Alesmith: Nut Brown English Style Ale (USA: Brown Ale: 5.25% ABV)

Visual: Brown with red edges. Large sudden coffee froth head.

Nose: Dry oats. Light bitterness. Crushed leaves. Vanilla and cocoa dust.

Body: Nice moderate bitterness. Nutty. Red wine touches. Slightly chalky. Cherry hint and some fruitcake. Malt chocolate. Liquorice.

Finish: Bitter. Milky chocolate. Praline. Nutty. Chalk. Vanilla.

Conclusion: English Style, yeah, we have style! So much so people emulate our style! Woo. I’m reaching a bit there I think..

So a) Is it “English Style” and b) Much more importantly, is it any good and sod the style?. Good questions. Mainly because I came up with them so I would say that.


a) It is reasonably close, a higher abv than most English Brown Ales, but it has a similar base malt character and a moderate nuttiness. I’m guessing CAMRA wouldn’t consider it real ale and so it doesn’t have one of the quintessential traditional characteristics, but sod it I’m not too bothered on that. What it does lack which I consider important is that dry and slightly sour tingle that I do like in the best English Brown Ales. Its an element that makes them very refreshing and is missed here.

So, b) yeah, it’s pretty nice. A bit of fruitcake and chocolate sweetness, a bit of praline and good nuttiness. Easy to drink, quite soothing. The Japanese take, Angry Boy Brown Ale, is better for my money. A bit more out there and that makes it more fun.  This one is more authentic but less sheer awesome.

So this is a half way point, not entirely authentic, not entirely new. At a lower ABV I would find it sessionable on toast  (metaphorically of course, not really on toast. I think) and really enjoy it for it.  As it is the beer seems to suit going alongside a traditional beer and Yorkshire pudding meal. The flavours sit heavier due to the lack of tartness so would suit the heavier meal in my mind. Still a beer to go with  beef and Yorkshire puds that’s authentic enough for me.

It is good. Balanced nuttiness and malt chocolate flavour and easy to drink. With a bit of tartness it would have been great, as is I can still definitely find time to relax with it. Pretty nice.

Background: Alesmith, a brewery with a massive reputation, and one whose beers I enjoy. However with the exception of Old Numbskull I don’t quite see why people rate them so highly. They have been good, but not world best for the most part. Still, they have been quality enough that I never mind trying a few more of them. Continuing my punk retrospective to my youth I drank this while listening to Offspring: Americana. In my opinion their best, and last good, album even though two of the singles from it were utterly atrocious in both songwriting and intent.