Imperial Nut Brown Ale | Tommyknocker Brewery

351 Reviews
Imperial Nut Brown AleImperial Nut Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Tommyknocker Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Commemorating the 10th anniversary of Tommyknocker Brewery, this special brew is meticulously crafted with pure maple syrup, the highest quality chocolate and crystal malts and is accented with the finest blend of European and American hops. Imperial Nut Brown Ale, at 9.8% alcohol by volume, is a bigger, bolder version of their Maple Nut Brown.

Added by Bierman9 on 12-17-2004

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 351 | Ratings: 638
Photo of jkworrall
4.85/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Meticulously crafted with pure maple syrup and the highest quality chocolate and crystal malts. With it's big, malty and complex character, it is a strapping, bolder version of their wildly popular Maple Nut Brown

 213 characters

Photo of fdrich29
4.72/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I found myself craving a malty brew while at Sunset Grill a few days before the American Craft Beer Fest. I asked Jason what he recommended and he pointed me in the direction of this sweet nectar. Thanks Jason!

At some point my tastes changed and I fell from the ranks of the hop heads and found myself loving all beers of a malty persuasion. If you find yourself in that category find this tasty treat and enjoy.

My glass was full of deep, dark brown goodness. Smells of malt, syrup, toffee maybe? Very sweet and smooth, and if I wasn't driving I would have ordered several more. Very easy to drink despite the 9.8% abv.

I'd be hard pressed to find a malty brew I enjoyed more than this offering from Tommyknocker. I've since been back to Sunset and had another glass, and also tried it at the American Craft Beer Fest.

 823 characters

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.67/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light black leather hue, thin, ringy/bubblish tan head. The nose is loaded with caramel, raisins, traces of alcohol and roasted malts. Loads of flavorings and a definite treat. The initial feelings are a chocolate candy loaded with cherries, brown sugar, figs and sticky molasses. Full bodied; warming reveals some mild carbonation and near-chewy qualities. Tender hop bitterness, alcohol is noted, sticky raisins and some woody notes. Very rich and fulfilling; an aftertaste of a freshly baked caramel roll and the smile of enjoying it. This is incredible stuff.

 563 characters

Photo of bens0n
4.67/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a rather clear dark mahogany color with a fair amount of creamy light tan head that leaves some spotty lacing.

Right off the bat I can pick up on the deliciously sweet maple syrup aroma. It reminds me of french toast drenched in maple syrup, not boozy at all. Surprisingly smells more bready than nutty to me.

Flavor wise, it does not disappoint either. The maple syrup is there, but not overwhelming, just enough to give it some sweetness. The nuttiness comes in near the end. The aftertaste is quite pleasant given the high ABV, the nuttiness really lingers on your tongue. For a brown ale, its really lacking in the hop department though, not really a bad thing in my book though.

I really like the viscosity and carbonation level in this beer. Its got a substantial thickness to it but its not completely flat; just the right amount of carbonation.

 872 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.62/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer is a muddy coffee black. A hazy brown comes through in the light. The off-white head dissipates to a film with a thick ring around the edges. Sticky lacing. The beer smells of sweet maple, nuts, and slightly roasted malts. The beer tastes exceptional, just as it smells. Sweet maple and nuts hit the palate first, followed by a roasted malt body. And in there somewhere is a hop presence, near the finish. The mouthfeel is sticky and medium to full bodied.

Overall, this is excellent. It goes down too smooth for 9.8%. I mean seriously, be careful with this one. I have been caught in it's snares. Excellent beer. I recommend one for dessert.

 688 characters

Photo of Gorgeous_JR
4.54/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got some on the tap at Melton's App n Tap in ATL GA. Drank 1.5 servings. Man o man did this get me good. It packs a real real strong punch. Tommyknocker lives up to its the name.

But I probably could only drink 1.5 servings because its just too bitter. Def worth a try cause at least you'll be feeling good.

 308 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.52/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Acquired via trade from northertimber, so a big “thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a medium-sized foamy tan head that fades slowly and leaves a heavy lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is rich, malty and nutty with notes of maple syrup and caramel.

T: The taste is robust with caramelized malt, roasted coffee, maple syrup and chocolate. It’s sweet but not too sweet. There’s a little bit of hops character, but the maltiness over-powers it quite a bit. The sweetness lingers in the after-taste, which makes you crave another swig.

M: Very smooth, crisp, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, clean and dry finish especially for the style.

