I heard about the coming and going of this beer before I ever saw a bottle of it. A stout aged in bourbon barrels? Sign me up! Unfortunately, this one was released in such a limited quantity its even being listed on E-bay as “rare.”
This one was set aside for me, and I cracked a huge smile when I saw it. The black logo with dark silver lettering has a sophistication and element of mystery.
The label copy says :
“Brooklyn Black Ops does not exist. However, if it did exist, it would be a robust stout concocted by the Brooklyn brewing team under cover of secrecy and hidden from everyone else at the brewery. Supposedly, “Black Ops” was aged for four months in bourbon barrels, bottled flat, and re-fermented with Champagne yeast, creating big chocolate and coffee flavors with a rich underpinning of vanilla-like oak notes. They say there are only 1000 cases. We have no idea what they’re talking about.”
I uncorked it and took a deep smell from the top of the bottle. What made it to my nose nearly knocked me over. Alcohol, raisins, malts – it smelled delicious, inviting, dark, and most of all strong. As I poured it out of the bottle, it dribbled and flowed like motor oil, but sprung up a big foamy chocolate milk head. As I sipped the head off a little to get down to the beer, I reveled in the chocolate, vanilla malts.
The taste of this one is exquisite. Oaky and sweet from the refermentation and champagne yeast, strongly alcoholic yet… balanced. That sounds impossible, and I’m actually surprised that this didn’t knock me over as much as I thought it would. I assumed it would have a nasty bite, but again, I’m impressed by the smoothness of this stout. It has a very nice warming quality about it, too. It finishes with a beautiful bit of sediment from the refermentation, which is a tasty sweet note at the end.
A win, if you can find it. (don’t forget to check e-bay…)