Boulvard Chocolate Ale

This is the wrong glass. The problem with picking the right glass for your beer is that some guides will tell you to pick a particular glass for particular style of beer, and others will tell you to pick a particular glass for the color of the beer. Since this style is technically a generic ale, I was forced to go with the color. The problem with going by the color is that you have to already know what the color of the beer is. I picked the stout glass because the said it was chocolate and a figure to be darker than it is. My bad.

No, it's not really all that dark. It is hazy as all get out, and the deep copper color is certainly inviting, so the mistake is mine with the whole glass thing. There isn't much head to start with, and it goes away almost entirely; there's nothing more than a ring around the edge of the glass to let you know that this is carbonated at all. The aroma has more coffee in it then it seems to have chocolate, but I definitely smell some vanilla in there. There's a bit of oak, too. This is especially interesting because the lack of head in combination with the smell of oak would normally lead me to believe that this is a barrel aged beer, but it doesn't appear to be (based on the label).

First sip and I find the chocolate. While it seemed to have a bit more of an espresso or coffee right at first, the chocolate leans in hard toward the end. It's a pretty good chocolate, too. The thing is that I'm not sure the beer's really speaking to me very much. Yeah, it's got chocolate, but is not warm and soothing or really all that substantial tasting. I expected the chocolate beer to be heavier and more vibrant than this one has been in the sip. But there's a reason we don't just sip.

Tip-in is light carbonation tingle with cocoa beans and coffee beans mixed together with some earth. The middle heightens the carbonation to a sting as the cocoa turns to chocolate and the coffee goes almost entirely away, but it's replaced with vanilla. The finish is sweet with a deeper, darker chocolate and remnants of banana leading into the trail off.

Bottom Line: It was definitely better when I wasn't sipping it, and it probably deserves a few more looks.



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