Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout - Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

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2,716 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,716
Hads: 6,238
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 373
Gots: 1,224 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,716 | Hads: 6,238
Photo of beercat11
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I have had this brew for the last 7 offerings(brewing seasons) and every year I look for the uniqueness of each yearly release if there is one.

This years version seems more balanced and a little more complex than most past years versions, I keep a journal with my thoughts and note them when I have my first few sips. I feel that's when the small nuances of each batch are the most impressed upon me. I have never been a big fan of this stout but it is local enough to me where it is priced pretty well at $6.99 a 4 pack. I have seen it at local markets for as much as $3 more.

It seems that this stout always has a character about it that turns me off. I find it on the back end. Up front it has that traditional RIS that's so prevalent for the style but I can't seem to get beyond the off flavors I get towards the end.

There are roasted malts and black licorice candy which you would typically expect in this style but the finish is just too frustrating for me. Some reviews complain about the lack of carbonation here but I think they are on to exactly what I am saying about the finishing flavors. This year I got an idea on how to fix this issue and I have to say I nailed it first try. I added some high end all natural organic vanilla extract, about a teaspoon full into a 12 ounce bottle. Wow! who would think that this 1 thing could change everything about this beer, up front and all the way home.

If this additional flavor was added to this beer at the brewer You would see much higher reviews I am sure. Most reviews are up there but not everyone is as picky and critical of a beer as a few others like me. Try it and see. Just make sure you use high quality extract. Cheers. (1,696 characters)

Photo of aasher
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours an oily midnight black with a dark, dark khaki head. The smell is of burnt coffee, bitter chocolate, tree bark, tootsie rolls and lactic sweetness. The taste is of sweet milk chocolate, burnt coffee, and alcohol, alot of alcohol. It drinks smoothly but could be considered a little light for a RIS. I don't find this to be as good as advertised. The alcohol comes out far too much in the taste and after taste. The booze lingers and it's a little too sweet for my liking. (487 characters)

Photo of TheSarge
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

All right, my first RIS, and it's a doosey.

Pours a finger thick chocolate milkshake looking head. This has great lacing along with a jet-black colored body.

The aroma is of coffee and semi sweet chocolate, and the ethyl is detectable in the fragrance too.

Okay, in the taste is the chocolate dominance. I'd say semi sweet to baker's chocolate.

This is a tough cookie of a beer, and is not like something I've had in a long time. Overall very enjoyable, and I'd like to pair this with a good chocolaty desert sometime. (522 characters)

Photo of auroracrisis
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled into a snifter, Winter 09-10 bottling.

Pours infinitely black. I can't even see through the edges of the glass. One finger head that dissipates into a collar of foam.

The smell is licorice and toffee up front. A touch of cocoa beans and booze as well. Stale pumpernickel and a little caramel too. Seems to be a bit boozey for it's age though, the alcohol tingles your nose.

On the tongue we have muddled licorice, bakers chocolate, weak coffee, and booze. Caramel and a touch of peat or smoke as the beer warms. Alcohol too. Again, it seems a bit boozey for a beer that is almost 2 years old.

Thin for a stout. I'd say a light medium body, with moderate carbonation for the style. A little sticky, and some tingle from the alcohol.

Overall, this isn't the best Russian Imperial Stout. In fact, it's more of an American Double in my opinion. But, you get what you pay for. Okay chocolate and licorice flavor, and a nice amount of alcohol. It's not bad per say, but for my money I'd rather spend a dollar more and get a four pack of Founders Imperial Stout. (1,071 characters)

Photo of Tford
3.39/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It pours a deep black with a small, light brown coloured head

S: There isn’t a whole lot of odorants here, it mostly smells of alcohol.

T: The initial taste is a light chocolate, then the alcohol takes over. The aftertaste is a slightly bitter chocolate coffee flavour. Surprisingly, I can taste more coffee than chocolate

M: I was expecting this to have a heavy body, but it is rather light. There is a health amount of carbonation as well.

O: There is nothing horribly wrong with this beer, but there is nothing excellent about it either. I think it needs more chocolate to balance the high abv. As far as chocolate stouts go, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout is much better. (687 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with "Limited Bottling - Winter '00-'01".

Appearance: Ink black with a light brown and quite impressive lace that retains like a champ.

Smell: Dark chocolate covered espresso beans and a mild ripe prune fruitiness.

Taste: Full bodied and very smooth, a tangled mesh of dark roasted coffee and dark unsweetened chocolate. Hops are vague amongst the roasted barley bitterness, some sweetness prevails with a fruitiness attached of prunes. Roasted and chocolate flavours linger just about forever. Alcohol is certainly there with its feeling of warmth to the throat and chest.

