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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

(Send Samples)
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 Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Americo’s bottle. Brown with a big head, lacy, and a hoppy aroma. meets the style with emphasis on hops rather than roastiness. Tasty and good drinkability. Satisfying. This brewery continues to bring out quality new releases. A tad above average mouthfeel.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch Number G14035-1. Best by date: 11-2014.

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, spicy rye, cocoa, and slight char aromas. Taste is much the same with dark roasted malt, rye, citrus zest, and cocoa flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great balance of roast, citrus zest, and rye aspects all around.

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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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Photo of brentk56
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours an opaque chocolate color with a very impressive head (three fingers) that just sticks and stays leaving copious amounts of lacing behind

Smell: Piney aromatics, with pumpernickel and rye underneath

Taste: Hop forward, like the aroma, with the pine joined by the dark and spicy malts, in the middle; after the swallow, the hops win out, leaving the malt somewhat understated in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body but a little bit overcarbonated

Overall: I was expecting a bit more from Boulevard as I am quite a fan but the lack of balance and the overcarbonation left me a little bit disappointed; still a pretty good beer but not quite what I was expecting

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%

Boulevard brewers introduce us to the turbulent atmosphere that their locale has to weather. No, it has nothing to do with the actual weather, but the brewing climate that their Smokestack Series has to offer. If Grainstorm is what they encounter, then please- let it rain down!

The black IPA is instead a very dark brown, only differentiating from black along its margins. But with the piercing citrus character of white grapefruit, the nose turns from black and towards pale. Emulating IPA for a moment, the initial hoppy taste soon weaves in burnt caramel sweetness and toasty breadiness to bring the senses back to black.

And those burnt sweetnesses resonate on the fatter portions of taste, seeming porter-like early on. But like IPA does, the malts fade, taking with it the bulk of sweetness and chocolate to leave a roasted char behind to work in tandem with citrusy hops, and a spicy huskiness that stems from the early palate to its deep finish.

Drying wonderfully, only the shell of malt leaves its starchy substrate behind which supports the earthen rye bite, the acute pine bitterness and roasted acidity extremely well. Pretending to be "imperial", the body suggests something bigger, but its dryness refutes it all and promotes a more drinkable palate.

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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 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 oberon
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep roasted chesnut brown with a large blooming light beige colored head atop that takes forever to settle leaving a nice full ring behind.Resiny hops stand out most in the nose along with a shot of spicy rye,not much roast.Quite dry on the palate with a healthy dose of citric/resiny hops,there is a sharpness from the rye but it's not in your face,somewhat grainy and earthy but not a whole lot of roast.A well hopped ABA that doesn't have alot of the "black" components,still a nice beer.

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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 jlindros
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge rising fluffy head that fades back kinda slowly, some lacing, dark murky pond water brown color.

Nose dark malts, little choc and hint of maybe roast, some spicy slight earthy rye aromas, a bit if a grassy earthy hop, little yeasty, but overall much lighter nose than I expected.

Taste starts with dark mineraly malts, light roasty and black malts with light coffee, caramel brown malts. Then spicy chewy earthy rye flavours, into earthy slight citrus fruity hops too, chewy grainy malts. Light cocoa, bit if a creamy feel too. Finish lingering with bitter earthy hops, bitter dark malts, little creamy, slight dry but a bit sticky, bit more coffee too.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, but creamy, chewy, hint of warming booze, plenty of carb maybe too much.

Overall not bad, dark malts don't get to roasty or contrast to the hops too much, quite a bit going on but doesn't seem like it when you actually smell and taste it.

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Photo of mactrail
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark amber-tinted brown with lush piles of foam in the Bacchus fluted nonic. Expansive lacing in the glass and a clot of foam in the very last sip. Modest aroma.

Rich and darkly roasted grainy flavors. Bitter finish but not overly bitter. Some malty sweetness to start but dry as the charred barley taste takes over. First I think there is a hint of Belgian yeast, and then the malt reasserts itself. Burnt sugar with a winey lingering tannic taste. I don't taste the rye as much in this one, though after some sipping the spicy grain taste develops, along with a surprising candy note.

Quite drinkable and interesting. A dark brew with a more distinct flavor. From the 750 ml bottle purchased at Liticker's Liquor in Ocean Beach. They should put this in cans and lose the stupid cork nonsense.

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Photo of russpowell
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

BBD of 08-13

Pours caramel with 3+ fingers of tan head. Insane head retention & lacing

S: Grassy, lemongrass, a little bit of pear, big-time peppery notes & lemon zest, carob & wet grain

T: Follows the nose, some roastynesss & a smidge of grainyness up front. More grassyness, a touch of grapefruit & roastyness, orange rind. Finshes with dryness, slight roastyness, graperfruit acidity & a firly prounounced crispness

MF: Medium body , firm carbonation, nice balance, skews a touch watery as this warmed up

Very drinkable, no mattter how you slice it. I like this one a lot

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

Huge 2/3 of the glass head. Settles into a definitive beige sugar loaf. Leaves some chunky spots on the glass. The liquid is dark brown where no light passes.

