Brooklyn Back Breaker
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RATINGS: 68   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.21/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
Making malt has always been hard work. The barley needs to be soaked, sprouted to exactly the right point, and then gently dried, capturing the enzymes that will convert grain starches into malt sugars. For hundreds of years this was done on a “malting floor”, where workers would control the sprouting of the malt by constant raking, adjusting temperature and preventing the rootlets of the malt from weaving together into an inseparable mat. But it was backbreaking work. Men dragged 75 lb wrought iron rakes through the malt beds and then smoothed it all over by hand with specialized shovels and ploughs. Eventually maltsters created mechanized malting methods. It was much easier, but the malts weren’t quite the same, their flavors not as rich. So some maltsters retained their traditional malting floors and still use them today.

In August brewmaster Garrett Oliver traveled to the Crisp Maltings in rural Great Ryburgh, England to make malt on their 150 yr old malting floor. After five days of raking, ploughing, shoveling and kilning 19 tons of malt, he gained a new appreciation for the flavors of traditional floor malts. And he took the malt back to Brooklyn. Now we bring you BackBreaker, a robust honey-colored ale bursting with the juicy flavors of our heirloom Maris Otter malt and aromatized with earthy English Fuggle hops. It’s a beer that pairs wonderfully with all your autumn and winter dishes. We hope you enjoy it, and hey – don’t ever say we never did nothin’ for ya.

Malt: “Brewmaster’s” Floor-malted Maris Otter Pale Malt, Great Ryburgh, England, English Crystal malt.
Barley grower: Teddy Maufe
Hops: English Fuggle
OG: 17.0° Plato
ABV: 7.0%

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TeamTrappist (832) - jericho, New York, USA - APR 14, 2010
Tap at Blind Tiger. Poured a clear copper color with no head. Nose was very light but was mostly malty what a surprise. Dry and malty session beer with some spice and bitter notes. Not much up front as the flavor is all in the middle. Very drinkable but not amazing.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Aurelius (5068) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - MAR 26, 2010
Man, I thought that this was going to rock, but I came away disappointed. I have a lot of respect for Brooklyn, and for English ales, so I was sure that this was a must-have. Cloudy, medium to dark hone amber. Spot-on, slightly fruity English bitter aroma. Flavor, unfortunately, was a little astringent and homebrew-y, woody, cidery at times, and just came off as off-kilter. Mouth is light. Long tea-bitter finish. On draught, Capital Ale House, Richmond.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - MAR 14, 2010
Draft at Novare Res in Portland, ME. Pours a cloudy rusty color with a small white head. nose is heavy doughy notes with some light grassy and straw hop notes. Palate is medium, with a light fizziness and a clean finish. FLavor is more of the heavy, bready malt notes with toast and grassy hop notes.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
mabel (8640) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 8, 2010
[2646-20091205] Tap. Boozy grainy fruit malt aroma has a hint of banana. Slightly hazy, light brown orange body with a quick foamy white head. Fruity weird banana malt flavour. Medium-full body. Nice to try but odd banana fruit characteristics.
(@ Mr. Goodbar, Buffalo, NY)

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Kinz (3737) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - MAR 5, 2010
Draft at Cap Ale House with Butters and maniac for maniac’s b-day. Pale amber, decent head fades quickly. Lightly malty aroma of caramel accented malts. Flavor was lightly caramel malt and a touch of earthy hops faint on the finish. Just not much going on here - I was really wanting the Maris Otter to smack me in the face. Instead it just sort of waved at me from across the street. Too bad.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 4, 2010
UPDATED: MAR 6, 2010 Pours a dark golden amber orange color with a thin one finger off white head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring. Not much lacing. Sweet caramel malt aroma with hints of mares otter and subtle earthy hops and citrus. Biscuity malt and orange peel in the nose. Medium bodied with an overly sweet malt profile with hints of toffee, biscuit and caramel. Subtle earthy pine hops with hints of orange peel and tangerine. Decently balance but kind of simple and pedestrian.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
juiceisloose (1309) - Windermere, Florida, USA - MAR 3, 2010
Draft at redlight. Pours a mostly clear, dark amber color with a small, foamy off white head that slowly settles leaving spots of lace behind. The aroma shows notes of citrus fruit, cereal grain malts, wheat, with some floral hops on the back end. The flavor follows suit with the sweet, bready, cereal grain malts, with some wheat and honey as well. A touch of floral hops add some bitterness on the back. Light bodied with good carbonation with a clean finish. Not bad, but just nothing special here.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
ben4321 (5684) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - MAR 2, 2010
Location: On tap at Hop Devil Grill, 2/13/10

Aroma: Caramel and toffee malts
Appearance: Clearish copper color
Flavor: Some sweetness, light hop balance
Palate: Creamy, low carbonation, lightish body
Overall Impression: Not very detailed notes on this one, but I do remember that I didn’t love this one, something about it just wasn’t quite right. Everything about it is solid, and it is pretty much on target for what they were trying to do, but for some reason it just didn’t quite work for my taste buds. It isn’t bad, but I wouldn’t see myself ordering it again.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
zach8270 (4022) - Henrietta, New York, USA - FEB 23, 2010
(draft @ The Old Toad - Rochester, NY) Clear orange color with a thin white head. Aroma is mildly malty and balanced with a slight hop bitterness. Nothing special there. Flavor is exactly the same. Some malts, some hops. Balanced but a little more on the bitter and crisp side than sweet and malty. Alcohol is hidden well, but this is just nothing special.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - FEB 23, 2010
Draft at Redlight Redlight. Pours clear, with a medium-dark, reddish-amber color. A small, foamy, cream colored head is lasting, leaving smooth, sticky rings of lacing in its wake. The aroma sports notes of clean cereal grain malts, honey, bubblegum, and wheat. A light dose of citrus blossom hops lends a semblance of balance to the otherwise overly grainy and sweet malt base. Flavors too are sweet, grainy, and biscuity. Mostly clean and easy going, there’s a slight gumminess like you sometimes find in a hefeweizen. Floral hops show faintly on the finish. The palate is on the light side, with balanced carbonation leading into an even keeled finish. Overall, a decent though forgettable brew.

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