Winter is a time when many beer lovers tend to focus their attention on two styles of beers. These are stouts and porters. Brooklyn Brewing Company produces a reasonably priced stout for the winter months for stout lovers. I have been purchasing this beer for over five years now, as it is one of standards for the winter months when I’m looking for a reliable stout. I will admit though that this beer is actually better if you hold it in your storage area for a year, as some of the more acidic notes of the beer become more tame with time. Yet, even if you are just looking for a beer to drink as soon as you buy it, you will will do well with Brooklyn Chocolate Stout.
The aroma of the Brooklyn Chocolate Stout beer is very similar to many stouts. This means it has an aroma that has a combination of scents such as chocolate, caramel, and coffee. These scents are representative of a malt dominated beer, which again is characteristic of a stout. The alcohol content, which in some years for Brooklyn Chocolate Stout can be close to 10 percent is not noticable in the aroma. I rate the aroma of this beer five out of five points as it is a very good respresentation of a stout.
The appearance of this beer is another classic. It has a medium size head which is slow to diminish. The color of the beer is easily described as black, it resembles the color of coal or a chocolate bar. The head provides a nice contrast as it is not truly white, but the off-white is contrasts well with the intense dark color of the beer. When drinking this beer, it has a very nice lacing on the glass as it coates it and remains attractive to the eye. All of these are textbook definitions for a stout and therefore I give it 10 out of 10 possible points.
This is an interesting flavor combination. The initial flavor has some bitterness bordering on acidic to it. This is partly due to the alcohol content. As you continue to taste the flavor, the acidic part of the flavor subsides and the flavor can be well compared to baker’s chocolate. Sort of a hint of chocolate and coffee flavors without being cloyingly sweet. The finish is possibly still a little more bitter than you would expect from a stout, but in the end it is not enough to take away from the beer. For flavor I would give Brooklyn Chocolate Stout seven out of 10 points. It’s not the best tasting stout I have had, but definitely better than average.
The feel on the mouth of this beer is very nice. It is a heavy bodied beer, but doesn’t really feel that way as you drink it. It is more of a creamy feel to it than a thick syrupy feel which some stouts can have. The carbonation is not heavy with this beer, but this is a slight fizziness to it as you drink it which keeps it feeling like a flat and heavy beer. The finishing feel is heavier, but again that is standard for a stout. Out of five possible points for this category I would give it four, as it doesn’t quite fit all characteristics of a classic stout.
Brooklyn Chocolate Stout tends to vary as far as my overall impression goes from year to year. Some years the alcohol content is a little too evident in the flavor. Other years the beer is nice and smooth with no hint of the alcohol in it’s flavor. In other words it doesn’t have a heavy bite to it. The chocolate and coffee flavors are not overpowering in this beer, but they are evident enough that you know you are drinking a stout. One thing to keep in mind is not to be fooled by the name, it doesn’t truly taste like chocolate in the classic sense, more like baker’s chocolate and coffee mixed. If you get a bottle and the alcohol content seems too strong, I know this might be dissapointing but putting it aside for a year will have the flavor influence of the alcohol mellow considerably. I would overall give the beer 16 out of 20 points.
Overall Brooklyn Chocolate Stout scores a strong 42 out of 50 possible points. As I mention above, the only possible drawback is the fact that some years you can find the alcohol content to overpower the flavor more than others, otherwise the score would be even higher for this nice representation of the stout category of beers.