Brown Ale | Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

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Brown AleBrown Ale

Brewed by:
Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
11º P, 27 IBU

Added by Sigmund on 11-12-2003

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Reviews: 116 | Ratings: 167
Photo of jujubeast6000
2.66/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 9/20/2009 (bottle):

Pours a very dark brown color body, smallish tan-whitish head, diminishing. Okay lacing. Strong sweet aroma, some spiciness and bitterness. Some smokiness. Some funkiness or something there in the nose. Watery body, some funkiness and smokiness. Slight chocolately. Old chalky chocolate taste. Some alcohol in the aftertaste. Some sourness too. A little odd.

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Photo of jminsc76
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

It's Friday, and I am thirsty.This one pours a pale head that dissipates quickly and barely returns. The body is dark brown, but when held up to the light exhibits a reddish, almost dark vinegar tinge.

The bouquet is mellow, with aromas including coffee, molasses, slight caramel, and biscuit. It's not too intense, but it smells good.

Flavors of malt, coffee, cocoa, and a little bit of hop bitterness. It's not too bad. Not overwhelming but comes across as a fairly smooth English-style brown ale. The mouthfeel is decent.

Pairing some Gruyere cheese annd La Panzanella mini crackers with this, and the beer really manages to bring out the flavors of the cheese well. All in all, this is a balanced brown, but its component parts don't scream anything spectacular.

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Photo of nickfl
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers of light brown head on top of an opaque, brownish-black body. Good retention and nice, thick lace.

S - Dark toffee aroma with brown caramel and some coffee. A hint of spicy hops and licorice.

T - Light coffee flavors with lots of caramel and toffee. The caramel notes intensify towards the middle and then transition to darker malt with more coffee and some light, spicy hops in the finish. Moderate malt bitterness with some hop notes balance the malt. Coffee notes linger on the palate along with some light licorice.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Nice and drinkable with a great malt character. The dryness of the beer really works well with the coffee. It is a bit on the dark side for a brown ale; it borders on being a porter.

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Photo of atis
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours murky dark brown with dense brownish head, ok retention, head fades to patchy layers at the top. Aroma is strong and pleasant roasted coffee, some floral hops.

Taste is bittery roasted coffee, some herbal hops, dark chocolate with medium-dry finish and sweet malty aftertaste. Mouthfeel is about medium with average carbonation.

Overall, quite interesting and surprisingly hoppy for English Brown Ale. Although I found it strange in the beginning, just after a few sips I started to enjoy it more and more.

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Photo of albern
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an exceptional English style Brown Ale. It looks great, with a nice dirty brown matte color with a nice tan creamy smooth head, good retention and lacing. The nose on the beer is a delight. Roasted malts, crystal malts, florals, plum flavors, maybe some fig as well. There is tons going on in the aroma, with some caramels and bready malts underneath as well.

The taste is first rate. This is one of those low ABV beers with tons of character. The beer is medium bodied, low carbonation, smooth as silk, nice and milk chocolatey creamy. There is a nice cocoa flavor, chocolates, mocha, roasted malts, brown malts, maybe a slight hint of some dark cherry chocolate as well. The beer is a touch drying with a bit of hop in the finish to bring the beer to a wonderful culmination. This one is a really nice offering from a brewery that has some very nice beers. Seek this one out. L'Chaim.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted malts, nuts, maple, caramel and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste is very well-balanced and isn't as heavy or sweet as most brown ales. There are flavors of maple, caramel, nuts and a touch of smokiness. The malt character is hearty and there's a mild but complementary hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean in a style that is usually kind of sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is really good sessionable beer with a lot of flavor and substance to it that makes it worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of melagnus
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Thick self-sustaining head of off-white hue hovers atop the Dark Ruby Brown (SRM 24)colored clear alcohol. Swirling rouses the head in the snifter though it fizzles out rather quickly thereafter and doesn't result in much lacing.

S - Dark roasted malts billow up into the nose with a slightly sweet note to it that takes on a caramel or butterscotch characteristic. Could this be diacetyl?

T/M/D - Seems to be a Northern English Brown, as it comes off with a bitterness and stark roasted taste not often found in the southern varieties. The body seems a bit light for the style, though it could just be me. Bitterness also could come from the roasted chocolate malt, though I know not. Either way, chocolate is noticeable, though isn't as pronounced as other notes. Lastly, the bitterness really degrades the palate and doesn't make this a beer I'd have more than one of.

