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 HardTarget
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Standard Brown 12 oz. bottle, vintage winter ’03-‘04
Aroma: Rich coffee, chocolate malts and a slight bittersweet blend, very inviting.
Appearance: I got a thin leather brown head that was fed by several streams of carbonation. A few small fingers of lace trailed after a very modest ring (I may need to take better care of my glassware). It looks like a glass of midnight; I had to put it right up against a bulb to get a few rays of light through that just showed clear black. Not brown, not ruby: black.
Flavor: An oddly neutral taste while I hold it in my mouth, but as I swallow, the bomb goes off. First is a slight bitter spike, masterful use of hops. As that fades a sweet molasses soothes, followed closely by a rich, high quality tobacco taste that trails off into a wisp of smoke. As it warmed, I got a hint of alcohol taste but it was well hidden. Some nice toffee tastes came out late as well. The entire beer holds together as a complete package.
Mouthfeel: This is one of the fullest beers I have ever put in my mouth, thicker than my heaviest homebrews. Almost syrupy, a heavy chew and it left about 7 coats throughout my entire mouth. It numbed my gums just slightly.
Overall Impression: Glad I was sitting down, this stuff rocked my world. Beer for Russian Royalty? This is beer for the Gods! A superb Imperial Stout. As I check the BJCP guide for reference, I’m not terribly surprised to find this beer listed as a classic example. Drinkability? While this beer slaked my thirst in a mighty way, I could probably drink another, and it is a beer I’d be happy to acquire again. Many thanks to mattcrill (actually, his wife) for the bottle, I am indebted. If you are lucky enough to see this little gem in your local store, buy it, all of it.

2015 edit: Bringing taste down by .25 to rank it appropriately in my top beers. (1,844 characters)

Photo of soultrain19
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured the black viscous liquid into a pint glass. Somewhat surprised that the head was minimal but as I drank it left a beautiful caramel colored lace down the glass.
Coffee and chocolate in the nose. A lovely thick malty aroma.
First thought: YEAH!! It was a very smooth malty presence with a comforting bitter after taste. The initial sweetness lingers for awhile then is washed away with a blast of coffee bitterness.
"Calm, Cool, Collected" Nice crisp carbonation.
Quite a remarkable beer. A stout that has a wonderful sweetness as well as a defined bitterness that is amazingly balanced. Quite an accomplishment. Big Props. (632 characters)

Photo of jmfc8237
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a imperial pint glass with a 1 inch dark tan head. Large carb bubbles line the sides of the glass with medium head retention. Sticky matted lacing clings to the walls of the glass as it warms. Completely opaque black color and just the slightest drop of light coming through in the bottom of the glass revealing a dark ruby port color.

Cocoa and dark fruit like raisins and burnt dates are on the nose. Deeply complex ash and chocolate malts are abundant.

Taste was intense and lovely with dark fruit and chocolate pronounced throughout. I did notice a slightly soapy taste in the aftertaste however. As it warmed up the taste faded. Little bitterness except framing up the balance is present. A lovely representation of this style.

Deeply intense and warming as you swish this over your taste buds it's defiantly a winner. Cheers (848 characters)

Photo of OysterMonkey
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, poured into a pint glass.

A-- viscous black, opaque. Slight head dissipates quickly
S-- a strong sweet chocolate aroma, roasted malt as well
T-- subtler and smoother than I expected, slight bite in the aftertaste, but nothing unpleasant. Very drinkable for a high ABV
M-- heavyish and thick. Almost chewy.

O-- really very good. (337 characters)

Photo of evh883
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Outstanding! I can't wait for the winter months to roll around each year so I can get myself a case of this to savor. As black and opaque as possible when put up to light, its appearance has a light brown head that follows the pour and gives great lacing. It has a strong aroma of coffee and deeply roasted malts. The flavor follows that up with more coffee, roasted and burnt notes and also has a very strong hoppiness. A tiny taste of alcohol is there too. The beer feels like oil in your mouth with carbonation that compliments it perfectly. Overall, this is probably the best beer I have ever had and it is an absolute must for anyone that likes craft beers! (662 characters)

Photo of taigor
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into 8oz glass.

