Chocolate Ale - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Chocolate AleChocolate Ale

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

260 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 260
Hads: 910
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 15.92%
Wants: 64
Gots: 245 | 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: 260 | Hads: 910
Photo of Blargimus
2.91/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750 ml bottle poured into tulip.

Pours a brownish-orange, slightly hazy. Initially quite a bit of head, but it fades rapidly, and leaves almost no lacing. Very few carbonation bubbles after the initial burst. It just kind of sits there like it's flat. Not an enticing look.

Yeasty smell that starts off with a bitter cocoa powder, then gets sweeter as you take longer whiffs. A bit of alcohol, too. It seems like the bitterness comes from the chocolate rather than hops, but maybe they're melding in my nose. It's very interesting, but not amazing.

Starts off with a sort of roasted/burnt chocolate malt flavor without any sweetness. The middle is almost pure bitterness - and again, the bitterness seems to come from the chocolate. Whenever I think I start to taste some hops or malt, it turns into bitter chocolate. The aftertaste is where the sweet milk chocolate hides. There's malt and cocoa powder and a bit of yeast. It's a warm taste that's helped by the alcohol, and I enjoy it. Speaking of the alcohol, it seems a bit strong for the rest of the beer (9%!). I like the flavors here, but there's so much bitterness beforehand it's almost like a chore getting to the desirable tastes at the end.

The alcohol gives this a fairly thin mouthfeel, and there's not much carbonation to give it creaminess. What carbonation there is adds to the bitterness of the rest of it. It's not a very pleasant feeling.

I'm not displeased that I tried this beer - It's a very interesting brew, especially since you only seem to get chocolate incorporated into stouts. Unfortunately, "interesting" doesn't equal "good." I'd only recommend this for novelty, but sometimes novelty can go a long way. (1,690 characters)

Photo of brewandbbq
2.93/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle.

Pours hazy copper with a two inch head of white. A partial skim coat and tattered lacing for the duration.

Aromatics lead off with faint cocoa, tart apples, and the inside of a box of chocolates. A hint of powdered sugar and fruit follow through.

Medium bodied with a crisp, sharpish mouthfeel.

Soured apples with some chocolate dust start the palate. Extremely tart with faint notes of chocolate. Light malt with hints of chocolate and vinegar.

Finishes with a lingering sour note and sherry vinegar.

Something went wrong with this one. The infection either wiped out most of the chocolate character as well or it was never there. Either way, very dissapointing. (683 characters)

Photo of Magbas
2.94/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A earthy/dirt like aroma followed by a thin ale that while hiding it's alcohol well, doesn't make sense with the lightly noticeable chocolate notes. A rare miss by Boulevard in their Smokestack series. (201 characters)

Photo of SWMeyer4141
2.98/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz btl shared with my wife.

Poured into snifters.

Appearance-Caramel color, little haze. 2 Finger beige head with pretty good retention.

Smell-Biscuit and Chocolate malts. Some dark fruits and a slight bitterness.

Taste-Very one dementional, got very boring. Every sip was slightly boozy with some chocolate malt and some sweetness. A slightly bitter finish makes it drinkable.

Mouthfeel-Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Overall-Just didn't do much for me. It's not the worst beer I ever had but just got really bored with it. My wife liked the first few sips then didn't want anymore either. This would be a good beer try a black and tan with or some other crazy mixture. (685 characters)

Photo of rudzud
2.98/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hands down, this one one of the hardest corks to remove. This was on level with some Element brews I've had. Picked up at Julio's.

A - Pours a crystal clear dark amber. The initial pour had a fizzy head that instantly dissappeared, but after sitting a nice quarter inch creamy blanket reformed.

S - Eh...this is mostly sweet malts with just a hint of chocolate. A huge let down.

T - Better than the nose. The first thing to hit the pallet are the sweet carmel malts. Afterwards there are some nice sweet milk chocolate flavors. Does seem a bit artificial and the booze is slightly noticeable.

M - With so much carbonation in the glass I wasnt expecting much but after a few minutes things mellowed nicely. The result is a light, soft carbonation, not syrupy. The ABV is somewhat noticeable though.

O - Really unimpressed by this beer. Until drinking this, I hadn't had a bad beer from Boulevard. This though...average at best. Perhaps it was a bad bottle, I dont know, but regardless I wont be buying this again. (1,017 characters)

Photo of tjkinate
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was excited for this one, now I am stuck with a second bottle.

