Black OPS
Brooklyn Brewery

Black OPSBlack OPS
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #120
ABV:
11.6%
Score:
93
Ranked #2,035
Avg:
4.17 | pDev: 12.47%
Reviews:
886
Ratings:
2,538
From:
Brooklyn Brewery
 
New York, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  471
Gots
  1,286
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Black OPSBlack OPS
Notes: 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.

10.7%-2008
11.6%-2009
11.3%-2010
10.7%-2011
10.5%-2012
11.5%-2013
11.6%-2014
Reviews: 886 | Ratings: 2,538 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mntlover
mntlover from Tennessee

4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2019 Four Roses barrels 12.4 %

Pours black two finger tan head with an aggressive poor falls without much lace.

Aroma is big on bourbon, dark fruits are plentiful, roasted malts with nice chocolate. Vanilla and light anise underneath it all

Tastes is the same except the bourbon isn't as strong seems to blend perfectly. Roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits. Lighter vanilla, coffee, anise. The 12.4 is hardly noticed.

Mouhfeel is lighter then it should be, the carbonation is smooth but lightly peppy where it needs to be.

Overall I like it smooth easy drinking for the ABV. Price is a little high not sure if I would repurchase.

Wednesday at 01:03 AM
Photo of hman43
hman43 from North Carolina

3.89/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: It pours black with a dark brown head. Head retention is excellent.

Smell: It has bourbon in the aroma with roast, coffee, and chocolate. There are background notes of oak and vanilla.

Taste: It has strong roast flavors with bourbon and coffee. There are chocolate notes in support with low vanilla. There are also some black cherry notes in the finish.

Feel: It has a full body with strong alcohol warming.

Overall: The flavors were well together although the bourbon does tend to bring the strongest flavor with takes a bit off the finish for me.

Jun 20, 2020
Photo of Tony210
Tony210 from New Jersey

4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours fairly thin and dark, minimal kackhi head that lingers. Aroma is mainly bourbon barrel mixed with chocolate and a bit yeasty. Flavor is chocolate and bourbon barrel, touch of anise, light coffee. Body is thin, medium carbonation. Overall a good BA Imperial Stout, a bit on the thin side for me, this aged very well.

4/18/20
750 ml bottle, 2016 vintage, 11.5%
4.25 rating

Apr 19, 2020
Photo of Newbeergeek1
Newbeergeek1 from Maine

4.52/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I can’t believe that I have not rated this before. I’ve had it several times and really enjoyed a beer that isn’t supposed to be even there! Well anyway! I was practicing socially distancing with a friend yesterday and as I looked through my beer closet, dwindling I might add, I found one bottle (2015, yup, 2015) of Black Ops and popped the cork, almost hitting my friend, and we poured it into our snifters. Black, nice dark brown head that stuck around for awhile with a fair amount of lacing. Smelled amazing and then the first taste had both of us grinning like fools. WOW! Amazingly complex and just damned good. Like I said earlier I kind of found it in the corner of my closet and Was thinking that it was unlikely to be any good because of the 2015 Vintage!! To my amazement and it was freekin’ wonder and after a few cautious sips, HIM first, was wonderfully savored by my test friend and me. FIVE year old beer. How about that!

Apr 05, 2020
Photo of Gajo74
Gajo74 from New York

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served from the bottle at the Brooklyn Brewery.

Mostly pitch black with a hint of dark mahogany. A decent sized tan mocha head displays good retention. There is a thin ring of lacing all throughout.

Complex aroma hints at a rich malt base with notes of roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, nutty and biscuity dark toasted bread and caramel. Aromas of dark fruit evoke raisins, along with bright notes of cherry. The barrel aging emits notes of bourbon, vanilla and wood.

