Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

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2,793 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: 2,793 | Ratings: 6,586
Photo of asabreed
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a case last year for around $28. I have about 6 left after just cracking this one open. The case is also from the Winter '03 - '04 batch, so this sucker's a year old.

Appearance - Opaque and full bodied with a thick brownish-white head that sticks to the glass pretty well.

Smell - Complex malt and dark chocolate. Worth getting right in the glass and taking some deep breaths. I think they use 6 kinds of malt, and it definitely shows.

Taste - Like the smell, the taste is even more complex, and I applaud Brooklyn for this. Burnt Burnt Burnt is the key. And of course the unsweetened dark chocolate. Sometimes I want to say the malts aren't balanced enough, but with this one at cellar temperature I think the balance is much more evident. Definitely don't have this cold.

Mouthfeel - Sometimes it can seem a bit thin, but it coats the mouth pretty well nonetheless.

Drinkability - I swear the ABV got higher since I had it last year. I wonder if letting it sit a year does anything, but it's probably my imagination. But since it IS a year old, I feel that's why it's more complex in its taste; aging this beer is definitely the thing to do. Don't make this a session beer as it warrants aging and sipping. Goes well with desserts in addition to being enjoyed by itself.

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Photo of blitz134
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured black as can be with no light coming around the edges either. Very little tan head formed on top, just enough to be able to call it something.

Smell was slightly sweet malts and lacked much of the typical toasted aroma I was expecting from a stout. A good dose of caramel sweetness with vanilla overtones. Good kick of vinous dark fruits as well. Strong alcohol nose as well.

The taste is pretty good. The first flavor to be picked up was the toasted flavor which the aroma lacked which quickly turned into a slight bit of chocolate, very pleasant. Towards the end I could pick up the alcohol, but being a winter warmer brew this was expected. Although it does come across a little harsh. The taste hung around for just long enough, coating like a thin oil...very reminiscant of the pour leading to a good thick mouthfeel.

Drinkability for this brew is good. The only thing bringing it down a bit is the harsh alcohol taste.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Almost black in colour. Head is initially light brown, 1cm tall, nicely laced for an imperial stout. Strikingly malty from the start, proposing a rather complex roasty base on which builds up anise, chocolate and vegetal flavors. The roastiness at the end is a definition of stoutish balance though I didn’t enjoy the raw vegetal green hop aspects, almost citrusy. Oily mouthfeel has a fairly moderate carbonation level and lets show a good trace of alcohol toward the ending. I was a bit underwhelmed by the chocolate tones to this, while they are to be found, I expected more focus. As it is, this is a well crafted imperial stout that seems a bit basic, yet a good foundation to shape better beers after.

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Photo of bultrey
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Ohhhh baby. I've had this so many times before, but I finally decided to review it to give it just dues. This is a spectacular beer, and in my opinion, by far Mr. Oliver's greatest creation and the best stout I've ever had.
Pours a dark, dark night with a thin tan head that recedes to just the tiniest ring around the edge of the beer. The smell is at once burnt and vinous, almost as if a fine, sweet, dark chocolate were slightly burned, as it tends to smell at the end of a fondue pot.
The sweetness of this smacks you upside the head up front, with chcocolate-covered strawberries and other ripe red or dark fruits, but is quickly decimated by a wonderful charcoal bitterrness and the slightest hops character. But hops only serve to provide balance here...the story is the dark, roasted, chocolate malt. I also percieve a vanilla or molasses-type character. The thing I love about this stout is that it seems to combine all the finest characteristics of every style of stout: milk, sweet, dry, and imperial. The mouthfeel is exceptionally creamy and smooth, and the drinkability is dangerously high. The alcohol isn't apparent in the taste, but is apparent in the pleasant warmth that slowly engulfs your body. Must be served at cellar or room temperature. I will drink this all winter. I'd be curious to see if aging can make this any better. That would be an impressive feat.

