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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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
jandd1983 (4160) - Wentzville, Missouri, USA - MAR 2, 2013
Sampled at the W&C Ballas open house. It poured a beige/tan color with a small off-white head. The aroma was of spicy citrus. It was a little different style than expected. The taste was some chocolate up front followed quickly by citrus and a spicy rye finish. Very good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jbruner (4567) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - MAR 1, 2013
Pours a dark brownish black from the bottle with nice tan head and light lacing. Aroma is heavy on the piney hops, a slight roasted malt middle, and more floral hops on the back end. Taste follows, very clean on the mouth with a quickly bitter finish. This is some good stuff.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
bootsjohn (68) - Texas, USA - FEB 28, 2013
Full 750 to the dome solo. Poured into my chic Lakewood Brewing mega-snifter and given ample time to warm past 60 degrees. Pour is luscious; billowy eggshell off white head that rises past the glass top. Bubbles, big and small, remain laced on the majority of the exposed glass. A great looking pour to start off. The beer itself is oddly matte brown-black. No oily sheen as youd expect in a big stout. First whiff is a let down, as are all that follow. This brew has a very flat nose. Pine needles, biscuit, semi ripe orange, and a spicy rye backing are all there, but somehow muted. The taste, however, is quite redeeming. Like the nose not overwhelming, but deep in a more enjoyable fashion. Lots of pine and orange juice. The ryes lingering spice falls in queue next. Surprisingly present alcohol, then red apple, light caramel, and lemon zest. Body is lighter than expected, which isnt entirely dislikable. Finish is watery but lingering. I like it, but am not sure Ill buy again with Firestones Wookey Jack coming soon.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
tylermgaddis (16) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 28, 2013
Pours a nice blackish brown, slight red hues. Smells piney! Taste slightly of coffee, yet spicy from the rye, yet bitter from the hops. Really confusing thanks to that midnight wheat, but really, really good. Luckily I gots three mo!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
kidmartinek (4999) - austin, Texas, USA - FEB 28, 2013
Black beer with bright dirty white head. Aroma is.resinous hoppy citrus is.the.flavor. but the.taste you would think this is a rich copper beer. The rye taste is hinted on the finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ArrogantDusty (40) - Missouri, USA - FEB 27, 2013
I pour lightly into a Smokestack glass , but it still billows over the edge. Gotta love the carbonation on these Boulevard Smokestack brews. Pure black in color with some crimson hues. Major lacing. Amarillo, citra, and simcoe make one hell of a nose from the moment you open the bottle. Tastes has an Interesting progression. The rye spice is up front followed by some bitter chocolate flavors. Then you get a wave of earthy and somewhat citrusy hops, rounds out with that rye spice again. Id hate to be in a storm raining down actual grain but anyway....Fantastic brew. ...Also, bacon and eggs make a great pairing! Though I do love bacon and eggs at any time.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Pawola22 (3262) - Woodridge, Illinois, USA - FEB 27, 2013
750ml bottle from Binnys Lincoln Park. Batch #2012-3, Best By 08-2013. Pours a black body with just a slight reddish hue. Inch thick, dense, foamy and frothy, brown head that dissipates slowly and leaves a nice lacing. Aroma is loaded with pineapple and grapefruit citruses as well as a nicely balanced roast and rye spice. A lightly sweetened, crackery and somewhat bready malt backing holds everything together while allowing the hops, rye, and roast to stay prominent and dry. Flavor is similar. Citrusy pineapples and grapefruits up front with a slight juiciness, but not overly so because of the pleasant, dry rye spiciness. Lots of florals and citruses remain throughout while a nice, balanced roast mixes very well with the rye. Crackery, bready, lightly sweetened malts with just a slight caramel note keep everything in check before this finishes dry, citrusy, roasty, somewhat spicy, and pretty smooth with a moderate bitterness. Lengthy aftertaste following a medium body and a somewhat lively, medium-high carbonation. Overall, this was pretty awesome. Tons of citrusy hops balanced with a nice rye spice and pleasant roastiness. Dry, but fairly smooth and very easy to drink throughout. Another great Smokestack release from Blvd.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ozarkspops (368) - - FEB 27, 2013
Dark dark brown pour. Thick khaki head with lots of lacing. Hop forward aroma. Mostly citrus. Rye spice comes trough slightly as well as a little bit of roastiness. Hop bitterness, citrus, grapefruit comes through first, but the rye spice really hits too. Nice malt backbone. A little bit of chocolate malt. But very hop forward black ipa. If I never saw it I would think it was a typical west coast ipa. ---Rated via iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
adnielsen (10584) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - FEB 26, 2013
Bottle @ home, picked up at Wilburs Fort Collins. Pours a hazy, dark brown appearance with a big brown head. Quite spicy rye, slightly charred malty, light oaty, spicy herbal, light piney hoppy, somewhat bready yeasty, light fruity aroma. Bakers chocolate, nicely toasted chocolate malty, lightly sweet but well balanced with some piney, slightly resiny, herbal hops. Nice spiciness from the rye and hops also. Enjoyable.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
rajendra82 (1073) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - FEB 24, 2013
When you open a bottle of beer, and the smell of the hops hits you before you pour the beer, you know that a treat to the senses is coming. This was one of those times. The smell of grapefruit became stronger with beer having been liberated from the bomber, but oddly did not get much more intense while nosing the glass. The look was as dark as a stout, but the head formation was much more massive, at three plus fingers thick. The head did not seem to go anywhere at all till I typed all this. The taste was very complex, with a constant interplay of light and dark malts and hops. There were notes of licorice, banana, coffee, dark toasted bread, grapefruit, and iced tea flying across the tongue in rapid succession. There was not a lot of heft to the body though, and the finish was a little watered down. I also did not notice much of a rye influence, as the dark malt seemed a lot more assertive. Boulevard produces another winner. What a surprise..not.

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