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

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Ratings: 6,673 |  Reviews: 2,807
Photo of jeffthecheff
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Coming out of the bottle this is black, with some light coming through making it dark brown. Once it hits the glass it is all black. The head is a dark tan color and ends up becoming a thin ring around my Brooklyn tulip.

The aroma has a huge, charred character to it from the roasted malts. It smells like the malt is still being cooked. Behind all the roast is the expected dark chocolate notes, and a hefty but pleasant fruitiness.

The beer is sweet in the middle with some big chocolate notes along with some sweet fruitiness. It reminds me of a chocolate covered cherry or raspberry. The finish is somewhat dry and roasty with some solid bitterness contributing some slight coffee flavors. There is also some lingering dark fruit flavors in the finish.

The mouthfeel is smooth and silky with a big, mouth coating body. The moderate carbonation lightens the impact on this beer quite a bit. When I shook out most of the carbonation, the beer seems a lot bigger and sweeter, and the drinkability suffers. I'd love to try this with some chocolate covered raspberries.

Aging notes:

I had a vertical of this beer going back 6 years, and from memory I think one year is the sweet spot. After a year, there is a slight mint character that gets stronger and stronger with each year. It's a positive attribute after two years but gets weird after that. After over a year, it loses it's vibrancy and becomes duller, with oxidation notes getting stronger, which isn't a good thing.

I took notes from a side by side with 2009 vs, 2008, and I found the year old bottle to have more of a dark fruitiness in the nose which seems to bring out the dark chocolates more. The fresh version has more vibrancy in the nose. The flavor of the 2008 has more dark chocolate notes with a smoother mouthfeel. It seems a bit thinner, and the alcohol is very well hidden. One or two years max on this beer.

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Photo of MrIncognito
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black as night and I really couldn't get any light to come through. Thick tan head that leaves incredible lacing. Thick and oily body.

S - Big dark roasted malts with dark cocoa powder in the back. Mildly bitter hop aroma and light alcohol that is drowned out by the other smells.

T&M - Dark roasted malts come out first but a bit sweeter than the smell. Bittersweet dark chocolate powder and light alcohol. Thick and oily mouthfeel with medium-light carbonation but more prickly than expected. Slightly bitter lingering aftertaste that carries some sweetness with it.

D - I didn't know what the ABV was when I drank this and I definitely didn't think it was over 10%. Alcohol is masked very well and very dangerous. A delicious beer and the chocolate really adds a nice dimension. Doesn't come across as a chocolate drink or as a syrup additive. As my grandpa accurately put it, "This is a serious beer."

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

Poured from bottle into my new Chimay chalice, first brew to be poured in. Appears to be pitch black, nice deep brown head that retreats quickly. Looks delicious.
Smell is pretty good, hints of chocolate and toffee pervade, surely much more will be present as it warms.
Tastes of coffee and dark, bitter chocolate fills the mouth. Very malty, slight alcohol taste hiding behind all the roastiness.
Very smooth, silky texture, makes for an incredibly easy drinking stout.
Highly recommended.

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

One of my favorite special occasion beers. Pours dark brown in color and opaque. Aroma is a richly blend of hops, coffee, chocolate and vinous notes. Taste is sweet, malty and delicious. There's good roasted malt character and it is chocolately without having chocolate in it. Pretty neat stuff. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth and hearty. This sipper goes down easily, with a pleasant warmth from the alcohol which is very well hidden in this gem.

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Photo of eth916
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased the beer from a local grocery store that gave the product high marks.

A - Dark malt color w/ little to no head. Had the same appearance of a Coke in the glass. Beer may have been too cold to produce more of a foamy head so I will not hold it against the product.

S - Nice sweet smell of malted barley with a hint of chocolate and coffee.

T - Sweet roasted malt and coffee with a hint of chocolate. Alcohol is detectable but not overpowering.

M - Smooth with a slightly bitter finish.

D - A very solid stout. My wife even enjoyed this beer and she rarely, if ever drinks a stout. A great beer to drink as you relax by the fire and watch the snow fly.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is one of Brooklyn's finest...

A – Jet black, decent head, settles with no retention. Ends up looking like a slightly more viscous cola product.

S – Mellow cafĂ© mocha and milk chocolate tones and a tinge of a mulled spice, slightly sprucy but other than that almost no hops detectable. The high ABV is undetectable via olfactory.

T – French roast coffee and medium-dark chocolate flavors from the malt dominate, finishing with toffee notes and a big piney hop kick. No mention of any alcohol at all. But it is there, plentifully.

