Black Chocolate Stout
Brooklyn Brewery

Black Chocolate StoutBlack Chocolate Stout
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #117
Ranked #1,976
4.17 | pDev: 10.31%
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
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.
Reviews: 2,880 | Ratings: 6,909 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of titty_mcbitty
3.94/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

I think this is an Oct 2018 bottle, but the date is smeared. Anyway, it pours black with almost a finger's worth of khaki head. Mostly small bubbles appear, and the foam dissipates pretty quickly.

I don't get too much on the smell, other than a faint milk chocolate or some kind of turned milk aroma.

The taste is pretty good. Up front is bitter dark chocolate and malt. Maybe a roasted nuttiness is there as well. Hops come through. There's something like a dark Belgian thing going on in the background.

Consistency is very good! Not thin and not crazy thick. It's oily and some of the bitter flavors linger on the palate for a while.

Overall this is a great beer for the money, and a good beer in spite of the price point. What impressed me most was the feel of the beer - it wasn't thin at all, which I love. I also liked the bitter chocolate flavor that Brooklyn pulled off. No wonder this has been such a staple for them.

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Photo of BJB13
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic style pint glass.

Pouring dark brown and thick it is near black and opaque in the glass. A conservative pour yields two fingers of rocky light brown foam leaving slick lace and oily residue on the glass. The nose is subtle, featuring notes of light roast, caramel and a ghostly whiff of cocoa. A flavor profile starting with a balance of semi-sweet chocolate and floral hops with alcohol moves to a slightly bitter aftertaste. The body is full and soft with medium carbonation and a little warmth.
A straight forward solid offering in my humble opinion.

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BJB13 from Maryland, Apr 06, 2020
Photo of rudiecantfail
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

L---As dark a brown as exists. Huge, brown, soapy head faded slowly and left impressive lacing.

S---Aroma of high percentage dark chocolate, more bitter chocolate, not sweet. A touch of vanilla is present along with a hefty amount of alcohol which is not unexpected at its double digit ABV.

T---Dark chocolate, as advertised is up front. In the background is some vanilla and coffee.

F---Lighter than expected for the high ABV. It's still medium-full bodied and surprisingly well carbonated.

O---An excellent offering by Brooklyn Brewery. I'm actually going to go back to where I picked up this single and get a few more.

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rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania, Mar 23, 2020
Photo of stevoj
4.36/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle from Beer Peddlers. Black pour, small beige head, settles quickly. Aroma is bitter roast malts, dark chocolate, small hit of coffee. Taste blends it all together perfectly, chocolate, coffee, cocoa. Slick and smooth, with a bit of heat.

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stevoj from Idaho, Mar 16, 2020
Photo of Whyteboar
4.77/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

For a Non BA Imperial Stout, this stuff is amazing. For my palate at least, the level of hops is excellent, lower than most RISs but still present to cut the cloying taste of all the malts in here. The mouth feel is superior to most non BA stouts and some that are. Absolutely enjoyable and I was sorry to reach the end.

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Whyteboar from Michigan, Mar 09, 2020
Photo of harrypowers
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque black with a small tan head that leaves lacings.

Smells of bitter chocolate. Tastes of chocolate and malt with a slightly bitter finish.

Medium body and carbonation.

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harrypowers from Massachusetts, Jan 31, 2020
Photo of Bluecrow
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The opaquely dark bottle pour hosts a thin, tan foam cap and a boozy, sweet aroma. The flavor is remarkably consistent: toasted, dark malt, bittersweet chocolate and a bit of licorice are present. The mouthfeel is smooth, but not slick. This is a seasonal gift.

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Bluecrow from New York, Jan 11, 2020
Photo of cjeep
4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the real deal.
L: deep dark color with beautiful head
S: dark chocolate, stone fruit, decadent
T: delivers on the aroma. sweet, dark fruity, and wonderful
F: super smooth and wonderful
O: outstanding stout. if you don't love it, it's on you.

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cjeep from Pennsylvania, Jan 09, 2020
Photo of ASKasten
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Beautiful caramel brown head and lacing holds. Something about it keeps me wanting to take another sip because my taste buds are all over the place...sweet at first with bitter aftertaste. For obvious reasons, shy away if Guinness isn’t your thing.

