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Imperial Stout - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

362 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 362
Hads: 1,259
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 19.23%
Wants: 265
Gots: 404 | FT: 28
Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout | 11.00% 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: 362 | Hads: 1,259
Photo of Snow81
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black as night no light penetrates my beer

Head: Dark thick tan head

Smell: Roosted burnt malts with a big whiskey and a small amount on the back of the palate

Taste: Caramel, toffee, roosted malts, whiskey hints just a bit, subtle heat

Weight: Medium to heavy body with low carbonation
Finish: Whiskey, vanilla and roosted burnt malts

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yet another of the great boulevard smokestack series that I've had the pleasure of tasting. 750 mL corked and caged bottle no 6610. Poured into a duvel tulip glass.

Inky jet used diesel motor oil black. You can't see a single millimeter into this thick, dark brew. There's a half finger head that dissipated into a sheen. The lacing is nice and leaves sheets behind on each sip.

The smell is rich and smooth. Whiskey is obvious and notable, as is alcohol. There are smooth and rich deep smoky, roasted malt aromas that show up early. You can smell the wood barrels. Coffee and chocolate aren't far behind. Spicy anise and pepper make an appearance. It's a bit herbal and there's also some earthiness to it.

The taste is an explosion of deliciousness that few imperial stouts can rival. Powerful Lovely woody whiskey flavors accent every sip. You can really taste the wood, which is something that I cherish in these barrel aged beer creations (I love the taste of wood in all its forms). Roasty malts are everywhere. A bit of vanilla peeks through. There's a touch of dark fruits along with a smidge of spicy anise and licorice. Leathery tobacco flavors make a welcomed appearance as well. Don't forget the classic toffee, chocolate and coffee flavors either, they're all there in spectacular style.

Feel is heavy, rich, thick, full bodied, and almost chewy. A great aftertaste of chocolate, coffee and roasty wood flavors lingers forever, leaving a slightly sticky, sweet roasted feeling on the lips.

Drink is described by a single word: Smokestack.

Very lovely in every way. This beer is a credit to the style and is yet another tick in the incredibly well crafted and delicious goodness that is the Boulevard Smokestack series. If it's still available on my next trip to St Louis, I'll pick up a couple to age.

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Photo of jar2574
3.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the 2011 production. Excellent lacing and good sized head. Good head retention. If you hold this beer up to light, a little light gets through as a ruby color on the edges of the beer. But mostly this thing is black.

Smells of roasted malts, licorice, espresso.

Tastes include alcohol, hot on the tongue. There's also some sourness, some bitter flavor, and some roasted malts. Less coffee/espresso flavor than the smell implied.

Tough to drink too much of this, the alcohol isn't that well hidden and this thing packs a punch.

An interesting experience and a unique beer. I'm still not sure where the sour flavor came from - (perhaps the oats? or the bourbon barrels?).

I feel like I've had better imperial stouts and probably wouldn't buy this one again, but I'd drink it if someone gave it to me.

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Photo of Mississipping
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottling, #6549, poured into an original Boulevard Smokestack Series goblet. The label has changed slightly since the first batch, but still looks great. As always, the cork put up a hell of a fight, or am I just that weak?

A: Pours a very dark brown, which settles to a deathly still black. Absolutely no penetration of light at all. A very small butterscotch colored head briefly, and gently, rests on top It quickly recedes back into the black abyss, leaving only a thin, swirly film and a thick, foamy ring behind. Lacing is minimal, however, very long legs. This looks great!

S: Wow! This there is quite a bit going on here. Immediately, I smell a plethora of dark fruit ... raisins, dates, plums. At the same time, a good amount of anise, toffee, and barrel characteristics (oak and bourbon) meld into one big, yet well balanced, aroma. Just behind the delicious smelling punch at the beginning is vanilla, dark chocolate, and coffee creating a smooth transition from sweet to slightly bitter, finishing nicely with subtle roasted barley and booze. (As it warms, the roasted malts really come out on the finish and, accompanied with the dark chocolate, leaving a slightly bitter aftertaste.)

