Choc Lobster
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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American Porter
Ranked #994
Ranked #36,093
3.69 | pDev: 13.01%
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
Notes: Choc Lobster was originally brewed to pair with a chocolate lobster bisque and white chocolate lobster salad slider. Sam happened to be at that dinner and got a real kick out of the beer, so we decided to brew a big batch for the pub so everyone else could try it.

This scaled-up batch has a robust porter base and was brewed with live lobsters, which were added directly to the boil to cook off for the kitchen. Along with the lobsters, just over 6 pounds of dark cocoa powder were added to the whirlpool, along with a basil tea that was added to compliment both the chocolate and lobster.
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 190
Photo of GuyFawkes
4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Unknown vintage; drank 9/23/15 @ World of Beer Evanston.

Black/brown appearance.

Tan head; decent lace.

Milk chocolate, clove & sea salt notes in the nose.

Creamy medium thick mouthfeel.

Red licorice & fresh earth flavors up front; milk chocolate notes on the finish. Sweet cherry settled on my lips over the course of the quaff. Unique & very enjoyable!

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Photo of ryanhooks81
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

man, this is one crazy beer. had on draft in savannah. poured a nice brown color. aroma is briney and chocolate and basil. taste is basil, chocolate and brine, finishes with definite shellfish. crazy.

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Photo of Angerhaus
1.3/5  rDev -64.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

It may have been the batch, it may have been the length of time that it had sat on tap, it may have just been the wrong day for my tastebuds, but this was one of the most undrinkable brews I have ever set to my lips.

The nose spoke of stale lobster and burnt chocolate, while the taste reminded me of what a chalkboard might taste like if it was served as an entree at Long John Silvers.

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Photo of Stevem68
3.32/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark chocolate color. Has funny aroma it pick up chocolate or lobster. Flavor is meh, it's an ok porter with a weird aftertaste. I pick up no chili ate or lobster. This is just a mediocre porter to me.

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Photo of qchic
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fascinating beer. Certainly in the realm of possibility for Dogfish Head and no one else. A porter with basil and (live!) lobsters. I'm not even a fan of lobster in food form (too much money and effort), but I'll try this gimmick. Def some salinity going on (maybe they should try a seafood gose?), and a sweet, fishy finish. Had the chance to drink one and it was a hoot.

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Photo of breadwinner
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Kinda feels wrong to harshly review a beer like this, as it's obviously not about winning competitions or even pleasing all palates -- in an exercise in creativity. Funny thing is, for the first 4/5 of the brew, it tastes like a well done porter, perhaps a touch of the smoky/salty brine sneaking through, but mostly just some nice, mildly creamy roasted malt taking charge. But then there's the finish... Oh my, the finish. You swallow, breathe through your nose, and suddenly a wild blast of fishy/briny sealife swirls through your sinuses. Insane. And, sadly, not super pleasant. It's not terrible either. It's not undrinkable. But it's also not something I'd readily order. Fun idea, but I just can't abide.

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Photo of Crackblind
4.73/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Porter is my favorite style so take that into account as you read this review.

Not a flavor bomb like a lot of Dogfish brews. But more than just a rather nice porter-wise. What makes this extra special is the nose - the lobster adds a briny aspect that enhances the quality of the brew. In the middle of NYC, I feel like I'm having a relaxing beachside drink. Well balanced and really well made without relying too heavily on the lobster aspect. Highly recommended!

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Photo of larryi86
4.12/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black with a mocha head. Smells pretty good, mostly briny with a standard porter underneath. Taste is less briny and the porter & chocolate come out more, dark chocolate, some roasted malts, earthy, finish is briny with a very slight hint of seafood/lobster. Pretty full body for only 5.6% ABV. Over all a nicely done porter with a nice salty/briny quality. Very happy I was able to try, would buy it again given the chance.

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Photo of iTunesUpdates
3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Interesting take on a porter. Had in a flight.

Did not get any lobster at all on the nose. Looked like a typical stout but was a porter. Smelled of coco and roasted dark fruit. Taste is full bodied for a porter and a great beer at only 5%.

The lobster kicked in in the finish and lingered with a buttery note. For what it is it's perfect. Too much and it would overpower but they got the flavor they were going for. Would have gone good with a nice seafood dish or white coco dessert.

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Photo of TomMorris
2.89/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Man this beer just wasn't for me. Looked typical of a standard stout; very dark brown/black; tan head; minimal carbonation. The smell was a mixture of brine and vomit, while the taste matched the smell though to a less potent extent.

Overall the lobster-taste vastly overbalanced the standard stout-ness I was expecting. This one is more interesting in theory than in practice…I'd probably try again on account of how idiosyncratic it is but this is the first DFH experiment that just didn't do it for me.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

10 ounce goblet - $9.00 at World of Beer in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Served up a very dark brown, near black body with an inch of dark khaki foam.

Smell: Roasted malts, coarse baker's chocolate and briny lobster drippings. A touch of underlying dark fruitiness, a hint of spicy basil.

