Boulevard Chocolate Ale, one of the brewery’s most popular beers, won’t be a part of the beer lineup in 2017. The beer first debuted in 2011.
The American strong ale was a special collaboration with Kansas City chocolatier Christopher Elbow. Earlier this year, Boulevard released a variation of the popular dessert beer, Chocolate Ale with Raspberries.
The brewery wouldn’t go as far to say Chocolate Ale is gone for good. Just think of it as on-hold. For at least a while. Boulevard Funky Pumpkin has seen its last year, even though 2016 is only the second year it was released.
The 2017 lineup boasts a few new releases coming to the Smokestack Series, including Scotch-on-Scotch.
[Original Post below, for 2015 Chocolate Ale release.)
One of Boulevard Brewing’s (Kansas City, MO) most popular beers, Chocolate Ale, will release again the first week of February, 2015.
Chocolate Ale is a collaboration with Kansas City’s chocolatier Christopher Elbow. Boulevard brewmaster Steven Pauwels and Elbow used a special chocolate variety from the Dominican Republic. The result is a magical and delicious balance of malt, hops and chocolate.
Chocolate Ale is full of surprises, beginning with a glowing amber hue. The aroma is given over to earthy, fruity cocoa, with just a hint of hops. Smooth layers of dark chocolate intertwine with threads of caramel, vanilla, and nutty malt as the flavor warms and rounds to a bittersweet finish.
Boulevard Chocolate Ale was first released in 2011. The demand has been so high since then, the brewery has increased the amount brewed and packaged every year. In both 2014, and again in 2015, Boulevard has brewed the maximum amount possible for the production schedule.
Read more: Boulevard Brewing News
Lost Abbey Santo Ron Diego is returning to the brewery’s lineup once again in December, with a few changes in tow.
The beer was a big hit when it was released in 2015, and Tomme Arthur and brewery crew knew it had to be brewed again. Lost Abbey Santo Ron Diego (2016) features a new twist – cherries, vanilla beans, and cacao nibs. It spent a full 14 months in rum barrels.
“We were really happy with last year’s version but we wanted to add a bit more complexity to help bring the rum notes out with this year’s batch.” – Tomme Arthur, co-founder, The Lost Abbey
In order to have more of Santo to go around, the Lost Abbey is making this release draft only. The big 13.5% rum barreled monster hits distribution in December. Happy hunting.
Elysian Bifrost, a strong ale winter seasonal from the Seattle Washington based brewery, returns this holiday season. The brewers at Elysian wanted to create a different winter seasonal than the typical dark, heavily spiced offering. Out came Bifrost, a drinkable, strong, pale ale with Magnum, Amarillo, and Syrian Golding hops that bring citrus and spice aromas.
The brewers at Elysian set out to create a more balanced, medium-bodied pale ale, with just the right amount of classic holiday beer characteristics like the sweet aromas of fruit and orange zest.” -Head Brewer Josh Waldman
Elysian Bifrost arrives on shelves in 12oz bottles, 22oz bottles, and draft in select locations. You can also find it at any of the four Elysian pubs in Seattle, Washington.
Style: American Strong Ale
Hops: Magnum, Amarillo, Styrian Golding
Malts: Premium 2-Row, Munich, and Crystal
Availability: 12oz Bottles, 22oz Bottles, Draft. Seasonal release.
Release: November 2016
Stone Double Bastard Bigger Longer Uncut, a new form of one of the most “arrogant” beers out there.
Double Bastard has been out there for years – an 11% alcohol by volume, in your face, hoppy American strong ale. Now, like a special director’s cut edition of a movie, comes Stone Double Bastard Bigger Longer Uncut. A bastard with extra scenes. An alternate ending. And of course, director’s commentary:
Weakness Is worn on the sleeves. Boldness Is within the heart.This intensified blend of barrel-aged Double Bastard Ale is all heart baby. The weak will find it to be a telltale heart. It knows of your fallibility. It smells your fear. The heart of this beer disdains you, as it disdains all things homogenized, wimpy and uncultured. You do know the truth of yourself, no? If you hesitated to answer that, if even for a split second, that in and of itself is telling. If you aren’t capable of knowing the reality of yourself, this beer can and will take the responsibility of informing you of what you should already know. (And it you’ve lost your way in this text already and no longer are clear about what I am saying, your reading pace has exceeded your comprehension pace. Go back, slow down and start over, bright eyes.) Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Evenly. Give yourself some positive affirmations. Breathe deep again. There. Feel better? If you followed those instructions, then set this bottle down and back away immediately, you new age poseur. Fight or flight and I’d recommend the latter for you, tiger. Wet paper bags are more your speed.
