Brooklyn Black ops shares a special place in the nascent beer trader realm. It isn’t a common tick in the grandest sense, but at a certain point every level 1 cicerone attempts to scoff at it like the way you shake your head at photos of your ex gf and still secretly toss a beat sesh to them.
The parabolic arc for trying black ops usually looks like this:
First trades for two hearted, “what’s black ops? Oh I like stouts”
Second tier trades for huna/dark lord “ah yes, I need to try that”
Third tier trades for HF and beyond “I just hope someone extras me one, I am not trading for that, I am a beer expert, my BJ is certified”
So that’s what happened to old DDB. Once I got my palate degree, I secretly just hoped someone would extra me this $30 bottle, and then Years passed. At a certain point I wasn’t going to actively TRADE for it, bc ciceronemaster tastes AMIRITE. So finally I landed one, and we can address this old chestnut from years past.
The pour is dialed in, highly attenuated, nice sandstone lacing with clean legs like when u taping up that ankle for Zumba. The body is jet black, I see no ops, pre or post.
The nose is where the backend starts to slide out a little bit. If you were raised in the post Huna common era this would seem oddly not sweet enough. But understand Garrett Oliver is an author and businessman who doesn’t cast malt in the air to read the caprices of croc-wearing Untapprs. The nose has a sort of fudge and metallic aspect like if you pushed a batch of brownies through a coin star. There is a mineral and light roast to it that almost comes across as tobacco in the synergy. Most dipshits will allege that, as a result of merely using champagne yeast, they can actively smell sparkling white wine, because that makes sense right? Maybe they can, I get more of a Hershey’s meets morel earthiness that is weird but, someone had to make a massive oyster stout I guess.
In an age where everything is eerily similar, this at least tries to bend the mold, for better or worse. The whopping 4 months of bourbon aging really only underscores the dryness of this beer with the oak casting a spotlight on the brownie batter and alkaline profile. I will take a bone dry stout over some underattenuated DME mess nine times out of ten. In the realm of level one cicerones you can do a lot worse than this classic gem, ask anyone about losing their virginity to a Dark Lord and they will provide you with the same four tired adjectives.
So does this stand the test of time? Yes and no. It isn’t in that classic canon with the likes of Parabola and base Bourbon County, but it also isn’t some wacky aberrant beer where you wonder why they keep making it. The truth that most NY people know by now is that Brooklyn shines where they have always shone: in their solid year round lineup. Shit, even a bottle of Monster with a year on it is noting to sneeze at.
Like Darkness and Kate the Great and Sexual Chocolate: this is a beer you simply must try, if only for calibration sake and reflecting on the whimsy of days when beer traders would run through the heathers locked arm in arm.
I served my nickel, you come take me.