1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Winter Ale - Chocolate Mint Porter - Bootlegger's Brewery

Not Rated.
Winter Ale - Chocolate Mint PorterWinter Ale - Chocolate Mint Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

107 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 107
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 16.91%
Wants: 15
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bootlegger's Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: vacax on 11-27-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 107 | Reviews: 43
Photo of Joncasso
5/5  rDev +45.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really enjoyed this beer. I got this as a gift and it become my favorite beer. Great taste. Nice buzz. I watched it with an old godzilla film and it was the perfect combo.

The taste is not quite chocolate and not quite mint. The flavors don't overwhelm each other, but play well together.

Photo of kojevergas
2.41/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Acquired at Total Wine on-sale for $1.99. 6.1% ABV according to my bottle. "Ale Brewed with Mint." Expectations are low given the brewery and its current ratings. 650ml brown glass bottle with branded pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger creamy tan colour head of good thickness and retention (~4+ minutes). Love the creaminess. Light lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Body colour is a solid nontransparent black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Atrocious spearmint. Herbal, minty, and unappealing. Redolent of extract. Dark malts. Brown sugar. I struggle to find chocolate; the mint is so overbearing. An average strength aroma. Not terrible, but I've experienced far better mint chocolate porter aromas.

T: Ugh. Herbal mint leaf. A bit suggestive of spearmint toothpaste. Maybe a bit of chocolate. Dark malts. Minimal hopping, if any. No yeast or alcohol comes through, but it's just plain bad. A bit creamy. Imbalanced and poorly built. That's just bad construction. Definitely needs more chocolate to even satisfy the premise of the beer.

Mf: Lightly coarse. Awkwardly dry for a porter. Overcarbonated. Too thick for the lack of flavour diversity and depth. Unrefreshing. This isn't up to par for the style - or for the flavour profile.

Dr: Swing and a miss. This just isn't up to par. I like the idea, but it's been far better executed by other breweries. I can see why Total Wine had this on clearance for $2.00 and still couldn't get rid of it. This is in serious need of work. A giant disappointment from Bootlegger's. I wouldn't bother with it again. Overbearing and difficult to drink due to the low quality.

D+

Photo of tasteegood
2.23/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

One of 5 sample tastes that I had during my first visit. I specifically went to Fullerton to check this place out. Very humble beginnings but their beers are well made. Unfortunately, of the 5 beers I did try this was my least favorite. It was about a 4 oz pour and I didn't finish it... :(

Photo of mkotsayfan
3.45/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. Pours a deep dark black with a couple fingers of light mocha colored head. The aroma is no surprise - mint and chocolate, with the mint being more of the focus. There's some malts lingering in the background as well. The taste has a lot more roasted malt than expected - kind of oddly annoys the palate. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with decent carbonation, but again is slightly lacking.

Overall, and ok beer, and could've been executed better. I think a more pronounced chocolate and sweetness (no diabeetus though!) character could've helped this one.

Photo of Sark
3.45/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- pours with a half finger of head subsiding rapidly with minimal lacing. Quite a dark porter.

Smell- MINT! Really not too overpowering, almost more anis than mint, but a funk that I've never expected from a brew...and it's fun. Still has undertones of rich toasty malt.

Taste- a brighter porter. Licorice flavor arrives in the after taste out the nose. The mint gives attributes of a little unbalanced bitterness but the maltiness comes back to finish well.

Mouthfeel- full bodied and well smooth

Overall- one of those beers meant for sharing in the 22. Meant to keep your taste buds on eir toes. Something to get again next season.

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.85/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 22-oz. bomber
Glass: Stone pint glass
From: Bine and Vine in Kensington (San Diego, Calif.)
Price: $5.99
BOD: None

Almost complete black with 1-2 fingers of tan head that dissipated had a fast rate. No lacing on the sides. Below average retention on the top.

Smelled dark chocolate and bitter coffee beans up front, also toffee and caramel. That gave way to some mint and candy cane in hot chocolate. Reminded me a tad of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.

Tasted close to the smell, only a bit mintier. Got that heavy dark chocolate malts (also coffee and hot chocolate), then right to the mint (a lot faster transition than the smell). Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream was the common theme here with the chocolate chips being more dark chocolate than anything else.

