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Brooklyn Black OPS - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Black OPSBrooklyn Black OPS

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,881 Ratings
no score

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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.


(Beer added by: RixBeer on 12-20-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,881 | Reviews: 752 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of caljrjr
4.5/5  rDev +9%

caljrjr, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of Avagadro
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a bottle of the 2011 vintage, given its production code is 2921, and that its abv is 10.7%

A: Uncorks with a timid hiss, but delivers an active head upon pouring. The mocha colored froth carpets its velvety black body.

S: Highlights of fruit and spice are accompanied by a backbone of malty caramel and espresso roast.

T: Black Ops exhibits stunning complexity, balancing rich malt, chocolate, and bourbon soaked vanilla with fruity Belgian esters.

M: Very dry, slightly sticky, and brought to life by stunning effervescence.

O: A very stunning stout to say the least. It's not the best $20 BA stout out there, but you're not going to have to wait in any lines to get it either.

Avagadro, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of Heatwave33
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle to a Dogfish Head Snifter.

Color: Black as night with a chocolate head.

Smell: Bourbon and chocolate up front. Then followed with vanilla and oak.

Taste: Same as the aroma. Except with a very slight alcohol burn from the delicious bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, smooth and lightly dry on the palate.

Overall: Thr drinkability is fantastic! Full bodied and damn well balanced. The bourbon is very tasty. Cheers.

Heatwave33, Mar 02, 2012
Photo of SirRuss
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all, Massive thanks to Rhettroactive for gifting this bad boy...

A: Jet black core, with a a thin deep brown rim. Two finger chocolatey head with average retention

S: espresso, milk chocoate, vanilla, oak, and bourbon on the back.

T: Lashings of milk chocolate quickly followed by a strong dark chocoalte impression owed to the roasted malts profile; Vanilla and oak also prominent along with a long irish coffee finish

M: Significant carbonation, although less than the head suggested. A good thickness without delving into heavyweight RIS realm. Off balance alcohol.

O: Incredibly well balanced oak and bourbon expressions, which both confidently project themselves without dominating. A solid BBRIS all round, although it offers no reason to bestow superlatives for orginality or complexity. Given the price tag I want to be able to say more, but it's just not happening - Simply solid.

SirRuss, Mar 01, 2012
Photo of DMCNAC
2/5  rDev -51.6%

DMCNAC, Feb 29, 2012
Photo of Viciousknishs
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours jet black with two fingers of dark espresso crema colored head. Excellent head retention with lacing.

S- sweet bourbon permeates this brew with notes of vanilla, aggressive American oak and heady alcohol. The stout comes secondary to the barrel with aromas of dark chocolate, burnt caramel and a hint of dark fruit. There is almost a medicinal character on the finish that brings down the aroma.

T- big bourbon flavor comes out with notes of vanilla, big oak and charred caramel. The stout itself gives flavors of dark chocolate, licorice and dark fruit. Finishes with some bitterness and a roasty malt espresso flavor.

MF- surprisingly soft mouthfeel. Medium body and very active frenetic carbonation. Almost Belgianesque in the carbonation.

D- pretty drinkable just a bit over carbonated.

Overall a very well done unique Bourbon barrel stout.

Viciousknishs, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of stoutlover1978
4/5  rDev -3.1%

stoutlover1978, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of kaelingirl
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1 pint, 9.4 oz into a tulip glass
a gift from my local beer store for christmas
pours black as black can be with a very thick brown head that fades quickly and fails to rise on subsequent pours
smells like whisky with a hint of vanilla and a bit of chocolate
very strong whisky flavor with some sweet malt to round out the finish
velvety smooth and a bit dry
very nice, i hope to stumble across another bottle in the future

kaelingirl, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of Travisnin
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Travisnin, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of LEdubs
4/5  rDev -3.1%

LEdubs, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of Jsmitty1967
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Jsmitty1967, Feb 22, 2012
Photo of GarrettB714
4/5  rDev -3.1%

GarrettB714, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of TheDarkKnight
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

TheDarkKnight, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of amphion1065
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle from 2011, served in a tulip. Reviewed from notes.

Pours absolute pitch black. There's a perfect two-finger cocoa head that leaves wonderful lacing around the glass.

