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Imperial Stout - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Imperial StoutImperial Stout

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

677 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 677
Reviews: 279
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.27%


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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-23-2008)
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Ratings: 677 | Reviews: 279 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Vonerichs
Vonerichs

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 03:28:23 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of Nostrajonus
Nostrajonus

Oklahoma

4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 00:52:51 | More by Nostrajonus
Photo of Maxwell
Maxwell

Massachusetts

4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 02:05:50 | More by Maxwell
Photo of brewskifan55
brewskifan55

Mississippi

4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2014 20:16:53 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of HattedClassic
HattedClassic

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice bubbly light cocoa powdery brown head. The beer itself is a dark chocolate color that appears to be either black with brown tones or a very dark brown with black tones. The beer smell has a sweet alcohol smell as well as whiskey and oak notes. The smell also has strong hints of rye that get lost in the sweetness but still manage to complement the beer. Other notes include lightly roasted malts and coco with an oat smell that seems to mix them all together. The beer taste has a strong whiskey taste mixed other notes. The hops come out slightly but are still overwhelmed by the rye, coco, and roasted malt flavors. The taste also has a sweet alcohol taste. The mouthfeel feels a little light for an imperial stout but still smooth with very little carbonation. Overall, a pretty good beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 03:16:39 | More by HattedClassic
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottling

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color capped by a rocky mocha head that leaves a webbing of lace behind

Smell: Chocolate and dark fruit with hints of coffee and whiskey

Taste: Chocolate and dark fruit flavors (prune, primarily), up front, with the whiskey barrel and spicy yeast flavors building, in the middle; after the swallow, the hop bill adds some bitterness but the chocolate, vanilla and whiskey tones return in the finish; there is a bit of surprising tartness in the aftertaste (shades of the 2011 Brett infection, perhaps)

Mouthfeel: Creamy and buoyantly carbonated, with a medium to full body

Overall: The yeast makes quite a difference here, and this is as much a Belgian stout as it is an Imperial Stout; a really interesting beer with a lot of complexity

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 23:47:08 | More by brentk56
Photo of Hops4Pops
Hops4Pops

Texas

4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Original Review on Paper: 1/13/14
Boulevard Brewing Company
Imperial Stout 2013
ABV: 11.8
IBU: 63
---
Batch from a fresh keg I watched them tap an hour before my 32 oz pressure cap growler was filled and kept cold. It sat a few days in the fridge before I cracked it open and slowly consumed all 32 oz over several hours in an effort to really get to know this beer well.

A: Vigorous center pour into a tulip. Two fingers of dark tan colored head. Good carbonation. Bubbles from foam sized up to 1/2 inch. Slowly receding head leaving a dense and sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. After about 5 minutes there is a covering over 90% of the beer including some 1/8 inch bubbles. Deep Brown (SRM 30+)in reflective light. No light is passing through the beer but its not actually black.

S: Dark malts, dark fruits, chocolate, hops, alcohol. The nose on this beer is lighter than expected until it really warms up and breathes.

T: Lots of malt, chocolate, coffee, rye, dates, plums, sweetness, bitterness of hops, bourbon. Finishes bittersweet with a little smoke. Considering the 12% ABV, the alcohol is well hidden. Very inviting.

M: Full bodied. Smooth and very creamy. Chewy. A strong bittersweetness. Warmth of the alcohol.

O: The is a very well constructed beer. It is well balanced. Deep and complex. It would seem this much going on in one beer could have ended up drain pour. Its not! Definitely not a session beer... lol! Also not a beer for those new to craft beer. Very good! I have 2 corked and caged 2013 bottles aging. I can't wait to try them in 5 & 10 years.

Serving type: growler

01-24-2014 01:48:23 | More by Hops4Pops
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a re-review due to the likely infected nature of the last bottle and I feel my review did not do it justice.

Fresh 2013 bottle. Best by 11/2015

A: Pitch black pour with a tall, dense and dark, dark brown head. Head fades very slowly with great retention. Decent lines of lacing everywhere.

S: Heavy, heavy, HEAVY roasted malt. It's a char bomb with bittersweet cocoa and coffee. The char is more like a burnt bread actually. Smells like burnt pretzels in fact, to be specific. Little bit of oak in there. Not much bourbon but when I swirl it I get a bit of caramel perhaps.

