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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

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2,793 Reviews
Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-04-2000

For Trade:
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Reviews: 2,793 | Ratings: 6,587
Photo of andrewt960
2.86/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Let me start off by saying I am one of many who didn't fall in love with this beer. Perhaps it was the hype. I read so many positive posts and talked to my beer guy, thought it was going to be gold in a bottle.
A- Poured a dark black, with a nice head that faded quickly. The head was chocolate brown in color that had minimal lacing. I was very excited to taste based on looks.
S- Smelled of hazy chocolate in the distance, however more roasted malts, and of alcohol.
T- The taste was a bit surprising in the sense that it had a lot less chocolate that I had anticipated. I wasn't expecting chocolate milk, but it was totally over powered by the strong alcoholic smell.
M- It wasn't bad in the mouth, but the alcohol was too strong. Laced the mouth and stuck around in the throat.
D- I think if I was more into sipping, which this beer is intended for, it may be nicer. I didn't chug it, but I may have sipped too frequently to let my pallet adjust. I have 5 more to try and get it right.
Overall, I think I'll stick with the hoppy kick that I've been on, and leave this behind.

Footnote- The second was nicer, a klittle more gentle, and enjoyed a little more.

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Photo of xfactor9600
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Thick black color. Didn't get much foam, which was surprising

S: Chocolate

T: A hopsy taste with a chocolate after taste. Not bitter as I had expected.

M: Smooth, but perhaps too little carbonation.

D: A nice experience. What I was looking for out of this type of beer.

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Photo of treehouse
2.83/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

creamy and milk chocolatey right when the cap is popped...a bit of tobacco and dark stone fruits on the nose.

malty and kinda tangy with bitter chocolate overtones in the mouth...over roasted coffee beans..the odd tanginess is slightly fruity and i feel like it doesn't belong here...long lasting...

as it warms it doesn't get any better...

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Photo of kenstogie
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

i love this beer and seek it out every year. its thick and oh so rich. of course it's chocolisious. it even has a great after taste that lingers for a while.....not to mention one helluva bite. if you don't like this beer you don't like this style of beer.it's a Padron anniversary 26 maduro of 'beers'

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Photo of boblinneman
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours very thick, dark black with a brown creamy head. Smells and taste of rich roasted malt with hints of cocoa and coffee. If this brew contained a stronger hop presence it would rival Storm King.

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Photo of comat0se
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

'02-'03 Edition
You open this bottle up and you pour out a thick, pitch black liquid, and you wonder if you are going to be consuming used motor oil. The cascade of tan bubbles (ala Guinness) lets you know that you have a treat ahead of you. A substantial head builds up, creamy on top, course underneath. It'll eventually die down to a quarter inch leaving rememberances of lace along the glass. The aroma is one of my favorite parts of this beer. Chocolately, fruity, winey, with some alcohol presence... makes you just want to take a taste. Initially thin feeling, this beer thickens and becomes creamy as it moves to the back of your mouth. Sweet, dark fruits, and rich dark chocolate bathe the mouth, followed by a roasted grain and wisps of alcohol finish as you swallow. Simply an amazing beer. What would this beer be like in a year?

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Photo of SamuraiJack
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Fishbone, I get to write a review of an old favorite of mine. For a long time, this was my benchmark for American Imperial Stouts. Now that I've tried more stouts - and in particular some of the West Coast Imperials and Chocolates - I have to say that I don't know if I would categorize this beer as a true "Imperial" (though it's also not a traditional Chocolate Stout either). It, like the Storm King Stout, is its own beast. And, again like the Storm King, what a phenomonal beast it is!!!
In this case, the bottle was from the Winter '02/'03 batch. It's still a bit raw, and should improve over the next six months.
The initial pour shows a enormous tan and creamy head on top of beer of the deepest and darkest black. The head slowly diminishes to a quite thick and sticky lace. Aromas are of malted chocolate balls, toasty grain, alcohol and a hint of espresso. As good as the appearance is, the smell may even be better.
Initial tastes are sweet and chocolaty - a rich almost "fudge-like" flavor that could be cloying in some beers, but is balanced by the crisp (and somewhat unexpected) carbonation, alcohol bite and the slight undercurrent of hops. The finish is of a tart and nearly bitter chocolate-malt that is dry and lingers seemingly forever.
This is a great stout. Like the Storm King, I don't imagine anyone seeing it as a session beer. But as a treat - this is a wonderful one.

