Chocolate Meltdown
Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Chocolate MeltdownChocolate Meltdown
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Style:
Stout - American
Ranked #444
ABV:
5.5%
Score:
87
Ranked #19,266
Avg:
3.87 | pDev: 12.66%
Reviews:
47
Ratings:
185
From:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company
 
Pennsylvania, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  10
Gots
  45
SCORE
87
Very Good
Chocolate MeltdownChocolate Meltdown
Notes:
Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 185 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by ogman:
Photo of ogman
ogman from Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Apr 02, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Penn Brewery "Chocolate Meltdown" Milk Chocolate Stout
12 oz. brown glass bottle, no apparent freshness dating
$1.99 @ Wegmans, King of Prussia, PA

Another chocolate beer, this time a stout from Penn Brewing. It's brewed with pale, caramel, chocolate and roasted malts; and artificially flavored.

Let's use a question and answer format to review this one:
- So if it uses artificial flavoring, does it taste artificial? No, it actually tastes very much like bittersweet chocolate and dark fudge brownies. I find no defect in that area.
- Is it sweet? Yes, but not overly so. I'd personally think of this as more of a dessert beer, but at the same time it does actually work as a chocolatey stout... it doesn't become cloying.
- Is it roasty? It is, but that takes a back seat to the sweeter caramel and chocolate notes. However, that roastiness is part of what allows it to dry in the finish as it's not really that bitter.
- Would you drink two (or more) in a row? I would probably not, but I probably could. Some of the chocolate beers I've tasted are great at the start but then become a bit much halfway through the glass, and I don't find that here. The more I taste it, the more of the stout side comes out (probably because the roastiness is building in my mouth). At the end of the glass I'm completely satisfied. It's satiating.
- When would you drink it? I think it would make a great beer following a Thanksgiving or Xmas dinner, or almost anytime during winter as a slow, relaxing sipper. And, of course as a dessert beer. I really think that's where it would shine as it's really neither too sweet or too bitter. Plop a small scoop of soft vanilla ice cream into your glass and you've got an instant ice cream float!
- Can you cook with it? I haven't tried it, but of all of the chocolate beers I've had I'd certainly imaging that it would work.
- Overall? Unless you're against chocolate beers, or dark beers in general, I'd suggest you try it just to see. It's far from an everyday beer, but you might be surprised by it.

Mar 09, 2015
Photo of undeadozzy
undeadozzy from Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Vigorous pour into Guinness pub glass, pitch black with pillowy and massive cream colored head that leaves insane lacing around glass.

S - Smells a little chemically, almost kind of artificial, some hints of caramel and coffee, not much chocolate.

T - Delicious chocolate up front, like an ovaltine maltiness and a dark chocolate candy bar. Not too sweet, and lots of organic chocolate flavor. Swishing it pulls out some cocoa sweetness, hints of caramel, toffee and a little nuttiness. Finish is dry and dark chocolate.

M - Chewy and sticky, like a good chocolate stout.

O - Up until buying this beer, I had never heard of this brewing company, but after this beer, I'll definitely be checking them out! One of the better chocolate stouts I've had, very tasty!

Feb 08, 2014
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brutalist from Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apr 27, 2019
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Rhettroactive from Pennsylvania

4.11/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Apr 04, 2019
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Suds from Missouri

3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a deep, rich colored beer. It has a dark tan head that falls a little too quickly. The aroma is intensely chocolate and grain. Sweetness, cocoa, and a little yeast. It is good, but a little one dimensional. Full in body. The taste is mostly balanced, but leaned sweet. Some flat and woody-cardboard flavors, but not bad, just distracting. Some hop bitterness in the mid taste. Abrupt finish. Good, but not outstanding.

Apr 12, 2014
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WVbeergeek from West Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At the Sharp Edge Creekhouse awhile back from notes, dark black chocolate color with tawny brown highlights light mocha tan head, dwindles pretty quickly. Nose is full of syrupy sweet chocolate notes with a good amount of creamy lactose inspired fullness. Flavor wise it was straight up dusted chocolate (I guess Godiva) creamy milk chocolate/syrup notes rise and flow. The dark malts don't offer much balance just a wave of unrelenting sweet chocolate, with a mild herbal hops in the back end. Mouthfeel was medium bodied with a bit of cloying sweetness most of the time, I had a rough time getting through this one definitely glad I went for a half pour. Overall Penn shouldn't be straying from their German origins, until you nail Penn Dark back to the original formula I don't care if you can churn out Velentine's chocolate infused beer.

Update Bottled version on 3/5/14

Appears pitch black in the glass, forms fine speckled tan lacing after the head dwindles down. The nose is pleasant dark roasted malts, salted caramel, milk chocolate Hershey's kisses. The dark roasts and herbal hops just slip through to the senses in the background amongst all of the dessert qualities going on. Flavor dark chocolate roasts, more salted caramel, Hershey's chocolate syrup it's overtly sweet semi bitter finish from the darker roasts malts and chocolate additions. This years seems less harsh on the palate, and dare I say more balanced. I made the cry for them to get their base German beers back to top shape before experimenting with American style dessert chocolate beers I guess they don't want to listen. Mouthfeel is a bit cloying with sweetness, residual sugars and dark roasts collide, carbonation works no real complaints. Overall, back to the basics is much needed get me some original recipe Penn Dark and I forgive all other abominations.

