Flashback Ale | Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

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Flashback AleFlashback Ale
523 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: 523 |  Reviews: 283
Photo of BEERchitect
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
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 Rayek
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep copper with good clarity and active carbonation. The firm cream cap has nice retention and leaves a good amount of lace.

S: Heavy on the grapefruit, with some pine along for the ride. A burnt toast aroma resides in the background.

T: Malt has a burnt caramel quality. Bitterness comes on fast with a strong grapefruit and pine flavor that's held back just enough so as to not overpower the malts. Finishes with a lingering citrus bitterness.

M: The medium body is oily and slick. Carbonation feels about right.

D: A nice offering from Boulder. I'm glad I picked it up.

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Photo of Jayli
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear ruby coloring with a 1/2 finger of light tan head to it. Head recedes quickly leaving a film that retains for the entirety of the beer - spotty lacing left on the glass. Nose is of piney hops with a hint of chocolate and roasted malt backbone to it. Taste is of piney hops up front - definite spice here, intermingled with a roasted and almond malt... moving in to a touch of chocolate flavoring and finishing with some grassiness and hop bite. I've not quite had a brown ale of the fashion before. Great flavors and well blended and balanced. Medium bodied, medium to higher carbonation, thick and at times oily feel on the tongue then drops off for a dry finish. This is a nicely balanced beer that is worth sitting with for a while.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. no freshness dating, but this one is brand new. im excited because i love hoppy browns.

A- this one pours out a dark brown colored body with a khaki colored head. the head lasts a decent amount of time and leaves small rings of sticky lacing on the sides of my glass.

S- upfront theres alot of toffee and caramel malts. it comes off as pretty sweet. after that comes a healthy dose of citrus and pine hops. very nice.

T- as with the smell, this one tastes of sweet caramel and toffee like malts upfront. theres some nuttiness in here too. after the malts come the pine and citrus hops. decently bitter. well balanced malts and hops.

M- medium bodied with a sufficient level of carbonation. no trace of the alcohol can be found.

D- easy to finish and found myself wanting another. i bought it as a single this time, ill be going back for the full sixer next time. this is one of my favorite offerings from boulder. something i wish they would make year round, or at least seasonally. check this one out while you can, it deserves your time.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I finally took the bait after eyeing this one up for quite some time...

Pours a nice dark cherry color with a good inch of pancake batter thick head. Looks like a great beer! Nice and clean, clear and the color is beautiful.

Wow, smell is nice and piney and citrusy. Close your eyes and I believe you've got an IPA on your hands! There is a bit of sweet maltiness in the nose but not much, the hops defnitely dominate.

Taste is an interesting mix of sweet, caramel, maple syrup and honey mixed with citrusy, astringent, piney and floral hops. The balance works very well but at times the malt dominates and can be a bit cloying. Nonetheless, its pretty damn tasty.

Definitely a winner from Boulder, great job on this one. One day this will be a style unto itself..American Hoppy Brown Ale.

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

Poura a fairly light brown to copper color with a large tan head that had great retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. Definate Cascade hop aroma. It is an unusual aroma with the citrus and darker brown malt aromas combining. The taste is more IPA than brown ale. A lot of hop flavor, bitterness seems low however. A little chocolate and nutty characteristics briefly make an appearance before giving way to the hops again in the finish. Has a nice body and carbonation. Has a soft texture that enhances drinkability. A nice fusion of two styles, interesting but I don't think it will be the next big thing.

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Photo of peabody
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a very clear reddish to brown with two fingers of small faomy off-white suds.
Smell is IPA all the way with a very pungent hop aroma with a slight charred malt. Not much though.
Very clean taste with the hop bitterness being hidden for a moment with the sugary caramel initial flavor. The bitterness takes over and then the raisin and fruit flavor shine through for a moment then the dark aftertaste sets in.
This is not a bad beer at all and could be a great session beer.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Boulder Flashback is a crystal clear sparkling red ale with a dense, creamy, khaki head that has outstanding lacing and retention. The aroma is of fresh citrusy hops, like fresh-squeezed orange juice with a touch of roastiness. It's medium bodied; smooth but lively with a slightly caustic finish. It's well bittered with orange peel and green, leafy flavors. Chocolate and roasted flavors take up the rear. It's a little top heavy, but's quite drinkable and engaging.

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Photo of jwc215
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
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 beerhobo22
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at Flanagan's Irish Pub - Louisville,KY

Significant malt aromas with an earthy, spicy, hop character. Dark amber with tan head; poor head retention. Sweet malt flavors with late hop bitterness that mellows on finish. Good mouthfeel with a pleasant spice notes. Medium bodied but with a clean finish. Beer became more complex as the glass warmed up. Hop bitterness was more apparent near the end of the beer.

