Brown ales are a good early spring beer. They still have enough of a backbone to keep you warm, but are a little more refreshing than the porter or stouts that you’ve been drinking all winter.
To be totally honest I haven’t been a fan of most brown ales that I’ve had in the past. Finding most to be bland. That’s why I when I found out that Black Market Brewing Company had a Barrel-Aged Imperial Brown Ale I thought it would interesting if nothing else.
Appearance: No Head at all. Almost as if it’s flat. I expected a little more translucent being a brown ale but this baby is deep brown. Almost to the point of looking like a Porter or Stout but you can still see part way into the pint.
Nose: Boozy upfront. For a brown ale at 9.8% I’m not surprised that I get the bourbon upfront. A good amount of toffee and nougat in there as well.
Flavor: Bourbon and the alcohol from it are right there in the beginning. The chocolate and toffee notes that you get in there do a nice balancing job. Toning the Boozieness down a bit. Great mouthfeel, very silky smooth the lack of carbonation definitely apparent on the palate. This fully flavored brown lingers in the mouth for a long but delightful finish.
Rating: 3.5/5: Bourbon barrel aged porters and stouts want to be this balanced. Toffee and chocolate notes from the malt play beautifully with the bourbon. The coffee flavor that you get from most barrel aged porters and stouts is missing. But it is a brown ale after all. One of the best of it’s types that I’ve ever had!