Gritty McDuff's Best Brown Ale | Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

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Gritty McDuff's Best Brown AleGritty McDuff's Best Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-29-2001

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Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 165
Photo of SolipsismalCat
1.82/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Light brown with nice amount of bubbles. One-finger white head that did not last more than a minute. No Lacing. Overall, too light for a brown ale.

S: Roasted and fruity, but not much there. I can smell alcohol.

T: What is this? Slightly sweet, no hop bitterness at all. Off flavors. Yuck.

M: Light body and very watery. Not what a brown ale should be. Carbonation was okay though.

O: This was the worst brown ale I've tried. I knew it might not be that great before trying it, but I tried to keep an open mind, which didn't help. Awful.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
2/5  rDev -37.9%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Brown with a thin off white head. No lacing on the glass.

Smell: Mild malts and nutty.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Rough medium bodied. Taste of a typical brown, nutty with malts mild hop bitterness.

Overall: Not horrible but I have had better. What I expected from a Gritty's beer.

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Photo of alaimoa
2.22/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Poured on cask at Gritty's translucent brown with limited head.
Smell very faint nutty and earthy
Tasted warm and limited complexity or flavor. Very disappointed. Thin feel to it that was very underwhelming with almost no flavor profile and wouldn't want to drink again.

Compared to other browns this is very weak. Gritty has a weak lineup vs other breweries which is sad given the history

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Photo of GarthDanielson
2.34/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer pours a light amber-brown coloring that is very transparent...borderline watery. A very thin layer of filmy white head tops this brew. The nose is sugary sweet, with notes of nut, coffee, and a roasted character...syrupy characteristics overall. The beer's flavor is empty on the front tongue...completely. The back tongue gets a nut sweetness, but only for an instant...a little roast, too, but so quick it's hard to tell. This is a weak flavored brew. The aftertaste is roasted and slightly tangy caramel sweet, but only for a nanosecond. The finish guessed it...watered down and nondescript. I'd drainpour this one, but I haven't had enough water today, so here goes...

 730 characters

Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.36/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a bold, clear copper color with no head or lace. The aroma is nutty with a hint of bread crust. The flavor leads with roasted nuts with caramel and mild smoke notes. It's mouthfeel is light-medium and the finish is dry. Gritty McDuffs Best Brown is a decent beer, recommended.

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Photo of Todd
2.43/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown twist, "best enjoyed before" notched on the side.

Appearance: Rich, dark reddish amber with a thin light tan lace, creamy and consistent.

Smell: Touch of toasted malts, slight steely twang and milky carob aromas.

Taste: Crisp, light-bodied, with a quick fix of toasted, nutty, thin caramel and chocolate-ish malt. The malt says goodbye at this point. Musty, metallic flavours are accompanied by a sharp cabonation bite, like seltzer. A bit minerally too. Bitterness is weak, lending a semi-citrus twang in the middle, where it sits. The toasted grainy aftertaste gradually fades and dries the palate with some grain feel on the palate, turning quite tannic and odd.

Notes: A mediocre, at best, brown ale, and certainly not the "best brown ale." Way too thin. Not enough malt flavour or balance in general. The hops are left on the curb, abandoned, with your bored tastebuds as the only company for miles.

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Photo of mnj21655
2.53/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours a clear dark red-mahogany in color with about a half finger of off-white head that quickly dissipates to a mere film. Aroma isn't very strong. Lots of sweet caramel malts, some nuts. Taste is much like the aroma, quite sweet and malty. I am reminded of amber LME. Light-ish body, low-moderate carbonation. Drinkability isn't too good. I found this to be far too sweet and too thin on the palate, I wouldn't recommend this.

