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Decadent Dark Chocolate Ale | Atwater Brewery

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Decadent Dark Chocolate AleDecadent Dark Chocolate Ale

Brewed by:
Atwater Brewery
Michigan, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ShanePB on 02-02-2012

For Trade:
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Reviews: 115 | Ratings: 530
Photo of barczar
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours an opaque deep brown with hazy amber highlights and a foamy half inch tan head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving no lacing.

Very sweet, low quality chocolate and vanilla dominate the aroma. Coffee and light roast malt notes finish the profile. I've never smelled something so chocolatey and sweet.

Flavor reveals notes of cola, with underpinnings of dark chocolate throughout, accompanying a lightly acrid roast malt body. Initially a little sweet, the finish is pretty dry, bitter, and charred.

Body is slick and moderate, with moderate carbonation and a touch of alcohol warmth. Astringency mid palate is offputting.

Definitely chocolatey! A dessert of a beer. Would be more pleasant without that mid palate character and the cola notes. Too charred for my liking.

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Photo of farrago
3.57/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Mild head, maybe half a finger of deep tan which is gone lickety-split, not much stick in the lacing which is more of a thin, slippery sheet than anything else. While the liquid is pure black it doesn’t seem “impenetrably dense” for effect’s sake, thin aura of yellow around the rims, there you can see a blip of carbonation. The nose is extremely creamy, maple syrup, molten milk chocolate, caramel, coffee ice cream, malted milk balls, light cherry fruit, not overtly sugary nor is it lacking posture, simply a one trick pony. It’s light to medium-bodied in the mouth and drier than expected based on the nose, tighter punch to the carbonation too. The chocolate, cocoa, coffee, malt flavors are all there, however, they lack resonance and depth. More grains and oats and a dried to blanched nuttiness as well. Here there’s some herbal hoppy kick. Any fruit gets cloaked by the roast, minor cherry, plum at best. Tacky character, dries onto your tongue. Plenty of retronasal cocoa powder. Unfortunately it is sort of lifeless and turns watery at the end. Ehh, what can you do.

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Photo of Krakistophales
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours jet black with an off white, almost tan head

S: Milk chocolate, chocolate malts, hints of vanilla/spicy sweetness

T: Huge milk chocolate up front, a hint of bitterness on the end. Honestly, it tastes like chocolate milk without any sugar.

O: A bit thin for a heavy chocolate stout, but it's not bad. Would I buy again? Probably not, but it's definitely not bad.

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Photo of Eric1Mess
4.37/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

For dark chocolate lovers this is the beer you want! Have tried many chocolate beers in the past and Atwater hit it head on. Actually walked into this one blindly having only tried a few other beers by Atwater. starting to become a huge fan of this brand.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into a Bell's snifter glass and consumed 6/2/2013. Seems to be dated January 2013, but there is also a notch under May 2013. Its probably January 2013.

Aroma: Weird, it definitely smells like thick chocolate fudge. Pure chocolate fudge. Not a very complex nose but definitely one of the more interesting ones I've had in a long time.

Colour: Pours a dark brown, nearly black body with a small <1cm tan head that dissipates into nearly nothing, leaving a small thin film at the center of the beer. If I just leave it in the glass and stare at it, it looks like it could be Hershey chocolate fudge.

Flavour: Not as chocolatey as the nose, and feels quite a bit watered down. But its definitely got a lot of cocoa in it, starting with a sweet chocolate flavour, transitioning to a mild roast maltiness that subsides into a cocoa bitterness. Interesting taste but overall it is watery and gets old pretty quickly; again not the most complex beer.

Mouthfeel: Feels thin bodied, OK carbonation. Finish is dry and a bit bitter from the cocoa finish. Aftertaste is mostly the bitter cocoa nibs and lingers a while. Nothing super special or great, definitely no heat behind this one.

