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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Ratings: 2,409 |  Reviews: 850
Photo of jondeelee
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of StuffedCabbage
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of MikeRoni
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of JSTpt1022
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of IanWingy
3/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of Greywulfken
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
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

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Photo of matttttYCE
4.44/5  rDev +8.6%
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 +6.4%
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 -2.2%

Photo of seplo
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Damian74
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of nwatson
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of st9647v3
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of thegerm87
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of jkane101
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of swinker
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of dorkinajeep
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Dactrius
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of e30todamax
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Spaceangler
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of SteeleWright
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Dope
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

10.7%, 2011 batch. States "8001" on the bottle.

A: Pours pitch black with a huge, roiling dark brown head. Very effervescent. Fades at a moderate pace, leaving lots of large holes in the head. Swiss cheese-like. Leaves just moderate tufts of lacing here and there.

S: Lots of bourbon - burnt sugars/caramel, toffee and oak. Bunch of chocolate creeps through from the roasted malt. Stinging alcohol. Kinda smells like...alcoholic brownie mix.

T: Lots of bourbon up front with hints of chocolate. Strong caramel, toffee and oak. More bourbon in the middle, sharper and boozy and stands alone - just for a moment.. Instant belly-warming sensation. Chocolate kicks in afterwards and continues into the finish, becoming a bit bitter and dry. Oak and bourbon and a little hershey's syrup in the long-lingering aftertaste.

M: It's smooth. Quite thin, amazingly thin for 10.7% in fact. Higher carbonation thins it out even further. Drying in the finish.

O: Due to the thinness it's almost an easy drinking, high-ABV RIS (if there were such a thing). Sharp boozy bourbon reminds you right away that this is no wussy brew. Roasted malt presence is oddly subdued by the thinness and bourbon. Just a bit of chocolate. I've had 5% porters with stronger roasted malt character. Needless to say, a very unique brew, it definitely stands alone as far as RISes go. Honestly it's not bad, either. Kind of a thin, effervescent chocolatey-bourbon combination that goes down easy. Once it warms the flavor balance is pretty decent in fact. I will give this one good marks due to it's decent execution of such a unique combination that I honestly would have never expected to work. Don't pick this up thinking it's some brownie-batter huge RIS because it's not. I think with a little more age on it the bourbon might mellow out a bit and this could be really good.

 1,850 characters

Photo of Squatchito
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of cvm4
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

According to abv this is a 2011 vintage.

A - Pours black with a dark tan expresso head. Not much retention or lacing.

S - The bourbon is front & center along with oaky charred characteristics. Faint vanilla & licorice in the background.

T - Dark Chocolate at first and then the barrel characteristics show up like oak & char. The bourbon is present throughout.

M - For this style of beer, it seems overly carbed & not as thick as I'd like. It should really be a bit chewier.

O - It's an above grade BA beer. Really good and could be better if the mouth feel changed a bit.

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Brooklyn Black OPS from Brooklyn Brewery
4.09 out of 5 based on 2,409 ratings.
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