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 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 drpimento
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Not a bad brown, but nothing special. Served with a nice creamy, fine, light tan head and some lace. Color was a clear dark, garnet brown. Traditonal nut brown flavor witha bit of dark, ripe fruit and a bit of acid. Body was a tad thin and carbonation was a little fizzy. Roasty, slightly sweet finish of medium length.

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Photo of beveritt
2.38/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Had on tap recently at Hopjacks. Arrives in a Shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Absolutely no head whatsoever. None. Beer itself is dark brown, looks like a glass of flat Coke.

Smell: No smell, even as it warms up.

Taste: Slight smell of caramel malt upfront with hints of molasses. Undertones of licorice, tobacco and coffee. Biscuity malt with some toffee flavors lingers. Some band-aid phenols.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation level is lower than it should be for this beer. Body is good.

Drinkability: Saw this one on the menu and thought I would give it a try. Drinkable, but it tastes like someone's second or third attempt at homebrewing. Pass.

Note on 11/9/10: I received an e-mail from the brewery concerning this review. They stated that it sounded like a an issue with the carbonation level of the beer and invited me to try some directly from the brewery next time I am in the area. Props to them for pro-active customer service. I will definitely try some more of their beer next time I am down south.

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Photo of boss302
3.09/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nola brown ale, draft

A Big thick rocky head, deep ruby red color when held to the light. A nice looking beer.

S A slight hop aroma, but you really have to try. I don't really smell anything else in this beer. With the big head, I expected lots of aromatics, but was disappointed.

T A little malty sweetness at first, then fades to a salty taste. I know that doesn't seem right, but that's what I taste. Very little hop flavor. No one flavor stands out, it lacks the deep malty complexity that I expect in a brown ale. No off flavors, so there's nothing wrong with the brewing practices, it just lacks character.

M Thin not much body, lacks a co2 bite even though it had a very nice head.

O I'ts an OK beer. To be honest I don't really don't see the appeal of this particular beer. I don't think I'll be having another.

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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 Valdus
3.01/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: The beer looked rather good, a clear yellowish amber color. Rather appealing.

S: The scent was rather malty compared to other amber brews.

T: Very malty with little detection of any hops character. It tasted almost like a beer version of ovaltine, believe it or not.

M: Crisp, thin compared to usual amber brews.

D: Good but could have been a bit more bitter, it tasted rather average.

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Photo of emerge077
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to MasterSki for sharing the growler!
Review from notes...

Clear copper, creamy tan foam. It's froth leaves a scalloped ring of lacing all around. Decent retention, it holds an unbroken skim of foam for the duration of the glass.

Fairly nutty, mild tobacco leaf dryness, husky malts. Somewhat crisp with a slight bite. Ample carbonation, almost a touch too much for a Mild Ale. Still, it's a simple yet refreshing beverage that I enjoyed drinking.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.51/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another 1L growler supplied by NewGeneric - thanks man. Served in my NotLA pint taster glass.

A - Transparent chestnut brown body, with two fingers of light tan foam that dissipates to a ring and some light haze. Not much in the way of lacing. Some visible bubbles rise through the body.

S - Light roasted malt, molasses, and a touch of nuttiness. Fairly muted, but not unpleasant.

T - The taste is quite nutty, with a light yeasty finish. There's also some light toasted grain, and a bit of sweet maltiness. I like the taste better than the smell.

M - More crisp and zesty carbonation than the blonde - actually borders on harsh for me. Light-medium body that is definitely style-appropriate.

D - Very drinkable at 3.9%, but not super-interesting. If I were in Louisiana I'd stick to the Blonde I think. This was actually the growler that kicked last at a party I held recently.

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Photo of OzarkElmo
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Avenue Pub in New Orleans Feb 10, 2010. Pours a dark brown with slight beige head. good dark malts of caramel, chocolates and some nuts. Medium body and carbonation - good finish. Very drinkable and satisfying. Nice offering in my humble opinion - 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 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 über-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 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 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 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 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 TeeCee
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Quick review - I HAD to review this. Well, that's a joke. I should have reviewed this months ago. This Brown is like a stout light. If I were a big stout fan, I would probably rate this as the #1 summer beer. Unfortunately, I'm not a stout fan.

Color - very dark in the bar light. Reddish at the edges, a deep red. The pour left almost an inch of head that dissipated to maybe 1/8" with some tight lacing.

Smell - rich, chocolaty stoutness. I poured some in a separate cup to swirl and smell and I get a fruity, lightly raisiny smell.

Taste - I get a slight stoutness that I understand now that I've had this beer on a heavier nitrogen mix. I get a very dry, chocolaty taste here. No hops that I can discern other than whatever's used for bitterness. Maybe a bit of coffee there too.

Mouthfeel - surprisingly thin. I get some bubbles if I swish it, but the CO2 is not that noticeable in a normal sip.

You could session this beer. It comes across that light.

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