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: 658
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: 658
Photo of drabmuh
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

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

Beer is medium to light in body, hoppy, mildly to moderately bitter on the finish, I dn't get a lot of rye in there but it is a nice beer overall. Probably not a repeat but there's nothing wrong with it, it is a fine beer. (482 characters)

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

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

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

Quite drinkable and interesting. A dark brew with a more distinct flavor. From the 750 ml bottle purchased at Liticker's Liquor in Ocean Beach. They should put this in cans and lose the stupid cork nonsense. (806 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour, black in the glass. Copious foam, billowing head that quickly threaten to spill over. Healthy lasting skim, and good head retention on display.

Aroma is fairly subdued, swirling releases some volatiles that is momentarily unpleasant. Fusel, green grass, and odd bread dough yeast notes. Later its more typical mellow roast malt and dried fruit hop notes.

Dry roasted malt backbone, hops are subdued but lend some dry bitterness in the aftertaste and some vague dried citrus peel in the middle. Slightly watery feel. Not one of the more successful beers in the smokestack series, but not bad overall. (619 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 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 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. (259 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 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 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. (650 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 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 oberon
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep roasted chesnut brown with a large blooming light beige colored head atop that takes forever to settle leaving a nice full ring behind.Resiny hops stand out most in the nose along with a shot of spicy rye,not much roast.Quite dry on the palate with a healthy dose of citric/resiny hops,there is a sharpness from the rye but it's not in your face,somewhat grainy and earthy but not a whole lot of roast.A well hopped ABA that doesn't have alot of the "black" components,still a nice beer. (500 characters)

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 (679 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet dark brown color with a two-finger, khaki colored head of foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of pine and roasted malt.

T - Piney hop bitterness with roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors. Light citrus notes, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is yet another fine Smokestack beer from Boulevard. (420 characters)

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. (1,049 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)

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 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 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 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 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 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)

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