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
166 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 166 |  Reviews: 97
Photo of bum732
3.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown, decent bubbly head leaving some lacing. Smells of caramel and toffee, some brown sugar, faint vanilla, toasted nuts. Tastes of caramel and nutty malt with a fairly mild neutral bitterness. Some brown sugar and vanilla on the finish. Very thin mouthfeel and a somewhat nutty finish.

A decent beer, smells fairly well, too bad the taste doesn't come through. I like the nuttiness and even the subtle vanilla, but the finish isn't great and the very thin mouthfeel doesn't help anything. Not bad overall.

 531 characters

Photo of BostonBrewins
2.85/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Pours a reddish brown with a frothy head.

S - Fairly strong, sweet, almost fruity scents.

T - This is a sweet, fruity brown ale with a bitter finish. The taste is more citrus like than most browns. Taste is similar to a summer wheat ale.

M - Carbonation helps compensate for light, watery body.

D - Not my preferred interpretation of the style. I probably wouldn't buy this but wouldn't turn down a free brew.

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Photo of Durge
3.59/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle into a pint glass this one poured a clear copper brown color with very little sign of an off-white head that clings to the edges of the glass without leaving much of any trace of lace. The aroma brings apple caramel toffee malt with maybe some berry highlights and brown sugar noted throughout. The flavor is a more intense translation of the aroma, not too bad, kind of bready tartness that collects at the back of your mouth. The taste is OK as brown ales go but it's a llittle more bitter and less sweet than I like in this style. My main gripe, however, is with how thin it is, which is a feeling I have had about other Gritty brews in the past. The carbonation offers a bit of soda-like spritz but not enough to undo the blase feel here. There is some flavor, still nothing I would seek out.

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Photo of jwc215
2.6/5  rDev -18%
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 OtherShoe2
3.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a reddish brown with just a light haze of head and no lacing. Some bubbles clinging to the side of the glass, but this could have been soda had I not poured it myself.

Smelled lightly of caramel/brown sugar. Not much going on, but ok.

Sweet toasted malt, substantial caramel and sugar notes, minimal bitterness, and a citric bite -- not bitter, but acidic. Flavor is a little on the thin side -- which actually works for this, as the sweetness would be too much. I don't find any off notes, but I find nothing exciting either. Just average.

Thin, acidic, and not much aftertaste/finish. Eh.

A little higher score, but because you can put these back without any effort. Not much going on, so they are easy drinking, but I'd have a hard time pairing with food. Unimposing and average. If you were doing a brown tasting, I'd throw this in the mix to show the scale of flavor in the style (this at the mid/lower end).

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off their tap in Auburn this beer was a classic copper color with a thin off-white head. The retention was poor and the lacing the same. The aroma was of toasted malt with some understated hops. The flavors were simple but well-balanced. Toasted malt and some nutty elements with a touch of bitter hops that cut through to the finish. The body was medium, the carbonation delicate and the mouthfeel good. Definitely a session beer and, though boring, quite drinkable.

 467 characters

Photo of mikereaser
3.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a clear brown with a slight white foam that quickly disappeared and left no lacing

S - nutty earthy aroma with some caramel as well

T - roasted nutty flavor with hints of sweet caramel flavor at times

M/D - light bodied brown ale that has some nice flavor to it. Nothing too overpowering. If it was available to me I'm sure i'd pick up a case for relaxing with and having a few

 390 characters

Photo of Yeastcakes
3.87/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving notes: Hef-style glass, served cool but not cold, age uncertain.

Aroma: malty, very slight earthy hop aroma
Appearance: head quickly dissipates, brown-ish red in appearance, clear
Mouthfeel: light body, very mild carbonation feel
Taste: balanced malty sweetness at the tip of the tongue, light bitterness near the back. Appropriately subtle but present in each regard.
Drinkability: Very drinkable. Good session beer.

 427 characters

Photo of tmoneyba
3.62/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from World of Beer, Clearwater, FL.

Pours a clear brown color with an average frothy off-white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate toasted malt and nutty aroma. Medium body with a sticky texture and flat carbonation. Medium sweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

Average to Good drinkable beer.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with three finger light brown head that fades slowly leaves some lace. Cloudy amber color. Light caramel nose. Light carbonation and light-medium-bodied. Flavor is a nutty caramel with hints of bitterness from the hops. $1.75 for a 12oz from Barb's Beer Emporium Concord, NH.

 281 characters

Photo of Jayli
3.97/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a decent brown color, with some copper tinges to it. The head was tan, thin but dissapates rapidly. A bit of lace, but not much. There is roasty, malty, scent to it that is quite pleasant. Medium bodied, and pleasantly smooth, relatively-speaking, on the tongue. Flavor was malty, toasty, and a bit nutty. Not bad overall.

 338 characters

Photo of dashirey
3.25/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Brown with some amber hues to it. Pours clear with a two finger head that dissapates to leave a thin layer. A small amount of lacing, but no a whole lot.