Full body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long minty chocolate finish.

Not a bad beer, definitely something different. I guess I was expecting a little better, considering my love of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. I’d have it again though.

Photo of BilbosNuts
3.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to McD0uche for hooking me up with this one.

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very, very dark brown most nearly black color. It appears pretty dense as it is poured. It has a two finger mocha colored head that reduces to a thin film rather quickly.

S: The aroma is a nice balance of chocolate and roasted malts with a bit of bitter dark chocolate and a little kick of mint towards the finish. Quite pleasant.

T: Unfortunately, the taste doesn't match up to the aroma. The malt characters are a bit flat as are the chocolate and mint additions.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. The minty finish sort of acts as a palate cleanser. Pretty good.

O: I enjoyed this take on a porter. The additions of chocolate and mint were wonderful in the aroma, but like other aspects, they fell short in the taste. Not a bad offering overall.

Photo of billab914
3.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Devil's Backbone tulip. It poured black in color with a thin tan head sticking to the edges of the glass.

The aroma has a nice mix of mint and chocolate to it. A little malty, caramel sweetness is there as well. I'm not usually a mint fan, but it compliments the chocolate pretty well and doesn't feel overdone.

The taste has a little more of the mint coming out giving it more of a herbal, toothpaste like flavor. The chocolate is a little overshadowed in it but I get some sweet, caramel to it along with a little roasty, slightly burnt bitterness in the finish. The mint is a little too dominant in the taste though unfortunately.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall, it was an interesting beer but the mint was too much for me. It reminded me a little of toothpaste. The mint could have definitely been a little more subtle in it.

Photo of portia99
3.26/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle picked up on a recent trip to San Diego. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a very dark brown with so-so clarity, appears a bit opaque and muddy. A thick finger of cappuccino colored dense foam sits on top for a minute or two before falling to the surface...light lacing only left on the glass.

S - Peppermint up front, like a candy cane backed up lightly by some milky chocolate. Has a bit of the cool, sinus-clearing quality of a cough drop that unfortunately masks most of everything else that may be in there.

T - Yep...peppermint here too - bordering on taking a swig of peppermint schnapps with what feels like a quick hit of alcohol muted by a background chocolatey presence. Unfortunately, the mint comes off as a bit heavy handed and really covers up the base beer.

M - Medium bodied with a foamy mid level carbonation. Each sip brings with it a cool nasal hit of peppermint. Beer itself is smooth and creamy feeling all the way thru to the swallow.

O - An interesting idea...I think the combination of flavors could work well. Definitely needs to have a bigger base beer with more intense flavors to stand up to the mint. The mint here really overpowers everything else. Perhaps minting up an imperial stout would be a better execution of a chocolatey mint beer.

Photo of Trueant1
3.76/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like a stout. Looks thick black and very little brown head that goes away fast. The smell is amazing!!!! Leather, Chocolate, floral (roses), black liqorice, "spices", and tobacco.
Taste is Bitter up front with sweet, leathery scents. It is as if I smoked a cigar with this one on the pallet. And ohhh yeah.. mint (if you look for it). The only gripe about this one is the watery mouthfeel and fuzzy carbonation. Overall, How does this one get lower scores than what it is worth? My first Bootlegger's and I look forward to all the others.

Photo of Thickfreakness
3.24/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Pitch black pour into my DFH glass. Kahki tan head that fades almost immediately leaving no trace of lacing.

S- Coffee, chocolate and fresh picked mint... in that order! Kinda wierd and unusual. Mint is definately something you don't think about in a beer, but I kinda like it.

T- Like eating a spearmint leave wrapped around a chocolate bar. I've never had anything like this. Nice notes of dark roasted coffee, bitter cocoa and mint jelly. The mint really opens up as it warms up.

M- Kinda thin. Nice dark chocolate bitterness and fresh mintiness. No carbonation at all.

O- A very unusual take on a porter. Might be better with peppermint instead of spearmint. Could use a better vicosity. Not something I would seek out, but I would definately pair this with a mint chocolate brownie for dessert. Kudos for braveness and thinking out of the box on this one... but still not enough to rate this one very high.

