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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
6,736 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 6,736 |  Reviews: 2,825
Photo of SamuraiJack
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Fishbone, I get to write a review of an old favorite of mine. For a long time, this was my benchmark for American Imperial Stouts. Now that I've tried more stouts - and in particular some of the West Coast Imperials and Chocolates - I have to say that I don't know if I would categorize this beer as a true "Imperial" (though it's also not a traditional Chocolate Stout either). It, like the Storm King Stout, is its own beast. And, again like the Storm King, what a phenomonal beast it is!!!
In this case, the bottle was from the Winter '02/'03 batch. It's still a bit raw, and should improve over the next six months.
The initial pour shows a enormous tan and creamy head on top of beer of the deepest and darkest black. The head slowly diminishes to a quite thick and sticky lace. Aromas are of malted chocolate balls, toasty grain, alcohol and a hint of espresso. As good as the appearance is, the smell may even be better.
Initial tastes are sweet and chocolaty - a rich almost "fudge-like" flavor that could be cloying in some beers, but is balanced by the crisp (and somewhat unexpected) carbonation, alcohol bite and the slight undercurrent of hops. The finish is of a tart and nearly bitter chocolate-malt that is dry and lingers seemingly forever.
This is a great stout. Like the Storm King, I don't imagine anyone seeing it as a session beer. But as a treat - this is a wonderful one.

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Photo of Denali
2.67/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Package: 12-ounce bottle. Winter 2002-2003 vintage.

Appearance: Looks like black mud as it pours out of the bottle. Thick. Black. Thick tan head. So thick not even Superman can see through this beer.

Smell: Strong alcohol and chocolate aroma. Somewhat bready as well.

Taste: Very bitter and alcohol flavor up front. Tangy almost lemon-like zesty flavor is also present. There is an “odd” flavor that is present in the middle of the flavor timeline that I do not like but I can’t quite identify what it is. I just don’t like how it mixes with the other flavors. Chocolate malt flavor is also present. Roasted and burnt espresso aftertaste. Strong hop bitterness also present in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thick and extremely chewy.

Drinkability: Super strong bitterness and alcohol flavor detracts from the drinkability.

Comments: For me it was not as good as it looked. I enjoyed the chocolate malt and espresso flavors but that “odd” flavor is just not my thing. Thank you Keith (stegmakk) for the bottle.

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Photo of Running4beer
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz longneck bottle, Limited "Winter '02-'03"

Pitch black pour with a brown medium whipped head that diminishes rather quickly to a thin lacey layer. Aroma of dark chocolate, espresso and some alcohol. Tastes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee/espresso, light raison and some alcohol make this beer. Light carbonation and a smooth creamy mouthfeel along with its diverse flavors make this a good beer to savor and drink.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at Redbones.

This stout poured black with good, light brown foam that left a coat down the glass. The smell was very modest: caramel malt. The taste was dominated by burnt, roasted malt, but there was some sweetness and some bitter chocolate taste coming through, especially as the beer warmed. The mouthfeel was creamy and smooth with modest carbonation, and a sweetish aftertaste. The drinkability was good.

After having just tasted this beer from a bottle, I was very anxious to sample it on tap (assuming it would be even better), but unfortunately, this is one case where the bottle was better. After talking to some people, I have heard that there are consistency problems with this beer, and perhaps I got a very good bottled batch, and an average keg batch.

Anyway, it was still good, just not as good as the bottle.

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

Black as night. Very small head accumulated, but some stuck around. The toffee colored head gave way to very thin lace. Nose was a smoky coffee with bits of dark chocolate. You might smell the alcohol at first, with a light fruit and phenolic backgroun. Hard to not say this but this beer is somewhere in the range of a doppelbock, because I detected an ounce of that wheaty but fruity type of roast profile. Indeed after an opening and a swirl or two the fruitiness of the hops comes through, as well as on the tongue.

First hit of taste was a creaminess in taste and texture, and then begins with dark chocolate and ends with coffee. A chalky bitterness at first, then you taste more of a fruit behind the bitterness, as well as the high alcohol. Had a long finish that (incessantly) turned me back to the chocolate taste and smoky, fruity, earthy coffee nose the first taste began with, all of which was supported by the bitterness in the back mouth.

