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Boatswain Chocolate Stout - Minhas Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Boatswain Chocolate StoutBoatswain Chocolate Stout

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BA SCORE
78
okay

105 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 105
Hads: 369
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 12.06%
Wants: 5
Gots: 48 | 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
View: Beers (107) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 105 | Hads: 369
Photo of BeerDocT
3.86/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the folks who gave us "Simpler Times" beer, comes this different imprint...Boatswain! A bomber of this was under $3 at Trader Joe's in Alpharetta, GA. I had to walk past the weirdo stocking guy who always stares at people to get it, so I hope it is worth it.

-Appearance 3.5: Jet black and opaque, like any self-respecting stout should be. Small tan head formed and faded away into swirls on top.

-Smell 3.75: Nice bouquet of toasted grains, cocoa and barley malt. Bouquet is subdued and pleasing.

-Taste 4.0: The front is slightly sour and smoky. Middle is slightly sweet and then fades quickly into a mountain of a finish that hits you with barley, hops and chocolate. This cascades nicely into a very pleasing finish of smoky grains and light hops. Very good.

-Mouthfeel 4.0: Very nice, full mouthfeel. Carbonation is just right for this style and the added "oomph" from something (probably maltose) makes this an above average experience.

-Overall 3.75: It may be cheap, but it is really good beer. I have had several expensive stouts that are nowhere near as good as this brew. Unfortunately, I think that many people see the price and immediately let their preconceived prejudices do the tasting. Pay the jerks no mind and gleefully pick up this beer and enjoy it with the full knowledge that you are offending the sensibilities of legions of Buddy Holly glasses-wearing Arcade Fire fans. I like this brew and I bet the weirdo stock guy would, too. I think he would give it four out of five "ughs." (1,516 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
2.36/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Type: 22-oz. bomber
Glass: Manzanita pint glass
From: Trader Joe’s in La Mesa (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $1.99
Purchased: April 4, 2013
Consumed: April 6, 2013
Misc.: N/A

Poured a pitch black color with 1-2 fingers of brown head. Light foamy, foggy lacing on the sides. Good retention all the way down.

Smelled dark cocoa, coffee beans, butter and smoky firewood, almost an ashtray.

Got a sharp taste of extremely bitter coffee notes right away. That bitterness lingered on the tongue for quite some time. Still dark cocoa and that smoky fire and ashtray.

Full-to-medium body. Creamy-to-oily texture. Average-to-lively (above average) carbonation. Long, bitter finish.

A bit too smoky, but it was actually better than I thought it would be. And for $1.99 what more can I ask for? (793 characters)

Photo of GossageBrewery
2.97/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured this American Chocolate Stout from a bottle into a pint glass. Poured a dark black color produced an average tan head, below average retention and it left some lacing on the glass. The aroma of this ale consists of roasted grain, chocolate and coffee. Medium bodied, a foundation of roasted grain, chocolate and coffee. Overall, decent beer- to thin for my liking- Better Chocolate Stout's out there. (407 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 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 hreb
3.57/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Cold 22 poured in pint glass. Beer is thick, almost syrupy, and opaque brown, with a fat head of a somewhat paler brown. Nice to look at, though the aroma is only faintly of chocolate and somewhat off-puttingly bitter.

Flavor is chocolate stout right up the middle. Not too sweet, but a distinct chocolate note comes through the body of the stout, though it doesn't dominate. The label claims 66 IBUs, but given how neutral this beer is I suspect there's a lot more sugar in here than I'm tasting. It's really quite balanced. The mouthfeel is a little bit lighter than I'd want in a chocolate stout. And while there's nothing really standing about this beer, the value is fantastic. (683 characters)

Photo of DmanGTR
2.4/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

22oz bottle from Trader Joe's. $2.29, haven't seen a bottle of craft beer so cheap so I figured why not?

Poured very dark, nearly black, with deep garnet hues in the light. Tan bubbly head that remained as a thin cap. Looks decent so far. The aromas are very one dimensional. Reminds me of a biscuit with honey on top getting toasted, with aromas of coffee and cocoa, but a fake, extract-like chocolate. Also, I'm getting a LOT of metallic aromas here, rather off putting. Actually, it is quite off putting. A big bit of booziness despite the lower abv. There is a strange sourness that just doesn't belong here. The flavor starts sweet with malt and chocolate but the sourness creeps up again along with the metallic flavor and kind of ruins it for me. The body is thin and very carbonated. Overall, this beer is plain disappointing. I added a bit of bourbon to see if it makes it any more drinkable but unfortunately, I wasted a couple teaspoons of bourbon. Ended up drain pouring it. (987 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.84/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle with a Boatswain label from TJ’s served in a De Koninck snifter at about 55F.
Pours a very dark brown, clear but looks black in the glass excepting the brown edges. The dark tan head has decent retention and the glass is nicely coated with lacing after each tip. Plenty of dark and medium chocolate in both the aroma and the flavor [near 4]. Excellent sweet/bitter balance, if a tad more hoppy and bitter than usual for a chocolate stout. A hint of licorice lingers into the slightly smoky aftertaste. Creamy smooth medium-full body with excellent carbonation. (576 characters)

