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 skinny0ne
3.29/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I just find this to be a very odd ale. It looks great with a deep brown color and creamy head. The aroma is fantastic with sweet malt, ripe red fruit, and hints of chocolate. The first sip hits with a lot of sweet malt. Chocolate starts to kick in the middle. And then, out of nowhere, sweet ripened fruit blooms in the mouth at the end. Plums and red grapes mostly. On the breath is a hint of chocolate and roasted grains. I'm just not expecting so much fruit in a brown ale. It's not bad. It's just too odd to recommend.

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Photo of hopdog
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle acquired in trade with CaptainCougar (thanks!).

This one poured a medium brown color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of roastiness, caramel, and chocolate. Tastes of toasted nuttiness, caramel, and chocolate.

Notes from: 03/24/08.

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Photo of Traquairlover
3.57/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Dark reddish brown, small bone white head that resolves quickly into a simply small foam layer on the surface, light lacing.

S = Light cocoa, maple, brown sugar, good sweet brown ale smells.

T = The tastes follow the smell very closely, light flavors of cocoa, brown sugar, but all with a good balancing light bitterness.

M = Medium body, fair mouthcoating, carbonation stung a little too much at first but mellowed out after a few minutes.

D = Easy drinking beer, definitely worth a revisit.

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Photo of TheEclecticGent
3/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this beer into a pint glass. It pours a rich looking dark brown. The head was a tannish-white, medium density, and about a ΒΌ inch thick. The head faded rapidly and did leave some lacing as it was consumed. The aroma was of cereal grains and a bit of caramel, not bold but a light nose. A decently rich flavor of grain and caramel, not bad. A bit of a toasty flavor in there as well. The mouthfeel was a bit slick with low carbonation. Overall not a bad brown ale.

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Photo of jeffmonarch
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Light brown with an off white head that stays for a while.

S - Light and smooth with some chocolate hints.

T - Smooth rich flavor. Good strong malt flavor.

M - Light to medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - Good beer.

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Photo of jraycee
2.86/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From notes:

A- Poured dark brown with small head that turned to a ring through first half then disappeared completely.

Sm- Roasted malts, slight coffee/chocolate

T-Biscuit, Roasted malts, slight coffee/choc. Finish is empty.

Mf- light, slick, low carbonation

Dr- had this as my shift beer last week. nothing great going on here, but not bad either. I've had better from this brewery, but that was years ago.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

3.5 A: Very dark brown. Small head with poor retention and little lacing.

3.0 S: Grains and caramel. Smell barely present.

3.5 T: Some nutiness, but mainly grains and caramel.

3.5 M: Medium carbonation, but not as smooth as expected.

3.5 D: Not bad, but nothing special.

The last bottle of this I had I remembered enjoying a hell of a lot more. Maybe I'll review a fresher bottle sometime in the future.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-ounce bottle over-aggressively poured into my DFH pint glass yields a brown garnet-colored body and a monstrous tower of fine-bubbled, pale beige foam with stubborn retention and thick-banded lacing.

Smell is a little hoppy and brown-sugar sweet. A nice toasty note emerges as the drink warms.

Taste is toasty brown-sugar caramelly with a kiss of dark chocolate and a light spicy character. A twist of lemon rind and a solid mineral element decorate the finish, along with a note of earthy hops and just a tinge of dry bitterness.

Excellent drinkability and a clean finish.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of bboven
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Nice medium brown clear body, but no head or lacing.

Very aroma sweet for the style, perhaps too much crystal malt.

Still a little sweet and caramely, though there's a bit more biscuit going on in the flavor than I got in the aroma.

Too highly carbonated for the style.

A tad on the sweet side, but a good clean beer nonetheless.

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

Pours a dark brown in color, slight red hints at edges. The aroma is faint with just a bit of malt and nuttiness coming through. The flavor is sweet malt with a bit of roasted chocolate. A decent English Brown Ale but nothing that makes it stand out from the crowd. Very low carbonation level.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
3.07/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from bottle into pint glass. Color was dark brown but translucent in the light. Virtually no head and zero lacing.

S: Very little in the way of aroma.

T: Pleasant nutty malt flavor with slight bit of smoke in the finish. Hops were there but not prevalent until the finish and then were still quite light coming in second to that sort of earthy/smoky aftertaste.

M&D: On the light side of a medium bodied brew with relatively light carbonation.

I wasn't very taken by LDB. At the pour I began to wonder if perhaps I had a bad bottle as there was literally no head at the end of an aggressive pour. Upon closer examination I noted there was plenty of carbonation but hardly (if any) aroma. Odd. The taste is good with an immediate earthiness and some lingering light sweetness but I don't know if I like that smokiness that sort of hangs in they back of your throat.

Overall, it was okay but not a favorite.

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Photo of clemsonbrewer
2.78/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Brown body with growing light colored head. Very little retention and very little lacing. Not too much for the nose. Light coffee with some deep roasted maltiness. Sweet light malt taste with no hops balance that I can find. A little watery and thin feel but enjoyable light malt palate. Not a beer I'd ask for by name at the store but I might try it again.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.85/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - pours a caramel brown color, like cola. Light tan head makes it up to a finger then fades, not even making a complete cover. Throws a spot of lace occasionally.

