Nutcracker Ale - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Nutcracker AleNutcracker Ale

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768 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 768
Reviews: 333
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.06%
Wants: 25
Gots: 66 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co. visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Nutcracker Ale is Boulevard’s holiday gift for real beer lovers. This hearty, warming brew is a classic winter ale, deep amber in color, with hints of molasses balanced by the “spiciness” of freshly harvested Chinook hops.

38 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-11-2002)
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Ratings: 768 | Reviews: 333 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of bsp77
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Very hazy, dark orange with thick, creamy head.

Smell: Lots of floral, spicy hops, as well as some tart grapefruit. Nice bready, caramel malt as well.

Taste: While there is a strong backbone of toast, caramel and cherry, this is surprisingly hoppy, with notes of spice, grapefruit and herbs. Somewhat bitter finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation with a nice, dry finish. Seemed slightly thin at first, but got better at around cellar temp.

Overall: Despite everything positive about this beer, there is something that keeps me from really wanting to have more. However, it is a very good Americanized take on an English Strong Ale.

Photo of BigJarv79
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of seth72104
3/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of mattkooler
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of Travisnin
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of secondtooth
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This hazy amber ale pours with medium carbonation and only a half-finger of lace on the glass. Nothing spectacular in the presentation.

The nose is spiced, malty, and rich. Not bad.

Upon tasting, I get more spice, and some tones of fruit and nuts, with a slightly bitter finish. Boulevard has captured some appropriate flavors for the holidays, and this ale is solid, if unremarkable.

Photo of gtermi
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer pours a nice brownish red, with a nice small head.

S: I was shocked about how many hops this beer has on the nose and I also get some spice.

T: There are many different flavors with this beer. I am tasting some spices, some hops and some malt. It is a nice mixture of flavors for sure.

M: The beer is pretty smooth. It is easy to drink and hardly has any crispness. Very enjoyable.

O: This is a very solid beer. It really doesnt taste like a winter warmer to me, but doesnt take away from the fact that its a very solid good beer.

Photo of tito42
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to a Blvd. tulip. Best by 03/01/2012.

A: Mahogany, slightly cloudy, with a tan head. Nice retention and lacing.

S: Malt, candy sugar, caramel, and citrus/piney hops.

T: Malt, candy sugar, toffee, caramel, and a prominent hops and sucrose finish.

M: Medium-bodied. Just a tad on the watery side to me, which I find with many Boulevard brews. Great warming effect of the alcohol without lingering or drying out the palate too much.

O: Very solid winter warmer. I've really begun to dig the Boulevard seasonals after a year and a half since diving into the world of craft beer.

Photo of scratch69
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Poured a reddish-brown with 1/2 fingers worth of head. Very little lacing.

Smell- A strong aroma of spices with a hint of malt.

Taste- Very strong taste of malt and spices. A bit of hops with a dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied and smooth. Decent carbonation.

Overall- A nice seasonal beer. I've had this one before and I will probably have it again. A good winter brew.

Photo of TheAlamoWrocker
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed October 29, 2011. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a JFF is my BFF novelty Pint Glass. Consumed on a cold night in a cabin located in Potosi, Missouri.

A:Poured a 1/2 fingered head with a beautiful dark red shade backing it up.

S: On the pour if seemed as if this smell just dominated the room. It smelled definitely like a variety of species. When finally in the glass this smelt spicy with some malts in the background. The smell of the pour was better than its actually smell somehow.

T: Dominated by malts with a slight hopness in the back. The spices are definitely there, but they are difficult to pinpoint what exactly I am tasting in them.

M: The carbonation was light and it also felt pretty thin which seemed odd.

O: This beer was nothing special, but it always feels like it's difficult to find a seasonal that blows me away. Compared to an Octoberfest I would rather drink this style all day long because it feels as this has the flavor I desire in my beer.

Photo of soju6
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Served a dark mahogany color with a small tan head and nice lacing.

S: Mild aroma of nuts and caramel with a bit of spice mixed in.

T: Mild malt sweetness with some caramel, nice bit of spice. Mild bitterness and a dry finish.

F: Fairly medium body, smooth and a bit creamy. Nice balance.

O: Easy drinker, a nice seasonal offering.

Photo of FosterJM
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

902nd Review on BA
Bottle to Mug
12 oz

Best by: 2/28/12
Purchased from: On the Rocks, Lawrence, KS

App- A murky caramel brown with a good bit of amber color behind it. Zero head formed and no cling at all. Much more like a dark whiskey.

