Bracia | Thornbridge Brewery

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BA SCORE
4.23/5
Exceptional
BraciaBracia
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Thornbridge Brewery
England, United Kingdom
thornbridgebrewery.co.uk

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bracia is the Celtic name for a beverage brewed in Iron Age Europe with reference found on a Roman inscription at Haddon Hall, Derbyshire. Little is known about this except it was high in alcohol, brewed with cereals and, most probably, honey.

Thornbridge's Bracia has been infused with a generous amount of dark and bitter Chestnut Honey sourced from the Alpine foothills of North East Italy.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,229
Reviews:
52
Ratings:
169
pDev:
10.17%
 
 
Wants:
52
Gots:
22
Trade:
0
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 169
Photo of stevoj
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Bottle Shop- Druid St. Dark and smoky, near black with bubbly brown head. Aroma is campfire, taste is more stout-y, some chocolate. Warmth sneaks up and makes you glow. Once acclimated, this one rocks.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 1 pint .9 fluid ounce bottle into glass. No dating information found on bottle or label.
Opaque black body. Fizzy tan head settles to ring fed by bubbles. No lacing.
Aroma of dark fruit, caramel, licorice, coffee, a little chocolate, and sweetness. Peaty.
Taste is sweet honey, along with chocolate, coffee, licorice, toffee, and dark fruit/pear. Also bitter hops. Peat as it trails off.
Full mouth feel, somewhat coating, kind of hot.
A beer like a liqueur, lots of tastes involved, quite rich and heavy. Honey sweetness is balanced by the dark notes. I like the peat.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a blackish body with minimal tan head that sticks around. Aroma is basically dark fruits like figs/raisins/prunes and some sugariness which I assume is honey. Beer is sticky, strong and slightly boozy so you get noes of dark fruits, honey/toffee, and also minimal notes of dryness like nuts and bitter chocolate and/or coffee.

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Photo of drmeto
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

L:
-pours a dark brown with faint ruby tinges and a small to medium,foamy,beige head
S:
-chocolate,banana,coffee,fudge,molasses,cinnamon,licorice,leafy
T:
-coffee,fudge,nutty,honey,chocolate,spicy,cinnamon,caramel
F:
-light to medium carbonation
-medium to full body
-alcohol noticeable
O:
A fantastic Dessert Beer.Not too sweet, not too boozy.Perfect for Winter.
Fans of Imperial Stouts should get this.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From elcervecero. In Teku glass. Playing A Foretold Affair. Really nice roastyness, with chocolate, coffee and molasses. Important alcohol presence well integrated,not bothering but forcing slow drinking

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Photo of VoxRationis
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Decanted from a 500 ml bottle into a conical pint (I have a collect, just saying').
A: Opaque brown with being truly black; mocha color head which was 1/4 inch and persisted. Not much in the way of legs.
S: Dark malts, with dark chocolate, caramel, and toffee notes.
T: Black coffee, dark chocolate, and hazelnut. Bitterness, nicely balanced with malt.
M: Medium to full bodies; persistent effervescence.
O: Wow! Not inexpensive, but really an exceptional drinking experience. More for dessert than the main course. Gift it to friends who can truly appreciate it.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is a big beer we've got here. Very bold with roasted malts, chestnuts, and citrusy/sprucey hops. Umami. It goes perfectly together in balance in great complexity. The mouthfeel is thick and nicely carbonated. This beer is strong and made for special occasion. Take care of it.

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Photo of bshefftz
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Delightfully unique beer, I think due to the honey flavor. Not overly sweet, nice balance of honey sweetness and bitter-herbal flavors. Looks like a stout but defies categories. Will pick up again.

