John Henry Colonial Cream & Brown Ale
Cold Spring Brewing Co.

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Style:
Strong Ale - American
ABV:
9.3%
Score:
86
Avg:
3.74 | pDev: 12.3%
Reviews:
21
Ratings:
89
From:
Cold Spring Brewing Co.
 
Minnesota, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  1
Gots
  7
SCORE
86
Very Good
Notes:
View: Beers
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 89 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Daktyls:
Photo of Daktyls
Daktyls from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a plain brown color with a half finger head that recedes to a fine lacing of bubbles in a large patch. Some clarity around the edges is apparent, hazier towards the middle.

S: Ooh. I like this. The cream ale portion is present more than the brown ale portion, but most apparent is the aroma from the brandy oak spirals. Brandy sweetness is present along with some oakiness. Cream ale sweetness is present afterwords with a hint of nuttiness from the brown ale.

T: Tasty for sure. Again, I'm picking up more of the cream ale than the brown ale. The creaminess is more prevalent than the nuttiness, however the brandy oak spirals once again takes front and center. No one portion of either brew overwhelms the other.

M: Feels good man. Not too much carbonation, works well with the blend creating a very enjoyable feel. Some lingers on the tongue after the finish, but is enjoyable nonetheless.

O: Very tasting. I'm disappointed to see this is no longer being offered as it is quite good.

Nov 03, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerIsland
BeerIsland from Pennsylvania

3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a flight of JH beers; the Colonial Cream as well as the Spiker and West Indies. The Cream was easily the best of the the three with a nice appearance and decent aroma. It's a complex tasting beer with a good finish and easy on the palate with all that alcohol. First time tasting of this line.

Oct 27, 2013
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy from Connecticut

3.49/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. Surprised the beer is retired as I just purchased it a few weeks ago. The beer pours a deep mahogany color with a bit of ruby highlights.
Creamy beige head of 2 cm foams up and slowly fades to a sturdy surface layer. Leaves tightly packed lattice after each sip.
Aroma is caramel and molasses with a little plum or raisin notes. Malty nose with little hops nor booze showing through up front. Not a very robust nose for a bigger beer.
First sip reveals fine tingly carbonation and a thinner body than expected. There is a bit of sweet syrupy texture, but in general the thickness is a little lacking in my opinion.
Flavor is also mild with similar malt profile of molasses and some dark fruit. Plums is probably a better descriptor here. There is some black pepper booze on the finish and a tingly physical feel left over after the swallow.
No real hop presence to speak of and the beer is thinner than I would expect for the style and the nose a little mild, but otherwise it is a pretty good beer.

Mar 08, 2015
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ejimhof from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -19.8%

Jul 27, 2013
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Wally1912 from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Nov 27, 2013
Photo of jwc215
jwc215 from Arizona

3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours chestnut brown with a thin creamy head that holds up well. Ample lacing sticks.

The smell is of bourbon and brown sugar - slightly roasty.

The taste is of bourbon mixed with a solid brown ale character. Slightly roasty, sweet brown sugar with bourbon/vanilla spicing.

It has a creamy, smooth full body. Alcohol is relatively well-hidden, with some peppery notes.

This is a nice sipper!

Aug 15, 2013
Photo of DIM
DIM from Pennsylvania

3.39/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a murky brown; served to me with a thin, short lived head.

s: Vanilla, sugary booze, sweet bread, and some woody astringency.

t: Sweet and boozy overall. Some earthy/peaty malts and a little caramel take a back seat to sugary liquor, sharp vanilla, and plenty of lingering woodiness.

m: Gently carbonated and medium to light body.

o: Not sure about this one. Apparently a cream/brown ale hybrid? Okay but I won't revisit.

Nov 12, 2013
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069 from Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clean orange-ish brown color with a light tan head. In the aroma, caramel, milk chocolate, and a sweet brandy flavor. In the taste, creamy caramel, milk chocolate and a small sweet brandy like presence. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a lightly dry oak and sweet cream in the aftertaste. A touch sweet, but really nice!

Jul 13, 2013
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pkalix from California

4/5  rDev +7%

Mar 17, 2013
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freewill35 from Indiana

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Nov 23, 2013
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jera1350 from Minnesota

3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep mahagony with a creamy layer of tan foam that clings all over the sides of the glass.

Very wine like smell. Grape juice, dark fruits, mild wood.

Wine like flavor as well. Boozy grape juice, dark fruits, toffee sweetness, hoppy at the end.

The carbonation is wonderful. Velvety smooth. Medium full body with drier finish.

I'm really surprised by how good this is. I can't understand how it's so fruity and grape like from a brown and cream blend aged on oak and bourbon. Surprising, but in a good way. Well done.

Feb 17, 2013
Photo of tigg924
tigg924 from Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, high carbonation, red-brown in color, cloudy

Smell: toasted malt, toffee, and oak

Taste: big oak and toasted malt, brandy, light vanilla and nut

Mouthfeel: heavy body, sweet with oakiness, high carbonation

Overall: A good complex, oaky, brown ale. Best beer from this brewery that I have had to date. I would get this again.

