Boulevard Tropical Pale Ale

Today’s selection is a beer that brings me back to the summer. Given the weather in December, it’s a welcome change.


ABV: 5.9%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We’re very excited to announce that a new year-round beer will be joining our lineup this spring! Inspired by our collaboration with Florida’s famed Cigar City Brewing, Tropical Pale Ale marries our love and mastery of balanced pale ales with the bright, refreshing flavors of grapefruit and passion fruit accented by juicy, citrusy hops. Tropical Pale Ale begins with a base of soft pilsner malt layered with Maris Otter, Munich and caramel malts. Huge late hopping with a blend of Mosaic, Citra, Topaz, Calypso and Azacca lends bright flavors of mango, pear, blueberry and citrus to a pale ale featuring slightly toasted biscuit and caramel/toffee notes. Tropical Pale Ale is infused with grapefruit peel, grapefruit juice and passion fruit juice at the conclusion of the boil, resulting in a refreshing acidity and bold tropical fruit flavor and aroma. Currently available on draft with cans scheduled to be released starting in the Greater Kansas City Area on May 10th with other regions soon to follow, Tropical Pale Ale is 5.9 ABV and 45 IBU.”

Random: I never tried the Boulevard/Cigar City collaboration this was based on, although I passed it on shelves a few times.

This beer poured with a one finger, thick, cream-colored head. It was slow to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, orange-copper color with a lot of carbonation visible. The nose had a decent amount of brown, toasty malt and then the hops came through with passionfruit and grapefruit. Taste was a lot more tropical than the nose. I got pineapple, mango, grapefruit and passionfruit. Some malt was present, but it manifested more like freshly milled grain. It had a thin body with a lot of carbonation. The finish was quick and fruity with the same light grain. A can of this set me back $1.67 ($.14 per ounce). This beer wasn’t all that complex, but it went down easily and would make a great addition to a cooler in the summer.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Boulevard Brewing Company Tell-Tale Tart

It seems like 2015 was the year of the sour. Every blog I read and every podcast I listened to talked about them. This year seems to be much of the same. Boulevard released this sour as part of their “Smokestack Series” and I hadn’t read any reviews of the beer – good or bad.

tell-tale tart

ABV: 6.2%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Deriving its name from Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tale of madness and murder, our newest Smokestack Series release takes a predictably lighthearted approach to the subject of sourness. The subtle acidity of Tell-Tale Tart is answered by a soft, biscuity malt character, making this a sour ale that suggests, rather than announcing its tartness. Beginning with a bracing sharpness at first sip, the ale mellows on the palate to a smooth and faintly lingering finish.”

Random: Before everyone gives me grief about drinking this after the best by date of 1/29/16, keep in mind that I actually had it on 1/6/16 and just preschedule my posts.

This beer poured with a one finger, cream-colored head that dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. It didn’t even leave a crown. The body was slightly cloudy and mahogany in color with light carbonation visible. The nose had tart cherry up front and then I got notes that reminded me of vanilla and oak, although there is no indication that this beer had any contact with a barrel. The taste started with light tartness, much like the description above, it was more subtle than I expected. The tartness had some dark cherries and I couldn’t get past this lightly toasted wood, which could have been imparted by the malt. There was a pinch of leather flavor too. Vanilla was there with some biscuit too. I just couldn’t believe how subtly tart it was, and honestly, I wasn’t a fan. It had a thin body with soda-like carbonation that was a bit too much for my liking. It had a swift finish with tart cherries. A bottle of this was on the pricier side, at $2.75 ($.22 per ounce). The beer was drinkable, but I thought it was just alright, but may be a good selection for those just getting into sours. I will give the website credit for having an incredibly accurate description of the beer.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Boulevard Brewing Company Funky Pumpkin

This beer was one of the most written about pumpkin beers of the season, primarily because it was a new and interesting take on the style. Although Boulevard started distributing to New Jersey, I picked this one up in Pennsylvania.


