Imperial Stout - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

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

342 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 342
Hads: 1,151
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 256
Gots: 375 | FT: 28
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
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Reviews: 342 | Hads: 1,151
Photo of infinitebruner
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (749 characters)

Photo of foobula
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
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! (711 characters)

Photo of vic21234
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
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. (506 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.49/5  rDev +9%
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. (1,097 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
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. (556 characters)

Photo of Rob23
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (650 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (1,301 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (845 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (633 characters)

Photo of Jared14
2.11/5  rDev -48.8%
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. (433 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (991 characters)

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (371 characters)

Photo of bsp77
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (694 characters)

Photo of cvm4
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (526 characters)

Photo of argock
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (973 characters)

Photo of chanokokoro
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a formerly corked and caged 750 ml bottle into a Boulevard Smokestack Series branded tulip glass

Pours a very dark dirty motor oil brown capped by a beige two finger head. Excellent retention and evident lacing. Light oak, cocoa powder, very light hints of booze, and surprising hints of brett. Dark chocolate, raisins, prunes, and dried black cherries upfront. Hints of nuttiness and molasses midpalate that blends smoothly with light toasted oak and whiskey notes. Combines with more cocoa powder and very light touches of brett funk on the finish. Higher end of moderate carbonation; medium-bodied, light for an imperial stout. Smooth with some creaminess on the edges. I enjoyed this brew, but overall not what I'm looking for when I'm in the mood for an imperial stout. However, as a standalone regardless of style, this brew is certainly worth a visit. (871 characters)

Photo of Hopswagger
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013
IS13310-2
11-2015

P: Pours a dark brown almost pitch black with mahogany highlights. Capped with a dense full inch of espresso head and micro bubble lacing that looks like fish egg roe lining the glass.

S: First whiff is straight nail polish. Whisky is prominent. Chocolate syrup, rye, cinnamon, molasses, wheat and barley fresh from the field.

T/M: Chocolate whisky filled candies, molasses, lots of grains, pumpernickel bread, spicy rye, maraschino cherries with a cinnamon sting. Flaked oats create a thick creamy body while carbonation and spice dance on the tongue. Finishes chalky with lingering earth notes and booze. I keep getting faint grape essence.

O: A nice blend of sweet, booze and spice. The whiskey is the star but doesn't ruin the delicacy of the stout. Another hit from the Smokestack Series. (823 characters)

Photo of kdahnke123
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage poured in a stemless red wine glass
A - Pours a non-viscous dark brown color, accompanied by a frothy 2 finger head. The head is composed of large, quickly dissipating bubble that leave a small amount of residual foam.
S - Light on the smell. Some candied fruits, oak and a lingering small amount of smoke.
T - Well balanced, with chocolate and coffee, followed up by a little bite from the alcohol and oak. Light on the hops.
M - Very smooth. A little on the thin side but still has a nice lingering dryness to it.
O - Overall a good stout. While a little on the light side, both in smell and mouthfeel, it does have a nice balance to the flavor components and a nice incorporation of the oak. (708 characters)

Photo of bnes09
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ink black and completely opaque. Three finger head. Good retention and creamy, sticky lacing.

Mildly roasted aroma with hints of bourbon.

Wheat toast and coffee roasted character. Just a hint of bourbon. Herbal hop.

Dense, almost syrupy body. Low carbonation. Grainy texture.

Pretty standard. Less bourbon character than most beers in this style. Also less hops. (367 characters)

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage

A: Pours a pitch black color with 2+ fingers of head that slowly fades down to a nice bubbly cap that leaves huge splotches of sticky lace

S: Roasted malts, bourbon, dark chocolate, coffee, toffee, oak, and vanilla are all highlights. A hint of dark fruits lingers in the back

T: Starts off with the roasted malts and dark chocolate, followed by a light sweetness from the dark fruits and oaky vanilla. The bourbon comes through as an undertone and more of a support piece. Alcohol is extremely well hidden. Finishes with a bit of espresso and roast

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Creamy and smooth. The oats have a very nice presence here

O: A very solid whiskey barrel stout that doesn't star the barrel but instead makes it a great supporting piece. Way too easy to drink for being nearly 12%. Definitely recommended (848 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: low carbonation, 1/2 head, opaque, dark brown in color

Smell: deep oak, vanilla, char, and roasted malt. This smells amazing.

