Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Chocolate Tom (Old Tom With Chocolate) - Frederic Robinson Limited

Not Rated.
Chocolate Tom (Old Tom With Chocolate)Chocolate Tom (Old Tom With Chocolate)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

51 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 51
Hads: 115
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 2
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Frederic Robinson Limited visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sigmund on 12-21-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (11) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 51 | Hads: 115
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Small chunks of sediment are seen floating around in the beer after the pour. Smell is of Tootsie Roll, chocolate syrup, caramel, and slight nut aromas. Taste is much the same with chocolate syrup, chocolate milk, and slight caramel flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast 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 solid chocolate characteristics all around.

Serving type: bottle. (671 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear dark reddish amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that quickly died down and left a small patch of bubbles on the surface in the center of the glass as well as a ring of bubbles around the edge.
S: Light to moderately strong aromas of dark chocolate and cocoa powder are present in the nose, which become stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Like the smell, the taste is rather chocolaty but these flavors aren’t too strong and don’t overpower the underlying beer, allowing some notes of dark malts to shine through. Hints of vanilla are also noticeable in the finish; these seem to become stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It medium-bodied and slightly smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink; the addition of chocolate and relatively low alcohol content might make this style a little more palatable to novice craft beer drinkers. I wouldn’t mind having this as an after dinner drink or pairing it with a dessert. (1,078 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a variation on the classic old tom, i like this chocolate version for two reasons. the first is its lower alcohol lends to easy drinking. i could have many of these without losing my cool, which counts for a lot with a winter beer like this one. second, its not the least bit sweet, and is in fact shockingly dry, which also lends to greater drinkability and is a marked departure from the other chocolate ales out there. as an old ale, its less than remarkable though, not as malt driven or full bodied as it could be, but with the chocolate it just works. good toast to it all, bakers chocolate meets milk chocolate without the sugar, and the carbonation is light but the beer froths up nicely on the palate. a well refined brew, steeped in tradition yet modernized in a very appropriate way. something quite unique, fairly priced, and outstanding in winter weather. (868 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Going from Old to Chocolate, 'cause why the hell not? This stuff pours a deep garnet-brown topped by over a finger of dusky tan foam. The nose comprises cocoa, molasses, light clove, light cinnamon, light roasted malts, light oak, and a touch of black tea. Things are a bit more ephemeral than the Old Tom, though thankfully still quite pleasant. The taste brings in more of the same, with the emphasis decidedly on the cocoa, which now takes on a powdery character. There's also a slightly deeper roast, a pinch of black pepper, and a hint of dark fruits way in the background. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a very nice beer, one that shows you can go crazy with chocolate without overdoing it or completely overshadowing every other flavor. (836 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.94/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml Brown bottle , best before Sep 2012, poured into a 'Hoegaarden Grand Cu' stemmed tulip.

Good reddy brown colour, head soon left leaving a tan coloured collar and a few pieces of lacing as the beer level fell.

Pleasant chocolate aroma is given off which carries on into the taste, true chocolate flavours throughout make this an interesting blend.

Different and well made, good carbonisation and throughly enjoyable. Really for a winters night, but equally as good as a summer nightcap. (494 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had a late dinner, and it's calling for a dessert. Sure, I could go for a Toblerone, or even some pie, but dammit, chocolate beer sounds like a good choice for the time being. Let's pull the bottle from the fridge, warm it up a little, and pop the lid of this stubby 330 ml bottle. On to the beer:

At points, the color of the beer is chocolate brown, but good lightning shows a beer that is closer to amber brown with orangish hues. The head formed on top is small, and its retention is middle of the road. However, it does leave acorss some creamy lacing around the glass. That nose doesn't get much chocolate across. The old ale elements of diacetyl, dried toffee, and a whisper of fruitiness come across stronger.

Now we come acorss the chocolate. Mixed with this old ale, this is one combination that I like. The flavor of semi-sweet chocolate comes out powdery. Caramel and buttersctoch notes compliment the chocolate well. Very subtle alcohol notes of able to senses, however they barely interfere with the overall beer. It's a medium bodied beer, and is a gentle ride in the mouth thanks to reasonable balance and controlled carbonation. The aftertaste of semi-sweet chocolate and hard water linger pleasantly.

