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Dark Truth Stout - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Dark Truth StoutDark Truth Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,043 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,043
Reviews: 624
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.59%
Wants: 95
Gots: 305 | FT: 8
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:
Beer added by: BradLikesBrew on 02-28-2010

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
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,043 | Reviews: 624 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KELPAK
4.78/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Fantastic beer. Was the first i've tried from the Boulevard Brewary and i'm very impressed. Nice mocha finish to it and pours nearly black. Was extremely shocked by the alcohol content after first tasting the beer, certainly does not taste like a stout that contains 9.7% alcohol.

Photo of FanofHefe
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Boulevard tulip; best by 7/27/13 - wow, I know stouts age well but this one must be pretty fresh. Deep, black body with no light getting through. BIG, four-finger mocha head, that, is much bigger in a stout than I expected. But, it does have good retention and lacing.

Excellent aroma: rich, dark malt and dark fruit dominate. But, accompanied by hints of chocolate and toffee and has the quality that I like to qualify as very inviting.

The flavor is a very good copy of the aroma with the dark malt, raisin, chocolate, and toffee flavors as well. A light smoky flavor blends in and a touch of bitterness from either the roasted malt or a bit of hops finishes the taste profile.

Medium to thick mouthfeel with a touch of the alcohol present. Solid stout that would very likely do well with age.

Photo of PEBKAC
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

4-packer from somewhere up north(or was it Philly?). Best By 10/19/11.

DFH rounded pint glass. Heavyhanded pour results in lots of sandy, dark tan-colored insulation foam on top of a black(on black) body. Sticky, archipelago-like lace.

Sniff. Lots of cocoa, raisins, & soft citrus upfront. Coffee, hazelnuts, lactose, & lots of heat on the back.

Roasty, charred sweetness. Ash. Earthy/minerally hops. Dry, bittergreen/rindy finish.

Constantly frothy. Average body. Moderate carbonation, but pretty acidic. A bit too hot for being under 10%.

A little tough.

Photo of warnerry
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 10/19/11

A - Pours pitch black with two and a half fingers of creamy tan head. Still one finger of head more than five minutes after pouring. Outstanding retention. Also leaves some nice lacing.

S - Dark chocolate, lots of roasted malt, and a bit of char. Also quite a prominent fruit presence (fig, raisin and a faint tartness) and a bit of anise. Has many of the aroma components found in other stouts, but I have never smelled anything quite like this, which is mostly a compliment. Maybe a bit too much char.

T - Similar to smell, though there is more of a sweet milk chocolate component to the taste than the smell. Every sip finishes very roasty with a touch of char.

M - Very nice smooth, creamy medium/full mouthfeel. Definitely not heavy, but substantial.

O - A very nice stout. I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy this based on the smell, which had nice components, but seemed slightly off somehow. But the taste came together well, and having a bit of sweet chocolate, which I am normally not a big fan of, helped to counteract the heavy roasted character. I would have this again, but wouldn't stock up on it.

Photo of Chico1985
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With temperatures approaching below freezing recently, it's officially stout season.

12oz pours into a snifter pitch black, nice tan sand dune head retains easily as a full cap leaving some nice lace behind.

Some faint dark fruits in the smell...figs and maybe red grape, dark malts, tartness. Reminiscent of a red wine somewhat, nice, but not much stout-ness.

Taste also brings on the dark fruit. Plum, raisin and some tart cherry there too. Starts to taste more like a stout with some warmth, big roast, coffee, caramel. Really ashy, smoky finish. Seems a bit one-sided with the fruit at first but it melds pretty well after some time.

Smooth, silky mouthfeel. A bit high on the carbonation and foaminess which I've noticed in most Boulevard beers, but it's not bad here. A bit of alcohol heat but also not a bother.

Takes some time to balance out but when it does you get a pretty nice Belgian stout, interesting stuff. It will be cool to see how this ages in a year or two.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter glass. Barley, wheat, rye and oats provide the foundation for this big stout. Layers of complex flavors slowly emerge from the glass: espresso, roasted fig, creme brulee. 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. Such a robust beer stands well by itself, but also makes a wonderful end-note as a dessert itself.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by date 10/19/2011 drank on 10/17/2011 Thanks SalukiAlum for the awesome extra had been wanting to try this beer for awhile now

Look: Pitch black with a red ring on the bottom of the glass with 1/4 inch dark tan head and no real retention

Smell: HInts of dark fruits and licorice. Has some sweet chocolate on the backend

Taste: The front end has a chocolate covered prune note while the backend carries a roasted coffee note that is followed up by a bit of ash

Mouthfeel: Full body and way to much carbonation for the style

Overall: This beer is not bad but it is nothing special. Definitely worth a try however

Photo of Keithstone44
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

6-month old bottle poured into a snifter.

