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Chocolate Porter - Bayhawk Ales

Not Rated.
Chocolate PorterChocolate Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

78 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 78
Hads: 127
Avg: 2.78
pDev: 33.81%
Wants: 0
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bayhawk Ales visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  7.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 02-26-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (19) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chocolate Porter Alström Bros
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Reviews: 78 | Hads: 127
Photo of Voldigar
1.87/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.5

Bought at the grocery store in Irvine, CA.

Look: Entirely opaque. Good head, but diminishes quickly. Classic porter brown color to the head, but just a touch of whiteness too.
Smell: Powerful alcohol, burns the nose. Malty molasses odor was out of balance/too strong. Smells old, dank, and musky.
Taste: Flavor is week and sour, almost nauseating. Lack of balance. The aroma far surpasses the flavor.
Feel: Chewy/slimy, like pressed fruit juice.

Overall: Very poor representation of a Porter. Almost unrecognizable. Unfinishable.

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Photo of flagmantho
2.8/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: black hue with a finger of frothy tan foam. Head doesn't stick around too long but the color is quite nice.

Smell: sweet and toasty with a dash of dry cocoa flavor. Not bad at all.

Taste: there's an unappetizing sourness here that doesn't work for me at all. There is some interesting caramel character here, but in general it really is not great.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation and creaminess.

Overall: there are many cases where sourness is a good quality in a beer -- this is not one of them. I won't be finishing this.

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Photo of Jbowmann
4/5  rDev +43.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Surprisingly good for the price. I don't understand why this beer has gotten such lukewarm reviews. I may have found a new daily drinker that doesn't break the bank but brings some quality

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Photo of TheMarkE
3.27/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Deep dark brown with a good head of foam, moderate lacing, and visible carbonation in the dark depths.

Smell: Cocoa powder and a hint of coffee.

Taste: Cocoa and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Thin body with some cocoa bitterness in the finish.

The Verdict: It’s okay. Pretty tame, but a decent value for the money.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.41/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #75 (April 2013):

A bit more cleaning up and this would be a winner. The distractions take away from it, though it ends up being a decent sip. Don’t be tricked by the name as the chocolate character is pretty light. A decent Baltic Porter at best.

STYLE: Baltic Porter
ABV: 7.9%

LOOK: Dark brown, ruddy highlights

SMELL: Toffee, chocolate, mild roastiness, ripe figs, Brazil nuts, yeasty

TASTE: Smooth, creamy, medium body; slight chocolate edge, burnt sugar, coffee grounds, yeast, mineral, walnut skin; warming, semidry finish

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Photo of samtrillo
3.85/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not sure why this is so underrated.

Nose features roasted cocoa powder and toasted almond.

Taste is more subtle than a lot of chocolate beers, but that could be because it's a porter and not a stout. You do get the bitter crisp feeling from the porter and not the creaminess of a stout. Dark cocoa powder and burnt mocha flavors dominate. I like that's it's not in your face but definitely is still chocolatey. Maybe I'm a sucker for a chocolate beer or maybe the eaters have fallen victim to the appeal to average bias. I say try this one if you like coco, bro.

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Photo of travolta
2.92/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A soft, almost grey head with some nice lacing. As black in color as you'd expect.

Nose: Dark chocolate powder, a flash of licorice,

Taste: Cola taste all the way through. A bit watery for my taste.

Notes: Totally tastes like a "house beer". I was not impressed. However, if someone were in need of an introduction to dark beers, this could be a nice first step.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.48/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into my Stone IRS snifter glass
Notes taken from 02/08/14

A: Dark cola color with a thinning browned edge. Dark and glossy look with a meek retaining beige film on top. Light splotches and dots mark the glass after each sip.

S: The nose brings forth a nice mixture of roasted coffee bean and bittersweet chocolates. There is a slight charred malt presence with some soft sugary sweetness and a dash of earthy minerals there as well. Nice and roasty aromas all together.

T: Flavors affirm much of the nose with more roasted coffee bean than chocolate per se. Slightly watered down and bittersweet. Mild dark fruits noted with some brown sugar sweetness. There is a moderate amount of perceived bitterness to the beer and some nice earthy hop presence. No actual chocolate additions it seems only malt derived flavors. Alcohol is well masked throughout the drink. The balance is fair and the roast flavors are hitting the spot I will say.

