Brown Beard
Free Will Brewing Co.

Brown BeardBrown Beard
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Style:
Brown Ale - American
Ranked #28
ABV:
10.8%
Score:
91
Ranked #4,423
Avg:
4.15 | pDev: 6.51%
Reviews:
27
Ratings:
99
From:
Free Will Brewing Co.
 
Pennsylvania, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  2
Gots
  13
SCORE
91
Outstanding
Brown BeardBrown Beard
Notes: Rum oak barrel-aged imperial brown ale with coffee, molasses and cane sugar
Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 99 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by thebeers:
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thebeers from Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2016 bottle. Pours a pretty garnet-tinted brown color with a thin half-finger of tan head. Smells of fruit cake and figs with a strong undercurrent of strong, dark coffee. Medium to light bodied, and relatively still in the mouthfeel, with just a little chewiness to it. Interesting taste with the fruity rum flavors up front, the coffee flavors and milk chocolate notes far behind, a bit of alcohol burn on the back end, and a dull, stale-hop bitterness in the aftertaste. With the fig notes, this almost tastes like a light-bodied quad. Pretty tasty.

May 14, 2016
More User Reviews:
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Free Will Brewing Co. "Brown Beard"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle "BOTTLED ON 03/03/16" on 04/28/16

I held off on drinking this for a bit until I had an opportunity to review it with a completely fresh palate, expecting a lot of complexity and nuances. Instead it's rather quite straightforward in following the description on its label almost to the point of being heavy-handed: "Rum oak barrel-aged Imperial brown ale with coffee added".

You clearly get the coffee in the nose, followed by a chocolate fudge-like malt and a light whiff of alcohol and oak.

The flavor clearly displays the big maltiness of the brown ale, and I initially felt it was a bit too much, and a touch too sweet - although a few sips into it I changed my mind about that, thinking of it more as a "sipper" than a straightforward "drinking" beer. I could certainly see sitting by the fire on a cold winters night with one of these. That said, the rum and the oak appear as well, and I find it hard to believe that that much rum was still contained within the wood (perhaps some was added to the barrel to 'freshen it' a bit prior to filling? It lends a nice 'spiciness' and cuts through the rich malt midway. The coffee comes on towards the finish, and then lingers, and if there's an issue with balance I'd say that might be it. To my tastes the coffee is a bit stronger than it needs to be, over-riding the complexity in the blend between the cocoa-ish malt and the oak and rum. I'm left looking for that dry oak in the finish but what I get is more like a Coffee candy. Still, that's just my perception, and not an actual flaw, you'll have to take it for what you will.

Apr 28, 2016
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Rizzy17 from Pennsylvania

3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mar 13, 2016
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Casey3236 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jun 22, 2016
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rdoggg from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

May 08, 2016
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dbl_delta from Pennsylvania

3.71/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Undated 2017 bottle into pint glass. Pours a hazy dark amber-brown with a thin tan head. Initial impression is blackstrap molasses, rum, and bitter coffee. Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side. Carbonation is light. Finish is boozy and astringent, like burnt coffee with a shot of rum in it. Not at all what I expected. The thinnish body makes the alcohol more evident than it should be, and the bitterness competes with the molasses and rum. Interesting but not something I'd revisit.

May 06, 2017
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salthemonster from Pennsylvania

4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Apr 03, 2016
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bshiban from Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Mar 15, 2016
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JNForsyth from Pennsylvania

4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Apr 28, 2016
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Lurkerson from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Apr 25, 2016
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XsoldoutX from Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

May 29, 2017
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

So I'm guessing this is c.o.b. in rum barrels, and it is tasty! Nose is not as balanced, tons of coffee and rum. Neato. The taste though brings us into layers of rum, coffee, cola, sugar cane, wood, vanilla, molasses, dark chocolate, nuts, and toffee. Feel is big bodied, hot with booze, yet more smooth than you would think. Nice work, a brown ale for early winter

May 08, 2016
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parkwood from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jun 10, 2016
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EJJ1848 from Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Apr 09, 2016
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ImFlyerThanYou from New Jersey

3.84/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Apr 11, 2017
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PA-Michigander from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

May 20, 2016
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rjd722 from Maryland

4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jan 02, 2018
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fthegiants from California

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apr 23, 2017
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SharkNado from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apr 24, 2016
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Stofko1992 from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aug 03, 2016
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epyon396 from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Apr 21, 2016
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sposter4 from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours dark aburn in color. Smell of black medium roast coffee. Taste similar work a light rim and burn sugar back end.

Apr 02, 2016
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Wizzle32 from Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Apr 07, 2016
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hozersr from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Apr 07, 2016
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BcOneSeven from Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Mar 22, 2016
Brown Beard from Free Will Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 99 ratings