Smell- This was more of a pumpkin beer minus the pumpkin. Spicy, yeasty, malty. There wasn't much here bit it did smell like Winter to me.

Taste- A nice bubbly caramel flavor with a good spice note behind it. More more malt forward than I was thinking and also had a fair bit of a grain bill behind it.

Mouth- A light medium body with a light medium carbonation level. A spicy, malty, yeasty after taste.

Drink- A pretty tasty winter warmer. A bit thin for me, but the bubbles and after taste make up for it. Don't think I will come back to this one, but pretty good.

Photo of sweethome
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour is amber with light tan head. Nose is of sweet malts, a hint of candy sugar and aroma hops push through - rather grassy.

Entry is sweet - light dried fruits - a bit watery compared to other beers with this flavor profile. Nice chocolate malt mid mouth with a bit of english yeast flavors (to style) and hop flavors fight for notice. The maltiness really blasts up front with the yeast charachter, then softens and delivers slight chocolate, nuts and hint of cherries.

Delivers a lot of flavor, but not a very full mouthfeel that I expect from a winter warmer. Alcohol lacking for this style too. That said - this beer delivers a lot of satisfying flavor. A very drinkable holiday ale. Worth having some around during the holiday season to introduce others to this style.

Photo of emmasdad
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this one up at a local liquor store last holiday season, and neglected to enter my rating back then. I shall do so now. Poured an opaque reddish brown color with an impressive enough head. Aromas of nuts, piney hops and dark fruits. On the palate, this one is medium bodied, with flavors of dark fruits, resiny hops and caramel.

Photo of colt45n
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a coppery brown color. No head once it gets to my table. Nice streaks of lace on the sides of the glass.

S- Caramel malts mix with some light nutty notes. Herbal hops and some even light nutmeg flavor

T- Caramel malts come in first with some light cherry flavors. There is an interesting spicing going on that I can't quite put my finger on. Nutty flavor toward the middle of the beer..

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Sweet malts with light nutty flavors are left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly sweet malts, fading alcohol, and light hopping. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol. Flavors were blended well for what it was suppose to be. No off flavors were present at all.

A good beer, Ive had it both bottled and on tap and I would have to say that I do enjoy it more on tap for whatever that is worth

Photo of mdaschaf
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy reddish-brown with a massive 2.5 finger egg-white head, overflowing from my glass. Decent lacing.

S: Up front there is a lot of apple and some floral hops, with a decent amount of alcohol.

T: It tastes almost like cider with a light citrus kick to it. Some bready malt fills out the flavor profile. After finishing the review, I went back and read some others, and this flavor profile doesn't really jive with most, might be a little past due, looked for a best by and didn't find one, might have been rubbed off?

M: Medium bodied with high carbonation, texture is a little on the grainy side.

O: Not sure on this one, I am guessing its no longer good, but can't imagine a change this drastic. Will try again.

Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes:
thanks goes out to deepsouth for sending this one my way.

appearance: dark brown with a 2 finger head

smell: hops, malts, spices

taste: spices, some hops, sweet malts,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body, smooth, crisp

drinkability: this was one of the better winter warmers I had this past year. Will seek it out again next year.

the CPJ

Photo of bnes09
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, dark amber. Huge off white head forms and never gives up. Develops a frothy lace.

Rich aromas of roasted nuts, piney hops and biscuity malts.

Malty grain flavors come through in the taste. Rich like a buttered biscuit. Roasted almonds. Thich caramel sweetness. Nice hop, pine-like and semi-assertive. Well balanced and tasty.

Sturdy medium body with a bit of chewiness. Slightly low carbonation.

Fairly filling which is expected although smooth. Very tasty for a winter season. Definetly gives a warming feeling during the cold months.

Photo of BigHeavy
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a New Belgium globe. Beer was consumed immediately after pouring and was enjoyed over about 45 minutes before bed.

A: Beer pours a hazy burnt red color. An average pour produces a two finger head, tan in color, that lingers for a couple of minutes then settles to a very pretty looking one finger cap. Each sip leaves a little lacing behind. A handsome beer.

S: To me, the aroma is incredibly complex. I spent about ten minutes just sniffing the damn thing (which I enjoyed a ton), trying to put my finger on all the scents. Picked up on heavy caramel/toffee like sweetness, some citrus hops, some cinnamon and other various spices, as well as some prune/raisin like dark fruits. As the beer warmed, the smells opened up even more.

