Chocolate Thunder Porter | General Lafayette Inn & Brewery

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Chocolate Thunder PorterChocolate Thunder Porter
68 Ratings
Chocolate Thunder PorterChocolate Thunder Porter

Brewed by:
General Lafayette Inn & Brewery
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-14-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 68 |  Reviews: 65
Reviews by thethrone:
Photo of thethrone
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes to to ClockworkOrange for shipping me this growler

A - Pours a dark, dark brown with foamy dark tan head. Some wet spotty lacing.

S - The name doesn't lie, smells of chocolate and roasted malts.

T - Taste follows the smell, as it starts off with bitersweet chocolate, and follows with a roasted coffee flavor.

M - Medium bodied, low carbonation. Very nice, kind of a cross between a porter and a stout.

D - A great sweet porter. Well worth trying if you are fortunate enough to get the opportunity.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice brew,poured a deep brown with ruby hues,very chocolaty aroma with some roasted hints.Taste is very roasty with some real nice mocha tones,very nice roasted tasty drinkable porter.The beers I have had here are all top notch,including this one.

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Photo of StoutHearted
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a pint at the General and was impressed. It poured a half-inch, foamy, milk-chocolate head and the rest of the beer looked like dark chocolate. It had a little heat to it, like it sat in a bourbon barrel for a little bit, yet the alcohol wasn't so prominent that it slowed down drinkability. Yet, it's not a beer to chug; its roasty flavors are very enjoyable and the chocolate malt taste is very prominent, with coffee notes that aren't overpowering. A little birdie told me the brewer felt something went wrong during the brewing process (resulting in that heat I noticed), but I am very satisfied with this beer and would not be sad if "something wrong" happened to the next batch. My only criticism was that it didn't change much when it warmed up (I love the surpirse of a "new" beer when it gets to room temperature) and I expected the roasty tones to develop more when the chill left, but this porter's so tasty you might not put it down long enough for this to be an issue.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This a favorite of mine & recently bottled. No label on the bottle. Pours as black as my heart. Thin head. Huge chocolate & malt flavor. Not a whole lot of smell minus some chocolate. Mouthfeel is extremely smooth & this si dangerously drinkable. I am glad this turned out so well in a bottle since it is very good on draft and heaven on cask.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

General Lafayette- Chocolate Thunder Porter

A- Dark thick brown with a small tan head after a vigorous pour.
S- Good dark chocolate meets med. roast coffee beans.
T- Light carbonated thick chocolate with dark coffee blended in. Smooth with a sweet body and a mild bitter hop bite in the end.
M- Sweet up front with a nice coffee body. smooth finish with a dry light bitter finish.

Overall- Starts off slow. Eventually, as it warms, builds up character. A good bottled offering from the General!

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Photo of Sammy
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Tom for this request. Pours blackish, white head dissipitating into something more minimal. Carbonation bubbles. Smokey deli aroma. Medium mouthfeel, easy drinking..baltic porter.With some chocolate, and secondary of coffee well integrated. Sourish in the finish.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The General's Chocolate Thunder is quite dark, almost black-brown, and opaque when held to the light. The head is a very dark tan, and leaves tiny spots about the glass as it goes. Rich dark chocolate is found in the nose along with a thin thread of yeasty fruitiness. In the mouth it's medium bodied and silky smooth. The flavor is all that the nose suggests and more, adding a soft layer of caramel, some more bitter-sweet chocolate notes, and some leafy hops in the background. It finishes with a long-lingering combination of soft cocoa and more bitter and roasty tones not unlike a combination of bittersweet chocolate and coffee, as well as some more yeasty fruitiness (mainly apple). Quite nice.

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Photo of tempest
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Huh, this comes off like a big London porter to me, lacking a lot of the clean, roasted malts of the American porters. Whatever, it's tasty and pretty nice to drink. The flavors and aroma center on coffee and cocoa with a little espresso in the taste. Overall, its smooth, but almost slightly sour porter. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of morimech
3.74/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 3

Very dark pour with a huge brown head that quickly settled to a thick cap. Not much for lacing with this one. Wonderful aroma of coffee, milk and bitter chocolate, and a touch of smoke. The flavor does not equal the aroma however. Smoke upfront with chocolate and coffee flavors coming in the finish. Slightly sour as well. The body is not as big and "chewy" as I would like but has a nice soft carbonation that lends a good texture. Some good things going on here but I was let down a little by the smoke and sour in the flavor and the lighter body.

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Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The porter is a dark, rather thick and viscous on first look. A tan-colored head sits atop the ale, insulating it from the outside world.

