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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

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2,796 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: 2,796 | Ratings: 6,618
Photo of TheItalianStallion
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pour is black as night with a huge head that eventually settles to 1 finger in size and caps the beer perfectly. The cap of the beer never recedes and leaves a good amount of lacing that leaves rings down most of the glass.

S: Smell is mainly bittersweet chocolate, with roasted malts and a faint presence of alcohol. Caramel and vanilla start to come out as the beer warms. There is also a bit of a nutty aroma with some toasty/smokiness.

T: Big, robust flavors of dark chocolate and roasted malts with a touch of dry smokiness on the finish. Also caramel with a touch of brown sugar. No hint of hops or alcohol whatsoever.

M: Very smooth and slick on the palate with a full body and a low level of carbonation. Very drinkable for such a big beer, with alcohol masked very well for 10% ABV.

O: This is a solid, cheaply priced RIS that I look forward to every year. It isn't as outstanding as certain other imperial stouts, but it is a good beer that showcases the style well. Great aromas/flavors of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malts, and at $10 a 4 pack you can't go wrong. One of my favorite offerings from Brooklyn Brewery that never disappoints. Everyone rants and raves about how well it ages, so I will have to age one and see for myself.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter from a 12 ounce bottle.

Pours viscous and oil-like. Black gold. Forms a finger and a half of chewy, dark khaki and espresso-colored head. Persists well. Body is dark as the back of Forrest Whitaker's neck. 4.5

Smells of dark cherries and/or a cherry cordial. Dark chocolate for certain. Some sort of Xmas treat. 4.25

Learhery and tobacco-like, so I'm thinking it's barrel-aged. Not sure, but it seems that way. Dark cherry flavors continue true to the nose, blended with bitter dark chocolate and vanilla notes. A touch of earthy hops linger on the finish. 4.25

As the pour led me to believe, this is viscous, smooth and creamy. Carbonation is light and some hops give a touch of bitterness on the finish. 4.25

Damn great beer that probably deserves more love.

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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 Premo88
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into snifter
(winter 2014-15)

L: black motor oil coming out of bottle; a hard pour renders a huge, thick head of brown foam ... dark, almost reddish color to it ... sticks hard at top; liquid looks clear dark dark brown up to light; keeps a great collar

S: bourbon and vanilla ... dark chocolate, espresso, astringent coffee, too, but this smells like a bourbon barrel-aged brew ... lots of vanilla and bourbon; strangely as it warms, starts putting out a vodka/gin burn

T: thick dark malt notes of bitter chocolate, mocha latte, vanilla, a hint of wood/oak ... nothing is burnt, just very, very dark ... OK, maybe a *little* burnt, but it's bitter notes are smoothed out by all the vanilla and sweeter notes; mostly hides the alcohol ... mostly

F: thick, oily, slick at times, but it also comes across as relatively light ... the hard pour didn't sap it of too much carbonation, still full

O: great brew, but then I'm a sucker for the big stout ... this one amazes me in how much of the bourbon barrel-aged notes it has, especially the vanilla. shows a little bit of alcohol heat but for the most part it keeps the alcohol reined in.

good enough that I've bought another 4-pack to keep around until next winter to see how it ages. perhaps a bit lighter/sweeter than the average Russian Imperial (think milk chocolate/vanilla over semisweet chocolate/licorice), but still full of lots of dark malt goodness.

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Photo of hophugger
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a beautiful dark chocolate brown color with a rocky, firm and tan head and really awesome, sticky lacing. Aroma is very dark chocolately with a hint of coffee. Taste is upfront with the booze(10% ABV), but once you get past that, the chocolate(bittersweet) and light roasted coffee flavors come through. Mouthfeel is decent, with a little alcohol burn, but stilla little malt sweetness and smoothness, overall, not bad, but think it would be a little more enjoyable at maybe 7-8% ABV...

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Photo of kfh227
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I've had alot of chocolates and I have to say that this is flat out, the best chocolate stout that exists. I'm also a fan of russian imperials so it's a WHAMMY for me.

I'll edit my post at a future date. Right now, it's not in my glass but it was this night so I wanted to atleast put my 2 cents forward. pay attention to the taste and overall most. I'll clean up the rest later but I gave guesstimates for now.

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Photo of uvachief
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Draft in a sniffer. Half a finger of head. Dissipated quickly. Deep dark chocolate color. Aromas of dark chocolate, cinnamon and coffee. Very little coffee. Maybe just roasted malts. Smooth abd creamy. Nice body. Finished clean. Chewy. Hides the alcohol burn well. Really excellent Russian imperial stout.

