Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Buzzsaw Brown | Deschutes Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
128 Reviews
Buzzsaw BrownBuzzsaw Brown

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
28 IBU

Added by Thrasher on 04-09-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 128 | Ratings: 138
Photo of largadeer
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy brown, slightly transparent. Head retention could be better.

Smell: Toasted malt, nuts, cereal grain, toffee. Simple and straight-forward but fairly nice.

Taste/mouthfeel: Toasty and nutty, mild caramel notes, fairly dry overall. Husky grain flavors toward the middle. Body is light. Gentle earthy hop bitterness in the finish.

 346 characters

Photo of Domingo
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I have to say that I'm really becoming a fan of brown ales. There's just something nice about having a full-bodied malty ale that still goes down easy and isn't an alcohol monster.

This one pours a medium to light brown color. I actually happened to see it next to 2 other brown ales and it was the lightest one of the bunch. It does, however, have a ton of foamy head that most lack.

The smell is husky and malty, but with a little earthiness to it. It's a distinctive smell of something that's hearty, but not too much.

At first it tastes of caramel and cocoa, but you can definitely pick up a bread-like warmth in the middle. The finish has a hint of hops to keep the sweetness in check, but they're clearly playing a minor role in this one...which is ideal stylistically.

Goes down easy at first, but about 3/4 of the way down it actually starts to become boring. I've enjoyed several of these, but I've actually poured out the last little bit of a few of them. There's nothing wrong with it, but I think it's just missing a little zing to keep me interested.

ABV's ideal for a session beer, though.

Grab it while you still can as the season's drawing to a close.

I wish this was a Spring seasonal. To me, April/May is the perfect time for a brown ale.

 1,263 characters

Photo of Derek
2.65/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Amber-brown, off-white head, very little retention, slight lacing.

S: Fruity esters (apple & pear?), cotton-candy, brown sugar.

T: Grainy bread & brown sugar with a bit of grainy astringency. The average brown ale has a lot more depth.

M: Thin & weak.

D: Definitely below average.

 287 characters

Photo of JEdmund
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful, deep leather brown with a steady stream of carbonation; creamy 3/4" head; leaves thick lacing; a truly gorgeous color on this one

Surprisingly fruity, with some sugariness mixing in; it immediately reminded me of Great Divide's Hibernation Ale

Taste & Mouthfeel
Complex and light--it starts off with some lively fruitiness that's present in the aroma, then lends way to some toasty malt notes and caramelized sugar; there's a hint of dried cranberries coming through; the body is a little thin, but it has softness to it as well; low level of carbonation, but that's just fine in this beer

I really enjoyed sampling this. I don't try a lot of brown ales, and this one was a lot different from the ones I have tried, namely in that it has such a fruity quality to it. This would be a good one to include with porters and stouts on a dark beer night to brighten things up a bit. It's really a tasty, balanced, and unique brew.

 965 characters

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours brown with ruby light shining through. Good fluffy head. nose smells kind of wheaty. Taste is thin as hell and very lacking in the malt departement, and hops department for that matter. This is a thin brown ale. Almost a fruity sort of taste to it. wierd. Mouthfeel is thin. Drinkability is good though, very sessionable. It is good beer for sure, just not as meaty as I like my american browns. A decent pick for a session after youre palate is already compromised.

 472 characters

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served about cellar temp in a Boston Lager glass.

Light brown, slightly cloudy pour leaving a small head with almost no lacing.

Aroma is faintly beerish, no defects, nothing special. Where are the hops in this American brown?

Flavor is light, malty and nutty, reminiscent of typical English pale ales.

Mouthfeel is balanced, lightly carbonated (in a good way), low bitterness.

Drinkability is good, would make a fine session beer. Goes down really easy.

 460 characters

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has moved to Deschutes late winter seasonal (used to come out in april-may). It's now released next after Jubelale, starting January 08.

Super dark brown, tree bark or tootsie roll in color.

Tall resiliant head with lacing that follows your progress down the glass, tenaciously hanging onto the sides of the glass from top to bottom.

Toasty caramel and nuts in the aroma. Malty!

Taste is similar, with a big malt profile and not a lot of hops, a departure for Deschutes.

Very smooth medium body, with really drinkable mouthfeel. Running through my head all of the possible food pairings, gave up after thinking up a few dozen entrees. The malt profile will really comliment a lot of cheeses, red meats, etc.

 720 characters

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

6 Pack from La Bodega in Riverside, CA., purchased in February 2008 and tasted then and in March.

Pours a medium amber-brown with red highlights. A small off-white head starts at the pour, but not much reamins for long.

Aroma is very weak in my Piraat goblet, I recall it being stronger in a standard pint glass (when does that ever happen?). Bready, nutty, slightly sweet, and just a hint of hop sharpness.

Flavor has a stronger sharp bitterness overlying the decent bready, lightly carmelized malt profile. Actually, on second swallow, the moderately bitter ending is the strongest part of the flavor profile- that must be the buzzsaw part of the brown!

