Sunday, September 1, 2013

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout (2012 vintage)

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (960) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 6, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. According to the Julian date it was bottled on September 17, 2012 making it about 11 months old when I drank it. It cost $2.99 ($0.25 per ounce).

Appearance: Jet black body, completely opaque. Forms a large, brown, frothy head which eventually dissipates but not before leaving plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Mostly alcohol phenolic and a hint of roasted malt, though it’s not off-putting.

Taste: Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is the type of beer whose reputation precedes it. Brooklyn has a good reputation among craft beer enthusiasts, and this one tends to be considered among their best offerings. While I’m not saying it’s a bad beer, I will say that it’s not a world class one. For a Russian Imperial Stout, it’s surprisingly simplistic. General caramel-like sweetness and flavors at the opening of the palette, followed by strong roasted malt and dry bitterness. The finish is quite hot with a slightly distracting alcohol component. I find the name a bit misleading since the beer is brewed with chocolate malt, not chocolate candy or other such flavoring. Still, it works as an RIS and this is the kind of strong beer hardcore beer drinkers enjoy, especially in the colder months.

Drinkability: Though high in alcohol at 10% ABV, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is no challenge to drink. The mouthfeel is calm with a smooth texture and leaves just the slightest dry aftertaste. I do taste and feel the alcohol warmth in every swig, which is understandable I suppose, but seems more distracting than it should be. 
Grade: 7/10