Imperial Stout X: Tart Cherry
Boulevard Brewing Co.

Imperial Stout X: Tart CherryImperial Stout X: Tart Cherry
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American Imperial Stout
3.91 | pDev: 10.74%
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Imperial Stout X: Tart CherryImperial Stout X: Tart Cherry
Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 177 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GarrettB
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

March 18th, 2016 - This lovely limited edition beer just begs for warmth, from head to toe and from aroma to flavor. It gives off a glowing cherry tart note, like a dark cherry cola, and graced with chocolate chips, raisins and old books. The palate is medium to thin, with chocolate notes up front and foamy throughout. The aftertaste exhibits more of the cherry notes as the malt bill fades, and in contrast to some slight tang up front. Overall, this has a lovely rounded cherry flavors and only improves as it approaches room temperature.

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GarrettB from Colorado, Apr 27, 2020
Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pitch black color with a thick foamy head. Head retention is very good as is lacing. Cherry chocolate aroma with a little bit of a medicinal quality. Definite tart cherry taste with a very mild medicinal quality. Very mild chocolate. Very little roastiness I would expect from a stout. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Not bad. I couldn't drink a lot of it but it is good for being a year past the recommended drinking date.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.61/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle

Pours dark burgundy maroon red brown black with a creamy tan khaki colored foam head. Smells like tart cherries, chocolate, red wine, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, toasty bready malts, cinnamon-esque sweet spice, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like sour tart cherries, rich chocolate, notes of red wine, lots of caramel, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, toasty bready malt, cinnamon sweet spice, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium thick bodied, creamy smooth with moderate tingly carbonation. Overall a real great sour imperial stout with tart cherries.

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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts, Oct 21, 2017
Photo of smbslt
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A couple of months after the best by date but at 11% did not expect that to have much of an impact.

The caged cork was warranted as it popped with little urging and with such intensity that it would have shamed a champagne. I expected a gush of foam that thankfully did not materialize. Very dark brown with no highlights. The larger bubbles in the head collapsed quickly leaving the finer ones to create a creamy film but with no lacing.

Nice balance between the cherry and the roasted malt and chocolate

Fueled by the heat provided by the alcohol, tart and sour bickered while roast cowered in the corner. Their argument intensified as the beer warmed with tart finally outlasting sour.

The feel had a thinness and coarseness that the creamy foam ring and opacity did not suggest but the warming quality of the alcohol provided a coziness that belonged.

Not an everyday choice (not that it can be based on the one-time run) but interesting. Wish this was a 4-pack format to see if it soured more as it aged.

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smbslt from Illinois, Oct 08, 2017
Photo of Wrigfen
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage. Brown glass. Red hood and gold wire cap over a branded cork. Grey and black label. 750ml format.

11% ABV. Best by: 08-2017. Batch number: L082615-2.

OK Let me start out by saying this is not something I purchased. My wife bought this over a year ago based on a sticker on the bottle saying 11/20/15 and seeing it sit around the house for probably a year. She likes fruity flavored beers especially cherry flavored, I do not. However, I was searching our collection for something I have not had before and thought I would give this a try.

HEAD: Very dark blackish red color. Not as creamy or soft a consistency as is observed in the best imperial stouts but pours with a very thick foamy head. Lacing was excellent, was and it just looked thick and rich in the glass which was a tulip.

BODY: Predictably, it's an opaque solid black. I see no yeast or sediment within. This is consistent with the prior reviewer.

AROMA: Tart cherry easily dominates, but it's not cloying or overwhelming. Dark malts and chocolate malts sit underneath. As also said by the previous reviewer and for me it is one of the drawbacks, but if you like these flavors you are in heaven.

In a nutshell this is a great beer, if you like cherry flavored beers. I myself found this very good for someone who strongly dislikes fruit flavored beer. So I would say, for someone that does not like fruit flavored beer, the fact that I rated it so high is very complimentary. I would not go out of my way to get this type of beer again, flavor based only, but if you like these flavors you will love this beer.

In closing I am enjoying it now, it is a strong beer, but the alcohol is well hidden. Having said this, I hope my wife does not realize this is missing from our collection. I mean, really she let it sit around for almost a year, I will hide the empty bottle because this is no longer available and she will be pissed, but come on.

Cherry flavored fans, this is one for you. Us average beer tasting Joe's it is good and held up extremely well if not great for sitting around so long.

