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

706 Ratings
Read the review
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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 706 |  Reviews: 563
Photo of Hugh37
4.75/5  rDev +35.7%

Photo of OStrungT
4.68/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a clear brown color similar to the wood color cherry maple. It supports a thick, fluffy, light tan head that fades slowly, leaving a thick curtain of lace.

This beer has a nice mild, nutty aroma. It smells slightly of toffee and caramel malts. It has a very subtle floral hop aroma.

This beer tastes exactly like it smells. Nutty with some caramel and toffee flavors. The floral hops are slightly present in the flavor.

This beer is very crisp, and refreshing. The carbonation is nice. It leaves a mildly nutty aftertaste.

This beer is so drinkable. It may be the most drinkable beer I have ever had. Good flavor, low alcohol. I may have found my party beer.

Overall: Great beer. Not over the top, but not booring either. Very well balanced,a nd well rounded. Good job BBC. Oh yeah, at the end of trying this review, there is still a nice head and a lot of lace on this beer.

 896 characters

Photo of steanu
4.57/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was given to me as my 21st Birthday present and I think this is the beer that got me to love Samuel Adams. After I tried this I went on and tried as many Sam Adams beers as I possibly could.

A-It's got a nice brown color to it. Hence the name

S- It's got a nice caramel smell to it.

T-You can taste the malt and caramel and also taste the hops. It's not too strong or too weak, it's a happy medium.

M-It feels great in the mouth and it doesn't leave an aftertaste.

D-It's a great drink!

 499 characters

Photo of StargherKing
4.57/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yet another from my Sam Adams variety pack. Color is a light brown with just a bit of a reddish hue. Cream-colored and textured head. Smell is toffee, with a bit of biscuit, and just a hint of citrus (little lemon, little orange, almost a kumquat scent). Taste is impressive, again a toffee-like nuttiness, a bit of citrus bringing up the rear, and an aftertaste of yeasty biscuits. Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp, and drinkability is through the roof. It's not going to overtake Hobgoblin as my favorite Brown Ale anytime soon, but it will do in a pinch.

 554 characters

Photo of EPseja
4.51/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle in my SABL glass at just under cellar temperature.

A - Crazy as this might sound, it's brown. Ok, I can do better than that. It's a rich chestnut brown with dark amber highlights. The off-tan head rises over an inch on medium sized bubbles. Head perseveres quite necely and lacing is tight-bubbled, hanging in spotty sheets.

S - Generous, sweet toasted malts. Very bready with some nuttiness and candy like (toffee? caramel?) sweetness. Inviting as the smell of fresh baked goods... but this is BEER that's baking.

T - Warm and toasty malts dominate the front 2/3 of the mouth with a decent caramel sweetness and a touch of (hazel?)nuttiness. There is a also an air of freshness about this beer that makes it even more inviting. The finish is only slightly dry, as the english hops keep the malts in check and leave a crisp and satisfying, non-cloying sweetbread aftertaste.

M - Poppin' carbonation on the way in, riding atop a creamy wave. Pleasant tingle on the tongue as the beer rises. Swallow is fluffy without being too gassy.

D - This beer has got the right combination of flavor and ease that makes it a thumbs up in the Brown Ale style. An excellent taste profile for a beer in a style that is unfortunately noted for some very bland offerings.

 1,284 characters

Photo of cdkrenz
4.5/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Transparent purple-red-brown body with a head slighting at brown from eggshell.

S - Cherry and subtle oak with a background of malt.

T - Subtle brown sugar, medium roasted grain, backdrop of pale hops. This is a great tasting brown ale!

M - The feel is smooth to start and slowly increases with a slight texture until the finish where it seems to wash itself away.

~ This beer is really good. The look, the aroma, the flavors and the feel are all winners. You are doing yourself a disservice if you don't have one. I'm disappointed in myself that it took me so long to try one.

 586 characters

Photo of dalherring
4.4/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a suprisingly good beer. It has a great brown color with a light creamy head. It is extremely smooth with a nutty aroma and taste that is strong, but balanced. This is the kind of brew that will become my default if I am buying at a place with little selection. Sam Adams has done it again.

 298 characters

Photo of KodyBrannon
4.4/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought this beer in a sampler pack, Poured it into a pint glass. The color was a brown color with a tint of read. and a khaki colored head, with lacing that lasted all the way down to the last sip.Kind of a hoppy scent with a touch of nutty malt. The taste of this is one where the malt stands out and has a kind of nut/chocolate aftertaste. the motuthfeel on this bee is extremely light. and the overall drinkability is very good. I would mind picking up a 6 pack of this and drinking it alone.

