Boatswain Chocolate Stout - Minhas Craft Brewery

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Boatswain Chocolate StoutBoatswain Chocolate Stout

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BA SCORE
78
okay

103 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 103
Hads: 364
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 12.06%
Wants: 5
Gots: 44 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Minhas Craft Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mactrail on 11-20-2011

66 IBU
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Reviews: 103 | Hads: 364
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.1/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a dark brown coloring, thin in appearance, with a ring of light tan film around the surface. Aromas of bittersweet cocoa powder on a rich, roasted backbone. The nose is a bit one-dimensional. Flavors are thin and smooth, with a touch of roast and smoke on the bittersweet chocolate backbone. Slick and light in mouth, the beer has a roasted coffee and mocha aftertaste. Rich, bitter finish...not bad, but lackluster. (470 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.13/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

5.4% ABV confirmed. 650ml brown glass bottle with standard unbranded gold pressure cap and generic bland brown label acquired at Trader Joe's and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. 66 IBU. 14.26 original gravity. "Stout Brewed with Cocoa Powder."

Served cold, straight from the fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger dark tan colour head of nice cream, average thickness, and above average (~3 minute) retention. Body colour is a solid nontransparent opaque black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Light even lacing as the head recedes. Head texture is atypical of a good stout; it's not as creamy, frothy, or soft as I'd want. Overall, it's pretty standard fare for a chocolate stout. There's nothing unique or special here, but I don't notice any overt flaws either.

Sm: Cocoa powder, definitely. Chocolate malt. Dark malts. Lightly earthy roasty character is somewhat present, but doesn't bring a lot of depth. Light earthy coffee grains. Cream. Hop presence is imperceptible; maybe some minimal floral character, but hops here are just to preserve. I get light vague hints of a dark fruit, but nothing truly evocative or interesting. Burnt bready grains. A mild strength aroma, overall - and a generally good one for the style. The chocolate malt doesn't stand out - in fact it's rather generic - but it gets the job done. I'm looking forward to trying it. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Lumpy chocolate is there - lacking refinement and any delicacy of execution whatsoever. Very clumsily handled. Cocoa powder, chocolate malt, dark malts, caramel malts, and overdone floral hop character for the style. Quite imbalanced; this one is a real mess. Haphazard; lacks focus. The notes that are here aren't necessarily bad; it's just poorly put together. Good sweetness/bitterness balance though. I get a sort of wine-esque rich tannin character on the back end; it bothered me initially but I'm warming up to it. Hints of burnt bread. Maybe some weak dark fruit buried beneath the poorly layered malts. It's not boozy, hot, or harsh. No yeast character comes through. As it warms, a bit more of that vague dark fruit pokes through; it's hard to identify but I think it's some sort of stonefruit. This is a mess of a brew, but it has some likable flavours. Overall, I do like it. There's just so much potential for this to be far better than it is.

As it warmed, I started noticing metallic notes coming through. That's a definite issue and may explain why other reviewers have disliked this brew so much.

Mf: Too smooth and wet for a stout; it has quite the case of porter envy. Lacks the creamy character I want from a good stout. Pretty good carbonation. Pretty good presence on the palate. Good thickness. Not rough or scratchy. Approachable. Good body. Not at all hot or warm. Not astringent. Suits the flavour profile generally well, but it needs tweaking.

Dr: A drinkable chocolate stout offered at a very fair price point. It has its flaws, but overall it's rather enjoyable. Very easy to drink; I could and would down a few of these in a session. I'll very contentedly finish the whole bomber by meself. I think many are coming down hard on this beer merely because of where they bought it and/or its price point. I could see this doing very well at a blind tasting.

C+ (3,526 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.13/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Thin black liquid with medium to heavy bubbles on the body. Head is your average tan maybe rising to about one third of an inch .

Smell: Light scent, with notes of mocha but wish there was more to it. Smells more of malt and hops than cocoa.

Taste: Heavy malted for most stouts, light cocoa taste but lacks

Mouth: Not as sticky s I would hope, more bitter towards the direction of a lager with a touch of chocolate.

Overall: Ehh it's okay...has much room for improvement. Not bad but not great either. Nice dinner beer as opposed to the dessert that i would normally crave. Salud! (626 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.14/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle

Thanks for opening this with, Chris!