A: pitch black with a 1-inch deep tan head that leaves behind great lacing.

S: Sweet-malt, chocolate and fruit (cherries, and plum)

T: Intense roasted barley in the beginning, followed by hints of caramel and fruitiness

M: Lightly carbonated, very full-bodied. Silky smooth texture

O: Great stout from Boulevard. A little too much roasted barley getting through, but that could be because of the age on the bottle

Photo of RunForYourBeer
3.44/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle says best by 4/27/13

A: Black with a good sized tan head that sticks around.

S: Dark, roasty chocolate and a hint of dark fruits.

T: Dark chocolate with some coffee and roastiness. Has a bit of dark fruits and alcohol warming in the finish.

M: A bit thin and too carbonated for me.

O: Not a bad beer but nothing I would go out of my way to find.

Photo of iceburger97
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- black with good carbonation

smell- chocolate, coffee liquor and the faint aroma of menthol cough drops , cola

taste- black licorice, burnt coffee, the flavor of cured sweet sausage was noted, although I don't think sausage is in the beer but that flavor did pop into my head as I tasted this beer, and the flavor of burnt cola or cocoa.

mouthfeel- rather extraordinary, went down smooth, quite refreshing, can be held in mouth and tasted with little bitterness

overall good. I would suggest trying this stout. I would suggest serving cold

Photo of jman892
3.19/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Great looking beer, pours black with a very big, fluffy, mocha colored head. The head shrinks but is retained throughout. As a result, nice intricate lacing remains

S - Mild coffee aroma, some roasted malts, somewhat smoky aroma.

T - Taste is bitter cocoa, very burnt toast, the alcohol is not too hidden in this, somewhat chalky and smoky, reminds me of a fireplace log.

M - Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, smooth and full bodied

O - Great looking beer, but the bitterness in the taste combined with the alcohol burn was a little overwhelming.

Photo of dbexpert
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A.Light brown head builds to a dense 1/2" and recedes to a complete covering head. A good sign of a quality brew.
S. Notes of roasted coffee(darker style but not quite espresso). Dark chocolate with a slight note of prune/raisin.
T. Black coffee, minimal residual sugars, Very drinkable 9.7%. Alcohol is not overbearing
M. Clean, dry
O. A VERY nice beer. Another solid creation from Boulevard. Their ability to brew big beers and make them this interesting and available is quite an accomplishment. Quickly become one of my favorite breweries.

Photo of horshack7
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Well this is quite an abyss of darkness. On top is whole bunch of very thick rocky head which is dark tan. As the head thins out very good lacing is left behind.

Aroma: Sweet fruits, roasted malts, toffee, phenolic alcohol. Burnt hop notes tart fruit as well as sweet fruit notes all through it. Phenols make themselves well known. Malts are sweet and bready with yeasty notes.

Taste: Very sweet out of the gate lots of sweet fruits and even ripe. Malts are roasted dark and sinister along side the hops. Sweet bread, phenols, minor esters. A little bit of yeast towards the back. The mouthfeel is very creamy a bit light melted dark chocolate.

Notes: This one is mean and ugly almost sinister what a monster and dam tasty. Cheers.

Photo of cbutova
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

A- Poured into a tulip with a pitch black body and a massive mocha colored head. Retention is basically infinite, waiting to drink because of it. Nice thick spots of lace.

S- Straight up stout. Big roasted malt notes which has characteristics of cocoa, coffee and burnt sugar. Also raisins, alcohol and smoke.

T- Follows the nose for the most part but I would say the dark fruit flavor is bigger here. This blends nicely with notes of heavily roast malt, cocoa, coffee and smoke. Slight alcohol.

MF- Thick, oily body with moderate carbonation level. Finishes warm and somewhat bitter.

A nice big stout but a bit too fruity for me, it is a nice flavor but would work much better toned down just a bit. Still worth trying for sure.

Photo of nhindian
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head Signature glass.

A - Pours an obsidian black, completely opaque and flat at places. Exceptionally pitch black, like the moment you turn the lights off and can't adjust to it just yet. This is contrasted nicely by the mocha-colored head, which almost explodes when it touches the glass because it's so bubbly and frothy. It's easily pushing 3-fingers in height and has retention for days. I can't tell if it's done receding or if there is really almost a finger's worth of cap on this beer. The lacing, as expected due to the impressive head, is thick, generously slabbed across the glass and dripping with foam.

S - The nose on this is pretty unique in my opinion. It balances a few different characteristics, but pulls it off nicely. There is a touch of soy and smoke, but both play nicely within the larger view. Also even a dark, pitted fruit quality that even gives off an almost tart note. Then you have the big chocolate from the malts, and finally a soothing alcohol heat rounds everything out.

