Samuel Adams Brown Ale | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Brown AleSamuel Adams Brown Ale
708 Ratings
Samuel Adams Brown AleSamuel Adams Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.35%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by chOAKbarrell on 12-25-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 708 |  Reviews: 563
Reviews by 1whiskey:
Photo of 1whiskey
4.07/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, best buy date of Nov '06. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Nice bronze brown color with some copper hues when held to the light. Not much of a head, just a pancake, but it stuck with me.

Wow, a brown ale than I can really smell! Nice sweet malty smell as well as some light fruity notes.

This really packs a lot of flavor for what is often a bland style. Roasted malts are here, as you would expect, but in larger quatities with a "toasted" sort of flavor. But this is easily balanced by a suprisingly potent and even a bit spicy hop profile. It must be the Noble Spalt hops the label talks about. I'm really diggin' this. This is brown ale with life and personality. Nice tea bitterness starts to become the most prominant feature as this warms up a bit. Finishes with a bit of said tea-like aftertaste.

Pretty light body, thin mouthfeel with average carbonation. Extremely drinkable.

Really good brown ale, much better than I anticipated. Recommended.

Additional notes:

Brown ales. I have to admit I sometimes dread trying new ones. I mean there's a million of them out there, but how many do you find that you really like? It seems like almost all of them are just plain boring and even some of the better known ones have something wrong with them. You've got your watered down bad Newcastle imitation (Pete's Wicked), your bad Sam Smith imitation (Moose Drool), your call-your-dentist-it's-really sweet ones (Skagit Steelie Brown), and the occasional absurdly over the top for the style beer (DFH Indian Brown, my gaze is fixed squarely on you). I've often said that the only American made brown ales I'd buy again are Lost Coast Downtown Brown (an excellent English-style brown, as well as a sentimental fave) and Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar. Well, I'm adding a third beer to the list.

Now what shall I ever do with the other 11 beers in the mix pack.... :)

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear medium brown with a light brown tinted head thas is gone quickly maybe a touch fizzy but nice clarity color wise.Like the aromas going on buttery caramel with an underlying toastiness wich is appetizing,quite a buttery brown ale rendition here I actually kinda like it maybe a bit one sided though with the caramel/butter flavors not much of a earthy presence to be had just a soft touch in the finish.Has a little prickly mouthfeel but goes down pretty easily.Iam not a huge fan of the style but this suits me fine,better than average in my opinion.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.11/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Thin reddish brown, little to no head.

S – Buttered muffins, milk duds.

T – Butter, caramel, cherry gushers.

MF – Buttery-chewy with a slightly bitter hopped finish.

Drinkability - Would be sessionable but it’s just not interesting enough. This is pretty bland and dull brown. Dare I say that even New Castle has more character?

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Photo of ExtraStout
2.95/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a tall pilsner glass -- hey it's what he had.

A: Reddish-brown with medium off-white head than leaves a couple of rings.

S: Caramelly with slight hops and citrusy fruit which is a little different than I was expecting.

T: Nuttier than the aroma with a reasonably crisp, clean finish with a little less toasty malt than a typical English brown ale. Pleasant but nothing spectacular.

M: A bit thin with more carbonation than I want -- maybe that's what gives it the clean finish feeling.

D: Goes down very easy, maybe a little too easy for a brown ale, but not unpleasant. I wouldn't buy it on its own, but in a variety pack, it's fine.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.07/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This a very clear dull ruby colored beer with a disappearing tan head. My allergy-addled nose gets very nice dark fruit, cherries, and brown sugar. Suprisingly assertive bitter hits first followed by cidery dryness and tart apple sweetness. Notes of fruit skin. Intermittent wood tones. This is a refreshing and interesting beer, but way too dry for brown ale in my opinion. When you really stop to taste it, the majority of its characters are suprisingly harsh. This is one of those beers I'm having trouble making up my mind about. Mouthfeel is the biggest fault here. It is light, fizzy, and lacks enough body to support the bitterness which means this brown ale is not the one thing every brown sould be, SMOOOOTH.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
3.24/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was a little disappointed with this one. Not so much because it wasn't good but because I had higher expectations. The aromas during and after the pour didn't strike me as particularly interesting - it just smelled like your basic ale. The first taste was about the same. As I read the descriptions on the website, I'm curious if perhaps things were too balanced to the point that nothing stands out as interesting in the flavor profile.

All of this negative stuff said, the drink itself wasn't bad relative to other American style beer, particularly the lagers and pilsners that have been passed off as "good". This certainly has much more flavor and was much more enjoyable than the mega beers on the market. If I had to choose between Sam Adams Brown Ale and Budweiser, It would be the Brown Ale, hands down.

