Brooklyn Brown Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Brown AleBrooklyn Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by purplehops on 06-10-1998

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Reviews: 951 | Ratings: 2,354
Photo of Beerwithoutallthehops
1.6/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Another taste of the "excessive hops nation".

This brown ale had a very good taste, right out of the bottle. Satisfying. But as I drank each additional sip, I began to notice an aftertaste of unknown taste. It was sort of smokey or bready or some extra taste like that. Not bad, but it did not add anything good to the taste. There certainly was the ever present hops taste, but not as much bitterness as I have found in others (ie - Sierra Nevada and Sweetwater put 17 lbs of hops in each bottle - YUCK!!!) and that was a welcome improvement.

The beer sells itself with the note on the bottle that tells you to look for the "chocolate and coffee" tastes. Really? I have eaten chocolate and drank coffee. They aint there. I did taste a small - SMALL - taste of what I would call dark chocolate, or maybe more exact - bakers chocolate. It was bitter and reminded me of that chocolate taste. Not what I need in my beer. If I want a chocolate taste, I know where they sell chocolate bars. I'll get one.

Brewers - Please just make beer. Stop all the floral, cinnamon, coffee, chocolate, HOPS OVERLOAD, nutmeg. rosemary, tumeric, etc., etc., etc.,etc., etc., etc.,etc...............................

No, I will not buy this one again. It was better, but not something I care to drink again.

Time to get back to German beer and their care and love of making beer, real beer, that tastes like beer.

Wow. Imagine that "crazy" idea.

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Photo of wailingwench
1.75/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Eye Candy: Pored a very thin, translucent brown color. Thin head initially, vanished after 2 minutes +/- 30 seconds adjusted to error. No lacing to speak of. Purchased fresh on tap, purchased on a "fire sale", character did not change.

The Nose Knows: Thin, thin, and more thin. This is supposed to be a brown, more like a brown in the Natty Ice tradition. Very minimal malts emerged, some caramel was detected. Simply put, Brooklyn Brown is bland.

Tongueland: Nothing there. Like I said above, thin, thin, and more thin. Bland.

Bender Factor: This poor example was on sale recently for $2.50/ pint at my local watering hole, I wonder why. Never again.

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Photo of Mitchster
1.93/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Brewed with 2-row, caramel, chocolate, biscuit, and wheat malts. Hopped with Cascade, Willamette, and Northern Brewer.
5.5% ABV.

Pours out to a sparkingly clear deep mahogany with chestnut accents, forming a modest dark-beige head with average retention and very nice lacing. Carbonation is medium. Aroma is actually enticing, something I've not come to expect from this brewery...sweet amber malts predominate, a modest amount of likeable diacetyl (which I normally abhor), some mild earthen hops, vanila extract, and faint milk chocolate. Mouthfeel is initially wet, but quickly becomes ruddy and oxidized with a dry finish and medium body. Taste begins nice enough with very herbal hops, but quickly becomes overpowered by fusel alcohols, nasty buttery diacetyl, and the taste of dank musty cardboard. Finish is woody and leathery like a sofa from the 70's. Aluminum vats and caustic cleaners linger in the aftertaste.

This is my least favorite style, but truly....this is acrid, horrible stuff. This qualifies as "down-the-sink" material. Stay away.

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Photo of gregO59
2.01/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

went to a non local shop with selection I would rate as below par. couldn't find anything cold that I would usually buy. decided to try Brooklyn brown ale. usually buy stronger browns but none to be had. 5.6 abv figured it to be fizzy watery brown ale. absolutely right . smells bad, tastes bad, not something I would waste money on. there are plenty of better brown ales out there . no reason to buy again.

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Photo of SerendipitousTaster
2.04/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I am new to this forum and wish that I could post reviews privately as it is not my intention to influence or inform others but to remind myself. I am not a beer tasting expert and do not know the proper etiquette or vocabulary.

This said, I found the Brooklyn Brown Ale to be pretty in the glass when poured. The color is rich and the head sturdy. I was disappointed though by the thinner than expected and less full bodied flavor overwhelmed by what seemed to be too much carbonation for this brown ale. The ale left only a slight bitter aftertaste on the palate but a less than satisfying overall taste and experience.

I will not purchase in quantity but would drink if offered or even order as the first beer in a steak or barbeque restaurant if better options are not available.

