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

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Reviews: 2,802 | Ratings: 6,652
Photo of otto251068
3.11/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Included as an extra from a trade with drez77, thanks! Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet. "Winter 09-10" on the neck label, it looks like this is almost a year old.

Appearance: Pours an oily black, not much light getting through this one. A quarter inch of dark brown, dense head appears, then fades slowly. A nice dark brown blob of head is left with a ring hugging the glass. Nice head retention after the pour, no lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts is what hits me right away. A kind of funkiness to it as well, not a fan of that. Maybe it will change as it warms. Kind of confused on the aroma, I get a little cinnamon and dark chocolate. Okay, it has warmed and now there is a ton of dark chocolate, much better. Definite sweetness from the chocolate or alcohol. As it warms the alcohol really comes out.

Taste: The dark chocolate is the dominate flavor in front, an unsweetened dark chocolate. There is also black coffee, and with that comes some bitterness, it doesn't come close to balancing the chocolate though. Plenty of roasted malts here as well, with some burnt flavors lasting throughout the drink. Plenty of bold flavors in this one, with dark chocolate taking over. Alcohol comes out as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Huge body with a medium carbonation. The body has a sticky finish, almost chewy. I like the carbonation on this one. The bitterness from the burnt flavors lingers in the back of my throat a little more than I would like.

Overall: The alcohol comes out a little strong for me. This beer took me forever to finish, and it is a definite sipper. 12 oz is filling, and this stout would be a great substitute for dessert, but drinking two is out of the question.

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Photo of haz77
3.11/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours almost opaque very dark brown, with a finger of dark tan head. This falls slowly to a thin ring. Not able to see any carbonation.

S - Liquorice, molasses, chocolate, prune. Not as much going on as I'd hoped for.

T - Molasses/liquorice at the front with some toffee breaking through in the middle. Herbal hops begin to come through, then some bubblegum in the background, towards the finish. Aftertaste is smoky and quite bitter. Alcohol well masked.

M - Creamy, medium-full body and pleasant soft carbonation.

D - Fairly easy to drink given the masking of the alcohol, but found it overall to be quite average.

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Photo of beerme626
3.11/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Good Foods in Lexington, poured into a stout glass.
Appearance was absolutely gorgeous. Thick, black beer, but still with clear, tiny bubbles running up the side. Dark brown one-and-a-half finger head on top. Enticing.
Everything else disappoints. The issue is, that unlike other high-alcohol stouts, this one is so obviously alcohol-y. The smell has rich notes of roasted malt and coffee, but it's entirely negated by the smell of... gasoline. The taste is the same way; rich, full tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee are cancelled out by the alcohol bite and feel. It's not cleverly disguised at all. The mouthfeel is higher because of the pleasant warm feeling.
Overall, a bit of a disappointment. Other imperial stouts, like Old Rasputin and Choklat, are able to cleverly disguise the high-alcohol in the complex flavors. This is binary, and it doesn't work for me.

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Photo of ithacabaron
3.11/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

'03 bottling.

This pours the color of burnt oil that's been let out of an old engine during a change -- slick, deep, rich and black, black, black. The head settles comfortably on top with fairly large bubbles, and swirled, multi-toned highlights.

Smell is pretty good as well, with aromas of dark, burnt candi sugar and burnt chocolate...very rich, even in smell.

Unfortunately, for me, that's where this fell apart for me. The stout has good dark chocolate flavor through it, but the chocolate seems a bit chalky, and dry, instead of smooth, as if it were made with chocolate baking powder. Additionally, the aftertaste is one of ashed cigar...not wholly bad, and an aquired taste, but, in my mind, not a positive for the beer by any means.

Mouthfeel is very rich and smooth, with a drying end, well fitted to the style.

Due to the tasting notes, I can't give this a real high drinkability rating.

Incidentally, just 12oz. of this stuff got me buzzed. Should be noted.

One important note...I tasted this, and then, noting the similarities, cracked open an extract chocolate stout I had homebrewed, using some adjuncts and malto-dextrine...I could barely tell the difference -- knowing what was in my beer, and the fact that I can replicate it for a fraction of the cost with low-grade ingredients, how can I give this a really great grade?

Anyway, maybe I got a bad bottle, or maybe I missed something with this one. I'll probably try it again for that reason, and I encourage others to give this at least one try -- they might like it a lot more than I did.