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Photo of merlin48
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Limited Bottling, Winter 03-04. Pours a dense ebony with a tighlaced and ample cocoa head. Nose is of roasted malt and burnt coffee. Thick and creamy in the mouth, minimal carbonation. Taste is deep and rich, very stoutlike, a bit smoky but dominated by roasted and burnt malt. Lots of dark roasted coffee notes, but I'm missing the chocolate. Maybe some hints of bittersweet chocolate as it reaches room temperature, but I was expecting more from a "Chocolate Stout". This is a nice imperial stout, but given its rating I was expecting more.
Update: Winter 04-05 version, thanks to clvand0. Same, strikingly beautiful, ebony appearance as the 03-04, but the aroma has plenty of the chocolate that I found missing in last year's vintage. The immense aroma has cocoa, coffee beans, vanilla, dark fruits, and a hint of the high alcohol, which has a rum note. Flavor follows suit, with dark chocolate notes in abundance, complimented by burnt roasted coffee and dark malts. Dark fruits of prunes and raisins add to the beautiful complexity. An excellent imperial stout. Scores adjusted accordingly.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle. Winter '04-'05.

1" very creamy, coffee colored head with great retention. Condensed and thin lacing scattered throughout the glass. A deep and rich opaque black in color.

Chocolate syrup, vanilla, coffee, and hazlenut tones. A bit of an oat aroma, as well as the 8.5%abv coming through. Very chocolately and rich aromatics.

Dark chocolate and light hazlenut. A moderate, chewy maltiness accompanied by some mild dark fruit flavors: black cherry/plum. A moderate bite of hops giving somewhat of a dark tasting bitterness. A very pleasant coffee flavored aftertasteee. The alcohol flavor is very evident and takes away a bit from the stout's natural flavors.

Full bodied; smooth, semi-chewy mouthfeel. A very low amount of carbonation yet not syrupy.

Low in abv% for the style, yet the alcohol flavor is not hidden well. An old favorite of mine; definitely worth a try. IMO, probably Brooklyn's finest offering.

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

I think I've had most of Brookyn Brewery's offerings. Does this one stand out from the rest? Absolutely.

For me, this beer has the most "craft" taste to it of all their offerings. Granted, I think the pilsner and brooklyn lager are fine beers, but they don't quite have the "micro" taste to them. This one definitely does.

It was a real treat to pour this one, it was pretty fresh. Pour a deep, opaque black. Had about only 1 to 1.5 inches of head, which dissipated rather quickly. The aroma was mostly dominated by malty, chocolately, and nutty overtones. There was a faint whiff of hops.

The beer had slightly less carbonation than your average beer, but I think this works nicely with the fuller body and richer flavor. Overall, despite its strength, it's a very drinkable brew.

Does anyone know where I can find this baby on draft?

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

Pours black as night with a small, khaki head. Lacing all the way down.

Hints of chocolate blend with coffee beans as well as dark fruits, alcohol and a faint sweetness.

Medium bodied, velvet smooth. Tons of flavors here. Rum and alcohol show up first moving into a dark fruit, probably plum flavor. Melds with a brown sugar sweetness and then finishes with a bitter-sweetness and alcohol flavor.

A fine double stout, quite complex. I would like to see the alcohol flavor toned down a little, but that's why God invented aging, right?

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Photo of ybnorml
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours black as ink. It's like a black hole "no light escapes when held up to the light. Has a big creamy dark tan head. The heady aroma of alcohol rises from the galss as you pour. As the beer settles the aroma of chocolate comes to the front with a little hint of coffee in the back. The chocolate flavor gives way for an almost esspresso like coffee hit. Definitely a very, very tasty treat.
This bottle was marked " Winter '03-'04 ".

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Photo of Turbohio
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, it is black alright. Even when I hold it to the light, like you are not supposed to, it is still black. Very good for a moderately priced imperial stout.
The smell is so sticky it coats my nose. Coated with the aroma of coffee, espresso, dried fruits, I do not wonder why this style has remained named Imperial Stout.
Tasted like chewy chocolate coffee but without the tear on the stomach.
Mouthfeel: chewy in the Chewbacca sense.
Drinkability: If you like Imperial Stouts, drink up. This is a great buy, because it is served in a sixer not a 22oz. bomber.
Of all the types of beers I drink, I enjoy Imperial Stouts the most. This is the first Imperial Stout served from a 12oz bottle that compares on the level with the great 22oz bombers. Be it the over the top Avery’s or the dominating Stone and Rogue. Hello Brooklyn!

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

Thanks for grabbing this one for me Blake, I’ve been looking forward to it.

