Bootlegger Brown Ale - Independence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bootlegger Brown AleBootlegger Brown Ale

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

178 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 178
Reviews: 75
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 4
Gots: 20 | 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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Ratings: 178 | Reviews: 75
Photo of cpetrone84
2/5  rDev -43%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Independence brewing bootlegger brown ale - starts by gushing, reddish brown with thin brown ring. Bad start. Rubber band and acetone, tons of plastic, notes of a brown ale very hidden. The taste is less plasticy but that still dominates. Seems to be infected or just plain bad. Notes of chocolate malt, light brown malt, and coffee. Burning carbonation and thin body. Not enjoyable.

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 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 ChainGangGuy
2.5/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours out a dark amber-brown body with a huge, airy, monstrously expansive head.

Smell: Nutty malts, lackluster hints of chocolate and dark caramel. Sprinkling of top soil with soured fruit and a peculiar spice accent.

Taste: A sweet taste of dark caramel over coarsely chopped nuts with a bit of cocoa powder. Spoiled dark fruits. Zilch hop character or bitterness. Flash of acrid character. A pinch of smoked paprika. Dry, nutty, effervescent finish. Unclean aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. High level of carbonation.

Overall: It's at best an odd duck and at worst flat-out strange. Tastes like an early attempt from a new homebrewer, so maybe the bootlegger name is fairly apt.

Photo of bisonkron
2.56/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance - The beer looked great, a little lighter than your average brown ale. Poured a great head that stuck around till the end. It was not cloudy. Carbonation was a little low but ok. The appearance got me excited to drink it.

Smell - smells that stuck out to me; slightly smokey, and a hint of nuttyness.

Taste -
the taste mirrored the smell except slightly weaker. I found drinking straight out of the bottle to yield the most taste.

Mouthfeel -
Carbonation was adequate. the body was light and somewhat watery.

Drinkability - Easy to drink, but I would not have another.

Glass: Pint Glass

Photo of SuperSpy
2.89/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - As I pour this I start to wonder if I'm pouring a beer or a coke. It's nearly opaque with some ruby highlights. The head is no more than a fizzy cola like collection of thick bubbles that die almost as quickly as they appear. No lacing to speak of.

S - A nice but subtle nuttiness and some dark fruits. No hops.

T/M - Medium bodied with absolutely no carbonation. The flavor is nutty and a bit smoky. No hop flavor, no real bitterness.

D - Drinkable but not really memorable.

Photo of wagenvolks
2.93/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Crown & Anchor pub.

Pours into the pint glass a standard, coffee brown body with hints of dark mahogany at the edge. A scant head of custard-colored bubbles floats atop, fueled by an uppity carbonation level. Not much in the aroma; some roasted java beans, a faint hint of caramel and no hops at all. Average at best.

Flavor mimics the aroma largely, with a bit more roasted coffee and chocolate malts. Starts sweetly, but spirals into a slightly sourish finish of acrid roast and a hint of hops. Body is water-thin and the hefty carbonation dries out the finish so much that it detracts from the experience. Not a great brew, and one I'll likely avoid in the future. Thankfully I wasn't paying for this pitcher...

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 champ103
3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark reddish/brown color. A small beige head forms, and recedes to nothing. Light lace is left behind.
S: Toasted grain, cereal, and sweet malt. That is it. Nothing bad, but there is nothing really here.
T: Follows the nose. Toasted grains and sweet malt. I really don't get anything else.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation, though thin and watery. Easy enough to drink, but pretty boring.

This is huh hum and bland. Inoffensive and not very interesting. Not the worst thing ever, but saying this is mediocre is generous.

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 ColdPoncho
3.09/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to tsatem for this bottle!

A - The most ridiculously huge head I've seen lately. It's a dark cloudy brown with what I consider to be far too much off-white head.

S - Nice roasted malts, some dark fruit sweetness, chocolate. I think this smells quite good.

T - this tastes like a bad cola. I have no clue how a beer can smell as good as this and taste as bad. Nor do I understand how so much foam can come from the pour, but so much carbonation can be left in the beer. This doesn't really taste like much, and what it does taste like is simply not good. Maybe some of the fruit and a bit of the malt comes out, but its mostly a funny cola taste that is just awful.

M - Not too good, too much carbonation. Feels like thousands of needle pricks on my tongue. It is a pretty light and thin mouthfeel, which I suppose could be related to the huge amount of carbonation.

D - It's not too bad here. It's easy going, but just odd. If the carbonation were less, I think this might be an ok beer.

