Flashback Ale | Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

very good
522 Ratings
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 283 | Ratings: 522
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.37/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Here comes another brown ale, a style with little variation or variety. Looks sturdy relatively in its pour. Aroma is muted.

Taste brings an English earthy hop vibe to it, there's brown malt there, the malt bill is slightly bigger and more pronounced than your average brown ale. Certainly serviceable. Has the hallmarks of style a mild smooth nutty roastiness to it, but a malt bill more chill than a porter. Hopping above average but not brown ipa territory.

 467 characters

Photo of barczar
3.49/5  rDev -8.2%

I liked this brew when it was the anniversary edition. This bottle probably has some age on it.

Aroma is floral, lightly citrusy, with a deeply toasted malt backbone that is accented by hints of chocolate and a touch of roast. There's a bit of caramel sweetness. Flavor reveals more floral hop character throughout, with a deeply toasted, nutty malt backbone. The finish is resiny and fairly bitter. Notes of muted grapefruit counter light chocolate initially. There's a bit of an offputting perfumey character in the aftertaste. Not quite the brew I remember. Too bitter and perfumey flavor for my liking. The aftertaste of medicinal/harsh bittering hops kills it for me.

 673 characters

Photo of Brenden
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It looks to pour a rather unusual orange-brown, but settles at more of a red-brown, completely clear in its body. It starts off with some bubbling clinging to the glass, which dissipates within a few minutes. The off-white head is a solid finger for a good while, fading quite slowly to a thick layer that rests on top, while a thick collar of lace is exactly the height of the head where it sat and follows with patching.
Some hops jump out front but then regulate themselves to the background while a dusty sort of earthiness comes out with lots of grains and something like half-baked pumpernickel. It's a little spicy as well.
Grains mingle with leafy and earthy hops up front on the tongue, getting both breadier and slightly spicier with each sip. The back of the throat feels and tastes more of the raw hops bitterness even as the front of the tongue gets more sourdough.
The body holds medium with a nice crispness, a good bite but clean as well. It starts off with smoothness and gives it over to the bite without losing it. Some leafy dryness is felt from middle to end, but it holds a good median.

 1,108 characters

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.

 547 characters

Photo of mevett89
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: reddish-brown with a lumpy off-white head that dissipates to a thin layer after a few minutes. Decent lacing.

Aroms: some citrusy hops present.

Taste: decent hop bitterness with citrus notes, as well as roasty and caramel notes from the malt.

Mouthfeel: smooth with moderate carbonation.

Overall: decently balanced. Fairly quaffable and enjoyable without being amazing.

 385 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, another choice selection in a mixed-sixer furor in a Denver area bottleshop.

This beer pours a clear, dark bronzed amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, sudsy, and weakly foamy dirty white head, which leaves some stellar specked bonsai tree lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of bitter citrus and floral hops, nutty caramel malt, a bit of creamy milkiness, and further earthy, leafy hops. The taste is bittersweet cocoa, gritty caramel malt, a subdued hint of citrus pith, middling hard water notes, and earthy, leafy hops.

The bubbles are fairly restrained and obsequious, the body a decent medium weight, generally smooth, and maybe a tad creamy. It finishes with a nod to the sweet side, the caramel, nuts, and cocoa characteristics overriding the majority of the lingering citrus and leafy hops.

Another brown/roasted/black treatment of an IPA. Enough all fucking ready - the brown ale/stout essences just don't mesh all that well with the saucy, zippy nature of a well-wrought hoppy pale ale. Or maybe this offering just approached this from the diametrically opposite angle.

 1,120 characters

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.

 464 characters

Photo of cyclonece09
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a dark red with an off white head. Smells of piney hops with slight floral hint and very slight alcohol smell with dark grain. Tastes of piney hops with a slight maltiness. Beer is light/medium bodied and good carbonation, goes down smooth. Overall, a very good beer.

 327 characters

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.

 1,514 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by date of January 29, 2013.

Appearance - Pours a brilliant ruby brown with an off-white, near tan 2 finger head and fair retention. Leaves behind a fine layer of microbubbles, most congregating around the edge of the glass. Lacing is thin to spotty, with good stick.

Smell - Earth and caramel stand out the most. Touches on cocoa.

Taste - Follows the nose. Strong notes of caramel and cocoa are the driving force behind this brew, upfront and throughout. A bit of earthiness and hints of floral hop come through mid-taste. Faint traces of citrus hop and moderate grass bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, with somewhat lively carbonation. Goes down easy with crisp, a semi-dry finish.

Overall - Candidate for a re-review. I wish I'd noticed the freshness date before plucking it off the shelf. As is, it's already a solid brew. I'd love to try it fresh.

 884 characters

Photo of Omnium
4.26/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle > Lagunitas Mason Jar

A - Pours a really nice reddish brown color, thick fluffy 1 finger head, lacing leaves a little to be desired.
S - Toasted malts, roasted nut flavor, some mild vanilla, and a faint hint of cinnamon and spices, big hop presence as well, minor alcohol, smells awesome.
T - Toasty nut brown flavors with the bite of floral hops, a little pine flavor, some mix of different spices hidden underneath. Kind of complex, but very drinkable.
M - A little thin after the fore-front of flavors, bitter hops hang on for a bit, but not the good nutty flavors.
O - This is a very interesting brew, I havent had much in the way of IBA styled beers, but this would be a good example I'd take it. Complex with that toasted nut and piney floral hop flavors, but drinks easily. Excellent brew.

 807 characters

Photo of yamar68
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Excited to try this one out - love me some hoppy brown ale.

Maple syrup colored brown body with nice consistent beading, topped with a creme brulee type head that laces perfectly well.

