Imperial Stout | Boulevard Brewing Co.

380 Reviews
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States

Style: American Double / 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 380 | Ratings: 1,319
Photo of Sicknot
1.23/5  rDev -70.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

750 ml Batch 2-2011

A: Black with a nice amount of head. Looks beautiful

S: Over the top Brett...nothing short of stinging the nostrils awful

T: Bitter, Tart, Sour, and awkward with slight licorice notes. Painful to swallow

M: Painful to swallow due to being overly carbonated (most likely the brett)

O: Took only three sips, after the third I threw in the towel. I cannot believe BLVD. though people who like wine will like this. I like sours, just not in RIS let alone any stouts. This is one of the most disturbing beers Ive ever tasted. This shouldn't have been released. Looking forward to a refund.

 609 characters

Photo of harrymel
1.65/5  rDev -60.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Batch 2 from 2011 (supposed brett infection)

A: Pours a dark brown, near black ale with insane head. Three+ fingers of mocha head loosely packed falls in five minutes or so to leave a thick quilt of the same. Near sheeting lace.

S: Yep, Brett. No mistake. Therefore, fail. Don't care if Blvd says stuff like, subtle, or wine drinkers will like. Look, if my beer says imperial stout, I want imperial stout. Not infected (unintentionally) imperial stout. This is bullshit.

T: Plenty malty, but the brett is already starting to take over on the mouth as well. Tart, farm funk is evident and it takes my attention away. There's plenty of malt, and licorice. This, I'm sure, is a great beer, when not flawed severely.

M: Thick, slicking mouthfeel with medium to high carbonation. Guessing carb was gonna be lower if brett hadn't infected.

O: This years batch should not have been released if they new there was a problem. Huge fail. I'm less and less impressed by Blvd with every beer.

 986 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
1.85/5  rDev -55.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

From 750mL C&C bottle to Devil's Backbone glass on 5/5/12

-- Thanks to whichever of you degenerates supplied this one. --

A: Dark copper and a bit cloudy. A decent pour yields a small head and a reasonable collar.

S: Ugh...infection has set in, and it ain't good.

T: It's a bit better then the nose, at least. I do get some bourbon and chocolate. But as it warms, out comes the hiney hole.

M: If it weren't for the infection, I'd bet this would be pretty solid. It's got the proper structure, but it's overly bubbly and simply not right for a bigger BA RIS like this.

O: To clarify: this is not one of the (so-called) intenionally soured Imperial Stouts. I'm disappointed, as I really feel this has the makings of a good beer. But in it's current state, I highly recommend saving your dinero and cellar space for something that actually tastes good.

Another in a recent run of underwhelming Boulevard brews.

Drain pour.

 927 characters

Photo of Jared14
2.11/5  rDev -49.3%
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.

 433 characters

Photo of waltonc
2.31/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

A friend generously opened a bottle of the most recent batch with me and bardwashrind. Unfortunately, this is already showing signs of infection. The same sour cherry quality that was present in 2009 Abyss is present here and makes it very undrinkable in more than small quantities. Hopefully the infection is just limited to certain bottles, but I remember from the bottling a few years ago that this was not sour at all (and was quite tasty). I assume Boulevard didn't decide to intentionally make this year's version sour. But regardless, it doesn't work very well.

5/1/11 Update: I opened up a bottle of the 2008 batch last night just to make sure I wasn't crazy thinking that this beer is not intended to have brett and I was right. The 2008 bottle is still drinking very well, and had no signs of a brett infection.

 822 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
2.32/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

750 mL bottle, corked & caged. batch number 2011-2. Unfortunately after I brought this back from Colorado, I learned this is the batch that Boulevard issued the statement that it was infected with Brett.

appears jet black, with 1/2" tan head. head retention is pretty good. a roasty aroma mixed with a bit of brett funkiness.

taste starts a bit of roasted malt and bitter cocoa, but then the brett flavor takes over. musty flavor. body is fairly thick, smooth body, good for the style.

overall - the infection hasn't ruined it. it's drinkable, but it's not real good.

