NOLA Brown Ale | New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing Company (NOLA)

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NOLA Brown AleNOLA Brown Ale

Brewed by:
New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing Company (NOLA)
Louisiana, United States

Style: English Dark Mild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
NOLA Brown Ale was one of our first two flagship ales. This brewery favorite is a light-bodied, full flavored English dark mild ale with notes of chocolate, coffee, caramel, and nuts. High malt flavor and low hops, this is a great session beer with a 4.0% ABV and smooth finish.

Added by cvfish on 03-07-2009

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Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 175
Photo of brew3crew
5/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Newgeneric with the growler. What a guy!

A-dark amber hue. Little bit of red
S-some coffee tones. Roasted malt
T-tastes a lot like it smells. Wonderful. Please come to cincinnati!
M-medium bodied and oh so smooth. Love this stuff
D-very drinkable. Went back for more soon after. Very nice session beer!

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Photo of cvfish
4.65/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - This beer poured a beautiful mahogany brown color that produced a light tan head that had good retention and left a great lacing on the side of the glass

S - The aromas produced by this beer were great malts, a nutty characteristic that reminds me of pecans, and a little smoke

T - The taste of this Brown Ale by far makes this my favorite one, combines the tastes of the South and the style together nicelt, very malty, nutty (again pecans, I don't know if they use them but I taste them), and a smokey/roasted finish

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body with a light amount of carbonation

D - Call me a homer, but look at my Abita reviews before you do, this beer was fantastic. The taste was great, a well crafted and flavorable Brown Ale that will become a staple in my draft diet, until they release the bottles.

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Photo of Beerbuddha
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This beer came to me a nice medium brown with a huge tan head. Lacing present throughout.

Smell - Huge malty aroma with hints of chocolate and nuts.

Taste - Different than other Brown Ales that I've had. This one had a huge maltiness accompanied by wonderful hints of chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall- Finally a wonderful beer to replace the boring Abita. This beer along with their Blonde has become my everyday beer when I go to bars.

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Photo of JerryOdom
4.4/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My little bro handed me one of these and I had it straight out the can without giving much thought up front. I double take looked at the can at that point and thought man this is pretty darn good beer. So I picked up a sixer and now we're doing an evaluation in a pint glass.

Pours nice with a lot of carbonation for the style. Actually not a terrible thing since if the beer is cold you just let it sit a while to warm up to proper drinking temperature. The off white head is thick for the first several minutes then settles to a nice 1/8 an inch. It's a coffee like brown with some red to it. It's definitely to style in appearance.

Flavor is really nice and tasty. Lots of chocolate, coffee, slightly sweet caramel and nutty flavor. Slightly dry finish with a bit of roast in the end. Just enough bitterness to balance. Very drinkable.

Mouthfeel is appropriately light and carbonation starts a little high which to me is clever since if you let it sit to raise the temperature it becomes right. Lightly astringent.

Overall a great beer. Probably my favorite beer in this category out of our great state. Will definitely pick it up often and really gives me a good opinion of NOLA. Cheers!

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Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured a nice brown with garnet highlights and a thin, creamy, off-white head.

Smells of slightly roasty malts and of sweet toffee.

The taste reflects the nose pretty well, with a faint hint of cocoa.

The mouthfeel was very light, but lends itself to a top-notch session brew.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - lovely translucent brown that shows very pretty red light through it. Small white head thins to a narrow uniform ring and leaves some charming lacing.

S - Great roasted coffee notes and some black licorice. It's really a fantastic smelling beer.

T - a very good coffee flavor, some very crisp and clean malt background. A light hop profile backs this all in a very good balance.

M - It's very pleasant and light, and while not the big bodied beer that I might prefer, it's still quite nice.

D - come on...3.9% alcohol. Its amazingly drinkable. Tasty and light.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A. Clear brown with orange and amber. It pours with a thin cream colored head.

S. Vanilla with cream and roasted malt. Some light caramel, too.

T. Similiar to taste, but a bit muted.

M. A bit thin with bright creamy carbonation.

D. Supremely drinkable. I'd finish a growler of this.

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Photo of Jablonski
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: deep brown color, lasting chocolate colred head

S: roasted malts, light nutty aroma, and some chocolate

T: It has nice malty-nutty taste through out with chocolate in the background. Pleasant roasted aftertaste.

M: This is the consistancy Abita should strive for on their beers--a heavy body with average carbonation.

D: I could've had several of these beers if I had time to be their longer. Great effort, as I couldn't ask for more from a local brewer.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a reddish brown with very little head. not much head but a bit. Kinda looks like coke almost. Smells very good. A very nice smelling beer. Lots of roasted malts on the nose. Tastes great. Lots of roasted malts. A bit smokey. Great mouthfeel and highly drinkable. A solid Brown Ale for sure. First time this dark of a beer has been such a sessionable beer!

