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Bootlegger Brown Ale - Independence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bootlegger Brown AleBootlegger Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

176 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 176
Reviews: 75
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 4
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Independence Brewing Co. visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Xadoor on 10-13-2004

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (22) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 176 | Reviews: 75
Reviews by BeerRun13:
Photo of BeerRun13
4.62/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks ot kbub6f.
First of all I really like the label on the bottle. The name is also cool... reminds me of stories my aunt used to tell me of a great uncle of mine being a rum runner.
The beer poured a dark, dark brown with a glimmer of red. Tan head that disipated quickly leaving a small amount of lace.
The chocolate and slight coffee notes tell me I'm in for a real treat. There's also some sort of toasty aroma to it.
Wow! This is one tasty beverage. Chocolatey and a slight bit of coffee as the aroma suggests. A toasty toffee flavor is there and gets stronger... and better as it warms. A little bitterness is in here too.
Full bodied and very smooth. This beer seems much like a porter to me but maybe not quite as heavy.
Drinkability you ask... Damn, I wish I had a 12 pack of this beer!

More User Reviews:
Photo of Clonies720
2.2/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Independence Brewing Co out of Austin, TX. Always happy and eager to support Texas breweries. I believe I read somewhere that this beer is 6%ABV.

Appearance - Pours a dark brown, .5 inch head from an aggressive pour, it's kind of murky.

Smell - Smells nutty, toasty, and bready/biscuity.

Taste - Same as the smell. Tastes watered down really. Like they seriously need to up the malt backbone or use more specialty grains.

Mouthfeel - Skipped due to lack of continued interest.

Overall - I could create a better brown ale than this at home.

Photo of Mora2000
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I really like this beer from Austin's newest brewery. The beer pours a dark brown, with some reddish highlights on the edges when it is held up to a light. The beer smells of nuts and malt. The taste is similar, but also very creamy. Good beer and one of the better brown ales to come out of Texas.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a little thin with a small amount of head that leaves nothing behind as you drink. Bootlegger is not a brown ale, its an almost black ale. This beer looks dark, not as dark as a stout or porter but dark. There are hints of amber and ruby on the edges and it has a nice reddish color as you get to the bottom of the glass. The smell is the least impressive thing about this brew. Its mild and only has a little hint to the malts and other contents of this beer. I can slightly detect some coffee accents but its real minimal. The taste is not what I expected from a brown ale (especially one from Texas). It has a smooth mouth feel as you go from the sweet malts to the twinge of coffee and chocolate. A very balanced flavor. There is no dominate taste and each flavor moves smoothly to the next one. You are left with a nice warmth in your mouth and a slight chocolate aftertaste. A fine beer worth the price and a heck of a lot better then the pale ale from Independence.

Photo of KTCamm
4.01/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

4/3....very dark brown, blacker atop, light flecks at the base. Some white foam sits atop. Nutty nose, coffee hints too. Hazelnut taste, firm bitter. Chewy caramel taste further in. Hint of root beer. Tasty.

Photo of Ek0nomik
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured In: Snifter
Attained through a trade (Thanks Neil!)

Appearance: The pour is a... holy head batman! Five fingers of head sits in my snifter, it was ever so close to bubbling over. After letting it sit for roughly 20 minutes the head finally settled down to a finger in size. The color is an auburn and bistre color, with a creamy and frothy looking head. There's a dash of lace on the side of the glass.

Smell: The nose is a mixture of roasted grains and sweet chocolate, and a small hop aroma shining through as well.

Taste: Toasted grains start off the tasting with just a bit of sweet caramel and chocolate coming through. The bitterness is low, but there are a small amount of fruity esters coming in at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer, very smooth and creamy with each sip. Despite the onslaught I had upon cracking open the bottle, the carbonation was pretty tame on the tongue.

Drinkability: I rarely dive into brown ales, so this was a good try. Independence has put together another good beer with this offering.

Photo of goochpunch
2.27/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours reddish brown with a thin, barely existent khaki head. Smells like some chocolate and light roast coffee. Nothing much to it. Starts off with some roasty and chocolate flavors but then it becomes cloyingly sweet with an artificial sweetener taste. What is it with these beers I've been having lately? Mouthfeel is pretty syrupy with weak carbonation. Eh. At least it doesn't have any off-flavors like some of the beers from several batches from this brewery.

Photo of BeerSox
3.42/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into mug.

Dark, nearly opaque, brown with bits of red making its way through. Thin tan colored head that never really develops, then dissapears quickly. A bubbly rim remains along the glass, with thin lacing.

Slight presence of a nutty malt aroma, along with a touch of alcohol. The overall smell is very bland.

Slightly bitter dark malt flavors, almost no hops in the taste. Slightest hint of creaminess in the middle.

Light-medium bodied with little carbonation. Very smooth finish.

