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Imperial Stout - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

352 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 352
Hads: 1,210
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 19.28%
Wants: 259
Gots: 397 | 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
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 352 | Hads: 1,210
Photo of vfgccp
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle. Best by Nov 2015, opened Jan 2015.

A - A great looking stout. Nice cascade on a dark coffee foam head that pours 2 fingers high with nice retention and low lace.

S - Caramel, coffee, oak, vanilla, Coca-Cola, sweet chocolate liquor booze.

T - Rich molasses, charred bread, caramel, bitter 75% dark chocolate, pumpernickel, cola soda syrup, touch of oak.

M - Thick, full bodied. Soft, syrupy finish.

O - A delicious AIS. Thick and sweet for the style.

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Photo of ianwolfman
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

2013 was 40% barrel aged and I liked it a lot. 2014 is all barrel aged and it's too bourbon-y. Soft sweet vanilla oak flavours and a nice mouth feel but not really what I'm into.

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Photo of mjwellman
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with a creamy lite brown small head. Aroma is strong of whiskey and hint of vanilla. Taste is moderately carbonated and a little acidic. Strong whiskey taste with a hint of coffee and vanilla that follows with a wonderful warm sensation. Very nice stout to enjoy slowly over some nice conversation.

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Photo of Powderhornphil
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge looking beer with a killer, creamy mouth feel. Taste and aroma decent but the plum notes overpower the chocolate and roast I love in an Imperial stout.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another very superb offering from Boulevard's Smokestack Series. Just the right amount of barrel flavors. Taste nicely follows the smell. A much more "mellow" tasting BA stout. Well done.

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Photo of John_Beeryman
5/5  rDev +20.5%
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.

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Photo of watermelon
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2013 vintage.
A: Pours a thick inky black with a foamy mocha head. The head diminishes slowly although a cap still lingers.

S: not super complex at first mostly chocolate and booze with some dark fruit sweetness.

T: Whiskey dominates.

F: Very viscous sweetness sticks to the teeth long after a sip. There is a burn, but its not that bad for a 12% beer.

O: Fairly decent beer. Although not one I would want to drink regularly.

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 11/1/2013. Pours dense pitch black color with a 2 finger fairly dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big raisin, plum, date, fig, licorice, molasses, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, toffee, bourbon, oak, vanilla, clove, pepper, light char, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, dark/roasted malt, and light-moderate bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, date, fig, licorice, molasses, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, toffee, bourbon, oak, vanilla, clove, pepper, light char, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Fair amount of earthy yeast spice and roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruit, licorice, molasses, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, toffee, bourbon, oak, vanilla, pepper, and yeast/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, dark/roasted malt, and light-moderate bourbon barrel flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance with the yeast notes and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible Belgian imperial stout style. All around awesome complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, dark/roasted malt, and light-moderate bourbon barrel flavors; and extremely smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of zac16125
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Boulevard Imperial Stout
750mL bottle into a snifter
Vintage 2013

A: Pours an opaque black with over 1 fingers width of light mocha colored head, which has good retention before dissipating down, but leaves essentially zero lacing. 4

S: Lots of roasted malt, some raw oak, tobacco, subtle whiskey aromas and chocolate. Nothing crazy, but a really nice aromatic profile that I expect in a good stout. 4.25

T: Very roast, followed by tobacco and leather notes. A long lingering taste of black coffee and roasted malt hangs around for a while at the end of each sip. I also get semi-sweet cocoa, and very subtle dark fruits. Not really much whiskey barrel notes to speak of, honestly wouldn’t have guessed it was barrel aged if the bottle wouldn’t have told me. But it does hit most everything I look for in the flavor profile of a stout. 4.25

M/D: Very smooth, full bodied, carbonation appropriately low, ABV is exceptionally well masked with great drinkability. 4.5

O: Really enjoyed this one. Barrel notes aren’t very prominent, but its still an excellent stout. Definitely recommend. 4.25

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 8/17/2014 at Battleship Brewhouse in Fall River, MA, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a large brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, roasted malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with mildly sweet flavors of chocolate, coffee, licorice and dark fruit. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in along with a significant alcohol sting. The hops presence is very mild but provides a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, slightly filling, very strong kick, decent representation of style, it’s a decent beer but there are better choices in the style.

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Photo of infinitebruner
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

April 27, 2014
Poured from bomber into a snifter. 2014 Edition.

A – Pitch black color, no transparency, tan/caramel head of about 1 cm, dissipates within about 60 seconds.

S – Warm, sweet booze on the first whiff, juicy raisins, hint of bittersweet chocolate.

