Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

6,673 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,673 |  Reviews: 2,807
Photo of TenHornsProud
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid black with a big, tan head that laces.

Smells of sweet, caramel malt with a small roast character and chocolate and coffee notes...big biscuity smell.

Up front sweet, roast character with a creamy chocolate character with a sweet, bitter character that has some awesome coffee and alcohol and ends on a roasted note. Complex and damned tasty.

Full bodied with a lower carbonation...not heavy or cloying though.

A big, complex stout that I look forward to every year.

*Update: I tried this next to a one-year old bottle and the aged bottle had a huge coffee note in the finish that lasted forever. It also had a creamy taste and a much more muted hop character. It tasted less "bright" and more subtle. I liked both versions for their respective tastes.

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Photo of biggsbowler
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Vine and Barley, Its black and chocolate, do you need to know more. It is a solid stout. Lots of chocolate and roasted malts in the taste. A good amount of chocolate in the noise but nothing overpowering. This is just a good all around beer.

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

2009 Vintage on tap at the MN Craft Brewers Guild Autumn Brew Review 2011 in Minneapolis at the historic Grain Belt Complex. Delicious brew. Very subtile and complex at the same time. Am very excited to have a couple bottles of these in the old cellar!

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Photo of ElizabethCraig
2.85/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Split a bottle of this with my husband on 10/1/2011.

Lets start this review with my kind of apology/explanation.

I really do like stouts! I don't always like Russian Imperial Stouts, but generally I do like stouts!


Ok, here goes:

The appearance was dark black with a slightly tan head. There was more head in my husband's sample glass than in mine, but that happens sometimes.

Scent: dark, acrid, slightly sour. I'm slightly concerned at this point, but my mind is still open.

Sigh, the taste is where I just didn't get it.

Dark dry and musty that fades to a dark very acrid/burnt chocolate. Ends slightly sour on my palate. Not sweet, not sour, really *ashy* like extremely charred coffee.

Body is medium to rich. Very nice texture to it.

I'm not a fan of this beer at all. When I drink overly dark roasted poor quality coffee, I start getting pain in my hands and knees (my bad spots) and this beer flared up these tender/painful points just like overly charred poor quality coffee.

I'm not giving up on the style since generally I like stouts and I like some RIS's, but this is not the beer for me.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: onyx body, trace tan head, excellent lacing

S: dark chocolate, roasted malt, hint of figs and boozy

T: big malt, coffee, caramel, roasted nuts, slow
bitter burnt finish/mild boozy

M: med/heavy, smooth, slight chewy mouth

O: Very nice RIS. I am not getting a ton
of chocolate nose or flavor, but still quite nice.
Would get this again and recommend
it to other fans of sttouts.


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Photo of etaggie09
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

appearance: very deep black. pours with a two finger head that dissipates to an 1/8" cap and leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass.

nose: this honestly smells like chocolate tequila to me. that isn't to say that it smells alcoholic because it doesn't. it just smells like you took that salty, limey, agave taste and smell of a good blanco tequila, threw in some chocolate and voila! It also smells a little bit like brandy. Again it reminds me a lot of liquor, but it is not alcoholic or offensive. It really seems like it has just removed brandy's and tequila's base aromas and just removed the alcohol. Enjoyable to me because I love to drink both brandy and tequila.

taste: it was very roasty and bitter at first, but it rounds out quite nicely as it warms. it definitely keeps that roastiness aspect, but it becomes more milky and choclatey. It sometimes does relay the notes that are in the smell. A little saltiness and limeyness come through. Very enjoyable.

mouthfeel: viscous, but not like motor oil. decent amount of carbonation, too, which is very nice. i can't really find anything wrong with the mouthfeel. It's really top notch.

Overall: this is a damn fine stout. It's kind of one of those situations where it's a technically great interpretation of the style that just lacks a little oomph to push it over the edge, but not like Flying Dog's Raging Bitch was for me. This beer was also genuinely enjoyable from a less intellectual place than the raging bitch was. In all honesty, I would definitely tell someone who was looking to get into stouts to try this one first. It hits a lot of notes that other stouts do and it does them all very well with maybe just a tad too much restraint.

