Flashback Ale | Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub

very good
283 Reviews
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 Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 283 | Ratings: 522
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.

 494 characters

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.

 513 characters

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.

 345 characters

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.

 594 characters

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.

 307 characters

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.

 487 characters

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.

 456 characters

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.

 435 characters

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

 1,356 characters

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..

 1,140 characters

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.

 1,185 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours out as a light brownish colored ale. It had a decent head on it and gave a good lacing down the glass. The smell was very hopped up, not much else there really. The flavor was very hoppy too, mostly all hops much like a strong ipa. I wasn't really getting too much of the roasted malts. As I sit here I'm still getting piny citrus flavors. I liked the beer for sure. I'd say it worth trying.

 407 characters

Photo of mooseisloose
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A cool labeled BBC brew, let's give it a whirl. Popping the top I get a foam shooting out the top what's up with that I don't know but, onward. This brew has a big black licorice and brown sugar scent with sweet malts. Pours into the perfect pint with a deep burgundy brown colour and a huge mostly small bubble head that laces as it recedes. On the taste this brew tastes like it just came out of the toaster and has a big hop bite, the virtual double whammy. Taste starts both with roasted malts and a bitterness but it quickly transitions to a sweet ale with chaulky biterness around the edges, then finishes with a bitterness in the aftertaste that might go into tomorrow. Mouthfeel is not silky smooth, but not over carbonated, and with everything going on, that silky smoothness is irrelevant. This is a very complex and flavorful selection, ideal to be consumed by the tired, poor and huddled masses. Good job BBC, keep up the good work.

 944 characters

Photo of Gatch
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep amber with a slightly bubbly, off-white head that recedes quickly.

S - Roasted malt, brown sugar, dried fruits.

T - Sweet malt, lightly roasted coffee, a hint of burnt cedar that is pleasant, and a bit of alcohol. Very nice.

M - Slight carbonation that sizzles throughout but the finish remains smooth. Gets better as it warms. Sweet and smooth.

Nice roasted character that's expected from a Black Ale.

 415 characters

Photo of shand
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic.

The label calls it an "indian style brown ale", but there's nothing brown about this one, this pours much more of a deep red color crested by two fingers of off-white head that retain and lace quite well. The aroma is quite hoppy and citrusy, balanced by a light hand of brown malts and a touch of maltiness. The taste is much closer to that of a well-balanced IPA as opposed to a "black IPA," the hoppiness is definitely forward here with a pronounced citrus aspect. The malts are only a touch more prevalent than the average IPA, with a little bit of pronounced nuttiness on the finish. It tastes good, that's for sure.

The mouthfeel is a bit thick and well-carbonated, and the drinkability is very good. Another great hop-forward brew from Boulder, I'm finding they really have this whole hop business down pat.

 857 characters

Photo of VMWhelan
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tumbler.

Pours a reddish brown with one finger of white head.

Smells of brown malts with some light fruity hop aroma, and a little bit of a sweet caramel aroma.

Taste is that of a sweet brown ale, but with a more pronounced bitterness. American floral hops come through well in this one.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with medium carbonation. Leaves the palate dry.

Drinkability is decent. Not necessarily my favorite Brown, but I enjoyed it.

 479 characters

Photo of Shrews629
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - This beer poured a mostly clear light brown/copper/orange color. The head was very frothy and rocky. Egg shell color. Very thick and bulbous. Had some very nice retention and left some nice lacing also.

Smell - A very mild citrus aroma (grapefruit). A more robust, dark, earthy tone seems to dominate the nose. Smells similar to a caramel apple. Lightly sweet undertones. A toasty biscuit hides in the backgound for a little extra complexity.

Taste - The taste provided more of the caramel sweetness than the aroma. A nice hop bite jumps out. The citrusy flavor is letting itself be known, but not getting in the way of the toasty biscuit and caramel. Somewhat of a "woody" flavor also.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel. Nicely dry and smooth. Leaves a pretty good amount on the palate, but not a whole lot. It's even somewhat crisp.

Drinkability - This is a pretty solid beer. Nothing outstanding, but easily drinkable. The beer is not as balanced as some others, but still a pretty good showing. I could handle a couple of these during one setting, no problem, but I might move on to other things if they were available.

 1,139 characters

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

Pours a Dark Amber brown with a hint of red. Nice think foamy head that dissolves quickly, but leaves lots of nice lacing.

Aroma is mostly Nut and Carmel and pine hops.

Taste is similar to the aroma with lots of nut and caramel malt and finishes with a mellow pine hop that gives it a bitterness at the end.

Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

Overall an enjoyable beer with a nice complexity that keeps it tasty and interesting.

 453 characters

Photo of ZeroSignal
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, produced 12/10, poured into DFH Snifter

A - Dark amber pour with about an inch or so off-white head. Retention settles to the edges and a thin skim; loose lace.

S - Has the malty, yeasty and nutty notes typical of a brown, with a heavy dose of hoping taking on earthy and peppery notes.

