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 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 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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Photo of anth0ny
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have a bottle of Imperial Nut Brown, with an updated label design which features a leprechaun looking character. This label says 9.0% alc/vol.
The beer is very cloudy, deep brown with a small off-white head. Decent lacing. Held to the light you can see more of the burnt orange/amber hue around the edges, deep gold at the top underneath the head with some unfiltered floaties as well. About 5% transparency. Looks juicy. Towards the end, the beer gains more clarity with brighter amber hue in the light.

Off rip I honestly couldn't pick up much of an aroma, but after a few sips I get a syrupy fig, raisin, maple sweetness.

Massive syrupy sweetness in the flavor, maple brown sugar and dark fruit up front and dominates most of the taste. As the beer gets a little warmer I can detect a touch of bittering hops on the way out of the sweetness. Just under those hops is the alcohol fighting for a chance to be detected, it's very subtle.

It's very smooth and exceptionally creamy, medium heavy body.
Light carbonation. Overall it's a sweet and sticky sipper.

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Photo of chinchill
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a Unibroue snifter.

A: Dark brown and hazy. Some sediment at the bottom of the bottle was included (intentionally) in the pour. Only enough head to cover the top despite a rather vigorous pour. The tiny head does have decent retention and leaves some lacing.

S: Sweet and rich with a hint of maple. Roasted malt with a bit of spiciness, dates and other dark fruits.

T: Fruitier than the aroma suggests, and with a stronger flavor. Hints of raisins, dates and toffee. Excellent sweet/bitter balance for this flavor profile.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Somewhat lively. Higher ABV evident on the tongue.

O: Very nice, and rather fruity, maple brown. High ABV is well hidden, although it did produce warming on the way down. I was too impatient and didn't let this warm up properly before starting to imbibe -- don't make the same mistake: this beer really opens up above ~ 45F.
{revised July 2013}

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Photo of dball
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The best thing about this brew is the appearance. In a glass is has a decent head and laces teh glass nicely. It looks like it woudl taste better than it does. I anticipated it being a little heavier and creamier. The malt is just right though. I think I would prefer if it was a bit creamier. It has a slight bitter hint despite it being a malty brown. That makes for a nice balance. The mouthfeel is what you would expect from an imperial ale. Overall this is a very good imperial brown. I haven't had many imperial browns and would order this again at the taproom.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, somewhat transparent cola-brown with a very thick and rather persistent light tan head. Strong, malty aroma has an overtone of molasses and a hint of maple syrup. Malty flavor has a sweet, syrupy overtone and woody, nutty and caramel notes. It is on the sweet side with very little hop bitterness, but still pleasing and tasty. Firm, smooth texture has just a little fizz, but you feel it going down the pipes. Overall, a worthy brew.

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Photo of ahq514
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into tulip glass.

Pours a dark brown, almost chestnut color. Light head that is slightly off white. Appears to have fairly low carbonation.

Love the aroma. Has everything you would want from this beer. Rich chocolate and caramel malt that has a maple sweetness to it. Has a nice nuttiness to it too. Not much hops to speak of.

Tastes pretty much the same as the aroma. Sweet maple syrup up front followed by a nice chocolate malt presence and nuttiness. Very subtle hop bitterness on the finish.

Nice medium body with low carbonation. Very drinkable for 9%.

A good beer, that I was surprised got such low ratings. Maybe I'm biased because I love maple syrup. A nice sweetness that is complemented by the chocolate and caramel malts and nuttiness.

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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.

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Photo of phishsihq
3.29/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This big complex and malty offering weighs in at hefty 9% ABV, and pours a rich dark brown, borderline black, with a quickly disappearing beige head that leaves a light ring around the the glass. Aromas of coffee, nuts, roasted malt and some slight alcohol notes create a rich bouquet. Chocolate and nuttiness are featured quite heavily on the pallet with a slight alcohol twinge in the finish. A medium body is met with a good amount of carbonation. Definitely a BIG beer, with much more subtleties then the Maple Nut Brown.

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

Served in a shaker pint, beer is brown with a tan head, thin some lacing, moderate carbonation, some lacing, not a lot of much.

Aroma is a little sweet wiht this mild almost coffee like bitterness in the nose, smells good.

Beer is sweet, medium bodied, bitter finish, mild roast, overall a nice little beer. I'd have it again although I wasn't blown away.

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Photo of diamondc
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark ruby tint when held up to the light. Tan colored head with some decent retention.

S: Some roast, lite peanut brittle. Very muted, though.

T: Molasses, raisins, lite coffee, milk chocolate. Not much happening in the hop department.

M: Absolutely no hotness despite being 9% abv. Could be "sessionable", even.

O: Good brown ale, sweetness isn't as cloying as I thought it would be. Worth a try.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
2.56/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I stored this in the fridge and let it sit for a bit at room temperature before pouring into a Newcastle Brown Ale glass. It was a dark mahogany with very little light getting through and had a nice fluffy head. Nose offered up a sweet, alcoholic blend of oranges and wine.

Sweet, slightly boozy flavor with a faint hop twang. The finish is bland and you are left with an alcoholic taste in your mouth. I didn't care for the flavor at all. It's too boozy and, even with all the sweetness, I don't get the nutty, toasted malt sweetness I'm looking for in this style.

I didn't care for this one as much as the brewer's standard Maple Nut Brown Ale (which is a nice beer). The other beer is easy-drinking and has a nice, mild, malty sweetness (not an alcohol sweetness). For me, this one is boozy and syrupy and kind of gross. However, don't let me detain you. I encourage you to crack one open and try it yourself.

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