S: The nose is chocolate and burnt toast. The porter adds a slightly stale, tart element that so many good porters lack. Quite inviting.

T: Like the nose, the porter has an underlying sour element that all good porters should embrace. Chocolate, burnt grains, licorice and lactic oatmeal elements pop up throughout the beer. The culmination of those flavors is an excellent porter that leaves a great chcoolate finish.

M: Acrid grains and chocolate sweetness mix nicely with lactic milk and oatmeal elements. A good hearty taste.

D: One of the General's best offerings, the touch of sourness makes this one work.

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Photo of Jredner
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler courtesy of Blitheringidiot. Thanks, Ev.

Aroma is highly concentrated with both coffee and chocolate notes and ample roasted highlights as well as an alcohol tinged dark fruit element. Dark brown in color with a quickly diminishing, two finger thick mocha head, which compresses to pinky thickness in short order. Lots of burnt malt in the fore followed by smooth and creamy chocolate and then acidic coffee notes. Has a comforting smoothness to it and is quite full bodied. I couldn’t wait long enough to let it chill so I am drinking it around 60 degrees and the roasted notes are more pronounced than they might be at a cooler temperature. But the chocolate notes are also quite pronounced. Has a great feel in the mouth...much bigger and fuller than expected and while the range of flavor is narrow the intensity of flavor is very high. Quite tasty and well put together.

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Photo of philbe311
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A slim tan head, less then one fingers worth, with excellent retention... No noticeable carbonation... Completely opaque silky dark brown color teetering on jet black...

S - Milk Chocolate... Cocoa... Maple Syrup... Roasted malt... Hints of Vanilla... Butterscotch... Overall, slightly on the weak side, but still rather enjoyable...

T - Roasted malt... Chocolate... Caramel... Fudge... Perhaps the slightest hint of coffee and vanilla... Nothing is over powering and the various subtleties are blended in near perfect proportion...

M - I don't think I've ever had a smoother porter... Medium to full bodied... Creamy... Near perfect balance... Rich... Consistent beginning to end...

D - I could drink this all night long... It goes down quick and easy... The 6.7% ABV could be troublesome, but it isn't completely overpowering... Highly recommended...

Note - Normally this beer is outstanding, but having it on cask rises it to an entirely other level.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
1.71/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle: Poured a dark porter with a super huge medium brown foamy head with super great retention and lacing - almost to the point where I am wondering if something is wrong. Aroma of sour roasted malt is not very enticing and smells like an infection. Taste is way too sour or style. Unfortunately this one is infected and I will have to re-rate at some point in time.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much thanks to zrrbrrt for the most excellent growler!

Poured black, and I mean black as night, No real head, just inky thick black goodness. Smell was of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and a hint of sweetness. Taste was straight up coffee and chocolate. Full and easy going down. Not too thick and no real hints of alcohol make this very drinkable. A very good call and I am glad I got to try it. Would definatly have this again if it were around.

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Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears pitch black with a creamy, dark tan head that slowly fades out in the 10 oz glass. The mild cap continues to float atop the black brew during the entire duration of the drink. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around.
Smell is of fudge brownies with mild roastiness and some coffee beans that have been sitting in a dish of caramel and cream. There is also a black grape and boozy aroma coming from the brew when swirled making for a wonderfully, aromatic porter that I could smell for hours.
Taste is of the same mentioned aromas highlighted by the mix of creamy caramel, cocoa fudge, and roasted nuts.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, silky smooth despite the roasty qualities, rich, fruity, and carbonated nicely.
This is definitely the little brother of the Double Thunder and this should be considered one of the better porters available in the U.S. I would put this up against the Ed Fitzgerald by Great Lakes any day.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger head with excellent retnetion and nice tiny bubbles. Nice dark color.

Smell is of a big whiff of chocolate malt and a little bit of carafa malt. There is a bit of an undertone of licorice. However, the chocolate malts dominate.

Chocolate malts dominate on this one. There coule be a bit of roasted characteristic to balance. It seems like the dark malt to balance doesn't have any roasted qualities, did they just use carafa or something? The brewing skills used in the beer are admirable, but the recipe isn't so much. I'd also like a little hop balance in this one.

The mouthfeel is smooth and slick. However, I want bigger roasted malts and a thicker mouthfeel.

I think that there could be more roasted balance to the abundance of chocolate malts. I also think there could be more hop bitterness to balance.

Thanks to Deuane for the sample. I'd like to try more from this brewery.

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Photo of Phatz
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first beer from General Lafayette. I tend to like Porters as a style, and this is a very solid beer.

