Bravo Brown | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Bravo BrownBravo Brown

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

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Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 257
Photo of JHouse11
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another delicious offering from fw. I get lots of chocolate, coconut, and vanilla, and of course bourbon. Super tasty stuff, not a sneaky 13%er but could be sneaky if you're unsuspecting. Highly recommend and I look forward to trying again

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Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Incredibly rich and smooth and complex with notes of graham cracker, bourbon, coconut, orange marmalade, Grand Marnier/Drambuie cherries, raisins, toffee, apricots, kiwis, and a very buttery underpinning. The body is deceptively light, but there is a syrupy quality that coats the tongue, and helps to saturate the palate with perfectly balanced fruity goodness.

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Photo of Meow49
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perhaps one of the most complex FW offerings to date. Dynamic combination of ripe brown and red fruit skins with a spicy underpinning and a praline-like finish that is wrapped in a silky body. Very compelling, the next sip always unveils new flavor surprises. Remarkable stuff!

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Photo of gcasher
4.84/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the barrel works. The Bravo I had was aged in a 30 yr old Elijah Craig barrel. It appeared dark red to brown with a khaki head. It was bubbly with carbonation. The aroma and flavor were of delicious bourbon and the brown ale was secondary. This is a must have treat if you can find it.

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Photo of CJNAPS
4.81/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Best brown ale I've had. Color was a nice dark brown. You got some of the barrel in the nose. Taste was sweet and nice and smooth almost like caramel candy.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.79/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Numerous 8oz pours consumed in a snifter at Stone's Firestone Walker night on 11/13/2009. This beer is incorrectly classified as an Imperial Stout on this site. It is an Imperial Brown. This iteration of the beer was aged in bourbon barrels. The beer is dark brown, bordering on black, with a small light brown head.

Big bourbon nose with strong notes of brown sugar. Vanilla is apparent, as is caramel. Really nice. Light booze accompanies a touch of
earthiness. The beer showcases a great blend or vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, and bourbon, with just the right amount of sweetness.

The flavor opens up with sweet caramel and strong bourbon. Light vanilla notes are evident, as is a touch of brown sugar. No roast or alcohol is apparent. Bravo is moderately boozy with a delicious bourbon caramel finish.

A very tasty barrel aged Imperial Brown. In fact, I can't think of a better one. My favorite or all the wondrous epochs.

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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

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Photo of PaulElk
4.76/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Wow what a warm feeling after only 3 sips. Definitely a brew to savor to pick out all of the flavors. Bourbon will be tasted throughout each sip. Sweet smells start you off but then Boom! Here comes the Booze, but in a good way. Very smooth texture but as I continue I'm still getting that bourbon feel. Did I mention bourbon yet? Enjoy it if you get some. Got 3 bottles but now down to two. Look forward to them over some time aging them

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.74/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - nice brown crystal clear translucent color to it, off white head sticks forever. Bottle and packaging are awesome in usual fw fashion
S - big toasted coconut, vanilla, molasses, caramel, milm chocolate, like a milky way in beer form. Not very much hop presence --> in the best way possible!+++
T - taste follows the nose. Big toasted coconut. Vanilla, molasses, caramel. Milk chocolate. Again very sweet and candy like.
M - heavy mouthfeel. Alc covered. Aftertaste same as taste.
O - this is a world class beer. Like all the FW barrel.aged beers it is.miles ahead of the rest. Awesome.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.74/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle - 2017

Pours dark ruby red with a creamy frothy khaki colored foam head. Smells like rich bourbon, raisins, cherry, molasses, honey, brown sugar, toffee, nutty caramel, toasted crackery malt, brown bread, oak, vanilla, mild chocolate, spice, some orange marmalade, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like rich bourbon, vanilla marshmallow, raisins, cherry, coconut, molasses, honey, brown sugar, toffee, nutty caramel, toasted crackery malt, brown bread, oak, spice, mild chocolate, orange marmalade, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy and smooth with moderate carbonation. Overall a really nice bourbon barrel aged imperial brown ale.

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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!

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Photo of Brent619
4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

So glad they decided to bottle this. It's similar to SUCABA and very good. Bit heavy on the alcohol right now which might tone down after it ages. The only bummer is that it's in 12 ounce bottles and I've been told that all the vintage Firestone Walker beers are going to be in 12 ounce bottles from now on. Pricey at $10.99.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle. which is fucking awesome. bottled 12/06/16.

pour is decently clear, a deep ruby hue. head and lacing are a bit underwhelming. smell is incredibly inviting. bourbon, maple, caramel, warming aroma. I smell brown sugar. flavor is very sweet with a lot of bourbon flavor combining with malt. moderate carb on a very full body. reminds me a lot of an English barleywine and that is a big reason I am such a fan.

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Photo of BlackWednesday
4.67/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My god this an amazing beer. And all I have to say is that I disagree with highlandlad in many ways. Had 2, 8 ounces glasses of this amazing brew and I can’t believe its not bottle yet. Pours black with no head. Nose is super bourbon with a lot of nice sweetness. Taste is exceptional, a true bourbon beer, Epic, EPIC, EPIC. The bourbon really works with the beer and its not boozy, its very balanced between alcohol and flavor. So damn good!

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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.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - Super dark brown and no read head
Smell - smells sweet, bourbon and caramel
taste - perfect balance between the sweet caramel bourbon and some tostiness
feel - medium body and not too boozy
Overall - probably the best brown I've had!

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

This one pours a dark-ish brown, with a small white head, and no lacing.

This smells like decadent caramel, bourbon, high quality chocolate, coconut, oak, creamy vanilla frosting.

