Imperial Nut Brown Ale | Tommyknocker Brewery

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Imperial Nut Brown AleImperial Nut Brown Ale
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 640 |  Reviews: 351
Photo of bushbeer75
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle poured into a mug

Tommy Knocker Imperial Nut Brown Ale poured a dark brown mahogany color with a “bumpy” 1½ finger tan head that leaves behind a ring and some lacing. Smell and taste is of brown sugar, malt, caramel, and a little chocolate with the maple syrup hard to detect. The mouth feel is medium, smooth and a little slick.

This is my first IMPERIAL Nut Brown Ale and I like it! It is bigger and bolder than a “standard” English Brown Ale. Tommy Knocker Imperial Nut Brown Ale is very drinkable for a 9.8% ABV.

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Photo of davidt
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with some crimson where the light comes through the edges. Thick light brown head rapidly dissipates. The aroma is malt, nuttiness, and maple as it warms. The flavor is roasted malt, brown sugar, maple syrup. Not excessively sweet. The alcohol warmth comes through at the end. The maple syrup flavor isn’t as strong as I remember in the Maple Nut Brown Ale. This is a very drinkable beer, though it is high ABV.

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

Presentation: 12 oz. bron bottle, no dating of any kind, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark brown color, almost black, opaque through the middle but a little light comes through on the edges. The head formed small, barely a finger thick, and faded into some lacing.

Aroma: Sweet, some caramel, brown sugar, and nuttiness, with the maple syrup in the background.

Taste: Fairly sweet up front, brown sugar, maple syrup, and walnuts start off. Somewhere in the middle the roasted malts come through, along with some mollasses. The finish is mainly roasted malts with some maple in the background. You'd hardly know that the ABV listed is 9.8%.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, almost syrupy. The carbonation was subdued, and balanced nicely.

Overall: This is the Brown Ale drinker's answer to all the overhopped imperial IPA's. (Which I also enjoy.) I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Beware, though, the high ABV will come back to bite you in the end.

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Photo of number1bum
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to BeerTruth for this one. I couldn't wait to try it based on the description.

12oz bottle pours a dark, walnut brown color that looks thick and has some ruby hues through it when held to the light. A vigorous pour doesn't produce much head, only about one finger, which recedes to only a thin lace and leaves minimal stick.

Smell is a bit weak and has a malty/fruity combination that is reminiscent of a Belgian dubbel, minus the yeast of course. I don't detect much in the way of nuts or the maple syrup that they used.

Taste is super malty and sweet, with subtle nut flavors that complement all the malt and syrupy sweetness. I definitely get the maple syrup now, along with caramel and a bit of fruitiness. It's absent of much in the way of hop bitterness, which seems like it would balance it out a bit more. Aftertaste is sweet and nutty, although it never quite gets to be cloying.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied but could use a bit more carbonation. It's sort of sticky sweet in the mouth, which toward the end of the pint gets to be a bit bothersome.

I really like the flavor of this beer, and ultimately that's what is most important. Its other characteristics don't do the flavor justice unfortunately. Still, a good beer that I would have again, and could be a very good beer if it were cleaned up a bit.

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Photo of oelergud
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black opague body, mahogany at the edges. Big tan head of tiny to small bubbles, falls fairly quickly to a thick float and leaves pretty good lace.
Alcoholic nutty scent and dark rye. Brown sugar, molasses and maple syrup.
Sweet molasses flavor with some nut and syrup. Faint hops join the whole after the initial swallow and rides through to the aftertaste becoming stronger as they go. The alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming
Medium body with lots of sticky sugars and a dry finish.
Good drinkability though not a session beer or a sipper but somewhere in the middle.


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Photo of dedrinker
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown chestnut. Head is thin, then gone in seconds. Aroma is nutty, caramelized malt - a little butterscotch, a little maple syrup; actually a slightly bitter blueberry maple syrup smell. Wow! The flavor is much better than expected! It starts with a little buttery diacetyl mixed with maple, then goes quickly from there through a flash of nutty, then roasted malts, before finishing on a note of mixed nutty/ caramelized malt.

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Photo of rye726
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened at 45F and poured into a snifter. A beautiful deep mahogany color with shades of rust. A dense tan head quickly subsided to a thin film around the glass.

