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Chocolate Meltdown - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

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Chocolate MeltdownChocolate Meltdown

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BA SCORE
86
very good

134 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 134
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 9
Gots: 25 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Stinkypuss on 02-14-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 39
Reviews by RVigz:
Photo of RVigz
4.74/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Just about black with a dark brown head.

Smell: Absolutely delicious and sweet chocolate smell with hints of coffee.

Taste: Similar to the smell, sweet chocolate malts that turn into a nice bitter dark chocolate taste with hints of coffee on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, very sweet.

Overall: This will go down as one of my favorites. Nicely balanced between sweet and bitter. This would be AMAZING on nitro.

More User Reviews:
Photo of wattoclone
4.26/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a six pack at Capone's bottle shop. Pours a typical dark brown but with an impressive enormous billowing beige head. Aroma is chocolate with caramel notes. Taste is essentially a bitter dark chocolate bar but less sweet with subtle hint of caramel. Overall, this chocolate stout blows away the Sam Smith Organic Chocolate which I found cloyingly sweet and difficult to finish and has much more flavor than Young's Double Chocolate. While it is not nearly as rich or smooth as Voodoo Cowbell it's not really fair to compare to a draft only nitro-stout. It was a very enjoyable brew and I will have no problem finishing all six.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At the Sharp Edge Creekhouse awhile back from notes, dark black chocolate color with tawny brown highlights light mocha tan head, dwindles pretty quickly. Nose is full of syrupy sweet chocolate notes with a good amount of creamy lactose inspired fullness. Flavor wise it was straight up dusted chocolate (I guess Godiva) creamy milk chocolate/syrup notes rise and flow. The dark malts don't offer much balance just a wave of unrelenting sweet chocolate, with a mild herbal hops in the back end. Mouthfeel was medium bodied with a bit of cloying sweetness most of the time, I had a rough time getting through this one definitely glad I went for a half pour. Overall Penn shouldn't be straying from their German origins, until you nail Penn Dark back to the original formula I don't care if you can churn out Velentine's chocolate infused beer.

Update Bottled version on 3/5/14

Appears pitch black in the glass, forms fine speckled tan lacing after the head dwindles down. The nose is pleasant dark roasted malts, salted caramel, milk chocolate Hershey's kisses. The dark roasts and herbal hops just slip through to the senses in the background amongst all of the dessert qualities going on. Flavor dark chocolate roasts, more salted caramel, Hershey's chocolate syrup it's overtly sweet semi bitter finish from the darker roasts malts and chocolate additions. This years seems less harsh on the palate, and dare I say more balanced. I made the cry for them to get their base German beers back to top shape before experimenting with American style dessert chocolate beers I guess they don't want to listen. Mouthfeel is a bit cloying with sweetness, residual sugars and dark roasts collide, carbonation works no real complaints. Overall, back to the basics is much needed get me some original recipe Penn Dark and I forgive all other abominations.

Photo of Sammy
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A dry American chocolate is prominent. My Bottle from Capone’s. The aroma is terrific. Bittersweet chocolate taste. A little thin. Still a dessert beer and. Dark brown body with a little head and lace. Needs more caramel and also hops would not hurt.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Penn Brewery "Chocolate Meltdown" Milk Chocolate Stout
12 oz. brown glass bottle, no apparent freshness dating
$1.99 @ Wegmans, King of Prussia, PA

Another chocolate beer, this time a stout from Penn Brewing. It's brewed with pale, caramel, chocolate and roasted malts; and artificially flavored.

Let's use a question and answer format to review this one:
- So if it uses artificial flavoring, does it taste artificial? No, it actually tastes very much like bittersweet chocolate and dark fudge brownies. I find no defect in that area.
- Is it sweet? Yes, but not overly so. I'd personally think of this as more of a dessert beer, but at the same time it does actually work as a chocolatey stout... it doesn't become cloying.
- Is it roasty? It is, but that takes a back seat to the sweeter caramel and chocolate notes. However, that roastiness is part of what allows it to dry in the finish as it's not really that bitter.
- Would you drink two (or more) in a row? I would probably not, but I probably could. Some of the chocolate beers I've tasted are great at the start but then become a bit much halfway through the glass, and I don't find that here. The more I taste it, the more of the stout side comes out (probably because the roastiness is building in my mouth). At the end of the glass I'm completely satisfied. It's satiating.
- When would you drink it? I think it would make a great beer following a Thanksgiving or Xmas dinner, or almost anytime during winter as a slow, relaxing sipper. And, of course as a dessert beer. I really think that's where it would shine as it's really neither too sweet or too bitter. Plop a small scoop of soft vanilla ice cream into your glass and you've got an instant ice cream float!
- Can you cook with it? I haven't tried it, but of all of the chocolate beers I've had I'd certainly imaging that it would work.
- Overall? Unless you're against chocolate beers, or dark beers in general, I'd suggest you try it just to see. It's far from an everyday beer, but you might be surprised by it.

