Dark Truth Imperial Stout | Boulevard Brewing Co.

very good
739 Reviews
Dark Truth Imperial StoutDark Truth Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BradLikesBrew on 02-28-2010

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Reviews: 739 | Ratings: 2,557
Photo of bsp77
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter. Enjoy by 4/27/13.

Appearance: Near black with very thick tan head that leaves lot of bubbly lacing.

Smell: Musty, dank and fruity with plum, molasses, spicy hops, chocolate and a touch of banana. Not too much roasted character in the aroma.

Taste: Not as Belgian as the aroma, although there is still a decent amount of plum. Fairly strong roasted characteristics of bittersweet chocolate and chocolate. Nice spicy hops on the finish, along with a long roasted bitterness.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, medium to full body, very dry finish. Feels more effervescent than smooth and creamy (although it is that as well), belaying the Belgian yeast.

Overall: I am really a fan of Belgian Imperial Stouts (need that added as a style), and I seem to enjoy them more than most since I always have big positive rDevs on these. Loads of flavor, but not quite as heavy as a standard RIS.

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Photo of Spcoly
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first boulevard brew...

A: Pours dark with a thick head that takes its time

S: Coffee, roasty, and malty

T: Heavy bodied but not enough flavor for my liking. Came up a little short

M: Good carbonation, somewhat drinkable, but not really

O: Decent brew, but left me hanging. Will probably pass on next time I see it.

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Photo of SummitVA
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - deep brown pour with tan head. Carbonation is on the lighter side.

S - Wonderfully complex. Molasses, dark malts, plenty of roast, coffee, wet coffee grounds, stone fruits, and a bit of alcohol heat.

T - Caramel sweetness balanced well by roast. Molasses, coffee, and stone fruits again apparently, along with a bittersweet chocolate flavor. Some heat in the finish.

M - Medium bodied.

O - Fantastic nose on this beer and some great complexity. I really need to try this again when the temperature is below 90 degrees, but I was hardly going to turn this one down today. Always happy to have a Boulevard brew, and this was no exception.

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Photo of ms11781
3.46/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to duff247 for this one. Best by 07/30/2011 on bottle. Reviewed on 05/05/2011. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with dark reddish hues at the edges and bottom of the glass. A thin, tan head develops and has excellent retention, staying for the duration.

The aroma is noticeable from a few feet away as the beer is poured. A nice roasted malt aroma is picked up first along with a hint of sweetness. At times there are some spicy notes and some licorice that can be picked up.

The taste follows closely with the nose but the flavors are bolder and there is a bit more complexity. Roasted malt character hits first along with a fruit-like sweetness. Definitely some dark fruit, maybe raisins or plums. The spice that was picked up in the nose isn't here but the finish has a smoky character that almost has a bit to it.

Medium to heavy body with surprisingly high carbonation. Impressive because usually a stout with carbonation this high feels thin and this one doesn't thin out. The finish is somewhat dry with the smoky finish.

Overall, this was a pretty good stout. Pretty interesting and unique with the full body and high carbonation. The aromas were ok but the flavor was better. The characteristics do seem to be a bit delicate, hence the best by date on a stout with an ABV nearing 10%. I'd like to see this one fresh and compare.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours dark (of course) with a light brown big fluffy head. Head fades slowly, leaving a huge quantity of lacing. Smells chocolatey, roasted malty.

Taste is dark cherry syrupy, chocolatey, a little bit of coffee. Surprisingly sweet, very strong flavor. Pretty nice.

Mouthfeel is thick and heavy, as you would expect for the style. Overall, this is a nice solid imperial stout.

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Photo of pkeigs
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pretty tasty treat, I can taste the Belgian influence in this beer, has a lot more dark fruit and Caramel compared to say Old Rasputin. Pours a dark brown with a nice head, head quickly fades but leaves a little lacing on the glass. Smells like dark fruit and caramel, light coffee and chocolate notes. Feels nice on the tongue, I could use a little more body, but that is my biggest gripe with most stouts out there. Long lasting finish, great dark fruit and caramel notes. No booziness, balanced beer. The finish is fantastic.

