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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

1,847 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,847
Reviews: 749
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 13.56%
Wants: 410
Gots: 944 | FT: 76
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: 1,847 | Reviews: 749 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%

Enjoyed at Coles. Big bourbon cask aroma, very good bourbon taste at that, supported by some chocolate malts. Above average mouthfeel. Yeasty, a bit of sourness in mid-sip offset by the vanilla in the wood. A RIS with some complexity. Dark colour.A big beer.

Sammy, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -3.1%

t0rin0, Sep 02, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%

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 djrn2
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

djrn2, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%

Reviewed from notes. 2009 vintage.

Pours an opaque black with a thin mocha head. Nose is bourbon, vanilla, roast, and dark chocolate. The bourbon really comes out in the flavor with some silky vanilla and hocolate in back. Fairly full body with a bit of heat. Quite tasty, but not worth he high price point.

Thorpe429, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

zestar, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

nmann08, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -3.1%

acurtis, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of metter98
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high tan head that settled down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of bourbon in the nose.
T: There is an excellent balance between flavors of malts and the bourbon from the barrel aging--the bourbon flavors are prominent but are in no way overpowering.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer tastes like it is strong, but is nowhere near an alcohol content of 11.6%.

metter98, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev 0%

Appearance: If it did exist, this beer would pour a mysteriously dark, pitch black color with a creamy mocha head that coats the chalice and really delivers the lace

Smell: A myriad of aromas make this one hard to pin down - mocha, dark chocolate, dried dark fruit, bourbon, vanilla, charred oak...and alcohol

Taste: After a brief mocha flirtation, the beer drills into the dark chocolate and, by mid-palate, adds dark fruit and the barrel flavors of whiskey mash, oak and vanilla; all of this is complemented by the hop bill, as well; after the swallow, there are some sweet and sour elements and then a resurgence of the alcohol; the bourbon arrives late and wafts upward from the gullet; lots of wood in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with delicate carbonation, from the Champagne yeast; I guess the yeast impacts the mouthfeel as I would have expected it to be fuller

Drinkability: A very different take on the style - a thinner body and more overwhelming bourbon and wood flavors than others of this style; I have tasted this one young and when it has matured a bit and would recommend cellaring it for some time as it is too one-dimensional when young

brentk56, May 17, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev 0%

Oblivion black with a massive crown of milk chocolate colored creamiliciousness. The hugely impressive head (not to mention the ear-splitting gunshot on cork extraction) is proof that the Champagne yeast have done their jobs as designed. It doesn't look as though much lace is forthcoming, but this is still an outstanding looking ale.

Anyone who loves bourbon and Russian Imperial stout is going to love how this big beast smells. Both whiskey and stout explode out of the glass and practically fill the room with their magnificence. Dark chocolate and espresso dominate, and the bourbon fumes are heavenly. If the alcohol is well-integrated, then we just might have ourselves a winner.

Black Ops can't quite hang with the best bourbon barrel-aged Imperial stouts. There's no shame in that since the best examples of this sub-style are some of the best beers on the planet (personal opinion). It's definitely bold and hard-hitting, but there aren't enough of the malty guts that provide the depth and complexity that beer of this sort requires.

Bourbon is definitely in! your! face!... which won't be everyone's cup of grog. It looks like the beer soaked up quite a bit from the wood, after spending four months in barrels that had previously held Woodford Reserve. Whiskey is prominent. Ethanol is not. Which is exactly how it should be.

The flavor profile consists of dark chocolate-covered coffee beans, black licorice, charred oak, burnt sugar and vanilla beans. Warming doesn't change much with respect to flavor or mouthfeel, which is a damn shame. It's too bad Black Ops doesn't have that one extra gear that would have put it into the 'great' category.

The same carbonation that resulted in a near perfect appearance hasn't resulted in a near perfect mouthfeel. Part of the problem is a shortage of malt sugars, but the bubbles don't provide the expansiveness and the creaminess that the truly outstanding mouthfeel beers enjoy. Maybe bottling flat and relying on the yeast to do a perfect job isn't the best way to carbonate.

