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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

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5,565 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,565
Reviews: 2,642
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 307
Gots: 876 | 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: 5,565 | Reviews: 2,642 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nickg902
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

'05='06 bottling

A: Pours thick, black and creamy with a thick, dark cocoa brown head

S: The smell is of dark chocolate, roasted malts with a hint of mocha and coffee

T: Here is where this wins me over. Amazing dark chocolate flavor that is not too sweet. Hints of mocha and roasted malts comes through and balances this perfectly. Bitter dark chocolate aftertaste persists.

M: Smooth and creamy, perfect feel

D: Very tasty and not too sweet, definitely enjoyed as a desert beer watching the game.

This stout quickly moved towards the top of my list of stouts. I would definitely reccommend this beer, even to the uneducated. Next time I plan on buying a few and aging for a couple of months; I feel it can only get better with time

nickg902, May 07, 2006
Photo of dreadnatty08
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

05-06 bottle
Pours a thick, totally pitch black with dirty brown foam on top, sticks around for a while. Aromas of dark fruits, alcohol, a tad bit of coffee and chocolate, but mostly roasted matliness. Flavors are dominated by a smooth and yet slightly bitterness from the chocolate malts. Chocolate flavor is subtle, but the finish is super fresh cream creamy, mmmm, lingers a while. Alcohol finishes the twang of this delectable brew, just at the end. I had one of these back in December when it was fresh, and this one has already seen some mellowing in the 5 months. One of my favorite RISs, and I was fortunate to have a friend drive a 6er of this from NY as it's not available in these parts. I will hope to save one for next year to try, but that is very unlikely.

dreadnatty08, May 05, 2006
Photo of garymuchow
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sample courtesy of SS '05. Many thanks to beergeek279 and cupbeerman for all the fine bottles.

Version '05-'06
Aroma is rich and malty sweet with dark fruit and a vinous quality. Very nice intensity. Nice roast character.
Pours fairly heavy and thick. Thin but very dense head that is dark. Black and no light shines through. Heavy lacing.
Boy is the flavor nice on this. Heavy roast without excessive dryness. Again with nice dark fruit and a vinous quality (which seems curious with minimal aging). Moderate bitterness that is pleasant tasting and precedes an equally tasty dryness.
Just short of very heavy. Very nicely carbonated. Fine bubbles and not too many. Very warm in stomach.
This one hit the spot. It's been a while since I've drank a top 100 beer. To think how low on the list this one sits and to know how good it is is mind boggling in how many exceptional beers there are.

garymuchow, Apr 30, 2006
Photo of tfinn
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003-2004 bottling. consumed April 2006.

high viscosity pour with low carbonation and only a few clinging bubbles. opaque. if I had to give color, it would be deep chocolate (high cocoa solids) brown, bordering on black.

very strong chocolate scent, with ethanol hits, and a motor-oil / truck exhaust element that reminds me of baltika. plum without the sweetness. and a bit of stinky high-fat cheese, or kelp. other than the chocolate, it's all somewhat muted though; probably the age. I was expecting more oxidation. there is some there, but it's well integrated(?) with the rest of the flavors

taste is the smoothest high-grade milk chocolate. never cloyingly sweet. it hits the tongue and hazes out the mind, revealing fuzzy outlines of chocolate and roasted malt, although the roastiness stays beneath the sweetness, and some bittering hops of unknown variety keep it in check. more chocolate than coffee, although as it warms a mocha comes out. esters? blackcurrant. buried beneath the chocolate, of course.

mouthfeel like silk. there's a consistent juicy malt thread that pulls everything to it and while the sensations of roasty astringency and bittering meander around the tongue, it comes back down to that dark malt which fades. incredible, really. like a narrator weaving a story in your palate.

drinkability? and how! it goes down almost a little too easy, and I'm actually starting to feel _full_ in my tummy from this, like a rich dessert. I also have a bottle of the 2004-2005, but based on how this one has held up, I think I'll save it for around this time next year. for the style I think the balance is just about perfect, as the youthful astringent and hoppy bite has peeled back revealing the deep dark brown chocolately soul of this brew. I will seek this out in the future.

a toast to Ben (dv8) who left me this sample. as good as this is, I bet Valhalla's is better.

tfinn, Apr 30, 2006
Photo of danielharper
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade with fdrich29. (Thanks, Frank!)

