Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout - Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

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6,220 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,220
Reviews: 2,746
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.6%
Wants: 370
Gots: 1,215 | FT: 56
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,220 | Reviews: 2,746
Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a motor oil black with a one-finger tan head.

S - Dark chocolates and roasted malts. A touch of booze is present.

T - Bittersweet chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, and a hint of dark fruits. Booze is noticeable.

M - Full bodied with medium/high carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel.

O - A nice stout. On the boozy side with less chocolate than I expected. Still very enjoyable.

Photo of polloenfuego
3.84/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz bottle to a snifter.

A: pours a dark near black with a one finger head of root beer colored foam that breaks quickly and leaves little behind but a tiny island of foam.

S: chocolate and dark fruits with some light coffee and roast.

T: chocolate, coffee and roasts up front with some dark fruits and a bit of booze on the back end.

M: medium body with a creamy feel. Good carbonation.

O: this came highly recommended by a few friends, and I see the potential but I think that perhaps this bottle was too young to get the best out of it. I have another that I will revisit in a year and re-review. It is a good RIS at this point, but not the one I think my friends are recommending.

Photo of dougbotrob
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Thick head, darker-cream color, lasted about 3 minutes to settle down, then left with just a bit of lacing to look at. This is a-ok for me because I'm not drinking the lacing, i'm drinking the beer.
S: The nose is great but I embarrassingly have trouble placing it. There's the obvious chocolate and malt, and I want to say "dark fruit" but I don't mean black cherry or currant. I *think* I'm smelling figs but honestly it's been a while since I've smelled figs so I might be pulling that out of no where. In any case it smells dark and delicious and mostly like semi sweet chocolate.
T: Bittersweet chocolate (not the kind you want to eat, but the kind you bake with), coffee, more dark fruits- this makes me ask myself "what's the difference between dates and figs?"
M: Well carbonated, thick enough but certainly not syrupy, just what I want from a big stout.
O: It's a solid chocolate stout, not the best but definitely not the worst. I've bought it before and I'll definitely keep buying it in the future. I think it's worth the price, and also worth saving a few bottles each year for aging.

Photo of hillvt4me
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Very dark brown with some red noted. Moderate light foamed bead. Some carbonation bubbles and good lacing.

S: bittersweet chocolate, turkish apricots and roast barley.

T: bourbon, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, malt, dark fruit and touch of herbalness.

M: Mild to moderately thick and creamy. Carbonation is balanced.

O: Solid; some added complexity would be a nice additive.

Photo of tillmac62
3.69/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

BOD 263/13. Black as a starless night pour with a massive head and lasting lacing. Light nose of chocolate with a hint of dark fruit. Medium bodied with a slick creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation level is normal. The alcohol is not well hidden and dominates the flavor profile after the initial notes of chocolate. A slight medicinal taste is present along with a bit of licorice and hop bitterness. Finishes smoothly with a bit of sweetness followed by alcohol.

Photo of RVigz
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The initial smell and taste of this beer is astounding. It has an opening taste of malty coffee/chocolate with a smooth body. The finish is a strong malty taste that pulls through the chocolate taste. The aftertaste is pretty strong on the malty taste so i would recommend some food in between to break up the malty taste. The smell of this stout cant be beat.

Photo of beercat11
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I have had this brew for the last 7 offerings(brewing seasons) and every year I look for the uniqueness of each yearly release if there is one.

This years version seems more balanced and a little more complex than most past years versions, I keep a journal with my thoughts and note them when I have my first few sips. I feel that's when the small nuances of each batch are the most impressed upon me. I have never been a big fan of this stout but it is local enough to me where it is priced pretty well at $6.99 a 4 pack. I have seen it at local markets for as much as $3 more.

It seems that this stout always has a character about it that turns me off. I find it on the back end. Up front it has that traditional RIS that's so prevalent for the style but I can't seem to get beyond the off flavors I get towards the end.

There are roasted malts and black licorice candy which you would typically expect in this style but the finish is just too frustrating for me. Some reviews complain about the lack of carbonation here but I think they are on to exactly what I am saying about the finishing flavors. This year I got an idea on how to fix this issue and I have to say I nailed it first try. I added some high end all natural organic vanilla extract, about a teaspoon full into a 12 ounce bottle. Wow! who would think that this 1 thing could change everything about this beer, up front and all the way home.

If this additional flavor was added to this beer at the brewer You would see much higher reviews I am sure. Most reviews are up there but not everyone is as picky and critical of a beer as a few others like me. Try it and see. Just make sure you use high quality extract. Cheers.

