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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,561 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,561
Reviews: 2,642
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 306
Gots: 875 | FT: 48
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: 5,561 | Reviews: 2,642 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RedPorter
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

thanks to nyrangerfan for this one. i have to say this is one of my favorite brews.

A - as dark as it gets and the head is caramel colored with a tiny bit of lacing.

S - theres something unusual with how this style smells, seems like some kind of dark fruit i cant quit place. some boozy notes that are not out of place a soon to follow.

T - the dark fruit taste transfers through into the taste but whats more prominent are grains and even some nuttiness that accompanies the chocolate very well.

M - for my taste the is in the sweet spot for for sticky a beer should be, goes down smooth.

D - i dont usually drink beers that id like to drink every day so as far as this style goes its near the top of my list for drinkability.


RedPorter, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of MaxBrews
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've tasted both a both a 2008-09 and 2009-010 vintage and I'll compare them in this review.

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours with a big 3 finger brown head if you pour it properly. Beer is pitch black, the lacing dissipates slowly and a nice tan lacing sticks around and clings to the glass.

The 2008 vintage is slightly less alcoholic smelling then the 2009. Both feature plenty of roasted malt in chocolate. More chocolate and raisins come out in the 2008. The aroma smells of dark chocolate, licorice, raisins and roasted malt.

Taste is much of the same. Strong alcoholic taste, followed by dark choclate, raisins and alcohol. A lingering chocolate taste.

Carbonation is that of a stout. This beer ends pretty dry due to the levels of roasted malt and high alcohol content. Overall hop bitterness is very low.

The aged version of this beer drinks like a good stout. You'd want to session it, but it'll do your head in. 2010 version is a bit overwhelming with alcohol, you know you're drinking an RIS. Overall a strong stout with plenty of flavor. The perfect beer for a cold night or to curl up in bed with a book.

MaxBrews, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of ocelot2500
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep black with a small creamy brown head the leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of chocolate and coffee.

Tastes of sweet roasted malts. Notes of espresso, bitter chocolate, and molasses all come through. Bit of roasted bitterness, but an utter lack of hops to complement everything. Comes through pretty hot as well.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a decent amount of carbonation.

ocelot2500, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of TerryW
2.6/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm afraid I have to go against the grain here as I didn't find this to be a particularly good beer. I usually enjoy Brooklyns, but this one just came across as a poorly put together effort. Its got too many harsh extremes without a lot of the good stuff of a properly made chocolate porter.

Out of the bottle it looks beautiful. Dark walnut colour with a monster big, good looking head. The head settles to a film and offers up some nice lace as you're drinking.

Nose is dark fruit, malt, chocolate and coffee, but its marred by aggressive notes of alcohol. Smells a bit like a barley wine. Slightly syrupy.

The brew has a very sharp sour bite to it early on, and is not anything like most other porters. That softens after the beer sits for a while, but is really off-putting. Mellows out, but still fairly harsh. Tarry in character and still too boozy.

Just too disjointed. Doesn't hang together in any sort of interesting way. Not for me, definitely not an introductory brew.

TerryW, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of demcorhip
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A good looking stout, almost one finger worth of head formed on the pour, very reminiscent of the crema atop some espresso. Retention isnt that great, it breaks down to leave a thin collar.

The nose is very interesting, nice roasted notes, has me thinking milk chocolate and espresso. Some fruity esters also present, black grape and plum like. Hint of nutty malts and some leafy hops also present.

Damn good stuff. Much like the nose, but there is a nice hint of anise and char near the finish. Creamy chocolate covered raisins, or perhaps chocolate covered grape bubblicious. Interesting and very tasty.

Good mouthfeel, full body, and nicely balanced. Once again im impressed.

This is pretty drinkable for a big beer. Their are hints at the ABV, but most of them come from the warming effect, which is welcome on the second last day of December. Somewhat restrained compared to other versions of the style, which helps its drinkability, as well as demonstrating the talent of the brewer. This one isnt hiding behind tonnes of molasses or hops. Certainly recommended. Also quite the bargain, relatively speaking.

demcorhip, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of degerbah
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very, very, very dark brown that is completely opaque. About a half inch of tan head. Hefty lacing remains around the edge of the glass as the head dies down. The aroma is slightly of choclate, but it is not a very strong smelling beer.

