Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Bristlecone Brown Ale | Uinta Brewing Company

46 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Bristlecone Brown AleBristlecone Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Uinta Brewing Company
Utah, United States | website

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Malty in character, this brown ale has a smooth body and a clean, well-rounded finish.

25 IBU

Added by alexgash on 11-13-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 173
Photo of jwps214
2.11/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I've been duped by Uinta yet again! I love the shape of their bottles. I love the colorful labels. I even love the textured feel of the labels!

The beer looked amazing in the mug I poured it into. A fairly clear brown with reddish tinge and an awesome thick and creamy 2 inch white head.

The were was not a lot going on in the aroma. A very light toasted malt nose that you had to practically snort the beer to pick up

The taste started out with a faint malt that was quickly over powered by a sharp metallic taste the lingered long after each sip. I went back after it warmed for a little. Still metallic with a hint of bitterness.

Overall, very disappointed that I had to drain pour. I feel like I have had several of Unita's beers that were ok at best and some that were awful. I would say, avoid their 12 oz bottles like the plague and go for their super tasty larger bottles!

 885 characters

Photo of Westsidethreat
2.44/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Wasatch for this one.

A: Light chestnut brown with some orange highlights. Very clean and crisp with very small bubbles meandering. Head is a very light tan made up of medium sized bubbles and has fallen to just a thin layer.

S: Smells sort of like savory brown gravy.

T: Tastes a bit like gravy with bittering hops. Biscuity with low lying coffee and some wierd brown crayon flavor. Finishes really savory.

M: Medium body, thin across the palate.

D: I just can't get into this beer. Its really rubbing me the wrong way for some reason. Too savory for me. Intersting but just can't do it.

 615 characters

Photo of Blargimus
2.83/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Bottled on 9-9-2011.

Perfectly clear deep brown color. About 2 fingers of head that sticks around, leaves some lacing on the side of the glass as it falls.

Smell is faint, and is all malt and grain. No hops to speak of.

Taste isn't exactly sweet, but there is a maltiness to it. Hop flavor is limited to bitterness - there's nothing floral or citrusy here. More bitter than I'd like, especially in the aftertaste. Speaking of aftertaste, it lasts a looong time.

Medium mouthfeel. Maybe too much carbonation, which adds to the bitterness slightly.

Overall, this is not an awful beer, but it's not one I'd recommend. There are too many better options out there.

 701 characters

Photo of Murrhey
2.88/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- One finger white head with low retention. Walnut colored beer with high clarity. Foamy lacing.

S- Pungent malts, caramel and chocolate. Some grassiness too, which is strange.

T- Bristles like the name suggests. Roasty malts and some acrid flavors. Kick in the mouth.

M- Thicker, heavy carbonation and wet finish.

O- Not bad, by any stretch, but certainly not one of the betters of the style.

 463 characters

Photo of Brushkanna
2.98/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was expecting much more.
Looks great medium brown
Smells is light and nutty
The taste is weak a little watered down, for an english brown I want more flavor
Light mouthfeel not much there
Overal this is a beer I dont need to return to, there are other great brown ales to look for

 282 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The best thing going for this beer is the label... sorry.
Pours crystal clear, and has a reddish copper chestnut color. A small thin off white head and very light carbonation.
Aroma is dry toasted malts and nuts.
Taste is quite dry with some light toasted malts and some nuts.
Drinks thin and watery with flavor lacking.
A sorry state for this beer. There is really nothing appealling in this beer. It lacks visual flair has no sense in aroma and has a watered down taste. Plus an astringent, dry almost puckering finish.

 521 characters

Photo of mralphabet
3.01/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass.

A: Poured a mahogany colored brown with a good finger and a half of head that settles to a ring with pretty nice lacing.

S: Straight up sweet malt with a little nuttiness. Not much else here.

T: Matches the smell to a tee... Sweet malt up front that is a little toasty and a solid nuttiness in the mid palette... Finish is a little on the sweet side with very little aftertaste.

M: Lighter bodied that I was hoping for...a little watered down... Carbonation is a little an the sharp side.

D: Mixed review here... Looks great, smells pretty good, taste is OK, mouthfeel is a miss... Overall not a bad Brown, but nothing outstanding. ABV is pretty low so you could drink a few.... But just not enough to hang my hat on.

