Black Oak Nut Brown Ale | Black Oak Brewing Co.

very good
69 Reviews
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Black Oak Nut Brown AleBlack Oak Nut Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Black Oak Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Nut Brown Ale is a British Inspired Brown Ale. This medium bodied ale is rich and smooth, boasting lots of roasted coffee & chocolate notes. It is balanced and satisfying all months of the year. This brew was one of the flagship Black Oak beers back when Ken opened up the brewery in 1999.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-06-2002

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Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 120
Photo of seaoflament
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to grub for the opportunity to try this Canadian beer.

Pours a dark brown color with some amber and ruby on the sides. A decent inch of foam accumulated from an aggressive pour, good retention too.

Good smelling nut brown. Nutty malts, hazelnut, cream, lightly roasted coffee, hints of milk chocolate and vanilla. A little buttery with a small, but appropriate, amount of diacetyl. After the beer settles the coffee becomes a little more robust and I'm also getting some maple syrup and molasses. Mmm, some hazelnut chocolate too.

On the taste it has some toast and nutty malts, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamias, and just a bit of multi-grain bread in the finish. A little thin but adequate for the style, very easy to drink too.

Goes great with some banana-walnut bread!

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Photo of bobsy
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the LCBO. Rich, nutty brown in colour, with a creamy off-white head. Aromas of caramel and hazelnut waft upwards...this smells delicious. Flavour is nicely nutty, with chocolate and grapefruit bitterness coming through. Smooth and clean on the palate. Overall, a fantastic beer.

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Photo of trevorwideman
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

341ml bottle sent to me by pootz, poured into a pint glass.

Nice looking beer. Pours a lovely clear reddish-brown colour. 1 inch of head erupts off a vigorous pour, leaves some nice sticky lace. Carbonation is very mild. Aroma is sweet. Nutty and full of caramel with a hefty crackery malt backbone. Hops are floral and peppery, mildly herbal.

Taste is nutty and chocolatey, lightly roasted and very crackery. Lightly herbal. There's a bit of soapiness that's a little unpleasant, but I think this bottle might be just a little past it's prime. Medium bodied but still seems watery for some reason. Carbonation is zippy. Finishes very dry. This is a tasty brew that I'd love fresh on tap or on cask, just this bottle is a bit past it.

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Photo of allergictomacros
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear copper with a nice creamy, sticky head.

S - Very nutty. Lots of roasted, not burnt, grain and caramelly goodness.

T - Again, nutty. Hazelnut comes to mind most. Solid maltiness as well, and a mild hop presence to clean up.Nothing identifiable in the hops besides a bitterness. Roasted malt is forefront.

M - Dry, creamy and smooth. Body is medium-heavy with a low carbonation.

D - A very solid brew. Sessionable for sure, but also with tons of flavour. Would go nicely with a meal or afterwards.

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Photo of BrewSomerville
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Sweet smelling. Smells like sweet coffee & chocolate. Some grassy, herbal hoppy aromas. Some roasty aromas too.

Looks: Brown, with red/amber highlights. Average sized off-white head. It leaves some lace rings on the glass.

Taste: is much like the aroma, however, the aroma can be misleading... It smells quite sweet, but the hops balance it out nicely. The aroma also has some roasty aromas, but there are no astringent flavours from burnt malts (not that roasty aromas should necessarily precede astringent flavours all the time... but some times). They don't call this a NUT brown ale for nothing; it has some nutty flavours going on. A little bit of fruitiness too, black currants, some dark fruits. Cinnamon & brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: medium to full bodied. The carbonation is actually quite average. I would love to try a cask-conditioned version of this.

Overall, a great session Beer. It pairs nicely with venison sausage.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer for the first time earlier this year and it quickly became a favourite, even though this review is like discovering it all over again. Poured into a freshly rinsed out Chimay goblet;since I already had one going, in the interest of reuse, recycle, etc.

Poured out of the bottle with a topaz hue, a bit of purple in the glass with shades of brown. Flat white head with a sparse, wispy centre but a ringlet that stayed for the duration. Lower carbonation than I would have told you based on my recollections (writing a actual review does wonders for a beer lover). The aroma also disappointed tonight, if you had asked I would have said there was more to it ... faint chocolate latte but not a lot tonight.