I think that the problem with the taste and mouthfeel stems from the fact that it all turns to foam in my mouth. Even after getting a ton of head on the pour, with leaves quite a bit in the bottle, I still get all foam and carbonation in the mouth.

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 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.

Photo of JDV
3.16/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very deep, dark brown color with a light tan, fluffy head that is somewhat short lasting. Lightly nutty, malty smell. Taste is creamy, malty, and nutty, yet slightly thin bodied. Could be a tad bit richer. Easy to drink, with a fairly quick finish and almost no bitterness, making it very friendly. A decent, satisfying beer worth giving a shot.

Photo of RickSawyer
3.17/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

In Independece Brewery fashion, very cool label. No date found on label.

Pours a nice coffee brown with a buttery tan head that resides to nothing quickly. Not much lacing left on glass.

Smells sweet. Rich, buttery coffee tones.

Taste not quite as full as the smell and look. Could use some more *UMPH* from this brown ale. Light coffee flavors that don't seem to fully come to life. Quite sessionable for a brown ale, but doesn't deliver.

Overall, this is a wonderful sessionable brown ale for a long night on the town, but if you are looking for something to compliment homemade chilli or for a good night cap, move on to Old Brown Dog...

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.22/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to chadspivey for the beer.

A: Medium chestnut color with minor haze to it. Head has a good creaminess to it, light latte color.

S: Chocolate milk, café au lait with a dustiness to it.

T: Starts with a grape flavor with out the sourness that can come with the flavor. Some watery chocolate milk flavor comes next, more of the basic and less about the bold cocoa flavor. Some strong mineral flavors come along with this beer too. Finishes with coffee grounds, chalky almonds and brown crayons.

M: Thin and fizzy.

D: Fairly straightforward. Not any off nor desirable flavors.

Photo of stakem
3.23/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint. Pours brown with some lighter brown/ruby through the edges. More than a finger of tan froth sits above leaving patchy lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma is toffee grain with some dark raisony quality and citrus hops. There is a bit of yeast element present that blends into grass in the aftertaste.

The taste is dark and fruity with a raisony alcohol ester overtop of toasty to bready grain flavors. There is some dirty yeast character present with must and grass lasting after each sip.

This is a medium body brew with modest carbonation. It is light and easy drinking with some rough edges that need worked out.

Photo of gpcollen1
3.23/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown into my Carlsberg Imp Pint glass, yielding a robust 1 inch head that slowly settles to an 1/8 inch layer of cocoa-like head. Aromas are very sweet and roasty - almost maple/molasses kinda dark and sweet. There is a subtly sharp aroma that I cannot place.

Mouthfeel is realatively thick for a brown but not too think at all. Carbonation is light to moderate - about right for the style. Tastes are big in this one - very sweet from the onset - lots of dark molasses. This one even gets sweeter on the finish and never really makes a statement - that I love anyway.

Not a bad brew overall but not exactly what I like in a brown. Couldn't frink too many of them.

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 pentathlete
3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Near opaque ruby brown with a small head. Not much character in the nose, mainly water and light malts with little else happening, but certainly not off-putting. The taste picks things up, a decent brown with mildly ashy malts and a hint of sweetness. The flavors mingle to create a little chocolate, a little nutty flavor. Mouthfeel is, unfortunately thin. Too bad for such a nice malty flavor. Sessionable, I'd like to try a draft of this.

Photo of thatlongname
3.37/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very dark ale. Pours a medium to high khaki head. Decent head retention.

Smell: Toasted smells and maybe some chocolate malts too. Pleasant.

Taste: Nutty and toasty with some chocolate. Something is off though. I think it's a metallic taste that's interfering.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation. Kind of thick feeling maybe.

Drinkability:

Photo of bmwats
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Dark brown. Pours a large, foamy, brown-white head. Slight lacing mostly retreats into the body of the brew.

S: Roasted malt, nuts, and licorice. A bit of a soapy character though, too.

T: Malt is very roasty, very nutty, with a little hop bite, and some caramel.

M: Earthy, crisp, and hearty.

D: Session.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Large head, yet only slight lacing. Nose it roasty, malty, nutty, with a bit of bitter scent. Hearty roasted grains with a very distinct nut character, offset with a bit of hop bite, and a touch of sweetness. Overall, this is a good quaff.

Photo of Hoganlaw
3.39/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wouldn't smuggle this beer, but it's aight.

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 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.

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Bootlegger Brown Ale from Independence Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.