Plaid Habit
Boulevard Brewing Co.

Plaid HabitPlaid Habit
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Strong Ale - American
Ranked #23
Ranked #2,555
4.2 | pDev: 7.86%
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: 83 | Ratings: 206 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of backblast
backblast from Alaska

4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark mahogany with a thin head and light lacing.

Taste the rich malts up front with toffee, vanilla and bright stone fruit. Mildly sweet and mildly bitter with a medium/light body and mild carbonation. A very nice offering.

Apr 17, 2021
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scotorum from Massachusetts

4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


Bottle label says 12.4% rather than the 13.9 listed here. Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Victory nonick

a: Clear dark copper with an inch thick tan head which receded quickly to wisps of surface foam.

s: Whiskey

t: Follows the nose with strength over caramel malt and moderate throat burn. Sweet finish.

m: Creamy medium, very good body and some carbonation tingle.

o: More substantial base brew than the average brown, strong whiskey notes dominate the caramel malt. Excellent!

Apr 01, 2021
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Treyliff from West Virginia

3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours brown in color with a bit of light creeping through, one-finger foamy off-white head reduces to a film and leaves a bit of lacing behind

S- peppery rye, oaky whiskey and Christmas spices to open up the aroma, followed by nutty brown malts, bread crust, brown sugar, hint of vanilla and stewed apple

T- cinnamon and peppery rye up front with plenty of whisky notes immediately noticed. Mid-palate gives some nutty and bready brown malts. The finish gives stewed apples, oak, peppery rye and whisky

M- medium-light bod with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a warming finish

O- pretty one dimensional, I enjoyed it as a whisky fan but not much else going on

Feb 28, 2021
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.66/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sometimes you see a chincy review from your home state and you know its time to write your better review! Listed at 13.9% here, I think mine was like in the 12% range. Would look at the remaining 3 bottles in the cellar, but I'm at somewhere else (puttin in wuuuurk) when I write my reviews.

Pours a brown caramel like color. Substantial 5/6" light beige head and good retention. We're in impressive territory thus far. The aroma was mostly brown malt and sweet whiskey.

Taste followed much in the same vein, more of a sweeter brown ale finish and mouth feel to it, light sweet whiskey notes, brown malt without going into heavy territory malt and viscosity wise. Alcohol heat nor bitterness wasn't too high albeit present. Light hits of vanilla in the mouth feel. Wasn't really getting the char from it, methinks the commercial tug job delves into hyperbole a tad. Nor was there anything 'spicy' about the rye barrel (sweet, yes). You could definitely do a lot worse than a $14 four pack of this barrel aged offering. Its a good not great sipper.

Feb 09, 2021
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TheBeerWolf from Nevada

2.46/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

Not sure why this one was rated so highly. I enjoy bigger beers and this one was just ok I guess. I had high hopes for this one it sounded like all the things I like. I enjoy whiskey aged beers although usually they are stouts.

Look: the color is nice it’s a real deep brown not a lighter brown. However there is no real head and what does come out upon the pour leaves quickly.

Smell: The smell is pretty decent. Mostly the whiskey and alcohol. A lot of alcohol.

Taste: The taste is ok too like the smell mostly the whiskey and alcohol hits me. A bit of a cloying sweetness and I feel for a beer this big it comes off a bit thin and that does not help the other flavors meld well. At least in my opinion.

Feel: As mentioned to me a bit thin. Hard to describe. Whatever combination here comes off like whiskey mixed with seltzer water.

Overall an ok beer but wouldn’t buy again. Have had other boulevard beers I enjoyed more.

Feb 09, 2021
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KRug from Massachusetts

4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/2/20

This looks to be an interesting one. It started off as a brown ale, and interestingly enough aged in Canadian whiskey barrels. Seems like an odd choice, but I think it could end up working out. Strong ales are pretty hit or miss for me, but I think I’ll like this

Pours a murky dark brown with hints of red and a finger of tan head that fades to a thin ring and leaves patchy lacing, tons of particles floating in the liquid

The aroma is not exactly complex, but there’s a decent subtlety that I appreciate. I’m picking up on aromas of smoky rye, sugary maple, reddish malt, vanilla, dates, and a hint of sweet whiskey

The taste loses the subtlety in translation, but it is still flavorful. On the front end I’m tasting rye whiskey, smooth oak, a touch of white pepper, and subtle cacao. The swallow brings notes of sticky maple, sweet whiskey, dark caramel malt, and alcohol tibged oak

A full body pairs with very gentle carbonation resulting in a heavy slow sipper. Finishes quite dry for the strength

This was nice for a very sweet and large beer. Not necessarily a contemplative and ever evolving drinking experience, but great for what it is

Jan 29, 2021
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flagmantho from Washington

4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into my BeerAdvocate teku. Best by 2 October 2021.

Appearance: slightly murky, rich brown hue. Head is only the thinnest hint of tan bubbles. It's rich and mysterious -- I like it.

Smell: nice whiskey aroma with a fairly high amount of sweetness. There's plenty of dark fruit present; dates and tobacco and dark bread. I like the character a lot, although the sweetness is perhaps a bit high.

