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Chocolate Meltdown - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Chocolate MeltdownChocolate Meltdown

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

39 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 39
Hads: 143
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 15.09%
Wants: 9
Gots: 27 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 39 | Hads: 143
Photo of Sammy
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (252 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.32/5  rDev -10.5%
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. (503 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (2,042 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Peachtree, served chilled in a pint.

The color is dark brown like hershey syrup with thick dark shade and translucent with thin cream head with small bead. the smell is very chocolatey -lots of sweet cocoa almost like a Hershey bar with a real dessert quality in the aroma. the feel is good, moderately roasted and semi sweet with a moderate carbonation level and moderate sweetness with a balance of roasted and light bittersweet creaminess of cocoa with mild astringency of dark grain.

The taste is very good with a nice balance of roasted malt flavor with a mild cocoa flavor accenting that with some sweet characteristics and light tannin with a slight bitter element in the background, but not overboard pretty well balanced for the style. Overall I enjoyed this it has a nice level of chocolate in the taste without sacrificing the base style of stout and the abv is at a decent level - it is almost like drinking a hershey bar. (961 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (1,847 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (1,253 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.47/5  rDev -6.5%
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. (752 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.71/5  rDev 0%
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. (269 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (1,203 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
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. (331 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
4.04/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

on draft. dark brown in color, tan colored head. nice aroma. overall, the taste is good for a chocolate stout - not too sweet, good balance. medium bodied, could be thicker. (179 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.56/5  rDev -4%
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. (431 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Rated side by side with 3 other Penn brews. Pours black with a small khaki head. Aroma if rich cocoa powder and chocolate sauce, some earthy coffee to this, and definite sweet lactose notes. Flavor is light chocolate sauce, a tiny bit of earthy roast, and a nice sweet lactose touch. Medium bodied, smooth, with low plus carbonation. Hey, this is a pretty darn good sweet stout. (378 characters)

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.11/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery this past weekend-served with Godiva chocolate-which is always fun.

A- Being that this was a nitro-tap the appearance is perfect. Served with a wonderful frothy, creamy 3 finger or so creme brulee colored head. Perfect retention at 1 finger with lacing all the way down the glass. Body is a treanslucent, nearly opaque dark brown hue.

S- Yep. The nose is pretty much what you would expect when you read/hear about/see a chocolate beer. Nose is very rich of thick, dark chocolate. Bittersweet with the accent on the sweet, a hint of toffee as well.

T- Flavor is very similar to the taste. Flavor is very rich and chocolatey. Liquid bittersweet chocolate with the faintest hints of roasted malt and toffee deep in the background.

M- Low to medium carbonation and a rich, thick, smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

D- This is an excellent stout and pretty much fits the description. A chocolate stout with more chocoloate added to it. Its like the triple chocolate cake of beers. I really liked this beer but I see it as somewhat more of a novelty brew-but it really is one of the better single stouts I have had. This really reminds me of Southern Tier Choklat-its just as thick and rich-but the alcohol is not there. Its a shade sweeter as well. (1,261 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
2.97/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours almost black with caramel hues. Not much head or lace.

Smells of mocha. Roasted malts pull out a rich black coffee aroma married with wet cocoa. Some earthy hops. No lactic sweetness, all grain. Timid in the nose.

Tangy chocolate flavor. Wafer-y malts gives it a chalky/dusty character. The coffee tastes instant. Still a little worty with some leftover grain sugars. Medicinal hop supplement gives this a wacky aftertaste. Something between metallic and solvent-y. The immediate mild bitter turns acrid. Low carb is tough to get past. Decent thickness, however. Not a terrible drink.

This one doesn't stand out for me. Strange flavors that seem unintended have reared their ugly heads. Will try to remember to select something else. (Aptly named, however). (766 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.27/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Penn Brewery's Chocolate Meltdown. Every time I run into a Penn beer that isn't a traditional German style I am still a bit perplexed, but I am sure that feeling will wear off. What will not wear off is that every time I try one of these American things I wish that the tap were replaced with one of Penn's German beers. There was a time only a few years ago when Penn brewed the best German beer in the country. Even now their stuff is pretty good, and that is really what I like best about the brewery.

The body is dark brown and opaque at its core. The light brown head is solid looking, but the retention is OK at best and there is no lacing at all.

The aroma has a lot of chocolate to it. It is an aroma more like chocolate syrup than the baker's chocolate I would expect to find in most beers. A bit of toffee-like sweetness is in there also.

The flavor leads off with the undertone flavor of sweet malts, with caramel and toffee both making an appearance. Next comes the focus of the beer, which is a massively sweet, chocolate syrup flavor. There is also a bit of powdered cocoa taste in there, but syrup is the best adjective. The finish dries out a bit and has just a bit of hop bitterness to it. One thing that is a little off in this one is the faint taste of lemon and a hint of sourness. It is extremely faint, and I honestly did not even notice it until I had made good progress on my pint. I am sure this is not intended, but I am not sure whether the problem is with the bar or the brewery. The bar is a reputable place that I have always know to pour through clean lines, but who knows?

Mouthfeel is a little bit under carbonated, but only by a hair. Good body for a stout.

Honestly, the closest thing I can compare this beer with is Southern Tier Choklat. The flavor profile is very similar. Choklat is certainly better, but with that said my review of Choklat is overly generous. The slight hint of sourness wasn't the normal, dirty tap-lines flavor, so I'm not sure what to make of it. Either way it detracts from, but does not ruin the beer. (2,069 characters)

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.21/5  rDev +13.5%
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. (345 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
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 (776 characters)

Photo of 57md
3.71/5  rDev 0%
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. (459 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
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. (438 characters)

Photo of Omnium
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes on 3-11
Served on tap

A - Pours a nice rich dark brown, but minimal head, and medium lacing.
S - Great aroma going on, vanilla and chocolate, some wood chips, and a little sweet malt whiff.
T - Big time chocolate flavor, meltdown is no joke, its lighter on the malt, which is good because it doesnt make it overwhelming. It also has a decent bitter hopiness to it.
M - This actually finishes kinda thin, and leaves a little metallic flavor hanging around.
O - Loads of chocolate flavor, but the finish is thin and leaves a weird aftertaste, but a good step in the right direction. (601 characters)

Photo of AdamBear
4.16/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A-dark brown. not black. nice tan head

S-faint scent of milk chocolate. slightly roasted/burnt and grainy

T-comes in with a decent but artificial taste of chocolate malts. its a great taste of milk chocolate though. the after-taste is matching with a decent roasted aspect.

M-creamy medium carbonation with a creamy finish

O-okay, this basically tastes like a stout mixed with chocolate syrup...which of course makes it seem very artificial and unnatural. however...it tastes great. if you love chocolate, then you'll probably like this despite its cheating tone. (568 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.26/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at 50 degrees into snifter
Aroma of milk chocolate
Head small (2 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, fizzy, rapidly diminishing to no ring, no layer
Lacing none
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor begins and ends with a cloying milk chocolate sweetness; no hops, no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, very soft carbonation

Appearance 2.75, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.25 (411 characters)

Photo of chefhatt
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When I poured this beer, it has a dark black color body with a small tan head. The smell has a deep chocolate and roast malt to it. The taste starts out with a roasted malt and then the chocolate comes into play. It also has a little hop to it also. This beer is a little thin but has great flavor and it gets better as it warms up. (332 characters)

Photo of bamadog
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
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. (1,449 characters)

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Chocolate Meltdown from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.