I’ve always been a fan of stouts. Funny enough, the world’s most famous stout, Guinness Draught, is absolutely nothing like the majority of stouts on the market – complexity and toastiness is the main order for most american microbrewed stouts, where Guinness is simply, well, Guinness. It’s time to go further, my friends, and dig into this charming world of chocolate malt and substantial body.
So apparently the Belgians have been digging stout goodness lately as well, despite the hundreds of different types of beer they produce in that lovely country. Boulevard picks up on this and uses a Belgian yeast strain to give this beer a significantly different character than their normal in-house, proprietary strain.
As a disclaimer, I would like you to know that Boulevard sent me the bottle to review, along with paired Christopher Elbow chocolates (elbowchocolates.com) selected by Brewmaster Steven Pauwels and Elbow himself. They chose Raspberry, which according to Elbow is a layer of raspberry pate de fruit topped with a dark chocolate-raspberry infused ganache, as well as a Venezuelan Dark – a 70% cacao ganache.
Let’s get on to the review:
Boulevard has also indicated that this will be the last new release in the Smokestack series for quite awhile, as they’ll be doing re-releases of Two Jokers Double Wit, Saison-Brett, the Seeyoulater Doppelbock, Bourbon Barrel Quad, and other ‘old’ favorites. I wouldn’t put it past Steven Pauwels to come up with something new by the end of this year, though. Boulevard has gone through such a rapid expansion over the past three or four years that while it’s nice to consistently revamp their lineup, might be beneficial to allow everyone else (myself included) to catch up and simply enjoy the beer they already make.
Small heads up – Boulevard is remaking last year’s draught-only Maibock and releasing it as Boss Tom’s Bock – a bottle-conditioned version of the classic, late spring style. It will be squeezing itself in between the traditional spring Irish Ale and the summer seasonal, ZŌN. Expect to see it in late March or early April.
Dark Truth Stout is now on shelves.
- Originality within style (18): A nice twist on what we have come to known as American stout – thanks, Belgian friends.
- Nose (16): boozy, notes of toasted malt – the noes belies the beer.
- Mouthfeel (18): Solid and full-bodied, with an interesting effervescence on the finish.
- Character (15): This beer doesn’t do a whole lot by itself, but really comes alive when paired with proper gastronomical delights.
- Overall Quality (19): I’m not sure Boulevard has a hit on their hands, but it’s a decent stout that will certainly peak the interest of some.
- Total (86): Very good, especially paired with raspberry. Not outstanding.
Beer: Dark Truth Stout, No. 14 in the Smokestack Series
Brewer: Boulevard Brewing Co, Kansas City, MO
Availability: Approx 800 mile radius of Kansas City, 12,500 bottles
Reviewed by: Jameson Huckaba (twitter: @jamesonhuckaba)