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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

2,786 Reviews
Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States | website

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,786 | Ratings: 6,566
Photo of garthwaite
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2003/2004 release. Pours completely black with a coffee colored head that dissipated relatively quickly. Aroma has some hints of caramel, cherry, black licorice, and roasted malts - but the overall scent I pick up is that of dark chocolate liqueor. This brew coats the mouth like syrup & is bittersweet. More licorice & cherry in the flavor profile, but also, of course, loads of dark chocolate. Alcohol is significantly more upfront than I would have hoped, though the brew becomes more well-rounded as it warms. All kinds of heavily roasted/burnt malt throughout. Finishes a little dry with long lasting chocolate truffle, espresso, & dark cherry.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Standard Brown 12 oz. bottle, vintage winter ’03-‘04
Aroma: Rich coffee, chocolate malts and a slight bittersweet blend, very inviting.
Appearance: I got a thin leather brown head that was fed by several streams of carbonation. A few small fingers of lace trailed after a very modest ring (I may need to take better care of my glassware). It looks like a glass of midnight; I had to put it right up against a bulb to get a few rays of light through that just showed clear black. Not brown, not ruby: black.
Flavor: An oddly neutral taste while I hold it in my mouth, but as I swallow, the bomb goes off. First is a slight bitter spike, masterful use of hops. As that fades a sweet molasses soothes, followed closely by a rich, high quality tobacco taste that trails off into a wisp of smoke. As it warmed, I got a hint of alcohol taste but it was well hidden. Some nice toffee tastes came out late as well. The entire beer holds together as a complete package.
Mouthfeel: This is one of the fullest beers I have ever put in my mouth, thicker than my heaviest homebrews. Almost syrupy, a heavy chew and it left about 7 coats throughout my entire mouth. It numbed my gums just slightly.
Overall Impression: Glad I was sitting down, this stuff rocked my world. Beer for Russian Royalty? This is beer for the Gods! A superb Imperial Stout. As I check the BJCP guide for reference, I’m not terribly surprised to find this beer listed as a classic example. Drinkability? While this beer slaked my thirst in a mighty way, I could probably drink another, and it is a beer I’d be happy to acquire again. Many thanks to mattcrill (actually, his wife) for the bottle, I am indebted. If you are lucky enough to see this little gem in your local store, buy it, all of it.

2015 edit: Bringing taste down by .25 to rank it appropriately in my top beers.

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

This is a great imperial stout. As the name of the beer suggests, you get a bitter dark chocolate flavor in this beer. It is not overly sweet or sugary, but the chocolate remains the dominant flavor.

It has an appropriate amount of brown head that tops this heavy black/brown beer. There is a roasted, malty quality to the smell that is not overpowered by the chocolate aromas.

This is a very balanced Imperial Stout. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of dedalus
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

winter 2003-2004 bottling

the beer looks great in a snifter, all deep black body and subdued caramel head.

the nose is stellar, full of roasted coffee, cocoa, and dark spicy notes.

there is a good bit of rough carbonation in the mouthfeel, which seems appropriate enough. i could have used a little more thickness in the body, but not too much.

deeply roasted espresso starts the flavors, followed by dark chocolate, black coffee, peppery alcohol, burnt raisins, and slight notes of hot tarmac. unfortunately, with the last three sips the roast became so harsh that it began to taste like rusted metal. that same metallic tinge makes me reticent to suggest that the beer is very drinkable.
edit: i tried another bottle after a few days and the metal flavor was nowhere to be found. so, i tried a third ; ) and no metal. i've gone back and changed the numbers, and i recant my attack on the beer's drinkability. a truly decadent beer that shouldn't be missed. just hope you don't get an off bottle.



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Photo of matyp99
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Winter 2002-2003 bottling (12oz) kept in 50° refrigerator, tasted on 5/04/04. Poured an impenetrable brown/black color with very few fine carbonation bubbles. Reddish-brown head that quickly disappeared leaving very slight lacing. Aroma heavy in chocolate with mild roasted scent. A very heavy mouthful with definate chocolate and roasted flavor. The roasted feature comes out stronger on finish and lasts for several minutes.

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Photo of wsouloa
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stouts are not my favorite style but I am trying to taste more and more. I won't write any bad reviews for any stouts I have tried even if I don't like them because I feel I need to know the style better. That said, when I find a stout I like, I have to write a good review about it. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is a great brew. Lets start with its appearance. Wow! Very dark brew and you cannot see any light through it. The head is kind of tan and dies down shortly after pouring. The smell is exceptional. Its really just what you would expect only better. It is a heavy aroma of chocolate and coffee. After taking a good whiff of the beer, there is no way you can wait to try it. Mmmmm chocolate. The beer has a bitter kick to it as well. I didn't really pay attention to the ABV and it surprises me that its so high. Disguised very well although you know you are having something over 6.5.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, even though a seasonal brew, I was able to obtain at the end of May. Brewed in the 03-04 season. I pulled a recommendation from the Brother's top 50 and went to one of my favorite brew stores to purchase. This was the only one available on my list.

