Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
6,771 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: 6,771 |  Reviews: 2,838
Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle identifying it as '09 -'10 winter release, into a stemless wine glass. Poured black as nite almost like old used motor oil with very little carbonation. Pretty thick head that is disappears rather quickly. Scent of roasted chocolate, and malts, slightly burnt smell. The tasty mix of dark and sweet chocolates, roasted coffee flavors. Mouthfeel is pretty heavy. It is very drinkable, alcohol is warming.

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

09-10 bottling - Massive ripe fruit notes coming out on the nose and taste, head dies quickly. Way fruitier than I remember, chocolate, light cocoa powder dryness, pleasant warming in the finish. Way different than last year's batch as I reviewed it.... have to do them side by side.

08-09 bottling - Pours a jet black with a finger of dark coffee head (perhaps the darkest I have seen). Leaves light lacing down the side.

Smell is a little on the light side for a RIS. Some nice chocolate, light coffee, some malts, a little bit of alcohol - some soy sauce as it warms... can that be right? Going to have to revisit that in another bottle.

Taste is much more like it. Big dark chocolate notes meld with espresso, bitter malts in the back. Some serious alcohol heat in the back as well. Medium body, enough hops in there to leave a dry mouthfeel.

This is a sexy beer. If the alcohol wasn't so high this could easily be a beer I'd drink two or three or ten of...

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

A- Beautiful deep black with an delightful tan head.

S- Delicious chocolate, hints of coffe , licorice and strong alcohol.
T- Chocolate , roasted malts and hints of expresso.

M- smooth , nice carbonation.

D- Potent stout @ 10% alcohol content, a beer to drink slowly, great for desserts, a whole different experience enjoying this stout.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vinatage. Thanks to ironbike1 for offering up this brew in a recent trade.

Black as night, completely opaque. Looks thick and sticky with a beautiful brown head.

Alot going on in the nose. Tons of semi-sweet chocolate morsels, black licorice, bread pudding, roasted and choc. malt, alcohol and hints of coffee.

Remarkably sweet at first which then turns to a dry cofee-like bitter close . The booze sticks its nose out just a bit adding a little warmth.

The feel is that of a full bodied brew and has a bit of chewy thing going on.

One of the better RIS i've had although I am still getting my feet wet with this style. I am curious what this tastes like fresh.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Essentially black, nice creamy light brown head, looks like a good stout, but pretty normal

S: Lots of big roasted malt and a dose of molasses, hops aren't left out lending a nice spicy warmness

T: Big bittersweet chocolate flavor, roasted malt notes, not real sweet like I expected though, mostly roasted malt with the addition of hops adding a flavor enhancement and some more bitterness, especially in the finish, definitely very spicy

M: Thinner than some dark stouts, more porter like almost

D: Not to high, sipping beer, not super creamy like I would have liked

Notes: A good stout. Not syrupy sweet like I thought it would be. It has more bittersweet chocolate notes than sweet notes. Definitely interesting and definitely worth trying if you like stouts.

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

a: pours a jet black color with about a good inch of head that doesnt disappear quickly at all. there is stick lacing left on the side of the glass as the level of beer drops
s: sweet chocolate malts accompanied by hints of roasted malts
t: sweet chocolate roated malts very nice
m: full bodied beer with some chewiness factor

overall a wonderful beer i wish i could get around here

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Photo of chickenm
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Winter 08-09 bottling poured into a pint glass. Dark black color with a very thin tan head. Aromas of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and dark fruits. Taste is more dark chocolate and coffee flavors. The alcohol in this is way too noticable. Not a bad beer but there are better Imperial Stouts out there. I'd like this more if it hid the alcohol a bit better.

