Monday, February 13, 2012

Something Warming From The Cellar

Winter finally came to Virginia this weekend. A high of about 32° and blustery winds made for a fine Sunday to stay inside. But of course there was lots of outdoors time to come. After Mass in the morning I stood around outside visiting with a friend. Once back home, those Christmas lights had to come off the bushes (finally). Later that evening, Colleen and I did a shift at the Scrip sales table outside the church for the Sunday 5:00PM Mass. Needless to say, by Sunday evening I was ready to get, and stay warm.

How to warm up at the end of the day? Colleen made a great start with a hearty, and delicious, spicy Italian sausage and pasta dish. But still more was needed. I decided it was time for a "big beer." I went to the basement and started looking through the bottles stashed away. I settled on a 2009 Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.

The beer poured pitch black with a frothy mocha-colored head. The head quickly dropped leaving behind a thin ring. (I was unable to resist a sip or two before I took the attached picture.) The aroma is that of dark bitter chocolate, with a hint of alcohol hitting the nose. The flavor is mix of dark chocolate and roasted espresso. There's a touch of bitter hops as well. In the finish that sought after alcohol warmth is felt, starting in the back of the throat and continuing down.

My impression is that some of the roasted and bitter hops notes have decreased slightly with age, but are still quite prominent. Interestingly the alcohol taste and aromas are still quite evident, perhaps even enhanced by the lessening of the masking bitter hop flavors.

Brooklyn Black Chocolate is a very enjoyable winter drink. I pick some up each year when it hits the shelves. At 10% ABV it's not an everyday beer, but rather a special treat when the occasion, or weather, warrants. I'll be enjoying many vintages of Black Chocolate Stout for many years in the future. I started putting away several bottles each year starting back in 2006.

I also posted a review of a "fresh" bottle of this excellent beer from Brooklyn Brewery back in December 2007.


  1. Oooooo...

    Your blog is so going to lead me into temptation during Lent...

    1. Don't give up beer for Lent. :-) Remember, the monks brewed good beer to survive Lent.

      You might enjoy a "project" I did for Lent a few years ago.

  2. Awww, that's probably one we don't get distributed down here. I had a chocolate ale this weekend that was pretty phenomenal.

    1. Not sure it's on the shelves still, but we should plan for some future trades.

    2. I am very much up for that. I'll shoot an email later today.


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