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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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6,083 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,083
Reviews: 2,722
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.6%
Wants: 348
Gots: 1,127 | FT: 55
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: 6,083 | Reviews: 2,722 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheBungyo
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big gracias to Melbatoast98 for a sixer of this!

With the word "Black" in the name of this beer one has certain expectations as to how dark this should be. I don't feel let down after watching the liquid cascade into my glass like an obsidian waterfall. After it's settled a quarter inch of dense tan head sits atop the surface.A slight tilt of the glass reveals legs for days.

Nose is milky chocolate and syrupy burnt caramel. Taste would be very similar but there's a bit of sweetness that reminds me of the outside of a burnt marshmallow. This is silky smooth and the alcohol is almost totally masked. This is a damn fine stout, a definite pleaser.

Photo of Madmax99
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was a new experiance for me. I am familiar with the stouts, but this stout was unlike them all. I've had this beer numerous times in the past 2 weeks, both from bottle and from tap. Thats how good this is. Real potent. Not a beer that you will want to party with. It has a rich flavor that compliments red meat dishes. Brooklyn brewing company definitely has a winner with this chocolate stout.

Photo of ppoitras
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle received in trade with kmpitz2, thanks for the opportunity. 04-05 bottling.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed an partial skim of bubbles over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Bubbles seem to just swirl around, not really any growth or diminishing of head, with light lacing that falls very slowly. Aroma is tanninish creamy black malts, with some hops character as well. Taste is a duel of dark sweetness and bitterness, with the bitterness losing until the hops come on and even up the score. Vinous fruitiness pops up throughout, and alcohol warming quickly takes effect. Mouthfeel is so easy it seems almost thin, and drinkability is very high once you get a little bit of the warmth going on. A little age doesn't hurt this one.

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

This bible black brew cascaded into my glass with a presence that foretold of the taste extravaganza to come.
It's tan brown head remined me of bread dough rising with a sculpturing that was a delight to behold at every ensuing sip.
The flavor was everything this beer's moniker heralded-- hops with a bitter start, toasted malt with other flavor spangles here and there-sweet maltiness comingled with a tad of coffee perhaps. The 10% ABV makes it self known both in the nose and flavor. (I haven't opened my 2nd bottle yet). The finish is a long lasting copy of the start and a neverending flavor that leaves me wondering when it is going to fade.. At last the finish fades a clean diffusion leaving my tastebuds tantalized for the next sip.
The mouthfeel was so cordial as if my palate claims "this is where I belong" -- the feeling of a heavy bodied all encompasing substance that fit so perfectly it makes me sorry to see the bottle and glass empty.
Drinkability is exceptional even with a 10% ABV-- maybe because of the flavor and mouthfeel, I didn't tend to noitce the alcohol's affect on my constitution.

Photo of hreb
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Side by side comparison of this year's (Winter 2006-2007) purchased a month ago, and last year's (Winter 2005-2006) purchased a year ago. Both are 12 oz bottles with slightly different markings on the bottle. I've never aged a Black Chocolate Stout before; I'm hoping it was a good idea.

Both beers allowed to warm slightly after coming out of cold storage and poured into large, identical snifters. For both, the pour is slightly oily and a beautiful, deep brown, beyond the color of cola. Nearly no head on either pour, just some faint wisps of a much lighter brown color on the surface. In the glass both are perfect pitch black with just a hint of brown on the edges. This is not a fair comparison, as the two are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but...the only more beautiful beer that has ever been served to me is the W.12 at the Moan & Dove.

First sniff: this year's. Complex nutty and toasty barley aroma with just a hint of sweetness. Last year's: a distinct note of sweetness above the malty odor. Not as nutty as this year's, but more aromatic. Hard to say which one I like better. The sweetness in the aged one is definitely more powerful, but the new one has a curious complexity to it which could actually be more rewarding.