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Photo of match1112
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to mjtiernan for sending this one out. pours pitch black with half a finger of mocha colored head that leaves minimal lacing. smell and taste go hand in hand. big chocolate flavors complemented with a slight coffee roastieness. at 10% you can smell and taste the warming effects of the alochol. mouthfeel is thick and rich and creamy goodness with a slight warming on the backend from the 10%. overall i love this beer, wish i had more!

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Photo of flannelman808
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The deepest Mars black with the most subtle ruby red highlight ever. This stuff is crazy opaque... Almost no light shines though (even on a tiny wine glass pour). It's topped with a tan head which has ok retention and pretty solid lacing.

S: Super duper rich milk chocolate bon bon (the legit french deal filled with chocolate mouse which is more dense than then our sun).

T: This stuff is crazy effing rich. Wow, I'm glad it's my dessert and I would recommend everyone else to look at it that way. Seemingly infinite layers of chocolate of varying cacao percentages. Hidden deeper, hop driven, bitter citrus peel (orange, lime) sneaks into the scene almost pushing the line between bitter and tart... awesome!

M: Devils food cake

O: This is truly a dessert beer. And it should make for the best vanilla beer float of all time. Sweet and bitter merge, finishing sweet (too much so but what the hell). A must try for lovers of the style!

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Photo of Rhode17
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from bottle. 2010-11 winter bottling.

Only can describe the color as what happens when color doesn't exist. Super-rich and inky. The head was caramel colored and about a finger thick but was gone in the time it took to stick the bottle on the counter.

As you would expect, it smells of bakers chocolate and coffee. There is a hint of booze that sort of overcomes the other aromas,it is 10% so I'm not surprised.

Rich malty chocolate, coffee and a little bit of licorice hide the alcohol a little but it's still a beast.

Overall tasty, but there is a little missing on the finish, it just gets a little thin at the end. Its a solid beer that has all the working parts that an Imperial Stout with Black Chocolate in the title should. I dug it and would buy it again.

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Photo of Cisco619
3.06/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip. 2010-2011 bottling.

A: The kind of black that incites nightmares in children. I only see myself & the surrounding room reflected in the glass as i look into this brew. 1 finger of mocha colored head that dissipates quickly to a filmy cover. Minimal lacing.

S: Bakers chocolate & coffee. Roasted malts bring in the back of this nose. Almost indistinguishable through the alcohol. Disappointing.

T: Boozy. Hints of bakers chocolate & roasted malts. Alcohol overwhelms the taste as well.

M: Low Carbonation, thicker mouthfeel, typical of the style.

O: I had high expectations & was let down by this brew. Alcohol overwhelms several aspects of this beer. Some time in the cellar would serve it well.

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Photo of angelogarcia3
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had the 2010 vintage black chocolate stout at Sapsuckers in Huntington, NY in a snifter glass. This very beautiful dark beer with a medium tan head had excellent lacing on the glass. The aromas of milk chocolate, sweetness, and liquor are very slight on the nose. The first sip tastes like dark chocolate, and chocolate liquor with a creamy, and slight bittersweetness on the tongue. An exceptional beer!

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

12oz bottle (winter '10/'11, bottled 9/16/2010 based on the code) poured into a snifter. Pours pitch black with a 1-finger tan head. Aroma is dark roasted malt and rich bitter chocolate. Tastes dark and rich, with a bitter dry finish. 10% ABV well hidden. Creamy mouthfeel. Overall a solid chocolate stout but a little lacking in complexity.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.69/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (2010)

Thanks for sharing Sam!

Jet black pour with a light brown, tan head that sticks around, then leaves lots of lacing down the glass. So far, so good.

Sharp alcohol is the first thing I notice unfortunately, and I have to search for the chocolate. When I do find it, it's somewhat sharp and too sweet, not rich and decadent like other wonderful chocolate stouts. There's some nice roasted malt and coffee elements that try to balance it out, but it's dominated by alcohol and over-sweet chocolates.

