Tortuga Ale Co. Chocolate Stout | Jolly Pumpkin Cafe And Brewery Ann Arbor

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31 Ratings

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Cafe And Brewery Ann Arbor
Michigan, United States

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with nibs from Patric Chocolate, a leader in the craft chocolate movement, using the very finest cocoa beans from Madagascar, expertly roasted to create exceptionally bright and complex depth of flavor.

Added by Thorpe429 on 01-01-2010

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 31 |  Reviews: 13
Reviews by Brenden:
Photo of Brenden
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer is a very dark brown with a slight tan head that leaves little lacing. It very much resembles a dry stout, though head and lacing are unimpressive.
The nose is light, dry with a bit of roast and a touch of chocolate.
The taste is very similar, dry but lightly sweet and lightly hopped. A little bit of chocolate comes in underneath, and there's an underlying nuttiness through the sip.
This is a smooth beer with a lighter body for the style and definitely leaning dry. It wasn't until I was convinced it had to be a dry Irish or very much like it that I asked, and it was confirmed. As such, it's a good example of the style and easy to knock back several of in a session.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.79/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap, Summer Beerfest 2013. Tortuga... Jolly Pumpkin's chocolate stout made with... well... chocolate. From Madagascar. The pour is a deep and husky brown color, not quite as dark as I'd like to see my stout, and not nearly dark enough to even be called black. There's really no head, either. Just a thin, khaki film that grazes the top of the swampy brew and nothing more.

The aroma is quite nice, and pretty much exactly what you'd expect, all at the same time. Blasts of cocoa powder shave the nostrils along with cocoa nibs and a handful of roasted malt. A nice bittersweet combination, possibly leaning a bit more towards the seemingly sweet side of things. But for a "chocolate stout", isn't that expected? Not too much else going on, slightly one dimensional, but at least it smells like what it advertises.

On the palate, the beer is a little more mature and complex, but not by leaps and bounds. Lightly sweet and lightly bitter dark chocolate nibs and roasty cocoa beans attack the palate, bouncing back and forth between mild astringency and a faint, sugary sweetness. Overall, there really is a nice balancing act going on that can easily go unnoticed unless you're really dissecting each and every sip carefully.

There's a tiny bit of coffee bean in the finish, though I think that may just be a product of some of the roasted malts and cocoa beans clashing. The finish also contains a heavy hand of dark cocoa nibs and a faint creamy sweetness. Never reaching levels of too roasty or too sweet, the balance is again, a very nice thing to behold. Medium bodied, fairly thin for a stout, and a bit too sharp from a large dose of carbonation.

One of the first non-Belgian, non-funk, non-sour beers I've had that's been produced by Jolly Pumpkin. Not bad, really. It's a bit one-track minded and isn't going to blow your socks off with complexity or layered integrity, but it accomplishes the goal that it set out to achieve, right? A chocolate stout - nothing more, nothing less. I love the balance and while I wouldn't go out of my way for this stuff, it's a very nice and drinkable stout and just a tad underrated in my opinion.

 2,147 characters

Photo of cynical1027
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on cask at Jolly Pumpkin in Ann Arbor. Madagascar chocolate. Chocolate and sour imperial stout aroma. Lots of roast. Black with three-eighths of an inch of off-white head, lacing is good. Average mouthfeel for a cask. Good bitter chocolate, and only 30 IBU. Really great cask.

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Photo of kbuzz
3.79/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of wingman14
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received as a father's day gift.

Pours black with a mocha head that fades fast. Smell is sweet with strong chocolate and malt, and some alcohol in the background. The taste starts with a mild smoke flavor with strong chocolate and malt coming through with an alcohol finish. Good flavor depth. The mouthfeel is medium/heavy, not as rich as I was expecting, but still nice and smooth. This is an easy drinker, feels like it has a higher ABV, but I don't know. Nice stout, worth checking out.

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Photo of tommy5
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of warpedrevolution
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Zaphog
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Hayes86
2.97/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Had on draft at the brewery. Its thin. Not much nose, dark fruits mostly, mild flavor. Did i meantion thin?

107 characters

Photo of alelover
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Thorpe429
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The website states that this one is brewed with nibs from Patric Chocolate, using the "very finest cocoa beans from Madagascar."

The beer poured a very creamy and fairly light brown, looking almost exactly like a glass of chocolate milk. It was clearly unfiltered, leaving a nice visual presence; however, this created some problems later, as the mouthfeel was quite chalky, affecting the drinkability of the beer. The smell was dominated by chocolate, but also had some coffee and vanilla undertones while remaining slightly sweet. The taste was the same, with a bit of a creamy milk and vanilla combination coming through. Overall, a good brew that was definitely worth trying, but not something I'd like to have regularly, but definitely points for being rather unique.

