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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,795 Reviews
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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-04-2000

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,795
Ratings:
6,613
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
16.14%
 
 
Wants:
438
Gots:
1,447
For Trade:
53
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,795 | Ratings: 6,613
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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Photo of Zippie9999
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm drinking a year old aged bottle purchased in CT back in March 2008. Aged exceptionally and highly recommend buying a six pack and storing a few to consume in a year or two.

A: Dark as a steer's tukas on a moonless prairie night. (The Big Lebowski)
S: Colombian coffee, chocolate, and underlying notes of toffee and vanilla.
T: Once again, coffee, chocolate, and toffee.
M: Nice, silky, smooth, and full. Definitely mellows and smoothens up around the edges. ABV seems to be a little more pronounced due to aging.
D: Lovely. I want to age my other two for at least a year and see how they compare in 2010 and 2011. (Damn, I can't believe I'm typing decade numbers for the 2000's already!!!)

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

Winter 07-08 poured into a pint glass.

Pours an absolutely jet black(maybe the classic black bottle has something to do with it, but at least to me, this looks like shear squid ink) with a pretty decent size head that is almost a light orange; it's the closest that a beer has come to looking like a Halloween Oreo. Pretty intimidating looking beer. The head dissolves at a steady but not alarming rate leaving a pretty much solid, glass encircling lacing.

Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate. Probably should have expected that with the name of the beer (hereee's your sign) but this is worth re-emphasizing. It smells like a ton of chocolate. There's some coffee in there as well, and i'm afraid to say it, but there's a slight hint of cooked ground beef. I'm not sure if I like it or not, and I'm not sure if the only reason I smell it is I've spent a good two minutes smelling this beer; I'm just saying this is probably one of the more interesting stouts, at least on the nose, that there are.

Milk chocolate, then an orange slice and a shot of espresso, in that order. There is a ton going on in this beer, and to be honest, I'm not sure just one review will do it justice. There is even some chocolate fudge ice cream bars going on deep in the finish that is really nice. And now there's even some citrus fruit going on. Yeah, this is one beer with a ton going on with it. And now the citrus fruit I had is now coconut/pina colada. And now I've got some banana. Frozen banana...from a chocolate stout? I believe so. Wow. Really nice mid-palate, that's where I'm getting a lot of the banana/coconut/pina colada, really nice finish with the chocolate absolutely exploding. This is a beer I could drink an entire case of and still not get everything. Let's move on before I lose my mind.

Well, let's see what we've got going on in the mouthfeel. There's a lot going on, it pretty much grips the entire palate. Each region has a different flavor going on(the mid and side have the banana/coconut, the rear palate has the chocolate/espresso intensification, the front of the palate has milk chocolate which then switches to coffee which then switches to a combination of the mid/side palate flavors and the rear palate/finish flavors. So in short, yeah, this feels pretty good. Smooth as anything, an absolute epic in each sip with more going on than an episode of Lost.

Drinkability, well, yeah, it's almost 11% ABV, so it can't be that high. It's a sipping beer that almost defines sipping beers. There's so much going on that the enjoyment of one of them is as much enjoyment as two or three of any other beer(with the added bonus that the alcohol is almost equivalent to the aforementioned beer that you drink two/three of). There's a lot going on, and it only gets more complex as it gets warmer. But with it's high ABV, and the time it takes to drink one, it's hard to imagine drinking more than one in a night; this compares with any of the great, complex after dinner beers and is something that the thought of aging brings delusions of grandeur. Probably the most complex fresh beer I've ever had and an absolute winter staple from now on.

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

From notes:

This beer pours motor oil black. Great chocolate (duh) and roasted malt aromas.

Taste follows the nose... bitter cocoa, coffee (expresso?), roasted malts. Caramelized honey sweetness. No real alcohol noted save for warming on the back end.

Thick, creamy, and delicious. A great RIS.

Great brew, all things considering. This is a masterly crafted brew. More, please! It's times like this I'm glad I live on the East Coast.