Photo of brewcore
3.39/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A: Yields a two finger tan head that dissipates into a thin long lasting sheet of foam. Opaque dark brown in color, no light passes through. Excellent lacing.

S: Faint dark roasted malts, chocolate notes. Alcohol punches through surprisingly strong for a low alcohol stout.

T: The expected flavors from the roasted malts. Coffee and dark chocolate. Nice toastiness comes through. Gets better as the temp rises.

M: Slightly high carbonation for the style but not overpowering. Thin to medium body.

O: Definitely not bad for a three dollar bomber, but I don't think I'll be buying another. (632 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 barczar
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque deep brown with ruby highlights and a fleeitng half inch burnt caramel head that leaves no lacing.

Roast malt, caramel, brown sugar, and chocolate open the aroma, with underlying dark fruit and coffee adding complexity.

Flavor is fairly sweet, with roasty malt kicking in a slightly bitter finish. Chocolate and dark cherries, and coffee are present, with chocolate definitely dominating. There's just a touch of acrid flavor.

Body is a tad syrupy, with low carbonation and slight alcohol warmth.

Overall, on the sweet and syrupy side, but decent roast character...and chocolate...lots of chocolate. Definitely a dessert beer. (646 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A big light brown head takes its time falling into a nice lacing above a clear really dark brown to black colored stout.

Dark roasted malts with some chocolate and coffee, and it seems to almost have the added aroma fresh mashed barley malt.

Coffee and light chocolate within a dark roasted malt grains taste.

A dryish aftertaste without much of the darker roasted grains hanging around on this medium to full bodied beer.

An alright stout, the aroma seems to be better than the taste, but still very drinkable. (515 characters)

Photo of MadScientist
2.68/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Jet black with a creamy, medium-tan head that settles into a ring after about 30 seconds.

S: Moderate aromas of coffee, cocoa, roasted grains and little else. No hops, faint alcohol.

T: Roasty with some of that dark grain bitterness and a husky malt flavor. There is a moderate hops bitterness as well with little flavor hops. There isn't any malt sweetness giving a bitter balance to the beer. The finish is dry and the aftertaste is of a lingering biterness and dark roasted grains.

M: It comes across kind of thin with medium bodied with a moderately-strong carbonation.

O: An average American Stout without much character. (634 characters)

Photo of Aaron_Ramson
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: dark roasted color, almost black. Head did not retain well at all as it flattened almost immediately but left a nice lasting lace on the side of the glass.
S: smells like a coffee truffle with whiskey in it! Very boozy and warm smelling for a 5.4% beer, cocoa and roasted coffee are prevalent, some burnt toast.
T: taste follows the nose with burnt coffee and dark chocolate favors at the forefront. There is a boozy, hard alcohol bite that is peculiar for a beer that is only 5.4%.
M: Medium-heavy mouthfeel, slightly syrupy. Carbonation is good for the style.
O: Not a big fan of the style but surprisingly good and more complex than a $1.99 beer deserves to be. (670 characters)

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 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 MoreThanWine
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 1.5" mocha head with average life. The body is deep dark as coffee. Smell is milder than I expected and with roasted malt but not really any chocolate. Then the taste was the opposite with a good amount of dark chocolate but not really any coffee or roasted malt coming forward. Medium body and medium finish. I still fully enjoyed it, and it was ultracheap at Trader Joe's. (383 characters)

Photo of JMB
2.88/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - dark and thick, what one would expect from a dark stout, head is generous and creamy when poured, dissipates into a minimal ring

S - alcohol prominent with roast and chocolate overtones

T - strong taste - with the alcohol and toast overwhelming the mouth - not subtle or integrated - toasty flavor is more on the burnt side

M - low carbonation - dry in your mouth

Comments: an average stout, slightly too toasty and dry for me, can taste the chocolate and sugar, but it is too subtle and overwhelmed by the roast (521 characters)

Photo of Mosstrooper
3.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Opaque black with a small brown head that dissipates quickly and leaves behind a thick, foamy ring of lace.

