Chocolate Meltdown | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

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85
very good
42 Reviews
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Chocolate MeltdownChocolate Meltdown
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Stinkypuss on 02-14-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
42
Ratings:
163
Avg:
3.8
pDev:
13.16%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
37
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 163
Photo of IronCitySteve
2.28/5  rDev -40%
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.

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Photo of mgbickel
2.41/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Bocktown. My wife ordered this on Valentine's Day.

Served in a standard pint glass...arrived at the table with a small layer of beige foam sitting on top of the dark brown/black body. The lighting in this place is rather dim, but the body looks solid. The head quickly dissipated, leaving behind zero lace.

The nose is OK...some roasted malts, cocoa powder and some sort of plastic...meh

Ugh...this is taking a bad turn. A mess of odd flavors mixed with a horrible, fake chocolate syrup. By my 3rd sip, I cannot taste anything beyond the syrup...again...ugh. A shot of Murphy's, two shots of a YooHoo, a few squeezes of generic chocolate syrup and water.

Man...the mouth feel is even worse...paper thin and watery. Nothing about this screams stout.

I told my wife I would split this with her...and I could not hold up my end of the bargain....neither could she. I really hate to bash anything local, but wow...this is a mess.

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Photo of niktastik
2.73/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 3

A - This beer looks fantastic, with a deep, dark brown color. It had a nice, thick, tan head when poured in to a glass. As a Pittsburgher, the bottle label also appealed to me, since it features the Penn Brewery itself.

S - It has a very strong smell of chocolate, with a hint of roasted malt and maybe coffee.

T - The taste up front is chocolate, then the malt comes through. The after-taste is a little strange...it reminds me a lot of Penn Gold. It doesn't seem to fit at all with this beer. The alcohol taste is surprising, considering the relatively low ABV.

M - I was pretty disappointed with the thin mouthfeel. I like a nice thick stout, and this was not it.

O - An ok beer. Drinkable, but not something I'd seek out again.

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Photo of thecheapies
2.97/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours almost black with caramel hues. Not much head or lace.

Smells of mocha. Roasted malts pull out a rich black coffee aroma married with wet cocoa. Some earthy hops. No lactic sweetness, all grain. Timid in the nose.

Tangy chocolate flavor. Wafer-y malts gives it a chalky/dusty character. The coffee tastes instant. Still a little worty with some leftover grain sugars. Medicinal hop supplement gives this a wacky aftertaste. Something between metallic and solvent-y. The immediate mild bitter turns acrid. Low carb is tough to get past. Decent thickness, however. Not a terrible drink.

This one doesn't stand out for me. Strange flavors that seem unintended have reared their ugly heads. Will try to remember to select something else. (Aptly named, however).

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

tap

Pours jet black with little to no head.

Smells of rich milk chocolate.

Tastes like hershey chocolate syrup with only hints of grain and malt.

Mouth is water thin. No real carbonation.

A so-so stout that disappoints mostly in the lack of thickness. Much sweeter than most stouts, even in the chocolate variety. Easier to take with food than as a stand-alone. It's not bad, but there are many better chocolate stouts out there.

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Photo of MONKandTUCK
3.14/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

A - This looks like the beer of your dreams. Picture yourself on St. Patrick's Day is the idealized Irish bar (but free of excesively authentic Irish food) exchanging Shamrock beads with fair-haired buxom lasses for... well, you know what beads are exchanged for... and the promise of no hangover to come. THIS looks EXACTLY like the beer you would have in hand.

I think I looked at the ink-black body and 2"-thick head for 5 minutes before tasting.

S - Not blown away (euphemism for put-off). This reminds me a lot of the Rogue Chocolate Stout I had the evening before. I've recently enjoyed O'Hara's and Love Stout. Founder's Breakfast Stout and Brooklyn Chocolate Stout are also on the register.... kinda sucks to have gotten something more reminicent of Coco Puffs.

T - More Coco Puffs! Got Day-um!! Nothing like going to a craft brewery and getting punched in the face by Artifical Artie.

M - Perfect. Too bad any enjoyment of this victual is interefed with by the taste.

O - Not as offensive as Rogue's Chocolate Stout, but still too bad for me to recommend. I know they could very easily do far, far better. Weird thing is, I bet this one REALLY pays the bills :(

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.26/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at 50 degrees into snifter
Aroma of milk chocolate
Head small (2 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, fizzy, rapidly diminishing to no ring, no layer
Lacing none
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor begins and ends with a cloying milk chocolate sweetness; no hops, no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, very soft carbonation

Appearance 2.75, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.25

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.27/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

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Photo of oline73
3.32/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this on nitro-tap at Fatheads in Pittsburgh. Poured into an imperial pint.

Appearance: Pours a murky brown with two fingers of creamy tan head that fades and leaves a layer.

Smell: Sweet cocoa with some mild roast. There is also a hint of caramel.

