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: 365
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: 365
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 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 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 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 NeroFiddled
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Boatswain Chocolate Stout
22 oz. brown glass bottle, coded "15 339 15"
$2.49 @ Trader Joe's #766, Tampa, FL

Although this beer appears to be contract brewed at the mighty Minhas Brewery, the label reads "BREWED & BOTTLED BY: RHINELANDER BREWING CO., LLC. MONROE WI 53566". I've contacted Rhinelander about the illegality of this labeling but have not heard back.

Notes: Distinctly chocolatey with a decisive bittersweet dark chocolate character. Some fruit and roasted character appears as well, both in the aroma and the flavor. The grassy and leafy hops, as might be expected for the style, are relegated to a background role. Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level that leaves it with a delicate caress before smoothly passing. Balanced. Pleasant but still somehow lacking. (787 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Brewed with cocoa powder," which seems to accentuate the malty sweetness. Has a nice dose of hops, though I would question the 66 IBU claimed on the label. Modest bitter aftertaste. Nice appearance, from the dark mahogany color to the lacing swirling along the tulip glass. Really quite well balanced, from the touch of candy to the hoppy bite. Light body with a pleasant carbonation in the mouth. Nose of chocolate and burnt barley. Really not a bad beer.

From the 22 oz bottle. Another beer sold by Trader Joe's and brewed at the old Huber brewery in Monroe, Wisconsin. Label says "Rhinelander Brewing Co." (612 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 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 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 johnnnniee
3.42/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Santa
Pours a solid black with a smallish tan head.Aromas heavy on the roast and coffee and light on the chocolate as advertised. Bits of caramel and dark fruit round out the nose. The flavor is a slightly sweet roasty coffee malt beverage. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet roasty mouthfeel. Decent beer, but a bit one dimensional and not nearly enough chocolate of malty sweetness to make me think of chocolate. (452 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.8/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is now being sold by Fresh & Easy in California under a different name.

Labeled "Underworld Brewing Chocolate Stout" it is the same beer.

Nearly lightproof beer with a small brown colored head.

Smell is strongly of coca powder with a fairly sweet scent. Smells like a Milk Stout patent malt and coffee in addition to the coca powder. Little bit of toasted grain scent but mostly this smells of chocolate.

Starts out mildly sweet with a strong charred grain flavor. Get sweeter as you drink it and the chocolate taste really comes on strong. Tastes like Milk Stout with a slight smoke and coffee taste, but this is really a chocolate beer.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall the best beer yet from Fresh & Easy. Two bombers of this for $5.99, a good deal on a tasty beer. (778 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 LiquidAmber
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours a very dark brown, appearing opaque black in the glass. Thin brown head and thick ring around the glass with light lacing. Aroma of sweet toasted malt and light chocolate, pretty nice. Flavor is toasted malt with slight char, coffee and light chocolate with a bitter, somewhat astringent finish. Light to medium bodied. Delivers well what it promises; a cheap, decently made chocolate stout. All the flavor notes are there, but a bit thin on body and sharp and undifferentiated bitterness in the finish. A decent inexpensive light stout. (580 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.35/5  rDev -1.5%

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass. Another contract-brewed Trader Joe's offering.

Appearance: dark brown with lots of haze. Head pours a finger of creamy tan foam with great retention and a nice lace. A great looking beer, really.

Smell: subtle aroma of lightly sweet malt with some roasty qualities. Chocolate is minimal, but can sort of be distinguished.

Taste: lightly roasty malt flavor, with a little sour astringency. Rather homebrew-ey in its flavor, the chocolate is low-key but raw in nature. Not the satisfyingly silky treat that a chocolate stout should be. That said, it's mostly inoffensive.

Mouthfeel: medium body with an OK carbonation and a raspy creaminess. Not too bad, I guess.

Overall: it is unfortunate, but this doesn't seem like a super high quality beer. It's not horrible or anything, but a chocolate stout can be so much more than this. (889 characters)

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

A - Black bodied stout, no detectable light passing through. A light brown head foaming up when poured, but quickly fading to lace and a few mini islands of bubbles.

S - Nose of mineral water, sweet and metallic. Faint notes of roasted grain and sourdough.

T - A light flavor profile, with some sweet and mild chocolate, hints of roasty malts. Light sweet mineral water, some dry grain.

M - Very light bodied for a stout, its clean and crisp with a mildly dry end. Very drinkable.

O - A drinkable stout, with this light feel and subtle flavors. (548 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 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)

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 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 notchucknorris
3.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with a nice light brown foamy head. The head recedes a little too quickly though and completely disappears.

S: Tootsie roll, subtle yeast notes, marzipan, chocolate and a bit of spiciness.

T: Roasted malt, some powdery cocoa powder and a hint of earthy hops on the finish. For me, the taste was a little too one-dimensional and it got old before the bottle was through. Still, at $1.99, this is an absolute steal. Very worth the price. (447 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 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 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 RonaldTheriot
3.52/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Boatswain Chocolate Stout has a thick, soapy, beige head, a very dark-brown (essentially, black) appearance, some stray, ascending bubbles appearing on the sides of the glass, and a thin lacing sheen. The aroma is of sweet, malty, dark bread, char, a touch of chocolate, and some cream. Taste is of those elements, with a mellow bitterness. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, and Boatswain Chocolate Stout finishes semi-wet and easy drinking.

RJT (445 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)

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