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Brooklyn Black OPS - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Black OPSBrooklyn Black OPS

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,881 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,881
Reviews: 752
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 13.56%
Wants: 411
Gots: 944 | FT: 79
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

10.7%-2008
11.6%-2009
11.3%-2010
10.7%-2011
10.5%-2012
11.5%-2013

(Beer added by: RixBeer on 12-20-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,881 | Reviews: 752 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BigPlay1824:
Photo of BigPlay1824
4.58/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a new belgium tulip glass

A: pours a deep brown almost chocolattely color with substantial reddish brown foamy head that lingers for quite a while, beautiful lacing

S: chocolatte and cinnamon notes, alcohol is absolutely detected which isn't a bad thing

T: very nice light coffee and chocolate notes, slight alcohol just to let u know its there

D/M: drinks smooth, incredible taste really makes it a joy to drink, slight carbonation tingle, overall I'm incredibly impressed

BigPlay1824, Dec 28, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of russpowell
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think tendermorsel sent me this, if not it was corby112, cheers to both...I held this one back for review 2000, I figure might as well drink the best thing I have available for this milestone!

Pours mahogany/jet black with 2 fingers of caramel/brown head, very noisy. Oily sheen to this, some head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit in abundance, along with dark chocolate, vanilla & a hint of bourbon. Booze tends to dominate once warm

T: Rich chcolate, a touch of booze warmth, dryness & raisins up front. Dryness, raisins & boozey warmth dominate as this warms, some caramel & vanilla latte hiding there as well, plus a touch of oakyness & some leafy hops. Finishes strong with coffee, vanilla, a touch of oakyness & dark chocolate

MF: Fairly chewy, a bit hot, low/low carbonation & I can just feel this beer attempting to rot the enamel of my teeth...Almost pulled a 4.5; the hotness made this impossible

Drinks alright, the booze heat is a major detractor up front. Let this get to near room temp I think, that or should've waited until review 2,500?? I kid.

Doesn't live up to its name, more like having a couple of flash-bangs thrown in your bedroom & having the 75th Ranger Regiment rush ya!

russpowell, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was thrilled when I found out this wonderful beer was spotted at my local greens. I hopped to it and ran over to grab a couple bottles off the shelf from the one and only case they were able to procure. Brought this puppy home and in the house right away. Served it chilled and poured into a wine glass, this one was consumed on 12/29/2008.

One of the best looking pours I had ever scene to be honest. Rich dark and black as night, this thing gugrled out of the glass like a behemoth. A huge dark tan head then rose up to a height of three inches or more before settling back down into a full frothy layer of tan that was at worst a half inch high.

The aroma was just spot on. Rich milk chocolate and light hints of bourbon. Nice vanilla notes as it warms, but the sweet, decadent chocolate aroma was just superb. As I went in for a taste I was blown away. This was easily the best beer I have ever had from Brooklyn. Top notch in every way. Rich and very sweet milk chocolate notes, blending well with light touches of molasses and vanilla. Light espresso notes perhaps as the palate wears on, but this was just superb. The feel was smooth, delicate and loaded with carbonation. A nice belgian like feel to it. Super drinkability as there was just no taste of alcohol in here what so ever, and I really started to feel this one about half way through the glass.

Overall I was close to going a five on taste here, it was really just that good. The aroma was second to none. I am amazed and proud to have this beer in my fridge. One of the best efforts I have scene in a long time.

mikesgroove, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beers just don't get any bigger, roastier, chewier, or bolder. This beer is insanely large with flavor, texture, assertiveness; but at the sacrifice of harshness and drinkability. The aromas of cocoa, kahlua, vanilla, charred oak, and everything else that is delightful about their Chocolate Stout. The beer also looks the part with a froathy, clingy, goopy viscousness that appears much more like a milkshake than a beer. Flavors begin to rival the thickenss and heaviness experienced so far, but do lighten a bit to stout-like consistency with cherries, cocoa, coffee, wild berries, caramel, vanilla, figs, plubs, anise-licorice, oak, aged bourbon and a hint of lactose sweetness. The beer is seriously sweet with a lot of residual sugars left behind. Textures definately favor the robust over drinkability with a thick, chewy, expansive weight that follows with a medium fusal, boozy feel that contradicts all of the attempts at mellowness and softness. Heated, powdery, and numbing late. Finishes with a long, sweet linger of coffee, cocoa, and bourbon-ey vanilla. A grand attempt at the largest stout ever, but the beer needs more time in the cellar before it's potential is realized.

August 12, 2009: Thanks jctribe25!

BEERchitect, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to PaulStoneAnchor for sending me this one!

Shared with my buddy who just got back from NY and wasn't able to try this one on his trip.

