Brooklyn Black OPS - Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Black OPSBrooklyn Black OPS

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1,980 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,980
Reviews: 765
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 420
Gots: 1,004 | FT: 84
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.

2014 Batch is 11.6% ABV


(Beer added by: RixBeer on 12-20-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,980 | Reviews: 765 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DefenCorps
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I grabbed a bottle of this back when it was released, and held off on drinking it because of the price. Now that it's a beautiful fall evening with the temperatures slated to hit the mid 50s, it's definitely imperial stout time.

The pour is absolutely gorgeous. Jet black with no light coming through, and a three-finger thick dark brown head that last a long long time. Delicate lacework is present as well

The nose is rather delicious. Rich and complex with bitter chocolate, licorice and a delicate anise character. Sweetness is present as well, with a maltose-like character. The barrel character is pretty excellent - bourbon heat is rather noticeable, and this works stunningly with the bitterness of the base beer. Toasted coconut, vanilla, oak and mild tannins round out the nose. Excellent stuff. As it warms up, the booze character turns very whiskey-like, with a mildly smoky character.

This is one boozy beer. Opening with a blend of bourbon sweet and the unmistakable heat of the barrel, this is in many ways, reminiscent of an excellent liquor. Bitter chocolate, , a little coffee and licorice rise up behind the barrel, never really eclipsing the booze of this beer. As it warms up, some vanilla sweetness becomes more apparent before an excellent finish that has a great combination of chocolate bitterness, alcohol heat and whiskey. A touch of tannic character is apparent, enhancing the experience.

Medium to full in body with a creamy but high level of carbonation, this beer is pretty fabulous. I was rather trepidatious, given the early complaints of this being overcarbonated and thin, but I'm glad it's not true. As noted, the finish is quite excellent.

Pretty remarkably drinkable, I'm done with one glass in about 10 minutes, I'm going to savor the rest of my bottle over the next couple of hours and watch it evolve.

In the intensity of the expression of the barrel character, this beer reminds me of the most recent vintage of the BA Speedway. Unfortunately, the base beer isn't as phenomenal, a beer with a barrel character this big deserves a slightly richer beer. All told, I have no regrets with this pricey purchase.

Photo of heliosphann
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml caged and corked. Served in a oversized tulip. Split with BA Infestaxion.

A: Pours a very dark rouge, leaving a small beige head. On closer inspection in my Duvel Tulip, it looks more jet black with a significant amount of brown particle sediment.

S: Not a lot here. Some hints of bourbon with some chocolate and malts aroma. Also possibly a little bready yeast.

T: Bourbon up front, not over the top though. A little sweetness, possible some from the champagne yeast? Not nearly as malty that I expected. A little bit of chocolate, coffee and vanilla notes, but not significant. I found the overall flavor to be a bit lacking and not overly complex.

M: More carbonated than it appeared to be. No necessarily a good thing in this case. Also a lot lighter mouthfeel than anticipated, but not bad.

D: Definitely hot on the back end. I can feel some burn in the back of my mouth and throat. I split the 750m with a friend, and it was plenty for me.

I had big hopes for this beer, but it just seems lacking in several areas. Especially compared to some other BBA Stouts like BCS and KBS. And that's not even factoring the $20+ price tag. Maybe some age will do this beer some good. I've got several bottles to lay down and plan on re-visiting it down the road.

Photo of DawnL
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep black with no head.

Bourbon upfront with a minty quality in the back and an alcohol kick - like a mint julep.

Another bitter brew with good bourbon flavor from Woodford casks. No mint on the palate.

Kind of disappointing. This is a rather flat tasting brew.

Photo of capra12
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed with speedwayjim at Jimmy's no. 43

Appearance: jet black with brown creamy head. Spotty/ layer lacing.

Smell: dark and milk chocolate with hints of roasted coffee.

Taste: opens with dark chocolate and dark fruit. Raosted coffee and milk chocolate really com through from thr middle to end leaving a malty and cark roasted aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, with minimal carbonation and sikly smooth. Drinkability: I would definitely have this again despite the abv and if you haven't tried it you need to try it. Enough said.

