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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,722 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,722
Hads: 6,257
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 384
Gots: 1,237 | FT: 54
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: 2,722 | Hads: 6,257
Photo of bditty187
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black hue. Opaque. The russet head is simply gorgeous; it reached a modest finger in height before slowly collapsing to a half finger then to a soapy cap. There was no lacing, disappointing. Still this is a damn pleasant looking stout. The nose is dry with deep chocolate notes and well-rounded roasted malts, vague hints of alcohol toward the back. The potency is good, it doesn’t really punch you in the nose but it is strong enough to say, “hey, jackass… drink me!” I am a good listener. The palate is much more complex then the aromas indicated. I am surprised at the fruitiness upfront, notes of cherries really standout and they dance a sexy dance with the roasted malts. Burning alcohol is blunt in the middle; the malt is quite dry now. In the finish a mellow suggestion of coffee and chocolate develops, as does some sweetness. This is offset by spicy alcohol. The hoppiness is as subtle as Storm King is blunt. Overall the taste is very good but I can’t help thinking more burnt malt is needed, maybe even a little more hops. And, in all honestly, it does fall apart at the end. Medium-full in body, at times it did creep awfully close to medium, which I don’t think is appropriate for this beer, the carbonation is modest and very natural. The mouthfeel is sufficient. It is drinkable as a nightcap; the biting alcohol is too much for me. Maybe my sample is too young (’03-’04 edition) but I wanted to try it now! I believe there are better Imperial Stouts on the market but this one is worthy of your attention but maybe not its lofty reputation.

Thanks Bierman9! (1,587 characters)

Photo of PartyHatjo
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2003-2004 Edition
This beer pours a very dark brown--nearly as black as an oil. Very viscous for a beer. The head was about a half an inch of dark tan creamy goodness, but dissipated very quickly to a monolayer of head.

The aroma is inherently roasted malt, with no hint of hops at all--it's chocolatey and somewhat burnt.

The taste is roasty-malty with hints of chocolate, raisins and prune. There is a slight tang that lingers on the back of the tongue. The bitter aftertaste is a welcome after the somewhat sweet initial flavor.

This beer is very smooth. It practically rolls off the tongue. Carbonation is high enough to break out new flavors, yet not so much that it crackles in your mouth.

For a higher alcohol beer, this is one that I can take a few of. (773 characters)

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

2003-2004 edition.
The beer is a very deep, murky umber, pretty much black, topped with a thick, dusky olive hued khaki froth. The head dies out to a thick film, but keeps for the remainder of the glass.
The aroma is hugely roasty, with a mellowing smoothness that blends everything seamlessly. The malt is slightly husky, with loads of chocolate and coffee. A bit of burnt toffee sweetness, with a touch of charred wood and smoke. A thin layer of fig and prune esters are spread over the malt, with a dash of date and light chicory. As the beer warms, a bittersweet baker's chocolate becomes readily apparent, consuming the air within the snifter. Very mild alcohol, mostly masked by the burnt, roasty malt.
The flavor starts immediately with mellow, bittersweet chocolate malt, a bit of chicory adding a woodiness that pervades throughout. Pleasant esters are spread over the malt, lending a gentle fruitiness that hints at prune, fig, banana, and black cherry. A touch of blackberry into the finish, meeting mild, balancing english hops. The bitterness is mostly derived from the heavy roastiness, a charred woodiness and black coffee stretching out the finish. A slight alcoholic twang in the swallow. Coffee and chocolate linger in the aftertaste.
A very nice year. I missed last year's version, but this year seems much smoother that I recalled from previous versions. Surprisingly easy drinking for such a massive beer, with an excellent bittersweet chocolate flavor. (1,479 characters)

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

2003-2004 Edition
I have never tried it before this year, and I must say I was highly impressed. This is one of the best stouts that I have sampled. It is flavorful and smooth, and in my opinion, right up there with Storm King. In fact, I would almost prefer this to the storm king because it is far more drinkable in my opinion. The beer is extremely dark, it is opaquely black when held up to the light, not allowing any to pass through, with the faintest red tinges around the edges. The taste is excellent, and the alcohol is extremely well disguised in my opinion. Overall, I would say that this is one of my favorite brews. In my region (New Jersey) it is quite easy to find, but I would recommend others who cannot find it locally to seek it out through a trade or other arrangement because it is certainly worth it. (824 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle of this year's batch. Pours a dark, almost completely black liquid with a tan foamy head. Looks good so far. Smells of chocoalte and almost black licorice. Stron hops, cjocolate and almost like aprune taste. I could really feel the higher alcohol presence. Good mouthfeel, maybe a touch thin. Probably couldn't have more than one or two of these. Still a good imperial stout. I had some success cellaring last year's batch and it turned out very well, although I didn't review it. Anyway, don't pass this one up. (526 characters)

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

This seasonal gives me a reason to appreciate winter, even though I hate the cold and snow. The beer has a strong, pleasant smell of malt. It leaves minimal lacing as you sip mouthful after tasty mouthful.

