Gillespie Brown Ale | Twisted Manzanita Ales

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Gillespie Brown AleGillespie Brown Ale
66 Ratings
Gillespie Brown AleGillespie Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Twisted Manzanita Ales
California, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Gold Medal - 2012 San Diego International Beer Festival: American-Style Brown Ale

Added by womencantsail on 09-13-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 |  Reviews: 23
Reviews by JDJTEXAS:
2.75/5  rDev -23.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.96/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #51 (April 2011):

A big Brown, weighing in at 8 percent. Hazed chestnut brown color, head and lacing is nothing less than spectacular. Malty, estery nose with caramel, brown bread, overripe fruit and malt husk. Full-ish body. Boozy—the alcohol really does want to be noticed here. Malt sweetness clashes with a thick underlying husky tone. Hops are there to balance with some bitterness but not much else. Alcoholic and malt forward, but the double whammy of hop bitterness and husky tones drag it down.

 547 characters

Photo of aquazr1
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of ste5venla
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Fatehunter
3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thin tan head on a brown body.
The aroma is chocolate milk, toast and nuts.
The taste is creamy and nutty. There's an underlying current of citrus though. Interesting.
It's fine all around.

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Photo of ordybill
4.26/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12OZ can into a pint glass.
Aroma- has a thick malty aroma
Appearance- Danny near black with a small light brown head.
Taste- more like a porter, really malty and flavorful
Palate- heavy bodied brew with a slick feel has light carbonation.
Overall- I really like this. It's more of a porter than a brown ale. So what it's awesome.

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Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of tone77
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Another beer courtesy of the founding father of the canquest, woodychandler. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a very dark brown, damn near black color, with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is sweet, some chocolate. Taste is sweet and sugary up front, alcohol, some chocolate and light coffee notes. Feels medium/light in the mouth and overall a pretty good beer.

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Photo of badboyrsl84
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Look - cocola/ Carmel colored. Frothy head that's short standing.

Smell- smells little of sweet malt and some grain.

Taste- alcohol brown sugar tons of malt. A solid amount of carbonation.

Over-my favorite of the Manzanita brews and the most potent at 8% abv

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Photo of IdrinkGas
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of SDHoffers
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Of the 5 samples I tried from the brand spanking new brewery I liked the brown the most. This would be the perfect example of an imperial brown ale. I had quite a few people asking me to put this back on tap and I will during Oktoberfest at Hoffer's in La Mesa. The appearance of the beer is dark brown with very little transparency. The smell is not up front and I would have to say that the nose really doesn't hit you until after your first sip. Sometimes exhaling deeply through the nose after tasting really yields the actual smell of the beer for me. Taste was great! Just a little boozy taste set this beer apart from the other browns out there. Surprisingly, the 8.1% is pretty drinkable. I am stoked these guys have stepped with some of the big boys in San Diego.

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Photo of ArmyATCBrewer
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of woodychandler
4.69/5  rDev +31%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I am in the midst of reducing my backlog and in so doing, getting The CANQuest (tm) back up to speed. Twisted Manzanita recently began distributing their CANs to Philly, but somehow, this one was not among them. Instead, this CAN was a timely score at a Total Wine & More in Virginia during a recent visit on my part to DC.

From the CAN: "Rich - Toasted - Chocolate Malt"; "Gillespie Field is an East County landmark and, here at the brewery, we get to enjoy a perfect view of their air shows each summer. When we salute those high-flying daredevils we raise a glass of this brazen blend of chocolate, caramel and wheat malts. Though the cocoa-inspired concoction has a distinct sweetness, Gillespie Brown gets its wings from its substantial hop bite. We trust the lush, long finish of this full-bodied beverage will lift your spirits as it does ours."

I CANducted a Crack! and inverted Glug, producing two fingers of dense, rocky, light-brown head with good retention. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity and garnet highlights. Nose had a definite chocolate malt presence along with a minty hoppiness, giving it a Thin Mint smell. Mouthfeel was full and creamy, more like a dollop than a draught. The taste was initially very chocolaty, quite sweet, with just a hint of smokiness. Warming, the hops began to assert themselves, creating a mintiness that hearkened to mint chocolate chip ice cream. The finish was only semi-sweet, however, with the mintiness of the hops giving it a cool, refreshing quality to offset the sweetness that had been so prevalent throughout. I CAN hardly believe that it weighs in at 8.3% ABV, which makes it a dangerous brew. I ran through the CANtents of that CAN in no time!

 1,755 characters

Photo of samturner
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of Shawn_Money
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of JRod1969
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of womencantsail
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Manzanita Brewing Company

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a thin off-white head.

S: The nose is sort of light, but there are toasted malt and toffee. There is an interesting fruitiness as well.

T: A semi-sweet flavor with toasted malts, bread, nuts, and toffee. A hint of bitter chocolate that goes along with a fairly bitter flavor overall and a bit of a burnt quality.

M: The body is medium with a smooth carbonation.

D: This is a sort of strange brown ale and differs from the style of their beers a fair amount--most of which are fairly unoffensive and aim to please a large number of palates. Just a bit too much unnecessary bitterness to this beer.

 676 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of Tone
4.24/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear, brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and great lacing. Smells of strong alcohol, sweet malt, hops, hint of roasted malt, wood, hint of liquor, and a hint of pine. Fits the style of an American Brown Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong alcohol, strong sweet malt, slight wood, hops, hint of liquor, hint of pine, and a hint of roasted malt. Overall, good appearance, distinct aroma and body, and great blend.

 508 characters

Photo of therubicon
3.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ALBuff
2.42/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a conundrum. While certainly unique and not what I come to expect from a brown, sometimes different isn't always good. There's a lot going on in this beer... coffee, malt, roasted nuts, sweet breadfruit, and an extra bitter hoppy bite... perhaps too much to be either properly balanced or interesting.

 309 characters

Photo of justincourts
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of NickMunford
3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a standard pint glass. $6.49 from South Bay Liquor.

A: Pours a hazy dark brown / dark garnet red color with a small head. Little retention & little lacing.

S: Smells of dark roasted malts and caramel.

T: Heavy on the roasted malt with a good hops backer. Has a little booziness, but not much.

M: Initially it has a nice thick mouthfeel. Unfortunately, it leaves an aftertaste that reminds me of a bile-like bitterness.

D: It goes down a little rough, and the aftertaste wouldn't encourage me to have another.

It's a shame, this is the first brew I've tried from this new S.D. brewery. My first impressions, appearance, smell, taste were good, but then after a few sips, and paying attention to what was going on in my mouth, it fell short for me.

That still doesn't discourage. I look forward to trying the rest of their offerings.

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Gillespie Brown Ale from Twisted Manzanita Ales
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 66 ratings