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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

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2,793 Reviews
Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-04-2000

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,793 | Ratings: 6,587
Photo of Lafe
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have just acquired some of the 2003 version of this beer.

It pours a beautiful opaque black, and fills the immediate region with an aroma of chocolate and alcohol.

The taste starts off malty sweet with a strong chocolate component, followed quickly by a hit of roasted malt and an alcohol warmth. It finishes with an almost harsh bitterness, which suggests most strongly to me that this beer is young. This brew seems to be a bit heavier in the alcohol department, and I'm guessing that a bit of aging will help it immensely. Having had the 2002 version not very long ago, I know that this beer has the potential to be one of the best of stouts...

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Photo of DaveGood
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a deep dark black with a nice head. The head slowly diminished, leaving a nice lacing that remained for the duration. The aroma was filled with roasted malts and chocolate. The taste was true to the aroma as it was also a nice combination of dark roasted malts and a dark chocolate. The drawback here is that the chocolate taste is overwhelming and it takes away from any of the other flavors that are hidden in there. The mouthfeel was relatively thick and heavy but the drinkability was good. Overall, this would make an excellent desert beer but I couldn't see drinking a couple of these over the course of an evening.

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Photo of chilly460
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured jet black with a small mocha/tan colored head that quickly dissipates. A bit of a cascading affect is nice. A small ring of lacing is left around the circumference and some sticky lacing is left clinging to the glass.

S - The aroma is full of chocolate with definite notes of coffee, roasted malts and some booze. I also pick on on sweet dark fruits. No hops were picked up.

T = Initial taste is dark powdery chocolate, has a dry cocoa taste. Definitely turns to coffee, and a burnt roast taste. Some toffee malt finish, but the burnt flavor stayed with me. Somewhat one dimensional and borderline on the bitter roast for me.

M - A bit thin and more carbonated then I prefer for a beer of this style.

D - As stated, the bitterness of this brew made it tough to finish.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

We pour a syrupy brew that is the deepest brown in color, and entirely opaque. It maintains a one and a half finger light brown head. This dissipates down to leave a layer of foam right on top of the beer, with coloring in the center lighter than on the edges. Thick lacing appears down the sides as this occurs. Whiffs reveal heavy malt character intertwined with bittersweet dark chocolate. There is also the suggestion of dried cherries. The taste begins with a light malty flavor with hints of vanilla. This is swept away by leathery bitterness that could be lent from either the roasted or chocolate malts, or any hops added to balance out the complex grain bill. The flavors that dominate into the aftertaste are certainly lent from bitter chocolate and roasted grain. Through the end of the sip there is also the warming palpation of alcohol. The mouth is left dry, despite the creamy full body of the beer and lack of any strong carbonation. The drinkability is stifled a bit by the borderline offensive aftertaste and the high abv.

Overall, what we liked most about this beer was the rich and delicious creaminess of the mouthfeel coupled with the stark appearance and aromas. This brew delivers all of the flavors it promises and then some. After drinking it, our mouths are almost comparable to the feel of just having consumed a bite of 100% cocoa which, while tasty, can become overwhelming.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007-08 version...

Look is black with only a hint of brown. Enormous, puffy cocoa-brown head. Thick gobs of brown lace.

Roasted but also sweet. Robust dark coffee aroma. Hints of dark chocolate. Smells dark and thick, burnt and harsh. There is a touch of dark grape smell.

Blast of burnt malt, chocolate layer on top. Heavy strong coffee with a shot of strong whiskey alcohol flavor.. Alcohol flavor gives a sharp bite akin to a barleywine.

Feels thick and oily. Leaves a sharp, alcoholic film. It's a hard swallow. It's not a smooth, creamy stout. It's harsh, strong and full of alcohol.

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Photo of righthereisay
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was intrigued when I saw this on the menu (Mad Mex, Pittsburgh). I saw the alcohol content and thought why not. (best bang for the buck). I was with some annoying people and thought it could help.

I was a little dissappointed. I definitely tasted the alcohol. There was no way to hide that.

I did not taste chocolate (if I was supposed to).

It was not full bodied, which is why I gave this ranking.

Overall, it wasn't bad. It went fine with the Carnita Burrito (which is sensational for anyone ever going to Mad Mex)

Peace out.