T: The taste follows the aroma very nicely, with only a few characteristics making an appearance earlier or later than expected. Dark fruits are still pretty dominant, along with toffee, and licorice. Sweet chocolate shows up, which is a welcome guest that easily makes friends with the other dominant flavors. The coffee and roasted barley remain hidden until the end where they sidle up stealthly. The finish is quite complex, comprised of contradictory sweet (chocolate and toffee) and bitter (coffee and roasted malt) characteristics. This is a lot better than I remembered it being.

M: The mouthfeel is slightly, slightly disappointing from a desirable point of view, rather than a drinkability point of view. I like a viscous, thick, sticky barrel-aged stout, but this is just a little thin. It's still medium bodied, with a slight stickiness on the tongue, but just a little less viscosity than I would like. The finish is very pleasant ... slightly drying and bitter, but still comprised of chocolate and toffee. It's mmm mmm good!

D: Drinkability is pretty high, considering the style and the abv. The mouthfeel definitely lends to the drinkability, however, that shouldn't necessarily translate to drinking it faster, as it did with me. I always, of course, tend to drink a slightly thinner barrel-aged stout quicker than I should. This one caught up with me, so hopefully this review isn't incoherent.

It should be noted that there are some differences between the 2008 and 2011 version of this beer. The 2008 was only about 10% barrel aged, while the 2011 version is 46% barrel aged. While it's been a while since the first batch, the 2011 batch surprised me and really surpassed my distant memory of the 2008. It's a little more complex, yet very well balanced. Fortunately I still have a bottle of the 2008 and will do a comparison of the two at a later date. Either way, this is one very highly recommended stout!

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Photo of birchstick
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2011-1

A - pours a viscous black color with a nice taupe head

S - smells of a nice oat and chocolate malt character with charred molasses and a splash of vanilla and bourbon

T - starts off with really sweet, malts and come cola flavors. Next, I got very sweet molasses, with a tinge of burnt oak. It finishes sweet with some subtle cocoa flavors that gives way to a nice spicy rye. The very last flavor I got was a nice bourbon flavor on the back end and exhale - the bourbon tasted like the straight bourbon I have come to know and love. As it warmed, it is almost like drinking a really nice RIS and then following it with a sip of bourbon. Obviously, pretty hot as far as the bourbon goes based on the description. Awesome stuff.

M - a little watery and thin for a beer of this style, surprisingly so

D - As mentioned, this is a really solid Imperial Stout. Very bold and flavorful throughout. However, I feel like this is just a tad bit under the upper echelons of this class, barely, just barely - it is almost like Abyss's little brother. Easily one of the best off-the-shelf barrel aged Imperial Stouts I have tried. Looks like I need to go buy some more and see what some age does to the heat. Well done Boulevard!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch # 2008-1, Bottle 06447 / 11960; Sampled January 2010
A vigorous pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a four-finger thick, dense, brown head that leaves a richly layered lacing pattern on the sides of my glass as it slowly subsides (subsequent pours do the same). The beer is a black, concentrated color that is most definitely opaque. The aroma smells of a rich, sweet, dark chocolate character that has been amplified quite a bit more than I would have expected. There is a supporting back drop of roasted grain character that smoothly supports the rich, darkly roast caramelized, sweet grain character. This is dense smelling, with a savory malt character that provides a balance to the more dominant sweet, rich maltiness. Sweet espresso notes that has been amply sweetened with anise-scented simple syrup. There seems to be a touch of floral, quite peppery smelling herbal character, green peppercorns, and this leads me into noticing some barrel character with notes of toasted coconut, chocolate and sweet malt boosting vanilla notes, spicy oak subtleties, a spiciness that really reminds me of caraway and some bright though somehow soft cedar notes. The aroma is quite interesting, very complex and it wasn't anywhere near what I was expecting.

