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Imperial Stout - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

343 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 343
Hads: 1,158
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 6.55%
Wants: 258
Gots: 383 | FT: 30
Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co. visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-23-2008

Like India Pale Ale, the classic Imperial Stouts were originally brewed with high levels of alcohol and hops to withstand the rigors of a long sea journey, not to India but to Imperial Russia and the Baltic States. Our version is an over-the-top riff on the style, with a huge grain bill featuring several kinds of malted barley, wheat, rye, oats, and spelt. Robust grain and coffee flavors are counterbalanced by date and plum notes from the Belgian yeast. To add extra complexity and depth, this Imperial Stout is made up of a blend of freshly brewed beer and several barrel-aged beers, carefully balanced. Za Vas!

63 IBU
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Reviews: 343 | Hads: 1,158
Photo of John_Beeryman
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I strongly recommend buying this beer and cellaring it for a year. IT WAS THE PERFECT STOUT. Black, richly chocolatey, velvet smooth thick mouthfeel. Astounding. (161 characters)

Photo of bonesTdog
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's difficult to give this beer all 5s but I just can't find any reason to give it any less anywhere. Calling this an imperial stout sells it way short. There are so many fantastic layers of flavors from coffee and chocolate to fruit, aged wood and alcohol building to an amazing complexity. A beautiful dark coffee color and heavy body just complete the picture. Not a beer to drink with food in my opinion. You need to sip and savor to truly appreciate it. (460 characters)

Photo of dpgoblejr
4.94/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2014 Version. Pours black with tan hue along the rim with a wisp of khaki tan head and tiny bubbles that don't quit dancing on top. Aroma is heavy of bourbon and wood. Flavor is phenomenal with the chocolate and coffee layered with molasses and sweet dark fruits. Alcohol burn on the finish from the whiskey barrel aging with a pretty well rounded body and great texture. Took a gamble on this one and it was pretty amazing! (429 characters)

Photo of machostacos
4.92/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from caged and corked 750ml bottle into my favorite tulip glass.

I first heard about Boulevard from Mark Starr at http://www.thehopry.com and let me say: they have yet to let me down. The Dark Truth stout, Tank 7 saison, Double-Wide IPA and The Sixth Glass are some of my favorites of their respective styles, and I expect this one to be no different. He gave the 2007 (aged 2 years) a 100 out of 100 - only matched by his favorite beer of all time, Bell's Hopslam. Needless to say, I have high hopes with this one.

A: Pours the blackest of blacks with a thin, frothy head. Little-to-no lacing - very spotty. Looks gorgeous in my tulip! I just can't WAIT to taste this thing.

S: Vanilla; oaky bourbon; dark chocolate; dark sticky fruits; a touch of maple syrup; more chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon; and a choir of angels singing. This, my friends, is heaven in a glass.

T: Perfection. One of the most flavorful beers I've ever had the privilege of tasting. Metric tons of oaky vanilla; rich, freshly-brewed Indonesian coffee; bittersweet dark chocolate; dark fruits; and smoky bourbon. Dear Lord. I feel like I need a few minutes of silence in which to truly appreciate this beer. Quite possibly the best I've ever had. It hardly gets better than this. The ultimate stout-lovers' stout. Just....wow.

M: If I'm being perfectly honest...just a little bit thin. Otherwise, this beer is perfect. Its low carbonation and slickness coats the mouth and leaves that scrumptious stickiness on the lips.

O: Simply one of the best beers I've ever had, hands down. The 11.0% ABV is hidden quite well on all accounts, though after two glasses I'm DEFINITELY feeling it. This thing gives the 2011 KBS its run for the money. If i'm being honest with myself, this is tied with the KBS. Hell, it might edge it out by the *slightest* of margines. Boulevard, you've done it again. This brewery has climbed its way to #3 in my preference, only after Founders and Bells, respectively (but only because of Hopslam!) Bravo!!!! (2,017 characters)

Photo of kcillini77
4.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I gotta tell you - this is close to the perfect beer. I have to mark down the drinkability slightly just because it's so stinkin' high in alcohol and it takes a full evening to enjoy a bottle.

The pour (into my Ommegang chalice) is black as it should be. The tan head looks great and retains well.

The smell is of roasted grain, pure cocoa, coffee, and some faint hops.

Taste is the perfect mix of roasted oats, barley, dark chocolate, espresso beans, wood, and a little bit of boozy alcohol.

Taste is very complex.

I know this might be sacrilege but I enjoy it more than Stone Russian Imperial Stout. I have only had that once, and may have to revisit it on my upcoming trip west.

Phenomenal job by Boulevard. The best of a great Smokestack series to date. Keep 'em coming. (781 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.83/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a huge (4 finger) brown, foamy head with big bubbles. It left sticky patches of Brussels lace all over the glass.

S - It smelled of dark chocolate, sweet caramel, floral notes and hints of fruits.

T - It tasted of chocolate, caramel and fruity sweetness. It had a bitter/citrusy hop presence and slight hints of raisin.

M - It was crisp, sharp and velvety smooth. A medium-bodied beer that is surprisingly easy to drink despite its alcohol content.

D - This is outstanding. The finest of the Smokestack series. (561 characters)

Photo of jokelahoma
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium globe on my deck.

NOTE: This is 2011 Batch 1, so no brett here. Bottle # 1348

Pours a gorgeous pitch black with a minimal deep khaki head, which fades relatively quickly.

What an aroma! Dark chocolate, cocoa, hints of raisins and plums, and a surprisingly small amount of whiskey, seeing as how it's 46% from whiskey barrels. In fact, the barrel isn't really up front in the nose at all. There are only the slightest hints of whiskey, wood and vanilla to hint that there's something here. Compared to other barrel aged brews that slap you upside the head and scream "WOOD! DO YOU HEAR ME? WOOD! OH, AND WHISKEY! AND WOOD! DID WE MENTION WOOD?", this is a great, albeit unexpected, change of pace. Very enticing!

That aroma carries over into the taste. In fact, I could almost cut the aroma paragraph and paste it here. The same chocolate, cocoa, dark fruits, and only a hint of whiskey, wood and vanilla. Doesn't seem terribly boozy to me. Substantial, but not boozy. A sugary sweetness pops up in the aftertaste, and lingers long after you've finished the drink, just making you want that much more to take another drink. One of the best imperial stouts I believe I've ever had. After the bad press, I have to say I am stunned, and happily so.

The mouthfeel is just about right as well. It's a bit oily, yet there's just enough carbonation to scrub that clean in your mouth. So, you know you're drinking something, but it cleans up after itself nicely. Again, quite well done.

Again, with the whole controversy of the brettanomyces "infected" Batch 2, and Boulevard releasing it anyway because they happened to like the way it tasted, I really wasn't certain at all what to expect with this brew. What I got didn't just impress me, it knocked my socks off! All I can say is if you can find one that is a Batch 1 (look on the back label above the best by date), by all means grab it. This was fantastic. As for me I'm going to look for a Batch 2 just to compare them. (2,001 characters)

Photo of Fweezle
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First review and this beer is whole heartedly worthy.

A : Inky black that foamed up something fierce in the glass. 3 1/2 finger cocoa color head with minimal lacing.

S : Just outstanding. One of my favorite parts of tasting a beer. Hints of Chocolate, charcoal, roasted grains, coffee, and a bit of rye spiciness.

T : Simply delicious. The roasted grains take the forefront with darkness coating your mouth. The roasted chocolate really comes through, coffee is superbly subdued but present and a touch of the grainy rye spiciness. Moderate hop bitterness on the finish.

M : Silky and lightly carbonated. Maybe just a touch too thin, but adds to the drinkability. No overly "coatiness" to your tongue.

D : At 11.00% its a bit hard to finish one on your own, but definitly one to share the experience. (806 characters)

Photo of sjccmd
4.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Poured into a snifter, black with a tan inch and a half head. Sticks to the glass.

S: Roasted malts, dark bitter chocolate, coffee

T: More complex than the smell, chocolate, olives, coffee, oats, some alcohol warmness, and a hoppy aftertaste.

M: Good and Slimy, but I would like a little less carbonated. But, as it warms it gets better.

D: Entirely drinkable. For 11%...no complaints. (392 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nice presentation, numbered bottle. Cork took a wine opener to pop. Once it popped off the brew poured forth a solid black river. Deep black, even the edges didn't lighten up. Dense, tan head that foamed at a slow rate, it built up over 12 seconds after pour.
Good coffee and toffee smell. Not overpowering, but constant and thorough. A hint of cocoa is present as it warms. I can smell the dryness.

Taste seems to come out big, but settle down to a nice balance of coffee, cocoa, and molasses. A sharp bite grips the middle of the tongue, yet finishes smooth. Flavor tends to start to sour towards the end, but then calm down with subtle complexity.

Overall, this beer is very nice. Rivals the Abyss, and like the Abyss a big bottle is too much for one person. Not a bad thing, but just know this ahead of time. (815 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Catching up review submissions and hit the 1500 mark, so while the review is from last year, maybe it will inspire you to pick a few of these up for *this* fall. Here's to J&T and their tireless efforts.

Appearance - a good black pour, deep burgundy hues around the edges. A thick creamy head of light mocha, starts out at three fingers and slowly fades back.

Aroma - lots of roasted grain accentuated with Hershey's-type chocolate. Some estery alcohol, but the roast grain keeps coming back. Woody notes creep in as this sets up. Excellent!

Taste - dark grain, espresso, and some hot boozy abv. Yowza, even after two years, this has some heat going down. The swallow has some just a nip, maybe hops, maybe the roasty character of the malt. Light woodiness on the aftertaste. With the resilience of the flavors, it makes for a fine extra taste of something, well, extra. The finish is long and lush. Ends nice and warm on this windy, rainy, and blustery fall evening here in Cincy.

Mouthfeel - smooth, velvety, good carbonation.

Drinkability - outstanding beer. Worth trying, waiting for, trading for...it's just worth it. (1,127 characters)

Photo of JayWhitson
4.73/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 bottle from craftbeerkings.com

phenomenal bourbon aged imperial stout with the only real aspect in which to criticize is it's slightly over carbonated ... other wise it's something to be shared and I did try but no one showed up so put down the bottle myself and had a wonderful time doing so (298 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.73/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from The Wine & Cheese Place for $11.99

This pours from caged and corked 750ML bottle(no. 6037 of 11960) a pitch black with a 3 finger head of tan foam. The cork was very stubborn so I used my BA bottle opener's bigger end to wedge the cork out. It saved a lot of irritation on my hand. Just kep wedging and rotating and it's simple as pie. ;^)

The smell has a lot of roasted malt and dark fruits with side orders of chocolate and a wee bit of coffee. Very nice nose.

The taste comes out with a ton of roasted malt and grain followed by some chocolate, light coffee, and a good but not overpowering flavour of wood...bourbon, in fact. I started off this session with a very cold bottle that I just got so some warming is in order to get the full effects of what this beer has to offer.

I waited for about 30 minutes after my first sips and, man, was I rewarded. All of the flavours come out to the forefront and are tickling my palate like few Imperial Stouts can. Yum!

The mouthfeel is in fullish territory, the carbonation is on the light side of medium, and it finishes lightly bitter with a last mad dash of bourbon. This one is definitely made to savour and... the alcohol? At 11%abv, it appears to be on the very timid side. Very well hidden to my tastes. Wow.

Drinkability? Super drinkable given how strong it is. A very well made Imperial Stout indeed and I take my hat off to Boulevard for pushing the "envelope" for what an example of the style can be. Don't hesitate for a moment if you see this one on the shelf of your local liquor store. It is, imho, a must try.

