Plaid Habit
Boulevard Brewing Co.

Plaid HabitPlaid Habit
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American Strong Ale
Ranked #25
Ranked #2,380
4.21 | pDev: 7.6%
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States
Plaid HabitPlaid Habit
Notes: Born a double-mashed imperial brown ale, then matured for 18 months in freshly emptied 10-year Canadian rye whisky barrels, this sturdy ale features checkered notes of rich vanilla, charred oak, warming whisky and spicy rye. With a lingering, boozy sweetness and round, resonant flavor, Plaid Habit clearly earns its name.

*ABV varies by year.
Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 175 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of MattDecker
MattDecker from Texas

4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: brown pour, small head that quickly disappatss
Smell: I get some maple, boozy, oaky,
Taste: rich and mature, oak, slight vanilla,
Feel: full bodied, you can really chew on this
Overall: a full rich imperial brown ale. You really get hit by the abv, and that's saying something for me. So not an intensity of flavor that bourbon barrels tend to be, but an intensity of booziness. This didn't hit the mark

May 17, 2020
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FBarber from Illinois

4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This is an "imperial brown ale" aged in Canadian rye whiskey barrels - the result is a thinner smooth beer that has notes of rich caramel malts, tobacco, spicy rye whiskey, oak, a bit of musty oakiness and a spicy heat coming through on the back end. The rye whiskey is noticeable present, but not overpowering. Its really a very nice delicious beer.

May 01, 2020
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Opaque dark brown, some cloudiness, no head. Smell capture both the whiskey and rye from the barrel vibrantly, with brown sugar, toffee, and molasses, though admittedly the nose is light for style. Taste is also lighter in complexion, same flavors with date, wood, and tobacco joining the party. Feel is light for style, but warm with rye and barrel textures, booze verges on hot. An easy drinking strong ale, terrifyingly so given the abv. The wife liked it

Apr 13, 2020
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thehyperduck from Canada

4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 mL corked & caged bottle purchased from the LCBO at least a year ago; this is the 2018 vintage, best before Sept 20 2021. Served barely chilled.

Pours a clear, deep reddish-bronze colour with some flocculent sediment; roughly one finger of off-white-tinged head floats atop, fizzling away within the next couple of minutes. Its remains include a creamy collar and an islet of film upon the surface; it's an attractive glass of beer, that's for sure. Rye whisky booziness dominates the nose, with a fair bit of charred oak and vanilla also coming through quite clearly. Treacle and toffee sweetness, too, as well as a booze-soaked fruit pudding vibe that incorporates hints of raisin, date and prune.

The booze is an ever-present reality of this beer, but it's actually far less harsh/much smoother than I would've expected given the abv. I'm tasting toffee, molasses, charred oak, vanilla and fruitcake, including suggestions of raisin, fig and prune, as well as a pronounced spicy rye graininess. The whiskey booziness and charred oak truly assert themselves in earnest towards the tail end of the sip, with a boozy-sweet-fruity oak barrel aftertaste that persists on the palate. A full-bodied beer, with light carbonation and a slick, smooth mouthfeel. Treat this one like a strongly-mixed rye and coke, i.e. with respect, or the next morning might get rough.

Final Grade: 4.23, an excellent A-. My rye liquor-swillin' days are long past, but Plaid Habit was a wonderful blast from the past - at basically 14%, it is starting to blur the line between beer and the hard stuff, for better or for worse. If you enjoy Canadian whisky, you'll almost certainly appreciate this charming homage from Boulevard - one of the most consistently solid, larger American craft breweries IMO. Not exactly a bargain at $15 per serving, but I'd still say it was well worth the expense, and would consider picking it up again in the future.

Mar 27, 2020
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4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

To look at it, this could be any of the multitude barrel aged cloudy ales clumsily trundling round the market right now. The nose likewise gives no clue as to the specific brew in the glass. It is all raisiny bread pudding in the scent, just like so many others. Yet, this beer somehow succeeds where the others fail. Namely, it tastes like something and it matches the advertisement. It does indeed possess the following qualities: „...notes of rich vanilla, charred oak, warming whisky and spicy rye. With a lingering, boozy sweetness and round, resonant flavor.“ I was disinclined to like this, but I do.

