Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
6,752 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:
This is the famous Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. In the 18th century, Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, ordered a stout to be sent to her from England. This beer was brewed strong and hoppy to survive the sea voyage, and it arrived in perfect condition. Soon "Russian Imperial Stout" became the toast of the Russian aristocracy. Brewed since 1994, our Black Chocolate Stout has itself become a modern classic, heralded the world over. It achieves its dark chocolate aroma and flavor through the artful blending of six malts and three distinct mashes. Properly kept, it will improve in the bottle for many years. This stout is the toast of the winter season in many countries, and there is nothing better to enjoy with chocolate desserts, cheesecake, ice cream, fine cheeses and roaring fireplaces.

Given this beer’s higher ABV and sturdy character, we think it’s a prime candidate for cellaring. Find a cool, dry spot away from light sources, and see how it changes in the years to come. You never quite know what will happen when you age a beer: perhaps the body will smooth out, notes of vanilla, oak, and tannins will come to the front, or hints of leather and soy sauce will make themselves known. No matter what, remember that beer is meant for drinking, so don’t keep it to yourself for too long.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-04-2000

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Ratings: 6,752 |  Reviews: 2,831
Photo of Vierenner
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just an okay beer -- it lacks the "wow" factor present in many other stouts I've tried. I taste a slightly sour fruitiness with each sip ... or maybe it's the hops -- either way that doesn't work for me. Kind of bland. This beer leaves me unsatisfied.

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Photo of THECPJ
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes 1/10/2011

A: chocolate and malts

Ap: black with a 2 finger mocha colored head, dissipated fairly quickly, left nice lacing on the glass

B/T: mild carbonation, thick, slightly oily on the tongue, but smooth

Af: chocolate, and the typical bitterness associated with chocolate, lingers on the tongue pretty well.

O: a delicious chocolate treat


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Photo of ElGrecoVerde
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black, as promised, with a frothy brown head.

semisweet chocolate and fresh coffee.Light floral hops. Slightly subdued.

Rich dark chocolate, roasted coffee and dark fruits. Undertones of citrus, burnt toast, cream and floral hops.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured pitch black with a minimal tan head. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, brown sugar, and dark chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, sugar, caramel, and dark chocolate. It had a heavy feel on the palate with low-mild carbonation. Overall this was quite the excellent brew. There were no sharp intrusive flavors present at all which made this one very easy drinking. Had a very nicely well balanced flavor and good aroma as well. This one is a definite must try.

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Photo of gabedivision
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a Sam Adams snifter glass. Pours pitch black opaque swirls with a frothy brown head that stains all ends of the glass. The smell is amazing, smells like sweet roasted coca beans, with a hint of coffee. The taste is exceptional, dark milky feeling in the mouth. This beer screams drinkability, however, you can probably only have one or two or you will loose the ability to do anything else. This beer is fantastic from start to finish.

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Photo of SnowGoon99
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle into a Stella Artois glass

Pours an opaque black with a dark tan head that's almost brown. Head doesn't last very long and there's no lacing down the glass. Aromas that come through are roastiness, chocolate, and dark rum. In a blind taste test you could've sworn it was a liquor.

Flavors that come through include roastiness with more of the dark rum but with more alcohol than the nose. Can definitely tell this is a big beer. Notes of toast, chocolate and espresso are also apparent. A lot of levels to this beer. Mouthfeel is awesome. Really couldn't have done any better. But due to all the flavors and the alcohol content this is definitely a sipping beer. Not very easily drinkable.

Overall this is an incredible beer. It just has so many layers in the nose and on the tongue that it's just awesome. Only criticisms would be the head retention and the drinkability factor. But both of those are negligible next to the flavor and aroma.

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

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a syrupy opaque black/brown colour with a very large frothy light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some very nice lacing running in stages down the sides of the glass. The head lasted for several minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - chocolate, malts, coffee, roasted/toasted notes, slightly metallic

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and feels very creamy. Most of the taste consists of chocolate, coffee and malts. The alcohol is well hidden and there are also some light hops. The beer finishes with a bitter coffee aftertaste.

Drink - A delicious and flavourful chocolate beer that I am going to go buy some more of tomorrow. I like that fact that it isn't too over the top in the flavour department, leaving it highly drinkable. I'd like to have a few bottles cellared so I can taste it again with a few years on it. It's a great winter warmer or dessert beer - a must try

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

12 punce bottle poured into a glass

A: Poured an oily deep black with a very thick dark beige head. Head lingered for a while and laced heavily for the first few sips. Afterwards lacing slid down to join the rest of the beer and leave a nice thin ring on the beer as the drinking continued. Small islands of foam on top of the beer present after the head dissipated.

