Nut Brown Ale | AleSmith Brewing Company

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Nut Brown AleNut Brown Ale
Very Good
892 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 892 |  Reviews: 254
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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Photo of Stoneman78
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a very dark brown hue, moderate tan creamy head that is mostly diminishing, fair lacing throughout
S- Nose is dominated by a range of nuts including hazelnut, pecans, and almonds, roasted malts, tones of coffee and cocoa/milk chocolate, some light hops too
T- Initial taste is of roasted nuts and malts as expected, followed by sweet chocolate tinged with espresso, finishes with crisp hop bitterness in the lasting finish, very well-balanced and complex brown!
M- Light-medium bodied, creamy to watery texture, good carbonation
D- At under 5%abv, this is a standout brown session ale that is smooth and delicious, I recently drank about 6 pints over the course of a few hours at a local lounge and was feeling fine all night long, this is one of only two "core" styles that Alesmith doesn't bottle, but I look forward to drinking it whenever I stumble upon it at fine SD bars and eateries

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Photo of mcallister
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep chestnut. Much in the way of ruby. The head hangs around a considerable amount of time and is still there to the end.

Roasted nutty toffee malt. Earthy with a hint of milk chocolate and date. No RS noticeable in the nose.

Great nut brown. Layered flavors of milk chocolate, roasted toffee and caramel with a thick nutty presence. A floral hop bitterness in the mid palate and finish. Very tannic in the finish as well but a mild sweetness settles things down.

Rich, creamy and full bodied for 4.8%

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Photo of Floydster
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

32 ounce stein at Richmond Bar and Grill

Thick white head on this puppy and went perfectly with my pastrami sandwich this day

Could not decide between this and Port's Wipeout IPA, but I am more than confident I made the right choice

Too bad this is a draft beer only, they need to bottle this one

Would definitely try again, also saw this at the Tap Room in San Diego, i love that place just in case you were wondering

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

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz.

Ruddy dark brown, decent 1 finger head colored tan. Adequate retention.

Big toffee and caramel aromas, roasty chocolatey malt.

Nice toasty malt background to a sweet toffee note. Rich and nutty. Very English.

A little light on body but not distractingly so. A great tasting beer that you can go through several pints of.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Hollingshead's in Orange, CA,

A: Dark brown, with a thick creamy head, excellent lacing left in the glass, as the head stays around for the whole pint.

S: Nuttiness, of course, with hazelnuts and almonds, quite sweet, with a hint of English hops.

T: Very good, simple nut and malt flavor, though it is very full and abundant, definitely one of the best American-made nut Browns that I have ever tasted.

M: Smooth, creamy, quite light, but good for the style, very refreshing for a Brown.

D: A great sessionable ale, a great choice on-tap by Alesmith, if you can find it, and want a lighter, but still full-flavored beer.

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

Growler poured into mug.

Appearance: Pours a very dark reddish-brown color. Moderately thick tan head retains well and leaves a nice lace.

Smell: Has a nice aroma of roasted nuts, malts, and a bit of coffee. Light cocoa hints and a bit of hops in the back.

Taste: Creamy and slightly sweet taste of roasted malts and nuts. Very refreshing with noticable undertones of chocolate and coffee. A slight hop bitterness right at the finish and a bit into the aftertaste. It has a nice bit of complexity.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, medium-bodied beer. Very light, tingly carbonation.

Drinkability: Low alcohol, good flavor, and doesn't get old. Nice session beer.

A very solid, refreshing, and enjoyable beer. Highly recommended; I look forward to getting it again.

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

Sampled on tap at the Stone Bistro, and later at Alesmith.

Appearance: Dark chestnut, slightly translucent with an off-white head that didn't last long.

Smell: Very malty; caramel and dark fruit, slightly roasty.

Taste and mouthfeel: Mild sweetness, nutty and roasty, a bit earthy. Full-flavored but fairly light-bodied.

Drinkability: This is extremely sessionable stuff; it's full-flavored but light on the alcohol, and not so one-dimensional that it would get boring very quickly.

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Nut Brown Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 892 ratings