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

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Samuel Adams Hazel BrownSamuel Adams Hazel Brown

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

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TMoney2591 on 07-24-2012

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Reviews: 197 | Ratings: 915
Photo of divineaudio
2.19/5  rDev -41%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

pint glass.

a - pours a nice, deep garnet color with a pinky of tan foam on top. head quickly calms to a film with some spotty lacing in the glass.

s - buttered popcorn.

t - carmel malt with faint spice notes and a buttery, lightly bitter finish. the hazel flavor come across like the flavored syrup they put in your latte at the coffee shop, very artificial and sweet in a weird way.

m - medium in body, adequate carbonation. co2 profile is a little on the coarse side.

o - drinkable i guess but not enjoyable. i actually dumped mine about 2/3 of the way through it. the only beer i can compare this to is frangelic mountain brown and really, there's just no comparison. if you like diacetyl, this is your beer.

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Photo of RossCain
2.54/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a SA Pintglass:

A: Amber brown in color with a decent creme colored head; standard brown ale vibe.

S: French toast, maple syrup, and a thick nutty aroma emanate from the glass. Not the aroma I would expect from a brown ale.

T: Big notes of cheap syrup wash over the palate which give way to a sweet and bready french toast profile that is too artificial to be pleasant.

M: Medium bodied with a bit of chew to it. The carbonation is good and there is nothing to complain about in the feel.

O: I was expecting this to be a standard nutty brown ale (which I love) with just a hint of sweet hazelnut character. What I got was an overpowering, syrupy brew which masked any other positive flavor profiles that may be lurking underneath.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
2.73/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A seasonal from Sam Adams.

Pours out brown with amber hues and a one finger off-white/brown head.

The aroma is full of hazelnuts, caramel malt, toffee and toasted malt.

The taste also has a lot of hazelnuts, some caramel malt sweetness, toffee and roasted malt. Very sweet for a Brown Ale.

The mouthfeel was thin and the body pretty light.

I wish this beer was a little less sweet and more balanced, but it's not a bad beer.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.8/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle from the strangely early Harvest Collection, still almost 2 months left in the summertime,

A: Pours brown with a big fluffy off-white head, good retention and lace.

S: Lots of hazelnuts, brown malt, caramel, brown sugar.

T: Hazelnut flavour, but the overall malt flavour is very light, nut rind, some minor hop character.

M: Thin, the flavour and body really falls out of it. It has that initial burst of flavour and then really nothing.

O: The nose was promising, but the taste and mouthfeel were on the poor side. I was hoping for something like Rogue Hazelnut Nectar, but I certainly didn't get that.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.81/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Enjoy before January 2014. "Ale with natural flavors added." Reviewed as a brown ale because it clearly identifies as such. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with typical Sam Adams label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired as part of a Sam Adams variety box and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Expectations are above average given the brewery. Reviewed live. No ABV is listed on the bottle.

Served cold, straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a one finger wide head of dull light khaki colour. Disappointingly thin. Lacks sufficient creaminess and frothiness. Complexion isn't fluffy or soft. No lacing as the head recedes. Head retention is below average - about 1 minute, maybe a little more if you count the floating ring that lingers after the bulk of the head has collapsed.

Body colour is a dark amber-copper - certainly not a brown or even a tan. Transparent and translucent. Of average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it's nothing unique or special. Sort of near what you'd expect for the style, but by no means a paragon.

Sm: Lovely hazelnut notes; it's uncanny. A bit of roasted nut character too. I suspect this was accomplished with the "natural flavors," but boy does it really work well in the aroma. It comes down on the sweeter end, with evident sugary malts. Brown malts, amber malts, some biscuit malt. Toffee. Caramel. The nuttiness is definitely the highlight here; of all the nuts to pick for a brown ale, hazelnut is likely the best choice.

No hop character, yeast character, or alcohol is detectable.

An appealing - if artificial - aroma of mild to moderate strength. I'm excited to try it, but I can't help but be wary of the "natural flavors."

T: Yeah; unfortunately the hazelnut is absolutely artificial, with the hazelnut notes evoking a syrupy extract, not actual hazelnuts. You do get a brief hint of roasted hazelnut, but it's buried in the syrup. Sweet, but not cloying. Definitely a missed opportunity, but we are dealing with a macrobrewery. Amber malts, brown malts, and some biscuit malts provide the generic foundation. Maybe some caramalt there as well, but it's difficult to isolate any caramalts from the caramel and toffee aspect of the flavour profile. Balanced? I guess, but it still comes off artificial, so the whole build is compromised.