Taste: sweet, like the aroma, but with a good level of dusty dates, tobacco, cherry, and figs. I really like it. The whiskey is subtle and it's not boozy; the overall effect is really very nice indeed.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a moderate carbonation. To be honest, it feels just a little thin for this kind of beer.

Overall: very tasty indeed. This would make a wonderful dessert with some apple slices and a hard cheese.

Jan 16, 2021
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imnodoctorbut from Texas

4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle dated 10-2-20. 12.4% abv and only 4 months old. here we go!

pours murky dark dirt-shade-of-red brown with a lightly tanned foam head about half a finger high with moderate retention

aroma is sweet malt and spicy booze. rye. earthy oak and faintest of hop in the background, whispering.

taste follows the nose, coming on grainy sweet and boozy. wish I'd let it sit for another 6 mos at least, but this was probably the intended outcome given the "drink by oct 2021" mention. pushing past my whine (arguably explainable given the previous brew was a sweet and tart lambic), I notice the charred notes come more into focus, bringing whisky barrel clarity and toffee with vanilla. still feels like shaving against the grain, but never feels less than enjoyable.

feel is medium carbonation, medium-to-thick body. body thickens as it sits, as expected, as does the boozy graininess. otherwise relatively smooth in waves, with booze heat prickles. finishes without any punctuation and doesn't stick around.

interesting, though far from complex, brew. spicy boozy and malty. I won't go out of my way to find again myself but would certainly point any brown ale etc lovers in it's direction for an interesting time. does stand out, in a way...maybe I ought to have let it sit a bit longer...

Jan 09, 2021
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle - $4.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Please Enjoy By: 02OCT2021.

Appearance: Lightly hazed, dark brown body with a thin, thinning, ivory-toned head.

Smell: Sweet-scented, sugary and malty nose, for the most part, though there is some black peppercorn, wet oak barrel and a rippling dark fruitiness.

Taste: Vanilla-infused, caramelized brown sugar glaze with touches of maple, molasses, chocolate powder and powderized toast. Fairly sugared throughout, flirts a bit with being a tad cloying, at times. A burst of raisiny fruitiness. Peppery, spicy rye and woodsy tannins as well as some piquant alcohol are welcome, balancing additions, though it still finishes decidedly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Near-full body. Subdued carbonation.

Overall: It's not out of this world, but it's pretty decent.

Dec 31, 2020
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dcotom from Iowa

4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a snifter. Vintage 2019. Looks almost like a fine liqueur in the glass: clear, deep caramel-colored body, with an aggressive pour yielding only a thin off-white head. Aromas and flavors are dominated by notes of whiskey and oak. Big flavors of light toffee as well, with a hint of apple cider on the finish. If you're looking for something in which the alcohol is well hidden, this ain't that. Tons of booziness that warms you all the way down. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, either. This would make a fine fireside dram. Enjoy responsibly! ;)

Dec 21, 2020
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jjamadorphd from Florida

4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I aged this for over a year, I have no idea if it helped but it sure did taste good...

Visually appealing and with a mild whiskey scent, the mouthfeel was slightly creamy. Taste-wise the beer had a distantly sweet attribute but was balanced with the hops used to provide a minimal amount of bitterness. Overall, this was truly a delicious beer, one that I would not hesitate to try again...and again...

Dec 19, 2020
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TonyLema1 from South Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: deep copper color, tan head, nice lacing
S: not a ton on the nose, a little malt and whiskey, but my sniffer ain’t great
T: nice blend of a whiskey taste and malts
F: great mouthfeel, booziness is balanced
O: great beer, recommend

Nov 26, 2020
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Stooven from Illinois

4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The fate of the brown ale is to look like crap; this could use a little more head retention. The nose has a lot of alcohol on it. The taste is brown sugar, roasted malt, booze, light vanilla, carmel and the carbonation is almost spicy.

Nov 26, 2020
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Franziskaner from Missouri

3.89/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Deep brown in color with a a very murky complexion including large pieces of sediment. No head. The aroma is of An abundance of sweet malt, vanilla, oak, and whisky. I’m tasting plenty of sweet whisky, a heavy wallop of light malt and light taste of oak. The mouth is thick, chewy, and dry.

Oct 18, 2020
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artiefufkin from New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Visual: deep amber brown, yeast in suspension, no head
Aroma: raisins, rich caramel, bitter chocolate, fresh vanilla (almost smells like armagnac)
Taste: str vanilla throughout, sl burnt caramel but pleasant, brown sugar, molasses, baking spices, charred american oak, lower than expected CO2 but not offensive, shockingly not hot considering it's 12.5%
Overall: great strong ale, pretty dangerous with a well hidden high abv. world class strong ale.

Sep 25, 2020
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Scotchboy from Idaho

4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap in Garden City, ID. Clear brown body with a small creamy off-tan head (small from abv no doubt), this is a very sweet brew with tons of barrel character; caramel, toffee, and booze.

Jul 06, 2020
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MattDecker from Texas

4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
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 -0.7%
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 -2.6%
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 (ON)

4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
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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MissouriMule from Missouri

4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
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 -3.6%
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 +1.9%
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 +4.3%
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 +0.2%
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
Plaid Habit from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 206 ratings