Bootlegger Brown Ale | Independence Brewing Co.

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Bootlegger Brown AleBootlegger Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Independence Brewing Co.
Texas, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Xadoor on 10-13-2004

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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 193
Photo of theboozecruise
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a cylindrical pint glass... dark brown color.. hints of red and clear when held up to the light.

Smells strong of roasted malts... maybe even a slight hint of coffee. Pretty good, makes sense considering how dark the color is.

The taste is a little watery, disappointing... the roasted malts still dominate the overall flavor.

Mouthfeel is a little disappointing... the aroma and taste make me expect a thicker beer but it's just not there.

What we have here is an above-average but not spectacular brown ale. I could see drinking these on tap on 6th St. before, but it's nothing to blow away the competition.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 1/3/2010 (Bottle):

Pours a clear roasted brown color body, small tan head, pretty quickly diminishing. Roasted aroma, some chocolate. Coffee, almost burnt. Some sweetness, but only a little. Coffee taste, strong coffee. Roasted, but not burnt. Some ashiness, but only a little. Light body, very drinkable. Surprisingly tasty. Some nuttiness.

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Photo of wagenvolks
2.93/5  rDev -17.5%
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...

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Photo of BeanBone
3.97/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A slightly hazy, dark brown body with pumpkin highlights. Up top, a half-finger of tightly-packed and cream-colored head that recedes rapidly, leaving a ring around the glass and little lacing.

Aroma: First up, a wave of coffee. Not dark-roasted espresso, but regular black coffee, (similar to New Belgium's Giddy Up). There are plenty of chocolate and roasty malt notes to back it up. No hops.

Taste: The coffee flavors keep going strong with lots of chocolate, roasted malt, nuttiness, and dark fruit. Some mild hops in the finish. There's lots going on here, but everything meshes in a way that keeps it pretty straight-forward. This is very much a sweet beer, but not cloyingly so.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and silky smooth with good carbonation. The hops in the finish dry the sweetness up a little.

Drinkability: An easy-drinking beer, this would be a good session choice.

Verdict: Independence have crafted a charming little beer here. Lots of different complementary flavors come together to give Bootlegger a good amount of character, something many Browns are missing, while still having a lot of sessionability. Solid.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.18/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown with faint ruby highlights when held up to light. Solid, creamy two finger brown head. Excellent retention and light rings of lace left behind.

S - Nutty aroma with a faint hint of toasted bread. A somewhat spicy somewhat fruity aroma begins to strengthen as the beer warms.

T - Very nutty initially with hints of chocolate and roasted malts. Dark fruits and spice come through mid drink and finishes bitter sweet. Very well rounded tastes.

M/D - Medium bodied with light but adequate carbonation. Really easy drinking. Not my favorite style, but an excellent brown ale.

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Photo of angelmonster
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As soon as i pour this beer the head goes crazy filling up 3/4 of the glass. Never had this happen to me. The head is beige, dark brown body. Head retention and lacing are above average

Smell is big on malt, roasted mainly. There is also some nuts and smokiness present. Hops are very faint and there is also a fruity yeast smell

Taste is big on roasted and smoky malt, almost like a scotch ale. Semi rich with that bready malt goodness. I dont know why but im getting an after taste of old coke

Beer is a bit over carbonated. A little on the light side for a brown ale. Head is kinda thin too

I love brown ales and this one is a bit above average. Good flavors and sessionable but the carbonation held this one back.

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Photo of Atlas1
4.02/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had never been terribly impressed by any of the other Independence beers, but we had a Texas Independence Day party last week and, fittingly, we served some of these. I had my first one tonight and was surprisingly impressed.

Pours a rich dark brown color with hues of ruby and mahogany that shine through when the beer is held up to the light. Decent one-finger tan head that dissipates quickly, and not much lace to speak of. The nose is where you first realize that this beer is a cut above the rest of the Independence brews. Sweet and malty with some dark fruit, molasses, toffee, milk chocolate, coffee, and fig. A distant smoky aroma is present here as well. Taste follows suit, delivering up some nice malty sweet flavors. Rich, but not syrupy sweet. Some dry hoppiness in the back of the mouth and the finish. A tad watery in the mouthfeel but a fine consistency on the whole.

I really like this beer much more than I expected to. Nice and malty. Smooth and soft with a dry finish. A totally sessionable beer at 6% ABV as well. Perhaps the only beer from Independence that I'd return to consistently, but a nice brown ale to revisit. I'd like to try this on tap sometime as well.

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Photo of Redrover
4.17/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.26/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

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Photo of TheMistler
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a very dark brown with 1/2 inch of foam that disappears into a fine layer of bubbles

S - aroma of sweet malt and almost a coffee smell

T - I was expecting alot of flavor from this from the appearance and aroma. It wasn't as full of flavor as I expected. Just a hint of roasted coffee flavor that never fully comes through

M/D - Very easy to drink, but could use a little something else to make me want more.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge head almost too much. It's fizzy at first with a ruby brown color. Nice retention as well.

