Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout - Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

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5,886 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,886
Reviews: 2,675
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 326
Gots: 1,008 | 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: 5,886 | Reviews: 2,675 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of katan
3.23/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz into a goblet - the 2009 version (10.0%)

A - Very dark, opaque. Just maybe, in the right light, some amber highlights. Head formation is more of a quick film than a foam, sitting there with a few bubbles. Certainly has the viscous look of a stout.

S - Malts are the most dominant characteristic. A two-row dominated beer, but I can detect some caramel and chocolate malt notes. Roasted barley, of stout fame, is very light, hardly perceptible.

T - Starts off with a malt sweetness, but it is immediately overcome by a hopping - unknown which kind, and a very biting alcohol hit. Viscous - biting - grabbing. Amazing amount of phenolic tones throughout this beer. Stouts should be very capable of hiding alcohol - this beer is not. The roasted barley comes through after that, with some almost acidic, cold coffee press type flavors. Aftertaste is the real bittersweet chocolate I was hoping for, slowly dissipating on the taste buds.

M - Moderate body - not off the charts either way for a RIS. Certain seems more driven by carbonation than by a developed beer body. Leaves behind a very oily, clinging film that only reenforces the flavors - which in this case was not good.

D - Nothing drinkable here. The near acidic old coffee flavors combined with the whammy of alcohol in both flavor and consumption make this nothing near a session beer, let along a 2 beer evening from a four pack.

I am going to age my other 3 from the 4 pack to see if 2009 settles down. In this state, I wouldn't want to drink another again. Very disappointing considering it comes from someone I admire so much, Garrett Oliver.

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

Motor oil black with a very small head, tiny tan bubbles around the edge of the glass. Smells fruity boozy malty chocolatey and sweet. Great hop presence, great mouthfeel I am putting the last two of this four pack in the cellar to age. Drinkability I have to give a 4 because I wanted a second but fear what would happen if I drank all four.

Great job by Brooklyn Brewery, I really enjoy their brown but have not had this before. Now just waiting for Monster to come out. Perhaps a trip to the brewery is due....

Photo of natelocc787
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer didn't live up to they hype IMO. Appearance was common RIS with a slight gold dust effect in the head. Nose was was chocolate, booze and roasted barley. The taste was nice and trying to be complex but not too much to this stout overall. Chocolaty, somewhat bitter, medium hop presence for the style, some alcohol in the finish. Tasted like it could really benefit from a year or two in the cellar. Needs time to mellow, too fresh maybe. Considering it's only .6 points away from the Rasputin's average score-I don't agree. Not near as well crafted.

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

09/10 release.

Poured into a snifter.

Smoothly pours out like a typical stout and releases a thin tan head that lingers for a few seconds. A total dark and opaque color in the glass with small amounts of rising and bubbling streams around. Nice spotty lacing throughout also. Aroma is beautifully roasted and full of sweet chocolate, malts, a bit of alcohol and surprisingly coated with cinnamon. Cinnabon in a glass essentially - really appealing on the nose to the point of intoxication. Such a beautiful fragrance resonating from the glass.

Taste is moderately roasted - not as potent as other RIS's I've had in the past. Begins with a nice malty presence then enters a cocoa and chocolate element and finally finishes on a slight bittersweet chocolate astringency and warmth from the 10% ABV, which was masked incredibly well. Not a whole lot of big appeal on the flavor component, but it's textbook RIS in terms of the actual flavors.

The mouthfeel is smooth, yet light-bodied with mild carbonation. A bit lacking in the overall feel for an RIS, but other than that it's easy drinking. Drinkability is fair - not as tasty and flavorful as I was hoping. Not really worthy to drink all four in a night's session, but probably best to set some off to add some age. Not bad, but not incredible.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like a RIS should. Dark brown to black with a slight cinnamon colored head. Moderate lacing.

The smell is definitively dark chocolate and roasted malt, but is subdued and not as strong as most RIS.

The chocolate is center stage in the taste, but not overdone. There's a light bitterness and roasted malt in the middle. The aftertaste is a bit sour, which is a little odd in a stout. I did notice that as this warms that sourness is replaced with much more bitterness and a coffee aftertaste.