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Photo of waughbrew
2.06/5  rDev -44%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Halfway between a dirty peanut and an earthworm. Muted musty cedar. Splash of weak caramels and cheap black tea. Thin sweet nut-skin finish. I just don't get it. Thin, bland sweetness. I have tried this one on a number of occasions and although it strikes me a little differently each time, and is usually better on draft, I never really enjoy it.

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Photo of Oxymoron
2.06/5  rDev -44%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Paint the city Brooklyn Brown. Pours an opaque brown with amber hues throughout. A decent pour left a soft head with some larger bubbles. Not much lacing but ok retention.

The nose is light over all but some malty notes. Caramel and chocolate mostly but some lighter bready qualities as well. A big oxidation that really is off setting for everything. Some lighter yeasty and earth hop notes as well.

The taste continues much like the nose but its hard to get past the cardboard oxidation flavors. Some minor chocolate notes and a touch of astringency. Some lighter earthy and woody flavors as well.

The body is closer to mid than light. Looking for more body as there is a watery, wispy flavor. Overall really the cardboard flavor is just obnoxious.

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Photo of RevSox08
2.1/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "perfect pint" glass. This is my first time having this beer, and only my second or third time trying a Brooklyn brew.

Appearance - Brown. What struck me most is how clear it is though. You're able to mostly see through it. Kind of disappointing, as I tend to like my brown ales to be darker and more stout-ish.

Smell - Smells of some caramel sweetness, but it's not that significant.

Taste - Not much. Not much at all. A little nutty, but I'm disappointed by the lack of any real flavor. The caramel sweetness in the aroma is definitely not present in the taste. No bitterness. Maybe a TINY bit of diacetyl, but I'm not sure if that's normal or perhaps I just got a bad batch. Nothing noteworthy here.

Mouthfeel - Thin... that's pretty much it.

Overall, I just don't see what anybody could really like about this beer. I finished it because it didn't taste particularly bad; it just didn't taste much like anything at all.

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Photo of dasenebler
2.12/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12oz, best before July 2012.

Rich, dark chestnut, very clear. Nice creamy head and solid retention.

Aroma has some toasty, lightly roasty malt, a lot of off yeast character, and oxidized notes.

Flavor is oxidized, but some nice maltiness shines through with notes of toasted bread, toffee and chocolate. Pretty bitter and dry. Slightly acidic, and not very clean in the yeast department. Can you say INFECTION? Mouthfeel is very drying, with smooth medium carbonation.

So this is supposed to be good until July 2012? Really? God only knows how rank it'll be by then. Best rethink your packaging code, Brooklyn Brewery. Oxidized and infected is not a great combo, especially four months before the best-by date.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.19/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

First had: on tap at Casey's, Newtown Square, PA

Mediocre at best, as mostly every brown ale I've ever tried. Poured mahogany with quickly receding whitish head. Mostly malty nose. Taste is thin, nutty and malty, watery, with a bit of sweetness. Light mouthfeel, and not very drinkable...just not my style.

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Photo of bmills1608
2.2/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Quite a dark brown color with a dirty brown head when poured. Head sustains itself pretty well.

I don't know if it is the hops or what, put basically, for me, this beer is just too bitter. It smashed me over the head with bitterness, no balance, and not the usual good bitter taste that I find in so many other brews. I could be talking out my ass here, but I think they used too much roasted malt which imparts a rather bitter taste to begin with, then made the all too common American mirco brewer mistake of WAY to much hop bitterness. It's over the top and in my opinion it is too much. Definitely not what I expected. I think it could be more balanced. Not my style.

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Photo of morayeel
2.23/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I was not impressed by this brown ale. I have had alot better. I was disapointed. This ale had very little taste and the color could have been darker. Its not an ale I would have on tap for a party when I have frieds over. I was expecting more form this ale.

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Photo of greebsnarf
2.23/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle, best by August '06. I missed it by two days but took my chances. Poured it into a paper cup, so I missed some of the visuals, but it had a decent rust-brown color with a lingering cream-colored head. In retrospect I wish I'd poured it into something nicer (not that I had any options at the pizzeria I was in) since its appearance was the best thing about this ale. The aroma and taste were both simple and overpowering, with a huge roasted malt flavor, strong and saccharine, with caramel highlights emphasizing the cloying sweetness. There were hints of coffee, chocolate and nuts in the taste as well as a bitter punch to start off but all of those were drowned out by the caramel and malts. Fairly high carbonation smoothed it all out a bit by distracting the tongue. The aftertaste was equal parts sweet and bitter, but, again, poorly blended and overpowering. A pretty simple beer with some promise, if it could just be toned way down.