First sip: this year's. A mouthful of cream with fine bubbles. Slightly bitter with a hint of chocolate. Bitter like espresso, but without any coffee flavor in the malt at all. As I swallow the complexity really comes out: it's like a whole different beer in my mouth, with nutty and chocolately flavors everywhere. Good stuff. The finish is of burnt toast (and that's a good thing).

Last year's: more complexity up front. Slightly fizzier. Chocolate flavors more immediate. There's a sweetness in the front of the tongue that the other doesn't have, but it's very delicate, and not what I was afraid of based just on the smell. Definitely not as creamy, but still milky, and leaves a powerful bitterness clinging to my teeth to let me know I've been drinking high quality stout.

This year's has a little bit of a fresh hay kind of flavor to it, which gives it a certain autumnal quality.

The level of hopping in the beer is in between what you'd expect from an English stout and an American. Storm King Stout and Stone's Russian Imperial Stout are both much more highly hopped, and to my taste, suffer for it. There is a hop bitterness to these beers but it's both subtle and complex. I'm not nearly savvy enough to identify the varieties of hops in these. I think there's more hoppiness in this year's than last year's.

I will also mention that unlike other chocolate stouts such as Rogue's and Young's, all the chocolate in this beer is from chocolate malt -- not from cocoa. I have no prejudice against added chocolate but this beer doesn't need it and the malt shines on its own.

Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the alcohol content of this beer. It's exactly where it should be (10.6%). There's a very faint alcohol flavor that might bother some not accustomed to drinking high-alcohol-content brews, but it does nothing to damage the flavor and does a lot to bring out the natural flavors of the malt. As the beer warms, there's more alcohol in the aroma, and more sourness.

This is obviously one of my favorite beers of all time, of any style, and I look forward to drinking it all year. It's very smooth and palatable but two bottles is probably as much as anyone should really drink at a time. As for the 2005 vs. 2006 side by side experiment, I like the mellower hop level in last year's better, but everything else about this year's better, especially the texture, but not by enough of a margin to affect my scoring either way. I can't say if aging affected the beer in any meaningful way, except to say that it survived the year despite the abuses of being moved around and pushed to the back of the refrigerator every time it tempted me.

Enjoy it.

Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to blitz134 for the brew.

Pours a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice small tan creamy head which quickly leaves, but leaves a few islands and sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is sligthly licoricey, sweet roasted malts, some hops hovering around, and lots of chocolate/toffee. The taste is awesome of sweet roasted malts, and chocolate, the finish is clean. Nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, well rounded brew. This is a very nice RIS from Brooklyn, very very tasty. Highly recommended.

Photo of terrabyte
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown or black with a small brown head.

Aroma has a very strong chocolate smell, followed by quite a bit of booze.

Flavor is strong in chocolate as well, with a slight amount of booze. There might be a hint of roasted chocolates, but suddenly the aftertaste takes your breath away with booze burning your lungs. It’s a toss-up whether or not the bitterness comes from the chocolate or coffee.

Mouthful is creamy and foamy.

Drinkability isn’t very high due to the alcohol taste sweeping away the chocolate flavor. If it’s going to be that strong, you’re going to want stronger flavors to catch up to it. Let alone try to mask some of it. On top of that, the flavor that was there was sort of rough and tough.

It should be noted that this beer was tasted right after trying a Goose Island Bourbon Stout. That’s hardly fair for Brooklyn. I did enjoy this beer, it’s much more affordable, and I’d be glad to have another.

Photo of mmmbeer
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Original review: 2004 vintage, 4.6 overall rating. 2006-07 upped the alcohol almost 2 percent. It pours into the balloon glass inky black with a half-inch brownish head that recedes quickly to a collar, leaving some wisps of lace. The aroma consists of chocolate, pale, and roasted malts, dark fruits (currant, blackberry?), anise, smoke?, green apple, bubblegum?, and citric/tropical hops with hints of Fuggle. On the palate it is roasty/vinous, with chocolate and burnt malts, coffee, tobacco?, and citric, piney, minty?, cedary? hops which meld with the roasted malts to create a medium to high bitterness. The body is tingly at first, medium-thick, with a medium to long finish. Overall it's not as good as the 2004 - I think it needs more body and less alcohol, with the malts at the forefront. The alcohol needs to be an afterthought for this beer, not the premise.

