Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

6,672 Ratings
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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,672 |  Reviews: 2,807
Photo of Jspriest
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of cubbyswans
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of Nuke77
3.51/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a very dark beer. No light passes through the glass with this one. Very small head when poured right down the middle of the glass. Aromas of burnt malt and light hops. I tried this cold out of the cooler and let it sit a while and warm up. Taste was very malty with strong accents of burnt grains. I tasted no chocolate flavor whatsoever in this brew. Not a favorite and for my money not in the class of Founders' stouts.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The boards really go nuts for this beer. It is about time that I try it out.

This beer is as black as midnight on a new moon. You can't see through it. It looks like one of the darkest beers I have seen.

The smell off the top is extremely rich. You get a ton of roast and chocolate (but no coffee).

The flavor is equally rich. It languishes on the tongue with a ton of stout flavor and the presence of chocolate. On the back end you get a decent amount of bitterness along with the flavor dwindling.

Overall this is a very good example of a chocolate stout. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Obviously Gordon Ramsey has a lot to learn about beer after seeing him spit out this great concoction.

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

Poured at basement temp in ale glass.

A: solid black (duh) with thin head; decent carb action
S: very pronounced aroma of a boozy stout, kinda like what some ants smell like when you crush them
T: a boozy stout; roasted grains dominate; very, very flavorful; not very hoppy; moderate sweetness; interesting layers of flavor come and go in a mouthful; definitely worth sipping and brooding over

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Photo of kmatlack
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into my 8oz Stone Double Bastard tasting glass. Vintage winter 2011-2012.

A- Pours a midnight black color with a small half finger mocha colored head. Small spots of the head are darker as it settles down on top of the beer leaving some room for the beer to shine through. Little bit of lacing on the glass as it goes down.

S- Dark chocolate, of course, lots and lots of coffee on the nose as well. Smells to have a little bit of hop profile. Roasted malts coming through strong, not barrel aged but smells to have some oak like characters.

T- Sweet on the toungue, coffee and chocolate comes up first. Sweet roasted malts and a little bit of smokiness. Alcohol pokes its head out. For whatever reason, this reminds me of a less harsh Dark Lord.

M- Thick and slick. Medium carbonation. No complaints.

O- A great RIS. Really looking forward to trying an aged one.

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Photo of fountainofyouth
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a four-pack poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours darkest brown, basically black. Absorbs light like a black hole; even the edges of the glass are opaque. The initial pour built a three-finger brown head that filled its way to the top and sent a lone drop sliding down. This beer looks mean.

Smell: Appropriate intensity. Burnt sugar and barley, with both bitter and sweet chocolate. A little bit of herbal hops in there, too. A restrained scent of alcohol, too. Softer caramel is kept in the background.

Taste: A broad, robust profile. There's some spicy hops throughout, but the primary flavor is black patent malt in its charred glory (but without being ashy). There's a little bit of alcohol, but for 10% ABV it's not much at all. There's not much sweetness here, except for a bit of toffee malt. Definitely on the bitter/coffee end of the spectrum, and not fruity.

Mouthfeel: It's pretty creamy, medium-bodied. Finish is a little dry, but the mouth stays coated for the most part. Standard carbonation. The alcohol numbs the tongue a little over time.

Overall: Intense and as black as can be, no wonder it's a seasonal! Try it if you think you can handle it!

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Photo of seesnow3
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Heavy Seas Pint Glass, no freshness, $2.50/bottle.

Pour-This is probably the darkest, most opaque beer I have ever seen, or at least tied for that title. Head directly against an overhead light fixture, and a bright one at that, you can see hints of light around the very edges of the beer and that is it. No light will ever penetrate to the center of this beer. Originally, pouring the beer produced a small head of foam, but quickly faded to a thin film with a thick ring of foam wrapped around the inside of the glass.

Nose-Cocoa powder and caramel malts. Definitely some chocolate malts in here, smells like rich chocolate syrup in the background. There is not much else going on in this one, except maybe a hint of dark roasted coffee, and possibly just the slightest whiff of dark fruits like raisin, but the chocolate
definitely takes over the entire aroma.

Palate-A hit of sweet that fades quickly to give way to a huge astringent, sour taste. There is also some bitter but the sour takes over. The main note is without a doubt chocolate, almost like chocolate syrup chocolate (though less sweet) or a creamy bittersweet chocolate that melts in your mouth. Both of these are combined with a cocoa powder taste, since the sour sensation is so strong. Noticeable alcohol on the palate.

Body-Thick, incredibly heavy and creamy, this is definitely ONLY for the dark beer lover, and it does a great job at being just that! You will feel just a hint of bubbles on the tongue.

