Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
6,693 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,693 |  Reviews: 2,815
Photo of minnesotaryan
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011/2012 release poured into a Surly Darkness Goblet.

Appearance: Pours a nice deep dark black with a finger of khaki head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Lots of chocolate and malt, and has a good amount of booze in the nose as well, this smells good and strong.

Taste: This tastes like a dark chocolate bar that then proceeds to burn your mouth with alcohol fire. There is some bitter dark cherry flavor which balances nicely with the roasty caramel malt flavors.

Mouthfeel: This is a beast, very much a sipper, chewy, good carbonation, not too much lingering flavor.

Overall: For the price this is exceptional, lots of flavor and you can get them in 4 packs. There was a lot of hype about this beer, but in my opinion it exceeds the hype.

 747 characters

Photo of isitsavage
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a snifter, winter 11-12. Black with about a finger or creamy brown head, faded pretty quickly, light lacing.

Intoxicating smell, a good swirl brings out a lot of chocolate that is difficult to pin down. Bottle says it is brewed with six types of dark chocolate, so I guess that is why the chocolate aroma is so complex. A lot of roast/toast in the nose too, some breadiness, very malty, slightly alcoholic.

First taste is quite bitter, chewy chocolate, malt, cream, and coffee notes stand out. After a few more sips it gets sweeter and quite smooth, both dark and milk chocolate, there is a very light hoppiness to it. The bitterness is very well balanced out now and only lingers at the end, light coffee, hops and alcohol, some burnt wood flavors. Very nice, complex.

Full bodied, slightly prickly, very smooth and drinkable. Doesn't really coat the mouth, lingers a bit and the bitterness keeps me sipping.

Very nice overall, and at the price it could be my go-to stout.

 1,008 characters

Photo of 57md
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark black with more than a finger of head and decent retention. The aroma is slightly malty, but nothing to write home about. The taste is robust and malty, but this offering lacks the roasted bitterness I enjoy in a good stout. The alcohol burn is also far too sharp for the 10% ABV. This may be a beer where the reputation is better than the actual product.

January 2017 update: I sampled a three year old and two year old version of this beer and experienced something brand new - the essence of soy sauce. I have always wondered about claims from others that certain stouts taste like soy sauce but I never experienced this before. Both vintages smoothed out alcohol-wise but I just could not shake that nasty soy sauce taste.

After trying this offering over numerous years both fresh and at various ages, I am finally ready to give up and accept that I just don't like this beer very much.

 907 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a snifter glass. 2011 Bottle.

Appearance: Pours an oily pitch black with no color coming through. Decent two fingers of dark tan head that quickly fades into a thin patchy layer. A moderate amount of lacing sticks.

Smell: Smells as dark as it looks. Lots of dark chocolate with dark roasted malts and a hint of coffee. Also some strong hints of dark fruits and earthy hops. Smells very bold and sweet.

Taste: Like the smell, a big presence of dark chocolate with lots of dark roasted caramel malts. Some good notes of coffee come in midway. Has some nice hints of dark fruit with dark cherries. Also some light hints of earthy hops. Fairly sweet but the bitterness of the chocolate balances things out. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Very chewy and creamy. Starts sweet and finishes dry. No heat from the alcohol is felt.

Overall: A great imperial stout. One of the best out there and you can't beat the price.

 992 characters

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

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's beer garden, Media, PA

Poured a jet black with a dark mocha head; very little retention or lacing. Aroma of brownies! and dark malts. Roasty taste, dark malts and bittersweet chocolate, with hints of coffee and a pervading booziness. About medium in body, perhaps just a little too on the thin side for the style, but still pretty good, and definitely quite drinkable. Probably the best beer I've had from Brooklyn.

 451 characters

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

Hot damn. Russian Imperial Stout is my favorite style...and this one is exceptional. Pours a black color with a chocolate head that recedes into a thin ring leaving beautiful, albeit spotty, lacing. Smells of roasty malts, bitter chocolate and coffee. Tastes like it smells. Finishes dry, starts sweet. VERY enticing. Not overly complex, but well-balanced and drinkable, especially given the 10% ABV.

