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Brown Ale | Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill

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BA SCORE
88
very good
72 Reviews
Brown AleBrown Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill
Colorado, United States
upslopebrewing.com

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our medium-bodied Brown Ale is brewed in the English tradition, with an infusion of American creativity. The rich, malty backbone balances an assertive hop character, and ends with a smooth, dry finish. Our Brown Ale boasts a dark brown body that supports a creamy tan head.

Added by Domingo on 11-28-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
72
Ratings:
321
Avg:
3.95
pDev:
20.25%
 
 
Wants:
23
Gots:
57
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 321
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured dark dark brown into a pink glass with almost no head at all to speak of. smells sweet and strong. notes of molasses for sure in the nose. yum. mouthfeel is off a little bit, maybe undercarbonated. not quite flat, but perhaps only a problem with the tap system and not with the beer. taste is excellent. its burnt sugars and roasted malts and alcohol. prominent sweetness in the finish, a great beer for fall. my first upslope brew, will definitely not be my last. a nice spin on the conventional brown ale.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This isn't your father's Brown Ale, especially if your dad is English. This beer foregoes any element of finesse to prefer aggressive American attitude. Its high hop ranges favor citrus character over broad bitter spice. Its body is malty-dry with a bit of heat. Its toasty chocolate tones rival that of Porters. Yet the beer somehow decries all-thing-brown.

Starting with its masculine crimson pour, its somewhat ruby-like with chestnut highlights- all is easily taken with the beer's brilliantly clear body. Somehow, its filtered character leaves its foam structure intact. Lacy rings cling to the glass at every sip taken from the glass.

Heavy toast kicks off the beer's aromatics, but does so with the backing of earthy chicory, cocoa beans, coffee, walnut, and tangy yogurt. Shy of roast, burnt or char character- the beer flirts with the line that separated this Brown from Stout. Earthen wood and pine notes balance and nearly overtake the aromas as the beer warms; bringing about accessory notes of citrus and grass.

It's bold yet crisp taste starts with the malty-sweet underpinnings of burnt sugar and bittersweet chocolate and then into bold roast coffee and earthy walnut oils. These bold tastes reach their apex at middle palate and that's where the hops kick in. Then come the citrus taste of grapefruit pith and peel, fresh cut grasses, torn pine needles, and singed woods. And yet there's the underlying malt taste of whipping cream that gives the beer a milky taste to support the chocolate and sweetness early and balances the hops late.

Creamy and medium-full early, the beer makes quick work of its heft and sheds its carbonation and residual sweetness soon after the malty taste registers. Then the beer favors dry toast textures, hop dryness, strong alcohol warmth, and mild acrid roast astringency. It goes from creamy to dry in a hurry.

I'm not going to say that this is the next Dogfish India Brown Ale, but it's not far off the course. Its a wonderful Americanized Brown Ale that can claim Porter-like character if it wanted to. I can see a pairing of a cajun-style burger with pepper jack cheese and jalapenos in the future with this beer as a complement.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16oz pint at the Glass Half Full taphouse in advance of night two of the Beer Diaries Colorado premiere.

This beer appears a clear dark russet brown hue, which leaves a streaks of island arch lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of robust dark chocolate and oily nuts, a grainy caramel malt, some soft char, a touch of citrus pith, and earthy, leafy hops. The taste is more malty up front, before a clavacade of bittersweet cocoa and mixed nuts comes crashing down, a mild roast waft about, and some tamed leafy, weedy hops balance things out.

The bubbles are fairly understated, the body a heady medium-heavy weight, and decidedly smooth, with a pleasantly subtle creaminess. It finishes off-dry, the expected sweetness readily tempered by a lingering earthy hoppiness.

A rather enjoyable, and surely drinkable Americanized brown ale - not overhopped, but instead beefed-up in the mouthfeel area. Worthy of at least a round or two.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.55/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Truncated quick notes:

A: Head is about 3.5 inches wide. Foamy and frothy and off-white/khaki. Body is oddly not brown, but actually amber. Clear and clean, with no visible yeast.

Sm: Bready malts. Cream. Caramel. Brown sugar. Hints of restrained cotton candy hop character. Bread crust.

Aromatic intensity is average.

