Flashback Ale | Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

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Flashback AleFlashback Ale
522 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 522 |  Reviews: 283
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
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 JerzDevl2000
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Totowa recently because I love Boulder's beers and this looked a bit different from the Rocky Mountain hop bombs that I've been used to from these guys. No doubt about it, this is not their typical fare but upon first taste, I didn't think of this as being an American Brown Ale either. It's more bitter, stronger, and bolder than other beers that I've had of that style, but no doubt about it, this is quite good and a welcome change from the norm!

This had a very good pour to it - deep mahogany hue and a lot of head, with some lacing during the first few sips. The nose and taste are pretty identical - up-front caramel, nut flavors leaning towards walnut, molasses, a smoky wood taste, and hops underneath it all. This isn't a bock but the first sips of this reminded me of one for some reason, and it's not until the aftertaste kicks in that the alcohol and bitterness can be felt. I wish the mouthfeel was a bit thicker but somehow, this works without being the taste being too strong or overpowering.

No way this is a session beer but on a cool night like this, it's not that hard to kick a few of these back as the last of the leaves fall down. Even though this doesn't have any spice in it, a little bit of nutmeg or cinnamon would go well with this since it seems to have "fall beer" written all over it. While this isn't Boulder's best offering, I enjoyed this a lot and am glad they broke the stylistic mold that most of their beers (that are distributed in this neck of the woods) fit into. Worth finding if you're into dark beers with some oomph behind them!

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Photo of mwa423
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark amber with a tan head whose lacing stays through the entire glass. Points for clarity.

S - Caramel and lots of smoke. Very different from what I expected, because a "India Brown Ale" (so it says on the bottle) usually has a lot more hop aroma.

T - Lots of sweet malt, hints of different spices and an earthy hop aftertaste that really sticks to the tongue.

M/D - Mouthfeel is a bit above average for the style, but this is a very complex beer that I don't consider particularly drinkable.

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Photo of Risser09
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter - fridge - 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of thryn
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this beer is medium reddish-brown, with good clarity and a finger of tan head that quickly drops to a skin of foam atop the beer. Laces nicely. It looks precisely as one would expect a brown ale to look.

It smells very nice, with biscuity and chocolate malts forward and a nice resiny, piney hop presence. The hop character reminds me of Bigfoot a smidge. There is perhaps a hint of vanilla.

Good taste that doesn't *quite* live up to the nose but comes close. The hops hit first, then the malt asserts itself with some chocolate and bready notes, and the finish is bitter and a tad spicy.

Feel is a smidge thin to me. Low carbonation provides a tingle in the throat.

A perfectly drinkable India Brown. I'd like to do a side-by-side with Terrapin's ... but I don't have Terrapin's on hand. Alas.

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Photo of gatornation
4.29/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark chestnut color with a small head and little lacing..the smell is maple and nutmeg,brown sugar and honey..it smells great..the taste is the same its nutty malts and sweet malts followed by a nice hop profile..this is one tasty brown ale i put it up there with DFH and bells it has nutty caramel taste with a nice hop bite it is well balanced flavorful drinkable and yeah recommended

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +7%
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 ThreeWiseMen
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Crystal clear bronze body with a tall, khaki-colored, frothy top. The body shows off some light carbonation, and the head drags tons of goopy, cloud-like lace. Good retention too! Not too brown, but I realize this is a hybrid style. I like.

Smell: While I didn't get much brown malt out of the first two bottles, I'm definitely getting it now! Lots of brown malt and toasted nuts complimented by citric Cascade hops. The previous bottles really showcased the Cascades, but in this sample they're much more toned down.

Taste: Hop blast! This is one aspect of this beer that has remained consistent. Unfortunately, the Cascade hops totally outshine everything else. The nuttiness is there, but it's tough to detect (a little easier toward the end of the session). The finish is resinous and herbal, but also a little rusty. The lingering bitterness (which is solid, by the way) is also accompanied by some rustiness (along with some lighter nuttiness). I like this beer, but I think the two styles - IPA and brown ale - could have been balanced a little better.

Mouthfeel: Oily, malty, and thick. Carbonation is on the low side, but suits this beer well. Great mouth-coating produces a nice, long aftertaste. The only problem here is it's a bit too heavy.

