Chocolate Porter
Bayhawk Ales

Chocolate PorterChocolate Porter
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Porter - Baltic
2.88 | pDev: 25.35%
Bayhawk Ales
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Chocolate PorterChocolate Porter
View: Beers
Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 132 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by travolta:
Photo of travolta
travolta from California

2.92/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A soft, almost grey head with some nice lacing. As black in color as you'd expect.

Nose: Dark chocolate powder, a flash of licorice,

Taste: Cola taste all the way through. A bit watery for my taste.

Notes: Totally tastes like a "house beer". I was not impressed. However, if someone were in need of an introduction to dark beers, this could be a nice first step.

Jul 26, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

3.41/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #75 (April 2013):

A bit more cleaning up and this would be a winner. The distractions take away from it, though it ends up being a decent sip. Don’t be tricked by the name as the chocolate character is pretty light. A decent Baltic Porter at best.

STYLE: Baltic Porter
ABV: 7.9%

LOOK: Dark brown, ruddy highlights

SMELL: Toffee, chocolate, mild roastiness, ripe figs, Brazil nuts, yeasty

TASTE: Smooth, creamy, medium body; slight chocolate edge, burnt sugar, coffee grounds, yeast, mineral, walnut skin; warming, semidry finish

Mar 07, 2015
Photo of beerguy101
beerguy101 from California

1.55/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Dark black color. Medium bodied. Aroma is chocolate with a touch of roasted malts. A light bodied porter. Malts are roasted and choclately. But it a VERY lactic tasting porter. Taste is thin and watery. Not much flavor. Possibly infected? Not very good either way, Drain pour. Mouthfeel is thin. Finish is dry. Aftertaste is sour.

Oct 07, 2003
Photo of Pegasus
Pegasus from Texas

3/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep amber in color, with a modest tan head, which retains only slightly, and scattered patchy lacing.

Aroma: Moderate aromas of milk chocolate and cold coffee. There is no hint of alcohol in the aroma.

Taste: Opens with moderate notes of cocoa and coffee. As the taste progresses, the cocoa and coffee intensify a bit. The high ABV remains undetectable. Finishes with a lingering, mild note of bitter cocoa.

Mouth feel: A bit thin, with mild carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A decent, though unremarkable example of the style.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom twelve-ounce brown glass long neck bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Nov 10, 2013
Photo of BeerManDan
BeerManDan from California

3.18/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This porter poured a very dark brown with a light tan head with little foam and some retention while drinking. The smell was of roasted malts and some chocolate. The taste of roasted malts and chocolate was average. The only set back was not the bitterness, but it had a sour flavor that some how took away what pleasant flavor it had. Well balanced, but the sour taste was it's down fall!

Apr 24, 2003
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

2.66/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bayhawk's Chocolate Porter delivers a slightly hazy, deep-mahogany body beneath a short head of creamy light-tan foam that holds well and leaves some nice lacing at the outset of the glass. The nose reveals some acetic notes and a touch of cocoa, but little more. In the mouth it's thinner than might be expected (medium bodied); but with a fine, slightly restrained carbonation that gently tingles the palate. The flavor, disappointingly, is as the nose suggests. It's acidic up-front over a minor amount of dark malt - although there's not much malt there at all - and the chocolate character only appears for a brief moment at the swallow. Unimpressive to say the least.

Jul 08, 2004
Photo of mzwolinski
mzwolinski from California

2.74/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Very dark brown in color, with a huge light tan head which settles quickly but leaves a good lace down the glass. Aroma is roasty with mild chocolatey notes -- quite sweet and pleasant. The first sip was a shocker. The taste starts off extremely sour, rather like an Old Brown Ale. Malty sweetness kicks in mid palate, maybe a weak milk-chocolate like flavor, and finishes with a pleasant roastiness. All this, however, seems rather insufficient to balance the sour start. A bit thin bodied. I'm not sure what I would think of this on its intrinsic merits, but the taste definitely seems wrong for a chocolate porter, and definitely does not live up to the description posted on the website -- "chocolate and coffee." I emailed the brewmaster who confirmed the presence of the sour taste was not due to a bad batch, but seemed to think it wasn't a bad thing either. To each his own, I guess!

