Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

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2,788 Reviews
Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States | website

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

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Reviews: 2,788 | Ratings: 6,571
Photo of BassAssassin
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

--2006 Vintage--

A: Nearly black in color with a thick, tan head. Head disappears quickly, however, it leaves nice lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: Immediate scent of black licorice followed by burnt malt and hints of raisins. Faint, tea-like aroma of hops. Alcohol scent is well hidden.

T: Rich, complex malt dominates this brew. Taste is definitely on the sweet side. Roasted malt flavors shine through. Subtle hints of dried fruit and dark chocolate. Tea-like hop finish is perfect for this brew. Alcohol warmth is felt by mid glass. Its taste is well hidden, however.

M: Low level of carbonation lends a smooth mouthfeel to this beer. Thick and full bodied, just as an imperial stout should be.

D: A sipper for sure. This one is perfect for a cold winter's night. A sure bet year after year. This could possibly be my favorite beer.

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Photo of montageman
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. 07-08 bottling.

Yet another fairly new addition to the Michigan beer scene, my only other Brooklyn Brewing experience was at the Chip Shop in Brooklyn. Oddly, I had this beer in Brooklyn as well. Pouring a thick, viscous black with a nice cocoa head that goes away fast and leaves some lacing. The alcohol is very present in the nose along with some vanilla, coffee, and chocolate. This tastes like any Imperial stout should chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, and some vanilla - perfect flavor that will only improve with age. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy. Aside from the nearly 11% ABV, this is very nice stout. Mellow with just a slight alcohol burn. Highest recommendation.

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Photo of falloutsnow
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Winter 2009-2010 bottling, sampled on a rainy 2012-04-13
A three year aged version of Brooklyn BCS.
Poured into a standard US pint glass.

At three years of age, this still looks great: a tall brown head of very fine bubbles that descends to a thick cap atop the beer, leaving generous lacing all the way down. (5.0)

The aroma, however, has lost nearly everything and is a mix of sweetness and slight roasted character with obvious ethanol. (2.0)

Taste is primarily sweet and nondescript, with mild roasted malt character and some acridity. Perhaps a bit of vanilla around the sides of the tongue. Ethanol has mellowed, but still present and surprisingly strong. Sweetness persists through each sip; not sure where this is from, but it is cloying. Only the lingering aftertaste presents a bit of interesting roasted flavor. (2.0)

Mouthfeel is still good: medium-heavy with carbonation that makes this foam up quite nicely on the palate. Slight bit of ethanol burn on the tongue and in the nostrils. Would be easily drinkable if it tasted good. (4.5)


Winter 2010-2011 bottling, sampled on a cold 2012-04-12

Fresh, I thought highly of this beer. Now, aged two years, it's rather average or even below average. This was cellared since purchase, so I don't think any spoilage has occurred. I have many older bottles to test, but going forward, I beginning to think I'll only purchase enough for the winter season.

Pours a tall (>2cm) head of small dark tan to brown bubbles, which descent in a minute or two to a medium-sized ring around the beer and a few islands of foam atop the body. Some lacing and spots linger around the sides of the glass. Body is an opaque dark brown to black, with brown-amber highlights. Carbonation is visible, rather active, and can be seen rising across all sides of the glass (4.0)

Aroma is of mild chocolate, a bit of plum-like esters, and a bit of organic solvent (light acetone). No trace of alcohol, but two years in, this has not held up that well. (3.0)

Taste offers some roasted malt bitterness, residual sweetness, and very mild chocolate flavors. Gone are the washes of chocolate syrup and coffee that this beer had fresh. No ethanol is present, though the loss of other flavors seems like an unjustifiable trade-off. Mid-palate offers some roasted barley, residual sweetness, and mild chocolate. Lingering aftertaste of roasted malt, slight chocolate, slight coffee grounds, and a bit of a "wood aged" component.

Body is medium-heavy with moderate carbonation. This leads the beer to foam up initially on the palate, but when the carbonation fades out, this is smoothly felt across the tongue. Ethanol burn is still felt in the back of the throat and slightly in the nostrils.


