Imperial Stout | Boulevard Brewing Co.

381 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

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Reviews: 381 | Ratings: 1,320
Photo of ccg
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottle with a "best by" date of 11/2015 opened in April, 2017.

Dense and thick-looking while pouring. The head initially seems kind of thin and fizzy, but it settles nicely. It leaves a thin layer of brownish suds on top, looking like a glass full of espresso.

The smell is loaded with chocolate and oak and malted grains without being overly boozy-smelling or overpowered by bourbon.

The flavor starts out with a slight metallic note and a bit of sourness in the background, but it improves as it warms. The flavor is similar to the smell with one noticeable difference: there is a coffee note in the flavor that I'm not picking up in the scent.

It has a creamy feel that adds to the overall impression of a drinking a boozy coffee.

Overall, this is a good barrel-aged stout that rewards patience. Let it age for a while, and when you open it, sip it slowly as it warms up and changes. In the past, I've found that partially barrel-aged stouts usually seem like they're not barrel-aged at all, but this one is different. This is probably the best beer I've had so far from Boulevard. It's certainly brightening up a dreary Tuesday night.

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Photo of GreatHammerhead
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: 12 oz bottle Dated 05 July 2018 poured into a pint glass.

Look: Nearly black in color with a brown one finger head. Head is short lived.

Smell: Chocolate and coffee with a strange grassy aroma.

Taste: Coffee and dark chocolate flowing over an underbelly of alcohol.

Feel: Medium mouthfeel, cream and smooth with little to no carbonation.

Overall: Not for the faint of heart, everything about this brew is big and in your face.

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Photo of DenverBigRed
4.61/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Going through my cellar and found a 2011 version of this. Thought maybe I waited too long, but I didn't. A bit of funk in the aroma. Taste is well balanced with whiskey, chocolate, and a hint of funk. I was a bit thrown off from the funk, but upon research, it turns out that batch 2 of this year had some brett characteristics that were known before release. I must say it works very well. Wish I had some more of these sitting around.

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Photo of drtth
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The best by date on the bottle is 6 Aug. 2017.

The beer pours out into a snifter glass a dark brown that is almost black with a 1/8" dark tan head that soon recedes to a thin film on the surface and a small ring around the glass and leaving no lacing on the sides of the glass. Sipping creates lots of tiny small patches of lacking that slowly turn liquid.

The aromas include a touch of Bourbon including vanilla from the barrel along some dark chocolate and dark fruit in the background.

The flavors include an initial bit of roasted malt bitterness that may recede briefly but never completely disappears, the effects of the Bourbon barrel show in some vanilla sweetness and the hint of oak that comes along with that. In a different, less forward, layer of flavor there's some dark chocolate, a hint of dark fruit and that roasted malt. Throughout the alcohol is well concealed except for the slight warming effect

The mouth feel is on the full side of medium bodied and just a bit creamy from the very soft carbonation. The finish begins early on as the initial roasted bitterness that starts the show is only there very briefly before allowing the vanilla and oak from the Bourbon barrel to show up. Those flavors soon begin to recede allowing the chocolate and a touch of dark fruit to emerge and join in the flavor profile. These flavors also then recede a bit leaving the final ending to the vanilla with a hint of chocolate that is pretty much on the back of the palate.

Overall this seems an excellent beer that shows the effects of Bourbon barrel aging riding over the top the chocolate, dark fruit and roasted malt, but never completely concealing them so that they get to play a bit on the palate as well. While I'll be happy to have another it seems to me that this is a special occasion beer or one that can turn a dreary day into a special one all by itself. BTW, I recommend that this be the first beer of the day since I think some of the complexity would be concealed by having another beer first.

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Photo of victormoth
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Half Moon Brewing pint glass from the Gardner Ale House (MA). It poured to a tight foamy head of about a half inch. Held up to a light it was a deep mahogany. A prevalent bready pumpernickel and whiskey aroma with a slightly sweet coffee, plum taste (a friend of mine drinking one remarked "soy notes" in a pleasant sense). With the 11% alcohol level I felt my ears turning red and warm even before I got to the bottom of the neck of the bottle, definitely boozy (probably equal to three Coors Lights, so if you drank it quickly watch out) and best quaffed slowly as it lost no appeal when reaching room temperature. This beauty came in an 8-pack called The Great 8 along with Boulevard's: The Calling, Tank 7, and A Tell Tale Tart.

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

Cellared 2015 bottle with a Sept. 2017 BB date stamp; opened September 2016. Served in a Belgian snifter.

Appearance: essentially black and opaque body with a semi-durable light tan head.

Aroma: whisky and whisky barrels; black bread; alcohol; dark dried fruits; hints of vanilla.
Flavor: bourbon and oak; molasses; less dark dried fruits and more chocolate than in the nose. Hints of vanilla, brown sugar and black bread. Lightly sweet, overall.

Mouthfeel: very full, relatively thick body with alcohol warmth extending from the tongue downwards.

Overall: quite nice but likely to improve with further aging.

