Dark Truth Imperial Stout | Boulevard Brewing Co.

very good
734 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: 734 | Ratings: 2,543
Photo of Lledd
3.1/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into Hill Farmstead snifter ;) I let this beer sit out for about 20 minute to warm. That's how I like stouts.

A: Pitch black, looks thick. Big head even with a gentle pour. I couldn't fit the whole bottle in the glass.

S: Banana bread up front big time. Nutty, walnuts. It sounds weird, but if I really focus on the aroma, it almost smells like a dairy freezer, like in a super market. Maybe a bit of dark rum.

T: The banana bread from the aroma is in the taste too. The nutty aroma comes through in the taste as a must, not wonderful, but not the dominant flavor. Slightly boozy on the backend. Bitter, hoppy finish, burnt oats.

M: Carbonation is fine. Body is thick. It's a little less smooth than other stouts.

O: I'm not crazy about this stout. The aftertaste is funky, the booze isn't masked well, and the mouthfeel is a little harsh for the style. The aroma was definitely the best part of this beer.

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Photo of biglite351
3.12/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - just a bit of red around the edges with an amazing looking tall dark tan creamy head. A lot of lacing as the head falls.

S - bitter creamy fruit with something like toasted hops.

T - smokey malts with some coffee and dark chocolate. Some fruit comes through the after taste. A bit bitter though.

M - very thick with a lot of coating. Only a mild tingle under tongue.

D - a bit too bitter for more than one glass.

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Photo of rye726
3.13/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours near black with a thin tan head. Nose is roasty with black malts, rye and hops. Taste is dry with a bit if bitterness. Lacks complexity. Medium body over carbonated. Intersting stout, but not worth $10 a 750. I think this would be much better if they turned it into a coffee stout. Right now it lacks direction.

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Photo of ThirstyHerf
3.16/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark black, nice tan head. Dark chocolate, dark fruit, hoppy, malty aroma. Taste is about the same but not as bitter as I was expecting (+.5) with a nice bit of coffee for a very nice tasting treat. This is a solid stout I will most definitely drink again.

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Photo of vkv822
3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz : snifter

Pours near black with a creamy, light brown head.

Moderate roasty, charred wood/coffee. Some cocoa, an a light hoppy bitterness in the finish.

Medium-full body with prickly carbonation, light boozy warmth in the finish.

An enjoyable enough Imperial Stout, nothing too spectacular but still pleasant.

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Photo of beagle75
3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque black color with two fingers of diminishing beige foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Dark vinous fruit and fermented grain are clean. Roasted qualities are neutral, suggesting neither chocolate nor coffee. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins dry, with sharp acidity standing out early and suppressing other flavors. Earthy roasted malt is heavy on the palate as acidity fades into the middle where mild shoyu is dark and comforting. Strong dark minerality continues to carry earthy qualities into the bitter finish, where trace amounts of dried plum fruit are found at the edges of the palate. No alcohol is detected.

M: Thick viscosity, biting acidity and some astringency are felt on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This dark and roasty imperial stout is derailed early by unruly acidity that depletes the best of its other qualities. Textures are also undermined by the presence of acidity, although the heavy viscosity shows potential. It is saved from being categorized as unappealing by the pure roasted qualities that linger favorably on the palate after acidity has run its course.

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Photo of Brez07
3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Best by 4/28/13

A: Pours a rather dark beer, but with some brown along the edges. 2 finger mocha colored head which slowly recedes and leaves some nice lacing

S: Lots of dark fruit initially. Some roasted coffee and bitter chocolate. Slight twinge of alcohol and phenol

T: Light roasted malt. Chalky, smokey, mossy. Some fig/raisin

M: Full bodied, creamy. Carbonation level is a little high. Charred roasted malt aftertaste

D: Not one of the better stouts that I've had. Flavors didn't work well together and overall it was somewhat harsh

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Photo of rwf08
3.19/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a Duvel glass.

A: Dark dark black. No light can get through. Dense fluffy espresso head. This head will not go away. It has been sitting 5 minutes and still is about an inch thick. Awesome lacing too. So is that because of over carb or just good brewing? Lets dig deeper to find out.

S: So I rubbed some of the head on my upper lip and kind of in my nose to smell. Odd? Maybe, but I have a hard time smelling. But yeah kind of a chocolate milk smell, some burnt sugar.

