Irish Ale - Boulevard Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 501 | Reviews: 225 | Display Reviews Only:
3.9/5 rDev +6.6%
"May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies and quick to make friends. And may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward."
--an Irish wedding toast
Dark coppery orange with bright Sunkist peel edges. I don't mind the lack of any real redness since the color is so fetching. Most brown ales aren't brown, after all. The pale caramel cap is large after a vigorous pour, looks like whipped mousse and leaves several sudsy streamers of lace.
The nose is pretty good for an Irish red, even if it doesn't wow me. It's primarily caramel malty with a modest fruitiness and a noticeable hoppiness. Magnum and Saaz comprise the hop bill, if such a thing matters in a beer of this style.
Irish Ale is a solid version. Unfortunately, like the nose, it doesn't grab me by the taste buds and convince me of its brilliance. This is one of those styles that needs to do something extra to stand out. In looking back, I've only had three Irish reds that were worthy of real, honest to goodness praise. Boulevard's take on the style doesn't quite join that select group.
I'm pleased at the sweet-bitter balance since I have it in my head that Irish reds are typically more sweet than bitter. The flavor profile follows the nose in that caramel-coated citrus fruit is the star of the show. There's also a sweet black tea character that adds an extra measure of flavor interest. At an ABV of 5.3%, this would make a good St. Patty's day session beer.
The mouthfeel is light-medium in a general sense and is entirely appropriate for the style as I understand it. It holds together nicely throughout each mouthful and finishes on an acceptably smooth, perfectly carbonated note.
I'm much more impressed with the final few ounces than I was with the first few. Whether the improvement was due to warming or to the goodies at the bottom of the bottle, I couldn't say. Boulevard Irish Ale still can't touch Great Lakes Conway's Irish or Three Floyds Brian Boru, but it's damn good beer all the same. I'll be sure to look for it again next March.
04-04-2007 18:47:16 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.88/5 rDev +6%
Pours a deep, dark red with almost no head.
Smells like sharp, tart Irish red grains, but there's no kick of hop. A good American Irish red's supposed to have some dry or flowery west coast hops to balance out the tart bread and butter grain, right?
Well, not really, and that's shown in the taste. The grain is nice and sharp, but it's also a little roasted and it does a good job of balancing itself out. There's still some light citrus hops in there, solidly backing everything up, but they don't need to be super strong.
A fine brew. If there's one thing Boulevard's good at, it's making palatable beers that even newbies can enjoy, and this is a perfect example. A great session beer and a great crossover beer.
03-22-2007 05:11:05 | More by mynie
4/5 rDev +9.3%
Tenuous two inch head mushrooms in a heavy-ish way around the rim of the glass. Beautiful dark red brown color topped by wispy lace that springs up a quarter inch after a sip. Toffee and/or caramel maltiness, and bread in the aroma.
The flavor is sweet malts, a nice complex blend. Just a little tiny bit of nuttiness. Distinctive yeast layered over twangy hops creates a relatively complex brew for the Irish red style. (addenda): The yeast produces an estery apple flavor which I love, it emerges close to chilly room temp.
Far from an overmalted watery brew it's a malt-driven but balanced brew, easy sipping for a German (Mai)Bock fan or any other malt-mouth, the funky apple yeast flavor that emerges will please Belgian fiends, and lovers of local/craft beer will appreciate the midwest TLC applied to this classic style. Cheers, KC, best beer brewed.
03-20-2007 03:34:37 | More by BretSikkink
3.7/5 rDev +1.1%
Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass at around 40 degrees.
A - Pours a clear apple juice color with some amber highlights towards the top. Little head with medium carbonation.
S - Apples atop bready malt.
T - Dry malt with caramel notes and a splash of bitterness in the finish. Pretty straightforward flavors.
M - A little thin with a crisp finish.
D - Very drinkable session beer. I actually enjoyed it more at a colder temperature...as it warmed, the body seemed to thin out, but still a great Irish Red.
03-18-2007 19:51:30 | More by JohnnyM2002
3.95/5 rDev +7.9%
12oz brown bottle
Boulevard Irish Ale was a clear red-brown color with good clarity and a light tan head. The head was a good inch thick and had good retention and lacing. The aroma was sweet caramel malt. The taste was malty upfront with some nice hop flavor towards the dry finish. It was medium-light in body with plenty of carbonation. Drinkability was good. This is a nice session beer that I look forward to in the spring.
03-01-2007 20:03:38 | More by afinepilsner
4.13/5 rDev +12.8%
BB 5/1/07. Deep amber pour with a floating ivory head. Good aroma of roasted nuts and vinous hops. Taste was on the thin side, surprised me coming from Boulevard. Still a perfect style brew, tea-ish hop finish, dry and crisp. Solid Irish red wood & vine grass flavor.
Nice little pop of alcohol at 5.3abv%, a smooth drinker that warms the cockles on a snowy Feb. day.
02-17-2007 20:26:49 | More by Vancer
3.95/5 rDev +7.9%
12 oz bottle. Best by 5/1/07. Bottle conditioned.
