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The Vermonster - Rock Art Brewery

The VermonsterThe Vermonster

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

442 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 442
Reviews: 229
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.57%

Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
We brewed The Vermonster with 110 pounds of malt per barrel and jacked up the pour into a wide mouth thin glass goblet.

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 09-23-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 442 | Reviews: 229 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Flounder57


3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz beer was poured into a snifter.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a small layer. It is a dark mahogany color with vision of tiny bubbles coming up the side of the glass.Super nice lacing as the beer was drank.

Smell: Caramel, toffee, fruity, floral, and citrus.

Taste: Citrus, earthy, resiny hops with caramel and toffee in the rear. All followed by lingering bitterness. Some tea like characteristics from the dry hops too.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, lingering tingly bitterness, a little boozy, low carbonation, and medium bodied.

Overall: A good barleywine. You can definitely notice the 100 IBU's.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 01:58:45 | More by Flounder57
Photo of SpasmWaiter


4.56/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh.

Thats the key to this beer. I know Barleywines typically age well, and that holds true with this beer. But the awesome dry-hop this beer gets is too awesome to let go to waste. I love this beer no matter what age, but if its super fresh (3 months or less), it rivals among my favorites. My review lies with these conditions in mind.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2013 23:26:39 | More by SpasmWaiter
Photo of neophilus


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chocolate brown, tawny highlights, off white head. Cloudy with sediment swirling around from the bottom of the bottle.

Earthy aroma mixed with malty sweetness, some toffy and caramel. Sticky hop resin on the nose as well.

Flavor is stiff bitterness on top of strong malt base. Earthy, piney hops with some sticky resin, baked bread malt flavor with a spicy rye like finish.

Finishes clean, medium to heavy body carries the stiff biterness but doesn't linger too long in the aftertaste. Hop bitterness sticks with each sip and hangs around briefly at the end keeping the drinkability up a bit. Aggressive bitterness doesn't make this a slow sipper as much as it braces your taste buds to handle the heavy malt punch without flinching.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 17:29:57 | More by neophilus
Photo of DesMoinesMike


3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bought at the store in Wanooski as a reward for my upcoming half-marathon.

This truly is a monster of a beer. The cloudy brown look is a bit intimidating, and the aroma of hops and darker malts almost makes me almost afraid to drink it, as if Champ would likely jump out of the glass and chase me. The taste was just mind-blowingly potent. Full of hops with their acidity balancing the malts, taming the beast. Try tackling this monster, if you dare.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2013 01:53:29 | More by DesMoinesMike
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark caramel-amber coloring with a frothy, foamy, cream colored head that settles into a retaining surface coat. Nose of cedar and pine tassels, rich and resiny hops, and toffee sweetness. Flavors are rich and robust, with a decent balance throughout. Hoppy forward, with citrus and tropical fruit notes on a toffee rich backbone. Notes of booze highlight, as well as some earthy tones. The aftertaste is peppery, bitter, and toffee sweet. Well balanced. Bittersweet, slightly drying finish. Heavy brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2013 02:00:31 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of metter98

New York

3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very hazy brownish red in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation around the sides of the glass. It poured with a half finger high light beige head that died down and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a thick collar around the edge.
S: The aroma is rather boozy and has some notes of caramel malts and hints of pine resin hops.
T: Like the smell, the initial taste has flavors of caramel malts and some hints of sweetness, but this quickly transitions to a light to moderate amount of bitterness from the underlying hops that lingers into the finish. Hints of pine resin from the hops are noticeable.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. A significant amount of warming from the alcohol is present.
O: This beer masks its alcohol very well from the taste and is also rather drinkable for the style because it's packed with lots of hop bitterness that prevent this from being too malty or sweet.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2013 03:01:18 | More by metter98
Photo of TriggerFingers

New Jersey

3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- Its a nice opaque brown with a quickly disappearing head. Some floaters in there....not sure if its hop debris or yeast. I am guessing the latter.

S- Very malty on the nose. Its got a black tea component that is quite nice.