Taste: Not as sweet as the smell. Dark chocolate and cocoa with some bitter roast. A bit watery.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth mild carbonation. The finish is dry.

Overall: This beer was just alright. I would have liked a more full flavor.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of Suds
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When I poured this beer, it has a dark black color body with a small tan head. The smell has a deep chocolate and roast malt to it. The taste starts out with a roasted malt and then the chocolate comes into play. It also has a little hop to it also. This beer is a little thin but has great flavor and it gets better as it warms up.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of tone77
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, chocolate, a bit of smoke. Taste is chocolate, roasted malts, not to sweet, flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall I found this to be an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of 57md
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color with a half finger of tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. The nose has both chocolate and roasted notes. There is some chocolate flavor upfront, but not much else is going on behind the initial taste of cocoa. The finish is slightly dry, but not terribly roasty.

I am pretty much willing to try any stout with chocolate in it. More often than not, the flavor falls short. This offering belongs in the “falls short” category.

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Photo of Bone53
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap @ Claddaghs

Appearance: Its dark in here, but i dont see much of a tent with my phone flashlight. Seems to look how a stout should. A finger or two of light tan head

Smell: Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate... And im not entirely sure thats a good thing in a beer. It seems overdone, but i have smelled worse chocolate beers

Taste: Upfront i get all chocolate like the aromas, but in the middle and throughout the finish roasted malts do make a slight appearance

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, especially for a stout; I actually downed the pint before i started this review. However, its very crisp and refreshing for a stout

Overall: Im honestly not even a fan of this style of beer, but for $2.50 pint night i couldn't go wrong. As a chocolate stout, its pretty decent, but this is a one a done beer for me. I could see myself getting tired of this real quick. Id rather just stick with Choklat and Samuel Smiths for now.

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Photo of rypkr
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.75

Man was this a letdown

A - thick, motor oil like syrup. Thin frothy head and corn syrup lacing.

S - from the bottle was nothing but milk chocolate, mmmm. Surprisingly, from the snifter was much more modest. Chalky less sweet cocoa mostly. Little bit of yeast also.

T - supremely disappointed. Artificial chocolate dominates followed by the audacity add about 45 ibus worth of hop presence to a "milk chocolate stout". Talk about trying to serve two masters.

M - Over-carbonated. Too fizzy, too prickly.

O - try it. I dare you

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of Sammy
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Rated side by side with 3 other Penn brews. Pours black with a small khaki head. Aroma if rich cocoa powder and chocolate sauce, some earthy coffee to this, and definite sweet lactose notes. Flavor is light chocolate sauce, a tiny bit of earthy roast, and a nice sweet lactose touch. Medium bodied, smooth, with low plus carbonation. Hey, this is a pretty darn good sweet stout.

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle into pint glass. Very dark with a coarse dark tan head. Moderate carbonation - probably too much for the style. Chocolate is certainly evident but not overwhelming. I was expecting a sweet bomb; instead, it's actually rather restrained. Roasted malts, a little hops bitterness, maybe some coffee? Kind of on the light-bodied side for a stout. Odd chemical aftertaste after a few minutes. All in all, not one that I'd seek out again.

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Photo of Omnium
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes on 3-11
Served on tap

A - Pours a nice rich dark brown, but minimal head, and medium lacing.
S - Great aroma going on, vanilla and chocolate, some wood chips, and a little sweet malt whiff.
T - Big time chocolate flavor, meltdown is no joke, its lighter on the malt, which is good because it doesnt make it overwhelming. It also has a decent bitter hopiness to it.
M - This actually finishes kinda thin, and leaves a little metallic flavor hanging around.
O - Loads of chocolate flavor, but the finish is thin and leaves a weird aftertaste, but a good step in the right direction.

 601 characters

Photo of Dodo2step
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Damn this beer has a bad rep! It to me almost drank like a Imported Guinness but with less hops.

A - Pours a nice jet black, no real brown with no light shinning through and with the nitro I think I got more head than I deserved with at least two inches of it. Love how nitro pillows the head but it seemed kind of rushed with this one quickly turning to dark creamy tan head that took 5 minutes to settle down.

S - As I wait for the head to settle I took a sniff and get mild roasted malts, creamy chocolate syrup and slight cocoa powder.

T - I have a strong reason to believe most of the roast flavors in this beer was embodied in the foamy head. As soon as I get to the beer I get a mild lactic sourness with dry cocoa powder that turns to creamy thick syrup like chocolate and a mild twang of bitterness that rounds the creamy finish.

M - It did have a pretty medium body. Smooth.

Overall I can see why some would hate this beer a bit as I got half way through the glass the flavors got kind of boring and one dimensional (pretty much lost the roasted flavor) But it was very smooth and I could see they had a solid attempt at appeasing my love for a chocolate flavored beer. Pretty nice beer.

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Chocolate Meltdown from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.
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