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Bravo Brown - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bravo Brown
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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

65 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 12
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.53%
Wants: 29
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
A single-hopped strong brown ale brewed using the hop variety Bravo. This beer is then aged for up to a year in circa 1990's used Heaven Hill bourbon barrels.

(Beer added by: rayjay on 05-31-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

t0rin0, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.74/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Firestone Walker Barrelworks in Buellton, CA.

Pours a hazy orange-brown with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, citrus zest, wood, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, brown sugar, and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop and wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but has a slightly better set of aromas in my opinion.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 03, 2014
Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

zestar, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -7%

spycow, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of largadeer
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at City Beer. Listed as 13% ABV.

Dark auburn body with little head formation. Nice color and clarity when held to the light.

Smells strongly of caramel and toasted coconut, stewed fruits, dates, brown sugar. Great aroma that's reminiscent of Firestone's 11th anniversary ale. Pretty well integrated bourbon barrel character, and little discernible alcohol.

Palate of caramel and toasted coconut, mellow bourbon booziness and brown sugar, this is quite good. Sweet and rich with a full body, carbonation is gentle as usual with Firestone's barrel aged beers. The barrel is present but integrated, and it finishes semi-sweet with slight char from the barrel, finishing with toffee and tobacco. Great stuff, one of the better barrel aged beers I've tried from Firestone.

largadeer, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

SocalKicks, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of Kegatron
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Stone Brewing Bistro & World Gardens on 11/13/09 during their Firestone Walker 13th on the 13th event. Served in a snifter.

Pours a deep, somewhat clear, dark brown (just a wee bit of light is peeping through) with a thin covering of off-white foam. There is more of lightish look to the retention and lacing but the flare-up has a nice moderate look to it. Bourbon really comes out boldly here in the aroma, with some deep notes of burnt molasses. Fortunately, I'm also getting a get bit of the brandy too, as it gives off more of a dry and fruity feel. The Brown Ale is under there somewhere (with roast and caramel coming out the most) but the barrel blend seems to add most of the deep sweetness to this. Earthy tannic wood and some vanilla add a slickness to the nose.

The taste is pretty similar to the aroma, with burnt maple syrup and char mixing in with a flush of fruity cherries. Notes of vanilla and oak weave mingle in, giving this smoothness. This is just so sweet and sticky, with the flavor moving effortlessly in and out of each other. The finish matches this, being warm, syrupy, and sugary on the lips. The mouthfeel is full bodied; with a bit of a heavier prickly carbonation up front, giving way to a slick and more viscous feel underneath. This definitely wears it's ABV on thee ole sleeve, having an assertive beef to it, but luckily that anticipated alcohol sting never comes. Really steady sipper here for the size.

I'd really like to see more of these bourbon and brandy blends done, as I love how each brought a different type of deep sweetness to the profile, yet they still played off each other brilliantly. Really tremendous stuff here that was definitely up there as one of my favorites from a pretty outrageous night of Firestone Walker beers.

Kegatron, Dec 10, 2009
Photo of MasterSki
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a little perplexed by the name/listing here - the description in the FoBAB program (presumably supplied by Firestone Walker) reads "A single-hopped strong brown ale brewed using the hop variety Bravo. The beer is then aged for up to 1 year in circa 1990s used Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. 12.5%"

A - Pours with a finger of tan foam that settles to a thick ring and partial cap. The body is a pleasant transparent amber color.

S - The aroma is big in vanilla, bourbon, caramel malts, molasses, and light coconut. Any trace of the Bravo hops is long gone from the aroma.

T - The taste is fairly similar but verges more into a toasted coconut and toffee direction, with some tannic oak, and a moderate level of earthy and roast bitterness in the finish.

M - Smooth medium body, low carbonation, and a tannic bite to the finish. Surprisingly little heat for 12.5%.

