A seasonal brew in their Smokestack Series it is rather limited brew, but one you should try at least once. The interplay between chocolate and malt is so well balanced that it creates a very unique flavor that I’ve never come across before. A lot of the times it is the darker beers that are aged on cocoa nibs or have some sort of cocoa ingredient added to them. While this may provide for a deeper, richer, creamier flavor/mouthfeel to the beer, most of the time the burnt and roasted malt provide the chocolate notes present in these beer. Boulevard’s ale however, is a lighter beer (close to their Double-wide IPA in color) which makes it difficult to find the right chocolate, let alone amount, to add to this brew.
They consulted the help of Christopher Elbow who recommended a chocolate from the Dominican Republic. Using this cocoa, Boulevard achieved this flavor by using both nibs and ground cocoa beans. The flavor and aroma is amazing!
Pure silky milk chocolate was very evident on the nose. While robust, it was not a dark bitter chocolate. Smooth, elegant, light and creamy. The malts used played a huge part in the aroma. The honey malt give off a very sweet aroma which combined with the cocoa made for a very sugary smell. Pale malt and wheat where used providing some body to the aroma, but for the most part it was very fruity. Orange, honey, lemon, orange peel, coriander, and a floral honeysuckle sweetness were very apparent. The malt notes seemed close to that of a Dubbel.
it tastes exactly like it smelled. Milk chocolate seemed to filter through the rich caramel malt notes lending a silky, creamy mouthfeel. It almost seemed like this beer could be make into an ice cream topping. Floral flavors dominated the flavor. Honey, lavender, orange blossom, and eucalyptus highlighted the finish, while the chocolate make through more so on the aftertaste. Both did compliment each other as was their goal. This beer is unique…it is not a dark ale, but rather a honey-bronze color with a rocky tan head. It comes across like a Dubbel to some degree, but without the spicy yeasty quality. The chocolate is noticeable but still subdued…partly because it is a lighter variety or used sparingly in order to find that sweet spot with the malt.