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Grainstorm Black Rye IPA - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Grainstorm Black Rye IPAGrainstorm Black Rye IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

116 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 116
Hads: 660
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.72%
Wants: 40
Gots: 64 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co. visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: acelin on 12-06-2012

Just when you thought it was safe to come out of the root cellar, along comes Grainstorm, a big, wet wallop to the senses. In the glass, dark and turbulent clouds gather. A high-pressure system of pungent hops collides with a stationary front of barley, wheat, and rye. The forecast: a veritable monsoon of flavor, with surges of roasty malt, microbursts of hops, and a chance of golfball-sized hail. The extended outlook calls for unseasonably pleasant enjoyment.

65 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 116 | Hads: 660
Photo of WoodBrew
4.94/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow....one of the best beers I've had...very happy to have had the chance to have it on tap. The beer poured an opaque black with thick ecru head that laced like a vicki secret catalog all the way down the brady sniffer glass. The scent was fresh hop with pine being a bit most potent than the citrus which tied in nicely with the burnt malt backdrop. The taste was a beautiful balance between the hops and roasty rye with kept the pallat clear after the pull. The mouthfeel was medium to full in body with smooth carbonation. The best thing about this beer was that it was under 8%...making it sessionable!!! I could have sat at that table all night long!

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Photo of acelin
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer as a "test batch" brew at the brewery following a brewery tour. They said they were announcing it's release soon, so when I heard the official name, I decided to be the first to review it here.

Poured from the tap fresh at the brewery into a 5 oz. tasting glass.

This beer pours black. Start black. It's neat, because you can see bits of carbonation carrying the yeast particles to the head, which is a small, cream/tan color. This beer left a moderate amount of lacing on the glass as it was slowly consumed.

The color is deceiving. This brew doesn't smell like coffee, doesn't smell like chocolate. It smells like a fine IPA, with great floral hops, with one difference: it's made with rye. Rye is spicy, yet sweet, and really hardy, or I guess husky smelling. It smells boastful, very full. The Rye smells a bit toasted, and not very sweet.

This beer tastes very much how it looks. Great rye spice, yet very sweet and full bodied. No rye barrels here- this is nothing like the Rye-on-Rye Smokestack Boulevard previously released. It's hoppy, with a good malt backbone that's certainly not too thick. Perfectly balanced.

Mouthfeel was superb for an IPA, perhaps aided by the rye. Despite being a hefty 7.7%, and rye, and hoppy, I found this beer fairly drinkable.

Boulevard has a hit on their hands.

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Photo of mdcrouser
4.74/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I've been looking forward to this one since I loved it on tap during a brewery tour this past fall. Can't wait to again.

Deep black without light, dark brown with it. Lots of head to begin leaves remnants of lace behind, inches above where the head dies down to.

Sweet and hoppy with citrus and fruit, just like the IPA name would have you believe - oranges, peaches, with barely a hint of any maltiness. Pretty darn awesome.

Mandarian oranges are most apparent from the outset, followed by lemon, slight breadiness from the malt and some spiciness from the rye closes. I love how it's so highly hopped, but balanced out by malts and rye.

Dry, crisp and exceptionally aromatic in the mouth - the slight burn of hops lingers, much moreso than what I remember.

Another outstanding delivery from the folks at Boulevard - really proud to call them a KC brewery.

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Photo of claytri
4.59/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a rich mahogoney with a tan head. The atoma is the expected strong mixture of rye and hops. The taste is a combination of the two bitters at work there is an undercurrent of mslt in the closr thst lingers nicely the feelvis medium and oily a very interesting rye and a bit different. All in all a solid and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of bump8628
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL corked and caged bottled served in a Smoke Stack tulip. One of the most magnificent looking beers I've seen - deep brown, bordering on black, with a thick, meringue-like head of ecru foam that refuses to fall to less than two fingers of thickness and leaves clumps of lacing. Pine and thyme aromatics hit first followed by an undercurrent of dank herbs, grapefruit rind, and tropical fruits. The palate offers more of those big hop flavors along with a punch of sharp, herbal bitterness. Malt offers the familiar rustic spiciness of rye and just a faint dusting of roast and smoke reminiscent of chicory coffee.

