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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
81
good

75 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 75
Hads: 187
Avg: 3.55
pDev: 22.54%
Wants: 4
Gots: 22 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Independence Brewing Co.
Texas, United States | website

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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 75 | Hads: 187
Photo of BeerRun13
4.62/5  rDev +30.1%
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!

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Photo of Xadoor
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Independence beers had previously only been available on-tap, but are now available in bottle as well.

Poured a clear, deep brown with a nice beige head. Foam dissipated quickly with some lacing in the glass. Aroma is malty and sweet with a hint of chocolate and toffee. Slightly sweet with smooth and rich chocolate flavours to start and finishes with a slightly bitter coffee flavour. Mouthfeel was a little thinner then I was expecting, but still a very drinkable beer and a great brown ale.

I'll definitely be drinking more of it during the winter months as my tastes shift with the seasons. I also discovered that it goes really well with buttered popcorn while I was watching a flick at the Alamo Drafthouse Theatre.

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Photo of cracgor
4.29/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was a little hesitant with this beer because I don't tend to like cartoon looking bottles. It is relatively local though and I thought I would give it a try. It was a very pleasant surprise. It has a nice appearance and a great nutty aroma and flavor. A very drinkable beer. If I was going to improve anything, it would be to bring out more toffee like flavors in the taste, but I might get another bottle in the near future.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.18/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown with faint ruby highlights when held up to light. Solid, creamy two finger brown head. Excellent retention and light rings of lace left behind.

S - Nutty aroma with a faint hint of toasted bread. A somewhat spicy somewhat fruity aroma begins to strengthen as the beer warms.

T - Very nutty initially with hints of chocolate and roasted malts. Dark fruits and spice come through mid drink and finishes bitter sweet. Very well rounded tastes.

M/D - Medium bodied with light but adequate carbonation. Really easy drinking. Not my favorite style, but an excellent brown ale.

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Photo of Redrover
4.17/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was another local option at Opal Divines. Served in a shaker pint, the beer is a reddish brown with just a skim of a tan head.

The nose is of lightly charred malts, a hint of wood smoke and some sweet brown sugar.

The taste is a solid mix of roasted malts, brown sugar like sweetness, brown bread and a bit of dark chocolate in the aftertaste.

The mouth is solid and pleasantly thickish. Very nice sessionable beer. My favorite of the evening. If I would have started with this one, I never would have switched.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is brown with a thin, off-white head. Bootlegger has a pleasent roasted aroma with notes of coffee and chocolate. The taste is much of the same. The roasted flavor really stands out and makes this beer great. Coffee and chocolate tastes intertwine with the roasted character and complete the experience. This is great stuff, but seems a little more like an American stout than a brown ale. Anyhow, I enjoyed this and hope it arrives in bottles soon.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.08/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.04/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Dog & Duck.

It's a very dark brown, hazy, muddy. The head is quite dense, slightly tan-colored off-white, and small but persistent. Nice aroma: lots of burnt toffee, sweetish, a little bitter, dark chocolate. Loads of burnt toffee up front, less sweet than I was expecting. Some powdery bitter cocoa in the middle. Quite flat and oily, but full and thick. The finish is coffee and bitter chocolate. Really, quite bitter, and a touch chemically. Overall, this is a good beer. It's more aggressive than I was expecting from a new brewery with such tame charter styles. It inspires hope.

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Photo of Dubblebock
4.03/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Bootlegger Brown is one of Independence Brewing's bottled offerings, and it's a really good introduction to their beers. Independence Brewing is still fairly new here in Austin, and their bottled lineup is still a little difficult to find. I picked up this sixer at the south Central Market for $7.99. Nice label on the bottle.

The Bootlegger Brown pours with a decent sized head and an opaque brown body. The nose is slightly sweet and malty.

Tastewise, you get a lot of dark coffee with nutty overtones. Very dry on the palate. Slight hint of hops on the backside, but the malts are clearly the star of this production.

Thin to medium body. Decent mouthfeel. Dry but tasty finish. Very drinkable.

Good effort from Independence Brewing. It's a good representative of the style, and it's clearly crafted with some pride. Good show all around.

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Photo of JMad
4.02/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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Photo of Atlas1
4.02/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had never been terribly impressed by any of the other Independence beers, but we had a Texas Independence Day party last week and, fittingly, we served some of these. I had my first one tonight and was surprisingly impressed.