There's a sharp, hoppy aftertaste, followed by a second aftertaste that is malty and sweet. The first taste gives the impression that the beer is simple by the standards of stouts, but the complexity comes out in the after taste. The head is thick and creamy. It's surprisingly drinkable for a beer with 8.5 ABV. (522 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured motor oil black with just a slight ruby highlight. The head was brown and huge, lasting to lace the glass.

The aroma was huge roasted and chocolate. Just a slight hint of alcohol and plenty of fruitiness. A complex assortment of aromatics.

The flavor was smooth with plenty chocolate. In the background is intense bitterness to balance the malt. Also some dark fruit in the flavor.

The finish was dry bittersweet chocolate. The body was full.

A complex, very enjoyable brew.

12 ounce bottle. Vintage '03-'04. (539 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ink black with the barest sliver of ruby at the edges. BBCS is as close to absolute black as it's possible to get... without quite getting there. The expansive crown is dark tan in color and appears sticky enough to have some staying power. There's isn't much lace, though small ragged sheets are seen.

The aroma is redolent of sweet dark roasted malt, with the usual RIS overlay of chocolate and black coffee. The former is more prominent than the latter. Hops don't make much of an olfactory splash.

My first impression of the flavor is that the alcohol is more evident than it should be. It isn't masked well at all. There's plenty of bittersweet chocolate, which is nice. It's like drinking a melted Hershey's Special Dark chocolate bar mixed with espresso and vodka. Too bad it's a little too raw and burnt/charred.

This beer doesn't have the power, the depth or the complexity of Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout or Bell's Expedition Stout. Masking the alcohol more completely would go a long way toward letting the flavor profile free to do its thing. The mouthfeel is thick and smooth. No complaints there.

I don't know if cellaring this relatively fresh Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout will soften it a little, but I'll give it a try since I have five bottles left to drink. (1,284 characters)

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

02-03 bottling

Appearance: Syrupy black with slight carbonation. Small tan head that slowly settled to nothing. Sticky, spotty lacing with vinous tearing.

Smell: Dark roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Hops noticeable but in the background.

Taste: Soft and creamy, with heavy espresso and chocolate malt. Noticeable alcohol kick, with hops just peeking through in this aged version's finish. (407 characters)

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

Great Winter Warmer offering from Brooklyn Brewery.
Onyx color, with a thick robust head small but great color. The alcohol was present in the aroma with chocolate and roasted coffee. Tasted said coffee and hints of burnt chocolate with a nice afterburn of caramel malts and alcohol. The mouthfeel was decent but not as thick as I like. Thank you I'll have another. (366 characters)

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at the Pop the Cap Winter Warmer Event, 1/31 at Tyler's.

Poured a very, very dark brown color with an overfoamed (from a faulty tap) beige head. The huge head to beer ratio doesn't get me down, though, because I've been waiting to taste this one for a long time.

Aroma was smooth, with chocolate peaking through here and there. Upon tasting, I found a very smooth brew with a soft finish full of bitter chocolate and earthy tones. I thought this was really drinkable for an imperial stout, though a touch thinner in the mouth than I had anticipated. It also had a nice crispness, thought it also meant the chocolate only stayed with me for a short time.

I had huge expectations for this beer, and it mostly lived up to them. All around, a smooth, subtle beer (especially for an imperial). Very good. (816 characters)

Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

'03-'04 bottling.
Pours a dark brown to black. Opaque black in the glass. Nice brown head.
Aroma shows plenty of roasty malt and coffee. Some chocolate and alcohol as well. A bit of earthiness.

Taste shows an imperial stout with plenty of roasty bitterness. Roasted malt and coffee are predominant. Alcohol is pretty evident. Slight chocolate notes. Solid balance. An overall earthy character.

Solid body and mouthfeel, but not as thick as lots of other imperial stouts.
Drinkability knocked down a notch due to the prevalent roasty bitterness and alcohol.

Overall, a good imperial stout, although I prefer my imperial stouts sweeter than this one.
Big thanks to TwelveVoltMan for the bottle! (707 characters)

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

I had this on tap at Market Cross Pub in Carlisle, PA last night with my wife's uncle. He treated me to a celebratory beer(s) in honor of our son who was born a little over 2 weeks ago.