Sweet, rich malt notes coat the palate up front, but this slowly gets tempered towards the finish with spicy oak notes, peppery almost herbaceous notes, savory caraway spice notes, a touch of warming alcohol and a touch of hop bitterness that mingles with the bitter dark roast notes. There is a complex dark grain character that provides a middle of rich, whole grain, brown bread character. The whole grain character, really sticks out in this beer; it is so savory, complex and tasty. Spicy bourbon like notes intermingles with bourbon like fruitiness and a woody spice character, smooth roast grain notes, savory whole grain notes a complex rich chocolate character that leans towards savory more than sweet malt character (but definitely has some balancing sweetness too), cocoa character that has a touch of chalkiness to it, somehow lightly tart vanilla notes, tart coconut milk flavors, . The mentioned tartness is quite light and definitely does not seem to be "wild" in influence, but does add a nice influence to the beer. The texture of this beer is quite rich and satiating, but at the same time it is well balanced by the tartness, complex barrel spiciness and drying roast grain character; and while it is viscous, it really finishes on the dry / light side somehow and I wonder if the age of this beer has some influence here. Speaking of which, I think it is the combination of the barrel character and the age that gives this beer such a dynamic spiciness; it really achieves some unique flavors and aromas in this beer. A supporting ester, phenolic and general complexity really helps to boost the overall complexity of this beer. As the beer warms an almost spicy, cinnamon and even nutmeg, or ginger, but definite caraway, as well as some anise and some spicy carob are all noticeable in the flavor. The warming also accentuate aromas of plum, prune, fermented raisin, some floral roast apple notes and spicy, not quite hot, but approaching, hot alcohol notes.

This is a very rich, very complex beer that is really hitting the spot right now. I really like how well that the barrel aging notes influence this beer without overwhelming it; it even took me a while to realize, when smelling this, that it was in fact barrel aged, but it really boosts the savory and hearty character of this beer quite a bit and integrates quite well with the rich, sweet, roasted, dark grain character. I am really quite enjoying this beer, definitely more than I would have suspected, and it is certainly hitting the spot on this cold (ok cool by most standards) Tucson evening. I wonder how much of the age of this beer has helped to mellow and integrate this beer, whatever it is, this really works.

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Photo of dragonWhale
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nothing better to accompany a game of Yaniv with some dear friends than a bottle of the 2008-1. Been looking forward to this one. Thanks, busternuggz..

Black and dead sexy fat brown head on her. Smells good, little roast, some chocolate, brown sugar, maybe some smoke, and alcohol.
The taste is excellent, the alcohol dies down a little bit from the smell, creamy roast with chocolate sugar and a background of wood. Awesome.
An excellent beer, will seek this out again in the future. Way too drinkable.

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

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into three pint glasses. Thanks to Steve and Chris for the assist!

Batch Number 2008-1
Bottle # 07857/11960

A: Pours a shade of black I would classify as anthracite. Dark khaki/deep mocha head that was very pillowy and sticky in the glass. Retention was excellent (with big hunks available at the very end of our glasses) and terrific lace patterns were left behind.

S: Over-ripe dark fruit, charred malt, bakers chocolate, espresso, and mint/pine, with only a small whiff of alcohol.

T: See above. Strong dark fruit and bitter chocolate, initially. Charred malt in the middle and bitter espresso in the long finish.

M: Big notes of sweet, dry char, spicy hops, and astringent espresso bitterness.

D: This sat in the bottle for a couple of years before I decided to crack and it was well worth the wait. Fantastic.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 11/05/10 notes. Had at a small tasting thanks to Lunch; thanks Paul.

a - Pours a dark brown almost black color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, oak, molasses, dark fruit, vanilla, and alcohol. Wonderful smell.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, alcohol, and some sweet dark fruits. Alcohol is a little mroe prominent than in the smell.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Very smooth going down.

d - A pretty good imperial stout. I enjoyed the smell a lot and wish the taste had a little less alcohol in it. Would try again.