You can feel the warmth in your stomach. The malts are so nicely roasted: enough to impart dark chocolate color and dark chocolate esters, but delicately enough to make a mature taste that is not too chocolatey. Good use of classic and current hops (East Kent Goldings, Cascade, Willamette) to undergird it all and not make it an overly malt experience (they do use 6 different malts). It may be becoming a larger production beer due to Matt, but that nose and long and complex stout experience is something to behold and enjoy every winter – sounds redundant, but eat some dark chocolate with it, like sno-caps, I'm serious!!!

After many sessions with this beer, lemme tell ya: let this one open up in a snifter, and swirl it around – a great way to end a colder day.

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

Thanks to francisweizen for this offering from Brooklyn. Pours pitch black with a honey colored head. The head settles pretty quickly to a thin layer after a few minutes.
Aroma is all chocolate malt, well almost. I smell dark fruit and alcohol too.
Flavor has coffee notes and a nuttiness too. Bitter chocolate quality that is complimented by the sweet fruits. Very solid, well balanced stout. Nice alcohol warmth and a lingering bitter finish.
Nice full bodied beer with a good carbonation level. One very drinkable Imperial. Thanks again Francis.

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

Black as night,and that's a great time to drink this beer.this would work great for those who need a little help falling asleep. Black,black and more black, dark brown head and a nice complex aroma profile of espresso,ripe fruit,raisins and cocoa.It has a nice creamy smooth medium body that holds a combo of bitter chocolate and fresh roasted coffee and a nice acidity in the finish.It doesn't have an especially long finish or real complex flavor profile but a strong roasted stout that is very good.And for a imperial, very drinkable.

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Photo of rotsaruch
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2002-2003. Pours about as black as moonless, cloudy nite at sea. A pronouced tan head that quickly vanishes, but with linger lacing. A burnt malt aroma is quite noticable. Not suprisingly, the a chocolate and coffee flavor dominates the palate. However, I was disappointed with body and bite of this brew. There appeared to be sourness or acidic finish. May be this brew could benefit with some aging.

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

An ' 02-' 03 version, this beer poured a pitch black color and the dark brown head bubbled and faded up the glass like a Guiness! Nice! Chocolates obviously overwhelm the nose as well as roasted malts. The first taste is that of chocolate but some coffee and smokey malts follow. Creamy, creamy mouthfeel that is silky smooth on the tongue, easy going down and very drinkable. Only wish I had more than two. Very nice beer from Brooklyn, which redeemed the last offering, as I know they have great beers.

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Photo of far333
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into the glass inky dark, almost black. Thin head is dark dark brown, and dissipates quickly. The taste is intense, more like coffee than chocolate. It tastes nearly as strong as their Monster barleywine. This is not a session beer. The taste can be overwhelming to the palate, and two or three bottles will have an impact on your brain. Excellent beer, deep intense flavor. This is a great contribution from the guys in the historic brewery area in Brooklyn.

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Photo of HossMcGraw
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally I've developed a taste for this beer. I've got the 00-01 season and it is the most enormous beer I've ever had. I'd imagine that there are not too many beers that rival this as far as thickness and maltiness is concerned. It appears as if you're pouring black paint into a pint glass. It is so unbelievably thick. The smell of dark roasted malts and raisins is the best part of this beer for me although the taste is pretty bomb too. Similar malt and raisin notes here with a nice hop balance and hints of dark chocolate. Aftertaste will leave you wanting to drink three or four more of these, brush your teeth, and then pass out from the high ABV, which I'm about to do right now. This is the ultimate beer for a cold winter night.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is as well balanced a stout as you will ever have. It is good in every way. Not too sweet or chocolaty, not overly hoppy or malty. Nice taste. Pours black, with a decent sized head, with some retention. Chocolate notes are certainly present, but they do not overwhelm the beer. Alcohol well hidden. This is not a stout that will immediately knock your socks off, but I can't imagine anyone not liking it. Thanks Joe!

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

Package: 12oz. bottle, no ABV listed; “Limited Bottling-Winter ‘02-‘03”. Classy but busy gold and white lettering on a black label. Neck-label describing Imperial Stouts.

Cost: $1.49 (single)

Presentation: Imperial Pint glass at 50º

Appearance: Generous gunsmoke. Poured beautifully, generating a dense, voluminous, dark-brown head studded with some larger bubbles. Glass displayed a beautiful, long-lasting cascade of bubbles as head built. Foam persisted throughout the beer, generating heavy curtains of lace and thick rings at each swallow. Looked like a nitrogen-draught stout! Held to light, only the faintest glow existed at the edges.

