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

22 oz. bottle poured into large weizen glass

Appearance: a very dark brown, almost stout-like color with reddish hues when held up to sunlight. Nice size head rests into pillowy off-white floaters.

Smell: sweet flowers, alcohol, maple syrup, sugar and overripe fruits.

Taste: sweet fruit, alcohol is well disguised, not much hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: excellent, chewy and full bodied, malty.

Drinkability: while the alcohol may keep me from drinking too many of these, I really enjoyed this beer.

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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.

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Photo of Vancer
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Now this is what I’m talking about in a brew! Yeah! Dark mahogany pour, rings of tan. Molasses, caramel and maple in the aroma. Also noted some coffee and nuts (almonds, per se? or was I getting too ripped?).

Very rich, but still slightly thin bodied. But I really dug the 10% buried behind the smooth, malty body of this frosty. Slid down as easy as a 4/5% brew – which makes it kinda dangerous.

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Photo of wedge
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a shadowy, deep auburn color with a slim creamy beige head. Timid aroma of toasted caramel, burnt sugar, dark maple, and nuts. Sticky, toasted dark malt flavors begin as mapley brown sugar but ends up cloyingly sweet and seems to lack some depth. Alcohol is a little more prominent than it probably should be. Pretty heavy in the mouth. Half a bomber and I'm done.

I lost interest in this halfway through my glass. Seems too "artificial" for it to really come together as a satisfying beer. Its not awful, but I can't recommend it.

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Photo of tastybeer
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color is a deep redish brown color. Pretty thick but light does come through in the form of crimson highlights. Head is a light tan, creamy color. Not that large but holds good retention with bits of sticky lace. Nose isn't powerful but does have a good amount of maple maltiness, brown sugar/mollasses, some fruit and maybe some toffee. Not an "imperial" nose really, but certainly more than your typical brown ale. Tastes similar with sweet brown sugar, fruity, spicy alcohol, nuts, and caramel. The alcohol gives a little kick to your palate through the finish and in the aftertaste. The flavors don't seem really well blended; the beer flips between kind of cloying, and less sweet but more alcoholic. Within one sip the flavor varies in this way. Mouthfeel isn't bad but the body feels separated and loose, yet ironically sticky. There needs to be more substance/body to hold this together. Drinkability was very decent for the first half of this but once I got more into it I was just getting it down to finish it. This reminds of Pete's Wicked Ale intensified to a higher abv.

Meh. I usually like nut browns so style's not the problem. This "imperial" brown ale is random and under developed. It has the abv of a big beer but every aspect of it is scattered around. Most of the components and flavors are there but they don't come together in a good pleasing way.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.57/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A beery maple syrup color leaves a 22oz bomber into my imperial Carlsberg pint glass. Great syrupy tan/brown highlight with a very deep brown molasses middle. A nice, subtle sweet maple aroma mixed with some cocoa butter and vanilla bring out interesting notes in this beer. The start is a mdeium roast with some mapley sweetness. Sfter awhile, I noticed some brown sugar and molasses and toffee notes. Good night cap beer on a cold fall evening.

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Photo of Byeast
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle is a 650ml bomber.

Appearance: Poured very dark , almost opaque brown , with some slight reddish hues. Head was small and tan.

Smell: caramel malt sweetness , maple , hint of chocolate , and just a tinge of alcohol.

Taste: Mmm! Rich maple and brown sugar sweetness , full bodied malt , some slight bittersweet chocolate , very well hidden alcohol , and some nuttyness.

Mouthfeel: slick , slightly viscous , and a bit dry in the finish. ( like eating nuts)

Drinkability: I am impressed by this brew. A very interesting , new style they created. If one is worried by the name that is may be too sweet , dont. It's not at all. Sweet yes , but balanced very well. And the alcohol is virtually completly masked. If you like Impy stouts , give this neat brown brew a try.

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Photo of walleye
3.47/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle. poured a nice mahogany with a nice sized tan head. aroma, toast, dark cherries, plums, red grapes, roasted malts, some smoke as it warmes alcohol and nice sweetness comes out. flavor. the malts and hops come out nicely followed by cherries, maple syrup with a good hit of alcohol. easy drinking beer will get more of this

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

Poured from a bomber to a pint glass. The liquid is a dark opaque brown, nice carbonation. The Head is big 2 fingers, dark brown, smooth and creamy looks like a porter.

The smell is not so pronounced, Sweet thick molasses coated malt, not very hopy.

The taste is big!, Sweet thick big dark malt shouting at you. Almost too sweet, with the maple syrup.

The mouthfeel is full and thick, syrupy might be too thick. Carbonation does not break it up.

The drinkability falls of some, but not bad. A big bottle but I could have more. The price ir right. MK

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

A: Dark brown, mostly black with a faint red hue. No head, and very little lace clinging to the glass.

S: Mapley smell w/chocolate and burnt malt notes. Ever so slightly tempting.

