Black Chocolate Stout
Brooklyn Brewery

Black Chocolate StoutBlack Chocolate Stout
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Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #246
Ranked #4,291
4.15 | pDev: 10.36%
May 07, 2023
Dec 04, 2000
Black Chocolate StoutBlack Chocolate Stout
Notes: This is the famous Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. In the 18th century, Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, ordered a stout to be sent to her from England. This beer was brewed strong and hoppy to survive the sea voyage, and it arrived in perfect condition. Soon "Russian Imperial Stout" became the toast of the Russian aristocracy. Brewed since 1994, our Black Chocolate Stout has itself become a modern classic, heralded the world over. It achieves its dark chocolate aroma and flavor through the artful blending of six malts and three distinct mashes. Properly kept, it will improve in the bottle for many years. This stout is the toast of the winter season in many countries, and there is nothing better to enjoy with chocolate desserts, cheesecake, ice cream, fine cheeses and roaring fireplaces.

Given this beer’s higher ABV and sturdy character, we think it’s a prime candidate for cellaring. Find a cool, dry spot away from light sources, and see how it changes in the years to come. You never quite know what will happen when you age a beer: perhaps the body will smooth out, notes of vanilla, oak, and tannins will come to the front, or hints of leather and soy sauce will make themselves known. No matter what, remember that beer is meant for drinking, so don’t keep it to yourself for too long.
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Photo of Cathartes
Reviewed by Cathartes from Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Allowed to acclimate to room temperature for 18 minutes and poured into a snifter.

Pours an incredibly dark brown with equally dark brown lacing, and a 1.5 finger dark tan head.

Initial aroma is a hint of black licorice, followed by Dutch processed cocoa powder, I think there's some raisin in there. I might get a tiny hint of smoke and oak, but I might be hallucinating.

Initial taste is bold and powerful, perhaps a small hint of licorice but otherwise just a big and slightly overwhelming experience to take a large sip. It's quickly followed by bitter Dutch cocoa taste across the middle, back, and sides of the tongue in the middle and aftertaste. I get some bitterness not from the chocolate but from the beer itself as well. Tasting it again after, I realize that in the initial taste it's the alcohol I'm tasting, followed by the licorice, then the cocoa and bitterness. As I get through it I taste a little raspberry, but only in the aftertaste, and only when sipping very small amounts, it's a much welcomed note with the chocolate. Additionally, as I get towards the end the alcohol becomes more noticable in both aroma and taste. At the end I thought the alcohol tasted similar to that of vodka burn and made me think of hass avocado skin and the color olive drab. I know that doesn't make sense, sorry.

The mouthfeel is nice, not exactly velvet smooth but it is definitely smooth. It glides over the tongue easily. Oily and slick, in a good way, if that makes sense.

This is something I could imagine myself sipping slowly with my legs crossed, wearing a nice jacket and having a discussion with someone in a nice living room.

May buy again but not terribly likely, overall a good beer that I enjoyed but did not adore and I think I'm satisfied with drinking once.
May 07, 2023
Photo of CB_Michigan
Reviewed by CB_Michigan from Illinois

3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
This is a yearly purchase for me, and it’s been interesting to note the slight variation with each release.
As always, this is a great looking stout. Black with some brown edging, tan head with decent retention. Getting some char, molasses, and fig in the aroma, along with a dark chocolate backbone. The taste surprised me, however. I can still remember the utter shock I had many, many years ago when I found out that this beer DOES NOT ACTUALLY CONTAIN CHOCOLATE. It was an eye-opening experience to see what could be accomplished through malt selection and high-level brewing technique. This year’s release, however, has a super roasty, almost burnt, quality. The chocolate also seems much more like a super dark, bitter (85% cacao) version, rather than the smoother, fudgier flavor I’m used to. It’s alright on the way down, but the finish & aftertaste are harsh. A bit of a letdown compared to prior years, but still decent.
Mar 23, 2023
Rated: 4.5 by PapaGoose03 from Michigan

Mar 20, 2023
Rated: 3.31 by loch8534 from Illinois

Mar 18, 2023
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Rated by MikeB_from_Macomb from Michigan

