Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout - Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

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5,888 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,888
Reviews: 2,675
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 327
Gots: 1,009 | FT: 53
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-04-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,888 | Reviews: 2,675 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ehammond1
2.63/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (2010)

Thanks for sharing Sam!

Jet black pour with a light brown, tan head that sticks around, then leaves lots of lacing down the glass. So far, so good.

Sharp alcohol is the first thing I notice unfortunately, and I have to search for the chocolate. When I do find it, it's somewhat sharp and too sweet, not rich and decadent like other wonderful chocolate stouts. There's some nice roasted malt and coffee elements that try to balance it out, but it's dominated by alcohol and over-sweet chocolates.

Sharp and stinging bittersweet chocolate (like cocoa powder), alcohol bite, something metallic, and mild roast. Not a lot of complexity, and not a lot of good.

Medium to thick mouthfeel with low carbonation.

Too much alcohol and the chocolate does not come in an accessible, enjoyable form. Too bad.

Photo of beerpirates
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottel poured into my lost abbey stemware glass

A- Pours dark black, with no light coming in or out. Very nice khaki head. Creamy and holds very well.

S- Nice bittersweet aroma from this. Roasted malts overcome the bitter chocolate notes in nose.

T- Up front the roasted malts mix with subtle sweet chocolate flavors. Bitterness starts to overtake in the middle through the end. Chocolate settles off pretty quick too, still very smooth drink.

M- Full body. Low carbonation, almost none. Creamy mouth feel.

O- Good beer , Chocolate flavors weren't as present as I was hoping for. Solid, but nothing overwhelmingly special.

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

Winter 2010/2011 Bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a rich black color with a half finger tall caramel colored head.

Smell: The overwhelming smell is a sweet boozy aroma. Notes of sherry, molasses, and licorice. Surprisingly there isn't a lot of chocolate aroma.

Taste: A sweet boozy flavor hits you first followed by a strong roasted malt flavor. The dark chocolate flavor is much more apparent in the taste than in the smell. The taste is sweet up front with a slightly bitter finish due to the roasted malts and dark chocolate flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium thick mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Overall: This is a very good stout for the price. A little more boozy than expected, but nothing too serious. Overall a good stout worth buying again.

Photo of rhong187
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

vintage 2007 version poured from 12 oz bottle

A - small half finger head that goes away within a minute

S - much of the chocolate has subsided, replaced with a surprisingly strong booziness, given the fact that this was served at about 40 degrees

T - The chocolate and roasty qualities still remain but I wouldn't be able to handle more than 8 oz of this due to it's immense booziness

M - medium to full bodied, with alcohol very present.. Can't wait until I dip into the 2005 and see how that goes.

Overall, I found it to be a bit boozy (did I mention that already?), but liked it a bit better than last year's. I have a bottle of 2005's that I can't wait to dip into.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Consumed 12.29.2010.

Pours an opaque inky black topped by a dense dark tan head with pretty good staying power. Looks like an imperial stout ought to look.

Dense and delicious, inviting nose. Aromas of creamy milk chocolate, cocoa powder, roasted malt, caramel, mixed berries, vanilla. Alcohol is present but not distracting. Perhaps a bit of evergreen hoppiness in the background.

Thick and rich and creamy on the palate. Flavors of mildly bitter dark chocolate, earthy roasted malt, warm alcohol, moderately hoppy, burnt grain, butter caramel. Packed and dense and tasty. Oily and mouthcoating and just barely drying. A bit of an herbal/medicinal note on the finish hints at more hops.

Has an English rather than American feel as imperial stouts go. Balanced and nuanced but flavor-packed. Surprisingly hoppy for the style, quite nice for a change. A fantastic beer.

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

A - Very viscous when pouring. Straight up black with a huge dark brown foamy head that cascades when it forms. Excellent lacing.

S - Huge aromas of roasted malts complimented by chocolate malt. Not a lot of black/roasted malt smell. Mainly more sweet than anything else.

