Brooklyn Black OPS | Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Black OPSBrooklyn Black OPS

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brooklyn Black Ops (2008 commercially available version) was aged for four months in bourbon barrels, bottled flat, and re-fermented in the bottle with Champagne yeast. 940 cases produced.


Added by RixBeer on 12-20-2007

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Reviews: 849 | Ratings: 2,400
Photo of HopHunter19
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark pitch black beer with a mocha head that fizzes and dissipates pretty quickly, but not excessively quick.
S # alot of dark fruit - cherries and plums, then some chocolate syrup, bourbon, toasted coconut, oak, vanilla
T % good bit of chocolate, dark roasty malts, bourbon, mild vanilla and oak, dark fruits
M @ too thin for a bba stout, alc covered, afertaste is roasty malts and chocolate
O $ this is waaaayyyyyyy too expensive for what it is. Yes, its a bba stout but its a little thin, too light on the barrel character, and over carbed. It should be half the price even to be equivalent to beers like bcbs or bells black note. Hell, even Parabola, which is out of control good, comes in at 16 a bomber.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown/black with a nice brownish head that breaks quickly, but leaves a nice collar behind. The smell is mostly barrel, and then I get the RIS typical smells of roads and dark fruits. The taste is big barrel and then vanilla, roasts and a touch of spice. Feel is the weakness to me, it is a little thin, and there is a boozy presence as well. A good beer, the barrel was a touch strong, but after you get past that, it is quite nice.

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Photo of BEER88
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle says "BQE Q4 2105", so I'm guessing it's a 2015 bottle! Poured this Big corked bomber into a tulip. Pours jet black with a fizzy head that dissipates. This beer smells incredible: champagne, dark fruits, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and believe it or not some barnyard funk. The taste follows the smell all in layers, but I get a tad tart (in a good way) and it keeps me interested and going for another taste. As this beer warms it brings out the booze and dark fruits/malts and champagne. The feel is effervescent and a tad thin but I like it a lot. Overall I gave it a 4.5 because imo I thinks it's very interesting and delicious. Cheers.

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Photo of JamFuel
4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a jet black, with little head.

Nose is dominated by oak and vanilla from the bourbon barrels, with hints of dark chocolate.

Taste follows the nose with huge barrel presence, loads of vanilla and oak notes, along with plenty of chocolate. The finish is straight up coffee ice cream. Just enough sweetness to balance the oak.

Mouthfeel is a little bit thin, had this been a little thicker, it would be world class.

Overall, a terrific stout, with great depth to its flavor, It's just a touch to thin to really reach the elite level.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 2013 version poured from a 750ml bottle into a speiglau BA glass.

Look is pitch black with a thin tan head.

For a few years on it the bourbon is still pretty perceptible. Lots of oak and vanilla little burnt chocolate at the end.

Taste is a little thin at first might be a little too cold, because it opens up to a bourbon chocolate blast like an alcohol infused truffle.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 PINT, 9.4 FLUID OZ bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours black and is topped with three or four inches of mocha head that leaves little lacing. The bottle was lively similar to a saison in that foam crept from the top of the bottle shortly after popping the cork.

I smell dark fruit, alcohol, and chocolate.

The taste has some dark fruit along with some bitter chocolate and a little coffee in the finish.

Medium to full mouthfeel with a lot of carbonation

It tasted fine. The mouthfeel was kind of like a saison. I'm assuming that was due to the bottle fermentation.

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Photo of BFCarr
4.04/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bourbon and they're not kidding. Pours black with a thick tan head. Smell is almost dark rum instead of bourbon. Taste, however is bourbon with some roasted notes. Feel is good, nice body. Overall if you like bourbon, this is for you.

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Photo of Nunya
3.18/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2014 from bottle into proper glass. Pours with nice head looks very good but that's where it ends. Smells boozy. Taste is as thin as I've ever had from a barrel aged stout and very boozy just as it smells. Hard to recommend this one considering the price point. Pick just about any barrel aged stout at half the price and you'll beat this beer.

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Photo of ccg
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle labeled "BQE Q4 2016." Opened Jan. 6, 2017.
This stout looks amazing. The beer itself is jet black and sludgy. It pours with almost two inches of khaki-colored foam. It has thick legs, and if you tilt it sideways, it leaves a thick layer of foam that very slowly recedes back into the glass. After a few minutes, it still has a head on it.
The initial smell has the rather typical chocolate/malty smell of a good stout, but after that, a wave of alcohol astringency follows. Letting it warm up a bit reveals some of the barrel character, with some oak and caramel coming through. I would definitely not serve this beer when it's too cold.
The flavor is somewhat typically of a sweet, chocolatey stout. If you let it warm up long enough, a little bit of the barrel character starts to emerge, but this is still a far cry from something like BCBS.
Feel is pretty good. It's a little thin, but it has a nice creaminess.
Overall... I think we live in time that is an embarrassment of riches. I wouldn't say that this is a _bad_ BBA stout, but there are a lot of BBA stouts on the market right now that are better than this one. And at something like $25 for a 750ml bottle, it's not really a bargain either.

