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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout - Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

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6,139 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,139
Reviews: 2,730
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.6%
Wants: 352
Gots: 1,170 | FT: 59
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: 6,139 | Reviews: 2,730
Photo of kiddynamite920
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

09-10 Winter Vintage. 12 oz bottle.

Pours jet black with a gorgeous tan head that looks almost as comfortable to sleep in as my queen sized bed. Black. Aromas are rising out of my glass and hitting my nose from feet away. Smell is exceptional. As this beer ages the boozy smell dissipates rather quickly I have noticed. A very deep dark and fruity aroma develops next to the chocolate aroma that is most prevalent. Everyone knows chocolate and fruit pair extraordinarily well, so this one is smelling out of this world. Sweet chocolate pairs up with some plum and sweet cherries. Considering this is my favorite Brooklyn brew, its hard to review it subjectively, especially considering the quality I am reviewing here. Everything about this beer is world class, especially the taste. Huge chocolate and burnt sugar flavor. Good dark fruit character. Super creamy mouthfeel makes this beer even more luxurious. Really a homerun for Brooklyn. Watch yourself with this beer, as it will catch up to you even after one. Quite a big stout, with a flavor and aroma that would make you want more...but beware.

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

Pours jet black with a thin brown head.

Smells of bourbon... a bit sweet as well.

Tastes sweet and of roasted malts. Finishes with a bitter dark chocolate taste that lingers on the palette. Not the overwhelmingly chocolate flavor as I'd presumed based on the name, but it's definitely there.

Has the thick, chewy mouthfeel that you'd expect from an Imperial Stout. A good drink, but I think I'd be hard-pressed to have a second.

Photo of BillyBoysPie
4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle into a snifter.

Pours a spectacular opaque black with not a sign of any hues. It's black. A quarter inch of toasty-tan head that dissipates (with 10%, you can't expect it to just hang around) and leave a significant amount of lacing - nearly coating the glass.

Rich chocolate and malts come through on the nose. Not sweet smelling, but very, very rich. A touch of buttery diacetyl and a tiny bit of spices.

Yum! Chocolate and toasted barley with a touch of caramel sweet and prunes/figs. You can tell there are varieties of malt in this beer, but they're all married together - a touch of butter and toasty malt works with the sweet fruit, and they're both counterbalanced against the bitter chocolate taste. Tasty stuff.

Low carbonation typical of the style, heavy mouthfeel that approaches the sticky, syrupy mouthfeel of super-heavy beers, but stays in a nice heavy dense mouthfeel. I don't feel the alcohol at all - but it's a nice warm beer.

Really, really exceptional beer. Well worth the annual 10.00 or so. One of Brooklyn's finest.

Photo of PangaeaBeerFood
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Went to the Brooklyn Brewery last night specifically to try this highly regarded beer. Unfortunately, the bartender told me they no longer serve Black Chocolate at Happy Hour because, at 10% ABV, it was making the place too roudy too fast. Lucky for me, the second bar I went to down the road, Barcade, had this on tap.

Poured into a 10 ounce wine glass, it looks as expected. Blacker than the blackest black, with a thin mocha colored head. Very syrupy that clings to the glass when swirled and slowly slips down the sides.

The smell is great. Reminds me of a really good Irish Coffee. The dark roasted aromas come through at first with the alcohol really making itself known at the end. Very very rich and decadent scent, which is exactly what I want (because it's goddamn freezing outside tonight). Very inticing.

The taste is not at all what I expected. Fairly low on the bitterness scale and much drier and less sugary than most 10+% ABV beers. It is very smooth and creamy on the palate initially. That being said, because there is less residual sugar and bitterness, the alcohol is VERY present at the finish. You can taste it and feel it warming the inside of your body as you swallow. It is so rich, with flavors of dark espresso and bitter chocolate that are so complex. I'm finding new things with every sip. Great on a cold winter night, but alcohol is way more present than other beers in it's class. As the beer warmed, by the end, the alcohol was a bit overwhelming. Very hot for the last 2 ounces or so. Too hot, they were difficult to finish.

