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Chocolate Ale - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Chocolate AleChocolate Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

736 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 736
Reviews: 240
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 16.94%
Wants: 51
Gots: 148 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co. visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.10% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: HOPPYKC on 02-09-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 736 | Reviews: 240 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by cardsfan:
Photo of cardsfan
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

cardsfan, Aug 09, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of teromous
2.63/5  rDev -29.3%
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???

teromous, Apr 17, 2014
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.2/5  rDev -14%
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.

ThisWangsChung, Mar 26, 2014
Photo of mojohawk21
3/5  rDev -19.4%

mojohawk21, Mar 17, 2014
Photo of Tiernan
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Tiernan, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of nuggetnectar01
5/5  rDev +34.4%
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.

nuggetnectar01, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of joemetric
4/5  rDev +7.5%

joemetric, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of Beaver13
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

Beaver13, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of amalficoast
4.75/5  rDev +27.7%

amalficoast, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of JakerLou
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

JakerLou, May 30, 2014
Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

tigg924, Feb 14, 2012
Photo of aquazr1
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

aquazr1, May 22, 2014
Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Mora2000, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of BigE90
2.7/5  rDev -27.4%
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.

BigE90, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of standardcherry
3/5  rDev -19.4%

standardcherry, May 23, 2012
Photo of David30
4/5  rDev +7.5%

David30, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of sweetwillyrolbar
4/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

sweetwillyrolbar, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of MattyG85
4.16/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked 750 ml bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Label best by date of 09/2014.

Appearance: Pours a surprisingly light amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid two fingers of off white head that quickly fade into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A roasty and sweet malt forward aroma with big hints of chocolate and vanilla. Toasted malts with big hints of sweet chocolate and cacao nibs. Also some malt hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, yeast, grains, oats, milk, wheat, and nuts. Sweet hints of brown sugar and vanilla. Subtle hints of earthy hops in the background. Very chocolate forward but doesn't smell like a stout. Interesting aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a roasty and sweet toasty malt forward taste with big notes of chocolate and caramel. Upfront toasted malts with a big taste of sweet chocolate and cacao nibs. Notes of caramel, coffee, biscuit, toasted bread, yeast, grains, wheat, oats, milk, and nuts. Sweet notes of vanilla and brown sugar. Some earthy hop notes mingle in the background. Very forward with the chocolate and fairly dry. Tastes good.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a high level of carbonation. Toasty, creamy, and pretty drying on the finish. Alcohol heat is hidden well.

Overall: A pretty interesting and good take on a chocolate beer. Lighter bodied but a big chocolate malt taste.

MattyG85, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of CyPotter
2/5  rDev -46.2%

CyPotter, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of HoppySeb
4/5  rDev +7.5%

HoppySeb, Jun 11, 2014
Photo of chinchill
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

chinchill, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of daveytheformer
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml into a tulip glass

Appearance is a cloudy gold tinged copper. Foamy tan head that fades to decent lacing. Pours really carbonated and thick initially.

Smells like nutty chocolate, vanilla, and caramel. Not a very big aroma.

Tastes are cocoa powder, vanilla, butterscotch. Certainly chocolate is the forefront but not as big as I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is a thin medium. Creamy and well carbonated.

Overall is good not great. Probably won't buy again this year at least.

daveytheformer, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Chris – thanks!

Pours a hazy medium brown color with a half-finger light tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of robust chocolate – more on the milk chocolate side than more bitter and earthy dark chocolate. Also present are very slight caramel malt aromas.

Tastes more beer-like than it smells. Light caramel malt flavors kick things off and are quickly overtaken by large amounts of light chocolate flavors. The chocolate carries through until near the end of the sip, when slight amounts of leafy hops make an appearance before fading out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I enjoyed this beer more than I anticipated, not due to the fact that Boulevard made a beer with so much chocolate influence, but that they managed to let it retain some beer characteristics and not overdo the sweetness. Worth a shot.

glid02, May 19, 2011
Photo of turamarth
4.7/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the moment that I heard about this beer I was super excited to drink it. Especially while i was on a tour, I saw a box of vanilla sitting out on the brewery floor, and pondered to my self, "this must be in their chocolate ale". And I was Correct in this assumption.

Right off on the pour it is a nice dark amber color. Not what one would expect for a chocolate ale. The head is a little off white, with tiny little bubbles and don't really lace too well (could be the glass).

The nose here is an interesting bouquet of smells. Right off, the chocolate isn't quite in the forefront. I get some interesting fruits, round fruity flavors. Next there is some nice grassy smelling hops. They add a nice level of brightness and spice. Then we get to the chocolate, which isn't quite as hidden as I may have made it seem. But, it is there, framed by the other notes.

The first sip that I had of this was really awesome. It literally melts on your tongue then proceeds to melt the rest of you. There is quite a bit on the tongue that is in the nose. The fruits are there. The grassiness is there. The alcohol plays a little bit on the taste here. Nothing detracting in my opinion. The chocolate here is really nice and intriguing. At first, I didn't see where everyone is coming with all the bitter darks. I kept getting the same flavor/smell of what the center of a tootsie pop. But, now on a proper drink there is indeed that bitter chocolate. Leave a finish that is, bitter sweet, dark, and dry.

This mouthfeel is nice, smooth. Silky. Lush in the start of the drink but leaves a nice dry feel. A nice carbonation adds its brightness to this.

All in all this is one damn unique and tasty beer. Perfect for a night, (there will only be one or two...or none..depending) where you can just sit down with a trashy novel and read you single sorrows away.

turamarth, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of sgttibbs
4/5  rDev +7.5%

sgttibbs, Feb 02, 2012
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Chocolate Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 736 ratings.