 779 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.02/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear brown colored beer with a tall tan colored head.

Smells of patent malt and of soapy hops. Some green spice aroma mostly cardamom.

Starts out with the flavor of coffee flavored soda. Toasted grains and burnt toast flavors.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall far better than expected one of the better Utah law beers.

 315 characters

Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass at 45 degrees. Picked up in a trade from Wasatch - thanks!!

A - Poured a clear medium-brown with dark highlights. A 1-inch tan head lasted for a few minutes before it became a small ring that lasted awhile. Good carbonation.

S - Nutty malt tries to escape the glass, but it's met with a metallic aroma that lingers...too bad because the other scents were pleasing.

T - Again, it's a shame that the nice flavors are nearly negated by the lingering taste of metal. At first, the odd flavor dominated the rest, but I let it sit for about a half hour then gave it another chance, and a nutty malt was the reward for my patience. A poor start, but a nice finish.

M - Light body with a borderline unpleasant aftertaste...good carbonation helps a little.

D - It's a shame because I kept thinking the beer would be better than it was. I can't see myself getting to Utah anytime soon, but I'd definitely give it another chance from the tap. I'm factoring the cold-weather-shipping into the picture, so I gave the ratings the benefit of doubt.

 1,102 characters

Photo of nickd717
3.1/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Review dated 1/9/2009.

A pretty average brown ale. I guess it’s tough to do much with Utah liquor laws. Pours a dirt brown with a tan head. Aroma dominated by nuts. Flavor is fairly malty with nuts and earth. A little watery on the finish, but hey, it’s 4%.

 262 characters

Photo of BryanCarey
3.28/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Brown in color with a clear body, this brown ale displays a slight head of tan- colored foam that doesn’t last very long, but does leave some lacing. The beer has a nose of lightly roasted malt with some underlying caramel and earthy notes.

Moving to the taste, this beer delivers a taste that is about in- line for a lighter version of the style and what I expected based on the nose. There is some roasted malt, some chocolate, caramel, and woody flavors. The beer finishes mostly sweet and the body is a little on the thin side. There are hops present, but the malts dominate the flavor.

If there ever was an easy- drinking brown ale, this is it. Bristlecone Brown is smooth and quaffable, so it does have its use and purpose. But at the same time, it could prove too mild and lacking complexity to please everyone. It seems like a good dessert beer and a good choice for those who are not normally craft beer drinkers. It won’t excite most palates, but there is enough going on here to recommend it.

 1,009 characters

Photo of argock
3.29/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Best by 05/23/14 on the front label. Received as part of craftbeerclub.com shipment courtesy of my sister Tami.

A: Burnished amber with healthy 1-finger vanilla creme off-white, frothy, creamy head with excellent retention and plenty of lacing down the glass.

S: Sourish amber malt with vegetal character fading into papery, cardboardy maltiness and herbal, earthy hopping

T: The flavor is not much better than the aroma although it has some flashes of caramel/toffee that offsets the weird grassy, vegetal hops character. THe chocolate and coffee notes of the upper tier of this style are really not there. The maltiness finishes with a cardboardy flavor.

M: Very smooth and easy to drink with even, low-to-moderate carbonation and light-medium body with a fairly dry finish.

O: Bristlecone was not a favorite and I will be seeing if this is something my wife might like (dark beer person). I like dark beers with cohesive aroma and flavor -- this just is not hitting that mark at all.

 1,058 characters

Photo of dbl_delta
3.29/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On draft in pint glass at the Pickled Pig in Rehoboth, DE.
It looks, well, BROWN. One-finger head of fine, off-white bubbles that went the distance, coating the glass evenly on the way down.
Tastes mainly of malt with a little pine bitterness at the end. Quite light, almost thin, mouthfeel. Definitely not a big beer, taste-wise nor ABV.
I could live without trying this beer again.

 388 characters

Photo of archyquaffer
3.31/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A moderate pour from a stubby 12 ounce bottle into a 10 oz Pilsener shaped sampler produces a short but sticky head of an off-white color. The beer is a clear, pale yellowish-brown with light carbonation.

