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Black Oak Nut Brown Ale - Black Oak Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Oak Nut Brown AleBlack Oak Nut Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

93 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 93
Reviews: 64
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 10.76%
Wants: 5
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Black Oak Brewing Co. visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Based on the traditional Nut Brown style, Black Oak’s award winning Nut Brown highlights the best features of this style of beer. Often referenced by local beer connoisseurs, and used in beer appreciation classes by local culinary institutions, with repeated appearance in magazines such Food & Drink. The Nut Browns accolades include being voted Best in it’s Class, accompanying a gold medal at The Canadian Brewing Awards in 2004. It additionally received a medal at Gourmet Food & Wine Show. A favorite enjoyed in winter or year round, this satisfying and robust Nut Brown Ale will pleasantly surprise you.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-06-2002)
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Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 64 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brm300


4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

03-13-2012 00:50:28 | More by brm300
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Phoenix, McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario.

Appearance: Brown (obviously), mild carbonation/head.

Smell: Sweet malt & nuts.

Taste: No apparant taste from hops. Sweet, but relatively balanced with chocolate malt bitterness. Certainly more of a complex nutty taste than typical brown ales (Newcastle, Neustadt 10W30). Fresher, with more flavour than imported Samuel Smith Nutbrown. This is a world-class beer.

Mouthfeel: Moderate malty body.

Drinkability: The balance is slightly tipped to the sweet side, but it's VERY drinkable.

I've had this by the bottle as well, and enjoy it very much.

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2005 15:34:21 | More by Derek
Photo of Dithyramb


4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at C'est What. Told the nice barkeep that I wanted something local, full flavored and interesting. She chose this as my first of the day. Poured dark brown, though clear, with a fluffy tan head. Great retention and lacing. Nutty malty aroma with some earthy hop highlights. Very inviting.

More malty than anything else, with the expected nutty malts taking center stage. There were a good bit of roastier malts in there, chocolate and some fruits. Very light earthy or herbal hops hanging way in the background.
Medium bodied with a tingly carbonation that washes away the malts. Very drinkable and hard to put down.

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2006 12:49:18 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of funkengruven

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6 of this out of curiousity. Interestingly, one of the labels was put on the bottle upside-down. I found that to be quite amusing.


This poured a transparent dark brown brew with a centimeter thick head, a good looking beer if you ask me. To the nose, a very bold malty smell. Very clean, like a whiskey malt. This very clean malty taste makes it's way to the palate, with a defined hop presence in the finish. Fairly smooth with a slightly bitter undertone.

This goes down nicely, and it is quite a delicious beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2006 05:11:03 | More by funkengruven
Photo of ludachris

Ontario (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of TheHammer. You're the man Marky.
Pours a deep mahogany with a finger of off white, creamy head. Decent retention. Leaves sheets of sticky lacing.
Smell of roasted nuts, caramel and bready malts with a little bit of chocolate. Man does this smell good.
Taste almost identical to the nose. Like the bottle says, very robust. Sweet bready malts anc caramel nots are balanced out very nicely with a nice, dry hoppy, roasted nut finish.
Mouthfeel is clean, smooth and well balanced and the drinkability is excellent.

Overall, the best English Brown Ale Ive had to date. They didnt hold back at all in the flavour sector which helped its drinkability. I didnt want to put this thing down. Thanks again Marky for this mother of a beer. Highly recommended for anyone fond of English brown ale's.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 03:07:49 | More by ludachris
Photo of wiseguy142

New York

4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Plops out of the bottle with an audible glurp. Seems very light when the beer is going from bottle to glass, almost like gasoline. Very clear. Nice off white head, but not pretentious like in a west coast IPA etc. Dies down gracefully.

Aroma of light biscuit, chcolate, and caramel malt. Not overly assertive but very well rounded out and pleasant.

Taste really hinges on great use of crystal malt. Very pleasant sweetness almost overshadows some of the chocolate malt.

Very smooth and velvety. Really enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2009 07:44:24 | More by wiseguy142
Photo of Antilochus

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up in a 6 pack at Summerhill LCBO in Toronto, ON. 5.00% abv, 341mL twist bottle. No freshness date, unfortunately. Into a wine glass @ fridge temp.

Even chestnut brown body with a small off-white head. Loses the head quickly.

First aromas I get are sweet and fruity. A bit of yeasty funk. Roasted malt. Very organic.

