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.
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
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.