Beer Review: Squirrel (Nut Brown Ale)



Reviews are done by Jim Matt, our Chief Science Officer, who is also a veteran FoBAB judge, GABF judge, and BJCP Master judge.

With a furtive glance and an eyebrow wiggle, Squirrel (4.8% I 22 IBU) squiggles from his trunk, springing limb to limb with nutty agility. Sweet notes of toffee and chocolate fuel this Nut Brown Ale — manic maltiness safe and spry in the floral hop forest. 

Malts: Maris Otter, Crystal Dark, Brown, Pale Chocolate  

Hops: Magnum, Glacier

Squirrel is a Nut Brown Ale. Talk about the history and origins of that style.

Samuel Smith brews the quintessential Nut Brown Ale. The “Nut Brown,” refers to the color, in addition to the nutty flavors imparted by the malts. Brown Ales in general have been around since at least the 17th century and are thought to have originated in England.

What are the notable characteristics of this beer?

Dark brown color, light estery fruitiness and restrained hop character.

This beer is making the jump from draft to cans! What gets you excited about this brew?

This definitely fills a role/hole in our can lineup! It is a darker, lower alcohol beer that is quite easy to drink. It contrasts well with our summer canned offerings (Puma, Peach Dodo) and complements beers like Panther and Truth.

What are some other Brown Ales that you dig?

Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown ale is the standard of the style. AleSmith also makes a killer Nut Brown Ale.

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Appearance: Dark brown in color with a light haze. Moderate off white head with good head retention.

Aroma: Medium malt aroma with hints of toffee, hazelnuts, and figs. Low hop aroma, low fruity esters.

Taste: Medium malt flavor. Smooth mélange of toffee, figs, light coffee, low roast and almonds. Medium-low bitterness. Low hop flavor. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium light body, medium low carbonation, slightly creamy, low astringency.

What foods would pair well with Squirrel?

English Ploughman’s platter or Sheperd's Pie.

Ideal glassware for Squirrel?

An imperial pint glass.

Published on by Rhinegeist.