Boulevard Smokestack Series: Grainstorm Black Rye IPA

RATINGS: 337   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.72/5   SEASONAL: Spring   EST. CALORIES: 231   ABV: 7.7%
Just when you thought it was safe to come out of the root cellar, along comes Grainstorm, a big, wet wallop to the senses. Dark clouds gather on the horizon of your glass. A high-pressure system of pungent hops collides with a stationary front of barley, oats, wheat, and rye. The forecast: a monsoon of flavor with surges of roasty malt, microbursts of fruity notes, and a chance of golfball-sized hail. The extended outlook calls for unseasonably pleasant enjoyment.

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AZBennett (114) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - APR 24, 2013
ours dark drown with a massive tan head that fades slowly. Aromas are rye, roast, cigar ash and finally some pine/grass hops. Flavor is mainly rye and roast with some semi-sweet malt flavors (caramel and burnt sugar) these are layered atop a very minimalistic hop backbone that is citrus fighting pine bitterness. The palate is probably the only part that really makes the cut and is just heavy enough to hold up to the roast in this beer and not be overwhelming. Overall, this beer fails to really pull me in, and I absolutely love BIPAs. It doesn’t have a strong enough hop character rather the roast and a muddled bitterness really take over the flavor in this beer. It isn’t bad but not even in the same conversation as FW Wookey Jack. (Batch 02-2012, BestBy 08-2013)

beastiefan2k (3981) - HdG (past: NYC, KS, Rain City), Maryland, USA - APR 24, 2013
750mL cork&cage bottle poured into a Blvd tulip glass. Batch #2012-2, curious - there was only one batch of this brewed, maybe a double batch? Best buy 08-2013, that is an extremely far out date for a hopcentric beer.
Appearance: Despite an attempt to pour gentle, after filling the bulbous portion of the glass the greyish side of kahaki colored head foamed all the way up. Needed to slurp a bit off before it foamed out. With so much head the retention is pretty good while the lacing is not as stick as expected. Color of the beer is almost black but actually a very very dark brown.
Aroma: I have had this beer the week it was released on tap and now in bottle (refrigerated since the release). The tap version blew my mind and it was a good deal different than this bottles. The nose on this bottles is dominated by pine, wet pine and resinous. Wet cut grass comes next then its followed by sweet , chewy bitter hoppiness. The pine hops dominate but as you let the aromatics settle some faint baker’s chocolate arises but not much maltiness present in the beer. I do not get any roast (thank goodness for my tastes). My memory of the very fresh draft version included more hop dimensionality to the beer. There was a bouquet of sweet and juice hops along with some citrus. It may have been the time, format, or just general lying to my sense that makes the difference.
Flavor: Flavor begins with wet pine and green hops than a moderate dosage of hop bitterness that sticks around. The end of the flavor and aftertaste is some gentle and sweet dark malts (again, light unsweetened cocoa). Slightly drying hops in the finish as well. Bitterness sits at the back of the throat for a little while.
Palate: Medium to full bodied but with a moderate yet naturally delicate carbonation.
Overall: Blind I would not have guessed it was a Black IPA. No roast for me and no rye (but I am bad at identifying rye). Mainly, a piney beer, well balanced (for a hoppy beer). Enjoyed the fresh tap version even more than the bottles at about 2 months old (duh!).

mikedR (1561) - Gilbert, Arizona, USA - APR 23, 2013
Wow, this is a nice black IPA. Deep brown very spirited pour with off white head and hoppy aroma. Hoppy bitterness hits you first, but then a beautifully roastiness asserts itself, lingering for a bit until just the bitterness remains. Quite complex: in different sips different notes assert themselves. This style is one of my favorites, and this beer is a superb representative thereof! ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

Sammy (12205) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - APR 22, 2013
Americo’s bottle. Brown with a big head, lacy, and a hoppy aroma. meets the style with emphasis on hops rather than roasty. Tasty.

Stevesie (336) - - APR 21, 2013
From bottle. Pours dark with some tan head and significant lacing. Nose is an absolute treat--mainly grassy hops. Exceptionally smooth and very clean for a rye. This is the best Boulevard I’ve had.

solidfunk (8964) - Washington D.C., Washington DC, USA - APR 21, 2013
Thanks to Americo. Pours black with great head and lacing. Aroma of some hops and lots of roast malt. Thick consistency. Not getting a big sense of rye here. Finishes light bitter.

BobFrapples (50) - Bryan, Texas, USA - APR 21, 2013
The label leads you to believe it will be bitter, malty and over-the-top. Actually, this beer is smooth, balanced and very refreshing. Your taste buds are sucker punched as your senses tell them to expect a heavy, bitter dousing. Instead, they are treated to a perfectly balanced blend of malt and hops that bathe them in pure joy. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

DrSilverworm (9671) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - APR 21, 2013
750ml bottle, thanks to radarsock for sending me another example of my favorite style. It says "2012" on the back, but the other part of the date got ripped off by tape when I unpacked this. Shared with the local group. Dark brown color. Kind of hazy. Nice bigger khaki head, easily regenerates itself with some gentle swishing. Little loose lace. Medium-plus body. Lighter, smooth, kind of soft carbonation. Lightly dry on the finish. Light roasty, little chocolate, some herbal notes. Nice toasty malt. Little chocolate. Lightly spicy. Rye works well. Lighter bitter taste, little sweet. Good black IPA.

phaleslu (10267) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - APR 21, 2013
750 ml bottle shared by DrSilverworm- thanks again, Chris! Pours a dark brown color with a big, fizzy beige head that lasts a long time. Aroma of earthy, citrusy hops, toast, roast, dark chocolate, and rye spiciness. Flavor is pretty much the same. Light-medium bodied, with medium carbonation and a clean mouthfeel balanced between toasty and bitter. Well done black IPA.

jcr (2705) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - APR 21, 2013
750 ml. Deep brown body with ruby highlights. Huge frothy beige head, slowly diminishing. Aroma of citrus, orange, grapefruit, roasted malts, rye. The flavor is moderately sweet and lightly bitter. It finishes lightly to moderately sweet and lightly to moderately bitter. Light acidity. Medium body, creamy texture, lively carbonation. Not a big fan of black IPAs, but this one works. Light dark roast character lets hop flavors come through. Sweet orange juice, grapefruit and light resin.

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