The mouthfeel was great. Very thick with a winely mouthcoating effect and light carbonation, which, like the rest of the beer, gives you the impression that it's even stronger than it is. I love it though, and it is so appropriate for the cold weather.

Drinkability is average, at best. With the dominance of the alcohol in this beer, I could enjoy one 10 ounce glass, but wanted something less intense for my next beer.

Overall, this is a beer that shows INCREDIBLE potential. The flavors are so complex and rich with simultaneously less sweetness and less bitterness than other Imperial Stouts I've had, which gives you time to appreciate every nuance. That being said, the alcohol was just too dominating. Since this is being served at a bar down the block from the brewery in December, chances are this beer is as fresh as fresh could be. A beer this bold needs more time to let the booze integrate and mellow. I'm going to try to find myself a four-pack of this and cellar it. I'll have one every few months and see how the flavors develop. If I had to guess, 6 months down the road this will be fantastic, and by next christmas it will be heavenly, but now it's just too hot.

Photo of lenin2040
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

had this with some milk chocolate with hazelnuts, what a treat!

A: black as darkest africa. thin head
S: intense spicy peat, cocoa, tin foil
T: really not that much chocolate, but deep rich caramel malt sweetness, finishes dry for the style
M: mild carbonation
D: it's a sipper, indeed, per the style

Photo of Cabadrin
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good lord, this is a powerful stout. All of the chocolate appears in the aftertaste. After the intial tasting, it's like eating a dark chocolate bar and having the bitter, thick aftertaste sitting on your tongue.

Pouring from a chilled (45 degree) bottle into a pint glass, there's practically no head and only a thin layer of foam which quickly dissipates. The color is a deep, dark black, with no brown coming through the edges. There's a very slight lacing up the glass, but not much to look at. The taste is great - bitter but full for the first taste, then it fades to a thick chocolate aftertaste for many minutes afterwards. This is definitely something you want to savor during and after a meal, and especially with something that's rich in flavor, like a steak or a thick fall vegetable spread. Highly recommended.

Photo of oceanman
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vertical tasting of 07/08, 08/09, 09/10 (ratings based on year-old bottle)

A: fresh bottle pours near black, older bottles fade to dark chocolate brown. thin off-white head.

S: older vintages have wonderful aromas of smores, hot chocolate, marshmallows. touch of cherry, booze evident in 07/08. fresh bottle is much weaker on nose.

T: obviously, big chocolate taste in all vintages. 07-08 bottle is surprisingly boozy (and perhaps slightly oxidized?). 08-09 seems to be in perfect balance.

M: older vintages are now very soft thick and creamy. fresh bottle has a much more lively carbonation.

The year-old bottle wins out here. Balanced carbonation, richer aromas, and subdued alcohol. No benefit in aging beyond one year.

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

Winter 08-09 batch. Poured into a Unibroue La Fin du Monde tulip

A - opaque black, edges and bottom have a dark ruby brown when held to light, about a finger of dark tan head, already starts to leave big flowing lacing

S - dark chocolate, burnt coffee/espresso mixed with roasted malt, some earthy hops but very muted

T - roasty chocolate malt, some caramel infused coffee flavor, slight oak and whisky taste that dissipates and leaves a subdued hotness on the back of the throat

M - medium to heavy bodied, not syrupy or thick, smooth with good carbonation

D - after just having DF World Wide Stout, this was a let down, probably should have done the tasting the other way around, still a great overall beer though

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

Pours a velvety black with a large creamy head that billowed to the top of the snifter, and elegantly dropped to a substantial film, leaving patchy sheets of lace. Truly a beautiful imperial stout, that ties in well with the wonderful label design, and emphasises the decadence of this beer. The aroma is also a killer, as nice chocolate notes jump out, but don't dominate, and are then joined by a light coffee roast, raisins, figs and alcohol. As with all imperials this becomes stronger as it warms, and asides from the evident alcohol it makes for a tempting drink.