T: A very assertive up front burnt flavor, char, burnt toast, and burnt sugar. Like someone set a bakery on fire. The finish is quit nice though. Roasted coffee, dark chocolate and some hoppy goodness. But damn son, why so much burnt flavors? Pretty off putting.

M: Medium body, pretty high carbonation. Not too high but does kind of diminish the mouthfeel.

D: Yeah pretty good. ABV doesn't really show itself in this. Just not something I really want to drink all that much. I can see others liking this but doesn't do it for me.

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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 jman892
3.19/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Great looking beer, pours black with a very big, fluffy, mocha colored head. The head shrinks but is retained throughout. As a result, nice intricate lacing remains

S - Mild coffee aroma, some roasted malts, somewhat smoky aroma.

T - Taste is bitter cocoa, very burnt toast, the alcohol is not too hidden in this, somewhat chalky and smoky, reminds me of a fireplace log.

M - Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, smooth and full bodied

O - Great looking beer, but the bitterness in the taste combined with the alcohol burn was a little overwhelming.

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Photo of brureview
3.2/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. A very dark chocolate color with a two fingered head. The smell is a light chocolate with a hint of lemon.

The mouth feel is too pronounced- it's a bit overdone, and is the weak character of the beer. The finish is too alcoholic- the strong presence of additional flavors are needed to balance the alcohol. There seems to be a missing element to the beer- in general it's imbalanced. Too much alcohol from the start, no characteristic flavor and an overdone mouth feel.

The Boulevard Chocolate Ale( one of my favorites from the brewery) has the right balance of flavor and alcohol, which doesn't overpower the finish.

The beer does mellow with warming. A cold serving will bring out the alcohol.

Overall, a bit disappointing,- but it's a Boulevard beer, so it was worth sampling.

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Photo of Oneeighthcuban
3.2/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Dark, rich color with a tannish head that dissipated quickly. Looks inviting!

S: Complex smell, coffee smell with a hint of smoke coming through. Pretty appetizing smell.

T: Something is lacking. Finishes with a hint of smoke. Roasted coffee type flavors, very strong. Aftertaste is enjoyable. I think the taste is not quite as smoky or complex as the smell seemed to indicate.

M: Dry, I think the mouthfeel takes something away from the beer.

Overall, I like the complexity and smell but the mouthfeel totally ruins this beer for me.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.21/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

4.5 A: Black color. First pour gave me a huge frothy light brown head. A couple pours later I got my glass full. Retention is very good and plenty of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Deep roastiness with tons of molasses. A little boozy with some astringency. Caramel with chocolate undertones.

3.0 T: Again a deep roastiness with molasses and caramel. About as boozy as the nose suggests and also as astringent. It's not bad, but it's not any better than average.

3.0 M: Medium to heavier medium body. Still overcarbonated despite much swirling. Lightly creamy, but could be moreso.

3.0 D: It's not bad, but the roasty astringency gets old fast.

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Photo of briman
3.23/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown, but not quite opaque letting just a hint of a ruby hue through when held up to the light. Huge dark tan head retains very well, leaving some lace down the glass.

Aromas of dark roasted malts, coffee, and dark fruits tease the nose, but don't stand up and make you take notice.

Fairly mild flavors of dark roasted malts, dark fruits reminiscent of plums, and coffee upfront settling into a finish that is best described as a combination of a roasted malt bitterness and some astringency coupled with a fair dose of alcohol. In fact the alcohol subtley lingers well into the aftertaste.

Medium body bordering on medium-full, with moderate chew, and medium-high carbonation. Alcohol apparent in the finish, as well as an obvious warming effect. Interesting brew, but has quite a few small detractors. For an Imperial Stout, although there is some complexity evident in the flavor and aroma, I certainly would not describe either as intense, or particularly rich. In addition, I get virtually no hop presence in this beer at all, and what bitterness there is seems to have more of a dark roasted malt character. Add to that this beer is a bit hot. It's not harsh, but there is enough of it there to mask some of the finish...which may contribute to the seemingly absent hop bitterness.

Overall, I feel like this has potential, especially since it seems to hit many of the key elements in the guidelines, but needs work. Would certainly be willing to try it again next year to see if some of the kinks get worked out.

