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Brooklyn Black OPS - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Black OPSBrooklyn Black OPS

Educational use only; do not reuse.

809 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 809
Hads: 2,227
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 21.71%
Wants: 451
Gots: 1,176 | FT: 106
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: RixBeer on 12-20-2007

Brooklyn Black Ops (2008 commercially available version) was aged for four months in bourbon barrels, bottled flat, and re-fermented in the bottle with Champagne yeast. 940 cases produced.

Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 809 | Hads: 2,227
Photo of jtslpowley
3.67/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black Ops pours beautifully, however for me that's where it stopped. Too much of a punch on the front end with the carbonation ruined this one for me.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: midnight black. Fine-bubbled brown head retains well, but eventually settles. It can always be revived with a swirl of the glass. Wispy and patchy lacing.

S: Dry bakers chocolate. Bourbon balls. The barrel has its stamp all over this, bringing great aromas of woody char, caramel, and sweet bourbon. Some earthy and leathery yeast. Sharp phenols and smoke as it warms. Hints of alcohol.

T: Bakers chocolate and semi sweet dark chocolate. Molasses sweetness up front. Heavy roast and French roast coffee dominate the mid palate. Barrel comes hot on the heels of the roast, bringing a lot of wood char and peppery bourbon. Yeasty and earthy flavors emerge as the palate adjusts. Figgy. Smokey phenols. Quick spike of alcohol toward the back. Smoke, bourbon, and trailing malt on the finish.

M: Full in body with a whipped creamy texture. Medium weight, it sits fairly lightly in the mouth. Fine-bubbled carbonation is very gentle, but it does provide a light loft and some tingling on the tongue.

O: The champagne yeast is an interesting wrinkle, and makes this a unique brew.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.06/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour looks great. Pitch black with a decent brown head.

This does not smell good. It is a sour champagne with some dark roasted malts.

It only tastes a hair better. A lot of bret up front. Very, very sweet. Some dark roasted, ashy malts and some lingering bitterness.

A lively, crisp body. Pretty thin.

I know they advertise it as bottle conditioned with a champagne yeast, and it delivers there. However, as a Russian Imperial? Nope. I think my score is generous. I didnt really enjoy this at all.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

** Old Notes: 5/15/14
Bottle to snifter.Appearance: Dark black. Rich tan head. Aroma: very sweet. Bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla and coffee jump right out. Underneath is a toasty malt aroma.Taste: Strong bourbon and alcohol up front. Sour cherry and vanilla notes later. Warming.Feel: Thin for such a heavy beer. Carbonation lasts probably because it?s thinner. Astringent. Excellent beer, very complex. Only downside is that the bourbon flavor overshadows the stout.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from cork and cage bottle into snifter. The color is almost jet black with a creamy mocha colored head and lacing. The prevalent smell is caramel, coffee chocolate, and bourbon. There is just enough bourbon smell but it's not overpowering. The taste is coffee forward with bitter chocolate, vanilla, and a decided champagne tartness at the finish. As the stout warms, the sourness increases. The bourbon is prevalent throughout and is quite hot. I tasted no dark fruit, which I like to have in an RIS. This is a medium-bodied, lightly-carbonated stout. The fermentation with champagne yeast creates a unique taste that sets it apart. You can definitely feel the 10.5% ABV and this is decidedly a sipper. Overall, it is quite good and I'm glad I sought it out.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

look: Not quite opaque dark brown. Some ruby/cola highlights when held to light. Big mocha head on the pour that mostly recedes.
smell: Big and bourbony. Some other RIS notes but bourbon dominates in this fresh version.
taste: Bourbon is still prominent but doesn't dominate. nice roasty char and dark chocolate balance the sweet vanilla bourbon.

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Photo of mabermud
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 Bottle poured into my best brandy snifter.

Look: The body appears dark brown and viscous. The head is mocha colored and appears fine and creamy. The lacing disintegrates into sheets of smooth and creamy broken curtains. Good looking lacing, legs, and movement down the sides of the glass.
Smell: The dominant aromas are of dark chocolate, medium roast, and yeast. Booze and barrel are definitely in the smell. Some sourness sticks out.
Taste: Nice. Champagne, bourbon barrel, medium roast, and dark chocolate. The champagne yeast combined with the barrel makes this a very unique beer, there is a good touch of sourness. Reminiscent of OK-Si.
Feel: Higher level of carbonation for an RIS. Bubbly? The ending has a nice creamy lather.

Overall - Nice drinking here. I did not expect this amount of bourbon and such a pronounced representation of the champagne in this RIS. I am pleasantly surprised. For me, this is very similar to OK-Si.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.84/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Blend 6 Q4 2014. Stored in beer refrigerator. Poured into teku glass.

Very dark with some cherry hints. Light tan 1 finger head which disappears quickly.

