St. Arnold Brown Ale

St. Arnold Brewing Co.
Houston, TX
Brown Ale

So far, St. Arnold is three-for-three on Brew York City. Not that I keep track of wins and losses – nor do I deign to ‘score’ or ‘rate’ beer – but every time I crack open one of St. Arnold’s brews, I am transported to a place where the (St. Arnold) beer flows like wine and beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. Or something. This Brown Ale is number four; let’s see how the clean-up hitter does.

The pour yields a very reddish-brown hue with more of an amber color than a pure brown, but brunette highlights on this amber beauty do a lot to bring out some nice earth tones overall.

When held to the light, the deep amber-orange is accented and the clarity is excellent. Fine effervescence makes it way slowly to the top of the glass. About three-quarters 0f an inch of off white, slightly yellow head billows up quickly, like many malty ales, but settles to a soft downy coating over the surface.

The nose has strong cinnamon and brown sugar notes, like warm pastry. The whole aroma is mellow and a slight hint of tangy hops seeps its way into the background with a slightly sticky character that is probably more sweet malt than floral hops, but seems to promise a full finish.

The mouthfeel is very good, one of the more interesting brown ales I’ve tried. While some are exceptionally smooth and almost thin all the way through, others are too roasty. This is a delicate balance. Initially, you are met with a carbonated kick which settles back to a soft, slightly creamy cocoa flavor. This is mild and opens up to a warm sourdough texture – neither too sweet nor too sour – finally giving way to the most perfect amount of floral-fruity tones of West Coast hops.

Once again, I cannot stress enough about my love affair with St. Arnold Brewing. They have continually exceeded my expectations and St. Arnold Brown Ale is no exception.

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