Nut Brown Ale | Goose Island Beer Co.

very good
453 Reviews
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Nut Brown AleNut Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Chocolate color, honey and tobacco aromas, nutty flavor, medium body.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-08-2001

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Reviews: 453 | Ratings: 1,071
Photo of SaintPeter
4.94/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured in Imperial Pint glass(as bottle told me to), bottled on 12/8/08, Rev. 7/3/09

Pours a dark coca cola color with a huge three finger light brown head that disintegrates with an exciting show of lacing leaving a spattering of cling on the glass. Mildy carbonated. The head returns when swirled and the carbonation disappears.

The robust aroma is a wonderful combination of rustic and sweet bread, caramel, toffee, malt, leche de cajeta, flan with a touch of black licorice, treacle, oak cappaccino coffee. This is the most wonderful brown ale I have ever had the pleasure of inhaling. WOW!

The taste is similar to the aroma, a deep malty sweetness of honey, oats and chocolate engulfs your mouth then the mellowing slightly bitterness sets in balancing the beer to the maximumer, touches of oak, black licorice, tamarind, caramel. Finishes chocolatey, somewhat sweet and malty. Wonderful, completely wonderful!

An impressive mouthfeel, like a silky chewy slice of heaven. Full bodied, rich and chewy like bubble gum. It just gets fuller as you swirl it around in your mouth. Phenomenal! Ultra drinkable, ultra balanced. Try this even if it is at the Chicago Airport for $7 buck a pint, it is worth it.

This is probably one of the best beers I have ever set lips to. If there ever was a perfect beer, this is it. If I lived in Illinois, I would drink this all the time and I am not sure I could go back to the somewhat good beers. This is a connoisseur's beer. I can't give enough praise for it. Bar none, one of the best beers and breweries in this country (USA, that is)!

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Photo of gavinstoub
4.85/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours a nice small head that receeds quickly with little lace that disappears unlike other GI this one doesn't hold foamy head and lace like others. Very dark brown ale Smell is of toffee, coffee, mollassis it also smells creamy if it can smell creamy. Taste is creamy for sure with coffee on palate. This brown ale puts samual smith and new castle to shame. My favorite nut brown I have tasted yet. Very drinkable session beer that goes well with a Chicago Bears victory.

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Photo of Longstaff
4.77/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the best american brown ale I have ever had. And the reason I think it is so good is that it is very similar to an altbier. Nice tannish head on a dark brownish black body. Nutty aromas mix in with flowery hop aromas. Sweet malt is nutty in flavor and slick in mouthfeel and the hops are bitter enough to balance and give it a quick dry ending. This is more of an altbier than their sticke altbier. I could drink this all night long without changing to another style.

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Photo of saltymalty
4.69/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Smooth and light, very different from the color. You wouldn't expect cleansing ale properties from this brew but that's exactly what you get. The undertones are nutty so it's not too overbearing. It's enjoyable and sessionable, you can have more than a few. There isn't too much of any one characterstic in this brew.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.6/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark brown color with ruby red highlights and a low light brown head. Light roasty and chocolate aromas. A light roasty and fairly strong chocolate character. Light in body but leans towards medium with a light creaminess.

1. Best by 04/11/02 -- Tasted 10/28/02
2. Best by 05/20/03 -- Tasted 01/18/03

After a few tastings of this beer over time, I feel it is best after it has aged for a bit -- after all, it is bottle-conditioned so can afford to be.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.58/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Looks like a dark stout, yet definitely has the dark brown hue of a nut ale. Excellent foam, lacing, and thickness.

Smell: Roasted nuts, coffee, and toffee.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Initially some thick smoky sweetness. Then the coffee flavors hit. Finishes with a clean sweetness and more roasted nuts. It's been a while since I've actually had this, but I definitely know that I absolutely loved it.

Overall: My favorite brown ale. Easily.

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Photo of ReDNeCk98
4.57/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A-Looks great, but not the best looking beer I have had

S-Smelled delicious with a nice hoppy nutty aroma with a little bit of roasted malt note.