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Photo of Stunner97
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- thin white head with very low carbonation to be seen, amber brown in color, very clear to see through

Smell- Lots of malts, chocolate was the very first thing that jumped out at me, nose is highly sweet caramel and chocolate dominated

Taste- Very hoppy brew much more so then the nose leads you to expect, theres a very light hop presence but its a majority hoppy beer, it has a very nice finish of hop cascades, very nice long bitter finish, if any down fall I wish a tad more of the malts from nose came into the taste to really balance out the hops but still very nice flavor

Mouthfeel- Very creamy and smooth, very nice feel as it coats your palate

Drinkability- Overall a very drinkable and enjoyable beer, but dont get this one if you are not a fan of hops cuz its big bold and bitter, I wish malt backbone was touch stronger, but a definitely enjoyable example of the style

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Photo of BeerSox
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Hazy brown hue with a two finger tan head that never settles to anything. It just stays thick, pillowy, with large bubbles here and there. Solid lacing on the glass. There was one very large bubble which finally pops, leaving an atoll of bubbles in the middle of the glass.

Sharp brown sugar and caramel, maybe a bit of caramel, along with some strong citrus aromas.

Very smooth malt flavors, with a bit of cocoa, coffee, and caramel. The hops add a bit of bitterness, a bit of grapefruit. Maybe a bit of walnut in there. Full bodied, with high carbonation but it still feels syrupy.

This one is a winner from Boulder Brewery. A Brown Ale for the hop heads, but doesn't over do it. Tasty and somewhat complex. Recommended.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle.

A- Pours very nice dark brown which had no haze to it at all. 1/4 inch off white head brought down after a little bit leaving some sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. Nothing big but still a good looking beer.

S- Upon first sniffs I got a big sweet biscuit malts with brown sugar. Some fruit notes I picked up as well...can't realyl make it out though. Suprised by a big foral hop background that was pleasant.

T- I agree with others when they said it had a little off flavor to it during the first couple of sips but it did go away by the middle of the beer. Big biscuit tastes are the forefront of the beer with brown sugar undertones. Bitter hops start around the middle of the beer and don't let up till about 2 minutes after you dour it down the hatch. The hops take presence after the intial first couple of sips. This is hoppy for a brown ale.

M- Good overall mouthfeel. I would say medium body to it. The hops cover the palate in a bitter pine taste that stays after you drink the beer. Carbination in my bottle was a little off. Almost too carbinated but I got used to it by the end of the beer.

D- I really enjoyed this brown ale a lot. If I could find some more around town I would buy it up. Good twist on a old take.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Flashback poured a clear dark brown color with good 1-2 finger foam head and some sticky lacing that wasn't everywhere. The nose was nice with some brown sugar sweetness and biscuits. The taste had a little bit of an off flavor for the first few drinks then you didn't notice it. Strong malt back bone with good bitterness. In the mouth the back of your throat felt the ibu of the hops. Overall not a bad beer but the off flavor in the taste had me rate it a little lower than it might have been.

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Photo of ZAP
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Impressive dark brown....looks great

S-Some real nice cocoa notes and brown sugar coated almonds.... backed with a fresh herbal hoppiness

T-The cocoa notes again impress....very flavorful...heral hops blend nicely...

M-Medium bodied..firm carbonation.

D-I really like this one..glad I picked up a single to try....I've heard the India Brown Ale comparisons and I would agree....nice beer...

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Photo of hopdog
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Capone's.

Poured a deeper amberish/brownish color with a smaller sized off white head. Lacing left on the glass. Aromas of chocolate, roastiness, fruity, and some nuttiness. Tastes of chocolate, roastiness, citrus, and floral hops.

Notes from and tasted on: 6/17/09

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Photo of Natural510
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark crimson color with thick, dense head which takes a long time to dissipate. Exactly what you hope for in appearance for the style.
Malts smell sweet with dark sugar, and there is a surprisingly bold floral hop aroma as well.
Sweet biscuit malt with brown sugar and dark fruit overtones meshes with a strong piney hoppiness which leaves quite the dry, bitter finish in the mouth. The hops win the battle. Alcohol really starts to kick in at the back of the throat halfway through the glass.

If you like your brown ales hoppy, this is for you. Personally, I enjoy an easy-drinking, sessionable brown, but I can appreciate what they were trying to do here. It's described as an Indian Brown on the bottle, so perhaps it's supposed to be a mix between brown and IPA. Either way, it's a little unbalanced by the hops but still an interesting one-time offering.

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Photo of sevopie
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby brown with a tannish to light brown head. some lacing.

Slightly hoppy on the citrus side, and some grain in the aroma.

Hops jump out at you right away, with piney and grassy notes at first, with some grapefruit and lemon in the background. The malt mostly disappears on the tongue, but is there to add a touch of smoke, caramel, and a neutral grain flavor.