Photo of GRG1313
3.59/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

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

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

Big assertive nose of sweet dark chocolate.

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

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

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

A - Pours black as night with a sliver of ruby that shows around the very edges. The mocha colored head is thick and slow to rise. It tops out at just under one inch. It shows some staying power but could probably could use just a touch more. It recedes to a nice thin cap that stays for the duration. Not bad at all.

S - Nice strong coffee aroma starts it out. Some cocoa comes in quickly as well. Alcohol has a modest and clean heat to it. Cocoa takes on a milk chocolate tone toward the end. Aroma is nice overall but light for the style.

T - Now this is nice. Big stout flavor for a big stout beer. It kind of starts out with this chocolate covered espresso bean flavor that really works well for my palate. The alcohol does have a hot bourbon feel to it but it works with the other big flavors in the beer. Fruit can easily be picked out on the end. Tastes like cherry and raisin. It's a little smokey here and there but the smoke kind of gets downplayed by the other flavors.

M - Fuller bodied with abundant carbonation. Not really sure about the carbonation level in this one. It's borderline too much and too active. Finish is big and dry, hanging on to the palate forever.

D - Drinkability is good for a 10.7% brew. Complexity is on target for a great example of the style. Given the abv, the limit is one. This is easily good enough to buy again and again though. The Champagne yeast is evident and kind of throws it off but that seems to correct itself as it warms. Brooklyn Brewery has a real winner on it's hands with the Black OPS.

Photo of Jmoore50
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I like when beer is delivered in a non conventional way. I mean, this beer just explodes in your mouth, and I loved it.

The appearance of everything on this beer is exceptional. The bottle is amazing, great graphic design, bottle shape, appearance. The pour is amazing, just dark dark black. Has a great brown-golden head that has incredibly refined bubbles. It does not have an incredibly thick body, but the color is dark. I mentioned the bubbles before, they are so small and tightly compacted. The foam is crisp, like champaign, and does not leave a lacing around the glass.

The smell is good. Chocolate, vanilla, and lots of BOURBON. Loved it.

The taste is great. Chocolate Bourbon. It is great, those two flavors up front, followed by vanilla and dark fruit sweetness. I have to mention the mouthfeel with the taste though. The mouthfeel was amazing. It was like a firework was going on in your mouth. I often refer to the feeling as 'dancing' but this was on a new level. Firecracker. So you would drink a sip, and the mouthfeel would explode, then after the tasting you would get lingering flavors. Just a gem. I am going to try and get my hands on more of this. Drinkability was good because the beer was good and fun. Worth the hype.


Photo of jdklks
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

the look of this beer is fantastic. deep, dark black, with a champagne-like head that bubbles gloriously only to recess into obscurity moments later. the smell is of chocolate and bourbon, and not much else.

taste gets better as you progress through the beer and your palate gets used to it. its very hot. lots of alcohol sting in the nose, back of the tongue, and throat. not as much chocolate as suggested in the smell, but, as the writing on the bottle suggests, a very pleasant vanilla flavor. dark fruit (cherries and plum) sweetness that mixes well with the bourbon sweetness.

the mouthfeel is pretty ridiculously bad for an imperial stout. WAAAY too much carbonation (champagne yeast) that makes it similar to champagne (liquid turns to exploding bubbles upon contact with the tongue, which makes it very thin and rather unpleasant). again, not a good mouthfeel for an imperial stout that should be thick and chewy. drinkability is okay, but this beer should be enjoyed with others and on special occasions.

Photo of pitweasel
4.88/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Split this from the standard 750ml bottle with my brother. We both love stouts, so we had to try this one.

Again: wow. Black. Not much head on mine, but since we were pouring into pretty small glasses, we didn't want to risk losing any of this liquid dark matter.

Now, I'm no good at articulately describing smell or taste, so let me just sum it up like this: it smells delicious. As for the taste...well, it tastes like a warm cup of awesome. The bourbon is obvious, but not overpowering. A bit of chocolate, maybe even some vanilla. There are probably a million other things going on in the taste, but my palette really isn't refined enough to pick apart the subtleties. A true joy to sip.