 495 characters

Photo of mnapier
4.33/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Service Temperature, 35 degrees. Glassware, 8 ounce globe glass.

To pour this brew is to witness the amber & clear presence throughout. A medium khaki foamy head, and a mild blanket of lace, that dissipates over time.
This is sweet, nutty, and toffee with mild spice wafts into my nose. As I ease this into my lips I detect nuttiness, honey, an an interesting hop finish.
Mouthfeel is mild to medium when allowed to rest on my tounge.


 446 characters

Photo of KroMagnon
4.3/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice rich brown color with a good tan head. The aroma is nice, it has some solid malty content along with a faint estery note - not much in the way of hops, though. The flavor is very nice, a really well done blend of a smooth chocolately hint, some maltiness that is almost bock-like without being that strong alcohol-wise, and a good solid hop presence that backs it up and is noticable without being dominant. This is a solid effort and I think it may be S. Adams' best beer.

 478 characters

Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.27/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear but dark ruby brown with mahogany highlighrts. Off-white two-finger head is dense and holds it's cap well. Moderate lacing. Crystal malt nose, with subtle biscuity malt, white grapes, nut, and english hop aromas. Malty sweet taste, caramel and roasted chestnut. Dextrin sweetness and texture in the aftertaste, and a whisper of english hop cleanses the palate. Balanced and crisp. High carbonation and a light-medium, smooth mouthfeel. Properly mild overall, but rich in flavor and very drinkable.

 511 characters

Photo of palffyfan
4.27/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Thick red appearance with little head forming.

Smell - Smells absolutely delicious!! Lots of fruit/wheat and some toasty nuts...yumm, 5 for sure.

Taste - Burnt caramel, a great deal of roastiness, not as malty as other people have rated it. Too bad this is my first brown ale, but I have to say, this is my favorite ale thus far. Great for beginners!!

Drinkability - Would I get a six-pack of this? Certainly. Would I get tired of this eventually? Quite possibly..Hopefully the brew sticks around cause its a good one...

 542 characters

Photo of hoplover82
4.27/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite brown ale. Mainly because of the dry hopping. Dry hopping usually makes any beer better. This one comes close to my favorite yearround beer from BBC.

It pours clear brown, with a tan thick cremay head that stays a while.

The aroma is earthy floral hops and a hint of nutty malt goodness.

The flavor is the same as above.

The mouthfeel is smooth and dry. medium to full bodied.

Very drinkable.

 428 characters

Photo of botham
4.27/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a medium brown amber with one finger of off-white foamy head. the head dissipates quickly to a residue that stays for the duration.

smell is nutty. caramel malts and a mild toasty malted aroma finish up the nostrils, making this one a good example of a brown ale.

taste is very malty, without being overly sweet. the nutty caramel flavors are present here as well, alsong with a light hop and fruitiness to add to the mix. well balanced, and tasty! aftertaste is a light bitterness from the hops, and a touch of nutty flavor hangs around.

mouthfeel is medium-bodied, and rather thin when swallowing. a light film is left after the finish, accompanying the aftertaste.

drinkability is very good. this beer is not filling or thick, making it easy to have a couple or a few in a sitting.

overall, this is a fine example of a brown ale. greatly balanced with a very smooth finish. another finely crafted brew from Sam Adams. Cheers!

 950 characters

Photo of AlesRTasty
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of the bottle the ale appeared, well brown with a nice thick head. Almost immediatly the smell of Golding hops could be detected. A slight chocolatly flavor can be detected along with a slight maltiness. It finishes with great hop flavor. Very enjoyable brown ale. Many brown ales are too malty and this one does not have that character. A nice brew.

 354 characters

Photo of Gonzo08
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of ardy007
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of mcarroll10177
4.23/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Served out of bottle and into a tradional beer mug ( I need better glasswear)

A- very nice carmel/nutty brown color with a thick white head that foamed longer than I expected.

S- It smelled like a English Brown Ale should, not to hoppy, but enough to let the drinker know that it is an ale and not a macro lager.

T- Excellent, Crisp in the begining with a sharpness that a good ale offers. Nice finish as well, clean but again with a certain complexity found in English Brown Ales.

