overall
99
94
style
Serve in Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 974   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.95/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Barrel-aged in Woodford Reserve barrels. Brooklyn Black Ops does not exist. However, if it did exist, it would be a robust stout concocted by the Brooklyn brewing team under cover of secrecy and hidden from everyone else at the brewery. Supposedly, "Black Ops" was aged for four months in bourbon barrels, bottled flat, and re-fermented with Champagne yeast, creating big chocolate and coffee flavors with a rich underpinning of vanilla-like oak notes. They say its vanishingly rare. We have no idea what theyre talking about.

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4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
pineypower (3247) - Ocean County, New Jersey, USA - SEP 5, 2011
Bottle, big thanks to Scott for sharing this one. Pours out black with a thin tan head. Aroma is of some sweet bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, roast, light fruit and some slight alcohol. Taste is complex with a nice smooth mouthfeel. Some roast, vanilla, oak, bourbon, chocolate, dried fruits with a touch of alcohol in the finish. Very solid brew.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ChadPolenz (1784) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 5, 2011
UPDATED: NOV 20, 2016 I received a 2009 vintage bottle as gift from a friend (thanks, Patrick!). I split it with two friends and poured mine into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Completely opaque black - no carbonation visible. Forms a fairly large, dark brown, sudsy head that retains and lacing well.

Smell: Prominent bourbon aroma of vanilla, oak, black cherry and alcohol. Very sweet, although I have smelled even more pungent beers of the style.

Taste: Imperial stouts aged in bourbon, Scotch, or whiskey barrels have become a trend over the last few years and while they all tend to rate very highly on the various beer geek databases they also tend to taste pretty much the same. Thats certainly the case of Brooklyn Black Ops which is a very complex, robust, but highly drinkable imperial stout.

Up front I get a rich, sweet taste of black cherry and a hint of sour red grape, followed by a slightly bitter combination of medium coffee and high end dark chocolate. The aftertaste kicks with a sweet, smoky flavor of rich vanilla and wood with a hint of bourbon or whiskey. The bottle indicates its re-fermented with champagne yeast but I get no such qualities in the palate or the drinkability. The sour grape intensifies as it warms, but its very tolerable and doesnt go to the extreme of being sticky and syrupy like many other Russian Imperial Stouts seem to do. A very pleasant drinking experience overall, but its missing a certain something to put it in the Hall of Fame category for me.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thick, but not syrupy; minor fizziness; slight alcohol warmth on the tongue and in the throat.

Drinkability: My beef with huge beers like Brooklyn Black Ops is that as great and complex as their palates are, they suffer from a lack of drinkability. This 2009 vintage doesnt have that problem as its very comfortable in the mouth with only a slight dry, bitter aftertaste. The 11.6% ABV is invisible all around, although I dont think Id be able to drink the entire 750ml bottle myself. This is a great dessert beer to split with someone who really deserves it.

Overall, Brooklyn Black Ops is a great beer, although I think it suffers a bit from hype and reputation. Still, its fun to drink and Im glad I got to try it.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
cavery (48) - Palm Desert, California, USA - SEP 2, 2011
08 Batch 1 from MikeDashG, a kind BA @ Woodshop Classix. A pleasure to be able to try this beer. A generous pour left me with a thick deep dark wood stained bubbly head of about 2 fingers. Some nice vanilla swirled smells with carmelly-bourbon chocolate notes. The nose implies a pretty mellowed beer. The taste is very chocolatey with a modest appearance from the bourbon. The bourbon lightly modifies the sweetness with a nutty vanilla/nougat flavor. Lots of milk chocolate in this beer, definitely too sweet to be dark/bitter chocolates. All in all really quite good, I think the wood is the big winner here. This currently tastes like a spendy candybar. Faint almonds appear behind the vanillas for complex note that seems to beginning to develop in the beer. Another year might not be the worst thing for this. Modest alcohol heat in the beer currently.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
LtDan (1806) - Los Angeles County, California, USA - SEP 2, 2011
Batch 1, thanks to a good homie at Woodshop Classix

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with no head. A few white swirls as you look down on it.

Aro. Alcohol,cough syrup,sherry ,dark chocolate and roast.

Taste. Burnt roast, booze, dark chocolate .

Mouth. Thinner than I remember of fresh samples, silky with low carbonation.

Overall: A big time treat to try this beer. I think its a bit better fresh, but so far has aged gracefully.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ben4321 (6137) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - AUG 27, 2011
Location: 12 oz bottle from Shop Rite - Hoboken, 8/27/11

Aroma: The nose has lots of bourbon, along with some roast, chocolate, and oak
Appearance: This one pours an oily black color with just a bit of medium brown head
Flavor: Tastes heavy malt, mid-heavy sweet and roasty, some bourbon, and an oak bitterness
Palate: Medium-full boddied, with an oily texture, a soft carbonation, and some heat from the bourbon
Overall Impression: I cant believe Ive never rated Black Ops before. This certainly wasnt my first rodeo with this beer, but I havent had it in a while, so it was good to drink this one again. A very good brew, thats enjoyable, even though it is a little overpriced.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
Leighton (20553) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 27, 2011
UPDATED: OCT 13, 2012 Bottle at The Diamond during the Brooklyn Ghost Bottles event. Vintage 2007. I had stopped taking meticulous notes by this, the last bottle of the tasting, as I was with non-RB company and didnt want to be perceived as anti-social or some such thing. My notes read simply: "Fuckin awesome. Rich. Oily. Dark. Not too hot." I might also add it was full bodied with tons of big, roasted malt character, some burnt wood and sugar, notes of chocolate and coffee. Overall it was an awesome beer. Fuckin awesome, some might even say. (4.4)

Bottle at Chrisos Pre-GBBF Shindig, 2012, London. Thanks swoopjones! Lots of the richness and strong character of the first bottle of this beer I tried. Although, I would say that this one seemed a bit young and much harsher than my previous experience. Very tasty, but Id say this beer benefits from a years of seclusion. (4.0)

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
callmemickey (4526) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 26, 2011
UPDATED: JUN 9, 2012 2009 A: Black/brown body, nice thick bubbly tan head, decent retention before forming a nice skim, decent lacing. S: Dark chocolates, licorice, bourbon, vanilla, oak, roasted coffee.. delicate.. not overpowering T: Much like the nose, the flavoring was nice and delicate... in a very, very good way... soft bourbon flavor throughout... delicious dark chocolate and roasted coffee makes up the bulk of the flavor... vanilla and oak accentuate towards the middle M: Thick, creamy... smooth flavor transitions... clean finish... O: One of the more drinkable bourbon RISs ... the key for me was the delicate use of the bourbon barrel aging.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
jar72404 (426) - USA - AUG 25, 2011
Bomber. Pours black with thin tan head. Aroma is chocolate and coffee. Flavor is chocolate and coffee with oak, bourbon and vanilla in the finish. Very smoothe. Very nice.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Beersiveknown (5205) - NORTHERN IRELAND - AUG 25, 2011
Tasted at CAGarvies House, thank you! Vanilla and oak flavours with sweet chocolate and cedarwood alcoholic finish

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
BeerCast_Rich (1906) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - AUG 22, 2011
[1pt 9.4floz bottle, courtesy of cgarvieuk] Very black, tan head, fluffy. Retains quite well. Strong chocolate aroma, alcohol tang as well. Rich, deep milk chocolate flavour. Mild bourbon on the finish. Very well balanced sweet vanilla elements from the wood dont overwhelm the chocolate notes (which I often find with 10%+ beers such as this) [19082011]


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