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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

(send 'em beer!)
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 bamadog
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The fourth and final beer of a blind taste test, the most unique beer of the bunch was easily saved for last (thanks, Kels!). Wow. What can I say? It looks like beer, but I've gotta say that it honestly did not taste like it.

Appearance: Black, thick and viscous. A nice one finger head is present and it's a nice tan -- disappears into a thin lacing and slight ring around the top after a bit.

Smell: A little smokey, and you can smell the alcohol just permiating from this monster. It smells smooth - clearly the bourbon barrel aging coming through with a smoothness being worked into this.

Taste: Strong presence of alcohol - very dominant, and the bourbon is sooo very strong as well. Like I said in the intro, it didn't even seem like I was drinking beer, but some strange hybrid concoction. I actually lost the beer in this and had a hard determining if I was even going to review this beer - but I thought that I've gotta give it a shot...

Mouthfeel: Dry, very very dry. High alcohol adds some burn to the palate as well. High carbonation adds to the attribute as well - interesting work with the champagne hops.

Drinkability: This got a low score for me because of the high ABV and the fact that I felt I was lost trying to drink it. Too much of the bourbon and not enough of the beer for me to want to make this something that I go back for, but then again, the 20 bucks that was paid for it would probably also be enough to help ensure that as well...

bamadog, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of Mauerhan
4.58/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a massive shout out goes to my good buddy jason (jwale73) for sending this little beauty on a cross country trip. cracked this open with the very muscular olieipa, the very short aimstatus and the very gassy patronwizard. god ISO butt plug FT anything you want.

pours pitch black, no light. Creamy one finger head. Awesome lacing. Lasting film.

vanilla, bourbon, subtle powdery chocolate. Nice smell. bottle says coffee. i dont get coffee. just chocolate, and i am more than ok with that.

Taste is NICE. Very smooth. Chocolate. Sweet malt. This is a very tasty beer. subtle vanilla oak characters come out when it warms and take you for a ride.

Smoooth. Medium bodied. Nice mild carbonation. velvety. awesome.

I would drink this any day. Again and again. Yummy. sad to see it go. so now i guess i start the search for another couple of bottles.

Mauerhan, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of OlieIPA
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you Mauerhan!

A: A big and black stout...a thing of beauty. Head wasn't as big and frothy as I was expecting, even after an aggressive swirl. Lacing seemed to last for about a minute or two.

S: "Bourbon overload!"...quote from Pehlman; some dark malts...thats it.

T: The dark malts weren't as powerful as I was expecting, but you could definitely pick up the chocolate notes. On the other hand, the bourbon and alcohol were very apparent and may have mask the coffee and chocolate malts a little too much.

M: Full-body with good carbonation, but nothing to write home about. Sorry Mauerhan, had to steal one of your lines.

D: I was very impressed from this beer, but the alcohol could have been hidden a little better.

Overall: Before taking a sip of this beer, I was thinking that I was going to have this thick and chocolate-like bomb. To say the least, I was a little surprised...but in a good way. This was a nice twist on this style and could have easily down the whole bottle. A try it beer. Cheers!

OlieIPA, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of NoahSYGG
3.45/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

this beer was a hard one to get. I missed out the first time that my distributor had it but when i saw it again, i had to get it. I poured it into a snifter with a thin tan head. Hints of vanilla and bourbon came over. It had nice legs and oaky aroma. The sip had great caramel and vanilla flavors. The bourbon was huge on this beer. I loved the bottle. I had the bottle to myself, it was impossible for me to finish it. It was the definition of too much. A great effort and i love beers that are aged in bourbon barrels. An IPA would be great....hmmmm Dogfish Head take a hint. Let the 90 minute sit in one for a while.

