Beer: Nut Brown Ale
Brewery: Samuel Smith Old Brewery
Style: Brown Ale
Serving Style: Bottle
Drinking Establishment: Chez Wood
Primary Consumer: Kerensa
Sight: Clear, dark copper body with a dense beige head.
Smell: Toasted malts, caramel, and walnuts with a slightly metallic tang.
Flavor: While the smell was pretty straightforward, the complexity of this beer is astounding. It’s both bitter and sweet, with prominent flavors of pumpernickel bread, toffee, walnuts, hazelnut, and bitter hops.
Feel: Thin body with high carbonation. There’s a little heat from the alcohol.
Concluding Remark: As we venture into our first encounter with a proper English Brown Ale (the Northern variety, to be specific), all I can say is that I am pleasantly surprised. As you may recall from our little history on the Brown Ale, Northern Ales are characteristically dry and malty. You may also remember that many Northern Brown Ales are also referred to as “Nut Brown Ales”–a name given for color of the beer, not for a related olfactory or gustatory sensation. Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale is the classic Northern Brown Ale. It oozes malty goodness, but manages not to become dull or cloyingly sweet, as many exceedingly malty beers tend to be. You could easily knock many, many of these back in one evening. Way to go, Sam. I do believe that this Nut Brown has made me a Brown Ale convert.
While we don’t give out many 5 pint ratings, this is truly the best of the style. Thus, 5.