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

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Samuel Adams Brown AleSamuel Adams Brown Ale
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:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 563 | Ratings: 708
Photo of mnrider
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz Brown Bottle. Pint Glass

A: Pours a dark brown, with a blood red tint. It makes a nice one finger light tan head. I see plenty of carbonation going on in the glass. No lacing at all, as the head does not last all to long either.

S: Nice blend of malts and hops. Nothing overbearing. Maybe a little to clean.

T/M: Creamy and smooth like butter. A balance of clean caramel malts and light hops. Nothing to special in the taste department.

D: This a good but standard brew from Sam Adams. Nothing stands out to make this brew better than other brown ales i've had. A good one to drink many of, as it's easy to drink.


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Photo of Blitzstyle
3.37/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Sammy glass, good initial head that disapates into a thin blanket. A brown/red color when help in the light.

Smells malty and slightly hoppy.

Taste is very toasty slightly sweet with brown sugar. Mild hoppyness and some caramell notes.

Kind of watery with a light body.

I could drink a couple of these but if I wanted a brown ale I would pass this up for maybe the Brooklyn Brown which is just as readily availible in my area as is the SA.

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Photo of skrib09
3.55/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a dark ruby brown, relatively clear, with a light tan head on top. good lacing on the glass.

sweet smell reminiscent of plums, plum wine, and port. refreshing crispness on the nose with some citrus coming through.

a brown nutty sweetness on the palate. some refreshing citrus in the aftertaste.

crispy mouthfeel. medium-light body in the mouthfeel. smooth on the palate with a hint of grain during the process of swallowing. good drinkability.

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Photo of pzrhsau
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a very deep brown color with a thin head at the top.
Smell: A roasty malt scent that melts well with a slight hint of a hops aroma. The malt almost has a scent of chocolate or caramel.
Taste: Very crisp with a nice toasty flavor. The malts aren't overpowering and they give a nice full flavor to the beer.
Mouth feel and drinkability: Nice weight to it, and very easy to drink. Has a nice subtle carbonation which makes the beer easy to enjoy.

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Photo of froghop
3.17/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a clear copper-red, heavy carbonation, a very small light beige head, and some lacing.

smell is of nuts, brown sugar, malt, and some caramel.

taste is of light nuts, brown sugar, spice, roasted malt, and a touch of caramel, ends tangy with just a touch of bitterness.

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Photo of luciusgilmer
3.21/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bottle from the fall sampler into a tulip glass.
A: Very rich looking brown beer with nice thick head that stuck around a while.
S: I got a whiff (and first taste) that reminded me of a much cheaper beer (Miller Hi Life was my first thought), and this was disturbing before I even got to tasting. On second and third sip, this went away. But I wasn't won over by the aroma.

T: Same thing with the first taste: a bit cheap tasting. The rest of the glass turned out better, more in line with what I expect from a Sam's product. Nice roasty malt flavor, a bit caramel like.

M: A pleasure to drink; not tinny or too fizzy, and the substantial head was nice to drink in with the liquid.

D: I could have a few of these, but there are other choices for Browns and from this brewer I'd prefer. Smooth enough and tasty enough but not exceptional.

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

Pours a nice clear chestnut color, great thick tan head that fades very slowly and leaves plenty of gooey lacing behind.

Aroma is of roasted malt, burnt caramel, chocolate. Nice roasty flavor, burnt sugar, stays sweet through the middle with a mild hop bite in the end as it finishes a bit dry with a touch of alcohol.

Thin in the mouth, but not watery. Light bodied. Very nice tasty beer that is easy to drink.

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Photo of vacax
2.93/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours hazelnut brown, a bit darker than an amber. A monster of a head on this one, but nice retention and lacing follows. Nose is bready, toasty malts, slight nuttiness. Could be richer. Flavor has some lightly toasted malts, but not many. Not sure if I am getting off-flavors or some grassy hops in the midpalate, but it isn't quite right for a brown. A touch of biscuit on the finish. Substandard for a brown ale, light on malts and flavor. Feels way too thin, but at the soft carbonation does match it. Not a lot going on here, pedestrian. Any local neighborhood brewpub has a better brown than this.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.08/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Fall Harvest Collection mixed 12-pack. Pours a mostly clear, fairly dark brown color with a nice looking fluffy cap of tan foam. Retention is quite nice and it leaves plentiful lacing behind as well. This is a really good looking brown ale.

Nose has some cocoa, chocolate malts and some malted milk sweetness. Some yeasty breadiness also makes an appearance, and reminds me of graham crackers. I also get a faint hint of cantaloupe fruitiness.