NoahSYGG, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of armock
4.68/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a black color with a brown head that leaves lacing

S - The bourbon comes through first but doesn't over power the chocolate malt has a slight bit of alcohol in the nose

T - This is how barrel aged beers should taste the chocolate and bourbon complemented each other very well nothing was overpowering

M - This beer has a smooth body thats a little thinner than I expected with light carbonation to it

D - I think this is about as drinkable as you can get for a barrel aged beer easy to drink with a very good taste definitely worth hunting down to try it

armock, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of jophish17
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Ordered this one by the glass at Leon's in Decatur GA, $7

Aroma: a pleasant smell. Little bit of bourbon eases out of the tulip glass, as well as a bit of dark chocolate.

Appearance: a dark body with a mocha head that fills half of the tulip. Looks delicious to be honest.

Taste: a huge let down. After trying the Bourbon County Stout, I was hoping this would be as good, if not better. The bourbon taste was minimal for me, an undertone at best. I'm a bourbon fan so that really just killed it for me. I did like the roasted chocolate, slight bitterness, and the coffee profile was tolerable, but overall the package just wasn't up there with the best.

Feel: Another let down. I thought it was fairly thin, or at least thinner than it should be. It went down far too easy, without a lush, viscous mouthfeel to slow me down.

Drinkability: far too easy to drink, at least the alcohol isn't overpowering for such a strong beer. I expected a delicious sipper, not this.

My hopes were admittedly high, thus making the let-down worse. I have a couple bottles in the basement, I hope to revisit this and have a better experience.

jophish17, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of blgianbeer
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this in a 750ml at Beertable in Brooklyn this weekend.
Appearance - dark brown/black with ruby highlights when held to light.
Aroma - slight bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts, perhaps some dark fruits and some Belgian yeast undertones.
Taste - very smooth and drinkable for a bourbon barrel aged beer. Malts came through with minimal oaky, bourbonny notes. Chocolate and vanilla and perhaps dark fruit.
Very drinkable beer for the style. Shame it's so rare.

blgianbeer, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of Redwood21
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: this is one dark beer, squid ink comes to mind, and the head reminds me of a fallen hard wood tree that is decaying in the mountains with a soft mist settling over the countryside! in other words its very nice.

S: the aroma is full of roasted chocolate and malts there is a large nose of ester tat isn't too bad and really doesn't detract

T: very smooth, with the booze in this beer it's not bad or overpowering, similar to the nose. this is a thick sipping beer that is so silky that you won't want to put it down there is an almost caramel-nut-vanilla texture and flavor that seems to come from the Barrel aging process. there is a type of sweetness that one might also associate with that, but im not sure.

Very good beer

Redwood21, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of scottoale
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml. embossed brown champagne style bottle with cork finish. The bottle I have is slightly different than the one pictured, none the less, the real McCoy. A very classy presentation with black and silver foil labels, with the rear label stating that "Brooklyn Black Pos does not exist"...you gotta love that! It pours the blackest of brown that there is, with a thick creamy two-finger plus brown head. Carbonation is tits and the sturdy head leave sheets of creamy lace clinging to the glass as it goes.

Very boozy nose right up front with bourbon leading the way, followed by chocolate, coffee and tannins from the oak of vanilla. Great smelling stout.

The taste is all about the smell...a beautiful balance of chocolate and coffee melding perfectly with vanilla, molasses, licorice and a whisp of charcoal. This is how I like my stouts, big and strong with the bourbon amplifying the flavor, not dominating it. Really well done!

Full bodied yet not thick, perfect carbonation and ever so drinkable for a brew of 10.7% ABV. This stuff tastes great now and will even get smoother and tastier with some age on it, no doubt. Highly recommended!

scottoale, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of RustyDiamond
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split with willheels into 2 Brooklyn snifters. Poured this bad boy super slow and got a terrific 3 fingers of mocha brown head. Hot bourbon nose at first, velvety on the lips. Dry in the mouthfeel, champagne fuzzy. Very unique texture for a bourbon RIS. Looking down into the glass, I see the Milky Way with lots of starts. Back to the bourbon...dominates the flavor. Not terribly complex...maybe age will bring out more of the subtleness? Extremely drinkable though.