The taste is much more subdued than I thought it would be. Almost more sour than sweet. I had a Young's double choclate stour earlier this week and the two beers aren't really that close in taste at all. Light tasting for a high abv beer, it tastes similar to a standard bock instead of what I associate with a RIS.

degerbah, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of jera1350
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to krisandajt for this offering.

Black as night with a thick tan head perfectly perched on top. Tons of sticky lace all over the glass.

Very chocolatey nose. Has an oaky presence to it. Smells sweet like molasses and burnt caramel.

Lots of chocolate with a good backing of bitter hops. Sweet molasses and hint of maple syrup with deep toasted chocolate malt. Pretty light on the coffee which is fine with me. Can taste some oaky bourbon barrel in this too.

Creamy smooth mouthfeel, but maybe just a hair thin for the style.

About as drinkable as an RIS can be. This is an all around solid beer. I will have to track down some more of this in the future. Thanks Joe for hooking me up with this one!

jera1350, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of swhite11
2.45/5  rDev -41%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pourd from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

[A] - Poured black with a reddish mahogony hue around the edges. Head pours a tan 1 finger film that receeds very quickly. Lacing is not impressive in the least especially for an Imperial Stout.

[A] - Roasted malt acidity dominates, perhaps notes of oxidation. Slight bready notes with roasted coffee bean notes as well. Chocolate is VERY faint. Alcohol is almost non - existant but faint in the nose.

[T] - Roasted malt acidity and slightly boozy alcohol numb the palate. Chocolate is faintly preceived. Slight coffee notes make an apperance but do not develop into any substantial portion of taste.

[M] - Spritzy carbonation upfront followed by a semi - creamy malt presence. Alcohol and roasted malt acidity dry the finish.

[D + O] - Roasted malt acidity and oxidation are over the top and not pleasing to the palate. These characteristics dominate the beer. Slight over carbonation detracts from the brew as well. Alcohol is not present in the nose but is preceived as hot/slightly solvent in the taste. I can think of at least 10 (Non - Imperial) stouts that I'd rather enjoy off the top of my head. Very over - rated. Very dissappointed. I will not purchase this beer again.

swhite11, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of Pedro07
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Haven't had this one in a couple years, so it's high time for a another run at her!

A- Dark as the other side of the moon, and just as mysterious. Old motor oil comes to mind, industrial blackness. There is no head to save you now. You are at the mercy of Brooklyn...DRINK.

S- Woah, the first thing I smell, has a touch of booze to it. Deep, dark chocolates and roasted coffee notes singe the nose. Other notes waft around...bourbon?! It can't be, there shouldn't be. Dark, dark cerry-esque smells in the back? There is some sort of fruit present, call me crazy.

T- Yup, just as I remember it...dessert in a glass. There is a velvetiness to the chocolate taste that while not masking, actually evens out the dark-bitterness very well! That velvetiness continues on the second sip, and the beer is still quite chilled. I wonder when it warms a bit...eek! Roasted coffee, dark nuts and fruits come to mind with this beast.

M- Umm, if you've been reading you know I'm sensing a "velvety" character in this beer. Mouth-coating and all-encompassing.

D- A sipper by the book. Let this one warm slowly, more characters find their way into it's story and twist the plot so fiendishly. She's 10%...be aware.

Mr. Oliver, well done sir.

Pedro07, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of augustgarage
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Obtained in trade from ShogoKawada (many thanks!). 2009 vintage, 10% ABV. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Lightless seal brown liquid with very faint mahogany highlights around the edges. Dense, creamy, camel layer of foam with tiny equal bubbles receding to a sticky upcurled collar and a few larger bubbles punctuating the surface of carbonated oil slick. Pointilist lacing no real legs...

Chocolate malt, roast malt, cocoa puffs, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, toasted rye bread, and hints of steel-cut oats in the nose.