Overall: Tasty, sort of a gimmicky beer that I probably won't buy a six pack of. That being said it was an interesting experience that got old a bit fast. The nose is definitely its strongest attribute but the thin mouthfeel and relative lack of complexity are definitely its weaknesses. That being said its not a terrible beer so if you're thinking about trying one in a mix-a-six, I definitely encourage you to try it.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.19/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle strangely bottled January AND March 2013 ... I don't know which, but whatever. Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

Appearance: Very, very deep black color, but a good amount of ruby coloring when held up to light. Two finger head goes down to a tan ring. Looks pretty good.

Smell: INSANE aroma. Massive amounts of chocolate... this beer seriously smells like Cocoa Puffs. Impossible to NOT give this beer a 5. It's supposed to be chocolatey, and the smell certainly gives you that.

Taste/feel: Gotta admit that I'm surprised this beer only has an 82 rating. The beer is dubbed "Decadent", and it really is ... maybe not so much in the mouthfeel, but the taste and smell? Most definitely on point. Massive cocoa on the start and through the sip, but then the finish has a roasty malt characteristic to give it another dimension... I was scared that this might just taste like chocolate through-and-through. Decadent's most definitely heavy on the cocoa/chocolate, but that's what I wanted. The mouthfeel is relatively thin, which is a definite bummer, but it DOES help to make the beer more drinkable. And considering it's 5.5% ABV, you could enjoy two or three without feeling like you're going to fall over.

Very enjoyable, and this has to be my favorite beer from Atwater, which is a brewery that tends to underwhelm me. If the feel on this one were to be a little bit creamier, and the aftertaste was more like the taste is on the front, this could be my favorite chocolate-forward stout. Regardless, a shockingly tasty beer... and the price is right.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

We pour a brew of the darkest mahogany brown coloring, holding a half finger tall head of light tan bubbles showing okay retention. Spotty lacing is left clinging around the glass. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be moderate. The nose gives big milk chocolates off the bat, bringing memories of sipping on hot cocoa by a roaring fire. Toffee, Tootsie Roll, white sugar, and fatty whole milk add creamy sweetness. Mixing to fill are notes of banana fruitiness, raw coffee malts, coiny metallics, general roastiness, marshmallow, and faint boozy bite. Our first impression is that there is less bold balancing sweetness than expected, with a decently robust start, but a rather watered finish. As we sip, the taste opens with straight chocolate milk smoothness, lightly roasted coffee and chocolate malts, lactic sourness, lipid, mineral water, and very faint plastic phenols. Gas station hazelnut coffee pulls us to the peak, where a blend of soured roasted coffee malts, white flour, metallics, corny adjuncts, and overly sweet German Kinder chocolates meet for the attempted balance. The finishing wash comes across as severely watered through, with sweetness of white sugars and stale marshmallow, along with weak milk chocolate, banana mash, metallics, and lightly soured lactics. The aftertaste breathes of that soured grain, even milkiness, banana milkshake, cinnamon essence, mineral, sweeter whipped cream, and lightly adjuncty filler grain. The body is on the lighter side, and the carbonation is medium. The mouth is cooled and thinly coated, with eventual faint dryness down the center of the hard palate. Each sip gives nice slurp, froth, cream, sip, pop, and glug. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, the strongest aspect of this beer was its aroma. This showed big chocolates, brown malts, sugars, vanillas, and general sweetness, certainly deserving of the title of “decadence”. Where we lost points was through the end of the sip, where the flavoring was almost entirely washed out with watery grain, affecting not only the taste, but also the feel. Atwater has continued to disappoint us in cohesion and final execution of their styles, so I guess we’ll have to wait for the next one in hopes of finding something that is worth coming back to.

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Photo of tone77
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of chocolate milkshake, sweet, some hints of vanilla. Taste is very chocolatey, roasted malts, some vanilla, sweet and tasty, lots of flavor here. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall this is a quality beer worth seeking out.

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Photo of keith_wayne
3.79/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from Bottle into my Lagunitas mason jar glass.

