The Brown Note | Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

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The Brown NoteThe Brown Note

Brewed by:
Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
Kentucky, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by mrfrancis on 04-23-2012

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Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 388
Photo of Caveworm
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Brown Note - Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse. Poured from the bottle into a nonic tumbler, this brew's head is two fingers thick with lateral lacing, and a dark brown transparent body.

I smell nicely toasted malts and heartier grains.

Tastes like a nice balance of the roasted malts, to where the caramel taste is just on point here. Not too heavy on the senses, right on the money.

Mouthfeel here is smooth and clean.

Overall, I'll give The Brown Note - Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse a 4.5

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Photo of ordybill
4.49/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. The appearance is a light brown color with reddish highlights. The head is small and white. The aroma is malt and coffee. The flavor is coffee and a yeasty dough. This is an excellent beer and the bottle art is a riot. The cap is all black

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Photo of AngryDutchman
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - drank it out of the can, which is horrific.

Smell - sweet, malty. Very promising...

Taste - really great, smoky-malty, not too hoppy, not overly sweet. Balanced and that isn't always the case with brown ales. No fruitiness, just very clean.

Feel - pleases my tongue. Not overly carbonated, which I prefer.

Overall - I would definitely seek this out again. Cudos to Kif for picking this for the variety case. Just keep the ugly side of the can turned away and you'll be fine.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.36/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Chestnuts. Rocky tan head.

S: Brown shuga, cinnamon. Very sweet. Toffee. Sugar roasted pecans and apples.

M: Med-High carb. Dry finish, med body.

T: Roast malts. Burnt caramel. Tart cranberry and espresso.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It is indicative of my (sometimes frustrating) backlog of beer here at Chez Woody that my local, in-person trader, tone77, is thanking me for a hook-up back in November! The CANQuest (tm) is really on a roll right now & I am happy to be unearthing so many old friends.

From the CAN: "Oh, the Shame. This is the brown ale to end all brown ales. Enjoy it, because there's no longer any reason to drink another brown ale. You've reached the pinnacle. The Disco Bump. The Brown Note. Drink this beer or shit yourself trying. PHFFRRTT! Uh oh."

Between the verbiage and the depiction on the label, I CAN't believe that this made it through the Liquor CANtrol Board! I shall celebrate with a Crack! & inverted Glug. It came out and up in a powerful rush to the point that I had to back off. I got two-plus fingers of puffy, rocky, foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head as a result which slowly fell back to wisps. Color was Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled like a liquefied milk chocolate bar. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium, lacking solid depth. The taste was very milk chocolaty with a bit of nuttiness thrown in for good measure. I kept flashing on a Mr. Goodbar. It has been a while since I have had a beer this sweet and still enjoyed it! Chocolaty is the word that applied here, from start to sweet finish. One was plenty for this self-avowed hophead, however.

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Photo of snowmageddon
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: pours dark brown with a full, off-white head.
S: herbal hops, nuts, chocolate
T: chocolate, nuts, cocoa, raisin, fruity esters. Finishes quite dry with a herbal hop finish.
M: somewhat creamy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation
O: excellent English brown, worth trying.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Unknown vintage; drank 1/2/16 @ the Yarchives.

Poured from the can into a glass.

Semi-opaque brown appearance.

A violent pour yielded a huge tan head; a curtain of tree-rung lace.

Peanut butter, acorn & coffee notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Acorn, caramel & coffee flavors up front; a hint of smoke on the finish. Flavorful; sessionable. A fine brown ale.

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Photo of Marcus_Erroneous
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Like many have said, I bought it because of the can art, but really enjoyed he beer. I've had it several times since, still tasty! Another winner from Against the Grain!

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Photo of BARx3
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a very good black ale. I drank it out of a can poured into a pint glass. Don't usually like my beer from cans but no choice. The can art is funny and probably increases my rating

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - A good looking brown (notwithstanding the horrid label), with a dark brown body, semi-opaque, bright tan head, very persistent and lacing is some the richest I've seen.

S - A toffee and caramel hit, with a hint of chalk, and a slight funkiness.

T - Solidly built English, with nice bready malts, caramel and molasses, then a bit of earthiness, closing mildly bitter.

M - Clean and bright. Very easy on the tongue.

O - Tried it. Hate the label, but appreciate the craft of the brew within. A very well built English Brown, with excellent balance and ultra crisp, clean execution.

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Photo of spelingchampeon
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

And now, the soiled skivvies beer!

My 1st try was out of a 8oz paper cup. This time is a fresh pour from a bomber into a pint glass.

Pours to a med/light brown.. small beady head, little lacing. Smells of roasted malt and dough, with a touch of caramel. Tastes pretty much follows the aroma, with a touch of nuttiness thrown in. Mouthfeel was a tad bit more than the aroma, but not into the porter/stout range. There is not a hell of a lot going on here, just a very solid beer from pour to finish. My 1st impression from an 8oz cup was no different from the pint glass. A very nice experience!