ABV: 5.8%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our entry in the very popular pumpkin ale market is an eccentric one, with pumpkin flavor scarcely present, upstaged by cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger. A pleasant tartness prevails, with barrel aging providing a mellow roundness, and Brettanomyces putting the ‘unk’ in Funky.”

Random: I could really go for some candied yams right now.

This beer poured with less than a quarter of a finger of white head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, light orange with moderate carbonation. The nose was filled with pumpkin pie spice, specifically nutmeg and cinnamon. There was also graham cracker. The taste was an interesting amalgam of Brett tartness and allspice with cinnamon. There was also some clove and ginger notes. It didn’t have much ginger or gourd taste to it, which I didn’t mind. But, the tartness was what stood out on the beer. The body was on the thinner side with light carbonation. It had a long and tart finish with vinegar and a touch of white pepper. A bottle of this set me back $1.67, which came to $.14 per ounce, which isn’t a bad price for a sour beer. This beer was different and interesting, but I wouldn’t have this one again. I feel like a pumpkin beer purist, but I didn’t love the tartness addition to it.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Boulevard Brewing Company Ginger-Lemon Radler

The next brewery we went to was Austin Street. This brewery wasn’t nearly as crowded as the other two. As like the other ones, there was no indoor seating space. We got a few samples and made it the plastic chairs outside. They had giant Jenga, but it was on a very wobbly plastic table, so we didn’t partake. Their beers were fine, but nothing I would rush back to have. After that, we were on our way to the last brewery of the day…


ABV: 4.1%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Boulevard Ginger-Lemon Radler is a zesty, refreshing take on a tradition of mixing beer with soda or lemonade to create a light, thirst-quenching beverage ideal for warm weather. Radler (literally, ‘cyclist,’) takes its name from active German sportsmen of a hundred years ago, but our version tastes just as good even if you do nothing more strenuous than lifting it to your lips.”

Random: This is beer review #2000!

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, lemon yellow with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had pungent ginger with lemonade. The taste was no better than the nose. Ginger came through initially and then artificial lemonade. It was slightly tart at the end, but this beer was just downright unpleasant. The body was thin with light carbonation. The finish was quick with the same artificial lemon taste. The price on this was $1.50 per can ($.12 per ounce). This beer was just not to my taste, at all. I struggled to take a few sips of this, luckily I poured it for Val, so I didn’t have to finish it. I won’t be having this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Boulevard Brewing Company Hibiscus Gose

I love seeing breweries get into styles that are almost forgotten. This year, I’ve seen more goses as Summer seasonals than I can ever remember. This one was even more interesting because it uses hibiscus flowers. Let’s see how it went.

hibiscus gose

ABV: 4.2%

Style: Gose

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our version of an unusual, yet resurgent, beer style. It pays tribute to the pleasantly sour, slightly salty wheat beers that originated in Goslar and became popular in Leipzig, Germany around the late 1800’s. A great introductory sour beer, Hibiscus Gose receives coriander and sea salt during boiling, then we steep dried hibiscus flowers at the end to create a vibrant pink hue (really, though, it’s pink!). The result is a tangy, sweet and sour ale with a refreshing citrus character.”

Random: I hope that it rains this week. My lawn could really use it.

This beer poured with a one finger, off-white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, pink color with no visible carbonation due to the cloudiness. The nose had notes of flowers and tartness. The taste had a lot of flowers, but also tartness and then some salt. It had a nice gose base. The body was light with high carbonation. It had a quick, floral finish. This was $1.83 for the bottle, which broke down to $.15 per ounce. This was a nice beer, especially for the summer that I would definitely have again. I really enjoyed the floral aspect of the beer, which gave it more depth.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Boulevard Brewing Company Chocolate Ale

The other half and I got new iPhones. Since I was using a 4 series, this is a significant upgrade. It’s a bit big compared to my old phone, but I’m slowly getting used to it. I do miss my unlimited data. But, I love the camera on it. It’s so much better than the old phone. Take a look below and tell me what you think.


