Buster Nut Brown Ale | Ska Brewing Co.

Buster Nut Brown AleBuster Nut Brown Ale
269 Ratings
Buster Nut Brown AleBuster Nut Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Ska Brewing Co.
Colorado, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.15%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Malts: Victory & Munich
Hops: Northern Brewer, Cascade, & Willamette

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-07-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 269 |  Reviews: 124
Photo of chinchill
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, undated despite coding bar on label, served in a pint glass.

Pours a dark red-mahogany, clear with a smallish tan head that is short-lived.

Aroma - medium and dark malt; a trace of spicy hops, a bit smoky. Rather understated.

T - moderately malty, nicely nutty, with a medium- and well-roasted grain flavor and hints of banana, coffee and dark fruits.

M- medium-light body; a bit light for style. Good carbonation. Slightly dry finish

O - a fairly well-crafted if rather unremarkable English Brown. No real strong points or weaknesses.

{Revised with bottle consumed in June 2013).

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.37/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: The body is pecan brown with some mahogany highlights. There is almost no foam, not even enough to cover the top of the beer. And no lacing of course.

Smell: The malts have a roasted quality to them, but not quite coffee, more like roasted nuts. It has brown ale characteristics with this malt profile, but it is weak, and a little on the harsher side.

Taste: Not really any bready malts in play here. Just more of that roasted nut taste. It is not bad, and certainly could work in a brown ale, but it is really bland. It really is a skinny profile. Maybe some biscuity malt in the finish, but that char carries through as well.

Mouth feel: Despite the underwhelming taste, it is a smooth drinker. That roasted profile kind of distracts from the feel though. More on the light side than medium.

Overall: While it is true this brown ale is pretty straight forward, it does at least go for a more original interpretation of a brown ale. That roasted flavor could even be called endearing if it was done better. The malt profiles are just too small. You could do worse for browns, I'm sure. But ultimately, you could also do much, much better.

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Photo of centbeerfest
4.15/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass
A-The name says it all. A beautiful deep brown that is clear, but darkly opaque.
S-Very enjoyable toasted malt.
T-Slow to build, but long lasting roasted nutty finish. Strangely clean and refreshing for a beer as dark as it appears. Could use a bit more depth of taste but a small point in the grand scheme.
M-Very good. Doesn't kill your palate and leaves you wanting more.

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Photo of DCon
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed on-tap @ the Wolf Public House in Ballwin, MO for $5. Tapped from the Wooden, Gold Tipped, and Ska Character on the front into a Pint Glass and has a Keg Date of March 13, 2011.

Aroma- Very sweet, malty, and has a good caramel aroma. Has even a toffee scent at times.

Appearance- Received with a 2 finger head that has good retention. Dark Brown color body, clear, and leaves a ton of sudsy lace.

Flavor- Nice caramel and roasty tastes from the beginning. Light on the bitterness and easy finish. Can't note many things here, because of such mild ingredients used.

Mouthfeel- Light- Medium Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, and is very malty all the way through. What else though???

Overall Impression- A light, refreshing mild brown that didn't have much characteristic after the nose... Liked it but SKA has much better brews than this. Would recommend for some people trying to get into new craft beers and need a lighter brown ale.

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Photo of jmvecchio1
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Buster Nut pours a dark brown with hints of red and deep copper coming through. The head is fairly light in color and sticky. It slowly gives way to a few spots of lacing. The aroma is rich; full of caramel, toasted walnuts and hazelnuts, and hints of both bread and chocolate. On the first sip you know you'll be wanting more than one pint of this brew. This is definitely a nutty brown ale with tastes of both chocolate and coffee with hints of pumpernickel bread. Hints of hops come through on the flavor, but don't linger long enough to be distinguishable. This beer is very carbonated and that masks the flavor slightly, but thankfully the flavors continue to develop and grow stronger as you drink it. A nutty aroma lingers with you after each sip and leaves you wanting more.

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Photo of Bung
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. A nice deep brown, nut brown? Just a thin layer of white head.

Aroma, certainly nutty, some malt and lighter brown sugar, herbal hop.