Winter 2005-2006 bottling, sampled in 2005
A: I note a pleasant viscosity as the beer pours from the bottle into a pint glass. Primeval midnight black in body color (forget about attempting to discover this one's carbonation level through visual inspection), a 2cm dark tan rises from the depths, settling into a thin film of foam for the entire drinking session. The deflating head and sipping lead to sticky, excellent lacing wherever the beer touches.

S: Beautifully crisp nose with massive amounts of chocolate, roasted, and caramel malt scents. Plums and dried figs are the fruits being expressed here, quite rich and full in their presentation. Some alcohol burn is detected in the back of the nose as the scent fades away in the nostrils.

T: An intensely complex beer, pulling major influences from roasted and smoked malts, black coffee, dark/bitter chocolate, caramel, molasses, and even some nuttiness. The richness of all these pulls together into a near-brownie-dense (a bit of a hyperbole, but not by much) concoction with emphasis on the roasted malt and chocolate flavors. The alcohol presence in the finish is pleasant and well-placed towards the back of the throat. Aftertaste of bitter chocolate and black coffee, somewhat acidic.

M: Medium to full bodied with a modest amount carbonation that allows for some foaming in the mouth, which results in a pleasantly soft, yet full effect on the palate. Dry finish with the bitterness of the coffee-chocolate combination.

D: An exceptionally well-crafted imperial stout that I wish was available from fall through spring. All the aspects of the beer come together in a fashion so near perfection that it may be as close as I'll ever get to a manifestation of the concept. Highly drinkable as a sipping dessert or after-dinner beer, something to close out the last few hours of a day with.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a black (duh) motor oil color with some bubbles sticking to the glass's edge but no head really. Good lacing, although short-lived.

S- Roasted coffee and chocolate but not sweet-smelling at all...until you get to the alcohol which is present but not noticeable right away

T- Burnt toast, coffee again, chocolate naturally. Not especially strong though, given this beer's 10% ABV. Yeah, real smooth with a roasty aftertaste that I enjoy even though I don't usually prefer stouts. There is a slight bitterness from the hops but it takes a back seat to the dominant maltiness of the brew. So easy-drinking for such a high ABV but it's not very boozy at all. Quite remarkable.

M- Thick and viscous. Leaves that gooey saliva build in your mouth that's hard to get rid of. This could be a good or bad thing depending on where you're coming from. Low-medium carbonation makes sense in a beer as heavy as this.

O- Brooklyn's hit or miss but it seems like their high alcohol percentage beers are usually the ones that do it for me.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to warriorsoul for this '04-'05 12 oz bottle.

This beer poured a deep, dark black with a brownish tan wide collar that left a few spots of lace.

Smells of milk chocolate, maple syrup and a little bit of coffee with some bready barley and a nice blend of alcohol. There was also a little tart cherry and red grape in the background. Marvelous.

Tasted of smooth chocolate and sweet barley that was followed by a slight wave of green apple dryness and a nice alcohol. Finished with a little bit of charcoal.

The mouthfeel was light, but smooth with a thickening mini-carbonation. Seemed a little on the dry side.

I really liked the chocolate in this one, but the charcoal was a little bit of a deterrent.


This one ages remarkably well.

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Photo of JohannBock
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Bottle that says it's from winter 12-13, possible bottling date stamped on it too but too hard to read. Poured into a pint glass with 1 finger of tan head that quickly recedes to some light swirls on top. Pitch black, there is no light getting through this thing at all.

S: Dark malt and raisins coming through up front in the nose. Some alcohol sweetness comes out as well leading right into dark chocolate smell.

T: Slightly bitter dark malt right away followed by dark fruits, raisins and figs mostly. Next comes some alcohol sweetness and a little bit of bite. Then the after taste kicks in and it's all dark chocolate and warming alcohol from there. Finishes nice and smooth and begs you to take another sip.

M: Heavy and smooth mouthfeel with just enough carbonation to keep if from being sludgy. Seems just about right for the style.