This is actually not a bad beer, it's just not full of aromas or flavor. Good if you want to just knock back a few Brown Ales. A little high on the alcohol side for a session beer, though.

Photo of cheers2beers
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured this one into my wiezen glass. The color was a dark brown with about a quarter inch creamy tan head, and plenty of laceing to speak of.

Smell: A sweet maltiness is definitely present with some woody notes as well. The aroma also has a raisin and prune mixture. The alcohol isnt noticed much here.

Taste: At first I'm getting some nutty sweet malts with a slight hop bitterness towards the end, and right when you think its over a hint of alcohol comes to mind.

Mouthfeel: In the mouthfeel I'm getting silky smooth liquid then it seems to turn into a dry and nutty aftertaste. Not bad at all.

Drinkability: This beer deserves some nice marks in my opinion. I will definitely be purchaseing this one again soon, and I suggest you do the same.


Cheers2Beers

Photo of BeanBone
3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A slightly hazy, dark brown body with pumpkin highlights. Up top, a half-finger of tightly-packed and cream-colored head that recedes rapidly, leaving a ring around the glass and little lacing.

Aroma: First up, a wave of coffee. Not dark-roasted espresso, but regular black coffee, (similar to New Belgium's Giddy Up). There are plenty of chocolate and roasty malt notes to back it up. No hops.

Taste: The coffee flavors keep going strong with lots of chocolate, roasted malt, nuttiness, and dark fruit. Some mild hops in the finish. There's lots going on here, but everything meshes in a way that keeps it pretty straight-forward. This is very much a sweet beer, but not cloyingly so.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and silky smooth with good carbonation. The hops in the finish dry the sweetness up a little.

Drinkability: An easy-drinking beer, this would be a good session choice.

Verdict: Independence have crafted a charming little beer here. Lots of different complementary flavors come together to give Bootlegger a good amount of character, something many Browns are missing, while still having a lot of sessionability. Solid.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dark reddish tinted amber with a sparkling clarity to it. Lots of carbonation was visible rising up to the surface throughout the session. There was a good three inches of white pillow like foam

Nice notes of cinnamon, spiced apple and pear, and a touch of nutmeg. There was a good amount of sweetness mixed in with caramel and a roasted nice like smell coming off it as it warmed. Deep underling grain and malt base was apparent as well.
Very sweet and entirely malt driven, this was not terrible, just underwhelming. Good bit of spice added in and a nice bitter hop driven finish.

Photo of coldchill
3.13/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice, clear dark brown with a fine tan head. Dark roasted malt readily apparent at first sniff. Mouthfeel was ok but the experience was dominated by the roasted malt. This is not really what I was expecting in Brown Ale. It lacks the malty sweetnes that I expect in this style. To me, this is more of a "light stout" (if that is even possible). Not a bad beer by any means, just not what is advertised.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bootlegger Brown Ale has a rather thin, cream-colored head, a semi-clear, red-brown appearance, and a bit of lacing left behind. The aroma is of brown bread crust, some chocolate, and even a hint of coffee. Taste is of sweet bread crust, chocolate, bitter coffee, and a char. Mouthfeel is light, and Bootlegger Brown Ale finishes semi-dry and easy drinking (as described on the brewery website).

RJT

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.26/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is dark garnet in color and barely lets any light through. A heavy pour yields only a small amount of fine-bubbled creamy off-white head. Fades at a semi rapid clip to a sheen and collar. Not much lacing to note, I'd say it is a pretty decent looking beer.

Nutty, muted chocolate and crystal malt aroma. Pretty standard brown ale nose. Nice, fresh and clean smelling with a touch of sweetness but not too much. No hops are discernable here.

Taste leans a bit to the nutty side, like almonds. Plenty watery, it needs a bit more sweetness and is a bit too toasty - nearly reminding me of an amber ale. Nothing really stands out about this beer to separate it from the pack of brown ales, but nothing detracts from it either. I could not see myself buying a sixer of it, but would be plenty happy drinking it at a party. In fact, it seems like a nice introduction into the world of craft beer.

Photo of MurphyMacManus
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into pint glass

A: deep mahogany with a cream-colored head that sticks around.

S: heavy on the malt, slight roasted note, caramelized sweetness? Definitely a little nutty, like roasted nuts.

T/M: Malty sweet, nutty, some caramel, very low bitterness. Carbonation off-sets what could be cloying and lightens the feel a bit. Malt sweetness gives nice body.

D: Great example of a brown ale. Doesn't push the envelope, but it hits all the important points for the style. It is a bit strong to session, though, as much as I might like to.

Photo of hiikeeba
3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours up dark brown to black with ruby highlights and a thick off white head that dissipates quickly.

S-Roasted malt aroma dominates--almost coffee-like.

T-Starts off with a hint a sweet caramel, then the roast replaces it. It has a coffee aftertaste.

