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Dark Truth Stout - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Dark Truth StoutDark Truth Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,866 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,866
Reviews: 588
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.59%
Wants: 87
Gots: 259 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co. visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Throughout the ages, man has been fascinated by the quest for hidden knowledge, the search for the secret to transforming the elemental into the extraordinary, the simple into the sublime. Ladies and gentlemen, we present for your consideration this exotic, inky concoction, the almost magical creation of our modern day alchemists who have turned humble grains—barley, wheat, rye, and oats—into black, liquid gold. Layers of complex flavors slowly emerge from the glass: espresso, roasted fig, crème brulée. Belgian yeast provides a plum-like fruitiness, noble German hops reveal spicy, herbal notes, while the rich, velvety mouthfeel mellows to a dry, smoky finish.

60 IBU

(Beer added by: BradLikesBrew on 02-28-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,866 | Reviews: 588 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jmerloni
4.73/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark walnut brown/black with one of the most mammoth heads I've ever seen on a beer. Brown head that lasts forever and laces thickly, though unevenly. This one gets a 5 from me by just how monstrous this beer's head is. Unreal.

S - Very earthy smelling, alcohol, smells a lot like dark rum. Dark chocolate malts. Infusing.

T - Very interesting flavors. Roasted chocolates, milky dark fruits, tree bark. One of the most unique flavor profiles I've ever encountered; it literally tastes like it was brewed in a smokehouse, in the presence of beef and pork. This one is interesting to the max.

M - Full-bodied, alcohol really comes through here. A little too carbonated for my sake but still TREMENDOUSLY SILKY.

D - This is a BOLD beer. This is the first brew I've tried from Boulevard and I'm very impressed by the risks they've taken here. There's a lot going on that differs from your regular imperial stout. It almost tastes like meat. I will definitely be getting this one again - phenomenal for fall and winter! - and I look forward to trying other beers from Boulevard! Spectacular introduction here.

PS: I imagine Tom Waits drinking this one!

jmerloni, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of donkeyrunner
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Opaque black with a large, frothy tan head. Several hefty lace rings left by a thick blanket of retention that goes all glass long.

Aroma is char, styrofoam and smokey Fig Newton filling. Has a dry house paint character throughout.

Flavor isn't exactly complex but it's big enough for a big stout. Roast malt, wood char and burnt brownie crust with a smokey finish. I don't get any of the plum that the bottle label had me expecting but that's just fine with me. I'm happy splashing a roasty char bucket stout around my palette. Alcoholic warming is obvious but not inappropriate.

Belgian yeast thins the body doesn't bring any of the plush mouthfeel I'd hope for. Delicate if I'm being nice, frail if I'm being honest.

I appreciate the big char character.

donkeyrunner, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of bearsxco
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured dark black with a small tan head. Could see a lot of carbonation. Slight burnt chocolat and alcohol smell. Oak taste and also a slight bite of alcohol. Too much carbonation. Not a favorite but it seems to grow on you. Not a bad aftertaste. Not bad overall, still unsure if will buy more.

bearsxco, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of iflah45
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color, like sludge, with a 2 finger mocha head.

Lots of roasted coffee and smokey chocolate in the nose with a touch of some unpleasant rusty metal smell

Flavor is very balanced with the coffee and chocolate blending well fading to a slightly hoppy astringent finish

Medium body, slightly over carbonated and prickly on the back of the tongue.