-Strong aromas of sweet cherries complimented by hints of brown sugar and maple. A sent of sour Belgian yeasts emerges as it warms.

-A very well balanced beer. The flavor is of raw maple and walnuts. Roasted molasses is dominant and a very slight tartness lingers in the aftertaste. The alcohol is definitely present, but well blended with the malts and hops. The last few sips warmed to just below 60F. This really opened up the maple and the beer became slightly sweeter.

-Despite a thick body and fairly high ABV, this is a rather drinkable beer. It is a very smooth imperial brown and one of the best brews Tommyknocker offers. A good value at $10 a six pack, I highly suggest picking some up

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Photo of Sycodrummer
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into a tulip glass the beer was a dark mohogany brown color with three huge fingers of thick tan head. Some carbonation rushed to the surface to feed the head and lacing was ample throughout the sample. Very nice in the glass.

The nose was sweet maltiness with brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and mollasses throughout. Just an overall sticky sweet maple syrup like smell.

The taste starts sticky and sweet but from the smell I expected this. A big chewy malty profile with notes of brown sugar dipped in mollasses. Maple syrup covered bran flakes come to mind as a quick summation of the taste. If perhaps that comes off as not very inticing, it actually was. The taste also has a noticable alcohol that serves to undercut that big sweetness and provide a little warmth with every sip. The heat is quick to fade and doesn't do too much to detract from the robust sweet malt flavors that dominate. Some hazelnut comes through in the end with hints of Frangelico. As the beer warms, each flavor intensifies in kind. The malty sweet notes gets bigger, and so too does the alcohol.

A big firm chewy body, with not too much carbonation.

This is for sure an interesting twist in the brown ale. The brown ale on steroids, perhaps. The flavors meld nicely for a winter sipper, old ale type beer. I enjoyed it enough, and would certainly drink another, but probably won't intentionally seek it out.

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Photo of ahking
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Hmm, deep dark mahogany brown. Slight head that dissapated quickly to a measly white ring. Aroma is beautiful. Sweet, roasty, slight hints of maple, and you can smell the alcohol content. Flavor is right on with a amped up brown ale. Quite rich and sweet; maybe a little cloying, but thats the style. Roasty, toasty, and bread with syrup on top. Wishing the carbonation was a little higher here as it might help the heavy mouthfeel. Slight sweet film left on the tongue. Drinkability is a little low because of the sweetness.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber, deep maroon color with a half finger of tan head that dissolves to nothing really fast. No lacing. Looks very average. Nose is tons of nut, molasses, light roasted malt. A touch of spiciness. Flavor is good. Nut and roasted malt, with a touch of sourness. A warming light alcohol tinge as well. Dried fruit and prunes, very subtly. I guess you can taste the maple syrup on the label, although it's more of a standard brown sugar sweetness. Body is medium and almost syrupy. Fairly medium aftertaste, mostly of alcohol and prunes. This one was fairly tasty. Not quite on the level of the other 'imperial brown' I've had, the Indian Brown from Dogfish Head, but good nonetheless.

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Photo of humanawho
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into a pint glass with very small head. Very dark brown in appearance and a nice dark read when held to the light. smells strong of malt and sugar. tastes very malty and can tastes like maple syrup and crystal malt with very small hop taste. it is a little syrupy but it works and the higher abv is not very evident in the taste or smell which makes me want more.

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Photo of smcolw
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid brown color and clear. Moderate three-finger head that leaves good lace on the glass.

Aroma: Hazelnut and some soured milk

Sweet flavor, almost like maple syrup. Too sweet for my tastes, seems like a double bock. No hop taste until well after the swallow where it is still faint. Very rich beer with nice corresponding carbonation.

Overall, this is a pleasant beer although I find it to be too sugary for me.

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Photo of cichief
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on draft at Friscoe's Grille, Columbia, MD.

A- Pours a deep brown with a thin tan head of foam.

S- Smells very malty sweet, scent of molasses throughout.

T- Very sweet, strong malt taste, very little hops flavor, alcoholic.

M- Medium bodied, with a full favor, no noticeable hops.

