Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
6,774 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: 6,774 |  Reviews: 2,838
Photo of grynder33
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I heard so much about it, impossible to pick up in Wisconsin, finally got it over the internet. Color was sinnfully black, the aroma was chocolately malty, but not very bold, then POW, the heavy chewy dark chocolate taste, nice roasted chocolate malt aftertaste, seemed to get a little sweeter as it warmed, and a lot creamier texture.Just wish Mr. Oliver would not make this wonderful stuff so hard to get.

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Photo of BierReise
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally got a chance to sample this thanks to a trade. Limited bottling '03-'04. Dark as night with maybe a tinge of garnet at the edges while held up to bright light. An inch of tan head is settling down quickly. Sensational aroma of bitter sweet chocolate and roasted malts with a hint of licorice. Creamy and delicate mouthfeel. Flavor is definitely semi-sweet chocolate with a dry finish. This is a very nice stout and deserved of its praise.

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Photo of silks636
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz. brown bottle. 02-03 batch. This one sat for a year and I can’t wait anymore...

Thick syrupy black in hue with a slight foamy mahogany head. Lacing in large sheets. Nose is all dark chocolate with traces of alcohol (rum?) soaked fruit. A mellow burnt coffee aroma present as well. A sip of this almost knocks you over. Heavy creamy mouthfeel and smooth as silk. Heavy unsweetened chocolate up front with overtones of alcohol and plum. Some bitter hops are detected but very understated. The unsweetened chocolate continues with light roasted coffee flavors. The alcohol seems to vanish and the burnt chocolate charcoal aftertaste kicks in. A peppery twang hits momentarily at the finish.

A gorgeous stout. Very tasty, heavy, and warming. One best enjoyed as a dessert brew. Since this one packs such serious flavors, I probably could not drink more than one at a sitting. Best at cellar temperature. Laying this one down for a year or so is definitely the way to go - if you can resist the temptation!

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

03-04 batch.

Poured a deep inky black with a huge deep tan/brown craggy ead with good stickage. The scent is chocolate malt with roasted grain , slight fruit sweetness, alcoholic noted.
Taste is roasted malts, heavy on the chocolate finish. Lesser hop presence, warming alcohol in the belly.
Mouth is smooth, medium full to full bodied, chewy, sticking to the palate, light to medium carbonation.
Very drinkable for its style, high abv, means you aren't likely to go overboard. Quite tasty, for dessert, or with dessert.

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Photo of ecoboy
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am pretty sure the Atkins diet lot would run screaming at the first taste of this beer. A dessert stout from a man who knows his food pairings. Drinkability issues fly out the window with such a rich end-of-night concoction such as this.

Big firm plush head, one of the most impressive I have ever seen. Opaque black hue as expected.

What was both unexpected and impressive: the fruity esters and notes: with the dominant chocolate and creamy cappucino notes came banana and black cherry with a touch of sour. The touch of sour replaces the bittering in the balance equation.

Roasty sweet carbs. Heavenly for those who want their cake and drink it, too. Thanks to pournutha1 for the sample.

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Photo of Stubbie1
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

03-04 bottling.
This is one beautiful stout. It pours a dark black color with a dark brown head on top. The head stays for a spell and slowly gives way to a thin sticky lace. The aroma is of burnt coffee, deep roasted malt and a slight sweetness in the air. There is also a faint wisp of alcohol roaming around. The taste is wonderful; Deep roasted malt combined with the coffee and the hints of sweetness (plum, raisin?) attack the tongue. There is a slight warming of the lips with a slight presence of the alcohol. Also present is a smooth creamy feeling in the mouth. It is a very enjoyable and defiantly easy to drink. I need to get more before it is all gone!

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

Dark, almost black with beautiful creamy brown head. Smells of malt, smoke and alcohol...nicely blended. Taste is strong on alcohol, but tempered well with a nice malty, chocolate-smoky flavor. Mouthfeel was good, but high alcohol content reminded you to sip. For a high abv, extremely drinkable....a definite strong stout all should try.

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

There is a reason this is a top rated beer. It is everything a big, strong, imperial stout should be. Pours as black as possible with a huge cascading espresso colored head. Served at a lovely 65 degrees. 03-04 vintage.

Smells of chocolate, smoke, malts, chocolate, figs, get the idea. The taste is something to behold. Just a massive attack of dark burnt malt, creamy chocolate, oak, and alcohol. Hopped up like crazy but it works with all the dark stuff going on. I equate the taste to the realm of a single malt scotch. It should be sipped, savored, and revered.

Just incredible. The other 5 of these lovelys are going to the cellar for a while. Thanks to JahNoth for the hookup.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, the remnant of a case I picked up in Eastern PA in mid-February 2003.

This is more like it...

Pitch black. Pours a thick brown head that quickly swells to 2 inches and then recedes to 1/4 inch. Lacing is evident.