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Photo of TAMU99
3.12/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Used half to make a glaze for ham - delicious, couldn't let the rest go to waste!
Poured a black clear - dull red if light squeaks through. Thin, dark tan head left little lace. The scent is delicious. Chocolate and dark caramel, brownies and other baked delights. Taste is dark, bitter chocolate. Biting hops and a burnt or charcoal aftertaste. Pretty heavy mouthfeel - like a slavic man with an ushanka slapping you in the throat - with that smoke taste clinging to the back of the tongue for a little too long. Overall a powerful beer that I likely wouldn't choose to drink, however the cooking value is certainly higher than the taste lets on.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.13/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into my Stone IRS snifter

A - a shade away from pitch black with a thin tan head that quickly disappeared

S - Smells like dark malt with a very faint hint of chocolate and an even fainter hint of alcohol

T - Tastes pretty normal for a stout with a little more chocolate flavors, slightly sweet at first, Hardly any aftertaste at all, really isn't as powerful as I was expecting

M - Medium body with a decent amount of carbonation, the body might be the best part of this beer

D - Surprisingly easy to drink for its 10%, it doesn't have much complexity though and is surprisingly mediocre. I wouldn't say this is a bad beer but it just comes across as simple to me. Sometimes this is a good thing but I expect more from a RIS. If this was offered to me again I wouldn't have a problem drinking one but I won't be seeking this out again anytime soon.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.13/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours up less than a finger's worth of head but has pretty good retention. The head is a dark beige/mocha while the body is an opaque, dark chocolate black. Hints of sheeting extend from the surface of the beer. Lacing is okay.

Nose- There is chocolate there but it's very subtle. Slight hints of roasted malts. More milk chocolate than dark chocolate. Hope the flavor profile is more engaging than the aroma. If not, this is going to be one boring beer. Some milkiness and cream. Reminds me more of a dry or milk stout at the moment. Swirling shows the creaminess of the aroma even more.

Taste- Large roasted notes with some chocolate but huge coffee. The coffee and roasted malts are so prominent they give off very woody bitterness. This leads into a sour sweet note that reminds me of tart raisins (even a little bit of lemon?) If any of that sounds unappetizing, it's because it really isn't. Not to say that this is a bad beer; it just doesn't jive with my palate. Some heat but the coffee really overwhelms. Maybe the sour fruity ester of the finish is more like a red berry or pomegranate. Whatever it is, I don't like it. Reminds me a little bit of the Disorder Stout (Barley Brown's) I had yesterday. However, that didn't have this sour sweetness which tends toward being acrid because of its extended linger. Maybe it's too fresh but there is no way I'm splurging on this again. Does have some positive qualities but is pretty much average.

Mouthfeel- A little more than medium bodied. Slightly over carbonated. Somewhat gritty. Tiny slickness.

Drinkability- Definitely not sessionable. Probably a drain pour for many but I prefer to suck it up. I think I paid 7 bucks online and that is way too much.

Overall- I am curious whether this is too fresh or if this is infected. Very average beer that has enough redeeming qualities not to be considered poor. Would try it again if I found it on the cheap.

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Photo of Calico
3.14/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I've had the '02-'03, the '03-'04, the'04-'05, the'05-'06, and this one (the '06-'07) in bottles. All of them impressed me.

The '06-'07 on tap, though... when I was pouring it at the Real Beer Expo in Rochester, it had a nice roasty chocolately slightly musty aroma, what I expect in a Russian Imperial Stout. I had it on tap more recently, though, and it has a very strong diacetyl note in the aroma. Quite jarring. Not what I'd expect. I should note it was served at way too cold a temperature, though.

Appearance: quite dark, marvelous head, good retention.

Smell: butterscotch dominates. I can barely make out some caramel and chocolate notes.

Taste: Was served too cool for me to really judge. I detect some roasty notes amid the maltiness.

Mouthfeel: Good and thick, as I'd expect. Full body, slightly syrupy feel coating tongue.

Drinkability: After one of these, I was drowsy. That does not normally happen to me after one beer. If a half-pint were an option at this particular pub, that's what I'd order.

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Photo of CBFanWish
3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The color was black with a moderate tan head. The smell was of chocolate and coffee. The taste was also of chocolate and coffee, but it was too much for me. All I tasted was the chocolate. It was kind of a musty feel. It also had a slight hint of coffee. It tasted like a "senior living community" smells. But it did go down pretty good.

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Photo of jwillcourt
3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a wine glass. I have had the bottle for a couple months. I thought it would keep well at 55 degrees, but it did not. I hope to try it again and re-review someday.

