Cottonwood Low Down Brown Ale | Carolina Beer Company

119 Reviews
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Cottonwood Low Down Brown AleCottonwood Low Down Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Carolina Beer Company
North Carolina, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stirgy on 07-26-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 119 | Ratings: 131
Photo of niknar
4.63/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This hearty offering pours out a deep caramel color with some reddish / auburn accents. It produces a nice head that dissipates to a thin foam within a minute or two. Some moderate lacing. Smell is indistinguishable, but pleasurable (I've already had a few of them as of this writing...haha). The flavor is among my very favorites. A moderately hopped beer with a distinctly nutty aftertaste. Smooth and tasty! Mouthfeel has good substance, but not quite like eating a sandwhich. The drinkability is superb, as I am proving this fine Sunday afternoon. I hope that you enjoy this excellent example of our beverage of choice as much as I do!

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Photo of Backer2004
4.57/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Everything I love about a brown ale found in one bottle. This has been the best English Brown Ale I've recalled. Smell is wonderful - full of caramel, nuts, chocolate, and coffee. Tastes even better (even its light aftertaste). I wish the Low Down Brown was available nationwide. I may be spoiled from now on since the brewery is about 30 miles away.

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Photo of stirgy
4.3/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A creamy rich (and short-lived) head appeared atop this beer after an aggressive pour. Deep amber brown in color with small amounts of clingy lace left on the glass. The aroma yields dark, rich and spicy alcohol notes in the forefront. Also, there’s caramel and butter cream malt, toffee. Nice, but there’s no mistaking the alcohol in this one. The taste is rich with deep dark roasted malts. Some semi-bitter chocolate with hints of chewy caramel candy. Nicely textured and flavorful. This one finishes on a dime and comes away clean. The alcohol tends to dry this beer out towards the finish, which in turn, produces a clean and clear aftertaste. I am impressed by this one. Good body, mellow and smooth with a super drinkability. This beer seems perfect when it becomes just slightly chilled. A great brown ale!

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Photo of tavernjef
4.25/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What's the low down on this brown? Cuz its good.
Deep dark caramel brown with a deep amber glow, nice cream colored hue of frothy tight foam, about a finger high, lumpy/bumpy top and hold its body quite well. Lacing has tightly foamed curtains. Smell is complex, quite nice of roasty malts, a bit earthy and some sweetness of hazelnuts or nutskins/shells, musty, a bit like wet soil, dryish but fruity hop detected as well. Interesting aroma to say the least. Taste is nice and moderately crisp, fairly light and earthly toned in toastyness of malts. A touch of sweet wood-like notes and nuts, closer to nutskins. A small earthy hop tanged dryness midway and ends all smoothly to lightly empty. All taken in through subtle layering and complexity. Feel is light to more medium bodied and a good smooth dryness lightly playing on the tongue throughout. A very unique brown ale, one may be worth checking out for some of the fans of browns. I enjoyed it's organic and earthy qualities. Thanks to Kipp for the bottles.

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Photo of KroMagnon
4.22/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer was hazy, and brownish-red in color, with a tan head that was nice and full - very long lasting. The aroma was nicely malty and embellished with dark chocolate, caramel, and a slightly roasty note, and a little smokiness (very faint). The flavor was dominated by bitterness from both hops and roasted malts. I'd like maybe a touch more malt sweetness - the beer may have been a little too dry to make the characteristics blend well. Overall, though, this was pretty darn good, clean tasting, and a very drinkable beer.

If this were a BJCP homebrew I'd see it fitting as American Brown, maybe 4/5 (could use more hop aroma) or maybe a brown porter 4.5/5 or so...

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Photo of pentathlete
4.18/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've never really developed a love of brown ales, so a friend recommended this one. Poured an opaque brown with a quickly falling to a table beige head. Nose was malty, a little smoky, but I've smelled this in other brown ales. The taste though, chocolatey sweet with a near perfect balance of bitterness. The chocolate malts build up as the beer warms. Incredibly pleasant and smooth. A brown ale that I could regularly imbibe. And, being Cottonwood, is relatively easy to find here in my neck of the woods.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.18/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice deep auburn color. Clarity is excellent. A slight light brown head forms and disintegrates to a light collar in a minute. The lace is spotty, but sufficient. There's a nice citrusy hop aroma blended with a roasted nut quality. Good nose. The flavors follow suit with some good roasted malt tones and sweet brown sugar sprinkled on top for extra effect. Nice taste as well. The mouthfeel is creamy. Body medium. I like this brown.

Many Thanks AKSmokedPorter.

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Photo of John1985
4.09/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours with chestnut brown color and a nice half inch head which dies down quickly, very little lacing. Wonderful bready chocolate malt aroma, flavor has a mild bitterness up front that slides into a distinctly chocolate malt flavor. Smooth finish that begs for more. A very good effort, this is not my favorite style but I would seek this out again. Recommended

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.09/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a bad little brown here - by nature they're so unassuming that if one stands out it's a pretty good sign you've got a good brew on your hands...

