Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dark Truth Tasting

Dark Truth Stout hit liquor store shelves Monday and Boulevard was kind enough to give me a bottle with a couple of Christoper Elbow chocolates. Just like last time, I got the tasting panel group together with the addition of the lovely JJSKCK (he needs a vowel) to sample the Dark Truth and a variety of other beers, mostly stouts (this will be covered in another post). Being the ever magnanimous host, I kept the Christopher Elbow chocolates for me and let everyone else have their fill of raspberry Hugs (my favorite candy of the moment).

Once again I did the pouring and the results were mixed. Chimpotle got a really heady brew that almost overflowed and Weston barely got any head at all. The beer was a very dark brown with an offwhite almost tan head. The smell was bready with some chocolate. The taste was wonderful, I got quite a bit of cocoa and creme flavors from it. Mixed with the raspberry Elbow, the Dark Truth was simply wonderful. The Venezuelan Dark Elbow overwhelmed the stout a little and kind of blew my last couple of sips of the Dark Truth*.

*The 2 chocolates provided were Raspberry and Venezuelan Dark. They were chosen when Steven Pauwels took some Dark Truth over to Christopher Elbow and the 2 of them decided on those 2 chocolates as the best pairing for the stout. I'm going to blame the Venezuelan Dark decision on Christopher Elbow as he obviously doesn't know anything about chocolate. Too harsh? Okay, maybe I don't know anything I just thought it was a little overwhelming with the stout.

After trying the Rye on Rye and some of the whiskey barrel aged concoctions later in the evening, I was happy with the straightforward simplicity of the Dark Truth. While it has a lot going on with the barley, wheat, rye, oats, belgian yeast and German hops, it drinks like a well blended slightly hoppy and fruity stout that is simply wonderful. I think I like the Imperial Stout that Dark Truth nudged out (Imperial Stout will reappear later in the year) better, but Dark Truth is a really great Belgian style stout.

As we were drinking this brew, we ran down the Boulevard news that we knew. Apparently Dark Truth will be the last new Smokestack Boulevard is going to be releasing for a while. I've heard rumors of a 21st anniversary beer that will be released next year but no one seems to know anything about that beer. We speculated that the Amber they're experimenting with will replace Lunar (which we all agree is a good beer). They're hoping to always have an experimental brew or two always on tap in the tasting room for the tours. I thought it would be a great idea to give certain people who might write a blog a little access card so he wouldn't have to go on a tour to get into the tasting room and maybe give one to Dan too so he'll quit complaining.

Dark Truth was pretty popular with the 5 of us last night. Whether you have some Christopher Elbow chocolates, Cadbury Creme Eggs or Raspberry Hugs or if you just want to cap off a good meal, Dark Truth should please you. At "only" 9.7% ABV it's quite drinkable and maybe a little too easy to polish off a bottle by yourself.

Disclosure: I did get the beer and chocolates free from Boulevard. It did not affect my thoughts on either the beer or the chocolates, but you can judge that for yourself.


  1. I still want my damned chocolates, and a back rub, too!

  2. I'll rub your back the next time I see you at brunch.

  3. A frickin' Amber??? Damnit! There are only a tiny handful of decent Ambers that have ever been made (and two of them are from Rogue). Major disappointment.

  4. I agree with Anonymous. Boulevard makes great Belgian style beers and mostly eh American style beers (Bully! is an exception, being one of the hoppier porters on the market). I think there is a lot of room for them to add another Belgian style or two to the 12 oz line up to go with Zon. Maybe a De Konninck type Belgian pale ale, or a smaller (and more traditional) saison or biere de garde. A lighter blonde (think Leffe) would be another option.

  5. Boulevard's amber is totally lifeless. It would be a disservice for them to produce it.

    Thanks for the great review - can't wait to hear about the other beers you tasted last night.

    - Jameson

  6. I know there were 6 bombers and 5 12oz. bottles. I don't want to calculate my ABV based on that.

    I think I could list the beers in question if required.

  7. Hmmm...Amber... I say go with the Dubbel ...Thats pretty damn tastey

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