T - The first thing that I noticed about the taste is that it isn't very sweet at all. Given the chocolate, fruits, and soy I got in the nose, I was expecting something pretty sweet, but instead it is actually a bit bitter and acrid at times. The chocolate is still here, and actually dominates the front of the taste, but it is a much more bitter kind of cocoa. Think really dark chocolate. Luckily the soy is again very faint, so there's no worry of it overpowering, but the smoke and char does linger a bit. The second half of this beer has a decent amount of plums or raisins and figs, which gives it an earthy quality. The alcohol burn is again present, but it only serves to give a little warming sensation.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with high carbonation. Definitely a very active mouthfeel due to the constant popping of carbonation and the silky smooth head. Quite dry in the finish due to the chocolate and bitterness.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately high. This is a fairly bold stout and definitely delivers on all of the flavors. I'm liking the addition of the darker fruits and the shift to a more bitter kind of flavor compared to the overly sweet stouts that some breweries are churning out. I'd like to get a few more bottles of this to set down for a few months or years.

Photo of portia99
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (best by 07/27/13) poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours an exceptionally dark brown color...just shy of black - totally opaque. A thick cap of frothy and foamy brown head sits atop the beer displaying very good staying power. Foamy lacing is left on the sides of the glass as the head falls.

S - Lots of dark fruits show up first in the nose aside a fair amount of alcohol. Roasty with some molasses, milk chocolate and some green and bitter hops. A bit sweet around the edges in a sugary way.

T - Bitter hops, dark fruits, smokey and burnt, dark roasted malts, alcohol, sugar, caramel, coffee. Well balanced flavors with everything integrated together nicely.

M - Medium carbonation over a light to medium body that seems a bit thin for the style. Fairly noticeable alcohol component though still doesn't give much of any warmth...just a bit that lingers and becomes known only on the exhale.

O - Drinks more like a standard stout as opposed to an imperial. The thin body and overall smoothness go along way towards giving this impression. The excellent balance here is what makes this stout. Complex with lots of little nuances to the flavors. Really nice - for me, the overall impression of this beer is better than the individual components. Glad this one is now readily available on the MA shelves...will definitely get some repeat business on this one.

Photo of Jwale73
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in my Old Stock snifter. Best by 7/27/13 printed on the bottle neck. Pours the color of cola with a dense, two inch, khaki-colored head. Copious tiny bubbles adhere to the bowl of the glass as the head sizzle and pops and gradually recedes into a frothy cap. Thin swaths of lacing and cascading droplets adhere to the sides of the bowl during the tasting. Nose expresses dark malts, brown sugar, a trace of vanilla, a suggestion of oxidation and a slightly sour vinous/dark fruit character. Taste expresses coffee, ashy char, a slight metallic quality, burnt sugar and a suggestion of acidity towards the back - all of this on a roasty, dark malt backbone. Mouthfeel is medium-light (but closer to medium), with a carbonation that is just a bit too assertive for the style (actually a bit prickly) with some residual burn at the back of the throat. Overall, it's a pretty solid IS. I think it could use some time to perhaps diminish the carbonation and even out the body, but I think this beer has very good potential. It's very malty, without being a malt bomb, and it has a slightly different flavor profile (less sweet and more earthy/roasty) than many examples of the style. Definitely worth a try, but I would suggest giving it a year or two of cellaring to allow it to grow into its potential.

Photo of KDawg
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours black with a nice and small foamy head

rich and complex nose of roasted coffee beans, hot caramel, toffee and some malt tones as well

full bodied with a real good feel. Mostly toffee, malt, and roasted coffee beans

One of my favorite stouts. While Imperial stouts aren't something I drink often, this is a real quality beer

Photo of steve8robin
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Boulevard finally started distributing to MA so I was able to score this bottle. Loved Saison Brett, and some of there other were very good. 12oz bottle, best by 04/28/13...

A: A dark beer with very faint reddish highlights. A huge mocha colored head that fades at a decent pace leaving some frothy goodness on top. Very good.

S: I get some chocolate roastiness upfront blended with a hint of mild cherry. I quickly get some vanilla notes in the middle with some cocoa strong on the backend. Good.

T: I get some bitter roastiness upfront quickly subdued by a chocolate creaminess in the middle. An almost lactose-like creaminess. Some mild fruitiness in the middle (very faint cherry). A cocoa vanilla on the backend. Good.

M: Holy carbonation! This is a super carbonated beer. A full body with a creamy cocoa finish. Decent.

O: All in all, this is a good beer. Solid. I could drink this many times, despite the over-carbonation of this brew. It's a good stout with a unique faint fruitiness from the Belgian yeast stain used. Good try for a stout if you have access.

Photo of loweball727
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours and retains a 2 finger caramel head. Color is an incredible opaque dark brown.