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Photo of Spike
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 500ml bottle.
L: Black. Even when held against a light, very little shows through. Just some faint, red edging. Two fingers of mocha coloured foam (lots of big, open bubbles) recedes slowly to a 2mm cap. Leaves a few bars of crema-like lacing.
S: Piles of dark fruit steeped in sherry.
T: Coffee, liquorice, Islay whisky, oak. Sweet malt and bitter hops are perfectly balanced
F: Rich & unctuous. Hint of creamy carbonation. Finish is dry, long and boozy.
O: Outstanding. At nearly ten quid a bottle, this is a "treat yourself to something special" beer. Fortunately, it makes the mark. Rich, warming, luscious, boozy. Definitely a sipper.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The first time I Had Bracia, I enjoyed its richness, but did not think I could stomach the price/quality ratio.
Yet, here we are again.
I am Looking at an opaque ale. Its nose is very dense and rich and full of coffee, chocolate figs and the rest is mostly malt. Tastes are largely the same with some hops making the presence known... but nicely. Mouth Feel is suitable, although I personally would appreciate fewer bubbles. Maybe I'll get that if a hold the rest for tomorrow. Now, that is one way to get my moneys worth !

Listed on the "1001", I suppose it deserves to be on the list since Thornbridge is an innovative crafter and the work that goes into Bracia certainly proves that point.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown opaque pour with a thin, bubbly, lacing ring.

S - Caramelized malt, cherries, some chocolate, vanilla molasses, oak.

T - Toasted caramel from start to finish with a subtle citrus nuance on the finish.

M - Thick medium, silky feel, very sticky on the lips.

O - Balanced and elegant.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The rare beer where the label does this the beer justice: aromas and flavors of capuccino, marzipan, hazelnuts, chocolate (very nutella flavored), orange peel, peat finish. Wildflower honey. Pours like a porter almost, a bit more red / brown, with a rocky tan head. Feel is creamy, velvety. Absolutely incredible.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, opaque in the glass with very mild carbonation appearing only as a khaki ring around the glass. Aroma of molasses, nuts, light caramel malt, licorice, hints of tart dark fruit, coffee and chocolate, interesting. Flavor is well integrated chocolate, molasses, dark dried and fresh fruit, lightly toasted malt, hazelnuts; finish is rich semi-sweet dark malt, hazelnuts, licorice and a hint of grassy hops. Excellent medium creamy body, very pleasant mouth feel. This is a very full flavored but superbly balanced strong ale. A lot of complexity in the dark malt, nut and fruit flavors, but none dominate. Rich flavor makes the ABV disappear. This is now in my top tier of English ales and one that I will be delighted to see again. Excellent and recommended.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thornbridge Hall Bracia has a medium, tan head, and a black appearance. Lacing is minimal. The aroma is strong- dark malt, coffee, chocolate, coal, sweet black bread, dark fruits, and some licorice. Taste is strong, too, and is of all those elements, with bitterness from the burnt malts, cream, and booze (cream sherry?). It uses honey, but we didn't pick that up. Mouthfeel is thick and velvety, and Thornbridge Hall Bracia finishes semi-wet and warming from the high abv.

RJT

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Photo of heygeebee
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

True to style English Strong Ale... A la amped up Old Peculiar. All treacle, burnt toffee, and in this instance you can taste the added honey. Quite warmly alcoholic. All very dry tho on the finish, which lessens drinkability.
One of those beers you can appreciate the complexity without necessarily enjoying the taste,

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks pretty stoutish..black with a small tan head, poured slowly. The lacing is pretty impressive.

The smell is big time, umm, roasty, nutty, chocolaty, smell some licorice, coffee..yummy.

As bold as the aromas permeating my nosebuds are, the taste takes it up a notch. Hazelnuts and coffee abound, licorice is there but plays a minor role. This is really quite bitter and right at the end, I get a bit of a smoky character.

It's not overly heavy in the body. More like what I've seen mentioned...velvety smooth. Spot on carbonation.

This just plain blows me away with how good it is and how drinkable it is. At 9% abv, there's no alcohol in the taste at all. Just a wee bit of warming on a morning, here in Casper, where it's BLOODY SNOWING and there was no warning. Cheers!

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Photo of brother_rebus
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

DARK. Smells maple-y. Taste honey up front and nut as F on the after. Which is surprising for a dark beer this dark. Bit of a boozy afterbreath. Trails off with a clovy/spicelike taste. Leaves chocolate taste in mouth. Overall pleased. Probably wouldnt buy again. Not because its not good. Just not my cup of meat.

