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Imperial Nut Brown Ale | Tommyknocker Brewery

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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: 637
Photo of raznug
4.01/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer pours a dark amber color and is topped with ½” of light tan colored head.
Smell: The aroma of this beer is all malt with all a touch of yeasty bread aroma in the background.
Taste: The taste goes well with the aroma great malt flavor with no hop presence and slight bread or yeast tastes that top off a great tasting beer.
Mouthfeel: This beer is a medium bodied with great taste profile that carries well onto the palate and beyond.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled back on 10/13/13. Chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a brandy snifter.

Pours a very dark brown in color with a small tan head. Lots of lacing is seen with each sip. The aroma is of sweet maple syrup and grassy hops. Actually brewed with maple syrup. Nice aroma. The taste was actually very smooth with that high alcohol content unlike other 9% brews. Smooth rich flavor that was pretty tasty with no harsh aftertaste.

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Photo of bark
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The colour is dark brown with a tint of red (70 EBC). The low brown head disappears quickly. No lacing.

The smell is malty with a smooth sweetness. Some dried red berries, chocolate and molasses. Raisins, bitter-tart notes and quite a lot of alcohol.

The taste is nutty with lots of dried red fruits and caramel. Distinct warming alcohol. Treacle and a touch of perfume. Medium to full body. The aftertaste is smooth with some bitterness in the background. Figs, raisins and prunes. Alcohol and dried fruits in the finish.

The carbonation is mild, the few fresh bubbles are large. The liquid is thick and a bit sticky.

Lots of flavours, lots of alcohol. But not as sweet as expected. An OK after dinner ale.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: dark brown; small head that dissipates quickly; good lacing

Smell: very sweet smell with notes of brown sugar; grassy hops

Taste: heavy sweetness right up front with a quick bite of hops; dark dried fruits in the mid; finishes velvety with a lingering hop bitterness to even it out; not bad overall

Mouthfeel: syrupy, but not too much so; light carbonation

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.46/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Tommyknocker Imperial Nut Brown. Big, Complex and Malty-big, complex, and malty. High malt, low hops, Colorado, 9% ALC/VOL. IBU 57, Ale brewed with pure maple syrup. Colorado Mountain Town Craft Beer.

Too many words, not enough drinking. Let's start.

Dark brown coloring, slim, dotted head.

Aroma: deep, rich and malty. Big caramel, vast maple, brown sugar aplenty. low hops (but not that low, it is 57 IBU…got to be big to keep this malt in check.).

Taste: rich malt, all that vast complexity and sweetness, caramel and toffee, with maple, too, in tow. I get some nuts, too, in this brown. And the hops are just enough to keep the big sweetness from this preponderance of malt in check.

I wonder what else is on the label? The Tommy knocker legend, which I will skip, and these words: "Flavored beer." Imperial nut brown ale, flavored with maple syrup, I suppose.

I bit too big for me, I think. Nut browns shouldn't be imperial, I've always said.

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Photo of Chessmaster
3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a translucent, ruby-brown with about a finger's width of creamy head.
Leaves some, but not a lot of, nice lacing on the glass. Head dissipated slowly to a thin cap.

Smell: Aroma is a sweet, bready malt, very inviting, mixed with a hint of hops

Taste: Rich, thick, caramel; some bready malt; sweet and syrupy; finishes with a bit of alcohol warmth

Mouthfeel: Smooth, rich, syrupy

Overall: A nice beer, but more of a sipping beer. Probably wouldn't want to drink more than one of these at a time.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a dark brown to black. Head is off white and lighter than mosst beers with this dark of a color - about a finger of head disappates to next to nothing. Speckled lacing but not much.

S: Big malt nose - sweet scent from the maple.

T: Malts have a big presence from the front to back with the maple syrup showing up mid way through the beer and lasts to the finish. Ever so slight bitter taste on the back end from the hops.

M: Heavy taste on the tongue, but somewhat flat on the back side - still doesn't discount from the beer overall.

O: Good experience and good winter brew.

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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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.71/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

So, apparently, Tommyknocker and their new labels have entered the Chicagoland market. Okay. This stuff pours a clear russet-garnet topped by a half-finger of ashen khaki foam. The nose comprises rich caramel, sweet coffee (imagine sniffing the air at the mall right at the edge of the food court where there's a coffee "store" and a candy store right next to each other), mild cashew, and a hint of cocoa. The taste holds notes of fusel alcohol (up front and in-my-face), burnt nuts, toasted malts, and bitter coffee. Things took a turn from the pleasant and sweet to the unexpectedly crass and bitter. Shame, really. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, what could have been a solid beer (judging by the smell) instead allowed itself to succumb to the Dark Side, with a flavor combination that made me harshly grimace with every sip.

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Photo of KajII
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Dimpled Mug]

The pour was a clear dark chestnut brown with an average (1-2 finger) light brown rocky head that mostly lasted throughout, reducing slowly down to a med cap with fair streaky lacing.

