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Bootlegger Brown Ale - Independence Brewing Co.

Bootlegger Brown AleBootlegger Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

146 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 146
Reviews: 71
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 15.38%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Xadoor on 10-13-2004)
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Ratings: 146 | Reviews: 71 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2012 14:59:38 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2010 00:27:07 | More by champ103
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

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...

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2009 20:39:48 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of Redrover
Redrover

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +19.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2009 17:28:34 | More by Redrover
Photo of TheMistler
TheMistler

District of Columbia

3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2008 06:33:49 | More by TheMistler
Photo of jmbranum
jmbranum

Oklahoma

3.08/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-02-2006 06:02:55 | More by jmbranum
Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
MUSHROOMCLOUD

Texas

3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had a pint of Bootlegger Brown on-tap at the source during a tour/tasting this weekend.

The beer is a dark mahogany brown with some red tint. A 1/4" creamy head fell quickly to a spotted cap. Decent lace.

Chocolate and roasted malt are the dominant aromas. Earthy and almost a light porter-like aroma.

The taste was a nice balance of roasted malt and chocolate. Very fresh and tasty.

The mouthfeel was a tad thin. The drinkability more than makes up for it. This is a well made, easy to drink brown ale. I could easily have downed 4 or 5 of these.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2005 22:27:37 | More by MUSHROOMCLOUD
Photo of Gagnonsux
Gagnonsux

Texas

4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2005 20:49:22 | More by Gagnonsux
Photo of assurbanipaul
assurbanipaul

Texas

3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-01-2004 03:09:33 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of Pegasus
Pegasus

Texas

3.93/5  rDev +12%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-13-2004 02:16:51 | More by Pegasus
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.59/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear mahogany color with burnt orange highlights reflective of the town in which it was brewed; the head leaves quite the pattern of lacing

Smell: Toasted brown bread and a hint of caramel

Taste: Rather sweet on the palate, caramel-forward, tempered by the toasted brown bread as the flavor develops; a bit grainy and nutty in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A basic brown ale; decent, but a bit sweet

Thanks, duff247, for the opportunity

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 23:58:14 | More by brentk56
Photo of bmwats
bmwats

Louisiana

3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2013 04:38:27 | More by bmwats
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bootlegger has a good deal of golden-amber clarity but it can only be appreciated at odd angles into the light. Otherwise it looks more or less opaque, a deep cocoa brown colour with a brush of charcoal overtones. Its head all but disappears although remnants remain on the glass.

I've long felt Brown Ales to be perfectly flavoured for fall-time: toasted pecans, baking spices, toffee apples, chocolate and coffee roast. Even in an aroma as bashful as this one, it's enough to make a comforting treat; it's almost warming despite the beer's chilled temperature.

The taste fortunately turns the volume up a notch, though its flavours are still a little subtle for my tastes. The impressions of coffee, pumpkin pie, nearly burnt toast and roasted nuts are made more vivid, at least temporarily as they fade out almost instantly on the finish.

Despite its rather mild disposition, Bootlegger offers a kind of barbecue-y, almost mesquite roast and maybe a just wisp of smoke. It makes up for the lack of rich maltiness; it has texture despite not much body. The result is a beer that can appease both simple and sophisticated palates.

It may have a rebellious name but Bootlegger Brown Ale is a bit too temperate for me; it has the appropriate (and a very pleasant) profile for the style, but it falls squarely on the mild side. This won't be an issue for most beer drinkers, but craft devotees might be a little dissatisfied.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2013 02:00:47 | More by biegaman
Photo of Clonies720
Clonies720

Texas

2.13/5  rDev -39.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2013 21:47:33 | More by Clonies720
Photo of cracgor
cracgor

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +21.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2012 02:59:43 | More by cracgor
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2012 19:38:31 | More by stakem
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2012 15:48:36 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 17:33:01 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2011 02:50:49 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of nukem5
nukem5

Pennsylvania

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

A: Pours a great chocolate brown color with a terrific head big and brown setting right on top.

S: Aroma is of light chocolate and malts.

T: Taste is chocolate with nice malt creamy backbone.

M: Mouthfeel is a medium body with a ton of bubbles surfacing to bath the tongue and give pleasure to the night.

D:Very tasty and drinkable definitly would have again.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 20:52:16 | More by nukem5
Photo of JMad
JMad

Texas

4.03/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 00:15:16 | More by JMad
Photo of thatlongname
thatlongname

Texas

3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
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:

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 21:04:40 | More by thatlongname
Photo of ColdPoncho
ColdPoncho

Ohio

2.98/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 22:07:58 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of bisonkron
bisonkron

Texas

2.5/5  rDev -28.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 02:33:26 | More by bisonkron
Photo of Ek0nomik
Ek0nomik

Wisconsin

3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2010 02:50:28 | More by Ek0nomik
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Bootlegger Brown Ale from Independence Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.