The pros: Trader Joe's Boatswain Chocolate Stout Bar gets its name from the beer that flavors the caramel in the center.
The cons: Taste of the filling may not be for everyone. The calorie count is pretty high if you sit and eat the whole thing.
The verdict: The last time I was at Trader Joe's, this was in one of the end caps which always seem to load up my cart. For $1.99, I figured why not? I has a funky name. That name is actually a reference to a Trader Joe's Beer named Boatswain Chocolate Stout which apparently costs just as much as this chocolate bar. Price difference aside, you are getting a nice dark chocolate here. It's not overly sweet.
The caramel is a very different tasting caramel. In terms of color, it was almost as dark as the chocolate itself. It's sweet, chocolatey and has the distinct taste of hops from the beer that was boiled down to make the syrup. Hops give beer its distinct bitterness. So if you aren't wild about beer, there might be a flavor note that you aren't going to like here. Also, the ingredients note one other item I don't think I've ever seen on an ingredient list: burnt sugar.
Overall, I think it is a pretty well done chocolate bar. I can't complain about the quality of chocolate used. It wasn't sickeningly sweet like some chocolate bars. If you can spare the calories it's a nice treat. If you can imagine a filling that has the consistency of caramel but the flavor of chocolate, then you have this bar.
The package of Trader Joe's Boatswain Chocolate Stout Bar:
The nutritional information and the ingredients:
Would I buy this again? Initially, I didn't like this bar, but as I adjusted my expectations away from caramel filling to a chocolate one, the more I found this bar to be quite pleasant. A nice treat, but a lot of calories.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!