Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
BA SCORE
4.15/5
Exceptional
6,754 Ratings
Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
brooklynbrewery.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-04-2000

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,473
Reviews:
2,832
Ratings:
6,754
pDev:
10.36%
Bros Score:
4.09
 
 
Wants:
449
Gots:
1,500
Trade:
48
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,754 |  Reviews: 2,832
Reviews by StoutHunter:
Photo of StoutHunter
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a bottle of Brooklyn Brewery's Black Chocolate Stout in a trade, thanks a lot @Motozappa. I've been wanting to try this beer for a while and I'm interested to see how it stacks up to some of the other stouts I have tried, so lets see how it goes. 2013 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks pretty good, it's got a clean, dark, and classy look to it, I think it's a little eye catching. It poured a nice dark black color that didn't let any light come through and it had a half a fingers worth of tan head that quickly died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This was a pretty nice looking beer, but I wish there was a little more head and lacing.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness followed by the malts being the first to show up and they impart some roasted, slightly charred, sweet malt, and chocolate like aromas with the chocolate seeming to stick out the most and it has a bitter dark chocolate like aspect to it. Up next comes a little more sweetness with some dark fruit aromas and a noticeable alcohol aroma that's just a little boozy. This beer had a pretty good aroma, but I think it would be even better if the alcohol was hidden a little better.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of sweetness followed by the malts still being the first to show up and they impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma with the chocolate still showing up and being showcased nicely, but this time it reminds me more of bitter baker's chocolate. Up next comes a light dark fruit flavor with a pretty noticeable amount of alcohol that tastes a little boozy, but it isn't too warming. On the finish there's a higher amount of medium bitterness followed by a roasted, sweet and chocolate like aftertaste. This was a pretty good tasting beer, but just like the aroma, I think it would be just a little better if the alcohol was hidden a little better.

M- A little smooth, slightly warming, rich, a little cloying, sticky, full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty good, but I wish it was just a little smoother.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good beer and a good example of a Russian Imperial Stout, it had most of the aspects that I look for in the style and it stayed true to the name with the dark biter chocolate flavors being showcased in this beer. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, it was a little smooth, sweet, sticky, rich, a little cloying, boozy and filling, but the taste did a good job at holding my attention so i think one bottle would be the perfect amount for me to sip on and enjoy, I think the sweetness and booze would start to wear on me if I had more than one. I think this would make for a good beer to enjoy on those cold and snowy days in the winter. What I like the most about this beer was the taste, it was pretty good and the chocolate flavors stuck out enough to make it true to it's name. What I like the least about this beer was how much the alcohol showed up, I think the 10% could have been hidden a little better. I would buy this beer again, it would be nice to keep a couple in the fridge for the winter and I would like to see how this beer ages overtime, maybe age will help tame some of that alcohol. I would recommend this to anyone who likes strong stouts, but it may be a little too intense for people who aren't real into the style. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer, I did think that there were a couple aspects of this beer that could be improved upon, but other than that I still enjoyed and I wouldn't turn one down. It isn't my favorite Russian Imperial Stout, but it is now my favorite beer from Brooklyn Brewery. Good job guys, this was a pretty good Stout, keep up the solid work.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Raisingfable
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stays true to its 'Black Chocolate' claim. Excellent bitter dark chocolate character, beautiful head retention, with a long chewy finish. Best beer I've had from Brooklyn!

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into snifter. Pours oily jet black with a thick brown head that sticks around. Smells of bourbon, coffee and chocolate...this beer smells better than some taste. The smell after a bit changes into some standard stout roasted malt and yeast. Head leaves a lot of lacing for a stout, beautiful. Taste is glorious; creamy and full mouthfeel, with sweet caramel, coffee and chocolate swirling around with dark roasted malts. Finish is a bit boozy but it works for such a big beer. This was my first stout, and I'd die happy if it were my last.

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Photo of HoppySeb
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into KBS snifter, bottled in 2013. Bottle stored in cellar then briefly refrigerated prior to opening. Pours a beautiful jet black and forms a two inch foamy head that's beige in color. The head ultimately settles into a thin ring around the glass.

The nose is French roast coffee and milk chocolate, quite inviting. There's also a strong roasted malt aroma, followed by a spicy presence that hints of nutmeg. The taste is quite similar to its nose, bitter mocha, sweet molasses and roasted malt, fudge and spicy (chile ancho and nutmeg).

The mouthfeel of this beer is quite pleasant, almost no carbonation present which in my opinion helps savour the beer even better.

Overall - very excited to discover this beer, its quite enjoyable and hides the 10% ABV extremely well. Its sweet yet no overwhelmingly so and all of its flavors are well balanced.

