The Brown Note
Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

The Brown NoteThe Brown Note
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Style:
Brown Ale - English
Ranked #32
ABV:
5%
Score:
85
Ranked #28,564
Avg:
3.8 | pDev: 10.79%
Reviews:
106
Ratings:
478
From:
Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
 
Kentucky, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  14
Gots
  130
SCORE
85
Very Good
The Brown NoteThe Brown Note
Notes: The brown ale to end all brown ales. Enjoy it, because there is no longer any reason to drink another. You’ve reached the pinnacle. A healthy blend of traditional British malts give this popular style a semi-sweet, biscuity, slightly roasted flavor. Oats thicken the mouthfeel, and a handful of specialty malts add complex chocolate, toffee, and caramel notes. The hops are mostly traditional, earthy British hops, but we cocked it up a bit with some Cascade late in the boil just to show those snooty Brits that we don’t approve of that Constitutional Monarchy crap.
Reviews: 106 | Ratings: 478 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by thebeers:
Photo of thebeers
thebeers from Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Solid brown color and about a finger of tan-tinted head with a vigorous pour. Nutty, roasted-malts aroma, which carries over to the taste. There's also some hops bitterness and a little astringency. Fairly thick-bodied, with plenty of carbonation despite the modest head. Pretty one-dimensional, but it delivers as a middle-of-the-road brown. Might drink more of it if it were local, but it sells for a premium around here.

Jul 26, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of hoptheology
hoptheology from South Dakota

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Price Paid : $2.99
Who can resist this can art??!?

Plopping open the can, it eeks a sneaky hiss and sharts a chestnut colored body with messy streaks of red/cranberry. Analyzing it further it shows 60% opaque; with a generous upper decker of 3 sterile fingers.

Turn on the vents! It reeks of malt, caramel, chocolate, rice, and walnut. The smell is not too hefty, but loud enough to get a good waft.

This stool sample tastes nutty! With roasted malts, a nice burnt hop flavor, and nods to caramel, it's a solid drop.

Drinks smooth like a relaxing bowel movement. Some gassy bubbling going on out front, and a starchy finish.

The can says to drink it at 48*F, but I find it's better colder. Although sometimes steamy browns are the most relaxing, so who knows. This beer is the shit. Literally.

Dec 01, 2015
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Really don't see the allure of this one I guess people just buy it for the silly cover art. It is quite quaff able with some nut and toffee notes but its just too light tasting to be "The brown ale to end all brown ales" like the cover suggest. Would need more body and some chocolate notes to pull that off. Still its not bad.

Sep 26, 2016
Photo of mynie
mynie from Maryland

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If the bottle art were less gross this beer's score would jump about fifty points. I mean, seriously guys, it's good to take design risks and I'm not saying you need to focus group this or anything, but do you know a single person who finds poop appetizing?

Anyhow, once you get the glass away from the bottle, you get a nicely sessionable brown. A nutty, lightly sweet start gives way to a finish of more sweet malt balanced out by medium-strength hops. Nice.

Brown ales used to be craft brew staples, but they've become rarer and rarer these last few years. I'd love to see a resurgence, especially my go-to brown (Rogue's Hazelnut) costs 12 bucks a sixer. But why the awful marketing? Are brown somehow not considered edgy enough, and so we have to make them appear more Xtreme by making poop or semen references? A good beer is a good beer, guys.

Jul 15, 2014
Photo of PittBeerGirl
PittBeerGirl from Ohio

3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can.

A really nice looking beer. Body is a transparent brown hurt that pours with a finger off white head.

Nose is quite welcoming. Brown sugar, molasses, caramel malt.

Flavor is good but a bit of a let down after the nose. Lots of roasted malt with a hint of sweetness in the back.

Medium carbonation and a smooth yet slightly watery body.

This is as advertised a good brown ale. Nothing fancy or complicated just a good beer. I would like a little more balance and a little less roasted malt.

Dec 10, 2017
Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
The_Kriek_Freak from Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

It pours a chestnut hue of brown with three fingers worth of head. The aroma is nutty and with notes of freshly ground coffee. There many be some notes of fecal matter but that's probably because I'm staring at the label. The taste is bready upfront with some lingering sweetness and a nice bitter finish. Medium body and a barely noticeable carbonation. This is a truly amazing brown ale.