RustyDiamond, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of BirdFlu
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So I bought 1 of the 3 bottles of Black Ops I saw in all the state of Nj a few weeks ago.. Shortly thereafter I fell ill with a head cold, rendering me unable to taste, let alone enjoy, much of anything at all.. I then had to wait for almost 3 weeks before I felt I was able to drink this somewhat-expensive beer and fully aprpeciate it. So last night, after much anticipation, I finally uncorked my black ops as a valentine's day gift to myself. right off the bat I'll say this.. it's very good, but not AS exceptional as I was hoping it would be. Its not an A+, but its definitely on the border of A- and A..
It pours a solid, opaque black with a brown head which was much foamier than expected and lingered for a good amount of time. The smell is just all chocolate and dark roasted coffee. Mostly sweet milk chocolate but bitter dark as well. Its very smooth. The taste is a bit more of the dark chocolate. The bourbon liquor is certainly present in the flavor. Some dark fruit, as well. Aftertaste is similar to bitter, dark cocoa with a strong presence of grape (the fruit, not the purple flavor). Its a relatively mellow flavor with a lot of warmth. The mouth is moderate, not super thick but certainly not light. I was, in fact, expecting it to be thicker. It becomes a bit overbearing towards the end of the bottle.
Overall its very enjoyable.. I certainly am not complaining about the price tag and I am happy I tried it, though It wasn't exactly easy to finish towards the end.

BirdFlu, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of BeerSox
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle.

Black as dirty oil. The darkness allows a high contrast reflection on the glass. I could paint a portrait with it. A gentle pour yields a one finger brown head, which slowly settles to a thick rim along the glass, along with a thin cap with little holes punched in random spots.

Burnt grains are met with a slightly creamy milky aroma. Hints of alcohol are in the background.

Super bitter malts, highly roasted. Bits of bitter chocolate and dark fruit are in the background, along with tones of black coffee. The alcohol adds a little burn.

A very deep RIS, but a little lower on the complexity side. A good stout, but $25? You be the judge. Still, recommended.

BeerSox, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of rajendra82
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black Ops from Brooklyn came is an imposing looking, corked and caged bomber, with an elegant black and brushed silver label . I chose pour this elusive find into a Duvel Tulip, and the fermentation in the bottle had evidently done its magic, and the beer came out with a thick foamy head over a pitch black body. The aroma of the beer was beyond belief, as the chocolate, coffee, and vanilla smells melded together seamlessly to create a cohesive whole. The First sip showed the effects of the barrel aging clearly, as the body was silky smooth and taste full of oak tannins and sweet vanilla beans. The chocolate and coffee that were so perceptible in the nose were far more restrained in the mouth, and toffee and black strap molasses were more prominent here. Clearly of a high strength and very warming, but not overly hot. A beautiful take on an ageless style.

rajendra82, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of Patrick999
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

So, I was fortunate.

A - Poured into a flute. Formative head, black....hey, what the hell did you expect?

S - Boozy. Oh yeah, definitey boozy. And nutty. Nutty, in a boozy kind of way. Like drenching cashews with rye whiskey.

T - Plenty alcoholic. The barrels and whiskey are ever-present, along with a sourness and some soy sauce. Very good, reminds me of Le Coq's imperial stout. Complex as all get-out, not for the novice. Any chocolate character I found to be rather muted, drowned out by the wood.

F - Pretty well carbonated, considering its strength. Had some liveliness to it.

D - As a digestif, yes - if you're trying to drink the whole bottle, no, no, no.

Patrick999, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of gford217
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL cork and caged bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a viscous oily black out of the bottle with no light shoeing through at all. The head is massive and mocha-colored, hanging around as a big cap for ages and leaving tons of lacing. A gorgeous looking stout.

The aroma is dominated by baker's chocolate, dark roasted malts and sweet dark fruits. There is a hint of the bourbon in the nostrils but not overpowering at all.

