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 AlexJ
4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was very hesitant of this brew as most of my Tommyknocker experiences haven't been very positive and this is certainly a strange style to attempt. I gotta say, they really pulled it off!

The pour is very deep mahogany with burnt sienna highlights. The light brown head is thick, rich and surprisingly lasting considering the strength of this beer. Looks great in my glass.

Aroma is everything you love about a brown ale times 100. It smells chocolatey and rich, with plenty of dark malts, brown sugar, and molasses with a great toasted nuttiness.

Flavor is even better. Tons of chewy fudgey chocolate, toasted almonds, molasses, black bread, dark fruit, raisin, and mocha. It had a mildly bitter, yet uber-smooth hop finish that balances it wonderfully. Not even a trace of it's strength, it's so drinkable, very impressive.

Body is huge, thick, chewy, and sticky, making me want to lick my chops after every sip. I truly savor every drop of this delicious, and rather under-rated ale. Yes this ale crosses many boundaries. At times it reminds you of a porter or stout, then barleywine, then old ale. In the end, you are assured. This IS an Imperial Nut Brown Ale. A new animal? Yes, and a damn tastey one at that!

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Photo of ppoitras
3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single somewhere in NoVA, either WF/Vienna, WF/Annadale, Norm's, or Rick's. Says to enjoy within 4 months of date notched, which is Nov04. Hmph. It was "out of date" when I bought it in July, apparently. Oh well, probably no big deal. Gold foiled cap.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" light brown head above the clear burgundy brown brew. Head fades, but some still hangs around, with lacing present and accounted for. Aroma is dark fruits, alcohol, with some grains lying underneath. Taste is upfront with heavy sweetness, the maple syrup, I assume, then kicking in with the kind of tart dark fruits and alcohol, and that's about it. And grains seem to have lost the shouting match here. Mouthfeel is just "too" everything for me, and drinkability is reasonably limited due to the loudness of it all. I keep trying, but I'm thinking I certainly don't get these Imperial Browns. They seem to lose everything I like in a brown this way.

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Photo of Fugazme
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. This bottle looks better than the normal cartoonish bottles Tommyknocker usually puts out. That's good.

This beer pours very nicely. A moderately thick and creamy head with some good staying power. The off-white head gently calmed down to about 1/8 of an inch with excellent stickage. Looks like a great beer!

The nose is sweet and malty. I can't detect much maple on the first whiff. It is there, but very slight. Some faint alchol and brown sugar.

Taste is wonderfully malty and sweet. Mouthfeel is very nice, as well. The maple is much more detectable on the palate than on the nose. Some slight coffee and caramel hints... pecan, maple, brown sugar. As I drink more, the alcohol appears more in the forefront.

Overall a very good beer. I would order again.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 22 oz bomber from Riley's here in Madison. The maple nut brown was pretty decent, let's see how its big brother stacks up.

Pours a dark brown, almost porter-ish, with some amber highlights and a short khaki head that fades quickly. Smell is strong on the caramel sugars, some spiceyness, and alcohol. Taste is similar to the Maple Nut Brown, heavy on the Maple, light on the Nut, but this time also heavy on the alcohol, which warms to the point of a hearburn-like effect. Whooo, this stuff catches up to you, especially in bomber proportions. Mouthfeel is bubbly and not as thin as other Tommyknocker brews tend to be. Overall, a pretty good dark imperial brown here, not a whole lot of complexity, but enough to keep you interested. Worth a try if you can find it, but beware that 9.8%.

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

Pours out amber brown and sits deep crimson-brown with a small, creamy tan head. Fades to a light skim, few lacings.

Smells rich and roasty, with hunks of gooey caramel. Raisins, figs and apples lie over a charred blanked of oak. Mild fusels push through, light, spicy hops nearby.

Tastes sweet up front, caramel and chocolate up front. Wooden tones throughout with rich raisiny tones. Alcoholic warmth and spice hits on all levels. Finish is moderately bitter, lingering sweetness and the ever gaining alcoholic glow.

Smooth, rich and creamy in the mouth with ultra-fine carbonation in a full body. Bountiously full body, a dream to pass through.

It is fine, fine fine. Maybe a bit one sided, but a strong hit.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, a Nut Brown with some serious body and kick. A heavy and viscous dark brown-black pour with a light brown head that stubbornly remained. Deep roasted malt with chocolate undertones and a mellow souring pronounced throughout. Tastes richly of molassas, roasted grain, and chocolate. Little in the way of alcohol flavor, but warm throughout. Hop detection in the bittering, flavor, and dryness. Fermented sour notes added to complexity without detracting. Finishes nutty and chocolatey sweet with slight dryness. Worth a try for Nut Brown and Porter fans.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.47/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

thanks be to unionmade and his lass for this treat..

