Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

2,807 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 2,807 | Ratings: 6,666
Photo of hawks10
3.23/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle - 3 bottles tasted side by side, 2010, 2009 & 2008 vintages...

Appearance for all is the same. Black with one finger of light brown head which dissipates leaving a bit of lacing. = 4.0 for all three...

Smell: 3.5 overall
2010 - Semi-sweet dark chocolate with some dark fruit character. A bit of a weird, off-putting sweet boozy alcohol scent. Not very good = 3.0
2009 - More of a strong chocolate presence than the 2010. Semi-sweet with a bit of coffee/roasted aromas. Slight booze presence, but much more manageable than the 2010. = 4.0
2008 - Less sweet and more roasted than the other 2. Rather muted though, like the other 2. A bit roasted with some slightly sweet dark fruits. = 3.5

Taste: 3.0 overall
2010 - A bland shot of dark chocolate with very muted sweetness. No dark chocolate, coffee or roasted bitterness. Slightly boozy and completely lacking any depth or strong flavor. = 3.0
2009 - Bland, like the 2010. Flavors a muted and muddled. Nothing pops or stands out. Sweet with a lot of booze in the finish. Not a hint of coffee or roasted bitterness. Not quite as sweet as 2010, but a bit boozier. = 3.0
2008 - Sweet but also somewhat bland. Flavors seems to mesh a bit better in this one and have a bit more pop and depth than the other 2. Some dark fruits and some roasted characters, but still somewhat muted. = 3.5

Feel: 3.5 overall
2010 - Thinner than expected. Smooth with low carbonation. A bit of a lingering off-putting fusel alcohol burn. = 3.0
2009 - Same as 2010 but less of the alcohol burn = 3.5
2008 - Same as 2009 = 3.5

2008 was the best but all were disappointing. Flavors were bland and relatively non-existent...

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Photo of TheHammer
3.23/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Black as night with a finger of head the laced well and retained quite admirably. True to it's name, the body is a black as night. A little bit more head and a bit more retention would have earned the perfect score.

Smell: I'm catching a light smell of dark bakers chocolate, and...that's it. I guess I can't complain, I mean it's called Black Chocolate Stout, but that being said, there is a lack of stout on the nose here.

Taste: There is an undertone of dark chocolate throughout the beer, and dominates the entire experience. It starts with some straw like malt, and then turns to come notes of charred wood with a slight alcohol solvent taste.

Mouthfeel: The alcoholic note I could use without but the carbonation does a good job of accenting things and keeping the beer a smooth ride. The dark chocolate really likes to linger on the back of the tongue though.

Drinkabilty: Well it's medium bodied to me and while I'm not a fan of dark chocolate it's taste is prevalent in the beer that someone who did like it would be pleasantly surprised.

Final Thoughts: I can't help but question this beer, I mean you'd think a beer that emphasizes chocolate taste would go for something sweeter, but it doesn't. You'd also think as an RIS more malt and other character would be there, but it's not. If you like dark chocolate or high cacao chocolate you will like this beer, I personally don't so it's not quite my thing.

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.24/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 3-13-15. Brandy Snifter. Bottle 2663 1333 (December 2013 release).

Appearance: Great smoke on popping the cap. Pours a deep black, totally opaque. Thin, tan cap fades to spotty islands of tan bubbles. Retains that tan skim down to the bottom of the glass.

Aroma: Sweet, fruity, some alcohol. Malt. Grapey, smoky.

Taste: Savory, meaty, salty, bitter, medicinal.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, slick, no carbonation.

Overall: A year old. What a year. This is so big, so bold, and slightly unpleasant. Sip slowly. Perhaps because the snow has melted, I am not feeling this; I love the aroma, and don't care for the taste. I love BBCS [one of my favorite brews, period], but I think maybe it's better without the age! [Or at least a full year of age].

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Photo of stegmakk
3.24/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks great...Dark black in color...terriffic dark tan head

Aroma was unsweetened chocolate and molasses

Taste...ummm...there aint much chocolate here...bitter miniscule hint of chocolate and alcohol...

Mouthfeel and drinkability are ok...

Bottom line...there are better chocolate beers out there that you can actually taste rogue's...I will NOT buy brooklyn chocolate stout again

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Photo of Brew33
3.24/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From the 08-09 batch.
I was looking forward to this beer and ended up unimpressed. It is pitch black with some ruby highlights. Thin tan head, some lacing.

Smelled of some roasted/choclate malts but mostly biting alcohol aroma.

I was pleased that the taste didn't mirror the strong Alcohol aroma. Chocolate malt sweetness, slight smokiness. A little alcohol heat. Not nearly as complex or roasty as I had hoped. Just middle of the road. Low carbonation. Light creaminess. Not great.

