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 OneDropSoup
3.71/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at 6 & Save in New Kensington, PA.

Poured into a tulip a solid black with a finger of fluffy mocha head. Left webbed, tapestry-like lacing.

Is this chocolate? At first I smell nothing but passion fruit -- if blindfolded, I would've guessed this was Sam Adams Imperial White. The chocolate shows up later on, but the fruit smell is still really dominant. Whuh?

The taste is the same story, at least at first: peach, passion fruit, but then with a roasty, almost astringent follow-up. It seemed to skip the chocolate altogether & go straight to the burnt flavor! As it warms, some booze creeps in, then a kind of buttery flavor, then subtle chocolate (there it is!), some dark fruit skin.

Mouthfeel is thick & oily, but also on the tannic, acidic end of things. This one's sticking to my tongue & not letting go.

This was a big, complex beer, but a little more challenging than I would have liked, not as comforting as I'd like a chocolate stout to be. May I was looking for the wrong thing, but I hardly got any chocolate out of it, more the peripheral sensations. I wonder if this would be better aged to mellow it out some, in which case tap is not really the venue. One was plenty.

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Photo of myost88
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into Tulip style glass

Appearance- A slow pour yields a thick viscous black body topped by a three finger dark tan caramel colored head. Head stuck around for a minute before fading to a nice floating thin layer. Patches of lacing are all over the glass. Head was smooth not clumpy like many RIS. Overall a very appetizing beer to look at.

Smell- Chocolate is very evident hear. Almost like the smell of a Hershey's dark bar. Backed up slightly by a roasted scent. Very little coffee is apparent in the scent.

Taste- Taste is much more complex than the nose and it serves this beer very well. Dark chocolate is dominant again followed by a well balance roasty malt background and some raisin flavors as well. Not too sweet like many chocolate stouts. A hint of bitterness at the end makes this an extremely balanced and well rounded stout.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and creamy, but not as thick as many RIS. Closer to a heavy porter than a real thick oily stout. I thought the lighter body complemented its complex flavor very well. Many times when drinking an RIS I get this milkshake type feeling. Not here though smooth and not too heavy.

Drinkability- Well there isn't a lot too say here other than at 10.6 % this is no session stout. However it's such a good beer you may truly want to. I found myself taking nice gulps rather than small sips.

Overall- I flat out loved this beer and will gladly keep my fridge stocked with it as long as its here in TX. Hands down, by favorite stout.

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Photo of farrago
3.82/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aggressive pour yields over a two finger head of dark brown foam with an island of larger bubbles in the middle, takes a good while to work itself down to a steady half-finger level, nice web of lacing along the glass walls. Onyx black in color, actually since black is not a color it's colorless. The nose has a pleasingly explosive nature to it for the category, licorice, anise, Brazil nuts, dark chocolate, molasses, caramelized brown sugar, rum raisin ice cream, plum, blackberry fruit, you never feel it is devoid of hops but they are hard to isolate. In the mouth it's a touch alcoholic at first but the espresso bean, bittersweet dark chocolate, mocha accompanied by licorice and pine. At times has a fruitcake kind of thing going on. Toasty, the hops have an oven warmed grain quality, like 19th century shit. At times it's grapey, definitely you get apricot, black cherry fruit. It lacks the sheer richness of many RIPs but absolutely hits you with the primary flavors you expect.

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Photo of TheMattJones88
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here goes my first review.

I bought a four pack of the 09-10 BCS about a week ago, and I found a sixer of 08-09 today, so I suppose this will partially be a comparison.

Both were poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: The beer poured an almost solid black for both years. The 08 had a slightly larger (1/2") head, which had a reddish/brown tinge to it. The 09's head was only about 1/4", and was a nice cream color. Both dissipated after about a minute.

Smell: The 08 smells like a bar of dark chocolate with a small twinge of hops in the background. The 09 is a bit more black-coffee like and the hop smell isn't really noticeable at all.

