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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

1,848 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,848
Reviews: 749
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 13.56%
Wants: 412
Gots: 946 | FT: 77
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: 1,848 | Reviews: 749 | Display Reviews Only:
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 CampusCrew
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: deep dark black, nearly ebony, loaded head and creamy dark froth.

smell: definitly smell the bourbon and brown sugar aroma. some coffee, and chocolate aromas

taste: strong bourbon. a little overpwering though. rich and slight chocolate roasted flavors but had a smooth rich taste

mouthfeel: thick, creamy, good carbonation and very tasty

drinkability: solid RIS as expected from Brooklyn. Ilike BCS better. this was too bourboned for me.

CampusCrew, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of NYRfan4ever
4.68/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked this up at the local craft beer store, the manager was nice enough to put one aside for me because he knew I would like it. Got this for a colleague as well, he was a huge fan of this beer too. This is an awesome!! beer, and I would highly recommend that y'all get your hands on a bottle before there all gone.

NYRfan4ever, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of boatshoes
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased this bottle of the recent release from New Beer in New York on a recent visit. My first experience and I'd heard many good things about this one.

Appearance- Pours the usual motor oil black out of the bottle with a nice finger and a half of dark brown head. Dies back to a ring of bubbles around the edge fairly quickly. Small amount of lacing left as I drink. Pretty solid carbonation for the style.

Smell- Very nice nose with lots of big bourbon notes coming through. Heavy scents of vanilla and as my BA buddy CharlatanSin who was splitting the bottle with me so poetically put it, smelled an awful lot like someone put a scoop of vanilla ice cream into a glass of bourbon. Lots of wood and some tobacco coming through as well. Ultimately, the nose proved to be my favorite part of this beer.

Taste- Very upfront on the bourbon as the nose indicated. Rich bourbon and vanilla with lots of roasty malt. Some tobacco showing through again as well, but taste dominated by oak, vanilla, and bourbon. However, my problem here was not with the flavors themselves but a rather prominent and astringent level of alcohol that showed through. For my palate, this astringency separated the flavors somewhat and didn't lend itself to a particularly smooth integration.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel was a bit on the thin side, which was probably exhaggerated by the astringency of the taste. Drinkability hurt somewhat as a result by that hot alcohol taste as well.

Overall, I'd really like to try this with some age on it. I suspect that the alcohol would subside and the flavors would integrate better as a result. I was a bit disappointed with this fresh unfortunately but still a very solid offering nonetheless.

boatshoes, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of projectflam86
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JoeyBeerBelly for sending me this brew in our trade. Cheers Joe!

A- Pours a pitch black color with a deep brown colored head that leaves a bit of lace.

S- Full roasted smoked malt with some chocolate and alcohol.

T- I can definitely pick up more bourbon in the taste. Dark roasted chocolate flavors with some light hints of vanilla bean and a big bourbon boozy finish. Flavors of molasses, coffee beans, anise oil, and black licorice become more pronounced as it warms.

M- Full rich creamy body. Gentle carbonation with a slight warmth of alcohol in the finish.

D- This is one mean brew. Nice full rich flavor with a good punch of alcohol.

projectflam86, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.88/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally opening a bottle from the original 2008 batch. Its pitch black with a thick dark brown head. Aroma is full of sweet dark chocolate, vanilla, light fruits and the taste is similar -- sooo smooth! Bourbon and vanilla flavors are up front and really smooth out the taste. The alcohol is hardly noticeable in the taste, but I'm definitely feeling it. The carbonation is just right, and the feel is not too thick or syrupy, but definitely not any where near watery --- just right. This beer is extremely dark and smooth. This is how I like my stouts!

prsguitarsr4me, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of obywan59
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This must be the 2009 batch, as the ABV is up to 11.6 and the cases brewed is 1000 on the bottle, 1100 or 1200 online. 750 ml.

Pours rather thickly, black as can be. Down the side of the glass at first, it didn't seem to be generating much of a head, so I poured harder only to get a somewhat slow rising, but unstoppable head that overflowed my glass. Call it 3 1/2+ fingers. Totally black. The head is about as brown as they get. Good lacing. Ruby highlights with 1/4 inch left in the bottom of the glass.

Sweet chocolate and bourbon in the nose. Hints of coffee and alcohol. Some caramel as well.

