Brooklyn Black OPS | Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn Black OPSBrooklyn Black OPS
2,421 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,421 |  Reviews: 853
Photo of mkennedy119
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Ravenacht
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A- A damn near pitch black pour with a HUMONGOUS thick and fluffy kahki head that lies three fingers deep and really hangs on for a while. Not a great amount of lacing but after each sip, the foam slowly drips away and subsides.

S- Vanilla beans/extract, toasted/charred wood, dried mission figs, dates, raisins, dried cherries, some chocolate covered banana, whiskey, and gentle stabs of black coffee.

T- Lovely toasted oak cask and bourbon. Big notes of vanilla, cookie dough, really good black coffee, and deep dried dark fruit! The booze really shows it's muscle here, especially as it warms up.

M- Very thin and sparkley for an RIS which is one thing I never really liked about Black OPS thru the years. Being so thin, it accentuates the heavy bourbon instead of masking and blending it together with the coffee/cocoa/figs.

O- I've always thought was a bit expensive at $20-25. Seems like it should be sitting in the $14.99-17.99 range. I really prefer this with two years on it to let the booze settle down and blend in with all the other luxurious notes that this RIS has to offer. The mouthfeel has also always been my biggest pet peave with this one.

 1,167 characters

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2012 Bottle

Appearance: Pours dark with a diesel 2 finger head that sticks around for a little while after pouring.

Smell: Bourbon, dark chocolate, mocha, vanilla and coffee.

Taste: The champagne like flavor hits up front, then rolls off into Bourbon and dark chocolate, with bitterness underneath it all throughout that lingers into and after the finish. This brew is definitely more bitter than I expected, and also not quite as flavorful. The Bourbon is definitely prevalent and everything that wants to shine through seems kind of muted. I think that a year+ in the cellar will do this one wonders. It's not awful, just nothing spectacular.

Mouthfeel: The brew is somewhat thin, but the carbonation makes up for that to give a lively mouthfeel. The champagne yeast definitely makes it more interesting.

Overall: I think this can get there with age, but it's just not what I'm looking for right now. I think BCBS and BCBS Coffee are significantly better at the same price point and have way more flavor, not even aged.

 1,026 characters

Photo of Beeradelphia
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of nootch23
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of bmf0
2/5  rDev -51.5%

Photo of pjs234
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of bluckbeyes
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Snarf103
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottling. Poured into a Brooklyn Brewery tulip. Nice level of carbonation for a barrel-aged stout. The beer pours black with 2 fingers of brown head that dissipate quickly. On the nose I'm getting dark fruit, vanilla, and oaky notes. I'm definitely getting some alcohol on the nose as well.

Medium-bodied. Feel is a bit thin for the style and has a prickly level of carbonation from the champagne yeast. Balanced between tart and sweet with notes of dark fruits and chocolate. Not a lot of bourbon notes after nearly a year in the cellar. No boozy heat either. Easy to drink, but a bit disappointing.

This beer is very reminiscent of Weyerbacher Heresy, which is a fraction of the cost of Black Ops. This begs the question ``why pay $23 for a bottle of Black Ops?''. Answer: don't. It's got good flavor, but lousy value. Spend the $20 on multiple bottles of Brooklyn's Black Chocolate Stout instead. It is far better than this and much less expensive.

 958 characters

Photo of jondeelee
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Ops (2012 edition, 10.5% ABV) opens to a massively aromatic, boozy, dark and stormy nose that almost instantly makes the tastebuds stand to attention. The aromas are divided fairly equally between huge stout notes (ash, black coffee, espresso, vanilla, coffee cream, tobacco, molasses, anise, as well as fig, raisin, date, prune, and black cherry fruit esters) and a nice countering bourbon tone from the barrel aging, this adding even more vanilla, as well as charcoal, char, and bourbon. Small touches of thick pine resin add even more texture. The nose is very potent, but nicely balanced, with nothing overshadowing or overwhelming anything else. What it perhaps most surprising is the strength of the sugars, the fruit esters coming across almost candy-like, leaving the rim of the bottle sticky. As a whole, this is a fantastic nose—one of the better ones on the market—featuring virtually everything a fan of barrel-aged stouts could want in an aroma, and balanced with such precision as to be intoxicating and alluring.