T: Hints of bourbon up front with caramel and oak. Surprisingly nice. More burnt pretzel with a bunch of sweet milk chocolate in the middle. Milk chocolate rides into the finish and lingers forever. Grainy pretzels everywhere. Touch of metallic flavor in the aftertaste for a brief instant. No real sign of alcohol.

M: Heavy, smooth, creamy. Literally silky. Really nice.

O: Really nice imperial stout. It really showcases the black malt. Despite this being partially barrel aged you really don't get a lot from it. Just a ghost of extra complexity. The heavy and silky char and chocolate flavors are what make this. Glad I re-reviewed this, it was clearly well-deserved.

---
Old review from 2/12/2013

2011 batch.

A: Pours a pitch black with a medium sized but very dense medium-brown head. Great head retention, however. Abundant solid swaths of lacing as well. (4.25)

S: Hmph. Wet grass. Unpleasant. Some mild roasted malt is hiding in there but apparently this is one of those infected batches. Man, I think 3 of my last 4 beers have been bad (random breweries). What are the chances of that? (2.50)

T: There is some really nice creamy chocolate up front and in the middle, but it's covered in this very strange off-flavor. Kinda spicy in places and other times tastes like old, wet hay. (3.50)

M: Heavy, creamy, great. (4.25)

O: Ugh, you can tell this beer is awesome. It's nice and thick and creamy. Great chocolate and roasted malt character. But it's covered in this terrible flavor and aroma that just detracts terribly. It's a shame but it's still not horrible even with a really bad off-flavor. Uninfected this must be great! Will have to seek this out again...non 2011 batch that is. (3.50)

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 02:22:55 | More by Dope
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a New Belgium golbe.

A: Absolute black in color with a towering four-finger brown head resulting from a hard pour. Retention is unreal. Lacing clings to the glass in thick jagged clumps.

S: Complex roasted malt aromas of coffee beans, raw cocoa beans, crust, and perhaps graham cracker. Some coarse wheat and spicy rye create a strong earthy character. Musty. A big fudgey aroma starts to come from the depths. Vanilla bean. Plums. Whiskey and barrel smells of wood and caramel. Hint of roasty smoke. Prick of alcohol.

T: Dark chocolate syrup. Rich, layered espresso flavors. Black coffee. Brownie batter. Burnt caramel. Coarse and earthy pull. Hints of plum. Whiskey and barrel flavors creep up on the back end, but remain subtle. Medicinal and musty yeast. Some acrid char toward the back end too. Strong fudgey finish with hints of wood and whiskey.

M: Thick in body with a slick feel, but it stays semi-fluffy. A mild prickling carbonation scrubs and prevents a syrupy texture. Modest alcohol warmth.

O: It's easily the specialized grain bill and Belgian yeast influence that set this beer apart from the pack. That earthy, lightly rustic and rough around the edges flavor and feel really define this brew, while the barrel tastes are subtle. A unique and refreshing take on the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2014 02:49:30 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Veggie for sharing this.

Nice creamy darker fizzy head covering, nice lacing, pitch black beer, decent legs too.

Nose nice dark roast and caramel, dark choc, mild phenolic booze, little coffee, candy and lots if caramel, little fluffy nougat and creamy choc, faint whisky barrel.

Taste brings more phenolic booze right off, warning tingly booze, into dark malts, little roast and hint coffee, dark choc, fluffy creamy cocoa, fluffy nougat, very light feeling for being so heavy, like a three musketeers bar, but still rich and semi creamy. Nice fluffy earthy hop bitterness, little roast bitterness too with hint of acrid burnt, char, little sticky sweet and candy light syrupy sticky, then into a little sweet whisky and touch of toasted oak barrel. Finish is long bitterness, sticky semi sweet, more warming booze and tingle, little fudgey choc, caramel, etc.

Mouth is fuller bod, creamy thick fluffy airy, fluffy carb, plenty of warming booze.

Overall pretty nice. Good stout characters, nice cocoa and fluffy flavors, barrel is nice but not a ton.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2014 02:01:25 | More by jlindros
Photo of n2185
n2185

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours black with two fingers of brown head that fades into a thin cap with decent lacing.

S: Roasted malts with semi-sweet chocolate and vanilla following. There are some smokey char notes underneath along with a bit of oak and bourbon.

T: Roasted malts here as well with cacao nib flavors and some bitter char. There are notes of bourbon and oak following with a moderately boozy finish.

