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Bootlegger Brown Ale - Independence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bootlegger Brown AleBootlegger Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

171 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 171
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 14.53%
Wants: 4
Gots: 15 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 171 | Reviews: 72
Photo of bentwookie
4/5  rDev +14%

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4/5  rDev +14%

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4/5  rDev +14%

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4/5  rDev +14%

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4/5  rDev +14%

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4/5  rDev +14%

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4/5  rDev +14%

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4/5  rDev +14%

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4/5  rDev +14%

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 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 Morris729
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of bennetj17
3.89/5  rDev +10.8%
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...

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 SkeeterHawk
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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 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.


Photo of assurbanipaul
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Photo of TheMistler
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Photo of Nightwish1094
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of sinistermadman
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
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

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.79/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I thought this beer was one of the better TX craft beers I've had. It was a really nice brown ale with lots of caramel and roasty ("burned pizza crust") flavor.

This beer poured a rather flat-looking reddish-brown into a pint glass. The head materialized rather late after I'd poured the beer. Aroma was pretty nice; a lot of brown sugar caramel-ness. Flavor was also good - a nice blend of caramel and burnt roastiness. I thought this beer had a lot more flavor than many other brown ales I've had. Mouthfeel was a bit boring and thin, but not bad. I'd have this again.

Definitely recommended.

Photo of wl0307
3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle by courtesy of Houston-based BA Steve (Xadoor), brought over during his Honeymoon in Europe a month ago. No freshness info. printed on the label or bottle, served cool in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.

A: extremely dark mahogany hue, coming with a loosely-formed beige beer head that settles slowly and buttressed by healthy streams of fizziness. Not bad.
S: a little sour-sweet fruity yet creamy tinge of dark malts with a chocolatey edge and pear-like fruity hint, laced with pleasant nuttiness, diacetyl, and flowery edge of American hops~~ plenty of sticky dark fruits at the back, reminiscent of plum-jam and more roast nuts. Overall, the aroma is really like a milder English Porter, or a fullsome Mild. Not bad at all, albeit not terribly complex.
T: on the palate... hang on, were have I tasted it before?--it's firmly in line with English Porter, if I may... a smooth yet also effervescent chocolatey+chest-nutty maltiness prevails upfront, backed by lots and lots of chewy, aromatic cocoa to sweet coffee flavour, sparkled by a healthy dose of sour-fruitiness at the tail... An understated but noticeable hoppy impact reveals in the aftertaste, bringing about a slightly dryish mouthfeel attached deeply to the tongue.
M&D: as mentioned above, the mouthfeel is soothing--fizziness is just about right; the flavour reminds me a lot of the maltier, modern version of English Porter (not the traditional three-threads). As a brown ale, the body is medium, good for drinkability. Somehow my tastebuds crave for more complex and colourful malt entry, but my mind feels satisfied with this beer all the same. Big thanks go to Steve for sharing this fine ale with me~~

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown – a deep and slight reddish mahogany translucence – almost completely opaque – very small head – no bubbling

Malt – sweet and fruity – cool and crisp – chocolate – raisin – almost no bitterness

Roasted/burnt – chocolate – malt – fruity, like raisin or prune – no bitterness

Mildly carbonated in the mouth – fairly smooth

Looks cool, all dark and brown/reddish, although there is little head or bubble activity. The smell is amazing, dense spectrum of aromas floating out of my glass. The taste, however, doesn’t hold up to the smell. There are some nice flavors, but they are fairly subtle. Thus Bootlegger is mild and smooth. I’m interested to taste what else these guys from Austin cook up.

Photo of justinwright
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

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Bootlegger Brown Ale from Independence Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 171 ratings.