2010 vintage with the 11.3% ABV.

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch dark khaki head that fades to a thin cap. Random legs of lacing hang around the glass on the drink down. Smells of cocoa powder, vanilla, wood, and bourbon. Taste is very bourbon forward up front with vanilla, oak, and bourbon flavors. Chocolate and roasted dark malt tastes come around on the aftertaste. The champagne yeast gives this beer a definite prickly and lively carbonation for a RIS, but I think it works very nicely. Slight alcohol warmth is felt in the throat on the drink down. Overall, this is a tasty RIS with a very nice bourbon presence. It is also interesting to see a beer with champagne yeast. I am glad I got a chance to try this one.

UCLABrewN84, May 23, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the Winter '08/'09 edition. Consumed out of an odd bulge-in-the-middle glass at a house party. Thanks to dschuster03 for this one. Bottle #3178.

A - Big reddish mocha foam, with over two fingers in a smaller glass. Excellent retention that settles to a thick cap. The body is pitch black, without any traces of color. There are a few spots of lacing left as the beer is consumed.

S - Earthy bourbon, sharp oak, some dark roast coffee, and a touch of coconut. There's not much of the vanilla or butterscotch flavors that I expect from a barrel-aged stout. The smell is a little harsh and acrid before it warms up, and it's still on the boozy side, even after a year.

T - The taste is much mellower, with a lot of fudge, chocolate, and marshmallow flavors, and significantly less bourbon character. The notes of coffee are also relegated to some light bitterness in the aftertaste that mixes with some tannic character as well. This is more of a 4.25, as I really dig the lack of booziness in the flavor, but have misgivings about the reduction in complexity from the aroma.

M - Medium bodied, with lower carbonation, and quite slick and sticky. Could be a little heftier for a 10.7% brew. There's a touch of warmth at the back end.

D - Surprisingly easy to drink, as the slick texture and minimal alcohol taste make it easy to keep reaching for another sip. The biggest problem is the lack of a defining characteristic when compared to other bourbon-barrel imperial stouts, combined with the somewhat excessive price. This is at least 50% more than a bomber of BCS, with only an extra 4oz or so.

Still, it's worth trying. I'll be interested to see how the fresh batch compares.

MasterSki, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of
3.21/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Pour / Appearance: 2013 vintage. Corked and caged bottle, uncorked by hand. Poured into a Deschutes tulip. Heavy head, likely due to the champagne refermentation, with a nice persistence and lacing. Rare for barrel aged and at 11.5%, but again, bottling with champagne yeast is going to catch pretty much any residual sugar. Dark black body, opaque. Very pretty imperial stout.

Aroma: Bread and alcohol. Smells like communion. Roasted malt on the back end. Maybe wisps of smoke. It's very interesting, but at the same time, the intense alcohol and bread notes overwhelm. Could probably have sat a while for a more complex nose.

Taste: Very dry and effervescent. Still, incredibly heavy on the palate despite the light body. Burnt crusts and tobacco, wood tannins and vanilla, definite bourbon. The mouthfeel is such a detraction though; so conflicting and odd. If the actual flavor weren't so readily harsh, the heavy carbonation might be interesting. Otherwise it's a beer at odds with itself.

Overall: This needs age on it to even out, but I worry the champagne carbonation will only increase. Regardless, it'd be pretty tasty if it weren't so unbalanced flavor and mouthfeel.

Bottom Line: If you're going to buy it, I suggest cellaring for a while or picking up a well cared for old vintage. This is not worth the $20 as is, save for the experimentalism of it.

, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of tectactoe
2.56/5  rDev -38%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Mike for opening this on an impromptu tasting night. It pours a deep, deep brown and black color with a mocha-colored head that cloudy up pretty big but fizzles out quickly, much like the layer of fuzz you'd get from a Coca-Cola. No lacing to speak of, but some alcoholic legs will trudge down the sides of the glass upon swirling.

The aroma isn't as robust or omnipotent as you'd like a barrel-aged Russian imperial stout to be, but it does have quite an array of things going on; vanilla, cocoa nibs, dark fudge, deeper dark plum sweetness, plenty of oak, and a faint onset of bourbon. Some roasty malts bring up the rear. The aromas are all there, but for some reason, they don't "mesh" like they should, and rather than a wonderful bouquet of smells, it seems more like a slightly jumbled mess.

From the first sip, I'm surprised by how thin, spritzy, and light this beer feels on the palate. Is that perhaps an induction of the champagne yeast? Not so sure why you'd want a huge, barrel-aged stout to be so carbonation and effervescent, but it transcends into a slightly watery and thin mouth feel, something that typically doesn't bode well for beers of this stature and style. It's like a Russian imperial stout with the mouth feel of a soda... What the hell?

