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 bnes09
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Chocolate brown with ruby hues when held to light. Huge head on the pour overflows the rim of the glass and gradually settles a thin film and ring around the glass leaving a few foamy lace lines.

Rich, sweet, smooth and spicy aroma. Brown sugar, toffee and roasted almonds. Ginger and nutmeg spice. Surprisingly little coffee in the aroma.

Smooth roasted malt flavor. Sweet toffee and brown sugar. Hint of coffee. Prune juice sweetness. No hops detected. Well balanced between the roasted and sweet flavors.

Full bodied with a malty texture. Slightly sticky on the lips without a syrupy feel. Well carbonated for the strength.

Great brew. A big brown ale well balanced with hints of coffee. I could definitely visit this one again.

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Photo of Ri0
4.26/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured 750ml bottle into snifter

A - Mahogany with flecks of ruby in the light. Massive mocha 4 finger head on the pour. I didn't expect this type of beer to have so much carbonation. Fades very slowly and maintains a thin cap the entire session. Splotches of lacing around the glass.

S - Big roasted coffee and malts. Faint amounts of bitter, chocolate, and even some smoke. Maybe a bit of earthiness and a touch of toffee to round it off.

T - Big bad coffee and roasted malt dominates the flavor. A nice light bitterness with some chocolate, smoke, and earthy flavors comes in at the end. I don't taste any alcohol.

M - For a strong ale this is a medium body that is very creamy and rich. Very nice feel when drinking.

O - This is an ale that has intense coffee flavor and a touch of smoke. It is really an outstanding beer. I think I may like this more than Surly Bender, but that is a Brown Ale and always available. If you like coffee and don't need it to be a stout, get a hold of this one. Really enjoyed this beer, thanks to Nick.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, shared at a tasting.

A: Clear red-brown body under two inches of frothy tan head. Good retention and lacing. Lovely.

S: Huge coffee absolutely dominates, with spicy, chocolate, and faint fruit in the background. A little smoke, too, as it warms. Wow.

T: Coffee up front, chocolate behind. Spice and smoke on the finish. Very nice.

M: Creamy, supple medium body. Excellent.

O: Great beer. It manages to focus exclusively on the coffee without being an absolute one-trick-pony. Reminds me of what I imagine Imperial Coffee Bender would be like, which is a very good thing indeed.


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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 BeerNutz324
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 ml into 2 mason jars...split with the wife cause that's how we roll

Ap- pours a dark, dark brown almost completely opaque but not quite. Appears rather bubbly. Head is off white and has decent retention.

Ar- java beans, roasted/burnt malts, cocoa, and my wife is itching for the taste portion so I guess we are done with smells

T- nice and sweet, coffee kicks in next and lingers well as does the chocolate. The alcohol is present at the end, but not in an off putting way.

M- medium/thick bodied, has really strong carbonation on the mouth-hold, maybe a tad more than we expected, a bit creamy for an ale as well, which is a nice surprise

O- solid coffee ale, glad we picked it up for $9.99 and had the chance to try this one time brew. Would have been even better as a morning brew with some bacon n' eggs

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

Coffee Ale was poured into a sampler, appearing a brownish black color with a slight mocha head topping off the glass. By the aroma, it was quite apparent that this was a coffee beer. Most closely, it smelled like used coffee grounds. I make this comparison in a positive manner. In the initial taste, one notes coffee that is sweeter toward the front. Toward the finish, the coffee grows a little more tart. There is a certainly level of creaminess, but it will not overwhelm anybody without keen attention to detail. The mouthfeel would certainly suggest this to be a bubbly ale, as it is fairly thin. This is not my favorite coffee ale, but a good one.

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

P: Pours a dark brown with red tint and a massive crown of dense cappuccino froth.

S: Robust roasted coffee, mocha, resinous barley, chocolate malt balls, nutmeg, soy sauce and sweet booze.

T/M: Roasted coffee drizzled with amaretto syrup, smoldered wood, chocolate covered espresso beans, non dairy creamer and a big booze presence. Taste is rough and artificial. Moderate carbonation in a creamy body and dry spicy barley laced with creamer sweetness.

O: I love the smokestack series but this is the only one I've had that missed the mark. This tastes similar to an iced amaretto coffee with too much non dairy creamer. It's coffee forward for sure but wasn't a fan of the completed concoction.

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

Shared with friend from 750ml cork/caged bottle outdoors on a hot afternoon. Served in a Crown and Rose Pub nonic.

This ale is not the prettiest thing around, but shows off a large bubbly crown of cola colored foam. The tea-cola-brown colored brew is quite muddy and reminds me a a bit of old cloudy iced tea or weak coffee with an very slight splash of cream. Still, it's interesting enough to call it good. Lace was scant as the large sized bubbles just truck around the glass at will like they're on ice skates.

