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Chocolate Ale - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Chocolate AleChocolate Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

268 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 268
Hads: 938
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 30.24%
Wants: 66
Gots: 250 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 268 | Hads: 938
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.

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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.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Corked caged bottle into tulip. Nice amber brown color with fluffy head. Fantastic chocolate Belgian aromas. Flavor of chocolate, Belgian style trappist yeast, tobacco, really well balanced and unique. A bit of an ommegang style going on here which is fine by me, The chocolate is obvious but not over done. Really perfect balance of flavors. Great brew.

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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.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Type: 750-ml glass (25.9 oz.)
Glass: Sea Smoke oversized wine glass
From: Bine & Vine Bottle Shop in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $9.99
Purchased: Aug. 20, 2014
Consumed: Aug. 23, 2014
Misc.: No. 14 in Boulevard Smokestack Series; Batch No: CH13365-1; Best by Sept. 2014; Twist off cap and cork

Poured a brownish, caramel, murky color with 3-to-4 fingers of frothy off-white head. Thought the color would be darker. Average amount of foamy lacing along the sides of the glass. Good retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 3.75)

Smell surprised me a bit. I was expecting straight chocolate, kind of like the imperial stout I had from Boulevard’s a few months ago. Got caramel, toffee, butterscotch, popcorn and creamy vanilla before I even reached the chocolate. Then got dark, rich chocolate, but still had to work for it. Overall this wasn’t too appealing on the nose. (Smell - 3.25)

First taste was like the smell, but it got slightly better. Got caramel, toffee, butterscotch, peas (I know), chocolate, cocoa, chocolate syrup, buttery malts and more green veggies (I know). (Taste - 3.50)

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, somewhat smooth finish. (Feel - 3.50)

This beer just wasn’t really for me, which is something I rarely would say with Boulevard. Just an OK ASA. (Overall - 3.50)

3.46 | 79 | B-

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Photo of beergoot
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%

Bottle batch number/best-by date: CH13354-1 09-2014

A strong copper-gold color with a thick, creamy white head (3.75). Vinegar and boiled vegetable aroma! Sour wine (1.5). Smooth mint chocolate flavor with a tart, grapefruit-like undertone; tart cherry with cocoa (4.0). Mouthfeel is relatively light and smooth; fine carbonation (3.75).

I have never had a more interesting and conflicting beer. If this tasted anything like the aroma, it would have been a drain pour, yet the appearance, flavor, and mouthfeel all redeem this thing!. Being heralded as a chocolate ale, I was expecting a dark brown or black colored beer, so what appeared was surprise number 1. The smell really gave me the heebie-jeebies as it smelled nothing like I would expect for a chocolate ale and expected some kind of sour wine/vinegar flavored beer - surprise number two. Lo and behold! The flavor was exceptional smooth, soft, and subtly chocolate overall, nothing at all like what the aroma suggested - surprise number three!. I can't get over the extremely weird smell, but with everything else considered, this is a very tasty, fine looking beverage. A conundrum with depth, complexity, and surprises!

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -5%

Appearance: Two fingers of rocky foam cover the clear copper liquid but leave just a few spots of lacing

Smell: Chocolate spread, toast, peanut butter

Taste: The peanut flavor jumps forward though there is a nut skin astringency that follows into the middle; toast and a powdery chocolate element merge, in the middle; the aftertaste is very phenolic with a medicinal character

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: Not quite sure what to make of this; I know this beer is eagerly anticipated in Kansas City each year when it is released but I find the aftertaste so off-putting that I can barely bring myself to have another sip now that I have finished my notes

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, with best by 09/2014 printed on the back label. Acquired this bottle at the local beer store, No. 14 in Boulevard's Smokestack Series. Not quite sure what to expect with this one.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass, per the death of my snifter.

A - Pours a murky burnt orange color with about four plus fingers of frothy off-white head with nice staying power for the high abv. Leaves some spotty lacing. Looks pretty nice. The body color turns more of a bronze as the bottle goes on, with lots of big dark chunks of sediment lurking at the bottom of the glass.

S - The smell is strange, and not entirely pleasant. Some pungent alcohol fumes, musty yeast, and notes of powdery cocoa, vanilla, caramel, cookie dough. It's an okay aroma, but it has poor depth and intensity.

T - The taste is definitely dry chalky cocoa forward, but not in the normal sense. Definitely very earthy & yeasty. Notes of chocolate / cocoa nibs, vanilla bean, caramel / toffee. The chocolate tastes very natural and authentic, I will give it that, and for that I will give it the 4 for taste.