A dark brown body with no clarity. Minimal light brown head without a lot of visible carbonation. This leaves the glass oily without any real cling.

The aroma is a pleasant enough combination of roasted malt, slight coffee, and cocoa powder.

A very average, unexciting flavor. The roast, chocolate, and coffee elements are present, but are all faraway. There's also a chalk-like chocolate presence that takes away from the overall enjoyment.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Simply average. (550 characters)

Photo of JohnLasher92
3.14/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into my frozen beer mug. The one thing this brew has going for it is the appearance - rich creamy brown foam with small to medium lacing. So dark when I held it up to the afternoon sun you STILL can't see through it. However, this one proves the saying 'you get what you pay for'. Yes, it is definitely a stout. It just lacks depth and has a certain watery body to it. Couldn't taste any chocolate, personally. A bit of creaminess with a slightly hoppy aftertaste. It's drinkable, but I won't be looking out for this one next time I'm in the store. (555 characters)

Photo of viverlee
3.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Always suspicious of BWBs. No, not BBWs, even if there is reason to be. BWBs – “brewed with” beers. The fruity, barely beer category is littered with these obvious offerings. And somewhere lurking behind there always seems to be some brew conglomerate doing it and doing it poorly. I’ve never heard of Rhinelander (or Minhas or whatever it used to be and can’t be bothered to explain on its website) but my local Trader Joe’s is full of em. And this isn’t so obvious, or poorly done.

STYLE: American Stout

ABV: 5.4%

LOOK: We’re not breaking any ground here. Dark but not oily with a brown-butter head.

NOSE: That delicate balance of sweet and bitter and tang. Chocolate cake, vanilla, subtle orange, medium roast coffee.

MOUTH: If it’s possible, almost too easy drinking. I want and indeed need a little bitter bite, preferably at the middle of the end. Just-warm coffee, wisp of smoke, chocolate. Not a game-changer, just solid.

Beeradvocate Rating: 76

ratebeer Rating: 58

Hayward Abbey Rating: 82 (1,025 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Yup, a random Trader Joe's-bred bomber. The price was right, honey. This stuff pours a very deep black-brown topped by a finger of light brown foam. The nose comprises chocolate powder, light roasted malts (bordering on the acrid-ish), and a hint of coffee. The taste holds notes of sharply bitter roasted malts, dry and bitter coffee, and a touch of dark chocolate powder. Everything seems burnt, overly-roasted, and too bitter for its own good. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, an average stout at best, one that really doesn't express all that much chocolate character, and one that goes too bitter and roasted for my tastes. (718 characters)

Photo of BigH75
3.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Remarkably unremarkable beer. Poured out of a 22oz bomber into an Imperial Pint glass. Dark black with mocha colored head. Not much head and no lacing to speak of. First taste is non complex but decent. Mediocre flavor. A tad bit bitter for the style but not overly. Overall it is kind of boring but is perfect if I feel like an American non-imperial stout and don't feel like spending much money. 1.99 at Trader Joes. (418 characters)

Photo of BrewMaven
3.19/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

For $2.29 at Trader Joe's, it's a must try...Unfortunately, you get what you pay for.

Looks good..But taste and aroma are quite lacking. And without a payoff kick, it's not so stout. (183 characters)

Photo of theteleman
3.22/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Purchased from Trader Joes in Carmel Mountain, CA. Pours a dark black with a whiteish coffee colored head that faded quickly. Smell is of chocolate, malts, and kind of an earthy dry malty backbone to round out the nose. First sip, very malty, choclatey, smooth mouthfeel, pretty thin for a stout, but overall pleasant. Some coffee coming through a bit more as it warms up to room temp, balances out nicely with the malts and chocolate. Overall a pretty decent stout, I like that its not too heavy but still has some nice flavors coming through. (544 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.23/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing, Richard.

Pours dark brown in color with a rather sizable tan head. Not a bad aroma, actually. Some chocolate along with roasted malt and a mild toffee sweetness. There might even be a touch of vanilla. The roasted malt is the most dominant flavor, but there is a little bit of toffee and chocolate in there. The vanilla that seemed present on the nose doesn’t really come through at all. The body on this beer is incredibly thin and light. (462 characters)

Photo of ToasterChef
3.23/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A chilled 22 oz bottle is split between two tulip glasses.

