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

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Reviews: 351 | Ratings: 638
Photo of maxpower
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle pours a clear brown with some floating particles, has a small light brown head that doesn't last long, leaves some lacing in my glass. Chocolate and caramel aromas, chocolate, coffee, nutty , brown sugar and maple flavors. Full bodied with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, finishes on the sweet side, alcohol is very well hidden as this is dangerously drinkable.

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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.

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Photo of battlekow
2.93/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Having just tried the regular Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown, I decided to give their Imperial Nut Brown a shot. The label says it's a "bigger, bolder version of our wildly popular Maple Nut Brown."

Appearance: Cloudier and darker than the regular Maple Nut Brown. Same thin, weak head.

Smell: Smells a bit spicier. I still get the same hint of cooked carrots though.

Taste: Honestly, it tastes like they just added some alcohol. Still doesn't taste like much, only now the nuttiness has been traded for an alcoholic bite. Maple aftertaste seems less pronounced, and that's what I liked most about the original.

Mouthfeel: Still thin, and the added alcohol makes it sting a bit.

Drinkability: Overall, less pleasurable than the "regular" version. The extra bite was a little offensive and detracted from the already less-than-outstanding original. Only exceeds its predecessor in appearance.

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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.

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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)

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Photo of ChrisBowers
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hmm, here's an interesting style, not one I've ever really seen for that matter. Pours a dark brown, minimal head. Smell is sweet, malty. Taste isn't quite as complex as I expected for the elegant packaging and the fact that its a 10th anniversary beer. Chocolate, maple syrup, caramel and some vanilla along with a nutty flavor are present. Tons of alcohol is there as well. Quite unbalanced, somewhat warming though so it'd probably be better on a winter's day. Its not a horrible beer, but not as interesting as I expected. At $4.49 a bomber, its not a bargain, nor a ripoff. As someone said, its a take it or leave it beer.

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Photo of ZAP
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been jazzed up about trying my first Imperial Nut Brown for weeks now and tonight is the night...

Nose is milk chocolate and a little caramel....sweet....brown sugar anmd toasted almonds

Pours a strong mahogany color...little head...

Very sweet taste....brewed with maple syrup and it tastes a little syrupy...don't get a strong maple impression though..more sweet caramel and brown sugar...

Almost a little oversweet in the mouth....full bodied...low carbonation

I could live without another one of these....not horrible but nothing special about it...take it or leave it type of beer..

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Photo of Bighuge
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ahhhh yes. My first Imperial Nut Brown Ale. I can hardly wait...

Deep crimson tone. Slight, bubbly light brown head. Lacing is moderate. Aroma is sweet, nutty and toasty. Chocolate and caramel are also present. Really, quite a pleasant nose with no overriding characteristic. When I read that this was a jacked up version of their normal Maple Nut Brown ale, I feared this was going to be too sweet. But that's not the case. It's sweet, but not cloying. The maple is noticeable as is chocolate. Alcohol lets itself be heard as well. There's a little heat to this one. Nuttiness and lightly kilned malts meld nicely together. It's good. Not great. In this particular beer, I could do without the jacke up EtOH level. But that's just my preference. All in all, it's pretty decent.

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3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Has a real caramel malt scent, but other traits lend themselves more to a doppelbock aroma than anything else I can identify.
This has a creamy sort of head that goes away but leaves it's trace throughout. Dark brown in color with amber hues.
Very heavy on the molasses flavor. Marmalade and raisin are present notes as well. The caramel noted on the smell is not as present in the flavor.
I'm not sure if this is infused with any extracts, but this becomes cloying at times. Pretty good and tasty on the whole, but on the other hand, not so nutty, and there aren't many undertones or complexities that I was expecting from a beer which celebrates 10 years.

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Photo of frazbri
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown-mahogany with good sized cream color head. Fruity aroma, sweet with cinnamon notes. Sweet, maple, bread and pepper. Medium-full body and moderate carbonation.

Imperial Nut Brown Ale, this is one of those beers that won't fit into a clearly defined catagory. The aroma of this one reminds me of redhots cinnamon candy, with some added features of course. There was a distinct peppery flavor in the middle of this. Overall, I'd put this somewhere between a double IPA and a Barleywine style-wyse. This one's worth a shot.

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Photo of budgood1
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours out of the 22oz. bottle a deeply ruby hued colour with a cream to beige coloured head, about a quarter inch thick...thick and tight. lots of solvent choco and caramel aromas...somewhat subdued but rather inviting. this is a pretty flavourful beer, lots of thick chewy maltiness with a definite sweetness attributed to the use of maple syrup. chocolate, caramel, vanilla and nutty notes mingle quite nicely with an alcohol spice that warms the belly. there is a big full mouthfeel with every sip...i bet this would go well with some chocolate chip pancakes...or maybe serve as the syrup for those cakes. nevertheless, this is a big ole winter warmer type concoction that is a hearty enough brew to warm ones soul on the coldest of any winter night. not overly complex, just big and sweet and hearty. a nice easy sipping brew for being so big.