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Photo of TH28
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 release drank 11/29/14. Appearance is jet black with a tan foam cap that dissipates quickly. Aroma is dark fruit, bourbon, vanilla, roast, and alcohol. Taste is rich caramel and chocolate, with bourbon, vanilla, licorice, and roast on the back end. Mouthfeel is medium with a light carbonation and moderate alcohol warmth. Finishes well balanced with some lingering notes of bourbon and alcohol. Good imperial stout...roast is restrained with a prominent bourbon and alcohol flavor and finish

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Photo of jp32
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
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 Pray_For_Mojo
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Cellared: 12/21/13 Opened: mid-April 2016

Poured into a tulip

Appearance: jet black and thick. The head is a dark coffee-and-cream color of superfine bubbles.

Aroma: a combination of chocolates: bittersweet and milk chocolate, and bourbon with light oak. Very inviting.

Flavor: prominent molasses, raisins and bourbon, which are all very well balanced.

Mouthfeel: on the light side of heavy – perfect for a high abv sipper.

Overall: another success from Boulevard. This beer is very well balanced, and better than most of the more readily available imperial stouts.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by a dense two finger tan head that retains well and leaves some lacing
S: Smells of oak, caramel, vanilla, chocolate, some plums and espresso. This beer smells great.
T: Taste is nice roast with some vanilla and caramel from the barrel. The plum notes from the yeast come through at times as well. A bit of oak as well as some cocoa powder and coffee. Swallow is more oak, caramel and vanilla with lingering roast, coffee and chocolate.
M: this one is thick and velvety on the palate with soft but adequatte carbonation and a dry finish.
O: everything about this beer is awesome from the flavors to the complexity. This is one to grab if you like big stouts. The barrel influence is there but it isn't super strong.

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Photo of Giggy
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful head but it dissipates fast. Great flavor, let it warm and open up. Brown sugar to carmalized sugar. Coconut in the nasal passage after the swallow. Slightly too much carbonation.

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Photo of nawpnawp
3.82/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

2013 vintage opened in 2016 (best by date was end of 2015).

There is very creamy carbonation and the brew pours thick. The smell is amazing with loads of chocolate and coffee. Unfortunately, the taste doesn't quite match the intensity of the nose. It seems with age, a lot of the flavors have faded a bit and I'm picking up more of a bitter chocolate with almost no sweetness. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I was anticipating a much sweeter profile based on the nose. The feel is great, however, and makes for a fantastic sipper.

Overall, I was hoping for a little more from the taste. Perhaps the brewer had it right and I let it sit for too long.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours black with a one finger creamy tan head. Heavy amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is chocolate, vanilla, and oak.

T - The flavor is vanilla, oak, caramel, chocolate, and dark fruits. The finish has some rye and a touch of alcohol heat.

M - Heavy body with low carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

O - Very nice barrel aged Stout. The flavors are balanced and the ABV is dangerously hidden.

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Photo of jaypaul522
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours very dark, with a good head. The smell is of the malt and a hint of fruitiness. Taste is strong, and the alcohol overtone gives way to the fruitiness in the aftertaste. This is a strong stout, with a pleasant flavor. Very satisfying.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Well...It IS Saturday and after 12 a clock :)

I was going through my beercellar-collection and found a few nice friends. Finally I choose this one for now.

Bought in September 2015 at Systembolaget, Sweden.

The beer pours very dark brown with a huge, four finger high, beige-brown head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

Nose: Caramel malt, brown sugar, fudge, rye, oatmeal, bourbon whiskey, oak barrel, vanilla, coffee, plum, dark fruit, chocolate cake and dark syrup. What a nose! I'm in love even before my first sip!
Taste: Oh! This is such a complex, beatiful f*ing GREAT taste! Vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, whipped cream, oak barrels, a light taste of licorice, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, caramel malt and roasted malt. I think I could go on forever...
Mouthfeel: Full body. Light carbonation. Soft and silky smooth! Creamy and fluffy. So good!

This is a dessert! One of the best you can have! It is a big 750 ml bottle but you do NOT want to share...

Boulevard Smokestack Series Imperial Stout is one of my absolute favorites up until now. Beautiful, complex, sweet nose and likewise taste: smooth, complex, soft, creamy and with the bourbon oak barrels in the background... Well this is just what I want! I'm a sucker for this!

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Photo of Invinciblejets
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured dark brown/black.. Small tan head nice retention.

S: So much stuff. Carmel toffee chocolate slight coffee. Slight bourbon/whiskey vanilla oak barrel. A bit of dark fruits like raisins and figs.

T: Nice vanilla oaky whiskey up front. Sweet Carmel and toffee. Chocolate cake. Some raisin and oats. Beautiful tasting stuff.

F: Like vanilla velvet. Great. but wish it blanketed my mouth a bit more and stuck around.

