Boulevard 21st Anniversary Fresh Hop Pale Ale

Just to throw this out there – this is a pretty stream-of-consciousness type of review, because I have no notes on the beer and am writing it up almost immediately after drinking. I never do this. I always take notes while I sip the beer and then form them into something coherent later. In honor of Boulevard turning 21 (and sort of in reference to the idiotic ways Americans like to celebrate our 21st birthdays), I thought I’d give you the unedited version of what I really think. Also, I’m pretty excited about this stuff and wanted to get the review out there while y’all have a prayer of finding it. It won’t be around for long. So here goes:

Happy 21st, Boulevard!! We have our occasional differences, I know, but y’all are fabulous, and you’ve made me ridonkulously happy by making a fresh hop ale for your 21st birthday.

Basic Info:
21st Anniversary Fresh Hop Pale Ale (Smokestack Series)
Origin: Boulevard Brewing Company, Kansas City, MO
Style: Imperial IPA, or as they call it “Fresh Hop Imperial Pale Ale” (which sounds kinda pretentious, but I’ll go with it here – you only turn 21 once, right?)
IBU: 40
I drank this: poured into a pint glass at home while watching the thrilling conclusion to whatever the hell South Park’s recent comic book/Cthulu mash up has been about

To start out with, I call total B.S. on the IBU level. I’d put it around 75, personally. Maybe it’s just because the hops are fresh, but Ceiling Cat on Toast are the hops STRONG. And this sentiment comes from a certifiable hop head. I finished my last sip of this beer over an hour ago and I can STILL taste the hops. The hops are resiny and piney and have a slight orange kick. So: orange pine resin.

To get a feeling for this beer, take the orange pine resin, add a touch of sweetness and then spread it on perfectly done wheat toast. Then add a touch of honey. And, well, make it amber liquid with a nice white head, light carbonation and a lovely fresh hop scent. And then give it this lovely nutty undertone to go with the orange pine resin. Almost pine nut, really.

But to get to the pine nut-toast part of this beer, you’re going to be searching a bit. I’ve heard of beers being called “aggressively hopped” before and always sort of wondered why the term “aggressive” had to be applied, because, well, you know, HOP HEAD. I am not wondering here. I CAN STILL TASTE HOPS. Right now. Over an hour post-last-sip. HOPS. Lots of hops. Bright, sunshine-on-pine-trees-in-the-mountains-tasting hops. No sour aftertaste, no malts, nothing weird, nothing different than the beer itself. Just. HOPS.

So get thee to a liquor store and find thee some of this beer while you can. They say not to cellar it, so just buy yourself a bottle, pop it open (it’s corked like champagne), and enjoy. It’s a hoppy happy experience.


About Kim

Kim spends a lot of time writing, thinking about writing, reading, writing more and dealing with writer's block. When she's not writing, she might be found having a beer. She often combines the writing experience with the beer experience. The combination tends to lead to more creativity but significantly impaired spelling.
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