Chocolate Ale | Boulevard Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
85
very good
964 Ratings
THE BROS
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Chocolate AleChocolate Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States
boulevard.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
964
Reviews:
275
Avg:
3.76
pDev:
16.22%
 
 
Wants:
72
Gots:
263
For Trade:
8
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 964 |  Reviews: 275
Photo of biboergosum
3.54/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml, caged and corked bottle, another in the Smokestack Series to arrive on the lack of shores in Alberta of late. 'Christopher Elbow' sounds like something out of a children's bedtime story book.

This beer pours a clear, medium orange-brick amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and slightly bubbly tan head, which leaves some chunky approaching iceberg profile lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of bready, grainy caramel malt, bittersweet, biscuity chocolate wafers, free-range brown sugar, floral honey, muddled Noel spices, equally indistinct, yet somehow sharp black orchard fruit, leafy, weedy hops, and a burgeoning metallic alcohol warming. The taste is grainy, doughy caramel/toffee malt, still fairly steady and understated cocoa nibs, further biscuity and chocolate powder coffee notes, a strange clammy yeastiness, hints of Mars Bar nougat, wan green vegetables (in the leafy, edible form), and a continuing sense of alcohol duly checked, but about to leap out and getcha.

The carbonation is nice and light in its gentle frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and generally smooth, as none of the proclaimed guest ingredient seems to cause any trouble, and by the same token the well-hidden ABV keeps to itself. It finishes off-dry, a gamely persisting grainy caramel malt wondering where its sweet saviour has run away to - cocoa, can you hear me?

Not a particularly engaging chocolate ale, I gotta say - where the booze giveth, the cocoa taketh away, it would seem. Let's start with the appearance - ain't nothing 'chocolate' in bearing there, and the flavour just continues with its lack of follow-through. Everything else is just a reminder of how this whole thing disappoints - once again, the chocolate, and not the scarily integrated big ABV.

 1,814 characters

Photo of Phishyninja
4.69/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Expected this one to be darker, initially thought she brought the wrong beer but one whiff set me straight. Chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. And quite strong at 9.1%, which means I only get 1 tonight (I'll be back)... Delicious, would enjoy again!

PS: having left KS for CA 13 years ago, I am reminded (far too infrequently) how great a brewery Boulevard is, those guys are crushing it.

 396 characters

Photo of kingmaker
3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of leefx
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

A - Brown-copper color, a dark bronze that is opaque. The head pours nearly white, quickly fading to a wisp over the top. No real lacing.

S - Alcohol is front. Some subtle malt and a hint of cocoa nib.

T - The primary taste is of grains, a dark sweet molasses bread flavor, which is supported by a hint of chocolate.

M - Pretty thin, but with definitely alcohol warmth.

O - Not a particularly extraordinary ale. The flavor is pleasant and enjoyable, but the nuance of chocolate is surprisingly not the focus here. The malty quality is front, and the nib is just an accent. As such, while decent, the beer is not terribly memorable.

 641 characters

Photo of jrob21
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of dukeufo
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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

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

Photo of Zekenyce
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TripelMark
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of 10Crumra
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of KJ2013
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of osuskin
2.54/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Aged one year. Not good.

24 characters

Photo of Invinciblejets
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of vancean2
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Casey3236
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this on tap last night up at the Cloverleaf as this was leftover from the Boulevard tap takeover earlier in the week. I love chocolate beers when they're brewed right and everything that I've had from Boulevard but this one missed the mark a bit. It was a smooth beer with a recessed amount of alcohol but as so many others on here have noted, the chocolate wasn't very pronounced at all!

Decent pour to this but not dark at all as the beer had a peach hue and a thin look to it. Not a lot of head and even less lacing as everything slid down the side of my pint glass after each sip. Some chocolate in the nose but even less in the taste as there was milk and raspberry to boot. Sure, this was smooth but where was the powder? The cocoa? The chocolate malt to accompany the alcohol? They weren't here but the smoothness of this beer nearly made me forget about all of that. There was a bit of vanilla in the aftertaste and a faint hint of cocoa nibs but that was hard to detect as the more basic notes of this beer dominated from start to finish.

This was strong but it was only at the end that I could feel the alcohol on my breath. Yes, I had this on tap and it was at the end of the keg so I didn't seem to get the head, yeast, or nuances that others were picking up on this. While not a bad beer, I had no idea that this was an American Strong Ale until I looked it up on here. The flavor is here but it's just a bit too one-dimensional to truly stand out but if you want something strong, tasty, and slick for dessert, this would foot the bill quite nicely.

 1,569 characters

Photo of Newport_beerguy
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Good nose, but doesn't quite deliver a memorable chocolate taste. I wonder whether a porter or stout would be better to accentuate the chocolate...

148 characters

Photo of Robjvoorhees
3.27/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of greenspointexas
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Phigg1102
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not sure exactly how I feel about this beer. I enjoyed it, that much I'm sure of. Chocolate is definitely present but not in your face at all, clean malt flavor is present as well.

 180 characters

Photo of wulfie85
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ricoslim
4.41/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Chocolate Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
3.76 out of 5 based on 964 ratings.
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