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Photo of calmasahinducow
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Q4 2016 bottle. 11.5% ABV

Pitch black with a beautiful dark brown head. Great looking beer. Nose is raisins with vanilla and coffee. The smell is marvelous, one of the best beers I have smelled in a while. Tastes like vanilla and alcohol - lots of it. This would be a great beer if it was a little less boozy. Mouth feel is excellent: nice, thick and creamy. Overall it's a good beer but the alcohol is really pronounced. Maybe let this age for a bit. Definitely share it with friends.

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Photo of mkh012
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured at 50ish degrees into a traditional pint glass (best I had available at the time). Near-black with a dark head.

Nose is dark chocolate, raisin, Russian Imperial roastiness, bourbon, wood, and leather.

Taste is boozy dark chocolate-covered raisin. Big and intense but relatively smooth.

Mouthfeel is medium but could be a bit creamier.

Overall, pleasant at 11.5% but lacking that extra special something to put it in incredible territory.

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Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
3.94/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A beer that I've seen traded back and forth for years. Available now in AZ and was rather disappointed, but decent nose and not so decent attempt at masking the booze.

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Photo of agreenman19
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Q4 2015 vintage. Got this as a Christmas present last year and completely forgot about it. Merry Christmas!

L - always love popping corks. Cork smells of a deep red wine. Pours a dark motor oil pitch black with a rich mocha brownish-tan head. Settles into a decadent-looking creamy ring with sticky leggy lacing. Mouth-watering.

S - dark bitter chocolate and vinous red fruits. Raspberries, cherries, and plums. The bourbon blends beautifully, swirling into the roasty chocolatey goodness gracefully.

T - strong bourboney booze up front but without the bourn. Uh, I mean "burn". Bittersweet chocolate and cacao, toasted grains. A syrupy semi-sweet chocolate sauce makes an appearance toward the end. Woodsy oakiness and what I think is champagne. Must be the yeast. Dry and lightly white grapey with a hint of rust. That might just be the hops too.

F - evervescent and seemingly over-carbonated for what you'd expect from a boozey bourbon-aged stout. Lively.

O - complex, with many different flavors and sensations, Black Ops is one smooth operator. This one will ninja its way to your liver and into your blood before you can say "intruder!" And at 11%+ you'll be anything but a ninja as you stumble into walls and trip over the dog on your way to bed.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black with burnt red edges and a large frothy tan head.

I can smell bourbon and charred oak right away, but it doesn't sting. I then get some Raisinettes and hints of maple. The sense of maple actually grows over time as it warms.

Taste is nice, smooth, soft chocolate, vanilla, and roasted nuts to start, but quickly increases in oak, wood and bourbon. While it's at midpalate it seems like it is going to be hot and harsh, but it surprisingly goes down smooth and nice, with only a little spice.

Body is moderate with a medium froth, finishing semi-dry.

By the way, all of these reviews mentioning champagne yeast are complete BS--they are simply attributing it just because they see the word champagne in the description.

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Photo of 57md
3.67/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Vintage #BQE Q4 2014

Pours a deep dark brown with almost two fingers of tan head. The nose has both bourbon and the noticeable essence of champagne. The champaigne yeast really takes over in the flavor profile and, frankly detracts from everything else.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled late 2014; drank 3/21/15 @ BMX Consortium.

Black/brown appearance.

Huge tan head which loudly dissipated; decent lace.

Banana, milk chocolate & champagne notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Banana & milk chocolate flavors up front; champagne bite on the finish. Mild booze heat emerged as this warmed. Unique & quite tasty.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 8/15/2016. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, bourbon, toasted oak, vanilla, dark bread, almond, raisin, prune, fig, date, licorice, light char, and roast/oak earthiness. Touch of booziness appears as it warms. Damn nice complexity and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, bourbon barrel, and light-moderate fruity yeast notes; with great strength. Taste of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, bourbon, toasted oak, vanilla, dark bread, almond, raisin, prune, fig, date, licorice, light char, and roast/oak earthiness. Light-moderate roasted bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, bourbon, toasted oak, vanilla, dark bread, almond, licorice, dark fruit, and roast/oak earthiness on the finish fora while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, bourbon barrel, and light-moderate fruity yeast flavors; with a great roasted bitter/sweet and bourbon/oak spiciness balance, with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from roast bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy, and fairly slick/sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden, a mild warmth lingering after the finish; with minimal barrel booziness, Overall this is an outstanding barrel aged Russian imperial stout! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, bourbon barrel, and light-moderate fruity yeast flavors; very smooth and easy to sip on for the big ABV. This was fruitier on the yeast presence than I expected; but is still spot on for an English styled RIS, with plenty of deep roast and bourbon barrel presence with great balance. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Millwightdan
4.77/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2nd best bba stout next to kbs of course.