Stone Double Bastard Bigger Longer Uncut is aged in 100% Islay Scotch Whisky barrels. Aggressive indeed, and definitely NOT for everyone.
Taste. If you are fan of peaty scotch whisky, then look no future. Not every beer can handle a scotch barrel. It can easily overrun by the barrels. This Bastard is indeed peaty as hell, very much scotch heavy, with a strong flavor undertone of everything that Double Bastard is. Consider this your fireside sipper. Drink it as speak in a fancy accent.
You’ll see this beer falls Stone Brewing’s new Arrogant Brewing moniker. Available in 22 ounce bottles for a limited time.
Boulevard Collaboration No. 6 Barrel Aged Blend brings California based brewery, Firestone Walker into the mix for this latest series addition. This 750 mililiter release is a blend of two Boulevard and two Firestone Walker beers.
At 45% of the blend, Boulevard’s Bourbon Barrel Quad makes up the largest portion of the beer, followed by Firestone Walker Stickee Monkee at an additional 35%. The last 20% consists of Boulevard Imperial Stout X – Tart Cherry (whiskey barrel-aged), and Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin at 10% each.
Boulevard Collaboration No. 6 Barrel Aged Blend is a limited release on draft and 750ml bottles.
Style: American Strong Ale
Availability: 750ml Bottles, Draft. Limited release.
Release: November, 2016
Lexington Brewing & Distilling’s Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, the the brewery’s signature beer in a lineup of barrel-aged beer, is now available in cans.
Subtitled “The beer of Bourbon Country” Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale was launched in 2006. The strong ale base is aged at least six weeks in freshly emptied bourbon barrels. The brewery knows what they are doing with bourbon, as they also own their own distillery.
It wasn’t long before the popularity of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale spawned various spinoff releases, like Pumpkin Barrel Ale (on shelves for the 2016 season now).
What you’ll taste. Honestly, we’ve always considered Barrel Ale to be America’s edition of a popular import – Innis & Gunn Original. In a way they similar. The beer is heavy on bourbon and vanilla, but still light on the palate. This beer needed to be in cans a long time ago.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale cans are now shipping in 12 ounce cans/ 6 packs across the brewery’s distribution network.
Image: Beer Street Journal
Firestone Walker XX, the brewery’s coveted anniversary release, debuts in November, 2016.
The anniversary series started in 2005. Firestone Walker’s brewmaster Matt Brynildson already making a special beer for the brewery’s 10th anniversary, aka X, when a barrel broker named Tom Griffin tracked down Brynildson. You know how the rest turned out.
Now, 10 years later, the Firestone Walker Anniversary Series has become an more than just a beer, but a session of friends creating a one of kind celebration blend.
The brewery’s home of Paso Robles, California known for Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel producers, so Bryndilson invites dozens of local winemakers to help blend the final release. The 2016 blend is thanks to 17 winemakers, blending 5 different component beers that have been aging in over 250 oak barrels.
“There is just so much going on in this beer. It’s big and complex, with all of these different facets from our barrel-aged program that are so seamlessly integrated. We wanted to produce something really special for our 20th anniversary, and I think we did it.” – Brynildson
The final blend:
Parabola – Russian imperial Stout, aged in new oak & bourbon barrels. 40% of Blend
Stickee Monkee – Belgian-style Quadrupel, aged in new oak & bourbon barrels. 20% of Blend
Velvet Merkin – Oatmeal Stout, aged in bourbon barrels. 17.5% of Blend
Bravo – Brown Ale aged in bourbon. 12.5% of Blend
Helldorado – Blonde barleywine aged in bourbon. 10% of blend
Firestone Walker XX Anniversary will be available in 22 ounce bottles across the brewery’s entire distribution network in November, 2016.
Style: American Strong Ale (Oak Aged. Barrel Aged. Bourbon.)
Availability: 22oz Bottles. Limited.
Debut: November, 2016
Ed note: The team for the final blend included these wineries
Scott Hawley – Torrin (Winning Blend)
Sherman Thacher and Daniel Callan – Thacher Winery
Matt Trevisan – Linne Calodo
Connor McMahon and Kyle Jury – Booker
Terry and Natalie Hoage –TH Estate Wines
Russell From and Philip Muzzy – Herman Story
Molly Lonborg and Kevin Sass– Halter Ranch
Brock Waterman – Brochelle Vineyards
Justin Smith – Saxum Vineyards
Mark Adams – Ledge Vineyards
Neil Collins and Chelsea Franchi – Tablas Creek Vineyard