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Chocolate Thunder Porter - General Lafayette Inn & Brewery

Not Rated.
Chocolate Thunder PorterChocolate Thunder Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

68 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 68
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 12
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
General Lafayette Inn & Brewery
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-14-2001)
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Ratings: 68 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by thethrone:
Photo of thethrone


4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes to to ClockworkOrange for shipping me this growler

A - Pours a dark, dark brown with foamy dark tan head. Some wet spotty lacing.

S - The name doesn't lie, smells of chocolate and roasted malts.

T - Taste follows the smell, as it starts off with bitersweet chocolate, and follows with a roasted coffee flavor.

M - Medium bodied, low carbonation. Very nice, kind of a cross between a porter and a stout.

D - A great sweet porter. Well worth trying if you are fortunate enough to get the opportunity.

Serving type: growler

10-14-2008 04:22:37 | More by thethrone
More User Reviews:
Photo of dgherm


3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

08-01-2013 12:54:15 | More by dgherm
Photo of nmann08

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

12-05-2011 01:01:05 | More by nmann08
Photo of deapokid


4/5  rDev -1.2%

11-25-2011 20:43:35 | More by deapokid
Photo of Knapp85


4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is something to be proud of in this area. I needed an extra bottle to fill a 6 pack so I grabbed this local brew that I had never heard of before. I opened this one after dinner one night and it was a good call on my part. The beer poured out as a pretty thick looking black color with a strong tan head on top. The smell was very chocolatey for sure, very glad I wasn't mixing this with a meal. The taste is sweet and creamy like a milk chocolate bar, the roasted malts give off a little bitterness in the back end. The mouthfeel is thick and smooth. Overall I found this stout to be very nice and would enjoy visiting the brewery one day since it's so close to where I live.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2011 20:01:30 | More by Knapp85
Photo of mikereaser


3.05/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a pitch black with alot of brown foam that quickly rose and resulted in me doing the foam suck to keep it off the floor.
S - well it has hints of chocolate but also a bit of sourness creeping in. I've had this one in my fridge since I bought it and that was quite a while ago. As in the other review, I'm thinking this one is infected. I'm guessing the fridge has kept it from expanding beyond the sourness that is there.
T - taste follows the aroma unfortunately, there is definitely some sourness in this one. There is some chocolate but the sourness takes over in a bad way.
M - At this point, I don't think its worth reviewing further. I had this before and didn't have this problem. I remember it being alot smoother and enjoyable
D - From what I remember, it was very enjoyable. I'm not even sure if they're brewing anymore, but I guess i'll see if I can find another sample to review from and edit this one.

I'm going to give it an average reivew and hope to re-review.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 05:03:22 | More by mikereaser
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

1.68/5  rDev -58.5%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle: Poured a dark porter with a super huge medium brown foamy head with super great retention and lacing - almost to the point where I am wondering if something is wrong. Aroma of sour roasted malt is not very enticing and smells like an infection. Taste is way too sour or style. Unfortunately this one is infected and I will have to re-rate at some point in time.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2011 02:31:22 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of JAXSON


3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 rate.

On tap at the brewpub. Pretty dark brown with a milkshake, kind of pinkish, tan head. I don't know if I was imagining the pinkish tint to the head, but it wasn't my thing. Aroma of bitter chocolate and coffee. Taste was bitter coffee beans, faint sugarless chocolate, but a good bit of cloying sweetness coming from somewhere else. Once I could get past the sweetness the bitter kick was very enjoyable. Too much sweetness overall. Mouthfeel was pretty thick and creamy. Decent.

Serving type: on-tap

01-25-2011 03:41:32 | More by JAXSON
Photo of yobeerman


4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- This brew is thick and dark with a full creamy tan head. After a few minutes the head dissipated to a thin coating.

S- The nose is subdued with an aroma of chocolate, burnt malt, and coffee.

T- This is a real good porter! The taste of a ton of roasted malts and chocolate is apparent. This would make an excellant desert drink.

M- This brew is full bodied and super creamy. "Chewy" would be a good description.

