Dark Truth
Boulevard Brewing Co.

Dark TruthDark Truth
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,860
Ranked #5,551
4.01 | pDev: 10.72%
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States
Dark TruthDark Truth
Notes: Throughout the ages, man has been fascinated by the quest for hidden knowledge, the search for the secret to transforming the elemental into the extraordinary, the simple into the sublime. Ladies and gentlemen, we present for your consideration this exotic, inky concoction, the almost magical creation of our modern day alchemists who have turned humble grains—barley, wheat, rye, and oats—into black, liquid gold. Layers of complex flavors slowly emerge from the glass: espresso, roasted fig, crème brulée. Belgian yeast provides a plum-like fruitiness, noble German hops reveal spicy, herbal notes, while the rich, velvety mouthfeel mellows to a dry, smoky finish.

60 IBU
Reviews: 774 | Ratings: 2,673
Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle - nice that these come in singles up here, instead of those insanely pricey 4-packs.

This beer pours a solid black abyss, with scant amber basal edges, and a teeming tower of puffy, rocky, and somewhat bubbly brown head, which leaves some decent complex random splattered lace around the glass as it slowly but surely abates.

It smells of well-roasted caramel malt, bittersweet cocoa powder, cafe-au-lait, a dry oily nuttiness, and some understated earthy, leafy, and spicy green hop bitters. The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, some free-range char, day-old coffee, medium dark chocolate, a hint of anise spice, some tame black fruitiness, tobacco smoke, and more weak leafy, musty, and floral verdant hoppiness.

The carbonation is adequate in its palate-supporting frothiness, the body a dense medium weight, and mostly smooth, with just a touch of ashiness maybe not playing nice with the other children here. It finishes trending dry, but not absolutely so.

Overall - this is a serviceable and enjoyable enough version of the style, with lots of robust flavours. Not yet mentioned, of course, is the nigh 10 points of the ol' boozy-booze, and why is that, one might ask? Because I can find zero trace of it, that's why. For now.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle purchased at brewery 8/22/17 and taken good care of since. Poured into belgian ale glass and allowed to warm. Bottle says good until 7/14/19.

L: 2F head with good retention. Leaves some nice tan lacing and a fluffy tan cap and ring. Beer is dark brown and you can see a more regular brown on the edges.

S: I'm getting roasted grains and dark fruits.

T: Lots of roasted grains and citrus character from the hops. Some dark fruits. A tad bitter on the finish. Kind of old school, which is not bad.

F: Medium to full-bodied, not much carbonation. Construction is quite good, balance pretty good. Doesnt quite deliver on that dry smoky finish, but one can't have everything. Reminds me of a slight frillier Carton Unjunct.

O: It's good. Not as complex as it thinks it is.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Tampa Bay Brewing Company snifter glass.

A: Dark brown to the extreme - essentially black - and opaque. A thick creamy tan head with great retention. Streams of visible carbonation bubbles up the sides of the glass.

S: Mocha, pipe tobacco, and dry roasted malts. Overall fairly low.

T: Sweet chocolate, medium-roasted malts that have less bitter than the nose suggested. Some tobacco and green coffee. A touch of dark fruit and cacao at the end. Roasty and hop bitterness with some citrus fruit character in the hang. The dark fruit and cocoa aspects increase as this warms through the drink.

M: Nice full, rich creamy body and carbonation. The alcohol presence is quite restrained.

O: Well, this sure looked great in the glass, and has a solid mouthfeel. The taste leaves something to be desired to me. The hop profile doesn't mesh well with the other flavors. Still a decent beer.

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Photo of FrauTotenkinder
4.61/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pour dark. Smells and tastes like chocolate without being overly sweet, more bittersweet. Medium bitterness. Head about half inch slowly dissipates. Mouth feel slightly heavy appropriate for style.

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Photo of dee4maine
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

What a take on imperial stout! By adding Belgian yeast, such a great layer of complex dark fruit was added to this beer. The mouthfeel could have been a tad more silky but overall, an incredible stout to partake.

