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Brooklyn Black OPS - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Black OPSBrooklyn Black OPS

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,800 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,800
Reviews: 748
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 13.56%
Wants: 401
Gots: 936 | FT: 72
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)
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Ratings: 1,800 | Reviews: 748 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of m1ked


4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My wife held this up to me on her B-day asking who wants a cup of birthday coffee? How could I say no?

A- pitch black with deep cocoa thin foam. Foam barely clinging to the edges. Looks rich.

S- this is where this beer really begins to shine. Deep rich roasted coffee, dark choclate mingle with the liquor notes that give a real spirit essence as opposed to "booze". I get some deep caramel, vanilla aroma, with a lingering coffee oiliness.

T- ahh this is delicious. Those rich roasted notes of coffee, dark chocolate are of course there.... But the nutty vanilla notes are present with a touch of chocolate covered cherry also. The nutty notes make me think of an orgeat liquor.

M- Heavy and viscous, but somehow it does not seem so heavy on my tongue. I assume it must have something to do with the champagne yeast giving it an almost effescent quality.

D- I was holding onto this for 7 months and looking to pop it around now, just waiting for the right time....sometimes it's as easy as bring told when the right time is. Given that the weather has been scorching lately, drinking this beer first thing in the morning seems very appropriate (stop judging). After having had the manhattan project and dark matter I can find many similar flavors and notes in this beer. I guess this was the 1st gen beer in those bourbon barrels. It's ol by me, because I really enjoyed those beers too. But I think the OG is the best of the bunch.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2010 13:26:59 | More by m1ked
Photo of billab914


4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage poured from a 750ml bottle into my Bruery tulip glass. Poured near black in color with a huge chocolaty and dense head filling 1/3 of the glass. The head had very good retention, lasting well into drinking it. Lacing on the glass was good as well.

The aroma has a moderate bourbon flavor, but shows a little more of the oak and vanilla barrel flavors. Chocolate comes through from the base beer flavor as well. Not an overly strong aroma to it for the style, but the barrel flavors come through pretty nicely.

The taste shows a lot of Bourbon flavors along with oaky, vanilla barrel flavors. The bourbon flavors are very nice and not hot at all at this point after a year plus of aging. Sweet chocolate and a hint of roasty flavor seems to be the major flavors coming out of the base beer. The chocolate mixes particularly well with the vanilla flavor of the oak. Good flavor overall, but possibly could have used a little more of the base beer flavors coming through the barrel aging characteristics to be truly outstanding.

The mouthfeel is of average thickness for the style, I typically like these big stouts a little thicker to suit my taste but it isn't bad. Carbonation is also moderate to low and fitting for the beer.

Drinkability is very good, it was a very good tasting beer to sip on this evening. I didn't try it fresh but heard it was a little hot. After a year of aging I can say it wasn't hot at all and was pretty much exactly the way I enjoy my Bourbon stouts. My only criticism is that the base beer could have come through with a bit bolder flavor in both the nose and taste. Still a very good bourbon aged beer though.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2010 00:52:44 | More by billab914
Photo of bigfnjoe


4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked & caged bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours absolutely jet black with a nice brown, 2 finger head. Lacing is intense, all the way up the glass...some of the best lace I've seen. Looks amazing

S- strong dark chocolate and coffee. Getting a little bit of booziness from the bourbon. The more I smell it, the more and more the bourbon starts to rise up...

T- first sip gives me some sweet chocolate with some vague hints of bourbon in there. The next few sips give me more of that sweetness with the bourbon coming more and more to the forefront. There isn't a whole lot of character though...just the bourbon and the chocolate, with the bourbon becoming more and more of a factor. Disappointing, but still good.

M- very, very thick. Perfect considering how hot it is

D- this is certainly a hot one. Definitely a sipper...

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2010 22:28:48 | More by bigfnjoe
Photo of NewGeneric


4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to NYCWheatFanSC for hooking it up.
Poured into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip.

A: Pours pitch black with the tiniest hints of brown around the edges. 2 fingers of milk chocolate foam fade pretty slowly leaving solid lacing around the sides of the glass.

S: Chocolate and bourbon. Along with some coffee, toffee, and vanilla. Alcohol presence from the bourbon.

T: Chocolate up front. Bourbon flavors come through in the finish, really nice vanilla. Plenty of fruit as well, very much a mix of lights and darks.

