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 larryi86
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle, 2011, poured into a snifter

A- Black with a two finger tan head.

S- Bourbon, vanilla, some chocolate, some dark fruits.

T- Roasted malts, some chocolate, bourbon, a lot of oak, touch of vanilla, coffee bitterness in the finish.

M- Medium body, tons of carbonation.

O- I am glad that I spent the money on this and got to try it, but I feel $25 a bottle is too much. This says that it is a stout and I am not getting much of a stout flavor in this.

 466 characters

Photo of Lantern
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Jimbolikesbeer
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of jamiekimble
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Arcane
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of JizackFH
3.91/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer Review #611

A - This beer pours an extremely dark brown color, almost black. There are two fingers of really dark tan head resting on top. The head has good retention, and it leaves just a few specs of lace behind on the glass.

S - The nose has a good amount of roasted malt and a big amount of bourbon, especially as it warms. There is also a big chocolate aroma, as well as some booze, caramel, and vanilla.

T - The taste follows the nose pretty well. It starts off with roasted malt and a big bourbon flavor. There is a good amount of chocolate flavor, as well as some caramel, vanilla, a little bit of dark fruit, and some booziness. The finish leaves some lingering bourbon, chocolate, roasted malt, and a touch of booze behind on the palate.

M - This has body that is on the heavier side of medium and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a smooth feel to it. There is some caramel sweetness, and some roasted bitterness. There is some boozy warmth on the back end.

O - This has good drinkability. It has nice flavor and goes down smooth. Overall, I think it is a nice beer, as well as a nice example of the style. It has a nice bourbon character to it, but I wish there was a little more roasted bitterness to it, and maybe some hop presence. It is a nice beer overall though, and worth trying out. I'd drink it again.

 1,345 characters

Photo of Varkias41
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finally located a bottle after keeping an eye out for a couple years now. 100% bottle conditioned, it says on the label. Okay...

I note that because, as it pours, the head is fizzling and sizzling. Usually not a good sign. But it calms down and doesn't sizzle all the way out (didn't notice champagne yeast was used until afterwards...). A decent thick tan heads persists for a few minutes and keeps a slight cap til the end, sticking on the glass, too. So, contrasted against the dirty-thick motor oil color below, it looks pretty appetizing.

When cold(er), bourbon comes off lightly with little malt or stout notes coming through when sniffed. Slowly, the bourbon emerges, more barrel (wood, vanilla?) than alcohol, followed by some mellow licorice (via stout) but little if any roasty "stout" qualities. Strange, yet it's not as if the bourbon nuances are at all overpowering.

When sipped, it occurred to me that there wasn't much beer flavor going on at all. I let the thing get room temp and, if nothing else, the balance between the bourbon and whatever malt stoutness imaginable that had existed when it was colder shifted in a see saw tip in the direction of the bourbon flavors, which, pleasant as it was (good for them), weren't at all excessive/dominant or off-putting (usually by way of combo w/ higher/fusel alcohol issues) which, had there been more substance underneath (as in a tasty base beer and appreciable body), we might've had a sure winner.

Really, put simply, the one major flaw with this is the lack of malt depth and complexity. It just tastes mute, bland. That was number one. The body had only the slightest bit of grip to it. Maybe this is what they were going for. A thicker body and tastier base recipe is what it needed though.

I understand that bomber bottles, time in captivity, and exclusivity bring the price of a brew up, but $24 is a tad absurd. Eh.

 1,892 characters

Photo of UHCougar12
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of KajII
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

[Best served in a Snifter]

The pour was a thick deep dark black with an average sized (1-2 finger) medium cocoa brown rocky head that had awesome retention, reducing to a nice thick cap of foam and had really excellent sheets of lace.

The aroma was bold and robust of a roasted chocolate malt and a stringent leathery yeast with notes of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, molasses, vanilla, licorice and a vivacious bourbon scent.