D- What a memorable porter. I'll definitly have this one again. Worth trying.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2010 19:50:43 | More by yobeerman
Photo of morimech


3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 3

Very dark pour with a huge brown head that quickly settled to a thick cap. Not much for lacing with this one. Wonderful aroma of coffee, milk and bitter chocolate, and a touch of smoke. The flavor does not equal the aroma however. Smoke upfront with chocolate and coffee flavors coming in the finish. Slightly sour as well. The body is not as big and "chewy" as I would like but has a nice soft carbonation that lends a good texture. Some good things going on here but I was let down a little by the smoke and sour in the flavor and the lighter body.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 16:50:41 | More by morimech
Photo of oglmcdgl


4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A pint on cask at the laf. Thanks for making such a great brew.

A- comes to me with a finger of super dense creamy tan head that vanishes to a mirror finish.

S- dark chocolate and brownie batter. Slight hints of hops and burnt malts. Rather subdued in the nose but its all there.

T- oh boy this is what a porter should be. Roasted malts and lots of cocoa powder. Shoe fly pie and fresh baked scones. Its just so simple and so perfectly done.

M- thick and creamy. Chewy and viscous it coast the palate and leaves things to be discovered. Dope shit to say the least.

D- well I've been able to drink one after the other on this brew and its never gotten dull. Super ill brew by some super ill folks.

Serving type: cask

05-01-2010 03:10:02 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark dark brown color with an inch of tan head. No retention, little carbonation evident.

s - Smells of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, and maybe a little bit of vanilla.

t - First taste that jumps out is a bitter chocolate. Also tastes of coffee and roasted malts.

m - Full body and medium carbonation.

d - Overall I thought this was a decent porter. I enjoyed the smell a little more than the taste; would have liked it to be a little sweeter, but none the less still a very solid porter.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2010 02:41:07 | More by mdfb79
Photo of krisandajt


3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This here is a bottle I picked up from Abe's, tossed in the fridge, and simply forgot about. A welcome treat, indeed.

Appearance: With an easy pour into my Duvel glass I can see a dark, black, viscous brew with a surprisingly massive amount of creamy, coffee colored head. The massiveness of the head fades quickly, and settles down to a small, thin ring where the beer meets the glass. As I swirl the beer in the glass there's some nice soapy rings of lacing clinging to the sides.

Smell: There's a subtle hint of some bitter chocolate. Not quite sweet like milk chocolate, but more like the chocolate you would use for baking. There's also a slight roasted characteristic to it.

Taste: The chocolate is much more pronounced here. Definitely a bitter, cooking chocolate kind of taste. The roasted characteristic I detected in the smell is also more pronounced, and it reminds me a little bit like slightly burnt coffee.

Mouthfeel: A well rounded porter. Good carbonation, nice medium body, and smooth drinking.

Drinkability: Not a shabby porter. A bit too mild for my tastes, but very drinkable nonetheless. I would recommend trying it if you have the chance, but I wouldn't go too far out of my way to score a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2010 23:43:58 | More by krisandajt
Photo of mgbickel


3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass. Formed a very nice, fizzy 2 finger head, the color of peanut brittle. Quick dissipation down to a micro layer of film leaving zero lace behind. The body is thick and black, very slight amber edges can be seen when held up at eye level.

Pretty complex nose...dark coffee and milk chocolate (or maybe a mocha flavored coffee drink) up front. Caramel and a strange tobacco like smell in the background. All on a roasted malt backbone.

The first sip brings a black coffee flavor into the mouth. This is followed by a chocolate flavor that I can best describe as concentrated Hershey's syrup (straight from the squeeze bottle). The syrup flavor lingers all the way through the after taste. The roasted malts are present pretty much throughout the entire drink.

The mouth feel is medium and creamy with mild carbonation.

This is drinkable, but I would personally tune down the chocolate syrup and turn up the roasted coffee flavorings. Will drink again...

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 16:16:04 | More by mgbickel
Photo of ThatWineGuy

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes taken from a recent hotel stay while on business, a short hotel glass not ideal. This porter is darker than cola, momentary tan head, slight ring and ribbon lace. There is a strong mocha and chocolate aroma. Taste is nutty espresso, sweet chocolate, very rich and full flavoured. This beer has great balance with IBU's weighing in nicely, there is a good balance and a smooth, velvety mouthfeel. Aftertaste is equally rewarding and lingers, bitter chocolate notes emerge with air and warming. Overall a superb and memorable chocolate porter, if this were available in Ontario, I would never be without a few in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2009 04:36:18 | More by ThatWineGuy
Photo of joepais


3.35/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to FooFaa for this extra. 12 oz bottle poured into a tulip produced two fingers worth of coco colored head that just stays around. The body is a midnight black. The aroma of the brew is strong roasted malts, big dark chocolate and espresso notes as well.