L. Jet black with very little tanish brown head, less than one finger

S. Very strong chocolate, caramel and bourbon with slight coffee. The oak isn't that strong.. surprisingly since it's a bba

T. Caramel and chocolate are first. Strangely enough it's like biting into a snickers the second it hits your tongue. The vanillaish coffer flavor follows right before the slight boozy bourbon finish

F. a little bit lighter than expected. Maybe that's from it being fermented in the bottle. No complaints here about that

O. Like I stated earlier. This is my 2nd favorite bba I've tried. Let's face it... It's damn near impossible to compete with kbs in the bba category... But for only being aged for 4 months this is damn close (considering kbs is aged for a whole year) all in all I'm regretting not spending the extra money and buying the store out of stock

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Photo of ksimons
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015 version
A-color is an inky black with a fingers worth of dark tan head

S-roasted malt, chocolate, and bourbon sweetness

T-taste is similar to the smell with a roasted malt backbone, bourbon, and chocolate sweetness

M-mouthfeel starts out rich and full but finishes on the thin side

Overall while this is a big rich beer it does leave something to be desired in the mouthfeel

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Photo of mschrei
4.48/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle poured into snifter. Very dark, purplish edges, mild lacing. Big hot bourbon nose that isn't as hot on the taste. Roasty and barrel taste, booze well disguised. Slightly oily feel.

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Photo of zonker17
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 release consumed 5/25/16. Nose is an intoxicating blend of bourbon and wood. Taste dominated by the wood, followed by some bourbon heat, and finished with the beer malts, vanilla. Heavy body and mild carbonation.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super thick consistency and black as night used oil appearance. Left a 1/2" cherry cola like head on the top.
High degree of carbonation.

Aroma is chocolate malt, bourbon and alcohol.

Taste and mouthfeel hits with an enveloping thickness that coats the mouth and downward. Nothing unique here, tons of chocolate and bourbon feels, a little bit of vanilla, didn't really pull wood from this one though.

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Photo of Odysseyalien
3.32/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On cask at Blind Tiger, NYC. Strong licorice and alcohol flavor which alone kills it for me. Really a bit on the boozy side, minimal stout flavor. I'm beginning to like some of Brooklyn's beers. Unfortunately this won't be one of them. Go for the Niziah Bliss instead.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

March 17, 2016

750 ml bottle, snifter

A – Very dark brown to black, opaque due to density, with a light chocolate-tan head. Maybe a quarter-inch foam stand that fades quickly, with substantial lacing and bubbles around the edge remaining.

S – Highly fruity, a combination of prominent esters and the alcohol: cherries, blackberries, and apple are all in the mix. Vanilla and dark chocolate follow, with bourbon notes also quite prominent. The barrel is contributing major aromas here.

T – Bittersweet chocolate, vanilla bean, and fruity esters of blueberry and apple. Some light fruity-roasty espresso in the background. A mild tannic quality, and very, very high bitterness on the finish.

M – Very high bitterness, countering fruity sweetness up front. Body is moderately big, and there’s some clear alcohol warmth. Only moderate dryness, allowing some sweetness and bitterness to linger on the aftertaste.

O – I’ve aged this for about four months, and it still drinks a bit “young”, with a lot of interesting components that aren’t quite making a cohesive whole yet. Give this some time in the cellar to fully come together.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. Thanks for the Christmas present, Brenda!

A: Black as motor oil, viscous with very little head. Some tan foam.

S: Bourbon and coffee bring on the charge, followed by a solid chocolate backbone.

T: There goes the bourbon, then the coffee, then the chocolate in perfect order and intensity. A slow sip and a bit of warmth really bring out the boozy aspect.

M: Heavy with heavy, chewy carbonation.

O: I'd love to try one that's aged a bit longer. I think another year on this one could prove to bring out a richer taste.

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Brooklyn Black OPS from Brooklyn Brewery
4.09 out of 5 based on 2,400 ratings.
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