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Photo of mattkoon
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

black chocolate stout- is pretty heavy on the black and not so much on the chocolate. it pours black- with hardly any head- but i didnt pour it hard into the glass so that could be my fault. the smell is really sweet, with traces of alcohol. the flavor is super bitter and rich. this is a good stout....but i dont feel like there is as much chocolate in the flavor as i would have liked. i think over all though this is a flavorful stout that coats your whole mouth and delivers what i look for when i drink a powerful stout... i am a little let down however by the work "chocolate" on the label- i think if i wasnt influenced by that word i may have rated this beer higher.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lightly chilled 09-10 vintage into a glass, courtesy of ericwo. Thanks Eric!

A: Pours black in the glass, essentially opaque in the center but just translucent at the barest edges. A finger of dark mocha head adorns the glass for a minute or so, receding in clumps until a thin film covers the beer. That's gone in another minute. Some bubbles attempt to lace during swigs, but nothing sticks.

S: Sweet, dark malts. I expected this to be like a melted Hershey's bar, but it's not. It's simply chocolate-forward without being ridiculous about it. Still has plenty of traditional RIS characteristics, like coffee and hints of dark fruits.

T: More chocolatey than the nose suggested. It doesn't have the cloying sweetness of some other chocolate stouts, but it definitely brings a lot of bittersweet cocoa beans to the table. They're fleshed out with bitter espresso flavors and a general feeling of char (though it's not exactly ashy). Try as I might, I could not pick up the dark fruits I smelled.

M: A bit of a warming effect from the ABV, but it's pretty well-hidden and smooth. Carbonation is modest, and the body is full in flavor, medium-full in heft.

D: I liked it, but I'd need to sit down and have it again before I could really make up my mind on where it falls in the chocolate stout spectrum. Expect a re-review of this one.

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Photo of delta490
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A- poured a rich deep black with a creamy dark tan head. Head has decent retention and leaves some nice lacing

S- a little sickly. Just a bit of alcohol sweetness and maybe a hint of chocolate

T- earthy hops dominates and somewhat drowns out the robust malt initially. However the flavors meld better as the beer warms.

M- full and slightly slick

O- a very good, but not quite great stout. I would have wanted more roast malt to balance off the hops.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a sixpack of this when I was in Boston for work. Since we cannot get Brooklyn in WI, I was excited to try this. It pours out very black with a mocha colored head that rises rapidly, but controlled, at the end of the pour. The aroma very heavy on the burnt sugars, molasses, and sweet cocoa nibs. The taste comes through a bit hot on the alcohol and the maltiness shines through. There are definitely major layers of roasted malts, but it becomes a bit messy at times. The flavor is clearly evident but the balance is lacking. I would have liked a little stronger roasted profile to tone down the sweetness. No doubt a nice stout that makes itself known, but I am a bit surprised to see such a widespread love for this with all the other wonderful stouts out there.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this black chocolate stout on black Friday (sorry, I had to put that line in). Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass and this picked me up during this cold Virginia winter (I've spent the last 2 years in Florida, 50 degrees in Nov. is cold to me).
No head whatsoever, as this is midnight black color. Imagine Coke SYRUP - a good sign from a stout.
Upon smell there are hints of chocolate and coffee, and upon that first taste the malt kicks in. You can definitely realize the high ABV, which makes it slightly less sweet and smooth compared to Rogue's Chocolate Stout (which I think the ABV is in the 6 or 7 range), but is not as thick or leaves that somewhat malty, bitter aftertaste like an Old Rasputin does (which is still a very good beer). I think the reviewer before me, or the person in front of him mentioned how the high ABV limits the drinkability and I concur. I have had one after leftovers and I might have a second one, if that. This is a very good beer, more on the stout side than chocolate, so if you're looking for something very sweet you might want to pass. But if you are a beer lover, you'll have to pick this up and just have a nice glass (preferably after a meal so the 10.6% doesn't hit you) to warm you up during winter.

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Photo of C20Percent
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a super dark brown with a nice fluffy dark tan head. Very clean body. No bubbles. Some complexity in the colors of the head. And, pretty good preliminary lacing.

S: Nice roasty, toasty chocolatetyness --also some hops coming through. More than I smell in most stouts. Nothing too special, but nice -- test will be in the taste.

