Coffee Ale | Boulevard Brewing Co.

very good
102 Reviews
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Coffee AleCoffee Ale

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Neighbors for nearly twenty years, Boulevard Brewing Company and The Roasterie share a passion for making extraordinary beverages. In Coffee Ale, our two celebrated brewing traditions come together in a long-awaited collaboration. Ethiopian Sidamo from Africa’s Great Rift Valley has been carefully blended with rye, oats, and malted barley, and spiced with Perle and Styrian Golding hops. The delightfully fragrant beer presents a glowing, tawny-amber hue. The clean, crisp acidity of the air-roasted coffee mingles with malt on the palate, lingering faintly in a subtly sweet finish.

26 IBU

Added by SavvyStudent on 03-21-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 102 | Ratings: 516
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle someone brought to share at drewone's tasting.

Batch 2013-3. Best before 10/2013.

Pours a hazy brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, and jalapeno-like aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and coffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the pepper smell I am getting from this one is odd.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

another gem from the smokestack series, I always like these local coffee roaster/local brewer combinations, and this one does not disappoint. it pours a deep amber color, radiant, but not super thick. the head is short and tan in color, and it fades out in a few minutes. the nose is wonderful, possibly this beers beast feature. its really fresh dark roasted coffee beans, with some interesting blueberry type fruit notes, and a lot of sweeter caramel malt that provides some bitterness to the taste. subtle but also bitter hints of dark chocolate come into play in the taste, which has a particular damp soil sort of earthen quality to it with the sweetness. the coffee is the dominant flavor, as it should be, and the alcohol starts to creep in toward the finish, especially as the beer warms up a little. thinner in body may be a detractor to some, but I like it in this context of such deep dark complexity, its almost refreshing in that way. it could use a little more carbonation to perk it up a little, but overall this is a really nice beer that offers a great coffee and booze buzz for the price of one. a little too much acidity for mass consumption though.

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Photo of metter98
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is slightly hazy brownish amber in color. It poured with a finger high tan head that died down and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of roasted coffee beans are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to smell and has lots of coffee flavors along with some hints of brown sugar and sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is exactly as it is advertised and has lots of coffee and flavors. It's not too difficult to drink because most of the alcohol is hidden from the taste.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Not a stout, simply a big-bodied Amber-type ale is the base from which the inquisitive Ethiopian coffee to layer upon. Its a remarkably drinkable beer with earthy and authentic coffee flavor and works extremely well with the caramelly base beer.

Its bronze-ish appearance brings about golden and brown hues. Its modest haze allows light to diffuse through it in glowing fashion. The ale is firmly topped with just off of white color and it laces with broken collars at every sip.

Toasty and sweetly scented- the foundation of the beer rests squarely on caramel malt. Its bold grain profile allows for a slight ester character of apple and peach to rise just before the full brunt of coffee locks into the nose.

Those caramel and graham cracker flavors also layer on the taste buds just before the full coffee flavors take hold. Lightly fruity and biscuity- its base taste seems quite British. But that bold coffee flavor turn nutty with pecans, lightly scorched toffee and roasted walnut-type bitterness. Earthen chicory, soil and stem all reinforce a rustic and genuine java taste with hints of pepper and aniseed.

Despite its boastful alcohol, the ale registers on the palate with only medium-full weight. Where the coffee is usually chauffeured by Imperial Stout underpinnings, this Strong Ale allows the beer to seem lightened and drinkable in comparison. Its bitter coffee taste causes mild astringency as if extracting wood tannin from the coffee seed. Warm and semi-sweet in its finish, the ale is curiously mild in body.

The real charming part of the beer is that there's no confussion about the origins of the coffee flavor- its not roasted malt, its not chocolate malt, its not smoked malt. Its actual coffee. Where I love the straight-forward taste it takes part of the fun out of it for me.

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Photo of brentk56
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Arrives ice tea brown with an impressive cap that leaves spots and dashes behind

Smell: Rich coffee aromatics

Taste: The coffee flavor is pronounced and blends with caramel and a hint of chocolate in the front end; after the swallow, the coffee builds and dominates the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not really what I was expecting and I was not in love with the result; different, for a coffee beer and it smelled a lot better than it tasted to my palate though it is still a good beer; too much coffee and not enough other flavors in the finish for me to like it more

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Photo of kojevergas
3.49/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

9.3% ABV. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap/cage over a cork acquired at a local SoCal beer store for $8.99 and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stemtulip glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; Boulevard is really growing on me. Smokestack Series. Brewed with rye, oats, malted barley, Perle hops, and Styrian Golding hops. Batch Number 2013-3. Best by 10/2013.

