Biere De Chocolat - Almanac Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Biere De ChocolatBiere De Chocolat

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

207 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 207
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 12.57%
Wants: 10
Gots: 17 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Trilogy31 on 01-28-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Our Biere de Chocolat celebrates the long and lauded history of chocolate production in San Francisco. Our aim was to create a beer bursting with cocoa flavors and aromas, balancing sweet and savory to create a complex but quaffable chocolate brew. To accomplish this we partnered with Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco to create this rich brew brimming with chocolate character. Working with the unique flavors of Dandelion’s single-source beans, we created this decadent beer by layering in smoked and dark-roasted malts with citrusy Ivanhoe hops from Clearlake, CA. Finally, we added a blend of hand-roasted cocoa beans sourced from Madagascar and Río Caribe, Venezuela. The Madagascar beans add bright berry-cocoa flavors, while the Río Caribe adds dark chocolate and bourbon notes. A touch of vanilla rounds out the supporting flavors to create an eminently drinkable beer that is a chocolate lover’s beer through and through.
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Ratings: 207 | Reviews: 37
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

5.5% ABV per the label.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. A foamy latticework of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa nibs, and vanilla aromas. Taste is much the same with dark chocolate and chocolate syrup flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice aroma but the flavors are more bitter and roasty than the smell would lead you to believe.

Photo of GRG1313
2.4/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

While I don't fully review much these days, I just can't keep quiet on this one. My first reaction is that I got a bad bottle; but, that's pretty much impossible since it's brand new and tasted immediately. I also confirmed by opening a second bottle.

Pours a dark "stout brown" with a nice but fast fading khaki head.

Nose is lovely creamed sugared coffee and chocolate with a chocolate/cherry undertone. Very inviting and pleasant.

Mouthfeel is medium thin but nicely carbonated. Mouthfeel is relatively insignificant as it is overshadowed by the questionable (in my mind) flavor profile.

Flavors are just not balanced; not well integrated and "not made for each other." The flavors are very distinct and the juxtaposition doesn't work. Huge bitter bold and assertive citrus and pine hops; like a good strong IPA type of hop flavor. At the same time, you get assertive malt, chocolate and a roasted grain flavor, almost like it's on the other side of your mouth. There is simply no balance and no integration. The hops come off bitter and sour and not in a good way. While at the same time what might be a nice malt character is completely overshadowed by an unpleasant assertive hop bitter.

Finish is completely short bitter hops with no malt or chocolate tones.

This brew is an anomoly and, for me, hard to believe it was done on purpose. It's like pouring two styles of beer into one glass, the result being that the total is much less than the sum of its parts. Just my opinion but the flavors just fight too much in my mouth. No need to try again, at least for me.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I loved this, unique and tasty, the vanilla is just enough, not too much, a whole lot of fun here, and a beer that continues my intrigue with this brewery. it pours indeed chocolaty brown, dark and bubbly but not too heady, simple looking, but not smelling. its much more robust aromatically, with chocolate malt and actual cocoa melding beautifully. semisweet, like tollhouse chips, with a woody element. the depth of flavor is also excellent, rich and balanced without being too much of what it additives suggest it might. its just right, really subtle and genius. well done. it is a little thin though, id love a little more mouth coating body with this, just because the flavors are so good, I don't want it to finish as fast as it does, not that its quick, just that I love it. I want more instantly. impressive stuff from the Californians again, I will remember this one. fresh as it gets.

Photo of mactrail
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark in the snifter with a modest foam and carbonation. Malty with a bare hint of burnt sugar sweetness at first. Thin body with a slight slick mouthfeel.

Tastes exactly like bitter chocolate on the first sip. Quite dry and melts away to a mineral, bitter finish. I don't sense much hop flavor, but supposed to be brewed with the aromatic Ivanhoe (California Cluster) hops. A hint of cocoa and some dark roasted grain. Quite drinkable and admirably austere for a chocolate-flavored beer, unless you like the sweet, milky variety.

Found this and a couple other Almanac beers at Bine & Vine in San Diego in 12 oz bottles. I took the photo.

Photo of kojevergas
2.56/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

I'm 0 for 2 on Almanac's beers, so I'm hoping this'll be better. "Ale brewed with Coca Nibs and Vanilla." 5.5% ABV according to my bottle. I like the stylish label; blue etched on brown glass. 12 fl oz bottle with branded standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium stem-goblet 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 one finger nice light tan colour head of pretty good cream, nice thickness, a bit of froth, and average (~2 minute) retention. Thin insubstantial lacing as the head recedes. Body colour is a predictable solid black. Nontransparent and opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It's standard fare for the style; nothing special or unique, but no overt flaws. There's nothing wrong with that. Unlike some, I don't mind a beer brewed to conventions.