Sep 17, 2017
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage from California

4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mar 24, 2016
Photo of dcisco44
dcisco44 from Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -21.1%

Aug 08, 2014
Photo of Magery
Magery from Kentucky

3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Nov 23, 2014
Photo of FrogOut69
FrogOut69 from California

2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Jul 19, 2014
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Against the Grain actually goes with the grain while brewing this charming Northern English-style Brown Ale. Covering the bases where beers like Newcastle trail off- the taste captured in this true-to-form ale are playfully bold and surprisingly refreshing.

Like any other Brown Ale, the beer pours in a not-so-shocking brown hue. Cast upon a mild haze, the ale releases a creamy off-white head to top the beer sparingly but with a steady collar of lace. Its dainty foam character is in stark contrast to the masculine beer underneath.

Medium aromatics of toast, light chocolate, roasted nuts, caramel and mild fruit rise from the glass and shows off its slight robust nature. To taste, the sweeter malts greet the front of the mouth with deep caramel, brown sugar, and light chocolate. As the beer traverses across the palate, it leaves behind its initial sweetness and favors a toastier, light coffee, walnut-type earthiness with slight floral and herbal bitterness. Its pleasant taste trails with the taste of malt but not all the residual sweetness that's normally expected from those malts- this yields a semi-dry taste that's as crisp and refreshing as it is bold.

Medium bodied from head to tail, the beer's early but albeit terse carbonation lays on the tongue with cask ale-like effect. But as the bubbles vanish, it leaves the beer thin and waning heading into a woody-toasty finish of mild minty warmth.

The Brown Note is as classic as they come, if we're talking about Brown Ales. Though it's somber in complexity, it more than makes up for it in effortless and ease of consumption.

Jul 05, 2013
Photo of GaBengal
GaBengal from Georgia

4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Mar 15, 2015
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard from Colorado

3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

May 01, 2016
Photo of Gemini6
Gemini6 from Michigan

3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Feb 12, 2017
Photo of kwgduke
kwgduke from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sep 08, 2015
Photo of JratBones
JratBones from Massachusetts

3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dec 13, 2015
Photo of russpowell
russpowell from Arkansas

3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very effervescent auburn/brown with 3 fingers of tan head. Great lacing & average head retention

S: Toasty & nutty

T: Toasty, nutty, a little dry, some leafy & herbal hops up front. More nuttiness as this warms, slight astringency, plus a little brown bread once warm. Finishes toasty, dry, nutty with some slight sulfur & astringent notes

MF: Light/medium body, fairly aggressive carbonation, mellows out as it warms

This is pretty good, but there are better at half the price

Dec 13, 2015
Photo of TheBeerdedCharmer
TheBeerdedCharmer from Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sep 16, 2015
Photo of Franziskaner
Franziskaner from Missouri

3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown in color with very light penetration to light. There's a fingernail of beige resting on top. Light Brussels lacing. There's a nice sweet aroma that is primarily caramel and perhaps some light chocolate. The taste is exactly as advertised in the nose with sweet caramel and light chocolate notes. The mouth is very smooth and creamy.

Dec 04, 2015
Photo of ralerwen
ralerwen from Illinois

3.56/5  rDev -6.3%

Nov 15, 2014
Photo of psmith161
psmith161 from Indiana

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jun 23, 2015
Photo of Scott17Taylor
Scott17Taylor from Iowa

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dec 16, 2016
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch from Colorado

4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 oz. Can

Pours a pretty nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy one-finger plus off-white head, which also leaves some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some chocolate/toffee, nice nuttyness, roasty. The taste is really nice, malty, roasty, very nice touch of chocolate/toffee. Medium body, with a very nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, this is my first from this brewery, and it surprised me, very nice brew.

May 01, 2017
Photo of rickcrip76
rickcrip76 from Georgia

4/5  rDev +5.3%

Aug 14, 2014
Photo of biteme398
biteme398 from Virginia

3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Dec 20, 2020
The Brown Note from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 478 ratings