Pours the blackest, darkest beer I have yet to see. Even when held up to the light, it remains dark and there is no seeing through it. Like oil from the can. A nice frothy, light brown head forms at the top, about two fingers, but dissipates quickly. Leaves trace amounts of lace that really cling to the glass.

The aroma is definitely malty and chocolate flavored. It has a wine-like aroma also. The taste is fabulous at first tilt of the glass towards the mouth. The nose gets a hint of the malty aroma first and then the taste kicks in as soon as it hits the mouth. Malty, bitter chocolate flavor fills the mouth. Even with the high ABV, there is no distinct alcohol flavor, a salute to the brewer goes out.

Once swallowed, there is left a nice bitter aftertaste that is really subtle yet distinctive. This is a fantastic and extremely good Stout. I will buy again and I highly recommend it.

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Photo of shapudding
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

First I just have to complement the label, it is just nice and classy, very stylish. It also lets you know that it has 6 varieties of black, chocolate, and roasted malts... nice. Poured pitch freakin' black, beautiful. Beige head reduced to a creamy but minimal ring around the edge of the glass. Amazingly what I taste reminds me of fresh red bell peppers, odd? but very good. Scents of roasted malts. (drank this in the same place with the annoying cigar guy lurking nearby, so he tampered the great experience of this beer... as much as I crawled away from him...) Tastes of chocolate and the roasted malts, godiva liquor (yummmm), black coffee... Not too thick or heavy, just perfect. Great mouthfeel and a nice lingering finish. Schweet.

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Photo of Porkfist
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first Imperial stout and....My God....This was a increadable beer....
Apprearance: Beautiful, deep brown almost black with a brown head.
Smell: Roasted malts, Chocolate
Taste: Alot of people have claimed this was one extremly bitter beer, and I have no idea where that comes from. Had some nice bite to it, but the roasted/chocolate taste stood out the most for me
Mouthfeel: Nice, thick body, almost velvety
Drinkability:If you haven't guessed it yet, I would kill for this beer. Can't wait to make a trip out to Croxley's and taste it on Tap. I am in love...

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Photo of mattcrill
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured black as night with a small head that quickly dissolves. Very light carbonation but very nice. Smells of chocolate and nuts invade your nasal passages. Wonderful blend of sweetness (chocolate, coffee) and alcohol makes for a very smooth drink. I found it hard to enjoy b/c it was so good and I wanted to drink it too fast. Goes down easy and goes great with steak or hamburgers. For the price of a six pack, this could easily become a regular occurance for me. Just had another one today and oh my god! This is the stuff. Just a classic, complex, rockin' stout. This is definitely "top 5" in my book. If you see it, drink it. No questions asked, just do as I say... you won't regret it.

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Photo of tar
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice girl brought this back to me from a trip to New York over Christmas and I'm just now entering my notes (stupid work). Pours an opaque black with a medium sized tan head. The head is persistent and has a smooth creamy look and is composed of many tiny bubbles. There is something about the contrast in color between the body of a "black" beer and the head which I really enjoy--and so this beer from the start looks good to me. Strong aroma of chocolate (of course) and roast coffee. Very nice taste of chocolate and coffee malts with some nice hop bitterness in the finish. Smooth and very drinkable, a very nice beer.

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Photo of maek228
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Winter 02'-03' bottling

Pours an absolute jet black, with a small head that retains well throughout the beer. Smells of dark roast coffee, with a huge dose of heavy cream. Dark chocolate is also pickupable in the smell, as well as toffee. very rich scent...so well done, bravo Brookyln. The taste of this beer is absolutely orgasmic.

Taste of course runs hand in hand with smell, I'm getting an initial dark chocolate flavor, with a heavy cream coating....followed up by accents of toffee, hazelnut, roasted nuts, and dark coffee. In addition to this, a nice little jab of hops hits you at the end of all those flavors. The alcohol is hidden like mom's cookies, and this is crucial since the alcohol content is so high. Leaves you feeling warm and cozy. I can't praise the taste of this stout enough.

This beer comes highly recomended, from me that is....

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle. Brewed in Utica, NY.
It pours a roofing tar color with a big, but fast fading tan head.
A smoky sweet malt aroma has a strong smell of coffee and a good whiff of bitter chocolate.
An extra heavy and rich malt is home to tastes of dark chocolate, sweet coffee, doughy malt, black licorice and molasses.
High in a complex mix of hops, this brew has an edgy grapefruit bitterness and a hint of tea-like tartness. The alcohol, while not over-powering is certainly noticeable.
This is a high impact brew!

