Barracks Brown | Wild Rose Brewery & Taproom

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36 Reviews
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Barracks BrownBarracks Brown
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Wild Rose Brewery & Taproom
Alberta, Canada | website

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dark brown and ruby hued, this ale expresses notes of espresso and chocolate. Very approachable, Wild Rose Brown Ale is mildly hopped with a medium body and a clean finish. Don't be afraid of the dark. Get down with the Brown.

16 IBU

Added by MAB on 10-28-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
36
Ratings:
66
Avg:
3.7
pDev:
14.32%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
9
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 66
Photo of Progrock
4.55/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is by far my favourite beer by WR. I frequent the tap house in Calgary and usually end up drinking nothing but brown's. Well, unless it's Christmas time. Then I get the seasonal Cherry Porter. Beautiful dark brown colour (almost as dark as a porter) with a strong fragrance of coffee, chocolate, malt and some hops. An awesome blend of all key ingredients with a touch of caramel and a slightly bitter after taste. If you're a fan of brown ales, then I highly recommend this one.

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Photo of Cwrw
4.34/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is quite unlike any brown ale I have tried. Dark ruby red, or rich rosewood brown, slight purples, almost wine-like in appearance. A very rich colour, full and sparkling. It poured with an exceptional two-fingers of head, which is typical of Wild Rose--they have excellent head on their brews. Fine, creamy, off-white, receding quite quickly to a thin film. The aroma is very unique, not typical of a brown ale. I smell bubble gum, butter, sweet but subdued malt, light grassy hops, raisins, and a fruit which I cannot recognise: figs? dates? In fact, I smell cream and butter/margarine as the strongest aromas, rather than coffee/chocolate as the bottle says. A very unexpected and robust aroma. Sweet and complex, I like it very much: it adds a whole other nuance to beer. I cannot compare it to any other beer I have tried. The taste is similar, but lacking in the complexity and fullness. Curious: the label says "100% honey free." I do taste strong honey flavours, but obviously they have achieved this through the malt, and it makes the taste even more one-of-a-kind. Sweet chocolate, berries, raisins, toasted malt, with hops only discernible about a minute after a sip of this beer. Initially there is no hop presence, but after a few minutes the grassy, dry sensation is wholly noticeable. Low carbonation, making it smooth and silky on the tongue, again, very buttery. Medium-full bodied. For me personally, the malt is perfectly roasted: just enough to add burnt breadiness, without the strong dryness of a stout. There is no off-putting characteristic to this beer; I can see a good many beer drinkers enjoying it, so drinkability is very high. There is definitely enough character to keep the enthusiast pleased.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty translucent brown with a frothy head. The nose is quite malty and the taste is malty . This is a brown with a full mouthfeel, very drinkable but with enough substance to make you slow down. One of Wild Rose's better beers and good for the style.

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

A favoured style of mine, and given past experience with Wild Rose I am eager to try this one. Pours an opaque mahogany brown with a one-finger head with poor retention; a collar of foam remains around the edge of the glass with some lacing but that's about it. The color is nice but the lack of any sort of head is a little off-putting. Smell is malty with espresso and chocolate; very appealing.

This is a really tasty beer. Very malt-forward with caramel and roasted nut flavours, and a slight hop bitterness underlying it which extends into the finish, where the coffee and chocolate notes come in more strongly. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied; a little chewy. Low to medium-low carbonation, not distracting from the deliciousness at all. Very drinkable; potentially a good session beer.

So far I've tried 5 beers from this brewery and they've all been above average to quite good. Any fan of english-style brown ales would probably be pleased with this purchase, and it's certainly worth a try.

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

341ml bottle poured into pint glass nov14 2009

A clear deep reddish brown with a fast falling finger of head that left lace for the short time it existed

S lots of chocolate malt more then I expected

T not far from the smell with ever so mild coffee

M a little creamy no problems here

D pretty well rounded, I will drink this again with out doubt

I forgot too try this on tap at the tap room yesterday, to busy drinking Alberta Crude Stout maybe next time

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Photo of beerbum05
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark red/brown colour, medium creamy brown head, low carbonation, slight haze but mostly clear

Smell - Strong malty, chocolate, nut smells

Taste - Light chocolate and coffee flavours

Overall - A good tasting Brown ale. I would recommend for a brown ale.