Smell: Restrained aroma, despite head and carbonation activity. Definitely some sweet, roasted malt; with hints of caramel coffee and some alcohol licks. I was disappointed that there wasn’t any indication of chocolatey notes, but I didn’t have to wait long!

Taste: Wow! The chocolate was right up front, lined with an espresso edge. Further tasting revealed the sensation of plums preserved in eau de vie, a woody fruitiness, and the bitter-chocolate edge. Reminded me of Venezuelan El Rey 99% bittersweet chocolate. No overt sweetness, but an overall impression of rounded flavors. Alcohol was well-integrated, extending the sensation of flavors in the middle and finish.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and viscous, staking a firm claim on one’s tongue. The extremely fine but persistent carbonation generating that beautiful pour really improves the flavor and my enjoyment of this beer.

Drinkability: Astoundingly drinkable! I could easily drink three of these without a problem (except for subsequent locomotion). It was satisfying, refreshing, intriguing, and inviting.

After the Storm King, I thought that I wouldn’t like this very much as it is not as well-rated (thus the single bottle). Boy was I glad I tried it. I found this to be a really enjoyable beer. I thought that it was smoother, more complex, and more flavorful than the Storm King; with a better appearance and mouthfeel than the Sam Smith’s Imperial Stout. After my SK experience, I began to doubt my ability to appreciate Imperial Stouts, but I’ve found another I like and my current benchmark for the type. Putting my money where my mouth is, I bought 2 sixes of this for immediate consumption. On draught, this would be a 5 overall!

Backwash: Even my mother liked this! What else can I say?

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Photo of Bcant
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This sturdy stout pours black and has a rocky creamy head. Its remarkable chocolate flavors, derived entirely from the malts (rather than from real chocolate as in some stouts) are well balanced by enough hops to avoid over sweetness. Other detectable flavors light caramel notes and a hit of smokiness from the roasted malts. A cold winter's night feels complete with a pint of Brooklyn's Black Chocolate Stout.

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

This beer is pure darkness in a bottle. Light can not penetrate it and only a chocolate mousse colored foam head let's you know you have not fallen into a black hole. Above the beer hovers an aroma of alcohol, malt, and cherry (reminds me of a port wine). Each sip of this full bodied beer begins rich and malty. Coffee, chocolate, raisin (or cherry?), and alcohol are all present. A sticky sweetness with fruity overtones are left behind.

The fruity esters and alcohol flavor were a bit of a turn off for me. However, the malty characteristics and smooth mouthfeel make this an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of vitesse
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer just pours so beautifully -- performance art in a glass. The carbonation just cascades so smoothly and the head comes up to a creamy, tan foam.
The alcohol in it seems to hit the tastebuds hard, but in a pleasant way- a way that tells you "respect me, fool!"
The taste that is most prominent has to be the malts. The maltiness is so good that you won't long at all for hops bitterness.
This is just a perfect winter dessert beer. The only thing that takes away from it a tiny bit is that once the beer settles in the glass, it seems to lose some of its creamy texture (but that's a small price to pay.)
This is a serious, heavyweight beer -- and one that is probably one of the most affordable in beer stores.

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

One look at this brew is enough to get you drooling. Pours solid black with a huge deep tan/red (yes, red) head. Smells of burnt coffee & floral hops. The taste is alcohol & chocolate, with some bitter hops in the aftertaste...mmmmmm...but the chocolate is definitely there.Not quite as thick as it looks but still pretty thick. Great brew!!

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Photo of beerluvr
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'02-'03: Poured with a deep mocha colored head atop opaque black liquid. Nose is dark fruits, roasted barley...rich and deep. Taste is powerfully malty and roasty, roasty, roasty! Espresso-like tones mingle with notes of alcohol and a healthy hopping that almost balances things out. Finishes long and bittersweet and powerfully tasty...not as good as last years' rendition, but still a bold Imperial Stout.

'01-'02: This beauty pours black as can be. The tan head settles into a fine bubbled lace. Nose is heavily roasted malts, chocolate (true to it's name), and slight yeast fruitiness. First taste is a bit tangy followed by more roasted malt, alcohol, bittersweet chocolate, fruitiness and a long dry finish. Hops are there, but I think the malt profile elbows it's way to the front. This beer is amazing..due to it's ever-changing, long-lasting finish. an American classic! Others may not agree, but IMHO this is the best vintage to date.
'00-'01: Oh man, put on the seat belt for this one! It's one helluva roasty, toasty, hoppy, strong roller-coaster ride. Black as night, strong as hell! A man's beer for sure! Coronas' drinker's worst nightmare!