With many chocolate themed beers, the chocolate is poorly done, because its over-emphasised and can often end up tasting like extract, even when its not. Not so with Brooklyn, where the dark chocolate is expertly integrated into a formidable imperial stout profile. Lots of dark roasted coffee, rich stone fruit and raisin mix in with some awesome dark chocolate. Its an incredibly drinkable concoction and the only detracting factor is a slightly apparent alcohol, which dies with age. Even with a year on it this beer is phenomenal, and more is gravy, but fresh is still commendable and a fine imperial stout. This is all aided by a full and slick mouthfeel which amps up the decadence and matches the flavours excellently.

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is seen as a classic, and deservedly so. It has an immense reputation for it cellar potential, it's a darn site cheaper than a lot of other highly regarded imperial stouts, and it drinks like a doozy. Bobsy approved.

Photo of WeedKing4
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours a dark black with two fingers caramel brown foam lacing the glass. Smell is of dark malts and chocolate. Taste is of somewhat thick dark malty chocolate with a little bite to it. The plus 10% abv is well hidden and makes this very drinkable. A decent stout overall and i'm glad I got to try this one. Or a case and a half's worth.

Photo of earthboundagain
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 batch of BCS. Poured into a snifter and tasted after 15 mins at room temp.

A- Well they got the black part right in the name. Decent head with some thin lacing.

S- Ok I get dark chocolate, dark fruits, espresso bean candy, and alcohol.

T- Ok we got some dark chocolate but not over sweet. Roasted malt is big with some dark fruit hiding in the background. Some coffee bitterness to balance the job, with a splash of good ole alcohol.

M- This beer is slick on the tongue, but very smooth. Carbonation is there, making this one easy to pour down your throat.

D- This one is easier to drink then most beers in its style. But do not be confused the alcohol is there and will creep up on you.

N- This is not as big and bold as some Imp stouts but it is an easier brew to have more then two at a time. This is no sipper but be careful or you may get smacked down. I will age this beer and see what a year does to it. 

Photo of ludachris
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to Snifter. Served at cellar temp.

Pours a completely opaque jet black with a 1 finger khaki coloured head that leaves thin, spider leg-like lace across the glass.

Big dark chocolate, dark fruits, dry espresso, black licorice, and alcohol dominate the nose with a few loaves of bread stuffed in between. The nose makes me want to eat this stuff rather than drink it.

Smooth and rich dark chocolate, roasted malts, very light dark fruits, all capped off by a dry and bitter espresso like finish and a noticeable but not offending warming alcohol presence, which both work together to compliment the sweet chocolate notes.

Slick, smooth, and coats the mouth. Excellent level of carbonation. Not as intense as other RIS's I've had, making this a nice drinker.

Overall, an excellent beer from Brooklyn, and the best RIS (based on the few that I've had) I've had yet. I can see why this style of beer takes a such a prominent seat in the ratings on this site.

Photo of Augustiner719
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel glass

Appearance; Aggressive pour yielded a 3 finger head that was very cloudlike and filled with lots of tiny bubbles. Great head retendion and medium lace down the glass. Pitch black color, no visibility through the brew. the head is a dark mocha/cappacino color.

Smell: Smells like rich dark melted chocolate, bittersweet. Has an aroma of burnt espresso with a few roasted almonds in the background.

Taste: Tastes rich and vibrant. A little bit of upfront acidity followed by a huge dose of dark bitter chocolate with some roasted coffee beans. On the backend it gets a little bit bitter but is saved with the good malt character.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin on the palate. Doesnt leave a huge aftertaste to me. A little bit too carbonated than I would like in a RIS. Nonetheless a good mouthfeel, just not what I expected.