The taste is also extremely mild, like the aroma; faint bourbon, mild cola flavors, a hint of wood, lasting cocoa beans, and a little roasted malt. Once again, everything here seems to be it's own separate entity, rather than a masterful blend of the whole, resulting in more of a random concoction of flavors mixed into a glass than a real, barrel-aged stout. Also, I've never had a barrel-aged, 10%+ ABV stout that was so easy to drink before. Seriously, it was gone in seconds. The flavors were so light that such a feat was possible... Usually drinkability like this is good, but for a helles lager or pale ale... NOT a Russian imperial stout.

I think my rating may be little harsh... The beer was not awful, disgusting, or hard to drink by any means, but it is incredibly overrated (and probably over-priced), and it's one of the weakest attempts at the style that I've come across, especially for having some decent acclaim. I appreciate Mike's generosity of sharing, but we both agreed that this is not how a stout was meant to be. I still don't understand all the positive reviews.

tectactoe, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of ricke
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black with a small beige head that dissipates after a while.

S: Balanced and complex with pleasant notes of roasted malts and gentle bourbon notes up front. Some roasty acidity, dark chocolate, vanilla and a hint of dark fruits.

T: The taste is also balanced with the bourbon notes well integrated with the rather powerful stout flavors. Nice roasted malts with slight coffee character, dark chocolate. A faint note of sweet dark fruits. Vanilla, oak barrels and some peppery spices. The bourbon accentuates towards the finish which has a roasted bitterness to it and a pleasant taste of alcohol.

M: Surprisingly light body (medium rather than full). Plenty of carbonation. Semi-dry finish.

D: A good beer. Not a bourbon monster. Instead, it's quite well balanced and showcases a happy marriage between imperial stout flavors and subtle bourbon notes.

ricke, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of BenTherHppedThat
4.5/5  rDev +9%

BenTherHppedThat, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Jet black color, with a very thin tan colored head. Great lacing as well.

S - Bourbon right off the bat, but chocolate, vanilla, and oak aromas follow right behind.

T - The taste very much mirrored the aroma, but with less of a bourbon taste as aroma suggests. It mellows with definite chocolate, oak, and vanilla presence.

M - Full bodied with medium carbonation. The beer feels very smooth and creamy. The Bourbon flavors through warm the mouth in a really nice way.

Overall, I think this is an underrated beer. It's a little expensive but well worth the money in my opinion. I'd like to try one with some age on it.

SkiBum22, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of steelerguy
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours black with a very deep, dark head. Head dropped to a lacing on top pretty quickly. Darkest head I had seen on a beer, looked great.

S - Bourbon and chocolate malt with a very slight vanilla finish.

T - Smacked in the mouth hard by bourbon and chocolate flavors. This is not such a bad thing, but it was more one dimensional that I was hoping for. There is a nice hop bitterness, but it mostly serves to make it taste even more like dark chocolate with a high cacao percentage. Really wanted some more dark fruit flavors in there, what little was there was smothered by the chocolate/espresso flavors. The bourbon was actually quite nice.

M - Nice mouthfeel, more carbonation that I was expecting. This helped the beer finish a little more crisp than it would have otherwise.

D - Good flavor too dominated with dark chocolate notes. This makes too one dimensional and it is a STRONG one dimension which makes it a little challenging after awhile. A 750ml bottle was way too much for me, would have been better to split 2-4 ways.

Note: I was a little harder on this beer due to the price. You sell a bottle of beer for $25 for a 750ml bottle I expect it to be great, this was just good.

steelerguy, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of Ben7773
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Ben7773, Oct 07, 2014
Photo of sabitu
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

sabitu, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was saving this beer for something, I don't remember what. Then, on my birthday, it was snowing so we didn't go out for dinner, and I decided what better time to have this beer. It was a great birthday treat. In a tulip glass it was black with a thick cocoa head. Great aroma: cocoa powder and sweet chocolate, coffee, and big bourbon. Taste fulfilled my expectations. Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and bourbon. Warming in the mouth. Spectacular.

lordofthewiens, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

DaftPatrick, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of csmartin6
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

csmartin6, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of DWolf
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

DWolf, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of generallee
4.75/5  rDev +15%

generallee, Sep 02, 2012
Photo of imagery
4/5  rDev -3.1%

imagery, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of renegadeburger
4.5/5  rDev +9%

renegadeburger, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of Callmecoon
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Callmecoon, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of beckard13
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

beckard13, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

SmellsofMahagony, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of bigdipip
5/5  rDev +21.1%

bigdipip, Nov 21, 2011
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Brooklyn Black OPS from Brooklyn Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,881 ratings.