Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout - Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

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2,716 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,716
Hads: 6,238
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 373
Gots: 1,224 | FT: 55
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-04-2000

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,716 | Hads: 6,238
Photo of ism
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

03-04 12oz poured with minimal head of a dark brown, and no lacing. Pure black body which no light (well, a 20W halogen) could penetrate. Swirl released rich roasted malt aromas and a bit of alcohol. Body is smooth a medium-full for the style, with a gentle carbonation. Malts upfront, chocolate and roasted flavors, developing with a slight hop profile on the way down, and a nutty chocolate aftertaste, alcohol becoming more apparent as the glass drains. A very strong stout flavorwise, but too single-minded to amaze. (520 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Winter 03-04'
Made with 2-row English Malt, Wheat Malt, Chocolate Malt, Black Malt, Black Barley, and Roasted Barley. East Kent Goldings, Cascade, and Willamette hops.
Alcohol: 8.5% by volume.

Pours out completely opaque with nary any highlights when held to a halogen lamp, forming a rocky dark-tan head with good retention and average lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate, perfect for the style. Aroma is complex, but not as rich as I would expect, with notes of sweet milk chocolate, vanilla, a hint of light-roast coffee and with swirling, alcohol, prunes, and a faint vegetal hoppiness. As it warms, it takes on more barley-wine characteristics, with prominent dark fruits, esters, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium-soft with a dense body. Taste begins much the same as aroma, but the middle and finish are completely different. The middle is predominated by a semi-ruddy English hop flavor and a disconcerting level of metal off-taste, then the finish has a pronounced herbal alcohol twang, an acrid tone of oxidized black patent astringency, alcoholic esters, vanilla and grain husk (exactly in that order). Pronounced chalkiness on the lips, most likely secondary to mineralifaction (is that a word?) of their water source.

I was really looking forward to this brew based upon the other reviews here. While fervently complex, sadly, it doesn't hold a candle to my other favorite stouts (Shakespeare, Kalamazoo, Rasputin). The off-flavors are simply too much and severely limit it's drinkability. I would pass on this one. Fermented with a different yeast, this might be a winner. I expect much more of my stouts. (1,630 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

'01-'02: Pours black with a big and dense dark brown head. This baby's got some retention too. Laces nice rings all the way to the bottom of the glass. Roast and chocolate malt on the nose. Fairly light in body for an Imperial. Not a light body, but not full bodied by any means. I would say it is medium bodied. Nice roastiness in the taste. Slight coffee-like bitterness. And a little alcohol. This does not have the deep complexities or the body that an Imperial should have.


Pitch Black. Small brown head with great retention. Lacing is excellent as well. Nice aroma of chocolate, burnt malts and cocoa. The taste is nice and chocolatey. Bittersweet. And a little fruity as well. Currants and dark cherries. Rum soaked raisins. Body is about meium. Highly drinkable. This beer is good, but doesn't have the guts of some of the Big Boys. Good brew though.

My ratings reflect the 03-04 version. (919 characters)

Photo of BeerAngel
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours almost a jet black with dark brown highlights beneath a massive three-finger dirty tan head. It is simply beautiful! Roasted chocolate and tangy hops bluster out this heavenly aroma. The taste is again the roasted chocolate with a smokey undertone and balanced with slightly tangy hops and a dry powdery cocoa finish. This is a medium bodied brew that finishes with an warming alcohol end.

Notes: Although a very solid chocolate stout, but pales in comparison to Roque's version. Thanks nonetheless to kbub6f for the opportunity! (538 characters)

Photo of soper2000
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snagged a 6-pack of the 03-04 edition of this at Jungle Jim's outside of Cincinnati. I've been wanting to try this beer for awhile now so I was pretty pumped when I found it. I'm glad that it didn't dissapoint. It pours a jet black with a 1 finger tan foam head. Smell is very rich and full of roasted malts. Taste is super rich too, malts all around. A few hints of dark fruits (I'm thinking plum) also pop up. Mouthfeel viscous but the taste sticks around so that helps a little bit. Drinkability isn't the highest on these beasts, about 1 a night is all i can handle. I'll surely be having his more in the future. Only if they had a distributor in Indiana. (659 characters)

