Brown Ale | Skagit River Brewery

18 Ratings
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Brown AleBrown Ale

Brewed by:
Skagit River Brewery
Washington, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stirgy on 09-23-2003

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 13
Reviews by sockeye101:
Photo of sockeye101
3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I seem to have passed up brown ales more than any other style in the past...but no more! Let it be known that browns shall be represented! The appearance of this ale was a nice clouded amber color with a very nice two finger head that left very nice lace and just a small thin layer of head throughout the enjoyment of this brown beverage. Aromas were strong in the sweet caramel category with just a twinge of fruitiness. Flavors ranged from a nice sweet malty carmelly goodness to a moderate bitterness. Balance was very nice. In my incredibly limited brown experience, I would have no trouble recommending this beer. Funny they call it steely brown, when steelies are not brown, perhaps a brown trout brown, or ling cod brown, or flounder brown....but I digress.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This Brown Ale is indeed a pretty brown in color. The head is really big for the style. It came up nicely and showed good retention.

Smell – The heavily-toasted malt and light, sweet toffee are well-blended. They are mixed with a persistent resiny hop balance.

Taste – This has a lot of different flavors going in it. First off, the toasted malts form the core of the flavor profile. They are big and reflect other flavors such as light caramel, peanuts, and toffee. Below that is a small but very sharp hop balance. The hops are piney in nature. All together, these varying flavors work well.

Mouthfeel – This Brown Ale is medium-bodied and a little bitter with a lingering dryness at the finish.

Drinkability – This is a classic American Brown Ale that was very interesting and entertaining to drink.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of jklinck
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Lighter in color than your average brown. There was no sign of any chocalate malt which I generally consider to be the hallmark of brown ales. If you would have given it to me in a blind taste test I would have said it was a pale ale. All in all I like the beer. While there is a hint of some roasted malts to give it a brown ale character I think that it should have had some chocolate malt.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bomber. from Lamb’s Thriftway, Wilsonville ,Oregon.
Very attractive beer served in my dimpled pint mug, slightly hazy chesnut brown with a lovelly thick ,tight tan head.
Good caramel malt aroma, lightly toasted.
Nice sweet malt to start, then a nice hoppy bitterness, then smooth choclate again, well balanced and nice.
Good mouthfeel to this quite smooth and thick, dry bitter finish.
Overall a drinkable and rather good PNW interpretation of a brown ale.
However after this heated up a bit, I am starting to get some unpleasant alcohol/grain aftertastes, not good for something that is only 4.3%, this beer is apparently best served ice cold, not good for a brown ale.
down graded accordingly.

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Photo of Drknight
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of PhiloPsych
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rootbeer brown as it poured from the bottle, brown and slightly reddish in the glass. The head is light and airy and dissipates quickly, but leaves a light, filmy lacing down the glass. The smell is sweet and malty. Taste is malty and very nutty. This is a nice, well-made brown ale. Taking Newcastle as a baseline, this one is certainly better than average.

 358 characters

Photo of Donkster46
3.02/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of beerguy101
3.36/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark brown color, medium white foamy head. Roasted malt aroma. MEdium bodied brown ale. Rich roasted malt taste, slight hoppyness. Carmel taste noticeable. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is smooth. Aftertaste is bitter with a slightly sweet element.

 254 characters

Photo of brentk56
2.33/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: I knew there was going to be a problem from the get-go when I opened the beer and was greeted by a gusher; pours a cloudy amber color with a sturdy head that does hang around forever and lace the pint glass, I'll give it that

Smell: There is an aroma, but it doesn't smell familiar; I think it might be acetone but it is not very distinct

Taste: Opens with a brown bread flavor that isn't bad but is joined before too long by a grainy bitterness; after the swallow, the beer becomes one dimensional, with an almost medicinal bitter flavor

Mouthfeel: Way over-carbonated but I think there is a medium body underneath

Drinkability: Not for me; down the drain

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Photo of woemad
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.19(?).

Poured a transparent garnet color, with a medium sized off-white head. Head dropped fast, with virtually no lace.

Smell was of caramel malt, with a mild rostiness. Slight cola-ish scent. Pretty much smelled like an average brown ale.

