Chocolate Ale | Boulevard Brewing Co.

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 ZEB89
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of Chaney
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Sunn
2.5/5  rDev -32.6%

Photo of Drknight
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of fredmugs
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Moses_Malone
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of freemanj
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Mein_Bier_Stein
1.9/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.75

750ml 09-2014, tulip, drank 2/2014

Loud pop, too much carbonation. Not what I was hoping. Have had previous iterations of BCA. They were MUCH better. They had less carbonation, more sweetness and a fantastic aroma, but not this bottle. Have had previous years, both 750s and on tap.

A - Copper / amber color, very much what I expected. Lots of carbonation, not expecting this. Halfway expecting a dry finish beer due to bottle fermentation. Head dies quickly, light lacing.

S - Yeast. Where is the chocolate? Where is the vanilla? If you wait minutes and sneak up on the glass then you can get a faint chocolate aroma. I get more chocolate aroma from a reeses peanut butter cup package, ugh. If you want to smell the cocoa, then you will have to wait again for it to come back, because it goes away very quickly. Never got vanilla from it this time.

T - Dusty, dry finish slightly bitter finish that may be due to the bitter cocoa. Tangy. Guessing that is what they intended because the bottle reads 'fruity cocoa', but more Saison like.

M - Bit of carbonation bite, after it sits while awaiting the cocoa aroma. Much more carbonation at the first pour.

O - A disappointment. Seriously, avoid this.

I could claim I was spoiled by the previous BCA offerings, but I do not think so. I get more chocolate aroma from beers that lay no claim to using chocolate in the brew!

General commentary; I do not know what is going on with Boulevard, I have had plenty of misses with their smokestack 750ml and this is certainly one of them. Yeast poisoning? Remember a couple of years ago they pulled BCA off the market? Yep, due to yeast poisoning. Read the reviews of on tap vs 750 for the 2014 BCA, they seem to vary greatly.

 1,722 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.79/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle poured into a snifter.
9.1% ABV

A - The cork's loud pop proclaims this beer has some carbonation! One might usually expect a chocolate beer to be a dark beer but this Boulevard created a bit of a shock leaving the bottle; clear amber in color. Lace sticks to the glass with some fever as the off-white head subsides.

S - Cocoa bean gives the aroma an immediate authenticity but it doesn't quite smell like chocolate, more like old, dried up baking morsels and a pile of cocoa powder with a nice underlying biscuity maltiness.

T - Boulevard's collaboration with Christopher Elbow crosses the tongue with a flavor profile much more akin to a pleasing confection; nudges of toffee sweetness back up a hint of milk chocolate that hides behind dusty cocoa and cocoa beans.

M - The pop of the cork was right; this is a highly carbonated beer. Alcohol hides well considering the beer is fairly lighter bodied as it finishes with a nod to sweetness but lands more on the dry side.

O - Boulevard's Chocolate Ale collaboration has quite a bit of authenticity to it's flavor profile as opposed to artificial ingredients but it doesn't quite help the fact that dusty cocoa and cocoa bean don't give quite a nice liquidy chocolate profile the label's decorated with. This Smokestack series is a nice offering in and of itself but doesn't quite stand up to the series' otherwise impressive gamut.

 1,401 characters

Photo of Kevincredible
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of StaveHooks
3.46/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle served in a Old Guardian tulip

A - Brassy copper color with a creamy off-white head. Not what I expected it to look like. Nice retention and lacing.

S - Cocoa powder and caramel malts, some bready nuttiness, toast.

T - Follows the nose with cocoa and caramel malt, the chocolate is dry and not sweet. The sweetness comes from the caramel/toffee malts, there's some yeastiness as well. Not alot going on other than that. Finishes dry with a cocoa aftertaste.

M - Smooth medium body, plenty of carbonation, dry finish.

Well I expected this beer to pour dark so I was surprised to see such a light color. It taste good but it's not great. Glad I tried it but this is probably a one and done.

 706 characters

Photo of josephwa
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of gratefulbeerhead
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Fender616
1.76/5  rDev -52.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was really excited when I bough this beer, completely happy to pay around $14 for it. Boulevard is an amazing brewery, and produce some of my favorite beer. This little nugget was unfortunately nowhere close amazing, and pretty far off from decent.

A - Definitely not the color I was expecting. Amber, not dark at all. Fine, cool, whatever.

S - Dingy liquid Motrin. Vague Tootsie Roll smell. Smell's like the spray they use in the Hershey's gift shop.

T- Truly terrible. Hardly any "chocolate" at all, except for that weird off-Tootsie Roll flavor. Something akin to cough syrup.

M - Fine, well carbonated, light bodied.

Overall- Really, really disappointed. What the impression I came away with was a Michelob Ultra flavored with Tootsie Roll extract.

Definitely not worth $14. If you're curious about trying this beer, I'd save your money. Or get your friend to buy it. Total disaster, I literally poured this down the drain.

 939 characters

Photo of Zach136
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of Chuck_25
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Scepter
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Batch #CH13354-1, best by September of this year.

A: Pours an unexpected amber color with a fizzy, finely-bubbled white head above; looks like your typical IPA or amber ale. A quick moment and the head has vanished, leaving a paper-thin layer of retention and no lacing.

S: A light (but unique) ale nose of grainy malts and gourmet chocolate scents: the dessert character of peanut butter and chocolate fondue are drizzled over a mix of raw, rigid husk and wheat toast. Something about the blend gives it an odd plastic aroma, like a Ziploc bag, but it’s not overpowering (though it is constantly noticeable).

T: Earthy, nutty balance places this beer pretty evenly between adjuncts and malt. At first, you can taste that plastic flavor from the nose, but it’s quickly overtaken; what emerge are the dominant tones of nut, with an emphasis on cashew, chestnut, and peanut brittle. A milky, gourmet chocolate taste comes wrapped up in it all, but it never gets center stage, surprisingly. Instead, the palate of a typical Belgian wit take over: straw, white bread, yeasty coriander, and a palpable wheat fruitiness (mainly apricot) rise up. Finishes on that note, slightly grainy but with a grounded sweetness like a Tootsie roll – only lightly chocolaty. But still, there’s that plastic note from the nose lingering in the finish; it’s there to remind you that not all is right here, unfortunately.

M: There’s a soft, creamy quality to this beer’s body that gives the chocolate of the palate an instant foothold; once you sip it, you can instantly make the connection. Carbonation, though, is a bit distracting at times, adding a champagne-like crispness to the body.

O: When it comes to dark ale adjuncts, chocolate seems to be fairly common. Here, Boulevard seems to have had something special in master chocolatier Christopher Elbow, and that shows: the cacao you taste is gourmet. But the beer is hindered by a sad off-flavor, a plastic-y case of what I think is over-carbonation. When I twisted the cork off I was surprised by the pressure it had – that thing ripped out of there like a gunshot – and when I poured I could instantly smell the off-aroma. I’m pretty sure this is unfiltered, though, so I guess it could also be a yeast off-flavor. But, in all, there’s obvious quality beneath this beer’s missteps; I just wish the bottle wasn’t so damn expensive ($14 for 750mL) so I could give it a second chance without feeling insane…

 2,473 characters

Photo of cerveza2012
5/5  rDev +34.8%

Photo of Jasonrm72
2.5/5  rDev -32.6%

Photo of alex_hart
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of abex44
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of user785335
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of stumac
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of Crimsontider22
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

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