Taste: I suppose this is the one that REALLY matters. The 08 literally tastes like I'm biting into a bar of really great Dark Chocolate. The flavor sustained in my mouth for roughly 30 seconds after each sip, and was incredibly smooth. The 09 doesn't have the same chocolate notes of the 08 unfortunately, however, that may be due to the lack of aging. Neither of the beers were all that "hot" tasting considering their (relatively) high ABV, however, the alcohol taste was just the slightest bit more noticable in the 08.

Mouthfeel: Smooth Smooth Smooth. Only a minimal amount of carbonation, but that's all I want in a stout.

Drinkability: Incredibly drinkable, a great dessert beer. The alcohol is hidden very well, and if you don't remember that this is a 10% beer, you might knock it back a bit too fast.

Overall, I enjoyed the 08 more than the 09, but the 09 was no slouch. If you can find this get it, it's worth it.

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Photo of bob3701
4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black as they come with a great tan creamy head. Chocolate bitterness prevails. This was one of the best beers for mouth feel I ever had, so slippery and smooth in my mouth and it goes down so easy. Hard to tell that it was 10% ABV, could not taste it at all. Asham it comes out only once a year.

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Photo of CharlatanSin
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well well well. We meet again, Brooklyn Black Chocolate. I'd had you on tap a couple of weeks back, but didn't have my handy dandy notebook and didn't get around to a review. Flair Beverages had a bunch of new 4 packs on the shelf. Let's see how tough you are out of the bottle.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my lovely Hold Steady pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep space black. It's questionable whether light can escape from the glass. A gorgeous thick tan head that leaves major league lacing accents what is a beautiful beer.

Smell: Bitter chocolate dominates, with a bit of coffee. It's all a little weak, though.

Taste: Again, delicious bitter dark chocolate rules the day, but its supporting cast comes out more than they did in the smell. The coffee's still there, and it's roasted and flavorful. There's also some dried fruit...plums I think, or really dark raisins. You can definitely taste the alcohol, much more strongly than I remember from my on-tap experience.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, low carbonation. Body's definitely thinner than I'd have guessed.

Drinkability/Overall: Delicious taste, and a gorgeous beer. However, the alcohol taste is way stronger than I remember it being on tap, and I doubt I could have more than one in a sitting. That being said, I'd drink it frequently. Another job well done by Brooklyn.

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

Pours a deep, dark jet black topped by a tan head. It looks like a glass of liquid evil. As things go along it dies down to a ring of head and leaves very small amounts of splotchy lacing.

Aroma is of raisins, plums and dried dark fruits, mocha, roast and chocolate notes are at play too, as is a smidgen of mashed banana. Alcohol is present, but in a good way.

The taste is rummy, there's something akin to brandy or cognac about it, with raisins, malt, roast and melted dark chocolate, all this sweetness is kept in check by just the perfect dose of bitter herbal hops. There's an oak like dryness in the finish. Really, this almost feels more like drinking a fortified wine than a beer, and no bad thing.

Mouthfeel is thick without being cloying, but it lets the rich flavors cling to your tongue so you have no choice by to savor them.

This is just a sophisticated, delicious introspective beer to have by a fire on a cold winter's night. Maybe not quite chocolatey enough to warrant having chocolate in the name. But that's a minor quibble at best. But yeah. This is the reason I drink beer. For those times where you can take sip after sip and contemplate and slowly peel back all the subtle layers that work together to create such a complex marriage of flavor in perfect harmony.

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Photo of Liverpool08
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark black, with chocolate colored pillow of thick foam on top. Smell of burnt fruit and bitter chocolate. Leaves a good lacing on the glass. First sip is of espresso and burnt malt. Its very good. A smooth mouthfeel that becomes a nice warm feel as the alchohol comes thru as it warms. Very drinkible even with the high ABV. A dangerous brew, but very tasty.

