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Imperial Stout | Boulevard Brewing Co.

373 Reviews
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States | website

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
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Reviews: 373 | Ratings: 1,295
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 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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Photo of bobhits
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So far Boulevard has been mostly miss with darker beers in the smoke house series. Sour notes are fine but the sour elements often turn the mouth feel to a thin and poorly carbonated feel that simply does not match the flavor. Thankfully they hit the ball out of the ball park with this one!

Pours a huge fizzy head, dark coffee and cream like color, but thin and rather unimpressive. The body is dark brown with a good bit of depth and density.

The first smell brings out hints of light sour notes, but once the foam subsides fruits and dark chocolates and coffee come out to join vanilla and oak.

A very fruity stout with hints of sour quickly squelched by cream, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark and light fruits. This is a very fruity stout. Alcohol flavors with almost some rum like notes finish at the end.

I'm pretty darn sold on this one. I'm hoping this is a relatively easy to get barrel aged stout. It's seriously good.

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Photo of gonzo000
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep dark black color with no head to speak of. The small was nice, roasted notes and coconut. The taste was more mellow than a bourbon stout, some of the cocoanut taste, sweet, very smooth and nice. the 11.8 was hidden well.

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Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This reminds me of Black Note very much...in that it is full of chocolate with a nice balance of bourbon to counter without being overly assertive. Mouthfeel is on the heavier side of medium and a bit creamy, just like BN also. You definitely get the rye and a subtle amount of Belgian yeast. Again, this is a beautifully balanced beer and definitely solid, really glad I got to try it. There is an amazing red hue to the beer when you have it near a stronger than average light source...very cool.

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Photo of PhillyJ
4.87/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Boulevard got it right with this one. This is a greatly balanced complex barrel aged stout. The pour is beautiful with decent head and retention. The smell is boozy with rich chocolate and roast. The taste follows suite with a bold bourbon quickly trumped by chocolate roast into a balanced bitter that's quenched by a returning subtle bourbon wetness. This is my favorite boulevard brew and hope it's stays a regular in the lineup..

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Photo of WeedWolf
4.69/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Deep black with significant light mocha head. Good retention with lacing. Classic imperial stout in the sexiest way.
Smell: Boozy and rich. Hints of chocolate and coffee bean as well as dark cherry. Almost more whiskey then stout.
Flavor: Incorporates all elements of the aroma but with more potency. Whiskey throughout!
Feel: Juicy but not very thick. A bit of burn at first but as it warms becomes very smooth.

Overall: This bottle is from 2013 and I have had it multiple times since its first bottling. It might be at its peak delishisnous as of now... Very nice. Almost perfect for its style.

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Photo of mcrawford
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle, pours black with a half inch dark tan head. Aroma of sweet malt, vanilla, and bourbon. Subtle bourbon presence on the palate, lively, and fresh even a year after bottling which must be from the regular imperial stout that's blended in with the barrel aged. Dark fruits, vanilla, light roastyness. Not as in your face as other barrel aged stouts which is a nice change of pace but it's still interesting and it's extremely well balanced. Overall I really liked Boulevard's take on the barrel aged stout.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Stateline Liquors in Elkton, MD.

This one pours a dark deep black, with a solid mocha head, about one inch, and a small amount of lacing.

Smells like bourbon, vanilla, heavy roast, oak, and chocolate syrup.

This is a really underrated and excellent BA stout. There's a pretty big amount of barrel character for this one only being partially barrel-aged. There's some sweet and earthy bourbon, rich dark Belgian-style chocolate, some good vanilla, and some spicy oak. This has everything you want in a barrel-aged stout, and is honestly way easier to find than a lot of the similarly good examples. It's not the most upper echelon, but it's still awesome.

This is fairly thick bodied and creamy, with a moderate level of carbonation, and a really high level of drinkability.

This is a really awesome imperial stout.

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4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes dated 7/30/15.

A monstrous head is caramel brown in color and easily reaches four fingers and still almost comes over the top of my glass. It turns rocky as it fades very slowly and leaves a drapery of thick lace. Body of the beer is sludgy pure thick blackness that is a dark as it gets. The nose is incredibly zesty and full of spicy tones that really penetrate the senses. There is a hint of coco that comes through as the smell warms and develops. Now the taste is a very creamy one with layers of very dark fruits and dark chocolates. The chocolate feel comes more forward and becomes thick and sweet all over the mouth. The flavor really is big cloying thickness. Mouthfeel is coating and sludgy thick. Drinkability is slightly hurt by the common theme of thickness.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into tulip 2/9/15

A black liquid with a deep cola edge, a short lived noisy dark foam falls in seconds leaving zero lace

S a fair bit of barrel considering only a portions aged, I'm guessing rye, some vanilla, licorice, dried, dark fruit, some spice, cinnamon perhaps? bakers chocolate, a little booze but its mellow

T spice of all sorts, again a fair amount of barrel, I'm not sure if It's Belgian yeast I'm getting but there's something in the background I can't place, comes off charred compared to the nose

M has some weight and the bubbles cream it up, well concealed heat, a little grit might be tannins, just a little sticky on the lips, spicy chocolate finish

O solid big ass stout with some interesting aspects, spice plays a big part and barrels working well, booze is well hidden and all around its worth trying

I'm not having any problems taking down the big bottle solo, another great brew from the smokestack, a little pricey but I'm not upset dropping the cash

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

750 ml bottle into a snifter. 2014 edition.

