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 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
thedm (5215) - Fort Wayne, USA - JUN 30, 2010
This bottled brew from a beer festival poured a small sized head of foamy fine to medium sized white colored bubbles that were and left behind a softly carbonated transparent light orange brown colored body. The mild aroma was rye and malty. The vinous mouth feel was weakly tingly at the start mediumly tingly at the finish. The flavor contained notes of vinous rye and malt. A decent one that I would consider drinking again.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
ben4321 (5076) - 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 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Dickinsonbeer (5075) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - JAN 10, 2010
UPDATED: MAR 5, 2010 Cask at BT. Pours a mostly clear coppery brown with a foamy airy cask head- fades a bit. Aroma is caramel and toffee malt,s earthy leather, spiced, fruity esters, yeasty a bit sherry oxidation even though it was a fresh cask- on further tasting from tap at Barcade there is a lot of Butter- blech.. Flavor is sherry plum esters, sharp caramel, toasted malts, Butter solvent-like clove and pepper, earthy and stale malt finish and lightly bitter. Strange beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Thorpe429 (5016) - , Illinois, USA - MAR 5, 2011
Reviewed from notes. Pours amber with a bit of brightness. White head and a bit of lacing. Nose is sweet malt with a bit of fruit, toffee, and caramel. Taste is lightly sweet wihout much else. Medium body wig a bit of alcohol. Great concept, but fairly plain overall. Serving type: on-tap Reviewed on: 10-19-2010

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
michael-pollack (4959) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 29, 2009
Draught at Capone’s: Aroma of malts, light caramel, and slight toffee. Poured orange in color with a large, creamy, dense, off-white head that greatly diminished but still lasted throughout. Hazy. Not sparkling. Good lacing. Flavor is light to medium sweet. Tastes of malts, light bread crust, water, and hints of cocoa and almond. Medium body. Lightly dry texture. Average carbonation. Dry, malt and slight cocoa finish. Disappointing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
obguthr (4903) - Staunton, Virginia, USA - JAN 10, 2010
Draft: Woody juniper nose. Hazy copper, thin yellow head. Malt flavor that is a touch moldy, but in a pleasing way. Finishes with a salty ocean breeze. Unique and moderately enjoyable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Aurelius (4773) - 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
mansquito (4474) - Nueva York, New York, USA - JAN 26, 2010
As other people have noted, this is a strange beer that is very difficult to categorize. I got in at Swift Hibernian Lounge, where no information is posted about the beer. I only had a sense that the alcohol content was somewhat high because of the Chimay chalice they poured the beer into, everything else, I had to figure out with my nose and tongue. Pours an orange color with a creamy looking white head, and leaves some light lacing. Aroma is mostly fruity, cherry. The taste is heavy on tart bubblegum/ cherry flavor right around the middle, and then it changes to a really good finish... yeasty maybe. There is a tiny bit of bitterness and really mild hops in the beer, but they are like a subtle undertone complementing the other flavors. Overall, I liked this beer. It was weird and I would have had no idea how to describe it... I thought for a second that it was a Belgian style, but it didn’t quite fit in that category, nor does it really fit in the English Strong Ale category, but I guess the reason why we got such a categorization is because it fits all the bigger beers with crazy flavors under one roof.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - FEB 22, 2010
Cask @ Blind Tiger. Poured a deep hazy amber color. Mild sweaty hop aroma with some citrus notes below. Semi-sweet toasted malt flavor. Semi-dry hop finish. Light bodied with a very light carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JAN 23, 2010
On tap at Tyler’s, Durham. Still looking amber pour, but almost merits a 4 for simply being so bright. The nose is sweet fruit and juniper to begin with, some soft malt emerging just a tad. Body is a bit thin, and the beer is certainly flavorful enough. But the Fuggles get a bit lost in a beer that doesn’t seem quite to know what direction it’s headed.

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