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Photo of hiroprot
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into a snifter. Decent head, with a little bit of lacing, but not as much as some of the heavier Imperial Stouts (especially Boulevard's own Imperial Stout, which is amazing).

A: Nice dark color, almost like a very dark brandy. This is a very good-looking beer. Not a whole lot of carbonation, once the head settles.

S: Smells of roasted coffee, with a little bit of woody sweetness.

T: The taste pretty much matches the smell, but there is less sweetness and more roasty bitterness. I was hoping for a little more character, but it tastes quite nice.

M: The mouthfeel is a little on the thin side for an IS, but that's not necessarily a bad thing...it sets this beer apart from some of its brethren.

O: Overall, I enjoyed this beer. It is not as good as the Imperial Stout from the Smokestack Series, but I like that it comes in 12oz bottles (I got a 4-pack). I'd recommend checking it out.

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Photo of FrankenBeerStein
3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a goblet glass. Poured out nice and dark as expected with a small tan-ish head to it that stuck around pretty well with some good lacing. (In all fairness, it was a "gentle" pour and I am sure I could've gotten a bigger head by upending the bottle but I saw no need.)
First sniff....deep hearty roasted malts that one expects from a stout, and the first sip followed up by delivering the check written by the aroma. Nice, deep malty, roasty flavors...hint of coffee (more of the grounds not the liquid) and deep roasted malts. Very nice. Mouthfeel leaves a very nice aftertaste and, for lack of the technical term, "coating" on the inside of ones mouth, allowing one to properly savor this beer.
Moment of truth...Would I willingly drink this again? Definitely. And recommend it.

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Photo of Mississipping
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Boulevard smokestack series goblet:

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black, only letting a glow of ruby light in around the edges when held to light.  A large mocha colored head forms and recedes slowly, leaving moderate lacing behind.  

S: Heavily roasted malt, dark chocolate, and dark fruit (large plum, cherry, fig presence) dominate the smell.  It becomes quite evident that the beer is very aptly named, given the dominating characteristics.  Subtler hints of vanilla and some molasses.  Very rich aroma. 

T: The dominant aromatic qualities also dominate the taste.  Roasted/charred malt, bitter dark chocolate, and ample dark fruit are all right up front fighting for center stage.  Continuing the follow the smell, vanilla, molasses, and toffee are very subtle, but are able to nudge their way past the richness at the front.  A bit leathery on the finish as well and a bit of booze, but just enough to provide a slight warmth that sits well with the dark characteristics and is not off-putting.  

M: Heavier side of medium-bodied.  Viscous with ample carbonation making it creamy and velvety on the tongue.  I typically like a higher level of viscosity, but the mouthfeel is really great for this beer, making it a little more drinkable as it is complementary to the richness of the aroma and taste.  Slight bitterness at the finish and a decent bit of drying.

D: Drinkability is pretty high for the style and the characteristics.  The moderate alcohol level and somewhat thinner mouthfeel certainly help.  Overall, this is a good take on the style, however, it is a bit fruitier than I was expecting.  The dark fruit are really amped up, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just may not be for everyone.  I enjoyed it, but it's kind of a mid-range stout in my opinion.  

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Photo of Kshock
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep brown with a ruby hue on the outer part of the glass. A Tan ring resides around the top of the glass, some lacing but not much.

S- Lots of roast and toffee upfront, the roast dominates the nose.

T- Starts out sweet, quickly moves into the strong roast flavor. Kind of get some dark fruit notes in the undertone of everything.

M- Fairly light body for the style, nice a easy going down.

O- Really good beer, would love to lay one down.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice, dense, big stout that does not go over teh top in any area. Inky black pour with a bit of sweet-ish malt in the nose. A little thick, leaning toward syrupy on the tongue. Deeply roasted malt is predominant, with some brown sugar and caramel in the background. Finish dries just a bit.

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Photo of Chaney
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #1 of 2010; Best by 1/13.

I split this bomber tonight with my wife because... I had the calories left in my diet to do it. :(

A: Inky, but doesn't look too thick after close inspection. The mocha head was ridiculous and stuck around for a good bit.

