Flashback Ale | Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

very good
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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 BCraig
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a English Pub style glass a month and one-half from the 'Enjoy by' date.

A - pours a shade darker than a burnt amber; fluffy head colored sandy cream

S - grapefruit dominates the initial smells with a bit of caramel malt underneath, other citruses come through after a few minutes

T - malt upfront which is quickly whisked away by a well balanced grapefruit/citrus hoppy back end.

M - smooth feel with a bit of effervescent bubbly feel as the hops and carbonation hit you.

O - Fits well within the style, nicely balanced. I don't sense the dark or chocolate malts listed on the bottle and which other reviewers are noticing, but the caramel is coming through nicely. Who doesn't like a crisp American Hop aroma in the Craft beer? The Cascade hops are the hero of this beer, without them it'd be just another Brown Ale.

I like the stuff they're making at Boulder Brewery; Happy to see this 6pk sell for under 7 bucks.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer is a pure caramel-copper color. A thick, foamy head sits on top for a while with a hard pour. Nice sticky lacing. The beer smells of sharp citrus and hops, faint roasted malts. The beer tastes sharp with the bite of hops up front. Before the finish, the roasted malts and biscuit nuttiness weave their way into your taste buds. Finishes dry. The mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall, a mixed bag for me here. I'm starting to really appreciate brown ales, but this one is too strong. The 6.88% ABV makes itself known. Not a good session beer, and the overload of hops makes me not want to drink this again. But having said all of that, this is a well-made beer.

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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 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 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 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 allforbetterbeer
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

One finger of light tan head that laces well forms with a gentle pour. The body is clear and shows a striking and beautiful dark crimson with hints of jet. Very good clarity.

Smells of medium toasted malts (maybe a very slight touch of chocolate malt) and some citrus-tinged hops. The hops are prominent but not over-bearing.

The flavor is on the bitter side with a high dose of hoppiness. I wouldn't place this in the brown ale category based on flavor. There is a malt presence but it takes the back seat. As in the nose a tiny tinge of dark malts (chocolate most likely) shows up in the aftertaste, but this is faint.

The mouthfeel is medium and a nice bit of complexity. Carbonation is average and reminds me of a typical IPA.

Conclusion: Tasty and well done. I would call this a hoppy amber or even a "black IPA", but not a brown ale. Whatever. It is tasty and if you love hops this would be right up your alley.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a chestnut color with an off white head. the head is tall and leaves good lacing.
Brilliantly clear and with good carbonation.
Aroma is bascially malt driven with very little in way of hoppiness..
Quite malty with some hop bitterness.
Soft and smooth this medium weigh ale feels.
Good? yes but off the mark.

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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 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 rowew
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, label has the flatirons and the Looking Glass series motif. "Enjoy by Nov 24 2011"

Appearance: Dark red in color with just a bit of haze. Good sized head, nice retention. Leaves quite a bit of lacing.

Smell: Malt sweetness and a bit of grassy hops.

Taste: Grassy hops, well balanced with malt. This just tastes like a solid IPA.

Overall impression: Nice and drinkable, good hop flavors - easy to drink, especially considering the ABV.

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Photo of JizackFH
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on nitro-tap at Rattle N Hum on 10/4/11.
Review taken from notes.

This beer pours a nice dark brown color. It has a nice 2-finger super creamy looking head on it. The head has amazing retention, and it leaves behind a thick sheet of lace all down the glass. This is the most lace I have ever seen a beer leave behind, just awesome looking. It smells of some dark toasted malt, and a nice big hop presence. There are some aromas of chocolate, caramel, and nuts as well. The taste starts off with a nice bit of toasted malt in the background and a big spicy hop flavor in the forefront. There is a pretty big chocolate presence, as well as some mild caramel and nut flavors. The hops really shined through and added a quite a bit of bitterness. This had a medium body and nice carbonation. It goes down super easy, and it has an extremely creamy feel to it. There is some spiciness and bitterness from the hops. The feel is really nice overall. This has great drinkability. I could definitely drink my fair share of glasses of this a night. It has a really nice flavor, and it is extremely creamy. Although I haven't had the regular version of this beer, I really think the nitro benefited it. It is definitely very interesting as well. It really is in its own category, not quite a brown ale and not quite a black ale. overall, it is just a really great tasting creamy beer. If you see this try it out, especially if it's on nitro.

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

Poured from a bottle.

A - Clear, dark copper in color, slight off-white head that receded quickly leaving a slight lacing on the glass.

S - Get some pine notes but mostly a sweet, toasty carmel, maybe a hint of grapefruit.

T - Nice hop backbone, get toasty, malty carmel, well balanced, finish has both some hops and some toasted carmel.

M - Medium bodied and medium carbonation.

D - This is a very nice beer, a bit laid back, well balanced but not in your face, subtle hops flavor throughout the drink.