Final Thoughts-This stuff is excellent. I would say it’s not necessarily a well balanced beer in the sense that it is so sour, but the flavor intensity certainly matches the body. Nothing overwhelms the other. This is really great but only if you plan on drinking no more than one beer. Note the alcohol percentage, this stuff will knock you down, it’s a lot more than it sounds like. This particular brew is seasonal so grab it while it’s still on the shelves!

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

Served on tap in a tulip at Hopleaf.

Appearance: My pour is an ebony black color with a modest tan head. The glass was

Smell: The aroma is full of deep, dark roasted malts, lots of Belgian chocolate and fudge, and a bit of smoke and molasses. I don't take any hops away from the tap version.

Taste: The flavor is also dominated by the chocolate flavors. The dark roasted malt is noticeable, but it immediately pairs with a sweet and sticky fudge flavor and some dark, unsweetened chocolate flavor as well. A little bit of coffee and smoke step in on the periphery to give it a more robust taste, but the focus on the chocolate is never lost. The finish is semi-sweet with more chocolate.

Mouthfeel: The thick, creamy, and viscous feel of Black Chocolate Stout is one of the strengths. The carbonation adds to the creamy feel but is on the light side overall. After each sip I am left with a sticky sweetness on my lips.

Overall: This was significantly better on tap than it was in the bottle. The unpleasant booziness in the nose and flavor were both thankfully absent, allowing me to focus on the better parts of the beer. This is still kind of a one trick pony as far as imperial stouts go, but it was enjoyable.

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Photo of gregy55902
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Chocolate Stout 10%, poured from bottle into XL snifter.

A - 1 finger light tan colored head, that recedes leaving some lacing and bubbles around the glass. Looks very thick and delicious.

S - As advertised, black chocolate dominates the nose with some chocolate malt, burnt brown sugar, plums and raisins.

T - Follows the smell, with more of a malty presence. Warming sensation from the alcohol that is very pleasant.

M - Good carbonation, the taste lingers for a while. Very creamy.

O - A delicious imperial stout that is also relatively affordable. Recommended!

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Photo of ccarney2
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Deep brown to black color with about a finger of toffee colored head that vanished quickly. Very little to no lacing.

Smell - Wow, lots of sweet, roasted malt in the nose. You can definitely smell the 10% ABV right away, I was a little worried that the alcohol would dominate the taste at this point.

Taste - This is really where this beer shines, and worries about the strong alcohol taste dominating quickly vanished. The flavors in this beer are very complex and work well together. Initially the taste is very sweet and there is a definite cherry flavor, but as soon as you start to exhale, all the bitter dark chocolate really shines. The chocolate, almost coffee flavor lingers for a while in your mouth.

Mouthfeel - Silky smooth feeling here, with very little carbonation. It completely surrounds every nook and cranny of the tongue and almost has a thick/syrupy feel.

Overall - This beer was a pleasant surprise, I've heard good things about Brooklyn Brewery for years, but I've never really been very impressed by any of their offerings. This changed that though, this brew was quite complex, effectively hid the high ABV, and left a wonderful dark chocolate taste in my mouth well after finishing the glass.

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

09-10 vintage poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance is pitch black with a tiny dark tan head that quickly fades into some thin wisps.

Smell is definitely alcohol with roasted malt along with plums and a hint of bitter, unsweetened cocoa.

The taste reminds me a lot of unsweetened cocoa. This flavor seems to dominate the taste along with burnt caramel, plums, and a touch of dark coffee which I attribute to the roasted malt. There is no alcohol burn but a very noticeable and pleasing warmth.

The mouthfeel is full but is not too sweet and sticky.

I found 3 of these in my fridge from 09-10 and I haven't had this beer since so nothing fresh to compare it to. I will say that this beer has aged wonderfully and is an exceptionally smooth, easy drinking RIS. I'll have to buy some fresh this year to compare.

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Photo of fatmcb1
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Lost Abbey snifter

Pours black with a thick tan head. Great lacing, particularly for such a strong abv beer.

Tons of chocolate and roasted malt. This is very sweet. A hint of dark fruit is also noticeable.

Chocolate and roasted malt comes through in taste as well. A surprising hop backbone provides some bitterness. The alcohol provided a nice warming effect.

Mouthfeel is very thick and creamy, as the style should be. It has medium carbonation.

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Photo of weizenbob
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This 12 ounce bottle was purchased at Siciliano's Market in Grand Rapids, MI for $2.19. It is the Winter 2011/12 vintage. It was warmed to 55 degrees and poured into a tulip glass. A moderately aggressive pour yields a finger of mocha colored head. Retention is moderate. It recedes quickly but never fully goes away. Lacing sets up a holding pattern between sips. The stout is very dark, but a small amount of translucence reveals some light peeking through near the bottom of the glass.