The waitress brought me a black, light-tight beverage with a nice tan head. It looks thick and rich.

Smells are roasted malt with definite dark chocolate and coffee overtones.

The first sip brought a rich, creamy, smooth, roasted molasses flavor. The second sip was gloriously chocolate and coffee-like and left a lingering sweet tickle on the sides of my tongue. This is one awesome beer!

I wouldn't suggest having this beer with a meal. Instead, have it all by itself and enjoy each delicious mouthful. (705 characters)

Photo of winomark
3/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pitch black with a frothy, tan head.

Aroma: Sweet malt and chocolate. Some alcohol present.

Taste: Rich coffee and chocolate. Dry, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Coating, but dry. Slightly sour and acidic.

Drinkability: Balanced, but not a favorite of mine.

Tasted blind at the Saint Louis BA tasting 12/14/03 (331 characters)

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

Appearance – I’ll actually call this black in color (which I seldom due) with a decent head.

Smell – This is as roasty as it gets. The malts and chocolate are super-dark, reflecting the color of the ale. I can actually pick up several types of chocolate here, a fine dark style being the most prominent. The roasted malts are burnt and lovely, showing a lot of depth in character.

Taste – This is like drinking dark chocolate coca powder. It is so dark and so chocolaty, it’s unbelievable. This one definitely lives up to its name.

The malts are equally as mature, complimented at the tongue with some nice fruiting that I failed to pick out at the nose. I particularly enjoy the prune and cherry mix that I’m getting here.

Mouthfeel – This was not full in the mouth, but it was very big with an amazing smoothness. It will most assuredly pucker your mouth with the bitter dark chocolate character.

Drinkability – I thought about eating a Hershey’s with this just for kicks, but decided to enjoy the flavors all on their own. This was incredible.

Comments – A big thanks to OldFrothingSlosh who sent me this just for the hell of it after we did a previous trade. This was an enjoyable and very unique experience for me, and I greatly appreciate the gesture.

BeerAdvocates rule! (1,308 characters)

Photo of kmo1030
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle of the '02-'03, tasted on jan 21th 2004
pour thick and black like dirty motor oil (except it's sort of appetizing in this context). black with a thin brown head that doesn't linger. smells like unsweetened bakers chocolate with a slight black licorice undertone. it smells faintly alcoholic too. tastes chocolatey as hell. can't pick out any of the licorice form the smell. slightly grainy tastes develop after a few sips. slight hoppiness goes well with the beitter chocolate flavors. a thick mouthfeel suits this intensely rich stout. drinkability suffers a little though, it's really heavy and rich i can't see drinking more than one of these in a sitting, or even very often. (687 characters)

Photo of Hagbard
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark black, it looks just like chocolate syrup. It left a minimalist light-tan head that didn't stay around for long. The aroma is very powerful, reaching my nose after the pour, before bringing my glass up off the table. It smells of chocolate, like a chocolate milkshake. Not much else, as far as I can tell. The taste is similar, starts of very chocolatey and the chocolate sticks around through much of the sip. As I swallowed, and especially when I breathed out my nose, I noticed a sharp bitter metallic taste, which wasn't especially pleasing. The alcohol is hidden extremely well behind the chocolate background. The mouthfeel is very heavy and syrupy, but seems very appropriate for this beer. The carbonation level is nice. Though the pint went down easily enough, I couldn't drink more than 2 of these in a sitting and 1 per sitting seems more appropriate.

I liked this beer, but was a little disappointed with it. Chocolate stouts have been hit or miss with me, I love Young's but didn't like Rogue very much. This falls in the middle. The chocolate taste was not overwhelming, like Rogue's, but there isn't much else going on. It is not as smooth as Young's. The BBCS is a very nice dessert beer...actually skip the dessert and just drink this! I was a little surprised that this was an imperial stout, as I didn't notice the complexity I normally do with the style. I also didn't really notice the alcohol at all. (1,438 characters)

Photo of ADR
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Out of a bottle, Extreme Beer Fest 2004...

Opaque black color. Great glistening 1/2 inch head of light brown color. Heavy lacing properties. Malty caramel aroma, some alcohol sense, overall sweetish and milk chocolate though. Mouthfeel is excellent, smooth and consistent and well-composed. Impression is chocolate-based to be sure, a touch of roast and coffee, but overall, very sweet. Pleasant aftertaste. In many ways this beer falls short of Imperial fire and comes off a tad too saccharin for me. I was looking for more burnt tones, dark fruits, hops, and power. (570 characters)

Photo of ngandhi
2.47/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2002-2003 vintage

Who put highland scotch in my glass? The nose on Brooklyn is alcohol muddied by stale mocha and what the wine world would call "funk." Deep with earth yet ready to burst with hops, the stout smells like a true Russian IS mixed with the overhopped American intepretation. Either that, or it smells like the reason Russia needed its own IS -- by the time the 3abv British stouts made it over to the Ukraine, they had begun to rot.

