Flashback Ale | Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

very good
283 Reviews
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Flashback AleFlashback Ale

Brewed by:
Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
Colorado, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally brewed for Boulder Beer's 30th Anniversary. An India Brown Ale. 65 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-25-2008

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Reviews: 283 | Ratings: 522
Photo of stewart124
4.85/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Color is a rich mohaghany and sports a pretty looking lace of tan head.

The smells is definately citrus with a toffee/light coffee smell.

Lots of sweetness with a hint of roasted character. Toffee and slight raisin with a caramel sweetness and that finish of bold citrus hops. Pine lingers on the tongue and it is delicious.

Really a great brown ale/amber ale. Thick in mouthfeel but I could drink this all night.

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Photo of DVTO2
4.7/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like stout in the winter and IPA in hte summer so what could be better than this India Brown Ale for the Fall. It has a dark cola color with an adequate brownish head. The caramel malt hits you first followed by the crisp citrusy finish of the hops. A very satisfying blend of two distinct styles. Who'd have guessed this would be such a fine combination.

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Photo of ThickestHead
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chilled pint glass.
Comes a clean dark walnut color with a rich and thick tan head that leaves spotty lacing.
Smells of grapefruit citrus and chocolate/bisquit/caramel malt.
Tastes likewise with a healthy bitterness and sweetness thrown in the mix.
Creamy, smooth and slick medium body.
I love this style and this brew ... too bad this one is only a limited release. I guess I'll just have to delve deeper into this style to find a suitable replacement, lucky me!

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Photo of WesWes
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a ruby red/brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a kick ass roasted and bisquit malt scent along with a very nice hop nose. The taste is great also. It has a wicked bitter hop bite laid over a base of roasted and bisquit malts. It's dry with some caramel character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tastey brew with loads of character. It's hoppy as hell with a great malt backbone.

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Photo of shanblur
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on April 25, 2011. Purchased locally in Evansville, IN. Poured from 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Hazy amber color, not like other brown ales. Robust white head leaves extensive lacing.

S - Rich roasted malt combines with a prominent spicy and citrus style hops.

T - The taste is more reminiscent of other brown ales. Rich malts combine beautifully with the hops.

M - Medium bodied and smooth with a gentle carbonation.

An excellent beer in appearance, smell and taste. Will have to pick up more. Highly recommend.

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Photo of WJVII
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BOM July 2009
Poured into a pint glass this brew has a true dark amber color with a thick full white head that leaves sticky lacing down the sides and has great staying power. The aroma is at first a little sweet, but then you catch the citrus and floral hop notes. The taste is just amazing starting with a caramel malt and buttery dough tastes with light chocolate that is closely chased from the tongue by a bitter hop kick. They constantly go back and forth and between the sweet chocolate and bitter hop notes. This is extremely smooth (a little more carbonation would make it really pop) and the finish is clean. What a brew. No reason these CO boys have done so well with this brewery!

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Photo of biggred1
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear dark amber with a creamy light tan cap that leaves sticky lace on the glass. The nose is piney hops and citrus peel with toffee. The flavor is resinous cascade hops with nice roasty caramel/chocolate malt flavors to balance. This beer tastes very fresh and delicious. Smooth and medium light bodied with a lingering oily hop bitterness in the finish. The style is listed as an "India-style brown ale" on the bottle, a beautiful hybrid.

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Photo of drtth
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a nonic glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a clear reddish-brown color with a light tan ΒΌ" head that persists for a while before receding. Throughout the beer sipping leaves some light lacing.

Smell: The aroma contains some caramel, chocolate and toffee from the malt along with some light piney hop and citrus notes from the cascade hops.

Taste: There is reasonable malt backbone that shows off some nice nutty and chocolate flavors and that supports but does not overwhelm or intrude on the citric/pine flavors from the hops

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied with some nice prickly feeling from the carbonation. The finish is medium to long and fades from the softly sweet into the gently bitter.