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Photo of Vengeance526
3.82/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black color with a small brown head that fades away quickly without leaving much lacing.

Amazing aroma of semi-sweet chocolate, roasted coffee, dark fruit and a hint of cinnamon.

I found the taste a little hard to rate. Taste starts off peppery with mild chocolate, vanilla and oak, with a spicy, slightly alcoholic finish. Not bad at all, but for me, the taste just didn't live up to the excitement of the aroma.

Smooth mouthfeel, perhaps a little thin, but not bad. I typically wouldn't drink more than one of these in a night but I will come back for more on another day. This one was reviewed fresh, but I've had it at one year and found it to be a bit better. I'll probably hang on to most of the remaining bottles for a little while and see how it changes this year.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I drank this from a 12 oz bottle into a Rochefort glass.

This beer is black with hardly any brown in the light. The head is about 2 fingers of medium tan head with decent retention and a very nice creamy look. The lacing is strong.

The smells is very weak for a ris with only light notes of sweet chocolate detectable.

The taste is also weak just like the aroma. It tastes more like coffee than chocolate but thats all you get. I want more flavors and complexity here.

For a ris this is not very viscous or lasting.

The best thing I'd say about this beer is for its alcohol you can't taste it and I could crush it all day long.

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

A - Black opaque, not as thick as I was expecting on the pour. Nice two finger head that was a nice brown. No real lacing on it after dissipation, but some interesting lacing stripes throughout the drink.

S - Roasted malts, slight chocolate burnt cocoa. Actually get some dark fruits in there.

T - Mostly roasted malts and some coffee taste. I'm not really getting much chocolate here, although it is slightly present. The dark fruity taste is there, but gets fainter the longer you drink. The beer gets better as you go, but it tastes pretty ordinary. Alcohol is pretty present.

M - Little thinner than expected, and not particularly carbonated. Not all that great.

D - It's not hard to drink, but it would be hard to drink more of.

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Photo of KenC411
3.72/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Deep dark brown, nearly black, opaque. Pours with nearly no head, which was disappointing. Laces the side of the glass, though very weakly.

Smell: Chocolate and roasted coffee. Mild alcohol smell, hardly noticeable.

Taste: Chocolate coffee with some alcoholic burn.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, very low carbonation.

Drinkability: According to the description Russian Imp Stouts are chocolate with burnt malt flavor, low carbonation, high alcohol. This does all of them and fits the style perfectly. However, I don't feel I would want another one after this glass.

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

Winter 09/10 release

Pours thick almost black with brown, maple syrup highlights. A vigorous pour yields an inch and a half voluptuous tan head that leaves a trickle of lacing down the glass.

The smell is rich and roasty. Dark chocolate, roasted, malts, dark roasted coffee grounds, some oak, dark fruits, licorice, a hint of alcohol that increases as it warms.

Dark fruits mingle with roasted flavors in an interesting way. Neither flavor profiles dominate, and they compliment eachother very nicely. The problem that I find in RIS's is that a lot of them, while still be very good, don't taste very unique. While this beer doesn't scream uniqueness, the balance of dark fruit and roasted malt/coffee/chocolate flavors is particularly interesting.

Initially the mouthfeel felt thin and over-carbonated. I believe it was just too cold, because it evens out decently as it warms.

This is pretty easy drinking for the ABV. Towards the end the alcohol starts to take over the flavor, but it's more of a nice warming sensation than a metallic chemical flavor. I think a 12oz serving is the way to go.

Overall a very good, very flavor beer. Sticks to the style very well, but still has a unique flavor.

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

Pours a dark brown/black color with a thin creamy brown head. A sweet malty and vinous aroma arises from the glass. The flavor is very similar with sweet malt beginnings and vinous backbone. The flavor is strong and overpowers the subtle chocolate flavor. The body is mildly thick with moderate levels of carbonation. The flavor fades quickly and leaves a lingering vinous finish and is slightly warming with 10% abv.