Taste is a bit on the thin side, but all the flavors are there for a good brown ale...even a nice leafy hop bitterness. For some reason I feel like SA should be able to do a really nice brown ale, and this does not disappoint. Really presents a nice range of different malts, from caramely sweet to nutty to toasty. This could quite possibly be me favorite Sam Adams beer, it is well worth a try and I would have no problem buying a six-pack of this for an afternoon of football viewing.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Beer pours a rich, clear brown with a very slight red tinge to it as the light comes through. Nice head with very even bubbles in the foam - it gives the impression of styrofoam - that dissipates to and maintains a half-centimeter. Some lacing as the head settles, but next to none as the beer is drunk.

Nose is malty, like bread dough (ever come home to a baking loaf of bread just getting warm? Reminiscent of that) with walnuts and oak underlying. Not a very strong scent, nor very complex.

The beer starts with a slight tartness that mellows to similar hints of walnut and oak, but the flavor is sweeter than the scent. A mild hops bite leaves a mostly clean taste behind. The nut and malt flavors become predictably more pronounced as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is thin and just carbonated enough to give a satisfying crispness. The beer flows over your tongue and goes smoothly down.

Drinkablility is high. The beer settles lightly in the stomach. It is extremely similar to Newcastle, the difference being that it is not as sweet and it has more carbonation and hops bite. Very easily a session beer, especially in the evenings when something with warmer, mellower flavors is more appropriate than something cold and crisp.

As a footnote, this one burps cleanly, too, with no sourness or lingering.

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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 dpodratsky3
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: A nice rich brown color with hints of dark amber, pretty big off-white head that settles to 1.5 finger. Leaves some splotchy lace. Probably the best attribute of this beer. Looks very inviting.

S: A little biscuity, a little hops, pretty mild overall.

T: Again, mild like the aroma, but well balanced. Nice roasted malt notes combine with some pleasant "softer" hops. Still have some good flavor but no real bite.

M: Pleasant and smooth, but still has some nice carbonation. Feels good and coats the mouth pretty nice, but isn't slick or oily feeling.

D: Nice mild flavors and good mouthfeel make it easy to drink. The mildness and balance makes it hard to hide an imperfections, which are not present here.

Notes: Definitely a milder Brown Ale, which fits because English styles are more mild than the hoppy American ones, however even a little mild for my taste in English Brown Ales. That slight lack in hop flavor needs to be made up for in more roasted/toasted and nutty malts. Not bad but not much better than average.

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Photo of KenOnBass
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Reddish and dark brown. Head is pretty good with some good lacing. Nice, dark, and cloudy.

S: Nutty, caramel, and malty.

T: Malty, coffee and caramel flavoring. Still tastes kind of light overall for a brown ale. There is a coffee aftertaste, which I personally like. It is more crisp and light than full, which is what I expected.

M: Light, smooth still pretty fizzy.

D: This brown beer is not as full as I was expecting which is probably the only downfall. Otherwise this is a decent tasting beer from Sam Adams.

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

Pours a clear brown with a decent sized head. Nice lacing on the surface. Smell is toasted and biscuity malt with some floral hops. Taste is toasted malt with caramel notes. Bready with a muted sweetness. Some herbal and slightly citrusy hops in the finish. Nicely balanced. Medium bodied. Easily drinkable. Overall a nice typical brown ale.

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Photo of ruckus232
3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 Ounce brown bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Dark red/light brown in coloring while being transparent for the most part. There was not a large amount of tan head even though when poured it seemed pretty carbonated.

Smell: Moderately malty with a nice nutty smell. Lightly toasted in taste with no noticeable hops smell.

Taste: Nutty maltiness with a slight bitterness. The toasted flavor comes out a little bit but is gone quickly.

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Photo of greengorilla
4.05/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I poured this beer from a 12 ounce bottle into a mug. It is a medium brown in color with nice tan head that dissipated quickly.

The smell is very good. The caramel really comes through. The taste is also of caramel and it is initially very good, but on the back end the after taste is a little bland and disappointing.

The mouthfeel is a little lacking in carbonation too.

It is very drinkable, and I would definitely choose this ahead of most other Sam Adams offerings.

I would definetly recommend this to others, especially those that are used to drinking BMC all the time.

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Photo of imanidiot777
4.08/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown, cream colored head that stay for a decent amount of time and a lot of lacing.

S: Coffee smelling, maybe a little chocolate but I'm bad with smells.

T: Coffee/chocolate, some toasted malts, wonderful.

M: Perfect carbonation level, is really smooth.