Full-bodied with light carbonation. Creamy. This is a delicious beer that is dangerously drinkable. I love having this one in cold weather. Highly, highly recommended!!!!

 572 characters

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

Straight pour from 12oz pry-off bottle to my Cigar City snifter; bottling date of October 9, 2011 (Julian code: “2521 1023”) printed on the neck of the bottle in yellow ink.

Appearance (4.0): Fine-grained head the color of coffee ice cream expands slowly to two solid fingers, fading far MORE slowly to a solid half-finger. Lacing on the side leaves a sheet on the far side of the glass. The body itself is black, and . . . black. Nice looking RIS.

Smell (4.0): Apparently, the name of this beer is descriptive: dark chocolate. Like 80+% cocoa kind of dark. And, that’s about it, but it certainly fits the bill for what the beer’s advertising.

Taste (4.0): Chocolate starting dark and bitter but mellowing and becoming richer towards mid-palate; very modest coffee note finishes out the malt profile, and the finish shows some grassy hops adding a nice, understated, balancing bitterness. There’s an astringent coffee note that lingers, no doubt partially from the grassy hops. Whatever yeast is in here is buried pretty far deep into the bottle, but that’s okay. No alcohol to speak of.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Not the MOST viscous beer in the world, but it’s still very smooth on the tongue, especially with this velvety carbonation—just like in the head, incredibly fine-grained. Body itself is medium-full. I suppose it could be thicker, but this smoothness with that body is and excellent combination. The mouthfeel is like that Irving Berlin song, “You’re Just in Love”: a rubdown with a velvet glove.

Overall (4.5): I might have liked something like this to be a little fuller, just a hint sweeter, maybe a bit of oat happening in here to anchor some more intense chocolate / coffee action, and I can always use a little more head (that’s what she—no, I said), but damn this is a good beer. Those would go more along with an American Double / Imperial Stout, anyway. If someone asked me what I was drinking and said “Black Chocolate Stout” and gave them a taste, there’d be no question as to why it’s named so. This is an excellent, excellent beer, and at this price point ($7.99/ 4-pack) there’s no question that this is one of the best values around. Really great.

 2,212 characters

Photo of aorloski
3.71/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours an amazingly beautiful dark as night black, khaki head that sticks around. Looks world class.

Smell - Smells like weird chocolate, the only way i can put it. Dark chocolate right up front but not in the bitter hop kind of way. It is more like melted chocolate mixed with alcohol. This being said it does smell pretty good. Oatmeal and chocolate are forerunners, not a single coffee note to speak of.

Taste - Definitely follows the nose. chocolate, big big malts on this one, i can't taste any bitterness which is strange for a big chocolate stout. You get a little bit of the alcohol but not much. Just overall it is a well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel - So good, thick, chewy, coats the mouth and perfect carbonation.

Overall - i LOVE this beer because it is cheap and readily available. It is the BEST stout you can buy for the price and availability. Is it the best? no. Is it awesome? yes. Buy it. It really is a great brew and buy plenty of it throughout the winter. Thanks brooklyn!

 1,007 characters

Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a claret.

Appearance-Dark black body, no light shines through. Head is a tan 1 to 2 finger head. Nice lacing.

Smell-Very nice bitter dark chocolate. Some sweetness and some roastiness, a touch of smoke I get as well.

Taste-As good as I remembered it, it's been a while since I had one. Tons of dark chocolate, but some milk chocolate sweetness does come through. No dark fruits and very little coffee, just a lot of chocolate malts. For being pretty fresh, the alcohol is pretty much not there.

Mouthfeel-Creamy, pretty thick and a little chew to it. Carbonation is perfect, it really lets the flavors shine.

Overall-The best part about this beer is and always will be it's price point. 7 bucks a 4 pack! Really glad I got a case as well, only 38 bucks. Thats 1.60, pretty amazing. Anyway, besdies the price, it's a fantastic beer for a nice cold night, really warms you up without being too much.