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Photo of gfreed
3.23/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sometimes you pick up a bottle in the store and the shape fits in your hand so nicely, you can't put it down. Before you know it, the bottle is in your car and headed to your house and THEN, a few hours later, it's open and its contents are in a glass. Dark Truth comes in such a bottle, but the anticipation I felt while cooling down (but not too much) the beer was somewhat deflated once I actually removed the cap. The overwhelming flavor here is... sugar. Way, way, waaay too much sugar. It hides the smoke; it clobbers the hops; it makes the teeth ache as if you've eaten too much fudge. Reduce the sugar in this beer and you'd have a decent, smokey stout. Otherwise, it's just a boozy, sugary beer. Not bad, but bring your toothbrush.

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Photo of CrookedStill
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into Dogfish signature glass.

Pours black with a 1 finger thick mocha head that slowly falls.

Aroma is lots of roasted malts and chocolate upfront. Dark fruit and a bit of coffee in the background.

Lots of caramel/toffee with dark fruit. Coffee also present but lots of sweetness. Slight warming trace of alcohol towards the end but finishes sweet.

On the thin side and with med/high amount of carbonation.

The aroma and appearance is really where this one shines and I really enjoyed the dark fruit aspect of this one. That being said I remember it being better. While not a "bad" brew the sweetness and mouthfeel are really too much to overlook. Too sweet with a thin mouthfeel that has way to much carbonation.

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Photo of seedsofchaos
3.31/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Labeled 0281 1140 F - BEST BY 07/09/11 (but at 9.7% abv I'm cellaring one)

Pours dark coffee brown bordering on jet black. A thin layering of bubbles forms just a skimming of a head with pronounced khaki color and hints of ruby.

The aroma strikes alcohol heavy with notes of pine and tart cherries. The cherry nose is further accentuated by sweet malt. Little to no roast to be found here.

I expected more chew at 9.7%, and this beer is not light by any means, but light for the style IMHO. A bit of roasted barley fights to emerge from the cherries and alcohol. With as much sweetness as this brew has I wouldn't be surprised if some, if not a lot, of that alcohol comes from additions of sugar in the brew kettle. Bitterness is ever-present but not overbearing as the thought of this beer brings to mind a multi-threaded brew with both stout and young lambic threads.

Not a terrible beer at all but not a stout that I would crave to keep me warm..

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.31/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Sweemzander with the tickerazzi. Split and poured into a tulip.

A: Pitch black hue with a huge three fingers of mocha head. Nice cascade action, solid retention yet only spotty lace.

S: There's a lot going on in this one. First I get a boozy molasses kick. Then a touch of hops along with cinnamon, barrel wood, tobacco and smoky BBQ. Just a hint of chocolate in there as well. There is however an underlying characteristic I simply cannot indentify. Sadly it's bringing the aroma down not helping it.

T: The flavors of a stout are present but seem sort of lifeless. Chocolate, coffee, molasses, barrel, smoke and hints of booze. Just not digging this one.

M: Full body with light carbonation. Typical stout.

D: Overall my first beer from the smokestack series that didn't wow me. I have bottle in my cellar and hopefully some age will improve this one.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.31/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter, it's a really dark color with a small off-white head.

The aroma is a little faint, boozy and chocolatey with a bit of vanilla flavor.

The taste is a little thin as well for such a dark beer. It has some rich chocolate notes and some wood undertones but it's just not a filled out flavor.

A little thin like before, not all that impressive on the mouthfeel.

It's still an okay beer, but Boulevard has been nothing but awesome in their smokestack series thus far. This one doesn't quite measure up.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.32/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a very dark burgundy color. The head is a two finger mocha color with a great texture and decent retention considering its gravity.

S: The first scent noticed is dark chocolate, before the aroma becomes more dominated by licorice and darker fruit. A slight hint of alcohol pops up, as well, along with a faint whiff of Belgian yeast. Quite good.

T: Strong initial flavors of roasted malt, coffee, and licorice gives way to a fruitier midtaste. The finish is clean, likely from the yeast, and lightly boozy, with touches of lactose and even a slight medicinal tone. Fairly smoky throughout the flavor progression.

