Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Rye-on-Rye | Boulevard Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
388 Reviews
Rye-on-RyeRye-on-Rye
BEER INFO

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

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Why Rye? This assertively flavorful grain is more often associated with whiskey than with ales. Even in that arena, it has largely been eclipsed by corn and barley, the sources of bourbon and scotch. But when we procured some seasoned barrels from our friends at Templeton Rye, we asked ourselves, “Why not?” Why not brew a rich, tawny rye ale, then mellow it in the warmth of charred oak rye whiskey casks? Two kinds of malted rye provide spicy sweetness, giving way to notes of caramelized wood and the citrusy tang of Perle, Magnum, and Saphir hops before easing into a dry, lingering finish.

47 IBU

Added by wagenvolks on 02-16-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
388
Ratings:
1,654
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
21.77%
 
 
Wants:
274
Gots:
510
For Trade:
27
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 388 | Ratings: 1,654
Photo of TwelveOunces
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 Bottle poured into a Boulevard tulip

A- Pours very hazy and murky. A light brown orange. A large light tan colored head with surprising retention. Impressive alcohol legs as well. A dank and intense looking beer.

S- Smells like whiskey and I like it. A good rye presence as well, somewhat spicy and cold. A lot of caramel and sweet malts. A bit of char as well.

T- A slight fruity bitterness at first. A bit of dark fruit in this beer. A lot of figs and plums and rum soaked raisins. A massive smooth caramel malt. A lot of wood character and charred oak as well. The rye in this beer is spicy and has a live mouth feel. A good amount of whiskey flavors in this beer that compliments the rest of the brew. No alcohol taste, very well hidden. Faded hop flavor but some hop bitterness.

M- A thick and strong beer but quite balanced and drinkable. Warming. High carbonation but its smooth in the glass.

O- This is my new favorite Boulevard beer. A great barrel aged strong ale and interesting take on rye.

 1,014 characters

Photo of daledeee
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 750 ml Special Edition bottle.

Poured this into my new Stone glass.

I got an auburn colored clear body with minor head but some lacing.

The smell is quite interesting. This beer really does have a whiskey note to it.

Taste: Everybody is into whiskey barrel aged beer these days, but this one is actually whiskey tasting. Up front that is the first thing I noticed. Then there is a hint of mustiness, malt with hops, caramel and some fruit(not really dark, but not light).

The impression I get from this beer is that if I was blindfolded I would think it was a barleywine. It's not super hoppy. It's not super malty but it has many nice flavors and lots of boozy warmth. Looking at the label shows 12%. This is definitely the strongest rye beer and a different rye beer since most of them have leaned toward hoppy IPAs. I like this unique beer and it is definitely a keeper. Top shelf all the way.

 905 characters

Photo of CHADMC3
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a whsikey colored caramel brown with copper hues beneath the eruption of cream-tan head which leaves scattered lacing and a constant ring atop the beer.

So much going on in the nose including notes of caramel malty sweetness, rye, oak, yeast and then an entire second layer of all of it.

The flavor starts off with generous spicy rye with caramel malt and as it warms the whiskey oak really kicks in and it gets a touch spicier. I cannot express enough the depth of character in this beer and all that it offers the senses.

Tis brew offers an enormous body, not necessarily thick but certainly coating to the palate with generous carbonation and a biting, boozy finish.

What a beer! Just plain awesome and so much character to entertain the senses.

 758 characters

Photo of Lunny777
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mm. Delicious.

The 2014 vintage has more barrel char and smokiness in the nose and taste, and a touch of white pepper, relative to my memory of previous Rye-on-Rye offerings. Not much alcohol heat or sweetness, as the high abv may suggest. To me, the 2013 rye-on-rye was the perfect adult candy, with more of the malty sweet and vanilla flavors of barrel aging. 2013 was much sweeter. I'm not sure which flavor profile I like better. This beer is incredible.