22oz bottle

pours crystal clear mahogany into a pint glass, sudsy small head that disappears quickly. interesting nose, nutty and creamy like a brown with touches of a more barleywinish complex roasted malt and some chocolate. also, some overripe apple mush and the slightest hints of brown sugar and maple. very slight maple. starts smooth.. crisp and fresh with a nutty profile and lactose burst. hops and alcohol catch up adding a distracting bitter quality to this otherwise velvety ale. worried about this until i saw it was pushing 10%.. for such a big beer, the alcohol presence is below average. aftertaste worries me a bit too, lots of bitter anise and cough syrup sweetness. pure alcohol wafts in the end as well..

yeah, this is something that all brown ale fans should try for its gravity and elevation of style.. however i can't say its a totally successful experiment. makes sense that i haven't seen too many 10% brown ales before, the flavor i love in a brown cannot be preserved when subjected to mr. hyde-style cubing.

glad i tried it, wont go out of my way to try it again.

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Photo of MichaelMeister
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My wife bought this from Green's thinking it was the Maple Nut Brown Ale, since it specifically mentions maple syrup on the label. We've recently made a clonebrew of the Maple Nut and were anxious to compare it to the original since we've never tried it.

This Imperial smelled robust with a definite chocolaty nose. Poured very dark brown more like a robust porter or stout rather than a brown ale with not much of a head unless poured from a height. The head lasted several minutes and produced some good lacing on the glass. First taste revealed a heavier alcohol content, but not overpowering. Not much carbonation and tasted malty, somewhat chocolaty with a rather flat finish. As the beer warmed, the beer seemed to become even milder and smoother. Although I wouldnÂ’t go out of my way to purchase more, I would definitely not turn another one down if offered.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I consider myself a Tommyknocker virgin, since I had never heard of this brewery until their beers suddenly appeared on the shelves in Georgia. After today I guess I am no longer a virgin, since I have been Tommyknockered up with the Imperial Nut Brown Ale 22 oz. bomber.

Poured into an oversized wine glass posing as a Goblet, this beer looked very dark. Luscious velvetty dark brown and black color was more akin to a Porter than a Brown Ale. There was no head to speak of anc the carbonation was low as well.

The smell was nutty and mild with notes of toffee, coffee, and choclate, and molasses like sweetness. The taste was similar as well, with an easy to drink mix of sweet flavors, followed by oaky dryness with a tinge of vanilla, and a faint hint of smoke. At times the sweetness felt a little over the top, but didn't quite get to the point of being cloying.

Rather easy to drink, with very little hint of the hidden alcoholic strength at first, except some fuminess near room temperature. After a while, a good deal of warming in the belly. If I was asked to sum it all up, I would chalk this up as an interesting but slightly flawed experiment.

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Photo of carln26
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Deep brown color with mahogany highlights. It was topped with a decent sized tan head. It has a very sweet aroma with caramel toffee and dates. There is just a touch o orange citrus in the nose. The taste has the same sweetness up front toffee/caramel with a chocolaty character delivered by the roast malt. It finishes with the citrus orange delivered by the hops and a mild alcohol warming. The mouth feel is very smooth and rich. The drinakbility is hurt by the intense sweetness, but this is still an good beer.

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

22 oz bottle pours a clear brown with some floating particles, has a small light brown head that doesn't last long, leaves some lacing in my glass. Chocolate and caramel aromas, chocolate, coffee, nutty , brown sugar and maple flavors. Full bodied with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, finishes on the sweet side, alcohol is very well hidden as this is dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark walnut with abundant orange highlights. As so often happens when I hold a beer of this color up to my sunlit front window, it's actually a beautiful shade of orangish crimson. The dense, creamy head of golden sandstone looks like it'll stay at two fingers forever. Lace is on the thin side, but the sheets cover nearly the entirety of the available surface area. This is the best looking Imperial Nut Brown Ale that I've ever seen (and the only one).

The nose is brown malty and brown sugary. It smells more like brown sugar and caramel than it does of 'brewed with pure maple syrup'. But no matter, it's aromatic, different and characterful. There's some fruit nectar aromas in there as well, and just a touch of alcohol. All Imperials have to have some alcohol in their noses, don't they? The trick is to successfully integrate it into the aroma and the flavor and Tommyknocker seems to have done just that. On the first count at least.

The first sip tells me that this is damn fine beer. I was more than skeptical, but I'll be hanged if these guys haven't pulled off an Imperial nut brown ale. The flavor profile consists of rich, chocolate-covered caramels with a little liquor surprise in the center. It's more dark caramel-like and brown sugar-like than chocolatey, which is exactly the way it should be. Wait, let's sprinkle a generous quantity of toasted, sugared pecans on top of the chocolate-caramel candy.