Flavor is very similar to the nose. The flavors of espresso and dark chocolate come thru very bitter not to much sweetness in this brew at all. It has a medium feel in my mouth with good carbonation almost too much for the style.

A good porter easy to drink on this rainy Sunday

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2009 18:40:06 | More by joepais
Photo of prismbeer


4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap as one of the first samples from the general and LOVE this beer. Great flavor in this beer. If you love porters or are new to them this beer will make both crowds happy. A great example of what the General produces and if you haven't had it yet - I'd recommend you do soon.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2009 02:25:57 | More by prismbeer
Photo of DoubleJ


3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the last beer of the mixed six I created in Philadelphia three weeks ago. It will be like dessert. On to the beer:

A mocha tanned head sits, which slowly drops away to a thin lace, on top of this jet fuel black colored beer. Robust looking, to say the least. The aroma, despite the name of the beer, doesn't bring much chocolate to mind. There is unsweetened chocolate, grape hops, and a touch of roasted coffee. Taste? There's some porter, and there seems to be more of a "soft" hops presence. A bite of grapey hops hits at first. After that, a fair amount of sweet malt appears, some of it baker's chocolate, some of it with a touch of roast. As the beer warms, the beer gains a bit of charred character, and then some alcohol is felt. Pleasant in the mouth... solid for the style, medium carbonation. Dry malted chocolate aftertaste.

Not quite as "round" as other good porters (hence a slightly lower drinkability), but interesting flavors make this beer one that's worth keeping your eyes out for. I'm certainly glad I got to sample this beer from a brewery i can't get at home.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2009 05:06:30 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of sholland119


4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the General.

A-Pours an opaque dark brown with a fluffy tan head and some spotty lacing.

S-Roasted malt imparts a strong coffee aroma with some milk chocolate in the background.

T-Roasted malt blends with creamy caramel flavors, then a light roasted coffee finish.

M-Silky and rich, really outstanding for the style.

D-Over the years this has always been my favorite GLI beer. Revisiting it for the first time in 540+ reviews, I am glad to see it still holds up.


Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2009 14:42:09 | More by sholland119
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chocolate Thunder looks about as thick as chocolate - and maybe twice as dark depending on the cocoa content. This would likely be at least 75% cocoa; its oily black body is uncompromisingly opaque, refusing even a slight glimpse of colour regardless of the angle at which it's held. The head is thin and receding but has the lovely and most appetizing tone of brown sugar. This would likely be easily recognizable to the Maya or Aztecs.

The aroma is a little more like coffee than it is chocolate. Of course, both share similarly bitter, roasty, complex qualities but my first sniff (and last) would have led me to believe this was a coffee porter and not a chocolate one. There are also prominent notes of dark berries, currants, nuts, dark caramel, toffee, black licorice and molasses - all of which lead me to think of the porters of the Baltic. Whatever the case, this smells delicious.

It's kind of odd they decided to name this 'Chocolate Thunder' even though chocolate is only one of many flavours this beer offers (and not even the most prominent one at that). Sure, there is undoubtedly a resemblance to dark unrefined cocoa beans - even though, as the brewery is keen to point out, no actual chocolate was used in the recipe. But I'd of placed black coffee, black licorice and black berries ahead of the black chocolate.

This has a great mouthfeel: it matches a ton of molasses-like sweetness against a giant block of suffocating, pure cocoa bitterness. Add to it a heaping tablespoon of cold, black coffee-like astringency, an ounce of dark berry fruitiness and a shot of chocolate liquor for good measure. There is a surprising amount of flavours and my favourite part about it is that they actively intersperse on the tongue in a long, lingering aftertaste.