T: Toffee/caramel notes bombard the taste buds at first, but there is more going on here. All of those lovely scent make and appearance here. The hop presence is citrusy AND a little spicy. There is some hop bitterness as well balancing out the whole package. The spice notes and dark fruits are more in a background role. Delicious and interesting beer.

M: My only real "problem" with this beer is the mouthful. Yes, its a little creamy, but I found it to be a little thin for such a complex beer. I would have liked a little more substance. Carbonation levels were good, however.

D: Beer is very drinkable, could quaff a few of these before bed, if I had them. Alas, I had only the one. Alcohol content is manageable.

O: My absolute favorite seasonal from Boulevard. Always a staple in the fridge come the wintertime, and a great deal to boot at $6.99 a six pack. Improve the mouth feel a bit and we have a contender for favorite seasonal, right up there with Celebration Ale. Still, an incredibly complex and satisfying beer for the ass cold winter months of the Midwest.

Photo of 908carson
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Purchased this bottle in a mix-pack. For a winter warmer, I guess i would expect a little more than 5.9%, but i'm willing to give it a shot.

Appearance: Cloudy, Grade A "Dark Amber" maple syrup. Poured a huge, off-white, billowy head that extended well beyond the rim of the glass, then receded to something resembling a bubble bath.

Smell: Popped right when I opened the bottle... Got a whiff of sweet spice. In the glass, I get a decent balance between spiced caramel malt and fresh Christmas tree. Smells great!

Taste: Piney, to say the least. Bitter. Not very well supported on the malt back-end. Slightly spicy with a cloying resinous flavor.

Mouthfeel: Has a very "drying" effect in the mouth... Slightly more carbonated than I would like to see. Lower abv prevents the slickness that I would actually expect from a winter warmer.

Drinkability: I don't detect anything warming about this ale. As I said, I just don't think 5.9% is sufficient for the style... Most commercially (read grocery store) available Winter Warmers tend to lack in this area... and that's where I found this brew. It's tasty enough, but it's actually a little bit more drinkable than it should be! I usually don't finder winter warmers to be all that comfortable to drink, but I could have 2 or 3 of these in a night before I'd be completely tired of it.

Photo of alleykatking
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a coppery brown color. One and a half finger white head shows good retention. Nice streaks of lace on the sides of the glass.

S- Caramel malts mix with some light nutty notes. Herbal hops and some even light nutmeg I thought. Simple and to the point for the most part.

T- Caramel malts come in first with some light cherry flavors. There is an interesting spicing going on that I can't quite put my finger on. Nutty flavor toward the middle of the beer. Light green apple hints toward the end with more of a herbal hop finish.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Sweet malts with light nutty flavors are left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly sweet malts, fading alcohol, and light hopping. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol. Flavors were blended well for what it was suppose to be. No off flavors were present at all.

D- This beer was good but nothing special. Easy drinker with some lower ABV. While this beer was good it was also easy to forget. Overall glad I tried it and will do it again.

Photo of tmcelvain
4.4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Beautiful copper color - so hazy that I can't see through it. Nice foamy head.
S: Full bodies malt smell.
T: Fairly sweet; faint citrusy hops mixed with some caramelly malts and a dried candy aftertaste.
M: pleasantly thick with a refreshing medium carbonation.
D: Very drinkable for any season in my opinion. Lots of body in this WW, without being overly spiced like some holiday ales.
Overall a bit sweet perhaps, but full-bodies enough to keep from a cloyingly sweet flavor.

Photo of kojevergas
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into dinner glass (I know...) in Denver, CO at high altitude.

A: Three finger head of mild cream and thickness. Inviting. Hazy maple-brown colour.

Sm: Nutty, estery. A hint of cream. Hops.

T: Very nutty on the smooth open, which resolves to a heavy grapefruit lacing. Unexpected, but built well for this style (which is quickly becoming a favourite). Balanced but complex. Extremely estery. Holy hops, batman!

Mf: Wet with a dry finish. Adequate coarseness as needed.

Dr: I'd certainly have it again at this price. I'm liking winter warmers more and more. This is no exception.

Photo of schlimenhaumer
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a regular dinner glass at high altitude (around 6,000 feet).

A - Almost opaque amber with a nice white three-finger head.

S - Good fruity bouquet.

T - I found this beer pretty complex with a citric taste -- I got grapefruit.

M - Wet with a dry finish -- very nice.

D - Great price and doesn't taste too alcoholic. I'd be happy drinking this one all night.

Nutcracker Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 768 ratings.