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Bravo Imperial Brown Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Bravo Imperial Brown AleBravo Imperial Brown Ale
444 Ratings
Bravo Imperial Brown AleBravo Imperial Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by rayjay on 05-31-2007

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 444 |  Reviews: 128
Photo of Shaneb818
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Muddy brown color with a good amount of haze and some particulate in solution. Must be a well-aged batch. Cream-colored head holds at a quarter inch. Wispy lacing.

S: The barrel is forward on the nose, with big whiffs of seasoned oak and sweet bourbon. Thick brown caramel abounds. Bread crust and cocoa. Earthy hops are fading.

T: Follows the nose. Bread crust, cocoa, wave of dark caramel, treacle. The barrel eventually steals the show, bringing a wash of oaky vanillins and sweet bourbon. Oak tannins work hard to keep the overall sweetness in check. The finish is all barrel as well.

M: Thick, rich, chewy, coating. Slick and smooth. Warming. Gentle carbonation. Brush of oak tannins.

O: Fairly straightforward and hedonistic, if not a bit one-dimensional. But what's there is pretty damn solid. The barrel juice drives it, but it never once feels hot. It's another one of those Firestone beers that seems better suited for blending, but is somehow still pretty great on its own if you don't mind a heavy-handed approach.

 1,071 characters

Photo of gopens44
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Murky brown with red tinges, very thin beige foamy head. Nose is sweet overall, with cherry, vanilla and caramel dominating. Taste is equally sweet with just hints of cherry but big vanilla and caramel along with a coffee element. Finishes with an alcohol bite that hangs around in the rather dry aftertaste. Body is just North of thin, probably just about ideal for the style plus BA treatment.

 398 characters

Photo of hopflyer
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2017, batch 001, bottled 12/7/16.

Brown and orange color, almost no head. Lots of small chunky floaties.

Smell is sugary sweet and Apple. Candy Apple and caramel apple with a little booze.

First sip is caramel sweetness and a decent dose of alcohol but not overbearing. As it warms, become less flavorful and more boozy. Maintains a faint sweetness and opens up some barrel wood flavor.

Medium to surprising lighter bodied, lower carbonation. A little boozy heat. A little sticky. Feels lighter as it warms.

Definitely can detect the whisky barrel but limited with offering many other flavors. A good beer for sure but was just thinking it would carry more.

 670 characters

Photo of rgk3
3.69/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Eziel
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HermitDan
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ThickNStout
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Boxed 12oz bottle from seavercm (thanks man!). Batch 001, 2017 vintage. Served in a Firestone Walker snifter.

Pours a murky mahogany brown with a half finger cap of ecrue head and a hearty amount of turbidity. The thin froth recedes to a fine layer before fading completely, leaving only a narrow rail and no lace in its wake.

Aromas of bourbon, caramel, grain, earthy sugar, some faint vanilla and a little tingle of alcohol.

Plenty of boozey bourbon is present right up front on the palate. Cooked sugar, vanilla, chocolate malt, wet wood, molasses, cereal grain, a hint of woodsy bitterness and a misleadingly subtle punch of alcohol.

Medium full body with a rather slick feel and light carbonation. The aftertaste rides a delicious note of bourbon glazed black and white cookies.

Firestone Walker has a truly outstanding brown ale. Bravo has incredible depth and remains dangerously drinkable. I hope to see this one again.

 936 characters

Photo of Furley80
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BEER88
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delicious with strong barrel characteristics.

45 characters

Photo of jason_nwx
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of chossboss
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of aasher
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of daem3384
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Photo of spoony
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a 355 ml bottle (2017 vintage) to a snifter.

A-The beer is dark, tawny brown with hints of red. There is no head, just a collar and a film of brown foam. There is no carbonation visible, either. It looks like a BA brown ale, which is good I guess.

S-The aroma is heavy on the booze and pretty sweet, too. I sniff some dates, figs, prune, hints of cocoa, brown sugar, and a healthy alcohol burn. This is not a beer that hides its ABV.

T-The taste tracks the smell for the most part. There is quite a bit of alcohol heat and moderate sweetness. I am tasting less fruit than I smelled, and more molasses, burnt caramel, and oak is present on the palate. There is still some dark, dried fruit in there but the sweetness is not overwhelming. After it warms I pick up a faint, leafy hit from the hops.

M-The body is medium in heft with very little stickiness and moderate carbonation. This makes a good sipper.

O-This is a pretty enjoyable beer. Firestone certainly knows how to work with barrels and this beer is no exception. I can see how this would make a good blending beer and I would probably buy another bottle for winter consumption when I was in the mood for something heavy, but did not want a stout or barleywine.

 1,231 characters

Photo of Rristow
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from bottle. Pours a slight hazy ruby brown with off white head. Huge robust aroma. Lots of molasses, caramel, toffee, nutty, dates, raisins, bourbon, cocoa. Taste is moderate to heavily sweet. Flavors similar to aroma with some more bourbon and earthy notes. Hides ABV incredibly well. Just an excellent beer.

 317 characters

Photo of cdwil
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DanGeo
3.19/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of sjones5045
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mikexw
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of chefbigjon
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of FirstInLine
3.43/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On draft, clean brown with minimal head. Smell is harsh and boozy, bourbon is definitely there, in a big way. On taste, the alcohol presence is overwhelming. There are hints of the base beer, washing my tongue and relieving my palate with sweet brown sugar.

 257 characters

Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Didn't check the ABV until after a small swirl in my mouth and a swallow. I knew it was heavy with the ABV but in all honesty the brew has been done very well and a lot more tastes came through than just the high ABV that can be overwhelming if not done well. Really nice sipping beer and I am really glad this didn't come in a bomber!!!!

 339 characters

Photo of _nickg_
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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Bravo Imperial Brown Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 444 ratings
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