Taste is malty, light caramel and earthy. Some leather, hazelnut, peat. Finish has just a faint amount of hop bittering, toast.
Seems pretty in tune with the style.

Heavier side of light, adequate carbonation. I found this very drinkable, pleasant with the low abv. A session English brown, not many around from US brewers. Worth a try.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazelnut color and a light offwhite head that capped the top with vigorous carbonation throughout. aroma is sweet, lots of caramel and roasted nuts, hints of bready grains, touches of light earthy hops, really quite nicely done i have to admit. moving forward there is a clean, crisp feel to it, smooth medium body is well deserving and shows off the overall profile very, very well. i was quite impressed with how easy this was. flavor is dominated by caramel and roasted nuts and the overall expierence is that of a lightly sweetened and very sessionable ale.

overall really very well done

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Photo of TheSarge
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, and makes a decent finger thick light tan head, and has a deep ruby red colored body that is well filtered.

Aroma is cocoa and toffee along with a faint hint of leather.

The taste of toffee, cocoa, herbal notes, and mild cola.

Wetting to the palate, nice carbonation, and a spicy snap with a powdery finsh.

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Photo of BigBry
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap pint at iTap in Chesterfield, Missouri.
Light brown color with ruby highlights. An inch of tan foam that left nice lacing and good retention. Very nice looking beer. The aromas were sweet grainy malts, and a slight nuttiness. The flavor is sweet at first, then the roasted malt and nut flavors come forward. Dry, clean finish, crispness keeps the sweetness from being too sugary. The body is medium, good carbonation and mouthfeel. Easy to drink, a good session brew.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.54/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass. Thanks to LusciousJackson for this.

4.0 A: Clear deep amber mahogany color. One finger of beige, creamy head with average retention and a nice ring of lacing.

2.5 S: The nose is weak overall, but the worst part is how weak the nuttiness is. It is too weak to be pleasant and I'd actually prefer it to not be there at all. It's about as satisfying as a Coca-Cola that has sat in a glass with ice for too long. Grainy overall, with a touch of breadiness. Not impressed.

2.5 T: Taste is pretty much the same of the nose. Grainy backbone with watered down nuttiness and toastiness. Doubly not impressed.

2.0 M: Water body. Good moderate carbonation. Smooth because it is akin to water.

2.5 D: Certainly worse that average. They need to throw in some more malt and mash a lot higher. Too light and watery to appreciate.

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Photo of beerdown77
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

There isn't a strong smell, but light sweetness and malt is detectable. pours brown and has very little head and lacing. I taste brown sugar and there is a nice crispness. It is pretty sweet, there is some bitterness, but it finishes nicely. This is a well rounded brown ale with a medium body.

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Photo of Lemke10
2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I bought this as a mix and match 6-pack from Everhett's in South Beloit, IL for $9.99.

Pours a very dark brown with a fast dimishing head and thin lacing. Scents of some robust malts and nutty hints. Drinks rather lightly for being a dark beer. Rather mild roasted malts taste with an awkward nutty finsh. The way you expect this beer to taste and the way it actually tastes are two different things. Not completly horrible but definetly needs some work on its taste and texture.

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Photo of dbossman
3.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Brown with a light amber tint; small quickly dissipating head; lacing is pretty good

S: Very nutty; caramel and vanilla too but mostly loads of roasted nuts; almost a rum like aroma here; really sweet but rich maltiness shines through too

T: Roasted malts and barley come through the most; fairly watery; some graininess on back end; lots of nuts with a touch of caramel and raisins but it is just doesn't come together very well in the end

F: Decent but fairly thin

D: Really easy drinking; this isn't always my favorite style but Ska does a decent enough job with it; I like the nutty flavor but it does become a tad wearing after a while

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Photo of atsprings
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint glass a crisp brown with a thin diminishing khaki head that leaves decent lacing on the glass. Aroma is mild brown malts and cocoa. The taste is a smooth subtle blend of dark malts, cocoa, nuts and mild caramel. The beer is quite light, crisp and smooth with mild carbonation. This is a surprisingly enjoyable brown ale, one I would love to have on-tap again.