Notes: Layered and complex, a strong foothold on the taste buds with the roasted character. This brew will get even better towards the end of the winter with some age.
Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with "Limited Bottling - Winter '99-'00".

Appearance: Close to pitch black, thick and creamy tan lace with a sufficient head retention.

Smell: Fusel alcohols near to a cooking sherry aroma, twang of roasted and charcoal in the nose also.

Taste: Massively creamy with a thick bold body or malt that is close to being syrupy. Smoothness is quite incredible. Burnt fruit and some fusel alcohols give a twang and kick respectively. Roasted flavours are intact with a slight acidic flavour that melds well with the fruitiness. Alcohols are a bit too much and tell you in one way or another to respect the brew. Hops are faded and a touch herbal / leafy in flavour amongst the roasted prowess. Vagueness of wet paper shows a touch of age from oxidation, not in a bad way though.

Notes: Best consumed at cellar temperature, alcohols are a bit too much and if the oxidation could hold out for a year or more this beer will mellow out to be a great vintage brew. (1,810 characters)

Photo of Blanco
3.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

black, tan head, some of the most excellent lacing i've seen from a stout. deep chocolate smell with a hint of roast chocolate. some alcohol is also present in the nose. booziness up front followed by some bitterness. aftertaste is a lot like one of those box candies that has some fruit inside. It has some slight chocolate in the taste, but to be honest, I get a lot more chocolate taste from many stouts that don't have "chocolate" in the name. I suppose this is a decent stout, but the bitterness and booziness are a little off putting and I was hoping for some more actual chocolate flavor. This is a fresh 10-11. Wondering if some age on it wouldn't improve this a bit. (675 characters)

Photo of quasimoto
3.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep black color, cant see through it. The head is frothy fingers worth, and leaves lace. Looks good.

S - Strong notes of chocolate start off this beer. There is a slight background of roasted coffee, molasses, and a slight alcohol presence.

T - Starts out with a strong coffee grain flavor, and some alcohol. It all covers the chocolate flavor.

M - Big and viscous. The alcohol warms up the mouth feel. There is some bitterness, but it blends with the alcohol.

D - I'd give it a year. This was brewed for winter 2006, so I'm going to age the rest. (567 characters)

Photo of hippityhops85
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage on draft at the Blue Dog in Lansdale, PA. Poured into a 13oz tulip glass.

Pours pitch black with a beautiful mocha colored head that forms excellent lacing on the glass. A really beautiful stout.

The nose carries bittersweet chocolate, toasted malts, pretty muted although I really had to let this warm up as it was served insanely cold.

After about 20 minutes of allowing it to warm I tasted it. The taste had lots of bitter chef's chocolate that almost came off as metallic. Kind of let down but this. Lots and lots of bitterness.

I've only ever had this brew on draft and after reading the great reviews on here I think I need to try it out of the bottle because the draft has never done anything for me. (727 characters)

Photo of johnso98
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Winter '12-'13. Not the best chocolate stout I've ever had, or even chocolate beer for that matter. When the chocolate taste does come through, it is enjoyable. But this stout doesn't exactly match up to Guinness Draught.

A - A great black color with a dark brown head.
S - Initially smelled of chocolate, then turned nasty
T - Initially of chocolate once again, then became muddled with all kinds of flavors that I can't really discern, but was not enjoyable. Ultimately finished with some more warm dark chocolate.
M - It's drinkable. The taste is very inconsistent though, which does sort of affect mouthfeel. The alcohol is not noticeable until the finish, but that's normal.
O - Brooklyn makes some other beers that I like a lot, so I had higher expectations for this one. At this price, I probably would not get this again. A 22oz bottle of Rogue's chocolate stout would've been a much better investment even if it meant half as much beer. (946 characters)

Photo of Dithyramb
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Perfectly pictured stout pour--jet black, no light peering through, dark tan everlasting head with perfect lacing--from this season's (2005-2006) version. Came out in the classic oil like delivery.

Feel the nose and the taste were one sided. Heavily influenced by the bitter range with super dark malts and chalky bitterness. Didn't feel it had the necessary depth that one would expect from something that is supposedly a classic.

Perhaps some bitter Turkish coffee grind flavors, but little to no sweetness. Dark chocolate was here, but only in the lingering mouthfeel. It was initially bitter, but as I sat and talked with those around me, I definitely picked up some expensive dark chocolate notes, but not in the overall flavor profile. Alcohol esters, some old molasses, and bourbon touches are here as well. Just felt a bit one sided to me.

