Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout | Brooklyn Brewery

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
2,788 Reviews
Brooklyn Black Chocolate StoutBrooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,788
Ratings:
6,571
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
16.14%
 
 
Wants:
433
Gots:
1,429
For Trade:
56
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,788 | Ratings: 6,571
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ink black with the barest sliver of ruby at the edges. BBCS is as close to absolute black as it's possible to get... without quite getting there. The expansive crown is dark tan in color and appears sticky enough to have some staying power. There's isn't much lace, though small ragged sheets are seen.

The aroma is redolent of sweet dark roasted malt, with the usual RIS overlay of chocolate and black coffee. The former is more prominent than the latter. Hops don't make much of an olfactory splash.

My first impression of the flavor is that the alcohol is more evident than it should be. It isn't masked well at all. There's plenty of bittersweet chocolate, which is nice. It's like drinking a melted Hershey's Special Dark chocolate bar mixed with espresso and vodka. Too bad it's a little too raw and burnt/charred.

This beer doesn't have the power, the depth or the complexity of Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout or Bell's Expedition Stout. Masking the alcohol more completely would go a long way toward letting the flavor profile free to do its thing. The mouthfeel is thick and smooth. No complaints there.

I don't know if cellaring this relatively fresh Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout will soften it a little, but I'll give it a try since I have five bottles left to drink.

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

12oz bottle into a Duvel Tulip.

Pours a dark black with a little over a finger width of creamy tan head. This retains into a fantastic looking creamy layer that left thick swathes of lace all over the sides of the glass. The aroma is lush is dark chocolate, coffee, burnt bitterness, fresh hops, citrus, and a little heat.

The taste is deep with chocolate sweetness and roasted tones. Finishes with a lingering combo of burnt tones, hop bitterness, and dry heat. The mouthfeel is a heavy medium with a slick, creamy feel. Alcohol is present but adds to the body, providing it with warmth and some extra beef.

This perennial holiday favorite from Brooklyn doesn't disappoint. With deep chocolate notes, a rich, roasty body, and alcohol warmth, it's perfect for Wintertime sipping.

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Photo of mactrail
3.08/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big and rich and hot.

First sip is good-- full of flavors, strong and Sharp like green apple, green mango. Rich chocolate flavor, lots of roasted malt. On the winey side. Quite alcoholic tasting. While the body is fairly rich, it is more of a boozy than beery taste.

For an Imperial Stout this seems like a less than noble attempt. Might be just the thing, though, with some good cheese and pretzels.

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

Winter '00-'01, which makes this roughly a year old at this point. This beer is possibly the best "bottled" beer from Brooklyn - I think we all know that the non-contract draft beer coming out of the brewery is much better! This beer pours a very dark brown/black with ruby highlights. There's a nice, light tan/brown head around the rim of the glass, although no Belgian-lace is produced. The aroma is of a bittersweet chocolate and candyish malt, but without hops, which is OK for the style. The flavor starts with alot of chocolate and roastiness followed by a clear alcohol, a bit of hop flavor, and eventually mellowing into very nice coffee notes. The finish is really wonderful! The carbonation level is appropriate and the body is nice. There are no off-notes to speak of. Overall, a very nice example of the style, although I distinctly remember prior year's samples as having a bit more malt and a somewhat smoother character. I hope this will mellow a bit, but I also fear it may pick up some innapropriate oxidative flavors.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

('05-'06 release)

Appearance: Pours a soulless black from which no hope can escape. Looks good!! Tan, cocoa-ish head with little to no lacing throughout.

Smell: Reminds me of Kahlua 'Especial' coffee liqueur if anyone here is familiar with that. Espresso, fudge brownies, and a twing of smoke. You can also detect the delightful zip of alcohol in there.

Taste: An unstoppable coffee-chocolate juggernaut. The flavors hit hard, full, and quite unforgiving. Moreover, there's some hints of biscuits and syrah. Finishes leaving behind a bitter coffee essence to punish the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Holds very solid in the mouth, but maintains a good creaminess.

Drinkability: This is good, but I think I'll toss it in the cellar; see if a little age will benefit this brew.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to jaxon53 for getting me this, been a long time coming!

Poured deep black as midnight with a huge creamy head the would not fade till the end. Thick gooey lace that stuck to and clouded up the glass. This looks thick like a milk shake, gottta love it. Smell was very nice big chocolate as you would expect but hints of alcohol as well. Caramel, sugar and vanilla round it very nicely, perfect dessert. This tatstes very yummy, deep dark chocolate flavors, with a slight alcohol warming, wonderful creamy feel. This is very nice. Dry finish, smooth and for 10.5% abv it is very drinkable. I only wish I was able to get more for the cellar, as I feel this will only improve with time! Great beer and glad I could try it.