A: dark with a 1 finger head. ok lacing.
S: Chcolate, roasted malts, a little coffee and something I can't place
T: Same as smell: Chcolate, roasted malts, a little coffee and something I can't place. Also get a little vanilla. Notes about taste. The chocolate is pretty much up front on the first few drinks. but seems not be as strong half way through the beer, it is still there but not as strong for sure. There is some other taste I am get that I can't place or describe. i like it but don't know what it is.
M: A little thin. somewhere between a light ot medium bodied brew

O: I like this beer. It is not the best chocolate Ale (the label does not say stout but says Ale) but i think it is good. Not exactly what I normally want in a chocolate brew, but this is an easy drinking beer that I could use as a session beer. I will get again.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a nearly black color with only a bit of light able to get through the brew. Upon serving there is a brown head that sits atop the brew. The head fades rather quickly leaving only a light level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma on this one is quite potent and can be sensed immediately upon serving. As might be expected for a chocolate porter the aroma is big and robust of dark chocolate mixed with some aromas of coffee and roasted malt. There are lighter notes of vanilla and caramel rounding out the aroma nice with the combination producing a very dessert like and delicious smell.

Taste – The taste begins, as the nose lets on, with a strong dark chocolate flavor as well as a nice roasted malt taste. While it begins big of dark chocolate it is much less sweet then what was originally expected from the nose. The flavor starts out with a little bit of sweetness with flavors of caramel and vanilla present upfront. These flavors largely persist to the end where they are joined by some lighter earthy hop tastes. Along with the hop, a rather strong coffee flavor come to the tongue bittering up the taste and melding with the rest to leave a slightly bitter and chocolaty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the medium side in terms of it’s thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is rather average as well. A thicker body and lower carbonation level would have likely suited the dark chocolate flavors of the brew better.

Overall – Not bad, but from the nose I was expecting much more in the taste and the feel, which it fell somewhat short of. Worth a try, but not the best out there.

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Photo of brentk56
3.54/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark chocolate color (what else?) with a beige head that leaves a few streaks of lacing behind

Smell: Smells like a Hershey's dark chocolate bar - not the great depth of a quality chocolate but just a nice commercial chocolatey aroma

Taste: At the outset, the chocolate comes right through on the tastebuds but by mid-palate, the flavor starts to fade and is joined by a chalky/waxy taste; after the swallow, the flavors fade quicky and there is a husky quality to the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Promise unfulfilled - after a very nice start, the chocolate was not sustained and ultimately the beer was a disappointment

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown that is so close to black that we might as well call it that. An espresso-like head over 1/2" thick formed of exquisitely tiny bubbles fades gently but inexorably over several minutes to a thick film. Some scattered lace remains though it isn't a strong point.
Smell is phenomenal. Rich vanilla and dark chocolate notes with a graham cracker sweetness and lightly perceptible roasted malt presence. Very nice.
Taste is similar though the roasted malt shows a bit more. The balance is quite comparable with the vanilla and chocolate leading the parade, so to speak. There is a toasty note that shows up briefly after the swallow with a hint of metallic right at the swallow (the only down side).
Smooth-ish with a drying aspect, the body is only medium and the carbonation is well restrained. It does benefit from some warming.

The only thing about this brew I found odd was on the label:
Dark Chocolate Ale
Malt beverage brewed with chocolate

Malt beverage just sounds... wrong somehow, like Old English 800 or Zima.

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Photo of CHickman
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours motor oil black color with a nice 1 finger foamy brown head that faded extremely slowly, leaving decent lacing; the head was full of tiny bubbles and rather basic looking.

Smells of dark chocolate up front, so strong that the aroma hit my nose a few inches away from the glass; nose also consists of coffee, toffee, cocoa powder, roasted grains, light vanilla and powdered creamer. This smells more like a desert than a beer and is pretty nice to inhale.

Tastes just like it smells, with dark chocolate, coffee, toffee, cocoa powder, roasted grains, vanilla, powdered creamer, herbs, and a slight bitter flavor like a Starbucks coffee aftertaste. Really tasty, the vanilla and charcoal notes linger and trail off dry and leave a cocoa powder taste.