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

Poured a opaque black, very syrup like as it pours into the glass. A small beige to caramel colored head forms, but slowly dissolves away. A deep chocolate aroma almost smacks the nose out of the glass, there are sweet malt scents and dried fruit aromas blending in at the end. That chocolate stands out in the flavor as well, and attacks the palate, then slowly the malt comes foward, with a smack of bitterness right at the end. A thick and syrupy feel, very heavy on the palate. This is a very good beer, with a very good aroma and strong flavor, make this a joy to drink.

Photo of BeerSox
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass. I usually reserve these beers for snifters or wine glasses, but I didn't even realize this was a Russian Imperial Stout.

Pours like motor oil, with a brown head that slowly settles to a razor thin cap.

Very dark roasy malts with a little bit of walnut, and some dark chocolate. Warming alcohol can be detected.

Thick bitter malts along with a little bit of nut and bitter chocolate. Some hop bitterness resides in the back of the mouth. The bitterness of the malts sticks to your cheeks and lingers for a while. The alcohol is well hidden.

This is the first RIS I have had out of a pint glass, and I must say it's a fitting beer vessel. Very full of flavor. Just be careful not to get overwhelmed by the alcohol. At 10% ABV, this beer lets it sneak up on you. Recommended

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

12oz bottle -> imperial pint

Pours black with a huge dirty hazlenut brown head. Half head, half beer off a standard pour. Wow, this head is thick. The massive heads slowly recedes to a lopsided pillow and leaves behind dark spiderweb lace.

Nose: Dark fruit, alcohol, and burnt malts.

Taste: Sweet chocolate burnt malts, along with some tastey dark fruit. A mouth warming alcohol kick is tamed by a semi dry chocolately finish.

Mouth: Thick and creamy, just about perfect to style.

A great winter sipper that is not brewed to be drank by the 12 pack, but very drinkable for a RIS. I will be sitting a few aside to try next year as i bet it holds up well after a year or two.

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

'05-'06 vintage. Dark and thick appearance. Rather oily body, with sharp funky plums and thick chocolate malts upfront. Vintage-tamed hops, although they still have quite a presence. Old-school russian imperial stout, it's no tame Samuel Smith, nor is it a wild Storm King. The mouthfeel is equal parts sludge and silk. Notable alcohol presence similar to red wine. Quite a luxury beer. Thanks to zrrbrrt for the trade. Cheers!

Photo of jbramley
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Winter '05-'06 bottle.

Pours out like used motor oil. Has a rich, roasted malt smell. Minimal head, but what was there was a dark tan. Hints of coffee and cocoa in the nose. Has a strong roasted malt taste that ends in chocolate flavors. A hint of sweetness and alcohol when it first hits the tongue is quickly surpassed by bitterness. Chocolate notes come out as the beer breathes and warms up to make this a very pleasant sipping beer.

Photo of JasonA
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a oil black with little to no head. Some lacing which seems to be a dark coffee in color. Looks tasty.

Smells initially like roasted alcohol. Can smell the ABV easily. Hint of coffee. Maybe some hops, barly, but really the alcohol.

Initial hints of chocolate and coffee which get over powered by a bombaredment of alcohol nose biting flavor ... ABV tasted. Not a bad alcohol, but a flavorful one. Hoppy finish which seems to be more of the american stout style. Full finish in flavor with staying power.

Medium to full bodied, great amount of carbonation for the style. Sits nice in the mouth until you swallow.

Overall I think the ABV is a bit overpowering for the flavor of this Stout. I think it could be masked a bit with more roasted malt for this to be considered stronger for the style. I dont think I could drink many of these. Not sure this is one I would come back to for East Coast RIS. Its too bad as Im a big Brooklyn fan.