I would drink it again but nothing exciting. I missed a lot of the notes other BA's tasted in this beer. Blah...

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Photo of tr4nc3d
3.24/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12fl oz bottle poured into my snifter

Pours an opaque black with no light shinning through this beer. 1 inch mocha colored head that fades quickly only leaving a slight ring around the edges of the beer. Very slight lacing left behind on the sides of my glass.

Smell consist that of dark malts, very sweet syrup like smell, dark brown sugar, roasted malts, and a prominent alcohol heat.

I get a sweet dark chocolate like taste upfront with a medium roasted coffee bitterness following it from behind to even out the sweetness, slight cola like taste finishes it up.

Full bodied and slightly cloyingly sweet dry finish that lingers in your mouth way after you have taken your sip.

A little to sweet for my liking.


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Photo of Trilogy31
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Winter 10-11 bottle. Pours a midnight black with two fingers of dark khaki foam quickly giving way to thick lacing. Nose has roasted smoky peat notes, campfire, almost a acetic quality and some buried burnt coffee. No real sign of chocolate here. No real smoke on the taste, it does have some nice bittersweet chocolate, roasted and a very dry finish along with a high level of carbonation. I was waffling between trying something new or a breakfast stout, i wish i went with the latter.

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Photo of harrymel
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Vintage 2010-11
Poured to NB globe.

A: Dark black stout with no translucency. Single finger mocha head dissipates in a couple minutes. Minimal lacing - as expected at this ABV.

S: Licorice, graham, chocolate, malts, resiny hops. Slightly sweet.

T: The ABV is not well hidden here. The beer is overly sweetened by the alcohol. The flavors above are continued here, but with some disappointing estering of banana.

M: Thick ale, sticky, medium carbonation.

D: The beer has nice flavor, but I can't help but think this beer has been fermented at temperatures exceeding reasonable preservation of the malts.

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Photo of stirgy
3.26/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

'03-'04 version.

Jet black in appearance with a large head of tan foam. The aroma is intense with dark sweet chocolate and the strong presence of alcohol. Also detected caramel, raisins and the scent of an old leather glove. The flavors are also strong and complex, with heavy roasted grain, coffee liqueur and a cordial-like sweetness. The beer finishes dry with a pleasant bitterness, but the alcohol is still a bit harsh and abrupt. This version could be a bit young yet and could do with some aging. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable.

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Photo of katan
3.26/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz into a goblet - the 2009 version (10.0%)

A - Very dark, opaque. Just maybe, in the right light, some amber highlights. Head formation is more of a quick film than a foam, sitting there with a few bubbles. Certainly has the viscous look of a stout.

S - Malts are the most dominant characteristic. A two-row dominated beer, but I can detect some caramel and chocolate malt notes. Roasted barley, of stout fame, is very light, hardly perceptible.

T - Starts off with a malt sweetness, but it is immediately overcome by a hopping - unknown which kind, and a very biting alcohol hit. Viscous - biting - grabbing. Amazing amount of phenolic tones throughout this beer. Stouts should be very capable of hiding alcohol - this beer is not. The roasted barley comes through after that, with some almost acidic, cold coffee press type flavors. Aftertaste is the real bittersweet chocolate I was hoping for, slowly dissipating on the taste buds.

M - Moderate body - not off the charts either way for a RIS. Certain seems more driven by carbonation than by a developed beer body. Leaves behind a very oily, clinging film that only reenforces the flavors - which in this case was not good.

D - Nothing drinkable here. The near acidic old coffee flavors combined with the whammy of alcohol in both flavor and consumption make this nothing near a session beer, let along a 2 beer evening from a four pack.

I am going to age my other 3 from the 4 pack to see if 2009 settles down. In this state, I wouldn't want to drink another again. Very disappointing considering it comes from someone I admire so much, Garrett Oliver.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
3.28/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours black, period, with an 1/8" tan head and lacing throughout. The aroma is dark roast with dark bakers chocolate and a faint hint of smoke. The flavor is dark chocolate with milk chocolate, coffee, and raisin notes. Very complex. The mouthfeel is full and creamy with a biting, medicinal bite in the finish. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is a very good beer, recommended!

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Photo of Thads324
3.29/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2521 1230 on the bottle
Pours a jet black with a tight, small bubbled dark tan head. Dissipates quickly. Light ringed lacing.
Aroma is of fruity esters and some chocolate malt. Light roast. A lot of rubbing alcohol aroma in the end.
Flavor starts slow and sweet. roasted, nearly burnt chestnuts, some faint caramel and heavy roasted malts. Slightly fruity sweet. Ends with a bitter malt flavor. A lot of heat at the end.
Very smooth and almost creamy mouthfeel. The effervescence tingles and while light, carries the flavor well.