Mouthfeel is light, thin and watery, with very light carbonation, a medium body and a slightly bitter semi-dry finish.

Overall this was much better that I expected that it would be, with really enjoyable chocolate flavors and notes which mix well with the roasted malts, coffee and vanilla notes. An easy drinking beer.

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Photo of RWLawman
3.47/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

A - Jet black, with almost no head whatsoever.

S - Dark chocolate, all the way. Cocoa powder is all I'm getting, but with a beer called "decadent chocolate" that's probably how it should be.

T - Heavy dark chocolate presence, with the slightest hint of roasted malts tucked away in there as well. This beer has a delicious chocolate flavor, but due to the next category, it misses it's mark as a phenomenal offering.

M - Thin in terms of texture, but a little too much carbonation. If this beer were made with less carbonation, and a more silky or sticky texture, it would be a home run hit. I could imagine this being absolutely delicious in a nitro-tap.

O - A pretty good beer, which I do recommend at least trying. If nothing else, the chocolate presence is nice, if you're like me, and absolutely love chocolate and beer, and the two together. Just be prepared to be a little disappointed, because this beer had the potential to be great.

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Photo of Ryanm1
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decadent...it says it all in the name. I've never described a beer as decadent let alone ever heard of a brewery using it in one of it's naming conventions, but it's the perfect description for this brew.

Decadent chocolate. Pours a nightly black color into a glass with substantial dark brown head. You get an overwhelmingly strong caramely, maltly, chocolately smell eminating from the glass. One of the most potent smells, but intoxicating nonetheless. All the normal characteristics of a stout with a slight hint of hops in the brew.

Tart and chocolately on the palate, similar to tasting a dark chocolate made from extremely concentrated cocoa. Excellent beer, slightly sweet on the tounge with a dry finish. On the bottle it says it is made with actual chocolate and I can believe it.

Excellent brew. I recommend grabbing it, but to be enjoyed in limited quantities as they flavor might wear on you after one or two.

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Photo of drewber81
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I first tried this beer on New Years Eve of 2012-13. After having a few different Atwater Brewery bottles, I felt confident in trying something new from them on a whim for a "Special Occasion".

The serving style was a typical 12 oz bottle, in six-pack form.

The appearance was fairly normal for what I expected of a chocolate; ot was fairly dark with a tan colored head. While typical ales are of a lighter color, this was more the color of a stout.

It smelled chocolaty, with some notes of coffee.

The taste was what I expect of a chocolate ale as well. A bit hoppy, which I am not a fan of, but with a heavy chocolate taste and some coffee undertones as well.

For an ale it felt a bit heavy in my mouth, almost to a stout or porter.

On a side note, I would like to note that this could match up amazingly with a nice cigar!

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.19/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Decadent Dark Chocolate Ale is a very interesting beer. The beer poured an opaque black with thin off-white head that is leaving some lacing. The smell is unbelievable...sweet dark chocolate is pronounced. The taste has some chocolate....but would definitely want more...cocoa powder is present. The mouthfeel is a bit lacking....would really like a more creamy body. Overall thou it was amazing...thanks to my BRO IN LAW!!!!

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The nose on this one is a very good advertiser. Unfortunately, the rest of the beer doesn't live up to things. Kind of chalky with cocoa or something. Doesn't mesh well with the beer at all. Meh. This is looking quite like a waste of money and something I don't want to finish.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

More bottles from my latest Philly run. I am feeling adventurous today and may try to eradicate the bottle backlog that has been an albatross since school started back.

I got a cap of a finger of dense, deep-tan head with good retention from my pour. Color was a deep, dark-brown allowing zero light penetration. Nose smelled like a liquid chocolate bar. I have to admit that I have been underwhelmed by some previous Atwater offerings, but this was showing real promise. Mouthfeel was thin, especially for a stout, but the taste was very chocolaty, although not what I would have expected from dark chocolate. Were they referring to the color? Hmmm. It was quite sweet, but still very chocolaty. Finish remained very sweet and this would be a dessert beer for me. Not bad, but not great, either.

