Imperial Stout X: Coffee
Boulevard Brewing Co.

Imperial Stout X: CoffeeImperial Stout X: Coffee
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Style:
Stout - American Imperial
ABV:
11%
Score:
93
Avg:
4.19 | pDev: 7.16%
Reviews:
84
Ratings:
410
From:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
 
Missouri, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  33
Gots
  115
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Imperial Stout X: CoffeeImperial Stout X: Coffee
Notes: This first edition of our Imperial Stout “X” series, incorporates freshly roasted Ethiopian Sidamo beans from our friends and neighbors at The Roasterie. After fermentation is complete and the beer has been crash cooled with the yeast removed, our brewers transfer Imperial Stout into a sanitized stainless tank that has been fitted with bags of coarsely ground coffee beans. At this point, the beer is at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Infusing the coffee at this temperature is similar to the cold toddy method of brewing coffee. The cold toddy method extracts far fewer acids from the coffee resulting in remarkably smooth, yet concentrated flavors. We allow the beer to rest on the coffee for a minimum of 24 hours before removing the beer from the coffee beans. Imperial Stout X – Coffee is not barrel aged.

The resulting beer is a marriage of huge, round, chocolate and caramel notes from the base beer, with smooth layers of sweet citrus and floral flavors and aromas from the coffee.
Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 410 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by VelvetExtract:
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Cork almost dislocated my jaw when it shot out of the bottle. Dark body, maybe black. Poured with a thick, frothy, light brown head. Head was full but it dies down very quickly. Heavy coffee. Roast and cream. Smells initially bitter and roast but I start to get more of the sweetness after each sniff. Bitter and sweet chocolate. Flavor is absurdly agreeable for an 11% brew; it's full but far from overwhelming. Coffee takes up the majority share of flavor but there is much more going on. Mocha-chocolate, roasted malt, burnt bread, chocolate syrup, root beer. Body is lighter than I would have imagined. Alcohol heat sneaks up. Soft bubbles; they probably all blew off when the cork tried to assassinate me. I've never had the base beer. I probably will buy a bottle after this.

Feb 28, 2015
More User Reviews:
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml caged and corked bottle, batch number L122314-2, best by 12-2016. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch and a half frothy tan head that stays around for a long time. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, and some vanilla. Not surprisingly, the taste is similar to the aroma. However, there's also some burnt/charred malt and a bit of licorice noticeable. Even with the other flavors, this is definitely a coffee stout! Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's coating and a bit creamy with moderate carbonation. Overall I thought this was pretty good, I really hope this won't be a one time brew and that Boulevard decides to make this again in the future. I'd definitely like to try this again! $12.99 a bottle.

Feb 15, 2015
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deadonhisfeet from Kentucky

3.79/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a corked and caged bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery tulip. The beer is very dark brown, not quite black, allows some light to pass through and does not appear to be all that viscous. It sports two fingers of uniform tan foam that exhibits average retention. On the nose the predominant notes are milk chocolate and coffee with faint hints of old leather, almonds, and toffee.

Medium-full body with a somewhat thin, delicate feel. Interesting flavor profile. Not at all what I was expecting. I anticipated an intense coffee bomb, but what I get is mostly sweet. Rich toasted malt, toffee, chocolate, and some sarsaparilla up front, then mellow notes of coffee and cream soda at mid palate. Not a lot of roastiness or bitterness. Cola-like finish and a lingering fudgy flavor. Hard to believe this stuff is 11% abv. Where did they put it?

Interesting beer. It has a lot of flavor and a hefty thump of alcohol, but it's not boozy at all and feels like more like a strong ale or porter (minus the roastiness) than a stout. It has a lot more than coffee going for it too, though those looking for a big coffee bomb and a thick, oily feel may be disappointed. I like the beer, but if I'm going to drink a coffee stout, I want a COFFEE STOUT. That means lots of coffee, roasted malt, and a full body (like Alesmith Speedway Stout, Founders Breakfast Stout, and Big Bad Baptist). This beer tastes really good, but it just isn't tickling my coffee stout nerve like it should.

Apr 07, 2015
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Beerislivingproof from Iowa

5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pour: Black, dark brown head

Smell: coffee shop and dark chocolate

Taste: More chocolate, roasted coffee. Very little hops. How you imagined every coffee stout you've ever had should taste.