 949 characters

Photo of gfreed
2.44/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This was a bit of a disappointment as I had heard many positive things about this ale before buying it. The color is a pleasant dark amber, which is about the most positive thing I can say. The smell has some very faint malt and coffee, and the taste is almost indistinguishable from flat Coke. It's generally lighter than I prefer for this type of beer, and has almost no carbonation. I'll pass.

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Photo of PatrickJR
2.45/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass. I had my first one of these a little tipsy the other night, and it caught me as offensive which in atypical after I've had a few. I'm coming back to this brew to formally review it tonight, and it's even worse.

A - Clear, very dark dark red. Light tan head rises about three fingers. Moderate retention, and some lacing.

S - Charcoal and burnt bread, but not in an entirely bad way. Very minerally. Modest caramel sweetness is trying to push through but doesn't get very far.

T - This one of the flat-out worst tasting things I have had in quite a while. Huge burnt character hits at first and sort of devolves into a nasty mud-puddle flavor. Though this mud dominates throughout, mid palate there's a spike of something that initially reminds me of blood, and then I remember the metallic/mineral component from the nose. After the swallow, a bitterness not unlike chewing up a pill sticks to the back of my mouth, very unpleasant. Luckily it doesn't linger too long.

M - Way too much carbonation, and disgustingly thin. This brew might actually taste a little bit better if it had the chance to hang around my tastebuds for more than a few seconds.

D - No. No sir. Brooklyn has really disappointed me with this offering; glad I won't have any more staring me down in the fridge. It's not quite offensive to be a drain pour, but it is far from passable.

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Photo of Haus
2.45/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Deep brown color in glass, reddish glow when held up to a light. Tan, frothy head laces the glass nicely. Aroma is roasty malt with a hint of coffee. Taste is a bit bitter at first, followed by dry, watered down malty finish. I don’t really taste any noticeable hop notes. Mouthfeel is smooth... this beer appears and pours like it might have a bit of viscosity to it, but doesn’t deliver. It’s ok...not great.

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Photo of scuppers
2.5/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Purchased from Gentiles market in Columbus, Ohio and served at the usual temperature in a clear pint glass. Note: my sample may have gone bad -- the bottle lists Best Before April of 2009 (reviewed on April 17 of 09).

Pretty good, darker than Newcastle. nice brown color, maybe even a slight ruby tinge to it. Very slight lacing on the glass.

Smell: smells much better to me than it tastes. Nice malty character, A little dark malt. Slight dough smell with coffee or chocolate character. Smooth hop aroma, especially directly after opening. Floral and spicy hop aromas. Very slight herbal / Jagermeister note. Maybe a little cascade hops.

Taste: distracting and not good. Maybe my batch went bad. I don't think it's just paper-bag type oxidation flavor I'm tasting, to me it just tastes sour. It's not bitter hoppiness, but more like just sour. Beginning taste notes of Killians style malt - then BOOM - sour taste -- then maybe a little hops. and alcohol, then more sour and bitter and some ash taste in the aftertaste. Less watery than Newcastle.

I'm having a hard time effectively rating this since it's so sour. Probably as sour as a vodka gimlet (which by the way is mostly lime juice). I just hope they didn't forget to rinse the sanitizer in the fermenter. "it tastes like burning."

Mouthfeel: sort of dry mouthfeel, especially toward the end. Like eating a sour pretzel - sort of dries you out. I would not rate the drinkability as good. I love beer, but I don't think I can have more than one or two of these. On the plus side for drinkability, it seems about as filling as water.

Would be a drainpour if it weren't 9 bucks, and if it weren't so nice looking.

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Photo of alleykatking
2.51/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Well it poured a deep drak brown color which is what I expected. When held up to the light I did catch some red tints to it on the edges. 1 1/2 finger tannish head that dies down leaving very soapy looking lacing that slides down the glass when I drink it.

S- First thing I pick up on is the sweet malts in this beer. Next is the hints of alcohol following the sweetness. Nothing really jumps out at me. Some darker fruits in here along with apples maybe? I am trying hard to pick up something else and really can't.

T- Roasted malts come through...a little coffee taste. Watery in the end. Some chocolate notes in there as well. Nothing really good tasting though. And after reading others reviews recently I know I didn't get a bad bottle.