Tasted very similar to the smell. First there's the sweet caramel malt, then the roastiness. There's a mild hoppy dryness at the swallow. Again, very typical brown ale here. Fits the criteria of what a brown ale is supposed to taste like without standing out even slightly.

This is a medium bodied ale, perhaps a bit toward the lighter end of the medium spectrum. Carbopnation is about normal for the style.

This is a typical brown ale - nothing more, nothing less. It would work well as a decent session beer, especially for the novice beer drinker that is trying a dark beer for the first time. Personally, I'm not that into sessioning brown ales - too much caramel sweetness for too many pints. This goes down easy enough, though.

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Photo of beertunes
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a clean, clear brown with less than 1/4 inch of tan head that had low retention and lacing.

The aroma was primarily sweet malts, no noticeable hop profile, with just a hint of leather/tobacco in the background. The taste was pretty much identical, sweet, earthy malts, with that tobacco/leather finish.

The body was nice and smooth and not as sticky as I expected from the sweetness. Drinkability was very good, I could easily do a session of this while sitting on the brewpubs deck watching trains go by.

Overall, a pretty average example of the style that's certainly worth your time when you're in the mood for one.

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Photo of rkuhnel
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was from a 22 oz bomber. from Ashland,. Oregon. It poured an attractive amber to brown, with a moderate tan head and not a whole lot of lacing. Nose of caramel and hops with just a slight roasted malt aroma. Mouthfeel was fairly clean and flavors were roasted malts, molasses, fruit, and floral hops. Finish a little sweet. Overall a quite drinkable brown but nothing to get excited about.

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.12/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Steelie Brown Ale really wowed me. It has a profuse malty aroma, an enthusiastic charge of tiny bubbles, clear red-oak color, and a velvety soft head. It was a charm to drink.

I wouldn't call this a nut brown at all. The bittering was a bit on the shy side, allowing a gentle sweetness to carry the day. Perhaps this is more in keeping with the London style. The flavor has elements of fresh toast and caramel-molasses. A nice'n'easy session beer with high drinkability.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Blood orange with tangerine edges. The color of the beer is both brighter and warmer than the usual brown ale. The pale gold cap, while on the small side, looks acceptable enough and graces the glass with a bit of lace. Two bits or four bits would be better.

Very little aroma escapes the pint glass. A few patient minutes and a few deep inhales allow me to appreciate enough brown maltiness to agree with the style printed on the label. It appears that there won't be much of a hop presence, in spite of the Pacific Northwestness of the beer.

Brown Ale is a standard English brown ale (American actually) that's less malty and more hoppy than expected. The flavor profile is moderately cocoa-like, with a sprinkling of toasted nuts and a huge splash of white grapefruit juice. I like highly-hopped ales as much as the next guy, but Skagit River needs to add more barley to this sucker.

Despite the tanginess and puckeriness of the hops, there's (just) enough sweetness to keep the beer from being overbalanced. Things improve a little with warming, and I find myself bumping both taste and drinkability up one notch. If you aren't a dues paying member of 'hopheads for life', adjust both scores back down.

The mouthfeel is too light, even in a style in which light isn't a sin. Much of one anyway. A slightly too harsh feel to the carbonation fades by mid-bomber.

It looks like Sculler's IPA is Skagit River's only great beer (Dutch Girl Lager is pretty good too). Brown Ale is an okay effort that does nothing to distinguish itself from the masses of mediocre browns across the fruited plains. An abundance of hops only counts for so much.

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Photo of henrysunset
3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this beer is the "steelie brown" which i assume is the same...

beer is hazy but smooth appearance in mahogany. a little light for a brown... nice modest head of tan

scent is a mix of roast and a sharp sourness. nothing dark, roasty or "brown" to my nose.

taste is better than i expected. smooth, a little nutty, not too dark. I suspect that this is not the result of a little black roast malt, but instead a lot of medium malts.

very smooth and enjoyable. pretty drinkable.

 478 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Sound_Explorer
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Brown Ale from Skagit River Brewery
3.46 out of 5 based on 18 ratings.
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