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Bracia - Thornbridge Brewery

Not Rated.
BraciaBracia

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

100 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 100
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 11.64%
Wants: 40
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Thornbridge Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: tempest on 04-16-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 100 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Lakeview Liquors. A stout and a mead. Black with a bubbly head. New Zealand honey is a noticeably premium honey and here. Lacey. Wickedly Smooth mouthfeel. Chestnuts, a bit intense flavour in the finish. Good drinkability, something unique and special.

Sammy, Sep 30, 2012
Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%

t0rin0, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of metter98
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a quarter finger high mocha colored head that quickly died down and left patches of bubbles on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of chestnuts in the nose along with hints of cappuccino and sweet honey.
T: The taste is quite complex and similar to the smell with flavors of chestnuts and honey. The nutty flavors become stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied, rich and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very well balanced and complex even though it is not a full-bodied beer.

metter98, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark brown color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma consists of dry fruits with dry toffee notes are quite unique and quite strong. Taste is a strange mix between some dry toffee notes with caramel malt with some molasses notes with some light fruity ester and some chestnut. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very complex beer with maybe a tad too much going on.

Phyl21ca, May 07, 2012
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -5%

JAHMUR, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First things first - I've amended the style for this beer from American Imperial Stout to English Strong Ale, as this sure ain't no stout. Consumed this while watching improv at Studio Be. Served in a classy plastic cup.

A - Creamy and ample dark tan foam settles to a thick cap, leaving plenty of splotchy lacework. Body is black, although it was hard to tell if there was any coloration in the low lighting through the plastic.

S - Peat, smoked meats, cereal grains, pumpernickel bread, yeast, bitter nuts - predominantly hazelnut, and a hint of black malt. Evocative of honey-glzed ham. Very complex and unusual - almost Rauchbier-esque is some ways.

T - The taste has more semisweet chocolate and floral honey character mingling with smoked meats and peated malts. There's some light anise and espresso bitterness in the finish, as well as a touch of char. The Sorachi Ace hops actually make themselves known in the periphery, and there's a hint of red licorice as the beer warms up. The alcohol is quite well-hidden until this reaches room temperature.

M - Creamy, medium-full body, with smooth, chewy, and viscous texture. The finish is slightly dry with a mild roasty, tannic character to it as well. There's a bit of warming alcohol near the end of the 500ml bottle.

D - I've been in a English sort of mood, having had this and Courage RIS on back-to-back days. This doesn't have the brett character of the Courage, but it's got that well-attenuated dryness and quintessential English character to it in spades. Unique and somewhat hard to categorize - more of a smoked beer than a strong ale or stout, but with elements of all of them. I was initially slightly turned off by the aroma, but this grew on me quite a bit over the course of a half-liter (yes, I drank it all by myself). Pricey, challenging, but ultimately rewarding.

MasterSki, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark 1 finger thick frothy and rich head, with some nice lacing, over pitch black beer, no light coming through at all, and thick enough to leave trace legs on the sides.

Nose is interesting, a toasty but dark malt aroma, plenty of roasted malts, some espresso, a bit of dark chocolate, a light toasty saw dust like aroma blended with some toasted chestnuts for an interesting aroma, light flaked oats, a hint of licorice and hint of harsh smoke, a nutty aroma, and just a touch of herbal hops.

Taste is rich, some roasted malts to start, fairly rich and thick but fluffy, a bit of espresso, chewy malts, quite a bit of smoked wood flavors, toasted saw dust, and light toasted chestnuts, a bit of dark chocolate, light caramel, hint of warming booze, light herbal hops, some flaked oats, a bit of chocolate milk and nougat, a light cinnamon and hazelnut, slightly sweet. Finishes with a bit more warming booze, some hot spices with cinnamon and nutty flavors lingering, hints of roast, coffee, dark chocolate, a bit of licorice, and more smoke on the finish.

Mouth is heavier, rich, smooth, some warming booze, and tons of carbonation to back it up, almost too much but it plays well with the fluffy and oatmeal demeanor.

Overall pretty good, the only issue I see is the peat smoke always gives it a weird flavor, the more beer I have with peat smoke the more I don't like it in beer (and I'm a peat-o-phile when it comes to scotch), but nice flavors otherwise, great dark malts, oats, light nuts and spices, chocolate and roast, the sawdust flavor I think comes from the peat smoke but not sure, which is also not the best flavor, if regular smoked malts instead of peat I think this would be an A.

jlindros, May 24, 2011
Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -5%

mendvicdog, Sep 10, 2013
Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -5%

beernads, Nov 18, 2013
Photo of tempest
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the label:

Bracia is the Celtic name for a beverage brewed in Iron Age Europe with reference found on a Roman inscription at Haddon Hall,Derbyshire. Little is known about this except it was high in alcohol, brewed with cereals and, most probably, honey. Thornbridge's Bracia has been infused with a generous amount of dark and bitter Chestnut Honey. This was sourced by Head Brewer Stefano Cossi from Beekeeper Onelia Pin in the Alpine foothills of North East Italy. Aromas are of chestnut, honey, cappuccino, white chocolate, dark fruits, vibrant fresh peel. The mouthfeel is velvety and rich, with notes of coffee, chocolate, liquorice and hazelnuts with warming alcohol, cocoa and a little peat in the finish.