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

Pours a very dark reddish brown with a dense, craggy dark tan head that takes a moment to foam and dissipates very slowly, leaving a solid sticky layer of lace on the glass.

Not especially aromatic, but tastes somewhat like a rich chocolate mousse with hints of coffee. Sweet and rich. Finish is not too dry.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from Florians. Complete opaque black body with about a half an inch of tan head and a fair bit of lacing. Smells like chocolate and coffee. Tastes very roasty and malty, coffee and chocolate dominate. Little bitterness to speak of. Some alcohol warming and flavor too. Full bodied - among the best mouth feels of any beer I've had. Full flavored and pleasant. Goes down really smooth. Malty sweetness with some roasty coffee on the finish. Wow, I'm impressed with this beer. A new favorite stout. Glad I snatched up two 6-packs! Glad it's in Maine now!

Photo of guinnessfan
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. '06'-07 bottle poured into Das Festhaus pint glass.

A: Midnight, with a mocha colored ring. No head, no lacing.

S: Alcohol, chocolate, and little roasted coffee.

T: Wow...boozy, initally. Reminds me of a liquor, Godiva-like. Leaves a burnt walnut-like taste, like if I were to eat the ashes of a campfire. Alcohol becomes even more present after it warms.

M: Silky, creamy with a heavy charred and booze aftertaste.

D: A true sipper that lacks any ability to be consumed en mass.

BBCS is a huge beer, the biggest I've ever had. More complex than Rasputin. I am going to cellar some to see how it is after the alcohol is tamed.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to warriorsoul for this '04-'05 12 oz bottle.

This beer poured a deep, dark black with a brownish tan wide collar that left a few spots of lace.

Smells of milk chocolate, maple syrup and a little bit of coffee with some bready barley and a nice blend of alcohol. There was also a little tart cherry and red grape in the background. Marvelous.

Tasted of smooth chocolate and sweet barley that was followed by a slight wave of green apple dryness and a nice alcohol. Finished with a little bit of charcoal.

The mouthfeel was light, but smooth with a thickening mini-carbonation. Seemed a little on the dry side.

I really liked the chocolate in this one, but the charcoal was a little bit of a deterrent.


This one ages remarkably well.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

served into a nonic,think i'll try a snifter next time,poured from a 12oz. brown long neck bottle with a crimped on cap, top of label marked 06-07.

Opaque,black as coal,with a dense,creamy mocha head,good retention,clinging,sticking down the sides of the glass.

First wiff at blast of alcohol,very chocolatly/roasty a bit nutty with a very burnt aroma,a very malty nose.

Syrupy,malty,very roasty and chocolaty reminisent of strong black coffee,intense chocolate tastes,a warming alcohol presense,finishing with a clean,sharp,dry bitterness with a sweet malty taste lingering on the palate.

A good thick,chewy mouthfeel,this beer gets better as it warms,drinking this beer is like drinking your desert. One beer at a time for me on this one.
I drink this beer every year,a must try beer every year for me.

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

This bewitching brew is pitch black and completely opaque. The medium, coffee color head retains quite well, with sticky, intricate lacings.

Sweet malt, coffee, chocolate, caramel with hints of vanilla and toffee, this incredible brew smells like a festive holiday pudding.

The flavor is of sweet, roasted malts, bitter chocolate, coffee, and burnt caramel with some buttery tones. There is a huge, chewy bread/yeast consistency that tapers off into a bitter aftertaste with hints of alcohol.

This is a heavy beer with ample carbonation, though not as creamy as I might like it to be.

This is a fine seasonal offering from Brooklyn Brewery that I've been eager to taste for some time. I think the flavors would benefit well from a bit a bit of aging, though it is still a tasty brew when fresh.

Photo of chadspivey
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to gpcollen for the opportunity...winter 2006.

A: yup, it's black. very small head that becomes just a ring in seconds... the head is light brown.