Apr 03, 2003
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum from California

3.12/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bayhawk Ales, Chocolate Porter Ale. Apparently, Bayhawk is Orange County’s oldest Brewery, if they are so well established, how come I have never seen them before, and why is there only one previous review?
Comes in a 22 fl.oz. brown glass bottle with a rather simple white label with black chequer boxes in the corners and a large yellow O with an Eagle in the middle of it.

A dark brown, very clear body that has deep ruby-red hints when held it up to the light. The head is a slight tan color than never builds up to anything more than ½”, and quickly dissipates to a thin halo head with a smattering of a few large surface bubbles.
Aromas are of roast malt with some milk chocolate hints and a slightly sour smell.
Initial tastes are of roast malt and a mild sweetness that leads to a slightly bitter-sour middle. The sourness makes way for a very weak milk-chocolate taste in the finish, that still has a lingering sourness. The Sourness is not offensive but only in the background.

Overall I am struggling to find the Chocolate in this beer, it is low level. Not quite sure what to make of it, I may try it again – but I will not go out of my way to do so.

Cost me $2.95, but there are better Chocolate Porters, well OK Stouts, from Youngs, Rogue, etc. that I would purchase first.

Feb 26, 2003
Photo of Morris729
Morris729 from Texas

3.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown color with some reddish highlights and a short beige head that quickly fades away. Nose is rather subdued but there are faint notes of chocolaty malts and herbal hops. As with the aroma, the taste is rather weak. There are notes of chocolate and coffee, but in a watered down sort of way. You have to allow the beer to warm to almost room temperature before the aroma and flavor seem to be at a normal level of strength. Worth a try—just don’t expect too much.

Nov 07, 2005
Photo of Dmann
Dmann from California

1.66/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is one of the worst porters I've ever had the displeasure of drinking. It poured a decent dark brown color with a small off white head that faded quicky and left little to no lace. The smell was allmost non-existant but for a very slight coffee scent. The taste is downright bad with a very weak flavor of coffee in your mouth and one of the most nasty sour finishes I've had in a long time. Definantly save your dough and get any porter out there other than this.

Apr 23, 2004
Photo of HardTarget
HardTarget from Texas

2.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Bottle Inspection: Brown bomber (1 pt. 6 oz), plain cap, 5.4% abv listed, and what looks like an area to notch month of brewing, but no notch visible.

Aroma: Chocolate malt, hops, hot milk chocolate, and a nice freshly ground barley aroma.

Appearance: My mug is dark, dark brown, almost black, with significant clarity at the edges. The head fizzed up like a soda and died back to a trace cover that left a few streaks of lace.

Flavor: Solid porter taste, west coast hop profile working, but I lose the chocolate in the taste. Very clean, very straight forward profile

Mouthfeel: Thin body, watery texture, high carbonation on the edge of fizzy, and a quick finish. This one really falls down here; it’s very disconcerting to have such a light porter.

Overall Impression: A good porter, well within the taste profile, west coast hoppy, just too light in the mouthfeel, and too little chocolate in the flavor. If you’re into porters, give it a shot, but there is better stuff out there.

As you can tell by the string of Texas reviews, it just hit the shelves out here.

Feb 19, 2006
Photo of weeare138
weeare138 from Pennsylvania

3.18/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a semi-transparent light brown with a light tan head that slowly fades into a mild cap and collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of cocoa, light caramel, toffee, along with a hint of coffee.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a typical stout flavor highlighting cocoa, and caramel.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, very thin, watered down hot chocolate with a touch of caramel.

Jan 10, 2007
Photo of Boilermaker88
Boilermaker88 from California

1.44/5  rDev -50%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Presented in a 22oz. brown bottle with a gold foiled cap and a gold sticker on the side proclaiming this beer to be the "World Beer Cup 2002 gold medal winner". If this was a gold medalist anywhere, it must have been the only one in the category.
Bay Hawk's offering looked okay, maybe a bit lighter colored (a brownish-ruby tone) than expected and had a rather short-lived fizzy tan head that vanished to a thin skim.
The smell was initially somewhat sweet. Couldn't find any chocolate aroma which I thought was the purpose to this beer. Then I noted a disturbing smell which can best be summed up as olive-like. Ouch!
Taste was even worse. Initially, and I mean for a real short time, there was a decent caramel and coffee flavor. Then came the sour, almost vermouth-like flavor. Conspicuously absent was any chocolate. WTF?!
Feel was light- to maybe medium-bodied, fizzy and thin.
Wow, what a disappointment. Actually, a near-total dud. This sad attempt at a style I usually like ended up cleaning the pipes in my kitchen sink. Don't get sucked into spending $2.50 for this brew when there are so many better beers out there.

