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 BeerWithMike
2.17/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Sampled last night on 12/18/13. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a brandy snifter.

Pouts a dark reddish-brown in color with a small off-white head. Some lacing was seen when sipped. The aroma is of strong roasted malts. The taste was..well very bitter with a harsh strong 'hoppy' aftertaste which lingered for way to long. Tried it again a few minutes later and wasn't any better at all. After two more sips, I had had enough as it was way to hoppy of a harsh bitter aftertaste for me and poured the rest out.

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Photo of mattcrill
2.32/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Aroma: Tea-like and tobacco-like hop aroma. A little metallic notes which is kind of scary.

Appearance: Brick red pour with amber highlights. Moderate white head that retains well.

Flavor: Caramel and low roasty notes with earthy and tea-like hop bitterness. Balance is nearly even with caramel and roasted notes pushing it more to the malty end of the spectrum. Finish is slightly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation. No astringency or alcohol heat.

Overall impression: Seems to have a bit of an identity crisis. Tastes like an American Amber with elements of a sweet American Brown. Kind of a muddled mess. Avoid.

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.6/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Had at our local Old Chicago.

A clear, tea coloured brew with a fine layer of foam and some spotty lacing.

I got some roasted malt notes as well as a mild sweetness and a fairly strong hop note, nah, just plain old bitterness. I had to "pull" these out because they didn't exactly present themselves in easy fashion.

Light roasted malt presence, a bit of the sweet, and an overpowering bitter flavour, harsh bitter flavour, that drowned everything else out once I got into the session. Though there was nothing wrong with the general mouth feel, I had a hard time finishing the pint. Bitter for bitter's sake, me thinks, and it does not work for me. It's kind of strange..the bottle didn't hit me nearly as bad as this draught offering.

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Photo of BB1313
2.64/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a beautiful transparent brownish-red, with nice white fluffy head and sticky lacing. I'm picking up alot of malts, caramel, and hops. I'm a little let down by the taste. At first I was satisfied, but the more I drank it, the more I started to dislike. Lots of heavy malt, orange, tangerine, caramel, and toffee. This one finishes very bitter. Mouthfeel is actually very good, it's rich and creamy, well carbonated. Drinkability isn't the best due to the bitterness and average flavors. Just so people now, this isn't a Black IPA, or black ale. It's an India-Style Brown Ale.

I was a little let down by this one. If you pass it up, you won't really be missing out.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
2.7/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – Served a copper colored brew with a one finger white head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading over time to give a nice level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of some lightly roasted malt aromas mixed with smells of a more nutty and coffee nature as well as some notes of citrus and grass with some spice aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg. It is a rather odd combination of smells which produces a rather odd and not all that appealing aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with a roasted malt flavor mixed with a lighter flavor of caramel. While there is caramel upfront it fades as the taste advances with the flavors becoming slightly more roasted and bitter as the taste moves on. Along with the loss of caramel sweetness there is an oncoming of some hop flavors of a grassy taste as well as some spice flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg. A light nuttiness joins these flavors and ends up leaving a somewhat unpleasant spiced and slightly bitter flavor on the tongue .

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side in terms of its thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is average as well. A little more body may have been nice but overall it was fitting for the style.

Overall – A brew that I did not really enjoy all that much. The flavors and the nose never really melded to well with transitions that were somewhat abrupt and disjunct. I will likely not come back to this any time soon.

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Photo of bilyboy65
2.84/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a very bitter and hoppy beer. Nice dark copper color and with a beautiful head. Etchings left on the glass with each pull and lots of film that coats.

Almost to bitter to have any other flavor, but you can kinda of make out some dark roasted malts hidden DEEP DEEP within all the hops. Even the hops seem to clash.

The only thing that saves it is that it's interesting. I personally did not enjoy it and probably won't purchase again, but I can see where people would like it.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
2.93/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Poured from 12 oz bottle to Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - Beer pours a deep dark copper color and it perfectly translucent. Nice 1.5 finger creamy head with nice lacing.

S - Sweetness from the malts upfront. Hints of warm alcohol but not much in terms of hop aroma.

T - Continuing with the sweetness from the malts and an almost sour tone. Slight fruit present. Bitterness finishes. Not much in terms of hop characteristics at all aside from the stong bitterness. No citrus or pine, etc.

M - Decently carbonated though very thin mouthfeel comes across almost metallic.

D - The beer is drinkable though I was glad when I had finished it.