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Photo of bruachan
2.57/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

dark amber color. not quite brown. head fades

fairly rich roast flavors. brown caramel; floral hops and some esters. touch of nuttiness

super watery and lacking in flavorful. bitterness is flaccid and the malt contribution is even worse. some fruity flavors...this tastes almost more like tea than a brown ale (hyperbole). a little nutty. and the mouthfeel is strange: gritty (how appropriate), or perhaps chalky

this is really a mild, and not a particularly good one

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Photo of mvanaskie13
2.58/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass: nice light tan head, lightly fluffy, no clinging an dissipated to a ring. Color is translucent brown, to a dark copper/amber.

Smell is very feint chocolate/caramel malt, but so thin.

Taste is a bit more than the nose in terms of hint more chocolate flavor with hints of grains and oats but very thin, only hop flavor is enough to slightly balance hops.

Mouthfeel is balanced, with a slight lingering sweetness.

Overall a bit thin on flavor and smell for a brown, just a touch more in the nose and taste would boost it as it is a very clean beer.

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Photo of jwc215
2.6/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Best by May '09 notched on label.

Pours orange copperish amber (not really "brown"). A thin head descends to a vanishing patch. Spotted lacing slides down glass, but no lacing sticks.

There is a smell of a "brown ale" toffee character, but something that makes me say "What IS that?!" A yeasty, fruity, husky character to it. There is a light peat smokiness in the back.

The taste is of light cocoa powder - towards artificial. The toffee is weak - almost washed out. There is a husky, slightly fruity, slightly medicinal (for lack of a better term)character that throws it off.

The body is light and a bit too carbonated. An aftertaste of tonic water and cocoa powder is shortly lived (thankfully).

It's "off". Drinkable to a point, I suppose (I drank it), but wouldn't want more.

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Photo of RyanOkonski
2.6/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I was excited to try this, I had never heard of this brewery before.

Appearance- Medium brown color with lots of small carbonation bubbles. The head is almost non-existent with lots of gaps in the middle, perhaps it was a bad pour, but I think it has more to do with the beer.

Smell- Smell is mostly of malt, can't detect any hops character to it by the olfactory sense. Perhaps a tiny hint of nuttiness and perhaps some chocolate, but I'm really digging for smell now. Nothing is over-powering and other than the blatant malt smell everything else is pretty hidden.

Taste- Ahh I've been waiting for this. But tis' a disappointment. Little taste of anything, some malt flavor, but it dies pretty quickly, nothing lingers much after swallowing. I taste no hoppiness, which is fine because it's a brown, but it must have some hop character because it's not overly sweet. Perhaps it just has little of either, but I don't know.

Mouthfeel- The only bite is that of the carbonation bubbles, which are overpowering for a brown ale, in my humble opinion. Feels pretty watery too, too light-bodied for my tastes. If you are looking to play drinking games with brown ale, this may be the one for you.

Overall- Re-reading my comments, I realize I have ripped this beer apart. It's not bad, but definitely under-shot my expectations. The taste and aroma or only mediocre and the mouthfeel is too watery. I wouldn't go out of my way to drink this again.

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Photo of sstackho
2.63/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle tasted one month after its Best Before date. Pours a clear amber - not particularly brown. Tons of carbonation. Malty aroma. Taste is a bit better than I was expecting from the appearance and my other experience with Gritty beers. Still not great, mind you. Some malt and molasses, but not a lot of complexity.

 322 characters

Photo of Stranger5582
2.65/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This brown ale doesn't have a strong flavor at all. My first impression was that it's a bit watery and lacking in taste. The coloration is more akin to an amber, than a brown. In fact, I've seen some amber ales with darker hues than this beer. The beer's taste doesn't seem to come alive until its finish, which is still a bit lackluster.

Overall, it does taste like a brown ale, but its on the light side. The heady burned taste that most brown ales slam into your tongue is missing and is instead replaced by an almost summer ale-ish brown ale experience.

If you're usually a light ale or summer ale drinker, this brown ale may be just what you need as a transition into heavier beers.

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Photo of ggilman
2.69/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a DFH snifter.