C - I've had Northern Brown Ales before and they seemed less bitter and more sweet and malty than this one did. This one strikes me as aggressively bitter and lacks the malt profile of a beer of this style. Possibly, it will taste better as it warms, but I can't say I'm too impressed.

Upon further examination of this beer and allowing the beer to warm up, I'd say that the beer is just Nøgne Øs take on this style. The Crystal hops clearly are noticeable and it would seem that they chose to hop-up the beer, so that it focused more on a west coast extreme of the style. The standard fare English malts are prevalent, but masked by the hops. The bouquet is actually quite interesting and intrigues my senses, though it also comes through as different and unfamiliar.

This beer takes a truly experienced taster to understand that this beer isn't bad, just different and in fact quite good if one allows themselves the presence to go beyond mind-made opinions. To compare this to a traditional Northern English Brown Ale would only provide a foundational understanding. This beer should probably be put into a Specialty Beer category. Another thing possibly influencing my opinion is that I tried Midas Touch before this, which is much more sweet in comparison, though I attempted to cleanse the palate properly. Either way, I would rate this a B.


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Photo of BDLbrewster
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque dirty motor oil brown with a frothy off white head that hangs out. Stick coating lacing.

First I get sweet and toast malt, this is promptly followed by a chocolate milk aroma that I really like. Some faint coffee in there as well. Not super complex, but smells great.

And here is the let down, nope, I'm going to let it warm a bit before I continue.

Sweet, chocolaty flavors surround the front of your tongue. This is followed by some mildly bitter burnt malt and sweetened coffee. The finish carries very little "spice" as opposed to the description on the bottle, it is somewhat metallic. The finish comes off tasting more like bad tap water than spicy hops.

Light bodied and overly carbonated. More watery than I expected.

I could drink a bunch of this easily. It's good, but not a stand out in my mind. Maybe if it were on tap and a lot less expensive I would dig it more.

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Photo of Jayli
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice deep dark brown, held against the light gives slight deep mahogany hues. Almost a three finger thick foamy head with decent head retention, wispy lacing is left on the glass. Nose is of chocolate, caramel malts, slight toastiness. Taste is of chocolate, toffee, caramel. The malt presence is dominating but not overpowering. There is a earthiness and spice to it the malts that balance out the taste. Mouthfeel is a bit on the lighter side, however the taste is so robust that it almost thickens the body so that it's not too filling but extremely satisfying. Decent carbonation, smooth body clean finish. This is beyond a sessionable ale - great drinkability, great taste, I would sit with this beer all day.

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Photo of brendan13
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a pint glass a mid to dark brown with a couple of centimetres of tan head that falls away fairly quickly.
S - Roasted and chocolate malts up front followed by some nutty and dark fruit hints.
T - Much like the smell but more so. Roasty chocolate maltiness with a much more pronounced nutty quality. Subtle dark fruit notes. There is also a herbal/grassy hoppiness that comes through at the end.
M - Medium bodied with a fairly high carbonation. Roasty chocolate flavour lingers.
D - Well balanced, not too sweet yet not too light. Something I'd drink again. Quite sessionable too at 4.5%.

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Photo of becktone
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes 3-30-09

Eye: When poured this beer is brown, and when light passes through it dark ruby colors shine through to show a sparkling clear brew. Head formation wasn't all that great, but its retention is holding up pretty well. The head is in between creamy and foamy and currently sits at 1/2 a finger in height. Its a good looking brew overall...a bit more from the head would be nice though. Lacing is pretty nice, sheets of it cover the glass, a testament to the beer that has already been drunk.

Nose: Lots of roasted malt aroma. Some slightly burnt notes as well. Chocolate comes out as well. Not too much more than that. I really wish the aroma were a bit more potent, or that it were a bit longer lasting. After a bit it is really hard to get much from it, maybe I've just become used to its aroma by that time though.

Tongue: Pretty much the same as the nose....good roasted flavors, some slightly burnt notes, a bit of chocolate. Toasty and grainy notes as well. Hints at fruitiness. Nice balance from the hops as well. Aftertaste has some roasted and coffee flavors complimented by some light floral notes. All in all this is a nice brown ale.

Feel and Drinkability: Medium-light in body with a good amount of carbonation. I'd prefer if this one had just a bit more body and a little less carbonation. This is an easy drinking beer, pretty good to session, not sure of the abv, its not on the bottle. This is one that I'd not hesitate to pick up again, however, I'll definitely be trying more before I do so.

