Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

2,802 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,802 | Ratings: 6,652
Photo of caresville
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours jet black with a nice little ice cream cone colored head that fades slowly with time. smells of raisins, prunes and other dried fruits. heavy on alcohol from the nose also. tastes like bitter black coffee, dark malts, obviously chocolate, and roasty. as it goes down you dont taste the alcohol per se, but it does tingle the gums and throat a little and that bitter black coffee transforms into a smooth mocha taste. overall a very complex and delicious brew.

 465 characters

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

This beer is impenetrable, midnight black. Beautiful. The head is thin and off-white to tan in color. It tastes quite bitter and ashy. The chocolate flavor resonates like a bitter dark cocoa, but it's not overwhelmingly chocolaty. It's very enjoyable to sip on a cold day. Smooth down the hatch, and the effect is almost like comfort food.

 339 characters

Photo of bonsreeb85
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vinatage. Thanks to ironbike1 for offering up this brew in a recent trade.

Black as night, completely opaque. Looks thick and sticky with a beautiful brown head.

Alot going on in the nose. Tons of semi-sweet chocolate morsels, black licorice, bread pudding, roasted and choc. malt, alcohol and hints of coffee.

Remarkably sweet at first which then turns to a dry cofee-like bitter close . The booze sticks its nose out just a bit adding a little warmth.

The feel is that of a full bodied brew and has a bit of chewy thing going on.

One of the better RIS i've had although I am still getting my feet wet with this style. I am curious what this tastes like fresh.

 671 characters

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into Macado's "Halloween 2009" branded American pint glass.

Appearance: Jet black with a substantial brown head that stays for a while and leaves thick lacing behind.

Smell: Chocolate all over, with a hint of roastiness and slight grassiness.

Taste: Sweet chocolate up front, with more bitter dark chocolate towards the middle, finishing with roasted bitterness. Slight hop spice at the end as well.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and chewy, with moderate carbonation and a sticky finish.

Drinkability: This is a very good stout. This possesses a depth of flavor and is a pleasure to drink. Given the higher ABV and the thickness, though, this one is good to enjoy slowly.

 693 characters

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

Appearance: Pours jet black with a creamy brown head w/lace that sticks around.

Smell: Chocolate, a little bit of coffee. You can also catch a whiff of the alcohol, but nothing overpowering.

Taste: One of the best stouts I've had. Initial bittersweet chocolate with some hop bitterness, gets sweeter and sweeter as it warms without becoming cloyingly so. Nice malty aftertaste with a hint of fruit. As I got to the end of the pint I started to taste the alcohol, but again, not enough to be come unpleasant.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Nice and smooth with light carbonation. While this isn't incredibly heavy, I couldn't see drinking more than two or three of these — the 8.5% alcohol will catch up quickly.

Kudos to the Brooklyn Brewery for creating an immensely drinkable chocolate stout. While this isn't quite as good as the Rouge Chocolate Stout I sampled, at $6.99/six pack it's probably the most affordable brew in the BA Top 50. I plan to buy a case to cellar. Be sure to check this out!

 1,008 characters

Photo of clvand0
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting to try this one. Pours an extremely dark color with a thin tan head that leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma was mostly just malts, but there was a faint hint of coffee and a little less of chocolate. Now for the flavor: Initially I got a burst of dark chocolate flavor, followed closely by a sweet malty flavor, then it finished with a strong alcohol tone. A lot more smooth than I had first imagined, but it could be more so if they could mask the alcohol a little better. Still a wonderful brew and the initial burst of chocolate was superb. Loved this one. I think it took me nearly 40 minutes to finish it because I kept just sipping it to get the most of the flavor.

 696 characters

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

I find American interpretations of imperial stouts tend to be hit-or-miss. They're either just right or seem to come off as over done.

This falls into the hit category. Abyss-black with a very thin deep tan head. Even held up to the light, there are no ruby hints.

Vinous, roasted malt smell with a strong presence of coffee and cocoa. Bitter, dark chocolate and coffee bean taste. Slight winey hints and barely detectable traces of hops.

Nice thick and chewy mouthfeel. Carbonation is very light and only barely detectable. The only downpoints are that this is not as chocolatey as I had hoped for and as it warms it can become a bit on the bitter side. Drinkable, but with a powerful ABV.