A chocolate beer can be a hit or miss, but I think that the folks working on Chocolate Tom have done a commmendable job with this beer. It's got chocolate, not too much and not too little. All you chocoholics should get your hands on a bottle. (1,471 characters)

Photo of Zorro
2.82/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear brown colored beer with next to no head.

Smell is English ale and a strong chocolate aroma. English style hops with prominent leather and tobacco leaf scents. Smells a little sweet but this isn't the most aromatic beer you are likely to smell this week.

Starts out Mildly sweet with a mild chocolate flavor. Slight bitterness. The flavor just doesn't develop much from here. Tastes something like a Shandy made with some sort of chocolate flavored soda.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall a disappointment. Tastes mildly like chocolate and has no alcohol taste to it. Might not actually technically be beer. (607 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours two finger khaki head that fades quickly to a ring, leaving some lace. Deep clear mahogany color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Chocolate nose and flavor is sweet and baked chocolate. $4.99 for a 330ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma. (266 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Black Raven imperial pint glass. Pours a medium coppery amber. Half finger fine off-white head that dissipates to a ring with slight lacing. Interesting aroma of chocolate and faint light fruit. Pleasant. Light to medium bodied. Flavor is dominated by chocolate with a light base of toasted and sweet malt and faint nondescript sweet fruit. Finish is dry bittersweet chocolate a bit abrupt, but leaves a lingering cocoa memory. The flavor combination is well done. I'd like a bit more malt in an old ale, but this was satisfying and interesting. I will definitely revisit this. (591 characters)

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fat 11.2 oz bottle.

A - Crystal clear mahogany body with a soft, foamy head. Small bubbled carbonation.

S - Flavorful bitter brown ale scents, with toasted grain, molasses and bitter/nutty notes. Some hints of cocoa but none too strong.

T - A silky, rich and robust brew. Complex and perfectly balanced. The flavors of bitter grains, nutty oils, toasted malt and semi sweet chocolate meld harmoniously. A certain lactose sweetness to it.

M - Rich, smooth and creamy. A silky ride with a soft body and clean aftertaste, lingering a bit. Light and soft carbonation gives a smooth feel.

O - Interesting beer, hitting all the right notes. Not one to knock your socks off, but hard to find any flaws. If you are looking for a chocolate bomb, this one isn't for you, but a great beer nonetheless. (795 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bobsy for sharing this one.

Pours a clear dark reddish orange, almost brown, decently thick off white head forms, no real lacing, settles to a thin ring. Smell is interesting, malt balls, chocolate milk, vanilla, some caramel and raisin, slightly fake chocolate, not bad though. Taste is similar, nice vanilla character, chocolate milk, caramel, raisin, some sweetness, dark fruitiness, not bad. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Half decent but didn't do much for me, chocolate came across as pretty artificial, but I did like the vanilla. Thanks Rob! (588 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark amber/copper colors with a big fluffy khaki head that slowly dissipates leaving some spotty lacing.

Aromas begin with toasted bready and caramel maltiness. Then as I go back in again I get milk chocolate bar surprisingly which I didn't originally detect. In the background there is some English fruity yeastiness. Chocolate is more and more apparent as it warms but never in your face, subtle aromas overall.

The tastes follow the nose with a small burst of chocolate but it isn't too strong and doesn’t overpower the underlying beer; toasty, bready, caramel maltiness once again are definitely still able shine through. Hints of vanilla are also noticeable in the finish; these seem to become stronger as the beer warms up.

The mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is a little thin and lackluster which is the only downside of this beer but I can't be too picky considering it's only 6% ABV.

Overall this was a nice subtle, simple yet tasty offering from a brewery across the pond that I am not too familiar with. Chocolate flavors are nice and subtle and balance the base beer quite well. I wish for my money that this beer had a bit more of a punch in flavor and mouthfeel. More of a strong Mild ale or an English brown by American standards than an Old Ale but definitely something I enjoyed. Because of the elevated $ tag though, I probably wont revisit anytime soon because Fullers makes tastier examples with their 1785 and Vintage ale. (1,499 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.06/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Strong, malty aroma has a firm overtone of cocoa - almost smells more like hot cocoa than like beer. Hey, I love chocolate! Pours a clear sepia with a nice fluffy and fine-bubbled wheat head. Malty flavor has a strong cocoa overtone, which I found rather enjoyable. I detected hints of apple and caramel as well. Texture has firm body and good fizz, leaving a malty and chocolaty finish. This is a good beer for the fall, when the leaves are turning and it’s time to break out the down comforter. (498 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz bottle pours a medium brown color with a small off-white head. A few splotches of lace, but nothing special. I do like the bottle though, bonus points!