'The General' (as the locals call it) makes a good number of solid beers but I think they made the right decision in electing Chocolate Thunder as the first to consistently go in bottles. I had a few nice offerings the night I visited but it was definitely this one I would have liked to of been able to go home with. Fortunately, I have a good friend in the area who had the good sense of sending me not one, but six. Thanks Sam! They didn't last long!

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2009 03:54:30 | More by biegaman
Photo of MasterSki


3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Jan for giving me a bottle - first General Lafayette brew I've gotten my hands on. Small batch #3 - bottle specifically points out that no actual chocolate was used in the brewing. Served in a FOBAB taster.

A - A finger of tan foam that dissipates pretty quickly to a faint wispy ring. Uber-dark brown with a faint bit of red at the fringes. I expect a little more from a 6.7% brew.

S - Milk chocolate, roastiness, nuts and raisins, a touch of vanilla and some earthy woodiness that slightly suggests barrel-aging. Comes alive as it warms up.

T - Lots of bitter roastiness, and surprisingly obvious booze content. Not as much of the obvious sweetness found in the aroma. Not bad, just a little simplistic. There might be a touch of sourness creeping in.

M - Some mild carbonation tingle, thinner-bodied creamy texture, some residual stickiness and roasty dryness. I like the carbonation, but wish it had a little more viscosity.

D - Drinking 6oz was no problem (although my wife didn't seem to agree and I had to drink some of her pour as well). It's a decent chocolate porter, but nowhere near the level of Devil Over a Barrel or Victory at Sea.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2009 03:16:55 | More by MasterSki
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very dark brown with no highlights; the rocky tan head doesn't last particularly long and fails to leave much evidence behind

Smell: Flaked baking chocolate, oatmeal and a hint of coffee; overall, rather sweet

Taste: Starts out with the chocolate and oatmeal flavors but a surprising sour green apple element arrives by mid-palate and persists into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; perhaps a little thin

Drinkability: While I didn't pick up much coffee, I guess the sour aspect could be characterized as day-old coffee; while some my like it, I thought it was a detriment

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2009 00:05:15 | More by brentk56
Photo of Hojaminbag


4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An opaque, darkest of browns body with a finger of brown head. Some decent retention, but not really any lacing is left behind.

The nose here is pretty good. I expected a blast of chocolate and that is certainly there, but there is also some coffee and a hint of fruitiness.

Up front comes the chocolate that a porter with a name like Chocolate Thunder should have paired with a bit of toffee. The next flavors are a mix of coffee and roasted malts that reminds me of a cup of already brewed coffee more than coffee beans. The finish is pretty fruity, with apple sticking out to me. The aftertaste is all coffee, which makes me think of one thing that is a bit strange about this beer (in my opinion): Chocolate really takes a back seat to coffee and is on equal footing with other kinds of sweetness here.

The thickness of the mouthfeel is above average for the style and the ccarbonation is moderate. Both elements are fine by me.

A pretty drinkable beer, overall a good brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2009 03:54:31 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Tom for this request. Pours blackish, white head dissipitating into something more minimal. Carbonation bubbles. Smokey deli aroma. Medium mouthfeel, easy drinking..baltic porter.With some chocolate, and secondary of coffee well integrated. Sourish in the finish.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2009 00:52:14 | More by Sammy
Photo of philbe311


4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A slim tan head, less then one fingers worth, with excellent retention... No noticeable carbonation... Completely opaque silky dark brown color teetering on jet black...

S - Milk Chocolate... Cocoa... Maple Syrup... Roasted malt... Hints of Vanilla... Butterscotch... Overall, slightly on the weak side, but still rather enjoyable...

T - Roasted malt... Chocolate... Caramel... Fudge... Perhaps the slightest hint of coffee and vanilla... Nothing is over powering and the various subtleties are blended in near perfect proportion...

M - I don't think I've ever had a smoother porter... Medium to full bodied... Creamy... Near perfect balance... Rich... Consistent beginning to end...

D - I could drink this all night long... It goes down quick and easy... The 6.7% ABV could be troublesome, but it isn't completely overpowering... Highly recommended...

Note - Normally this beer is outstanding, but having it on cask rises it to an entirely other level.

Serving type: cask

03-27-2009 22:39:35 | More by philbe311
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Chocolate Thunder Porter from General Lafayette Inn & Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.