T: Deep chocolate malts, heavy but delicious. Maple is a nice backing accent to this beer. Hoppy tones do sharpen the taste toward the end though, with a faint nutty taste.

M: Crisp and light, but sharp due to the ABV. Still, quite balanced w/decent carbonation and easy on the palate. Syrupy and sticky texture, but somewhat pleasing in this regard.

D: Limit to a couple. The hops sharpen it in the finale to the point that goes beyond its malty side. Nevertheless, a strong nut brown ale that surprises.

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Photo of weeare138
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a dark brown with a deep auburn hue. A 2 finger tan head slowly fades out into a mild cap. Nice amounts of chunky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of maple, molasses, roasted nuts, nougat, and rich brown sugar.
Taste is of the same aromas with a caramelized wort flavor that is actually pretty rich, bountiful, sugary, and delicious.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, intense of alcohol, sweet, and bitter with a roasted nut feel that lingers along the palate.

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Photo of cbl2
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

8/24/2006 $4.99 22 oz. 9.80% No best by date.


Pours a deep rich brown, almost black with over a half inch of tight tan foam that slowly settles leaving a nice lace behind.


Brewed with pure maple syrup, and a touch of the maple peeks through, along with a roasted nuttiness.


Nice smooth creamy mouthfeel accompanied by a pungently sweet syrup aspect that is followed by a surprisingly bitter hoppiness. A very mild nutty character is barely detectable behind the other, bolder components. The high alcohol is completely masked, which would make this dangerous, if I wanted to continue drinking more than one bottle of this, but it is too sweet for me to want to pursue that option.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours opaque very dark brown to black. Head is slight with moderate lacing.

Smell is unusual. Surprisingly sour with an alcohol astringency. Hints of dark malt and chocolate.

Taste is sweet dark fruit, with enough alcohol to give a brandylike character. Dark malt and a pleasant earthy nuttiness. Finish has subdued hop bitterness and a lingering smokey quality that compliments the sweet dark fruit.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied.

Overall flavors are a little subdued. More robust flavor would be appreciated. An unusual take on a stout.

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Photo of bashiba
2.36/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a dark black color with a thin tan head.

Smell has a pungeant off smell.

Taste is very lacking for a beer this big. Very light nut with a bit of slighty sour brown flavors and some trace alcohol notes.

mouthfeel is slick and slightly warm.

Overall pretty bland would steer clear of in the future.

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Photo of beersabound
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I just had one bottled in November 04. It had a brown dark orange color and a nice small head. It smelled of maple sweetness with some malty roasted notes. This had quite complex flavors of maple, chocolate and a nuts. The sweetness and roastiness of the flavor and aftertaste blended wonderfully together as it warmed. As I neared the end of the bottle I also started to get a nice warm feeling and then remembered it's almost 10% ABV.

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Photo of cproioi
3.39/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark brown body with red coming through around the edges. Had light tan lead that left little to no lacing. The smell and taste greatly consisted of caramel and chocolates from the roasted malts. It had a big hit of maple sugar present in both also. Not a bad taste or aroma. The drink was relatively thin for a beer that calls itself an imperial. There was alcohol present but I didn't find it to be over whelming. It wasn't bad I would get this again but not often.

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Photo of SilentSabre
2.6/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I must say, I was truly let down with this one. It poured a quite cloudy dark brownish-red colour with a HUGE foamy khaki coloured head. The smell was amazingly sweet with a powferul alcohol punch. The taste? More of the smell, quite honestly, with a rediculous amount of sugar and alcohol. There's no doubt in my mind that maple syrup is involved in the brewing process of this one. Enormously sweet, and enormously alcoholic. I didn't really care for this one, especially in such a large serving. This needs to be an 11,2oz bottle, certainly not a 22oz'er. Very rough and quite strong. I have had brews 11, 12, even 15%abv, that were easier to drink than this. I'm sure this has its fans, but I didn't care for it, thanks.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle - Marked Dec 05 so it is a little past the recommended 4 month freshness date on the bottle.

A - Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights and a slight fizz of a head that is almost nonexistent.

S - Sugary, maple syrup is the dominating aroma. Hint of caramel and a slight alcohol presence. Some dark fruit character appears as the beer warms.

T - Sweet, sugary caramel, I get more molasses than maple syrup in the taste. Hint of chocolate and dark fruits. The alcohol is slightly present.

M - Medium bodied and almost syrupy. Well carbonated. Alcohol is present by warming the body as it goes down.

D - Very drinkable for a big Imperial brown. I wouldn't recommend more than one in a sitting but I will definitely look for this one again.

