Flashback Ale | Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

very good
522 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Flashback AleFlashback Ale

Brewed by:
Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
Colorado, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally brewed for Boulder Beer's 30th Anniversary. An India Brown Ale. 65 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-25-2008

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 522 |  Reviews: 283
Photo of rfgetz
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a beer of the month club...

A: Clear and deep copper tone, firm yet light head and good lacing.

S: Good balance of toasted and biscuity english malts and american piney and citrusy hops.

T: Good balance of toasted and biscuity and carmel english malts and american piney and citrusy hops. The bitter bite comes quickly with a nice english brown ale finnish.

M: Oily and slick, medium bodied

D: Good beer in its style. Nice overall balance with maybe just a touch too bitter bite.

 490 characters

Photo of MisterClean
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A - Poured a copper 1 fingered white head and dissipated fast. Left little lacing. Could have better retention.

S - Honey, nectar, and citrus. Not much nuttiness for a brown ale.

T - Honey, flowers, nectar, and light bitterness.

M - Light to medium bodied, well-balanced, and smooth.

D - Good. Not sure they were shooting for an American Brown as the smell and taste differed greatly from style.

 407 characters

Photo of aubuc1
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to a glass.

Pours a clear deep brown with a thick tan head.

Very clean, tight smell of citrusy hops with a roasty malt finish.

Lovely taste of hops mixed in with a roasty malty brown ale. Much like one would expect, but well executed.

Very glad to have tried this beer. All around quality beer that would be a great year round beer.

 359 characters

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

Pours a deep dark brown, somewhere between an IPA and a stout, a bit darker than a regular brown. Nice head and retention. Smell is a bit muted, basically some nice piney and slightly grapefruity hops. Smells like a hoppy pale or a muted IPA. Taste... this is definitely more dark IPA than hoppy brown. A lot like DFH Indian Brown, but I like it more. Resiny, almost leathery hop flavor, mixes very nicely with the dark malt. They dont compete for your attention. I can taste it on my throat still, lingers quite pleasantly. A nice treat to try, if not one I would drink regularly.

 581 characters

Photo of david18
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bar i got this at called it a dark ipa. Maybe it was the power of suggestion but it definately had enough hops to live up to that description. A very good beer that's not too high in alcohol that you can enjoy it in the afternoon. Not great color but the flavor is great.

 275 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a ruby color and a mostly clear consistency. There was a huge, foamy, long-lasting head and excellent lacing.

S: Smelled of caramel, malt and a nutty quality.

T: A nicely balanced taste of caramel, malt and hops, with that nuttiness. Gets better as you go along. Not exactly in keeping with most brown ales, but still tasty.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a slightly slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A drinkable beer. One of Boulder's better efforts.

 504 characters

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

This muddy amber beer poured with a slight amount of foam that reduces to little amounts of lacing. The aroma of the beer gives you a distinct malty beer with slight oder of hops. The taste is similar to the aroma however the tones of malt and hops. Slight caramel tones also peak through with the aftertaste.

 309 characters

Photo of pmccallum86
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a deep reddish brown with a thick creamy head. Good lace and retention in the glass as the beer slowly makes its way to my stomach.

It first hits with a chocolate biscuit flavor, I know there is more there I cannot be sure what it is, very complex flavor. It finishes with a nice hop character and also tickles the tongue with heavy carbonation.

Definitely a good brown ale, one of the better one I have had actually. If you like a hoppy brown ale you owe it to yourself to give this a try.

 508 characters

Photo of Onenote81
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a bottle of this at the Grapevine while driving through Fort Mill, SC. Poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a burnt amber/orange with a large 2-finger light tan head. Excellent retention leaves some spotty lacing as well as perfect sip rings. Smells of toasted breads, caramel malts, and a slight pine twang on the finish.

The mouth is crisp and firm. Flavor is nice and bitter, but with a soft sweet finish. I'm getting some nice caramel notes, but can tell this is an 'India' Brown by the moderate citrusy hop flavor as well. This beer is not harsh in any way at all. I could drink one after the other. I really dig this style, and this is no exception. Recommend.

 680 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Perfectly clear mahogany. Glows. Good sized bubbly beige head with a lot of stick to it.

Aroma: Nice blend of warm biscuity malt and brown malt plus grapefruity citric hops.