Ahhh, a taste and swish in the mouth dispels any doubts I was starting to have. A dry coffee bean taste and a lively mouthfeel with a dark chocolate dryness and hops. This is smooth and sophistocated. A long, lingering finish with a walnut astringency that delights the senses. The overall mouthfeel and finish satisfies and pleases.

A second pour from a second bottle yields a more substantial head this time, one finger high. I can't get enough of this stuff, what a treasure right here in the GTA (greater Toronto area).

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Viggo for sending this along in my CanBIF 3 package.

Pours out a deep transluscent walnut hue, a sandy coloured head that falls to a thin creamy cap.

Toffee malt, milk chocolate, and twig bark on the nose.

Oowee, this is good stuff. Creamy smooth mouthfeel that delivers toasted toffee malts and a rounded milk chocolate flavour, the latter that gets even stronger and more prevalent on the aftertaste. Hooray for a brown ale that isn't dominated by coffee notes. Wet grassy hops start to round out the finish as it warms.

This brown would make a great session ale, and does a service to the Ontario crowd for having it so readily available (or at least moreso than out here in Alberta). Many thanks once again to Viggo for sending this out my way.

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Photo of slitherySOB
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I may have found my new session beer. Delicious. Poured a clear brown with a small, half finger head. Head stuck around, and left occasional lace on the glass. Smelled like a good breakfast. Toast, butter, peanut butter and coffee. Decent amount of hops as well. Oooooh, good taste. Not sweet, but... Starchy? Bit of nuts as well, with a smooth buttery swallow completed with a bit of bitterness. Mouthfeel is about medium. Crisp, and smooth. Very drinkable. It's simple, but damned good.

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Photo of Viggo
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Finally reviewing this one.

Pours a clear red/brown, dense off white head forms, settles down into a thin layer with plenty of lace. Smell is nutty, very malty, some toffee, crisp floral and citrus hops, nice balance. Flavour is sweet up front, malty, grains, toffee, finishes with a smooth floral hop kick. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Lots of breweries in Canada make a nut brown, but Black Oak is the only one that does it with some sack. Great session beer.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at C'est What. Told the nice barkeep that I wanted something local, full flavored and interesting. She chose this as my first of the day. Poured dark brown, though clear, with a fluffy tan head. Great retention and lacing. Nutty malty aroma with some earthy hop highlights. Very inviting.

More malty than anything else, with the expected nutty malts taking center stage. There were a good bit of roastier malts in there, chocolate and some fruits. Very light earthy or herbal hops hanging way in the background.
Medium bodied with a tingly carbonation that washes away the malts. Very drinkable and hard to put down.

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Photo of funkengruven
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6 of this out of curiousity. Interestingly, one of the labels was put on the bottle upside-down. I found that to be quite amusing.


This poured a transparent dark brown brew with a centimeter thick head, a good looking beer if you ask me. To the nose, a very bold malty smell. Very clean, like a whiskey malt. This very clean malty taste makes it's way to the palate, with a defined hop presence in the finish. Fairly smooth with a slightly bitter undertone.

This goes down nicely, and it is quite a delicious beer.

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Photo of crwills
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This has become one of my favourite Ontario beers. Easy to find (usually), and tasty with or without food. Highly recommended. Haven't tried anything else from Black Oak yet, oddly enough, but I will.

Poured this into my Hobgoblin glass. Clear, light brown with a small white head that sticks around and doesn't leave any lacing. Not the greatest looking beer in the world but, hey, it's a brown ale, what can you expect?

Aroma is quite sweet -- cane sugar, mild chocolate and latte, some roasted malts.

Taste is... well... nutty. Am I imagining it because of the name? I've only tried a couple other nut brown ales, and none have had an actual 'nutty' presence like this one. I think it's there anyway. Also, the chocolate shows up again just a bit, as well as some sourish and bitter hop notes -- more hops than I expected, actually, but I like the balance they create.

