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 werent 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. Its a beer that pairs wonderfully with all your autumn and winter dishes. We hope you enjoy it, and hey dont ever say we never did nothin for ya.

Malt: Brewmasters 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%

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   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
jb (3136) - Rochester, New York, USA - DEC 5, 2009
On tap at McGregors Henrietta. Very interesting, English style ale. Dark, with orange highlights. Clear. Nose is very sweet, with toffee. Quite malty, a bit of English hops to balance it out. I liked it, but it is nothing terribly special.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
rudolf (2360) - 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 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
nimbleprop (7931) - SouthWest, Washington, Washington DC, USA - DEC 2, 2009
Sampled at Churchkey DC. Pours a transparent orange amber with a frothy, lacing white head. Aroma is mostly malts, crackers, biscuit, some honey. Flavor is more of the same, crisp malts, some sweetness, dry, grainy. Finish is crisp with no hint of 7% alc. This was nice, sessionable too.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
yobdoog (1888) - Kingston, New York, USA - DEC 2, 2009
On cask. Aroma is sweet with a hint of fruit. A bit of yeast and almost a belgian like aroma. Flavor is smooth and sweet with some mellow spice and caramel. Very good and quite drinkable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
argo0 (13874) - Washington DC, USA - NOV 24, 2009
Draft. Minimal white head atop crystal clear copper body. Aroma is moderately sweet, caramel, some brown sugar, light cinnamon. Taste is moderately sweet, caramel, bread, light brown sugar. Low carbonation, medium body.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
HoppityHop (204) - New Jersey, USA - NOV 24, 2009
On tap at the always fun, Barcade. Listed as an American-style on their beer menu, but one sniff and one sip later, I could tell this one was certainly more of an English-style ale. Minimal hop presence, nice malty flavor, decent amount of alcohol warmth. Liked this one, for sure. Well done, true to style English-style strong (or possibly, old) ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
j12601 (9929) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - NOV 20, 2009
On tap at the Blind Tigers 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. Ill have to revisit this since Im sure it will hit taps near me, but overall, wasnt super impressed.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Rciesla (5499) - 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.

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