S - Sweet/malty/aroma of dark fruit

T - Initial taste is malty and sweet like you would expect from the smell with a little raisiny taste (package said plum). You get a nice little smokey aftertaste

M - Immediately feel the carbonation on your tongue. Definitely felt like a stout on the palate

O - Huge fan of then head staying thick during the entire taste, loved the smokey aftertaste. Not a huge fan of the plummy raiseny taste as compared to other stouts I've had but would drink again

Photo of Retsinis
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. The beer pours a light black, with a cola brown hue at the surface that can be seen when held to the light. A healthy one inch of tan cream colored head rose, faded to just a ring & film of bubbles. Touch of lacing.

S: Scents of roasted malt, dark chocolate, espresso, as well as faint smoked or charred oak.

T: Layered flavors of dark chocolate, roasted malt, espresso, vanilla, faint touch of licorice and raisins as well. Finishes with a light bitterness, and no hint of the 9.7 ABV.

M: Light to medium carbonation, some smoke, and dry.

O: Found this on the shelf in San Diego of all places, really great find since Boulevard is not distributed here to my knowledge. (cost $3!!) I wish this was a regular off the shelf beer here, as it is a good stout, & well balanced.

Photo of ahq514
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into NB Globe glass.

Pours a small but solid head. Seems to have low carbonation as it should. A pretty dark black color.

This stout has all the typical stout aromas - chocolate, coffee, roast. In addition, there are some more complexities at work here, presumably from the Belgian yeast. The complexities include some spiciness and a surprisingly healthy amount of dark fruits. A hint of smoke in there too. Smells somewhat boozy.

In the taste, the typical stout qualities come through more and the Belgian characteristics are a tad more subdued. This beer has more of a chocolate roast with a hint of smoke as compared to a lot of stouts that have a more noticeable dry roastiness. The Belgian characteristics are there, the dark fruits and the spiciness, but they are much more in the background and towards the finish. A little bit of booziness on the finish too.

Good mouthfeel. Medium to full body and low carbonation.

Another solid offering from Boulevard. The Belgian part of it adds an interesting characteristic, both good and bad. I will finish the rest of my 4 pack and probably move on to another stout. Definitely worth a try though.

Photo of Brez07
3.18/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Best by 4/28/13

A: Pours a rather dark beer, but with some brown along the edges. 2 finger mocha colored head which slowly recedes and leaves some nice lacing

S: Lots of dark fruit initially. Some roasted coffee and bitter chocolate. Slight twinge of alcohol and phenol

T: Light roasted malt. Chalky, smokey, mossy. Some fig/raisin

M: Full bodied, creamy. Carbonation level is a little high. Charred roasted malt aftertaste

D: Not one of the better stouts that I've had. Flavors didn't work well together and overall it was somewhat harsh

Photo of codsmith
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Jet black with a very appealing creamy dark-tan head that retains and laces the glass nicely throughout.

S: A roasted chocolate malt and a slight amount of spicy & herbal hop aroma that really bring out the fruity character. There is a slight alcohol smell as well.

T: Smell and taste are pretty close. There is a nice roasted chocolate malt character mixed with a decent amount of fruit flavors. A good amount of alcohol warmth comes through. Some moderate-to-heavy bitterness comes at the end. Not really getting any of those smoke flavor, but then again I like a huge smoke profile when I expect it in a beer.

M: Very smooth and moderate-bodied. Carbonation seems to be right on for this beer.

O: Very well done and full of unique flavor mixtures. The carbonation and appearance are spot on. Was hoping for a more smoked malt character.

Photo of chocosushi
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz->Smokestack Tulip
Last Winter's release
A ~ Pours black with an excellent cap of maroon-tinged head that hangs around for quite awhile. Head is literally textured with fine, superfine, & medium bubbles. Decends like a souffle in slow-mo after a few minutes, which was a joy to watch.

S ~ Raisinbread & Plum...very Vinous at first with additional notes of dried cherry & dried apricot.
I have to dig kind of deep to get the roasty notes I long for.
After warming these become more present along with a dash of vanilla ice cream.

T ~ Pronounced Belgian yeast flavors lending various dark fruit notes. Roasted notes with a Belgian Yeast backbone. The combination of esters with roasted malt follows through
with the Raisinbread notes in the nose. European hops have faded but still linger around with notes of alfalfa & dry grass.
Various touches of buttery toffee & stale coffee with half n' half.

M ~ Yeast & the copious amounts of English malts pair very well together. The feel is spice driven, astringent, but overall very mellow. Simply good.

D ~ A really fantastic take on the Imperial Stout...Honestly I am starting to like the semi-style of Belgian RIS to the style of Belgian IPA, the flavors really seem to cohere more fluidly. Seek out; this cellars very well.

Dark Truth Stout from Boulevard Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,043 ratings.