Oct 20, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT from Ohio

3.5/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This was nice and dark with no real head to speak of.

Smell – The malts here are light and there's an off sweetness that isn't any type of sugar or chocolate.

Taste – There's some chocolate and some porter flavors here along with a weird sweetness. It's nothing to write home about.

Mouthfeel – This is very light, almost light-bodied, with little carbonation.

Sinkability – I just can't find a reason to keep drinking this.

Sep 16, 2007
Photo of dauss
dauss from Colorado

2.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 22oz. bomber. They have a list of the months on the label, but none were marked out.

Appearance: It was a deep and clear ruby red. No trouble seeing through this beer when held up to the light.

Smell: Really malty aroma. There is a aroma of chocolate, but it is in the end, and its a bit hard to pick out. Definite roast malt aroma.

Taste: Medium bodied with moderate malt sweetness. The light roasty malt body gives way to a mild chocolate taste. A very light hop bitterness is in the finish with more mild chocolate.

Notes: Unimpressive. For a chocolate porter, the chocolate is subtle. It is on the bland side, and the bitterness is too weak to balance out the sweet malt body. There is way more chocolate flavor in Fuller's London Porter, and I would buy the London Porter over Bayhawk's Chocolate Porter any day of the weak.

Jan 27, 2006
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude from Arizona

2.54/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Sampled February 2007
Pours with a frothy, initially three-finger thick, light brown head. The beer itself sits a dark, approaching black, brown color in my glass. The aroma is quite interesting, I think there is a strong diacetyl component, but it mixes with the other porter notes to cause a bit of confusion. The diacetyl mixes with perhaps the chocolate to form a sort of faux fruity note and at times I get hints of chocolate and toasted malt aromatics.

The beer feels quite light in the mouth. Unfortunately the flavor almost immediately picks up a note of diacetyl that is the single biggest flavor contributor. The diacetyl mixes with the dark malt notes in the finish to form a sort of off-putting burnt butterscotch note. At times it has a cola like flavor to it, but the chocolate is just drowned out by the diacetyl. A touch of chalky roast malt character is noticeable at times. Diacetyl really does not work in a Porter, or at least this one. Something about the interaction of dark malt notes and the buttery diacetyl just forms something that is even worse than when it is in a paler beer (though it really sucks there for the most part as well). There might be a good beer under here but it is really hard to tell.

Purchased: Park Lane Liquors, Lancaster CA

Mar 13, 2007
Photo of CRJMellor
CRJMellor from Arkansas

2.58/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a dark brown with a some red twinges and an ecru head.
Aroma are of roast nuts and a malted milk shake pop out on a bed of grapfruity hops. Just a hint of sour milk or lactose also present.
Flavors are some mild chocolatey tones vut with a powerful grapefruity bittering that just simply does not flow and work.
Mouthfeel is fuller size of medium bodied but the quirky flavor profile just makes no sense.
Drinkability is poor, this almost seems to be a clone between a porter and a NW IPA, very strange, almost undrinkable as it warmed.

Mar 19, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation from Iowa

3.75/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chocolate Labrador brown with red-orange sparkles when sitting on the coaster, a beautiful shade of crimson when thrust into a shaft of morning sunshine. The cap is golden sand in color and is substantive enough to still be at two fingers after my extensive admiration of the beer itself. While there isn't much lace initially, the glass becomes more thoroughly coated with each successive pour.

Chocolate Porter smells like... a chocolate porter. Moderately roasted malt produces aromas of dark chocolate and, less so, of black coffee. The beer doesn't have the power or the deep, rumbling black maltiness of a stout, but then it isn't one. If the flavor follows suit, this Bayhawk beer will go a long way toward making me forget my first Bayhawk beer, which I've been trying to forget ever since I drank it.