Poor depth of flavour due to the artificiality. Average flavour duration and intensity. Lacks complexity and subtlety; it's a very one-dimensional hazelnut brew.

No alcohol, yeast, or hop character comes through. This one is all malts.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Flirts with a syrupy character, but ultimately it's not too thick. It does seem a bit overbearing and heavy on the palate for a beer with such little diversity of flavour. A biteen overcarbonated; hey, it's a macrobrewery. The mouthfeel generally suits the flavour profile, but it doesn't feel custom-tailored to it by any stretch.

Not harsh, gushed, oily, hot, or boozy.

Dr: A passable brown ale with an interesting but artificial nut dimension. About what I expected from Sam Adams - at least for this "series." They make far better brews, but this will satisfy those familiar with the Boston Beer Co. canon. Hides its ABV pretty well and you can throw it back, but the "natural" flavoring quickly gets old. I won't be buying this again, but I do love the premise. Microbreweries take note, and brew us a genuine hazelnut brown.

Low C

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Photo of SierraFlight
2.87/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

From the bottle at a party. No assessment of appearance. Aroma was caramel, hazelnut, maple syrup. Flavor is sweet malt, hazelnut, faint hop spice. Light to medium bodied, neither thick nor thin, high carbonation.

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Photo of 2LTinfantry
2.88/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Serving type - bottle

Beer was poured into a curvy, pint sized Sam Adams glass.

A - a dark golden brown. Such a deep color that allowed very little clarity. Produced a very small, off white head that reduced to a film over the top and left little to no lacing.

S - a nutty smell is typical of brown ales. However, the nutty smell of this beer is overpowering. Once you get past the hazelnut, you get a caramel whiff and, eventually, a hint of toffee.

T - Initially, the taste is very sweet. Almost dessert like. But, a couple seconds after swallowing, you are left with a bitter taste on the back of the tongue. The malts' cheap tastes lead to almost a coffee tasting finish after a few drinks.

M - Full bodied. Very thick with a lot of carbonation.

O - not very impressed with this beer. Appearance and mouthfeel are the best aspects of this beer. However, the taste is not at all what I would expect of a beer. If you are a fan of hazelnut creamed coffee, you might enjoy this beer as a dessert after your meal. However, I do not enjoy coffee very much myself, which might be why I gave this a low rating.

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Photo of Murrhey
2.92/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Crappy looking half-finger white head that erodes almost instantly. Brown body with low clarity. Not impressed at all.

S- Roast malts, some of the hazel sweetness with chocolate and toffee.

T- Slightly roasty, nutty and sweet with a distinct chocolate note. Like Nutella. Not great but ok.

M- Dry and roasty.

O- Mediocre beer. Starts bad, finishes just ok.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
2.95/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams Glass.

Appearance: Brown, with a beige head of about two fingers.

Smell: Nutty, malts, hazel nuts, maybe some coffee??

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth, almost creamy texture, medium bodied. Taste of a heavy brown ale with hazel nuts and other nuts, roasted malts and again maybe some coffee?

Overall: Almost drank more like a porter or stout, not really my type of beer, did not care for this one at all. Although I can see how other would enjoy this brew.

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Photo of bgillespie
2.99/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Clear, dark brown to hazel color with a thick off white head that quickly dissipates to a lacing on top that last the whole beer.

Smell: Toffee/coffee smell and nutty. Very appealing.

Taste: Taste like coffee, which I do not care for, so I did not really enjoy the beer. But the taste did grow on me. Nutty flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, nothing to write home about.

Overall: I can see others enjoying this beer, however, it is just not for me as I do not care for toffee flavor. Still was about to drink without a problem.

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Photo of jtierney89
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bright clear chesnut color with a craggy off white head. Some nutty sweetness on the nose, but pretty a mild, a bit of tin too.

A very mild beer with a fleeting hazelnut flavor. Some caramel and toffee, touch of bitterness to balance, lingering sweetness, Medium body that thins out on the back end. Overall pretty lackluster and boring but it's nothing offensive. I think it's time for sam to cut back on the amount of variety in their variety packs and stick to 4 solid styles that they brew.

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Photo of Chaney
3.01/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this from the Sam Adams fall snack pack.

Served in a Celebration Ale pint glass.

A: Actually, this is pretty much a beautiful beer. Clear, burnt brown color, with a whopping beige head that took a long time to die down significantly.

S: Sort of a fake hazelnut quality on the nose though. Damn shame. However, I did get SA signature profile in there.

