Brooklyn Black OPS | Brooklyn Brewery

2,415 Ratings
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,415 |  Reviews: 851
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
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 -2.4%

Photo of Hanzo
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of robieobie1
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of mavbrew
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of caljrjr
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of Avagadro
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a bottle of the 2011 vintage, given its production code is 2921, and that its abv is 10.7%

A: Uncorks with a timid hiss, but delivers an active head upon pouring. The mocha colored froth carpets its velvety black body.

S: Highlights of fruit and spice are accompanied by a backbone of malty caramel and espresso roast.

T: Black Ops exhibits stunning complexity, balancing rich malt, chocolate, and bourbon soaked vanilla with fruity Belgian esters.

M: Very dry, slightly sticky, and brought to life by stunning effervescence.

O: A very stunning stout to say the least. It's not the best $20 BA stout out there, but you're not going to have to wait in any lines to get it either.

 691 characters

Photo of Heatwave33
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle to a Dogfish Head Snifter.

Color: Black as night with a chocolate head.

Smell: Bourbon and chocolate up front. Then followed with vanilla and oak.

Taste: Same as the aroma. Except with a very slight alcohol burn from the delicious bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, smooth and lightly dry on the palate.

Overall: Thr drinkability is fantastic! Full bodied and damn well balanced. The bourbon is very tasty. Cheers.

 449 characters

Photo of SirRuss
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all, Massive thanks to Rhettroactive for gifting this bad boy...

A: Jet black core, with a a thin deep brown rim. Two finger chocolatey head with average retention

S: espresso, milk chocoate, vanilla, oak, and bourbon on the back.

T: Lashings of milk chocolate quickly followed by a strong dark chocoalte impression owed to the roasted malts profile; Vanilla and oak also prominent along with a long irish coffee finish

M: Significant carbonation, although less than the head suggested. A good thickness without delving into heavyweight RIS realm. Off balance alcohol.

O: Incredibly well balanced oak and bourbon expressions, which both confidently project themselves without dominating. A solid BBRIS all round, although it offers no reason to bestow superlatives for orginality or complexity. Given the price tag I want to be able to say more, but it's just not happening - Simply solid.

 904 characters

Photo of DMCNAC
2/5  rDev -51.2%

Photo of Viciousknishs
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours jet black with two fingers of dark espresso crema colored head. Excellent head retention with lacing.

S- sweet bourbon permeates this brew with notes of vanilla, aggressive American oak and heady alcohol. The stout comes secondary to the barrel with aromas of dark chocolate, burnt caramel and a hint of dark fruit. There is almost a medicinal character on the finish that brings down the aroma.

T- big bourbon flavor comes out with notes of vanilla, big oak and charred caramel. The stout itself gives flavors of dark chocolate, licorice and dark fruit. Finishes with some bitterness and a roasty malt espresso flavor.

MF- surprisingly soft mouthfeel. Medium body and very active frenetic carbonation. Almost Belgianesque in the carbonation.

D- pretty drinkable just a bit over carbonated.

Overall a very well done unique Bourbon barrel stout.

 858 characters

Photo of stoutlover1978
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of kaelingirl
5/5  rDev +22%
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

 424 characters

Photo of Travisnin
5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of LEdubs
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Jsmitty1967
5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of GarrettB714
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of TheDarkKnight
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of amphion1065
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle from 2011, served in a tulip. Reviewed from notes.

Pours absolute pitch black. There's a perfect two-finger cocoa head that leaves wonderful lacing around the glass.

Waves of sweetness in the aroma. A pretty strong milk chocolate character, with undertones of licorice and molasses. There's a certain softness to the nose, it's not quite weak but seems pretty restrained.

That champagne yeast certainly comes through in the taste. Cocoa again, with a complementary vanilla flavor. Minimal bourbon flavor, but the oak is definitely there. It's very smooth, and quite sweet. There is also a very distinct yeast flavor, evocative of a candy I can't quite place.

The mouthfeel is a little thin, and this is a little undercarbonated. A stout this rich deserves a heavier, fuller body.

