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Chocolate Ale - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Chocolate AleChocolate Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

709 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 709
Reviews: 237
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 16.94%
Wants: 51
Gots: 145 | 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)
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Ratings: 709 | Reviews: 237 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0


3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

08-26-2012 20:17:14 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at his birthday tasting.

Batch 2010-2. Best by 9/2011.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, cocoa, and a nutty aroma. Taste is much the same with cocoa and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some interesting aromas and flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 03:11:01 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -19.4%

01-12-2012 21:29:52 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429


3.05/5  rDev -18%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 13:58:55 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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

Note: February 2010 vintage

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2013 02:52:46 | More by metter98
Photo of nmann08

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +7.5%

11-15-2011 21:49:11 | More by nmann08
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another new one for me, i decided to open this one after i finished off the fresh harvest and decanted it into a snifter.

A thick head of brown forms on the top and quickly starts to coalesce into a full on cloud that just will not drop away. Really nicely put together as always the rich dark chocolate aroma mixes with tons of coffee and burnt molasses to form a thick and foreboding aroma that really just does not cease to amaze. Decadent in every sense of the word it just seems to drip layer upon layer of thick dark chocolate onto the palate and hints of bourbon, coffee, licorice all follow suit. Light vanilla and molasses round out the finish

overall a really nice done beer. came across to me as more of a belgian ris.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2011 01:19:18 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 02:08:16 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A inquisitive ale that's as drinkable as it is decadent. With medium-strength chocolate at the forefront, the beer never shys away or overwhelms the caramel-rich base beer.

The beer pours a copper-orange color that reminds me of caramel coloring. A light haze penetrates the liquid with particles of yeast and chocolate. Very well-headed, especially because the chocolate oils usually prohibit proper foam or lace. A very nice looking beer, even with the inconsistent haze.

Grainy-sweet aromas carry a lot of caramel aroma. A lightly tart grain character makes me think of tanins. Mildly fruity with peach and appricot, the beer's aromas go in a lot of different directions, albeit with medium intensity throughout.

Flavors start with a mildly chocolatey note, but moreso of caramel and peanut brittle. But as the beer crosses the middle of the tongue, a weighted flavor of true chocolate emerges. The balance of chocolate to English-like (toffee) malts is exquisite; not waxy milk chocolate, but not bitter cocoa either. Medium richness in chocolate taste is met with medium hop bitterness for balance and drinkability. The balance allows the hop bitterness to fade and allow a linger of chocolate to reside in aftertaste. A delicious and well balanced beer.

The body of this beer is tricky. Medium creaminess comes via carbonation, but the chocolate taste gives the impression of richness or more robust character. But as the carboation subsides, the beers chocolate and caramel sweetness becomes heavier while the warm alcohols bring in a lightly oily and semi-dry finish.

The most impressive part about the beer is how it retains its beery malt and hop profile. The chocolate additions are flamboyant decoration that command attetion throughout, but the base beer anchors the chocolate very well. It's nice to see chocolate represented in a beer other than a porter or stout.

Thanks BlueOkie!

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2011 00:25:47 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of acurtis

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +7.5%

06-09-2013 15:44:21 | More by acurtis
Photo of womencantsail


3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The cork was very difficult to get out, but eventually it was freed. The beer pours an amber/copper color with a finger or so of tan head.

S: At first, this beer doesn't really smell like chocolate. As it warms up a bit, there is a bit of a cocoa powder aroma to it. Smells a bit salty, almost like soy sauce, though. Definitely a bit of vanilla.

T: This beer really just reminds me of drinking cream soda. A ton of sweet vanilla flavor throughout with a moderate chocolate character to it.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high carbonation.

O: Not at all what I was expecting given the name of "Chocolate Ale".

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 05:48:32 | More by womencantsail
Photo of kjkinsey


4/5  rDev +7.5%

12-02-2011 22:42:28 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Courses from the bottle a clouded, amber-hued body with a fizzy head that peters out fairly rapidly.

Smell: Not quite the straight-up chocolate candy bar scent of alot of chocolate-infused beers, as this one has a strong toasted bread component. Small, small hint of fruit.

Taste: My initial impression of a slice of well-toasted white bread brushed with Smucker's chocolate topping. Some sweet tastes of brown sugar and caramel follow. Low fruitiness lingering in there. Still, it's mostly toasty and that Smucker's taste, and, as a guy who'd eat that for breakfast as a kid (thanks, mom and dad), I'm down with that.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: It definitely masks its alcohol content well, and, with a taste like Smucker's...