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Photo of Mazeraski
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Middle Ages imperial pint glass.

A - Pours a pitch black color with no tinting around the edges, along with a finger-width creamy dark tan head that dissipates sort of slow leaving a bit of sticky lacing around the glass.

S - Big and slightly bittersweet dark chocolate hits the nose first, accompanied by a hint of floral hoppiness, roasted malt, caramel and molasses with perhaps a hint of cinnamon. As it warms the brew smells sweeter.

T - The molasses, caramel and dark chocolate combine initially for a smooth, chewy and savory first wave that washes over the palate. This is followed by a flashing bite of hops and thick roasted malt that leaves a slightly dry and bitter taste which disappears quickly and is replaced by a creaminess as a result of the initial wave of combined flavors.

MF - Full-bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Also quite thick, smooth and creamy as a whole.

D - Taste-wise I'd say very drinkable however it suffers in this department from the high ABV and heaviness on the stomach.

Notes - Quite a good brew overall I would say. I like the fact that there's a bit of hops in the taste, although this detracts from it's smoothness a bit (despite the fact that I still think the hops add a bit of character and depth to it). Well-crafted and very delicious.

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Photo of tosshin
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

a : Dark, almost black, opaque. Have a thick, rich caramel colored head. It holds onto the side of the glass pretty well.
s : Smells like chocolate, alcohol, and raisen in that order. Doesn't have as much aroma as some other imperial stouts I have had, and the alcohol is a bit more noticeable here. Pleasant smell.
t : Raisens are the most aparent flavor in the beer followed by coffee and then the alcohol finished the beer with a warming sensation. The chocolate is more apparent when I swish the beer around my mouth and after I swallow.
m : Coats the mouth well, and makes my tongue happy as it digs through the maltiness to get to the chocolate undertones. A little thin, in my opinion for an imperial stout.
d : I can only drink 1 of these a night and only a couple times a week. That said this is my 6th Black Chocolate Stout of the season so I certainly enjoy the brew.

I bought this beer at the same time as Southern Tier's Imperial Choklat Stout. I think that they are both great showings for the style. I wish this beer had a bit more aroma. Other than that I think that this beer is quite nice to drink on cold nights (like tonight). Enjoy.

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Photo of Donerik
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - jet black, light escapes the gravity at the edge of the event horizon, but barely.

S - Not much scent, only a little burtness, aroma smelled by 3 people to make sure it wasn't me.

T - Great, bitter bitter roasted malts, with a chocolate finish. Like 92% dark cocoa bars.

M - Smooth going down, well carbonated.

D - one was just about right, but I could have had more, I liked it, so I'd have gone back to it if need be.

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Photo of johnmichael712
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into a Chimay goblet. Bottle has "Limited Bottling - Winter 08 - 09" written on the top label. This beer pours an inky black color with a nice, dark tan, almost cinnamon colored head that required a very vigorous pour to achieve. In my experience this is necessary of most Russian Imperial Stouts I've tried and this one doesn't seem any more or less carbonated than most examples of the style. The head is very sticky for the high ABV (unlike the description on the site this year's BBCS is 10% ABV) and leaves behind a good amount of lace for the ABV. Overall this is a gorgeous beer and is one of the better looking Russian Imperial Stouts I've seen.

Smell: As soon as I popped off the cap and began to pour the beer I was hit with intense aromas of roasted malts and of chocolate. Swirling the glass and bringing my nose closer allows me to pick up the incredibly sweet nose this beer has. As mentioned before the nose smells strongly of dark chocolate and roasted malts and is complemented by aromas of coffee and, very faintly, alcohol.

Taste: The chocolate taste of this beer is incredible and huge, and Brooklyn has done a great job utilizing the chocolate malt. This beer starts off sweet and chocolaty, moves to very rich, spicy, and intense, and finishes with the wonderful tastes of roasted malts. It also finishes very mild compared to other Russian Imperial Stouts I've had and doesn't have too much in the way of hop bitterness. This beer also finishes with a significant amount of alcohol taste and warming effect, but in my opinion this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it might not be everyone's cup of tea. BJCP guidelines for Russian Imperial Stouts mention them having a "noticeable alcohol presence" and Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is definitely a good example of that.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is big and full-bodied and feels very smooth, a good example of the style, but not the best. The carbonation is fairly heavy, but still a very big, chewy body. Overall the mouthfeel is pretty darn good

Drinkability: Because of how strong the alcohol in this beer is I wouldn't recommend drinking too many at a time. The taste, however, would make it possible if I were in the mood.

