Grainstorm Black Rye IPA - Boulevard Brewing Co.

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Grainstorm Black Rye IPAGrainstorm Black Rye IPA

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116 Reviews
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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 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 Ricelikesbeer
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love the boulevard smokestack series, and will pretty much try anything in this series. The price is right and nothing has let me down so far. I expect this to be no exception.

A: Jet black, with a ton of tan carbonation. Pillowy, soapy looking foam that sticks and lasts a long time. This isn't suprising giving the information that the brewery has used wheat and rye, along with lots of hops.

S: Hoppy up front, with some light smoky, roasty scents. Some grassy, citrusy hops and a little bit of sweet malt in the nose.

T: This one has a lot going on, but not too much! It startes out bitter with a hoppy punch, and then it goes to caramel malt, some roast, and some spicy flavors. The balance is incredible, and not overly sweet or muddled, despite the obvious use of a lot of specialty malt. It comes across as a lighter experience than I would have expected.

M: Slick and oily, and fairly full bodied for an ipa, but I enjoy it. The high carbonation probably has a lot to do with that as well. The oil from the hops and the slick maltiness lends well to the overall finish and experience. The beer's finishing gravity is low enough to keep the beer refreshing and palatable.

O: while this beer is complex, it is still very refreshing and enjoyable. I had no problem finishing a bomber quickly by myself, and could have had more. I would consider this one of my favorite black ipa's, and the rye didn't overpower the beer which is what I was hoping for. Another great one from the smokestack series.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml cork n cage bottle into a Pipeworks snifter.

A- pours near black with a huge 3" light tan head. Big ring around the top of the glass along with other trails of lacing.

S- light roasted malts, lots of citrus (grapefruit, melon, orange), light spice and pine.

T- spiced malts, light roast, lots of citrus again, citrus rind bitterness.

M- medium body and carbonation. Creamy feel and has a dry finish from the bitterness.

O- good beer, more of a rye pa than a black rye pa. Lots of citrus with less chocolate or roast then a wookie jack or something similar.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a very dark, opaque brown with a massive light brown half glass head that slowly dissipates to a half finger head with pillowy lacing. Aroma of light toasted malt, citrus hops and slight rye sourness. Unusual flavor of toasted and caramel malt, some nuttiness; transitions to dark malt and sweet fruit juice then finishes with piney, citrus hops and slight rye sourness. A fun roller coaster of a flavor progression, with the sweet fruit part a unique component. Medium bodied. This is an unusual, but completely enjoyable rye / black ale; IPA hoppiness is subdued, but the balanced, interesting flavors more than hold interest. Hope to see this one again.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 Ml poured into a tulip

A- Pours murky brown, almost balck in the glass with brown around the edges. A massive off tan frothy head with great retention.

S- A good citrusy hop profile in the beer. A slight roastedness. A bit of wheat. A very herbal and earthy tone to the beer. Somewhat grainy and spicy.

T- A slight bitterness and a big bit of carbonation at first. The hop profile in this beer is somewhat floral and very citrusy. There is a lot of pineapple, lemongrass and mango in the beer. A subtle wheat character in this beer as well as a slight herbal spicyness from the rye I assume. The roastedness comes in on the back end and really only lingers for a second. A well balanced beer.

M- High carbonation, medium bitterness and medium body. Quite drinkable. A changing taste profile.

O- This is pretty badass beer. A different beer and very well done. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of katan
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml into a pint

A - Super frothy pour - head busting at the seems. Brown colored formation. Beer itself is brown with some amber highlights.

S - Potent hop aromas, of the earthy and dank styles. Not detecting much of the grains yet.

T - Smooth and sweet beginning, with just a bit of the nuttiness coming in from the rye. Roast is light. Mid-stream turns more bitter, a little more grainy and spicy. Hopping comes on very strong, I'm guessing summit hops. Finishes with a little bit of a sweetness.

M - Creamy body, lots of carbonation here. Almost too much. Does well to offset the somewhat hefty nature of the beer.

O/D - An interesting and very hoppy black ale/rye IPA. A little bit filling from all the carbonation. ABV is moderately reasonable. A bit of a palette smasher.