A - Poured non-transparent black color with medium tan head that slowly dissipated leaving lots of lacing around the glass.

S - Very complex, roasted malts, chocolate, toffee, caramel and a hint of coffee.

T - Very complex just like smell. Malts upfront followed by coffee and dark chocolate bitterness with slightly nutty aftertaste.

M - Full bodied with high carbonation.

D - Easy going and abv is well masked but very filling. Definitely a sipper. (490 characters)

Photo of Phatz
4.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is on of my absolute favorite beers. It has become a staple beer to have in my fridge. I have used it for cooking regularly as well. In brownies it is fantastic. Cooking some pork chops in it is divine, but of coarse there is nothing better than enjoy a pint next to some chocolate truffles. Mmm.

Appearance: WOW! This is as black as they come. I thought I had seen a black beer before but ... this is truly black. Great 3 finger head in my pint glass. Superb lacing! Overall; exceptional appearance.

Smell: The name says it all! Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, not surprisingly, smells like chocolate. It is neither bitter nor sweet but blend of the two. The smell of roasted malts and toffee hide behind the chocolate, and hang in the back of your nose.

Taste: Unbelievable! This is perfectly balanced bitter-sweet roasted chocolate malts. Then there is a slight hint of a coffee mocha in the aftertaste. That’s it! As unexpected as it is, I found this to be a surprisingly simple taste. But its one that demands: "Accept me, I'm perfect." I usually prefer more complex and thought provoking flavors; however, this smooth dream-come-true shouts "Throw a log on the fire, put your feet up and watch the snowfall outside, because it is ALL good in here"!

Mouthfeel: This is perfection! It's the most soft, fluffy, creamy, full, hearty yet gentle mouthfeel I have encountered to date!

Drinkability: While this is one of the easiest beers in your mouth, it would be wrong to waste the experience by drinking it too fast. Also, insist on letting this one warm up to just below room temp or you'll really miss out. Respect this beer. It is a marvelous creation. It goes down so easy that before you know it your picking up the pace. Slow down. Sip this while you relax with the family on a cold winter night.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (1,859 characters)

Photo of VicBorghiani
4.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the favorite's from BB. Pour on a 6oz plastic cup from the Brewery. Had this stout at least four times on the tour. There's a hint of chocolate to it .....great aroma indeed. This is a top notch beer and would highly recommend. (234 characters)

Photo of drmeto
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

-pours the darkest of brown with a creamy,khaki head
-no light coming through
-Plums,raisins and figs coming through as the Beer warms up
-strong coffee and mocha finish
-medium-full body,low-medium carbonation
-not boozy at all
A great Imperial Stout (332 characters)

Photo of soupyman10
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this one on-tap after enjoying it in the bottle a bunch of times. Look was solid if not great - might have been the glassware. Pitch black with a tiny tan head that left no real lacing. Chocolate, roasted malt and fruit in the nose. A very tasty beer - lots of deep chocolate and roasted malt with a nice hint of cherry and dried fruit in there. Body is full and delicious, perfect for the style. Very nice, overall. (424 characters)

Photo of granger10
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Quite an experience with my first Brooklyn Brewery beer. Pours intensely dark (motor oil darkness) with a large dark tan head that holds longer than I thought it would. Aroma is of dark chocolate, roasted grains, and a little fruit like whole strawberries. Taste has a really strong deep dark Belgian chocolate flavor. Quite nice. Espresso looms large and so does a roasted nut flavor. Sharp acidic twang toward the finish. Body is lucious and thick. Almost Expedition levels. Alcohol is well hidden but I'm still surprised it doesn't reach the double digits with the warming sensations and thickness of this beer. With about 4 ounces left I brought out the Ben and Jerry's Vanilla Ice Cream and these two matched beautifully. Really a great accompaniment to dessert. Great beer all around. (790 characters)

Photo of euskera
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This brew is a choc-o-holics delight. The chocolate malts are intense and delicious. Explodes on the palate to deliver a smoky, malty mouthfeel that is exquisite. Just enough alcohol in the back to perk up the taste buds, but not too much. Hops are well defined, but not too spicy. Bravo.. (289 characters)

Photo of jbertsch
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hadn't had this one in a while and forgot how fantastic it is.

