Witch's Tower
Surly Brewing Company

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American Brown Ale
Ranked #472
Ranked #32,481
3.72 | pDev: 9.68%
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 74
Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
4.29/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours pitch black with a brown, 1 finger head. Some lacing.
The nose has a lot of flavors I can not describe. Some spiciness to it.
The taste is rich and complex. Spice. Maybe chocolate. Really complex.
The feel is moderate.
Damn interesting beer overall. I like it, but it is also hard to describe.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Clear deep garnet colour. Cardamom, caramel malt, and a bit of raisin. Tastes like it smells; light bready malts, gentle caramel throughout, a bit of juicy tree fruit at the end, a little toasty, but not much. Clean finish.

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Photo of AleMan66
3.04/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I had this in Surly's tap room. It pours a light brown with a nice head. I was a bit disappointed as I feel it was a bit liking in flavor. It's kind of a weak taste. I love brown ales, but was a bit disappointed in this one.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the beerhall. L: Pours bright dark brown under a clingy, persistent tan cap. S: Nutty, rich grainy malt aromas. T: Traces of chocolate, nuts, rich grains. F: medium body and carbonation. O: Surly pretty much nails the British style brown ale style with this flavorful, sessionable beer.

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Photo of cl3
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep mahogany brown with vey little head to speak of. Smell is all cardamom and slightly malty. Taste was bigbon vanilla very different than what you get out of the nose. I could easily tell that the base brown ale for this beer would be great on it's own. This low abv beer was an easy one to enjoy. It definitely got bigger as it warmed up. Took my time with this one as there was a lot going on in it.

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Photo of Dactrius
4.26/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Absolutely massive cardamom aroma on the nose which is quite nice. Thankfully the cardamom taste isn't nearly as strong since that wouldn't be pleasant. A unique and impressive beer.

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Photo of TooGood
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It had a unique "cola" taste and feel with it, kind of like drinking a mildly carbonated soda. It was an enjoyable brew and I appreciated the lower alcohol content.

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Photo of Christopher_Forbes
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I found this beer to be unique. I got to try it in a beer event with over a dozen breweries and thirty beers on the menu, and it was one of two most distinctive offerings there. I wish this were a year-round offering.
The cardamom his the nose brightly and with a freshness that teases, but doesn't ride along on the tastebuds. It was refreshingly light on a late spring day, but still hearty enough to handle the rains as they arrived. I took home a growler, and enjoyed it for the next two days.
I think this beer is something special.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

a session style brown ale with cardamom aged on ash wood. i love the concept and i love the beer, although its clear here that others are less impressed. i think keeping dark beer year round is cool, and this just screams summer to me. it has a lighter brown color, plenty of light entering the glass, and although there isnt a huge head on it, the beer looks great. it smells like cardamom, but its relatively delicate. my company thought it smelled and tasted soapy, but i think they are not as familiar with this ingredient as i am myself. it reminded me or southern india in the nose, a unique but delicate spice complexion and a light citrus hoppiness. im not all the way sure the contribution of the ash, but i like the idea of woods other than oak influencing beer. the cardamom is only one of many flavors happening here, although arguably the most prominent. lots of chocolate malt too, without the roasted bitter barley bringing it to a darker place. there is a fresh baked cookie thing going on here, ginger and molasses type, with more hops than expected in a spiced brown ale. its all very mellow and well integrated, and while i wish for more carbonation, i love the lighter body and relatively dry finish. this is inventive beer, and thats what we pay for these days. this i think deserves a little better ratings, its one of a kind.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Surly’s Beer Hall. Served in a 16 oz. glass.

Appearance: Color is dark brown with a hint of amber. About one finger of off white head with decent retention and good lacing.

Smell: A toasty and spicy malt forward aroma with hints of toast and a mix of spices. Toasted malt with hints of biscuit, grains, toasted bread, nuts, chocolate, caramel, toffee, and yeast. Big scent of spices with hints of cardamom, nutmeg, and lavender. Also some hints of wood. Sweet hints of brown sugar. Light scent of earthy hops. A pretty solid spicy aroma.

Taste: Like the nose hints at, a nicely spicy and toasty malty taste with notes of spice and toast. Toasted malt with good notes of biscuit, chocolate, grains, toast, nuts, toffee, caramel, and yeast. Strong taste of spice with notes of cardamom along with some lavender and nutmeg. Slightly smokey note from the ash wood. Some brown sugar sweetness as well as some earthy hops in the background. A very nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Smooth with a drying finish.

Overall: A very solid session version of a Brown Ale. Nice toasty malt notes with a big kick of spice.

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Photo of tempest
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Had a glass at the Surly Beer Hall. A session-weight brown sounded like a great idea, but the toasted cardamom really dominates the beer with a rather weak tasting malt backbone. It's still a a nice beer, if you like that spice, but otherwise I'd say pass on this one.

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Witch's Tower from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 74 ratings