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Photo of Chaney
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you Paul(aka. Lunch) for bringing this vintage 2008 to the tasting. I've been wanting to try this for a while.

A: Dark, dark brown with a hint of light around the edges (ruby in color). The carbonation is good and the off white head adds to the visual experience.

S: Molasses, chocolate, and a bit of oak. There was also a bit of yeastiness which was pleasant.

T: All of the things I go on the nose, plus it also has a slight bourbon flair and a wonderful sweet aftertaste. Is there rye in this?

M: Sweet, without being too, the carbonation is great for the style, and the ABV is well hidden through all that dessertness.

D: I started to get a craving for blonde brownies for some reason. I really enjoyed my very generous portion of this wonderful brew.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul!

A: Black body and dark brown at the crest. Decent sized beige head that leaves a fair amount of lacing.

S: Rich, roasted malt and dark chocolate with an oak/wood/barrel aroma and hints of alcohol.

T: Delicious roasted malt flavor. The beer is rich and creamy. Very impressive and easy to drink.

M: Creamy and smooth. Just fabulous.

D: I will be on the lookout for this beer. I am very impressed. I definitely recommend this tasty imperial stout.

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

At the risk of sounding like a "Homer" -


a: into a snifter, the pour produces a thick mocha head of meringue consistency, the beer is pitch black, great retention and sticky lace

s: rich chocolate roast nose with a subdued but immediately obvious bourbon barrel presence carrying along vanilla and oak - was a little concerned that barreling such a small portion of the batch would leave me disappointed, but that's certainly not the case and I think the blend was pulled off flawlessly, thick with bourbon-filled dark chocolates, fully roasted coffee, and barley char, booze soaked tree fruits, pine hop aroma compliments perfectly

m: carbonation just around medium and of a smooth bottle-conditioned character, body full and creamy

t: a real roast monster here - but very smooth and never harsh, begins with extra dark chocolates, fresh espresso, and charred barley, quickly continuing into smooth, oaky bourbon with light notes of vanilla, smooth through the middle as a moderate-high pine bitterness creeps in and extends far into the finish with more char and intense cacao taking over

d: unbelievably drinkable for the abv and I could easily kill a 750 on my own!

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter on 10/1/10, split with MbpBugeye

No. 04681/11960 Batch 2008-1

This is one dark beer, pouring a deep shade of brown & settling jet-black. One finger, sandy brown head that is slow to dissipate, though it does thin over time. Impressive lace remains until very near the end.

Potent & fairly straightforward, the aroma has just the right amount of layers to make it interesting. There's a solid chocolate smell: milk chocolate & cocoa nibs; semi-sweet. Roasted dark malts & maybe a slight touch of coffee bean. Seems to still have a decent hop note. Overtones of wood. Surprisingly little appreciable alcohol; it's hidden well. Slightly grainy.

Tastes decent enough, if a bit unstructured. It's certainly hotter than the nose implies. I'm amazed at how hoppy this still is; I can only wonder how it was fresh. It's a nice kick but not too bitter. It's actually pretty dry. Some coffee notes & baker's chocolate (though subdued). There's a good bit of wood & a spot of whiskey. Earthy & grainy; I'm not sure how the spelt contributes. Dries out even more as it warms.

Full bodied; somewhat slick with a touch of alcohol heat. Highly appreciable grittiness really augments the flavors. Carbonation is very prickly; not crazy-high in the bigger picture but it's too much for an imperial stout, in my opinion. Hops, oak, whiskey & faint dark malts linger beyond the dry finish. Thankfully the carbonation eventually, after around an hour, calms down.

This has held up well & is ultimately quite enjoyable. It just needs some time to open up. Yep, that's about it.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. The 1000th beer I've input a review for here.

Pours a very, very dark brown bordering on black. The color of super dark chocolate. Mocha head with a bit of lacing. Nose brings a lot of different characteristics, with some dark chocolate, coffee, anise, roasted malt, a bit of smoke, and a mild earthiness. The taste is very roasty with a bit of booze. Some really nice smokey, earthy notes and heavy amount of dark chocolate. Medium body with very nice carbonation. Overall, this drinks really well and is a great example of the style.