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Photo of ASoftMachineMan
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought in a four pack and poured from 12 fl. oz. bottle to snifter.

Look: Pours dark brown with two finger khaki head that dissipates to lacing. Has a somewhat "thin" appearance for an imp. stout

Smell: Molasses and black coffee on the nose, trace hints of blackcurrants and plums.

Taste: Follows the nose with the molasses, plums, and blackcurrants all forward. Relatively crisp finish with mild lingering bitterness. Back of the tongue gets plenty of black coffee and spicy noble hops.

Feel: Medium bodied with light carbonation, some lingering syrup on the tongue.

Overall: An overall decent, widely-available imp. stout. Very easy drinking for its abv and style, good introduction to the style for those unfamiliar.

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Photo of brureview
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I tasted the beer a few years ago, and this time the beer seems to me to be totally different.

Totally different take.

In a Stone snifter, the beer pours a very dark opaque chocolate color, with a 2Fhead.
Very nice looking beer especially in this glass.

Aroma: roasted malt, fruit, some chocolate and dates/raisins.

The mouth feel is quite malt forward and smooth.

Taste is excellent: transitioning well from the aroma, dried fruit, heavy roasted malt, chocolate.

Solid bitter finish.

Best to start out colder, and with warming appreciate the more enhanced flavor.

Great beer. Not sure about the last bottle I tasted. I have another in the cellar.

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Photo of Antg8989
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark black. Brown head. Tiny bit of lacing. Aroma is coffee beans. Taste is plums, raisins and dark chocolate. Feel is chewy. Not as silky as expected. Overall very good.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance was a nice dark brown/black color with a one finger off white foamy head that hangs around for a good one minute and slowly dies at a nice pace leaving some light trickling lacing. The smell was rich and malty through some nice Belgian spices adequately gracing my nose. The taste was sweet and luscious with some nice dark fruits amplifying the Belgian spices that came out in the nose that ends up adding a decent chocolate background coming out in the aftertaste and leading to a dry finish. On the palate, it sits about a medium and has an acceptable harshness pervading through on my mouth and tongue, nothing obscure just noticeable. Overall, I say this is a wonderful beer well worthy of coming back to.

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Photo of andrewh995
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a finger and a half of tan head. Smells of roasted coffee and roasted malts. Tastes of coffee, roasted malts, and a little bittersweet chocolate. Medium bodied with medium-light carbonation. Overall this is a pretty delicious imperial stout.

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Photo of ShoeIn-BrewWin
3.69/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Let me start by saying I'm a huge fan of stouts; it is by far my favorite style of beer. However, Dark Truth left something to be desired.

Look: I use what I call "the finger test" for the look of stouts. If, held up in front of a light you can't see your fingers on the other side of the glass then it's perfectly dark! This stout pours straight obsidian.

Smell: A bit single-minded here, all I can smell is licorice. Would like more depth.

Taste: Very heavily alcoholic; the best imperial stouts mask this flavor. Underneath that is espresso, licorice, ash, and a tiny bit of chocolate. I think the ash and espresso overpower the other flavors, and I'd like a dash of vanilla.

Feel: Too carbonated for a stout.

Overall: There are much better imperial stouts for the same price. I'd drink this beer again but I wouldn't purchase it or go searching for it.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I liked when they put these into 4 packs, made little sense (from the consumer's perspective) to have these in 750ml bottles.

Anyways, standard stuff, pours a very pretty jet black and 1/2" tan head, good small bubbles and retention. Aroma was pretty much all roast.

The taste is a little bit different as you have a mild Belgian yeast strain going on here. Now don't get scared, it isn't like they dumped a whole spice rack's worth of clove in this one. In fact, I didn't pick up on any of it, but I did get more dryness in the body, which the yeast could be the source there. It comes off a little more of a Russian Imperial Stout than a hybrid American/Belgian one. There's plenty of dark fruit to meet the roasted body. Slightly bitter and smoky as well.

Gave it a slight bump in the overall score because of the affordability of the 4 packs.