Smell: Bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and a slight hint of grassiness.

Taste: Begins with sweet chocolate, which rounds out to more of a dark chcocolate/coffee bitterness before finishing with more sweet chocolate with a faint hop bitterness that balances everything out.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with balanced carbonation and a watery finish that gets a bit stickier as more sips are taken. Not bad at all, but something might be missing in this category.

Overall: The best of the three Boatswain beers I had. Not outstanding, but a solid all-around stout and well worth a drink, especially for $1.99. This would be a great go-to beer when on a budget. (827 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 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 rfbenavi80
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up at Trader Joe's. Most of the time they got some pretty solid beers for a great price. Let's see how this one turns out. Bottle poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a pitch black color, letting absolutely no light through except on the edges where it is a deep brown. It has about 1/2 a fingers width of deep brown head that receded to a very thin cap on top and a ring at the edge of the glass. Pretty good start.

S- Rich smells of strong dark roasted coffee and dark roasted malts. A hint of booziness which is surprising because the ABV is not really high. Not as chocolaty as I expected, which is a good thing.

T- Again, pretty standard American Stout flavors here. Dark roasted coffee, dark roasted malts, more dark chocolate than the nose suggests. But the chocolate is not the dominate flavor here it complements the stout quite well.

M- On the low side of medium body. It does seem a tad too thin. Moderate amount of carbonation.

O- Not too bad at all. Totally worth the 2 buck for this bomber. (1,019 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It seems that my tour of Trader Joe's Boatswain series concludes on a high note. Although my impressions of the others were not favorable, this rich ale raises my enthusiasm a little.

The stout pours like most do- dark brown and nearly opaque. A slight sedimented haze is likely due to the additions of fine cocoa powder. While building a formidable sandy-tan head, the beer laces well with intricate patterns left on the glass.

The usual suspects of robust coffee, chocolate, and burnt woods are all represented in good balance- at least to the nose. But complementary notes of walnut, grain, caramel, and ash play a part in their subsidiarity roles.

Playing both roles of malty-dry and semi-sweet, the flavors of malt and grain seem to retain a moderate level of caramel sweetness that's accompanied by grainy-sweet flavors and low-lying malt taste in support. A mid palate of chocolate and wood give a rounded taste to the roasted malt and caramel flavor while developing into a coffee-like bitterness late. Still an elevated bittersweet chocolate flavor hangs over the beer as it marches over the palate. Yet, the cocoa doesn't make as much of an impact on the beer as the label insinuates- I would have easily believed that the entire chocolate flavor would have come from the roast of malt alone if the label hadn't said otherwise.

The malty-sweet character exists just as well in texture as it does taste and it seems to linger indefinately on the palate without developing any efforts toward dry-malt finish or lifting from the tongue. The residual sweetness clings to the mouth with a sugary weight and never achieves dry refreshment nor savory lingering. It's caught in no man's land and gives cola-like impressions as a final impression.

While the Chocoalte Stout certainly lives up to its namesake, it does little to celebrate what's best about its malt, hop, or chocolate makeup. It's content to live in so-so land of beers. (1,942 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.95/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A $2 chocolate stout? Long live Trader Joe's of Williamsburg, Virginia! 22 oz bottle poured into a tumbler pint glass.

A: Pours a surprisingly thick looking dark burgundy color with faint hints of light coming through. The head is a rather fizzy one finger tan color with low retention and underwhelming texture. Very little lacing.

S: Actually fairly solid. It has a nice roasted malt and coffee profile, but only a hint of chocolate. I didn't expect Choklat (at all), so it's not really disappointing.

T: It doesn't have a huge chocolate presence...rather, it's strong with coffee and roast. Light fruity tones also exist on the back end, with some light hoppiness. You can kind of tell that the brewers cut corners here and there - it has a bit of an unrefined macro lager-esque grain profile, only roasted - but this isn't nasty or undrinkable. I could see myself easily finishing the bomber, and I think I will.

M: Thin bodied and a little watery, with a bone dry finish and moderately strong carbonation. I hate to use the "it drinks like a porter" spiel...but it drinks like a porter. At least its very drinkable.

O: Not bad at all! If this were a $7 bomber, I'd kvetch and whine about this being a failure of a chocolate stout, but considering it was $2, I'd say this is a shockingly decent dark beer. (1,314 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)

Boatswain Chocolate Stout from Minhas Craft Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.