Mar 21, 2020
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stortore from Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. Bottled 10/5/18, had 2/28/19.

Pours a clear, dark copper color, with a half inch quickly dissipating head and light foamy lacing. Aromas of rye whiskey, figs, toffee, malt, dates, vanilla, caramel, oak, light tobacco and char, faint cherries. The flavor is rye whiskey forward, for sure. Then malt, figs, caramel, vanilla, oak, light tobacco and char, a little chocolate, light brown sugar. Smooth for the ABV, a good medium body that leans towards thin, appropriately carbonated.

Lots of rye whiskey, very good aroma. Has a good flavor, but seems to lack depth, mostly because the thinner body has a lot of barrel to support. It still works, but not a headliner. Worth a try.

Mar 14, 2020
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Pegasus from Texas

4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Very deep amber body, with a modest, but persistent off-white head. Thick, fine-beaded and unbroken lacing adorns the glass wall.

Aroma: The first notes of aroma are those of whiskey: sticky caramel, honey, wood, sweet, earthy alcohol, brown sugar in abundance, bourbon, molasses, and dark fruit. The alcohol notes are very pleasant, with not a hint of harshness.

Taste: The taste begins with sweet, boozy notes tending towards bourbon. As the taste progresses, there are waves of brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, and wood. The alcohol notes are present, though restrained. There is a mild warming sensation, though it is is moderate. In the middle of the taste, the bourbon flavors dominate. Late in the taste, woody and spicy notes dominate. Finishes with a lingering note of warmth.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and extraordinarily pleasant, with just a hint of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Simply outstanding, "over-the-top" is quite the understatement. For those seeking a superb, barrel-aged ale, Plaid Habit awaits you. At $14.99 for four twelve-ounce bottles, this seems quite the bargain. This would be perfect for the first sharply cool day of autumn.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom twelve ounce brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a Save the World teku.

Feb 16, 2020
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Really Surprised me on this one base beer strong enough to support the barrel with tons of toffee pecan and brown sugar. Whiskey is smooth with mild warming. Drank from the bottle but I bet it looks pretty. Would love to try it again!

Jan 27, 2020
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. Label has enjoy by date as '09OCT2020'.
Amber brown colored body. Partial off white head with the pour. Leaves some oily sheen with each sip.
Aroma is heavy with the rye whiskey barrel (spicy rye, oak,and vanilla).
Taste has a Canadian whiskey flavor, with lots of vanilla, oak, and spicy rye from the barrel. After taste is brief, and ends with the oaky vanilla.
Medium mouth feel, with lots of aromatics in the nose. Okay carbonation.
A well constructed higher ABV% ale with kudos to the depth of the barrel.

Jan 05, 2020
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clear tea color with a thin head that quickly fades to a ringlet; leggy, with mini dots coating the glass

Smell: Canadian whiskey wafts above crusty bread, cinnamon sugar, pecan, toffee and vanilla

Taste: Toffee, crusty bread and cinnamon sugar forward with pecan and vanilla tones enveloped by Canadian whiskey; the finish is sweet without much complexity

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: I was expecting a bit more from Boulevard on this one, frankly

Jan 03, 2020
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Danzifer from Ohio

4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clean poured into a snifter from 12oz bottle. Burnt umber in color clouded with lots of small particles floating around in purgatory. I'm not gonna lie, it smells funny, like how a sticky spilt dried pilsner smells. Thankfully, it tastes much different. A slight bit of mash sourness well balanced with the sweetness of maple brown sugar. It's a beer that tastes just like Canadian whiskey with the same thickness with exception to it's mild carbonation. Really hit the nail right on the head with this one, as with most of their Smokestack series. Excellent stuff!