 460 characters

Photo of hreb
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750mL cork-and-cage topped bottle served in a chalice glass. I am a big fan of rye so I've been excited to finally taste this, though the ABVs seem killer in this big bottle. Best by 11-2015 but I couldn't wait a day longer. Beer pours amber in color with a medium tan head. Intense fruity aroma of raisins and plums, very much reminiscent of barley wine. Or rye wine? And quite a bit of oak in there too, suggesting oaked California Chardonnay. Flavor delivers both the sharp edge of rye graininess and the rich, overwhelming rush of barleywine. And of course the course vanilla and bourbon flavors of the barrel. Yeah, I could easily believe these barrels once held rye bourbon. Boulevard's ingredients list mentions a couple of adjunct sugars, which no doubt pumped up the alcohol as well as left some residual sweetness. though 2.8°P final gravity is pretty freaking low. But where was I? Oh yes, this beer is fantastic, you should drink it.

As previously mentioned I'm a huge fan of rye beers (Lenny's RIPA is a favorite) and this beer takes rye in a totally different direction. Rye and hop bitterness play really well together. But an IPA this is not. It is, however, a fantastic barleywine, and a fantastic way to showcase oak aging. And also a really delicious rye beer.

 1,281 characters

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

An excellent clear, copper red body with a big, fat, thick and creamy white head. Foam clings stubbornly to the glass...

Excellent rye spiciness in the nose with a soft malt grain character. A bit of red licorice is in there as well.

Bold rye and barley taste, well-balanced. Somewhat sour. Soft bitterness sneaks up on you, fading nicely in the finish.

Heavy mouthfeel with a wet, juicy feel in the mouth.

One of the best rye beers I've encountered in a while. Good balance between the grains, hops not overly assertive in the aroma but coming through well in the bittering department. An excellent rye quaff!

 614 characters

Photo of zonker17
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 release consumed 4/6/2016. Pours a brown color with 1 finger head that drops to a film. Clean nose with wood, other awesomeness I can't properly describe. Bridges the gap between old ale and barley wine. Not as heavy as BW but many of the flavors/ Medium heavy body and moderate carbonation. Sad to see this one go.

 320 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 5/15/10

Bottle No. 5858, Batch No. 2010-1, Best Buy 01/13

Many thanks to mhewes

Pours a dark brown; once in the glass it has almost a plum or dense crimson bent. A multitude of small particles drift slowly throughout. Slightly hazy, this is nearly impenetrable beer. Despite over two fingers of head from the pour, retention is very thin. Scant lacing.

This is seriously a rye bomb; rye-on-rye, indeed. Rye malts come through distinctly & are augmented by the rye whiskey barrel aging. Whiskey is at the fore with hints of charred oak & vanilla. The aroma is also airy & smooth, with a notable boozy swoon. Maybe a few wisps of earthy hops come through.

A mild earthy hop sizzle hits upfront. From there on, it's all about the rye - spicy & oh, so tasty. Rye breadiness is at the core, with the rye whiskey flavor acting as a panoramic augmentation. Vanilla notes are prevalent as well. Hints of oak & charcoal help to solidify the flavors. I'm tired of typing rye; suffice to say, the taste is exceptional.

Rye-on-Rye is basically full bodied. It isn't lacking density, that is. Carbonation is moderately low; allowing for an expressive flavor profile. Alcohol is apparent most of the time, though not excessively hot. Notes of whiskey, rye malt & vanilla hang on the finish.

Considering the intensity of the beer, drinkability is is good. It's a sipper for sure, but well worth investing the time it requires. Every time I've had a Boulevard beer I really wish they distributed to Ohio; this is no different.

 1,543 characters

Photo of kcillini77
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Martin City Brewpub - $7 for a tulip glass.

I bought a bottle of this that's sitting in my refrigerator, but wanted to try it on tap.

Whiskey is the dominant aroma, but the spicy malt dominates the taste with a nice whiskey backdrop.

Extremely flavorful and pleasant to drink. Wouldn't know it was 11% if I wasn't familiar with it. Looking forward to my bottle.

 374 characters

Photo of mschind
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I looked for this while on a trip to KC but was told it sold out in the stores in about two weeks. Back home in Sacramento I find that Total Wine still has plenty!

A- pours the color of an old penny, slightly hazy with a thin, creamy and persistent head.

