Black Ops

New York
United States
Brooklyn Black Ops Beer
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
95
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
39 / 40
Appearance:
5 / 6
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20
Description 

Brooklyn Black Ops does not exist. However, if it did exist, it would be a strong stout concocted by the Brooklyn brewing team under cover of secrecy and hidden from everyone else at the brewery. The myth is that this supposed “Black Ops” was then aged for four months in bourbon barrels, bottled flat, and re-fermented with Champagne yeast. Presumably such a beer would raise a rich, fluffy dark brown head and it would combine chocolate and coffee flavors with a rich underpinning of vanilla-like bourbon notes. A beer like that would be mighty nice, but it would be hard to make more than few cases – it could never be sold or released to the public. They say that the brewmaster revealed the beer to a few other people at the brewery only after it had been barreled. The rumor going around is that the brewery plans to drink the beer themselves over the holidays and give some to their family and friends. That’s what they say. But frankly, there’s no evidence for any of this. This beer is obviously a figment of people’s fervent imaginations. People tend to get loopy around the holidays. Everyone go home now – there’s nothing to see here.

Profile

ABV: 
10.5%
Judges Review 
Rodney A. Tillinghast's picture
Judges Rating:
95
Aroma:
23 / 24
Appearance:
5 / 6
Flavor:
39 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

I poured this obsidian-colored stout into my standard Belgian snifter and let it sit for a few minutes to warm towards room temperature. Surprisingly, I recognized its bourbon aroma from across the room while preparing my review notepad for use.

The beer’s aroma comes across originally as a boozy “large and in-charge” imperial bourbon barrel aged stout. At the onset, I was wondering if I’d need a roll of dental floss to get through all of the anticipated chewy imperial stout goodness.

Then I tasted it.

Though still boozy (in a silky smooth bourbon sense), Black Ops features complex vanilla, dark cocoa and marshmallow flavors, supported by a very restrained amount of hop bitterness and flavor. Lightly fruity, but also blended with an aggressive but well-crafted bourbon barrel element.

The fruity note did persist through the finish, however, and for a beer of its size, it finished pleasantly dry, which lent a drinkability factor to it that I had not expected. At over 10 percent ABV, I do not suggest sampling massive quantities of this beer at one sitting. However, this beer ends up being one of the most intriguing that I’ve tasted this year, and one that should be on the wish list for anyone seriously trying to expand their palate concerning barrel-aged beers.  

This is a beer not only to sample today, but one that would also benefit from extended cellar aging. Do not miss it.