Maple Nipple Ale | Lawson's Finest Liquids

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Maple Nipple AleMaple Nipple Ale

Brewed by:
Lawson's Finest Liquids
Vermont, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our hearty Vermont Maple ale is a unique and tasty brew loaded with local maple syrup and a kick!

Added by ClockworkOrange on 02-06-2009

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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 267
Photo of abuliarose
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a tall goblet, revealing opaque burnt caramel brown body under a finger and a half of airy but soapy cream-tinged head. Some lacing. Pretty nice looking. Smells like floral hops, dried pear and maple syrup. A little starchy on the nose. Decent winter smells.

Tastes big and somewhat bitter up front with a smooth maple syrup-laced finish. Touch of spice. Nice bread character. To its credit this is the first non maple flavoring beer where I can really taste the syrup. Very starchy in the taste and mouthfeel as well, kind of like drinking boiled potato water. A little mealy, a little creamy heavier body than your average ale. Carbonation adds well to the creamy thick body. Very filling but very drinkable. Drinks like a meal.

Overall this is a solid winter beer. Glad I could try it!

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Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this last week as part of a B-Day gift-haul of biers from ol' pal Artied2... Done raking some leaves so it's time to warm up... label states batch #156, bottle #79. Auf geht's....

Filled an imperial nonic.... bier was slightly cloudy, and a deep, intense copper hue. Carbo was steady, and a hard pour produced a thick, rocky layer of light beige froth. It ebbs ever so slowly, yet always maintains some cover, and the lacing clinging to the glass is top-shelf. Maple is the primary aroma wafting forth, sweetening the air. Should I close my eyes I imagine I'd think a pile of maple-soaked french toast was in front of me! The Nipple has decent body, with just the right firmness, and it is quite smooth as well.

Taste is interesting, with the maple being quite obvious, some caramel weaving in and out, and then some fruitiness which reminds me of an English old strong ale. The fruit I mentioned is in the guise of some green apple and pear, which linger in an odd-couple mix with the maple on the palate. Was originally going with a 3.50 for drinkability, but the more I had, the more I liked it. Birch? Bah!! Gimme Maple! Thnx Bro!!


look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4


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Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bottle in a BIF, thanks Greg! Very excited to try a Lawson's creation, been wanting to for a while. This is from Rare Batch 156, bottle 15.

Nice looking bottle for starters, the gold foil adheres to the glass as if glue was applied. Popping the cap, the beer pours a light copper color, very hazed looking with a thin off-white foam that settles quickly. Good aroma, maple syrup is strong and maybe a little reminiscent of Life & Limb. Hints of alcohol in the background, but other than that it's hard to pick out any "beer" smells. The malts are silent and I suspect hops were added for bittering only, nothing late in the process for aroma (only my guess).

This tastes unique, definitely a lot of maple syrup character, sweet but not over-the-top, with a sort of sticky mouthfeel as well. That defines it more or less, really no counterplay from malts, just clean pale malts I suppose. I can't taste the alcohol but the burn comes through in the upper digestive system, making it a sipper. Rich and delicious, a good night cap of a beer.

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Photo of largadeer
1.59/5  rDev -57%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bubba83 opened a bomber of this. Thanks, Kevin.

Copper colored, the body is cloudy, almost opaque. A small head forms and retains pretty well.

Maple, toast and oxidation on the nose. A lot of cardboard. This smells very off, oxidation is overwhelming.

Palate is also dominated by cardboard, really oxidized and stale with a bit of maple behind it. A little toasted bitterness comes through in the finish, and an odd medicinal flavor. The body is thin. This is pretty bad.

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Photo of nickd717
2.48/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bomber shared by Bubba83 on BA.

Pours hazy amber in color with a one-finger light khaki head and some lacing.

The aroma is big cardboard box, maple, and sweet malts. Could be a little oxidized or something.

The flavor is rather oxidized. Cardboard is the dominant flavor note. Besides that it's caramel malt, slightly sweet, and maple syrup.

Medium bodied with average carbonation.

Not great overall, definitely a bit off. I wonder if this is how it always is or if something happened to this bottle.

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Photo of davod23
2.76/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Got as an extra in a recent trade. Thanks a lot, Greg.

Pour is a mostly clear orange, with a head the color of the San Francisco Giants' home uniforms. A thin cap of bubbles of varying sizes sticks around pretty well, though the glass is bereft of appreciable lacing.

Aroma is... not what I expected. This seems to me to be akin to an American Strong Ale. Boozier than I would have anticipated. Maple is barely, barely there. Vanilla is noticed when breathing out. Booze.

As boozy as it is in the aroma, the alcohol is pretty well-hidden in the taste. Still a stunning lack of maple though. Caramel apple, some breadiness. Solventy, slightly astringent. Medicinal in the long finish.

