850: Downtown Brown

Name: Downtown Brown
Brewery: Lost Coast Brewery
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Eureka, California
Style: English Brown Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5.0%
First Brewed: 1991
Price: $1.29

Tasting Notes
A thick, rich tan head and a beautiful copper brown color. With nutty aromas and a hint of chocolate notes, the flavors are malty and rich, with coffee and American buttering gips contributing to a chewy, complex brew. The offish is clean, with some lingering nuttiness.

Ricky’s Thoughts

I’ve had this beer before, but I can never remember the flavor. I am not usually a fan of this style, but it’s been a while since I have had an English brown ale. Having been to England recently, maybe that will help me enjoy this beer more. Plus, it’s a cool story. Two women founded this brewery, and one of them is the brewmaster. That, and this is one of the first beers she came up with. Oh, and I love the label. It’s fun! A lot of breweries are trying to use crazy names and create interesting packaging for their beer. This one is simple, but a bright and fun label that was designed by a local artist. Local to Eureka, California, anyway.

Let’s drink!

In the Glass: It is darker than I expected. Not black, but a nice thick rich brown color. The lace is weak, but the beer is appetizing. Maybe because I am thirsty, but it still looks delicious.

Nose: I could smell this as I was pouring it. The nose, without even sticking my nose in the glass, is powerful. When I do stick my nose in the glass, I am getting lots of chocolate and some nuttiness that the tasting notes mentioned. But I do get more chocolate than I expected. I just had a can of Sex Panther (LOVE the name) that is a double chocolate porter. I am getting more chocolate here than there.

Flavor: The flavor is really nice. I haven’t had a brown ale in a while, but this one is solid. The flavor starts out somewhat sweet, nearing bittersweet. See… I am thinking chocolate again. Then the flavor profile changes completely as you swallow opening up all sorts of flavors. It is a little dry, that I didn’t expect. I guess most English beers are dry… so I am not surprised. The aftertaste is really nice, too. But we will get to that.

Mouthfeel: At first, the mouthfeel is thin and boring. But as the beer slides across the tongue, bubbles start to dance and you are hit with a dry finish that lingers. The bubbles are nice, too. I don’t normally like carbonation in my beer. But here, it works. It makes me think of a flavorful domestic at first, but then settles on the tongue and leaves you with a really nice nutty finish.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is great. It lingers on for a good three minutes. It’s dry, and has a burnt chocolate flavor to it. For as cheap as this beer is, I would totally buy this again just to experience that aftertaste. The brewmaster made this beer to pair well with food. I can totally see where this would pair well with pork or beef. Well done, ladies!

Downtown Brown – The bottle says: “NA”

Rating: 3/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

Today we are trying a brown ale.  I’m usually a fan of browns, they are one of my favorites.  They are typically a bit less hoppy than pale ales and IPAs, and to me the flavor usually tastes richer.  When I’m not in the mood for a porter or stout, I will likely order either a brown or sometimes a wheat.  But only if it’s a good brown or wheat!  Let’s find out more about this one.

It looks like a typical brown in the glass.  It’s a rich, slightly reddish shade of… what else, brown.  Very thick, not a lot of head, and just a few bubbles floating to the top.  The smell is subtle, but I like it.  It smells a bit like cinnamon, nuts, and malt.  Actually, it also kind of makes me think of brown sugar.  Definitely a good smell.  Let’s see if it tastes as good as it smells with all those flavors.

It does taste pretty good.  I had to take a few sips to really get all the flavors out of it.  A lot of what I smelled is there, but it’s not quite as sweet as I expected.  With the cinnamon, brown sugar, and malt smells, I guess I expected more of a sweetness.  But it definitely tastes nutty.  To me the smell is just deceiving.  I go to take a drink and get a whiff of the beer, then get the taste… which doesn’t taste as sweet as it smells.  I’m not sure what I think of that.

At any rate, it is a decent beer.  I’m not sure it’s anything over the top, though.  I guess my taste buds are probably all messed up right now, as we reviewed a not-so-good beer yesterday and then last night popped open a bottle of Goose Island’s 2011 Bourbon County Coffee Stout (which just may be the best beer ever).  As far as this brown – it wasn’t bad, but might not be the brown I chose if I was out looking for one.

Rating: 3/5

849 bottles of beer on the wall…

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