Gnarly Brown | MadTree Brewing

BA SCORE
89
very good
209 Ratings
THE BROS
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Gnarly BrownGnarly Brown
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
MadTree Brewing
Ohio, United States
madtreebrewing.com

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Specialty malts bring intimations of brown sugar and vanilla which meld into the Gnarly's character. Roasted coffee malt flavors and residual sweetness dance in harmony, obscuring the line between brown ale and porter.

32 IBU

Added by meanmutt on 04-24-2013

BEER STATS
Ratings:
209
Reviews:
30
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
8.64%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
61
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 209 |  Reviews: 30
Photo of kylehay2004
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Parkers Blue Ash Tavern, Cincinnati, OH

A: The beer is clear very dark amber in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high thin head covering the surface that died down, consistently leaving a thin head and lots of lacy rings of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of nutty malts are present in the nose.
T: Much like the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of nutty malts. Neither sweetness nor bitterness are perceptible.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a bold brown ale that delivers lots of nutty aromas and flavors. This would pair really well with a burger.

 702 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With a focus on malt and a not toward the dark, Mad Tree Brewing takes on an ale that's worthy of English entitlement. The beer not only pays homage to its British roots but hits the recipe with authority!

Its appearance is dark bown and carries an mirror-like sheen. Not convinced its simply clear and opaque, it is close. A creamy sandy-stained head floats the ale and trails with intricate Belgian-style lacing. With retention build for the duration, the ale is as handsome with its final sip and it was its first.

Bold aromas are balanced, masculine and refined. Malty chocolate and nuts build at the beginning but then a sweeter greater-than-caramel but not-quite-toffee character creates the allure that you can't quite put your finger on. Perhaps a pep of brown sugar to float, a woodish tone takes hold and gives a glimpse into the broad and earthy hop character to be tasted. Starchy and biscuity, the beer leans coffee but never roast but is always supported by a malted-milk presence.

Its taste is robust with a regal blend of bittersweet chocolate, walnuts, toast, and seared caramel. Its semi-sweet taste is like "Whoppers" candies as it unfolds on the tongue. As the beer crosses the middle palate, it drops its heady sweetness and builds into a dry toast finish and introduces the broadly bitter taste of hops with all its grassy and woody glory.

Creamy and malty-dry to start, there's ample dextrin-type richness for the beer to retain its structure through the session. Yet it prefers to retract as it nears finish for remarkably refreshing finish for such a lush upstart. Medium warmth and a dry toasty tone closes the beer's mouthfeel without ever completely giving up on its brown identity.

Its flawless recipe formulation and seemingly effortless execution gives this ale a classy taste, even if a few yearning English yeast complexities are waning. But if striving for American Brown status, I pep of citrusy hops could really sell its taste. If anything, the beer is simply on the fence of what it wants to be.

 2,038 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of mothman
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a thick layer of creamy tan head. Color is a dark caramel brown. Leaves some lace.

Flavor profile: Sweet at first. Kind of like candy and syrup. Chocolate, cocoa, and vanilla. Some roasted notes with hints of coffee. Maybe some brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth. Medium bodied. Ends a little dry and roasted.

Overall, a nice drinking brown. It tastes a little bigger than a regular brown ale. Very flavorful.

 425 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.69/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can at the Dublin Irish Festival.
This is no ordinary brown ale. Bold and rich with a well hidden ABV. This applies to both the aroma and the flavor.
This malt bomb also has a relatively full and nicely smooth feel.

O: recommended!

 239 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to crapturds (reddit) for this one, more great canned craft beer.

Pours an off-white creamy semi thick almost 1 finger head that fades at a med pace, lots of nice frothy lacing, very dark molasses brown colored beer.

Nose nice toasty brown malts, plenty of caramel and nutty aromas, little toffee and biscuit, almost butterscotch candy and brittle but not super sweet candy like or syrupy, hint of a coffee. Faint touch of an earthy hop.

Taste starts with more toasty brown malts, plenty more caramel and toffee, a little nutty, a little chewy like malt almost, hint of coffee like roast. Hops come through more than I thought, quite bitter with an herbal earthy hop character that even gets a little mineral note. Finish is drier and very bitter, more earthy herbal like hops, little mineral and menthol like notes with hint of booze.

Mouth is med bod, little creamy and chewy, nice fluffy carb, hint of booze.

Overall not bad, I really like the malts, but the hops on the end and finish are a little much for what I was expecting for the delicious malt flavors. Still pretty tasty though.

 1,102 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.69/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of smithj4
3.86/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of mdaschaf
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of woodychandler
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The CANQuest (tm) is barreling along, currently focused on beers from the Queen City, thanks to a great trade earlier this year. I am listening to a couple of baseball games as I drink these beers. Ah, summertime!

From the CAN: "Gnarly By Nature. Gnarly By Choice. CAN You Dig It?"; "Specialty malts bring intimations of brown sugar and vanilla which meld into the Gnarly's character. Roasted coffe malt flavors and residual sweetness dance in harmony, obscuring the line between brown ale and porter."

That last just inspired me, but I'll come back to that idea. In the interim, nothing CAN happen until the Crack! occurs. I had a successful, loud Crack! and celebrated with an inverted Glug. This worked well, producing three fingers of fluffy, light-brown head with modest retention which left some nice lacing as it fell. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity and ruby highlights. Nose was rich with scents of coffee and chocolate. Mmmm. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, approaching, but not achieving, creaminess. The flavor was more chocolate than coffee, although there was also some of that. Brown sugar? Maybe, although I would not necessarily have said that. Vanilla? CAN't prove it by me. Finish straddled the line between semi-sweet and semi-dry. It was on the extreme finish that I began to pick up notes of vanilla. Allow me to be frank. I am self-avowed hophead, mainly because I eschew sweets. For that reason, Browns and Porters tend to get glossed over by me, but I really liked this one. Warming, I tasted freshly-baked brownies! Oh, my.

 1,601 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a great brown ale. Nice malty somewhat leafy nose. Great flavor profile. The flavor lingers and evolves long after I put the glass down. Goes from richly malty with a mild tang and then leaves a dried leaf tone with strong wood. Really a superb beer. One of my all-time favorite brown ales. Wish I had grabbed more.

 323 characters

Photo of Duff27
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of BEER88
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of outoffocus
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Eziel
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Haybeerman
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Stinger80OH
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Hayley_86
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bluejacket74
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 ounce can, canned on 11/10/2014. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a clear brown color with some reddish tints to it. Head retention is good, and there's a lot of lacing. The brew smells like brown sugar, nuts, vanilla and some coffee. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some toasted malt and a light bitter hoppiness noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and coating with moderate carbonation. I think this is a good brown ale, I wouldn't mind buying this again. Nice to see the MadTree cans finally come to Columbus! $9.99 a 6-pack.

 581 characters

Photo of barczar
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy deep brown with amber highlights and a frothy tan head that slowly dissipates, leaving modest lacing.

Citrusy hops meet nutty, deeply toasted malt, toffee, and a hint of pine in the aroma. Malt dominates, but the citrus presence is substantial.

Flavor reveals more nutty, toasted malt dominance, but adds in chocolate toward the finish. Underpinnings of grapefruit form an interesting contrast. The finish is fairly bitter. Floral notes emerge in the aftertaste.

Body and carbonation are moderate, with light alcohol warmth at the finish.

Didn't expect the chocolate notes. Slightly malt dominant, with anintriguing hop addition. Not overly bitter, thanks to the chocolate adding a perception of sweetness.

 732 characters

Photo of rjp217
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Gnarly Brown from MadTree Brewing
4.05 out of 5 based on 209 ratings.
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