Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I made a big beer trade two months ago in order to land the entire BOULEVARD BREWING “Smokestack Series” of special-run, one-time-only beers. There were 4 in all: a saison, an IPA, a tripel and a quadrupel. Astute readers may remember that me and a couple of pals knocked out 3 of the 4 in one fell swoop – the results are posted here. Would the final beer, a quadrupel called THE SIXTH GLASS, be able to best the “LONG STRANGE TRIPEL”? Could it actually score a hallowed 9, 9.5 or 10 on the 10 scale? I decided to find out one evening at home. Armed with Season 3 of “The Wire” and my Chimay glass, I went to work. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy assignment. At 10.5% alcohol, THE SIXTH GLASS is a live one. A hot one, too – a beer that immediately smacks the taste buds with that eye-watering fusel alcohol taste. That’s a taste I’ll never get used to, and part of the reason I’m not much of a spirit drinker. I don’t like it in beer and never have, and I love it when a double-digit ABV beer finds creative ways of balancing that taste out of the equation. This one did not. It’s a beautiful amber brown color, with a medium-syrupy texture that unfortunately is not smooth of “fluffy” enough. I like my Belgian-style beers to be pillowy and/or well-balanced overall, and despite some pretty intense yeasty tastes, this one just did not do it for me. It’s a shame – out of the 4 beers, two were excellent, and two weren’t very good at all. This falls into the latter camp. 5.5/10.

1 comment:

homebrewhawk said...

Nice blog. I found it searching for "De Dolle Oerbier Reserva". Good to see our local brewery getting some love. The Smokestack Beers you reviewed aren't one time only, but they are working on some special releases. There will be a Bourbon Barrel Aged Third Glass and a Saison with Brett. Read about them here:

New Boulevard Releases

You must have made one of my locals happy with the Lost Abbey and Russian River.