Smokestack Series brew tall on taste
Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co. in Kansas City is one of the brewery’s Smokestack Series of specially produced beers that is available year-round. Farmhouse ale or saison was originally brewed in rural French-speaking Belgium in February and March to be kept for summer consumption.
This ale pours a hazy, honey-colored yellow with a nice ivory head that leaves sticky lacing behind. Aroma is a funky citrus with a whisper of honey. Taste has a peppery, tangy bite and leaves an earthy, clove-like aftertaste. There is also a fruity hop presence that sneaks up on you.
This tasty farmhouse ale would be refreshing after a long day working in the hot sun. Thanks to the year-round availability and 8 percent alcohol, it
also serves as a winter warmer. The alcohol is nicely hidden in a crisp, piquant ale that paired nicely
with a creamy clam chowder.
Rating: 4 caps
Tank 7 may go down as Boulevard’s masterpiece. They’ll be hard pressed to get a beer closer to perfection than this one.
I’ve been a fan of Boulevard’s offerings for a while — particularly enjoying their unfiltered wheat beer on tap — but know others who’ve never been overly impressed with the company, feeling either their brews weren’t intriguing enough for beer connoisseurs (snobs) or being one of those who don’t venture beyond mass-produced light beers. The Smokestack Series proves Boulevard can craft a beer capable of tantalizing refined tastes. For the light-side sticklers, well, this beer probably won’t interest those folks either but put some in an opaque glass with a lid and straw and slip it to ’em anyway. Make it a sippy cup for extra fun.
The first tasting of Tank 7 was an extremely pleasant experience and was soon followed by a second tasting. On a beer run with a friend, he suggested buying and splitting one of the large bottles — completely unprompted — and I readily agreed. Consumed while watching a documentary on writer Harlan Ellison called “Dreams With Sharp Teeth,” the slight fruit, dab of sweet and hint of spice flavoring made for an excellent dream beer indeed, though the sharp teeth also came into play with the brew’s 8 percent alcohol content.
Tank 7 is as rich and complex in flavor as a beer swiller such as myself could ask for, and it makes me eager to try the rest of the Smokestack Series.
Rating: 5 caps
One Cap: Put it back in the horse!
Two Caps: Consume only if the other choice is Tijuana tap water or Coors Light.
Three Caps: Acceptable without standing out. The Tito Jackson of beer, if you will.
Four Caps: Nice beer that rises above most but may not deliver enough to be considered great.
Five Caps: Truly great beer that delivers on all counts. A credit to its style. Could only be better if served by scantily clad concubines.
Six Caps: Any five cap beer served by scantily clad concubines.
▲ Beer O’ The Week is a joint production of two beer enthusiasts — J.T. Wampler and Richard Davis.