Plenty of sweetness up front, but very drying after. More bourbon and dark chocolate. The bitterness of burnt malt. Almost lemony. Substantial alcohol burn in the throat.

Rather smooth and somewhat creamy. Medium thick.

A sipper for sure, but full-flavored and tasty. A little on the dry side for me, but an excellent brew. A bit raw, but would probably age well.

Comparison with another $20 750ml I purchased recently (Firestone 13):

As I said before, the Brooklyn seems a bit on the raw side, while the Firestone is incredibly smooth, having been aged substantially longer than the Brooklyn's 4 months. The Firestone is also noticably sweeter, which I prefer, and seems more complex as well. Strangely, the Brooklyn's 11.6 ABV nearly got the best of me, while the Firestone's 12.0 was, simply, glorious.

obywan59, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of CheckMate
3.2/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml caged and corked bottle purchased at McKinnon's in Salem, NH; split with BA MrHurmateeowish. pours a an opaque ebony color with an inch of light brown head. scents of overpowering alcohol and slight scents of chocolate. tastes of chocolate, bits of roastyness, and tons of alcohol. full bodied and rich. for me, there was just too much alcohol in this for me, it was definitely a sipper.
BTW, our bottle said the abv was 11.6.

Cheers!

CheckMate, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml caged and corked bottle purchased at McKinnon's in Salem, NH; split with BA CheckMate. Pours an opaque black body with a good inch of persistent light brown head. Bourbon, vanilla, coffee, date, and wood characterize the aroma. Bourbon, coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, wood, and fruit all comprise the flavor. A little boozy at the start, but the alcohol flavor takes a backseat after a few sips. Bourbon flavor stays fairly persistently though. Definitely a sipper, with the full rich body and low carbonation with the alcohol warming. Not that keen on bourbon myself - I've had bourbon barrel aged beers with much less bourbon character. The Champagne yeast brings an interesting fruitiness/vineousness to the table and dries it out nicely. I'd bet this would age amazingly, and I may just buy another bottle for that purpose. As it is now though, the beer is just a bit over-the-top for my taste.

MrHurmateeowish, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of DNICE555
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up three of these from the liqour depot in avon. Decided to try one fresh. Nice tan head, black body, looks a bit oily.

A - Vanilla, bourbon, chocolate. MMM smells very tasty. Well, maybe not to those of you who can't appreciate a nice Russian Imperial Stout and would prefer something watermelon flavored.

T - Rich and tasty. Oak, Chocolate, hints of coffee, vanilla, bourbon. Love it. Absolutely spot on for me.

M - Very well balanced, full bodied, rich and creamy.

World class - tried to go slow on a 12 oz chalice pour but my taste buds kept screaming for more.

DNICE555, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of shageman331
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

App. - Poured into a stemless wine glass. Inky black with a nice mocha head that isn't huge, but it does stick around for the show. Absolutely no light gets through this bad boy.

Smell - Getting a lot of bourbon. My nose isn't the greatest, but this beer isn't giving me all that much else to work with, which is not necessarily a bad thing. (as I drink more I also get some dark fruit)

Taste - Big bourbon and chocolate notes from this bottle. The last bottle I had (approx. a week before this review) was less chocolate and some more vanilla, but both incarnations have tasted great. This is a "well-tamed" beer for the style. It is upfront about the bourbon, but the other flavors are very well integrated and don't over power each other. This is a good benchmark for what a bourbon barrel aged Russian Imperial stout should taste like: a well made RIS with big notes of bourbon. Ultimately, this beer incorporates bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of dark fruits (figs, raisins, etc.) very well.

Mouthfeel - Slick, oily, smooth, and with just enough carbonation to move the party along. Perfect.

Drinkability - I know some people have been complaining that this beer is hot, but I am hardly getting any heat that isn't to style or welcomed. Granted, I have been drinking a lot of scotch and whiskey recently so I might not notice it as much, but this beer did a very nice job of combining bourbon and RIS. Ultimately, this is a very well balanced and very solid beer.

shageman331, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of drink1121
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Pours black...surprise here? Dark brown head that last throughout the whole beer.

S- I get bourbon right away and big time. After letting it warm, I still get tons of bourbon and hotness. Light roasted malts and carmelt behind the bourbon.