D: This style wasn’t one of my favorites a first, but it has started to grow on me and this is the best that I’ve had in this style. This beer is tasty, has a damn good kick to it and it’s very easy to drink for a beer with 9.80% ABV. It’s slightly filling, but I can still drink a heck of a lot of this beer and enjoy every sip of it. I know "Imperial" gets thrown around rather loosely and I've never seen it used for a Nut Brown before, but this beer certainly seems worthy of the term.

 1,245 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4.52/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a medium sized light brown head. Nice dark syrupy malty aroma with touches of maple. Rich and robust malty syrupy flavors without being overly sweet. Full bodied, creamy and smooth with a light alcohol finish.

Per label: "1994-2004" & "Brewed with Pure Maple Syrup" & "Chocolate and Crystal malts"

Per TB website: Commemorating the 10th anniversary of Tommyknocker Brewery, this special brew is meticulously crafted with pure maple syrup, the highest quality chocolate and crystal malts and is accented with the finest blend of European and American hops. Imperial Nut Brown Ale, at 9.8% alcohol by volume, is a bigger, bolder version of our wildly popular Maple Nut Brown.

Enjoy within 4 mos. of: Nov '04 (notched)
Tasted: 05/23/05

(22 oz. capped and wrapped with gold foil)

 805 characters

Photo of Bierman9
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a couple of 12oz bottles, courtesy of ol' Bro Artied2. Opted to quaff 'em last eve, whilst laxing in the 'Zebo....

Poured into an imperial pint glass, the liquid was a clear, deep, dark chestnut hue, a very dense color. I espied scattered carbo within, and the head was a creamy beige layer of bubbles, steady at just under 1/4". Lacing was quite attractive as well. Nose was a rich, sweet malty offering, akin to the aromas wafting forth from a good Doppelbock; quite enticing. Body was easily a medium-plus, aiming towards fullness. The feel on the tongue was velvety smooth, the bier gliding effortlessly across the palate.

Flavor has some superb malt, start to finish. It is nicely sweet without being cloying at all, coating the tongue in malty pleasure. The taste is akin to a liquified version of pecan pancakes smothered in maple syrup, with some caramel thrown in for good measure. And there's just enough of a floral hop presence at the finish to keep things honest. The ABV did sneak up on me a bit near the end of the session, though this was a quite pleasurable glass of refreshment. Thnx, Bro!!


look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | drink: 4.5


 1,196 characters

Photo of crayphish
4.48/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked this brew up on a whim. Glad I did. Appearance is typical for a Nut Brown. Clear brown liquid with a thin white cap. Smell has woodsy nuts and a maple syrup punch. Taste is exceptional. Nutty maple flavor. It's everything that Newcastle is trying for and more. Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp. I really can't taste the 9.0% beer claims. And I'm glad. This beer is simply one of the most balanced tastiest brews I've ever sampled. I plan to get another six pack and put a hurt on it.

 487 characters

Photo of ckollias
4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark opaque brown with a 2-finger tan head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace leaving no trail.

S: Chocolate malt aroma with a toasted maple syrup background.

T: Smooth and malty with a chocolate, coffee, and toasted malt background.

M: Heavy body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent imperial nut brown ale. Love the maple syrup!

 399 characters

Photo of stumac
4.45/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours up a deep, dark chocolate brown. not much head but the little head it had was a brown tinted one. the nose is dark cocolate, caramel, toffee, roasted malts. the taste is about the same as the nose except it has a little bit of an alcohol spice also. low carbo. nice full bodied, syrupy, long lingering sweet aftertaste. delicious!

 336 characters

Photo of Mitchster
4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Comes in an attractive Gold-Foil neck-lined 20 oz.bottle. 9.8% ABV and brewed with pure maple syrup. Pours out to a clear deep garnet, forming a sticky dark tan head with very good retention and decent lacing. The aroma is of darkening fruit like apples and plums, slightly soapy with notes of crystal malt husk. Swirling gives the impression of dates and raisins. I'm not really picking up on the maple syrup. The delicate aroma has probably all been blown off in fermentation and the sugars have been gobbled up. The mouthfeel is velvet soft and syrupy with a full, dense body. Mild to moderate carbonation. Taste begins with some delicate floral hops followed by raisins, prune juice, thick amber malts, perhaps a touch of maple woodiness towards the finish. Bitterness is mild to moderate and helps to accentuate the maltiness. Rotten raw applejuice and distant soap. Definite woodiness in the aftertaste. The alcohol is warming.

The best Tommyknocker brew I've had so far. A very nice "Imperial" Nut Brown. I would buy this one again.

 1,042 characters

Photo of HiLLWiLLiam
4.42/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Im drinking one as I write this entry and I must say Tommyknocker's never fail. A considerable improvement over the Maple Nut Brown Ale, which is also excellent. At 9.00% ABV it is well worth a college try. I've had several Tommyknocker's and the Imperial Nut Brown definitely tops the list.