Notes: After sampling this beer a few times for this review I also paired it with a brownie with nuts, something I recommend doing. Michael Jackson recommends eating it with the Viennese desert Sachertorte, something I'll have to try some day. Overall this beer is good, but it isn't great. I'm anxious to lay down the extra six-pack I bought and try it in a year and so in hopes that the strong alcohol flavors will diminish and the taste will smooth out. Look for another review in a year or so.

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Photo of BringusKilkenney
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a great imperial but at 10.6 it is hard to hide the alcohol. The appearance is midnight black with a dark brown small head. The head becomes very small and lingers for a while. The smell is of bakers chocolate and malts very aromatic but the alcohol can definitely be picked out of the aroma. The alcohol is very prevalent in the taste too as to be expected in imperials but maybe a little more than some are used to. The flavor that pops out the most is dark to bakers chocolate obviously but the malts definitely add to the smoothness of the taste. The mouthfeel is smooth and light this is one of the best qualities of the beer in my opinion. hard to drink more than two or three of these at a time but i will definitely be going back to this beer again next winter could be great aged too.

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Photo of guitarsnbeer
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout Winter 10-11
Poured a deep brown-black with an inch of tan froth. Fair amount of lacing.

Alcohol is faintly on the nose behind wonderful aromas of chocolate coffee ice cream, maybe with some brownies in it after swirllin' in my snifter. quite refreshing

Taste is upfront sweet chocolate followed by some coffee bitterness, slight twinge of alcohol.

Very well put together beer, it earns my respect and than-some. I paid 6.99 for a four pack I respect that even more.

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Photo of 50wolves
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - pours very dark / black, small brownish foamy head that dissipated quickly. Lacing is evident and holds to the side of the glass. Some presence of bubbles that sets execrations for astringency in mouthfeel. Aroma - initial smells I picked up chocolate, vanilla and liquorice elements. Taste - roasted taste, has a balanced hoppy and malty taste. Mouthfeel - has astringency and warmth. Overall - purchased the beer of a recommendation, overall it has lived up to the recommendation.

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Photo of jcurtis55
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This is an excellent stout. I got 2-3 fingers of foam and after every drink the heavy lacing seems to last forever. Initial smell is of dark fruit and dark chocolate.

The flavor is pretty much the same. There is not a hint of alcohol in the taste. Mouthfeel is about as full as it comes and completely coats your mouth.

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Photo of gwong
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Winter 07-08 Release

A: Pours jet black with a thick, creamy brown-tan head. Significant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Roasted malts and chocolate pleasantly fill the nose.

T: Sweet, roasted chocolate dominate.

M: Smooth and creamy when it hits the tongue with a nice smooth, silky finish.

D: Its high ABV does not lend itself normally to high drinkability but it just tastes so darn good! Ok, maybe one more...

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Photo of ironbike1
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009-2010 vintage poured into a brooklyn brewery snifter.

Appearance is beautiful pitch black with a thin tan head that sticks with you throughout.
Smell is a little less hot then fresh, you still get the chocolate and alcohol scents mixed with burnt caramel and some smoke scents come through aswell.
taste is exceptional, even better then fresh, you dont have a lot of chocolate flavors there anymore but the sweetness is in there. I taste more caramels and smoke flavor with the alcohol coming through at the end.
The mouthfeel is thick and rich of flavors and some carbonation, very smooth and creamy with a little bite from the alcohol in the end.

Overall the drinkability is almost to good, to the point where I want another and another. Brooklyn is one of my favorite breweries and not just because I live in NY, they make some of the best brews hands down.

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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 cdViking
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received in trade with Hurricane (Scott). Thanks.

