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

115 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 115
Hads: 657
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
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Reviews: 115 | Hads: 657
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. (639 characters)

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

Weird style!

Pours out a very deep, dark brown with tons of ruby highlights and a huge, khaki/tan head.

The aroma is more hop forward than I have come to expect from Black IPAs/American Black Ales. There is a decent amount of citrus, pine, grapefruit and a hint of mango. There are some very lightly toasted malt notes coming through and some rye notes too.

The taste is also very hop forward; grapefruit, orange peel, pine and some mango and apricot. This is followed by the very lightly roasted/toasted malt notes with a hint of chocolate. There is some rye spiciness in there and some bready notes.

The body is medium and the mouthfeel is creamy. The ABV is nicely hidden.

This is one of the better Black IPAs/American Black Ales I have tried. It stays hoppy without throwing in a ton of huge roasted notes and the rye gives it some nice complexity. If you're usually turned off of these beers because of the huge Stout notes, try this one. (948 characters)

Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: 750 ml brown bottle, corked and caged, with awesome, imaginative label. Batch 2-2012, best by 08-2013. This just came in today, and I'm cracking it before largely (though not entirely) giving up beer for Lent. Poured into my New Belgium tulip.

Appearance: Cork ROCKETS out of the bottle, shooting across the room and hitting the ceiling and scaring the bejeepers out of our two feline tenants. This pours a dark brown, near black, and shows a bit of garnet highlighting around the edges when held up to the light. Large, creamy tan cap which shows brilliant retention.

Smell: This is all about the hops; there's next to no roast character here at all. Largely pine, with some citrus fruit. Hints of rich caramel and fruity grain notes as well.

Taste: Boldly flavored. Fruity hops (both citrus and general fruity flavors), very light notes of dry, bitter roast, earthy/rustic, spicy, and fruity grains (I'm assuming the unique character is from the rye, but I haven't had much experience with rye beers). Notes of alcohol, but the levels blend nicely with the beer's other characteristics. IBUs seem about right in the mid-sixties.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth.

Overall: Bold and challenging on the palate, with plenty of character; at $7.99, this is a good bargain, and it makes a great late-winter/early-spring beer (especially as storms have been ripping through the Midwest of late). Well-done, Boulevard!

91 = A- (1,449 characters)

Photo of cvm4
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours black as rootbeer with a light khaki head.

S - Seems rather muted here. Light earth & pine hops with a good roasted malt bill.

T - That rye spice is kicking through with a good amount of roasted malts. Light pine hop once the first flavors subside.

M - Medium bodied, really meaty, and medium to high carbonation.

O - One of the better black IPA's I've had. Just needs a bit more nose to add to the character of the beer. To me, it's like a porter knocked up a by an ipa, good combo. (501 characters)

Photo of RuckusDu
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Two wrongs do make a right. I do not like rye beers and I do not like black IPAs. But this seems to work. I fought this one. I love Boulevard but hate both these types of beer. So I avoided it. Boy was I wrong. The look of this thing is pretty good but still standard. Mostly dark brown body with some mocha colored head. Aroma is fresh. Hippy and sweet. Just how I like it. The flavor just works. I notice the hops and the rye, but they compliment each other and just taste great. No idea why. Mouth is spot on for this beer. Medium body but the carbonation takes it to full.

Overall I cannot believe how much I like this beer. Very similar to Mountain Stardard in that I just like it. (688 characters)

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. (803 characters)

Photo of zhanson88
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours out a dark brown color with a couple inches of light tan head. I can tell there is a good amount carbonation. Really attractive looking beer.

Smell: Smells of light roast/chocolate malts with some rye breadiness thrown in there as well. A good amount of citrus as well as some pine hops come through as well. Nice. Nothing really sticks out above anything else. Pretty balanced.