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Photo of oelergud
4.9/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

WoW what a beer!
Like pouring the blackest night into your glass
the head is a creamy brown, doesn't last long but looks great.
The smell is strong and robust, alcohol and chocolate very apparent, I thought I could detect a hint of almond/marzipan which probably isn't there but it's the closest I can get to it.
Sweet and thick, this brew goes down easy, little to no acid or bitterness shows itself until you let the after taste manifest, the alcohol gives the stout a good kick making the beer have a strong presence about it. Good chocolate taste throughout.
Only regret I have about this beers drinkability is the high alcohol % which makes is hard to indulge without getting drunk off your ass

Oelergud - Cheers!


Been storing this bottle in the fridge for about 6 months.
Beautiful black brew with a chocolate head, doesn't stay long though and almost no lace. Impossible to determine level of carbonation as absolutely no light gets through this beer.
Smell is semisweet chocolate, strong spice, alcohol and earth.
Very apparent alcohol tones in the taste but overpowered by the rich chocolate flavors, swirling earth and dark roasted coffee beans.
Subtle hops underneath the malts struggling to be noticed
Thick and full body, almost syrupy, creamy and leaving a nice sweet coating on the tongue. Each swallow sends waves of warmth through your being. Strong robust and demanding attention and respect, this is still one hell of a beer.


04-05, 11/12/04

Black tar goodness slowly oozing out of the bottle, beautiful effect on the edge of the beer as bubbles go up and down, tan creamy head decent retention and great lace leaving rings after each draw.
Strong roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate and alcohol makes up the nose. strong malts overwhelm the hops.
Taste is liquid dark chocolate with an alcoholic charge pinning the tongue to the ground. Rich and powerful maltiness and some faint hops dominate the aftertaste which is smooth and lasting quite long.
Mouthfeel is perfect stout thick, chewable indeed.
What can I say I havent said before, great brew, great stout, deliciousness in a bottle!


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

This was the first beer I had when I first visited NY in June 2001. I'm still drinking it, and I still joke that it impressed me enough to get me to move out here.

This beer has the expected dark chocolate color and a thin head the color of swiss milk chocolate that fades quickly, but leaves a chocolate ring on the glass. The taste is outstanding, the strength of the chocolate flavor is perfect, with a sharp hint of the 8.5% ABV underneath. Goes down smooth, with a bit of a coffee aftertaste (a bit too much, which detracts a little from the drinkability as you'll want a glass of water afterwards.) Ranks up there with the best IMO.

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

Maybe my new favorite stout. I am actually rather surprised, while this feels like a stout in your mouht, it doesn't feel that way in your belly. this is highly drinkable, IMO.

Pours a dark, rich brown, very thick, very creamy, with a nice creamy, tan head. desert in a glass. Smells like roasted mocha (yeah, I know...) very nice.

It is appropoe that chocolate is the main taste in this bear. yeah there is malt, and some hops, but the chocolate definately shines through here, mixed with a spice, roasted malt flavor. Other people have mentioned this, and it is true, the chocoalte is overpowering, but it is still done in a nice way.

If you get the cahnce, get some for desert and serve with a nice creamy cherry pie...mmm

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

I picked up a couple for Easter while out of town. A real treat is was. It poured, much to my surprise almost flat, then toward the end of the pour a show of chocolate brown arose from the dark bottom to cascade to a nice, soft, full one inch head. The aroma of dark chocolate and roasted malts greet the nose. The taste follows the same route but with rich detail. This is a heavy player among beers but the mouthfeel, though sharp with dark chocolate, is pleased. Drinkability is good for the higher abv. Overall a good annual treat. I'll look forward to next years batch.

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

This beer poured a deep dark black with a nice head. The head slowly diminished, leaving a nice lacing that remained for the duration. The aroma was filled with roasted malts and chocolate. The taste was true to the aroma as it was also a nice combination of dark roasted malts and a dark chocolate. The drawback here is that the chocolate taste is overwhelming and it takes away from any of the other flavors that are hidden in there. The mouthfeel was relatively thick and heavy but the drinkability was good. Overall, this would make an excellent desert beer but I couldn't see drinking a couple of these over the course of an evening.

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Photo of Bruiser81
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been holding on to this one for a while now. Thanks to Fishbone for sending this one out.
I can't tell if its black or extremely dark brown, either way it looks delicious. Big thick creamy head the color of chocolate milk.
Aroma is pleasant but faint. Definate alcohol spices, roasted malt, and a sort of earthen smell. Maybe a bit of raisans as well.
Taste is very good. I expected more of a strong chocolate flavor. Instead its a very subdued unsweetened chocolate, hidden behind tons of roasted malt. A little bit of sweetness, almost with a dark fruit like quality. A small tinge of alcohol on the finish but it leaves a nice aftertaste.
It sure is going down quick. Real smooth and creamy, but I could only handle one of these babys at a time.