Wish me luck in not getting caught and Happy Holidays to all!

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Wrigfen from South Carolina, Dec 16, 2016
Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by three fingers of dense tan head that fades to a quarter inch with decent lacing
S: Smells of tart cherries with some roasted malts and dark chocolate
T: Taste is big and bright cherries in the front with dark chocolate and roasted malts with hints of espresso. Decent sourness from the lacto as well. Swallow is more bright sourness and tart cherries with even more roasted malts and bitter dark chocolate. Hints of alcohol on the back end as well but otherwise fairly well hidden.
M: This beer is big and velvety in body with soft carbonation and a dry finish
O: Overall this is a really nice twist on the style. The cherries complement the base beer well and the sourness also adds some nice complexity. Really happy to have picked up a bottle of this one awhile back.

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SHODriver from North Carolina, Nov 03, 2016
Photo of kojevergas
2.53/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2015 vintage. Brown glass. Red hood and gold wire cap over a branded cork. Grey and black label. 750ml format.

11% ABV. Best by: 08-2017. Batch number: L082115-1.

HEAD: Dark tan colour. Not as creamy or soft a consistency as is observed in the best imperial stouts. Retention is nice for the high ABV - ~5 minutes. Leaves no lacing as it recedes. Complexion is average.

BODY: Predictably, it's an opaque solid black. I see no yeast or sediment within.

AROMA: Tart cherry easily dominates, but it's not cloying or overwhelming. Dark malts and chocolate malts sit underneath. A blip of some almost Flanders red-redolent acetic lactic cherry is in there too. It doesn't quite evoke chocolate covered cherries; the chocolate is too subdued and the notes not well integrated with each other. Not the most harmonious aroma. Hopefully the taste delivers more on the premise.

Aromatic intensity is average.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Tart cherry is there, but it doesn't exactly taste all that genuine. I'm not saying it came from puree or extract, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was some artifice at work (maybe just tart cherry juice instead of actual cherries?). The subtle acetic lactic acid twang clashes with the subdued chocolate malt, and the dark malt sweetness which ought to be at the core of any imperial stout gets buried. This comes off drinking like a warm Flanders red blended with a mediocre imperial stout instead of a gestalt harmonious whole of a beer. Its balance issues are tough to move past, and it feels a bit one note given the obvious dominance of the tart cherry.

Intricacy is what imperial stouts do best, but there's little in play here. Compare this to the chocolate cacao nib coffee bean vanilla bean bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts you see on shelves all the time and when it comes to complexity and depth of flavour, you'll be disappointed. Flavour duration is brief. Flavour intensity is average.

The warmth of the mouthfeel/alcohol is troublesome. It's smooth, wet, full-bodied, and heavy on the palate - though its weight thereon isn't justified by rich flavours (as you'd expect in the style). Highly carbonated.

OVERALL: Yeah, it's a disappointment. Boulevard is almost always right on the money, but this is a fundamental failure within the style. I'd rather have Old Rasputin mixed half and half with cherry juice, if I'm being candid. It's tough to ascertain what Boulevard's brewers were really after with this, and the simplicity and shallowness of the brew really hold it back. The balance issues are the coup de grâce, making this (unexpectedly) a beer I'd definitely advise others to skip.

Low C- (2.53) / BELOW AVERAGE

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kojevergas from Colorado, Oct 19, 2016
Photo of HardTarget
4.41/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark ruby red, so dark it looks black unless you get some light behind it. Holds a tight brown head that laces the glass.

Aroma: Tart cherry sour gives a slight impression of a wild strain, rich burnt sugar malt base gives depth and character to the fruit note. Cherry is strong and slightly preserved jam smelling.

Taste: Overripe purple red cherry skin and juice manage to overpower a hefty stout base to finish with a tart sugary note that slowly fades into light alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation and heavy body give an oily chew that numbs slightly as it slowly fades.

Overall: One of the best fruit beers I think I've had. Big beer with big fruit flavor that has aged out well, a rarity. If you see one on the shelves, don't mind the date, grab it.