A: 2+ fingered, frothy, off-white head that displayed good retention. The body itself is semi-cloudy and burnt orange.

S: Hints of chocolate, tootsie roll-ish, fruits, some spicy notes.

T: Not at all what I expected, not much chocolate at first, but it builds throughout. Unfortunately, the spices and chocolate taste somewhat artificial.

M: High carbonation witha medium body.

O: Was pretty disappointed with this beer. (490 characters)

Photo of sentomaster
3.05/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

fresh bottle poured into a tulip.

A- much lighter than I expected. right off the bat I know this beer is going to be quite different from any other chocolate beer I've had- none of the typical stout appearance I'm used to seeing with a chocolate beer

S- interesting...there's pretty much no chocolate here. In fact, I pretty sure there's no chocolate. Very weird and so far from what I expected. there's a real funky character to it, an almost belgian yeast and wet grass quality. Layers of light fruit, bannanas and apples- very interesting. Wait, there's a touch of chocolate dusted pears.... I think?

T- Follows right in line with the nose. There's an odd character to this that I can't quite place. It's not really bad but it's very unique and not what I was expecting at all. There's a nice toasted malt hit up front which rides into the fruity, estery notes and (belgian yeast?) funkiness. Not sure if it's the unique dominican chocolate that's imparting this or what. very different.

M- starts off quite effervescent and a bit prickly almost. perfect carbonation. slick, medium-light body.

0- what an odd beer. I see other reviewers noting the 'deep' chocolate flavors and I got absolutely nothing close to that. not even NEAR that. I had an FBS prior to this; THAT has serious, deep, dark chocolate notes. This has chocolate dusted pears....maybe...

Still, while it clearly eskews expectations, this is not a bad brew at all. If you're looking for chocolate though, look elsewhere

EDIT: THIS BOTTLE WAS ONE OF A LARGE RECALL FROM THIS BATCH (1,555 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.06/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to welosiped for sending this bottle out my way. Served in a tulip.

Pour yields a copper-colored brew that is mostly clear. Off white head lasts for a good time and leaves an average amount of spotty lacing behind. The nose has a bit of caramel, but is overloaded with chocolate. However, it's more reminiscent of packaged chocolate milk or Hershey syrup rather than cocoa nibs. One dimensional and a bit fake. Not sure whether actual cocoa was used, but it doesn't really seem like it. The same can be said of the flavor. Body is medium with light carbonation, and the finish is slightly-astringent. Overall, not big on this one. (638 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.11/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer tasted blind courtesy of pitasoup, thanks again!

Damn, this one was a bear to open. Corked and caged, with super stuck cork, after a few minutes of tugging and twisting, the cork broke in half. My trusty waiters key was finally able to free it. And the good thing is, I got no look at any sort of marking that would give this beer away. So here goes,

Pours a hazy dark orange color with a nice looking cream colors head.

Aromas are a little odd, some lemon, hints of cocoa, dust, and a little cider vinegar notes. I'm not sure about the smell, it's not offensive, but I am not sure I like it either, so a 3 seems right here.

Whoa, now that first sip just threw me for a major loop. Mostly milk chocolate, and not just faint flavors, it's strong, a bit too much so, almost tastes artificial. There is a little light cream maltiness, and not much else besides that chocolate flavor, there is a hint of mineral hops on the finish though. Ummm... It's ok, but I don't really care for this.

Mouthfeel is decent, good body, and ok carbonation.

Overall, ehhhh... No thanks. This isn't horrible, but I am not really a fan, every sip I search for beer flavors, but all I am getting is chocolate. I am not sure what the brewer was going for here, but it just comes off as milk chocolate beer, and not much else. Too sweet, this 750 bottle might not all end up in my stomach.

I can't even come up with a guess here, how about Belgian Chocolate beer? Wow, Boulevard Chocolate Ale. I guess I was pretty close.