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Photo of Khazadum
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Adam ( Vav ) for bringing this and many other treats to the BA meet-up. So mad I couldn't try some other ones, but so happy to at least have this one!

A- Dark brown to medium chocolate head. Decent lacing. Small bubbles that floated around on an emulsion of creamy froth. Body was of course, pitch darkness with hidden streams of carbonation.

S- Bourbon definitely coming out of this bad boy. Vanilla, roasted grain without being burnt, a coffee I can't describe effectively. This is mostly sweet forward with a faint medicinal finish. Sort of sterile outline to some aromas.

T- Here is the bourbon once more with a noticeable dancing partner of vanilla. The roasted notes exist, but unfortunately so do some heavy burnt ones. The finish is faintly hopped up. Almost mistook it for a different flavor.

M- Light bodied, creamy, clingy, mild carbonation. Doesn't linger where or when I want it to. It also is definitely not as full as it should be. Its mouthfeel does not match its appearance.

D- Easy. No problems for an 11% to go down my palate. It is absolutely tasty and one of the better RIS I have had to date. The alcohol was molded into the overall character and definitely did not hamper.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Ryan011235 for this. He brought it over and shared it.
Batch No. 2008-1 Bottle 04681 of 11960

A- In typical Blvd fashion this beer rocks a big billowy head. For some reason it surprised me. its a much bigger head than most imperial stouts have, and certainly large for a beer of 11%. The beer is the standard black but on the pour it shows some auburn.

S- Lots of roast and spicy hops. It really comes alive after a little bit of warming though. Then a sweetness of dark berries and milk chocolate come out from a creaminess of oak, toffee and vanilla.

T- Even after 2 years this beer remains pretty damn hoppy. Hoppy and roasty are the name of the game here. Milk chocolate AND bitter dark chocolate, berries and fruits, creamy vanilla and oak. A little kick of whiskey like alcohol to finish things off.

M- Fluffy carbonation, not quite full bodied enough. Moderately sticky.

D- I was surprised with the ABV here. I was not thinking 11%. It drinks like a much lesser beer.

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Photo of dbossman
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Near black with a thick, brown, beautiful head; lacing is okay for an imperial stout

S: Rich, oaky maltiness; caramel; earthy funkiness; cohocolate; alcohol

T: Sweet malty backbone with a subtle hop undertone; chocolate and caramel as well as coffee peek through; alcohol burns nicely underneath it all

F: Fairly viscous and creamy; good mouth coat

D: A good, creamy, and drinkable imperial stout; this beer (2008) aged extremely well; one of boulevard's best

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle # 2,250 of 11,960 2008 Batch #1

Big thanks to Jcb890 for providing this beer in a trade earlier this year. Met Jake at the Armsby Abbey Stoutfest and he's a real good guy..

The head on this beer is insane. Has enough body to rise above the top of the glass by about a ½ inch. Excellent retention and copious amounts of spider lacing all inside the glass. The beer is a very dark brown, but not black. There was one corner of my glass that let a touch of light in, but that's it. Virtually opaque. Good looking beer.

Aroma is of Dark roasted malts, charcoal and melted dark chocolate.

Flavor is more charred, smokey and of ash than I expected. Very dark roast focused. There are dark chocolate and licorice notes as well. Also a decent amount of hop bitterness towards the end. I read on the bottle that 10% was barrel aged. Frankly I think they should have bumped that % of to at least 20% to impart the additional flavors and depth. I think those subtleties get lost in the assertive roasty/charred flavors. ABV is hidden very well.

Body is fairly bold, but a touch shy of where I like Imp Stouts. Carbonation is spot on.

Decent brew and definitely a bottle to share with the bold body and assertive. Glad I tried this, but it certainly doesn't rise to the top echelon of Imp Stouts.