Photo of brentk56
3.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A luscious pour with a big old head laying atop the dark chocolate colored liquid; leaves a few shards of lace behind

Smell: More chocolatey than minty, but the mint builds as the beer warms

Taste: Bread and chocolate, up front, with the minty element building by mid-palate; really flattens out, after the swallow, without much flavor lingering into the finish; plastic phenols in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; somewhat aqueous

Overall: Not being familiar with this brewery, I was really intrigued by the label; there is a concept here that could be very interesting but the execution is somewhat lacking

Thanks, jodan, for the opportunity

Photo of Murrhey
3.13/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Hollingshead's Deli in Orange, CA. Reviewed from notes.

A- Two finger tan head. Minimal retention. Dark brown and nearly black color. Nice carbonation.

S- Strong mint and chocolate. Smells like a peppermint patty. Heavy smell.

T- Chocolate, roast malts and mint mint mint. Too heavy on mint for me.

M- Medium bodied, well carbonated.

O- Quite a nice novelty beer. Could be nice in its own right as well.

Photo of corby112
3.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft at the brewery.

Pours pitch black with a one finger beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring.  Sporadic streaks of lacing left behind.

Roasted malt aroma with a nice mint presence that balances out the smokey dark malt notes.  Complex aroma with hints of chocolate, coffee bean, toast and mint.

Medium bodied with a blast of earthy mint that lingers throughout, dominating the flavor. Really organic and vegetal tasting with an herbal/medicinal presence from the mint.  Underneath, there is some roasted malt with hints of dark chocolate, coffee bean, toast and oatmeal.  The mint however really dominates and becomes overbearing after a few ounces. Really weird but decent.

Photo of TheCrowsNest
4.06/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At Bootlegger's in Fullerton.

Looks like a porter.

The chocolate mint is a surprising twist. Initially got anise when I wasn't looking for the smell, but going into looking for the mint you'll definitely find it.

Surprised. Again. There's just enough mint to make you think twice about this porter. Mint chocolate chip ice cream comes to mind, without a cloying sweetness though.

Medium bodied. Oily.

This is a great turn of creativity from the traditional winter ales. A nod of approval to Bootlegger's for creating a nice balance with this seasonal ale.

Photo of phichifiji00
3.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black with minimal brown head which had faded by the time my pint was brought to me. Almost no lacing.

Smell: Mint leaves, milk chocolate, malty, anise.

Taste: Just like it smells, milk chocolate, mint, malty, anise, a bit medicinal towards the finish.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall: A tasty beer. Initially the mint/chocolate are very prevalent, but they fade to a medicinal/anise taste towards the end that kills this beer. Overall, drinkability is high.

Photo of mactrail
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mint is not too intense, and it taste like actual mint leaves as opposed to a chewing gum mint flavor. Dark roasted malt is the other main flavor. A distinct touch of charred barley in the aftertaste. A fairly light bodied and modestly flavored dark beer in other respects.

Long scent of peppermint and a hint of chocolate. Hops are quite restrained. Keeps the watery and refreshing quality of some lighter Porters. Big foam-up on first pour but looks nice and retains it's carbonation in the mouth. A pleasant quaff, though it's a little sweet tasting after a big glass. A fun beer that's worth a taste if you're in the mood.

Photo of HalfFull
3.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a pint glass, the Mint Chocolate Porter pours dark brown and almost black in color. Half an inch of mocha foam offers moderate retention.

Nose of roasted malts, a touch of chocolate and a notable spearmint character. Pleasant mint and not overdone in potency. Bit of spice balances things out with nutmeg and cinnamon, which become more pronounced vs. the mint with warming.

The mint is quite forward on the palate, with chocolate malt present but subdued in the middle and finishing with more muddled mint and roast notes with a touch of black cherry and spice. Decent feel, bit sweet on the finish. Might become a bit much after a glass or two as the base beer aside of the mint seems to lack much complexity.

Photo of notchucknorris
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pretty much black with a nice one finger light brown colored head.

S: Good powdery chocolate aroma and a strong whiff of mint as well. Some roasted malt in the background.