Smells of bourbon, coffee, tiny bit of the refermentation yeast

Taste is bourbon, coffee, vanilla, roasted malts. Oak and alcohol on the back end.

Too light bodied, fairly carbonated, too much alcohol burn on finish.

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Photo of iTunesUpdates
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

This beer just isn't doing it for me. I was expecting a black as night beer. It poured with a red hue and looks nothing like it should. Very light bodied on the tong, almost porter like.

I wanted this to be think as anything and it did not deliver. Taste is ok but is overshadowed by the light feel which does not pair with such a big beer.

Granted I did age this for a bit so I will try another fresh and re rate as needed.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle blend #6, Q4, 2014:
Pours black, and a regular pour yields load of brown head. The head is slow to recede, and ends up creamy at the edges with a galaxy of random bubbles in the middle.

Nose is vanilla, light bourbon, little wood (oak). With some whiffs as the beer warms so get a little marshmallow, as well as a light chocolate/coffee/latte note - but they accent the main flavors.

The taste started initially as like a root beer, with additional notes of licorice as the bourbon tastes come on. A few sips later I can get a dark cherry cola taste as an alternative take on the root beer. The bourbon or some other flavor add a little bite/tingle that seems like ginger,or maybe licorice again.

The carbonation I think helps lead me to my soda analogies. However I think the absence of the effervescence is necessary given the lighter weight of this brew. My mouth actually has thin oily film at the end that allows the flavor to linger.

Very enjoyable. A bit more licorice than I expected, and the feel as a whole wasn't as enticing as I'd hope. Blend of flavors are nice, the barrel aging seems integrated fairly well with the beer.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black as night, but instead of the usual thickness that accompanies most impy stouts with a high abv, this pours very light with high carbonation. A very noticeable effect from the use of champagne yeast.

Huge chocolate, oak, roast, and vanilla aroma.

Chocolate and a huge vanilla flavor explodes through, although the bottle states coffee flavors, aside from a faint roastiness, I'm not getting any of that. The vanilla is tasty, but a bit overpowering. The bourbon is almost non-existent.

Medium-Heavy bodied, high carbonation, very airy and light for an impy stout.

Overall, while I think champagne yeast plays an interesting role, this came off way too sweet. I think this could use a little more bourbon character to cut through the high sweetness.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

BQE Q4 2014. Poured from a 750 cork and cage into a tulip, the beer is jet black, with a massive amount of carbonation action throughout the body, with legs of tiny bubbles feeding into a foamy, light tan halo of head. Aromas of subtle white grape on the effervescence given off from the carbonation. Deeper in, you find an entire layer of boozy overlays, followed by rich vanilla, oak spice, earthy tones, chocolate truffle, cocoa nib, and mocha. Flavors are rich chocolate, a nice blend of milk, bitter baker's, and truffle. Layers of rich vanilla, oak spice, bourbon overlays, and a dry wine-like character. Very dynamic, and the dryness undercuts the otherwise rich, robust, and velvety smooth body. The dryness also helps keep the drinkability up despite the increased ABV and building warmth. The finish is smooth and big, and it fades slowly, with a velvety transition that is eventually cleaned crisply off the palate from the last ditch efforts of the carbonation. This is an extremely tasty, extremely unique take on the style.

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Photo of Jwaks
2.39/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

It takes an extremely talented brewer to make an barrel aged imperial stout that is completely and utterly lacking in body. honesty it is near impossible to achieve. Congrats, you done it!! how the fuck you did it is beyond me. Perhaps the sugar and carbohydrate hungry champagne yeast ate up everything during fermentation that would give this brew any substance or you forgot to put in any flaked barley, oats or any unmalted grains that would add some mouthfeel to this beer. What an amazing failure this is.

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Photo of alarmclock314
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 release, 10.5% ABV, 25.4 oz bottle with cork. Pours black with a large-sized foamy tan head. Smells of bourbon, cocoa, and some roasted malts. The taste was surprisingly mellow; roasted malts, bourbon, dark fruits, and some port flavors. Not as malt forward as most RIS's. The carbonation was average, despite the large head. The mouthfeel was a little thin. Overall, the taste too mellow but had an interesting wine characteristic.

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Photo of uvachief
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 Bottle. Poured a deep dark black with a thin layer of mocha colored head that lingered a bit. Smells of chocolate, toffee, whiskey and roasted malts. Taste is much the samr. Very smooth for high ABV. Bourbon flavor is nicely folded in on this one. Delicious Imperial stout. Would definitely buy again. Not bitter. Hardly any noticeable ibus. Really tasty.

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Photo of brianmandell
3.89/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2013 Bottling, pours a dark brown with tan head. This is an interesting brew. The belgian yeast profile makes this stylistically closer to a quad than a stout. The nose is fruity with raisin and cherry (the age might be a factor here) and a heavy hand of cocao powder. Malty with very little bitterness. The back end is boozy (with some acetone) and slightly astringent but not overly so. The flavor falls flat in the finish. The mouthfeel is very nice - thin but with very fine creamy carbonation. If you prefer thick, full bodied stouts - this isn't it. A good show from Brooklyn but it leaves me wanting to drink a good belgian quad instead.