A definite hint of molasses is evident in the aroma along with some herbal hops and a slight bit of juniper. The flavor is dry with a subtle fruitiness suggesting raisins, a fair amount of nutty bitterness, a good deal of buttery flavor, and a little tangy bite on the finish. The body is fairly light.

This is a pretty good brown and just light enough to satisfy in warm weather. Brown ales are becoming rare on the shelves in my neck of the woods. This beer was purchased across the state line in Sheridan, Wyoming at Star Liquors for 8-something a six pack.

 772 characters

Photo of chodinheaven
3.31/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Spiderweb lacing clings to the glass as the light tan sea-foam head dissapates after a heavy pour. Head retention is nice in this clear, ruby red and caramel colored beer. The aroma is nutty as hell, overpowering a light caramel malt. Fairly one dimensional and straightforward.

Grainy in flavor, it kind of tastes the way the grains smell when you steep them preboil. Nice subtle note of caramel behind these nutty grains followed by a bit of an earthy spice that brings what would be a normal brown ale into a bit more than that. The malts move into a light but balanced hoppiness in the back that adds that hint of bitterness to make it just a tad prickly. Pretty smooth beer overall, but definitely wouldn't hurt from being ramped up a bit. Everything just seems a little bit weaker than it should be, making for a decent balance, but no real "umph" to make me want to buy it again. Easy to drink though, and at 4% ABV, no problem putting a few back. This is not a bad beer at all, but there are better brown ales out there.

 1,029 characters

Photo of farrago
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a half finger of off-white foam, mostly a weave of tiny bubbles, disappears quickly, the lacing is razor thin but does stick well enough. The liquid is crystal clear and there’s a fair amount of active bubble beads visible, light amber brown in color, consistent throughout and above average brightness. The nose is a split between carob, caramel, pie crust flakes, nuts and cherry pits and then quinine water, minerals, earth and a splash of herbal greenness, not really emphasizing overall sweetness. Medium-bodied, the carbonation is not high but very steady and stays with you from first to last sip. As a result, has a streamlined presentation which here too is on the dry side. The butterscotch, chocolate and toffee flavors front loaded and airy, again no real sweet grip. Bready and at times close to yeasty were it not also infused with that metallic bitterness. The fruit is muted and citrus more or less absent. That bite keeps you awake and receptive yet you keep wishing there was more length in the primary flavors. Stylistically correct and has good drinkability, won’t get you bloated, likely improves when consumed with food.

 1,152 characters

Photo of Why-P-A
3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: A very dark brown ale with a nice appropriate sized head forming when poured into a pint glass.

S: Distinct roasted and burn coffee aromas that match the beer's dark color.

T: Darker malt characteristics carry over to the flavor but the potential burnt bitterness is surprisingly well balanced by a residual malty sweetness.

M: This beer is not watery as the beer stats would suggest, a smooth and drinkable offering that leave a slightly dry taste in the mouth.

O: Because of the lover ABV laws and cold winters in Utah dark beers are quite prevalent. Bristlecone is a good example of how to develop a tasty malt forward flavor profile in a lower alcohol beer.

 669 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brownish amber in the tall glass. Attractive foam that lasts well. Crisp and sudsy mouthfeel.

A distinctive nutty flavor somewhere between cashews and coffee grounds. A tang of hops and a sharp sensation. Some warm malt, but fairly austere overall. A touch of butter. Dry finish with some bitterness and that hint of coffee. Pretty thin and the flavor gets a little threadbare after some sipping. Well, it's a peculiar category. Even Pretty Things couldn't do much better with St. Botolph's Town with 50% more alcohol.

From the 12 oz bottle bought at my favorite place in Salt Lake for single supermarket beers-- Emigration Market.

 640 characters

Photo of delta490
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

8 days after best by date

A- a clear medium brown with a creamy white head. Moderate retention, especially around the ring of the glass, with some nice lacing.

S- mild malt, with some nutty aromas

T- mild malt again, with the same nutty notes and some earthy hops

M- a little thinner, with a little bite from the hops

O- not terrible, but there's not much depth and it's lacking in the robust malt flavors that define this style.