The taste has lots of sweetness up front with dark fruits, raisins and plums, alongside a sweeter chocolate than the aroma. There are abundant dark malts forming a big malty backbone underneath the sweetness. Faint hints of bourbon in the finish especially as it warms.

The mouthfeel is fantastic on this one, super creamy and full-bodied with generous soft carbonation. Decadent and velvety smooth.

This is very good example of an RIS that's not too overpoweringly roasty. The bourbon aging is subtle as I get minimal presence from the barrels. Still, it's an excellent stout.

gford217, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of Abrahammer
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thank you BrooHa for losing a bet and shipping this over! GSP is the best fighter in his weight class!

this a beauty, dark and viscous. looks great and opaque and looks plain yummy. thick head of foam, about an inch and a half of chocolaty foamy goodness!

it smells sweet and chocolaty, but you deffinitely smell the booze. ahh, delicious booze, i credit you for where i am now and won't be in the future. that was a side note. but boozy and by boozy, i mean bourbony.

i get the coffee, i get the choclate sweetness, but the bourbon is most prominent. not a bad thing, but definitely the most prominent character on stage.

chewy, sticky goodness from the bourboniness. syrupy. yummy. not overwhelming in any of the mentioned adjectives. pretty good.

pretty drinkable, i'm having 3/4 of the bottle by my self. i feel like a champ! drink it! i and my girlfriend like it!

Abrahammer, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of brdc
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Large corked bottle. Poured into a snifter.

This is pitch black, with a creamy dark tan head that holds reasonably well for the ABV, and leaves ice lacing.
Aroma is dominated by rich cocoa, along with some roasted, coffee and oaky notes. There might be a hint of sourness, but it could be just my imagination.
Quite creamy on the palate, nearly full bodied, the flavor is again of rich cocoa, clearly on the sweeter side. Notes of roasted malts, vanilla, bourbon hints. Minimal acidity and sourness. Alcohol itself is very well hidden, and this one drinks like a 5% ABV.
It feels like a more subtle, delicate version of BBCS, with less bitter notes. Very nicely crafted, but too expensive.

brdc, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought one of the six bottles from Downeast Beverage yesterday.

Caged and corked, opens with a nice pop.

Pours a very dark brown/black color with a very very large dark tan head, fades very slowly to leave some good lacing.

Smell has a good amount of bourbon, slight roasted malt and a hint of vanilla.

Taste hits with a kick, pretty good alcoholic burn, I"m sure a bit of age on this would have calmed that though, very bubbly for the style but they did use champagne yeast, the barrel aging comes through very much maybe a bit too much, the bourbon pretty much pushes all the other flavors out of the way leaving only hints of roasted malt and vanilla.

Would have liked a bit more balance with this beer, guess I should have cellared it for awhile but it's always good to see how it tastes right away. I'll have to rank this one as slightly hyped up, good beer, but I've certainly had better beers more deserving of being in the top 100.

deltatauhobbit, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of Wasatch
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.


Pours into a chalice a deep black color, very nice carbonation, nice one-finger tan head, which leaves one big island in the middle of the glass, with some smaller one's on the outside. The nose is malty, with some bourbon notes, toffee/chocolate. The taste is very nice the best thing about this brew. Malty, very nice bourbon notes, vanilla, toffee/chocolate. Full/medium body, velvety/creamy, texture. The ABV is hidden very well. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty RIS.

Wasatch, Feb 06, 2009
Photo of grub
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sampled from a 750ml corked and caged bottle at the coles rare beer festival, jan 24/09.

pours opaque black with just a small ring of very fine brown head around the glass. only a few spots of lace manage to stick around.

aroma is great. bourbon. dark and milk chocolate. coffee and espresso. bit of fruit. alcohol. biscuit and multi-grain bread.

taste is good. pretty intense initially, coming over you in waves. bourbon and vanilla and raw oak, then alcohol, then light roast. toasted whole wheat bread. bit of biscuit. touch of fruit.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. medium carbonation level, very smooth.

drinkability is good. great balance, and very tasty. not my favourite barrel-aged stout (BA speedway holds that crown), but still very nice.

grub, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of largadeer
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Dyan, thanks! Shared with some fellow BAs tonight, this one was a definite highlight of the tasting.