S- A well balanced combination of rye, whiskey barrel, booze and vanilla. No hops.

T- Starts sweet and boozy followed by a rich malt flavor and then dark cherries. Rye spice and a bit of heat from the alcohol leave a nice clean finish.

M- This is a strong as some barely wines I've had but it somehow maintains a lighter body without any syrupy sweetness. I like the bit of heat toward the end. Smooth carbonation helps keep things on the light side.

O- Malt and wood forward with no discernible hop flavor or aroma but just enough bitterness to provide balance. A classic to look forward to each year.

 862 characters

Photo of SaxmanRick
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Tasting my last 2013 bottle (750ml) - the previous were a bit young/hot, this has finally hit nirvana.

Very creamy, beautiful 2" head with fabulous lacing. Mid-brown/golden color.

Smell of spicy malts, maybe a little funk. Complex.

Taste is no longer hot, very blended...spicy rye, light barrel and rye whisky tastes. So very smooth. Bready, slight sweetness. But, the rye taste is dominant, yet not overwhelming, just well-developed. No apologies for tasting like rye...just surprised how balanced and smooth it all is.

Mouthfeel is 5 out of 5. You'd think it was on nitro. The creaminess helped blend all the fine flavors. This is what put it over the top. Delicious.

Overall, this bottle really needed a few year on it. But, as beer geeks will know, that's one of the thrills of aging a truly premier brew. I now regret not saving more...any left?

 867 characters

Photo of GeezLynn
4.51/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Dim reddish brown, with an ample white head. Great retention.
S: Sweet caramel malt, earthy rye, a bit of fruityness accented by a nice bit of whiskey and cherries. One of the most memorable beers I’ve smelled in the last year.
T: Flavor is a throwdown between the smooth sweet caramel malt and the brash spicy rye, ending with a quick kick of whiskey. Slight alcohol burn is noticeable, but not out of place for 12%. Otherwise, the whiskey is nicely integrated. Finishes pretty clean with the slightest bitterness.
M: Soft, fine carbonation with a medium body results in a pretty smooth mouthfeel.

I have to commend Boulevard on making an aggressive, whiskey barrel enhanced beer where all the other desirable attributes are also readily apparent. Easily my favorite Smokestack Series beer. If you like rye and whiskey, this is your beer.

 845 characters

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

Rye-on-Rye opens with a malty, smoky, charcoal-and-bourbon aroma that makes immediately apparent the beer’s barrel aging. The whiskey notes are upfront and potent, but not so much that they overpower everything else. Behind them lies a lovely layer of sugars and fruit esters, including heavy dollops of fig, raisin, and prune, as well as molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, pepper, and baking bread. A thin grapefruit and pine layer notes hops, adding citrusy and resin complexity that meshes well with the whiskey. As a whole, the nose is very enticing, and while it can pessimistically take on somewhat of a cola/Dr. Pepper syrup note, the whiskey barrel aging nicely combats this and brings out an alcoholic liquor addition that works very well.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a surprisingly large blast of hops, sending pink grapefruit, pine resin, and lemon washing across the tastebuds. Against this onslaught the other flavors are temporarily opaque, but do slowly come through in syrupy raisin, fig, and prune fruit esters, as well as a noticeable peppery, woody whiskey-like alcohol burn that tingles the soft palate and goes up the nose. Thick brown breads and threads of vanilla become more apparent later in the mouthful, joined by toasted nuts. In subsequent sips the whiskey aging becomes even more apparent, coloring the fruit esters and breads with a nice woody, charcoal-whiskey tone. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main flavors, with surprisingly strong lingering sweet sugars and woodiness, and lasts for a good while. Mouthfeel is a dry (especially in the aftertaste) medium to medium-strong, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is quite delicious fare, and it seems a very wise choice on Boulevard’s part to do a 67% rye whiskey barrel-aged/33% ale mix, as this option provides the beer with both a full, round, flavorful sugary malt base, as well as a nice whiskey overtone that plays off of the other flavors, rather than dominating them (as can happen with 100% barrel-aged beers). The heavy 11% ABV is noticeable throughout the entire mouthful, marking one of the beer’s few weaknesses, but even here that sensation mostly blends well, reminding of the beer’s origins. Very much worth trying.

