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Brooklyn Monster Ale

Formerly brewed at Brooklyn Brewery
Style: Barley Wine
Brooklyn, New York USA
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1566   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.58/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 324   ABV: 10.8%
Brooklyn Monster Ale is a classic barley wine, a style of ale originally brewed by the butlers to the English and American aristocracy. It is brewed from three mashes of heirloom British malt and spiced with aromatic American Willamette, Cascade and Fuggle hops.

After four months of aging, it has a magnificent burnished copper color, an aroma redolent of sherry, citrusy hops and fruit, a soft, warming, complex palate, a spiritous finish, and a strength of 10.8%.

It is vivacious when young, but will age gracefully for many years, becoming more complex over time.

Food Matches

Brooklyn Monster Ale is a fine accompaniment to cheeses, ice cream, flourless cakes, crème brulee and good cigars.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Lou18 (1353) - West Paterson, New Jersey, USA - JAN 8, 2005
born in 2004. Bottle: Wow! Monsterous sherry nose. Color is burgundy/brown with a white head. Haed is small, but tight. Strong alcohol in this one. Slightly sweet, with nice carbination and a sour/dry finish. Drinkable and quite nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
RateandPillage (426) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JAN 7, 2005
2004 bottle. Dark yellow appearance with thin head. Good malt ahd hop aroma. Seems a bit thin and lacking in complexity for a barleywine. Overall, pretty good but there are more complex barleywines that I prefer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
rajendra82 (1011) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - JAN 3, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 14, 2006 The beer came in a brown 12 oz. bottle with a shiny silver label and neck wrapping. The label proudly proclaimed a born on date in 2004. The beer poured clear reddish amber (the color of tea) with a small thin head. The smell was also evocative of strong tea, with a toasty caramel malt backed by herbal hops.

The taste was creamy and honey sweet with a clingy minty and buttery aftertaste that was a bit cloying. Restrained and mellow, this beer felt a bit too subdued. Alcohol was very well hidden, and I would never have guessed the strength to be as high as it was. Quite thin bodied for the style, and even thirst quenching on some levels. A sessionable barleywine, who would have thunk?

The 2004 vintage of this beer was the first one I picked up after the law change in Georgia, and at the time I though this was a beer worth cellaring. In the past year and a half I was able to avoid the calls of the lone remaining bottle of Monster. I suppose now is as good a time as any to take the plunge.

Poured into a tulip, the beer looked as clear as ever, with reddish brown body, and a small head that formed for a short while before settling down to a thin ring of bubbles. Not much carbonation to speak of either. The aroma was sweet, and floral. There were lots of fruity esters reminding me of figs, cherries, bananas, oranges, and apples. The alcohol was like rose oil. There was no hint of any oxidation, despite the warmish cellaring conditions in my basement.

The taste was smooth and mellow, with the flavors melded together to form a taste similar to fruit punch mixed with caramel sauce. The warm and spicy alcohol came shortly after, until giving way to vanilla. The texture was silky smooth and delicate. The hops which I remember being somewhat noticeable when fresh, had all faded into a slight peppery tingle.

This Monster was definitely a better beer with some age on it. The warmth of the alcohol has me wondering if this beer can go on improving a little more with age. Sadly the 2004 is now history, and 2005 bottles have some ways to go. Good things come to those who wait I suppose.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Jine (903) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - JAN 1, 2005
2004 12 oz bottle. A little sharp with the alcohol since its a youngin’. But I won’t let that get in the way. Bought this across the East River from ye olde Brooklyn so it seems extra fresh. I’m going back for more

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ClarkVV (4841) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 26, 2004
2004 draught @ Redbones. Pours a deep dark yellow, rusty and somewhat viscous looking (lightly hazy, wavy and thick looking). White whispy head. Aroma of old soily hops, sweet butter toffee, popcorn. Flavor begins somewhat reminiscent of EKU Eisbock, it’s got the sugary, sweet yellow fruits, light earthy, graininess in the background and a syrupy (not in a bad way) somewhat thick body. Hints of bitterness arise on the finish, but it is a restrained and pleasing bitterness. Succulent caramel and light apricots, nectarines and oranges dance on the palate as it finishes. Light alcohol notes interplay with the hops, creating a unique flavor which actually makes me remark to my girlfriend how unique this beer is (she dosent care). Interesting and very good. It’s kind of a sexless beast, with no distinctive English yeast or American hops, but good nonetheless.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Zach Diesel (906) - Sisters, Oregon, USA - DEC 26, 2004
my monster was born in 2003, toasted malt aroma with a hint of sherry, auburn with a thin head, caramely/toasty then a burst of intensely warming alcohol with lingering sweetness

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Gorbalev (3000) - Ontario, CANADA - DEC 22, 2004
2003 Vintage. Strong malty alcohol aroma. Dark red body. Slightly boozy tinny aroma as well. Boozy malt taste, more tin, in your face alcohol, and slight hop bitterness at the end. I agreed with jercraigs, this is one that could use some aging to tone the alcohol down a bit if possible. Pretty good as is though.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jercraigs (9154) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 22, 2004
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2009 2009-09-30.Ruddy brown body with a modest beige head. (3 + ) Aroma starts with hot alcohol notes, modest malt with caramel touches struggles but manages to get noticed. ( 7+ ) Flavour is similarly warm with alcohol, rich malt base is nearly overwhelmed but offers pleasant caramel malt. Warming alcoholic finish. Smooth medium bodied palate is lightly carbonated. While pleasant, I would personally enjoy just a touch more weight to the body. ( 3+ ) Overall it is quite pleasant, fairly simple barley wine. 7/3/7/3/16 - 3.7 2008 Vintage Bottle from Premier Gourmet, Buffalo

2004-12. Dark amber body with a smallish off white head. First aroma impression is of alcohol followed by a malty background. Smells a touch like rubbing alcohol, and some anonymous dark fruit. Flavour is sweet malt and alcoholic molasses. Bit of hops and I crazy, a wisp of citrus? Smooth but a touch thin on the palate, very warming. Could probably benefit from a year in the cellar. Alcohol prominence is really my only complaint. Bottle, 2003 Vintage 6/3/7/4/16 - 3.6

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
brewblackhole (1588) - Muskego, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 2, 2004
Amber like color, malty berry aroma, very round buttey like texture, Current raisin dominate,smooth strong and tastey with a slight alcohol aftertaste. Could be a little more complex, but a definite keeper

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JPDIPSO (5153) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 29, 2004
Born in 2003. Dark copper/cherry color with a lid of ecru bubbles which cling to the side of the glass then imbibed upon. Deep rich caramel, some mild floral and caskwood (sherry and apple brandy) aromas, but really rather thin. Quite a bit of tingling effervescence for this style. Some sherry and tawny port flavors. Really rather dry. I catch some cherry cola that distracts significantly for me, because now every sip I think about it, and it annoys me more. This does leave again as it warms, but then it seems to tin out and be a little more simple. I must say the 11% is not tasted, but I do seem to feel warmer. Decent effort.

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