pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 31, 2008
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
750ml bottle. thanks to eyedrinkale for sharing this rare surprise at kuhnhenn... dark caramel brown pour, pretty murky with a decent light tan head...musty aroma with soft bourbon and caramel notes... flavors of caramel and toffee along with light bourbon and toasted malt. pretty lively mouthfeel and flavors finish pretty quickly.
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - DEC 21, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours with a frothy head that settles into a thin sheen. Aroma is bourbon but it doesnt smack you in the face. Flavor is a nice caramel with a soft carbonation and the bourbon complements it nicely. I thought this beer was a crazy idea but it really works.
wetherel (1863) - Cupertino, California, USA - DEC 1, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 ml bottle from EDA shared at WeeHeavySD’s 2000th tasting. Thanks Mike! Brown. Light in flavor. Light malty sweetness. Doesn’t taste high in alcohol, now that I read the description I see the alcohol is lower (6.2%). Usually I think of sours and strong beers for barrel aging. This is an odd ball. Still tasty.
Rciesla (5500) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - DEC 1, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours a dark brown body with a tan head. Chocolate, licorice, loads of chocolate, lots of bourbon and oak. Light fruitiness. Great beer.
fordest (2435) - Santee/San Diego, California, USA - NOV 27, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
750 ml bottle shared at WeeHeavySD’s 2000th rate tasting. Brown pour with a decent head. Roasted malts and some sweet aromas. Flavor was decent with more frutiness and some alcohol on the finish. Pretty good for a brown...
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - NOV 27, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
750mL bottle, courtesy of wetherel. Thanks, John! Pours a dense, murky orange-brown color; off-white head with solid, fine-bubbled lacing. Solid amounts of white pepper, toasty Belgian sugars, and dried fruits in the aroma; nicely dry. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: lots of chewy Belgian sugars, very light spice, and dense dried red fruits; touches of warming, reserved alcohol coming through. Lengthy finish: dried red fruits, Belgian sugars, and lots of lasting toastiness.
WeeHeavySD (3379) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 27, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle from the Blind Tiger event, via wetherel via EDA. Pours brown with a tan head. Nose is sweet with slight bourbon notes. Taste is very light, smooth with some bourbon in there.
nhorween (645) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 21, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at Blind Tiger’s Brooklyn Event. Mahogany brown, cloudy, with a tan head. Sweet and hoppy aroma, caramel, toffee, vanilla, and nice woodiness. Balanced, with more toffee and pithy citrus. Cinnamon and clove, excellent smooth and easy finish. Nice, tight mouthfeel and quite smooth. The bourbon here is really well balanced, and definitely there, but it doesn’t take away from the other flavors at all. So far, I’m quite impressed with the Brooklyn barrel aged offerings. Nicely done.
puzzl (3259) - New York, New York, USA - NOV 18, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle at the Blind Tiger. I was expecting to hate this, but despite it being extremely bourbony it was really quite nice to drink. Had a great pour with a wonderful head, especially for a beer out of a barrel. Very dark brown. Aroma is up front bourbon, but filled with cherry and vanilla, and is very smooth. No heat from the alcohol or spirits. The body is a bit hot though, with a sweet, corny bourbon, mellow and round and robust. Some wheat and bubblegum flavors show up as well — the latter being the only hint this had any Belgian influence at one point. Solid work.
otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - NOV 1, 2008
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
I am writing this review in the full knowledge, acceptance, and understanding that I have total bias in my thorough enjoyment of this beer. But before I delve into the sensual and orgasmic experience that was the Brooklyn Dark Matter, let me back up and first discuss another love of mine, bourbon. I was able to enjoy my first good bourbon a little over a year ago which was the Woodford Reserve. I love a good single malt scotch, but bourbons are new territory for me. Thankfully, my first foray into unknown woods was with a quality bourbon, albeit a bit on the sweeter side as opposed to some. It was divine. With my Woodford Reserve indoctrination under my belt, I was more than ready to delve into the Dark Matter from Brooklyn Brewery. A special gift and a very limited production with absolutely no intentions for any further production, I was thrilled to savor its dark depths, and depressed to know that I would be unable to ever meet her again.
Brooklyn Dark Matter is their brown ale which is taken and aged for 8 months in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels. After spending 8 luxurious months in the barrels, the brown ale was then taken and bottled with champagne yeast in 750ml corked bottles for a secondary and final fermentation to create the truly divine and inspired brew within.
My Dark Matter poured a rich opaque brown, much like dark mud or wet dirt, with faint traces of burnt amber tracing the bottom of my glass. A tightly packed dark head fades to a miniscule ring around the sides of my glass while her brew below stares seductively at me. Very slight brussels lace invite as I partake of her nose. Fresh vanilla beans, warm spices and bourbon notes, smoke, with faint traces of cinnamon and burnt malt. her deep brown tones belies her soft and light body, thanks largely in part to being bottled for a secondary fermentation with champagne yeasts. Immediately my tastebuds and whole person are warmed by rich bourbon, vanilla, and wood notes. Coming in second are toffee and caramelized brown sugar. I am in heaven, literally. I want to savor her slowly, but I cannot wait and must return for more. Rich, warm, vanilla bourbon barrel notes; seductive. Subtly sweet and effervescent from start to finish. As I finish my glass, a few more brussels lace trace her divine travels from barrel, to bottle, to glass, and finally to me. I am left craving more, along with a glass of Woodford Reserve.
There are very few beer experiences I can recall where days afterwards I could in full clarity relive every single quaff. The Brooklyn Dark Matter is one such beer, and despite my desire for more, I will probably never be able to enjoy her ever again. But, that is a minor detail when compared to the privilege and life-altering experience of being blessed by her. If I could go back in time, I would go back to that moment so I could enjoy my Dark Matter once more.