Feel: Creamy, smooth, heavy

Overall: This is the best coffee stout I've tried. It has all the 'good' strong flavors of coffee melded with the dark roast of a big stout. Boulevards new series starts off with a bang.

Feb 08, 2015
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Perhaps we are seeing the influence of Duvel Moortgat, but this looks more like a Belgian than past Boulevard beers; as a massive beige head forms atop the some what translucent fudge brown liquid; a pretty nice job in the lacing department, too

Smell: Mostly chocolate, to be honest, with pumpernickel bread undertones; the coffee is very subtle

Mouthfeel: Chocolate candy melted on pumpernickel bread, with some coffee tones developing, in the mid-palate; rather sweet on the finish with the flavor fading in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation; has the lightness one typically finds in a Belgian stout; very smooth on the tongue

Overall: Very different from what I was expecting and if this beer were marketed as a Belgian stout I would be inclined to score it higher; this is a good beer but it is not what you would expect when you see a label marked "Imperial Stout" on it

Feb 14, 2015
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russpowell from Arkansas

4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Opens with a emphatic pop!

Pours a super effervescent ebony with 3 fingers of mocha colored head. Stellar head retention & lacing

S: A little bit of coffee & cocoa & vanilla

T: Much coffee, dark bitter chocolate, a little pepper heat up front, dryness as well. More coffee as this warms along with Baker's chocolate & vanilla, a little hint of astringent bitterness as well. Slight sourness or is it lactic sourness??? shows up in the finish, more coffee, plus more vanilla

MF: Medium bodied/thick, nice carbonation, perhaps a little over stated

Drinks easy, ABV is well masked. They nailed this one, not the best coffee beer out there but not far from it

Apr 11, 2015
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mwilbur from Minnesota

4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter. Batch L122414-1. Best by 12-2016.
A: Pours an extremely dark black-brown (no light comes through with backlighting) with a luxurious 3-4 inch frothy dark mocha head with excellent retention. Beautiful.
S: Medium roast coffee and dark bittersweet chocolate. Mild roasted caramel malt and a hint of cinnamon.
T: Excellent medium-dark roast coffee note with some cream, smooth dark chocolate, and a roasted caramel malt backbone. There is also a distinct heavy, jammy red wine vinous quality. This gives the brew an interesting twist which ends up being a nice complementary note. Not super complex, but doesn't need to be. Excellent.
M: Medium-heavy body (drinks just a tad lighter than ABV). Dark, sweet, and creamy feel. Dry finish with lingering sweetness and a hint of bitterness.
D: This one started off with a bang with the appearance and remained solid throughout. The coffee note is tremendous and the balance is superb. Another excellent offering from Boulevard...seek it out!

Apr 05, 2015
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maximum12 from Minnesota

3.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to friends who travel regularly to Nebraska for picking this up for us, before we knew if it might reach MN as part of its natural range. 750ML corked & caged, split with my “get the hell out of my way I need my coffee!” wife.

The pour is foamier than a mocha frappuccino latte au lait espresso macchiato, as even the barest trickle raises a head growing faster than an exploding supernova. Did you read the recent paper about how foam reduces spills? Go look it up, good stuff. Smells like sweet malt & coffee. Go figure. You’d almost think this was a coffee stout.

Imperial Coffee Ale X pulls its coffee punch & for that, I thank thee. There’s still plenty of the brown bean, but there’s a long pull of sweetness that points towards chocolate but doesn’t really hit the fudge note. Creamy, both in taste & mouth, with only a sliver of bitterness. Very easy to drink for a big stout.

No sleight of hand here. Straight-up coffee stout, nothing fancy, nothing exciting, nothing out of ordinary. Pretty good.

Apr 07, 2015
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WCKDVBZ from South Carolina

2.98/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Over-carbonated and the body was way too thin for an Imperial Stout. It tastes and looks like a Porter. I'm a fan of Boulevard, but this beer is a huge miss for me.

Jul 14, 2015
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kojevergas from Louisiana

3.14/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

BOTTLE: Batch Number: L122914-1. Best by: 12-2016. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz. Brown glass. Simple label art. Branded hood-and-wire (i.e. cage) cap over a branded cork. 2015 vintage.

Served chilled into an oversized snifter. Expectations are above average on account of the brewery. Reviewed live as a coffee imperial stout per the label.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Cork shot out of the glass at champagne-like velocity - watch out!