Mouthfeel: Way too thin. Pretty smooth, adequately carbonated, but this beer is very, very light-bodied.

Drinkabiliy. Eh. I can't see myself putting down much of this.

This isn't a bad beer, but it's not very good. I'm glad I got a chance to try this, and I will seek out other Lawson's in the hopes that this beer is an anomaly, but I don't ever think that this beer will grace my lips again.

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Photo of Viggo
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz foiled bottle, big thanks to MasterSki for the hookup. Rare batch 131, bottle #43.

Pours a crystal clear and very bright orange/reddish, some amber highlights, thick slightly off white head forms and settles down to a medium sized ring and layer around the glass, some lace chunks stick, looks pretty good.

Smell is neat, very sweet and malty, candi sugar, some caramel, a touch of maple syrup, very fruity, strawberry jam, a touch of citrus, orange marmalade, lightly herbal, pretty neat if simple aroma.

Taste is really neat, big and fruity, very sweet but not cloying, some maple sap, strawberry jam, fruit gum, orange marmalade, a bit of toast and biscuit, caramel, golden raisins, a bit of treacle/corn syrup in the finish, really big.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low to medium carbonation, a touch of warmth but alcohol is really well hidden. Not really any maple character but a pretty unique beer. Thanks Alex!

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Photo of Billolick
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber, Bottle 95, Rare batch 156. Purchased at the Warren Store.

Pours medium honey amber, hazed, khaki head, long lasting, frothy, high quality looking all the way, leaves tongues of sheeting and nice looking stands and bits of lace. Nice looking brew. Silky smooth, rich and chewy

The sniff reveals waves of sweet malt, honey, vanilla.

Flavorful, super smooth, maltolicious offering. Maple, vanilla, honey all noted. Smoke, wood undertones. Softly biting hops come in late.

Luxorious fall/winter offering. Well crafted, delicious, understated yet bold, mild yet heady at 9%. Well worth seeking out.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a chalice. Thanks Bendurgin! Nice amberish slight red body. A little bit of off white head laces the glass nicely. No haze. Looks good.

Smells like a sweet candy, a bit of hop bitterness is noticed, but not much. A bit of toast aroma is also noticed in the background.

This starts out nice and mapley, but finishes a bit drier than I wish for the maple to shine. A good amount of bitterness is noticed, but not much hop flavor at all.

Average mouthfeel and drinkability. This one drinks a lot like an American barleywine with an added dimension of having maple. I love maple so that's a good thing.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I shared this bottle with three other friends. Poured into a tulip. The body is maple brown with a thin off white head that doesn't retain too long and leaves a bit of spotty lacing. The aroma is toasted malts with a bit of spicy hops with just a bit of maple to the aroma. Holy rich maple! The taste is toasty with a bit of spice and a really big maple finish. The maple is bold and rich and finishes pretty nicely. I think the maple isn't too overpowering and balanced pretty well with the toasty flavor. The mouthfeel is light but the maple makes it slightly sticky. It's still nice and the carbonation is well done. For a nine percent beer, this drinks pretty well, especially on a cool Autumn evening.

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Photo of ElGallo
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was lucky to snag a couple bottles at the Warren Store on a mid-September business trip to Vermont. The name of this beer just says it all: I mean who doesn't like maple and boob? An excellent combo.

Bottle #1 from this batch (158?) 22 oz. bomber poured into a balloon glass: a murky brown color with some head, not much lacing. Subtle scent of maple and malt, very little hop presence.

Up front this tastes like a decent brown ale, but the maple comes through perfectly in the aftertaste. A nice pleasant sipper for a fall afternoon - I shared this bottle with a friend and was itching to crack the other, but it was saved for another day. Not sure if Sean Lawson considers this his flagship beer, but it should be - this is damn fine drinking. Well done.

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Photo of strengthdoc
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Apparently you can only purchase this beer by the bottle at a small store in Warren, VT. They receive small shipments and never know which type they will get each Friday. There is a 4 bottle per person per day limit. I was able to get my 4 bottle around 4pm on Saturday afternoon shortly before they sold out. The beer pours into the glass to reveal a nice hazy copper color with a thick tan head that last a while and leaves a nice lacing. The aroma is mild maple, roasted malt and light apple. The mouthfeel was medium and mildly silky. There was a slight buttery feel on the lips as the beer was tasted. The first taste is mild maple with roasted caramel followed my a mild hop bitterness and an alcohol warmth in the finish. I am more of a DIPA fan, but I really liked this beer. If it wasn't for the alcohol taste in the finish it would be almost perfect.