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Photo of TurboBrew
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of TheBrewo
3.59/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew was served on cask at the Jolly Pumpkin Café taproom in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It arrived in a generic imperial pint glass, showing the darkest chocolate brown coloring. It held a two finger head of latte colored bubbles, showing decent retention into thick lacing that resembled the surface of our moon. Clarity was hazy, but no sediment was noted. Carbonation appeared to be mild. The aroma offered brown and chocolate malt roast, vanilla buttercream, hazelnut and almond nuttiness, milky lactics, dark and white chocolate sweetness, smoky leathers, cherry, curious bourbon warmth, white vinegar acidity, and raw chalked barley. Our first impression was that the flavoring was nice and chocolatey as you would expect, but was curiously lost a bit at the cask temperature it was served at, which also accentuated the inherent dryness of the grain itself. As we sipped, the taste began with cherry flesh, raw chocolate nibs, plastic vinyls, herbal hops, musty smokiness, and a dirty, mossy, earthy woodiness. The malts crashed through the middle, with bittered, smoked, and charred brown and chocolate malts, raw barley and white flour, soured vinegar, oaked woodiness, vanilla cream, soapy hops, and dark, bittered cocoa nibs. Washing though the finish was continued smoke and char, raw cocoa, foamed milkiness and sweet cream, black and chocolate maltiness, black pepper, molasses, and soured brown malts. The aftertaste breathed of charred malt, black pepper, raw flaked barley, soapy and grassy hops, cured meat smokiness, silky chocolate syrups, brown and white sugars, and general brown malt smoothness. The body was medium, but thinned significantly towards the end of the tasting, and the carbonation remained light. Each sip gave limited slurp and smack, nice cream, froth, and glug, and clean finishing pop. The mouth was left light coated at first, but crashed into bone-drying astringency across the entire tongue and palate. The abv was appropriate, and the beer sipped decently.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its aroma. Here we were given genuine chocolate sweetness to meet with hearty brown and lightly charred chocolate malts, lightly warming butters, casked woodiness, and light booze. This made things entirely warming and inviting at the outset of the tasting. The flavoring did its counterpart justice, but was much more bittered than expected, and much more drying. The latter was not helped by the fact that the feel thinned more and more as it approached room temperature, it also took away from that stouty creaminess that we’ve all come to love and expect. This was a nice beer, but actually became disappointingly standard through the medium of the cask.

 2,713 characters

Photo of combatFlexo
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of Viggo
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub.

Pours a very strange colour, dark brown but incredibly cloudy, we had never seen anything like it, just super chunky, no light gets through, very thin light tan head forms, no lacing.

Smell is neat, lots of chocolate and cocoa, a bit of caramel, vanilla, lightly roasty, almost like chocolate milk, strange stuff, chocolate really dominates.

Taste is similar, very intense chocolate character, fresh cocoa nibs, vanilla, caramel, some roast, pretty one dimensional.

Mouthfeel is thin, light bodied with medium to high carbonation. Kind of weird, not really my thing for chocolate beers.

 613 characters

Photo of _morandi_
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of SpongeRuiner
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of HarmonMW
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of duceswild
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of linnymtu
2.33/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I love stout beer, but this one was probably the least inspiring one I've ever had.

The smell is it's best feature, slight coffee aroma.

Appearance is nice, but only because all stouts look tasty.

The taste was not horrible, just, like I said, uninspiring. Pretty watered down overall.

I would not order it if there was an option.

 337 characters

Photo of beornagain
5/5  rDev +40.4%

Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of busternuggz
3.13/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had a pint on tap at the Jolly Pumpkin cafe in Ann Arbor.
Mostly opaque brownish black with a 1" tan/light brown creamy head. Settles to a thin foamy layer, leaves thick lacing.
Smell is pretty faint, but has a nice creamy cocoa scent with a little vanilla and milk chocolate.
Soft chocolate taste with faint vanilla and caramel, finishes with a little roastiness.
Very thin and watery, thinner than a Guinness even.
Light and sessionable, if not particularly engaging.
Disappointing overall, not much flavor and very thin. At least it didn't taste like every other JP beer though.

 583 characters

Photo of kbutler1
2.86/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Draft. Stopped in the Jolly Pumpkin brewery and had a little sampler of several beers. Dark brown/black color with a slight tan head. Cocoa, chocolate, and coffee notes and taste. Slight bitter end. Leather lingering taste. Milky smooth is probably its best attribute. Medium mouthfeel. In my opinion this is not a great example of this style.

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Tortuga Ale Co. Chocolate Stout from Jolly Pumpkin Cafe And Brewery Ann Arbor
Beer rating: 3.56 out of 5 with 31 ratings
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