On the tongue, the beer opens big and black, the first notes rushing across the tongue mainly involving ash, espresso grounds, and tobacco. Then a good layer of sugars kicks in, adding molasses, brown sugar, and a bevy of fruit esters (fig, raisin, prune, date, black cherry). The hops are more pronounced here than on the nose, still bringing pine resin, but also a larger-than-expected pink grapefruit hit. The bourbon barrel aging does add overtones of bourbon, vanilla, ash, and charcoal, but very subtly so. There is, however, a large alcoholic burn and bite, gnawing at the tongue and soft palate much like straight bourbon, and tinges the beer with vodka around the edges. The aftertaste is at first a heavily boozy bourbon remnant, which fades to more tame stout flavors after a time, with a decent hop presence, and these latter notes linger for a good while. Mouthfeel is a surprisingly tame medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high.

Overall, I thought the nose on this beer excellent, but the flavors didn’t quite live up to expectations, being more watery and more geared toward sweet sugars (as opposed to bourbon and ash) than expected, the heavy alcohol burn does somewhat detract from the experience, and the strangely watery mouthfeel adds a further note of disconnectedness. This is not to say that the beer is bad—in fact, it’s delicious—but it does tend to come across more like a barrel-aged stout, and not a barrel-aged Imperial Stout. Still very much worth trying.

 2,543 characters

Photo of StuffedCabbage
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of MikeRoni
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of JSTpt1022
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of IanWingy
3/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of Greywulfken
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: so black you can't see it! Slight head of dark foam, slipped into a flimsy film

S: bourbon-soaked wood aromas over roasted dark chocolate malts and sweetened espresso-like notes

T: nice chocolaty bourbon flavors define this stout - the bottle mentions something about re-fermentation with champagne yeast - and I think this brightens the cocoa flavors - like adding salt to make the sweetness stand out

M: medium-bodied - maybe even a little thin (for an Imperial stout), tingle of carbonation, mild coating, cocoa powder and whiskey aftertaste have a drying effect

O: not as stunning as I'd hoped - a little thin with equal parts bourbon wood and stout malts - easy-drinking, but perhaps not on par with even the very best non-bourbon aged Russian Imperial stouts out there. In some regards, reminded me of a BSDA without any fruitiness. That said, still worth the buy and try.

Sampled: 2012, 2014

 907 characters

Photo of matttttYCE
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wish I could remember who I got this bottle from. A big thank you to you whoever it was. I believe this is a 2010 vintage, bottle states 11.3% ABV.

Pours with a tan colored head, foamy, almost billows up, sticks around for a while, decent lacing as well. Color is as dark as you would expect the night sky to be during a black ops mission. The aroma is wonderful. Awesomely integrated but very forward bourbon, oak, and charred wood character mingle with light vanilla, a slightly sharp dark fruit and chocolate covered cherry, and dark chocolate, oh the dark chocolate, light molasses and burnt brown sugar while it hints at caramel and coffee. Maybe a touch of butterscotch. Insanely complex and bourbon heavy nose for what I;m almost positive is a 2010 vintage. Taste does it's best to rival the aroma. They are cohesive but differing somewhat. Taste is heavy on the bourbon much like the nose but slightly different. Dark chocolate, deep roasted malts, dark fruit/berry notes. More hints of vanilla, caramel, coffee. Body is medium, carbonation is medium-high, consistency is smooth, velvety, and finish is nice and smooth.

Overall this is a very good brew.

 1,165 characters

Photo of PeterIngemi
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml of the 2012 vintage tagged 2612B Into duvel glass

A: pours dark black with a creamy cholaltey, very active, two finger head that dissapates nicley Tina coffe colored film, nice lacing to.

S: wow this smells really good, dark milk chocolate and black coffe notes wafting through a beautiful notes of oak and burbon. Vanilla and charred oak... A bit of sweet caramel.

T: very nice roasty notes laced with burbon all with some underlying chocolate an barrel character. Although there is pleanty of barrel goodness here I really like the way it doesn't overpower the other flavors going on here, this beer is incredibly balanced. Overall i taste roast up front and chocolate going into some burbony sweetness on the middle and finishing with delicious vanilla and oaky burbon notes.

M: lush with moderate creamy carbonation, velvety with a particuarly dry finish that leaves a very nice chocolaty, caramely, vanilla burbon oak aftertaste

O: this beer is awesome! Much better then I recall past vintages I have tried, I never remember being this impressed by this particular brew. Great barrel character, great balance, great aroma and mouthfeel. Nice!

 1,175 characters

Photo of Treb0R
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of seplo
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Damian74
3.25/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of nwatson
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Brooklyn Black OPS from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 2,421 ratings
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