M: Alcohol is hidden extremely well. Nice and creamy with plenty of carbonation.

D: Could drink this any day of the week. Alcohol warmth is the only thing that detracts, making it difficult to drink a lot.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2010 02:52:17 | More by NewGeneric
Photo of strangefate


4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgeous pitch black with a dark brown head. The scent is incredible - chocolate and coffee, but words don't do it justice. This is one of the best, if not the best scent for any beer I've ever smelled. The taste is a bit boozey, and of coffee, dark malts, and a subtle smokiness. Very tasty. This is the perfect mouthfeel for the style - creamy and full-bodied. This is the way every Imperial Stout should feel. Despite the ABV, I could easily get carried away drinking this great beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2010 09:02:05 | More by strangefate
Photo of Franchise


3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This offering from Brooklyn pours a onyx black leaving a thick brown head strong and bubbly. The smell is bourbon, alcohol, vanilla, tart spices, strong herbal notes. This is a very interesting beer so far.

The taste is boozy upfront, highly carbonated with a strong alcohol profile almost overwhelming. Very dry mouthfeel with some graininess in the back of the palate. This warms you up the 11% abv is very apparent but the dark chocolate, herbal aspect help balance it a bit.

This beer overall feels a little raw highly carbonated and very boozy without enough balance but still a very solid offering from Brooklyn brewery.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2010 18:47:00 | More by Franchise
Photo of drabmuh


4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage of black ops opened by Matt at a recent get together. Thanks.

Beer is black and forms a brown head that leaves some but not much lacing on the glass. Carbonation is steady and moderate.

Aroma is mostly sweet with a tinge of alcohol and bourbon.

Beer is medium bodied and pretty sweet. It has a strong liquor character to it and its nicely flavored with bourbon. Nice levels of carbonation on the palate and good drinkability. Its a big beer but it goes down smooth. Body is creamy and smooth. Finishes fine, not too dry. Overall a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2010 03:10:57 | More by drabmuh
Photo of billshmeinke


4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Poured into a tulip. Brought it to Blue Palm in Hollyhood to share with my boy cmorton.

Fat four finger head khaki. Black with tiny bubbles rushing up the side of the glass. Really nice head retention. And belgian like lacing.

Smell is pretty subdued. Dark chocolate, licorice and black currants, vanilla oak, some bourbon and alcohol. Some champagne yeast sourness that's subtle. 4

Taste is vanilla lots of oak bourbon then dark chocolate and a subtle champagne yeast sourness reminds me me of angels share a little with a champagne yeast twist. Not really much lasting after taste which is interesting.

The mouthfeel is very soft and smooth. Carrbonation is low with tiny bubbles. And hot on the way down. Light and not sticky or heavy which is actually seriously the best part of this beer. 5

Drank this glass real fast. I could probably drink too much of this beer it goes down real easy. 4.5

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2010 01:00:42 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of Beejay


4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black as night in the forest. Full creamy head that is gently fading, but is persistent enough to stay for quite a while.

S: Oak and bourbon right up front, with brown sugar, coffee, and dark chocolate following. Almost a hint of raisons. This is a very nice smelling beer, though perhaps just slightly hot.

T: Very nice. Vanilla and oak dominate straight away. Hints of brown sugar come in, but then are quickly destroyed by the coffee and dark chocolate combo.

M: I think the carbonation is a little intense for the style, but not so much that it irritates me. This has an odd feeling to it, creamy smooth, but slightly thin.

D: Overall I think this could be a very dangerous beer. Tasty as hell and pretty potent. Very nice, but doesn't top some other beers in this style. Regardless this is a monster brew that is worth trying, and I only wish I had another bottle or two tucked away to try with a little age on it. le sigh.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2010 03:01:15 | More by Beejay
Photo of alleykatking


3.4/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 750 bottle. Thanks goes out to Dan for sharing this one at Luke's tasting.

A- Pours a deep dark black color. One and a half finger mocha colored head which has fantastic retention. Ringy lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Lots of molasses and brown sugar in the straight front of this. This turns into a big bourbon bomb afterward. It kind of cancels out everything but can still tell there is some bitter chocolate in this and light roasted grains.