 573 characters

Photo of Spica66
2.34/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2011 vintage shared with gwuilliums on Friday night. Poured into tulip glasses. Bottle #4301.

A: Black as pitch. Decent head formation with some slight retention. Looks right for a barrel-aged brew.

S: Uh-oh. What the funk? Some sour cherry notes here. Sickly-sweet with no roast or bitter notes at all. Smells like '09 The Abyss. I am not thrilled with what I think is about to happen.

T: I am right. Tastes sour cherry and nasty. Dammit! $13 for a bottle of nastiness. They definitely have some sort of wild something in there. Maybe they used the same barrels as Deschutes did!

M: Body is fine. Carbonation holds up very nicely for a barrel-aged 11% brew.

O: If you like sour or tart beers, this is an RIS for you. I don't, so it does not score well in my book.

Edit: I looked up on their web site and it stated that they knew there were some Brett in this batch and let it go anyway. Poor choice, in my opinion.

 922 characters

Photo of Wadsey
2.44/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle No 3514 of batch 2011-1. Poured into North Coast Brewing Co. snifter.

A: The beer itself strikes somewhere between dark brown and black. So it is appropriately dark with insubstantial head. It appears to be clear.

S: Acetic note, like Rodenbach Grand Cru, pops out. Next, dark dried fruits, nail polish remover/solvent, and roses (from fusels, I assume). A touch of damp wood.

T: The acetic character is still evident albeit more muted than in the smell. Dark, dried fruits, nail polish remover and roses play prominently. Fairly sweet and alcoholic. Barrel is initially evident in damp wood and tanic quality, although once the beer hits room temperature, some whiskey shows itself. A little roastiness comes out. Finishes with solventy, boozey fruits.

M: A medium body and warming. Higher level of carbonation than expected for a barrel-aged imperial stout. Surprisingly astringent in finish.

D: Boulevard Imperial Stout hits all the wrong notes for me. I like it less and less as I drink more. Too much crystal malt, too little barrel. 11 abv is obvious and I do not know what to make of the out-of-place acetic smell/taste.

With all that said, I'm very curious how this beer ages. Good thing I'm sitting on a couple bottles of '08 and plan to open one for a side-by-side tasting with my group.

 1,316 characters

Photo of pokesbeerdude
2.45/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle 14276 from 2011 Batch 2, best by 01-2013. Potential for bret contamination. Purchased from Supermarket Liquors in Ft. Collins, CO for $13. Into a Stone IRS glass. This definitely has bret in it, tons of funk immediately after opening the bottle.

A: Opaque black in color with an incredibly dense tan colored head that rises up to a good 2 inches and slowly recedes leaving enormous rings of lacing as it continues to fade. Really a nice looking beer.

S: Funk, without a doubt the first thing that hits the nose, sour cherries, burnt malts, and a decent amount whiskey as well, especially for a blended beer. Surprisingly not much booze in the nose. The funk is the dominant feature of the nose though and I'm not sold on that.

T: Again, funk and sour cherries dominate the initial taste, the middle is roasted barley, a bit of caramel, charred oak, toffee and vanilla, and the finish again is classic bretanomyces funky, sour cherries, and just a touch of sour. Whiskey shines a little bit on the finish as well which is nice, and works with the bit of bret in here. Noticeably there isn't much of a chocolate flavor. Slight little bit of booze in there as well. Definitely along the lines of a wild ale at this point as the bret is slowly taking over every aspect of this beer. I don't know how I feel about this, I love funk, but not necessarily in a stout, it doesn't impress me but I don't hate it.

M: Completely overcarbonated, mouthfeel is about right with a decent amount of viscosity, fairly sticky on the lips, and finishes with some heat that warms the whole way down. I'd say that the carbonation is probably from the bret tackling all the residuals that the sach didn't eat.

O: The beer isn't a total loss from the infection, there are some nice things about it, the slight sour cherry/fruit works well with the whiskey flavors, but I guess I'm just not sold on an infected stout. I'm not sure what to think about the overall beer, Boulevard knew that this batch had issues, and released it anyway. This shows some courage on their part, and me calling them out for releasing it would be hypocritical as I've bottled many homebrews that didn't taste exactly right before bottling and turned out okay, but I'm just not digging this. It will be interesting to see how this matures, as it could turn into a very interesting wild ale. Hmmm.

