Honky Tonk LeBrown James Barrel Aged Brown Ale

I'm not going to lie to you - this brewery has been quite the surprise since the word go. So far, I've only had two of their beers, and they were both 4/5. Now, anyone who knows anything about my ratings knows that this is a very, very good score on my scale, so I'm expecting even the brown ale (not my favorite style) to be tremendous. The fact that it is barrel aged will no doubt help.

Brown. Deep, dark brown. I mean - you thought you knew brown, but this isn't the lame UPS or cardboard-style brown. This is a deep, cosmic brown. Like all of the Honky Tonk beers, this has a substantial head and it takes a while to go down. Even settled, this has a good .25 to .35 inches covering across the top, and (while not sticky) it is lovely. The aroma is strangely a little chocolate, nutty, and woody.

First sip is sweet, woody, bitter, coffee, chocolate, and nutty. There's a lot is what I'm trying to say. No, it isn't the world's absolutely most complex beverage, but it is more than a simple sip can bring, and that is why I've spent years perfecting this method of dissecting a beer to bring out it's true potential. I call it: The Swig.

Tip-in is nutty with mahogany and a touch of vanilla. The middle is a little spicy, and it brings oak, a slight mist of bourbon, a little chocolate, more nuts, and some grains; it hits a smoothness that has escaped most brown ales in the past. The finish is bitterness and it suddenly turns a bit dry.

Bottom Line: It's another winner for the home team. And a brown ale at that - who knew?

3.5/5

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