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

I wasn't sure what to expect from an "imperial" nut brown ale, and with the brewery's prominent notice that maple syrup was used in the brew, I was braced for something over the top with sweetness. I was pleasantly surprised by the judicious use of the maple flavor in the beer - just enought to provide an interesting dimension, but not enough to overpower, or even steal the spotlight. Nicely moderated roasted malt flavor and the alcohol flavor was subdued. Unusually drinkable.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22-oz bomber, poured into a tall weizen glass. Pours out a dark ruby-tinted brown, with almost no head despite a vigorous pour. Very sweet nose with rich toffee notes. Good malt flavor, but not too sweet, continuing the toffee/caramel note, with modest nutty flavor, moderate bitterness, and a touch of alcohol. At the end, a faint green-apple fruitiness mixed with pleasant maple syrup flavor become apparent. Surprisingly light and drinkable for a 9.8% beer. I was expecting this to be an overdone version of their Maple Brown, but it's very well-balanced and quite drinkable. And by the bottom of the glass, rather warming as well.

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Photo of merlin48
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber pours a clear, dark, mahogany body with a one finger tall, light brown head. Good retention and some chains of lacing are left on the imperial pint glass.

Aroma has some dark roasty chocolate, maple syrup, almond nuttiness, and a hint of spicy hops.

Mouthfeel is solid medium, a bit chewy, with understated carbonation.

The dark roasty chocolate maltiness imparts a mild bitterness. Some Coca Cola notes are interesting. Just a hint of maple syrup sweetness. Toasty almonds provide a pleasant nuttiness. Hops are muted, but add a pleasant balancing bitterness. Alcohol stays in the background. Very tasty.

A pleasant surprise here, for certain. Very pleasant to taste and dangerously drinkable.

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

Bomber into a pint glass. Maybe I should've done the snifter, but alas.

Appearance: Not much light coming through this sucker at all, leaving an extremely dark brown body. The mocha colored head stays pretty uniform at about 1/2" above the glass, and there are pearls and dots of lacing all around the top.

Smell: Dark sweet malts, chocolate, toffee, raisins, dates, mocha, honey, maple, vanilla, lots of bread, nuttiness, and some dark berries. Some alcohol comes through as it warms, but nothing that wasn't expected.

Taste: A full and thick meld of all to want in a style I was so curious about. The sweetness is there but is curbed by the hops at the finish and throughout. There's a nice meld of roasted chocolate malt, maple, raisins, brown sugar, and dark berries. Lots of stuff going on here. And yes, I probably should've gone for the snifter instead of the pint glass. Finishes slightly sweet before some nice hops quell it down for the fairly long finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick to the edge of where it needs to be without going over, which I suppose is the mouthfeel threshold. The carbonation's evident in the mode of silkiness, as the bubbles are fleshed out instead of bursting like big ass grapes, which they shouldn't be.

Drinkability: All in all this is a pretty impressive brew, and a style that I'm glad they took a chance on. Without the thickness and insane complexity of an Imperial Stout, this is much more drinkable (in the sense that though I want to savor it I end up drinking it a bit too fast) and can be a bit deadlier since the alcohol is still present as much as an Imperial Stout also. I'm really glad I tried this and will hopefully be having some more by Tommyknocker when I can get my hands on some.

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Photo of shbobdb
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks ColoradoBobs!

What an interesting idea for a beer! Take a subtle british style and IMPERIALIZE IT!

The result is actually quite good. The earthy presence that I expect from a nutbrown is definately there. These mingle with the maple-dryness from the syrup. It is really very unique.

I've never really had a beer like this before. Amazing. There is a strong malt body that is dried just enough by the maple syrup to really create the most balanced, uhhhh, Imperial beer I've ever had. I don't know what to say.

If memory serves (and it has been several years) it is very much like their maple brown, just bigger in every way. If I were to try and imperialize a beer, I'd use this beer's philosophy.

A wonderful experimental beer. Exatically what a ten anny beer ought be. It pushes boundaries, while remaining familiar. While I don't see Imperial Nut Brown catching on as a style, I really dig this beer. It reminds me of a dear friend of mine who is both normal and exceptional at the same time. Yeah.

Wonderful brew.

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Photo of rodrot
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark red color, almost brown, with a half inch head that dissipated slowly. Aroma was very malty and caramelly with a few hints of chocolate in the nose. Taste was of sweet malt, caramel, maple syrup and chocolate covered cherries. As the beer warmed, I could taste some alcohol and winey flavors. Mouthfeel was fairly smooth and the beer was medium bodied. Drinkability was pretty high. I would have never known this beer was over 9% abv if I hadn't seen it on this site. The ABV is not listed on the bottle and the brewery's website is no longer available. Not a bad beer for the money. I paid $3.49 for a 22oz bomber.

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22-ounce bottle.

Pours a hazy dark red-mahogany over a big tan head that fades very quickly to a solid cap. Minimal lacing.

Smell is mildly malty and nutty.

Taste is buttery malty, with a bit of caramel malt, and decent hop bitterness. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel is nice and round. Soft carbonation.

Very drinkable -- the alcohol is completely masked.

This is just a nut-brown on steroids. Really quite nice, but not all that.

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