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Photo of BevMoAndrew
4.69/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served into a Bruery tulip glass at about 40 degrees.

Pours an extremely dark brown to black in the glass with a thick, creamy, tan froth that, unfortunately, dissipates somewhat quickly...great lacing! The nose is VERY pretty with sweet, almost dessert like, aromas of dutch chocolate, milk chocolate, soft banana, brown sugar, light molasses, black raspberries, dark fruit, vanilla, & subtle espresso. This beer smells awesome! Sweet, but not too sweet flavors of chocolate, banana, molasses, roasted barley, & roasted coffee show through a long finish with a clear citrus/slightly pine bitter hop finish.(necessary for awesome balance) Great, creamy carbonation. Overall, this is an amazing beer that is extremely smooth...esp. for a 10% abv beer. There is a definite warmth to this beer, but I'd never guess that this is a 10% beer...again...very smooth. A must try!

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Photo of scottbrew4u
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 2009 offering pours a pitch black with nice thick 2 finger light brown head. Great lacing as this one goes down.

S: Dark fruit esters of plums, and raisins, dark chocolate, burnt sugar and burnt grains. Hops come a bit spicy but mostly muted by heavy malt sweetness.

T: Ashy, dark and bitter chocolate, molasses, black coffee, and some raisin flavor. Burnt grains are a bit dry and acrid in the finish but appropriately so and not off balance with sweet malt tones. Again a bit of peppery spice from hops and alcohol and added bitterness but not a big player.

M: Full bodied and smooth carbonation. Some alcohol warmth present.

D: I have had this several times and this years is as good as ever. Delicious and will leave you wanting more. Not overwhelming on the aftertaste because it is very balanced and well done by the brewers.

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

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Winter 09-10 bottle.

Pours black with a light ruddy hint. Has a big creamy light brown head. Nose has a light sweetness to it, quite malty. No booze at all for such a bit beer.

The mouthfeel is perfect, slight syrupy body but in a good way, it's SUPER smooth and goes down easy. Taste has some dark chocolate bitterness along with a bit of almost tannin flavor to it, quite interesting. Has a bit of a burnt taste but it works. Very drinkable for an almost 11% beer!

Really excellent and pretty affordable RIS. I commend Brooklyn for doing this in a 4-pack rather than in bombers like most people.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich, deep dark black with a suprising 1 finger, light brown head. Minimal retention and lacing. Scent is of dark roasted cocoa, slightly sweet, burnt and smokey. Taste is a rich semi-sweet cocoa, slightly burnt and smokey with a mellowed out dark fruit background. The high ABVs peek through in the end. Silky and creamy with a touch of excess carbonation. Very good beer, slightly too burnt in charachter.

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

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Aggressive pour yields two fingers of tan-colored head that leaves plenty of lace on the way down. The beer is dark brown, not quite black, and completely opaque.

S - Chocolate, specifically a cocoa powder aroma, leads the way, but I'm struck by how much fruit there is in the nose -- most notably raisin and fig. Underlying the chocolate and fruit are notes of espresso and sherry. No hops detectable.

T - Plenty of chocolate on the palate, pleasantly sweet, with just enough roasted character and hop bitterness to keep the beer balanced. Fruit is there, but not as pronounced as the nose would indicate. Some flavors of coffee and sherry, as well as a bit of warming alcohol. Very cohesive and delicious.

M - Full bodied, no question. Viscous and smooth.

D - A worthy stout, one I'd certainly like to drink again.

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

Dark, black, no light coming through this one. Decent bubbly head sits on top, leaving silky lacing down the sides of a tulip glass.

Well roasted malts and bit of alcohol come through on the nose. Further inspection leads to some hoppy earth notes mixed with chocolate syrup, but the chocolate notes are fairly subdued.