EDIT: Come back to bump my scores. I've had a lot of stouts since I reviewed this one and this one is easily one of my all-time favorites. Can't beat it.

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Photo of Mr3dPHD
4.61/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this beer in a standard clean pint glass on a cold evening after dinner. Dessert beer FTW!

Appearance - Pitch black at first glance. Dark brown hues can be seen when held up to the light. Nice thick light brown head lingers for a bit.

Smell - Toasted dark chocolate malt. Mouth watering to say the least.

Taste - True to it's aroma and it's name, nice toasty dark chocolate with some light nutty undertones. This is exactly what I hope for in a Russian Imperial Stout. As close to perfection for this style as I've had.

Mouthfeel - Mildly carbonated, which suits the style. Thick and heavy; a bit oily.

Drinkability - This is a bit of a tough brew to drink. It's very heavy, and for me, one is enough in a single sitting...definitely no more than two. Of course, this is to be expected with such a rich beer with a high alcohol content like this. As far as overall drinkability, I could drink one every night. This is a great beer!

I have to say, this is one of my favorite beers, definitely my favorite Russian Imperial. Another win from Brooklyn Brewery!

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Photo of Puddleglum
4.61/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a nice experience. I was happy I had chosen this even though it was a little early in the year for me to indulge in an imperial stout. The color was black as pitch although the head was not very impressive. It did lace down the side of the glass nicely though. The smell was, as is to be expected, that of chocolate, coffee, sweet brown notes of all varieties as well as burnt and toasted malt. Yum! The taste pulled through with all the flavor the smell let on. The carbonation was a little low but this stout went down easy. Give it a spin if you have the chance.

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Photo of Biscuit033
4.61/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black as night with two finger brown head with nice lacing.

S: Spruce and pine hops upfront, sweet malts and hints of dark coffee.

T: Spruce, chocolate, smoky malts, pine, toffee, molasses, and licorice. There is a lot of flavors in this beer and all are delicious.

M: Smooth and creamy and thick like syrup with a long warm, bitter and clean finish.

D: This a beer that I would never turn down. The alcohol is evident but balanced well by all of the other flavors. This is a great sipper for after dinner.

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Photo of Piliper
4.61/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in out of the bottle into a pint glass.

A: The appearance is pitch black. No hints of red or brown around the edges. Absolute motor oil black. It pours thick from the bottle with a generous 3 finger khaki head. Great lacing as well.

S: The smell is intense. Definite banana up front with faint hints of roasted dark coffee. Some caramel and spice as well.

T: The taste... oh, the taste. Other worldly. An incredible stout. An incredible beer... period. You are definitely hit with the coffee that was evident in the smell right up front. It's semi-sweet, but not too much. Very malty and the alcohol is hard to decipher. At 10% ABV, that's a dangerous thing.

M: The mouthfeel is very full and thick. The motor oil like pour is evident here. Sticky and almost chewy.

Overall: possibly my favorite stout. I'm a huge fan of Convict Hill's Oatmeal Stout, but the low ABV in that brew makes it difficult to judge in comparison to this. This stout doesn't have the annoying over carbonation that some of the higher ABV stouts have and the smooth nature of the brew is almost too good to be true. I'll be buying another 4 pack and will let it age.

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Photo of bbeerman
4.61/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A..A gorgeous dark brown, bordering on black. Reminds me of velvet.

S..Hints of chocolate and roasted malt. A slight hint of hops in my glass.

T..Amazing taste! The very dark chocolate taste hits at the beginning and the end of each sip and appears to evolve throughout the sip. This has to be the best chocolate beer I have enjoyed to date (compared with others like Young's Double Chocolate Stout, Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence), perhaps because I prefer dark chocolate...or perhaps because it is just that perfect. Dark malt flavor is also present.

M..Nice and heavy like a Russian Imperial Stout should be. This brew keeps getting better as I drink.

