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Boardwalk Black Rye - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Boardwalk Black RyeBoardwalk Black Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

32 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 32
Hads: 88
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 13.85%
Wants: 14
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 07-19-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (95) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Boardwalk Black Rye Alström Bros
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Reviews: 32 | Hads: 88
Photo of rawfish
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours stout black with an enormous mocha head of fizz with good retention that settles to a half finger rocky clump on cream. Leaves very little lacing on the glass.

Coffee, chocolate, toasted bread and prunes with a bit on char followed by a sharp citrus and pine hoppiness. No alcohol and no rye spice on the nose.

Dark roasted coffee, toasted bread, chocolate and toffee make a strong malt back bone without being overbearing as the hops come in with bright citrus and pine resin, textbook west coast hop bill. A bit of a bitter kick and smokiness on the finish. Delicious.

Fairly smooth texture over the palate with a hint of alcohol. Medium bodied and finishes drying after the malts lay down good and slick.

I didn't get much of the rye in this beer perhaps it added a bit of the fruitiness in the nose. A well hopped porter with nearly as much roasted malt complexity as a stout. Equally balanced, Karl struck gold with this offering.

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Photo of AleEvangelist
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Wonderfully dark with a rich, creamy head that had some staying power with great lacing.

Aroma: Complex, hoppy in the nose with a solid bed of malt underlying it. Roasted malt throughout, but floral and citrus notes also present; a gift for an ale this dark.

Taste: Wow! Roasted malt, some coffee bitterness accentuated by a beautiful hoppy bitterness! I am far more impressed than I thought I'd be! Finish is a lasting bitterness, which is hard to place: roasted malt, hops, or combination of both? Fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Rich and smooth, the mouthfeel is precisely what I was hoping for. Hops cannot completely overpower the malt, and the result is something that, while eminently drinkable, is also quite rich and creamy.

Overall: This has been my first experience with Karl Strauss, and I must say, I am surprised. How I let something like this go under the radar for so long is beyond me. Malty sweetness battles west coast hoppiness in this epic battle. Who will win? I will...because it's quite good!

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Photo of BeerManDan
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark brown in color with a fair amount of tan foam and an average amount of lace on the sides of the pint glass. The smell of roasted malts, dark roasted coffee and a possible hint of caramel. A real nice aroma of different components with out the over powering smell of alcohol. Dark roasted, slightly burnt, coffee flavor, along with a touch of dark bitter chocolate, roasted malts, with an aftertaste of rye. A very different flavor that is bitter and yet, very pleasant! Don't forget you can also get that alcohol kick after a few minutes.

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Photo of sholland119
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Opaque pour, dark brown, almost black with a big tan head and great lacing.

S-Roasty and spicy, nice blend of roasted malt and rye malt. Delicious.

T-Nice roasted malt, spicy rye, earthy hops. Delicious flavors, well put together.

M-Medium bodied, crisp.

O-One of my favorite black ales. The rye component is quite nice. Beyond that this beer has a very nice rich roast that is often missing in this style.


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Photo of Fatehunter
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a finger of tan head on a black body.
The aroma is a rich roasted malt, coffee and molasses. Wonderful.
The taste is rich as well. Roasted malt, rye spice, coffee just a little bit burnt.
The texture is crisp with low to moderate carbonation.
Quite delicious.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice american black ale. Carries all of the characteristics you want to see, but delivers it in a very drinkable fashion. Can't really think of any detractors besides a bit too much carbonation. Doesn't matter though. This is still a nice beer.

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Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber w/ a freshness date.

LOOK: Pitch black, huge head.

SMELL: Spicy rye, thick resin hoppiness, roasty edge, dark fruit, dark bread.

TASTE: Roasty, spicy, hop oil, resin, pipe tobacco, charcoal, alcohol, burnt currants, semi-dry, semi-burnt biscuits.

A beer to seek out ... Rye, hops & roasted character all work great together. Rye is a great twist on the Black IPA.

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Photo of laituegonflable
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with mahogany edge up to the light. Head is nice and generous at first, dissipates to a sparse film but lovely lace left behind. Sensing a good body here, but yeah, looks nice.

Smells very boozey, but it's a nice character. Lots of coconut, sweet vanilla and marzipan nuttiness. Touch of honey, and a hint of bourbon at the back. Yeah, very pleasant though; nutty and sweet. Good use of rye.

Taste is also very nutty. A bit dry, really, with lots of slightly sour notes of roasted peanuts, macadamias and dark chocolate on the back. Plenty of nutty notes from the rye turns it almost savoury with a slight saltiness, marzipan and hint of brown sugar. Not as big or as boozey as I'd expected but a nice blend of lighter and darker grains for an interesting sweet palate.

Full, smooth, slightly hot from the booze but pretty nice anyway.

