Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Beer for the First Snow - Tommyknocker Imperial Nut Brown Ale

We had our first snow fall of the season today. Nothing substantial, the ground covering didn't last the day, but it looked pretty none-the-less. In addition, the temperature is expected to be in the low 20's tonight. Seemed an apropos time to try out the Tommyknocker Imperial Nut Brown Ale I picked up last week.

On two trips to the Denver area, I've driven past the brewpub in Idaho Springs but haven't been able to stop in. As a geology major I've always been fascinated by mines, and the brewery plays off of the mining history of the area. A "tommyknocker" is a Welsh mythical creature that knocks on the mine walls to warn miners of an impeding collapse. We've only recently been able to get Tommyknocker beers locally so I was certainly interested in trying some out.

I wasn't sure what to expect from an imperial brown ale. Imperial seems to be the new "buzz word" among brewers. The Imperial Nut Brown Ale was released to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Tommyknocker Brewery. It's described as "a bigger, bolder version" of their Maple Nut Brown Ale. I've had the Maple Nut Brown in the past and enjoyed the sweet maple syrup flavor.

I poured the beer into one of the new Sam Adams Boston Lager glasses. The beer pours dark brown, with some crimson showing through at the edges. A thick, light brown head rapidly dissipates. The aroma is malt, nuttiness, with maple coming through as it warms. The flavor is roasted malt, brown sugar, maple syrup. The taste isn't excessively sweet. The alcohol warmth comes through at the end. The maple syrup flavor isn’t as strong as I remember in the Maple Nut Brown Ale. This is a very drinkable beer, though it is high ABV at 9.8%. This was a good choice for this cold evening and I'll surely enjoy this Imperial Nut Brown Ale again.

BTW, as a followup to this post about the Sam Adams glasses, I've been using these glasses almost exclusively and have been enjoying them. The glasses feel very comfortable in the hand and make excellent all around beer glasses.


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