Cottonwood Low Down Brown Ale | Carolina Beer Company

Cottonwood Low Down Brown AleCottonwood Low Down Brown Ale
Liked This Beer
3.54 w/ 131 ratings
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.

View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 131 |  Reviews: 119
Photo of Sammy
2.98/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice brown colour with white head. Thanks crwills. Mollasses and licorice in scent and in taste.Malty, but not well malted, more sugary with fizzy carbonation. Got sick of it after first swallow. Another brown and not all that satisfying at that, more body needed.

 264 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear medium-dark brown with a two fingered head that quickly dissipates; modest lacing

Smell: Fairly light tones of brown bread and caramel malt

Taste: Sweet brown bread with a touch of bitterness (the hops are more pronounced in the draft version); finishes dry on the sides of the tongue

Mouthfeel: Fairly light bodied; modest carbonation

Drinkability: Very quaffable

 402 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A slightly hazy, deep mahogany body is capped by a short head of light tan froth that holds quite well and leaves interesting splashes of lace throughout most of the glass. The nose delivers a cocoa-ish malt and a touch of spice. The body is medium-light and its very fine carbonation gives a light tingle on the tongue. The flavor delivers a dry, bittersweet chocolate malt that's perked up by some grassy and spicy hops and a very light fruitiness. As it warms it reveals some roasted nuttiness that's quite charming. The bitterness is solid, and this is quite reminiscent of a southern English brown. It finishes long and dry with some residual fruit that quickly fades; dry, baker's chocolate; spicy hops; and then a lingering nuttieness. It only truly reveals itself at cellar temperature, and I'd love to try this cask conditioned!

 837 characters

Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice medium brown color with minimal head, aroma was very earth like a good brown ale should be.Malty sweet and earthy with a little chocolate tinge in the taste.Never got to watery on the tongue.I think a pretty good brown ale from down here in NC,I like everything I have had from Cottonwood.

 294 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from bboven, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of maple, nuts and caramelized malts with a touch of hops and some smokiness.

T: The taste is smoky and malty up front with flavors of maple, caramel and roasted nuts. There's a good hops presence that comes in and provides a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, there may be a few better brown ales out there but this is still a good beer to drink for a while.

 811 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - One finger of tan foam on a clear, amber brown body. Settles at a moderate pace and leaves little lace.

S - Light caramel malt and perhaps a hint of chocolate. Otherwise clean.

T - Malty, with lots of light caramel and a bit of roast character towards the finish. A little bit of citrus hop flavor in the finish and just enough bitterness to balance.

M - Medium body, high carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish.

D - A pretty nice, malty brown ale. The carbonation is way excessive, but not all that off-putting. The aroma is quite weak but the flavor is solid. Drinkable at an airport bar, but I wouldn't buy a sixpack of it.

 634 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.28/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at a bar in the main concourse at the airport in Charlotte (3 hour wait for flight= ample oppurtunity to sample). Did have to let this one warm a bit

Poured light chestnut with a 1/2" offwhite head. Some lacing & head retention

S: Slight grainyness & not much else

T: Slight hints of nuts& choclate up front followed by grainyness. Finshed dry & slighlty oaky & astringent

MF: Thin & slightly overcarbonated. sure doesn't feel like 5.4 abv

Had this on draft before & didn't impress. Drank okay, just a very simple brown IMO. Works in a pinch

 565 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Smell: Aroma of toasted nuts and dry dark caramel with a hint of chocolate.

Taste: Brown malts with flavors of caramel and nuts with a medium sweetness. Malts gloss over a very mild bitterness. A sip of spring water. Sweetish, malty finish lightly taste of chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body with a slightly watery texture. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A pleasant lil' brown ale.

 463 characters

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.

 1,112 characters

Photo of Jason
3.51/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown twist off bottle with no bottling date on the label.

Appearance: Lively froth drops down to a sticky lace and island of head, deep leather brown shows off a bit of clarity.

Smell: Aromas of dark fruit, mild burnt sugar and toasted grain.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Slickly smooth mouth feel with a very light carbonation. Highly toasted grain on the palate, nearly roasted and chocolaty. Mild malt flavors middle to end with a faint fruitiness. Finish semi-sweet with a dull roasted malt finish.

Drinkability & Notes: These are the Brown Ales I love, very easy to drink without any overpowering characteristics to get in the way.

 660 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of stakem
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown color with more than a finger of slightly tanned head. Head doesn't retain very well at first and receeds to a thin lace on top of the beer however, that lace stays for quite awhile being reinforced by continuous bubbles. Nose is a roasty mix of burnt grain leaning towards smoke, malt and a bit of some zing in the finish that is somewhat sour. Taste is malty sweet with some chocolate and nutty character. Lingering taste of chocolate and malt turns a bit sour... Crisp finish, somewhat overly carbed and lighter than expected feel.

I have no reason to believe this bottle was mistreated but the sourness makes me think something might be wrong with it. I will have to get another sample and see.

 718 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a mahogany ruby brown hue with a large thicket of light tan head, after dwindling down forms sporadic uneven thin specks of lacing. Aromatics offer a semi sweet milk chocolate note with toasted nuts and herbal hop qualities. Fresh baked cookies with a faint air of black licorice. Flavor has some rough tobacco leafiness in the finish but upfront it comes off with sweet roasted malts a touch of caramel and dry chocolate. Also a strange mineral character rolling around my pint as well with a tart dark fruit finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied in that range with a soft carbonation, nothing remarkable or cloying going on. Drinkability I grade this as an average brown that does nothing special for my palate, bare minimum palate pleaser. Definitely something I could drink a couple of without getting tired of but nothing I feel like I need to have again.