T- I am not sure how fresh this is, but it doesn't "rip" my head off. The tea component continues in the taste for a strong "one note" flavor. This beer is actually quite pleasant and the bitterness is nearly non-existent to my taste buds. Again, as it stands its interesting for a Barleywine. However, not sure how "fresh" it is-- Bottle is from December 2012.

M- Good

O- Not my favorite Barleywine, but this is pretty tasty. Its not overly complex but I think what it does, it does well. I have a feeling that in a flight with other Barleywines this would come up a little short on complexity, but would score high on drinkability. Its worth a taste.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2013 17:22:06 | More by TriggerFingers
Photo of Ryan011235


2.95/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a Darkness tulip on 9/26/11

Split with MbpBugeye

Pours a dull, faded, pond-watery light brown and settles a dark, muddy brown. Not a very pleasant color. The head is almost two fingers tall and drops to a skim and a thicker patch of bubbles. Some ring retention, too. Decent, scattered lace.

The aroma is terse and dry instead of overly sweet. Heck, it doesn't smell very sweet at all. Earthy, leafy hops sit atop notes of caramel, raisins, plum, dry bread and fruit esters. Fairly light overall. It gets a little sweeter as it starts to warm. Toffee and candied malts. Not boozy.

Ugh, this must be in an awkward transitional period between hoppy fresh and malty aged. Dry, piney, earthy bitterness; very one-dimensional. Tastes a bit dirty. Toasted bread middle. Undercurrents of plum, raisins and candi sugar. The taste is not bad but, as is, it's rather disjointed. Perhaps it could come together with more age.

Medium-full body. Carbonation is lively and keeps each sip on the tip of the tongue. Kind of gritty, too. The alcohol is well-hidden aside from a slight slickness.

Most everything going on is something I like in beer but they are not exactly befitting the style. I'd like to try this fresh or aged.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2013 05:32:35 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of rudzud


3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at the brewery on a beerventure. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice deep dark mahogany hue with a big, creamy 3 finger light tan head that fades to leave lots of sticky side lacing and a nice thin blanket. Very very good appearance.

S - Nice malty sweetness but a TON of booze, a faint almost rubbing alcohol aroma in the back. Faint hops as well.

T - Nice malty sweetness along with some bitter hops. Actually, a very bitter finish. Very strong alcohol presence in this one. Quite resinous here which is a good thing. Fairly tasty albeit hot.

M - Mouthfeel is quite nice. Solid carbonation but not too bright. Really works for this beers flavor profile.

O - Overall, this isnt a bad beer. Truthfully I think its the only Rock Art beer (aside from Black Moon IPA) that I actually like and would drink again.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2013 02:44:00 | More by rudzud
Photo of flexabull


3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle courtesy of beertruth, thanks again!

Pours a deep amber, almost brown color, with a very nice off white head. Looks good, but not a typical looking barleywine.

Smells pretty hoppy, like a DIPA. Notes of hard candies, sugars, and pine. There are also hints of nuts and dark fruits.

Taste starts out with notes of cola, brown sugar, light nuttiness, caramel and dark fruits. Finish is a bit earthy, warm, and slightly bitter. Beer is tasty enough, but it's subtle.

Mouthfeel is smooth, soft, with lighter carbonation and body.

Overall, a pretty nice beer. Fits more on the British side of barleywines to me.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2013 03:20:17 | More by flexabull
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label notched: 28/MAY/2012. Seems about right for when I bought this. Poured in to tulip.

A - Dark amber, brown towards the centre. One finger of light brown head.

S - Sweet up front - caramel, toffee and earthy/floral hop aromas.

T - Sweet caramel and toffee flavours at first with a big hop bitterness and a warming alcohol presence throughout. Some citrus, floral and earthy flavours come through from the hops.

M - Medium body, light carbonation. A lot of stickiness from the hop oils, which is somewhat surprising given the lack of freshness.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 22:10:05 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of negroobserver

New York

3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased in Vermont in late July.

Appearance is a medium brown color with a sticky thick cream colored head.

Smells malty and sweet.

Resiny bitterness at the back end, which lingers in the mouth for a few seconds.

Mouthfeel is nice. Not too dense or thin. Not a very smooth texture either but it's acceptable.

