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Beer Review: Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

by Tara Nurin on Jan 30, 2012 in Beer
Beer Review: Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

When you’re looking for a chocolate beer, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is one to reach for first. A leader in the category, sipping this Russian Imperial is like biting into an unsweetened candy bar made of almost unadulterated cocoa.

The brew has many elements to which you could apply the word “intense.” Intense dark color. Intense structure. Intense alcohol fumes. Intense stickiness in the head and intense bitterness to the flavor. In fact, a black hole might seem relaxed compared to this.

A drinker expecting a milk chocolate or sugar flavor to greet their palate might be unnerved by the comparatively bitter tone of the first few sips. There’s zero Hershey’s Kiss to this liquid; it’s pure dark chocolate from first taste to final swallow. But the ten-percenter loosens up as it warms up, and with the rising temperature offers more of a dark fruit fig or prune essence, which coats the tongue with the childhood memory of licking the bowl after Mom pours the chocolate cake batter into a mold. 

Sold in four-packs and kegs, the brewery supposedly ships the beer October through March, but by my estimation, it’s not even February and at least one major regional distributor is sold out and not expecting any more this year. Point is, if you see it, drink it. In fact, buy two. Drink one and save the other for a couple of years.

Because Brooklyn’s brewmaster is Garrett Oliver, presiding master over the kingdom of food-friendly brewers, the beer is perfect for pairing. Garrett recommends chocolate desserts, fruit tarts, cheesecake, or strong cheeses like Stilton. He also suggests using it as the base for a spicy Mexican-style vanilla ice cream float (tip: fill the glass with beer first, then add ice cream) but at my house, a bottle of the beer makes a scrumptious addition to our favorite gooey double chocolate brownie recipe. Just make sure to add lots of sugar.

Top photo via Flickr user Bernt Rostad

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