Moderate body and surpising carbonation on the tongue (in comparison to the lack of carobnation showing in the glass) make for a nice feel.

I like this one- can't say I'm convinced it's a new favorite, but I certainly don't mind having a six pack to work my way through!

 932 characters

3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - 1" tan head - retains well at a dense 1/4" leaves nice lace. Dark brown and light brown towards bottom.

S - Chocolate, light roasted malt. Tangy fruit.

T - Mild coffee. Chocolate. Earthy , bready malt. Light hop bitterness.

M - A little thinner than medium bodied. Medium carb. Not too dry or sweet.

D - Great drinkability. Very flavorful brown ale.

 357 characters

Photo of woemad
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane. Label is stamped "Best By 05/02/08."

Poured a cola color into a shaker-style pintglass, with a 3/4" head of light tan foam. The head dropped fairly quickly, with a very small amount of spotty lace. When held up to direct light, it took on a ruby hue.

The nose is pretty mild. There's a caramelly maltiness, along with a slight roasty scent. Unspectacularly good smelling, I'd say.

The taste is pretty much like the smell. Complex, it ain't, with a mild, caramel sweetness combined with a faint, roasty flavor that keeps it from being OTT in the sweetness department. Extremely faint dryness at the swallow.

The mouthfeel was a little flat. It could use more carbonation, but it's not a deal breaker for the style.

While perfectly serviceable, it pretty much lacks all distinction. Your friend whose scared to try a dark beer might like it, but there's nothing in it that would make me come back for more.

 963 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass, the liquid is medium brown with ok carbonation. The head is one finger tan and leaves little lace.

The smell is good, a nice light roastyness ans caramel malt.

The taste follows, I like the taste, a very nice toasted caramel malt, not complex but quite enjoyable.

The mouthfeel is good, medium body and ok carbonation.

The drinkability is good, smooth, clean and enjoyable.

Prosit, MK

 433 characters

Photo of StoutyMcHaggis
2.67/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Nice brown color with some red. Pours well, with little head.

Smell: Deceptively great smell of Northwest hops and darker malts.

Taste: This is where this beer falls flat. When compared to great browns like Moose Drool or Rogue's Hazelnut Brown. Tastes like a mediocre brwn with too much dark roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: I'm use to my browns having alot more body, far too clean and a little dry.

Drinkablity: Easy to drink, but the taste just makes this one not worth it.

Overall I was really dissapointed. I hope I just got a bad sixer. With that said I wont be going back to this one regardless. Its a porter trying to be a brown.

 648 characters

Photo of PhxHorn
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is a rich deep brown, not much foam. Smells biscuity and malty, not much of a hoppy aroma in there. Tastes of malt, carmel, some light spices, but overall the flavor is a bit thin. Strong carbonation, maybe even a bit too much. I seem to be getting more fizz than flavor on my palette. Anyway, not a bad beer, drinakable but nothing special.

 347 characters

Photo of chugamugofsud
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a little lighter than some browns, although retains the malty presence most think of with this style.

It has some nutty aromas with a relatively thin head and appearance. Pours out lighter than some browns but retains a reasonable amount of flavor. Because of the lightness, it is incredibly easy to drink without leaving the stomach wounded or being too thin and leaving the mouth puckered. Not my absolute favorite of the Deschutes line but a pretty good effort nonetheless.

One of their longer-running seasonals.

 535 characters

Photo of SargeC
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep amber brew with a light tan head.

Smell: Solid malt aroma with a hint of grapefruit.

Taste: Slightly nutty with minor hints of apple and pear. Good malt presence throughout.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body. Clean finish for an ale.

Drinkablity: An easy drinking brew. Tasty and simple.

 307 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a very hazy dark amber color with a sturdy head that splashes lace all over the pint glass

Smell: Although a waft of citrus overwhelms the chocolate malt, neither aroma is particularly pronounced and I think I can smell some of the Pacific NW timber in there, too

Taste: Opens with toast and cocoa flavor that builds to chocolate orange bread by mid-palate; after the swallow, the muted cocoa tones become more pronounced and blend nicely with the citrus

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I'm not a big fan of brown ales but this is one nice beer

 597 characters

Photo of Maudite
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably one of my favorite from Deschutes. A fine example of an American Brown.

A= light to medium brown, a soft velvety tone, nice and clean, little head, brownish white in color.
S= Little hop aroma, nothing cuts through, a mild toastiness and light biscuit character
T= Again, hops barely cut through, which is nice for the style. It's easy to enjoy the biscuity, toasted malt taste that makes a bed on your tongue and rests momentarily. Akin to the Amber with less hops.
M= Soft, rich, earthy, smooth.
D= Goes down nice. Great beer to have with lunch.