T-Awesome nutty malty taste with just the right amount of taste and carbonation.

M-Mouth feels is wonderful it lathers your entire mouth with a sick sweet nutty malty flavor with a hit of hops at the end.

D-Good drinkability with this beer.

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Photo of tronester
4.53/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Drank at the Clysdale Brewpub, on cask 7/8/2009

Was served in an English pint glass at near 55 degrees as best I could tell. Very nice. Dark brown in color, with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Smells of sweet malt. Taste is super sweet, malt dominated, caramel and a touch of coffee. Hint of Pecans too. The finish has a touch of bitterness to balance, and earthy hops. Mouthfeel is SUPER rich, velvety and the carbonation levels are nice and low. Drinkability is good, though not as good as some cask ales, because of the sweetness. After 2 pints or so, I would imagine it to become cloying. Regardless, an EXCELLENT beer, I suspect it is MUCH better in cask form than bottled or on tap judging by the reviews.

They just put the cask on today so this may be the first time it has been in cask form (perhaps why there are no other cask reviews?). Chicagoan's should definitely check this one out!

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Photo of maddamish
4.51/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Medium head that did not retain well. No lacing whatsoever. Dark brown in color with minimal carbonation

Smell: Wheat, brown malts, coffee and rye notes. There is a lot going on here.

Taste: Heavy wheat notes that are balanced by brown malt. There is a strong bisquety aftertaste here. Again, very balanced and complex.

Mouthfeel: Medium smoothness with a medium body to it. Very good for a brown ale.

Notes/Drinkability: I was very pleased with this brown ale. One of the best I have partaken of in quite awhile. Well worth the pick up and is my favorite goose island beer to date.

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Photo of lakeviewmike
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the best brown ale I have ever had.

It looked very nice in the glass; dark brown, tan fluffy head.

The taste and smell was nuts, chocolate some mild coffee. It was slightly sweet with mild bitterness.

The mouthfeel was rich and creamy.

It sort of reminded me of porter with less of the fruity sweetness that many porters have.

Really liked it. I wish I were a better more descriptive reviewer so I could do this beer justice.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a rockin' good nut brown! Great color, darker then most browns. Very deep brown and glowing, with a light head of foam that fizzes out quickly. Aroma city with this stuff, excellent coffee tone with a strong nut and caramel roastyness. The smell of this stuff was sooo gooood. Tastes just as wonderful as it smells echoing all the aromas with superb balance of sweet caramel malt, hazelnut, some chestnut & pecan maybe, with cocoa and vanilla like notes. Smooth medium body and solid nutty hold on the tongue and mouth. Drinkable, you bet! Very drinkable, very good, very flavored. Great googlymoogly Goose Island has done a great job on this brew.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a beautiful deep, dark brown, like mahogany with a half of a finger of oatmeal colored head that very quickly dissipated into a thin coating of wispy foam that coated the glass and collected at the center of the beer.

Aroma: Lots of malt! No, check that, lots of roasted malt! Dark bread and butter, with some wood and bark. Subtle hazelnut and chocolate notes and toffee. Very nice.

Taste: Roasted malt in both the front and back end of this beer, and some sweetness in the middles, like honey or burnt sugar. There’s some nutty earthiness present too. The beer also has a very long finish, which seemed to last forever. For a malt lover like me, this is heaven!

Mouthfeel: Medium to full. It’s a rich, chewy beer that coats the whole mouth with a smooth creaminess, that’s true to the brown ale style. There’s also some good carbonation to wake-up the taste buds.

Overall: This is an excellent brown ale! Nice and malty and full flavored. Damn, this is an excellent beer!

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Photo of HappyBivouac
4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a- pours a really nice semi-opaque dark brown with red notes and a half-finger light tan heads that sticks around for a while. Shows a pretty dark red when held up to a light.

s- smells a caramelly sweet, nutty malt. a decent roastry character shows up as well.

t- mmm, tastes of all kinds of nuts and slight roasted chocolate. Even a maple-like character. Finishes off dry nuts and a plate of pancakes without the overbearing sweetness. so satisfying.

m- smooth and medium bodied with a medium-strong carbonation. a little bit too slick.

d- very high drinkability. so satisfying but not overhwhelming anywhere. I love this beer quite a lot.