M – Seems to pour thick, but feels quite thin. Also the lower carbonation does not help the thinner-bodied stout. But it does not drink ‘hot’, quite the opposite.

D – Cheap, and good tasting, with high ABV. A great winter brew for a budget-minded session.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first offering from Brooklyn (they can be hard to find in Canada). Just got in from having my car towed to the repair shop in -20 weather and I needed a good strong beer...

Pours an inky black hue, leaving about an inch of thick, light tan head. Slow to dissolve, leaves lots of good lacing. Fine retention.

The smell is definitely black everything: black, dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts. Maybe a bit of fruit near the back.

Starts with roasted malt at the front, coffee and chocolate, followed by warming alcohol. A touch of butterness to the finish.

Viscous, almost chewy. A bit stingy, but my lips are chapped so I won't blame the beer.

Very impressed with this; one of the tastier RIS I've had in a while. Good stuff, looking forward to more from this brewery!

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

Black and dense with a nice thick looking white one finger head. It dissolves quickly to a beige foam ring and skim. Little light passes through this brew.

The smell is of bitter cocoa and coffee; it is heady and dense smelling like a dessert.

The flavor is less sweet and chocolate and more of a earthy, bitter like espresso. it is layered with just hint of sweetness, roasted flavors, and a vague spiciness. There is some bitter hop presence that adds another layer of sourness and sharpness that greatly compliments the bitter cocoa flavors.

It is thick and rich in the mouth: milky and smooth that gives a sweet finish.

The alcohol is present in the warmth and finish but it is all in all a highly drinkable stout.

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Photo of advill88
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is pitch black with a thick mocha colored head.

Smell is dominated by roasted malt with rich characters of chocolate and hints of bourbon.

Taste is again dominated upfront by roasted malt with a good hit of bitterness, followed by hints of bourbon and caramel, with maybe a touch of vanilla. Cycles back around to the roasted malt at the end, but showcasing a little more of its sweet character. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, and the carbonation is a little higher than I'd usually expect from such a heavy stout.

Highly drinkable RIS; at 10% ABV, the alcohol is well-hidden. A delicious beer to sip on a cold winter evening.

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Photo of BigBigPickle
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz into tulip.

A: Pours black - looks a bit like cola. Great head with good staying power.

S: Sweet and nutty, malt and chocolate. I am getting excited about this one.

T: Same as the smell, spot on. The name says it all - this tasted like Black Chocolate. Oh yeah, also coffee. This is fantastic brew and is deserving of any and all accolades.

M: Eh, a little to be desired, but not bad. I'll just say the moth feel is true to style.

D: If you like stout and you don't like this beer, you don't like stout. This stuff is amazing.

I am sure to have a review soon where I don't love the beer, I promise.

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Photo of elniko
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter glass.

A: As expected motor oil black with tan head slightly bigger than in typical RIS. Nice looking brew.

S: Some alcohol hotness apparent, as it warmed mostly sweet chocolate tones with a touch of dark fruitiness as well.

T & M: Roasty chocolate tones, full bodied. On the sweeter side of the RIS equation although there is some pleasant bitterness on the finish. Silky mouthfeel.

D: One of the more drinkable RIS that I've encountered. Very glad that I tried this brew.

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Photo of Ralphus
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like a good imperial stout every now and again so I was pleased to see that Brookly's was coming to the LCBO.

Poured jet black with a large tan colored head. It dissipated to a solid cap and left sheets of lacing behind. Very nice. The smell is all dark sour fruits, alcohol and chocolate malts. It's good but not as good as the taste which is a big dose of chocolate, coffee and malts. Lovely.

Mouthfeel is spot on I think.. velvety smooth and goes down far too fast for a beer of this strength. This aids drinkability.. you could have another before the full potency even hits you.


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Photo of RedPorter
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

thanks to nyrangerfan for this one. i have to say this is one of my favorite brews.

A - as dark as it gets and the head is caramel colored with a tiny bit of lacing.

S - theres something unusual with how this style smells, seems like some kind of dark fruit i cant quit place. some boozy notes that are not out of place a soon to follow.

T - the dark fruit taste transfers through into the taste but whats more prominent are grains and even some nuttiness that accompanies the chocolate very well.

M - for my taste the is in the sweet spot for for sticky a beer should be, goes down smooth.

D - i dont usually drink beers that id like to drink every day so as far as this style goes its near the top of my list for drinkability.