Dec 25, 2019
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barnzy78 from Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, enjoy by 09OCT2020, 12.5% ABV, 13 IBU. Being Canadian, I was compelled to buy this one! Dark brown body with a foamy tan head. Aroma is darkened grain, whiskey, oak, vanilla, brown sugar, chocolate, and earthy hops. Great balanced flavors of boozy Canadian whiskey, dark malts, bread crust, brown sugar, caramelized grain, chocolate, oak, vanilla, rye, pepper, and spicy/earthy hops. Full body, ample carbonation, booze prickles the tongue, finishes on the sweeter side with a white peppery finish. This was great! Unique and delicious!

Dec 21, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.59/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 10/9/19; drank 12/14/19 @ the Yarchives.

Opaque dark brown appearance.

A rough pour yielded a small khaki head; frothy lace.

Brown sugar, cream, faint maple & sweet whiskey notes in the nose.

Thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Oak, brown sugar, maple syrup & sweet bourbon flavors.

This was sticky & sweet; a bit over the top. Not one I'll track down again.

Dec 15, 2019
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Lucular from Maryland

4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours similar to a brown ale in color with a smaller head, but more than expected for the high ABV. Aroma and flavor are sweet vanilla, whiskey, caramel, and rye bread. Slightly cloying, not overly complex. B+

Dec 11, 2019
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ichorNet from Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

So happy to finally see this in my area. I love the name and the concept for this one, along with the fact that it's seemingly something of a "Winter seasonal" strong ale... kind of a different way of doing a winter warmer, eh BLVD? I love this brewery and typically find their barrel-aged stuff great, so let's get right into this one.

Pours a deep brown/mahogany color with some ruby highlights if held directly to light. Still hard to see through even at that proximity, though I can notice some small particles leading me to believe this is probably unfiltered. Wouldn't have it any other way. Nice retentive khaki head measuring a finger or so at its highest point, leaving behind some light soapy lace. Good appearance, particularly the color.

The nose is syrupy-sweet with backing notes of woody tannins, dulce de leche, dusty cocoa, slight roastiness, and husky grains. A tad bit of dark fruit here too... plum and some light prune notes for sure. Not as complex as I figured it'd be actually, but I do like the brown sugar sweetness and hefty tannic qualities. Honestly, this reminds me a lot of fresh Bravo by sister-brewery Firestone Walker. If you like what that was going for, you'll probably be into this. Interested to see if it deviates on the palate.

First elements I pick up are maple syrup, toasted bread crust, rye spices, black peppery alcohol, brown sugar, and candied raisins. Decadent as anything, that's for sure. The ABV is surprisingly well-hidden and feels more like a slight piquant sensation in the finish. As such, this drinks a hell of a lot less hot than fresh Bravo does (did?), that's for sure. Speaking of that, I'm actually happy they put a best-before date on this one... this is an aside for sure, but I've had so many bad personally "cellared" beers lately, so it's a good thing BLVD put their foot down on this one. Tons of caramel flavors and cereal grains.

Super sweet but somehow well-balanced when it comes to the finish. I think it could handle a tiny bit more hop character; even some light earthy/leafy notes would help ground this even better. Feel is thick and chewy with low carbonation and nice density toward the end of each sip. Sweet and spicy whiskey are prominent but, like I mentioned, it's just not hot-tasting. Well-hidden ethanol and good, strong flavors keep this beer very much afloat. Probably a one-and-done for me, but that doesn't have anything to do with the quality of the beer itself. It's just not super-complex, but it's quite satisfying, especially for the holidays.

Nov 28, 2019
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oberon from North Carolina

4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a tawny brown with a thin lighter beige head that is gone quickly.The enticing sweeter aromas of blended Canadian whisky,a tinge of vanilla,and mild nuttiness linger.Love the flavor profile,vanilla sweetness,brown sugar,buttery toast,and nuttiness into the finish,I'am a Canadian whisky fiend so the big flavors are great to me.If you are into Canadian whisky you will really really like this like I did.

Nov 23, 2019
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Sammy from Canada

3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Drink when it warms to get the bit of smoke. Before that, brown sweet malt job. Whiskey a distant cousin. Good drinkability though. ABove average carbonation for 2018.

