Jul 29, 2011

Karl Strauss Boardwalk Black Rye

This is a review of a promotional sample received from the brewery.

Boardwalk Black Rye photo9Looks like a porter, but it’s not.

I received this bottle of Karl Strauss’ latest Coastal Reserve release along with the sample of Off The Rails that I reviewed earlier. Of the two offerings, I found myself gravitating to this one (and ultimately enjoying it more, as well) over the brewery’s imperial red ale.

Built off of a base of Pale, CaraRye, Caramel 80 and Black Rye, the company then adds Warrior and Ahtanum hop varieties. The combination of these ingredients makes for a beer that is rich, lightly roasty and deliciously hopped. Weighing in at 8% ABV and 80 IBU, Boardwalk Black Rye is another fine, hoppy addition to this series of limited beers that might just be my favorite of the bunch so far.


It may look like a porter, but it ain’t. Boardwalk pours a deep, chestnut brown with a good sized, creamy head that faded slowly.


Wow. There’s a good deal going on in the nose of this beer. It’s quite floral with fruity hops, roasted malt, a light spicy bite and plenty of rye bread. Subtle hints of coffee and chocolate are also in the mix.


If you thought the nose was active, you’re in for a treat with the flavors. A more pronounced chocolate note comes in first up front before fading through a light roast to a decent level of spicy, citrus hops. The rye is certainly present throughout the beer’s travels over the palate. A mild hop bitterness loiters for a bit before slipping away to a slightly dry finish. The higher alcohol presence is hidden well.


Man, for as complex as this beer smells and tastes, it’s quite drinkable. The flavor components going on in this thing are deep and rich, but balanced enough that they never confuse or distract your senses from enjoying it. The combination of the rye, light roast and hops makes for a delicious brew that fits in with the rest of the Coastal Reserve series nicely.

Rating: 4.5/5

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