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Photo of chinchill
3.89/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Undated 12 oz bottle, believed to be 2012 vintage, served in a snifter.

A rather vigorous pour raised a decent head but htis soon reduced to a thin partial top coat. The body looks thick and black.

Aroma: a nice blend of dark malts and alcohol esters.

Flavor: rich, dark malts without more than a hint of burnt grain. High ABV rather obvious yet mixes nicely with the other flavor components; still it is more tha a little boozy. Marginally a 4.

Feel: full bodied, and then some. Slight alcohol burn makes me think this would be a great candidate for barrel aging.

O: an imperial stout indeed, aromatic and flavorful. Improves with warming, and 15 minutes out of the refrigerator was not enough.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 release, on-tap 12/13/09 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark black color, with a short light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark chocolate, dark fruit, roasted malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a bitter-sweet flavor of dark chocolate. Then a faint but complementary flavor of dark fruit flavor comes in. The roasted malt character is very hearty and there's no trace of the 10.10% ABV. The hops presence is very mild as you would expect from this kind of beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easily, slightly filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, although there are other big stouts that I would pick first, this is a very good beer to drink for a long time.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled 9/15/2010(over 2 years). Pours pitch black color with a nice 1-2 finger fairly dense dark tan head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, char, toast, molasses, raisin, prune, earth, and light coffee. Very nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, char, raisin, prune, toast, molasses, earth, and light coffee. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, prune, raisin, char, roast, molasses, and earth on the finish for a good bit. Good depth and balance of flavors; no cloying on the finish at all. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy and slick mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent imperial stout. Good depth, complexity, and balance of flavors; fairly smooth to sip on. Very enjoyable to sip on slowly.

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

Winter 09-10 bottle. 10% abv.

Poured into Bruery snifter.

Pours about a finger of tan head. Fades to a thinner layer, but leaves some really nice lace walls. Color pours a dark copper brown, but in the class it is completely black.

Aroma: Lots of dark chocolate and cocoa right off the top. Some cherries, raisins, roasted malts. The aroma is very sweet, almost like candy. There is also some bitter hops in the background. I am really enjoying the aroma of this one.

Taste: Very roasted and toasty in a good way. It is a cold winter night and this beer is keeping me warm. Lots of rich coffee and caramel malty flavors. The grassy hops are a lot more present in the taste. Some light tart cherries are present along with a hint of molasses. Again, a sweet taste, but not as sweat as the aroma. It is almost a delicate RIS and I like it for that.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and roasted. Pretty full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends very dry and roasted.

Overall, this was a very solid beer. I drank it near cellar temp which was a good idea. I got a lot of flavors and it seemed to be a more unique RIS. I really liked it and can't wait to see what a year will do to this one. Fairly drinkable as well.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's beer garden, Media, PA

Poured a jet black with a dark mocha head; very little retention or lacing. Aroma of brownies! and dark malts. Roasty taste, dark malts and bittersweet chocolate, with hints of coffee and a pervading booziness. About medium in body, perhaps just a little too on the thin side for the style, but still pretty good, and definitely quite drinkable. Probably the best beer I've had from Brooklyn.

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

Thanks to TheKingsofHops for hooking it up with a couple bottles of this.

A: A 2009-2010 bottle poured into my Cigar City snifter. The pour is a beautiful, viscous, jet black with a thin layer of tan foam.

S: This beer has a very intense nose. A lot of chocolate, coffee, black licorice, roasted malt, and some alcohol. Maybe a bit of maple syrup in there as well.

T: The taste features many of the same characters as the nose. A lot of bitter chocolate, coffee, licorice, and roasted malt. The alcohol is there but not all that noticeable.

M: The body is quite full, as you would expect from an imperial stout. The carbonation also fits the style, as it is low.

D: The ABV is quite well hidden in terms of the taste, but it's quite apparent upon drinking a bottle. Still, the beer is quite tasty.

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

I poured this at a cool temp into my snifter. Purchased the '06-'07 version at Thirsty's in York, Pa.

A - Deep ebony w/ a thin tan head and decent lace.

S - Sweet, fruity esters w/ a roasted element and pine scent of hops, there is a rummy full sweet alcoholic not in the nose.

M - Viscous, sweet, complex in depth w/ spiced acidity and full carbonation.

T - Luscious plum and date sweetness w/ roasted coffee and dark chocolate character and acidity. Sweet w/ prune type dry fruit and stone fruit notes. A rich malty taste that is punctuated by a piney hop acidity and spiced character. Slightly drying w/ a full alcoholic essence - a relaxer, smooth on the tongue. Something to look forward to tasting each year, but doesn't attempt to hide its 10.6% stature.

