Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
6,681 Ratings
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
Ratings:
6,681
Reviews:
2,811
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
10.36%
 
 
Wants:
446
Gots:
1,475
For Trade:
50
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,681 |  Reviews: 2,811
Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of billab914
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip. Poured black in color with a half inch, dense, tan head covering the top of the beer. The head settled down to a thin covering where it left some great lacing on the glass.

The aroma shows some very good chocolate flavors to it. It has both a roasty bitterness and a milk chocolaty flavor to it at the same time. Smooth and balanced aroma to it overall.

The taste has a lot of good dark, bitter-sweet chocolate flavor coming through. Some roasted, slightly burnt flavors come through more towards the finish. It has a sweetness to it though that really helps balance it out some. The chocolate is very nicely done, the bitterness and sweetness of it really comes together nicely.

The mouthfeel is on on the thicker side, but probably middle of the pack for imperial stouts. Carbonation is also moderate for the style. Drinkability is very good, it has some great flavors to it and was a very tasty beer for an after dinner drink tonight.

 989 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Limited Bottling - Winter '13-'14
Pours tar black with a finger of tan head that fades first to a thin cap, then to sticky lacing. Very very sticky.
The obvious chocolate in the smell, but it doesn't completely dominate, leaving room for dark fruit (berries, raisin, fig), roasted malts, burnt sugar and faint light coffee. Smells nice and rich.
Starts pretty sweet, with lots of juicy plums, cherries and raisins covered in chocolate (a bit dark, but not too much). Burnt sugar, roasted (almost charred) malts and coffee keep the sweetness in check and start bittering things up, but not before some hints of vanilla, licorice and anise are felt. Hops don't have much to say, but the finish is dry, ashy and quite bitter.
Full body, sticky, low carbonation. Booze isn't perfectly subtle, but doesn't bother. It all kinda reminds of Kahlua.
Does bring in the "chocolate", really tasty. A great imperial stout, probably even better aged for some years.

 951 characters

Photo of smithj4
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of atrocity
4/5  rDev -3.6%

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

4 year vertical, 2006-7 to 2009-10, tasted side by side from youngest to oldest in June 2011. Final category scores are based on the 2006-7 bottle.

Score summary in year order:
(2006-7, 2007-8, 2008-9, 2009-10)
A – 3.5, 4.5, 4.5, 4.5
S – 4.0, 3.5, 3.5, 4.5
T – 4.0, 4.0, 4.5, 4.5
M – 4.5, 3.5, 4.5, 4.5
O – 4.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5

APPEARANCE
2009-10 (1 yr old): 3.5 – Creamy, fine bubbled, dark khaki head with ok retention and lace. Dark chocolate brown with cola highlights.
2008-9 (2 yrs old): 4.5 - Better looking that the ‘9-10. Head is a darker khaki, and sits taller than before. The body is also darker; more black than brown.
2007-8 (3 yrs old): 4.5 – Even darker than the ‘8-9, with darker brown highlights. Dark khaki head has a fine bubble structure with ok retention and lace.
2006-7 (4 yrs old): 4.5 – Likely the darkest of the vertical. It’s at least as dark as the ‘7-8 above it with a similar head.

SMELL
2009-10 (1 yr old): 4.0 – Dark chocolate, raisin, molasses, and rum fruitcake.
2008-9 (2 yrs old): 3.5 – Rum soaked raisins. Less chocolate than the ‘9-10. Touch of cocoa powder.
2007-8 (3 yrs old): 3.5 – Prune, booze, and a hint of bitter cocoa. Very similar to the ‘8-9, but a shade darker in tone.
2006-7 (4 yrs old): 4.5 – Fantastic nose on this year. Round and mellow with caramel, molasses, and dark chocolate. Maybe a hint of oak. There’s a touch of raisin, but most of the fruit is gone. Very little booze.

TASTE
2009-10 (1 yr old): 4.0 – Bitter chocolate up front with a backdrop of raisin. Great roast note in the middle with a touch of smoke. Warm booze on the backend blends into a dry cocoa finish.
2008-9 (2 yrs old): 4.0 – Opens smooth and slowly builds up a nice roast character. Warmer booze than the ‘9-10 and less chocolate, which I thought was odd. Has an almost an oaky dryness to it. A cocoa power finish lasts a lifetime.
2007-8 (3 yrs old): 4.5 – Nice complexity with softer and better-integrated flavors than the younger years. Roasty cocoa nibs blend into a semisweet dark chocolate. Nice malt roast through the center. The finish is roasty and semisweet.
2006-7 (4 yrs old): 4.5 – The best of the vertical. Caramel, walnut, and dark chocolate. Nice coffee center with a dry, dark cocoa backend. Light oak and semisweet finish.

