Boise Brewing

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Boise Brewing’s Black Cliffs Is an Excellent, No-Frills Stout

February 20, 2019

By Jesse Bussard, February 20, 2019

A good stout never goes out of style. Boise Brewing’s Black Cliffs American Stout is a prime example of the style. This multi award-winning stout out of Idaho is no-frills and all flavor. No lactose, no fruits, nothing extra, it’s just a classic example of a stout with an American edge. And at 7% ABV, it’s also the perfect kind of warming, rich, dark ale to drink on chilly days.

Appearance and Aroma

The label art for Black Cliffs is simple and straightforward. An outline of the Black Cliffs rock formation, after which the beer is named, appears in the background. A large gold sticker adorns the side of the bottle letting you know this beer was a Gold Award Winner in the American-style Stout category at the 2018 World Beer Cup. Out of the bottle, Black Cliffs pours as black and opaque as its namesake towering columns of lava rock. The beer is topped with a beautiful tan head that lasts well after pouring and clings to the rim of the glass. As I swirl the beer in my glass, rich aromatics of caramel, black licorice, and roast coffee come forth.

It’s a beer you’ll likely have to go out of your way to find, but will be worth the extra effort.”


This beer brings to mind the tastes of a good cigar and Turkish coffee. The flavors are lucious and strong, yet well-balanced. Full-bodied and smooth, it starts out with slightly sweet caramel and strong roasted malt notes. A noticeable piney, herbal hop bitterness is present throughout. The beer finishes with a mild tannic astringency that lingers on the tongue.


After thoroughly enjoying an entire bomber of Black Cliffs all to myself, I get why this beer has won two medals in just the past year. It’s a roasty, hoppy treat with the mouthfeel and body that should comprise any good stout. Only available in Idaho as a seasonal release, it’s a beer you’ll likely have to go out of your way to find, but will be worth the extra effort.

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