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: 2,396
Photo of raphaelboschiero
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's a, the flavor of tost caramel and vanilla is incredibly. the chanpanoase process add create a different sensation in your mouth gave more drinkhability

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Photo of mikeg67
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle. Pours black with tall, long lasting, foamy brown head and nice lacing. Aroma is of bourbon, wood, smoke, coffee, toasted malt, dark fruit and some hops. Body is full and slightly crisp. Taste is of toasted malt, bourbon, toasted malt, brown sugar, coffee, vanilla, dark fruit, herbal hops and much more. Finish is long and very dry. Amazing brew.

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Photo of waltonc
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on cask at Blind Tiger, along with a version that was not barrel aged. Awesome. Pitch black with fair amount of tan head. Deep roasted coffee and chocolate, lots of bourbon. The non-BA version had more black licorice. Thick and creamy mouthfeel and highly drinkable. I look forward to the release of this in bottles. Garrett Oliver was on hand at the event and I asked him if this would be released in bottles. He said it will be coming out next month. Great news.

Note: cask version was better than the bottled version, which I found to be a little thinner, more carbonated, and lacking the same creamy mouthfeel that makes the cask version so great.

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Photo of kaelingirl
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1 pint, 9.4 oz into a tulip glass
a gift from my local beer store for christmas
pours black as black can be with a very thick brown head that fades quickly and fails to rise on subsequent pours
smells like whisky with a hint of vanilla and a bit of chocolate
very strong whisky flavor with some sweet malt to round out the finish
velvety smooth and a bit dry
very nice, i hope to stumble across another bottle in the future

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Photo of wrightst
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 aged about a year and half in my basement. So smooth. Better than 2012 by just a hair, but that may be the aging. No superlatives capture it. If you are a fan of beer, then something has to be everything you expect, love, hope out of a beer, and you should score it perfectly. This is one of mine. Perfect.

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Photo of STEG
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of 5 bottles purchased at Decicco's pours pitch black into a ridel bordeaux glass. 4 finger deep brown head rises from the abyss. Some agitation creates some random shapes and shades of different browns in the head. The head eventually recedes into a half finger.

This stuff is also astonishingly fragrant and complex. The nose is full of various cacao percentages of chocolate ranging from white to bittersweet. Bourbon is also very much present but isn't dominant and meshes well with the rest of the aromas. Light Brown Sugar is also present.

Taste is more of the same, well balanced, varying darknesses of chocolates bourbon and black coffee are all present. Raisin undertones are here as well. This is much better balanced than GIBCBS.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, and viscous. Just as I remember it the first time I had it with some pumpkin chocolate cheesecake.

Much more balanced than GIBCBS and I'd rather have one of these than 3 GIBCBS. Well done Garrett!

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Photo of tat2dhllblly
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Black hole from your worst nightmares. This brew sucks in all light around it and destroys it. No head to speak of.

Smell: Boozy, Leather, Tobacco. No real hop presense. I could sit a smell sit and sniff this brew all day long. I wish Brooklyn made a cologne out of this!

Taste: Just like its smell. Boozy bourbon burn up front with a strong leather and tobacco rich back bone. Sweet dark fruits, vanilla/oaky hints with a finish of burnt chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Low Carbonation and big and slick that coats the tongue but leaves it wanting more.

Overall: One of the best beers I have ever had the pleasure of drinking!

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Photo of Spadoof
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased from: 101 Bottles (Kent, Ohio)
Origin: 1 Pint 9.4 FL. OZ. Bottle
Bottled on: 2010
Tasted on: 04/7/11
Glassware: Ray's Place Pilsner Glass.
Serving Temperature: Approx 48 F

Notes: Pilsner Glass is the only glassware I had on me. I served it slightly colder than normal to see how the flavors evolved as the beer warms.

Appearance: Pours a thick, creamy & Dark Brown 1 finger head. The Body is Black! Completely Opaque. Perfect!

Smell: Oak, Vanilla, Carmel, Dark Chocolate. I also get notes of creamy butterscotch, maple and alcohol.

Taste: ...DELICIOUS!!! In the front I get a beautiful mixture of oak and vanilla. Towards the middle a deep caramel sweetness comes through. At the end I get what I can only describe as melted dark chocolate ice cream and alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel: Thick, rich and really pleasant.

