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: 656
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.14%
Wants: 39
Gots: 66 | 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: 656
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. (787 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 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 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 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 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 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. (528 characters)

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. (582 characters)

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. (1,512 characters)

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). (727 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 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 Headyman
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ML bottle poured into a tulip. Batch number 2012-1, Best By Date 8-2013

Appearance: Pours midnight black with a massive 4 finger off white bubbly head. Pretty active carbonation but it took 2 minutes or so for the massive head to dissipate. Strong streaky lacing.

Aroma: Some roasty malts dominate with the rye not far behind. Some earthy hops and sweet caramel. A slight cherry/ dark fruit flavor makes it seem almost medicinal.

Taste: Some sweetness on the front followed by the roasted malts. Some spicy peppercorn flavor imparted by the rye in the background. Nice earthy hop bitterness on the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Really smooth and oily. Nice carbonation but perhaps a tad too much for the style. A roasty, sugary aftertaste lingers with a warming hint of booze.

Overall: I really like what rye does to BIPAs and this beer is no exception. The spicy rye is balanced with earthy hops and a huge grain bill for a really enjoyable brew. I like how this beer doesn't overpower you with roasted flavors and doesn't shove hops in your face. A strong, balanced offering from Boulevard. (1,108 characters)

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... (1,313 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 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 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. (571 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 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! (896 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 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 cindyjeffsmith
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look:Dark caramel brown. Massive tan head.
smell: Nice and different. Piney hops up front with lightly spicy rye.
taste: much like the nose. a bit of sharp bitterness up front with an interesting finish, a mix of all that stuff, barley, rye and a little raosty malt.
overall: Pleasant and different. Nice job. (309 characters)

Photo of farrago
4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Be careful with the pour or it will fill half the glass, otherwise it’s a few fingers of light tan, very uniform microfoam, looks like it was intentionally whipped up, very good retention, the lacing is pretty much a solid sheet down the glass side, rarely breaks into streaks. The liquid is a kind of muddy brown like pond water, semi-opaque, displays a yellow cast near the surface, through it all you can easily see the hyperactive bubbles bursting upwards. The nose is all but totally grapefruit citrus, the rye is consistent but not showy, well cooked country bread notes, light pepper spice, same for the nectarine to peach fruit scents, very smooth and focused, all about that citrus. In the mouth it’s medium-bodied and the carbonation really gets it churning, overaggressive. When it does settle into the palate, the grapefruit leads again however the raw graininess is assertive. Some cocoa, the roast is not high-toned, more baked, bready. Pine adds to overall bitterness rather than sweetness, the fruit also tart, a mix of pineapple, nectarine and apple more than peach or apricot. Not trying to hard, that said, the finish while clean could use more flavor, quibbling. Hard not to consume happily. (1,215 characters)

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. (1,250 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)

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