint of diacetyl. Actually, it tastes as much like an Oktoberfest as it does a brown ale. It's hard to figure the malt bill (pale, chocolate and roasted) because there isn't much evidence of those last two. I guess the folks at James Paige and I don't see eye to eye on what constitutes a good brown.

The beer is incredibly easy to drink if you have sessioning in mind. In fact, it tastes and feels like it was built to be consumed in quantity. Too bad the quality isn't a little higher. The mouthfeel is light, yet still manages some amount of creaminess; not an easy thing to pull off.

As should be obvious by now, I'm not thrilled with Burly Brown. If brown ales are your favorite style (hard to imagine), give this one a try. Otherwise, spend your money on New Glarus Fat Squirrel or Tyranena Rocky's Revenge. As far as I'm concerned, those are the two best browns that Wisconsin has to offer. (1,602 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.17/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, copper/amber color (didn't look like a brown ale) with a small, tan head of foam. It left some soapy lace.

S - It smelled a little earthy and grassy with biscuity malt aroma.

T - It tasted of burnt toast malt with a woody, tannin-like taste. A little unusual for a brown ale.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. It is a light bodied ale.

D - This is an okay beer. It just doesn't taste like or look like or smell like a brown ale. (468 characters)

Photo of russpowell
2.61/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours an effervescent caramel/brown with a thumb of tan head. Above average head retention & lacing, sadly the best part of this beer..

S: Not much aroma, a touch of caramel & leafy hops when very warm

T: Astringency & tannins up front, like drinking tea filtered through oak bark with some dryness as well. Herbal hops, tannins & a whisper of caramel as this warms. Finishes dry with a touch of toffee swimming through 2 day old, unsweetened ice tea

MF: light/medium bodied with soft carbonation, but rough balance

Drinks on the verge of drain-pour. If you stumble across this, let it warm the hell up & even then you might still be depressed. Off style, by a country mile... (681 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.12/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a lovely ruby highlighted brown hue with an light khaki off white head forming thick and dwindling quick for a beer that labels itself as burly. Smells of light nutty accents with caramel undertones in the malt department. No real cereal grains apparent maybe some kind of caramel concentrated addition to give color seems low on specialty grains. Flavor is metallic with a sidecar of syrupy nut brown sweetness arriving to try and rescue the mineral laiden experience. Well, it's too little to late this is a mess of a beer that again gives craft brews a bad name. This is a large regional brewery that is aiming at the mass produced beer drinking audience that is making craft style labels/beer styles without adhering to the actual craft in this case traditional brewing methods. Mouthfeel is of syrupy additions in carbonated water it's a weird experience. I'm with the all or none theory and I give this brewery absolutely no street credentials. Drinkability is poor a shell of what a brown ale is supposed to taste like much more in line to compete with Leinenkugel's Fireside Nut Brown Ale than Bell's Best Brown Ale. (1,130 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
2.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: color's a pale, rubyish brown, with red around the sides, and a sad, short dun-colored head swiftly blooms, then dies.
Aroma: hints of nuts and caramel, but largely empty. A peppery, cola-ish quality exists.
Taste: sticky-sweet, even treacly, rich in caramel notes, with light to non-existent hops, and moderate malt. Texture is terribly thin, carbonation feels too high, and could swear I'm having some sort of alco-pop.
Little body, nothing to enjoy. Drinkable, yeah, but absolutely no fun at all.
Sorry, James Page, not one of your good ones. (561 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.47/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of the winter variety pack:

Pours light to medium brown with a rather quickly vanishing head. Only a few dots of lacing stick.

The smell is of dark toffee, hint of nuts and slight roast.

The taste is of sweet toffee and a hint of subtle nuts, The sweetness is balanced by mild roast and a bitter-ish touch in the finish.

It is lighter in body than expected, could be creamier, but it is smooth and easy to drink.