M: Medium body with a frothy light feel from the carbonation. Finishes with a soft drying. Touch watery thin most of the time.

D: This was actually an okay Porter with decent roast malt flavors. A little lackluster with the chocolate and hits a bit watered down but still satisfying. Did not pick up on any major flaws or signs of infection as others have. Hmm maybe they have tweaked the recipe or picked up on QC at Bayhawk?

For the price I would grab again.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.11/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours dark and near black in color with cola brown edging. Head maxes at about half a finger and fizzes out within seconds, leaving a barren surface outside a few random bubble clusters. Lacing is small and spotty, with virtually zero stick.

Smell - Notes of earth, slightly smokey and a subtle chocolate undertone.

Taste - Big notes of earth and an acrid bite. Smokey undertone. Stale coffee and baker's chocolate. Metallic twang in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body. Low carbonation; a bit flat. Watery on the finish.

Overall - Hmm... not a big fan. Even as a Baltic porter, the flavor comes across as too stale, and the mouthfeel too flat. I'll have no problem finishing this bomber, but ultimately I wouldn't care to have this again.

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Photo of Pegasus
3/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep amber in color, with a modest tan head, which retains only slightly, and scattered patchy lacing.

Aroma: Moderate aromas of milk chocolate and cold coffee. There is no hint of alcohol in the aroma.

Taste: Opens with moderate notes of cocoa and coffee. As the taste progresses, the cocoa and coffee intensify a bit. The high ABV remains undetectable. Finishes with a lingering, mild note of bitter cocoa.

Mouth feel: A bit thin, with mild carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A decent, though unremarkable example of the style.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom twelve-ounce brown glass long neck bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.68/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at Cap N Cork Market in Los Feliz for $3.99 and served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I liked their honey blonde but the current ratings for this beer are exceptionally low.

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

A: Pours a four finger rich khaki-light tan head of good cream, thickness, and retention. Body colour is a very dark nontransparent black. It appears weaker than most beers in the style, not quite a solid black. Opaque.

Sm: Weak dark malts and stale cream. Comes off a bit like a poorly executed schwarzbier. Some chocolate malt. An average strength aroma.

T: Dark malts, horridly imbalance cream, a mess of chocolate malt, a strange faux-vanilla artificial note. Quite the hodgepodge. This is not a beer to examine for balance by any means. No real roast comes through. The chocolate is about as noncommittal as it gets. I don't know what they were going for but this is rather meh. Presence weakens in the third act. It lacks a consistent body.

Mf: Its best attribute. Smooth, wet, silky, even a touch creamy. Pretty well executed, if uneven around the climax. For a porter, this is actually a very well done mouthfeel. It's a shame it doesn't match the specific flavours here.

Dr: Drinkable but lackluster. I wouldn't get this again. Falls far afield of whatever it was trying to be. Very middling and undercooked. With the plethora of better beers in the style out there, this is sure to get lost in the mix. There are elements of the beer that really succeed, but ultimately its lack of balance really drags it down.

A poor candidate for aging.

I will say that it seems like others might be being pretty hard on this one, mainly by clinging too closely to their idea of style conventions. I imagine if the beer was the exact same only called "Chocolate Schwarzbier" and categorized similarly, it would have much higher ratings. An unfortunate truth.


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Photo of Blackwolf
2.33/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber to pint glass.

A- dark burgundy body, khaki head that settled quickly, very little lacing.

S- The aroma opened up more as the beer settled. Dark roasted malt, some light fruit. Kinda has a "guinnessy" smell honestly.

T- Light roasted malt and copper. Really not enjoying it too much. Some bittersweet finish, almost catch some coffee in it, but that metallic taste just consumes you! =/

MF- Too light bodied for a porter. Slick and bottoms out fast.

O- I couldn't wait to finish it just to get to my next review. I don't really enjoy much of anything about this beer, especially for the style. They could maybe get away with making a dark lager perhaps, but this is a very poorly crafted porter. Makes me very sad to say so.

