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Brooklyn Black OPS - Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Black OPSBrooklyn Black OPS

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2,021 Ratings
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Ratings: 2,021
Reviews: 781
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 422
Gots: 1,049 | FT: 88
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: RixBeer on 12-20-2007

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,021 | Reviews: 781 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pwsoldier
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to rudylaw for sending this one my way!!!

'08 vintage poured into a snifter.

A - Pours pitch black with a creamy tan head that has great retention. Lacing is plentiful.

S - LOTS of sweet vanilla and oak notes with plenty of bourbon coming through as well. The alcohol is just barely noticeable. Notes of chocolate and roasted coffee linger in the background, making for a very complex nose that leaves the palate positively giddy in anticipation of the first sip.

T - Oaky bourbon notes dominate up front, accentuated by sweet vanilla flavors. Bitter notes of dark chocolate and coffee come through in the finish, creating a flavor profile that's even more complex than the nose. The faint notes of alcohol that were in the nose are virtually absent on the palate. The bitter coffee notes linger very subtly on the palate.

M - Full-bodied and very creamy, maybe a little bit too creamy. The use of champagne yeast for bottle-conditioning makes this a very rich beer.

D - Dangerously high drinkability for a beer that's 10.7% abv. The creaminess is mildly distracting, but the flavor profile makes up for it and then some. Overall, very enjoyable and very easy to drink.

Photo of BarrelO
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a goblet. 2009 vintage, 11.6% ABV.

A: Pitch black body. Thin head that quickly fades.

S: Pretty much all alcohol and bourbon.

T: Again, dominated by alcohol and bourbon flavors. Chocolate and vanilla are buried far in the background. Finishes dry.

M: Rather light, which I attribute to the alcohol and champagne yeast.

D: Maybe I should stop bothering with bourbon barrel beers. With a few exceptions, they haven't done much for me. At the very least, this needs about a year of aging to reach its potential.

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brooklyn black OPS has a black back that is completely opaque, with a lively white head that has some solid retention and leaves some good lacing behind.

The aroma has a ton of bourbon in it. Underneath the bourbon is a bit of wood, vanilla, chocolate.

Bourbon really dominates the flavor. Also a good dose of vanilla and charred oak lurk around in there. I like bourbon, and the oak is nice also, but my problem is that the big stout-like malt bill doesn't express itself enough. A little bit of coffee and chocolate, maybe even just a touch of dark fruits are in there, but these flavors are basically beat down by the bourbon. There is also a slight sugary sweetness. Basically, Brooklyn Black OPS is heavy on the "bourbon barrel" and light on the "stout," which isn't a horrible thing, but I think it could be better with a little more balance between the too.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin and light; I would like more of a creamy body.

Pretty drinkable beer. It is definitely good, but I think it could be better.

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

Aquired this via trade, thank you!

2008 bootle

A: Poured this beer into a tumbler. This stout looks amazing. Black body with some of the nicest dark mocha brown foam I can remember on a beer.

S: The smell of delicious chocolate is right there w/ some hints of bourbon. I drank this beer while smoking a stogie so that may have muddled some of the lighter aromas, but the chocolate and bourbon made for a wonderful aroma.

T: Well integrated stout, the flavor was well balanced. Good stout dominated by chocolate flavora and bourbon finish. I didn't get any heat or booziness. I enjoyed this one.

M: Good carbonation, smooth, creamy, on the thinner side of the spectrum in regards to barrell aged beers, but worked for me here.

D: Great drinkability, and as is usually the case, any beer I share with friends always tastes better to me. Maybe its the smaller portion sizes, but I will definitely seek out the next batch that comes out.

Photo of bret27
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A; Super jet black w/thick dark brown coffee-looking head.

S: brown sugar, malty, vanilla

T: Coffee, choc, slight bourbon character, little smokey and fruity. Yet all flavors are very balanced and subdued.