While I do have a few bottles of this tucked away for future winters, I'm looking forward to a fresh batch of the '09 Black Ops. Oh, and did I Good.

Photo of WCBCFrank
1.78/5  rDev -56.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Tasted at Philly Real Ale Invitational - 2009 at Yards Brewery.

Brooklyn Black Ops is opaque black...lots of alcohol and bourbon notes rush the nose and palate, just like its name describes, it's a covert, black ops taste - stealthy and deadly.

Personally: My tastebuds and I can not get into bourbon infused, super powerful 10W-30 strength imperial stouts.

Photo of erz316
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pt 9.4 floz caged & corked bottle, Maudite snifter.

A - big head on this sucker, and can already smell the whiskey. body is black; light cant make it through any part of this beer. the head is pretty big, three fingers, and is a medium-dark brown colour. the large head is undoubtedly from the champagne type of yeast used. for the size of the head, it all comes crashing down pretty quickly, all in about 3-4 minutes. the final layer is about half a finger, ome pretty substantial lacing.and has left s

S - smells big and delicious: like a whiskey espresso explosion. the bourbon casking really stands out and is quite obvious in the top notes, along with a border line scent of coffee. the chocolate makes up the majority of the mid ground, lending the bitter and almost savory quality of chocolate to the nose. the bottom notes are some slightly spicy alcohol notes, mostly identifiable as being a result of the barrel aging. not definite malt base is noticeable, that is to say: nothing that has that characteristic sweet note that malts have. as a matter of fact, no part of the nose really smells sweet. the alcohol blends in very well, as does the bourbon; both seem to be completely integrated and natural to the beer.

T - an interesting experience. the immediate thing that hits me is that the mouthfeel is quite off, but thats for another section. the first impression of the overall taste is a slightly malty, more so chocolaty, but alcohol rich stout. nothing with which 'm terribly impressed. the initial taste of the beer is bitter, hops, chocolate, and some dry alcohol that is inherently combined to this EXTREME! dark chocolate. as the beer warms up in the mouth, the bourbon character comes out and makes a very noticeable impression on the palate; this is coupled with the hops the finish, yeah well, I just don't know about this beer. the finish has a big impression from the yeast, and some bourbon and chocolate; the only thing that really stick out is the yeast, the other flavours are just a continuation of the initial. there is a big burst of that 10.7% abv somewhere in the middle. the finish is kind of lame. nothing really sticks out too much. the first taste to stand out is a that whiskey burn, but that quickly fades into a dark chocolate. the whiskey---->chocolate conversion is nothing interesting. it is just kind of "oh hey, there used to be whiskey, but now my mouth tastes like chocolate." im not going to rave about this beer. its good but it doesnt deserve any extraordinary praise, though it is a complete bitch to track down (thanks eBay!). this is a big let down, Ive heard all this hype about black ops, and now, finally having it i think that the very thing that makes it desirable or unique, the champagne yeast, is ruining it.

MF&D - these champagne yeast beers are a real hit or miss. this one is still a good beer, but it is too off of the strong and thick style that I have come to know. the mouthfeel is way to carbonated and too light in body. it needs to be more syrupy, but that is going to be a bit difficult, considering how active champagne yeast are. sipping the beer into the mouth gives the impression that it is thick, but as soon as it all sits in mouth it reveals itself to be almost watery save the added body that the carbonation gives. its weird, but once one gets around the carbonation, the body can be seen to be really way too light for this style.

I dont quite know what to think about this brew. it has most of the aspects of an ris, but then again, it lacks so much in other regions. its good, i guess, but then again it is missing things that i consider to be fundamental to the ris style.

Photo of weeare138
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears a pitch black, opaque midnight with a dark tan head that
slowly fades into a mild cap. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of bourbon, molasses, double chocolate chip cookies, vanilla, bananas, & coconuts with traces of tart berries.
Taste is of the aromas with notes of coffee, dark bread, sweet cream, and earthy truffels.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, creamy, silky, warming, and chewy. A dessert in a glass. Imagine a bananas foster covered in Godiva liquor.
Super pricey stuff...I suppose the rareness makes it worth the price.