O: This was my first experience with a RIS so I don't have a great benchmark to base this off of. With that said, everything I've read about this style is coming through really nicely in this beer. If this is what all RIS's are then I'm hooked. Great beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep black color-Theres no way any light is getting thru this sucker. Small head and a slight trace of lacing. Low aroma-slight licorice and roasted malt comes thu for the most part. Big roasted malt flavor. Nice grainy and burnt flavor. Hints of anise,licorice and treacle. Very slight trace of sweetness. Nice body-very full and quite bold. A freakin killer beer. One of the best going. Whether its your first or last of the day-impressive all over!

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Photo of silver1audi
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First I'd like to say Hi to everyone.... I'm new here and fairly new to the craft beer scene, BA is great.

About this beer, I really enjoyed it. I picked up a 6 pack at Wegman's for $6.99 and broke into it as soon as I got home. It pours virtually black into a glass. It smells great; It actually smells a lot like dark chocolate. I don't even like dark chocolate and this beer made me want some! It tastes great too with a very strong flavor that is great late at night while relaxing after a long day.

I will definately buy this beer again, it's the type of beer that for me, a 6 pack will last a little while. Very enjoyable, but I would probably only have 1 or 2 of these in one setting. 6.99 wasn't that bad though for a beer like this, considering that Guiness costs over $8 for 6 beers. The only problem I have with it is it doesn't maintain much of a head.

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Photo of yankeeheel
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There is a reason this is a top rated beer. It is everything a big, strong, imperial stout should be. Pours as black as possible with a huge cascading espresso colored head. Served at a lovely 65 degrees. 03-04 vintage.

Smells of chocolate, smoke, malts, chocolate, figs, get the idea. The taste is something to behold. Just a massive attack of dark burnt malt, creamy chocolate, oak, and alcohol. Hopped up like crazy but it works with all the dark stuff going on. I equate the taste to the realm of a single malt scotch. It should be sipped, savored, and revered.

Just incredible. The other 5 of these lovelys are going to the cellar for a while. Thanks to JahNoth for the hookup.

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Photo of apbarwood
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Almost menacing. Jet black with a fluffy brown head. Truly a thing of beauty.

Smell- Roasted with a hint of sweetness. Coffee and chocolate mostly with some dark fruit flavors lurking deep in the background.

Taste- Dark, dark chocolate and cocoa powder, with a bittersweet taste with roasted coffee flavors with a slightly hopped quality.

Mouthfeel- Warm and thick. Very full-bodied.

Drinkability- The alcohol can be a bit much at times but it ages exceptionally well as a result and mellows over time. Upon release it's pretty forceful and may scare away the faint of heart but after you've had a glass you'll never be the same. Definitely works well as an after dinner beer either with deserts or by itself. If you're a beer cocktail kind of person, drop a scoop of ice cream in and make a float.

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Photo of BillyB
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Someone spiked my chocolate milk shake with whiskey!

Appearance is Black as night during a full eclipse.

Sweet chocalatey aroma like I've never smelled before. You'd think that Hershey brewed this beer instead of Brooklyn.

Taste is nothing short of amazing. Chocolate meets sharp alcohol in an amazing balance!

Mouthfeel is incredibly full and creamy.
Drinkability is up to you. It's a very big beer but I say bring it on! My friend had this on tap in his house and we worked on kicking it for a while. It was hard work but we did it.
Try it with a brownie and some vanilla ice cream.

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Photo of LittleMurphyDog
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This year's bottling into a snifter, slow pour resulting in little head dwindling to edge of glass lacing. Aroma is alcoholic, then chocolate, not much coffee. Improves with warming like most Russians. Taste is warm with the surge of the alcohol, which flees quickly to the dark chocolate and fruit of a stout. Feel begins with the carbonation but becomes smooth and sensuous. Lots of calories and a knockout alcohol level--go slow.

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Photo of edskirk3
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Now I have the 2006 - 2007 vintage.