I'm still having a hard time appreciating the maple syrup. It comes across as brown sugar, or even molasses, which are flavors that I like a little more than maple. It's tough to mask a 9.8% ABV and the brewers haven't completely succeeded. That's okay though, I don't mind a wee bit of alcohol in my big beers if it's complementary to the flavor profile as a whole, as it is here.

The mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth, slick character that is perfectly in keeping with the rest of the beer and with the Imperial moniker. I'd like the CO2 to be a bit more restrained, but it keeps the mouthfeel from being too thick and heavy. A long, sweet, mouthcoating finish is the perfect coda to a well-crafted beer.

After tasting Tommyknocker's Ornery Amber, I wasn't expecting much from this bomber. I couldn't resist buying it, though, since I was curious about an Imperial Nut Brown made with maple syrup and since the price was right. Imperial Nut Brown Ale is a wonderful beer that I heartily recommend to lovers of all things Imperial and lovers of good beer in general.

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Photo of battlekow
2.93/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Having just tried the regular Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown, I decided to give their Imperial Nut Brown a shot. The label says it's a "bigger, bolder version of our wildly popular Maple Nut Brown."

Appearance: Cloudier and darker than the regular Maple Nut Brown. Same thin, weak head.

Smell: Smells a bit spicier. I still get the same hint of cooked carrots though.

Taste: Honestly, it tastes like they just added some alcohol. Still doesn't taste like much, only now the nuttiness has been traded for an alcoholic bite. Maple aftertaste seems less pronounced, and that's what I liked most about the original.

Mouthfeel: Still thin, and the added alcohol makes it sting a bit.

Drinkability: Overall, less pleasurable than the "regular" version. The extra bite was a little offensive and detracted from the already less-than-outstanding original. Only exceeds its predecessor in appearance.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown maroon color, almost light impenetrable, but shows a very dark maple syrup color. head is very small, just a ring around the glass, with an off-white island in the middle of the beer. Smell is sweet and full, with alcohol and brown sugar. This is very much like a great winter warmer, maybe even a dopple bock, even though it is June. Taste is extremely malty and full, lots of sweetness, rich and delicous. For $2.50 a bomber this stuff is a steal, very good, unique, and a welcome surprise from a brewery that just entered the Twin Cities market. My first Imperial Nut Brown, and I like the style.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.52/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a medium sized light brown head. Nice dark syrupy malty aroma with touches of maple. Rich and robust malty syrupy flavors without being overly sweet. Full bodied, creamy and smooth with a light alcohol finish.

Per label: "1994-2004" & "Brewed with Pure Maple Syrup" & "Chocolate and Crystal malts"

Per TB website: 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 our wildly popular Maple Nut Brown.

Enjoy within 4 mos. of: Nov '04 (notched)
Tasted: 05/23/05

(22 oz. capped and wrapped with gold foil)

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

Hmm, here's an interesting style, not one I've ever really seen for that matter. Pours a dark brown, minimal head. Smell is sweet, malty. Taste isn't quite as complex as I expected for the elegant packaging and the fact that its a 10th anniversary beer. Chocolate, maple syrup, caramel and some vanilla along with a nutty flavor are present. Tons of alcohol is there as well. Quite unbalanced, somewhat warming though so it'd probably be better on a winter's day. Its not a horrible beer, but not as interesting as I expected. At $4.49 a bomber, its not a bargain, nor a ripoff. As someone said, its a take it or leave it beer.

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Photo of ZAP
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been jazzed up about trying my first Imperial Nut Brown for weeks now and tonight is the night...

Nose is milk chocolate and a little caramel....sweet....brown sugar anmd toasted almonds

Pours a strong mahogany color...little head...

Very sweet taste....brewed with maple syrup and it tastes a little syrupy...don't get a strong maple impression though..more sweet caramel and brown sugar...

Almost a little oversweet in the mouth....full bodied...low carbonation

I could live without another one of these....not horrible but nothing special about it...take it or leave it type of beer..

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

Ahhhh yes. My first Imperial Nut Brown Ale. I can hardly wait...

Deep crimson tone. Slight, bubbly light brown head. Lacing is moderate. Aroma is sweet, nutty and toasty. Chocolate and caramel are also present. Really, quite a pleasant nose with no overriding characteristic. When I read that this was a jacked up version of their normal Maple Nut Brown ale, I feared this was going to be too sweet. But that's not the case. It's sweet, but not cloying. The maple is noticeable as is chocolate. Alcohol lets itself be heard as well. There's a little heat to this one. Nuttiness and lightly kilned malts meld nicely together. It's good. Not great. In this particular beer, I could do without the jacke up EtOH level. But that's just my preference. All in all, it's pretty decent.