Not sure I've had a better, pure-dessert chocolate stout than this.

Pours pitch blac and looks like motor oil at first. I thought I wouldn't get much fo a head so I poured more vigor, and voila - a huge tan head.

Aromas scream chocolcate of high quality. Molasses and cream are also noticed. The taste matches the aroma with added coffee and an overlying roastiness that just gives you the impression all the ingreidients are singing together as one. Teh alcohol is masked very well. But it doesn't provide some warmth.

Drinkabtility? I couldn't put it down... Mouthfeel was silky smooth.

This was my dessert after a steak dinner, and it was perfect. I look forward ot my next one! (753 characters)

Photo of MuddyFeet
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a six-pack of the '03-'04 batch over a year ago and put it in storage until this weekend. Such a good idea. The beer poured a midnight black with a thick, brown head that never went away. The lace clung to the glass extremely stubbornly the whole time while I was drinking it. As soon as I opened up the bottle aromas of chocolate and rich malts were wafting out. With the pour the aroma just got stronger. The hops are slightly bitter, but balanced with rich malts. Chocolate is (of course) ever so very present but coffee and molasses also come through on the tongue. I aged this a year, I can only imagine what it would've tasted in a cask. Do they have that? After two, I took notice that the alcohol is a lot higher than the flavor lets on. I limited myself to two, but because of how extremely rich this beer is I do not know if my palate cannot take a third without burning out. (892 characters)

Photo of siege06nd
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage

A. A lovely oil slick black with about a finger of dark brown head that slowly effervesces to a light tan. Retention is pretty good at half a finger. Lacing is absolutely gorgeous and truly coats the glass. A classic looking stout here.

S. Perfect. Coffee roast, dark chocolate, mild vanilla, caramel, dark fruit, and some very very subtle hop presence. Beautiful bouquet.

T. More baking chocolate, coffee bean, dark fruit, caramel, and a little stronger zesty hop presence. Finish is slightly drying with hops and a little booze. Near-perfect balance between sweet, roasty, and dry here. Wow.

M. Creamy is exactly how I would describe this. Luscious, decadent, and smooth as a Hershey Kiss, this beer has some perfectly integrated flavor and drinks amazingly.

O. Nearly perfect, without the mildly boozy finish, it likely would have been. This is a spectacular stout and should in no way be penalized for its ample quantity and wide distribution. In fact, it should be praised for absolutely hitting it out of the park on such a broad scale. One of the best imperial stouts I have had. (1,104 characters)

Photo of crhensel
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(Bottle into English Pint) This is from the 09-10 season. Poured a creamy, rich black with a think tan head that fell slowly. Nose was fully of chocolate and a smooth roast, with a hint of coffee. this was very appealing after some of the other seasonal stouts I had this year. Once I tasted this, I was far from disappointed as this is easily the best winter seasonal of this year I have had so far. Drink is very smooth and creamy, with subtle flavors melding very nicely on the tongue pulling out chocolate and coffee flavors at various points. A subtle hop aftertaste finishes this very nicely! (598 characters)

Photo of wahhmaster
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color. The head is large and brown. It dissipates quickly and leaves considerable lacing.

Smell: Smells strongly of coffee, chocolate, and fruit. Has hints of plums, something I've never found in a stout before.

Taste: Starts with an intense chocolate flavor that absolutely rocks your taste buds. Develops into a coffee/dark chocolate flavor with hints of fruit and roasted malts. Surprisingly, the alcohol is not very noticeable in this one.

Mouthfeel: As full-bodied and smooth as you could possibly want.

Drinkability: A great beer and one everyone should try. By far the best stout I've had so far. (702 characters)

Photo of GPHarris
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

'05-'06 vintage

a - poured a one finger thick coffee-colored head into an oversized goblet. the body was black and poured like motor oil. left a light sheet and ring throughout. this baby looked niiiice.
s - deep, dark, powerful chocolate aroma with a hint of dark fruits like raisins.
t - roasted chocolate and coffee, very malty and rich brew.
m - chewy and thick, wonderful mouthfeel.
d - what a great sipper this is. as good a beer for dessert on a cold night that i can think of. (485 characters)