A very nice, unique stout. A $20+ (definitely +) stout? I'm not so sure, but a nice treat nonetheless.

 903 characters

Photo of chilly460
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a pitch black, shiny body that blocked all light. Medium brown head dissipates quickly, but pops up quickly as the glass is swished. No lacing to speak of.

S - Really interesting aroma here. Get initial impression from the barrel aging, nice well blended bourbon. Picked up some hazelnut or nutmeg as well, smells like a fancy coffee dessert drink. Coffee is well formed, deep roasted. There is a creaminess in the aroma as well, fantastic.

T - This struck me as a very well integrated beer. The bourbon barrel is there, but gain like the aroma, it's blended well. Plenty of the vanilla and oak you'd expect with a BA stout, but they accompany each other perfectly. Mild is not correct, just blended well, as the flavor profile is plenty impressive. Beer has some medium roast, but definitely not a "roast bomb" as are some other stouts. The yeast definitely lends an interesting finish, has a dry champagne taste at the end.

M - Definitely not as full bodied as other big stouts, somewhat effervescent carbonation.

O - Didn't know what to expect, reviews seem to be quite polarized on this one. I definitely enjoyed it, big flavor profile with great balance. It's quite sweet, but the flavors are so good it's acceptable.

 1,240 characters

Photo of tastybeer
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Looks amazing. Very thick, totally opaque, with a nice big chocolate milk colored head. The lacing changes with every sip. Aroma is like chocolate whisky with a variety of subtle complexities. Black cherry, raspberry, raisins, leathery tobacco, molasses, musky coffee, and sweet caramel drizzle. Taste is full of complexities though still smooth even with the alcohol punch. Soft caramelly dark chocolate, mollasses, tobacco, vanilla, toffee, maybe even a touch of orange. Mouthfeel is very appealing to me. Full body with a smooth, soft touch. Feels light and fluffy but there's deceptive density. Mmmm.

 610 characters

Photo of wedge
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 (3178)

It seems like a few people have felt inclined to open their 2008 bottles recently. Pours an impenetrable black color with a tight, super creamy brown head. The aroma is still a little boozy and not without some aged oxidation qualities...dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, coffee, and tobacco. Creamy with some dark fruit: cherry and prune. Vanilla bourbon upfront in the flavor followed by sweetened coffee and another hit of tobacco. Very smooth and not over the top at all with the barrel-aged quality, which I appreciate. Rich and subtly oak-y; not much in the way of alcohol, though it's still very much a sipper. Medium bodied, creamy, and slick.

Nice...I had not tasted this one until now, some three-plus years after buying the bottle, but I would imagine age has done some good. Sleek, well-blended flavor.

 829 characters

Photo of jfcaa193
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of stewart124
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage Brooklyn Black OPS

Pours with two fingers of dense tan head on top of this syrupy black body. Not a trace of hues or hints of any other colors. The head is very dense and lingers for quite some time. Lots of lacing to be expected.

There are some dark candied fruits in the nose with an intense cherry and prune note. Mild bourbon and coffee in the nose as well.

Very smooth, mild and silky mouth feel. Bigger carbonation than expected but still very approachable. Subtle oak and bourbon without taking anything away from the roasted malts. An interesting feel with the dark caramel malt notes and roasted grains. Big but so easy to drink. You can tell it’s a bigger stout but 10.7% is hidden well. Some warming notes as this goes down but nothing pushing it into a “rocket fuel” character. Lingering dark fruits come out, more specifically plum which I don't get often and some currants.

The bourbon has diminished somewhat but still adds complexity to this stout. This really comes off different than many bourbon/oak stouts that I have tried. Maybe it is the yeast and bottle fermentation or just Brooklyn in general. I was very pleased with this even though I was not blown away.

I know 750ml all to myself would have been over the top. This was a very tasty treat and I would love to try another bottle even though it will be a different vintage.

 1,379 characters

Brooklyn Black OPS from Brooklyn Brewery
4.1 out of 5 based on 2,415 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.