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Photo of Andrew61923
2.9/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle from October 2012 into Portsmouth Brewery tulip. Had sat out of fridge for 10 minutes before pouring.

A: Almost black pour with half finger head after vigorous pour. Had expected a bigger head and little to no lacing. I don't care about lacing, but I was a bit surprised there wasn't more going on here.

S: Chocolate, bordering on artificial and/or over-sweetened. A lot of sugar.

T: I didn't realize I poured a Coke into this glass. I'm not picking up on any of the chocolate notes of the nose. No way this is a stout.

M: Way too thin for the style. I'd say this is a confused brown ale if anything. There either needs to be some thickening for the next batch or a reduction of the effect the chocolate has on the beer, as this is way too sweet (and dark) for a brown.

O: I'm let down here. The smell started off pretty strong, but it was all downhill from there. There are better options out there, even if this 6er was right around $10.

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Photo of magine
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic.

Pours a near black with lots of bubbles cascading to make up a light brown head. Nice lace coates the glass the whole drink. Layer of lace makes up the head. Good looks.

Brew smells of dark chocolate, hershey syrup almost. Good malty nose here. Good nose.

Brew is balanced; good carbonation adds to the drinkabilty. Dark chocolate and again alsmot the hersheys syrup flavor. Good malts, dark chocolate. Lots of cocoa in here and a fuller flavor and feel than the Harpoon I just sampled (both are good though). Brew finishes creamy and smooth. Good taste and feel here.

Good stuff here. Nice to have a stout that is flavored with chocolate that is sessionable. Good stuff here.

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Photo of ujsplace
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice.

Dirty motor oil. Pitch black with a frothy tan colored head that leaves some nice lacing and boasted a one-finger thick head.

Smells big time of sweet dark chocolates, maybe some vanilla notes and roasted coffee.

Tastes of bittersweet dark chocolates and roasted coffee. A bit thinner that I would have liked, but overall a very good taste.

Creamy and smooth, medium mouthfeel.

Highly drinkable and tasty. A really nice winter-time change of pace brew for me.

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Photo of BeerTwigs
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up in a new bottle shop in MA. I hadnt heard much about it until I bought it.

A - Poured into a giant tulip. Dark black with thin white lacing.

S - Chocolate, Coffe, Fruit and Maple Syrup. A very sweet smell.

T - Really sweet with lots of chocolate and hints of coffee and syrup.

M - Moderate carbonation with medium to lighter body. The beer finishes pretty thin for how I thought it would.

O - A decent beer, I would recommend trying it once or twice after a meal. Definitely a fall to winter beer. I havent had many Atwater brews and this one doesnt turn my opinion either way.

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Photo of aleric
3.26/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Honestly, I bought this beer because I liked the typography of the label. Dark, barely translucent color like dark coffee. 1-finger tan head. Virtually no lacing after the head dissipated.

S - Chocolate syrup, cavendish tobacco and malt.

T - Syrupy dark chocolate with a coffee aftertaste. It's pretty good, but a bit muddled.

M - Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

O - I had high hopes, so I am a little disappointed, but it was an interesting beer to try. This isn't a very drinkable beer by itself, but I feel like it would be a treat if it is paired well with something else. For some reason, ham with pineapple comes to mind as a good complement to this beer's flavors.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.57/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a nice extremely dark opaque brown. Poured a practically non-existent head. Aroma was a very rich milk chocolate, slightly over sweet. Taste was a sweet chocolate up front before shifting to a slightly smokey flavor with a bit of bitterness. Felt ok in the mouth. A bit of chew, slightly thick, coated well, but no carbonation at all. Overall not bad, but a few notches short of what it could be.

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Decadent Dark Chocolate Ale from Atwater Brewery
3.71 out of 5 based on 530 ratings.
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