Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

2,804 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: 2,804 | Ratings: 6,659
Photo of Hibernator
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout
Limited Bottling - Winter '04 - '05

This could be the most excited I've been about a beer in a while. Always a highly anticipated winter time classic for me, I was glad to pick up a six pack this evening.

When my friends and I were about 20 years old, we ordered a log of this from the Brooklyn Brewery. We served the beer with Hershey chocolates and strawberries. It was a great night and really opened my eyes to the wonders of the craft beer movement. We had friends who rarely stepped outside the Budweiser box and were drinking pints of this that night and loving it.

Little did I know then that my friends and I were ahead of our time as far as great beer goes.

As for this review...

I served the Brooklyn BCS in a tulip glass. This is one beer that will age well with time. Pours a very dark shade of black with an attractive tannish-brown head. Dirty brown sticky lacings cling all over the sides of the glass.

Strong whiffs of espresso, molasses and berries.

A creamy and full mouthfeel. Roasted coffee & imported chocolate flavors dominate the palate. Awesome smokey and roasted malts. Rasberry tartness interjects an espresso bitterness. There is a well represented hop bitterness with each sip, but the chocolate complexities take charge. A very slight alcohol warmth on the finish, but not as prominent as in years past.

What a beautifully well-balanced beer. One of the better imperial stouts I have ever had. Becomes more enjoyable as it warms up to room temperature.

A true gem and highly recommended.

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Photo of Truh
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got lost in a grove of cocoa trees with this one on 12/19/2004. 16-oz. pour (when it should have been a 10-oz pour according to the board) at the Sunset Cantina.

Thick, wool blanket down of Silver Surfer head that receded and laced like a sputtering black hole. No moon blackest night hue, like the edge of the horizon on a winter night, in the dark, with eyes bolted shut. Chocolate and cocoa predominate on the mouth, with a Galactacus of sweet alcohol bite that shivers down to the metatarsals, practically splintering them. A bit further along, a prune and black licorice chutney gloms around and leaves a scorched earth policy down the tongue and into the throat; tonsils suffering from the plague. Almost a funky exoskeleton of malt that feels oddly wraith-like on the mouth. Generous, but lacking something.

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Photo of tweeder263
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out black with dark tan 1 finger head. Super dark no light shining through this one.Smell is very typical of russian stouts and i cant quite pinpoint what it is but its a black licorice smell ,and i hate licorice, but in these its so sweet and subtle its very enjoyable.taste is licorice up front that changes over to a nice bittering hop that slowly fades into hints of coffee that linger nicely. This beer gets better as it warms.A nice stout that i plan to enjoy again.

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

Bought a six-pack of the '03-'04 batch over a year ago and put it in storage until this weekend. Such a good idea. The beer poured a midnight black with a thick, brown head that never went away. The lace clung to the glass extremely stubbornly the whole time while I was drinking it. As soon as I opened up the bottle aromas of chocolate and rich malts were wafting out. With the pour the aroma just got stronger. The hops are slightly bitter, but balanced with rich malts. Chocolate is (of course) ever so very present but coffee and molasses also come through on the tongue. I aged this a year, I can only imagine what it would've tasted in a cask. Do they have that? After two, I took notice that the alcohol is a lot higher than the flavor lets on. I limited myself to two, but because of how extremely rich this beer is I do not know if my palate cannot take a third without burning out.

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

Well the smell is a little weak or I should quit smoking. The body is as good as it gets just thick as hell with light carbonation. Of course this beer is some poetic saying of holy shit it is black, but it does get a tanish head that falls back quickly. I have had several in one sitting but this beer is better enjoyed in small doses. Now to the taste of this large black stout. Just as imagination tempts as roasted as burnt barely, almost like eating coffe beans but better. Truly a thing of beauty.

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Photo of jvajda
2.65/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Black as night with no head.
Smell: Bitter and chocolatey notes.
Taste: It doesn't even taste like beer. It's like slightly carbonated milk chocolate. Not too bad overall, but it get's worse as it warms. This should be named "Brooklyn Old Chocolate Milk".
Mouthfeel: Creamy yet dull.
Drinkability: Half of one of these is more than enough.

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

Jet black. Held up to a lamp, I could detect no light coming through my glass. That beautiful dark brown head that looks so amazing in certain stouts and porters, and plenty of it. Roasted malts in the nose. Strong roasted coffee flavor with chocolate. Enough hop bitterness to balance. Harsh flavors, a little like sipping through an ash tray, although that makes it sound bad when it's really not. Still, it could definitely benefit from some aging. Full mouthfeel. Nice warming from the alcohol, which feels like it is evaporating in your mouth. A damn good beer, my favorite from Brooklyn Brewery, at least my favorite of their bottled beers.

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This has been on my gottahave list for some time, so when I saw the bottle at the One Stop Liquors in Johnson City, I pounced upon it. Then I sent it via air freight to Moscow, where I finally consumated the courtship on 12/02/04. Label notes in several places that this is a limited bottling for winter '04-'05. Well, let me tell you that winter has more than started in Moscow, so I felt real good about popping this baby open.

Pours a deep dark brown under a 1/2 finger tan head that settles fairly quickly to film, leaving a touch of lace. Bit disappointed there. Not much in the nose at first, but as it warmed, chocolate and some mint (mint chocolate chip?) came through. Further warming yielded some nice roastiness later. The mouth is very prickly and fairly light - appropriate but not spectacular. Wonderful taste, though: chocolate is prominent, supplemented by caramel and a touch of roasted nuts and some plum. The finish features a strong flowery hop bitterness, enhanced by the chocolate but assertive on its own. The sweet and bitter walk hand in hand into the sunset of the aftertaste, leaving a very happy mouth. Very, very nice product.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Winter '03-'04 vintage:
Deep dark black with a sticky 1" tan head. Thick pour that lets a tiny brown sliver shine out from behind the light. Huge dark chocolate coffee nose with vibrant roasted maltiness. WOW...the nose is amazing and I can't stop smelling it. Make your nose happy and do the same.

First sip is a upfront with a huge roasted, burnt malt flavor, in which lies notes of dark chocolate, ground coffee and molasses. Flavors explode on your tongue and don't hold back. Nice and thick with slight warming acohol notes.

Mouthfeel is velvety creamy with a wonderful body and good carbonation. Drinkability is good as well...a super tasty brew that will warm you up on a cold night. Many thanks to kmpitz2 for the opportunity to try this brew.

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Photo of dippy
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004-2005 bottle
Upon pouring this beauty I fell in love with the head. It looked like frothy chocolate milk. Nice dark beer makes my mouth water.

Smells sweet an chocolaty, fitting, given it's name.

Tastes like a dark dark chocolate. Slightly espresso. A little sweet from all the malt.

Very warming.

I think I would limit myself to maybe three or four of these a night. Not a session beer. This is too be enjoyed infront of the fire. It is my new seasonal drink.

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

at kuhnhenns thanks clarkv v from rate beer for bringing this in a trade with bieristgut. poured black with tan head. aroma, chocolate, roasted malts,coffee,nice hoppiness, cocoa. flavor,dark choclate,malts, licorice, hints of alcohol. a very enjoyable beer.

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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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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 6,659 ratings.
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