Carbonation is just right. Very creamy and full mouthfeel. Palate is a bit sweet, offset with roasted bitterness and a hint of sourness. Finish is malty, caramelly, but restrained and dry. Coffee is apparent. Spices and dark fruits. Yum.

The best brown I've had thus far.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2008 00:12:25 | More by Antilochus
Photo of EatsTacos

Yukon (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark chestnut brown with a very light head and some slight lacing

Aroma was fairly nutty and malty as I would have expected.

Taste was dominated by sweet malt with minimal hop flavour. The caramel malt is well pronounced and there is a lot of nuttyness to it as well. Quite good but not as complicated and bold as I would have expected.

Mouthfeel is medium and the carbonation is pretty low and soft. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2008 00:53:10 | More by EatsTacos
Photo of stevergca

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

05-12-2014 17:42:39 | More by stevergca
Photo of ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

341ml bottle from a sixer at the LCBO. Pours a clear mahogany with a finger of creamy off white head which has really good retention, maintaining a creamy topping and a few spots of lacing on the glass..

Kind of a boring style but these folks do it well - Really approachable beer, lovely nutty roast, hint of cocoa, biscuit, pleasant, quenching drying roast bitterness in the finish, a light fruity sweetness, hint of hops, medium/light mouthfeel which makes it feel not too thin and yet mega quaffable. Slightly creamy mouthfeel with a hint too much carbonation.

I've oft overlooked this offering but it is a top notch session-brown, the type of beer that appeals to many and goes with many a meal. It's not the Imperial brown that many top beers in the style are but well crafted nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2010 21:09:41 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of SebD

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice clear brown/ruby color to it. It has a nice off white head that dies down moderately and leaves nice lacing all the way through.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of dark fruit, some definite cherry, nuts, roasted malts, and some caramel.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice upfront nutty character to it, dark fruits and malts, a bit of chocolate and some light hops in the back.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 21:18:25 | More by SebD
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear copper with a nice creamy, sticky head.

S - Very nutty. Lots of roasted, not burnt, grain and caramelly goodness.

T - Again, nutty. Hazelnut comes to mind most. Solid maltiness as well, and a mild hop presence to clean up.Nothing identifiable in the hops besides a bitterness. Roasted malt is forefront.

M - Dry, creamy and smooth. Body is medium-heavy with a low carbonation.

D - A very solid brew. Sessionable for sure, but also with tons of flavour. Would go nicely with a meal or afterwards.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2007 02:10:29 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of StephenRich

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of the first local breweries to show me great beer was the Black Oak Brewery located in Etobicoke Ontario, just outside of Toronto. Black Oak is a true small batch brewer focused on quality beer, local support, and passion. If you frequent many of Toronto's beer bars you can often find Ken Woods, owner and founder, running around with kegs in both hands making sure that all his patrons have ample supply of beer!

Black Oak brews all of their beers using reverse osmosis water, allowing the brewer to completely control the mineral content of the water to best reflect the beer which is being created. This is the type of attention to detail you can expect from thisbrewery. My favorite thing about Black Oak is how Ken came to become a brewer. Ken studied business and became a Certified Management Account working in Finance. But in 1999, after years of working as an accountant, he realized that he just loves beer way too much not to turn that passion into his livelihood.

Ken dropped business and started the Black Oak Brewery in order to realize his true dreams. Thank you Ken for your beer, and for your inspiration!

The first Black Oak beer I ever tried, which is still the one I look for the most, was the Black Oak Nut Brown Ale. Nut Browns have for a very long time been among my favorite beer styles. They offer such a great range of savory and sweet flavors in perfect harmony; Black Oak's version provides exactly that!

The Nut Brown Ale is available at both Beer Stores and LCBO across southwestern Ontario in 6 packs on 341ml bottles at 5% abv. It pours a deep brown with a light golden shine piercing through it, but it is very dark, close to brick. It lifts a short tan to brown head capping a very alluring beer, but eventually fading.

The nose is rich in malt, nuts, dark caramel and roast. There is also a whiff of dry coffee which seems like it will come back later to add a needed bitterness to restrain the sweet nuts. One of the nicest aspects of the nut brown is that it is not trying to trick you; when you drink it, it is very straight forward. It comes at you with caramel malt, sweet and creamy nuts, dry roast, and finishing with a crisp and dry coffee note. The sweet malts play across your tongue, while you really get a nutty and earthy flavor in your cheeks and across the top of your mouth.

