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Boatswain Chocolate Stout - Minhas Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Boatswain Chocolate StoutBoatswain Chocolate Stout

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BA SCORE
75
okay

302 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 302
Reviews: 89
rAvg: 3.28
pDev: 16.77%
Wants: 2
Gots: 24 | 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:
66 IBU

(Beer added by: mactrail on 11-20-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 302 | Reviews: 89 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -8.5%

t0rin0, Nov 04, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.28/5  rDev 0%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
3.48/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

BEERchitect, Jul 31, 2012
Photo of womencantsail
3.2/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

womencantsail, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of kylehay2004
3/5  rDev -8.5%

kylehay2004, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
3.15/5  rDev -4%
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.

TMoney2591, Nov 14, 2012
Photo of largadeer
2/5  rDev -39%

largadeer, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of SocalKicks
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

SocalKicks, Jul 02, 2012
Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

nickfl, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of oline73
2.75/5  rDev -16.2%

oline73, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of mactrail
3.8/5  rDev +15.9%
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."

mactrail, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of mendvicdog
3/5  rDev -8.5%

mendvicdog, Jun 30, 2014
Photo of kojevergas
3.11/5  rDev -5.2%
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+

kojevergas, May 03, 2013
Photo of duceswild
2.75/5  rDev -16.2%

duceswild, Jul 01, 2014
Photo of Zorro
3.83/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Zorro, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of LXIXME
3.63/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

LXIXME, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of tdm168
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

tdm168, Mar 14, 2014
Photo of chinchill
3.84/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

chinchill, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +22%

dmorgan310, Jul 23, 2012
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.08/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

GarthDanielson, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of johnnnniee
3.4/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

johnnnniee, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.56/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

LiquidAmber, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of flagmantho
3.35/5  rDev +2.1%

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.

flagmantho, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.25/5  rDev -0.9%

GraduatedCashew, Aug 29, 2013
Photo of bluejacket74
3.31/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

bluejacket74, May 24, 2013
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Boatswain Chocolate Stout from Minhas Craft Brewery
75 out of 100 based on 302 ratings.