Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
48 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 175
Photo of Hopswagger
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P:  Dark brown with deep amber highlights topped with a tower of tan rootbeer head.  Decent bubble activity with foamy lacing and a dissipated milky layer of head on top. 

S:  Super sweet roasted malts, molasses, coffee, chocolate sour dough and caramel.  

T/M:  Roasted malts and chocolate deliver a strong first impression.  Moderate carbonation on a watered dairy sweet and creamy feel.  Taste seems somewhat watered down.  Finishes with coffee and subtle bittersweet cocoa. 

O:  Not a huge fan on brown ales but it was good.  The sweet dairy taste was almost upsetting.  The beer has great flavor for a session beer and has good drink ability. 

 665 characters

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

Poured into a glass mug. Pours dark brown with a fluffy tan head that retains well, but there isn't much lacing. There appears to be plenty of carbonation. There's an aroma of dark roasted malts and chocolate. The taste is fairly mild. There are flavors of dark roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and slightly nutty. It has a pleasant sweet flavor. The aftertaste is not strong. The mouthfeel is light, clean, and slightly creamy. It's very easy to gulp. Overall, this is a good beer. It's easily sessionable and I could see myself knocking back a few pints of this.

 563 characters

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.

 499 characters

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.

 488 characters

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.

 837 characters

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.

 621 characters

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!

 695 characters

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.

 286 characters

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.

 652 characters

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.

 616 characters

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!

 541 characters

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.

 280 characters

Photo of johnnyd10vt
3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mild brown; Stacey likes, but not complex enough for my taste. The color is a 5. Just barely lighter than a porter. Almost nonexistent light tan head. Smell is sweet malt. The taste is overbalanced to the malt with hardly any hops, and a slightly yeasty taste

 259 characters

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.

 824 characters

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.

 461 characters

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!

 269 characters

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.

 962 characters

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.

 541 characters

Photo of Bishop_Collar
2.81/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Beer had a dark brown appearance with a quarter inch of light tan head with some retention. Beer turned an amber color when held up to light. Did have nice lacing and appeared to have good carbonation.

Smell: Picked up a pretty consistent roasted malt aroma with some chocolate notes.

Taste: Roasted malt flavor with some caramel notes. Not much depth or complexity. One note flavor.

Mouthfeel: Although it had good carbonation, it had a flat finish. Mouthfeel was thin and watery.

Overall: I have enjoyed two other beers from NOLA (Blonde Ale Hurricane Saison), but this one is a miss. Not very noteworthy.

For my complete review, see my blog http://thebishopscollar.blogspot.com/2012/08/nola-brown-ale.html

 729 characters

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!

 1,196 characters

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.

 256 characters

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.

 396 characters

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.

 1,273 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
NOLA Brown Ale from New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing Company (NOLA)
3.7 out of 5 based on 175 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!