Bootleg Fireworks
Baxter Brewing Co.

Bootleg FireworksBootleg Fireworks
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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #2,919
Ranked #8,669
3.98 | pDev: 13.82%
Baxter Brewing Co.
Maine, United States
Very Good
Bootleg FireworksBootleg Fireworks
Notes: This is our annual opportunity to abandon subtlety and replace it with chaos and volatility. For this sixth edition, we combined over a metric ton of grains with heavy hop additions and then dry hopped the beer three times with inordinate quantities of nine hop varieties, just to be ridiculous (ridonkulous?). Intentionally unfiltered, unbalanced, and surprisingly smooth. Reekris!
Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 261 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of dedgarmcvey
dedgarmcvey from Massachusetts

1.48/5  rDev -62.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

The hops in this brutality don't stand a chance against the overwhelming syrup of the beer's boozy, sugary body. Hard to even find them in there. I formed up a search party but we had to turn back.

Sep 10, 2018
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beergoot from Colorado

3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Crystal clear body; golden hued; lively carbonation with a lasting, one-finger thick head. Respectable spicy, herbal hop nose. The taste hits first with a caramel flavor that just as quickly turns into a sweet orange presence; there is a bold hop bitterness that builds to a crescendo at the finish. Heavy body; velvety but with a mildly spiky feel; residual sugar heft; battle between a heavy sweetness to the finish and a more dry note with the dryness getting the edge with the hop bitterness and alcohol presence.

An interesting DIPA and full of flavors and aromas that come at you from out of the blue. It ultimately leaves you with a bitter, boozy presence. A full-power DIPA through and through.

Aug 15, 2018
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

3.66/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Canned on 6/14/18

A frothy off-white head sits atop a clear golden amber body; walls of thick lacing stain the glass as the medium-sized head slowly dissipates. Beautiful sheen on this one; an attractive-looking beer.

Smells of spiced hops, unripened grapefruit, and some notes of rye bread brought on by a big malt presence; it's all rather clean and manages to not overwhelm the senses, which is definitely a plus in this case.

The taste is deeply hoppy but soaked in malty undertones; I'm getting dense grapefruit peels, boozy pine, and zesty malts with a purely earthy but restrained hop finish.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbed with just a hint of heft. Booze is present but impressively restrained, never really effecting the body of the beer.

Big, boozy tango of hops and malt, ye remains clean and balanced throughout. A decent beer, but my desire for a boozy malt profile would certainly influence my likelihood of reaching for one again.

Jul 05, 2018
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farrago from New Jersey

3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Close to three finger high head of orange tinted cream white, lots of pockmarks and dimples, you can watch them pop across the surface, retention is good plus and the lacing forms very broad sheets which stick tenaciously. Past haziness into cloudiness, so much particulate floating about it’s opaque, what bubbles can be seen form loose beads. Concentrated tangerine, orange citrus notes in the nose, like pulpy orange juice, very dank and herbaceous and earthy, dried fruit nature to the pineapple, apricot, guava fruit scents, pine sap and cocoa to Ovaltine nuances, its power makes it somewhat unfocused. Full-bodied, were it not for the keen prickle to the carbonation it might sit inert on the palate. Bitter twist through the green leafiness and grassiness, the inherent sweetness of the apricot, peach, pineapple fruit does not find its footing. Pine, earth appear throughout, there is a strong booziness to it which can even evoke coconut, caramel oak flavors. Here too it’s all about the brawn, scoffing at the though of subtlety or integration. So, kudos for pushing the pedal to the metal but would be much better were it to put it on cruise control for a few miles.

Sep 11, 2017
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illpass78 from Maine

4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pint(-ish) on draft in a plastic house "glass" at Quarry Tap in Hallowell, Maine.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy straw with a short white head. Leaves sheets of lace.

Aroma: Apricots, pine, grapefruit. Big, hoppy, fruity nose.

Taste: Follows nose. Prickly hops backed by tropical fruits and resiny notes. Some booze. Apricot is very present.

Mouthfeel: Deceptively drinkable at 9 percent.

Overall: Delicious DIPA from a great brewery. Get it.

Jul 02, 2017
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AnitaBrewski from Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tastes like Brie! A little bit anyway. Enjoy this at a birthday party for my bicycling pal Dan, compared to the Trilliam IPAs not so good but I done good IPAA nonetheless!