M-Not very thick, but lots of carbonation.

D-The coffee flavor is a little strong for me. A good beer. Not great.

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge head almost too much. It's fizzy at first with a ruby brown color. Nice retention as well.

Smell is of decent caramel malts and an undertone of plums. The slight fruity esters make up for the lackluster smell of the malts.

The flavor is of caramel malts and a little fruity esters underneath. The malts are fairly decent. There is a tiny bit of diacetyl but it works with this beer. I don't mind it at all.

Smooth slightly creamy mouthfeel with a touch of carbonation.

This is a fairly decent beer a tiny bit of brewing flaw, but worth a try.

Photo of Pegasus
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Quite clear mahogony brown color with a decent off-white head and slight lingering carbonation.

Aroma: Rich roasted espresso coffee bean aroma with toasty malt notes and hints of nuts and chocolate, very pleasing.

Taste: Begins with sweet caramel and toffee notes, which carry throughout the taste. There is an underlying current of toasty, nutty malt and a mild but lingering hop note at the finish. A pleasingly complex example of the style.

Mouth feel: Smooth, rich and full, excellent for the style.

Drinkability/notes: A rather fine brown ale, and an auspicious start for Texas' newest brewery. This is a quite quaffable session beer and seems perfectly suited to cool autumn evenings.

Sampled on tap at the Independence Brewery during the grand opening celebration on October 9, 2004.

Photo of E-McFarden
3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Deep brown/amber in color with weak head and no lacing. Slight reminiscence of fig dr pepper on the smell? Smell reminds me slightly of underattenuated beer. I immediately get a biscuity nutty flavor on the palate. Higher carbonation in this one.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired from hojuwestlake, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin but even lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of coffee, maple and roasted malt with a slight touch of hops in the background.

T: The taste is very creamy and malty with flavors of coffee, maple, a little chocolate and a touch of spice. There’s a very mild hops presence but it definitely keeps the beer’s sweetness from overwhelming you. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good representation of style, I could see myself enjoying a few of these in an evening. The only drawback would be that I might get a little full after 3 or 4 of them. Overall however, this is a very good beer.

Photo of MaltyGoodness
2.98/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle thanks to MUSHROOMCLOUD

Pours a dark mahogany brown with a small tan head that thins. Mild lacing on the glass.

Light aroma. Some light nuttiness and cocoa scents. Fairly bland.

Light flavor. Some lightly roasted and nutty flavors with a touch of cocoa. Falls flat and finishes bland.

Light body, low carbonation.

Not offensive, just rather bland all around.

Photo of ppoitras
4.08/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from assurbanipaul as part of Too Much Beer (2MB) BIF. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" dark tan head over the clear ruby brown brew. Head fades but is still with us, and lacing is plentiful. Aroma is hearty grains, mostly of the dark persuasion, although maybe not as intense as I would hope. Taste is sweet dark malts upfront, with light hoppiness present but not enough to balance. Mouthfeel is ultra-smooth, and drinkability is very nice, although sweetness might get overwhelming after a while. Very nice brown, and even though it's not one of my favorite styles, I have to appreciate this one.

Photo of JMad
4.02/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from an English pub glass..

It pours a dark brown color with a thin tan head that quickly faded. The smell is mainly roasted nuts with a background of chocolate and caramel. The taste is roasted malt up front then gets smoothed over by sweet milk chocolate and toffee, there is just a slight earthy bitterness in the aftertaste. It's medium bodied and very smooth with low carbonation. This is a well done brown ale, it's perfectly balanced between sweet and roasted.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Opal Divine's Marina in Austin, TX

A: Pours a clear dark reddish brown in color with some garnet red highlights when held up to the light and some light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall light fluffy light beige head that reduces to a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of nutty malts, caramel, spices (cinnamon and nutmeg), and light fruit (apples).

T: Sweet with lots of malt flavors including caramel, nutty, and light fruit (apple) malts with moderate amounts of spices - cinnamon and nutmeg stand out.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation.

O: Not the greatest offering, this beer feels a bit like homebrew and less like something I would expect from a production brewery. A little too sweet and too heavy handed with the spices to be an easy drinker or a sessionable beer.

Photo of jmbranum
3.15/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Drank on tap at Opal Divine's (Penn Field location) in Austin, TX

A pretty dark brown beer (almost black).

The taste is dominated by alcohol and just isn't balanced enough. It certainly has some toasty notes, but I would have prefered more malt sweetness (particularly if they are shooting for an English brown style). There was some chocolate and coffee in the palate but even those flavors didn't shine and the beer tasted a bit "disorganized" for lack of a better term, as if it wasn't sure what it was trying to be.

The aroma is quite enchanting though. I only wish this beer tasted as good as it smelled.

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Bootlegger Brown Ale from Independence Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.