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Photo of prototypic
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many, many thanks to BuckeyeNation for this one.

Batch 2008-1

Imperial Stout pours a dark mahogany color. Looks like dark chocolate fudge. It's nearly opaque, but light cuts through at the outermost edges revealing crimson highlights. It's capped with a big, mocha tan head that stretches about three fingers deep. Retention is very good. Lacing was sticky and very thick. Most impressive.

The nose is good, but seems just slightly underpowered. Chocolate malts are readily apparent. They smell like dark, bittersweet chocolate. Roasted coffee follows and complements the malty notes nicely. I like that. It has a slightly charred or acrid aroma to it. It's interesting and not altogether bad. Surprisingly, there is a hint of bourbon here. The label indicates that 10% was barrel-aged. I'm surprised it comes through. It certainly adds something positive. Very good overall. Just needs a little more muscle.

The flavor is damn good. Chocolate malts are definitely the centerpiece. They have a dark chocolate flavor that is bittersweet. There may be a little roasted malt, but not much. Roasted coffee is very much present and adds quality depth. Bourbon also adds a good bit of character. It's not a strong bourbon flavor, but is plenty enough to have an impact. Secondary flavors include vanilla bean, black licorice, and anise. The flavor profile is deep and rather complex. Alcohol is blended pretty well for 11% abv. Did I mention it's delicious.

Imperial Stout has a medium body and light carbonation. It feels a little too thin. More body would help quite a bit. Drinkability is good. The flavor is spot-on, and I'm really enjoying the 750. Nonetheless, it is rather strong at 11%. I'm good with one.

Boulevard's Smokestack Series sure features some fine beer. Imperial Stout is easily one of the best of the series. It has a ton of flavor and doesn't make any huge missteps. Yeah, the nose is a little weak and it would benefit from more body, but it's very solid otherwise. Highly recommended if you have the opportunity. Thanks a ton, Brad. Great stuff.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade with mymnngjkt- thanks!

A: Pours a viscous opaque black with a cocoa colored lively two finger head. The head settles down to a thin covering and leaves heavy lacing.

S: big notes of rich dark chocolate, accents of vanilla and coffee, some sweetness on the front and some alcohol on the finish, very mellow bourbon character gives the aroma some depth

T: sweet malts up front, lots of dark chocolate along with molasses, licorice, coffee, and vanilla, long sweet finish which lingers on the palate for a while.

MF: very thick body, chewy texture...mammoth of a beer

D: this beer is an impressive accomplishment by Boulevard, it is huge, rich, and has a ton of flavor. Its richness and high abv make it a slow sipper.


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Photo of htomsirveaux
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle tried 30 Dec 2009. # 07838/11960.

Served in a 0.4 L Steiner Pils snifter. Thick large dark brown head. Basically pitch black, opaque. Medium carbonation. Aroma of some Kahlua, molasses, ethanol and some smoky/roastiness. Dry burnt super toasty flavor. Lots of roasted malt. Lots of molasses. Some dark dried fruit. Becomes stickier and slightly syrupy as it warms. Medium to heavy body. Very warming in finish and aftertaste.

Another nice offering from Boulevard.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to monsterfat for this very generous extra, been saving it for a while. Bottle 2290 of 11960; batch 2008-1. Poured from a 750mL caged/corked bottle into my Portsmouth tulip (thanks to ShogoKawada for the glassware!).

Absolutely opaque charcoal-tinged bistre topped by a heaping fawn crescendo of dense yet rocky foam. Heavy ropy lacing sticks like molten marshmallow to the sides of the glass and viscous tears coat the empty spaces.

The label brags about the complex and over-the-top grain bill utilized in the making of this monster, and this is evident in the nose - spelt, rye, wheat, oats, malt (I wouldn't be surprised if you said titricale or even teff made their way in here as well) and all contribute a slightly different aroma, though the roast levels seem relatively uniform. In addition to the malty layers, you get a big dose of fresh black coffee, faint vanilla (probably due to the portion of barrel aged beer), low-level tobacco, molasses, and perhaps clove and licorice.