D - Great Stout, outstanding flavor and feel, A very good example of the style, but not one to drink multiples of. This one bottle held me for the night, I savored it and its nightcap properties.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Limited Bottling - Winter '13-'14
Pours tar black with a finger of tan head that fades first to a thin cap, then to sticky lacing. Very very sticky.
The obvious chocolate in the smell, but it doesn't completely dominate, leaving room for dark fruit (berries, raisin, fig), roasted malts, burnt sugar and faint light coffee. Smells nice and rich.
Starts pretty sweet, with lots of juicy plums, cherries and raisins covered in chocolate (a bit dark, but not too much). Burnt sugar, roasted (almost charred) malts and coffee keep the sweetness in check and start bittering things up, but not before some hints of vanilla, licorice and anise are felt. Hops don't have much to say, but the finish is dry, ashy and quite bitter.
Full body, sticky, low carbonation. Booze isn't perfectly subtle, but doesn't bother. It all kinda reminds of Kahlua.
Does bring in the "chocolate", really tasty. A great imperial stout, probably even better aged for some years.

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

Cheers to zrrbrrt for this one!

Pours jet black with a fluffy 1.5 fingers deep mocha head. Alright lacing & good head retnetion

S: Some chocolate & iron. A little licorice as this warms

T: Chocolate & iron up front. Licorice, roasted malts & coffee surface as this warms. Finishes with a little chicory, warming boozy alcohol, dryness & bakers choclate, yum

MF: Rich & some smoothness with low carbonation

Drinks to damn easy, this is 10.6 abv? I think I can session on this until nap time

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Yet another example of an "old friend" beer that's somehow gone un-reviewed by me. Time to change that. To the max. It pours a straight jet black topped by over a finger of light tan foam. The nose comprises molasses, chocolate, brown sugar, roasted malts, and a hint of maple syrup. The taste is very similar, with the roasted malts taking center stage, followed by a strong chocolate powder contingent. The rest comes in in a nice dark melange in the finish. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a very smooth feel. Overall, this probably the most readily drinkable widely-available stouts around. Get some!

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Photo of Jason
3.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with "Limited Bottling - Winter '00-'01".

Appearance: Ink black with a light brown and quite impressive lace that retains like a champ.

Smell: Dark chocolate covered espresso beans and a mild ripe prune fruitiness.

Taste: Full bodied and very smooth, a tangled mesh of dark roasted coffee and dark unsweetened chocolate. Hops are vague amongst the roasted barley bitterness, some sweetness prevails with a fruitiness attached of prunes. Roasted and chocolate flavours linger just about forever. Alcohol is certainly there with its feeling of warmth to the throat and chest.

Notes: Layered and complex, a strong foothold on the taste buds with the roasted character. This brew will get even better towards the end of the winter with some age.
--
Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with "Limited Bottling - Winter '99-'00".

Appearance: Close to pitch black, thick and creamy tan lace with a sufficient head retention.

Smell: Fusel alcohols near to a cooking sherry aroma, twang of roasted and charcoal in the nose also.

Taste: Massively creamy with a thick bold body or malt that is close to being syrupy. Smoothness is quite incredible. Burnt fruit and some fusel alcohols give a twang and kick respectively. Roasted flavours are intact with a slight acidic flavour that melds well with the fruitiness. Alcohols are a bit too much and tell you in one way or another to respect the brew. Hops are faded and a touch herbal / leafy in flavour amongst the roasted prowess. Vagueness of wet paper shows a touch of age from oxidation, not in a bad way though.

Notes: Best consumed at cellar temperature, alcohols are a bit too much and if the oxidation could hold out for a year or more this beer will mellow out to be a great vintage brew.

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Photo of orangesol
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours out pitch black with a small one finger brown head that leaves light lacing down the entire glass.

S - Dark, roasty aroma with a slightly sweet smell from the malts. Coffee and chocolate, obviously, dominate this one. A slight heat from the huge amount of alcohol comes thru once it warms a bit.

T - Dark chocolate dominates this one. Rich, roasty, malts with hints of caramel, toffee, and other sweet flavors from the malt. Chocolate, espresso, and dark fruits help mellow out the roasty flavor. One of the best readily available chocolate stouts on the market today.

M - Fairly creamy with medium-heavy body and flavor. Slightly dry finish with a roasty flavor. The huge amount of alcohol singes the pallet leaving it feeling quite hot.

D - Fairly high given the huge amounts of alcohol in this one. It is a sipper for sure but I could still go thru a couple of these with no problem.

