This is the big one. Piraat, Rochefort 10 and St Bernardus Abt 12 were all occupying the prestigious spaces of my Top 3 Beers, and it was no surprise as the Strong Belgian and Quadrupel ales were pretty much my favourite styles. Hefeweizens and IPAs were on the next step down, followed by lagers and bitters, with stouts and porters occupying the lowest rung of my preferred beer-style ladder. This is the way it would have stayed, if not for Brooklyn's Black Chocolate Stout. From the very first sip of this beer, I knew I now had a Top 4. Not only that, I had my opinion of stouts and porters blown to shreds and reassembled somewhere much closer to the top of that imaginary ladder. Since then, most of the beer I've bought to explore has been stout or porter, and much of it has been the Black Chocolate Stout. It's affordable and readily available despite being a seasonal brew, making it the perfect one to collect and age at 10% ABV. That's what I do, I buy it to put it away, then I can't resist the urge to open it, so I buy some more to replace it. It's a vicious cycle. So, there's my own storm of hype, let's see how my notes look.
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout pours absolutely pitch black with a dark tan head that retains a film throughout. The aroma is gorgeous, and very potent to say the least. The first thing I get on the nose is rich dark chocolate mousse, with sweet toffee and caramel malt notes and an overall sticky, woody quality. The taste brings forth woody chocolate and maple syrup, and it completely coats the mouth - very intense. Dark quad-like fruit flavours follow up, before dark chocolate sweetness and a syrupy alcohol heat signs off. While there's absolutely no bitterness to the beer, there may be hints of hops in the aroma, with very light herbal or medicinal qualities fighting for breath beneath the heavy chocolate malt. The mouthfeel is incredibly thick and smooth, and it would make for a beautiful winter warmer - I just love the way you can kind of feel the heat in your nostrils when exhaling after a sup. I'll definitely be aging this, though I can't imagine it getting much better than it already is.
This is a beautiful beer, and I must insist you try it.