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 akorsak
3.15/5  rDev -2.2%
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 -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 beermanbrian
3.15/5  rDev -2.2%
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 -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 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 NJpadreFan
3.88/5  rDev +20.5%
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.

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Photo of madjr80
3.11/5  rDev -3.4%
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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Photo of sharkheadlasers
3.03/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This bottle had some "Gritty" around the cap. It was tan and rusty spots around the cap and the top of the bottle. It was very carefully cleaned.

The beer was a clean brown with good head. The aroma was malty and yeasty. The taste was spicy malty and lightly hopped. There is a medium body. It is enjoyable and worthy of a try.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.92/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The look is a clear light brown color. Transparent, and with a very thin amount of head. Light reddish highlights.

Really nice, sweet caramel smell. Very nutty, but also sweet. Sharp nuttiness. And an unexpected hint of cherry. Nicely balanced smell.

The taste is sweet caramel and cherry but with a nutty undertone. Has a nice dry yeast base too. Nice mix of sweet and also dry. It's a tad bready at the end; yeast emerges as it warms.

Feels dry but thin. The dry yeast feel comes through at the end for sure. Overall, it's a sweet and dry, with caramel and cherry/berry flavors. Nutty but also puckery; nicely balanced.

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Photo of WesWes
3.2/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a translucent brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry roasted scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and roasted malts. It's light and moderately malty. The taste is average. It has a light and watery malt flavor that boasts of some roasted malts, but nothing too pronounced. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an average brown at best. It's basically an amber with the slightest amount of roasted malt added to acheive the nut brown aroma and flavor. It's an easy drink, but not an enjoyable one.

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Photo of Brad007
3.45/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice brown color. Aroma is nice and malty with a faint hint of toffee/coffee. Taste is similar as the malt is up front with the toffee flavor at the back of the throat. It gets somewhat watery in the back as well. Overall, a decent brown ale that doesn't contain any surprises and makes a good session ale.

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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 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 albern
3.6/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a nice reddish amber, slightly brown. It is a medium bodied ale, with a nice amount of carbonation. It has decent lacing, not a great head though. The smell is sweet malts, dry roasted smell. There are no hops in the smell. The taste is nice, not exceptional, but nice. You can taste some hoppy embers, but mostly caramel flavors. As the beer warms, more grain flavors come through. This isn't an overly complex beer but well worth seeking out if you are visiting the brewpub. L'Chaim

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a lighter than expected amber brown color with an inch of light tan head. The head receded quickly and left no lacing.

Smells of roasted malts waft out of the glass. Licorice, caramel, and little bit roasted nuts. Fairly average...nothing exciting.

The flavor is a little better. Still get the nice roasted malts...caramel, molasses, nutty, a little licorice and dark fruit, also.

Mouthfeel is thinner and somewhat watery. Very little carbonation to give it any type of expansion in the mouth. I will finish the couple I have, but I won't get this one again.

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Photo of Sammy
3.35/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aggressively carbonated English brown, with licorice aroma and powerful head. On the moderately malty side, drinkable but sour finish gets tiring and not complex. A touch of nuttiness, but mostly mollasses and caramel.OK, but another brown we don't need.

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Photo of pgenius
3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured a dark amber with a nice bubbly white head

S - Sweet malt aroma

T - I'm disappointed because I enjoyed the best bitter and thought this one would be really good too. However, it was really watery and lacked flavor. All I could pick up on were some sweet malts and a miniscule amount of hops

M - Light bodied, refreshing, but lacking in texture

D - I probably wouldn't buy this again but I would drink it if it were offered too me. Overall, a disappointment

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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.

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Photo of ColForbin
3.63/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gritty's Best Brown pours a deep clear brown color with a light tan head that shows good retention. Aroma is molasses with some floral notes as well. Taste is relatively sweet, with caramel, molasses and some roasted flavors and an off-dry finish with some bitterness balancing out the sweetness. Fairly high carbonation (a bit too high), medium body. An easy drinking beer, perfect as the weather turns a bit cooler.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.63/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark reddish brown with a medium tan foamy head. A very nice looking beer. The smell is a little light with a roasted malt scent to it. The taste is chewy,nutty, and filled with a sweet malt, but it is with it's flaws. The texture is very thin and I keep hoping that I'll get more out of this. The m/f is too light with the flavors mixing well. Although it does have some flaws, this isn't a bad beer and I'd have it again.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.3/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a large glass mug.

Looks Light brown with reddish hues. 2" head that was gone fast. Minimal activity here.

smells mostly of roasty and semi-sweet malts.

Good balance in the overall taste. Roasty wheat, bready, slight "greens" hop effect at the end.

It has a good solid bite, feels more active on the palate than it appears.

Little interest, but it's easy nough to put down.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.35/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of a !2 pack sampler. Not bad. It poured an amber color with a medium-sized head. It had a sweet, malty aroma. Taste was caramel with the tiniest bit of hops. Thin mouthfeel. Average drinkability, just because it wasn't very special. Gritty's has many better offerings than this one.

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Photo of Nutleybeer
3.73/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found a six pack of this beer while up in CT; its not distributed apparently in NJ. I was curious to give it a try. It cost about $7.99; pretty standard for a microbrew.

It has a reddish-orange color...almost looking like iced tea. A mild head to it. Not much of a smell to describe.

The taste is nice. Somewhat creamy...a bit of a roasted flavor, but not overpowering. This is mixed with a hint of sweetness. Quite drinkable. Smooth and tasty.

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Photo of wedge
3.51/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber-brown color with a thin, creamy head with good retention. Dry, toasted malt smell and a soft breadiness. Smooth, crisp sweet malt flavor - nuts and earthy hops. Feels good in the mouth as a refreshing brown ale - medium light with adequate carbonation and pretty dry.

A fine easy drinkin beer. Simple but it does the trick...

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Photo of JasonCoop
4/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nice reddish copper color with big offwhite foam. fairly clear for a brown ale.

smell - nice and malty. almost doughy. some citrus hops come through as well.

taste - hops up front blend to very full buttery malty finish. delicious and perfectly balanced brew. pretty light for a brown ale, but packs a nice flavor.

mouthfeel is medium/full. well hopped as brown ales go. i enjoyed it.

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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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