T- Roasted malts in the front of this shine for a second. Molasses and brown sugar with a hint of other sweetness in the end flavor upfront. Bourbon takes over from the middle with some light oak flavors. Chocolate comes into the backing but the booze seems to kick back in and leaves it's alcohol trail long into the ending.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation was very low which was alright for me. Not very full bodied even with no carbonation. Flavors were drowned out by the heat of the alcohol. Very drying on the palate. Bourbon was left all over the palate and into the aftertaste.

D- This was a hot beer for me. I think some aging should clear up some of the mouthfeel and flavor profile. I would like to try this again with at least a year of age on it. Will have to trade for and keep in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2010 08:44:54 | More by alleykatking
Photo of ToasterChef


4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes of a bottle pour at the Great Lost Bear. I was served about 6 ounces in a tulip glass. The Black OPS came to me looking pitch black, with a brown foam head. It is fully opaque, not light gets through whatsoever. It looks like a near perfect stout, except that it had hardly any lacing. Maybe this was just my glass though. The aroma is full of malt and bourbon. I can detect alcohol, oak, and slight roasted malt notes. The bourbon aspect is the strongest thought, and nearly overpowers everything. It is equally strong in the flavor. I can taste it right away and it gets stronger after I swallow. Coffee bitterness and alcohol provide a sharp bite that sits behind the bourbon. It's a very good flavor, but it is very hot. I would love to try some with a year or more of age on the bottle. The beer is full bodied. It is a bit sweet and sticky, but less so than some other beers of this style. The carbonation is at a good level--I don't feel too much on my tongue, but ti will foam up if I swish it around my mouth. I find the Black OPS to be somewhat drinkable in its fresh form. The bourbon will be too strong for most drinkers. The big stout characteristics will be too much for others. If I opened a bottle, I would need to share it. Still, I think this beer is worth seeking out; I'm just not sure it is worth the hype. I think I prefer local bourbon aged stouts (such as the one put out by Sebago) more.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2010 20:47:59 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of DavoleBomb


2.48/5  rDev -40%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to alpinebryant for this one.

4.5 A: Black color. Two fingers of thick, creamy medium brown head. Great retention and lots of lacing.

3.5 S: Wow, there's a ton of bourbon in here. Indeed, I'd say there is too much as it cancels out a lot of the beer aromas. Still, there's a reasonable roasted barley component with some dark chocolate.

2.0 T: I like bourbon barrel beers a lot, but this tastes more like whiskey than like beer and the flavors reflect that. Leather, oak, and vanilla. Moderate hop bitterness with some roasted barley again and dark chocolate.

2.5 M: Lighter medium body. I like imperials thick and viscous, so the mouthfeel was a letdown. Watery as opposed to creamy. Good moderate carbonation.

2.0 D: I like bourbon barrel beers when the bourbon complements the beer. Unfortunately, the bourbon in this dominates the nose and taste instead of adding complexity to a tasty base stout. I'm sure people who like whiskey a lot will find this very appealling, but I'm not one of them.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2010 01:46:12 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

NO... SLEEP... 'TIL...

This is from the recent release.

I'm often disappointed with stouts over 10%... but I'm lov'n this one. A little bigger, hoppier & more bitter than their excellent chocolate stout.

A: BLACK. Tan head, excellent retention considering the strength, nice lace.

S: Sherry, bakers chocolate, molasses, hints of licorice.

T: Bakers chocolate, molasses, java, port, rye bread, licorice, good hopping (floral, grassy & hints of piny resin), solid bitterness.

M: Really full body without the residual sweetness or roasted acidity. Exceptionally well-crafted.

D: A great drinker considering the strength.


Serving type: bottle

06-02-2010 22:18:37 | More by Derek
Photo of Arbitrator


2.23/5  rDev -46%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. 2008 vintage. Shared by mfielden. Thanks Mark!

A: Pours a dark brown body, nearly black, with good carbonation.

S: Brown sugar, molasses, caramelly bourbon, oak, some anise, and booze (?). Surprising to get the last one in there, given that a) it's Garrett Oliver, and b) the beer is aged.

T: Definitely sweet flavors found here, but it's quite dry for an imperial stout. Brown sugar, molasses, caramel / bourbon. Easy to pick up. Just the same, it's very roasty, even borderline burnt, and the tannins blend that into a pronounced bitterness. Not my favorite combination. I get some booze again. Still, it's a balanced flavor; you can taste everything in proportion. It's just not a profile I enjoy.