D..Easy to drink for a heavy Imperial Stout that has a 10% ABV. I would advise to take it easy since the ABV is so high, but that is easier said than done considering the marvelous taste of this near perfect recipe. Enjoy!

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Photo of stckhndlr
4.61/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours as black as the label on the bottle. Great 3 finger dark tan head. Good lacing as you drink it down.

S- Chocolate and Coffee malts. There is a bit of a tinge of alcohol in there. Sweet caramel malt as well. The deeper I go into it the more I can smell the sugars. Has a creamy note to it.

T- The caramel and chocolate seem to come out first followed by the coffee in the finish. Has a bit of bitterness to it that lingers. The more it sits it starts to take on a bit of a dark fruit/dark cherry flavor.

M- Thin on the palate yet creamy. Its' a strange kind of feel to it. incredible smooth body makes it seem milky but when you swallow it down it's like it creams up and thickens. So I would say it has a pretty good body to it overall.

O- A pretty good stout with big flavors. I think holding this one for a while and letting it mellow out will make this beer even better. Pick one up today and drink it next winter.

Had this one again on tap and this time the flavors were more amazing. The chocolate notes just burst out of this beer. It was velvety and smooth on the palate and just a fantastic beer. On my last review in Nov. I said that it might be better if you hold it in the cellar and drink it next year. Well I am changing that plea to "only if you can't get it on tap". Fantastic brew.

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Photo of frenchblood21
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into tulip.

Appearance- Black as night with a real thin tan head. Head goes away right away, and leaves moderate lacing.

Smell- Amazing! Best smelling beer I've ever had. Chocoalte and coffee are both present. Just a hint of hops.

Taste- Not unlike the nose, but with the addition of a pleasant alcohol burn. Salted caramel in the end.

Mouthfeel- Thick and creamy just like a stout should be. Lingers in your mouth forever...and leaves a citrus after taste.

Overall- An amazing beer. This is now easiliy in my top 20. An absolute must try.

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Photo of KYbrewgal
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance
Dark as the winter night, with ruby highlights.

smell
Sweet roast with some alcohol phenols, chocolate and rich caramel, and a whiff of dark berries.

taste
Heavy roast (burnt), heavy sweet caramel

mouthfeel
Full without being chewy.

drinkability
Could easily ask for another.

comments
Goes really well with ancho chili chocolate and a nice fire.

 368 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the '05-'06 version...
Appears black with a light brown hue when held to the light. Fluffy head slowly fades and leaves scattered lacing all over the glass.
Smell is of roasted nuts, chocolate malts, fudge brownie, black grape, along with a mild hop profile that comes through.
Taste is of the same aromas with that mild hoppiness that seems to be citrusy with a touch of mint.
Mouthfeel is creamy with roasted sugary notes sticking to the tongue and swarming the palate with it's smooth richness.
Drinkability- A delicious dessert brew.

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Photo of nUgZ
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a black color with a slight head and some lacing.

S: Dark chocolate, roasted malts, and espresso. Very inviting.

T: Just like the nose, the flavors are exceptional. The chocolate is subdued, which I very much like. Some chocolate stouts these days just have too much chocolate flavor. Alcohol is not evident in the least.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation. Easy to drink.

O: I am very pleased with this beer. It's one that could get you in trouble though...easy to drink and no alcohol detectable.

 555 characters

Photo of medic25
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled the '05-'06 vintage. Dark black color with very little head or carbonation. The aroma is amazing; a chocolate/coffee blend. Taste is also mind-blowing. Very complex flavor; again dominated by the taste of chocolate and espresso, with just the right amount of alcohol. Goes down very smoothly for 8.5%. One of the best stouts I've ever had the pleasure of trying.

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Photo of Jiggamyte
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to pint glass.

A Pours a dark black opaque. Creamy brown head that lasts until the beer is done. Lots of lacing along the sides of the glass.

S Lots of chocolate and coffee smell. Malty background notes.