Entirely too much boozy flavor and over done roasted malt. I'll let it age more in hopes it'll calm down and mellow. I'll return to this one when it's time.

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Photo of errantnight
3.31/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A beer that I've never particularly loved that I keep wondering if maybe it's me, given the general adulation. May need to try it again in a blind American IRS stand-off. My latest caveats are that maybe if it isn't overloaded with coffee and other adjuncts or barrel aged to hackinsack I'm just not digging the giant 10% boozehound stouts these days? I dunno, but I found the Stone IRS I had on tap a couple months ago to be more enjoyable. Anyway, caveats out of the way:

This 11-12 winter bottling pours beautifully into an Innis & Gunn tulip. Inky black, thin, rich, fizzy head dises down to a persistent ring with nice lacing.

Aroma is chocolate and just a hint of warming alcohol and... not much else. A sort of freezer burn note hints at some oxidation, as does a slighty sherry and raisin note.

On the palate this is still plenty boozy and bitter despite the two years (this has been in the fridge for that entire time, however, which certainly would have minimized degradation). Chocolate and roast predominate, and there's a long, lingering bitterness. It's not bad, it's just not terribly complex or interesting. I'm struggling to pull nuances out of the malt character which is covered up quickly and heavily by waves of bitterness that seems like a mesh of hop, roast and alcohol derived flavors.

Ranking this just slightly above average feels like something of an apology to it. It's lacking in any obvious flaws, but it tastes unbalanced and slightly unpleasant. I've got a few more bottles from this same year, a couple of which weren't aged in the fridge, maybe some extended cellar aging did it some favors? Seems doubtful.

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Photo of dumptruck81
3.32/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Winter 11-12 bottling

Appearance.- moderate pour gave an inch of foam which dies down to a minimal ring around the edges within a few minutes. Not the absolute darkest beer but solid black unless held to the light.

Smell- dark fruits. Fig, prune, and raisin. Finishes out with roasted malts coming through a little.

Taste- initial taste is prune, raisin, fig, and plum. Strong chocolate bitterness with a bit of coffee. Finishes again with dark fruit and alcohol sourness.

Mouthfeel- nice thick body with good carbonation keeping it smooth. The finish is light leaving me feeling like its lacking. The alcohol presence in the finish isn't good.

Overall- this beer tastes much much better with 6 months on it than it did fresh. Fresh I'd give it a 2 overall but now it's a 3.5. This beer isn't too bad for the price I guess but I won't really be to disappointed if I don't have it next year.

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Photo of LarryMyers
3.32/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I have always wanted to try this beer and finally got one in a beer exchange. I am very disappointed since the beer I got seems to be very flat. Smell is good, look is like used motor oil with no head at all, and the taste is like the apperance...flat. I will try this beer again and revise my review when I get a good bottle.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.33/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with a small tan head.

Smells of dark chocolate with heavy hints of booze and vanilla.

Flavor starts off with some bitter roasted malt and loads of chocolate. Finishes a little dry with some earthy bitterness, more chocolate and a hint of oxidation.

A fairly hefty body to this one with carbonation levels a touch high for my taste.

I like this beer, but I could take it or leave it. It's a little one note with the chocolate I wish it wasn't quite so carbonated.

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Photo of timtheenchanta
3.33/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pitch black with a medium tan head with a little bit of retention. Lots of thin webby lacing. Cooking chocolate smell with hints of alcohol. Sweet coffee malt taste with alcohol taste and thin feel. This is a huge letdown. I've been looking forward to this for quite some time. Not terrible for an RIS but not great at all.

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Photo of benwiley
3.33/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

ok, heres the thing: this beer is tasty, but its just too damn much! not in the booze department either. its just that this thing is so monstrously, i dont know, chocolatey(?)! i mean, my favorite stout hands down is young's double chocolate, so you know that i LOVE that the sweet oatmeals all the way...but this thing...whoo, cmon. its just too much. im sorry.
lemme put it this way: while i was drinking this beer it was just sooo sweat and soo intense that i needed a sweet oatmeal cookie to eat while iw as drinkin it to keep it in check, as it were. not that i dont enjoy the whole cookie-beer thing but i mean, cmon...this thing was just too much.

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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 callmescraps
3.35/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I hear about this one every year from folks back east. Time to try it for myself.

Appearance- Black, obviously. A full inch of cocoa colored head. Lacing nicely.

Smell- Lots of roast. Almost a coffee aspect. Sweet dark chocolate. Almost like burnt coffee.