The aroma was of a toasted biscuit malt, light resin hops and an earthy yeast with notes of molasses, coffee, maple syrup, a very light hint of chocolate and a moderate alcohol presence.

The taste was malty sweet with a hint of molasses and a pinch of chocolate early on, progressing into a nice bitter sweet mildly roasty taste with a notes of coffee, maple syrup and a boozy alcohol ending. The flavor stuck around for a good long while after the swallow, with a nice roastiness and a strong boozy finish.

Mouthfeel was almost medium in body and dry in texture with a somewhat mild carbonation.

Overall this was a delicious brew with a malty sweetness that kind of compensated for the bold boozy presence. Yep, this one kind of makes you feel warm all over...


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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: Dark sorghum syrup look. tan, swarthy head.
smell: Deep brown sugar and dark fruits. Very rich.
taste: Not as rich and complex as the nose. Nice but a shadow of the nose, a letdown.
overall: Nice. I'm a sucker for good brown and this is bit unusual in a good way. A little water body, the nose is extraordinary.

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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!

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Photo of corby112
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy, dark chestnut brown color with a half finger beige head that quickly fades into a thin, lasting ring. Minimal spotty lacing.

Slightly earthy aroma with grassy hops and a decent balance of roasted and sweet malt notes. Floral hops up front followed by hints of toast, chocolate, caramel and toffee.

Medium bodied and surprisingly hop forward for the style. Some dry bitterness complimented by a complex malt bill and maple sweetness. A bit more roast than expected but nit overly dry or acrid with hints of coffee and toast. This is cut by the maple sweetness as well as some subtle spice, caramel, toffee and hazelnut. Decently balanced and the high ABV is well masked, but there's an odd lingering aftertaste that hurts drinkability. Not bad but I don't think I would go for this one again.

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Photo of Bitter_Echo
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok. A brown ale, maybe my first, on a trade. I slipped this in to my tumbler, so nothing on the head and I don't care either; and looks dark like a stale cola, or neglected coffee, or warm prune juice, or an oil change. Smells like this will be a malt bomb too, as it should be. Taste is malty, and dry, and slightly bitter, with ripe fruit and prune and late cherries: but I'm not detecting the maple. Seems a wasted carbohydrate to add to the vat...it all turned to booze. And I know what I'm talking about, having had my maple trees tapped, and I'm semi-addicted to the stuff: There doesn't seem to be any maple here, but I'd be walloped too if there were any, thinking that beer might be the surest way to kill the subtle flavor in maple. And nuts...don't detect them either. For nine percent booze, doesn't seems that alcohol forward. Malty not being my thing, and bitter more than anything is what I'm after, I can say this was a serviceable beer only, and not really the beer for me--meaning the style more than the brewery.

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Photo of Mojo
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a beautiful mahogany with a hint of red. It pours up with a full two finger head and leaves delicate spider-web type lacing on the glass. The smell is sweet and subtle. Mouthfeel is a little thin. Taste is very sweet (as expected with a lot of malt character) but the alcohol is just too overpowering on the finish. A little more hops and less alcohol and it would be awesome!!!

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.14/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Libby porter/stout glass. Best by Oct 15, 2012.

Appearance: Dark brown ale - clear with some coppery red color when held up to the light. Very little to head upon pouring - leaving just the barest ring at the edges. Occasional hint of lacing seen, but even this slowly dies away.

Smell: Very malty. Dark fruits, grapes, tiny bit of alcohol. Maple only starts to come out as the beer warms up.

Taste: What a malt bomb this one is. If you're a drinker with a sweet tooth (which I am) you'll find it right in your sweet spot (pun intended). Not cloyingly sweet, but malts dominate here. Rich caramel, hints of chocolate, nice maple hit, smooth throughout to a mild bittersweet chocolate/piney bitter finish that barely lingers. Alcohol is notable, but not excessively so.

Mouthfeel: Nicely thick up front approaching creamy with the carbonation coming out as little pin pricks on the tongue a little later in the swallow.

Overall / Drinkability: I think the normal version of this beer is the superior one. It's far more flavorful and aromatic, and to boot, it's a lot more sessionable. This one is good, and is a great slow sipper with the malt bomb it is, but it doesn't wow me like it's less boozy cousin. So drinkability is one and done. Don't get me wrong though, flavor is great and right up my alley, but somehow the overall package (especially the appearance) was underwhelming compared to the other. Still, worth a try and glad I got it - I just will probably reach for normal strength when offered.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass

A: chocolate brown. A half finger head that quickly dissipates, leaving big bubbles around the glass. Not much lacing.

S: Nutty, malts, yeast

T: Drinks a lot like a dubbel. Sweet, malty, smokey. Maple syrup. A dry finish. Alcohol slowly creeps in for a "naptime" feeling.

M: medium with thick carbonation.

O: a really good American Brown Ale. Like their Maple Nut Brown on steroids.