T & Mf: Taste is off-putting, actually, with worrisome hop dominance and strangely uneven brown sugar sweetness. The caramel and cream gets buried beneath the hoppiness. Ugh.

No nuttiness, toffee, etc. This isn't much of a brown ale.

Texture is uneven - coarse at points, smooth at others. Likewise for dryness/wetness. Medium-bodied and overcarbonated. As unpredictable as the taste, to the detriment of the beer as a whole.

A muddled mess of a brown ale build. This never tastes like it has much of a clear intention behind it. I'm not sure what they were going for, but outside of style conventions it's not terrible.

O: A swing and a miss from Upslope, a brewery that often does better work. I wouldn't want another, and it's far from the worst I've had in the style, but it really just doesn't meet fundamental style guidelines. I will revisit it in future if only to go into the detail it deserves, but based on this can, it's definitely well below average. To its credit, though, the brown sugar does work to a degree - and I think brown sugar in a brown ale is a great idea. The execution just isn't there.

Low C-

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Mayor of Old Town, Ft. Collins, CO

Poured a pleasant mahogany with a thin off-white head. Toasty brown malts and brown sugar sweetness in the aroma. More of the same in the taste, with lots of sweetness, brown sugar and molasses, some cocoa notes, and little to no hops to speak of. I don't like many brown ales, but I did like this one. Medium-bodied, and nicely drinkable.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.69/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The last of my haul from pokesbeerdude in the Thrice as Nice CANs BIF. Thanks, dude!

From the CAN: "Hand-Crafted Beer"; "Roasted, Malty, Aromatic"; "Ingredients Snowmelt Malt English Hops American Yeast Brown Sugar"; "Specs Hand-Crafted Aluminum Can Portable Recyclable Good".

Man, but the Crack & Glug was phenomenal resulting in two fingers of light-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep dark-brown with ruby highlights. Nose smelled of evergreen and cocoa and I may have just been inspired for some hot chocolate this winter. I used to love peppermint schnapps in my hot chocolate and I have not done that in years. Mouthfeel was thick and viscous and I'll be damned if that taste was not just like the cocoa I mentioned a moment ago! Minty chocolate. This must be a panty peeler of some stripe, I would imagine. Finish was literally breathtaking with its intense mintiness up front, followed by a soothing wash of chocolate. How many of these do I have left?

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Photo of drabmuh
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I believe Boatshoes sent me this can as a karma correction, served in a DFH signature glass.

Beer is brown and clear with a nice off white head of small bubbles. Decent retention, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is low but roastier than I expected.

This beer is thin and a little watery with a strong back palate bitterness from roasted grain, some ash and smoke in there with a decent amount of malt leading up to it. It drinks more like an English Dark Mild than a brown but still a decent little beer.

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Photo of Tone
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark brown color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of strong roasted malt, sweet malt, hops, slight yeast, and a hint of alcohol. Fits the style of an American Brown Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, caramel malt, hops, strong roasted malt, slight yeast, and slight alcohol. Overall, good appearance, decent aroma, good body, and blend.

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Photo of tempest
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

My regular complaint with brown ales is the pairing of a big, thick body with a plain, generically roasty character. This beer does exactly what I want: It finishes dry, the body isn't too thick, and there's a long cocoa and coffee bean and deeply toasted barley. It's big flavor and easy to drink for the strength. I'll have another.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From light to dark, it's on to a brown ale from a brewery I hadn't heard of before. It's canned and from the same city as Boulder Brewery and Avery, so the genes are right. From a can that looks too similar to a Heinken, on to the beer:

Dark brown bodied with a white head that retains well and leaves dots of lace around. Greatness sits in the aroma, where the aroma of fudge brownies gets me. Simply great. And then toffee and marijuana notes cross in. While the taste of Upslope Brown doesn't get me like the nose, there's still much to be excited about. Big chunks of toffee and chocolate smackdown the palate, not cloying and very tasty. Perhaps the higher than normal alcohol has to do with the higher intensity. It's smooth, and medium bodied.

Keeping it simple, a joy to drink.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. Can
Best By: Feb 24 17

Pours a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy two-finger plus off-white head, which leaves some very nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, nice roastyness, nutty. The taste is pretty nice malty, roasty, nutty. Medium body. nice bitter/dry finish. Overall, a pretty tasty brew.