 2,365 characters

Photo of MysticRuler
2.91/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Another typically overwrought stout. Overly boozy, no finesse. Kind of like a lot of stuff the Bruery puts out to the punters. A pretty weak effort.

 150 characters

Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.97/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Note: Boulevard has stated on their website that this year's batch has been at least partially contaminated with brettanomyces. If they feel it's fair to release the beer as-is, I feel it's fair to review it as such.

2011 Batch

Appearance -- Pours a rich dark brown, nearly black, with one finger of stiff sudsy tan head. Appeared still until halfway through the poor - mild carbonation. The head soon dissipates into a dirty halo.

Smell -- My fears have been confirmed: brettanomyces is definitely present. Red wine vinegar, apple must, and dank cellar. Chocolate malt, coffee, and oaky vanilla.

Taste -- The malting is exceptional with cocoa, coffee, black malt, and the faintest bit of anise. Barrel character is nice, lending lots of vanillin and wet oak with a little bit of bourbon character. Brett is present, but certainly not dominant. Musty and earthy with green apple and horse barn. Lingering flavor of char, cocoa, vanilla, and lemony brett funk.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full in body with milder carbonation. Feels velvety, but could use more bubbles. Alcohol is very hot. I was hoping to have the time to let this age for at least six months, but the brett infection issues

Overall -- Fortunately Boulevard mentioned that their sensory panel picked up 'brett-character' in the bottles, otherwise I would have broken into this one after it was too late to enjoy.

Yes, this batch has clearly been contaminated with brett. This hasn't progressed too far as of yet, but there is a definite funky/musty/vinegar-like character, especially in the nose. The taste hasn't been tainted too terribly yet but it has definitely muted some of the good stuff happening in the beer. The fact that I'm rating this so high speaks to how incredible this base beer tastes. The barrel-aging lent nice oaky character, but the alcohol heat was through the roof. This one really could've helped with time in the cellar.

It's okay for now, but I'm sure this will be undrinkable in another six months.

 1,995 characters

Photo of brewintheLou
2.99/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with a tan head that leaves some lacing down the snifter.

Smell doesn't have much there. Getting mostly a boozey smell.

Taste has a slight roastiness. There is a strong alcohol warmth to this beer. Ever so slight espresso, but not much. I don't think this one of the top RIS I've had. Not a lot of flavor that jump out with this beer. That being said, it is not bad, just not something worth seeking out.

 418 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.07/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

448th review on BA
Bottle to snifter
750 ML C/C
Batch 2
2011-2 Best by: 1/2013
Bottle #9711

App- A gorgeous garnet red with a huge two finger head. No real cling at all. Puddles sit on top of this brew. Highlighted browns come threw into the light.

Smell- HUGE Brett as soon as I pop the cork (shit). This was a shot to get a clean bottle in trade and it didn't work everything is just over powered by the funk on this. Got none of the malt, coffee, chocolate flavors I was hoping/expecting.

Taste- It's a stout with some tinged of regular flavors but again the Brett is just too strong on the nose and the taste. All I got were slight malts and some booze.

Mouth- Medium bodied and highly carbonated. Like a black ops and a jester king the bubbles on this are quite nice. 2nd best part of this beer.

Drink- Well I gambled and lost with seeing if this batch 2 was indeed infected and I lost. I did get an 08 to drink as well. I really hope that one knocks my socks off. I won't come back to a batch 2 because to expensive to trade and keep searching for right bottle.

