Review: Karl Strauss Brewing Co. Boardwalk Black Rye

Somehow, I have never sampled beers from Karl Strauss Brewing Co., and I must admit, I would not be doing so today were it not for @biergirl. For some reason, I have always associated Karl Strauss with mediocre beer, and as we all should know by now, drinking mediocre beer goes against Article V, Section 1 of The Confession. Well, I’m here today to let you know that I was wrong in my assessment.  It’s not the greatest beer in the universe, but it’s nothing to be scoffed at, either.  It’s a great example of what a rye beer can be when hopped to exquisite perfection, and I very much am enjoying it! Much thanks to @biergirl for suggesting Karl Strauss as a worthy brewery! Hit the jump for the rest.

Karl Strauss Brewing Co. - Boardwalk Black Rye

The gorgeous blackness? Fantastic lacing? I want to drink this all over again!

Appearance: Wonderfully dark with a rich, creamy head that had some staying power with great lacing. 4

Aroma: Complex, hoppy in the nose with a solid bed of malt underlying it. Roasted malt throughout, but floral and citrus notes also present; a gift for an ale this dark. 4

Taste: Wow! Roasted malt, some coffee bitterness accentuated by a beautiful hoppy bitterness! I am far more impressed than I thought I’d be! Finish is a lasting bitterness, which is hard to place: roasted malt, hops, or combination of both? Fantastic. 4.5

Mouthfeel: Rich and smooth, the mouthfeel is precisely what I was hoping for. Hops cannot completely overpower the malt, and the result is something that, while eminently drinkable, is also quite rich and creamy. 4

Overall: This has been my first experience with Karl Strauss, and I must say, I am surprised. How I let something like this go under the radar for so long is beyond me. Malty sweetness battles west coast hoppiness in this epic battle. Who will win? I will…because it’s quite good! 4

2 thoughts on “Review: Karl Strauss Brewing Co. Boardwalk Black Rye

  1. I’ve been enjoying your blog since stumbling upon it a few weeks ago.

    I’m glad that you’ve revised your imoression of Karl Strauss beers by finally having tasted one! Nothing at all mediocre about their products in my opinion (although for some odd reason, these days some folks do put well balanced brews in the ‘mediocre’ category. Go figure).

    Methinks that it might be wise to add an Article to The Confession stating that one shouldn’t judge a beer or brewer (big or small) until one has tasted the product.

    It has become obvious in recent years that with so many jumping on the bandwagon, small brewery beer is not always so great (and sometimes, it’s not even very good).
    But I definitely put Karl Strauss Brewing Co. on the list of small breweries that ‘do it right’.

    • To be honest, in talking with the Deacon, neither of us can decide what caused us to form this impression of Karl Strauss. It was one of those situations where we’re at BevMo, trying to decide what to drink, we see Karl Strauss, and we just seemed to remember hearing they weren’t that great. Faced with what turned out to be a false memory, there were plenty of other west coast beers we knew we’d like, and breweries we knew we trusted. I have no idea where we got the impression they weren’t good beers, but I’m glad Biergirl asked me to pick some up for her. I also tried the Tower 10 IPA, and was also VERY pleased with the results.

      Thanks for reading, and also for commenting! Hope to see you return often! What is your favorite beer/brewery?

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