Brown Cow Brown Ale | Carson's Brewery

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Brown Cow Brown AleBrown Cow Brown Ale
Brown Cow Brown AleBrown Cow Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Carson's Brewery
Indiana, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 132
Photo of Harrison8
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent ruby-burgundy with two fingers of khaki foam that bubbles up quickly. Head formation is dense, landing a long retention period. Aroma is lactose, caramel, toffee and roasty, nutty, earthy malts. It has a sweet characteristic which balances out well against the roasty and then more bitter nutty and earthy malts. Flavor profile is toffee, caramel, lactose, and milk chocolate for a lightly chocolate milk start. Roasty, toasty, nutty, earthy malts add shades of bitterness and boldness, balancing out and brightening the flavor profile. Mouth feel is velvety with a very fine, silty texture. Overall, flavorful and balanced, albeit leaning towards sweet. Well crafted and tasty.

Served in a 15.5oz Spiegalau tulip from a 12oz can.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.63/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Brown Cow has a medium, creamy, beige head, a hazy, lighter brown appearance, some lone ascending bubbles, and heavy glass lacing. The aroma is of sweet, brown bread crust and light brown sugar. Malt, too. Taste is of char, brown bread crust, light caramel, light brown bread crust, and malt. Bitterness is present, but it's 1995 brown ale bitterness, meaning- no fruit. Mouthfeel is lower medium, and Brown Cow finishes medium dry. This is a benchmark brown ale.


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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Unknown vintage; drank 11/25/14 @ the Yarchives.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Muddy brown hue.

Khaki head; a curtain of lace.

Coffee, brown sugar & cream nose; nice!

Medium mouthfeel.

Cinnamon, brown sugar, roasted coffee & faint raspberry flavors; a mild but enjoyable mix.

A very nice session brown; quaffable yet substantial enough to want another.

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Photo of boxvic
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A very good brown ale. Not my favorite beer from Carson's (that would be Red Dawn) but it is probably #2 for me. Honestly I'm not a huge brown ale fan.

This one has great chocolate and malt flavor and tremendous drinkability.

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Photo of Lahoi
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As soon as I opened the 12 oz bottle the foam spewed all over the place. I thought perhaps someone had shaken the bottle, so I didn't think much of it. A day or two later I had another and it did the same thing. I couldn't even pour into a 16 oz glass due to the overpowering head. Beyond that, the beer was very enjoyable. Very dark beer with a slight hint of red.

Lots of chocolate, malt, maybe even a bit of coffee. But also some hops. I guess I would describe it as a relatively hoppy chocolate stout. Very complex. First impressions aside, I really enjoyed this beer. The more it warmed the more I liked it, which is how I feel about most stouts. At around 60 degrees I was smiling.

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Photo of egrapplesberg
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought to get out of my store, does not sell despite good price point of 5.99 4 pack. Date is faded 02 25 15. I think that's the bottle on date. Poured into snifter that runs a dark amber color. Almost brown but a reddish tint in the light. White one and a half inch head. A coat of foam clings to the glass when the head slowly recedes and decent lacing throughout the beer. Smell is vague but am getting roasted malt with slight hint of chocolate. So far everything is good, however, the most important part is the taste and I'm unimpressed. Not much going on. Slight roasted malt, chocolate and I think I'm getting coffee. Not a bad beer just nothing exciting. Cheers!

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Photo of KYGunner
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good chocolate malt upfront before turning lightly nutty. Some light grain and barley is present but hard to find. It's a bit overly crisp and watery to finish.

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

12 oz. bottle, no bottled on date present. A new one to me from Carson's Brewery, out of Evansville, Indiana, acquired a single bottle of this stuff from the local Binny's as part of a mixed six pack.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Pours more an extremely dark ruby than brown. Looks very nice. Four big towering fingers of beige froth that stays a while. Some yeast sediment seen lurking near the bottom of the glass.

S - A creamy, earthy, nutty aroma. Notes of chocolate, brown bread, brown sugar, & vanilla. A simple, yet pleasant smelling beer.

T - Taste follows the nose: a very robust, nutty brown ale. Lots of chocolate malt, notes of cocoa / vanilla, brown sugar, and some crisp yeast presence. Mild hop fruitiness is noticeable, but fades as the beer drinks on.

M - A smooth & creamy mouthfeel. Medium-bodied with excellent carbonation.

Overall, a very nicely made brown ale from Carson's Brewery, one of the best examples of the style that I've had in recent memory. Definitely recommended.

Carson's Brewery Brown Cow Brown Ale -----4/5.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.24/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

16 ounce pour - $5.50 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, brown body with some ruby-tinted hues at the edges. Slim, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Caramel, brown sugar and cocoa atop toasted breadcrusts charred and burnt at the edges with some mild, lighter fruity hints underneath.

Taste: Toasted malts with nutty caramel and brown sugar. Lightly fruity, hint of raisin, and, maybe some cherries, too. There's an underlying burnt roastiness that overrides the more pleasing 'brown ale' tastes. Backdrop of floral hops and some light bitterness. Drying finish with that roastiness having latched on.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: While it's not bad it's not overly likable with the sustained roasted kick.