MOUTHFEEL
2009-10 (1 yr old): 4.0 – Smooth with a medium/full body. Nice carbonation.
2008-9 (2 yrs old): 3.5 – More porter-like than a stout. Medium body is lighter than the ‘9-10. Nice carbonation is a touch brighter than the ‘9-10.
2007-8 (3 yrs old): 4.5 – Medium/full body with a solid smoothness. Lower carbonation than the ‘8-9.
2006-7 (4 yrs old): 4.5 – Medium/full body is super smooth. Has the lowest carbonation than the rest of the vertical, but still enough to be pleasant.

OVERALL
2009-10 (1 yr old): 4.0 – Delicious with a great roast character.
2008-9 (2 yrs old): 3.5 – Strangely boozier and lighter than the ‘9-10.
2007-8 (3 yrs old): 4.0 – More complex with better integration than the younger brews.
2006-7 (4 yrs old): 4.5 – Super smooth, well developed, and complex. Interestingly, the years culled some of the fruitiness of the previous years. Not surprisingly, the age also took the edge off of the booze.

 3,282 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cheers to zrrbrrt for this one!

Pours jet black with a fluffy 1.5 fingers deep mocha head. Alright lacing & good head retnetion

S: Some chocolate & iron. A little licorice as this warms

T: Chocolate & iron up front. Licorice, roasted malts & coffee surface as this warms. Finishes with a little chicory, warming boozy alcohol, dryness & bakers choclate, yum

MF: Rich & some smoothness with low carbonation

Drinks to damn easy, this is 10.6 abv? I think I can session on this until nap time

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Photo of smcolw
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Near black color where only the faintest of light can pass on the edge. Leaves a moderate head and minimal webby lace.

Not a harsh smell, much closer to a dark chocolate. As an aroma, it seems more like a porter.

Rich bodied with decent carbonation. This beer is full flavored with darker dry malts, unsweetened chocolate, faint bitter hop. I don't taste any alcohol warmth. Great aftertaste that begs for black forest cake with sour cherries.

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

('05-'06 release)

Appearance: Pours a soulless black from which no hope can escape. Looks good!! Tan, cocoa-ish head with little to no lacing throughout.

Smell: Reminds me of Kahlua 'Especial' coffee liqueur if anyone here is familiar with that. Espresso, fudge brownies, and a twing of smoke. You can also detect the delightful zip of alcohol in there.

Taste: An unstoppable coffee-chocolate juggernaut. The flavors hit hard, full, and quite unforgiving. Moreover, there's some hints of biscuits and syrah. Finishes leaving behind a bitter coffee essence to punish the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Holds very solid in the mouth, but maintains a good creaminess.

Drinkability: This is good, but I think I'll toss it in the cellar; see if a little age will benefit this brew.

 779 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 2009 bottle

A: Dark black with a chunky brown/tan head, dissipated quickly leaving a ring of bubbles on the top of the beer.

S: Hit immediately with the roasted malts and then some bittersweet chocolate. As it warms get more coffee and chocolate coming through.

T: Lots of roasted malt and some dark chocolate. The chocolate flavor intensifies as it warms. Also some vanilla. Very nice.

M/D: Medium to full bodied with nice carbonation. Very easy to drink and leaves a nice aftertaste. A really nice beer that I look forward to drinking again. Also looking forward to drinking this one with some more age on it as well to see what happens.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ink black with the barest sliver of ruby at the edges. BBCS is as close to absolute black as it's possible to get... without quite getting there. The expansive crown is dark tan in color and appears sticky enough to have some staying power. There's isn't much lace, though small ragged sheets are seen.

The aroma is redolent of sweet dark roasted malt, with the usual RIS overlay of chocolate and black coffee. The former is more prominent than the latter. Hops don't make much of an olfactory splash.

My first impression of the flavor is that the alcohol is more evident than it should be. It isn't masked well at all. There's plenty of bittersweet chocolate, which is nice. It's like drinking a melted Hershey's Special Dark chocolate bar mixed with espresso and vodka. Too bad it's a little too raw and burnt/charred.

This beer doesn't have the power, the depth or the complexity of Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout or Bell's Expedition Stout. Masking the alcohol more completely would go a long way toward letting the flavor profile free to do its thing. The mouthfeel is thick and smooth. No complaints there.

