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Chocolate Ale | Boulevard Brewing Co.

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Chocolate AleChocolate Ale
964 Ratings
Chocolate AleChocolate Ale

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.10%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by HOPPYKC on 02-09-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 964 |  Reviews: 275
Photo of dbrauneis
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a very hazy medium amber-ish copper in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and moderate orange + cola brown highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy tan head that reduces to a large patch of medium thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of cacao nibs and cocoa powder with moderate aromas of cereal grain malts and brown sugar sweetness.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of cereal grain malts with a light to moderate amount of brown sugar sweetness and just a hint of nuttiness. Moderate to strong flavors of cacao nibs and cocoa powder as well as some light notes of dark chocolate. No perceptible hop presence.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable with the alcohol very well hidden though I might have liked a little more body in the mouthfeel on this one. Nice complex chocolate flavors and aromas with much stronger flavors than aromas.

 1,154 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the 2014 Secret Stash Bash (Atlanta).
Pours clear dark amber. Very good head.

Nose is mainly rousted chocolate nibs. Chocolate really comes out in this ale.\: Ii's actually the main flavor component. Still, not as tasty as fine chocolate on its own, but an impressive brewing achievement.

Medium light body medium carbonation.

O: exceptional and unusual.

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at SMBDC growler/bottle tasting thanks to BlessedBeBeer.

A: Big fluffy head, lots of lacing, semi hazy ruby brown orange maple color.

N: Cocoa nibs, dark & med to light malts, very light dirty, musty earthy malts, light earthy hops, various chocolate aromas.

T: Chocolate! Baker's, cocoa nibs, tootsie rolls, creamy choc, some dark fruit, bit spicy, sweet malts, chewy malts, light bitter earthy hops, all that with light malts overall. Finishes creamy, semi sweet, bitter hops, light chocolate, long finish.

M: Med to a bit heavier bodied, decent carb.

O: Good, nice choc, malts, light hops, not much for booze either, tasty.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 2/17/2012 at British Beer Company, in Walpole, MA served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is all chocolate along with some caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste likewise is all chocolate up front and chocolate throughout which is surprising given the lighter color of the beer compared to other beers with the heavy chocolate flavor. The malt character is hearty and the hops presence is mild but complementary creating a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry but slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style in that this beer is exactly what the name implies, it’s not a stout, it’s a chocolate ale.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to welosiped for sending this bottle out my way. Served in a tulip.

Pour yields a copper-colored brew that is mostly clear. Off white head lasts for a good time and leaves an average amount of spotty lacing behind. The nose has a bit of caramel, but is overloaded with chocolate. However, it's more reminiscent of packaged chocolate milk or Hershey syrup rather than cocoa nibs. One dimensional and a bit fake. Not sure whether actual cocoa was used, but it doesn't really seem like it. The same can be said of the flavor. Body is medium with light carbonation, and the finish is slightly-astringent. Overall, not big on this one.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Best by Sep 2014, opened Jan 2015

A - Tons of sediment throughout the glass. Light maple apricot body. Low head with ok retention and low lace.

S - Dry milk chocolate, hint of booze, cinnamon, nutmeg, prune.

T - Huge tootsie roll flavor. Chocolate milk, edge of booze, pumpernickel bread, caramel.

M - Medium-light body. Par carbonation.

O - Really interesting. A well executed take on a chocolate flavored beer.

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Photo of billab914
2.44/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to IrishColonial for sharing this one the other night. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured reddish copper in color with a thin white lacing. Color was nice looking but not at all what I expected for a chocolate beer.

The aroma has a very strange green bean flavor to it. Some Belgian yeast spice is there and a hint of chocolate but the combination just comes off so vegetal like. I can't stop thinking of green beans every time I take a whiff.

The taste shows a little more chocolate to it with some cocoa lasting into the finish. The Belgian yeast gives it a bit of a earthy, spicy flavor. A little too much cocoa powder like though. It doesn't come together well at all for me.

The mouthfeel is thin with carbonation being high. Overall I didn't think this was a good beer at all and most of it got dumped in the sink. The green bean aroma was probably the strangest aroma I've ever encountered in a beer. It didn't taste as bad as it smelled, but it wasn't that great either.

* I didn't write down the batch number on the bottle but we looked it up before we opened it and it was not one of the reportedly infected batches they are offering refunds for.

 1,193 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml corked & caged bottle into a couple of glasses.

Pours a clear rosy amber, topped with a ½ finger of smooth off-white head. This leaves back a foamy cascade of light spotty lacing that quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of earthy hops, cocoa, light toffee and a gentle toasted nuttiness. This has an interesting mix of flavors going on with it.

The taste is green earthy hops, more of a softer fruitiness that pairs up well with the cocoa accents here, some tangier feeling caramel flavor and then finally dry and bitter on the finish with a light lingering nuttiness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth and creamy feel up front that then lays a touch of sharpness on the tongue the rest of the way. Alcohol adds some spicy warmth to this, especially on the finish.

