Nut Brown Ale | AleSmith Brewing Company

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Nut Brown AleNut Brown Ale
Very Good
899 Ratings
Nut Brown AleNut Brown Ale

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly known as Nautical Nut Brown Ale.

AleSmith Nut Brown is a tribute to one of our favorite British styles. Deep mahogany in color, its rich, malt forward flavor profile balances notes of biscuit, mild cocoa and earthy hops. A creamy mouthfeel and full body enhances its drinkability, making Nut Brown an extremely sessionable, ale that embodies our commitment to quality.

Added by Todd on 07-08-2003

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Ratings: 899 |  Reviews: 257
Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ O'Briens (San Diego, CA) on 3/18/10. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a deep clear amber, with a thin covering of smooth off-white froth. This stays fairly rich, leaving a smooth foamy cascade of lacing behind. The aroma is sticky chocolate and caramel malts in the nose, with a fairly pronounced roasted nut smell to it, along with some earthy hops along the back. Addtional notes of roast and coffee round this out. Nice full flavors here to the aroma.

The taste is sweet malts, a hefty dose of earthy bitterness, roast, and more of that nuttiness, which lingers rather strongly in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a big firm carbonation to it that spreads out nicely in the mouth, helping carry all of those big flavors down.

This is one of those draft-only Alesmith releases that I always seem to pass up on visits to San Diego but I'm really glad that I decided to give it a shot this time around. While not overly complex, this had a full richness of flavor to it that really made this a pleasant quaff. Nicely done

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Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Alesmith

A: The pour is a deep, opaque brown color with a mild cream colored head.

S: The nose is very nutty, as you would expect. There are some nice toffee and toasted, biscuity malt aromas as well, along with some caramel sweetness.

T: A rich nutty and toffee flavor with a hint of coffee, perhaps. The sweetness of the bready malts is the backbone of the beer.

M: A medium body with a moderate level of carbonation with a slight creaminess.

D: I'm not always the biggest fan of brown ales as they tend to be a bit sweet, but this had a nice combination of nutty and toasted flavors that I found inviting.

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Photo of SDHoffers
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

They took their time when they crafted this beer. Maltiness and roast are spot on. I can't tell you how many people I've switched from Newcastle to Nautical. If I'm in a joint for the first time and I see this on tap I know that I'm safe. I may look for others that I haven't tried first but I know that I can always have a nautical and be completely satisfied. Not much carbonation and very smooth. The nutty smoothness is a little dangerous because you can drink a lot of these. Toasty smell and lingering malt are exactly what I look for in brown ale and this brew always exceeds my needs. An absolute staple at my bar.

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Photo of mjl21
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Yardhouse at LA Live. Poured into a pint glass. Unsure of abv.

A-Pours a lighter colored brown. It has a half finger off white head that dissolves fairly quickly.

S-Lots of roast malt and nuttiness. There is a touch of breadiness and a little bit of sweetness.

T-The taste mimics the nose. There is roast malt, toasted pale malt, and a little bit of sweetness. The roast malt results in a lot of coffee flavor.

M-Falls on the lower end of the medium spectrum. Smooth and silky.

D-Goes down quite easily. Very sessionable if you like brown ales.

I was glad to try this tap only offering that never makes it up north. It is a well crafted brown ale.

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Photo of DrJay
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown with a thin tan cap. Good head retention and there was a bit of spotty lace that clung to the glass. Malty aroma, chocolate and slight roast, a bit nutty. Solid bitterness without being out of balance, chocolate and cocoa with mild roasted grains. There was a lingering citrus bitterness as well. Medium to light bodied with a smooth, creamy texture and a little bit of dry astringency. A great lighter beer. It's got lots of flavour, but is still very approachable.

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Photo of bulletrain76
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draught at Fathers Office. Dark brown with a medium beige head. Toasted bread, light roast, coffee, and light spicy hop aromas. The flavor has light toffee and sweet caramel with coffee and light burnt/roasted flavors and some dark chocolate. Medium-light body with overly fizzy carbonation. The flavor profile is spot on, but the malt could be a little more substantial and the carbonation was too high.

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Photo of glid02
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at the Yard House in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a bright brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of toasted malts with sweet caramel aromas and a hint of citrus hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Toasted and caramel malt flavors kick things off and carry through until a crisp and slightly bitter ending. As with the smell there's a small amount of citrus hops that makes an appearance but the malts are front and center throughout.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have a few more of these, especially at 4.8%.

Overall this is one of the better brown ales I recall having. A solid brown that doesn't try and overpower the subtle flavors. Certainly worth a shot.

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Photo of tyanow
2.81/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: A little paler than what I would call a prototypical brown ale, with some reddish hues. Nice tan head that sticks a bit.