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Photo of PhillyB
4.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I love this beer. From the moment I opened it (knowing nothing about it) I knew I would.

Look: Black. The head is darker than most beers. A 1/4 inch layer on the bottom of the glass is totally opaque.

Smell: Baker's chocolate, heavy cream, coffee. Quite strong. I smelled it the moment I opened the bottle.

Taste: Dark chocolate, malt, cream/coffee.

Feel: Dense. Like drinking a slightly thin milkshake. The alcohol is present but only really felt if you hold it in your mouth. Sticks around too.

Overall: This beer is a smash hit for me. It hits every mark I look for in a stout, but is probably a little heavy to have more than 1 or 2 at a time.

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Photo of MNAle
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Some sort of screwy yellow code stamped on the bottle in very crude dot-matrix format - impossible to read. Grrrrr. Very dark, black, opaque. 1 inch tan, creamy, bubbly head that recedes slowly. Aroma is sweet, smoaky, chocolate. Moderately thick feel. Taste follows the aroma: sweet, roasty, bitter chocolate. Transitions from the opening taste through a sweet middle. The finish is bitter. Not boozy despite the high ABV. I can see how this would be highly rated by some, but somehow the sweet roasty fighting the bitter chololate does not work well for me. It is more like a "versus" than it is a balance. I enjoyed this beer as it stands, but it won't likely be a repeat purchase.

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Photo of aracauna
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'01-'02: Pours perfectly black with a beautiful deep tan head. The head is slow to form and disspipates quickly however. The Aroma is chocolate, espresso, burnt toast with a bit of fruitiness that makes it seem like the burnt toast has jelly or jam on it. The aroma floods the nose and starts the salivary glands. Burnt toast flavor and a thin bitterness from the hops dominate early on switching to espresso and unsweetened black chocolate later on and a lingering, bitter finish. That's while cold. When closer to room temperature the flavors mellow with the sharp burnt and espresso bitterness become less sharp sliding under a sweeter more chocolately taste. Mouthfeel is slightly oily, but not as thick or gritty as some other imperials. One of the lighter beers of the style.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

OMFG! How is it possible that a) I have NEVER previously reviewed this beer & b) it will be my 4,400th on this site?!? I remember sharing a then-vintage bottle with Garrett Oliver & FerMentor Lew Bryson at the State College Beer Expo in 2000(?)/2001(?). I LOVE Brooklyn Brewery & I have visited many times over. I am flabbergasted that I have not reviewed this beer until now.

From the bottle: "This is the famous Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. Descended from the Russian Imperial Stouts of 18th Century, our Black Chocolate Stout has itself become a modern classic, heralded the world over. A blend of six malts produces its dark chocolate aroma and flavor. There is nothing better to enjoy with rich desserts, fine cheeses, and roaring fireplaces."; "The Legendary Russian Imperial Stout".

Today is T, 20 June 2017.

Winter 2016: I Pop!ped the cap & commenced a slow, gentle pour into an awaiting glass. Once decanted, a vigorous in-glass swirl raised a finger of dense, deep-tan/light-brown head with moderate retention. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose smelled less like chocolate candy and more like fudge brownies. It was very rich and chocolaty, but also with a breadiness from the malt. Mouthfeel was big and full, like a scoop or dollop on my tongue. I let it lay there & rolled it around to better get a sense of its flavors. Interestingly, it not only had the rich chocolaty fudginess that I noted on the nose, but it also tasted of cherries, raisins, tobacco & charcoal smoke. Phew! Another no-playin'-around beer. Finish was dry, not sweet at all, with lingering cherry-chocolate flavors, like a torte.

Next, on W, 21 June 2017:

"Limited Bottling - Winter '14 - '15": I Pop!ped the cap & performed a very gentle pour. The in-glass swirl raised a brief finger of foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with modest retention. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose was really rich with a fudgy, chocolaty, brownie-like quality, underlain by a light smokiness and a malty breadiness. Mouthfeel was somewhat lighter than in the more recent batch. It was not as thick or chewy, but it was still bigger than simply "medium-bodied". The taste was MUCH more chocolaty without any of the fruity flavors noted earlier. It was like a rich, fudgy brownie at this point, almost a dessert beer, although a smokiness kept it in check. Finish was dry which I might have thought unexpected had I not noted such in the fresher batch.

"Limited Bottling - Winter '12 - '13"; "In the last century, British brewers made strong stouts for the Czar's Court. They were called Imperial Stouts. Our Black Chocolate Stout, brewed once yearly for the winter season, achieves a chocolate aroma and flavor through the artful blending of six varieties of black, chocolate and roasted malts."