Solid offering. Not my favorite RIS but I enjoyed it and was happy it was available in 12 oz singles. Drinking a 750 of a big stout is tough on weeknights!

iflah45, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of travis224
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark, dark dark. Just as expected from a 9.7% Descent tan head, I would like it a little darker but still looks pretty good. A lot of sweetness on the nose, plum, maybe dark cherries and phenol. Taste is exceptional, very layered. Smoked wood, coffee, not as sweet as I would have expected from the smell. I could sip on this all night. Wonderfully made beer. Definitely recommend this for stout lovers. One of the better beers I've tried in a while.

travis224, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of gfreed
3.2/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sometimes you pick up a bottle in the store and the shape fits in your hand so nicely, you can't put it down. Before you know it, the bottle is in your car and headed to your house and THEN, a few hours later, it's open and its contents are in a glass. Dark Truth comes in such a bottle, but the anticipation I felt while cooling down (but not too much) the beer was somewhat deflated once I actually removed the cap. The overwhelming flavor here is... sugar. Way, way, waaay too much sugar. It hides the smoke; it clobbers the hops; it makes the teeth ache as if you've eaten too much fudge. Reduce the sugar in this beer and you'd have a decent, smokey stout. Otherwise, it's just a boozy, sugary beer. Not bad, but bring your toothbrush.

gfreed, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of perrymarcus
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a snifter.
best before stamp 04/28/13

pours a dark, cola-brown; sits a solid black. aggressive pour yields a creamy, fluffy 2" head; very good retention and lacing.

nose is decent; not especially bold and fairly standard for the style. dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts. maybe a hint of dark fruits.

taste is an improvement: more full of flavor and, frankly, tastier than i suspected judging from the aroma. the chocolate, coffee, and roastiness are all there, along with molasses, dark fruits, a hint of spice and a little char. creamy, medium-bodied mouthfeel with some prickly carbonation.

overall a really good stout. with so many worthy competitors in the style that line the shelves, it's not one i'll be bending over backward to try again. but i'd certainly be up for it.

perrymarcus, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of Vierenner
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not sure what to make of this one. I like the shape of the bottle for starters. I like the color and the head that forms from an average pour. I like the fact that hop bite is minimal. The rest is a bit confusing to me. I think I taste molasses, maybe caramel, certainly some nondescript sweetness, but it doesn't create an identity. It doesn't have a uniqueness which makes it stand out from the rest.

Vierenner, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of auroracrisis
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into a New Belgium globe, best before 10/19/2011

Pitch black with a huge head. Decadent lacing as it drank down.

Chocolate and coffee roast that move into fruity plum and candied fig flavors. A touch more of roast and some heat behind that. Everything is real tight and composed in the smell.

Big on the fruit. Plums, raisins, candied figs again, and hints of other stone fruits. Roasty espresso notes behind that with a little bit of baker's chocolate. A touch of dark candy sugar and some booze. Again, everything is well represented.

Moderate carbonation with a big body. A tad bit sticky and some drying.

Fruity flavors compliment roast and chocolate flavors. A real well put together Belgian stout. No flaws but nothing that is really wowing me. Definitely worth your time.

auroracrisis, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of zeledonia
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed 3 September 2011, reviewed from notes. Bottle says best by 19 October 2011, but does a best by date on an imperial stout really matter?

Pours black, with a head that would have overflowed my glass if I hadn't interrupted the pour. Mocha-colored head that stuck around forever (hurry up, I want to drink it!).

Smell is dark roasted malts, primarily chocolate. Definitely on the sweet side, not much char or bitterness apparent. A little bit of coffee, a little bit of plum. Nice.

Taste: it's all about those rich dark roasts again. Of all the things that come out of them, chocolate is the most apparent. Minimal hop presence. Clean, rich, and moderately sweet, with very little bitterness or sharpness.

Body is medium-thick; I'd call it about 3/4 thickness, where Ten-Fidy is a 1. Carbonation is medium-low, right where it should be.

A really solid, tasty imperial stout. Nothing about it is average, nothing outstanding, but really good all around.

zeledonia, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of azdback
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Very black in color. Highlights do let just a bit of light in. Lots of tiny, closely packed carbonation bubbles build about a finger and a half of mocha colored and silky looking head. Retention is fair and lace is pretty much non existent, but not that out of place on a Imperial Stout wit such a high ABV%.

