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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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

116 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 116
Hads: 659
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.14%
Wants: 40
Gots: 65 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 116 | Hads: 659
Photo of champ103
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color with some ruby highlights. A dense, rocky beige head forms that rises to the brim of the glass immediately. It would have kept on rising had this been a bigger snifter. Lace coats the glass all the way down.
S: Very piny and resiny. Tons of hops in the nose. Then a faint toasted, bready aroma linger just a touch. Though the piny, tree sap like hops are the show.
T: Again huge pine flavors. Sticky, resiny, oily tree sap as well. Just as the bitterness shows up, the malts and rye kick in at the same time. Bread/biscuit, kind of a burnt toast, and a lingering spicy fruitiness.
M/D: A full body and moderate carbonation. Viscous, oily, and slick. Not a huge alcohol presents, and I am not having a problem sipping on this. Though not the most enjoyable beer to work through for me. To resiny and oily for me.

I am not a fan of the "Black IPA" style. If any brewery and beer series could change my mind it would be Boulevard Smokestack. While not bad by any means. I have just never been a fan of how the hops and malts intermingle. This one is particularly resinous and oily for my tastes with a bready, burnt toast flavor that does not mesh for me. (1,196 characters)

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. (647 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yes, I did indeed buy this bottle because somewhere on the label were the letters r y e. In a row. That's enough reason for me. 750 ML bottle split with my wife, best by date of 08/2013.

The pour is true to the copy, dense black. Carbonation spills out like a mushroom cloud, to the tune of a roughly 50/50 split of head & beer in the pint glass...settle down there, bucky. Nose is confused: roast, grain, earthy pine hops. Though not much of any of those. Very much like damp forest in the wilderness. I like that smell when I'm in a tent, not sure about having it in a glass.

Grainstorm, I find you difficult to describe; no ingredient or taste really stands out above the others. There's a fair amount of nice roast, backing strip of nice bittering hops with a bit of pine to them, spare earthiness that might be the rye, field grains, touch of spice. As noted, the carbonation is on the edge of too much, but the strength here is the ease which is slips from glass to tongue to stomach. To toilet. Eventually.

This beer has the privilege of being so well balanced that it almost turns invisible. It's like bland without being bland. Pretty good beer. (1,159 characters)

Photo of tigg924
3.01/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: dark brown in color, clear, 1 inch head, high carbonation

Smell: roasted malt and citrus hops

Taste: coffee grounds, char, citrus and earthly hops, light rye bread

Mouthfeel: medium-high body, medium-high carbonation, sweet start that becomes bitter and dry

Overall: I love Boulevard and the style, but this one just did not do it for me. The char is heavy on this one and sometimes the rye added a slightly medicinal quality to it. Not a horrible beer by any stretch but there are several others in the style I would go to first. This one was a miss for me. (574 characters)

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

750ml. Dark cola black pour. Big bright white head. Retained forever.

Aroma, quite piney, some minimal citrus. Faint roast malt.

Taste, piney, leafy hops up front. Spicy toasted malt. Anise, very light coffee. Moderately resiny and roast bitter finish.

Maybe medium body, ample carbonation. Fills and coats the mouth nicely. Drinks very well. Would gladly have again. Can satisfy the roasty dark fans and the hop heads alike. (428 characters)

Photo of Pencible
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque black mahogany with lots of thick tan head.
S: It smelled like metallic hops and citrus zest, with some spicy rye and roasted coffee.
T: It tasted like bitter citrus and resin hops, with some roasted coffee and semisweet chocolate and spicy rye. It had a clean and bitter aftertaste.
M: It was fairly thick with moderated smooth natural carbonation. Nice slick body.
D: This was a nice IPA, but not so much black (aside from the looks) or rye. The scent and taste were good but simple. The body was excellent, and the finish was pretty smooth, so it was easy to drink. Nice brew, but not as unique as I wished. (641 characters)

Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Big thanks to Twig and FTowe for a chance to try this bottle...

A: Pours a black with brown hues around the edges. There is a massive tan head that form from a modest pour. The foam takes forever to settle, leaving a rocky layer of bubbles across the top of the beer.

S: The nose is hoppy with pine and tropical fruit, mixed with a touch of spice and some mild toast. The beer smells more like and IPA than I would have imagined from a Black IPA. That actually makes me happy, considering I'm not a huge fan of this style.

T: It starts off wet hoppy, with only a mild bit of roasted malt. As the beer moves to the middle it's gets a touch spicier, and the toast notes begin to come though. The finish is a mix of hops and roast with bitters from both.

M: Medium bodied beer. It's light to start, but builds heft in the middle. It coats the palate my slides of easily. Lingering malt and hops in the back end.

O: Decent beer. It's much more pleasant than other Black IPAs. I'm happy to have tried this beer, but I don't think I'd want to drink more of it. This style just isn't my bag. (1,092 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mostly black pour, some brown edges on the bottom. Light brown head. Epic retention. Spicy, floral hop notes in the aroma, some pine too, with subtle notes of roast and chocolate. Big spicy rye zest up front in the taste, some pine resins, backing roasted notes with an astute bitterness. Lighter, but creamy body, carbonation is good.

Super solid ABA. (353 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear brown when pouring, black in the glass, two finger light fluffy head.

S-Roasted malt, grass, hop and some rye spiciness.

T-Not sure if the roasted malt and rye are balanced or fighting with each other. Mild bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, slightly carbonated with some carbonation.