Exactly where I like my Black IPAs/CDAs - aggressive hops, minimal malt and roast. The hop combo is one of my favorites (Simcoe, Amarillo, and Citra) and the brewers should be applauded for not going overboard with the specialty malts, with the rye addition being a unique twist to the style. Grainstorm keeps up the tradition of excellence I've come to expect from the Smokestack Series. Simply a great American craft beer here.

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Photo of dethomp
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A - Amazingly special. Immediately on pouring into pint glass small bubbly foam rose, threatening to overflow. Visible beer depth was just 1/2 inch, topped with foam of 4 inches. This beer requires patience before you can fast it. (Perhaps my glass should have been a lower temperature?)

S - To me it the rye smell was first very strong, too strong. This time my patience resulted in a smoother and more appealing and enticing smell.

T - Very smooth but still fulfilling. Boulevard's rating of 65 IBU is just right.

M - Again, a fine mix of a good amount of smoothness with bitterness.

O - A fine experience. Neither dull nor overpowering. For me the best part is how it changes to become better. An excellent rye.

I highly recommend it.

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Photo of jmccullough108
4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked 750mL bottle. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: pitch black, light brown creamy head, lots of glass retention.

Smell: citrus, pine, bread, flowers, hint of spice

Taste: smooth, well balanced, not overly bitter but moreso a typical IPA bitterness. Aftertaste is overwhelmed with the creamy head. Very smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: very nice IPA. Never had a black rye IPA and was very impressed. A flawless execution by Boulevard. Hope this one sticks around.

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Photo of abrethanson
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pulled a corked and caged 750 bottle from the local spirit shop in my Kansas hometown. Split with my Dad while introducing him to better beer.

A: Wow, this baby is a pitch black abyss. Pours a thick foamy tan 2-finger head with good lacing. Head retention is good and carries nice bubbles. The bottom portion of the pour held a lighter coffee brown tint.

S: Piney from what I could sense. (I cannot smell and did not have a nose around)

T: Again, wow. Seemed like it took forever to figure out all the flavors. Spicy rye and a lot of complexity. Cloves, bready undertones, dark fruit, and burnt coffee bitterness up front. A hell of a lot of pine / evergreen on the finish. Really had to pay attention to each sip. The burnt coffee lingers for quiet a while. Hop bomb indeed but toes the line on wrecking your palette. Well balanced between the hops, malt, and carbonation. The booziness was not overly apparent until the last glass.

O: I am not overly familiar with the black rye IPA style but came away thinking this was a great take. Complex, smooth, well-balanced, and unique. Not sesssionable but good beer to split a 750 with. Dad enjoyed it too!

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Photo of Dope
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Batch 2012-1. Best by 08-2013. Think it's around a month old.

A: Nice dark brown pour with an enormously huge effervescent light brown head. Head fades annoyingly slowly - I want to drink it already! Huge island of foam reminds. Big swaths of fluffy lacing everywhere.

S: Big juicy grapefruit. Some pine in there too with the notable spicy rye to boot. Tiny bit of resin. No real roasted malt to note, maybe the lightest hint of chocolate? Might be my imagination.

T: Lots of grapefruit and pine up front. There's the roasted malt. Sweet and chocolatey, mixing in with rye and the hop flavors. Get some spice from the rye and a wave of bitterness from the hops in the finish. Pine and resin mainly in the finish and the lingering aftertaste - with hints of bitter chocolate now that the sweetness has run out. Really a wonderful combination.

M: Nice medium body but smooth and borderline creamy even.