Photo of dacrza1
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

DATE TASTED: January 2, 2014... GLASSWARE: Guinness pint...OCCASION: snow day #1 of the young winter season--and the last day watching season one of Game of Thrones... APPEARANCE: I've read some critics suggest taking the "appearance" out of a beer's rating--and when rating this, I see why; pitch black body; intimidating thick brown head that froths; taking the black indeed--what else to say? beautiful... AROMA: robust chocolate; roasted hazelnut; nice, rich, balanced maltiness--an intense, densely packed aroma... PALATE: immediately warming, full-bodied presence; creamy, almost too smooth to be believed--or trusted, at 10% ABV; as the glass drains, friendlier and swifter to the throat...TASTE: strong malt backbone; chocolate, molasses and some roasted nutty suggestions--but all is sweet here, like a dessertif should be... OVERALL: a tour de force, and outside their collaborations with Schneider, my favorite Brooklyn offering....if price were no issue, this would be in heavy winter rotation in my beer fridge... (1,026 characters)

Photo of hreb
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Side by side comparison of this year's (Winter 2006-2007) purchased a month ago, and last year's (Winter 2005-2006) purchased a year ago. Both are 12 oz bottles with slightly different markings on the bottle. I've never aged a Black Chocolate Stout before; I'm hoping it was a good idea.

Both beers allowed to warm slightly after coming out of cold storage and poured into large, identical snifters. For both, the pour is slightly oily and a beautiful, deep brown, beyond the color of cola. Nearly no head on either pour, just some faint wisps of a much lighter brown color on the surface. In the glass both are perfect pitch black with just a hint of brown on the edges. This is not a fair comparison, as the two are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but...the only more beautiful beer that has ever been served to me is the W.12 at the Moan & Dove.

First sniff: this year's. Complex nutty and toasty barley aroma with just a hint of sweetness. Last year's: a distinct note of sweetness above the malty odor. Not as nutty as this year's, but more aromatic. Hard to say which one I like better. The sweetness in the aged one is definitely more powerful, but the new one has a curious complexity to it which could actually be more rewarding.

First sip: this year's. A mouthful of cream with fine bubbles. Slightly bitter with a hint of chocolate. Bitter like espresso, but without any coffee flavor in the malt at all. As I swallow the complexity really comes out: it's like a whole different beer in my mouth, with nutty and chocolately flavors everywhere. Good stuff. The finish is of burnt toast (and that's a good thing).

Last year's: more complexity up front. Slightly fizzier. Chocolate flavors more immediate. There's a sweetness in the front of the tongue that the other doesn't have, but it's very delicate, and not what I was afraid of based just on the smell. Definitely not as creamy, but still milky, and leaves a powerful bitterness clinging to my teeth to let me know I've been drinking high quality stout.

This year's has a little bit of a fresh hay kind of flavor to it, which gives it a certain autumnal quality.

The level of hopping in the beer is in between what you'd expect from an English stout and an American. Storm King Stout and Stone's Russian Imperial Stout are both much more highly hopped, and to my taste, suffer for it. There is a hop bitterness to these beers but it's both subtle and complex. I'm not nearly savvy enough to identify the varieties of hops in these. I think there's more hoppiness in this year's than last year's.

I will also mention that unlike other chocolate stouts such as Rogue's and Young's, all the chocolate in this beer is from chocolate malt -- not from cocoa. I have no prejudice against added chocolate but this beer doesn't need it and the malt shines on its own.

Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the alcohol content of this beer. It's exactly where it should be (10.6%). There's a very faint alcohol flavor that might bother some not accustomed to drinking high-alcohol-content brews, but it does nothing to damage the flavor and does a lot to bring out the natural flavors of the malt. As the beer warms, there's more alcohol in the aroma, and more sourness.

This is obviously one of my favorite beers of all time, of any style, and I look forward to drinking it all year. It's very smooth and palatable but two bottles is probably as much as anyone should really drink at a time. As for the 2005 vs. 2006 side by side experiment, I like the mellower hop level in last year's better, but everything else about this year's better, especially the texture, but not by enough of a margin to affect my scoring either way. I can't say if aging affected the beer in any meaningful way, except to say that it survived the year despite the abuses of being moved around and pushed to the back of the refrigerator every time it tempted me.