 2,242 characters

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

(Served in a tulip glass)
Batch 2012.2 bottle # 14071
A- This beer pours a hazy dense glowing caramel brown body with a sea of racing microbubbles colliding with a thick beige head that last and last sticking to the glass with each sip.

S- The sweet malt and spicy alcohol lead to a paper straw and then green oak barrel aroma with some caramel malt in the finish. There is a soft fusel note and the aroma keeps growing as it opens.

T- The rich dry spicy malt has some buttery caramel flavor with a circus peanut yeast ester growing as does the rich caramel wood finish. The gentle sweetness in the finish is cut by the slight fusel alcohol taste that lingers. Some nice vanilla notes pop through as the depth and flavor grows.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a nice alcohol warmth that grows along with the flavor.

O- The nice sweetness of malt is supported by spice earthy rye and alcohol with a full barrel flavor. This is a great sipper.

 945 characters

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

Poured into a snifter. Low carbonation. Beautiful reddish brown color.

67% of this beer was aged in a rye barrel. Admittedly it was difficult for my nose to sense the difference in a rye barrel aroma versus a bourbon barrel aroma, etc. Regardless, it smelled fantastic. The barrel did not hold back.

The taste was slightly bitter up front followed by a rush of rye. The rye taste was beautiful. I tasted zero hops. I noticed a buttery aftertaste. I do not know what created this, but it worked.

I liked this beer, but it did not inspire me like I hoped it would.

I’ll have another.

 591 characters

Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

2014 vintage

A: poured into a snifter to a deep reddish brown topped by a finger and a half of dense light tan head
S: smell is spicy rye, caramel, vanilla and wood
T: taste is rye, whiskey, caramel, vanilla, oak, slight alcohol burn, and some fruity alcohol. swallow is more spicy rye, whiskey barrel, caramel and vanilla.
M: fairly full in the mouth with slightly prickly carb and a slightly dry finish
O: this beer kills it plain and simple. it's smooth, complex and just so good. Definitely one of my favorite Boulevard beers that I look forward to seeing again next year.

 586 characters

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

Enjoyed on tap at Bier Station on the second day of the 2014 vintage's release, so it's as fresh as possible. I've had previous vintages out of the bottle, but never this close to release. I'm also curious to see how it compares to the bottle of 2013 I'm currently sitting on. Served in a 12 oz Belgian tulip glass.

Appearance - Body is a murky burgundy-brown, with sangria red highlights at the edges where the light passes through. Atop the body sits a one-and-a-half finger head of vanilla white dense, frothy foam. Retention is good, and it leaves traces and spatters of lace intermittently around the glass.

Smell - Light vanilla, oak, caramelized sugar, rye spiciness and hints of black pepper, faint leather-like tannins, and esters from the whiskey.-soaked wood. There is some subtle fruit there as well, like dried figs or dates perhaps, but the sweetness from the wood and grain is more prevalent.

Taste - Toasted rye bread, white pepper, vanilla, toffee and some hints of a deeper sweetness, like molasses. The heat from the alcohol is certainly obvious, but balances well with the sweetness from caramel malts and rye grain. Of course, I'm a huge fan of rye, so the doubling down just makes for a richer, deeper experience of the specialty grain. Some light astringency from the whisky on the finish, but it also lends a touch of smokiness.

Mouthfeel - Body is on the heavy side of medium==nice and chewy--with moderate carbonation and a semisweet finish with a lingering bitterness that is a nice reminder of the sip you just took. Not at all syrupy, but does have a slightly viscous quality to it.

Overall, this is a fantastic and pretty unique offering from Boulevard. Not many people are dabbling in Templeton barrel-aged rye beers. It's hard to compare to my other favorite rye beer, since this one is barrel aged and the other one is far more aggressively hopped, but it's probably safe to say that this one is pretty close to tied for best in style in my mind. I look forward to it's annual release every year.