M: It's a little hot for my tastes, but again, it's dry for the style. Med-full viscosity.

D: I didn't care for this beer. I prefer something with a little more body, a little less heat, and much less roast. Not something I'd get again. Abyss is half the cost and I enjoy it a bit more.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2010 18:37:15 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of DoubleJ


4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Does OPS stand for On-base Plus Slugging? And how did this beer show up at Beachwood BBQ? 750 ml bottle shared three ways, on to the beer:

It's intimidating black in color, with a tanned head showing good head retention and lacing. OPS shows a mellow aroma to the nose, with notes of licorice, and a big chocolate fudge smell. There's a litle oak as well. The taste was great at fiest, with huge fudge flavors hitting the palate. After the first ounce, that fudge flavor slowly dissapeared. That cream flavor from vanilla wafers comes to mind as one of the notes that I taste. It's toasted. Throw in a little bit of solvent alcohol and licorice, and viola! Good stuff, just not the crazy good stuff I've come to expect from -bal aged imperial stouts.

OPS is good beer. Is it worth the price? Well, I paid $13.33, or one-third of the total price, so I guess it was worth it for a one time purchase. But I can't see this getting a second chance from my wallet.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2010 04:56:03 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of Halcyondays


4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle at Beachwood split with DoubleJ and my friend Evan, the bottle states 10.7%,

A: Pours black as night with a firm brown head, good retention, nice lace.

S: Predominately chocolate with notes of bourbon whiskey, hints of licorice.

T: Again, quite chocolately with a noticable bourbon play which is never at the forefront. The limited aging (4 months) allows the base stout to really make the main flavour. Chocolate fudge, milk chocolate, very malty with a hint of roast. The barrel makes the beer very smooth and elegant, but there's not a lot of oak/vanilla in the beer at all, much more of a straight up RIS than a lot of the barrel aged stouts on the market.

M: Full-bodied, quite smooth, soft carbonation, the bottle conditioning works great here for an elegance that forced carbonation would not have allowed.

D: This is good. At it's very expensive price though, I wanted to be wowed, and I was a little let down in that regard, but I still like Black Ops a lot. For the style, it's a very easy drinker.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2010 03:17:10 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of bl4ckwell

New York

4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured a dark jet black.

Smell - I got a strong boozy smell in the nose.

Taste - Although it smelled very boozy the alcohol taste was very effectively covered by the caramelized/chocolate taste of the beer. It was absolutely delicious.

Mouth feel - was a little bit thick, after drinking a few snifters of it, i actually needed to drink water.

Drinkability - It went down very easy and was a pleasure to drink.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2010 07:04:54 | More by bl4ckwell
Photo of htomsirveaux


4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle tried 1 Mar 2010.

Acquired in trade from... damn... don't recall, sorry.

Served in a Liquor Mart shaker pint (think we might have packed away most of the beer glasses for the move at this point). Large dark brown foamy head. Moderate carbonation. Beer is very dark brown, almost black. Aroma is nice, roasty, chocolate, cabernet, vanilla and dark roast coffee. Deep dark dry roasty flavor. Smooth and velvety, boozy, medium heavy body. Tobacco and dark chocolate throughout. Finishes with coffee and a bit charred. Some lactose in the aftertaste.

Appreciate the trade to let me try this!

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 04:25:31 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of Deuane


4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ffejherb and Brewslut for bringing back a bottle of this straight from NYC!

A-Black, duh! A medium, dark tan head rises up and then reduces to a thin cap and leaves clingy, ringing lace.

S-Chocolate and coffee with a bit of alcohol burn and subtle hints of bourbon in the background.

T-BOOM! Big chocolate upfront with an equally powerful bite of dark roasted coffee. Light notes of bourbon sweetness, licorice and earthy hop notes in the drying finish.

M-Medium-heavy body with long lasting coffee and roasted malt bitterness and chewy richness.

D-Hmmm....I was worried this one would be a bit hot--but NO! Tasty? YES! This is some damn good stuff. Looking to revisit this one after I let a bottle get a little age on it. Well done Brooklyn.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 11:44:08 | More by Deuane
Photo of pmoore311


3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served chilled in a snifter 2010 vintage.

A = Beautiful black with a tan mocha head. Fairly bubbly.

S = Strong bourbon and vanilla with slight coffee, chocolate and toffee smells.