T - Black malt is the first flavor and then gets quickly interrupted by the chocolate malts. Lots of roasted flavors, a little burnt toast, with hints of dark espresso. Finishes with a huge malt sweetness and a slight alcohol burn. Transitions greatly through all phases of each sip.

M - Very heavy body with very little carbonation, and a creamy body. Finishes neutral from the creamy body and acidity from the grains. Definitely a sipper but nothing too complex to keep one wondering.

O - For a RIS with no additional ingredients added this one should help set a standard as to what the style should be built upon.

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brooklyn is firmly on Long Island although in N.Y.C., so I call this a local beer!
This is a fine brew with a chocolate/raisiny/toffee taste. After my first encounter with the Russian Imperial style,I expected to hate it, but it is surprisingly good. The high alchohol content could easily sneak up on you, since it is so smooth!

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

4 year vertical, 2006-7 to 2009-10, tasted side by side from youngest to oldest in June 2011. Final category scores are based on the 2006-7 bottle.

Score summary in year order:
(2006-7, 2007-8, 2008-9, 2009-10)
A – 3.5, 4.5, 4.5, 4.5
S – 4.0, 3.5, 3.5, 4.5
T – 4.0, 4.0, 4.5, 4.5
M – 4.5, 3.5, 4.5, 4.5
O – 4.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5

2009-10 (1 yr old): 3.5 – Creamy, fine bubbled, dark khaki head with ok retention and lace. Dark chocolate brown with cola highlights.
2008-9 (2 yrs old): 4.5 - Better looking that the ‘9-10. Head is a darker khaki, and sits taller than before. The body is also darker; more black than brown.
2007-8 (3 yrs old): 4.5 – Even darker than the ‘8-9, with darker brown highlights. Dark khaki head has a fine bubble structure with ok retention and lace.
2006-7 (4 yrs old): 4.5 – Likely the darkest of the vertical. It’s at least as dark as the ‘7-8 above it with a similar head.

2009-10 (1 yr old): 4.0 – Dark chocolate, raisin, molasses, and rum fruitcake.
2008-9 (2 yrs old): 3.5 – Rum soaked raisins. Less chocolate than the ‘9-10. Touch of cocoa powder.
2007-8 (3 yrs old): 3.5 – Prune, booze, and a hint of bitter cocoa. Very similar to the ‘8-9, but a shade darker in tone.
2006-7 (4 yrs old): 4.5 – Fantastic nose on this year. Round and mellow with caramel, molasses, and dark chocolate. Maybe a hint of oak. There’s a touch of raisin, but most of the fruit is gone. Very little booze.

2009-10 (1 yr old): 4.0 – Bitter chocolate up front with a backdrop of raisin. Great roast note in the middle with a touch of smoke. Warm booze on the backend blends into a dry cocoa finish.
2008-9 (2 yrs old): 4.0 – Opens smooth and slowly builds up a nice roast character. Warmer booze than the ‘9-10 and less chocolate, which I thought was odd. Has an almost an oaky dryness to it. A cocoa power finish lasts a lifetime.
2007-8 (3 yrs old): 4.5 – Nice complexity with softer and better-integrated flavors than the younger years. Roasty cocoa nibs blend into a semisweet dark chocolate. Nice malt roast through the center. The finish is roasty and semisweet.
2006-7 (4 yrs old): 4.5 – The best of the vertical. Caramel, walnut, and dark chocolate. Nice coffee center with a dry, dark cocoa backend. Light oak and semisweet finish.

2009-10 (1 yr old): 4.0 – Smooth with a medium/full body. Nice carbonation.
2008-9 (2 yrs old): 3.5 – More porter-like than a stout. Medium body is lighter than the ‘9-10. Nice carbonation is a touch brighter than the ‘9-10.
2007-8 (3 yrs old): 4.5 – Medium/full body with a solid smoothness. Lower carbonation than the ‘8-9.
2006-7 (4 yrs old): 4.5 – Medium/full body is super smooth. Has the lowest carbonation than the rest of the vertical, but still enough to be pleasant.