Photo of Treyliff
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Chocolate meltdown

A- pours jet black color with a small creamy dark tan head that reduces to leave just a ring around the edge

S- slightly charred roasted chocolate and caramel malts sweetness up front, accompanied by aromas of tootsie roll, espresso, caramel candy and nutty chocolate fudge

T- lots of sweet toffee/caramel and tootsie roll candy flavor up front, hints of charred malt kick in mid-palate before giving way to a coffee finish

M- medium viscous body with moderate carbonation leads to a slightly chewy mouthfeel and a creamy finish

O- very good and drinkable stout with plenty of chocolate, the only thing that keeps it from moving up to the next level is that the sweetness gets a bit artificial tasting at times

Photo of tone77
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, chocolate, a bit of smoke. Taste is chocolate, roasted malts, not to sweet, flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall I found this to be an enjoyable beer.

Photo of Dodo2step
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Wegmans in Mechanicsburg, PA

A- dark chocolate, almost black. opaque and no light. minimal head and tan lacing.

S- chocolate and toasted caramel malts.

F- chocolate and then toasted malts.

M- almost feels like hot chocolate with alcohol. Very tasty and the malts complement the tones nice.

O-i love this stout and its a nice winter brew. the appearance is the only down side...it is bland

Photo of oline73
3.32/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this on nitro-tap at Fatheads in Pittsburgh. Poured into an imperial pint.

Appearance: Pours a murky brown with two fingers of creamy tan head that fades and leaves a layer.

Smell: Sweet cocoa with some mild roast. There is also a hint of caramel.

Taste: Not as sweet as the smell. Dark chocolate and cocoa with some bitter roast. A bit watery.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth mild carbonation. The finish is dry.

Overall: This beer was just alright. I would have liked a more full flavor.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Damn this beer has a bad rep! It to me almost drank like a Imported Guinness but with less hops.

A - Pours a nice jet black, no real brown with no light shinning through and with the nitro I think I got more head than I deserved with at least two inches of it. Love how nitro pillows the head but it seemed kind of rushed with this one quickly turning to dark creamy tan head that took 5 minutes to settle down.

S - As I wait for the head to settle I took a sniff and get mild roasted malts, creamy chocolate syrup and slight cocoa powder.

T - I have a strong reason to believe most of the roast flavors in this beer was embodied in the foamy head. As soon as I get to the beer I get a mild lactic sourness with dry cocoa powder that turns to creamy thick syrup like chocolate and a mild twang of bitterness that rounds the creamy finish.

M - It did have a pretty medium body. Smooth.

Overall I can see why some would hate this beer a bit as I got half way through the glass the flavors got kind of boring and one dimensional (pretty much lost the roasted flavor) But it was very smooth and I could see they had a solid attempt at appeasing my love for a chocolate flavored beer. Pretty nice beer.

Photo of undeadozzy
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Vigorous pour into Guinness pub glass, pitch black with pillowy and massive cream colored head that leaves insane lacing around glass.

S - Smells a little chemically, almost kind of artificial, some hints of caramel and coffee, not much chocolate.

T - Delicious chocolate up front, like an ovaltine maltiness and a dark chocolate candy bar. Not too sweet, and lots of organic chocolate flavor. Swishing it pulls out some cocoa sweetness, hints of caramel, toffee and a little nuttiness. Finish is dry and dark chocolate.

M - Chewy and sticky, like a good chocolate stout.

O - Up until buying this beer, I had never heard of this brewing company, but after this beer, I'll definitely be checking them out! One of the better chocolate stouts I've had, very tasty!

Photo of rypkr
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.75

Man was this a letdown

A - thick, motor oil like syrup. Thin frothy head and corn syrup lacing.

S - from the bottle was nothing but milk chocolate, mmmm. Surprisingly, from the snifter was much more modest. Chalky less sweet cocoa mostly. Little bit of yeast also.

T - supremely disappointed. Artificial chocolate dominates followed by the audacity add about 45 ibus worth of hop presence to a "milk chocolate stout". Talk about trying to serve two masters.

