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 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 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 14/20
juiceisloose (1318) - Windermere, Florida, USA - MAR 3, 2010
Draft at redlight. Pours a mostly clear, dark amber color with a small, foamy off white head that slowly settles leaving spots of lace behind. The aroma shows notes of citrus fruit, cereal grain malts, wheat, with some floral hops on the back end. The flavor follows suit with the sweet, bready, cereal grain malts, with some wheat and honey as well. A touch of floral hops add some bitterness on the back. Light bodied with good carbonation with a clean finish. Not bad, but just nothing special here.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TeamTrappist (832) - jericho, New York, USA - APR 14, 2010
Tap at Blind Tiger. Poured a clear copper color with no head. Nose was very light but was mostly malty what a surprise. Dry and malty session beer with some spice and bitter notes. Not much up front as the flavor is all in the middle. Very drinkable but not amazing.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
CUJO (383) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - DEC 13, 2009
RnH: tap: I read through the story first... now I’m going to feel bad about my review! There really wasn’t much to this beer at all: medium amber color, no head to speak of, no lacing... aroma was mild, malts and sugars... a slight hint of bitters but not much else.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Maverick34 (3010) - New York, USA - DEC 14, 2009
I had no clue what this was supposed to be. I guess the hops and malts made it vaguely English. Some interesting tastes but ultimately it didn’t work in the end for me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
ben4321 (5773) - 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 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Aurelius (5094) - 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 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 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.

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