I've only had a few beers identified as a "brown ale" and this is definitely my favorite. I am loving Goose Island more and more for what they do.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Extremely dark brown with lighter brown highlights around the edges. One finger head that lasts for quite a while, and decent lacing coats the glass. A swirl or two brings back a nice tan head.

Smells like warmly inviting caramel and nut-flavored coffee (hazelnut coffee?) with a nice campfire roasty aroma. Brown sugar is all over the place too. Ginger-snap cookies. Nice hop touches also. This could stand to be a wee bit more assertive though.

Tastes smokey and slightly bitter like dark chocolate and coffee enjoyed outside by a smoldering campfire. This has an outstanding hop profile (very grassy) for a brown! I can taste the GI DNA for sure....this has the same hop flavors as Honkers Ale, but with a load of nutty brown sugar and caramel toffee flavors as an added bonus! Very good stuff indeed!

Highly drinkable and very interesting. There is enough going on here to keep me interested for the duration of more than one beer, but nothing overpowers the senses. A sessioner for sure, this is a top brown ale IMO. Goose Island keeps on impressing me....and so close to home!

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Photo of karst
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Planning to drink some more of this Brown Ale!
from a best by 5-29-'05 12 oz bottle pours a slightly reddish brown and with the softest of pours into a stout glass I got only a bead supported collar. A rough poured high head was not necessary to appreciate the great nut-malt aroma that will lure squirrels from their winter dens!

An above average CO2 level and supporting malt bill gives it a satisfying medium mouthfeel. Taste starts out sweet and malty fades a little in mid taste and ends with Pecan and Hicory nut flavors mixed with smoked malt. Complex and very well blended. Low but dry and slightly bitter hops in aftertaste give it a perfect ending.

So good you will want to reset your tastebuds with a cracker and water and start all over again. Hits the style to perfection!

Maybe the perfect session beer.

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Photo of Greggy
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark brown ruby color, clear from what I can see. The head is light tan and 2 finger in height. The head seems to have nice retention and some nice thin but coating lacing.

S- Nice chocolate, toffee/caramel, and some nice creamy nutty flavor. Nutty goody comes to mind.

T- Thank god the taste echos the nose. I would have been ultra-pissed if it didn't. Velvety smooth notes of chocolate, nice nuttiness and maplenut notes with a slightly drying nutty finish on the end.

M- Nice smooth feel. Low carbonation.

D- VERY HIGH. I really enjoy this beer. It's got nice nuttiness and even a chocolate feel to it. @5.2%, It's pretty sessionable.
I can see these in my future.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
4.41/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Pours out a perfectly crystal clear brown, I force pour a frothy head that disappears almost immediately. This beer has a rich amber hue when held up to the light; No head means no lacing. Zero haze, zero visible carbonation.

The nose is honey, chocolate, and nuts with some sweet sourdough bread notes, and the flavor is spot on, in perfect harmony with the scents it produces. This is a quaffable malty brew with nary a hop to be tasted, and it is really delicious!

Mouthfeel is smooth and light, not too syrupy or sticky. There is very little carbonation to speak of in my sample but I find myself enjoying the way this beer goes down.

Overall a really delightful nutty brown beer, I could see myself drinking pint after pint of this with a good book in front of a roaring fireplace!

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Photo of fx20736
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, served at cellar temp.

Cola Brown with an attractive cappuchino head, nominal lacing.

aroma: cocoa, cocoa and more cocoa. This one conjures up memories of driving past a chocolate factory.

mouthfeel is superb, silky, mousse-like.

taste: cocoa again, it's like drinking Malt-o-Meal. Scarcely any Hops with just a touch of bitterness in a slightly burnt way.

Notes; Goose Island shows once again that they can give quality English Beers a run for the money. This is a world class beer in my opinion and is stellar in every way. Will become a Winter staple for sure.

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Photo of steveh
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I haven't sampled this beer since it was called Hex Nut Brown Ale. Trying some old favorites, so I'm anxious to taste.