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Photo of tone77
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yet another canned beer provided by the
(in)famous woodychandler. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a pretty dark brown color with amber hues and a 1/2 inch head. Smell is malts, nutty, caramel. Taste is good, malts, caramel, nuts, a touch of hops is present, very flavorful. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall this is a high quality brew worth seeking out.

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Photo of Zorro
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear brown colored ale with a medium sized light brown colored head.

Smells of molasses and patent malt with a good coffee and chocolate aroma too.

Starts out fairly sweet with a good roasted barley and chocolate flavor. Medium level of bitterness. Molasses becomes a little stronger as you drink it. The taste is similar to a mocha coffee sweetened with black strap molasses. Not a lot of fine nuances come with this beer it is just a very solid brown ale.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a tasty and surprisingly easy to drink Brown Ale. This beer has no defects.and makes an excellent example of the style for reference.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by Nov 12, 2014.

A very dark brown brew with some reddish highlights, the off white foam starts off big but shrinks quickly leaving some lacing behind.

The smell is all Brown Ale like. ;^) Big hoppy but with more than hints of roasted malt and coffee. I think the hop and roasted malt have a nice "marriage" going on and they are celebrating the event with the coffee.

The taste just supports what I said about the smell. Nice bitter from the hops and roasted malt with a wee bit of sweetness that doesn't quite balance things out, but this is an American Brown Ale, so all is right with the world. Did I forget to mention coffee's involvement? I think it brings things together and gives this Brown Ale and extra oomph. Wow. Oomph is a word without the red squiggly lines but hoppy isn't?

Medium is what I'd use to describe the body and carbonation.

This is an excellent Brown Ale and I will enjoy drinking the other cans I have.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

thanks to ablackshear for this beer!

poured into new glarus stien.

Appearance: dark brown bodied beer with 2 full fingers of khaki colored head.

Smell: Roasty and toasty; sweet and nutty malts. A nice smell of bowl of brown sugar oatmeal. Light earthy hop. Slightly fruity.

Taste: A sweet malt forward brown ale with a hint of brown sugar; this is a seriously delicous brown ale! Malts are nutty, roasty, and toasty. Light earthy hops just like in the nose that helps keep the sweetness in balance.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with almost moderate carbonation levels. This beer has such a creamy mouthfeel giving the beer a substantial full bodied feel. While the beer is super smooth and as drinkable as water. This has the best mouthfeel of any brown ale that I can ever remember sampling.

Overall: This is quite a gem from Upslope. I wish this beer was a local beer in my distro area because I would always have a fresh six pack of this beer in my fridge as an "anytime" beer. Upslope also wins bonus points for packaging this beer in a can. This beer screams a "Colorado original" to me.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a deep brown color with a one finger head of off white foam. The head has a moderate level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a light level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell –The aroma of the brew is strongest of nice roasty smell mixed with aromas of caramel and molasses. Along with these aromas comes some lighter notes of coffee and chocolate along with a little bit of nut.

Taste-The taste begins with nice toasted bready taste that has a moderate showing of caramel and molasses upfront. The caramel and molasses decline a bit in intensity as the taste advances with some coffee and cocoa tastes taking their place. All the while a bit of nuttiness joins the taste profile and in the end the combination of flavors ends up leaving a roasty and not too overly sweet taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is average with a carbonation level that is rather low. For the roasty and light nut tastes of the brew the feel is rather nice and creates a fairly easy drinker all while still highlighting some of the nice flavor notes.

Overall – This was a rather enjoyable brown ale. It had a smooth and roasty flavor, all while not being over the top in sweetness. Rather tasty.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. Brown color with some sticky lacing on the glass, maybe that's the brown sugar? Smell is roasty, toasty, and definitely signals brown ale. The flavor was very rich, malty, sweet, good. The only problem I'd have with this beer is that it's so rich and the ABV is close to 7% so I can only drink a couple of these. This is easily upslope's best beer.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One and a half fingers of tan head on brown, amber ting'd colored body.
The aroma is a nice nutty and malt smell. Really nice.
The taste is nutty and malty as well. A solid profile.
Smooth texture with low carbonation and medium body.
A drinkable brown ale and tasty too.