Poured amber/gold. Thick, big bubbled head.
Crisp hop aroma, a little yeasty. Caramel, malt sweetness upfront.
Nice fresh hop flavor in the middle with a dry malt finish. Very easy drinking beer.
Nothing spectacular, just good, fresh local beer.
02-14-2007 00:17:11 | More by homebrewhawk
4.2/5 rDev +14.8%
12 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Dark clear copper red color. About a finger's width of head that quickly recedes to a filmy lace.
Smell is spicy like cloves, with a strong malt character. Taste is equally spicy with added pepper and oak quality. Mild hops finish.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Balanced carbonation.
This year's batch seems a bit bolder than what I remember of last year's. Good stuff. I know spring is coming soon when these hit the shelves
02-07-2007 05:54:37 | More by bort11
3.43/5 rDev -6.3%
Pours a four finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Almost clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Slight malty nose. Starts almost sweet maybe caramel, clean finish. Hints of hops in aftertaste. Best by May 1, 2006. $1.49 for a 12oz bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, IA.
01-16-2007 23:44:22 | More by jdhilt
3.38/5 rDev -7.7%
Appearance: Dark amber / copper appearance with small bubbles and off white / cream colored head, good carbonation.
Aroma: Hops up front and malty sweetness below with a bit of carmel.
Flavor: Resins mixed with caramel along with a faint burnt chocolate, coffeeish note. The whole thing has some bitterness to it, but it dries out more at the end. Taste hits a slightly shallow note towards the end of the middle, then it picks up again and quickly dries out.
Body: Light to medium light.
Drinkability: Good enough, but I don't think I'd drink more than one. Not really my kind of thing.
08-16-2006 17:14:07 | More by xymyl
3.78/5 rDev +3.3%
This brew pours a clear blood red color. The head is huge, fluffy, reddish off white in color, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is very faint, but some fruity sweetness and caramel can be detected with a lot of work. The taste is sweet with enough fruity esters to add some complexity. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a pretty good Irish red ale that I can see myself buying again.
05-20-2006 18:55:43 | More by KarlHungus
3.55/5 rDev -3%
I first had this Ale when a Friend of mine who is a local bartender set a glass in front of me and said, "Hey, we just got this on tap and I want you to try it." So I did.
Pours a nioce redish color with a cream colored head that sticks around for a while as most beers this style shoud.
Aroma was pretty malty, sweet, maybe a hint of caramel. I am just now starting to be able to tell different malt varieties and the Crystal malts seem ot come through in this one.
Taste is pretty malty and sweet with a slight hop aftertaste. Smooth carbonation and surprisingly light mouthfeel. I think this would make a great session beer.
Better than Killian's but there are much better brews out there. Of course I have to say I like over hopped beers so one whould take that into account when reading this review.
04-28-2006 07:50:34 | More by Bang34
3.63/5 rDev -0.8%
The beer pours a ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and roasted malts. It's a bit sweet with a dry, bitter hop aroma. The taste is decent. It has a dry, roasted flavor that boasts of crystal malts and roasted barley. It has a mild hop bitterness and a dry finish. The yeast seems to give it an overly dry flavor. The mouthfeel is decent also. It is a medium/full bodied beer with a little too much carbonation. This is a decent brew. I think I may have aquired an older bottle, hence the overly dry and carbonated feel.
04-22-2006 20:58:22 | More by WesWes
4/5 rDev +9.3%
12 oz. bottle
Pours out a reddish, copper color. Maybe a two finger head. It leaves some lace as you drink it. The beer is very typical of an Irish Ale, hoppy and slightly bitter. It goes down very smooth. Goes great on St. Patrick's day, if you don't have any Guinness or Harp on hand.
04-01-2006 20:53:35 | More by zeff80
3.98/5 rDev +8.7%
On tap at Bostons pizza
Aclear copper/red with virtually no head at all, laces in spots as I drink it down
Ssweet, caramel and butter are strong, not really much else
Tcaramel, slight roasted coffee, buttery, sweet, but not overpowering, very flavorful
Mmeduim bodied, good carbonation, very smooth
Dvery drinkable, I wish I had discovered this a long time ago, a very solid red ale that could be a nice session brew
03-23-2006 02:51:55 | More by hanco005
3.88/5 rDev +6%
pours out of the 12 ounce stubby bottle a less than clear dark auburn colour, with an off white frothy head. sticky lace makes it a looker. citric aroma, some subdued fruity maltiness, too. toasty maltiness backed by a touch of fruit and floral hoppiness. makes for an easy drinking session ale. body is quite light and refreshing; the mouthfeel is slightly prickly but otherwise soft and smooth. this is a nice, unoffending red ale. refreshing, tasty and just perfect for spending st. patricks day at home.
03-18-2006 00:25:58 | More by budgood1
3.93/5 rDev +7.4%
Had on tap @ The Watering Hole - $2 a pint, an absolute steal.