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Photo of farrago
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Head comprised of a horde of large, swiftly popping bubbles, gets to just about one finger before settling thinly across surface, brownish cream color, not a lot of lacing. Clear red-brown in color, consistent throughout, visibly transparent for depth of hue. Milk chocolate, hazelnuts and pecans, honey and soft caramel make for an inviting nose, dark raisin, date, cherry fruit scents pretty it further, not many discernible hoppy elements, probably add more erectness and structure than olfactory delight. Medium-bodied, polished and smooth, you immediately sense it's crafted for maximal drinkability and satiny texture than complexity of flavors. Not that there's a paucity of chocolate, caramel, butterscotch, cola nuances or a floral breeze and slice of candied orange peel. The carbonation delicately swirls the flavors through the mouth. Never gets truly sweet, this would impede the flow. The cherry, raspberry, golden raisin fruit parts fit into the whole seamlessly. Again, nothing profound or never experienced before, just finely executed craftsmanship.

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Photo of trpng0bily
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Deep, musky amber, extremely dark for a brown ale, with significant head.

S: A robust nose of roasted nuts, toasted barley, cocoa.

T: A bit of a letdown following the nose. Pretty bland, with an ugly metallic component and a lackluster finish.

M: Solid in this department, full for a brown ale, even a bit creamy, with somewhat heavy carbonation.

D: Brown ales are among the easiest-drinking beers in my opinion, but the metallic component of this beer makes me notice every sip, and not in a good way.

Overall, this beer disappoints in a big way.

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Photo of WesWes
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, roasted scent that boasts of chocolate and brown malts with just a bit of caramel sweetness. The English yeast adds a dry character and a faint hint of esters. The taste is good as well. It has a smooth, caramel and roasted flavor that goes down easy and finishes quite dry. There is some prickly carbonation in there as well. The yeast imbues some interesting character as does the hops. It has a mild bitterness as well as a light English yeast character. I would have prefered an American yeast to this one. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium/full bodied beer with a bit too much CO2. This is a damn tastey beer. I love the malt bill and hop content.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle into nonic.

Very deep brown, mostly opaque, almost like a porter. Hints of ruby red and amber show up in the corners. A light tan solid and smooth one finger head slowly settles to a thin cap.

Very smooth and velvety roasted malt aroma along with a little bit of burnt caramel. Some cocoa is in there as well.

More velvety burnt malt characteristics, along with a light toasty nut flavor. A touch of brown sugar. Full bodied.

A very smooth and sessionable Brown Ale. I wish there were more like these out there. Recommended.

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Photo of avalon07
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a cloudy consistency. There was a small amount of head, but some very good lacing.

S: Not a particularly aromatic beer, but did smell of roasted malt and a sugary element.

T: An excellent taste of roasted malt, brown sugar and a slight tinge of alcohol. Also, like most browns, this beer had a pronounced nutty flavor.

M: A fairly high amount of carbonation and a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This is a solid, drinkable version of an English brown ale. Easy to drink and complex.

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Photo of Redwood21
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: this beer is very respectable in the looks department. it has a luscious head that is sorta rocky and silky and a tan color. there is also a very dark brown color.

S: the aroma is lacking. its not bad at all but i don't really get anything out of it at all. its almost like a lost aspect. there is a little bit of malt but not much.

T: very good, especially for a brown ale. this is not my favorite style, but this is a great example of the style. there is a bit of a woody nutty type taste that is subtle but not bad at all. there is a touch of almost mocha and malts. its a good beer with enough depth to get you into it,but not enough to scare people away. its not revolutionary, its just a great solid example of a style

M/D: very easy to drink and the mouth feel is surprisingly on target, hard to hit a medium body beer sometimes it seems but this one does it

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Photo of magictrokini
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this the same night as Laginitas' Lumpy Gravy. This was much better. Clear brownish-red pour with a medium off-white head. Cream, nuts, cocoa, brown sugar, and earthy hops in the nose. The taste is more like a porter than a brown ale. Chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, some coffee and molasses, and smoke. Nice hoppy bitterness near the finish. I don't really care for browen ales, but this was very good.

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Photo of nick76
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is toasted, coffee like, with chocolate. The appearance is brown with large tan head. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is average. This is nice but not super great. This is one of those beers that you want to like more but you just have to call it for what it is.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured via bottle into goblet on 11/14/08.