I have enjoyed all the other Boulevard beers I have tasted except this one. (1,589 characters)

Photo of THE-DUDE
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

With all the hype around this beer, the lines at the liquor stores, the 1 bottle per person limit, i had high expectations....perhaps too high. I thought it would taste more chocolatey. There is definitely a chocolate flavor but it more like a faint very mild cocoa truffle like flavor. The chocolate taste is more present on the backside of the drink and definitely more so as it warms. The beer definitely tastes better than it smells, in my opinion. The smell was not so pleasant to me, but perhaps i am just not that familiar with high end chocolate and this is how it smells. (580 characters)

Photo of alphagnome
3.19/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance:
The color caught me off guard, I was expecting a dark brown or black body... What I got was a hazy rust colored body, that is topped with a fantastic, porous off-white head. The retention is poor though as the head was almost entirely gone in about a minute. No lacing and minimal carbonation.

Aroma:
When I close my eyes, I don't have to stretch the imagination much.. what I get is rich, sweet fondue chocolate. Heavy cocoa laced with fruit notes, mostly orange and strawberry. A bit of caramel is noticeable.

Taste:
Unfortunately, the flavor profile isn't as well received as the aroma. Sweet notes of milk chocolate notes hit upfront, until darker chocolate hit bringing along with it some bitter notes. I get some fruit notes, but they aren't pronounced like they were in the aroma. For being 9%, the alcohol isn't detectable at all - unfortunately, this is the highlight. The chocolate notes mentioned are just not enjoyable and the aftertaste is that of cocoa powder with an almost chalky quality.

Mouthfeel:
Smooth and easy to drink and surprisingly light-bodied. Light carbonation and semi-dry finish.

Overall:
I was really looking forward to this, as I do all of Boulevard's Smokestack beers. To say I'm a fan of Boulevard is an understatement. Sadly, as I glared at the empty bottle, I wish I hadn't purchased it - a first for a BLVD beer. It's worth sampling, as it's unique enough to warrant the addition to your palette... BUT(!) I'd recommend going in on a bottle with a bunch of friends - finishing a bottle by yourself might prove a challenge otherwise. (1,588 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
3.19/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shipped to us for review courtesy of Bill - thanks!

A - For a "chocolate" American Strong Ale, this looks a bit...odd. Cloudy orange-copper body with a one finger beige head. Not what I was expecting, at all.

S - Rich, bittersweet chocolate morsel notes that only enhance as the beer warms. Some hints of vanilla beans, pecans, powdery cocoa and some smokey ash.

T - A bit of a let down. No where near what I was expecting. Anyway, chocolate is the dominant taste but it's sort of, once again...odd. It's kind of artificial tasting and has some weird straw-like quality to it. Subtle hints of vanilla, roasted nuts and caramel malt peak through but it just doesn't help the flavor profile.

M - Really thin, overly carbonated, wow.... this is a bit messy.

Nothing about this beer screams Chocolate Ale or American Strong Ale. It's a wacky blend of styles that just seems to miss on most levels, except the aroma. I'm glad they're only brewing this once.... (967 characters)

Photo of dcscientist
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%

I was disappointed by this offering from Boulevard, which I was really looking forward to trying. I just didn't taste the chocolate as much as I should have. Reviews were pretty hit or miss, and I knew that before I bought it, but was hoping it would be more of a hit for me. Oh well. I'll try another Smokestack Series release eventually since most of the rest of them appear to have been more successful. (410 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 MbpBugeye
3.22/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lookie there, another want ticked off with the help of Boatshoes. At this point it will be easier for me to denote which beers were NOT provided by Fletcher.

Poured into a Lost Abbey tulip. Normally I'd probably go for a snifter for a beer like this but I'm dying to use my new glass!

Lookie parts
Strange, and not at all what I expected. This beer is a bruised and battered shade of rust. A deep, earthy orange shows on the edges when held to the light. Its thoroughly hazed, almost muddy. The head isn't as "boulevard smokestack-ish" as I was expecting. Sure, it rose up pretty quickly, and reached a respectable size, but faded quickly and struggled to leave any lacing.

Smells and stenches
Lots of chocolate. Its sweet and decadent, but its a very candy-like chocolate aroma. Very similar to a chocolate syrup or icing. Swirling brings out a nuttiness that brings forth thoughts of cocoa nibs and nut shells. Some light citrus hops come along with equal parts grassiness.

Tasty bits
Already I've realized that this is a rather unconventional chocolate beer. Its miles from what I expected. I thought this might bare resemblance to a stout, but that notion was nixed as soon as the first drop made its way into my glass. It starts out with an under-ripe fruit tartness. This tartness is pretty discrete but its there and it does it's thing across the whole palate. A strong nuttiness moves in, brings notes of walnut and almond. A few splinters of cherry wood bring an earthy fruitness. Then the chocolate kicks in. The chocolate really doesnt even manifest until the finish, building into the aftertaste. Its rich, sweet and dark tasting. Its also VERY powdery and granular, but I'll touch on that more in my next category.

