When I sat down to drink this beer I realized that I had yet to review a selection from Brooklyn Brewery. I am not sure exactly why as I have enjoyed a number of their beers in the past. I do try to focus on New England beers in this blog, but anything that is distributed to the Boston area is fair game. Maybe a piece of it is my ingrained adversarial attitude towards New York that developed during my decades as a Boston sports fan. Mostly it is just coincidence, there are so many good breweries and beers I need to try that some are inevitably going to slip through the cracks. Regardless, my friend Rory came over the other weekend for the Bruins game and brought a few beers, one of his selections was Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout. I think this was my first time tasting this particular beer, if I had it previously it was quite a long time ago. Black Chocolate Stout is an American imperial stout that serves as Brooklyn’s winter seasonal. It is brewed with a mixture of six malts and hopped with Willamette and American Fuggles hops. It is sold on draft and in 12 oz. bottles during the winter months.
Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout pours midnight black with a minimal light-brown head. The scent is mostly dark malts, chocolate with a little fruity kick. The malts dominate the flavor too with notes of dark chocolate (duh), figs, toffee and a touch of sweetness. The booze is also evident in the flavor, you can tell from the first sip that this is a high test beer and the 10% ABV comes as no surprise. The hops are pretty minimal here, just enough to keep the beer from being overly sweet. Black Chocolate Stout is very full bodied, that combined with the alcohol make it the type of beer you want sip nice and slowly. The finish is a mix of subtle malt sweetness along with a bit of alcoholic bite. For me this beer was solid, but slightly overdone. I would have liked it more at slightly lower ABV which would have let the malt flavor shine through. If you like your stouts full bodied and boozy this will be worth a try. Hoppy Boston score: 3.75/5.