M: Thick body with medium carbonation, this beer is a little too boozy and carbonated to be creamy.

O: A solid beer, overall, though I was hoping for a bit more. It's not got as much depth or balance as I'd like and it's a little too bitter, which conflicts with the bourbon characters.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 13:18:43 | More by n2185
Photo of titty_mcbitty
titty_mcbitty

Texas

3.71/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Complete black with edges of mahogany. Head was small and dissipated quickly.

S: Chocolate and bourbon. Some fruity notes too.

T: This is kind of a boozy one; not sure if it's because it's on tap or not, but it shows through. Chocolate, oak, bourbon, a lot of dark fruit, orange peel, cocoa, big vanilla notes, peat, and marshmallow.

M: Heavy side of medium. It's actually a nice feel for this style.

O: So, this one I drank after getting over the flu, and also I've had a fair amount of stouts lately and am getting weary of them. I did my best to rate it fairly. It's a well-made beer. Very complex flavor profile and the mouth was near perfect for the style. It's just the booze that seeps through the cracks that brings the rating down for me. I'll have to try it on a better day maybe.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2014 04:10:00 | More by titty_mcbitty
Photo of brureview
brureview

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottle. Poured a dark, opaque chocolate color into a tulip glass with a 3F head.

The aroma wasn't strong- light chocolate and malt. I was disappointed in the aroma-
usually Boulevard beers have distinct aromas.

The mouth feel is quite nice- lightly carbonated and transitions well into the taste.

The taste is different than other Boulevard beers I have tasted. In Boulevard beers, there are usually certain stand-out tastes and aromas. In this beer- a highly complex taste- but not easily definable- bitter dark chocolate- cocoa.

The finish is smooth, malty, with whiskey. Colder( 49F)- there is more whiskey, and more bitterness.
The beer is smoother with warming( 52-55F).

Overall, an excellent beer.
This is a different approach for the brewery. Complex bitter chocolate- a lot of tastes enmeshed in this beer.
I like the whiskey finish, but the aroma could be more prominent.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 02:28:42 | More by brureview
Photo of cjgiant
cjgiant

District of Columbia

3.81/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Overall, this beer came across too strong on the alcohol notes, no doubt enhanced by the whiskey barrel aging. It also had a tartness more so than a roasted feel. But considering these were probably intended to some degree, I gave it a decent rating.

A: nice dark, dark brown with mocha-tan head sustaining at the edges, and some lacing
S: whiskey, woody, some type of tart fruit-cherry maybe in background
T/M: initially a smoked woody taste quickly replaced by the whiskey tones. Underneath that and rising is the tart flavor from the nose, but it takes I more of a dark fruit nature, currant in nature. There is a slightly carbonated bite that comes in after, either of alcohol or hops spice, I can't tell. The end is the slow mellowing of the alcohol leaving a woody-dry feel (maybe even alittle piney) in the mouth

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2014 20:43:52 | More by cjgiant
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Vintage 2013.

A very uniform dark mocha brown, and slow creating two finger head that stick around with a big soapy one finger retention. All uniform bubbles, and like a cap of styrofoam. Body color is classic dark walnut black, and totally opaque. Classic dark looker of an imperial.

Bouquet is dominant on a very soft and fruity red berry. Hints of strawberry and cherry with spiced herbal warmth. Not much classic roast or caramel action going on here, but a real distinct and unique fruit component is the showcase. Some faint smoke as well.

Palate comes by a little bit more basic and neutral than the nose would hint at. Light roasted body. A very slow lingering sense of coffee aftertaste builds and builds on the finish. Roasted malts continue with more coffee warmth, but not much density or classic barrel aging. Woody but not very round or much body, but flavorful enough in the palate. Fruit character seems to be missing on the flavor that could be hinted.

Either way it's a very nice Imperial but doesn't seem to hint of barrel aging probably because of partial aging, other than a very distinct nose which according to the description hints at a Belgian yeast strain (plum). Either way drinks well.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 01:50:16 | More by smakawhat
Photo of SavvyStudent
SavvyStudent

Texas

4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 03:45:29 | More by SavvyStudent
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle.Pours jet black with no light getting thru,a full two finger deep beige head atop that settles very slowly into a frothy mass.Aromas of dark fruti stand out most with lighter whiskey barrel notes,not in your face.A smooth creamy fuller feel makes for a good sipping brew.Alot of dark fruit on the palate along with dark molasses and chocolate,there is a detectable earthiness in the finish wich was nice.Not a big roasty/coffee influnced imperial stout here it's more of a dark fruit and sweeter brew.I like it alot,the barrel aging doesn't overpower the beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 23:18:34 | More by oberon
Photo of artoolemomo
artoolemomo

Oregon

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Pours up a copious head which seems to have determined retention. The head is a dark beige with purplish hints while the body is a dark chocolate brown with a tiny hint of ruby when held up to the light. Good amount of lacing has already formed.