Brooklyn Black Ops is a fine effort and is a beer that I'll enjoy to the final bourbon-soaked ounce. That said, this basic blueprint has been done better by other craft brewers. I still think Brooklyn Lager is their best and most drinkable beer.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Bottle courtesy of Secret Santa: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a super large dark brown foamy head with great retention and great lacing. Aroma of bourbon and sweet malt is interesting though bourbon is more dominating then I had expected. Taste is also dominated by bourbon with some notes of alcohol and very subtle sweet roasted malt. Body is full with somewhat creamy texture with great carbonation and some alcohol is apparent. Good though a bit too much alcohol was apparent for my taste.

Phyl21ca, May 04, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%

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 mikesgroove
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%

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 Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Texasfan549, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -3.1%

kjkinsey, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev -3.1%

2009 Vintage

Pours black in color with a finger of brown head. A rich bourbon aroma along with plenty of oak and roasted malt. There's a nice vanilla note and some dark chocolate and molasses. The flavor isn't quite as good, but still solid. Roasted malt, dark chocolate, and molasses with a bit of bourbon and vanilla. Maybe a little heavy on the charred wood flavor for my tastes. A little boozy, too. Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation.

womencantsail, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

ygtbsm94, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
3.59/5  rDev -13.1%

First, let me say that I DO like this beer. I like it a lot. However, it's just too bad that I tasted it only after hearing and reading all the hype. It's a good beer; it's not a great beer. Respectfully, this is over rated. Again, a really good drink; just not the "end all" that people seem to talk about.

Pours thick black color with a deep tan/brown head. Attractive. Appears to be thick and viscous and promises big things, including a big full mouthfeel if one can tell such things from what appeared to be a "thick" pouring beer.

Big assertive nose of sweet dark chocolate.

Mouthfee is somewhat big, viscous and appealingly rich, but it doesn't last. There is a "thin" character to the mouthfeel which actually makes it more drinkable than less, but disappoints a bit from expectations and also is not quite the full rich thick drink one wants or anticipates. Feels a bit thick but not creamy which would really add heavily to the character of this one.

Flavors of big dark chocolate with hints of sweetness and big coffee/dark chocolate flavors with espresso bean finish and just a hint of "bitter." Very drinkable. Very good. Yes, I do want more and I'll drink it. However, this is not the "holy grail" of this style and type of brew. Just my opinion. (And, again...I'm happy to drink it with anyone, anytime!)

GRG1313, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

spycow, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%

Two fingers of dark chocolate head on a jet black body. Excellent retention and good lacing. Aroma is is nutty with chocolate, roasted malt and bourbon notes. Flavor is excellent with initially a chocolate with light coffee and coconut notes blending well with a smooth bourbon finish. Thick and full bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall this beer is very smooth with the bourbon present in the flavor and aroma without the sharpness in the mouthfeel.

kylehay2004, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

jaydoc, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%

Appearance: Pours an appropriately black body with a smallish (though dense and lasting), tan-hued head.

Smell: A heavily roasted, blackened maltiness throws up scents of dark chocolate, roasty coffee, oven-cooked almonds. Also notes of licorice and firm dark fruits. Far lesser, lighter hints of vanilla and oak.

Taste: Roasted malts yielding tastes of bittersweet chocolate, dark Italian roast coffee, light caramel, black licorice, and almond sugar. Fruity hints of black cherry and black currants. At least for me, the barrel aging isn't overly evident, only yielding light, subtle hints of oak and vanilla. However, there is a fairly warming alcohol presence. Earthy, roasty bitterness. Drying finish with about as much crispness possible from a full, heavy stout.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-high carbonation; the added dose of Champagne yeast really makes for a delicate, airy effervescence to boost the overall drinkability and add a nice touch of elegance.

Drinkability: A good, enjoyable stout as it stands now, though I feel some time carefully tucked away in the cellar would do nothing but benefit it.

ChainGangGuy, Jul 01, 2009
Photo of Knapp85
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%

Probably one of my favorites from Brooklyn, The Black Ops poured out as a heavy duty looking black oily liquid. The head slowly makes it's way to the top of the beer. The head leaves a light scattered lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer is loaded with roasted malts, dark chocolate and some coffee notes. The tastes of the beer was packed with toasted and burnt flavors, mixed with some sweet dark chocolate in there too. The mouthfeel was slick and smooth, just a touch of booze in the chest. Overall I found this one to be very good, I was very happy to have had it and would drink again if the price was right.

Knapp85, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -3.1%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 10, 2013
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Brooklyn Black OPS from Brooklyn Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,847 ratings.