 916 characters

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

Pitch black with a nice foamy light brown 1cm head with nice retention and lacing. Oily and viscous looking.

Nose is full of rich, deep dark chocolate, mild nuttiness, a little meaty and a nice mild touch of mocha coffee.

Nice, big robust flavor and pretty good balance. Starts of with a nice robust mocha/coffee flavor. Almost a rich brownie. Then into a mildly pale, almost slight chalky finish. But it's weird, I only got that in a few sips, not all. Overall nice flavor.

Mouth is full bodied, nice and velvety viscosity with a med-high creamy carbonation.

Overall a great beer/Imp. Stout. I wish this made distribution to my side of the country as a seasonal. Although it seems you might not want to sit on this one, because mine was fresh, Winter 11/12 and I really liked it. My buddy, who loves stouts, didn't like it too much with a year of age on it.

 866 characters

Photo of sdsurfer217
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Winter 11-12

Poured into my Brooklyn stemmed tulip glass

A: 3-4 fingers worth of nut brown head. Black beer that no light penetrates. Lacing all the way down the glass as I drink. Sexyness in a glass!

S: Bitter chocolate, with hints of roasted coffee. Touch of sweet maltiness.

T: Sweet malts give way to bitter roasted notes with a mocha/ milk chocolate finish.

M: This beer coats my mouth with a delicious chocolate film. Slightly creamy feel gives way to crisp finish.

O: Wow, this beer is delicious, and dangerously so at 10%. Perfect on a winter night or with dessert. Black Chocolate Stout has never disappointed me and this year is no exception. I look forward to enjoying this beer all winter long!

 713 characters

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

A - black...voluminous, cavernous tan head. lots of it, and lace
S - Dark Chocolate...many others but the dark chocolate is what really matters here, it is probably the best chocolate note I've ever smelled from a beer, a bit of dark fruit...there is a standard RIS smell behind it with the usual characteristics
T - Just as it smells with the key feature (aside from the chocolate) is the well-balanced nature of the brew. Just a bit on the sweet side with a good amt of bitterness and some alcohol thrown in the mix - but it is complemented so well that it never slaps you in the face. I swear I get a slight flavor of some sort of berry in the finish. unfortunately it seems to become more one-dimensional to me as it becomes room temp
M - just great...creamy, medium-bodied, smooth, slight carbonation...can't really ask for more
O - A great brew and for what it is it can be bought very cheaply...been a fan for a while but finally got the urge to review

 959 characters

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage Winter 10-11

Look: Black and totally opaque with just over a 1/4 inch dark tan head and no real retention. It does leave behind a slight film on the top of the beer

Smell: A little roastiness upfront traces of chocolate and alcohol

Taste: Upfront I get some roast but quite a bit of alcohol is present and this beer is a year old so it's kind of surprising to me. The beer is quite syrupy and there are very slight traces of dark chocolate notes on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Full body low carbonation a tad silky and a hint of alcohol heat

Overall: The name of the beer for me was a bit misleading because I expected big chocolate notes and they are just not here. Maybe because it is a year old so i will take a second look on this one with a fresh bottle

 769 characters

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

Compared a 10-11 and 11-12 to see what changed over a year....not much, the 10-11 was just slightly less bitter.

A - Very dark, nice tan head with good retention.

S - A lot of chocolate, a little burnt malt, and light coffee

T - Coffee is more prominent in the taste than the aroma. Bitter chocolate and malt round it. As previously stated this is where the only difference was evident when aged a year, slightly less bitter.

M - Nice and chewy, light carbonation, don't notice the alcohol much.

O - In my stout hierarchy this one is solid, not the best or the worst. The price is what is very appealing, a great value.

 624 characters

Photo of herman77
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with a thick light tan head with great retention and lacing.

S: Lots of chocolate and roasted malt. Some dark fruits (prunes and dates?) with a hint of coffee and booziness.

T: Again, lots of roasted malt and chocolate flavors at first, then comes some dark fruit like sweetness (prunes come to mind again). Finishes a tad boozy with roasted malt bitterness that lingers. Some age on this and this would be very well melded together. It already tastes somewhat aged and this is this years version.

M: Fuller body, soft, yet a decent amount of carbonation.

O: Very solid RIS. Pretty easy drinking for the style. Decent price for a 4-pack as well and seems pretty easy to get.

 688 characters

Photo of Noxious26
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle with pry off cap poured in a pint glass.

Absolutely black and opaque. Doesn't let any light through at all. Head is 1/4 inch on the pour and the colour or milk chocolate. Head recedes to a thin ring around the edge. Little lines of lace here and there down the sides.

Vinous, boozy aroma. Reminiscent of port. Hints of dark chocolate and coffee.

Flavour really reminds me of port. Background of dark chocolate, dark roast coffee and burnt malts. The alcohol is very evident and leaves a warming feeling in the back of your throat.

Full bodied. Thick mouthfeel with minimal carbonation.

Wow, the booze is really upfront and this is a really strong tasting stout. Maybe too much alcohol for my liking as it overpowers alot of the other flavours. Definitely a sipping brew.

 794 characters

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

Poured into a Brooklyn tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep impenetrable black with a dark brown head about a finger thick that clings to the side of the glass and leaves a ring around the center.

Aroma: Huge chocolate and roasted notes with a slight coffee and vanilla aroma peaking through.

Taste: This is all about he chocolate and roasted notes. There is not much complexity but that is fine.

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous with medium carbonation and a slightly boozy finish.

Overall: One of my favorite seasonal beers and for the price you can't beat it. It also makes a really tasty cake.

 603 characters

Photo of JustHarmless
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I look forward to this beer every year. Just picked up the 2011-12 edition.

A-Poured a motor-oil black color with a mocha colored head that was about 1/2 fingersbreath thick

A-Bittersweet chocolate, roasted malts, roasted coffee

T-Roasted malts and bittersweet chocolate. A roasted coffee flavor follows with a hint of caramel. Well balanced.

M-Creamy, thick mouthfeel. Minimal carbonation. Almost a chewy characteristic

Overall: I love this beer. This year's edition, in my opinion, might be the best balanced BCS compared to the last several years. Very drinkable. If I have to find one fault, it would be that you can't detect the alcohol at all, and, at 10% ABV, that is a dangerous thing. This is a definite beergasm!

 727 characters

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

Got this beer from a friend who brought them here from a trip to Boston.

A: Pitch Black with a thin bronze head and decent bit of lacing clinging to the glass.

S: Roast and a touch of booze. A nice dark chocolate as the name suggests.

T: Very chocolatey with a touch of cherry-like dark fruit. You can tell it's 10% alcohol but that almost is essential to the flavor and not cloying at all.

M: Full-bodied with more carbonation than I expected. Very nice.

D: Gonna be easy to drink. Especially being in such a small bottle. I'm very happy I got a chance to try this beer!

 581 characters

Photo of obrike
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a couple of 4 packs at Specs in Round Rock for 6.99 each.

Murky black pour...absolutely dark. Thin tan head, specs of spiderweb lacing throughout the drink. Quite lovely.

Smells quite nice. Some bitter, dark chocolate, anise, black cherry, coffee...wonderful combination of scents on this one.

Yum, quite a lot going on here. Taste matches scent...booze is not as prevalent as i thought it might be, but still there for sure. Uber-bitter chocolate on initial sip fades as the beer warms. Man, this is one you want to let sit...take your time with it. Taste mellows a bit.

Wow...this is an f'ing smooth beer! Goes down so easy...very lightly carbonated...perfect mouth-feel for a big stout. Booze is just a bit noticeable though...the only real flaw. No big deal though.

Very high marks on this one...priced well below market, super smooth, tasty stout. A certain go to during the cold months. Warms the soul. Great job Brooklyn!

 942 characters

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

Winter 11-12 version, so relatively fresh. Pours a deep, dark, motor oil black color with a surprising two finger dark mocha head. The head is creamy and has good retention for stout and leaves very good lacing.