D - I'm a little shocked by the ABV on this one - I would have pegged it at 9% or so, as it seemed at most as boozy as all the other barleywines I sampled. I guess it's similar to Abacus in that vein. This brew is not very subtle - it's a bunch of sweet stuff in a bourbon barrel - but it is delicious.

MasterSki, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

drewone, May 30, 2014
Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Zaphog, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of HopHead84
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Numerous 8oz pours consumed in a snifter at Stone's Firestone Walker night on 11/13/2009. This beer is incorrectly classified as an Imperial Stout on this site. It is an Imperial Brown. This iteration of the beer was aged in bourbon barrels. The beer is dark brown, bordering on black, with a small light brown head.

Big bourbon nose with strong notes of brown sugar. Vanilla is apparent, as is caramel. Really nice. Light booze accompanies a touch of
earthiness. The beer showcases a great blend or vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, and bourbon, with just the right amount of sweetness.

The flavor opens up with sweet caramel and strong bourbon. Light vanilla notes are evident, as is a touch of brown sugar. No roast or alcohol is apparent. Bravo is moderately boozy with a delicious bourbon caramel finish.

A very tasty barrel aged Imperial Brown. In fact, I can't think of a better one. My favorite or all the wondrous epochs.

HopHead84, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

dirtylou, May 20, 2013
Photo of eawolff99
4/5  rDev -7%

eawolff99, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of ArrogantB
3.76/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Hops and Pie, first time I've seen this one and I'm excited based on FW XI. Amber color, not as dark as I'd expect. Aroma is booze, barrel, sugar. Flavor is sweet barrel, vanilla and way too much alcohol. This beer works much better in a blend than as a solo beer.

ArrogantB, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4/5  rDev -7%

CheapBeerBuzz, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of petermethot
4/5  rDev -7%

petermethot, Jun 26, 2013
Photo of wethorseblanket
4.3/5  rDev 0%

wethorseblanket, Sep 19, 2014
Photo of Floydster
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter at the Blue Palms Brewhouse in Los Angeles for seven dollars, this beer is not retired, reviewed 11/14/08 from notes, it is an imperial brown ale and not a stout, it has sherry notes and not bourbon, and it is amazing

A-Deep dark brown with not much light shining through, though there is some red around the edges, miniscule 1/8 inch beige head that settles extremely quickly, minimal retention, no lacing
S-Sherry, hints of whiskey, grains, butterscotch, brown sugar, milk chocolate roasted nuts, dark charred malts, mild coffee, vanilla, oak, butter, cream, and tons of booze
T-Tastes starts off with lots of sherry and other mixed booze flavors, sugar and nuts made up the middle and provided some great texture, finish had more hard alcohol mixed with a great vanilla taste, this was served a little cold at first, once it really warmed there was a nice buttery cream taste in the middle that joined the malts, other breweries need to take a hint from Firestone and start using sherry more often, there is a bit of a port wine feel by the end but there is a nice brown sugar flavor, some cocoa that is fairly soft joined the mix and this was enjoyable to say the least
M-Hot with booze, sticky, spicy, and malty mouthfeel, medium bodied that was a little on the thinner side, nice low to moderate level of carbonation, taste lingers nicely with a bite
D-Alcohol is right up front and not hidden well at all but somehow this goes down with ease, light on the stomach for what it is, could have a few more glasses for sure, so so smooth

Being that it is the base beer of Firestone 11, I expected good things and I got great instead, this is better than the blend by itself in my opinion, if this stuff is bottled along with Parabola, the hype machine will be in full force, mark my words, such a great balance of barrel characteristics and a full body, would love to drink again, highly recommended

Floydster, Nov 18, 2008
Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Kurmaraja, Feb 08, 2014
Photo of Zbeetleman
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Zbeetleman, May 15, 2013
Photo of Adamostella
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Adamostella, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of tbone1384
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

tbone1384, May 18, 2014
Photo of jvillefan
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

jvillefan, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of 2GOOFY
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

2GOOFY, Jan 27, 2013
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Bravo Brown from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.