Review of Boulevard Single Wide IPA

Posted on April 30, 2010 by

These past few weeks have been nothing but IPA’s, but I think its good to center around single style right now, just so that we can really compare, side by side, the differences between them all. I really don’t know why I chose IPA to start with. It could be because there are so many craft beer drinkers that IPA is just their beer of choice, and I was feeling a little left out, because, frankly, I’ve never been a hop head. So naturally, I wanted to learn more about it and see what the draw is. So at the suggestion of Jez Mez, an awesome an active user of the site,  I decided to give the Boulevard Single Wide IPA a whirl. I have to say, just when I was starting to figure out the “American IPA” style, this thing throws me a curve ball.

Review of Boulevard Single Wide IPA

Review of Boulevard Single Wide IPA

Packaging

The package has a nice retro look to it. The fonts are thick and the colors are somewhat muted, giving this look a bit of a classic 1970′s style to it. The image on the front reminds me of those old Airstream bullets that people used to haul behind their trucks. There isn’t a lot of info on the label. It discusses bottle conditioning, which I think is cool and somewhat expected from Boulevard now, and the style category. I get a bit of info, but not as much I as I normally like. Luckily this one came with a suggestion from a reader and from Boulevard, which I’ve liked in the past.

Appearance

Bright golden in color with a nice, big, fluffy head. There is some nice lacing on the glass. This beer is also bottle conditioned so it has a yeasty haze to it.

Smell

A very subtle hop character that actually reminds me of a mowed yard or some kind of earthy foliage aroma. It is paired with a bit of citrus that didn’t hit me at first, and a bit more fruity smell than I was expecting.

Taste

I don’t get much sweetness in this IPA, which is good, but I really don’t get any sweetness at all. The hop bitterness attacks my tounge from front to back and the bitterness sticks to the back, but there doesn’t seem to be a malty sweetness to balance. In all honesty, it seems to be lacking a little bit on the front end of the tasting and explodes at the end. I get a little bit of pine and believe it or not, bread like, when I look deep into the flavor. It could be the yeast in the bottle.

Mouthfeel

Very zippy on the tounge, but I kind of expect that from IPA’s now. A medium bodied brew that goes down easy.

Drinkability

The bitterness does remind me of the Ranger IPA that I tried last week. It just seems to linger a bit longer than I’d like. However, I do think this beer has a decent drink-ability to it. I would prefer a bit of sweetness to counter balance the hop flavor. Not having made a night out of it, I’d say I’d be able to go 3 or 4 deep without a problem, but again, the bitterness could prevent me from going deeper.

Overall

A very surprising beer to me. I was not expecting something this complex. However, just because it is complex, does not mean it is better. I do recommend any hop lover to give this a try because the hop flavor and bitter is definitely apparent. If you like a bit of sweetness in your IPA, stay away from it as it will disappoint. Overall though, a nice beer and I really appreciate Jez Mez suggesting it to me! It will definitely go into the rotation.

Have you tried Boulevard Single Wide IPA? I’d love to hear your take on it. Also, it seems I’m working a lot on IPA’s so I’d appreciate any suggestions. Keep in mind, I live in Fargo, ND so selection is limited.

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  • jezmez68

    It is my favorite, non-sweet IPA. I like my IPAs to bruise the tongue a bit.

  • mikebiewer

    I did enjoy it my friend. It really shocked me though because it had a different profile than I was expecting. Ahhh, so many beers, so little time!

    Thanks again for the suggestion!

    Mike

  • http://freshbeereveryfriday.blogspot.com Jez

    So now that you've tried all these IPAs, isn't it time to create your own recipe and brew it?

  • mikebiewer

    You are calling me out! LOL

    Agreed though. I'm just starting to get into creating my own recipes. I was actually going to do a porter first, but now my secondary has an Imperial Stout in it for a couple months. Possibly after that, or after I get moved and buy more gear. I really need another secondary.

    I'm actually thinking of selling my glass and getting plastic better bottles. I dropped my 6.5 gallon carboy in the tub the other night. It scared the shit out of me…Plus I put hot water in it to clean it and thought to myself…that was stupid. I can see myself gapping out and totally breaking it and possibly hurting myself.

    Thoughts on plastic?

    Mike

  • http://freshbeereveryfriday.blogspot.com Jez

    Maybe you've seen a guy named Duder over at the NB Forum? He uses plastic buckets. I think he's got like 4-6 of the things. I've had 8 of his beers now, and have 3 more in my fridge. I've never had a bad one. The guy I brew with has glass fermenters. When I was first starting out, I told Duder this, and he sent me some really scary photos of broken glass fermenters. Personally, I own no glass. I have two 6-gallon Better Bottles, two 7.9-gallon plastic buckets, and a plastic 6.5-gallon conical fermenter.

    You will get people telling you how oxygen permeates plastic. I would be willing to lager something 6 months in mine to see just how bad it got, but I'm guessing that is totally overblown. I know that for the amount of time I lager (usually 1 month max), I don't have issues. It's easier on my back, and it won't shatter. That's the one thing no one talks about – the weight. How much does an empty glass fermenter weigh? 20, 25 lbs? Add 5 gallons and you're handling a 65-lb vessel. No thanks.

    I think keeping one around for aging something like a barley wine or impy stout might be a good thing, but I'd try to keep the handling to a minimum (I AM a professional Safety Engineer, so you're going to get that from me) and use oxyclean or PBW powder to clean it, sanitize it with your choice of sanitizer, and use the siphon a lot to move those liquids out.

  • mikebiewer

    Good call man. I've read a lot about plastic and the oxidiation that people say. From what I understand, the older plastic used to be that way and the newer stuff is perfectly fine to use. I really like using the buckets more than the bottles. I can grab samples easier and they are easier to move like you've mentioned. I'd probably still use glass for secondaries and aging, but it would be a lot better because my secondaries are 5 gallon glass and my glass primary is a 6.5 gallons and a beast to move around. The 5 gallon ones are easier to move. I only get nervous about cleaning. I like warm water and I am always nervous of a breakage.

    I use Oxyclean and StarSan right now. Never tried the PBW, but I very well could once I make another order to NB.

    Thanks for the insight!

    Mike

  • http://twitter.com/13mikey Mikey

    I had this for the first time last week and was surprised by how awesome it was for such a good price (I think it's $6-8 a sixer in the Mpls area).

    But then again, I should stop being surprised by Boulevard, they make great beers!

  • mikebiewer

    They do make great beers. I started with their wheat, and actually, I've yet to have anything else other than the Single Wide. But, the wheat is yummy and the Single Wide is pretty good to. I really look forward to trying their Pale Ale. I think the Pale Ale style is consistently one of my favorites. Along with Porters and Stouts for sure!

    Thanks for stopping in again!

    Mike

  • http://twitter.com/13mikey Mikey

    Try to find a bottle of their BBQ (Bourbon Barrel Quad).

    It's probably one of my ten favorite beers…

  • mikebiewer

    I'm on it!

    Thanks for the heads up!

    Mike

  • Biki Gadtaula

    where to find this beer in AUstralia

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