S: bready, a little bit of choco/caramel maltiness.

T: Nothing stands out but there is a muddled concoction of bread, dark malt, light hop....

M: Fizzy, lively, watery

D: If you want the look of a brown ale without quite so much heft, and the nuttiness of a typical brown ale is not desired or needed, one could drink a bunch of these 4.8% beers. Keep them cold as once this one warms up it loses all of it's already thin appeal.

I find this beer to be vastly overrated. I think nut brown is referring to the color and not the taste - shame. It lacks the rich smoothness that i expect from a brown ale. It is not terrible - obviously a lot of you like it, based on reviews but I find it thin and watery and lacking inspiration.

For the record - I am not 100% certain that I understand what is meant by "average" here. For a brown ale is that Newcastle? Sam Smith? Downtown brown? or is this average in overall beers?

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Photo of wd40
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz pint served on tap at JJ Brewsky's

Dark brown, opaque appearance.

This is a fantastic brown ale! Very sweet roasted malt flavors with coffee, chocolate and caramel undertones. A very smooth brew with a soft and creamy head.

With it's low ABV I could drink this all night!

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Photo of ILikeGoodCider
2.06/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A harbinger: I am not a big fan of Brown Ales.

Enjoyed on 06.26.09 from the tap, on recommendation from our server at JJ Brewsky's in Camarillo, CA. Served in a 16oz pint glass (dubbed "large").

A: Dark'ish brown w/ a disappointing head (hardly any). For an English brown I suppose it might border on average.

S: Nuts. Chocolate. Malt. As expected. Ok, maybe a ton more malt than I expected.

T: Uneventful. Really. I talked it through with my girlfriend (who didn't have this brew, but is well-versed in the finer points of craft brewing), and I couldn't come up with any other points regarding its taste that weren't typical brown ale comments.

M: Smooth & heavier than most browns. I really didn't feel the bitterness as most other reviewers found.

D: I couldn't wait to order a different brew. Sorry Alesmith, I love SOOO many of your brews (Decadence (several yrs), Speedways, Grand Cru, Horny D, Old Numb, et al.), but you let me down here...

Oh well, the Wee Heavy in my fridge will be well enjoyed in the near future!

For the record, I am a devout Alesmith fan (Tod, keep it up, I blame the distro!), I love your work.

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Photo of Bricelyn
4.67/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured like milk from a Growler (The only way to get head from a growler) it produces on fingers worth of head, this beer separates the light into three darker ambers like an out of focus monochrome Abstract. Beatifull or maybe I've allready had too much! It's smell is like fire roasted nuts and a slight maltiness. Taste is similar to a smoked porter but lighter and there are definitely some nuts in there somewhere I just can't get to them. Light Carbonation and very dry this beer is very drinkable and I am sessionning it to my wifes dismay! Gotta love the Alesmilth guys and gals!!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a clear medium brown color with a small white head. Nose is nuts, malts and caramel. Taste is so smooth, caramel, maybe some syrup and nuts. A slight cocoa, roastiness on the end with caramel, maple syrup and more nuts. A very good Nut Brown! Not my favorite style but I could drink this beer all day long at 4.6 ABV!

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Photo of tpd975
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Alesmith.

A: pours a nice nutty brown hue with a brownish white head. okay retention with no lace.

S: Nice roasted malt aromas with hints of chocolate and nuts.

T: Nutty caramel goodness with a touch of floral hops. Nice roasted quality adds enjoyment.

M: Medium in body, smooth.

D: Not my favorite style but pretty tasty.

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Photo of davexisxrabid
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the York in Highland Park.

Poured a nice clear brown color with a small white head that dissipated quickly. Not much lacing on the glass.

Aroma was kinda standard for a brown ale - nutty roasted almond smell, caramel, and a bit of tin-like hop bitterness.

Flavor paralleled the aroma. Caramel-like flavor is followed up immediately by dry metallic aftertaste. A bit hoppy in my opinion for an English brown ale.

Medium bodied brew, good flavor, well carbonated and smooth. The tin-like aftertaste did not stick around too long on the palate which I actually consider a good thing - I don't want too much hop bitterness in my brown ale.

Good drinkability overall. Average abv for a brown ale, not too heavy on the palate and not too bitter either. I think I still prefer Newcastle over this one, but I wouldn't pass up on the opportunity for a little more Nautical Brown Ale!