This is very tasty, but it's very barrel dominant. It's basically entirely carried by the barrel, which seems to be why it's usually used as a blend with other beers. However, the barrel character on this one is awesome, with tons of vanilla, oak, and bourbon, and just a hint of coconut. The base is still a little bit showing up underneath the delicious barrel, with caramel and toffee providing a really nice sweetness. This is pretty sweet, but it's definitely a pleasant sweetness.

This is really quite creamy, with a normal level of carbonation for the style. There's absolutely no booze present, which is quite nice.

I'm super happy with the format change here, and it also helps that this is a really fun beer. It's a showcase for Firestone Walker barrel awesomness. Highly recommended.

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

Been a while since I've had any sort of boxed beer from Firestone Walker... This here's their American brown ale, aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels... 13.2% abv, featuring... *drumroll* ...Bravo hops... Let it sit out a bit before opening it up; poured into my large snifter... Appropriately translucent pour and dark brown body; finger of ecru foam persisted as a faint haze, dropped maybe a mote or two behind inside the glass... Aromas of bourbon hit the nose first, vanilla-like, suffused with sweet chewy fruit and molasses-sweetened bread impressions... The flavors are potent... a cloak of sweet bourbon wrapped around dates and soaked into warm brown bread, flashes of dark orange citrus and candied fruits; tiny hints of earthy spice, very mild bitterness, moderate sweetness... Medium-light feel with airy vapors of booze and wood, smooth but with some tingle, subdued carbonation... This was real nice. Right up my alley...

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

Vintage 2017, no. 001
12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Deep mahogany with ruby highlights. Virtually no head. Light sediment suspended throughout. Light carbonation.

Caramel, bourbon, toffee, oak, vanilla, and brown sugar.

Ultra smooth bourbon and huge caramel. Toffee, brown sugar, and molasses. Charred oak, vanilla, and slight toasted coconut.

Full bodied, silky, extra-smooth, warming, and well balanced.

That's a fine Brown Ale! The 13.2% abv is hidden extremely well in this smooth and decadent Imperial Brown Ale.

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

Bottle picked up locally a few days ago (and I hope I can find more tomorrow!!!!). Love the single serve FW BA brew and this one packs a punch, but very refined flavor. I mean it is FW so you know the barrel aging will be spot on. The heaven hill is just the perfect marriage for this imperial brown. as decadent as a BA stout but the lightness of a brown ale. simply magnificent. I will be seeking more of these!

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

Very reminiscent of Sucaba.
This is a classic FW barrel aged brew. Lots of toasted coconut, vanilla, bourbon on the nose.
Let this one warm considerably towards room temperature and you'll be rewarded with the wonderful bourbon/vanilla/toasted coconut and oak barrel when you sip.
Pricey but worth seeking out the new 12oz. bottles

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

best brown ale ive had in ages, huge thanks to claystation for bringing this one over. if i understand it correctly, this was brewed only to be a thread in various blends over the years, and is finally coming out on its own for the first time. they have been hiding a real treasure! soft reddish brown color far lighter than i had it in my head that it might be, looks barrel aged though, sort of thick, a little hazy, and not a ton of bubbles, looks mature, steadfast. it smells like heaven! the first thing i get is very high quality bourbon, vanilla forward, charcoal, and honey. a bit of a lighter malt base, not even chocolatey really, maybe some light cocoa powder type, but mild for sure, and seemingly more focused on a caramely sweet malt side of things, and letting the barrel do a lot of the work, which it sure does. heavy bourbon in the flavor too, equal parts whiskey and wood, with vanilla and brown sugar right behind it, a dusty dried cocoa complexion, a little toasted nuttiness, sweet grains, and just a pleasant warming alcohol dose to finish. its hard to imagine its this strong, there is no sign of that kind of aggressive heat, really mellow and enhancing, not forced. its so smooth and complex, lighter for a brown but so much more flavorful than most, a different slice of the malt spectrum here, almost like it was built for these special barrels, its genius. weird its named after a hop, as i didnt get a whole lot of that in here. i couldnt get enough of this one, and admire the price point as much as i admire the beer. absolutely decadent!

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Photo of Radcpa
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish appearance, nice fruity aroma, a little too much carbonation but if you let it set for a couple of minutes in the glass the carbonation level falls to a reasonable level. Nice flavor that needs a little more aging to reduce alcohol flavor

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Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at City Beer. Listed as 13% ABV.

Dark auburn body with little head formation. Nice color and clarity when held to the light.

Smells strongly of caramel and toasted coconut, stewed fruits, dates, brown sugar. Great aroma that's reminiscent of Firestone's 11th anniversary ale. Pretty well integrated bourbon barrel character, and little discernible alcohol.

Palate of caramel and toasted coconut, mellow bourbon booziness and brown sugar, this is quite good. Sweet and rich with a full body, carbonation is gentle as usual with Firestone's barrel aged beers. The barrel is present but integrated, and it finishes semi-sweet with slight char from the barrel, finishing with toffee and tobacco. Great stuff, one of the better barrel aged beers I've tried from Firestone.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours dark brown with some mahogany edges, no head retention, low carbonation.

A: Like other FW vintages, lots of bourbon, toasted coconut, burnt brown sugar, toffee, caramel, outstanding aroma.

T: Like the nose, bourbon, burnt brown sugar, burnt oakiness, touch of roasted nuttiness at the end with toffee and caramel, finishes with lots of bourbon and oak, well done.

M: Medium bodied with a semi-dry finish, good amount of carbonation.

O: Really enjoyed this one, lots of flavor, it's balanced, bourbon is present throughout, looks thin, maybe because I'm used to barrel aged beers having more body, it's a well made beer, alcohol is fairly well hidden for such a high ABV, definitely picking up a few more bottles for the cellar.

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Bravo Brown from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.31 out of 5 based on 257 ratings.
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