Black OPS
Brooklyn Brewery

Black OPSBlack OPS
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #146
Ranked #2,359
4.17 | pDev: 12.47%
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
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.

Reviews: 893 | Ratings: 2,556 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of twage04
twage04 from North Carolina

4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with an immediate cherry-like bourbonish aroma. A bit sweet almost. Easy to sip through and just go on a journey! Booze is well hidden, all round well balanced

Nov 23, 2021
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CTHomer from Connecticut

4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: opaque; very dark brown in color; 1 finger finely pored medium brown head that receded to a wispy cap with a moderate collar; very little lacing;

S: oak, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, raisins, deeply roasted grain;

T: from start to finish, it's oak and vanilla with deeply roasted grain in the background; alcohol comes through a bit; moderate bitterness at the end; aftertaste is black coffee;

M: full bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish; alcohol is warming, but not hot;

O: a really nice sipper; rich; complex;

Aug 21, 2021
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Franziskaner from Missouri

4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black in color with a fingernail of brown on top. The aroma is of Four Roses Bourbon. I'm tasting sweet 4 Roses Bourbon and then a bitter roasted barley finish. The mouth is smooth and somewhat boozy.

Jun 14, 2021
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Sigmund from Norway

4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml corked bottle, at a tasting with Garrett Oliver. ABV is 11.3%. Black colour, brown head. Aroma of oak, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, hints of fusel alcohols. Lovely smooth flavour, vanilla, chocolate and bourbon. Very enjoyable.

Apr 20, 2021
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LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2020 Bottle:
L - Deep black with a light tan head that dissipates somewhat slowly, leaving behind a light tan cap and some lacing
S - Dark chocolate, rich bourbon, and hints of champagne - smell is faint
T - Dark chocolate up front along with rich bourbon, but oak and champagne yeast notes dominate the finish along with hints of vanilla
F - Medium leaning on full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Has somewhat of a lighter feel for such a large BBA stout
O - More complex than the standard Black Chocolate Stout with a better, overall flavor profile. The bitterness of the chocolate is toned down from the Black Chocolate Stout such that it no longer tastes like an 80% cacao bar (though not a bad thing), along with softened flavors from the barrel aging and re-fermentation. This version truly tastes like a different beer

Feb 07, 2021
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Antg8989 from New Jersey

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

Great lacing on this. I can tell from its movement on the glass that this is a very well made beer. Effervescent aroma if that makes sense. Dark chocolate, dark berries, barrel and alcohol. Taste beats aroma IMO. Smooth barrel taste around dark chocolate. Fell gets a little creamier as it warms up; finishes semi dry - dry. Overall, an interesting stout worthy of a try.

Nov 15, 2020
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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.

Jul 01, 2020
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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
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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.

750 ml bottle, 2016 vintage, 11.5%
4.25 rating

Apr 19, 2020
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania

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
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TheDoctor from Canada (QC)

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.


Dec 18, 2019
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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
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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
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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
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Sludgeman from District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Again on 11/12/21
An RIS with more bitterness than most. A creamy burnt and dark chocolate bitterness.

Bottle # 2508. Purchased late 2018 at Arrow Wine for $21.99. A subtly barrel aged stout. Very nice. ABV = 11%

May 12, 2019
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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
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VABA from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | 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
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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
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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
Black OPS from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 2556 ratings