Creamy, thick, and mild carbonation.

Drinkability is above average for such a high abv. Alcohol is barely detectable.

Photo of prattmeister14
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer on my 21st and thought it was the best beer I had ever had or will ever have...since then I've beefed up my beer resume and realized that while it's pretty good, its not the best.

That being said its s pretty good RIS. Its thick and complex a little chocolaty in the smell, but not overpowering in the taste. It has the little extra kick that a RIS should have over other stouts. It's a little more complex it has a little more of the undefinable substance that is needed in a RIS. The alcohol flavor is there (its 10% for crying out loud!)

One beer was plenty and the drinkibility suffers from the high ABV (but then again its a RIS, what did I expect).

Overall: Good to try, nice product, but with so many other RIS's out there, why stop here. Especially since I live 20 minutes from Portsmouth, the home of "Kate the Great"

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

I'm initially concerned that it's almost finished pouring without forming a head, when, toward the end, I get a beautiful cascade effect forming a near-perfect one finger head. This just off-white head never fades to less than half a finger and leaves a patchy sheet of lacing over a black brew that lets in almost no light.
The aroma is first like sniffing cocoa powder out of the can, then some roasted coffee notes come through with some dark fruits underneath.
The chocolate lingers all the way through the sip underneath a dominant malt flavor involving a combination of various malts in near-perfect sync. A hops presence is noted that adds balance without taking away from the chocolate, and the dark fruits sit just beneath it all. Alcohol is evident the entire way, sometimes overcoming the flavors in the sip and especially toward the end.
Some may consider the feel a little thin for the style, and it may be; it is, however, thick and rich and well-complimented by a little bit of a crisp feel.

Photo of BierFan
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. ABV of 10.0%. "Limited Bottling - Winter 09-10"

Appearance: Brown head on a black body. Good retention considering the abv.

Smell: Molasses and licorice.

Taste: Very roasty. Bit of licorice. Has a nice amount of bitterness throughout. Dark bitter chocolate aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Too thin, in my opinion.

Photo of caresville
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours jet black with a nice little ice cream cone colored head that fades slowly with time. smells of raisins, prunes and other dried fruits. heavy on alcohol from the nose also. tastes like bitter black coffee, dark malts, obviously chocolate, and roasty. as it goes down you dont taste the alcohol per se, but it does tingle the gums and throat a little and that bitter black coffee transforms into a smooth mocha taste. overall a very complex and delicious brew.

Photo of pwoods
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. brown bottle poured into a snifter. Notes.

A: Pitch black, viscous, opaque. Short head on the pour with good retention and decent lacing.

S: Nice hop aroma through all the deep burnt malts. Lots of bitter chocolate with a bit of coffee in the back.

T/M: Strong alcohol on top. Loads of bitterness. chocolate stillholds it's own through all of this. Some sweet malts as well. Body is about full and the carbonation is on the lower side.

D: Very drinkable RIS and ages quite nicely.

Photo of soupyman10
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

Photo of abar22
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Short on-tap review on the BlackBerry

A - What would you would expect from an RIS; black body, frothy tan head, and solid lacing.

S - Very fragrant. Chocolate and hops are dominant.

T - Malty at first then a burst of hops. Roasted malts and chocolate in the semi dry finish.

M - Mild carbonation. A bit thin...

D - Falls in line with other RISs. Slightly thinner body may help out the drinkability.

Photo of KrisPaulk77
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

09-10 Bottling
The beer poured a pitch black, with a medium amount of tan head. Some lacing noted.
The aroma is bitter chocolate and cocoa notes, roasted malt, and an alcohol heat.
Taste is bitter roast and boozy heat, with some chocolate mingled in, and a malt sweetness finished with more of the same boozy warmth. The mouthfeel is full and creamy.
The drinkability suffers on BCS due to the hot alcohol. I'm going to sit on the rest of this 4 pack and try it throughout the year.