Full bodied and mouth coating with a semi viscous mouthfeel that is nevertheless easy to drink. The carbonation is moderate. The rich and complex flavors benefit from a good balance that is neither too sweet nor boozy. Sweet flavors of doughy and biscuity malts, brown sugar, caramel and chocolate fudge are tempered by a roasty espresso bean like bitterness. Alcohol and barrel spices evoke flavors of bourbon, vanilla, smoky wood and cherry. Furthermore, there are dark fruit flavors of raisin and plum as well as some peppery yeast notes. The finish is long, dry and with a roasty bitterness. Despite the alcohol flavors being muted overall, the finish also becomes increasingly warming and creeps up on you.

I had wanted to try this one for a while and am glad I finally got to it. Despite being so rich and complex, it is nevertheless balanced and drinkable.

Mar 11, 2020
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Was fortunate to get a couple of samples of this at the beer festival. Pours just the way I like it deep dark blackness with a nice 1/4 of froth mocha atop. Smells of bourbon, wood, vanilla, chocolate and just a hint of fruit. Dare I say this is sweet almost giving me a cherry chocolate vibe mixed with sweet sugars and vanilla. Body is ridiculous the beer is heavy but with the champagne yeast its pretty light even for over 11% standards. Even though I loved it I would still not pay the premium for a bottle myself but if I seen it again I would gladly have some!

Mar 01, 2020
Photo of Wattie83
Wattie83 from Pennsylvania

4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This is the 4 Roses variety. Pours dark brown to black, no head at all. Looks really still and thick in the glass. Smells like chocolate, roasted malt, bourbon with all the oak, vanilla, and dark fruit you'd expect. Taste is sweet bourbon, vanilla, cocoa on the entry. Middle is raisin, plum, alcohol. Finish is sweet with a taste of coffee and a short hit of bitterness. Feel is medium bodied, a lot lighter and easier to sip than I expected. Really still and flat. Don't know if I've had a beer this flat before! Overall, it's unique. I thought it would hit the palate a bit harder, but this is smooth and easy to drink...easy to drink a bit fast too! It's boozy, you really get the barrel in there. Sweet too. I'd get another bottle without hesitation.

Feb 17, 2020
Photo of Fordcoyote15
Fordcoyote15 from Kentucky

4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

4 Rose's aged.

Look - thin and weak. Head is minimal despite am aggressive poor.

Smell - JC this took me by surprise after the pathetic look of this beer. I dont know whether to rate this a 4.75 or a 5.
Its exploding with bourbon, oak, dark fruit, cream, brown sugar and molasses.

Taste - Holy barrel. I feel like I'm drinking whiskey meat drinking this. Its ungodly hot and tastes more of whiskey than it does beer. I actually have to dock it for that. The underlying beer is dry with lightly roasted malts, almost chalky but not quite bitter like abyss. It's hard to find though because the predominant taste is whiskey. Not bourbon however, but I can't stop tasting Canadian or Irish whiskey when I drink this. It's all alcohol.

Feel - Feel is stellar. Its creamy and thick and chewy. What more could you ask for?

Overall? It's just too goddamn hot. It just tastes so much like cheap whiskey.

Feb 09, 2020
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Lucular from Maryland

4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2019 version, 5 oz pour on tap. Pours pitch black with a thin tan head. Incredibly smooth and easy to drink at 11.6% but not lacking in flavor at all - vanilla, bourbon, oak, dark roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, and dark fruits (figs, raisins, cherry). Mouthfeel is smooth and full. Complex and delicious.

Jan 08, 2020
Photo of TheDoctor
TheDoctor from Canada

3.91/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Serving: Bottle
Bottled: 2015

Pours pitch black with a tight little finger of brown foam. Decent lacing, some lacing. Aroma of black cherries, nutty oxidation, some coffee. The flavor is similar. Chocolate covered cherries, dark chocolate, oxidation. It is full bodied, and pretty sweet. A pretty nice beer, that I probably negatively influenced a tiny bit by holding onto it too long. The bourbon is definitely faded and the nose is too oxidized for my taste. The rest is really not bad. It is drinkable and fairly complex. This is one that I've sat on for a while. It was a gift from the wonderful JerkStore,who isn't around here much these days. I got it in 2016 and due to a lot of factors sat on it. One of which, ironically, was that I had repeatedly read that this beer was pretty hot from the barrel and decided to let it mellow. I'd be curious to try it fresh, but also don't want to give the impression that it wasn't good.