Appearance: Server a dark brown with deep ruby hues and a chocolate colored head that fades to notable lacing.

Smell: chocolate coffee and roasty malts with a hint of smokiness and a splash of molasses.

Taste: Beautifully balanced bittersweet chocolate that is dark and dry and likened to baking chocolate. Big roasty flavors and dark fruits burnt malts and a hint of alcohol make a very nice Porter.

Mouthfeel: A bit smaller medium body than I hoped but still solid and the roasty character carries into the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: As a big fan of roasty and chocolate Porters I found this to be a great representation and a very easy drinking one. Well-done General Lafayette.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

huge props to aprilluvsbeer for recommending this porter. I had the opportunity to be in the area and she highly recommended trying this beer. I check the menu and it's on cask. Seemed a no brainer to me!

A - rich cloudy black color, nice tan head.
S - chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, slight sweet malts and an oaky undertone.
T - taste follows the nose but wonderfully blended!
M - medium bodied, creamy smooth, nice lingering aftertaste.
D - It would be so easy to be a regular and just drink this all night as a session beer!

Props to aprilluvsbeer and her friends for a great recommendation of beer and company hanging out on a business trip!

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Seriously, The name of this beer sounds like the title of a Blacksploitation porno. Regardless, I had to try it.

This beer came a super dark black with a creamy, enticing brown collar of head.

Smelled of molasses, light and pale saltine crackers and a ridiculously dark, dry chocolate.

Tasted light and smooth with some plumbs, musky wheat and a slight blend of dark chocolate and coffee. Sadly, an astringent alcohol sting comes up in the finish. If I squint just right, it could be oak, but for the most part, it’s a solvent of sorts, but it’s not entirely unpleasant. After a while, the alcohol becomes less prominent as a base of baking chocolate builds up on my tongue.

The mouth feel is smooth, but dense with a full flurry of small bubbled carbonation.

Nice, but the finish was a bit distracting at first. Thankfully, it did get better as I drank it.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up this bottle at Brass Rail Deli. Pouring at cellar temp into a snifter.
The beer pours a deep dark cola brown with only a thin edge layer of tan head lasting through the pour.
The aroma is rich and malty with some deep chocolate notes and hints of brown sugar and maybe vanilla too. First sip reveals an average body with silky smooth texture and fine tingly carbonation that tickles my tongue. The carbonation is lively enough that it leaves a tingling sensation long after each swallow.
The flavor is sweet malt and chocolat and brown sugar again mix, hints of caramel and a bit of roasted malt come through on the finish. There is no presence of hops or ABV. A very drinkable beer for 6.7%. Quite nice, I gotta visit this pub sometime while in PA.

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Photo of yobeerman
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- This brew is thick and dark with a full creamy tan head. After a few minutes the head dissipated to a thin coating.

S- The nose is subdued with an aroma of chocolate, burnt malt, and coffee.

T- This is a real good porter! The taste of a ton of roasted malts and chocolate is apparent. This would make an excellant desert drink.

M- This brew is full bodied and super creamy. "Chewy" would be a good description.

D- What a memorable porter. I'll definitly have this one again. Worth trying.

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Photo of Gavage
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown / almost black in color with a short 1/4" head. Hints of lacing develop.

Smell: wonderful chocolate and coffee combination that I continued to make a point to stick my nose in the glass throughout the session.

Taste: loads of roasted malts, tons of dark chocolates, some espresso, nice bitterness, and hints of alcohol. I had this beer in place of dessert after my meal and it was a great dessert beer.

Mouthfeel: smooth at the start, slightly syrupy and mildly dry at the finish. Chocolate and espresso tones linger long into the aftertaste. Medium-heavy in body.

Drinkability: this is a beer to enjoy one or two in an evening but no more. Just another great beer from this place.

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Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Biscuit033
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark brown with a tan head and great retention.

S: Roasted malt and smokiness dominate with a faint hint of chocolate.

T: Chocolate and coffee hit you up front, some pine and earthy hops next and finishes with a smoky espresso-like bitter finish.

M: Creamy and smooth with a crisp bitter finish.

D: A bit high on the ABV for me to drink all night long but I make sure I have one every time I get a chance especially if its on cask.

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Photo of sparkydoyle
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Weak head and very deep ruby color, but I was a little confused at to whether or not this was a porter or a stout. Chocolate nose. Chocolate and coffee flavors, with balanced bitterness. Compares favorably with Rogue Chocolate Stout. Not too sweet to enjoy with the filet mingon and gorgonzola.

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Chocolate Thunder Porter from General Lafayette Inn & Brewery
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 68 ratings