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 Sammy
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ahh!my cask I could find on the trip, enjoyed at The Ginger Man. Good Bitterness, roast and moderate carmelness, all give the bitterness a good tastiness. Dark brown with a caesar crown head. Very drinkable cask, I could have this frequently.Aroma may have been there on-tap.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours out as a light brownish colored ale. It had a decent head on it and gave a good lacing down the glass. The smell was very hopped up, not much else there really. The flavor was very hoppy too, mostly all hops much like a strong ipa. I wasn't really getting too much of the roasted malts. As I sit here I'm still getting piny citrus flavors. I liked the beer for sure. I'd say it worth trying.

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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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is probably a style that hasn't been explored enough. Great English Brown Ales that are dominated by with an onslaught of American hops. Is this notion fitting for a 4th of July celebration beer or what?

The beer pours with a brilliant clear, medium brown color and with some crimson highlights. Great head formation and retention with a lot of lacing- a most impressive appearance.

The aroma is dripping with hops as advertised with a bold punch of citrus, fresh cut grasses, and pine notes. Not to be outdone, the malts give a nutty, chocolatey, toasty background that attempts to balance the beer, but with little avail.

Flavors of chocolate, nuttiness, and toffee malts actually take the foreground of flavor before the hops kick in. This beer is no slouch on the malts. Low in fruitiness, the toast and Sunkist grains give a nice medium breadiness to the beer. But before long, the citrusy hops rise and eventually dominate the beer. No off flavors, just medium all around except for the aggressive hops.

Medium maltiness gives a moderate bready mouthfeel with no graininess or unnecessary bite. Sweetened with barley malts and attenuated well for a malty texture and low residual sugars. A beautifully brewed beer. Hops definitely give the bitterness level that would prove any IPA worthy. They also help to dry the beer and crispen it up in the finish.

Clean, refreshing and easy to drink, even with such boldness in the hops and the darkness of the malts. Probably not as strong in flavor or strength as Dogfish India Brown Ale, but maybe more drinkable.

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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.

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Photo of zeff80
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, brown color with a thick, long-lasting, one-finger head of tan foam. It left a little lace.

S - It smelled very floral with notes of grasses and roasted malt.

T - This is a brown ale that hits you with some spicy hops at first sip. It has a great roasted malt taste with hints of caramel and brown sugar.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a smooth mouthfeel. A medium-bodied ale.

D - This is a great brown ale. I regret not picking up more since it isn't available here.

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Photo of oberon
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass a clear medium brown with some reddish hue,a tight formed slight off white that clung to the glass atop.A mix of citric hop,caramel,and light roast in the nose,I was anticipating a little more of that cascade hop profile to come though.The hops are more prevelent on the palate,a mix of chocolate malt and sweetish caramel mixed with big citric hops,a nice earthy tone finishes a pretty complex brew.A very nice IBA,better then Terrapin's, but thats besides the point,a damn fine beer.

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Photo of mothman
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into traditional pint glass.

Pours a little over a 1 finger of slightly tanned head. Pretty good retention with some nice lace. Color is a clear ruby caramel brown.

Aroma is very sweet. Floral hops, chocolate, caramel, bright citrus notes. This beer is fairly malty smelling.

Taste: big floral hops with a nice malt finish. Lots of chocolate and caramel. Big citrus taste right up front. Very roasty. Basically the aroma is the taste here.

Mouthfeel: Fairly bitter, but mellows out because of all the malts. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends with a fairly clean aftertaste.

Overall, not a bad beer, just nothing I'd would want a lot of. I don't like the combination of an ipa and a brown ale that much, because the beer is trying to be too many things at once.

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

Another unexpected extra from Scott - double thanks!

Pours a clear reddish amber with a wispy white head and minimal lacing. Sorry, this is not a black IPA, rather I feel it is a hoppy red. Smell is interesting mix of hops and malt with some faint woodyness. Taste is up front malt balanced by some fruity hops combined with an underlying wood quality that is hard to pinpoint. Mouthfeel is clean and bright with a good bitter/sweet interplay, neither of which dominates. Overall, very enjoyable and left wanting more.

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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 chinchill
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle dated 27 Dec. 2010.