Waves of sweetness in the aroma. A pretty strong milk chocolate character, with undertones of licorice and molasses. There's a certain softness to the nose, it's not quite weak but seems pretty restrained.

That champagne yeast certainly comes through in the taste. Cocoa again, with a complementary vanilla flavor. Minimal bourbon flavor, but the oak is definitely there. It's very smooth, and quite sweet. There is also a very distinct yeast flavor, evocative of a candy I can't quite place.

The mouthfeel is a little thin, and this is a little undercarbonated. A stout this rich deserves a heavier, fuller body.

A very nice, unique stout. A $20+ (definitely +) stout? I'm not so sure, but a nice treat nonetheless.

amphion1065, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of chilly460
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a pitch black, shiny body that blocked all light. Medium brown head dissipates quickly, but pops up quickly as the glass is swished. No lacing to speak of.

S - Really interesting aroma here. Get initial impression from the barrel aging, nice well blended bourbon. Picked up some hazelnut or nutmeg as well, smells like a fancy coffee dessert drink. Coffee is well formed, deep roasted. There is a creaminess in the aroma as well, fantastic.

T - This struck me as a very well integrated beer. The bourbon barrel is there, but gain like the aroma, it's blended well. Plenty of the vanilla and oak you'd expect with a BA stout, but they accompany each other perfectly. Mild is not correct, just blended well, as the flavor profile is plenty impressive. Beer has some medium roast, but definitely not a "roast bomb" as are some other stouts. The yeast definitely lends an interesting finish, has a dry champagne taste at the end.

M - Definitely not as full bodied as other big stouts, somewhat effervescent carbonation.

O - Didn't know what to expect, reviews seem to be quite polarized on this one. I definitely enjoyed it, big flavor profile with great balance. It's quite sweet, but the flavors are so good it's acceptable.

chilly460, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of tastybeer
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Looks amazing. Very thick, totally opaque, with a nice big chocolate milk colored head. The lacing changes with every sip. Aroma is like chocolate whisky with a variety of subtle complexities. Black cherry, raspberry, raisins, leathery tobacco, molasses, musky coffee, and sweet caramel drizzle. Taste is full of complexities though still smooth even with the alcohol punch. Soft caramelly dark chocolate, mollasses, tobacco, vanilla, toffee, maybe even a touch of orange. Mouthfeel is very appealing to me. Full body with a smooth, soft touch. Feels light and fluffy but there's deceptive density. Mmmm.

tastybeer, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of wedge
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 (3178)

It seems like a few people have felt inclined to open their 2008 bottles recently. Pours an impenetrable black color with a tight, super creamy brown head. The aroma is still a little boozy and not without some aged oxidation qualities...dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, coffee, and tobacco. Creamy with some dark fruit: cherry and prune. Vanilla bourbon upfront in the flavor followed by sweetened coffee and another hit of tobacco. Very smooth and not over the top at all with the barrel-aged quality, which I appreciate. Rich and subtly oak-y; not much in the way of alcohol, though it's still very much a sipper. Medium bodied, creamy, and slick.

Nice...I had not tasted this one until now, some three-plus years after buying the bottle, but I would imagine age has done some good. Sleek, well-blended flavor.

wedge, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of bluntedboywonder
5/5  rDev +21.1%

bluntedboywonder, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of jfcaa193
4/5  rDev -3.1%

jfcaa193, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of stewart124
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage Brooklyn Black OPS

Pours with two fingers of dense tan head on top of this syrupy black body. Not a trace of hues or hints of any other colors. The head is very dense and lingers for quite some time. Lots of lacing to be expected.

There are some dark candied fruits in the nose with an intense cherry and prune note. Mild bourbon and coffee in the nose as well.

Very smooth, mild and silky mouth feel. Bigger carbonation than expected but still very approachable. Subtle oak and bourbon without taking anything away from the roasted malts. An interesting feel with the dark caramel malt notes and roasted grains. Big but so easy to drink. You can tell it’s a bigger stout but 10.7% is hidden well. Some warming notes as this goes down but nothing pushing it into a “rocket fuel” character. Lingering dark fruits come out, more specifically plum which I don't get often and some currants.

The bourbon has diminished somewhat but still adds complexity to this stout. This really comes off different than many bourbon/oak stouts that I have tried. Maybe it is the yeast and bottle fermentation or just Brooklyn in general. I was very pleased with this even though I was not blown away.