 560 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one in a recent trade with younger35. Thanks Dan!
Best by 4/25/08. Clear brown with a reddish hue and a thin cap of fine beige bubbles. Spotty lacing, good head retention. Sweet malty aroma, biscuity and brown sugar, with mild fruity hops. A bit doughy as it warmed too. Mild bitterness with a big malt presence. Very toasted with a hint of caramel and cocoa. Light fruit character throughout, but this became more prominent and tangy in the finish (along with more brown sugar). Medium bodied with fairly soft carbonation, nice texture. This is a great session beer, not too heavy and not too intense, but with a solid character. Good stuff.

 651 characters

Photo of markgugs
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 12oz. bottle into a pint glass, thanks to tayner for the trade (best by 8/30/07, so this is a bit old)

A: Pours a very ruby/mahogany color, and is rather murky. Hundreds of tiny bubbles cling to the class and help produce a nice 1-finger off-white head, which diminishes fairly quickly but leaves a thin layer of foamy bubbles to stick around. Hardly any lacing to speak of.

S: Immediate scents of dough, mild brown sugar, and roasted, biscuity malts come through; probably the older bottle, but I detect no hops at all.

T/M: There is an initial snap of hops up front, but they quickly give way to a well-roasted & sweet maltiness in the middle, which in turn develops into a burnt baked goods finish. Beer is mildly drying and carbonated well for the style.

D: I'd love to try this fresh, as I'm sure it'd make for a great sessionable ale, at <5% ABV.

 871 characters

Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: A hazy amber body, fluffy off-white head. Good retention, patches of lace.

s: Cocoa powder, nothing but cocoa powder.

t: Toasty malt, caramel, cocoa, herbal hop bitterness.

m: High carbonation and surprising acidity, very crisp.

d: a very different brown ale. More bitter than most. Smells exactly like cocoa powder, but doesn't have much cocoa flavor. Lacks the typical nutty character of a brown ale. An interesting brown ale, but I wont seek it out again.

 466 characters

Photo of Rayek
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice beer that would make a fine accompaniment to lightly herbal seasoned foods.

A: Red amber color that's slightly cloudy. The head dissolves quickly, but leaves substantial lace down the glass.

S: Flowery hop aroma. I smelled a lot of grapefruit and lemon, with a hint of tree sap.

T: Hops dominate early and carry over the citrus theme. There is a mild toasted malt flavor that becomes more predominant as the beer warms. Has a dry finish with a lingering hop bitterness.

M: Just right. Light body with a bit of fizz.

D: A good session beer. As I drank it, I kept thinking how nice this would be with dishes seasoned with lemon and basil, but that's just me.

 668 characters

Photo of dbalsock
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

App: Poured a mahogany brown with 2 finger offwhite head. Laces the glass nicely.

Smell: Nutty with a hint of hops... i think northern brewer... i can definitely pick out some caramel.

Taste: The hops act in a supporting role to the malt mix, with the nutty caramel. I would say the balance is perfect for a brown ale, especially an american brown.

Mouthfeel: Not so bitter, but interesting due to the different malts and light hoppage.

Drinkability: Very sessionable, easy to drink and I would easily buy this multiple times just for myself.

 546 characters

Photo of Hollenbeck2
3.32/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

the was my first try of this brown ale, buzzaw, not sure what to expect but my local grocery store does a great job a carrying unique beers like this for me to try. this not my favorite seasonal, and too be honest i am not the biggest brown fan, but it was tasty and i could see this being a quality beer to offer my guests during the winter.

 342 characters

Photo of arizcards
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer at BevMo back in early August for $6.79. Best before 8-30-07 but stored in a cold fridge for the duration. We'll see how it goes...

Beer pours a reddish brown with an initially strong off white head that is leaving a lacing behind. Nose is of sweet toasted grain. Taste is of toasted grains, a hint of chocolate malts, finishes slightly acidic. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied. Overall drinkability is good. I had this initially back at the first Arizona Cardinals pre-season game and it was quite good amd drinkable in 100+ temps and is still very enjoyable on a 60 degree winter day!

 608 characters

Photo of younger35
4.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a sixer of Deschutes seasonal at New Vintage wine shop for around $7.50. Deschutes if by far my favorite brewery and I’ve had this brew many times. Drank from my snifter while watching New York vs. Green Bay.

Appearance- Pours a clear amber brown with a nice one finger off-white head that recedes very slowly leaving a thick cap and collar. Plenty of big frothy lacing is left all over the glass.
Smell- The nose is feint but nice. Lightly dirty with a bite of citrus hop that has a vague lemon tartness. A bit of grainy toasted malt is light but there.
Taste- Starts with quite a bit of caramel malt that has a slightly toasted taste to it. Sweet but not excessively, just enough to balance the slight bitterness of the hops. American citrus hops add a bit of a zesty lemon tartness. Finishes with a lingering nuttiness and a feint bitterness.
Mouthfeel- Medium body with a smooth, rich feel and gentle carbonation.
Drinkability- This is a super easy drinking, nicely sessionable brew. You don’t get a flavor explosion in every sip but you do get a great tasting, easily appreciable quaffable brew. Another winner in my book by Deschutes.

 1,153 characters

Buzzsaw Brown from Deschutes Brewery
3.77 out of 5 based on 138 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!