One finger of loose foamy head settles quickly to a wisp after a vigorous pour. No lacing. Body is mostly clear amber, not brown at all. Nose is alcohol, oakish vanilla and butterscotch. Pretty clean taste. A little roasted malt, a little nutty roux. Fruity buttery phenols with a complete absence of hops. Not sure who they're going after with this one, but it's not me. In fairness, I'm not typically a drinker of brown ales, but I also like anything that's well made. This tastes clean and pure, but nothing stands out beyond that. Watery and lack luster.

 598 characters

Photo of beergoot
2.72/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

The glass arrived with dark amber body but a very thin, almost non-existent head. Aroma was of nuts and toffee. Taste also produced caramel and toffee flavors plus a hard-to-describe tanginess; keen, biting bitterness; tea-like astringency. The body was medium-light, biting on the tongue, and semi-dry with the finish.

An underwhelming and weak offering overall. Sure, there is a detectable grain warmth and some sweet malt notes, but things don't come together in any standout, pleasing manner. A disjointed hodgepodge of minor good points and too many negatives.

 566 characters

Photo of berley31
2.73/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured with an average-sized, off-white head that diminished fairly quickly. Body is an amber color (kind of light for the style) and hazy.

S: Weak and boring aroma... some slightly-sweet malt, but that's all.

T: Starts sweet, ends sweet. Did I mention sweet? It gets sickening, really... cloying, almost. Not impressed.

M: Light-bodied, kind of creamy, with average carbonation.

D: I don't particularly care for this beer... it's by far the sweetest brown I've had yet, and that ain't good. "Best Brown"? I'd hate to see the worst. Ok, you saw that coming.

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Photo of Maudite
2.73/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

i would not call this a brown ale, and certainly not "The Best." It tasted like a shade darker APA...

A- Thin and watery brown, light tan head about 1/2 a finger that lasted only a few seconds and disappeared entirely. From the get go, not impressive, and not showing any brown ale qualities.

S- Not much in the nose except a little hops. A slight clean, astringent, citrusy hop smell, uncharacteristic of a brown. The maltiness I would expect was buried somewhere in there, but not prevalent enough to be called malty. All in all a disappointing aroma.

T- Thin, watery, tasted under-developed. There were too much hops, unbalanced amongst themselves, and there was nearly no malt or sweetness to speak of. A slight toastiness I would associate with an Amber came through. If blindfolded I would have thought this were a poor California pale ale. Definitely doesn't fall within the style guidelines of a brown.

M- The only mouthfeel was lent solely by the hops... a clean, dry, near astringency.

D- Not recommended.

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Photo of alee42
2.73/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I tried this beer after buying the the Gritty Dozen Variety pack (which also had their seasonal Halloween beer).

Poured this Brown ale into the standard US pint glass.

A - pours a smooth, dark amber brown color. developed a nice frothy head, about finger or so, with some mild carbonation.

S - smells nutty and smokey, hint of caramel.

T - first tasted like chocolate-caramel, then mellows out to a deep nutty taste. the beer really tastes hoppy and could feel the carbonation on the back of my tongue after few more sips. it really leaves a sharp nutty taste after leaving it for a while.

M - couldn't feel the carbonation until a few more sips. my first impression came off as light and smooth, but then becomes too bubbly and coarse.

D - the beer really left me with a nutty, stale taste. not really worth another go.

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Photo of JimmieFrisbee
2.74/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pop off the cap, and right away I hear gas loudly escaping and see whisps of white vapor drift from the opening. I pour it into my pint glass, and this seems to be overcarbonated. I get about eight fingers worth of head to about two fingers worth of beer with a very gentle pour. Somethings probably not right here, but I review it as I see it.

Head is white and beyond generous, beer itself is very light in color for a brown, almost the same golden orange as the 21 IPA if I remember correctly, perhaps just a shade darker.

Smells mellow like a brown should, with an almost nutty sort of malt smell. Smell is very mild -- have to get my nose right in there to get much of anything.

Taste is bland. Very waterlike, actually. Not a lot of flavor going on at all on which I can comment, what I am getting I guess is just some dark malt.

