“What’s an India-Style Brown Ale?” you might be wondering. Well, in recent years brewers across the country (and across the world, in fact) have been experimenting with merging the bold, fresh, aromatic hoppiness of the India Pale Ale (IPA) style with darker, maltier brews (with varying degrees of success). Some of the resultant beers have used the terms Black IPA, Cascadian Dark Ale, or India Black Ale. Flashback is Boulder’s twist on this trend, and is a brownish dark amber ale that’s been amped up on a big-ass dose of Cascade hops. Another Looking Glass Series beer, Flashback was first brewed to celebrate Boulder Beer Company’s 30th anniversary, and we think it’s quite worthy of holding that distinction. On the nose you’ll notice the citric, piney, and floral volatile hop oil aromas normally found in an IPA, but there’s something a little different. The malt character is not only more pronounced, but also of a different character than an IPA, with a toasty, lightly chocolate, and deep caramel attitude. Opens on the palate with big hops right away, along with toasty grains, some chocolate malt, and a light candied fruit component that emerges a bit more as you swish it around. With five sizable Cascade hop additions during brewing, the hop flavors are naturally quite prominent and citric, and last well into the lingering finish along with a toasty, almost nutty, grain-like note. Congrats on 30 years and a great anniversary brew, Boulder. Cheers!