Having Pop!ped the cap & conducted a gentle pour, the in-glass swirl raised a brief finger of foamy, dark-tan/light-brown head with modest retention. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose had begun to take on a pronounced smokiness, more roasty than chocolaty. Mouthfeel continued to moderate, becoming less thick & chewy with each older iteration. The taste was more like raw baker's chocolate now, nary a hint of sweetness, but with a smoky, charcoal bitterness. Finish was quite dry at this point.

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Photo of dleigh
3.89/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I kept going back and forth between "wow, cool chocolate notes" and "meh, this is okay" while drinking this beer. Not quite sure why, but it just didn't jive with me.

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Photo of BevMoAndrew
4.69/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served into a Bruery tulip glass at about 40 degrees.

Pours an extremely dark brown to black in the glass with a thick, creamy, tan froth that, unfortunately, dissipates somewhat quickly...great lacing! The nose is VERY pretty with sweet, almost dessert like, aromas of dutch chocolate, milk chocolate, soft banana, brown sugar, light molasses, black raspberries, dark fruit, vanilla, & subtle espresso. This beer smells awesome! Sweet, but not too sweet flavors of chocolate, banana, molasses, roasted barley, & roasted coffee show through a long finish with a clear citrus/slightly pine bitter hop finish.(necessary for awesome balance) Great, creamy carbonation. Overall, this is an amazing beer that is extremely smooth...esp. for a 10% abv beer. There is a definite warmth to this beer, but I'd never guess that this is a 10% beer...again...very smooth. A must try!

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Photo of PatrickCT
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into an IPA glass.

a. Black body. No hue, no light. Bubbly, brown, leathering head. Wonderfully ominous looking beer.

s: Unsweetened bakers chocolate dominates the aroma. Molasses and thick, tarry coffee follow.

t: Dark unsweetened chocolate and espresso roast coffee. Alcohol bite and tingly hop finish.

mf: Rich, creamy body with mild carbonation. Alcohol makes itself aware on in the mouth and throat.

o: Hard to imagine I have pasted this by all these years, given my love for imperial stouts. This is definitely for adults so kiddies beware! Black Chocolate Stout is rich, complex and very much a sipper. Drink at cellar temp.

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Photo of mbaer1970
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I love my imperial stouts and I also love Brooklyn, so I had to try this one. This is an amazing sipping beer and is not for your run of the mill beer drinker. I mostly like my beer like I like my coffee, nice and dark; so this is well within my wheel house. Overall the smell is spot one and second to none for an imperial stout. The taste is also very good and gives it a feel of drinking dark chocolate. Overall I am quite pleased with this Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and will be partaking of it through out this fall and coming winter.

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Photo of Uncledoobz
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Effin D-lish! Hit the spot!

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Photo of Beginner2
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

We got a great beer here.
Listed in the "1001", I read that review that this recipe got Garrett Oliver his job at Brooklyn. (He had been working in a brewpub in Manhattan.) And beer history took a very big step.
Unlike many of the others in this category, Brooklyn's contribution uses no cocoa... but tastes like chocolate. You have to know lots about malts and, apparently in 1994, Garrett Oliver knew lots more than just about everyone.

I bought a 4 pack... which I no longer regret. Two years later, I just drank the last one now and it was worth holding as it clearly had improved... less edge, more smooth.

Reviewed in Roger Protz' " 300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"
MJ's 1999 edition gave this 3.5 stars of 4 and called it "the world's answer to a waring malted milk with a shot of bourbon. It achieves an astonishing black-chocolate flavour through malt alone"

2/5/17 had the vintage bottled two years ago. All the tastes are there, but not at peak. My next tasting of this will be at 18 months.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ink black with the barest sliver of ruby at the edges. BBCS is as close to absolute black as it's possible to get... without quite getting there. The expansive crown is dark tan in color and appears sticky enough to have some staying power. There's isn't much lace, though small ragged sheets are seen.

The aroma is redolent of sweet dark roasted malt, with the usual RIS overlay of chocolate and black coffee. The former is more prominent than the latter. Hops don't make much of an olfactory splash.

My first impression of the flavor is that the alcohol is more evident than it should be. It isn't masked well at all. There's plenty of bittersweet chocolate, which is nice. It's like drinking a melted Hershey's Special Dark chocolate bar mixed with espresso and vodka. Too bad it's a little too raw and burnt/charred.

This beer doesn't have the power, the depth or the complexity of Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout or Bell's Expedition Stout. Masking the alcohol more completely would go a long way toward letting the flavor profile free to do its thing. The mouthfeel is thick and smooth. No complaints there.

