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Chocolate Ale - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Chocolate AleChocolate Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

262 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 262
Hads: 917
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 15.92%
Wants: 64
Gots: 246 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co. visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.10% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HOPPYKC on 02-09-2011

One of the brightest stars in a city filled with culinary treasures, Christopher Elbow has been handcrafting masterpieces in chocolate for more than ten years. In that time the reputation of his artistic delicacies has spread around the globe. Elbow’s sweets are distinguished by their use of unusual and sometimes surprising flavors and ingredients; in that adventurous spirit we joined forces to bring you a very special Chocolate Ale.

In developing this beer, Elbow and Boulevard brewmaster Steven Pauwels sought to harmonize the interplay of chocolate and malt, with each supporting and enhancing, but not overwhelming, the other. Just the right chocolate was essential. Elbow recommended a rare variety from the Dominican Republic, prized for its robust flavor and aroma, and a personal favorite. More than a mere flavoring, the chocolate — in the form of nibs, or crushed, roasted beans – was incorporated into the brewing process itself.

24 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 262 | Hads: 917
Reviews by benpopper:
Photo of benpopper
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle tasted on 4/12/11

Poured into the snifter a solid clear amber with a good inch of head. It recedes, but never fully disappears. What did leave left a nice lacing on the glass

Smells slightly of alcohol at the beginning, but once your nose deals with that HOLY CHOCOLATE. Smells like I just poured hot liquid onto powdered cocoa.

Sadly, when tasted, even with the powerful smell there was not that much chocolate. Tasted more like a american brown than anything else. Lots of malt and then a pretty significant hit of alcohol.

In the mouth it starts a little sharp with light carbonation and then finished very dry.

Overall, I don't really understand the hype on this one. Not something I'd recommend at the price here in Chicago, $20. There are some weird things I'd pick up just to have again with a friend who hasn't had it before, this one would not be one of them. Was wanting it to live up to the fantome chocolate, but it didn't. (947 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of chinchill
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the 2014 Secret Stash Bash (Atlanta).
Pours clear dark amber. Very good head.

Nose is mainly rousted chocolate nibs. Chocolate really comes out in this ale.\: Ii's actually the main flavor component. Still, not as tasty as fine chocolate on its own, but an impressive brewing achievement.

Medium light body medium carbonation.

O: exceptional and unusual. (371 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured an amber color ale with a large light brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of chocolate and nutty malt notes is quite interesting. Taste is also dominated by really nice floral black chocolate notes without much bitterness. Nutty caramel malt notes are also easily discernible and really enjoyable. Body is about average with good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Very enjoyable and nice integration of chocolates notes without going back to a stout. (493 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is very hazy amber orange in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down a bit, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of chunky yeast (the kind of yeast you taste at the bottom of a large bottle) are present in the nose.
T: Unlike the smell, the taste has flavors of cocoa nibs.
M: It feels medium-bodied but a little thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Considering its strength, this beer isn't that difficult to drink because it hides its alcohol very well from the taste.

Note: February 2010 vintage (641 characters)

Photo of teromous
2.73/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: It's an interesting beer right off the bat. The body of the beer is a very hazy orange light brown color, with a fairly light eggshell white head.It has an enormous amount of carbonation, and I want to emphasize the importance of a careful pour with this one. The head is ridiculously huge. I had a bit of a gusher, but I eventually got it settled down. Aside from the foam fountain, the beer really is fantastic looking!

S: I get some spice on the nose. It's a bit hard to place, it is just very spicy. It's a bit of a conundrum, because the beer smells quite wonderful but I get absolutely no smell of chocolate! The beer says "Chocolate Ale" which leads me to believe there is chocolate in this. I get zero chocolate aroma. I suppose I will just go on to describe this wonderful spicy aroma. It's slightly peppery, and smells a bit like crushed salad greens. I am rating this beer as outstanding because it is quite wonderful, but I want to make a public declaration that this smells nothing of chocolate. As the beer warms up, the scent of alcohol begins to voyeur. This beer is leading a double life. It is quite good smelling but for all the wrong reasons! I feel that perhaps I have received a beer that was mislabeled or bottled incorrectly? In the grand scheme of things it still smells outstanding...just no chocolate...

T: Very uneventful in the taste department. I get some alcohol and a tad of caramel. Where is this mythological chocolate that the label claims?! For shame!

M: Admittedly it is hard to focus on something as simple as the mouthfeel when I am cheated at taste. It's fine. I'll rate it "okay" because I am quick to move on with this beer. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

O: No chocolate. That should be enough to deter any drinker with the literary aptitude to read a bottle. I can't say in good conscience that it is a horrible beer, but it is quite poor. I feel that my expectations have been ransacked; that I've been bamboozled! How could a beer boast the proclamation of chocolate and stand with nothing to offer? For those who live in the world of summation and "buzz-words," where is the chocolate??? (2,149 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

750ml bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark amber color. The head is about two and a half fingers high, and pale yellow in shade. Very fluffy and soft-looking, the retention is quite good. On the other hand, no real lacing is left behind.

S: Opening the cork reveals a borderline spectacular bouquet of dark chocolate. Then I pour it into the glass, and I'm left wondering - what happened to the chocolate? In the glass, I'm getting notes of vanilla, banana, roasted nuts, caramel, but minimal chocolate. I'm also getting touches of spicy Belgian yeast. Somewhat disappointing; if this smelled like it did from the bottle as it does now, it would be an easy 4+.

