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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 sommersb
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 07-29-2013
Freshness: Best by 08-2013
Packaging: 750ml brown bottle, corked and caged
Glassware: Globe glass
Purchased: Received in a trade

Appearance has a huge and creamy tan head, on a black beer with ruby highlights. Head retention is excellent with a good amount of lacing.

The smell features moderately hoppy IPA-like aromas of citrus and pine, plus some spiciness of the rye grains.

Taste is similar to a hoppy IPA plus roasted notes and perhaps some smoke. Kind of like a hopped-up porter. I like how it mellows at room temperatures.

The mouthfeel has a medium level of carbonation and heavy body like a big stout. Finishes with bitterness of the hops and also a bitterness of the dark roasted grains.

Overall, a delightful black IPA. Not a style I usually reach for, but Boulevard has done a really good job on this.

Big thanks to Cameron (TheBishopCo) for this bottle!

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

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

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

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

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

O - Easily a top 5 black IPA for me

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Photo of hoody711
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Might as well get right into it. Celebratory beverage for finishing boards.

A - nice looking bottle. Batch 3 from 2012, and best by 8/13. Pours a very dark brown from the standard Boulevard bomber into a tulip. The head is massive, tan, and fluffy. The lacing is very nice. Very nice looking beer.

S - a little tropical fruit hop up front, the body is mostly dark chocolate. Definite booziness at the end. It's a little muted, and maybe that's due to the long time in the bottle. But I expected a little more.

T - holy amazeballs. The taste blows the nose out of the water. Follows the same course - citrus bitterness, sweet malts at the end. There's a tiny bit of booze, but for the most part it's perfectly balanced and well-rounded.

M - bright and refreshing, a little oily and sticky towards the end. The bitterness hangs out a bit.

O - dear God I would love to get this fresh. The only fault is the smell, and I think if it were fresh, it'd be perfect. Very good representation of this style, but I'm totally biased toward citrus anything.

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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

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

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

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Photo of 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.

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Photo of JimKal
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: served in a Shaker pint. It has a nice one inch tan head. Very nice lacing left behind as the beer level dropped.

S: Not a lot of aroma but this may have been impacted by the frozen glass it was served in (why do they do that?)

T: I am not a big fan black IPA but am willing to give them a try when I see a new one on tap. I liked this one more than most. The roasted notes were muted and the rye gave it a nice hit of spice.

M: Medium bodied, very smooth.

O: I would order this again if I saw it on tap. I probably would not buy a six pact as this isn't my favorite style. But, again, I liked this more than most of the black IPAs I've tried.

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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 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 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.

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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.

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Photo of u2carew
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle.
A) Pours with a big beige head with great retention and takes a while for it to settle. Opaque body. Sticky lacing on the drink down.
S) Pleasant aromatics. Spruce. Earthy sweetness. Black Pepper.
T) Spicy. Black pepper. Bready. Mellow malts help to balance out the hops
M) Medium body. Quite smooth. Hop tannins linger it the finish. Subtle heat from the alcohol.
O) A delicious Black IPA/Cascadian pale ale. I'll be finishing the bottle.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of 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.

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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.

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

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

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Photo of 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.