In the nose I'm getting plum, alcohol and a small amount of unsweetened cocoa. It is rich, yet undistinguished. It smells like a lot of other stouts, maybe just a bit stronger.

The flavor on the other hand is very nice. Cherry makes a mild first impression, blending into some rich but nicely roasted malt. The alcohol is pretty hot. It's 10% ABV and still young so I'm not surprised. I've read a lot about the literal chocolate flavors that people taste in this stout, but I'm not really getting that. Sweet malts persist through the finish, but not in a way that says "chocolate". However, it has been amply hopped with a good amount of bitterness poking through toward the end. There is a nice smoky aftertaste that I'm really enjoying. The profile is fairly complex, though the balance would do well to be tweaked. And where is the chocolate? It's the name of the beer.

In the mouth this is a full bodied beer, but it doesn't come off as being that heavy. The carbonation level is kept to a minimum. The low carbonation and high alcohol make it a pretty smooth beer with a velvet viscosity. I don't know though. I prefer a thicker feel in such a high gravity stout, particularly one that I've been lead to believe will be chocolate-like. It has a good feel, but I expected more.

Overall this is pretty good, though it definitely did not meet, yet alone exceed my lofty expectations. It is a competently brewed imperial stout; nothing less and nothing more. A big positive mark in this beer's favor is the fairly low price point for the style. I would buy it again if I was itching for a big stout and didn't have the big bucks in my pocket to splurge on a bomber of something more premium.


The Two-Schlitz Scale: (see my profile for an explanation)
The selling point is that this is a great value. I'd be a fool not to give two Schlitz for this.

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Photo of jsprain1
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours absolutely darn near black. Tan head lasts quite well and leaves lots of lacing.
S- Smells of dark, almost burnt caramel, dark chocolate, and a light booziness.
T- Sweeter up front than I expected. There is dark chocolate, but there also is milk chocolate, coffee, and dark caramel. Finish is more roasted/burnt, with a long dark chocolate finish. Almost got a 4.5, but just a bit too sweet up front.
M- Lots of body to it. Smooth and creamy. Just a slight astringent note.
O- This is a very very good beer worth seeking out. It was a bit sweet at first, but the body and the flavors in the finish are spot on.

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

Thanks to Rob for sharing.

Poured black and oily with a half finger of tan head.

Smell was roasted malt, raisins and dark chocolate.

Taste seems raisin-forward and tart like cherries or cassis before a huge wave of roasted malt, and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is medium, smooth. Finish lingers with chocolate and slight tartness.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed tulip glass

A: pours a completely concrete thick deep black with a full finger of milk chocolate brown head that is frothy like the head on chocolate milk and lingers beautifully, leaves a decent amount of spotty lacing on the glass
S: milk chocolate, smell is immediately reminiscent of malted milk balls, a tiny bit of whiskey and alcohol tinge, overall pleasing, strong on the chocolate
T: milk chocolate malts hit in the beginning then it hits with a bit of the imperial character with a slight alcohol bite and whiskey barrel like character but then, it really moves into a quality smokey chocolate finish which really lingers on the palate for a long time
M: gentle carbonation which hits just after the beginning of the sip and linger s through towards the end, leaves the mouth dry but with a nice flavor on it
O: a really incredible brew, tastes phenomenal, looks just as a good, just so well rounded and incredibly complex, i only have one bottle in storage now but im thinking im gonna need a case to really see what this brew can do many years (im thinking 20) down the road, too impressed

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

A - Black with a creamy brown head that sticks around and leaves a good lacing behind.

S - Wood, roasted barley, espresso beans, currant, cassis, cherry, bittersweet chocolate, pet food, soy sauce, subtle vanilla and spice

T - Big chocolate (milk and dark) up front with a lingering essence that only gives way towards the end of the taste with coffee and bitter coming in for the finish. Some dark berries are present but the chocolatiness and booziness really take the cake here.

M - Good carbonation and coating mouthfeel

O - very smooth and chocolately for the style, so I guess its not a misnomer. Mellow for the style yet still distinct and characteristic.

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Photo of kbuzz
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard tumbler. This bottle is winter '08/'09 vintage.

A: Pours an almost opaque black as the name would indicate - just a touch of mahogany around the very edges when held up to the light. Not a lot of head at all, probably due to the aging.

S: Definitely a lot of roast. You get the booze as well...and that bittersweet dark chocolate smell. Some anise and vanilla...