Photo of MacQ32
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage

A - Pours near black with a dense finger+ of rich chocolate colored head, fantastic lacing and retention.

S - Decadent chocolate with a minimal underlying roastyness, great hazelnut like aromas, a bit boozy, perhaps a hint of raisin.

T - Lots of rich milk chocolate and sweet vanilla type flavors, roasty hazelnuts, alcohol and subtle dark fruits kick in towards the backend, minimally medicine-y. Aftertaste is like chocolate oak with a hint of booze/medicine.

M - Full bodied, more carbonated than expected but still little carbonation, it works very very w ell. Kind of a sipper, deliciously creamy, but I'm consuming around 45 degrees so its going down pretty quick.

O - Pleasantly boozy, I quite like it with ~1.5 years on it, I'd also like to try one aged 4-5 years to get a better grasp on this one without the boozy qualities. Happy with this one though

Photo of TCMike
3.89/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Produced a 2 finger beige head. Beer color is ultra dark brown.

The aroma is a little week, but of dark fruit, and dark chocolate.

Taste is similar, but more intense, and with a medium hop bite, and some molasses flavor. Heavy mouth-feel, and lowish carbonation. Lingering alcohol.

Very good!

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...

Photo of lou50rp
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A great Imperial Russian Stout.
Dark almost black appearance with a dark tan head which does not last
Smell of dark fruit and dark chocolate, very inviting
Taste of dark fruits and dark chocolate, intermingling
Mouthfeel is syrupy and coating. perfect for a cold winter's night on the Baltic
Overall this is an excellent brew that will stand up to other Imperial Russian Stouts and is reasonably priced.

Photo of hopflyer
3.42/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Julian date 2663. So bottled September 23, 2013

pours pitch black, small tan head. head retains throughout with minimal lacing.

aroma is light roast coffee and a bit of dark chocolate. Dominated by dark fruits though, fig, plum.

Coffee and dark fruits from the nose follow thru the initial taste. Not picking up much of the dark chocolate. Some bitterness and subtle resinous hops. Alcohol hidden well. Bitterness carries thru and doesn't really mellow out much and lingers more than I would like it to in the aftertaste. Some backstage black licorice too. Sambuca-like as it warms and booziness becomes apparent. Where's the dark chocolate?!

Very thick and sticky with moderate carbonation.

I think this is my first beer from Brooklyn and I'm underwhelmed. Was expecting a nice smooth chocolate stout. Instead it was more of a bitter liqueur. Not a bad beer but it's label doesn't match its contents according to my palate.

Photo of Bernoulli
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/4" head fades reasonably fast, but lacing is the thickest we've seen.

Completely opaque, deep brown verging on black.

Smells just like high quality dark chocolate.

At least as smooth as the Rogue to start, definitely high gravity, bitter coffee and chocolate are surprisingly not overwhelming, they must settle though because they're more noticeable as you go along (not-quite grainy at the bottom).

Photo of HalfFull
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes, 3/13. 12 oz. bottle from a recent winter release and poured into a globe glass. Pours an opaque black with a finger of deep mocha foam. Shows decent retention and lace, flattening out a bit by mid glass however.

Lots of roast, chocolate and a firm punch of alcohol on the aroma front. Booziness comes across as rummy and barrel like in nature which gives the beer an interesting depth.

Taste is a bit oily given the rummy character. Offers a rich malt profile yet a bit singular in nature. Rich chocolate notes yet without the bitterness or close of dark chocolate. Lighter on the roast than the arom might suggest and a touch of black cherry with warming. Feel is full and rich yet lacks the lingering chocolate one might expect.

Overall the lack of carbonation after the initial pour creates a lessened experience. Rich and boozy but a bit short in depth consideing it all. Vinous in nature like a fruit bomb of a zinfandel. Probably not worth the calories.

Photo of Act25
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a taste off between Green Flash and a "standard" Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout 10% ABV.

It's a very close contest, and letting these two warm all the way to 56 degrees. (I'm starting to think the best reviews include temperatures as well as glassware), GFDS wins by a small margin.

Green Flash Double Stout 4.5 vs Brooklyn Chocolate Stout 4.2


GFDS 4.75 - Close to perfect head, retention, lacing, body, color - into a 24 oz hand blown wine glass.

BBCS 4.25 - Very outstanding head, retention, lacing, body, color - into a 24 oz hand blown wine glass.