M- A bit thin, however I should note that I perfer a light mouthfeel over the thickness of other more complex styles.

D- This is where this English Ale shines. In my mind this Ale is the perfect balance of complexity and drinkablility. An ale that has some deapth to it that is as good alone as it is with a thick steak.

Now for my biases. English Ales are my favorite style of ale/beer and I think that Sam Adams version is the finest example of it, that I have had the pleasure to enjoy.

 989 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
4.23/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Two of these came in a mixed Samuel Adams "brewer's choice" 12 pack picked up at the grocery store. This one pours a reddish shade of chestnut brown with a 1 and 1/2 finger head that has a slightly reddish tint to it. Decent lacing and good head retention throughout.

Smells malty and bready (hard crusty bread), and on second whiff I noticed a firm hop presence. Smells like a super-malty pale ale, but with out the citrus and grassy notes.

This one is very clean tasting with some strong sweet attributes This has a lighter hop presence than I was expecting based on the aroma. Toasty, buttery, and only the slightest hint of sweet cashews. Reminds me of sweet iced tea (maybe with a little lemon added). The finish is extraordinarily clean and the aftertaste is very tea-like.

A really nice example of the style. Malty and very tasty.

 847 characters

Photo of BierBreath305
4.23/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle into a Samuel Adams pint glass. First off, the head looks great, retention is really good and the lacing throughout is amazing for a brown ale. The smell is of caramel malt with some nuts and a slight buttery buiscuit. Taste is malty with a slight hop finish. I wish I could speak more on the taste but my palate is compromised.

Now, drinkability-wise, this is one of the best beers in the SA stable. Low carbonation (less fizz, more cream in the head) and a lower abv make this an easy beer to drink 6 of without feeling bloated. Wonderful.

This is not the best Brown Ale on the market but Sam Adams did a hell of a job with the style, its tasty and very easy to drink. For someone wanting to get a taste of what brown ales are like this is a great place to start, definitely another quality brew from the Boston Beer Co

 838 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.23/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Rich looking red-light brown body, with good clarity. Topped by a big billowly three-fingers plus glass stopper of off-white froth. Good lacing.

Aroma is bready and nutty.

Nice soft malty beginning, with some a little chocolate depth to it, but not over powering in terms of depth or sweetness. A nice foundation. Earthy hops subtly signal a neat finish, clean but not too clean. Very light aftertaste.

Good light mouthfeel. Drinkability is as it should for an English Brown Ale, very good.

A fine addition to the Sam Adams line, it does what many of the better beers can do: appeal to both the beer geek and the BMC drinker willing to crossover for a little change.

 678 characters

Photo of faubs
4.23/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

ItÂ’s good to come across an American brown that rivals the English. My local watering hole got a case of this stuff in a couple of weeks ago and being the brown fan that I am it had to be sampled. At first glance this stuff was pretty dark with a decent pour, but not much of a head. The taste is sweet smooth and clean residual. I can only hope that ether it becomes more prevalent on the shelves or other makers start to join in the Brown revolution.

 453 characters

Photo of cameraman
4.22/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A brown to reddish color, with a inch high, beige colored head. The head laces slowly down the glass, but shows tremendous retention. A nutty aroma at first scent, then it has the fragrances of dark bread and carmel and some chocolate. The malt is very strong, comes right at the front and stays on the palate and stays there for the entire taste. A mild bitterness comes in at the back, but is very underwhelming. A very consistant feel all the way across, it never loses its fullier to medium bodied feel. This could be almost called a malt bomb, maybe not, but there is something comforting about a brown ale. Comforting, much like some good meatloaf, which goes very well with this beer.

 691 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
4.22/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice brown color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is very nutty, with toffee, and caramel. The taste is even nuttier than the aroma, and has a long toffee finish. The mouthfeel is medium-light bodied, with lively carbonation. Overall, this is a very nice brown ale. I will certainly drink this again.

 365 characters

Photo of Pehlman
4.22/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When it comes to Brown Ales this has got to be my favorite. Its got the perfect coating of smokey malts to leave me licking my lips after every sip. The smell is very mild but very good. Comes on a bit average at first taste but the finish is delightful and really puts it over the top. The only bad thing I can say is that it still has that typical Sam Adams (like all Sam Adams beers) quality hiding underneath the taste. Overall a great beer. Cheers to the Sam Adams peeps for this one.

 489 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Samuel Adams Brown Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.5 out of 5 based on 706 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.