Sharp and stinging bittersweet chocolate (like cocoa powder), alcohol bite, something metallic, and mild roast. Not a lot of complexity, and not a lot of good.

Medium to thick mouthfeel with low carbonation.

Too much alcohol and the chocolate does not come in an accessible, enjoyable form. Too bad.

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Photo of beerpirates
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottel poured into my lost abbey stemware glass

A- Pours dark black, with no light coming in or out. Very nice khaki head. Creamy and holds very well.

S- Nice bittersweet aroma from this. Roasted malts overcome the bitter chocolate notes in nose.

T- Up front the roasted malts mix with subtle sweet chocolate flavors. Bitterness starts to overtake in the middle through the end. Chocolate settles off pretty quick too, still very smooth drink.

M- Full body. Low carbonation, almost none. Creamy mouth feel.

O- Good beer , Chocolate flavors weren't as present as I was hoping for. Solid, but nothing overwhelmingly special.

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

Winter 2010/2011 Bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a rich black color with a half finger tall caramel colored head.

Smell: The overwhelming smell is a sweet boozy aroma. Notes of sherry, molasses, and licorice. Surprisingly there isn't a lot of chocolate aroma.

Taste: A sweet boozy flavor hits you first followed by a strong roasted malt flavor. The dark chocolate flavor is much more apparent in the taste than in the smell. The taste is sweet up front with a slightly bitter finish due to the roasted malts and dark chocolate flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium thick mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Overall: This is a very good stout for the price. A little more boozy than expected, but nothing too serious. Overall a good stout worth buying again.

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Photo of rhong187
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

vintage 2007 version poured from 12 oz bottle

A - small half finger head that goes away within a minute

S - much of the chocolate has subsided, replaced with a surprisingly strong booziness, given the fact that this was served at about 40 degrees

T - The chocolate and roasty qualities still remain but I wouldn't be able to handle more than 8 oz of this due to it's immense booziness

M - medium to full bodied, with alcohol very present.. Can't wait until I dip into the 2005 and see how that goes.

Overall, I found it to be a bit boozy (did I mention that already?), but liked it a bit better than last year's. I have a bottle of 2005's that I can't wait to dip into.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Consumed 12.29.2010.

Pours an opaque inky black topped by a dense dark tan head with pretty good staying power. Looks like an imperial stout ought to look.

Dense and delicious, inviting nose. Aromas of creamy milk chocolate, cocoa powder, roasted malt, caramel, mixed berries, vanilla. Alcohol is present but not distracting. Perhaps a bit of evergreen hoppiness in the background.

Thick and rich and creamy on the palate. Flavors of mildly bitter dark chocolate, earthy roasted malt, warm alcohol, moderately hoppy, burnt grain, butter caramel. Packed and dense and tasty. Oily and mouthcoating and just barely drying. A bit of an herbal/medicinal note on the finish hints at more hops.

Has an English rather than American feel as imperial stouts go. Balanced and nuanced but flavor-packed. Surprisingly hoppy for the style, quite nice for a change. A fantastic beer.

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

A - Very viscous when pouring. Straight up black with a huge dark brown foamy head that cascades when it forms. Excellent lacing.

S - Huge aromas of roasted malts complimented by chocolate malt. Not a lot of black/roasted malt smell. Mainly more sweet than anything else.

T - Black malt is the first flavor and then gets quickly interrupted by the chocolate malts. Lots of roasted flavors, a little burnt toast, with hints of dark espresso. Finishes with a huge malt sweetness and a slight alcohol burn. Transitions greatly through all phases of each sip.

M - Very heavy body with very little carbonation, and a creamy body. Finishes neutral from the creamy body and acidity from the grains. Definitely a sipper but nothing too complex to keep one wondering.

O - For a RIS with no additional ingredients added this one should help set a standard as to what the style should be built upon.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brooklyn is firmly on Long Island although in N.Y.C., so I call this a local beer!
This is a fine brew with a chocolate/raisiny/toffee taste. After my first encounter with the Russian Imperial style,I expected to hate it, but it is surprisingly good. The high alchohol content could easily sneak up on you, since it is so smooth!

