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Third Stone Brown | Empyrean Brewing Company

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76 Reviews
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Third Stone BrownThird Stone Brown

Brewed by:
Empyrean Brewing Company
Nebraska, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A myth shattering ale that proves all dark beers don't have to be filling. Sweetly smooth with nutty hints of roasted caramel flavor. Brewed with American, Canadian and English grown barley and American hops.

13 IBU

Added by PhantomVodoo on 07-29-2002

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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 175
Photo of MACrist
3.29/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

APPEARANCE: A muddy brown, ruby bulb to the light. A short lived, half finger of tan head. Good carbonation when rocking the glass. Very slight lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Some chocolate, roasted malt, coffee.
TASTE: Bready, lightly roasted, minor coffee and chocolate. Slight earthiness.
FEEL: Average carbonation, slick up front and dries on the finish, a little thin.
OVERALL: Good intro to brown ales. Not complex.

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Photo of OneBadBadger
3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep brown. Highly carbonated on the pour. A very fizzy fast receeding head. A malty roasted flavor. Absolutely no lacing. It should be noted that I am trying this at the very absolute end of this batches enjoy by date.

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Photo of AleMan66
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I poured it into a clear teardrop beer glass, little head. The color is brown, a little murky. The smell is fine but nothing special. The first taste was surprisingly fruity and unlike any brown ale I've had; I wasn't sure I liked it but it got better as it went. It's a Medium bodied beer. Carbination is medium. Nice after taste. I might purchase again.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 1/2016. Pours slightly hazy deep reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness/chocolate, plum, pear, apple, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready/roast malt and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness/chocolate, plum, pear, apple, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/spicy/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness/chocolate, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/roast malt and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly creamy/bready, and slightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice English brown ale style. All around good robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/bready/roast malt and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of TheHopsman
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pretty standard medium brown color with some lighter fall colored accents. Does not allow you to get a visual sense of whats happening on the other side of your glass, but still letting some light through.

S - Mellow roasted malt aroma, simply giving itself a refreshing brown identity. Somewhat nutty as if it sit in a mixture of nuts and coffee beans for a very short amount of time.

T - Fits just fine within the styles guidelines but doesn't put you in beer heaven.

M - More of a light bodied, refreshing, and slight carbonated sense leaving you thinking about barrel aged sours for a moment. As it warms it has a nicer creamy effect at the tail end.

O - Everything about this beer reads as a BROWN ALE! An easy, smooth drinker. A beer worth your while if available to you.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A : Pours a kidney bean colored body with 80% opacity, and a sticky grey 2-finger head that adheres to the pint glass like those sticky hands we played with in school from the quarter machines. As it recedes it leaves symbols of lace clinging to the sides and keeps a thin yet firm cap sitting pretty.

S : Some chocolate, rice chex, toasted grain, chili bean, nut, and a touch of plant (hop). Maybe a touch of fecal matter. The bouquet is medium strength.

T : I'm not entirely sure what I'm supposed to be tasting here, but I'm mostly getting the hulls of sugar snap peas, some chili spice, a dusting of cocoa powder, and soy sauce. This is very vegetal, planty, and really...off. From the bottle (just to try another angle to give this a fair shot), I get a touch more cocoa, but otherwise it's the same. (It's like Shock Top's Shockolate Wheat with snap pea hulls added and a dash of chili powder.)

F : It's light bodied but has a touch of dimension to it pushing it into medium territory. The carbonation is small but adequate, and it ends tart and biting. From the bottle the carbonation pumps up the drinkability and allows the beer to sud down better.

O : I probably won't finish this one. I remember trying some Empyrean brews back in the day and thought they were terrible. Then I tried some good ones and thought it was just me. No, these guys really do make some serious fails.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.34/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. More goodness from my labor for the industrial side of our business via Randy. Ale pours a muddled with tinges of red, a light tan dissipating head of foam that turns into a decent pool and light ring with moderate lacing. Nose of light chocolate, roasted nuttiness, sweet caramel malts, grains, and light hops. Flavors show nutty roasted characteristic with mild sweet (much less than the nose) medium grain flavor, and light hop balance. Finish is lightly dry, lightly hopped, and mildly tart from the grain characteristic. Medium low carbonation. Decent American brown ale.

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Photo of pat61
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Spicy cocoa nose with a faint hint of wet cardboard. Pours deep dark brown under a thin light tan cap. The palate is malty chocolate with a grainy tart dry astringency on the finish. Creamy medium full body and medium carbonation.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle in a Guinness pub-style glass.