ABV: 9.1%

Style: American Strong Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “One of the brightest stars in a city filled with culinary treasures, Christopher Elbow has been handcrafting masterpieces in chocolate for more than ten years. In that time the reputation of his artistic delicacies has spread around the globe. Elbow’s sweets are distinguished by their use of unusual and sometimes surprising flavors and ingredients; in that adventurous spirit we joined forces to bring you a very special Chocolate Ale. In developing this beer, Elbow and Boulevard brewmaster Steven Pauwels sought to harmonize the interplay of chocolate and malt, with each supporting and enhancing, but not overwhelming, the other. Just the right chocolate was essential. Elbow recommended a rare variety from the Dominican Republic, prized for its robust flavor and aroma, and a personal favorite. More than a mere flavoring, the chocolate – in the form of nibs, or crushed, roasted beans – was incorporated into the brewing process itself.”

Random: This beer is a spring seasonal for Boulevard.

This beer poured with a three finger, off white head that dissipated slowly, but left no lacing on my Duvel glass. It did have a crown that was left on top of the cloudy, mahogany body. There was moderate carbonation visible. The nose had white sugar and milk chocolate. The taste was nothing like the nose. I didn’t get much chocolate or any sweetness. It had light cocoa powder, significant booze, and then lots of pumpernickel bread. The flavors were such a miss for me, especially since it was named “chocolate ale.” The body was thick with moderate carbonation. The finish was long with pumpernickel bread and really hot booze. For $12.99 a bomber ($.59 per ounce), this beer was an absolute rip off and one I would avoid.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Boulevard Brewing Company The Calling

The other half took Monday off, so we spent the morning planting all of our purchases from Home Depot. We have a cute little vegetable garden in the back and a very small strawberry patch. I’m hoping that the wildlife doesn’t consume any of them. I love being outside and gardening, but the other half is not as big of a fan. Especially when she gets dirt on her feet. Anyways, let get to the beer.


ABV: 8.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The Calling is an undeniable IPA we were driven to make. It’s our tribute to like-minded dreamers, adventurous spirits, and glass half-full optimists. It’s also our most heavily hopped beer ever, bursting forth with unmistakable tropical fruit and pine hop aromas and flavor supported with a slightly sweet malt character, tapering to a crisp, dry finish. Heed your call and enjoy.”

Random: I planted a lot of hot peppers. If I have enough, I’m going to try to make my own hot sauce.

This beer poured with a one and a half finger, off white, fluffy head into my IPA glass. It dissipated slowly and left lots of spiderweb lacing. The body was a slightly hazy, orange color with lots of carbonation visible. The nose presented with huge citrus notes and grass. I picked up juicy grapefruit as well. The taste had some earthiness to it, but also the juicy grapefruit and grass that was apparent in the nose. Tropical fruit in the form of mango was there as well, which made it really nice and complex. There was intense bitterness, but nothing this hop head couldn’t take. The booze was hidden insanely well. It had a medium thick body and high carbonation. It had a long finish with tropical fruit and citrus. My only complaint was that after a few sips, it was almost a bit too dry. Other than that, it’s definitely an IPA that is worth searching out and I would have it again, no doubt, especially because the price wasn’t too outrageous. The price on this was $3.00 for the bottle, which broke down to $.25 per ounce, which isn’t an awful price for a DIPA.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Boulevard Brewing Company Pop-Up Session I.P.A.

The other half was nice enough to take me to Philly to watch the Eagles game since I haven’t seen a game since the season started. We ended up at City Tap House for brunch and I ordered this beer. Since I knew we had a whole game to watch, I was down for a session brew.


ABV: 4.3%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Boulevard Pop-Up Session I.P.A. joins its big brothers Single-Wide and Double-Wide in our trailer park of hop-centric beers. This ‘session’ model is built for frequent excursions, with a very drinkable character and relatively low bitterness tucked behind a big, fruity hop aroma.”

Random: I’m quite happy that Boulevard is now available in Philly. Good stuff!