Served chilled and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger khaki colour head of fair cream, pretty decent thickness, and pretty good (~4+ minute) retention for the high ABV. Light even lacing as the head slowly recedes. Body colour is a dark amber-brown. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Glowing, but not vibrant. Nontransparent; opaque. It's in that indistinct strong ale zone all right; there's nothing telling about the appearance. I don't often see amber hued beers brewed with coffee, but I'm looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Lovely delightful coffee notes - including the rich roasty backbone I always look for in a good coffee stout or porter. No coffee bitterness, just lovely aromatic java. Some caramel and biscuit malt fill out the body nicely. I do pick up the oats - and to a lesser extent the rye - which adds just a touch of nearly imperceptible spice. Hops are floral and un-emphasized; they're here as preservatives and hopefully for a subtle hop flavour. Hints of espresso. Some light hazelnut coffee. Lightly earthy. Hints of unrefined brown sugar. A lovely aroma with a unique spin on the use of coffee; this isn't just another stout - it comes off like a brown ale with heavy wondrous coffee and a touch of oatmeal stout. Very inviting. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T/Mf: Lovely coffee roast is great up front but gets a bit too earthy as it goes into the second act. Some hazelnut, caramel, and brown malts comprise the bulk of the body with sprinklings of light minimized floral hop character on the fringes. Some biscuit malt. Lightly creamy; I could use a bit more of that to suit the coffee. What I like about the coffee notes is their lack of perceptible bitterness - which is often a problem in coffee beers. The oats smooth it out somewhat but not too much; there's still a bit of coarseness to bring out the flavours and keep the coffee texture enjoyable. It's nicely thick - a good thickness for the high ABV, actually. Not too filling or overwhelming. Nice presence on the palate. Wet but short of refreshing. Pretty good depth of flavour; though the coffee is the only truly refined note it really fills out on the palate. I like the interplay between the subtle hazelnut and the dominant coffee, but I could use more complexity here. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Balanced if overly simple. Well built.

Dr: Not an easy one to categorize. It's quite drinkable for the ABV, but I don't feel comfortable calling it a Strong Ale. Judging it as a "Coffee Ale" per Boulevard's descriptor, it's pretty good but far from great. The price point could be better. I might get it again on-draught, but it's not blowing me away. Still, it'll be rather easy to finish the whole bottle by meself. Well executed for its aims, Boulevard Coffee Ale is worth a try for those coffee stout fans who are in the mood for something a little more approachable and a bit less intricate.

High B-

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Photo of emerge077
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

BBD: 10 - 2013

Tawny reddish brown, murky with sediment and some tan foam on the surface. Softly acidic coffee in the nose, roasty and slightly sweet with woody notes of nutmeg and bakers chocolate. Very coffee forward, medium bodied, dry and roasty, light bitterness in the finish. The coffee flavor has a nice complexity to it, and the abv is well hidden. Recommended.

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

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 2/2013. Pours moderately hazy and cloudy deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big roasted coffee beans, caramel, toast, toffee, oats, brown bread, spicy rye, floral, and light roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with big presence of the coffee with well balanced malt/hop complexity. Taste of roasted coffee beans, caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, oats, light spicy rye, floral, and light roasted earthiness. Lingering notes of coffee beans, caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, floral, oats, and light roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of coffee with malt flavors; with no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy, slick, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice coffee ale. Very nice balance and complexity of coffee and malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jlindros
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

head starts small so I increased the pour then suddenly huge head that takes up 3/4 of the glass, foamy fluffy head, light lacing, hazy sediment laden cranberry red color.

Nose big amber reddish malts, sweet little syrupy, toasty, brown sugar and toffee, coffee grinds mild coffee lighter roast, waft of booze, light alcohol esters and fruity, caramel coffee, quite syrupy like aroma.

Taste starts with a cold extracted coffee, mild roast with a light earthy nutty coffee flavor, light coffee syrup, toasted grinds but without any acrid burnt flavors or tannins, very smooth. Light caramel and toffee, amber malts, little toasty, brown sugar, etc, and a nutty Jamaican like coffee flavor. Faint booze warmth and taste, mild sweetness, chewy, rich. Some bitterness from light grassy earthy hops, little floral too. Finish is semi sweet and sticky, light booze, more smooth coffee, syrupy brown sugar toffee, and light earthy hop bitterness.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, decent carb.

Overall not bad, very smooth coffee without tannins or bitter acrid flavors so must be cold extraction, nice flavors, sweets, and nice light hop infusion. Pretty tasty and surprisingly smooth and easy to drink.

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

Corked and caged 750ml. Batch # 2013-3. Best by date: 10-2013.

A; Pours a caramel brown with a solid 2-finger thick, light tan head with good retention leaving chunky lace.

N: Cocoa powder, cream, roasted coffee, nutty and grainy.