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Photo of MaxBrews
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've tasted both a both a 2008-09 and 2009-010 vintage and I'll compare them in this review.

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours with a big 3 finger brown head if you pour it properly. Beer is pitch black, the lacing dissipates slowly and a nice tan lacing sticks around and clings to the glass.

The 2008 vintage is slightly less alcoholic smelling then the 2009. Both feature plenty of roasted malt in chocolate. More chocolate and raisins come out in the 2008. The aroma smells of dark chocolate, licorice, raisins and roasted malt.

Taste is much of the same. Strong alcoholic taste, followed by dark choclate, raisins and alcohol. A lingering chocolate taste.

Carbonation is that of a stout. This beer ends pretty dry due to the levels of roasted malt and high alcohol content. Overall hop bitterness is very low.

The aged version of this beer drinks like a good stout. You'd want to session it, but it'll do your head in. 2010 version is a bit overwhelming with alcohol, you know you're drinking an RIS. Overall a strong stout with plenty of flavor. The perfect beer for a cold night or to curl up in bed with a book.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep black with a small creamy brown head the leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of chocolate and coffee.

Tastes of sweet roasted malts. Notes of espresso, bitter chocolate, and molasses all come through. Bit of roasted bitterness, but an utter lack of hops to complement everything. Comes through pretty hot as well.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a decent amount of carbonation.

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Photo of TerryW
2.62/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm afraid I have to go against the grain here as I didn't find this to be a particularly good beer. I usually enjoy Brooklyns, but this one just came across as a poorly put together effort. Its got too many harsh extremes without a lot of the good stuff of a properly made chocolate porter.

Out of the bottle it looks beautiful. Dark walnut colour with a monster big, good looking head. The head settles to a film and offers up some nice lace as you're drinking.

Nose is dark fruit, malt, chocolate and coffee, but its marred by aggressive notes of alcohol. Smells a bit like a barley wine. Slightly syrupy.

The brew has a very sharp sour bite to it early on, and is not anything like most other porters. That softens after the beer sits for a while, but is really off-putting. Mellows out, but still fairly harsh. Tarry in character and still too boozy.

Just too disjointed. Doesn't hang together in any sort of interesting way. Not for me, definitely not an introductory brew.

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

A good looking stout, almost one finger worth of head formed on the pour, very reminiscent of the crema atop some espresso. Retention isnt that great, it breaks down to leave a thin collar.

The nose is very interesting, nice roasted notes, has me thinking milk chocolate and espresso. Some fruity esters also present, black grape and plum like. Hint of nutty malts and some leafy hops also present.

Damn good stuff. Much like the nose, but there is a nice hint of anise and char near the finish. Creamy chocolate covered raisins, or perhaps chocolate covered grape bubblicious. Interesting and very tasty.

Good mouthfeel, full body, and nicely balanced. Once again im impressed.

This is pretty drinkable for a big beer. Their are hints at the ABV, but most of them come from the warming effect, which is welcome on the second last day of December. Somewhat restrained compared to other versions of the style, which helps its drinkability, as well as demonstrating the talent of the brewer. This one isnt hiding behind tonnes of molasses or hops. Certainly recommended. Also quite the bargain, relatively speaking.

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Photo of degerbah
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very, very, very dark brown that is completely opaque. About a half inch of tan head. Hefty lacing remains around the edge of the glass as the head dies down. The aroma is slightly of choclate, but it is not a very strong smelling beer.

The taste is much more subdued than I thought it would be. Almost more sour than sweet. I had a Young's double choclate stour earlier this week and the two beers aren't really that close in taste at all. Light tasting for a high abv beer, it tastes similar to a standard bock instead of what I associate with a RIS.

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Photo of jera1350
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to krisandajt for this offering.

Black as night with a thick tan head perfectly perched on top. Tons of sticky lace all over the glass.

Very chocolatey nose. Has an oaky presence to it. Smells sweet like molasses and burnt caramel.

Lots of chocolate with a good backing of bitter hops. Sweet molasses and hint of maple syrup with deep toasted chocolate malt. Pretty light on the coffee which is fine with me. Can taste some oaky bourbon barrel in this too.

Creamy smooth mouthfeel, but maybe just a hair thin for the style.

About as drinkable as an RIS can be. This is an all around solid beer. I will have to track down some more of this in the future. Thanks Joe for hooking me up with this one!

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Photo of swhite11
2.43/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pourd from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

[A] - Poured black with a reddish mahogony hue around the edges. Head pours a tan 1 finger film that receeds very quickly. Lacing is not impressive in the least especially for an Imperial Stout.