M: Very smooth, fairly thick. Champagne yeast makes interesting velvety mouth

D: Pretty good. Not too flavorful, which helps drinking a larger amount I suppose.

O: Little let-down. Not bad, just not explosive or exciting.

Photo of morebeergood
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 2008 bottle last year and has been in the cellar since then. Thanks to braineater for the hook up. Last night, my wife and I celebrated two special occasions, so we finally opened it. Served at cellar temp. Poured into large stemmed glasses. Dark black color with a hint of brown. Huge leather color head. Smell of bourbon right off the top. A wonderful symphony of flavor. Chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla all combine into an ultra-flavorful stout. Perfect mouthfeel, as it was just thick enough but smooth as heck. With a beer this flavorful, and the abv over 10%, it's a sipper for sure. Excellent RIS, and I am glad that I was able to purchase one. I hear the 2009 batch is now in the barrels, and I would recommend seeking a bottle out.

Photo of tr4nc3d
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 Pint 9.4fl oz bottle that is corked and caged poured into a snifter

This pours an opaque color with no light shining through. The pour produced a beautiful dense 4 inch mocha colored head. Great head retention that last throughout the beer. Sheets of lacing are left behind clinging to the side of my glass.

The smell consisted of slight coffee grounds, malted barley,hints of bourbon which is a good thing since I do not like strong bourbon smell in beers. Slight vanilla smell, black leather, and a minimal alcohol heat to it.

The taste is slightly sweet upfront with hints of vanilla? As this fades I get a slight coffee taste with some dark chocolate and a slight alcohol burn that is not overbearing. I almost forgot to mention that for a beer aged in bourbon barrels, I really did not taste any bourbon flavor at all

The mouthfeel is leaning towards full bodied with a very waxy and oily type of feel. Slightly higher carbonation then expected.

****NOTES****This has been sitting in my cellar for about 4 months now and I believe it was not for the best. I shall say I expected more from the flavor and was kind of weak compared to other high end stouts. I would drink this one fresh and compare.

Photo of illidurit
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a milk chocolate head. Nice fluffy lacing. Aroma is very chocolatey with a red fruitiness. Not much bourbon at all here, which is sort of refreshing. Flavor is somehow not roasty at all. There are coffee notes but none of the roasted bitterness that usually accompanies it. Chocolate syrup and dark chocolate notes with a oakiness and subtle bourbon. Doesn't taste as big as it is, which is a bit of a downside.

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

Corked and caged bottle into a Brooklyn tulip.

Appearance: Night black, frothy dense tan cocoa colored head, great retention with the swirl on the glass, ultra creamy heavy whipping cream-like foam above the body. Bubbles literally won't pop or give way, like a cauldron of bubbling oil. Huge rings and dense dots of foam on the glass. An indefatigable looking monster.

Smell: A great combination of nuance and malevolence. Hints of bourbon, yes, but more of the wood is here, and maybe a bit of bacterial sourness. A lot of nuanced caramel, graham cracker crust, and vanilla, but it's soft and rounded, as if it took the most complex aspects of the wood and not just the booze and raucousness from the bourbon. As it warms, the black coffee along with dark chocolate comes in, and lighter aromas of dark raspberries come through, mixed with some dirtier tar and charcoal aromas. Again, as it warms, there's some sharp gin-like aromas, also with some swirls to the point where the carbonation seems to be almost absent, along with some anise and pungent black magic marker. There's also some nail polish, Flemish red medicinal phenolic activity happening, with some black olives, and earthy, damp tree bark. Wonderful stuff all around, and there's a lot to discover.

Taste: Like the aroma, the bourbon is nuanced and balanced and complimentary to everything happening around it. Mild sourness from the barrels, and more nuanced vanilla and caramel and wood without eclipsed sweetness or heat from the bourbon. As it warms, acrid black coffee sourness with oddly and simultaneously sweet, lingering caramel. Chocolate flavors waver from sweet to unsweetened bitterness and seem to change sip to sip. Finish lingers between earthy woodiness and candied caramel and vanilla with mild lingering lighter fruit, almost pear and apple, but mixing nicely with the wood and sour flavors.

