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Boatswain Chocolate Stout - Minhas Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Boatswain Chocolate StoutBoatswain Chocolate Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

107 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 107
Hads: 383
Avg: 3.36
pDev: 30.06%
Wants: 5
Gots: 55 | 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 (111) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 107 | Hads: 383
Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.97/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown, almost black (just a hint of deep mahogany at the edges). Head was 1 finger of light brown, but it faded fairly quickly and left little lacing.

S: A mixture of aromas, appearing one after the other: Burnt sugar, muscato grapes, coffee, and faint cocoa notes.

T: Initially a strong mixture of sweet malt and acidic coffee; grape jam joins them shortly. Tangy, fruity flavors dominate for a moment, then fade to leave bitter coffee mixing with bitter chocolate, with just a hint of hops tang lingering.

M: Carbonation is fair, but the overall feel is a bit thin for a stout. Just the slightest bit of dryness in the finish.

O: Smell and taste are a mixture of coffee (more than chocolate) stout and imperial stout, although the mouth-feel is more like a medium porter. Good on its own account, and excellent for the price point.

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Photo of Mavigo
3.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured a 650ml bottle of this into my 1L stein.

A: Pours a almost opaque dark brown-black color with a short beige head with minimal lacing.

S: Smells of barley, malts, dark sugars, hints of coffee and chocolate

T: Was really expecting more chocolate flavor, barley predominates, hints of coffee and chocolate at best.

M: Full bodied beer with medium amounts of carbonation, bit lacking on flavor

O: Overall it's alright, bit lacking in most aspects but still it wasn't bad. Could drink quite a few of these but I would keep my socks on. I'd recommend though, well, well worth the price, I only paid $2 for it from trader joes, same amount for a stinky coke from a vending machine.

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Photo of olilitewu
3.37/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

S: Doesn't smell of anything. maybe because i cooled the beer too much

T: hoppy bitterness. chocolate, but closer to burned Cocoa, coffee tone. Malty. pleasant sweet after taste

M:very smooth to taste. Not bad mouth feel

Overall: not bad, but i wish there were more richness like European stouts. I would drink this over Iguanita's cappucino stout any day.

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Photo of stonewild
3.84/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was not expecting much of this Trader Joes beer. Boatswain is a nice balanced stout . Roasted and chocolate malt is there and not too strong. Creamy brown head with a sweet chocolate smell.
I enjoyed drinking the Boatswain beer and will buy it again. If you're looking for a knock you down malt or a hoppy beer, look else where. Boatswain surprised me as an excellent drinking stout beer at a excellent price point.

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Photo of scratch69
3.4/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Almost black color with a finger and a half worth of lingering tan head. Fair amount of lacing.

Smell- Faint aroma of dark roasted malt and chocolate.

Taste- Dark roasted malt flavor with dark chocolate notes and a cocoa aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- On the heavy side of medium bodied and smooth with an average amount of carbonation.

Overall- This is not a mind blowing stout but it is a good one especially for the price ($2.50 a bottle).

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very dark brown, almost black; huge, frothy light brown head

Aroma: Roasted grains; coffee; slight chocolate

Taste: Light chocolate on start with quick turn to roasted grains; smoky profile in the mid; thin throughout; finishes slightly bitter and semi-sweet; interesting, but not impressive

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of tito42
3.32/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into a tulip

A- Pours surprisingly black. A small off brown colored head with little retention.

S- Big chocolate, roasted malt and coffee. A bit of caramel and on the sweet side. A roasted coffee forward flavor. A nice smelling brew.

T- A bitter sweetness up front. A roasted malt takes over and a nice addition of coffee as well. The cocoa isnt very sharp in this beer but does provide a solid base to the beer and adds a lot to the brew overall. Its fairly bitter/sweet and is fairly well balanced.

M- A bit light on feel. A sweeter beer. I think there may be lactose sugar.

O- Don't expect a lot from this beer but I got a bottle for $2.50 which is unbeatable.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.33/5  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.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.08/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Boatswain Chocolate Stout is a black ale with a slightly reddish cast. The smooth, dense, brown head has decent retention. It has a roasted aroma with notes of coffee, dark chocolate and toffee. It feels smooth and full bodied with a clean, dry finish. A little grit is left on the teeth. There's a hint of sweetness, but it's dry overall. The chocolate flavor is very dark and pretty subtle. There's a bit of caramel going on mid-taste. The chocolate is probably most prominent in the dusty aftertaste. The bitterness is very subdued and is just enough to balance things out. This is a very solid, drinkable and enjoyable stout.Boatswain Chocolate Stout is a black ale with a slightly reddish cast. The smooth, dense, brown head has decent retention. It has a roasted aroma with notes of coffee, dark chocolate and toffee. It feels smooth and full bodied with a clean, dry finish. A little grit is left on the teeth. There's a hint of sweetness, but it's dry overall. The chocolate flavor is very dark and pretty subtle. There's a bit of caramel going on mid-taste. The chocolate is probably most prominent in the dusty aftertaste. The bitterness is very subdued and is just enough to balance things out. This is a very solid, drinkable and enjoyable stout.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.41/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black with tawny brown highlights. Rich head of foamy suds. Thick tree-line lace.

Nose is cocoa. Simply put, cocoa. Not bad at all.

Taste is definitely overwhelmingly chocolate. I get a silky milk chocolate character more as this brew warms up. Not a complex nor multi-dimensional ale, but decent enough.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.13/5  rDev -6.8%
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.


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Photo of BeerDocT
3.86/5  rDev +14.9%
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."

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Photo of BucannonXC5
2.36/5  rDev -29.8%
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?

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Photo of GossageBrewery
2.97/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

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Photo of viverlee
3.16/5  rDev -6%
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

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Photo of ToasterChef
3.23/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of hreb
3.57/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of DmanGTR
2.4/5  rDev -28.6%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
3.84/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

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Photo of brewcore
3.39/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of BigH75
3.18/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of barczar
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.65/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of MadScientist
2.68/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

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Boatswain Chocolate Stout from Minhas Craft Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.