Monday, January 18, 2010

Boulevard Double Wide IPA Review

Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Co. | Beer: Double Wide IPA
Style: American India Pale Ale | ABV: 8.5% | IBUs: 55
Serving Method: 750ml bottle poured into pint glass

Boulevard Double Wide IPABoulevard was founded back in 1989 by John McDonald in Kansas City, Missouri. Since then, they have grown quite a bit, and are currently ranked as the eighth biggest craft brewer by the Brewers Association.

The company has a full portfolio of year-round and seasonal brews, along with a line of something a little more special. Introduced in 2007, Boulevard's Smokestack Series is the company's line of premium and experimental beers. Double Wide IPA, an American IPA, is one of the original beers in the series.

Boulevard only mention caramel malt when describing the backbone of Double Wide, but the hop bill sounds much more impressive. Zues and Magnum varieties used for both bittering and aroma, and Ahtanums used just for aroma. There are two courses of dry-hopping, with Ahtanums, Centennials, and Chinooks employed.

Sounds complex and tasty, so let's dive in.

Appearance: A rich, hazy reddish-orange body capped by a massive portion of off-white, frothy head. The head endures well and leaves great lacing.

Aroma: A nice blast of citrusy and piney hops on top of a solid caramel base.

Taste: Grapefruity and properly bitter hops up front; I'd have pegged this above the advertised 55 IBUs. Underneath, a toasty caramel malt backbone keeps everything balanced. As for the alcohol, it's hidden rather well, making only the briefest of appearances. The aftertaste is nicely bitter and biscuity. This beer punches above it's weight, and I tend to agree with those that describe this as being somewhere between a standard and double IPA.

Mouthfeel: A creamy, medium body with smooth carbonation and a dry finish. Hints of alcohol burn, but nothing substantial.

Drinkability: For the American IPA style, this is certainly on the slow side. However, the big 750ml bottle still goes back in good time.

Verdict: Double Wide IPA is certainly a substantial and enjoyable IPA, though it just doesn't seem worth the nine bucks that I paid for the 750ml bottle. Well worth a try, but I'd feel a lot better about it if it I'd gotten a six-pack, or even a four-pack for the price of admission.

Grade: A-

1 comment:

Tony said...

Spot on review.

I'm trying a glass now and agree with comments about the citrus, pine and nice caramel background.

The price tag was worth it for me because it's a bit of a rare treat, I'd rather savor it than have a six.

Nevertheless, thank you for this review it certainly helped me enjoy the beverage just a little bit more than usual.