Rich, full flavored brew, just doesn't seem well rounded enough for several. (935 characters)

Photo of RoBotGod
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The nose and the appearance were about the same all around. It smelled like black liquorish and looked like it as well. I didnt get a whole lot off the nose. It had a hot and just over the top malt aroma but not a whole lot past that. I pick up some tar smell. The tate for me as a little unbalanced. Most of what I taste is thick heavy malt and alcohol. This probably means I should have let this beer age a little but it was already a year and a half out. The finish is very sweet at first and then is wrapped up by dry bitter malt in the end. Didnt really pick up a whole lot of dark chocolate flavor. (604 characters)

Photo of NODAK
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Aroma is somewhat relaxed for style. Mostly of chocolate and some roasted notes. All in all though, pretty light.

Pours a black, thick hue in the glass with a fat dark brown head with decent lasting power.

Mouthfeel is very oily here. Carbonation pretty good for style. Taste has definite notes of chocolate and roasted malts in the body followed by a little bit of dark fruit. Finish has a bit of alcohol showing through, and has a lot of bittersweet chocolate. Some astringent bitterness from the roasted malts is there as well. As the beer warms, the alcohol really shows more.

This is definitely a chocolate forward, thick beer. For style, it is pretty drinkable and nice to drink until it warms some...then, not so much. (729 characters)

Photo of Slynger
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a jet black with a mocha head.
The smell is somewhat faint considering the ABV. Semi-sweet chocolate and roasted malts.
The taste is of the same semi-sweet chocolate and roasted malts along with some bitter coffee. Really not as much to this one as I had hoped.
Mouthfeel is full but not overly smooth, creamy, or chewy.
I was really not that impressed by this one. Not as complex as it could be for the style or ABV. Not bad, but slightly over-rated in my opinion. (471 characters)

Photo of JamesS
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a great dark black with good head and decent lacing. Has a slight chocolate scent, along with a bit of roasted grains, but it's not very strong. Taste has little (bitter) chocolate, little roasted grains, and little of anything beyond the heavy alcohol. Goes down all right for an imperial, a little rough. Nice to try, but nothing outstanding in it.

EDIT/UPDATE: Much better. Don't know if I had a bad batch, my taste buds are craft beer better, or something else, but I've really enjoyed this beer much more. Nice chocolate and stout tones without being too alcohol hot. (579 characters)

Photo of jph424
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bought as part of a $7.99 mix a six at Mac's.

A - Black black with a small light brown head

S - Different than I expected. Cherry, caramel, and alcohol.

T - I taste sour cherries, some brown sugary sweetness, alcohol, and some really dark chocolate hints.

M - Terrific! Full bodied silky smooth with light carbonation.

D - A terrific sipper but certainly not a beer to drink all night.

I am going to pick up another and lay it down for a year or so as this one is really fresh and I think this could use a little aging. (526 characters)

Photo of SirSketch
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer ranges in color from dark brown to black with dark reddish hues at the bottom and sides. Smell consists mainly of milk chocolate, graham cracker, and very light burnt coffee beans. The alcohol is very apparent, but it comes off more like paint thinner.

Much darker chocolate and coffee taste then the smell suggested. Bitterness seems to come from both hops and chocolate, but no hop character otherwise. Some toasted bread notes as well. Medium to full bodied in mouth feel with little carbonation and a dry aftertaste. A decent brew I would suggest if you come by it. (580 characters)

Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Typical of the style, this beer pours jet black out of the bottle, with no light escaping through the liquid. There is a good amount of bubbly tan head, which recedes slowly in to a thin collar and a churning froth on top. The smell is quite odd to say the least. The only words that come to my mind when the smell hits my nose are salty raisinettes. There is very little scent of hops or malt because they are over powered by this off-chocolate fruity smell. The taste is more pleasant than the smell is. It is a smooth beer to drink, although it leaves a slightly chalky feel in the mouth. The taste is that of burnt malt and a little coffee and chocolate, hiding the hops underneath. The smell of this beer is strong enough to influence the initial taste as it hits your tongue. The aftertaste is very subtle roast coffee. Although there is alot of flavor to this beer, it is a bit unbalanced. Regardless, its not bad at all. (928 characters)

Photo of Jarpo
3.42/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from trade (thanks OrangeAmps).

A:Pours very dark with little to no head.

S:I wasn't getting much at all from the aroma of this one. Very very slight chocolate and licorice.

T:Where's the chocolate? I feel misled from the name of the beer. This was a pretty good imperial stout, but I was expecting more chocolate flavors. I felt the 10% alcohol was masked pretty well. I let the beer warm up a considerable amount which helped it open up a bit.