S: Totally figs on the nose.... and without a trace of coffee. Spicy and fruity and without a chocolate candy bar quality on the horizon.

T: Very spicy yeast... sort of like a small, non-barrel aged version of Black Ops. Plums, figs, wheat, and TONS of rye. No soy sauce of any kind, which was a pleasant surprise in this setting. Dry, smokey finish.

M: Sort of like a liquified "Larabar" in terms of sugar lingering. In other words, very organic fruitiness. Pretty well carbonated, and the lacing left on the glass was car wash stuff!

O: Despite some of the things I mentioned describing smell and taste, this doesn't really taste like anything. However, since it was pleasant and wasn't particularly expensive, I would have this again if the opportunity presents itself.

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Photo of illidurit
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle shared at the July Santa Cruz tasting. Pours clear darkest brown with red highlights and a fluffy light brown head. Aroma is boozy with dark chocolate and some smokey molasses. A touch of dark fruits too. Flavor has notes of dark chocolate, acidic red fruits, mild prune, and black coffee. Also some chocolate cake and dark caramel as well as a bit of burnt, roasted character. Palate is soft and moussey for such a big stout. Pretty nice beer.

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Photo of BearablePhoto
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This Dark Truth Stout poured very oily and by the time the glass was filled up only black could be seen. A finger size head laid on top, caramel in color. As the head (and beer) began to disappear from the glass a very nice lining remained.
S: A little bit of a fruit smell meets the nose, perhaps coming from the type of yeast used, with hints of spicy components coming into play.
T: It tasted like a log cabin in a glass. It started off a little spicy and then a strong smoky flavor took over that ended very dry.

Overall a very good beer to accent a cigar or smoked sausage, or just accent it with the other three bottles in the pack.

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

dark as night with a small cap of tan that appeared right on the top, settling down slowly it leaves a touch of side lacing and a nice bit of foam around the edges. Ten minutes in the top is bare though and only some light lacing on the sides remains. Aroma is sweet, licorice and brown sugar, hints of chocolate coming together nicely, but missing that little bit of push to really throw it over the top for me. Smooth, creamy and full bodied it started to grow on me as the session wore on. Bitter, dark German chocolate, coffee, hints of something else, fruit, maybe but probably not. Hard to place but there is something else there providing another flavor of some sort that is hard to discern. Dry finish with a light alcohol warmth to it and last tastes of cookie dough and coffee.

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Photo of draheim
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (best by 10/19/11) poured into a snifter.

Pitch black brew, nice 1-finger tan head. This beer looks gorgeous.

Smell is some vanilla, dark roasty malts, maybe a little toffee, chocolate, oak, dark cherries, pipe tobacco, black earthy loam. Nice and complex.

Taste is bitter, smoky, woody. More dark fruit as it warms, maybe a little brandy. Mostly bitter with just a hint of rich sweetness.

This is a unique, complex stout. Maybe almost too much going on here, but certainly worth investigating a few more times to make up my mind. I could see myself enjoying this a lot, especially in winter.

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Photo of mactrail
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Crazy powerful flavors mixed with dragster fuel. Sweet on the lips with a long bitter finish. More than a touch of the burnt malt taste. Slight sour, woodiness to go with the big malt. Raisiny sweetness, yeast, nose of toasted fruit bread. More astringent than most big stouts. Flavors just don't quit. Not just a sipping beer, but one that demands small sips. Aroma is more of alcohol than anything beery. smoke seems to creep in after some tasting.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.19/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Says drink by 10/19/11

Poured into a Snifter. Went right down the middle, looked like it was under control. Then I turned around, looked back at it and was overflowing, probably lost an ounce of two.

Appearance-3 Finger light brown head. Looks kinda like a cupcake rising in the oven. Almost looks like theres glitter inside of the head, kinda sparkling. Body is a Dark Black, not quite opaque, but definitely an Imperial

Smell-At first I got a nice bitter roasted coffe aroma, but then started picking out something weird, kind of like very burnt coffee beans. Not sure if the bottle is bad or they are looking for this.

Taste-Boozy and sweet up front with some tobacco and slightly bitter and drying in the back. Still get some of that burnt cocoa and coffee but it's not bad. The b Opens up a little more as it gets closer to room temp.