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Photo of cokes
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, shadowy scarlet with a yellow-creme head.
Nose of confectioner caramels and high-proof vanilla extract.
Begin highly sweet with brown sugar and caramel. And it strays little. A notion of molasses here and there, and an interjecion swell of maple. A mellow alcohol creeps in, full of spiced rum, kahlua, and vanilla schnapps.
Heavy sweet with no noteworthy hopping. The carbonation stays persistant and keeps this drinkable.
This is a big, oafish, simple being. But a fairly tasty one.

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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.

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Photo of alexgash
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, maple syrup brown with ruby highlights and a rather small (half a finger) of sandy brown head. Nose is made up of sweet, licorice malts, singed brown sugar, a vaguely spicy hop smell, and a little alcohol. Taste starts with sweetish malts. Notes of marshmallow, tobacco leaf, stewed fruit, and cola are detectable. Bitterness comes late, basically right at the finish. Unfortunately, the light roasted bitterness falls a little short, and the result leans toward a cloying finish. Not bad, but could use a little more balance. Medium-full body, with ample carbonation. I like this more than any other Tommyknocker beer I've had.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.79/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle. Deep mohogany color, with some ruby around the edges. Thin beige head disappears quickly. Nutty aroma, some roasty notes and slightly smoky. Big malt character, toffee-like flavor. Maple flavor thrown in as well. Very sweet like syrup. Sticky, a bit cloying. Seemed like a little hop flavor that tasted citrusy to me. Big alcohol presence. Medium body, low carbonation. I enjoyed this brew, although it was a bit too sweet for my taste.

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Photo of meathookjones
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from a 22oz bottle sampled on 1/8/05 with a bottled on date of 11/09/04. Appears a dark brown with red highlights and a small tan head. Aroma is malt with sweetness and a chocolate. A big nuttiness is present as well as a touch of maple. Flavor is quite sweet, with notes of caramel and chocolate. There are nut flavors in there as well but this is a bit too sweet overall. A little less sweet would have gone a long way with this. Medium body with a creamy feel to it. Only the sweetness brings down the drinkability on this otherwise it would really be a much better beer.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another brew from my Secret Santa Mentor. Thanks for the great beers man!
I am drinking a room temp sample in a snifter. Bottled on 10/04
The beer pours a rich dark brown color with off white frothy head of 1 cm foaming up and fading gradually to a robust edge layer that remains throughout the sampling. Aroma is caramel maple syrup and alomonds some lite grassy hops also make an appearance. First sip reveals gentle rolling carbonation and a smooth body with a bit of a syrupy texture. Flavor is malt and general sweetness with toffee maple syrup, brown sugar all mixing for an overall sweet experience. The finish is very maplely and also a bit of roasted malt. The is a nice brew but gets a little sweet towards the end of the bottle. Contrary to some other reviews I barely find any presence of the alcohol flavor wise or on the nose. Very drinkable for a bigger beer!

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much better than the Maple Nut Brown they "Imperialized". Dark brown color with a thick oatmeal-colored head and nice lacing. Roasty, malty, nutty aroma. Full-bodied and sweet with toasted malt, maple and caramel flavors. Hops and well-masked alcohol present too. The finish is toasted malt with a touch of hops and spice. This is actually a very good session ale despite the ABV. A nice surprise from a normally below-average brewer.

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Photo of clvand0
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. This beer pours a medium brown color with a small head that dies off quickly but leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet from the maple syrup and has a lot of alcohol. The flavor has a lot of character from the maple syrup, but the alcohol really hurts the flavor here. Very thick mouthfeel. Drinkability is ok, but suffers from the unmasked alcohol.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to clvand0 for sharing this with me. The beer pours a very deep brown color with a finger of head that falls to very lightly coat the beer. The nose is slightly brown sugar and maple sweet, with a blas of alcohol as well. The flavor is nice, with good toasted nutty tones alongside sweet maple and brown sugar, though there is an intial alcohol that detracts a little from the flavor. The beer is very thick and slightly syrupy. A very enjoyable drink. If it weren't for the fairly big alcohol hit in the flavor, this would be very good. Though, it is still not bad.

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Photo of irishmoss
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

While I’m generally not a huge fan of nut brown ales, I had to try this one based on that wildly popular buzz word “Imperial”. The label says that this brewed with “pure maple syrup, the highest quality chocolate and crystal malts…” Brewed on October 18th, 2004 and according to the label should be enjoyed within 4 months.

As I poured this into a large goblet I noticed a very effervescent light tan head that dissipated very quickly to sparse patches of head and an equally faint ring. The body is a deep garnet/brown color. The aroma is maple syrup and malts with a thin alcohol indication to the nose. The taste also has maple syrup tones up front and alcohol characters in the end, but in between the start and the finish there is a delicate chocolate aspect that I can’t really put my finger on. This is sweet with a slight hop character in the ending and a dry finish. Well carbonated body with a medium density, could be thicker, but Stone Russian Imperial Stout has me subconsciously comparing the body everything I drink to it. Relatively drinkable for the high alcohol content, the ABV is evident at times and well hidden at other times as well.

This imperial nut brown is both “bigger, bolder” as advertised, but in my opinion it could use some tweaking here and there. Do I think that a new style definition is required? I’m not sure I can answer that at this time, it depends on how many other brewers want to take this “imperial” craze to supplementary styles other than the stout or I.P.A. we’re generally accustomed to.

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Imperial Nut Brown Ale from Tommyknocker Brewery
3.71 out of 5 based on 638 ratings.
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