Light-roast coffee, deeply roasted chocolate malt, black bread, burnt rye whiskey, and an almost steak-like savory char mid-palate. Hints of 20 year old+ dark rum. Dry, roasty finish, well balanced by the hops. Not nearly as sweet, nor as bitter as I imagined. Reminds me more of a fine dry export stout than it does a RIS. Miles away from the overwhelming layers of flavorful potency on display from The Abyss for example, but don't mistake the elegent simplicity for a lack of character.

Immense, chewy, very warming mouthfeel with perfect carbonation.

Big, hearty, brash film-noir of a beer - great work from Brooklyn brewery. Looking forward to seeing how this ages - thanks again ShogoKawada!

augustgarage, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of BruMeister
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An excellent beer in my opinion. This beer is one to be respected due to it's high ABV (10.1%). Not an easy one to follow, so I usually make this one the last of the evening. The hops nicely round out the maltiness of this full bodied Imperial Stout. I have the good fortune to have it available on tap at two of my favorite bars.

BruMeister, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of vacax
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, 2009-2010 release. Pours dark brown with one finger of light brown head. Fair retention and little lacing. Smells of chocolate malts, chocolate cake, dark fruits, grapes, and a touch of heat. Tastes generally sweet chocolate malts with dark fruits and wine grapes. Bittersweet cocoa on the midpalate with loads of bready malts. Finish has more cocoa and some bitter roast. Full bodied with a medium carbonation. Overall drinkability is pretty high, full flavored and good tasting, but not extreme. I could imagine having a couple of these, and buying it a couple times a year if it were available.

vacax, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of dnjmed
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Chocolate brown head stays even to the last drop in your glass. Delicious brown black milkshake smell and taste does not quite hide a hint of nuts and fruits, or the powerful alcohol content, a pleasant bonus. Creamy texture and smooth, full, body. Fantastic winter stout.

dnjmed, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of callmescraps
3.3/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I hear about this one every year from folks back east. Time to try it for myself.

Appearance- Black, obviously. A full inch of cocoa colored head. Lacing nicely.

Smell- Lots of roast. Almost a coffee aspect. Sweet dark chocolate. Almost like burnt coffee.

Taste- Hurm. Starts off with a nice chocolate note. Very nice. Chocolate, a hint of dark fruit. Almost raisin. Finishes with roast bitterness. Then it lingers. And lingers. And lingers. It's just so damn bitter and burnt. Hint of alcohol, while we're at it.

Mouthfeel- On the thin side.

Drinkability- No thanks. That bitterness just won't quit.

Chocolate? Really? More like burnt black coffee. Now, I am not a coffee fan, so that's a pretty big negative in my book. I was hoping the chocolate would balance it out, but it is a dark unsweetened chocolate, and it doesn't even show up much. This is a miss for me.

callmescraps, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of caddybuyer
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Winter 09-10 release.

A-Deep dark motor oil with a thick rocky head with awesome looking lacing.

S-Not a lot of nose on this one. Poured at cellar temperature and I expected a bit more. Roasted chocolate malts, coffee, no alcohol detected.

T-Bittersweet chocolate malts predominate followed by a bit of astringent hop bitterness and alcohol detected more in its numbing effect than in the taste. Pretty good, but feels a bit raw, although to be fair I've been drinking aged RIS all week so it can't compare. I'm guessing this will be pretty special in a year, and I'll put the balance of the 4 pack down and see how it does.

M-Medium mouthfeel with balanced carbonation. Not as full or chewy as I thought it might be.

D-I like this, and the potential is definatel there, but it really needs some age to make it a really great beer.

caddybuyer, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Westvleteren chalice. Dated 09-10. Very dark and rich, not super oily thick like some Russian Imperial Stouts. Tan thin head doesn't last very long, but laces quite nicely.

Aroma isn't strong, but stout-like. A little espresso, bitter, sweet...boozy. Notes of bitter chocolates too.

Very tasty. Roasted malts, dark sugars, lots of chocolate and espresso. Heavy on the roasted characteristics.

Creamy mouthfull and chocolatey. For 10% ABV, very will hidden. Much recommended!

ShadesOfGray, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of henrysunset
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

likely friesh bottle from Ellwood Thompson natural foods in Richmond, VA.

