Smokestack Series Chocolate Ale by Boulevard Brewing

1013345_10101694082327400_1405826777_n 1962754_10101694082701650_1729149984_n 1958463_10101694081204650_634359598_n IMAG6036Rating: 5/5

Smokestack Series Chocolate Ale by Boulevard Brewing is a 9.1% ABV American Strong Ale brewed with cocoa.

One of the brightest stars in a city filled with culinary treasures, Christopher Elbow has world wide reputation for handcrafted masterpieces. His sweets are distinguished by their use of unusual, sometimes surprising ingredients, and that adventurous spirit has left its print on this special ale. The aroma is given over to earthy, fruity, cocoa, with just a hint hops. Smooth layers of dark chocolate intertwine with threads of caramel, vanilla, and nutty malt as the flavor warms and rounds to a bitter sweet finish. 

Picked this up at the local Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights California. Chocolate ales are something that definitely bring my attention. I cannot help it as they really are my favorite types of beers. Sometimes there is a Bias for chocolate beers in my reviews, but you can definitely tell. So take it with a grain of salt and try them for yourself to decide. As far as this beer goes, I was surprised by the color. This was not your typical dark beer.

Citrus, dark chocolate, rye bread, dark chocolate, caramel, very mild earthy hops, cinnamon, peanut butter, vanilla, bananas, clove spice, cocoa crispies cereal, hazelnut, pecans, tootsie roll, brown sugar and molasses.

Dark Chocolate, milk chocolate, champurrado flavor, bakers chocolate, caramel, candi sugar, cinammon, earthy spices, bananas, cloves, chocolate cake, peanut butter hints, rye bread, mild flan notes, cocoa crispies or cocoa puffs cereal, citrus, mild dark fruits, tootsie rolls and white chocolate.

Chocolate, mild bittering earthy hops in the finish but mainly cinnamon and caramel linger. No alcohol in the taste. A sipping beer with a medium mouth feel.

A perfect beer but you definitely need to let it warm up to get richer chocolate flavor. It is very different at first because it falls somewhere between the colors of chocolate rain and white chocolate from the Bruery (Beer Color only). A light brown per say. The flavor is not as exceptional but it falls somewhere in the middle in terms of beer color because although I was expecting a darker beer, the lighter beer aspect still lets the chocolate shine in this beer which was very surprising. This beer is not specifically chocolate but you can tell chocolate is still there. My extra credit can only do so much for the chocolate in this beer but it may not be enough to exceed my expectations like other chocolate beers. Still recommended and worth a try.

Anime Corner:
Korra from the Legend of Korra was used in this pairing because while fits in the style of my favorite character, Yoruichi, I wanted to portray an in between chocolate and white chocolate type of beer. Her wearing the outfit from Kill La Kill shows the strength of the beer as it warms up. The more she shines the more she becomes powerful. Chocolate is sexy so she definitely shines in that aspect too . This is a rare release too so she is a very rare character sometimes in these reviews .

Smokestack Series Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) by Boulevard Brewing

1379780_10101445795780630_1913651140_nRating: 5.35/5

Smokestack Series Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) by Boulevard Brewing is an 11.8% ABV Belgian Quadrupel divided into 16% ale and 84% aged in bourbon barrels with cherries

Based loosely on the Smokestack Series’ The Sixth Glass, this abbey-style quadrupel is separated into a number of oak bourbon barrels where it ages for varying lengths of time, some for up to three years. Cherries are added to make up for the “angel’s share” of beer lost during barrel aging. Selected barrels are then blended for optimum flavor. The resulting beer retains only very subtle cherry characteristics, with toffee and vanilla notes coming to the fore.

Limited release of this beer and I was able to find this one online on many of the supporters has. I heard great things about this beer. Not only is it a quad, which is one of my favorite styles of beer, but also bourbon barrel aged. It is essentially the Sixth Glass in bourbon barrels with cherries

Aromas cherries, rich vanilla, bourbon, dulce de leche caramel, pecans, dark fruits like raisins, plums, figs, oak, wine grapes, port wine, good cheese and wine, flan, cinnamon, rye bread, earthiness, bananas, clove, funky notes and brandy

Flavors are of cherries, bourbon, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, wine grapes, oak, dark fruits, raisins, figs, bananas, flan, brandy, good wine and cheese, cinnamon, brown sugar, candied sugar, dark cherries, pecan pie, walnuts and tart raspberry

Aftertaste is like a wine and fancy cheese glazed with dark fruit spread on rye bread. Oh yeah, and bourbon too. A definite sipper with alcohol presence but not present in the flavor.

Overall, the beer is freaking great. Fancy and delicious. It does not taste like BBQ but I am absolutely certain it sure pairs marvelously with a BBQ Chicken or Pork dinner. This is delicious as hell. Boulevard makes some awesome beers and I have only had the privilege to try few as they are from Colorado. Many will come soon. As far as this beer goes, it is definitely recommended. Yes it passes the extra credit course!!