1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Brooklyn Black OPS - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Black OPSBrooklyn Black OPS

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,827 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,827
Reviews: 749
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 13.56%
Wants: 405
Gots: 937 | FT: 74
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.


(Beer added by: RixBeer on 12-20-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,827 | Reviews: 749 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by erz316:
Photo of erz316


3.85/5  rDev -6.8%

1 pt 9.4 floz caged & corked bottle, Maudite snifter.

A - big head on this sucker, and can already smell the whiskey. body is black; light cant make it through any part of this beer. the head is pretty big, three fingers, and is a medium-dark brown colour. the large head is undoubtedly from the champagne type of yeast used. for the size of the head, it all comes crashing down pretty quickly, all in about 3-4 minutes. the final layer is about half a finger, ome pretty substantial lacing.and has left s

S - smells big and delicious: like a whiskey espresso explosion. the bourbon casking really stands out and is quite obvious in the top notes, along with a border line scent of coffee. the chocolate makes up the majority of the mid ground, lending the bitter and almost savory quality of chocolate to the nose. the bottom notes are some slightly spicy alcohol notes, mostly identifiable as being a result of the barrel aging. not definite malt base is noticeable, that is to say: nothing that has that characteristic sweet note that malts have. as a matter of fact, no part of the nose really smells sweet. the alcohol blends in very well, as does the bourbon; both seem to be completely integrated and natural to the beer.

T - an interesting experience. the immediate thing that hits me is that the mouthfeel is quite off, but thats for another section. the first impression of the overall taste is a slightly malty, more so chocolaty, but alcohol rich stout. nothing with which 'm terribly impressed. the initial taste of the beer is bitter, hops, chocolate, and some dry alcohol that is inherently combined to this EXTREME! dark chocolate. as the beer warms up in the mouth, the bourbon character comes out and makes a very noticeable impression on the palate; this is coupled with the hops the finish, yeah well, I just don't know about this beer. the finish has a big impression from the yeast, and some bourbon and chocolate; the only thing that really stick out is the yeast, the other flavours are just a continuation of the initial. there is a big burst of that 10.7% abv somewhere in the middle. the finish is kind of lame. nothing really sticks out too much. the first taste to stand out is a that whiskey burn, but that quickly fades into a dark chocolate. the whiskey---->chocolate conversion is nothing interesting. it is just kind of "oh hey, there used to be whiskey, but now my mouth tastes like chocolate." im not going to rave about this beer. its good but it doesnt deserve any extraordinary praise, though it is a complete bitch to track down (thanks eBay!). this is a big let down, Ive heard all this hype about black ops, and now, finally having it i think that the very thing that makes it desirable or unique, the champagne yeast, is ruining it.

MF&D - these champagne yeast beers are a real hit or miss. this one is still a good beer, but it is too off of the strong and thick style that I have come to know. the mouthfeel is way to carbonated and too light in body. it needs to be more syrupy, but that is going to be a bit difficult, considering how active champagne yeast are. sipping the beer into the mouth gives the impression that it is thick, but as soon as it all sits in mouth it reveals itself to be almost watery save the added body that the carbonation gives. its weird, but once one gets around the carbonation, the body can be seen to be really way too light for this style.

I dont quite know what to think about this brew. it has most of the aspects of an ris, but then again, it lacks so much in other regions. its good, i guess, but then again it is missing things that i consider to be fundamental to the ris style.

08-12-2009 23:16:05 | More by erz316
More User Reviews:
Photo of

3.21/5  rDev -22.3%

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.

01-11-2014 23:18:25 | More by
Photo of tectactoe


2.56/5  rDev -38%

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.

07-06-2013 17:52:54 | More by tectactoe
Photo of ricke


4.05/5  rDev -1.9%

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.

07-20-2009 15:18:22 | More by ricke
Photo of BenTherHppedThat

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +9%

12-04-2011 00:50:38 | More by BenTherHppedThat
Photo of SkiBum22

New York

4.5/5  rDev +9%

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.

08-14-2011 16:02:34 | More by SkiBum22
Photo of steelerguy

New York

3.7/5  rDev -10.4%

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.

12-27-2009 23:23:17 | More by steelerguy
Photo of sabitu


3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

03-08-2014 20:39:21 | More by sabitu
Photo of lordofthewiens


4.45/5  rDev +7.7%

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.

01-24-2010 13:41:11 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of DaftPatrick


4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

03-01-2014 04:45:05 | More by DaftPatrick
Photo of csmartin6

New York

4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

03-16-2013 08:01:19 | More by csmartin6
Photo of DWolf


4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

12-31-2011 02:41:07 | More by DWolf
Photo of generallee

New York

4.75/5  rDev +15%

09-02-2012 17:16:33 | More by generallee
Photo of imagery


4/5  rDev -3.1%

11-15-2011 21:18:51 | More by imagery
Photo of renegadeburger

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +9%

02-21-2013 12:32:38 | More by renegadeburger
Photo of Callmecoon


4/5  rDev -3.1%

11-21-2011 05:21:07 | More by Callmecoon
Photo of beckard13

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

12-29-2011 13:57:17 | More by beckard13
Photo of SmellsofMahagony


3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

07-29-2013 12:29:43 | More by SmellsofMahagony
Photo of bigdipip


5/5  rDev +21.1%

11-21-2011 03:25:57 | More by bigdipip
Photo of Snikwad1020


4/5  rDev -3.1%

03-12-2013 02:34:34 | More by Snikwad1020
Photo of iemailjack


3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

01-07-2013 23:04:35 | More by iemailjack
Photo of megamass

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -3.1%

06-07-2013 04:41:31 | More by megamass
Photo of tjthresh


3.3/5  rDev -20.1%

Pours opaque oily black with a small island is brown foam left. Boozy nose with with some decent roast and chocolate character. The flavor is mostly just hot with booze and tannic with oak. I find this to be very thin and prickly. I can see why most people like this one, and I certainly don't hate it. I just prefer a richer beer for an imperial stout.

10-08-2009 22:53:26 | More by tjthresh
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.43/5  rDev +7.3%

Terrific stuff, Belgian style bomber, caged and corked. You know the routine, this stuff pours black, dark mocha head, leaves frothy lace. Nose of dark chocolate, coffee, fudge brownies. Deep dark chocolate notes, double fudge, cafe au lait, bourbon, vanilla. Complex, rich, flavorful. The big problem here is the PRICE. $21.99 (!) at DeCicco in Ardsley, NY. C'mon, this is clearly fine, even world class brew, but I'd much prefer THREE bottles of Stone RIS or other quality Double stout any day

01-01-2009 22:28:36 | More by Billolick
Photo of daedalusfinch


5/5  rDev +21.1%

12-30-2011 06:55:32 | More by daedalusfinch
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Brooklyn Black OPS from Brooklyn Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,827 ratings.