Bottled 08/26/09

A -- Deep, dark chestnut color with a thick, long lasting, tan head.

S -- Can almost smell alcohol from arm's length, and this isn't a strong brew. Nose of some nice nutty and caramel malts with an earthiness from hops or yeast esters back. Some mellow citrus fruits and vague cocoa too.

T -- Roasted malts at first taste, followed by some of that mellow cocoa and finishing with a hint of citrus hop. I usually don't care for citrus hops and roasted malt in combo, but this isn't overdone. There is an earthy, clay-like character throughout -- reminiscent of English hops like Fuggles. Vague bitterness in aftertaste.

M -- Light medium body with a soft mouthfeel and dry finish.

D -- Man, this is a solid darker, medium bodied ale. Perfect for the Autumn weather, tasty and satisfying. Anyone hot for New Castle Brown ought to try this as a fresh alternative.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Standard 12 oz. bottle with "Goose Island Classics" at the top. Perhaps a re-release of an older recipe? Count this as beer # 93 from them here at

Pours a deep mahogany brown. 2" tall tan head, nice and creamy with great retention but no lace at all. Looks like a mug of root beer (which, BTW, Goose Island makes and it is AWESOME!!!).
Smell is malt, hops, smoked sausage, earthy & nutty (hazelnuts and walnuts). Nose is not strong but nicely balanced.
Taste is malty, nutty, light smoked sausage with hint of dark chocolate and hops. Label states "a rich, complex beer with notes of caramel, chocolate and honey". I didn't taste any honey or caramel but there was so much going on I'll have to revisit to see if I missed something on the first one.
A smooth, rich brew, lightly effervescent. It flows across the palate & tongue and leaves behind a wonderfully rich, malty, dark chocolate aftertaste. Absolutely fabulous beer. Perfectly balanced and amazingly complex.

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Photo of Mike_Moe
4.37/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark brown color with a brown head.
Aroma: Nice malty aroma.
Flavor: Good hearty toast malty flavor medium hoppy. Medium bodied ale with good carbonation.
Overall: This is a good flavored beer. Not as hoppy or hearty as some, but good toasted malts.

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Photo of Steff_Wantz
4.36/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: dark chocolate colored

S: malt & chocolate aroma, reminds me of dessert

T: malty, nutty, deep chocolate undertones with hints of honey

M: covers entire palate and leaves very sweet taste in your mouth at the finish

Overall I love this beer. It reminds me of dessert

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Photo of bboven
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown with hints of caramel at th edge. Head was persistent but a bit thin.

Smells of chocolate, roast and a tiny bit of hops at the very fringe.

Lots of cocoa flavor, almost as much roast and just the right amount of bitterness.

Mouth feel is thick and coating, pretty good amount of carbonation.

Very drinkable; even people that don't like darker beers should give this one a shot because it's so pleasantly sweet.

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Photo of mkopera24
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorites from the pub. It has a wonderful creamy mouthfeel. Just the exact mixture of domestic and imported malts to give that subtle hint of chocolate and an almost "tobacco-ish" taste. Not very bitter at all. It has a darker brown appearance that when served in a pint glass is my idea of the perfect brown ale.
Also available in bottles, but if you are in Chicago and are able to visit either brewpub, do it! Not only is the beer and food amazing, but the servers are always more than happy to get into the details of the process involved in this, or ANY of their great beers. When drinking this beer at either of their locations, it's best served in a 12oz pint glass. It's the best to experience the aroma that hits your nose perfectly before letting the beer hit the back of your tongue. Just another winner from one of the best breweries in the world.

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Photo of Brad007
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice brownish burgundy with a two-finger head in my glass. Brown? You bet.

Nutty with molasses and cocoa notes. Malt-forward.

My assumptions are correct. Rich, nutty, roasty malt to greet the taste buds upfront.

Finishes clean with a nutty tint. Very subtle and delicious.

Very good way to make an impression. We just barely got Goose Island in VT.

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Nut Brown Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
3.78 out of 5 based on 1,071 ratings.
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