O: Wow, this beer is great. The chocolate, rye and hops really meld together nicely. Well balanced, mellow, smooth and very tasty. Outstanding really. Not a huge in-your-face hoppiness like some - wookey jack is definitely a hoppier version of this for example. This one is more easy drinking and balanced but doesn't have as sharp of flavors. Awesome job, Boulevard.

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Photo of brureview
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Boulevard is one of my favorite breweries. Very diverse. This is a different style for them.
It's a winner.

I bought the beer yesterday. New and fresh. It wasn't entered in the beer store's computer system yet.

Watch the Boulevard video on this beer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61eJu992vSA

In a tulip, the beer poured a dark, dark molasses black color, with a 3 finger head.

Tropical fruit and citrus wafted from the head. I could smell the malt.

Wonderfully malty and not too carbonated mouth feel.

Taste: complex. Tropical fruit, citrus, licorice( I tasted this in the Maharaja DIPA). Very hop forward.

Overall: great beer. Complex, malty, hop forward. Buy fresh and drink now.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Best by Nov 2014, opened Jan 2015

A - A great looking beer. Three fingers of creamy light tan head with great retention and lace. Dark maple syrup body.

S - Soft nose. Caramel, brown bread, molasses, rye, and a backdrop of tangerine.

T - Absolutely delicious. Creamy caramel, an awesome dry roast coffee note, burnt toast, pumpernickel bread, woody bitters. Great balance.

M - Outstandingly smooth. Medium-full frame.

O - A fantastic beer. Stellar balance of roast, sweetness, and bitters for a style that all too often goes roasty for roasty sake.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours near black with a ridiculously massive head. Good retention and lacing is fantastic.

S - Slightly citrusy grassy hops and sweet roasty dark malts. Smells amazing

T - hop forward with roasty rye type undertones. Sweetness is fairly masked. Definitely grassy/citrusy hops first and roasty burnt malts and rye second, great flavors of each

M - light bodied+. Light for the style minimal carbonation and very very smooth

O - Easily a top 5 black IPA for me

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Photo of drpimento
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fabulous beer? mmmm the penultimate fab beer. Whatever; pretty friggin good brew. In most of my scores it was just a hair under the next up rating. Anyway, poured at a great temperature with giant, foamy, frothy, medium tan head that never settles and a bit'o lace. Aroma is slightly gamey, hops, dark roast malt, weed, dry forest, mustiness. Appearance is a very dark but clear cherry garnet with a few bubble trails. Flavor's a slightly sweet acid at the very first and quickly followed by bitter and the resin & citrus flavors . Roast is also predominate and include dark ripe fruit. Finish is like flavor, tapers slow, and is fairly drinkable.

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Photo of stephens101
4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I pour lightly into a Duvel tulip to accommodate the anticipated carbonation, but it still billows over the edge near unending Ala Peter North. Gotta love the carbonation on these Boulevard Brews. Pure black in color with some crimson hues. The froth is huge and unyielding.

Robust oily, floral hops to the nose. Tastes spicy with more oily hops, a nice grain character, a flash of molasses sweetness, overly ripe plum and a slightly medicinal finish.

Medium and quite smooth despite the bitterness. Dry with some noticeable alcohol.


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Photo of rajendra82
4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

When you open a bottle of beer, and the smell of the hops hits you before you pour the beer, you know that a treat to the senses is coming. This was one of those times. The smell of grapefruit became stronger with beer having been liberated from the bomber, but oddly did not get much more intense while nosing the glass. The look was as dark as a stout, but the head formation was much more massive, at three plus fingers thick. The head did not seem to go anywhere at all till I typed all this. The taste was very complex, with a constant interplay of light and dark malts and hops. There were notes of licorice, banana, coffee, dark toasted bread, grapefruit, and iced tea flying across the tongue in rapid succession. There was not a lot of heft to the body though, and the finish was a little watered down. I also did not notice much of a rye influence, as the dark malt seemed a lot more assertive. Boulevard produces another winner. What a surprise..not.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Bier Station as this Boulevard spring seasonal hits KC for it's second year of existence. I like it quite a bit, so it seems about time to update my score and do a full review. Poured into a small Belgian tulip glass.