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Photo of dmits
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been waiting awhile to make a first review:

Poured into an oversized wine glass (winter 09-10 bottling)

A: dark brown with 1/4 inch coffee coloured head which stuck to side of glass and only dissapeared about halfway through drinking so far great

S: chocolate, coffee and burnt nuts, I love the smell of Russian Imperials and this one is no exception

T: strong coffee taste with a rich chocolate aftertaste, no over sweetness in begginning, nor any substantial bitterness in the end

M: a bit to bubbly for my mouth, I prefer more flat versions of this stout

D: at 10% alc, it is definately noticeable, but served at around room temp its very drinkable, at the usual half hour per bottle pace I consume a R.I.S.. However i've found dogfish head's world wide stout at a higher abv much more drinkable, albeit harder to come by as a canuck. I'll let a few of these sit for a while in the cellar

overall, decent i've drank better versions of this style (my favorite style), if your in Ontario, this beer is a steal at $2.50 for a 355ml, a fraction of the cost you will have to pay for most R.I.S. once you include the trip across the border, thank you whoever was responsible for this beer's arrival on LCBO shelves. I bought twelve and will be stocking up a few more for sure!

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into Macado's "Halloween 2009" branded American pint glass.

Appearance: Jet black with a substantial brown head that stays for a while and leaves thick lacing behind.

Smell: Chocolate all over, with a hint of roastiness and slight grassiness.

Taste: Sweet chocolate up front, with more bitter dark chocolate towards the middle, finishing with roasted bitterness. Slight hop spice at the end as well.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and chewy, with moderate carbonation and a sticky finish.

Drinkability: This is a very good stout. This possesses a depth of flavor and is a pleasure to drink. Given the higher ABV and the thickness, though, this one is good to enjoy slowly.

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

Pours inky black with a brown foamy head. The aroma extends 18 inches from the glass - smooth, velvety, rich, dark, roasty. Flavor is sharp, a shock to the tongue, like a smooth semisweet chocolate, with brown sugar and dark caramel. There is a deep, woody bitterness on the finish and considerable heat from the alcohol. The mouthfeel is rich and velvety, smooth and enveloping with a strong sting of carbonation.

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Photo of wahhmaster
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color. The head is large and brown. It dissipates quickly and leaves considerable lacing.

Smell: Smells strongly of coffee, chocolate, and fruit. Has hints of plums, something I've never found in a stout before.

Taste: Starts with an intense chocolate flavor that absolutely rocks your taste buds. Develops into a coffee/dark chocolate flavor with hints of fruit and roasted malts. Surprisingly, the alcohol is not very noticeable in this one.

Mouthfeel: As full-bodied and smooth as you could possibly want.

Drinkability: A great beer and one everyone should try. By far the best stout I've had so far.

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

from a 12 oz.

Pours an inky jet black with a minimal brown sugar head that dissipates quickly.

Smells like smokey roasted coffee beans and a hint of chocolate.

Tastes sweet and chocolatey, with hints of roasted coffee. The alcohol taste is mild at the end.

Feels not very thick but kind of syrupy and smooth, with minimal carbonation.

A very tasty flavorful stout, a new favorite. Doesn't totally hide the alcohol content but contains it well. A good sipper and easy to enjoy; definitely worth trying for RIS fans looking for something on the sweet side.

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Photo of admiralcrunch
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into 20oz nonic pint; bought from the cooler but set out for 2-3 hours before drinking.

The stout is inky black with medium-dark head. It stands tall and proud for a bit before receding some. Its lacing is a bit sticky. Smells mostly roasty. Taste is also roasty but chocolatey. Feel wise, it's nicely carbonated but isn't as thick as I might expect a beer of its stature to be. This beer is hot! Warming. BCS gets easier and easier to drink as I continue down the glass, but it will have its way with me if I have more. I'm sure this is a good candidate for cellaring, but its too delicious to leave alone for long.

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Photo of MunchkinDrinker
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Inky black with a thin but rich light chocolate colored head. Good lacing in rings.

S - Sweet chocolate. Some very faint vague fruitiness and spiciness. Inviting, but simple.

T/M - Bitter dark chocolate. I feel like I'm drinking a 80%+ cocoa dark chocolate bar. Not much else there. Very tasty, but simple. Thick and slick mouthfeel, but doesn't leave a thick film.

D - Oh no. Try to eat a whole 80% dark chocolate bar and you'll get the idea. This beer is no different. Rich and tasty, but take it slow.

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

One of Brooklyn's winter seasonals. I have had this one in the past, but never really cared much for it. Lets see if my opinion has changed within the past year.