Overall, I found myself a little disappointed in this beer. After reading the reviews and recommendations from fellow beer drinkers I trust deeply I wonder if the bottle I tried wasn't properly cared for or was exposed to the elements? For a American Black Ale I expected more hop presence, there was almost none. As I find myself favoring this style of beer I suppose I would give it another chance but it's certainly not near the top of my list.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 01-15-2011 16:33:37

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Photo of GossageBrewery
2.94/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This Black Ale was served on-tap and in goblet. It poured a dark brown color. It produced very little head and retention was poor. Lacing was poor as well. The aroma from this Black Ale comprised of caramel, some toasted malt and there are some piney hop notes as well. The beer is full bodied, you can tell that this is high in ABV...The taste is not very well balanced....there is a roasted malt base, with suggestions of caramel and a bit of piney hops that show through. Strong beer, finish's dry...This beer is ok...my first time trying something from Boulder Beer....Its a little off balance.../missing something.

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Photo of EJNibs
2.95/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Deep ruddy auburn, not quite brown but close. A little less than one finger of head that dissipates fairly quickly.

S: Toasted bread malt with a hint of caramel and a slight to moderate hopback. The hops aren't terribly complex, but have half a hint of floral notes.

T: Malty up front with a heavily hop bitter finish, but, similar to the nose, mostly straight bitterness without much citrus or flower of note. There is a very bitter, almost astringent hop aftertaste

The aforementioned lingering bitterness really hurts the drinkability of this beer, and the monochromatic hops don't lend it too much complexity. To be fair to the beer, the last batch I had (about a year ago when it truly was the 30th anniversary special) was, as I remember, a much more complexly hopped brown ale, but based on this new six pack I've just finished, it's rather mediocre.

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Photo of Mardukk
2.95/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a dark brown color with an mocha head. Smells of alcohol and roasted malts.

The taste is an odd combo of roasted bitter dark chocolate, alcohol and hops. The taste is darker than the color. Leaves a very bitter chocolate aftertaste.

The body is lighter than the syle, abv and large amount of roasted malt would merit.

This is not drinkable due to the rough taste and aftertaste. Just not a well balanced beer.
Finishing more than two would be a struggle.

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Photo of msh4k3
2.95/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle severed in chalice
best before july 3rd 2012

a. Dark ruby red, with a 1 finger head which fades to a little lacing on side and soapy top.

s. Smelly like caramel malts and citrus piney notes. Also little nuttyness

t. Bitterness from the hops then rushes a little nutyness and then lemony notes from the hops. Not sure how much i enjoy lemon and nuttyness :\.

m. pretty pretty smooth like a water beer. not as creamy as you would expect.

o. Its alright, but not sure how the lemon and nutty flavors contast. Its definitely a different spin on a nut brown ale. Not sure if would drink again.

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Photo of B0BZ1LLA
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer comes out a tea color with a touch of red. Mine had a nice, 2 inch head and left significant lacing on the glass.

S: A sweet, malty smell that I associate with a brown ale, as well as grass and chocolate.

T: moderate citrus hops and chocolate malt

M: moderately rich, full

O: I agree with other reviewers that there are too many clashing flavors here. Still, it's a decent beer.

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Photo of ILikeGoodCider
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed on 08.07.09 from a 12oz brown bottle. Part of a BOTM club shipment. Poured into a 14oz pint glass.

A: A reddish-brown color. Mostly clear. Big, foamy, head w/very good lacing.

S: Caramel, malt and nuts.

T: Balanced - caramel, malt and hops, nuts. A different brown ale, but good.

M & D: Medium-bodied. Good carbs w/ a slick finish. A good effort from Boulder - I could drink a few.

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Photo of rye726
3.16/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown with an average tan head.

Nose has grainy malts, stale hops and a bit of caramel and toffee.

Taste has bready malts and oldish floral hops. Nothing too exciting here.

Body is a bit thin, weak finish.

Not overly fantastic, but worth a try.

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Photo of mactrail
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Handsome dark amber in the glass. Excellent foam and lacing. Nose of roasted malt. Surprisingly sourish taste to go along with the powerful bitter blast. On the friendly side, a brief kiss of caramel and a dark undertone of burned raisin bread. Very light body. Nice mouthfeel.

I can't resist the comparison with Dogfish India Brown, and this stuff suffers. It has to be some oddball IPA. I wish there was a Wikipedia-style committee to occasionally consider style issues like this. Bottle date is Nov. 29, 2010.

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Photo of 1fastz28
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a deep red copper color with a decent head and has some nice lacing, i think i see a puppy! anyway, the scent is of roasted malt, but that it, its not a very strong or distinct aroma. taste is average, it has a nice malty flavor to it but nothing that really stands out as special, maybe i have an older one cause other people really like this one, but i'm not super impressed.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.19/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz standard pressure-cap bottle into a pint glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Two finger off-white head. Thick head with moderately active carbonation. Nice retention, fluffy head, brown beer with moderate clarity. Nice.

S- Hoppy, bitter with a refreshing finish. Roasted malts.

T- Roast malts, bitter and aggressive hops. Interesting.

M- Creamy and bubbly.

O- Not a lot to say about this beer. Hoppy, bitter, tasty.