A decent, though "forgettable" brown ale - it has a nice malty character - though not strong. I would say it is between a traditional English-style Brown and a less hoppy American brown. It's decent. (622 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.33/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a translucent brown color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a metallic, pale, crystal, and roasted malt scent. It's dry and roasted with a touch of caramel malt sweetness. The taste is decent as well. It has a weak caramel malt flavor with only hints of roasted malt character. It goes down easy with a dry, metallic finish. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an above average beer, but there are plenty of better brown ales on the market. (564 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.93/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This created a huge, rocky, eggshell-white head with only mild retention. The color was a deep copper/light brown and the nose was moderately sweet with malt. The mouthfeel was medium, but I got a real sweetness in the mouth, like maple syrup. The finish had a chocolaty aspect to it, like a porter. I was looking for something other than my usual hop-driven beer that afternoon, and this really hit the spot! Much more like it, as my initial notes read.

It probably would not be too tasty, but this beer combined with a Surly Furious would make a Burly, Surly, and Furious, which might be just the thing if you were itching to start a bar fight. (650 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.33/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer sampled, no freshness dating to be had. Pours Hazelnut brown, off white head without any lacing left behind. Nose of some maple syrup. fairly sweet brown ale, nothing all that "Burly" about this one. Finishes fairly watery and a tad prickly on the tongue. (265 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not bad, a bit weak and a bit odd. There's a nice mild dry bitterness, but a lack of nutty or chocolate malt flavors. Where's the brown? Not bad for a cheaper micro, but its really something I have at other people's houses. I'm happy to drink it, but it lacks the proper flavor and complexity for me to ever buy it myself. (322 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
2.65/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Stevens Point Burly Brown

Pours a cola brown, small head forms and doesn't stick around long. Aroma is alittle nutty, roasted. In the taste, some caramel, toasted malt, notion of hop but not very discernable. Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied, carbonation a bit low and also a little watery. Overall its an below average American brown, good gateway beer at least to macro drinkers. (397 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.03/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a mug)

A- This beer has an amber brown body that is crystal clear. There is thick light tan head that fades pretty quickly.

S- The smell of pot caramel and light noble hops is soft.

T- The faint pot caramel note and a light brown malt hint finish with a green hop bitterness that hangs on the tongue. As it warms there is a light tang in the finish that is a bit odd.

M- This beer has a medium light mouthfeel with a watery texture.

D- There is malt and hops in this beer but neither have much character of depth. Just taste like another brown ale. (574 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to beerwolf77 for this one.

Pours a nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a slight hint of chocolate, and lots of caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, a hint of chocolate. Medium body, the finish is dry/bitter. Drinkable, another tasty brew from SPB. (383 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.6/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and slight lacing. Smells of nut, sweet malt, slight yeast, and slight hop. Fits the style of an Amerian Brown Ale. Mouth feel is very smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. There is also a slight wateriness. Tastes of slight roasted malt, sweet malt, yeast, and slight hop. Overall, a rather average brown. (402 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with some amber hues and a 1 inch head. Smell is of caramel and malts. Taste is a bit nutty, hops and caramel. A well balanced beer. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer. (287 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.01/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. twist-off bottle poured into a Nonic
5% ABV

A - An aggressive pour unleashes a tall light khaki head on this beer which lasts and lasts, covering the pint above the gorgeous clear crimson copper-colored beer with thick lace.

S - Burley Brown combines the dry, mildly astringent aroma of toasted malt and biscuit character with subtle caramel and toffee sweetness for a balanced and inviting smelling brown.

T - Mild earthy hops cut through this brown's malt base of toasted wheat bread crust and suggestions of caramel and toffee for a balanced brown finish.

M - Burley Brown is anything but burley as this light-bodied beer crosses the palate with lasting, faintly metallic dryness and a smooth finish.

O - One of Points more balanced and thorough beers, Burley Brown does a good job of having different malt nuances such as toasted dryness and caramel sweetness play off one another for a very easy drinking brown ale. (932 characters)

Photo of ZAP
2.86/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

My first impression of this after tasting it was not good but it is growing on me a little as I dig deeper into bottle #2.

The first impression is thinnish, acidic, fizzy, dumbed down...

But as it settles I get more of the following:

-Medium brown color....nice creamy tan head...

-Light aroma of caramel

-Taste offers the caramel and a nice dusting of chocolate...