Overall it's a decent beer, however it's not top tier stuff. This is a bit amateurish.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2012 21:25:55 | More by negroobserver
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, floral hops, brown sugar and some fruit.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of brown sugar, caramel and a little bit of fruit. Then a nice strong grassy hops bitterness follows. The malt character is hearty and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a very solid Barleywine to drink for as long as you can handle it.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2012 03:52:11 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of lovindahops

New York

3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Guess I reached for this in the cellar as the cowboys went down 24-7 to the bears. Life is hard for cowboys fans.

A- a decadent black appearance embodies my alchemist stemless tulip with a wave of foam rushing up to the sides. A certain hearty look burst forth

S- rich malt, sugar, and raisins are immediate. Sweet caramel galvanizes it

T- a warming coated nutty flavor is presented as a sweet over tone of cashews and solid flavor. A syrup flavor slightly coates the exit. Very warming and positioning itself to be a warming Vermont strong ale

M- a sloppy feel pushes for with some carbonation to make a good feel

O- Not a bad exhibition of a beastly brew but I really wanted some more character

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2012 02:50:34 | More by lovindahops
Photo of smakawhat


3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Nothing notched for dating, bottle was purchased though at the brewery so no excuses here. I assume it's quite recent.

Off the pour a real big head, three fingers deep with a large marshmallow like consistency, off white. Body color is a dull brown/red amber body, fairly opaque. Pretty big head for a barleywine there.

Subtle and small nose, faint toasted cinnamon and malt sugars. Clean with a mellow hop angle. Fairly simple, but a little buried, but nothing too bad.

Palate hits with a huge hop presence. Dry needle like pine and faint resin hit in the mid palate. Swallow is filled with lots of earth and dirt. Light bodied palate feel with a somewhat wet consistency. Woody, with lots of hop oil finish and aftertaste, quite extreme.

Overall it's an interesting take on a barleywine and extremely hop forward so if that's your thing you'll probably like it, but where is the malt presence and depth on this? I am not into sugar rushes, but even I would want a little bit of sweetness and caramel on this compared to most barleywines.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2012 22:40:11 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Cavanaghty


4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark reddish copper color with a tan colored head. The head lasted about 5 minutes and left trace lacing on the glass.

Smell: sweet smelling, with some malts and carmel, the sweet smell was the strongest.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Medium bodied, not smooth. Taste sweet, but as sweet as I had expected. Left a dry feeling in my mouth. A good hoppy bitterness to it, with a bitter aftertaste. I could taste alcohol.

Overall: Not a bad brew, I'm glad I bought this one to try once, it was enjoyable. Probably won't buy it again though.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2012 20:25:55 | More by Cavanaghty
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour at the bottle share hosted by Adam Fine Wine & Liquor held at Sophie’s Place in Redondo Beach, CA.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a thin cap on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and some fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a sweet flavor and a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but I think it smells better than it tastes.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2012 03:38:20 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of mass4beer2dude0


4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the Brattleboro Food Co-op on 7/22/12. Poured into 8oz tulip glass.

A. Pours a deep amber, caramel color with a nice creamy foamy lingering head. The beer contains large, eye pleasing sediments floating throughout.

S. A very nice hoppy and sweet smell.

T. A sweet and slighty malty taste with a little bit of bitterness to it.

M. Very dry and lingering and full flavored. Definetely makes you want to take another sip.

O. Overall a great beer that is very easy drinking considering its 100 IBU's and 10% ABV. Worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2012 23:09:36 | More by mass4beer2dude0
Photo of zachary80


3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, No date. Recently purchased in Vermont. 100IBU. Poured into a tulip.

Huge rocky sand colored head leaves thick lacing. Body is darker than average for a barleywine, an opaque dark mahogany.

Aroma seems muted. Light metallic note. Some sweet malts come through but nothing is strong.

Flavor is much more bold than the aroma. Deep bitterness throughout that lingers for a long time. Light amount of sweetness from the malts up front but I really like the relatively less sweet profile of this one. Not as complex as some others but I feel it works well with the profile.

You can feel the alcohol on this one, but it isn't overly rough. Body is average for the style, carbonation seems appropriate.

