Bravo Imperial Brown Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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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

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Ratings: 408 |  Reviews: 116
Photo of MASPuros
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of JHouse11
5/5  rDev +16.3%
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

 239 characters

Photo of ronniebruner
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

 362 characters

Photo of B302
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of invapid
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of RichBeer
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of shaunt0000
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Davihaw
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of redfox405
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of John11486
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Meow49
5/5  rDev +16.3%
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!

 277 characters

Photo of danasofia
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet glass.

Look - I love it. Deep ruby and maroon, with a dark brown cloudiness. Positively murky but still bright and inviting.

Smell - Bitter chocolate, bourbon and rye whiskey, cloyingly sweet vanilla and coconut, and dark sweet malt. Rich and wonderful.

Taste - Follows the nose but gets more nuanced. Notes of brown sugar, plums and dates, molasses, hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds, along with the bourbon, chocolate, coconut, and vanilla notes of the nose. Very sweet and rich, with a strong boozy presence that somehow doesn't disrupt the balance.

Feel - Perfect for the style. Somewhat syrupy and sticky, almost chewy, but only after a good deal of warming, before which its mostly light, nicely carbonated, and bordering on thin in feel.

Overall - Delicious beer with a lot of unique subtleties. The offering of major flavors from other barrel aged beers (stouts, quads) stands out.--something about the relative lightness of a brown ale seems to offer a cleaner, lighter take on them. Worth a try or two.

 1,058 characters

Photo of JKasten988
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BrewmanCapote
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of gcasher
4.84/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

 300 characters

Photo of BarrelAgedDiogenes
4.82/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Looks mahogany with a creamy head.

Smoky, vanilla, toffee smell. The bourbon oak barrel smell comes through too.

Taste is quite similar. Very creamy going down, with little hop flavor, the bitterness seems to come from the bouban.

Very malty, syrupy mouth feel.

Over all this brew is lovely--unlike any kind of alchohol I've tasted before. It's like a delicious creamy dessert that's not to sweet and gives you a cozy hug on the way down.

 445 characters

Photo of CJNAPS
4.81/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

 156 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

 931 characters

Photo of Floydster
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
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 PaulElk
4.76/5  rDev +10.7%
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

 446 characters

Photo of ChrisCutler
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of bmmortale
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of shigg85
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of skemp
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

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Bravo Imperial Brown Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.3 out of 5 based on 408 ratings.
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