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Photo of david23
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poors a deep black with a ruby highlight. Tha roated malt gives this a fantastic aroma . Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. The chocolate and coffe flavor make this perfect for a dessert ar an accompaniment for a good Cohiba. The 02-03 bottle is quite high in A.B.V. and is evident but subdued by the rich flavor. Finishes with an almost capucinno flavor. Best enjoyed in a tulip glass with a good friend or sitting by the fire, Probably the finest Imperial I've ever had.

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

03-04 12oz poured with minimal head of a dark brown, and no lacing. Pure black body which no light (well, a 20W halogen) could penetrate. Swirl released rich roasted malt aromas and a bit of alcohol. Body is smooth a medium-full for the style, with a gentle carbonation. Malts upfront, chocolate and roasted flavors, developing with a slight hop profile on the way down, and a nutty chocolate aftertaste, alcohol becoming more apparent as the glass drains. A very strong stout flavorwise, but too single-minded to amaze.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Winter 03-04'
Made with 2-row English Malt, Wheat Malt, Chocolate Malt, Black Malt, Black Barley, and Roasted Barley. East Kent Goldings, Cascade, and Willamette hops.
Alcohol: 8.5% by volume.

Pours out completely opaque with nary any highlights when held to a halogen lamp, forming a rocky dark-tan head with good retention and average lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate, perfect for the style. Aroma is complex, but not as rich as I would expect, with notes of sweet milk chocolate, vanilla, a hint of light-roast coffee and with swirling, alcohol, prunes, and a faint vegetal hoppiness. As it warms, it takes on more barley-wine characteristics, with prominent dark fruits, esters, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium-soft with a dense body. Taste begins much the same as aroma, but the middle and finish are completely different. The middle is predominated by a semi-ruddy English hop flavor and a disconcerting level of metal off-taste, then the finish has a pronounced herbal alcohol twang, an acrid tone of oxidized black patent astringency, alcoholic esters, vanilla and grain husk (exactly in that order). Pronounced chalkiness on the lips, most likely secondary to mineralifaction (is that a word?) of their water source.

I was really looking forward to this brew based upon the other reviews here. While fervently complex, sadly, it doesn't hold a candle to my other favorite stouts (Shakespeare, Kalamazoo, Rasputin). The off-flavors are simply too much and severely limit it's drinkability. I would pass on this one. Fermented with a different yeast, this might be a winner. I expect much more of my stouts.

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

'01-'02: Pours black with a big and dense dark brown head. This baby's got some retention too. Laces nice rings all the way to the bottom of the glass. Roast and chocolate malt on the nose. Fairly light in body for an Imperial. Not a light body, but not full bodied by any means. I would say it is medium bodied. Nice roastiness in the taste. Slight coffee-like bitterness. And a little alcohol. This does not have the deep complexities or the body that an Imperial should have.


Pitch Black. Small brown head with great retention. Lacing is excellent as well. Nice aroma of chocolate, burnt malts and cocoa. The taste is nice and chocolatey. Bittersweet. And a little fruity as well. Currants and dark cherries. Rum soaked raisins. Body is about meium. Highly drinkable. This beer is good, but doesn't have the guts of some of the Big Boys. Good brew though.

My ratings reflect the 03-04 version.

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

Pours almost a jet black with dark brown highlights beneath a massive three-finger dirty tan head. It is simply beautiful! Roasted chocolate and tangy hops bluster out this heavenly aroma. The taste is again the roasted chocolate with a smokey undertone and balanced with slightly tangy hops and a dry powdery cocoa finish. This is a medium bodied brew that finishes with an warming alcohol end.

Notes: Although a very solid chocolate stout, but pales in comparison to Roque's version. Thanks nonetheless to kbub6f for the opportunity!

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Photo of soper2000
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snagged a 6-pack of the 03-04 edition of this at Jungle Jim's outside of Cincinnati. I've been wanting to try this beer for awhile now so I was pretty pumped when I found it. I'm glad that it didn't dissapoint. It pours a jet black with a 1 finger tan foam head. Smell is very rich and full of roasted malts. Taste is super rich too, malts all around. A few hints of dark fruits (I'm thinking plum) also pop up. Mouthfeel viscous but the taste sticks around so that helps a little bit. Drinkability isn't the highest on these beasts, about 1 a night is all i can handle. I'll surely be having his more in the future. Only if they had a distributor in Indiana.

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 2,786 ratings.
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