T: Sort of like being at a carnival, ordering a sno-cone, and having the attendant squirt some of the artificially flavored fruit into the ice. Wish it were better, shoulda been better, but no.... it wasn't so. The bitterness on the end was the only redeeming quality to my mind. The rest tasted stale to me.

M: Bitter ending was a plus, the lack of sweetness was a plus, and the lacing was ridiculous. However, since I didn't really dig the flavor, I really didn't care.

O: I'll skip this entry in the snack box in the future.

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Photo of BabyBastard
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a chalice, pours a deep reddish brown, nice light brown foamy head that stick around for a bit. Smell is very malt forward, also has a nutty scent.
Taste is slightly underwhelming. Good malt backbone, definite hazelnut flavor, maybe a slightly sweet toffee profile in there as well. Feel is somewhat light bodied, good carbonation. I'd rate this as an average brew, nothing spectacular, but it isn't absolutely horrible either.

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Photo of moistnugget
3.07/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Poured into a goblet. Developed a moderate beige head, the liquid below is a pleasing reddish, caramel color.

Nose- A sweet intermingling of honey, caramel, and brown sugary sweetness. Smells promising!

Taste & Mouthfeel - Honestly, kind of a let down. Roasty and slightly nutty, but somehow not authentically so. The mouthfeel isn't quite working here, either. Too thin. The aftertaste is nice, it leaves a lingering bitter and roasty taste at the back of the tongue, but the total balance just not working for me. Mild carbonation. The lingering taste is nice, but can't do much for the flavor up front.

Overall- Others disagree with me, but I'm just not crazy about it. Not bad, just not something I would buy again to treat myself to.

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Photo of RickS95
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear brown pour, cola-like, with a bit of burgundy to soften the darkness. The cascading head is thick with large, off-white bubbles. Serious retention and a good lace left.

A lot of caramel and toffee in the nose, you can almost smell the sweet. Just enough nut scent to give it an earthy smell.

Hop forward taste, the malts playing only a supporting role. The nut taste is faint and only shows up in the finish.

I don't care for it much. Not the style and not really this beer. A bit too much bitter for what I was looking for. Normally the brown ales I've had are malty, but this was more bitter than I can recall other beers having. Very earthy feel. No carbonation. Despite the bitter, very wet finish. Medium bodied.

An ok beer, pretty typical of Sam Adams. Might pair well with some beefy dishes, but on it's over, it's very average to me.

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Photo of TheFunGuy
3.17/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Purchased in the fall combo pack. Poured a thick, but not cloudy, very nice and dark brown. The head is tan-ish white and the small bubble head, about 1/32 inch, stayed there for five minutes.

The smell is malt and hazel. I could not smell hops, but I know other reviewers did. The hazel did not smell overpowering, but it bordered on strong.

The taste is malt at the tip of the tongue, with hazel rolling over the rest of the tongue. I did not get any hop/bitter until I swallowed, and then it was a faint bitter.

The overall effect after you swallow is meh. It just wasn't the good where you keep the glass in your hand for the next taste.

The look is great, the smell is pretty good, and it is down hill from there.

Thinking as I finish this, has anyone tried eating it with chocolate bars or chocolate cream pie? Just an idea, I have not because I thought of it too late.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.19/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Pours a deep chestnut brown with red highlights and forms a very thick, three-finger head with very good retention. Medium to good lacing. Looks like a million bucks.

S - Powerful aroma of hazelnut, sweet malts, and bakers chocolate. A slight astrigent odor lurking underneath.

T - Hazelnut overload. Very similar inital taste to eating a Ferrero Rocher candy minus the chocolate sweetness, then some earthy hop bitterness comes out bringing at least some balance. Some bitter chocolate and toffee tones in the mid-palate, but doesnt lend much sweetness and the whole thing is rather bitter. The base beer underneath the hazelnut flavor seems to be very dull and boring.

M - Light to medium bodied, with prickly carbonation. Could use more body and less bubbles.

O - I found this to be lacking in depth and overly simple with the hazelnut flavor seeming very artificial and added-in, versus something that was a product of the brewing process. Not quite as deep or sweet as it needs to be, and the hazelnut winds up being a little astringent. I wouldnt seek this out again. Weakest beer in the 2012 SA Autumn craft pack by far.

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Photo of Zorro
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear brown colored ale with a small tan colored head.

Smell is sweet with caramel scent on toasted bread. Slight coffee scent and the scent of hazel nuts. Little bit of chocolate scent, smells like Nutella on toast.