Photo of 99bottles
3.49/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looking forward to this for a long time. Winter '03-'04. I wish I could have found an aged one. Pours black as the night itself. Small tan head that quickly....disappears? I have it at a good stout temperature. I wonder why there's no head? Anyway.
Smell: Oooooh that's nice. No hop bitterness in the nose. Faint alcohol over rich chocolate. Really pungent malt smell.
Taste: Smooth. Dark chocolate. Quite sour. No discernible hop character over the heavy chocolate malt. The label mentions imperial stouts. This seems very boderline. Very bitter aftertaste in a very different way. Not hop bitterness but more like...unsweeted baker's chocolate bitterness.
Mouthfeel is a little thin for me, especially for a limited edition winter stout. Lack of head and hops really disappoints me. Usually it takes me a long time to wash a glass that had an imp stout in it. My roomates bitch at me because I bring down pint glasses with week old sticky Storm King lace crusted from top to bottom. This beer's microscopic head didn't even stick on the sides. I guess drinkability might be ok, but I really can't see myself wanting another. Sorry, Brooklyn but I feel let down. I'll promise to try some other offerings, but to me, the flagship ran aground. (1,247 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Malto for this sample. This is a 01/02 bottle

Big and dark this beer has a vinous nose that shows the age in the cellar for this example. The interesting thing about this beer is that
it starts off intense and hoppy and slides into a smooth chocolate comfort zone. It's almost as chocolatey as Rogue Chocolate but this beer is malt only no adjuncts. I want to eat cheescake and smoke a Romeo y Juliet with this great beer. Storm King might be more intense but this is one of the great classy big beers in the world. (530 characters)

Photo of Fish113d
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I opened this bottle and poured it into my brand new goblet, it poured and left a nice edge of head, which clung to the glass after I tasted it.

However before tasting, I noticed a nice robust dark malty chocolate-T smell eminating from the glass. I also got a hint of mochachino coffee from it. Upon tasting, the carbonation really came through, which I found weird considering I drank it at room temperature. However, the chocolate came through nicely w/ a bit of a smokey roasted malty taste, which really made me happy! This beer is very drinkable, and one of my favorite by Brooklyn....actually, I think Brooklyn is one of my favorite breweries...the cease to make anything I don't enjoy. Happy drinking! (718 characters)

Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A real beer, the 03-04 version. Chocolate dark brown color and small brown head. Alcohol comes through in the drink, so slow down! Very noticeable chocolate and roasted malt. Made to age some. Thought a bit much carbonation, which held back on mouthfeel. Great dessert. Five and a half-years later, the roast and so-forth, not as thick as the new breed of RIS, still a great desert or dessert beer. (398 characters)

Photo of ark57
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 02-03 - It pours an opaque black with a light tan head. The aroma has a lot of chocolate and some roasted coffee in the nose. It is oily and malty with a ton of choclate flavor and some roasted malts. Unless I am mistaken, there is a lot of choclate flavor in this beer for only using chocolate malt and no actual chocolate. (332 characters)

Photo of Morris729
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Limited Bottling—Winter ’02 – ‘03
Pours ink black in color with a foamy thick tan colored head that fades into a heavy lace. Noticeable alcohol in the nose with notes of black currant, roasted malts and an aroma similar to a raisiny port. Full in body and quite smooth and creamy in texture. Taste begins with rich chocolaty malts and espresso along with some fruity notes of ripe prunes. A bit of black liquorish then makes an appearance with a touch of acidic hop resins and finally some winey notes in the end. A thoroughly enjoyable imperial stout, though I think some additional aging will help it to mellow a bit more. Purchased from Vintage Cellar. (660 characters)

Photo of Sixpack595
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black in color with a thin tan head. Aroma is strongly chocolate with a bit of coffee. Flavor is incredible. Bittersweet chocolate and expresso. Finish is coffee bitter with a cocoa flavor. Great beer with a chocolate flavor that doesn't go overboard. (257 characters)

Photo of proc
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely fantastic.

Pours out to a jet black in the glass with a brown, caramel colored head that looks good enough to eat. The aroma is that of chocolate, coffee/expresso and malt. The taste is superb, with chocolate and roasted malt exploding in the mouth, with the swallow giving off hints of a dark chocolate and a light licorice. Damn. This is a good beer. (366 characters)

Photo of deejaydan
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I originally picked this up in a beer trade with Davo...

