Chocolate Ale
Boulevard Brewing Co.

Chocolate AleChocolate Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Strong Ale
Ranked #249
Ranked #29,513
3.76 | pDev: 15.96%
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States
Very Good
Chocolate AleChocolate Ale
Notes: One of the brightest stars in a city filled with culinary treasures, Christopher Elbow has been handcrafting masterpieces in chocolate for more than ten years. In that time the reputation of his artistic delicacies has spread around the globe. Elbow’s sweets are distinguished by their use of unusual and sometimes surprising flavors and ingredients; in that adventurous spirit we joined forces to bring you a very special Chocolate Ale.

In developing this beer, Elbow and Boulevard brewmaster Steven Pauwels sought to harmonize the interplay of chocolate and malt, with each supporting and enhancing, but not overwhelming, the other. Just the right chocolate was essential. Elbow recommended a rare variety from the Dominican Republic, prized for its robust flavor and aroma, and a personal favorite. More than a mere flavoring, the chocolate — in the form of nibs, or crushed, roasted beans – was incorporated into the brewing process itself.

24 IBU
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 299 | Ratings: 1,007
Photo of Harrison8
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours foggy, lightly-murky with two fingers of khaki foam. Aroma is roasty, toasty, earthy, nutty malts with cocoa nibs and chocolate skimmed off the top. Chocolate and cocoa nibs are lightly dry and sweet, with the bulk of the malts being lightly sweet to moderately bitter (leans bitter). It has a distinct dryness. Flavor profile is earthy, nutty, bready, roasty, toasty malts with dry cocoa nibs up front that become heavy chocolate at the front. It never becomes sugary sweet, maintaining a nice balance with the chocolate delivering a lightly sweet and dry presence. Mouth feel is medium-thick with a little velvety texture. Overall, balance is struck well with chocolate being a heavy presence in the flavor profile, but not so much the aroma.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from a 12oz bottle.

 806 characters

Photo of donspublic
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into tulip, good 1 finger tan head, good retention and lacing. Rubyish amber in the glass, somewhat opaque. Chocolate on the nose, along with some brown sugar, vanilla. Taste is caramel malt up front with chocolate and vanilla in the middle. Finish is semi sweet with the chocolate and vanilla lingering on the palate. Very enjoyable, not too much of anything, really easy drinker for 8.7%. Would be great to have after a good meal or with a cheese plate.

 480 characters

Photo of Lucular
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

5 oz pour on tap. Pretty mediocre considering it's a strong ale from Boulevard. Weak on the (almost medicinal) chocolate flavor and not very complex. The 8.7% alcohol is fairly well hidden. Not bad, but disappointing.

 217 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.54/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown in color with a hazy complexion. There’s plenty of carbonation bubbles erupting from within. Faint milk chocolate and vanilla is detectable in the nose. I’m tasting pure milk chocolate with a splash of vanilla in the finish. The mouth is lightly oily and dry.

 274 characters

Photo of jjamadorphd
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Good chocolaty taste without really being a dessert beer...

I expected a darker beer but was instead greeted with something that was somewhere between dark orange and a caramel-brown, thin foam, no lacing. The smell was a mix of cocoa, chocolate, and light on malt - making for a sweet scent, with a mouthfeel that was well carbonated and just slightly astringent. Taste-wise it was a blend of chocolate, some spice, and the malt all full-flavored and quite enjoyable. Not the best I've had but certainly one you can impress a person or two with...

 552 characters

Photo of Saylor
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer takes me back to the days in the restaurant business where you would make a deep, heavy brownie w a slight crispy top that got served warm and covered w caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. Well done Boulevard!!

 221 characters

Photo of ChrisMon02
2.93/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

I usually love Boulevard's offerings but this one is just plain weird. Chocolate ale? I don't taste or smell any chocolate. Believe me, I tried. I get faint berry flavor and that is it. Thankfully I bought a single. If I had bought a 4 pack I would be pissed.

 259 characters

Photo of Shade1951
2.13/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Sorry. This didn't work for me. I must say that the flavor IS chocolatey, but not a pleasant type of chocolate - unless you are into very dark, bitter chocolate flavors.

I'm not. And I rated my experience as best I could based on my aversion to very bitter chocolate flavor.

However, anyone actually reading this shouldn't take my word for it. If you like bitter, and you like dark bitter chocolate, you may love this brew. It's just not my thing.

 450 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Features cacao nibs and chocolate and vanilla extracts - a collab with Christopher Elbow - 8.7% abv, best by date of 12/20/19...

Pours a ruddy brown, hazed to a uniform translucence under a coupla fingers of off-white foam... Nose and palate receive impressions of hearty malts, watery hot cocoa, and muted citrus, with the chocolate and malts kinda melding together while the citrus runs subtly throughout... Medium-light body has a bit of tingle and leaves a little bit of shellac behind...

