Boulevard's Dark Truth Stout

Boulevard Brewing's Dark Truth Stout, its newest release, adds a Belgian twist to the traditional Irish stout recipe, resulting in big, bold flavors that are better sipped than gulped.

Dark Truth was released last March on a limited basis (only 12,500 bottles were produced) as part of Boulevard's Smokestack Series, which is the company's line of artisanal brews.

Brewmaster Steven Pauwels said in a news release the idea for the beer was inspired by his native Belgium after several Boulevard employees vacationed there and noticed the abundance of stout-style brews.

"While Belgium is known for producing an enormous variety of beer styles, stout has not historically been part of the mix," Pauwels said. "But once the traditional Irish stout found its way there, Belgian brewers did what they tend to do, using different grains, different yeasts, and making an even fuller-bodied, higher alcohol beer."

Pauwels brew combines barley, wheat, rye and oats with Belgian yeast to create a stout that comes in at 9.7% alcohol per 750-ml bottle.

Dark Truth pours black, leaving about two fingers of head that doesn't completely recede, and the lacing sticks to the glass well. There is not much to the initial aroma but a faint scent of hops.

The taste, though, explodes on the tongue. Roasted coffee and light caramel flavors that are nicely balanced give way to a slight plum finish. The brew feels smooth in the mouth, with a hint of smoke at the end.

Boulevard says Dark Truth Stout is available throughout the Midwest region ranging from North Dakota down to Texas and as far east as Tennessee and parts of Alabama.