Aug 7, 2014

Boulevard Chocolate Ale

Chocolate is not a foreign additive in beer. Normally, when I encounter the use of chocolate in a brew, it’s in something like a porter or stout or perhaps even a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. This brew from Boulevard Brewing, however, is probably the lightest brew in color that I have had thus far that employs the (semi-)sweet concoction into its recipe.

Chocolate Ale is a 9.1% ABV American Strong Ale that pours more like a barleywine or even a big double IPA. And, honestly, almost drinks like one, as well. The chocolate is there, but in such a distant, subtle fashion that to have it so prominently named is a bit of a misnomer. That’s not to say this is a bad beer — it’s not.

When I first purchased this bottle, I was in the mood for something big and rich with a good measure of cocoa resting in its tasty depths. Unfortunately, that’s not entirely what I ended up with.


As you can see, the color of this beer screams anything but “chocolate.” It’s copper in color with a solid cap fo beige foam that fell to a thin surface cover.

Boulevard Chocolate Ale photo


The brew leads in with a nutty and hoppy character with light grapefruit, pine, hints of cocoa, caramel, grain and bread.


The beer is quite smooth and flavorful, but I can’t say that it really lives up to its name. Grain, caramel, vanilla, light booze and just a hint of cocoa present themselves. It finishes warm and lingering, a soft tingle of hop bitterness fading slowly. There’s a slight sweetness throughout and a semi-dryness to the finish.

Boulevard Chocolate Ale photo


Chocolate Ale isn’t a bad beer, but it certainly isn’t chocolate-y. Maybe that’s the point. I don’t know. I can tell you that I’d probably come up with a different name for it since the chocolate presence is so subtle in nature. That said, the brew does have the flavor backbone that would be ideal for some sort of barrel aging.

Rating: 3.5/5

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