 291 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown maroon color, almost light impenetrable, but shows a very dark maple syrup color. head is very small, just a ring around the glass, with an off-white island in the middle of the beer. Smell is sweet and full, with alcohol and brown sugar. This is very much like a great winter warmer, maybe even a dopple bock, even though it is June. Taste is extremely malty and full, lots of sweetness, rich and delicous. For $2.50 a bomber this stuff is a steal, very good, unique, and a welcome surprise from a brewery that just entered the Twin Cities market. My first Imperial Nut Brown, and I like the style.

 610 characters

Photo of gmoneyproductions
4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

had this on tap at the brewery
10 0z glass from the tap
look deep brown/slight copper slight off white head
smell classic brown and smoky
taste strong alcohol and smoky
smoky aftertaste slight not overwhelming a little carmel as well
super easy to drink and smooth despite 9% abv
best beer i have had here and i am generally not a fan of brown ales

 352 characters

Photo of sjdevel
4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Light on carbonation as there isn't much of a head after pouring. It is a medium reddish brown color and quite hazy.

Slight sour notes at first and then a blast of rich caramel comes in.

A big hop bite at first sip. It is very noticeable, but not overpowering. You are quickly greeted with rich and sweet caramel flavors and deep roasty and nutty malt flavors. There are a few tart bites throughout, but mainly sweet fruity flavors shine through.

Full bodied beer, but not very effervescent. Slight dry finish. Slight slickness left after each sip.

I enjoyed this one and thought it to be better than some of the other highly rated nut browns. Some have too much tartness and not enough rich toasted nut flavors, but this one is well balanced with all of those flavors.

 815 characters

Photo of AlexJ
4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was very hesitant of this brew as most of my Tommyknocker experiences haven't been very positive and this is certainly a strange style to attempt. I gotta say, they really pulled it off!

The pour is very deep mahogany with burnt sienna highlights. The light brown head is thick, rich and surprisingly lasting considering the strength of this beer. Looks great in my glass.

Aroma is everything you love about a brown ale times 100. It smells chocolatey and rich, with plenty of dark malts, brown sugar, and molasses with a great toasted nuttiness.

Flavor is even better. Tons of chewy fudgey chocolate, toasted almonds, molasses, black bread, dark fruit, raisin, and mocha. It had a mildly bitter, yet uber-smooth hop finish that balances it wonderfully. Not even a trace of it's strength, it's so drinkable, very impressive.

Body is huge, thick, chewy, and sticky, making me want to lick my chops after every sip. I truly savor every drop of this delicious, and rather under-rated ale. Yes this ale crosses many boundaries. At times it reminds you of a porter or stout, then barleywine, then old ale. In the end, you are assured. This IS an Imperial Nut Brown Ale. A new animal? Yes, and a damn tastey one at that!

 1,229 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to TheManiacalOne for this brew.

22oz. Gold Foil Top Bomber

Pours a nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, a very nice small creamy tan head, lots of small islands and sticky lacing throughout the drink. The nose is sweet, malty, dark fruits, toffee, chocolate, and some caramel. The taste is very nice mostly malts, but there is some dark fruit thing going on. Also some toffee/chocolate, the bottle sez maple syrup. The finish is slightly dry. Medium body, a well rounded complex brew. Very drinkable, this is my first TommyKnocker and it is delicious, highly recommended.

 598 characters

Photo of Gehrig
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I headed over to the sterling Sun Singer for some brew and, upon grabbing some Sam Adams Double Bock for the first time in a long time, I saw this concoction from Tommyknocker. What an Imperial Nut Brown Ale was, I could only surmise. Awfully glad I grabbed this, for it's excellent.

It pours a deep cloudy dun with absolutely no head at all. The nose offers a good hint of what's to come but could be more pronounced. Chocolate, hazelnut, and roasted coffee waft from it. But ah, the taste, when goodness is realized. Rich caramel blends with coffee bean, chocolate, and hazelnut in a dense malty brew that is quite impressive. The advertised maple syrup appears more in hints of molasses than as a cloying, viscous element. Creamy but with a tinge of hop bitterness, the mouthfeel is a delight. At 9.8%, the high ABV is tucked away nicely, making this a sipper only to ensure that one fully absorbs and appreciates its lush complexity.

Really terrific beer that Tommyknocker made, and I'm so glad I grabbed a sixer of it. A must-try.