Drinkability: Despite the ABV, its easy to drink. Very strong upfront flavors limit this from being a quick drink. It would be a lot better at a closer to room temp but overall its a solid brew.

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

Ah, Brooklyn BCS. If memory serves me correctly, Gordon Ramsay famously spat this beer out when he tried it on TV, proving that we needn't take cues on matters of taste (or etiquette) from him. Or was his disgust justified? We shall see..

It is indeed black, one of those rare beers that really lets no light through at all and has an oily malted-milk brown head. It also does smell of chocolate, but it primarily smells of sherry, vanilla, and stewed prunes. The alcohol is quite hot. The flavor is lush and chocolatey with harmonies of espresso and raisins and a spike of hot, spicy, spirited alcohol. I do think the alcohol is much more pronounced than it needs to be, especially in the aftertaste, where it numbs the tongue with a vaporous medicinal quality. However, I am impressed with the level of chocolate flavor here without using any chocolate malts; it does taste quite a bit like cocoa.

Thick, rich, hot, and heavy, this imperial stout makes an impact even to a jaded geek like me. That said, it isn't a personal favorite in the style, but even so, Ramsay was a complete idiot to spit it out.

Photo of tr4nc3d
3.24/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12fl oz bottle poured into my snifter

Pours an opaque black with no light shinning through this beer. 1 inch mocha colored head that fades quickly only leaving a slight ring around the edges of the beer. Very slight lacing left behind on the sides of my glass.

Smell consist that of dark malts, very sweet syrup like smell, dark brown sugar, roasted malts, and a prominent alcohol heat.

I get a sweet dark chocolate like taste upfront with a medium roasted coffee bitterness following it from behind to even out the sweetness, slight cola like taste finishes it up.

Full bodied and slightly cloyingly sweet dry finish that lingers in your mouth way after you have taken your sip.

A little to sweet for my liking.


Photo of kbutler1
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle. Dark black color with nice tan head. Aroma of sweet, dark roasted malts and chocolate. Wow, this tastes amazing! Very smooth for a 10.6% abv RIS. Very smooth beginning followed by a slight biterness of coffee and dark chocolate. Excellent mouthfeel. This is one very smooth RIS, perhaps not as complex as others but a great drinker.

Photo of Gtreid
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into my CCB tulip.

A: Almost black, just a small reddish hue lingers at the side of the glass. The pour produced a Nickel size cream color head that retained nicely and left spotty lace.

A: Very nice bitter sweet chocolate and toasty coffee. But the chocolate is where this one's at. Good earthiness from the hops. The only knock I can give this here is the lack of complexity.

T: great chocolate flavor with a nutty malt background. As the brew warms to room temp some dried fruit is coming through. It finishes dry from the hops.

M: Medium to Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Not too bad but I wish it was just a touch thicker.

D and overall impression: Very good marks on drinkability here. The chocolaty flavor is spot on. Overall this is a pretty darn good beer. I will definately pick this up again. Skal.

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle identifying it as '09 -'10 winter release, into a stemless wine glass. Poured black as nite almost like old used motor oil with very little carbonation. Pretty thick head that is disappears rather quickly. Scent of roasted chocolate, and malts, slightly burnt smell. The tasty mix of dark and sweet chocolates, roasted coffee flavors. Mouthfeel is pretty heavy. It is very drinkable, alcohol is warming.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09-10 bottling - Massive ripe fruit notes coming out on the nose and taste, head dies quickly. Way fruitier than I remember, chocolate, light cocoa powder dryness, pleasant warming in the finish. Way different than last year's batch as I reviewed it.... have to do them side by side.

08-09 bottling - Pours a jet black with a finger of dark coffee head (perhaps the darkest I have seen). Leaves light lacing down the side.

Smell is a little on the light side for a RIS. Some nice chocolate, light coffee, some malts, a little bit of alcohol - some soy sauce as it warms... can that be right? Going to have to revisit that in another bottle.