Aroma is complex. Nutty and chocolatey, bitter and sweet. Hint of bananas and cream.

Taste lives up to the smell. Sweet nutty chocolate gives way to bitter roasted malt. Hint of nutmeg. Big beer. Lingers on the back of the tongue. One of the better stouts I have tasted.

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Photo of cokes
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Dark, muddy brown bordering on blackness. Good sized tan froth on top.
Roasy, mocha nose. Not quite Imperial, but good nonetheless.
Flavor is full, but somewhat limited, breadth-wise. Chocolate hits up front, then stays away. Roasty twags of Black malt appear. Just minor suggestions of the burnt dark fruits and anise that I adore in the style. Turns woodier and nuttier late. Just enough green-ish hops for dryness.
Well-structured body, but could use some additional heft.
Not an overly complex Imperial, but a nice stout.

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Photo of hyuga
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thick coffee black with an equally thick cocoa brown head. Heavy roasted overtones mixed with the perfect amount of chocolate sweetness in the aroma. Very thick and creamy in your mouth, as it should be. Heavily roasted and chocolaty sweet at the same time. Hops are present, leaving a leafy aftertaste near the back. Extremely enjoyable beer, very highly recommended. A different take on the style, but right up there with the best of them. Thanks again to francisweizen for this and the other Brooklyn brews!

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Photo of Ellbert
4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Wonderful dark brown/black color that I look for in an Imperials Stout. Wonderful brown head that is huge and settles after a while to a nice layer on the brew. It sticks to the glass like no ones buisiness.

Smell: Very caremelly and alcoholic. Can smell roasted chocolate and coffee.

Taste: Very complex. Same taste as the smell with more roastiness and chocolate. Alcohol lingers in the background to give you a sublte spicy bite at the end of your taste.

Mouthfeel: Exceptional. It is nice and thick and has a wonderful consitency. Not too suryp like. Nice carbonation breaking throught the thickness.

Drinkability: This is unusually drinkable. The 8.5% will knock your socks off if you have a few but you don't notice it much when you drink it. This is dangerously delicious and drinkable.

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

Appearance- BLACK, creamy brown head.

Aroma- Sweet coffee bean smell, with a slightly burnt aroma. Like cold coffee beans.

Taste- Strong alcohol up front. Cold coffee taste, smoky. Full body, with slight lingering bitterness.

Notes- Great beer for coffee lovers who have healthy livers. Not a beer for session drinking. I could see myself enjoying this with a nice bowl of Breyer's Vanilla Ice Cream.

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

Pours a deep,dark black with a nice almond colored head that leaves great lacing,the aroma is very coffeeish and slightly bitter sweet.A real nice complesx beer starts out somewhat earhty and coffeish with a dried fruit flavor comin thru and a hint of dryness in the finish.Very complex,a masterpiece of a beer.

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Photo of beerguy101
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark black color. Large tan head. Aroma is choclately and malty. A full-bodied stout. Roasted chocolate malts, slightly sweet. Coffee and toffee, anise, plums and cherries flavors, but it really chocolaty. Some hop bite. Very nice stout. Well balanced. Smooth and roasty. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of TheDM
3.64/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours an opaque black colored body with a large creamy head. It had a strong coffee aroma. It also had a strong alcohol flavor with strong coffee notes. I am hoping the chocolate referred to the color and not the flavor because I did not get any chocolate in the flavor.

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Photo of SlowTwitch
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is not a dark beer, this is a BLACK beer. This stygian brew had a very interesting head that at first appeared to be a rust color, but slowly transformed into a creamy walnut color as I continued to pour. I was amazed at how dark this beer actually is. It is almost completely aphotic when held to a light. Perhaps the best embodiment of a stout that I have ever seen.

This beer has a subtly spicy smell, dominated by chocolate (obviously) and coffee. A powerful scent that was noticed (positively) by other drinkers sitting nearby.

It clings stubbornly to the side of the glass when swirled, not quite like a New England Maple Syrup would be, but close enough where the ebony color is still easily noticeable when the glass is placed down again.

This beer is more like a food than a beverage. The chocolate flavor melts into a molasses type taste and mouthfeel, with a very mild hopiness to balance out the forceful, yet not overdone, roasted malt. I can taste what I can only identify as the ever so carefully blackened exterior of a steak in the malt. I am left with a continued flavor of spicy molasses after finishing this mouthful of beer. An experience not unlike eating a rich, moist piece of chocolate cake.

This is a beer best enjoyed in limited quantities. It is a complex beer that lingers pleasantly and can be enjoyed long after having been swallowed. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is not really a thirst quenching beer, but could be easily used as a meal or dessert unto itself.

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

This brew is a choc-o-holics delight. The chocolate malts are intense and delicious. Explodes on the palate to deliver a smoky, malty mouthfeel that is exquisite. Just enough alcohol in the back to perk up the taste buds, but not too much. Hops are well defined, but not too spicy. Bravo..

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Photo of Stingray5
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz, winter '02 - '03. Poured blacker than black with a huge, long lasting tan head. Grassy, earthy aromas are complimented by bitter chocolate and fruity malt. Thick, low carbonated mouthful is followed by sticky sweet malt heaven. Slight port qualities. Hints of prunes. Finish is dry with an alcohol warmth that feels even bigger that its 8.5%, and a long lasting bitterness. This here's a STOUT, baby. I put 3 in the cellar, we'll see how it is in a year or two.


Much like last year's, but I think it needs a little more time to mellow. Very hi-octane in the alcohol, and the bitter chocolate notes aren't as defined. Yet...

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Photo of steelreign
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, this is one of the finest representatives of this style available! The beer pours black as night, and a smallish, coffee and roasted malt smelling caramel head ensues and then dissipates quickly. Malt, malt and more malt!! Simply unreal flavor overwhelms the mouth, bursting with chocolate and all things roasted, malty goodness. The finish is all malt with a slight hop kick. Not bitter in the least. Just a sumptuous mouthfeel, and the drinkablilty is supreme with this one, although just make sure you aren't driving after a few of these! I will absolutely seek this out again (and again...).

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Photo of rastaman
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice one. Lots of chocolatey roasty malts. The palate is bittersweet, with some sweet chocolate at the start and then a bitter roasty, almost ashy finish. Lots of coffee and choc, with a very long finish. Everything appeared to be in its right place in this beer, really good stuff.

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Photo of jcalabre
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

originally sampled on 24 October 2002. Poured w/ virtually no head. Jet black, slightly bitter on the palate w/ coffee and chocolate flavors. Definitely let this one get slightly warmer than most. I'd like to try this one again, after I'd let it get to 50ish degrees. this one sat on the counter 10 min before opening

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Photo of mike1290
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Luckily I work in Brooklyn so that I can stock up on this brew when it's released. Pours black as night and as the name suggests. Smell is of chocolate (obviously), coffee and also a slight fruity edge. Medium consistency made thicker by extreme chilling. At first the taste is quite overpowering and may turn off most people. Extreme chocolate and roasted flavors with a sweet alcohol laden finish. Realistically you can only drink 2, maybe three max in one sitting due to the severe character. Good choice.

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

An Imperial stout for lunch in June? Why not...

Winter '02-'03 Bottling...

Appearance: Pours a deep black that has a hint of brown when held up to a strong light. A reverse cascading effect gives way to a thick, brown head that slowly shrinks to a thin cap. A quick swirl brings it up again. Great lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell: Small hints of alcohol and diacetyl hide undeneath a massive blanket of roasted malts and chocolate. The aroma is extremely rich with the usual dose of dark fruits, but they take a backseat to the chocolate malts. Hops are practically nonexistent in the nose of this beer.

Taste: The flavor is extremely rich and creamy with hefty doses of chocolate and roasted malts. The alcohol is present from the first sip to the last swallow, but it doesn't really take the attention away from the grains. It merely provides a warming undercurrent and base for this brew to work it's magic. There's the usual assortment of burnt dark fruits: plum, raison, and black currant. There's a slight hop bitterness, but little-to-no aroma or flavor. Finishes with a burst of warming alcohol, which makes it seem like it's more than 8.5%abv.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and rich on the tongue, but a touch thinner than some of the other Imperials it's compared to. Still, there's a nice chewy quality that makes me delay each swallow as long as I can. Finishes with a blast of mouth-drying alcohol.

Drinkability: This is quite the drinkability Imperial stout. I would say that the slight thinness of body makes it more drinkable than some others, but the alcoholic flavor and mouthfeel give the impression of a stronger brew, so they sorta cancel each other out. It's a shame this brew isn't available in the Midwest, 'cause it's a damn good brew...

A big 'thank you' goes out to pbrian for sending me a few of these.

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

2002 Vintage
Black Chocolate Stout pours like it's name, opaque chocolate black with a brown frothy head that leaves a nice lace on the glass. The aroma is mocha latte with a dash of port wine and a hint of toasted grain. Taste starts with plenty of mocha and coffee flavors upfront and then moves on to include flavors of raisins, black malt, toasted grain and alcohol. The finish is smooth with toffee and dried fruits flavors played off against bitter black malt and the first hint of floral and citrus hops. Aftertaste is a pleasant lingering mocha flavor with just a hint of hop and roasted grain. Mouthfeel is creamy with warmth and attitude along with a medium-heavy body.
Overall a very complex and enjoyable chocolate stout. It's big, it's full, it's rich, and it will put a smile on your face. My only change would be to pull back just a bit on the black malt and roasted barley to give the chocolate malts a wee bit more control of the flavor profile. Not enough to make it sweet like a milk stout mind you but just enough to round off the astringent edge. But now I'm just being picky.

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 6,774 ratings