M- Light mouthfeel to this beer. Carbonation is a little lacking in this beer and makes it sludge through the palate onto the throat. Roasted malts left on the palate and in the aftetaste.

D- This is not really my sort of drinkable beer. I like what they are trying to do here but I do not enjoy the outcome at all.

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Photo of david18
2.52/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Eh. This is a bad example of a bad beer. I like brooklyn because it's local but i'm not sure about this beer. I typically don't like brown ales to begin with but this one really has nothing to distinguish it from anything else. Color, smell and flavor are all nothing to get excited about.

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Photo of jeonseh
2.55/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into my GI MBA Pint Glass with a best before Feb 2008 on the bottle.

A - the color is reddish brown that reminds me of cherry wood furniture. Very clean looking as it has a bit of a sheen to it as well; i think that aspect of it is what makes me think that it looks like furniture. No head at all on this one, just a thin layer of milkiness sitting on top. with a few bubbles.

S - Smells a bit like hazelnuts to me; also there is malty sweetness within this one too. Rather fragrant but not over the top; also has a bit of a coffee roastiness imho.

T - taste is not as sweet as I would think; there is a big of the deeper, roasted nut taste that I smelled; Also, there is hoppy bitterness to me but it is different than usual; almost a bit sour actually and found that this overpowers the malt that is in the beer. Feels a bit unbalanced IMHO as really the sour taste seems to dominate; could be called dry even but not really because doesn't remind me of a dry wine because there is the persistent sour note. it is almost like the hops and the malt don't go well together as all but instead are fighting each other in some odd battle to make my mouth taste odd.

Mf- very heavily carbonated; this isn't too bad but it does seem like it goes with the hoppy aspect of this brown ale which seems to make this one a bit unique. Although do think it is a little too heavy because at some points, it seems to overpower and overwhelm my mouth so that at some points I really can't even taste anything because I am being completely bombarded with carbonation that almost numbs the tongue.

D - overall a decent brown ale but not one that is even close to blowing me away. I would probably pass on this one if I saw it again. I got it out of a Craft beer mix pack and think it is just a bit too unbalanced for my taste plus i'm kinda surprised by the sourness of the beer, A big disappointment from Brooklyn in my eyes.

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2.61/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A nice 3 finger deep tan head shows fat bubbles and decent lace after a strong pour. The body is the blackest brown you can get, only showing hints of brown around the edges. Nose is a soft roasty malt feel with a zesty nutty backbone. Oddly soured malt feel enters the mouth with a slight shock. This does mellow out quickly though. The what rawness comes through all over the palate. The overall taste is a little sour dominate and not quite developed. Lacks the even richness of what I would expect from a brown ale. Mouthfeel is soured and sharp. Not all that enjoyable overall.

 582 characters

Photo of FLBeerGuy
2.62/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with a one finger tan head that leaves little lacing.

Nose is almost non existent, maybe a little malty

Taste is not much better, some subdued malts...very bland

This is one smooth drinking beer, but it does not do much for the senses.

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Photo of Naes
2.65/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A dark brown ale with a tan head that has good retention and lacing.
The aroma is roasty and has chocolate tones.
Its flavor is grainy and nutty with a mild hop presence. There is also a slight coffee/chocolate presence near the finish.
Mouth feel is light to medium bodied and mildly carbonated.

This beer has an additional flavor that I can not put my finger on that does not agree with me.

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Photo of fattychubs
2.68/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Somewhat brown but with very red highlights, served with a short tan head, that leaves a patchy lace over the top. Aroma was sweet malts, but I smelled a little hop which didn’t seem characteristic of a brown ale. The taste started with mildly sweet malts, a small hint of coffee, but moves to a spicy bitter hop flavor, and ends slightly acidic with a crisp hop finish. Body was barely medium.

It just seemed very different then what I am used to in brown ales, not very sweet, very hoppy. As it warmed up the hops dominated even more and I liked it less. Not horrible though, just not what I was expecting.

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Photo of JDV
2.7/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to davehoward for the bottle! Pours a dark brown color with ruby edges on the glass. Light tan fizzy head. Smell is toasty, semi roasty malt. Hint of chocolate and coffee round it out and a mild roastiness is present in the taste as will along with a slight sour bitterness. Very thin body I thought. Not bad, but just not impressive especially for what I was expecting.

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Brooklyn Brown Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,354 ratings.
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