Boulevard Brewing has issued an apology and refund announcement regarding their recently-released Chocolate Ale (a beer which generated the kind of intense interest in Kansas City that Deschutes The Abyss does in Bend and Three Floyds Dark Lord Imperial Stout does in Munster):
This week, some post-release checks of Chocolate Ale, our current Smokestack seasonal offering, revealed that certain batches of the beer had begun to exhibit flavors and aromas not intended by our brewers, attributes not detected prior to the January release of the beer.
As you might imagine, we are dismayed by this discovery, and are conducting exhaustive investigations in an effort to pinpoint the problem. At this point we know enough to confirm that it was limited to three batches of Chocolate Ale bottles – it did not extend to other Chocolate Ale bottles, to Chocolate Ale draft beer, or to any other Boulevard beers. We can also confirm that the batches in question are not harmful to consume, but may simply display an undesirable flavor.
We stand behind all of our beers, and accordingly are offering a full refund to any consumer who purchased a bottle of Chocolate Ale from the following batches: 2011-1, 2011-2, or 2011-3. The batch number can be found on the back label of the bottle, in the upper right-hand corner (click here to view image – the batch number is indicated by the last digit on the top line.). To receive a refund, send us the name of the store where you purchased the beer, the purchase price, your name and mailing address, and a scan or photo of the back label from your bottle of Chocolate Ale, batch 2011-1, 2011-2, or 2011-3. If you purchased more than one bottle, please include a photograph of all bottles together.
You can e-mail this information to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail it to “Chocolate Ale Refund, Boulevard Brewing Company, 2501 Southwest Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 64108.” You can expect a check within 2 to 4 weeks of your submission.
I had a bottle of Chocolate Ale last weekend and it was one of this batch; instead of chocolate, it tasted very much like a chili beer (though not spicy hot). Kudos to Boulevard for recognizing and getting in front of the problem, it’s always good to see a brewery (particularly a big one) willing to do what it takes to maintain their quality and treat their customers right.
Now I just hope the bottles that made it to Bend aren’t all in that batch!