Mouthfeel: Champagne yeast seems to add wonderful prickly and effervescent carbonation to the full-bodied beer, making it anything but cloying, and seemingly allowing it to hit on all cylinders. Wild and bizarrely combined to form a Frankenstein of ineffable mouthfeel perfection.

Drinkability: The yeast adds a great depth to this brew on many levels. It's my favorite Brooklyn beer, and their best. The price is slightly high at $20, but it's worth it for a bottle. You can sip on the thing for hours, and it really is a wild experience. Plus, the buzz is one of those amazingly euphoric ones that's hard to find. Wouldn't mind getting another bottle to cellar and see what happens, if I can find it again. Don't miss out if you see it around.

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Opaque, beautiful, oily black. Like a glass of engine oil. Thin cocoa colored head quickly fades into the black abyss. I know it's 10.7 abv but c'mon.

Aroma is "off the chain," as the kiddies say nowadays. Rich, roast malt, espresso, dark fruit, molasses, sugary black licorice,chocolate fudge and woody vanilla. Rather than compete and muddle all these scents meld into a unified aroma of awesome. Perfect.

Aggressive roast malt coffee bourbon with some vanilla, black licorice thown in. Heavy but very mellow due to some time in barrels. Thick, viscous, and wonderful. Odd "fluffy" carbonation, which I'm assuming is due to the champagne yeast re-carbonation.

After drinking this I thought, "I feel special."

Photo of msubulldog25
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been holding a couple bottles since last spring; an embossed 750ml brown bottle, caged/corked: Release 2008. Served at 'celler temperature', around 55F, into a tulip glass. "100% Bottle Re-Fermented"

A: Simply a gorgeous pour: perfect in its 'blackness', capped with over a finger of dense mocha cream (a better descriptor: 'paper bag brown'), stealthily drops over several minutes but never really fades away. Dollop of cream sits, motionless, at the neck of the glass. Small streaming carbonation trails lead up all sides of the glass, a cascading carbonation (thanks, champagne yeast!) with each pour. Flecks of lace, broken bands.

S: Spiced chocolate, oatmeal sweetness, vanilla, 'dessert-y' fruit whiffs, smoky notes...oh, and bourbon...a strong spiced sweetness of fine, barrel-aged bourbon. Complex, meandering, yummy.

T: Loads of espresso coffee bean roast, dark chocolate (cake), plum and miscellaneous dark fruit, and that malty/woody bourbon. i recall having a small pour of this at a January 2009 Stout tasting and recoiling: much to harsh/'hot'. By now the vanilla/oak/bourbon has mellowed nicely, remaining at the forefront but blending beautifully with dark java/cacao notes. Very nice!

M: Still a surprising alcohol warmth. It's creamy, almost 'fluffy' with an airy carbonation (again, thanks champagne yeast). Smooth feel, only a medium body; lack of a heavier syrup-like feel isn't necessarily bad. Notable sticky malts, lip-smacking.

D: A modest fusel burn, but not much of a deterrent todrinkability. Good roasted flavor, with a complex nose and flavors to match. Glad to have held onto one to try after the initial tasting months ago...what was probably a 4.1-4.2 beer then has evolved, improved. Strong recommendation for drinking the 2008 now.

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

Poured out of the bottle into a snifter.

A- It looks simply perfect. Pours a deep black, motor oil-like color with a mocha colored 2 to 3-finger head. The bubbles coming through create little pockets making the head look so creamy, almost as if it came from a nitro-tap. Recedes fairly quickly leaving lacing.

S- The aroma is amazing and complex. The obvious star of the show here is the bourbon. Vanilla and woody notes dominant initially. There is some noticeable heat coming through in the nose, but until tasting, it is hard to tell if this is from the bourbon barrel-aging or the high ABV of the beer itself. I also get traces of chocolate and good roasted malt flavors.

