Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
6,778 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: 6,778 |  Reviews: 2,838
Photo of OnThenIn
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The beer had a dark tan head a finger high that stuck around for a bit with an aggressive pour. The body was a dark brown with ruby highlights when the light hit it.

Smell: The smell was of chocolate, molasses, alcohol, and a bit of coffee.

Taste: There were definite roast qualities, but chocolate really took the center of the stage. There was hoppy bitterness, but it was in perfect balance. Residual sweetness and coffee flavor were both present. There was an alcoholic presence, but it was not offensive in the least.

Mouthfeel: The beer was full bodied, but the carbonation was on the higher end of the style which seemed to work perfectly to keep the beer full bodied, but not feeling like motor oil on the tongue.

Drinkability: This beer is surprisingly drinkable and just an overall treat. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the price was quite reasonable as well.

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Photo of hophead247
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost motor oil black , with a creamy tan head that has some nice retention and spotty lacing. Aroma of dark chocolate, floral hops, some toasted dark malt and some tobacco. Taste is medium bodied, very little carbonation with flavors of dark chocolate, some dark pitted fruits, tobacco, and some alcohol presence. Finish remains a light tobacco and dark chocolate aftertaste that slowly disappears. The alcohol warmth has a nice finish. Very well done...

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

I poured this into a snifter.

A: Pours black as night in the dead of winter, with a tinge of carbonation and a frothy off-white head to boot.

S: Definitely getting milky chocolateiness, along with prunes, and malty roastiness. The cocoa builds even more as the beer warms.

T: Sweet and somewhat boozy, but the chocolate nibs candy-coat the alcohol granules making the drink enjoyable. The Willamette hops definitely give this one a very earthy flavor - maybe too much even....I'm kind of missing the wonderful cinnamon-like aftertaste that I commonly associate with RISs. Still, this is a damn tasty chocolate drink!

M: I wish this thing weren't so dang sweet, but I have a gut feeling that Brooklyn was going for more of a dessert type of brew with this one, so I'll give it a pass somewhat. On the plus side, the sweetness DOES kill the bitterness. I actually don't find this one bitter at all.

D: The 10% ABV is definitely detectable, but I enjoyed the session. I have always in the past, and will always continue to look forward to the winter release of this beer.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours opaque black with a big fluffy brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is roasted malts, slightly tart dark fruits, chocolate, anise.

The flavor is roasted malts, slightly lactic chocolate, dark fruits with a bit of a tart / sour twang, a little black licorice and bourboney alcohol. It has a pretty big charred bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation, slightly watery.

Overall, a very nice imperial stout. It's pretty well balanced. A bit too much on the alcohol and bitterness for me, and the slight sour was a bit weird, but that didn't bring it down much. I wish I could get this more often.

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Photo of teromous
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Completely opaque black color in the glass, pours a cola color out of the bottle. There is a khaki brown color in the head, which is very thin (not even 1/2 a finger).

S: Smells of chocolate and very little else. It's not very strong but the scent is there without needing to completely submerge the nose.

T: It tastes very chocolaty, and roasty. There is very little bitterness, and no offending alcohol burn (10% ABV). I can pick up some of the alcohol flavor the more I drink it, but it's hardly noticeable in the blend of roasted grains and chocolate flavor. I need to especially note that it is blended very well together. The beer as a whole is very complete.

M: It definitely feels present in the mouth. There is very little bitterness, so it's very easy to follow up with another drink. It's not quite as creamy or smooth as other stouts I have tasted.

D: As mentioned numerous times before, it is not very bitter and the alcohol isn't as present as many other high ABV beers in the same class. This is a coy beer, and it is easy to get "pulled under" the weight of the high alcohol content. It is very easy to drink, and I would recommend it to those who enjoy stouts, or are simply looking for a single beer they can drink at the end of the day to unwind.

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

appearance-a deep tan head that had good retention left some lace on the glass and dark brown if not black, a nice shade for this style .

smell- a rich dark chocolate and burnt black coffee aroma along with some brown sugar .

taste- more of the that dark chocolate and burnt black coffee ,it`s was bitter although had a sweet side to balance it some brown sugar and nut meg i think.

mouthfeel- a thick and powerful feel may be on account of the high alcohol level .

i found this to be an enjoyable beer ,i wouldn`t recommend drinking too many in one sitting but i would have this beer again..

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Photo of depechemode1983
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - dark tan head with moderate retention and moderate lacing around the glass. Black in color kind of like a root beer.

