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 Viggo
2.66/5  rDev -28.3%
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 TMoney2591
2.71/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

So, apparently, Tommyknocker and their new labels have entered the Chicagoland market. Okay. This stuff pours a clear russet-garnet topped by a half-finger of ashen khaki foam. The nose comprises rich caramel, sweet coffee (imagine sniffing the air at the mall right at the edge of the food court where there's a coffee "store" and a candy store right next to each other), mild cashew, and a hint of cocoa. The taste holds notes of fusel alcohol (up front and in-my-face), burnt nuts, toasted malts, and bitter coffee. Things took a turn from the pleasant and sweet to the unexpectedly crass and bitter. Shame, really. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, what could have been a solid beer (judging by the smell) instead allowed itself to succumb to the Dark Side, with a flavor combination that made me harshly grimace with every sip.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
2.74/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle at 48 degrees into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: It pours a very dark mahogany color with a finger and a half of light tan head that has great retention and laces very well.

S: Maple, sour dark fruits, nuttiness, and booze.

T: Nothing sticks out too much despite its strength; maple syrup, toasted bread, hazelnut, and some booze.

M: It has a thick mouthfeel that coats the palate with a bubbly/foamy stickage. This makes it very chewy.

D: It began promising but there is a lot wrong with this.

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Photo of briman
2.77/5  rDev -25.3%
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 farfromstout
2.82/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer didn't really deliver much for my pallet. Appearance was brown with a small head. My glass was clean, and when I poured it in there was some specks of stuff drifting around. I was sure to rinse my glass after the first one to check the second and it was there. Couldn't depict a texture of the specks, just noticed them.

Taste was odd. If you've ever had black walnuts or black walnut cake, it had that very pungent smell/taste of black walnuts soaked in rum. And I would say it definitely had some bite to it.

Mouthfeel was a bit thin. And I wouldn't particularly want a whole lot of these in a sitting since A) 9.8%, it'll catch up after 2; B)I couldn't pair it very well with a particular type of food.

Just didn't do it for me, and this is only an opinion.

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Photo of JDV
2.82/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark muddy brown, mostly opaque. light, short lived tan head. Smell is very nutty, rich brown sweet malt and a hint of cocoa. Smell is actually surprisingly nice. Taste is kind of cheap and sweet and artificial with syrupy nuttiness. Alcohol is hidden pretty well, but shows a bit. Definitely a richer mouthfeel than Tommyknockers' other beers. Drinkable, and one of their better beers for sure, but still a bit too artificial tasting.

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Photo of bjoyce12
2.83/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm surprised this one is rated as highly as it is. For a beer made with real maple syrup, I didn't notice any maple taste at all. Call me crazy, but I expect a chocolate porter to taste like chocolate, a lambic to taste fruity, and an ale prominently proclaiming "made with real maple syrup" right on the label to taste at least a little like maple. Not the case here.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.83/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle - $2.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body, clear, and with a short-lived, light beige head.

Smell: Moderately sweet-scented and, with just a bit of warmth, adds a noted fusel tone to tickle the nostrils beyond the modest notes of maple, store-brand cola, unsweetened chocolate powder.

Taste: Sweet tastes of brown sugar, molasses, and alcohol-soaked toasted bread crumbs as well as the aforementioned maple syrup. Dark fruits. Faint, bland chocolate hint. Very low hop character. It just doesn't seem particularly complex, folks. Growing sweetness as well as an alcoholic bite culminating in a sweet, warm finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: It's been a good, long while since I last tried INBA. About 6 (six) years by my guess. I fully recall not digging it then, and I'm just not really digging it now.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.86/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's beer garden, Media, PA

Poured a dark brown color, moderately hazy, with a decent cap of off-white head that left a bit of lacing. Woody aroma, nutty, and a little soapy, some booze. Taste of roasted malts, nuts, a little much on the boozy side, with just a hint of maple sweetness and brown sugar. A bit on the harsh side, and somewhat watery. Might have been better if, well, it wasn't a brown ale. Medium mouthfeel, and overall just a bit lacking in flavor, due to the general blandness I usually experience with brown ales, and with the alcohol thinning it out too much. I probably wouldn't want to drink this again.

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Photo of Big78CJ
2.88/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed: Jan 28, 2007

Appearance: Dark brown beer, as one might expect from an Imperial nut brown. Lighter brown tones are visible near the stem of my glass. Although it originally has a nice half-inch light tan head, it has disappeared since beginning to write this.

Smell: Originally I smelled a sour yet sweet maple syrup but this faded a bit as the head died off. There is definitely a candy sugar or chocolate smell to the lingering aroma.

Taste: Very tasty for such high alcohol, the sweetness takes over but never becomes excessive. It is surprising this beer isn’t sweeter with maple syrup, chocolate, and sugar added! The alcohol does have a significant kick, however, and you can taste it as you swallow.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and not thick at all. This is definitely not a chewy or heavy beer; it flows right down with not too much carbonation to slow it down.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink considering its ABV and I plan to recommend it to my mother (a fan of brown ales). I wish the regular maple brown was as drinkable as this one.

Serving Type: 650 ml bottle poured into Koenigs Hoeven goblet

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Photo of adams82
2.9/5  rDev -21.8%
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 Adamthome1
2.9/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle

says 9% alcohol and brewed with pure maple syrup...Ya don't say, the smell is alcoholy with the maple syrup and black lickerish smells coming through.

Pours a 1 finger head that dissipates to almost nothing

Flavor is very Imperial Indeed. Rich and robust, very sweet, the aftertaste is dominated by a sweetness. Kind of one dimensional, but nothing really negative about the taste to note for what is there.

