Bravo Imperial Brown Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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95 Reviews
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Bravo Imperial Brown AleBravo Imperial Brown Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
95
Ratings:
324
Avg:
4.31
pDev:
7.42%
 
 
Wants:
50
Gots:
98
For Trade:
11
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 324
Reviews by jvillefan:
Photo of jvillefan
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

More User Reviews:
Photo of PicoPapa
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. Pours a dark brownish copper color with no head. Some lacing. Boozey, woody aroma. Oak, vanilla, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and molasses. The taste is Bourbon with brown sugar, molasses, wood, and earth. Caramel and brown sugar finish with more Bourbon. A big sweet with a big alcohol presence. Light floral hops notes. Lightly carbonated. Anything that comes in a box by Firestone Walker is worth buying and this is no exception.

 446 characters

Photo of Floydster
4.79/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter at the Blue Palms Brewhouse in Los Angeles for seven dollars, this beer is not retired, reviewed 11/14/08 from notes, it is an imperial brown ale and not a stout, it has sherry notes and not bourbon, and it is amazing

A-Deep dark brown with not much light shining through, though there is some red around the edges, miniscule 1/8 inch beige head that settles extremely quickly, minimal retention, no lacing
S-Sherry, hints of whiskey, grains, butterscotch, brown sugar, milk chocolate roasted nuts, dark charred malts, mild coffee, vanilla, oak, butter, cream, and tons of booze
T-Tastes starts off with lots of sherry and other mixed booze flavors, sugar and nuts made up the middle and provided some great texture, finish had more hard alcohol mixed with a great vanilla taste, this was served a little cold at first, once it really warmed there was a nice buttery cream taste in the middle that joined the malts, other breweries need to take a hint from Firestone and start using sherry more often, there is a bit of a port wine feel by the end but there is a nice brown sugar flavor, some cocoa that is fairly soft joined the mix and this was enjoyable to say the least
M-Hot with booze, sticky, spicy, and malty mouthfeel, medium bodied that was a little on the thinner side, nice low to moderate level of carbonation, taste lingers nicely with a bite
D-Alcohol is right up front and not hidden well at all but somehow this goes down with ease, light on the stomach for what it is, could have a few more glasses for sure, so so smooth

Being that it is the base beer of Firestone 11, I expected good things and I got great instead, this is better than the blend by itself in my opinion, if this stuff is bottled along with Parabola, the hype machine will be in full force, mark my words, such a great balance of barrel characteristics and a full body, would love to drink again, highly recommended

 1,924 characters

Photo of JakerLou
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of petewheeler
4.69/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of aquazr1
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ledouge
3.93/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of DrKarl
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 01001111
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of rack0flamb
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kevwcamp
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of InfernoBoss
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of WickedBeer
4.71/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

An awesome find and a thank you to my buddy Chris for picking it up for me!

Poured into a standard Goblet glass.

Look: Medium/Dark brown with a deep crimson hue. Poured about 40 degrees and got basically no head of foam, small bits of thin lacing to start.
Smell: very boozy, strong but incredible bourbon notes with complimentary notes of raisin and fig. Nice hop notes in the finish.
Taste: amazing profile here.. rich notes of raisin again, familiar notes of sherry with a great toasty finish that had a nice bourbon burn in the finish. As the beer warmed, kept getting richer and richer bourbon flavors and even a subtle emergence hoppiness in the finish.
Feel: medium body, not too thick but what you'd expect from an imperial brown. Sticky, sweet, and very satisfying.

An incredible beer! Fairly new to the West Coast, Firestone Walker is much more abundant and I was able to branch out to some amazing beers. I highly recommend, and will be keeping my eye out for other Vintage Firestones!

 999 characters

Photo of seavercm
4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of nkersten
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed with the style of Imperial Brown in mind. Pours a medium murky brown with red hues, small mocha white head with good lacing and retention for a 12.5% beer. Smell is bourbon up front, vanilla oak, caramel malt and a bit of bitter pine hops and alcohol in the background. Taste is sweet bourbon, coconut and vanilla barrel characteristics, caramel malts, a bit of tannic bitterness and alcohol heat in the finish. Where is the bravo? Mouthfeel is medium/heavy body and a light carbonation, sticky and a bit coating. Drinkability is good for the style, but if a brewery is going to showcase a super high alpha acid hop in a beer, make it a little more noticeable. I did enjoy the beer and would rate it pretty high among the imperial brown ales I have tried.

 764 characters

Photo of dertyd
4.61/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of socon67
4.16/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of leschkie
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of fthegiants
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MASPuros
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of Kegatron
4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Stone Brewing Bistro & World Gardens on 11/13/09 during their Firestone Walker 13th on the 13th event. Served in a snifter.

Pours a deep, somewhat clear, dark brown (just a wee bit of light is peeping through) with a thin covering of off-white foam. There is more of lightish look to the retention and lacing but the flare-up has a nice moderate look to it. Bourbon really comes out boldly here in the aroma, with some deep notes of burnt molasses. Fortunately, I'm also getting a get bit of the brandy too, as it gives off more of a dry and fruity feel. The Brown Ale is under there somewhere (with roast and caramel coming out the most) but the barrel blend seems to add most of the deep sweetness to this. Earthy tannic wood and some vanilla add a slickness to the nose.

The taste is pretty similar to the aroma, with burnt maple syrup and char mixing in with a flush of fruity cherries. Notes of vanilla and oak weave mingle in, giving this smoothness. This is just so sweet and sticky, with the flavor moving effortlessly in and out of each other. The finish matches this, being warm, syrupy, and sugary on the lips. The mouthfeel is full bodied; with a bit of a heavier prickly carbonation up front, giving way to a slick and more viscous feel underneath. This definitely wears it's ABV on thee ole sleeve, having an assertive beef to it, but luckily that anticipated alcohol sting never comes. Really steady sipper here for the size.

I'd really like to see more of these bourbon and brandy blends done, as I love how each brought a different type of deep sweetness to the profile, yet they still played off each other brilliantly. Really tremendous stuff here that was definitely up there as one of my favorites from a pretty outrageous night of Firestone Walker beers.

 1,796 characters

Photo of breadwinner
4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

In some ways, this is beer is all about the barrel - huge bourbon notes, bits of vanilla and molasses, touches of booze but impressively restrained for something north of 13% ABV. That said, if you look for it, you can find the brown ale beneath, slight hop character, sweet/chocolate malt too. Really cool stuff that manages to be extreme without being one-dimensional.

(Postscript: a giant kiss off to the whiny mouthbreathers who, somehow, are mad at Firestone for putting beers like this into 12oz bottles. This was a breeze to get, they are still available on shelves, 12oz is a perfect serving size, and I wasn't forced to drop $18 on a bomber I'll only drink half of because I had to share it with someone else because who the fuck drinks bombers of 13% beer alone? Oh, but price per ounce, blah, blah, blah! It's called opportunity cost, you selfish dicks. Sure, I paid an extra $1+ in price per ounce, BUT I STILL ONLY PAID $10. I HAD MORE MONEY IN MY WALLET AND USED IT FOR MORE BEER. What the hell is the issue here? No one can ever be happy, there's always something to complain about. Pound sand, you worthless sacks.)

 1,132 characters

Photo of beergorrilla
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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Bravo Imperial Brown Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.31 out of 5 based on 324 ratings.
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