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Photo of rawfish
3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep shade of brown, dark wood highlights all over the glass. Forms a small bit of froth on top the body that has decent retention and leaves rings of lacing down the glass.

Definitely stock brown ale, roasted malts, a touch of brown sugar, and some burnt popcorn. Little bit of hop character here mostly pine.

Robust full flavors, not exceptionally bold but the drink fills the mouth with light coffee and dark chocolate, some caramel and nutty sweetness. Roasted character lingers through out the drink. Malts are complimented with some herbal hop character and a bitter note towards the end of the drink. Rather balanced and pleasant. Honey sweetness on the aftertaste.

A touch too much carbonation, active and lively yet biting, really brings the roasted malts to peak at a near burnt level. Medium bodied with no unpleasantries in the after taste or mouth coating.

Quite a pleasant surprise for a random pick up. A very drinkable and -robust- beer comparable to it's Boulder sibling, Ellie's. Side to side I'd say they are even. Good beer, will pick up again.

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Photo of arizcards
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a couple of cans from Total Wine in early February for $1.79 each. Received at TW 2/5/14. No discernible freshness date but it probably was canned around the turn of the year.

Beer poured dark brown with a nice tan head on the initial pour.

Nose is nice, roasted malts and coffee dominate.

Taste is very well balanced. Roasted malts and coffee are prominent. Finish is nicely balanced by a generous amount of hopping.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is a delicious brew, nice coffee twist to the American Brown style.

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Photo of beergoot
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-Reviewed September 08th, 2016

Original ratings: 4 4 4 3 4

Just about all of my original impressions remain with the exception of the mouthfeel. In this case, the beer comes across as smooth and silky with a lot more body.

This remains one of my go-to ales....

----------------------------------------------------------------

Appearance: dark, red copper color. Decent thick, creamy head with good lacing on the glass.

Smell: Roasted malts, slightly burnt, bitter aroma.

Taste: Roasted grain, nice bitterness towards the end with burnt toast-like flavors counter-balancing.

Mouthfeel: Light with a fine carbonation bubbling along the tongue.

Overall: Nothing distinctive nor worth writing home about, but a fair beer for a basic brown ale. A middle-of-the-road offering that's worth drinking when nothing better is available.

Note: I updated and upgraded my scores based on another can of the beer sampled 7/21/12.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz can. Pours a medium brown with a small creamy white head that goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet nutty chocolate malts.

The flavor is sweet nutty chocolate malts that are a bit acidic. There's a bit of bitter roast in the finish with some off plasticky notes. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, an OK brown.

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Photo of Todd
4.11/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sweet, Roasty, Bitter, Nutty

Dark brown in color with bright ruby hues and a fluffy tan head with lace. Toasty, roasty, and nutty aromatics get the palate ready for what's to come. Medium-bodied with a silky feel on the palate. Very sweet, sugary, and malty with black treacle suggestions, more roasty notes, brown bread, and chicory. Quite bitter, too, with a hint of lemony citrus and some leafy hop character that provides some balance and depth. The dry, nutty finish offers hints of fruity alcohol. Upslope brings it with an aggressive and robust Brown Ale that walks the "double" line.

As reviewed in BeerAdvocate magazine #116 (September 2016).

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Photo of allengarvin
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: 3.75 - Dark brown with a modest head.
S: 3.75 - Caramel with a light roast.
T: 4.0 - Quite a bit of roast in the taste, together with moderately high bitterness really cut out the sweetness. Nice caramel with a bit of a hint of dark chocolate.
M: 3.75 - Neutral texture, not too carbonated.
O: 4.0 - Not my favorite style, but this is a pretty good beer for those of us are turned off by sweetish darker beers.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up as part of a mixed sixer the other day, even though I've never been a huge fan of their other beers. Poured a medium chestnut brown color with a good light brown head. Aromas of roasted nuts, milk chocolate and a hint of hops. On the palate, medium bodied with flavors of roasted nuts, caramel and chocolate. The best from Upslope so far.

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Brown Ale from Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill
3.95 out of 5 based on 321 ratings.
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