A - Dark brown, near black in color, and opaque, even when held to the light. Dark beige head disappears quickly, leaving a slight ring of foam. No lacing.

S - The smell is on the maltier side. Roasted malt, licorice, and chocolate. It grows more malty as it warms. There is also a strong vegemite/marmite smell that doesn't go away, presumably from the yeast. I didn't smell any hops.

T - Also malty, but with the hops coming through more in the flavor. Roasted malt and roasted coffee. Lemony, citrus hops emerge in the finish. There is a slightly sour aftertaste. Some sips had a slight cola taste.

M - Medium-bodied with light to medium carbonation. There is little residual feel, which I expect from an RIS.

D - Don't notice the alcohol for 10% ABV. I have loved this beer in the past, but the one I chose to review appears to have gone off.

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Photo of rohrbachsfan
3.16/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Opaque black.

Smell: Like espresso roasted coffee but with strong alcohol/solvent-like odors present

Taste: Heavy roasted flavor. More espresso in flavor than chocolate with a strong alcohol taste.

Mouthfeel: Thick and warming.

Drinkability: A nice imperial stout with a lot of alcohol kick, but not the best I've tasted.

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Photo of KFBR392
3.16/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Very dark but not as dark as other RIS I've had. A very delicious looking creamy head.

Smell: I little light here. I realize there shouldn't be a ton of aroma here but the subtle undertones were not there like I'd hoped. A little bit of the chocolate is here but overall not great

Taste: There are a few different things going on here but nothing is outstanding. A sweet licorice front lets the creamy aftertaste linger on the palette. The hop dryness comes in at the end and hangs around. The chocolate plays a role but is mainly undetectable. Not a traditional RIS

Mouthfeel: A creamy mouthfeel is here. The alcohol is hidden and the hop dryness is pleasant.

Overall: Decent. A lot of other RIS I would go with before this one.

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Photo of CB_Crowe
3.16/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First Review
2012 vintage
12 oz poured in Lawson's Tulip, slightly under 66 degree room temp.

A - Pours black. No surprise here at it's called "black chocolate stout". Hardly any head on this one. Maybe a quater inch dark tan head, dissapated quickly. Little to no lacing.

S - Burnt chocolate and alcohol. I was more excited to try this before I smelled it.

T - Touch of pitted fruits up front which quickly turns into lingering bitter burnt chocoolate and alcohol. I'm not getting much chocolate if any. I wish I tasted more chocolate. The burnt taste is really heavy to me on this one. I'm wishing I aged this now.

M - really smooth mouthfeel, little carbonation.

O - This one is a sipper. The burnt chocolate taste and strong alcohol finish was a bit much for me. Good beer to age. Maybe I'll pick up another bottle or two to age.

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Photo of slvrmon82
3.17/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A very heavy very dead of winter beer. Will warm you up almost right away.

A- Very dark heavy black. Very thick. Not a lot of light can penetrate it.

S - Smells of wonderful chocolate and toasted malts.

T - Lots of chocolate with lots of toasted malts. Tasty but to thick for me.

M - Really thick and really heavy with a little cream feel.

D - One to two is all I can ever drink at one time.

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Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.18/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

When a beer says chocolate I expect chocolate. This one has no chocolate taste whatsoever. Is it dark like chocolate? Yes. Does it smell like chocolate ? Very slightly. Does it taste like chocolate ? Not at all. No sweetness at all. Now if Brooklyn is trying to market this beer as "chocolate" based solely on the fact that this beer is dark like chocolate that is fine. But I was disappointed that there was not much chocolate taste at all especially compared to Young's or Smith's. Not sure why it's rated so highly.

The 10% ABV however is fantastic. You can taste the strength of the alcohol and is the redeeming quality of this beer for me.

Drank my second bottle a few weeks after my initial review. The chocolate is more prevalent now and so is the dark coffee flavor. A bit sweeter than I remembered. I'm liking this beer now! Still not as good as Samuel Smith's but really holds it's own in its own special way.

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Photo of Ummagum
3.18/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this beer from a 12 oz bottle. Poured black with a brownish head. Left a thin coller around the glass. This beer did not impress me. It was a solid beer, but did not stand out against other beers in this category. it was a solid beer, but I would not put out the effort to get it again.

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Photo of Naes
3.18/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance is black with a large brown head.

Aroma is malty sweet and chocolaty.

Taste is of alcohol and chocolate malt. ItÂ’s much stronger in flavor than the aroma implies.

Mouth feel is medium bodied and a bit syrupy.