O-An interesting take on Rye IPA and the Black IPA, still not sure if the flavors mesh well together. (392 characters)

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. (1,274 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a finger of tan head on a black body.
The aroma is a solid burnt wood, molasses, roasted malt and lemon. Nice.
The taste is grainy all over, burnt and roasted malt, mild lemon bitterness and finishes with a little honey sweetness. Nice balance.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
Very enjoyable. The malt takes a front seat to the hops. (356 characters)

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! (471 characters)

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 (466 characters)

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. (826 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, best by 11/2014. Pours brown with a huge and growing creamy light tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is roast, sweet chocolate malt, rye and piney hops.

The flavor is sweet chocolate malt, spicy rye with big roast piney bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a little watery.

Overall, a nice black IPA with lots of piney hops, roast and some rye. (395 characters)

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. (552 characters)

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. (667 characters)

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. (665 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Batch 2012-2. Opened just before the best by date of 08/13. The cork bounced off the ceiling like a champagne bottle

A- pours dark black with a massive foamy light tan head that lasts forever, eventually reducing to a small layer, leaving thick lacing down the entire glass

S- dank hop aromas with some hemp, followed by fresh clean mint leaves. Chocolate malty notes play out in the background with some spicy peppery notes from the rye. I'm surprised its got this much hop aroma after over a year since bottling

T- spicy and peppery rye flavors up front transition into leafy and earthy hop flavors with a touch of mint. Some dark malty notes are detected, but not as much as I would have expected for a black ale. The finish is dry with herbal and earthy hop notes and a touch of chocolate

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel. Carbonation seems a it low, the foam rushed out upon popping the cork, that may have something to do with carbonation level

O- lots of leafy, dank, herbal and earthy hops. Not as much maltiness as I was expecting but overall worth a try (1,108 characters)

Photo of GilGarp
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch #2012-1. Best before 08-20013. 750 ml bottle with cork and cage.

Served cold into an imperial pint glass, Grainstorm is a very drk brown color with thick which head that nearly overflows the glass. It has very good retention and leaves some nice sticky lacing as it settles.

Aroma is hoppy, malty, spicy, and roasty.

Flavor is strong but well balanced with a big roasty malt body and good spice from the rye. It also incorportates a healthy dose of hop flavor and bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated. It's balanced and enjoyable. I only wish it came in 6-packs.

Overall a really nice rye IPA. Worth getting and probably more than once. (672 characters)

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. (1,299 characters)

Photo of hardy008
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark black with a 2 finger foamy tan head with good retention and lacing. The aroma has grapefruit, citrus zest, pine, rye, and roasted malt.

Tastes like it smells with grapefruit, citrus zest, pine, rye, and roasted malt. Has a nice combination of sweetness and bitterness. Very nice list of hops in this beer with Simcoe, Bravo, Amarillo, and Citra.

Medium to full bodied with above average carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. A very well made beer, which I would gladly buy gain. I continue to be impressed by the beers in the Smokestack Series. Keep them coming. (578 characters)

Photo of spoony
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a 750 ml bottle (batch 2012-1, best by August 2013) into a snifter.

A-A normal pour produces a fat finger, maybe a finger and a half, of grayish-brown head. The head fades within a minute and leaves no lacing. The beer is the color of eastern-Montana asphalt...a sort-of reddish-blackish-brown. Light gets through the edges, but the brew is mostly opaque.

S-The smell is zesty. I get big doses of orange peel, rye spice, and wheat grain. The barley is also quite noticeable and less roasted/charred than in many examples of this style. For being past its best-by date, my bottle still has a good whiff of hops and bitterness.

T-The taste tracks the smell pretty closely with lightly bitter citrus peel that combines with the rye and barley to give a very zesty flavor. The grain is very up front here with wheat and barley both being distinguishable flavors. The finish is drying and lightly bitter.

M-The feel is medium body and carbonation is average strength. There is a pleasant oily coating that reminds you of the hops in here.

O-This is a nice, but not amazing, take on a black ale. I know my bottle was probably beyond its prime by a few months, but the hops are still up front and provide a nice citrus-peel bite that offsets the barley and wheat flavors. It lacks the cocoa that many black ales rely on, and instead, relies on rye spice and roasted barley, which mostly works, but this beer gets a bit grainy at times. A solid effort in an increasingly crowded style. (1,487 characters)

Photo of bsp77
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from tap into Tulip.

Appearance: Black with thin but persistent tan head and light lacing rings.

Smell: Citrus and pine, chocolate, grains and spicy rye.

Taste: Slghtly smoky chocolate with nice layers of citrus and pine. Grainy malts with definite notes of rye. Finish is bitter and spicy with some pine and roasted bite.

Feel: Medium to full bodied, creamy and smooth, but a little chalky and grainy. Dry finish.

Overall: Another very good Smokestack beer from Boulevard. (500 characters)

Photo of ckollias
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this 750ml bottle out of a Belgian snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark black hue with a thick, off-white, 3-finger head that slowly dissipates, leaving a great trail, and ending in a huge frothy head.

S: Great hoppy aroma.

T: Smooth yet bitter hoppy flavor with very slight rye taste. Finishes on the tart side of bitter.

M: Medium body and high carbonation.

O: Excellent Black Rye IPA - smooth and well balanced towards the hops. (438 characters)

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