I'll say that the beer does what it says, but I guess I prefer a chocolaty stout, or an amber or pale ale that isn't chocolaty, or something like that... A top-tier beer would overcome my personal biases, and though this beer is good, it's not that good...

Still worth checking out if you're a fan of chocolaty and malty "pale" ales...

 832 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
2.54/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Single 12 oz bottle poured into Christmas chalice.

Looking like an amber ale, I guess I expected a porter or something; the body is reddish brown with an off-white head of 1 finger. It recedes to 1/2 finger with no lace.

Aroma is of faint faint vanilla sandwich cookie, slight cocoa, and planty hop. Very faint, undefined.

Flavor is like a Budweiser with cacao nibs. Fusel alcohol, mineral water, faint cinnamon//rice, egg nog, and drunk grains. Overall though, it's kind of a general beer taste and I never describe a beer like that - it's pretty bad.

Feel is hot and burns in the throat, with a slickness and a moderate carbonation.

Overall, the closest thing style wise here is a white stout, but even then it'd be the shittiest white stout I've ever had. So maybe a Budweiser with cocoa nibs. What the hell were they thinking with this? If I home brewed this I'd have dumped it shamefully. At $4 a bottle, it's an easy rip-off - I'm just glad I didn't buy a 4 pack. Please Boulevard, take this one out of rotation.

 1,027 characters

Photo of HoppingMadMonk
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Medium body with medium carbonation.
Aroma is vanilla, chocolate, sugary and cocoa
Taste is almost cake like with the mix of chocolate and vanilla. Sweet but far from cloying,makes a good dessert beer

 209 characters

Photo of Rseanchardy
4.37/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow the notes of Chocolate and vanilla and fantastic. A lot lighter color and taste then expected but bold flavors. Strong beer and smooth going down.

 150 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is decent a very dark orange amber brown with little to no head that fades into nothing. Smell at first was weird cocoa nibs but mildly chemical. Repeated sniffs about the same has a weird old ale caramel malt that clashes with the cocoa nibs in a hard way. Well it's more of a decent old ale with a mild cocoa aftertaste. Really weird and herbal not balancing one would expect with the name chocolate ale. Body is OK has some biting ethanol which is to be expected.

Overall I expected maybe a base of say... A STOUT? But to be surprised as an old ale I expected at least a more sweeter edge. It drinks fine but is still not my cup of chocolate!

 657 characters

Photo of jkblr
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottled 12/20/18 bb 12/20/19 poured into a Boulevard tulip glass at fridge temp 8.7% ABV 24 IBU. The beer pours mostly bright with some chill haze. The color is medium to light amber with some brown tones. The head is very light khaki in color and recedes to a thin ring. No lacing. The aroma is mild and mimics cocoa powder and peanut. The taste is mildly sweet cocoa and malt interwoven more than I expected. The mouthfeel is medium plus bodied with strong carbonation and a mostly dry finish. Overall, unique and well crafted. This beer is truly a strong ale first with the cocoa beans and other additives given a very subtle treatment. Very good. The cocoa and vanilla seem to come out more as the beer approaches room temperature.

 751 characters

Photo of Suds
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew is a very clear, amber-brown caramel color. The aroma is a mix of cocoa, vanilla, and a little wood. It is a sweet and desert-like scent. The taste is balanced, with plenty of nutty, malt, chocolate, and spice complexity. Cocoa and malt in the finish. Nice.

 272 characters

Photo of Tilley4
4.21/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The key to this beer is temperature... too cold and you miss out and it just tastes like a Belgian ale with a little chocolate thrown in... let it we're talking...

The Belgian yeasty influence is quite surprising and threw me off at first but I really started to enjoy the earthy balance as the cacao began to shine through with the cocoa flavors... don't think sweet...its not... like a rich dark Lindt bar of chocolate... the 86% kind... glad it's not a sugar bomb and you can taste the cacao in it...

Picked up a couple of 4 packs and will throw a couple back to see how this ages...

 609 characters

Photo of maxsdad27
4.16/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pretty good cold out of the fridge into a glass. Taste, color, aroma and smell all improved as the temperature begins to increase. Light, chocolaty, crisp with a vanilla aftertaste. High ABV doesnt hit you on the face. Surprising to me how much I liked this. Better than any chocolate stout I've tried.

 303 characters

Photo of rgk3
2.03/5  rDev -46%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Sorry, just did not get this one at all. Desperately tried to taste the chocolate and failed. Actually confused about what it was trying to be but "Chocolate Ale" led me to believe some chocolate notes. Didn't look like it, smell like it, or taste like it. Actually got worse as it warmed a little. Undrinkable at the end. Disappointed by Boulevard and by a limited release. Not sure what I'll do with the other three, but I won't be drinking them.

