Imperial Stout | Boulevard Brewing Co.

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Imperial StoutImperial Stout
1,329 Ratings
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Like India Pale Ale, the classic Imperial Stouts were originally brewed with high levels of alcohol and hops to withstand the rigors of a long sea journey, not to India but to Imperial Russia and the Baltic States. Our version is an over-the-top riff on the style, with a huge grain bill featuring several kinds of malted barley, wheat, rye, oats, and spelt. Robust grain and coffee flavors are counterbalanced by date and plum notes from the Belgian yeast. To add extra complexity and depth, this Imperial Stout is made up of a blend of freshly brewed beer and several barrel-aged beers, carefully balanced. Za Vas!

63 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-23-2008

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,329 |  Reviews: 386
Reviews by Maxwell:
Photo of Maxwell
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep black, like molasses, with a huge, rocky head of light brown, creamy bubbles. The head sits fat above the beer, and leaves fluffy tufts of lacing along the sides of my glass. In body, the beer is viscous and opaque with no hints of the other side of the glass. On the nose, the beer smells richly boozy with coffee, chocolate, and rum-soaked raisins. Brown sugar, burnt toast, and a faint wisp of herbal dankness also play across the nostrils, but the big players on the nose make this beer smell decidedly like a RIS. On the tongue, the beer tastes decadently sweet with a touch of hot booze and a very gentle bitter roast with a touch of tannins. Acidity does pop in the mouth towards the finish, as well. In flavor, the beer is rich and decadent, beginning with rich boozy bourbon and plum juice, the beer immediately mellows into roasted malt with touches of char, coffee, and dark chocolate. These flavors then smooth out into milk chocolate and smooth oak tannin. Vanilla, caramel, and even a touch of toffee swirl over the tongue. The finish brings a touch of very sweet alcohol alongside rum-soaked raisins, brown sugar and soft chocolate. The aftertaste is of soft bourbon and bitter roasted malt. In the mouth, the beer feels oozingly smooth with a medium to heavy body, soft and creamy carbonation, and a velvety mouthfeel that is broken only but slight touches of roughness from the booze. The mouth is left dry with roast, yet wet with acid-canceling saliva and the sticky smack of rich malt. Overall, this is a decadent and rich (partially) bourbon barrel aged stout, but it is not Boulevard’s best. Its rich and I will never turn down a glass of it, but I don’t think I’d buy it again. Overall, the beer seems almost mundane beside some of the other amazing beers that have come out of the Smokestack Series. The Belgian character of the beer comes out more and more as the beer warms, but it just doesn’t quite amaze my palate as I hoped. This is a lovely barrel-aged stout, but in the end there are better options on the market.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of watermelon
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2013 vintage.
A: Pours a thick inky black with a foamy mocha head. The head diminishes slowly although a cap still lingers.

S: not super complex at first mostly chocolate and booze with some dark fruit sweetness.

T: Whiskey dominates.

F: Very viscous sweetness sticks to the teeth long after a sip. There is a burn, but its not that bad for a 12% beer.

O: Fairly decent beer. Although not one I would want to drink regularly.

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Photo of bonesTdog
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's difficult to give this beer all 5s but I just can't find any reason to give it any less anywhere. Calling this an imperial stout sells it way short. There are so many fantastic layers of flavors from coffee and chocolate to fruit, aged wood and alcohol building to an amazing complexity. A beautiful dark coffee color and heavy body just complete the picture. Not a beer to drink with food in my opinion. You need to sip and savor to truly appreciate it.

Edited 11/6/2015
Drinking the 2014 vintage tonight. It went something like this... Sip, roll you eyes, comment "oh my gosh", repeat over and over. This beer is amazing.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #5753 of 11960.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a tall, foamy, tan-colored head.

Smell: Huge, rich roasted malt aroma jam-packed with acute notes of chocolate, mocha, blackstrap molasses, and aniseed side by side with a scent of fresh-baked nine-grain bread.

Taste: Tempting tastes of dark, roasted malts, full of dark chocolate sauce, molasses, Java 'Dutch Estate' Coffee, anise, and caramel with a moderate amount of sweetness to attend to. Slight smoky, charred grain character and hint of wood-fired oats. Thin vein of dark fruitiness lurking within. Bold mix of roasty, resiny bitterness, though it falls a tad short of balancing the sweetness. Touch of warming alcohol (though comparatively light considering the ABV percentage) on the sweetish, highly roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A top-notch, surprisingly drinkable Imperial Stout and my favorite of the Smokestake Series thus far. Nice work, Boulevard.

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Photo of jp32
4.88/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours black in color with a nice sized khaki head on top that lingers around. A nice aroma profile made of roasted dark malts, brandy, oak, leather. The nose gets boozier the more it warms.

Chocolate, coffee, sticky sweet malty goodness, plums, oak, and brown sugar all make an appearance, and together they meet in what seems an incredibly smooth, creamy beer. This winning combination of flavor and texture is difficult to come by.

2015 version.