This wasn’t what I was initially thinking this was going to be (thought it was going to be darker) but that was OK! I liked how the chocolate here was more of a complimentary flavor to the others things that were going on with this, while the higher alcohol gives this a heft that made it more of a warming after dinner sipper. This was well crafted and interesting.

 1,183 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of ZEB89
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of russpowell
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Fred at the Biergarten in Jenks for setting aside a bottle for me!

Pours an effervescent amber with a pinky of sand colored head into a Boulevard Smokestack goblet. Opened with a big pop! Above average head retention & some lacing

S: Cocoa nibs & vanilla, faded over time

T: Follows the nose, slight cakeyness, reminds me of slightly boozey cake batter to be more specific. Booze & cocoa dance as this warms along with dryness, a slight hazel nuttyness & woody hop bitterness, piney notes too. Finishes with cocoa powder dryness, slight apricot fruitiness from the yeast fights through at the end along with a bit more hazel nut

MF: Medium bodied fairly assertive carbonation, nice warming sensation, working for me on a cool damp winter's eve

Drinks very easy for the style & ABV. Tasty, but not mind blowing, I would be just as happy with another bottle of Ommegang's Chocolate offering. This one actually could age into something better, I'm thinking. Since I only got the 1 bottle, I may never know...

 1,020 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Courses from the bottle a clouded, amber-hued body with a fizzy head that peters out fairly rapidly.

Smell: Not quite the straight-up chocolate candy bar scent of alot of chocolate-infused beers, as this one has a strong toasted bread component. Small, small hint of fruit.

Taste: My initial impression of a slice of well-toasted white bread brushed with Smucker's chocolate topping. Some sweet tastes of brown sugar and caramel follow. Low fruitiness lingering in there. Still, it's mostly toasty and that Smucker's taste, and, as a guy who'd eat that for breakfast as a kid (thanks, mom and dad), I'm down with that.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: It definitely masks its alcohol content well, and, with a taste like Smucker's...

 779 characters

Photo of drewone
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 06/25/11 notes. Bottled shared by nimbleprop at a recent tasting; thanks Mac. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Bruery tulip.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of chocolate, wood, toasted malts, and roasted malts. Chocolate obviously dominates the nose, and it's really nice.

t - Tastes of chocolate, roasted malts, wood, and slightly bitter chocolate/hops. Good but a slight step down from the nose due to the light bitterness.

m - Medium body and light carbonation.

o - Overall a good beer, though I think this is one to share with some friends. I think it would be tough to tackle a whole bottle of this by yourself. Would have it again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another new one for me, i decided to open this one after i finished off the fresh harvest and decanted it into a snifter.

A thick head of brown forms on the top and quickly starts to coalesce into a full on cloud that just will not drop away. Really nicely put together as always the rich dark chocolate aroma mixes with tons of coffee and burnt molasses to form a thick and foreboding aroma that really just does not cease to amaze. Decadent in every sense of the word it just seems to drip layer upon layer of thick dark chocolate onto the palate and hints of bourbon, coffee, licorice all follow suit. Light vanilla and molasses round out the finish

overall a really nice done beer. came across to me as more of a belgian ris.

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Photo of atlbravsrno1
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of WoodBrew
4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My excellent neighbor once again provides a wonderful delight from Boulevard. The Chocolate Ale deom the smoke stack series hits a home run! The color was a complete surprise to me....I was expecting a dark rich color, but instead it was a cloudy amber beer with thin white head. The aroma screammed dark choclate. The tast starts as a normal ale, then the finish is a sweet hersey chocolate bar. The mouthfeel is quite nice, the abv is nicely balanced.

 453 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.46/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The cork was very difficult to get out, but eventually it was freed. The beer pours an amber/copper color with a finger or so of tan head.

S: At first, this beer doesn't really smell like chocolate. As it warms up a bit, there is a bit of a cocoa powder aroma to it. Smells a bit salty, almost like soy sauce, though. Definitely a bit of vanilla.

T: This beer really just reminds me of drinking cream soda. A ton of sweet vanilla flavor throughout with a moderate chocolate character to it.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high carbonation.

O: Not at all what I was expecting given the name of "Chocolate Ale".

 663 characters

Photo of PA-Michigander
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Thanks to jl28r1 for this bottle!

Kinda wish I had this handy whilst taking down the Box o' Chocolates those times. Oh, well... Regardless, it pours a clear sunrise russet topped by a healthy finger of khaki froth. Honestly, I expected something darker. Not that this looks bad, just unexpected. The nose is pretty much straight dark chocolate, with a hint of fudge in the background. This ain't no sweet chocolate, either: It's brash, slap-you-in-your-sad-little-sweet-expecting-face bitter cooking chocolate, baby. Dizzamn. The taste doesn't change things up very much, though the chocolate's bitterness seems cut a bit. It's still quite a bit of some black-hole-style dark chocolate, don't get me wrong. I think some dark greens and some rich toffee are mixed in there as well, but it's hard to tell with all of this chocolate hangin' 'round here. Not bad, really. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a feel that yearns to be chewy. Overall, a tasty brew that definitely lives up to its name. Sure, it's a one-trick pony, but it's a pretty decent trick...

 1,127 characters

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of tdm168
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Chocolate Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 964 ratings
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