|Also From This Brewery
Black Chocolate Stout is the winter seasonal from the
Brooklyn Brewery, and that's the perfect season for this rich, warming brew.
An imperial stout by style, it's a sustaining, restorative brew of
substantial character and flavor. Imperial stouts were brewed in England and
shipped to the Imperial Russian Court in the nineteenth century, hence the
name. To survive the shipping time, they had much more malt, hops, and
alcohol than conventional stouts.
Brooklyn's version is brewed from two and a half mashes and has an alcohol
content of 8.5% by volume. Only a limited amount is produced, one batch per
year. Despite the name, there is no chocolate in this beer. Six different
types of dark malts are used to make the brew, various black, chocolate, and
roasted malts. Malt can be roasted to different degrees to impart flavors of
chocolate and coffee to a brew, hence the name of this beer.
Here's what I wrote about the 1999-2000 batch:
Brooklyn Black chocolate is actually a tad lighter than most imperial
stouts, and doesn't have the heavy licorice notes found in many imperials,
though there is a touch. It is however an extremely rich beer with a thick,
silky mouthfeel. Jet black in color, it forms a light tan head on the pour
and a big chocolatey nose. The palate is full of notes of powdered cocoa and
creamy, dark, bittersweet chocolate. The finish has some roasty bitterness
in the finish but there is no big hop bitterness here. There's a warming
alcohol sensation on the tongue too.
This beer begs to be served with a rich chocolate dessert, a box of
chocolates, or even a Hershey bar. It would be an excellent ingredient in a
dark chocolate cake as well.
The 2000-2001 tasted as follows:
Brooklyn Black Chocolate forms a huge tower of tan foam with a rich
chocolate nose and a powerful licorice suggestions in the palate. The brew
has a rich oily mouthfeel, lots of cocoa notes, some licorice but not as
much as the nose promises, and warming alcohol in the finish.
UPDATE for 2001-2002:
The latest batch of this perennial winter favorite has been released, and it
lives up to the expectations set by prior years versions. The beer pours to
a jet-black color with a thick creamy tan head and a big licorice nose. The
mouthfeel is thick and silky, luxuriant, chocolatey, full of roasty espresso
notes and lots of licorice notes, much more than in years past. Warming
alcohol in the finish but not much hop bitterness as in years past. One of
the season's best beers, as per usual.
Update 2004-2005 Bottling:
It's August of 2006 as I type this, and I've just cracked a bottle of the
2004 release. That makes the beer almost two years old, and as one might
expect this formidable brew has well withstood the test of time. To be sure,
it's been safely stored cold in my Dedicated Beer Refrigerator (DBR for
short). The wonderful chcocolate character has mellowed a little to reveal
smooth notes of chocolate pudding and a touch of roasty espresso. I get a
hint of licorice and some fruity prune in the nose and palate. The finish
becomes slightly bittersweet. This is a real treat indeed, and a beer that
will just get better and better with time.