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

A: deep brown ale with an ivory head that gone in the blink of an eye; very slight lace motes left behind

S: mild sweet maple and brown sugar

T: chocolate and caramel malts come through nicely, with a good flavor of maple, brown sugar, and nuts

M: easy on the palate, drier than I expected for the sweetness - very nice; way more drinkable than expected, too

O: I had this after having tried Founder's Frangelic Mountain a couple of weeks ago, and I'd say it is easily on par, and lacks some of the more "artificial"-seeming flavors of the FMB; this was good and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of magine
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown with some ruby edges. Minimal head; lace layer head. Small layer remains and some patchy lacing. Decent looks.

Brew smells of roasted malts sweet maple and cocoa. Pretty good nose.

Brew is a little light in the feel, good malts flavors though in the middle. Good maple flavors here, sweet cocoa and maple syrup for sure. Starts balanced, maybe some hops to spice things in the front and the maple and cocoa is tasted in the middle. Good finish and drinkability for such a high abv brew. Nice warming as you drink from the abv. A little on the sweet side, but its expected as I wouldn't picture sessioning this one because of the abv and sweet maple. Good stuff here.

Was surprised by the thinner feel, but good flavors and drinkability add a huge plus. A good high abv brown that is reasonably priced. Certainly worth picking up again. Good stuff.

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Photo of superspak
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best by 9/17/2012. Pours fairly crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a good 1-2 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some pretty good lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of caramel, biscuit, molasses, maple syrup, roasted nut, toast, toffee, raisin, and light herbal; some alcohol appears as it warms. Some pretty nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of caramel, toffee, molasses, toast, biscuit, raisin, roasted nut, earth, herbal, and light maple syrup. Lingering notes of caramel, molasses, raisin, toast, and nuttiness on the finish for a short bit. Flavors are pretty good, but they aren’t as robust or balanced as I was hoping; hardly any maple flavor in the taste. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Feels a bit thin for a 9% beer, but it is good enough. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a pretty good imperial brown ale. Some nice flavors with decent balance; and quite smooth to drink for the alcohol level.

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Photo of charlzm
3.31/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Consumed May 10th, 2012 from a standard pint glass. Bottle labeled "best before June 11, 2012".

Beer pours from bottle a very clear, medium to caramel brown. No head despite a vigorous pour.

Very aromatic: bourbon and toffee/caramel malts. Vanilla, oak and hazlenut, too.

Big flavor: upfront, some wood, hazlenut and a hint of vanilla. Some fusel alcohol in the middle. Very woody bitterness on the finish that lasts a long time.

Unremarkable mouthfeel.

Not super drinkable; this was my only beer of the night. Drinks bigger than the ABV. Not a big fan.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lightly chilled 12 oz. bottle poured into a stein. Best by date 10.12.12

Look- Rich ruby brown, two fingers of toasted marshmallow head that falls quickly. A few arches of lace are left as it dissipates.

Smell- Crusty bread, walnuts, brown sugar, and a hint of booze. Swirling brings out a powdery scent and fusel alcohol.

Taste- Similar to the aroma. Starts nutty, moves on to maple, gingerbread, and booze, finishes like crusty bread. Aftertaste of toasted marshmallow and roasted grains. Pretty boozy.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, medium carbonation. Finishes pretty clean, a bit treacly feeling by the end of the mug.

Overall- Surprisingly nondescript. Flavors are pleasant and well done, but are overpowered by the alcohol. I'd also like a bit more body, as it is it comes off like light syrup. That being said, I haven't had another beer quite like it- Tommyknocker has the maple ale thing pretty well figured out, and it sets them apart. I might give it a go again if I decide to whip up a batch of beer-fortified pancakes.

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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!

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

So, the site crashed as I was submitting my review for this beer. I remember the ratings, and will use the end of my glass to try and remember what specifically I wrote.

The pour was a dark mahogany/cola, but with a minimal head. The little layer over the top did linger, however, leaving nice lacing down the sides.

The nose was predominantly sweet malts and maple, with a hint of raisins and dark fruits.

The tongue follows the general scheme of the nose, but the maple isn't as pronounced. In its stead the taste is more coffee forward with hints of chocolate and a nice bittering hop finish that I did not catch in the nose at all.

Sticky mouthfeel and almost fizzy, but its smoothness belies the almost 10% alcohol, which is only vaguely noticeable by its warming characteristic.

Quite drinkable, especially for a beer of this size. Certainly check it out if you're a fan of the style, the non-imperial version, or maple syrup in general. In fact, just check it out anyway, and appreciate the work gone into crafting this brew.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Victory tulip

A- pours black with a one finger offwhite head that immediately fades. Head disappoints me

S- light maple aroma, getting a little roast too

T- lots of sweetness from the maple, but it's not cloyingly sweet. Slight roast. Not much brown ale characteristics

M- it's actually pretty thin for an imperial style...

O- the alcohol is hidden extremely well, but the maple turns this into a wholly different beer than I think they were trying for

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Imperial Nut Brown Ale from Tommyknocker Brewery
3.71 out of 5 based on 637 ratings.
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