S: Lots of rich roasted malt with some burnt sugar, oak and figs lingering in the background. Slight alcohol aroma detected but not too potent.

T: Slightly sweet with deep rich malt and chocolate dominating the taste almost immediately. The finish is loaded with malt and a subtle bitterness.

M: Oily, full bodied, creamy almost velvety with a slight carbonation level felt.

D: Very tasty stout but would not want too many of these in a night. A definite one to sip and savor. Just make sure to not drink this one too cold as you'll miss out on a lot in the aroma and taste.

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Photo of anakar
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look - Poured (terribly) out of a bottle it comes out a dark brown, kinda like chocolate with a big brown creamy head

Smell - Coffee, chocolate and yeast. All very strong and rich

Taste - Bitter, chocolaty, again coffee but also a bit of an alcoholic sting (it is a 10%). That sting got this one down from 4.5 to 4 in my book. Great and long aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Good but nothing more, goes down nicely and has very little carb.

Drink - Be careful, it's 10% and it's very heavy, you might just lose your wits and do something stupid

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Photo of grover37
3.84/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A 12oz bottle each of the 08-09, 09-10, and 10-11 vintages. Poured into large snifters.

Appearance (3): Black with dark brown around the edges. About a finger and a half of head on each of them except the '10 strangely. Must have been the pour. The cream colored head reduces to just a ring around the outside and a patch in the middle. No lacing.

Aroma (4): The '10 is solvent and roasty. The '09 is chocolatey and still boozy sweet. The '08 is very chocolatey and mocha. Most of the booziness has faded away fortunately.

Taste (4.5): The '10 is a very intense charred chocolate and almost oaky flavor. The piney and earthy hop flavor is very strong in the finish as well, although not terribly bitter. Very intense flavors as I've come to expect. The '09 is much less solvent and creamy with strong chocolate and mocha coffee flavors. A vanilla or oak flavor lingers a bit and there is a still a little bit of the pine hops in the finish. The '08 is even more smooth and creamy with the chocolate taking center stage with a bit of a burnt, roasted edge to it. Surprisingly, a lot of that pine flavor still sticks around. There's some strong vanilla notes here without the oakiness. Great, full flavors all around but especially the ones with some age on them which are less solvent and sweet, letting the abundance of dark malts shine.

Mouthfeel (4): Medium carbonation, which is a bit more than many in the style, and medium to full bodied. Sweet but not cloying. Usually very harsh and astringent, but the vintage versions are creamy and smooth as they progress.

Drinkability (2.5): Definitely a sipper. I wouldn't recommend drinking more than two of these. Not to mention it's pretty sweet and boozy fresh. You wouldn't know the older vintages were 10% though.

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Photo of VinnieVanGogh
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black, and completely opaque, with a slight dark tan head. A little coffee and a little more chocolate in the nose. Taste is a cross between dark and bittersweet chocolate with a malty bloom, and a clingy, quite pleasantly bitter finish. I thought that considering the ABV, the alcohol was pretty well hidden. (...but not completely, although this did not bother me in the least.)

I really dig this, but I could probably only drink 2 or 3 at a time.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black, thick with a medium creamy tan head that recedes quickly but leaves creamy clinging walls of lace. Beautiful.

S- Cocoa, dark chocolate coffee, caramels, malty, hints of hazelnut and a whiff of booze.

T- Slight burn of booze, but pleasant. Strong, bold malty flavors like a RIS should be. Nothing overpowering. Nice balance of dark chocolates, caramels, and coffee. Hints of nutty flavors.

M- Thick and creamy with a slight boozy burn. Very smooth and balanced. Can't stop drinking.

D- Slight booze burn might turn off some, but I can't slow down. Creamy, chocolately flavors make me want to keep sipping. It is a definite sipper. Rich and bold. A definite after dinner dessert beer, but not overly sweet or cloying.

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

Bottled 2010. Poured into Crate&Barrel tulip (Oh yeah!)

As I crack it, I'm standing about two feet above the neck of the bottle and I instantly smell tinges of alcohol wafting from the top of it. Mmmm....

Dark as night. Terrible simile. I don't care. Hardly any head, but what's there retains its small splendor.

Coffee, chocolate, malty as hell, and mild alcohol as I really get the nostrils in there.

This stuff is THICK.

WOW. Oh man. I bet this stuff would be splendidly smooth with a little age on it. As it stands, this is as fresh of a bottle as one can get. But it's still spectacular. Premium dark chocolate mixed with a tinge of hazelnuts and finished with some warming dark liquer. I feel as though I'm drinking royalty.