Appearance: Black as they get, lots of mocha-colored froth. Very bubbly for the style, lending great head retention and plenty of sticky lace. Impressive.

Smell: Big roasted malt aromas right off the bat, with a dose of whiskey heat backing it. Warmer temperatures bring out the nuance, including plenty of signature bourbon barrel caramel and vanilla aromas. Very dessert-like, bringing to mind rum cake or tiramisu.

Taste & mouthfeel: Rich but bubbly, standout from most imperial stouts in this regard. Big whiskey barrel character, but it's in balance with the base beer. Caramel and vanilla sweetness meets burnt bread bitterness. Moderate whiskey heat is plainly noticeable as well, but not so much in a harsh fusel alcohol sort of way; it's more like sipping on a fine whiskey. The finish is bittersweet, clean and pleasantly lingering. Excellent stuff, as tired as I've become of big stouts, I found myself really enjoying this one.

largadeer, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of rmacs
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 5

I was wicked excited for the release of the beer, all in all its a good beer but its more of a belgian stout than a Russian imperial stout. It was lacking in body and mouth feel, The flavor was good nothing spectacular going on... don't get me wrong here its a decent beer just doesn't live up to the hype... didn't feel like a Russian imperial stout.

rmacs, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of Shiredave
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I decided to drink this one fresh - if the brewery folks thinks its ready to drink , who am I to argue.

Wonderful pitch black color below a dense tan head. Thick lace sheets the glass and a full 1/4 inch of foam hangs in to the end.

The aroma is a massive blast of roasted malt and alcohol - deep coffee notes along with some oak and leather type scents. It smells sort of rough and grainy with alot of soot and smoke character though not at all like a "smoked " beer. I was hoping for more fruit and caramel typical of my favorite RIS's.

Flavors of more coffee and blackened grains - chalky with a mineraly, UK type hard water aspect. Some oak character comes through but only a hint of bourbon, which is nice - I want beer to taste like beer not whiskey. What is missing for me is the rich malt and deep fruity flavors that make a fine RIS - or any strong dark ale - more complex and flavorful. Licorice or treacle taste is a bit strong, and delivers the only real sweetness in this beer.

Sort of a one trick pony for me - no real depth of flavor and not as complex as many Big Stouts on the market today. Big on the roasted barley with a very full mouth feel but weak in the depth of malt sweetness and character. The finish is seriously bitter both from the roasted grain and hops along with a slightly harsh coffee acidity.

I should have aged this a year or more I think - maybe it would mellow and mesh better with some time in the cellar.

Shiredave, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of sholland119
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to vickster529 for sharing this.

A-Pours a deep, jet black with a dark tan head and nice lacing.

S-Licorice, dark chocolate, vanilla and bourbon. Complex and inviting.

T-Rich chocolate flavor and vanilla bourbon notes up front then some roasted malt that I did not notice in the nose and coffee bitterness in the finish. Complex and satisfying.

M-Rich and creamy with a nice chewiness.

D-Really flavorful and delicious. I wish I could find these near me.


sholland119, Feb 02, 2009
Photo of rudylaw
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black beer with a gorgeous mocha colored head... about 1-1.5 fingers worth. Just a breathtaking looking beer.

I can smell the bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, coffee... all this stuff hitting at once.

There's a lot of sweetness to it. Coffee comes through a little later on, but the roasty malt, bourbon and vanilla are the standouts here.

This beer is exceptionally thin in the mouth however. I wanted something chewy and this was bubbly. Kind of a bait & switch after looking and smelling it. It was a little hot still, so I'm very curious as to how my other bottle will taste next winter.

rudylaw, Feb 02, 2009
Brooklyn Black OPS from Brooklyn Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,881 ratings.