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Photo of tapman
3.21/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very light brown, though darker than your average pale, with a large tan head. Head dissipates into a sticky tapping that is easily agitated into re-foaming. Looks closer to an IPA than a brown ale, which is what it is called on the label.

Brown sugar/molasses, dark toffee, centennial hops ( or some other hop that gets a little soapy when used in abundance and a little warm alcohol make up the nose.

Very bitter notes of raw hops and a little farminess (though not so far as horse-blanket). Blackstrap molasses and burnt toast mix with soapy 'C' variety dry hop flavor.

Can feel the slightly higher alcohol and I would guess that no extra refined sugar was added to this brew to lighten it which is a plus in m book, but a little syrupy. Carbonation does a decent job of breaking it up. Still, feels heavier than it is. Hop oils?

Here's my reasoning- the only other india brown I've had was dogfish head's and that one was pretty good. Many of their beers are above average and I did enjoy theirs a little better, henceforth I would assume this one is closer to average for the style. Not a bad brew. If anyone from the company reads this I will say that right now this is my favorite brewery. Cold hop and Hazed are fantastic and super sessionable and if this is their worst offering, then that ain't a bad thing.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear ruby, with a finger of foamy off-white head. This holds tight with a ½ finger of froth when swirled that whips up a rich cascade of patchy lace onto the sides of the glass. The aroma smells leafy, citric, and a little spicy, with an underlying sticky mix of caramel and roast that picks up a little twang from the citrus.

The taste has a green and leafy citric bite that intertwines with some herbal tones, while that roasty sweetness of the malts from the nose is pushed much more towards the back here. The malts do gain a little strength as this warms but this is pretty hop forward overall, with this finishing dry, bitter, and a touch spicy. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a firm and sharp feel up front. Luckily things smooth out a bit more across the back.

This was just OK. The aroma presented a nice mix of hops and malt but the taste relayed a bit much on the hops in my opinion, with a raw and pity finish that didn’t leave a favorable impression on me and really took me out of this at times. I probably wouldn’t pick this up again.

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Photo of Redsoxnation
3.27/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A different type of beer that I enjoyed. The hops and the malt are well balanced and has a nice hop aroma. A little unsure of the date of the beer so that may have affected the quality. The mouthfeel is a little less than I thought it should have been. A nice beer to pair with spicy sausages or hamburgers.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.31/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear/translucent dark amber in color. A little bit of a frothy, thin head. Plenty of nice lacing left on the side of the glass.
Smell is caramel malts and some hops. Some spice, but mostly just subtle hops. Taste is bittering hops, and some malt, but not too much going on here at all. Incredibly easy to drink and has a decent mouthfeel.
Average beer. I was hoping for a bit more out of an anniversary beer. I wouldn't necessarily call this a brown ale. More like a pale.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.32/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap in a shaker pint. Brownish tinged amber with a smallish head and a little lacing. Several shades too dark for a CDA.

Appetizing nose full of citrus and chocolate sweetness. Lacking the sharp roasted character of a CDA, but tasty nonetheless. A fair amount of caramel malt with plenty of grapefruit and a bit of chocolate sweetness. Good bitterness.

Overall impression: Seems like American Brown Ale would be the better style designation (and I'd certainly have rated it higher as such).

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.32/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured chestnut brown into a pint glass, with expectedly little carbonation, a thin offwhite head, and spotty lacing. Smelled of toffee, caramel, malt, oak, and a big earthiness. The latter dominated all other aspects of the flavor; almost to a point where the beer tasted leathery. Certainly seemed as if it would benefit from aging. However it did possess a dry hoppy aftertaste. Didn't feel as thick as the appearance either; a little too much on the thin side. I struggled to finish my one pint.

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Photo of Risser09
3.32/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter - fridge - 2009

Appearance: Pours a hazy brown color with no highlights. A small, 1/2" tan head forms and recedes quickly. Lave rings remain after every sip.

Smell: Strong cascade hop aroma is bitter and earthy. Dark, malt richness of toffee and chocolate. Plenty of sweetness rises out of the glass.

Taste: Bountiful hoppiness from those generous cascade hop additions. The bitterness lasts from start to finish, despite the malt strength. Brown sugar, toffee, almond and pecan are strong flavors. Very powerful, overall.

Mouthfeel: Stick sweet with malt and also quite bitter from all the hops. Heavy body with an alcohol burn for a finish.

Drinkability: This beer is all over the place. I can't really say that it is a good beer. The flavors conflict and it is far too sweet. Average.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hey, a brown ale, why not, they advertise its got a good hop quotient.

Pours a little better than your average brown ale. Not whispy thin like some. Nothing about the aroma comes across. Taste is mildly entertaining. Certainly in the upper echelon of brown ales IMHO. It does have a decent earthy hop character. Mouthfeel and drinkability have nothing worth mention, not bad, not mind blowing.

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