 874 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the best beer I've had by Carolina Beer Company, but that's not saying much. This brown is OK. There were hints of roasted malts, the appearance was dark, on the border between brown and black, and the taste was palatable. I was able to drink it and I'm not a fan of dark beers. There was steady carbonation and nice head retention, some lacing on the glass (although I don't care about that, thought I would mention it). Overall, an OK beer.

 450 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.23/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry, roasted scent that boasts of crystal, and special roast malts. It's quite dry with a metallic aroma. The taste is average. It has a dry, malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes sour with some lingering caramel sweetness. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a pretty average brown ale. I'm not overly impressed with this one.

 514 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks CrWills.
Minimal head, brown in colour with ruby shine. Transparent. Nice looking. Good bold aroma, brown malt dominates. Peety, scotchy, maybe some chocolate malt or vanilla. Faded slowly but pleasant and tasteful. Mouthfeel thin, watery upfront - then carbonation kicks in and rounds it out. Biscuity finish. Fairly complete. Not even close to the English style of nut browns, more of an 'artificial' brown. These flavours were meant to stick out and acts a little too obvious. It's fair enough and I liked it, but its not a 'craft' quality beer.

 556 characters

Photo of RBorsato
2.86/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap 9/13/05 at Taste Of Carolina bar in the airport in Charlotte, NC.

Solid brown with a low tan head. Light roasty aroma with a touch of diacetyl. Surprising buttery flavor with hints of chocolate and roasted malts underneath. Light-medium bodied with a light roasty dry finish.

Whew ... had a much better experience with the bottled version -- hopefully this was isolated to the bar I had it at.

 406 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a nicely dark brown color and fairly thick consistency. Didn't pour a huge head, but did have some good lacing.

There was a very nutty aroma, along with hops and some sweets.

The taste, as it is with most browns, was dominated by nuts. There was also a mild caramel tinge to it, as well as hops.

This had a solid amount of carbonation and a somewhat slick finish. Pretty good mouthfeel.

This is a drinkable beer. Granted, it didn't blow me away, but it was still a well made brew.

 526 characters

Photo of rfgetz
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear, dark brown with some red highlights. Small head, little lacing. Odd sweet and tar dark fruit smell overpowers any roasted grain scent. Taste is an off-tasting combination of tart fruit that once again overpowers a decent roasted malt profile that appears at the end. Medium bodied, unpleasant aftertaste - almost sour and tart. Maybe something is off, maybe just not my blend of flavors.

 400 characters

Photo of akorsak
2.88/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: The ale is a deep brown color with garnet highlights but no head.

S: The nose is slightly nutty with a bit of a metallic aroma.

T: The taste seems to lack the nuttiness that it should have. The flavor is bland, slightly metallic and finishes rather quickly. Hops bitter only and don't make a statement.

M: The mouthfeel is blah, not really doind anything.

D: The beer is not so hot, seeming to lack any really defining character.

 444 characters

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

12oz bottle from GCBrewingCo as part of BIF 20. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" tan head above the reddish dark amber/light brown brew. Head fades but lasts, and lacing is of the very nice sheeting foam sort. Aroma is dominated by medium grains, as I would expect from a brown. Taste starts with the earthy grain husks that the nose indicated, but then kind of goes towards a bit of a mushy grain, slightly fruity flavor. That part I can do without. Mouthfeel and drinkability are okay, but could easily be better if the flavor profile was a bit better. Not a bad brown, but the eyes and nose led me to expect more.

 665 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from mikesgroove recently. Thanks!
This beer poured a clear, deep brown with a bronze hue and short-lived cap of light tan foam that settled into a collar and smattering of fine bubbles. Minimal lacing, but what was present stuck around for a while. Aromas of roast and brown sugar were in the forefront, backed by a little breadiness. Bitterness was light, but made its presence known throughout. Definitely balanced to sugary sweetness, light roast and caramel with a hint of chocolate. It was a little thin and the carbonation was on the high side for the style, making for a less than optimal texture. Still, it was an easy drinking beer and had some decent malt character - too bad there wasn't just a bit more.

 729 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.2/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to ROBORB for dropping this as an extra into a recent box. I'd never even heard of this brewery before, always good to find something new.

Pours dark with only a glistening of mahogany around the edges. Smell is predominantly chocolate, sweet malt.

Low Down, what in the name of all that's English are you? English Brown Ale...a surprising note of tart, almost slightly fruits, like a Wisconsin Belgian Red gone haywire. Sweet malts rush in & keep the weirdness from running the show, but it's still there in the aftertaste. Ghosts of chocolate, a few other things, but it makes me wonder if this beer is infected, or if this is supposed to be a throwback to the 'sour' dark beers of the Olde Country.

I'm going to assume this is the way the brew is supposed to taste. There was recently a 'sour' porter out there that I found virtually undrinkable, but this one isn't nearly as grating, but the sour bite does cover up most of the other traits the beer might want to showcase. Great? No. Bad? No. Good? Pretty.

 1,023 characters

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.

 465 characters

Photo of bpfrush
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Cottonwood Low Down Brown Ale from Carolina Beer Company
Beer rating: 37.4% out of 100 with 131 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.