Imperial Nut Brown Ale | Tommyknocker Brewery

Imperial Nut Brown AleImperial Nut Brown Ale
Liked This Beer
3.72 w/ 640 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 640 |  Reviews: 351
Photo of grub
2.61/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled feb 7/09.

pours deep reddish brown with a small very dense brown head. the head drops fast and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is ok. light alcohol. nutty - peacan, hazelnut, bit of almond. there's also a fishy soy sauce thing going on too that's not so nice. smells like a sushi restaurant. rice. white bread. cracker.

taste is pretty similar to the aroma. there's the definite nut brown character - bread, cracker, mixed nuts - but paired with fish, rice, and soy sauce. low bitterness level. bit of alcohol.

mouthfeel is good. medium-light body. medium-light carbonation level.

drinkability is not great. the fish/soy thing is pretty off-putting. balanced and otherwise kind of nice, but i just can't get past that.

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Photo of Viggo
2.66/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle, I believe received from mikesgroove in a trade a while ago.

Pours a clear dark ruby red, brown out of the light, thin off white head forms, quickly drops to a thin ring around the glass, some nice lacing sticks to the glass, looks pretty good. Smell is neat, very sweet, nuts, brown sugar, maple, caramel, biscuits, pretty interesting maple and nut component, some alcohol comes through, a bit of fruitiness, I like it. Taste is similar, quite sweet, brown sugar and maples, quite nutty, a little bit of soya sauce, raisins, biscuity maltiness and lots of sweetness in the finish, alcohol comes through, almost a fish/soy finish, pretty strange. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, almost syrupy, lots of maple, weird fishiness = not so drinkable. Kind of a mess, not sure whats up with this one, but can't say I enjoyed it. Thanks Mike!

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Photo of oldhippie247
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark brown--held up to a light some haze is evident. Surprisingly white head thins quickly, but does leave some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is very subtle, especially for something labeled Imperial. With some effort and having an idea of what you're looking for, some nutty sweetness can be found/imagined.

Taste follows in the same subtle vein. The palate is very one dimensional with the biggest highlight being the ulta-smooth mouthfeel. Finishes fairly light with aftertaste being just as good as the beer itself, if not better.

Overall not bad, but I'll pass on buying it again. For 9+%, easy to drink.

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Photo of MSchae1017
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer was poured into my Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale Snifter from a 12oz bottle.

The beer pours dark brown, but not quite black with a small tan head the head dissipates quickly to a very little ring with little lace. Perhaps this is due to the nearly 10% ABV? I am not sure.

The aroma of the beer is full of chocolate and caramel along with an intense sweetness (possibly from the maple syrup) but there is also a bit of tartness.

The flavor of the beer is up front with chocolate and caramel sweetness, but again is follow up with a bit of tartness. I am not sure if this is an off flavor or what.

The body of the beer is medium-full along with a smooth subtle carbonation.

Overall, a rather unimpressive beer. Intense sweetness dominates with chocolate, caramel and a bit of tartness also present. Its pretty complex, but the flavors just do not appeal to me.

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Photo of droomyster
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first time having an "imperial" brown ale so I have no idea what to expect. Pours a very dark brown with a small tan head that quickly dissipates into a ring. Smells are faint but I detect resinous hops, lots of alcohol, and extremely sweet-smelling toasted malts. Fascinating on many levels - where to begin? First, the full body is quite active with crackingly carbonation. The flavors bop and weave and are hard to pinpoint. There are definitely sweet, dark fruity toasty malts are well supported on the palate by sprucey hops, but the finish is quite sweet and drawn out. A lingering element of stale coffee grounds detracts a bit from the taste. It's very interesting how the sweetness and bitterness interact; I don't think that "balance" was a quality sought by its brewers and so I won't knock this beer for not having it. Makes me think of burnt cherry cobbler. Very interesting; very punchy, hard-hitting. I definitely like this beer but have to limit myself to one.

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Photo of PEBKAC
1.62/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Summer layover. Notches of 0(0-3) & 4(0-9) along the side.

Poured into a rounded pint glass. Pasty yellowed-tan head. Even whitewash lace. Brown on black dulled body.

Sharp residuals kicking my nose in with track spikes. I can't get near it. Almond liqueur, an itch of smoke, plenty of alcohol, & just really flagrant overall.

Charred Hazelnut & maple upfront, with & an ugly slap of alcohol riding hard down the middle. A 2 second shot of Lysol to the mouth comes to mind. A mild but lingering nut shell bitterness tries to ease you out of that wincing pain.

Strong carbonation works to my benefit, as does the lighter then expected body.

This stuff sticks with you like ugly homebrew.

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Photo of charlesw
2.99/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Well, shucks. That's a nice looking beer. I'd be happier with longer-lasting head, but it's nice.

Very light in the nose - a little bready.

And the taste just wallops you, you know what I mean? HUGE bitter sweetness in the middle of the back of the mouth. Kind of maply and nut browny all around that. But, yeah, not just imperial - extreme.