2.46/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
I didn’t taste much chocolate. Quite bitter. Disappointing.
Mar 17, 2023
Photo of Shiredave
Reviewed by Shiredave from New York

4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
I've been enjoying BBCS for over 20 years, presented and promoted it for over a decade, offered it in numerous beer tasting events on tap, fresh and in vintage bottles. But this is my 1st review here. It's changed over the years, as will this one if stored properly.
New brown swirly label I don't care for - the classy image of the white on black is missing.
The pour results in a tall, dark tan head of sticky foam with good persistence and specks of lace over a jet black liquid.
The aroma is big and sweet but not bold or overwhelming. Strong treacle and molasses notes mix with bakers chocolate dripped over warm oatmeal, with a splash of tequila.
The flavor is busy - sharp black grain and long boil hop bitterness stab the tongue up front right along with the caramel malt sweetness that adds depth and complexity. Softer hints of drunken cherries and berries, figs and rye bread all blend with the charred grain and sweet toffee stoutness.
Body is BIG and alcohol doesn't hide well even in the deep, warm stout flavors.
The finish is long and bitter, grassy hops, wet leather and black coffee.
Still a winner but in a boring new package/label.
Mar 07, 2023
Rated: 4.53 by chiefz1 from New York

Mar 05, 2023
Rated: 4.83 by peg496 from Ohio

Feb 21, 2023
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Reviewed by mmpm13140 from New York

4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Walking through my local Wegmans looking for a new Imperial Stout to try. I remember reading the reviews about this one so I thought I’d pick it up. I’m glad i did.
Pours dark with a tan head. Very delicious and even better the closer it gets to room temperature. Definitely putting a few of these away to see what aging does to it.
Jan 18, 2023
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Rated by USArmyRangerVet from New York

4.91/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Valhalla in a bottle.
Jan 04, 2023
Rated: 4.31 by Overtonjd from New Jersey

Dec 31, 2022
Rated: 4 by mpenske from California

Dec 30, 2022
Rated: 4.31 by emwilke from Nevada

Dec 28, 2022
Photo of BitteNochEinWeissbier
Reviewed by BitteNochEinWeissbier from Pennsylvania

4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
12 oz bottle
Bottled On: Winter 2019
Consumed on: 26 Dec, 2022
Glass: Tulip Snifter
ABV: 10%
Serving Temp: room temp

Black with a 23-finger high creamy dark tan to light brown head. The head dissipates slowly, leaving very good lacing.

Dark roasted malts with a touch of char. Rich semisweet dark chocolate mixed with some milk chocolate notes. A touch of vanilla.

All the aromas are here and dialed up a notch. A black licorice or anise note joins the party about mid-sip. This is followed by light smokey notes and a light touch of char and ash. Some molasses even sneaks in and perhaps a hint of a dark fruit. A mild bitterness then arrives and helps to change the chocolate to a bittersweet variety. The sip finishes lightly bitter, a tad dry, malty, and lighltly chocolatey.

Creamy, silky and viscous. Warmth from the alcohol can be felt. The body is medium.

A very nice Russian Imperial Stout. Great aromas. Great flavors. Enjoyable and easy to drink. I don't detect much bitterness, which must be from the 3 years that I had this beer in the cellar.
Dec 27, 2022
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Reviewed by MrOH from Malta

4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
One of those beers that I've drank so many times over the years that I'm surprised I haven't reviewed it. 2022 vintage.
Pours black with a brown head, good retention and lacing
Smoke, roast, chocolate, and dark fruit aroma.
Burnt caramel, dark chocolate, and dried fruit.
Heavy bodied, but dry. Lower carbonation.
The one of the few imperial stouts you can rely on being there every year and not changing. FWIW, I once had a 14yo one that had been stored in a fridge and it tasted like ruby port and cocoa.
Dec 26, 2022
Rated: 4.21 by bottmfeedr from Texas

Dec 24, 2022
Rated: 4.11 by Sinister from New York

Dec 24, 2022
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Rated by BMBCLT from South Carolina