M - The feel is moderately dry and clean. Bitter & creamy, with some mild lingering alcohol fumes. Medium-full bodied with low carbonation. Lightly sticky & chalky on the finish.

Overall, a unique and interesting take on a chocolate beer from Boulevard, but it is not what you expect at all really. Interesting for sure, but not what I have come to love and expect from a chocolate beer. Glad to have tried it, but I wouldn't want this again.

Boulevard Chocolate Ale ---3.5/5

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Photo of TCMike
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a darkish copper color. Produced a big 3 finger beige head. didn't leave any lacing.

Smell was nice. It was of dark chocolate, leather/woody like aroma.

Taste is similar, but with a slight vanilla, and orange taste. Light hop bitterness.

Really like this one. It's a sipper.

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Photo of Tone
3.54/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of peanut butter, sweet malt, hint of alcohol, hint of yeast, and a hint of roasted malt. Sadly, chocolate is lacking in the aroma, but strangely peanut butter present. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of dark chocolate, sweet malt, hint of hop, hint of yeast, slight peanut butter, and a hint of roasted malt. Overall, more peanut butter than chocolate, but otherwise weak appearance, and blend. This beer does not live up to the hype.

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Photo of MNishCT77
3.44/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle purchased at Connecticut Ave. Wine and Liquors; poured into my NEBCO Gandhi-Bot snifter glass unknown brewing/kegging date but best by 09-2014; drank over about an hour

A: 1/3 - amber-brown coloration; crystal clear (can both read and see through); received with an initial frothy white head that settled into a subtle glass lacing; no visible bubble but large chunky stuff (cocoa) floating around that settled on the bottom of the glass during the pour

S: 7/12 - predominately cocoa/chocolate notes with balancing malt backbone; some mild alcohol; no hops; no perceivable flaws to my palate

T: 13/20 - the flavors match the nose on first pour - again, cocoa, candied sugar and caramel expand the flavor profile; there is some mild roasted malts and alcohol on the backend but subdued relative to the other notes; no predominant yeast or hop flavor profile; finishes moderately sweet but definitely not cloying/difficult to swallow

M: 3/5 - higher carbonation than expected; moderate body but thicker mouthfeel than body belies; moderate drinkability

O: 6/10 - I must admit that this is not what I was expecting at all - anticipating a chocolate stout and truly got a(n) (albeit flawed) chocolate ale; the cocoa/chocolate notes taste aYooHoo artificial to me and why are there hunks of stuff floating around; for an ~$20 price point in D.C., I surely won't be purchasing this again, especially when there are so many better Smokestack Series beers floating around the DMV - bring on the Saison Brett!

TOTAL - 30/50

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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???

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Photo of kojevergas
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml brown glass bottle with attractively understated label and branded red hood-and-silver-wire cap over a branded cork acquired at a local TX bottle shop many weeks ago and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery - which makes some beers I really adore. 9.10% ABV per the label. "Batch Number/Best by Date: CH13354-1 09-2014." Cost was $10.99 USD. Reviewed as a flavored ale.

Served chilled and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a two finger wide head of white-khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Has a nice soft complexion and an even albeit slightly thin consistency. Inconsistent spotty lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is rather good for the high ABV - about 5-6 minutes.

Body colour is a translucent transparent gold of good vibrance and excellent clarity. Quite clean; no floating yeast particles or hop sediment are/is visible. Appears well-carbonated.

Overall, it's looking pretty good, but admittedly isn't quite what I expected given it's a chocolate ale. I'm looking forward to the first sip.

Sm: Caramel, nutty notes, brown malts, and malty sweetness. Chocolate? Sure, but it's not quite what you'd expect. This isn't the dark chocolate or milk chocolate character you'd find in a stout. It's more like a natural raw cacao character, and evokes crumbly dusty bricks of chocolate. Truffle too. Hazelnut. Cream.

No hop charactr, alcohol, or yeast character is detectable.

I admit, at first I was a bit put off. There's something vaguely artificial about it and the chocolate aromatics are pretty arresting if you're expecting a stout-like chocolate character. But I find myself coming around to it the more I take it in.

It's a very soft approachable aroma, and I find it inviting. A pleasant mellow aroma of mild strength.

T/Mf: It's got a comforting, soft texture to it. Supple and giving. Smooth and wet. Comforting and refreshing, even soothing. Well-carbonated. Has a medium body and an apt thickness. Nicely creamy.

