1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Buster Nut Brown Ale - Ska Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Buster Nut Brown AleBuster Nut Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

233 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 233
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 13.37%
Wants: 6
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ska Brewing Co. visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.15% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Malts: Victory & Munich
Hops: Northern Brewer, Cascade, & Willamette

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-07-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 233 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lemke10
2.75/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I bought this as a mix and match 6-pack from Everhett's in South Beloit, IL for $9.99.

Pours a very dark brown with a fast dimishing head and thin lacing. Scents of some robust malts and nutty hints. Drinks rather lightly for being a dark beer. Rather mild roasted malts taste with an awkward nutty finsh. The way you expect this beer to taste and the way it actually tastes are two different things. Not completly horrible but definetly needs some work on its taste and texture.

Lemke10, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of dbossman
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Brown with a light amber tint; small quickly dissipating head; lacing is pretty good

S: Very nutty; caramel and vanilla too but mostly loads of roasted nuts; almost a rum like aroma here; really sweet but rich maltiness shines through too

T: Roasted malts and barley come through the most; fairly watery; some graininess on back end; lots of nuts with a touch of caramel and raisins but it is just doesn't come together very well in the end

F: Decent but fairly thin

D: Really easy drinking; this isn't always my favorite style but Ska does a decent enough job with it; I like the nutty flavor but it does become a tad wearing after a while

dbossman, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of atsprings
3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint glass a crisp brown with a thin diminishing khaki head that leaves decent lacing on the glass. Aroma is mild brown malts and cocoa. The taste is a smooth subtle blend of dark malts, cocoa, nuts and mild caramel. The beer is quite light, crisp and smooth with mild carbonation. This is a surprisingly enjoyable brown ale, one I would love to have on-tap again.

atsprings, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of bamadog
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My buddy Jeff brought this one back to me some time ago from a recent trip out to Colorado. The review is from notes taken on 10/25/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a dark coppery brown/toffee color; starts with a loose tan one finger head that fades quickly to a thin skim and 2 large islands; body shows solid clarity; minimal carbonation is present visually; nice thick wall of lacing and a lot of loose spots left behind.

Smell: Smells like well done, slightly burnt toast; slight nutty scent; mild earthy hop presence; smell isn't too bad -- typically I don't get too excited for Browns, but this one has kind of piqued my interest.

Taste: Nut flavor is much more present in the mouth than I would have expected from the nose -- it comes across a little bitter, but it's really "meaty" and it reminds me of a big, fat walnut; slightly burnt toasty presence is really more in the background and the slightly hoppy presence that I noticed in the nose is barely perceptible; again, I typically don't get too excited about this style, but the big walnut flavor straight out of the gate really makes me glad I'm drinking it.

Mouthfeel: A sticky, loose and slightly oily coating is left all over the roof of the mouth; the body is pretty soft and smooth; carbonation is present, but light and soft and it really seems to compliment the body nicely; overall it's really not too heavy.

Drinkability: I have to admit, this Brown is really drinkable as it's quite good; there are nice flavors that really live up to the name on the label; moderate ABV and a body that isn't too heavy, hell, I think I'd be able to get through 2 or 3 of these in a sitting if I had to.

bamadog, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of stakem
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a best by date of 11/18/10 stamped on the neck. Thanks Ryan for the chance to try this.

Buster nut... appears a perfectly clear amber brown color with less than a finger of lightly tanned head. The foam of bubbles does not display much power of retension and before long it is nothing more than a thin layering atop the brew. Multiple swirls hardly revive little more than a few extra bubbles.

The aroma of this brew is grainy with some toasty suggestions of chocolate malt and a bit of coffee. Lightly fruity from a combination of the alcohol's presence, yeast and floral hops.