What's not there is that it's not very nutty, that's what I miss here, not too pleased about that.

Very sweet, almost too sweet, but I suppose that is what they were driving at. Share this one with a friend.

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Photo of goblue3509
2.91/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown color almost black with no light getting through and a small off white khaki colored head. The aroma is of maple nuts and dark fruits. The taste is of a sweet malt backbone with a maple flavor over the top. There is a little raisin taste also. The mouthfeel is very thick, not taste wise but actually thick. Drinkability wise, ehhh, you could have one or two, but i can't see you going more than that. One would probably do it, its okay good for a change of pace for a brown ale.

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Photo of argock
2.91/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $3.60.

A: Hazy chestnut brown with meager 1-finger beige head with decent staying power and scant lacing.

S; A bit of caramel notes and mostly spicy alcohol. No real hops contribution noted.

T: Also very hot on the palate with some toasted caramel and dark malts and minimal herbal hops in the finish, which is mostly covered by the not-so-graceful strong fuselly alcohol through the middle and finish.

M: Body not more than medium with low-medium carbonation and light caramel aftertaste, again, with plenty of alcohol there too.

D: SKip it -- heavy on booziness without much other aroma or flavor to recommend it. Tommyknocker's dopplebock is a much better bet if they're the only brewery available to you or if you're feeling adventurous.

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Photo of smallbatchbrewer
2.93/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Low lying head with milky thick brown body. Was in a low lit bar so appearance has a little give or take to it, I'm doing my best.

S- Malty, fruity maple with a hint of earthy hops

T- Hmmmm. This stuff is seemingly over-sweet for the style but the higher abv% is still pretty well masked. I'm sitting here wondering what the final gravity was on this brew...I'm thinking at least 1.020. It has a coppery iron (almost blood like) after taste that finds itself mixed on the pallet with a sharp sour bitterness. I did not expect the tartness.

M- With a thick appearance this one actually sits rather lightly

D- Honestly, I ordered a second pint. Perfect with my hearty soup. I just wish it had less of a pungent lingering aftertaste.

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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 alkemy
2.93/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This stuff is very dark brown, not quite opaque, with some particles floating about. The head was light tan as far as I could really wasn't around long enough to get a good look at it. You could smell a hint of hops in a slight citrus a bit of maple syrup, but the sweet caramel/nutty malts were most dominant. A bit of a caramelized brown sugar taste, but sauce. This just didn't sit well with me. Kind of smooth going down, but the taste was disappointing.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
2.95/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark, brooding opaque brown with a thick khaki head that fades instantly. Aromas of roasted malt sweetness, nutty accents and a maple syrup twang. Dark fruits underneath.

First sip is sweet dark malts with a bit of an odd dark fruit twang. Somewhat nutty and roasty with a slickness. Maple syrup accents are there along with a bit of heat. Too sweet for me overall. I'd pass on this one again.

Medium body and a bit slick....not much else to say. Overall, not a huge fan of this. Too sweet and a bit boozy. Just seems off kilter to me.

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Photo of kboett77
2.95/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This beer pours very attractively, a rich amber color with a pillowly head. It also smells very sweet and pleasant. The flavor of the beer continues in the same vein as the aroma, but proves a bit too sweet and surprisingly light bodied. It was at best, ok, a nice concept with the maple syrup, but....for me it didn't work out. Very pretty, and nice smelling though.

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Photo of ncfranklin
2.96/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

A : With a vigorous, gulping pour it can produce a nice finger side tan head, but settles quickly to a soft top fuzz. It's a very, very dark brown (in dim light, black) that doesn't really stand out.

S : A small hint of booze with brown sugar notes and caramel. Weak in potency.

T : Alcohol is there, but not disgustingly so. The brown sugar and caramel from the smell are playful throughout. The hops actually do make a small peek into play for a slight bite on the end. And I mean slight, almost non-existence. That, or i'm mistaking it for alcohol burn. Where's the nut? No where to be found. For a 9% brown, this isn't dreadful. It's a risk-taker.

M : Heavy, and quite soft in the mouth that leaves a coat of film all around.

D : At 9%, this isn't something you'd have too many of. Honestly, it's not something I crave a second for at all. Maybe the combination of alcohol and sweetness just turns me off after one.

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Photo of nicholasdes
2.98/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This could be good except for the extreme saltiness in the finish, maybe I had an old bottle. I can't tell what the hell bottle date is. 1 and 8 are punched.

Looks nice, dark clear brown, lite head.

Smells of carmelized molasses, no alcohol.

Interesting style, not a stout but imperial brown. Has great strong brown flavors up front, Sweet brown sugar, lite roasted barley, but then this salty finish that is killing me.

Lite with Lots of good carbonation.

The salt finish is killing me, the strength would keep you from having more than one.

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Photo of charlesw
2.99/5  rDev -19.4%
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 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 KarlHungus
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear brown color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes rather quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of caramel, burnt caramel, and not much else. It is nice smelling caramel, but very simple. I think it would be for a great aroma if only a little floral smelling hops were somewhere to be found. The taste is of caramel and sugar. I love malty beers that have depth, but this one just doesn't have that. In fact it is so sweet it reminds me of drinking soda. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a sugary texture as if there were undissolved sugar still in the beer. Overall, this beer is quite a let down. The concept of an imperial brown ale has a lot of potential, but this beer just doesn't live up to it.

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

I poured this average tasting beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was a mahogany brown with a brown head. The beer had a nuttiness like sweet smell and taste and had a really bitter dry aftertaste. I really did not like the brew for the bitterness. If you like bitter beer, go for it I will not buy again.

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