I don't know if cellaring this relatively fresh Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout will soften it a little, but I'll give it a try since I have five bottles left to drink.

 1,284 characters

Photo of drewone
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Jason
3.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with "Limited Bottling - Winter '00-'01".

Appearance: Ink black with a light brown and quite impressive lace that retains like a champ.

Smell: Dark chocolate covered espresso beans and a mild ripe prune fruitiness.

Taste: Full bodied and very smooth, a tangled mesh of dark roasted coffee and dark unsweetened chocolate. Hops are vague amongst the roasted barley bitterness, some sweetness prevails with a fruitiness attached of prunes. Roasted and chocolate flavours linger just about forever. Alcohol is certainly there with its feeling of warmth to the throat and chest.

Notes: Layered and complex, a strong foothold on the taste buds with the roasted character. This brew will get even better towards the end of the winter with some age.
--
Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with "Limited Bottling - Winter '99-'00".

Appearance: Close to pitch black, thick and creamy tan lace with a sufficient head retention.

Smell: Fusel alcohols near to a cooking sherry aroma, twang of roasted and charcoal in the nose also.

Taste: Massively creamy with a thick bold body or malt that is close to being syrupy. Smoothness is quite incredible. Burnt fruit and some fusel alcohols give a twang and kick respectively. Roasted flavours are intact with a slight acidic flavour that melds well with the fruitiness. Alcohols are a bit too much and tell you in one way or another to respect the brew. Hops are faded and a touch herbal / leafy in flavour amongst the roasted prowess. Vagueness of wet paper shows a touch of age from oxidation, not in a bad way though.

Notes: Best consumed at cellar temperature, alcohols are a bit too much and if the oxidation could hold out for a year or more this beer will mellow out to be a great vintage brew.

 1,810 characters

Photo of paulish
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to jaxon53 for getting me this, been a long time coming!

Poured deep black as midnight with a huge creamy head the would not fade till the end. Thick gooey lace that stuck to and clouded up the glass. This looks thick like a milk shake, gottta love it. Smell was very nice big chocolate as you would expect but hints of alcohol as well. Caramel, sugar and vanilla round it very nicely, perfect dessert. This tatstes very yummy, deep dark chocolate flavors, with a slight alcohol warming, wonderful creamy feel. This is very nice. Dry finish, smooth and for 10.5% abv it is very drinkable. I only wish I was able to get more for the cellar, as I feel this will only improve with time! Great beer and glad I could try it.

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

OMFG! How is it possible that a) I have NEVER previously reviewed this beer & b) it will be my 4,400th on this site?!? I remember sharing a then-vintage bottle with Garrett Oliver & FerMentor Lew Bryson at the State College Beer Expo in 2000(?)/2001(?). I LOVE Brooklyn Brewery & I have visited many times over. I am flabbergasted that I have not reviewed this beer until now.

From the bottle: "This is the famous Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. Descended from the Russian Imperial Stouts of 18th Century, our Black Chocolate Stout has itself become a modern classic, heralded the world over. A blend of six malts produces its dark chocolate aroma and flavor. There is nothing better to enjoy with rich desserts, fine cheeses, and roaring fireplaces."; "The Legendary Russian Imperial Stout".

Today is T, 20 June 2017.

Winter 2016: I Pop!ped the cap & commenced a slow, gentle pour into an awaiting glass. Once decanted, a vigorous in-glass swirl raised a finger of dense, deep-tan/light-brown head with moderate retention. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose smelled less like chocolate candy and more like fudge brownies. It was very rich and chocolaty, but also with a breadiness from the malt. Mouthfeel was big and full, like a scoop or dollop on my tongue. I let it lay there & rolled it around to better get a sense of its flavors. Interestingly, it not only had the rich chocolaty fudginess that I noted on the nose, but it also tasted of cherries, raisins, tobacco & charcoal smoke. Phew! Another no-playin'-around beer. Finish was dry, not sweet at all, with lingering cherry-chocolate flavors, like a torte.

Next, on W, 21 June 2017:

"Limited Bottling - Winter '14 - '15": I Pop!ped the cap & performed a very gentle pour. The in-glass swirl raised a brief finger of foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with modest retention. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose was really rich with a fudgy, chocolaty, brownie-like quality, underlain by a light smokiness and a malty breadiness. Mouthfeel was somewhat lighter than in the more recent batch. It was not as thick or chewy, but it was still bigger than simply "medium-bodied". The taste was MUCH more chocolaty without any of the fruity flavors noted earlier. It was like a rich, fudgy brownie at this point, almost a dessert beer, although a smokiness kept it in check. Finish was dry which I might have thought unexpected had I not noted such in the fresher batch.

