Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout - Brooklyn Brewery
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Ratings: 5,500 | Reviews: 2,640 | Display Reviews Only:
4.1/5 rDev -1.2%
Bottle states, "Winter '03 - '04." I'm a little confused by one of the other statements on the bottle: "Brewed and bottled by the Brooklyn Brewery, Utica, N.Y." Utica!? What the hell?
Appearance: With some coaxing, I was able to produce a dark tan, one-finger head when I poured this viscous beer. It was jet black, and I mean jet black. The head was gone quickly, dissipating into just a few isolated patches of bubbles floating on the pure ebony liquid. There was no lacing at all.
Smell: A great smelling brew that had the very distinct odor of cocoa. Not pure chocolate, mind you, but powdered cocoa. This was strongest right after the pour, but then subsided to allow the other aromas to shine through and join in. There were the burnt smells of dark roasted malts, a sweetness that seemed to come more from the malt than the chocolate, dark bitter coffee, a light smokiness, and a hint of cream that only showed itself when the glass was agitated.
Mouthfeel: On the high-end of the medium-bodied specturm. There was quite a bit of tickle on the tongue, which surprised me, but not to the point that the beer felt rough. After I had been drinking this one for awhile, I definitely started to notice the tingle of the 8.5% alcohol.
Taste: Aside from a tart, somewhat astringent quality that pervaded the flavor from start to finish, this beer was chock full of dark malt flavors. The burnt, smoky taste of black roasted malts completely filled the mouth. I could only detect the slightest hint of chocolate malt in the mix, and that came across as dark, bitter chocolate. The finish was a continuation of the aforementioned dark malt flavors, combined with a good dose of hops. To me, the hops had an English quality to them and seemed slightly muddled in flavor.
This beer gave me the hat trick of the well-known chocolate stouts. In my mind, this beer, along with Rogue and Young's, is one of the big three chocolate stouts that permeates the American market. However, I have learned that this offering is nothing, and I repeat nothing, like the other two. While the others actually use chocolate in the brewing process, Brooklyn's is an representation of an imperial stout that uses chocolate (and other) malt only to create its flavor. Overall, a good beer, though there are other "big" stouts that I would rather drink.
12-14-2003 23:37:55 | More by Quaffer
4.18/5 rDev +0.7%
Appearance: Deep black can't see any light coming through whatsoever with a nice sized tan head leaves nice even ring of lacing. Aroma: Dark roasts bring about hints of chocolate and seared fruit with alcohol notes around the edges this is a complex big imperial stout. Taste: Creamy chocolate tone quickly nulled by a streak of alcohol like a shot of liquer infused with cherries and other fruit notes this is one big beer here, nice and alluring just a bit overwhelming one glass at a time not a session by any means. Mouthfeel: Full bodied thick syrupy mouthfeel this a big stout. Drinkability: I am much more proned to a Young's Double Chocolate if I'm going after a chocolate character in my stout this one has alot more of everything alcohol, malts, and chocolate just may lack some balance with the searing alcohol burn in presents.
12-14-2003 23:31:48 | More by WVbeergeek
4.47/5 rDev +7.7%
2003-2004 edition. 12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep jet black color with 3 fingers of dark tan foam that cascaded a bit on a heavy pour. There is lots of lacing left on the glass. The smell is very rich with cocoa, coffee, and caramel. A brilliant sweet aroma that fills the nose well. The taste starts with burnt malt and chocolate. Sweet, but not a bit cloying. Coffee and toffee are also present. The finish ends with a tad bit of hops. A very well balanced stout. The mouthfeel is very thick, yet silky smooth, just wonderful. The drinkability is fairly good for being 8.5%. I could sure enjoy at least a couple on this cold winter night.
