Ocassionally America gets it

I have oft complained about the American attempts at Belgian beer styles. There are some Belgian centric
breweries that truly have an understanding of how to craft there brews. Then there are the others……They want to jump on the “Big Beer” bandwagon and see Belgian beers as a way to go. They can craft a fantastic Double IPA, or Bourbon Barrel Imperial stout. Then they seem to go and apply that same philosophy to their Belgian attempts….with usually underwhelming results. Then there are few breweries however that do get it. Boulevard seems to be one of those breweries. The have jumped on the big and specialty beer wagon with their Smokestack series. They have proven they can craft a rock solid Double IPA – See Double Wide IPA – as well as craft some excellent Belgian brews. Heres my thoughts on their three initial Belgian offerings:

Boulevard Saison Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer: Saison
Style: Saison
ABV: 6.20%
Rating out of 5: 4.1
Reviewed on: 07-6-2009
Appearance: Cloudy gold with a thick white head. The head falls to a ring, but leaves plenty of lacing down the glass.

Smell: Wonderfully complex aroma. Plenty of spice – spiced apples, cloves -. Along with the spice is some lemon and bubblegum notes in the background.

Taste: Peppery on the tongue, along with some clove. That’s followed by a bit of bubblegum and some grainy/lemon notes. The finish is dry and peppery.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a somewhat spritzy carbonation.

This is one solid saison. Its always nice to see an American brewery nail a proper saison. This will definitely be a goto saison for me in the future.

Boulevard Tripel

Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer: Long Strange Tripel
Style: Tripel
ABV: 9%
Rating out of 5: 4.45
Reviewed on: 07-6-2009

This beer pours a hazy gold. Three fingers of bone white head top things off. The head has some definite staying power. It eventually settles to a ring. It leaves plenty of lacing down the glass. All and all this is a nice looking tripel.

The aroma is classically Belgian. It starts off with some spice notes. Clove and pepper Dominate. That’s followed by a bit of bubblegum. Plenty of apple/pear notes round out the nose.

The taste is no less authentic – a seemingly rare occurrence from American breweries. Spicy clove and pepper notes hit the tongue first. Thats followed by a bit of powdery yeast. The middle is chalked full of tart pear/apple notes. The finish is dry with an herbal/bitter kick. This beer is quite the easy drinker. The 9% abv is masked quite well.

The beer has a lightish body. The carbonation isn’t as boisterous as some Belgians. It gets the job done quite nicely though.

This is a wonderfully authentic tripel. The folks at Boulevard seem to really get Belgian style brews. Its nice to see another authentic tripel brewed on this side of the pond.

Boulevard Sixth Glass Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer: Sixth Glass
Style: Quadruple
ABV: 10.5%
Rating out of 5: 3.85
Reviewed on: 07-6-2009

The sixth Glass is the third beer from the smokestack series I have tried. The brew pours a lightish mahogany. It is topped off by a fluffy khaki colored head. The head settles to a ring leaving plenty of lace down the glass. All and all a nice looking quad.

The aroma, while a bit light, doesn’t disappoint. The initial wiff hints of stone fruit. Thats followed by a bit of spiced rum. In the background is some dark fruit.

The taste, like the nose, is a bit light, especially for a quad. Fruit – spiced apples – up front. Fruit is followed by some raisins and rum notes. The finish is dry and peppery with some warming alcohol notes.

All and all another authentic Belgian beer. It doesn’t quite live up to the Belgian greats. Nonetheless Sixth Glass is a tasty brew. It’s a worthy addition to the Belgian beer landscape.


~ by thebrewgeek on Tuesday, July 28, 2009.

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