T: Nowhere near as sweet as the smell. Roasted malt with a bit of mint upfront and then some lighter notes of dark chocolate and maybe a bit of coffee. Mouthfeel is a bit watery and the flavors aren't quite strong enough to make up for it. A pretty good beer overall, but probably not something I'd get again.

Photo of broken22
2.8/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this thing into a glass. Initially it froths up trying to look like a heavier stout than it is. The head was a nice mocha color but it quickly dies away to a barely there ring. The beer itself is a dark brown with very little light penetration. The smell of the beer is not very apparent. I can smell the sweetness of the malts and mayhaps a hint of chocolate, but this is not a beer your'e going to smell. The flavor is much the same very light and subtle. You can taste an ever so subtle hint of mint. Mouthfeel is a full bodied and light on carbonation.

Overall I think the beer is okay. I think they stayed true to the american porter style. I do however think the mint is really something that could be removed. This is my first mint beer and probably not my last. I have been seeing these popping up from other brewers lately. If you want to try it try it if you don't then don't.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to Trxxpaxxs for this bottle!

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF 6. It pours a straight obsidian topped by over a finger of dark brown foam. The nose comprises chocolate powder, roasted malts, and the distinct fog of what can only be described as mint. Hmmm...interesting here...the mint, with every successive sniff, comes off as dryer, more nutty almost... I can't tell if my nostrils are just getting tired (I've seen this happen before) or if they were just mistaken before... The taste is dominated by the cocoa, with some roast picking up the rear. The mint still appears here, but more demure, and it once again morphs into an odd nuttiness (not odd in a bad way, but odd in an indecipherable way). Hmm... The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation, and a mostly smooth feel, which comes across as kinda fizzy and dry near the end, but the light coating evens everything out to a flat-out panoply of pleasantness. Overall, a very nice beer, one that doesn't overdo it on the mint (I almost wanted more of it...), making everything nice and tasty.

Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.45/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a Bruery snifter...

A - Pours a deep brown with a two finger light brown head that dissipates at a good pace. There is a little lacing to be had, but it is minimal...

S - Roasted malts and mint. Not picking up any chocolate...

T - As with the smell, mint is definitely prominate here. Also pick up some chocolate and some roasted malts. Finishes with roasted malts, and mint that carries all the way through the aftertaste...

M - Pretty thin. On the lighter side of medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation...

O - Interesting brew that i'm glad I got a chance to try. My only other experience with mint in a beer is a batch of homebrew that turned out overly minty. Unfortunately, it seems to be the same case here. Mint dominates the other flavors. Not bad per se, but not something I see myself buying again...

Cheers...

Photo of Drinkerofales
4.18/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a half-pint mason jar at the brewery.

Makes for a black brew, and light colored head.

Smells of sweet chocolate and a hint of mint.

Tastes of, get this, mint and chocolate. Amazing right? It is what it says it is. Great flavors, very unique beer.

Feels ok, a touch thin.

I love the originality of this beer. Flavors are there, exactly what it says, the name isn't original, but the beer is.

DOA

Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice black with about one finger of mocha head. The tiny bubbles dissipate fairly quickly leaving a nice ring along the top of the beer. There is very little lacing as it drinks.

S: Smells mainly of dark roasted malt and mint. There are some underlying notes of caramel and vanilla, but I'm not picking much chocolate in the nose.

T: The mint is pretty serious in this beer. It's not overwhelming, but it's noticeable from the first sip through the finish. It starts off with roasted malt, toast and mint. Then it turns into mint and some mellow vanilla sweetness. It finishes with mint, caramel, and (maybe?) some chocolate.

M: Full bodied beer. The carbonation is a little much for this offering. It has a sting to it. The finish is decently smooth.

O: This beer is alight. The amount of mint is a bit much, but it's interesting. I'm glad to have tried it.

Photo of dbmernin83
2.86/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Blue Palms.
Pours like a stout should.
The nose is all mint.
Peppermint with a hint of chocolate malt. The mint is overpowering and almost the only thing I taste.
A medium bodied porter. Slightly thin.
The mint is all that is happening. I applaud the experimentation but it didn't quite work out.

to view more.
Winter Ale - Chocolate Mint Porter from Bootlegger's Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.