Concluding thoughts: Overall probably one of my favorite beers to date. I wish I could have gotten another bottle to set down for awhile to see how the flavors matured. If you are a fan of barreled-age stouts, this is a must try!

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Photo of Cambo04
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this for my 30th and it was nothing short of awesome! I loved and bourbon barrel aging and in bottle fermenting with champagne yeast. It was smooth and delicious but drink this bad boy as your last beer of the night when ur still sober cause it really is tasty. Oh yea, we had to get 2 bottles once we had the first.

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Photo of sanhedrin
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark. Opaque. Like a moonless night sky crossed with blackstrap molasses.

Smell: The bourbon and oak hit you first, followed quickly by an earthy coffee. Cocoa is in there, too, as nearly everyone has said. The aromas dance around as it warms up, some coming to the surface, others retreating, always with a sweet oak/vanilla backbone - very complex. This is a beer to sit with for a spell, just enjoying being in the presence of.

Taste: Sweet oak and bourbon up front, just like the aroma. A hint of hops, a tiny touch of acidity, but not sour or tart in any way - orange rind, maybe? And then a soft wave of espresso, which lingers, along with the initial sweetness, on the finish.

Mouthfeel: On the heavier end, light carbonation. Creamy and smooth, just what one would hope for in this style.

Overall: Wow. I mean, WOW. Every flavor is clear and clean, yet beautifully integrated into the whole. The bourbon, while present, never overwhelms. Hands down, the best new beer I've tasted this year. This might be Garrett Oliver's crowning achievement.

I'd be curious to see how it cellars, though I'm not sure it's a good idea. The flavors might integrate more, but I'm not entirely sure that would be a good thing as the balance is, to my palate, perfect at the moment. Still, I might stow a bottle or two away for the future, assuming this will never become a regular production item.

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Photo of psuimpreza
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best bourbon aged beer I have tasted to date. There is nothing better than the combination of bourbon and beer.

It has a small head with such high alcohol content. Smells like delicious vanilla bourbon. A must try for the bourbon beer lover.

I had heard there were only 1000 bottles made so Good Luck finding it.

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Photo of scootny
4.97/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was supposed to be my review on the last day of 2008. Life keeps getting in the way of my plans.

A sizable brown head on top of a black/brown fluid that pours with some noticeable viscosity to it. Spots of lace here and there on my Delirium Tremens glass. Good retention and it eventually fades to a ring on the perimeter. If there is carbonation activity, the opaqueness of the brew prevents seeing it.

Smell is deep and complex. Alcoholic bourbon mixes with dark sugary roasted malt. Gentle coffee and chocolate underneath. A whiff of vanilla and some of the oak gives an earthy woody quality.

Taste is chocolate coffee quickly followed by bourbon. Dark roasted malts and sugars. A hint of oak. The bourbon leads to a delectable vanilla component that is much stronger that the nose would indicate. It also increases as it warms. This balances the upfront dark flavors so beautifully that the alcohol that comes with the bourbon seems to disappear. It returns lightly in the finish. A large dry cherry component fills out the flavor. Finish is mild, almost milk stout like but just bitter enough to close the sweetness of the burnt caramel and molasses that flows throughout the glass. Fusel alcohol lingers in my mouth as well as coffee, pumpernickel and maybe a hint of fruitcake. Dryness prepares you and invites more and more. Layer upon layer unfolds as it warms. The bourbon,oak, and chocolate malt flavors especially.

Mouthfeel is pure heaven. Smooth and creamy it swallows like liquid velvet.

Drinkability is criminal for the abv. You can drink the whole bottle before it dawns on you that this stuff is strong. Don't get me wrong, it's a sipper. You just keep sipping at a faster than normal pace because the taste is so good and the feel so seductive. That being said take your time because the flavors develop so nicely as it warms.

The perfect brew for my 100th entry. Except I got to it at 104.
Garret you have done it again!

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Photo of Boungustatio
4.95/5  rDev +21%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2012 corked and caged 750ml bottle poured into 2 Chimay chalices.

appearance - opaque black - with a brown head with hint of dark reddish hue

smell - boozy, vanilla bean, pancake batter, burnt lemon

taste - sweet at first - fills out with bourbon essence - am I crazy or do I taste Cherry?, shadow of milk chocolate - prolly from the champagne yeast

mouthfeel - full bodied - nice effervescence - Garrett Oliver has really done something here! Nice dry finish.

overall - I really dig the back of the bottle literature - very well crafted, gem of a barrel-aged brew. Definitely taste bourbon at beginning, middle and end - most at the end.

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Photo of Natainos
4.94/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pour / Appearance: 2013 vintage. Corked and caged bottle, uncorked by hand. Poured into a Puerto Rico Mug. Poured slowley so medium head, but could bubble more due to the champagne refermentall. Pure black body, opal. Very impressive imperial stout.

Aroma: Roasted malts, touch of smoke. Dark cocoa. However could have been stronger, other than bread and alcohol, guessing it could should have sat a while for a more complex nose.

Taste: Dark bourbon champagne. Mild chocolate, woodsy liquor, hints of vanilla, definite bourbon. The mouthfeel is heavy dark liquor carbonation due to the aforementioned yeast.

Overall: A winner that benefits from ageing. Big beer with big personality, stout, liquor champagne all in one. Creamy, strong alcohol levels and flavoring.

Bottom Line: Worth the buy, then again I got this as a gift from my staff. I suggest cellaring for a while then it would be great as a true vintage.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.92/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to heliosphann for providing this.

A- Black with a brown head of very fine bubbles that builds up and sits like a velvet rug atop the liquid. Viscous as hell.

S- Amazing from the first whiff. The first thing I think of is fruity. Reminds me of a London Ale yeast strain type fruitiness. It's prominent but not overboard. Then I think it's maybe the sweetness from the bourbon barrel, with a little vanilla. So easy to keep smelling and very well balanced.

T- Smooth chocolate, very light roast, the bitterness is dulled quite a bit by the wood and you get a bourbony sweetness and subtle fruitiness.

M/D- viscous, but easy to drink. Way too easy to drink. There's no astringency here, the flavors meld so well and give you a great complex beer.

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Photo of HeyItsChili
4.92/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured into orange 2007 season Clemson souvenir cups. A great year for souvenir cups. Poured pitch black with a bountiful brown, foamy head.

S - Coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate, roasted malts.

T - I was concerned about the amount of bourbon influence on this RIS as sometimes bourbon barrel aged beers can be unbalanced, but I should've known Brooklyn wouldn't let me down. It was clearly there, but subtle, and the woody essence of it played well against the sweet vanilla and chocolate and pairs well with the malt.

M - Medium carbonation, medium bodied, smooth.

D - Smooth, well balanced, nice aftertaste, other than the price it's something I could drink all the time.

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Photo of Kranders
4.92/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Crazy good beer. I almost passed this up at the store due to the unassuming bottle. Poured a super deep black with a surprisingly thin head. Smells of rich dark coffee/chocolate, and a big hit of bourbon on the nose. A whole lot less carbonated than I thought it was going to be, given the description, but in a good way. Flavors of rich dark tones highlighted the beer, and flowed into bourbon notes at the end. Nice and crisp finish, with a perfect aftertaste that lingers for the right amount of time.

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Photo of donniecuffs
4.9/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured jet black with a finger of beige/brown head into a snifter; no visible carbonation (as expected), great retention, and even better lacing. The nose? Wow..dark chocolate, cocoa, currant, roasted malt, oak, caramel, coffee, and a hint of high alcohol content. The taste was a wonderfully balanced mix of all of the above through midpalate, and finishing with evidence of the alcohol content, and coffee/cocoa flavor afterwards. Thick and smooth; liquid velvet mouthfeel with no carbonation. Not a huge fan of the style, but I am a huge fan of this sipping beer.

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Photo of hopmonkey
4.9/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Truly an exceptional beer. Enormous flavors: bitter chocolate, coffee, cream, with a sweetness that is not cloying. I think this is due to the cleaner than expected finish. Perhaps the champagne yeast does this? Whatever, this is a big bruiser of a beer that has layers upon layers. Only the ABV and the price keep me from guzzling it down like so much water.

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.9/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brooklyn Black Ops
750mL brown bottle (caged & corked)

I was lucky to get a good size taste of this at the Great Orlando Beer Fest.

A: poured into a tasting glass. pours a pitch black obsidian color with a deep rich tan head with an amazing retention level and excellent lacing.

S: amazing rich roasted malts in this with a wonderful vanilla and cherry aroma from the oak. chocolate, caramel, and coffee.