I don't know if cellaring this relatively fresh Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout will soften it a little, but I'll give it a try since I have five bottles left to drink.

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Photo of keith40
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased at Moonshine Liquors in Hyannis. Dark brown color and chocolate nose. Dark chocolate/strong coffee taste, probably should call it strong mocha. Leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste. 10% alcohol is well hidden. This is the best Russian Imperial Stout we've had so far.

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Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep,dark black with a nice almond colored head that leaves great lacing,the aroma is very coffeeish and slightly bitter sweet.A real nice complesx beer starts out somewhat earhty and coffeish with a dried fruit flavor comin thru and a hint of dryness in the finish.Very complex,a masterpiece of a beer.

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Photo of Popsinc
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2000-2001 Limited Edition bottle courtesy of Malto (Thanks!).

This bottle poured a dark black with only a small, tan head. The aging seems to have taken away some of the carbonation. The nose was very nice and highlighted by obviosuly chocolate hints, although subtle. The taste is where this beer makes its mark: A puff of semi-sweet chocolate off the top that turns only slightly bitter towards the end of the sip. A decadent chalky cocoa follows and the combination lingers long and pleasantly. Coffee bean undertones & roasted malts. Mouthfeel was exceptional. Although the pour revealed little carbonation, the body was lively enough to offer up some fresh mouthfeel and mix in a creaminess off the back end. I don't have a newer bottle of this beer to compare it to but this aged bottle is simply outstanding. Superb in every aspect.

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Photo of Marty
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark reddish brown with a dense, craggy dark tan head that takes a moment to foam and dissipates very slowly, leaving a solid sticky layer of lace on the glass.

Not especially aromatic, but tastes somewhat like a rich chocolate mousse with hints of coffee. Sweet and rich. Finish is not too dry.

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Photo of Dekhar
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%

Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – I’ll actually call this black in color (which I seldom due) with a decent head.

Smell – This is as roasty as it gets. The malts and chocolate are super-dark, reflecting the color of the ale. I can actually pick up several types of chocolate here, a fine dark style being the most prominent. The roasted malts are burnt and lovely, showing a lot of depth in character.

Taste – This is like drinking dark chocolate coca powder. It is so dark and so chocolaty, it’s unbelievable. This one definitely lives up to its name.

The malts are equally as mature, complimented at the tongue with some nice fruiting that I failed to pick out at the nose. I particularly enjoy the prune and cherry mix that I’m getting here.

Mouthfeel – This was not full in the mouth, but it was very big with an amazing smoothness. It will most assuredly pucker your mouth with the bitter dark chocolate character.

Drinkability – I thought about eating a Hershey’s with this just for kicks, but decided to enjoy the flavors all on their own. This was incredible.

Comments – A big thanks to OldFrothingSlosh who sent me this just for the hell of it after we did a previous trade. This was an enjoyable and very unique experience for me, and I greatly appreciate the gesture.

BeerAdvocates rule!

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Photo of aszatk01
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Near black, brown swamp mud color. Aroma of Mocha a Java chino sort of drink. Black malt and chocolate, even fudge. A little bit of hops. Flavor is twangy, bittersweet chocolate with burnt fruits and smoke. Full bodied and boozy yet drinkable. Quite good.

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Photo of DanGeo
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of beernoobreviews
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout is an incredible beer. Here are the details.

Appearance: This stout was black with ever so slight tinges of red on the bottom of the glass. Some brown but not much. Almost pure black. There was no head on this beer and like most stouts, when you look at it from the top it looks like an espresso. There was great lacing on this beer that reminded me of swirling a wine glass.

Aroma: The aroma was wonderful. I got a nice roasted chocolate scent mixed with deep-roasted coffee. I could pick up the malt also and some nuttiness. This beer had a slight swaf of sweetness. And whoa, I could smell the 10.1% ABV on this beer.

Taste: Wow. This beer has a fantastic taste. Though this is a chocolate stout, I picked up the deep-roasted coffee first. However, as I swallow a nice cocoa flavor coates the pallete. The chocolate is not a sweet chocolate but a semi-sweet cocoa. The coffee and chocolate are very well balanced with one not overpowering the other. The beer finishes with a hint of bitterness but it's the perfect amount. This beer blends everything together in perfect harmony. This is a full-body beer with a creamy mouth feel. This beer is dangerously easy to drink at 10.1% (which is a compliment).

Overall: What a wonderful beer. I enjoy stouts and this is likely one of the best stouts I've had.

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 6,754 ratings
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