Review: Granville Island Brash Knuckles American Brown Ale (Vern Lambourne's last beer at Granville)

My buddy Vern Lambourne, brewmaster of Granville Island Brewery recently stepped down after 13 years . Turning the brewery from a popular Vancouver brewery to one of the most popular breweries in Canada thanks to being purchased by Molson a few years back.

Before Vern signed off one last time, he created one last beer with the brewery - Brash Knuckles American Brown Ale, part of the Black Notebook Series of ales. I've been a fan of the Black Notebook series for a long time now. Generally we don't get access to one offs/seasonals in 650mL bottles in my neck of the woods, so when one of Vern's treats makes it to Manitoba, it's always good to have!

Appearance: Pours a dark brown ale or "Tawny" according to the label. A bit of a reddish/caramel hue when in the light. Fairly thick, light amount of cookie dough yellowish head that remains glistening on the top.

Aroma: Dark fruits - a bit of raisin, prune. Sweet with notes of brown sugar, caramel, a bit of a combination of tea/coffee in there to give it a bite. Lightly nutty. This is a bit sweeter than most American Brown Ales I've had.

Taste: Creamy mouthfeel followed by a roasted malt bitterness that's reminiscent to coffee. There's also an incredible amount of sweetness following it.. like brown sugar and a hint of woodiness. A bit of an alcohol burn to it.

Overall Thoughts: Not bad, certainly not my favourite by Granville. It has a nice brown sugariness that pops at me, creamy on the palate and hints of tea somehow pops up in there. I wish Vern all the best for his future endeavours!

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