Ballston Brown
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

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English Brown Ale
Ranked #146
Ranked #31,263
3.7 | pDev: 11.62%
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
United States
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 8 | Ratings: 13
Photo of Chaney
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Arlington, VA location.

A: Poured a dark brown color that appeared even darker in the center. Despite the darkness, I could tell that this was a "clear" beer overall and boasted a 1/2 finger or so head.

S: I didn't get much on this, but what I did get was good: dark malt, caramel, brown sugar (a tinge), and some sweet nuts.

T: The nuts took center stage with a very bitter finish. Also, I got sort of a "Payday" bar type of sugar/salt decadence.

M: If this sucker were thicker, it would have been world-class. Like I mentioned before, this was pretty bitter, but still not offensive, and the lacing was intense.

O: This was just shy of being truly great, but at the end of the day, it was what it was: a well-crafted brown ale.

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Photo of goldbot
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, ample tan head; good carbonation. Nice, malty aroma with hints of floral English hops. Taste is smooth and malty with caramel/toffee and bready flavors. Again subtle hops that add a nice balance to the even malts. Medium bodied. A classic brown ale that pairs great with pretty much any food.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate brown color with a light tan head. Small amount of lacing. Nose brings slight nuts and a bit of light chocolate. Some sweet malt and a little bit of caramel. The flavor is lighter amounts of dark malt as well as hints of dark chocolate, mild roast, and some nutty characteristics. Medium mouthfeel. A nicely done brown ale.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I felt that this was a very good interpretation of the English style. It strongly resembled a lot of the common British name brand ales. It had a brown body with great creamy tan head and lace. The aroma was very roasty and malty The taste was about the same just a little more bitter than the smell with minimal wood and nut tones. The mouthfeel is creamy and full.

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Photo of gbarron
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer on cask last night. It had just been tapped the previous day. Chalk board states "brewed in the Southern English style."

A - dark, dark brown. One of the darkest brown ales I've ever seen. No opaque though. Head very frothy and thick with small bubbles, turns rocky as it's drank down leaving very nice lacing. Color of head is slightly tan indicating some roasted malts in there. Temperature is perfect - slightly cool.

S - toasty, nutty. Malt is primary aroma, but not too sweet. Roasty, coffee aroma. Very little hop aroma, little bit of earthy English hop smell. Biscuity.

T - strong malty flavors of chocolate, roasted nuts, toffee. Bitterness is present but not sharp or pronounced. Well balanced with the obvious maltiness of this beer. Darker, more well balanced than Newcastle. Some hop flavor here. Very, very earthy, almost like dirt. Roasty, toasty, nutty malt.

M - perfect off the cask. Very low carbonation yet retaining a monster head. Very, very silky smooth. Crisp finish.

D - extremely drinkable and tasty brew, I was very impressed. Significantly different than the tap version, which is often slightly overcarbonated and served too cold. Very, very quaffable and smooth.

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Photo of Rootdog316
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Ballston Brown Ale has some of the creamy smoothness of a good stout. To be honest, it tasted just like a Newcastle Brown Ale. Hinted at a bit of chocolate in the beer, and had a faint malt aftertaste. Mild as far as hops are concerned. Overall a very good beer.

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Photo of donnebaby
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown body with a thick light tan ring after moments. Smell was almost nil. Breezy malts taste (served very cold), altogether very mild, lightly fruity in the mouth and lightly dry afterwards. Tasted very...British--which is what they're going for. Seemed right on but watery and no complex.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark ruby, approaching black in color. Crystal clear. Topped by a smallish tan head that faded to a film that left thick rings of lace on the glass.

Smell: Heady aromas of coffee, toffee, and other bready malt goodness. Mildly hopped.

Taste: Rich flavors of the dark malt sort. Coffee, faint chocolate, and prune flavors. Quite toasty overall.

Mouthfeel: Solidly medium bodied with lingering aftertastes.

Drinkability: A good representation of the style in my limited experience with it. Nice and malty, not overly hoppy. It's not quite a porter, but certainly has some porter-like qualities. Would go great with roasted meats.

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Ballston Brown from Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 13 ratings