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

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563 Reviews
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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.

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Reviews: 563 | Ratings: 706
Photo of BEERchitect
3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not as impressed with this beer as I had hoped. I figured that Boston Beer Co. would excell with this style. Yet, the beer looks the part of an Amber Ale as much as it does a Brown. The aromas consist of medium malts, toast, nuts, and fermented barley sugars. The taste is medium with the malts, and modest with the bolder chocolates and nuttiness. The hops seem agressive in the bitterness and flavors. The body suffers the most; offering again an amber ale body that starts off medium, but falls to a weak stature late. Finishes with a clean, refreshing feel that blends the sweetness and dryness well. The drinkability saves the beer.

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Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy dark copper color with a tan head that displays decent persistence and leaves some dots of lacing

Smell: Brown bread aroma with a touch of nuttiness

Taste: Starts out with a dark bread taste; after the swallow a slightly bitter, nut skin flavor kicks in that dries out the sides of my mouth - not so crazy about the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nothing remarkable but enjoyable to drink

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was just a tad above average for me. I have had much better brown ales but hey, this one is in the mixpack and available almost anywhere in the country so gotta give it some credit. Has the typical nutty, low carbonation features of a brown ale but this one is lacking a bit on taste and in mouthfeel. Not the best from SA but I like how they try different styles.

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Photo of zeff80
3.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a light brown color with a small, off-white head. No lacing.

S - It smelled of caramel, grasses and some vanilla.

T - It tasted of smooth roasted malt with an earthy, spicy hop kick.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A light to medium bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good brown ale. Smooth and easy-drinking.

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Photo of nickfl
3.16/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Three fingers of rocky, light tan head topping a crystal clear dark ruby body.

S - Mild bready/ malt flavor with just a touch of hops and some mild fruitiness.

T - Creamy roasted flavor with hints of rasin, light roasted malt. Hop and malt bitterness together in a fairly clean finish.

M - Moderate body, moderate carbonation.

D - Easy to drink but not inspiring. Very bland beer, nothing stands out about the flavor. While it goes down easy, I can't say I really want two or three more.

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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 mothman
3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I thought I had reviewed the beer before, but I guess not. Well here it goes. Freshness date of before Jan. 2009.

Poured into a Sam Adams sensory glass. Thin head that fades down quickly, leaving no lace. Color is more of a varnish brown, not to dark.

Smell is of a toasted almonds and carmel. Taste is that same smoked/toasted almond flavor.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, after it settles, the taste of alcohol is definately present. Carbonation is alright.

Brown ales are a favorite of mine and this one is a pretty good representation of one. I definately enjoyed it.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Its clear, deep mahogany body has a crimson tint to it. Effervescent bubbles can be seen rising quickly to the surface. The short but creamy vanilla-colored head holds fairly well before dropping and then maintains a thin surface cover. Some minor splashes and spots of lace left along the glass add to its appearance.

In the nose a combination of delicately spicy and grassy hops and cocoa-ish malt welcomes you.

The mouthfeel is mildly zesty and then lightly creamy and smooth with a moderate carbonation and medium-light body.

Upfront, the flavor delivers the same combination of malt and hops that the nose does. There's some spiciness to the hops that seems a bit overdone for the style. As it warms in the mouth the malt becomes more apparent, revealing a toasty and biscuity character that lasts into the finish. There are occassional notes of caramel and cocoa, but malt is not the emphasis here.

It finishes dry and nutty with a wash of hop flavor and mild bitterness (like walnut skins) that lingers with the toasty/biscuity malt.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.61/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium reddish brown color with a thick, foamy, tan head that fades at a decent rate and leaves some lace on the glass.

S: The smell is malty & nutty but not very strong. I had a hard time picking up much of anything else.

T: Caramelized malt, nuts and a little bit of hops, it really doesn’t have a strong taste either and leaves slightly sweet after-taste.

M: Smooth, with a medium body, medium carbonation, leaves a bit of stickiness behind.

D: It’s easy to drink, but a bit lacking in flavor which would make you look for something else to switch to.

This isn’t a bad beer, but if I had to describe it with one word, that word would have to be “underwhelming”. I suppose if you’re looking for a truly mild beer, this would be it.

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

Appearance: Pours a light brown body with a small, fizzy off-white head.

Smell: Toasted malt aroma with a good measure of nuttiness. Light scent of floral hops.

