Nick Carr on January 23, 2018 0 Comments Photo Courtesy of Odell Brewing Co. Quick Characteristics Brewery Odell Brewing Co. Location Fort Collins, CO Style American Brown Ale ABV 6.5% IBU ? Hops ? Malts ? Shelf Life 6 to 12 months Suggested Glass Mug Serving Temp 46 – 50°F Availability Seasonal (January to April) Food Pairings Sweet BBQ, Beef Stew, Gruyere Cheese, Caramel Apple Pie, Passion Fruit Caramels There are a few stipulations I keep in mind on my weekly trip to the grocery store or bottle shop for something to review. The first thing I go for is any new release. Baring a new release, I usually look for something I haven’t tried yet that looks interesting. I know, not a scientific process at all, based solely on my own interest and gratification. Sorry, but I’m buying the beer, so I get to make the choices. Luckily, I get interested in most any style. Throw in something I haven’t seen on the shelf yet, I’m like a dog with a new favorite bone. I don’t usually gravitate toward brown ales. Not sure exactly why. I like them well enough. They just aren’t my go-to choice, and looking back through the reviews, I’ve only shared maybe 6 or 7 here in four years. Maybe other things always look more exciting. Well, today is different. Odell hit me with a double dose of interest. Settle Down Brown is a new seasonal, so it piqued my interest right off the bat. Then I read the bottle, “This American Brown has a rich malt flavor with complex tropical fruit and caramel notes.” Hold on. Back up. Tropical notes in a brown ale? I wasn’t sure if I liked the flavor ideas that were running through my head, but my curiosity wasn’t gonna let me go home without it. Oh, then there was the name and that Odellian label to contend with. I mean who walks away from a wood-cut print of man’s best friend cuddled up to a nice open fire, snowshoes drying out, plenty of wood on hand… and a name like Settle Down Brown? It was like it was asking me a question: Settle Down Brown? And all I could say was “Why, yes… yes. Thank you. I think I will settle down and drink one of these.” So, I did. THE TASTING Below are the tasting notes I took while drinking Odell’s Settle Down Brown. If you tasted this beer or have one in front of you as you read this review, please share your thoughts with everyone down in the comments below. Photo Courtesy of Odell Brewing Co. The Pour: It settle’s down into the glass the color of dark maple syrup. Hold it up to some light and it’s a soft glowing ruby. Clarity is good. Two fingers of loose tan foam build. Retention is fair. Head drops to half a finger and holds. No lacing left on the glass. The Aroma: Very strange, getting notes of tropical fruit from a brown ale. Get some papaya, citrus, pineapple and pine, something quite sharp too that I can’t put my finger on and seems to be a bit of a ghost. Malt takes a backseat to the tropics here, showing as just a sly hint of caramel, nuttiness, and roast. Interesting complexity to the aroma. I’m excited. The Mouthfeel: Body is medium-full, carbonation is medium, and mouthfeel is smooth. Bitterness rises toward the middle. No signs of the 6.5% alcohol. The Taste: The tropical notes settle down a bit compared to the nose. They are still there, but some herbal notes join the song. Nice malty notes of soft roast, and sweet caramel. The sweet edge that forms at the front runs into a wall of bitterness toward the back. It’s quite bitter, but than it is an American brown, so it’s not surprising. Finish is semi-dry. Aftertaste leaves the interesting puzzle of roasty malt and whispers of tropical fruit. FINISHING THOUGHTS I’m still trying to puzzle out this beer. It’s like my eyes and tastebuds never quite agreed on what was going on. My eyes said the color brown, my tastebuds said tropics like a pale ale. But, that’s okay. Settle Down Brown is interesting. It’s a beer to talk about with friends, drink slowly, and study the way the character shifts, blooms, and grows more complex. I usually stay with dark beers through the winter. That malty richness always gives me a modicum of comfort during the cold seasons. That being said, I’d absolutely drink this one again if I had a need for the hoppy goodness of a pale or IPA, but still wanted that cloaking winter comfort of malt. Give it a try and see what you think. If nothing else, you can settle down with a friend or two and relax, assured you’ll have something to discuss. What do you think? Let me hear it below. Cheers!