 434 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Liquid bronze suffused with orange, a wonderful color when backlit with bright morning sunshine. I no longer expect my brown ales to be brown. The head is lightly toasted ecru in color and features a rumpled upper surface that is pebbley rather than rocky. A reasonable display of lace helps to pull the appearance into the above average range.

The nose, which could be more aromatic, fits the English brown ale style quite nicely. It's brown malty, toasted nutty and only minimally fruity, if at all. If the nose is any sort of reliable guide, this will be a dry brown rather than a sweet one. There's only one way to find out.

Bristlecone Brown is a fairly typical, light-bodied version of the style that does nothing that would make it stand out from the crowd. As a result, it should appeal to a wide range of (casual) drinkers and those who appreciate subtle, non-flashy beer. I'm trying, I really am.

As with most beer from this state, the malt content is a bit lacking. That's especially notable in a style that's supposed to be malt-dominant. Given that liability, there's enough malt flavor (that mirrors the description of the nose by the way) to get by. As anticipated, it's dry and crisp rather than sweet.

I've become accustomed to the fact that brown ales are often featherweights; or at least bantamweights. This one is too light though. Not enough for me to mark it down too severely, but enough that the mouthfeel score doesn't deserve to be the equal of the rest of the scores. A few too many fine bubbles doesn't help.

Bristlecone Brown is a decent ale, something that Uinta seems to excel in. Although it's hard for me to work up much enthusiasm for beer such as this, I do appreciate the fact that it's a pretty good take on the style. Thanks to Wasatch for the bottle.

 1,806 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.47/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Crystal-clear reddish-brown body; thick, fluffy head. Very faint roasted grain aroma. Roasted grain flavor; charred bread crust; toffee notes; mild hop bitterness. Generally light and foamy feel; semi-dry finish.

This is a fine tasting beer but seems somewhat underdeveloped. There is very little aroma to be found and the mouthfeel comes across watery and light-weight. It looks great with a nice deep color and the head is long lasting. And, the flavor is pretty decent, highlighting a roasted, nutty character that is very satisfying, especially with the aftertaste that really brings out the highlights of the taste. Not the best example of the style yet definitely worth trying, perhaps even repeat visits when a session type of ale is what you're looking for.

 766 characters

Photo of constantine_272
3.51/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Great dark brown. Head dissipated to a sticky dotted mess pretty much immediately. Clear. Medium carbonation.

S: Mahogany. Rich topsoil. Dark roasted chestnut.

T: Woodiness starts off big. Iced light coffee. Bitterness of pine resin and pine needles. Dry with a little tobacco smokiness on the finish.

M: Lots of roast, but still very clean tasting. Surprisingly thin and light despite the big roast too.

O: Big flavor in a not so big beer. More roast than I would have expected for a brown honestly though.

 514 characters

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best Before 02/07/14

A: Pours a light brown color with a fingers worth of head that fades down to a sticky cap within a minute. Leaves some decent lacing

S: Lightly malty with a faint nuttiness along with notes of molasses and toffee. On the milder side in comparison to sweet. Very light fruitiness tucked in behind the malts

T: Follows the nose. Starts off malty and stays that way. Nuttiness and toffee notes up front, with some fruitiness in tow. Finishes lightly sweet

M: Light-medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A nice and mild English brown with plenty of flavor for a 4% brew. Nothing complex, but easy to sit down and drink in possible large quantities. Pulling off this type of brew is not easy, so hats off to Uinta

 739 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - clear caramel amber with a large, thick, off white, brownish head that has great retention

S - grainy, some faint caramel, some very faint toffee

T - grainy up front with a faint bitterness followed by some caramel, a light nuttiness, and some toffee and then it finishes with a faint coffee-like roasted malt note

M - medium bodied though at times thin, well carbonated, a bit dry

This isn't a bad beer by any means, but it does have a few notes that detract from the overall experience. The grainy notes are too forward with too little malt backbone to correct it. The overall flavor is there but it's a bit subdued. The mouthfeel is also a bit light. If you like brown ales you'll probably still want to give it a try because at 4% this could be a new session ale for you.

 783 characters

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. has a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, a bit nutty. Taste is toasted malts, hops are in the mix, a bit of nuts as well, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

 261 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Bristlecone Brown Ale from Uinta Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.