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Photo of Raisingfable
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stays true to its 'Black Chocolate' claim. Excellent bitter dark chocolate character, beautiful head retention, with a long chewy finish. Best beer I've had from Brooklyn!

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Photo of cjgiant
3.84/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Review is of one-year aged version, rating is on original tasting on tap of 2014:
A: The 2013 pour is quite black, as I recall it from the origins taste. The head on this pour is minimal, but to the top. A swirl doesn't bring back much. Aged rating: 4.

S: the most distinguishable scent is licorice, but it's not necessarily the predominate scent. There is also a dark cherry or raspberry tartness, laced with alcohol, behind a lightly smokey and cola nose. It's actually kind of strange, and I don't get much chocolate, which I did recall getting in the original taste. Same rating.

T: an unsweetened chocolate comes through from underneath a woody beginning. A coffee bitterness also builds at this time. They all come together and the smoke from the smell makes an appearance. This whole flavor profile, as it plays out, is interesting. However, the whole time the tastes stay rather bitter. No rating change.

M: feel is a bit thinner than I'd like. The alcohol peaks through in some sips, but is mostly subdued. Carbonation is a tad flat. Aged rating: 3.5

O: I liked the fresher version better. I can't explain if the flatness changed the impression of flavors, or the flavors changed, but they are not what I recalled. Will need to re-try a fresh one and decide to really alter the ratings or not. Aged rating: 3.5.

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Photo of JasonHaviland
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011/2012 Edition into a snifter glass.

The age had definitely helped here as I prefer this aged version to the current release.

Pours silky smooth with perhaps the slightest bit of carbonation lost.

Chocolate and cinnamon on the nose and on the finish with a pleasant aftertaste and not too boozy for the 10% ABV. Highly recommend aging and trying side by side.

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Photo of fscottkey
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: [4.00] Aggressive pour yielded a 1/2 finger tan head. The bubbles are tight and look nice in the glass. The head settles back to about a 1/4 finger/ The beer is pitch black and looks syrupy when it pours. My decoder ring tells me this was made May 21, 14 (so almost 7 months old). The ABV is listed on the bottle (10.0%)

S: [3.50] Based on the name I expected chocolate up front. I got mostly dark fruits.

T: [4.25] The taste is great. Charcoal, bitter coffee, chocolate. The beer is sweet, despite the bitter coffee.

M: [4.75] This one shines on the mouthfeel. It is creamy and rich. The beer feels like velvet on the tongue. The carbonation feels like nitro carbonation (tiny bubbles).

O: [4.25] This is a really nice beer all around. It lacks chocolate on the nose, but the taste and mouthfeel are great. The mouthfeel is really silky and smooth. It has a great body. This beer is also readily available - which is a plus. The 10% ABV makes it more of a special occasion beer - than an every day beer.

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Photo of adman08
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Bottle labeled "winter 12-13" so it has some age on it. Deep dark brown, nearly black, creamy tan head. Sweet black licorice and blackstrap molasses aroma. Rich flavors of dark chocolate, molasses and dark roasted malt to a lesser extent. Very thick, coats the mouth, fairly sticky. A really good imperial stout. Not overly sweet or overly roasty, good balance and the alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%

A: Deep brown, nearly black. Head is half a finger thick, the color of toasted wheat bread. Lacing was minimal.

S: Coffee, chocolate, raisins, and more dark chocolate.

T: Sweet malts married to acrid burnt grain. Dried apricot. Old coffee. Hops? Maybe some bitter-citrus hops notes in the finish as an afterthought.

M: Smooth, lightly carbonated, and creamy. A little alcohol burn. Buttery diacetyl.

O: Not the epitome of the style, but pretty close -- and a great buy at the price. I see myself buying a few more of these soon.

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Photo of F22Chris
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Got a 12oz bottle aged for 3 years from a family member who's friend works for Brooklyn. Needless to say it was a few above the 10.6 ABV rating. Into a tulip, very dark like motor oil, gave a 1/8in dark tan head that quickly dissipated with little to no lacing. Aroma: chocolate, coffee, burnt notes, molasses. Mouth feel was very smooth, very thick but still very drinkable. Tasted of dark chocolate, caramel, little char, the alcohol is noticeable at the finish. Overall I quite enjoyed this brew. I'm going to try it again not aged to see how it compares.