Jun 27, 2016
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Jwaks from Connecticut

4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Ranks up there with respected west coast ipas from Stone, Green Flash, Firestone walker and Alpine. Awesome. Just a preliminary placeholder review as I work my way through the four pack of cans... Aroma and flavor is amazing, a little light on carbonation and thorougly enjoyable. Hopheads, pick it up if you see it! Will add more later. Thanks!

Jun 24, 2016
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IndyHopHead from Indiana

4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got this as an extra in a trade and was an awesome beer. Drank out of the can with a date on the bottom of 11/20/15. Just drank it 2/15/16 and was still great. Balanced malt with grapefruit tropical taste, light mouthfeel and easy to drink. Hope to have again and fresher but great beer!

Feb 16, 2016
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Sampling a 16 oz can at cellar temp and poured into a pint glass. The beer pours a very clear light gold color with some fluffy bleached white head foaming up and fading to a sturdy edge layer. The aroma is lots of hops with pine sap and citrus notes prominent, but a little grassy too. not much else on the nose, with no grainy malt or anything, I also dont get any booze even with the 9% ABV listed on the can.
The first sip reveals a slightly thinner body than I expected with a slightly sticky texture and very fine tingly carbonation. Actually makes for an easy drinking beer considering the ABV.
Flavor is just a hint of grainy sweet malt which gives in to a complex hop flavor of pine sap, grapefruit rind, and a bit of astringent bitterness that lingers in my palate after each drying swallow.
This is an enjoyable double IPA and is very drinkable for the size of the booze. The nose and flavor are good, if the body had a little more thickness this would be an even better beer. Glad to have tried it and enjoyed the sampling.

Feb 06, 2016
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DoreenAndDave from Maine

3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beer is a slightly hazy gold/amber. Thin but attractive head leaving nice lacing. Nose is bread, banana, orange rind. Taste is a bit of malt up front, but mostly bitter hops. There's a faint sour note somewhere in there. The hop finish is bitter and dank but is a bit muddled for my taste. The mouthfeel is a bit heavy; the alcohol definitely has a presence. Overall, this is powerful and bitter, but doesn't hold much interest. This isn't a bad double IPA, but in my opinion can't compete with the top tier of IPAs from Maine right now. For that matter, I prefer Baxter's stowaway to this. The stowaway has a not-entirely-dissimilar flavor profile, but is more balanced and coherent.

Jan 22, 2016
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kidkramer from Vermont

3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very good, doesn't drink like many other dIPA I've had, not hazy at all, and drinks more like a lager maybe..? But love all the flavors and a good lingering hop feel that's not to overwhelming.

Dec 08, 2015
Photo of Cory_nich

5/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an amazing IPA. With 7 hops this double IPA holds an amazing flavor profile and packs a punch. The smell as so good. As you pop the top on the can it fills the room and overcomes your senses. I look forward to this and will every year.

Jul 16, 2015
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munnster76 from Wyoming

4.73/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer packs a punch. You would never realize the high alcohol content since it tastes sooo good. Have 2 of these and you have the PERFECT BUZZ!!!. Had in Sunday River, Maine at Camp in the Grand Summit Hotel. I'll give it a 4.75 for taste because it's a slight notch below the very best IPA's I've had.

Mar 01, 2015
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SammyJaxxxx from New Jersey

3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Thank you to @CTBEERGURU for the hook up.
Poured from a 16oz can into my DFH IPA glass
A- Pours a little hazy but a nice golden hue, Two fingers of solid thick foam. Looks superb.
S- Very nice aroma. Piney and resiny with some grapefruit
T-Lots of piney resin up front. There is some sweetness and some citrus. Grapefruit peel tastes linger. This beer is 9% and you can taste the alcohol.
M- The carbonation is on the low side but not to the point of lacking. The hops have a "Heady" quality in that they sort of roll over the tongue. Slight alcohol burn and a nice dry finish.
O- Very good beer. Plenty of hops and a very nice piney DIPA. A good beer but a notch or so below the kings of the class.

Jan 19, 2015
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

3.26/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

16oz can from Bert's
Citrus, onion, pine, and earth aromas abound, but damn thats bitter with and alcohol burn. Almost could stand a bit more malt for balance.