Nose is more vanilla than chocolate...maybe vanilla yogurt. Light cocoa dusting comes into play as it warms. Nutty yeast without alot of minerality so many British beers exhibit.

There's the minerals, coming on strong in the flavor along with the same cocoa-dusted vanilla yogurt I was getting in the nose...cola even. Interesting, but it is not really chocolaty or much of an Old Ale. It is, however, a tasty beverage. Mouthfeel is less than medium, especially for the style and lacks any sort of sweetness, which is kinda expected for a Chocolate Ale or Old Ale. I like it well enough, but I am not feeling compelled to go out an buy another. (806 characters)

Photo of CrazyDavros
2.7/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours dark copper with a large, fading head.
Skunky aroma at first, with only traces of chocolate noticeable. Some faint nutty and roasty malt is present
Flavours have similar problems, although a bit more chocolate presence helps, along with some nutty malt. However there's an overriding grainy note throughout and very little supporting malt. Also some industrial booze notes show up in the finish.
Body feels watery. (420 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.72/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Saw this one on the shelf at a local beer store in northern Italy. The beer pours a clear but very dark brown color. The head is wispy and fairly thin. What's really remarkable about the beer is it's aroma...it's an intense mix of both vanilla and chocolate. At times one or the other seem to dominate, but they are the cornerstone scents of this beer. The chocolate is reminiscent of sweet, fine, chocolate powder (think an up-market version of nestle quick). Following the primary scents, there is a little toasted malt character, and very little (almost no) hop smells. The flavor is interesting...the same qualities that are present in the smell, but significantly muted. The beer is not nearly as sweet the aroma telegraphed. Lots of malt flavor, which pair nicely with the chocolate. The beer dries out by the finish, which does have a firm bitterness for balance. It's not the kind of beer that I'd have more than one at a sitting, but it is worth a try. (961 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
2.88/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown opaque color with a rocky 2 finger head. Nice lace. Aroma is mostly malty caramel smell, with a mild chocolate sweetness mixed in there. While to aroma is mostly nice, the taste kinda loses it a bit. It's malty, a little nutty and a much milder chocolate note. Finishes a bit bitter and metallic. Feel is on the thinner side, but has a nice creaminess.

Over all, it's an average English ale. Wish they'd have done a better job with the chocolate. (467 characters)

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

It poured very little foam. Very dark woody colour and with a clear chocolate aroma. Flavour was even richer, it tasted chocolate, slight black currants and port wine. Not overly sweet, elegant taste.
The 6% alcohol content was completely hidden. Very interesting beer, and amazingly drinkable once flavours matched perfectly. (326 characters)

Photo of ADZA
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber hue which leaves a two finger creamy head and sporadic lacing,the smell is cocoa,dark chocolate eclairs,caramel and nutcake,the mouthfeel is medium bodied and could be thicker with tastes of sweet honey roasted peanuts,caramel,chocolate eclairs,fruit and nut cake and finished with a toffee barley sweetness and overall i enjoyed this and am annoyed i only bought the one of but i will be going back to my favcourite bottlo and buying more thats for sure a nice balance between chocolate and beer for me cheers. (531 characters)

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 330ml bottle with a BB of Sept 2012. Picked up a long while back from a supermarket. The rear label describes it as a blend of Old Tom ale and quality cocoa, with a hint of Madagascan vanilla.

Poured into a Delirium chalice. A deep reddish-brown hue with good carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy off-white foam that remains for a few minutes before collapsing to a surface layer. Aroma of sweet chocolate notes, underpinned by fruity ale and hints of vanilla. Yeast esters and a whiff of booze lurk in the background. Unusual but nice.

Tastes of fruity strong ale with chocolate overtones. Slightly sweet. Notes of milk chocolate, dried fruit, caramel, vanilla, yeast esters and faint stewed leaves. A warming hint of booze in the background. Dry and mildly solventy, with little bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth with great body. Lightly tingly, but seems a bit flat. Mildly astringent, with an aftertaste of fruity yeast notes and a hint of chocolate.