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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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Winter '08'-'09 bottling.

A - Pours a deep, dark velvety brown; a hint of ruby - with the barest trace of a tan head.

S - Primarily chocolate and booze. Distinct cocoa and a bit of coffee. Slight black licorice on the end.

T - Sweet chocolate and alcohol, progresses to a powdery cocoa and roasted coffee. Fades gradually into a pleasant finish and lingering warmth.

M - Thick, syrupy, smooth; coats the tongue pleasingly.

O - A very good stout; excellent for the winter season. I have had it fresh, and this aging has allowed for a much-needed mellowing of the strong alcoholic note.

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

Smells of strong, dark sugars--deeply caramelized turbinado sugar and molasses, primarily--with a slightly yeasty, grainy scent.

On the tongue, there's a two-pronged attack between sugars and heavily roasted, bitter flavors, which seem to consider your tastebuds as ground zero for the most tasty carnage you'll ever encounter. Most of this is due to the "six varieties of black, chocolate and roasted malts" (as per the label) that have been blended in. On the sweet side of the malts, there are huge dark fruit flavors, deep caramels and toffees, molasses, and a touch of maple syrup. On the bitter side of the malts, there are equally huge chocolate malt flavors, bringing that almost-but-not-quite-burnt bitterness that's typical of a good stout. The hops are nice as well, though are kept on a backburner to allow the malts to take their presence at center stage.

The end result is a fabulous brew: a stout that offers a little bit of everything, and does it in a well-balanced, beautifully overpowering way. Yes, this stout is not for the faint-of-heart; but if you can handle it, you're in for a treat.

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Photo of auroracrisis
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled into a snifter, Winter 09-10 bottling.

Pours infinitely black. I can't even see through the edges of the glass. One finger head that dissipates into a collar of foam.

The smell is licorice and toffee up front. A touch of cocoa beans and booze as well. Stale pumpernickel and a little caramel too. Seems to be a bit boozey for it's age though, the alcohol tingles your nose.

On the tongue we have muddled licorice, bakers chocolate, weak coffee, and booze. Caramel and a touch of peat or smoke as the beer warms. Alcohol too. Again, it seems a bit boozey for a beer that is almost 2 years old.

Thin for a stout. I'd say a light medium body, with moderate carbonation for the style. A little sticky, and some tingle from the alcohol.

Overall, this isn't the best Russian Imperial Stout. In fact, it's more of an American Double in my opinion. But, you get what you pay for. Okay chocolate and licorice flavor, and a nice amount of alcohol. It's not bad per say, but for my money I'd rather spend a dollar more and get a four pack of Founders Imperial Stout.

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

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | on-tap | 10.0% ABV | July 2011

Brewer: Brooklyn Brewery
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Glass: Snifter

Jet black, the abyss. A mocha crown—perfectly motionless—rings the periphery.

Iced coffee, dark chocolate.

Dark roasted coffee, espresso, brandy. There's a strong alcoholic presence and it leans towards bitterness, which is not for everyone.

Thick and luxurious, this is an incredibly pleasing liquid to swish around the your mouth.

It's a great Russian Imperial Stout, except in that the 10% ABV can clumsily peek through the otherwise well-composed exterior.

Would I get it again?:
Yes, and I have.

Served: July 30, 2011

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Photo of davey101
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010/2011 vintage poured into a tulip glass. This is one of a few bottles left from a case I bought back in January. I paid about $40 for the hell of a bargain.

A - Dark black body that let's zero light through, mocha head that vanished quickly into some light edging.

S - Dark roasted malts, bittersweet bakers chocolate, caramelized figs, molasses, and some brown sugar. Not it's strong point.

T - Yup, this is an RIS. Smooth creamy mouthfeel with just enough carbonation. Flavor is initially bitter chocolate and roasted malts, but then it transforms into smooth espresso beans and some light vanilla. Delcious!

O - There's a reason why I bought a case of this stuff. Its an amazing brew at an amazing price. My favorite RIS in a small bottle format. Can't wait to see what some real age does to this.

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 6,673 ratings.
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