T = I was expecting more here thought it was a little bland myself, I expected from the fairly aromatic smell that the flavors would be more bold. The Champagne yeast does a wonderful job in this beer as it provides nice complexity and something different for the style.

M = great mouthfeel, the yeast adds quite a bit here, with a bubblier sensation that works perfect with the velvety smoothness.

D = Great drinkabilty, hides all of the 11.7% and is very smooth.

This is definately a unique brew, I was glad I was finally able to cross this one off my list. However the $20 a bottle price tag will most likely prevent me from continuously seeking this out.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2010 16:56:06 | More by pmoore311
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black appearance with very thin tan head. Bourbon and coffee in the nose, with faint hints of wine.

Definite bourbon in the taste, along with strong suggestions of dark chocolate, coffee and even hazelnut. Well blended, with the subtleties coming out as it warms on the tongue.

Very smooth beer, quite nice to sit and sip. Well done and even the big bottle size and high ABV make this a nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2010 22:45:42 | More by BDTyre
Photo of joshstevens87


4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a serious black with a tan head that hang around and leaves a nice lacing
S-some coffee and chocolate notes with a nice kick of bourbon, sweet fruit and spicyness and a bit of wood
T-much like the smellthe bourbon becomes more prevalent and is blended great with the champagne yeast
M-a big body with a strong carbonation a very interesting feel of the yeast
D-overall an extremely interesting beer it definately is one of a kind

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2010 02:43:41 | More by joshstevens87
Photo of AltBock


4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

There's something about Brooklyn's 750ml bottles that demands respect. Maybe it's because that to me their 750's look like small baseball bats. That to me means Brooklyn is trying to say "if you don't like our beer, just hit somebody in the kneecaps with out baseball bat looking bottle." This is one bad ass bottle! Not only is it corked and caged, but it's an all black bottle with a black label that has the black Brooklyn "B" in front of a silver background. Below the "B" in silver coated letters is the name of the beer. The back label is also all black with silver coated letters. The paragraph on the back describes the process that this beer went through, a few of the beer's flavor notes, and how many bottles of Black OPS there are. Since it's called "Black OPS," Brooklyn was very vague on the how many bottles there are subject. Just below the paragraph is where they put all of the mandatory US information and a bottle number. This was bottle 3159 and it's from this year's vintage, 2010.

Appearance: I really had no other option then to pour this beer into my Maudite Snifter. How about a pint glass? Hell No!! Not this beer!! Saying this beer is simply "black," would be an understatement. I've used the term "motor oil" black a few times before this review and I'm afraid that I will have to drop that term again. I can't help it! This beer truly looks like it came out from the under belly of a car or truck. Not only was it a solid pitch black color, but it was a thick pitch black. It was as thick as a $50 Porterhouse Steak. After I got good look at the density and the color of the beer, I finally glanced up at the head of foam. That was impressive too. It was at least 1 inch in height and dark mocha in color. It had great retention that was able to leave behind a slim rocky mocha film, thick rings, and quite a few tiny spots of lace around the glass. Overall, the appearance was eye candy. Thanks Brooklyn for the wonderful sight!

Smell: The aroma was thick, but it wasn't as thick as the beer suggested that it might be. The first two aromas that came shooting up my nose like a rocket ship to the moon was the scent of dark chocolate and bourbon. It wasn't as chocolaty as Brooklyn's BCS. I'm sure it would have been if it wasn't for the bourbon. The scent of bourbon wasn't over the top, but you did get your fair share of it. Behind the dark chocolate/bourbon wall was the scent of dark roasted malts, a splash of roasted coffee beans, a tiny hint of fresh plum, a dash of brown sugar, a drop of molasses, and a tingle of vanilla rounding off this dark roasted aroma. It had everything in the aroma that I would expect from a beer of this color and density, but it just didn't knock my socks off. Don't get me wrong. It was a great aroma. It was just missing that punch.

Taste: The punch that was missing from the aroma was not to be found in the taste. While the aroma was mostly all about the dark chocolate and bourbon, a majority of the taste was about the bourbon and oak. There's no doubt about it. The bourbon and oak take center stage in the taste while the dark chocolate gets a sample of the taste action. It didn't taste like you were chugging down a bottle of bourbon, but you got more than your fair share of bourbon in the taste. Slowly following the bourbon and oak was of course that touch of dark chocolate, a hint of roasted coffee beans, a slice of plum, a dark cherry or two, a pinch of dark roasted malts, and if you're lucky, a tiny splash of vanilla and brown sugar at the end. The taste has the flavors to make for a great barrel aged R.I.S., but they let the bourbon and oak get out of hand. I would like to age a few bottles to see if the taste of bourbon and oak recede any.