 2,034 characters

Photo of BMoney575
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 5-14-10
Bottle no. 8953 of 12148
Batch 2010-1
Bottled on 1-13-10

Pours a hazy blood red color with millions of little floaters. The head is big and off-white, with big rings of lacing.

Smell is all rye whiskey, sweet and buttery. Slightly fruity with a very pleasant hit of oak. Perfect balance of whiskey and beer.

Taste is very tart at first, followed by an immense kick of rye whiskey. The booze is hot and really adds a cool hardcore character.

Mouthfeel is slick and creamy, with tight carbonation to remind you it's a beer.

Drinkability is very good, flavors are awesome.

Overall, get some.

 613 characters

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

Bottle split with my wife last night. Beer is brown with some haze but it clears as the beer warms slightly. Forms a nice two finger head that lasts a long time of tiny off white bubbles. Bubbles fall away leaving a ton of lacing on the walls of the glass. Carbonation is moderate. Looks great.

Aroma is kind of sweet, some liquor but its not overpowering, mildly hot, has a nice rye to it.

Beer is medium to full in body with a creamy mouthfeel. There is a lot of sweetness up front but its not cloying. It finishes a little dry but overall the syrupy flavors in the front are good and it gives way to this nice whiskey flavor in the middle. Its a great barrel aged beer and I would definitely have it again.

 711 characters

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

Bottle #19028 From 2012 with a best by date of 02-2014
Poured into snifter

Appearance: A dark mahogany color with very minimal cream colored head. Maybe one finger worth and that's being generous. This settled to a small ring along the edges of the glass. I can see some tiny bubbles rising to the top when held directly to the light.

Smell: Whiskey up front with the spice from the rye. Big time sweet notes of caramel, toffee and booze soaked dark fruit with a ton of vanilla and oak. This one reminds me so much of an English style barleywine like Sucaba in the nose. An intoxicating smelling beer.

Taste: Sweet caramel, toffee and vanilla initially and then the rye hits mid palate. I am also getting the dark fruit component and the charred oak complements everything perfectly. The whiskey is quite evident producing a leather like taste and a warming alcohol effect. The finish is simply awesome with the rye and whiskey lingering through the entire swallow. The sweet caramel and breadiness also stick around between sips.

Mouthfeel: A fairly full body here with a good amount of carbonation. This beer covers all corners of my mouth with a sticky sweetness but not cloying by any means.

Overall: An interesting complex beer to say the least. There is so much going on that each sip elicits a different reaction from me. Sweet but spicy and the barrel is done to perfection in this beer. A sipper but one I can't stop sipping! I'm glad I bought two of these because this is one hell of an enjoyable beer.

 1,521 characters

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Phyl21ca for sending us this brew in a great trade.

Bottle No. 5802 bottled on January 2012.

A: A rich clear hue of whisky suggestive of the flavour waiting within. Topped with a pale tan head and poured just a scant finger worth.

S: A warm oaky smell similar to the inside of a cigar box, sweet maltiness lead the way with a solid rye whisky scent and spicy notes. Some alcohol esters towards the back end that compliment the warm woody and grainy scent.

T: Opens with a full on rye whisky flavour, sweet pale malts, spicy, woody, grainy, slightly smokey and warming through with alcohol esters that compliment the flavours. Hops show through at the front and compliment the rye and grains.

M: Carbonation is low while the alcohol esters warm the mouth livening the flavours. Medium to heavy body that clings pleasantly.

O: Incredibly delicious and offers the rye whisky flavour and smoky wood that's soul satifying and comforting. Incredibly bold flavours that are perfect on every front. I'm not even a whisky lover, but this might change my mind.

 1,075 characters

Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden and brownish. Kind of foggy with a light colored head.

S: Smells awesome! Malt, brown sugar, big hops, and booze.

T: This drinks very similar to a barleywine. I get caramel, rye bread, seed, toast, honey, lots of hops, brown sugar, malt, and a nice spice on the end. Very tasty.

M: Pretty damn thick.

O: So glad I got this at the bar. A little pricier than the others, but definitely worth it. I'll be getting the bottle when I go to the shop next. Cheers!

 474 characters

Photo of NovoAleMan
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A fine rye ale.