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

Has a real caramel malt scent, but other traits lend themselves more to a doppelbock aroma than anything else I can identify.
This has a creamy sort of head that goes away but leaves it's trace throughout. Dark brown in color with amber hues.
Very heavy on the molasses flavor. Marmalade and raisin are present notes as well. The caramel noted on the smell is not as present in the flavor.
I'm not sure if this is infused with any extracts, but this becomes cloying at times. Pretty good and tasty on the whole, but on the other hand, not so nutty, and there aren't many undertones or complexities that I was expecting from a beer which celebrates 10 years.

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

Deep brown-mahogany with good sized cream color head. Fruity aroma, sweet with cinnamon notes. Sweet, maple, bread and pepper. Medium-full body and moderate carbonation.

Imperial Nut Brown Ale, this is one of those beers that won't fit into a clearly defined catagory. The aroma of this one reminds me of redhots cinnamon candy, with some added features of course. There was a distinct peppery flavor in the middle of this. Overall, I'd put this somewhere between a double IPA and a Barleywine style-wyse. This one's worth a shot.

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Photo of budgood1
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours out of the 22oz. bottle a deeply ruby hued colour with a cream to beige coloured head, about a quarter inch thick...thick and tight. lots of solvent choco and caramel aromas...somewhat subdued but rather inviting. this is a pretty flavourful beer, lots of thick chewy maltiness with a definite sweetness attributed to the use of maple syrup. chocolate, caramel, vanilla and nutty notes mingle quite nicely with an alcohol spice that warms the belly. there is a big full mouthfeel with every sip...i bet this would go well with some chocolate chip pancakes...or maybe serve as the syrup for those cakes. nevertheless, this is a big ole winter warmer type concoction that is a hearty enough brew to warm ones soul on the coldest of any winter night. not overly complex, just big and sweet and hearty. a nice easy sipping brew for being so big.

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

Dark, shadowy scarlet with a yellow-creme head.
Nose of confectioner caramels and high-proof vanilla extract.
Begin highly sweet with brown sugar and caramel. And it strays little. A notion of molasses here and there, and an interjecion swell of maple. A mellow alcohol creeps in, full of spiced rum, kahlua, and vanilla schnapps.
Heavy sweet with no noteworthy hopping. The carbonation stays persistant and keeps this drinkable.
This is a big, oafish, simple being. But a fairly tasty one.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Comes in an attractive Gold-Foil neck-lined 20 oz.bottle. 9.8% ABV and brewed with pure maple syrup. Pours out to a clear deep garnet, forming a sticky dark tan head with very good retention and decent lacing. The aroma is of darkening fruit like apples and plums, slightly soapy with notes of crystal malt husk. Swirling gives the impression of dates and raisins. I'm not really picking up on the maple syrup. The delicate aroma has probably all been blown off in fermentation and the sugars have been gobbled up. The mouthfeel is velvet soft and syrupy with a full, dense body. Mild to moderate carbonation. Taste begins with some delicate floral hops followed by raisins, prune juice, thick amber malts, perhaps a touch of maple woodiness towards the finish. Bitterness is mild to moderate and helps to accentuate the maltiness. Rotten raw applejuice and distant soap. Definite woodiness in the aftertaste. The alcohol is warming.

The best Tommyknocker brew I've had so far. A very nice "Imperial" Nut Brown. I would buy this one again.

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

Pours a dark, maple syrup brown with ruby highlights and a rather small (half a finger) of sandy brown head. Nose is made up of sweet, licorice malts, singed brown sugar, a vaguely spicy hop smell, and a little alcohol. Taste starts with sweetish malts. Notes of marshmallow, tobacco leaf, stewed fruit, and cola are detectable. Bitterness comes late, basically right at the finish. Unfortunately, the light roasted bitterness falls a little short, and the result leans toward a cloying finish. Not bad, but could use a little more balance. Medium-full body, with ample carbonation. I like this more than any other Tommyknocker beer I've had.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.79/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle. Deep mohogany color, with some ruby around the edges. Thin beige head disappears quickly. Nutty aroma, some roasty notes and slightly smoky. Big malt character, toffee-like flavor. Maple flavor thrown in as well. Very sweet like syrup. Sticky, a bit cloying. Seemed like a little hop flavor that tasted citrusy to me. Big alcohol presence. Medium body, low carbonation. I enjoyed this brew, although it was a bit too sweet for my taste.

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