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Brooklyn Monster Ale

 (RETIRED)
overall
93
71
style
Formerly brewed at Brooklyn Brewery
Style: Barley Wine
Brooklyn, New York USA
Serve in Snifter

bottled
available

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 1573   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.58/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 324   ABV: 10.8%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Dalle (1145) - Skørping, DENMARK - FEB 13, 2005
Bottle. Amber-red with minimal head. Alcohol, cognac, over-ripe fruit, solid hop presence, medium to full bodied. This is a good beer for sipping - but I can’t say I’m a huge fan of american style Barley wine.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
desurfer (1276) - Melbourne, Florida, USA - JAN 23, 2005
2004. Pours a clear mahogany with no head. Aroma is quite malty and sweet. Flavor is vinous and fruity with some woody and alcoholic notes. Not much sets it apart from any other strong barleywine. Decent but unmemorable.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MillStreetMan (152) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 22, 2005
12 oz bottle. 2003 vintage. Fantastic. Pours an amber colour, Drunk with a Cuban cigar, which complimented it quite well, although perhaps negated some of the flavour. Still, it had a sherry flavour with some additional fruits, the most dominant being that of sour cherries. Excellent winter beer, especially since it was consumed in the middle of a good old fashioned Canadian blizzard.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tobias (208) - West Chester, Ohio, USA - JAN 20, 2005
12 oz bottle-3003: pous a deep amber reddish color with a small creamy head. the aroma is of sweet malty cherries. hints of hops, citrus and wine. the flavor is sweet and fruity up front. cherries and grape. with a nice balancing bitterness on the end.hints of oak, vanilla and bourbon. very creamy mouth feel. subtle taste of alcohol. nice warming effect.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JAN 19, 2005
Latest 04 batch. Deep clear coppers and ambers, thick off white head. Nose held notes of citrus, orange peel, fuzzy fruit, toffee, toast, with a slight cherry edge to it all. Snappy citric / fruity hops start the hop parade, followed by some dirty earthy hop notes, and a slight sweet caramel malt to round this out nicely. Decent balance, but not perfect. Age will do wonders on this one I’m sure. Medium bodied, light carbonation, dry warming, earthy hop finish. Good stuff year in, year out....

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
Shag (2789) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - JAN 17, 2005
A nice hoppy cherry and orange peel aroma. A brownish red appearance with a moderate head. The flavor is very quick and clean and leaves behind some hops and an orange and citrusy flavor mixed in with some alcohol and vanilla notes. Proof that a light bodied barley wine can be flavorful. A very nice beer.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
P-tor44 (886) - Anchorage, Alaska, USA - JAN 10, 2005
mmmm, thank you for this beast Zach. Sweet and vinous....hops through out, good alc presence, a pleasant force, toasty at points that I really enjoy.

3.7
   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.

3.5
   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.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
rajendra82 (1031) - 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?

Update
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.


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