Wednesday, February 15

Chocolate Ale Partial Recall

Boulevard announced today that during routine quality checks of the bottled (bottles ONLY, not draft) Chocolate Ale that was just released, they noticed unwanted flavors in some of the batches. They are offering a refund to anyone who has bottles that came from batches 2011-01, 2011-02 or 2011-3.

More information can be found in this video from Boulevard, or from the official announcement (which includes details on how to find the batch number, where to send refund information, etc.) on Boulevard's website.




25 comments:

  1. Well I just found out that all 8 of my bottles are of the 11-3 batch. Now I'm left wondering what it's supposed to taste like? Oh well, still the best Chocolate Ale I've ever had!

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  2. Seth, I'd like to think that the bottled version is supposed to taste just like the kegged version, but having tasted both recently, I'm disappointed that the 2 bottles that I've had so far taste nowhere near as good as on draught.

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  3. It actually made me smile to think that someone who horded 8 bottles of a rare release are of the tainted kind. ;) Thx for that.

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    1. Totally agree with you. Greedy.

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  4. This is interesting... I was TOTALLY unimpressed with the taste (didn't have any from last year), but didn't save the bottle, either. Now I'll have to find it on draft to see what it WAS supposed to taste like.

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  5. They have said nothing about what this supposed off taste is supposed to be. Is it brett again, like the Imperial Stout Batch 2? Some other slow to develop infection? Or just some unexpected aging characteristic? Knowing what's supposedly "wrong" with this could help people decide if they want to return it or keep it, after all.

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  6. I had my cousin buy a few bottles at Binny's in Chicago. It was Batch 2011-1. It is a soured beer, so my guess is Brett. The beer ends up tasting like a relative of Ommegang's seduction. I also got a few bottles from here in KC from 2011-5 and it was much closer to the tap, although the aroma is muted.

    If you like sour beers, 2011-1 is still interesting!

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  7. Leftover sour from Saison Brett huh?

    Limited Edition PINETAR Chocolate Ale going up on Ebay. Starting bid -- $500!

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  8. Brettanomyces alone would not make a beer sour; contamination w/ lactobacillus would. My 2 bottles were from 2012 (purchaed in Columbia); first one didn't seem sour--but not as good as the draft I tried.

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  9. Sour chocolate, no thanks! Blvd is owning this & could have just shut up & said "We didn't notice much of a difference" & that is to be appreciated.I still think that Chrissy Elbow’s chocolate bars selling for $7-10 a piece is ridiculous, especially in this economy. A blind test with it & Lindl, & Godiva would be interesting. I know it’s not his fault here, but I kinda wish it was. Greedy bastard. I hope he has 10 cases of the bad stuff.

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  10. There was a noticeable difference between keg and bottle last year. That's just how it is. Also, if you are drinking the stuff fridge cold, a lot of the flavors are not going to come through as they should.

    I just see everyone who did not like the beer now thinking they got a tainted bottle.

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  11. Luckily BLVD waited a while before noticing this. Now most people that drank a bad bottle and tossed it can't get a refund.

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  12. I believe you only need to scan your label for a refund, drank or not. But yeah I don't believe that announcing it after everyone bought it for V-Day was a fluke...

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  13. My Snickers Golden Ale (with peanuts) was delicious and also satisfied my hunger. They get my business when I want both candy and beer.

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  14. I too am deep down happy that some of it was tainted, because after going to several places on release date, to no avail and then into the Well..who promised more on Valentines Day at $50.00 and same with Lew's..it had to be only on VDay in a package deal, and calling three other places -- I called it quits! Drink up horders. I used to be a Boulevard loyalist...now, not so much. Bad marketing game.

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  15. The drank a tainted bottle and while I'm not sophisticated enough to know what the deal was, it was obvious something was off from my prior tasting. My wife wouldn't even drink the tainted batch so I'm glad they're offering refunds for those who were bothered by it.

    I thought the non-tainted bottles were better than the draft version personally. This beer is aggressively chocolate start to finish on draft. In the bottle is was a bit more subtle and stronger in the aftertaste. I preferred that.

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  16. For the love of god, if one more person blames Boulevard and their "marketing" I'm going to...well I don't know what but I seriously can't take it anymore. What "marketing" has Boulevard done exactly? If you feel the need to assign blame, then blame a store for not imposing bottle limits and especially blame the asshole who has never purchased a Smokestack Series bottle before buying a case of Chocolate Ale. But what exactly did Boulevard do here that pissed these people off? They made a beer that that was supposed to be a one-time deal that they admitted they never expected to take off. So they brought it back. Wouldn't you, if you owned the company? Then the next year they literally made as much as they possibly could without disrupting their other equally as important products. And for the second year in a row, they did no marketing to speak of, save for a couple morning show appearances and some Facebook posts. SO THE FUCK WHAT? They are a business, are they not allowed to "market" their product. Yes, it sucks that not everybody got some. BUT IT'S NOT BOULEVARD'S FAULT.

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  17. It is actually Boulevard's fault that they have such limited quantities. It's their fault that they don't charge more to the distributors for the Chocolate Ale. Because it is at such an artificially low price (price too low for the limited supply they can produce based on demand for the beer) shortages are going to happen in Kansas City. Now we can all live in the land of rainbows and unicorns where you can buy whatever you want at a low price and it will be magically supplied to you. Or you can accept reality that there will either be too little Chocolate Ale to go around KC or it will be more expensive so hoarders can't buy as much.

    So in that sense it is Boulevard's fault. But shortage aren't because of some genius marketing scheme that causes men and women to jump out of their panties in order to get a bottle or three.

    Complaints don't bother me too much if you're smart enough to complain correctly. The sour grapes marketing complaint is the worst kind; ill informed and whiny.

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  18. Bull, in fairness to Boulevard, the limited quantity is only kind of their fault. They used more capacity for Chocolate Ale than any other seasonal they have ever done. I don't know what the alternative to that would be, but it would be neither reasonable nor feasible.

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  19. Jason, I only meant limited in relation to demand. I know they have constraints in production. I didn't mean to imply they could have made more.

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  20. The people who claim they did limited quantity don't know what they're talking about. This beer was brewed TO CAPACITY of what BLVD could do. 3.5 times more than the previous year.

    And BTW, it's good... it ain't THAT good. The BBQ, Saison-Brett, Rye-on-Rye... are all a lot better.

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  21. It's a chicken and egg question, but it seems to me as though the run on Chocolate Ale last year (2011) made all the seasonals much harder to get.

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  22. I've really only had trouble getting BBQ, Jason. Everything else has at least lasted a few days it seems?

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  23. My husband MADE his own chocolate beer - a stout - so we didn't have to worry about it. He used chocolate-malted barley and real cocoa nibs. It's quite good, with a nice rich mouth feel that makes the chocolate stand out a bit better. For you homebrewers, it's 1.1000 - 1.023, 10.4%.

    I still am curious to try Boulevard's Chocolate ale, though. Is it a lighter style or a stout?

    I thought I would try to obtain some bottles of Boulevard's Chocolate ale, but they were already out here. This year and last. It's too much of a hassle to try and get it for us.

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  24. All the limited Smokestacks go rather quickly, especially at places known as beer stores. Collaboration #2 was an exception; it seemed to hang around for quite a while. Saison-Brett, Imperial Stout, and BBQ all went pretty fast. What often happens with limited beers is that people will perceive scarcity, get manic, and start hoarding even if they don't want that many bottles of whatever beer. I think it's an vestigial instinctive behavior left over from millennia of hunting/gathering.

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