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Brooklyn Back Breaker
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RATINGS: 67   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.21   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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%


4.2
   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.

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jodah52 (210) - Michigan, USA - FEB 20, 2010
Light brown with a hint of amber and a cream-colored head, attractive. Aroma of fresh hops and malt, with hints of smoke and wood. Flavors are tightly controlled and superbly balanced, subdued sweetness finishing in crisp but not overpowering hop bite. The fairly high ABV for this style is hidden very well; this would make an excellent, refined session beer. Though understated, I think this is fantastic.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Drake (7948) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - JAN 17, 2010
Sampled on draft at Beer Run in Charlottesville, VA. Pours a clear amber color with a medium head. Good head retention and lacing. Aroma of caramel with a faint floral hop note. Taste is toasted malts, caramel and a bitter leafy hop finish. Medium bodied.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
yobdoog (1888) - Woodridge NY, 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.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
auerbrau (3126) - 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.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
HogTownHarry (5984) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - APR 19, 2010
On Draught at Cole’s. Clear but deep bright refractive slightly reddish-amber with a smallish creamy off-white head. Smells great - roasty, lush with resiny "C" hops - mmmm - some alcohol, not too sweet, which is nice - really appealing (8-). Taste is interesting, the hops in the aroma are hardly present in the flavour at all - it’s mostly solid roasty malt - sweet, with background herbal/resiny dry bitterness - definitely alcohol, and a hint of carbonization; "black IPA"? - solid, regardless - I’d like a BIT more flavour hopping. Average body, solid carbonation - has a nice, restrained, slightly dry bitter finish with just a hint of booziness. Good stuff.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
DerWeg (1431) - 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.

3.6
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
HoppityHop (170) - New Jersey, USA - NOV 24, 2009
On tap at the always fun, Barcade. Listed as an American-style on their beer menu, but one sniff and one sip later, I could tell this one was certainly more of an English-style ale. Minimal hop presence, nice malty flavor, decent amount of alcohol warmth. Liked this one, for sure. Well done, true to style English-style strong (or possibly, old) ale.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - DEC 7, 2009
On tap at Church Key DC: Pours a clear deep amber copper with a small ring of off-white head. Aroma of sweet toasted caramely malts and some piny English hops. Starts with pretty good fullness and rich caramel maltiness with some light fruity complexity, golden raisins and a decent hop balance before a smooth bittersweet finish. Very true to style and enjoyable.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
kp (10886) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - DEC 15, 2009

Date: December 09, 2009
Mode: Draft
Source: The Porter, Atlanta
Appearance: hazy amber, frothy beige head, heavy lace
Aroma: sweet spicy aroma, light caramel sweetness, fresh bready, hint of chocolate
Body: creamy body
Flavor: rich caramel flavor, nice sweetness, light spicyness, bready, touch of chocolate, light balancing bitterness
Aroma: 7/10; Appearance: 7/10; Flavor: 7/10; Palate: 7/10; Overall: 14/20
Rating: 3.6/5.0
Drinkability: 8/10
Score: *** /4


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