The Boulevard Brewing Company is from Kansas City, Missouri. Their Smokestack Series is a line of specialty and limited release brews. This 11.0% ABV blended beer is brewed with rye and then 67% of it is aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels (an excellent rye whiskey based on a Prohibition-era recipe previously illegally distilled in Templeton, in Carroll County, Iowa).
2012: The beer pours a medium to dark brown, with tones of copper, orange and a touch of ruby. There is a near half-inch head of thick and creamy foam that is off-white to very light brown in color and leaves a medium density of lacing down the glass. The aroma is much more subdued than many whiskey barrel aged beers. It does not beat you over the head with the fact that it was in a whiskey barrel, but it is still apparent. There is vanilla, wood, and smooth rye whiskey. The taste is slightly sweet, tangy, a bit of spice from the rye grain, vanilla, wood and rye whiskey. The alcohol is apparent, but smooth and not hot. The mouthfeel is creamy.
This drinks much like a smooth rye whiskey cocktail, say rye with vanilla cola, but much smoother, deeper, fuller, substantial and more balanced. This is a fine whiskey barrel aged brew. Boulevard brews a line of generally excellent beers and Templeton Rye is an excellent whiskey; the two merge together nicely.
The 2013-2014 notes are below.
2013 Release - I am not sure why this is the 2013 release since it became available in 2012. It is now 12.0% ABV. The blending proportions remain the same, 33% ale, 67% ale aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels. The beer pours burnt umber in color. There is a tall inch of thick and creamy off-white head. Very thick lacing is left down the glass. The aroma is creamy and smooth rye whiskey, rye malt, spicy and toasted, some apparent alcohol and a bit of woody dryness. The taste follows the aromas quite directly, with rye whiskey, rye malt, oak, dark and sweet dried fruit with the alcohol being upfront, but well blended and incorporated. It is still nicely creamy and smooth, with big flavors, and one of my favorites among whiskey barrel aged beers.
2014: The beer pours a dark brown with a dark burnt orange and amber glow. There is a tall, thick, bubbly, foamy head that is light tan in color. The aroma is oaky, light rye whiskey, brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, a tangy fruitiness, like tangerine or mandarin orange, with a spicy rye grain note. The taste follows the aromas directly, and adds an even stronger, but still well-balanced, note of rye whiskey. It has a soft and fine bottle-conditioned carbonation. It drinks rich and full-bodied, but not heavy. It is always nice to drink this beer.