4.25...3.75...4...4...3.75

Dec 18, 2019
Photo of PorterJohn
PorterJohn from Virginia

4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Very dark brown
Smell: Sweet, chocolate aromas
Taste: Sweet stout taste of chocolate with a slight bourbon finish
Feel: Pleasantly surprised that it is more carbonated than I thought it would be. Strong finish.

Nov 23, 2019
Photo of Radome
Radome from Florida

4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tasted from a 750 ml bottle.

L - Motor oil black even when held up to the light. Medium tan head drops quickly to a strong ring and lacing on the glass.

S - Dark malt notes like chocolate, coffee but with great depth of other aromas. Oak, whiskey, leather, maybe faint cherry.

T - Chocolate is lower in the flavor than aroma. Earthy hops flavor. Some leather and bourbon in the off-dry finish.

F - Medium to heavy body with a silky feel. Low carbonation and moderate hops bitterness. Fairly alcoholic but not over-the-top boozy.

O - An excellent BBA Imperial Stout, but not the most complex and deep flavors and aromas I've had from this style.

Sep 28, 2019
Photo of NickTheGreat
NickTheGreat from Iowa

4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L (4.75) - Very dark color. Dark tan full head
S (4.25) - Smells a little like bourbon, but not too much.
T (4.5) - Tastes really great. Good stout flavor, with a good bourbon finish. It's not quite BCBS, but still a fantastic beer.
F (4.75) - Creamy thick mouthfeel of a beer. A little bourbon tingle at the end.
O (4.5) - I'd been sitting on this beer for 1.5 years now, waiting for the right time. It was a gift, and I'm sad I can't get any more. Might have to ask the person to get it for me again.

Aug 30, 2019
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PittBeerGirl from Ohio

4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I have passed on this beer for so long in the bottle because of it's price tag and it's relatively low rating for a high end imperial stout.

I was wrong. On tap at Vintage in Boardman.

This is a gold standard imperial stout. Nothing flashy or intense just extremely smooth and balanced stout.

If you have been skipping on this give it a try.

May 27, 2019
Photo of DanO1066
DanO1066 from Maryland

4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

draught 8oz snifter at the Brass Tap here in Baltimore. A bit watery initially with each sip. Otherwise a solid stout. Worth the price ($11)? Probably NOT, but to each his own.

Apr 26, 2019
Photo of VABA
VABA from Virginia

4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a very dark color with a nice head and lacing
A-Aroma has chocolate, malt and slight Bourbon hints
T-The taste follows the nose with chocolate, malt and slight Bourbon flavors
M-A medium bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A good Stout

Jan 25, 2019
Photo of EMV
EMV from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2018 edition. Poured from a cork'n'cage bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Nearly black pour with 2 fingers of fluffy brown head. Nice ring of lacing.

S: Roasted sugars, vanilla, and bourbon. Char and booze.

T/F: Just like it smells... sweet burned sugars, light espresso, chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. Good barrel presence... not overly boozy... some nice bitterness from the roast for balance but still comes down on slightly sweet. Medium bodied with creamy carbonation. Better as it warms.

O: A solid bourbon barrel stout. Good flavor and drinkability. Unfortunately this one falls under the 'very good but not great/elite' category... and that's not a bad thing except for the outrageous cost. It's certainly no better than New Holland's 'Dragons Milk' at almost twice the cost, and nowhere even close to as good as Bourbon County so for over $20 a bomber it's just not worth it. Then again... I feel like I say that for just about every Brooklyn beer I've tried.

Jan 08, 2019
Photo of Riff
Riff from Virginia

3.96/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Cork popped with a sound reminiscent of a champagne cork. Pours a light black color with about a finger of foamy, light tan head. Not a strong scent, notes of chocolate, bourbon, roasted malts. Taste is chocolate, malty, light amount of bourbon, hint of hops. The mouthfeel is what makes this, it's carbonated to the point that it dances on the tongue. Overall, I think smell and flavor are fairly average but the feel is different, fun. I shoulda cracked this two nights ago for New Years Eve, would have been a perfect way to ring in the celebrations.