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Photo of Severdali
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Beer is as says:

Roasted malt, assertive but not aggressive. Chocolate hits you up front. Make sure you warm appropriately as this is where the goods are at with this beer. Even delicious slightly warm. And the roasted malts become more assertive as well. A fresh bottle will reward you with the nice coffee flavor others are talking about as well as some vanilla. I love that the coffee aromas in this particular beer are more on the smooth side for coffee aromas.

It should be reasonably priced wherever you are, as all BB beers are. And I have yet to drink one that does not meet its value. Killer at 10ABV also for the price. Simple but extremely rewarding, straightforward, uncomplicated developed flavors. Delish

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Photo of Roguer
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice dark brew, topped with a 1 finger dark tan head. Retention is so-so.

Surprising aroma, most strongly hinting at overripe dark fruit and roasted barley. Dark cacao and cream as it warms.

Flavor is pretty traditional RIS territory: dark, overripe fruit; red grapes; dark cacao; and waves of super roasty, slightly metallic-tinged barley, finishing with a bit of char. Definitely a nice chocolate component to this brew on the tongue, much more so than in the aroma.

Flavor improves dramatically as it warms, losing quite a bit of the fruit, and gaining a much smoother and more consistent chocolate profile. However, as a counterbalance, the high ABV comes out a bit more, as well.

Fairly long finish, strong with the very bitter roast, and tinged with slight chocolate sweetness. A little heat in the chest, but not in the mouth. Pretty thick and sticky brew. Lively with a little sting, but very little foaming.

This is a good stout, but I get way too much tartness and fruit for a chocolate stout. With this name, I'm thinking dessert stout, but it comes across more as a traditional, bitter, strong RIS.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.77/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Purchased at Champagne's as a 4pk for $7.99. Served at 12deg C in a tulip

A- Just as good as Fidy. Enough said

S- Better than Fidy. Enough said.

T- Better than Fidy. Enough said

M- Better than Fidy. Enough said

O- Better than Fidy. This is the first review I ever wrote this way for a reason. This beer is better than Fidy. Enough said

Food Pairing

This FANTASTIC stout went well with....... Lamb leg rubbed with rosemary, cinnamon and salt.


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Photo of doktorhops
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

So lately I’ve begun seeking out Russian Imperial Stouts, I yearn for their bold chocolate/coffee notes, and Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout is next on my hit list. Originally brewed in 1994 this Stout has taken home many beer show awards and I’m looking forward to a brew as great as that tasty old Russian monk: Old Rasputin (North Coast Brewing).

Poured from a 355ml bottle into Duvel tulip.

A: Looks exactly as it should with a jet black body and a light (but dense) mocha dusting for a head. So perfect I want to take a picture, get it framed, then take a picture of the picture next to another glass of this and admire its beauty again. 10/10.

S: Whiff of solvent alcohol upfront isn’t doing Brooklyn any favours - follow this with deep dark chocolate, notes of coffee, vanilla & molasses, and you’ll be bang on the RIS nose money. Bit of a mark down for that solvent hit though. 7/10.

T: Bold and delicious, now entering flavour country, population: Me (i.e. you when you drink this). Upfront dark bitter chocolate, hints again of coffee and molasses with brown sugar thrown in. There is a smoky mid palate and slightly bitter aftertaste. The alcohol is nowhere to be found in the flavour profile, which is a surprise given the aroma. Like a big dark chocolate brownie - sweet, bitter and moreish. 9/10.

M: Heavy bodied with a light but dense carbonation, exactly how I like my Russian Imperial Stouts! 10/10.

D: From that sniff of solvent alcohol to one of the best tasting Stouts out there, Brooklyn have managed a few surprises with this “drink of the Czars”. That said it comes close but falls short of the mark set by Founders Breakfast and Old Rasputin, and is more pricy than both of those fine brews... and more difficult to obtain here in Australialand. However if, like me, you have become slightly obsessed with Russian Imperial Stouts and have added: “Dying due to drinking too many Stouts” to your bucket list you should definitely give this one a go. 7/10.

Food match: Borderline dessert sweet - so it’s heavy roasted meats with dark gravies, after dinner cigars or dark chocolate brownies for this brew.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter. Winter 14-15 vintage.
A: Pours black as a moonless night with 1/4 inch dark mocha head with good retention. Beautiful. (4.5)
S: Caramel malt, dark chocolate, leather, tobacco, grainy hops, and a hint of vanilla and wood. (4.5)
T: Sweet dark chocolate, dark roast coffee with cream, charred wood, dark caramel malt, and a hint of grainy hops in the background. With warming, a note of cinnamon emerges. (4.25)
M: Sweet, dark, creamy feel. Medium body (drinks lighter than the ABV). Mild boozy bite (again, not as much as would be expected from the ABV). Surprisingly light and sweet given the style and ABV. (4.25)
D: An extremely drinkable RIS...probably the most drinkable I have ever had. The ABV will catch up with you eventually, but until then... (5)

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Photo of ThePaintedGrey
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into imperial pint glass.