2009-10 (1 yr old): 4.0 – Delicious with a great roast character.
2008-9 (2 yrs old): 3.5 – Strangely boozier and lighter than the ‘9-10.
2007-8 (3 yrs old): 4.0 – More complex with better integration than the younger brews.
2006-7 (4 yrs old): 4.5 – Super smooth, well developed, and complex. Interestingly, the years culled some of the fruitiness of the previous years. Not surprisingly, the age also took the edge off of the booze.

Photo of clareo
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Winter '08'-'09 bottling.

A - Pours a deep, dark velvety brown; a hint of ruby - with the barest trace of a tan head.

S - Primarily chocolate and booze. Distinct cocoa and a bit of coffee. Slight black licorice on the end.

T - Sweet chocolate and alcohol, progresses to a powdery cocoa and roasted coffee. Fades gradually into a pleasant finish and lingering warmth.

M - Thick, syrupy, smooth; coats the tongue pleasingly.

O - A very good stout; excellent for the winter season. I have had it fresh, and this aging has allowed for a much-needed mellowing of the strong alcoholic note.

Photo of jondeelee
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smells of strong, dark sugars--deeply caramelized turbinado sugar and molasses, primarily--with a slightly yeasty, grainy scent.

On the tongue, there's a two-pronged attack between sugars and heavily roasted, bitter flavors, which seem to consider your tastebuds as ground zero for the most tasty carnage you'll ever encounter. Most of this is due to the "six varieties of black, chocolate and roasted malts" (as per the label) that have been blended in. On the sweet side of the malts, there are huge dark fruit flavors, deep caramels and toffees, molasses, and a touch of maple syrup. On the bitter side of the malts, there are equally huge chocolate malt flavors, bringing that almost-but-not-quite-burnt bitterness that's typical of a good stout. The hops are nice as well, though are kept on a backburner to allow the malts to take their presence at center stage.

The end result is a fabulous brew: a stout that offers a little bit of everything, and does it in a well-balanced, beautifully overpowering way. Yes, this stout is not for the faint-of-heart; but if you can handle it, you're in for a treat.

Photo of auroracrisis
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled into a snifter, Winter 09-10 bottling.

Pours infinitely black. I can't even see through the edges of the glass. One finger head that dissipates into a collar of foam.

The smell is licorice and toffee up front. A touch of cocoa beans and booze as well. Stale pumpernickel and a little caramel too. Seems to be a bit boozey for it's age though, the alcohol tingles your nose.

On the tongue we have muddled licorice, bakers chocolate, weak coffee, and booze. Caramel and a touch of peat or smoke as the beer warms. Alcohol too. Again, it seems a bit boozey for a beer that is almost 2 years old.

Thin for a stout. I'd say a light medium body, with moderate carbonation for the style. A little sticky, and some tingle from the alcohol.

Overall, this isn't the best Russian Imperial Stout. In fact, it's more of an American Double in my opinion. But, you get what you pay for. Okay chocolate and licorice flavor, and a nice amount of alcohol. It's not bad per say, but for my money I'd rather spend a dollar more and get a four pack of Founders Imperial Stout.

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

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | on-tap | 10.0% ABV | July 2011

Brewer: Brooklyn Brewery
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Glass: Snifter

Jet black, the abyss. A mocha crown—perfectly motionless—rings the periphery.

Iced coffee, dark chocolate.

Dark roasted coffee, espresso, brandy. There's a strong alcoholic presence and it leans towards bitterness, which is not for everyone.

Thick and luxurious, this is an incredibly pleasing liquid to swish around the your mouth.

It's a great Russian Imperial Stout, except in that the 10% ABV can clumsily peek through the otherwise well-composed exterior.

Would I get it again?:
Yes, and I have.

Served: July 30, 2011

Photo of davey101
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010/2011 vintage poured into a tulip glass. This is one of a few bottles left from a case I bought back in January. I paid about $40 for the hell of a bargain.

A - Dark black body that let's zero light through, mocha head that vanished quickly into some light edging.

S - Dark roasted malts, bittersweet bakers chocolate, caramelized figs, molasses, and some brown sugar. Not it's strong point.