Taste: Solid base of biscuit and chocolate malt. Slight pine and also some citric hop notes. Interesting blend of flavors and definitely pleasant enough. It's not in your face and that is good in this case.

MF and DK: Medium to medium-full body. Light carbonation projects warmth and ease of drinking. A nice little bitterness lingers. Alcohol isn't noticeable. Cheers to a brewery that doesn't need to make a quadruple IPA or an Imperial Imperial Stout for their anniversary....not that there's anything wrong with that.

 711 characters

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.31/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear/translucent dark amber in color. A little bit of a frothy, thin head. Plenty of nice lacing left on the side of the glass.
Smell is caramel malts and some hops. Some spice, but mostly just subtle hops. Taste is bittering hops, and some malt, but not too much going on here at all. Incredibly easy to drink and has a decent mouthfeel.
Average beer. I was hoping for a bit more out of an anniversary beer. I wouldn't necessarily call this a brown ale. More like a pale.

 481 characters

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

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Samuel Adams glass. The color was a rich amber color with a moderate but creamy tan head.

Smell was sweet and malty. Peppery. Later alcohol was evident. No traces of Cascade hops aromas.

Taste was citrus rind and caramel maltiness. There was a nice lingering bitterness. A bit syrupy. Chocolate malts/cocoa bitterness. Interesting.

Mouthfeel was medium in heft.

 404 characters

Photo of Drew966
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

30th Anniversary Flashback Ale pours a copper color with a thick tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is citrusy hops. The flavor is very nice, lots of nutty and malty flavors up front with a nice citrusy hop finish. Quite tasty, very well done.

 261 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a deep crimson red with a brillant clarity. A two finger frothy and bubbly head sticks around for awhile with a stratified ring lacing. Visible effervesce was light and lazy.

S: a citrusy flower and pine hopping along with a dried toasted malting. Overall light I strength and only gets progressively worse.

T: A nice maltiness with a wet citrusy sour tang accompanied by a booziness of dry bourbon. A burnt nuttiness and roasted grains deliver a dry palate. The hopping was wet and sour citrus, pungent and bitter on the finish with a dry bourbon booziness wrapping things up. I can see where they were going with this, trying a hoppy brown to the likes of dogfish head,, but the flavor and individual characters of each became muddled in the process with no distinct character, just a hodge podge of boozy grains and sour citrus.

m: slick and smooth with a medium viscosity with almost no carbonation detected. Overall was ok, but really didn't impress me either way.

D: The booziness, even though its labeld at only 6.88abv distracted, the malting and the hoppiness muddled together not giving a real sense of quality to either one. A little boozy for multiples, decent by itself flavor wise but a weak nose and average mouthful brings this down a few, but don't be afraid to give this a try.

 1,312 characters

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

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top with a nice little ditty about the beer on the label; best-by date marked clearly

Appearance: Really pretty dark walnut beer, great clarity, with a soapy, light tan head which soon fades to a thick bubbly film with good staying power and some great lace.

Smell: From a good 18 inches away the hops are already calling to me...really really nice fresh piney goodness...the hops are supported by nice toasty dark malts...notes of sweet dark caramel and touches of (cocoa powder?) and biscuit predominate...overall quite nice

Taste: This is pretty unique. The hop presence predominates up front, with juicy, fruity, and slightly resiny flavors; bitterness is medium and not out of balance; the malts aren't actually as accentuated as I expected from the aromas...there are nice (light) bready flavors and maybe a touch of cocoa powder as the beer warms

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied; not too heavy

Drinkability: On the high side of medium

Conclusion: Still not one of my favorite styles by any means, but this is pretty tasty, the hops are juicy and delicious; the brew's impecabbly balanced and it's nice for a change of pace from IPAs...if the malt flavors matched (or approached) the malt aroma this brew would be even better...still, it's nice for what it is, which is kind of reminiscent of what a barleywine "light" would be like.

 1,368 characters

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.

 496 characters

Photo of jjanega08
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= dark brown or a deep amber color with a nice one finger head that holds up with some retention and pretty good lacing.
S= great citrus hops are very grapefruity with some carmel malt buried deeper within.
T= interesting combo of hops and dark malt. Almost chocolaty with a nice hop bitterness and a great grapefruit finish. Great balance.
M= smooth with low carbonation.
D= great. Really nice well rounded beer. Really nice balance of some more extreme flavors.