Not oily, hot, gushed, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

The chocolate notes do evoke that crumbly dusty powdery feel of raw natural cacao. Brown malts fill out the body nicely. Caramel. Faint hazelnut. There is some vague fruitiness, but I lack the palate to place it. (Forgive me). I don't pick up on any yeasty character, hop character, or overt alcohol.

It's a well balanced flavour profile, and has a nice cohesion. Not quite gestalt. Nuanced, sure. I've never experienced this particular kind of of chocolate character in a beer (at least that I can remember). Not the most intricate or complex brew, but it boasts some nice subtlety. I do like it, but the one-two punch of brown malt and crumbly chocolate takes some adjusting to.

One could make the argument that it's a bit too sweet, but I find the sweetness to be kind of apt.

Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable. Hides its ABV nicely. I'll finish the bottle with relative ease, though I doubt I'd want more than one bottle in the same night. It's not Boulevard's finest work, but it's a near-unique brew with a lot of interesting atypical chocolate character to offer. Whether or not you like it, I think it's worth trying just to see one shade of what chocolate can be. I'm not sure I really like it, to be honest, but it does give me pause. It's certainly not what one imagines when they think of a chocolate ale, but boy is it interesting.


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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.

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Photo of Prefabu
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I wasn't even aware that this beer is quite hard to get, and I just happened to be in Trader Joe's when they put their lot out for sale. The store was almost empty, and I could have bought a case! Word spread and it was sold out shortly after I left the store.

I'm working from memory, so I won't be including minor details. The chocolate flavor of this batch was quite subtle, and I think that's a very good thing. Initially I thought the beer was a bit too thin and the flavor somewhat shallow. Even though I had let the beer warm up a little before drinking, I thought the flavor improved markedly as it warmed further. Honestly I loved the last few swigs and sips, and by then I wished I had purchased several bottles. I really think it might be best near room temperature, but I'll have to experiment more next year. This beer is incredibly smooth and deceptively strong. I like that combination since I'm not a quantity drinker. I really wish I didn't have to wait another year to try it again!

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Photo of scratch69
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Cloudy copper color with two fingers of light tan head. Fair amount of runny lacing.

Smell- Light aroma of caramel malt and earthy hops with a hint of chocolate and vanilla.

Taste- Sweet caramel malt with chocolate and light vanilla flavors showing up mid sip and lasting into the aftertaste. Just a hint of earthy hop flavor to balance out some of the sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with a slightly above average amount of carbonation. The alcohol heat is barely noticeable and then only as it warms.

Overall- I have been trying to get my hands on this beer for 3 years and I thought I had missed out again this year until my sister-in-law surprised me with a bottle. It is a pretty good beer but I don't know if it was worth a 3 year wait, but I am glad that I got to try it finally.

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Photo of cvm4
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a deep copper, slightly transparent and has a light tan head.

S - Faint semi-sweet chocolate, sweet malts, biscuity, banana esters and light vanilla.

T - To me, the taste falls in lock step with the nose. Chocolate comes on midway through and goes until the finish.

M - Light to medium bodied with high carbonation. Has a wet finish to it.

O - I like the chocolate character in this beer. An interesting take on what can be a somewhat boring base beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Batch Number CHI-3364-2 Best before Sept 2014.

A deep copper and red tinted orange body and fairly opaque. A faint tan head matches nicely almost with red hues, but is only one finger tall and and gives a good collar that looks thick and white.

Bouquet. So where's the chocolate? Bananas. Taffy sugar. Some vanilla creamy like character, just the faintest hint of chili like heat and spice it seems (yes I know there is no chili in this beer). But chocolate... nothing, maybe some faint cocoa barely.

Palate is interesting. A very milky and runny body, that really coats in a creamy chocolatey way. Hints of pepper and fruit like finish, chili, and spicy bitterness. The milky quality hints just to a little bit of wet texture though too unfortunately. As warmth comes there's some soft orange sour fruit and mellow hop bitterness that comes together.

It's an interesting beer, but it's chocolate angle is more akin to bitter fruit and chili warmth and mild bitterness, and the label seems very misleading. I am sure people are drinking this and thinking... brown or chocolate sugar expectations, but this has some real neat spice character, but chocolate is really just the secondary for the main act.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.16/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of Badger6
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out of a 750mL bottle into a tulip.

A: Others were surprised by the color...but this is not a stout. Dark coppery color, slightly hazy, active carbonation. Off white, foamy head, almost no retention, receded quickly to a decent ring at the glade edge, almost no lacing.