Smell: 4.25 4.25
GFDS - Wood fire in a seaside candy shop, with a pile of wet earth compost heaving outside.
BBCS - Wood fire in a candy shop, vats of syrup, fruit jam, dark chocolate.

GFDS - More wood charcoal, chocolate, more bitterness, more sea side smell. 4.5
BBCS - Peppery, roast, chocolate, licorice prominent, long lasting licorice and bitter finish, leaves in great place. Too much licorice? 4.


GFDS - tingly, more hops, medium body, more bitter, a little alcohol, long finish, leave in great place, creamy. 4.25 *better at 56 degrees.

BBCS - tingly, more malt, more char, more liquor like, even longer finish, creamier, leaves in a great place. 4.25

O: BBCS sweeter, more candy, licorice, chocolatey, and more creamy. Without any false notes in either.

However, when I let them warm to 56 degrees over 2 hours, then GFDS wins for remaining more carbonated and vibrant at "Cellar temp" while BBCS settles a bit flat, and cold coffee- like.

Edge to GFDS.

Photo of Dad_of_Rad
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2012 vintage poured into a snifter.

A: Very dark brown with milk chocolate head. Carbonation lingers.

S: Alcohol, bittersweet chocolate and roast. Touch of underlying dark fruit.

T: Boozy. Again, bittersweet chocolate, more coffee roast than in the aroma. Not as complex as a lot of RIS. Definitely like a straight up mocha with a small shot of whiskey or bourbon added.

M: Nice. Not necessarily creamy, but also not sticky. Carbonation helps to balance things out.

O: Solid. Very straight forward flavors, but well put together.

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.61/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pitch black with a fluffy 2 finger caramel head that has very solid staying power.

S- Lots of roasted character with some lactose. Chocolate not as prevalent as I had hoped.

T- Follows nose quite well. Big roasted notes that seems to last for days. Accompanied with malt and unsweetened chocolate. Also has a little boozy kick to it. Fantastic balance, but nothing really seems to blow me away here. There does seem to be some complexity, but maybe I just prefer my chocolate stouts more straightforward with an abundance of sweet cocoa.

M- Silky, yet thick and creamy. Full body, but not at the cost of drinkability. Very rich.

O- Solid, but maybe a bit disappointed. I am a huge fan of Garrett Oliver and probably expected a bit too much as it is my first from this brewery.

Photo of Jim_Benz
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

My wife and I each drank one bottle (2013) in tulips, served at cellar temp--around 58° F (or a little less).

Appearance--dark chocolate black topped by a one inch head of milk chocolate foam-- very appealing and rich-- the head dissipated in about two minutes, maintaining a rim around the edges throughout. I forget any distinctions about the lacing.

Smell--alcohol and dark chocolate, mostly bitter but rich and tempting.

Taste--same as the nose, like 80% cacao dark chocolate lightly (or barely) sweetened with grain alcohol. In fact, the flavor of the alcohol seems to play a major role in both taste and bittering. No real hints of coffee; not much taste of roasted grain outside of the chocolate flavor; hops indiscernable. Not incredibly complex but perfect in its own way. Very tasty and decadent. Dry and bitter on the finish, but somewhat cloying on the tongue without being particularly sweet in any way.

Mouthfeel--medium to full body, more carbonation than I expected, less creaminess. As it warmed and the carbonation lessened, it became a little smoother but not much.

Overall--a very good, very rich imperial stout that drank just like its name implied. The 10% ABV packed a punch, but it also provided a distinct flavor that accentuated the chocolate beautifully. I'm curious to see how this one ages--will it become more complex; will the alcohol/chocolate bitterness soften into something a bit mellower and roastier; will it develop a creamier body? I guess time will tell, but it'll be worth drinking either way.

Photo of jdhowe
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Winter 12-13 release.

A: Pours a nearly opaque, ruby-tinged black with 1/4 finger of tan head that dissipates quickly.

S: Big creamy chocolate aroma with a little hint of roastiness. Some sweetness of dark fruits is detectable but not easily identifiable.

T/M: A slight prickliness of carbonation alongside a fruity sweetness that is slightly tart up front leads into a smooth chocolate flavor. The rest of the sip is dominated by chocolate and roastiness, with the finish having a slight roasty bitterness. Alcohol is not strongly detectable, but there is a definite warming sensation from it after the sip. Mouthfeel is heavy but maybe a little thinner than I had expected, with low-to-moderate carbonation.