Nose- At the moment, there is no nose at all. Not a good sign for an imperial stout. Light toasted notes from the glass. Light chocolate from the bottle. Maybe some cocoa. Slight raisins from the glass. Getting any notes is work. Swirling tries to embellish on the raisins and give it cherry but only in a minor way. I sure hope there is more presence on the palate.

Taste- Raisins followed by a bit of chocolate, then huge bourbon notes. Some citrus, brown sugar, and molasses. At some points, the citrus is orange and other times, it is lemon. This is a very sweet and malt heavy imperial with a bit of a coffee backstop but probably not enough of one. Alcohol is fairly noticeable but in a good way. Some bubblegum notes that arise from the roasted malts. This seems to be sweet even for a Russian Imperial Stout. I was also thinking that this was a little similar to their BBQ and noticed that there is Belgian yeast involved. That certainly explains the sweetness. That fact makes me think that this is definitely worth aging. Perhaps some of the citrus will fade and more of the raisins (and tendency toward plums and dates) and deep chocolate will appear. Some inclinations toward a brownie. Some fudginess. Some of the fruitier esters do fade and the chocolate does come out more. This definitely seems to be a beer that drinks well fresh and will drink great in a year. Good to really good, mostly really good. I will most likely be purchasing another bottle. Tiny bits of mint around the edges.

Mouthfeel- Between medium and heavy bodied with a bit of grittiness. Not too much carbonation. Very nice.

Drinkability- A bit messy or less balanced than I would like, at first, but shifts to well integrated and easy drinking Imperial. Not as dangerous as some of it's betters but still quite enjoyable. Fairly priced at around 15 bucks.

Overall- Good to really good beer, mostly really good. Needs a little bit more to be great but hey, it's still quite enjoyable. Worth a try. I've definitely had lesser Imperials for more money. This also shows lots of promise for cellaring.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 05:31:05 | More by artoolemomo
Photo of VincentFrey
VincentFrey

Maryland

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour / Appearance: A corked and caged bottle into a 16oz Nepenthe Homebrew tulip. Even poured slowly and proper, there was a very vigorous head and heavy carbonation. The head lingers a good bit, and laces the glass much more than expected for the alcohol content. Not a bad thing; just interesting. Betting that it'll taste a bit overcarbed, but that is a risk with pretty much any big beer that gets bottle conditioned. The cork came out with a simple hand pull and a loud enough noise to scare my cat. Pretty beer, even if not perfectly to style.

Aroma: Alcohol once the head dies down. While the head is there, however, hints of roast, toast, and bread behind a wall of oak. I don't know why the change from head to beer is so sudden, but the alcoholic aroma is very off putting. You can make out hints of caramelized sugar and possibly crystal malt. It's good fresh, but reveals too much of the sugar character instead of the actual malt once the head dies.

Taste: Thankfully this stays the same between a heavy head and a descended one. Nice amount of oak, especially with it being only 40% of the blend. Must have used a fresh barrel! Lots and lots of roast, backed up by tons of bread and toasted malt character. Not smoky, just...like a piece of toast. Residual sugars linger and help the high alcohol go down, but the fusel alcohols created can give a bit of a headache. As the glass warms up more of the whiskey starts to come through, giving it a bit more of a bite as the carbonation dies and the flavors come into clearer view. Definitely an odd beer that needed some more age on it to balance out, but is good as it is. I'd be very interested to try a cellared bottle in say, 6 months, or in a vertical.

Overall: A nice stout for big beer and barrel aging fans, and those who like blending techniques. It needs time, definitely, due to the heat and sugars at the moment, but it's otherwise very good and ambitious (especially with carbonation)

Bottom Line: Pick up a bottle if you like stouts or barrels; wait a while for any other preferences. Even if the oak recedes a bit, getting the fusels down would be worth it.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 19:35:51 | More by VincentFrey
Photo of Punisher
Punisher

Missouri

4.36/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this 1 pint, 9.4 ounce beer as a Christmas present and had high exceptions for this beer.