I love the smell of coffee and malt, so it goes without saying that I'm going to dig this aroma. Mostly fresh roasted coffee bean, but the sweet caramel nutty backbone is obvious. Hops are nearly vacant to my nose, but it's fine - this is about coffee.

Sweeter than I expected for not being a stout. Big bold coffee is in your face until that sweet caramel malt hits. You're left with some zing from the rye and light peppery hop profile. I like it even though my friend was forcing his down to move on to the next beer of the afternoon - he is NOT a coffee drinker.

The medium body keeps large bubbles afloat. A bit like cola.

Overall. I'd buy it again, but would prefer a Winter release. And I have to wonder what they could do if they mingled the Roasterie beans with a big stout.

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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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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 Roger55
4.26/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Aroma: Coffee with cream, some spices like bread or rye, sweet vanilla.

Taste: COFFEE, vanilla, sweetness, COFFEE, also did I mention the coffe flavor which works exceptionally well?!

OVERALL: Pretty damn good, Boulevard has not disappointed me so far. This Ale is something anyone should try.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I enjoy it when breweries collaborate with other local businesses, even if the final result ends up like that Rogue-Voodoo Doughnut creation. Good to see Boulevard teaming up with Kansas City’s own Roasterie coffee shop for this one.

Brewed just two months before the date of this tasting, in April, with a best-before date of October 2013.

A: If the cork and cage doesn’t remind you enough of champagne, the foam will – a mountain of effervescent fizz appears from just a gentle pour, subsequently popping and sizzling as it makes it way down from a full five inches to a solid inch of creamy retention. Tawny amber body, hazy and thick.

S: Aromas of sweet vanilla icing and caramel combine with peat, hickory smoke, and burnt toast to create a scent of complex, aromatic coffee quality. Apart from that, there’s a biscuity malt tone, with hints of cinnamon-sugar and dark chocolate scattered throughout. Finishes with a metallic tinge reminiscent of a more acrid cup of coffee.

T: Coffee seems to always add an acidic component to beer, and this is no different; first tastes dry out the palate with a leafy hop and spent coffee ground taste. Together, it’s an astringent initial flavor that reminds me of Coca-Cola’s aftertaste: brightly acidic and kind of artificial. Fortunately, the palate is saved by a balancing flavor of bitter smoke, dark chocolate, walnut, and rye bread, tastes that elevate this beer past a lackluster coffee character. The chewy, well-made porter flavor beneath everything else is what turns it into something worth remembering. The finish is a sesame seed and espresso after-effect, oily and a little burnt. Be warned, though – the acidic character sticks with you like lemon juice.

M: Full-bodied is the operative word here; instead of drinking like a bubbly coffee beer, this one drinks like a thick porter bordering on stout territory (which, in essence, is what it is). Milky texture with a subtle, silky carbonation.

O: This is a prime example of a pretty counterproductive union. Sometimes good+good=great, but sometimes good+good=just alright because the two collaborators don’t blend very well. In this beer, there’s something off, but the final product ends up fulfilling and drinkable; it ends up as a modest attempt at a coffee-porter union, but overall, nothing special.

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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 trxxpaxxs
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Twig for this bottle...

A: Pours a deep black with dark brown hues around the edges. There is a good amount of head that takes awhile to settle. There is only minimal lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is coffee, caramel, vanilla, and milk chocolate. This beer smells great.

T: It starts off sweet with mild caramel and vanilla, but the coffee kick into high gear right after. Damn. It's like a cup of coffee. Fantastic. Sweet and bitter in the middle, malt and coffee flavors mingle well. The finish is coffee and toffee.

M: Full bodied beer. It is sweet and coating to start, coats the palate, and the flavors linger long after the beer is gone.

O: I was not expecting such coffee forwardness. This beer is awesome. If the ABV weren't so damn high, I'd drink this regular. Fantastic.

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

Poured a 3 finger head in a tulip glass. The color is darker- not opaque: a lighter coffee color.

Dark roasted coffee wafting from the head. This is Ethiopian Sidamo- a collaboration with the Roasterie in Kansas City. Heavy roasted aroma, with chocolate and vanilla.

Mouth feel is very smooth with limited carbonation.

The beer should be served warmer: 50-55F. The taste is a balanced coffee( not as pronounced as the aroma), chocolate, and lemon.

A wonderful malt presence. Complex, easy drinking beer.

One of the best coffee beers I have tasted.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.64/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Huge carbonation during pour. Chocolate brown in appearance. Coffee on the nose and nothing else. Velvety mouthfeel. Dark roasted coffee flavor, slightly alcoholic aftertaste. Similar to Founders Breakfast Stout, but not as intense in flavor and aroma. Very good.