D- Very strong brown ale, too sweet, very alcoholic.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a very dark brown with a thin head. The smell is malty and roasted with the maple aroma noticeable. The taste is sweet from malt and maple. There is a slight nut flavor as well. The mouthfeel is very full, but short of heavy. Overall, I’m pleased with this offering from Tommyknocker – it is what I expected from the original maple nut brown – a definite difference and delight.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Revisit: 26 Aug 17

12 oz. Bottle
Best By: APR0218

Had this one 10 years ago. FUCK!

Poured into a tulip a pretty nice dark brown color, with some pretty nice carbonation, with a very nice small creamy tan head, which leaves a pretty nice oil slick and some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some dark fruits (cherries, figs, plums, raisins, grapes) with some toffee, chocolate, and vanilla. The taste is very nice, mostly malts, but there is some dark fruit (cherries, figs, plums, raisins, grapes), thing going on, with some toffee/chocolate, the bottle still sez maple syrup. Medium body, ABV hidden fairly well, a pretty nice complex brew. Overall, a pretty tasty brew, nice to see it around here.

Thanks goes out to TheManiacalOne for this brew.

22oz. Gold Foil Top Bomber

Pours a nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, a very nice small creamy tan head, lots of small islands and sticky lacing throughout the drink. The nose is sweet, malty, dark fruits, toffee, chocolate, and some caramel. The taste is very nice mostly malts, but there is some dark fruit thing going on. Also some toffee/chocolate, the bottle sez maple syrup. The finish is slightly dry. Medium body, a well rounded complex brew. Very drinkable, this is my first TommyKnocker and it is delicious, highly recommended.

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Photo of briman
2.77/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a very dark reddish brown. Thin brown head, dissipates quickly, leaving little lace.

Aroma is caramel, brown sugar, very light hops, and maybe a hint of alcohol.

Taste is sweet, but not really distinct. Not really getting much malt flavor. Hops start coming out towards the finish, but then even they are overshadowed by the alcohol bite.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Malt really doesn't punch through in this sample, I get alcohol, some really faint hops and not much else. Honestly, I was shocked that this beer was reviewed this well, as I don't find any character to it at all.
Can't say I'll be buying this one again.

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Photo of Toddv29424
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brownish-red color with little to no head. The smell is slight, and must be teased out with some swirling of the glass. It is mostly reminiscent of dark malts with a hint of moderate and neutral hops. There is a strong maltyness of the tongue that is apparent, but for the most part the taste goes down like a monolithic-block of well-fermented dark malts with traditional Belgian yeast. There is also a slight hint of the alcohol in the taste of this beer, but it's no different than any other over-8% beer that you'll find on the market. The amount of candied malts that are apparent are reminiscent of good Belgian Quad's, but overall this is a special beer to have.

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Photo of adams82
2.9/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark reddish/brown color with a small and beady off white head. The aroma profile is very one dimensional and smells syrupy sweet with alcoholic notes. Not terribly complex and it doesn't fair much better in taste as it tastes just as it smells; syrupy and alcoholic with hints of chocolate and a light dose of dark malts. Again, one sided and not terribly complex, hops are no where to be found.

While this is nicely carbonated and full bodied, it is unbalanced and comes across with almost too much body and it becomes a little overwhelming even for this interpretation of the style. While certainly not bad, I don't think I would actively seek this one out again, but I may give it another shot.

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

Appearance - Dark brown, reddish in the light with a soft tan head.

Smell - Fresh hops.

Taste - Hoppy on first touch to the palate. Surprisingly no rough bitterness to follow. Malty and nutty flavors with a subtle taste of maybe almond?

Mouthfeel - Creamy and full bodied with a smooth finish.

Drinkabillty - Nice, lots of flavor.

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

650 ML bottle>snifter

AP: Deep brown color with ruby and mahogony red hues, a bubbly but thin off-white head is created and dissiptes to scattered cover.

Nose: maple syrup and brown sugar over roasted nuts and a medium to heavy heat.

flavor: Basically a nut brown on steroids...the roasty, oak-smoked nutty malt flavor has a very nice and subtle undercurrent of maple syrup and brown sugar-like sweetness with notes of dark berries. The hop profile is VERY big for your average nut brown with big herbal, earth and leafy effect. The hops really pop in the aftertaste as it finishes with a leafy, earthy flavor. The 9.8% alcohol is felt and adds an interesting kind of balance...since it is an "Imperial'.

feel: full bodied, thick and syruppy going down as it's initial crispnes seems to flatten out and become much more heavy.