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Photo of izraelc
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark. Brown head. Smells like chocolate and alcohol. Desert in a glass. Thick heavy roasted malt body. Bitter chocolate finish. A fantastic imperial stout. Not for the beginner.

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izraelc from New York, Dec 14, 2019
Photo of DavetotheB
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 12oz bottle dated "Winter 2019" into a pint glass. Pours pitch black with about 3 fingers of brown head, the result of a violent pour. The head dissipates around the edges of the glass leaving a tower of foam in the middle. Good lacing. Smell is a little more muted than what I expected-picking up chocolate milk, coffee and a little alcohol. Taste is magnificent-like roasted chocolate with some coffee in the background. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth, smooth, smooth. Beers of this abv should be drank a little more slowly, but this one is hard to put down. Great brew!

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DavetotheB from Pennsylvania, Dec 14, 2019
Photo of puck1225
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had it from tap, poured into a shaker pint (I think they were out of snifters!).

Very dark brown color with a thinly poured head but goood lacing. Smell and taste of dark chocolate and vanilla cake. Strong cocoa flavor along with cinnamon and nutmeg. Nice smooth feel. Warm, comforting beer!

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Photo of Hooded
4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from 12/4/2019.
Poured from a bottle into a snifter.Look is black with brown foam which quickly dissipates.
Smell is malty. After the beer warms, I smell caramel, chocolate, and some vanilla.
Taste is malty, bitter, chocolate,
Feel is somewhat thin for an imperial stout.
Overall it's good but I don't look forward to drinking it.

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Hooded from Texas, Dec 05, 2019
Photo of Specialmick
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look .....Dark black? IDK black with a thin looking brown head
Smell.....molasses and bourbon smell. alcohol. , full sweet bitter chocolate, better as it warms a little adding to the sweet resolution to follow, tapering away to dry. Definitely get a bourbon start(nice) without the bourbon bite. Digging this shit.
Feel...thinner than expected but not a problem at all
Overall ... If you like
Chocolate Check
Coffee Check
Bourbon Check
Bitter Check
Beer Check ..Grab it ,it just happens to be a good buy too

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Specialmick from Connecticut, Nov 21, 2019
Photo of CharlesForbin
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If you like the style it is one of those beers you can pour into a glass and admire the presentation and know it will be good. And it is! Been drining this for -idk decades it seems once a year- and it never fails to satisfy. Alcohol is completly masked in a dangerous way becasue as it warms all the flavors explode and I can drink the whole bottle in 30 minutes simply sipping and trying to identify the various notes. Awesome beer!

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CharlesForbin from Pennsylvania, Nov 20, 2019
Photo of Mark-Leggett
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle. Dark and opaque with a good sized brownish head and some decent lacing. Smells are dark roasted malt, chocolate and once the head shrinks dark fruit. Flavors of roasted malt and chocolate. High avb seems pretty well hidden. Really good

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Mark-Leggett from Missouri, Nov 19, 2019
Photo of VashonGuy
3.84/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Winter 2019 edition. Appearance is quite black, with a foamy brown head, no lacing. The smell is dark roasted malts and chocolate. The taste ... well, it's a mixed bag. For some reason, this beer seemed to vary quite a bit from one swallow to the next. At times it seemed like a standard Russian Imperial Stout. At other times it was very cocoa forward. At first I was impressed, but the longer I drank it, my opinion dropped. The beer came to seem harsh and unbalanced, with a metallic Tang. At first I liked it a lot, but then I wound up not finishing it. Very odd.

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VashonGuy from Washington, Nov 16, 2019
Photo of dennis3951
4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've been drinking the brew every winter for more than 20 years now. So I guess it is about time to review it.
Looks Just as one would expect an Imperial Stout to look dark black with a thick brown head that both lasts and laces.
Aroma Powerful malt and chocolate
Taste Also malt and chocolate, 6 different malts are used and there is NO added chocolate. the tastes changes as it rolls across your tongue bitter, sweet, milky dry. Not a lot of hops in the taste,
Feel Full and thick
Finish slightly dry and lasting
Overall Brooklyn BCS is the 1st Imperial Stout I ever tasted. I must have had at least 50 other ones by now but it is still my favorite and one of my 5 top beers,
This bottle was fresh the Winter 2019 bottling. I've had it aged up to 5 years. It does change with age and is still great but I like it best fresh.