12-13-2003 03:19:31 | More by SheepNutz
4.2/5 rDev +1.2%
the brawney head was dark tan with a slight ruby/cranberry tinture. very foamy and staying, nicely aroused in the glass and leaving a great amount of clingy reminant lace. oh yeah and the liquid was black as anything could be. on to the great scent of this beer. hops that smell sweet like candy and candied fruit, cherries and a number of chocolate tones. milk chocolate, cocoa, creme de cacao and so on. on the taste, whoa, what alot of coco! people might think this has some coffee but it's not more than a hint, that is cocoa, dry dark chocolate. it's totally rocking and greatly dry, it just dries up the palate like mad. there are hints of cherries here on the palate as well. it's very warming and i didn't know what the abv was until now and i'm not amazed other than how well that was cloaked by chocolate on the nose and on the palate. quite a creamy mouthfeel, full bodied and very complimentary to the beer. the drinkability i rated in accordance to the idea that this is certainly a one at a time beer, a special time. i can't go putting one of these down because i feel like a beer.
12-12-2003 01:23:37 | More by pio
4.35/5 rDev +4.8%
Sampled courtesy of the Opthamologist Brewer from a 12 oz bottle marked "Winter '03 - '04" in a Guinness Imperial Pint.
Beer pours ebony black and as clear as a night dweller with a blindfold.
Head is low, brown-tan and gone in a flash.
Aroma is intensely roasty with an oily espresso character. that is both slick and harsh on the tongue. Nutty Chocolate tones like a broken and slighty burnt dark chocolate ganache round out the palate with just a hint of alcohol.
Flavor follows suit with a starting touch of roast and CO2.Coffee roasts start to pick up with a large molasses backing. Hard dark cocoa builds and takes over for the coffee before a final finish hop fights the remaining sweetness down. REsidual sweetness from the body remains on the lips long after beer is but a dry memory on the palate.
12-11-2003 05:18:59 | More by drewbage
4.25/5 rDev +2.4%
The thick black body was crowned by a humongous beige head that lasted and laced with gusto. The engine oil look was matched by a feel like a very viscuous lubricant wanting to ease my pain. The smell of roasted grain and chocolate is very pronounced and the taste was a lovely blend of coffee and dark chocolate with an overlay of alcohol. Limited by its ABV, the drinkability can only be rated as moderate as this is very strong stout. Lovely, but with pronounced, muscular biceps.
12-11-2003 04:13:18 | More by AtLagerHeads
4.5/5 rDev +8.4%
Mini-vertical tonight (28AUG08), with a bottle of '02-'03 and an '05-'06. Nothing different between the two with regard to appearance - both jet black and oily, with thin glass-rimming layers of tan bubbles. Both with a raisiny, portish-like nose, though the '02-'03 has more fruitiness. Older bier has gotten a bit thin, though still medium, with the younger bier having more weight on the tongue. As with the aroma, the older bier tastes a bit more fruity - dark fruit that is. Raisins, black currants, some roasty choco, with a floral hoppiness still well evident. The '05-'06 has the fruitiness as well, though a bit more restrained, with some choco notes still coming forth. Less hoppiness here, too. Quite strange, as hops tend to fade as they age. Older bier here has more florality. Still, both are tasty, though right now the '05-'06 is a bit better, overall, than the '02-'03. It's my last '02-'03 and '05-'06, so no big-time vertical, as I had suggested back in '03. NBD....
(Side-by-side on 06DEC03....) Comparing an '02-'03 vs an '03-'04.... Both biers have a great look...identical dark, oily black biers, with thin, mocha hued toppings and decent lacing... Aroma is about even in strength for both, with the '02-'03 showing more dark fruit hints, and the younger exhibiting more chocolatey aspects. Both biers are medium to full bodied, but the older bier has a smoother texture, the newer a bit more carbonation. The '02-'03 definitely shows more dark fruit flavors than this years version, though the newer has more roastiness and chocolate than the 1-year old bier, plus a smidge of bitterness. Definitely would not turn down either, but the older bier is smoother, and fruitier... Verrry nice stuff, and still $6.99/six. I will try this again next year, with an '02-'03, an '03-'04, and an '04-'05 for a 3-way vertical. Zum Wohl!!!
