Nut Brown Ale | Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

217 Ratings
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Nut Brown AleNut Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Kentucky, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Nut Brown Ale has a diverse grain bill which lends this traditional English ale a variety of flavors that coalesce into a remarkably smooth and pleasant drink. Additions of various pale, caramel and dark malts create a smooth, sweet malt profile with hints of roasted nuttiness. Multiple additions of English hops round out the flavors and give this classic beer a true flavor of the Old World.

29 IBU

Added by Dogbrick on 11-27-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 217 |  Reviews: 110
Photo of DeeMented
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to HeadyHops81 for sending me this one.

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a glass beer mug. The bottle was actually date stamped, June 2009.

The beer poured a deep, rich brown. Slightly hazy, with a thin, white head. The head faded rather quickly and left some soapy lacing that slowly slid down the glass.

The aroma was a bit weak. Slightly earthy. A bit of sweet malt. There was a little wisp of nuttiness, but it had to warm significantly before it started to come out.

The mouthfeel was also a little thin. Not overly thin, as to make it feel too watery, but I felt it could have used a bit more carbonation.

Like the nose, the taste was also a bit weak. It started with a nice, sweet malt. Very faint nuttiness. The hops bitterness kicked in about mid-swallow and followed through to the finish. Afterwards, there was a lingering caramel flavor.

Not a bad brown ale, but not a spectacular one, either. Overall, a good aroma and flavor, just too weak to carry it far.

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Photo of henrysunset
4.01/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L: light amber, tan tiny bubbles in the head.
S: Sweet and oaky, almost smells like whisky. Very mild and a citrusy tone.
T: Smooth but a little watery. A little creamy too. Light flavor but pleasant. Not exceptional but pleasant.
M: Smooth if a little thin.
D: Very drinkable if a little bland.

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light to medium brown in color with little to no head. The nose is nice and malty with only a hint of nut. Refreshing attack and a light and fresh flavor. The mouthfeel is light and ordinary. Some roasted flavors of malts and a little bit of a coffee like roasted flavor as well. There is just the slightest hint of nut, which is okay by me.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Like many brown ales, Nut Brown Ale is deep, dark, rust orange rather than brown. The orangish ecru cap is small after a fairly energetic pour, and doesn't look as though it will deposit much lace (note: it doesn't). Okay, but I've seen better.

The nose gets things pretty much right for the style. It's short on cocoa and long on steely caramel, toasted nuts and an earthy Munich-type maltiness. Maybe a subtle fruity tang as well.

BNBA is a pretty decent brown, but that's as far as it goes. Even at an ABV of only 5.0% (pretty standard for the style), it could use more malt. That would allow the flavor to sink in and be appreciated rather than skating across the taste buds like it has better things to do.

The flavor profile mirrors the aroma, with the addition of a faint coffee bean vibe, which works well. The classic caramel-dipped nuttiness is what allows an above average taste score to be granted. Sweet and bitter are both at a low ebb, which results in relative balance.

A slightly bigger, slightly more full mouthfeel would have done wonders. As is, it's too thin, and even qualifies as watery on the back end. Lightly prickly bubbles are acceptable.

Bluegrass Brewing Company (with a few notable exceptions) puts out solid beer across a wide range of styles. Nut Brown Ale is probably worth a look for fans of the style, but I'm glad that I don't have five more bottles in the fridge.

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Photo of MVotter
3.41/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is yeasty and sweet malts, brown sugar?

The BBC Nut Brown Ale poured into a chalice producing a very thin tan head on top of a foggy, dark tea colored brew.

The taste goes immediately to the sweet malts, slight alcohol. There is the slightest hint of a hop tang ... but, that's not what this brew is for anyway.

The mouthfeel is light, decent carbonation.

This brew is drinkable and enjoyable. It has a medium gravity ... a nice malt-based beer; no extremes in this one. Fairly average across the board, but still, a good "get" if you're looking for a sessionable brew in the "malt" column.

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Photo of dustinTN
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass from 12 oz. bottle. Nice appearance. Two finger head that quickly dissipates with decent lacing. Nice aroma of malt and chocolate with a little coffee. Taste is ok, but a little on the thin side. Good flavor, just not enough of it - a little watered down tasting. Malty sweet flavor with a subtle chocolate nut in there. A hint of hop bitterness in the finish. Decent carbonation but a thin body (this a good hot weather nut brown in that respect). Solid drinkability. I probably won't seek this one out on a regular basis, but would never be disappointed if it were handed to me at a party.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer of the month club selection

A: Pours a cola color with a small off white foam head. The head does not last long at all.