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Photo of charlzm
2.26/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Consumed July 23rd, 2012. Served at 45 degrees F.

Beer pours into a standard pint glass a very deep, transparent brown with lighter brown highlights. A frothy three-finger light tan head erupts, settling down before too long to less than a finger of creamy foam that only barely sticks to the sides of the glass.

Aroma: very slight roasted malt with a hint of red grape. A touch of must and a slight metallic note as well.

On the tongue, this beer does not improve. Strangely sweet, lightly metallic and again featuring a slight red grape character, there is also the expected bitter roasted malt and yes, even a dash of weak chocolate. A little sourness as well. The flavor is a mess, but it's not straight up offensive. At least not at first...

Mouthfeel: as expected for a porter, this beer is medium bodied and a little creamy.

Despite my efforts, as the beer warmed above cellar temp, the flavors took on a less tolerable character until I finally had to introduce most of the bomber to the drain.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.62/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thin brown presence in the bottle, beige head, could be thicker looking. Aroma did impart chocolate, so it delivered in that arena. Wasn't pungent or whatnot, but it was standard.

A little bit of chocolate in the taste, but really, this is a brown ale dressed up as a porter with some chocolate malt. Mild, super mild roast notes. They skimped. They skimped on the amount of malt. They skimped on the chocolate. They skimped on roasting. I've had some homebrews that claimed to be stouts, porters, black ales that were simply brown ale variations. This was reminiscient of those.

Cheap for a reason. Cheap in, cheap out.

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Photo of Murrhey
1.68/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

22 oz bottle poured in a pint glass

A- Nice deep roast coffee color. No head to speak of. Even less lacing. Can't see any carbonation. Not off to a great start.

S- Roast (almost burnt) malts. Coffee. Can't smell any chocolate. Bummer.

T- Whoa. Very thin roast flavor. Not complex, little chocolate tones. Soapy.

M- Way too thin. This is an IPA trapped in a Porter's body.

O- Nope. This might be my first failing beer. Not happy with what I was presented at all. Bought the beer because of the price at BevMo...now I see why it was so low.

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Photo of DrJay
3.08/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very dark with brown edges and a thin layer of tan bubbles coating the beer and sides of the glass. Bitter chocolate aroma with light roast and toffee. Creamy texture medium plus bodied with lowish carbonation. It's fairly bitter with mild malty sweetness, grassy with some alcohol and slight tartness present. I enjoyed the aroma, but the flavour seemed off to me.

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Photo of timmos1
3.53/5  rDev +27%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Oh how we love to jump on bandwagons good or bad. I drank this beer before reading any reviews. Wanted to see if anything good comes out of orange county. First, it doesn't taste like other choc porters. I will agree to that. But, there are a lot of choc porters out there and if you want to copy one then why bother. What I liked was the smoothness and sweetness. Im not a big fan of heavy coffee overtones and this is really lacking in coffee, but for me that is a plus. Its more like milk chocolate than dark chocaolate. I like this beer, its lighter and ok for summer. Its goes down easy for me and I like a change. Sweet instead of bitter ok. If I want a coffee or bitter choc ale then I go with others (firestone walker,rogue etc). This is unique I will give you that.

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Photo of Retsinis
2.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Having this as I type this, on draft at McG's. Always passed on the bottle due to the reviews here, but they just tapped it, so I know its a least, well hopefully, fresh.

A: Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a dark cloudy brown with light beige hue on the edges. About a full inch of head slowly settled to about a quarter inch. It leaves a lot of sticky lacing. Looks pretty good.

S: mild dark chocolate, some coffee, a touch of brown sugar, and mild roasted malt.

T: pretty much mirrors the nose. All the flavors are there, but there a bit dull. Mild coffee, chocolate, lightly roasted malt, and a bleak mild bitterness.

M: medium to high carbonation, light feel, and thin for a porter.

O: barely average. It was light and a beer. It was a porter, but a forgetable one. It had some flavor, but didn't really satisfy. Fro
m the 60+ bottle reviews and only 7 or so tap reviews. It would appear that it is marginally better on tap...but that ain't saying much.

