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Josh Weikert's picture

Brekle's Brown

Judges Rating: 
20 / 24
6 / 6
34 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Brekle's Brown is an American Brown Ale in the sense that it's brown, and made in America. While not a bad beer, it's much more like a brown porter than an ABA, with a heavy dose of nutty and molasses-like aromas and flavors, and relatively little of the citrus hop punch that Anchor suggests is there.

The beer pours a dark copper and forms a low, dark tan head. The initial aroma is almost devoid of hops, and instead features a prominent toffee/nutty nose. The visual impression I got was of Nutella on toast. As it warmed, a low dark chocolate note built in, and a touch of alcohol.

The flavor mirrored the aroma, but added in a low-medium tropical fruit and orange peel flavor with medium bittering. After the bitterness fades, a prominent plum flavor remains (either as an ester or as the result of a high-Lovibond caramel malt in the grist). The finish is slightly sweet with a burnt-sugar aftertaste.

This beer is richly malty, almost to a fault. The hops are not so much minimal as they are fugitive, ceding a great deal of the flavor and almost all of the aroma to the grist. It's a good beer, and many will enjoy it, but others will likely experience a disconnect between their expectations and their experience.

[REVIEWER'S NOTE: My bottle also had a touch of oxidation, and experienced a lengthy trip from the West Coast. It is entirely possible that it experienced some rough handing and extreme temperatures, which may have accelerated staling and muted the hop presence in the aroma. This information is provided in the interest of full disclosure.]