It shows a modicum of complexity as it progresses, and improves somewhat. I'm torn on how to score it, the first sips are quite good, but it kind of falls apart after a few sips. It improves afterward, yet it still remains hard to drink. There's something off about it, but it's hard to place.

M: Dry and astringent, with a good (if rather heavy) texture. The alcohol is palpable throughout, with a light tingle on the tongue, along with a warming sensation. Moderate carbonation.

O: Eh, not a huge fan. It's an okay sipper, but it just seems unbalanced and hard to drink. I'm glad to have tried it, but I wouldn't seek it out again, most likely.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.33/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours an opaque dark brown color. The head is an inch and a half of tan colored foam that recedes very slowly into a solid cap that sticks around. The aroma is very fruity with plums, lemons, and some earth. Roasted malt and chocolate balance things out. The taste is roastier than the aroma, but there is still a noticeable fruitiness. There is a sharp bitterness and alcohol kick in the finish that really distract from the rest of the beer. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with rather high carbonation for an imperial stout. Overall, this beer just doesn't do it for me. I can see how others might really like it, but I will most likely pass on drinking it again.

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Photo of chanokokoro
3.36/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

A: Thick and bubbly light tan two finger head. The body is solidly black.

S: Some roasted malt and a very light fruitiness. Frankly, much less aroma than I was expecting.

T: Opens with sweet, roasted malts, transitons to a smooth lightly sweet light malt, finishes with a bit of roast malt, slight sweetness and fruit, and finally dry hoppy bitterness.

M: A very high level of carbonation, and a much lighter body than I'd expect for an double/imperial stout. Alcohol is not distinguishable. Smooth but lacking in several areas.

O: To be honest this stout was somewhat disappointing. For a double/imperial stout, its a bit too sweet without enough bitterness to balance it, and lacks body. However, enjoyed it's wonderfully dry finish.

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Photo of hopstradamus
3.36/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A. Thick black in color with an almost rose colored hue, this opaque beer had a dense tan head that did not settle quickly. When I finished the glass there was still a small amount of foam.

S. Malty with a Belgian fruitiness, and almost no hop aroma, the yeast gives it an almost sour smell.

T. With a strong roasted malt taste and some residual sweetness, there is plenty to experience here. From the initial smell I thought the yeast may be too much, but the malt is strong enough to more than hold its own, and there are hops to be found as well. There is a sourness from the yeast that I liked as well.

M. Based on appearance, I thought this beer would be thicker and almost chewy, but it was actually quite smooth and the carbonation was good.

D. For what this beer was (a specialty stout with a Belgian yeast) it was quite good. It could have been maltier but that would have hidden the yeast character even more. It was well balanced enough that no one ingredient stood out above the rest and it was very easy to drink. I did not realize it was nearly 10% alcohol until I read the label on the empty bottle.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.36/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle $9 I will start off by saying I was let down by this beer but I can;t expect to love every single Boulevard beer. Dark black color as a stout should be with a head that was super foamy and actually delayed my drinking. The smell was weird, a little like a stout but not much, none of the promised aromas from the label. The taste was decent but average and again not really like a stout if you ask me more like a black strong ale.

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Photo of billab914
3.36/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch number 2010-1. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Portsmouth glass. It poured black in color with a thick, rocky, frothy, tan head filling the top two inches of the glass.

The aroma has a lot of sweeter, chocolaty and malty flavors to it. I get a bit of a brown sugar and molasses flavor to it along with some milky chocolate. Just a hint of roasty, bitter, coffee flavors to it.

The taste starts out with a lot of the sweeter, malty, brown sugar and chocolate notes that I was picking up in the aroma. it has an almost sugary flavor at first. Midway I start to get some of the roasty, bitter, slightly burnt flavors coming through. It finishes with a bit of a sweeter, dark fruit character to it, with a little bit of a yeasty spice as well.

The mouthfeel is about average for the style, as is carbonation. Overall it was a decent beer, but not one of the better Imperial stouts in my opinion. It leaned a little too much on the sweet, sugary notes and didn't have enough roasty, bitter ones to support it. The finish was interesting with some of the fruity, spicy notes to it. It was an enjoyable beer overall but not an outstanding one of the style.

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Dark Truth Imperial Stout from Boulevard Brewing Co.
3.96 out of 5 based on 2,543 ratings.
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