Over the past few weeks, I’ve been fortunate to sample a few of Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Smokestack series, since my girlfriend Linda and I visited my sister Leigh and her husband Keith in Kansas City last month. I have to really thank Keith for that, as every evening, even if we’d had plenty of Boulevard’s regular beers, he would pull out a bottle or two of one of the Smokestack Series bottles from stored in his fridge and pour everyone a glass. And before getting on the plane and flying home, he directed us to stop at some liquor store called Gomer’s, which from the outside, appeared to be a good place to get a 40 oncers of malt liquor to consume on a nearby street corner. But Gomer’s had a great selection inside, so I picked up a few Smokestack Series bottles to take home to San Jose. I would characterize the worst beer in the bunch as pretty good, so they’re worth hunting down. Here’s a quick run-down.
Two Jokers Double Wit
Quite frankly, I think their are way too many “Double Somethings” out there, and the Witbier style doesn’t seem to be one to lend itself to “doubling”. Then again, Boulevard’s ZON Witbier won a gold medal in this years Great American Beer Festival, so if I bite the bullet and try a Double Wit, this would be the one to try. And it is. There’s a hefty amount of cracker like malt, and lots of spiciness, with noticeable coriander and cardamon. Some peppery flavors as well, and of course, some bitter orange peel.
A Whole Bunch of Different Saisons
Really, I just couldn’t keep all the different Saisons in the series straight. At the Boulevard Brewery tour, they were pouring Tank7 Saison, a dry hopped Saison with a strong lemongrass aroma and plenty of herbal flavors, grassy hop bitterness, and a little lemon in there. Later on, Keith poured us something simply labelled Saison which was more yeasty, peppery, a little grassy and had this tingly carbonation to it. Finally, I took home a bottle of dry hopped Saison – Brett which seemed to have a lot of complex yeast flavors I couldn’t quite define, some resin-like character and a musty aroma to go with all that. I’m not a big Saison fan, but they all worked really well. If you have the chance to have a Boulevard beer with the word “Saison” in the title, I say go for it.
So glad Leigh and Keith could show us the way around Kansas City.