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Photo of bamadog
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My buddy Jeff brought this one back to me some time ago from a recent trip out to Colorado. The review is from notes taken on 10/25/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a dark coppery brown/toffee color; starts with a loose tan one finger head that fades quickly to a thin skim and 2 large islands; body shows solid clarity; minimal carbonation is present visually; nice thick wall of lacing and a lot of loose spots left behind.

Smell: Smells like well done, slightly burnt toast; slight nutty scent; mild earthy hop presence; smell isn't too bad -- typically I don't get too excited for Browns, but this one has kind of piqued my interest.

Taste: Nut flavor is much more present in the mouth than I would have expected from the nose -- it comes across a little bitter, but it's really "meaty" and it reminds me of a big, fat walnut; slightly burnt toasty presence is really more in the background and the slightly hoppy presence that I noticed in the nose is barely perceptible; again, I typically don't get too excited about this style, but the big walnut flavor straight out of the gate really makes me glad I'm drinking it.

Mouthfeel: A sticky, loose and slightly oily coating is left all over the roof of the mouth; the body is pretty soft and smooth; carbonation is present, but light and soft and it really seems to compliment the body nicely; overall it's really not too heavy.

Drinkability: I have to admit, this Brown is really drinkable as it's quite good; there are nice flavors that really live up to the name on the label; moderate ABV and a body that isn't too heavy, hell, I think I'd be able to get through 2 or 3 of these in a sitting if I had to.

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Photo of stakem
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a best by date of 11/18/10 stamped on the neck. Thanks Ryan for the chance to try this.

Buster nut... appears a perfectly clear amber brown color with less than a finger of lightly tanned head. The foam of bubbles does not display much power of retension and before long it is nothing more than a thin layering atop the brew. Multiple swirls hardly revive little more than a few extra bubbles.

The aroma of this brew is grainy with some toasty suggestions of chocolate malt and a bit of coffee. Lightly fruity from a combination of the alcohol's presence, yeast and floral hops.

The taste is grainy with chocolate malt and a bit more fruity flavored than I would like but it isn't suprising how sweet and fruity this offering is considering the warning from the aroma. It finishes somewhat crisp but has an ackward fruitiness about it that I just don't like. More sips start to yield a bit of bitterness that seems to be more from a chocolate maltiness than from hops. The alcohol is well surpressed and this would be a fine session brew if it wasn't for the fruitiness. Perhaps a change in the hops is needed or a different yeast or fermenting temperature to make this one less fruity?

Medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. Could benefit from a bit more carbonation as the lack of carbonation imparts a bit of a watery feel.

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Photo of Tone
3.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, brown color. 6/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight nut, slight wheat, slight grain, and slight hops. Fits the style of an English Brown Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight yeast, slight grain, slight nut, slight wheat, and a hint of hops. Overall, good appearance and complexity, but average aroma and body.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a leather couch brown w/ 2-finger head that quickly receeds and left no lace on top of a faint aroma of burnt sweet malts and sour hop bitterness. Taste and mouthfeel are light and quaint as there isn't much going into this; light, sweet caramel and chocolate malts w/ slight roasted edge and a hint of hops lead to dryness (and breadiness). An alright brown ale that was nice to have on a summer day.

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Photo of brownbeer
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a bit too light and clear for my standard of a brown. Toasted nuts and grains in the aroma. I'm having to reach to smell it. The body and flavor are a little richer than I expected after the lackluster aroma. As it warms up caramel malts and an undefined nuttiness bring forth a charming quality and a gentle hoppiness can be found in a dryish finish. Probably more of an intro brown in my book.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.74/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours brown with a fizzy off-white head, fair retention.

S: Toffee, caramel, hazelnuts.

T: Nuts, hints of dark chocolate and a note of roast form the main flavour. Some smoke flavour goes with the relatively sweet finish. Nice taste.

M: Light-bodied, fizzy carbonation, on the thin side.

D: Solid nut brown ale. Not the most common style in the craft brewers repertoire so it was nice to see. Another good ale from Ska.