Sm: The first thing I get is chocolate. Then I realize it seems way too hoppy for a porter. I get vanilla bean; often with these upstart breweries any vanilla is artificial vanillicin but this comes off genuine. I like that. The label claims smoke; that's definitely not detectable here. Roast is missing. Boy, that floral hop character really turns me off to it; it's way too heavily hopped. Dark malts. An average strength aroma.

T: Somewhat bland chocolate malt comprises the first half, with vanilla carrying the mantle - and boy is it overdone. Too sweet, almost cloying. I don't get much smoke at all; I don't know what that's about. Floral hopping destroys the balance, coming through far more than it should and ruining the focus of the beer. Where's the roast? Too sweet. A messy beer with no sense of balance. Lacks complexity and subtlety. Actually there's no subtlety here at all. I do like what they're going for, but they really missed the mark. If I had to pick a "favourite" note, I'd go with the chocolate, which feels like cocoa powder rather than generic chocolate malt. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Too bitter.

Mf: Smooth and wet, just as it should be. Carbonation is almost there - just a touch overdone. Thickness is good. Palate presence is decent. It's got enough body, and suits the style, but the flavour profile just isn't there to meet it. It's a bit lumpy, which I don't like. Like powdered cocoa mix mixed with milk.

Dr: Overall, I'm underwhelmed - but there's potential here. I'll revisit Almanac but so far I've been disappointed. Still, I don't view them as hopeless; they're trying interesting things and I applaud that. If they could just get the execution up to par! Hides its ABV well. It's fairly drinkable, but the lack of quality really holds it back. It's a badly done porter with interesting ambition.

Low C-

Photo of yourefragile
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, thanks Johnny.

Pours a dark cola brown with a thin tan head, slowly fades to a thin collar, little lace. Rich nose, chocolate heavy, dark and sweet, cocoa, light roast. Medium bodied, with very high carbonation. Flavor has a roast base, with a strong earthy and dirty component not obvious on the nose that balances the bitter chocolate presence. Nowhere near as sweet or rich as the nose suggests; not a bad thing, but the carbonation is a little overbearing enough to hide any nuisance in the flavor.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle purchased from Ales Unlimited in San Francisco. Cost me $0 because they only had the 6-pack price in the system, so they chucked it in for free. Nice.

Pours a dark, oily brown with some ruby tinges to it. Head forms frothily at the start, but settles out to very little, just some messes of off-white around the edge of the glass. Looks decent, but without anything that really impresses.

Nose is very pleasant. Broad sweet chocolate aromas rise up early, with some structure to the malt behind it. Early, when it's a bit cooler, there's a light peppery note to it as well which creates some interest. As it warms, it's chocolate all the way.

Taste is also good, but without a big sweetness in richness on the back to really carry the chocolate illusion. Cocoa comes through early, dusty and dry with a true cacao bitterness that comes through pleasantly towards the back. This dries it out, preventing the beer from getting cloying—but to be honest, I wouldn't mind a bit of cloy on this beer.

Feel is rich, despite the dry finish in the flavour. It's like it's set up for a better flavour profile, as though they're future proofing it against tweaks they may do—it makes me believe that this beer could be even better in the future.

It's still a really great beer—for a brewery that prides itself on its sours, I'm impressed at how smooth and sweet they make this beer. It's really very drinkable and enjoyable, even though you probably feel like it's more of a gimmick than a sophisticated brew.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Poured a very dark brown with a nice tan cap, good amount of bubbles and lacing present

S: Very nice chocolate nose on this. A roasty presence, light notes of coffee.

T: A nice milk chocolate upfront with a little sweetness from it, some roastiness, light cofee. A somewhat hop forward finish witha nice linginering roasty note

M: Lighter side of medium, medium carbonation.

O: I was pleasantly suprised by the amount of nice rich chocolate on this beer.

Photo of vfgccp
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A - Great looking porter. Black-brown with cola highlights. Nice retention and lace on a tan head.

S - Dark bread crust, char, bitter sweet chocolate cookies, caramel licorice.

T - Super dry cocoa powder, caramel, vanilla, molasses-rich gingerbread, burnt sugar.

M - Light throughout with excellent drinkability. Chalky dryness on the finish.

O - The flavors remind me of dry, bold shwartzbier. One of the better tasting porters I've ever had, although I'm ambivalent about how light the body is.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a very dark brown, appearing black in the glass, with a massive brown head that fills 1/3 of the and continues growing for some time, eventually leaving massive lacing. Aroma of chocolate syrup with much lighter toasted malt, more chocolate. Flavor follows, chocolate dominating with toasted, charred malt and hints of vanilla, sweet at first, then finishing much drier with charred coffee, vanilla and bittering hops. Light to medium bodied. Flavors are somewhat attenuated, almost seeming slightly watered down, but there is still a lot going on here. It makes me hope for an imperial version of this with all these good flavors amped up. A nice low to medium ABV chocolate porter.