T: Roasty coffee, slightly burnt wood, dark chocolate, earthy and fruity.

M: Semi-full body and moderate carbonation. Creamy, rich, sweet and mellow coffee finish.

O: Basic coffee ale. No bitterness, perhaps a bit too sweet. At 9.3% this one is semi-strong.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle - $8.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Batch Number/Best By Date: 2013-1 10-2013.

Appearance: Pours a well-clouded, opaque, mahogany body with a rather tall, lofty layer of browned suds.

Smell: Heavy coffee scent atop what seems to be a big, bolstered brown ale with dense notes of toasted bread crusts, packed brown sugar (dark, natch), cocoa powder. Some cutting alcohol tones noted, some estery kicks, too.

Taste: Dive into a thick pile of bread crusts layered in sweet-tasting dark brown sugar given a pinch of chocolate powder. Yeah, you've got a little caramel, too. Some raisiny fruitiness noted. Hops are present, yielding some bitterness and struggling citrus to adjoin the alcohol warmth. Plenty of coffee character throughout. The booze ratchets up, eventually overtaking the other tastes, and lasting until the dry, boozy, coffee-laced finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Highly carbonated, though it settles out within a reasonable timeframe.

Overall: Imperfect, but shows hopeful promise. I would revisit a later batch. No, really, I would!

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Photo of russpowell
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Batch #4 bottle opens with a resounding pop & the strong smell of coffee!

Pours an effervescent auburn with 3 fingers of tan head. Decent lacing, average head retention

S: Big-time coffee, a touch of cream & general roastyness, These aspects fade as this warms

T: Follows the nose, plus a touch of booze tinged hazel nut. Some lactic/creamy flavors as this warms, coffee grinds, & a touch of vanilla, plus dryness & a whisper of oak. Finishes dry, roasty, with a bit of hazel nut,

MF: Medium bodied, lively carbonation, pretty warming

Super easy to drink, will probably improve with age, but is pretty good right now, This compared favorably to the draft version I had last week. This is not a great coffee beer, but would buy this again if in 4 packs or if I see it on draft again

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.16/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Local Option cervoise.

If nothing else, it's at least nice to see a coffee-forward beer that doesn't have a stout at its base. This stuff pours a dark garnet-topaz topped by over a finger of wan off-gray foam. The nose is unsurprisingly dominated by coffee, though it's not just the sweet and roasty stuff you sniff whilst meandering through the right aisle at the supermarket, but rather a combination of that with some slightly soapy and briny veins. It's slightly off-putting, especially considering there's nothing buttressing or contrasting it. The taste begins with a decidedly bitter strain of coffee, followed by, in turn, light tobacco, mild caramel, light wheat, and then those strains of soapy and briny coffee. Shit, I never thought I'd write those words about coffees in beer when they're so much more at home in the world of Scotch, but, hey, when the words fit... The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, there's just too much off coffee in this coffee ale for my tastes. It'd have been one thing if it was strong with the usual brew, but the soap and the brine just kinda ruined things a bit for me.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.38/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown. Slight reddish tint. Big khaki head. Nice collar and retention.

Smell - All coffee. Maybe a bit of milk chocolate. Creamy smell, if that makes sense.

Taste - Coffee, slightly fruity flavor. Milk chocolate again and a slight spiciness.

Mouthfeel - High carbonation and a kick of booze. Medium body.

Overall - It's decent. Lots of coffee, but I'm not sure how much I really enjoy it.

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

Another fine creation by the team at Boulevard. The coffee ale is a great after dinner apertiff. The beer poured a deep redish amber with off white head that left some lacing. The scent was espresso driven with sweet hints. The taste had dark chocolate mixed with coffee....a mochachinno. Honestly....mix some coffee with B's chocolate ale....and you have the coffee ale. The mouthfeel was medium in body with good carbonation. Overall, this is a great beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.36/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass.

Huge head. Massive. Very swiss cheese and foamy on appearance, but no matter how you slice it, it just comes up large and dominating. Ochre light brown, with lots of retention it will just not go away. Body is a nice muted reddish brown, kind of dull slightly. Opaque. Aggressive but way too much head, still waiting to smell and drink this thing.

Nose though is pretty solid, if a little muted. Muted coffee with some fruit like strawberry esters it seems. Some light cream and vanilla, just very downplayed though. Pretty solid though and also nicely balanced. A little bit of cola sweetness and flatness though.

Mouthfeel is a little wet, and just moderately carbonated in feel it seems, it's the first thing I notice and it's not the palate. The palate does come out with some light roast, more like a brown ale, and slightly toasty and nutty. Muted coffee but only on the swallow and hardly detectable. Nice fruity ester quality on the finish and some chewy character a bit.

Overall though I am just not feeling this one from a brewery that I really enjoy a good portion of their lineup from. It has very little coffee presence and just feels a little lifeless.