"Limited Bottling - Winter '12 - '13"; "In the last century, British brewers made strong stouts for the Czar's Court. They were called Imperial Stouts. Our Black Chocolate Stout, brewed once yearly for the winter season, achieves a chocolate aroma and flavor through the artful blending of six varieties of black, chocolate and roasted malts."

Having Pop!ped the cap & conducted a gentle pour, the in-glass swirl raised a brief finger of foamy, dark-tan/light-brown head with modest retention. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose had begun to take on a pronounced smokiness, more roasty than chocolaty. Mouthfeel continued to moderate, becoming less thick & chewy with each older iteration. The taste was more like raw baker's chocolate now, nary a hint of sweetness, but with a smoky, charcoal bitterness. Finish was quite dry at this point.

 3,387 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this at a cool temp into my snifter. Purchased the '06-'07 version at Thirsty's in York, Pa.

A - Deep ebony w/ a thin tan head and decent lace.

S - Sweet, fruity esters w/ a roasted element and pine scent of hops, there is a rummy full sweet alcoholic not in the nose.

M - Viscous, sweet, complex in depth w/ spiced acidity and full carbonation.

T - Luscious plum and date sweetness w/ roasted coffee and dark chocolate character and acidity. Sweet w/ prune type dry fruit and stone fruit notes. A rich malty taste that is punctuated by a piney hop acidity and spiced character. Slightly drying w/ a full alcoholic essence - a relaxer, smooth on the tongue. Something to look forward to tasting each year, but doesn't attempt to hide its 10.6% stature.

D - Great Stout, outstanding flavor and feel, A very good example of the style, but not one to drink multiples of. This one bottle held me for the night, I savored it and its nightcap properties.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter 09-10 bottling. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark black color with about a finger of tan head. Decent lacing and little carbonation evident.

s - Smells of chocolate, but smells somewhat mellowed out. Also smells of roasted malts and a little bit of coffee, but not was much as other people seemed to have smelled.

t - Tastes strongly of chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee. The coffee comes out a lot more in the taste than the smell. Tiny hints of alocohol and bitterness in the aftertaste.

m - Pretty thick and creamy. Full bodied with low carbonation.

d - I really like this beer; it's one of my favorite Brooklyn beers. Looks great and has a wonderfull full chocolate taste to it. Thought the smell was a little mellow but that could be because it's not March and this is from the 09-10 Winter release. Great stout that I will certainly be trying again.

 900 characters

Photo of Gkruszewski
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to TheKingsofHops for hooking it up with a couple bottles of this.

A: A 2009-2010 bottle poured into my Cigar City snifter. The pour is a beautiful, viscous, jet black with a thin layer of tan foam.

S: This beer has a very intense nose. A lot of chocolate, coffee, black licorice, roasted malt, and some alcohol. Maybe a bit of maple syrup in there as well.

T: The taste features many of the same characters as the nose. A lot of bitter chocolate, coffee, licorice, and roasted malt. The alcohol is there but not all that noticeable.

M: The body is quite full, as you would expect from an imperial stout. The carbonation also fits the style, as it is low.

D: The ABV is quite well hidden in terms of the taste, but it's quite apparent upon drinking a bottle. Still, the beer is quite tasty.

 802 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a CCB snifter. Bottled 8/30/2011.

Appearance - Black with a nice buildup of a mocha head. Not much room for it in this glass, but it's there. Settles quickly with some decent lacing for 10%.

Smell - Chocolate through and through. Molasses rounds it out. Overload of both aromas, really. I like it, though. Just a touch of hop in the aroma as well.

Taste - Initial smack of chocolate and molasses, but it's immediately followed by a hefty dose of hop bitterness. Not really a well-defined hop bite. Just bitter throughout, especially in the finish. Drowns out a lot of the flavors. The finish is a touch grassy with an intense roast malt finish. Almost burnt.

Mouthfeel - Not pleasant. The bitterness is intense and the beer thins out at the very end, leaving a strong carbonation and hop feel instead of a nice creamy stout feel. What gives?

Overall - First half of the beer is good, the second half is lacking. Overly hopped? Not really, as the hop flavor doesn't come through clearly. It's that burnt flavor at the end that's the most off-putting. Luckily a lot of the other flavors salvage this one.

 1,133 characters

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 6,681 ratings.
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