Wow, this beer tastes like... the best thing I could compare it to would be Hershey's Special Dark. If I didn't know any better, I would swear that the added cocoa or some sort of real chocolate into the mash.

Pours dark as midnight. Nice, lasting head, great lacing. Smells like a bitter to semi sweet chocolate bar.

This is definately in my top 5 of all of the beers I have EVER tasted. Now, I have to find a homebrew recipe for it :) (504 characters)

Photo of kbub6f
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Medium, doughy, brown head. Absolutely opaque, black beer. No highlights. Thick, sheety lacing. The nose is rich, buttery chocolate. Bitter chocolate in the front turns tangy for the thick, chocolatey middle. Some fruit in there, too. Quite bitter on the finish, with a powdery cocoa effect. Some green peas and alcohol. This is a very good chocolate stout in a field of many good contenders. (392 characters)

Photo of TinusTime
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark as a moonless night with a khaki coloured one finger head on top. Smell is of good espresso, bitter chocolate and maybe a touch of molasses. The flavour is nice and deep with coffee and dark chocolate notes taking over. Alcohol is well hidden and the beer is silky smooth going down and eventually finishing dry, but not too dry. Drinkability is good after a few you will start to see things in a new light. Recommended- buy them and horde them as the supply is always short. (486 characters)

Photo of ManekiNeko
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2003-2004 vintage. 12 oz bottle served at cellarish temperatures in a Trois Pistoles goblet.

Appearance: Obsidian black topped by a smallish dark brown head that's rather short-lived. A thin ring of bubbles was all that was left after about a minute. Still, that ring was sufficient to leave small wisps of lace as I greedily imbibed this elixir.

Smell: Powerful roasted malt aromas. Thick dark chocolate and hearty espresso. Mild notes of prune-like fruit.

Taste: Bittersweet like a teenage gothling imagines their soul to be. Chicory-laced black coffee earthy and bitter dark chocolate aftertastes. Umbrally dark prune notes.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy with hearty aftertastes aplenty. Hits the spot.

Black as night,
Sweet as love,
Strong as death.
Nummilicious. I know of no one who has had this that didn't like this beer, and I've been handing it out to neophytes (or at least people that wouldn't consider themselves overly knowledgeable). Worthy of buying by the case. I hope there will be one left in a week and a half... (1,062 characters)

Photo of Gritsak
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark dark brown, almost a solid black with a thick and creamy brownish tan head

smells of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee...a really nice smell IMO

taste is very smooth, with hints of chocolate and coffee...the alcohol is hidden pretty well but comes out a little at the end, but not overpowering.

mouthfeel is pretty heavy, thick and creamy

pretty damn good stuff...the chocolate flavor really comes out and combined with the smoothness, makes it a good beer in my book (490 characters)

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice color with good initial head which dissipated for me. The taste is quite deep with many good overtones. "Deep" is the best word that I can come up with. Appropriately for the style, I find this very good. For an imperial stout this is really drinkable. Quite a beer. (271 characters)

Photo of bditty187
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black hue. Opaque. The russet head is simply gorgeous; it reached a modest finger in height before slowly collapsing to a half finger then to a soapy cap. There was no lacing, disappointing. Still this is a damn pleasant looking stout. The nose is dry with deep chocolate notes and well-rounded roasted malts, vague hints of alcohol toward the back. The potency is good, it doesn’t really punch you in the nose but it is strong enough to say, “hey, jackass… drink me!” I am a good listener. The palate is much more complex then the aromas indicated. I am surprised at the fruitiness upfront, notes of cherries really standout and they dance a sexy dance with the roasted malts. Burning alcohol is blunt in the middle; the malt is quite dry now. In the finish a mellow suggestion of coffee and chocolate develops, as does some sweetness. This is offset by spicy alcohol. The hoppiness is as subtle as Storm King is blunt. Overall the taste is very good but I can’t help thinking more burnt malt is needed, maybe even a little more hops. And, in all honestly, it does fall apart at the end. Medium-full in body, at times it did creep awfully close to medium, which I don’t think is appropriate for this beer, the carbonation is modest and very natural. The mouthfeel is sufficient. It is drinkable as a nightcap; the biting alcohol is too much for me. Maybe my sample is too young (’03-’04 edition) but I wanted to try it now! I believe there are better Imperial Stouts on the market but this one is worthy of your attention but maybe not its lofty reputation.