Bottled Winter 04-05. (Beer consumed 4/24/06. Verbatim notes follow.)

A: Dark black body, thick and viscous fmoamy head dissipated to thin film.

S: Strongly malty aroma, notes of dry chocolate.

T: Strong dry malt flavor, slight astringency in aftertaste. Licorice, slight semi-sweet chocolate, hints of chocolate-covered cherries.

M: Thick, grainy mouthfeel. Foams nicely.

D: Scarily drinkable beer, wish I could get more.

danielharper, Apr 25, 2006
Photo of HimerMan
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle; 03/04 Batch (Cellar aged for 2-years)

Perhaps the first beer that truly attracted me to Russian imperial stouts. I remember searching for this beer for a very long time, even calling various distributors - eventually one came through and I bought 3 cases. Well worth it.

Pours extreme black with a magnificent head that is sticky with a burnt chocolate and very mild coffee aroma. Alcohol present, especially towards the end of the bottle - however, in the aged ones almost non-existent. After I aged them, the alcohol is more mellow with a sweeter finish.

Mouthfeel is excellent - though, a lingering carob flavor seems to come out the longer you sip the beer. I prefer this at colder temperatures; the beer loses a bit of its black chocolate edge at warmer temperatures, in my opinion.

Highly suggest trying this beer, well worth the find - and truly a unique brew...brewed by a world renowned brewmaster.

Enjoy this one!

HimerMan, Apr 25, 2006
Photo of hoppymeal
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rapid pour reveals a reddish tan head that rapidly fades back into the opaque black beer. Fairly complex aromas going on here. At first I get some tart tart apple then the chocolate comes thru in the background. As it warms the smell is almost like an old ale or english barley wine as I get some sweet raisiny and alcohol scents, but there is some roastiness there too that reminds me this is a stout. Tastes are heavily roasted with a little milk tanginess and more chocolate but in the background like it was in the smell. It is soft and smooth on the palate and not too thick. Overall a complex aroma and very drinkable beer.

hoppymeal, Apr 19, 2006
Photo of GreenWBush
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drops into my chalice a glowing black/ruby with a spectacular 3" cascade head-reduction. Lace peninsulas fog the chalice.

Intensely chocolately on the nose, with roast and anise. Cocoa and raisins. Reminds me vaguely of Samuel Smith's interpretation; rather English. Not quite Le Coq's Imperial in girth, though. Finish is raisins and vanilla.

Taste is strong acrid coffee roast with chocolate roundedness. The bitterness and twang of the roast is matched and balanced well by a big maltiness and a nice Eng-hop bite. Has a vague smokiness.

Sits amazingly on the tongue - a choco-lovers dream. Moderate to above-average drinkable.

GreenWBush, Apr 18, 2006
Photo of Derek
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark black with a tan head. Not much retention (not enough for a stout), but it leaves a great lace!

S: Alcohol is really up front, with some underlying chocolate and fruity esters.

T: Dark, bitter chocolate and dark roasted espresso. The alcohol is quite assertive as well.

M: Moderate body is a little chalky. Carbonation is on the light side of moderate.

D: This one's a sipper.

Derek, Apr 15, 2006
Photo of Prufrock
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner.

pitch black, even against a bright light, with half an inch of brown head.

sweet syrupy raisins and dates, some chocolate, and a hint of soy sauce in the aroma.

tons of chocolate in the taste. sweet sugary chocolate, then a bitter, burnt, slightly alcoholic finish with a hint of vinous dark fruits. thick, rich body. great except for the hints of soy sauce, which always put me off.

Prufrock, Apr 09, 2006
Photo of PeatReek
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice dark black, very little head to speak of (might be over-chilled), but a lace of deep brown foam. Aroma is oaky and winey. Taste is a deep dark cacao/espresso flavor. Yum! A bit winey, aged fruit flavor. Very complex and delicious. Only problem with this beer is that it's discernably strong enough that I could probably only have one at a time.