Photo of theghost3
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DannyS for this one.

Pours black with a 2-finger cafe au lait head. Medium lacing, good legs.

Smell is strong of oak, viney with chocolate and caramel. There are flavors of roasted dark chocolate malts along with oak, slight hopiness and a hint of anise. Mouthfeel is creamy with some carbonation but the acidity is not bothersome.

This is one of the examples of an RIS I've ever had. Highly drinkable, but the ABV can creep up on you.

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

Brooklyn: Black OPS (2008) (Tasted 02/02/09)
750 ml. bottle, poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a big fuzzy mocha head composed of tight bubbles that sticks to the glass in small patches. Retention is about what you'd expect for a beer this big, not so hot.
Odor: Bourbon and vanilla oak aromas certainly do dominate the nose, but ripe fruit and dark chocolate aromas are also appearant.
Consistency: Full body, pretty much exactly the same as Black Chocolate Stout though the carbonation is a few notches more intense and there's a definite tannic astringency on the tongue, only slightly bothersome. Some fruity acidity, as hinted at in the aroma.
Flavor: Interestingly enough the oak & bourbon flavors are better integrated in this beer than I would have guessed from the aroma. Obviously, this beer is very similar to Brooklyn BCS, bitterwsweet chocolate, fruitiness and clean hop bitterness. What the bourbon barrel adds it's boozy, vanilla flavors and a foil to the extreme roast present in BCS, it's still there, just subdued. Finish is where the boozy qualities really shine, bitey then mellow, like the finish on a well made bourbon with some added dark chocolate notes.

All things considered, this beer will be an A or A+ once the oak astringency fades to manageable levels.

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

I think tendermorsel sent me this, if not it was corby112, cheers to both...I held this one back for review 2000, I figure might as well drink the best thing I have available for this milestone!

Pours mahogany/jet black with 2 fingers of caramel/brown head, very noisy. Oily sheen to this, some head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit in abundance, along with dark chocolate, vanilla & a hint of bourbon. Booze tends to dominate once warm

T: Rich chcolate, a touch of booze warmth, dryness & raisins up front. Dryness, raisins & boozey warmth dominate as this warms, some caramel & vanilla latte hiding there as well, plus a touch of oakyness & some leafy hops. Finishes strong with coffee, vanilla, a touch of oakyness & dark chocolate

MF: Fairly chewy, a bit hot, low/low carbonation & I can just feel this beer attempting to rot the enamel of my teeth...Almost pulled a 4.5; the hotness made this impossible

Drinks alright, the booze heat is a major detractor up front. Let this get to near room temp I think, that or should've waited until review 2,500?? I kid.

Doesn't live up to its name, more like having a couple of flash-bangs thrown in your bedroom & having the 75th Ranger Regiment rush ya!

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

750ml bottle purchased at either Party Source or Brilbeck's, Syracuse, NY. Corked and caged.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/2" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head recedes sedately, with average lacing. Aroma is anise, dark grain, and alcohol. Taste with hearty dark sweetness, some anise and a peek of dark fruitiness in the middle, and closes with a big bonk of alcohol coupled with some coffee aftertaste. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, with excellent drinkability for the style. The alcohol presence, although heavy, is complementary and not harsh at all. Great stuff.

Photo of vrazionale
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter. Picked this up at New Beer Distributors in Manhattan for $17.95. Underneath the UPC is a code: 3178. Bottle number?

A - Pours a thick black opaque body with a frothy layer of light brown head that quickly backs down to a thin lacing across the top.

S - A complex interplay of chocolate, whiskey, coffee, and spices. You can totally tell that this is aged in bourbon barrels. This brew is a real joy to quaff - it seems like every time you smell it, it changes; sometimes the coffee notes come to the fore, sometimes chocolate, and the same goes for bourbon, oak, cinnamon, vanilla, and caramel. As the brew warms, the oaky bourbon notes step up the most. Superb.