Taste: Malt flavors of caramel, toasted nuts, a hint of molasses blend together with a mild sweetness. Hint of biscuits. English hops and a soft bitterness help to provide balance. Finishes both dry and crisp.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Not bad! I could easily down a couple more of these.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark bronze-like orange with an impressive cloud of fine yeast when subjected to bright sunlight. When am I going to stop expecting brown ales to be brown? The large beige cap is gorgeous thanks to its sticky creaminess and is beginning to slather the glass with lace, a good bit of which melts away as the foam continues to deflate.

It's an okay nose for the style, but not a standout. I smell well-buttered brown bread, lightly toasted nuts and no more than a whiff of spicy hops. The hop bill consists of noble Spalt and East Kent Goldings, neither of which makes an especially strong statement.

Brown Ale is clearly quality beer, even if it doesn't make me forget the best versions of this often lackluster style. It's acceptably malted and delivers flavors of well-toasted barley, baked nuts, butter, a smidgen of cocoa powder and a few shaving of citrus rind.

In spite of my hopheadedness, I like my brown ales to be more malty than hoppy. This one is pretty evenly balanced with bitterness pulling well ahead at the wire. In fact, considering the brewer, this is surprisingly hoppy beer. There isn't a great deal of depth, however, which is where it ultimately falls short.

The body/mouthfeel is par for the brown ale course. More malt would improve things a great deal in my eyes, including the mouthfeel, but I guess if BBC had wanted a bigger brown ale then they would have brewed a bigger brown ale. A slightly lower than normal amount of carbonation suits the beer well.

I like this Samuel Adams offering, but that doesn't change the fact that I was hoping for more. Drinkability isn't an issue, as evidenced by my now empty pint glass. While it isn't anywhere near the upper tier for the style, Brown Ale is another fairly solid brew from the boys from Beantown.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A – Poured a nice light hazelnut brown, very clear with a good amount of carbonation available inside of it that was rippling up towards the surface. A decent looking, I would say around two inches of head formed on the top. This settled gradually, eventually going down to about a half inch of lace across the top. A decent amount of side glass lace was present as well. Overall a typical brown ale look to it.

S – Aroma was nice and light, very pleasant and had a good overall blend of smells to it. The first notable character was a good amount of caramel and some roasted nuttiness to it. Now there was also a decent amount of fresh cut grass in the aroma as well as some of the more earthy and cereal like grains. The biggest factor I noticed though was a sweet nuttiness which really seemed to provide the back bone of this one, along with a touch of bittering hops.

T – The flavor was really quite nice. A good solid English ale with a delicate touch of hops to just give it that slight little bit of bite to it.. A decent fresh grass like lightness came through on it. There was some sweetness mixed in here as well. A good amount of the caramel was coming through in the flavor and it really started to once it warmed up. Now this was by no means heavy as all of these flavors came through quite light, however it was complex enough to keep my intrest in it.

M – Very light and smooth. This was a fine session ale. It kept up the good carbonation throughout the entire glass and never really came off as feeling too dull or too light. I really though it went down very well and had a really nice creamy feel to it.

D – Fantastic, really just fantastic. This was one really fine session ale. It went down almost like water, I really just could not get enough of it. I thought the low abv, mixed in with a really nice flavor profile and a good touch of carbonation made for something that was definitely worth a try, this was one of the better SA I have had,

Overall another quality brew from Sam Adams. I could easily see myself having this again and will order one up the next time I see it. I would hazard a guess that this is fantastic on tap. Definitly a solid offering and not something I would turn down in a pinch,

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Photo of Slatetank
3.22/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured cold into my Samuel Smith Nonic

A - Fluffy khaki head adorns a deep copper hued liquid

S - Very faint odor w/ slight spice and malt coming through. Minor notes of tobacco earthiness as it warms w/ sulfury accents.

M - Creamy up front with thin, slightly carbonated finish.

T - A slightly metallic flat flavor with lightly roasted malt and light brown sugar essence and a tinge of bitterness.

D - An average brown ale taste in a light to medium bodied ale feel. Lightly carbonated with restrained malt character.

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Photo of russpowell
3.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours chestnut with a fairly impressive 2" head that just drops off to nothing. Head retention and lacing AWOL

Smell: Toasted malt, some nuttiness & alcohol

Taste: Toasted malt, biscuitty, slight nuttiness with dry finsh that accentuates the maltiness

MF: A little thin and prickly, but adequate carbonation

Not a bad beer just expected something a little more robust from Sammy, wonder how it is on draft?

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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 smcolw
3.44/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Impressive head with some rocky staying power--leaves good ring lace. This beer is clear but still solidly brown.

Crystal malt, cut grass and the subtlest of skunk best describes the aroma. Relatively mild and nearly no hop.