HEAD: About 4cm worth. Khaki colour. Average foaminess, froth, thickness, and fullness. I wouldn't call it robust. Retention is quite good for the high ABV - about 8 minutes (very impressive). No lacing.

BODY: Predictably, it's an opaque black. No yeast or sediment is visible within.

It's a standard imperial stout appearance with notable head retention. Head could be darker and richer.

AROMA: Coffee and coffee roast, dark malts, crumby cacao nibs, coffee bean acidity. I find no hop notes, yeast, or booze.

Based on the aroma, the coffee character is a bit underwhelming, lacking the expressiveness, richness, and complexity of the best coffee beers. It doesn't seem like that interesting of an imperial stout, with a relatively simple profile based on the aroma. Hopefully the taste is more intricate.

Aromatic intensity is average. Suggests a dry beer.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Has an unconventionally dry texture, which is extinguishing and fatiguing on the palate but emphasizes the crumbly dry cacao nibs. Coffee roast is also emphasized by the coarse mouthfeel, which runs rough against the palate. Malt sweetness is played down here, with dark malts detectable but hardly the core of the beer. Surprisingly, no chocolate malt flavour comes through.

Anything but a dessert beer, this drinks neutral but not bitter. The coffee is present, but not dominant, and (as the aroma suggested) it lacks the intricacy and expressiveness of better imperial stouts - as does this beer as a whole. What is impressive is how well the 11% ABV is disguised...this drinks like it's maybe 7-8%.

Medium to full-bodied, and unrefreshing. Has adequate heft and weight on the palate. The mouthfeel is able to support far more flavour than the beer provides. Not sticky, syrupy, gushed, chewy, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh. Though it is rough and scratchy, to its detriment. Well-carbonated.

There's no harmony of texture and taste, and this build isn't gestalt. It's balanced only because of its simplicity and shallowness. Flavour duration and intensity are brief/low, respectively.

OVERALL: Drinkable but underwhelming, this Boulevard offering is not a beer I'd get again, though I'll enjoy finishing the bottle. With a lackluster coffee presence and little else going for it in terms of complexity, it leaves much to be desired. The discerning drinker has come to expect far more nuance and subtlety from a great imperial stout, and this pales in comparison to Boulevard's best work. I'd much sooner reach for Founders' Breakfast Stout, Dieu du Ciel's Peche Mortel, Mikkeller's Beer Geek Breakfast, et al. I do like it, but we've come to hope for better from Boulevard. That said, they've managed to disguise 11% ABV with impressive competency.

It's worth noting that this may have declined with the 6 months of age it has on it, but I consider it unlikely - and the brewery's best before date is a good 15 months from now.

C+ (3.14)

Sep 30, 2015
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bigred89 from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nov 28, 2016
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georgeaaron from Indiana

4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Apr 17, 2015
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BarryMFBurton from Indiana

4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is all about the bold compliment of crisp coffee and tongue-smacking dark cocoa - smoky, meaty, rich, and even spicy toward the back end. A well-rounded palate overall, though it goes down quite thick (almost syrupy; no way I'll be getting through more than a pint in a single sitting). Still, it's a fantastic take on an already fantastic stout. Looking forward to what Boulevard tries next in the X series.

May 02, 2015
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AMZB from Canada

4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mar 19, 2016
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tbart75 from Georgia

4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Apr 19, 2015
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TheHopsman from Nebraska

4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jan 01, 2016
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Zuidman from Illinois

3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Mar 28, 2015
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ilcuse44 from Illinois

4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Apr 23, 2015
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PatGreer from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mar 17, 2015
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johnnyd10vt from Oklahoma

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Terrific American stout. Strong coffee notes in the smell and taste. Great beer!!

Jun 19, 2016
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brianmandell from California

3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

May 29, 2015
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CharlesK from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Feb 29, 2016
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RUN-4-B33R from North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dec 16, 2015
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cvm4 from Mississippi

4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L - Out of the bottle, it pours like a cola but settles into a deep brown body in the glass. The head is medium tan and two fingers tall. Great retention and okay lacing.

S - Lots of coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malts.

T - Big, bold coffee notes that move into roasted malts and finish with bitter dark chocolate.

F - Medium bodied and medium to high carbonation. Such a silky and smooth mouthfeel.

O - The coffee is so pungent and in your face. The base beer holds up well. This beer is so legit and lives up to all I was expecting.

May 01, 2015
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Jhavey from Texas

4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oct 06, 2015
Imperial Stout X: Coffee from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 410 ratings