Bravo Imperial Brown Ale
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Bravo Imperial Brown AleBravo Imperial Brown Ale
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American Brown Ale
Ranked #5
Ranked #1,000
4.29 | pDev: 6.99%
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Bravo Imperial Brown AleBravo Imperial Brown Ale
Notes: A single-hopped strong brown ale brewed using the hop variety Bravo. This beer is then aged for up to a year in circa 1990's used Heaven Hill bourbon barrels.
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Reviews: 168 | Ratings: 541 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2017 vintage tasted in a Rastal Teku from a 12 fl oz bottle on April 28, 2020. Aged in retired American oak bourbon barrels. I think this is the first vintage to see its own bottled release. Balancing rich toasty and chocolate malt flavors with a gentle balance of noble hops, Bravo is brewed to showcase barrel flavors with massive bourbon barrel notes that morph as the beer warms in the glass

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Photo of Tony210
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a medium brown / amber color, fairly clear, minimal head. Great malty aroma, lots of caramel, some toffee, brown sugar. Flavor follows nose: brown sugar, sweet caramel, toffee, molasses. Feel is medium bodied, carbonation adds to a creamy texture. Overall a really good BA brown ale, aged nicely.

12 oz bottle, 2017 vintage
4.25 rating

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Photo of Beers-es
4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep mahogany with a thin head of foam. In spite of my best pour, I couldn't keep a bunch of floaters out. NBD. Smell has lots of toffee and dried, dark fruit, with a touch of bourbon. Taste follows. Very complex and delicious.

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Photo of 5toutman75
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I LOVE the bourbon smell and character of this beer. I like it most in a thick stout, but in this brown ale it still holds great complexity. My favorite of the style if I’m in the mood for a high abv beer. The alcohol is well covered though, at least at this aging point. I am glad I have more and would love to taste a fresh one next to an aged one.

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Photo of BillRoth
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another an exceptional FW BA brew. Rich and smooth. A gentle but huge brown ale that benefits from awesome FW barreling! Rich, complex and rewarding. Caramel and chocolate with wood and vanilla. Don’t miss this one.

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Photo of Snowcrash000
4.69/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a cloudy, deep mahogany coloration with a medium, creamy head. Smells intoxicating of bready, caramel malt with a lovely sweet bourbon note and hints of toffee, vanilla, dark fruits and oak. Taste is a dominated by bready, caramel malt, a distinct but mellow bourbon presence and dark/red fruit: black/redcurrant, dates, fig, as well as hints of vanilla, toffee and an earthy oak note, with just a touch of licorice and peppery spice. Finishes bittersweet, with a light bitterness and some dark fruits, bourbon and toffee lingering in the aftertaste. Full mouthfeel with a rich body and medium carbonation.

A fantastic Brown Ale with a lovely, mellow bourbon note that never feels boozy and a perfect balance of dark/red fruits, toffee and mild spice.

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Photo of gatornation
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rusty brown color with a thin khaki head. Smell has malts,dark fruit,bourbon and toffee. Taste follows nose with toffee,and dark fruit leading the way its integrated nicely with oak and bourbon . Mouth feel was very sweet with malt and caramel with detracted a bit from the barrel. Taste more like a blond barleywine than IMP. Brown. None the less a very good boxed FW brew.

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Photo of StrongBelwas
4.71/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Absolutely delicious. The alcohol is well hidden. Bourbon barrel aging is evident in a smooth and delicious beer. It doesn't get much better than this.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.81/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

De craftbeer-shop. En copa Teku. Viendo Los 100 5x04-05. Bourbon y madera perfectamente integrados en perfil de brown ale. Elevado abv da cierta calidez pero muy oculto en general

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Photo of cjgator3
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle kept in the signature Firestone Walker box for its barrel aged beers, poured into a snifter. 2017 vintage.

Lots of barrel on the nose, sweet malts, caramel, oak, and bourbon. The taste is sweet and boozy, both the sweetness and warming qualities lingering well into the finish.

This bottle is about two years old and still pretty hot and boozy. Very good but I would recommend letting age a few more years to smooth out the edges.

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Photo of larryi86
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, 2017, poured into a tulip

A- Brown with hints of ruby red and a small off white head.

S- Caramel, toffee, oak, vanilla, some bourbon, a little earthy.

T- Caramel, toffee, vanilla, some dark fruits, oak, some bourbon, a little earthy.

M- Smooth, medium to full body.

O- A very nice barrel aged brown ale, well balanced.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown color, some red in there. Small tan head.
Caramel aroma, vanilla, booze, a little bit of fruit.
Ditto taste. Caramel, vanilla, bourbon.

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Photo of Dentist666
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2017 vintage.
Pours dark copper beer (tad lighter than brown ale should be) with floaties, 2-finger beige head, moderate retention.
Excellent smell - caramel, vanilla, wood, burnt sugar, raisins.
Taste - boozy, oak, vanilla, caramel.
Full body, soft carbonation. Very spirituous and warming beer for sipping.