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Photo of Lunchmade
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Went to AleSmith today to fill my growler. Tasted a few and the Nautical was my last (maybe could have weakened my palate a bit). I wasn't too impressed with the brown and usually, browns I dig. Nice color, smelled better than tasted. It did have some good nutty flavors and a mild hoppy finish, but that is what AleSmith strives for. Was hoping that it tasted as good as my olfactory sensed, but fell a little short. I would have it again but not in the top ranks of browns I love.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap @ O'Brien's. Pours clear brown with a short-lived off-white head. Aroma of nuts and caramel. More nuts in the taste; almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts. Nice blend of caramel and cocoa and a slightly smoky finish. I'm still not a huge fan of brown ale, but this was very good.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Downtown Johnny Browns.

Poured a clear brown color with an average fizzy off-white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Heavy toasted sweet malt and light hop aroma. Medium body. Solid sweet toasted flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

Good complex brew.

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Photo of nickd717
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Absolute top of its style. Had this on tap at Pizza Port in Solana Beach, CA. These guys just do not make a bad beer, or even an average one.

A: Chocolate brown and smooth. Off-white head.

S: Lots of nuts and a little bit of hops.

T: Malty, nutty goodness (hazelnuts dominate), surprisingly complex taste.

M: Creamy and satisfying. Really makes this beer what it is.

D: I could drink this all day, if not all year. Count it.

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Photo of Mauerhan
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

had this bad boy on tap at the yard house in brea. arrived with a minimal head. nice dark brown with auburn highlights. the beer was poured way to cold (which the yard house is infamous for doing) so initial smell and taste are dulled. upon letting the beer warm I am greeted by a nice array of nutty smells and malts. the taste is smooth and complex. I get hints of roasted hazelnuts a bit of brown sugar and sweet malts. mothfeel is nice. decent amount of carbonation. very easy drink. I am not surprised tht alesmith of all people would put out a beer like this.

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Photo of Viggo
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Briens in San Diego.

Pours a clear brownish orange, coppery in the light, thin tan head forms, settles to a ring, some chunks of lace on the glass. Smell is quite nutty and toasty, some caramel, biscuits, grain, light floral, not much going on, kind of subdued. Taste is similar, nuts and toast, light fruits, biscuits and bread, caramel, bit of floral hopping, not much again. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, smooth and easy enough to drink but not for exciting, even for a nut brown. Try it if you see it, but it didn't do much for me.

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Photo of chrisafari
3.86/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Stone World Brewing Bistro and Gardens. Pours dark brown, almost opaque, with a nice thin tan head. Aroma is roasted nuts/malt. Flavor begins sweet and then becomes roasty and carmelly sweet. Flavors of crisp malt and cocoa dominate the palate. By far the best Brown ale out there.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, on to the beer:

This beer arrived a dark leatherly brown with shimmering hues of ruby red. The aroma is sweet, lots of toffee and some butterscotch. The taste is more of the same. Sweet upfront, then the toffee and butterscotch comes on in while a minor note of hops plays second fiddle. Unlike a number of American-made brown ales, this one hs an excellent balance between the malt and the hops. Just plain easy to drink, and I wish they bottled this brew.

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Photo of throwitallaway
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on-cask at Hamilton's. Brown like you would expect, with no head. Smells faintly of malt, caramel, and nuts. Taste is all about caramel and nuts. Excellent flavors. Mouthfeel is wonderful and creamy. This beer seems to really benefit from being served from a cask, as I've also had it on-tap and it wasn't quite as good. The other great aspect of this beer is the drinkability factor. It's low in alcohol and goes down incredibly easy. Definitely something you could drink all night.

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Photo of Overlord
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a chance to try this today at the Anthill Pub, in Irvine.

Pours a dark ... brown ... color with a maybe a half an inch white head. Smelled earthy and malty.

I'm not a big brown ale fan. In fact, I was a little hesitant to go out of my way to find this (never seen it on tap anywhere but Alesmith headquarters), even though Alesmith is basically my favorite brewery.

This had a nice earthy, nutty aftertaste (walnuts? Pecans? Not sure). Some hops even, and, of course, some roasted malt. Almost more of a porter in mouthfeel and character.

Good, but I'm still not a brown ale believer.

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Photo of coati858
4.8/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I can't tell you how fortunate I feel to live close enough to AleSmith to get growlers of this. It's a shame it doesn't appear to be available in bottles from stores.

Absolutely delicious -- the "Goldilocks" of the browns, at least for me.

All the flavors perfectly in balance. Enough hops to have make their presence known subtly rather than them running around the beer like a bull in a china shop. Lots of darker malt/grain (but not really sweet) flavor without any particular roasting note overriding the chorus.

Started drinking this poured out of the growler at refrigerator temp out of a standard pint glass. Finished some of the last of a glass at near-room temp. The flavors brightened up as it warmed, but it was great all the way through the range.

If I only had one beer to drink for the rest of my life, this would fit the bill nicely.

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Nut Brown Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 899 ratings