Flashback Ale | Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

very good
522 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 522 |  Reviews: 283
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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Photo of Haus
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance- dark brown, pours thick viscosity, decent head and retention

Smell- citus, very nice, doesn't smell have malt aroma typical for brown ale, smells much more like an IPA.

Taste- Delicious. I like it very much. It's a nice mix of Brown/IPA. The hops may be a bit overwhelming if you are looking for more malty, chocolate notes. A bit of an oily mouthfeel.

Overall- I had a second one. It's pretty good. Would be really good with a cajun brat.

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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 mltobin
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single bottle of this in CT.

Appearance is a copper color with cloudiness. The smell has nuts, citrus fruit, bread, a pleasant aroma for sure. Upon sipping, the taste contains roasted malts, some hops, a small amount of sweetness. MF is medium with proper bitterness in the finish. A good black ale from these folks out of Colorado.

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

From a bottle with a "best by Aug 4,2011" date. Poured light mahogany brown with perfect clarity. A brief white foamy head that quickly reduced to a wispy cap. Big sheets of sticky lacings on the glass. Sweet toasted malt with prominent nutty and floral hoppy notes. Oily smooth feel with pleasant carbonation. Sweet toasted malt and nut flavors through the beginning into the middle. Sweet raisin-like fruity flavors through the middle and a taosty, nutty flavor and floral hop bitterness into the finish. Very unusual. Started off like a brown ale, but with bock-like character in the middle.

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

Pours a deep amber with traces of copper, off-white head, and rather fine appearance overall. Nose brings across some grapefruit and a toasty malt presence. On the palate the hops are quite assertive, as you may almost help yourself to thinking this is just an IPA. But then the chocolatey malt component speaks up, balances a bit, and you're left with a nice interplay between the two. On the finish, the hop bitterness takes victory over the malt though.

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Photo of PokerGod
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance- dark brown, looks thick, decent head and retention

Smell- very nice, doesn't smell like a brown ale, smells much more like an IPA. Very hoppy with a chocolate hint.

Taste- Delicious. I like it very much. Tastes like it's supposed to half IPA, half Brown Ale. Two of my very favorites styles. Hoppy and roasted.

Overall- I would get this again, for sure. I thought it was fantastic.

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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 rawfish
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clearly not your average brown, pours clear with a body the color of red clay with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Sandy colored one finger froth with decent retention and immovable stick on the glass.

Hop forward despite the darker color, pine and deep citrus on the nose, slightly grassy. Darker malts impart a sweetness of caramel and hints of chocolate. Nuances in aroma of woodchips, chewing tobacco and licorice.

Hop forward with citrus and pine, citrus is even a bit bright at times, orange with grapefruit. Malts are a bit sticky and barely enough to push back the hops, caramel with a slight roast and nuttiness. Warming alcohol appears during the drink and the aftertaste features a blast of bitterness at the same time becoming herbal and mineralized, I found this a bit unpleasant.

No residue after the bitter end, drink was smooth. Average body and carbonation.

A pretty good beer, more of a really malt heavy IPA or well bittered red than a standard brown. Hop heads be warned, harsh aftertaste with multiple facets being revealed at once. Comparable to Oskar Blues G'Knight, less sticky and w/o the high ABV..

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

*Nice little trade extra from mdfb79 and boy did I enjoy this brew.

A: Pours a light and bubbly hazel brown with some amber tendencies. Nice inviting 3 finger thick foam head that was a toasty tan color and cascaded down the glass.

S: Smells of nutty roasted malts that battle with a nice spicey hop aroma and eventually win over. Has a warm caramel and chocolatiness to it even...subtle but there.

T: Taste of deliciousness! I get this nice chocolaty nuttiness that is to be expected with a brown ale which is then blasted with a load of IBU's. Puts a real nice spicey pine resin on it. Citrusy even. A citrusy brown ale? Really...no kidding and it works. Odd I know. I guess in the way that chocolate pairs with orange?

M: Smooth and creamy all the way. I would imagine this beer is even better on cask.

D: Nice light and refreshing body with malt character and a nice hoppy bite. This beer has amazing range.
-What I mean by that, is it can satisfy malt lovers and hop lovers alike. This brew would be great under a hot summer sun and probably even better on a cold eve camping in the woods. Amazingly good. Probably the best Brown Ale I have come accross thus far.

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