Pours dark and opaque, with a two finger head of medium tan foam. Lots of foamy cling. Smells of lightly roasted malts, bourbon, caramel, vanilla, molasses, some chocolate and coffee. Taste follows the nose with the malts, bourbon and vanilla. Quite a bit more chocolate than nose, more coffee, too. Some raisins and oak, some bitterness on the back end. Smooth and creamy, full bodied.

Really nice beer, flavorful and easy drinking for the ABV. Less malt intensity than most big Imperial Stouts. Softer bourbon presence, too.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml caged and corked bottle, 2014 version, another in a line of awesome second wave Boulevard products to make their way into Alberta of late - good on ya, Horizon.

This beer pours a rather solid black abyss, with the barest of red cola basal edges when pressed against the late-August sunshine drifting into my basement, with four aggressive fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and mildly creamy tan head, which leaves some stellar pockmarked concrete wall lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of lightly toasted, and somewhat meaty caramel malt, bittersweet cocoa, black licorice, cafe-au-lait, subtle barrel notes - astringent and soused wood staves, and maybe some dry vanilla - ethereal black fruit, and a hovering alcohol warming. The taste is semi-sweet, grainy caramel malt, a bit of biscuity, chocolate-ensconced toffee, more black licorice nibs, subtle and thus genial coffee beans, a surprising (until you actually read the damned label) low-key barrel-bred character - wood and spice-tinted vanilla, mostly - an evolving dark orchard fruitiness (plums and overripe cherries), and a sidling, sort of indecisive booze acridity.

The bubbles are fairly understated in their timid and hard to come by frothiness, the body a heady medium-heavy weight, and generally smooth, with a decent creaminess being generated as things warm. It finishes sweet, the caramel, cocoa, licorice, vanilla, and yes, boozy-booze all contributing to my imminent downfall.

Overall, a rather agreeable, and haltingly approachable big-ass stout, the barrel treatment a forgettable sideshow at best. What one should really concern themselves with here is the sexy, unadorned stout metrics thus described, and all working so well together, in the face of a threatening, but not quite yet engaging 22-proof alcohol measure - which shall resolve itself soon enough.

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Photo of JayWhitson
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 bottle from craftbeerkings.com

phenomenal bourbon aged imperial stout with the only real aspect in which to criticize is it's slightly over carbonated ... other wise it's something to be shared and I did try but no one showed up so put down the bottle myself and had a wonderful time doing so

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

A: Dark. Black, for the most part. Medium to dark brown on the edges if you really look. Mocha, foamy, 2 finger head with good retention. Same mocha foam briefly sticks to glass on swirl.

N: Roast. Chocolate. Faint oak and some sweetness. Some alcohol/whiskey heat on the nose. Peat smokiness as it warms. Really opens up and, as I'm typing this, bumped the smell from 4.25 to 4.5 because of the peat character. Very nice.

T: Follows the nose for the most part, and that's a positive. Mild chocolate. Lighter roast than expected, but it works. Earthy character from the barrel, oak. A little raisin. The oat in the malt bill is present and noticeable. Very well balanced with a well received bitterness as it finishes. Less heat than the nose would suggest.

M: Soft and coating. Actually pretty darn good MF. The oats are apparent and they carry this beer's MF, for the most part. A little thin - could use a tad bit more body. Not bad though.

O: Surprised I like it this much. I wasn't expecting for it to be this good - not sure why (??). Boulevard consistently does a very good job, and this one doesn't disappoint. Glad I bought 2.

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Photo of LloydDobler
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An even pour left a large, milk chocolate head. The nose had almost a sweet raisin scent with coffee. The taste was was a lot of sweet malt with a smooth boozieness that tied all the flavors together nicely. Thin and delicate feel for the style(I like it) and perfect carbonation. This is a winner in my book.

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Photo of chicagobeerguy
3.74/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Friend picked one 750 ml 2014 bottle for me from KC.

A- Rich creamy black color, dark amber red head with bubbles, medium lacing

S- toffee, dark fruits, coffee, slight smell of the whiskey barrels, toasted malts, sweet malts, a smidge of chocolate.

T- Starts off slightly bitter and unsmooth, grows in body and taste and ends on a sweeter note, goes from slight bourbon taste with coffee to sweet malts and toffee, ends with the taste of dark fruits, can savor long after the sip.

M- Soft and slightly sticky, medium carbonation, not harsh, flavor of bourbon but not the burn

O- Very complex flavors and texture, slightly off taste at first but finishes well.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.98/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2014 Version. Pours black with tan hue along the rim with a wisp of khaki tan head and tiny bubbles that don't quit dancing on top. Aroma is heavy of bourbon and wood. Flavor is phenomenal with the chocolate and coffee layered with molasses and sweet dark fruits. Alcohol burn on the finish from the whiskey barrel aging with a pretty well rounded body and great texture. Took a gamble on this one and it was pretty amazing!

2016 Update.
2015 version. Black ink pour and aroma of dark fruits. Flavors of phenolic sugar, bourbon, vanilla, and enormous amounts dark fruits. Smooth feel and goes down way to easily. Glad to have this again and hope to land it again. Cheers and enjoy!

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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.

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Photo of danh53
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with a huge tan head. This is the 2013 vintage so I'm pleasantly surprised to see the carbonation so active. Layers of flavor just keep coming and everything is so well integrated. I get lots of chocolate, malt, and coffee. The dark fruit adds depth of flavor and the whiskey barrel adds some oak and slight alcohol bite. This exceeded expectations. Would definitely get this again.

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Imperial Stout from Boulevard Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 373 ratings.
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