A- Murky brown color with a 1/2 finger light tan colored head, fast fade. Reddish highlights. Some web lacing
Not pretty but I like the look.

S- Sweet and a touch of warm alcohol at first. Them some malts and caramel. It smells "brown" if ya follow.
There are some lingering dark fruits.

T- The dark fruits come in form of cherry, grape, etc. Dark malt on the end, like dark breads.

M- Mild, smooth, and flavorful. All that and not weighty. Clean dry finish.

O- Good drinker and a flavorful, smooth brown.

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Photo of Mikus
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Drank a couple of these with a buddy during a homebrew session, bottle mentioned best by August (hopefully 2014), so there might be some fresher bottles out there. Poured (into a pint glass) a deep, rich mahogany with a 1/2 finger of off-white (maybe leaning towards tan) head. Dissipated rapidly. The appearance was the best part of this brew. Had to work hard to get a nose on this one, but some bready notes and a hint of apple/pear(?) came through eventually. The taste was smooth, not overpowering... it was a bit tart on the front end, just a bit of alcohol (funny for a 5.3%). Mild malt character and pretty balanced bitterness (for a low IBU). Par for the course for a brown ale (at least from my experience). Pretty nice mouthfeel on this, with some fair-to-middlin' carbonation keeping things interesting considering the medium body. As mentioned off the bat, definitely towards the end of the shelf life, but promising... would like to try a fresher bottle down the road to re-evaluate the aroma and taste. I won't turn one down at the next homebrew club meeting.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this brew before but sampling right now on 8/7/13. Pours a very dark brown with about a 1-finger off white head that leaves good lacing when sipped. The aroma is of roasted malts for the most part with a light hint of caramel with a slight nutty flavor. The taste is exactly the same and is very pleasing and smooth to drink. No bad aftertaste. Great anytime of the year and is available every season.

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Photo of Clones21
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Third Stone Brown is a very solid Brown Ale. I am a big Brown Ale fan so I may think more highly than others.

Smell- The smell is actually not that great. It's does not great you well. Smells kind of dirty in a way with roasted malt.

Taste- The taste is much different from the smell. This beer has a great roasted caramel and toffee taste. This beer also went down very smooth and could probably put away a six pack of these. Loved it.

I recommend this beer to anyone that enjoys dark beer.

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Photo of dbossman
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep mahogany hue with a solid and steady two-inch head; and pretty decent lacing

S: Sweet roasted malts, nuts, toffee, caramel, toasted grains; decent aromas but a bit sweet and a bit subdued; I wish there was a roastier more pronounced character but it works

T: Similar flavor profile to the aromas--though more of a pronounced nuttiness and more roasted malts, toffee, and brown sugar; I wish there was more depth and complexities but it's an easy-drinking beer nonetheless

F: A tough thin but it works for what it is

O: With more of a complex flavor profile and body this would be a very good beer; as is, it is a decent, easy-drinking brown ale

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Photo of twiggamortis420
2.73/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of mi padre. Pours a mostly clear copper color with a small cap of tan head. Not much for retention, but does leave some nice lace and collar.

Nose is incredibly fruity, lots of red apples and pears. Some light notes of caramel and floral hops come through, but pretty much smells like a candied apple.

Taste is ok, not what I’d call a delicious English brown ale. The fruitiness is too high, the malt flabby and the beer just doesn’t leave you wanting more. It’s not a drain pour, but falls well short of average for the style. Carbonation is too high to call it smooth and atypical of English ales anyway. Bummer, I like the name, label and origin...but the beer flat out sucks.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Todd for sharing the growler during the Council gathering at Lake Poinsett. Well sealed and a nice and fresh pour, it's mahogany with a slim tan head that doesn't leave much lace. Nose is roasted malt and cocoa flakes. Taste is akin to the nose, but adding thin elements of caramel, biscuit, coffee and nut. Decent carbonation, but is too light in the body. I've had this several times now in different formats and it's got some promise, but I'd prefer a little heavier body and more robust flavor.

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Photo of u2carew
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz stubby.
A) Pours with a finger thick head then settles quickly. Mahogany color, some haze to the body. Very little lacing on the drink down.
S) Bready. Hints of chocolate and coffee.
T) Roasted malts. Chocolate. A subtle hop bite in the finish.
M) Fizzy, crisp yet smooth. On the lighter side of medium for the body. Chalky.
O) A decent brown ale. I'd have another one.

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, brown color with a small, tan head of foam. It left very little lacing.

S - It smelled nutty with a touch of chocolate.

T - It tasted nutty with caramel and chocolate flavors. Smooth and creamy with a touch of bitterness.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light to medium bodied ale with a fairly dry finish.