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Photo of womencantsail
1.53/5  rDev -45%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Now this is a beer truly worthy of tick #1900.

A: The beer pours an appropriate color for a porter: dark brown, or there abouts. However, the foam fills up about three-quarters of the glass.

S: Oh what have we here...green olives dominate the aroma (that can't be good). Other vegetables seem to fill the air as I sniff the glass. Definitely some vinegar and spoiled chocolate with a bit of roast and a generally acidic character.

T: It tastes like olives too. Acidic and acetic with burnt malts and no chocolate whatsoever. The intensely overcarbonated nature of the beer doesn't do much to help it out, either. Maybe some old coffee grounds, too.

M: The body is light to medium with an almost scouring level of carbonation.

D: Oh Bayhawk, you know how to bring the fail. This is just a terrible, terrible beer.

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Photo of imagese
2.31/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- dark cola with ruby hues at edges. Pour produced a 2 finger head that faded fast and lefty a soapy lacing

S- predominant chocolate malt followed by a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and a slight roasted malt

T- oddly tart chocolate and vinegar. Very one dimensional

M- medium body and decent carbonation. The odd flavor coats the whole mouth

D- pushed hard to get thru half the bomber, but the beer seemed to taste more and more like burnt sugar free cocoa...

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
2.49/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Popped this one as breakfast beer for the Miami Dolphins game. Didn't have to high of expectations considering the 3 dollar price tag...

Poured from a bomber into a Miami Dolphins pint glass...

A - Pours dark brown with a one finger tan head. Good amount of head retention , and lacing to be had. Nice. Maybe I found a gem here...

S - Chocolate, watered down coffee, and a hoppy scent. Not as excited with the smell as I am with the appearance...

T - This is where this one goes way down hill. Lots of chocolate followed by an overpowering sweetness. Also get a small hint of a metallic taste. Ends on a hop note (Kent Goldings?), that does note flow with the rest of the beer, and a hint of chocolate bitterness. Tastes like the next door neighbors home brew. Not impressed...

M - Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation...

D - If you are in the mood for some metallic chocolate, followed by over the top sweetness; then this one might be for you. Otherwise, I would probably pass...


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Photo of pixieskid
2.49/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

thin body, slightly slick mouthfeel, moderate carbonation.
mild malt presence with a hint of licorice upfront.
Roasted malt note throughout with a hint of chocolate,
finishing with a mild bitterness and an unusual tart note.

I knew I was taking a risk when I bought the $3.50 bomber, but I figured why not, it can't be that bad.

Then I read the reviews and had really low expectations.
Having said that, it's not that bad, definetely not good, but not a drain pour.
I ate a rich chocolate while drinking it and that helped out.

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Photo of ccrida
2.15/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance is a fizzy black, with a creamy mocha head with long last, leaving foamy lace.

Smell is strong and pungent - sweet caramel, major diacetyl. Pretty much as bad as it gets without being infected.

Taste is not as pungent, but has a big punch, malty, really vinous, caramel. Diacetyl is still very prevalent, but then dark malts struggle to provide a semblance of balance - and ultimately fail. Not as bad as the nose, but not good.

Mouthfeel is drier, medium bodied.

Drinkability is tenuous. This is a poorly executed porter with some serious flaws. The cheap price makes it and easy candidate for pouring down the drain and moving on...I made it about a third of the way through the bomber before I moved on...

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Photo of mactrail
1.8/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Sour dishwater.

I don't think this beer can be rated because it is marginally spoiled. The bacterial taste is taking over whatever else it might have once tasted like.

I think Bayhawk has a problem with some of their bottled ales, and they seem to be happy to leave them on the shelves for the unwary to buy. I'm going to look at my usual San Diego retailers to see where I paid $3.99 for this. This is the second of their beers I have tried and it too will water the garden.

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Photo of ifnkovhg
2.11/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This would be a decent smoked porter. Unfortunately, it's supposed to be a chocolate porter.

I've tried this beer twice now many months apart. No chocolate nose. No chocolate flavors.


two hundred and fifty characters. Why punish the succinct?

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Chocolate Porter from Bayhawk Ales
67 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.