They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

No. Sleep. Till BROOKLYN

I've always been a major fan of Brooklyn Beer. That's why it's always made me a little sad that we don't get as much as we probably should in this country. Don't get me wrong, we get plenty, I even managed a few Brooklyn Blasts! about a week ago, (a truly fantastic beer) but it seems to me that a lot of the specials and the more sought after brews never really grace our shop.

That was until last week!

First up to bat in the list of possible greats is Brooklyn Monster Barley Wine. This beer comes across with a gorgeous rich burnt amber hue. A faint wiff of caramel malt comes about, but it has a classic aroma of a Brooklyn beer - it's pretty recognisable. Plenty of toffee, a little candy floss and some brown sugar.

The flavour is instant, intense and smoooth. A bitter beast of a beer, but you can still tell there's plenty of malt richness about this 10.3% behemoth. Flavours of candy apples and lots of orangy pithy goodness. plenty of brown sugar and caramel too, mixed with a touch of vanilla and a nice marmalade quality. A brilliant Barley Wine, no disappointment at all - one for the keeper shelves!

Second up comes a beer which needs no introduction, because apparently, it doesn't have one.

While all the blurb on the bottle of Brooklyn Black Ops, being it the beer that doesn't exist, is an interesting read, what I really wanted to find out was whether or not this beer was worth the 25 squid I coughed up for it. And also if I could tell if there was any sort of outside (or mental) influence which dictated my opinion on the beer otherwise. This was something I had started to wonder about in a post a couple of weeks back. Let's dive in then I guess!

Brooklyn Black Ops, I can tell you, is a beer which does exist. It's a 10.7% Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon barrels for 4 months then bottled flat and re-fermented with Champagne yeast. The aroma is rich, powerful but mysteriously inviting. Lots of vanilla and spicy/woody Bourbon. Burnt malts and a little lactic dominate also. Cherry skin like spirit and a fired up essence that hits the back of your throat making you realise before you even drink it that it's going to have it's way with you.

It's light in body/mouthfeel, not what I was expecting. I get so much chocolate... sooo much rich dark chocolate. It's like liquidated chocolate truffles aged in Bourbon! It has as much boozy goodness in it, you could probably say it's leaning a little more toward a liqueur than a beer. It's quite a sweet beer. A little hazelnut and milk. I'm not sure if it's the Champagne yeast but there's definitely something very different about this beer. It's hard to put your finger on, whilst still being completely blown away. Soy notes and a little liqourice, raisins and blackberries, woody molasses and a deep, deep long finish which tells you; your going to have a good night tonight!

Was it worth the £25?? Only time will tell I guess... I'm only a 3rd in with 2/3rds left to go! It's going to be great fun finding out.

Bring it on.


  1. How did the rest of the bottle go down? Sounds like its a one bottle only deal, you wouldn't want to be drinking it regularly.

  2. I'm more no sleep til hammersmith myself.

  3. Brewbie - I think you judge how a night went on how the morning goes. In that case, it was a hell of a night. As the bottle warmed it became a different beer. More delicate complexities started to come out. I really enjoyed it, because it wasn't as in your face as most Imperial Stouts can be. It was a refined, balanced beer, and one I feel very privileged to have drunk, but yes your right - not one for a regular basis!

    Ed - Nice ;)

    1. Good times then! Might have to try it myself.