Taste- Hurm. Starts off with a nice chocolate note. Very nice. Chocolate, a hint of dark fruit. Almost raisin. Finishes with roast bitterness. Then it lingers. And lingers. And lingers. It's just so damn bitter and burnt. Hint of alcohol, while we're at it.

Mouthfeel- On the thin side.

Drinkability- No thanks. That bitterness just won't quit.

Chocolate? Really? More like burnt black coffee. Now, I am not a coffee fan, so that's a pretty big negative in my book. I was hoping the chocolate would balance it out, but it is a dark unsweetened chocolate, and it doesn't even show up much. This is a miss for me.

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Photo of phishgator
3.35/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Almost black with a brown head. The head dissipates to leave a thin film around the glass edge. The aroma is of dark bitter choclate and a slight hint of alcohol. The taste is a bitter and astringent. Too much bitter chooclate and hops? The roasted coffee/toasted malts never come through. The alcohol is high so after one you can feel the warmth. I still try it ever year, but not my favorite big stout.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
3.37/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was the last bottle that I bought from this past years release.

It looks nice really. Perfectly black with a nice brown head that sits on top. The head kind of fades to just a few rings and swirls of bubbles. There's a tiny bit of lacing and bubbles cascade down as you drink. The smell is decent, you get a hint of alcohol with some chocolate and roasted malts. The taste was kind of harsh, even a few months after I first purchased it. I remember thinking it was nice and sweet at first with a nice taste of chocolate, and its still there, but after finding lots of other imperial stouts, I realize that this one doesn't quite make it to the top. There's an intense bitterness and burn from the alcohol and the dark roasted malts. It's kind of smooth, but I get this feeling that's like eating a slimy fruit or something. I can't actually tell whether this beer is thick or thin. It actually drinks rather quickly, and I enjoy it, but it could be better. Try it some time.

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Photo of timn
3.37/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark brown, almost black, with virtually no head whatsoever.

S: Smells burnt and boozy. As the beer warmed, I was able to pick up some licorice in the aroma as well. I really did not pick up any chocolate at all.

T: Tastes very boozy. The alcohol really takes charge here, along with the burnt flavor. As with the smell, as the beer warmed I got some taste of licorice and a very slight hint of really dark, bitter chocolate, but not much. The glaring abscence here is any real chocolate flavor. I expected a dark chocolate taste right up front, but it's just not there.

M: Mouthfeel is good. Pretty smooth and creamy, not too thick.

O: Overall, I'm a bit disappointed. There really isn't much chocolate to speak of in this beer, and the booze comes through so strongly it just seems to overpower everything else. This does seem to get a little better as it warms, but still a disappointment. The 10% APV at least gets you nice and warm.

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

Poured like straight black oil with not much of a head, some tan surface lace. Sweet dark chocolate, roasted coffee, a touch of dark fruits, and slight alcohol esters. Dry, roasted espresso, burnt malts, slightly tart fruits, prune, and quite a big bittering and fruity hop addition that maintains a good balance. Alcohol moves in midway through and is a bit hot, gets in the way of the fainter notes and pulls out a chalky astringent. The finish is bitter cocoa powder and chalky, with some anise notes. As it warms the alcohol does back off a bit and reveals some vinous characters. Mouthfeel is smooth and fairly thin for the style and for what it appeared to pour, not bad at all though. Carbonation suffers from aggressive alcohol.

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Photo of beercat11
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I have had this brew for the last 7 offerings(brewing seasons) and every year I look for the uniqueness of each yearly release if there is one.

This years version seems more balanced and a little more complex than most past years versions, I keep a journal with my thoughts and note them when I have my first few sips. I feel that's when the small nuances of each batch are the most impressed upon me. I have never been a big fan of this stout but it is local enough to me where it is priced pretty well at $6.99 a 4 pack. I have seen it at local markets for as much as $3 more.

It seems that this stout always has a character about it that turns me off. I find it on the back end. Up front it has that traditional RIS that's so prevalent for the style but I can't seem to get beyond the off flavors I get towards the end.

There are roasted malts and black licorice candy which you would typically expect in this style but the finish is just too frustrating for me. Some reviews complain about the lack of carbonation here but I think they are on to exactly what I am saying about the finishing flavors. This year I got an idea on how to fix this issue and I have to say I nailed it first try. I added some high end all natural organic vanilla extract, about a teaspoon full into a 12 ounce bottle. Wow! who would think that this 1 thing could change everything about this beer, up front and all the way home.

If this additional flavor was added to this beer at the brewer You would see much higher reviews I am sure. Most reviews are up there but not everyone is as picky and critical of a beer as a few others like me. Try it and see. Just make sure you use high quality extract. Cheers.

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 6,666 ratings.
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