Classy looking bottle dated Winter ’04-’05. A really nice black pour, not even direct light penetrates. I get a nice sticky head composed of small bubbles with some big bubbles coming through the middle creating that oatmeal like look. The smell is nice, I pick up berries, dark chocolate, plum, roasty and scorched smells and a rum like alcohol aroma tickles my nostrils. This beer tastes even better then it smells. Again I pick up on the dark fruit flavors, espresso , charred malt, the alcohol character is definitely there…it’s more vinous then I first detected in the smell though. I don’t want to forget about the namesake chocolate,…to me I pick it up more as dry, dark cocoa powder…delicious. Bitterness clings to my lips which is another thing I love about a big stout. The alcohol comes out a lot more once it’s warm. The mouthfeel ain’t bad, but when it comes to big stouts I say the thicker the better and this one falls a little short of the very best big stouts I’ve had. An awesome beer, I really wish I had more than six of them

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

well this is my favorite beer at the moment.Mmm soooo chocolately.

Nice tan head. The body is black as hell. Really nice thick creamy and smooth.
What I notice the most is of course the chocolatey burnt coffee flavors. More importantly is the warm tingle it gives you! First sip and BAM!!! Well maybe this is just me, but damn! It is a combination of all the wintery cocoaEY coffeish flavors that are o so delightful.

I happen to think it is very drinkable, especially on its own.
A great chillout beer.

This beer will make you happy in all the ways that matter. ALL!!

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Photo of Suds
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one recently, as a desert, while out to dinner with some friends. Served on-tap, it was presented in a tall, pilsner style glass, with a thick brown head. The color was absolute obsidian: complete and solidly black. The aroma is intensely coffee-like, with a serious chocolate malt character. As the beer warms, a bit of alcohol creeps into the smell, along with a subtle ripe-fruitness, which add a lot of depth and complexity. The beer is full, thick, and substantial. A big front-end malt sweetness is balanced with roasted flavors that come out in the mid-taste and finish. It’s a soft, creamy, and almost silky beer, with a hell of a lot of flavor. This is one beer to remember and seek out.

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Photo of frazbri
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black body topped by a tall, creamy mocha head. Fruit and chocolate with a little raisin aroma. Chocolate, coffee, raisin and rumcake flavors. Creamy but with low carbonation.

This is a complex, tasty stout. Chocolate is the most noticable flavor aspect, but it doesn't dominate the beer. There are a plenty of fruit notes. It's a good mix of flavors. I could drink this on any fall or winter evening.

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Photo of talkingpoints
3.05/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Just brought home the Brooklyn Chocolate Stout and was ready for that famed experience that the limited bottling implied. The pour was impressive as a dark chocolate filled my beer mug, the smell was pretty good with those hints of chocolate coming to bear. The taste, this part gets tricky. At first I thought it was exceptional on the mouth but then this taste of alcohol just overpowered the beer, which is weird since this is a chocolate stout. It was a decent stout but you couldn't drink more than one in a sitting. I will probably move on to something else for the winter without looking back.

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Photo of Hefe
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to pint glass on 10/25/04. This is the winter '03-'04 bottling that I've been cellaring for a year.

Appearance: Black as pitch, black as coal, Black as my hard and evil soul. (Damn that's black.) The head is dark brown and lasting, though it does eventually degrade to a bit of sticky lacing.

Smell: Dark chocolate, sweet coffee, burnt toffee.

Taste: Slightly burnt flavor up front, dark roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate. Though a sweetness is evident on the midpalate, the finish is dry and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and full bodied, with a wonderful smoothness

Drinkability: Beautiful drinking after dinner. This smoothed out fabulously over the last year.

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

This was a limited bottling - winter ' 04-' 05 . Poured a pitch black color with a nice thick brown/tan head. Smell is dark cocoa with a burnt/smokey scent. Taste was smooth and loaded with dark malt, cocoa, dried fruit and again a burnt taste. Very noticeable presence of alcohol. You can feel it in your chest. Too much in my opinion. Mouthfeel was rich, thick and very satisfying. Drinkability could be better if the alcohol wasn't overbearing. I am glad I tried this one but will probably not get another this year.

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Photo of taez555
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Winter 2003-2004 sampled in Oct 2004

This beer poured a PITCH black body with a very thick dark brown/tan head.

The nose was quite something. Alcohol, a rich unsweetened chocolate, cocoa powder, smoke, soft fruit, spice and even a touch of meat. What an interesting yet odd nose. Some soft roots smells along with the alcohol almost give it a belgian sort of flare. Sort of like a stout brewed with a trappist yeast. Interesting.