PeatReek, Apr 01, 2006
Photo of Chadbrew
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a couple years old but I must say I think it held up rather nicely. There was definitely some oxidation present but mostly just in the nose and the flavor was good enough to make the oxidation seem unnoticeable in terms of taste. It was nice and chocolaty, with plenty of roast and sweetness. No one attribute was overwhelming although the chocolate was prevailing. Amazingly well balanced. There was a number of things going on here but I think it was kept simple enough to not be over the top "throw everything in the pot" RIS, thanks... I'm sick of them.
Good 12 oz package which is just enough to enjoy without wasting or getting wasted.

Chadbrew, Apr 01, 2006
Photo of PatYoda
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a bit of foam around the edge of the glass. Leaves a few bubbles of lacing as I drink.

The smell is superb - deep rich chocolate and ripe dark fruit intermingle with sugary molasses and caramel. Vanilla too. Not much detectable alcohol here, unlike in the taste.

The taste doesn't bring quite as much to the table as the smell. The rich chocolate is somewhat subdued here compared to the smell, but it's still there. Same story for the wonderful fruit found in the aroma. Also the alcohol is a bit strong in this bottle. I've found some slight bottle to bottle variability among the same six pack, with this bottle being about in the middle in terms of quality, so this is what I'll go by. The taste adds a mild roasted quality which rounds things out nicely. A minute amount of hop bitterness is detected in the finish, plenty enough along with the roasted character to make sure this doesn't turn into a sugar bomb.

The mouthfeel is thin for the style, not quite as mouth coating as I would prefer. Overall I liked it, but would take Rogue Chocoate Stout over this any day.

PatYoda, Mar 31, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

[received in trade from jabocu]

Winter '05/'06 batch.

The head disappears in a flash. Ends up looking like an ultra-dark port or brandy in the glass. One of the darkest of the dark, as stouts go.

Spiciness and hops mingle with the chocolatey aroma. Liqueur-filled chocolate-covered cherries come to mind. Alcohol spike in the back reminds you this is the Russian Imperial version of the style.

Tastes like: if you took a bunch of chocolate-covered cherries, soaked them in fruity holiday liqueur, melted the whole thing down and tossed the goo into a stout. It's quite good, but very bold, with the mellow spiciness and thick chocolate fighting for control.

Feels thick in the mouth, with very little carbonation. Again reminds of melted chocolate. Maybe too sticky.

Good thing Brooklyn does this around the holidays, the perfect time for something roasty, toasty, thick, warming and sweet. A real sipper. Woe be to the drinker who guzzles a couple of these in the hot July sun.

Metalmonk, Mar 30, 2006
Photo of kmpitz2
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

05-06 batch. Pours a black color with just hints of brown around the top from light that is able to come through at the edges. A finger of dark tan head falls quickly to a full film over top. Nose is rather fruity, with chunky, sweet, and chewy fig aromas with a very creamy, almost cocoa chocolate. Roasted charate is very light and subdued. This one is all about the sweeter sides of the malt in a stout. Flavor starts fruity and figgy, but moves very quickly to a sweet chocolate with moderate coffee undertones and just a touch of alcohol. There is a light bitterness on the finish that helps emphasize the coffee tones. This one has definately started to chage a little since the release. I originally found it to be very fruity, but those fruit tones are now playing second string to the chocolate and coffee. I like it better. Feel is thick with a light carbonation. Its got a light slickness to it, but its not detracting. This one is as good as ever. The alcohol is only slightly noticable in the flavor, but nothing that lessens the drinkability. I wish this was easier to find.

kmpitz2, Mar 28, 2006
Photo of Franchise
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering from Brooklyn pours a onyx black with a cascading body that leaves a thick brown head that stays with the beer. The nose is so complex (alcohal, chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla, cool whip-mashmallow) a very sweet pleasing nose. The taste is fantastic starts with a espresso hop bitterness that is smoothed by a sweet syrup dark chocolate feel. The body is surprisingly light and drinkable but don't let that fool you cause this high ABV hits you and warms you up. Love this beer one that I come back to every winter.

Franchise, Mar 27, 2006
Photo of cracgor
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My pint was a stark black beer with a little ring of dark brown head. Not very impressive looking at all. Just a run of the mill look to it. It did have a nice floral, burnt malt smell to it. Not as fruity as it was just a sweet fragrance. The beer itself, had an awesome taste to it. Like milk chocolate, with a good hint of spicy hops. It is definitely an american version, but not over the top with the hops like some others I like much less. The beer is velvety smooth, like a chocolate shake. No hint of alcohol on it. Drinks very well. Maybe not enough complexity to drink all week, but enough good taste to keep me wanting a second.

cracgor, Mar 23, 2006
Photo of kennyo
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

winter 2005-2006

Ususally these need to age a bit to smooth them out, but not this year.