T: Some crazy roasted malts / toasted grain flavor in the finish. Slighty bitter too. Definitely taste like tobacco. Hoppy. I'm not getting as much chocolate as I had hoped. Not bad or anything, but I don't think it is what it says. I really gotta look hard for the chocolate.

M: Nice carbonation. I'd say a medium body. Creamy and smooth -- more creamy. Little bit of chewiness. Good, but nothing that screams great.

O: I highly doubt this is an infected bottle, but this is called a Black Chocolate Stout and it should be called Black Tobacco Stout. Honestly, this needs more chocolate. I thought I detected it in the smell, but I knew the taste will tell the whole story, and the end wasn't great. I'll have to try it again next year.

**Note -- could be dark chocolate and not tobacco flavor, but definitely putting me off.

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Photo of tmm313
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- Black as you can get. Poured a 1/2 finger head with aggressive pour. Good lacing.

S- Dark fruits, booze, and a little chocolate. Caramel and a touch of hop when you really dig in.

T- Strangely sweet. Almost sour at times. Dark fruits up front. Chocolate starts to emerge mid way, leading to bitter dark chocolate, bitter coffee, and some booze. Seems to have some spice going on as well.

M- Medium thick body. Creamy and viscous with super sharp carbonation. Drying.

O- Not the biggest fan of this one. Maybe I'll buy one to age for a year or two.

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Photo of irishking1977
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Evil looking black liquid with a small tan head that disappears, leaving moderate lacing. Above average looking RIS.

S: Mild, bitter chocolate notes. Some malt as well. Sweet, sugary aromas are barely perceivable, but it's there nonetheless.

T: Smoky/sweet maltiness and some bitter chocolate. Caramel and coffee finish. Decent RIS, but nothing earth shattering. They should probably put the word "chocolate" in really small print, because other than chocolate malts that were probably used, there is no substantial chocolate taste to this brew. Just mild bitter chocolate notes.

M: Chalky and less than moderately carbonated. Not as filling as it appears. Which is a good thing.

D: Surprisingly drinkable, even with a 10% + abv. Alcohol is completely hidden, which means to me that this one is brewed with balance in mind. Deceiving brew, good balance, but lacking a bit in taste. Would probably be a good introduction to someone attempting to get into stouts.

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Photo of Vierenner
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just an okay beer -- it lacks the "wow" factor present in many other stouts I've tried. I taste a slightly sour fruitiness with each sip ... or maybe it's the hops -- either way that doesn't work for me. Kind of bland. This beer leaves me unsatisfied.

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Photo of HopDerek
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Winter 2007-08 edition

Pours a smooth black with 1 finger of creamy coffee tan head, good retention and lacing. Smells of dark fruits, chocolate, roasted malt, alcohol, and a touch of coffee. Tastes of vanilla, roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark fruits like cherries and rum soaked raisins, smoke, and alcohol in the finish. Full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and creamy with lots of bitter sweetness, dark fruit notes, roastiness, and lots of alcohol presence. With there being more flavorful Russian Imperial Stouts that either mask the alcohol better or offer more in the flavor department, this is a RIS that I'll get if I see it and have no other desires offered, but I wouldn't race out to procure some.

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Photo of Truh
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got lost in a grove of cocoa trees with this one on 12/19/2004. 16-oz. pour (when it should have been a 10-oz pour according to the board) at the Sunset Cantina.

Thick, wool blanket down of Silver Surfer head that receded and laced like a sputtering black hole. No moon blackest night hue, like the edge of the horizon on a winter night, in the dark, with eyes bolted shut. Chocolate and cocoa predominate on the mouth, with a Galactacus of sweet alcohol bite that shivers down to the metatarsals, practically splintering them. A bit further along, a prune and black licorice chutney gloms around and leaves a scorched earth policy down the tongue and into the throat; tonsils suffering from the plague. Almost a funky exoskeleton of malt that feels oddly wraith-like on the mouth. Generous, but lacking something.

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Photo of chrisgn
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Black with a coffee colored head. Some lacing on the glass, not excellent.

S- Alcohol and dark chocolate.

T- This beer is actually pretty bitter, tastes like dark chocolate. Taste improves as it warms. Hop character is definitely present as well.

M- not very rich and creamy, but still full bodied. Lingering alcohol burn after each sip.