T Strong tasting chocolate notes, coffee, as well as toffee and caramel malts.

M A very full bodied and creamy beer. Heavy on the tongue. Slight alcohol warming.

Overall impression of this beer is very good. A great beer to have on a cold winter night to warm you up and provide some time in thought. A very drinkable beer if you have the time to appreciate depth of flavor.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2003-2004 vintage. 12 oz bottle served at cellarish temperatures in a Trois Pistoles goblet.

Appearance: Obsidian black topped by a smallish dark brown head that's rather short-lived. A thin ring of bubbles was all that was left after about a minute. Still, that ring was sufficient to leave small wisps of lace as I greedily imbibed this elixir.

Smell: Powerful roasted malt aromas. Thick dark chocolate and hearty espresso. Mild notes of prune-like fruit.

Taste: Bittersweet like a teenage gothling imagines their soul to be. Chicory-laced black coffee earthy and bitter dark chocolate aftertastes. Umbrally dark prune notes.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy with hearty aftertastes aplenty. Hits the spot.

Drinkability:
Black as night,
Sweet as love,
Strong as death.
Nummilicious. I know of no one who has had this that didn't like this beer, and I've been handing it out to neophytes (or at least people that wouldn't consider themselves overly knowledgeable). Worthy of buying by the case. I hope there will be one left in a week and a half...

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Photo of FirstMan
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as night, this one. The head sticks around for a while and has a muddy light brown color. Eventually it unevenly diminishes into little mud-pot bubble-rings across an even layer that just covers the top of the liquid. Lots of heavy lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell is strongly roasted, toasted grains, chocolate, coffee, molasses, and (my wife thinks) a little hint of soy sauce. Very rich and complex.

Right at the beginning a quick hit of alcohol esters immediately precedes a complex mix of chocolate, roasted malt, molasses, and smoke. Very rich and complicated. Slowly the variety of flavors wanes into a lingering smoky hop bitterness.

Big, chewy mouthfeel. Smooth tempered by tinge of carbonation. Smooth, but not nearly as much as your typical English Stout.

Overall an amazing stout. Highly complex and truly world-class.

My only sidenote would be that this is a one-pint beer for me. It's so good you want to drink it slowly and savor it. I'll stick to other beers for multiples.

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Photo of bilyboy65
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was poured into a pilsner style glass.

A: Poured smoothly only causing a thin 1 finger width head that was a dark tan color. It The head seemed to remain for the entire glass. The carbonation could be scene dancing in the head. The beer was almost a black color. Could not see through it.

S: Instantly from the pour the chocolate aroma hits your nose. Smells very sweet.

T: The chocolate malts come together nicely to achieve almost perfect balance. Causing the beer to be not to sweet. The chocolate malts are complimented nicely by the hinting of hops to bring out the taste. The only drawback on the taste was a kinda bitter after taste. It isn't strong, but enough to taint the ending.

M: Very smooth to the tongue. Not a lot of carbonation. Actually seems to have a lot more characteristics of a nitro beer.

D: This is very sweet. Goes down very easy. Some may find this beer hard to drink more then a few because of how sweet it is.

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Photo of mschofield
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'03-'04 bottling
The aroma is chocolate and coffee, and it's strong it hit my nose as I poured in into a glass at least 2 feet from my nose.
Dark opaque black with a small head the color of lightened coffee.
Black chocolate is right... coffee comes out in the aroma as it warms, and there is a little bit of chocolate covered fruit. These secondary flavors are hitting me as cafe mocha, and chocolate dipped oranges.
The bitterness folds perfectly into the chocolate taste and aroma, perfectly integrated. It's like a liquid chocolate cake.
Full and creamy. I've had better Imperial Stouts, but this one captures the black chocolate name wonderfully.
Drinkability is a double-edged sword - yes it's easy to drink, but with the high abv you can't drink many. I put a 6er down in the cellar, can't wait to see how they turn out next year.

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 6,613 ratings.
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