 1,072 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.09/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured jet black with great carbonation leaving a big brown cap and lots of bubbles

S: Well, it was funk, booze, whiskey

T: Not a big fan. I like most Boulevard Smokestack and big beers but this one not so much. I noticed immediate sourness, whiskey, roasted malt, any wood was subdued, booze, light cocoa

M; Thin for style, warm on the end, funky

D: Average

 365 characters

Photo of jcompton
3.11/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

appearance: opaque black into a snifter. bubbly head rescinds to a slight foam. nice lacing around the glass

smell: a slight roastiness on the nose with a slight alcohol burn

taste: slight mocha followed sharply by a heavy alcohol burn. the alcohol over powers the flavors in this one

feel: high level of carbonation. fairly creamy, but still a bit thin for others i've had of this style

drinkability: sharing this 750ml, and i'm not really wanting anymore than that. even if this was always produced i wouldn't go out of my way to grab one. maybe i was looking forward to this a bit too much, but i am disappointed

 619 characters

Photo of Blaketj80
3.12/5  rDev -25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours with monstrous tan head and has less aroma than one would think. Tastes of sweet roastiness with a bitter black patent kick. Alcohol notes are subtle in the aftertaste and has legitimate body. Would recommend for the average stout drinker, but nothing exceptional for the money.

 284 characters

Photo of bld81
3.12/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2011 Bottle 10650

Appearance - dark chocolate, small head, dissipates quickly, large bubbles

Smell - dried cherry, spice, some chocolate, not as much oak and bourbon as expected

Taste - whiskey and bourbon, vanilla, coffee back

Mouthfeel - somewhat thin, Hot Alcohol

Overall - Not what I expected, hoped to enjoy this more. I have two other bottles, one from the same case. Hope those age a bit better.

 407 characters

Photo of phishisphunk
3.14/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 Vintage. Bottle # 3522.

I had intended on cellaring this bottle for a few months until I heard through the threads that Boulevard reported possible brett infection through their sensory panel. Respect the manner with which they identified this character but found it humorous that they encourage immediate consumption even though the bottle has a best by 2013 date.

As always, beautiful bottle. I love the simplicity of the smokestack series.

Served straight from the refrigerator (into my Dogfish signature snifter) as I promptly placed in the fridge to stave off infection not quite knowing when I would get to it. I plan on talking my time with the bottle so I will pick up the nuances as it warms.

A: Appearance is pretty standard for a imperial stout. Pours dark with an initial mocha colored head that quickly recedes to leave a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Little to no head retention as the thin bubbles struggle unsuccessfully to retain to the glass. Lots of tiny little bubbles noted ascending upward give the appearance of a thin body.

S: The nose has 2 distinct aromas. The initial aroma is mildly tart with hints of sweet cherry and vanilla extract presumably from the barrel. Following this is the aroma from the stout itself. Roasted malt and baker's chocolate finish the nose if you hang out long enough to discover them.

T: The taste follows the aroma verbatim. Hints of cherry, vanilla, oak, rolled oats, roasted malts, and dark chocolate. The beer is sweet and boozy (DFH WWS comes to mind). Piney/soapy hops round off the taste. Finish is clean. The barrel and base beer don't feel real well integrated and they seem to compete from the finish to the end. The tart, sour notes overpower the what I suspect is a solid Russian imperial stout.

M: Despite the taste, the beer has wonderful carbonation and creaminess despite feeling a bit thin.

D: At this point, I'm not sure I will finish the bottle. As far as Barrel aged stouts go, I'm pretty underwhelmed. I do prefer big bourbon bombs, but the barrel did not do much for the base. Glad I didn't sit on this one. Probably drinking as well as it will right now. However, I can see how some folks would really enjoy this one. Pick one up and try for yourself!

 2,257 characters

Photo of Reedbrew
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I really wanted to like this one but it had a unpleasant sourness upfront with a bit too much burn and seemed not very well blended. We threw away half the bottle. My least favorite so far of Boulevards Smokestack Series.

 223 characters

Photo of FreshHawk
3.19/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pitch black color with a large, thick, cakebatter-like, creamy, full, frothy, cafe colored head. Really good retention with a nice, thick, creamy lace.

S - Definitely can tell that this has the infection problem with Brett strong on the nose. Tart cherry and a slight funk. In the background there is a fair amount of roasted malt along with some hints of milk chocolate and vanilla. Not bad after it warms a little, but the Brett is just too strong.