Appearance is nice, rich, and orange. Pleasant to see.

Smell...well, you can easily smell the rye. It is pleasant to the nostrils, not too lingering. Also has a very slight hint of fruit.

Taste is excellent. Rich, not overbearing.

The mouth-feel is quite smooth. It is a relatively drinkable rye ale.

Important to note it is a strong beer. 12.0% ABV means one should not trifle with it. Still, an excellent beer.

 433 characters

Photo of Beerlover
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first experience with a boulevard bomber...and I loved it! medium to dark brown in color, unfiltered with a 1 inch foamy khaki head. there is a definite mediumly strong aroma of sweet bourbon and some slight rye. the taste is great! again the sweet bourbonyness takes the forefront, but there is some pleasant rye undertones that are pretty solid, unfortunately the rye flavor subsides after the first few drinks. this beer has a great body and mouthfeel as well, moderately low carbonation. this is a rich sipper for sure but nothing the experienced bourbon/beer/bourbon beer drinker cant take on on his own. great beer and good for the cellar too!

 661 characters

Photo of CrazyQuaker
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2013-1. There was no bottle # on this year's series

I reviewed this beer last year, and it turned out to be on of my favorite beers of all time. So here goes my 2013 review...

First, the beer got off to a bad start because of the bottling. No bottle number, first of all, and secondly, the wire around the cork broke, and did not untwist. I am a very attention-detailed person, so whether or not this was Boulevard's fault is one thing. But it was a pain to get the wire off once it broke. Could have been a much better opening experience. Now for the beer...

I used a small brandy snifter this year. Appearance was good. Rich dark amber color, about a 2 finger rich cream colored head. A little lacing that didn't stick around long. Lacing was outstanding when I took a sip. The carbonation bubbles rising in the brandy snifter looked awesome.

The aroma was very whiskey-intense, with a touch of licorice and some other spice. I was so perplexed with this spice, I literally smelled about 30 spices in my spice rack to try to figure out what it was, and I still can't put my finger on it. Regardless, the beer smelled wonderful.

This beer has always had an excellent mouth feel, and this year is no different. Not too thick, not too thin.

The first flavor is outstanding. Very strong whiskey-alcohol to start, but quickly fades to a sweet and spicy-vanilla flavor, which follows again by a lingering whiskey taste. The alcohol slightly burns, but not too much, giving this beer what I think is its best quality. It's a super-strong beer, and it holds its own in that category. Just like last year, the beer gets better as it warms slightly. I got my best taste from the glass after about 20 minutes of sipping.

Overall, this beer has become my favorite Smokestack series. It has surpassed Tank 7. I do think last year's brew was a little better, but don't get me wrong, the 2013 batch will impress you. Again, use caution, as this is a 12% abv (last year's was 11%), so this is not for the weak at heart or liver.

Good job Boulevard.

Batch 2012-1 Bottle #7023

Appearance is a deep muddy red, about an inch and a half of almost-white foamy head, and I was surprised to get little to no lacing. Maybe the glass choice I picked (standard top-rounded pint)?

Aroma is nice; definitely a whiskey barrel wood scent with a really nice maltiness. More wood to me than malt.

This beer is pretty complex to me. Starts out sweet (whiskey-ness), but the middle gets complicated. A little caramel, and some type of citrus I can't put my finger on. Then you get the whiskey again, rye and malt, which gives it a pretty good wow factor, plus a bit of alcohol taste. Finish is slightly dry, but has a lingering sweetness; characteristics I like a lot.

It feels good on the mouth, not too thick, not too thin and very smooth. As this beer gets warmer in the glass, it presents a lot more whiskey dominance, but it's like your sipping it with water, which I personally enjoy. It does not present hard alcohol characteristics.

Overall, this is probably going to be one of my favorite smokestacks, next to Tank 7. But this could be dangerous since it is so smooth. Bottle says 11% abv so you'd have to be careful with it.

My friend Chris got this for me as a b-day gift (it's really hard to find special release smokestacks in the KC area because they sellout really fast). I appreciate this a lot. Thanks Chris.

 3,413 characters

Rye-on-Rye from Boulevard Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 388 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe