Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
6,778 Ratings
Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is the famous Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. In the 18th century, Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, ordered a stout to be sent to her from England. This beer was brewed strong and hoppy to survive the sea voyage, and it arrived in perfect condition. Soon "Russian Imperial Stout" became the toast of the Russian aristocracy. Brewed since 1994, our Black Chocolate Stout has itself become a modern classic, heralded the world over. It achieves its dark chocolate aroma and flavor through the artful blending of six malts and three distinct mashes. Properly kept, it will improve in the bottle for many years. This stout is the toast of the winter season in many countries, and there is nothing better to enjoy with chocolate desserts, cheesecake, ice cream, fine cheeses and roaring fireplaces.

Given this beer’s higher ABV and sturdy character, we think it’s a prime candidate for cellaring. Find a cool, dry spot away from light sources, and see how it changes in the years to come. You never quite know what will happen when you age a beer: perhaps the body will smooth out, notes of vanilla, oak, and tannins will come to the front, or hints of leather and soy sauce will make themselves known. No matter what, remember that beer is meant for drinking, so don’t keep it to yourself for too long.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-04-2000

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,778 |  Reviews: 2,838
Photo of BierFan
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. ABV of 10.0%. "Limited Bottling - Winter 09-10"

Appearance: Brown head on a black body. Good retention considering the abv.

Smell: Molasses and licorice.

Taste: Very roasty. Bit of licorice. Has a nice amount of bitterness throughout. Dark bitter chocolate aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Too thin, in my opinion.

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

pours jet black with a nice little ice cream cone colored head that fades slowly with time. smells of raisins, prunes and other dried fruits. heavy on alcohol from the nose also. tastes like bitter black coffee, dark malts, obviously chocolate, and roasty. as it goes down you dont taste the alcohol per se, but it does tingle the gums and throat a little and that bitter black coffee transforms into a smooth mocha taste. overall a very complex and delicious brew.

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Photo of pwoods
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. brown bottle poured into a snifter. Notes.

A: Pitch black, viscous, opaque. Short head on the pour with good retention and decent lacing.

S: Nice hop aroma through all the deep burnt malts. Lots of bitter chocolate with a bit of coffee in the back.

T/M: Strong alcohol on top. Loads of bitterness. chocolate stillholds it's own through all of this. Some sweet malts as well. Body is about full and the carbonation is on the lower side.

D: Very drinkable RIS and ages quite nicely.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this one on-tap after enjoying it in the bottle a bunch of times. Look was solid if not great - might have been the glassware. Pitch black with a tiny tan head that left no real lacing. Chocolate, roasted malt and fruit in the nose. A very tasty beer - lots of deep chocolate and roasted malt with a nice hint of cherry and dried fruit in there. Body is full and delicious, perfect for the style. Very nice, overall.

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Photo of abar22
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Short on-tap review on the BlackBerry

A - What would you would expect from an RIS; black body, frothy tan head, and solid lacing.

S - Very fragrant. Chocolate and hops are dominant.

T - Malty at first then a burst of hops. Roasted malts and chocolate in the semi dry finish.

M - Mild carbonation. A bit thin...

D - Falls in line with other RISs. Slightly thinner body may help out the drinkability.

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Photo of KrisPaulk77
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

09-10 Bottling
The beer poured a pitch black, with a medium amount of tan head. Some lacing noted.
The aroma is bitter chocolate and cocoa notes, roasted malt, and an alcohol heat.
Taste is bitter roast and boozy heat, with some chocolate mingled in, and a malt sweetness finished with more of the same boozy warmth. The mouthfeel is full and creamy.
The drinkability suffers on BCS due to the hot alcohol. I'm going to sit on the rest of this 4 pack and try it throughout the year.

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Photo of philipquarles
3.1/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle from '09. Pours opaque black with a medium beige head. Some lacing. Smells of sweet chocolaty malts and a bit of molasses. Slightly boozy. Sweet malt again in the taste, with a pleasant dark roasted character. A bit of chocolate and brown sugar. Sweet throughout, with some fairly strong hop bitterness at the finish. A bit of alcohol and a definite warming sensation. Medium-full body with fairly strong carbonation. This one seems a bit disjointed overall; it hits you over the head with a lot of varied, strong flavors that I wish melded better. Seems like it might be a good candidate for aging.

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Photo of mbudner
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

'09-'10 release. Poured from bottle into a stemless red wine glass.

A- Very little head, which dissipated almost immediately. Deep black, completely opaque with a tan head.

S- The aroma is dominated by a deep, roasted, bitter chocolate. I'm definitely picking up some of the heat of the booziness in my nostrils, but nothing alarming or unnatural from an RIS. As it warms, I'm getting a sweeter smell, which I still associate with the chocolate.

T- The very first taste I notice is bitter and/or burnt flavor. The booze is much hotter than I remember from previous years or than the aroma would have you believe. The malts taste of roasted bitterness and the chocolate character becomes much more apparent the brew warms and the alcohol becomes less apparent.

M- I must begin by admitting that I have trouble not getting hung up on the mouthfeel of an RIS. I love the attribute often described as being "chewy" and this stout does not fit the bill. This beer a little thin for my preference for an RIS and slightly too "prickly" or effervescent in its carbonation. Just having a little trouble getting past the lack of body.

D- Not very high, unfortunately. Bear in mind that this is in large part due to the how new the beer is. I have had it several months old in years past and have not found the "hotness" to be as big of an issue with a few months under the belt of this beer.

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

A: What's that cold and alone feeling? Oh yeah that just happened, this beer just ate a piece of your soul.

S: You may feel slightly comforted by the chocolate aroma, but the smokey roasted grain notes behind that serve as an instant reminder that you are going to hell now.

T: Does this thought make you drowsy? Maybe a little overwhelmed by the notion of eternal damnation? Well try and not cry in your stout. You have already lost your soul. The least you could do would be to enjoy the burnt cocoa nibs and coffee flavors. Don't worry, the unholy bitterness will not mislead you into thinking that there is some escape from your fate.

M: Speechless, I see. A brew this smooth is not allowed in heaven. No no, but there is plenty of this where you are going.

D: Not that you will be able to imbibe too much of this, as I see the roughly 11% ABV is catching up with you. This is a doozy of a brew. Take your time. After all, that is all you have left.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle('08-'09 brewing, I have cellared this bottle for about a year) into a standard pint glass
Pitch-black pour, purple around the edges, with a half-inch, oatmeal-like head of foam
Aroma- Espresso, dark chocolate liquor
Taste-Black coffee and baker's chocolate-bone dry finish-smoothe for the strength, with sherry notes upon warming, and definite warming alchohol in the finish.
An excellent, complex brew.

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Photo of projectflam86
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep black color with a rocky russet colored head that leaves lots of lace.

S- Deep dark malt and chocolate aromas dominate the nose. Alcohol is also fairly prominent.

T- Full roasted flavor with tons of dark chocolate and cocoa nibs. A bit of burnt malt and molasses with some black licorice and roasted coffee beans. A slight sting of alcohol in the finish.

M- Full bodied with ok carbonation. A bit hot from the alcohol.

D- Easily one of my favorite Brooklyn beers so far. The alcohol was a bit strong but I know that this is a very fresh batch. I expect the alcohol to die down a bit with some age.

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Photo of BenZ
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just picked up my '09-'10 (ony 3/4 of a 4-pack left at the store) and am reviewing my '08-'09.

Some beers just change with age, BBCS is better in pretty much every respect with one year on it. The sweetness, bitterness, alcohol, and roastyness are just about in perfect balance.

Judging by the change from a year ago, I don't think this is one of those RISs good for 10 years. I'm guessing it will still be damn good for another year or so, and then it will start going down hill.

There is a slight possibility that the dark fruits I am picking up that were totally not there a year ago will get a lot stronger. If that turns out to be the case, then in 2 more years we could have something magical on our hands - I kind of doubt it, though.

All-in-all, I will be picking up some of this every year from now on. It's great, but not ground breaking.

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

Pours titanically black, with a dark, three finger foam head. Wow. Really nice looking.

Smells ... like chocolate! Also a bit of roasted malt, and a whiff of alcohol.

Taste is predominantly ... chocolate! Surprisingly, it's more of an acrid, bittersweet chocolate than a milk/sweet chocolate. The roasted malt also comes in to balance the sweetness with a nice bitter backing. Touch of alcohol and ... fruit? ... with alcohol in the backing.

Quite drinkable, decently thick and nicely creamy.

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

Pours pitch black with two finger light brown head, leaves a thin ring and a sheet of lace. Smell: lots of dark and bitter chocolate over a little roastiness, light notes of prune and booze. Taste: bitter, dark chocolate, roasted and more roasted, overripe dark fruit, finishes with a touch of spicy hops and drying bitter chocolate + roasty coffee. A nice ris with heavy emphasis on the chocolate, and still at a decent price.

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Photo of Mistofminn
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this in two seperate trades. I got a couple 4 packs of the 09-10 from BA chcfan, thanks Chris! I also got a single 08-09 bottle from BA Beerlando, thanks Bryan!

09-10 version poured into a tulip.

Pours a deep black color, completely absorbing all light cast into it. Thick brown sugar colored head is produced after an aggressive pour. Initially, I poured this one carfully and I didn't get any head, so I tried again a little less careful. Great retention and excellent lacing, covering the entire glass.

The nose on this one is excellent. Roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate (and yes I know it's not brewed with real chocolate), dark fruits, and even a bit of roasted coffee beans. Excellent smelling RIS.

Taste is similar to the nose. I get a nice roasted barley character - although it's much more mellow in the taste, I also get the bitter bakers chocolate and roasted coffee. The dried dark fruits come out a little bit more in the taste, which surprised me, but I find it very tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, with a very smooth and creamy finish. Excellent stuff. Drinkability is amazing. The 10% is hidden expertly. I could drink this all night.

Overall, a very solid RIS. Excellent drinkability and a boat load of flavor and substance. So glad I traded for more than a 4 pack of this. Thanks Bryan and Chris!

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

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Brooklyn Brewery
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.60 %

reviewed ~7/2009 during BCBCS homebrew day w/ JH

Appearance is dark black, pours like motor oil, tan head as expected with good lace & retention. Smells of dark cocoa, coffee and fruits. Taste as it smells with warming complexities. Mouthfeel is low-medium carbonation with a full as it gets body.

I had to score a 4.0 on drinkability as it's tough to have more than one of these with the full body and high abv. It's a sipper for sure, but I enjoy every sip. Take it slow... savor... it's only here once a year....

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

12oz bottle from the 09-10 release poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark black with no light shining through and a small dark tan head that fades to a small ring and leaves no real lacing. Typical of most RIS

S: Aromas of Chocolate and dark roasted/burnt malt, maybe a tiny bit of hops or it could be the bitterness from the burnt malt.

T: Taste is amazing. A deep dark chocolate taste envelopes your tounge as a sweet dark ripe fruit flavor takes over and a slight bitterness on the finish.

M: One of the best I've had from a RIS. Thick and syrupy yet carbonated very well for a drying finish.

D: I would have this again and again if it wasn't 10% but I could see it getting old after 1 or 2 bottles.

A must try if you can find it. This is the first year it's been released in TX and I plan to cellar the rest I have and try them after year or 2.

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Photo of whoneeds8
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out into a New Belgium Chalice dark black with a thin tan head. Minimal lacing. I'd like seeing a bigger head out of this. I'm going to have to skip the smell because it's allergy season, but what I can smell is a hint of alcohol. That alcohol is very apparent in the mouthfeel. The taste of roasted cocoa comes out in the flavor rather quickly. It's very smooth if you can get over the alcohol burn on the tounge, which I don't mind. No strong spices are evident. Not too dry of a mouthfeel either.

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Photo of zoso493
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up one from Peckham's in Edinburgh. From the 08-09 winter bottling. Not sure how well it survived the journey over here.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black with a small brown head that doesn't stay around.

Smell: Smells overwhelmingly of chocolate and alcohol with a very sweet quality.

Taste: As the name would imply, chocolate is the predominant taste. Also, some sweet malts and caramel, with a slight hop bitterness towards. Also has the warming effect of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thick but with a slight lack of carbonation. Probably would be better back home.

Drinkability: Honestly, this isn't too bad considering it's in the double digits in % ABV. You could definitely drink a couple.

Overall, this was pretty good and I hope I get the chance to taste one back in the US to compare

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Photo of jsh420
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottle

pours almost jet black with a 1/4" tan head that leaves spotted lacing

smells of dark roasted malts and chocolate

taste is bitter chocolate dark roasted malts and some dark fruit

mouthfeel - heavy body with good amount of carbonation that gives it life but still has a nice creamy smooth finish

drinkability is good and though it is 10%abv i could drink a few every night in the winter

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Photo of Casey10
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a Winter 06-07 version I found on the shelf of a store nearby. Thought it might be this years didn't realize what date this was till I got it home and figured out it was printed on the top (doh). Well tried it anyway and was very impressed.

A - pours dark with little carbonation small tan head floating at the top.

S - chocolate dominates exspecially as it warms up.

T - unbelievable yummy wasn't sure if a store shelved beer would be any good. Delicious gets even better warmed up.

M - Leaves a slight afterfeel alcohol burn is not really present not sure if time has melllowed this one out but is good.

D - Definately will search this fresh but will say that even with some time on it I could definately have another.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

taste- chocolate, mild spice and fruit

color- black

clarity- opaque

smell- chocolate, malt, toast, fruit

body- medium weight, late, soft finish

appearance- dark, no head

overall impression- would have had it sooner

notes- would have consumed the beer six months ago, probably lost some of its body. this review is for a 2002 vintage tasted in 2004

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Photo of samie85
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours an opaque jet black with a cratery, dark khaki head. Leaves decent lacing.

S- I get roasted malt, cocoa, a sweet alcohol aroma and some vanilla.

T- Rich, dark chocolate with roasted coffee upfront and then finishes with a slight bitterness and alcohol.

M- Not thick per se, but definitely smooth. I find some RIS's to be a little thin, but this beer avoids that by having just the right amount of carbonation. Finishes with a slight alcohol warmth in the throat.

D- This is not the same beer I had a year ago on tap. I think it might have been dirty lines or something. This is phenomenal compared to what I remember. Really smooth, and well hidden alcohol for a RIS. This would be a nice beer to keep on hand during the winter months.

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Photo of Beejay
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black. Very very very black. A nice bit of very soft looking tan head.

S: Sweet.. chocolate, maybe a hint of bourbon.. Roasted malt, but mainly delicious chocolate.

T: Roasty.. malty.. a real strong hint of chocolate. That is amazing.

M: Not a whole lot of carbonation, but I think that is good for the style.. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel that is luscious.

D: A good solid RIS. Wonderful, and the alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of theghost3
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter 09-10 version

Pours an almost black dark brown with some ruby highlights, not real thick. The head is the darker side of beige. Lots of lacing.

Smell is mainly dark chocolate, roasty malts, yeast & some dark fruits. The taste is dark chocolately, but there's also some roasty qualities along with licorice, dark fruits & a hint of yeast. Mouthfeel is crisp at first but overall, it's smooth. Again, not as thick as I expected.

This is a drinkable, impressibe stout that covers the 10 percent ABV well.

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