Smell is of of dark roasted malts. Coffee and a bit of dark chocolate. Tart cherry and an awful lot of rubbing alcohol.

Taste is has an upper hand on the smell. At first there is smoke or charred wood (I think cherry wood). They mellow on the tongue an leave the deep roasted coffee tastes and then some dark chocolate covered cherry. There is still a lot of alcohol taste, but not as prominent and more drinkable then the sterile aroma in the nose.

Mouth is wonderful and rich. I haven't used it in a while but I must say, chewy! What I expect from an American Double. The booze warminess is nice but is it's only flaw.

Overall i really enjoyed this. I usually smell the underside of the cap when I crack a new beer and I did with this one and all I could smell was wheat and Belgian yeast. I am so glad none of that was in this brew. My first Boulevard taste and thanks to davesway10 for the chance to enjoy this. A must try if you can!!

azdback, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of Retail1LO
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this as an extra from sweetwillyrolbar. Poured from a bottle into a 5 oz. snifter. Pours opaque with neary a head. Smoke, bourbon, and vanilla rip your nose up. It's beautiful. The the taste is also dominated by smoke and bourbon with some tart cherry tossed in. The mouthfeel is a bit astringent, but otherwise this goes down without a hitch. Would gladly drink again.

Retail1LO, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of TheSarge
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours perfectly with a massive amount of tan head, and pitch black opaque body with just a hint of reddish hues on the edge of the bottom of the glass.

The aroma is of coffee, dark chocolate, and a mild metallic quality.

Taste wise it's rich with the dark semisweet chocolate trait, and the metallic character comes up in the end.

Mildly carbonated, and oily in the middle. The palate is left dry and ready for some more of this sweet treat.

TheSarge, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of stakem
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears dark brown to black in color with a thin amount of lighter brown clarity around the edges. Slightly more than a finger of darkly tanned head appears across the top and retains very well. As the cap slowly recedes, it leaves patches and finger-like patterns of lace sticking to the glass.

The smell of this brew is spicy with a scent that is reminiscent of raw, tannic wood. There is a bright, dark fruited quality throughout from the alcohol esters. The grains impart a dark roasted quality that is lightly smokey in nature almost like tobacco but also has a freshly roasted coffee inclusion as well. Green leafy hops are present throughout. All together this is a complex and interesting aroma but it doesn't totally blend together in a fitting way if that makes sense.

The taste is bitter with a roasted element somewhat like char and smoked grains. A harsh seemingly tannic quality like raw wood flavoring is present with a light spiced aspect. Herbal to fruity hops are present which accent the fruity alcohol esters. Flavors of leather, tobacco and unsweetened chocolate are left in the aftertaste with a long drawn out mellow smoked aspect. Unique and unusual at the same time.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a lively level of carbonation. The alcohol hits with a warmth that seems even more than the listed 9.7%. Overall a complex and enjoyable brew but possibly needs some time to mellow out and really come together. Each of the flavors seemed individualized and didnt quite meld together that well. I like bold flavored brews but this one was a little rough around the edges.

stakem, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of ElCommodoro
4.88/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a thick thick black. There’s no seeing anything on the other side of this glass. It’s completely opaque. The head is miniscule and a chocolate brown with the consistency of a cappucino.
The smell is out of this world. I smell chocolate, old fruit, and a sweetness.
Now for the best part. The taste is astounding. Better than I expected from the smell, even. As anyone who’s read most of my ratings knows, I’m not a fan of hops. I think that in many beers, they’re overused. Now, the hops in this beer hit first. They play a noticeable role and they are definitely astringent, however they are present in jus the right amount. It is the perfect mix of hops, malt, and sweetness. It provides some astringency that allows the beer to be thick and dark without becoming cloyingly sweet. These are hops used right. As for the rest of it, it’s thick, malty and sweet just like a stout should be. It’s a bit thicker, stickier and sweeter than many stouts, almost like a cream stout, but it’s also pretty high in alcohol for a stout, so that’s not surprising. Man, what a great beer. I always thought that a stout high in alcohol would be a good idea. I was right. This stuff is absolutely delicious. Plus, I can’t even taste the high alcohol content. I almost find that disappointing, but this brew tastes so good, I can’t complain. Good job, Boulevard. You are a good brewing company, even if your irish reds aren’t quite up to par.