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Photo of crimsonfloyd
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown on the pour, black in the glass. Tons of frothy tan head. Smells of tobacco, sandalwood, and molasses. Taste is an interesting mix of peppery and chocolatey, with the molasses dimension holding over from the smell. Put all together, it's almost a steak sauce flavor. Definitely a grower with a distinct taste.

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Photo of hydrate
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark and dry but clean. Some maybe burnt & coffee type flavors but clean aftertaste. No overpowering flavors. Not sweet and the ABV is well hidden. So overall for an imperial stout I would say it's a good, clean, dry, dark stout.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Apparently, they have begun downsizing in that they put this bad boy in a 12-fl. oz. format! Hey, I know that I already have a Bottle Backlog that could sink a ship, but between the price point & my curiosity, how could I resist? BTW, that is a non sequitur.

From the bottle: "60 IBUs".

I Pop!ped the cap & began to assess my state of mind. It has been a long week & I have to go back in tomorrow (now, later today, in the afternoon), so why go crazy? Another non sequitur, BTW. I still managed to raise a finger of foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with limited retention. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing light only penetrate at the edges to give off garnet tones. Nose had an interesting, odd citrusiness, like a chocolate orange, but liquefied. I attended a private school as a young man & I remember one of my classmates bringing several as a birthday treat. I came from an upper-middle class family where these kids were scions of the upper crust (read 1%), so they brought things for others on their birthday. I was generally given a pass, but occasionally, I had to provide. Still, that orange-shaped candy made of chocolate that tasted of both sticks with me to this day. I generally abhor chocolate, but it was so citrusy and tasty that I have never forgotten it. This beer had the same citrus-chocolate flavor(s) & I was suddenly in love. I have a new pursuit whom I hope will allow me the benefit of the chase. I dislike when my paramours give in too easily. I think that this would make a nice beer with which to entice her. It straddles the line between not-too-sweet and not-too-tart/bitter nicely plus it evokes an expensive candy, so it should be just the ticket. Finish was semi-dry, but more due to the underlying citrus flavor than anything else. I am very impressed.

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Photo of nick_perry
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black color with a brown head. Molasses aroma. Taste matches, along with notes of brown sugar, dark fruit, and alcohol. All balanced on a strong malt backbone. Warming feeling.

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Photo of craigbelly
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Doesn't really feel like a stout. I like the hoppiness and smokey aromas. It's very dry, so maybe that's what throws me off. It's a medium body which leaves a bit lacking to the mouth feel.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Best by 11/25/16"; drank 7/10/15 @ the Yarchives.

Black appearance.

Dark tan head; decent lace.

Plum, black coffee, mild smoke & faint booze heat in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Chocolate syrup & candle wax flavors up front; fresh earth & a hint of smoke on the finish. Faint booze heat emerged as this warmed. Sturdy RIS vibes here; complex yet drinkable.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I bought this bottle at Total Wine & More in February 2015 so the beer has been resting for more than two years in the bottle.

I didn’t give this beer a high score when I tasted it at #Porterfestivalen in Gothenburg in November 2013.
We’ll se what aging in the bottle has done to this beer!

It pours black with a two finger, brown head tha sinks down to a thin, creamy, brown head. No lacing on the glass.

Nose: Soy sauce, plum, raisin, roasted malt, a hint of coffee and dried fruit.
Taste: Dark chocolat, plum, brown sugar, roasted malt, coffee, red fruits, some sour taste... I really cant get it... perhaps it’s the Belgian yeast?
Mouth: Full, complex body. Dry an bitter. Medium to high carbonation.

I’m glad I saved a bottle to 2017. A few years (more than 24 months) in the bottle has made wonders to this beer!
It is deeper, more complex and with a great smooth character now. I’m definitely going to raise the rating!