T – Maybe figs, light toffee, very little bourbon (mostly on the nose), plums in the background, lots of dark-roasted and char notes.

M – Creamy with medium-high carbonation. Mild aftertaste, flavors wash over the entire tongue and then carried away by bubbles from carbonation.

O – For a beer with a lot going with it, this is surprisingly easy-going and totally drinkable. Not a lot to differentiate from other imperials though. Really love the carbonation and the finish.

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Photo of foobula
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Imperial Stout bottle no 1854, batch 2011-1, best by 01-2013. Appearance is dark black with a small dark brown head that dissipated quickly. Aroma when cold, pretty much just sour. Not what I expected, and not particularly appealing. Taste is a little sour up front, tangy, some oak. The finish has a lot of oak that comes through as it warms up in the throat. Speaking of warming, there is a little bit of alcohol heat in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to thick. It's my first time having this, so I can't speak to what 3 years of aging have done. The initial sourness is off-putting, but the beer redeems itself with a very nice oaky finish that lingers quite a while. Glad I got to try it, thanks Will!

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Photo of vic21234
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2013 Vintage corked and caged, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours pitch black with a finger worth of head which quickly fades to the sides of the glass.

S- Chocolate, cocoa, and whiskey on the nose, not much more to speak of here.

T- Starts with chocolate maltiness before the whiskey comes into play. The oak and whiskey takes over the back end of each sip.

M- On the thinner side for an imperial stout, with a nice alcohol warming after each sip.

Not a bad barrel aged imperial stout, but average.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Type: 750ml (25.4 oz.) bottle
Glass: Sea Smoke oversized wine glass
From: Bine & Vine Bottle Shop in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $14.99 (received as a Father’s Day gift)
Purchased: June 14, 2014
Consumed: July 2, 2014
Misc.: Champagne cork; Batch No. 1613310-2 (semi-guessing on the ‘6’); Best by Nov. 2015; 2013 edition

Poured a pitch black color with three fingers of frothy tan head. Average amount of sporadic foamy lacing along the sides of the glass. Fantastic retention, settling nicely in the beginning and only losing a little bit on the top the rest of the way.

Smelled rich chocolate, roasted dark chocolate, toffee, caramel, dates, fig, light tobacco?, wet cocoa powder, boozy liquor, rye, whiskey and faint smoky fire. Really grew on me after a few whiffs.

Tasted just as good as the smell. Got toffee, caramel, dark chocolate booziness, thick cocoa powder, light coffee beans, smooth whiskey, plum, dates, figs, hot fudge and roasted nuts.

Full body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth finish.

Just a fantastic beer. Loved every moment of it.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Standard appearance of a big stout, dark brown-black with a finger of tan head, which sank to a collar and laced the glass. In the nose, dark malts, roast and char, tobacco, anise, some neutral booze. Taste of roasty dark malts, coffee, dark chocolate, charred wood, tobacco, black licorice, notes of dark dried fruits and some stiff whiskey / neutral alcohol with a slight burn to it. Body was on the fuller side of medium. Nothing really memorable about this one when stacked up against all the other similar beers of the style, but it was solid overall.

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Photo of Rob23
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2013 batch at Whole Foods.
Pours nearly black but not completely.
Smell is alcohol right away with notes of chocolate and possibly some plum but the whisky is overtaking it.A sipper for sure.Typical of a Russian Imperial it does seem to get better as it warms up a bit.Taste is boozy at first then subsides to the malt and could be slightly bitter if you are not used to bitterness.Mouthfeel is moderate to heavy bodied.I would love to see this in a 4 or 6 pack to send out to the trading circuit.At 14 bucks a pop it is worth it.I most likely will enjoy this again.Another pat on the back to Boulevard Brewing for a great take on a classic.~~~~Skal.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: 2013 Vintage. Batch #13310-2. Best by 11-2015.

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear jet black in color with moderate to heavy amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the surface + edges of the glass and dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a half finger tall dense foamy dark tan head that reduced to a couple of small patches of thick film surrounded by a very thin film covering the majority of the reminder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong aromas of roasted malts, dark fruits (prunes/plums), and whiskey with moderate aromas of oak.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of roasted and chocolate malts with a light to moderate amount of dark fruit (prunes/plums) sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of whiskey with a light amount of oak. Hints of alcohol towards the finish and just a touch of bitterness which fades quickly.

M: Just shy of heavy bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with just a touch of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: This beer is extremely drinkable for an 11.8% ABV Imperial Stout and the alcohol overall is well hidden. Very enjoyable to sip on this one and the whiskey does not overpower the other flavors/aromas of the beer.