Oh, and head retention and lacing are superb. This beer can do *no* wrong! (1,668 characters)

Photo of naterock
4.73/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Smokestack Chalice. Pours a Deep opaque black, Thick rocky two finger head that settles like sand. As close to a nitro-tap settling as I've ever seen in a bottle. head leaves a nice patchy lacing.

Smell is rich malt, some rye and oat malt. a brown sugary nose is relenquished by a alcohol twinge in the nose. A very distinct yeast profile is so incredibly enticing. Absolutely amazingly complex.

Suprisingly I taste hops first, but is quickly overpowerd by rich but subtle malts. I sense some fig and vine fruit in the aftertaste. Incredibly complex with a bitter-sweet overall complexity. Approach is bitter but finishes sweet and smooth. Not as creamy as some other RISs but I don't think RIS is in a league all it's own.

Mouth is rich and viscous, this one really sticks with you while you attempt to finish off the bottle. For future reference I might want to split one, but this bottle is all mine. MuaHA HA HA! (934 characters)

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Boulevard Imperial Stout, bottle bought at Collins Midtown Liquor in Tulsa, OK, for $11.99 plus tax on January 30 2012.

54% ale 46% ale aged in whiskey barrels, batch number 2011-1, bottle 1280.

Appearance: Served in a tall glass (didn’t bother to use a snifter this time), this brew comes looking big, black, deep and mean. One solid finger of cappuccino-colored head that lasts and lingers. Great retention and carbonation. 4.0

Smell: 4.5 Whiskey, wood, vanilla, hops. Chocolate. Cat pee as the brew warms up. Soy sauce? A bit, but one you’d want to drink straight up the bottle. You can smell the thick stickiness of this beer!

Taste: 5.0 This is outrageously smooth and beautiful. Right away you get the wood and the subtle smoke and barrel taste of the whiskey. A bit of caramel and liquorice drops follows. Some grassiness, reminds me of walking through the prairie at Chocolate and subdued hops at the end, plus a bit of alcohol. Anise as it goes down the throat.

Mouthfeel: 4.0 Creamy, drinkable. Full flavor and body, medium-and-perfect carbonation.

Overall: 5.0 Exceptional indeed. So damn drinkable and fuckable. 1,000 steps beyond the 2011 bottle I tried last year!

---
Boulevard Smokestack Imperial Stout, numbered bottle bought at Friar Tuck in Savoy-Champaign, Illinois, for $13.99, in late summer 2011. Very excited to try this brew! This is Batch#1, bottled January 2011 and with no trace of the brett that appeared in Batch#2 (after reading the BA notes, it looks like this does have some brett.)

Appearance 4.0: Served in a small snifter-aka-wine-glass at my hotel room in Decatur, Illinois, the beer pours pitch-black and laborious, as if it were a culinary puree instead of a brew. A hefty, foamy, mocha-colored head appears eventually, and it lasts for a while. This is the classic look for a big beer of this kind!

Smell: 4.0 Lots of bourbon (whiskey), wood, some smoke. Barrel, age, pirate ship. Yum! A tad of chocolate and dairy.

Taste: 4.0 Chocolate, wood, oak, fire. Brown sugar, some vanilla. Reminds me of Dogfish Palo Santo. The whiskey is out there, all the way, despite being only 46%. Nice, but a lil' too harsh in the mouth.

Mouthfeel: 3.5 A tad thin for such a big beer, but it works alright nonetheless. Nice chocolate feel all around. Full flavor and body, low-to-medium carbonation. Dry, spicy, woodsy finish. Boozy, but oh-so-tasty!

Overall: 4.0 Not so drinkable, that's for sure. But hey, that's not what you ask for in a beer like this, right? It is very tasty, it is very nice and, considering it is only 46% aged, the barrel does a great work (if slightly overwhelming at times). Wish it were cheaper, but it ain't a bad price considering how limited this is. Would gladly have again! (2,748 characters)

Photo of sonicdescent
4.71/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to BrewCzar. All beers I have never tried from him that we classified as "Under the Radar," and all have been fantastic so far.

I don't give a 5 in the looks department very often, but this one has some insane head, even with a mild pour, and crazy fluffy retention and lacing. The liquid itself does not appear to have any highlights.