Somewhat light on the tongue with a heavy hand of carbonation.

The blend of hops makes for an interesting character on this beer, and I'm slightly torn. Its a good flavor for an intriguing style, but the piney notes are not my favorite of the spectrum. Overall, this is a step above most Boulder beers, but thats not saying a lot. Most things from them are sub-par to average, my one exception being cold hop. Decent, but unspectacular.

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

A: Pours a clear rusty brown under a small off white head. Nice lace and retention.

S: Hoppy up front, citrus and pine, with a decent helping of caramel and toffee behind it. Good aroma.

T: Again, mostly hoppy. More pine than citrus up at first, giving may to a more candied citrus, nice balance between the two. Caramel and toffee malt rears it's head again. Mildly bitter finish.

M/D: Medium body, about medium carbonation. Very good drinkability. Smooth beer, very tasty. A very solid beer.

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

Slightly hazed dark brown with a large two finger head. Very strong lacings with lots of bubbles. Aroma is brown sugar and earthy hops. Taste is citrus bitter hops with a very strong backbone of dark somewhat sweet malts. The hop character imparts a soapiness on the back of the tongue. Strictly rated as an IPA it falls a bit short. As a fairly unique Brown Ale I would say it scores much better than average.. Some hints of coffee and semi sweet cocoa. Very nice beer overall. Great mouthfeel. Not as sessionable due to the 6.9% abv. Good for a couple anyway. Nice and different beer.

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Photo of smanders
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the tap at Boulder Brewing while waiting for a flight out of Denver. An India Brown Ale? Interesting...

Appearance - deep brown with a khaki head. Nice lacing.

Smell - beautiful mix of sweet chocolate and spicy hops.

Taste - Wow! Very complex with malt and hops causing quite a battle inside my mouth. This really does taste like both an IPA and a Brown Ale. Amazing.

Mouthfeel - a little oily but with a dry finish.

Drinkability - I was really curious about this style and was really pleased I ordered one. Great complexity, amazing taste, and high alcohol (7.2% according to Shawn); what a great way to celebrate 30 years!

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

This beer pours a brown color with a reddish tint around the edges. The head is one inch in height, and recedes very slowly into a half inch of firm foam. The aroma is molasses, toffee, graham crackers, and a hint of roasted malt. The taste has all the malt goodness the aroma does with the addition of a significant hop presence. The hops aren't overpowering is a messy way like I have found in a lot of other India Brown Ales. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with nice carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a very nice beer that I would certainly drink again.

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Photo of JayQue
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had some nice Brown Ales: Palo Santo Maron, DFH Indian Brown and Legend Brown. This is a good one also. Pours a clear reddish amber with a huge off-white head that lingers for a good while. Thick sheets of ladder-like lacing. Smell is not that pronounced but sweet malts and piney hops are evident.

Good tasting and balanced beer. Sweet malt up fron with a hint of coffee flavor. Oily, piney bitter hops in the finish...it works!!!

Definitely not an IPA, but not a straight Brown ale either...a hoppy brown ale captures it just about right.

Mouthfeel is rich enough. Drinkability is good, this is tasty, smooth and complex enough to warrant a couple..maybe three. I like this one!

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The 12-ounce longnecked bottle poured into my Stone shaker pint glass yields a clear reddish copper body capped with a three-finger crown of glossy beige foam. The head is huge and persistent as it stands for minutes, towering above the rim, and leaves gravity-proof rings of sticky lacing plastered onto the inside walls of the vessel.

The smell is herbally hoppy with a potent green citrus bite. As the drink warms a bit, a dab of warm malty caramel and a note of navel orange rind joins the bitter-fruity vegetal hop-fest.

The taste is rich and chocolatey with a drizzle of bitter dark mocha-- just before the sweetness is swept away in alpha acids. Oily herbal hops spritzed with a twist of citrus zest dry the mellow, coffee-savory, dark candylike malts that own command of the flavor profile. Sticky bitter herbal oils linger in the aftertaste, commanding the drinker to take another refreshing swig and wash away the dusty dryness.

The drink is heavy-medium in body with lush, creamy feel and fine-bubbled carbonation. Like most everything else I've enjoyed from BBC, Flashback Anniversary Ale is well-made, tasty, and plenty quaffable.

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

6 pack purchased at Ramsey Liquors in NJ

Appearance: Dark iced tea color (brown) with a nice 2 finger slightly off white crown. Good retention and a superior amount of lacing!

Smell: Lots of cascade hops fused with roasted malt.

Taste: Lots of cascade hops fused with roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a touch chewy.

Drinkability: I'll give it a 4.0 because its refreshing and the hop bitterness makes you want more, but its medium bodied and a touch chewy.

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Flashback Ale from Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 523 ratings