The taste is thin. I'm immediately pressed with bitterness -- some from the hops and some from an overuse of burnt grain. The main taste isn't chocolate or any variation of chocolate malt; it's cola and alcohol. And somewhere within all of this is a shot of sherry finished highland scotch.

I would say this beer is young, but the weak flavors, low alcohol, and overall washed out quality makes me think this stuff wouldn't stand a chance in the cellar. And, if the alcohol really is under 10% in this vintage, Brooklyn does a miserable job of masking it.

Relax, relax.
ng (1,035 characters)

Photo of CBFanWish
3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The color was black with a moderate tan head. The smell was of chocolate and coffee. The taste was also of chocolate and coffee, but it was too much for me. All I tasted was the chocolate. It was kind of a musty feel. It also had a slight hint of coffee. It tasted like a "senior living community" smells. But it did go down pretty good. (337 characters)

Photo of Indybeer
3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Part of my Holiday trade. Thanks Loki! Poured a pitch black with a massive head that really stuck around. Lots of lacing on the glass. Aroma is a strong roasted, almost burnt coffee. The taste for me was all over the place. Thick and chewy like a stout should be. But way too young I think. Good thing I got another bottle today from ManekiNeko in my BIF 4.0 package, gotta let this thing age for awhile and try it again. I just couldn't get through this. There is just something in this that didn't go over very well. (532 characters)

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

Release 2003 – 2004
The beer pours an atramentous color with a thick behemothic chocolate colored head that last longer than the winter’s In Maine, that’s for your benefit bennybrew “tee hee”. The aroma of fresh coffee, sweet chocolate, malt, citrus crisp and fresh, start is delightfully sweet, rich in malt, the top full and rich in its feel to the palate. Finish is dynamically hopped, measured in its acidity, the aftertaste bittersweet chocolate dry and quite long lasting, a beer I wait for each year and always hate to see it go, I thank “UncleJimbo” for this bottle.

Release 2002 - 2003
As much as the Bell’s Expedition stout was devoid of head, this beer has a monumental head, creamy like whipped chocolate which is its color and as it evanesces, leaves behind a thick sheet of lace to smother the glass. The aroma of hot chocolate, sweet malt, hints of coffee and the toasted grains make this a quite sniffable brew, what a treat to this old honker. Sweet as chocolate fudge on the start, top thick and full to the palate, finish has a delightful amount of carbonation, the hops pertinent but not overpowering, bittersweet chocolate dry aftertaste that lingers on the palate for hours. Delightful stout, and a must if your into the dark side. (1,266 characters)

Photo of BeerFan
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This '03-'04 edition poured a pitch black color with a thick, compact brown head that disappeared kind of quickly, but left excellent lacing. Vinous aroma of dark chocolate, dark fruit, coffee, espresso and currants. Lots going on with all these roasted malts. Taste of burnt, bittersweet chocolate and coffee, but has a nice hop balance to keeping it from being too sweet. Thick-bodied with a nice warming sensation in the belly. Alcohol shows its presence, but is not overbearing. What a wonderful winter warmer. I have been drinking this treat since it first hit the market back in '94 when Garrett Oliver just started working at the Brooklyn Brewery. (654 characters)

Photo of twilight
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, Nonick Pint Glass

Poured black as night, almost like the dark stuff our beergdreams are made of. Little to no head, giving way to a clear view into the darkness of the beer. It smells exactly like chocolate or dark patent malts. The roast is everpresent. The taste however, highlights this roasted smell. Imagine the darkest chocolate you've ever eaten mixed with coffee but without the bitterness. Until the end of the sip, when you have an aftertaste of the alcohol with a lingering roast. This is definitely a sipper, as it is full of flavor as well as a high ABV. (585 characters)

Photo of clvand0
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting to try this one. Pours an extremely dark color with a thin tan head that leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma was mostly just malts, but there was a faint hint of coffee and a little less of chocolate. Now for the flavor: Initially I got a burst of dark chocolate flavor, followed closely by a sweet malty flavor, then it finished with a strong alcohol tone. A lot more smooth than I had first imagined, but it could be more so if they could mask the alcohol a little better. Still a wonderful brew and the initial burst of chocolate was superb. Loved this one. I think it took me nearly 40 minutes to finish it because I kept just sipping it to get the most of the flavor. (696 characters)

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 2,722 ratings.