T: Wonderful chocolate bittersweet characteristics. Alcohol wouldn't be at all detectible if not for the warming. More anise. A ton of roast and char in the back end. Fairly complex and the chocolate firmly takes hold as it warms.

M: Medium to full bodied beer. Not a lot of carbonation, but it's not needed...this beer has plenty going on w/o it.

O: A very good example of the style, but not as complex as it could be. I was expecting this aged version to have developed more tiers of character by now. But in all fairness, I've never had one fresh to compare. All that said, I would definitely drink more of this...especially at the price point.

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Photo of animalchin
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011-2012 Series

A - Opaque black body with a nice and deep tan head. Rather dense lacing paints the glass like an abstract brush painting, leaving a minor presentation of a heady surface.

S - Dark and enigmatic bitter, cocoa aromas upfront followed by the most faint sweetness of dark caramel and European mocha. Bitter malts soon take over everything, leaving behind underwhelming traces of the initial smell.

T - A dense and overtly bitter introduction of chalky cocoa and espresso that then progresses into a rather apparent sweetness that resembles once again of the caramel quality within the smell. In general, everything is rather condensed with many of the tastes masking one another. It is because of this that a new sip brings a new experience of taste each time.

M - A heavy and murky chewiness with rather dense carbonation that does not let up.

O - Certainly one of Brooklyn's best beers. A seasonal that teases you all year long until the holidays. I'll be aging two of these babies for sometime. Get it now while you can! $7.99 for 4 in Central New York.

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Photo of fsvan
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into New Belgium globe.

A- Dark as night. A finger and a half of thick, creamy, dark tan persistent head.

S- A nice mix of very roasted, almost burnt malts takes a slight backseat to the bitter dark chocolate.

T- The dark chocolate definitely takes center stage. And middle stage as well. A good bitter hop kick on the back followed by slight sweetness on the finish. The alcohol is present on the finish as well.

M- Pretty thick. Leaves a nice burnt chocolate taste behind.

O- A good RIS, but certainly not my favorite. Getting it once a year suits me just fine, quite honestly.

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

I sat down for a nice pint at House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington, PA ( and was instantly attracted to the name: Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. It combined many of the things I enjoy: the tough name of Brooklyn, the color Black, the taste of Chocolate and the beer of Stout.

For a unapologetic, no-holds-barred place to drink a beer, New Ken's House of 1000 Beers is a great place to start.

A: 4.0. This just looked good in the glass. A nice creamy head, small range of bubbles and a glowing edge of black beer.

S: 4.0. Coffee, chocolate and undertones of booze ... a great start.

T: 4.5. Flavor lingered on, with little after taste or boozy response to such a brew.

M: 4.0. The flavors took over the senses, but the beer felt thick and heavy ... almost chewy. Little carbonation with little heat from the alcohol.

O: 4.0. I really liked this beer.

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Photo of nmbr0ne
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into pint glass at The House of Brews in Jensen Beach, FL.

Appearance: Pours a very dark, basically black color with a finger thick, creamy head that leaves a good amount of lacing and retention.

Smell: Very boozy at the front, and roasty through the middle of the smell. I barely pick up on the hints of chocolate though. Leaves more chocolate to be desired in my opinion but great aromas none the less. I also get hints of coffee.

Taste: I can definitely taste (and feel) the alcohol. The hops give it a slight bitter taste that reminds me of unsweetened coffee. Very strong and rich like an espresso. The taste of chocolate is very subtle.

Mouthfeel: Between medium-bodied and thick. Took me longer than an average beer to sip this one.

Overall: Good stout to drink on International Stout Day 2011. Great way to to end my night because you'll definitely not want to drink anything else after drinking this 10% ABV bad-boy.

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Photo of bobbypaulson
3.51/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle aquired in a trade with davey101. out of the bottle it pours a black color without any light able to get throw it, with a light brown head that goes away super fast. smell is of dark dried fruits and chocolate, with a woody and roated coffee. The taste upfront is cherries and bitter with a huge amount of chocolate and coffee. The mouthfeel lives a little bit to be desired. This beer is not as thick and flavorful as I had expected from the great ratings it recieving. It was just alright for me.

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

Appearance: Near-black. Dark brown, creamy head settles, but leaves a nice layer behind.

Smell: Not very aromatic. Hints of dark chocolate and coffee.

Taste: Very dark barley roast, whiskey and coffee. Mid- to low-hop flavor.

Feel: Creamy (oat?). Nice lingering mild warming. Pleasant light hops bite on the tip of the tongue.

Overall: Worthy. Would have been great if aged in oak. No trace of any off notes. Well-brewed and handled.

Serving type: Bottle poured into American Pint

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 6,672 ratings.
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