ElCommodoro, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of tvv375ia
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle that I found left from last winter with a best by date of 7-5-11 into pint glass

A-Almost pitch black no light getting through has a 2 finger dark tan head that left lacing until I finished it off

S-Roasted malt and dark fruit and raisins but a little alcohol smell as well

T-Nice roast and plum flavors but right at the finish the 9.7% shows, not enough to ruin any taste but you can fell the heat

M-nice creamy texture

O-one of the best that I have had from Boulevard and I will be getting more this to keep around because aging in the fridge didn't hurt this one bit

tvv375ia, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of bugaboo416
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: black as midnight,

S: Roasted Malt, dark stone fruit, light citrus

T: very bitter, roasted malt, coffee,body has some sweetness and its end has some red wine.

M: heavy body, creamy, smooth

O: The booziness is evident but not overpowering. There is a great smoothness to it, similar to an oatmeal stout. Very nice sipping stout. I would recommend people seek it out to try it.

bugaboo416, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of Bfarr
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Nearly black with huge fluffy head and great retention. Alcohol, plum, roasted malts, and sweet yeast aromas. Molasses and roasted up front light plum and finishing dry and yeasty. Fairly thin and foamy with a light bite.

Good meld of aromas and flavors though the roasted and hop flavors are a little high so it may benefit from some aging. I think my expectations were a little high so I didn’t really enjoy this as much as I thought I would. It was certainly a nice dark accompaniment to Johnny Mnemonic.

Bfarr, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of Pegasus
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep mahogany body, impenetrable to light, crowned a dense, thick tan head, and scattered patchy lacing.

Aroma: Robust notes of earth and coffee, black bread, and sweet vinous alcohol.

Taste: Opens with dark, smoky malts, as the taste progresses, earth and coffee notes appear. Later in the taste, a bit of spiciness appears and sweet alcohol. Finishes with a long, lingering earthy hop note and deep roasted malt.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and very full.

Drinkability/notes: Very nicely done, the alcohol is handled quite gracefully.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom twelve-ounce brown glass long-neck bottle, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Pegasus, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of theboozecruise
3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter, it's a really dark color with a small off-white head.

The aroma is a little faint, boozy and chocolatey with a bit of vanilla flavor.

The taste is a little thin as well for such a dark beer. It has some rich chocolate notes and some wood undertones but it's just not a filled out flavor.

A little thin like before, not all that impressive on the mouthfeel.

It's still an okay beer, but Boulevard has been nothing but awesome in their smokestack series thus far. This one doesn't quite measure up.

theboozecruise, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of Ghenna
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Squid ink black beer, tightly bubbled light brown head. Sticking around for a bit as well.

Smells of Dark chocolate, a bit of spice and stout-y goodness.

Taste is initially of bunch of big dry roast. Roast follows, with the usual dry chocolate and whathaveyou.

As is expected with a big beer like this it definitely lingers on the palate- though the near 10% is absolutely invisible.

Interesting beer, and my first from this brewery- really nice truth be told. Exactly what I expect the style to be. Lots of roast and dark chocolate, relatively dry, no hops to mention. Despite what my review numbers may say, definitely B+/A-/

Ghenna, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of flagmantho
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: completely, utterly, totally black with two fingers of creamy tan foam. Great head retention and lace on the glass -- just about as good as it gets.

Smell: sweet aroma with an appropriate roastiness and not a little yeastiness. Not bad, but lacking complexity -- especially for a strong stout.

