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 Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

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 UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

5.5% ABV per the label.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. A foamy latticework of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa nibs, and vanilla aromas. Taste is much the same with dark chocolate and chocolate syrup flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice aroma but the flavors are more bitter and roasty than the smell would lead you to believe.

 624 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I loved this, unique and tasty, the vanilla is just enough, not too much, a whole lot of fun here, and a beer that continues my intrigue with this brewery. it pours indeed chocolaty brown, dark and bubbly but not too heady, simple looking, but not smelling. its much more robust aromatically, with chocolate malt and actual cocoa melding beautifully. semisweet, like tollhouse chips, with a woody element. the depth of flavor is also excellent, rich and balanced without being too much of what it additives suggest it might. its just right, really subtle and genius. well done. it is a little thin though, id love a little more mouth coating body with this, just because the flavors are so good, I don't want it to finish as fast as it does, not that its quick, just that I love it. I want more instantly. impressive stuff from the Californians again, I will remember this one. fresh as it gets.

 895 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +9.3%

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 oline73
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of mactrail
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark in the snifter with a modest foam and carbonation. Malty with a bare hint of burnt sugar sweetness at first. Thin body with a slight slick mouthfeel.

Tastes exactly like bitter chocolate on the first sip. Quite dry and melts away to a mineral, bitter finish. I don't sense much hop flavor, but supposed to be brewed with the aromatic Ivanhoe (California Cluster) hops. A hint of cocoa and some dark roasted grain. Quite drinkable and admirably austere for a chocolate-flavored beer, unless you like the sweet, milky variety.

Found this and a couple other Almanac beers at Bine & Vine in San Diego in 12 oz bottles. I took the photo.

 645 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4.46/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.96/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of vfgccp
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A - Great looking porter. Black-brown with cola highlights. Nice retention and lace on a tan head.

S - Dark bread crust, char, bitter sweet chocolate cookies, caramel licorice.

T - Super dry cocoa powder, caramel, vanilla, molasses-rich gingerbread, burnt sugar.

M - Light throughout with excellent drinkability. Chalky dryness on the finish.

O - The flavors remind me of dry, bold shwartzbier. One of the better tasting porters I've ever had, although I'm ambivalent about how light the body is.

 500 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of duceswild
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of MarkyMOD
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of rab53
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a very dark brown, appearing black in the glass, with a massive brown head that fills 1/3 of the and continues growing for some time, eventually leaving massive lacing. Aroma of chocolate syrup with much lighter toasted malt, more chocolate. Flavor follows, chocolate dominating with toasted, charred malt and hints of vanilla, sweet at first, then finishing much drier with charred coffee, vanilla and bittering hops. Light to medium bodied. Flavors are somewhat attenuated, almost seeming slightly watered down, but there is still a lot going on here. It makes me hope for an imperial version of this with all these good flavors amped up. A nice low to medium ABV chocolate porter.

 733 characters

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