Taste is much more like it. Big dark chocolate notes meld with espresso, bitter malts in the back. Some serious alcohol heat in the back as well. Medium body, enough hops in there to leave a dry mouthfeel.

This is a sexy beer. If the alcohol wasn't so high this could easily be a beer I'd drink two or three or ten of...

Photo of tanousa
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Beautiful deep black with an delightful tan head.

S- Delicious chocolate, hints of coffe , licorice and strong alcohol.
T- Chocolate , roasted malts and hints of expresso.

M- smooth , nice carbonation.

D- Potent stout @ 10% alcohol content, a beer to drink slowly, great for desserts, a whole different experience enjoying this stout.

Photo of bonsreeb85
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vinatage. Thanks to ironbike1 for offering up this brew in a recent trade.

Black as night, completely opaque. Looks thick and sticky with a beautiful brown head.

Alot going on in the nose. Tons of semi-sweet chocolate morsels, black licorice, bread pudding, roasted and choc. malt, alcohol and hints of coffee.

Remarkably sweet at first which then turns to a dry cofee-like bitter close . The booze sticks its nose out just a bit adding a little warmth.

The feel is that of a full bodied brew and has a bit of chewy thing going on.

One of the better RIS i've had although I am still getting my feet wet with this style. I am curious what this tastes like fresh.

Photo of dpodratsky3
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Essentially black, nice creamy light brown head, looks like a good stout, but pretty normal

S: Lots of big roasted malt and a dose of molasses, hops aren't left out lending a nice spicy warmness

T: Big bittersweet chocolate flavor, roasted malt notes, not real sweet like I expected though, mostly roasted malt with the addition of hops adding a flavor enhancement and some more bitterness, especially in the finish, definitely very spicy

M: Thinner than some dark stouts, more porter like almost

D: Not to high, sipping beer, not super creamy like I would have liked

Notes: A good stout. Not syrupy sweet like I thought it would be. It has more bittersweet chocolate notes than sweet notes. Definitely interesting and definitely worth trying if you like stouts.

Photo of happygnome
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: pours a jet black color with about a good inch of head that doesnt disappear quickly at all. there is stick lacing left on the side of the glass as the level of beer drops
s: sweet chocolate malts accompanied by hints of roasted malts
t: sweet chocolate roated malts very nice
m: full bodied beer with some chewiness factor

overall a wonderful beer i wish i could get around here

Photo of chickenm
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Winter 08-09 bottling poured into a pint glass. Dark black color with a very thin tan head. Aromas of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and dark fruits. Taste is more dark chocolate and coffee flavors. The alcohol in this is way too noticable. Not a bad beer but there are better Imperial Stouts out there. I'd like this more if it hid the alcohol a bit better.

Photo of dmits
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been waiting awhile to make a first review:

Poured into an oversized wine glass (winter 09-10 bottling)

A: dark brown with 1/4 inch coffee coloured head which stuck to side of glass and only dissapeared about halfway through drinking so far great

S: chocolate, coffee and burnt nuts, I love the smell of Russian Imperials and this one is no exception

T: strong coffee taste with a rich chocolate aftertaste, no over sweetness in begginning, nor any substantial bitterness in the end

M: a bit to bubbly for my mouth, I prefer more flat versions of this stout

D: at 10% alc, it is definately noticeable, but served at around room temp its very drinkable, at the usual half hour per bottle pace I consume a R.I.S.. However i've found dogfish head's world wide stout at a higher abv much more drinkable, albeit harder to come by as a canuck. I'll let a few of these sit for a while in the cellar

overall, decent i've drank better versions of this style (my favorite style), if your in Ontario, this beer is a steal at $2.50 for a 355ml, a fraction of the cost you will have to pay for most R.I.S. once you include the trip across the border, thank you whoever was responsible for this beer's arrival on LCBO shelves. I bought twelve and will be stocking up a few more for sure!

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 6,139 ratings.