The taste was extremely malty and a tad sweet with hints of coffee and molasses at first and then became ever so lightly bitter with notes of chocolate, vanilla and a mild bourbon taste towards the end. The flavor lingered for a good long while allowing for the chocolate, coffee and vanilla taste to blend as the alcohol taste faded.

Mouthfeel was bold and full in body with an extremely creamy texture and a moderately strong carbonation.

Overall a fully robust Stout with a nice hint of vanilla to go along with everything else this brew had going for it...

 994 characters

Photo of EROCK75
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of bpattt
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of fargoth
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of adamdd
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Two fingers of dark chocolate head on a jet black body. Excellent retention and good lacing. Aroma is is nutty with chocolate, roasted malt and bourbon notes. Flavor is excellent with initially a chocolate with light coffee and coconut notes blending well with a smooth bourbon finish. Thick and full bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall this beer is very smooth with the bourbon present in the flavor and aroma without the sharpness in the mouthfeel.

 456 characters

Photo of ewhitford
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of gregy55902
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 release (bottle 2981)

A - Pitch black body with long lasting tan head. Looks great.

S - Boozy. Bourbon-y. Yeasty. Some oak and bourbon-barrel aged characteristics. Dark fruits, vanilla, coffee, chocolate.

T - Follows the nose. Fairly smooth and the bourbon is not at all overpowering.

M - Alcohol is a tad harsh, but I assume this is a fresher bottle. Good carbonation levels. I wouldn't have known they used champagne yeast unless they said so on the bottle.

O - A great beer, but a tad spendy ($20 for 750ML). Put it in your cellar for a year or two and it will be world-class. As I don't have a cellar I'm just happy to find this one and experience it now.

 672 characters

Photo of Sharkophile
4.85/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Split with two friends, poured into two pint glasses and a goblet. Appears pitch black, with very active carbonation and a big coffee-colored head made of very small bubbles. The beer is so dark that there isn't even any light getting through at the very bottom of the goblet... very impressive looking stout.

S: Smell is dominated by bourbon, with oak, vanilla and alcohol. A nice, subtle, roasted malts smell lurks in the background. Smells absolutely excellent.

T: Foretaste is all stout, with molasses, coffee, chocolate and a light vague dark fruitiness. Then the bourbon takes hold and doesn't let go, with huge barrel flavors of oak, vanilla, spices, corn and some heaty alcohol. Finish is very dry, with more alcoholic oaky and vanilla goodness which outpaces the roasted bitterness. Holy shit this stuff's good.

M: Huge, full body with a lot of very fine carbonation, probably due to the champagne yeast. The tiny bubbles reveal the heaty bourbon-like alcohol every time they break the surface of the liquid when it's in your mouth. Very different but very pleasant.

O: It was an experience drinking this beer. It was a one time treat due to the price, but this is one of the best beers of any style that I've ever tasted. The Brooklyn brewery really knows what they're doing. Cheers!

 1,300 characters

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.6/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2009 Vintage. Thanks to angrybaboon for sharing the bottle.

Appearance: Black, dark brown at edges when held to direct light. Head is dark khaki and creamy. Drops to a small cap. Carbonation is high for the style. Thick and dark.

Smell: Caramel, vanilla, toffee and bourbon soaked wood. Big toasty malts with a nice punch of booze on the back. Sweetness from the malts. Bourbon blends well with the malty sweetness giving it a nice rounded nose.

Taste: Bourbon soaked malts. Some char, but bourbon cuts through any chance of malts showing their character. Loads of vanilla and some toffee notes. Even with a few years the bourbon plays over the malts. Roasted malts and some lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than expected on the mouthfeel. High carbonation spreads the bourbon around. Bubbly mouthfeel.

Overall: I always end up with the same reaction to this beer. It smells great, but the body and mouthfeel aren't on par. Bourbon is aggressive and even with age it doesn't back off enough to really blend with malts.

 1,032 characters

Photo of epicbeard85
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Hanzo
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of robieobie1
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of mavbrew
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of caljrjr
4.5/5  rDev +10%

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