Lots of vanilla on the nose, a bit of caramel, good hop dosage, breakfast cereal, really damn smooth with a great sense of balance.

Easy drinking cola flavors, the nuances of the hop profile are lost but there's still a pleasant bitterness to counter the nutty malt character, little bit of coffee. It's a touch thin but it's nothing to complain about.

Good stuff.

 554 characters

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber with copper highlights. oily beige foam. thin film of organic frosty lace.

Very Toasty. Sweet Caramel. Light chocolatey roast. Graham cracker. Spicy herbal, citrus, and piney hops.

Piney, resinous, grapefruit. Light chocolate with caramel and toasted graham cracker. Good resinous piney and grapefruit rind bitterness.

med body, sticky with resins. semi-smooth creaminess with some acid bite. moderate carbonation.

Nice winter beer. Great toastiness with light roast and a nice hop bittering kick. Solid brew.


 537 characters

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.

 395 characters

Photo of claspada
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, medium brown color with some crimson highlights. Great head formation and retention with a lot of lacing.

Aromas begin with a bold punch of citrus, fresh cut grass and pine notes. As it warms you get some of the base beer; malts give a nutty, chocolatey, toasty background that attempts to balance the aromas but hops steal this show.

The tastes begin with chocolate, nuttiness, and toffee malts actually take the foreground of flavor before the hops kick in. But before long, the citrusy hops rise and eventually dominate the beer. No off flavors, just medium all around except for the aggressive hops.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Moderately sweet from the malts but the hop bitterness overpowers into the finish.

Overall I just do not like my darker beers with this much hop profile. While is is clean, crisp and relatively easy to drink, I just don't enjoy drinking it.

 920 characters

Photo of arizcards
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single in late March from Total Wine for $1.49. Enjoy by 1-30-12 - whoops i missed that.

Beer poured a tea brown with a nice off white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is citrus hops with hints of chocolate.

Taste is hop forward, citrus and pine dominate. Dark chocolate malts lay an interesting backbone.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, decently carbonated, and fairly smooth.

Overall this is a nice brew, especially for being as old as it is. I will need to pick up a fresher version!

 508 characters

Photo of tony223366
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Gorgeous ruby hued brown. Clarity is spot on. 3 fingers of fluffy off white head with nice lacing.

S: Nice citrus hop aromas. Some of the malts come off in a bready, molasses way but it's much lighter than I would like. But if the goal is and Imperial Brown I guess it's ok. Some milk chocolate.

T: Hops are absolutely on the forefront. Then the richer malts kick in. I get brown sugar and chocolate. Some crusty breadiness. Then the finish goes way back on the sour spectrum. The finish feels a bit wonky but it is interesting.

M: Great carbonation with medium, almost fluffy body.

O: Not a bad beer but it doesn't quite jive well in my opinion. I think the flavors are all there, I'd just add more malts and raise the ABV a bit.

 739 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at World of Beer in Raleigh

A - hazy amber with a rich, soft, off white head that has great retention

S - burnt toast, earthy

T - toasty, nutty, faint coffee, faint hop bitterness in the finish

M - the nitro tap made this incredibly light and almost fluffy; light to medium bodied, smooth, little carbonation

This is only just above average. The nitro tap helped out the drinkability, but the flavor isn't for me. The toasty notes were overpowering. I would prefer a more up front nutty, malty quality versus the toasted malts.

 539 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on nitro-tap and served in a tumbler pint, the beer has a great cascade of golden brown layers. The beer settles into a light amber-brown coloring with a dense, low profile, cream colored head. Aromas of roasty and nutty sweet characters with an overlay of resiny, bright hops. Interesting dynamic. Flavors are very eclectic, and you initially feel like they should clash, but they end up blending very well. Roasty, nutty, and toffee sweet backbone support a bitter and floral hops profile that defiantly pokes through the strongly sweet palate to be represented. This dichotomy gives an interesting and unique balance to the palate. Very tasty. Great frothy, thick cling along the glass as you go. The aftertaste leans more towards the sweet characteristics of nut and toffee, with a creamy, smooth, clean finish.

 822 characters

Photo of Arsenal11
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on Tap at Old Chicago, Pretty good for the style, I like even though it is higher in alcohol it doesn't have that sickly sweet taste some of the higher alcohol brews have. Good blance between caramel malts and hops, I enjoyed this one. Would recommend it.

 259 characters

Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Rattle ‘n Hum, New York, NY

A: The beer is very dark amber but clear in color. It poured with a quarter-finger high creamy off white head that has good retention properties and left a coating of bubbles completely running down the sides of the glass.
S: There are very light aromas of brown and nutty malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of brown and nutty malts along with some hints of citrusy hope (grapefruit stands out in particular). There is a very slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light-bodied and very creamy and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a slight amount of dryness in the finish.
O: This beer is very easy to drink given its light-bodied nature, especially when it’s on a nitro-tap.

 781 characters

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.

 600 characters

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.

 1,107 characters

Photo of hosehead83
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear copper/amber in color,with a moderate head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Caramel, faint piney citrus
Taste-Toasted malt, caramel, citrus hops, burnt toast finish. Overall, not a bad tasting little Brown.

 259 characters

Photo of jsprain1
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Brown ale, thin off white head, that lasts mediocrely with some lacing.
S- The aroma has a good hoppiness, but it's very one dimensional. The grapefruit and citrus hops overwhelm what little caramel malt comes through.
T- It's kinda sweet up front, with a toasted bread flavor, but again the hops kinda overwhelm any malt flavor that I'm getting. Assertive bitter citrus in the finish.
M- Decently full body, low carbonation. Pretty smooth.
O- It's a decent beer, but too one note for me to be too interested in for a regular beer.

 534 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Flashback Ale from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
3.8 out of 5 based on 522 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.