Drinkability: Again, I wish the styles were a little more balanced; smelled like a brown ale, but tasted like an IPA. I also feel like this one is a little overdone. Five additions of Cascade hops is a bit much. Still, this was a good beer. Definitely worth the purchase.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

To be brief, basically a super-hopped brown ale... Single, twelve-ounce bottle just purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield... Was happy to see this one on sale singly after wanting to buy it at a previous time but only after removed from a holiday gift pack...
"India Style Brown Ale" On the yellow and purple front logo sticker... "Single-hopped with five additions of Cascade Hops" on the bottleneck along with a brief company history... Pours a deep-maroon, purple-brown hue... strong hop essences combined with malt notes dominate both the flavor and aroma although the overall taste and mouthfeel could have been a bit thicker and richer... Easily drinkable with a warming ABV and well-balanced malt and hop character...
Good stuff...

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Photo of Gyle41386
3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a reddish-brown color with a smallish off-white head. Retention isn't great, but some of it sticks around.

Very nice aroma for an indian brown. Equal parts hops and dark malt, with some nuttiness, and a light roast. Quite good.

Flavor starts out much sweeter than I thought it would be. Malty sweetness with chocolate and nuts. Unfortunately, there's a roasty bitter finish that tastes way out of balance to the point that it's unpleasant. I think the hop bitterness plus the roast is a tad too much. That said, the flavor grew on me, so I can't knock it too hard. Dry finish.

Medium-full body. Carbonation level is a little on the lower side, but it complements the body nicely. All in all, this is a pretty good beer, but it took some getting used to. After the first half of the glass, it went down easier.

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Photo of russpowell
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
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 photomike
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy brown with very little head to speak of, even with an aggressive pour. The color is pretty nice, but it is tough to rate this one very highly without ever forming a legitimate head. Some lacing from the little ring of foam though.

Smell is stale bread with some grapefruit hops. Carmel malts are present as well. Smells very dry.

Taste is indeed very dry. Bready malts are really the main flavor here with a lot of bitter hops with muted citrus. Grapefruit peel bitter.

On the light side of medium, this is nicely carbonated with a crisp finish. Not bad.

Overall, I don't get this beer at all. It's hoppy and crisp like a good IPA, but its also malty and earthy. This brew feels conflicted.

Middling at best, I am shocked at the A- rating this thing has on this site.

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Photo of grub
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sampled on tap at stub and herbs aug 2/09.

pours crystal clear dark orange/pale brown with a small dense tan head. the head drops fairly fast and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is nice. bit nutty. toasted multi-grain bread. bit of biscuit. cracker. hint of coffee and cocoa. grapefruit. bit of pine. light orange peel. a bit earthy. nice fruity component too. light alcohol.

taste is good. light caramel. bit of alcohol. toasted multi-grain bread. biscuit. bit of cracker. light pine. earthy. bit of light coffee. pecan and walnut. light english fruity character. just under medium bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. i'd certainly call it more of an english india brown ale, but it fits that title well. nice balance. easy drinking and interesting. good stuff.

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Photo of DVTO2
4.7/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like stout in the winter and IPA in hte summer so what could be better than this India Brown Ale for the Fall. It has a dark cola color with an adequate brownish head. The caramel malt hits you first followed by the crisp citrusy finish of the hops. A very satisfying blend of two distinct styles. Who'd have guessed this would be such a fine combination.

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Photo of WesWes
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a ruby red/brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a kick ass roasted and bisquit malt scent along with a very nice hop nose. The taste is great also. It has a wicked bitter hop bite laid over a base of roasted and bisquit malts. It's dry with some caramel character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tastey brew with loads of character. It's hoppy as hell with a great malt backbone.

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Photo of adamette
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live review. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle purchased at Heinen's in Willoughby Hills, Ohioa few weeks ago for $1.60 as a single. Poured into my Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale pint glass.

A Dark copper body under a light brown creamy head that leaves a minimal to moderate lacing. All of that looks good to me. 4.0

S Medium malt, amber like smell with minimal hops. 4.0

T Nicely balanced matl and hops with maybe even a light chocolate sense to it. 4.0

M It has a rather "big" taste as a result. 4.0

D I found the bottom of the pint glass without too much trouble. 4.0

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Photo of DanielDanza
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a drinkable beer!