The pour is a medium brown with an off-white head. Not much foam to speak of even with a vigorous pour. Still there was moderate lacing on the glass throughout the drink.

The nose was very good - a light combination of sugary sweetness and complimenting smoky notes.

The flavor was equally well balanced; while this was a reasonably sweet brown ale it was well tempered by the roasted flavors. The primary flavors were carmelized sugars - caramel, brown sugar and molasses are all present but there were clear flavors of coffee, toast and dark chocolate to balance out the sweetness. Little to no hop bittering in the flavor.

Mouthfeel was good - for an ale bordering on 'sweet' it was surprisingly light bodied with ample carbonation to lighten the palate. Lingering aftertaste of coffee bitterness finishes each sip nicely.

All in all a nice brown ale... I often find the more average Browns to be rather lacking in craft or personality but this was a clean, well balanced brew that made a very favorable impression...

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Photo of beergeek279
4.07/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. twist-off bottle into a sample glass. The color is a middle-ish brown, with a bubbly filmy white head. The smell is . The taste is a nice dry malt mixed well with a nutty and almost citrus bitterness. Mouthfeel is creamy. As for drinkability, this is a nice sessioner.

Thanks to AKSmokedPorter and BIF 8.0 for the bottle. A very nice brown ale, with a good mix of the drier malt and nut bitterness. I've said before that brown ale just isn't a particularly inspiring style, but this is up there with the better examples of the style, and one I'd enjoy having again!

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.07/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark Leathery color with a deep beige head. Sweet malty aroma and flavor with a citrusy background. A full creamy and sweet malt is fairly full, nutty and slightly buttery. Amply hopped with citrusy bitterness and a mild taste of pears. A hint of camphor can be detected in the background. This a pretty good representation of a Brown Ale - Silky, smooth and gulpable. I’d like to see more brewers paying attention to this neglected style.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.07/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to ninjaworm for the bottle from the Confederate BIF. The beer pours a deep ruby brown color with a finger of head that falls and sits nicely over top of the beer. The nose is rather nutty and slightly chocolatey. Nice. The flavor is nutty, with a slight coffee background with a sweet chocolate on the finish. The feel is a little thin for me. I would like a little more body on this. Overall, I like this for a brown. The flavors are really nice. Just give it some body to match the flavor and nose.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery's outlet in the airport in Charlotte. Nicely done, and a good take on the English style. Roasted malt flavor with some nuttyness and a hint of chocolate. There was a touch of sourness at the end. I couldn't tell if it was intentional, a touch of bacteria or perhaps the line needed a flush, but it was not off-putting and I actually liked it. A great compliment to the pulled pork sandwich they served.

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Photo of JayQue
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a few pints at the Charlotte NC airport. Deep rich dark color. Cant give it an exact shade because of the opaque plastic cup. Medium size tan head that fades to a covering of the glass. Good lacing (given that it was in a plastic cup). This is a good tasting English ale, much more flavorful than Newcastle. It has a distinct cocoa/chocolate flavor, but the predominant flavor is smooth maltiness. As a hop-head, I find some malty beers a bit chalky tasting. This one is very smooth and easy to drink. The mouthfeel is rich. I had to limit myself to three because of my schedule and the fact that I only had a hour long flight. This would be a great session beer. I will seek this one out again the next time I pass through Charlotte.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty brown color with a think white tan head and very nice lacing. Smells of sweet malts, brown sugar, and floral hops. Tastes of balanced malts, hops, roasted barley, and brown sugar notes for a great depth of flavor. Mouthfeel is very nice with a nice smoothness. Drinkability is high.

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Photo of NClifestyle
3.97/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Low Down Brown shows slightly cloudy in the glass, with a red-brown color. A 1-inch thick head rises above the brew, but drops to a thin layer atop the beer, with little or no lace on the glass. Nutty, malt aromas rise, with a hint of smoky chocolate and possibly toasted bread smell as well. The taste is a bit less nutty than the smell, with a caramel, almost bittersweet cocoa hint before moving into a dry hop flavor, slightly spicy. The flavors come further out to play as the beer warms. Low Down Brown is 5.7 ABV, and gives a glowing feeling. Really great smell and taste with this one.
Mouthfeel offers nice carbonation, with tingles of bubbles on your cheeks and tongue, but not too much to offend or burn. A medium beer in the mouth, but somewhat chewy, this one is smooth. Cottonwood’s brown has some sweet, some hop, some nutty flavor, and could be drank all night, a great session beer.


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Photo of Stopper
3.96/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This pours an opaque copper brown with a medium-sized head of tiny bubbles. The aroma is quite substantial, with a hefty sweetish light malt base supporting a twang of bright spicy hops. The flavor is initially a mild sweet maltiness and a hint of roast, with a slightly watery mouthfeel. The finish leaves a lingering roast flavor and graininess for a moment, which gives way to a light sourness and a lingering round hop spice.