There is a light hop that helps quench at the end of the beer, but really what stands out by then is now crisp and clean this beer really is. It tastes like quality, and it feels amazing. It's not heavy, but it is full. But it also dances on your palate without making too much of a fuss. It is still among my favorite beers, and is incredible in the summer by the barbeque.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2010 01:30:39 | More by StephenRich
Photo of CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I cant believe I passed up trying this beer for so long. Its one of the tastiest micros in Ontario.

I pours a clear brown copper color with a creamy tan head that leaves tonnes of spindly lace behind. The carbonation is amazing, a dense pack of tiny bubbles moving very slowly to the surface. The bubbles are microscopic. The aroma is of dark malts, cocoa powder and herbal hops. The taste is lusciously malty with a nutty crystal malt flavor as well as raw barley notes. Hop flavor is more assertive than most Brown Ales, it really comes out in the finish. The mouthfeel is light and slightly creamy with carbonation.

This is one awesome brown ale, up there with Ringwelter and Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2005 16:34:49 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of jhall00


4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- The beer pours a muted red brown highlight. Little head with no retention.

S- roasted nutty maltiness. Muted, but nice.

T- straightforward beer taste, caramel, maltiness. Some prolonged roasted flavors

M- Thin to medium mouthfeel. Carbination was too high for the style

D- Over all good beer for the stylel.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 03:07:29 | More by jhall00
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Finally reviewing this one.

Pours a clear red/brown, dense off white head forms, settles down into a thin layer with plenty of lace. Smell is nutty, very malty, some toffee, crisp floral and citrus hops, nice balance. Flavour is sweet up front, malty, grains, toffee, finishes with a smooth floral hop kick. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Lots of breweries in Canada make a nut brown, but Black Oak is the only one that does it with some sack. Great session beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2006 21:21:33 | More by Viggo
Photo of ThatWineGuy

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer for the first time earlier this year and it quickly became a favourite, even though this review is like discovering it all over again. Poured into a freshly rinsed out Chimay goblet;since I already had one going, in the interest of reuse, recycle, etc.

Poured out of the bottle with a topaz hue, a bit of purple in the glass with shades of brown. Flat white head with a sparse, wispy centre but a ringlet that stayed for the duration. Lower carbonation than I would have told you based on my recollections (writing a actual review does wonders for a beer lover). The aroma also disappointed tonight, if you had asked I would have said there was more to it ... faint chocolate latte but not a lot tonight.

Ahhh, a taste and swish in the mouth dispels any doubts I was starting to have. A dry coffee bean taste and a lively mouthfeel with a dark chocolate dryness and hops. This is smooth and sophistocated. A long, lingering finish with a walnut astringency that delights the senses. The overall mouthfeel and finish satisfies and pleases.

A second pour from a second bottle yields a more substantial head this time, one finger high. I can't get enough of this stuff, what a treasure right here in the GTA (greater Toronto area).

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2007 02:02:19 | More by ThatWineGuy
Photo of Bestuurder

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

341mL standard brown bottle. Poured a medium walnut colour. Fine lacing, minimal head. Yet lacing lasted throughout consumption. Light fluffy head (considering lack of head).

The smell is heavy in nuttiness; specifically that of walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds.

Taste is very similar to the scent. Balanced hoppiness with almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts. Possibly a hints oc chocolate notes, and a strong finish. Very little oak flavour, more subjective than anything else.

Fantastic texture, thick, but not chewy. Excellent carbonation patterning.

Very balanced and presented nicely. Would definitely be have again.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2009 17:14:39 | More by Bestuurder
Photo of BrewSomerville

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Sweet smelling. Smells like sweet coffee & chocolate. Some grassy, herbal hoppy aromas. Some roasty aromas too.

Looks: Brown, with red/amber highlights. Average sized off-white head. It leaves some lace rings on the glass.

Taste: is much like the aroma, however, the aroma can be misleading... It smells quite sweet, but the hops balance it out nicely. The aroma also has some roasty aromas, but there are no astringent flavours from burnt malts (not that roasty aromas should necessarily precede astringent flavours all the time... but some times). They don't call this a NUT brown ale for nothing; it has some nutty flavours going on. A little bit of fruitiness too, black currants, some dark fruits. Cinnamon & brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: medium to full bodied. The carbonation is actually quite average. I would love to try a cask-conditioned version of this.