T- The bourbon/barrel flavors aren't nearly as prevalent as they were when I sampled this fresh. They come through much less now, although the nose would have you believe otherwise. Initially, the I get a bit of woodiness on the palate, which quickly gives way to the flavors of rich chocolate malts. The heat of the alcohol comes through more than I remembered fresh; perhaps I just attributed this to the bourbon flavor, but now recognize it as the booze in the brew itself. As it warms, I am getting some of the flavors I associate with bourbon, but less than when it was fresh and I think that I prefer this beer on the fresher side. The subsiding of the bourbon traces definitely gives way to/allows for the realization of the once-hidden complexities underneath.

M- I love the great spritz-feeling this beer leaves on the sides of my tongue. Garrett clearly accomplished exactly what he intended in bottling this beer flat with champagne yeast. Usually, I prefer a thicker/chewier stout, but the uniqueness of this "airier" feeling stout really makes for an interesting and welcomed change of pace. Still, it is a little thin.

D- For a 10.7% stout, this is extremely drinkable, especially now that the bourbon is a bit more mellow. Keep in mind, it's still not a beer that you would plow through, more of a sipper.

I definitely wish that I didn't wait quite as long aging this one (roughly 11 months), but I will be interested to crack my final remaining bottle side by side with the 2009 release coming out next month to get a better comparison.

Photo of trpng0bily
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been a little while since I've been moved to put down notes on a beer, but as soon as I popped this one and the coffee, chocolate, and bourbon nose began to waft through the room I figured this one will be worth remembering. This has some really nice earthiness and spice on the nose as well. Sits pitch black in the glass, with a chocolate milk head that sticks around and leaves some lacing. My one worry with this beer was that the bourbon flavor would overpower everything else, as it has with most bourbon barrel aged beers I've tasted, but here it is in fine balance with chocolate, coffee and anise. The mouthfeel is intensely creamy, though not nearly as rich as most stouts of this type, with lively but fine and delicate carbonation - the champagne yeast is an interesting and welcome twist. There is a nice warming sensation, akin to, surprise surprise, a smooth whiskey. This is quite good, and it has some unique and interesting qualities.

Photo of alcstradamus
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Great looking black pour with a deep brown head. Upon first smell, I am greeted by a distinct wood and bourbon aroma. The usual chocolate and vanilla notes have arisen. I think I am getting buzzed just sticking my nose in this. Is that possible?

The taste is not quite at the level of the smell, mainly because the wood dominates a bit too much over the underlying flavors. Nonetheless, this is still quite a tasty treat. Not very hot at all which is surprising based on the other reviews. Perhaps I am just used to it by now. I wish the chocolate came through a bit more, but really I am nitpicking. This is a high quality stout, not necessarily a standout among other barrel aged monsters though.

Mouthfeel is medium to medium-full, a bit too much prickle in the carbonation in my opinion. Drinkability is rather low simply because of the harsh woodiness. 8 oz. would make a good nightcap, too bad the bomber is 26. Share this.

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

Poured a jet black with good carbonation and nice brown head. Nose is smooth ut subdued bourbon and vanilla. Taste is light bourbon, oak, vanilla and very faint cocoa with a very light roastiness. Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy very misleading on the ABV here, you would never suspect this brew is 10% ABV. Outstanding RIS!

Photo of tjthresh
3.3/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours opaque oily black with a small island is brown foam left. Boozy nose with with some decent roast and chocolate character. The flavor is mostly just hot with booze and tannic with oak. I find this to be very thin and prickly. I can see why most people like this one, and I certainly don't hate it. I just prefer a richer beer for an imperial stout.

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

Wow. Just...wow.

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 mention...wow? Good.

Brooklyn Black OPS from Brooklyn Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 2,021 ratings.