I remember my first Boulevard Brewing Co. brewed beer from about three years ago, Double Wide IPA and I thought to myself that this was amazing and I was thankful for this beer and the other year-round releases I had over the next few months.

Then things took a turn for the better and I was introduced to several limited release beers I didn’t even know existed, Funkier Pumpkin—an 8.5 percent ABV spiced sour ale— and Tripel Julep, a Belgian tripel infused with mint.

boulevard-collaboration-no-6-bottle

Boulevard was knocking it out of the park with its limited release beers and I was now on a mission to try them all. Today I have in front of me a beer from Boulevards Smokestack Limited release series which has included the aforementioned Funkier Pumpkin, Love Child No. 7, a barrel-aged wild ale with lactobacillus and brettanomyces and several others.

Today, I am reviewing Boulevard Collaboration No. 6, a collaboration with Firestone Walker Brewing. It is a mix of barrel-aged beers from both breweries and is blended at the percentages listed below:

A shout out to Steven Pauwels, head brewmaster of Boulevard, resulted in the following inspiration for this collaboration:

The inspiration for Collaboration No. 6 came from the anniversary beers that Firestone Walker blends every year… Blending is common in the wine industry and a hot topic in sour beers. Firestone Walker has done a great job blending their anniversary beers and I thought it would be great to blend existing beers from both breweries. We had a blending session early on and pretty quickly came up with a good blend that was 50/50 beers from each brewery. The key was to not have one of the components dominate the blend and (to) create layers of complexity.

Pouring Collaboration No. 6 into a tulip glass, I get a murky, golden-brown color with a finger and a half of tan head, ample carbonation with plenty of  bubbles bursting throughout the head and spotty and chunky lacing randomly along the glass. Aroma is full of dark fruits; raisins, dates, figs and also some yeasty notes, molasses, caramel and a cloying sweetness on the nose.

boulevard-collaboration-no-6

The taste makes itself known with a big, boozy sweetness up front, followed by raisins, dates, maple syrup, vanilla, a very light tartness and an underwhelming amount of bourbon barrel. The mouthfeel is slick and the flavors dissapate rather quickly, leaving a sickly sweetness and then a tannic feel on the palate. The alcohol remains a player throughout the drinking process and starts to muddle the flavors as time goes on, becoming more of a hindrance than anything else.

Boulevard Collaboration No. 6
BREWERY: Boulevard Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Kansas City, Mo.
STYLE: American Strong Ale
ABV: 12.5 percent
IBU: 22
PRICE: $12.99
RELEASE DATE: November 2016
AVAILABLE IN: 750ml bottles
BEERS POURED: One
Overall, Boulevard Collaboration No. 6 is a big and bold beer. Unfortunately, because of the blending percentages, the stouts have little or no influence on the final product. The big, yeasty notes, dark fruits and persistent sweetness are the main flavors and the tart cherry and oatmeal stouts take a back seat. Putting the 20 percent blend of stouts behind you, this is a decent quad, although a touch too sweet. I would like a higher amount of stout, something that would change this whole beer, maybe to the better.
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