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Photo of Neorebel
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

With an opaque ebony appearance, and a head reminiscent of espresso crema, Brooklyn Black Ops looks to be one fine stout. The soda-like bubbles in which the head is comprised of, seem to give one the impression that there is some level of carbonation going on. This is the 2014 Black Ops of 11.6%. The aroma is somewhat unique in that in addition to raisins, vanilla bean, and strong Bourbon Whiskey, a hint of cranberry can be sensed as well. After a sip, the first reaction is that the Bourbon is coming in loud and clear, but there is also a nice cocoa powder element amongst the roasty bitterness. Medium bodied and fairly soft for the ABV, it still warms a bit going down. Overall quite a deluxe brew, but not enough so to really hang amongst the heaviest hitters in the BA stout arena.

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Photo of mrcarterxxl
2.12/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

Honestly I've had better imperial stouts, black ops is definitely not worth the $25. You really have to let it sit on your pallet for a while to form a opinion of flavor. It's more vanilla (Madagascar) dominant, not the traditional coffee, espresso, chocolate, flavors you'd expect.


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Photo of ptykozoon
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unsure vintage - at least a few years old.

Pours black with a caramel ring.

Smell is chocolate, graham crackers, dark sweets, caramel, raisin.

Delicious beer. Decent complexity.

ABV is subtle and refined. Sugary finish.

Drinkability is solid. Not an overpowering beer at 10%. Would seek out again.

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Photo of kdahnke123
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

BQE Q4 2014
L - Pours a dak black color with a copious beige head. The lacing is very long lasting and clings well to the glass.
S - Chocolate and vanilla with dark fruit and a touch of hops.
T - Dark fruit, moderate barrel flavor with balanced malt and hops.
O - A pleasant beer from Brooklyn. Worth a try.

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Photo of rockaroo
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Good, but gimmicky and way overpriced. Hard to appreciate tastes with agressive carbonation. Innovative and dangerous as a style for me so worth the $20, once.

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Photo of Drel
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Awesome beer. Pours jet black with a thick foamy head which is indicative of its carbonation. Tastes of bourbon with some champagne undertones from the yeast fermentation. Very bubbly on the tongue like a champagne. Great beer for a special occasion.

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Photo of mistersifter86
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle - 2013 vintage. 11.5% ABV. Poured into a Mikkeller & Friends tasting glass.

A: Pours a dark brown with impressive thick one finger espresso head. Rather impressive retention for such a high ABV beer. Champagne yeast doing its job with aplomb.
S: Classic bourbon notes. Dark and fruity, like a christmas cake. Slightly yeasty and bready.
T: Bourbon, ash, smoke. Some quad like flavours, raisins, dark fruit. Not too hot, unlike others have experienced with a fresh bottle. Lovely and nuanced. The driest tasting Imperial Stout I've ever encountered.
M: Extremely light for the style, almost its party piece. Warms the throat however remains rather spritzy in the mouth. Does not destroy your palate with cloying sweetness, is dangerously drinkable as a result.
O: As a lover of thick, sweet stouts, this was a grand departure. Had reservations about drinking it judging it from previous reviews. The thin mouthfeel dominates the equation for me, but not in the negative way that I was expecting. Have a 2014 vintage in the cellar - looking forward to visiting it in a years time.

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Photo of raphaelboschiero
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's a fantastic.beer, the flavor of tost caramel and vanilla is incredibly. the chanpanoase process add create a different sensation in your mouth gave more drinkhability

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Photo of antott0523
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brooklyn Black Ops 2921 (2011)

A: Pours an opaque dark brown. Nearly black. A loose espresso foam colored head that disappears. No lacing and no visible carbonation.

S: Smooth bourbon with hints of sweet vanilla and molasses. Pleasant barrel quality. A hint of dried dark fruit like raisins and figs that brings some sweet and sour to the beer. A dry nuttiness that reminds me of a dry brown ale.

T: Bourbon, a touch of vanilla and tobacco. Ash, a bit nutty walnut in the finish with a hint of brown raisin.

M: Mildly carbonated and medium bodied. A little thinner than preferred for a BBA Imperial Stout.

D: Very drinkable. It's been several years since I've had this fresh, so I'm not sure how boozy it is, or how much barrel aging is present, but I can say that this particular bottle has pleasant barrel aging qualities, and the booze at 10.7% is extremely well hidden. It's an easy drinker for sure. I also believe the aging takes a bit away from the lighter, effervescent notes brought on by the champagne yeast. Roasted malts are not part of this stout. This one is more delicate with no in your face elements.

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Brooklyn Black OPS from Brooklyn Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 809 ratings.