Pours an opaque black, this what deep space might look like, when poured a small bubbly head but then it erupted, its a good thing, in the glass to a big thick, foamy tan head.

Arom is like a chocolate malted, alcohol. I lso get the aroma of some good scotch.

Taste is sweet, malty goodness, with chocolate undertones, alcohol, fruity, some wineness.

This is a very taste batch.

kennyo, Mar 17, 2006
Photo of DaggerEyes
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours the deepest shade of brown you'll ever see that settles into the black of a moonless night sky, with little to no head.

The dark bitter sweet chocolate scent is clear as day on the nose, this beer earns it's "chocolate stout" branding. Also on the nose are hints of strong black coffee and alchohol can be slightly detected.

The taste is an incredibly complex one, yet the dark chocolate and coffee tastes are the most notable.

It has a medium to full body with a fair ammount of carbonation.

This beer is like dessert in a glass and while incredibly smooth it is also incredibly rich and a beer that should be appreciated and savored. While this has to be one of my favorite beers right now, there is definately a time and a place for it. I can't imagine sitting around and drinking a sixer of this, though I also can't imagine ever turning down the opportunity to have one.

DaggerEyes, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of rousee
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark black-cherry color. The small head of foam is dark tan with a reddish tint.

Smell is a dark chocolate maltiness with some elements of cherries and berries. The chocolate is quite pronounced.

Unfortunately the nice chocolate aroma is not as powerful on the palate as it is on the nose. It tastes quite vinous but is still pretty true to the style. Its good here but not great. There is a bit of a stickiness left behind which is a negative. To be expected to some degree for this style though. Its a good beer-- I dont agree with outstanding as it is labeled on the site though. There are far better RISs out there.

rousee, Mar 15, 2006
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


this beer pours a german forest black, without a head, after a few seconds, a melted caramel tan head wells up and sits for half a minute before it releases a rich chocolate-y aroma.

the first sip hit me with a rich and strong chocolate/coffee flavor and cleared my sinuses, it even made me sneeze, but the flavor is strong enough to be thoroughly enjoyed while not ruining the beer

the finish is a bit acidic, but not bad enough to ruin the drinkability of this fine brew.

sinstaineddemon, Mar 15, 2006
Photo of falloutsnow
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Winter 2009-2010 bottling, sampled on a rainy 2012-04-13
A three year aged version of Brooklyn BCS.
Poured into a standard US pint glass.

At three years of age, this still looks great: a tall brown head of very fine bubbles that descends to a thick cap atop the beer, leaving generous lacing all the way down. (5.0)

The aroma, however, has lost nearly everything and is a mix of sweetness and slight roasted character with obvious ethanol. (2.0)

Taste is primarily sweet and nondescript, with mild roasted malt character and some acridity. Perhaps a bit of vanilla around the sides of the tongue. Ethanol has mellowed, but still present and surprisingly strong. Sweetness persists through each sip; not sure where this is from, but it is cloying. Only the lingering aftertaste presents a bit of interesting roasted flavor. (2.0)

Mouthfeel is still good: medium-heavy with carbonation that makes this foam up quite nicely on the palate. Slight bit of ethanol burn on the tongue and in the nostrils. Would be easily drinkable if it tasted good. (4.5)


Winter 2010-2011 bottling, sampled on a cold 2012-04-12

Fresh, I thought highly of this beer. Now, aged two years, it's rather average or even below average. This was cellared since purchase, so I don't think any spoilage has occurred. I have many older bottles to test, but going forward, I beginning to think I'll only purchase enough for the winter season.

