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Chocolate Ale - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Chocolate AleChocolate Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

750 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 750
Reviews: 242
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 16.94%
Wants: 51
Gots: 152 | FT: 7
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: 750 | Reviews: 242 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Domvan
2.25/5  rDev -39.5%

Domvan, May 17, 2014
Photo of TheGordianKnot
2.42/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to mattafett for this beer! Poured from 750 into tulip; best by Sept 2011 dated...

A- Pours kind of like a hazy imperial red- amber color with tints of light brown. Very large foamy, overzealous head.

S- Smells like natural cocoa mixed with a more processed milk chocolatearoma. Hersheys chocolate shavings...

T/M- Chocolatey and bitter, but still very alcoholy. Perhaps the abv is too high. Ends with very strong vegetable flavor. Canned green beans or edemame would be accurate for the lingering taste that is less than pleasing. I like the chocolate perspective, but the rest is not my cup of tea. Light/medium body. I feel like, the alcohol burn makes it sting the tongue.

O- Is this past its prime, or just was it never? I did not enjoy this, nor did the other 2 I shared this. Had too high of hopes, but i'm still glad I got to try!

TheGordianKnot, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of billab914
2.45/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to IrishColonial for sharing this one the other night. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured reddish copper in color with a thin white lacing. Color was nice looking but not at all what I expected for a chocolate beer.

The aroma has a very strange green bean flavor to it. Some Belgian yeast spice is there and a hint of chocolate but the combination just comes off so vegetal like. I can't stop thinking of green beans every time I take a whiff.

The taste shows a little more chocolate to it with some cocoa lasting into the finish. The Belgian yeast gives it a bit of a earthy, spicy flavor. A little too much cocoa powder like though. It doesn't come together well at all for me.

The mouthfeel is thin with carbonation being high. Overall I didn't think this was a good beer at all and most of it got dumped in the sink. The green bean aroma was probably the strangest aroma I've ever encountered in a beer. It didn't taste as bad as it smelled, but it wasn't that great either.

* I didn't write down the batch number on the bottle but we looked it up before we opened it and it was not one of the reportedly infected batches they are offering refunds for.

billab914, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of craytonic
2.48/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: brown-amber pour with a fizzy head

Smell: Not the delicious chocolate I was expecting, some artificial chocolate, vanilla, bread and toffee

Taste: toasted bread, brown sugar, caramel, hint of fake chocolate

Mouthfeel: thin, over-carbonated

Overall: I was very disapointed in this one. Tastes fake and one dimensional.

craytonic, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of huskermike12
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

huskermike12, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of Thanx4AllDaFish
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

Thanx4AllDaFish, Apr 02, 2014
Photo of JavaNoire
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

JavaNoire, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of sleepyteacher
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

sleepyteacher, Feb 08, 2014
Photo of Bobbydigi
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

Bobbydigi, Feb 22, 2012
Photo of ToddBeans
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

ToddBeans, Sep 04, 2014
Photo of jboyer
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

jboyer, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of CoryR
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

CoryR, May 31, 2012
Photo of KShophead
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

KShophead, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of Jasonrm72
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

Jasonrm72, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of Sunn
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

Sunn, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of Mebuzzard
2.53/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Well, I've loved all the other Smokestack brews from Boulevard, but this one I couldn't finish.

Pours a murky, dark copper with a very large head..about 5 fingers. Just billowed up with white froth. Lacing was nice.

Aroma is chocolate forward with vanilla and some earthiness. That's about it, really. It's not bad and really backs up the name. But it seems basic, not very complex.

Yeah, taste is the same. Very faint earthiness up front and in the middle, with a chocolate finish. Yet the chocolate doesn't seem rich or smooth. Stale comes to mind. Vanilla provides some sweetness, but it's a bit much. Hops don't seem to be around. The chocolate is intruding and not all that good.

Thin, could use something else. Perhaps a stout version would be better. I don't know. This one didn't sit well with me.

Mebuzzard, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of scruffwhor
2.58/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Great foam, head and stickage. PLus some great lacing in this dar bronze colored beer. Looks like a sipper to me.

Tart cocoa nibs with medium toasted crackers. But the undeniable undertone of Virgin grean grapes and Granny Smith Apples is undeniable. This does not smell like a chocolate beer.

Tastes lie green apple, green apples, vinegar, toasted malts, and a little cocoa powder.

Not a good beer really. Interesting, but not much to recommend.

scruffwhor, Jun 14, 2012
Photo of snargles
2.6/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

I must agree with many of those who have tried this 2014 batch of Boulevard chocolate ale, the chocolate is faint and barely noticeable. Two years ago I kept going back to BCA because it was quite simply one of the best beers I've ever had. It was a surprisingly easy drinker back then as well, which was strange for a chocolate beer (of course it's not a stout or porter). The balance of chocolate was spot on, a perfect blend that was just sweet enough. It appears this beer has fallen victim to the cost-cutting methods or alternate recipes so many brewers implement to stretch out ingredients and increase production on high-demand limited release beers. I had been eagerly awaiting this beer perhaps more than any other in the last two years and am severely disappointed with the bottle I drank. I just paid 13.99 + tax for a beer that had absolutely no business being in a high priced bomber. Sure it's a solid "3.0" beer to be put in a 6 pack for 7.99 and sold as a typical craft amber ale or something, but with chocolate that isn't pronounced, and sold as "chocolate ale" for around 15$, ratings should be adjusted accordingly. The difference between the bottles I bought in 2012 and 2014 was night and day. I even think 2012 was clearer copper color, while 2014 looked cloudy when poured. I have one more bottle I'll put away and pray for some miraculous aging and I'll try to find it on tap to compare, but wow. MAJOR letdown. Looking at all the wildly variable reviews on this beer... maybe it's just one of those inconsistent beers where every now and then you get a special batch. *sigh*

snargles, Feb 15, 2014
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 Oxymoron
2.66/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

New release with big hype. Pours a mostly brown color with crystal clear clairty. A soft white head with bigger bubbles and good retention.

The nose is limited. Mostly a soft malt tone with a caramel and vegi undertone. Some minor chocolate but really needs more. Some fusel notes and noticeable green bell pepper note. Some minor yeast but mostly clean. A touch of green apple.

The taste is limited as well. The higher alcohol is hidden as it leaves a lack of depth. A soft caramel note with a hint of tobacco and chocolate. Really would like more chocolate notes here. Veg notes come out more vs nose. Some yeast notes come out more vs the nose but noticeable off notes.

The body is moderate to mod light. For the ABV would like a bit more complexity. Carbonation is good. Overall a bit disappointing.

Oxymoron, Feb 14, 2014
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 huntermop
2.75/5  rDev -26.1%

huntermop, Jun 26, 2014
2.75/5  rDev -26.1%

NOLANDMAN, May 03, 2012
Photo of demuzik
2.75/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a heavy orange-fading brown. The aroma is dominated by a warmth loving yeast and unusual, unfamiliar scents.

The first sip on this is magic; tastes like a very sweet old ale, which lingers, then suddenly cocoa is scraping across the tongue. The sensation is so interesting you go for another sip... only to find the chocolate notes get buried amongst the heavy, thick malt. The description writes "lightly hopped" and they are certainly right; far more 'malt heavy' than hop, certainly not a 'balanced' brew.

All in all, a heavy old ale style that loses its chocolate edge; once that initial chocolate flair is gone, its time to get creative to choke the syrupy stuff down. Interesting one sipper - won't need to try again.

demuzik, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of bigaltemple
2.75/5  rDev -26.1%

bigaltemple, Feb 15, 2014
Chocolate Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 750 ratings.