Drinkability: A tasty beer and one I've quite enjoyed sipping. I'll be putting this one on my shopping list and expect to have it again and again.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - a muddy, rusty brown with a cakey finger of mocha atop. Good start.

Aroma - a very nice blend of piney hops and roasty grain, what a combo.

Taste - two years and these hops are still bangin'. Piney and grapefruit rind early on. The swallow shows nice roasted grain, the brown ale side getting through. Some light warmth and hoppy reprise as we move into the aftertaste. I enjoy the back and forth between malt and hop. Glad I saved one of these, I think I like it better than fresh, where the hops were relentlessly beating the grains down.

Mouthfeel - smooth, decent crisp level, a light prickliness left behind. Medium weight, pretty solid feel for an indian brown ale.

Drinkability - excellent brew from BB. Cheers to ya' if you can wait a few years with one or two of these.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple of singles at the local bottle shop, out of curiousity last night.

Poured a deep brown color w/ a beautiful 2 finger tan head, and smelled of citrus cascade hops but also hints of a roasted malts, though the hops dominated the smell.

The taste was simply amazing, roasted malts, chocolate and a nuttieness, all really complimented by a generous helping of bitterness from the hops. finishes clean and bone dry, amazing! a very intriging beer. i want more.this was full bodied, but very easy to put back.

i love buying beer out of curiousity and being pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark orange-bronze with bright pumpkin peel highlights and few visible bubbles. The golden brown sugar colored cap looks great. Its upper surface is a teeming mass of glassy bubbles and it appears as if extensive sheets of sticky lace will end up on the glass. Lots of hop resins, no doubt.

Boulder calls this offering an India brown ale thanks to a generous quantity (five separate additions) of Cascade hops. They hit the IBA nail on the proverbial head because the beer has a wonderful balance between chocolate malt and citrusy hops. Here's hoping it tastes as good as it smells.

It's a damn shame that I didn't read the label (and understand what style 30th Anniversary Flashback Ale is) prior to today. It would've been great to experience this still pretty hoppy brown in all its uber-hoppy glory. That said, hopheads will still find plenty to scratch that lupulin itch.

To the brewery's credit, this is not a brown IPA, but is a true India brown ale. The amount of flavor from the chocolate malt is right on the money. It's also attacked from all sides by a fusillade of juicy grapefruit. It looks like the taste score *just does* deserve the next highest score.

Although it could be a little bit bigger, the body/mouthfeel is a pleasing combination of light creaminess and alpha acid raspiness. The somewhat peppery carbonation works well in the grand scheme of things.

Boulder Beer doesn't get enough love. Maybe that's because they're in the same state as one of the all-time great craft breweries (Great Divide). In any case, this brew is all kinds of delicious and deserves to be released on a regular basis. Drop the 30th Anniversary part of the name, keep the Flashback Ale and... voila.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.41/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you WJVII!!

A - Deep copper body with a reddish tint. The head, standing about an inch tall is a light tan and has a thick frothiness to it. Very nice lacing with this brew. The lacing sets this ale apart.

S - Nice, soft, hoppy aroma.

T - This is a very good hop flavor. It has a complexity to it that most brown ales lack. There are different shades of hops as the flavors migrate through my mouth. Very impressive!

M - The feel is perfect for an IPA. It's mildly coarse and cold. The feel does a great job of bringing out the uniqueness in the flavors.

~ I really like this brew. I'm really glad my friend William is so generous with his beer. I would love to get my hands on a six pack of this stuff!

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Photo of BigCheese
4.39/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from mix pack. 2 months from enjoy by date, not ideal, atleast its not a dipa.

A: A Mohagany brown with a reddish hue, very thin head, dissipates quickly does leave a tad of lacing.

S: Some dark coco maltiness, some piney hop smell too. Intruiging.

