Those of you who read my reviews on anything
approaching a regular basis (or perhaps even once in blue moon) should be
well aware of my fondness for esoteric and obscure beers. You know, like
beers made with maple syrup or some other ingredient that most people just
couldn’t imagine in their beer. Ah, but for the seasoned beer enthusiast, he
(or she) of the adventurous palate, of such are legends are made.
Think about it. You like diversity in food, why not in beer? Fine wine is
admired; why not fine beer? That’s been my philosophy for a long, long time.
Variety is the spice of life, after all. So, I was excited a while back when
I came across
Tommyknocker’s Maple Nut Brown Ale . I really liked that beer a lot, and
I think you might too, dear reader.
But there were better things in store from Colorado’s Tommyknocker brewery.
For their tenth anniversary (1994-2004), they brewed up a bigger, more
extreme version of their already tasty maple ale: Tommyknocker’s Imperial
Nut Brown Ale. This is a higher gravity, richer incarnation of the
original. And it packs a bigger kick at 9.8% alcohol by volume.
Sold in 22 ounce “bomber” bottles for a meager $3, Imperial Nut Brown Ale is
also a pretty darned good value in an era when many a special, high gravity
brew is edging up in price towards the $5 to $6 mark. Not that I’d complain
if they charged more: this beer is worth it. But all the same, don’t tell
them I said that.
Tommyknocker’s Imperial Nut Brown Ale pours to a very dark brown
color with a light but creamy head formation and a sweet, malty nose. The
palate is thick and, as you might expect, on the sweet side. The crystal and
chocolate malts really shine through. The beer is sinfully rich, with lots
of dark chocolate and nutty flavors, sweet molasses, a little licorice,
sweet cookie-like malt, and of course maple flavor.
The maple flavors are subtle in the Maple Nut Brown; here in its big
brother, they’re more pronounced, though they still don’t exactly knock you
over the head, not in a syrup you can pour over your pancakes sort of way.
Still, this beer is thick and sticky like a syrup, with an unmistakable
maple character. Dare I try some with waffles one morning?
The beer finishes sweet with a touch of grassy hops and a warming alcohol
sensation. A bottle of Imperial Nut Brown is perfect as a nightcap for two
(or one if you’re like me and want it all for yourself). Very highly
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For
reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.