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Photo of oberon
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle.Pours jet black with no light getting thru,a full two finger deep beige head atop that settles very slowly into a frothy mass.Aromas of dark fruti stand out most with lighter whiskey barrel notes,not in your face.A smooth creamy fuller feel makes for a good sipping brew.Alot of dark fruit on the palate along with dark molasses and chocolate,there is a detectable earthiness in the finish wich was nice.Not a big roasty/coffee influnced imperial stout here it's more of a dark fruit and sweeter brew.I like it alot,the barrel aging doesn't overpower the beer.

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Photo of jono0101
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of brownbeer
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Starts out with a loud pop and pours black with a lofty, rocky brown head.

Aroma consists of oats, rye, dark chocolate, vanilla, nutty oak, hops, and coffee.

Taste starts soft with oaky and roasty chocolate flavors turning into a big finish of hops and alcohol warmth in my belly.

Quite drinkable considering the alcohol. A rich and complex brew to contemplate.

Great beer and a perfect winter warmer. Get it and hold on to it.

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Photo of npala86
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of joemetric
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of dimitrov
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of sabitu
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of gregmoscetti
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.91/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 Vintage
Poured into a snifter, this two-year-old stout is an opaque and deep brownish/black with a slight tan head.
The aroma is lovely: sweet and bitter chocolate and roasted coffee beans with a hints of dark fruit and perhaps a touch of funk.
The taste blows me away! Fine chocolate, rich, sweet and smooth with some dark chocolate depth and slight bittering. Hints of plum and raisin, a little bit of coffee and just a hint of tart fruit that doesn't intrude but becomes part of the whole. A bit of vanilla and underlying char as well. Not even a hint of booze.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.
This aged perfectly. Just outstanding!

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Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Beaver13
3.99/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, dated 2011 - # 13032; batch 2011-2, best by 01/2013. Pours a dark black-brown with a large nitro like creamy brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is dark fruits and some black licorice, vinous alcohol and wood and some brett.

The flavor is sweet molasses, chocolate, dark fruit and vinous alcohol with some black licorice and roasted bitterness at the finish. The mouthfeel is is pretty full bodied and creamy.

Overall, it's a little young with the sweetness, vinous alcohol and bitter roast not blending really well yet. It could be very nice with a bit of age.

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Photo of DuckDodgers
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Jared14
2.11/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Originally had this on tap in Dec and it was outstanding (4.15) but revisited it on tap 2 weeks ago, and it tasted off. Opened a bottle on Tuesday and was much more noticeably off. This year's batch seems to have been infected, specifically with some lacto. The beer poured well but smelled like nail polish remover and tasted sour. The bar's manager, a certified Cicerone agreed and emailed the distributor and brewery the next day.

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Photo of cschepers
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Boulevard Imperial Stout from a tightly corked bomber (had to use pliers) --> big wine glass.

A - Pours used motor oil black, no light getting through this one. Surprising amount of cappuccino-colored head, a little bit seems to stick around. Easily passes the "pencil test." Very nice lacing.

S - Fireplace smoke, a zillion different dark roasted malts, pencil lead. Just a tiny bit of sweetness.

T - No way this thing is this smooth... Mountains of malts.. oats, barley, rye. Baker's chocolate, coffee, espresso. Bits of burnt wood. Just enough metallic hops and the tiniest bit of sweetness just to bundle all the malt together. A little bit of boozy alcohol warming in the back. Aftertaste is of roasted malts and burnt coffee.

M - Thick and fairly slick. Just a little bit of carbonation, but don't expect much.

D - Not sure how to really rate this. Really good for an impy stout, but that's all pretty relative. Drink it fast and you'll get sick, drink it slow and you'll enjoy it nicely. The high ABV will also get you. Hard to believe there's 11% alcohol in this, it is very well hidden.

Pretty darn good imperial stout. Nicely balanced (if there is such a thing), it isn't hop-tarded like some (Old Rasputin).. very good stuff.

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Photo of abottrill
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of JakerLou
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of petewheeler
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jason
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml brown bottle with a vintage date of 2011. Bottle No. 8061.

Brewery states they did pick up some brett recently, popped the cork off ... corked talked about brett to me, more fruit than funk. Pours with a sudsy light brown head, lacing is impressive ... black as black can be. Aromatics are titans, mellow barrel juice and char, roasted grain of dark chocolate and espresso and a delicate kiss of over ripened fruit ... a whisper of brett as well. Creaminess is set on high, full body floats in the mouth. The maltiness is big on dark chocolate and a sweetened Cubano coffee. Fruity and alcoholic with a growing dryness that wields a hammer of cocoa powder and wood. Molasses. Hops stay modest. Mild tartness, infancy of the brett? It does have a ghost-like funk within. Sweet roasted finish, pretty much burnt sugar.

Not a hair short of being great, the brewery admits to some funk ... wish I had another bottle to see where it goes.

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Photo of tigg924
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: low carbonation, 1/2 head, opaque, dark brown in color

Smell: deep oak, vanilla, char, and roasted malt. This smells amazing.

Taste: nice oaking, sweet vanilla, char, roasted malt, and espresso

Mouthfeel: sweet with slight roasty bitterness, medium-heavy body, moderate carbonation

Overall: One of the better of the Smokestack series. I really like the oak and coffee taste. Glad I was finally able to obtain a bottle. I will purchase this again in 2015 if I can find it.

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Imperial Stout from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 1,329 ratings