S: Chocolate and malt. The chocolate is a complementary aroma to the malts. Seems there is some happiness, but not distinct. Slightly boozy.

T: Chocolate stands out. Starts malty, but quickly turns over to chocolate, which builds into the finish and through the aftertaste. This is all about chocolate. No happiness at all in the flavors.

M: Medium to robust body. Carbonation on the palate is not as much as expected form the visible carbonation. Seems very balanced to the body. Slightly dry.

O: Unique and interesting. Wasn't sure if I'd like this, but the manager had 6 bottles, would only let me buy one, so i figured I was up for it. Glad I did. This is an ale, feels like it, drinks like it, but it's chocoaltey. Not like a milk shake, or a chocolate stout. It is an ale infused with chocolate flavor through and through. Very funky, in a really good way.

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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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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Photo of Mein_Bier_Stein
1.9/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.75

750ml 09-2014, tulip, drank 2/2014

Loud pop, too much carbonation. Not what I was hoping. Have had previous iterations of BCA. They were MUCH better. They had less carbonation, more sweetness and a fantastic aroma, but not this bottle. Have had previous years, both 750s and on tap.

A - Copper / amber color, very much what I expected. Lots of carbonation, not expecting this. Halfway expecting a dry finish beer due to bottle fermentation. Head dies quickly, light lacing.

S - Yeast. Where is the chocolate? Where is the vanilla? If you wait minutes and sneak up on the glass then you can get a faint chocolate aroma. I get more chocolate aroma from a reeses peanut butter cup package, ugh. If you want to smell the cocoa, then you will have to wait again for it to come back, because it goes away very quickly. Never got vanilla from it this time.

T - Dusty, dry finish slightly bitter finish that may be due to the bitter cocoa. Tangy. Guessing that is what they intended because the bottle reads 'fruity cocoa', but more Saison like.

M - Bit of carbonation bite, after it sits while awaiting the cocoa aroma. Much more carbonation at the first pour.

O - A disappointment. Seriously, avoid this.

I could claim I was spoiled by the previous BCA offerings, but I do not think so. I get more chocolate aroma from beers that lay no claim to using chocolate in the brew!

General commentary; I do not know what is going on with Boulevard, I have had plenty of misses with their smokestack 750ml and this is certainly one of them. Yeast poisoning? Remember a couple of years ago they pulled BCA off the market? Yep, due to yeast poisoning. Read the reviews of on tap vs 750 for the 2014 BCA, they seem to vary greatly.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle poured into a snifter.
9.1% ABV

A - The cork's loud pop proclaims this beer has some carbonation! One might usually expect a chocolate beer to be a dark beer but this Boulevard created a bit of a shock leaving the bottle; clear amber in color. Lace sticks to the glass with some fever as the off-white head subsides.

S - Cocoa bean gives the aroma an immediate authenticity but it doesn't quite smell like chocolate, more like old, dried up baking morsels and a pile of cocoa powder with a nice underlying biscuity maltiness.

T - Boulevard's collaboration with Christopher Elbow crosses the tongue with a flavor profile much more akin to a pleasing confection; nudges of toffee sweetness back up a hint of milk chocolate that hides behind dusty cocoa and cocoa beans.

M - The pop of the cork was right; this is a highly carbonated beer. Alcohol hides well considering the beer is fairly lighter bodied as it finishes with a nod to sweetness but lands more on the dry side.

O - Boulevard's Chocolate Ale collaboration has quite a bit of authenticity to it's flavor profile as opposed to artificial ingredients but it doesn't quite help the fact that dusty cocoa and cocoa bean don't give quite a nice liquidy chocolate profile the label's decorated with. This Smokestack series is a nice offering in and of itself but doesn't quite stand up to the series' otherwise impressive gamut.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle served in a Old Guardian tulip

A - Brassy copper color with a creamy off-white head. Not what I expected it to look like. Nice retention and lacing.

S - Cocoa powder and caramel malts, some bready nuttiness, toast.

T - Follows the nose with cocoa and caramel malt, the chocolate is dry and not sweet. The sweetness comes from the caramel/toffee malts, there's some yeastiness as well. Not alot going on other than that. Finishes dry with a cocoa aftertaste.

M - Smooth medium body, plenty of carbonation, dry finish.

Well I expected this beer to pour dark so I was surprised to see such a light color. It taste good but it's not great. Glad I tried it but this is probably a one and done.

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Chocolate Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 268 ratings.