Taste: Roasty, scantly ashen malts backed by a bitter chocolate quality and relatively light sweetness. Touch of prune. A salty, savory, fishy quality is certainly detectable from the precious lobsters who gave their all for this beer. Roastiness sustained on the shellfinish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: I'd feared for a bizarre and unpleasant creation, but it was alright (at least for ten ounces worth).

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Photo of sbb32
4.36/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L- very dark brown, bordering as black. Nice brown head.
S- subtle roast with a kick of brine.
T- following along with smell. Plenty of cocoa up front that dominates the beginning. But as you swallow, lobster brine starts attacking.
F- lobster (pleasantly) lingers. Did I just drink a beer or eat a po boy? Carb is quite pleasant as well
O- glad I got to try what is a World of Beer exclusive. Definitely one of a kind. One wouldn't think lobster and chocolate would go well together, but Dogfish Head pulled it off wonderfully.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had it at dogfish head brew pub in rehoboth. Pours a black opaque color. I do not taste the lobster, however, I had it with a crab cake sandwich and it paired nicely. I did taste a lot of raw cocoa powder especially in the finish. An interesting brew. The low abv makes it rather light and drinkable.

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Photo of sundevil21
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Definitely one of the most intriguing combinations in a beer I've ever tasted, but it worked surprisingly well. Not too overpowering with one flavor or another. Nice balance as far as those flavors are concerned.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

perhaps one of the stranger beers ive ever seen or tasted, a stout type brewed with cocoa and actual maine lobsters. i can imagine sam here dropping live lobsters into the kettle, oyster stout style, and its both haunting and hilarious in different ways. the resulting beer is an interesting product, dark and bitter from all the grain, heavy and slick in the feel from the protein of the fish, and honestly fishy and briny in the end, but never gross like a can of sardines. its more of a mellow fishiness, like actual lobster meat, sweet and buttery even without the drawn butter. the stout though is really bitter, so there is a contrast there, and all the body without much carbonation makes it a little tough to get through even a short pour. still, while i dont really want to drink this beer, i have to respect it for what it is. i know there are some who are down on the dogfishs and the mikkellers of the world for unbridled experimentation, often to the point of absurdity, but not me. you never know until you know, and now we know...

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Photo of ckollias
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this beer at Dogfish head pub in Delaware

A: Pours a dark black hue with no sign of a head.

S: Mild malty old bay aroma with some chocolate notes

T: There is a porter background with chocolate background followed by a seafood flavoring.

M: Medium body and minimal carbonation.

O: Interesting brew – nothing I would have ever thought of - worthy of a try.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I had this brewpub exclusive at the pub in Rehoboth served chilled in a snifter.

The color is dark brown almost black with opaque clarity and thin tan ring for head. The smell is very good with dark cocoa and a fresh basil aroma with mild malt sweet scent and light roast. The feel is excellent with semi-dry malt body and creamy yet slightly oily feel from the herbal texture of basil mixed with a yeast accent and mild bitterness with moderate carbonation and low alcohol influence with dry finish.

The taste is unique the most basil flavor I think I have ever had in a chocolate beer - but plenty of dark cocoa in the taste with some dry maltiness and low bitterness and mild malt sweetness backing up the spice and herbal elements. There is some mild crustacean in the ale which is generally perceived as mineral with basil lasting into the pungent and roasted finish. Overall this is a great porter with the adjunct of chocolate and basil providing a complimentary taste that works well with lobster bringing it all together. I was not sure what to expect but this went well with white chocolate cherry bread pudding for dessert.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bill for sharing this DFH rarity. This is wicked hodd ta get.

The beer is black with an inch of head. The aroma is roast and chocolate, relatively mild. Additional scents of salt and light spice. This must be the lobster. The flavor is nice. Sea salt and chocolate with a dry finish. Some Irish stout character. Interesting beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Rehoboth Beach pub, this beer is mostly chocolate and no lobster. Beer is black and brown with a nice brown head of small bubbles, nice looking beer.

Aroma is chocolate and mild roast, a little sweetness.

Beer is medium in body and very bitter on the end with the chocolate. Lobster? nope. Salty? nope. Just a nice porter, probably a waste of lboster although I imagine the lobster probably ended up tasting like the beer...not the other way around.

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Photo of rab53
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stopped by the DFH brewpub in Rehoboth twice last week while on vacation. Porter brewed with 40 whole lobsters, chocolate and basil? Sounds like trouble, but is a must try.

Medium brown with thin white head. Some roasted malts come through in the nose, along with a unique brininess. How different is a 'lobster porter' from an 'oyster stout' really? The basil is not noticeable. Smooth and easy-drinking (my wife even ordered it again). Carbonation is on par with the style. Overall, better than most of DFH's bottled offerings.

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Photo of prg1976
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A robust porter brewed with live lobsters in the boil...can't pass up a taste of this one.

A: dark brown, with a thin tan head.

S: chocolate, roasty smell.

T: a little sweet, a little salty, a good bit of chocolate. better than I was thinking after reading the description.

M: smooth, medium body, low carbonation

O: not much lobster flavor, but a pretty good brew overall. I think the lobsters they boiled in probably tasted more like beer than the beer tastes like lobster.

Definitely worth a taste.

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Choc Lobster from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 190 ratings