T: Definitely some chocolate and brown bread, not roasted dark flavor though. Hops are well represented too, a mix of lemon/orange citrus and a bit pine-y/lime too. Very well balanced, hops and malts battle for supremacy, winner undecided.

M: Medium carbonation, abv matches the flavor, I could easily enjoy a 6 pack while chilling. Big body. Nice.

O: Great beer, perfect cold weather beer for a hop head, a true india brown ale, reminds me of a black ipa but not as roasted. Awesome value, will look for this in the future, hopefully fresher for more hops!

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Photo of wangbruins
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice deep amber with a one to two inch head with excellent staying power and good lacing

S- Cherry scents with some earthtones and a hint of chocolate

T- Bitter earthy taste with some chocolate that starts strong but finishes easy

M- Stong start that finishes dry with a slight bitter aftertaste

D- This was an impressive beer that ends dry so it made it an easy drink for me

I got this in a 12 pack from the beer of the month club that a buddy gave me. This months selection features four beers from Flying Dog Brewery and the Boulder Beer Company.

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Photo of Crundy
4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: very clear darker reddish coppery brown color but more on the red side, thick foamy cream colored head that never went away.

smell: nutty, pleasant caramel smell, sweet malt aroma a little bit of hop

Taste: very sweet beer, caramel and nut flavors right up front and the bitterness comes on at the end. coffee bitterness

Mouthfeel: a little dry, lots of carbonation, leaves a bitter coffee aftertaste, lots of flavor.

Overall: this is a good mix of a brown ale and an IPA you get the bitterness and hop of an IPA and the sweet caramelly nut flavor of a brown ale. good beer, very drinkable.

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Photo of ERocketScientist
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours dark brown with a frothy head and good lacing.

S: Smells sweet of dark flavors.

T: Nice deep dark flavors with a noticeable hop flavor towards the finish. Finishes nice and clean. Not as "sweet" as one would think with the deeper malt flavors.

M: Smooth with a nice bit of carbonation.

D: Very very good. I am a fan of IPAs that aren't just all about the hops and offer a little something different. Would definitely recommend it.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Seems to be closer to the "Cascadian Dark Ale" category than IPA, and referred to as a India Brown Ale on the bottle (no longer prominently listed as 30th anniversary beer). I guess that works too.
Quite dark amber of brown, orange and red. Very clear. Over one inch moderately dense head that settles down some and leaves clear markings after each drink.
Citrus aroma, but also woodsy, earthy tones too. Slighty toasted malt moving towards very mild roast. Enjoyable.
Complex and well mixed flavors representing both hops and malt. Moderate dryness on the tongue. Touches of fruit up front, full hop flavors and prominent bitterness. Toasty malt flavor.
Feel is like an IPA. Moderately light. Apparent astringency with long finish like grapefruit.
This is a tasty brew. Enjoyable start to finish. Lighter body makes it easy to drink and the flavors make it easy to want another. I've found Boulders Beers to be solid, but not exceptional, but this one comes closer to the later.
Thanks #2 - good choice for a belated Father's Day gift.
This was beer review #900.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very clouded, dark reddish-brown ale, this one, with a big, cramy head. Nice looking glass of beer, here.

Nose is bright, vibrant, lively, grassy hops, pine attack, some sharp citrus-y feel, melded with caramel, and toffee from malt. Quite nice.

In the mouth, an excellent blend of roasted malts and big, over-the-top hopping, sweet matched with bitter and grassy. All Cascades in 5 additions. Smooth, rich, flavorful, and ridiculously easy to drink. Super tasty. Would've been a fine brown ale, but the extra hoppy edge makes even more worthwhile. Sweet, then bitter, then smooth, then rich and rewarding, and ...an excellent way to salute 30 years! Good one, Boulder! I can drink and drink this one...and drink again!

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Photo of BeerCon5
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown in color with a decent amount of slightly off white head that left a thin amount throughout the beer.

The scent is of roasted caramel malt, notes of coffee and some citrus.

