Brooklyn Back Breaker
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RATINGS: 67   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.21   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
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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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
zach8270 (3472) - 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 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
vtafro (3426) - Wayne, New Jersey, USA - JAN 11, 2010
Cask @ Blind Tiger. Brune pour with a off white head. Very light on carbonation. Really didn’t enjoy this. malt and slight hop presence.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
beerbill (3407) - Laurel, New York, USA - DEC 12, 2009
Growler filled at Bellport Cold Beer & Soda and consumed within two hours of filling. Pours a clear amber with a moderate linen white head that lasts through the first two sips and leaves a few scattered patches of lace. Mild aroma of caramel, malt and just a bit of brown sugar. The flavor is caramel, malt, and brown sugar followed by some mildly spicy hops. Lightly sweet. Moderate bitterness at the finish. The story behind the beer is interesting, the beer itself, not so much.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
mansquito (3387) - 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 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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Kinz (3291) - 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
puzzl (3251) - New York, New York, USA - JAN 23, 2010
On draft. Pale-ish gold pour. Frizzy lemon-and-sugar cookie aroma. Medium bodied, fairly yeasty, spicy, British flavor. Distinct but not memorable. Needs more earthy hops.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
auerbrau (3177) - Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA - DEC 30, 2009
On tap at Track 84. Aroma is a soft, gingerbread malt, with a bit of biscuit and a touch of apple. Mild. Pours a clearish pale orange copper, with a rim in white. Wet field malt character. Plain brown sugar, a bit of figgy pudding and some cream. Some eggnog, almond dough, and a good leafy hop note add needed complexity. A little light on the chewier, darker sugars, but otherwise very nice. Good flourish of flavor at the finish and nice balance.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
PilsnerPeter (3028) - Flushing, New York, USA - DEC 21, 2009
@ Blind Tiger: Hazy deep rusty copper pour with a fading off white head. Grainy aroma- some off esters and solventy notes (hot fermentation?) Slick body. Solventy and metallic flavors with some restrained grains. One dimensional and filled with off flavors.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
LinusStick (2854) - Moon Twp, suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 7, 2010
Good for the style I guess, but very bland. Aroma was so so. A hint of roasted malt and caramel. Pour was a nice medium brown with a one finger off white head. Taste was very bland and watery and the great carbonation doesn’t let many flavor through. A slight caramel malt aftertaste but that’s about it. BMC drinkers would love this

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