DA: This is usually a very easy-to-drink style, but the addition of big hops and more sweetness has turned this into a brew that must be sipped.

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Photo of mynie
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This imperial nut brown ale (???) pours nut brown with almost no head. And I tried to put a head on there.

Well, it smells more like actual nuts than any other nut brown I've ever had. Sweet, wonderful nuts. Candied hazelnuts. Big alcohol yeast, big nut malt. Nice.

The sweet nuttiness is subdued in the mouth a decent alcohol burn. Lots and lots of strong yeasty nut sweetness, then an alcohol finish. Potent, but not very complex.

Take a regular nut brown and up the yeast and here you go. A noble and more or less successful experiment, though like all of Tommyknockers' stuff I'm afraid this isn't exactly worth seeking out.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a silky dark brown. Very light bodied appearance - almost looks like semi-flat coke. Very small head that quickly dissipates.

S/T: Bottle is correct in pointing to the maple syrup. That really comes out. Pretty good amount of hops, especially for the style. Alcohol is robust and conspicuous. Tasted a little bit of apple. Low malts character, especially for the style.

M/D: A little bit too light bodied for my liking. I would have liked a beer this alcoholic to linger a little bit more. Kind of reminded me of drinking SoCo. Drinkability is medium - i didnt have much trouble killing the bomber, but i certainly didnt want more.

Not a bad beer, but not great either.

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

Let me start off by saying that the nut brown style (unless you count macro lagers as a beer style) is probably my least favorite type. I never order them as I generally find them to be simple, sweet and boring. Not so this beer, This beer had some real backbone to it (no doubt from the 9.8% abv.), with great intesity of flavor. While still on the sweet side, there were enough hops to keep the beer from tasting too cloying. This was actually a pretty fun beer to drink, and was really quite drinkable despite the 9.8. Not sure I'd ever drink more then one of these, but for what it purports to be (an imperial brown ale), I thought it quite good.

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

Imperial Nut Brown? Who ever heard of such a thing? Obviously I didn't know what to expect, but what I got at least looked like a nut brown ale. It poured with a deep chestnut body and raised a short but creamy ivory cap. The retention was a bit limited, but I chalked that up to the 9.8% abv. The nose was cocoaish and very lightly hoppy with a bit of mint, grass, and leaves. Some alcohol was present, but not obtrusive, and the maple syrup mentioned on the label made an appearance every now and then. The mouthfeel was medium-full, following in the "Imperial" designation, and creamy smooth. The first sip set off a light-bulb in my brain, "Oh", I thought, "an Imperial Nut Brown Ale is kind of like a barleywine"... and that was kind of true, but not really. Subsequent sips proved it to be much less malt or hoppy, and generally less caramelish. So an Imperial Nut Brown, after having taken a very, very long way round in explaining it, is exactly what it says it is... It's just a big brown ale. Nicely malty, cocoaish, subtly toasty, sublimely chocolatey, mildly bitter, gently hopped with grassy and lightly floral English hops, somewhat alcoholic, and in this case, drizzled with maple syrup flavor. And on that note, it finishes a slight touch syrupy (well, at least not dry), with some lingering sticky malt and maple character. As you progress through the glass some alcohol starts to build. I found it interesting at first, but by the end of the glass it had lost it's charm without enough depth to hold my attention.

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

S- 650 ml bottle

A- Deep burnt amber brown. Very light head and it doesn't stick around for very long.

S- Rich toasted nuts, maple syrup, caramel, and a finish of milk chocolate.

T- Spiced roasted almonds with caramel and maple syrup poured on top. Milky chocolate finish. Also hides the 9.8 abv very well. Needs a bit more balance with the hops to make this a great beer.

M- Chewy viscus mouthfeel with a rich sweetness. Light carbonation that fits this beer well.

D- Good beer for the price, But could use some fine tuning as far as the hops and malt balance in my opinion. But it is on its way.


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Imperial Nut Brown Ale from Tommyknocker Brewery
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 640 ratings