The taste is grainy with chocolate malt and a bit more fruity flavored than I would like but it isn't suprising how sweet and fruity this offering is considering the warning from the aroma. It finishes somewhat crisp but has an ackward fruitiness about it that I just don't like. More sips start to yield a bit of bitterness that seems to be more from a chocolate maltiness than from hops. The alcohol is well surpressed and this would be a fine session brew if it wasn't for the fruitiness. Perhaps a change in the hops is needed or a different yeast or fermenting temperature to make this one less fruity?

Medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. Could benefit from a bit more carbonation as the lack of carbonation imparts a bit of a watery feel.

stakem, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of Tone
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, brown color. 6/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight nut, slight wheat, slight grain, and slight hops. Fits the style of an English Brown Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight yeast, slight grain, slight nut, slight wheat, and a hint of hops. Overall, good appearance and complexity, but average aroma and body.

Tone, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of clayrock81
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a leather couch brown w/ 2-finger head that quickly receeds and left no lace on top of a faint aroma of burnt sweet malts and sour hop bitterness. Taste and mouthfeel are light and quaint as there isn't much going into this; light, sweet caramel and chocolate malts w/ slight roasted edge and a hint of hops lead to dryness (and breadiness). An alright brown ale that was nice to have on a summer day.

clayrock81, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of brownbeer
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a bit too light and clear for my standard of a brown. Toasted nuts and grains in the aroma. I'm having to reach to smell it. The body and flavor are a little richer than I expected after the lackluster aroma. As it warms up caramel malts and an undefined nuttiness bring forth a charming quality and a gentle hoppiness can be found in a dryish finish. Probably more of an intro brown in my book.

brownbeer, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of Halcyondays
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours brown with a fizzy off-white head, fair retention.

S: Toffee, caramel, hazelnuts.

T: Nuts, hints of dark chocolate and a note of roast form the main flavour. Some smoke flavour goes with the relatively sweet finish. Nice taste.

M: Light-bodied, fizzy carbonation, on the thin side.

D: Solid nut brown ale. Not the most common style in the craft brewers repertoire so it was nice to see. Another good ale from Ska.

Halcyondays, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of Khazadum
2.45/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle picked up at a local store because I had to buy some fourth beer. Poured into a brandy snifter.

No matter what attempt is made, this beer cannot produce any head. Violent pouring, violent agitation, and violent prodding all fail to produce anything but a minor bubble cascade. There is little carbonation, although that isn't a problem. As color goes, this beer is murky brown. In the dim lights of my apartment I can just detect a cola brown hue. Held up to a light, it is apparent that the color is identical to dark soft drink.

The bouquet is very very faint. At first it hints of hazelnut, almonds, and something woody. As more attempts are made to discern the nature of this brew, it begins to nauseate one. It reminds me of nuts splashed upon Comiskey park bathroom stalls. It is unfortunate it can't go beyond that as it just begins to sicken me.

Flavor Profile
Can I even say it has one? It has bitterness if you let it linger on your palate, but there is very little flavor. I want something more.. where are my malts in this EBA? They barely exist within my orifice before they run in fear from the bitter units. The smells do not match the flavors at all. I begin to detect a woody, almost nutty flavor that is only a ghost of what may be there. Quickly it dissipates and leaves nothing but sour feelings on my tongue and disposition. The finish is not clean, and unwelcome. It is off-sour and ravishing my mouth and lips. I wanted the flavor to help me determine that unusual bouquet, but alas that is not possible.

Oral Sensations
This is the one shining moment of this beer. It is full bodied. The presence is what I wish many other brews could have. I was pleasantly shocked how it grasped to my tongue, my lips, my soft palate, my throat. It is hugging me, but not oppressively. Unfortunately, due to its flavor profile this mouth feel leaves me angry in the end.

I would not buy this again. I don't care if I paid less than 2$ for this bottle, it is not worth it in the least. I would rather pay double the price for something far more enjoyable than try this beer. Hopefully, future brown ales can bring my spirits back up to what they used to be before I was dashed by the angry mod suited man and his army of crazed bottles.