Smell - Burnt coffee scent right after opening the bottle. Its very aromatic. Slight sour scent in the background.

Taste - Alcohol is present and very strong. Semi sweet dark chocolate comes to mind. Sour raspberries in the after taste and a burnt flavor resides well after the first drink.

Mouth Feel - Velvety smooth almost the same feel on the palate as milk only with slight carbonation.

Drinkability - Its a very well put together beer although I cant see myself drinking too many of these. Considering the ABV and the potent taste. A sipper for sure.

Notes - All in all a very enjoyable beer. One of the better Russian Imperial Stouts Ive had. Its definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Torps
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Winter 10-11 Release..

Pours ultra dark with half finger tan head. This dissipated quickly leaving a nice ring of carbonation around the glass with a moderate amount of lacing. This is rather fresh for BCS so there's a bit of bitter hop profile especially in the aftertaste. Aroma is roasted coffee, toasty malts, barley and coffee.. bit of a metallic tinge which isn't all too pleasant, but its not prevalent. There isn't a lot of complexity I'd say right now. It's rather green and kind of sour? Taste is mostly roasted malt, coffee and tobacco. Boozy. Hop bitterness is really starting to coat my tongue as the glass empties. Mouthfeel is about right. Very full and creamy. Drinkability is okay but I wouldn't have a second right now, this needs some age.

If you're a coffee aficianado and know how coffee tastes when you brew it below the proper temp this BCS is very similar. Very "green" tasting with a bit of sourness and bitterness.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Of all the places that I could have enjoyed a Brooklyn Black Chocloate Stout, I purchased and consumed a bottle at Pub Garagem 23, located in the 20,000 inhabitant town of Ivoti - RS (Brazil), because Brooklyn distribution is weird and I can´t get it in SoCal. On to the beer:

Actually, I did want to try this beer on-tap on a trip to Boston three years ago, but the pub I went to tapped out of it before my arrival. Finally, I can take notes on this one. This is black with a capital B with a tanned head of rich thickness and impressive retention. Interesting nose we got here; fruity, smoked chocolate malts, and a hint of BBQ sauce. The taste goes more in the chocolate direction than the aroma; chocolate malts hit, some toasted action, and a light drizzle of smoke. Its alcohol is hidden well underneath my favorite part of the ride, the thick, creamy mouthfeel BCS provided.

My curiosity of BCS has been fullfilled. It´s worth trying out, even if you´re 6,000 miles away from home.

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Photo of Boitnott
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have not had many chocolate stouts and this was an amazing first beer for the style for me.

A: The beer is almost solid black. If you put it up to the light then you can see the dark brown, but it literally looks black. The head is a lighter brown color.

S: The beer has a strong espresso and chocolate scent. Also you can smell the malt as well. I would seriously buy a candle that had this smell to it.

T: Amazing taste. The notes of choc, espresso, and vanilla go VERY well together. The strong alcohol content really compliments the espresso flavor. Personally I love the higher alcohol content beers so this one really does it for me. Cannot stress the espresso enough.

M: The chocolate taste goes down very smooth. However the higher alcohol content gives the beer a little more bite than I would prefer.

D: While I love the higher %, it makes the beer harder to drink overall. I would only be able to have 1 or 2 of these and I would not want any more beer. This beer would be amazing as paired with a chocolate dessert, and finished with a strong black coffee.

Serving: Poured from bottle into chilled pint glass. Must serve cold!!

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Photo of cds3717
4.76/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Oil slick black. I love it!

S: Chocolatey, Malty, Coffee, Roasty

T: Reminded me of a chocolate covered raspberry on my first sip. Excellent chocolate, roasty characteristics with a slight sherry and vanilla quality. A slight mint maybe in the aftertaste?

M: Surprisingly not as thick as it looks, but still pretty full bodied. Has enough carbonation that it kind of offsets the stickiness.

D: Im trying really hard to drink it slow because of the ABV. It's difficult.

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Photo of mattgreger
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint class a solid black color with a nice off white 1 inch head. It had decent retention and some lacing that followed.

There was some strong aroma of roasted malts and a very strong lingering of chocolate.l Notes of caramel, vanilla, espresso, and fruit.

The flavor of this brew is pretty good. Its very complex. There is all kinds of flavors that hit up front. The roasted malts and the cocoa hits you at first, but then they slide in with a bit of almost a dried fruit that give it a bittersweet and tart flavor after the sweetness of the malts and sugars in the brew. There are some other flavors present in there as well. Some caramel and spices that help tingle those taste buds. The finish has a bit of a alcohol hit, that doesn't hurt the brew to much...but is almost to much if you aren't drinking this as after dinner brew.