D- This is a well made beer for sure, but the bitterness and 10% abv make this a sipper. Certainly better RIS's out there. Not very much a fan of the bitterness.

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Photo of greenmonstah
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into DFH snifter

A - Pours a dark brown, nearly black. A bit of light comes through on the edges. Half a finger of brown head with poor retention. Alcohol lacing, which I always love to see, is present.

S - Sweet chocolate. Booze. Some sweet,dark fruitiness. Roasted malts.

T - Some sweetness, very boozy. Some hop in the middle is nice. Only a hint of the dark fruit from the nose. Wonderful chocolate finish. Warming alcohol taste left in the mouth.

M - Thick. coats the mouth and is a bit cloying. Boozy warmth is divine.

D - A fine tasting beer, but the booziness is a bit much. Not much effort was put into masking the alcohol of this 10% imperial, and it suffers a bit for it.

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Photo of vtfan77
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours thick and viscous from the bottle; the darkest of browns, nearly black with a small, short-lived tan head.

S- Sweet malt and alcohol in the nose. Dark fruits, caramel, and toffee aromas abound; smells almost like a barleywine rather than a stout as the roasted malt is barely evident.

T- Very sweet and boozy upfront. Incredibly rich. Alcohol and rich caramel are the dominant flavors here. Roasted malt doesn't really even come into play until a charred flavor comes in on the finish.

M- Very thick, almost syrupy mouthfeel. Carbonation is minimal.

D- Not great. I'll be able to finish the 12oz bottle, but that's it. This brew is thick, rich, and makes no attempt to hide its alcohol content. A sipper for sure.

An enjoyable beer but the alcohol is a little overpowering right now. It overshadows the roasted malt profile and makes it difficult to pick out too many subtle nuances. This is one that I can pretty much guarantee will get better with age. Good now, but could be great in a year or two.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
3.64/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful big head that looks fluffy and strong. Reminds me of the Rogue Chocolate Stout. The color is jet black and lets no light through whatsoever. Leaves a great lacing behind and the head doesn't fall and break away hardly at all. Smell is a little light. I smell a little bit of chocolate and some coffee. There's also some vanilla. There seems to be a bit of an off flavor, but maybe it's just in the smell. Nope, somthing's up with this beer, I can't taste any alcohol burn, but there is a burnt toast flavor that is in the aftertaste after some sweet flavors, and that's not great. It's a very burnt flavor mixed with a green characteristic, not a lot of chocolate I noticed. The mouthfeel was very good, something to remember, overall I will try this again in a year, I have more, and see how it's doing, but it's not too impressive right now.

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Photo of jeffmonarch
3.64/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Dark brown in color with a nice medium brown head.

S - Lighter chocolate smell than most chocolate stouts.

T - Rich chocolate taste with slight bitterness.

M - Full bodied with good carbonation.

D - Great beer. This is my favorite chocolate stout.

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Photo of TheDM
3.64/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours an opaque black colored body with a large creamy head. It had a strong coffee aroma. It also had a strong alcohol flavor with strong coffee notes. I am hoping the chocolate referred to the color and not the flavor because I did not get any chocolate in the flavor.

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Photo of paxkey
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

poured bottle into pint glass.
very black. 3 finger brown head. sticky lacing.
sweet chocolaty aroma.
yeast malt and spices. faint alcohol smell. nothing overt for a 10% beer.
super bitter tasting with a sweet coffee finish.
the bitterness covers most of the alcohol. but still a slow drinking beverage.
a pleasant winter warmer.
continues to bring a burnt roast flavor. a little too sweet overall which brings down the drinkability.

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Photo of Riccymon
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle a sinister-looking black with a mere quarter-inch of brown head. Smell seems a little on the subdued side, though there is a rich chocolate aroma, a little roasty malt, and a small cherry note.

The chocolate flavor is improved upon as I sip-- it becomes a bitter but tasty mixture of coffee and chocolate. After a few sips, I recognize hops accompanying the chocolate-malt goodness, and the presence of alcohol just makes itself known at the end of each sip, but only slightly so.

Mouthfeel is quite creamy up until the hop flavor lays down on the tongue with a drying effect. I found BCS a nice RIS, but it didn't necessarily stand out above the rest, at least while fresh.

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 6,587 ratings.
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