T - Tart Brett aspects and bourbon flavors dominate the taste. This makes the taste very strong and there is a hot taste to it. There was some chocolate and vanilla flavors in the background that I think I would be great if not overshadowed by the tart Brett flavors. Some licorice/anise as well.

M - Medium to full body with a decent carbonation. Very smooth, pretty thick, and fairly creamy. Slight alcohol burn at the finish.

D - There are some nice features in the background, but way too much tart, Brett and a little too much heat to be really enjoyable or drinkable. Really nice body and Batch 1 (non-infected) is intriguing but the Batch 2 just doesn't really inspire me.

Notes: Bottle 12842, Batch 2 of 2011. So just as I feared, there were notes of infection. Not horrible, but the infection is just too strong. There are definite positives in the background but they just get taken over by the Brett and slightly by the alcohol (Catch-22 as aging would mellow the heat but bring out the Brett). Excited that I got a Batch 1 and look forward to trying it after aging a little to mellow the heat. Will re-rate after trying a non-infected batch.

 1,613 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.23/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

BOTTLE: Batch number I14295-1. Best by: 10-2016. 2014 vintage. Brown glass. 750ml. Classic understated label design. Hood-and-wire cap over a cork.

11% ABV. Expectations are high. Served cold into a snifter and allowed to warm.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1.5 fingers wide. Khaki colour head. Should be richer and darker, but it's decent, with nice creaminess and fullness. A thicker more even consistency would be ideal. It's supple and soft enough. Retention is excellent (esp. for the ABV) - ~10+ minutes.

BODY: Opaque solid black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears well-carbonated. It's far from unique or special for an imperial stout, but is above average. Certainly appealing.

AROMA: The whiskey barrel character eclipses the base aromatics, with pungent whiskey-soaked wood, whiskey's signature spiciness, and hints of mesquite. The whiskey hides the base for the most part, but I do find cream, dark malts, oats, subtly spicy rye malt, and oats. Additionally, the barrel wood dips into sourness a bit, indicative perhaps of infection.

I find no roasted barley - to its detriment, and the rich dark malt backbone that should be prominent is absent. I find no smoke, chocolate, coffee, etc. This aroma suggests a neutral simplistic base beer with an eclipsing whiskey character, neither of which is interesting.

Aromatic intensity is quite low; this is a timid reticent aroma.

No yeast character, alcohol, hops, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: A light hint of sourness mixed with dampened cardboard is present, which throws off the balance and build substantially - but doesn't make this undrinkable. Just...different. I imagine if they'd stop mucking about with blending they wouldn't run into that problem.

The whiskey barrel isn't anywhere near as rich or evocative as one would hope, but it's present. Some subtle spice, a kiss of mesquite, whiskey soaked wood. There's no vanilla or rich toasted oak.

Mild as the whiskey barrel is, the base is even less interesting. I don't know that I've run into an imperial stout with such a neutral or even insipid malt backbone in a long time. I can tell dark malts were used, but there's just not an accompanying sweetness; it comes off depleted. Cream is the most notable note in the flavour profile, though the oats are nice as well, and bring a hint of starchiness to the taste in addition to their usual smoothening effect on the texture. I search for rye, but have trouble finding it; perhaps rye's subtle spiciness is overshadowed by whiskey's. Odd, since you'd think they'd work together.

Roasted barley is sorely missed, but frankly I'm desperate just for anything of interest from the base. This beer is crippled by its lack of a robust malt backbone, and it doesn't offer anything else in its place; there's no chocolate here (not even chocolate malt), no coffee, no smoke, no vanilla, no dark fruit, no charred or burnt sugars, no marshmallow, no caramel, no hazelnut, no nothing. It's oddly simple and lacks depth of flavour. There's not much subtlety or nuance to it. Flavour duration is average. Flavour intensity is below average. The beer doesn't have an American feel to it, and I suspect American yeast was not used - to its detriment.

I don't dislike it. As it warms, I find it flirts with a lactose sugar sweetness in the second act. And some faint raisin fades in.