-Still feels too thin even for this style but overall this has a little flavor and is drinkable. Not close to good for this style though. (510 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.33/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a medium brown color with a dark orange-red hue to it. The head forms at under a finger and slightly fizzy, but manages to stick around a bit. Lacing is light but just enough to push the appearance over average for me.
The nose is difficult. Aromas are very light, but I get a malt backbone with a smoky note and very, very light hints of nuts. Perhaps there's a touch of caramel in there.
The taste is likewise a little soft, but the flavors are nice. Lightly smoky and mildly nutty with roasted malts, there's a touch of wood in here. With a bit more strength, this could be a better brown since it manages to avoid the harsh astringency and charred notes that some browns are prone to.
The mouthfeel is kind of bland, not having any real activity to it. While I don't expect any crispness to it, there's also not much smoothness. Carbonation is light and the body is medium.
That's two Stevens Point brews thus far, and thus far it seems like this is a brewery not to seek out but also not to avoid. (1,015 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
1.64/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a deep amber to brown in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, sweet nuttiness and some lager like undertones. In the taste, sweet nuttiness and quite lagery with Saaz hops. A small bite and lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry nuttiness and a lager like aftertaste. Quite lager like, thin and watery. (318 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
3.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Color of deep muddy water, murky brown of chestnut with some reddish tones around the sides and bottom, solid cream colored head that maintains some nice spongeyness for awhile and leaves minimal strings and spots of lace. Smell is more sweet then roasted of the malts with some light cocoa-cola and nutty notes. Taste is again more so on the sweet then the roasted malts, like cocoa-cola mixed with a stout. Some caramel lightly comes through over some of the sweet tones in the finish, but no hop quality seems to appear anywhere. Feel is a bit thin, not quite light, and definately not medium, just kinda there with a carbonation that doesn't seem to fit. An OK brown at best and wasn't looking forward to another sample but felt it necessary to review it.

Two samples at Autumn Brew Review poured from the bottle. (820 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.5/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant brown color with amber highlights. A fairly spotty one finger cream head dissipates with no lace.

Toasted caramel malt, nuts, and a hint of floral hop are evident in the aroma. Malts definitely dominate.

Flavor begins with sweet toasted malt, caramel, and bread crust. There's a slight citrus note mid palate, before the dry, barely bitter finish. Tea-like herbs emanate as it warms.

Body is medium with moderate carbonation and a hint of astringency.

Overall, a decent beer. Not a standout, but fairly drinkable. (535 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
3.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Very dark, clear ruby-brown body underneath a finger of dense, creamy tan foam that reactivates upon a quick swirl of the tulip. Ok retention and lacing. Not bad at all.

S: Very sweet and toasty – crème brulee; overly-sugared iced coffee; molasses. There’s pretty good intensity, but I’m a bit worried about a potential lack of balance. No hops are noticeable.

T: Follows the nose precisely. Very, very sweet, with slightly burned brown sugar being the dominant note. Maybe a hint of coffee. Sticky-sweet finish. This could definitely use some more hops to keep the sweetness in check, but it’s still not too bad.

M: Sticky medium body, tons of soft carbonation. A bit overcarbonated for the style, but not offensively so.

O: I’m certainly not a huge fan of this beer, but it’s at least one of Point’s better offerings. I really like some of the toasted caramel flavors that the specialty malts provide, and just wish that there were at least a little bit of balance to create some complexity. As it is, this is certainly a bit low on the drinkability scale – but hey, better burly than boring.

Cheers! (1,160 characters)

Photo of morimech
2.74/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear brown with a large white head that had decent retention. The head eventually falls away to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. The aroma is very weak. Just a hint of malt. The flavor is also rather mediocre. Watery malt flavor is about the only thing I can come up with. Nothing special here. The body is also a bit watery but has nice carbontion. Overall a very unremarkable beer. Nothing undrinkable but their are so many better browns to spend money on. (502 characters)

Photo of alexgash
3.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I haven’t had this since I was in college. Back then, James Page had its own little brewery. Now it appears to be contract brewed by Gluek. Yikes.
Regardless. Pours a cinnamon brown with a foamy, off-white head.
Light, roasty sweetness fills the nose, along with some burnt cocoa beans, and a slight nuttiness.
Sweetish, nutty flavors up front, followed by roasted gas station coffee. Short finish is roasty-bitter, with leftover nutty-sweet malts. Medium-bodied with a bubbly feel (less carbonation would help). Not bad, but not overly interesting/complex. On the other hand, it brings me back to my college days. (619 characters)

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Burly Brown from Stevens Point Brewery
76 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.