M - Over-carbonated. Too fizzy, too prickly.

O - try it. I dare you

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

My beer guru brought this one over to share. Outstanding appearance and smell, really enjoyed sniffing this beer. Excellent taste, enjoyed it very much. A little thin for a stout but extremely tasty. Not extremely strong so no bonus points overall for ABV, not sure about the value because I did not buy it, if not over priced I would buy again.

Photo of woodychandler
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

The bottle backlog continues to present beers that simply perplex me as to their origin. I am willing to bet that this one came to me from my local, in-person trader, tone77. I like Penn Brewery, but I just cannot envision myself buying a milk chocolate stout.

From the bottle: "The Tradition of Our Lagering Caves Lives On."; "Milk Chocolate Stout"; "This lush, creamy stout is brewed with caramel, chocolate, and roasted malts to create this fragrant beer reminiscent of chocolate milk."

This beer acted in quite a curious manner! I used a heavy hand to generate both a pseudo-cascade as well as two fingers of bubbling light-tan head with really lousy retention. The head became rocky and fell away to wisps in seconds! Color was a dense, deep, dark-brown (SRM = 44) allowing zero light penetration. Nose smelled like, well, like milk chocolate! Truth in advertising strikes again. Man, but this really smelled sweet. Speaking of truth in advertising, the mouthfeel was a real letdown. It was not lush or creamy, but more towards thin and watery. The taste was quite sweet, very much like milk chocolate and since that is what they were striving for, I have to give them props. For this self-avowed hophead, however, it was a definite one-and-done.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.06/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours jet black with a light tan head. In the aroma, chocolate, kinda like cocoa mix. In the taste, light roastiness and it tastes like Swiss Miss was dumped in here. A smooth and medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry roast and hint of chocolate in the aftertaste. Thin body, a bit sweet, and I can drink a whole pint.

Photo of 57md
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color with a half finger of tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. The nose has both chocolate and roasted notes. There is some chocolate flavor upfront, but not much else is going on behind the initial taste of cocoa. The finish is slightly dry, but not terribly roasty.

I am pretty much willing to try any stout with chocolate in it. More often than not, the flavor falls short. This offering belongs in the “falls short” category.

Photo of CaptainInsaneO
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Jet black. Midnight in a glass, chocolatey creamy brown head.

S: Smells like chocolate and alcohol, two of my favorite things.

T: Incredibly rich, almost too much chocolate, but if that's not what you're looking for why the hell did you buy a beer called "chocolate meltdown"? This is to beer like port is to wine, rich and robust, something you sip on with desert. Served a thick slice of peanut-butter fudge; orgasm in the mouth.

M: Almost syrup it has such a strong mouth feel, not much carbonation, or if it was i wasn't paying enough attention.

O: This beer has its own character and shouldn't be held to the standards of others

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Penn Brewing "Chocolate Meltdown", Brewers Reserve as it says ontop of the barrel.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown in color, little head of a light brown variety.

Smell: Chocolate, of all types. Dark, milk and raw. A pleasing malty cocoa nose that is very aromatic and fairly strong.

Taste: Chocolate, light roasted barley/malt. Almost like an irish dry stout with chocolate added. Pretty tasty, sessionable and not overly strong as far as alcohol is concerned.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of medium bodied, a tad thin and watery.

Drinkability: A nice respectable brew from Penn. A lot different from most of their other offerings and definately in the craft realm. The body needs to be more full, and carbonation is a bit low. Ok but not great.

Photo of niktastik
2.73/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 3

A - This beer looks fantastic, with a deep, dark brown color. It had a nice, thick, tan head when poured in to a glass. As a Pittsburgher, the bottle label also appealed to me, since it features the Penn Brewery itself.

S - It has a very strong smell of chocolate, with a hint of roasted malt and maybe coffee.

T - The taste up front is chocolate, then the malt comes through. The after-taste is a little strange...it reminds me a lot of Penn Gold. It doesn't seem to fit at all with this beer. The alcohol taste is surprising, considering the relatively low ABV.

M - I was pretty disappointed with the thin mouthfeel. I like a nice thick stout, and this was not it.

O - An ok beer. Drinkable, but not something I'd seek out again.

Photo of Suds
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a deep, rich colored beer. It has a dark tan head that falls a little too quickly. The aroma is intensely chocolate and grain. Sweetness, cocoa, and a little yeast. It is good, but a little one dimensional. Full in body. The taste is mostly balanced, but leaned sweet. Some flat and woody-cardboard flavors, but not bad, just distracting. Some hop bitterness in the mid taste. Abrupt finish. Good, but not outstanding.

