OK, you knew this was coming but: here’s a beer that’s been calling my name. Boulevard The Calling IPA that is, a beer that I’ve been hearing lots and lots of good things about. Part of the Smokestack Series of specialty beers, The Calling IPA is a double/imperial IPA available year-round.
Boulevard, of course, already has a double IPA, Double-Wide India Pale Ale. That’s much more of a classic American double IPA though, with the signature resiny-piney hops. The Calling is more of a new-fangled tropical fruity DIPA that seems much more popular these days amongst beer geeks. Quite often, the former is called “East Coast IPA” while the latter is called “West Coast IPA”.
I find this rather amusing, since resiny-piney American IPAs were once mostly brewed on the West Coast and called “West Coast IPA” (WCIPA) while East Coast IPA (ECIPA) was less hoppy and closer to British IPA (BIPA). This was as recent as the late 90s. Now, it seems, IPAs have migrated again, from Britain to the East Coast to the West Coast back to the East Coast.
Anyway, here’s what Boulevard say about The Calling IPA on the label:
The Calling is a bold, lush, undeniable IPA we were driven to make. It's our tribute to like-minded doers, intrepid spirits, and glass half-full optimists. Heed your call and enjoy.
Ingredients? Boulevard says the malt is “minimal”, and hops “a blend of eight varieties, primarily featuring Mosaic, Equinox, Galaxy and Amarillo.” Alcohol content is 8.5% by volume and IBU content is 75. My bottle says it is best by 10/04/15, I drank it on August 2nd.
Boulevard The Calling IPA pours to a brilliant orange amber color with a thick creamy head of foam and a complex nose of tropical passion fruit. Taking a sip, I get some light chewy caramel malt up front followed by lots and lots of tropical fruits (passion fruit and pineapple for me) with perhaps a dash of citric orange thrown in for good measure. A hint of pine comes through, but not as much as the brewery seems to imply should be here. The finish is herbal grassy and minty bitter, quite bitter indeed.
All in all, this was a decent beer, and I liked it well enough. I do much prefer the classic IPAs to this variety, and I think the dearth of malt detracts from The Calling. Annoying too is the price here, $9.99 for a 4-pack leaves me feeling cheated out of two bottles. I might buy The Calling again if I saw it on tap at Taco Mac, but I would not buy it again in bottles at this price.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.