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Photo of Boto
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle: This one pours a fairly opaque, dark brown color. There was about a finger of fairly dense tan head on it. It leaves a bit of lacing. Nice nose to this one. Pine, some citrus and rye are predominate. Getting some other fruits hiding in the background. Nice taste. A good citrus and pine bitter bite to it, followed by some roasted malt. Some rye, maybe some of the fruits hiding in there. Very nicely balance body. This is very good and worth searching out!

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Photo of emerge077
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour, black in the glass. Copious foam, billowing head that quickly threaten to spill over. Healthy lasting skim, and good head retention on display.

Aroma is fairly subdued, swirling releases some volatiles that is momentarily unpleasant. Fusel, green grass, and odd bread dough yeast notes. Later its more typical mellow roast malt and dried fruit hop notes.

Dry roasted malt backbone, hops are subdued but lend some dry bitterness in the aftertaste and some vague dried citrus peel in the middle. Slightly watery feel. Not one of the more successful beers in the smokestack series, but not bad overall.

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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 chanokokoro
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml corked and caged bottle into a Boulevard Smokestack Series branded tulip glass

Pours a very dark brown capped by a fluffy light beige two finger head. Excellent retention and gobs of lacing left behind on the glass. Roasted grain, citrus, and light white pepper on the nose. Roasted malt, light caramel notes, pineapple, mandarin orange, and tangerine. Finishes fairly dry with very evident rye spiciness combined with citrus rind bitterness. Smooth, creamy medium body; lively carbonation. Really tasty brew that balances many different elements and bring them together into a cohesive whole. A worthy addition to the almost always impressive Smokestack Series.

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Photo of TheCondor
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Side poured with standard vigor from the 750mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Pours pitch black with a massive, towering, fluffy light brown head taht never really dissipates and leaves tremendous lacing. Love the packaging! Wicked presentation.

Smell - Talkin' big boy ish with some citrus, pine, lemon zest, lots of big hoppy scents in this one!

Taste - Starts with a nice little malt base but quickly transitions to the fruity hoppiness. A bit of bitterness, nothing too ridiculous. Excellent, balanced, nothing too out of proportion.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and creamy, I think the tremendous head retention has something to do with this. A bitterness at the end, lets you know the hops are there. Really tasty, medium bodied and carbonated.

Overall - Excellent beer, I would highly recommend it not only for just the straight up qualities but also for the uniqueness of the brew. A black rye IPA. A lot of these I have had are kinda sub-par, but this one is excellent. I hope it continues to get brewed, highly recommended, CONDOR approved.

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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 TMoney2591
3.52/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at Firkin.

Something tells me a grainstorm would be terrible to try to live through... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear brown-garnet topped by a finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises dark greens, light roasted malts, light toasted rye bread, and mild grass. The taste brings in more of the same, with the greens coming in all salad strong and whatnot. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a good black rye IPA, one that certainly is a black rye IPA, but nothing exciting.

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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 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 beergoot
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Batch 2012-1, Best By: 08-2013

Nice brown body with a thick, rocky head on top; sticky strings and rings of foam left on the glass. Spicy cinnamon and pine aroma; sweet grass. Taste comes across with a zesty rye tanginess mixed with lightly sweet malt flavor; barely perceptible alcohol presence; nice hop bittering to balance things out. Mouthfeel is light, crisp and dry with a noticeable carbonation tingle on the palate.

A nicely done black IPA that utilizes the addition of rye to create a zesty twist on what is now becoming a US mainstay (i.e., the DIPA). Boulevard did a nice job in creating a well-balanced, subtle, and nicely complex take on this style.

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Photo of tdm168
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Busy Bee

A - black with a large, brown head that has great retention

S - peppery rye, bouquet of flowers

T - peppery, spicy, floral, chocolaty

M - medium bodied, well carbonated, smooth

This is a really nice beer. It's very intricate and showcases each and every flavor well. This is a really solid black IPA but the rye is a tremendous compliment to the superb hop character. This is has good drinkibility and flavor profile. One of the better black IPAs that I've had.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.64/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated with a Aug 2013 best by date. Poured from a bomber into a large wine glass.

A - Poured black and clear. One-finger light brown head. Lasted throughout the entire glass. Excellent lacing.