3.61/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Dear reviewers,

Dec 22, 2022
Photo of MattinHouston
Reviewed by MattinHouston from Texas

4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
This one is perfect for the colder weather. The smell is actually like a heavy chocolate cream liqueur. The feel is dense but like drinking the same liqueur custard, but thin enough to sip, with decent carbonation. Well done. Glad I picked it up, surprising at 10% ABV. If you like Russian Imperial Stouts this one will leave you happy.
Dec 14, 2022
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Reviewed by 1BrewBacca from Georgia

3.84/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Pours black as midnight with a new moon with a brown head and sticky foam lace on the glass.
Simi-sweet but the chocolate is somewhat overpowering.
Feels seltzer like.
Glad I tried it but I'll be looking for something else the next time I go beer shopping.
Dec 10, 2022
Rated: 4.65 by Fallen232 from Pennsylvania

Dec 09, 2022
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Reviewed by EnderFett11 from Virginia

3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Poured gently from a bottle into a snifter glass forming a finger of brown head that eventually faded to some lacing. Dark brown color, pretty much opaque. The smell is roasty barley and some dark fruit. The taste is pretty much roasted and a bit bitter barley, just a hint of dark fruit. Definitely a imperial Russian stout, but basically no chocolate flavor. Feels a bit like false advertising. Light to medium bodied with moderately high carbonation. Fine for an imperial Russian stout.
Dec 06, 2022
Photo of DrOfGolf
Reviewed by DrOfGolf from Delaware

4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
The smell is fantastic with hops, caramel, and chocolate. The taste is of vanilla and chocolate, and hops. The 10% ABV really comes alive. I like it a lot and hope that I can get some more.
Dec 03, 2022
Photo of Blogjackets
Reviewed by Blogjackets from Ohio

4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Poured from a twelve ounce bottle, the body is dark black with a nice fluffy tan head. Rey good lacing throughout the tasting. A good looking beer in glass.

Aroma has notes of chocolate, malty char and a light sweetness reminiscent of espresso.

Taste follows nose but adds a good hop bite. The featuring of bitter malt flavor is a welcome change from many modern pastry takes on big stouts.

Mouthfeel is good, perhaps a tick lighter than expected. However the taste more than compensates. Carbonation is solid.
Nov 25, 2022
Rated: 4.4 by Spade from Pennsylvania

Nov 24, 2022
Rated: 4.17 by yuno from New York

Nov 19, 2022
Rated: 4.05 by CoasterGuy from Pennsylvania

Nov 17, 2022
Rated: 4.62 by RoyalKaiju

Nov 13, 2022
Rated: 3.75 by bkwagie

Nov 12, 2022
Rated: 4.82 by somarp

Nov 10, 2022
Rated: 5 by Dalkri from Massachusetts

Nov 07, 2022
Rated: 4.53 by Resistance88 from California

Oct 21, 2022
Photo of MadMadMike
Reviewed by MadMadMike from Florida

4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2022 vint, tap hit into a snifter.
Looks great - deep dark, brownish foam.
Smells divine. Big baker’s chocolate notes, vanilla, aromatics.
Taste is full on. A chocolate confection in a glass. Mid-mouth sits a fine hop character. Post-swallow reveals a light bitterness and a fine not-quite-too-sweet finish. Alcohol well hidden, but present. Missing is the anise note of a RIS, there’s an aromatic that is present, but can’t place it.
Feel is classic RIS, medium carbonation from the keg, I suspect.
Overall, an xlnt winter warmer, I hope to find it in bottles.
Oct 19, 2022
Photo of NorsemanOne
Reviewed by NorsemanOne from Utah

4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Winter 2018 12oz bottle from Cellar Trade

Pours a thick deep black with a soft tan head
Strong boozy and chocolate nose
Rich chocolate flavor
Soft, thick, and silky smooth.

Awesome trade!
Oct 05, 2022
Photo of jbolger
Reviewed by jbolger from Connecticut

4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
8/10/22 Really nice Russian Imperial Stout. Perfectly balanced between chocolate, coffee, malt. Sweet but not cloying. Better than Ten Fidy? This could be the one.
Aug 10, 2022
Rated: 4.24 by JoeDKSki

Jul 21, 2022
Rated: 3.77 by KT3418 from Colorado

Apr 22, 2022
Rated: 4.08 by not2quick from Missouri

Apr 12, 2022
Rated: 4.29 by adamstef

Mar 17, 2022
Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 7020 ratings