S: Mostly chocolate and nuts. More prominant as it warms up. Nothing overly complex but a decent aroma consistant with Brown Ales.

T: A decent balance between chocolate, nuts and vanilla. There is a little hop presence on the back end.

M: A little thin for a Brown ale, but leaves a smooth and slightly bitter taste on the palate.

D: Not overly complex, good flavor, low ABV, easy to drink. Not a bad Brown Ale.

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Photo of tigg924
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown, clear, 1/2 inch head, high carbonation

Smell: nut, caramel, and toasted malt

Taste: nut, caramel, and toasted malt

Mouthfeel: light, sweet, smooth, medium light bodied, with a sharper end

Drinkability: Another good example of the style, I could drink several of these. Not the most complex version of a nut brown, but a solid flavor profile

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Photo of Brenden
3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a murky brown that clears up quickly to leave a much clearer brown color. I can tell from looking at it that it may be a but thin. The head pours decently and dissipates to a thin film but is present throughout. Light lacing is also present.

The smell is different from anything I've had before. The yeast being so strong up front is surprising. A little maltiness with minimal hops and some nutty sweet notes as well.

The taste is similar. Yeast is strongest up front. Light caramel notes and a touch of nuttiness. Thinness is evident in the taste as it seems a bit watered-down. Not as well-balanced as it could be due to a real lack of hops character.

This one begins pretty heavily carbonated but calms down quite a bit. Mouthfeel is quite thin and watery.

This one isn't too bad, but the main issues are the thinness and the watery taste and feel, and it could be better balanced for sure. I'd give it a try just to check it out, but I would pick a better nut brown for a regular.

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Photo of monoXcide
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first time with this style of beer and I like it. Nothing too special, but its good.

Appearance - Like a deep mahogany brown with a small light brown head and a little bit of lacing.

Smell - A nice noticeable caramel and malt.

Taste - I like it. Nutty and caramel. No bitterness to it at all and is very slightly sweet. It kinda needs to have more of its flavour. Feels like it could be more nutty and caramel but seems to play it safe. Perhaps I had it too cold.

Mouthfeel - Carbonization is just right but it does not have much of a presence in the mouth, which is slightly disappointing but not so much to knock off a few points but just enough worth mentioning.

Drinkability - Pretty good. It has session beer quality drinkability and would be something good to add a bit of variety to some of the other beers I consider session beers. I could knock a few of these back with no problem.

If you are looking for something complex then this is not your beer. If you're looking for something a little different but not too out there then this is a good choice to mix it up a bit.

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Photo of armock
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a nice brown color with a tan head that leaves some lacing

S - Is of caramel malt along with some nutty scent

T - Follows the nose a nice caramel malt foundation with a touch of nut flavor

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - This is an awesome nut brown that I wish I could get more of it has a very good taste thats easy to drink definitely worth picking up if you get the chance

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Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a dark amber with a thin white head that leaves minimal lacing on the glass. The aroma is a little sweet with some caramel and a little nuttiness. The taste is just as sweet. There is no hop presence and the nutty flavor just isn't strong enough. The mouthfeel is somewhat creamy but little carbonation. There is little alcohol to this one which makes it easy to drink but not the greatest of the style. There are many other great nut brown ales I would pick up before this one.

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Photo of prototypic
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of csmiley. Thanks, man.

Appearance: This one's an orange stained brown color. I was expecting darker, but it's not bad. It features very active carbonation which yielded a slightly off-white head that wasn't quite a finger tall. It disappeared very quickly and left little lacing in its wake. Average overall.

Smell: The nose continues the average theme. It's not very strong. But, it does have some pretty good qualities. It's yeasty and biscuity initially. There's some toasted malt notes along with some light caramel/toffee malt. There's a nice nutty/prailine aroma that carries the day. It fits in very well and actually gives off a nice aroma. If it were a little stronger, it'd be much improved.

Taste: This one just keeps improving. I like the taste of this beer. It's not going to win any awards for depth or character, but it's still good. It is malty and sweet up front. A nice caramel/toffee flavor blends well with a very smooth prailine taste. The nutty flavor is definitely the x-factor. It's well done. There's a bit of a yeasty flavor to it. Absolutely no alcohol is noted. I suspect the abv is relatively modest, but it's blended well. Finishes sweet.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied and relatively smooth. Carbonation is active and gets in the way a little, but it's nice overall. Drinkabiliity is good. I like the flavor and the abv seems to lend itself to good drinkability. I could handle a few of these.