Black as a moonless night is dark, maybe blacker. Can't even see a light through it at all.

scent is light though, astringently alcoholic, slightly nutty,

Oak, malt; leathery, smooth and rich, exceptional balance. firm flavor. not roasted to death but rich and smooth. excellent, really. Chocolate isn't that present, more of an afterthought, but that's okay. (It turns out, that no chocolate is used in the making of this beer.)

Drikability is high for the alcohol and richness. quite pleasent. I am glad to be sharing the 12oz bottle.

henrysunset, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of MissLynx
4.9/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the first review I've posted here - hopefully I'll do it right!

I knew I had to try this beer when I read a rave review of it in the Toronto Star - I'm a big fan of stouts in general, and this one sounded wonderful. But it took some searching to find it. Most of the smaller LCBO stores were either sold out, or didn't have it in the first place, but I finally found it at Summerhill, one of the larger LCBO stores in Toronto, where you can often find things the smaller ones don't have, and bought six bottles.

I'd intended to bring them to a Christmas gathering at a friend's house, but couldn't resist trying one ahead of time, and oh my gods - I think I may have to go back to Summerhill and get more. Like as many as I can carry. Yes, it's THAT good.

It's smoother and sweeter than I'd expected, but still with a rich, complex flavour... There's a smokiness to it like lapsang souchong tea, and I can definitely see why the chocolate reference in the name, even though it doesn't contain chocolate as such - it tastes like the beer equivalent of one of those super-rich 70% cocoa dark chocolate bars. Or maybe the truffle equivalent, because it's got a smooth, almost buttery creaminess to it. There's just a touch of that earthiness you get in things like St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout, but it's just there enough to ground the sweetness.

It is also, as a few other reviewers have commented, scarily drinkable. It doesn't taste like it has nearly as high an alcohol content as it does. If I hadn't noticed the number on the label, I could see myself happily drinking several of these and then wondering why I was suddenly unable to walk.

All in all, this is definitely a top favourite. I'm not sure it could quite unseat my beloved Trois Pistoles or Young's Double Chocolate Stout from being tied for number one, but it's certainly a very close contender. Since it's only here temporarily, I am going to have to try to resist the impulse to visit every large LCBO store and buy up their entire stock of this. Seriously, if you like smooth, sweet stouts, this is the nectar of the gods.

MissLynx, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of BetterDarker
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

09-10 Winter Vintage from 12 oz bottle poured into snifter.

A- Pours motor oil black with a thin tan head. Small bubbles running up the sides of my snifter. Fantastic looking beer.

S- Slightly bitter chocolate aroma, some booziness, but not nearly as much as one would expect from a 10% beer.

T- Great chocolate and burnt sugar flavor with a dark fruit (cherry?) in the finish. As this beer warms up, so do the flavors. WOW, this is fantastic. I can't take credit for the phrase, but this is nipple rubbing good.

M- Unbelievably creamy mouthfeel. Slight carbonation.

D- Dangerous. No other word for it, super smooth, alcohol is well masked, making this an easy drinker all around. Both sad and glad I only bought one 12 ounce bottle, but I will be getting more.

BetterDarker, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of curasowa
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany, almost black color with 1 finger of dark tan/brown head that lingers a while. Smells of roasted malt, slightly medicinal, with notes of cherries and brown sugar. Tastes creamy and smooth, with lots of sweetness and good malt and dark chocolate flavors. It has a nice warming sensation before a lingering finish of dark chocolate. This beer is a real treat!

curasowa, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of mnrider
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. brown bottle. Winter 09-10

A: Pours a darkness not unlike a black hole. The thin head looks like hot chocolate. The light lacing leaves chocolate streaks down the glass.

S: Very malty with chocolate. Smells like the beers label.

T/M: One of the smoothest RIS i've had to date. Malts are amazingly tasty. Chocolate is ample and really makes this beer special. The 10% ABV is hidden very well. However it does become more noticeable as the beer warms. The bitterness is minimal.

D: Excellent brew. Very enjoyable. I will be looking forward to this beer every year. I may even store a few away, to see how it ages.


mnrider, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of ronhocker
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the local option in Chicago.