Clear dark amber color with plenty of slow-rising tiny carbonation bubbles. Topped with a 1 finger creamy tan head that leaves lots of coating on the glass.

Aroma: medium roasted and caramel malts, very earthy hops, a dash of spruce, and a hint of fruit.

Despite some malty sweetness when it first hits the tongue, this is a moderately bitter beer, with more bitter than other flavors coming through from the hops. A bit of an undesirable sour note from the early finish onward, and a slight metallic note, are less noticeable is a 2nd, older sample.

Nice medium body with excellent carbonation.

O - A well-done hybrid with a fine appearance.

re-reviewed on 4/2012 using a bottle dated 27 Dec 2010. Enjoyed this MUCH more than a bottle from the same batch sampled about 6 mos. ago. Aroma and appearance remain unchanged. Ratings reflect both tastings.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted malts, caramel, maple, nuts and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is pretty well-balanced and starts with sweet flavors of caramel, maple and nuts that are quickly followed by a strong but not-over-powering hops bitterness that is a little stronger than you normally get in a brown ale. The malt character is hearty and there's a faint touch of smokiness. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style while intensifying the hops profile, listed as an "India-style Brown Ale" on the label this beer is exactly that, overall it is a good beer with a lot of flavor and substance making it worth drinking for a long time.

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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 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 mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was not what I was expecting. Deep brown color and nearly opaque save for a few touches of light peaking around the sides of the glass. No head on this, even with a vigorous pour I came no where near getting anything but a token coating of lace across the top, Not really the look I was going for by any stretch, still though I have scene worse. Tons of caramel and hot boozy notes in the aroma. Needs to mellow as the hops are not strong enough to really push through the dark malts they way they should( see stone). Still though warming improves it as hints of brown sugar and molasses start to take shape and come forward. Still though as I take each sip I am looking for more and more. There just seems to be something missing here that could really push it over the top. No matter through we continue on with it. Dark caramel tones and hints of piney hops dominate now and bring a boozy taste right to the front of the palate, again not really exactly what I had in mind, but it will do. Smooth, thick body does come off slightly slick at times but maintains a good level of carbonation to offset it some. Lots of alcohol and this is very evident here for sure.

Overall it was a decent offering I think it needed a little more though to push it over the edge. I have had much worse though it just seemed like it was a tad too big for itself

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Photo of Slatetank
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

India Brown Ale bottle poured chilled into a tulip pint.

A deep rusty brown color with good clarity and 3/4 inch of ecru cap with lace that sticks well and bead that is tiny. The carbonation is visible in the beer moving at a moderate pace. The smell is toasty with light caramel aroma -I expected more hop aroma, but a pretty high roast odor is present with a slightly sweet yeast ester and mild fruit element. The feel is roasted with moderate bitterness from the hops and also moderately carbonated with a semi-dry middle with the roast and malt sweetness about equal w/ a slightly bittersweet/dry finish.

The flavor of roasted malt is balanced well by some piney hops and fruit accents from the yeast with a mild caramel malt flavor. The taste has a gentle coffee quality with the roast and subtle citrus from the hops, the mild toasted grain is flavorful and adds a slight earthy woody flavor. The taste of the hops and bitterness level does not become overly aggressive yet lasts into the finish as the brown has a dry ending. This was a tasty brown ale, but not as hoppy as some in the style - it has a good malt flavor profile and it achieves good balance. I found it to be highly drinkable and I would not hesitate to pick it up again.

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Photo of russpowell
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BBD of Oct 09

Pours an effervescent amber/brown with a thumb of tan head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Toasty malt, some leafy hops, fades away

T: Toasty malt, dryness & a touch of citric hops up front. Grapefruit, dryness & toasty malt all show as this warms. Finishes with much citrus hops, dryness, some brown sugar, plus a touch of grainyness & grassyness

MF: Medium bodied, semi-chewy with moderate carbonation

Drinks fairly easy, not the best Indian Brown I've had, but not shabby. I expected something bigger for a 30th anniversary offering, but a Boulder Beers go, this is better than many

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Photo of womencantsail
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Boulder Beer Tap House at the Denver Airport

A: The beer pours a light brown color with a thick, creamy khaki head.