The taste was very thick, almost milkshake like. There’s up-front, burnt barley, taste. Nice big chocolate malt, a smooth milky texture mixed a touch of smoke. It’s what I would image it was would taste like if I was licking the inside of a chimney then chased that with an unsweetened chocolate bar and glass of milk. Really not much bitterness or hops in this baby. Just enough to give it some balance but for the most part this beer is dominated by the big burnt chocolate taste.

This is one of those “famous” beers that everyone raves about. Personally I don’t care for it. I can appreciate it and understand it, but… it’s just not by cup of tea (glass of beer) The flavors just don’t mix well and all of the positive aspects are canceled out by too much of an odd flavor mixed in. Dig brooklyn beer, garrett oliver is the man, but this beer… I’ll pass.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black and brown body was capped by a decent sized brown head, which dissipated soon. The aroma was roasty with chocolate and caramel. There was also a wine like alcohol aroma present. The taste was intensely dry, with the dark roasted malt, dark skinned fruit, chocolate malt, and raisins vying for attention. The alcohol provided a spicy warming backdrop. A very good 2003-2004 bottle via a trade from BeerAdvocate spritdeus, and thankfully now available in Georgia for a much cheaper indulgence.

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Photo of Citadel82
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ohh I like this beer! Rich, luscious, cake-like, bracing. Pours pitch black with a tight tan head and minimal but steady carbonation. Leaves fluffy tan lacing on the glass as it is consumed. Delicious malty aroma with hints of espresso and charcoal. The taste is rich and complex, figs, caramel and sweet malt followed by chocolate with a whisper of alcohol finishing with espresso. In a word divine. This is a stout to start your heart in the morning.

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Winter '03-'04 bottling.

Brooklyn's Black Chocolate Stout is a great accompaniment to the cool weather. This is a beer that really does epitomize what a winter seasonal should be. If I had a fireplace I could imagine sitting by it, lounging back, and drinking a pint of this brew.

The brew pours a lovely near pitch-black color with some hints of sanguinous red to it. A dark tan foam forms, but thins out in a few moments after pouring. The smell heavily consists of the dark roasted aromas thanks to the burnt/black malts. Notes of espresso and some chocolate are noticable. There is a bit of carbonation in the beer, but not too much. The mouthfeel felt a bit sticky, adding to the "rich" persona of the brew. The flavor is thick and intense with notes of caramel early on followed by chocolate, but the dark roasted coffee notes were the most dominant. There is some alcohol presence noticable while tasting, but it does not take control of the brew. Mixed with the alcohol is a dark rum-like flavor. The finishes out with a dry, roasted bitterness which lingers into the aftertaste. There is a bit of alcohol burn in the end, making this brew quite warming.

The one thing I might say against this beer is that I would drink one bottle of it and it felt like it was enough. This certainly wasn't brewed for sessions. A sipping beer all the way, and one of the more intense stouts that I have sampled.

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

Pours a black no light threw this baby, dark tan head that falls quickly. Aroma is lots of chocolate malt with light expresso aroma touch of dark fruity boquet with citrusy hops. Taste is great lots of burnt roasted chocolate malt great chocolate flavor with light coffee flavors touch of dark fruit and nice hoppy flavor and bite. Good long aftertaste of sweetness and bitterness perfect mixture. Brooklyn did one hell of a job with this beer. Mouthfeel is right where it should be. Drinkability is good nice sweet some say a dessert beer but had no problem having a couple anytime dessert or lunch or breakfast hell anytime is a good time :)

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Photo of Crosling
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5


Fantastic, evil aroma with notes of mocha, deep dark chcocolate, peanut butter, coffee and roasted malt.

This is my ideal Imperial Stout as it had the ingredients that I usually desire. It had lots of deep rich malt notes rather than dark fruitiness that you find in some, yet I thought too much black malt was used in this one. Coffee, chocolate and mocha were present. For the style, this beer is alright.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like motor oil out of the bottle. Its basically the guy who says "You like those dark beers huh?"'s worst nightmare. Simply awesome appearance. Smell is roasted malt, chocolate and some alcohol. Taste is very smooth for a 8.5% ABV beer, though a tad sweet. Couldn't drink too many of these at once. Roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and a malty sweetness at the end. Very warming. Very pleasant aftertaste. One of the US imperial style stouts I've had.

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

This poured black and oily, with a huge brown head. The aroma is great with lots of chocolate and roasted maltiness. The taste is also great. Chocolate and roasted flavors but not bitter. Malty but not too sweet. Well balanced and very drinkable. The mouthfeel is very good, and the alcohol level is just right.

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 6,586 ratings.
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