Appearance - Pours a deep brown hue, almost black, with just the faintest rim of coffee color right around the edges of the glass. Atop the body sits a one-finger sudsy head of latte foam colored bubbles--just a slight twinge of khaki. Retention is moderate, with the foam dissipating to a healthy buildup around the rim of the liquid, and a small island of accumulated foam in the middle, separated by a moat of black with a thin film across the top. Rims of lace are present as I drink it down, with some soapy sheets of lacing in places and eventually a mottling of spots all around the glass long after the liquid has gone.

Smell - Different from many "black IPAs" in that the roasted characteristics are very much in the background on this take. Instead, the nose is led by fragrant citrus and herbal grass and pine--the "IPA" side of this bipolar style. Following the hoppy drum major in this parade of flavors is a corps of rye spice and earthiness.

Taste - Much like the aroma, the citrus is big and almost juicy. Not an adjective I've often used to describe this style, but there is a great deal of orange zest and tangerine flesh to given this a wonderful pungency that is kept in check by the spicy rye and roasted malt. Some faint esters waft through the other flavors, and at the very end, there is a lingering bitterness, like almost-burnt toast, to make sure the "black" part of this ale is more than just the color.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and moderate carbonation, with a feel that is slightly juicy and highly drinkable for the style, with low bitterness.

Overall, this isn't like a lot of examples I've had in the style, but I personally think it sets it apart in a good way. Much less rich and overbearing than some of it's black rye IPA counterparts, it's a fitting spring take on the style.

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Photo of Ed_Johnson
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark caramel with massive tan head.
The nose was nice and different with Piney hops and lightly spicy rye.
A bit of sharp bitterness up front with a good finish featuring barley, rye and a little roasty malt.
Overall a good beer.

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Photo of joeseppy
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very dark mahogany with a huge dense head. Great lacing throughout.

Not getting much aroma as everything is subtle (probably my problem). What I can pick up is citrus hop, malt and a mild roast of grains.

Flavor is spectacular. Hop forward with citrus leading the way. Pale malt and roasty wheat let the rye really shine.

What I do appreciate is that it is not too roasty. Medium to full with some stickiness. Nice spicy bitterness. Very balanced brew.

What a smooth easy drinker. The price is right and provides good comfort anytime of the year or time of day. Tame enough for your non-craft friends to try or stash up for yourself-in saying that I believe best when fresh and icy cold. Couldn't stop myself from rifling this down. Kudos to the smokestack series--again!

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Photo of MNBeerGeek
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic entry into the Black IPA world. Damn this brew is delicious. Pours a surprisingly light body, but has the appearance of burnt caramel. Wonderful hoppy smell, surprisingly light on the grain. Taste really evolves over the course of a drink. Starts of with pretty mild bitter hops and toasted malt. Evolved quickly into... well... I guess a Grainstorm. Plenty of hops to balance. Light mouthfeel with lots of carbonation. Tall, foamy head. Very much enjoyed this beer. This Smokestack series can going as long as Boulevard would like.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a balloon glass.

Look: Comes out of the bottle brown, settles to a dark-chocolate black. Huge oatmeal colored head with large patches of foamy lacing.

Aroma: Spicy notes, sharp, crisp bitter hops, some pepper and faint malts.

Taste: Starts out with a subtle chocolate grain note, then smoothly moves into really crisp hops that have faint floral and sweet fruits before ending with a nice slightly piny bitterness.

Mouthfeel is dry and medium in weight.

Overall, a very well made brew, I'm definitely going to try more smokestack brews.

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Photo of Kromes
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice. Opaque black color with brown highlights and a thick tan colored head that leaves sheets of lacing down the glass.

A peppery and citrus hop aroma with toasted malt in the background. It is very similar to opium....flowery, spicy, and smoky.