Smell is of decent caramel malts and an undertone of plums. The slight fruity esters make up for the lackluster smell of the malts.

The flavor is of caramel malts and a little fruity esters underneath. The malts are fairly decent. There is a tiny bit of diacetyl but it works with this beer. I don't mind it at all.

Smooth slightly creamy mouthfeel with a touch of carbonation.

This is a fairly decent beer a tiny bit of brewing flaw, but worth a try.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I really like this beer from Austin's newest brewery. The beer pours a dark brown, with some reddish highlights on the edges when it is held up to a light. The beer smells of nuts and malt. The taste is similar, but also very creamy. Good beer and one of the better brown ales to come out of Texas.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.57/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JDV for the opportunity to try this one out.

Served in a standard pint glass. Poured a dark brown, about the color of cola, with some ruby-red highlights around the edges. Loose quarter-inch white head that disappeared almost as soon as it hit the glass leaving a thin ring of white around the perimeter. Watery lacing with poor adhesion. Scent was predominantly malty with a bit of nuttiness also in the mix. Taste similar to nose with the addition of a mild coffee presence and a slight hops bitterness at the finish; however, flavors are somewhat muted. Mouthfeel is a little thin but there is a little carbonation present to fill it out. Drinkability is pretty good; brew went down pretty easy.

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Photo of JDV
3.16/5  rDev -11%
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.

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a little thin with a small amount of head that leaves nothing behind as you drink. Bootlegger is not a brown ale, its an almost black ale. This beer looks dark, not as dark as a stout or porter but dark. There are hints of amber and ruby on the edges and it has a nice reddish color as you get to the bottom of the glass. The smell is the least impressive thing about this brew. Its mild and only has a little hint to the malts and other contents of this beer. I can slightly detect some coffee accents but its real minimal. The taste is not what I expected from a brown ale (especially one from Texas). It has a smooth mouth feel as you go from the sweet malts to the twinge of coffee and chocolate. A very balanced flavor. There is no dominate taste and each flavor moves smoothly to the next one. You are left with a nice warmth in your mouth and a slight chocolate aftertaste. A fine beer worth the price and a heck of a lot better then the pale ale from Independence.

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Photo of hiikeeba
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
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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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.79/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I thought this beer was one of the better TX craft beers I've had. It was a really nice brown ale with lots of caramel and roasty ("burned pizza crust") flavor.

This beer poured a rather flat-looking reddish-brown into a pint glass. The head materialized rather late after I'd poured the beer. Aroma was pretty nice; a lot of brown sugar caramel-ness. Flavor was also good - a nice blend of caramel and burnt roastiness. I thought this beer had a lot more flavor than many other brown ales I've had. Mouthfeel was a bit boring and thin, but not bad. I'd have this again.

Definitely recommended.

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Photo of RickSawyer
3.17/5  rDev -10.7%
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...

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Photo of bennetj17
3.89/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown, coffee-like color, with not much foam. The carbonation appears moderate and the bubbles are very large. Just a pencil thin ring of froth about the edges. Lots of tangy raisin fruit in the aroma along with some coffee and nut flavors also. It seems nice but a bit weak in potency so it's hard to get enough of a bouquet.

The taste has nice subtle dark fruit flavors with a nice dry nutty finish. The flavors are clean borderlining on watery though. The mouthfeel is not too thin, with average carbonation.

Overall not a bad Brown Ale. The characteristics were much like a Scotch Ale to me although a bit lighter. Thanks for Finnman for the bottle...

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.22/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Photo of gpcollen1
3.23/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of goochpunch
2.27/5  rDev -36.1%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired from hojuwestlake, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin but even lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of coffee, maple and roasted malt with a slight touch of hops in the background.

T: The taste is very creamy and malty with flavors of coffee, maple, a little chocolate and a touch of spice. There’s a very mild hops presence but it definitely keeps the beer’s sweetness from overwhelming you. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good representation of style, I could see myself enjoying a few of these in an evening. The only drawback would be that I might get a little full after 3 or 4 of them. Overall however, this is a very good beer.

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Photo of Morris729
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown mahogany color with a tall and foamy light tan head that fades into a patchy lace. Nose is dark roasted coffee beans and burnt toffee along with a bit of malt sweetness. Taste begins with caramelized malts and dark toffee followed by a touch of unsweetened dark chocolate and a bit of espresso and hop bitterness. Quite enjoyable.

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Bootlegger Brown Ale from Independence Brewing Co.
3.55 out of 5 based on 193 ratings.
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