TEXTURE: Way too thin, lending it a weak presence on the palate - an issue not helped by its surprisingly moderate body. I wonder why they used wheat in the grain bill of an imperial stout? This is oddly light, but of course unrefreshing, and there is some faint alcohol warmth. Smooth and wet. Slightly sticky, a biteen chewy, slightly syrupy. Its best attribute is its creaminess, and the smoothness lent by the oats works well here, bringing it closer to a porter without overstepping bounds. It's well-carbonated to boot, and has a slight powdery feel (which would be fantastic if this had any cacao presence at all).

Overall presence on the palate is above average, I guess - if only because of the creaminess and silkiness. Still, this texture fails to elevate the beer or to accentuate any specific notes from the flavour profile.

OVERALL: I expected far better given this is a Boulevard beer, but it's by no means a bad brew. Nor is it anywhere near world-class. In spite of its alcohol presence, it's drinkable enough, and I'll enjoy finishing the bottle. But with the wealth of widely available superior imperial stouts out there, I won't be buying this again. Even non barrel aged examples of the style like Victory Storm King, North Coast Old Rasputin, and Great Divide Yeti bring far more complexity to the table. This seems more like an attempt to cater to the market than an inspired brew; certainly Boulevard knows craft beer fans go apeshit for imperial stouts. I just hoped their offering would be consistent with the quality of the majority of their lineup.

High C+

 4,983 characters

Photo of HereforBeer
3.24/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I wish the label on the bottle said it was brewed with Belgian Yeast, I wouldn't have purchased it. It has a very sour smell, and I tasted some smokiness, but not really any coffee. Others may like it, but it's not my bag.

 222 characters

Photo of stakem
3.33/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml 2011 edition into a snifter. About a finger of brown head forms across the top and collapses into the black liquid. When held to the light, a bit of lighter brown clarity is noted around the edges. Spotty lace sticks to the glass.

The aroma has some tangy alcohol notes minorly reminiscent of whiskey but with an accenting fruity touch that suggests mild infection. There is some notes of black licorice along with earth and oak. A mingling of roast and tobacco gives way to some sweet vanilla scent. The enjoyable aspects of this nose are quite nice while there is an unfortunate amount of off aspects as well.

The flavor of this brew upfront is black licorice coupled with roast like burnt grain, coffee, earth and chocolate. Some strong whiskey notes are present that bring out more dark fruity aspect that suggest something along the lines of tart cherry, raisins and plum. The alcohol inclusion gets to be a bit perfume like and solvent with the fruity tart cherry aspect bringing up the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. This brew has some potential but overall I was not a big fan. The barrel presence is nice but the alcohol has an impact that suggests much more than the listed 11%. More focus on roast and a solid chewy body would do this beer good.

 1,309 characters

Photo of Boto
3.36/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle: Bottle #16825, 2011 batch 2. This batch was the one that they knowingly released infected with Brett, and neglected to notify anyone until later. This one pours an inky, almost black color. There was many inches of a light brown head on it that lingered quite awhile. It also leaves lots of lacing. Nose is Funky and sour. Some chocolate notes coming through, and maybe some vanilla. Anything else is being overpowered by the Brett. The taste is interesting. The brett doesn’t ruin it, but it is a big change from what was expected. The sourness is in full command. There is a fair amount of chocolate and roastiness coming through. Some vanilla and dark fruits also. It is good, but the Brett detracts from what it should have been. Don’t get me wrong, I like Brett infected beers if they are done right. The Brett is just too overpowering to let me appreciate the very good beer that is hiding behind it.

 924 characters

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep, dark brown with touches of tootsie roll sneaking around the edges. The head is a frothy tan that leaves behind a bit of lace.

Smells of some dry, bitter tuber, dry cocoa, a hint of bourbon and a... well, dry oak. Very... dry.

Tastes of sweet cocoa, a touch of root beer barrel and an astringent coffee. Meh. This really dries my mouth out. I see how this is an RIS, but its dryness is working against it.

Feels light, thin and frothy.

Not too bad, but a little disappointing.

 504 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Imperial Stout from Boulevard Brewing Co.
4.16 out of 5 based on 1,319 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.