T - So incredibly smooth, especially considering the complexity of the flavor profile. How the brewers managed to perfectly balance the sweet and the bitter notes is beyond me. The chocolate (both creamy, milky chocolate and bitter, earthy dark chocolate) is the first thing that strikes my palate. Next the bitter notes from the chocolate flavors marry with the coffee notes (we're talking wood-roasted, earthy coffee here, I should say). Finally, the sweet flavors step up - the most prominent being oaky vanilla and bourbon. A rollercoaster, to be sure.

M - Just enough carbonation to cleanse the palate, readying you for the next sip. Very soft texture, which is surprising considering the rich flavors and complex flavor profile.

D - You see, I don't give out too many 5s. But this is truly an exceptional beer, and the best Russian Imperial Stout I've yet tried. This brew is the kind that leaves you licking your teeth trying to glean the last bit of flavor from each sip. I can only imagine how amazing this will taste with a few years' time down in the cellar. Go and find yourself a bottle.

Photo of dukedevil0
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle from a great trader, koopa. Thanks man, especially after the first box broke on the delivery truck and UPS threw everything away!

A: Pours a nice dark black with a few fingers of tan/mocha colored thick head that laces the glass like crazy as it settles down to a nice layer of thick head.

S: The first scent that hits me is coffee or mocha ice cream. This smells great. Lots of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, roasted malts, oak, and other barrel aged scents, with some brown sugar and molasses.

T: The roasted malts come out and are way more prevalent in the flavor. You can really tell that they use champagne yeast too as it has some similar flavor characteristics. Also, some bitter chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and very minimal other barrel aged flavors.

M: Really nice and thick with a good bite from the higher carbonation. This is a really full bodied beer that coats the palate completely.

D: The flavor is good, but not great; the alcohol is well hidden, unfortunately i'm just not reaching for more like I wish I was.

After having a few other barrel aged RIS in the last few days, I have to say I'm a little disappointed with the Black OPS. I think the appearance and smell really were steps ahead of the flavor. The champagne yeast adds an interesting dimension, and I think it helps the existing flavor profile of the beer. I don't think I'd like it in most cases though. Had the flavor been more like the smell, I think this would be one of my favorite beers ever.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is well carbonated with over four fingers of sexy dark chocolate brown head. This head turns rocky and caverns as the head very slowly fades. Body of the beer is cats eye black and as thick as old ink. A bit of up front alcohol is noticeable on the nose followed quickly by roasted coco, and even some dark black cherry tones. This beer carries a nice carbonation level as it flows over the tongue. Very much like blackness in the taste profile with exceptional black chocolate tones along with smooth dryness and a bitter feel that is long and consistent through the palate. Really a lot going on here for such a big dark stout. There is even a hint of banana bread like sweetness that peeks out as you drink. Mouthfeel is very full and bold yet dry and pleasant. As big stouts go this is wonderfully drinkable.

Photo of ricke
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black with a small beige head that dissipates after a while.

S: Balanced and complex with pleasant notes of roasted malts and gentle bourbon notes up front. Some roasty acidity, dark chocolate, vanilla and a hint of dark fruits.

T: The taste is also balanced with the bourbon notes well integrated with the rather powerful stout flavors. Nice roasted malts with slight coffee character, dark chocolate. A faint note of sweet dark fruits. Vanilla, oak barrels and some peppery spices. The bourbon accentuates towards the finish which has a roasted bitterness to it and a pleasant taste of alcohol.

M: Surprisingly light body (medium rather than full). Plenty of carbonation. Semi-dry finish.

D: A good beer. Not a bourbon monster. Instead, it's quite well balanced and showcases a happy marriage between imperial stout flavors and subtle bourbon notes.

Photo of RedChrome
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pure black liquid. A khaki colored three inch head slowly receded over a few minutes. Pure darkness prohibited noticing any rising carbonation. Thick stinky strands around the glass.

Dark fruits start off strong in the nose but are quickly overtaken by a strong alcohol aroma. Nice vanilla and coffee scents are present behind the alcohol.

Alcohol coats all flavors. Cherries, dates, and figs mix with a bourbon, cocoa, and vanilla. Very bitter hops finish with the interesting zip of a light fruitiness from the Champagne yeast.