Mouthy feels
Carbonation is dialed back nicely, but this beer is slick until the finish. The chocolate parts of this beer are very powdery and granular. It brings a chunky dryness to the finish. The bodies weight is bolstered by the low carbonation, but I'd say its realistically somewhere between medium and full.

Drinkerallity
This is good, but weird. I guess not really "weird" as compared to beers that a TRUELY weird. Its just not what springs to mind when you see the label. I'm not exactly flying through this glass, but I'm no where near drain pouring either. I guess I could say that this one occupies the meaty middle ground. (2,374 characters)

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 the_stove
3.26/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

The major pro here is originality as it's nice to see chocolate used outside of a stout/porter context.

Beer pours a very rich amber with a cream colored foam. Head quickly dissipates even with a vigorous pour.

Hints of malt dominate the nose with some faint chocolate notes coming through. I think I'd have a hard time telling this beer might have chocolate if I wasn't able to taste it.

Drinks really smooth. There's a nice malt and yeast profile with the chocolate aspect making an appearance consistently about 0.5 - 0.75 of the way through the sip. The chocolate is present but doesn't necessarily dominate, which is kind of nice but also seems a bit of a drawback considering that is why I'm drinking this beer. At times it tastes more like Cocoa than chocolate but I guess the overall effect is there. In this sense, I guess it does work as a "dessert beer" since the chocolate notes do come through towards the end.

Not much else going on here and kind of a one trick pony. Again, nice to see chocolate used in a different context but I didn't find the beer anything too special. Definitely one to split unless you're really into chocolate/cocoa beers without a heavy malt presence. (1,202 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
3.29/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

750 ml bottle
Served in an oversized wine glass

L - It pours burnt orange in color, not what I expected. I expected a dark beer. It is topped with an inch of tan head.

S - I get a combination of alcohol and chocolate. It is not really that appealing.

T - The taste is of a watered down chocolate malt beverage with alcohol coming through. There is a lingering chocolate aftertaste.

F - Medium to thin.

O - This was a bit of a disappointment. The alcohol was more prominent than I like and the chocolate taste was kind of weak. I guess my expectations were off. I should have read reviews and been prepared. (614 characters)

Photo of champ103
3.31/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy burnt orange color. A towering beige head quickly forms with very good retention. Lots of sticky lace is left behind.
S: Earthy aromas certainly make its way through. Strong yeast and peppery spice up front. Sweet vanilla and chocolate make its way in towards the end. An odd mesh of aromas, and I wish the sweeter stuff was more up front.
T: More along the lines of what I was thinking. Lots of sweetness. Vanilla and coco beans. Plenty of chocolate. It is like a different beer than the nose. Some heat as well.
M/D: A medium to full body. Very lively carbonation. A slow sipper. Plenty o hot alcohol.

I really love the idea, and Boulevard rarely misses with the Smokestack beers. Though this did not come together as well as I was hoping. It is very interesting, and worth a try. Just not the homerun many of the others in this series have been. (865 characters)

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a near peach, amber color with a frothy tan head of 2.5 fingers.

S- Tootsie Rolls immediately come to mind. Chocolate cake frosting. Quite profound amidst the normal fried food bar aroma. I love the smell of a chocolate beer, and this one takes a back seat to none of them.

T- Follows nose with cocoa nibs and chocolate icing. Some caramel, slight toffee and nuttiness makes its way. Yeah, the chocolate character is fantastic, but nothing stands out to go with it, thus leaving this one lacking complexity.

M- Light, low carbonation, clean and fairly smooth.

O- I don't think I totally get this one. Appreciate the ingenuity, but doesn't provide the depth I desire. Aroma is a true star. People went bonkers for this one around KC and I have to say it is probably the weakest of the Smokestack series that I have had.

Pair with chicken and waffles
$15 for 750ml (876 characters)

Photo of PeterIngemi
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- very little head... Amber with a touch if brown, I kinda expected it to have a darker appearance.

S- chocolate, sweet malts I'm not sure what else, not a lot of smell... Perhaps a touch of belgian yeast.

