Friday, August 14, 2009

45. Boulder Beer Flashback 30th Anniversary Ale

Flashback 30th Anniversary Ale is from Boulder Beer Company in Boulder, CO. Boulder Beer has been making good beer for a while (hence the 30th anniversary)—they’re one of the reasons that Colorado brewing kicks so much ass. After all, if you’ve got them as a basic model for what a brewery is supposed to produce, it sets a pretty high initial bar. Yet another reason why I wish I lived in Colorado.

Flashback smells malty and hoppy, with some floral notes. The sweetness does increase in the nose as the beer warms, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Flashback is a rich brown color—as Elli observes, it looks “like a nice Irish setter”—and a light tan head. It starts with a warm smooth sweet malt flavor, and moves into roasted and sweet caramel flavors with some biscuit malt mixed with light dry chocolate flavors along with hop bitterness and floral hop flavors. The end is dry and roasted, with some dark malt and burnt flavors creeping in, and some lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with some nice bite from the carbonation. Flashback is an interesting and complex beer—the mix between IPA and brown brings together hops and a more complex malt profile—but neither of us are big fans of brown ales. This could be a possible Top 10 Best contender, but the brown ale body is not in enough balance with the hop load, even if we considered this as heading in the American Brown direction. The flatter, dryer malt profile mixed with the floral Cascade hop load is interesting, but lacking some overall coherence.

From Boulder Beer’s website: “Flashback Anniversary Ale: An India Brown Ale. Citrusy with a prominet hop aroma, finishes clean, crisp and dry with dark roasted flavors from the biscuit and chocolate malts perfectly complementing the bountiful Cascades.”

ABV: 6.88%
Grains: Belgian Biscuit malt, Chocolate malt, Pale malt, Gambrinus Honey malt
Hops: Cascade, Cascade, Cascade, Cascade, and Cascade (five hop additions)


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