Taste: Pretty light roast notes up front with a bit of bready dryness, with citrus and pine on the back end and finish. Again, very well balanced. The hops compliment the malt character nicely.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Mouthfeel is perfect. Light-medium bodied and drinks extremely smoothly. It probably drinks like it is less than 7% ABV. Overall, a nice black IPA. This is a pretty hit and miss style for me, but I enjoyed this one. (828 characters)

Photo of NWer
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Explosive pour into a tulip from 750 ml corked & caged bottle.
Massive four finger head in spite of my best efforts to pour carefully.
Dark appearance brown foam holds nicely for a long time
Very smooth malty feel up front. Full hop flavors don't appear until after way into the mouthfeel phase.
Very enjoyable beer. Very easy to sip through an entire bottle without realizing it. (381 characters)

Photo of jwhancher
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Gift from my brother as a b-day gift. Cork led off with a massive pop, the a huge dense rocky head persisted for quite some time. Beer looks dark brown - can't really see through- except for some ruby highlights.

Aroma smells fruity and juicy. Berry fruits like melon, raspberries, blueberries. Kind of like popping a piece of juicy fruit gum into your mouth and inhaling those flavors. After the fruitiness fades, some spicy hop aromas make an appearance. No real malt in the aroma.

Dark grainy character in initial flavor: likely the rye and dark malts. Seems like black patent was most likely used. Hop flavors intermingle well with the malts giving this a nicely balanced & complex beer. Firm bitterness throughout. Feels medium bodied with some lingering bitterness and a touch of creaminess from the still persistent head.

First Boulevard beer I've had, and I like it. I like it a lot Jerry. Am glad to get the happiness in the nose yet a great balance in the flavor. Very well done. (995 characters)

Photo of scratch69
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I poured a bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance- Very dark brown with a lingering, two finger head. Large amounts of clinging lace.

Smell- Strong aroma of piney hops with a hint of citrus and rye.

Taste- Flavors of piney hop bitterness and rye spiciness dominate. I also detect flavors of citrus, roasted malt, and some grassiness. I do not taste any trace of alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied and crisp with a big amount of carbonation.

Overall- While I am not a fan of IPAs, I am starting to develop an appreciation for some "Black IPAs." This is one of the better ones that I have tried. Well balanced with the rye adding a nice twist. (645 characters)

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. (689 characters)

Photo of Hopswagger
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

P: Opaque black body with a billowing mountain top of frothy rootbeer head. Retention is dramatic and beautiful lace wraps the glass like lingerie grasping a succulent thigh.

S: A thundering grain approach backed by vanilla, dark fruits, pine and citrus bitters. Black malts lace the smoldered rye and barley aroma but lacks a powerfully robust nose.

T/M: Sound the alarm! The palate is attacked by a tornado of spicy rye, smoked barley and burnt dark malt. Sweet dark fruits shower down toward the end with a pine resin aftermath. Burnt toffee and a subtle dark cocoa powder provide a subtle background once warm. Body is creamy and bold with a gentle carbonation sting that creates a balanced feel.

O: I simply love what Boulevard does with the Smokestack Series. I have yet to be disappointed. Grainstorm is another successful brew that i cant get enough of. A complex grain forward creation that is equally balanced. Surprisingly smooth and easy drinking. This is a beer to enjoy by the multiples. Cheers! (1,015 characters)

Photo of hreb
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750mL bottle served in pint glass. Beer pours with a brownish tinge into opaque blackness, with a massive dingy head. Aroma suggests Cascade-y IPA. Flavor is similarly C-hop forward, with a little bit of roasted malt, and just a hint of rye grainy goodness on the back of the palate. Flavors are good but not all that complex -- a little disappointing given black rye IPA/CDAs have so much to offer. Still a really good beer...but 10 out of 10 times I'd rather have a Wookey Jack :) Carbonation is a little bit too strong. Bonus points for the massive head though. (564 characters)

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

For me, the dividing lines between Black IPA's, Cascadian Ales and Rye Ales are pretty blurry. None of these are my favorite styles, and Honestly it's a little tough to figure where to place this one, but seeing as it's Boulevard Smokestack Series, I knew my risk of exploration was low.