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Photo of BigBry
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At one time, this was one of the only Wild Rose products on tap (along with the Wraspberry), but now much of the Wild Rose line is readily available.
Originally known as simply 'Wild Rose Brown (when I first tried it, has no been re-named / re-branded as 'Barracks Brown'.
Serving arrived with no head and just a small ring of bubbles on around edge of glass. Still some carbonation so it wasn't flat and nice transparent deep brown color. Slight coffee smell with some sweet notes. By the end of my pint (after it had warmed up a touch) there was a definate smoky aroma also. Tastes creamy smooth with malty sweetness and not a lot of hoppiness. Overall, thought it is well balanced and flavorfull but not overpowering. Now I always look for this on the beer menu.

Update: January 2015. Revisited this one on-tap at The Bear and Kilt Freehouse. Still just as tasty as ever. Dark roast, touch of smoke at the end. One of my go - to local beers.

Note to Self: Ranked #49 of Top 100 English Brown Ales - hope I can watch it rise up the charts.

Sep. 11, 2015: Cask of Barracks Brown with added raspberries. Nice heavy head, lasting foam and lace. Smell is all raspberry. Taste has solid brown ale base, with light fruit. Nicely balanced sweetness from the berries.
Another winner

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Photo of biboergosum
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

20oz pint, at Bottlescrew Bill's in DT Calgary, killing time on the way to Thanksgiving.

This beer appears a clear, very dark chestnut brown colour, with slight reddish highlights, and one skinny finger of bubbly and slightly foamy off-white head, which leaves a bit of weak seaspray lace around the glass as things quickly sink away.

It smells of heady biscuity caramel malt, bittersweet chocolate, mild coffee, a pleasant oily nuttiness, and very, very, soft earthy hops. The taste is relatively big on the chocolate and coffee notes, followed somewhat meekly by some bready caramel malt, buttery nuts, and herbal, earthy hops.

The carbonation is rather tame in its bearing, the body just south of medium weight, and mostly smooth. It finishes off-dry, the malty baker's chocolate essences duly lingering.

A pretty decent and full flavoured brown ale, and were it not for my nomadic nature right now, I'd likely have another. Tasty and engaging.

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Photo of berley31
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured out of the bottle with a very small, tan head, that diminished to a thin film very quickly. Body is dark brown, but clear.

S: Nice aroma of roast malt coming through, and semisweet chocolate.

T: Lots of semisweet chocolate in the taste, with the roasted coffee flavors coming through in the end. Slightly bitter finish. Average duration for the flavor... quite tasty.

M: Light body with a minor-creamy texture leaning towards thin/oily, and soft carbonation.

D: I thought this was a pretty good Brown ale. I continue to be quite impressed with the Wild Rose beers.

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

Poured a 341-ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - poures a dark burgundy-brown colour with a little light exposure through. No head to speak of, only a slight little ring of lace and ultra-fine surface bubbles.

Smell - toffee over roasted barley with a hint of cafe mocha in there. I sense a creamy quality on subsequent nosings.

Taste - very smooth beginning into a nutty, heavily roasted bitter taste with some hops coming up the back. This has a very subtle intensity towards the end and makes up a decent complex character.

Mouthfeel - pretty smooth for the style. Not overly carbonated which is a good thing.

Drinkability - pretty friendly brew, but I would find the over-roasted flavours a barrier to refreshment after a certain point.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a pint dimple mug)

A- Deep mahogany brown, very clear body with an off-white thick rocky head.

S- Light toasty malt smell with some yeasty notes

T- bold pale malt flavor with some caramel notes a little biscuit flavor toward the finish. A complementary hop bitterness and hoppy aroma in the taste aswell.