T- starts like an ale finishes with the chocolate, bit of fruity yeastness in the middle

M- belgiany, effervescent, medium carbonation

O- not a bad beer, in a small dose, I would not want to drink a whole 750, but tasty in a taster format. (450 characters)

Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First, I would like to apologize to the person who (attempted to) stashed this bottle in the back cooler of the Windsor Heights Hy-Vee. Sorry, if you really wanted to hide something you should have put it behind the cases of Miller instead of on a shelf in plain sight.

Being an ale it's a lot lighter than other chocolate bocks I've had. Being a strong ale the body is good. The aroma is of light cocoa with noticeable hops and maybe a hint of caramel thrown in. The aroma is a bit odd. The cocoa flavor comes on very faint at first, then is has a sudden crescendo for a few seconds, then becomes lighter than the initial taste. It ends up being very light cocoa with an odd tartness from the hops. The malts don't make much of an appearance. Overall it's a bit of a letdown. The alcohol is felt but the flavor doesn't really ad much character to the beer. (858 characters)

Photo of fostah
3.37/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From the infected batch:

I realized this after my initial taste of the bottle (with a "Best By" date of 08/2012, by the way... guess I missed that) and it tasted... off. I checked the bottle, something I should've done a year or so (or more!) ago, and thought I had, but obviously hadn't: 2011-1. Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a Winnah!!! So, with that information in my head, I settled in to review the beer I HAD, not the beer Boulevard intended, or the beer I THOUGHT I had. The beer in the glass: a known infected batch of Boulevard's Chocolate Ale, that has been sitting upright in my basement, in temperatures varying from approximately 55-60 degrees for about a year (give or take).

Pours a nice mahogony, with a tan/off-white head. Head sticks around for a bit, and laces the glass. Nose of bitter cocoa, some gentle funk that I didn't expect .
Initial tastes: sharp sour funk, with bitter choocolate flowing underneath. This beer is clearly not right, but in an "oh so good" way. The chocolate, though strong, stays underneath a stiff tart, that turns fruity toward the end. It finishes acidic, with that chocolate underneath, giving the impression of a mouthfull of pennies, kind of metallic

I wonder if every bottle was bad in the recalled batches, or just some? Also, along those lines, did aging the beer work with the infection, and improve the flavor (completely unlike that of the fresh infected bottle reviews I've read), or did I have a clean bottle in a bad batch, and catch something in the cellar? Either way, this was a delight.

If I review the beer against what it was SUPPOSED to be, its a total miss. Maybe a 2.0, because the chocolate is still noticeable. (1,683 characters)

Photo of tronester
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very light brown in color. Smells exactly like one of those chocolate hard candy mints. Taste is initially a blast of chocolate extract, followed by some light malts, and a clean dry ethanol finish. Mouthfeel is syrupy, low carbonation. Overall an interesting beer, though the chocolate flavor gets a bit overboard after awhile. (330 characters)

Photo of MaximalC
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I will preface this review by saying the bottle says "best by 08-2012", and today is August 1st...

*It also turns out that I had one of the "infected" batches (2011-1).

Pours a dark honey color with sufficient khaki head that settles down momentarily. The appearance is vastly different than what I had envisioned for a "chocolate ale". The aroma smells vaguely of dark fruit and milk chocolate, with some alcohol. Pretty underwhelming for a beer with such a decadent description on the bottle, and certainly not as chocolately as I expected. The odd presentation, unfortunately, serves as a worthy harbinger of the flavors to come. This tastes like a generic Belgian-style ale with adjuncts of chocolate-covered cherries, perhaps with a creme filling. It tastes a little sour up front before the chocolate manifests itself, along with the aforementioned cherries. Neither the chocolate nor the cherries are prominent enough to serve as the backbone this brew desperately needs. This tastes more like a shadow of what was intended, and this could very well be due to the fact this bottle was approaching its best by date, but not necessarily so. The finish is characterized by a bitterness that was previously concealed by everything else.

On the whole, I must admit I was disappointed by this offering from Boulevard, and I say this as a huge fan of some of their other brews. This chocolate ale was short on chocolate and on definition--far too nuanced for me to ever get a grip on what quite it was supposed to be. Hopefully it can be forgiven on account of the proximity to its best by date. (1,598 characters)

Chocolate Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 260 ratings.