Light carbonation, feels like water in the mouth except for those bubbles. Drinkability is probably exceptional as I could drink water all day.

Could be nicely sessionable, probably would have scored higher if not for appearance. I would choose this over an American Adjunct Lager any day, maybe something I'd want to drink several of for effect, but certainly nothing I'm going to drink just to enjoy and savor the flavor of. I maybe could see making a long night of this with friends.

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Photo of billybob
2.75/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured deep red brown color with a beige one finger head that quickly faded and not much lace. weak aromas of coffee and caramel, taste is same, grainy with a metallic after taste. mouthfeel weak and watery, carbonation is ok. have had much better brown ale. not one i would seek out again.

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Photo of morebeergood
2.76/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a six pack the other day to give this brown ale a try. Poured into standard pint glasses. Dark brown color with orange highlights. Decent sized white head. Smell had that diacetyl odor to it, which I do not like. Flavor was not great either, as it was way too sweet and sugary. Not enough malt. No hops at all. Mouthfeel was buttery and too thin for a brown ale. I would not recommend this beer to a friend looking for this style.

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Photo of BuckSpin
2.8/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 11oz bottle in a classic conical pint glass

Poured with a little gurgle, a little fizz. Dull nose, straw, faint caramel, dirt, echo of some hops and a little spice. As it warmed some nut & even charred wood qualities are noticeable. A nicely sculpted, thick, tight 2 finger head of dulled cream foam lasted for quite a while, finally retreating to a 1/8" see through blanket that laced nicely. A sharp, clear, striking tea stained amber, slightly brassy with no noticeable internal bubbling resides beneath the foam.

Semi sweet, kinda watery & thin, the initial tongue feel has feeble qualities of coffee, caramel, dried cherry (good Lord is this going down fast & easy...I'm almost done!), hops, tannins, orange pekoe. Odd that a beer so thin has a number of qualities, but they are all way too timid. The palate feel is more bitter, drier, stronger (a welcome reprieve from the rather thin beginning) and it (mercifully) fades away actually sweetly bitter, and with little fanfare, leaving a slightly sweet, chewy aftertaste that is neither bad nor good.

This was just way too timid & mild, even for the style. I will probably try another (on tap if possible) to confirm my reactions to this. This was like drinking a limp handshake. I'll give it another shot, but as of now there are far, far better examples to be enjoyed.

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Photo of Liquids
2.8/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear and near amber color with a bubbly head that is an almond color. Aroma is typical roast malts, earthy aromas, hops are in there too, but not an exciting aroma. Taste is fairly mild, there is a slight focus on roast malts, not charred or porter like though, there is the earthy toned sickly sweetness in there, not appealing, and after a few sips it's all I can taste. This is not for me. Mouthfeel is tangy and full carbonation despite a heavy pour. Overall, while this beer is a turn off. I'm a brown lover who would turn this down and choose water over this. It's a chore to finish, and a big let down.

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Photo of Drewcifer
2.82/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a fairly clear brown, somewhat oddly clear, like brown food coloring. Somewhat odd. About a half finger of smooth white head.

Aroma is a lot of toasted malts, slightly sweet.

Taste is a small bit of malt, some coffee, fairly watered down though. Unimpressive.

Mouthfeel is a little light for a brown, doesn't really coat the mouth or tongue, just right on through.

Drinkability is actually not bad considering the weaknesses present. Might be a good beer for people just testing the genre to start in on, as it doesn't present much of a challenge or anything extraordinary.

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Photo of KTCamm
2.83/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a thinly colored brown, some light notes, almost red. Little island of foam. Ale smell, little nutty. Very light, watery-thin ale. Like a brown lite. Minimal flavor - some sweetness. Low carbonation. So so at best. Much better browns out there, I tend to like Gritty beers, but this one is a miss.

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Gritty McDuff's Best Brown Ale from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
3.22 out of 5 based on 165 ratings.
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