Nut Brown Ale
John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House

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English Brown Ale
3.69 | pDev: 10.84%
John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 22 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a Murky brown hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light chocolate malt, caramel and a grassy hop.

The taste consisted of an earthy moderately sweet malt with some cocoa and a round nuttiness.

The mouthfeel was of medium fullness and finished slightly dry.

Overall a tasty and quaffable brown ale.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Once again, I find myself at John Harvard's in Smithhaven, lured in by the delicious hamburger and fries and the hope that maybe they will finally put out a beer I'm passionate about. Upon arriving and sampling three beers (a quasi-Belgian Christmas beer, an amber ale with oats and this), finding one uninspired, one clearly oxidized, I settled for the Nut Brown.

Was served on tap in a pint glass.

Look: dark brown, kinda too dark for the style from what I've seen elsewhere. Admittedly, my experience with English brown ale is limited to Sam Smith, but still this looks really dark. There are some dark amber highlights. The head is non-existent due to an overabundant pour. John Harvard's, if you're reading this, please know that you should train your bartenders to pour craft beer properly. I won't count that against the beer though. There is some very thin lacing that clings to the side of the glass, holding on for dear life, but slowly it fades away leaving what appears to be a clean glass when I am at the bottom.

Smell: hints of mocha, some sweet malts, and some roasted grain. There's some nuttiness but I'm hard pressed to identify specific nuts. I'm oddly intrigued even if these smells are a bit on the subtle side.

Taste: follows the nose, and true to John Harvard's style, its fairly subtle. Some light malty sweetness with some roast backing it up, with some biscuit, and a bit of dark mocha. Some caramel flavor lingers in the mouth after swallowing. Its all quite subtle as I said before, and luckily for John Harvard's, this works well for the style.

Maybe they should stick to English styles from here on out where their "don't offend anybody" philosophy can flourish, rather than go for American and Belgian styles and come up short time after time?

Feel: medium bodied tending towards thin, some bitterness, but generally accessible, which is probably the goal.

Drink: this was meant to be a session brew and it could very well be sessioned.

Overall, this beer hits the style on the head. Its subtle but enjoyable and so its pretty spot on when emulating the British brown ale style so its hard for me to be disappointed in it. I'm generally not a big fan of their beers anymore, but I think maybe that's because I've been ordering all the wrong things. It seems like John Harvard's philosophy is more in line with the subtler styles, so perhaps from here on out I will order in line with that rather than trying their Black IPAs and stouts and ending up disappointed.

You win this time, John Harvard's. Cheers!

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the John Harvards in Lake Grove, NY. Pours a dark amber with a thick light brown head. Aroma of sweet malt and light roast. Flavor of light malt sweetness with a roasty/smoky finish. Very smooth and tasty. Excellent beer from JH!
Appearance: 4/5
Aroma: 7/10
Palate: 4/5
Flavor: 8/10
Overall: 15/20

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Photo of BBM
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very deep, rich brown color with ruby highlights and a thin tan head. Nice lacing around the glass. The aroma is very faint, with hints of nuttiness and a slight bitterness.

Roasted malts are the main attraction here. A huge, roasty flavor envlopes notes of chocolate, coffee, and walnuts. The English fuggles and goldings hops take a back seat to this brew, and the burnt, roasty flavor is allowed to shine through. This beer is lighter than it looks, as the body is on the thin side. But this is quite a good brown ale, and highly drinkable.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale was a lovely clear brown, with minimal head. Not too much lacing with this one.

Aroma was of bitter chocolate, with nutty overtones. Well balanced.

Taste was sweet, with roasted malt prominent. A better-than-average brew.

Mouthfeel is good, and this beer is quite drinkable.

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Photo of Gavage
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown with copper highlights and a 2" head. The nose is very light, as only a whiff of caramel and nuttiness is detectable. The flavor is mainly caramel and some roasted nuts, along with a mild bitterness. Flavors are not overwhelming, but pleasant.

Mouthfeel is lightly crisp at the start, but smooth on the finish. The caramel softly lingers after swallowing. Body was thinner than expected. Nice drinkability, and would be a bit higher if it were kicked up a notch or two in the flavor department.

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Photo of Biggness
3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I tried this Cask at Long Islands FIrst Real Ale Festival

The flavor of this beer was nice but I was hoping for a little more. You can certainly taste the nut and chocolate flavors. I tried this with a cask so there was not a great deal of head to the beer but the color of the beer was a very nice share of orange/brown.