T- Again, big bourbon up front with light toasted malts after.

M-Smooooth as ever. First thing that I noticed with this beer. Nothing more to say

D- I split this bottle with kfsv034, and wouldnt have much more. Big bourbon flavor with not much else. But I still like it. Real gem, different but good.

drink1121, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of UA8
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 Bottle Was going to cellar this one but after hearing so many mixed reviews about whether this was great right now I had to give in and open a bottle.

A- Pours a deep Oily black with a three finger tall foamy brown head that has incredible retention (after 5 minutes there's still a finger worth left).

S- Big grainy and sweet bourbon notes, dark fruits (figs, raisins), vanilla oak, a touch of warming booze.

T- Heavily influenced by the bourbon at the current state. Hmm not sure how I feel about scoring this one since I love bourbon and this has loads of it. Not all that hot really just big on bourbon flavor, in addition there's some dark chocolate and coffee notes, as well as a light hint of caramel sweetness from the barrels.

M- This would be my biggest gripe with the beer. I'm not sure if because of the bottle conditioning with the champagne yeast or something else but the body winds up very heavily carbonated and a bit on the thin side for how big a stout this is. I would like this to be a touch more viscous.

D- If you enjoy bourbon then you'll likely enjoy this beer fresh. I think that many people are confusing booze heat with the sheer bourbon flavor that this beer presents. I would not describe it as hot, it's just a potent brew with big flavors.

UA8, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of Brad007
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For a beer that cost a pretty penny, I'm expecting a lot.

Pours a pitch black color into my tulip. Immediately, a thick brown head forms and fades, leaving lacing around the edges of the glass.

The aroma is full of bourbon and more bourbon. There are subtle hints of coffee and cream but not as much as I'd hoped.

Taste is full of bourbon which gives way to cocoa, coffee and a hint of cream. Not as bad as I thought. Quite tolerable. Bourbon still lingers but it's not too powerful. A second sip uncovers dark fruits and more of a bitter coffee feel.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering flavors and the bourbon does not dominate. Somewhat thin though. Very nice overall.

Tastes like a bigger cousin of their Black Chocolate Stout. Certainly worth what I paid and you should check it out too.

Brad007, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of GbVDave
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to pops for the assist!

2008 version
Bottle # 3448

A: Pours pitch black with a dark (DARK!) tan head. The foam never gets thicker than 1/2 finger, has good retention, and left some gorgeous and sticky tendrils of lace behind.

S: Seriously excellent nose going on here. Bourbon, espresso, smokey char, dark chocolate, molassas, fudge, dark fruit,and heavily roasted malt.

T: See above. Very nice, but as the bottle wore on, the flavor of alcohol became a little intrusive.

M: Very spritzy/carbonated. Big time booziness comes on around mid-glass and before long booze is all we could taste. The first 1/2 of the glass was sweet, slick, and roasty. That in itself saved this score from being a 2.5.

D: This started off very promising and really wore on us as we worked though the bottle. It actually seemed a little sloppy to us from the mid-way point on. I've been hanging onto this bottle for almost a year in hopes of smoothing it out. I can't imagine how rough this must have been when newly bottled. Definitely not worth the $.

GbVDave, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of cosmicevan
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into an Ommegang tulip.

A - Poured a thick motor oil with a chocolate shine and generous cream/tan head.

S - OH WOW! You can really smell that bourbon, but a chocolate, caramel bourbon. Has a really nice smoky woody odor.

T - Chocolatey bourbon.

M - Smooth and creamy. Thick and filling, but still silky. The afterfeeling in my mouth is really amazing. Feels like I just had a glass of bourbon.

D - A special occasion beer for sure. The short supply, high price tag and limited availability made it hard for me to crack it open, but on a cold winters day, this one hits the spot.

This is a really unique beer that lives up the hype. I was extremely hesitant to spend the cash and didn't really expect this to be as unique as it is. I am really glad that I took the plunge to try it and will hopefully get a chance to find another 1 or 2 to hang onto while they are still available. As a bourbon and stout fan, this was the perfect marriage!!! A must try for either.

--- -- - -- ---
Update (3/27/11) just popped open this year's and must say not nearly as boozy as I had remembered. Same killer taste and feel. Now that we don't track drinkability (I gave it a 4), but rather the overall, I must give this a 5. Call me a homer, but I am proud to have such a fine beer come from my home state. In the spirit of first impressions, I will leave the score as originally slated.

