The first thing that I noticed about this beer was the label. I always read the labels before I drink beers (except for their description as I don’t want it to influence my senses). God forbid. I, on the other hand like to know what they’re shooting for so I can adequately prepare my mouth. I highly recommend if you don’t read the labels to start doing so. Some craft brewers have quite an imagination and story that goes along with a particular beer.
The label for this particular beer starts out like this; “Throughout the ages, man has been fascinated by the quest for hidden knowledge, the search for the secret to transforming the elemental into the extraordinary, the simple into the sublime.” I don’t know about you, but it got me interested. Interested enough that the picture of this beer was influenced by it. I’ve gotten a lot of really good comments about the pictures I take of the beers for this blog. To let you in on a secret, I usually take these pictures in under 30 seconds (that starts from the pour). I like to call it quick art. I believe what he actually said was, “I do art shit fast.” I figure if I can’t take a good picture quickly then no amount of time will give me a good picture either (besides the head would dissipate too fast if I didn’t do quick pictures). He makes an excellent point. Same reason I’m in favor of a shorter work week.
To make a long story short, this beer was poured before I was ready for it to be. I was still doing a review for another beer (Blue Star Wheat) when I suddenly had to take the beer and try to find a place to photo it. I hadn’t had any thoughts about where to picture it or how (not sure if you’ve noticed but I have been trying to theme the pictures with the beer lately). I went on a bit of a walk trying to figure something out. My first idea didn’t work as the bottle seemed to be side heavy so I couldn’t get a good shot of the label. Well I kept thinking and decided I should read the label to see if there was some inspiration.
“Transforming the elemental into the extraordinary, the simple into the sublime,” was the phrase that sparked some creativity. I figured what could be more simple than childhood. A picture of a tricycle no longer in use and forgotten. Now, nothing more than a lawn decoration. Yes, it was my tricycle. As I looked at it I remembered a simpler time when I didn’t have bills, a job, or anything to worry about. And to me the name of the beer Dark Truth along with that tricycle reminded me that no matter how simple things once were at some point we grow up, move on, and forget about the simple things that made us happy.
This beer was simply one of the best from the Smokestack Series by Boulevard. Trying to find a place for that picture took me several minutes and if you notice the head didn’t go away quickly. Beers are so much more photogenic if the head lasts (especially if the beer was a surprise pour and I wasn’t ready for it). It pours semi thick sort of like a watered-down oil. The head is a khaki color while the body is pretty much pure black. The aroma was smokey and brown sugary. Those two combine for a very pleasant aroma that’s not too smokey and not too sweet. The taste was very roasted which makes it slightly bitter. It’s not hoppy but a roasted bitter like coffee. The mouthfeel is very creamy, I would almost call it velvety. The finish gets a little more smokey but overall it kind of maintains it’s balance.
The beer makes me think of a smokestack from the Industrial Age in Europe. A tall dark brick tower pouring out a dark, heavy smoke that you just can’t seem to get away from. It’s everywhere, on everything, but for some reason it’s just right. Warning: this beer is pretty high in alcohol (9.5% ABV) but the good news is that it doesn’t taste like it. I did feel like it sat heavy in my stomach as it is a little thick. So fair warning this one could be a meal in of itself (I wouldn’t recommend that unless the goal is to be drunk really quick).
Stouts are pretty common style produced by almost every brewery. Some are Cream Stouts (Buffalo Sweat, Tallgrass Brewing Co.), some are Imperial Stouts (Yeti, Great Divide Brewing Co.), some are Oatmeal Stouts (No. 6 Oatmeal Stout, Lb. Brewing Co.), and some are just simple stouts (Stout, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.). Stouts offer a wide range of tastes and variations. These are just a few for you to sample to see which ones you might like. Remember though there are more variations that I didn’t list so just because you don’t like any of these don’t brush off the style all together. Perhaps you just have found the one you are looking for yet.