I did enjoy this beer and will probably make a trip to John Harvards to try out some more flavors :)

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Photo of mschofield
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a full deep brown, topped with a two finger tan head, red highlights. Leaves wide rings of lacing.
Nutty, toasted aroma, bread, chocolate.
Toasted malt and nuts, and a hint of chocolate in the taste (a little different but it works), some caramel. The chocolate and caramel notes come out more as it warms. Well bittered for a brown. A bit acrid.
Medium body, good session beer.

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Photo of smcolw
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with a lingering head and excellent lace. The aromas were difficult to discern. With deep inhales, I could detect dark malt sugars and some biscuit cereal aroma.

The flavor features an interesting combination of dark malts--chocolate, crystal and black patent. It's closer to a porter than a brown ale, except for the body which is thinner.

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Photo of stirgy
3.01/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served as part of a sampler tray at their brewpub. This one poured out a very deep amber color with a small head of creamy tan foam. There’s just a hint of nuttiness in the aroma. Subtle touches of chocolate and roasted grains in the flavor. The body is pretty watery and weak on the whole. Some of the darker/sweeter malts are evident, but is lacking in my opinion. Not bad.

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Photo of far333
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light brown color with a thick and foamy beige head. Smells of sweet malt, like a nice English style ale. Also some good hops aromas. Flavor is subtle and morphing, with nice toasted malts and caramel, and some lingering pear. Very enjoyable. The lower carbonation and temp allow nice flavors to come out.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.52/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Manchester, CT.
The beer arrives looking deep mahogany brown, with a fat bone colored head.
Aroma is sweetly malty, with a good kick of toasted malt. Very little hop presence, probably fuggles or target. Rich nutty aroma, with very light dark fruity esters.
Very impressive brown ale. Very much in the english style. Mild and sweet, with a touch of roastiness and rich estery fruitiness. Medium body, with light carbonation. Moderately dry in the finish. One of the best examples of the style I've had in ages.

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Photo of BierReise
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep brown with no recognizable head. Aroma of caramel and a slight nuttiness. Started off quite crisp until it settled down and smoothed out a bit. Body is on the light side and flavors could be more intense for this style. Does show some roasted malt and caramel sweetness. Enjoyable and quite drinkable.

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Photo of StevieW
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz pour at Harvard Square location. Nice medium brown color. Light tan head, faded quickly but a little jostling brought it right back to life. Moderate nutty smells, toasted malt and hints of chocolate. Smooth tasting, easy drinking. Hints of almonds, or hazelnut like sweetness. Could be additives, but I don't care. Creamy smoothness finishes up. Some may find it a watery toward the end, but I am learning that alot of beers are. Overall slightly more sweet than anything else, but very pleasing beer. A very good brown ale, compated to the others I have had.

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Photo of Murph
3.19/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Great looking deep mahogany brown color with a nicely creamy, light brown head that exhibits nice lacing down the sides of the glass. Not much on the nose beyond a thin, bready maltiness that is severely lacking. Light bready, biscuity malts open the taste up with a nice nutty flourish towards the end. An ok hop profile and the nuttiness are the only thing that keep this beer afloat. Not nearly rich and malty enough for the style, a very thin offering. The beer is drinkable enough but is it worth drinking something that is this average, especially for the prices that I am paying for it at the DC location?? A big time training wheels beer.

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Photo of marc77
3.26/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Clear deep garnet. Belgian lace. Thin, persistent tan head. Aroma of lightly nutty biscuit, hint of chocolate and earthy hops. Moderate hop and burnt biscuit bitterness, hint of roasted grain in flavor. Understated chocolate undertone. Well attenuated, dry, somewhat thin mouthfeel. Hop bitterness offsets dark caramel sweetness. Finishes w/ a snap of sweetness. There's a pronounced, pleasant breadiness perceptible upon exhaling. Harvard's Nut Brown is balanced, fairly tasty and quite drinkable, but a bit thin and uninspired. A worthy session brew.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: On tap.

Appearance: Dark brown in colour with dark leather hues. A creamy lace that sticks as well as it retains waits for the first sip.

Smell: Clean with sweet malt and hints of chocolate and grain.

Taste: Chewy malt and a semi-sharp grainy husk and hop bitterness that fades. Then a touch of chocolate malt, ample grain and hints of fruit come through for the malt profile. Slight steely crystal malt in the after taste.

Notes: A superb brown ale, one of the finest of New England.

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Nut Brown Ale from John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 22 ratings