The color is quite nice, pours a typical brown ale hue. This being said, Flashback is loaded with unique character which draws from the American IPA style as much, if not more than, the brown ales.

Hops are immediately noticeable on the nose as well as the palate. Esters are prominent, but nothing is overpowering. Hoppiness is real but balance is key. This is really a beer one could drink all night, especially at 3 dollars a bottle.

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Photo of wangbruins
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice deep amber with a one to two inch head with excellent staying power and good lacing

S- Cherry scents with some earthtones and a hint of chocolate

T- Bitter earthy taste with some chocolate that starts strong but finishes easy

M- Stong start that finishes dry with a slight bitter aftertaste

D- This was an impressive beer that ends dry so it made it an easy drink for me

I got this in a 12 pack from the beer of the month club that a buddy gave me. This months selection features four beers from Flying Dog Brewery and the Boulder Beer Company.

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Photo of Yeastcakes
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving notes - 45F, served in imperial pint glass.
A - Pours with a solid two fingers of off-white head with a billowing complexion with some rockier bubbles. Clear dark amber body with just a hint of haze.
A - caramel with some earthy hops.
M - Medium carbonation with some slight resiny slickness. Medium body.
T - Hops come forward of the malt in the taste, which is different than the aroma would have lead me to suspect. Some bitterness lingers on the tongue but gets milder as the beer warms. Some raisin notes and malt complexity emerge as the beer warms.
D - A bit bitter for my taste and could use some more malt, but a very interesting beer.

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Photo of soupyman10
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not really even sure what to say about this one - it hits the American brown ale style almost exactly on the head. Nice, well blended hops and malt, a touch of chocolatiness mixed in with nice fruity hops. Feel is excellent and this one's highly drinkable. One I'd get again right up - another good one from Boulder.

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Photo of dbossman
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Clear and amber/brown colored; it has a great, thick head with pretty good lacing

S: Quite the citrus and floral scent for a brown; the malt presence is also there--quite balanced actually

T: Quite the hoppy brown; this is a well balanced beer with a citrus and malty presence; the alcohol is a bit much but is masked well enough

F: Pretty even balanced in the mouth--though it is a bit watery on the way down

D: This is an interesting offering from Boulder--one of my favorites from them; it's quite drinkable--although the alcohol presence does start to overwhelm after a few drinks

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Photo of DeltaBrain
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My favorite watering hole here in Richmond just added this beer. Reminds me of some of my favorite beers of yesteryear, namely the big brown warmers, now vanished, like Potomac Rappahannock Red Ale and Wilmington Dergy's Amber. Seems to me this kind of rich nutty flavor profile is hard to find these days. Close your eyes and you would think this was a darker beer than it is. Nice amber color but BIG roasty. Well balanced for what is basically a hoppy stock ale. The brown-ness is the thing and you could hardly find a beer that offered more nutty toffee roasty flavor. I'd prefer it to be a bit less alcoholic so I could drink it faster. It pushes the limit on warmth and bitterness for this style of beer. I'd like to try it in a bottle.

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Photo of budgood1
4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out a slightly hazy dark amber/bronze/crimson colour with a thinnish head and sparse lace. sugary sweet aroma of figs, anise, cocoa, toffee and citric hoppiness. it really smells nice and layered. taste is a combination of the nose...lots of dark malt flavours...chocolate and caramel are dominant...toasty, roasty and a bit warming from a slight alcohol bite. the back end is full of citric hop bite that compliments the overall dryness of this ale. lingering bitterness. very tasty. the mouthfeel is crisp and sharp. overall body is seemingly light for a higher ABV beer, but that might be due to the mouthfeel and dryness. drinkability is very good. it fits the bill for me as an india brown ale. recommended.

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Photo of far333
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burnished copper colored with a frothy beige head of bubbles and lace that slowly settles.

Aroma of darkly toasted malt, toffee and faint floral hops.

Rich flavor of dark malt, root beer and licorice, some leather and smoke, assertive hop bitterness and citric and floral hop flavors, finishes with a cherry tart and tannic charred oaky bark, piney bitters linger. Pretty interesting and complex and ever-changing.

Sizzly mouthfeel, very tingly, dry and tannic, woody. Tasty and drinkable, good mix of dark malt and hoppy bitterness and lots of other flavor nuances.

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Photo of mothman
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
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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Flashback Ale from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 522 ratings
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