Photo of beertunes
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a solid black color, no translucence, with 3/4 inch of light brown head that had OK retention and good lacing.

The aroma was almost all chocolate (which is a good thing!) and a very light malt presence. On the tongue, the beer was still mostly chocolate, but t he malt showed through a bit more, and there was a slight roast on the finish.

The body was thinner than I prefer for a Porter, and the roast aspect lingered at the back long enough to erase any memory of the chocolate. The beer was very smooth, which contributed to the easy drinkability of this brew. Overall, a very nice brew, certainly worth trying, and pretty close to a must try, if you see it.

Photo of flagmantho
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: extremely dark body with a thick finger of frothy tan foam atop. Quite good.

Smell: lightly sweet with a nice chocolate character and a little bit of vegetal hop coming through. Mild, but well-composed; it kind of reminds me more of a milk stout than a porter.

Taste: a little bit more roasty character and husk bitterness comes through in the flavor, compared to the aroma. Chocolate notes are still here, and bitterness is somewhat high to balance out the sweetness. Not the most complex thing in the world, but quite nice.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big, well-integrated carbonation and this amazingly harmonious, velvety-smooth creaminess. Shazam!

Overall: a very nice beer. Like I said, don't come here if you're looking for big-flavored complexity; come here instead for a soothing, relaxing brew.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.37/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 9.5.13

A - Pours a dark brown with a large dark tan foamy head that fades pretty fast.

S - Mostly malty with some subtle bitter chocolate.

T - Light bitter chocolate.

D - Thin body with good carbonaiton.

O - Thin bitter chocolate. Ok, but not great.

Photo of sweemzander
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours pitch black. Produced a huge head of frothy tan colored foam. Great retention and lacing left over.

(S)- Lots and lots of rich cocoa and chocolate. Mild roasted malts meets some subtle raisin.

(T)- not near enough chocolate from the smell. In fact, it is quite heavier on the raisin and a nutty caramel roasted malt sweetness instead.

(M)- The carbonation level is really high for a porter; it kind of masks some of the richer flavors sadly.

(O)- Its pretty good, but could be so much better with a toned down carbonation level for starters.

Photo of popery
2.86/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Pours wall to wall black. Big, puffy, khaki head. The head foams up aggressively before settling into a thick blanket of fine foam. I’m mostly getting milk chocolate from the aroma, though some other aromas come in once I get used to it. At first blush, it legitimately smells like a dessert made with lots of milk chocolate. Big vanilla note, too. Smells very sweet. Hops provide a mix of floral and citrus and actually detract a bit from the aroma for me. I thought the chocolate seemed off, but the hops just add a funny twist. Still, it’s overall a nice smelling beer. On the other hand, the taste is oddly harsh and just seems like a mess of clashing flavors. A fairly bland citric hop bitterness dominates the beer. Unfortunately, the sweeter flavors are mostly just an over the top vanilla tone. The chocolate is way too weak, particularly after the promise of the aroma. Plus, it’s not a rich flavor, closer to baker’s chocolate than anything. Lingering hop and roast bitterness. Mouthfeel starts out way too effervescent, gets creamy before it just thins out too much. Generally, too thin, though. The carbonation is off, particularly for a porter. It just takes away from the flavors. I liked this one better on tap, so this bottle is fairly disappointing.

Photo of Dope
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark, rich brown with a large, effervescent light brown head. Nice head retention with speckled bits of lacing left behind.

S: Lots and lots of chocolate. Reminds me a lot of Samuel Smith Organic Chocolate Stout in fact. Creamy sweet chocolate. Simple but delicious.

T: Lots of chocolate up front. Shocking, I know. Roasted malt actually pokes through here with some smoke and char in the middle. A hint of vanilla in here too. Sweetness fades away into the finish, lending a bitter, almost acrid smoke and char flavor with hints of bitter bitter dark chocolate.

M: Somewhat thin and borderline watery (only 5.5%) but creamy and smooth at the same time.

O: Not bad at all. Nice light chocolate porter. Chocolate is tasty and prevents this beer from being a little too simple. Light and easy drinking. Nice!

Photo of ehammond1
2.71/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Appropriate pour: dark brown, near black, and moderate in body. Small dark brown head. Leaves the glass slightly messy.

Aroma of roast, a bit of coffee, and some chocolate, though it's not exactly integrated into one altogether nicely. Inviting, however.