Bluegrass did a pretty good job with this one. It's got a few flaws. The nose could use some work and I'd like to see some light hopping or something to add some character to it. But, overall, it's surprisingly pretty good. Better than I was expecting. Thanks, Chris.


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Photo of Brewsmith
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 oz. bottle sent to me from a friend in TN. Aroma is sweet malty toast and a little floral hop. Color is a burnt brick red with a tiny off-white head. Flavor is very toasty with some slight chocolate/coffee roastyness and a lemony hop flavor. Finishes dry and clean, does not hang around much. A decent brown.

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

12oz bottle shared courtesy of weeare138.

Poured a deeper reddish / brown color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of mainly roasted nuts with some roast and chocolate. Tastes of roasted nuts, some caramel, and a touch of chocolate.

Notes from 11/23/06.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.94/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a crystal clear, light brown color with a slightly tanned head of about one finger in size. No retention and no lacing. The head becomes a slight film on the beer.

Aroma is pretty much non existent. I dont feel comfortable with giving a 2 on aroma unless the beer smells horrible, but a lack of aroma brings about something just above that. Perhaps a touch of caramel and hazelnut.

Unoffensive flavor with some decent malt profile with a decent nuttiness as well. Very balanced but not overly indulgent.

Average beer. Brown ales always seem boring to me so this basically fits the bill. Easy to drink with a suprisingly creamy mouthfeel. A good brown ale.

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Photo of Offa
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a fairly basic, but slightly unique, pretty good brown ale.

It's a very deep, yet bright, clear, almost sparkling red-brown, leaning toward red, with a very weak, small, very pale tan head that immediately dissipates to a permanent, foamy ring. It appears to be very low in carbonation.

The aroma has nut and bark, but overall is mostly chocolate milk (as opposed to chocolate candy or cocoa). The smell is very simple, a little dull, not great, but good.

The taste is light and simple but very pleasant, with chocolate, nuts, leaves, plus a hint of cola. The flavours are simple and light but good and persistent. The feel is a little flat from low carbonation, but still has some zestiness to it and a hint of oiliness. It has light sweetness and practically no bitterness, but has a finish that is nicely somewhat dry, leafy and nutty. It has enough character and complexity, and these hold up enough, to keep it tasty and interesting as well as very drinkable. It does a good job of having a nutty-chocolate character that is not burnt tasting or totally one-dimensional or bitter. That said, it's still not very unusual, rich,complex, or interesting.

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Photo of tburkhart
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a medium brown with little to no head.

Smells slightly roasted, with a hint of nuts.

Slightly nutty on taste, a bit thinner than I'd expect from a Nut Brown. The nuttiness sticks on the palate for a moment the quickly disappears.

Not my favorite beer from BBC, but not bad.

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Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pretty clear caramel color with a sturdy light beige head that retains nicely and delivers more than a few strands of lace

Smell: A bit of caramel, some roast and a hint of hazelnuts

Taste: Opens with a brown bread flavor, with a sprinkling of chocolate dust; some hops add a bitter balance by mid-palate; after the swallow, both vanilla and nutty flavors dominate

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A really nice beer for a style which is often quite boring; it has complexity and, although just a tad too sweet on the finish, is enjoyable to drink

Thanks, kirok1999, for the opportunity

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a translucent brown in color. Only about a half inch of head forms on the pour, and is quickly gone. Smell is very roasty brown malts and some hops. Taste is more of the heavily roasted malts, but there's a good amount of bitterness coming in at the end. I'm not sure if it's the hops or something else. An alright beer, but there are much better Brown's to drink.

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Photo of sleazo
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Zapata for the chance to sample

A_Pours a darker chestnut brown with a two finger cream couloured head. The staying power isn't a strong point.

S_A nice strong scent of deep rich and roasted caramel malt dominates the nose. A bit of praline sort of comes through as well.

T_Dryer than anticipated from the smell. Light caramel goes straight into a deep hazlenut and pecan finish. Not very deep as the flavour diminishes quickly. What aftertaste there is almost a sort of light nut brittle mixed with coffee. Hop bitterness is present throughout but nonexistant in the aroma.

M_On the thinner side with a mild carbonation.