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Photo of Child_Pugh
3.79/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

L - gorgeous, black, silky
S - Get a strange maple scent, very sickly sweet
T - much more bitter than the scent would indicate, hints of coffee and some maple after taste.
F - incredibly smooth, easy on the palate

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

9% ABV per the label.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy super dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, char, earth, molasses, smoke, and slight citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, char, peat, smoke, and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and smoke bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice mix of ingredients in the smell and taste, but the carbonation level on this one is a bit too low to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Marius
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark and roasted malts, chocolate and a bit of sour peat. Full bodied with a great mouthfeel. One of those beers I am grateful for having within easy reach.

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Photo of eric5bellies
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Drank from my Mane Liquor Tulip

A - Pours a thick Ebony colour with no light visible. The head is two fingered and tanned. It retains very well and laces.

S - Plenty going on with caramel, vanilla coffee etc

T - Wow so smooth. The vanilla and caramel are very prominent the finish is nice toffee notes and biscuit. Absolutely no sign of the 10% abv.

M - Full body and low carbonation. So very smooth indeed.

O - Well this is an awesome brew. I'm so very pleased its my 800th review. The balance in this beer is brilliant and the mouthfeel is perfection.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle served in an English pint glass.

A: Pours a creamy liquid with an oily black color. Forms a big, creamy and quite bubbled tan head. Good retention and lots of thin but quite molasses lacings in the glass

S: Very reach nose. Strong notes of roasted malts, honey, chestnut, chocolate, coffee and plums. Some citrus notes. Grassy hops and a bit booze

T: Perfect taste. Great bittersweet balance. Very complex. Sweet upfront with strong notes of roasted malts, honey, chestnut, dark chocolate, coffee, plums, raisins and orange peel. The end is quite bitter, a mix of roastiness and grassy hops

M: Creamy, molasses, smooth heavy body. Medium carbonation. Bittersweet aftertaste, followed by some citrus and grassy notes

O: Masterpiece

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Photo of BeerDrinker01
4.81/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

500 ml bottle served in a brandy goblet poured very dark nearly black with 2 finger thick mocha colored head. Aromas of Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Cappuccino, Chestnuts, Roasted Malts, Licorice, Vanilla, Peat, Taste is delicious chestnuts & honey with black licorice, Roasted malts, Rich bitter dark Chocolate & Cappuccino with a nice peat smoke flavor at the back. Mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation, Rich & smooth!

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Photo of dcmchew
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pitch black in color, one finger dark beige head, big retention.
Smells beautiful. Lots of dark chocolate and caramel, roasted malts, nuts, smoked wood, sweet coffee, honey, some faint licorice and citric notes. It's a rollercoaster, this should be great.
Dark ashy roasted malts, with lots of strong espresso coffee notes. Dark chocolate with a low lactose feel, sweet caramel, but mostly lots of licorice and honey, going down gently. Chestnuts are obvious and enrich the maltiness. Fruitiness is also present, with some nice dried plum and raisin, and a lick of orange peel in the back. Spices vary from vanilla to cinnamon to minty anise. A light peat also towards the end. The finish is A+, with a great complexity of hops, bringing lots of grassy leafy notes, but dry tobacco also, a certain dry green-citrusy finish from the Sorachi Ace, faint exotic fruits and overall a great bitterness (blends beautifully with the roast).
Low carbonation, and the mouthfeel is oily and chewy, perfect for a sipper, wouldn't have it any other way. Aftertaste perfectly sums up the brew, with the lingering sweet honey, the green hops, the roasted malts and a slight booziness.
This was really something else, one to remember.

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Photo of FLima
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep black color that completely shields light with a one finger thick caramel head with good retention.
Bold aroma of chestnuts, licorice, wood and roasted malts. Hints of earth and pine-urinal deodorizer.
Strong flavor of honey with lots of sorachi ace hops and chestnuts with notes of licorice, pine, whiskey and burnt wood. Hints of pepper, flowers and plums with peel. Dry and bitter aftertaste with a lingering hoppy, cappuccino and ash note.
Full body with low carbonation, smooth but also sticky. 10% ABV hides in its flavors.
Very complex beer with a unique flavor, all notes are potent, they come and go giving space to the next one. Thornbridge is one of my favorite’s breweries and this is an interesting brew to wake up your senses.

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Bracia from Thornbridge Brewery
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 169 ratings