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Photo of Risser09
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter · Fridge temp · 2008

Appearance: Pours a dark, opaque brown color with a 1/2" tan head. It is short-lived and leaves barely and lace behind.

Smell: Strong caramel malts and maple syrup dominate the entire aroma. I guess it is a dialed up nut brown ale, but it smells like a barleywine.

Taste: Sticky sweet nuttiness and syrupy flavor. Nice spiciness fills the finish with anise or toasted oak. Molasses and walnut. A nice flavor worthy of the snifter I'm drinking it in.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but very sticky sweet. No hops or noticable alcohol. I love the molasses/syrup flavor.

Drinkability: I think it's very good and I could do a bunch of these. It's warming and smooth. I like it a lot.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.02/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I got this brew from tburkhart, Thanks Tim!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - murky dark brown color with a short-lived beige head.

S - sweet and malty aroma.

T - very sweet brew, maple sweetness is the dominant flavor here, some notes of chocolate and roasted malt come around once in a while.

F - medium bodied with a thin feel.

D - a bit too sweet for too much of this beer, a small 4oz sample was enough for me.

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Photo of StarlightSeraph
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass...

Appearance: Dark brown/mahogany color, with hints of red coming through as it was held up to the light. Poured with almost no head, even after a force pour. Left heavy lacing that dissipated very quickly

Smell: Alcohol and fake sweetness. I couldn't smell much else. I didn't smell maple syrup at all, but I definitely smelled a chemical-ish sweetness. I don't know how else to describe it.

Taste: I did not like this beer. Tastes almost like it smells, with an overpowering astringent sweetness, almost cloying. You can definitely taste the alcohol, as well. The bottle said it was brewed with maple syrup, and I'm guessing that's where the sweetness came from, but I couldn't taste it.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin, considering how sweet it was. Lightly carbonated made it smooth.

Drinkability: It was difficult to put this one down. It did get a little better as it warmed, as more of the flavors came through, but I just couldn't get past the cloying sweetness.

I was looking for something with a maple syrup flavor when I bought this, and I was dissapointed. I am not a fan of brown ales in general, so I'm sure that had something to do with it. Maybe someday I'll try this again, but right now I have no plans to.

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Photo of orangemoustache
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a prune juice brown with chunky floaters. A khaki two finger cap crowns this dirty looking brew. A couple ribbons of lacing grace my mug. The nose smells malty and chocolaty sweet. Brown sugar and maybe the maple syrup peek through in the end,the brown sugar is there for sure. A Nut Brown Is supposed to be nutty right? Perhaps hidden by the alcohol or by the overly sweet flavors,I'm not complaining,but,it's just not nutty in the least. A dark,toasted malty backbone is enhanced by brown sugar and semi-dried figs. Alcohol is no after thought,it's pretty upfront and bold,it grows every second this warms. The body is full and well carbonated finishing slightly dry with a thin layer of sugary stickiness coating the pallet. I don't get too enthused over nut browns typically,maybe they should all be Imperials,intriguing offering and better than expected.

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Photo of whoneeds8
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark brown with a large off white head. Very little lacing. Smell is very much of roasted malts and maple syrup. The taste is a Malt Wallop. Roasted malts up front with a strange/good flavor in the middle. Hop twinge at the end. I really can't find the maple syrup in the flavor like I can in the smell. But the mouthfeel is kinda thick for a brown. Alchol is very evident throughout. This might be better after mellowing a little.

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Photo of HoustonTX
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown body.

Sweet mellow malty melt aroma.

Silky smooth on the palate. Semi-sweet, with a backing of residual sugars and roasted malts, salted nuts and fringes of dark chocolate. A malt bomb, yet some balancing citric hops near the finish.

Mouthfeel is a bit watery, but the alcohol is hidden well.

For a style, that is for myself mainly lackluster. This beer is not half bad, it's actually quite well-made and produces almost a homebrew feeling. Check this one out.

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Photo of tburkhart
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Pours a dark brown with little foam that quickly disappeared. Smell of roasted malt and some chocolate. The taste is sweet caramel, the alcohol wasn't as well hidden as others thought. Overall its not a bad drink, just a little too sweet for me.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.1/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Imperial? This is the single most disappointing beer with the name "imperial" in the title I've yet tried. Not very flavorful, very malty, nothing else. Appearance was a murky, muddy brown, much like the other Tommyknocker beers I've tried. Aroma was virtually non-existent. Flavor was a bit caramel-y, but offered little else, including the alcohol ester. It was served in a tiny little stemmed glass, but didn't seem special the way most other beers served in little stemmed glasses seemed to be. Disappointing.

I would not recommend this beer. I had this on-tap at the brewery.

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Photo of joekfsu
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a very dark brown with a dense 2 cm tan head that is slowly diminishing. Aroma of molasses, smoke, and... sounds weird but soy sauce. Initial flavor of maple and molasses. The nuttiness and smoke follows through to the end. Medium to heavy body, moderate lacing, light to no carbonation, and moderate alcohol presence. Overall, maple and nutty with good alcohol... nice.