T - Yup, this is an RIS. Smooth creamy mouthfeel with just enough carbonation. Flavor is initially bitter chocolate and roasted malts, but then it transforms into smooth espresso beans and some light vanilla. Delcious!

O - There's a reason why I bought a case of this stuff. Its an amazing brew at an amazing price. My favorite RIS in a small bottle format. Can't wait to see what some real age does to this.

Photo of MightyCasey
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.
A: Pours jet black in color with a tan to almost brown head.
S: Roasted malts and chocolate.
T: This classic is quite full on the palate, which one would expect with a beer with a higher finishing gravity. Flavor is an interesting combination if malty, roasty, bitter, and just slightly alcoholic.
M: Perfect carbonation.
Overall, really enjoyed.

Photo of beerboy9960
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle. Winter 2010/2011 vintage.

A- Pours a jet black with a thin light brown head.

S- The smell is of dark chocolate, cacao, and roasted malt.

T- The taste is big and malty upfront with a bitter roasted cacao aftertaste. Very thick with a bit of carbonation. You get a little bit of heat from the alcohol, but it is very well hidden for a 10% ABV beer.

O- Overall this was an excellent beer that I was glad to finally taste. I can't wait to try another bottle in a few months to see how it ages. Definitely worth trying if you have the chance!

Photo of Krakistophales
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours jet black with a fingers worth of tan head that sticks around.

S: Bittersweet chocolate, dark roast, caramel, toffee, a hint of vanilla

T: At first, a big blast of caramel malt and milk chocolate, with the middle giving way to an almost dark fruit flavor, and the end finishing with a bitter, dry, cocoa and double espresso flavor. Amazing flavor.

O: This is an amazing RIS. After having brooklyn's barleywine, I was hesitant, but this is an amazing brew. The flavor is the best part, however, and I wish the nose was a bit more complex. Other than that, fantastic.

Photo of JDizzle
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle

Pours a deep black, with a medium tan head that goes bye-bye fast. Smells like dark roasted malts with a little chocolate and coffee. Carbonation is perfect for this style and the alcohol is present, but not too obvious for a 10% ABV stout. Mouthfeel is medium thick with a creamy goodness.

This is a steall for $8 a 4-pack. Maybe the best deal out there for such a quality beer and great availability.

Photo of beagle75
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter glass.
Winter 10-11 vintage

A: Opaque black color with less than one finger of beige foam that quickly retreats, leaving a filmy and inconsistent residue on the surface. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Refined grain is entirely roasted, with substantial earth and a thread of shoyu. Chocolate is not especially strong in intensity, but there is a definite suggestion of rustic, minimally-processed cacao liquor. Restrained dark fruit emerges as the beer warms, but coffee is left largely unrepresented in the nose. Volatile fusel alcohols add depth, rather than booziness.

T: Begins off-dry, with heavy, chocolate-infused roasted barley. Acidity peaks after a few beats, but the flavor of it stays under control and adds a bright citric layer of flavor. The middle features spirituous dark fruit and a transient whiff of old coffee grounds. Grain is re-established toward the finish, with a drier and huskier quality than at the start, while bitterness is fairly strong for the style, tasting earthy in a way that is not herbaceous but umami.

M: Medium viscosity, acidic early and slightly syrupy on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This is a fine imperial stout, based on a chocolate-centric theme, that largely succeeds at what it set out to do. While it drinks easily for a 10% abv brew, it is held back by acidity issues that are typical for the style. For that reason it is better off accompanying a sensuous dessert, than it is in a solo role as a slow-sipper.

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

Pitch black like oil out of the bottle. No light at all comes through. Dark khaki head on top that won't go away at all, and leaves beautiful silky lacing down the glass. The smell is of espresso, dark roasted malts that drip with caramel, and dark chocolate. Sweet and bitter smelling at the same time.