A: Tar black. I might have chalked this up to being absolute black, but the iPhone flashlight test reveals the faintest glimmer of garnet around the edges. It's absolutely opaque, however, with no amount of light able to pierce through it. A deep beige head is full and frothy, with excellent retention. This bad boy is here for the duration, leaving blankets of lace in its wake.

S: Lots of malt upfront, roasted black yet still offering some sweet aromas. The staple notes of coffee and dark chocolate are the frontrunners of the show, with the dark chocolate being the real star. Bitter, pure gourmet dark chocolate emanates ostentatiously from the glass. Not picking up anything in the hop department. That's okay with me in this instance.

T: Drinking this cold is blasphemy. I made that mistake. Right from the fridge, into the glass, and a sip not 30 seconds later revealed that this far too chilled and resulted in a boozy mess of flavor, like a chocolate bar soaked in vodka for hours. Off to the side it goes... Now we're back roughly 20 minutes later. At nearly room temperature, the show truly begins. The alcohol is still too pronounced for my liking, but the flavors have shown their true colors and the booze is easy to look past. The bittersweet dark chocolate runs the show once again. This is no chump's dark chocolate either. We're talking one of those 60% - 70% cocoa bars paired with a robust cup of morning brew, served black with one sugar. It's strangely a little bready in the finish along with some booze lingering on the tongue.

M: Full, creamy, and smooth. Does a great job of coating everything in the mouth. Borderline chewy, but never quite becomes that big. Not much to praise, but nothing that can really garner a complain. Just less than outstanding.

O: I am quite particular about my Russian Imperials. Due to being in my top 3 favorite styles, they have the potential to become one of my favorite brews. They also have the potential to be clunky, malty messes. Lucky for BBCS, it's not the latter. Unfortunately, it's not the former either. There's a LOT going on in this beer, but amongst the business some blunders arise. The booze isn't veiled as delicately as it could have been. Some of the coffee notes are reminiscent to burnt gas station coffee. With those complaints aside, BBCS truly is a wonderful RIS, but it simply straddles the line between good and great falling just at the border.

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Photo of themind
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

This is a good beer but over the years it seems the quality of this brew has declined. When this first hit the beer scene it was a chocolate masterpiece but a few years later it turned into a booze bomb. If this returns to its old form, I will change my rating and seek it out.

Bottom Line: Not sure.

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Photo of seedyone
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

12/20/13 From bottle at home. Label reads "winter 2013-2014 limited bottling". Big bold beautiful Imperial stouts are what lured me into the craft world. Black Ops & Bourbon County at the beginning. Later I found Victory at sea, KBS & Rasputin so I know the possibilities. Although I found this drinkable it seemed to lack that kick in the ass character that the above named had that impressed me. The coffee & chocolate were distinct & enjoyable but the lack of body was distracting. I'll save a bottle or 2 to see if it improves as they say.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into snifter. bottled on september 10, 2013. enjoyed on september 15, 2014

a: pitch black with two fingers of gorgeous tan head. with a bit of swirling, the head becomes a more darker brown which is kinda cool. this is a big stout alright

s: dark fruits, chocolate, roasted malt. coffee aroma is very slight

t: dark fruits up front, then a huge roasted malt and chocolate flavour explosion. it just tastes so... dark? which is delicious of course. very chocolatey and roasty all throughout. little alcohol presence. mild-to-moderate dryness at the end. superb

m: nearly-full and sticky mouthfeel, coats your mouth. little to no carbonation. excellent & very fitting for the style

o: not a complex stout, but it's very tasty and has a deep, lingering roasty character. i've had this beer closer to fresh in terms of age, and i remember the alcohol presence being a bit too much. one year of aging worked wonders. such a good stout at an unbeatable price. try it if you haven't already!

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Photo of BaalDagon
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

An amazing beer... pure and simple. One of the better stouts I've had up to this point. I heartily encourage anyone who is a stout drinker to give this one a taste for themselves!

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Photo of Nightwing
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Poured from bottle. Very nice aroma of chocolate and coffee. Pours black with minimal head. Medium bitter taste. Full bodied with creamy texture and soft carbonation, slightly bitter finish. Very nice Imperial Stout.

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 6,618 ratings.
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