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Photo of ManVersusBeer
4.26/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged this one about a year and a half. Batch #66, bottle #49 and poured it into a big goblet. It is a reddish-tinged orange with a short, very white head which turns into bubbles.
This beer smells great with some light caramel, poppy seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, and a hearty, yeasty bread aroma. The maple syrup is there, too.
It tastes like sweet maple sugar candy with the subtle crunch of sugar and the creaminess of the maple. It's quite mellow, though, with some banana bread, bit o' honey, a little lemon, and a slight oak char giving way to vanilla extract. Like having pancakes in a glass.
The alcohol is hidden and the sweetness is present, but yielding. This is an easy drinker and I like maple sugar candy so it also satisfies that craving. An interesting brew that I could drink for breakfast.

Update: The second pour from the bottle I include some floating yeast which gives a more pronounced fresh bread and maple feel. Mr. Lawson doesn't lie as this is both smooth and powerful with the alcohol approaching as it warms. Medium carbonation; a nice, sweet, and spicy libation on an early autumn evening.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bomber was brought back from VT for me by joshman - thanks dude. Rare batch # 135, bottle # 32. Poured into stemmed glasses. First thing I noticed was the odd color. The best way to describe it would be a dark neon rust color. A different shade of color that I have ever seen before. Nice thick bubbly head, with some good lacing. Smell was semi-sweet, a bit like a rich caramel. Taste was good, but interesting. Had a nice maltiness to it, but on the sweet side. I did not get the maple flavor, but I think that it was added merely as a way to sweeten the beer, and not necessarily as a flavor component. Mouthfeel was on the thick side, which is what I would expect from a beer made with syrup. Drinkability was fairly good, as it was a great tasting beer and the high abv was well hidden. I am glad I got a chance to try a beer from this regional brewer, and this was a nice intro.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle from jmu500...thanks John! Pours a caramel color with little to no head. Carbonation appears to be low from first look. Doesn't leave any lacing. Visibility through the glass is non-existent, as it's very cloudy/hazy.

Aroma is similar to a American Stong ale. Some hops, little big of toasted malts...and yeast. Not really picking up the maple syrup in the nose. If I consentrate hard enough, maybe...but it might just be in my head.

Flavor is interesting. Light to medium body, medium carbonation...very sharp and boozy. Not as thick and creamy as I expected. Also, not nearly as sweet as anticipated due to the description. Regardless, not bad at all...just different. Lots of strong ale resemblances. Slight hops, yeast, and again...more booze. Glad I got to try this one!

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Photo of MasterSki
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to stowehop for snagging a couple of these for me - I know how tough it is to get any Lawson's. Served in a tumbler. This was Batch 131, Bottler 45.

A - Pours with a finger of white foam that dissipates to a jagged ring and some haze. Some spotty lace is left behind. The body looks like Type B Maple Syrup - a transparent darker brown.

S - Belgian yeast, light toasted grains, a touch of maple syrup, and a mix of spices. Nowhere near as maple-heavy as I'd expect from the name. Quite wit or tripel-like in fact.

T - The taste is a bit muddled, with more zesty bitterness and even less overt maple character. Malt is also a bit too understated, leading to too much spice and bitterness. Can't taste any alcohol thankfully.

M - There's a little heat on the back end, but otherwise it's pretty solid. Seems a bit light in body for 9%, but the body is otherwise smooth with lower carbonation.

D - Decent, but not a Lawson's offering I'd seek out again. Looking forward to the beers made with actual maple/bourbon barrels.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.28/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 66 Bottle #87. Autographed, classy! This one is fun stuff. Thanks, Andrew!

Pours a cloudy light apple cider amber color with a BIG stiff off white head that resists fading and leaves a nice amount of Belgian lacing behind. I really like the smell it's crazy sweet maple syrup and pumpkin or something, very slight spice thing happening. The mouth feel is lightly carbonated, velvety smooth and medium-full bodied. I'm starting to feel a little heat..very little. Not distracting in anyway. The flavor is sweet and malty maple syrup...seriously 'get the pancakes out'. LOVE IT!. I guess you've really got to be in the mood for this one because I don't understand the scores that it's getting. I could drink this all night long. Point me the way to Lawson's!!!

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Being the BAMF's that we are, naproxen and I got a couple bottles of this at the Warren Store, w00t.

22 oz. pimp gold tin wrapped bottle poured into a goblet. Rare Batch #66 Bottle #94.

