Aroma: Light, sweet malt aroma with toffee, nutty, or light chocolate notes, and a light to heavy caramel quality. A light but appealing floral or earthy hop aroma may also be noticed. A light fruity aroma may be evident, but should not dominate.
Appearance: Dark amber to dark reddish-brown color. Clear. Low to moderate off-white to light tan head.
Flavor: Gentle to moderate malt sweetness, with a light to heavy caramel character and a medium to dry finish. Malt may also have a nutty, toasted, biscuity, toffee, or light chocolate character. Medium to medium-low bitterness. Malt-hop balance ranges from even to malt-focused; hop flavor low to none (floral or earthy qualities). Low to moderate fruity esters can be present.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body. Medium to medium-high carbonation.
Impression: A malty, brown caramel-centric British ale without the roasted flavors of a Porter.
Comments: A wide-ranging category with different interpretations possible, ranging from lighter-colored to hoppy to deeper, darker, and caramel-focused; however, none of the versions have strongly roasted flavors. A stronger Double Brown Ale was more popular in the past, but is very hard to find now. While London Brown Ales are marketed using the name Brown Ale, we list those as a different judging style due to the significant difference in balance (especially sweetness) 24 BJCP Beer Style Guidelines – 2015 Edition and alcohol strength; that doesn’t mean that they aren’t in the same family, though.
Ingredients: British mild ale or pale ale malt base with caramel malts. May also have small amounts darker malts (e.g., chocolate) to provide color and the nutty character. English hop varieties are most authentic.
Commercial Examples: Maxim Double Maxim, Newcastle Brown Ale, Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale, Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale, Wychwood Hobgoblin