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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Slipstream (2480) - USA - JAN 25, 2010
This was a good day for unusual beers. I like the story behinds this one. A lightly fruity and sweet ale. Low on hops, and with a bit of citrus. It is definitely unusual and hard to categorize. The empasis seems to be on the fruity tones (altho there is no fruit added), and there is a touch of skank. On tap at RnH.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
rudolf (2353) - Buffalo, New York, USA - DEC 3, 2009
Tap @ Goodbar. Really pretty dark copper body, thin white head. Noose is some nice toffee & honey malt, lightly spicy English hops. Flavor is caramel, floral hops, brown sugar, alcohol. More burnt sugar comes forward in the finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
redlight (2318) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 21, 2009
draft @ redlight redlight. Bready malts with spicy, grassy fuggles on the nose. Pours amber with a thick white head. Malty caramelly with low carbonation, hints of spicy hops in the background definitely malt forward. Not bad.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Imaena (2231) - Maputo, MOZAMBIQUE - AUG 17, 2013
Draught: This is a solid english strong and if you happen to see it on draught its worth a go.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
rocbyter (2079) - Waterbury, Connecticut, USA - FEB 1, 2010
On cask at the 10th annual Real Ale Fest at Bar in New Haven. Light cereal malt aroma with a light amount of bitterness. Hazy amber color with a small white head. Vegetable hop flavor that fades in the finish.

   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
yobdoog (1888) - Kingston, New York, USA - DEC 2, 2009
On cask. Aroma is sweet with a hint of fruit. A bit of yeast and almost a belgian like aroma. Flavor is smooth and sweet with some mellow spice and caramel. Very good and quite drinkable.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
zdk (1871) - New York, New York, USA - JAN 22, 2010
tap at Rattle n Hum - Pours orange/red toffee and caramel malts. Boozy vineous arouma. Finishes oddy tannic with some back sweetness. An odd brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - AUG 1, 2010
Gorgeous ambers, garnets, rubies, and mahoganies shimmer amidst their glasses confines while a khaki head lingers long through our slow session together. Her nose is ripe plums of all varieties while pears and red apples keep them company. Almonds, pecans, pecan praline, maple, and black strap molasses are solid performers. Subtly sublime, her nose exudes flavors galore with classic finesse. I immediately wonder what Backbreaker would taste like cask-conditioned? Let’s just say my mouth waters just thinking about it… Smooth, creamy, and silky sweet, plums, maple, and sun-soaked yellow raisins glide across my tastebuds and down my throat with nary a whisper of protest. Clean and crisp, she moves with purpose, painting succulent pictures of pears and apples, hold the skin please, while nuts of all varieties delight. Almonds and pecans make sweet love to maple and black strap molasses for an amazing interplay of fresh nutty goodness and pecan praline divinity. The top of my tongue dries after each quaff, keeping my burgeoning thirst up-front and center. As we grow ever more intimate, wood and sawdust flitter in and out of her dry finish while pistachio and cashews join their nutty brethren. Her maple caramelizes for more crunchy sweetness while apricots join her fruity cousins for one last hoo-rah before my glass empties.

Shazam! Pull up a stool, grab a pint, and wile the night away. I may have been at Vine & Barley in St. Lucie West, Florida, but for those 30 minutes or so of my life, I was in merry ol’ England buying a round for my peeps before last call came to pass. So good, so tasty, so English, and so sessionable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
DerWeg (1595) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - APR 29, 2010
Caramel and pale fruit, Mild but still mellow and round with a medium-fiull feel that sticks. Grass and lemon hop, good refined flavors and balance. Ultimately successful.

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