Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout – 10% ABV
It’s wintertime and I’m in the mood for some darker, heavier brews. Not that I usually don’t enjoy those year-round, but especially this time of year you need something thick and hearty that will put hair on your chest and keep you company during the cold spells. Enter Black Chocolate Stout from the Brooklyn Brewery. As if I didn’t need the name to give me a clue, the sight alone tells me I’m in for a treat. The bottle is black as night, and from what I can see within it, so is everything else. Pouring his into my trusty imperial pint (aka nonic) glass, I can see an opaque black body with a dark beige/caramel head that initially pours a finger-and-a-half or so of head, but thins to a 1/2 inch layer above the body.
When burying my nose into the glass, as is custom for any beer I drink, the aromas of dark chocolate and coffee grounds are present and dominant. Quite representative of a Russian Imperial Stout. I also get a sense of some boozy element in there, and with this thing checking in at 10% I’m not surprised. Now will that translate to a boozy flavor? Only one way to find out. Let’s imbibe…
Immediately upon sipping this beast, dark chocolate, dark coffee, roasted or burnt malts and cocoa really hit the palate. There is also a smokiness that kicks in late in the taste, maybe a sort of charcoal character. This has a medium-to-heavy body and the mouthfeel is thick, but not quite chewy. There isn’t a lot of carbonation to speak of, but it’s not a flat beer either. It’s moderately carb’ed. There’s just enough to produce a little head and retain somewhat of a ring at the top of the brew during consumption. The warming effect kicks in fairly quickly, even though the booziness remains fairly well hidden. The myriad of roasted, coffee, chocolate and cocoa flavors keeps the boozy bite at bay. While this is a strong brew, you don’t get the sense that someone dumped a shot of kerosene in your beer before handing it to you. This definitely gives me a sense that I’m drinking a good warmer to combat the cold weather.
Final thoughts on this? This is a pretty damn good beer. Maybe not the best of the best when it comes to Russian Imperial Stouts, but it’s up there. It is strong like bull and makes you take notice. If I were to give this a letter grade, we’re probably looking at a B+/A- type deal. Go out and pick one up for yourself. I’ll expect your report on my desk promptly. Cheers!