O: This is a really nice beer, but is honestly less chocolatey than I had expected from the name. I honestly get more creamy chocolate from Dark Horse's Plead the 5th. Which isn't a knock on this beer, but rather an observation about the expectations created from its name. Still very happy to be trying this -- I will gladly revisit it in the future.

Photo of pknyc
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 09/10/13. Opened 02/26/14.

A: 1 finger mocha head which settles into a cap and then rim. The pour was rather aggressive. Very fine bubbles, with no lacing. A fine black color that is completely opaque. How much more black could this be? The answer is none. None more black.

S: I got a lot of dark fruit and roast. Very little chocolate. I was surprised by the amount of dark fruit in the nose. Sweet.

T: I tasted much more chocolate than the smell. Dark chocolate. Sweet alcohol, but not overpowering or anything. Its in check, definitely for 10%. Some raisin remains from the dark fruit nose. The carbonation adds something to this, but I don't think its beneficial. I think a little more time in the cellar would have definitely helped. It could use a little more complexity.

MF: Medium-low mouthfeel. I would have enjoyed a more full bodied mouthfeel.

O: It was interesting and a pretty good deal. I'm afraid that I may not have allowed it to warm quite enough.

Photo of patpbr
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours very dark with a nice small tan head.
S - Chocolate, Coffee, Roasted.
T - Builds on the smell with semi-sweet chocolate, some smoke and dark fruit. dark roast coffee.
M - Full body and moderate carbonation, dessert like
O - Nice Stout fitting for after dinner.

Photo of hoplover82
3.74/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a small tan head that has ok retention and excellent lacing.the smell is of chocolate and licorice. And the flavor is just like the aroma but with some earthy hop flavor. There is some mild warm alcohol flavor as well.the mouthfeel is thick and creamy. And just the right amount of carbonation to keep it right. This beer is pretty good but not epic. A great beer for the price for sure. Very glad I tried this. And highly recommend it.

Photo of wildcatboy
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A very solid stout. Poured from a 12oz bottle into tulip. I didn't get as much chocolate smell or taste as expected... Based on the name. More of a malty flavor with slight hint of dark chocolate followed by a bit of boozeyness. It was a much better taste as the beer began to warm up. I would get this beer again. Just now in my top tier but I can see why some feel it should be.

Photo of ugamike888
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I think this is a very solid beer.

Appearance: Poured a 12 oz bottle into a Snifter. Poured with about a half inch of light brown head. The edges were laced with a darker toffee color. Beautiful beer that is dark brown, just shy of black and lets no light through.

Smell: The only thing somewhat lacking about this brew. Smells of bitter chocolate syrup. A little hint of roasty malts and coffee. Obvious aroma of alcohol.

Taste: Yumm. This is dessert-like. Well balanced and I wouldn't want it any sweeter. Loads of cocoa and a hint of dark fruit.

Mouthfeel: Feels medium-full with an oily slickness and leaves a lingering taste of alcohol on the tongue.

I wish I could find this beer year round. Highly enjoyable to drink.

Photo of errantnight
3.31/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A beer that I've never particularly loved that I keep wondering if maybe it's me, given the general adulation. May need to try it again in a blind American IRS stand-off. My latest caveats are that maybe if it isn't overloaded with coffee and other adjuncts or barrel aged to hackinsack I'm just not digging the giant 10% boozehound stouts these days? I dunno, but I found the Stone IRS I had on tap a couple months ago to be more enjoyable. Anyway, caveats out of the way:

This 11-12 winter bottling pours beautifully into an Innis & Gunn tulip. Inky black, thin, rich, fizzy head dises down to a persistent ring with nice lacing.

Aroma is chocolate and just a hint of warming alcohol and... not much else. A sort of freezer burn note hints at some oxidation, as does a slighty sherry and raisin note.

On the palate this is still plenty boozy and bitter despite the two years (this has been in the fridge for that entire time, however, which certainly would have minimized degradation). Chocolate and roast predominate, and there's a long, lingering bitterness. It's not bad, it's just not terribly complex or interesting. I'm struggling to pull nuances out of the malt character which is covered up quickly and heavily by waves of bitterness that seems like a mesh of hop, roast and alcohol derived flavors.

Ranking this just slightly above average feels like something of an apology to it. It's lacking in any obvious flaws, but it tastes unbalanced and slightly unpleasant. I've got a few more bottles from this same year, a couple of which weren't aged in the fridge, maybe some extended cellar aging did it some favors? Seems doubtful.

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 6,220 ratings.