Pours a cloudy orange tinted amber hue with a thick, chunky off-white head that falls leaving a fair amount of lacing on the sides of the glass. Ehhh, the aroma is a pretty lame maple syrup scent, not the Grade A goods...but the ghetto stuff. Some sweet toasted grains and a touch of roasted malts in the nose as well. I do notice though, that for a 9% brew there is absolutely no booze what so ever in the smell. Flavor is definitely a step up from the nose. A more pronouced maple flavor, but not overdone in the least bit. A touch of smoke and some gooey candy apple flavors in there too. Some earthy hops and a slight citrus sweetness find their way on the tongue too. Good lord someone get me some freakin' BACON!!! So the body seems a bit thin for 9%, I kinda want a bit more beefiness to it. Carbonation is a bit strong as well. Holy balls in my mouth how is this beer 9%?! Oh well, no complaints here. Lookin' forward to more of Sean's beers for sheezy...bring 'em on!

mmm, nipples.

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Photo of naproxen
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sneakily cleared out the Warren Store with BeerTruth of this beer a mere hour before hitting SIPtemberfest :) Thanks to the wonder of hand bottling and signing I know there were only a limited number produced of this batch #66 of this, but thanks to the wonder of condensation, my bottle # is a blue felt tip pen mess of unreadable (#43?).

I poured this into my fancy "I spend way too much at Ithaca and get free shit" Excelsior tulip. I love the head (that's what he said) on this one, 2 fingers thick and it sticks around for a good minute before giving way to some real healthy lacing and thin white ring.

Ok I'm really not sure what to make of the nose on this. I get a hint of maple but then there is something else grassy (not hops) that is there as well. I'll have to come back and edit this sometime when I can put my finger on what I smell.

I'm loving that the maple flavor is really coming through on this, not just straight sweet sugar maple but real dark amber maple flavor, dark brown sugar but not too syrupy in the mouth. I still get that taste lingering after a few minutes but I have no problem with that. The carbonation on this is good. I want pancakes.

Oooooh yeah, 9%. Where? I don't really pick up the tell tale signs of higher ABV in the nose and not in the mouth until I start reaching the end of the bomber (and my sobriety). That is a + for drinkability, but I am finding now that the cloying maple sugar residue in the mouth is bringing it down a touch. A bomber will see its demise by my mouth, but not two.

P.S. Is this really a "fruit beer"? Unless I am failing at life again and do not understand the definition of "fruit", this contains none.

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Photo of younger35
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this brew from my main man in the Cuse, BeerTruth. He has to send me at least 48oz of beer a week or I'll kick his ass. This will be my first brew from Lawson's Finest and I'm excited. I haven't had a Maple brew yet. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Rare batch #66. Bottle #110.

Appearance- Pours a hazy orange yellowish with a big one finger creamy white head that has decent staying power. A decent cap and collar remains with a light amount of sticky lacing.
Smell- Some nice light maple syrup from the get go but honestly it's sort of a foreign beer smell. The brew is lightly tart in the nose as well with a bit of raw white grapes and crisp green apples. A bit of raw wheaty malt hiding in there as well. Sort of smells like one of those maple donuts.
Taste- Oh wow, I thought this was going to a sweet maple mess. Starts with a bit of crackery maltiness and light maple notes. Its no where near sweet or syrupy although it is really thick. A bit of brown sugar toastiness and light bitterness hide in the background. On the finish is a surprising amount of bitterness. It sort of lingers and has a grapefruit or orange pith like bitterness. Fruitiness isn't the right flavor description but it's something like that.
Mouthfeel- Really thick and rich with a big creamy sticky feel that surprisingly isn't anywhere near cloying.
Drinkability- I love new beers. Especially new brews that are big and original and something that I've never tasted before. This is one of those. I figured it would be tasty but I was thinking it would be really sweet and cloying and hard to finish the whole 22oz. It wasn't and I really enjoyed this. It's unique and tasty and all sorts of drinkable. Thanks Adam!

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the SIPtember fest at Mad River Glen.

Pours a nice light golden color with a bit of lacing that stays for a while. Aroma is nice and maple with some sugar and sweetness.

Taste is nice and maple as well, some sugary notes and a bit wheaty. Very nice! A bit of nice light malt character as well, but almost no hops to it.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Out of Sean's 'Vault' this heretofore unnamed ale had been aged for two years before being released at the Lawson's Finest Liquids one-year anniversary on St. Patrick's Day, 2009. It was a perfectly clear golden-amber color with an off-white, fluffy, one-finger head. The retention was excellent and the lacing streaky. The aroma was of sour green apples, pale malt, floral hops and a touch of maple sweetness. The flavors were wild! Sour apples, tart esters, Belgian yeast, orange peel, a clear alcoholic bite and herbal elements. Very citric and acidic overall; reminiscent of a punchy, Flanders Old Bruin. Crisp but lacking enough malt to balance it. The mouthfeel was creamy, the body medium and the carbonation medium.

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Maple Nipple Ale from Lawson's Finest Liquids
3.7 out of 5 based on 267 ratings.
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