Jan 03, 2019
Photo of hophugger
hophugger from Virginia

3.89/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black in color with heavy tan head(obviously due to the champagne yeast used). Aroma is heavy with roasted malt and light bourbon. Thought this was gonna be a bourbon bomb but alcohol is surprisingly mellow, which is great since it allows the malt, roastiness and hops to take their proper spot. Mouthfeel is average, not extremely coating and finish is fairly clean and short with small lingering notes of bourbon and toasted malts

Dec 23, 2018
Photo of Claude-Irishman
Claude-Irishman from New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks black, jet black. Weird quickly foaming beige head due to champagne yeast. Smells like cocoa nibs,vanilla,earthy,burnt sugar. Tastes like chocolate,mild bourbon,earthy. Feels incredible. The champagne yeast made this incredibly delicate. Very light,with a high ABV. This 2017 version is 10.7 % ABV. Overall incredible. Too expensive ?

Oct 31, 2018
Photo of jngrizzaffi
jngrizzaffi from Texas

3.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color with a thick, brown, foamy head that quickly dissipates. Lacing is good. Roasted malts, coffee, bourbon and champagne aroma. Taste follows the same way but the champagne is strong at the end. Medium to heavy bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Jul 30, 2018
Photo of seedyone
seedyone from New York

4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dated 2014, From bottle at home. Purchased 2014-5. From Goose Island BC snifter. Very agitated pour the settled quickly to complete thin dense head. First impression on the nose is bittersweet chocolate w/coffee & oak. Smooth with no bite on the tongue. Medium texture with a long lingering finish. Lets' see if it opens further!

After a some minutes the fancy aromas gave way to hints of earthier oakey toffee/tobacco that intensified in taste. I'm not getting alcohol at all, just the opposite, it's mellowed nicely. Once at room temp I thought I caught some licorice.

All in, this is a really intriguing brew & easily not for everyone. I'm glad I put it by as there are now so many barrel aged stouts about that it's that much more enjoyable in comparison.

Jul 14, 2018
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque black in the glass with a two finger, fizzy dark khaki head that settles own to a fine, half finger cap with great retention and thick lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, dark chocolate, bourbon and vanilla. Flavor is dark toasted malt, a fruity component that is close to cherry, vanilla, bourbon and light chocolate. Finishes fizzy with lingering bourbon and vanilla with cherry esters. Medium bodied with slight creaminess and sharp, fizzy carbonation. Looks and smell fantastic. The flavor is bourbon forward with the interesting fruit esters that are probably due to the bottle conditioning yeast. The vanilla and chocolate notes are subsumed into the bourbon. The malt is light for a Russian style imperial stout, but supports the strong bourbon barrel component. A little lighter in body and malt depth than expected for this big a stout, but the flavor is satisfying and nice and bourbony. I'm not a huge fan of fruit flavors in stouts, but the yeast fruit notes here fit well with the other flavors, almost a Belgian stout profile from the yeast. Really glad I had an opportunity to try this classic East Coast barreled stout. It grew on me as I drank it.

Jun 18, 2018
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FriedSlug from North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark with a nice head that doesn't leave lacing. Faint bourbon and chocolate smells. Thin flavor but lots of chocolate and bourbon. Decent beer but a bit thin on flavor and body.

May 11, 2018
Photo of oberon
oberon from North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

After all of these years finally trying this beer.Pours in to a goblet jet black with a thick over one finger deep beige creamy head atop.Dark chocolate and black licorice stand out most in the nose,some sweet alcohol shines thru as well.Palate has a 'meaty' element to it almost smoky,black licorice and a hint of bourbon tinged vanilla and dark fruits in the finish.Almost a spiced flavor but easier than I though it would be going.Glad to finally have it.

Apr 18, 2018
Black OPS from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 2538 ratings