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This attractive brown ale retains its head for a good while.

Scent is the familiar brown-ale malt sweetness.

Taste is lightly toasted with the caramel underneath that. And of course with some bready/nut notes in the finish as well. What holds this beer back from a better taste score is that it just doesnt seem to have the depth or richness that some of the more outstanding brown ales offer.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and clean. Low carbonation.

Another very drinkable, extremely balanced offering from Samuel Adams. According to the box, it won the 2005 beer lovers choice award.

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Photo of jonny1138
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.92/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a pleasant surprise. It came in a sampler 12 pack with a drink before 6/06 label. It poured a pretty red-brown color with a small head that dissipated quickly. A nice roasted, mildly fruity odor. It tastes roasted malt, slightly nutty, with some mild hoppiness that lingers. Somewhat carbonated, it feels a little thin in the mouth. An OK beer.

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Photo of Todd
3.51/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle, with a best before July 2006, pours a deep chestnut brown, bright, with copper and ruby hues. The slightly tan head is dense and creamy, sticking to the glass and retaining a creamy lace throughout.

Floral noble hop aroma from the East Kent Goldings hops, touch of spice and a slightly nutty malt backdrop. Overall, the aroma is quite clean and subtle.

Quite light on the palate with a semi-creamy mouthfeel, and a watery consistency. Semi-seltzery carbonation, with a "Burtonized" mineral character upfront. Spicy, dusty, leafy hop character with a flash of citrus bitterness and notes of sweet blood oranges with some salty rind trailing behind. Malt character comes across with tannic biscuit edge, nutty/peanut skins and subtle caramel notes within the moderate sweetness. Burst of grape, faint gum, then the beer descends into dryness. Toasty finish with tannins coating the palate, making for a not so clean linger.

A fairly pedestrian offering from Sam Adams, but a nice version of an English Brown Ale.

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Photo of 40451
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Photo of Scribbles
3.59/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: A dark brown colour with a fair head that dissipates mostly in a couple of minutes.

Smell: Nutty Bread, bits of malt, and definitely raisins.

Taste : Bready with some caramel and a bit of hops is how I can best describe its taste.

Mouthfeel: A fair bit of carbonation keeps this beer crisp on the palate, smooth and easy to drink.

Drinkablility: A nice brew for relaxing with on a cool/cold night. Easy to drink, could drink a few sitting around reminiscing with old friends, solid at being what it is.

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Photo of Doomcifer
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal-clear, dark caramel color with a pretty frothy one-inch head that leaves behind some good lacing on the glassware. I wasn't expecting such good head retention and lacing from this SA brew.

Aroma is of caramel malts, some biscuitiness, slightly nutty, buttery notes.

Taste is of more caramel malts, biscuity, toasty, ending with an ever so slight hop finish which provides a tad of spiciness to the brew. The flavor is nothing overwhelming, and pretty thin besides. Nothing great but nothing bad either besides the aftertaste/finish. The aftertaste ruins this beer mostly in my opinion. Mild metallic notes and slightly skunky.

Mouthfeel is a little watery with decent carbonation.

Sure, it's easy drinking but I'd rather drink something with more character and is much more enjoyable. True, their are a lot worse out there...but there are a lot better as well. Middle of the road, right here.

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Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle with a freshness date on the side of the label.

A- Two fingers of froth drop down to a thin tan lace that does have some retention by leaving a few rings on the glass. Deep reddish brown shows off a bright clarity.

S- Buttered English Muffin with a hint of sweet caramel and malted milk ball. Kiss of spiciness from the hops.

T&M- Mildly buttery within the modest malt character. Rounded toasty and caramel malt flavors are paired with a lightly spicy and balanced bitter hop. Light crispness in the medium body.

D- Simple, some would say pedestrian. Session beer but nothing out of the ordinary, pretty much every small brewer in the US as brewed a Brown Ale and this one does not stand out.

I personally think the public was wrong and they should have brewed the Bohemian Pilsner.

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Photo of merlin48
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from Brewmaster's sampler pack. Pours a clear, copper body that exhibits active carbonation. Small beige head has excellent longevity and leaves some spotty lace.
Toasty dark malts provide hints of chocolate covered hazelnuts to the aroma. Floral citrusy hops are more prominent than expected for style.
Mouthfeel is light medium, with plenty of carbonation.
Taste has a toasty malt profile that stands up well to some assertive citrusy hops. Dark caramel notes with a hint of chocolate work well with the hops here.
Tasty and well balanced, but maybe a bit overhopped for the style. A pretty good brown ale that would make a nice session ale.