This is an opaque dark brown beer with a nice brown foam head. The head only began to rise up once I started to pour the beer vigorously. It has lasted a long time. Once it finally began to settle, it leaves behind good lacing. Some clinging carbonation was visible initially, but the beer is too dark to make out any rising bubbles.

I can smell a good portion of toasted malt and some chocolate, but not as much s I thought I would.

The flavor also doesn't have as much chocolate as I hoped there would be. I can taste a lot of crystal malts. There is a little bit of toast, but not as much as you often find in beers this dark. Chocolate sweetness can be tasted as I swallow.

The beer isn't as thick as I thought it would be. It's certainly a heavy beer, but it doesn't have the same body as a really exceptional stout. Carbonation is average. A sticky coat is left behind.

This stout won't blow you away by any means, but for a sub $3 bomber of stout it's pretty good. (1,036 characters)

Photo of brureview
3.23/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For the money, it's a decent beer($2 and change).

Dark coffee color, 1 finger head. Mild chocolate smell. Mouth feel is quite smooth. The taste is a bit disappointing. Too
much coffee- burnt dark roast . Perhaps stale dark roasted coffee. The coffee taste should be mellowed. A bit of lemon also in the finish.

The beer is better above 50. The coffee taste mellows and there is more lemon.
Nevertheless, a good beer-decent and worth drinking with dinner or when you are not on the mood for a special tasting beer. (515 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.24/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

From the 750 ml. bottle obtained from a Trader Joe's. Sampled on March 11, 2014.

The pour is very nice and dark brown to about black with a modest long lasting tan head. It looks the way a stout should.

They boast that it is brewed with cocoa powder as opposed to just cocoa and that is mainly what I get at first along with some dark malts and a slight buttery sensation. Low hop note.

The body is a little under medium.

I am picking up some chocolate malts and a slightly bitter hop bitterness at the end. But the beer really feels like someone sprinkled some Nestle cocoa mix into the beer. That cocoa powder they boast about on the label tends to become its downfall. (676 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.25/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

$1.99 at Trader Joes, figured this was worth a shot at that price.

Pours a dark flat black color with a decent light brown head that quickly faded, not much lacing.

Aromas are kind of vegetal, with some pronounced cocoa, coconut, and molasses.

Taste is a bit thin, smoky, almost burnt chocolate malts, cocoa, faint sweetness, and a pine hoppy bite on the finish.

Mouthfeel is ok, but thin for the style.

Overall, a pretty decent beer. It's far from great, but it's worth trying with the price tag it has. (511 characters)

Photo of Carolvs
3.25/5  rDev -4.4%

I tasted quite a bit more chocolate than many of the reviewers here, but generally concur that it falls short of what a chocolate stout can be. For the price, not bad at all, but quite a few other comparably-priced Trader Joe's offerings surpass it. (250 characters)

Photo of Apellonious
3.26/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

22 oz bottle, no apparent dating, poured in a tulip glass.

A - Dark black with brown highlights, a one finger tan head that moves to a thin lace.

S - Chocolate nibs (yep, said nibs), some dark fruit, coffee/nut notes, cocoa.

T - Some chocolate, cocoa, almond, and some unsettling smoke/ash on the finish, which ends up dominating the taste

M - Thin in the beginning, and it maintains its thinness as it warms. The carbonation level is moderate, trending to low.

O - Gave it a chance, but it wasn't happening. The chocolate fades fast, and you are left with smoke/ash. (573 characters)

Photo of TruePerception
3.27/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Trader Joe's Boatswain Chocolate Stout, brewed with cocoa powder. 5.4% ABV.

A: Light brown head. Utterly black, with very dark brown in the dimple, and the slightest golden brown glow underneath

S: Very dark powdered cocoa, bordering on coffee. Toasted almond? Not sure on that one.

T/MF: Very dark chocolate, with a hint of coffee.