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5
(Original review of 09FEB03). I had some of this months ago on tap at the Sunset Grille, but I never got around to reviewing it. Well, here goes, for the bottle version, vintage winter '02-'03. Poured into the glass and I thought I had a can of engine oil! Damn, how thick and black can you get? Light is completely unable to escape this black hole! The head was a deep mocha color, though thin. A miniscule layer of tightly packed bubbles does manage to layer the top of the bier, with some lacing leftover. Nose is not overly strong like some biers, yet there is a pleasing roasty quality, along with some essence of dark fruit and a bit o' hop character. This baby has my kinda mouthfeel! A body bordering on full, and a nice creamy feel on the tongue! Almost perfect... Very flavorful concoction, here! Has some big roasty attributes, with plentiful dark fruit flavors, like black currants, figs and raisins! Finish is rounded out by some floral hoppiness, with a bit of a lip-smacking dryness accompanying the aftertaste. A nicely crafted bier (especially at $6.99/six!). (4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5 = 4.5)
12-06-2003 22:32:19 | More by Bierman9
4.35/5 rDev +4.8%
Winter '01-'02 bottle purchased at Harringtons in Boston Sept. '03.
Midnight black body as expected, with a dense, creamy, foamy, wet khaki head. Hints of ruby along the edges, oily bubbles dancing along the top. Plenty of aroamas of rum soaked raisans, plums, figs, and burnt fruit along a super bitter base. Taste is nice and rummy, lots of roasted fruit flavors. Chocolate taste is subtle not up front, but I think alot of that flavor has settled maybe in nearly 2 years. Plenty of Imperial Stout flavors, well balanced and burnt bitterness finishes up. Medium to full bodied, well carbonated as well. A very good beer, and dinner finisher, well worth the wait.
12-03-2003 12:15:54 | More by StevieW
3.98/5 rDev -4.1%
Opaque darkest brown bordering black with a nice medium brown colored head if poured with TLC. Black patent and chocolate malt aromas, together with coffee and toffee and other smoky and burnt aromas make for one tantalizingly smooth smelling stout. Big, big, big malt taste with a nice balance of hops in there, too. Heavy on the chocolate malt, finishing with a bitter malt tartness and a touch of fruitiness. As thick as used motor oil, yet to me maintains a certain drinkability despite it's beefy ABV. One of the finer stouts from the US.
12-02-2003 08:09:12 | More by crookedhalo
2.88/5 rDev -30.6%
Served nice black black with a short brown head. Chocolate is big and strong. Way too strong!!! I love how the smoked taste blends in with the rest of the malts. This beer would be very good, but they tried to pack too much chocolate into it and that just did not work out for them. My advise: try again on the recipe, but this time don't be so coco-happy.
12-01-2003 13:03:58 | More by scottum
4.83/5 rDev +16.4%
Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is jet-black, with a decent tan head. The smell is a nice chocolate malt. The taste is very chocolatey, with hints of coffee and anise, and the alcohol is not at all noticable. Mouthfeel is very heavy and creamy. Drinkability...could have these all day long.
Probably my favorite Imperial Stout to date. The chocolate adds a beautiful complexity to the basic taste. Simply tremendous, and I'm glad I still have a 6 pack of this one, and it's definitely one I'll be having again!!!!
11-30-2003 18:29:08 | More by beergeek279
4.4/5 rDev +6%
03-04 Winter Edition.
