Monday, January 05, 2009

Black Ops

Remember my little hey-let's-break-the-law-and-send-booze-thru-the-USPS episode? My sister-in-law returned the favor by sending me some Brooklyn brew. I received a bottle of Brooklyn Brewery's Black Ops Imperial Stout last week. I waited for the right moment to break it open, which turned out to be Sunday, the night before my husband and I had to return to work after 10 consecutive days of vacation. Aaaannnnnd, thud. But I slept very well.

Regardless, a strong imperial stout was perfect for the winter evening, and this is definitely a STRONG one. According to Beer Advocate info, Brooklyn Black Ops was aged for four months in bourbon barrels, bottled flat, and re-fermented in the bottle with Champagne yeast. There were 940 cases produced. The label looks much prettier in RL than here in the picture I ripped off of someone else's Flickr.

I kept the 750 ml bottle on my kitchen counter top for more than a day, so it was definitely room temperature by the time I poured the dark, motor oil colored stout into 2 pint glasses, and waited for the abundant dark tan head to settle down before we tried it. The first whiff seemed to contain some of the bourbon barrel character, but to be honest, mostly all I smelled was raw alcohol. Well, it is an 11% ABV beer. It kind of intimidated me, but only because it was a school night. The taste starts with dark roasted malts, chocolate and coffee flavors, maybe a little vanilla, a little bourbon burn, and ALCOHOL. A mostly direct quote from my husband went something like this, "This might be a great evening after all." I refrain from conjecturing what he meant by that.

All I know is that he polished off his glass long before I did. This was a sipper for me. Good, smooth, with the alcohol burn becoming less apparent with each gulp, but still a sipper. I couldn't really imagine having too much of this, but one pint was perfect. I had to get up early in the morning for the first time in almost 2 weeks. Blerg.