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 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
adrian910ss (2561) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 9, 2010
On draft at Capones. Pours a clear copper with s medium sized off white head. Aroma of light fruit, toffee and almond biscoti. Taste is lightly fruitywith hints of toffee and almond biscoti. Bready aftertaste and a bit watery.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Rciesla (5500) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - NOV 20, 2009
Cask at the tiger. Pours an amber body with a thin off white head. Peach and pear skins and some other apple ish light fruit ester. A moderate warm fruit body that comes out a bit malted and chewy but slightly cloying. Decent cask ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JoeMcPhee (9268) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 20, 2009
Cask at Blind Tiger and at The Pony. Deep amber pour with a tight, thin white head. The nose is loaded with softly sweet, crackery malt. A lot of light fruitiness with apple, pear and orange marmalade being the most prominet. Sweet and a little bit viscous, but never cloying, it’s got a good balance of malt and yeastiness. I think it could be a little bit hoppier, but there is a nice balance in here. A pretty solid interpretation of an English Strong Ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
glennmastrange (2621) - hobe sound, Florida, USA - JAN 12, 2010
Tap. Moderate bready and caramel malt aroma, light flowers and dough for the hops and yeast, with dried fruit and cane syrup in the background. Head is small, creamy, slightly off-white with fair lacing and is mostly diminishing. Color is clear light copper. Flavor starts moderately sweet and a bit tart, then finishes lightly to moderately sweet and acidic and lightly bitter. Palate is medium, oily, with a soft carbonation and a chewy finish. A nicely balanced English Strong Ale, and very easy to drink.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
mansquito (5109) - 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
swoopjones (7021) - Buffalo, New York, USA - APR 15, 2010
Draft @ Coles, Buffalo. NY. Orange honey color. Aromas of sweet malts, hay, honey. Sweet malt driven flavor, hints of spice, light juicy fruit gum. Medium mouthfeel. Good solid beer

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - SEP 17, 2010
On tap at Capital Ale House - Downtown on 03/05/2010. Slightly hazy amber body with a small creamy off-white head. Sweet caramel and earthy hop aroma. Sweet caramel, toast, malt, earthy hop flavor. Medium full body with moderate carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
j12601 (9549) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - NOV 20, 2009
On tap at the Blind Tiger’s VSK3 event. Pours a clear brownish orange. Malty, sweet, and smelling a bit like pumpkin cough syrup, if there were such a thing. Medium bodied, a bit tangy, and very sweet. I’ll have to revisit this since I’m sure it will hit taps near me, but overall, wasn’t super impressed.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
puzzl (3258) - 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 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.

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