Burnt, bitter, dark malts ride in on a fairly smooth, creamy body. The chocolate malts are definitely in full force, but the actual chocolate flavor does not really appear until the end of the taste. On the finish, as the warming alcohol clears, a nice, dry, almost chalky, dark-chocolate taste balances on my tongue until I tip back the glass for another taste of this delicious stout. Not really sure what hops were used in this brew, but they jump in and out from time to time. Never really taking the main stage, but leaving a touch of earthy bitterness that pairs well with the dessert like qualities of this beer.

The mouthfeel is quite good. Maybe a little thinner than other RIS's around the 10% ABV range. However, this beer is very drinkable. There is enough bitter flavor to play down the richness of the beer, which allows you to have more than one of these in a sitting if you like.

All in all, I think Brooklyn Brewery did a great job with this beer. They managed to straddle the chocolate stout / RIS categories and come up with something that is very enjoyable. I've only got one of these left, so hopefully I can pick up a few more next time I'm at the candy shop. A tasty and classy brew for the winter holidays.

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

Poured into a snifter, revealing opaque black body and thick tanned head. Smells like chocolate liquor with a little metallic tinge.

Tastes strong, sweet, chocolaty and with some serious black malt to back it up. I usually don't like picking up on the black malts, but here it's ok. Carbonation is fine-grained and mouth-filling in what is without it still a pretty heavy body. Very present alcohol. This beer is basically edible in texture. Nice malty bitterness and roasty-ness to round everything out. Mouthfeel is a little grainy from the carbonation, but it goes down smooth. Very easy on the tongue for an RIS.

For what the Black Chocolate Stout is, it's very decent. I would have it again... and again.

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

Bottle to pint

A: dark roast coffee, 1/8 inch head, patchy lacing

S: alcohol, chocolate cake, toffee

T: caramel, malt, toffee, waffles

M: smooth and creamy. Very Plesant

D: D: A delicious take on the RIS. Like a liquid chocolate cake, very smooth and a lot of flavors that changed slightly, some flavors exchanging prominence as my hands warmed up the glass. At almost 11% abv I can't think of a more agreeable "cold weather" beer. Highly Recommended!

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

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. No bottled date, but was just released.

(A)- Pours pitch black and produced a decent brown head that quickly dissipated down to bubbles. Left behind some bits of lacing here and there.

(S)- Lots of roasted chocolate with a coffee twist. Some raisin in the background.

(T)- Tons of rich & layered cocoa and dark chocolate that oozes molasses & raisin bread.

(M)- Rather smooth for the style. Where is the 10.6%abv? Great balance and carbonation level. This explodes with flavor in the mouth and slides down the throat easily.

(D)- A great stout that has a fitting name. Great chocolate flavors all over the place. People say that this ages well. . . it might, but tastes great right now! Deceptively drinkable, but I will feel it later. Let this warm up a bit, it only gets better.

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

Poured this black beauty in a tulip. Black at SRM40+, the thin dark tan head is supported by low carbonation. Moderate legs and sheen on glass noted. Aroma is roast malt, stone fruit and chocolate. Flavor is a dark roast, slightly biscuit, complex stone fruit with a low bitterness. Mouthfeel is very full bodied with a sweet finish. Warmth from alcohol is noted.

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

Thanks to TheKingsofHops for hooking it up with a couple bottles of this.

A: A 2009-2010 bottle poured into my Cigar City snifter. The pour is a beautiful, viscous, jet black with a thin layer of tan foam.

S: This beer has a very intense nose. A lot of chocolate, coffee, black licorice, roasted malt, and some alcohol. Maybe a bit of maple syrup in there as well.

T: The taste features many of the same characters as the nose. A lot of bitter chocolate, coffee, licorice, and roasted malt. The alcohol is there but not all that noticeable.

M: The body is quite full, as you would expect from an imperial stout. The carbonation also fits the style, as it is low.

D: The ABV is quite well hidden in terms of the taste, but it's quite apparent upon drinking a bottle. Still, the beer is quite tasty.

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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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