[A] - Roasted malt acidity dominates, perhaps notes of oxidation. Slight bready notes with roasted coffee bean notes as well. Chocolate is VERY faint. Alcohol is almost non - existant but faint in the nose.

[T] - Roasted malt acidity and slightly boozy alcohol numb the palate. Chocolate is faintly preceived. Slight coffee notes make an apperance but do not develop into any substantial portion of taste.

[M] - Spritzy carbonation upfront followed by a semi - creamy malt presence. Alcohol and roasted malt acidity dry the finish.

[D + O] - Roasted malt acidity and oxidation are over the top and not pleasing to the palate. These characteristics dominate the beer. Slight over carbonation detracts from the brew as well. Alcohol is not present in the nose but is preceived as hot/slightly solvent in the taste. I can think of at least 10 (Non - Imperial) stouts that I'd rather enjoy off the top of my head. Very over - rated. Very dissappointed. I will not purchase this beer again.

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Photo of Pedro07
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Haven't had this one in a couple years, so it's high time for a another run at her!

A- Dark as the other side of the moon, and just as mysterious. Old motor oil comes to mind, industrial blackness. There is no head to save you now. You are at the mercy of Brooklyn...DRINK.

S- Woah, the first thing I smell, has a touch of booze to it. Deep, dark chocolates and roasted coffee notes singe the nose. Other notes waft around...bourbon?! It can't be, there shouldn't be. Dark, dark cerry-esque smells in the back? There is some sort of fruit present, call me crazy.

T- Yup, just as I remember it...dessert in a glass. There is a velvetiness to the chocolate taste that while not masking, actually evens out the dark-bitterness very well! That velvetiness continues on the second sip, and the beer is still quite chilled. I wonder when it warms a bit...eek! Roasted coffee, dark nuts and fruits come to mind with this beast.

M- Umm, if you've been reading you know I'm sensing a "velvety" character in this beer. Mouth-coating and all-encompassing.

D- A sipper by the book. Let this one warm slowly, more characters find their way into it's story and twist the plot so fiendishly. She's aware.

Mr. Oliver, well done sir.

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

Obtained in trade from ShogoKawada (many thanks!). 2009 vintage, 10% ABV. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Lightless seal brown liquid with very faint mahogany highlights around the edges. Dense, creamy, camel layer of foam with tiny equal bubbles receding to a sticky upcurled collar and a few larger bubbles punctuating the surface of carbonated oil slick. Pointilist lacing no real legs...

Chocolate malt, roast malt, cocoa puffs, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, toasted rye bread, and hints of steel-cut oats in the nose.

Light-roast coffee, deeply roasted chocolate malt, black bread, burnt rye whiskey, and an almost steak-like savory char mid-palate. Hints of 20 year old+ dark rum. Dry, roasty finish, well balanced by the hops. Not nearly as sweet, nor as bitter as I imagined. Reminds me more of a fine dry export stout than it does a RIS. Miles away from the overwhelming layers of flavorful potency on display from The Abyss for example, but don't mistake the elegent simplicity for a lack of character.

Immense, chewy, very warming mouthfeel with perfect carbonation.

Big, hearty, brash film-noir of a beer - great work from Brooklyn brewery. Looking forward to seeing how this ages - thanks again ShogoKawada!

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Photo of BruMeister
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An excellent beer in my opinion. This beer is one to be respected due to it's high ABV (10.1%). Not an easy one to follow, so I usually make this one the last of the evening. The hops nicely round out the maltiness of this full bodied Imperial Stout. I have the good fortune to have it available on tap at two of my favorite bars.

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Photo of vacax
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, 2009-2010 release. Pours dark brown with one finger of light brown head. Fair retention and little lacing. Smells of chocolate malts, chocolate cake, dark fruits, grapes, and a touch of heat. Tastes generally sweet chocolate malts with dark fruits and wine grapes. Bittersweet cocoa on the midpalate with loads of bready malts. Finish has more cocoa and some bitter roast. Full bodied with a medium carbonation. Overall drinkability is pretty high, full flavored and good tasting, but not extreme. I could imagine having a couple of these, and buying it a couple times a year if it were available.

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Photo of dnjmed
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Chocolate brown head stays even to the last drop in your glass. Delicious brown black milkshake smell and taste does not quite hide a hint of nuts and fruits, or the powerful alcohol content, a pleasant bonus. Creamy texture and smooth, full, body. Fantastic winter stout.

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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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