 448 characters

Photo of Mindcrime1000
3.76/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a single serve into a tulip...

Dark bottle. Dark name. Remarkably light by comparison. Pours copper/brown with little head, and moderate lacing. Hazy/cloudy. Not quite what was expected, but not marked down for that. Just unremarkable.

Grain and yeast notes very forward on the nose, with fruity notes following. The chocolate appears like a faint carob/cocoa powder finish in the background. Just a hint of honey and booze. As the beer warms, the yeast notes intensify, making this one of the more yeasty brews I've had recently.

The flavor also features grain and yeast at the forefront, with the yeast presenting in particularly tasty fashion. Biscuit and bread-dough prominent. Very little chocolate, initially, although it is present and welcome, and opens up as the brew warms. Caramel and nutty flavors also show up as the temperature shifts. The malt is ever-present. Although the IBU's are definitely low, there is just a hint of hop bitterness that mates well with a touch of booze warmth.

The finish and feel are well done, as expected from this brewer, although the carbonation is a bit lacking.

Overall, I'm a bit puzzled by the name, as the chocolate is definitely a background note; but a good brew in its own right. The yeast notes are very good.

 1,296 characters

Photo of MrFitgers
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very light ale for it’s ABV...with a very good balance of chocolate & malt. I found this Boulevard Ale as a delightful addition to its fine line-up!
Someone actually referred to this Ale as tasting like sour garbage water?!? He really needs to have his taste buds medically checked out...this sounds serious!

 310 characters

Photo of bbtkd
3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Boulevard Chocolate Ale, 8.7% ABV. Pours medium brown with a foamy 2+ finger off-white head that left some foamy lacing. Nose is fruit and slight chocolate, taste follows with more chocolate in the aftertaste. Decent mouthfeel, though seemed a bit undercarbonated. Overall excellent.

 287 characters

Photo of GarrettB
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

May 25th, 2015 - The big surprise here occurs when a chocolate ale pours a more like an IPA in color, slightly hazy and light brown with very little head to speak of. The aroma is a little tangy, with raspberry and hazelnut notes, and a gentle floral layer that reminds me of Hawaii. The palate is quite foamy, starting bright with some graham cracker sweetness. This is also a curious extension of the mismatched expectations in appearance and color. The tanginess is bright but not fruity (mango, perhaps) with some almond and almond butter extensions. It's a weird but good beer, and pushes the envelope on flavors without using extreme methods like barrel aging.

 666 characters

Photo of Mitzvahman72
4.81/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

With a straight amber color, it has flavors of dried fruits and apricot along with midrange malts and caramel, along with a splash of starfruit added to the aroma. Along the way, there is a good amount of cocoa nibs and milk chocolate that mesh well with the beer. Overall, it is a sweet yet citrusy chocolate beer. It is also diary-free! That way, those who don’t mix meat and dairy together can have this beer with a meat meal. Other good chocolate options are the Boatswain Chocolate Stout from Trader Joe’s, Eugene Porter from Revolution Brewing, the Decadent Dark Chocolate Ale from Atwater Brewing as well as the Edmund Fitzgerald from Great Lakes Brewing Company. Other similar beers are the Double Nut Brown from Mammoth Brewing Company, Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale from New Belgium Brewing and the Coconut Molasses Brown Ale from Duck Foot Brewing.

 866 characters

Photo of GuyFawkes
2.79/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Unknown vintage; drank 6/12/15 on draft @ the Village Inn.

Murky orange rust appearance.

Khaki head; decent lace.

Mildly sour fruit in the nose. Odd.

Medium mouthfeel.

Faint chocolate flavor with a stale, sour garbage water finish. I hope the line was dirty or something; this was gross.

 297 characters

Photo of zac16125
2.82/5  rDev -25%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

750mL bottle into a tulip
No bottling dates

A: Murky, browish copper, small white head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing. 2.5

S: Aroma is interesting. There is chocolate there, but also something else that seems a bit off, malted wheat maybe. There an almost spicy character to it. There’s just not a long going on here. 3

T: Taste is ok. I’m not really sure what the base beer style is, in fact I have no clue which after closee to 950 full reviews doesn’t happen to me often anymore, my guess would be wheatwine (looking it up I see its an American Strong Ale). There is some chocolate, but its not particularly strong, or even good. Also some bitterness. Not much else. 2.75

M/D: Mouthfeel is fuller bodied, carbonation on the higher end, ABV is well restrained, drinkability is average. 3

O: I’ve generally found the Boulevard Smokestack series to be really good, but honestly this is just a huge miss for me. I’m not really sure what they were trying to do, but regardless I think its pretty safe to say they did not succeed. My recommendation would be to pass on this one. 2.75

 1,123 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Chocolate Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 1007 ratings