M:Very nice consistency on this one. Pretty thick with little carbonation.

O:I have three more of these to try so hopefully my palate is just having an off night. If the other bottles taste the same to me I definitely wouldn't seek this one out again. (718 characters)

Photo of Reaper16
3.42/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Thanks, FernMaster!
12oz bottle - 2009 vintage - poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark cola brown. Lighter brown at the edges. It isn't inspiring me to write anything else about its body. An incremental spread of tan foam tops the beer off. A swirl of agitation yields no increase in the head. Lacing? Not really.

The aroma is very malty, as one would guess. Deep malt with a bit of, like, port running through it. Some nice chocolate tones, too; more milk chocolate than dark chocolate. Not very roasty. This smells pretty good, if unusual from the impy stouts I tend to drink.

Black Chocolate Stout is unusual on the palate, too. This isn't a bitter, roasty stout. It is malty and smooth and fairly clean. Much more malted barley flavor than chocolate. Coffee just isn't there. Ghosts of dark fruits that link up with the port smell. Some cardboard flavor shows up... this and the port quality make me think there is some oxidization going on. Anyways, different? Yes. Good? Almost.

Way too thin for an Imperial Stout. This is super-light. Oddly thin. It isn't satisfying. The only reason that this doesn't get a 1.0 is because the light flavors of the beer go well with the mouthfeel. But I am rating to style, so... The drinkabilty is consequently good. This is a stout that you want to polish off a few of in a session (though at 10% ABV you shouldn't).

I suppose that I am disappointed by this beer. It isn't to my taste. It is decent enough but if this were available locally to me then I wouldn't be rushing out to buy a 4-pack when it comes out each year. (1,567 characters)

Photo of hopflyer
3.42/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Julian date 2663. So bottled September 23, 2013

pours pitch black, small tan head. head retains throughout with minimal lacing.

aroma is light roast coffee and a bit of dark chocolate. Dominated by dark fruits though, fig, plum.

Coffee and dark fruits from the nose follow thru the initial taste. Not picking up much of the dark chocolate. Some bitterness and subtle resinous hops. Alcohol hidden well. Bitterness carries thru and doesn't really mellow out much and lingers more than I would like it to in the aftertaste. Some backstage black licorice too. Sambuca-like as it warms and booziness becomes apparent. Where's the dark chocolate?!

Very thick and sticky with moderate carbonation.

I think this is my first beer from Brooklyn and I'm underwhelmed. Was expecting a nice smooth chocolate stout. Instead it was more of a bitter liqueur. Not a bad beer but it's label doesn't match its contents according to my palate. (929 characters)

Photo of DPhillips1027
3.42/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark black reminds me of used motor oil only thinner, nice creamy brown head that fades quickly a little lacy on the glass.

Smell: Strong coffee & molasses with a whiff of alcohol and a hint of something lightly burnt.

Taste: Slightly carbonated with a rush of rich dark roasted coffee with bitter dark chocolate overtones, followed by the slow burn of the alcohol, finishes with the lingering taste of burnt toast.

Mouthfeel: A little to light for the flavor profile. Slightly watery expected a little thicker beer.

Drinkability: Definitely a winner year after year. Have cellared them for a year and seems to mellow a little a great choice after supper on a cold Ohio night. (692 characters)

Photo of hophugger
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a beautiful dark chocolate brown color with a rocky, firm and tan head and really awesome, sticky lacing. Aroma is very dark chocolately with a hint of coffee. Taste is upfront with the booze(10% ABV), but once you get past that, the chocolate(bittersweet) and light roasted coffee flavors come through. Mouthfeel is decent, with a little alcohol burn, but stilla little malt sweetness and smoothness, overall, not bad, but think it would be a little more enjoyable at maybe 7-8% ABV... (493 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of chocolate and malts. Taste is like the smell, malts, chocolate, some alcohol, pretty good. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a fine quality beer. (277 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage Winter 10-11

Look: Black and totally opaque with just over a 1/4 inch dark tan head and no real retention. It does leave behind a slight film on the top of the beer

Smell: A little roastiness upfront traces of chocolate and alcohol

Taste: Upfront I get some roast but quite a bit of alcohol is present and this beer is a year old so it's kind of surprising to me. The beer is quite syrupy and there are very slight traces of dark chocolate notes on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Full body low carbonation a tad silky and a hint of alcohol heat

Overall: The name of the beer for me was a bit misleading because I expected big chocolate notes and they are just not here. Maybe because it is a year old so i will take a second look on this one with a fresh bottle (769 characters)

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 2,716 ratings.