Aroma - I thought I caught a whiff of milk chocolate on the pour but it quickly disappeared behind a conservative curtain of roasted grain. Even that fades a bit as the beer settles.

Taste - roasted grain, mildly sweet. A rather plain profile. A little chocolate appears with some warmth. Has a redeeming warm and roasty quality on the swallow and aftertaste, but overall this is a fairly plain example of the style. Tasty, but average.

Mouthfeel - a good element of smoothness, nicely weighted with tempered carbonation.

Drinkability - an easy beer to quaff. There is a sourish kind of sweetness that i'm noticing more in the browns. I first noticed it in Tommyknockers Nut Brown, a kind of mapley sour sweetness I don't care for. This one has it to a small degree but right now I'm not in a 'brown ale' mode because of it.

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Photo of
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Clear, rich, dark brown with lots of amber in it. Large, creamy, light tan head. Minimal lacing, no legs.

Scent was mainly caramel, with a bit of chocolate. Raisins also were present. Very strong aroma.

Taste was very malty, but not nearly as sweet as the aroma would lead you to expect. Roast notes and caramel. Decent bittering balance with citrus and grass. Bittersweet chocolate near finish.

Medium in body. Medium + carbonation, too much in my opinion. Refreshing.

Overall, a very nice brown ale. Turn down the carbonation a bit, and it would be a great session beer.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
3.57/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer was purchased warm then chilled in the refrigerator. Was curious to try this one with no expectations or information.

This beer poured a little flat but the existing head was a light tan, thin and quick to fade. The color was as brown as the bottle and had good clarity. Toffee and nutty aromas come through quickly with a slight note of roasted malts. The nuttiness is dominant, however a fruity hop undertone is noticeable. The flavor is both sweet and bitter at the start with toffee sweet maltiness taking over in the finish. The slight bitterness is from the roasted malts more than the hops. Some coffee-like notes can be perceived the more you drink this one. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with crisp carbonation. Not bad overall and easy to drink.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.87/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour was deep brown with ruby orange highlights. A thin tan head with little to no lacing.

Sweet caramel malts and nutty for sure. A hint of sweet fruit also.

Taste was nutty up front and commented with toffee and caramel flavors. Some brown sugar and chocolate malts were also more present.

Mouthfeel was a little thin and not quite creamy but close to it. A bit too much carbonation might have been the downfall.

Very easy drinking though it has certain flaws that take away from this. This stuff is pretty cheap and not bad at all, probably something I should invest in from time to time.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
2.65/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

served in a nonic glass from a long neck brown bottle with a twist-off cap

Mahogany.very slight haze with a 1/2" thin head dissapating quickly to a thin coating.Some staggered streaming bubbles.not much lacing.

dark fruity aromas hints of fig,nuts and toffee,had and English nose to it, but not vinious like some are.

Clean taste,bit watery some dark fruit,nutty,bits of chocolate towards the finish was a slight sour/acidity feel,clean tangy finish very light on hops.

Grainy texture,light,watery feel,a little rough on the edges. Not interesting enough to make me want another. Not a bad beer,just not worth buying again

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Photo of MTNboy
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I tried this in a beer sampler in the Charlotte Airport while I was on a layover. There is a little bar that is a branch of the microbrewery. If you are on a layover it is definitely worth looking for.

Appearance- The color is a dark brown with some red highlights. It pours to form a nice tinted head that leaves a wonderful lace.

Smell- Nutty with some hop.

Taste- The flavor is about the same as the smell. It has a roasted nut and toffee flavor evened out with some hops.

Mouthfeel- Slightly chewy and not quit full bodied but close .

Drinkability- Very smooth. A good dinner beer.

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Photo of SwillBilly
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought during my recent trip to the OBX.
Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Pours a deep, rich, mahogony with hints of ruby. Very clear from a brown ale. Minimal off-white head dissipates very quickly with only a slight ring of bubbles surrounding the glass.

Smell: Nicely fragrant with dark fruits, molasses, dark brown sugar and caramel. Very slight hint of citrusy hops try and breakthrough the maltiness.

Taste: Low Down Brown starts with fruity sweetness reminicent of plums. Nice and malty. Caramel and brown sugar notes follow in the middle then finishes with a touch of roastiness and leaf tobacco. Maybe just a touch of oxidation in the finish as a slight hint of wet cardboard peeks through. Alchohol not a factor and hops are minimally present with just slight bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin but amply carbonated. I like my brown ales with a little more viscocity in the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Low Down Brown is not a bad beer. A decent brown ale with plenty of fruity and dark brown sugar sweetness with just a hint of hop bitterness and roastiness. The light mouthfeel makes Low Down Brown go down pretty quickly, definitely an easy drinker. Alcohol is relatively low. A decent brown and worth trying. Not sure if I would go out of the way to get this beer if other options are available.

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Photo of dmamiano
2.33/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This one seemed to rub me the wrong way.
The beered poured a nice almost black color which is good for the style. Dark creamy head, that seemed to linger longer than most with excellent lacing.
Thats where the good ended for me.
The nose was very malty, with hops trying to tickle my nostrils.
Taste to me was almost medicinal. Had a very strange, medicine like taste that I couldnt put my finger on. It was very malty as well, but also very strange.
I bought a six pack of this and almost had to force it down. I didnt like it too well.

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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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