Nothing special. Solid enough, though. Especially given the price.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass. (461 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.28/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Black and totally opaqe with a 1/4 inch dark brown head and good retention

Smell: Nice amount of cocoa nibs greets you right away. Some roasted malt is hiding behind the cocoa

Taste: The flavor actually works opposite of the nose with the roasted malt and ash notes being upfront and the beer finishes with some chocolate

Mouthfeel: A bit on the thin side and a tad bit too much carbonation

Overall: This beer is a pretty solid beer nothing spectacular but the simple fact that it is only $1.99 a bomber will keep me purchasing it more often. I can honestly say that this beer might give you the most bang for your buck (630 characters)

Photo of Popp24
3.28/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I had the version of this beer bottled as Underworld Brewing Chocolate Stout. I researched online that this is the same beer as that one. They carry this beer at Fresh & Easy and sell (2) 22 oz. bottles bundled together for 2.99 so for the price I thought why not try it.

A - Dark brown with about a finger khaki head that thins out quickly.

S - Not much going on here. I get some roasted coffee smells but no chocolate.

T - You definitely can taste the chocolate on this one. You can tell it's cocoa powder they use and not actual chocolate. I get some coffee flavors as well.

M - Very thin for a stout.

O - Not the greatest thing in the world but for the price it's not that bad and I would get it again. (712 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
3.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Allagash glass on 9/3/12

The beer is a dark, scorched brown that settles near black. A one finger head starts off smooth but has an ending appearance of very fine sand paper. Overall retention is thin but it lasts the whole time. Decent lace, too.

The nose takes a toot toot for the old snoot snoot of powder and melds it with roasted grains and a faint nutty twinge, resulting in a pretty decent smelling, chocolate-forward stout. The taste has a much more tangy roast, especially upfront and the tanginess is pushed to the forefront by a thinnish body and bristly carbonation. Beyond the initial fussiness are more pleasant flavors of dry, roasted chocolate and subtle earthiness. Swirling out the carbonation pulls some of the tangy flavors from up front and shows off a body that is smooth and a slightly more pronounced than originally displayed.

This is the best of the Boatswain Four, hands down. It isn't spectacular, but I find it tastes fairly good and it's easy to drink. Great price, too. (1,018 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$1.99 at Trader Joe's. How could I pass that up?

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Foamy thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, chocolate syrup, and some dark cocoa powder. Taste is of dark roasted malt, unsweetened cocoa beans, and some slight coffee bean flavors. There is a slightly sour and roasty bitter flavor to this beer as well. This beer has a crisp carbonation with a bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good stout especially for the price but not worth buying again in my opinion. (617 characters)

Photo of beerenjoyer1
3.31/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A Nice and dark with some foam. There is some lacing also which shows some good involved.

S Not as much aroma of chocolate but some malt, and some hops.

T More malt and hop taste than chocolate. Still a nice coffee flavor quite what I expected in a chocolate stout.

M A nice mouthful for a regular stout but not quite as thick a mouthfeel I expected in a chocolate stout.

O A nice beer but I would to see some more thick taste of chocolate along with the coffee, malts, and hops. (483 characters)

Photo of tito42
3.32/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Trader Joe's purchase poured from 650 mL (22 oz.) bottle to an imperial pint.

A: Color of fresh motor oil, nearly opaque. Thick, foamy cocoa-colored head.

S: Roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, slight molasses.

T: Roasted malt, instant coffee, plum, milk chocolate, grassy hops.

M: Medium bodied with a decently bitter hops finish and a tangible drying of the palate.

O: Overall a decent chocolate stout, but not quite what you would expect in the bomber packaging and for the price, even at Trader Joe's. Brewed with "cocoa powder," and the taste beckons a less than stellar ingredient quality. Nevertheless, nothing is below average about this brew. (650 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.33/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

22 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours very dark brown with about a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. The brew smells like roasted/grainy malt, bittersweet and milk chocolate, along with a bit of coffee. Taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but the dominant flavor is roasted/grainy malt, with some cocoa powder/bittersweet chocolate noticeable too. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit slick with moderate carbonation. Not a bad overall beer. Can't complain much when it's $1.99 a bomber (from Trader Joe's of course). Worth a try at that price. (610 characters)

Boatswain Chocolate Stout from Minhas Craft Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.