Boulevard Smokestack Series Coffee Ale, Kansas City, KS

Brand_Coffee_Ale

Profiled by Ken Carman for Professor Goodales

Beer-Profile1-258x300 I’m going to be honest here: I’ve had a few Boulevards that absolutely don’t impress me. This does. There’s just the slightest sour, kind of like Guiness when they back pedal by adding beer that’s been soured a tad. The coffee is just right: not dominant, just a hint background… almost upfront. No hops sensed except the slightest bitter in the finish.

Roasted barley in the background, firm pale malt upfront a tad nicely balanced with and some deeper roasted malts, which provides a complexity that’s wonderful to behold: like chewing on a brownie with sweetened coffee added.

No clarity, a deep brown, probably in the high 20s SRM. Slight off white head, creamy. Head slight that fades fast: tan.

Mouthfeel: slight carbonation to almost flat, yet plenty in the bottle. Coffee on the roof of the mouth. The pale malts and the roasted barley provide a nice balance with the coffee.

Taste and overall impression: a very balanced quaff with coffee just right and the roasted barley, pale malt background a-calling. Almost uncarbonated but, to be honest, this sat on the table a while. The interplay between roasted barley, pale malt, coffee and higher abv: 9.3, but hardly noticeable, is about perfect. A sweetish malt sense dominates too.

Beer Advocate has it at a 90, Rate Beer has it at 97 with 99 for style.

I give it a very firm 4. Close to 5.

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”