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Photo of JISurfer
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the best Imperial Stout I've ever had. It's appearance is stupendous. Dark black, with a dark red head, that was huge, but after a while it died down. It has a little of a alcohol after taste, but it's hardly noticeable with the chocolatey taste. It's soooo smooth! I couldn't believe how it just ran down my tounge and coated my throat. The fact that it's pretty darn cheap helps too!

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Photo of jward
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the 01-02 edition, which has been sitting for about ten months. I believe that this beer is better now than it was in early March when the six-pack was purchased.

Black with a dark tan, mocha-colored head that is decorated with an array of swirling browns and peppered with differently sized bubbles. A beautiful beer. The aroma suggests sweet molasses and raisin, with only a hint of chocolate. Alcohol is also present in the nose. The initial flavor displays roasted malt, with what I would describe as dark, even burnt, coffee. The chocolate flavors are at first rather faint, but more noticeable as the beer warms, especially at the back of the palate and in the nasal passages. At no point, however, would I describe this glass of beer as especially chocolately. There is a slight sourness at the finish.

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

Inky black with a dark tan head. I found this far tastier than the Luxury Double Chocolate Stought (probably because the Brooklyn is an imperial stout while the latter is not). The chocolate was also far more apparent in this beer. Of course other flavors were present: coffee, etc. The mouthfeel was not quite as good as the Young's, although it was certainly quite good. This is definitely a beer that must be respected, and too much of it at once is not a good idea.

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

This beer fooled me with it's name. I didn't know it was one of my beloved Imperial Stouts I hadn't tried. Well, it poured like a Guiness, black as night and a rolling foaming dark tan head that left circular lace as it subsided. An aroma of burnt malt, coffee and chocolate, which seems to be the most powerful aspect. Might account for the name. The flavor was of malt, coffee and chocolate. It had a medium body and a bit of sourness to the finish. This is one that may do better with some cellaring. A good imperial, but not up there with Expedition or Stone.

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Photo of goz
3.51/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Jet black pour, with small hot chocolate looking head. Aroma had roasted malt and an alcohol kick to it. Taste was initially roasted coffe, bitter chocolate - quickly turning to a tongue coating dark chocolate sweetness that lasts and lasts and lasts. Although the alcohol is in the aroma it sneaks up on you in the brew.
My second tasting of this wasn't quite as enjoyable as the first. The aroma was more astringent, and the alcohol aroma and feel in the mouth was much stronger and less pleasant.

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

2002-2003: An Excellent Russian Imperial Stout! This beer pours a thick, motor-oil black into my stout chalice. This smells of chocolate, malts, and smoke and roasted barley. This tastes chocolaty, boozy, and narcotic...absolutely wonderful. This has a very thick and rich mouthfeel, and I feel that this beer should be drabk at 50degrees or so to fully experience this luscious mouthfeel. This beer also has a nice good drinkability, and it is a classic of this style IMO.

2000-2001: This aged version of the BBCS poured a dark black colour with a gigantic dark brown head. The aromas were of ALCOHOL, CHOCOLATE, roasted malts, and hops. The taste was a wonderful mix of booze and chocolate. This stout had a very roasted flavor and the mouthfeel was exceptionally creamy, full and excellent. The drinkability? Excellent as well. This brew ages very well!

2003-2004: Not as strong as previous years offerings. A light chocolate aroma with a bit of booze, and some hops. The taste is of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, and booze. The mouthfeel is thick, and the drinkability is nice. Stick with the 02-03 if you an still get some....

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Photo of Jarod
4.97/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer poured into the glass black, no light penetrated the glass. Well carbonated and had to wait a few minutes until the head settled to the top. The head was a thick creamy dark beige brown color and lasted quite a long time. The aroma was of chocolate, chocolate, coffee, raisins, alcohol and some roasted chocolate. The taste was nice and creamy. Flavors of chocolate and coffee seemed to dance together throughout the mouthful, but I did notice that chocolate seemed to lead. I also noticed that during the ballet in my mouth the raisins and alcohol would try to cut in on the other two dancing and seemed to get in a step or two, first raisins, then alcohol, then raisins again before the other would ask for there partner back. At the end alcohol seemed to get the last dance with the chocolate. I personally loved this limited edition 02-03 beer. I am on the hunt for a few more to keep and cellar can I can imagine that this beer can only get better with time.

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 6,736 ratings
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