--- -- - -- ---
Update (1/6/12) just popped the most recent version and am loving it. the booziness is definitely there, but as the world of bourbon barrel aged stouts grows and grows, i've become more accustomed to these big brews (and this year seems a bit tamed back than the past few). this one remains a classic to me, but not the jewel that i once believed it to be. still a great beer, and probably in the top 5 or 10 BBA brews in my opinion. cheers to the local boys garret and team for doing it again!

cosmicevan, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of SLeffler27
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At least four fingers of creamy, dark-mahogany froth lurk above this coal-black beer, some cascading action gives way to a coating of lace and legs after a long while.

The aroma more than lives up to expectations as it unfolds from oak to chocolate then bourbon. Along the way, one can detect molasses, espresso and wheat bread playing a subordinated role. As it warms, pine sap and raspberry enter ones consciousness.

The flavor profile is amazingly well paired to the aroma. This is a symphony masterwork as bitterness becomes an afterthought amidst the sensory stimulus. Bittersweet chocolate and dried dark fruits are revealed with bourbon. One could write a thesis on this beer during the long subtle finish.

This is a full-bodied, creamy stout that is like velvet on the tongue with moderate carbonation. The warming alcohol is welcome and nowhere near the expectations of 11% ABV.

Sip in a Hoegaarden Snifter, as you read or contemplate the hours away or discuss and digest with soulful companions, Black OPS is a winner.

Black OPS, mystique aside, floods my consciousness with memories of my grandfather smoking cigars in his study lined with books and dark wood paneling. All that he inspired in me returns in torrents of excitement. In one word, WOW! Thanks Brooklyn.

SLeffler27, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This came from Stopbarking a long while back... Daniel is a fucking excellent trader.. Shared with the boys and reviewed from notes.

Beautiful dark brown head.. nice lacing..

Bourbon.. chocolate.. dark malts and dark fruits leap from the glass.. very "big".. complex with everything meshing very well.

Flavor is immense.. great dark chocolate blends with the vanilla making this like a dessert.. bourbon is very pleasant and adds a great depth to the traditional RIS flavors... a bit of burnt sugar and really no char. This is a lesson in "less is more".. just a great brew .. I think it honestly needed more time in the bottle.. the flavors were all great, but needed to meld a bit more.

Thanks again Daniel.. We never talk anymore ;-) We should do it again sometime... You hooked me up bigtime.

4/4.5/4.5/4.5/4

JohnGalt1, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of nrbw23
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a black color with a great frothy tan head. A fair amount of lacing.

S- Not a whole lot going on here and I was disappointed for sure. Touch of bourbon, roasted malts and chocolate.

T- Nothing crazy or exciting here. Bourbon up front, not over the top though. A little sweet, a bit of chocolate, coffee and vanilla.

M- Carbonation seemed about right but the body felt a bit then.

D- Better than average but with a pretty high price tag I was expected a bit more.

Let it warm up. A much better drinking experience.

nrbw23, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of Crittervision
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks cp for sharing.

the beer is black with a cocoa ring around the edge, completely persistent, tiny head.

slight bourbon in the nose, a little sweet, a little lacking here. not aromatic, you really have to breathe deep to smell it. smell alludes to the heat. and a touch of vanilla. edit (sorry, my notes are pretty sporadic): plus a tiny bit of coffee, very faint molasses, high-iron content smell that is faint and below all others.

taste is of purple grapes, vanilla, alcohol, whiskey, over-ripened fruit. respectable complexity.

its lightly carbonated, and certainly hotter as it gets warmer.

at a few months (weeks?) old, its not as well-rounded as other bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts ive had. might be best after sitting for a bit. sit sit sit. sit for a bit. we will see! still good. for sure.

Crittervision, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of BigPapiBrewingCo
4.68/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Second beer of the evening mourning my new york football.
Poured in Dogfish Head snifter Vintage 2009

Poured black with white lacing
Smells vanilla coconut bourban oak
Taste this beer is awesome choclate vanilla bourban lite hops i think american so what thin but drinkabilty is awesome dont really tase the etoh. I wish this beer wasn't some expesive 19.99 in new jersey. Placed another bottle in celler with my 2008 version will revisit next year with a vertical tasting.