Thanks Bierman9! (1,587 characters)

Photo of PartyHatjo
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2003-2004 Edition
This beer pours a very dark brown--nearly as black as an oil. Very viscous for a beer. The head was about a half an inch of dark tan creamy goodness, but dissipated very quickly to a monolayer of head.

The aroma is inherently roasted malt, with no hint of hops at all--it's chocolatey and somewhat burnt.

The taste is roasty-malty with hints of chocolate, raisins and prune. There is a slight tang that lingers on the back of the tongue. The bitter aftertaste is a welcome after the somewhat sweet initial flavor.

This beer is very smooth. It practically rolls off the tongue. Carbonation is high enough to break out new flavors, yet not so much that it crackles in your mouth.

For a higher alcohol beer, this is one that I can take a few of. (773 characters)

Photo of UnionMade
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003-2004 edition.
The beer is a very deep, murky umber, pretty much black, topped with a thick, dusky olive hued khaki froth. The head dies out to a thick film, but keeps for the remainder of the glass.
The aroma is hugely roasty, with a mellowing smoothness that blends everything seamlessly. The malt is slightly husky, with loads of chocolate and coffee. A bit of burnt toffee sweetness, with a touch of charred wood and smoke. A thin layer of fig and prune esters are spread over the malt, with a dash of date and light chicory. As the beer warms, a bittersweet baker's chocolate becomes readily apparent, consuming the air within the snifter. Very mild alcohol, mostly masked by the burnt, roasty malt.
The flavor starts immediately with mellow, bittersweet chocolate malt, a bit of chicory adding a woodiness that pervades throughout. Pleasant esters are spread over the malt, lending a gentle fruitiness that hints at prune, fig, banana, and black cherry. A touch of blackberry into the finish, meeting mild, balancing english hops. The bitterness is mostly derived from the heavy roastiness, a charred woodiness and black coffee stretching out the finish. A slight alcoholic twang in the swallow. Coffee and chocolate linger in the aftertaste.
A very nice year. I missed last year's version, but this year seems much smoother that I recalled from previous versions. Surprisingly easy drinking for such a massive beer, with an excellent bittersweet chocolate flavor. (1,479 characters)

Photo of bigjohn
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003-2004 Edition
I have never tried it before this year, and I must say I was highly impressed. This is one of the best stouts that I have sampled. It is flavorful and smooth, and in my opinion, right up there with Storm King. In fact, I would almost prefer this to the storm king because it is far more drinkable in my opinion. The beer is extremely dark, it is opaquely black when held up to the light, not allowing any to pass through, with the faintest red tinges around the edges. The taste is excellent, and the alcohol is extremely well disguised in my opinion. Overall, I would say that this is one of my favorite brews. In my region (New Jersey) it is quite easy to find, but I would recommend others who cannot find it locally to seek it out through a trade or other arrangement because it is certainly worth it. (824 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle of this year's batch. Pours a dark, almost completely black liquid with a tan foamy head. Looks good so far. Smells of chocoalte and almost black licorice. Stron hops, cjocolate and almost like aprune taste. I could really feel the higher alcohol presence. Good mouthfeel, maybe a touch thin. Probably couldn't have more than one or two of these. Still a good imperial stout. I had some success cellaring last year's batch and it turned out very well, although I didn't review it. Anyway, don't pass this one up. (526 characters)

Photo of GnomeKing
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This seasonal gives me a reason to appreciate winter, even though I hate the cold and snow. The beer has a strong, pleasant smell of malt. It leaves minimal lacing as you sip mouthful after tasty mouthful.

There's a sharp, hoppy aftertaste, followed by a second aftertaste that is malty and sweet. The first taste gives the impression that the beer is simple by the standards of stouts, but the complexity comes out in the after taste. The head is thick and creamy. It's surprisingly drinkable for a beer with 8.5 ABV. (522 characters)

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 2,716 ratings.