Brown sugar and some latent hop when I swallow. Closer to the English style than most of the American offerings. There's an element of the "roundness" I have tasted in the Samuel Smith offering, but I'd describe the body as something akin to Newcastle.

This is an easy-to-drink brown and it doesn't add anything that shouldn't be there. It's a beautiful looking beer, but the taste is far more middle-of-the-road.

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

Appearance: Brown amber body tan two finger sized head leaves nice scattered lacing around my pint. Aroma: Roasted caramel malts with a toasted nut edge evident as well are the East Kent Goldings staying true to the British roots of the style. Taste: Mild caramel sweetness present with roasty toasted nut character goes nicely with the mild bitterness and herbal/citrus tones of the hops. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied evenly carbonated though it did tickle the throat a bit with each sip. Drinkability: Nice production of an English style brown just not a style I would consume in number tasty but nothing extreme.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.41/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Brown Ale is a nice mahogany color. The large head is creamy and light brown. Retention level is above average. Aroma is fairly weak, I really had to sniff to note the nutty caramel malt smell. Nutty malt flavors are first noted and are soon joined by a fruity English hop. The underlying malt flavor is biscuity with a mild toasted edge. Overall, I see this as similar to quite a few of S. Adam's seasonal beers: a good example of the style, but not full-flavored enough to totally suck me in.

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Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before July (notched on label).

Pours reddish-amber/light brown with a thin cover/patch.

The smell is of caramel, nuts, earthy with buttery notes.

The taste is of caramel with a nutty, earthy finish. Buttery diacetyl. Enough (English-style?) hops to control the sweetness.

Soft and creamy feel.

A decent brown ale and certainly "sessionable", but can't say it's anything particularly special.

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

Clear, caramel-y brown, appearance, nice serving of fluffy, cocoa-toned head, bubbles slowly, softly dropping down...

Lightly sweet aroma, and lightly flavored, as well...echoes of nuts and toffee...no, more like Kraft Caramel squares. You know what I mean.

Brisk and fizzy up front, crisp and hoppy, leading to minor disappointment in the meager body therafter. Caramel sweetness, cookie dough, biscuity, hoppy, then dry on the palate.

A light body, easy-drinking brown. Priobably too dry and hoppy for Newcastle fans, not hefty or yeasty enough for me. (My favorite brown ale remains Bell's Best.)

A decent effort from the Boston Brewery

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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 GClarkage
3.08/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

02/16/08- Purchased at Burlingame Foods in Burlingame, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle. Forgot to look for freshness info. Poured into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Medium brown-caramel colored pour. About a 3/4 inch head which fades quickly. Leaves light spotty lace.

Smell- Frankly, not much of anything. A touch of nuttyness and a light whiff of malt. Really pretty scentless.

Taste- Hmmm, hoppy, but not really english style hops. Malt is lightly burnt, but not heavy, as are the hops (heavy). They are bitter though. Really no nutty flavor as in the slight nose. Rather bland.

Mouthfeel- A touch creamy and easy to consume with a middle of the road carbonation level.

Drinkability- Not very forthcoming in taste, but easy to drink. An average brown if that. Doesn't seem much to style.

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Photo of tempest
3.46/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This would be a pretty good session brown ale if the sweetness was toned back. There's too much of the brown sugar/maple aroma and taste and it detracts from otherwise fine grain flavors of biscuit and caramel and a bit of citrus hops. Still, it's a nice looking beer and quite easy to drink. Worth a try if you like your brown ales sweet.

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Photo of Gavage
4.13/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: clear amber in color with a 2" fluffy head that recedes quickly. Some lace develops.

Smell: breads and caramel candy are all that is picked up by the nose.

Taste: this represents the style the way it should be - simple and drinkable. Caramel, grainy bread, and hints of toasted nuts are the lone flavors. The bitterness is mild but works well here.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start and smooth at the finish. Medium bodied beer. Very brief bready aftertaste.

Drinkability: absolute wonderful session beer. Not one of the most flavorful brown ale I have tried, but a solid offering. I was surprised at the lower marks most have given this beer.

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

The beer pours a translucent brown color with a 1/2" tan head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice roasted malt scent that boasts of crystal malts and a bit of Special roast. It slightly dry with some residual sweetness. The taste is decent. It has a mild, "brown ale" flavor that is dry and roasted. There is little sweetness and is dry all the way through. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a middle of the road brown ale, nothing special. It drinks well, but could be better.

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Samuel Adams Brown Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.5 out of 5 based on 706 ratings.
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