Boulevard “Rye on Rye”
This Smokestack Series rye ale is a combination of 35% ale and 67% ale aged in rye whiskey barrels. It’s a semi-thick, grain focused ale with a subtle hop bitterness to balance. The grain character adds a great deal of complexity ranging from a mild roast accent, a heavy dose of caramel, fig fruitiness, and a spicy herbal sense. Yeast is prominant, adding a pleasing dry finish which reminds me of Belgians in the way that they progress from fruity to dry. It doesn’t overstay its’ welcome, and fades just quickly enough to provide a solid drinkability despite the high gravity. It is a perfect balance of bitter and sweet, grainy and yeasty. Alcohol is rather nicely hidden, though still managing to peek its head to the surface and add to that rye whiskey quality imparted by the barrel aging.
Overall, it is both delicate, yet forward. Drinkable, yet complex enough to demand your attention. Plus, enough alcohol to ask your respect (11%). I find this beer very enjoyable and well crafted. Certainly one of the best beers I’ve had from Boulevard. Well done. Recommended.
Kansas City, Missouri