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Photo of rsdaugherty
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap into pint glass at Cheba Hut downtown Denver
A – A clear deep ruby/purple brown, tan head reduced to a thin layer with mild lacing, a good looking beer 4
S – Roasted malt, a mild sweetness and hops, an overall mild nose 3.5
T – Dominated by a roasted malt sweetness, light coffee & caramel notes while also being hoppy, orange citrus zest and florals towards the finish 4.5
M – I’ve not had a dry and smooth beer like this. Moderate body with a nice small bubble creaminess from moderate carbonation 4
O – Good drinkability. In a style by itself: not a black IPA, IPA, or Brown. Unique taste with a rare malt and hop combination that is definitely worth a try and a brew that I will be having another of and purchasing in the future 4

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Photo of thain709
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured with a clear, copper tinted body...the head was off white and stood one finger tall...it only fell a little and remained a full cap...great lacing

S - There are some citrus hops lingering around...but most of the nose is comprised of sticky caramel and other non-citrus fruits

T - The sticky caramel greets you first and leads off with a blast of sweetness...but don't be scared because a huge wave of bitterness rushes in right behind it...the citrus hops are more noticeable now and combine with the piney hops to have that bittersweet going on...the roasted malts start to creep in towards the finish and take away some of that hop bitterness

M - Medium bodied...the finish has a touch of sweetness to it with a roasted finish

O - My bottle may have been a few months old, but this beer held up for being an Indian Brown Ale...the hops held their bitterness on the palate although they were minimal in the aroma...I'm glad they made this one past their 30th anniversary

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Photo of rlshep
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dated Oct 07 2010. I've had this beer slightly longer than I thought.

Aroma: Grapefruit, piney hops. Hints of caramel and dark fruits.

Appearance: Pours finger and a half creamy off white long-lasting head. Good lacing. Brownish color more of a deep amber. Good clarity. Low esters.

Flavor: Hop dominated with citrus and pine. A nice malt backbone to support the hops. Getting hints of chocolate in the background.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel. Alcohol warming. Hops have a prickling bite to them.

Overall: A well done beer. I would expect more brown in the IPA, if you tried this blind I would expect you to think it was a normal IPA. Aroma might have faded over time but was still present which I was impressed at almost a year old.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Light brown with a noticeable orange tint that screams india pale ale... but with something extra. The head leaves some lacing but doesn't seem thick enough for a sweet beer.

S- Fresh orangey goodness complimented with honey sweetness and a floral touch the keeps the beer from getting too heavy.

T- Lighty toasted whole wheat bread covered in honey and orange jam. This is THE FUCKING DESSERT right here. and the appetizer

M- There is something sharp to the mouthfeel that reminds me of how alcoholic this is and I wish it felt more thick and sweet

D- Another yummy beer that defies what beer should be and does an awfully good job

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Photo of bramsdell
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a 6er for 7.99$. Poured into pint glass.

A - Two finger of off-white head. Good looking, brown colored body. Darker than an IPA but not quite at the darkness of a brown ale. Deep gold when held up to light. Decent lacing, but nothing great.

S - The smell of this beer is disappointing. Really, it's the lack of smell. When really agitated there is a light caramel scent, but one must dig deeper than should really be necessary to locate it.

T - Much fuller than the scent. Immediately met with a flavor that is sweeter than the average brown ale, but in a good way. The sweetness burns off to leave a pleasant malt flavor that doesn't linger for too long. Not a huge flavor, but again, very pleasant. This beer is 6.8%, but if someone were to tell me it was 5% I wouldn't argue. Very little in the way of alcohol on the tongue or back of the mouth.

M - Not very carbonated for a brown ale. The beer feels thicker in the mouth than its appearance would indicate. Overall, leaves a nice malty finish.

O - A solid beer. If I saw this on tap somewhere, I would certainly be interested in trying it. For the price and the ABV, it's a great buy. I would recommend this to someone looking for a different type of brown ale.

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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 kkoz
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance & Aroma: It’s fairly clear and brown in color, with a slightly copperish red hue and a finger tall creamy foamy head. It’s got an incredibly nice caramelly and malty aroma with a dose of citrus and pine hoppiness.

Taste & Feel: It has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, with a light-medium body. It starts out malty, with bready caramel flavors. That gives way to a citrusy caramel flavor, and finishing with a citrusy and resiny bitterness.

Food Pairing: This would go great with a mushroom and swiss pub burger. It’s solid enough to stand up to a hearty meal, and the bready caramel flavors would go nicely with the mushrooms. The nice hop finish helps to wash it down and finish the combination off perfectly.

Overall Impression: I love the balance and flavor in this beer, as it takes you from caramel, malty, and bready flavors, to citrus, resin, and piney hop flavors in the finish. This one was aged a few months, so the hoppy flavors were a bit less than when it’s fresh. However, I’ve had this many times before and highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of kjyost
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

355 mL bottle date stamped Mar 2, 2011. I sure hope this is a production date and not a BB date :-/. Bought at Happy Harry's North Grand Forks.

A: Light brown, clear with a pale head that leaves great lacing.
S: Resinous hop oil and light grapefruit lie atop a very stringy alcoholic smelling body.
T/M: A sweet body that has some viscosity to it. Notes of coffee with a hint of chocolate play through. Minimal hop flavours, finishes fairly dry with a lingering bitterness.
O: Pretty sure this bottle was past it's prime (it was being stored room temp too), so it was so-so. I could sense how this would be a better product fresh though.

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Photo of sethmeister
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12oz bottle marked "Enjoy by Sep 14th 2011"

Bubbly ecru head on a clear reddish brown body. Plenty of lace. Nice looking beer!

Scent is predominantly grapefruit.

Taste is grapefruit and citrus hops riding atop a wave of roasted malt. Caramel and toffee flavors. A hint of dark chocolate. Well balanced between hops and malt.

Mouth is creamy medium.

This is a pleasant hopped-up brown ale. For the style (which is American Brown Ale, not Black Ale as listed here) I prefer DFH's Indian Brown but still a good ale which I would enjoy 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 lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was a cherry amber color with a thick, off-white head. There was a good deal of lace.
Citrus hops, kind of peppery. Some roasted malt in the background. Aroma mostly reminescent of an IPA.
Grapefruit taste, a little bit of piney hops. Caramel malt in the background, maybe some chocolate.
This was a nice, medium-bodied black IPA. I enjoyed it.

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