The beer itself looks so elegant residing in my tulip, I almost don't want to drink another sip. But after each, the resounding chocolatey aftertaste implores me to do so.

I'm trying to drink this stuff slow to explore the complexities of it as it warms, but it's so hard to take my time. This really is what an RIS should be, in my opinion. It's not overly-heavy, adding to its drinkability...and its lack of intimidation. But it's so extravagant on top of that. I really do love this beer.

I'm glad that I only have this twelve-ouncer here in front of me. I'm not even halfway through, and I feel myself slowing down. This is no slight to the taste; it's just heavier than I expected, and hitting me with a great deal of oomph. But keep the abuse coming, BBCS. I love it when you tie me up and talk dirty to me. Is that the alcohol talking? At ten percent, it just might be...

This is the "Everyman's Russian Imperial Stout." Prior to this relatively inexpensive brew, I didn't know if such a beer existed. This baby has proven me wrong, and changed my opinions of all that it is to be an RIS. If you don't have this beer readily available in your area, seek it out! You must have a taste of this glorious stuff.

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Photo of Bunkles
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

10-11 vintage, bottle poured into a pint glass.

The bottle pours pitch black with little head. A fairly aggressive pour coaxes out a tan, two finger head which receded quickly and left very little head. The beer gives off a large boozy smell, with definite notes of chocolate and a fainter toasty coffee smell. Some boozy heat comes through immediately upon taste, followed by a mellow chocolate and roasted malts. The beer sits well on the tongue, keeping that faint alcoholic heat at the back of the throat and chocolate sitting on the tongue. It drinks fairly well, though it's high alcohol content definitely is a limiting factor.

Overall a nice beer, though a bit disappointing. It tastes a little boozier and less flavorful than I remember last year's being. Still though, at around $8 a four pack, it remains a nice value for the RIS style.

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Photo of cmq103
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Freshly tapped 1/6th keg at home from 2010 batch poured into a New Castle Brown Ale Schooner beer glass.

A: Wow this beer is syrupy thick and pitch black. There is no light getting through this one. A small medium brown head formed during the pour, spreading to a thin light caramel color ring around the inside of the glass.

S: This has an immediate boozy aroma, followed by dark bitter chocolate/expresso scent. This is one great smelling RIS.

T: It does taste like it smells, dark bitter chocolate, roasted expresso coffee, with a hint of caramel.

M: Very creamy, lightly sweet backbone, light carbonation. Truly fantastic RIS from start to finish.

D: I could have one or two of these every night. Certainly not a session beer but one to truly enjoy by sipping every so slowly. There is no hiding the alcohol, but Brooklyn does a great job by attacking the palate from all angles to make you forget, even if for a brief moment, that you're drinking a bold full-bodied RIS. Top notch in my book!!

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Photo of ratedz
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with about a finger of mocha-colored head. The head dissipates fairly quickly.

Nose is full of bittersweet chocolate and some roasted malts. Some alcohol is also noticeable.

The taste is big on roasted malts. Hints of bitter chocolate and dark roast coffee are also present. Some bitter hops appear on the back end. This beer perfectly accents any dessert containing chocolate...cake, cookies, cheesecake, whatever.

Mouth feel is smooth and velvety. Thick bodied and light carbonation.

Drinkability is relatively high given the 10% ABV. It is a great sipping beer on a cold night and pairs well with many desserts.

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Live Review #2. Still from Timmy O'Tooles on Ontario and Fairbanks in Chicago, IL.

APPEARANCE: Deep black with a very thin off-white head resting on top. Interesting lacing, a ring around the top was left where the initial head was and then very little remained stuck to the glass below that.

SMELL: Smells very smoky with a hint of coffee. Surprisingly, I don't smell much chocolate.

TASTE: The smokiness is almost non-existant in the taste - just a hint. The chocolate, however, does arrive with the first sip and is the highlight of this beer, although it is a bitter, dark chocolate-like flavor. A smoky flavor returns with for the aftertaste, which seems to be much more full and complex than the actual taste.

FEEL: Smooth and mouthcoating like a good stout should be. Warms as it goes down, there is certainly some alcohal in the Chocolate Stout.

OVERALL: A very nice, easy to drink stout. I tend to like a little smoke flavor in my stouts, but not to have it overpower the beer, and this one delivered on that front. I don't often drink stouts, but when I do, I will consider this one again.

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

Winter 2010-2011 vintage, poured from bottle into snifter. Notes from 1-1-2011. Beer warmed in bottle at room temperature for approximately 30-40 minutes prior to pouring.

