In 1984, Steve Hindy ended his over five years as an Associated Press war correspondent in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Sudan. He returned home to New York and along with banker Tom Potter, they set out to establish The Brooklyn Brewery.
Along with famed graphic designer Milton Glaser and $500,000 from family and friends, Hindy and Potter were able to deliver their first cases of beer in 1988. Starting with its flagship beer, Brooklyn Lager, Brooklyn Brewery’s portfolio has grown rapidly to include a wide range of brews to satisfy any taste.
They produce year round favorites like Brooklyn Lager, Sorachi Ace, Brooklyn Brown and many more. They have some very popular seasonals including todays beer, Black Chocolate Stout, a 10 percent imperial stout brewed with Canadian 2-row, caramel malt, malted wheat and a blend of American roasted malts and barleys. Willamette and American fuggle hops add to the profile to balance out the beer.
I received quite a surprise when I purchased this beer six months ago and realized this stout was bottled in winter 2012, making it over 3 1/2-years-old.
I excitedly open the 12-ounce bottle and proceed to pour into a Spiegalau stout glass, savoring the immediate aromas of heavy malts and grains, bitter chocolate, alcohol and a light, but present Coca-Cola like smell. The color is a very deep, almost blackish-brown with a solid finger of deep tan head, tiny carbonation bubbles shifting around at the top and light spotty lacing.
Black Chocolate Stout has aged very well, as I get strong flavors of bittersweet chocolate, malty grains, yeast rolls, bitter hops and a strong alcohol presence.
The balance is quite good between the grains and chocolate flavor, but the mouth feel is very thin and light. Some of the boldness that I would expect in this big beer is missing, leaving me wanting a bit more. The finish is super clean, almost too light, with remnants of bitter chocolate and coffee at the end. Alcohol feel remains a player throughout the whole warming process and is strong, but stays just a hair under too much.