Tastes of espresso and the bitterness of unsweetened cooking chocolate dominate the flavor. Bitter like espresso in the back, but sweet and milky up front. Creamy, but not syrupy in the front, but crisp and zesty in the back. Definitely boozy, and at 10% it should be. But surprisingly, its not all that noticeable at first. Its masked by the delicious swirling of chocolate and espresso and dark-roasted malts to the point that it is only present in that zest at the back of the mouth. Surprisingly drinkable at 10%, this is a dangerous brew for any stout drinker and especially to those who found russian imperials to be their favorite. This is certainly a very good beer and I'm impressed. Between this and Old Rasputin, I may turn into a regular russian imperial stout drinker.

Photo of calcio360jrd
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last beer of the day during huge July 4th party.

Pours out a nice blackness with more carbonation than i expected. Great smell of chocolate malt, maybe some toffee and even a bit of licorice. Taste was a bit lighter than expected, also a bit thinner than expected, but a very tasty RIS in my opinion. Head dissipated quickly but left a pretty good lacing on the walls of the glass. Glad i had this at the end of the nite watching fireworks instead of at 3pm when the party started, the 10% caught up to me at the end!

Photo of seabass87
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from 12 FL OZ. bottle into glass. Winter 10-11 vintage.

A- Solid black. Small brown head that disappears quickly.

S- Bittersweet chocolate, roasted espresso, and sour cherries. A bit of vanilla, a bit of alcohol.

T- Follows the nose. Chocolate and espresso first, with some cherries in the back. A lingering espresso aftertaste to help cover the strong alcohol. A fair amount of warmth.

M- This beer has a medium-thick mouthfeel, and is able to do its job without sticking on your tongue too much. Zero carbonation. The structure of the beer is very good.

O- For a chocolate stout, this beer ventures into the high ABV (10%) side of the spectrum. It's a bit more complex that some of it's contemporaries, but the alcohol is a bit obvious. Above average for the style.

Photo of jcurtis55
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This is an excellent stout. I got 2-3 fingers of foam and after every drink the heavy lacing seems to last forever. Initial smell is of dark fruit and dark chocolate.

The flavor is pretty much the same. There is not a hint of alcohol in the taste. Mouthfeel is about as full as it comes and completely coats your mouth.

Photo of renegadeburger
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

ok here we go the first time i had their big monster ale now we are going with a huge stout

appearance was jet black seriously no light coming through on this one the head is pretty small but persistent it has a nice deep brown color appears to cling to the glass i decided to let the beer sit for a while and breathe

wow incredible aroma it smelled like raisins and dark fruits even dark cherries in there i also got crazy coffee aroma like deep roasted coffee with steamed milk crazy caramel too

flavor was so savory i had to stop and think about it sip it slowly...took a minute i realized this was an epic beer and really great flavor combination

i never seen a mouthfeel ike this it was so rich and full but at the same time so nice and light i think it was the roast flavor and those hops it made the heavy body go away and be all full and front without being annoying

overall a great beer maybe just shy of perfection for me i really really look forward to trying more of these styles

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

12oz bottle into Portsmouth snifter. Winter 09-10 vintage.

A: Pours black with two fingers of oily dark brown head that slowly faded into a thick film that left a network of fine lacing down the glass.
S: Big sweet chocolatey notes of fudge, cocoa, hot chocolate, milk chocolate and... more chocolate. This smells great!
T: Rich creamy chocolate notes of chocolate ice-cream covered with fudge. There is a splash of coffee near the finish as well, and the aftertaste is lightly bitter and acidic. I also get a hint of cinnamon in there.
M: Low, soft carbonation over a medium-thick body with a velvety and creamy mouthfeel. This beer is very easy to drink and very smooth.
O: If you love chocolate you’ll love this one. It’s got every flavor of chocolate except white. Really solid all around.

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

Poured a solid black with brown head that mostly fades but hangs on the edges.

The smell isn't what I expected. The smell is pretty hoppy. It smells like those chocolate oranges.

The taste is also on the hoppier side on the front. The back comes in with an amazing mouth feel of roasted chocolate and a little coffee.

It was'nt as chocolaty as I'd expected but that's not a bad thing at all. A damn fine beer.

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 5,888 ratings.