Wild Brunette | Barley John's Brew Pub

very good
76 Ratings
no score
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Wild BrunetteWild Brunette

Brewed by:
Barley John's Brew Pub
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 08-12-2003

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 76 |  Reviews: 33
Photo of MNAle
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark ruby color, lightly carbonated. 1/2 inch or slightly less of a tan head that recedes quickly to a thin cover and collar. Slightly sweet but faint aroma. Nice caramel, slightly sweet taste at the start, smooth, creamy mouth feel, with a slight bitterness begins in the middle and continues into the finish and aftertaste, but less bittering than the IBU rating would have you expect. Despite this beer not having a big aroma, or a WOW character, it is a very good brown ale with just enough complexity for the style; I like this beer. It is pleasant, easy drinking, and has a very nice flavor. (caveat: I prefer English-style ales). The ABV is a bit high for an evening of drinking 3 or 4, but the feel and taste of this one will tempt you to do so anyway. Just drink it at home or have a driver. I'll be buying this one from time to time for sure.

 852 characters

Photo of Hendrick24
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of uchty
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was sold on the for the fact that wild rice is used. I poured the pint can into a pint glass and found it to be steady. Really enjoy the subtle sweetness, with a wild rice spicyness. I was most impressed with the feel of it. Its smooth, but not too smooth, so the subtle wild rice flavor lingers. Something different and enjoyable.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a four-pack of 16 oz cans at the Trig's Cellar 70 in Rhinelander. No canning stamp that I can see, though these did show up at the store for the first time about two months ago. Poured right from the fridge into my Samuel Smith pint glass.

L: Pours a root beer brown--semi-opaque and red-tinged at the edges--with about two inches of very dense khaki head that sticks around for a good long while and leaves significant lacing on the glass.

S: Pretty nondescript nose on this one: there are some roasted malt notes, though they aren't particularly assertive. In the mix--and, I assume, owing to the presence of the wild rice--is an adjunct aroma that's best described as earthy. Perhaps a touch of stewed corn with its accompanying sweetness. Subtle metallic notes present, as well.

T: Well, I should probably begin by saying that this could be an older can than I think: there is a definite, off-putting metallic taste to this brew. That being said, this one begins with subtle roasted malt notes, along with a slightly sweet flavor from caramel, chocolate, and bready malts. The roasted quality builds into the middle, as some astringent hop presence is felt, as well. There and toward the back, some of that wild rice flavor comes through a bit, registering as an earthy, slightly sweet adjunct in the mix. The back end is more bitter than I expected, with that hop flavor accompanying the roasty and sweeter malts into the aftertaste.

F: On the lighter side of medium-bodied, this one drinks more watery than I would like. While it had substantial head, the carbonation is lacking in the body. Just slightly astringent and bitter, with a clean finish. I just wanted this one to have more creaminess than it did.

O: This is my first Barley John's beer, and I'll certainly have to try and get my hands on a fresher can; this review will obviously have to be considered in light of the fact that it might have just been out of date. What's there--when the off metallic notes are set aside--is a brown ale with some nice complexity, though it lacks in terms of assertive flavor and body. For those interested in beers brewed with adjuncts like wild rice, this one is worth a try (just be sure to get it fresh).

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Photo of kraticus41
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at King’s Wine Bar L: Pours brilliant brown with a ½” tan foam cap that is finely bubbled and moderately persistent.
S: Nothing wild on the nose – some caramel, nuttiness and chocolate.
T: The palate follows the nose – I realize that the wild refers to wild rice rather than wild yeast and the wild rice does show up as a bit of nuttiness behind the chocolate and caramel flavors. The malt flavors are medium to medium high, the wild rice flavors are medium, the sweetness is mild, and the hops are medium to medium low. The various flavors balance each other well.
F: Medium body and carbonation.
O: Very refreshing and drinkable brown ale.

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Photo of couchsitta
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of bigpoppa67
3.08/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Evilyak
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

somewhere in the annals of beeradvocate magazine, there's a recipe for wild rice brat rolls. this beer might be even more minnesota than that recipe.

it's otherwise a reasonable looking brown ale that's otherwise unremarkable, but this sweet, nutty taste is all wild rice. kind of not what i'd want to drink much of, but very familiar.

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Photo of BarrelAgedG
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of pagesofphotographs
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Taybeh
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a tallboy into a nonic. Never managed to make it up to New Brighton, so I'm glad they've started to can. I don't think there's any way I'd pick up on the fact that this was brewed with wild rice if I was tasting this blind. Pours a clear dark reddish amber copper, with a minimal head and not much lacing. Modest nose, but I get some dark fruit, vanilla, both of which have some sweetness, and then some toasted grains. Taste is fairly sweet, adding some caramel to what one gets in the nose, and subtracting the fruit. Not much of a hoppy edge that I was looking for, and not much by way of chocolate or nutty notes that I find in my favorite Browns, nonetheless, this is good. Especially on the back end, it doesn't entirely come together for me, and the feel is a little lackluster....I'd love a little more of a hoppy bite and/or more layers of malty goodness. This is still an enjoyable (if sweet) quaff.

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Photo of ZAP
3.08/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16 ounce can from the new Wisconsin brewery....I've been to BJ's many times but it has been awhile since I had the Wild Brunette....really can't remember enough to compare brew house version to canned version.

This is interesting and very sweet. A real unique flavor that borders on being "off"...kind of a BO type aroma and flavor if that makes sense..I expected a little more nuttiness but this is pretty syrupy sweet with notes of vanilla...

Overall, I'm happy with the four pack I bought but it falls short of being recommendable. It's interesting and worth trying in the cans I would think.

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Photo of Ristaccia
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of HoistinBrews
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of KarlHungus
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

(Re-review 2/24/17, original score 3.85)

This beer pours a solid brown color. The head is a half inch height, and recedes into minimal lacing. The aroma is of caramel, and toffee. The taste is similar. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a velvety texture. Overall, this is a pretty simple beer, but it has no real faults.

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Photo of Fargrow
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TEdubbaD
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Tyecko
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Ilafan
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Mdog
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 16oz can:

Appearance: Clear brown, good head.

Smell: Toast, light fruitiness.

Taste: Very interesting and very good! Fruity/floral taste to start, then some vanilla, light toasted bread.

Overall: I've lived in MN for 11 years but never got over to Barley John's. Now that they can from their brewery in WI I finally had their beer. This was miles better than I expected, as most brown ales are pretty boring. But the Wild Brunette had a really interesting mix of fruity and floral flavors. One of the best straight-up brown ales (not a porter) in MN.

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Photo of bsp77
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from into dimpled mug.

Appearance: Reddish brown, but head doesn't last.

Smell: Toast, caramel, chocolate, nuts and dark fruit. More dry than sweet.

Taste: More sweet than dry, with toasted malt, caramel, dark fruit and vanilla. A hint of spicy hops at the finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium to full body. Semi-dry finish.

Overall: Big Brown Ale. A little sweet, but lots of flavor.

 417 characters

Photo of maedhros09
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: Dark brown/ruby, little head retention
Smell: malty, fruity
Taste: Fruity caramelly malt-dominated with some tartness, a little spiciness, and a very mildly bitter finish.
Feel: Full bodied with typical carbonation

Overall: I really enjoyed the first few sips of this, but it was ultimately too malty and somewhat one-dimensional for my taste.

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Photo of RichH55
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Brewfisher
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Its made with wild rice and you can totally taste it. Very nutty, chocolaty and a mild hoppy finish. Im taking home a growler.

126 characters

Wild Brunette from Barley John's Brew Pub
3.89 out of 5 based on 76 ratings.
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