Biere De Chocolat | Almanac Beer Co.

BA SCORE
83
good
211 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Biere De ChocolatBiere De Chocolat
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States
almanacbeer.com

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Biere de Chocolat celebrates the long and lauded history of chocolate production in San Francisco. Our aim was to create a beer bursting with cocoa flavors and aromas, balancing sweet and savory to create a complex but quaffable chocolate brew. To accomplish this we partnered with Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco to create this rich brew brimming with chocolate character. Working with the unique flavors of Dandelion’s single-source beans, we created this decadent beer by layering in smoked and dark-roasted malts with citrusy Ivanhoe hops from Clearlake, CA. Finally, we added a blend of hand-roasted cocoa beans sourced from Madagascar and Río Caribe, Venezuela. The Madagascar beans add bright berry-cocoa flavors, while the Río Caribe adds dark chocolate and bourbon notes. A touch of vanilla rounds out the supporting flavors to create an eminently drinkable beer that is a chocolate lover’s beer through and through.

Added by Trilogy31 on 01-28-2013

BEER STATS
Ratings:
211
Reviews:
37
Avg:
3.66
pDev:
12.84%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
18
For Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 211 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of JavierGC
2/5  rDev -45.4%

Photo of Hopnotic_John
2/5  rDev -45.4%

Photo of logicerror
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%

Photo of GRG1313
2.4/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

While I don't fully review much these days, I just can't keep quiet on this one. My first reaction is that I got a bad bottle; but, that's pretty much impossible since it's brand new and tasted immediately. I also confirmed by opening a second bottle.

Pours a dark "stout brown" with a nice but fast fading khaki head.

Nose is lovely creamed sugared coffee and chocolate with a chocolate/cherry undertone. Very inviting and pleasant.

Mouthfeel is medium thin but nicely carbonated. Mouthfeel is relatively insignificant as it is overshadowed by the questionable (in my mind) flavor profile.

Flavors are just not balanced; not well integrated and "not made for each other." The flavors are very distinct and the juxtaposition doesn't work. Huge bitter bold and assertive citrus and pine hops; like a good strong IPA type of hop flavor. At the same time, you get assertive malt, chocolate and a roasted grain flavor, almost like it's on the other side of your mouth. There is simply no balance and no integration. The hops come off bitter and sour and not in a good way. While at the same time what might be a nice malt character is completely overshadowed by an unpleasant assertive hop bitter.

Finish is completely short bitter hops with no malt or chocolate tones.

This brew is an anomoly and, for me, hard to believe it was done on purpose. It's like pouring two styles of beer into one glass, the result being that the total is much less than the sum of its parts. Just my opinion but the flavors just fight too much in my mouth. No need to try again, at least for me.

 1,581 characters

Photo of DaveHack
2.5/5  rDev -31.7%

Photo of kojevergas
2.56/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

I'm 0 for 2 on Almanac's beers, so I'm hoping this'll be better. "Ale brewed with Coca Nibs and Vanilla." 5.5% ABV according to my bottle. I like the stylish label; blue etched on brown glass. 12 fl oz bottle with branded standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger nice light tan colour head of pretty good cream, nice thickness, a bit of froth, and average (~2 minute) retention. Thin insubstantial lacing as the head recedes. Body colour is a predictable solid black. Nontransparent and opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It's standard fare for the style; nothing special or unique, but no overt flaws. There's nothing wrong with that. Unlike some, I don't mind a beer brewed to conventions.

Sm: The first thing I get is chocolate. Then I realize it seems way too hoppy for a porter. I get vanilla bean; often with these upstart breweries any vanilla is artificial vanillicin but this comes off genuine. I like that. The label claims smoke; that's definitely not detectable here. Roast is missing. Boy, that floral hop character really turns me off to it; it's way too heavily hopped. Dark malts. An average strength aroma.

T: Somewhat bland chocolate malt comprises the first half, with vanilla carrying the mantle - and boy is it overdone. Too sweet, almost cloying. I don't get much smoke at all; I don't know what that's about. Floral hopping destroys the balance, coming through far more than it should and ruining the focus of the beer. Where's the roast? Too sweet. A messy beer with no sense of balance. Lacks complexity and subtlety. Actually there's no subtlety here at all. I do like what they're going for, but they really missed the mark. If I had to pick a "favourite" note, I'd go with the chocolate, which feels like cocoa powder rather than generic chocolate malt. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Too bitter.