 699 characters

Photo of mike1290
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Luckily I work in Brooklyn so that I can stock up on this brew when it's released. Pours black as night and as the name suggests. Smell is of chocolate (obviously), coffee and also a slight fruity edge. Medium consistency made thicker by extreme chilling. At first the taste is quite overpowering and may turn off most people. Extreme chocolate and roasted flavors with a sweet alcohol laden finish. Realistically you can only drink 2, maybe three max in one sitting due to the severe character. Good choice.

 508 characters

Photo of dreadnatty08
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

05-06 bottle
Pours a thick, totally pitch black with dirty brown foam on top, sticks around for a while. Aromas of dark fruits, alcohol, a tad bit of coffee and chocolate, but mostly roasted matliness. Flavors are dominated by a smooth and yet slightly bitterness from the chocolate malts. Chocolate flavor is subtle, but the finish is super fresh cream creamy, mmmm, lingers a while. Alcohol finishes the twang of this delectable brew, just at the end. I had one of these back in December when it was fresh, and this one has already seen some mellowing in the 5 months. One of my favorite RISs, and I was fortunate to have a friend drive a 6er of this from NY as it's not available in these parts. I will hope to save one for next year to try, but that is very unlikely.

 772 characters

Photo of Donnie2112
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: very typical of an imperial stout just better with a gorgeous brown tinged head and lace

smell:sweet, rummy, raisins, vanilla and just a touch of perceivable chocolate

taste: Just a hint of vanillla, coffee, toast, caramel, there is something a bit like sour cherries or currants in there, it finishes with a dark roasted malt flavor. The over all flavor profile of the beer could be scene as similar to the flavor profile of a dark chocolate that is more lightly sweetened. I find no flaw in the taste of this beer.

mouthfeel: moderately carbonated, lacks the 15W50 consistency that I'm used to, but it isn't even close to watery and is in fact a bit oily. There is a a certain tannic astringency that almost reminds me of a particularly acidic cabernet sauvignon

drinkability: this stuff is really fun to drink but it's also rather filling. I think you could sit and analyze this shit all day long. That said it's filling and I don't see it playing well with others, except of course for specific deserts. So I'll knock just a bit off.

 1,053 characters

Photo of Running4beer
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz longneck bottle, Limited "Winter '02-'03"

Pitch black pour with a brown medium whipped head that diminishes rather quickly to a thin lacey layer. Aroma of dark chocolate, espresso and some alcohol. Tastes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee/espresso, light raison and some alcohol make this beer. Light carbonation and a smooth creamy mouthfeel along with its diverse flavors make this a good beer to savor and drink.

 430 characters

Photo of KyleVick4
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz

A: Hell yea it did the guiness waterfall cascade thing when I poured it. Very nice. Darkest of dark in color, with a thick tan head. Beautiful lacing all around the glass. Hellofa good looking RIS.

S: Smells of chocolate with some hints of coffee. Roasted malt is also dominant. Very strong aroma, but very good smells.

T: Delicious. Sweet, but not overly sweet. I like the fact that is has a deep dark chocolate taste and not much coffee taste. A good aftertaste of the dark chocolate is a nice addition also.

M: Superb for a RIS. Not heavy and motor oily but a good full bodied beer. Carbonation has been done correctly none of overcarbonated fizz attack, but enough so it does not taste syrupy. Im glad Brooklyn didnt do what many other brewers do and go off the deep end with a ultra thick beer. Bravo.

D: Very tastey and the alcohol is nicely hidden which means I am constantly returning to the glass for another sip. Am very glad I bought a six pack of this. I will drink it again and again and again.

 1,028 characters

Photo of anvindr
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a gorgeous dark black with a 1 finger malty brown looking head. The smell comes off a little boozy with lots of bready? flavor coming through no chocolate that I can detect though. The taste changes a lot as it warms starting out like a strong and good guinness-ish simple stout flavor. Ends up tasting deliciously chocolatey but not too much or fake at all imo. Overall one of my favorites also makes a damn good black flip if youre into cocktails at all

 462 characters

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.

 857 characters

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.

 699 characters

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.

 4,593 characters

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.

 1,104 characters

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.

 756 characters

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.

 1,125 characters

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!

 459 characters

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.

 871 characters

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.

 706 characters

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.

 814 characters

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.

 601 characters

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.

 432 characters

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 6,652 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.