M- Medium body with a light carbonation and no astringent mouthfeel

D- very nice brown ale good maltyness with a hop presents that really bring this beer together.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured a clear but dark brown amber, one thumb of creamy tan head that dissipated fairly quickly to islands with a good lace
S - strong nutty and sweet molasses malt flavours, along with some fresh bread hints
T - very roasty nutty throughout, some caramel sweetness, and just a little bit of piney hops
M - a nice level of carbonation, fading to a relatively medium feel with some sweet sensations lingering
D - a nicely drinkable brown, the flavours lean on the malts as they should, but it goes down smoothly and does not seem too filling

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Photo of vanrassel
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label proudly proclaims this beer "100% honey free," and indeed, this malty, well-balanced ale doesn't need the addition of sickly-sweet honey to make it appealing.

It poured brown with ruby highlights and a rocky head that quickly diminished to a ring. Its smell is a mingling of malt, some yeast and some coffee notes.

The same flavours dominate the taste, but they're nicely distinct from each other: a sweet, malty start, followed by a touch of bitterness in the middle, and a roasty coffee finish.

This is a medium- to full-bodied beer that plays nicely on the palate and highly drinkable. Another nice effort by Wild Rose.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a crystal clear dark brown, reminiscent of Coca-Cola, thin layer of head with little retention and some noticeable carbonation.

S - Quite bready with roasted coffee, burnt sugar, caramel and some nutty almond tones on the finish.

T - Bready caramel is complemented by a leafy green finish. Only slightly bitter with roasted coffee and some dark cocoa that lingers on the tongue. Yummy!

M - Mouthfeel is medium bodied, perfect carbonation levels and the finish leaves your tongue wet and waiting for more.

D - This is definitely one of my favourites by Wild Rose. It won't knock your socks off, but it is nicely flavoured, has a good mouthfeel and goes down smooth. Definitely a worthy offering to any Brown Ale fan, and definitely does the style justice.

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Photo of pootz
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saved this bottle from my Calgary trip it was bottled the day I bought it at the brewery and was about 3 weeks old when I cracked it...still nice and fresh but I assume this beer does not last long on the shelf. Poured a clear, deep red-chestnut color with a nice toffee colored frothy cap that laced our quickly. Delicate aromas of grassy hops caramel, cocoa and spices....very nice! Starts with a big whack of bitter-sweet nutty malts some evidence of spicy tang then the finish is mellow and light with a buttery after taste. Das smachts gut! The best offering from this brewer and arguably Calgary’s best drinking micro ale.

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Photo of manchester81
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From a 341 mL bottle poured into a sturdy glass mug.

The beer is a dark brown, clear texture with minimal head that leaves a small bit of lacing. Smell is of roasted malt. The taste is much like the smell, finishes strong. Mouthfeel is thin. Not a bad session brew.

I don't often buy Wild Rose's brown because of a sour taste that was prevalent in early experiences with this beer. Quality has improved lately. Buy it fresh!

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Finally getting around to giving this local standard the formal review treatment, single bottle poured into a tulip glass. A slightly hazy root beer brown with a minimal amount of beige head and an aroma that splits the difference between nutty caramel malts and English hops, with brown sugar and toffee notes most apparent along with some raisin, vanilla, oily walnut meat, and underripe stone fruit. Gorgeous aroma really. Palate is less bold and rich but largely follows suit, with some leafy, lightly fruity hops cutting the sweetness and the whole brew consequently drinking as quite a bit lighter than it really is. Pleasant light toffee, dry cacao, and nut flavors do emerge as the beer warms. Moderate to high carbonation and a semi-dry, nigh-tangy finish with some nut shells and wispy vanilla caramel notes nudging you as they flit past. If I had to compare to its local competitor Big Rock Traditional (Trad; see that review), I prefer this take on the style ... Less sweet, more nutty and hoppy, with a flavor profile that develops better over the course of a pint.

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

Pitch black appearance with thick brown head. Smell of roasted malts, grain and fruit.

Very malty taste with a strong hint of caramel and vanilla. Tastes very similar to coffee. Medium body and moderately carbonated. After taste is clean, smooth and almost smoky.

Overall, this is an interesting beer with a unique blend of tastes. Was kind of turned off initially, but began to like it the more I drank it. Worth a try.

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Photo of scott451
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A vigorous pour into a pint glass produced a two finger bubbly tan head on a very dark (almost black) clear ruby. The head diminishes to a cap but sticks around. Some patchy lace clings to the glass.