Well, chocolate, of course, is the prominent aroma. Light coffee and roasted malt blend in as well.

The flavor is different than I expected from the aroma. A bit of bitterness from the roasted malt and coffee flavors is present in equal measures with the sweet chocolate flavors. I applaud this blend as I am not generally a fan of overly sweet beers.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and only a minor notice of the alcohol. Enjoyabel brew that will serve as an excellent sipping beer in the winter months.

 715 characters

Photo of capeannbass36
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

winter 2010/2011 bottle

A- Pours an almost black motor oil color topped with a 1/2 finger mocha head. A skim of a head remains throughout. Medium light lacing left throughout.

S- Burnt bitter coffee. Some malt. Perhaps a hint of bittersweet chocolate. Touch of booze.

T- Roasted coffee, some sweet malt. Maybe some caramel. Not really getting any chocolate??

M- Light carbonation. A little sticky. Definitely warms throat and belly.

O- Sat on this for 6 months. Kind of surprised I did not review it earlier. Very good brew. Would like a little more chocolate and a tiny bit more carbonation. May have needed this to rise in temperature a tiny bit?? Last sip definitely better than the first.

 697 characters

Photo of nppeders
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off let me say that I don't love RIS's that taste like prunes, raisans, and all those dark fruit flavors that you usually get from big stouts. I saw the chocolate stout from Brooklyn (where no chocolate was used in the making and thought... hmmmm... maybe this is my thang!)

appearance - motor oil, no light shall get through. Tan head. three fingers dissipate and leave great sticky lacing.

smell - caramel, toffee, prune, and little bit of roast.

taste -starts out with a little bit of dark fruit. No hops to speak of, pretty sweet in the middle, and then finishes of with a blast of dark sweet chocolate. Very well balanced. Probably the most balance flavor profile I've had in a stout. I like that it finishes with the chocolate!

mouthfeel - carbonation is low-medium and perfect for this still for me. Not to thick or thin but a nice medium mouthfeel...makes it drinkable dispite the 10% alcohol which doesn't seem to assert itself until it warms to cellar temps.

overall - For my tastes, this is just right. The dark fruits are present, but not overpowering. The chocolate is at the end of the taste which hits you really nice. Solid beer, and the best one I've had from Brooklyn. Get's better and better as it warms and the alcohol becomes more assertive!

 1,278 characters

Photo of Piliper
4.61/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in out of the bottle into a pint glass.

A: The appearance is pitch black. No hints of red or brown around the edges. Absolute motor oil black. It pours thick from the bottle with a generous 3 finger khaki head. Great lacing as well.

S: The smell is intense. Definite banana up front with faint hints of roasted dark coffee. Some caramel and spice as well.

T: The taste... oh, the taste. Other worldly. An incredible stout. An incredible beer... period. You are definitely hit with the coffee that was evident in the smell right up front. It's semi-sweet, but not too much. Very malty and the alcohol is hard to decipher. At 10% ABV, that's a dangerous thing.

M: The mouthfeel is very full and thick. The motor oil like pour is evident here. Sticky and almost chewy.

Overall: possibly my favorite stout. I'm a huge fan of Convict Hill's Oatmeal Stout, but the low ABV in that brew makes it difficult to judge in comparison to this. This stout doesn't have the annoying over carbonation that some of the higher ABV stouts have and the smooth nature of the brew is almost too good to be true. I'll be buying another 4 pack and will let it age.

 1,154 characters

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

fall 2011- 12oz bottle

A- pours jet black and thick with a 2 finger tan,cherry head that recedes with sticky lacing

S- is dark chocolate,roasted malts,strong coffee,some caramel and toffee

T- bitter chocolate first,with roasted coffee,burnt malts,a touch of caramel which sweetens the stout and gives it a balance

M-big chewy stout that coates the tongue,robust malts and coffee on the palate

O- full flavored chocolate stout ...and a good one to sip and enjoy as it warms in the glass

 490 characters

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 6,693 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.