Pours a rich dark brown color with hues of ruby and mahogany that shine through when the beer is held up to the light. Decent one-finger tan head that dissipates quickly, and not much lace to speak of. The nose is where you first realize that this beer is a cut above the rest of the Independence brews. Sweet and malty with some dark fruit, molasses, toffee, milk chocolate, coffee, and fig. A distant smoky aroma is present here as well. Taste follows suit, delivering up some nice malty sweet flavors. Rich, but not syrupy sweet. Some dry hoppiness in the back of the mouth and the finish. A tad watery in the mouthfeel but a fine consistency on the whole.

I really like this beer much more than I expected to. Nice and malty. Smooth and soft with a dry finish. A totally sessionable beer at 6% ABV as well. Perhaps the only beer from Independence that I'd return to consistently, but a nice brown ale to revisit. I'd like to try this on tap sometime as well.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.01/5  rDev +13%
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.

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Photo of MurphyMacManus
4/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

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Photo of BeanBone
3.97/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of Morris729
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown mahogany color with a tall and foamy light tan head that fades into a patchy lace. Nose is dark roasted coffee beans and burnt toffee along with a bit of malt sweetness. Taste begins with caramelized malts and dark toffee followed by a touch of unsweetened dark chocolate and a bit of espresso and hop bitterness. Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.89/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown, coffee-like color, with not much foam. The carbonation appears moderate and the bubbles are very large. Just a pencil thin ring of froth about the edges. Lots of tangy raisin fruit in the aroma along with some coffee and nut flavors also. It seems nice but a bit weak in potency so it's hard to get enough of a bouquet.

The taste has nice subtle dark fruit flavors with a nice dry nutty finish. The flavors are clean borderlining on watery though. The mouthfeel is not too thin, with average carbonation.

Overall not a bad Brown Ale. The characteristics were much like a Scotch Ale to me although a bit lighter. Thanks for Finnman for the bottle...

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pretty clear deep dark ruby red color with a half-inch of tan foam on top. The head was pretty thick, and acted like it was going to be around for a while. There is some lacing left on the glass after the beer falls.

Aroma: Initially I get a whole lot of chocolate along with a rich dark caramel component. This gives it a sweet candy like nose. It is pretty fruity also with some dark fruits like figs and plums in there. The roast is becoming more pronounced as the beer warms a bit.

Taste: The flavor is very malt driven, and comes across as a substantial beer. It has plenty of body and mouthfeel. The malt is in charge there is a mild contribution from the hops. There is a little floral to mix with the roast, and a little bittering to give the sweetness a little balance, but the finish is balanced toward the malt.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer, and a breed that you don’t often see in this neck of the woods. In this, I am referring to the sweet balance of the beer…but the brand is a little new for these parts too. I like the balance, and it reminds me of beers you find in the Northern Rockies. There isn’t a whole lot to set this beer apart, but it is still a very drinkable brew.

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Photo of Ek0nomik
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of cheers2beers
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
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

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Photo of assurbanipaul
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark but clear brown with a thin beige head. Aroma is thin but malty and sweet.

Taste is sweet caramelized malt but not so much that would push it towards a Scottish ale. More robust than other browns (don't think of Newcastle) with elements of cocoa and roast coffee. Clean finish, very good for the style. Could definitely be sessionable, and I've found very few brown ales that qualify.

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Photo of TheMistler
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on draft at the bar my brother in law tends in Austin, this beer poured an opaquely dark brown with maroon highlights. Creamy, slightly off-white head. Nearly complete cap, fairly foamy in parts, blending in well with the ring. Decent lacing.

A dry aroma. Dark chocolate with a hint of coffee and roasted nuts.

A crisp and dry and brown ale, with good flavor. A dusting of dark and light chocolates. Hints of roasted characteristics, including nuts and just a teensy bit of coffee. The nuts become more noticeable as the beer warms, even developing a peanut butter flavor that sticks around on the palate. Upon warming, the beer reminded me - though it was not the same in taste - of Reese's cups, with the combination of some chocolate and peanut flavors.

The flavors are kept dancing along the palate by a carbonation that is continuously crisp and builds to a nice bite.

Easy drinking and pretty darn tasty, I wish I could find this beer in my normal climes.

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Photo of sinistermadman
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with crimson highlights. Head settles almost instantly to a fine lace.

Nose is hit by toasty-roasty coffee, nuts and toffee.

This beer has a nice medium body with moderate carbonation that is well at home on the palate. Taste melds nicely from toasty coffee-esque malts to rind-like subtle hop citric notes. Finishes with a 9V battery on the tongue bitter note but all in all quite drinkable and quite tasty

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Bootlegger Brown Ale from Independence Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.