Incredibly malty palate entry, a lumbering freight which delivers chocolate, roast coffee, chicory, oat-cake, black bread, and burnt sugar. Alcohol adds a bit of fruit and a sort-of chocolate liqueur element while the hops contribute a touch of bitterness which goes well with the mild astringency and helps dry out the finish. Lovely, and very well integrated at this vintage.

Full, refined, slightly chewy mouthfeel, with a touch of oil but not enough to make it slick. Moderate carbonation keeps it moving. ABV contributes a little heat, but is still somewhat hidden beneath the flavors.

Perfect for dessert, though not especially sweet - I sipped away most of a bottle without noticing. Definitely worth tracking down if you get a chance.

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

2008 release. Zebra stripe black with slim slivers of sepia along the edges when the glass is backlit with blazing morning sunshine. The mocha colored cap crested at three fingers after a gentle pour and looks like it will hang around for a long while. Pretty attractive lace too, especially considering the ABV and partial barrel aging.

The aroma is wonderfully deep and rich. Never mind the fact that wheat, rye, oats and spelt were used. Black-roasted malt dominates all and results in plenty of dark chocolate, black coffee and black licorice. Call me crazy, but the effect of having aged 10% of the beer in bourbon barrels is easily appreciated.

One big mouthful is all it takes to confirm the fact that Imperial Stout (along with Long Strange Tripel) is the best Boulevard Smokestack Series ale yet. The brewery did their homework in a major way because this American double stout rivals some of the best beer of the style.

In case you're cellaring a bottle, this initial release (only release?) has aged in outstanding fashion. Even though it's incredibly bold, the various flavors have knit together perfectly. Maybe they did so when fresh too. The ABV seems like a misprint because no 11.0% ale should be this easy to drink.

Specifics include dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, blackstrap molasses, Sambuca-soaked raisins and a wee splash of bourbon whiskey. A modest amount of hop flavor and bitterness keeps things from being too sweet, even this long after the release. This is a wonderfully well-crafted ale from a Midwestern brewery that doesn't get enough love.

The mouthfeel has held up remarkably well. It isn't thick and nougat chewy, but it's plenty big enough and is crushed velvet smooth. Ideal carbonation (gentle) helps immensely and means that anything from sipping to gulping is possible. The former is the better way to go, although the latter is hard to avoid.

Boulevard Imperial Stout is a 'Special Limited Release Ale', which is a shame. If any of the Smokestack Series beers deserve a year-round release schedule, this one does. I now regret having traded away all but one bottle from my initial half-a-case haul. Highly recommended.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a jet black liquid that allows no light to pass through. the head is thick and tight with pretty solid retention. there is a ton of head that is created from a pretty regular pour, maybe a little aggressive. I lace like lace is left on the glass, thin but there.

S-the nose is fair to good in strength. Roasted malts, molasses, and anise hit the nose first. Dark chocolate with a hint of espresso lie in the middle. Sweet malt comes in towards the back with slightly rum soaked raisins and plums.

T-the taste is a bigger version of the nose. The molasses is right up front with a light touch of anise. The dark chocolate still present in the middle with an underlying caramel malt. Sweet dark fruits, raisins, plums, and a touch of figs. A light bitterness comes in at the finish.

M-smooth and creamy, medium body, not huge. Good amount of carbonation, slightly rough at the back. Dry in the finish.

D-this is pretty tasty but lacks the huge body I was hoping for with the nice maltiness. Still very good, great stout components stronger on the roasted malty goodness but a nice touch of sweetness.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the 2010 Stout tasting in a Orval Chalice.

750ml corked & caged bottle.

Pours a super black with a very dark brown color on the head. Nose is sharp and yeasty. Very similar to the Yeti nose.

Taste is sharp and agressive. Taste is really sweet and strong. Very good and surprisingly drinkable for being so boozy.

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Imperial Stout from Boulevard Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 362 ratings.