A - A little floral, not much else. Even let it warm up and still nothing additional.

T - Hops throughour with a nice bitter in the finish. Hints of pepper and slightly sweet.

MF - Dry. Fizzy at the start with some creaminess in the finish.

O - I had high expectations for this beer based on other Boulevard beers. I was disappointed. I would not turn down a glass but it would not be my first choice when looking for a black rye IPA. Wookey Jack has spoiled me.

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Photo of rwhitmore
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750ml bottle into the Boulevard Smokestack tulip. A huge tan had, dense all-black color. The aroma starts with citrus rind, and robust grain. The spice from the rye is there, but not dominant.

The roastiness is up front in the flavor, and there's more pronounced hop bitterness than in the aroma. It finishes dry, and the roasted flavor lingers a bit. There's some alcohol warmth.

It's a medium to full body, and I thought the carbonation was right.

This is another great one from the Boulevard Smokestack series. A well-balanced combo of roasted grain, and a lot of hops. Get this one while you can, it's a limited release.

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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 zeff80
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet dark brown color with a two-finger, khaki colored head of foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of pine and roasted malt.

T - Piney hop bitterness with roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors. Light citrus notes, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is yet another fine Smokestack beer from Boulevard.

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Photo of MickeyD
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I poured this from a 750ml bottle into a clean tulip glass.

Appearance: very dark, almost black with a thick foamy head. Lacing is moderate. Pours almost thick and looks delicous.

Smell: hops and grapefruit. After a few sips smokey hops are noted with slight pine.

Taste: IPA like hops and light roasted coffee taste.

Mouth feel: after taste of bitter hops but smooth rye and malt. Nice smokey flavor is left after a few drinks.

Overall: It is definitetly an IPA but is tempered by the rye. I have never personally had a rye beer but this seems to be a good hybrid between the two. I think this could be a good hybrid of the two styles. This is a seasonal beer but will surely buy a couple of bottles every year.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass form a 750ml bottle with one of the coolest Blvd. labels out there.

Pours a nice mahogany brown color with a huge 1.5 inch light tan head. The retention is awesome. The head recedes very very slowly and leaves some nice lacing as it goes down. The head is also pretty dense.

Aroma is so nice. Some grassy and herbal hop notes that provide some slight pine and mild citrus notes. Very NW like. There is about a ton of different grain notes in the nose. Nice rye spice wit some earthiness and some good bready wheat notes. There are some slight chocolate notes in the nose as well.

Flavor is very delicious. Herbal grassy notes are present along with some nice pine. The grain profile is very nice. There are some nice rye spice notes that compliment the hops very well and linger till the last drop is down. There is some slight roast to the malt notes and some mild cocoa sweetness especially on the back end. All the flavors are very well crafted and work together very well. The brew is one of the more balanced Black Ales out there. Quite delicious. The body is a bit on the lighter side. I would like a bit more of a body.

Overall. This style is quickly becoming one of may favorites and brewers are doing a great job with it. This is a great example of the style.

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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 StonedTrippin
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

maybe the most appropriately named beer to come out in awhile. the malt bill on this is colossal, and the rye malt is so intense, huge body, super yum. the pour is thick and dark. milkshakey with a deep fain red brown depth, pushing up on black, with a mocha colored soft head maybe four inches high and long lasting. amazing. the nose is grainy as hell, spicy roasty rye and barley, a good alcohol kick, and tons of hops. pine and straight English bitter varieties, just a massive nose. the taste is really heavy malt with very little sweetness. some german and English doughy flavors, but mostly just roasted American two row and brutally intense rye, black as black can be. hopped well, bitter in the finish but bittersweet cocoay throughout. long finish of beautiful complexity and some surly attitude. a well hidden abv, but you could hide anthrax, your girlfriend's rolodex, and a shorty of cheap vodka in this one without affecting the flavor. no joke. full as a body can be, but made mild my the carbonation which is really active and creamy, almost akin to a nitro dispense. drinkable on your own, but a good bottle to share too. overall an impressive beer, the smokestack series kills it. I also found this on my roof after an enjoyable scavenger hunt for valentines day, which only sweetened the pot...

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