Any flaw in the aroma is a standout in the flavor; the individual flavors just don't seem to come together that well. A hoppy, bitter, piney porter, with just trace amounts of inexpensive chocolate and coffee. Not what I was looking for when I ordered this, so that may color this even further, unfortunately.

Thin to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

A coffee chocolate black IPA, maybe, but not a chocolate porter. I ended up quite disappointed in this.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Intense chocolate nose
Dark brown to chestnut. 3" tan head that slowly collapses – excellent lace.
Palate: chocolaty but not cloying, a touch of vanilla, some sweetness but not overbearing.
Medium body, medium to medium high carbonation. The creamy body and the chocolate go very well together.

Photo of flexabull
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Nice pour, dark brown, almost black with a fine off white head, nice lacing down the glass too.

Aromas are of bitter bakers chocolate. A definite hop note, that is pretty earthy.

Taste is light up front, some creamy sweetness, light cocoa and roasted nuts. Finish is crisp and clean, with some light mineral hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thin and lacks body.

Overall, a pretty nice porter. Almanac redeems themselves with this one, because the Extra Pale I had before was pretty forgettable. But this is pretty tasty and worth trying.

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a big finger of frothy khaki-tan head. Fades very slowly.

S - Roasted chocolate and caramel malts, coffee, cola, chocolate, some vanilla and a bit of floral hops.

T - Roasted chocolate and caramel malts, coffee, cola, cocoa, vanilla, floral hops, and a bit of black licorice.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy with a sweet and lightly bitter finish.

D - Nicely balanced chocolate porter. Great body, balance just slightly off.

Photo of elNopalero
4.81/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This pours an intense midnight black with a thin lightly cocoa-colored ring of foam.
I’m loving this aroma—it’s roasty and smokey, with dark chocolate nibs and a light ‘Belgian’ character contributing some floral notes. The flavor is similar, with the Belgian yeasty esters that mellow out an incredibly tasty cocoa roast. Whispers of smoke dance across the palate. No note needed; the beer itself says “drink me.” Loved it.

Photo of rawfish
3.34/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours very dark like coffee, with a thin half finger tan head. Retention is poor but it manages to leave some nice tight lacing on the glass.

Aroma is bready with uplifting and creamy milk chocolate and hot cocoa. A bit of metallic bitterness and coffee beans.

Grain husks with a good amount of chocolate and stale coffee flavor. Sweetness fades quickly. Hops are earthy and vegetative leaving a metallic bitterness to finish. Rather astringent and unpleasant bitterness and aftertaste.

Body is drinkable, alcohol toned and carbonation is just enough to keep it afloat. Bitterness really gets to the palate, metallic and dry.

An astringent porter that has some nice chocolate and roasty notes. The roasted malts are overdone introducing acidity and metallic bitterness. I recognize the herbaceous hops and bracing and balanced but really this beer feels like it should have embraced its sweeter chocolate side.

Photo of snaotheus
3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014-12-12
12oz capped bottle poured into a pair of Georgetown samplers. Fridge temp. No visible dates or codes.

Pours black with a light brown medium sized head that fades fairly quickly into a lumpy layer that looks like it's gonna stick around. Opaque, with light carbonation. Smell is very portery -- maybe a little milder on the roasty character than I would expect, and a little stronger on the dark fruit. There is some other aroma there that I'm having trouble placing. Something just on the edge of my consciousness...something green. But I can't place it.

Taste is dominated by chocolate. Still a nice roasty character, very light fruity character. Surprisingly light and drinkable.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin and light. Overall, pretty good beer.

Photo of impending
3.16/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

B -

Hopmonk Novato. Dark dense fully opaque with walnut highlights, minor tan head, minimal lacing.

Aroma is properly roasty but not finding the level of chocolate I hope for, bittersweet.

The taste too is far from expectation, which seems now undeserved but all the same this is a simply wonderful name for a brew but it is so far from deserving of the name. If this was called BDC Porter I say it was a fine brew and indeed it is, but . . . . . . .
so it is when you are allergic to marketing
cheers
jd

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.24/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Provisions, in the Circle in Orange, CA.

For Raul's 200th review, he got himself his first Almanac and he is none to impressed. After letting this thang lie out for a while like Sue Hayes in Lolita, the flavors were still insipid and uninspired. I mean, why make a Porter if the taste and mouthfeel is that of a chocolate coke that has been sitting opened in the fridge for 3 weeks? It's not as if this thing is repulsive like waking up next to Lindsay Lohan without make up on, but it's not exactly welcoming either. Average at best.

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Biere De Chocolat from Almanac Beer Co.
84 out of 100 based on 207 ratings.