The appearance was as expected, very used motor oil dark brown. Head stayed around nicely, which is not common for this type of beer in my experience.

The smell of chocolate and malt is very present.

The taste was so very smooth. No bitterness from the dark malts, no astringency, no hop bitterness. It is almost like complex chocolate milk! Usually when a stout gets this smooth, it starts to taste like water. Somehow this one has in your face malt and chocolate flavor, while maintaining a very smooth taste.

Overall this was one of the best RISs I've ever had for my palette, and I've had both Dark Lord and Surly Darkness.

ronhocker, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of goldbot
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the winter 09-10 Black Chocolate Stout, 12 oz. bottle. Purchased 4 bottles, of this beer, as it should improve over the next year or two from what I've heard.

The beer poured a very dark black, almost completely opaque, with a thin, nutty brown head which dissipated rather quickly. The beer exhibited almost no lacing. Aromas of deep roasted malts, not quite burnt, a hint of chocolate and molasses, and maybe some raisin. On the front is the taste of heavy roasted malt, some coffee bitterness, and a hint of caramel or toffee. The finish was really where the dark chocolate flavors stood out compared to the other malt flavors. Not too much hop presence throughout, but a nice full body with decent carbonation. The high alcohol percentage went almost unnoticed until the back end, where it was well balanced by the chocolate notes. This made it a very drinkable beer in my opinion, although the alcohol and heavy body would dissuade me from drinking much more of it in one session.

This was overall a great beer, although there was not as much chocolate flavor as I was expecting. The roasted, almost burnt malt flavors definitely override most of the chocolate.

goldbot, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of Lunch
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz. bottle purchased at The Perfect Pour in Columbia, Maryland (11/09/09) into my Brooklyn snifter at a seemingly appropriate temperature for a RIS. After having a disappointing experience (for the first time ever with this beer) I grabbed a 4pack and it did not disappoint. My old friend was indeed back. (I almost forgot to post this review)

A: An extremely dark brown that is nearly black capped off with a one finger espresso colored frothy head that stayed around for quite some time. Lacing remained for the duration of the beer. A very nice looking beer indeed.

S: After smelling really nothing but chalk while having it earlier on-tap, the roastiness was back. Some dark chocolate was present and some hop bitterness as well. Not as great as I remembered from years past, but still nice.

T: The roastiness hits the palate first along with layers of dark bitter chocolate, creamy milk chocolate, some dark fruits, brown sugar and a roasty dark malt. The chalky taste that dominated it earlier on-tap is completely gone from this from this one.

Ml: A fairly thick beer with a heavy gritty mouthfeel and appropriate carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable for the style, but it can become a little heavy at times.

Overall I am pleased that I revisited this beer again this year and it basically stood up to what I remembered from years past. Not sure what exactly happened with my on-tap sample, but this was back to its old tricks. Recommended.

Lunch, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of Kaiser81
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received via trade from Mora2000.
Also received as an extra from rmaia when he just decided to ship me a beer for no reason other than it being on my Wants List.

I am beginning to fight a cold, so taste/smell scores might be slightly off.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Stone IRS tulip glass (finally get to use it with a stout!)

A - pours a black color with a fingers worth of mocha head. It hangs around nicely for a few minutes. As I drink it, there is some light lacing on the glass, and the head settles to a nice ring that sits atop the beer.

S - Dark chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits - probably plums/prunes stands out the most. There is just a touch of molasses in there as well. Stupid stuffy nose is not letting get as much as I want of this!

T - The dark fruit hits the pallet immediately, but it is followed up very nicely by the roated malts and then the dark chocolate on the finish that really lingers for a bit. Truly a great example of a stout.
As it warms up, the chocolate really comes out as the dominant flavor. It changes from a dark chocolate to just a touch of milk chocolate...a tad bit sweeter and less bitter than when cold.

M - Heavy body with nice and light carbonation.

D - I could easily have another. If they released this in CA, I'd be all over it. It'd pair very well with a chocolate dessert

Kaiser81, Dec 22, 2009
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 5,561 ratings.