Friday, February 17, 2012

Recalled Boulevard Chocolate Ale Review

Wednesday I learned that the special bottle of Chocolate Ale I got for my wife for Valentines Day was in fact part of the batches that Boulevard was going to refund because it didn't meet their standards. I found that super cool that they are willing to stand by their product and refund the price of the purchase. Normally I would be more then ok with this solution but because it was this beer, it was hard for me to get anyway (had to have a runner do it for me), it was my Valentines gift for my wife and I can't get another one I was still disappointed. I was also very curious as to what could be wrong. Boulevard just said it didn't meet their standards, so was it infected, what was wrong? I convinced my wife we had to drink it last night so I could get the info out to you and satisfy my curiosity.

So we poured ourselves a couple glasses last night. Now I have only had this beer at Extreme Beerfest last year on tap and I have no way to do a side by side so this is purely from memory, so it won't be a perfect comparison but I will try and be fair. The beer poured a murky milk chocolate brown with a light brown head. The head did not stick around long but given I don't take the best care of my glassware, not sure who is to blame here. I don't recall the aroma at all from last year but this one was very light in the chocolate, had to strain a bit to pull the cocoa aroma, not what I expected. We finally took a sip and I know what my wife and I were expecting and that was a almost liquid Hersey kiss, great chocolate flavor with a lot of body and small alcohol warmth from the 9% beer. That is not what we got, we got a very subdued cocoa flavor, much thinner then expected and significant alcohol warmth. The beer was not bad and it definitely improved as it warmed up near room temp, but clearly not what we expected or wanted. I would expect this are the reasons they have offered the refund. I don't think it is infected I just don't think the cocoa came through in this batch as they wanted it too. It may be infected, but time will tell on that one. The other issue was, because of the recall, I was automatically being very critical of this beer where I may not have had I opened it not knowing. My guess is I still would have noticed but you never know how your judgement would be clouded. I would be interested to hear from those that have done side by sides with a on tap version and a bottle version and see if what I tasted is accurate.

In the end, I still applaud Boulevard for refunding the money and I will be pursuing that mainly because of the sentimental part of my purchase and the rarity of the purchase, otherwise I probably wouldn't have bothered if it was one of their regular lineup beers. This one just hurts more because I can't go buy a good bottle to enjoy with my wife.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Well I have to say your review is spot on. I had it down in KC a couple weeks ago. My buddy and I could do nothing but classify it as disappointing compared to last year. My only other tasting of this beer was at last year's Extreme beerfest too. While I was thoroughly inebriated when I tried it last year I still could tell it was off this year.