T: Some sweet dark chocolate opens it up, along with some caramel and vanilla. There's a genuine white chocolate vibe with the flavor profile. It's even brownie-esque at times. After that, this one stumbles somewhat - some fruity, mildly spicy yeast enters in the middle and finishes it off. The yeast character seems to lack definition (disappointing considering who makes it) and obstructs some of the nice chocolate notes.

M: Rather heavy on the palate, and quite sweet. This doesn't have the deceptive drinkability Boulevard's other 750s have. The carbonation is pretty low, as well - put simply, it's a sipper, not a chugger.

O: A solid beer in small doses - the chocolate flavor (despite the disappointing aroma) is moderately prevalent, but it's a bit of hard work to imbibe. If this were closer to a stout or even a brown instead of an amber/red, I'd like this much better. This is something that you split between 6 or so people instead of drinking by yourself. (1,641 characters)

Photo of mojohawk21
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of Tiernan
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of nuggetnectar01
5/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle

It pours a nice amber color with a creamy white two finger head. Good retention with notes of lacing throughout my glass. Smell is like an expensive box of chocolates with milk and dark chocolate, toffe, vanilla, and dark fruits. Taste is just exactly like it smells with a slight bitter balance to it with hops. Medium body with nice carbonation. Very superb beer and excellent. (393 characters)

Photo of joemetric
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of DahWag
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Beaver13
3.24/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle, best by 9/2011. Pours a hazy orange amber with a huge creamy off-white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is bakers chocolate, caramel, vanilla and a touch of cinnamon.

The flavor is sweet chocolate and vanilla with a little alcohol and green hoppiness in the finish. Although it's sweet, it does have a dry finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, an interesting beer. It's interesting to see a lighter chocolate beer. I don't really think the execution followed through though. (556 characters)

Photo of DuckDodgers
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of amalficoast
4.75/5  rDev +26%

Photo of JakerLou
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of kaiyote
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tigg924
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 3/4 inch head, moderate carbonation, brownish-orange in color, cloudy

Smell: toasted malt and chocolate

Taste: toasted malt and caramel at the start, pale malt, then big cocoa in the middle an at the end

Mouthfeel: sweet with a slightly bitter backbone, moderate-high carbonation, light bodied

Overall: Very chocolaty. Love the big cocoa taste and it still tastes like beer. This is another beer from Boulevard, that when I first started drinking it, I was like this is just above average. Then it will hit me that it is very good, then I will go back and forth between above average and good until I discovered I finished the bottle and want more...So long story short--a good beer, but Boulevard makes better--or maybe they don't...yes I will get this again--once a year for Valentine's day. (809 characters)

Photo of aquazr1
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Torey
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Mora2000
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber with a cream-colored head.

The aroma is a nice mix of chocolate, bready malt and some grassy hops. The hops, chocolate and malt all mix very well together.

The flavor is heavy on the milk chocolate. Overall, the beer is very sweet. There are a lot of creamy, milk notes in the beer. There is also some nice biscuit and caramel malt as well as some grassy hops. The hops contribute more flavor than bitterness, but there is a tad bit of bitterness to keep the beer from being overly sweet.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. (562 characters)

Photo of BigE90
2.8/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a) Great color, a dark amber clear pour with a 1 finger head that was slow to dissipate.

s) Chocolate was evident right away followed by a sweet malt fragrance. All indications that this would be a great tasting chocolate infused ale.

t) Wow, got hit with a bad bitter chocolate after taste that is spoiling the other flavor profiles in the beer if there. I love my dark bitter chocolate but in this configuration it is not just working for me. The chocolate here is not complimenting the beer rather dominating it and it just taste bad.

m) Very thin and light, expected for a regular ale, I would say right on par with the style.

o) Just not a beer for me. All indications were that it would be tasty but it just hit my taste buds wrong. Surprised as I have had great success with other Smokestack series beers. (816 characters)

Photo of standardcherry
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of gibgink
4.29/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of David30
4/5  rDev +6.1%

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

Found this one just chilling on the shelves, apparently unaware that elsewhere it would be sought after. Poured into my lovely Edwinton snifter.

Appearance: Very suprisingly light in color, not at all what I expected. Orange to amber-tinged brown. Generous head which dissipates quickly.

Smell: Milk chocolate hit my nose the moment the cork popped. Definite milk chocolate smell, not picking up any bitter notes that would annotate darker chocolate. A slight orange/tangerine aroma peeks out quick before the chocolate overtakes. If I get my nose down in the cup I can smell the alcohol, but casually, it's not present.

Taste: Very, very interesting. I think the chocolate may have faded somewhat on this one, wish I would've had this a bit fresher. Most unlike any chocolate beer I've ever had. More bitterness is picked up in the taste than the aroma. The cocoa taste hits in the middle which is rounded out at the end with bitter, slight tangerine taste. The cocoa lingers in the mid, and the bitter at the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Light, perhaps a bit thin. Moderate carbonation which pops at the beginning and all but disappears at the end. Decidedly, however, less of a sipper than its imperial stout counterparts.

Overall: Was delighted and more than a bit surprised to see it on the shelves, had little expectation. To reiterate, quite unlike any beer I've had up to this point. I think I prefer chocolate and cocoa notes in my stouts, but I do thoroughly enjoy this beer. The taste isn't terribly complex, but I think the way it all comes together is rather pleasant. (1,592 characters)

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Chocolate Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 262 ratings.