T: its like an angel pissing on your tongue. So much chocolate and coffee form the roasted malts followed by that wonderful vanilla and cherry oak flavor.

M: smooth and buttery mouthfeel, with a hidden 10% abv. crisp and clean tasting. solid carbonation level.

D: unbelievable, and a hard brew to come by. Garrett Oliver has no limitations. Could be the best beer I have ever tasted.

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Photo of phattysbox
4.89/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

8oz pour into a tasting glass from the Manhattan Cask Festival at Chelsea Brewery. One of the most sought after brews at this event. Ink black with a small fine head and sticky lace. Lack of carbonation obviously from the cask but not necessarily a bad thing.

One of the most strongest and most complex smelling brews I have had. Bourbon, whiskey, vanilla, cocoa, followed by oak notes pull through really slow. There is a faint sweet malt background in the nose as well. Tastes AMAZING. Simply amazing. Vanilla and oak notes flash and stay on the palate from front to back with a small zing of hops in the middle. Chocolate and sweet malts then pervades the taste smoothly and slowly. The complexity is outstanding. Mouthfeel was velvety smooth but a tad thin for me - no points should be taken off for that since it is not an RIMP. ABV? What ABV? It is completely hidden in all the naunces and complexities...

Outstanding and the best brew at the cask festival hands down.

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Photo of Douglas14
4.88/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jesus! This beer is effing awesome. It pours out very dark with ruby and dark brown hues coming through the edges. The head is dark brown and rich, and it leaves unbeleiveable lace. One of, if not the best, head I have ever seen. Not to mention some of the best lace I have ever seen. The nose is of roasted malt, dark chocolate, espresso, and bourbon. Dark fruits and alcohol come through as well. The taste is also wonderful: dark, bitter chocolate, coffee beans,vanilla, and a big dash of bourbon, which really appears towards the end. It's the biggest and sweetest beer I've had. I think because of the champagne yeast, the mouthfeel is heavy yet light and playful. I can't get over this beer. It is silky in the mouth and extremely should have no problem putting down the whole bottle, just be prepared to get tipsy haha.

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Photo of trbergman
4.88/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 vintage poured into a tulip from a 750mL bottle.

A - Jet black with one finger of dense, cinnamon-colored head.

S - Roast barley, molasses, caramel, vanilla, bourbon, a bit of smoke.

T - Complex combination of flavors, none of them dominant. Strongest are the tastes of coffee and chocolate, but bourbon and caramel aren't far behind. The signature of oak is also quite strong, with vanilla and a bit of toasted coconut. Somewhat sweet, though not cloying, with just enough alcoholic heat as a counterpoint. Whatever hop flavor was in this beer a year ago is nearly all gone -- there may be a bit of earthiness remaining. Hop bitterness is moderate, but not very noticeable unless you're looking for it. Ends with a lengthy and supremely balanced finish.

M - Exceptionally smooth and creamy. Silky and full bodied.

D - Could drink this all night, despite the hefty abv. Very well done.

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Photo of watsonmd
4.88/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is very, VERY good, and worth the effort to track it down. the flavor is very complex, and very oaky. I have been enjoying bourbon barrel aged and oak aged beers for a while, and the nose and palate on this are very strong, and the oak is very full. There is a chocolate or coffee in the back ground, and combined with the oak almost gives it a licorice after taste. The 10.5% is noticeable in the finish, but not unpleasant. Will update if the character changes significantly at a warmer temperature.

Enjoyed in a snifter, at ~45 degrees F.

I am glad I bought more of this while I could.

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Photo of pitweasel
4.87/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Split this from the standard 750ml bottle with my brother. We both love stouts, so we had to try this one.

Again: wow. Black. Not much head on mine, but since we were pouring into pretty small glasses, we didn't want to risk losing any of this liquid dark matter.

Now, I'm no good at articulately describing smell or taste, so let me just sum it up like this: it smells delicious. As for the taste...well, it tastes like a warm cup of awesome. The bourbon is obvious, but not overpowering. A bit of chocolate, maybe even some vanilla. There are probably a million other things going on in the taste, but my palette really isn't refined enough to pick apart the subtleties. A true joy to sip.

While I do have a few bottles of this tucked away for future winters, I'm looking forward to a fresh batch of the '09 Black Ops. Oh, and did I Good.

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Brooklyn Black OPS from Brooklyn Brewery
4.09 out of 5 based on 2,396 ratings.
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