T&M - Taste follows much of the nose; yeasty nuttiness combined with a substantial hoping that has an oily feel with a peppery bite. Malt is also substantial with caramel and roasted notes. Thicker body with a bit of a heavy feel; light carbonation.

O - Hard to place style wise, but I like the label on the beer as an India Brown better then the American Black Ale descriptor given. The base seems to be a pretty decent brown with a heavy dose of hops...so India Brown it is. I'm a fan of browns in general, and I would happily have this one again.

 854 characters

Photo of Allpe45
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears dark reddish brown with 2 fingers of frothy off-white/tan head. It dissipates slowly, plastering the walls of the glass with sticky lacing.

Smells like earthy/grassy hops up front. with roast and caramel malts in the background.

The earthy/grassy hops come through in the taste as well, but they are very subdued by caramel, toffee, and roasty malt flavors. The hop bitterness does well to balance out the malt sweetness, but isn't prominent enough to really shine.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. There's a slightly sticky lingering mouthfeel but it does not last long. Finishes a bit dry.

 606 characters

Photo of chumba526
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears light hazy brown with a small light tan head.

It smells of grassy and citrusy hops. I get a bit of a toffee, coffee like flavor.

It tastes initially of citrus fruity. I get an orange and lemon like flavor. There is a strong toffee flavor and a bread like maltiness. I also get a grassy hoppy flavor. The beer ends with a bit of bitterness paired with a malty sweet flavor. A really well balanced ale.

The carbonation is moderate. It has a smooth mouthfeel.

The drinkability of this ale is pretty good. It is very smooth and well balanced.

Overall a great beer by Boulder. This is most likely the best beer I have had by them.

 639 characters

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

India Brown Ale bottle poured chilled into a tulip pint.

A deep rusty brown color with good clarity and 3/4 inch of ecru cap with lace that sticks well and bead that is tiny. The carbonation is visible in the beer moving at a moderate pace. The smell is toasty with light caramel aroma -I expected more hop aroma, but a pretty high roast odor is present with a slightly sweet yeast ester and mild fruit element. The feel is roasted with moderate bitterness from the hops and also moderately carbonated with a semi-dry middle with the roast and malt sweetness about equal w/ a slightly bittersweet/dry finish.

The flavor of roasted malt is balanced well by some piney hops and fruit accents from the yeast with a mild caramel malt flavor. The taste has a gentle coffee quality with the roast and subtle citrus from the hops, the mild toasted grain is flavorful and adds a slight earthy woody flavor. The taste of the hops and bitterness level does not become overly aggressive yet lasts into the finish as the brown has a dry ending. This was a tasty brown ale, but not as hoppy as some in the style - it has a good malt flavor profile and it achieves good balance. I found it to be highly drinkable and I would not hesitate to pick it up again.

 1,249 characters

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

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - dark amber, well-carbonated, nice head, good lacing

S - English-style hoppy and malty, some roasting action seems to be in there

T - true to the nose and rather bitter; not very sweet, malts first, then hop bite in the aftertaste

M - chewy and carbonated; coats the tongue, teeth, and throat

D - enjoyable, very well-balanced, right level of bite for me and is gorgeous to look at

 427 characters

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

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a clear standard pint glass.

Appearance: A clear deep brown with a nice one finger tan head. Dissipated quickly, but left plenty of nice lacing.

Smell: Clean and fresh (almost soapy) smelling pine and citrus hops, but some roasted malts can be detected beneath.

Taste: Hops are the main star of the flavor (as they should be with a dark IPA), but there are also surprising flavors of caramel-like malts and just a hint of sweetness. The finish is your typical IPA bitter hops, but not too dry or overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, well carbonated and crisp.

Drinkability: An easy-drinking dark IPA with a nice malt balance. Could easily session this one. Would like to try it on tap, or a cask version of this. Another winner from the Boulder Beer Co.

 803 characters

Photo of ItsTheLimit
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured, cold, from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Bottle stamped: March 2, 2011

A: Really nice, transparent body, somewhere between a root beer mahogany and a deep red. Nice, lasting off-white head and leaves great lacing throughout.

S: Carmel from the malt, but the hop aroma comes through as well. A little bit of citrus and grass, too.

T: Bitter cascade hops fade into a malty caramel backbone. Fairly balanced, with a dry bitter, but not overly bitter, finish.

M: Well carbonated, full-bodied enough to feel substantial, but light enough not to seem overly heavy.

D: Medium-bodied and easy-drinking here. Definitely something I could drink more than one of in a single sitting, even with it coming in at 6.8% abv.

Although I wasn't blown away by the taste or aroma, alone, overall this is a good beer. I can definitely see drinking this again if it was offered to me, or was on tap, but I wouldn't make a point to purchase a lot of it right now. Everything I've had from Boulder Beer Company has been solid, and this is nothing different.

 1,061 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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