Oct 10, 2019
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Best by Oct 05, 2019
Pours a flash of a fizzy head that fades instantly, no lacing but decent legs, hazy dark chestnut brown color with loads of sediment floaties

Nose brings loads of whiskey and barrel, tons of sweet whiskey, vanilla and buttery oak barrel, brown sugar and caramel, molasses, toasted brown malts, combined bring it a bourbon like character, pretty sweet in the aroma, candied malts and a little fig/raisin dark fruit but candied version

Taste more of the same loads of barrel juice, whiskey and buttery vanilla oak galore, barrel juice and some bourbon like qualities before it flashes into big maple syrup like flavors, sweet brown sugar, toffee, molasses, caramel, etc, lots of sweet candy characters, with mild raisin date fruits but again candied versions, some perfumey and hot alcohol, bordering fusel, touch of bitterness, lots of toasted brown malt flavors, sticky sweet finish, bit more perfumey alcohol lingering

Mouth is med to fuller bod, a touch syrupy, medium to lighter carb, hot warming alcohol but not too bad for almost 14%

Overall this was a big beer, a beast, and I'm glad it came in a small bottle rather than a 750ml, but it is tasty with lots of barrel and whiskey characters, alcohol hits a bit hot but it's almost 14% so that's expected, but all in all a tasty beer to have a small pour of

Jul 21, 2019
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ChrisMon02 from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Another winner from Boulevard. Love how they use rye whisky in their beers so well. Not overly done, this drinks smooth while packing the flavor. Rye whisky, caramel, vanilla, oak, char meld together as one.

Delicious and satisfying. A perfect sipper. I will gladly revisit from time to time.

Jul 04, 2019
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DefenCorps from Oregon

3.62/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5


A very dark brown with a thin brown head that falls off rapidly leaving little lacing, this looks solid. The nose has dark brown sugar, molasses, booze, almond skins dark honey, a little toffee, some vanilla and a moderate oak and whiskey note. The palate opens bitter, boozy, moderately sweet with brown sugar, toffee, honey and a boozy tannic character. The mid palate, despite the strength of the booze flavor, does feel a little thin. The base beer makes this taste more rum like than whiskey. Carbonation is moderate. Drying, oaky, boozy and mildly tannic finish with lingering brown sugar and toffee bitterness. Solid.

Jul 04, 2019
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Saylor from Pennsylvania

4.59/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very happy with this beer. Another one I will happily get a 4pk or two each year it comes out.
Only complaint was when I had reached out to Boulevard about the “drink by” date asking if the beer would be ok to age longer or if it would actually be bad by the date they gave me some generic response as if some Miller lite drinker was answering my question. Basically they said it is already aged and should be drank right away....

May 19, 2019
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Phoodcritic from Michigan

3.04/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It looks, tastes and feels like watered-down whisky. One doesn’t have the sense of drinking a rich or complex brown ale. I’m disappointed, as the description sounded promising. The “boozy” part of the description is accurate.

May 08, 2019
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Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

2.52/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This tasted enough like a scotch ale. If you want to try this just have Scotch on Scotch (again or for the first time), from the same brewery as it is superior.

May 02, 2019
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Harrison8 from Missouri

4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a translucent, but dark, burgundy with a finger of khaki foam. Head retention is good. Aroma is sweet, sugary notes - toffee, molasses, caramel, brandy, and dark fruits. After the sugary initial wave, there are hints of toasty, biscuity, bready malts. Flavor profile is caramel, toffee, molasses, burnt sugar, dark fruits and a little heat in a very brandy-esque profile. Toasted, caramel and bready malts add a little firmness to the flavor. It's nearly 14%, and while it may not come across that strong, it's apparent there is a significant amount of alcohol in each sip. Mouth feel is lightly velvety with a little spiraling effervescence on the tongue each sip. It has a medium-thick consistency. Overall, sugary, but balanced thanks to the heat.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from a 12oz bottle.

Apr 29, 2019
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.64/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Huge notes of toasty brown bread, rich caramel malts, maple, woody oak barrel, vanilla, rye whisky, some dried fruits, toffee, light molasses, grainy spice, with brown sugar notes lingering

Apr 16, 2019
Plaid Habit from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 175 ratings