Matly smells with some chocolaty notes. The taste is of roasted malts up front with a chocolaty slide down to a lingering, very mild and sightly sour bitter hop finish. Very restrained but well balanced. Quite nice really.

Good carbonation and fairly light for a brown ale. Not much sign of the coffee some reviewers (and the label) speak of, but a very nice and balanced brown ale.

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Photo of leaddog
3.7/5  rDev 0%

Appearance - Pours a dark nut brown with two fingers of foamy beige head.

Smell - toffee like malts, hints of chocolate and espresso, slight hint of dark fruits.

Taste - lightly toasted toffee like malts with notes of bittersweet chocolate and espresso, along with the very light presence of dark fruit.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Finishes with a pleasant smoothness.

Overall - A tasty English brown ale that nicely captures the flavours and aromas of chocolate and espresso. I like that Wild Rose renamed this brew to commemorate their home in Currie Barracks.

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Photo of Viggo
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hmm interesting beer. Dark brown, pretty clear, good off-white head and lace. Smell is malty, kind of sour. Tastes are vanilla, chocalte maltiness, and a bit of a sour finish. The mouthfeel was pretty full and creamy, went down smooth, had some good carbonation. I'd try this one again, but not spectacular. Thanks pootz.

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Photo of Shadman
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed a couple of different offerings from these guys so decided to give this a go. Dark brown beer with white white head and some lacing of note.Smell was a big put off..quite a sour odor that didn't seem right. Taste was also slight off..prehaps the sour smell playing games with my taste buds. Did detect a smooth nutty flavor that was nice. Wondering if I got a bad batch here..stay tuned.

note:..bought a sixer of Wild Rose IPA from the same store and it smelt and tasted more sour than this beer...old stock syndrome is my guess..may have to re-review this one.

Revised

Had on tap Feb 2016. Fresh with no sourness. Tasty good example of the style

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Photo of SickGnar
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Light brown that turns dark coppery with a distinctly amber/red hue when held to light. Quite clear with more than a few bubbles rising. Small light tan head that sticks around pretty good. Nice bunch of lace too.

S: Quite chocolaty for a brown. Plentiful notes of nutty & sweet. Only a hint of pale & biscuit background. Not finding any hops. Fair strength with interesting character.

T: Lots of chocolaty and loads of nutty. A bit of sweetness & biscuit / pale base. Edge of metallic gets in there. Ghost hint of diacetyl too. Hint of roast. Herbal hops for balance in the background & growing in the finish.

M: Medium body with matched yet cushiony carbonation. Less texture than expected but it does have some. Finish stays neutral to a hint sweet with just a barest bit of hop drying way at the end.

D: More chocolate than the usual just beyond session strength brown. Otherwise a good solid brewpub brown. Tasty, drinkable, & easy to have a few.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad brown ale, but a tad disappointing.

Nice ruby-mahogany colour with a decent near-white head. Slightly sour, strangely metallic smell with sweet malts. I couldn't really pick up any hops.

The sourness comes through in the flavour and it seems kind of odd. Not horrible, but it starts off sour and bitter and then the sweetness shines through. Caramel and toffee essences.

Decent carbonation, and something you could have a few of in one go - but there are better brown's out there. But there are also worse....

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a tall 1 litre flip-top brown bottle. Possesses a thin creamy head that quickly recedes to a small ring, but leaves some impressive lacing. Colour of light oak when held to the light, deep chestnut otherwise. Aroma of thick coffee, accompanied by slight chocolate and burnt malt. No discernable hop presence, coffee aroma is far too intense. Flavour is also mostly intense coffee, followed by burnt malt and slight chocolate. Flavour is definitely intense, up-front, and in your face. However I am not a coffee fan by any means, so the aggressive coffee flavour found in this ale doesn't do much for me. Yet I think it would score high marks amongst the Starbucks shills crowd, would be right up their alley, correlating with all the coffee porters and stouts I've tried. Personal tastes aside, this is truly one of the most flavourful browns I've sampled, definitely worth a try, there is nothing mild about it at all.

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Barracks Brown from Wild Rose Brewery & Taproom
3.7 out of 5 based on 66 ratings.
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