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Photo of brenn79
3.97/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, 2017 vintage- Pours hazy burnt orange with a lot of floaties, shouldn't have poured that last ounce.... damn. Aroma is toasted coconut, oak, booze, all the BA goodness that goes with a FW BA beer. The taste is toasted coconut, toffee, caramel, bready toast, boozy. Overall this is a fairly weak entry in their phenomenal BA program, but it is still a world class beer. That's saying something.

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Photo of puck1225
4.11/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had a bottle of the 2017 vintage. Poured into a tulip glass. Clear dark brown color with thin beige head and little lacing. Strong boozey smell and taste. Dark bread and chocolate. Very nice with cheese and crackers.

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Photo of Viaduck
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2017 vintage. Brown in color with a light tan head. Very boozy aroma with a sweet scent of caramel. Fairly sweet, slightly salty with a hint of bitter. Rich complex flavors: chocolate, bourbon, caramel, vanilla, barrel flavors, all blended together perfectly. Medium body & silky smooth. Fair amount of alcohol heat. One of my favorites, just as great as parabola.

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Photo of dafla67
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours dark brown; aroma is caramel, malts and hops and some bourbon; the taste is a tad bit boozy but is balanced with the malts, brown sugar and hops. Feel is medium. Awesome brown ale.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown varnished edges verge towards a solid black center with a thin but creamy tan blanket.

This one has a real dry woody aroma with toasted caramel and a touch of astringency, as though from hops.

Flavor is semi-sweet caramel and toffee with a charred bourbon oak and a hint of piney-orange hops.

The medium-thick body has a mild carbonation and a cotton dry finish.

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Photo of rand
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass

Brew has a murky, rusty, red-brown appearance with a ton a suspended year. Any attempt at a head formation is nullified by its own weight.

Oaky, sweet bouquet with hints of molasses, burnt sugar. Plenty of booze.

More layered on the palate - molasses and caramelly notes are there, but phenolic nuances, nutmeg and cinnamon, and towards the back of the sip, and nice hop twang. Long, lingering, sweet finish.

Another solid offering from the barrel-aging masters at Firestone. Takes all of the tasty aspects of a nutty brown-ale and ramps them up, rendering a brew that's far more interesting.

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Photo of Avitra
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A tad too sweet, and not as balanced as I usually like my hard beers to be. Having said that, pretty good altogether. Lots of both winter and summer fruit. A little tanginess right at the lingering end (but not enough), and definitely hides the booze well, what with all the sweetness and all. Not unlike the Kasteel triple or similar, tad too sweet, not balanced enough hard beers.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 12/7/16; drank 10/25/17 @ the Yarchives.

Opaque purple/orange/red appearance.

A violent pour yielded a small khaki head; decent lace.

Oak, brown sugar, caramel & faint bourbon notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Brown sugar, caramel & oak flavors up front; faint bourbon heat on the finish.

Sweet dessert vibes here; not straight up my alley but enjoyable.

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Photo of NathanBeets
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 12/6/16. Consumed on 4/19/18.

Pours a light brown, caramel like. Minimal off white head. Look in the glass is a murky brown.

Scents that I am getting are bourbon, caramel and dark fruit.

Some nuttiness, lots of booziness and caramel on the flavor profile.

Creamy mouthfeel with some heat on the back end.

Awesome brew!

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Photo of Zythophile
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Date: 2017
Palate Contaminants: other beer

The color is a translucent mahogany. There's some light tan head, but the carbonation isn't particularly fine.

Smell has tons of molasses. Cola is buried somewhere in the background, and it also has a butter-like character. Cloves, with light cinnamon. There's a little room for more complexity, but the intensity and richness of the scents are very good.

Unfortunately, the taste isn't up to the flavor. The molasses are still there, but the cloves really take over. There's black licorice, too. And is nut husk a flavor? That's what pops into my mind. The dynamism in the scents is missing in the taste. Overall, sweetness is light-moderate. Also, the level of bitterness is unexpectedly high for me. That drags it down. In short, the flavors are mostly there, but the whole is less than the sum of the parts.

It's a bit thinner than is usual for the type. Carbonation is pretty well integrated, and the alcohol is very subdued for a twelver. If molasses was the smell and clover was the taste, then anise is the aftertaste.

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Photo of ovaltine
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Milk chocolate brown on the pour, with a sandy tan head. The barrel is VERY prominent on the nose, along with oak notes and abundant chocolate aromas.

The taste has the milk chocolate first, and there’s also a significant hop presence, then the barrel notes on the back end. The feel has a creamy component that is most excellent. This beer is a joy to drink.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Teku glass.

Look is a dark brown red with absolutely no head.

Aroma is vanilla, wood, and dark fruit.

Taste matches aroma. Lots of complex deep flavors.

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Bravo Imperial Brown Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 541 ratings