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Photo of Dunkelganger4
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice brown color with some ruby hues with a rocky light tan head of 1" sitting atop.
Aroma: Toasty with a hint of chocolate, a general nut note, and a faint hint of vanilla
Taste: Toasted malt with a background of caramel, hint of chalk, general earthiness, with cracker on the finsih
Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation and fairly dry
Overall: A very good English brown which falls a little short on the flavor, which if stayed consistent with the nose, would be a top contender.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours fairly crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, toasted oats, brown bread, nuttiness, herbal, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and moderate earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, toasted oats, brown bread, nuttiness, herbal, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of earthy herbal/toasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, toasted oats, brown bread, nuttiness, herbal, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt and moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and fairly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent brown ale style. All around great complexity, balance, and robustness of dark/bready malt and moderate earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of a0lbudman
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L-Clear brown color with a large off white head that leaves a great lace
S- roast,sweet chocolate, nutty, with a citrus back note
T-roast with a blend of the nose in all the other flavors that had a great finish
M- light body and medium carbonation
O-this was a great beer in many ways. the smell had many powerful aromas, yet the taste was a smooth mixture of all the flavors and none where overpowering

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Photo of dd43
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really like this brown ale, as unappetizing as the label might be. A juvenile approach to a grown man's beer. Love the combination of whole wheat bread crust and cocoa on the nose, then coffee and more bready toasted malts in the flavor. Improves as it warms up. Slightly thin mouthfeel, which might catch some folks off guard given the rich dark appearance and taupe colored head. Very easy drinking brown and another solid example of the style that many beer drinkers are still foolishly ignoring.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a perfect pint from a bomber.

4.0 A: Clear copper/ light brown color. Two fingers of creamy/frothy tan head. Retention is very good and a short ring of lacing is left.

4.5 S: This is what a brown ale is supposed to smell like. Big nuttiness, big toastiness. Dry and powdery - maybe a touch of cocoa powder. Unsweetened toffee. Rich and powerful.

3.75 T: Taste is good, but doesn't approach the level of the nose. It has all the flavors mentioned above, but just less powerful. Equal proportions of nuttiness, toastiness, and toffee. Again a hint of cocoa powder. The new flavor that emerges is a dose of tangy caramel.

4.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Really, really velvety creaminess going on. Very nice here.

4.0 D: A very good brown ale. I wish I could find it in a cheaper format.

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Photo of Dope
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No bottling date.

A: A medium brown, can just see through it a little. Good-sized and fizzy, frothy light light brown head. Minimal lacing but decent retention at least.

S: Very nutty. Very bready too. Gives it a pretzels and peanut butter aroma. A little caramel sweetness. Lightest hint of cocoa. I really like this aroma.

T: Flavor is surprisingly bold too. Lots of cocoa mixed with lots of nuts. Bread crusts for malt. Just a hint of caramel sweetness sometimes but not much. Finish is dry with light earthiness and more bread crusts.

M: Light bodied, a touch watery and a touch dry.

O: A nice brown ale. Lots of nice nutty and bready malt notes. It's quite light and dry with higher carbonation. Nice drinkability but surprisingly bold flavors for the ABV. I enjoyed this one a lot.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice dark drown that lets a little bit of light through. A light tan head clings to the sides and leaves traces of lacing. The smell is roasted malt that smells like coffee. The taste is coffee, bitter chocolate and toasted malt. This seems more like a porter to me than a brown ale as brown ales, to me, should have some sweet malt taste. Still a great beer that I truly enjoyed.

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Photo of BrewAskew
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours to a thick beige head and deep brown color. Aroma is nutty, toasty, chocolatey malts. Flavor is rich and malty/nutty/ biscuity with a crisp, dryish finish. Not too sweet, just right. Feels great. This brown ale is the SHIT!!!

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bought for the can blown away by how good the beer inside was one of the better brown ales I've had in a while. Thicker mouthfeel and a nice roasted malt profile.

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Photo of jwc215
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazed light brown. A thin, fading tan head leaves some lacing.

The smell is of brown sugar, cocoa powder, caramel/toffee. Robust malty nose.

The taste is of brown sugar, cocoa, nuts, toffee/caramel. Sweet malt balanced by a subtle sour-ish earthy tone in the finish.

Malty smooth. Soft to medium carbonation.

A rich malty brown ale. Pricey (over 15 for the bomber).

I didn't care for the label on the bottle. I really don't want to picture feces as I'm drinking a brown ale.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, WHO comes up with some of these beer names and labels? Seriously? LMAO! :D Anyway, comes in a 16 ounce can and paid $3.49 at the local Hy-Vee. Can chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a .5L "ROCK BOTTOM MUG CLUB" handled-glass stein.

This 'American Brown Ale" style brew pours a deep dark amber brown with ruby-red highlights with a good 3-finger foamy creamy beige head. LOTS of sheet-like lacing is seen which each sip, like a good German brew actually. Aroma is of roasted malts, chocolate with a hint of hazel nuts (?). Bit more going on with the taste besides following the nose there is some dark fruits and caramel also. Very good taste and mix of flavors. Does finish a bit dry with a slight hoppy finish. Medium-bodied with good carbonation. Overall, a decent brew of this style besides the disturbing high school artwork. LOL!

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perfect brown like an English brown with a light off white head. The smell is sweet malt and coffee notes. The taste is a great balance of sweet malt and bitter/sour hops. More complex than most Browns because of the sour notes. A great beer all around

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the can a deep mahogany brown with two fingers of sticky dark beige head.

Aroma of chocolate, nuts, and roasted caramel malts.

Tasted of roasted caramel malts, chocolate, nuts and vanilla.

Medium bodied and a touch dry with a moderate carbonation.

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Photo of Immortale25
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a medium brown color with a 3/4 inch light tan head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a large center patch of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Toasty malt aroma brings to mind milk chocolate, nuts and vanilla. Musty.

T- Flavor actually leans toward the more roasty side of toasty with a hop/malt bitterness exchange that works well. The taste is more dry than expected for the style. More notes of milk chocolate and nuttiness.

M- Standard brown ale feel with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- A very serviceable brown ale though I feel it leans more toward the American version of the style due to its hop-forward nature and lack of a biscuity malt presence. Either way, pretty tasty.

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The Brown Note from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
3.83 out of 5 based on 388 ratings.
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