Jan 11, 2015
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Bierman9 from New Hampshire

4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I was in The Beer Store (Nashua) today and opted for a 4-pack of this new guy on the block. Came to $12.00 for four 16oz cans. Looks like a date on the bottom says 11.15.14 - I can only assume this was a canning date? Anyhow...

Poured one into a Sammy pint glass.... Bier is bright golden and mostly clear, with just a smidge of haze. Carbo is scattered yet steady, and the head is white, fine and thin. The foam covers things with a tiny layer, and clings mostly to the edges, while also leaving some lacing here and there. Aroma is hop heavy, as if I expected something else! Quite citrussy, with rindy grapefruit and pineapple, and a hint of apricot sweetness. The feel is rather smooth, overall, and the body has just a touch more than medium to it.

Flavor does actually have sweetness present, with apricot and tangerine hitting the palate first. That's followed by a lovely layer of hops covered by a wave of more bitterness. There's some bitter grapefruit and sweeter pineapple, with rindy, resiny, piney action all mixed together. It has a definite, warming, boozy aspect to it as well. Final answer? I rather like this one, and at $12 for 4x 16oz cans? Yeah, what the fuck, Gus!?! Prosit!!

4.16/5 rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


Jan 03, 2015
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Flounder57 from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can was poured into a stemless wine glass.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin puffy layer. It is a pale orange color with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through up through the glass. Frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Tangerine, grapefruit, citrus, apricot, grassy, stone fruit, toasted, crystal, and caramel malts.

Taste: Same as above with mild bitterness in the rear and warm alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little chewy, some bitterness, some booze alcohol, medium to full bodied, and medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty nice DIPA for these guys. I'll revisit this one again in the near future.

Jan 02, 2015
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patrickcmcd from Massachusetts

2.12/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Yikes. I really enjoy the beer that Baxter brews but this thing was just a mess. Too boozy, no hops. Terrible mouthfeel. A complete and utter let down. I think they just amped up Stowaway without regards for subtlety or softness. This was a harsh medicinal drink. Got me drunk, though.

Jan 02, 2015
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.59/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yay cans... for New Years why not have some Bootleg Fireworks!

Pours a light fizzy airy looking 1/2 finger head that fades fairly quickly, just touches of lacing, clear but sediment laden honey yellow-orange color.

Nose def brings tons of hops, lots of fruity hops and citrus, candied orange peel and zest, some candied apricot and stone fruit, with a little grapefruit and resin note, with a big sweet candy malt base, not caramel just malty candy, with a little booze and ester profile. the hops get spicy and chewy like, and even a little cheesy which is weird, perhaps older hops mixed with the fresh, or just my imagination... I'm going to pretend the cheese isn't there and just the nice hops.

Taste brings sweet malts out front, candy sweetness almost syrupy, a little white barleywine like biscuit toffee candy thing, and more candied fruit, with some alcohol warmth and esters from them as well. Hops are plenty as well, big bitter earthy cheesy hops, again a creamy cheesy thing, either hops or diacetyl, not quite sure, but it's not strong. More citrus, candied orange peel, grapefruit pith and zest, some more stone fruit, candied apricot kinda thing, sticky sweet fruit with big spicy rindy bitterness. Finish gets astringent and a briny bitter hop thing, sticky sweet but attempts to dry as the booze waves over strongly then disappears, a little phenolic touch, and some bitter earthy herbal spicy hops.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, plenty of booze, decent but lighter carb.

Overall, well it had some interesting qualities, nose started nice, hops overall were decent when the right hop profile came through, malts are OK, thankfully not a caramel sweetness, more candy like, and hte candied fruits were nice. But too many flaws, despite the sweetness and big hops the booze is not hidden at all, bitterness and astringent flavors are not so great, there's a weird cheesy flavor or diacetyl thing. Again Baxter seems to come out with beers that seem good at first, but have their flaws, wish they could improve them.

Jan 02, 2015
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smcolw from Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Crystal clear with a neutral gold color. Small head but plenty of spots.

Spicy, grapefruit nose.

Very smooth mouthfeel, low carbonation and creamy body. Very bitter throughout the tasting. Too much of a good thing, I suppose. Long aftertaste.

Dec 21, 2014
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Patbrown2 from Connecticut

3.39/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Boozy, boozy, boozy....and a sledgehammer, hop-wise.