This beer poured with a finger of pure white head that was pretty thick and looked like meringue. It was slow to dissipate and left slight lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, light yellow color with moderate carbonation. It had a fragrant nose with grass and light grapefruit. There was no malt on the nose. The taste had some more balance than the nose. I got grapefruit and toasted malt with some lemon juice and lemon zest. It wasn’t all that bitter and you could definitely taste the malt. It was really crisp and flavorful, especially for a session beer. The body was light with moderate carbonation. It had a long, pithy finish with lemon. This was a really nice beer to throw down during the football game. I would have this one again, although it’s not going to a go-to beer for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Boulevard Brewing Company Double-Wide I.P.A.

So, after a few months of being backlogged, this is the last post that was out of date that I needed to post. You know what that means? I can start reviewing again real-time, which makes me quite excited. Anyways, here’s how this one went.


ABV: 8.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The classic India Pale Ale is a traveler’s beer, aggressively hopped to withstand the long, hot ocean voyage to the British East Indies. Our Double-Wide I.P.A. also travels well, and is right at home in the most exotic ports of call of the Midwest. While this modern-day prairie schooner may not resemble a graceful sailing sloop, our liberal hopping regimen does make her virtually ‘twister-proof,’ with toffee and caramel notes balancing out the lingering bitterness. Enjoy this beer fresh to best appreciate the complex blending of hop aromas, ranging from minty to citrusy, with subtle hints of pine.”

Random: I’ve been picking up a bunch of Boulevard brews on vacation. I wonder since they’ve been bought out if they’ll be distributed up here.

This brew poured with a two and half finger high cream-colored head that dissipated very slowly. It left some lacing on my Flying Dog glass. The body was a very cloudy almost chestnut color with high carbonation visible throughout. It also had a large amount of detritus visible in the bottom of the glass. The nose had the usual grapefruit hop kick to it, but also had some noticeable tropical fruit notes as well. It also had this minty/medicinal tinge at the end. The taste was very similar to the nose. I got some grapefruit up front, then subtle tropical fruit notes with a bit of malt. At the end of the sip, the medicinal/mint quality came up that lasted well through the finish. After a few sips, I got some apricot as well. The body was on the thick side of the style and was decently carbonated. The finish was really, really long with mint. The booze was noticeable on the end, but generally well hidden. The brew was good, but nothing outstanding, although I’m glad I got to try it since it’s not distributed in New Jersey.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Boulevard Brewing Company Dark Truth Stout

So, the other half and I moved the cat over to the apartment last week. He had been staying with my sister to keep her company and moving him here was definitely interesting. Today, he’s basically just napped on the bed and has moved to watch the balcony so he can meow through the glass at the birds. He will probably start bugging me for food in a little bit. Anyways, I picked this beer up while we were on vacation. Let’s see how this one went.


ABV: 9.7%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Throughout the ages, man has been fascinated by the quest for hidden knowledge, the search for the secret to transforming the elemental into the extraordinary, the simple into the sublime. Ladies and gentlemen, we present for your consideration this exotic, inky concoction, the almost magical creation of our modern day alchemists who have turned humble grains—barley, wheat, rye, and oats—into black, liquid gold. Layers of complex flavors slowly emerge from the glass: espresso, roasted fig, crème brulée. Belgian yeast provides a plum-like fruitiness, noble German hops reveal spicy, herbal notes, while the rich, velvety mouthfeel mellows to a dry, smoky finish.”

Random: I wish the weather would stay in the 50s. It was really nice yesterday.

The beer poured with a huge finger and a half a finger of deep tan-colored head. It was long to dissipate and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown almost black colored body. The nose had some black licorice and dark chocolate and lots of coffee as well. The taste was very burnt, mot just roasted malts, but flat out burnt malt. There was a burnt coffee aspect to it as well, which wasn’t all that pleasant. After the beer warmed up, I also got notes of licorice and burnt chocolate. It was very, very smoky. It had a thick body and heavy carbonation. One of the higher points was that the booze was hidden. It had a long finish with smoke. This beer was just okay for me. Honestly, the smoke was just too much.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0