O - This is a pretty nice brown ale. Another solid offering from Empryean.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer is a murky, unfiltered muddy brown, like a puddle full of dead leaves. A cream colored head recedes to a wisp. Light lacing leaves rings on the glass. The beer smells of faint toffee, butter, malts. The taste is buttery, with biscuit cookie, malts, and faint toffee. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied, with a roasted malt finish.

Overall, really good. Tastes like an Autumn ale with less alcohol. Love the unfiltered murky brown. Awesome.

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Photo of lang409
3.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

There's something worthwhile here in the burgeoning beer scene in Lincoln, NE. The Third Stone Brown from Empyrean is a worthwhile contender. A nice mellow nutty brown with a lite malt foretaste makes it a great sessionable beer even on a hot day. True to a malty brown you will feel full after a couple. If you go to Lazlo's, which after chatting with one of the brewers I found out is where Empyrean started, try some of their other beers as well. 3 samples for free and all beers on tap (flight) for $7. Not a bad deal in my opinion.

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Photo of mike76
4.8/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

i don't drink dark beers because they are usually too heavy and give me a bad after taste but this beer is excellent. it is like drinking a light beer with a good taste i cant wait to have another of these. i just hope i can get a case mailed to me since its not sold in my area.

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Photo of philbe311
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Half a finger's worth of slightly lopsided off-white colored head... No real retention to speak of... What's left is a splotchy veil of lacing and a thin color... The color is a slightly hazy light to medium brown... Their is a slight haziness as well... A good bit of rapid paced carbonation swirls towards the top of the glass...

S - Toffee... Light milk chocolate... Grounded malt balls... A touch of brown sugar... Some light dark fruits... Simple straight-forward and spot on for the style...

T - Simple and perhaps a bit understated... Light brown sugar... Toffee... Caramel... Some dark bread...

M - Light to medium bodied... Limited carbonation... Smooth... Refreshing... A bit thin...

D - Very quaffable... Very enjoyable... Uber sessionable... This is a nice beer from the heartland... I wish I had regular access to this one because it would be something I came back to on a regular basis... Nothing fancy or pretentious, just a simple good beer...

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Photo of mothman
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beige head. Leaves some rings. Color is a clear golden brown.

Aroma: Caramel and chocolate malts. Nutty. Milk chocolate.

Taste: Roasted nuts, chocolate, caramel. It is creamy and milky.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Light to medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends roasted.

Overall, this was a very average brown. Very basic beer. Easy drinking, but nothing too flavorful.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy reddish-brown color. Poured a 2 finger bubbly off-white head that dissipated to a thick skim. Laced in thin rings that did not hold evenly.

S: Caramel malt and roasted nuts. Faint milk chocolate and a light bitter.

T: Smoky/roasted malt flavor. Transitions quickly to a mild, building bitter. A little caramel/chocolate flavor lingers.

M: Light body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and malty. A little warming in the finish.

D: Easily drinkable. Mild - probably as the style should be.

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Photo of TippySelenoid
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Clear, brown with a white head that doesn't last long. Lots of visible carbonation.

It's got a sweet and roasted smell. Not hoppy at all.

Roasted malts in the front of the mouth. Grassy bittering hops in the back. Balanced beer.

It's a bit crisper than I would have liked. It's medium bodied.

This beer's easy to drink, not very complicated and flavorful enoough to make a good session beer.

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Photo of phenomenologian
3.86/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Upon opening, some smoke comes out. It pours with no head at all. It has some tiny bubbles foam at the top. It has foam but is something I would not call head. The foam laces a bit though which altogether is a pretty good sign. The lack of head makes me question it a bit. The Burning Skye Scottish ale had pretty much no head either which is brewed also by Empyrean in Lincoln, NE; are the beers they brew subject to getting more flat than at bottling? I don't know. It makes me question it though

The smell is of barely and hops. The barley is a nice strong combination with the strong hops. Liking the smell.

The taste is a strong strike to the palate: in a nice way. The barely comes out at first taste. Hops come together as you continue to taste. Towards the end, barley stands out with roasted tones and maybe some chocolatey fruity tones with that but maybe Im delusional. Love the taste.

The mouthfeel is not harsh and the beer has little carbonation. It has carbonation enough that it s an enjoyable beer to drink.

Overall, Empyrean beers like this one have odd turnouts with the head but it is pleasing to all other senses. Give this one a try if you can find it.

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Third Stone Brown from Empyrean Brewing Company
3.6 out of 5 based on 175 ratings.
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