Interesting and quite drinkable. The chocolate character is quite distinct; it smells almost like a bar of milk chocolate. It's an odd brew - the chocolate and strong ale flavours don't entirely blend or complement each other, yet it seems to work nonetheless. It's different from every other chocolate beer I've tried; the usual pairing is dark roasted malt and chocolate, which results in a deep bitterness that is absent here. It's not as good as the original Old Tom, but goes down nicely. To summarise: unusual but tasty. Worth trying if you come across it. (1,550 characters)

Photo of bobsy
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought this because I lke cats.

Pours a clear mahogany with a finger of aticky white head. Good retention and extensive lacing. Aroma of milk chocolate, dark fruit and caramel. Milk chocolate leads off the flavour, but comes across as slightly fake, despite the fact that the bottle attests otherwise. Strong vanilla tones take over and beat out dark fruit, caramel and biscuit underneath. A pleasing, if not earth-shaking, combination. Body is a touch light, but with appropiate carbonation.

Harmless enough, but the chocolate didn't really work for me as well as I know it can. Still a pleasant drink though. (614 characters)

Photo of mdagnew
3.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle bought from GapWines, Belfast...

Poured a deep clear coppery amber colour. Creamy head poured big, thick and foamy with a meringue like topping then faded slowly to thick covering that creeps up the glass...

Aroma - Strong notes of dark fruits (raisins, currents, dates) mixed with lots of cocoa powder and chocolate, toffee and treacle notes, ripe (and maybe a little sickly) fruits (banana and apple), hints of Mars bar, strong vanilla, hint of bourbon, some woody and earthy traces...

Taste - Pretty much as above... chocolate not as noticeable as i was expecting, good balance between toffee, dark fruits and the chocolate... light liquorice traces, cocoa, some coppery / metallic notes, slight hints of smokiness, vanilla, some spiciness, light grassy hops..

Feel - Pretty rich and smooth with just a little sharpness underneath... medium / full bodied.. drinkable enough but probably not something i'd want more than one of in a sitting...

Overall - A decent enough brew and much better than i expected.. worth a try... (1,043 characters)

Photo of thierrynantes
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from Bière & Chopes, tasted in 2011.

Appearance : dark amber color with a tan foam head.
Smell : malty aroma with notes of chocolate.
Taste and mouthfeel : roasted malt flavors, leading to a bitter chocolaty finish.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Old Ale. (299 characters)

Photo of Offa
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Although I don't like this as much as the regular Old Tom, it is excellent nevertheless, characterful and very drinkable with a nice chocolate element adding nicely to the otherwise old-ale character.

Red, it has a medium-big tan head steadily shrinking to a foamy ring.

Aroma is chocolate/plain cocoa, hints of iron, fruity maltiness (plum wine), and bread crust, hints of earthy wood.

Taste is lightly winy fruitiness up front, then some chocolate, light woody-tea-like bitterness at finish. It is lively, engaging, fruity-and slightly woody ale with a hint of chocolate. (576 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - A tawny, rusty color with an off-white finger of head that dissipates quicker than expected, leaving behind a broken layer of suds across the surface. Lacing is spotty, with fair stick.

Smell - The smell is divine; chocolate, coconut, light vanilla and caramel. Faint bourbon or oak that is nigh undetectable.

Taste - Begins with a heavy dose of milk chocolate character, quickly met by a moderate amount of oak and vanilla bourbon-like qualities. Light coconut. Finishes with a bit of everything described previously, and fades quickly.

Mouthfeel - Thin. Too thin. Weak carbonation to boot. Easily the weakest aspect of this beer. It's nearly a deal breaker.

Overall - I'm not completely sold on this beer. Its quirky flavor might have worked, but the uber thin body undercuts any potential. There's a bottling code of L1312, which I assume is a date of December '13. Based on web gathered info from the net, this is a best before date, and Old Tom has an 18-month freshness window. If my assumptions are correct, this beer could be nearly 2 years old. This might account for the weak and lifeless mouthfeel. If so, my main hesitation toward buying imports is yet again reaffirmed. (1,199 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Chocolate Tom (Old Tom With Chocolate) from Frederic Robinson Limited
82 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.