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2011 20:25:48 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Texasfan549


4.5/5  rDev +21%

11-17-2011 02:40:51 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of jaydoc


3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

10-28-2013 02:09:01 | More by jaydoc
Photo of kylehay2004


3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

06-26-2014 03:16:17 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of spycow


3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

03-09-2013 23:57:23 | More by spycow
Photo of GRG1313


3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

09-08-2013 00:34:07 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85


4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out as a nice looking golden color with a white head on top. The smell of the beer was very nice, it had a chocolate aroma that was subtle but dominant at the same time, very interesting. The taste of the beer was very interesting also, the chocolate was in there for sure but yet it seemed natural and not overly sweet or artificial tasting. It's much more natural tasting that Southern Tier's Choklat. The mouthfeel was nicely carbonated and was medium bodied. Overall I was really impressed with this brew. I would enjoy having this one again someday.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2012 05:17:54 | More by Knapp85
Photo of TMoney2591


4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Thanks to jl28r1 for this bottle!

Kinda wish I had this handy whilst taking down the Box o' Chocolates those times. Oh, well... Regardless, it pours a clear sunrise russet topped by a healthy finger of khaki froth. Honestly, I expected something darker. Not that this looks bad, just unexpected. The nose is pretty much straight dark chocolate, with a hint of fudge in the background. This ain't no sweet chocolate, either: It's brash, slap-you-in-your-sad-little-sweet-expecting-face bitter cooking chocolate, baby. Dizzamn. The taste doesn't change things up very much, though the chocolate's bitterness seems cut a bit. It's still quite a bit of some black-hole-style dark chocolate, don't get me wrong. I think some dark greens and some rich toffee are mixed in there as well, but it's hard to tell with all of this chocolate hangin' 'round here. Not bad, really. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a feel that yearns to be chewy. Overall, a tasty brew that definitely lives up to its name. Sure, it's a one-trick pony, but it's a pretty decent trick...

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2011 05:28:50 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of zeff80


3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Looks like a slightly cloudy amber ale. It had a small, off-white head of soapy foam. It left very little lace.

S - It smelled of cocoa and a little cola. Some mild floral notes.

T - It tasted of cocoa and cola with a nutty flavor. Vanilla presence gets stronger and stronger as it continues to warm.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a sneaky ABV.

D - This tastes good, but it must be shared. It is too much to handle as a 750ml beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2011 22:47:24 | More by zeff80
Photo of JAHMUR


3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

05-13-2012 22:52:14 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 2/17/2012 at British Beer Company, in Walpole, MA served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is all chocolate along with some caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste likewise is all chocolate up front and chocolate throughout which is surprising given the lighter color of the beer compared to other beers with the heavy chocolate flavor. The malt character is hearty and the hops presence is mild but complementary creating a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry but slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style in that this beer is exactly what the name implies, it’s not a stout, it’s a chocolate ale.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2012 04:21:15 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell


3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Fred at the Biergarten in Jenks for setting aside a bottle for me!

Pours an effervescent amber with a pinky of sand colored head into a Boulevard Smokestack goblet. Opened with a big pop! Above average head retention & some lacing

S: Cocoa nibs & vanilla, faded over time

T: Follows the nose, slight cakeyness, reminds me of slightly boozey cake batter to be more specific. Booze & cocoa dance as this warms along with dryness, a slight hazel nuttyness & woody hop bitterness, piney notes too. Finishes with cocoa powder dryness, slight apricot fruitiness from the yeast fights through at the end along with a bit more hazel nut

MF: Medium bodied fairly assertive carbonation, nice warming sensation, working for me on a cool damp winter's eve

Drinks very easy for the style & ABV. Tasty, but not mind blowing, I would be just as happy with another bottle of Ommegang's Chocolate offering. This one actually could age into something better, I'm thinking. Since I only got the 1 bottle, I may never know...

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2011 02:52:06 | More by russpowell
Photo of Kegatron


3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml corked & caged bottle into a couple of glasses.

Pours a clear rosy amber, topped with a ½ finger of smooth off-white head. This leaves back a foamy cascade of light spotty lacing that quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of earthy hops, cocoa, light toffee and a gentle toasted nuttiness. This has an interesting mix of flavors going on with it.

The taste is green earthy hops, more of a softer fruitiness that pairs up well with the cocoa accents here, some tangier feeling caramel flavor and then finally dry and bitter on the finish with a light lingering nuttiness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth and creamy feel up front that then lays a touch of sharpness on the tongue the rest of the way. Alcohol adds some spicy warmth to this, especially on the finish.

This wasn’t what I was initially thinking this was going to be (thought it was going to be darker) but that was OK! I liked how the chocolate here was more of a complimentary flavor to the others things that were going on with this, while the higher alcohol gives this a heft that made it more of a warming after dinner sipper. This was well crafted and interesting.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2012 14:01:30 | More by Kegatron
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Chocolate Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 709 ratings.