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Photo of JayS2629
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with creamy tan head that fades fast into a ring. Leaves nice lacing.

The aroma has dark chocolate, coffee notes, licorice, and dark fruit. Low hops.

Nice balance of dark fruit, chocolate and coffee with a good toasted backbone.

Medium body, porter-like

Very interesting and dark version of a brown.

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance- dark brown, tan head

smell- great smell, i get chocolate and caramel aromas

taste- i get a smooth, not strong chocolate taste

mouthfeel- not carbonated, kind of oily

drinkability- overall its a good beer, would have again.

This is a brand new brewery, not sold by bottle yet, and is only sold in New Orleans. and its the only brewery currently located in the city limits of New Orleans. Its a brewery that represents the rebuilding of the city, and the movement to make the Big Easy the beer capital of the South once again!

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Photo of vasu
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep dark brown that straddles the line between a traditional brown ale and a stout or porter. Head pours tan and large with a frothy, slightly chunky texture before settling smaller and tighter with small, close together bubbles. Excellent fizzy lacing that clings to the side of the glass and slowly slides down.

Smell: Smells of deep roasted malts, and subtle notes of roasted nuts.

Taste: Deep very roasted malt note with excellent backup notes from nuts, dark chocolate and very subtle hints of coffee. Slight salinity and roasted malt flavor lingers really well.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied. Initial mouthfeel and swallow is smooth, leaving a dryish finish, especially for a brown.

Drinkability/Overall: An excellent brown ale that's slightly atypical for the style. It's lighter in body and alcohol compared to most brown ales, yet has richer, more roasted malt flavors that linger and remain more pronounced than the roasted nut flavors. It's very sessionable because of the body and alcohol, yet doesn't taste like a "session beer." Overall, it's an excellent brown ale for rich, buttery New Orleans food and the hot, humid, sticky climate of the region. I could drink this all day and not get bogged down, despite the excellent, rich flavor.

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Photo of hunthearin
4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark Brown, Chestnut

S - Light Malt

T - Sweet and Malty, Lighter than Newcastle

M - Very Crisp, biting

I would definitely have this beer again - it was served up with a spicy plate of Red Beans and Rice. This beer would be great for any spicy dish.

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Photo of theboozecruise
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Chimes original location...

Poured into a pint glass, dark dark brown color, darker than I remembered from previous times I've had this one. Minimal head, but that's okay here.

Very nice aroma of malt and roasted caramel. A little nutty, not quite like a pecan ale, but there are hints.

The taste is more of the same, very well balanced between the nutty flavors, caramel, and lots of malt flavor.

Overall a lot lighter than it looks, very easy to drink, and a good value as well.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On this all-too-brief visit to Slidell for a family celebration (dad's birthday #80), we gathered for one final dinner at Mandina's (on E. Gause). Good food, entertaining service, fun family time...and a chance to try one of the new breweries in the area. Had a (frosted) pint of what they referred to colloquially as 'NOLA Dark' pre-dinner, then another with that tasty redfish meuniere filet.

A: Quite dark with an underlying ruby-redness. Heady 1-finger tuft of off-white foam, good retention. Bands of lace that seemed to drift away while I wasn't looking. Tried to find carbonation rising in the darkness, but couldn't see through and didn't want to 'overdo it' in front of my family... ;-)

S: Big 'grain' aroma, toasted and husky...a latent smokiness that hints at nutshells. Enticing and forthright.

T: As nice as this smells, flavor is better: wonderful dark roast, wheat crust with a gentle sweetness. Nutty roast is a firm blend of earthiness, medium chocolate and coffee grounds, not acrid whatsoever.

M: Decent carbonation, crisp yet smooth and, well, 'mild'. Probably 'medium' bodied for the style but lighter feeling overall. Some lasting bitterness as a pleasing leave-behind.

D: If I lived in the area, I could drink this ALL THE TIME. Excellent flavor and ├╝ber-sessionable strength. Honestly thought this was a 'bigger' dark lager (schwarzbier or similar); what a surprise! The type of beer I thoroughly enjoyed, my sometimes-finicky beer-loving wife approved of, and my beer-novice brother proclaimed as 'REALLY good' (a night after he'd completely rejected my similar choice from Abita). I'd say NOLA has a winner with this one.

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Photo of theghost3
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

According to NOLA, this is actually an English Brown Ale, so I'll review it as such.

Pours a dark brown with a 1-finger tan head that sticks around for a while. Minimal lacing.

The scent is toasty malts with caramel. Taste is chocolate, toasted malts, and slightly woody. The mouthfeel is crisp yet oily. Not very thick.

This is a nice beer that could pair well with anything from barbeque and fried food to sushi.

As a side note, I had this at Lager's in Metairie & it was closer to what other reviewers describe. When I had it at the Barley Oak it wasn't even like the same beer, so something's wrong over there.