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dennis3951 from New Jersey, Nov 16, 2019
Photo of dd53grif
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark black color with a foamy brown head. Strong aroma of chocolate comes through. Nice smooth taste with hardly any boozy flavour. Not bitter. Good mouth feel. An overall great stout.

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dd53grif from Michigan, Nov 10, 2019
Photo of imnodoctorbut
4.49/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

winter 2019 edition; poured into tulip

A: deep dark brown-near-black body and a thin dark toasted tan head with low retention that settles into a bubbly halo
S: dark chocolate bitter and malt sweet with deep roasted/burnt caramel with lowkey vanilla and dark stone fruit notes wrapped in leather
T: chocolate. dark, passionate, complex chocolate. right in the middle of bitter and sweet. 6 types of malt advertised - all in full display here. slight booze heat floats up along with the chocolate and malt notes, gradually gaining in intensity before abruptly subsiding and giving way to a complex dark stone fruit lush but light sweetness burst, ending on a satisfying dark chocolate bittersweet once more
F: medium level carbonation, heavy bodied. mostly lush front with a crisp dry finish left on the tongue

Overall (personal opinion):
*the* chocolate stout of chocolate stouts - though technically a decorated member of the Russian imperial stout, this brew shines far past other "chocolate" stouts I've had in recent memory. the complexity here is beautiful, and incredibly generous when paired with dessert or cheese.

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Photo of DokiDokiLitFam
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours out dark with a finger of tan head.

Smell is strong malt, bitter chocolate. Getting a bit of that soy sauce hinting.

Taste is dark, burnt bread. Really dark chocolate. Strong malt. The 10% ABV is very present.

A little on the thin side with smooth fine bubbles. Makes for easy drinking.

This is made for pairing. Like the bottle says, good for drinking with cheese, dessert, or in front of a roiling fireplace. This would work with a dessert that is perhaps on the sweet side or a cheese that could hold its own against it. It is singularly focused as being a contrast and a counterpoint. By itself, you can feel it needs something. If you have a nice hearty aged Gouda, this would be a good pick.

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DokiDokiLitFam from New Jersey, Oct 06, 2019
Photo of TooManyGlasses
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 vintage. Many times in past and always great. Pours a rich thick black with a short lived deep tan head. Aroma is initially notably boozy - espresso notes and dark chocolate with hint of sweetness. Taste is a very pleasantly boozy rich chocolate with a bit of balancing espresso bitterness. Nicely carbonated for the ABV with great thick mouthfeel and boozy heat.

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TooManyGlasses from Alberta (Canada), Jun 22, 2019
Photo of tradershmulie
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great beer.

Rerating higher. Truly delicious. Beautiful pitch black color, with mocha colored head that just begs to be sipped. Head shrinks, but still remains after a few sips. Does not taste heavy at all.

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tradershmulie from Connecticut, Jun 21, 2019
Photo of Dr_Gonzo
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tall clear pint glass. Jet black body with complete opaque constitution, deep mahogany fluffy head about two fingers thick. Really good retention and lacing.

Aroma is quite elusive and subdued. Primarily notes of milk chocolate, prominent roasted malts, grounded coffee beans, and burnt caramel. Other notes of vanilla, licorice, toffee, dark fruits, and bourbon barrel.

Alcohol can be tasted easily. Taste isn't too bitter, although it remains in the aftertaste. Big notes here are the toffee and roasted malts, while the other notes mentioned in the aroma play a side role. Quite smooth.

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Dr_Gonzo from Kentucky, May 08, 2019
Photo of AllOfTheCats
3.01/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

2015 bottle consumed in 2017 in a glass at ~55 degrees. Licorice, even after all these years. Can't say I'm a fan. Wasn't much of a fan of Black Ops, either.

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AllOfTheCats from Illinois, Mar 22, 2019
Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 6909 ratings