A bit watery, and a bit overactive in carbonation. Flavors cling a bit on the sides of the mouth.

A good beer. Would work well with chocolate covered fruit for dessert. Champagne yeast is a interesting twist on the style. A bit pricey, but worth splitting the cost.

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

This is the most expensive bottle of beer I've ever bought (I believe I paid over $25 for this at Westmere Beverage in Guilderland; it was the last they had in stock). It sat in the cellar for a couple months, had been in the DBF for awhile as I waited for a "special occasion" to drink it. Finally had a "Sideways" moment and decided the special occasion tonight is. . . I'm having the Black OPS.

A: An overzealous pour from the 750 ml into a Spirit Haus pint glass (I debated tulip vs. pint glass) yields a beer:foam ration of about 3:2. Oops. Wait, make that Black Oops (ha). OK, sorry about that. . . . Anyhow, the chocolate-brown head settles to leave. . . I can't call it lace because it's too thick. Call it foam, and it sticks to the glass where it had once formed a foamy head. . . . OK, on to the body: it looks black in the glass. Light is not penetrating, even at the edges.

S: Immediately I smell the cork as if this is a fine wine. I get chocolate and bourbon, just from a layer of residue. Mmmm. I think I'm going to like this. . . . As it warms that boozy bourbon smell becomes more pronounced, especially with a slight swirl of the glass releasing the alcohol.

T: The moment of truth. First sip yields chocolate and coffee up front, bourbon in the back, with heat felt in the belly right away. Lingering flavors of chocolate and something reminding me of Kahlua make for a pleasant experience. At times it's more straight-forward coffee or roasted coffee beans rather than coffee licquor that lingers.

M: I expected a heavier body, but I'm not disappointed -- I think the heft works well with the creaminess and had the body been bigger, the malt might've overwhelmed an otherwise interesting melding of flavors. It doesn't feel thin or watery at all.

D: Excellent for a beer of this strength.

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

split a 750 of this (rumored) beer the other night with my absolute favorite bartender, who always recommends a good beer for whatever my mood is. I have a serious love for imperial stouts, and this definitely measured up. Pours so so black with a nice, creamy tan head, and smells dark and roasted. The flavors are classic chocolate, malt, and coffee, but the sweetness is tempered by the alcoholic and barrel-aged essences so the beer feels less like a dessert than some others in this style. Drinks really well, not too thick in the mouth, but it's not deceptive- you can taste the powerful abv, and it wouldn't be easy to chug. A nice, cool and quiet night beer, and a good bit better than most of Brooklyn's offerings. Too bad it's only an urban legend ;)

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

750 ml corked & caged bottle into a snifter.

Pours an absolute pitch black with a finger of smooth cocoa colored head. This settles down into a rock solid layer of creamy covering that throws a huge, frothy cascade of lace and oily brown residues that stick and then every so slightly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma is heavy and assertive in the nose, with bourbon, wood, vanilla, and warmth greeting the nostrils first. Not too far behind (and are very nicely integrated I might add) are notes of roasted chocolate, espresso, smoked malts, molasses, maybe a touch of citrus and darker fruits in the back. This is quite nice.

The core of the taste is backer's chocolate, roasted malts, coffee-bitterness, and earthy citric notes. This is all encapsulated in the barrel notes. Light bourbon, a smack of vanilla sweetness, and some tannic oaky notes. It all flows together seamlessly, with the bourbon seeming like it should dominate more but it never gets to that point. This really evens out nicely as it hits room temp. The mouthfeel has a big, mouth filling creaminess to its carbonation up front, which then lessens into an equally thick but more viscous feel. The overall feel has a vinous texture to it, I'm assuming because of the champagne yeast. There is some beef and warmth in this but it doesn't hold the flavors or feel back too much, with most of the alcohol flavors seeming to mostly come from the Bourbon character in this.

This was nice. Excellent blend of flavors here, between the Imperial Stout and barrel notes, even if the heavy ABV held back the feel and drinkibility a bit. This was a pleasant sipper. Reminded me a bit of Deschutes The Abyss with a yeasty kick to it.

Brooklyn Black OPS from Brooklyn Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,980 ratings.