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

Limited Bottling - Winter 08-09

A: Pours midnight black with a two finger dark mocha head. The head dissipates fairly quickly leaving a thin layer of dark mocha bubbles at the edges of the surface. Excellent lacing on the glass with this brew.

S: The aroma is slightly astringent overall, quite possibly due to the alcohol content, and has very bold amounts of chocolate in it followed by hints of coffee, toffee, and leather.

T: The taste also has the slightest hint of alcohol in it. The flavors are of bittersweet chocolate upfront, followed by leather & pepper, and hints of licorice, tobacco, and coffee in the finish. The beer has a pleasant amount of bitterness and is nicely complex.

M: Medium bodied with low amounts of carbonation. Very creamy.

O: Glad that I took the time to cellar this one before drinking it, I have had many of these over the years... from the different batches and aged different amounts but this one is probably my personal favorite (08-09 aged 3 years). Very enjoyable overall but no longer my favorite in the style - though I remember it as the best about 15 years ago.

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

Near black color where only the faintest of light can pass on the edge. Leaves a moderate head and minimal webby lace.

Not a harsh smell, much closer to a dark chocolate. As an aroma, it seems more like a porter.

Rich bodied with decent carbonation. This beer is full flavored with darker dry malts, unsweetened chocolate, faint bitter hop. I don't taste any alcohol warmth. Great aftertaste that begs for black forest cake with sour cherries.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours with a few inches of nice mocha head. Dark brown appearance, edgeing towards blackness. Nose is chocolate, dark malts, some dark fruit, a bit of dried cherry. Taste follows, a subtle cherry flavor that isn't sourness so much as a back note to the chocolate. Not a ton of complexity or depth, but delicious. Body has a hershey syrup thickness to it. Really well done.

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Photo of billab914
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip. Poured black in color with a half inch, dense, tan head covering the top of the beer. The head settled down to a thin covering where it left some great lacing on the glass.

The aroma shows some very good chocolate flavors to it. It has both a roasty bitterness and a milk chocolaty flavor to it at the same time. Smooth and balanced aroma to it overall.

The taste has a lot of good dark, bitter-sweet chocolate flavor coming through. Some roasted, slightly burnt flavors come through more towards the finish. It has a sweetness to it though that really helps balance it out some. The chocolate is very nicely done, the bitterness and sweetness of it really comes together nicely.

The mouthfeel is on on the thicker side, but probably middle of the pack for imperial stouts. Carbonation is also moderate for the style. Drinkability is very good, it has some great flavors to it and was a very tasty beer for an after dinner drink tonight.

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

Poured a 2009 bottle

A: Dark black with a chunky brown/tan head, dissipated quickly leaving a ring of bubbles on the top of the beer.

S: Hit immediately with the roasted malts and then some bittersweet chocolate. As it warms get more coffee and chocolate coming through.

T: Lots of roasted malt and some dark chocolate. The chocolate flavor intensifies as it warms. Also some vanilla. Very nice.

M/D: Medium to full bodied with nice carbonation. Very easy to drink and leaves a nice aftertaste. A really nice beer that I look forward to drinking again. Also looking forward to drinking this one with some more age on it as well to see what happens.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter 09-10 bottling. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark black color with about a finger of tan head. Decent lacing and little carbonation evident.

s - Smells of chocolate, but smells somewhat mellowed out. Also smells of roasted malts and a little bit of coffee, but not was much as other people seemed to have smelled.

t - Tastes strongly of chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee. The coffee comes out a lot more in the taste than the smell. Tiny hints of alocohol and bitterness in the aftertaste.

m - Pretty thick and creamy. Full bodied with low carbonation.

d - I really like this beer; it's one of my favorite Brooklyn beers. Looks great and has a wonderfull full chocolate taste to it. Thought the smell was a little mellow but that could be because it's not March and this is from the 09-10 Winter release. Great stout that I will certainly be trying again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep black can't see any light coming through whatsoever with a nice sized tan head leaves nice even ring of lacing. Aroma: Dark roasts bring about hints of chocolate and seared fruit with alcohol notes around the edges this is a complex big imperial stout. Taste: Creamy chocolate tone quickly nulled by a streak of alcohol like a shot of liquer infused with cherries and other fruit notes this is one big beer here, nice and alluring just a bit overwhelming one glass at a time not a session by any means. Mouthfeel: Full bodied thick syrupy mouthfeel this a big stout. Drinkability: I am much more proned to a Young's Double Chocolate if I'm going after a chocolate character in my stout this one has alot more of everything alcohol, malts, and chocolate just may lack some balance with the searing alcohol burn in presents.

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Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 2,788 ratings.
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