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Photo of Billolick
3.92/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle sampled, freshness dating info is notched onto the side of the label

Pours the typical shade of brown one would expect, with a long lasting tan head, and then tan tiny bubble film. lacing is moderate but fine and sticky. Malty nose with a int of nuts and perhaps ripe bananas. this a pleasant brown, nothing too exciting going on here, just a nicely balanced British style brown. Notes of soft malts, toffee, vanilla, tastes like liquid whole wheat/pumpernickel bread. Well crafted and a worthy sessioner.

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Photo of badbeer
3.23/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a nice reddish color with a white head that leaves some decent lacing and holds up pretty well, looks more like a red than a brown. Smell is of brown sugar and hazelnut, maybe a hint of earthy hops, but not really noticeable. Taste is much of the same. Starts out with some brown sugar and maybe molasses, and then gets nuttier and nuttier through the finish. Seems pretty highly carbonated, all sorts of bubbles exploding on the tongue paired with a medium body. Pretty easy to drink, but I don't know that I'd visit this one that often. Decent beer, worthy of a try, but nothing to shout about either.

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Photo of mattster
3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened 12 fluid ounce bottle, poured into Nonic glass.

Pours a low quickly dissolving head atop a clear tea brown brew with some bubbles floating to the top.

Smell is a nutty but light maltyness. Taste is light caramel with a bit of spice. A round mouth feel and a firm, easy to drink finish makes this a great choice for a beer to have with a meal. Aftertaste is pleasant and short and the bubbles make this a very easy brew.

Another great one from Samuel Adams and Boston Beer.

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Photo of Byeast
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brownie poured clear and brown with some slight red hues , the head was a big ole inch of puffy , rocky offwhite foam , leaving some webby lace. Aromas of fresh brown bread , slight raisin , bit of diactyl, and faint nut. The flavor is fairly malty , some tea like qualities , hint of butterscotch sweetness , slight hops are a bit leafy and provide enough balance. The flavor is a bit thin , but whats there is quite quaffable. Not a bad brew but nothing special either. Of the three beers in the mixed pack this was my least favorite.

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Photo of timconnel
3.76/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Between brown and red, just a few steps past amber. It had a fluffy off white head that left impressive lacing.

Smell: Malty and a little sweet.

Taste: Nothing complex, just a solid malt and caramel flavor, a little sweet, but not too much.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body.

Drinkability: Smooth, simple, and good. I'm not a hophead so this is about a perfect session beer for me. The beer version of soul food.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stumbled onto my old notebook of which I used to track beer and when I had tried them and what I thought. So, this review is not at all how I study and revieqw a beer, but seeing that this beer is since retired, seems like a good place to start coping down my old notes.

Drank straight from the bottle, tasted on October 21, 2007, came from one of the Sams Adams varity packs.

This beer was ok, it was heavy for what I thought an ale would be.

Yes folks that is all I wrote down, but I was new to the beer scene then. I do recall it having a dark brown color and what I thought then as a strong smell. Thanks for one of my first reviews, I have learned some much since then.

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Photo of bsp77
3.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into English beveled mug.

Appearance: Clear medium brown with a reddish tint. Very, very thin head.

Smell: Toast, biscuit, caramel, fruit and nuts.

Taste: Semi-sweet malts with a mixture of toast, biscuit, caramel and dark fruit. Maybe a very slight nut taste, but not what I would call a Nut Brown Ale. Very mild overall, with very low levels of bitterness, just a slight kick at the end.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body but slightly thin.

Drinkability: Very standard example of the style. Easy to drink but uninteresting. Just barely better than Newcastle.

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Photo of magictrokini
2.75/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Darker amber pour with a moderate tan head. Hearty caramel and malt aroma with some hoppiness. Nutty, bready taste with a bitter finish. The bitter tends to get sour as the beer progresses. Good malt backbone. Brown Ales are always hard for me to analyze as the variance between them is so wide.

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Photo of Hugh37
4.75/5  rDev +35.7%

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.2/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pub glass,dark copper with brown and ruby hue,almost clear just slightly cloudy.
The head was off white a bit towards tan,very creamy,very tiny bubbles,a lasting head.
The aroma was a bit spicey,not real hoppy,but a very complex malt aroma of caramell,toffee,roasty,chocolaty,nutty very good malt aroma.
Caramel,chocolate,roasted,burnt malt tastes,a woody,slight citrus hop flavor.a complex balamced taste.
The mouthfeel was light to medium,very smooth,creamy,with a clean sharp finish and a slight cloyingness.
An exceptionally drinkable beer,very balanced and very enjoyable.
A session brown ale if there ever was.

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Samuel Adams Brown Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.5 out of 5 with 708 ratings