Khazadum, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of Conk
4.05/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Buster Nut Brown Ale pours a dark rich mahogany color with a two finger head that receded to leave moderate lacing and crown of foam atop the beer. This beer enjoys nice clarity and adequate carbonation as well as a beautiful color.

Smell: Aromas of apricots, walnuts, damp wood, slightly burnt coffee and bitter chocolates round out the mild smelling brown ale.

Taste: Dark roasted malts mix with subtle flavors of roasted almonds and walnuts with a well subdued sweetness and a mild hop finish that almost tastes of bitter chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and rich, yet light in body with a deliciously creamy frothy cap.

Drinkability: Very drinkable.

Rating: Yum. This beer was lighter in body and dryer than I had expected, though the full flavor profile and the creamy mouthfeel make this an especially drinkable beer. I look forward to keeping this on hand for a "sure thing" when a great beer is in need.

Final Words: Great choice for a lighter bodied full flavored brown ale.

Conk, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of SAtaMi
3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 1/2" head with a nice deep brown color to the beer. Has nice retention to the head though. Nice layers of lacing.

Smell - Roasted malts some hops and a smokey nutty back that i cant place maybe an oak.

Taste - The Malty nut taste shines though and has a hop back. Sweetness from the malt and bitterness from the hops are nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel - Thick and creamy overall nice body to it.

Drinkability - I have had better but this is a good beer none the less.

SAtaMi, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of Bitterbill
3.73/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It has a bottled on list on the label but nothing is notched.

This pours a clear amber brown with a 1 finger head of off white foam.

The smell has notes of roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, and a light nutiness.

The taste has a cocoa/dark chocolate and nutty flavour mixed in with sweet tones of milk chocolate and caramel. There's a ying yang of bitter and sweet and is pretty tasty.

It has a surprisingly thickish body with lowish levels of carbonation. A very nice mouthfeel.

Drinkability? Easy drinker, plain and simple and the head retention is good as is the lacing. A good beer overall.

Bitterbill, May 18, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a nice light to medium brown, with a good light brown head. Aromas of nuts, sweet malt and milk chocolate. Nice creamy mouthfeel, with flavors of cocoa powder and brown sugar. A solid, sweet nut brown ale, nothing more, nothing less.

emmasdad, May 11, 2010
Photo of Rayek
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass.

A: Deep chestnut brown, with nice clarity. A foamy beige head has OK retention and leaves a little lace.

S: Toffee, baking chocolate and a bit of walnut.

T: Fairly light. Bittersweet baking chocolate up front. A black tea and lemon bitterness comes on with just enough intensity to provide balance. Finishes with a bit of toffee.

M: The somewhat dry body has about the right level of carbonation.

D: A pretty decent beer overall. Low ABV makes it a good session beer. I'm glad I had the opportunity to have it.

Rayek, May 08, 2010
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 20 Apr 2010.

Served in a Dillon Dam shaker pint. Two finger light brown head. Medium carbonation. Clear light brown mahogany color. Smells of molasses, dried fruits and ethanol. Light body. A says the flavor is like a dark brewed iced tea (I disagree). Moderate caramel nuttiness. A little more bitter than expected. Slight nuttiness in the finish, moderately bittersweet aftertaste.

htomsirveaux, May 05, 2010
Photo of DoppleJock
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Poured a clean dark brown with half-finger tan head. Good carbonation.

S: Sweet dark malts with some earthy scents.

T: Brown sugar and earthy malts up front. Slightly nutty. Not too complex.

M: Pretty watered-down for a brown ale. Consistency isn't exactly right...

D: Not a bad brown ale, but not a great brown ale, either. Too watery for my tastes.