Overall, a great session Beer. It pairs nicely with venison sausage.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2007 22:09:01 | More by BrewSomerville
Photo of mintjellie

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours medium brown and shows ruby highlights when held to the light. It has a well retained finger of beige head that leaves behind a good lace.

The scent of nuts and chocolate waft up from my glass with a nice compliment of toffee. It has an earthy quality to it as well.

Delicious chocolate and roasted malt flavour. It's deliciously nutty. Mildly bitter, and wonderfully balanced. I expected it to be on the sweet side when I smelled it, but it's actually pretty dry.

It's a little bit on the thin side, and would benefit from a heavier body. The low carbonation leaves it feeling pretty smooth though. I don't think I'd mind sessioning on this easy drinking brown ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2009 07:19:48 | More by mintjellie
Photo of bryehn

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, rusty brown colour with ruby tones. A moderately-sized light tan-coloured head gets retained as a collar and film while leaving some spotty lacing.

Strong nutty aroma, like hazelnut or walnut with a ripened cherry-like fruit tone backing it up. Fresh grains and dark malts poke through as it warms.

Tastes of thick, slightly sweet dark malts at first with a nicely-balanced crispness. Thick, oily nuts and dark chocolate come through in the finish.

Medium-bodied with a mild but noticeable carbonation on the tongue. Goes down creamy thanks to the long-lasting collar and has a nice, bitter tartness to the aftertaste.

For me, this is an excellent example of an English Brown Ale. It has a robust aroma and is very drinkable, particularly with a meal that involves red meat.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2011 17:18:17 | More by bryehn
Photo of seaoflament


4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to grub for the opportunity to try this Canadian beer.

Pours a dark brown color with some amber and ruby on the sides. A decent inch of foam accumulated from an aggressive pour, good retention too.

Good smelling nut brown. Nutty malts, hazelnut, cream, lightly roasted coffee, hints of milk chocolate and vanilla. A little buttery with a small, but appropriate, amount of diacetyl. After the beer settles the coffee becomes a little more robust and I'm also getting some maple syrup and molasses. Mmm, some hazelnut chocolate too.

On the taste it has some toast and nutty malts, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamias, and just a bit of multi-grain bread in the finish. A little thin but adequate for the style, very easy to drink too.

Goes great with some banana-walnut bread!

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2008 20:55:32 | More by seaoflament
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the LCBO. Rich, nutty brown in colour, with a creamy off-white head. Aromas of caramel and hazelnut waft upwards...this smells delicious. Flavour is nicely nutty, with chocolate and grapefruit bitterness coming through. Smooth and clean on the palate. Overall, a fantastic beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 21:19:58 | More by bobsy
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured in to Unibroue tulip glass

A - Dark brown colour with one finger of thick, foamy cream coloured head.

S - Toasted pine nuts, hazelnut, some roasted malts and a slight coffee and chocolate nose. There is also a nice light sweetness in the background.

T - A nice palate of roasted malt, toasted nuts, sweet caramel and the faintest hint of coffee. A nice palate for a nut brown ale.

M - Light body but somewhat silky and smooth. Lightly carbonated.

D - my favourite nut brown ale and one of my regular go-to beers. An excellent beer!

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2010 02:59:20 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of crwills

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This has become one of my favourite Ontario beers. Easy to find (usually), and tasty with or without food. Highly recommended. Haven't tried anything else from Black Oak yet, oddly enough, but I will.

Poured this into my Hobgoblin glass. Clear, light brown with a small white head that sticks around and doesn't leave any lacing. Not the greatest looking beer in the world but, hey, it's a brown ale, what can you expect?

Aroma is quite sweet -- cane sugar, mild chocolate and latte, some roasted malts.

Taste is... well... nutty. Am I imagining it because of the name? I've only tried a couple other nut brown ales, and none have had an actual 'nutty' presence like this one. I think it's there anyway. Also, the chocolate shows up again just a bit, as well as some sourish and bitter hop notes -- more hops than I expected, actually, but I like the balance they create.

Very good creamy mouthfeel and a pleasant aftertaste. Very little carbonation. I had this a simple meal of fried sausages and BBQ'd beans and it went perfectly.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2006 19:07:26 | More by crwills
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Black Oak Nut Brown Ale from Black Oak Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.