Jul 14, 2014

Boulevard Brewing Grainstorm Black Rye IPA

Just about everything that I’ve had from Boulevard Brewing’s Smokestack Series has been excellent. The 7.7% ABV Grainstorm Black Rye IPA is no exception. Brewed with pale malt, malted rye and roasted wheat, as well as a combination of Simcoe, Bravo, Amarillo and Citra hop varieties, the brew packs one heck of a dynamic flavor profile.

Earthy with a dominant, spicy rye character, Grainstorm also brings a solid amount of pungent, resinous hops to the palate. This is a beer that, considering the ingredients, probably shouldn’t gel as smoothly as it does, but even with the roasty notes of the “black” influence, the brew just flows wonderfully over the tastebuds. Each sip brings a myriad of flavors that play quite well with one another.

Boulevard Brewing Grainstorm photo


A massive stack of rocky, beige foam rises quickly atop the dark, cola brown brew.


Spicy rye, roasty notes, distant citrusy hopes and a light touch of alcohol all mingle cleanly.


The aroma only hints at the hoppy presence, but each swallow is packed with resinous pine, citrus and grapefruit that surges upon the tongue immediately. The wash of hop flavors fade smoothly through grain, peppery rye and a light roasty char. The finish is lasting and warming as it carries a moderate level of bitterness to the end. The brew is medium bodied, yet crisply active.


I’m not a usually a huge fan of the “black” nomenclature when it comes to brews. Many times the addition of roasty flavors to the style/beer in question don’t work out so well. With Grainstorm, however, the roast influence isn’t too strong and helps accentuate the peppery/spicy combination of the hops and rye. An excellent beer.

Rating: 4/5

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