A - Slightly muddy brown body with deep orange highlights and thin alabaster head that receded into some patchy retention.

S - Nutty and caramel malt aroma with some earthy, leafy hops and a mild alcohol presence.

T - Malt is primarily nutty with some caramel sweetness and a bit of tangy sourness in the back. Finish is mildly bitter with a bit of earthy hops pushing through.

M - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation. Texture is pretty thin and watery, certainly not robust.

D - This is a decent brew, but there's plenty of American and English brown ales out there that are much better than this. This is nothing to write home about.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this bottle at Bruisin Ales last week, a steal on sale that night. I had not had it before, so needless to say it was long overdue! Served cold, right out of the fridge and decanted into a tall pilsner glass. Consumed 11/15/2008.

The pour was very nice with a deep, dark, opaque brown color coming out of the bottle right away. Rich looking with hardly a drop of light coming through. A small head of maybe a half an inch of off white foam then rose up from the bottom and settled down effortlessly with thick and coating lacing.

The aroma was really very well done I have to say. Rich notes of roasted malts and hints of chocolate were riddled throughout. Really a very big aroma here with some nice touches of caramel and a touch of a woodsy peat like aroma. The flavor was very nice as well. Warming, with a rich chocolate and roasted malt flavor. Very coating, though I have to admit it did come across a touch light on the feel for me. Nice carbonation and this left a long lasting flavor on the tongue, roasted malts and a touch of a vinous hop that served to string it out even further.

Overall I thought this was an excellent brown ale. Another solid offering from an always solid brewery. It seems I just cannot go wrong with these guys.

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Photo of treyrab
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one last night at Zeno's and split it with jac5084 into two glasses...

A: Pours a very clear light brown with a very small skim of foam for a head. Not much carbonation is coming up, as this is a little viscous, but not overly so.

S: The smell is very nice and robust for a 4.5ABV beer. Fresh coffee is the first scent picked up followed by some sweet caramel and roast.

T: For such a light beer, this is packed with flavor. A very nice coffee flavor that really caught me off guard. Some roast in there too. I was expecting a caramel bomb here, but the caramel is light and overpowered by the coffee and roast.

Overall, a great brown ale that although light, does not skimp on the flavor.

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Norway. Of course the most common beer(s) in Scandinavia are apparently the innumerable Euro-macro varieties distributed by Carlsberg... nothing to write home about. So when I decided to try my first Norwegian beer, it's no wonder I opted for the (albeit pricey) Nøgne Ø Brown Ale in the big (half liter) bottle. Apparently their beers are a deliberate nod to American craft brewing, and they did a great job.

Dark brown to shiny black in the glass, with a small head that disappeared quickly. Thinner body with lots of very fine carbonation. Roasted malt (chocolate? coffee?) in the nose, with same in initial taste but with an added bonus of really nice hops bitterness that balanced very well and gave a bit of a spicy "bite" to the aftertaste. Very tasty, very drinkable indeed.

Not something I could afford regularly, but well worth trying.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle poured into a pint willi glass yields a dark reddish copper body with a finger of rocky ecru foam atop. The head retains at a thick, bubbly sheet

The smell of the drink is savory with toasty malts and dark caramel with a mild hoppy spiciness.

The taste is dark and toasty with a semisweet dash of cocoa-covered caramel. A thin, dry malty backbone surrenders to a tingle of floral spiciness lingering in a long, milky-sweet finish.

Like every other Nogne brew I've enjoyed, the Brown Ale is well-crafted, tasty, and exceptionally drinkable. Thinnish-medium in body with superfine carbonation.

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Photo of MMAJYK
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown with deep cherry undertones; transparent, very beautiful color on this ale. Head is light brown with inconsistant bubble patterns and existing of only 1/4" of foam.

S- Milk chocolate, a little bit roasty and smoky, caramel and toffee. The hops are hidden in the back, but are noticable if you dig deep enough.

T- On first sip, you notice the roasty and sweet malts, followed by a decent little hop punch. The smokyness is not as noticable in the flavor as it is in the nose. Nice and creamy with the chocolate and nutty flavors toward the end. Not bad at all.

M- Just a little bit watery to me so I couldnt give it a 4. The carbonation is right on, but the texture, or body, just really wasn't there.

D- Definitely a good drinking brew. I rate it up there with some of the best brown ales on the market. I am interested in trying more of Nøgne Ø's brews in the future.

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Brown Ale from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
3.85 out of 5 based on 167 ratings.
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