Once upon a time, Brooklyn Brewery created a beer called “Cuvée Noire”, and this beer lived beyond the structures of beer styles. It had a stout-like malt structure, Belgian fermentation, and an irresistible personality. We loved Cuvée Noire, but in Brooklyn our admirations have never been limited to beer. So the brewing team quietly introduced this beer to one of our other enthusiasms – Kentucky bourbon oak. After many months of aging, those six bourbon barrels produced a “Ghost Bottle” nicknamed Cuvée Elijah, some of the tastiest beer we’ve ever made. And then, of course, we drank it all. Ummm…yeah. Sorry about that.
But you will forgive Brooklyn Brewery, because now they’ve made some of this beer for you as well. Brooklyn Cuvée Noire starts with a solid base of German malts, builds color and flavor from British and American roasted malts, gains rum notes from Mauritius raw sugar, grabs a hint of citrus from sweet orange peel, and then ferments under the flag of Belgium. Our Belgian house yeast lends the beer a gentle spiciness on a dry, brisk palate displaying notes of chocolate, coffee and citrus. Then follows six months in oak barrels, which marries all the flavors while adding overtones of vanilla, coconut, and flowers. Finally the beer is bottled completely flat and undergoes a full refermentation in the bottle. If this all sounds like way too much, let us assure you that it is, in fact, just right. Cuvée Noire is big enough to take a steak to dinner, roasty enough to love Mexican molé sauce, and complex enough to enjoy with nothing more than a good conversation. You’ve never had anything quite like it.
And as for the style thing, well, we sometimes believe in beer styles, but we’ll all just have to relax about this one. After all, Brooklyn Cuvée Noire is delicious, and it’s from Brooklyn, not Belgium. We don’t have a king, and no one’s gonna fence us in.
Given this beer’s higher ABV and sturdy character, we think it’s a prime candidate for cellaring. Find a cool, dry spot away from light sources, and see how it changes in the years to come. You never quite know what will happen when you age a beer: perhaps the body will smooth out, notes of vanilla, oak, and tannins will come to the front, or hints of leather and soy sauce will make themselves known. No matter what, remember that beer is meant for drinking, so don’t keep it to yourself for too long.