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Photo of Khazadum
2.44/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle picked up at a local store because I had to buy some fourth beer. Poured into a brandy snifter.

No matter what attempt is made, this beer cannot produce any head. Violent pouring, violent agitation, and violent prodding all fail to produce anything but a minor bubble cascade. There is little carbonation, although that isn't a problem. As color goes, this beer is murky brown. In the dim lights of my apartment I can just detect a cola brown hue. Held up to a light, it is apparent that the color is identical to dark soft drink.

The bouquet is very very faint. At first it hints of hazelnut, almonds, and something woody. As more attempts are made to discern the nature of this brew, it begins to nauseate one. It reminds me of nuts splashed upon Comiskey park bathroom stalls. It is unfortunate it can't go beyond that as it just begins to sicken me.

Flavor Profile
Can I even say it has one? It has bitterness if you let it linger on your palate, but there is very little flavor. I want something more.. where are my malts in this EBA? They barely exist within my orifice before they run in fear from the bitter units. The smells do not match the flavors at all. I begin to detect a woody, almost nutty flavor that is only a ghost of what may be there. Quickly it dissipates and leaves nothing but sour feelings on my tongue and disposition. The finish is not clean, and unwelcome. It is off-sour and ravishing my mouth and lips. I wanted the flavor to help me determine that unusual bouquet, but alas that is not possible.

Oral Sensations
This is the one shining moment of this beer. It is full bodied. The presence is what I wish many other brews could have. I was pleasantly shocked how it grasped to my tongue, my lips, my soft palate, my throat. It is hugging me, but not oppressively. Unfortunately, due to its flavor profile this mouth feel leaves me angry in the end.

I would not buy this again. I don't care if I paid less than 2$ for this bottle, it is not worth it in the least. I would rather pay double the price for something far more enjoyable than try this beer. Hopefully, future brown ales can bring my spirits back up to what they used to be before I was dashed by the angry mod suited man and his army of crazed bottles.

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Photo of Conk
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Buster Nut Brown Ale pours a dark rich mahogany color with a two finger head that receded to leave moderate lacing and crown of foam atop the beer. This beer enjoys nice clarity and adequate carbonation as well as a beautiful color.

Smell: Aromas of apricots, walnuts, damp wood, slightly burnt coffee and bitter chocolates round out the mild smelling brown ale.

Taste: Dark roasted malts mix with subtle flavors of roasted almonds and walnuts with a well subdued sweetness and a mild hop finish that almost tastes of bitter chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and rich, yet light in body with a deliciously creamy frothy cap.

Drinkability: Very drinkable.

Rating: Yum. This beer was lighter in body and dryer than I had expected, though the full flavor profile and the creamy mouthfeel make this an especially drinkable beer. I look forward to keeping this on hand for a "sure thing" when a great beer is in need.

Final Words: Great choice for a lighter bodied full flavored brown ale.

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Photo of SAtaMi
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 1/2" head with a nice deep brown color to the beer. Has nice retention to the head though. Nice layers of lacing.

Smell - Roasted malts some hops and a smokey nutty back that i cant place maybe an oak.

Taste - The Malty nut taste shines though and has a hop back. Sweetness from the malt and bitterness from the hops are nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel - Thick and creamy overall nice body to it.

Drinkability - I have had better but this is a good beer none the less.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It has a bottled on list on the label but nothing is notched.

This pours a clear amber brown with a 1 finger head of off white foam.

The smell has notes of roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, and a light nutiness.

The taste has a cocoa/dark chocolate and nutty flavour mixed in with sweet tones of milk chocolate and caramel. There's a ying yang of bitter and sweet and is pretty tasty.

It has a surprisingly thickish body with lowish levels of carbonation. A very nice mouthfeel.

Drinkability? Easy drinker, plain and simple and the head retention is good as is the lacing. A good beer overall.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a nice light to medium brown, with a good light brown head. Aromas of nuts, sweet malt and milk chocolate. Nice creamy mouthfeel, with flavors of cocoa powder and brown sugar. A solid, sweet nut brown ale, nothing more, nothing less.

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Buster Nut Brown Ale from Ska Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 269 ratings
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