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Photo of metter98
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high tan colored head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of whiskey from the barrel aging are present in the nose. Hints of dark fruit and wood also become noticeable as the beer warms up.
T: Much like the smell, the taste has flavors of whiskey, but these aren't overpowering and you can still taste underling notes of chocolate and roasted malts.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has slight hints of warming from the whiskey barrel aging.
O: Except for the whiskey, this beer manages to hide its alcohol very well from the taste and seems to be more like a 8-9% abv beer. It is rather drinkable for the style.

Note: 2013 vintage, Batch 13310-2.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter at the Union Brewhouse.

Appearance: A one finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no clarity of anything. Frothy lacing all the way down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Molasses, char, toffee, caramel, sweet and bready oats, raisin, plum, banana, roasty, bitter chocolate, and spicy yeast.

Taste: Nicely blended beer with a Belgian yeast twist. I dig it. Everything above mixed together nicely.

Mouthfeel: Silky creamy smooth, full bodied, warm booze, and medium carbonation.

Overall: I'll have this one again. Definitely could age a couple bottles.

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Photo of Jared14
2.11/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Originally had this on tap in Dec and it was outstanding (4.15) but revisited it on tap 2 weeks ago, and it tasted off. Opened a bottle on Tuesday and was much more noticeably off. This year's batch seems to have been infected, specifically with some lacto. The beer poured well but smelled like nail polish remover and tasted sour. The bar's manager, a certified Cicerone agreed and emailed the distributor and brewery the next day.

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Photo of John_M
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at 16 tons the other day (and spendy too, at $7 for a 10 ounce glass - very spendy for 16 tons).

The beer pours a blackish brown color with light lacing and fair at best head retention. The nose is attractive, right off the bat however, as I pick up noticeable malt balls, milk chocolate, vanilla and something a kirsch aroma. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, though I'm loving all the tootsie roll and malt ball chocolate flavor I'm picking up. The beer is soft and fairly full on the palate, with the carbonation dialed down considerable (not a problem at all in this well made beer). The finish is long, and the alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile. You notice it after a while, but there's no alcoholic burn or heaviness on the finish.

Very impressive beer from Boulevard, especially considering that this beer had been on tap for nearly a week at 16 tons, and so probably was not at it's best. Would order this one again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A big bottle conditioned fueled brown head stands tall above a black body.

Roasty, chocolate, dark fruit, and a bit of vanilla, wood and bourbon from the barrel.

Nice plumy dark fruit flavor, dark chocolate, roast, some heat and bourbon flavor.

Super smooth drinking. Bottle conditioning a stout can be magical like this. Creamy and medium bodied.

Pretty darn good.

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Photo of bsp77
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Near black with moderate tan head and decent lacing.

Smell: Oak, molasses and chocolate mostly, with some dark fruit and bourbon notes.

Taste: Molasses and chocolate core, along with some dark fruits and a hint of coffee. Strong whiskey notes as well, with definite oak and a slight sourness. I would be interested in knowing what whiskey was used as I am getting a mix of fuller Bourbon notes and spicier Rye notes.

Feel: Not quite as full bodied as expected or desired, but the smooth, creamy texture more than makes up for that. Carbonation is mostly in check.

Overall: Nice barrel-aged Imperial Stout that is somewhat unique.

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Photo of cvm4
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage

A - Pours really deep, seems thick, has a tight little espresso colored head. Not much lacing on the glass but good retention.

S - Oak is very present, bourbon is noticeable, fudge whiffs and a little sweet.

T - It's like a chocolate bourbon concoction. Somewhat licorice components with molasses.

M - A little on the thin side with the body, but it still seems somewhat thick. Medium carbonation and oh so smooth.

O - Impressive blend here. The whiskey isn't overbearing and the beer is very well balanced.

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Photo of argock
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. 2013 vintage and best by 11-2015 on back label. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Murky dark brown to black with soft 1/2-1 finger cap of beige head with good retention and spots of lace around the glass.

S: Sour, woody aroma overall, no real whiskey or booze aroma, fudgy, a bit of raisin and plum

T: Fudgy with a slight sourmash whiskey flavor in the finish. A bit of dark fruitiness with rum raisin prominent. Earthy hopping and moderately bitter, mainly biting at the end. Not the smoothest flavored imperial stout, but pretty unique for its heavy chocolate and sour influence.

M: Even carbonation, big body, silky across the palate, and easy to drink.

O: A pretty nice imperial stout although I doubt it is going to improve a lot with time. Saving a bottle back despite my doubts, but the chocolate flavors may increase with the slight sourmash character coming through in the end.

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Imperial Stout from Boulevard Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 352 ratings.