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Photo of prototypic
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This one pours a dark, chocolate brown color. There's some scarlet around the edges. The head is a darker caramel color and is about a finger deep. Retention was pretty good given the high abv. Lacing was a little on the lighter side.

Smell: Roasted malts are strong up front, but it seems that it morphs into a blend chocolate and toffee. It's definitely sweet smelling and sugary. There's a bit of a molasses or syrupy smell. A faint nut/prailine aroma emerges, but it's clearly a secondary feature. Alcohol makes it's presence known on the tail. It's blended pretty well though. Not a strong alcohol aroma.

Taste: It is malty and sweet initially. Good mix of caramel and chocolate malts, with a bit of the roasted variety thrown in for good measure. Brown sugar and molasses flavors are sweet and work well. It's got a nice nutty flavor that is a really nice complementary flavor. Alcohol is blended extremely well and is only faintly noticeable. I was expecting it to be too strong and be a liability for this one, but it's not at all. Kudos on that one.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's got a medium body and actually feels a tad thin. Carbonation feels light, which helps smooth it out some. It's still pretty smooth and goes down really well for a big beer, but I'd like a little more chewiness. Just a tad. Given its size, I'm not inclined to tackle more than one or two.

Tommyknocker did a pretty nice job with this. It's actually better than expected. It could use a little work. Not a lot, but a little. Thicken it up and refine it a'll have one hell of a fine beer. Certainly recommended though. Who can resist an Imperial Nut Brown? Not likely to see that often.

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Photo of Nibbley
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark tea/cola brown with a ivory head that disappears almost immediately.
Aroma of maple syrup, molasses and fresh bread.
Tastes of dark fruit(maybe raisin and plum)with a slight licorice/anise taste.
Has a soft almost slicky mouth feel with light, tight carbonation. Although this is a strong ale with 9.80%, the alcohol is not prominate.
A very tasty brew, But, be careful, it will sneak up on you.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.52/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Fizzy, 3/4 finger head. Offwhite/pale khaki. Cola coloured.

S: Soft malts, maple scents are muted and some barky-like aromas. A perfumy note.

T: Strong, sweet, resiny. The maple comes across more like the tree flavours than the sap contained within. A bit bitterness (though it doesn't seem to be a hoppiness, strangely)

M: Kinda chewy, a bit of heaviness, and a semi-creamy slickness. Oily and slippery.

D: While the alcohol is hidden nicely, the flavours are a little unusual. Decent, and a good idea (maybe that's the Canadian in me talking) but I think it could be done a little better.

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Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark amber like maple syrup with a very foamy, tan, one-finger head. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of maple syrup and caramel. A very sweet nose with some subtle earthy aromas.

T - It tasted sweet and caramely with a grassy bitterness. Also, an oak-like taste. It had oatmeal stout qualities but much sweeter with maple flavor.

M - It was smooth and crisp. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is a great brown ale. The maple syrup flavor is a nice touch.

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Photo of waltonc
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Liquor Mart. Very little hops. Sweet, carmel, malts, and you can definitely taste the maple syrup. Mouthfeel is a little thick. With so much sweetness you might throw up if you had more than one. This beer is apparently not rare so I have to dock some points for the lack of scarcity. (j/k)

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Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy ice tea brown color with a surprisingly sturdy head that splashes a bunch of lace around

Smell: Rich aroma of brown sugar and caramel with a backdrop of wood and nuts

Taste: Opens very malty with a developing milk chocolate presence to blend in with the nutty bread flavors; by mid-palate, there is some balancing nutskin bitterness that offsets the sweet flavors but, after the swallow, the flavor profile is all about caramel, nuts, chocolate and a hint of maple syrup

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: With the sweetness and ABV in this beer, it would be difficult to consume in quantity, but I was impressed by the flavor profile and think it would go well with a dessert

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Photo of Beefeater57
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Black, shows a dark cherry color in light. Tan head, little retention.

S: I get a black licorice smell from it. Slight sense of roasted malt.

T: Very, very sweet. Drinks almost like a coke. Definitely can sense the maple syrup - comes in the taste and the body. I can find any hop character at all. I pretty much get a sweet maple flavor throughout.

M: Great carbonation. Has an oily, sticky mouthfeel with the body.

D: If this had any hop character at all, it would be a pretty good beer. No bitterness to balance it out. Heavy on the alcohol so this is an easy beer to drink for the novice drunk. Pretty much tastes like a maple syrup coke. Now, I'm craving pancakes.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12-ounce bottle poured into a pint willi glass yields a hazy dark-brown body with red-amber highlights, capped with a finger of fine-bubbled ecru foam.The head reduces quickly to a ring and leaves thin scraps of lacing scattered on the glass.

The smell of the drink is sweet and malty with quite a bit of woody maple.

The taste of the drink is sweet and maple-syrupy with a touch of vanilla on a toasty malt backbone.

Smooth and on the syrupy-full side of medium-bodied, this is a nice brew and very drinkable despite the abv.

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Imperial Nut Brown Ale from Tommyknocker Brewery
Beer rating: 58.4% out of 100 with 640 ratings
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