S: whoa! I believe this one might have some alcohol in it. definitely can smell the dark chocolate, also grapes, prunes, other dark fruits. Smells really complex.

T: tip of the tounge is apples. Turns bitter in the middle, and finishes with a smooth, not too strong, chocolatey, kinda dark fruity taste. can definitely taste some alcohol here, but it belongs.

M: very smooth mouthfeel, really nice. kinda thick, like a stout should be. Almost perfect. I can't find anything wrong with this mouthfeel, but to be perfect, it would really have to stand out.

D: not so drinkable. I mean, not bad for the alcohol percenge, but I probably wouldn't drink another, not even for free. It's not a bad beer at all, don't get me wrong, but one's enough for me.

From the look of the label, I would never think this to be an excellent beer. hmmm... they deceived me...
With a beer this good, I guess they don't need a fancy, or cool label.

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

This is my first review inspired by a wonderful beer. I received this one in a seasonal pack from my liquor store. As a lover of dark beer the mere sight of the bottle made me want to try it and the alcohol content intrigued me even further. Pouring it from the bottle into the glass revealed a dark black brew. The head was almost non existent but a nice lacing is present.

The best thing about this beer in my opinion is it's drinkability. Each drink goes down extremely smooth as if it were a 5-7% beer. I would definitely pick this one up again in larger quantities.

Photo of vtfan77
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours thick and viscous from the bottle; the darkest of browns, nearly black with a small, short-lived tan head.

S- Sweet malt and alcohol in the nose. Dark fruits, caramel, and toffee aromas abound; smells almost like a barleywine rather than a stout as the roasted malt is barely evident.

T- Very sweet and boozy upfront. Incredibly rich. Alcohol and rich caramel are the dominant flavors here. Roasted malt doesn't really even come into play until a charred flavor comes in on the finish.

M- Very thick, almost syrupy mouthfeel. Carbonation is minimal.

D- Not great. I'll be able to finish the 12oz bottle, but that's it. This brew is thick, rich, and makes no attempt to hide its alcohol content. A sipper for sure.

An enjoyable beer but the alcohol is a little overpowering right now. It overshadows the roasted malt profile and makes it difficult to pick out too many subtle nuances. This is one that I can pretty much guarantee will get better with age. Good now, but could be great in a year or two.

Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter at 50 degrees. One previous review last year, before my tastes developed.

A - Pours a very dark black with a small brown head.

S - Powerful aromas of dark, unsweetened chocolate (similar to baking cocoa) and dark-roast coffee beans.

T - Strong blend of the coffee and cocoa, and as with the smell, no real sweetness or maltiness to it. I detect a slight hint of raspberries or black cherries...not enought to carry its own flavor, but it highlights the unsweetened chocolate very well.

M - Creamy mouthfeel, but not overly thick. Alcohol isn't overbearing, but is detectable as the warming sensation takes you.

D - The first time I tried this RIS, I didn't enjoy it...this was about 10 months ago. As I could tell my tastes were developing, I couldn't wait to try it again, and it was more than worth the wait. Would make for a wonderful addition to a session tasting and I plan on cellaring the rest of my case for enjoyment in the years to come.

Photo of mjd83goblue
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, 6 pk for less than $10 out the door if I remember correctly. 06-07 bottling.

A: Black as it gets. Small brown head that leaves a ring quickly.

S: Lots of chocolate malt, some coffee, and maybe a touch of dark dark fruit, like raisons or prunes.

T: Tons of chocolate throughout. Big roasted super sweet malts. Some black coffee. The alcohol is no where to be found until you feel it going down your throat, and then, just warming enough that you know its there.

M: Not quite as thick as some (ie Bell's Expedition), but the perfect blend of carbonation, body, and creaminess. Slightly dry on the finish.

D: The perfect nightcap and winter beer. As drinkable as a RIS can be

Another beer that has finally made it to MI. Simply one of the best, and a great value to boot. Do yourself a favor and let this one warm up some

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 6,083 ratings.