546. Boulevard Brewing – Grainstorm Black Rye IPA

546. Boulevard Brewing - Grainstorm Black Rye IPA

We’ve been having a rough go of it lately, and so to escape things for a bit, my wife and I took the kids out to Flinger’s Pizza and Pub tonight for dinner. Nothing beats their tomato-basil cheesebomb (especially when you can’t eat meat on Fridays during lent), and the craft beers on tap. I usually try to stay away from beers like Boulevard that I can get easily, but this one looked interesting. It was confirmed when the waiter said he wasn’t planning to drink anything else there until this one was gone.

Location: On tap and served in a regular pint glass from at my Flinger’s Pizza and Pub in Bloomington, IL.

Numbers: 7.7% ABV, 230 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark black and no highlights were visible when held up to the light. It’s got a thin, creamy tan head on it, with a sort of burnt-grassy hop aroma.

Taste & Feel: The body is medium, and the mouthfeel is smooth and a bit creamy. There was a lightly sweet caramel and roasted malt flavor up front, followed by some citrusy hop flavors in the middle. The citrusy hop flavors grew in the finish, and were joined by a mix of piney hop flavors and bitterness, as well as some rye spiciness and a bit more roastiness. The roasty and citrusy flavors lasted briefly in the aftertaste.

Food Pairing: This beer has a mix of contrasting flavors, from roastiness to citrus, and therefore, I’d go with a solid meal to pair this this beer. For me, I’d go with a thick steak, as the char from the beef would mix nicely with the roastiness of the beer, and would help to knock down the citrusy hop flavors a bit.

Overall Impression: After the waiter mentioned how much he liked the beer, I think my expectations were high. I though everything about it was solid, but as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not much of a fan of mixing citrusy hop flavors with roastiness. I much prefer piney or resinous flavors mixed with the roastiness. The range of flavors in this was broad, and along with the citrus and roastiness, there was a bit of piney hop flavors and spicy rye that came through as well. It is a complex tasting beer, it’s just that the mix of citrus and roastiness doesn’t appeal to me.

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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