I asked proprietor for something in Captain's Daughter range, and she suggested this. Not something I'd buy again.

Dec 19, 2014
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

2.79/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Cheers to Bilco for giving me a can

Consumed 12/17/14

A: Pours a golden orange with some honey and some light copper - some chill haze - medium sized, white head that fades to a wispy cap, keeps a small collar, leaves some splotches of lacing

S: Immediately disappointing, as this does not smell like gunpowder (false advertising) - definitely a hop explosion, though, for what it's worth - chaotic hoppy aromas - oily grapefruit rind - syrupy, overly ripe pineapple - fresh green onions - sharp, abrasive pine - very herbal and spicy - earthiness - relatively sweet malts at the base with some very noticeable booze - update: becomes even messier as it warms

T: Very hoppy in a weird way - this is an all-on assault of hops, with flavors bludgeoning your tongue left and right - very, very bitter - straight-up aspirin-like bitterness followed by oily, wet pith - oily, sticky citrus rind - resinous pine needles and a big dose of mint - very herbal, spicy, and earthy - decidedly unclean and raw - alcohol is obvious to the extent that I would not guess this was a mere 9.00% - tropical notes in the aroma are lacking here, but the onion is even more potent in the taste - malts are mostly nonexistent except for some boozy sweetness

M: On the heavy side of medium, very sticky, abrasive, boozy

O: Boom?

This starts off explosive and mildly interesting. The more I drink, and the more it warms up, the more it reveals its flaws. This is a mess. It's a hop bomb, which is not ever a bad thing, but hop profile here is lacking just about every attribute I look for. And did I mention it's beyond boozy?

Dec 18, 2014
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threeviews from Florida

4.83/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 16oz can (Canned On Date: 11/19/14) into a 15oz Libbey (Gandhi-Bot embossed), Belgian Tulip/Snifter.

A- Pours a mostly clear (few floaties) and majestic orange, with yellow hues at the edges of the glass. A light, soapy, white head of about 1-finger caps an elegantly looking DIPA. (5.0)

S- Simply one of the best aromas I have experienced from a DIPA in quite some time. Orange citrus (Orange, Clementine, Tangerine), Ruby Red Grapefruit, Tropical notes (Mango Guava) and a hint of mint. The 9%ABV is completely masked on the nose. (5.0)

T- Where, oh where did that come from?! Although not at all perceived in the aroma, a massive coconut sweetness hits the palate first. What follows is a burst of ripe tropical fruit and citrus along with a fleeting essence from the malt. The finish is piney, dry and clean. (4.75)

M- The carbonation is fairly conservative, yet very creamy in texture. A sturdy malt backbone creates a medium body, yet the balance between malt and hops is squarely in the favor of the hops. Being 9% ABV, the drinkability is absolutely scary. (4.75)

O- I cannot find any flaw with this beer...from packaging to value, this one fires (pun intended) on every cylinder and clearly ranks as one of my Top Ten Beers Of 2014. What's more, this is the closest thing I have found to compare to the highly prized Gandhi-Bot from NEBCO. 'Bootleg Fireworks' is everything I look for in a DIPA and it delivers in spades...and is, like the other perennial favorites, canned! Being that this is a 'Limited - Brewed Once' release, this is my official plea to Baxter Brewing Co. that they upgrade this recipe to a year-round offering. (4.75)

Dec 16, 2014
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Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden yellow in color. Fairly clear in appearance. Nice tropical fruit hop flavor, slight sweetness, clean finish. A bit dry on the end. It's pretty good.

Dec 15, 2014
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Ralph1966 from Rhode Island

4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

I've had so many IPA's in my time but rest a sure that this one shadows the rest, so lets call this one a bench mark until further notice. This is one big bad ass beer for sure coming in at 9.0% ABV, it pours a nice bright orange color and the aroma just warns you of the pending hoppiness that this beer packs. As you continue to drink this beer the flavor just keeps compounding on top of each sip, making you take your time drinking this can of hop nectar. The flavor is citrus and hoppy with a crisp semi dry feel to it. The mouth feel is rich and full, not the least bit watery. I would recommend this beer to any hard core hop head.

Dec 15, 2014
Bootleg Fireworks from Baxter Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 261 ratings