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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 Pencible
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque dark mahogany with lots of thick tan head.
S: It smelled like fresh roasted coffee, with some cream and a little metallic hops.
T: It tasted like bold dark coffee, with some smoke and sugar and cream. It had a clean and lasting bitter aftertaste.
M: It was thick with moderate fine natural carbonation. Very nice slick body.
D: This was a really nice coffee beer. It had a simple but solid scent and taste. The body was great, and the finish was pretty smooth. The alcohol was well hidden too, so it was easy to drink. Probably better fresh. Not amazing, but really enjoyable.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

picked up in a recent trip to Chicago. enjoyed from a Boulevard tulip. Brew poured a soft brown with a massive foamy head that grew in the glass after the pour. Smalls of roasted chocolate malt with gourmet coffee. Taste follows the same path with a soft chocolate gourmet coffee vibe. Definitely as advertised and a kick ass almost coffee flavored milk stout. Really soft and easy drinking.

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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 hardy008
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark hazy red color with a 2 finger off white head. Has nice retention and lacing. The aroma has coffee, cream. and nothing else. If I was blindfolded and somebody set this down in front of me, I would think they set down a cup of coffee with some cream.

The taste is more than just coffee and cream. There is also cocoa powder, caramel, and some dark chocolate. The taste becomes sweeter as it warms. I do not taste the rye that is listed on the bottle, but I can taste the smoothness of the oats.

Medium bodied with average carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. The alcohol is well hidden for a beer with 9.30 % abv. The aftertaste has coffee with cocoa and caramel. I like this beer well enough to buy it again.

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Photo of BrewerB
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Coffee. That wonderful black elixir with which I start every morning. I certainly consider myself a beer geek these days but was a certified coffee geek long before. In my kitchen you'll find an array of coffee preparation devices including a Chemex, porcelain single cup, espresso machine, and french press. And now that I've developed a passion for craft beer, I'm always interested in the next great coffee brew. So here goes...

Pouring into my Firestone Walker Barrelworks Teku glass this is reddish brown capped by a 1-2 finger dense light tan foam. Lacing clings to the glass as the head retreats and there are noticeable legs as well. I didn't even have to bring this near my nose to pick up on the prevalent fresh brewed coffee aromas. As I dug in, I picked up some dried blueberry and a hint of sliced peaches along with bit of bittersweet chocolate. Flavor-wise this one's all about the coffee. Slight acidity on the finish but brewed coffee all the way through. Touch of sweetness here, too. Spicy, black-pepper notes pop up as the beer warms. The coffee flavor reminds me most of a medium roast, pour-over type preparation. No hop flavor to speak of. Medium/medium-light in body with some warmth from the alcohol.

No doubt that Boulevard nailed the name on this beer. It's all about the coffee. And some might think that's a bit of a detriment as it seems to skew a little one-dimensional. That said, I'd say they accomplished what they set out to do by marrying the two well-crafted beverages into one.

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Photo of weonfire
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed this on tap at the Tap House Grill in Westmont, IL in a 10oz snifter.

A - Mahogany, opaque, small ring of mocha head around rim, small light lacing

S - Fresh ground coffee, toffee, carmel and chocolate

T - Fresh coffe, sweet milk chocolate, toffee, carmel, butterscotch. Initially it starts bitter - finish is quite sweet.

M - low/med body, coffee is very pleasant, not frothy or creamy, coffee does linger

O - Wow is the coffee flavor nice! Blends very nicely with the sweetness of the chocolate and butterscotch. If only the body was thicker. This does have potential to be Fantastic. ABV is hidden so well. Nose again, has that excellent coffee notes. But until things thicken up- it will stand as 'good'

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch Number/Best By Date: 2013-3/10-2013

A: Pours a ruby/mahogany color with a good 3 fingers worth of off-white head that retains forever and leaves huge patches of thick lacing down the entirety of the glass

S: Starts off with a good dose of coffee with a nice roasty and earthy background. Also get some very light spiciness from the rye

T: Follows the nose. Very coffee forward, backed up by a light fruity spiciness and roasted malts. Finishes with a light bitterness and caramel malt sweetness

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Nice and smooth from the oats

O: A very nice coffee beer with a clear emphasis on the coffee. Good price-point at $9.99 for a C&C 750 mL bottle. Wouldn't recommend aging this one because of the coffee, but that's personal preference

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Photo of darthhamby
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a smoky, burnt sienna in color with almost a three inch khaki head.

S - Fresh roasted coffee beans, like opening up a the best coffee on a cold Spring morning while camping.

T - The coffee notes rush to the limelight, with brown sugar and toffee notes in their supporting roles following. A hint of dark chocolate rounded off the sensory overload. I think Perle hops are there to add a little spice to the party.

M - I would say a light to medium mouthfeel with a decent amount of carbonation.

O - I didn't pick up on the 9.3% ABV but it's there. A nice sweet finish, and a delightful beer. I look forward to next year's batch.

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