This is decently drinkable beer. Some might have some issues from the heaviness and the higher ABV might be to much for some people who aren't used to these Russian Imperial Stouts. Still a good brew. Very creamy which helps give a few more points in the rating systems.

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Photo of chrisgn
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Black with a coffee colored head. Some lacing on the glass, not excellent.

S- Alcohol and dark chocolate.

T- This beer is actually pretty bitter, tastes like dark chocolate. Taste improves as it warms. Hop character is definitely present as well.

M- not very rich and creamy, but still full bodied. Lingering alcohol burn after each sip.

D- This is a well made beer for sure, but the bitterness and 10% abv make this a sipper. Certainly better RIS's out there. Not very much a fan of the bitterness.

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

A - Pours a solid black into my pint glass with just about an inch of brown head. Moderate retention and lacing.

S - Rich with toasted malts and bittersweet chocolate. Notes of caramel, vanilla, espresso beans, and dark fruit and a touch of alcohol. Very Nice!

T - Mostly sweet roasted malts at the front, caramel, bittersweet cocoa notes ( a little less than I was hoping for ), dried dark fruit, vanilla, with kind of a bitter coffee/hop combination of the back end with a little more alcohol present than I would prefer.

M - Pretty well balanced, a little lighter than I expected from the look of it, but smooth and creamy nonetheless.

D - Very enjoyable to drink, alcohol is a somewhat present as a reminder of the ABV, but I could enjoy a few without any problems.

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

A - Very dark brown, almost black and opaque. Big, fluffy, long-lasting mocha head with lots of lacing.

S - Bitter chocolate, little bit of roast. Dark fruity melanoidins: raisins and prunes. Sweet caramelly malts. Big and complex.

F/M - huge roasty bitter chocolate. A little bit of burnt coffee. Caramelly sweet malts, toffee and dark dried fruit flavors. Medium high bitterness accentuated by the dark malts. Light alcoholic warmth. Medium full bodied, slick and thick. Medium low carbonation. Creamy finish with a lingering chocolate aftertaste.

D - Very good, full bodied and very flavorful. Rather easy drinking for being such a big beer. World class and very good.

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Photo of megahurts4
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout

Appearance: Black with a smaller head and lots of lacing.

Smell: Hops, roasted malts, and some chocolate.

Taste: Chocolate, roasted malts, and floral hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy, but not like syrup.

Bottom line:
This is a very well crafted beer. It is very hard to tell that this is 10% ABV by how smooth and flavorful it is. To me, it seems like a much more flavorful and alcoholic Guinness.

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

Shared in a trade from OakedCanuck, thanks! Poured into a snifter.

A - black as night with a surprisingly thick one inch brownish head on top.

S - chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and a touch of malt sweetness.

T - good, but a little soft. The chocolate is there, but not as pronounced and I would've liked. Coffee and vanilla in the middle, then some hop/espresso bitterness on the back, as well as a small bit of alcohol warmth.

M - good carbonation and smooth on the palate.

D - it's pleasant, but could use a year to let the alcohol and hops mellow out and maybe allow for some more of that chocolate to come forward.

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Photo of vandemonian
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout beer is black as space. The head was short lived and had a medium brown colour; only a tiny amount of lacing remains. As soon as a poured it I smelled malt, even from 3 feet away. When you get closer you also smell sweet coffee. The first flavour I got was coffee changing to sweet maltiness. The aftertaste was of bitter black chocolate. As my palate grew accustomed to it, the taste grew more uniform and I mainly tasted milky, bitter chocolate. This beer has a milky feel and is surprisingly light for the style with very little carbonation. This is a very drinkable beer with a lovely complex flavour.

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

Poured a 2009 bottle

A: Dark black with a chunky brown/tan head, dissipated quickly leaving a ring of bubbles on the top of the beer.

S: Hit immediately with the roasted malts and then some bittersweet chocolate. As it warms get more coffee and chocolate coming through.

T: Lots of roasted malt and some dark chocolate. The chocolate flavor intensifies as it warms. Also some vanilla. Very nice.

M/D: Medium to full bodied with nice carbonation. Very easy to drink and leaves a nice aftertaste. A really nice beer that I look forward to drinking again. Also looking forward to drinking this one with some more age on it as well to see what happens.