The taste was of roasted caramel malt, nuttiness is obvious, some coffee, citrus and some toffee.

Medium bodied, smooth and kind of creamy, perfect carbonation.

This was a very tasty beer, the flavor was strong and well balance and was very easy to drink.

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Photo of mynie
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Black Sparrow

Clear, almost filtered-looking redbrown with a solid two finger head.

Malts are warm. Very warm. Almost hot. Brown malts, sweet and bready, and even above all this malt madness a strong hop profile is present.

Tastes like an amped up, hopped up brown. Kinda like Bender only not quite as good (not that I'd ever complain if more breweries tried making their own Bender!). Chocolate, biscuits, toffee, fire, pine and oranges. Nice.

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Photo of jsh420
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark amber brown with a 2 finger head that leaves lacing all down the glass

smell is great - hops and carmel toffee

taste - starts off like a pale with all the hops then moves right into the buttery carmel toffee malts along bitter chocolate

mouthfeel is very light smooth and refreshing

drinkability is very good and i will be picking up more while supplies last

overall - i think browns get overlooked in a sea of ipas and stouts so if you can try this one i say cheers

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Second tick of my BOTMC present from my fiancee's parents. This has been re-brewed as Flashback India Style Brown Ale. Same beer, different name. Again, poured into my Duvel tulip.

The pour produces a beautiful ruby brown liquid capped by creamy and fluffy foam that sticks to the sides of the glass and gobs up on top of the surface of the beer.

Piney and floral hops in true 'west coast' style, brown sugar, some caramel malt, and a good dose of compelling dank bitterness, for lack of a better term. There is also a touch of cocoa mixed into the bouquet. The palate is equally impressive. I feel like at this point, it's hard to make a hoppy beer that really sets itself apart from the rest. Flashback manages to do this. A rye-like spiced character that is mixed in with those floral and piney hops adds significantly to the flavor profile. The cocoa is again there, as are some fruity notes, both citrus (lemon and grapefruit) and darker (cherry and sherry-like flavors). Quite an impressive showing here.

The feel is pretty good. Sticky, dank, and nicely carbonated, this is about what I expect from an IPA or even hoppy brown ale. This is a great beer overall, and I am happy to have more!

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Photo of smcolw
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light brown color; very light haze. Thick bubbled head that settles to a single layer of fine fizz. Leaves good spider web lace.

Smell: Low level molasses and brown sugar without being overly sweet. Aroma of freshly baked bread. Low hop.

Much drier and more bitter than the smell would suggest. Great hop finish. Smooth body with a lower than expected carbonation. Darker crystal malt flavor--toasted without any burnt tastes. The alcohol is present...mildly. A brown IPA--makes me want to have a second.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mahogany color with one finger of creamy off white head.

Scent of hops, brown sugar, and some molasses. The hops add nicely to the sweetness, and the sugars help back it up without making it overly sweet.

Taste of brown sugar, hops, earth, grain and nuts. The hops are nice here as well, bittering the earth and grain flavors while keeping a bit of sweetness in the background. For a Brown Ale, this is damn good, more complex than I would expect, but not off putting. I would love to have this available more often, definitely one of the best Brown Ales I have ever had.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and slick with good carbonation.

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Photo of chumba526
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears light hazy brown with a small light tan head.

It smells of grassy and citrusy hops. I get a bit of a toffee, coffee like flavor.

It tastes initially of citrus fruity. I get an orange and lemon like flavor. There is a strong toffee flavor and a bread like maltiness. I also get a grassy hoppy flavor. The beer ends with a bit of bitterness paired with a malty sweet flavor. A really well balanced ale.

The carbonation is moderate. It has a smooth mouthfeel.

The drinkability of this ale is pretty good. It is very smooth and well balanced.

Overall a great beer by Boulder. This is most likely the best beer I have had by them.

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Flashback Ale from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
3.8 out of 5 based on 522 ratings.
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