Appearance: Came poured by the bartender, a dark amber in color. Off white heads of varying thickness (1/4 to 1/2 inch). Head dissapated after a few minutes to a small cloud and ring around the glass. Some spotty lacing as the beer is consumed.
Smell: The beers I had were served NOT ice cold, which definitely was a plus. Definite maltiness to this, a touch roasted. Also a little floral and piney hops.
Taste: This is a very nice Irish Red Ale, not that Killian's stuff. A solid malt backing, touch of roasted grains, followed by a nice hop bitterness. A very well balanced beer.
Mouthfeel: A little light in body, good carbonation.
Drinkability: Very easy to pack these away. Low alcohol content makes this an excellent sessioner, on that I am likely to have again on St. Patty's day.
03-14-2006 04:35:56 | More by BigRedN
3.7/5 rDev +1.1%
On-tap @ Peppers in Cedar Falls, Iowa..
Gotta say, this is one brew that wasn't as good on-tap for me. Seemed a bit too thin and lacked the complexity of flavor that the bottled version had. Still a pretty good seasonal from Boulevard that's worth trying.
02-19-2006 03:56:46 | More by hero27
4/5 rDev +9.3%
Appearance has a smooth creamy tan caramel tan head body is amber red leaves even thick chunks of lacing. Aroma contains caramel malt sweetness with pine cone scented hops definitely hoppier than the average Irish Red, which is a plus in my book. Taste has upfront malted wheaties sweetness touch of caramel creamy tone altogether with a mild bitterness but complex piney hop flavor. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied mildly carbonated very smooth with each sip. Drinkability is very nice all around definitely better than many other beers of this style, go Irish this March with Boulevard's take on the style.
02-08-2006 22:06:16 | More by WVbeergeek
3.5/5 rDev -4.4%
Aroma shows a nice semi-sweet, almost toffee, malt presence. Rather simple and not particularly complex.
Dark reddish amber and clear. Tan head that's a little small and quick.
Fairly evenly balanced presentation of malt and bitterness. Rather dry and it increased as warmed and was also reflected in the bitterness.
Carbonation seems excessive and makes it too filling. Seems a little thin, esp. as it warms.
I'd hoped for better. Too strong a hop presence for my liking in this style.
10-07-2005 21:06:42 | More by garymuchow
4.35/5 rDev +18.9%
Medium bodied, dark reddish copper color with a moderate light tan head that retreats to just a light layer of lace almost immediately.
Aroma is sweet roasted malt, caramel, slightly piney.
Taste starts slightly, pleasantly sweet, very mellow roasted malt caramel, toffee and nuts with overtones of apples, drying out slightly toward the finish with a mild spicy citrus/pine note and lingering maltiness.
Very nicely balanced, nothing overdone. Very smooth and extremely easy to drink. One of the best "Irish Ales".
07-09-2005 03:50:07 | More by whynot44
4.15/5 rDev +13.4%
The beer poured into the glass clear medium amber brown with an off-white head that rose and fell slowly and laced the glass.
The aroma was nicely malty with caramel and slight toffee. The aroma was lightly fruity and contained a very slight chocolate aroma.
The flavor was nicely done with some nice malt sweetness and light hop bittering that kept the malt in check. The sweetness contained a smidge of graininess and a nice caramel background with again a hint of chocolate.
The finish was dry with lasting nice bittering impression and caramel. The body was medium and well done, with a very good mouthfeel that was well rounded and very smooth. The label listed wheat as an ingredient and that may be where the mouthfeel comes from.
12 ounce bottle. Best by 05/01/05. Thanks to BIF20 and jimdkc!
05-15-2005 20:04:04 | More by GCBrewingCo
4.08/5 rDev +11.5%
per BIF 16
Pours a sexy brown amber with a tan headskie. Something striking about this brew... Mouthfeel is almost perfect. Wow, what drinkability, but I havn't even gotten to the flavor yet. Tastes good. Haha, yeah, that's the simple truth. Nice full flavor is simple yet subtile and it works! A nice ale.
04-25-2005 23:52:17 | More by scottum
3.68/5 rDev +0.5%
This one pours an amber color with a medium head that has nice retention and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is slightly sweet and has a buttery thing going on. The flavor has a strong caramel backbone with a much stronger hop presence than the aroma would tell. Fairly large in body and easy to drink. Nothing wonderful, but a very nice offering for the style.
04-04-2005 19:08:25 | More by clvand0
3.88/5 rDev +6%
Purchased from John's Grocery in Feb 2005 and consumed that same evening. Reviewed from notes. Pours a 1/2 finger tan head over a red brown liquid. Smells chocoaltey sweet and lightly of coffee. Tastes lihglty chocolate with some coffee, too. Flavors are quite mild and some stornger malt sweet would have added a playful dimension. Medium mouthfeel, which is a surprise, as I've found Boulevard products to usually lack in this characteristic. A bit overcarbonated but all in all an enjoyable beer.
03-20-2005 11:46:57 | More by mentor
Irish Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 501 ratings.