 464 characters

Photo of pwoods
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. brown bottle, purchased at Party Source, poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a woody brown with some ruby tinting. 2 finger head forms and holds for a bit before leaving. Some spotty lacing.

S: Pleasantly sweet malts with an added touch of alcohol and wood. Some green hops in the back.

T/M: More of the light touch of alcohol and some woody, fiberous, peaty notes. Plenty of light caramel with some toffee and thin chocolate. Some hops to balance but that's all. Body is medium full with a somewhat creamy feel.

D: Pretty drinkable but a little uninspiring for an anniversary beer. I do like the somewhat woody character.

 635 characters

Photo of JRed
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep red, almost brown with large fluff head. Smells heavy: molasses, spice, pepper. Tastes of roast, spices, hops, maple, prunes. Medium bodied that is powerful on the palate. Definitely seems stronger than it is. The low ABV on such a rich beer is not the norm for American brew but I respect it. The only downfall for this beer is that the syrup and spice rubs me the wrong way toward the end of the drink.

 415 characters

Photo of TrevorGW
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a stemless wine glass. Deep chestnut color with ruby red hues peeking through the glass.

Aroma is nothing crazy. A mild coffee with some faint herbal notes.

Taste is bigger and broader than expected. Milk chocolate and grilled mushrooms from the malt, followed by a fierce attack from the hops. The best of both worlds. Bittersweet cocoa dominates and lingers. Only cascade hops were used (in five additions) ... a bold choice that pays off.

Rolls smoothly off of the tongue before the bitter flash at the finish. Loose on the carbonation, letting the flavors reign. This beer certainly resonates and deserves to be enjoyed slowly.

 647 characters

Photo of unclecrappy
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i just picked up a sampler case from Boulder, and was pleased to find this was the mystery beer, mixed in with Mojo, Hazed and Infused and Sweaty Betty. That's a score!

BA classifies this as an American Brown Ale, and it looks the part, pouring a dark, DARK red in the glass, under a thick tan head that clings forever. After that? The folks that describe this as an India Brown Ale are right on the money. The aroma is a curious, wonderful mix of sharp, dry hops and a rich, malty sweetness. That continues with the first taste; the caramel maltiness comes first, but it's followed quickly by dry, bitter hops. It's a fabulous mix, and one I wish I could find more frequently. The drinkability is limited only by the very dry finish -- have a glass of water nearby if you're having more than a couple.

As is this is pitched as Boulder's 30th anniversary beer, I'm guessing we won't see this beyond its current release. I'm glad I got to enjoy a few of them while it's still around.

 984 characters

Photo of 1fastz28
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a deep red copper color with a decent head and has some nice lacing, i think i see a puppy! anyway, the scent is of roasted malt, but that it, its not a very strong or distinct aroma. taste is average, it has a nice malty flavor to it but nothing that really stands out as special, maybe i have an older one cause other people really like this one, but i'm not super impressed.

 383 characters

Photo of PaleAlien2
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been excited to try a beer in this style for a while (India Brown Ale) and this one did not disappoint.

Looks like a Brown Ale, almost reddish amber in color with a two-finger tan head. A little cloudy.

Smells very nutty, malty.

Taste is a great hybrid of the two styles. It has the caramel malt of a brown ale and the hop bitterness of an IPA. So good. It's actually quite bitter, so much so that it surprised me.

Great medium-heavy body. Almost perfect. nice carbonation and a nice dry finish.

I downgraded this a little in the drinkability department just because it is so bitter I don't think I could really drink too many of these before I fried my palate.

Other than that, wow. One of my new favorites.

 722 characters

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

The appearance is clear, with a nice, brownish amber-red color. Bubbly light brown head.

The aroma is serious sweet grapefruit hop right off the bat. Brown nutty malt balances. Hops turn bitter with a piney twist. Really hoppy but not one-dimensional.

The taste: malts are dry as an amber, but slightly nutty like a brown. Very bitter on the back end, but in the woody hop and the roasted malts.

The feel is smooth and oily; creamy and perfect for style. It's a damn good beer. Hoppy, yet balanced.

 501 characters

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.

 1,573 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

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

    Learn More