Appearance: Extremely dark black body for the low weight. Forms a large,
light brown foamy head which dissipates rather quickly but leaves minor
lacing on the glass.
Smell: Mild nose with a very generic pub stout scent. No chocolate aroma, but a definite twangy/metallic scent.
Taste: I didn’t think it was possible to screw up a chocolate stout, but
apparently Trader Joe’s contract brewed "Boatswain" line made by the
Minhas Craft Brewery managed to do it. This is neither chocolaty nor
stouty, but more like a failed homebrew experiment. That’s not to say
it’s horrible or undrinkable, but well below average. Twangy,
astringent, metallic flavors should not be found in this type of beer.
It begins rather mild with a typical pub-style stout or porter flavor.
It’s actually closer to a dark mild rather than a stout since there’s
little roasted malt flavor and definitely no chocolate. A hint of
bitterness through the middle and a big finish of a sour, metallic,
grainy taste akin to a malt liquor. The aftertaste is slightly dry, but
thankfully mostly clean. I initially chalked these off-flavors up to the
beer being too cold so I let it warm up but it actually got worse. In
fact, the more I drank the less I liked it. In short, this is the worst
chocolate stout I’ve ever had.
Drinkability: With a very thin, flat, watery mouthfeel and texture,
Boatswain Chocolate Stout is at least easy to drink. It goes down very
smooth which is pretty much the only positive feature of this brew. At
5.4% ABV I can see why the palate is rather weak. Drinking an entire
bomber yourself wouldn’t be impossible, but the objectionable palate
makes it a challenge.