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Photo of Tone
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black color. 5/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of strong coffee, roasted malt, slight sweet malt, hint of alcohol, and a hint of hops. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, strong coffee, alcohol, hops, sweet malt, and a hint of toffee. The coffee is strong and fresh tasting, but not over-powering in mouth feel; very well done.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Chuckanut pint glass. Pours a hazy, ruddy brown amber with tiny suspended dark particles and a thick light tan head with great retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of sweet coffee, honey, vanilla and light malt; more like a blended coffee drink than a fresh ground cup. Unusual but pleasant aroma. Flavor quite unlike the aroma, with a blended nuttiness, vanila and creamy coffee. Only hints of bready and maybe slightly toasted malt. An exceptionally creamy, full body that built on the blended coffee flavor of the aroma, almost approaching a coffee milk shake character. One of the best coffee ales I've had the opportunity to try. I have found coffee porters and stouts to be well balanced in flavor, but some of the coffee ales to be a bit to stark and "next morning coffee" bitter. The rich nutty body of this supports and compliments the coffee very nicely. I hope Boulevard makes this again.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice beer, and on that is surprisingly deceptive as far as the abv goes- it drinks like it's far weaker than it is. What I particularly like about this beer is that you get a deep coffee flavor (and quality coffee at that- well prepared) with no thin, woody, or sour notes, but a beer that is much lighter in body than an Imperial Stout- which is where you're more likely to find coffee. A touch of creaminess complements the coffee and there is a light roastiness and medium bitterness to balance everything out. It is a touch sludgy in the glass when you get to the last 1/5 of the bottle or so, and I wouldn't say it's the most attractive beer overall, but that's a relatively small point. A nice change of pace.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color with a foamy off-white head and some lacing. The aroma is a slight coffee and hop earthiness and a lot of coffee roast notes. The flavor is coffee throughout, with more roast coffee notes and a fewer chocolate notes over a fairly carbonated medium body.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

So a little backstory to this beer, I purchased it in early 2013, but it was firmly stashed in a part of the cellar that I rarely go into, yadda yadda, it wasn't found until the end of summer 2016.

I thought, oh no, conventional wisdom is that adjuncts like coffee fall apart quickly. This is just gonna be a mess of a beer, green bell pepper and all those other tired cliches people throw out because it says to say that if you want your BJCP cicerone homie stuff.

Anyways, it poured brown and red, small lighter brown head 1/2". Aroma still kicked a respectable amount of coffee. Sure enough, plenty of coffee in the taste as well, it wasn't hot, plenty smooth, minorly hopped to stay out of the way. Carbonation was spot on and oxidation was not really present. Anyways, long story short, this was a damn good beer unintentionally aged almost 3.5 years! Coffee was plenty strong and present!

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle into a FW tulip. bottled 3/2013 BB 10/2013

Pours a dark amber color with a moderate bubbly beige head. The smell is very full with coffee, even 7 months old! The flavor is coffee, caramel and a big amount of coffee. Reminiscent of an espresso with a nice liqueur added. ABV undetectable. Medium bodied, Medium to high carbonation.

Overall exceptional if you like a sweet treat. More like a dessert beer...but fans of coffee will enjoy at any time of day!

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 ml caged and corked bottle, Batch 2013-4, best by 10-2013. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours a dark reddish/brown color with about an inch and a half tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Not surprisingly, the aroma is mostly coffee. There's also roasted malt, nuts, vanilla and bittersweet chocolate noticeable. It tastes like coffee, roasted malt, dark bread, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate and surprisingly a bit of citrus. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a little creamy and slick with a good amount of carbonation. I liked this coffee brew, definitely worth a try. $12.99 a bottle.

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Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1 and a half inch head, medium carbonation, cloudy

Smell: coffee roast and toasted malt

Taste: deep roasted coffee, light cream, chocolate, and sugar

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, medium body, sweet and rich with light bitterness

Overall: I have had a lot of great coffee beers lately. While this does not achieve greatness it is solid and very food. The coffee is prominent in this one, but reserved just enough from making it a coffee bomb. Glad I was able to have this.

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Photo of Bung
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml picked up yesterday in Asheville. A dark amber/rusty red pour, solid finger of fine foamy head.

Aroma, a nice coffee with some malty caramel accents. A little bit of cocoa.

Taste, nice toffee maltyness. Coffee is really integrated well with this. Hazelnut and some cocoa. One of the better straight coffee and not coffee porter or stout brews I've tasted.

Extreamely smooth. Fine creamy carbonation. Coating but not sticky. Really nice drinking. Taste and body are this brew's strong points.

Would buy more of this for sure.

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Coffee Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
3.99 out of 5 based on 516 ratings.
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