Starts out dry and yeasty. Mild chocolate, nuts and a little caramel. Mildly bitter. Tastes like nuts.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall average, not a favorite.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a New Belgium goblet.

A: Pours a clear chestnut color with surprising carbonation. The head is typical of the style - about one finger high, creamy, and off-white in shading. Retention isn't great, though there is some lacing on the glass.

S: Hazelnuts are pretty much the primary note here, perhaps as expected. It isn't quite coffee-esque, but it's close. Caramel, toffee, and a touch of chocolate back up the primarily nutty aroma. Not quite as sweet as other hazelnut browns, and that's a good thing.

T: At first, there's a touch of toffee flavor from the malts - and then a strong hazelnut quality takes over. Caramel returns in the dry finish. Not as 'chemical' tasting as I expected.

M: I like how (relatively) dry this is, because it helps cut down the sweetness. It's not so dry as to kill the aftertaste, either. On the other hand, it's rather thin and over-carbonated in feel.

O: I don't think I'll ever really love a hazelnut beer. This one, though, is decent. It's mild and simplistic, but also easy to drink and not annoyingly artificial. I think this one is just right being only 2 beers in a fall 12 pack.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Brownish amber with 2-3 fingers of tan head. Good clarity and retention. Light-moderate carbonation.

Hazelnuts, caramel and brown sugar.

The hazelnut flavor on this is pretty good, although it comes along with some acrid coffee-like flavors. Caramelized brown sugar and some bready components.

Medium bodied, crisp and clean.

Easy drinking little Brown Ale. The hazelnut is a very nice addition.

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Photo of smcnulty1981
3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: 1 finger of a whitefish head that dissipates fairly quickly with little to no lacing deep brown red color very clear with lots of carbonation

S: the smell was a little disappointing it does have some hazelnut smell but was lacking any malt or hops in the nose I thought the hazelnut would be a little more prevalent

T: the taste reminded me of a hazelnut coffee with some cream the hazelnut flavor was clearly there followed up by a typical brown ale malt flavor the nuttiness of the brown ale fits well with the hazelnut

M; the body was a good medium with good carbonation fairly easy to drink

O: hazelnut is a good addition to a brown ale but it would seem that to really get the hazelnut flavor more would have to be used

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: Thin, but dark nutty brown with a red tint. Foam is decent, but lacing and carbonation are lacking.

Smell: Strong, roasted hazelnuts with a bit of toffee.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Pleasant roasted hazelnuts with a bit of coffee. Mouthfeel is extremely thin though. Given the smoky flavor, this is quite unbalanced.

Overall Drinkability: This is an ok beer with hit-or-miss qualities.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.26/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from the Fall Harvest Collection
Pours a ruby-brown color with a frothy beige head, good retention and lacing. Aromas are nutty, malty, caramel, toffee, earthy, spicy. Tastes - whoa hazelnut! Nutty, toasted hazelnut, toffee, caramel, spicy. At first the hazelnut is over the top but the other malty tones help to tame it down and the flavors actually all meld pretty well. Mouth-feel is thin-to-medium bodied, creamy. Overall, for the style this needs to be more sessionable. The hazelnut is definitely showcased here, but for me it's a one & done - too much hazelnut.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.31/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chunky, mashed 'tater head reaches lofts heights for a Sam Adams beer. Clear, chestnut color.

Smells like hazelnut, cocoa and bread crust. Tastewise, hazelnut and toasted malt overcome the the flavor vacuum that is Sam Adams ale yeast. Steely.

Nutella in a bottle it isn't but it's still pretty good. My hazelnut brown beer vote still goes Rogue though.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Bruery tulip glass.

The new release from this year's (ridiculously early) Fall 12-pack. It pours a clear garnet topped by a finger of dirty beige foam. The nose comprises roasted hazelnuts, light maple syrup, very light roasted malts, and a kiss of earthy hops. The taste lowers the hazelnut presence a bit, allowing some residual sweetness from the maple syrup and roasted malt flavors to come through. In the very deep recesses of the background, a vague sense of rubbing alcohol barely makes itself perceptible. Odd, but thankfully it's nothing but a passing notion, which is then overcome by a lasting expression of nuts. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a more-than-fluid feel. Things are just too thinnish, too almost-watery, for my tastes. Overall, a decent little brown ale, but one that just comes off as an experiment into how much hazelnut they can make come through. As things progress in the glass, I feel like I wanna drink less and less of this...: it just gets kinda tiresome after a while, is all.

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Samuel Adams Hazel Brown from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.71 out of 5 based on 915 ratings.
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