I know 750ml all to myself would have been over the top. This was a very tasty treat and I would love to try another bottle even though it will be a different vintage.

stewart124, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of Diomede
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Diomede, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage - Bottle 3178 - sampled February 15, 2012.

Brooklyn Black OPS looks as if it's undercover. It has a shadowy black body that hides from even the brightest of lights, stashing away even the most subtle of highlights. Even its head goes into retreat and becomes sub-rosa unless more liquid is added to it. Lacing lasts no longer than a spark; the glass is left sparkling clean.

The bouquet is creamy rich with a chocolate-hazelnut-pecan mousse decadence. Dessert is served. Barrel-aging has blessed it with elegance and complexity. So much more than just coffee-and-cream, this has roasty, nutty undertones and a cigar-like air; at first the wood is more noticeable than the bourbon.

A lot of bourbon barrel-aged stouts squash the brain’s capacity for hyperbole when it comes to spicy, alcoholic flavors of vanilla and oak. But Black OPS is surprisingly smooth - or perhaps not so surprising given the four or so years it's had to mellow in the bottle. Bear in mind its age but this 2008 vintage is remarkably mellow for a 10.7% stout.

Time may have polished the harsher bourbon notes but it's also thinned out the beer's big roasty maltiness as well. Nevertheless, it still tastes like a chocolate fondue that's been spiked with a bit of Kentucky's finest and a few Cohiba ashes. They call this a good cigar beer with reason; it tickles the back of the throat with cinnamon-like spiciness while still leaving a leathery, coffee-like smokiness on the palate. Bold yet soothing.

I’m long past the days where stouts impress me simply because they’re barrel-aged, but Brooklyn Black OPS is a genuinely lavish beer. In fact, I'm feeling pretty good about dropping the $20 plus dollars on a few bottles; it was worth it and, although this has since been re-released, I wish I had bought up a few more of the original batch. Not a lot of beers offer this much drinkability while retaining so much rich, decadent complexity.

biegaman, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of fonts30290
1/5  rDev -75.8%

fonts30290, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.15/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Bottle # 3178 (or maybe 3187 I am not sure :-), 2008 Batch; October 2011
The beer pours pitch black in color and it is quite opaque when held up to the light with maybe a hint of brown showing in its black depths. A vigorous pour produces a three finger thick, darkly browned head. The beer smells strongly of Bourbon as I pour this beer and a more focused look makes it seem a touch softer with more of a focus on vanillin, toasted coconut, dark chocolate, coffee liquor as well as notes rich, deeply toasted nuts that have been aged in umami laden richness; this last isn’t really soy sauce, perhaps a touch of teriyaki, but this is contributed by some oxidation of the malt character. The oxidation at this point is just adding richness rather than detracting with unwanted notes of cardboard and overly oxidized. There is a substantial backbone of roast malt that provides burnt and roast notes that manage to remain quite smooth and well integrated with the other notes. The Bourbon barrel seems to accentuate fruit notes of cherry and perhaps a touch of raisins.

Smooth and creamy textured a touch sweet (though perhaps not quite as much as I was expecting), and the beer is also a touch lighter bodied than I was expecting, but it is still quite rich and definitely a sipping beer. The flavor finishes with bitter hops and roasted malt notes as well some spicy Bourbon notes, a drying toasted grain huskiness and some alcohol. There is a fruitiness to the Bourbon character that reminds me of cherries somehow and perhaps like a touch of apple jack. The roast character is pretty well tamed here, it does contribute some roasted / toasted notes, and touches of cold coffee. The beer is quite a bit thinner than I would prefer, though it isn’t horrible. The dominant Bourbon contributes definite notes of vanillin, woody oak and perhaps a touch of buttery character.

Not a bad beer, its biggest flaw is that the body makes it seem too thin; the flavors are pretty well spot on and I really like that the Bourbon barrel did not end up being too overwhelming for the base beer flavors and they remain pretty smooth. As the beer warms up it seems to get a bit thinner and a bit more Bourbon dominated, neither of which really helps things.

Gueuzedude, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of callmeishmALE
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

callmeishmALE, Feb 14, 2012
Brooklyn Black OPS from Brooklyn Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,881 ratings.