Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Boulevard Dark Truth Stout (2015 original review)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20Chad9976 (1523) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 23, 2015
I’m not really sure why American brewers feel the need to ferment non-Belgian beer styles with Belgian yeast. In case of Boulevard Dark Truth Stout – an imperial stout fermented with the stuff – the result is rather negligible since the yeast character has little effect on the finished product. This is an excellent, classic, and all-around impressive and delicious brew – Belgian yeast or not.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 8/13/15 and cost $3.79 ($0.32 per ounce).

Appearance: Inky black body that’s virtually opaque. Pours to a fairly large, brown, foamy head which retains and laces very well.

Smell: Dark chocolate – almost syrupy. Plenty of dark fruit as well, though it’s almost assuredly the yeast esters. Alcohol is noticeable, but blends well with the nose.

Taste: When I think imperial stout, I think of a palette just like the one here. There’s a lot going on: it’s both sweet and remarkably bitter. Strong dark chocolate flavors throughout; akin to German cake. Roasted malt is prominent as well and it helps bridge the gap between the sweet dark maltiness and the fairly intense bitterness that emerges on the apex. There’s a slightly burnt toast flavor, though more of a spicy bitterness likely due to the hops. On the finish I get a lovely dark fruit sensation as only then does the Belgian yeast become apparent in the palette. The alcohol adds a light vanilla sensation and is not distracting at all.

Drinkability: I had reservations about Boulevard Dark Truth Stout considering it’s a pretty potent brew at 9.7% ABV. Thankfully, it is not a beast at all as the alcohol lingers in the background and is only noticeable as a warming sensation in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is plenty full-bodied, though not quite the sticky sensation found in other imperial stouts. There’s a nice aftertaste of bitter dark chocolate which is rather pleasant.

RATING: 10/10

NOTE: See my 2018 re-review to BJCP specs here:

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