A: Pours a pitch black color. Head is minimal, and lacing is non-existant. Looks pretty typical for a stout.

S/T: The aroma stings the nose slightly with its alcohol presence. Along with the alcohol, slight chocolate and caramel notes are present. The taste is much more satisfying than the aroma. Alcohol is present in the taste, but only becomes bothersome when paired with food, in my case a chocolate-pretzel bar. Chocolate, caramel, molasses, and a nice roasted malt backing are all there in full-force. A little harsh due to the alcohol, which remains upfront and not blended in with the rest of the flavors. Better than I remember, but not the best stout available.

M/D: Mouthfeel is full-bodied and creamy. The alcohol kind of hurts the drinkablility somewhat. Definetly a sipping beer.

Without a doubt, this is the best beer in the Brooklyn lineup that I have tried. While what is here is very good, there is room for improvement. Worth picking up, and is a great value for what you get.

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Photo of Donerik
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - jet black, light escapes the gravity at the edge of the event horizon, but barely.

S - Not much scent, only a little burtness, aroma smelled by 3 people to make sure it wasn't me.

T - Great, bitter bitter roasted malts, with a chocolate finish. Like 92% dark cocoa bars.

M - Smooth going down, well carbonated.

D - one was just about right, but I could have had more, I liked it, so I'd have gone back to it if need be.

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Photo of hayesez
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009-2010 bottle received in trade from nyrangerfan - thanks for the brew!

Produced a thick, dark-black pour with a half-inch mocha colored head that dissipated slowly in my standard goblet. Small amounts of garnet light came through where the beer met the head. A sticky lace is left as I slowly drink this one down. This a good looking beer!

The beer did not smell as complex as many of RIS's. An obvious mixture of darker chocolate, malts, and alcohol is present.

Again, the chocolate and alcohol are prevelant in the first drink. Once again, I got impatient and popped this sucker open instead of letting it age for a while. Virtually wihtout exception, I appreciate the more mellowed-out, aged versions of these stouts as opposed to drinking them the year they come out. While the roasted malt flavor of the beer was nice, I prefer the alcohol to be a bit more masked. As the beer warmed up, I caught a bit of bitter coffee on the back-end...pretty indiscernible througout the rest, however.

A bit thinner than many of your heavier RIS's, but the beer still left that oily coating in my mouth...I have certainly enjoyed this one.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. Had it smoothed out a bit, I have no doubts I would have scored it better. I will certainly edit this one after I drink the 2008-2009 aging in my basement right now.

Consumed - 10/27/2009

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Photo of BeanBone
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A thick, inky black body that blocks all light from passing through. Up top, there's over a finger of tan head that sticks around surprisingly long and leaves great lacing.

Aroma: Lots of dark, toasted malt character accompanied by some sweet chocolate and a fair share boozy notes. Clearly a Imperial Stout.

Flavor: A rich dark malt body featuring lots of bitter chocolate, dark roasted coffee, and some dark fruit notes. There a nice alcohol component throughout, and it pairs wonderfully with the rest of the flavors. The aftertaste is boozy and toasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied and nicely creamy with good carbonation and plenty of heat from the alcohol.

Drinkability: Clearly a beer meant for a slow tempo, this is a perfect companion for dessert and conversation.

Verdict: I've been waiting to try this beer for many years, and I have to say I'm not disappointed. Black Chocolate Stout is a big Imperial Stout with lots of character, and also quite bargain. Now, to find a new white whale...

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

Appearance: The pour is black. I'm talking jet black. There's no light getting through this bad boy at all. There is a very small amount of coffee colored head that fades fast leaving a few rings of soapy lacing.

Smell: Big on chocolate (huge shocker given the name, right?), with a bit of coffee and the slightest tinge of alcohol burn. This one has the makings of a big brew.

Taste: Like the smell, big on the chocolate. The alcohol tinge I picked up in the nose isn't really apparent in the taste. It's obvious you're drinking a big stout, but I think the booze is hidden fairly well for being 10%. There's a bit of coffee and some mild roasted malt going on in the back. Quite tasty.

Mouthfeel: A nice thick, viscous brew. Carbonation is light, which makes the beer very smooth going down. It has a great body and a good texture to it.

Drinkability: This is a big stout, there's no messing around with that. It's got some good flavor, nice texture, and is a very well done brew. I think the only thing that hurts this brew's drinkability is the just can't do too many of these in one night without having to bow down and pray to the gods of porcelain. That being said, I will be slowly sipping on this bad boy the rest of the night, and looking forward to cracking open another one tomorrow night.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a black brew with tan almost brown head. Huge head - very nice lace.

Smells of coffee , chocolate very roasted smell.

Has a very burnt, roasted malty chocolate taste. Very smooth, has an alcohol presence in the taste. Very good.

This brew is very drinkable for a 10 % + brew. A stellar stout. Very stellar.

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Photo of northaustin
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into a schnifter. pours a thick glorious black with a fat finger of chocolate brown head which disappears rather fast and leaves almost no lacing.

smell: bigtime roasted chocolate malts and a good amount of alchohol.

taste i like alot. nothing is overpowering and if it makes any sense its really intense while still being very mellow. lots of chocolate flavor but it tastes like there is also lots of that classic black patent and dark crystal stout flavor goin on. as well as a fair amount of alchohol heat.

mouthfeel and drinkability: it is a tad syrupy, but nothing too unexpected from the style. depending on what kind of night youre trying to have this beer could be very sessionable. it is very powerful and certainly should be a staple for fans of big beers.

as a side note i had this one night ran through a randall full of cherries that had been soaked in knob creek. it was awesome and props to sam at the austin saucer for a plate of the bourbon soaked cherries too.

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Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been looking forward to this one since it was announced as a winter seasonal release earlier this year, time to dig in.

A thick mocha coloured head quickly builds from the pour, very reminiscent of frothed milk on a coffee. The body is very dark with hints of ruby on the edges; it almost completely obscures the light.

The nose summons aromas of coffee and chocolate, followed by a pungent alcoholic whiff though not in a negative way; very akin to a fin port or brandy. Scents of cherry and dates appear now and again mixed with a subtle sour note of a lactic, ripe fruit character.

A smooth alcoholic punch is the first thing that gripes my taste buds. Quick on its heels are big roast malt flavours, molasses, caramel, brunt bread and brown sugar. The 10% ABV is very present here but very refined, plum brandy sense. It brings warming and biting sensations which mellow and smooth out as the beer warms. Astringency is caused and balanced by the fin black malt flavours, cocoa being predominant along with roast coffee beans. Hops are nearly nonexistent save for a minuet amount of bitterness in the finish.
It drinks very smooth the body much akin in texture to skim milk, especially as it warms.

This is great and powerful stout definitely fit for a Czar. It will be interesting to see what some age on it will result in.

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

All right, my first RIS, and it's a doosey.

Pours a finger thick chocolate milkshake looking head. This has great lacing along with a jet-black colored body.

The aroma is of coffee and semi sweet chocolate, and the ethyl is detectable in the fragrance too.

Okay, in the taste is the chocolate dominance. I'd say semi sweet to baker's chocolate.

This is a tough cookie of a beer, and is not like something I've had in a long time. Overall very enjoyable, and I'd like to pair this with a good chocolaty desert sometime.

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Photo of bruachan
3.34/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5's opaque. the fizzled to a firm film with haste (why the rush?). lacing was OK, though

i smell hops and heat first (with the fusel wining out), and some chocolate astringency follows. very earthy

the beer itself tastes deeply nutty while chocolate is minimal, and most malt flavors don't quite stand up to be counted. hops make a huge appearance again, in terms both of flavor and bitterness. a little burnt thing going on, and some coffee (chicory?)

good mouthfeel. the heat and less-than-robust flavors suggest the brew could use some time in the cellar, as they can't quite stand out to stand up to the heat

to postulate on the genus of chocolate brews, this one is decisively opposed to the Young's Doubles of the world. because of this lack of sweetness, don't think you're gonna make a killer pairing with a very sweet dessert

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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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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 6,771 ratings