Mouthfeel-Lots of carbonation. Medium bodied. Not as viscous as I would like it to be. Still smooth.

Overall-Average Imperial Stout. Much better ones out there. Probably won't ever go out of my way to revisit this beer.

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Photo of claytong
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - small head that lingers really well, does a little honeycomb business. certainly a dark truth, black as night.

smell - bubblegum comes first off pour. alcohol and brown sugar follow. some caramel. reminding me of a barleywine now thats its been out for 2 minutes or so and warming a bit. a bit of hops.

taste - alcohol and chocolate up front. alcohol is not too intense but a bit offputting for the summer. this will probably be a stand by for me in the winter. bittering hops, very light however. a very nice note.

mouthfeel - thickens my saliva way too much, smooth going down and then bitterness lingers on the tongue unpleasantly

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Photo of bayougutter
3.66/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I did a medium pour into a 8 oz souvineer glass and the big khaki head almost got away from me. Nice opaque black in color.

Smell is roasted to burnt grains and coffee, some chocolate, and some smoke as well. Could also smell the alcohol.

Taste followed the aroma except that the smoke came thru more for me.

Mouthfeel is about what you would want from a stout, nuff said.

Overall I enjoyed, and loved the smoke in it. Bought a sixer and glad I did, I think I will age three of them and enjoy the others soon.

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Photo of antlerwrestler19
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 ounce bottle into New Belgium snifter. The beer poured a rich black color with a 3 finger thick foamy head with a caramel and almost orange tint to it for color. Smells of fruits and roast coffee and dark malts - different from any other stout I've tried. The taste follows the nose but fruit flavor fades quickly leaving smoky and rich coffee on the palate. Super boozy and a burning sensation for the mouthfeel but relatively smooth given those qualities. Overall I found tnis stout delicious....much more so after giving it a year to hang out.


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Photo of elginirishpunk
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark rich black color. Have a very sweet and caramel aroma, with a medium and creamy head. Has an even more rich and flavor then Guinness without the heaviness. the ABV doesn't stick out right away takes awhile for it to creep up. This is one great stout!

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Photo of genitempo
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, the design work is run of the mill. However, the type face chosen for the bottle etching gives it strength. Poured from bottle to pint glass. Thick, hitting hard with a darkest brown body and khaki-colored head (approx. 2 inches). The lace rings the glass multiple (the amount depends on how fast your drink).

S: Initially, I caught banana and raisin from the pour. But after letting the beverage sit for a bit, I caught scents of fruit mixed with alcohol (wine).

T: You really can't base the taste off the initial sip. This is a beer that gets better towards the base. The initial sip was loaded upfront with carbonation and alcohol, it basically kills the attempt of a stout-like taste. But later, the stout pushes through without too much hops or spice. The aftertaste doesn't resonate at all.

MF: Decent. Sits on tongue like a stout should, but without too much weight (I guess that could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you like your beer).

O: Just above the "middle-of-the-line" stout beers. My first from Boulevard. Looking forward to seeing what else this microbrewery from Kansas City has to offer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bsuedekum for sending me this one.

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch foamy beige head that fades to a small cap. Broken rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark fruits, dark roasted malt, coffee beans, and slight bittersweet chocolate. Taste is of dark roasted malt, roasted coffee, bitter cocoa nibs, and dark fruits. Slight roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip quickly fades. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a slightly bubbly and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good stout from Boulevard and I am glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of Rizalini
3.48/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Recieved in a trade from StLThrash. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my Deschutes tulip...

A - Pours black, with a very thick 2 finger brown head. Some pretty nice lacing as the head fades.

S - Dark roasted malts, and some bittering hops. Some dark fruits, and warm alcohol too.

T & M - Dry, dark and roasty. Almost burnt flavor on the aftertaste. A little thin, and the alcohol is definately present.

O - I like this one, I don't love it. It has some great flavor characteristics that I look for in a stout, but it was a little light on the pallete for me.

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Dark Truth Imperial Stout from Boulevard Brewing Co.
3.96 out of 5 based on 2,557 ratings.
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