The aroma on this is really impressive, and though not quite as impressive, the flavor is quite clean and pleasing.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is at room temp and a buddy of mine just brought it up to me after a camping trip down south.
The beer pours clear mahogany with a soft off-white head foaming up easily. Aroma is sweet caramel malt and toffee also a faint floral hop character. I actually pick up some mild chocolate scents as the beer warms.
Average bodied and medium carbonation.
Flavor is sweet caramel up front with some earthy hop bite on the finish. This is a very well balanced brew and easy to drink. I think this would make a nice session brew.

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Photo of clvand0
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes. Pours a brown color with a small head that falls fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma has some chocolate malts and it also has some nutty character. The flavor has the chocolate and the nutty character accompanied by a nice coffee bitterness. The mouthfeel is a little light for me - could use a little body. Drinks very nice and is a great brown ale.

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Photo of theWrkncacnter
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. Pours a very deep, rich brown/amber; a little red if you hold it up to the light. Good two fingered head that fades to a nice ring with minimal lacing. Smell is deep, with rich, earthy, dark malts and a slight amount of sweetness. Taste is slightly sweet, with lots of toasted, coffee tasting malts. The flavor is very rich and deep and finished with a nice mild sweetness. Mouthfeel is good, but lingering sweetness makes me want to brush my teeth. Drinkability is good, very smooth and easy to knock back a few.

If someone handed this to me without any context I'd think it was a porter. The coffee malts seem more like the style of a good porter than a brown, but either way it tastes really good. A definite buy-again.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Low Down Brown is an equal mixture of red, orange and brown; the color of good bourbon. The wheat toast brown head is firmly creamy and has enough stickability to leave small chunks of lace when it departs. The chunks eventually melt, leaving small broken sheets on the glass opposite.

The nose is interesting and enjoyable, but I can't immediately figure out why. It smells a little like a porter that lacks any real coffee or chocolate notes. It's more dark malt, dark fruit and nuts. I take it back, I do pick up a faint milk chocolatiness.

The flavor is almost a carbon copy of the nose. Again, lightly roasted dark malt (chocolate malt maybe, but not black malt) with fruits and nuts. Hops don't make an impression until the medium-long finish when a certain citrusiness peeks through. Mildly hoppy burps are a nice surprise. The body is a little lighter than I prefer and the beer is a bit too carbonated.

Low Down Brown Ale is a nice effort from Carolina Beer & Beverage. A bigger, creamier body and a fraction less carbonation would make it something special. Thanks to WOLFGANG for the bottle.

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Photo of mntlover
3.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours nice brownish color with tints of red small tan head quickly disappears. Can smell the malty flavors inside. Taste the roasted malt slight coffee taste with a bit of hops bitterness at the end. Light and refreshing really enjoyable brown ale. Could drink these all day long and not complain. Great everyday beer and one of the few readily avaliable in my area. Might not be Dogfish Head but at half the price who can refuse.

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Photo of Luigi
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very dark brown beer kind of soda like. The head is a sticky lace that lines the side of the glass. Smells semi-sweet with roasted malts and fruit. I can taste molasses, some mild fruits, and roasted malts. Has a meduim-light body and is very easy to drink. I enjoy this beer a lot being that is so easy to find at a great price in my area. I should make a point to go to the brewery itself and try it fresh someday.

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Photo of Risser09
3.91/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a guinness pint - fridge - 2009

Appearance: A twist off cap whispers as I crack it. The beer pours a brown color with red highlights. A 1/2" light yellow/ivory head surfaces and shows a little bit of retention. Not much lace left behind.

Smell: Cereal grains, sweet brown sugar, nougat and toffee are all heavy aromas. Creme brulee would be the best way to describe the aroma, to a "T".

Taste: Barley malt that is sweet and sugary meets brown sugar. This is what true barley that is malted tastes like. I can't describe a shred of hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, brown, ale-like without and hop bitterness. Alcohol is well-hidden, and this is a smooth mouthfeel with no harsh aftertastes.

Drinkability: This is a very tasty brown ale. Lots of flavor and sweetness with a great, clean finish. A winner for sure.

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Photo of Smittysguinness
3.9/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MrHolland for the bottles on a recent trade.

This is, especially taste-wise, better than what I'd expect out of a standard British Brown Ale.

It poured into the pint glass a nice deep brown, with exceptional clarity. It had a thick head that dissipated quickly to about 1/4 inch, and stuck around. No lacing, but that was probably more my glass then the beer; the head belied that it would have left much better lacing.

I smelled toasty malt underneath a strong caramel smell, as well as a fruity ester that was more prunes than anything else.

The taste was, again, more than I expected it to be. It reminded me a bit of Tom Payne brown ale. It had an initial almost chocolate taste that immediately became plum and prune and ended on a nice grain note. Very balanced.

The carbonation had an American Light Lager feel to it; light, tiny bubbles but quite fizzy. It added an overall lightness to the beer instead of the normal near-flatness I would have expected. It feel slick and smooth nonetheless.

In terms of drinkability, I will absolutely track this beer down again. It had all of the great characteristics I hoped for, all in a great balance. Easily a session beer if I could get many many more bottles!

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Cottonwood Low Down Brown Ale from Carolina Beer Company
3.54 out of 5 based on 131 ratings.
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