The honey and hazelnuts are obvious in the aroma and flavor. While chocolate roast and cocoa dominate the flavor. Yum Appears pitch black with a milk chocolate head. There's a long, espresso aftertaste. Hot damn, this is good beer. There's a paler malt notes that pop up in the aftertaste, but there's a whole lot of roasted malt going on that dives into roast chestnuts, honey, and spicy British hops. Delicious.

tempest, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of wl0307
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

wl0307, Oct 02, 2013
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Georgiabeer, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

afsdan, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of PEIhop
5/5  rDev +18.8%

PEIhop, Apr 23, 2013
Photo of liamt07
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%

liamt07, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of Tone
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black color. 1/4 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of anise/licorice, sweet malt, dry hop, hint of pale malt, hint of floral hops, alcohol, honey, and tea. Fits the style of an English Strong Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of dry hops, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, alcohol, honey, hint of hops, and tea. Overall, good appearance, decent aroma, blend, and body.

Tone, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of Evil_Pidde
2/5  rDev -52.5%

Evil_Pidde, Apr 03, 2014
Photo of illidurit
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from the free table at Woodshop 5.0. Pours dark brown with a thin tan head. Aroma is licorice, black malts, and an odd note that took me forever to figure out but that I believe is soy sauce (I wrote 'fishy' in my initial notes, but that's not quite it). Flavor is much better, with tons of roast and vivid dark chocolate. Peat is mild, and I don't really get any honey. Caramel and chalk make an appearance. Thick, bitter, and dry.

illidurit, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of mrfrancis
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a jet black with a fizzy copper mousse that disappears in no time and leaves no lacing whatsoever. This beer takes a long time to settle, as carbonation is still very evident even after the head completely dissipates.

S: Intriguing aromas of bitter, fruity hops, honey, cappuccino, roasted nuts, dark chocolate, and gingery spices are present on the nose. Very intense.

T: Opens with an avalanche of roasted grain, hazelnut, chestnut honey, black licorice, ginger, orange rind, cappuccino, dark chocolate, and peat smoke flavors. I also think I detect notes of freshly tanned leather, ripe plums, and some kind of unidentifiable tropical fruit. The finish is delicate and warming with notes of honey, chocolate, capuccino, and tart, fruity hops.

M: Dryish, full-bodied, luscious, and velvety. The alcohol is hidden extemely well. An excellent evening sipper.

O: This is a seriously impressive effort, and quite possibly one of the best stouts I've had in a long time. I love the complex flavors imparted by the heavy hopping and Italian chestnut honey. What's even better is that everything is well-balanced. Unlike many other American double stouts, this one manages to be complex without being over-the-top.

mrfrancis, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of Griffith
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Griffith, Mar 28, 2014
Photo of woosterbill
3.15/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Prime 16, served in a B. United goblet.

A: Black body, one finger of dense light brown head. Great retention and lacing. Darker than I expected, but lovely.

S: Intensely malty and roasty, with dark chocolate, licorice, and smoky char being the biggest components. Some dark fruit and spicy booze, too. Bold, but too astringent.

T: Follows the nose, with the addition of some floral bitterness and additional emphasis on the fig-like dark fruit notes. Astringent roastiness still dominates up front, with alcohol brining up the back end. Not pleasant, sad to say.

M: Creamy medium-full body with lots of soft carbonation. Great.

O: I was really looking forward to this one, being a big fan of the brewery, but this was a disappointment. More sweetness would have gone a long way toward allowing the complexity to shine without the more...assertive...flavors absolutely taking over. Perhaps a bottle with some age on it would make a better impression? I'd love to revisit it, but probably won't considering how expensive bottles are.

Cheers!

woosterbill, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of eawolff99
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

eawolff99, Oct 04, 2012
Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.25/5  rDev +1%

CheapBeerBuzz, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of mattmarka1
4.25/5  rDev +1%

mattmarka1, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of dcmchew
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pitch black in color, one finger dark beige head, big retention.
Smells beautiful. Lots of dark chocolate and caramel, roasted malts, nuts, smoked wood, sweet coffee, honey, some faint licorice and citric notes. It's a rollercoaster, this should be great.
Dark ashy roasted malts, with lots of strong espresso coffee notes. Dark chocolate with a low lactose feel, sweet caramel, but mostly lots of licorice and honey, going down gently. Chestnuts are obvious and enrich the maltiness. Fruitiness is also present, with some nice dried plum and raisin, and a lick of orange peel in the back. Spices vary from vanilla to cinnamon to minty anise. A light peat also towards the end. The finish is A+, with a great complexity of hops, bringing lots of grassy leafy notes, but dry tobacco also, a certain dry green-citrusy finish from the Sorachi Ace, faint exotic fruits and overall a great bitterness (blends beautifully with the roast).
Low carbonation, and the mouthfeel is oily and chewy, perfect for a sipper, wouldn't have it any other way. Aftertaste perfectly sums up the brew, with the lingering sweet honey, the green hops, the roasted malts and a slight booziness.
This was really something else, one to remember.

dcmchew, Dec 02, 2013
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Bracia from Thornbridge Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 100 ratings.