A. Dark black. Transmits absolutely no light. Small, ¼ inch molasses head dissipates quickly. Insignificant lacing.

S. Sweet, chocolate, grape, cinnamon. Obvious alcohol presence.

T. Attack is heavy on alcohol. Potential chocolate gives way to strong, bitter coffee notes. Minimal sweetness. (Similar to Siberian Night.) Alcohol is obviously present, but mellows as it warms.

M. Smooth, creamy, gives way to carbonated feel that tingles on the tongue with the bitterness of the coffee. Lingers. As it warms, becomes more buttery in mouthfeel.

D. A definite sipper. Sits very heavily. Requires time and thought. Significant ABV limits drinkability to some extent.

A strong, smooth, great sipping stout.

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Photo of modernartblues
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from Notes. Poured Into Duvel Tulip. 09-10 version drank on 01/02/11

A: dark as night, not a huge head, but there is light layer after head recedes.

S: dark chocolate, some dark fruit notes

T: wet plums, mixture of dark and milk chocolates, no heat (huge difference from fresh BCS). Complex tastes, in addition I get plums, almost like chocolate covered cherries and lots of different chocolate flavor notes, a hint of coffee pokes through.

M: full and creamy, not quite world class for RIS, but nice

D: nice, not ridiculously drinkable (would't necessarily want it to be at 10% abv), but had not trouble finishing my 12oz

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Photo of ahogue
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass, part of my awesome Christmas 2010 collection.

A: Dark, rich black with a hint of brown. Slight, mocha-colored head when poured which quickly disappeared.

S: Bitter chocolate, coffee, and some sweetness.

T: Rich chocolate and espresso. Bitter up front, then sweentess, then leaves a nice, lingering coffee feel in the mouth. The malts come through towards the end, as does the alcohol, but all is trumped by the coffee/chocolate.

M: Low carbonation, long finish with the chocolate and espresso mostly masking the alcohol.

D: Very good - with the strong flavors this one goes down very nicely for 10% abv.

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Photo of OldGrowler
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Taste: malty, bitter. Palate: smooth. It's all been said; except I taste roasty expresso and citrus too. You can't detect that 10% alcohol till you try to walk a straight line. Overall very satisfying. A top notch, although not world class beer like Old Growler.

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Photo of nhindian
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Stone IRS snifter.

What better way to warm up on a not-so-cold Winter day while watching the Steelers!

A - Pours an absolute pitch black with a huge, 3.5-fingered, frothy, rocky dark tan with excellent retention. Lacing is insane as well, as it completely coats the glass and leaves intricate webbing all throughout. A truly beautiful looking beer.

S - The smell is of strong, bittersweet chocolate and freshly roasted espresso. Sweet smelling yet easy to notice this is a strong beer. As it warms up and it is swirled and inhaled deeply, there is a surprisingly alcoholic smell to it, almost fusel in characteristic and similar to rubbing alcohol. It's faint, but certainly noticeable.

T - The taste of this beer is bold and powerful with the roasted malts leading the way. It's bitter chocolate is a motif that lasts throughout the beer, which is nice as it's a great flavor. Hints of espresso roast are more mild here than in the nose, but add an additional complex layer beneath the chocolate. Thankfully, it has a bit of a hoppy finish which helps diminish the alcohol which was so noticeable in the smell.

M - Mouthfeel is heavy with low carbonation. It's not syrupy but it does coat the mouth and impart a very long, sweet yet bitter finish. The alcohol heat is more felt than tasted in the throat long after the beer is swallowed.

D - Drinkability is moderately high. While I was a bit worried about this beer after the overly alcoholic nose, the flavors are strong, complex, and enjoyable enough to help defer the alcohol in the taste.

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

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

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

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

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a very creamy tan head. Dissipated pretty quickly and left almost nothing on top.

Smells of dark chocolate and coffee. the 10%ABV is apparent.

A very smooth drink. The chocolate and alcohol dominate that taste without being overbearing. It finishes nicely without a real bitter chocolate taste you get from some chocolate stouts.

For being 10% and the alcohol being a major part of the aroma this drank fairly quickly and easily.
Straight up solid chocolate stout.

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Photo of simpliciter
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - pours darkest brown into a tulip glass, with a thick head of tiny, tan bubbles that persist nicely.
s - burnt and bitter chocolate notes
t - what a chocolate stout should be. not sweet, but the chocolate notes provide a perfect counterbalance to the roasted/burnt malt.
m - surprisingly bright at the front, a comfortable mouthfeel that leaves a nice coating bitterness
d - for a cold, winter night? yes please.

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 6,752 ratings
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