By Kevin Burns, Beer Columnist
The bottle of Brooklyn Brewery Black Ops states:
"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 1,000 cases. We have no idea what they're talking about."
In some ways, that says it all, but here's my review anyway.
Brooklyn Black Ops poured a pitch black color with a thumb-width, brown head. The nose is dominated by bourbon oak, with lots of dark malt and chocolate aromas.
The body is thick, with lots of malt, a sweetness up front and lots of chocolate. There is plenty of depth and a strong coffee flavor comes in on the back end. The finish is a little dry, with a bitterness from the coffee flavor and a light alcohol burn where the bourbon is noticeable.
Overall, this is a great, great beer. It is a little pricey, but is very well balanced and the depth and complexity if the flavors is amazing. The body is rich and smooth, and incredibly easy drinking for its style.
This is a big, big beer that could be paired with any number of foods.
You can go with a rich, gamy meat or dessert here but my recommendation would be to leave this beer alone. Pour Black Ops into a snifter, let it sit for a bit, and enjoy this as an after dinner drink.
This is a sipping beer that is meant to be enjoyed and quite frankly it is Brooklyn's best effort which is really saying something.