Saturday, March 20, 2010

263. Brooklyn Black Ops 2010

This is our third beer from Brooklyn—previously on what we’re drinking, we explored the joys of both East India Pale Ale and Pennant Ale ’55. Our friends Jeff and Jeffrey were over to sample some beers and to play Brewmaster, a card game where you brew beers and collect beer festival trophies—the one who collects the most trophies wins the game. The game was pretty fun, but it could have used a bit more complexity—while you had to collect two yeasts to brew a Belgian beer, there was no reciprocal need to collect extra hop cards to brew an IPA. And I do need someone to explain to me why there was no hop shortage card as one of the cards that made you lose brewing materials or your turn. I know, I know, it’s just a card game. Anyway, Elli ended up winning the game, and we tried a couple of tidbits along the way.

Jeffrey with the sweet beer festival trophy!

Black Ops pours an opaque black with a thick brown creamy head; the nose includes plenty of oak and bourbon, as well as plenty of roasted malt and smaller amounts of vanilla. Beginning with a rich roasty front, Black Ops has an oaky and bourbon middle with some of the vanilla from the nose; there is some alcohol flavor in the end, although the beer finishes dry and creamy. The mouthfeel is creamy, thick, and chewy, although the body is only medium, and the carbonation helps smooth out the beer across the profile. There is a bit of alcohol warmth at the end, but nothing overbearing. The balance of the oak flavors in the beer is a real plus; mixed with the roasted malt and vanilla, the subtlety is already apparent in this beer. Black Ops is a delicious beer; while it could use a bit more age to limit the alcohol flavor and warmth at the end, this would only be to make an already good beer better. And besides, what do you think our second bottle is doing right now?

From the bottle: “Brooklyn Black Ops does not exist. However, if it did exist, it would be a robust stout concocted by the Brooklyn brewing team under the 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.”

Not so excited anymore, huh, tough guy?

Given the above description, it is not surprising that there is nothing on the Brooklyn website.

ABV: 11.6%

Jeff also brought over another beer from Jackie O’s—some sort of Orange Wheat Funk. It had a bretty-funky nose, some still discernable orange flavor, and a dry and slightly sour profile. Good, but we don’t have much in the way of notes—we were all concentrating on the Brewmaster game.


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