Photo of bamadog
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Had on nitro tap at Bites and Brews in Pittsburgh, PA, poured into a snifter. Review is from notes taken on 6/4/2011.

Appearance: Pour is darkest brown/near black and comes with a thick, and I mean thick, 1/2 finger light brown head with sick retention from the nitro; entirely opaque, this beer seems to engulf light; head eventually dwindles to a 1/4 finger cap cap that is very even; a lonely four, tiny spots of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Like thick, chocolate pudding -- it is super smooth and creamy, and it seems like pudding with bittersweet chocolate shavings on top; touch of coffee roastiness, and it is a little reminiscent of a jamocha shake from Arby's; slight touch of alcohol as it continues to warm... I can't believe I'm smelling a beer and not dessert.

Taste: Milky, creamy, chocolate pudding with a touch of bittersweet baker's chocolate; touch of sweet coffee with a lot of creamer in it that finishes with a bitter, burnt coffee roastiness and a slight touch of alcohol as it continues to warm.

Mouthfeel: Actually a little watery, and not what I expected from it as it comes across thin; while thin, it is still a little creamy and it remains smooth; carbonation is 100% non-existant; a thin, moist, gritty coating is left behind.

Overall: A sweet beer that would make an excellent dessert; ABV would lessen the drinkability as it seems a little higher than the standard American Stout, but I'm glad to have tried it.

Photo of mgbickel
2.41/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Bocktown. My wife ordered this on Valentine's Day.

Served in a standard pint glass...arrived at the table with a small layer of beige foam sitting on top of the dark brown/black body. The lighting in this place is rather dim, but the body looks solid. The head quickly dissipated, leaving behind zero lace.

The nose is OK...some roasted malts, cocoa powder and some sort of plastic...meh

Ugh...this is taking a bad turn. A mess of odd flavors mixed with a horrible, fake chocolate syrup. By my 3rd sip, I cannot taste anything beyond the syrup...again...ugh. A shot of Murphy's, two shots of a YooHoo, a few squeezes of generic chocolate syrup and water.

Man...the mouth feel is even worse...paper thin and watery. Nothing about this screams stout.

I told my wife I would split this with her...and I could not hold up my end of the bargain....neither could she. I really hate to bash anything local, but wow...this is a mess.

Photo of Cylinsier
3.13/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

tap

Pours jet black with little to no head.

Smells of rich milk chocolate.

Tastes like hershey chocolate syrup with only hints of grain and malt.

Mouth is water thin. No real carbonation.

A so-so stout that disappoints mostly in the lack of thickness. Much sweeter than most stouts, even in the chocolate variety. Easier to take with food than as a stand-alone. It's not bad, but there are many better chocolate stouts out there.

Photo of IronLover
4.11/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown to black in color. Poured with a thick beige foam that slowly reduce to a decent cap that left random wet lacings on the glass. Huge, sweet dark chocolate aroma up front with notes roasted malt at the back end. On the thicker side of medium bodied with rich, tangy and slightly aggressive carbonation. Sweet, rich, dark chocolate flavor up front followed by dark roasted malt into the middle. Light, tangy, hop bitterness through the middle followed by a brief note of milk chocolate near the end. Finishes with dark roasted malt flavors and earthy hop bitterness with an underlying chocolate sweetness.

Photo of IronCitySteve
2.28/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Deleted my first review as I wanted to give this a 2nd chance. Nitro Tap at Fat Heads Pgh

A: Pours a thick dark brown almost black color with a thick two plus finger foam head. Lots of lacing all down the sides.

S: A nice amount of milk chocolate and vanilla.

T: This tastes like a thick chocolate milk or warm milkshake. Lots of chocolate syrup taste, almost too sweet. No roasted malt flavor to counteract the sweetness. It really is like drinking the syrup from a Hershey syrup bottle.

M: Slightly sweet, but quite thin and watery.

D: Not a beer I would seek out as it is too sugary sweet. If there were some roasted malt that would balance out the sweetness, I probably would enjoy this a little more.

As somebody said above, why order a beer called "Chocolate Meltdown" if you don't want chocolate? I do like chocolate in my beer. I like a chocolate milk too, but I don't like drinking the syrup out of the bottle, which is why I did not like this brew because that is what it tasted like. Should I know it is going to taste like chocolate syrup because the beer is named Chocolate Meltdown? Seriously? Get over it.

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Chocolate Meltdown from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.