A peppery and citrus hop flavor shows up front and blends with a sweet toasted malt. Very simple and clean flavor. These flavors ride out until the finish which has a lingering citrus bitterness and roasted malt flavor.

A full bodied feel....almost chewy in consistency. very smooth with perfect carbonation.

Once again, another smokestack series beer that is top notch.

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Photo of whynot44
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark opaque reddish brown, almost black, with a massive foamy tan head that eventually subsides to just a skin that lasts forever and continues to produce some nice sheets of lacing.

The aroma is pine resin, citrus, faint dark roasted malts and spicy rye.

The taste is complex with plenty of pine and grapefruit up front, backed up with spicy rye, hints of coffee, chocolate, apples, plums and blackberries. The finish is dry with lingering pine resin aftertaste that makes you want more.It sounds odd but is very well balanced to produce a really tasty brew.

Medium to full bodied but smooth and easy to drink.

Overall this is very enjoyable, plenty of hops for the hopheads but not so overpowering that you can't enjoy the malt background as well. Another really nice brew from boulevard.

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Photo of daledeee
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A new one from Boulevard in a 750 ml bottle.

Poured into a stone glass. This thing is the definition of a Black IPA. Can't see a bit of light through it. The head is frothy with lace like no other.

Nose is on the grassy side.

Taste is strong hops which are citrus and grassy. Mouth feel is rather carbonated. At first I thought it was dry but then as I drank it the feel got wetter. Hints of sweetness and you can tell this is a rye beer all the way.

This is a great example of the style. Boulevard is a solid brewery.

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Photo of Chaney
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Presently, this is the #20 ranked "American Black Ale" here on BA.

Served in a Port City tulip.

A: Poured pretty much a pitch black color, no light passing whatsoever, and with a mocha colored, 4-finger head. Hell, the head was bigger than the brew.

S: Melted grape popsicle, with some grilled pineapple and dark malt mixed in. Not in-your-face, but still effective.

T: Almost the perfect melding of IPA and Porter. Neither won out over the other, which I found astounding. Not a hophead paradise by any stretch, still the overall "fresh" taste of this was astounding.

M: Spritzy carbonation and smooth as silk: This is a quality I find so often with these Smokestack Series brews. Delectable in this area.

O: This is totally not a style I'm fond of overall, but this is not the standard Black IPA fare. Will have again.

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Photo of grandbeerdaily
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bouelvard Brewing Company
Grainstorm Black Rye IPA

Appearance: Pours a deep brown, opaque and nearly pitch black. Off white head with excellent stability and thick lacing. (A 3.75 because the flavors present make the color a palm bearer for a truly existential drinking experience)

Aroma: Roasty malt at the fore front and grassy, resiny hops are able to squeak through. A little hint of citrus like orange peel and the characteristic velvety roast of black patent. A little toastiness and caramel come through as well with a kiss of rye. Slight warmth as well.

Taste: Forget bready and goes straight through to toasty, spicy and roasted flavors. Dark caramel sweetness and mild graininess come through. Light, fresh citrus hops and a deep grassy character are apparent. Then comes the light spiciness of rye that intermingles well with the dark malts and american hop character. Hints of vanilla, toffee, and caramel. Figs? Something abstract that makes me puzzled. Smooth bitter that doesn't overwhelm flavors but instead makes them dynamic, never static.

Mouthfeel: Full and creamy. Mild carbonation accentuates the dryness of this malty beer.

Overall: Wow and a half. The hallmark of great beer is the ability to be a dynamo! Every sniff and every single sip is different because this beer offers so many different flavors. A roasty bitter and a hoppy bitter, a rye spice and the right amount of creaminess in the body to balance. Filled with malt or quenched by hops? Spicy hops or spicy rye? The grassy, fresh hops flavors of a hop forward IPA and the caramely, roasted backbone of a porter proves why black IPA can be a ground breaking style. Rye, beautiful rye. Need I say more?

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Grainstorm Black Rye IPA from Boulevard Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 116 ratings.