Pours a tall (>2cm) head of small dark tan to brown bubbles, which descent in a minute or two to a medium-sized ring around the beer and a few islands of foam atop the body. Some lacing and spots linger around the sides of the glass. Body is an opaque dark brown to black, with brown-amber highlights. Carbonation is visible, rather active, and can be seen rising across all sides of the glass (4.0)

Aroma is of mild chocolate, a bit of plum-like esters, and a bit of organic solvent (light acetone). No trace of alcohol, but two years in, this has not held up that well. (3.0)

Taste offers some roasted malt bitterness, residual sweetness, and very mild chocolate flavors. Gone are the washes of chocolate syrup and coffee that this beer had fresh. No ethanol is present, though the loss of other flavors seems like an unjustifiable trade-off. Mid-palate offers some roasted barley, residual sweetness, and mild chocolate. Lingering aftertaste of roasted malt, slight chocolate, slight coffee grounds, and a bit of a "wood aged" component.

Body is medium-heavy with moderate carbonation. This leads the beer to foam up initially on the palate, but when the carbonation fades out, this is smoothly felt across the tongue. Ethanol burn is still felt in the back of the throat and slightly in the nostrils.


Winter 2005-2006 bottling, sampled in 2005
A: I note a pleasant viscosity as the beer pours from the bottle into a pint glass. Primeval midnight black in body color (forget about attempting to discover this one's carbonation level through visual inspection), a 2cm dark tan rises from the depths, settling into a thin film of foam for the entire drinking session. The deflating head and sipping lead to sticky, excellent lacing wherever the beer touches.

S: Beautifully crisp nose with massive amounts of chocolate, roasted, and caramel malt scents. Plums and dried figs are the fruits being expressed here, quite rich and full in their presentation. Some alcohol burn is detected in the back of the nose as the scent fades away in the nostrils.

T: An intensely complex beer, pulling major influences from roasted and smoked malts, black coffee, dark/bitter chocolate, caramel, molasses, and even some nuttiness. The richness of all these pulls together into a near-brownie-dense (a bit of a hyperbole, but not by much) concoction with emphasis on the roasted malt and chocolate flavors. The alcohol presence in the finish is pleasant and well-placed towards the back of the throat. Aftertaste of bitter chocolate and black coffee, somewhat acidic.

M: Medium to full bodied with a modest amount carbonation that allows for some foaming in the mouth, which results in a pleasantly soft, yet full effect on the palate. Dry finish with the bitterness of the coffee-chocolate combination.

D: An exceptionally well-crafted imperial stout that I wish was available from fall through spring. All the aspects of the beer come together in a fashion so near perfection that it may be as close as I'll ever get to a manifestation of the concept. Highly drinkable as a sipping dessert or after-dinner beer, something to close out the last few hours of a day with.

falloutsnow, Mar 15, 2006
Photo of Blakaeris
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours absolutely black with a tan head.

Smell is burnt roasted malt, chocolate, alcohol notes.

Taste is big and bold. Very chocolatey, strong roasted dark grain, a touch of cherry or plum, with enough of a whiskey flavor to make me think of a bourbon stout. Finish is quite dry and lingers on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Very smooth and silky.

What a surprise this one was for me. Excellent complexity. Bold, but well balanced.

Thanks Bashiba for sharing this tasty treat!!!!

Blakaeris, Mar 15, 2006
Photo of mcarroll10177
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a imperial pint glass

A- stout is the most beautiful of all beers and this did not disappoint. Black as night with a very dark brown head. Such a dark head that it is almost intimidating. This is going to be one powerful stout.

S- malt coffee and chocolate all very pronounced

T- same as the nose. malt coffee and then chocolate, some locorise too but not as pronounced as other RIS

M- almost perfect, some thickness, a bit more carbination would have given this a perfect score

D- a very drinkable stout, however the drinkablilty is less than perfect because with 8.5% ABV more than one in a sitting is not to be recomended, this stout sneeks up on you so drink with caution.

mcarroll10177, Mar 12, 2006
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

05 - 06 Version. Much anticipated!!

A - 1" dense tan head. Absolute darkness. Black and no light will penetrate. The head retains for a little while at 1/4". Surprising nice lace left behind.

S - Rich, thick malt. Rum. Sweet fruit. Coffee. Alcohol.

T - Bitter chocolate. Caramel. Molasses. Coffee. Chocolate syrup. Malt. Smoke? Nuttiness. Earthy. Boozy flavor explosion in the finish. Complex.

M - Huge, thick mouthfeel. Syrup. Low carbonation. Long, long finish.

D - Outstanding!! Wonderful drinkability. The best RIS or Double Stout that I have ever had. Great right now!!!! Thank you xcjetta!

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 5,565 ratings.