A: Looks great, pours a very very deep dark brown. Not cloudy but only the slightest bit of ruby light gets in around the edges. Lovely big thick explosive light cocoa / khaki head that clings to the edge of the glass like thick sticky frosting.

N: I really didn't get as much out of the nose as I was expecting. Relatively thin and hop forward, with very little roastiness or rye notes. Grapefruit and some piney hoppiness were the main elements.

T: Relatively similar to the nose. Citrus, Evergreen and pine hops make up the bulk of the flavors, with a bit of rye spice and roasted malts, but only in the finish. Blindfolded, I could imagine myself calling this out as an American Pale Ale or IPA.

MF: Quite nice, with a creamy feel, coating the mouth and tongue well. Very well carbonated, keeping refreshment high.

O: A nice beer, definitely enjoyable, not quite to the same level as what I've come to expect from Boulevard. I would buy it again, but only if I was jonesing for a Black IPA for some reason. (1,303 characters)

Photo of zachary80
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml Cork&Cage. Loud pop of the cork. Printing on the label leads me to think it falls into the category of an IPA that is black, rather than falling towards the other angles of

Pours a dark chocolate brown, approaching black. Huge beige head, over half the glass on an initial careful pour. As its settling down its leaving 100% lacing, only missing spots where there were bubbles.

Aroma is somewhat muted, light earthy hop/malt combination. Cascade? Could be much much stronger.

The flavor, on the other hand, is great. Different from every other Black IPA I've had, but very much a good representative of the style (ABA, CDA, BIPA- I tend to lean towards the last).

Mouthfeel would be thin for a stout or porter but fine in a single IPA, and appropriate for the style. Don't notice anything here from the rye however.

Overall this is a great Black Rye IPA. I would love to see it in four or six packs, and would be excited to try an imperial take on the same beer. Aroma is really the only thing holding it back, which is a pretty big component of my appreaciation of IPAs. (1,083 characters)

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. (488 characters)

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. (684 characters)

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. (337 characters)

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! (776 characters)

Photo of IPA1978
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A- Amazing.... Black with fantastic frothy head that lasts.

S- Spicy, roasty, yeasty

T- Spicy rye, Citric hop oil, suprisingly smooth and not charred like I would expect from the color. Malty, bready, wheat sourness

M- Freaking amazing, creamy, velevety perfect.

O- A great beer though the look and feel outweighs the taste. (328 characters)

Photo of Goosehunter75
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A- Pours a very dark chocolate with a monstrous fluffy khaki colored head that hangs and hangs and hangs around. Wonderful looking beer.

S - Not as much aroma has I had anticated from the looks of the beer. Even so, there were stll plenty of smells to the beer. I caught pine right off the bat. There is definately an eathy overtone to the beer as well.

T - Much different than anything I am used to. I am not sure it agrees with my palate. I defiantely tasted pine and maybe some light roasted malts. It has a very astringant taste to me. Maybe from the rye.

M - Medium to heavy body beer.It has a very dry, astringant feel in the mouth

O - I dont want to give anyone a bad impression of this beer. It may just not be my style. The beer was quite complex in taste although the smells were a tad bit faint. I'll need to buy a couple more black rye IPAs to compare this one to and maybe review again. (903 characters)

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. (1,058 characters)

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. (867 characters)

Photo of DenverLogan
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from corked bottle into chalice.
Dark mahogany with amber head.
Aroma of rye, nuts, orange zest.
Big carbonation and rich, full mouthfeel.
Tastes of dark roasted sweet malts, caramel, minerals, peppers. Overall delicious, rich and yummy. There's a tongue piercing mouthfeel even after 10 minutes but the delicious dark sweet roasted malts remain prominent and tasty. (373 characters)

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. (1,341 characters)

Grainstorm Black Rye IPA from Boulevard Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.