Bracia - Thornbridge Brewery
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Ratings: 97 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
4.05/5 rDev -4%
A dark dark brown beer, a light brown head, slowly settling leaving good lacing, good curtains.
Smelling a bit metallic, sherry, nuts, coffee.
Starting sweet brown sugar and burned bread crust, chocolate and liqueur, soy sauce, some bitter orange peel.
Little carbonation, smooth, thick and sticky, a dry finish.
Some misses in the smell is well compensated in the taste.
05-30-2012 20:18:22 | More by rarbring
3.25/5 rDev -23%
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.
05-07-2012 20:16:49 | More by Phyl21ca
4.05/5 rDev -4%
Got this one at Geers in Gent a while back. Awesome beer run!
From a 500ml bottle into a snifter.
Best Before 25 November 2016
APPEARANCE: A dark brown pour yields a one finger, medium, looser looking, mocha colored head with very good retention. Black body with medium carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full wisp and sticks to the sides of the glass. A faint wisp remains until the end and leaves some nice lacing down the glass. Pretty stuff.
SMELL: Definite sweet, pure honey and nuts on the nose. Very apparent. Notes of dark chocolate as well as some peaty smoke notes too. The adjuncts certainly show up, though the result is an interesting array of aromas on this one.
TASTE: Very interesting and unique, as the nose promised. Lots of nuts and sweet, pure honey at the beginning, with dark malts and peaty smoke notes at the swallow. Big and lingering aftertaste of caramel and honey sweetness, with some dark, bitter chocolate and coffee flavors. Definite peat lingers as well. Lots of complex flavors for sure.
PALATE: Medium-full body with medium carbonation. Very creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes quite sticky. Very appropriate for the style.
OVERALL: This one was really tough to score. It’s very unique and extremely flavorful, with lots going on and plenty to contemplate, but the aggressiveness does make it somewhat difficult to enjoy an entire half litre yourself. Perhaps this is something better off shared with a buddy. Regardless, this brew has definitely made me interesting in trying more of their stuff. Very impressive. If the opportunity arises, don’t pass this one up. Highly recommended.
05-01-2012 12:31:44 | More by Jeffo
4.25/5 rDev +0.7%
Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Deep black pour with a gorgeous two finger caramel-colored head with good retention and great lacing. Very unique roasty, nutty, and subtly sweet nose with hints of dark chocolate, espresso, licorice, molasses and peat. The taste is complex and unique. A lot going on that I've never experienced. Lots of roasty espresso and dark chocolate along with hints of dark fruit, specifically black cherries, licorice, peat, tobacco, and hazelnuts. There's something else in there that I just can't put my finger on. Perhaps it's the chestnut honey, which I'm unfamiliar with. The mouthfeel is thick, chewy, and oily with a bittersweet finish. Very smooth and drinkable for a 10% beer. It's a little expensive, but definitely another unique and great offering from Thornbridge!
04-15-2012 16:04:26 | More by beerdrifter
3.85/5 rDev -8.8%
In the glass it appears opaque because it is so dark, but the pour reveals a very dark red. The head is a very creamy brown.
Smell is heavy with nuts (makes sense since it is a chestnut beer), wood, coffee, and burned marshmallows. There is also some funk that is very hard to describe in the smell, but this could be part of the chestnut smell.
The flavor is different. It exhibits some thick and heavy stout characteristics, but there is some tartness that sets it apart and brings it down below the level of a stout. There is certainly a healthy presence of coffee in the flavor, as well a a little alcohol, kind of like a bourbon.
The feeling is not thick like a stout. There is a lot of body in the flavor, but not as much in the feel. There is a light vinous feel to it.
03-17-2012 00:52:45 | More by Doppelbockulus
4.25/5 rDev +0.7%
Type: 16.9oz. Bottle
Glass: SH Large Snifter
Have to agree w/ the previous listing by Masterski. This brew really could fit in any 1 of 3 categories, this one really blurs the lines. I think this brew has the most qualities in common w/ an Imperial Stout.
At almost $2/oz., this one better be good!