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Photo of revolt914
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Talk about a kick in the teeth... this beer really did sneak up on me! I was told by a friend that this is his favorite beer so I had to pick me one up and I did. I first tried it directly out of the bottle while it was still around 42 degrees... talk about bad idea! This beer is excellent when poured into a mug and let to warm to about 48 to 54 degrees give or take on my estimate on temperature. Extremely flavorful beer and very hoptastic!

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

Winter '09-'10 vintage. 12 oz bottle served at 48* into a snifter.

A: This pours black as night with a finger of tan head that hold well and leaves a trail down the glass.

S: Notes of chocolate, licorice, and dark fruits rise from the glass.

T: The taste is an excellent blend of bitter chocolate, figs, raisins, and some coffee.

M: It's thick, sticky, and creamy.

D; This is relatively easy to drink for 10%

BBCS is what Bell's Expedition attempted to do but failed.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz poured into MS tulip. 2010 vintage

A - Pitch black with very dark brown edging when held up to light. 2 fingers fluffy medium brown head

S - Chocolate, coffee, sweet malts

T - Bittersweet, almost like baking, chocolate, medium roasty coffee, some sweet malt, and alcohol

M - Medium-full body, alcohol heat and fairly creamy

D - A sipper but two would be easy. I think it will improve and maybe become more complex with some age on it.

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

A - A black as night brew pours with an inch of creamy mocha head, which settles to a ring of bubbles around the glass. A nice lacing is left, something I have not noticed before with this brew.

S - Smell is of sweet dark chocolate, robust dark malts, and hints of bitter chocolate, coffee, and a dose of alcohol. An earthy characteristic lingers as well. Nothing is too powerful. The aromas are subtle and play together nicely.

T - Both sweet and bitter chocolate dominate at first, and then give way to some dark fruit flavors that I don't often see in a stout. Bitter coffee notes creep into the mix as it warms, as well as some earthy cacao bean flavors. The alcohol is there throughout, but not too powerful, as the flavor complexities of this one tend to hide it. A very rich and robust brew and very well balanced. This is a solid example of the style. Very, very tasty.

M - Wow this one is big. Alcohol explodes in the mouth and leaves a coating of chocolate alcohol goodness. It isn't bad, quite nice actually. Smooth for the ABV and not much carbonation.

D - This is an intense beer that is not meant to be really drinkable. That being said, it isn't bad for an RIS. I won't be having a second tonight, but it wouldn't be a problem most nights.

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

Poured from a bottle capped in winter 09 into my perfect pint glass. Thanks go out to CooperEllis for including this in a trade as an extra.

Looks: after an absolutely perfect pour (if I do say so myself), the dark chocolate liquid coalesces into blackness with a glutinous one-finger head of cinnamon. The beer's crown quickly collapses to a chunky, filmy layer of light tan that grips the sides of the glass in thick, webby sheets.

Smells: lovely. Lots of licorice, dark chocolate, molasses, graham crackers, old-fashioned syrup, cocoa powder. Little bit of toast and charcoal in the background. Sweet prunes, raisins.

Tastes: shifty. The flavor begins with sweet dark fruits: prunes again, figs, boysenberry syrup. As the flavor opens up, notes of dark chocolate, espresso and maple syrup take hold before a lingering roasty, toasty finish. The transfer from sweet to bitter roastiness happens quickly and so smoothly that it's hard to pick out when one drops off and the next begins. Very, very nice.

Feels: filling. Amidst a low yet rumbling carbonation, the body is fantastic -- medium yet super smooth and creamy. The alcohol is powerful, noticeable in the mouth, the back of the throat and as a a warming sensation that builds in the stomach. Very nice.

Drinks: wait, you guys are telling me that this stuff is available right off the shelf on the east coast? Like, you don't have to wait in line for three hours or anything to pick this up? You guys got it good over there. If I had steady access to this beer, I don't know if I'd ever not have some in my fridge. For its availability, one of the best RISes out there.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into dfh snifter

The color is dark, the pour is not viscous. Very little head, some lacing - both are carmel.

An obvious chocolate aroma, but very little complexity.

Chocolate/cocoa nib with a lightly roasted malt. There is a nice hop flavor underneath that compliments the cocoa, it is more of a hop bitterness than a chocolate bitterness. The flavor rounds nicely, and the finish loses the chocolate which I find to be a positive.

It drinks well, a bit light on carbonation, with a coating sip and a crisp finish I would normally associate with a much lighter and hoppier brew. Although at over 10% it's tough to enjoy more than one.


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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 6,778 ratings