Chocolate Ale - Boulevard Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 709 | Reviews: 237 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
4.28/5 rDev +15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Enjoyed on tap at Bier Station after a day of Chocolate Ale frenzy in Kansas City. Seriously, the combo of Christopher Elbow fans and craft beer fanatics in this city make the hunt for this beer insane. Seems like Boulevard could easily do some kind of event along the lines of Dark Lord Day and turn it into a full-blown spectacle. But I digress--served in a 16 oz Belgian tulip glass.
Appearance - Pours a rusty-orange body with a nice amount of haze to it and some twinges of russet bown. Reminiscent of a nut brown ale. Atop the body sits a one finger sudsy head that is a light tan, somewhat like cocoa powder. Retention is fleeting, with the head soon retracting to a rim of suds around the edge of the glass. No lacing that I can see.
Smell - I honestly expected more of a chocolatey note, sort of like what you might get from a nice rich stout, but instead there is a faint hint of cocoa powder, along with more dominant notes of hazelnut and bready malt and a faint bit of vanilla and creme caramel.
Taste - Now that's more like it. In my opinion, the taste must be why people rave about this beer, because it's a wonderfully succulent yet delicate wafting of cocoa and blonde brownies, but not quite as rich. Completely different than the kind of ganache and baker's chocolate bittersweet notes you get from stouts, this one is a more of a milk chocolate kind of taste, but the inherent nature of the beverage--fermented malt grain--is still very much present. Not overpowering with booze, but there is a pleasant grainy presence to provide a backbone for the decadent chocolatey notes. The hazelnut that I detected in the aroma is also present to round out the flavor.
Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and low carbonation. Fairly smooth and low bitterness, with just enough bite from the CO2 to give the beer a bit of texture. Quite drinkable, especially for a 9% ale.
Overall, I can't really say that the beer lives up to the crazytown hysterics that people go through to get it, but that is no fault of the beer. The way people hunt this one down is simply unreasonable for ANY beer, even one as delicious as this one. It certainly shows just how creative Boulevard can get with their brews, demonstrating that you can infuse chocolate into a beer without making a stout or porter. I can't help but wonder how ridiculous getting hands on a bottle would be if this was just Boulevard Chocolate Ale instead of Chocolate Ale by Boulevard in Collaboration With Christopher Elbow.
Serving type: on-tap
02-07-2014 04:10:30 | More by LambicPentameter
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