Enjoy it. (3,942 characters)

Photo of tatterdash
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black with a milk-chocolate coloured brown head that laces and retains very well, very nice start. Aroma of dark chocolate, burnt toast, coffee, definitely good Imperial Stout aroma. Taste was an intense dark chocolate, coffee, chocolate liquor, roasted cocoa beans, very flavourful and considering my tongue is still numb from the Thomas Hardy's I just had this beer's flavour has definitely eclipsed it. Mouthfeel was velvety smooth, ABV present but well blended. This is death by chocolate, simply fantastic. (525 characters)

Photo of bultrey
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Ohhhh baby. I've had this so many times before, but I finally decided to review it to give it just dues. This is a spectacular beer, and in my opinion, by far Mr. Oliver's greatest creation and the best stout I've ever had.
Pours a dark, dark night with a thin tan head that recedes to just the tiniest ring around the edge of the beer. The smell is at once burnt and vinous, almost as if a fine, sweet, dark chocolate were slightly burned, as it tends to smell at the end of a fondue pot.
The sweetness of this smacks you upside the head up front, with chcocolate-covered strawberries and other ripe red or dark fruits, but is quickly decimated by a wonderful charcoal bitterrness and the slightest hops character. But hops only serve to provide balance here...the story is the dark, roasted, chocolate malt. I also percieve a vanilla or molasses-type character. The thing I love about this stout is that it seems to combine all the finest characteristics of every style of stout: milk, sweet, dry, and imperial. The mouthfeel is exceptionally creamy and smooth, and the drinkability is dangerously high. The alcohol isn't apparent in the taste, but is apparent in the pleasant warmth that slowly engulfs your body. Must be served at cellar or room temperature. I will drink this all winter. I'd be curious to see if aging can make this any better. That would be an impressive feat. (1,385 characters)

Photo of stjarnflikka
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage 04/05

Pours a totally (read: totally) black beer with an impressively high chocolate coloured foam on top that stays unbelievingly long.

Nose hits with choclate, dark malts and a lot of roasted tones which brings forth a lot of coffee and alcohol. Nice, smooth smell thats temptingly chocolatey. A touch of wine in there as well.

First sip brings a ton of dark, dark chocolate with a nice dark bitterness and soothing alcoholic presence. Burned and sour flavours comes in strong with dark chocolate. Anyone that has eaten chocolate over like 70% will know how this tastes. Some carbonation lifts this heavy lid to create a velvet like sweet chocolatey and wonderfull flavour that ends bitter, warming and somewhat dry.

This was mighty, heavy and long lasting. Took me over an hour to finish one bottle and i could match this up with any chocolate dessert anytime. 4 bottles will be laid down until next year, just wait and see ;) (949 characters)

Photo of Loki
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 12oz bottle with the wrapped neck label that reads ?Limited Bottling ? Winter 03-04?. No freshness date or strength listed.

Appearance: Brooklyn Black is a misnomer. Brooklyn "Void of Light" or "Black Hole" Chocolate Stout would be more appropriate. Light simply vanishes in the creamy void. The only light comes from the cocoa colored, cream head. Good lacing and great retention.

Smell: Simple, but effective. Overly roasted, almost burnt, not quite toasted malt with dark, unsweetened chocolate.

Taste: Mythical, stuff borne of legends. This elixir enters the mouth as an invading horde of burnt malt and dark chocolate, quickly supressing all with its rich, thick, chewy body and flavors. As if a heat source in itself, it warms the mouth and body with alcohol and tastes as if someone had roasted the malt and melted the dark chocolate in your mouth.

Mouthfeel: Thick, dominating and yet smooth and creamy. Solid and liquid all at the same time. Wonderous.

Drinkability: As long as your not driving it is suppurb. Fill this the body, mind, and soul with a warmness and bliss rarely found in a brew. (1,133 characters)

Photo of hopdog
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted the winter '03-'04' bottle.

Poured black with a brown colored head. Very strong Chocolate smell with hints of coffee. Tastes of heavy Chocolate, light alcohol with hints of toffee. Nice bitter aftertaste. I really enjoyed drinking this one.

Notes from: 5/31/04 (270 characters)

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