This beer is one for sipping, it's alright but nothing spectacular.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.18/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Not at all what I expected. Where is the chocolate? If its there, its faint. Maybe this brew needs some aging. Not again for me.

A - Poured viscous, black and opaque, almost reddish, one finger light brown head that quickly disapated.

S - Roasted malt, coffee, hint of cherries

T - Slight sweetnees, roasted malt, alcohol, medium bitter at the finish

MF - Astringent, thin

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Photo of dsa7783
3.19/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From a 12oz bottle, copped singly from Wine and more in West Orange has a limited bottling-winter 07-08 mark on the neck...Pours a opaque pitch black hue with a minimal tan head...Smell is reminescent of bittersweet dark burnt chocolate...Flavor is very alcoholic with a cocoa-spresso very bitter lingering finish and a very strong warm alcoholic glow...Mouthfeel and drinkability are marred by a ridiculously strong alcohol percentage of 10.6%...Slight vodka taste detracts from the presence of any character or flavor...In my opinion too strong to be truly enjoyed as a stout.

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Photo of vdread
3.19/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
bottle to glass

black as could be with a tiny brown head that kept a collar all the way down, leaving a few spots of lace. smell is of dark fruits and alcohol.

alcohol is prevalent, bitter and sweet, roasted malts, like burnt wood. flavors open up a bit more when it warms up. slick and full going down. not a bad RIS but probably not the best.

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Photo of bklyn1rr
3.19/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I am testing various chocolate Stouts and was not impressed with this one. I was expecting more aroma and taste from the Chocolate and Coffee. I prefer to drink coffee black, which can be bitter depending on the brand, but this was extremely bitter.

On to the next one....!


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Photo of Indybeer
3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Part of my Holiday trade. Thanks Loki! Poured a pitch black with a massive head that really stuck around. Lots of lacing on the glass. Aroma is a strong roasted, almost burnt coffee. The taste for me was all over the place. Thick and chewy like a stout should be. But way too young I think. Good thing I got another bottle today from ManekiNeko in my BIF 4.0 package, gotta let this thing age for awhile and try it again. I just couldn't get through this. There is just something in this that didn't go over very well.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.22/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, resembling a dark dark BROWN borderline black, 1.5 finger head of light brown chestnut quality bubbles. Manages to leave a consistent ring throughout drinking.

Nose and bouquet has a faint malt/yeast but also a good anisette front on it, faint cocoa on the back but not much, very balanced nose.

Taste and mouthfeel is wet, very light bodied giving way to cigarettes and ashes. Alcohol is still present and not hidden giving way to some heat on the finish. If you put chocolate on the label, I should be able to taste/smell it first... so where is it? Also some carbonation in the palate.

Drinkability... Depending on your palate your going to find things you may enjoy, its easy drinking even at this ABV.

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Photo of zachary80
3.22/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark tan head is surprisingly uniform and smooth. Great lacing, okay retention. Totally black body.

Aroma is slight alcohol, light roast, sweet.

Flavor is bittersweet chocolate, although the chocolate is not very well rounded out is too one-dimensional. Bitterness from the malts is fairly high. Slight metallic taste is off-putting.

Mouthfeel is slightly astringent. Somehow it comes off as too thin given the rest of the character, not sure if it is the carbonation or what. It feels like there will be be more body at first but lets down.

Overall a good beer, wish it had more body. Actually I'm not quite sure why I like the beer since I can't say many positive characteristics. Sum is greater than the its parts for this one.

A note on aging - at one year it was nearly impossible to tell apart from fresh; the biggest difference was in aroma and there weren't any notable improvements.

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Photo of dbalsock
3.23/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

appearance: black... yummy black, with a chocolate brown head. this beer is absolutely gorgeous, i only wish the head remained a while longer.

smell: the aroma consists strongly of bakers chocolate, but i picked up on a hint of alcohol that was a tad disconcerting.

taste: this beer changed drastically (in a good way) as it warmed. the bakers chocolate was evident through out, as was a taste of alcohol... the two cancelled each other out in my rating. the roasted malts hit harder as it warmed, and harder than i wished when combined with the taste of alcohol, but still was ok. it at least showed some complexity.

mouthfeel: thick and bitter, it makes the roof of my mouth tingle, and i don't think i like that, but i'll keep thinking about it.

drinkability: the alcohol taste and funny mouth tingling really impact this one, and although i will try it again, if i have the same/similar experience as i did this time, i don't think i'll want more than a sip after that. this too gets better as it warms though.

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