Boulevard Double Wide IPA
This was probably my most awaited beer experience of the year. An IPA, one of my favorite beer styles, from my favorite brewer, Boulevard. I would equate my excitement for this as my excitement to see "American Pie" when it came out, I saw it on vacation, in Florida, at Universal Studios. I just couldn't wait and I wanted the conditions to be perfect. I spent a day cleansing my palate from the exquisite Boulevard Sixth Glass and made my favorite snack for an IPA, some simple salt and black pepper popcorn.
Normally, there would be a pretty picture of a masterfully poured beer right here, but they were loaded on to the home laptop, which no longer can charge because of the horribly cheap charger plug being a little too easy to break. A new one is on order, so don't fear, I'll get some pictures up.
I didn't use the preferred glassware, a tulip, because I like IPA's in a simple pint glass. So I used my IPA glass, it's one of my favorites. I popped up my popcorn and got my Double Barrel IPA straight from the refrigerator. After a horrible struggle with the cork that almost claimed the Bull E. Vard bulldog's life as well as the continued function of my right hand, I cranked that cork out. The pour produced an orangy-amber colored drink with just a touch of cloudiness. I didn't screw up the pour and got a nice 1 finger tall white head. The smell was kind of lemony which usually portends great things, especially in an IPA. The taste was good, I was expecting a sharp hops bite but what I got was a fairly balanced drinking IPA. The hops didn't overpower the malt as in most IPA's. The flavor starts out citrusy, lemon and maybe some grapefruit, it finishes with a faint sweet caramel flavor. The hops mafia never takes this brew over.
Get your pitchforks ready, but I didn't feel this IPA was special at all. It was good, don't get me wrong, but for $6.99/bottle and having to drink the equivalent of 3 beers in one sitting, it's just not going to be worth the effort very often. Maybe I love hops too much and they just weren't there in full force or maybe it was too balanced (a quality I don't look for in an IPA) but this beer certainly didn't live up to expectations. I would feel the same way about "American Pie" without Stifler, but Stifler made that movie, a little more hops and less malt would have made this a perfect beer. Instead it's just a pedestrian good beer.
Good news, though for all of you looking to buy your favorite KC bloggers a Chrismukkah present, Smokestack Series Glasses.