Poured into pint glass, thick opaque black with wonderful looking chocolatey head that unfortunately dissipates quickly. Smells of chocolate, malt and booze. Taste is decadent chocolate with a roast coffee back taste and a nice, boozy aftertaste. Nice and thick with good amount of carbonation that pleased the palate. Definitely a rich drink that I don't think I could frequently consume. Very enjoyable though.

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Photo of seabass87
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from 12 FL OZ. bottle into glass. Winter 10-11 vintage.

A- Solid black. Small brown head that disappears quickly.

S- Bittersweet chocolate, roasted espresso, and sour cherries. A bit of vanilla, a bit of alcohol.

T- Follows the nose. Chocolate and espresso first, with some cherries in the back. A lingering espresso aftertaste to help cover the strong alcohol. A fair amount of warmth.

M- This beer has a medium-thick mouthfeel, and is able to do its job without sticking on your tongue too much. Zero carbonation. The structure of the beer is very good.

O- For a chocolate stout, this beer ventures into the high ABV (10%) side of the spectrum. It's a bit more complex that some of it's contemporaries, but the alcohol is a bit obvious. Above average for the style.

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Photo of blacklabel67k
2.88/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Really thick dark and syrupy... zero light coming through the glass

S-Smells like alcohol with a little bit of chocolate and coffee and roasted malts.

T- Bitter chocolate, overwhelming alcohol taste that ruins the beer imo.

M-Smooth and drinkable.

O- I felt this beer was average at best for the style. The alcohol takes over the taste of the beer once it starts to warm up imo, so I think its best to drink this cold. (unless you like the alcohol taste).

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Photo of SierraGS
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was SO happy when I wandered into Alibi's (Carlisle, PA) for an after-work treat and found this on tap! It was served in a 16 oz glass with a creamy tan head.

The beverage itself was pitch black and had a wonderful aroma of slightly over baked chocolate cake. The flavor, however, imparted more of a burning alcohol bite on the tongue than the smooth, sweet chocolate I was anticipating (at over 10%, I should have expected that, but the aroma threw me off.) It was more like a warming liquor than the crisp, hoppy beers I usually favor, but I really enjoyed every sip.

This certainly isn't a thin beer, but it wasn't so thick to be described as chewy or coating. The flavor perfectly filled my mouth and lingered on for some time, as did the lacing on the glass - from top to bottom, remnants of the caramel head lined the sides.

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Photo of trafordboy
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Roastiness, chocolate, and hints of alcohol. Starts out with a slight tang amongst the roasted flavors, which quickly subsides to leave a big, roasted malt and chocolate taste with a decent (not huge) body to it. The alcohol becomes more pronounced as it goes down, but doesn't ever come close to overpowering the roasted coffee/chocolate/burnt toast(?) flavors. A very nice brew that, with the addition of a bit more body, could be incredible.

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Photo of Tromba
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass goblet.

A: Pours black with a hint of dark brown. Head is light brown, dissipates quickly, and leaves a thin layer behind. Some nice lacing.

S: Lots of dark chocolate with mild notes of dark roasted malt and alcohol.

T: VERY good, but not as complex as I expected with the label comparing it to (or labeling it as?) a russian imperial stout. Sweet, chewy malts up front, followed by dark and milk chocolate notes and a nice alcohol presence. Finish has a nice dryness to balance the initial sweetness with a hint of baking cohcolate like bitterness.

M: Full bodied with moderately high carbonation - more than is typical of the style, but I like it. Finish is clean.

D: For 10% ABV this is definitely drinkable. Other stouts with an ABV like this can be overwhelming - this is not like that at all. Great on a cold winter night!

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Photo of jovy1097
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Thick, dark cream foam that is very resilient and never totally goes away. The liquid is black as sin and totally opaque. Resembles black tar.

S: Has the buttery, toffee smell that I get when grinding roasted coffee beans. Has a hint of cocoa butter too. Just smells rich.

T: Rich, chocolate, coffee, toffee, and nuts. Sweet upfront with just a hint of bitterness at the end.

M: Creamy, rich, really thick, but smooth.

D: Whoa! This is certainly a sipper. Far too rich and thick to take a gulp. Actually, it's tough for me to finish a 12 oz bottle because it's just so rich. Much better than I expected, though. I would rather drink this in a half dose. It's like a really rich chocolate cake that tastes great, but you only want a small piece at a time. I can see it being better on a frigid winter night

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