Nice beer with good characters. Quite intriguing, could use a little less booziness on the nose and feel.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice black with medium tan head that disappears quickly. Scent is lightly hoppy with some floral notes with a lot of chocolate and maybe a hint of coffee. Taste is not nearly as hoppy as most black IPAs I've had, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The rye flavors add some nice characteristics to this brew. A lot of coffee and chocolate with a little bit of hops (a lot more than the nose). Some floral and earthy flavors as well. Tasty beer. Mouthfeel is full bodied. Drinkability is fairly high. Overall, this a tasty beer that has its alcohol very well-hidden. I would definitely purchase it again.

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Photo of Offa
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is nice, fairly characterful and well balanced.

Black with a medium-big tan head that slowly shrinks to thin foamy top, some nice lace.

Aroma is nice, toasty dark bread, caramelly prune and molasses, hints of citrus (fermented lemons) and rye. It's very nice, some depth and complexity.

Taste is nice charcoaly roasted grain, caramelly prunes. dark bread. It has nice sweetness with balancing bitterness that lingers and dominates the finish slightly. Feel is good, firm.

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Photo of rand
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From bomber to Mikasa pint glass

A: Black in color, coffee-tan 2-inch fluffy head that slow to recede. Ample lacing all over the glass

M: The nose is malt-forward, with scents of chocolate, toasted caramelly malts and sweet, multigrain bread. Fresh citrusy hops are right behind, joined by a nice whiff of alcohol.

T: Congruent with the nose, the malty aspects are noticed first, but the hops are more prominent on the palate. Toasty, bready mid-sip as West Coast-style resiny hops more than balance out the chocolate/coffee tones. The sip finishes on the bitter side of the profile.

M: Medium-to-light bodied, ample carbonation. Just about the perfect complexion for the style.

Another tasty brew in Karl Strauss' revamped line up. I just notice "Red Trolley, Off the Rails", which cracked me up because Red Trolley was one of teh reasons I dismissed Karl Strauss for so long. Well, no longer, and although this isn't the best of some the black IPA's to recently pop up around here, it's damn good.

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Photo of Dope
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No bottle date on this one. Hopefully not too old.

A: Pours dark brown with a good sized thick light brown head. Head fades quite slowly. Top notch head retention. Mid-range fluffy smears of lacing here and there.

S: Some floral character and citrus. Some raisin/dark fruit? A bit of roasted malt, mostly char. I get just a hint of anise too.

T: A little bit of hoppiness initially, mainly citrus. Get some caramel, char, spices and chocolate in the middle. Caramel fades leaving a much more bitter baker's chocolate and char remaining behind. Touch of citrus and caramel and chocolate lingers in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, a touch chalky in the aftertaste (char).

O: Decent black IPA. Hoppiness is very subdued, though it might be an old bottle (who knows). Roasted malt and caramel is nice though. Didn't get much rye either, maybe there's some in the middle that I couldn't quite identify. Decent but nothing special overall. Might have been really good fresh with some strong hoppiness.

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Photo of Philousa
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Completely black, even up against the light, with a one finger dense tan head. Even, steady lacing clings to the glass. This smells like a brownie. Thick, dark milk chocolate with a good amount of caramel and a little cracked oat or flour with sugar giving it a bit of a cookie aroma as well. The spicy rye really comes out as it warms, out of the darkness, it seems. Dark, bitter bakers chocolate starts the taste out, followed by burnt toast and dark roasted coffee. Burnt is a pretty good overall description of this one. The rye comes out as it warms, like the aroma, but it's mild and unabrasive. It's bitter, but it seems like it's from the malt, not hops. A metallic copper-ish taste and feel sticks in the throat a bit. The feel tends toward viscous, but only slightly. Finish is dry, similar to a dry stout.

I'm intrigued by this beer. It reminds me of a stout, but it has more flavor. With the amount of grains going into this thing, I would expect it to be a bit more complex. If this had a lower ABV, it would be damn good.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to a generous soul for sending this bottle my way. Served in a tulip.

Pours near black with a good off-white head that sticks around for a bit. Very thin cap and a good-sized collar hang around throughout. Lots of spotty lacing. The nose brings some earthy and piney hops along with a good dosing of roast and some slight chocolate character. The flavor doesn't have quite as much hop character, but there's a nice bitterness to round everything out. There's a touch of rye, though I'm not sure I could have picked it out had I not known it was there. Medium body with good carbonation. Roasty bitterness through the finish. Solid brew.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a near pitch black with the faintest of red tinge, while the head peaks out at 2 fingers thick and is a light tan in color. Good retention, resulting in a thin layer of suds across the surface. Lacing is strong with great stick.

Smell - Strong notes of roasted malt and char smokiness. Chocolate. Distant coffee notes. Light floral and citrus hop presence.