May 20, 2011
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Sammy from Canada

3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A dry American chocolate is prominent. My Bottle from Capone’s. The aroma is terrific. Bittersweet chocolate taste. A little thin. Still a dessert beer and. Dark brown body with a little head and lace. Needs more caramel and also hops would not hurt.

Apr 24, 2013
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

The bottle backlog continues to present beers that simply perplex me as to their origin. I am willing to bet that this one came to me from my local, in-person trader, tone77. I like Penn Brewery, but I just cannot envision myself buying a milk chocolate stout.

From the bottle: "The Tradition of Our Lagering Caves Lives On."; "Milk Chocolate Stout"; "This lush, creamy stout is brewed with caramel, chocolate, and roasted malts to create this fragrant beer reminiscent of chocolate milk."

This beer acted in quite a curious manner! I used a heavy hand to generate both a pseudo-cascade as well as two fingers of bubbling light-tan head with really lousy retention. The head became rocky and fell away to wisps in seconds! Color was a dense, deep, dark-brown (SRM = 44) allowing zero light penetration. Nose smelled like, well, like milk chocolate! Truth in advertising strikes again. Man, but this really smelled sweet. Speaking of truth in advertising, the mouthfeel was a real letdown. It was not lush or creamy, but more towards thin and watery. The taste was quite sweet, very much like milk chocolate and since that is what they were striving for, I have to give them props. For this self-avowed hophead, however, it was a definite one-and-done.

Jul 11, 2014
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ejimhof from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Feb 03, 2012
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ramrod666 from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Apr 26, 2014
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victory4me from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Terrific low ABV desert beer.

Apr 12, 2015
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mikehillman from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -22.5%

Mar 25, 2013
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Peachtree, served chilled in a pint.

The color is dark brown like hershey syrup with thick dark shade and translucent with thin cream head with small bead. the smell is very chocolatey -lots of sweet cocoa almost like a Hershey bar with a real dessert quality in the aroma. the feel is good, moderately roasted and semi sweet with a moderate carbonation level and moderate sweetness with a balance of roasted and light bittersweet creaminess of cocoa with mild astringency of dark grain.

The taste is very good with a nice balance of roasted malt flavor with a mild cocoa flavor accenting that with some sweet characteristics and light tannin with a slight bitter element in the background, but not overboard pretty well balanced for the style. Overall I enjoyed this it has a nice level of chocolate in the taste without sacrificing the base style of stout and the abv is at a decent level - it is almost like drinking a hershey bar.

Apr 09, 2013
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BeerForMuscle from New Jersey

3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mar 14, 2016
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Dodo2step from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Wegmans in Mechanicsburg, PA

A- dark chocolate, almost black. opaque and no light. minimal head and tan lacing.

S- chocolate and toasted caramel malts.

F- chocolate and then toasted malts.

M- almost feels like hot chocolate with alcohol. Very tasty and the malts complement the tones nice.

O-i love this stout and its a nice winter brew. the appearance is the only down side...it is bland

Feb 21, 2015
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confer from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Great smell and flavor. it is very light on the stout bitterness and thickness. Chocolate is big in the taste

Jul 04, 2015
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PittBeerGirl from Ohio

4.11/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery this past weekend-served with Godiva chocolate-which is always fun.

A- Being that this was a nitro-tap the appearance is perfect. Served with a wonderful frothy, creamy 3 finger or so creme brulee colored head. Perfect retention at 1 finger with lacing all the way down the glass. Body is a treanslucent, nearly opaque dark brown hue.

S- Yep. The nose is pretty much what you would expect when you read/hear about/see a chocolate beer. Nose is very rich of thick, dark chocolate. Bittersweet with the accent on the sweet, a hint of toffee as well.

T- Flavor is very similar to the taste. Flavor is very rich and chocolatey. Liquid bittersweet chocolate with the faintest hints of roasted malt and toffee deep in the background.

M- Low to medium carbonation and a rich, thick, smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

D- This is an excellent stout and pretty much fits the description. A chocolate stout with more chocoloate added to it. Its like the triple chocolate cake of beers. I really liked this beer but I see it as somewhat more of a novelty brew-but it really is one of the better single stouts I have had. This really reminds me of Southern Tier Choklat-its just as thick and rich-but the alcohol is not there. Its a shade sweeter as well.

Feb 23, 2011
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OWSLEY069 from Pennsylvania

3.06/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours jet black with a light tan head. In the aroma, chocolate, kinda like cocoa mix. In the taste, light roastiness and it tastes like Swiss Miss was dumped in here. A smooth and medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry roast and hint of chocolate in the aftertaste. Thin body, a bit sweet, and I can drink a whole pint.