Not bad at all. A bit thin maybe, but not bad. I find it interesting that the entire gamut of malt (well, the major ones anyway) was used: pale, crystal, chocolate and black. Maybe they each play a role and add something of value, what do I know? In terms of the total amount used, more would have been better.

The flavor isn't as chocolate-like as I expected. Whatever chocolate notes are present come from flambed barley, not the addition of actual chocolate. As a result, it isn't a sweet, Nestle Quik kind of chocolate beer, but a roasted grain, more noticeably bitter one. I can even appreciate a little hop flavor, especially on the back end.

Nothing much changes with warming. It's still a light-medium American porter with a roughly equal malt:hop balance that is simple, straightforward, drinkable and likeable. The fact that I'd like to see the body filled out a bit more isn't a criticism so much as a statement of my bigger beer bias. The mouthfeel, whether I love it or not, fits well within the style guidelines for a porter.

I'm ashamed to admit that I was willing to paint the entire Bayhawk line with the ugly brush after tasting just one of their beers. This bottle has restored my faith (temporarily at least) in 'Orange County's Oldest Brewery'. I hope the rest of the Bayhawk beer that currently resides in my cellar will at least reach the bar set by Chocolate Porter, if not soar over it entirely.

Nov 16, 2005
Photo of Gagnonsux
Gagnonsux from Texas

3.75/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chocolate Porter is dark brown with a creamy, smallish head. The aroma is a pleasent mix of chocolate and roastiness. Flavor is more of the same, plenty of chocolate flavor with an underlying roastiness. Flavor also has a bit of a lactose-like sweetness. The only downside is a body that is a bit on the thin side for a porter. Drinkability is very good, I'll have to see if any other Bayhawk products arrive in Texas.

Dec 31, 2005
Photo of DrJay
DrJay from Texas

3.08/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very dark with brown edges and a thin layer of tan bubbles coating the beer and sides of the glass. Bitter chocolate aroma with light roast and toffee. Creamy texture medium plus bodied with lowish carbonation. It's fairly bitter with mild malty sweetness, grassy with some alcohol and slight tartness present. I enjoyed the aroma, but the flavour seemed off to me.

Aug 26, 2011
Photo of OStrungT
OStrungT from California

3.7/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark auburn brown. It has a creamy tan head. It fades quiclky leaving few laces. It smells of chocolate, but not as strongly as I was expecting. It also smells mildly malty. It has a light chocolate taste to it. I am a little dissapointed by the lack of chocolate flavor. I have had beers that didnt call themselves chocolate beers, with more chocolate flavor. This beer is carbonated about right. It leaves a malty aftertaste on the palate. It is medium bodied and not too aggressive. This beer would probably make a great session beer. It is low in alcohol, and the taste is not too strong. If you get the chance, and you dont have any better beers to buy, you should try this beer. It is about average.

Apr 03, 2005
Photo of allengarvin
allengarvin from Texas

3.52/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber in a pint glass. Dark brown beer, tinted reddish-brown along the edges, with a fading head of tan foam that, after a moment, forms but a film across the top. Pleasant cocoa/milk chocolate aroma, sweet and malty. Lightly chocolate malt flavor, somewhat like watered-down chocolate milk, makes up the bulk of the flavor. It's not unpleasant, but there's not much here. Thin-bodied, watery.

A thoroughly disappointing beer, especially compared to the solid California PA, the other Bayhawk beer I've tried.

Jan 06, 2006
Photo of texashammer
texashammer from Texas

3.8/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

black, with bright ruby tones in light. abundant light tan head, fades but not too quickly. smell of chocolate, of the sweetened variety, and burnt roast malt. tastes the same. good balance; slightly sweet. rich, not overly carbonated. good english-style porter. quite drinkable.

Dec 27, 2005
Photo of hopdog
hopdog from Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle shared courtesy of weeare138.

Poured a dark brown color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of cocoa and roasted malts. Tastes of chocolate, roasted malts, and light coffee. The chocolate wasn't as strong as I would have hoped for. Thinner body.

Notes from 1/5/07

Nov 24, 2008
Photo of 1971bernat
1971bernat from Virginia

4/5  rDev +38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mar 26, 2020
Chocolate Porter from Bayhawk Ales
Beer rating: 71 out of 100 with 132 ratings