Photo of philipquarles
3.08/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle from '09. Pours opaque black with a medium beige head. Some lacing. Smells of sweet chocolaty malts and a bit of molasses. Slightly boozy. Sweet malt again in the taste, with a pleasant dark roasted character. A bit of chocolate and brown sugar. Sweet throughout, with some fairly strong hop bitterness at the finish. A bit of alcohol and a definite warming sensation. Medium-full body with fairly strong carbonation. This one seems a bit disjointed overall; it hits you over the head with a lot of varied, strong flavors that I wish melded better. Seems like it might be a good candidate for aging.

Photo of mbudner
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

'09-'10 release. Poured from bottle into a stemless red wine glass.

A- Very little head, which dissipated almost immediately. Deep black, completely opaque with a tan head.

S- The aroma is dominated by a deep, roasted, bitter chocolate. I'm definitely picking up some of the heat of the booziness in my nostrils, but nothing alarming or unnatural from an RIS. As it warms, I'm getting a sweeter smell, which I still associate with the chocolate.

T- The very first taste I notice is bitter and/or burnt flavor. The booze is much hotter than I remember from previous years or than the aroma would have you believe. The malts taste of roasted bitterness and the chocolate character becomes much more apparent the brew warms and the alcohol becomes less apparent.

M- I must begin by admitting that I have trouble not getting hung up on the mouthfeel of an RIS. I love the attribute often described as being "chewy" and this stout does not fit the bill. This beer a little thin for my preference for an RIS and slightly too "prickly" or effervescent in its carbonation. Just having a little trouble getting past the lack of body.

D- Not very high, unfortunately. Bear in mind that this is in large part due to the how new the beer is. I have had it several months old in years past and have not found the "hotness" to be as big of an issue with a few months under the belt of this beer.

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

A: What's that cold and alone feeling? Oh yeah that just happened, this beer just ate a piece of your soul.

S: You may feel slightly comforted by the chocolate aroma, but the smokey roasted grain notes behind that serve as an instant reminder that you are going to hell now.

T: Does this thought make you drowsy? Maybe a little overwhelmed by the notion of eternal damnation? Well try and not cry in your stout. You have already lost your soul. The least you could do would be to enjoy the burnt cocoa nibs and coffee flavors. Don't worry, the unholy bitterness will not mislead you into thinking that there is some escape from your fate.

M: Speechless, I see. A brew this smooth is not allowed in heaven. No no, but there is plenty of this where you are going.

D: Not that you will be able to imbibe too much of this, as I see the roughly 11% ABV is catching up with you. This is a doozy of a brew. Take your time. After all, that is all you have left.

Photo of hosehead83
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle('08-'09 brewing, I have cellared this bottle for about a year) into a standard pint glass
Pitch-black pour, purple around the edges, with a half-inch, oatmeal-like head of foam
Aroma- Espresso, dark chocolate liquor
Taste-Black coffee and baker's chocolate-bone dry finish-smoothe for the strength, with sherry notes upon warming, and definite warming alchohol in the finish.
An excellent, complex brew.

Photo of projectflam86
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep black color with a rocky russet colored head that leaves lots of lace.

S- Deep dark malt and chocolate aromas dominate the nose. Alcohol is also fairly prominent.

T- Full roasted flavor with tons of dark chocolate and cocoa nibs. A bit of burnt malt and molasses with some black licorice and roasted coffee beans. A slight sting of alcohol in the finish.

M- Full bodied with ok carbonation. A bit hot from the alcohol.

D- Easily one of my favorite Brooklyn beers so far. The alcohol was a bit strong but I know that this is a very fresh batch. I expect the alcohol to die down a bit with some age.

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

Just picked up my '09-'10 (ony 3/4 of a 4-pack left at the store) and am reviewing my '08-'09.

Some beers just change with age, BBCS is better in pretty much every respect with one year on it. The sweetness, bitterness, alcohol, and roastyness are just about in perfect balance.

Judging by the change from a year ago, I don't think this is one of those RISs good for 10 years. I'm guessing it will still be damn good for another year or so, and then it will start going down hill.

There is a slight possibility that the dark fruits I am picking up that were totally not there a year ago will get a lot stronger. If that turns out to be the case, then in 2 more years we could have something magical on our hands - I kind of doubt it, though.

