Saturday, January 25, 2014

Boulder Beer Shake Chocolate Porter review

Boulder Beeer Shake Chocolate Porter reviewOut with the old and in with the new - brew that is. Boulder Beer Company changed up part of their year-round beer line-up by replacing their old stand by Planet Porter with the new Boulder Beer Shake Chocolate Porter. This new chocolate porter has a slightly different focus than its predecessor and so far, sales have been doing very well.

Porters seems to take a back seat at times to many other styles, so when Boulder Beer saw sales lagging with their regular porter, they decided to "shake" things up a bit and add the focus on chocolate to bring new life to their porter ale sales. The focus on chocolate along with the word shake brings to mind a creamy dessert drink and that's precisely one of the selling points of this beer. And one sales point in particular, women are starting to buy this beer more now as well. Think chocolate has something to do with it?

Boulder Beer's Shake Chocolate Porter weighs in at 5.9% ABV and a modest 39 IBU. It comes in both a 12oz six-pack and in individual 22oz bomber bottles. The packaging definitely reminded me of chocolate. Boulder Beer Company describes this beer as "Our twist on the traditional robust American Porter, Shake Chocolate Porter is dark black in color with rich, sweet aromatics and flavors of dark chocolate, coffee and caramel. This unique brew blends five different grains, including Chocolate Wheat, that along with cacao nibs create a devilishly delicious chocolate finish with a velvety mouthfeel." - With a description like that, I couldn't wait to try it.

Appearance: Shake Chocolate Porter poured out very, very dark. There was just a hint of a lighter brown color along the edges that I could barely see some light through. It had a very thick light brown head with an excellent lacing. The brew seemed to be very well carbonated (see picture) and had an abundance of bubbles not only in the head but also along the side of the glass.

Aroma: Chocolate certainly took center stage in the overall aroma and as the beer starts to warm up a bit the chocolate comes out even more. Besides the cacao nibs in the nose, there was a hint of nuttiness, some roasted coffee like notes and surprisingly a hint of citrus only at the start. Granted, since this is a beer less than 6% ABV, there wasn't much alcohol in the nose at all, which is a good thing when you are trying to push the chocolate highlight. Still, it's not as rich as an imperial stout aroma, but for a porter this smelled darn good. The hop aroma came through later as I sipped some of this quickly and burped through my nose. The burp test definitely brought out all the hop aroma.

Shake Chocolate Porter close-upTaste: The initial first sips showed that this beer had a medium body and a creamy mouthfeel. There was a slightly sweet malt taste, yet with a hint of dryness on the finish. The chocolate notes were definitely present as well as some nuttiness, some coffee tones and a hint of toast. The more I drank this the more the flavors really started coming out. I thought this was quite enjoyable without being over the top on any one particular ingredient. For best experience, I recommend that you don't drink this one too cold or else it'll mask all the flavors.

Overall: I found myself sipping through this beer very quickly and could easily have another one. Shake Chocolate Porter had a really nice texture and with the chocolate notes it made this beer stand out even more than their traditional Planet Porter. If you find that regular porters just aren't exciting enough, then you should try Boulder Beer's Shake Chocolate Porter and see why this is now one of their best selling beers. Now if only I could find this beer on a nitro tap then I figure it would be perfect.

Disclosure: I paid full retail price for this beer at my local liquor store.

Related articles:
- Boulder Beer Mojo IPA review.
- Boulder Beer Cold Hop review.

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