Taste: big alcohol bite along wiht lots of roasted malt. Coffee flavors with roasted malt bitterness prevail; again, this beer lacks much complexity and is thus not terribly enticing.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a rich and silky texture. Creaminess is good, but a little bit more body would work wonders here.

Overall: a decent beer, but I like my big stouts to be more complex and less dry -- this beer really seemed like it was overattenuated.

flagmantho, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.63/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, opaque sable with a very thick and rather persistent yellowish-tan head. Nose-filling aroma has tones of chocolate, quality coffee, fresh-cut wood and molasses along with hints of caramel and licorice. Fabulous flavor is rather sweet but not cloying, like mocha made from excellent coffee and fine chocolate. A woody overtone provides a little hoppy bitterness to offset the sweet flavor, and hints of caramel, molasses and licorice round out the lip-smacking flavor. Texture has substantial body and a fair amount of tingle, Finish is fizzy and has chocolate and woody tones. Recommended!

Cyberkedi, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of avius
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a stemless Bordeaux style glass. I chilled it down too far (obvious from the get go) so I hand warmed it.
It pours out a DARK brown, like hand made hot cocoa. Seriously like a fresh cocoa. The head dwindles to nothing and leaves almost no tracing of lace; this is to be expected, as there is not much hop note (higher hop=better retention?).
As it warms, the malts come out: deep, dark, rich. Just up to the edge of smoke. Oats? Did they add milk sugar? Nooo, but it is creamy and smooth like a milk stout.
No hop on the nose or tongue, this is an ode to malt. Rich barley, and I think rye and oats. The rye and oats combine to create the cream sensation on the tongue. It seems to go right up against the milk stout idea and pull back from the edge - it lacks the sweetness of a milk stout - and this is where the yeast and hops kick in.
It has a real subtle bitterness, German hops would imply Haulertau? It must be very subtly hopped, because I just do not get the classic German flavor. Well, maybe on the loooonnnnggg finish).
At its base, it is all toffee, a pinch of coffee, caramel, and a hint of chocolate malt. At the end, the nose is all toffee, alcohol, the tongue is sweetness and light...?
This is a good beer... Though it claims a Belgian yeast, I just cannot find it. The layer upon layer of malt so completely overwhelms any sort of Belgian flavor... though, the finish has a hint of that Belgian astringency... The bitterness becomes an after thought, as I would hope for in any worthy stout. It lingers on well after the beer has transgressed the palate.
Mouthfeel is outstanding. Creamy, smooth, with out being over the top. Very fine bubble structure.
Over all, this is an extremely well balanced beer. The more I sip it, the more I come to understand why brewers are reluctant to create a Belgian Stout. The malts just overwhelm any chance for the yeast to show through up front. The astringency of the yeast pairs well with the hops as an afterthought (which is what that German hop has turned into for my palate). Maybe if it weren't 9.7%? What if they tried a 5.5-6%? Instead of hiding behind the malt...
Over all I give it a 3.75... I want to unmask this beer and see what it is hiding. Until then, I just cannot go any higher...

avius, Aug 12, 2011
Photo of fltmedic
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured the 12 oz bottle into a stemless goblet and the result was a beautiful head of mocha colored froth about 2 inches high. Not a bit of light passes through it.

The aroma is rich like dark coffee and toffee and caramel with over ripe bananas. It concentrates nicely in the glass and keeps coming through sip after sip.

The taste abounds and is so complex i am not close to qualified to describe it. My attempt goes something like this: Lots of dark chocolate in a little coffee, raisin, prune. Then there is more coffee with some alcohol warmth. The fade holds these all together and the chocolate bitterness remains on the tongue.

There is a thick, warm velvety and silky smooth mouthfeel, but it's not too heavy.

This stout was my dessert tonight and I would love it to be my dessert again. This fall I have a date to sit and sip one out on the deck in a crisp, clear night.

fltmedic, Aug 12, 2011
Dark Truth Stout from Boulevard Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,866 ratings.