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Photo of ordybill
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Slight toasted malt aroma, with a floral backdrop
Appearance- Pours a nice brown color with amber streaks. Has a nice thick off-white colored head.
Taste- Has a malt and nut flavor, I am not floored by the flavor. It is OK
Palate- A heavy bodied beer with moderate carbonation.
Overall- A slightly better than average beer.

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Photo of Tone
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, brown color. 1.4 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, roasted malt, hint of chocolate, hops, and a hint of pale malt. Fits the style of an American Brown Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, hint of euro yeast, sweet malt, slight hop, hint of toffee, and a hint of dark citrus. Overall, decent appearance, good aroma, feel, and blend.

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Photo of zeff80
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz can. Poured out a dark brown color with a foamy, tan, one-finger head. It smelled of malt, caramel and toffee. It had a bold malty flavor with a strong dose of nuttiness.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Second City glass.

Next up from my box o' miscellaneous goodies comes a brown ale from Indiana. Fair enough. It pours a tawny sienna topped by a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises milk chocolate, mild nuts, sweet biscuit, and a touch of coffee. The taste brings in more of the same, the sweet breads and cocoas blending together rather nicely. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, this was quite the pleasant surprise. Both Vdubb and myself definitely enjoyed this beer, and I can easily see myself picking more up as one of my go-to browns.

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Photo of barczar
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant brown with amber highlights and a frothy cream head that lingers as a ring of foam.

Aroma is slightly fruity specialty malt, nutty, toasted malt, and a hint of chocolate, along with floral hops.

Flavor is nutty and deeply toasted, with a touch of chocolate, finishing a touch roasty and moderately bitter. There's an underlying fruity malt note that detracts somewhat.

Fairly full mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, light alcohol warmth. Finish is a touch harsh.

Nice brown. Very drinkable beer, but that fruity character is more prevalent than I prefer. Becomes dominant as it warms. Love the chocolatey notes. Good toasted malt presence.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this fine brown from a 12 oz bottle in a pint glass. This brown ale pours a brilliant lightly hazy copper brown color with a firm light tan head that dissipates to pooling foam and GREAT lacing. Nose of chocolate malts, caramel malts, bread crust, and light herbal hop notes. Flavors are light chocolate malts to the front, sweet caramel malts to the sides and back, and a light bittering hop to the rear. Smooth lightly coating mouth feel leaves a light coating on the tongue of bready moderately roasted malts and grains and a light bittering hops aftertaste mingling with sweet malts. Very nice offering for this often overlooked and snubbed style of ale. Would make a great session ale as well. Looking forward to trying other brews from the brewer.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
1.87/5  rDev -50%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

On tap at Beer House in Lombard, IL.

A: Arrived in a pint glass as a deep clear brown with vaguely reddish highlights, with a relatively thick head that dissipated rather quickly. No notes on lacing, because I didn't get more than three sips in.

S: The nose opened with some sweet malt underscored by dark chocolate...and then a barrage of floral hops. This was disappointing on several levels, mostly because every bit of the description for this beer stated "mild hop presence" and "balancing hops", while discussing for several sentences the seven types of malt involved. Even the bartender had advised me that he personally found this to be deliciously malty and chocolatey. Filled with trepidation and apprehension from the perfumed bouquet, I sipped...

T: Pure floral perfume. Nothing but pure floral perfume. No malt got past that to my palate at all, on any of the three sips I took. If you are a malthead averse to beers with enough floral-pine hops to break into the foreground, this is not a beer for you.

M: To be honest, I couldn't particularly tell, on any of the sips. I was too distracted by the hop presence.

O: Not a brown ale I shall repeat. It may very well have the advertised wonderful malt complexity with chocolate notes, but for those of us who are not fans of a "mild hop presence" that seems more on the heavy side of moderate at the very least, it simply isn't there.

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Photo of LloydDobler
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a non-chilled pint.

Perfect clarity with a nice, thick, light biege collar of foam that had dissipated within a couple minutes. Not much on the nose, but that first sip was so sweet and malty I wasn't too sure about my selection. Also it was thicker than expected on the tongue. Fortunately, and surprisingly, it finished very clean with every sip better than the next. Brown isn't my favorite style but I will revisit this one soon.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a nice ruby-brown, with a thick and sudsy head of off-white bubbles. Lace is detailed and lovely, too.

Aroma is chocolate malts up front, with a little woodsy spice (cedary, almost). But it's the chocolate that gets me front and center. Excellent!

Taste is deliciously malty chocolate and a hint of bittering hops at the finish. It's like a rich bittersweet cocoa tone. I also get a touch of a slight burnt flavor, as well as the wood hinted at in the aroma. All-in-all, a distinctively complex, flavorful, and an excellent (even noteworthy) brown ale.

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Brown Cow Brown Ale from Carson's Brewery
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 132 ratings