Taste - Follows the nose. Predominant roasted malts. Char and peat smokiness. Dark chocolate. Moderate hops give it a touch of citrus zing, but they are nowhere near the star of the show. Where's the rye? Only hints in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with lively carbonation. Creamy, but the carbonation gives it a whipped-like quality. Undoubtedly will thicken up as it loses CO2.

Overall - Drinks much closer to a light, smokey RIS than it does your typical Classic 'Black IPA'. Reminiscent of Mad River Serious Madness and Grand Teton Black Cauldron alike. I don't get much rye flavor, and when rye is in the name of the beer, it should be the featured character; here it is not, thus the lower overall score. If rye weren't in the name, with probably gets a 90 score from me. Still as a beer itself, without taking into consideration the style, this is really good and a definite future buy.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Universal City location.

A: Pours black with a thin mocha head which leaves sheets and blobs of lace.

N: Roasted malts with a faint citrus note. As warms more citrus comes along.

T: Roasty almost to the point of char. Pine and spicy from the rye malt.

M: Creamy, full body and semi-moderate carbonation.

O: Perhaps too much roast for me. Served very cold. Allow this to warm up some.

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Photo of beagle75
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint glass.

A: Opaque dark brown color showing some light transmission at the edges, with over one finger of mocha-tinted foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Intensely roasty with some contrasting herbaceous hops, slight wood smoke, and a re-occurring whiff of carbon dioxide. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins dry, with chewy chocolate malt and restrained piney hop aromatics amidst mild acidity. Astringency surges into the middle as dark roast persists, lasting to the end. Bitterness during the finish has a green herbaceous quality in addition to charcoal. No alcohol is detected.

M: Medium viscosity, balanced and slightly wet on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: This dark ale from Karl Strauss has all of the unrefined roasted malt one might expect, with a somewhat heightened herbaceous hop presence. It captures the character of many other porter-styles brewed by this brewery that have not made it to the bottle (for better or worse).

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Photo of tempest
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle at a Whole Foods. It poured dark brown with a thick tan head and lacing in my mug. It's a thick black ale that first reminds me of an imperial porter for all the cocoa. But as the beer warmed the spicy rye and citrus hops came forward. Still, I'd like less body, there's a lot of vague barley sweetness that's getting in the way of the hops and rye. Not a bad take on the style, but not my favorite either. On the West Coast I'd opt for a Deschutes Hop in the Dark.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Black pour with a thin off-white cap. Regular and lined lacing down the glass.

Roasted malt and chocolate aromas, though relatively simple and one-note.

Flavor consists of the same: roasted malt and some faint chocolate along with some hop bitterness. Simple, and dominated by the roast.

Medium mouthfeel. Ample carbonation.

A roasty and simple black ale. Nothing particularly special or unique. Drinkable. Average.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.41/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle,

A: Pours black with a full off-white head, good retention, solid lace.

S: Dark chocolate, some citrusy hops with a hint of spice.

T: Dark chocolate malt and grapefruit, tastes like an average Black IPA, no real rye spice character. Middle of the road.

M: Medium-bodied, frothy, soft carbonation. Pretty easy drinking.

O: Solid to the style, but the promise of the rye didn't really come to fruition. Though if you like the style, you'll like this.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.24/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1226th Review on BA
Draft to Pint

@Karl Strauss Costa Mesa

App-  Major dark pour with a abyss like density. Again no head but has MAJOR sheen and cling. Damn good looking.

Smell-  Much like a black lager. Just a malty mix of scents. A little rye but nothing sticks out.

Taste-  Very rye forward and a mix of a black IPA but just kinda bland. No real flavor differation and just kinda eh.

Mouth- A medium body almost on the low side. Medium carbonation with a medium rye residual flavor.

Drink- Just kinda eh. Nothing special but has some okay flavors.

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Photo of maximum12
3/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kyle2k10 for yet another bomber of rye goodness. Black Rye? Intriguing or abomination? Let's find out. 22 oz. bomber split with my wife.

The pour is black. Nose is gentle & unobtrusive. Soft sweet malts, touch of roast, slight milkiness. Porteresque.

Boardwalk Black Rye is a the taste equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard. Big notes of roast up front (the fingernails) followed closely by a clashing crescendo of citrus & spices (the chalkboard), mixed with tire-slashing bitterness (the shrieking classmates). It doesn't actually taste bad, it just makes my face scrunch up - making it even more marred & leering, I'm sure - every time I take a sip. Half a bomber will be just fine, thank you.

Possibly the least well integrated beer I've ever tasted, & in the top 5% of beers with a mild smell that lure you into a completely different experience once the glass tings off your teeth. Not even sure how to score this. Is there a score for "jarring"? I guess I'll go with mediocre, because it's not bad, but I am certainly never going to need one again.

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Boardwalk Black Rye from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.