Bracia | Thornbridge Brewery

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
158 Ratings
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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.

Added by tempest on 04-16-2009

BEER STATS
Ratings:
158
Reviews:
46
Avg:
4.22
pDev:
10.43%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
24
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 158 |  Reviews: 46
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Lakeview Liquors. A stout and a mead. Black with a bubbly head. New Zealand honey is a noticeably premium honey and here. Lacey. Wickedly Smooth mouthfeel. Chestnuts, a bit intense flavour in the finish. Good drinkability, something unique and special.

 264 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

 731 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Knapp85
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -23%

Photo of nmann08
3.77/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of metter98
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a quarter finger high mocha colored head that quickly died down and left patches of bubbles on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of chestnuts in the nose along with hints of cappuccino and sweet honey.
T: The taste is quite complex and similar to the smell with flavors of chestnuts and honey. The nutty flavors become stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied, rich and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very well balanced and complex even though it is not a full-bodied beer.

 640 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.28/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark brown color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma consists of dry fruits with dry toffee notes are quite unique and quite strong. Taste is a strange mix between some dry toffee notes with caramel malt with some molasses notes with some light fruity ester and some chestnut. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very complex beer with maybe a tad too much going on.

 453 characters

Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

 313 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark 1 finger thick frothy and rich head, with some nice lacing, over pitch black beer, no light coming through at all, and thick enough to leave trace legs on the sides.

Nose is interesting, a toasty but dark malt aroma, plenty of roasted malts, some espresso, a bit of dark chocolate, a light toasty saw dust like aroma blended with some toasted chestnuts for an interesting aroma, light flaked oats, a hint of licorice and hint of harsh smoke, a nutty aroma, and just a touch of herbal hops.

Taste is rich, some roasted malts to start, fairly rich and thick but fluffy, a bit of espresso, chewy malts, quite a bit of smoked wood flavors, toasted saw dust, and light toasted chestnuts, a bit of dark chocolate, light caramel, hint of warming booze, light herbal hops, some flaked oats, a bit of chocolate milk and nougat, a light cinnamon and hazelnut, slightly sweet. Finishes with a bit more warming booze, some hot spices with cinnamon and nutty flavors lingering, hints of roast, coffee, dark chocolate, a bit of licorice, and more smoke on the finish.

Mouth is heavier, rich, smooth, some warming booze, and tons of carbonation to back it up, almost too much but it plays well with the fluffy and oatmeal demeanor.

Overall pretty good, the only issue I see is the peat smoke always gives it a weird flavor, the more beer I have with peat smoke the more I don't like it in beer (and I'm a peat-o-phile when it comes to scotch), but nice flavors otherwise, great dark malts, oats, light nuts and spices, chocolate and roast, the sawdust flavor I think comes from the peat smoke but not sure, which is also not the best flavor, if regular smoked malts instead of peat I think this would be an A.

 1,716 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of dcmchew
4.73/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

 1,218 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of millerbuffoon
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Tone
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black color. 1/4 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of anise/licorice, sweet malt, dry hop, hint of pale malt, hint of floral hops, alcohol, honey, and tea. Fits the style of an English Strong Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of dry hops, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, alcohol, honey, hint of hops, and tea. Overall, good appearance, decent aroma, blend, and body.

 452 characters

Photo of VeganUndead
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First things first - I've amended the style for this beer from American Imperial Stout to English Strong Ale, as this sure ain't no stout. Consumed this while watching improv at Studio Be. Served in a classy plastic cup.

A - Creamy and ample dark tan foam settles to a thick cap, leaving plenty of splotchy lacework. Body is black, although it was hard to tell if there was any coloration in the low lighting through the plastic.

S - Peat, smoked meats, cereal grains, pumpernickel bread, yeast, bitter nuts - predominantly hazelnut, and a hint of black malt. Evocative of honey-glzed ham. Very complex and unusual - almost Rauchbier-esque is some ways.

T - The taste has more semisweet chocolate and floral honey character mingling with smoked meats and peated malts. There's some light anise and espresso bitterness in the finish, as well as a touch of char. The Sorachi Ace hops actually make themselves known in the periphery, and there's a hint of red licorice as the beer warms up. The alcohol is quite well-hidden until this reaches room temperature.

M - Creamy, medium-full body, with smooth, chewy, and viscous texture. The finish is slightly dry with a mild roasty, tannic character to it as well. There's a bit of warming alcohol near the end of the 500ml bottle.

D - I've been in a English sort of mood, having had this and Courage RIS on back-to-back days. This doesn't have the brett character of the Courage, but it's got that well-attenuated dryness and quintessential English character to it in spades. Unique and somewhat hard to categorize - more of a smoked beer than a strong ale or stout, but with elements of all of them. I was initially slightly turned off by the aroma, but this grew on me quite a bit over the course of a half-liter (yes, I drank it all by myself). Pricey, challenging, but ultimately rewarding.

 1,843 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

 827 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.25/5  rDev -23%

Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -5.2%

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Bracia from Thornbridge Brewery
4.22 out of 5 based on 158 ratings.
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