Mf: Smooth and wet, just as it should be. Carbonation is almost there - just a touch overdone. Thickness is good. Palate presence is decent. It's got enough body, and suits the style, but the flavour profile just isn't there to meet it. It's a bit lumpy, which I don't like. Like powdered cocoa mix mixed with milk.

Dr: Overall, I'm underwhelmed - but there's potential here. I'll revisit Almanac but so far I've been disappointed. Still, I don't view them as hopeless; they're trying interesting things and I applaud that. If they could just get the execution up to par! Hides its ABV well. It's fairly drinkable, but the lack of quality really holds it back. It's a badly done porter with interesting ambition.

Low C-

 2,870 characters

Photo of Birmz
2.6/5  rDev -29%

Photo of ehammond1
2.71/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Appropriate pour: dark brown, near black, and moderate in body. Small dark brown head. Leaves the glass slightly messy.

Aroma of roast, a bit of coffee, and some chocolate, though it's not exactly integrated into one altogether nicely. Inviting, however.

Any flaw in the aroma is a standout in the flavor; the individual flavors just don't seem to come together that well. A hoppy, bitter, piney porter, with just trace amounts of inexpensive chocolate and coffee. Not what I was looking for when I ordered this, so that may color this even further, unfortunately.

Thin to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

A coffee chocolate black IPA, maybe, but not a chocolate porter. I ended up quite disappointed in this.

 770 characters

Photo of Rollzroyce21
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Photo of popery
2.86/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Pours wall to wall black. Big, puffy, khaki head. The head foams up aggressively before settling into a thick blanket of fine foam. I’m mostly getting milk chocolate from the aroma, though some other aromas come in once I get used to it. At first blush, it legitimately smells like a dessert made with lots of milk chocolate. Big vanilla note, too. Smells very sweet. Hops provide a mix of floral and citrus and actually detract a bit from the aroma for me. I thought the chocolate seemed off, but the hops just add a funny twist. Still, it’s overall a nice smelling beer. On the other hand, the taste is oddly harsh and just seems like a mess of clashing flavors. A fairly bland citric hop bitterness dominates the beer. Unfortunately, the sweeter flavors are mostly just an over the top vanilla tone. The chocolate is way too weak, particularly after the promise of the aroma. Plus, it’s not a rich flavor, closer to baker’s chocolate than anything. Lingering hop and roast bitterness. Mouthfeel starts out way too effervescent, gets creamy before it just thins out too much. Generally, too thin, though. The carbonation is off, particularly for a porter. It just takes away from the flavors. I liked this one better on tap, so this bottle is fairly disappointing.

 1,274 characters

Photo of Rick778
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of geuze_gone_wild
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of 510a
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of Raziel313
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of grrrah
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of ZombieJester
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of C_S
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of bcerv-ca
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of impending
3.16/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

B -

Hopmonk Novato. Dark dense fully opaque with walnut highlights, minor tan head, minimal lacing.

Aroma is properly roasty but not finding the level of chocolate I hope for, bittersweet.

The taste too is far from expectation, which seems now undeserved but all the same this is a simply wonderful name for a brew but it is so far from deserving of the name. If this was called BDC Porter I say it was a fine brew and indeed it is, but . . . . . . .
so it is when you are allergic to marketing
cheers
jd

 509 characters

Photo of joeyjojojrshabadoo
3.19/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.24/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Provisions, in the Circle in Orange, CA.

For Raul's 200th review, he got himself his first Almanac and he is none to impressed. After letting this thang lie out for a while like Sue Hayes in Lolita, the flavors were still insipid and uninspired. I mean, why make a Porter if the taste and mouthfeel is that of a chocolate coke that has been sitting opened in the fridge for 3 weeks? It's not as if this thing is repulsive like waking up next to Lindsay Lohan without make up on, but it's not exactly welcoming either. Average at best.

 545 characters

Photo of Jeffsta1
3.24/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Medium dark root beer color. Big, big, coarse head.

Smell of musty root beer, herbal, sweet. Odd.

Hints of mild cocoa on the palate. Bright, light flavor. Not a porter on the tongue.

Overly carbonated.

Very light finish.

Do not re-buy.

 241 characters

Photo of litheum94
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of twenty5
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of Skeeze
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

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Biere De Chocolat from Almanac Beer Co.
3.66 out of 5 based on 211 ratings.
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