DoppleJock, May 02, 2010
Photo of seedsofchaos
3.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: a very pleasing pour of coffee hues w/ a thin off-white / egg-shell head.. light but decent lacing

S: not much going on here.. a standard ale smell with a hint of light coffee and slight molasses... smells like a heavily watered down stout

T: hits immediately on the front and sides of my tongue with malty sweetness, light coffee flavoring, syrup like after taste... barely noticeable caramels...

Mf: too light and watery for me tastes but just a tad short for the style

D: a decent offering from a company just now available in the midwest but would still prefer a modus hoperandi any day

seedsofchaos, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of pmcadamis
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - This one has a crazy-expanding-marshmallow of a head, that has a whipped appearance and a curly cue on top like an ice cream sunday. Lacing is foamy and abundant, and the brew iself is a clear wood-varnish hue with some purplish aspects.

S - Walnuts in the shell, dry grasses, and some solid hops. Tree bark, and the way the woods smell after a rain.

T - Caramel malts, sweet molasses and brown sugar, and a hint of hops to balance it out. Still very much on the sweet side though.

M - Medium bodied, sweet, and just a tad syrupy. Fairly well balanced with a more than gentle nod to the sweet side. Finishes woody and caramel-y. WAY overcarbonated IMO.

D - This is an excellent, if not exactly outstanding, brown ale. I like the sweet caramel and maple syrup notes, and the hops and woody notes are enough to keep it from being overly saccharine.

pmcadamis, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of BEERchitect
3.73/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ya gotta love the Dick Tracy comic book label art.

A solid beer that focuses on the sweeter elements of nuttiness, chocolate, and mild brown malts. Hops keep the beer from cloying but really don't make much of an impact other than a mild herbal rise. Malted milk and shortbread sweetness help the overall sugary mix with a sturdy grian maltiness. No real ester or phenolic varieties; this is a clean, but one-dimentional Brown Ale. Easy enough to drink though.

Thanks Ken.

BEERchitect, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of tigg924
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: leather brown in color, minimal head and carbonation, clear

Smell: toasted malt and nuts

Taste: toasted malt and nuts with a bit of a honey aftertaste

Mouthfeel: prickly, high carbonation, medium light body, semi-sweet

Drinkability: A very drinkable nut brown that I would have again. The nut is not too overpowering. A bit on the sweet side.

tigg924, Oct 30, 2009
Photo of zeff80
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, reddish brown color with a small, tan head of foam with some big bubbles. It left little to no lace.

S - It smelled of caramel, biscuity malt and grasses.

T - A fairly sweet brown ale. Lots of caramel and malt flavors. Not much hop bite or bitterness.

M - It was soft and smooth. A light bodied ale.

D - This is an okay brown okay. It really didn't have the nutty flavors and aromas that I expect in an "English" brown ale.

zeff80, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of rye726
3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown with a thin beige head. Nose has bready malts, nuts and molasses. Taste has toffee, molasses and bready malts. Light to medium body has average carbonation. Finish is a bit thin. Not a bad brown ale, just nothing special. Decent session beer.

rye726, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of Yeastcakes
3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - roast and caramel malt notes dominate. Slight hop notes.
A - one finger of rocky head that quickly dissipates. Clear ruby in color.
M -light to medium body with medium carbonation. Slight creaminess.
T - Roast and caramel from the aroma dominate. Very subtle malty sweetness balances nicely with the bitterness.
D - Nice light beer with some roasty notes. Very drinkable. Has some nice stuff going on, but is not too cluttered.

Yeastcakes, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of brentk56
3.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a chestnut brown with a very modest head that quickly becomes a ringlet, though it does leave a small trace behind

Smell: Brown bread, with a hint of toffee sweetness

Taste: Brown bread, with some nutskin sour flavor developing by mid-palate; some toffee sweetness in the mix as well; after the swallow, the sweet, bready flavors linger

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Brown ale is a tough style to get excited about, but some brewers manage to add something to it to make it interesting; Sky, unfortunately, does not

brentk56, Jul 25, 2009
Buster Nut Brown Ale from Ska Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 233 ratings.