Brooklyn pours impenetrable black with a nice tan foam head. I smell some alcohol, some chocolate, and some toasted malt. Smells like an imperial, which of course is not very descriptive. First sips, revel big bold silky texture of chocolate masking alcohol underneath. Alcohol dominates the flavor, but is not unbearable. Its almost a shame to review such a new imperial. I bought a case, so Ill do another review at 6 and 12 months. Hell, maybe every two months because I sure love this stuff. As my beer sinks, the tan foam clings in the side of my pint. Mid-pint I start to taste the slightly bitter chocolate against the crisp malt backbone. For some reason, the taste brings me back to Hair of the Dogs Adam maybe due its complex flavor. This is truly a fantastic winter warmer. Why do people drink warmed brandy .they should be having Black Chocolate Stout. For such a young imperial, Im impressed; the chocolate sure helps a lot with the flavor. In six months Ill be blown away. The alcohol reveals itself in the last sips of this beer, but isnt that always the case with imperials. Sign me up for the Garrett Oliver fan club.
11-30-2003 01:34:57 | More by Starchild
4.6/5 rDev +10.8%
The aroma is chocolate and coffee, and it's strong it hit my nose as I poured in into a glass at least 2 feet from my nose.
Dark opaque black with a small head the color of lightened coffee.
Black chocolate is right... coffee comes out in the aroma as it warms, and there is a little bit of chocolate covered fruit. These secondary flavors are hitting me as cafe mocha, and chocolate dipped oranges.
The bitterness folds perfectly into the chocolate taste and aroma, perfectly integrated. It's like a liquid chocolate cake.
Full and creamy. I've had better Imperial Stouts, but this one captures the black chocolate name wonderfully.
Drinkability is a double-edged sword - yes it's easy to drink, but with the high abv you can't drink many. I put a 6er down in the cellar, can't wait to see how they turn out next year.
11-26-2003 21:13:17 | More by mschofield
4.6/5 rDev +10.8%
I had purchased a few of these back in March, and back then thought it was a bit harsh. Now, after sitting in the basement for 8 months, I decided to crack one open, and was amazed at the transformation.
It poured a deep, inky BLACK (Naturally!), with a fluffy, medium brown head. The aromas were chocolate and espresso, and the taste was sublime! Chocolate, espresso, prune, port, grapefruit, with lots of wispy lace. The mouthfeel was smooth and medium creamy. It finished with espresso and citrus, with a hint of cocoa powder.
11-26-2003 03:47:49 | More by WaltTrombone
3.78/5 rDev -8.9%
03-04 Bottling , Sampled Nov, 2003: Small dark tan head of small bubbles that reduce pretty quickly to a thin lace. Solid black in color. Not an overpowering aroma, but good. Nose is slightly sweet with roasted notes and chocolate. Some slight sweet notes of currant may also be intermingled on the nose. Short slight sweetness in the start with a slight currant fruitiness. Very deep roasted and coffee notes quickly take over the palate. Bitter chocolate and hops finish and linger for a long period. The roasted notes are very strong, even leaning towards the burnt end of the spectrum. Theres a slight warming sensation. Good brew, but this one is a bit harsh for me at this young age. Smooth is definitely not in this beers profile right now, and its not quite as drinkable as I expected.
I wasnt nearly as impressed with this one as most folks usually seem to be. Ive had a few of these now, and always come to the same conclusion. Good brew, but it just doesnt knock my socks off. Ill take a Samuel Smith Imperial Stout, Storm King, or even an Old Rasputin over this brew any day of the week. I've set a few of these aside to age until next winter. With a year of aging under their belt, I may come to a very different conclusion in the future.
11-25-2003 15:32:07 | More by byrd
4.1/5 rDev -1.2%
12 oz. bottle. Limited bottling: Winter '03-'04.
Poured the same deep inky blackness as on-tap. Frothy layer of dark tan-colored head. Nice lacing of the glass. Aromas of chocolate and coffee. Flavor lets me down. Not as big and bold as other imperial stouts. It's good, but several notches from being the best. Lots of velvety chocolate in the flavor. Mix in some espresso and some bitter hops. No alcohol noted. Nice bittersweet flavor at the end. Some smoky flavor as well. Interestingly, the sourness I detected from the tap version is not as present. Still a great sipper. Curl up by the fire and grab a book. Winter's here and this is a great beer to enjoy.
