Saturday, February 9, 2013

Boulevard Single-Wide IPA

You don’t tend to see too many IPAs that are bottle-conditioned, especially single IPAs. Well, Boulevard has shattered that mold with their Single-Wide IPA. Though it’s made in the Midwest, it’s very much in the style of a West Coast IPA with a citrusy aroma and flavor, plus overt astringent bitterness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (809) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 9, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Hazy peach-skinned color, though carbonation is visible. Forms a huge, Duvel-like head that’s bright white and looks like whipped marshmallow. It is slow to dissipate and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Orange candy and a light floral sweetness.

Taste: There’s no doubt that Boulevard Single-Wide IPA is brewed for hopheads. It’s pretty much all hops from beginning to end and even in the aftertaste. Much like the aroma, the taste is akin to orange candy Sweet Tarts. There’s almost a tartness to it because it’s so dry and bitter. I prefer an IPA that’s more juicy and refreshing, so the dryness here reminds me more of a saison but without any white grape character.

If you look at the brewery’s description of the beer you’ll find it rather impressive. Brewed with five types of malts and six different hops, it should be a pretty complex palate and a big one as well. Yet, the palate here is rather simple and repetitive: orange candy and a touch of light malt or honey flavor with a sharp hop bite of 57 IBUs and a lingering dry aftertaste. The bottle conditioning could have something to do with the perceived dryness and the like and I’m not sure what’s to be gained by this packaging method. That’s not to say it’s a bad beer, not at all. It’s quite satisfying and with the right food pairing it could work wonders.

Drinkability: Though the palate may be bold, the actual delivery is not. Boulevard Single-Wide IPA is well carbonated, but not overly so, which enables is fairly smooth finish and comfortable mouthfeel. The hops definitely do linger and I wouldn’t judge anyone for taking a sip of water between each swig. I am impressed there’s so much flavor out of the 5.7% ABV weight, though I would find it challenging to drink more than one at a time.
 Grade: 7/10

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