Boulevard’s Heavy Lifting is my kind of IPA; bold, assertive, hop-forward, refreshing, and easy drinking. Far from a Session IPA, its ABV is still low enough that this beer can be sipped and enjoyed anytime. The hops definitely dominate the beer, but both the malt and some of the hops used provide a sweet and fruity balance to the bitterness.
The beer is opaque and pours a straw color with an orange glow in the light. The snow-white head was frothy with large bubbles. The head lingered leaving a nice lacing as it receded to a ¼” layer that remained atop the liquid.
The aroma could be described as hoppy, but that would be a disservice to its true complexity. More specifically, the variety of hops used attributes notes of pine, fresh cut grass, lemon, orange, and sweet melon. The malt can also be detected underneath with bready aromas.
The tongue verifies the findings of the nose. The biscuity malt is detected early as well as a slight melon (cantaloupe) sweetness. The middle of the tongue tastes the beer transitioning from sweet to bitter with citrus notes. The grassy flavors on the back of the tongue are a prelude to a long, dominating, piney finish with a slight dry, orange peel flavor hiding underneath.
Heavy Lifting is not heavy at all. In fact, the body is medium-light and the ABV is 6.2%. The beer packs 80 IBUs so it is definitely one for the hop-heads. That said, it still strikes a nice balance between fruity and piney hops and is quite easy-drinking.
Heavy Lifting is the newest year-round release from Boulevard. It is available in six-packs of 12 ounce cans. I highly recommend picking up a sixer and doing some twelve-ounce curls.
Bikepacker Friendliness (12 oz cans) 8/10
Aroma (big hops and bready malt) 9/10
Flavor (let the hops shine) 9/10
Style Appropriateness (IBUs take it more towards Imperial IPA ranges) 7/10