11-25-2003 04:40:57 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
4.63/5 rDev +11.6%
Appearance: Pours jet black with a creamy brown head w/lace that sticks around.
Smell: Chocolate, a little bit of coffee. You can also catch a whiff of the alcohol, but nothing overpowering.
Taste: One of the best stouts I've had. Initial bittersweet chocolate with some hop bitterness, gets sweeter and sweeter as it warms without becoming cloyingly so. Nice malty aftertaste with a hint of fruit. As I got to the end of the pint I started to taste the alcohol, but again, not enough to be come unpleasant.
Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Nice and smooth with light carbonation. While this isn't incredibly heavy, I couldn't see drinking more than two or three of these the 8.5% alcohol will catch up quickly.
Kudos to the Brooklyn Brewery for creating an immensely drinkable chocolate stout. While this isn't quite as good as the Rouge Chocolate Stout I sampled, at $6.99/six pack it's probably the most affordable brew in the BA Top 50. I plan to buy a case to cellar. Be sure to check this out!
11-23-2003 00:04:24 | More by jed
4.33/5 rDev +4.3%
Twelve ounce brown bottle. Winter '03-'04 edition.
Pitch black! Seems to actually absorb light, like a black hole. Huge, dense, dark tan head sits proudly atop, like a crown. Amazing head retention. Thick sheets of lace are left behind as the head slowly recedes.
Dense & rich aromas of coffee, tons of dark chocolate, a hint of alcohol, & a bit of dark fruit.
Bitter roast coffee, dark chocolate, & raisins all quickly pass over the tongue. A dryish finish with a touch of orangey hops. A rich chocolate flavour linger for ages. Big, rich, & full bodied. Gentle carbonation.
11-21-2003 18:11:39 | More by xgrigorix
4.78/5 rDev +15.2%
No light will escape this black hole that has the darkest, creamiest brown frosting on top. Smells like a magic elixir that just might kill you. Bold flavors of alcohol, dark malts, and hops warn you of what is ahead. Chocolate mousse riding on a wave of alcohol, cloaked in black bitter burntness, with a crown of hops. Liquid silk. Damn.
11-19-2003 00:01:18 | More by waughbrew
4.25/5 rDev +2.4%
Purchased the 2003 version. It pours a black color with a light brown head. There is large bubbles and nice lacing on the glass. The aromas are big on chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, caramel, and alcohol. The roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, and coffee are all through the flavor, with the chocolate lasting long on the tongue after swallowing. The alcohol is very noticable and warms your insides. Very enjoyable, but the noticable alcohol makes this a bit less than good for drinkability.
11-10-2003 01:19:34 | More by Gavage
3.63/5 rDev -12.5%
I have just acquired some of the 2003 version of this beer.
It pours a beautiful opaque black, and fills the immediate region with an aroma of chocolate and alcohol.
The taste starts off malty sweet with a strong chocolate component, followed quickly by a hit of roasted malt and an alcohol warmth. It finishes with an almost harsh bitterness, which suggests most strongly to me that this beer is young. This brew seems to be a bit heavier in the alcohol department, and I'm guessing that a bit of aging will help it immensely. Having had the 2002 version not very long ago, I know that this beer has the potential to be one of the best of stouts...
11-08-2003 07:17:08 | More by Lafe
3.43/5 rDev -17.3%
Winter '01-'02 bottling. Essentially a black beer with mahogany highlights, it pours with a syrupy sound, a velvety look, and a toffee colored head. The head fades quickly, and leaves a mild lace on the glass. The aromas are chocolate, roasted malt, with some bourbon overtones. There are also vanilla notes and and some spiciness. Absolutely a treat. The first sip coats the tongue with a luxurious silky feeling. This beer is incredibly smooth, exactly what my ideal stout would feel like. The taste is heavy on the roated malts, with a strong chocolate note and some nice peat smokiness. For 8.5% ABV, the alcohol is not noticable. Some fruity sweetness creeps in on the finish, and the hops are present, but not overpowering. They simply present a nice bitterness on the finish, which is remarkably clean considering how thick this beer feels. This is definitely one of my favorite brews.