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Photo of Shane_Zuniga
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm sort of a beginner when it comes to beer, so I'll give it my best shot. I love most Boulevard beer and this one is no exception. The beer when poured has a very smooth finish to it and I had a really good head on my glass. The color is very, very dark being red, but closer to black and opaque. The taste, to me, was pretty dry but with a nice finish. The after taste is very similar to IPA's that I have tried. The smell is nothing spectacular, but it's enjoyable. The beer felt as smooth as a normal lager would. If you're a fan of IPA's, then this beer is probably your speed. I'm not a big fan of IPA's, but this. beer is definitely a good stepping stone to adjusting to that kind of flavor. I rate a 4/5. I'd likely have it again.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark chocolate black with a frothy, muddy beige head of 1/2 finger.

Aroma is faint and kind of strange...roasted malts, smoked pork, light fig.

Tastes like a Belgian Quad made with spoiled figs and smoked meats dipped in soy sauce. It doesn't particularly remind me of a stout, much less an imperial one.

Feel is super carbonated, which really helps its case here. Semi-dry roast on the finish.

Overall, Dark Truth is one of the worst Imperial Stouts I've tried. It just doesn't taste like a good stout should and imparts way too much Belgian influence here to make it drink like a smoky Quad. Not a fan, probably won't buy again.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From the bottle it pours a viscous black color with a foamy tan mocha head. It soon dissapates but leaves a nice frothy film and collar that retains well.
There is a lot going on in the nose. At first there is the smell of roasted coffee malts. This is followed by a creamy aroma that has a minty almost menthol like freshness while still cold. As the drink warms, some nutty and woody aromas come out. Also, towards the end it begins to take on a dark Belgian Ale like aroma with an emphasis on dark fruit.
There are several elements of the taste that are aligned with the aroma. Drinking this beer is like a tale of two palates. When cold, the taste is initially sweet, with a creamy coating that never disappears. There is a cocoa like sweetness as well as some mint and coffee/espresso that is not too bitter. Soon however, some spiciness from the hops balances out the sweetness. It provides a slight bitterness in the finish, which is also characterized by a woody and smoky feel. As with the aroma, the flavor takes on a new life once the drink warms. It really begins to feel like a Belgian Ale due to the prevalence of dark fruit and yeast characteristics.
The body is on the full side of medium but very drinkable. It is creamy, smooth and velvety. The carbonation is a bit tight at first but eventually settles into a calm and gentle mouthfeel. The alcohol is barely detectable.
An interesting, complex and dynamic stout. Another great job by Boulevard.

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (best by AUG 11 2011) ,into a Funky Buddha snifter.

Pours a deep brown,leading to a thin khaki colored head that dissolves relatively fast.Jet black in color,with not much light showing through the glass.Light carbonation.

I don't get much on the nose aside from dark roasted malts,some sweet chocolate,and light roasted coffee.The overall notes are all pretty hard to detect.

On the palate I get lots of roasted coffee beans,and dark roasted malts.I also get some sweet milk chocolate.Trace amounts of dark fruit and alcohol on the back end,but not prominent.

The body is medium / heavy with the slightest hint of alcohol warming.

As far as imperial stouts go,this one is good but nothing special.The look is pretty average,the nose is lacking,the taste definitely steals the show.I probably won't pick this one up again,and not because it is bad,but because there are so many more on the market that are a better experience.Still a solid Imperial Stout though.

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Photo of Bluecrow
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

-dark, dense bottle pour with thin tan foam. Aroma is boozy and toffee-like. Flavors include licorice, and toasted malts, even a tinge of burnt notes. The sweetness is similar to Belgian-styled stouts. The finish is dry. This has a complex flavor profile and I enjoyed it a slow pace.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle to goblet. ,,,appearance: Dark black color. Thick. Above avg. Tan head.....Aroma is whiskey, rye, toasted barley. ..... Taste is plum , BlackBerry, oolong tea? Some chocolate. Something a little funky and overly sour at the finish, but it doesn't ruin it. Feel is silky smooth, with lasting carbonation. The head seems to reform every time I put the beer down with a slight drop.Glad I picked this 4 pack up in VA, since I've not seen it in NJ. Aging one of the bottles.Good stout."

One of my aged 2014's did not age well at about 18 months. This one is from 10/16 and still tasty.


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Dark Truth from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 2673 ratings