S - Certainly there are some caramel & nutty tones. There is almost a earthly smell coming from this beer.

T - Not much here. You have your typical malts up front, but I was suprised that there wasn't more. There is also a perfumey taste after the swallow. There is however a small bite from the hops in there too.

M - Pretty thin. Could be a bit more carbonation too.

D - I could drink a couple of these but I the perfumey may get to me. In my opinion not the best exampel of the style just because it is missing a lot of the typical malty/nutty taste.

 714 characters

Photo of msolar
3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't have too much to say about this beer - it's not my favorite. Gritty makes some good beers but I don't consider this one of them. Their "Original Pub Style", "Vacationland", and "Black Fly Stout" to name a few. If you're looking for an English Brown Ale, I'd highly recommend Smuttynose's Old Brown Dog Ale (from NH).

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.75/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a malt special and a nice example of a Brown Ale.

Dark Copper in color with a nice off white head.

Not much of an aroma but certainly what was there was roasty and sweet predicting the malt flavor to follow.

Flavor was Roasty, Toasty, slightly sweet and nice. Warmed the heart as I drank it.

I really liked that it seemed to have a crisp finish to it.

Good effort.

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Photo of Drewcifer
2.82/5  rDev -11%
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.

 587 characters

Photo of auxiliary
2.92/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

appearance - Dark amber brownish color. Not much head going on here just fades out.

taste - Toasted malt, and nuts present.

taste - Some malt, hops, coffee here. Not much taste.

mouthfeel - Light -Medium body, watery.

drinkability - I have had better brown ales then this one, was kind of weak.

 302 characters

Photo of Drew966
3.85/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gritty McDuff's Best Brown pours a medium brown color with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. There is a sweet malty aroma. The mouthfeel is on the thin side. The flavor is quite malty with a bit of nuttiness. There is a leafy hop flavor toward the end. A decent brown ale, worth a try.

 303 characters

Photo of erosier
3.46/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brown color with a short and tan colored head that fades fast and laaces the glass a bit on the way down. It has a sweet roasted malt and caramel aroma with some nutty aromas as well. The taste is of sweet roasted malts, caramel, some roasted nutty flavor, and a tiny bit of hops as well. The mouthfeel is ok and was fairly drinkable. Not bad and worth a try.

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Photo of akorsak
3.15/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 12 oz bottle from a variety case purchased at Westy's.

A: The brown ale is lighter, more orange than I expected. Still amber, the overall color and highlights are far too bright. A thick three finger head arose on pour and has laced considerably around the glass.

S: The nose is thick with toffee and caramel. The aroma is very inviting.

T: The overall taste is fairly thin, lacking any outstanding characteristics. The one thing that does stick with me though is the intensity of the nutty toffee flavors. This one does not lack for the darker caramel flavors. The body, however, can't seem to keep up and quickly peters out.

M: Stick with this one for the nuttiness. Most other qualities are average at best.

D: One bottle'll do.

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Photo of Maudite
2.73/5  rDev -13.9%
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 beermanbrian
3.15/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gritty's in Freeport has been a regular stop for my family on the way to our upstate Maine vacation spot for years so when I saw a variety case of Gritty McDuff's in PA I had to have it.

Clear brown color with an OK off white head to start. The head drops to a thin film fairly quickly and almost no lacing is left on the glass. A quick swirl brings back an 1/8 inch head that drops away quickly. Not much in the way of carbonation bubbles coming to the top despite an initial cola like fizzyness to the mouth. Smell is typical brown. Malty with some nutty flavors in there. Also some musty and earthy notes. Taste matches the smell with the earthyness coming to front and giving me an almost dirt like impresion on the palate. A little thin on the mouth and finishes dry. Overall this dosn't bring back the great memories I've had of downing a few in Freeport but what beer dosn't taste better on tap at the brewery. I would just say that this one is so so.

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Photo of Liquids
2.8/5  rDev -11.7%
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 mnj21655
2.53/5  rDev -20.2%
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 NJpadreFan
3.88/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gritty McDuff- Portland

A- Chestnut brown with a small head.
S- Sweet caramel malt with light nut aroma and toasted bread.
T- Walnut, acorn, pine nuts toffee malt.
M- Sweet throughout but finishing mild and dry.

Overall- A decent pint. Sessionable definitely.

 262 characters

Photo of madjr80
3.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A dark bronze color with an ordinary lacy head. enough bubbles rising to the top, but not overly bubbly or crisp. The smell is pretty average and nondescript. It tastes fine going down and has an aftertaste similar to a multi-grain bread. Very drinkable beer and you could definatly drink a few of these in a sitting. I have had some better brown ales, but the price was right (6.99 a six) and it is smooth enough for my likings. I wouldn't go out of my way for this, but I would drink it again.

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Gritty McDuff's Best Brown Ale from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.17 out of 5 with 166 ratings
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