[cool story, bro] I received a bottle of this at work the day after Boulevard brewed it, weeks before it was drinkable because it hadn’t bottle-conditioned yet. I planned on waiting a couple of weeks to let it do its thing and was then going to review it, months before it was available.
Then I forgot about it until the Irish (Boulevard’s Spring Seasonal) appeared on shelved this week.
So much for my Spring Preview Post.
[/cool story, bro]
Name: Irish Ale
Origin: Boulevard Brewery, KCMO
Style: Irish Red Ale
IBU: ?? *will update when the Boulevard site starts working for me again
I drank this: at home, poured into a pint glass
No picture of this beer/bottle today because I was talking and laughing and not anywhere near my phone when I was enjoying it. It’s a pretty beer in a cool bottle, though, I will tell you that (and yes, I realize this is not helpful).
To get on with it, already: the Boulevard Irish is a lovely red color with pretty much no head whatsoever. It has a nice scent of slightly piney hops combined with medium sorts of malts – it’s one of those beers that goes in the “smells like beer” category, but with the piney hop note that makes things interesting and pretty.
Flavor-wise, this does *exactly* what I want an Irish Red Ale to do: it uses my tongue as a sharpening block. This is the “bite” hop phenomenon in my world of non-standard terminology, so-called because it feels like the hops are trying to bite my tongue. I love it when Irish reds have strong bitey/sharp hops. It’s like the standard-bearer of the style in my mind.
Anyway, the hops, other than being highly sharp/bitey, aren’t hugely bitter in flavor. They’re a feeling rather than a flavor. The majority of the flavor comes from a great biscuit/caramel-sort of medium malt profile that adds a hint of sweetness and a sort of warming feeling without being heavy: this beer has a great body.
Basically, this beer is everything I want in an Irish/Red Ale with no drawbacks or hesitations whatsoever. It’s pretty much perfect, and has launched itself into number one position on my list of favorite Red Ales. This is probably not a good thing, because it means I’ll be using this as the standard by which to judge every other Red Ale I drink between now and St. Patrick’s Day.
Thanks, Boulevard. I think you just ruined my late-Winter drinking. Also, you’d best make a TON of this, because this is the beer I’d like to be drinking during March Madness.