BigPapiBrewingCo, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of Torps
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured in DFH snifter. 2008 vintage. 12/31/09 review date.

Pours an opaque black, black, black with a super creamy brown head. Very fine carbonation. Nice lacing.

Aroma wasn't overwhelming but really "rich". Your typical barrel-aged RIS. Bourbon, vanilla, oak with dark chocolate and espresso.

First sip was filled with dark chocolate and espresso. The oak and bourbon notes came through on the back end. A bit smoky aftertaste. Not very chewy, moderate carbonation.. It was a bit thinner than I expected.

Torps, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of MrDanno96
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage, just off the shelf last week.

A: Pours dark as night with about a finger of great looking tan head that demonstrates pretty good retnention. Some foamy lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Maybe I'm a little biased, but I absolutely love how bourbon barrel aged stouts smell. Espresso and sweet dark chocolate blend very well with scents of oak, bourbon, and vanilla.

T: Burnt coffee, espresso, dark chocolate, and maybe just a hint of anise too. Hints of bourbon, vanilla, and oak are also apparent throughout. Really great overall, but it's pretty hot too from the 11.6% abv. I wouldn't say the booze interfers with the flavor, but it's defintely present throughout the experience. The oak/bourbon flavors aren't as apparent as GI BCS. With a year or two of age I bet this will be even better.

M: Full bodied and almost a little chewmy. Incredibly smooth, especially for the abv. A subtle sting from the alcohol is apparent in the finish and warms the throat as it goes down.

D: A great bourbon barrel aged stout. It doesn't quite match the elite bourbon barrel stouts like Black Tuesday or GI Bourbon County, but it's very good. With a year or two of age it might come close - it's still pretty hot right now. I'll cellar a few and find out!

MrDanno96, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of Stunner97
2.78/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance- dark black with slight tan head, low to no carbonation, looks very true and good to they style

Smell- Slight bourbon can be noticed in the background with a heavy whiff of alcohol, roasted malts and coffee tones,

Taste- coffee and espresso with a rich roasty malt flavor, Slightly sweet bourbon flavor on the back that slightly reminds me of there mahattan project, overall though this beer has a huge fault in its huge alcohol presence which is still very off balanced and to hot for a good stout, id have to say hopefully this would come in to a better balance in a several months to year plus aging,

Mouthfeel- thick viscous and heavy with low carbonation

Drinkability- look you can tell this is a well made beer but at this point at least its not extremely drinkable in any means, the alcohol is way to noticeable and heated to make this beer anywhere near the best of the stouts I have enjoyed, I will have to give my other bottle another review but for now this is not close to worth its silly price

Stunner97, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up a year ago when it first came out - 3178 marked on the back of the bottle. The hype for this was pretty big and finding it wasn't that easy either. One thing led to another and I ended up putting this in my basement to cellar it and wait for a special occasion to down this bad boy. A year later and just out of my penultimate semester at Columbia, I figured it was finally time to uncork this and see what the fuss was about!

Sure enough, the live yeast makes this beer different as the head that emanated from it was enough to fill up my pint glass at the point where the liquid was only at half of its capacity. Once I let it settle, the head was still thick and resembled a fine chocolate mousse, which wasn't that far from the taste and beautifully pungent aroma of this beer either. The came the taste and I can honestly say that I've never had a beer quite like this. It feels much stronger than the 10.7% ABV would have led me to believe and it's a testament to the strong undertone that the bourbon barrel aging led to this brew. That taste is there and combined with dark chocolate, vanilla, tart fruit, and a hint of vanilla, leads to a beer that is low in carbonation and high in complexity.

I almost thought this would be too thin as it poured into my glass, but the mouthfeel is wonderfully soft and almost devoid of any carbonation. This beer is not for the novice drinker and although many reviewers think that this is for at least two people, it can be enjoyed solo with the right amount of time and patience. This is about the best dessert beer out there that's above the average dessert, in that the effervescence and subtle depth of this seem to hearken to the special occasions in life. Although New Year's is over, today was special because I finally got around to this and any beer aficionado would be wiser for seeking this out and expanding their horizons. This effort by Brooklyn does not disappoint!

JerzDevl2000, Jan 02, 2010
Brooklyn Black OPS from Brooklyn Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,848 ratings.