Feb 26, 2011
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drtth from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a dark brown color that is almost black. The 2 1/2" head is a medium tan color with with lots of small bubbles. The head soon recedes to a thick ring and a thin layer of foam on the surface, but leaving little foam clinging to the glass more than about 1/4" above the liquid. Sipping creades a few widely scattered specks of lacing, some of which turn to liquid and some of which slide back down to the liquid. Mid-way through the beer the ring of foam is small, there's little on the surface of the liquid and ony a few patches of foam and lacing here and there.

The aromas are dominated by the chocolate which reminds of semi-sweet chocolate brownies. In the background there seems to be a bit of roasted malt but not much in the way of hops.

The flavors are pretty much as expected from the nose and are dominated by the semi-sweet chocolate brownie flavor with only a hint of dark roast malt or bitterness in the background.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with light, persistent carbonation. The finish really begins as the sweetness begins to fade and the chocolate becomes more like cocoa. Bitterness plays a very small part towards the end as the dryness emergers.

This would be a one a night beer for me as I don't think I'd want more than one in a row, but it seems a great beer to have again, especially as a form of dessert following a dinner with friends and while spending lots of time chatting and enjoying each other's company. The other thing about this beer is that drinking it without paring some cheese or other food should be avoided since otherwise it's would be a lot like eating a full plate of brownies by oneself. It simply works better with a bit of food to create a change of flavors once in a while. Looking forward to trying this beer out as a "dessert beer."

Apr 05, 2016
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Hojaminbag from Colorado

3.27/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Penn Brewery's Chocolate Meltdown. Every time I run into a Penn beer that isn't a traditional German style I am still a bit perplexed, but I am sure that feeling will wear off. What will not wear off is that every time I try one of these American things I wish that the tap were replaced with one of Penn's German beers. There was a time only a few years ago when Penn brewed the best German beer in the country. Even now their stuff is pretty good, and that is really what I like best about the brewery.

The body is dark brown and opaque at its core. The light brown head is solid looking, but the retention is OK at best and there is no lacing at all.

The aroma has a lot of chocolate to it. It is an aroma more like chocolate syrup than the baker's chocolate I would expect to find in most beers. A bit of toffee-like sweetness is in there also.

The flavor leads off with the undertone flavor of sweet malts, with caramel and toffee both making an appearance. Next comes the focus of the beer, which is a massively sweet, chocolate syrup flavor. There is also a bit of powdered cocoa taste in there, but syrup is the best adjective. The finish dries out a bit and has just a bit of hop bitterness to it. One thing that is a little off in this one is the faint taste of lemon and a hint of sourness. It is extremely faint, and I honestly did not even notice it until I had made good progress on my pint. I am sure this is not intended, but I am not sure whether the problem is with the bar or the brewery. The bar is a reputable place that I have always know to pour through clean lines, but who knows?

Mouthfeel is a little bit under carbonated, but only by a hair. Good body for a stout.

Honestly, the closest thing I can compare this beer with is Southern Tier Choklat. The flavor profile is very similar. Choklat is certainly better, but with that said my review of Choklat is overly generous. The slight hint of sourness wasn't the normal, dirty tap-lines flavor, so I'm not sure what to make of it. Either way it detracts from, but does not ruin the beer.

Mar 22, 2011
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Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Penn Brewing "Chocolate Meltdown", Brewers Reserve as it says ontop of the barrel.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown in color, little head of a light brown variety.

Smell: Chocolate, of all types. Dark, milk and raw. A pleasing malty cocoa nose that is very aromatic and fairly strong.

Taste: Chocolate, light roasted barley/malt. Almost like an irish dry stout with chocolate added. Pretty tasty, sessionable and not overly strong as far as alcohol is concerned.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of medium bodied, a tad thin and watery.

Drinkability: A nice respectable brew from Penn. A lot different from most of their other offerings and definately in the craft realm. The body needs to be more full, and carbonation is a bit low. Ok but not great.

Feb 14, 2011
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IronCitySteve from Pennsylvania

2.28/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Deleted my first review as I wanted to give this a 2nd chance. Nitro Tap at Fat Heads Pgh

A: Pours a thick dark brown almost black color with a thick two plus finger foam head. Lots of lacing all down the sides.

S: A nice amount of milk chocolate and vanilla.

T: This tastes like a thick chocolate milk or warm milkshake. Lots of chocolate syrup taste, almost too sweet. No roasted malt flavor to counteract the sweetness. It really is like drinking the syrup from a Hershey syrup bottle.

M: Slightly sweet, but quite thin and watery.

D: Not a beer I would seek out as it is too sugary sweet. If there were some roasted malt that would balance out the sweetness, I probably would enjoy this a little more.

As somebody said above, why order a beer called "Chocolate Meltdown" if you don't want chocolate? I do like chocolate in my beer. I like a chocolate milk too, but I don't like drinking the syrup out of the bottle, which is why I did not like this brew because that is what it tasted like. Should I know it is going to taste like chocolate syrup because the beer is named Chocolate Meltdown? Seriously? Get over it.

Feb 26, 2011
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randylangford from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.4%

Feb 14, 2013
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curlybird from Pennsylvania

3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Feb 14, 2016
Chocolate Meltdown from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 185 ratings