This spring I wrote an article questioning whether or not it was time to retire the term “craft beer” (full article HERE). I ended up a little on the fence, not ready to call for the end of the term but committed to limiting my own use. In the last few months my opinion on this has gotten stronger, I am now fully in support of retiring the term craft beer. With the mergers and acquisitions of many notable breweries the Brewers Association definition of craft beer leaves way too many great breweries on the outside. Good beer is good beer, no matter who brews it or who owns the brewery. Right now Yuengling is considered craft while Firestone Walker and Boulevard are not, that statement alone should be enough to sway anyone who was on the fence about this issue. I’ve always enjoyed beers from Boulevard, and I see no difference in quality since they were purchased by Duvel (which isn’t surprising, it’s the same people brewing the beer in the same location). The brewers at Boulevard have continued to innovate, especially with their big-beer centric Smokestack series. One of the newest additions to the Smokestack series is The Calling, a double IPA brewed with 8 different types of hops. Boulevard The Calling is now available year-round on draft and in 12 oz. bottles.
Boulevard The Calling pours a hazy light orange with a moderate white head. The scent is a solid hit of citrusy and piney hops. The hops lead the flavor, notes of grapefruit, resin, lemon and orange with a late bitter punch. This is balanced by a full malt backbone, touches of grainy bread and honey along with some boozy sweetness. The Calling is medium bodied and packs some punch at 8.5% ABV. The finish leaves some lingering bitterness and a little tingle of alcohol on the tongue. In all this is a very well crafted DIPA, plenty of hop flavor and more balance than some of the hops on top of hops DIPAs on the market. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Boulevard Reviews: