Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
BA SCORE
4.15/5
Exceptional
6,778 Ratings
Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
brooklynbrewery.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,574
Reviews:
2,838
Ratings:
6,778
pDev:
10.36%
Bros Score:
4.09
 
 
Wants:
460
Gots:
1,504
Trade:
48
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,778 |  Reviews: 2,838
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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Photo of ditch
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm reviewing a fresh '09-'10.

Poured an impenetrable black with a thick 2 finger tan head that fades slowly to a chunky covering of the top of the glass. Lacing is pretty thick all the way down the glass. I think this is amazing considering the style.

Smell is of sweet dark roasted malts, dates and raisins, slightly smokey.

Taste is chocolate and molasses, with a bitter espresso finish. A slight citrus peel finds it's way through. Alcohol is light and fitting. The flavors come through as it comes to room temperature. Be patient. =)

Mouthfeel is slightly oily. Carbonation leaves a slight sting.

Drinkability is great for this style. If it wasn't for the alcohol content, you could drink this all night. Sits relatively light. But, it's a sipper.

This is going to be a great ager. Fresh is decent but I'm guessing a year or three will make this an outstanding beer!

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance is opaque dark brown to black. One finger mocha colored head with decent retention. Nose is filled with big dark chocolate notes and sweet dark fruits, complimented with some booze. Taste is big chocolate and espresso notes, burnt sugar, and dark fruits. Some smokiness is imparted in the brew as well. Nicely balanced. Mothufeel is full bodied, creamy and chewy. Some carbaonation adds a little bite. The drinkability is average for me. It can be a bit boozy at times and the alcohol content is really high.

Overall, a big chocolate stout with good, balanced flavors. A little age woiuld make this beer even better. One of the best winter seasonals.

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

A - The Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout pours into a chalice with the appearance of black coffee ... it produces a minimal brown head.

S - Alcohol, sweet malts, molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup.

T - Wonderful "sweetish" roasted malts, alcohol, some black licorice and coffee flavors.

M - Medium-heavy with a velvety effervescence ... you know, the kind of bubbles that you don't taste at first because it's a thicker texture ... then you sense thousands of tiny, compact bubbles and fizz on "a delay."

D - For 10.50% abv, this is astonishingly balanced and dangerously easy to drink. Absolutely delicious.

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

A-Almost pitch black with a nice one finger mocha head that hung around for a bit and left some nice lacing. Looks great.

S-Roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee and a bit of figs? Smells great too.

T-A delicious malty dark chocolate/coffee flavor with a bit of bitterness. I can't tell this thing is almost 11% abv. Its not hot at all.

M-Rich, creamy, full bodied with what I consider to be a perfect carb level, i.e., not too heavy.

D-For such a big beer, this is easily drinkable.

I think this is an outstanding job by Brooklyn. I will definitely pick up another 4 pack of this. Heck, I'll probably buy a case.

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Photo of drouss48
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a few 12oz bottles from Bert. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Gorgeous 1.5 finger dark tan head. Beautiful lacing throughout.

S: Not over powering in the least, as with most stouts. Mild bittersweet chocolate, toasted malts were present.

M: My favorite part of drinking this beer. Smooth, full bodied, almost creamy. Enjoyed every sip.

T: At the front of your tongue you get the malts, right away. There were several layers of malts all working together wonderfully. In the middle to you get the slight hint of alcohol, just to let you know its there. The back of the mouth and aftertaste is of chocolate, toffee...but not too sweet. Perfectly balanced.

There is no way I would have ever guessed this was a 10+% beer. The smoothness/taste of this beer could be very, very dangerous...in a good way!

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Photo of Brez07
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a '09-10 version of this. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Guinness pint glass.

A: Dark with a 1 finger tan head. Fairly good lacing throughout

S: Roasted malts, chocolate, caramel and a touch of alcohol at the end

T: Bittersweet chocolate, coffee/expresso, malt and a hint of vanilla

M: Creamy and full. Very smooth

D: Very good. The alcohol is masked very well - I wouldn't have known this was a 10% beer without the label. This will be a new go-to for me during the winter months

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

A: Very dark, with a thick, creamy, tan head. Beautiful lacing to the end.

S: Dried fruit, caramel, and dark malt.

T: Dominated by malts, with a complex range of roasts all standing out individually and blending well: bready, caramel, toffee, and a hint of vanilla with coffee and chocolate coming through at the end. Perfectly balanced in bitterness and residual sweetness. I couldn't help but think "liquid cake," but not candy-sweet. No hot alcohol at all.

M: Creamy and rich body.

D: Incredibly drinkable for 10% ABV. Could be dangerous ;)

I've never been one for the RIS style, but after this beer has encouraged me to explore the style a lot more. A great beer for cold weather.

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Photo of kegger22
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown (OK, black), with a respectable head that rapidly faded to a collar. The aroma was chocolate - duh. The taste was also chocolate but with a bite, both from the alcohol and a surprising amount of carbonation. The feel was full bodied with a lot (just the right amount), carbonation. Drinkability was good for a 10+ ABV. Very good brew.

For some reason, all of my instincts are screaming at me to do a side by side with Lion Stout. I generally trust my instincts, so there may be an edit in the very near future if the results are interesting.

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Photo of endincolorado
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Thick, black syrupy body with an impressive, dark tan head that settles slowly. Nice lacing.

Smell- Roasted malt is powerful, with a faint toast, dark chocolate, and a good hop-dryness to balance.

Taste- Dark chocolate is evident initially, followed by some very tasty toasted black malt, faint coffee and a great hop bitterness. Dark chocolate lingers on the palate along with a slight tinge of alcohol.

Mouthfeel- full bodied, with a satisfying, creamy texture that complements the flavors well. Appropriate (not a whole lot) carbonation.

Drinkability- Heavy and bold, but a well-crafted brew. [with a nice price tag]

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Photo of david18
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brooklyn is a surprisingly good brewery and one that's often overlooked by me. They brew perfectly to style and also offer A LOT of unique/extreme beers. The Black Chocolate Stout has a perfect combination of malt and alcohol and the right amount of hops to keep it at the Russian stout level rather than the more extreme American Imperial Stout.

Aroma is great, flavor is very dark grainy with a definitely chocolate overtone, great carbonation, mouthfeel is also great.

I hope they have this around all winter.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance is absolute black with a moderate tan/brown head. Lacing is moderate, spotty.

Nose is of roasted caramel malts, chocolate, coffee. Taste is primarily of chocolate with some coffee, and layered with dark caramel malts. Sweet, not particularly bitter. Alcohol taste is noticeable, but not overbearing.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, slightly creamy with a good amount of carbonation. This brew is very approachable and the alcohol is not nearly as overpowering as in many other imperial stouts. It's filling, as to be expected, so that tempers the drinkability.

All in all, a very enjoyable brew and one of my favorites of the style to date. Plan to drink again.

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Photo of seanbhudson
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE:
355ml bottle with Winter 08-09 date. Pours an opaque black color with a small brown head. Moderate lacing.
AROMA:
Chocolate, alcohol and coffee. Smells like Kahlua.
FLAVOR:
Roasted malt, coffee grounds, alcohol and bittersweet chocolate. There is also a sweetness that reminds me of dark prunes.
MOUTHFEEL:
Full bodied beer. With a syrupy mouthfeel. There is also a warming sensation due to the alcohol.
DRINKABILITY:
A bit too much alcohol flavor and bitter coffee flavors to make it really drinkable.
NOTES: BJCP - Russian Imperial Stout

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Photo of KYbrewgal
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance
Dark as the winter night, with ruby highlights.

smell
Sweet roast with some alcohol phenols, chocolate and rich caramel, and a whiff of dark berries.

taste
Heavy roast (burnt), heavy sweet caramel

mouthfeel
Full without being chewy.

drinkability
Could easily ask for another.

comments
Goes really well with ancho chili chocolate and a nice fire.

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Photo of rosmhuire
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009-2010 BSC poured from bottle into pint glass

A: Dark black, minimal tan-colored head. Significant lacing. Not a lot of carbonation.

S: Not much, though that's pretty characteristic for me when I'm experiencing a stout.

T: Loads of toasted malts. Definitely getting the chocolate and coffee. Not as sweet as I was expecting, and that's a good thing. For 10% ABV, it's very well-hidden.

M: Great thick viscosity.

D: For 10% ABV, this is extremely drinkable. The heat of the alcohol is well-incorporated. If this is an imperial stout, it is my first, and I like what I'm experiencing.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

09-10 bottle poured into a globe

A: Pitch black viscous pour with a generous fluffy brown head. Heavy lacing around the glass.

S: Heavy malt character on the nose, bitter chocolate with a bit of ethyl alcohol on the end. Smells very sweet

T: again, sweet malts with hints of dark fruit,, slight tartness, loads of dark chocolate, a little alcohol, flavors are nicely balanced. Not as hot as I remember last year's version being.

M: Thick, syrupy, chewy texture, leaves mouth slightly sticky

D: Perhaps the best deal around when it comes to imperial stouts. This is very hearty and rich, nice for a cold night sipper. The alcohol content is very well hidden for 10%,,, maybe a little too well hidden. Great beer all around!

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Photo of woosterbill
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, winter 09-10 vintage (10.0%, not 10.6), into a Duvel tulip.

A: Deep black body with garnet highlights against the light; two fingers of light brown head show good retention and a full blanket of fine lacing.

S: Roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, and ripe dried fruits. Pretty nice, but surprisingly understated.

T: Anything but understated on this front: intense chocolate, fruit, and alcohol form a whirlwind of in-your-face flavor. The chocolate and alcohol come together nicely on the finish, but that's the only place where any harmony exists in this big, hot beer. Maybe some age would help matters, but as it is this is an engaging (albeit ultimately unpleasantly overwhelming) brew.

M: Beautiful - rich, full-bodied, with tons of nice, soft carbonation. Just a little warm and syrupy on the finish. Perfect for the style.

D: Too much heat and an unbalanced assault of flavors keep this from being truly drinkable, but it's certainly intriguing on enough levels to keep me interested.

Notes: Great beer to try, but I was hoping for more straightforward chocolate dominance. It may also have suffered by comparison, as the last RIS I had was FBS (which absolutely blew me away); this was good, but by no means great.

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

2009 - 10/2
Appearance - Pours pitch black with a thin tan head and slight, splotchy lacing.
Smell - Roasted, chocolaty malts.
Taste - Roasted malts with cacao, some chocolate, some oak, alcohol and a bitter chocolaty finish. Not much sweetness.
Mouthfeel - Smooth, creamy medium to full body with moderate carbonation.
Drinkability - Enjoyable sipper, but quite boozy. A definite slow sipper.
Overall - Drank very early, but I didn't get much sweetness or complex chocolate flavor, more cacao dust and bitterness. I hope some age really develops this beer.

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

Appearance: Nice dark brown with a robust brown head on it.
Smell: Hints of cocoa come through and there is a very strong roasted malt flavor to it.
Taste: The beer has a nice chocolaty flavor at first, not too heavy given the style. The malts and chocolate flavor give it an interesting tang. You get a really nice malt flavor to finish the beer.
Drinkability and Mouthfeel: I was a really good stout. As drinkable as a stout can be. It was nice and thick with a lot of flavor. It also had a nice carbonation to balance out the beer.

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

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. The lot code is smudged on my bottle but it is from the 2009 batch. Sampled on November 8, 2009. The pour is a dark, opaque brownish-black with a fluffy tan head and a lot of lingering lacing. This has 10% ABV but you would not know it with the aroma. The smell is of mild chocolate malts and neutral hops. A full bodied mouthfeel dances on my tongue and down my throat. As for the taste, it is true to the enticing aroma. The chocolate malts are mild but enjoyable and the hops finish comfortably dry. I have to say kudos to the Brooklyn Brewery for this very pleasing stout and one that gives you a buzz without really knowing it.

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