Pours a dark midnight black in color w/ a 1/2 finger tan head that produces nice amounts of sticky lacing. Aromas of chocolate, espresso, peat, and some nuttiness. The taste started w/ sweet chocolate and molasses/black liquorice up front, leading into dry espresso and peat, and finishing w/ subtle hop bite and honey. Full bodied and lush. Pretty drinkable, as this brew is ultra smooth and complex, plus the 9% ABV is well hidden.
Overall, a pleasure to sample and I am glad I had the opportunity, but at the price I don't think I will again. However, this is a fantastic beer!
02-19-2012 05:27:07 | More by mikeyv35
4.3/5 rDev +1.9%
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.
02-01-2012 06:21:33 | More by MasterSki
4.35/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
01-02-2012 05:01:38 | More by metter98
4.5/5 rDev +6.6%
not an american double at all. would have to say there are some interesting hints of traditional russian imperial in this one. although although i at first got the notion that it was similar to a fuller vintage... but dark.
an immaculate sipper with that is not exactly a russian imperial quality in the american sense even. in the europe sense of the word this is an english created dark strong. pour is exactly like a RIS, black and doughy. the nose is not at all like expected. when first popped has bubblegum to it. this subsides a bit and reveals a equal balance of all the things that one could hope for. chocolate end of bitterness. a hint of roast, a hint of coffee... and hoping. the beer finishes somewhat dry. but there is a very exactly way about its palate in that its equally fruit as malty richness. when it was first poured it had a quality of a malty doppelbock. fruity start and savory finish. a bit leathery. and maintains a beautiful consistency. carbonation is a part of the wealth after about 30 minutes. a ring does regenerate. and stick to the glass. rich plum to smoke and chocolate. never had a beer that would have these balance in equal part. as it gets warmer it releases perfuse floral notes. wonderful lavender. floral hint in the palate. meshes well with alcohol notes.
this is by far one of the most fantastic breweries if come across that consecutively make traditional english beer in poignant and unique form. for anyone hoping for a courage RIS just get this.
12-04-2011 08:13:15 | More by rtepiak
4.47/5 rDev +5.9%
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.
11-05-2011 19:21:52 | More by mrfrancis
4.18/5 rDev -0.9%
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.
05-24-2011 01:17:34 | More by jlindros
United Kingdom (England)
4.5/5 rDev +6.6%
Bottled and on ice cream, various dates.
Not an American Double / Imperial Stout. Purhleeese.
There's only one thing wrong with this world-class beer infused with a honey flavour that's dry and not sickly. The latest brew, sat in a fermenter as I type, has all been sold and is off to the States. I think I may have to volunteer my way onto the shipping line when the time comes. Quality control, etc...
The bottles of the original batch are still dry and drinkable. And a splash onto vanilla ice cream is the kind of beer & food pairing that excites my gentleman area.
03-21-2011 13:29:15 | More by ReluctantScooper
3.8/5 rDev -10%
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.
02-23-2010 10:28:30 | More by illidurit
United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)
4.38/5 rDev +3.8%
500ml bottle bought from Beermerchants.com... bottle 1499...
Poured pitch black with no hint of colour even when held up to the light. Burnt brown head poured incredibly thick and foamy with very small bubbles and a meringue like topping... a good one finger of foam remained throughout.. some thick lacing lines...
Aroma - Lots of roasted chocolate malts backed with cigar and peat smokiness, lots of toasted nuts - hazlenuts mainly, very earthy, strong coffee, some citrus notes, liquorice, burnt (brown) sugar, honey notes, some sourness, light vegetal traces...
Taste - Bitter chocolate, liquorice, roasted malts, cappuccino coffee, cocoa, definitely some peaty smoke just coming through, dark fruits (black cherries and currents), nut brittle, treacle / molasses, warming alcohol is noticeable..
Feel - Smooth and velvety with just a little sharpness underneath... full bodied... pretty drinkable for an 9% brew..
Overall - A superb example of an imperial stout... could maybe do with a few more months just to mellow things out a little but definitely recommended...
04-21-2009 09:12:23 | More by mdagnew
4.22/5 rDev 0%
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.
04-16-2009 18:53:35 | More by tempest
Bracia from Thornbridge Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.