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Photo of crob3888
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brownish-black with a prominent milk-chocolate head suggesting perhaps a high level of carbonation. A couple swirls in the glass tames the head, and aromas of chocolate and cherry juice waft forward. Flavors of freshly picked cherries, dark fruits, and tart cherry juice all blend with the rich dark chocolate stout beneath. Decadent and luxurious with a nice thick and creamy mouthfeel. A delicious beer and a great treat for dessert. Split it with somebody you love and pair it with chocolate covered cherries (or whatever berry suits you).

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crob3888 from California, Jul 30, 2016
Photo of StraightNoChaser
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

look: nearly opaque dark brown. Huge tan head on the pour that dissipates to a smattering. No lasting lacing.
smell: Dark roasty fruits. Not much cherry and no tart in the nose but still a nice rich nose.
taste: there's the tart cherry. But not up to the nose. Not a cohesive brew imo but nice enough. ABV well hidden.

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Photo of nawpnawp
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours rather thin with a ton of carbonation. It dissipates quickly, but I'm still left with about a finger of head. It is black with a tint of red -- or perhaps my mind is playing tricks on me since it is cherry infused. The smell is very cola like; cherry cola to be exact. On the palette, it is very sweet. The tartness isn't as strong as say Tart of Darkness, but it's there. The cherry is very pronounced. At the end, you can taste the base beer and some bitterness.

Overall, I like this a lot. It masks the ABV well, and is an easy, enjoyable drinker.

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nawpnawp from California, May 19, 2016
Photo of dcscientist
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

They said tart and they weren't kidding! You really get a lot of cherry flavor here, so much that it's hard to tell you have an 11% beer in front of you. Also a little hard to tell there is a stout base underneath, so I might suggest toning down the tartness just a bit. But it was still a really interesting beer, and I've not had anything like it in the past. Doubt I could drink an entire bottle of this, but it's great to share with friends.

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dcscientist from Colorado, Mar 07, 2016
Photo of amorpork
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Light head poured in a snifter. Feels like a sour gone bitter and burnt. I understand the purpose and attempt. It's like trying to cross a sour and stout and come up with something very original but it misses the mark and does neither. Would not buy again but applaud the attempt.

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amorpork from Florida, Feb 21, 2016
Photo of ccg
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle says, "best by 8/2017."
Initial pour quickly results in at least three fingers of head, but it quickly recedes.
The smell has a strong, sweet cherry note at first, along with some roasted malt and bitter hops. At it warms and settles a bit, it develops a bit of bite. It actually burned my nostrils a little.
Boulevard definitely nailed the tart cherry flavor in this stout. You can taste it, and it carries some noticeable tartness with it, but it's not overpowering. You won't pucker your lips drinking this beer. Overall, the flavor is tart cherry, some cocoa, and roasted malt.
Mouthfeel is pretty good, but it would probably be improved with a bit less carbonation.
Overall, it delivers what it promises. I find it to be more enjoyable as it warms up, because it mellows out considerably.

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ccg from District of Columbia, Feb 21, 2016
Photo of Bear1964
4.36/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a Mason jar showed a pitch black Stout with a huge ever growing tan head which when calmed left a great bit of lace. Aroma had hints of alcohol and some mild roasted notes and dark fruit sweetness,some chocolate peeks out as it warms. Taste was very mild for a Imperial Stout but that's what lets the tart cherry come out in a good way,the flavor starts out as a Stout and quickly rolls across the tongue to let the tart cherry show through...very tasty and easy to drink with the 11% ABV hidden well. Mouthfeel is medium with no heavy aftertaste or thickness although a tart cherry bitter hangs at the end. Overall I really enjoyed this offering and I'm a Stout fan who could appreciate what they were going for and I think they got it right.

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Bear1964 from Nebraska, Jan 24, 2016
Photo of neurobot01
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber best-by dated 08/2017 into a goblet at cellar temp.

Look: dark brown, but a thin looking, with a thick fluffy head that quickly recedes to a skim of foam.

Smell: definitely getting something cherry-like, bordering on medicinal, along with a slight hint of roast and vanilla.

Taste: pretty fruit-forward, but with a very nice roasty backbone. Unfortunately, the sweet/sour combo comes across a bit sickly.

Feel: more substantial than I expected. Still not especially thick, but definitely not too thin.

Overall: there are some nice aspects here, and I think I like it overall better than fresh Tart of Darkness. However, the flavor is a bit to reminiscent of infection, or at least a bit medicinal. Ultimately probably wouldn't buy again.