I really like the Veromonster; not sure why the aroma was such a let down. Otherwise a great barleywine. I wish I had another I could cellar for a while.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2012 01:23:57 | More by zachary80
Photo of macrosmatic


4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ActonBrewer for this one. Poured from bomber into CCB pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown that is a bit hazy and not quite opaque. Nice off-white head that fades relatively quickly.

S: Roasted malts, sweet, bitter hops. Hints of Christmas-y spices?

T: Very nicely balanced on the tongue with hop bitterness, malt sweetness and the spiciness. Really nice flavor.

M: Nice smooth, thick mouthfeel for a barleywine. Huge alcohol content is very well hidden.

O: I thought this was a very solid barleywine, and one that I would come back to frequently if it was more easily available. My biggest complaint is that I can't find a bottling date or a "drink by" on the bottle anywhere. I didn't perceive this one to be anywhere close to the 100 IBU claimed on the label, so I'm suspicious that the bottle may have some age on it and the hops have faded. Whatever the situation, it was very good, but I would be interested to compare to a bottle that I knew to be fresh.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2012 16:56:05 | More by macrosmatic
Photo of SawDog505

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 16 oz snifter, bottle date looks like the 273 day of 2011. Pours a orange red with a huge 3 inch head off white with loads sticky lace. Smell is big carmel, fruity esters, pine, grapefruit, and biscuit. Taste is larger, but amazingly balanced. Body is medium large, plenty of carbonation, less dry than you expect from this style, and excellent drinkability for its size. This is very impressive, a fan for sure.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 00:39:23 | More by SawDog505
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on June 11, 2012. It pours an amber, copper tone with a tremendous beige head that lasts and lasts. The colors are seen through a bit of a haze. Aromatic for sure with a fabulous collection of sweet caramel malts, wild berries, earthy/piney hops, and just a touch of yeast to meld everything together. Topnotch on the nose. The body is medium to bold but overall smooth. The hops are upfront on the taste with a sweetness taking a slight back seat but never disappearing.I had this one fairly fresh and I like to let Barleywines sit for a bit before consuming. This was incredibly easy to drink and totally enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2012 22:01:06 | More by puboflyons
Photo of andrewinski1

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip. The color is dark brown; appearing black at a quick glance. There is a nice one inch fluffy light tan head.

The aroma has a lot of melony hops. There are caramel and plum fruit undertones as well.

The taste starts out with grapefruit rind, with a subtle followup of malt flavor. I feel like the malt isn't quite enough to hold off the intense bitterness.

This is medium bodied with lots of carbonation.

Not bad, but not great either.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2012 01:55:17 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of Bendurgin


3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint tulip. This one pours a dark brown with a little bit of a reddish tint to it. Small cap of beige head.

The aroma is a little bit of the grape side with some hints of toffee. Very sweet on the aroma with a little bit of a grassy hop aroma in the background but this just reminds me of grape juice at the end of this. The flavor is hoppier than I had anticipated. Bitter grassy hops through this one with hints of sweet toffee in the background.

The body is medium with sharp carbonation. Overall this one is solid. The aroma puts me off a little bit but I'll enjoy it enough this time.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2012 01:45:05 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of BeerKangaroo


4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After investing in a beer chalice a couple days ago, I decided to get "the Vermonster" ready to be had.

Into my chalice:

A: brown/red colored body with a purple hazy bottom. There wasn't any head even after several aggressive pours. Since I am new to barleywines and the chalice served beers, I am unsure if a head is supposed to surface or not. The carbonation is very light and there are no rings down the sides of the glass. The lacing is very light and spotty. I did notice some sediment at the bottom once the beer was done.

S: some dark fruits, malts and a light roasted chocolate.

T: slightly bitter through hops that come out fairly strong. I taste some of the malts again. The chocolate is pretty non-existent in the taste.

M: medium, subdued carbonation helps to make pretty drinkable.

O: I really can't say too much because this is my first barleywine. Its got the hops characteristics of an IPA, yet some of the malts of a strong ale. I would have this again and would like to explore the barleywine style a bit more to see how others compare to Rock Art's.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2012 13:47:05 | More by BeerKangaroo
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The Vermonster from Rock Art Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 442 ratings.