Appearance- Dark brown/black body with a nice two finger thick light brown head. Average head retention with minimal lacing

Smell-when first opened the bottle had a strong bourbon smell with hint of chocolate malts. When poured into Chimay glass the strong bourbon smell balance out with the malts. Has a slight wine/sherry smell with a hint of oats

Taste- surprisingly hides the booze taste. Nicely balanced

Mouthful- For a imperial stout the mouthful was on the light side compared to some of the big Russian imperial stouts I have tried but overall nothing short of thick

Overall an excellent beer that is best described as balanced. I recommend sharing this with a partner due to the volume as well as spending the joy of this amazing beer to the world . This is one beer that could be great aged for about a year but also can be enjoyed immediately.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 04:42:44 | More by Punisher
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a black body with one finger khaki/brown head that dies slow with lace ring down glass on top of a heavy, stoutish aroma of roasted coffee malts and I get dark, almost burnt chocolate and a hint of dark fruit like figs and/or black cherry (the wife notes licorice). For a heavy beer, and it is bready and chewy and even sticky at times, the beer goes down real easy while giving off lots of roasted and coffee malt tastes balanced with chocolate. I seem to really notice the chocolate/sweetness on the backend as the beer has a crisp finish with a bit of lingering sweetness that makes me want to keep drinking. I don't really notice any dark fruits except hints of that black cherry aspect. Overall, a really good heavy stout that hides the ABV so it's not painful to keep drinking that is a must try.

Serving type: on-tap

12-25-2013 16:31:28 | More by clayrock81
Photo of utfiero
utfiero

Texas

4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Color- ebony with mocha head.

Aroma- roasty with Belgian fruity background and hint of vanilla.

Taste- starts very sweet (reminds me of dates and raisins). Nice roasted malts and vanilla whiskey barrel come out in the middle. Finishing mellow, roasty, yet balanced with hops for a lingering semi dry finish. Overall a balanced, strong brew. With the high ABV, it's not a session beer. Great on a cold winter evening. Don't serve too cold. The flavors balance out as it gradually warms.

2013 release, ABV 11.8

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 18:15:04 | More by utfiero
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pigc

Nebraska

3.89/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 version

A - Pours pitch black with massive chocolate colored head that overflows the glass with average pour.

S - Figs, raisins, chocolate, slight bourbon.

T - Starts out with a mild tartness followed by mild chocolate, coffee and just a very faint hint of the bourbon barrel.

M - Somewhat thin to moderate. Not as thick and chewy as many imperial stouts.

O - This beer is very drinkable and is not overpowering in any way. Wish it had a bit more of the barrel character to it. After having a BCBS last night this beer just seems so tame yet a refreshing change to a powerful bourbon presence. The tartness to it almost makes you think this was partially aged in wine barrels like Abyss. Very enjoyable and priced competitively.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 02:55:46 | More by pigc
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bhyndthebottle

Oregon

3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage poured from bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a thick black into the glass with lots of carbonation and a thick head that remains as a cap throughout the glass. Lots of lacing

Smell: The smell is reminiscent of bourbon and licorice, with some light chocolate notes. Not much oak to speak of, but as the glass warms, the alcohol becomes more apparent. Not much complexity to discuss. Probably needs a year of aging.

Taste: The taste comes off a little better, with definite characteristics of chocolate and coffee. A little licorice and a small amount of bourbon barrel booze comes in at the end. In the end though, the beer was a little sweeter than I would have liked.

Mouthfeel: Big, Thick, and Rich. A little bit on the wet and sweet side.

Overall: This is a great beer, but I would like to see a little bit more complexity. This beer should benefit with about a year of age.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 00:28:55 | More by bhyndthebottle
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Phillyz

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is Tom's six hundredth review. We are all mildly drunk at this point.

Tom thinks that this beer is special. Luckily it isn't infected

Tom thinks this beer smells of booze, roasted malts, and slight balls... in a good way?

Mouth feel is mild.. nothing special.. but nice.

It tastes wonderful. Nice chocolately malts, booze, roasted coffee, and a nice tinge of balls.

Overall... drink this if you like delicious balls. tom does

Lemme smell yo dick

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2013 23:00:54 | More by Phillyz
Imperial Stout from Boulevard Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 677 ratings.