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neurobot01 from California, Jan 22, 2016
Photo of SawDog505
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 16 oz snifter bottled 8/21/15. Pours completely black with a massive 3 plus finger tan head that settles rather quickly into a thin layer of bubbles and leaves behind minimal lace.

Smell is tart cherries, chocolate, smoke, leather, tobacco, anise, and hints of bourbon.

Taste follows nicely sour cherries dominate up front and chocolate, leather, smoke, and bourbon are supporting players in the lingering finish.

Mouthfeel is a touch bigger than medium, a nice slick body, light carbonation as you would expect, a touch dry, and drinkability is very good for its ABV.

Overall when I purchased this I didn't see the tart cherry version or I wouldn't have purchased. Well made beer and the flavors worked some how.

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SawDog505 from New Hampshire, Jan 10, 2016
Photo of Franziskaner
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Black in color with only minimal light barely getting through. There's a quarter inch of dark beige resting on top. Aroma of dark, tart cherries is dominant and nothing else is apparent. I taste bitter, tart dark cherry and dark roasted barley buried underneath. The mouth is thick, creamy, and sticky. The tartness of the cherries improves and mellows as it warms.

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Franziskaner from Missouri, Dec 28, 2015
Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 Vintage
Batch Number: L082115-1
Best By Date: 08-2017
ABV: 11%

Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, very nice carbonation, huge three-finger creamy/foamy tan head, with tons of nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, lots of chocolate/toffee, with some very nice cherry notes. The taste is sweet, malty, tart, nice vanilla notes, very nice chocolate/toffee notes as well, very nice touch of cherries. Full body, the ABV is hidden very well for a 11% brew. Overall, this is a very tasty brew. Recommended!

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Wasatch from Colorado, Dec 25, 2015
Photo of gibgink
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

While this was the least impressive of the 2015 Imperial Stout releases, I thought it was very well done. The cherry flavor came off as tart, just like the bottle promised.

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gibgink from Missouri, Dec 18, 2015
Photo of Evilyak
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

pours a dark beer, but the first pour was nothing but tan head. lots and lots of foam.

smell is chocolate and tart cherry, as one might surmise from the label and the style.

taste is the same - cherry coke with a hint of chocolate and some roasted bitterness. tartness pops up here as an afterthought.

feel is effervescent, with just a bit of tartness lingering. for 11%, it hides it remarkably well.

excellent dessert beer, but perhaps a bit too carbonated for what i'd expect. give this one 6 months and i imagine it'll improve. still, enjoyable for what it is.

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Evilyak from Minnesota, Dec 16, 2015
Photo of SD-Alefan
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, opaque brown with a plentiful tan, persistent head.
The aroma is an interesting mix of chocolate, roast coffee and tart cherry.
The taste begins with roasted notes then a hiot of sour cherry, mid-sip is chocolate and cherry combined followed by a hit of sharp acidity and a finish of rich, dark chocolate. A wonderful contrast of flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium and creamy.
Really enjoyed this.

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SD-Alefan from South Dakota, Dec 15, 2015
Photo of jimboothdesigns
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pitch black with a nice brown thin head, approx. one finger high. Smell is of a tart chocolate covered cherry with a slight booziness to it. Taste is very similar with a sweet and sour taste that lingers. Feel is medium with nice carbonation.

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jimboothdesigns from Pennsylvania, Dec 01, 2015
Photo of stortore
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a snifter.

Pours a very dark brown, opaque, a one and a half finger head with an easy pour, foamy ring throughout. Smell is malt, cherries, some chocolate and coconut, light vanilla, a little cola. Taste seemed less complex. Malt, tart cherries, a little vanilla and chocolate. Really nice flavor, a pleasant cherry taste. Smooth, very creamy, solid body, lavishly carbonated.

Very nice offering. While I don't rate it as high as the Coffee or Aztec Chocolate, this is still a very flavorful and enjoyable beer. Well worth a purchase.

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stortore from Illinois, Dec 01, 2015
Photo of WoodBrew
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Cherry Tart version of the Imperial smoke stack series was not as good as it's siblings. Poured an opaque black with tan head that did not lace and eventually dissipated. The scent and taste had nice cherry tart backing. The mouthfeel was fuller in character and subtle carbonation. Overall it was good, but even one glass was more than enough....too tart for this guy.

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Imperial Stout X: Tart Cherry from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 177 ratings