D_A nice nut brown that actually manages to taste fairly nutty. Very drinkable, I am sure I could knock a few back.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.88/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bluegrass- Nut Brown Ale

A- Light amber brown with a small non lacing head.
S- Sweet brown sugar malt with a touch of chocolate.
T- Sweet brown sugar and molasses malt with a dusting of chocolate powder.
M- Sweet and cloying. Very sugary with the mildest of a dry finish.

Overall- Nah, just didn't do it for me. Too sweet and cloying, very little flavor other than some malt and chocolate. Pass on this 1.

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Photo of Ricochet
3.61/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark orange to lighter brown with nice head and thick, full lace that stayed around for a good while.

S: Like other nut browns, it's malt, a little light alcohol note, not much else.

M: Watery in the mouth, but a warn nutty swallow with a decent malty aftertaste.

T: Note of bleu cheese with rich nutty profile, alcohol in the back, bitter in the middle but not strong, overall the malt was flavorful, with just a note of tar.

D: Overall, this is a great nut brown. Not my favorite and not as good as some others I've tried, but still good.

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Photo of becktone
4.34/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes 7-2-08

Eye: Brown in color as the title promises, and clear too. When light diffuses through it, beautiful garnet hues make an appearance to show the true color of the brew, it is deep red. Head could use some more retention and an overall greater size, but it still passes for pretty good looking as it is. The head is small but it looks pretty creamy. Lacing could be better, kinda thin.

Nose: Rich malt notes hit the nose when close to the glass. Not room filling like the Esb I drank earlier, but still great...and completely different....Ah the wonders of beer, four ingredients and so many variations! Definitely getting some chocolate notes in this one, some roasty and toasty notes as well that mingle with the chocolate to give this beer just the right edge. No strong caramel presence. I wouldn't say that this is so much nutty, infact its more rich, chocolate and toasty if anything, but I won't hold that against it. Overall warm and soft malt aroma. Now this really seems weird to me, but I'll go with it anyway. Soft water, I'm getting a sense of soft water from this beer, I feel that either this was brewed with naturally soft water or it was treated water to make it softer, I know it sounds like bullshit, but while smelling this brew some of the water characteristic seemed to jump out at me...this has never happened before. Also something so familiar tied in with the chocolate or just behind it, though I can't put a finger on it....

Tongue: Very nice malt flavor, sweet, and full, robust, rich. Chocolate abounds, coffee like flavors, especially those found in the starbucks frappucinos, are everywhere. French vanilla is a big flavor I get here. This beer is chalk full of flavor, tons to discover. Some distant fruitiness as well, but it gets hidden quite quickly and easily behind the coffee like notes. Hop bitterness is present, however, it is quickly overtaken by the malty character of this beer almost as soon as it emerges-midway through the process of drinking-and then comes back after swallowed. This is a fine beer, don't miss out. One of the best local beers I've had in a great while.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: The beer is medium-heavy on the palate and has low levels of carbonation giving it an authentic English style feel. Aftertaste lingers on the palate, I really don't see anything wrong with this brew at all, everything seems to be a positive if you ask me. This is one I'd definitely pick up again, great deal for the price and great beer overall. As I mentioned above, this is one of the best local brews I've had in a while. Overall great beer, if you're in the area pick this up and support the brewery.

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Photo of Foxman
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a very slightly hazy reddish, brownish, amberish...amber, I guess. There's a very brief glimpse of light tan head that makes you wonder if you saw what think you saw. And lacing is even more ephemeral than the head.

The aroma is well toasted malt, nutty and sweet with caramel, as well as earthy with biscuit and a wee winky of tart fruit. As well, light chocolate and mild coffee come through softly.

Upon tasting, the malt is rich with cocoa, caramel, coffee, and a small measure of brown sugar. Baked biscuit and roasted nuts roil against a yeasty bread note that also brings some fairly crispy esters. A little more malt eases in, with some residual sweetness and another play of biscuit. The finish is a lingering malt fade barely undermined by a peripheral dryness. It's pretty much what I would expect from the style, in a good way.

A bit north of medium bodied, the malt drops off quickly, leaving a sudden, watery sensation that allows the essence to wash away too soon.

So there's no real head, and the palatal presence leaves a bit to be desired. Still, the aroma and flavor combine to bail out the other shortcomings, so my overall satisfaction is higher than the score might indicate. Indeed, it's those two qualities that end up making this very drinkable and very pleasant to experience. So the stutters don't blur the massage, which means the intent is safe. It's tasty.

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Nut Brown Ale from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
3.62 out of 5 based on 217 ratings.
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