I must say, I much prefer this beer fresh over when it is aged. I want my chocolate malt flavors and aromas to be in-your-face, not mellowed. Drinking Black Chocolate Stout is always a delicous experience. I really love this beer, as I tell everyone within hearing distance.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black as night with no light penetration. Creamy, fine light brown head. Supreme lacing and decent retention.

Smells like hoppy, malty cocoa pebbles cereal. Fruitiness is there as well - strawberries, currants and raisins. Smells good fo sho.

Not as thick and rich as I was expecting, not necessarily a bad thing. Very roasty, pushes the roasty cocoa bean limit but never crosses the line (is there one?!) Coffee notes are noticeable as is the hop bitterness. Hides the ABV quite well and I like the fact it is not as sweet as TenFidy and Yeti. Great drinking RIS straight off the line, no aging necessary. A very well crafted beer, just delicious.

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Photo of WaltTrombone
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

'02-'03 Bottling

I had purchased a few of these back in March, and back then thought it was a bit harsh. Now, after sitting in the basement for 8 months, I decided to crack one open, and was amazed at the transformation.

It poured a deep, inky BLACK (Naturally!), with a fluffy, medium brown head. The aromas were chocolate and espresso, and the taste was sublime! Chocolate, espresso, prune, port, grapefruit, with lots of wispy lace. The mouthfeel was smooth and medium creamy. It finished with espresso and citrus, with a hint of cocoa powder.


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Photo of OrangeCharlie
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Very dark, with a thick, creamy, tan head. Beautiful lacing to the end.

S: Dried fruit, caramel, and dark malt.

T: Dominated by malts, with a complex range of roasts all standing out individually and blending well: bready, caramel, toffee, and a hint of vanilla with coffee and chocolate coming through at the end. Perfectly balanced in bitterness and residual sweetness. I couldn't help but think "liquid cake," but not candy-sweet. No hot alcohol at all.

M: Creamy and rich body.

D: Incredibly drinkable for 10% ABV. Could be dangerous ;)

I've never been one for the RIS style, but after this beer has encouraged me to explore the style a lot more. A great beer for cold weather.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%

A: Deep brown, nearly black. Head is half a finger thick, the color of toasted wheat bread. Lacing was minimal.

S: Coffee, chocolate, raisins, and more dark chocolate.

T: Sweet malts married to acrid burnt grain. Dried apricot. Old coffee. Hops? Maybe some bitter-citrus hops notes in the finish as an afterthought.

M: Smooth, lightly carbonated, and creamy. A little alcohol burn. Buttery diacetyl.

O: Not the epitome of the style, but pretty close -- and a great buy at the price. I see myself buying a few more of these soon.

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Photo of Winter
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours black with a creamy brown tan head. Vinous aroma consisting of roasted grain, milk chocolate and alcohol. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and coating. It's thick and sticky on the lips. Taste is simply amazing. Starts off with roasted grains and sweet chocolate and molasses. Super malty. Traces of caramel. Alcohol and dark fruit flavors convert to an almost rum-soaked cherry flavor that's rather intriguing and appears near the back. Alcohol is apparent, yet not overpowering. Best enjoyed slowly and as a sipper.

Special thanks to AKSmokedPorter for the opportunity to enjoy this masterpiece.

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Photo of doubleipa
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yum. Great aroma of molasses and chocolate. A very creamy head that lasted a long time with great lacing. Black color, of course. There is a moderately acidic intial flavor that lessens a bit. Palate is medium-full, syrupy with a moderate alcoholic finish. Finish is loooong. Can't wait to see what a year in the cellar will do for this. This is really an outstanding double stout. Probably my favorite Brooklyn beer in the bottle.

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Photo of esv
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 Fluid oz 10.6 ABV. Served to cold. From a cold fridge in a cold house. Last month's heating bill, $300.

Thick brown head off of a stiff pour into an over-sized snifter. Would you believe it is black? Darker than a black steer's tuchus on a moonless prairie night. The bulk of the head dissipated quickly with minimal lacing but the head was present till the end.