O: Really impressed with this as I always am with boulevard. Hides the 11% so well and so balanced between all of the smells and flavors.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black, with no head at all. A little bit of dark caramel colored fizz rises up when you pour it aggressive, but that's it. Sweet biscuit and roasted malt notes lead off the front of a sweet smelling aroma. The taste starts subtle and builds into a large roasted malt blast that feels rather sweet (sugary sweet). There is a booze burn towards the end of the taste profile as well. Good dynamic of taste, which is extremely simple. Mouth feel leads a little to be desire. I'm getting a bit of a carbonation burn on the tongue, and yet there is no head or lacing prevalent, even after a somewhat aggressive pour. Overall, a solid barrel aged stout. Nothing too fancy, it just works.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of Xenoreactive
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Very close to being a perfect 5 for me. What an incredible stout.

Preliminary: poured from a 12 oz into a snifter.

L: A dark and luscious syrupy waterfall. Reminds me of chocolate syrup coming down on ice cream. Oh myyy. Next to no head. No lacing. This is my favorite kind of beer.

Smell: Nutella, chocolate syrup, fudge, dark fruits, dried fruits, candied ginger, tamari, bourbon, vanilla, milk chocolate and cabernet sauvignon? Desserts galore, this will be a delicious beer.

Taste: Wow. Just fucking wow. All the smell combined into a delicious booze-dripped brownie out of hell. This is an incredibly thick, complex and tasty beer to be paired with a luscious dessert. Might as well replace your chocolate syrup. Has a heavy chocolate-forward flavor that is highlighted with oak, vanilla, honey, sugary malt, brown sugar, figs, prunes. avacado?, lactose, muscavado sugar and caramel. nomnom

Feel: When drinking such a densely flavored stout, you want this kind of luscious and velvety feel. A little chewy and coating, to the point that it's almost like a salad drizzle.

Overall: Phenomenal. Almost perfect, but can't give it a 5.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Corked and caged 750ml bottle poured into a snifter. 2014 vintage. Pours a dark pitch black color with nice tan colored head with excellent retention and lacing. The taste and aroma feature a ton of character from the whiskey barrels. It also has a good dose of sweetness in the finish making way for some warmth from the alcohol.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Black with a short wispy brown head that dissipates quickly.

Chocolate fudge, toffee, rye, coffee, roasted barley, smoke, charcoal, caramel, and slight bourbon.

Raisin, prune, chocolate fudge, and chocolate syrup. Toffee, caramel, deep roasted barley, and dark roast coffee. Very light bourbon notes along with some smoke and charcoal.

Medium-plus bodied, silky, chewy, smooth, and sweet.

I'm glad they started making this in 12 oz bottles. A nicely made Imperial Stout with a light bourbon barrel presence. Hides the 11% abv well.

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Photo of BB1313
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage. 750mL corked & caged bottle poured into a tulip. Pours almost black with a dark khaki head that fades leaving great retention and nice lacing. The aromas are great. Tons of whiskey blended perfectly with the chocolate notes. The whiskey notes might even overpower the aromas, but it doesn't diminish everything else going on. There's also hints of sweet coconut in the mix. The flavors seem to follow the nose. Lots of whiskey notes. Lots of milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Hints of vanilla and coconut. The wood/oak notes are there, but subtle. The rye notes are present, especially in the finish. Everything is bold and rich, but balanced. It's on the sweeter side, but it's definitely not cloying. There's a very subtle warmth in the finish, but it's absolutely not boozy. Alcohol basically goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is great. It's full-bodied with active carbonation, but remains fluffy and creamy. It's velvety and smooth. Dangerously drinkable.

This is a great barrel aged stout. It's up there with some of my favorite barrel aged stouts that I've had. The whiskey shines while allowing the other ingredients to shine as well. Very fun to drink. The craftsmanship is very impressive. Highly recommended.

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Photo of srmikes
3.77/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice looking stout with a light brown head. A sweet smell with a definite alcohol potency. Taste is a nice deep malty flavor with notes of chocolate. Can easily feel the bourbon smack you in the mouth while drinking. Nice to have once, but won't be buying again.

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Photo of jwhancher
4.92/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours black with dense, large foamy tan head. After initial pour, head demonstrates two shades of color one atop the other. Never saw this before. Pretty cool looking.

Smells of chocolate & vanilla, light oak, bourbon, reason, fig, prune, chewy caramel candy bar, spicy rye. Has an earthy, woody overall tone to it.

Tastes upfront vanilla, bourbon, with waves of cola, root beer, chocolate. Very smooth and luscious. No hit alcohols or solvent notes. No off flavors. Medium full feel. Pleasantly balanced. A bit warming.

Overall, a real treat. Everything I look for in a bourbon wood aged stout. Nicely done and a beer I would definitely come back to.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice, big imperial stout, black as pitch with aromas of chocolate and espresso. Sweet molasses and coffee flavors, smooth and roasty with bittersweet chocolate. Full-bodied and smooth with no perceptible carbonation. A solid stout.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.91/5  rDev +18%
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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Imperial Stout from Boulevard Brewing Co.
4.16 out of 5 based on 1,320 ratings.
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