Very good creamy mouthfeel and a pleasant aftertaste. Very little carbonation. I had this a simple meal of fried sausages and BBQ'd beans and it went perfectly.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I cant believe I passed up trying this beer for so long. Its one of the tastiest micros in Ontario.

I pours a clear brown copper color with a creamy tan head that leaves tonnes of spindly lace behind. The carbonation is amazing, a dense pack of tiny bubbles moving very slowly to the surface. The bubbles are microscopic. The aroma is of dark malts, cocoa powder and herbal hops. The taste is lusciously malty with a nutty crystal malt flavor as well as raw barley notes. Hop flavor is more assertive than most Brown Ales, it really comes out in the finish. The mouthfeel is light and slightly creamy with carbonation.

This is one awesome brown ale, up there with Ringwelter and Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Derek
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Phoenix, McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario.

Appearance: Brown (obviously), mild carbonation/head.

Smell: Sweet malt & nuts.

Taste: No apparant taste from hops. Sweet, but relatively balanced with chocolate malt bitterness. Certainly more of a complex nutty taste than typical brown ales (Newcastle, Neustadt 10W30). Fresher, with more flavour than imported Samuel Smith Nutbrown. This is a world-class beer.

Mouthfeel: Moderate malty body.

Drinkability: The balance is slightly tipped to the sweet side, but it's VERY drinkable.

I've had this by the bottle as well, and enjoy it very much.

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Photo of Popsinc
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber/brown pour. Medium off-white head w.little head retention. Clear pour, little carbonation. Semi sweet nose....malts, light chocolate notes with minimal "nuttiness". Taste i seem to pick up more chocolatey notes. Some hop bitterness, subtle malts and a good combo of chocolate/nuttiness. Hop bitter lingering finish....Drying, chalky finish. Dry, crisp mouthfeel. Decent drinkability. A good sipping beer, nice for a cool fall/spring day like today.

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Photo of DrJay
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear chestnut brown colour. The pint came with a thin, light tan head with good retention.

Smell: Rich and malty with a distinct nutty aroma complimented by very light, earthy hops. Very enjoyable balance.

Taste: Chocolate and toasted malts blend nicely with a pronounced nuttiness. Bitterness stays just in balance, but takes a backseat to the malts until the finish, which is on the dry side.

Mouthfeel: Dry, grainy texture in a medium-light body with medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Great malty flavours without being overly sweet. Excellent for a session. Main downside is the slight grainy astringency, but this doesn't detract much from the drinkability.

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Photo of SaunaKing
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I stumbled across this brewery while browsing beerfly. I grew up a five minute bike ride from them so I decided to check out what they had. I am not really familiar with brown ales so lets see what they're about - Not bad - this is a pretty good beer. A dark copper color (copper/brown i guess) mild head but at least it sticks around for a while. Lacing is decent too. The smell is very lively - a little spicy. Tastes ok too - but the taste doesnt quite live up to the aroma. Bitter mouthfeel and fairly drinkable.

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Photo of pootz
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

RE EVALUATED 04/11/04: Poured a clear chestnut brown color... 3 finger tan sticky head stacks out of the glass and that goes to a 1cm cap and glass clinging lace that lasts the drink.

Medium carbonation. Aromas are pronounced.. sweet bready malts, nutty yeast mustiness and a slight dried apricot note.

Starts with a nice smack of chewy caramel malts then this balances with the grassy hops as the palate gets an oily feel...the middle is malt and nut pronounced...then this fades back as some sweetness is detected and the finish takes over...which is drying,... nutty-fruity and hoppy with a metallic after taste..

A very nice brown!..nutty-carmel a wisp of chocolate-smoke in the finish with good hop standard session brown.

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Photo of Sammy
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At Bar Volo blind cask tasting. Aroma sweet chocolate and coffee. Dark amber. Thinnish body. Drinkable but needs to sit for a while.

I had it in bottle 2.5 years earlier: Some coffee, mollases and licorice taste. Nice black with white head appearance.

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Black Oak Nut Brown Ale from Black Oak Brewing Co.
3.86 out of 5 based on 120 ratings.
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