D: Goes down smooth, just can't drink ten of these babies they fill you up.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A= pours a nice brown color that's a really beautiful deep ruby when held up to the light. Completely translucent with a nice thick one finger head that is pretty average in retention and lacing. Nothing really impressive except for the color.
S= pretty nice smell. Upon first wiff I get some english hops from it. The more earthy dull kinda hops nothing crazy like those delicious american hops but you know its an english brown. After another smell I get a lot of nice caramel malt. Really smooth and mild smelling the hops I don't get anymore upon more and more whiffs. Some darker malt comes in with very little toffee and chocolate malts.
T= the taste is a little less impressive. More subdued and watered down than the smell led on to believe. Really the hops don't come through very much at all and the malt is very very clen and light. The malt flavor is mostly just caramel malts and regular 2 row flavor. There may be a small amout of coffeeish chocolate taste in the finish but not much at all. Really a toned down taste for the average guy to enjoy I guess.
M= unimpressed with this area of the beer. The beer comes and goes so fast you barely get to taste it. No aftertaste, lingering flavors, smoothness or crispyness. Not dry or anything actually feels like water.
D= pretty good. Very light and delicious. The mouthfeel is really all that takes from this beer the rest is pretty regular and even sort of good. Nothing to write home about but for an english brown not bad. I may get it again if I'm looking for something a little lighter on a fall night.

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

A: caramel brown, minimal head, no lacing

S: light scent of sweet malts, carmel, brown sugar

T: very light flavor profile - nuts, carmel, brown sugar, corn

M: medium bodied, under carbonated, slightly heavy feel for a brown ale

D: this one doesnt work for me... i used to love Sam Adams so either my palate has changed, or their quality has. thin flavor profile, plenty else out there thats better

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.59/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear brown with ruby edges. Poured a 2 finger tan head that dissipated to a skim. Lots of sticky lacing.

S: Toasted malts; bitter coffee, chocolate and a some burnt toast.

T: Bittersweet toffee up front. A bit of chocolate and toasted bread. Citrussy bitter in teh finish to balance.

M: Light body. Medium carboantaion a bit much for the style. Dry and clean.

D: Very flavorful, balanced and not too filling or rich.

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Photo of CAOMarcos
3.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: This beer had a great, rich brown color, but it had very little head to it.

Smell: Smells of roasted grain and hops were first noted, with hints of dark, almost burnt caramel.

Taste: Again the burnt caramel was noted with a good noble and goldings hops flavors to complement the complex and mild sweetness of the grains.

Mouthfeel: The beer was not really thick feeling, but it had a really velvety texture.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this beer thoroughly, but not as much as some of the other Samuel Adams Brewmaster's Collection beers. I would not hesitate to buy and drink this beer again.

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Photo of Casey10
3.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from bottle into glass.

A - pours a deep brownish red with little head.

S - almost a burnt toffe/ carmel slight nutty smell.

T - tasting slight carmel with the malts having a nutty flavor not tasting the biscuit flavor that the discripton speaks of.

M - sort of a mettalic flavor with a linger aftertaste/feel.

D - Good another nice Sam Adams beer that I would not mind to have another.

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Photo of Rayek
3.66/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Looks great. Deep chestnut brown, with nice clarity. A creamy beige head has great retention and leaves excellent lace.

S: Toffee, baking chocolate and a bit of charcoal.

T: Fairly light. Bittersweet toffee up front. A black tea and lemon bitterness comes on with just enough intensity to provide balance. Finishes a touch acidic, with a bit of chocolate.

M: The somewhat dry body has soft carbonation that feels a bit too high.

D: A pretty decent beer overall. Low ABV and light flavor make it a good session beer. The slightly acidic finishes is the beer's only real downfall. I'm glad I had the opportunity to have it.

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Photo of berley31
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured with a small, tan head. What head there was dissipated quickly to a thin foam. Body is clear, but a dark brown color.

S: Smells of roasted malt... maybe a slight coffee twinge in there.

T: Dominating malt flavor with some roasted flavors to it. Hints of chocolate start to come through but disappear before I can identify them for sure. Short duration of flavor.

M: Actually comes across as kind of thin, despite some initial oiliness... not much to the body, really.

D: Easy to drink, but not a spectacular English Brown Ale. Nothing to set it apart from others of its class, but it's still a decent beer, if slightly disappointing.

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Photo of wahhmaster
2.92/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an unbranded nonic imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a brownish-red color. Has a foamy tan head that dissipates almost immediately leaving no lacing.

Smell: Has a hoppy aroma with notes of nuts and bread in the background.

Taste: Kind of thin on taste. Hoppy with a bready/grainy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Kind of thin. Has almost no noticeable carbonation, though.

Drinkability: A pretty average beer. Nothing special, but nothing great.

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