Mouthfeel: Black OPS was clearly a full bodied beer. Not at one point of this beer's life in my glass that it went below the full bodied line and into medium bodied territory. The carbonation level was pretty good, but it had a bourbon based aftertaste that made the aftertaste sometimes too boozy. My tongue was able to find some roasted malts and dark chocolate in the aftertaste, but that was quickly covered up by the bourbon and oak.

Drinkability: As you can tell from my review, this beer was barrel aged and it wanted you to know that. Maybe not the in the nose, but clearly in the taste and mouthfeel. In the end, I'm glad I finally got to try Brooklyn's barrel aged R.I.S. Yeah it got boozy at times, but it's not a bad beer. Sometimes I think it was too young to open. Black OPS can't be found like some of Brooklyn's other beers, but it shouldn't be hard to track one down if you really want to try this beer. It's not a I know somebody who knows somebody who knows the brewmaster's mom rare beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2010 15:21:56 | More by AltBock
Photo of ABOWMan


4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was really surprised and impressed when I poured this ale into my pint glass. It poured a deep black color that was completely opaque. The pour generated two fingers of fine foamed light chocolate colored head, which produced nice lacing on the walls of my glass.

The aromas that hit me were chocolate, charred oak, and bourbon.

The flavor was killer. An up-front bourbon note with a dark cherry background and plenty of roasted malt. Flavors so intense and rich that I had to look at the bottle again to see what I had just sipped.

The mouth-feel was think, rich and clinging. A real joy to sip. It almost reminded me of the mouthfeel you'd get from sipping an ice wine.

Drinkability? Not sure. I don't think you could drink more than a glass of two before your taste buds died off from flavor overload. Still, what a great way to burn your buds out. Truely fantastic beer. Great job, Brooklyn!

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2010 16:00:13 | More by ABOWMan
Photo of prototypic


4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Ops is pitch black. No light cuts through at all. The name is certainly fitting. A darker, mocha colored head sits on top. It's big. Real big. It's easily three fingers deep. Retention is excellent. It's slow to dissipate, and leaves very thick, sticky lace lining the glass.

The nose is damn good. Bourbon is noted very early on. It has a moderately strong bourbon presence. I like that. One whiff reveals plenty of stout elements. The bourbon is merely complementary. Well done. Chocolate malts seem to anchor things down. But, there are roasted malts, as well. Very nice. Roasted coffee adds a lot of character, and complements the other scents very well. Secondary notes of oak and vanilla are noted. Alcohol seems to be masked well. I'm not getting much here.

The flavor is good. It's a step below the nose, but still impressive. Black Ops kicks off with a strong bourbon flavor. It's more pronounced here, but is well integrated. Frankly, it seems to overpower of a bit of the stout elements. Chocolate malts provide a nice base. They have a bit of a sweet milk chocolate flavor. Roasted malts are noted, as well. Coffee adds a nice element, but of course, I am a coffee fan. Secondary flavors of black licorice, oak, and vanilla add nice depth. Alcohol is noted, but is blended well. This bottle indicates the abv is 10.4%. Finishes a little sweet with a shot of bourbon.

Black Ops has a light-medium body, and feels too thin. It improves with a little warming and smooths out. Carbonation is light and restrained. More body would really go a long way. Drinkability is good. It's bourbon-y, but never feels very big. It goes down alright, but a 750 is way more than plenty.

I have to say...thus far, I haven't been the biggest fan of Brooklyn Brewing's 750 ml bottle releases. Black Ops is the best one I've had, but it could be a little better. Personally, I think the bourbon flavor's just a tad too strong, and interferes with some of the other flavors. I'm also not sure that champagne yeast was the best choice. Perhaps that had some impact. Nonetheless, for a beer that actually doesn't exist, it's not too shabby. If you ever see a bottle (which you won't), pick it up.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2010 02:05:45 | More by prototypic
Brooklyn Black OPS from Brooklyn Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,800 ratings.