S: Lots of toasted malt with a bit of toffee and nuts. A light earthy hop note to it with some hints of coffee. Slightly sweet with molasses and bread. Perhaps not as hoppy as I expected for an "India" anything.

T: Lots of toasted malts with a slight roast and coffee flavor. Some bitter dark chocolate and some light nut flavor. Again, not too much in the way of hop character. Somewhat earthy with a bit of faint citrus.

M: Medium bodied with a creamy carbonation and mouthfeel.

O: Certainly better than many of the other Boulder beers, but by no means great.

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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 mdfb79
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle int my New Belgium tulip. Received this as part of my Beer of the Month club box. Best by date of 02/10/11 on the bottle.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent red-amber color with one finger of fluffy off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bready malts, toffee, roasted malts, coffee, citrus hop, and fruity malts. Smells pretty good, lots of malts, not a lot of hops.

t - Tastes of citrus hops up front, which then give way to roasted malts, fruity malts, and some caramel malts. A bit of a step down from the nose, but decent. Hops definitely come through more in the taste.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy.

d - Although this is listed as Black IPA, the label actually says it is a brown ale, which it smelled like to me. For a brown ale I actually thought it was pretty good and I enjoyed the malty smell. Also thought the mouthfeel was pretty good. The 2 Boulder beers I received were two of the better BOTMC beers I got; would have again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a crystal clear mahogany brown hue in the body with a nice khaki tan head forming thick with large bubbles and rising above the rim of my imperial pint glass. Lacing is intricate fine and evenly spread on the sides of the glass.

Aromatics offer up bright citrus and pine hops, mostly cascade. Tickles your nose with alpha acids, with a background layer of chocolate malt and roasted nuts. Not much else to report on this offering another India Style Brown Ale, I guess their paying homage to their roots in British brewing.

Flavor has a nice robust brown ale presence with mild chocolate, toasted almond, and a touch of pleasant fruitiness with a wave of dry bittering hops. I like this version of the style I feel it shows of a true brown ale with a welcoming amount of hop flavor and bitterness. Flavors that present from the hop profile are citrus rind and a mild grassy characteristic not over done or overplayed.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with some hop oils trickling across the palate, while carbonation remains steady throughout the drinking experience. Again I have to comment the dark roasts and bittering hops create a bone dry finish that works well in this style.

Drinkability overall is excellent a quality sipping and quaffing brew that will lead to great discussion and contemplation of brewing styles. Here's to thirty more for Boulder Beer, I definitely love me some Mojo Risin', keep churning 'em out.

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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.

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Photo of jwc215
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by Aug 04 09 on neck:

Pours brown with a nice tan head. Trailing lace slides down the glass, with some stickage.

The smell is of a Cascade hop aroma - citrus/pine mixed with a "brown" character - nutty, some chocolate, light roast. Earthy. Sometimes a hoppy brown "clashes" - it certainly doesn't here. The hoppiness and maltiness meld very well, complementing each other.

The taste is of sweet malt - nutty and chocolatey. Earthy, citric bitterness mixes in to balance it. Although I prefer the taste to the aroma, it is certainly tasty enough, in that complementary way, to keep me happy. A bitter touch rounds out the malty sweetness well in the finish.

It is medium-bodied with medium-carbonation. This is pretty smooth with a nice bite to it.

The malt and hop characteristics both come out nicely, especially in the aroma. They combine to form a delicious, unique brew! A wonderful anniversary brew. Happy 30th to the folks at Boulder, and thanks for another winner!

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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 Billolick
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness info. Pous darker honey amber, clear, under a fluffy and long lasting medium khaki head, which in turn leaves a boat load of quality sheeting. Mostly malt is what my snifer picks up, sweet, and perhaps a bit musty. Smooth and flavorful brew. Caramel malts up front then quite grainy, oily, bitter and hoppy late and in the finish. Notes of burnt toast, caramel malts and resiny, gainy hops. Enjoyable stuff, hop lovers will dig this one, non hoppy beer lovers likely will find this to be overly bitter. Worth a try, but would not expect to order/buy this over and over again

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