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Photo of BayouBengal1537
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at the Barley Oak in Mandeville, La overlooking the lakefront. Beautiful.
A - Very dark, can't see through it at all. Poured with very little head that quickly dissipated into nothing. Didn't leave very much lacing either.
S - Roasted malts aroma, some chocolate and nutty notes compliment
T - Mainly toasted malts, hints of caramel and chocolate, nutty notes as well
M - Medium body, medium carbonation
D - Very good American Brown Ale, this would be my go-to beer when i'm in the mood for this style. It is on the lighter side but that is quite all right when you are drinking in this hot Louisiana weather.

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Photo of unclejimbay
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

NOLA Brown
Reviewed 3/18/09 @ Bulldog Uptown, NOLA Draft>pint glass

This was my first visit to the Bulldog. It met my expectations with a fine La Fin Du Monde, and this nice surprise local brew "NOLA Brown" as suggested by one of the local barbers (who is a close friend of the local brewer "Kirk" on 7th & Tchop).

A 3.5 - deep brown in color as expected, satisfactory head and lacing.
S 4.0 - dark malty fruit and nut notes
T 4.0 - dark caramel malt notes, some nut notes, mild hops are present, reminds me of a Bass Ale meets Brown.
MF 4.0- medium-full body, medium carbonation.
D 4.0 - An all around good brew, even better that it is brewed locally. Support local beer, try a NOLA Brown!

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Photo of kevo237
3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at a local restaurant. Beer kept a good head and was dark brown, naturally. Looked like a coke. Smell was typical of the style. So typical that I can't even really remember what the aroma was like. Nothing stood out here.

This beer tasted like the crust from a pie my grandmother used to make. I enjoyed this quite a bit. I didn't think the sweetness was a negative aspect at all. The mouthfeel was good to go along with the sweetness. It was sweet, but not cloyingly sweet. It finished dry and quickly enough to not cause aversion.

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Photo of Vengeance526
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a small tan head that lasts for a while and leaves a little lacing.

Aroma of roasted malt and nuts with a hint of caramel in the back.

Taste starts off very nutty along with notes of chocolate upfront. Very malty, some caramel, and a dry roasty finish. The initial taste is great but sometimes seems a bit bland toward the end.

Light to medium body with light carbonation. Light, enjoyable and easy to drink. Overall, this isn't very complex, it actually seems like a pretty basic brown. But it is done right, very solid and satisfying all around and quite sessionable. A great go to beer if in the mood for this style.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

NOLA Brown Ale has a thin, but creamy head and is very dark red in color. Carbonation is minimal. This ale is surprisingly mild and bitterness is slight. Mouthfeel is light and rather watery. This was served very fresh on tap at the NOLA brewery and was delicious.


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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap intp pint at The Pickle in shreveport, LA. Pours a deep brown with just a bit of foamy head. Nice sweet nutty malty aroma, with slight hop presence. Taste is very nutty, malty, sweet, but mild. Really well balanced and nice sweet malty flavors. I really enjoy the nutty malts in this. Its a super smooth brew with great body...very well balanced. Nice.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Wife brought this one back from New Orleans.
12oz. can poured into a DFH shaped pint glass.

A - Pours a dark clear hazel color with 2 fingers of firm tan head. Decent retention with little to no lacing.

S - Roasted grain and sunflower seeds, nutty wheat bread, sweet dairy, toasted caramel.

T - Follows the nose with less sweetness. Toasted grain, nutty, brown bread crust, subtle sweetness around the edges, has an acidic bite towards the finish.

M - Light body, moderate carbonation, creamy feel.

A very well rounded beer. Gives a nice aftertaste of toasted bread and hints of cocoa. Goes down easy with plenty of flavor. You could put a few of these away.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the NOLA brewery in a pint glass

Appearance: Cola brown; 2 finger head with good lacing

Smell: malty with a hint of chocolate

Taste: Toffee, caramel, roast pecans with a dry, licorice finish.

Mouthfeel: A bit on the light side (almost watery).

Overall: A rich brown ale in the English tradition. The porter-like finish kind of threw me off. Still glad I tried it.

UPDATE 4/20/12 Poured from a can into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass
A: same as above
S: Heavy on the coffee with a malt backup. Woody
T: Coffee forward with malts, caramel and pecans. A dry, mocha finish. Rich, robust.
M: Medium, creamy; medium carbonation
O: Pretty damn good out of the can. Really different from the tap.

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

Pours a dark brown, with a tan colored head. Aroma of light chocolate, roasted malts and a faint bit of coffee. The taste was lightly sweet, with some chocolate and a bit of nuttiness. The feel is light, slightly crisp, with a mild creamy note. Drinkability is great and yay portability!

...Where's the Hopitoulas, Nola?!

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NOLA Brown Ale from New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing Company (NOLA)
3.7 out of 5 based on 175 ratings.
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