Don't see my notes on the '02-'03, but it was equally impressive as the previous year.
Ratings at this point: 4.5 - 5.0 - 4.5 - 5.0 - 4.5
Still looks great, smells pretty good.
The taste is a huge let down. Taste has a strange "moldy grain" component. And as ithaca baron intimated, a bit of a burnt tobacco note on the finish. I'll be aging my remaining bottles ofr a while, but for now, the ratings reflect the current edition.
11-07-2003 00:42:36 | More by aaronh
3.05/5 rDev -26.5%
This pours the color of burnt oil that's been let out of an old engine during a change -- slick, deep, rich and black, black, black. The head settles comfortably on top with fairly large bubbles, and swirled, multi-toned highlights.
Smell is pretty good as well, with aromas of dark, burnt candi sugar and burnt chocolate...very rich, even in smell.
Unfortunately, for me, that's where this fell apart for me. The stout has good dark chocolate flavor through it, but the chocolate seems a bit chalky, and dry, instead of smooth, as if it were made with chocolate baking powder. Additionally, the aftertaste is one of ashed cigar...not wholly bad, and an aquired taste, but, in my mind, not a positive for the beer by any means.
Mouthfeel is very rich and smooth, with a drying end, well fitted to the style.
Due to the tasting notes, I can't give this a real high drinkability rating.
Incidentally, just 12oz. of this stuff got me buzzed. Should be noted.
One important note...I tasted this, and then, noting the similarities, cracked open an extract chocolate stout I had homebrewed, using some adjuncts and malto-dextrine...I could barely tell the difference -- knowing what was in my beer, and the fact that I can replicate it for a fraction of the cost with low-grade ingredients, how can I give this a really great grade?
Anyway, maybe I got a bad bottle, or maybe I missed something with this one. I'll probably try it again for that reason, and I encourage others to give this at least one try -- they might like it a lot more than I did.
11-06-2003 04:09:13 | More by ithacabaron
4.6/5 rDev +10.8%
My brother's favorite beer...who can blame him?
This is one of the best imperial stouts available. It pours with a smallish head and minimal lacing. The beer itself is black. I cannot find any reddish tint to this beer. Good start. The aroma is incredible. Perfectly roasted malt, subtle coffee/expresso, and hints of chocolate stand out in the aroma. There is an initial burnt, but nice malt flavor. It is borderline bitter, but before it one really focuses on the burnt flavor there is a burst of sweet malt and chocolate. Perfectly balanced. I cannot imagine a better balance between chocolate and traditional malt.
I am stocking up on this beer. I doubt I can wait Spring through Fall for this one again.
11-01-2003 22:14:10 | More by philipt
4.15/5 rDev 0%
Foreword: 12 oz bottle - Limited Edition '03-'04 - Serving at proper temp
Appearance/Head: Very dark color, rather opaque. The head was a nice ebony, but I was disappointed by how little head there was until I started pouring from a foot above the glass.
Aroma: Dark roasted malts, mocha, with a bit of dark fruits.
Taste: It started with a very nice, rich creamy head. It is a full bodied elixir with a bittersweet cocoa flavor. The aftertaste has some nice burnt taste and perhaps a late sourness. I would have guess the abv at around 6.5 instead of 8.5 .
Bottom line: A nice beer from Brooklyn that I'm sure I will enjoy many times this winter. The flavors are a little light for an Imperial Stout, and I think there are a number of better examples out there.
10-31-2003 13:42:23 | More by skar
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 5,500 ratings.