 1,037 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark walnut with abundant orange highlights. As so often happens when I hold a beer of this color up to my sunlit front window, it's actually a beautiful shade of orangish crimson. The dense, creamy head of golden sandstone looks like it'll stay at two fingers forever. Lace is on the thin side, but the sheets cover nearly the entirety of the available surface area. This is the best looking Imperial Nut Brown Ale that I've ever seen (and the only one).

The nose is brown malty and brown sugary. It smells more like brown sugar and caramel than it does of 'brewed with pure maple syrup'. But no matter, it's aromatic, different and characterful. There's some fruit nectar aromas in there as well, and just a touch of alcohol. All Imperials have to have some alcohol in their noses, don't they? The trick is to successfully integrate it into the aroma and the flavor and Tommyknocker seems to have done just that. On the first count at least.

The first sip tells me that this is damn fine beer. I was more than skeptical, but I'll be hanged if these guys haven't pulled off an Imperial nut brown ale. The flavor profile consists of rich, chocolate-covered caramels with a little liquor surprise in the center. It's more dark caramel-like and brown sugar-like than chocolatey, which is exactly the way it should be. Wait, let's sprinkle a generous quantity of toasted, sugared pecans on top of the chocolate-caramel candy.

I'm still having a hard time appreciating the maple syrup. It comes across as brown sugar, or even molasses, which are flavors that I like a little more than maple. It's tough to mask a 9.8% ABV and the brewers haven't completely succeeded. That's okay though, I don't mind a wee bit of alcohol in my big beers if it's complementary to the flavor profile as a whole, as it is here.

The mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth, slick character that is perfectly in keeping with the rest of the beer and with the Imperial moniker. I'd like the CO2 to be a bit more restrained, but it keeps the mouthfeel from being too thick and heavy. A long, sweet, mouthcoating finish is the perfect coda to a well-crafted beer.

After tasting Tommyknocker's Ornery Amber, I wasn't expecting much from this bomber. I couldn't resist buying it, though, since I was curious about an Imperial Nut Brown made with maple syrup and since the price was right. Imperial Nut Brown Ale is a wonderful beer that I heartily recommend to lovers of all things Imperial and lovers of good beer in general.

 2,510 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
4.34/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a very dark rich ruddy brown color with a flash head and minimal lacing. Smells of amazing amounts of smokey molasses and brown sugar, maple syrup, raisins, and caramel / toffee malts. A medium presence of toasted nuts exists in the nose as well as a hint of earthy hopping appears as well once the glass warms up somewhat. Flavor contains *everything* indicated in the nose but at a somewhat drier level than I had expected (Which is a Good Thing as far as I am concerned with malt bombs like this) The only minor flaw I can find is that a bit of the alcohol solvent-ness comes through in the finish as a minor distraction from all of the excellent toasty goodness. Texture is a lovely creamy, rich, and robust medium-heavy thickness with adequate carbonation to keep things moving around on the tongue rather quite well.

I recommend checking this one out, it is a good one!

 908 characters

Photo of tburkhart
4.32/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Very dark brown with little to no head. Nothing sticking to the side of the glass as I drink.

Smells of chocolate and caramel, just like the description says.

Very smooth for a high ABV beer, noticed the alcohol a bit more as it warmed, but nothing I would worry about. It is a little thin on the mouth, but still very delicious.

If it wasn't for the high ABV this could be a 2 to 3 bottle per night beer.

 454 characters

Photo of ranger60
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Barcade in Jersey City, NJ.

Appearance: Darkbrown in color; darker than most brown ales. Fairly transparent
Aroma: Sweet malty aroma.
Flavor: Good sweet flavor, with some chocolate undertones, and reminiscent of some Belgian malts. Not picking up any of the maple flavor - brewer says it is brewed with maple syrup.
Mouthfeel: Good mouthfeel with substantial carbonation.
Drinkability: very drinkable

 413 characters

Photo of sullysbeer
4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Chocolate, malty sweet. Huge alcohol nose, marshmallow. Very light almost none on the hop aroma. Toasty and Toffee hints.

Appearance: Clear, deep brownish with a nice ruby hue when put up against the light. Very nice creamy head retention that has a very light brown color.

Flavor: Malty sweetness followed by a huge alcohol flavor which finishes quite dry along with a spicy hop bitterness that is not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium full body. Creamy and slick on the tongue. Perfect carbonation.

Overall Impression: A nut brown with a huge alcohol warming, hence "Imperial." For sure a winter beer. The alcohol dominates the rest of the flavoring, malt, and hop flavors. A great example of an Imperial Brown and doesn't stray from the Brown Ale category.

 786 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Imperial Nut Brown Ale from Tommyknocker Brewery
3.71 out of 5 based on 638 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.