Taste: nice oaking, sweet vanilla, char, roasted malt, and espresso

Mouthfeel: sweet with slight roasty bitterness, medium-heavy body, moderate carbonation

Overall: One of the better of the Smokestack series. I really like the oak and coffee taste. Glad I was finally able to obtain a bottle. I will purchase this again in 2015 if I can find it. (487 characters)

Photo of Vonerichs
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It's a gusher. I was tipped off with a loud hiss when the cork
was popped. I let it settle, poured it very carefully, and still had to fight off the head while holding it over the sink... On both pours. Otherwise, nice dark color with dark brown head.

It starts with sweet aromas of chocolate, vanilla, and cookie dough. Coffee on a lesser scale. Heavy roast.

But they don't pop in the flavor. The flavor is char and whiskey. Very boozy and the char kills the palate. It borders an unintentional smokey burn.

Carbonation is where it should be but body is thin and the char leaves a bitter dried tongue. Very fatiguing.

Not a huge fan. Boozy, too charred, just kills the palate. (684 characters)

Photo of Nostrajonus
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark rich brown, almost black. Atop the brew sits a dark beige two finger head that dissipates slowly.

S- This brew smells strong. Heavy whiskey aroma with hints of chocolatey sweetness, but mostly just booze.

T- This tastes amazing. The whiskey barrel is very prominent, but not offensive. Loads of maltiness with chocolate and coffee notes. Im glad they blended this beer back with unaged ale, this beer is just the right amount of boozey!

M- This drinks as a stout should. It fills the mouth completely; it is very rich and syrupy.

O- This is one of my favorite creations from Boulevard. Their Smokestack Series never ceases to impress me. So much flavor, yet still so smooth. One glass and relaxation as ensued. (730 characters)

Photo of Maxwell
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep black, like molasses, with a huge, rocky head of light brown, creamy bubbles. The head sits fat above the beer, and leaves fluffy tufts of lacing along the sides of my glass. In body, the beer is viscous and opaque with no hints of the other side of the glass. On the nose, the beer smells richly boozy with coffee, chocolate, and rum-soaked raisins. Brown sugar, burnt toast, and a faint wisp of herbal dankness also play across the nostrils, but the big players on the nose make this beer smell decidedly like a RIS. On the tongue, the beer tastes decadently sweet with a touch of hot booze and a very gentle bitter roast with a touch of tannins. Acidity does pop in the mouth towards the finish, as well. In flavor, the beer is rich and decadent, beginning with rich boozy bourbon and plum juice, the beer immediately mellows into roasted malt with touches of char, coffee, and dark chocolate. These flavors then smooth out into milk chocolate and smooth oak tannin. Vanilla, caramel, and even a touch of toffee swirl over the tongue. The finish brings a touch of very sweet alcohol alongside rum-soaked raisins, brown sugar and soft chocolate. The aftertaste is of soft bourbon and bitter roasted malt. In the mouth, the beer feels oozingly smooth with a medium to heavy body, soft and creamy carbonation, and a velvety mouthfeel that is broken only but slight touches of roughness from the booze. The mouth is left dry with roast, yet wet with acid-canceling saliva and the sticky smack of rich malt. Overall, this is a decadent and rich (partially) bourbon barrel aged stout, but it is not Boulevard’s best. Its rich and I will never turn down a glass of it, but I don’t think I’d buy it again. Overall, the beer seems almost mundane beside some of the other amazing beers that have come out of the Smokestack Series. The Belgian character of the beer comes out more and more as the beer warms, but it just doesn’t quite amaze my palate as I hoped. This is a lovely barrel-aged stout, but in the end there are better options on the market. (2,075 characters)

Photo of brewskifan55
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter at Jesse's Superbowl party. Thanks for bringing, Biggs.

A: Black with a tan one-finger head that lingers into that embarrassing Bronco's hike in the first quarter. Billowy lacing.

S: What a nice concoction. Bourbon slides in with oak, malts, chocolate, coffee and some dark fruits (prunes, dates, raisins). Could smell 'til that Seahawks interception for a touchdown.

T: Strong malts invade with that bourbon backing. Dark chocolate, rye, vanilla and light hops. Then a sweet sensation from the Belgian yeast. Almost as good as Bruno Mars at halftime.

M: Heavy with thick, frothy carbonation.

O: A bombshell of a brew. Like watching that Seahawks 100 yard kickoff return. A superb sipper. Recommended. The most interesting man in the world should be drinking this one. (797 characters)

Imperial Stout from Boulevard Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 342 ratings.