All-in-all, I will be picking up some of this every year from now on. It's great, but not ground breaking.

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

Pours titanically black, with a dark, three finger foam head. Wow. Really nice looking.

Smells ... like chocolate! Also a bit of roasted malt, and a whiff of alcohol.

Taste is predominantly ... chocolate! Surprisingly, it's more of an acrid, bittersweet chocolate than a milk/sweet chocolate. The roasted malt also comes in to balance the sweetness with a nice bitter backing. Touch of alcohol and ... fruit? ... with alcohol in the backing.

Quite drinkable, decently thick and nicely creamy.

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

Pours pitch black with two finger light brown head, leaves a thin ring and a sheet of lace. Smell: lots of dark and bitter chocolate over a little roastiness, light notes of prune and booze. Taste: bitter, dark chocolate, roasted and more roasted, overripe dark fruit, finishes with a touch of spicy hops and drying bitter chocolate + roasty coffee. A nice ris with heavy emphasis on the chocolate, and still at a decent price.

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

I got this in two seperate trades. I got a couple 4 packs of the 09-10 from BA chcfan, thanks Chris! I also got a single 08-09 bottle from BA Beerlando, thanks Bryan!

09-10 version poured into a tulip.

Pours a deep black color, completely absorbing all light cast into it. Thick brown sugar colored head is produced after an aggressive pour. Initially, I poured this one carfully and I didn't get any head, so I tried again a little less careful. Great retention and excellent lacing, covering the entire glass.

The nose on this one is excellent. Roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate (and yes I know it's not brewed with real chocolate), dark fruits, and even a bit of roasted coffee beans. Excellent smelling RIS.

Taste is similar to the nose. I get a nice roasted barley character - although it's much more mellow in the taste, I also get the bitter bakers chocolate and roasted coffee. The dried dark fruits come out a little bit more in the taste, which surprised me, but I find it very tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, with a very smooth and creamy finish. Excellent stuff. Drinkability is amazing. The 10% is hidden expertly. I could drink this all night.

Overall, a very solid RIS. Excellent drinkability and a boat load of flavor and substance. So glad I traded for more than a 4 pack of this. Thanks Bryan and Chris!

Photo of unclejimbay
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Brooklyn Brewery
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.60 %

reviewed ~7/2009 during BCBCS homebrew day w/ JH

Appearance is dark black, pours like motor oil, tan head as expected with good lace & retention. Smells of dark cocoa, coffee and fruits. Taste as it smells with warming complexities. Mouthfeel is low-medium carbonation with a full as it gets body.

I had to score a 4.0 on drinkability as it's tough to have more than one of these with the full body and high abv. It's a sipper for sure, but I enjoy every sip. Take it slow... savor... it's only here once a year....

Photo of GregSVT
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from the 09-10 release poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark black with no light shining through and a small dark tan head that fades to a small ring and leaves no real lacing. Typical of most RIS

S: Aromas of Chocolate and dark roasted/burnt malt, maybe a tiny bit of hops or it could be the bitterness from the burnt malt.

T: Taste is amazing. A deep dark chocolate taste envelopes your tounge as a sweet dark ripe fruit flavor takes over and a slight bitterness on the finish.

M: One of the best I've had from a RIS. Thick and syrupy yet carbonated very well for a drying finish.

D: I would have this again and again if it wasn't 10% but I could see it getting old after 1 or 2 bottles.

A must try if you can find it. This is the first year it's been released in TX and I plan to cellar the rest I have and try them after year or 2.

Photo of whoneeds8
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out into a New Belgium Chalice dark black with a thin tan head. Minimal lacing. I'd like seeing a bigger head out of this. I'm going to have to skip the smell because it's allergy season, but what I can smell is a hint of alcohol. That alcohol is very apparent in the mouthfeel. The taste of roasted cocoa comes out in the flavor rather quickly. It's very smooth if you can get over the alcohol burn on the tounge, which I don't mind. No strong spices are evident. Not too dry of a mouthfeel either.

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 5,886 ratings.