Floral hop is the first impression. I can detect some darker malts and the dryness of the Rye. Very attractive and well balanced.

Smooth and dry, the taste starts with a darkly toasted malt (and just a hint of bitter chocolate). The body is modestly rich. The carbonation is below average. The finish is black pepper bitterness. The aftertaste of dark cocoa and hop is quite short for what one would expect.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 3/2013. Pours clear very dark brown color with a nice 2 finger dense light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, orange zest, orange rind, tangerine, floral, pine, grass, toast, spicy rye, light roasted malt, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with big presence of citrus hop notes with some moderate malt presence. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, orange rind, lemon zest, tangerine, floral, pine, grass, toast, roasted malt, spicy rye, and floral earthiness. Moderate floral pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, pine, floral, toast, spicy rye, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of citrus hop flavors; with a moderate roast/rye malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a moderately creamy, crisp, and sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice black IPA. Nice balance of hop complexity and malt; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Boulevard smokestack series glass, cause I can. Beer is dark brown to black with a nice big head of small bubbles, lots of lacing, nice retention, moderate carbonation, looks good.

Aroma is hoppy, sweet, smells like cascade hops if you ask me.

Beer is medium to light in body, hoppy, mildly to moderately bitter on the finish, I dn't get a lot of rye in there but it is a nice beer overall. Probably not a repeat but there's nothing wrong with it, it is a fine beer.

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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 barleywinefiend
2.53/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured dark brown with a nice tan cap, some moderate lacing present as was a nice tan collar after a few moments of settling and sipping

S: Very faint and unimpressive for this style. Muted citrus and roast.

T: This beer just seemed off from the first sip. Muted flavors of roast, coffee and chocolate with citrus and pine and thats a stretch. There is something unpleasant lurking in the background, like a gassy, bubbly like taste/feel, a young beer perhaps not fermented completely

M: Medium bodied and uncomfortable, off, gassy, had me belching, it tasted and felt young. flavors were mute, carbonation was a miss

O: My first quality issue I have experienced with a Smokestack series beer. I did not finish, just passed it around the bar and let the uneducated palates delight in their ignorant bliss.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a globe glass)
Batch 2012-3
A- This beer pours a jet black body with a pale tan head that is thick and creamy lasting or a bit.

S- The dark earthy malt has some cream notes and a green herbal hop hint in the finish.

T- The pungent dark hops have a roasted malt bitterness that gently comes through with a pungent hops linger on the back of the tongue. There is a hint of coffee roasted malt in the bitterness as it opens.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a tight fizz finish that boost the bitterness.

O- There are lots of dark bittern notes in this beer that overpower any malt or hop flavor and not much other character. The big bitterness makes it a bit hard to get through a full bottle.

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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 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 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 beertunes
3.21/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to Justin (OKComputer) for this one. Caged and corked 750 poured into full goblet. Bottle code 2012-3, best by 8/13. Poured a solid black color, no translucence, with well over an inch of tan head that had very good retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma was fairly neutral, some light Rye, and very low hops. On the tongue, the Rye was a bit brighter and sharper, especially on the finish. The floral and citrus hops played a very subdued role.

The body was the typical medium of the style. Drinkability was pretty good, we didn't struggle in the least with the bottle. Overall, a nice pleasant CDA, not among the elite of the style, but worth a shot if you see it.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown that is close to black and has a massive offwhite head that dies slow and leaves lace patches down glass. A strong bit of citric hops are in the aroma along with hints of rye and roasted malts. Roasted malts and rye are prevalent and the wheat gives the beer both a fuller body and smoothness that is second to none. There are hints of sweetness (chocolate or caramel is my guess) as well as a good amount of citric hops on the backend. Well balanced beer and one of the few "black IPAs" that is able to draw out all the characteristics of both styles.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a modest brown with some light penetration and a thin tan head.

S-Roasty and well hopped with a pleasant addition of super-dirty/soily rye. Has a potting soil element. Hops are spicy, with citrus and pine.

T-Again, the roasted malt is there , then the respectable hop flavors. It then finishes with some zesty and dirty rye. The flavors mesh together great.

M-A hint of booze. Goes down quick and easy.

O/D-Boulevard made this assortment of flavors come together with fluidity. I thought this was a pretty fun BRIPA.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750mL, Batch Number 2012-2, Best By 08-2013
The cork pops loudly as it's removed. A near-black colored ale is revealed with a towering, beige head that holds excellent retention, that leaves tons of lacing as it eventually fades. Aromas are earthy, spicy rye malt, roasted barley, dank piny hops, grapefruity citrus comes through more as it warms. Bold notes of spicy rye, roasted barley, sweet caramel, and earthy, dank, bitter, piny hops battle on the palate, creating a nice meld of flavors with excellent complexity and balance. Mouth-feel is exceptionally smooth and creamy, while being full bodied. Overall, I really enjoyed this, but in my opinion it falls short in comparison to another beer similar to this one (FWWJ).

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