Smell is of earthy chocolate, a bit of wood maybe? No hint of the bourbon aged blend in here. Tobacco, mild alcohol. Good.

Taste, aah there's the bourbon. Surprisingly strong for the small amount blended in. This beer is fantastic, where do i start. Mouth is pretty thick and low to medium in carbonation, which is where I want a stout. The chocolate, oak, booze, heat, tobacco, earth, love, it's all there. This reminds me of a better version of the Abyss.

BrewCzar, could you and I possibly set up the exact same trade? (868 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage. Pours a pitch black color with a large espresso colored head. Head goes down slowly. Scent has a surprising amount of bourbon in it. Smooth vanilla and oak. Very chocolatey. Taste is exactly as it smells. This beer is absolutely delicious. I was not expecting this. I was expecting a good beer, but not an amazing beer. The bourbon is so well-balanced in this beer. Great barrel flavors with milk chocolate and vanilla. Mouthfeel is full bodied with high drinkability. Overall, this beer blew my mind. One of the most well-balanced bourbon barrel beers I've had. (576 characters)

Photo of dmgeng
4.69/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I have been eyeing this bottle for several weeks and I finally decided to pull the trigger on this Boulevard offering. (2014 bottling)

A - Deep dark black. It pours thick with light brown head and good lacing. Very fine bubbles that don't quit.

S - Initially the big bourbon barrel aroma hits you in the face. Full bourbon with vanilla, oak, toasted coconut, and caramel. Underneath are the dark fruits and then roast, some chocolate, and some sweet malt. More bourbon than beer from the smell but I like it.

T - The first sip there is an explosion of flavors. The bourbon is there but less impact-full than in the smell; again the bourbon, vanilla, oak, and caramel are all on the front of the palate but the sweet malt of the imperial stout is on the tip of the tongue. In the middle there is a slight tart hit from the amount of dark fruit, like prune, and then plenty more stout flavors with roast, cocoa, caramel, and malt. The finish has the roasted bitter you would expect along with some alcohol warming from the bourbon; however, there is so much flavor that there is still plenty to savor after you have swallowed the beer.

M - Very high mouth-feel with Moderate carbonation. I really like how the bourbon, carbonation, and roasted malt attempt balanced the sweet imperial stout flavors. It is soft and somewhat sticky on the finish.

Overall, this is a very delicious beer. I haven't been too impressed with Boulevard in the past so that is why I was initially apprehensive about getting this one but I was not disappointed. This beer is not the best BA beer I've had but it reminds me of a barrel-aged Bell's Expedition stout with tons of dark fruit character in the base beer in addition to all of the other big stout flavors to go along with the bourbon barrel flavors. I think that even more age would benefit by making it a little smoother and blending the flavors more but don't hesitate to get the previous years bottling if you get a chance.

Glass- Snifter (1,980 characters)

Photo of BWood
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a great stout. I like everything about it. Very smooth on the tongue and a nice heavy feel. High alcohol but drinks like a beer with much less power. (157 characters)

Photo of bort11
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Boulevard keeps hitting home runs with the Smokestack series!

750 ml bottle, #5198 of 11960. Poured into my trusty Boulevard Smokestack goblet, freshly chipped on the foot :'( . Solid two finger head that is slightly orangish cocoa brown. Recedes to a mild ring with a thin smokey lace on the surface. Color is a velvety solid black with a dark brown finish.

Smell is very warming in the nose. There is bitter dark chocolate, brief notes of espresso and Belgian yeast. Taste is very complex. The label says the malt includes barley, wheat, rye, oats, and spelt. I don't even know what spelt is, but it is working. The oats create a creamy texture, the rye adds some bitterness. There are hints of lemon and citrus, which must be coming from the yeast and the wheat. There is chocolate a-plenty. This is one of the most complex beers I've ever had. Layers upon layers of flavor.