Raisins, ripe plums and alcohol in the nose. Wafts of chocolate becoming far stronger as the beer warmed.

Cigars, high alcohol and candy-sweetness hit the taste buds. Bitter chocolate and burnt malts rest squarely on the tongue. I can taste that crusty brown sweetness from a raisin and from the corner of the raisin box. The symphony of flavors round out nicely as the beer warms.

A swallow washes over your tongue and the mouthfeel continues to swell like a tsunami over the higher ground. You can't understand where it's all coming from and why it doesn't recede. Sticky, but not too, considering its royal lineage.

i love It.

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Photo of gmcfarre
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into New Belgian chalice
Opened in honor of Garrett Oliver's NY Times editorial today (10/19/07)

A - Pours not unlike motor oil - a rich and incredibly dark, slow-moving ale. Color is of dark chocolate, nearly black with a thin layer of light brown head. This beer is opaque. Lacing is nice when tipped, but non-existent otherwise.

S - Scent is reminiscent of bitter dark chocolate and espresso beans. A slight hint of burning alcohol. Mild hop activity. A rich, sweetness develops in complement to the breaded malt flavor.

T - Dark chocolate (hence the beers name I suppose) with intense roasted espresso flavors whose bitterness is confusing: is it the coffee/dark chocolate flavors that leave the bitter aftertaste or is there a strong hop presence that I am missing? Sweet, dry breaded malt. A light touch of juicy, dark fruit, plums perhaps. A complex beer that doesn't disappoint.

M - Full bodied with a molasses effect on the tongue. Slightly drying and bitter aftertaste with a touch of alcoholic burn.

D - A strong beer that shows its power well into the 12 ounces. Incredibly delicious, and worth seeking out. Just make sure you enjoy it with a meal.

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Photo of droomyster
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night with one finger of tan head with good (but not great) retention. Aromas of sweet roastiness and lots of very dark chocolate, but with a good amount of alcohol holding it back from perfection. Flavor-wise, the alcohol constitutes no such problem. If anything, the high abv helps carry this multi-layered masterpiece to every last taste receptor. Super full body is very creamy and smooth. Rich, concentrated beer whose full nature takes nearly a minute to completely unfold after sipping. A great value. Beautiful stuff.

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Photo of lwillitz
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle into porter/stout glass

A - 2 fingers of dark tan over a body of pitch black, great lace

S - rich chocolate, notes of coffee, malty sweetness, dark fruits, touch of alcohol; excellent

T - an amazingly complex blend of flavors; black coffee, rich chocolate, roast malt bitterness, booze, dark fruitiness; roast malt and chocolate and alcohol warmth combine for a pleasant aftertaste

M - super smooth, chewy, thick full body; medium/high carbonation

O - This is an excellent chocolate/imperial stout. My beer-illiterate wife picked this up for me; she's awesome!

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Photo of Johnnyfacelift
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite stouts which is darker than the night sky. You can't see through this brew, even while holding it right up to a light! Not a huge head, but enough at the pour to get some great aromas.

I don't have the most developed sense of smell, but I definitely pick up the high alcohol profile. A big malt essence jumps out at me along with some nutty notes. Very enticing!

The smell and the taste go hand in hand for me. I pick up the alcohol, but it's not over powering. I don't pick up a huge chocolate flavor, but I think it comes through in the mouthfeel.

Nice and thick mouthfeel. You know your drinking a big bold stout with every sip. Coats your mouth with flavor, but does not linger... which I enjoy!

Of course with a big beer like this, "session" should be avoided! But saying that, it's such a tasty brew your glass becomes half empty faster than you'd like.

Overall a wonderful winter time warming stout. Highly recommended.

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Photo of BruMeister
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An excellent beer in my opinion. This beer is one to be respected due to it's high ABV (10.1%). Not an easy one to follow, so I usually make this one the last of the evening. The hops nicely round out the maltiness of this full bodied Imperial Stout. I have the good fortune to have it available on tap at two of my favorite bars.

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 2,788 ratings.
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