Oct 22, 2013
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mattmarka1 from Minnesota

2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

Jan 13, 2014
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Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

75 cl

Pours a deep amber with a yellowish head, fairly fine.

Smell of nuts, mildly sweet fruit, and oak.

Oakey flavor with some hints of brandy and a creamy element. Something like plums in there too.

Medium to full body with a mild creamy carbonation. Alcohol is masked fairly well.

A pretty decent and interesting ale, doesn't feel as strong as it is but packs a bit of a punch as you go through it. Worth trying.

Jul 31, 2013
Photo of RockAZ
RockAZ from Arizona

4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer for $5 ! Sweet, toffee caramel creamy taste with a nice wash at the end that was a little dry and grape like. 1st half of the 750ml bottle was alone, 2nd half was a chaser for Courvoisier and a nice white scotch which it handled very very well. This was an interesting beer, many have tried to use the brandy oak barrels for seasoning and the result has not turned out as well as this one. Wish I could say more about it, I do recommend you try it if you have been interested in any of the barrel aged stuff. Would love to try this on draft.

Sep 18, 2013
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BeerFMAndy from Wisconsin

3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured into a pint.
9.3% ABV, Brandy spiral aged.

Review from notes.

A - Tons of carbonation feeds the dense off-white head while wispy lace remains on the pint above the clear amber mahogany beer.

S - Cream aroma with nutty, earthy notes, lactose sweetness faint banana, and no alcohol presence. Simple and oaky.

T - Tannic oak with amber malt and cream flavor finishes nutty and smooth. Faint dark fruits emerge as it warms.

M - Smooth and medium bodied with almost no alcohol perception and faint bitterness on the finish.

O - This brew shows no signs of brandy but the oak spirals certainly come through. A good brown but too much alcohol makes it a sipping beer you won't want a lot of.

Nov 25, 2012
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591 from Illinois

3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in an Ohio State shaker pint glass.

The Spelunky drinking game can easily get out of hand... Anyway, this stuff pours a lightly-brackish sienna topped by a finger of glowing off-white foam. The nose comprises toasted caramel, toasted coconut, buttery biscuit, and light wood. The taste holds notes of toasted oak, toffee, bad brandy, and light grass. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, an okay beer, but one that just doesn't utilize the brandy spirals very well, and one that seems to ignore the possibilities of the style blending (what was the point of that, anyway?).

Dec 19, 2012
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LarryMyers from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Nov 02, 2013
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krome from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

May 13, 2014
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djrn2 from New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Aug 01, 2013
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zestar from California

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Oct 10, 2014
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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle poured into a snifter. This bottle was given to me. I would guess it is a little over a year old, but I'm really not sure.

A: Burnt Siena with ruby hues. Chill haze clears up as it warms. Fine-bubbled cream colored head retains at a quarter inch. Wispy lacing.

S: Nutty with hints of toast, cocoa, and caramel. Mild papery oxidation. Touch of alcohol. Blackberries and Concord grape. Brandy. Whiff of oak.

T: Nutty, caramel, cocoa, and toasty malt flavors provide a solid base. Corny sweetness comes out in time. Subtle hint of oaky dryness. Brandy slowly and easily builds until it is the focus. It had a blackberry jam sort of quality to it. Nutty too. Red grapes. Soft hints of peppery alcohol. Wet paper bag oxidation is mild. Brandy rides into a long and easy finish.

M: Medium bodied but very full and creamy. Mildly coating and satiny. Lightly carbonated, but this lets the creaminess set in more.

O: A seductive mouthfeel and ease of drinkability make this beer a winner. The brandy oak spirals add an extra element, but in the end this is not a thinking man's beer. It comes off is a creamy, quaffable brown ale with an extra bell and whistle thrown in. Off the beaten path conceptually, but it works. It proved to be quite enjoyable, though simple.

Aug 01, 2015
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whatname from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Jun 21, 2013
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle pour at the BevMo Holiday Beerfest held at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a hazy orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, fruits, and a slight brandy aroma. Taste is much the same with a slight tartness. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average better with a better smell than taste in my opinion.

Dec 02, 2012
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superspak from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours fairly crystal clear deep reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, plum, red grape, brandy, vanilla, light oak, herbal, yeast/oak earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast ester, and light-moderate oak notes; with solid strength. Taste of big caramel, toast, toffee, vanilla, raisin, plum, red grape, brown sugar, biscuit, oak, herbal, light chocolate, and oak/yeast earthiness. Slight earthy tannic bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, vanilla, raisin, plum, red grape, brown sugar, biscuit, oak, herbal, light chocolate, and oak/yeast earthiness. Very nice complexity of dark/bready malt, fruit yeast ester, and brandy oak spiral flavors; with a great malt/oak flavor balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, fairly slick, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good oak aged strong ale. All around nice balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, brandy oak, and fruity/earth yeast flavors; and smooth to sip on for the ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

May 06, 2014
John Henry Colonial Cream & Brown Ale from Cold Spring Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 89 ratings