As said, there is a creamy texture that must come from the oats. The mouthfeel itself is not overly heavy. There a slickness to is, and is so smooth. Boulevard has truly outdone themselves with this one. Best Smokestack to date? YES! (1,114 characters)

Photo of mikeborglum
4.67/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 750ml bottle in a tulip glass. Bottle # 6561 2011 release
Pitch black color. Carbonation releases thin tan head that quickly settles with nice lacing.
Aroma is rich with dark chocolate, coffee and a hint of alcohol - no surprise with 11% ABV,
Very complex flavor with that dark chocolate bitter sweetness, smokey/charred/roasted finish and that slight presence of alchohol.
Full body and wonderful smooth creamy feel in the mouth. Some carbonization and long roasty sweet finish that begs for more.
Fantastic stout and one of Boulevard's finest brews. (560 characters)

Photo of SavvyStudent
4.67/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: pours with a thick chocolate head and syrup viscosity. Strong lacing and large foam head left.

S: dark chocolate, raisin, burnt toast, espresso, sweet cherries

T: mild sweet chocolate followed directly with Sweet bourbon kick. Coffee and fruity sweetness paired with a bitterness that balances well.

M: medium plus mouthfeel with medium plus carbonation. It sits well for what you would expect from a stout.

O: much better than anticipated. It balances the sweetness of the whiskey and bitterness of cocoa with a master stroke. Worth the $13 price tag and interested to see what a year will do with the others in reserve. (628 characters)

Photo of Reaper16
4.66/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

served from a 750mL bottle into an original Smokestack Series goblet

Pours a gorgeous, opaque black with a dense, lion-pelt head. The head is amazing; it doesn't quit. Ever. It is so very, very creamy looking. It leaves a solid wall of thick lacing after every sip. A superb looking beer.

Lots of chocolate in the nose, some coffee, a touch of hops. Yeast, too. I never got a whole lot of complexity from the nose, but the typical aroma points were present.

The complexity in the mouth is another story; this is an incredibly nuanced stout. The differing grains interact with each other in surprising and delicious ways, and the relationships change even as the beer warms. The interplay of oats, wheat and rye with the varying barley count (not to mention spelt) is a magical thing that remains difficult to pin down. Loads of roasty chocolate flavors, too, and a pleasant touch of smoke on the back end. Some dark fruit complexity goes well with the yeast. There are so many elements here, and they're all working.

A tremendously creamy mothfeel makes this beer feel like some grand indulgence. The 11%ABV is well-hidden, and I could have imbibed more than what I did.

Boulevard has out-done themselves with this latest limited-release Smokestack Series offering. One can only hope that this becomes a yearly release because this Imperial Stout is simply too good to be a one-shot affair. This is quite the achievement. (1,428 characters)

Photo of Jack_Malts
4.64/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll say this, a great imperial stout. Not too big, not too thin, and relatively complex. What they've done here is crafted a great sipping beer by really ramping up the brewing and blending processes. Good black color, creamy mouthfeel, slick and smooth. The scent is simple molasses/cocoa but the flavor explodes with complexity. Light vanilla, big cocoa, some faint coffee, raisins in the aftertaste, even some chocolate + brandy notes coming in at the same time on the finish. Dark chocolate with some slight berry notes as well, like dried raspberries coated in dark chocolate.

Bottom line - if you're a fan of big, complex imperial stouts than this is a must-have, especially considering the relatively high availability. Definitely recommend. (750 characters)

Photo of longbongsilver
4.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

During a routine grocery trip, found the concept of beer bottled like champagne amusing. After a brief giggle, figured what the hell, let's find out what the fuss is about...

Pours pitch black. Head is thick & brown like off of a float, nearly triple the initial volume of beer and sticks around awhile. Pouring a decent amount takes some time as a result.

Smells kinda like almonds, plus more of the hops than I expected. The hops & the nutty malt balance out, and I don't taste the alcohol at all, just feel it. Goes down clean, but not watery.

Buy it again? Heck, if not for the price I'd fill an entire 2nd fridge with it... (631 characters)

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Imperial Stout from Boulevard Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 343 ratings.