Huvila Brown Ale
Malmgårdin Panimo

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Brown Ale - American
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3 | pDev: 0%
Malmgårdin Panimo
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Jugs_McGhee from Louisiana

3.08/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

BOTTLE: 50cl. Brown glass. Branded black & white pry-off crown cap. Appealing albeit simple screen-print label design. Best before: 04.09.015.

Reviewed live as a brown ale per the label. Expectations are above average given the brewery (which by my estimation is one of the better ones in Finland). Served cold into a mason jar in Kuopio, Finland, where it was purchased at a Prisma supermarket. Allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

Unfiltered. 4.60% ABV.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~1 inch wide. Pale white-khaki colour head. Nice creaminess and frothiness. Fair thickness. Leaves no lacing as it recedes. Retention is above average - ~3-4 minutes.

BODY: Nontransparent translucent opaque brown. Not real vibrant. I see no yeast or sediment/floaties.

Appears well-carbonated. It's a decent looking brown ale. Not the vivid transparent brown I usually look for, but passable. Has no obvious flaws.

AROMA: Brown malts dominate, with some generic nutty notes complementing it nicely. Not too bready. Surprisingly hop forward, with noticeable floral notes and resins that distract from the nutty notes in a manner inconsistent with stylistic fundamentals. Juniper is profoundly unwelcome here, and has no place in a brown ale. Hints of caramel and brown bread.

I find no roasted barley, chocolate, coffee, etc.

Aromatic intensity is average.

This somewhat inexpressive aroma suggests a shallow brown ale with insufficient nutty notes and a distracting hop presence coupled with unwanted juniper bitterness.

TASTE: The taste delivers on the expectations created by the aroma, with the hop and juniper bitterness eclipsing the brown malt backbone, to its detriment. The nutty notes are even more shallow and inexpressive than I feared, but I do find them clinging on on the fringe. This isn't really well balanced...more a hodgepodge of flavours that stumbles serendipitously into a loose cohesion of build. Too bitter for a brown ale.

Flavour duration and intensity are average. Not only is it not deep, complex, or subtle, but it lacks the prominent notes I look for in a good brown - where's the robust brown malt backbone? The hint of roast? The cream? The vivid hazelnut?

In spite of its shortcomings, it doesn't have any obnoxious booze or egregious off-notes. Yeast character is ambiguous; this could easily be either American or English.

TEXTURE: Not as creamy, soft, or lumpy as the best browns. But it is smooth and wet. It's not quite full-bodied enough, but has adequate thickness and heft on the palate. Carbonation is slightly overdone.

A decent complement to the taste, but it doesn't harmonize with it.

OVERALL: Not a gestalt brown. The overhopping and distracting addition of odd unwelcome notes (like faint juniper) throws this beer off. That said, it's drinkable and enjoyable enough - just unremarkable. Not this brewery's strongest offering by any means, and not a beer I'd revisit. But it's one of the only Finnish brown ales I'm aware of, and it drinks easier than many American expressions of the style.

C+ (3.08)

Jun 07, 2015
Huvila Brown Ale from Malmgårdin Panimo
Beer rating: 3 out of 5 with 2 ratings